• 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.4 - The Derp and the Drunk

Midnight yawned widely, exposing and extending her fangs and dragon-like tongue as she stretched out on her bed. Well, nest would be more accurate. Pillows, a blanket, and sheets were twisted and intertwined all over the place with her curled up in the middle. It had taken a few days, but the house was finally complete, with a new wing carved into the mountain that she herself had done. The wing included more space for the living room and her own bedroom, with her own private bathroom. The upstairs had also been finished; thankfully it had been in better shape than the downstairs. The second floor had two small bedrooms, one larger one, and a communal bathroom. For the most part the only thing wrong with it had been the lack of furniture, which she may or may-not address in the future, depending how things worked out. She had also built a small outside work place where she could lay out logs for chopping and organizing, and a shed a little further out and closer to the forest. As to why she had built it she was keeping close to the vest and not telling anypony.

With her morning wake-up routine finished she slipped off the bed and headed for the kitchen for some coffee and whatever pastry she happened to have. She passed the new couch in the living room, which Pinkie had given her, saying something about “couch emergencies”. She was a funny mare, but still very weird. The kitchen also had a new table and cabinets. These had come about in a more sensible way. The day before AJ and her big brother Big Mac (who had been startled to meet a pony bigger then himself other than a princess) had come over and asked if there was anything they could do to help. They’d ended up helping Midnight carve a couple of trees she’d fell earlier into the table and cabinets. Midnight had made a mental note to properly thank them sooner or later.

Just as she poured the boiling hot liquid into her mug she heard the muffled clank of her mail box being opened and closed. Entering the front store section she could see several letters on the floor near the door. Why would anyone write her anything? Tartarus, who even knew she was now here in Ponyville? Reaching down she scooped up the mail with her wing talon and looked at it.

It became quickly apparent a big mistake had been made. None of the envelopes had her name or address on them. “You have got to be kidding me.” She face-hoofed and let the appendage slide down her face. It was too early for this. Just because it was dawn and the day had officially begun didn’t mean she needed problems right off the bat. Letting out a large sigh/yawn, she placed her mug on the counter and walked out front to find the mail mare. Thankfully she was still in sight, heading in the direction of the school. “Hey!” Midnight called out feebly, tiredness still clinging to her. When it was clear the mare hadn’t heard her she sighed again and took flight, skimming along the ground until she caught up with her. “Hey!” This time the mare did turn around, startled by the sudden appearance of the much larger one.

She was a grey pegasus mare with eyes that matched her blonde mane and tail. She had bubbles for a cutie mark, and she had wall-eyes, with one looking down and the other one up. “Oh! Good morning!” she said cheerfully. How anypony could be so chipper in the morning was beyond Midnight.

“Morning” she replied back. “Look, I’m just here because you gave me the wrong mail.” The pegasus gasped, more than was needed to in Midnight’s opinion.

“I am SO sorry! I’m sure I have the right ones here somewhere!” The mare immediately began digging through her mailbag, letters and packages falling out as she did so. Midnight looked on with a mixture of annoyance and sympathy. When the mare turned her bag upside down to dump everything out, she finally decided to intervene.

“Look, I don’t think there’s anything in there for me; I just wanted to give you this mail back so it can go to the proper ponies.” The mare stopped panicking, but she still looked downtrodden.

“Oh, okay.” She took the mail from Midnight and put it back into her bag, then both mares proceeded to pick up the rest of the mail. “I’m sorry. If you want to report me, you can head down to the post master’s.” Midnight gave her a look.

“Why would I report you? You just mixed up some letters.”

“But I always do this at least once a day and ponies get angry at me for it.”

“Well, just take it a bit slower. You’ve got time.” The pegasus shook her head.

“I work another job after this, and the sooner I get this one done the sooner I can go to the other one, and I need both to help support myself and my little muffin. I try and get both done as soon as I can so I can spend the rest of the day with her. Schools over right now but I still like to get home as soon as I can.” Midnight simply stared at her as she handed over the last of the mail. Two jobs and supporting a kid, and she made sure they had time together. This mare was one Tartarus of a mom.

“Well, I’m not gonna report you, since it really isn’t that big of a deal, and if you can’t help but mix things up…well… just… you can take a quick coffee break with me over at my house. It’ll… help us both wake up in the morning.” Midnight felt completely weird. Twilight had said she needed to open up more, but this felt completely too far for her. The mail mare’s face lit up, and, before she knew what was happening, Midnight had been pulled into a tight hug.

“Oh, thank you thank you thank you! I promise I’ll do my best not to screw up until I get to your house! I’ve got to do something to thank you! Oh, me and Dinky can make you a whole tray of muffins! Oh, and my name is Derpy Hooves!” Derpy grabbed Midnight’s claw and shook it.

“I’m Midnight Storm, but, Derpy, that’s not-”

“Well, I gotta get back to the route! Bye Midnight!” Before she could finish, Derpy had finished shaking and had hurried off, this time with an extra kick, well, wing, in her step. A bit bemused, Midnight trotted back to her house. ‘Meh, muffins would taste better than leftover cake in the morning. *pause* I need to go food shopping.’

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With a loud *Crack* the last log of wood split, both pieces falling to either side of the chopping block. Midnight picked them both up, placed them on the newest pile, then wiped the sweat from her forehead. She’d just finished turning her first tree of the day into firewood, and if she kept it up she could have a third one downed and ready for tomorrow before the day was out. She’d determined that summer would be the best season to get as much done as she could, this way when fall and winter came, she’d already have a large stock and spend more time at the front counter collecting bits than chopping down trees for impatient customers. It was hot, dirty work, but come fall she’d barely have to do anything.

Deciding it was a good time to at least get a drink; she wandered back inside and came back out a minute later with a cold glass of water. The ice-cold water felt good as she drank it, and she chugged it down. As she was about to go back in for another cup, she heard voices coming from the front of her house. Placing the glass down on her work bench she went towards the front.

“I still don’t see why we can’t go to the playground too!”

“Like, because it’s like I said; we don’t want you two shooting off your magic and, like, burning it down.”

“We wouldn’t do that! And besides, Cheerilee lets us on all the time during the school year!”

“Well, like, Cheerilee isn’t here to put out whatever fires you guys make so we’ll, like, play there before you two do.”

Midnight came around the front of her house to see four fillies on the road. Two had their backs to her and seemed to be blocking the other two. The one closest to her was a pink with a white and purple maned earth pony topped with a tiara. The one next to her was also an earth pony, grey with a white mane and glasses.

The two unicorn fillies trying, and failing, to defend their right to the playground looked like they were getting close to tears. The one in front of the pink bully was a sort of purple-ish grey with familiar blonde hair and eyes. The other unicorn was pink in both mane and coat, although her coat color was closer to Pinkie’s than the muted pink of the bully. She also looked familiar.

“So, now that we’ve, like, explained it to you, again, you can just wait here or go home!” With that, the pink bully reached out and flicked the grey unicorn’s snout. Midnight snorted. She hated bullies, especially ones that thought they were entitled to the world, and that flick to the filly’s nose was too far.

“Hey!” All four fillies jumped and the bullies whirled around to see Midnight striding towards them, a look of anger in her eyes. They all had looks of shock and fear, which caused Midnight to slow some, but both bullies quickly recovered.

“And just what do you want?” the tiara-clad filly asked, sarcasm dripping from her voice.

“Well, for starters, you can stop yelling so loud. I don’t appreciate all the noise you lot are making. Second, you’ve got no right to tell other ponies what they can and cannot do. So either shut your trap and go play or get lost.” Any smart remark the filly was going to make died right there, and the other three fillies gasped.

“Excuse me!? Do you even KNOW who my daddy is!?”

“Unless he’s a princess, I don’t give a flying monkey WHO he is, now get off my property!” Midnight’s lip curled, exposing her fangs. The filly was turning a nice shade of red, but the fangs seemed to put her off.

“I-I’ll tell my daddy you threatened me! He can have you arrested!”

“I never made a threat, but I can have you arrested for trespassing.” It was a bluff, and a poor one, but it seemed to work.

“Y-Yeah, well, we don’t want to play anymore anyway, right Silver Spoon?” The grey bully nodded vigorously and they both slinked out from between Midnight and the two other fillies. Once they were away the one with the tiara called back, “I’m still telling my daddy you freak!”

There are certain buttons that should never be pushed when it comes to Midnight Storm. Diamond Tiara had just pushed one. In response, Midnight jumped up into the air and charged them, blowing out a long jet of flame. The two bullies disappeared with twin screams of fear. It had only been a mock charge, but it worked all the same. When she was done she went back to the other two fillies, both of whom were holding each other and seemed on the verge of crying.

“P-P-P-Please d-d-d-don’t e-e-e-eat u-u-u-us!” the grey-ish filly said, her voice cracking. Midnight sat down and folded her wings back in in an attempt to look less threatening.

“I wouldn’t eat fillies even if I was starving. I’m just really good at scaring bullies.” They both began to stop shaking, and the pink unicorn even managed to chuckle.

“It was kinda fun to see somepony finally tell those two off, right Dinky?” the grey-ish filly nodded.

“Would’ve been nicer if we weren’t so close.” All three ponies chuckled.

“I remember seeing you earlier this week” the pink one told her, “so you live here now?” Midnight nodded.

“I just moved into town this week. I’m Midnight Storm.” She extended a hoof, and the pink filly took it and shook.

“I’m Ruby Pinch, but everypony calls me Pinchy, and this is Dinky.” Dinky nodded and also shook hooves.

“You know she’s going to tell her dad, and you’ll really be in trouble then.” Dinky told her, a bit of fear working its way into her face.

“Well, is he rich or strong or both?”

“Rich.” Pinchy said. “Diamond Tiara’s family is the richest in Ponyville. They own the ‘Barnyard Bargains’ stores.” There was a pause, then Midnight began laughing.

“Barnyard Bargains!? That dump!?” She began laughing so hard she fell over while the two fillies looked puzzled. When she had enough composure Midnight stood back up. “Girls, that place is considered almost as bad as the One-Bit stores! The only good thing they sell is that whatever-apple jam they get in the spring.”

“Well, how are they so rich then?” Dinky asked. Midnight could only shrug.

“Well... now that I think about it, most of what they sell is junk, but it is cheap, and when you live in the city you do try and save as much as you can, so… maybe they do better than I thought.”

“That would make sense.” Dinky said.

“Still sells junk though. In any case I’m not worried about it, and you two have a clear road to the playground.” She turned to head back to work when something she just remembered caught her attention. “Hey, Dinky.” The filly turned to look at her. “You don’t happen to know the mail mare Derpy, do you?” Dinky’s eyes went wide.

“Whatever she did, she didn’t mean to!” In an instant Dinky was at her hooves begging. “She just messes up once or twice and she really needs the job! Please, don’t report her!”

“Whoa there kiddo! I’m not going to report her!” The filly acted just like her mother. “I was talking to her this morning and she just happened to mention your name, that’s all.” Dinky looked up at her with wet eyes. “I’m serious, that’s all.”

“Okay” she said quietly.

“Dinky, from what I heard your mom is a hard worker, and I bet anypony would love to hire her on.” That seemed to pirk the unicorn up.

“Speaking of jobs, shouldn’t you be at work too?” Pinchy asked.

“I work right here. I cut wood for a living.”

“How?” she asked. Then she saw Midnight’s tail and let out an “Ooooooh.” With a nod, Midnight began walking back around the house, then realized that both fillies were following her with curious, scrutinizing eyes. It was very unsettling.

“Um, didn’t you girls want to go to the playground?” They both nodded, but still followed her back to her work bench. Finally, Pinchy spoke up.

“What kind of pony are you anyway? You’ve got all those different parts.”

“And you’re really big and can breathe fire too.” Dinky added.

“Well, I’m what’s known as a Kirin.” Confused stares. “I’m half pony and half dragon.” Comprehension dawned on their faces.

“Wait, how does that even work?” Pinchy asked. “Dragons are HUGE, and ponies are small. Well, by comparison anyway. Applebloom’s big brother is pretty big for a pony.”

“She one of the Apples?”

“Yeah.”

“I met Big Mac just the other day. He and Applejack helped me with some furniture, and yes, he is indeed big for a pony. Also, my dad was a dragon, but you could say he was on the small size. I think he was a bit bigger than me, but then I was only about two the last time I saw him, and I don’t remember much.” Midnight fell silent, and the two fillies knew she didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

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Sometime later two more ponies came walking down the path past Midnight’s house on their way to the playground. “That was really nice of her to do that Derpy. I’d have offered sooner, but since I’m near the end of your route…”

“That’s okay Berry, I know you’re still asleep then, so I wouldn’t want to bother you.” Both mares smiled at each other, but they soon lost them when they caught sight of an empty playground.

“Didn’t the girls say they were going to the playground by the school?”

“Yeah, and I don’t know of any other playgrounds in town.” They both quicken their pace, hoping the girls were just playing hide-and-seek just in the tree line, when they passed Midnight’s house and heard very familiar voices around back. Stopping to hear better, they recognized the voices of their daughters and another pony. They walked around the front of the house and saw both fillies sitting on a log chatting with a large black pony with a blue mane. “Oh, that’s right! This is Midnight’s house!” With that, Derpy bounded forward with Berry Punch taking a slower gate towards her foal.

“Mommy!” Dinky called out at the sight of her mom.

“Muffin!” Derpy scooped up her filly in a big hug.

“I thought you two were heading to the playground?” Berry asked.

“We were, but then we ran into Midnight Storm, and she’s really cool. She’s that mare that was with Spike earlier this week.” Berry could tell when Pinchy was lying; call it a mother’s instinct and that Pinchy had no poker face. Deciding she’d get the truth later, she turned to the mare called ‘Midnight Storm’, then drew back a bit. Yes, she remembered the mare from earlier in the week, but she was still somewhat unsettling up close, what with the size, slitted eyes, larger-than-normal wings, and bladed tail.

“That’s right, we did. How are you?” They shook hooves, and Berry noticed it wasn’t as strong a shake as she imagined it would be.

“I’m fine, thanks.

-----------------------------

“So that’s what happened. I knew Pinchy was lying about how they met you, but I can see why.” The three adults were sitting around the work bench chatting over some coffee while the two fillies played with a ball Berry had brought. Berry’s faced darkened. “Figures that two-faced brat and her equally snotty friend had something to do with it.”

“I take it she has a reputation?” Midnight asked dully. Berry and Derpy groaned.

“I’ll admit Filthy Rich isn’t that bad of a pony. A bit stuck up, but generally a nice guy. However, he can never seem to wrap his head around the idea that is precious daughter his anything but a well-mannered princess. I swear, that filly could get away with MURDER; literally.”

“And, how influential in the town is he?”

“He buys local goods and gives to some charities, but other than that he’s just another resident.”

“He does have a big house though!” Derpy told them, her front legs spreading out to emphasize how big it was.

“Big houses aside, I don’t think you have much to worry about Midnight. When he comes knocking about ‘how you’ve mistreated his little princess’, just take it with a grain of salt and do what everypony does.”

“What’s that?”

“Avoid the brat like the plague.” They chuckled. Midnight couldn’t explain it, but hanging out with these two felt… well, right. No uncomfortable feeling, no feeling ashamed, just a feeling of belonging. It felt really good. Just then Berry’s eyes flew open. “I’ve just had an idea! Midnight, how about you join us for Poker Night?”

“Poker Night?”

“Yeah, that’s a great idea!” Derpy said, her wings flapping happily.

“We haven’t had one yet, but that’s only because we’re looking for a fourth player. Lyra Heartstrings has been our third for some time, and she hasn’t been able to get her marefriend Bon Bon to join us.”

“I haven’t been able to get Carrot Top either.”

“Is she your marefriend?” Midnight asked.

“Nah. We’re just best friends. Have been since their age.” Derpy said, motioning to the fillies. “We also live in the same house; it’s cheaper than owning my own.”

“Well…” Midnight gave the idea some thought, then nodded. “I guess it’ll be fun.” Both mares cheered.

-----------------------------

It was past sunset when Filthy Rich and his daughter Diamond Tiara reached Midnight’s home. “Don’t you worry honey; daddy will take care of the mean lady” he told his pouting filly. After several wraps on the door, it opened to reveal a not-so-pleasant looking Midnight. After recovering from the shock of what she looked like, the stallion cleared his throat. “Miss Storm, my name if Filthy Rich, and I-”

“Hold it right there.” Midnight told him, raising a hoof. “I know exactly who you are and why you’re here, so let’s cut to the chase. First, your foal is a brat,” both ponies gasped.

“Now, see here!”

“And I’m standing by that.” Midnight spoke over him. “Second, if you don’t like what I’m saying, then you stay away from me, and I’ll stay away from you. Case closed, everypony’s happy, have a nice night.” With that, Midnight slammed the door in their faces.

Author's Note:

By the Faust that took a while to get up.

This one is where Midnight makes her first good friends. She likes the mane six, but they just aren't as close as these two will be. Also the poker night idea will be a separate companion piece to The Witching Hour so as not to disrupt the flow of the story.

Until next time!