• Published 6th Apr 2016
  • 2,820 Views, 126 Comments

Return to Gravity Falls: The Equestria Chronicles - Arkansandragon



SPOILERS for Gravity Falls' season 2 & finale + MLP:FiM season 6: "The Crystalling". One year after Weirdmageddon, the Pines reunite in Gravity Falls for another summer of adventure. A fall into Equestria as ponies wasn't what they had in mind.

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Chapter 4: Another Disturbance in the (Magical) Force

Ponyville, Equestria: Earlier That Same Day...

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Starlight Glimmer asked as Twilight Sparkle lead her and Spike out of their castle’s main door and towards the Ponyville park.

“Don’t worry,” Twilight responded, giving her new student a patient smile. “You need to meet Discord sooner or later. What better place than a picnic lunch?”

“Besides,” Spike added encouragingly, “you both already have something in common. You’re both reformed former villains, and you’re both learning about friendship for the first time.”

“I guess so...” said Starlight, although she was still clearly nervous.

“It’ll be fine,” said Spike, giving her shoulder a reassuring pat. “Discord’s a pretty fun guy once you get to know him.”

“And all of our other friends will be there too,” added Twilight.

That finally got a smile from Starlight, as the three continued. It would have been faster to teleport, but today had perfect sunny summer weather, so Twilight had decided to take them through the scenic route.

By the time they reached the park, everyone else was already there and had the food laid out on a blanket. Rainbow Dash was lounging on a cloud overhead, looking half asleep. Rarity was lying on one of her fainting couches, reading a book and wearing what looked like a new sunhat. Fluttershy was admiring an ant hill nearby, while Applejack kept a close eye on the insects, redirecting them with her hooves if a line started moving towards the food. Pinkie Pie, meanwhile, was playing poker with Discord.

“Full house!” Pinkie yelled suddenly, slapping her cards down with a grin. She reached for the pile of chocolate chip cookies the two had set between them.

Discord blocked her hoof with his lion’s paw. “Not so fast,” he said with a sly smile, then he showed the cards in his eagle's claw. “Royal flush!”

Pinkie’s jaw dropped, but she grinned as Discord raked in the cookies. “You’re really good at this! Oh hi Twilight! Hi Starlight! Hi Spike!”

At Pinkie’s call, the others perked up and said their hellos. Twilight grinned as she trotted over with Spike and Starlight at her heels. Starlight slowed as she and Discord caught sight of each other, and she gave a shy wave.

“We’re not late, are we?” asked Twilight as she and Spike settled on the blanket.

“Of course not, dears,” said Rarity, closing her book and offering them a levitated plate of sandwiches. “We simply thought it would be rude to start without you.”

“Eh, I wouldn’t have minded if you were,” shrugged Rainbow, swooping down to snag an apple fritter. “I found the perfect cloud for a nap while we were waiting.”

“And I found this adorable ant hill, just over there,” added Fluttershy, coming over and pouring herself some lemonade.

“I don’t know if I’d call ants at a picnic ‘adorable’,” commented Applejack. “But they sure are strong little critters.” She spotted several ants carrying off a cucumber slice, and rolled her eyes. “Stubborn little things too.” But she let them have it, much to Fluttershy’s amusement.

“Let’s just hope they don’t invite the rest of their friends,” said Spike, making sure the sandwich plate was well out of the insects’ path.

Meanwhile, Discord’s face lit up as he spotted Starlight, and he popped over to greet her. “You must be Twilight’s student whom I’ve heard so much about!” he said cheerfully, ignoring her startled look as he shook one of her hooves.

“And... you’re Discord...” she said with an uneasy laugh. “Nice to meet you?”

“I should hope so!” said Discord, “Why, the others told me that we already have things in common.” He put his eagle arm around her shoulders, gesturing out to the horizon with the lion arm. “Both of us former villains! Both defeated and reformed for the better by dear Twilight and her friends! Both now seeking to turn over a new leaf through the magic of friendship! I think this is going to work out great, don’t you?!”

Starlight wondered if he was always this dramatic as he released her, but she smiled despite herself. “I really hope it does work out,” she answered truthfully. “Twilight says I’m off to a good start so far. I made friends with the mailpony just yesterday.”

“Oh, you mean Muffins?” Discord nodded approvingly. “Yes, she’s a sweetheart. A little clumsy, but...” He shrugged, gesturing to his eyes as he crossed them in imitation of the grey mare.

“Has she seen an eye doctor about that?” asked Starlight.

“You know, I never thought to ask,” said Discord thoughtfully, “but she seems to do well enough as is.” Then a lightbulb lit up over his head, and he slapped both claws to his face. “Oh! How rude of me! Here am I keeping you from the food. You must be starving, come on.”

He plucked the lightbulb out of the air and munched on it, while putting his other arm around her shoulders again, and gently guided her towards the others.

“I see you’ve already met Discord, ” Twilight said with a smile as they came up to the blanket. “It looks like you two are getting along great.”

“Well, so far,” said Starlight, ears folding back uncomfortably again.

Discord offered her an understanding smile, and a sandwich.

She took it politely, and silence fell over the group as they ate.

After a while, Pinkie and Dash started another game of poker with Discord. Soon enough, everyone else joined in, except for Starlight.

“Wanna play?” asked Dash, dealing out the cards for a new round.

“I don’t really know how,” said Starlight, blushing a little.

“We’ll teach you,” said Rarity, scooting over to make room. “It’s quite fun.”

So Starlight joined the game, and she turned out to be pretty good at it, too. They ended up playing well into the evening and everyone was having a good time. It seemed like the day was going to end perfectly.

Until Discord and Pinkie both gave violent shudders at the same time.

“Duck and cover!” yelled Spike, diving for shelter under the table Discord had conjured for their game.

“Spike, calm down!” said Twilight, “That wasn’t a twitchy tail! That was--That was...” Her brow furrowed in confusion. “Pinkie what was that?”

“That was a doozy,” said Pinkie, looking just as confused, “But I don’t know why Discord got one too.”

“Twitchy tail? Doozy?” asked Starlight, looking from one to the other.

Fluttershy answered, “It’s an ability Pinkie has. She gets certain body twitches that mean different things.”

“Twitchy tail always means somethin’s gonna fall from the sky,” added Applejack. At Starlight’s even more confused look, she continued, “Just go with it for now. Trust us. When it comes to Pinkie, you don’t wanna think too hard about it...”

Starlight actually looked concerned at that. But before she could ask anything else, Discord spoke,

“Quiet!”

All of them froze, instantly silent at the sharp bark of his voice. Starlight fought down the urge to question, but she could tell something was off by the looks on everyone’s faces: this wasn’t normal behavior for Discord.

The chaos spirit had his eyes shut in intense concentration, and was as still as if he’d been turned to stone--again.

The silence stretched from seconds into minutes. Finally, he spoke, and his voice was slow, but certain. “Something is here... Something is here that shouldn’t be...” He turned and looked at Twilight than, as serious as they’d ever seen him. “What portals do you know of that lead to Equestria?”

“What do you mean?” asked Twilight, “There’s only the mirror that leads to Human Equestria. But you never mentioned feeling anything when I told you that story.”

“That was different,” said Discord, “When you and Sunset crossed back here through the portal, that was Equestria’s magic returning to its own domain. What I sensed enter just now isn’t native to this world.”

“Can you track it?” She did not quite understand the situation, but realized that it was important.

Discord shook his head, disappointed. “I only caught a spark. Whatever it was is either gone now or hiding.” Then he seemed to realize how uneasy the others were getting, and said quickly, “Uh, but I’m sure it's nothing too serious! See? Your cutie marks aren't even glowing. So the Tree of Harmony didn't notice anything.”

“Yet,” said Spike.

“Wait--” said Starlight, surprised “--Tree of Harmony?!”

Just then, everyone’s cutie mark but Starlight's began to glow and vibrate.

Discord glared at him, and Spike busied himself with picking up the cards from their game.

Without another word, Twilight cast a mass teleport which brought everyone back to her castle’s throne room and its enchanted map of Equestria.

Spike groaned, having only gathered a few cards and none of their leftover food. A snap of Discord’s eagle claw remedied that, and he gave the draconequus a thankful smile as he went back to picking up the cards off the game table.

Meanwhile, Twilight and the others carefully watched the map as miniature versions of their cutie marks moved over it. The marks reached a place deep in the Everfree Forest, then stopped and disappeared. The cutie marks of the ponies ceased to glow, and all of them were left in a state of confusion.

“Whatever just happened, I didn’t do it,” said Starlight.

“Nopony’s saying you did,” said Rainbow, tapping the map with her hoof. “But something weird is definitely going on here. Why did they just vanish like that?”

“They do usually hover over the place, don’t they... Well, perhaps whatever was wrong already fixed itself?” suggested Rarity.

“Could be…,” mused Applejack, “but I don’t know... And why send us into the Everfree Forest? Nopony lives there but Zecora, and they didn’t even stop at her hut.” She rubbed her chin in thought.

Meanwhile, Twilight was examining the map inch by inch, casting various diagnostic spells. “I can’t find anything wrong with it,” she said at last, “but this makes no sense.”

“Maybe something else will happen if we just wait?” asked Fluttershy. “Besides, if the map is sending us into the Everfree Forest, it’s much too dangerous to go in there at night.”

Twilight shrugged. “I can’t think of anything else to do. None of my books have anything about the map. Not even the books from Canterlot or the Castle of the Two Sisters had anything. I checked all of them when the map first appeared. And it would be safer to wait until morning if we do need to go into those woods.”

“You know what that means?!” yelled Pinkie, bouncing with excitement. “Slumber party!” There was the sound of a cannon going off and confetti shot out in all directions from the pink mare’s mane.

“Will you be staying too, Discord?” asked Twilight.

He thought it over for a moment, then shrugged. “I might as well.” A snap of his lion’s paw conjured party hats for everypony.

Meanwhile, Starlight helped Spike clean up the picnic supplies. “Any idea what’s going on?” she asked.

“Besides a slumber party? No idea. Looks like nopony else knows either.”

“I just hope we figure it out soon,” she said. “This day went from perfect, to random, in a heartbeat.”

“Yeah, you’d be surprised how often that happens for us.” Seeing the look on her face, he quickly added, “Don’t worry! You’ll get used to it in no time.”

She smiled uncertainly. “Let’s hope so...”

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