The biped walked slowly across the open grassy area off to the right of a school as he made his way toward the nearby town of Ponyville. The two separate triangular needles of hair composing his odd moustache bounced along to follow his unique gait over the grassy flatland. He was looking for information on someone very important, and the best way to retrieve the information about this particular being would be to talk to the largest source of energy in the area: the Elements of Harmony.
As he walked by, the students from the small playground all turned to look at him, one by one. Whether it was his excessively large leather hat with a brim stretching out past his shoulders, or the fact that he left a streak of poison joke behind him as he walked -heck, it could be because he was a creature none of them had ever seen before- he quickly had the attention of the entire school. With a grin, he turned to the audience and saluted them, causing a flash on each of the fillies’ and colts’ flanks. They all turned to see that they had an odd mixture of lines and shapes replacing their cutie mark or, if they didn’t have one, an image of a smiling sun on their flanks. All of them merely twisted their faces in confusion before looking back to the biped.
The man busted out laughing insanely, bent over as the hilarity racked his body. “Did you see the looks on their faces?” the maniac said to seemingly no one. “Hilarious, never see a normal horse look like that.” After a few more laughs had echoed out of his body, the biped straightened and looked once more to the young ponies. His gaze flittered across them as he pushed his glasses back up his face. Unlike normal glasses, this pair of spectacles had an additional set of shades that were currently flipped horizontally above the rims.
“I’m so sorry, I haven’t had the opportunity for chaos in two tomorrows!” the man shouted exuberantly as he held up three fingers. This exclamation was followed by a pregnant pause before the man clapped his hands. At the echoing sound of a quacking duck, a second flash of light issued from the younglings’ rears and their cutie marks returned, or disappeared; all was back to normal.
The biped grinned at the still-confused ponies before turning away and jumping into the air. The oddity clicked his heels against one another in mid air before landing and continuing his walk toward Ponyville with a very overexaggerated swagger, twirling his black walking cane as he went. As he left the area, the poison joke that had followed his path quickly withered and died without him to sustain it. The dead plants were then hastily replaced by lush green grass, leaving only a swath of well-maintained green as evidence that he had ever been there in the first place.
As he approached the settlement, he was quickly noticed by the inhabitants and a panicked alarm was passed around the town. The various ponies all quickly took up defenses inside their homes. This left the man to walk through the silent ghost town that had been a bustling village only a moment before, his poison joke stopping as he stepped onto the road. The biped paused briefly at a crossways and pulled out a small compass that was spinning randomly.
“Elements of Harmony,” the man said out loud to the compass and waited. The wildly spinning needle picked up speed and began to rotate unbelievably fast before coming to a sudden halt with the needle pointing down a street to his right. With a nod, he then proceeded to turn left and took a single step in the opposite direction. His foot never met the ground, stepping into the dirt instead. His body passed undisturbed through the solid surface until he vanished underneath the worn road. A moment later, at the end of the road, he emerged from the ground and finished his step.
The being turned his head to the side and spotted a building that had been created inside of a hollowed out tree. Surrounding that tree was a pink forcefield. “Awww, they think this will stop me. How cute.” A snap of his fingers took the man to just outside the building. The man reached into the pocket of his long coat and retrieved a small silver pin from within. “I hate to burst your bubble, but...” He poked the pink sphere and witnessed as it suddenly exploded like an overfilled balloon. The man replaced the pin back inside the coat and clapped his hands a few times to different noises before smiling and looking again at the tree house in front of him.
The biped snapped his fingers and waited for a moment until a bright red megaphone appeared in his grasp. He brought the contraption in front of him and twisted a knob on the side of the device until a horrible screeching filled the air. The wielder winced in response before turning it back a notch, thus causing the high-pitched scream to fade away.
He coughed into his hand a few times before looking toward the tree and putting the megaphone in front of his mouth. “Hello, is this thing working? One, two, three, one, two, three.” He grinned in response as the loud echoing of his own light, baritone voice filled the air. “Alright, good to hear. I was just wondering if any of you fine mares and/or stallions have seen my brother Discord anywhere? He’s about this tall,” the man swung his free hand wildly in a series of vertical gestures, never stopping at any point. “And about this wide.” The man performed the same action, but horizontally.
The human let his hand with the megaphone drop to his side and looked to the building, waiting for some kind of response. When none was forthcoming from the silent structure, the man shrugged and started walking away from it. After a few moments, he began talking gibberish into the air, seemingly to no one.
Meanwhile, inside the tree house, the Elements were all gathered and talking to each other about what they had just witnessed. “What is that thing? Discord's Brother?” Twilight asked to nopony in particular.
“Did you see that hat it was wearing? The one with that wicked grin? It looked like,” Fluttershy gulped audibly, “leather.” The word sent shivers down all the ponies’ spines.
“Personally, I think he wears far too much clothing,” Rarity said with a disapproving tone after she had recovered from the idea of headwear made of skin. “And to think, a hat with a face on it. Who would wear such a thing?”
“I think he was really funny. He seemed like a nice guy!” Pinkie contributed.
“Something definitely doesn’t sit right with me about whatever that is,” Applejack responded.
“Not to mention he’s completely crazy. He was talking to empty air for Pete’s sake!” Rainbow said.
“Hey! I am not crazy!” came the call of a seventh voice, causing all but Pinkie to freeze in fear at the familiarity. “I was talking to my hat!” They all turned around slowly to see the biped standing behind them with his arms crossed and a fake pout on his face.
“Why would you talk to your hat, silly? It’s not like it can talk back to you,” Pinkie said jovially, unfazed by the sudden appearance of the man.
“I would like to inform you that I can, in fact, talk, and that I find your assumption that I can’t to be quite the emotional blow to me and an unfair stereotype to boot,” responded an eighth, deep, voice as the oddly shaped mouth hole upon the cone-like part of the hat started to move in time with the words, its eyes shifting to display emotion.
“Yeah!” the man responded pointing his finger at his headgear. “What the leather said.”
Even Pinkie was shocked, as silence fell over the group. After a moment, the hat once again started speaking in its deep, bass voice. “I daresay I think we may have broken them. Should we get some form of medical attention for the ladies?”
“Nah, they’re the Elements of Harmony. They should be fine." The being paused for a moment before clapping his hands, causing a shining light bulb to appear above his head. "Oooo, we should go make tea for them though, something to cheer them up when they come to their senses,” the man exclaimed before running down the stairs.
“Riiiiight...” Twilight eventually managed as her brain started working again. She looked over her shoulder to the other elements who were all coming out of their brain stalls as well. Twilight shook her head after all of her friends escaped from their self-induced comas. “I have absolutely no idea what is going on, but I guess we should go see what he’s up to downstairs. That way, we can make sure Spike isn’t freaking out about our sudden guest.”
The other ponies nodded in response and the group made their way down the stairs from their outpost on the second floor to where the kitchen was located. As they made their approach, the wafting scent of steeped tea floated into their noses, informing them that the man had kept his word and warm drinks were waiting just a few hoofsteps away.
As they turned the corner, they spotted the being and his talking hat laughing along with Spike across the table. “And so then I says,” -the clear voice of the ape-like creature reached their ears- “I says, I used to be an adventurer like you, but then I shot a guy in the knee.” The man busted out laughing again and the hat continued its deep chuckle while Spike joined in with his own unique laugh.
The young dragon turned his head to the side as he caught sight of movement in the corner of his eye, allowing him to spot the approaching group of six. “Hey Twilight!” he shouted loudly as he waved to her. “This guy is hilarious. I don’t know why you freaked out and had me send that message to the princess earlier. She sent a note back a moment ago and said that she’s coming here." Spike looked at the man across the table from him and then back to Twilight. "I hope Celestia doesn’t get too mad when she just finds this guy here.”
The man had started taking a sip of his tea while the dragonling was talking, but after the mention of Celestia, tea shot out of the mouth of the hat while the man’s eyes bulged. After the liquid had stopped spewing from its mouth, the hat glared down at the man underneath its brim. “You know how I hate when you do that. Why do you insist on continuing that disgusting practice?” the hat said with a calm voice that held an undertone of disappointment.
“Sorry, Entropy. I forgot,” the man said hastily as he stood from his chair and ran over to the oven, leaving his black cane to hang from the edge of the table. He started to rustle through all the nearby cupboards before retrieving a single metal sheet, his hat grumbling all the while.
“What are you doing now?” Twilight asked as the man grabbed a mixing bowl from nearby and started to fill it with eggs that he conjured from empty space.
“Well, if the princess is coming, I have to make crumpets to go with the tea!” the man exclaimed as if it were the most obvious thing in the world. “Wait, do you use eggs in crumpets? Doesn't matter. You can go ahead and have a sip of your tea while we wait for the guest of honor. Wouldn’t do you any good to look pale as a ghost when royalty shows up.”
Twilight looked to the side and spotted her reflection in a nearby pan. She immediately became aware that it was not merely exaggeration; she did, in fact, look pale as a bed sheet. With her mind made up, the lavender mare sat down on the table in front of a cup that was the same color as her own coat. Her friends all found their places by their coat colors as well and before long, all were seated.
Twilight ran her magic over the liquid in front of her and searched it for any kind of incantation or possible hex. Relieved to find it magic-less, the mare took a hesitant sip and was greeted by the sweet tang of a tropical herbal tea. Twilight smiled and inhaled the familiar scent of the warm liquid before looking to her other friends, who had all taken their first sip as well.
As her gaze wandered, she noticed Spike looking at her expectantly and raised an eyebrow. Realizing his attention had been noticed, the dragon sat back in his chair and began to whistle as he looked around the room. Even more confused by his antics, the mare took another sip from the tea in front of her and was shocked to find it taste like black tea.
“What?” the mare said as she looked into her cup and the scent of fresh tea leaves filled the air.
“Told ya he was hilarious. He added a ground up root of some kind to the drink to make it taste different every time you drink it,” Spike said with a grin as he took another sip from his own tea. “Mmmm, apple cider.”
Twilight turned her gaze to the man and was about to question him about what he put into the tea, when she realized he was far too enraptured with the various tins, bowls, and sheets in front of him to listen to her. The mare quickly cast a spell to search for poisons.
The results came back negative and the librarian looked to her friends who were all enjoying their own drinks. With a small grin to herself, Twilight took another sip from the tea in front of her and grinned wider as the flavor of decaf coffee filled her mouth.
“Perhaps he isn’t so bad after all. He certainly brews good tea,” Twilight said as she started to let her muscles relax. “And as Celestia says, nothing bad can come from a good cup of tea.”