Rainbow Dash flew over to Fluttershy’s cottage. Normally, Rainbow Dash wasn’t one to get suspicious about her friends. She left all of that stuff to Twilight. But this time was different.
This time, she’d read Daring Do and the Mystery of the Marvelous Magician.
She’d been inspired a lot by Daring Do’s books and she was itching to find a mystery of her own so she could emulate the awesome mare. As far as her books went, to solve a mystery all you had to do is look at all of the facts available, and then come up with the most impossible I-never-would-have-guessed-that explanation possible! Mystery books were exciting that way.
But now she needed a mystery, which was why she was at Fluttershy’s house.
Something was up with Fluttershy. She was gone for the whole week of the dragon migrations. Not just hiding; gone. And before that, she'd actually managed to knock her back. Her! Rainbow Dash! She'd hit a cliff, and the cliff cracked before she did! How did Fluttershy manage to do that?
Personally, Rainbow Dash suspected aliens. There, first part of the mystery, come up with an answer that nopony could guess, was solved. Now all she needed was clues to prove it, and she'd be the best detective ever!
She knocked on the door. When she didn’t hear anything she crept inside.
She was stealthy. Almost… dare she think it... like a ninja. She was Rainbow Dash, the ninja detective.
"This is so awesome." Rainbow Dash snickered.
And then it hit her.
‘It’ in this case, being the foot of Fluttershy’s pet rabbit Angel.
With a cry, she settled into her kung-fu stance, but Angel’s kung-fu was too strong. If she was a ninja, then angel was Buck Norris. After several well placed roundhouse kicks to the face, Rainbow Dash was knocked out of Fluttershy’s cottage, and onto her back.
Looking up, she saw several of Fluttershy’s critters looking down on her.
“You will speak of this to nopony.” Rainbow Dash commanded, before she took to the skies.
The six ponies known as the Elements of Harmony lay down on a picnic spread on the hills just outside of the small town of Ponyville. The birds sang, and Celestia’s sun beamed down on them. It was a week after Twilight’s brother Shining Armor got married. Everypony was happy, and munching on daisy sandwiches. Except Pinkie, who was having cupcakes.
“Wasn’t that the most glorious wedding you’ve ever been to?” Rarity sighed happily.
“It was wonderful.” Fluttershy said, sighing quieter.
“It was the most teriffickest party that’s ever been for this whole month!” Pinkie said. “I’m gonna top it though.” She said smugly.
“What?” Rainbow Dash perked up. “What party could possibly be cooler than that? It was a royal wedding!”
“Yeah, I know that silly filly.” Pinkie Pie giggled. “But I’m gonna top it!”
“How do you top something like a Canterlot wedding?”
“One of my friend’s birthday parties of course?”
“Really? Who’s birthday is it? Spike, take a note!” Twilight was, of course, all over the scene.
"Uh, Twilight?" Applejack asked. "You do know Spike's not here right?"
Twilight looked at the empty space behind her, then blushed. "Of course I know that. It's just... I've recorded each of your birthdays. So far, I only know Applejack's and Pinkie Pie's. So whose birthday is it this time?"
“It’s Fluttershy’s of course!” Pinkie cheered. “The big 2 0!”
The golden pegasi, who had, up until this point, been relaxing, suddenly sat upright with an ‘eep’. “Oh no! I completely forgot!”
“It’s alright Fluttershy.” Twilight said with a smile. “I’m sure we’ve all been to busy to remember out birthdays at some point.”
The other four ponies looked around at each other with confusion.
“Forget… Brithdays?” The sound of gears screeching to a halt came from pinkie’s mind, and her face twisted into an expression of stunned disbelief.
“Or maybe it’s just us two.” Twilight murmured.
Rainbow Dash poked the pink party pony, who promptly fell over. “I think you broke Pinkie Pie.”
“Well Fluttershy, did you have any big plans for your big day?” Rarity asked. “More importantly, do you have any plans for what you’re going to wear?”
“Um… yes.” Fluttershy said. “But I… don’t really want to…”
Suddenly Spike came running up to them. The dragon stopped for a moment to catch his breath. “Could you guys… maybe have… your picnics… a little closer to the library?” He gasped.
“Do you have a letter from the Princess?” Twilight gasped.
“Yeah.” Spike huffed.
“Oh no!” Twilight gasped. “This is terrible! She only just wrote to us last week to attend a royal wedding! If she’s writing again so soon, it must be for something as urgent as that! Or even more urgent?”
“What could be more urgent then a Canterlot Wedding?” Rarity asked.
“Maybe the Canterlot Society for Biological Protection has accidentally created a virus that will mutate ponies into zombie ponies! Maybe the ravenous hordes of zombie ponies have already overcome the royal Canterlot Guard and Princess Celectia with zombie magic and are on their way here right now! Maybe they need the book I accidentally spilled some of my breakfast on yesterday to stop them, only they can’t, because now nopony can read it!”
Everypony stared at Twilight.
Pinkie jumped up. “Did you just say new ponies were coming to ponyville?”
“That seems mighty unlikely sugercube.” Applejack suggested. “Spike, why don’t you give Twilight her letter.”
“It’s two letters actually.” Spike held up an old looking roll of parchment with a Canterlot Sealed scroll attached to its front. ”And they're for Rainbow Dash, not Twilight."
“Ooooh, a letter inside of a letter.” The wheels in Pinkie’s head started turning again. "I wonder if it's possibly to make a cake inside of a cake." She gasped. "Can you do that? A cake inside of a cake? Or is that too much cake for any one pony to handle?"
Twilight unrolled the first one, the one from Princess Celestia, and read; "'Dear Rainbow Dash. Thank you for the wonderful prank, this one was very clever.'"
“Huh?” Rainbow Dash looked confused. “But I didn’t prank her! … This month.”
Twilight decided not to argue with her friend, and let the next letter speak for itself. It was slightly more difficult to unroll the second scroll, but thankfully she had magic. “Then was do you call this? ‘To Her Royal Majesty Celestia, The Queen-Who-Would-Be-Called-Princess, The Sun-Bearer, The Sky-Master, The Gemstone-Maned, The Great-Trickster, The Unseen-Hand, The Mirror-Match of All-Dragons, The Gardener, and The Sunland Lord. To She-Who-Has-Many-Names, I, Smaug, offer you an invitation to the Nightlands, so you may witness our daughter’s wedding.’”
“Oh my goodness.” Fluttershy gasped. “I had no idea Princess Celestia had so many honorifics.”
“This doesn’t sound like a prank from Dashie at all.” Pinkie said, scrunching up her nose. “In fact, it doesn’t sound funny at all.”
“You’re right.” Twilight said. “But I haven’t read all of it yet.”
“Oh! Maybe there’s a punchline?” Pinkie Pie asked.
“Oh dear.” Fluttershy hid her head.
Twilight kept reading. “'I, Smaug, know you would be worried of the daughter-of-your-heart attending as a bridesmaid, and so invite you to let your mind rest. I also believe that my daughter’s marriage will bring about a new age of peace and co-existence between dragons and ponies.'”
“Celestia has a… daughter-of-hearts? What’s a daughter-of-hearts?” Rarity asked, her eyes wide, as she leaned over to try and peek at the scroll.
“I don’t know.” Twilight said.
“It’s a dragon term.” The others turned to stare at Fluttershy, whose quiet voice the unexpected source of this new information. “It means… somepony you think of as a daughter, but who really isn’t.”
“How did you know that?” Twilight asked. “Spike and I searched the whole library for anything on dragon culture, and we couldn't find anything!”
“I just… um…” She waved at the note. “Maybe you should… keep reading…”
Twilight, eyes wide now, continued to read the note. “I hope that you and your Elements of Harmony will be able to forge a new bridge between Dragons and Ponies, even as we enjoy the blessed wedding of our daughter, her royal highness… Fluttershy, The Unblinking?”
All eyes turned to the pegasus, who was hiding behind her mane.
“Boy, this is a good prank Dashie!” Pinkie Pie laughed. "It's not very smart though. Fluttershy's not a dragon!"
“It’s not a prank.” Fluttershy whispered. “I meant to tell you about it sooner, but… um… I’ve sort of been raised by dragons. Specifically… the King and Queen of dragons. And they want me to marry somedragon on my twentieth birthday.”
Rarity gasped. “Fluttershy’s been raised by dragons!?” She fainted and collapsed backwards.
“Why didn’t you tell us this before now?” Applejack asked.
“I didn’t want you to be scared of me.” Fluttershy whispered. “Please don’t be scared of me.”
Rarity shot upright and gasped. “Fluttershy’s getting married!?” She fainted again, this time on a pillow, absentmindedly put down by Twilight.
“We’d never be scared of you sugarcube.” Applejack said.
Pinkie Pie gasped. “Oooh! Guys, you know what we should do?”
“Allow me to take a wild. Guess.” Twilight said, almost glaring at Fluttershy.
“PAAAAARTYYYYYY!” Pinkie Pie cheered.
Rarity shot upright and gasped. “Fluttershy’s turning twenty?” She fainted again.
“Why didn’t you tell us?” Twilight asked. “You knew we’d find out about this marriage anyways! Why would you keep it from us? Do you want a repeat of Applejack’s silver medal panic?”
”That was a one time thang.” Applejack said crossly.
“I’m sorry, I meant to tell you, but I got so distracted by Princess Cadence and Shining Armor’s wedding.”
Rarity sat upright and gasped. “Fluttershy… do dragons wear wedding dresses?”
“Then I will design yours!” Rarity cheered, and fainted again, this time with a wide smile on her face.
"You must know all about dragons!" Spike realized. "Can you teach me about them?"
Something suddenly clicked for Rainbow Dash. “Man, this would totally explain why the first time I met you, you were playing King Of The Hoard!” Everypony stared at her. She blushed back. “Okay, maybe I’m not the best detective in the world.”