• Published 27th Sep 2013
  • 14,454 Views, 753 Comments

Chaotic Neutral - C-Puff



When magic starts failing, chaos threatens to consume Equestria. Good thing the ponies have Discord on their side to help fix things.

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Magic

Chapter 2

Tension hung in the air as Twilight Sparkle continued to glare at Discord. He merely stared back with as much boredom as he could muster, only breaking his gaze when Fluttershy squeaked his name. He uncoiled himself from the couch and stood up, cracking his back with his hands.

“If you're really going to turn me back into stone, you should probably tell me why first.” He stretched his arms out over his head. “As hard as I've tried, I'm afraid I'm not a mind-reader just yet.”

“You just...! You...! You did this!” Twilight yelled, pointing her horn in a target free direction. After a second or so, her horn sparked and sent off a few harmless purple flashes into the air.

There was a drawn out pause, the only sound coming from Fluttershy's hooves as she came to stand next to Discord. They waited as Twilight blinked at the fading lights with apparent surprise.

“That's very good Twilight.” Discord praised her condescendingly before he leaned down to whisper to Fluttershy. “I think our resident princess has lost her mind.” He seemed to think this over for a moment before straightening and adding to the room at large. “Actually... I think that'd be a dramatic improvement. Please, do go on.” He grinned eagerly as he watched her.

“No! No you don't understand!” Twilight said frantically as she began to pace back and forth in front of them, picking up various things in the room with her magic before putting them back down. “It didn't do that earlier! I couldn't do anything earlier! It was like somepony had stolen my magic!”

“Oh my. That sounds serious.” Fluttershy said with honest concern as she walked closer to try and calm her friend. “Are you sure that's what it was? Maybe you were too tired or needed a few more minutes to wake up.”

Twilight shook her head wildly. “No it wasn't like that at all! It was the weirdest thing I'd ever felt in my life! I came downstairs and tried to make myself some breakfast but I couldn't pick anything up! Not the bread, not the knife, nothing! It was like I didn't even have a horn!”

“At least it's come back though, right?” Fluttershy gave a gentle smile. “So luckily it wasn't permanent.”

“Oh I'm sure it was never meant to be permanent!'” Twilight snapped as she spun to face Discord again. “I still wanna hear what you were thinking pulling a stunt like that?! Do you want me to tell Princess Celestia you should be imprisoned again?!”

Discord however didn't answer. He was toying with his beard as he pouted thoughtfully.

“Hello?!” She yelled, starting to get furious. “Are you even listening to me?!”

He seemed to snap back to the present as he turned to Fluttershy, ignoring Twilight completely. “Pardon me Fluttershy, I'd like to test something for a moment.”

“Oh?” She blinked at him as he snapped his fingers. “Oh!”

The living-room completely transformed itself from the small cottage interior to something a tourist might think a tropical island looked like, complete with burning tiki torches, palm trees and the three of them appropriately dressed with a grass skirt, a Haywaiian print shirt and a rather terrifying tribal mask on Twilight. Immediately, he snapped his other claw and the scene changed again, this time to an upscale coffee shop. Again. This time a sauna, then a throne room, a restaurant, a mountain peak, a wrestling ring, at the bottom of the ocean and finally back to Fluttershy's normal living-room.

Discord snapped his fingers one last time, causing the front door to disappeared from the wall. He gave something like a nod, looking satisfied before it popped back into place. He turned back to the two ponies who were trying to control their stomachs.

“Well, it seems to be working fine now.” He grinned, a sizeable mug of something steaming materialised in his hand as he sat down again.

Twilight recovered quicker than Fluttershy as she spun to glare at him again, pointing a hoof furiously. “Well of course it works for you if you're behind it!!”

“Oh, you have such low opinion of me, Twilight Sparkle.” He tossed the entire mug into his mouth, eating it. “I'm quite hurt.” He spat out a frilly handkerchief which he then proceeded to wipe at invisible tears.

“All I know is the last time my magic got taken away it was because somepony took my horn!” Her eyes narrowed at him.

“True, true.” He nodded. “But you also remember I had a goal in mind at the time. What could I possibly be trying to achieve by this? Especially since, as you say, I might end up on the receiving end of your little petrifying spell.”

“So you're saying it wasn't you?” She snorted in disbelief.

A halo pinged above his head as he gave her what was probably his best 'innocent' face.

“Twilight,” Fluttershy finally spoke up, still wobbling slightly. “Do you have any proof that it was Discord who did this?”

“Yes Twilight.” He grinned at her cheekily behind Fluttershy's back. “Do you have any proof?”

She shot him a venomous look but reluctantly replied, “No.”

“Ok. So maybe there's a small, tiny chance you could be wrong about this?” Fluttershy smiled hopefully.

Twilight grumbled, ruffling her wings irritably. “I guess so. But I don't really have any better theories!” She turned to give Discord another dirty look. “Maybe I'll let you off the hook this time. But you better watch it! I'm keeping my eye on you! One more slip-up and then I'm gonna have to do something about this.”

“Oh you don't mean that.” Fluttershy said gently.

“Yes. Yes I do.” Twilight took a deep breath before letting it out slowly, regaining her composure. “Fluttershy, I understand how you feel but if he doesn't stop this, then I really can't ignore it any longer. I'll have to tell Princess Celestia. I promised her we'd keep an eye on him.”

Fluttershy said nothing. She just lowered her head miserably, kicking softly at the ground and staring at her hooves.

“I'm going back to the library to look for another reason why this could've happened.” Twilight said, much calmer. “You guys... think about what I’ve said. Ok?”

She turned to let herself out, giving Fluttershy a worried look over her shoulder before closing the door behind her.

“Oh dear.” Fluttershy slumped to a sit. “That really didn't go well at all.”

“Somepony obviously hadn't had their morning coffee.” Discord scoffed, getting up and walking in the direction of the kitchen. “Speaking of which.”

“Did you really have to do something that silly to her?” Fluttershy said sadly, peering at him through her hair.

He seemed to flinch as he froze in place. He spun, placing his paws against his chest melodramatically. “Don't tell me you're taking her word over mine!” He pressed a paw to his forehead. “Oh cruel fortune! Betrayed by the only one I trust! My illusion of a safe haven shattered!”

“You know she was serious about what she said.” Fluttershy ignored the dramatics as she fidgeted with something on the floor. “If you do anything else to upset her then... She's Celestia pupil. She'll have to tell her.”

“Cheer up my dear.” He said as he twisted around her with a grin. “We'll just have to behave like butter wouldn't melt in our mouths for a while and she'll forget about it.”

Fluttershy mumbled something to herself that he couldn't make out and didn't look that much happier..

“Besides, I would think her magic disappearing is more worthy our attention right now.” He added as he stood himself in front of her. A small table appeared between the two of them, fully set with cups and a steaming teapot.

“So... you really were honest about it not being you?” Fluttershy finally raised her eyes to him as she took her cup from the table.

“Do you really think I'd lie to you?” He said, grinning to show off a rather impressive set of teeth.

“Mmmm.” Fluttershy replied into her teacup, avoiding his eye. He didn't seem too interested in her answer anyway.

“Now personally I would stand by my first assumption that Miss Sparkle has completely lost her mind. However I think she may have been right about her little breakfast disaster.” He said business-like, picking up his own cup and making a show of drinking from it politely. “and I don't mean that as a remark about her cooking skills. I'm sure she can make a sandwich without burning it. If not then Celestia is the one who's gone mad, making her the trusty Princess-in-Training that she is.”

“So you believe her that her magic wasn't working?” Fluttershy asked, trying to keep the subject on track.

“Normally I wouldn't really care. However, as it happens I was having a few erm...” For a second, he looked honestly embarrassed. “...hiccups yesterday. As it were.”

She blinked wide-eyed at him, setting down her cup again. “What do you mean, Discord?”

“Let's just say that most of yesterday was spent giving myself carpal tunnel syndrome trying to get this thing working again.” He said with a grumble, glaring at his own eagle-claw. “Not to mention Twilight's racket on the door would've been cut short much sooner if the thing had decided to do what I told it to!”

Fluttershy said nothing for a moment, staring at him quietly as he gulped down his cup of tea, followed by the cup itself. He gave a content sigh as he sat back. Finally noticing her stare, he returned her expression.

“What?”

“Discord.” She started carefully. “Are you having problems with your magic too?”

“Well, I'm not sure I'd call them 'problems' exactly.” He waved a paw at her.

“But you do admit it's been acting funny?” She insisted.

He fluttered his eyes at her for a few moments, pretending not to understand. But when it became clear she wasn't going to break eye contact he slumped down on the table with a sulk, scratching at the wood with a claw. “Well I may have had a few issues getting it to work. I suppose you could say.”

“Oh my.” Fluttershy said with seriousness, putting a hoof to her chin. “So it's not just Twilight.”

She stood up from her seat, trotting out of sight into the kitchen for a moment before reappearing with several bowls of food balanced on her back and nose.

“We'd better go tell her. Wait here while I finish feeding everypony and we'll go straight to the library. This could be serious! Maybe there's a magical flu going around or something!”

“More like your friend Miss Twilight's been experimenting with unstable spells again.” He said, pulling a newly formed bath-plug from the floor, causing the table and tea-set to literally drain away.

“No, I don't think so.” Fluttershy said as she went. “Twilight wouldn't put any of us in danger like that.”

Discord pulled a face at her back.


After making doubly sure everypony had been fed, Fluttershy and Discord took the walk over to the Ponyville Library. Discord had been living in the small town at least a short couple of months by now, but it hadn't really changed its opinion of him much. Mostly because he spent most of his time out of sight, doing what exactly nopony was sure, and when he did show his face it was usually to start mischief and annoy everypony. Granted annoyance was better than utter chaos but it didn't really help his popularity. The townsponies hadn't so much accept his presence, as they tolerated his existence. And even then only because of their loyalty to the royal princesses.

Needless to say, the walk through town wasn't all that fun for Fluttershy. She tried her best to avoid eye-contact, staring at the road right in front of her and moving at a brisk trot towards Twilight's home. However she could still feel the glaring eyes on her and her friend as she went. She could also feel the burn on her cheeks which made her even more self-conscious. Discord on the other hoof didn't even seem to notice as he flapped his wings lazily to keep up with her.

“It's a real shame I'm on low profile right now.” He sighed to himself as he looked over the small houses and stores they passed. “I have this great idea for a new look to this place. The entertainment level alone would make it worth it.”

“Please don't cause any trouble.” Fluttershy asked politely, turning to look at him instead. Trying not to focus on the stares they were getting.

“Now now, I said I'd behave.” He rolled his eyes, a dog collar popping around his neck, an end of a leash attached to Fluttershy's foreleg. “I know where Celestia wants me. I was just thinking out loud.”

“You shouldn't think about it so much.” Fluttershy said as she tried to undo the leash from her leg and walk at the same time.

Discord laughed, rolling over to fly on his back next to her. “You do realise chaos is all I ever think about, don't you? It kind of comes with the territory you know.”

“Maybe if you found something else to keep you busy it'd be easier for um... all of us.” She gave him a nervous smile. “Perhaps you could find a hobby. You should think of what kind of things you like doing.”

“Hmmm.” He tapped his chin in thought before throwing his arms out triumphantly as an idea struck him. “I enjoy causing trouble!”

Fluttershy's smile changed into a slight grimace. “Um... Yes I know...”

“I also like causing confusion,” He started counting off on his eagle claw. “Nonsense, Twisting reality around, a little bit of mayhem, stirring up turmoil, playing games-”

“Oh! Games!” Fluttershy grabbed the opportunity. “That's a good start. Why don't you think from there? What kind of games do you enjoy the most?”

“Usually the kind that involves any of the aforementioned things.” He grinned proudly, a scroll appearing in his paws with a list with every synonym for 'chaos' in the thesaurus.

“Hmm... Maybe you should try some games you haven't played before and see if you like them. Ones that don't involve making anypony mad.”

“Anh but that sounds so boring!” He whined as the scroll disappeared in a puff of smoke. “Really, what's the fun of playing a game if you can't get some kind of reaction from your opponent? What's the point?”

“Games should be fun for everypony playing them.” Fluttershy smiled sweetly at him. “And if everypony enjoys them, then they'd be happy to try and play agai-!”

Her sentence was cut short as she smacked right into another pony who wasn't paying attention to where she was going. The leash, still tied to one of Fluttershy's legs, not only tripped and caused her to fall on top of the other pony but also succeeding in entangling itself around both their legs. They fell with a crash to the ground, flailing and crying out in surprise.

“Oh I'm sorry!” Fluttershy yelped as she tried to leap off the assaulted pony as fast as she could, only for the leash to snap her back and tightening around the two of them. “Oh no I'm sorry! I'm so sorry!”

“Stop squirming! You're making it worse!” The other mare yelled as she tried to kick herself free pathetically. “Somepony help! Get some scissors or something! Quick!”

“I'm sure we can get free if we just..” Fluttershy tried in vain to loosen a leg. The only thing she achieved was losing her balance and having to adjust her stance which caused a stray hoof to plant itself firmly on the other mare's saddlebag. Something inside made a very satisfying crunch.

“Oh no!! Look what you've done!” The mare wailed. “I just bought those eggs! And you've ruined my favourite saddlebag!”

“I'm sorry! I'm sorry!” Fluttershy squeaked helplessly. “Discord! Please you have to help!” She turned to him desperately. Discord on the other hand was in a fit of hysterics, gripping his chest as he rocked back and forth in mid-air.

“Discord!!” Fluttershy said, this time with some meaning in her voice.

He managed to get some control over himself as he landed on his feet, still giggling like a lunatic as he wiped at his eyes. “Alright alright just hold on a second.” He cleared his throat as he got himself to stop laughing before clapping his paws together.

The leash instantly disappeared and the two ponies collapsed. The mare shoved Fluttershy off her as she threw open her saddlebag and gave a cry in dismay. “My eggs! My bag!”

“I'm so so sorry!” Fluttershy repeated, quickly getting to her feet and backing away from her, ears flattened. “I can pay you back for the eggs if it helps.”

“And are you going to pay for my bag as well?!” She snapped. “This was handmade by an old blind mare in the Obsidian mountains! My husband brought it back from a business trip! I can't just get another one!”

“Oh...” Fluttershy shrunk, backing away a little further.

“Ugh, enough already. I think we get the picture.” Discord stuck out his tongue in exaggerated disgust. “If I fix your precious bag will you stop your squawking?”

“Oh no!” She snapped, swinging her bag away and focusing him with a hard glare. “I don't want you monster touching my things! You just stay away from me!”

Discord gave a shrug. Fluttershy however took a step forward. “He was only trying to help. There's no need to call him names..”

“I don't want to hear it!” She spat at Fluttershy instead. “He's a menace and a ticking time-bomb! And you are either an idiot for standing up for him or a traitor! Either way the whole town would agree we would be much happier if you two just-...” She stopped in the middle of her tirade and blinked several times in what appeared to be shock.

She took a tiny step backwards as an unsettled smile sprung on her face. “Then... then again I... I suppose it's a free world... aha ha ha.. ..ha....” She turned and trotted away so fast she almost broke into a gallop.

Fluttershy blinked at the retreating figure before turning behind her to her companion. “What was that all about?”

Discord's eyes were focused on the other mare as well but she missed his expression as he blinked and gave another shrug with an innocent smile. “Perhaps she decided she didn't like the look of us.” He coiled downwards, grabbing her under the forelegs and mimed her giving small flailing punches. “She probably realised after getting a second look at you she was outmatched.”

“Oh dear.” Fluttershy blinked wide-eyed at this before smiling widely to herself with a small, proud giggle. “I didn't realise I was being so assertive.”

He let her go before resuming his place next to her. “Perhaps we should give the lowly ground-dwellers some space before you scare off anypony else.”

“You're teasing me.” She said although she took to the air beside him. “You did a good job trying to help her though.” She praised him brightly. “It's a shame she was in such a bad mood.”


When somepony knocked on the Library door it didn't take much guessing for Twilight to figure out who it was. The knock was so soft and somehow managed to even sound shy that she didn't even bother asking who was there. She opened the door with a smile.

“Hey Fluttershy.” Her eyes travelled upwards very slightly. “Oh. Hello Discord.”

“Pardon the intrusion my dear Princess.” Discord said as he pushed past the two ponies and immediately circled the library once or twice. “Ahhh. Everything perfectly shelved according to genre, sub-genre and then alphabetically arranged according to the author's last name. Such an orderly and controlled establishment you have here.”

“You so much as breathe on the wrong thing and I'll... I'll...!” Spike immediately noticed the danger and jogged across the length of the room, waving the broom he'd been using.


'The Complete Guide to Harvesting Frostbite Spider Venom.'” Discord read the cover of a randomly selected book, licking a thumb and opening it with the opposite hand. Something black, hairy and with a lot of legs climbed out of the book's pages. “Oops! Guess I shouldn't have skipped ahead to the advance section.” He grinned as he dropped it. The enormous spider plopping on the floor before getting up and scurrying under a bookshelf and out of sight.

“Discord. Stop it. Fluttershy. Why are you two here?” Twilight asked flatly. She softened a little bit. “Not that I don't like seeing you.”

“Well,” Fluttershy started as she trotted inside. “We were talking about what you said happened to you this morning and we thought we should come over and tell you what we found out.”

“Oh yeah?” Twilight threw Discord and distrusting look. He was trying to surreptitiously rearrange the books while Spike was half buried under the bookcase, trying to jab at the now missing spider with his broom-handle.

“Yes.” Fluttershy nodded. “We were saying how strange it was for your magic to suddenly stop working. Discord said it was probably something we should pay attention to.”

“Really?” Twilight cocked an eyebrow in slight disbelief but trotted to sit on one of her seat-cushions, Fluttershy following.

“Oh yes.” She nodded. “In fact, he said he's been having problems with his magic too.”

“Only a little tiny bit.” Discord interrupted, exploding into existence right beside Twilight, nearly giving her a heart attack.

“Don't get the wrong idea; I'm still quite capable of keeping myself entertained. But when you're use to a more liberal use of your powers,” He snapped his fingers, the large bust on the table transforming itself into a rutabaga. “you tend to notice little changes and dips in potency.”

“Uh huh.” Twilight said, sounding unimpressed. “But you have been having problems too?”

Discord hummed to himself tunelessly for a second. “Maybe a little bit.”

“He's not very happy about it.” Fluttershy whispered across the table.

“But that's really bad news.” Twilight said as she stood up again, trotting over to her shelves and pulling out random books, looking over their covers. “If it was just me then I could try and figure out what I've been doing differently lately. Or I could try and find out if it's a side-effect of the alicorn spell. But if it's affecting others, then that means there's something bigger going on.”

“Do you think anypony else is having problems with their magic?” Fluttershy asked.

“I don't know. I didn't think to ask anypony.” She trotted back, a small handful of books following her as she sat down and started flicking through them. “It only happened once to me this morning, so I didn't really think it was that big a deal.” She looked up at Discord for the first time with sincerity. “How many times did you have these erm... dips in potency?”

“I don't really keep track of things that rigidly.” He shrugged. “But it was once this morning and a few times yesterday.

“Yesterday?” Twilight's eyes widened as she turned back to her book, flipping through it faster. “Why didn't you say anything to anypony?”

“Well frankly, it's none of their business.” He said, inspecting a claw with a bored expression.

“We should ask around if anypony else had any problems.” She said, pushing the book aside. “We should ask the others to help us too. We can cover more ground with six of us. Ask any of the Unicorns in town if anything weird has happened to them yesterday or today and if they can think of anything they've done differently in the last two or three days. Spike,” He jumped slightly, squirming out backwards from the bookcase, the spider clinging tightly to his broom. “You stay here and watch the library. If anypony comes looking for a book, help them and sign it out like I showed you.

He snapped to attention, throwing her a salute. “Yessir! I mean Twilight!”

“I'll go get Pinkie Pie and Rarity. You guys go find Rainbow Dash and Applejack.” She said as she lead them to the door before following them out. “Hopefully it's just a coincidence we both had problems at the same time. We'll meet back here later.”

“Ok Twilight.” Fluttershy nodded as she took wing, physically nudging Discord into the air with her. “We'll see you later.”

“If we can tear ourselves away from all the fun this is going to be.” Discord said sarcastically, pulling a face.

“And no messing with the town!” Twilight yelled at them as they flew away. “I mean it, Discord!”

She hoped he'd heard her and was just ignoring her. She didn't need him adding more problems to the situation. She turned and trotted in the direction of Sugarcube Corner, hoping it really was just a fluke that both of them lost their powers around the same time. Experience was starting to teach her that coincidences didn't really happen that often though.

Author's Note:

More was going to happen in this chapter, but I realised it was starting to run long and if I kept going it would end up almost double in size. As a result maybe not enough happens in this chapter, but luckily the story is still moving forward.

I hope the update isn't too fast for you guys. Thank you for the feedback and views. :)