• Published 6th Jun 2013
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The Witching Hour - Chaotic Ink



A new pony comes to Ponyville, but she's not all that she seems. Will the town accept Midnight Storm, or will Ponyville run her out like all the rest?

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Ch.3 - A New Beginning

WINGS. That one word kept going through her mind as she stared at Midnight. She has WINGS, and they are HUGE! A part of Twilight’s mind that wasn’t on lockdown quickly guessed, through some really complicated math equations, that the wings were in even greater proportion to her body than even Celestia’s, meaning that the pony before her technically had the largest wings of any pony. They were both large and leathery and had claws at the bend in the wings, like a bat, except with a single, LARGE claw. Pinkie had been right about the tail too. At the end was a large bone-like structure that wrapped around the end of the tail and was razor sharp. She could also see fangs in her bottom and upper jaw. Put the whole thing together, Midnight looked like a cross between a pony and a dragon.

Midnight stared back at her, panic etched on every part of her body. She’d exposed herself far sooner than she wanted, if she had ever really wanted to. In the past, this marked the time she needed to start packing to stay ahead of the angry mob.

“You’re… you’re…” ‘Here it comes’ Midnight thought, steeling herself for the inevitable screams of terror. “You’re not a cultist for Nightmare Moon, are you?”

For a full minute Midnight simply stared at the unicorn. “Seriously?”

“Well, I mean with the black coat and dragon eyes… and seeing what you really look like...”

“I look like this because I’m a kirin.”

Twilight looked even more confused. “A what?”

Midnight rolled her eyes, then walked back into the living room. After a minute of what sounded like searching, Midnight came back in with an old book gripped in her claws. Handing it to her, Twilight read the title.

The Detailed Guide to Mythical and Rare Creatures. I’ve never heard of this book before. Looks pretty old too.”

“Yeah. Got it as a present.” Midnight rubbed the back of her head nervously. “Anyway, turn to page 595.” As Twilight began flipping through the pages, Midnight took stock of the situation. The mare wasn’t yelling, screaming, begging, or cowering in fear in the corner, things Midnight had previously experienced when others found out what she was. If anything, Twilight actually seemed interested in what she was. It was both unsettling, and a relief. Finally, Twilight found the page and began reading the description out loud.

Kirin: a creature that is the product of a union between a pony and a dragon. While there are rumored to be reports of these creatures existing over one thousand years ago, this guide labels them as ‘Mythical’ due to lack of evidence and the fact that it is physically impossible for a dragon and pony to mate. Tales of these creatures give many variations on size and abilities, as well as what parts of the Kirin are pony and what parts are dragon. The one concise note is that they have the diet of both species. For safety reasons, in the unlikely event such a creature is encountered, it should be treated the same as its dragon cousins and avoided at all costs.” Twilight finished reading, then read it over silently to herself several more times, accompanied by the occasional glance up at Midnight. The book said that Kirins weren’t real, even impossible, yet here one was standing in front of her. “Sooooooo, you’re a kirin?”

“Yep.”

“Could you-?”

“Prove it?” Midnight deadpanned, to which Twilight nodded. She snorted, then, turning her head away from her, blew out fire the color of sapphire. When she was finished, she looked back a Twilight with the same deadpanned look, although there was a slight tinge if smugness in it. The unicorn’s mouth was open so far Midnight thought it would hit the floor. “I… also remember my father. He was a dragon, but he was also pony size, so…” she looked away, a painful look on her face.

“But, how can an adult dragon be so small?”

“I don’t know, he just was!” Midnight snapped.

“Okay, well…” Twilight brought the book up to shield herself. “You know, if you came out and just told everypony what you were, then you could change this. You could even help change the fields of biology and genetics!” Twilight was quickly exciting herself. “They would have to rewrite all the books and write all new ones!” she let out a “squee” at the idea of new books.

“Oh yes, because I simply imagined being run out of the cities.” Midnight’s response brought Twilight back down to earth.

“What do you mean?”

“What do you think I mean!? I wasn’t wearing that cloak for fun! I was wearing it because I didn’t want to get run out of town the minute I stepped hoof in here! Every where I’ve been, the moment they find out what I really look like they drive me out of town. They don’t care that I’m half pony; all they see is the dragon half!” Midnight fumed, remembering all the times somepony else discovered her.

“But, Ponyville isn’t like that!”

“My flank it ain’t!”

“You really think they’d drive you out just because you’ve got some dragon in you?”

“Buck yeah!” The argument was interrupted by a knock at the front door and a young, male voice calling “Twilight!” The unicorn smirked.

“I can prove you wrong.”

“I’m not walking out there without my cloak.”

“You don’t have to. The pony I want you to meet is at the door.” Midnight raised her eyebrow, but before she could say anything else, Twilight disappeared into the front. Half of Midnight wanted to run after her and drag her back, while the other half wanted to run out the side door and hide in the woods until it was safe. Before she could make up her mind, however, Twilight came strolling back in. “Midnight, I’d like you to meet Spike. Spike, this is Ponyville’s newest resident, Midnight Storm.” What came through the doorway was the last thing Midnight ever expected: a dragon. Well, a baby one, but a dragon none the less. She sat back on her haunches and simply stared at him.

“Wow Twilight, you weren’t kidding when you said she was big – hey!” Midnight had moved forward and was now circling the young dragon, inspecting him closely.

“He should prove I’m telling the truth.” Twilight said. Midnight’s eyes narrowed.

“He’s fake” she said flatly, refusing to believe that a real dragon was in the room with her. Twilight shook her head.

“I don’t know if even the princesses could make something that real with magic. I’m telling you: Spike is really a dragon.” Midnight’s brain slowly clicked to another possibility.

“Then you’ve kept him hidden! I refuse to believe that ponies around here simply accept that a dragon lives with them!” Both Twilight and Spike rolled their eyes.

“Fine then. Let Spike outside and I’ll show you that there’s nothing to be afraid of.” Midnight paced for a minute, fuming.

“Fine,” she huffed, “But no funny stuff.” They both nodded, and they all filed into the store front. Out the front window, Midnight could see a mare and her filly heading towards the school house and its playground. “Alright, Spike, there are two ponies coming this way. You just go out there and say hi.” She had a look like a cat that just cornered a mouse.

“Alright, alright, jeez.” Midnight nodded, and Spike walked out.

“I’m telling you, there’s nothing to worry about.” Twilight said, only for Midnight to silence her with a glare. When she looked back up, she could hardly believe it. Spike was talking with the two ponies, and they were smiling. He even showed off a bit of his own fire breathing. Twilight could see she was shocked. “Impossible…” she muttered. Looking back, she could see Spike saying goodbye to the two. Midnight’s face hardend, and she walked fully into the door way.

“Hey Spike!” the three outside look at her. There was a momentary look of shock on the ponies, but, to her amazement, it quickly went back to friendly smiles. “Twilight needs to ask you something!” He nodded, waved goodbye to the other two, and then came back. Midnight nodded a farewell to them as well, and, after it was returned, ducked back in with the other two.

“See? I told you- hey!” Midnight was walking back into the kitchen without a word. Twilight and Spike followed her back inside and found her starring at the table. Before either of them could say anything, Midnight swung around and smashed the table with her tail.

“I’VE BEEN IN TARTARUS ALL THIS TIME WHEN THERE WAS A TOWN LIKE THIS!? MY LIFE IS JUST A SICK GAME TO SOMEPONY!” Again and again she brought her tail down, breaking the table even more. After letting her vent some more, Twilight moved in to stop her.

“Midnight, I’m sorry that your life has been hard, but you’re here now, and maybe now things will get better for you.” The black mare looked down at the lavender one, the rage slowly dissipating from her face and being replaced by sadness and guilt.

“I guess… I guess you’re right. I’m just so angry at what my life’s been and I’ve got so few good memories that it’s hard for me to believe a place like this could exist.”

“Well, believe it.” Twilight gave her a determined smile, which Midnight slowly returned.

“So... what now?”

“Well…” Twilight picked her brain for a few seconds. “I think we should start with apologizing to my friends, and getting them to apologize as well, and maybe along the way we can meet other ponies.” Midnight gave the idea some thought before nodding.

“I guess it’s a good idea.”

“Good! First, we’ll stop at Fluttershy’s, since she’s the closest, then by Carousel Boutique to see Rarity,” Midnight silently blanched at this, “then on to Sugercube Corner to see Pinkie, then we’ll go to AJ’s apple stand in the market, and at some point along the way we’ll probably run into Rainbow Dash.” Midnight nodded, but was still nervous about going outside with no cloak. What if Twilight was wrong? Sure, Spike was a dragon, but he was the size of a foal and didn’t have anything really scary about him. She, on the other hand, was bigger than any other pony she’d ever met, had fangs and a blade on her tail, and her wings could provide cover for four ponies during a rain storm. She was just too different.

“Hey! Earth to Midnight!” The mare snapped her head up and look toward Twilight, who was in the door way. “Are we going out or not?”

“Yeah, I’m coming.” She followed Twilight and Spike back into the front area, but before any of them could reach the door, somepony outside knocked. Twilight, realizing that this was an opportunity for Midnight, backed away from the door and motioned for Midnight to answer it. She looked from the lavender pony to the baby dragon, then back to the door. Heaving a sigh, Midnight moved forward and opened the door. To both her surprise and relief, Pinkie Pie was the one on the other side of the door, but the smile on her face fell when she saw that Pinkie looked rather downcast.

“Hi Midnight. I just wanted to say that I’m really sorry about making you mad last night and I hope you can forgive me.” Midnight stood there, a bit stunned that Pinkie was here apologizing to her after she had yelled at her. Twice.

“N-No problem Pinkie; I forgive you, and I’m sorry I yelled at you when you were just trying to make me feel welcomed.” Pinkie looked up at her with a sad smile.

“That’s okay. Like I said, it’s scary moving to a new town.” They both chuckled. “So, does this mean you’ll have some cake now?” Pinkie looked up at her hopefully, and Midnight nodded.

“Yes Pinkie, I’ll have some cake now.” Without warning Pinkie bounced up with a “YIPIE!”, back to her usual Pinkie-self, and pulled the cart with the cake on it out from behind a tree.

“Awesome! I know you’ll like it too, because it’s full of gooey, chocolaty goodness, and chocolate always makes ponies feel better.” Pinkie licked her lips, and Midnight couldn’t help but share in that sentiment. Pinkie Pie cut off a corner piece of the cake and handed it to Midnight, which, to Twilight’s amazement, she took and held with her wing talon. She was right; there was gooey chocolate in the center of the chocolate cake, and the flavor seemed to explode when she took a bite of it. Midnight let out a deep, satisfied growl/purr after she swallowed her first mouthful.

“Wow Pinkie; that is some good cake.” Twilight and Spike, both of whom had joined the other two outside, nodded in agreement, bite marks in their own cake slices.

“I told you: chocolate always makes a pony feel better. Cool wings, tail, and cuite mark by the way.” Midnight froze temporarily. She… she thought she was… cool? Meanwhile Twilight's eyes had moved to her flank, where she could see an outline of a silver dragon as it seemed to rise out of her hind leg.

“T-Thanks Pinkie.” She nodded, then smashed her face into her plate and began eating her own slice. Midnight chuckled. ‘She isn’t really THAT annoying.’ Then she caught Twilight eyeing her. “What?” She snapped, immediately regretting it. “Sorry, I just don’t like being stared at.” Twilight nodded in apology.

“Sorry, it’s just that, why don’t you use magic to hold your plate?” Midnight gave her an equally confused look.

“I can’t do magic; I’m part dragon, remember?”

“But you’ve got a horn! And what does being a dragon have to do with magical ability?” Midnight sighed.

“My mom was a unicorn, okay? I got it from her, but dragons aren’t magical, so it’s basically useless.”

Twilight had a hard time believing this, since, after all, Spike was a dragon, and he breathed magical fire that could send letters. Thinking she had another chance to prove Midnight wrong about herself, and maybe give her another confidence boost, Twilight used a magic detecting spell on her.

A magic detecting spell allowed the user to identify what kind of magic a pony or other creature possessed, and in which part of the body it was prevalent. In unicorns it was the horn, pegasi the wings, and earth ponies their hooves. However after a minute of searching Twilight was completely baffled. She hadn’t sensed any magical potential in her except for the benign magic that all other creatures, like rabbits and birds, possessed. Before Twilight could say anything else, especially concerning her cuite mark, a shadow crossed over the group, then quickly materialized itself as Rainbow Dash.

“So, I see that you’ve apologized.” Rainbow said, a bit of smugness overlaid on her words.

“We’re also apologizing to her, Rainbow Dash.” Twilight told her in a disapproving tone. Rainbow’s jaw dropped.

“Why should WE apologize!? SHE was the one being nasty!” Twilight made to start arguing with her friend when Midnight blocked her with her wing.

“Somehow I don’t think arguing with each other is going to get us anywhere” she said gruffly. When she turned back to Rainbow, she saw her eyes were fixed on her wing. A playful grin growing on her face, Midnight flexed the wing open and closed, inwardly laughing at how Rainbow, and probably the others, were watching her huge wings in awe.

“Wait, I thought you were a unicorn?”

“Actually, I’m what’s known as a Kirin, a pony/dragon hybrid.”

“Right.” Twilight said distractedly, conjuring a tape measure and attempting to measure Midnight’s wing. “She’s half dragon and half pony.” Rainbow’s jaw dropped again.

“Wow, seriously!?” Midnight shifted uneasily.

“Yeah. To be more precise, my dad was the dragon.”

“Wow, that’s actually really cool.” Midnight froze again. That was the second time somepony thought that. Was this town really so different from the cities she’d been in?

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After Rainbow Dash finished her slice of cake and offered to go flying sometime, she had to leave for weather pony duties, and the three ponies headed for Fluttershy’s cottage while Spike headed back to the library. As the three walked, Midnight began to feel more confident. An angry mob wasn’t hiding behind every tree, the two ponies with her honestly seemed glad to be around her, and if she did start to have doubts again, well, Pinkie was still hauling that oh-so-delicious chocolate cake with them. After some time they began to see Fluttershy’s cottage, and as they got close they could see and hear all the animals that also call the cottage home. However, after they passed some invisible threshold, all the animals began to hide, hiss at them, or both, most of it directed at Midnight. Annoyed at their behavior, she growled back at them, which sent the rest into hiding.

“That’s strange; I’ve never seen them act like that before.” Twilight noted on the animals’ strange behavior. Midnight chuckled nervously.

“Couldn’t help ya there.” They continued up to the door of the cottage, and Midnight took another piece of cake. After a few short knocks on the door, the yellow and pink pegasus from the night before open it.

“Oh, hello Twilight. I’m afraid I can’t talk for long; my animals have all gotten scared over someTHING!” Fluttershy had just caught sight of Midnight and jumped back inside her house. Midnight rolled her eyes and stuffed the rest of her slice in her mouth.

“Fluttershy, it just Midnight from last night. She wants to apologize!”

“APOLOGY ACCEPTED!!!” Fluttershy yelled through the door. Twilight, feeling that Fluttershy was over-reacting, was about to force the door open when Midnight laid a hoof on her shoulder.

“It’s alright Twilight, I don’t think breaking and entering will help things.” Twilight was about to protest, but decided that breaking down her friend’s door probably really wasn’t the best idea, so she allowed Midnight to steer her back towards the road.

“Well, there’s some cake if you want any!” Pinkie called through the door, leaving Fluttershy a large piece of cake on her doorstep. The animals all watched the trio leave, evil glares following them all the way.

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The town was its usual busy self as they made their way over to Carousel Boutique, and just about every pony they met along the way was actually very nice, something that Midnight had never thought she’d experience. They soon made it to Rarity’s, and almost right off the bat things seemed to go south. While Rarity was trying to be nice, Twilight could tell that Midnight was being, while respectable, exceedingly cold toward the fashionista. She only seemed to get colder when, after finding out she’d been to almost every major city, Rarity began asking her to describe the grandeur of every one of them. Despite the coldness, Midnight at least answered nicely, telling her how the majority of the cities were areas were less fortunate ponies lived, and how the upper class was determined to not let them rise out of the squallier. The conversation basically nose-dived into silence after that, and soon they were leaving. As Pinkie was handing Rarity another slice of cake before they left, Twilight turned on her. “What was that all about?” Midnight refused to make eye contact.

“Twilight, I’ve met a lot of ponies in my travels, and I can safely tell you that ponies who try to pass themselves off as upper class soon start acting like upper class. I know she’s your friend, but someday she’s going to start looking down on you and everypony else. I’ve seen it too often to believe otherwise.” She moved off to follow Pinkie to Applejack’s cart, leaving Twilight and her thoughts to bring up the rear.

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Things went markedly better with Applejack. After AJ found out that Midnight was starting a wood cutting business, she told the black mare she was a Faust-send. “Ah can’t tell ya’ll what a relief it’ll be to finally have somepony local providin' us with some wood. Them snakes come ‘round at the start of fall and charge us out the bushel fur wood just cause they gotta bring it here! With us trying to save every cent we can fur Granny Smith’s hip, Big Mac’s plow, and the roof fur the barn, payin’ less for somethin' is a might helpful.” As the two began talking about prices over more cake, Twilight smiled inwardly to herself. She’d helped a new pony make some friends today, while she herself was still learning about friendship. ‘This is going to make an interesting letter to the princess.’

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The Princess of the Sun sighed contently as she nestled down next to her roaring fire place. Another long day in Day Court was finally over and her sister Luna had just raised the moon and her Night Court would start very soon. Even though it had only been a few weeks since her return, she adamantly wanted to help her sister run the country as they had a millennia ago, with Celestia ruling over the day and Luna the night, splitting the work load for both of them. Tonight was Luna’s first Night Court since her banishment ended, and Celestia hoped that things went at least somewhat smoothly.

She’d just picked up a scroll to look over when another one appeared before her with a flash of green fire. She smiled, gripping it with her magic and unrolling it. Another friendship letter from her faithful student Twilight Sparkle. She had only written a few so far, but the princess could tell her student was indeed learning. When she got to the bottom of the letter though, her face had gone from a contented smile to a worried frown. After her third time reading the letter she summoned her royal planner into the room. The unicorn mare noted her monarch’s look.

“Is everything okay, your highness?”

“Yes, but I need to know how soon I have a large enough opening that I can make a trip to Ponyville.” The mare instantly flipped through the planner in her magical grasp.

“I don’t know your highness. You were just there, and you know how the nobles are when you leave the castle, let alone the city.” Celestia nodded in reply. Even if it was for a holiday like the Summer Sun Celebration, the nobility of Canterlot were guaranteed to throw a hissy-fit if she wasn’t where they wanted her to be. The unicorn finally stopped searching. “Let’s see… I think you could get away with an afternoon visit…” Celestia smiled, “in about a month and a half.” The smile faded a bit, but she held it.

“Thank you, then could you please make it down right now before something else fills it up? I would very much like to see how my student is holding up in her new home.”

“Of course your highness.”

"Also, please get Sapphire Breeze for me as well. I doubt my sister will mind." The mare nodded and left, and the princess sat back down and began to work out what to do now that one of them had returned.

Author's Note:

Okay, chapter 3! I figured that Twilight would first introduce Midnight to her own friends first before anypony else, and this is how Midnight reacts to each.

Also, yeah, Midnight's a Kirin, NOT an Alicorn. Two totally different species. I got the idea of a Kirin from Coyoterainbow on DeviantArt, and GeneralZoi's pony creator helped me visualize her. a lot of Midnight's physical features are based off of Draco from the movie Dragonheart.