By the time the ice cream was done Pound and Pumpkin were both starting to feel comfortable, the throbbing of their heads having faded.
Discord stood over the filly and colt. “Feeling better now?” They both nodded. “Good. Good. So go on and try it out.”
Pound looked down at his hooves. “What do I do?”
“Just focus on a desire of yours and manifest it into reality.”
“Bring it forth. Like so.” Discord shrunk to their size, turning into a pony like them. His front hooves popped off, but he remained perfectly steady, as if gravity meant nothing to him. His back legs left too, then his head, and they began to float around in an orbit around him before returning to their proper spots. “See? It’s easy.”
Pound thought about what he wanted most at the moment. His eyes lit up as he got an idea. His brow furrowed in concentration and his wings elongated another foot, becoming as large as an adult pegasus. Flapping them hard he quickly got off the floor, joy on his face. He began to fly around with ease, swimming in the air. “Woohoo!” he cheered. “This is so awesome!” He floated in the air as he began to alter his wings, first to a dragon’s, then a griffon’s.
Pumpkin kept pointing her hoof at objects, making them turn into other things. She poofed a mirror into existence, and began to change her mane different colors and into different styles. She tried on different sets of clothes, seeing which ones she liked best.
Discord patiently let them test their abilities. He knew before long they would want to know the limits of those abilities, and thus things were quickly going to get wild when they realized they could do just about anything with that power.
“We should go outside,” Pound said after a while. “It’s too cramped to fly in here.”
“Okay,” Pumpkin replied, in a dainty voice, wearing an elegant dress that would make Rarity jealous, an umbrella in a hoof and her mane covering one of her eyes as she fanned herself.
Pound laughed, summoning a fancy outfit to match hers, a monocle in his eye and a big mustache. “Smashing, my dear. Might I have this dance?” he said in a gruff hoity-toity voice.
“I suppose,” she replied, taking his hoof as they walked toward the door.
“I’ll get the door,” said Pound.
“No need,” said Pumpkin.
“What do you mean?” Pumpkin closed her eyes and focused, and the bottom part of the door grew transparent, and the two walked right through it.
Discord had turned himself into a bird, the better to observe them. As a master of chaos he knew one of the worst things to be was predictable. Everyone had come to expect him to be wacky and silly and a little bit annoying. Maybe it was time to help along the next generation of troublemakers.
Nobody was looking toward them as they went outside. “Hey, Pumpkin?” said Pound, dispensing with the fancy voice and returning his body to normal.
“Yes?” she replied, doing the same.
“We have ultra-cool powers now.”
“So it wouldn’t be any fun to just show off right away, would it? We should take things slow, do some things they can’t understand, and THEN we’ll totally blow their minds with everything we got.”
Pumpkin giggled. “You’re right. I got an idea for our first prank.” She whispered in his ear.
Pound began to crack up. “That will drive them crazy!”
With huge smirks on their faces they rejoined the party. “Hi!” said Pumpkin. “We’re back!”
Fluttershy turned to them. “Hello, you two. Where were you guys?”
“We went inside for a little bit.” She waited until Fluttershy’s head had turned and said, “Say, have you seen Pound anywhere?”
Confused, she looked back down. “He’s right beside… you?” Fluttershy blinked, looking around. Pound was indeed gone.
“Oh! There he is.” Pumpkin pointed.
Fluttershy turned to look, bewildered. Pound was clear across the other side of the yard. Had she really seen both of them before? She wasn’t sure now. She put her head onto her hooves, thinking.
“Hey, Pumpkin,” said Pound, slapping her on the back.
Fluttershy and Twilight both gawked at him. “Wait… how…”
Twilight was staring at him. “You were just over there. How did you get here?”
“What are you talking about?” said Pound. “I’ve been here the whole time.”
The two of them looked back and forth between Pound and the other side of the yard, Twilight scratching her head.
Discord snickered lightly, letting out a caw. “Parlor tricks,” he said dismissively, though he wasn’t really annoyed. “The lightest act of chaos. I hope they step things up soon.”
Pound focused. There was a cracking sound, and then Twilight let out a yelp as her chair flew backward and hit the ground.
Fluttershy quickly hopped up and ran over to her. “Oh, dear,” she said with concern. “Are you alright, Twilight?”
Twilight rubbed her head. “Um, yeah. I’m fine. The chair leg must have been weak.”
Fluttershy looked crestfallen, “Oh, no! I should have checked to make sure they were all okay before I asked you to sit down.”
“Looks fine to me,” said Pumpkin, pulling up the chair which was perfectly intact.
“How can that be?” said Twilight, examining the chair herself. “But I… I know I heard the sound of something snapping.”
Pound said, “Well, maybe whatever that was shocked you so much you jumped backward in your seat.”
Twilight was perplexed. “I… suppose.” That didn’t sound right, as it seemed the events had happened simultaneously, but she couldn’t think of any other reason.
Discord let out another loud caw, chuckling to himself. “Oh, this is going swimmingly. They don’t suspect a thing. After all, Discord hasn’t even arrived at the party yet. They’re all going to be so confused.”
Pound and Pumpkin looked at each other, suppressing their laughter as they headed back toward the house and out of sight. Once they were back inside they both slapped each other’s hoofs and began to laugh uproariously.
“This is so totally AWESOME!” Pound said excitedly, pumping his hoof as he floated up into the air.
Pumpkin joined him. “I know! This has to be the coolest thing that has ever happened to us. Discord is the best!”
There was a poof, and Discord appeared, holding onto the two foals. “Oh, thank you, thank you. You’re too kind.”
They both hugged him. “Thank you, Discord!” said Pound.
“Yeah, yeah!” Pumpkin agreed, nuzzling him. “You’re the coolest!”
Discord blushed a little, more honored by their praise than he wanted to admit. “Now, now. Calm yourselves. If you really want to thank me then go back out and cause some more chaos. You’re starting out great, but I think it’s time to step things up a notch.”
They poofed out of his arms, landing back on the floor with determined looks. “You got it!” Pound said loudly. Pumpkin just nodded.
Discord turned into another small bird, joining the twins as they went back outside.
As they approached the tables they saw that a few trays of hot food had been put out under metal covers. Pound got a wicked idea. With a flick of his thoughts he turned invisible, walking through objects until he was under the tablecloth.
Pumpkin wondered what Pound was going to do. She suddenly heard something in her head. “Hey, Pumpkin!” came her brothers voice.
Pumpkin didn’t respond right away, amazed that he was talking with her telepathically. “Um, yeah?” she responded.
“Let me know when a pony is going to take off the cover for the food.”
“You’ll see-eee,” came his sing-song reply.
Pumpkin had a curious sense of anticipation as she neared one of the tables. With a flick of her thoughts her eyes obtained x-ray vision. She could see which table Pound was hiding under, and which plate he was by.
Applejack and Rainbow Dash approached the table, Rainbow in a sour mood. “Aw, don’t fret, Sugarcube. It just wasn’t your day, is all.”
“Aw, I only lost the last round because I was hungry. How do you expect me to beat you when I’m starving?”
Applejack rolled her eyes. “Then eat away, hun. I’ll still whoop you from here to Sunday either way.”
Rainbow stomped toward one of the trays of food.
Pumpkin lifted her hoof. “Keep quiet,” she said as she moved him over to where Rainbow was headed.
Rainbow lifted the cover, and promptly let out a high-pitched shriek unlike she’d ever let out before. She fell over onto her back, dropping the cover back over the food.
Applejack was guffawing. “W-w-what was that, Rainbow? I never heard ya sound so girly.”
Rainbow was still staring horrified at the tray.
“Are you okay, Rainbow?” asked Fluttershy.
“H-head,” she said in a quivering voice.
“What?” said Mrs. Cake.
“I… I saw… head… Pound…” She couldn’t even form a coherent sentence, her face pale.
Applejack dropped her joking attitude, seeing that Rainbow wasn’t playing around. Directing her attention to the food tray she stepped over to it cautiously, before giving it a quick push to knock it over, hopping back. All that was on the tray were some tofu burgers. Applejack stared at the food. “Okay… so what was all the fuss about?”
Rainbow blinked, her face going beet red as she got back on her hooves and examined the plate. “I… I must have been seeing things. I thought I saw Pound’s head under here.”
Everyone except Fluttershy and Twilight began laughing. “Pound’s head?” said Mr. Cake. “How would it even get under there? Unless you’re suggesting that Pinkie cooked him up.”
Pinkie suddenly stopped laughing. “Hey! Why would you think I’d cook up the twins, Rainbow?”
Rainbow’s face was still on fire, and she kept eyeing the plate suspiciously, as if the apparition would appear again.
Pound and Pumpkin were high up in the air, watching the confused ponies with big smiles. “Today is the best day ever,” Pumpkin said with delight, putting her hoof out.
“Got that right,” Pound replied, meeting it.
“Well, we got Rainbow and Twilight and Fluttershy. Who should we go after next?”
Pound smiled wickedly. “Everyone.”
“Everyone?” she replied, turning to him. “What do you have in mind?”
“Well, it will reveal that we have super-cool powers now, but I think it will be worth it. Why should we keep it all a secret?”
Pumpkin wasn’t sure. She thought it would be cool to keep getting the others secretly for a while, but the expression on Pound’s face was so deliciously evil that she really wanted to see what he had planned next.
Discord was hovering upside down in the air in a longue chair with a fan blowing cool air on him. A bag of popcorn and a soda were hanging sideways. Just as he expected Pound was the more mischievous one of the two. He couldn’t wait to see what the colt would do next.
Pound and Pumpkin poofed behind a tree so they could rejoin the group, forcing laughter as they heard the story of how Rainbow saw Pound’s cooked head. Once they could get a little ways away but still be near the group Pound winked at Pumpkin and unfurled his wings.
He flapped them hard, his face straining. Slowly, he took to the air. “Mom! Dad!” he yelled excitedly. “Look! Look!”
Everyone turned to look at Pound, and Carrot Cake and Cup Cake ran over to their son. “Oh, Pound!” said Cup Cake, giving him a kiss. “You finally got off the ground.”
“Way to go, slugger!” Carrot Cake said, hugging him.
“About time,” Rainbow said with a laugh. “Better hurry and get out of here before Pinkie cooks you up.”
“Hey, everyone!” came a voice behind them.
Pound turned to see who it was, and his smirk grew wider as he saw that Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo had arrived. The more ponies there were to see the better.
He flapped his wings harder, rising with ease, but putting on the act that he was having trouble.
“Whoa!” said Scootaloo, flying over to him. “You’re flying now, huh? Good for you.”
“Yeah,” said Pound, pretending to huff. He rose higher and higher.
Scootaloo kept pace with him. “You might want to be careful. You’re still a new flyer. You don’t want to lose control and plummet from too great a height.”
“Nonsense,” said Pound, now dropping the act and moving much more gracefully. “I’m a natural,” he said arrogantly.
Up and up and up he went until he felt he was at a great enough height, then he began to fly downwards, picking up speed as he went. As he neared the ground he pretended to be struggling again. “Oh, no! I can’t stop!” he screamed out, seconds before reaching the ground. He wanted to make sure none of the magic users could stop him.
With a bang he crashed into the ground, exploding into a pile of body parts.
There was dead silence for a second in time, before Cup Cake screamed and all of them looked at him in horror.
Pound’s head spun around towards his mother, making all of them jump backward. “Sheesh, Mom. Calm down. And here I thought I was the one that went to pieces.”
Pumpkin began to laugh. So did Discord from his couch. “W-well, he did steal my joke, b-b-but I have to admit his execution of it was much better.”
Twilight’s mind began to catch up with her shock. A pony’s body wouldn’t break apart like a toy when they crashed. Rainbow was living proof of that. And the complete lack of blood and the fact that Pound’s disembodied head was talking and cracking jokes brought a strong familiar vibe. “Fluttershy,” she said slowly, gritting her teeth. “When did you say Discord was arriving?”
“Oh!” she said, recognition going through the group. “He’s not supposed to be here for another hour.”
“Ah, but what fun would it be to show up ON TIME?” He appeared upside down, his legs next to his head. “The lord of chaos just couldn’t do things so normally.”
Pound’s body began to float, his head and limbs returning to their proper spots. “That was so cool!” he said, giving Discord’s head a hug. “Did you see the looks on their faces?” The two of them shared a nice chuckle.
“I sure did, little… hmm? I never got your name.”
“Pound Cake! And my sister is Pumpkin Cake.”
“Ah, so you’re the little munchkins Fluttershy told me about.” One of his legs popped off, patting Pound on the head. “I’m so proud of you. You’ll make a good little master of chaos in no time.”
Pound just grinned.
“Discord,” came the stern voice of Twilight.
“Uh oh.” He fell to the ground, holding his chest. “I’m finished,” he said in a wheezy voice. “Don’t ever forget me, Pound.” He let out a final breath, his head hitting the ground and a flower popping out of his hands.
“Discord, get up!” Twilight said sharply, a flat look on her face.
Discord poofed himself back to normal, standing in front of her, mindful of all the ponies glaring at him. “Sheesh, your face is so stony right now I don’t know if even the Elements of Harmony could free you from it.”
In a voice of forced calm she said, “Was that funny to you? Terrifying all of us and implanting ideas into these innocent little kids?”
“Don’t look at me. It was all his idea. I had nothing to do with it… almost.”
“The ability is theirs to do with what they will. I just gave them a tiny little inkling of my power.”
“You WHAT?” Twilight said harshly, her face getting even tougher.
“Wait a second!” Rainbow Dash said. “So I wasn’t seeing things before?”
Pound and Pumpkin both giggled. Pound disappeared, and in a moment he poked his head out of the table. “Hi, there!” He floated forward until he was free of it.
“Now, really!” Cup Cake said furiously. “What gives you the right to just do something like this? One thing like you is enough with that kind of magic.”
“One ‘thing?’” Discord said with fake affront. “I do believe I’m insulted.”
“Come on now, everypony,” said Fluttershy calmly. “Let’s all just settle down.”
Twilight just rolled her eyes. “Oh, come on! You think this is okay?”
“They were just having a little fun. Pinkie Pie and Rainbow Dash love playing pranks themselves.”
“Oh, yes,” Cup Cake said sarcastically. “The near heart-attack I had from seeing my son explode is just a barrel of laughs.”
“Discord,” Fluttershy said, turning toward him. “Why did you give them some of your magic?”
“Well, it’s like this…” With a puff of smoke a backdrop appeared before him, the sunlight fading out and a spotlight on him. “My dear friend asked me for a favor.” A life-sized plushie of Fluttershy appeared, torn and raggedy.
“Discord,” came the most robotic, monotone voice. “My parties are so boring. Wah. Wah.” It put its hooves to its face, and then a pair of hooves came from above, pouring a bucket of water on her head. “Help make it better.”
“I was stricken… heartbroken… touched…” With every pause he adopted a dramatic pose, the white light of the spotlight turning a different color. “I just knew I had to help her.”
Pound and Pumpkin were both moving up and down on their hooves, having a blast. Everyone else except Fluttershy and Pinkie had the same emotionless look on their faces.
“But what was I to do? You all know me by now. My tricks are tired.” He put his hands together and then pulled them apart, a small flock of birds flying out. “You’re always on your guard. So how was I to liven things up when you already expect trouble from me? That’s when I saw those adorable little foals.” They appeared in his arms. “And then the answer came to me. Yes! I would allow them to provide the entertainment in my steed. They would provide something fresh… unexpected. And, after all, as a master of chaos I can’t just keep doing the same old tricks, now can I?”
Twilight threw a hoof on her face. “Yeah, sure. Why not? Just give small, impressionable children the power to warp reality. What could POSSIBLY GO WRONG?”
“I think you might just be a little too high-strung, princess. Would you like a glass of water?”
“Don’t you dare-” Twilight started, throwing her hoof down and about to yell, but there actually was a glass of water in his hand. She had been expecting a bucket. She looked down at it suspiciously. “What, is it gonna explode when I drink from it?”
“Now, see. That’s exactly what I mean. You already expect disaster when I try to offer help. Honestly, though, what’s the problem?” He snapped his claw, and the stage and water disappeared. “They just had a little fun with you all. No harm done, right? Ooooohhh!” His eyes lit up. “I get it.”
“Get what?” she responded, her eyes narrowed to slits.
“Pound, Pumpkin? I have to take that power back. Twilight thinks you’re evil and going to try and take over Equestria.”
The twins looked over at Twilight, hurt looks on their faces. “Really, Twilight?” Pound said, pouting.
“Yeah! What’s up with that?” Pumpkin said angrily.
“WHAT?” Twilight said quickly, her eyes opening wide. “I said no such thing.”
“Well, you obviously think they’re going to do SOMETHING horrible with it,” said Discord, “or else you wouldn’t be making such a fuss.”
“Give me a break!” she said, stomping a hoof. “I just think it’s too much power for kids to have.”
“It’s only temporary. They’ll burn out that power by the end of the day. Does that make you feel a little better?”
Twilight continued to glare at him, but she seemed a little less wary. “Even so…”
Discord shook his head. In a rare sincere tone he said, “Look, I did this all for Fluttershy, to make her party more entertaining. I just want Fluttershy to be happy. You can understand that, right? If they get too out of control I promise I’ll take the magic away from them. Fair enough?”
Twilight was caught off guard by his change in tone. “Mmm. I’ll still not comfortable with this, but… this is Fluttershy’s party. If you’re actually being serious then I suppose it’s alright.”
Fluttershy sat down, putting her hooves toward the twins, who both ran over to her. “Well, now I know we have two mini-Discords here. What are you planning to do with this power for the rest of the day?”
“Well, we’re not going to try and take over Equestria,” Pound said darkly.
“I didn’t think that!” Twilight said sharply. “Don’t listen to Discord.”
Pumpkin said, “Well, we could pull more pranks, but that would get boring, especially now that you know we have this power. I just want to play around for a while, and then we should put on a show for everyone.”
Pound looked interested. “You mean like that Daring Do thing we did where we were her kids?”
“Cool!” Pound said, his eyes twinkling again. “This time we don’t need all those fake props. We could make the real thing.”
“And I suppose no one is going to ask what WE think of all this?” came the voice of their father.
Pound winked at his sister, turning into a puppy. Pumpkin followed his lead, turning into a kitten. Facing their parents they put on the most adorable pleading faces they could. “PPPLLLEEEEAAAASSSEEEE?” they begged.
Cup Cake looked mildly amused. With a sigh she had to admit she couldn’t say no to those expressions. “Well… I guess so long as you’re not causing mischief it’s okay.”
“WOOHOO!” They both yelled, slapping their paws together before turning back to normal and flying up into the air, making little figure eights and flying around each other in celebration.
Pinkie giggled to herself, a tear coming down her eye at their jubilance. She remembered back when they were babies, the first night she had foalsat them, when they had done much the same. And, truth be told, she thought it was wonderful for them to have such freedom, even if it was just for a short while.