• Published 20th Sep 2015
  • 18,537 Views, 1,751 Comments

Precious Blood - DisneyFanatic23

In the dark forests of Tramplevania dwells a coven of vampires, their leader being a deadly draconequus named Discord. For many years, his only interests have been in his own survival, until he stumbles upon a beautiful mare with a pure heart.

  • ...

Gowns and Garlic

Fluttershy cocked at her reflection in the mirror. She was wearing a red velvet gown with a laced collar and a ruffled skirt.

"This is the latest fashion!" said the store owner, Sassy Saddles. "All the mares in Bullarest are wearing it!"

"It's perfect!" Starlight declared.

"Um," Fluttershy murmured, massaging her side. "It's a bit…tight."

"Well," Sassy said in thought, "I could expand the waistline…"

"Don't be silly!" Starlight chimed. "It makes you look slimmer, darling! When Lord Fancy Pants sees you this Friday evening, why, I wouldn't be surprised if he proposed to you then and there!"

"W-what about Count Trenderhoof?" Fluttershy stammered.

Her aunt waved her hoof. "It never hurts to have a backup plan. Oh, don't worry if they both end up proposing. I'll make the decision for you." She turned to the dressmaker. "We'll take it. Just cut out some holes for her wings."

"Can do," Sassy Saddles proudly said as she levitated a pin cushion with her horn. "I just need to mark the position of her wings. Oh, hold still, dear! I don't want to prick you!"

That wasn't why Fluttershy was so stiff. The thought of her aunt choosing between two fiancés was overwhelming her. What if she liked one better and her aunt picked the other? Didn't she get a say in this at all?

Sassy Saddles turned away when the door to the shop opened. "Be right back, domnişoară! Don't move!"

Fluttershy couldn't see the customer in the mirror (she assumed it was at a bad angle), so she turned her head slightly toward the door. It was a white unicorn in a light blue dress, her mane tucked away in a white headscarf. She seemed hesitant to leave the doorway, even though Sassy Saddles was greeting her with open hooves.

"Rarity, come in, darling!" The white unicorn finally stepped inside and they kissed each other's cheeks. "And what brings you here today? More fabric, I wager?"

"Yes, yes," Rarity replied. "Something violet. Oh, but not quite violet, something darker…"

"I'll see what I can find in the back. One moment!"

The blue unicorn mare disappeared into the back room. As she waited, Rarity's eyes began to wander. Then she finally took notice of Fluttershy and gasped in horror.

"Good heavens, darling!" she cried, racing up to her. "You're not going to buy that, are you?"

"Well, actually…" Fluttershy uttered.

"Of course, we are," Starlight interrupted in annoyance. "What of it?"

Rarity put her hoof to her mouth. "Oh, no, no, no, no, domnişoară! This simply won't do!"

Starlight's jaw dropped. "Excuse me, but who do you think you…?"

"Oh, don't get me wrong. It's a lovely dress, but it just doesn't go with your complexion! And it's obviously too tight for you. And what are these?" She touched the velvet skirts. "Ruffles? No, no, no! You need something freer, more elegant! Straight, but flowing! Much like your mane."

Fluttershy blushed as she ran her hoof through her mane. "You really think…?"

"Aha!" Rarity cried as she levitated a long green dress off the rack. "I believe this is more your style! Simple, but elegant."

She had described it correctly. This dress had a smooth skirt with loosely puffed, mid-length sleeves. And it was green, her favorite color.

"Oh my," Fluttershy said, reaching out to it. "It is quite…"

"Thank you, domnişoară," Starlight said between her teeth, standing between her niece and the gown, "but we do not require your…"

"Now what's all this about?" Sassy Saddles called as she returned with several rolls of purple fabric hovering beside her.

"Sassy," Rarity said with a grin, "don't you think this gown here is more suitable for this mare than that old thing?"

The dressmaker looked between the green gown and Fluttershy. "It does go better with her complexion." She rubbed her chin. "Which do you prefer, domnişoară?"

Fluttershy jumped when she realized Sassy was addressing her. "Well, um…I'd like to try it on…"

She trailed off when she caught her aunt's stern glare. Sassy didn't seem to notice.

"Well, go on and try it!" she said gleefully, handing her the gown.

Fluttershy grinned as she ran eagerly behind the screen, her aunt gaping in appalment. Sassy groaned as she turned to Rarity.

"Honestly, Rarity! Every time you come in here, it's like you're trying to steal my job!"

"Oh no," the white unicorn said with a longing sigh. "I'm not in the fashion business anymore. Still, I can't bear to see an unhappy mare in a dress."

"Yes, well," Sassy coughed, bringing forth the rolls of fabric. "Which color would you like? Plum? Sangria? Wine? Eggplant?"

"While I'm not too fond of the name," Rarity said, scrunching her nose, "the eggplant would bring out her eyes."

"Oh, so this is another gown for a friend? This must be the fourth time! You sure you're not going into business again?"

Rarity frowned. "I wish, Sassy. I wish."

When she had made her purchase, she exited the shop carrying the roll of eggplant fabric. As she trotted down the street, many stallions turned to leer at her. She lowered her head and pulled her scarf tighter to conceal as much of her face as possible.

Rarity used to love walking down the street and having all eyes on her. Being the fairest of fillies in her day, she was always showered with attention. But nowadays, being out in broad daylight was like being on display. Even the houses seemed to be staring at her with their downcast windows.

Despite popular belief, vampires could survive in the sunlight as long as they were in their pony form. Still, Rarity didn't like to be out where every pony, especially the stallions, could see her. The looks they gave her were heated with such desire that she might as well be burning to a crisp.

One stallion whistled, which enraged her so much that she snapped her head around and glared at him long and hard, her eyes turning red, as if to say: Try anything and you're lunch!

The stallion seemed to get the message, for he turned his attention to a fruit stall, his hooves shaking.

"Pig," Rarity snorted as she continued down the street.

She came to a small, rundown building that one would've thought abandoned had it not been for the various charms hanging over the door. Rarity knocked and listened.

"Come in, my dear," a deep female voice called. "I am in here."

Rarity opened the door and stepped into a strangely decorated room. The walls were adorned with tacky clay masks and tasteless jewelry (in Rarity's opinion) and the tables covered with assorted talismans, herbs and decorative eggs. In the middle of the room, a zebra in a flowered headscarf sat at a round table draped in a purple cloth.

"Ah," she said with a smile. "Rarity, what a delight! How is your dear friend, Twilight?"

"Not so good, Zecora," said Rarity grimly, sitting across from the zebra. "We need another one of your talismans."

Zecora's grin disappeared. "I see." She stood up and went to a cupboard. "If your coven keeps growing, this city will be overflowing with blood-drinking mares. If you weren't tame, I'd have more despair."

"Master had to bite her," Rarity insisted. "She was near death."

"At least you feed only on animals in the wood," Zecora said as she took out a string of garlic which made the vampire recoil in disgust. "You steer clear of the city, and that is good."

Rarity bit her lip and glanced down at her hooves. "Yes, well…it wouldn't be right, you know? I mean…we were all ponies once, except for the master."

The zebra searched a drawer below the cupboard and produced a round metal bauble resembling a cage. She then took out a thin cord and knife and brought all the items to the table. Rarity scooched her chair back when she set the garlic down. Zecora used the knife to cut a small piece off a clove. The smell it emitted made the vampire writhe in her seat and hold her nose.

Zecora then opened the metal bauble like a locket and placed the piece of garlic inside. Then she brought the bauble to her eye-level and stuck out her tongue as she carefully strung the black cord through the metal hole and tied the ends together.

"I picked this fresh today," she said as she removed her scarf to wrap the charm inside. "For at least a week, its power will stay. If Twilight struggles with her transformation, this should put her into sedation."

"Thank you, Zecora," Rarity said as she hesitantly took the bundle with her magic. "Now remember, not a word of this to any pony."

The zebra grinned. "You're a vampire, I'm a witch. Who am I to snitch? Now, as for my pay…"

"I know what you're going to say." The unicorn winced. "Oh, poo, now you have me doing it." She levitated a small vial of red violet liquid from her satchel and placed it in Zecora's hooves. "One vial of vampire blood, as always."

The witch squinted at the tiny bottle and nodded in approval. "I will need this for my next brew." She tucked the vial away. "Pleasure doing business with you."

"Again, thank you," Rarity said as she rose up and trotted out the door. "Oh, and I'll be sure to return your scarf!"

She didn't see where she was going, as she was still levitating the fabric. She bumped into Fluttershy and Starlight as a result.

"Oh, pardon!" Rarity exclaimed.

Starlight glared as the white unicorn passed by and grunted, "Riffraff."

"Err, Doamnă Glimmer?" called the gentlecolt servant, a white earth stallion with long bangs hanging over his eyes. "How many more shops are we going to?" He looked up at the unstable tower of boxes on his back. "I'm not sure how much more I can carry."

"We just need one more thing, Double Diamond," Starlight Glimmer said in a cheerful tone, as if she didn't notice the stallion's uneasiness. "We need a necklace to go with Fluttershy's gown."

"Oh," Fluttershy said quietly. "I think the dress looks fine without…"

"You wouldn't let me choose the gown, darling. At least let me help you with the accessories."

A small filly in an orange headscarf obstructed their path. She was carrying a basket of daffodils, holding one up to Fluttershy.

"Buy a flower, domnişoară?" she asked sweetly.

Fluttershy smiled and leaned forward to sniff the flower when her aunt pulled her away sharply.

"Off with you, you filthy gypsy!" she spat bitterly.

The filly recoiled in fear and skittered away.

"That wasn't very nice, Auntie," Fluttershy said. "She was only selling flowers."

"They just use that as a distraction," Starlight insisted, her voice filled with hatred. "You're too busy ogling at their flowers to notice that they're robbing you blind!"

"But she was only a filly…"

"They're all the same! Even if that filly was abandoned by her parents and wasn't taught their lifestyle, the blood of a thief still runs through her veins. They can't change who they are."

Fluttershy wanted to respond that she didn't think that was true about any kind of pony, but she didn't want to start an argument. Her aunt was angry enough as it was. She felt guilty for trying on that dress and insisting that they buy it. Her aunt never liked it when she stepped out of line.

Oh, she wished she wasn't such a timid, frightened filly. It would be so much easier to stand up to her aunt without fear of upsetting her.

When Rarity returned to the castle, she picked the post off the doorstep and proceeded to the entrance hall where Applejack was carrying a crystal goblet of red liquid up the stairs. She turned when she heard the unicorn approaching.

"Did ya get it?"

Rarity nodded and held up the bundle containing the garlic charm. "Are you on your way to Twilight's room?"

"Yup," Applejack replied as the unicorn caught up with her.

"So she's awake already? Usually it takes at least twenty-four hours."

"When I changed, it took three days. Master Discord said my blood was being stubborn."

"I think mine took roughly a day and a half. I don't know. I was unconscious most of the time. I don't even remember being bitten."

"Lucky you," the earth mare said under her breath.

"I remember when you first came. We were surprised at how much restraint you had! When I woke up, all I could think of was blood!" Rarity glanced at the goblet. "Speaking of which, is that…Spike's?"

"Yup." Applejack was clearly not pleased with this fact. "The bear blood I saved from last night wasn't enough."

"Well, she didn't have much blood in her system to begin with." Rarity then levitated the eggplant fabric into view. "You think Twilight will look good in this color?"

The earth mare rolled her eyes. "Do ya have to make a new wardrobe for every new arrival?"

The unicorn turned up her nose. "Well, if we're going to be blood-drinking vampires, we might as well do it in style! Besides, she'll need clothing more suitable for transformations. As much as I love making dresses, what would be the point if they keep ripping every time our wings pop out?"

Applejack shrugged. "Fair enough."

When they reached Twilight's room, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie were waiting outside.

"What took you so long?" Rainbow demanded. "She's going nuts in there!"

The four of them jumped as they heard a crash behind the door, followed by the sounds of incessant flapping and hissing.

"Well, she's certainly getting the hang of those wings," Rarity observed.

"Hey, remember when I woke up?" Pinkie piped.

The three mares cringed at the memory.

"Oh," Rarity shivered. "It took forever to clean up that mess!"

"And fixing all those walls," Applejack reflected in horror. "She crumbled them flat!"

They were snapped out of their thoughts by another loud crash from Twilight's room.

"Tell me you've got the garlic charm!" Rainbow begged Rarity.

"Right here," the unicorn said, bringing out the bundle again. "This will keep her stable until she's grown out of her newborn stage."

"I'll put it on her," Applejack volunteered, placing it on the tray.

"Are you sure, darling?"

"You forget I'm not as afraid of this stuff as y'all are. You just go give the master his mail, Rarity."

"Well, if you're going to do it, I insist you wear gloves!"

Rarity used her magic to summon a pair of gloves from her room and placed them on Applejack's tray.


"Oh, I almost forgot!" The unicorn took an envelope out of her satchel. "You have a letter from your sister."

Applejack said nothing as the envelope landed in her hoof. She stared at it grimly for a moment before slipping it in the bodice of her dress. She turned to the others as if she had forgotten it already.

"Pinkie, Rainbow, y'all hold Twilight down while I put on the charm and give her the drink."

Rainbow and Pinkie glanced at each other.

"Well," the latter said as she pulled a key out of her mane and put it in the door lock. "Round Two."

She and Rainbow charged in as soon as the door was open. Applejack walked in calmly after them. A hissy, hungry voice shouted:

"Blood! Blood! BLOOD!"

"Easy now, Twi," Applejack said as she closed the door behind her. "I've got yerr dessert right here."

Rarity left them to their business and continued down the hall. She dropped the fabric off in her room before going up the spiral stone stairway leading to the high tower, the master's quarters.

She knocked on the large metal door and called, "Master! It's me, Rarity!"

The door creaked open, but no one was standing there. The room was windowless, but that was not the most unusual thing about it. A grand piano was on the wall across, a wardrobe stood upside-down on the right, a bookshelf stuck horizontally out of the wall on the left, the books facing the floor yet not falling out; and a narrow black coffin sat on the ceiling.

"I see you've redecorated," Rarity said casually, addressing the coffin above her.

The casket swung open and Discord rose straight up (or dangled down, from Rarity's point of view), his cape wrapped around his body, giving him the appearance of a large, horned bat. His cape opened as he stretched out his arms and yawned, but it seemed to defy gravity like the rest of the room and didn't fall to the floor.

"You better have a good reason for ruining my nap," he grumbled, crossing his arms.

"Well, for starters," Rarity began, "Twilight's awake."

"Is she now? That was quick. Has she been fed?"

"The others are doing that right now, and I got the charm from Zecora, so she should be calming down soon."

Discord nodded. "Good. Last thing we need is another incident. Pinkie almost drained half of Zebiu before we rounded her up!" He floated to the floor and turned himself right-side-up. "We were lucky Twilight didn't turn us in when she discovered us." He nodded at the bookshelf, causing several books to fly out and flap around the room. "Some ponies will do anything for a bit of knowledge."

Rarity coughed as she brought an envelope into view. "Master, I also have the post."

Discord groaned as he fell back on a fainting couch that had appeared in midair.

"What dire news do you bring this time?" he asked, dramatically putting his claw to his forehead.

The unicorn rolled her eyes at his behavior before replying, "Another letter from the Lady Starlight Glimmer."

"Ugh!" her master snorted. "Another invitation to meet her niece, I suppose?"

"Shall I toss it out, master?"

"No, go ahead and read it. We might get a good laugh."

Using her magic, Rarity opened the envelope, withdrew the letter and began to read aloud:

"My Dear Count Discord…"

"'My dear?'" he scoffed. "What does she take me for, an old lover?"

"Since I have not received a reply to my last letter…"

"Because you already sent like a hundred!"

"…I once again extend my invitation for you to join my niece and myself for dinner. You name the place."

"I wouldn't mind inviting her to be dinner," Discord chuckled.

Rarity ignored that comment and continued, "As you probably know from my previous letters, my niece, Fluttershy, has recently turned twenty and is one of the loveliest young mares in Zebiu, perhaps even in all of Tramplevania."

He huffed. "Unless she's seen all the mares in Tramplevania, I highly doubt it."

"She is well educated and speaks Itailian, Germane and Prench."

"Oh, goodie! I won't be able to understand a word she says!"

"She sings divinely and has been trained by a world-renown voice instructor."

"What part of the world? Lithumania?"

"And her dowry measures up to…"

"Stop!" He groaned as he dangled his arms over the couch in exasperation. "I'm all wisecracked out."

"Should I write a reply, Master?"

"No, have Rainbow Dash write it. She writes the best comebacks."

Rarity looked up from the letter and bit her lip at what she was about to suggest. "Master, would it hurt to at least…meet this mare?"

"What?!" Discord sat up in shock. "Are you out of your mind? Did you read that letter?"

"Oh, I realize the Lady Starlight may have exaggerated a bit, but…maybe it'd be…good for you, you know? I mean…you're not getting any younger…"

"Or older, for that matter."

"Yes, well…maybe it's time you started…meeting mares and…"

"Oh, no!" Discord shouted, wagging a finger. "We are not having this conversation again!"

"W-what do you mean…again, master?" Rarity stammered, trying to appear dubious.

"You're trying to convince me to find a mate again!" He put his hands to his head, growled and turned away in frustration. "I've told you, it would just end in disaster!"

"But surely you can stay in pony form long enough for…"

"You know very well I can't stay in my pony form as long as you mares!"

He faced her as his body shrank, taking the shape of a gray unicorn stallion with jet black hair and a blue horn.

"Say I do show up there for dinner? I can only keep the disguise up for an hour at most. When that hour's up…"

He grew back to his original form. "That pretty mare will take one look at me and scream."

"You don't know that'll happen, Master," Rarity insisted, though there was uncertainty in her voice. "After all, none of us find you frightful…most of the time."

"Yes, but you've all been my servants for years!" He turned his back to her again. "Not to mention you're all just as monstrous as I am. You just don't show it twenty-four seven!"

He looked at his paw and claw and sighed. "I've never seen my reflection, Rarity, but I know I'm hideous. By their standards, at least. Even if I didn't look at this, what female would want to be with me, knowing what kind of creature I am?"

Rarity looked at her master with sympathy. She now felt guilty for bringing the matter up. The master only showed this side of himself with his closest friends, so only she and the others knew how sensitive he was about his appearance, and his accursed nature. The mares had learned to accept their fates, but Discord had been like this all his life. He never had to give anything up, and yet he wanted to be normal more than all five of the mares put together.

Discord quickly shook off his emotions and straightened up, acting as if he hadn't revealed anything deeply personal.

"Besides," he coughed. "No female has ever caught my eye, and I have seen very beautiful mares in my years."

He winked playfully at Rarity, who gave a small smile in return.

"You never know, Master. Maybe this mare could be the one."

Discord rolled his eyes as he kicked his legs up so he could hang upside down from the ceiling again. "You know how vampire mating laws work, Rarity. I can't just choose a mare. Otherwise, I might have married one of you years ago."

"That's what Rainbow Dash said. Still, how will you find the one you're destined for if you never meet any mares outside our coven?"

"What do you want me to do? Peek into every mare's bedroom window? I can't just walk out in broad daylight like you girls!" He crossed his arms and pouted. "I actually think changing you lot has done more repair than damage!"

She had to admit he had a point. As vampires, they were stronger and faster, giving them the ability to defend themselves and the independence that most mares were denied. They didn't have to be tied down by their parents or husbands, and if any pony stood in the way of them getting what they wanted…well, there were various ways to fix that.

"I still think you should at least try, Master," Rarity insisted. "I've been worried that you might be lone…"

"I don't need a mate!" Discord barked as he swiveled his body around. "This conversation is over!"

"But Master…"

"Leave me!"

Rarity sighed sadly and obeyed her master. When Discord was certain he was alone, the anger in his face slowly transformed into solemnness. He flopped down (or up) into his pillowed coffin and stared up (or down) at the floor. The casket suddenly expanded horizontally, until it was big enough for two. He looked over at the empty space and sighed.

The unicorn was right. He was lonely. He had five vampires and a dragon to keep him company, but it wasn't the same. They were his servants. They couldn't comfort him during daylight hours when he slept. He couldn't hold them in his arms and…and…

He didn't know what he wanted. He had tried picturing the perfect female hundreds of times, but could never select one image. He couldn't even think of any specific personality traits, or if his mate would even be a pony (he was a mixture of a number of creatures, what did it matter?).

He was certain of one thing though. She would accept him. Every part of him. She wouldn't recoil in disgust at his appearance, or run away upon learning of his diet. She would love him no matter what.

Instead of filling him with hope, the dream only made him sadder, for such a female could never exist.

Author's Note:

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Am I actually giving Rarity a positive portrayal? What do you know? I guess the last two episode have given me a newfound respect for her.

Fun fact: there ARE practicing witches in Romania, though I've never been to one myself, and are even considered legitimate self-employed income earners, as they pay income tax (though some weren't too happy about that). Zecora is always mixing magical potions and cure-alls, so she seemed the most likely candidate for this sort of character. I just hope I didn't accidentally offend anyone (I don't know how many witches read this).

Some of you have been wondering about the inclusion of Starlight Glimmer as the "stepmother" figure. I don't know. I needed someone to tie Fluttershy down and try to conform her to society's standards and Starlight just...worked.

Now you see some of the alterations I've made to vampire characteristics. I have the mares able to go out in the sunlight because there were so many things they needed to get from town, and I couldn't imagine them sending Spike out alone (he'd have to go through the forest). Discord's a different case though. More on that later.

This is an alternate universe involving ponies, so I'm not striving for historical accuracy, though the period I have in mind is the late 19th century.

The houses in Sibiu really DO look like they're staring down at you!