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A small, plastic horse doll sits on a table, its lavender colour shining in the moonlight spilling in from the window. The shadowy figure of a young boy reaches out to the doll and clutches it to his chest as tears fall from his eyes. He looks over to his little sister’s bed and furiously wipes at the tears, then strokes his fingers through the doll’s mane lost in thought.
“Oh Harmony, where did you go?...”
The light from the setting sun shone bright behind her casting her profile into shadow. The pale, yellow pegasus’s wings stood spread out against the sun as she approached the clearing where she heard the cries of what she thought was a distressed animal she could help. But as she came closer to the creature she thought at first it could be another pony curled up in a ball, their blonde mane sticking out in two directions as if it were two tiny tails on the side of the pony’s head. Still, something was wrong. The pony with the tails in her mane was two-toned in colour. Her body covered in lavender cloth such as a pony would wear to a fancy ball, and her legs that were clutched tightly under her body were blue. The winged pony’s perception of the creature completely changed when it raised its head to her.
“Are you an angel?” came the small voice of a filly, but it was not a filly who looked up into the eyes of the pegasus. No. The face was oval shaped and the colour of summer peaches with rounded rosy cheeks. The nose was small and flat with no muzzle, and the eyes, although wide with fear were much smaller than any filly the concerned pony had seen before. This creature was unlike anything she had ever seen before in her life.
“Mommy said there’d be angels…” said the voice again, and that was enough to send the pony into a panic, and squeaking like a mouse she jumped into a bush away from the strange sight.
“Wait! Don’t leave!” cried the little voice so like a lost filly calling for their mother it sent a pain into the heart of the hiding pegasus. Her gentle soul could never abandon a crying and helpless little creature even if she couldn’t understand what exactly they were. Her fear of the unknown kept her paralyzed under the shelter of the little bush, but the empathy in her heart pulled at her to resurface and face what scared her, but who seemed just as scared as she.
The sun was a little more than a glint in the sky when the shy pegasus pulled herself out from under the bush she sheltered in and forced herself to approach the helpless two-tail as she thought to call it. The two-tail was again curled into a ball so that her namesake was all that was visible as the wary pony came closer, her hooves softly echoing against the dirt ground.
Don’t be afraid. The pegasus thought to herself. She’s small, and scared like a baby bunny. I can help her….
Just then the creature looked up again, her fur-less, peach coloured face scaring the winged pony again but she stood firm as she saw the fear in the eyes of the two-tail.
“You’re not an angel...” the fear in the voice was almost palpable as the creature mentioned the name of the pegasus’s bunny friend again in the negative. “You’re a… a… “ the pony stepped back. “A pegasus!” the two-tail’s voice rose in pitch and her small face lit up in happiness at her discovery.
The yellow pegasus was shocked that the creature seemed to understand what she was while she couldn’t comprehend anything about them.
“Y-yes I’m a-“ the pony stopped short as suddenly the little two-tailed creature launched themselves at her in a wide open hug, clutching her around her shoulders.
“Wow, a real, live, pegasus just like my dolls! I love your wings, and, and you’re yellow and your hair is… its pink!” came a string of excited words from the now standing two-tail. Although the pegasus now saw that the creature was more of a two-leg as she stood up to just reach her head using only two legs and what she thought had been hooves originally wrapped around her like her animal friends’ paws.
The excited voice of the young two-legged creature reminded the pony of her always excitable pink friend who she usually felt shy around, but with this strange little one clinging to her she felt no fear or discomfort, but a motherly instinct to take care of her, not unlike her common nature of caring for small animals.
“Hello, little one,” the pegasus spoke up gently nuzzling the two-legged off of her mane. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like you in this forest before. Where do you come from?”
The little one calmed down enough to listen to the voice of the pony before her, and looked quizzically into her eyes. “I don’t know. Where am I? I’ve never seen anyone like you before either… except in my storybooks.” The two-legged frowned a little, upsetting the pegasus to see she had scared her again.
“You don’t know where you came from?” the winged pony asked, incredulously.
“Um…no.” replied the child.
“Oh, well, don’t worry, we can figure it all out with the help of my friends” she said, deciding right then and there that she must bring this lost little creature to see her learned unicorn friend, Twilight Sparkle. She surely would be able to explain what she was and where she had come from.
“There are more of you?!” the two-legged spoke up excited again.
“Why yes, this is Ponyville, in the land of Equestria, and many ponies and pegasi live here.” The pegasus explained. She had no time to mention the unicorns, dragons and alicorn princesses before the little one chirped again.
“Oh please let me meet your friends!” she cried, excitedly bouncing up and down in one spot, again reminding the pegasus of her just as excitable friend.
“Of course, of course. But first, my name is Fluttershy.” The winged pony said, softly, her ears bending down as the shyness of introductions still overtook her. “Please, tell me your name.” she continued, smiling kindly.
“My name is Harmony. Mommy says it means everyone gets along.” The small one grinned, happily, but the pony seemed to be lost in thought about the meaning of the name of her new friend.
“Oh…my...” she spoke. “That’s a very special name.”
Suddenly there was a low grumbling sound and the child clutched at her tummy. “Ugh, I’m hungry.” She groaned.
“Oh! I can get you something to eat at my house.” Fluttershy exclaimed, worriedly coming over to the little girl who had grown a little pale.
“You live in a house?” she asked, her eyes lighting up.
“Yes, my cottage is just beyond that hill. I’m sure we can find you something to eat there.” The pegasus pointed a hoof out toward a small hill where the setting sun was just disappearing. “We better hurry though, it’s going to be dark soon.”
“Let’s go, let’s go! I wanna see your house! I’ve never seen a pegasuses’ house before.” Harmony cried, recovering a little.
Fluttershy giggled, charmed by the way the small creature was excited by everything no matter how mundane it seemed to her.
“I’ll take you there. You can hold my tail as a guide… if you want…” she suddenly realized that she didn’t feel shy around the child, and felt maybe she was being demanding with her more confident tone. She flicked her long, flowing pink tail out to the little girl who gently took hold of it.
“Hehe, it tickles” she giggled, as she gripped the pony’s tail which hid her in a curtain of soft pink.
“Now hold on, and try to keep up. It’s not too far to my house.” Fluttershy said as she slowly started to trot forward, hearing the laugh of her companion behind her.
Oh, I wonder what this sweet little creature could be? I hope Twilight can help us figure this out. She thought, excitedly to herself as she headed toward her cottage and into the coming night.
“You live here?” The little girl asked as she gazed in wonder over the cottage tree house where the pegasus pony made her home. In the twilight the cottage’s many animal occupants were not around, but the child marvelled at the multitude of birdhouses in the trees, the babbling brook with the bridge to cross over from the meadow to where the house stood at the top of a small hill, and the scattering of wild flowers. Like the pegasus pony who had rescued her it looked like something out of her storybooks, and she wondered if she had somehow wondered into one of them.
“Yes, this is my home.” Fluttershy smiled, welcomingly, and she led the small creature through the door and into the cottage. Her companion was even more amazed by the inside of her house as the little animal inhabitants came to greet them, including her best friend and assistant Angel Bunny.
“Wow, you have so many animals!” Harmony exclaimed as the animals curiously came closer to her. They had never seen a creature like her either, and again Fluttershy was surprised that the child could identify them. Where could she have come from that was so similar to Equestria yet so different?
“These are my animal friends who I take care of when they are hurt or sick.” The pegasus explained as Angel hopped up onto her back to get a closer look at the new member. “And this is Angel Bunny.” She nuzzled the little rabbit closer to her. “This is Harmony, Angel Bunny. She was lost in the Everfree forest and I brought her here to get something to eat.”
The small white bunny stared at the child, wiggling his nose as he sniffed at the pony-sized creature his pegasus friend had brought into his territory. He was wont to be wary of her, not liking when his owner turned her affections to anyone else, but the creature was calm and innocent looking, and the bunny sensed no ill will toward him or his mistress. She may as well have been another sick or hurt animal for them to take care of together and he was excited at the new challenge.
“Hi, Angel Bunny.” The child gave a toothy grin. “Can I pet him?” She turned to the pegasus eagerly.
“What do you say, Angel?” Fluttershy asked her assistant. Angel liked this, he didn’t appreciate being fawned over without his permission, and found it refreshing to be asked for once. He dutifully stuck his head out for the child to stroke his soft fur and he smiled at her gentle touch.
“Aw, he’s so cute!” Harmony squealed, and Fluttershy smiled, glad to see that Angel accepted her new friend since it was hard to get the wary bunny to accept a new face.
“Let me see what I can find you to eat.” Fluttershy said rummaging in her cupboards for some vegetables to make a soup that she knew would fill up the tummy of her new charge. Finding some carrots Fluttershy turned to the child and asked, "Do you eat carrots?" because she really had no idea what the little creature could eat. She hoped she wasn't a meat eater like some of her animal friends. That was...difficult to deal with.
"Yup! I like carrots with dip and soft cooked carrots and even carrot juice cuz mommy says its good for you." Harmony replied cheerfully and the pegasus smiled at her.
"Good. This won't take long, why don't you sit down with Angel Bunny while I finish up here." she offered.
The child seated herself on the lime green lounge chair by the window and continued to look around the room as Fluttershy got the pot of water on the fire. Angel Bunny would normally be helping his owner but he decided to sit with the new arrival because she seemed kind of lost in her new surroundings.
“Harmony, do you know how you came to be in that forest at all?” Fluttershy asked after she had added the vegetables and seasoning to the pot and had a minute to speak with the little girl.
“Um… I don’t know…” she started. “I was sleeping at my home, but then I was in that forest. I walked around looking for my mommy or someone but no one was around and I was scared. I walked for a long time, and it was dark and scary. I was all alone and I thought mommy had been right and I…I had…” Suddenly tears were streaming down the child’s face, her body shaking as she broke off in sobs.
“Oh no, I’m so sorry!” the pegasus cried and galloped over to the crying creature. “I didn’t mean to make you cry. Its ok, you’re out of that scary forest. There’s nothing to hurt you here.” She soothed, rearing up and holding the child to her as she cried.
Fluttershy felt so bad to have scared the little girl so much that she was crying. Of course she had been scared in the Everfree forest, it was the Everfree forest after all. She was just glad the poor thing hadn’t been attacked by a manticore or something before she got to her.
“There, there, dry your tears. You’re safe here and I think your soup is ready. Let’s have some to warm up your tummy and you’ll feel much better.” The pegasus pony smiled tenderly, nuzzling at the child’s face.
“Really? It’s safe here?” Harmony asked, her eyes still sparkling with tears.
The timid pony took a deep breath and put on her bravest expression for her little charge. “Yes, I’ll protect you.”
“Thank you, Fluttershy. You’re the best pony.” The child held the pegasus in a hug and she blushed not used to so much affection from anypony but her friends. But something inside her- perhaps her maternal instincts as a mare- told her that this was what the little one needed and she vowed to be there for her and keep her safe however she could.
“It tastes good.” Harmony trilled, happily as she sipped at the carrot soup Fluttershy had made for her.
“I’m glad you like it, Harmony.”
The pony watched as the child held her soup bowl in her small paw-like appendages and sipped the soup like Angel would sometimes do as she lapped at her own bowl. She truly had never seen any creature like her and wondered again what exactly she could be. She recognized her as immature, a child who needed someone to care for her and that was what she was trying her best to do, but otherwise she didn’t know anything else about the little girl who she had found curled up on the ground on the edge of the Everfree. Her two little tails on the top of her head were the colour of Applejack’s light yellow mane and that was what she could only assume they were. Her clothes covered her whole body which stood up straight on two legs like many other animals she had seen, and perhaps what most fascinated her were the five appendages where her hoofs would be. They could bend and hold things like only her animal friends could do, albeit not as dexterous as this creature seemed to be able to handle. She wondered if the child could write, maybe she could help her keep her lists of medications for her animals up to date.
“Fluttershy,” Just then the child spoke up again, pulling the pony out from her thoughts.
“Oh. Yes, Harmony?”
“You said there were lots of ponies and pegasuses here, right?” she started, thoughtfully.
“They’re called pegasi, honey, but go on.” Fluttershy corrected, gently.
“Oh… Um, ok, pegasi….” She pasued. “But have you ever seen a unicorn before?” The little girl’s eyes glistened with anticipation and hope as she asked this question, and the pegasus even noticed she was holding her breath.
“Why, yes, my two best friends are unicorns.” She responded quickly so as to break the tension and get the child to breathe again.
“They are? Really?!” Harmony cried, releasing her breath, and jumped up from the table where the two were sitting, almost upsetting the soup bowls. “Really? Real unicorns with horns and everything?!” She continued, starting to hop in excitement.
“Yes. Twilight and-“ but before the pony could explain more she was cut off.
“Can they do magic? Can they make pure water? Can they heal?” the child demanded, emphasizing heavily on the last question.
“Well…” Fluttershy started, timidly, feeling a little shy from the outburst, but touched by the little girl’s sudden interest. “Rarity uses her magic to make dresses and find gems, but Twilight Sparkle is very magical. I think you’d have to ask her what she can do.” She smiled, anticipating the excitable child’s next question.
“Can we meet her?!”
“Of course. In the morning we’ll go meet her and you can ask her all about her magic. I’m sure she’ll have lots to show you.”
Harmony seemed to deflate then and sank down on the carpet, her hands holding her cheeks as she mumbled. “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh…”
Fluttershy couldn’t help it anymore and she burst out laughing. “Oh Harmony, you remind me so much of my friends sometimes.” She explained in between giggles.
The child stopped and stared, and the pegasus tried to compose herself before she too grinned and then started to laugh.
“I found a pegasus and a unicorn! This is the best day ever!” Harmony cried happily, dancing around her new friend who got to her hoofs and joined her. Even Angel Bunny came over to dance with the two happy companions. The child’s excitement and laughter was infectious and warmed Fluttershy’s heart. “I can’t wait until tomorrow!” Harmony shouted to the ceiling, than she fell over and giggled on the carpet, clutching her stomach with glee.
“We should finish our soup before it gets cold.” The pegasus pony pointed out when the child seemed to have stopped giggling. She sat down at her side of the table beckoning Harmony to do the same.
“Oh, yeah.” The little girl sat up and used her fascinating limbs to grip her small cup of water and gulped it down in one drop. Then she began working on the soup again, gently blowing the still slightly steaming dish and lifting it to her lips to slowly sip it.
Fluttershy watched the child and wondered how she knew about unicorns and magic. How did she know about pegasi too? Surely Twilight would know and could show her some wonderful magic. And maybe Rainbow Dash can show her a rainbow, and Rarity could make something for her, and Pinkie would definitely want to have a party and Applejack could- the pegasus stopped her thoughts before she could go on, noticing her new charge’s movements become slower, her eyelids low with a goofy smile on her face as she struggled to continue to eat. She moaned a little as she put down her bowl and the pony was a little shocked to see her completely topple over backwards to the floor. She hurried over to her and found the small child peacefully asleep on the carpet, her breathing slow and rhythmic with the smile still on her face.
“Aw, she must have been exhausted after everything she’s been through today.” Fluttershy said to herself, wondering what to do about the child. She didn’t want to leave her lying on the floor, but she didn’t want to risk waking her by trying to carry her to her bedroom. Instead she gently placed a pillow under her, carefully nuzzling her head to set it down, than she brought a blanket over and clutching it in her teeth draped it over her small body. Wanting to be there if Harmony woke up she settled herself on the lounge chair nearby and found herself just watching the sleeping child in awe again as she lay down on her hoofs.
There was something about her. Something that made her heart feel full, her shyness disappear, her instincts telling her to take care of her, to protect her and keep her safe. She felt the child’s joy and wonder about the place she was in, and the things she had seen and yet to see, but she also felt some sort of deep sadness from her. Something the little girl couldn’t talk about, something she couldn’t understand. There was true fear and grief when she had spoken about her home and being lost in the Everfree forest. Perhaps she was just frightened at what certainly must be a new world to her, but something told her there was more to little Harmony then any excitable little filly-child from another world.
“I just wish I knew where you came from and why you’re here…” she muttered to herself, feeling her own eyes grow heavy.
“Mommy…” Suddenly the child spoke in her sleep, jerking Fluttershy awake too. “Mommy it hurts… you said it wouldn’t hurt anymore…mommy…” Harmony tossed and turned, her voice sounding pained and scared.
Worried, the pony got down next to her and put her hoofs on the little girl to steady her. “It’s OK, no one’s going to hurt you.” She soothed.
“It’s supposed to be all done now. You said it was all finished and I could stay home.” Fluttershy saw tears under the little girl’s closed eyes and her heart ached for her.
“Don’t cry. You’re safe here.” The pegasus tried to assure her, imagining she was having a bad dream.
“Mommy, I want to go home!” Harmony continued to cry and woke herself up. She blinked and focused on the pegasus sitting in front of her, and then clutched her around the neck. “You weren’t a dream. You are real. Pretty Fluttershy.” The child whispered tearfully and buried herself in her new friend’s soft mane.
“Yes, it’s OK, Harmony. I’m here for you.” Fluttershy promised, nuzzling her.
“There’s unicorns too? They’re real?”
“Yes. We’re going to meet my friend the unicorn tomorrow, remember?”
“Mommy….” Harmony turned away, still clutching the pegasus’s mane in her small hands. “I miss my mommy.” She whimpered.
This was what Fluttershy had been waiting for. She wondered why the small child had not spoken about her mother except in passing when she was talking about being lost. Of course she must miss her mommy. She couldn’t imagine being all alone in a new world so far away from her own mother. And that was when she realized that Harmony was not like the animal friends she cared for. She couldn’t fix her up and then send her back in the forest where she would surely get a visit from her one day. No, this child belonged in another world, and what needed to be done was to get her back to her mother where it was likely she would never see her again. The thought tore at the pegasus’s heart to have to say goodbye to this sweet little creature when she had just started to get to know her, but she knew that it would be the right thing do. Hopefully Twilight would know some way to return her to her rightful home.
“Hopefully, Twilight- the unicorn- will know a way to get you home to your mommy.” She found her voice shaking as she told this to the child she held close to her. Or if she doesn’t, Twilight could get in contact with the princesses who might…she thought to herself.
“The unicorn could send me back to mommy?” Harmony pulled away and her glistening hope-filled eyes met Fluttershy’s.
“I hope so, honey.” Was all the gentle pony could offer. She had no idea if anypony in Equestria had even seen a creature like Harmony, much less knew how to send her back to her world.
“Do you want to come up to my bedroom? It can’t be nice sleeping on the floor like that.” Fluttershy said, gently prodding the child to get up with her muzzle. She rubbed her eyes and yawned, but diligently followed the pegasus upstairs where she helped the child into her bed and tucked her in. The pony planned to sleep downstairs but was reluctant to leave her after her nightmare and again settled herself on a chair nearby.
“Fluttershy, can you sleep with me?” Harmony asked, her big eyes bright even in the darkness.
“Um… OK… if you like…” the pony said a bit shyly. She didn’t know if they would both fit, but she knew the child needed comfort, so she walked over to the other side of the bed and climbed in beside her who held her in a hug.
“Thank you Fluttershy…for saving my life.”