• Published 1st Apr 2015
  • 5,398 Views, 115 Comments

Embracing Chaos - Smjames

Twilight Sparkle's is now the headmistress of her very own school and is ready to help mold the young minds of the next generation. But then Discord signs on as a teacher and she finds herself just as much a student as those she's leading.

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Chapter 4

Twilight tried to hide her bright smile as she settled into her seat at the back of the class, placing her notebook carefully on the desk with her quill sitting perfectly parallel to it. Her normally straight mane was pulled up in a short ponytail (she had no idea why it was called that given most pony’s tails were very distinct from each other) and changed to a uniformly bright crimson. Her coat had been given a similar treatment, sporting a new dull orange tone rather than its usual violet. Her wings were hidden by a special spell, and even her starburst cutie mark was altered, now being a simple four pointed star shining with the same pale yellow as the sun.

‘Sunlight Twinkle’ pulled out a mirror from her bag and gave her disguise one last check before the other students started to arrive. Twilight had created this persona shortly after starting her Equestria wide search to help her avoid undue attention during her travels. Ponies were much less likely to get into a tizzy about a princess visiting their city if they never knew one was there to begin with. Plus it was always amusing to see her interviewee’s freaking out at seeing the unassuming and ordinary Miss Twinkle replaced with the oh-so-legendary Princess Sparkle. She never got tired of seeing that flabbergasted look they all got when the truth was revealed.

And now Twilight was using the disguise to get a view of what each class was like without the teachers feeling the pressure of their headmaster looking over their shoulder. So far the results had been excellent. As stressful as Twilight’s countrywide search had been it seemed that it had been well worth the effort as each teacher she’d visited had had a great first day. The worst that she had seen was a little bit of awkwardness from Professor Wild Beard due to his incredibly thick accent, but that was really it. But this class here would be the deal breaker; the one that Twilight was most worried about.

Discord’s first class as Professor Chaos Theory.

There were so many ways Twilight could imagine this class going wrong, each one more ridiculous and insane than the last. In spite of everything Discord and her friends had said about him wanting to turn over a new leaf she was still worried about it. What if it was all just a trick? What if he had a sudden urge to pull a prank? What if he sneezed and transformed a student on accident? What if…

Twilight smacked her head with a hoof to get her mind back on track. It’ll be fine, she told herself as she watched the first few students trailing in. Discord knows better than to test me on this. Twilight waved to a griffon who said hello to her. And if he doesn’t then he will learn.

She spent the rest of the free period watching the other students filing in and trying to avoid thoughts of the trickster chimera they were here to learn from. As expected most of the students were unicorn ponies, but a surprisingly large number of students were of other races, pony and non-pony. Twilight even spotted a juvenile drake wandering in just seconds before the bell sounded and everyone raced into their seats.

The door swung open into the wall with a loud bang as Disco… Professor Theory strutted into the classroom. “Hello everyone,” he said in his usual deep baritone, “and welcome to Theory of Magic, the class where you will learn the basic foundations of magic and how to turn them completely on their head.”

Wonderful start, Twilight snarked as she dutifully lifted her pen in her (red color disguised) magic.

Discord’s own magic lit up on his pony form’s horn as he twirled a piece of chalk against the board to spell out his doppelganger’s name. Each letter was written in a completely different font and size than the others, making for a disorienting read. “My name, as you can no doubt see, is Professor Chaos Theory. You may call Professor, Mr. Theory, Sir Chaos, CT (which doesn’t stand for Connecticut by the way), or just ‘Hey you!’ if you feel like it. I’m open to anything.”

Several of the students giggled while the others just sat there and stared blankly at their teacher in confusion.

Discord-as-Theory huffed at the lukewarm reaction. “Really, people, there’s no need to be so stiff. This class is more than just boring notes and lectures. It’s a class of magic for Luna’s sake. Lighten up, crack a joke. Just open yourself up and have some fun for once.”

What’s wrong with notes and lectures?, Twilight thought as she pursed her lips. They can be fun too.

Most of her classmates didn’t seem to agree with her as they chattered excitedly at the prospect Discord was proposing to them.

One unicorn pony with a bright yellow coat and a joke book cutie mark asked, “Mr. Theory, would you say that this class will be a magical experience?”

A loud chorus of boos and jeers came from the rest of the class even as most of them had to work to stifle their own grins.

For his part Discord was busy laughing his tail off and clapping his front hooves. “Oh yes, ha ha. That’s what I wanted to hear. A bit on the snout there, young colt, but definitely in the spirit of things. Look to your peer, my students. That is that attitude I expect to see in this class.”

Twilight was about to make a negative mark in her notes about lowering something as important as school to a simple joke when she realized that the mood in the room had changed. Where before the students were all stiff and hesitant now they were leaning forward in their seats and smiling. Twilight placed her hoof under her chin as she contemplated this. Was it really a bad thing to have the class treat the class as a joke if it kept the class attentive and interested? Not really, she supposed, adding a positive mark to her notes as she refocused on Discord, who was busy criticizing the unicorn’s bevy of puns and giving him advice on improving them.

“And remember, the cringier the better. Really make them squirm as they make the connection. But I’m getting sidetracked, so let’s get started with the lesson.”

Theory turned away from the students and grabbed up the chalk again, this time drawing a cross up on the board, each point marked by a different color. “Now some of you may be asking yourselves, ‘What is magic?’ Of course, if you are asking that question then I really have to wonder what rock you’ve been hiding under your whole life.” A chorus of laughs rang around the room. “But seriously, most of us are no doubt aware of just how important magic is in our daily lives. It is what lets Pegasi control the weather, Earth ponies grow their crops so quickly and with such health, and what allows unicorns to reshape the world around them to fit their needs. But few people truly stop to think about what magic really is, how it works and why it is that we creatures can use it. That, my fine students, is what I shall be teaching in this class.”

“Now, most of you are probably unaware of this, but there are actually four different types of magic that exist here in Equestria. Yes, you heard me correctly. Four distinct types, and I don’t just mean between species. There is a reason this is a little known fact. As it happens, the vast majority of magic that occurs throughout the lands belongs to a single branch which is used by nearly every creature ever known.”

Twilight ignored the startled murmurs of the students as she pondered Discord’s words. Four branches? But Princess Celestia only taught me about two, light and dark magic. What other types are there?

A blue piece of chalk floated up to the left point of the cross on the blackboard, sketching out a puffy cloud with the word Control centered within. “This common branch is often referred to as the light branch, given that most of its uses are for practical and benevolent purposes, but this is a misconception of the truth. If fact, many light magic spells can end up being used to negative effect with just a little creativity from the practitioner. Even something as simple as levitation can be used to harm others if its user so desires. The real name for this branch would better be termed as control, for this is the branch that is meant to create order from a chaotic world.”

Professor Theory lit up his horn and cast a spell to produce a small light source in the center of the classroom. “Any unicorn will tell you that the key to casting a spell is to concentrate tightly on the effect you desire and push your magic to complete that task. A strong will and iron focus is just as important to spell casting as raw magical power.”

Theory’s horn flashed again and summoned a small potted plant. “The same effects are shown from the magic of other tribes and races, each using their innate magic to enact different effects meant to give them an advantage in life. While it is true that a unicorn may copy many of the traits that other races have, they will never be as strong as a native user and will suffer a penalty to their own magic as long as they maintain the spell. This is why cooperation of the races is preferred over any one assuming dominance. If fact, were someone like a griffon given a focus to channel their magic and training in how to use it, they too could mimic the abilities of unicorns, though obviously to a lesser degree.”

The scraping of pencils and quills over paper washed over Twilight’s ears as she had trouble deciding which was more surprising; that Discord of all creatures would be able to give a coherent lecture like this, or that she herself was having trouble paying attention to anything else.

“Mr. Theory sir?” one griffon asked with a raised paw. “If non-ponies are capable of using magic just like unicorns, why haven’t I ever seen one do it before? I know plenty of grifs back home who would love to have that kind of power.”

“A fine question, my feathered friend, and one I have an unfortunate answer to. Focuses, you see, are very rare to find in nature, growing in secluded locales far from civilization and hence very expensive to procure. And beyond that, even if one were to go to the expense of retrieving a focus it would still have to be refined by a trained arcane smith, as well as the training needed to learn how to use one properly. Suffice it to say, most simply do not consider it worth the time and effort to acquire a focus, not when hiring a unicorn to do the job is so much cheaper.”

The griffon’s face fell at the answer, and Twilight felt a little sympathy for him.

“Yes, it is a bit disheartening isn’t it, but fret not. There are plenty of uses for your own personal magic that no unicorn, or indeed any other race could truly match. We all have our own ways of asserting control over the world around us, and that is the basis for this most common branch of magic. But it is not the only one. Oh no, far from it. Control way be the most common, but it is far from the most powerful.”

A piece of chalk scratched on the board again, this time forming a dark red crystal shape around the right point on the cross around the word Emotion. Theory’s voice dropped into a much more ominous tone as he said, “The second branch of magic is one which has a very bad name surrounding it, but sadly it has done plenty to earn its title. It is a branch that is accessible to any race, but has very few practitioners. Dark magic. The magic of emotion.”

Several students gasped at the name, others blanched and shrunk back in their desks, and Twilight herself stared down at Discord in shock. He can’t be serious. Surely he’s not thinking of teaching them that!

“Yes, dark magic. That foreboding specter which overshadows many of history’s darkest names. But just as light magic is not all good, so too does dark magic have its own positive traits.”

In the center of the red outline Theory spelled out the word emotion in orange. “Have you ever had a moment where you were extremely angry, or sad, or even joyful? Ever had a time when you let your feelings run free and guide your actions without thinking of what you were doing? That, in a nutshell, is the core of what emotion magic is. It is an outpouring of energy that comes from lowering our barriers, freeing those inner emotions and acting as they will us to, rather than from controlled thought. This is why the dark and light magics are so opposed, why they cancel each other out and come into such conflict.”

“But what does dark magic actually do?” a green unicorn asked.

“That is the question isn’t it? For all the fear that surrounds its use, few people actually know how emotion magic works. And that is for a very simple reason. In practice, it is nearly indistinguishable from light magic.” Theory’s horn lit up once again, but instead of his previous ocean-blue shade, now its took on a darker, more aggressive bluish-black color.

“Emotion magic is used in the same ways and for the same purposes as control magic, but the mechanism and power source is the difference. Where control magic is done by focusing on a task and willing it to happen, emotion magic has your feelings desire something done and force reality to make it so. As such spells or abilities powered by emotion are less restrained and controlled, but are also vastly more powerful. A telekinesis spell directed by emotion may wield more energy in a second than the same unicorn could over the course of an hour, but without the surge of feeling to propel it, the spell is much more likely to collapse.”

A pegasus raised her wing to call attention to herself. “Professor, is that why minotaurs get stronger when they get angry?”

“Yes, exactly that. But anger isn’t the only emotion that may cause it. A sense of competition can push someone to go beyond their normal limits, being depressed may change the surrounding environment to suit the mood, and love can create reactions that would never be predicted otherwise. Any sufficiently strong emotion can draw this magic out of you. With it you could accomplish great and astounding deeds beyond the normal bounds of magic.” Theory flourished his dark field about, creating a dazzling light show across the room.

Twilight narrowed her eyes and was about to interrupt the lesson when Discord continued. “However, there is indeed a reason this form of magic is considered dark. While it is true that emotion magic is very powerful, it is highly addictive. Should one deliberately use this form for extended periods, it will begin to consume them. Their thoughts will be bent towards this primary emotion, directing them away from normal reactions into acting with only this one feeling. Eventually, they will be consumed by the magic and dwindle into little more than an outlet for power, a focus of this one emotion that is driven to spread it everywhere, no matter what others may want.”

Theory’s magic suddenly cut off, the light returning to normal as the students stared grimly at their teacher. “I will not be covering the use of emotion magic in this class, given the extreme dangers associated with it. It will be up to you if you wish to pursue this topic further, but be warned. The power of emotion can be intoxicating. Know your limits, and make sure others are aware of your study as well. Nobody wants another King Sombra.”

The class gave their various affirmations to the warning, while Twilight sat back and pondered. He’s suggesting they avoid it, while also explaining what it is and how it works. I’m impressed. This is easily one of the best handlings of this subject I’ve ever seen. Aside from Celestia of course. I got a really good lesson on that stuff after I got back from defeating Sombra.

So those are the two I’ve heard of, Twilight thought as she highlighted another section of her notes. But then what are the other two types of magic?

“You may be wondering for yourself, ‘But then what are the other two types of magic?’,” (Twilight resisted the urge to scoff), “and you would be right to do so. If dark magic is to be considered rare, than these two types in their purest state are nearly nonexistent. And yet the first still appears in everyday life with far more regularity than you would expect.”

A third word, Perception, was drawn at the bottom of the cross, the ghostly white letters highlighted by dark grey shadows. “The third form of magic is one that has only one known user, with a name that is probably even more infamous then that of Sombra.”

Twilight narrowed her gaze closely upon the disguised chimera. If he were going to reveal himself to the class at any point, I’d bet my flank now would be it.

Theory’s horn shone brightly for several seconds before a flash and a bang enveloped the room. Even prepared for something unexpected Twilight was caught off guard like the rest of the class, forced to wipe her eyes to clear out the spots. Once her vision had returned Twilight cast her glare down upon the front of the class and spotted him immediately.


As a lamp.

Held up by Mr. Theory’s magic…

Oh you cheeky little drake.

While Twilight sat there fuming the rest of the class was in a minor uproar as they two recognized just who Theory’s lamp was modeled after.

“Indeed my students. Perception magic is none other than Chaos, the delightfully strange and entirely unpredictable force that is the field of Discord’s power. Under the influence of chaos magic, the impossible becomes the likely, certainty is bodily thrown out the window, and reality decides to go ahead and take a lunch break.”

Theory set the lamp upon the desk while sporting a gigantic grin. “I’m sure many of you are in some way familiar with the so called ‘Spirit of Disharmony’s exploits in one way or another from his various trapezes across the country. My personal favorite would probably have to be the tale of Potatoville, land of infinite fries and chips.”

The Princess of Friendship and Education gained a very un-princess-like twitch in one eye as she recalled that particular adventure. Spuds. Spuds everywhere! More salt than anypony could stand. And the puns… Oh merciful Celestia in Canterlot, the puns!

Professor Theory gave a quick glance up at the back of the glass and briefly flashed a self-satisfied smirk but quickly sent it away as he spoke again. “Yes, Discord’s influence in the field of perception magic truly cannot be overstated, but there are many more moderate forms of this branch that are accessible to everyone.”

“Perception magic, you see, is not something that can be easily observed in the normal way of most spells. In fact, there are no true spells or invocations for this form of magic at all. It comes at the spur of the moment, here and gone in but the blink of an eye. For the magic of perception is always in the eye of the beholder.”

“How perception magic works is a bit difficult to explain, but to put it shortly it comes into play when the user has reality ignore them for a moment in order to do what they want done. Normally impossible acts will temporarily achievable, and I don’t just mean difficult to accomplish tasks. No, I speak of things that should be physically impossible to do happening with no explanation of their occurrence. In laypony terms it could simply be described as, ‘Magic did it.’”

Twilight’s notes were left lonely and untouched on her desk as she stared at Discord with a scrunched up face. What in Equestria is he babbling about? I’ve never heard of any kind of magic that does something like that. Altering reality, sure, but completely suspending it in its entirety? It’s absurd. Heck, that sounds like something Pinkie Pie would make…

The alicorn’s eyes widened to their limits as 2 connected with 2 as 4 in her head. No… It… it can’t be. That can’t… There’s no way. Yet the more Twilight attempted to deny it, the more sense it made. The random appearances from out of nowhere, the impossible body contortions, and of course that infamous Pinkie Sense. All of it suddenly fell under a new light of understanding. Pinkie can use Chaos magic. It all makes sense now. Twilight’s brow furrowed as she continued that line of thought. But how can she use it so much? How does it work?

“I can see the obvious question in your minds already,” Theory said as he looked at the eager faces of his class. “How does it work, and how can I use it for myself? The disappointing answer to that is that you can’t use it. Not intentionally anyway. Perception magic is a fickle thing, appearing only when it wishes, as according to rules beyond our determination. For every desire and action we make a judgment is made. Would breaking the usual bounds of reality be funny? Are the results of an act so potentially amazing and awe inspiring that the possibilities of failure need to be erased? Is it more dramatic for two ponies to have a quiet heart to heart moment, or for an unforeseen twist to throw off the expected outcome? If what will happen is sufficiently compliant with these mysterious rules then the act will go forward, laws of physics be darned.”

“But who makes the choice?” the lone dragon at the front asked.

“Who indeed?” Theory replied. “There is no real way of knowing just who the magic of perception entrusts with its implementation. It could be your neighbor, that kid you once owed money to in grade school, an ethereal entity watching over our planet, mysterious creatures in another dimension observing us with magical projectors of sight and sound, or perhaps even the universe itself! On this point, students, your guess it just as good as mine.”

“How come Discord’s magic is so powerful then?” the pun-making pony from before said. “Why is his magic different from the rest of it?”

“Discord is a very interesting and unique case in this regard, and a close subject of study for me ever since his return. From what I have been able to piece together in my observations, where all others who use perception magic can never knowingly invoke this power and are subject to the whims of the unknown decider, Discord serves as his own judge in his acts and thus may use his magic at any time.”

So that’s why Discord is so strong, Twilight marveled. He can literally do whatever he wants, regardless of anything else.

“However, there is a catch to all of this.”

Twilight’s brow raised several inches. A catch?

“While Discord is, through his unique power set, able to use chaos as often and as much as he wishes, reality does not enjoy being messed with too much. Should he, or indeed any user of perception magic, attempt to go too far too fast with their rule breaking, then reality will snap back into place quickly and violently. Discord may have seemingly unlimited power, but there are bounds even he cannot overstep.”

The class fell silent, many of them pondering Theory’s words with worried looks. The quiet was broken though when a voice from the top row asked, “And what are those bounds?”

All gazed in surprise at the speaker, but none were more surprised than the speaker herself. Why did I ask that? Twilight thought with a sharp reprimand. I’m not supposed to draw attention to myself!

Theory looked up at her, his yellow eyes locking directly onto hers. To Twilight’s surprise, the gaze was not filled with satisfaction or glee as she would have expected at being found out. Rather, the look seemed dull and empty to her mind. Almost sad in a way.

“There are several immutable laws of reality out there, Miss Twinkle,” he said finally. “But none more important than this: Thou shalt not attempt to cheat death.”

A hushed gasp flew through the room.

“Ask me not how I know this wisdom, for it is a tale too dark and depressing for me to convey here. Just know that bitter experience is my informant on this matter, and leave it at that.”

Theory’s grim demeanor disappeared in an instant and was replaced by his usual grin. “But come now, this class isn’t all supposed to be about doom and gloom. In fact, you could call this last branch the exact opposite of that.”

A series of chalk pieces swiped back and forth at the top of the cross until a rainbow encircling the word Harmony was visible. “I’m not sure if any of you noticed this, but each branch we’ve spoken of is rarer and more powerful than the one before it. Control is used by nearly everyone and is the standard of strength, while emotion is less common but vastly stronger when used. Chaos is even less common than emotion magic and is figuratively much stronger in what can be accomplished with it, even if emotion has more brute strength. But no magic is as rare or as strong as this last one. Harmony magic, the magic of Balance.”

Theory’s magic aura lit up once again, different parts of the cloud forming different colors that shifted about as churned by the wind. “Harmony magic is in some ways an amalgamation of the other branches, incorporating many elements of each into a stronger and more cohesive whole. Through this magic are balanced the positive nature of control magic, the raw power of emotion, and the ability to manipulate reality from chaos. The result is a force that can match and exceed the collective power of every being Equestria if need be.”

“You’re talking about the Elements of Harmony and that stuff right?” A teal earth pony said.

“Correct. The Tree of Harmony, the Elements it created, the Crystal Heart, and the mysterious Rainbow Power are the only known sources of Harmony magic, each with far more magical energy then anything else you might ever encounter. But the exact method of how Harmony works is unknown, even to the most knowledgeable theorists, so all I can really do is tell you that they exist. Beyond that, next to nothing is known about them. Headmistress Twilight probably knows the most of anyone currently alive, so if you wish to know more you might as well ask her.”

Twilight blinked in surprise at the mention of her name. Huh, I guess he’s right. I’m the only one who’s done any actual research on the Rainbow Power, but I still have no idea how it works. I’m not sure anypony does.

“Sadly, because of its rarity and mysterious workings, I will be unable to teach you very much at all about Harmony magic. Indeed, while it is important that you are all at the very least aware of the other branches, it is unlikely they will be of any practical use to you in your daily lives. Instead, this course will focus on teaching you the in’s and out’s of control magic, all the little tricks and loopholes that will let you use it to the fullest.”

A harsh ringing sounded around the classroom, jolting everyone in their seats. “It appears that is all we have time for today, students,” Theory said while cleaning his desk of the miscellaneous items it had gathered. “Next time we will begin with a review of basic magical principles which we will build upon for the first half of the semester. If you feel the need to have some sort of homework on the first day, then just spend sometime thinking about when you might have used certain magics and why you used them. Ta ta everyone, and have a happy day.”

The students all filed out one at a time, many chatting with their fellows about the new knowledge they’d been granted and excitement for the year to come. Twilight held back, pretending to have spilled her bag to give her an excuse for delay. Once the class was empty of all but her and Discord she activated her horn and passed its aura around herself, changing her colors back to normal and letting her wings reappear.

“Oh my goodness!” Theory falsely exclaimed. “One of my students has transformed into an alicorn princess! Could they be a changling? A traveler from out of time? An overly curious headmistress!” The last was spoken with almost hysterical screeches as Theory keeled over his desk with a hoof over his eyes.

With a smiling roll of her eyes Twilight fluttered over the desks to the main floor. “Well first off, I’m pretty sure I’m not a changeling, since I was the one who invented the spell that reveals them. Secondly, my time traveling adventures were entirely not my fault. I was dragged into them by Starlight. And last but not least, there is no such thing as overly curious, just curious without caution.” The figurine lamp hovered off of the desk and was waved in front of Theory’s face. “And with you being the one teaching this class, I had plenty of reason for caution.”

Theory grabbed the lamp from Twilight’s grasp and poofed it away with a clop of his hoof. “Caution hmm? Not suspicion this time?”

“Not suspicion,” Twilight confirmed. “As much as you love to cause mischief wherever you go, I knew you were aware of my stance on the matter and wouldn’t deliberately do anything to upset me. It was the accidental chaos that I was more concerned with.”

Theory’s smirk grew wide with mischievous intent. “Well how did I do then, Headmistress? Did I pass your test? Complete you exam? Swing well your judgment upon me?” His face pressed up closer to hers with every sentence, until by the last he was practically nuzzling her.

Twilight felt an urge to retreat but fought against it. For too long she had let Discord discomfort her with his disregard for personal space, and she was fed up with it. If he wanted to play that game, then by Celestia she was going to beat him at it. A quick glance at Theory showed that he seemed pleased by her resilience this time, rather than upset at the lack of reaction. He did not make any move to pull back though.

Doing her best to ignore the fact that Discord was almost leaning against her Twilight said, “You did… good. Surprisingly good, in fact. If I didn’t know any better I’d almost say you had done this sort of thing before.” She raised an eyebrow and looked sidelong at him. “Have you done this before?”

“Maybe. Maybe not.” Theory’s grin did not fade a wit as he allowed himself to step away from his (technical) superior. “Perhaps I have dabbled in the educative arts in the past, or I am simply so skilled and talented that the act comes naturally to me. There’s really no way to know is there?”

“With you, probably not. Still, I must say I was impressed. You described the material, what it is, how it works, etc., in a clear yet evocative manner that kept the students’ attentions without confusing them. Even I learned a few things from your lesson plan, and I’m one of the most well educated ponies in Equestria.”

“There is always more to learn, Twilight,” Theory stated in a surprisingly serious tone. “Even when you think you have seen it all, the world will still sometimes surprise you.”

Twilight nodded. “I’ve learned that lesson plenty of times by now, once for almost every adventure I’ve had. But I have to say that what surprised me most was how philosophical you got at several points in the lecture. I didn’t think you had the self-control to think that deeply.”

Theory scoffed loudly at the assertion. “I’ll have you know that I am perfectly capable of deep internal pondering, Headmistress. Why, I do so multiple times every day in my thinking tree. Ask questions about the nature of existence, the meaning of relationships between people, the value of an eternal life. Many such things wander about this noggin of mine.”

“In-between bouts of random chaotic jubilation and pranking?” Twilight asked with a knowing look.

“Quite so,” he answered without the slightest hint of remorse. “There must be balance even in madness after all.”

“I’ll take your word on that one. Anyway, travel period is almost up, so I’ll let you get ready for your next class. Keep up the good work Discord, and remember to keep your true identity hidden. For now at least.” She started trotting towards the exit but paused as her mind cast back to a certain part of the lecture. “Discord?”

Theory looked up from his desk and gazed at her. “Yes Twilight?”

The alicorn hesitated for a moment, trying to find the right words. “You know that you can come and talk to me anytime right? If you’re having trouble with something.”

Theory chuckled. “I doubt that I’ll have any trouble with the classes, but thank you for the concern.”

Twilight shook her head. “That’s not what I meant. I mean if you have something that’s bothering you, an event in your past that is… You can come talk to me if you need to. I’ll listen to anything you need to say.”

“I…” Discord trailed off as he seemed to realize what Twilight was talking about. “I… appreciate the offer, Twilight, but this is something personal to me that I want to deal with myself. I doubt you would be able to help me on this matter.”

Twilight searched Discord’s eyes to measure the truth of his words, then sighed. “Alright. If you’re sure you don’t need help, that’s fine. Just know that I’ll be there if you change your mind. Not as your employer or as a princess. But as your friend.”

Discord’s eyes grew wide for an instant before he settled down into a gentle smile. “Thank you, Twilight. That… that means a lot to me.”

“You're welcome Discord. Have a nice day of teaching.” She gave him one last smile before turning to the door and trotting out, quietly shutting the room closed behind her.

Discord stared at the door in silence for a time before turning back to his desk and preparing the materials for his next class, his pleased grin never leaving his face.

Author's Note:

HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERY PONY, HUMAN, DRAGON, AND OTHER AMALGAMATION OF BEING! And may I just say, I am SOOOOO sorry for taking so long in getting this chapter out. It's been some very busy months for me this fall and first half of winter. I've had to juggle work at pizza hut, my creative writing school work, helping out my family wherever possible and my own laziness the random strikes of offensive life that would sometimes appear. To be fair though, while the original idea of this chapter was in mind almost from end of the last one, the actual execution required quite a bit of thought. Translating general head canon thoughts into something that is understandable for others in a written format is more difficult than I had expected, especially if it was going to be done in a teaching format (hints of what teaching might be like for me in the future. Notes taken).
Most of the mental time I allotted to this story was taken up by deeply analyzing the magic system of Equestria (such as it is) and figuring out what rules it could have that would keep with what was presented in the show. And that is the result you see here on the page now, relaid through Discord-as-Chaos-Theory as if you were one of his students. But now that this hill's been climbed chapter is done, we can finally move on to the more romance related stuff this story is (ostensibly) about. Til next time and 2016, see you all soon.