• Published 13th Sep 2014
  • 5,598 Views, 256 Comments

The Seventh Element - PaisleyPerson



Thestrals are thought extinct. But what will happen when one moves to Ponyville? Disguised as an earth pony, Acrylic does her best to fit in. Can she keep the secret, or will she expose her entire race?

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Chapter 19: Reformed

Chapter 19
Reformed

“Acrylic, come quick!”

“What?” I got out of bed, eyes still red. I soon found that it was Twilight in the lobby.

“There’s trouble down at Sweet Apple Acres! Discord’s out of control! I don’t know what you did before, but we need you to do it again.” And so I ran out with her, finally putting all other thoughts aside.

The sight that met my eyes was unreal. An enormous beaver dam had been constructed in the middle of Sweet Apple Acres, causing the water flow to reach the tree tops.

“I've never seen the floodin' this bad! They've built dams 'round here before, but never like this!” Applejack wailed. “What's goin' on?” I looked over to find Fluttershy trying to reason with an angrily chattering beaver.

“Such language! It's no use. They won't listen to a word I say!” she woefully sighed.

“You see Discord's behind all this, right?” Rainbow Dash said.

“Oh, of course I do! Do you all think I'm a silly, gullible fool?”

“Only in the sense of being silly and gullible...”

“Um, well...”

“Uh... uh, no, not exactly...”

“I've just been trying to gain his friendship any way I can, so he'd come to trust and listen to me!” I sighed with her.

“Where is he?”

“Hey there, Fluttershy, you want a turn? Oh, and Acrylic’s back! I was wondering where you’d gotten off to. Come on in! The water's great!” Discord whizzed by on water skis.

“Time to see if it worked. Acrylic, are you coming?”

“Of course.”

“Fluttershy, oh, there you are. And you’ve found Acrylic, too. Oh, my. You are a sight for sore eyes, aren’t you?”

“As you can see, there's a big mess down here at Sweet Apple Acres,” Fluttershy took the lead.

“Oh, yes. Awful business, that. Mm.”

“It is awful. This is Applejack's home, and it's being destroyed by innocent creatures who would never be acting this way if it weren't for your reckless behavior. You need to fix this.”

“Oh, yes, very well, I will fix it. I only ask one thing in return.”

“Yes?”

“I ask that you never use your Element of Harmony against me. As a sign of our friendship.” The others were urging her to say no, but she ignored them.

“I will never use my Element of Harmony against you,” she vowed,

“Excellent!” The next snap of his fingers should have cleared up the mess, but instead, the flood waters froze over. Discord teleported onto the ice with skates. “There, much better! I do prefer ice skating to water skiing! Don't you?”

“Discord! That's not fixing it! Why, I oughta...”

“Discord, I thought we agreed that this needed to be toned down a little.”

“I never agreed to anything, as you’ll recall.” I shook my head in disgust and started walking away over the ice, Fluttershy floating in the air at my side.

“Where are you both going? What's wrong, pal?”

“Don't call me your pal!” Fluttershy snapped. I started sliding as I tried to stop, and Discord appeared in front. I wasn’t sure if he meant to time it so, but he had to catch me so I didn’t knock him over too.

“Oh, pfft! Why don’t you both come skating with me, and we'll let bygones be bygones.” Two sets of skates were offered to us.

“Here you go, Fluttershy! Game on!” Spike appeared with her element. Just the sight of it stung me, knowing what they were going to do. I’d failed him.

“He fixes this or he goes back to being stone! Princess Celestia will understand!” Fluttershy looked at the jewel encrusted necklace, then at the skates, and I turned away to reject them altogether. There was a snowy treetop where I wouldn’t slip and slide on nearby, so I headed for it.

“I made a promise not to use my element against him, and I'm going to keep it,” FLuttershy decided.

“Ha ha! You see? She wants to have fun with me because we're friends. She can't use the elements against me because we're friends. I'm free forever!” he cackled.

“Not. Your. Friend!” She spat the skates out onto the open ice. Discord looked like a knife had been stabbed into his back. He tried to ignore it, but couldn’t.

“Who cares? I can do whatever I want, whenever I want. I'm Discord, the master of chaos! You think you can boss Discord around? You think I'm just going to turn all this back because you say so? Because if I don't, I'll lose one of the only friends I ever had? Well, I hate to break it to you, pal, but I still have Acrylic. Right?” I sat atop the tree, giving him a blank staring down. Then, I mustered up the four most painful words you could ever tell a friend.

“I’m disappointed in you.” Leaving it at that, I turned away and refused to face him, letting him know that he had one last chance to save our friendship. There was a long pause.

“Oh. Oh. Well played, girls. Well played.” A pulse of white light emanated from his heart, and Sweet Apple Acres was restored. The girls cheered, and Fluttershy blushed. I, meanwhile, was falling out of the tree. Discord appeared below in time to catch me. I smiled at him.

“You’ve done good.”

“Well, I liked it better my way, but... I guess when you're friends, you can't always have things exactly your way all the time, eh?”

“The Princess will be thrilled! Spike, will you inform Princess Celestia that Discord has been successfully reformed?”

“I’m on it!” The little dragon ran off to go fetch a scroll and quill.

“So, how do you girls... and guy... suggest we celebrate?”

“A dinner party?” Discord suggested.

“NO!” they all screamed. Discord sniggered, but I missed the joke.

“Fluttershy? Acrylic? What do you girls think? You’re both our mares of the hour; I think you should get to decide.”

“Well... a desert at Sugar Cube Corner would be nice,” Fluttershy suggested.

“Is that okay with you, Acrylic?”

“Forgive me, but I’m not much in a celebrating mood.” I started on my way back home so I could wallow in my own grief.


The seven friends watched as the eighth of their company skulked away.

“That’s it, then?” Pinkie confusedly spoke up.

“We aren’t just going to let her walk away, are we? She’s earned this!” Rarity pressed.

“We aren’t finished yet,” Discord agreed with a mischievous look in his eyes.

“Discord? Whatever you’re thinking, the answer is no,” Twilight declared.

“What? I was simply saying that as friends, it’s our job to get Acrylic and Torchwood to make up,” he winked.

“You think he’s taking this whole ‘friendship’ thing a little far?” Applejack whispered to Rainbow Dash.

“A little, but he’s actually right. We’ve got to get them back together. Although, it would be a lot easier if we knew what they were fighting over in the first place.”

“I can help with that,” Discord said, appearing between the two girls.

“YAH!” Rainbow squealed with fright.

“Unfortunately, I believe I caused their argument.”

“You? I should’ve known!”

“I didn’t do it on purpose! Torchwood and I just don’t see eye to eye, to say the least.”

“Well, that makes things a lot less complicated,” Twilight cheerily smiled, turning to start heading for Sugar Cube Corner.

“It does?” the rest of them exclaimed.

“Of course it does! Discord just has to apologize to Torchwood, and convince him to get back with Acrylic.”

“Me? Why me?”

“Because you started this whole thing, that’s why. You said yourself that it’s part of friendship. Consider it your first assignment as a reformed draconequus.” Glad to be rid of not only the weighty assignment but also Discord himself, everypony but Fluttershy pranced away, eyes closed in a somewhat stuck-up fashion. Fluttershy turned back to Discord.

“I don’t know what happened, but if you did cause it, you’d better fix it!” That said, she flitted around to join the others.

“Oh, alright,” Discord groaned. With a snap of his fingers, he was gone.


“Hello? Anypony home?” Discord was coiled around the thatched hay roof of one of the many houses in the square, hanging upside down as he knocked on the door. The wooden gate soon slid aside, revealing Torchwood behind it. He frowned upon seeing his visitor.

“Go away. Don’t you have somepony else’s life to wreck?”

“I am the spirit of chaos, but this time, it wasn’t me who made you yell at sweet, sweet Acrylic.” Torchwood started to shut the door on the draconequus, but Discord teleported inside the dimly lit room before he had a chance. “You have a torch for a cutie mark, so why is it so dark in here?” Discord offered a magically summoned lantern in emphasis.

“GAH! Get out of my house!”

“How rude of you, Torchwood, and after I came all this way to apologize.”

“Apologize?”

“I know we don’t see eye to eye, Torchwood, but that’s no reason to take it out on Acrylic. Why don’t you make it up to her? Take her out to dinner or something? Do whatever it is you ponies do.” He was currently reclining on a hammock suspended by nonexistent hooks. Torchwood sighed.

“I keep forgetting that she’s not like me. I’m perfectly fine with keeping to myself, but she’s incredibly social. That was the whole reason she came out into civilization. I just tagged along with some pals for the experience. She needs somepony, or someone to confide in. It can’t always be me. I forget that sometimes.”

“So what are you waiting for? Go sweep her off her hooves!”

“You still gave thestrals a bad name,” Torchwood pointed out.

“You ponies should have known better than to try and upset the balance in the first place. But, for Acrylic’s sake, I won’t argue. I’m sorry. There, I said it. Though, I don’t see the point in it. Even the spirit of chaos can’t change the past.”

“That sounds like something she would say,” Torchwood chuckled. “I’m sorry too, Discord. The past is in the past. Its a good thing Acrylic forgives more freely than I do.” Torchwood started on his way, but returned almost instantly. “I still expect you out of my house, Discord.” With a disappointed sigh, Discord and his hammock vanished. Torchwood gave a nod of approval, but locked the door to be safe. This done, the stallion headed for Art Life.


The lights were off in my room, but I kept the windows open to let the air circulate. The blue, flannel sheets I’d wrapped myself in felt like a protection from the rest of the world. I’d played about a hundred possibilities in my head to try and figure out how I was going to apologize to Torchwood, but in my current state, they all came out as worst case scenarios. This was doing nothing for my confidence. Still, I knew that even if he refused to forgive me, it had to be done. Tomorrow. I didn’t have the energy to get out of bed, let alone put myself through such emotional trauma. I rolled over, burying my face in the pillow before a fresh flow of tears could surface.

Something warm and comforting tickled my shoulder. I sniffed, and turned back around to see what it was. To my surprise, a small orange flame fluttered on my shoulder like a feather.

“Discord?” I didn’t know anypony else who could perform such a feat. This assumption was nullified when I noticed that the flame was tipped with green. It danced through the air, fluttering across the room until it came to rest among several other tongues of fire. Now having gained my attention, they twisted and curled until they formed two simple words.

I’m
Sorry

I felt tears sting at my eyes. But these were happy tears. I tossed the covers off so I could slide to the floor. Moving to the window, I pushed the curtains aside and looked out. Torchwood timidly waved from below as the fire dissipated. Then, he beckoned me to come out. I vigorously nodded my head, and he moved to start heading for the door. I couldn’t wait that long. I dove out the window, wings catching me just in time. Shocked but amused, Torchwood came back. He let me clamber into his arms, weeping though I was.

“I’m sorry,” I sobbed. “I’m sorry.”

“Shh. Don’t be,” he cooed, rocking us gently. “It was my fault. I’m the one who should be sorry.” I pulled away, pleadingly searching his eyes.

“But... I took Discord to your sector! It was your home, and I didn’t even ask. I had no right to make that decision. I’m so... sorry.”

“And I wasn’t thinking about you. You need other friends to confide in, not just me. I should’ve trusted your judgment when you brought him to us. I’m sorry too. Can you forgive me?”

“Oh, Torchwood! Only if you forgive me!” I straightened up, moving in for a real hug, (not just throwing myself at him).

“You know, neither of us have had dinner. Discord tells me that your friends are meeting at Sugar Cube Corner. Shall we join them?”

“Okay, but I’m buying,” I warned, trotting around front to get my hat and wallet.

“That’s not fair!” He ran after me. But I stood firm, and wouldn’t let him. I had to start treating us at some point in our relationship, and so far, he hadn’t let me. This also made it easier to forgive myself, knowing that I could do just that little bit more to make up for my mistake.

Back in the square, the six ponies and their draconequus guest were waiting by the central fountain. As always, Pinkie was the first to jump up.

“You guys made it!” The rest of them bounded up, smiles plastered on their faces. Only Discord hung back, grinning slyly to himself.

“Good job, Discord. I’m so proud of you,” Fluttershy beamed.

“You girls really did reform him, didn’t you?” Torchwood said, more to himself than to anypony else.

“It was all Fluttershy and Acrylic,” Twilight smiled.

“Oh, I didn’t do much,” Fluttershy blushed.

“I should say you did quite a lot, my dear,” Discord countered. “You extended your friendship to me.”

“Thank you, Discord.” I came up to give him a grateful embrace, but it took him a moment to recover from the shock and return it.

“It is true, then? Discord has been reformed?” A familiar silhouette approached from the sky, finally coming to rest on the cobblestone square.

“Princess Celestia!”

“Yes, Princess, I'm ready to use my magic for good instead of evil. Most of the time,” he added under his breath.

“Congratulations on your success, ponies. I definitely sense a big change in Discord.” She bent over to quietly address Twilight. “I'll leave the Elements of Harmony with you, Twilight. Just in case.”

“You were right when you said Fluttershy and Acrylic would be the ones to find the way to reform Discord. By treating Discord as a friend, they got him to realize that friendship was actually important to him. And something that, once he had, he didn't want to lose.”

“Go on. Say it,” Fluttershy instructed.

“Alright,” he painfully groaned. “Friendship is magic,” he quickly spat out.

“See? He can be a real sweetheart once you get to know him. The others dubiously murmured amongst themselves.

“Alright, everypony- and draconequus- inside. Cupcakes are on me!” I ordered.

“I won’t say ‘no’ to that!” Pinkie smiled, bouncing inside. The others filed in after her. Over all, it was a good day.