• Published 3rd May 2016
  • 2,817 Views, 370 Comments

"Princess Flurry Heart, Destroyer of Worlds!" - Fluttercheer

Five years after the Crystal Heart incident, Flurry Heart's life seems perfect. She has loving parents, an amazing friend and a deep passion for flying. But life can turn on you whenever it wants and Flurry Heart was about to learn this.

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Chapter 2: Sunny Minds and Dark Flowers

The distance Flurry Heart had to cover until she would reach the house of the other young filly was not a long one, in fact, it was almost around the corner from the castle, which was a little to Flurry's dismay, because it robbed her off an excuse to fly all the way to her friend's house.

When Flurry Heart arrived there, her friend was usually just coming out of the door; as with living a little closer to the magic kindergarden than Flurry Heart did, she could afford leaving a few minutes later. And this time was no exception. As Flurry saw the blue crystal building coming closer in the distance, it was just in time to watch the door opening and her friend trotting out, with a lively swing in her movement that most fillies couldn't bring up at the prospect of having to attend the kindergarden so early in the morning.

“Sunny!” Flurry Heart shouted with her bell-like voice and was met with a glance by her friend that instantly filled her with a warmth that she usually only knew from her beloved sun.

This was something her best friend – her full name was “Sunny Spirit” – was amazing with. Everywhere she appeared, ponies felt good and all it needed for that most of the time was one look by Sunny Spirit or hearing her voice for just a few seconds. It was like a new kind of magic, mysterious and unexplainable, but Sunny Spirit was no unicorn, she was a crystal pony like most inhabitants of the empire. Even the colors of her coat, as well as of her mane and tail, were of a kind that had a positive effect on ponies. Her light-blue coat had something soothing when looked at and her yellow mane and tail were so bright that Flurry Heart couldn't help but comparing them with the sun in the sky.

Completed was her look by big, green eyes a pony could get lost in like in a lush, green forest, when looking into them.
She was a beautiful young filly and no small number of ponies compared looking at her with the experience of lying on a wide field of green grass while looking into the blue, cloudless sky and enjoying the warm rays of the sun. Being around Sunny Spirit was pure joy, both in regards to her personality and to her appearance.

After having put the last distance behind her, Flurry Heart came to a screeching halt in front of her friend.

“Hi Flurry,” her warm, soft voice rung into the princess' ears.

“Good Morning, Sunny!” Flurry replied, then she lifted her right hoof and after Sunny had done the same, their hooves met each other for a hoofbump.

Having retracted her hoof again, Flurry began to jump up and down, her big wings flaring so that Sunny was hit by a breeze. “Are you ready to go, Sunny? Come on, let's move!” she exclaimed, her voice a bunch of octaves higher now.

Sunny answered with a grin appearing on her face first, then she jumped into the air too, although just once, next she turned around, ran down the stairs of her house, down on the streets and towards the direction of their shared destination, a ringing laughter leaving her mouth.

“Hey, you're not faster than me!” Flurry shouted after her, then she flared her wings stronger and zipped at the side of her friend. She flew alongside her for a few moments until Sunny had stopped running, then she landed and turned her movement into a trot. “You're always trying to beat me in speed, every morning, but you never succeed!” the alicorn filly said a little cheeky, giving the crystal pony at her side a smug look.

All of a sudden, Sunny Spirit stopped in her tracks and gave Flurry Heart a frown, unhappiness clearly adorning her face now.

Flurry's smug expression faded upon this sight and was replaced by a tinge of concern. “Hey, you aren't mad at me now, are you?” Her mouth turned around, pointing downwards in a wide semicircle. Thoughts about having it overdone with her hyperactiveness for once rushed through her mind. She felt sweat appearing on her forehead.

Flurry began to flail her hooves around. “I just wanted to make a small joke, I wasn't serious, come on, Sunny, you know my humor, I would never–“

She was interrupted as a loud giggling suddenly came from her friend, who now held a hoof to her mouth, trying to hold back what would otherwise evolve into a minutes long laughing fit that would probably lead to it that both of them arrived late at the kindergarden. Flurry Heart looked at Sunny Spirit with a puzzled expression for a moment, then a small gear turned around in her head and she realized that her friend had just tricked her. She frowned at Sunny with a disapproving glare and wanted to say something, but before she could, she began to giggle too. She tried to hold it back, to call Sunny out for making her scared for a moment, but it proved itself to be useless. As the persistent giggling had gained dominance over Flurry, both of the fillies erupted into loud laughing.

Knowing that they would be late if they waited until they were done with it, the two fillies set themselves into motion but kept laughing along the way, earning amused looks by the crystal ponies around them, of which some began to laugh too. As their fits finally subsided, they could already see the building of the magic kindergarden in a few meters distance ahead of them. While they approached the building that looked like it was carved out of a gigantic, longish yellow crystal, with a tower-like shape at each side of it, they rubbed the tears out of their eyes. They could see clear again as they stood in front of the gate of the building. The two fillies exchanged grins, then they proceeded forward to enter it.

The entrance gate was directly in the middle of the massive building and stuck out from its structure, both in height and width. As the two friends laid their hooves on the door to swing it open, they got interrupted in their attempt by a voice suddenly sounding from behind and addressing them.

“Who do we have here? The princess and the filly that looks like a part of the sky has fallen down to earth.” Both descriptions for them would count as compliments in most cases, but the tone with which the young, squeaky, and yet impressively elegant-sounding, voice spoke them out sounded like it had just thrown the most cruel and tasteless insults at them.

The two fillies sighed collectively, then they turned around to face the pony that had just spoken to them in such a contradictatory way. And looked directly into the eyes of their nemesis: Magnolia Sunshine.

As their eyes fell on each other, Magnolia sported the same, hostile expression like she always did when she saw them since Sunny and Flurry had their first day in magic kindergarden. More precisely, it was Flurry Heart her hostility was aimed at mostly. Her pale blue eyes were fixated on the young alicorn, piercing into her like Magnolia would like to drown her in them. There was an expression of hatred in her face – one that always made Flurry shudder when she saw it – that didn't do her beautiful, pearly-white coat and her adorable light pink mane and tail a favor.

After glaring at Flurry for some seconds, Magnolia's eyes took on a haughty expression and her mouth formed a smug smile. Proudly raising her head, she struck a regal pose and unfolded her wings. Then she looked at Flurry again, some of the hostile glare returning into her eyes. She flared her wings gently and stretched them out a little more until each of the pristine white feathers could be seen, then she slowly began to trot towards Flurry Heart.

Magnolia Sunshine was a filly like them. Five years old. Student of the Magic Kindergarden. Not exactly a bad student, but not an incredibly good one either. And she didn't have a cutie mark yet. But she was also the only daughter and foal of the Sunshine Family, the most prestigious, aristocratic family in the Crystal Empire.

Magnolia was not a crystal pony, but her parents had moved into the Crystal Empire a few years before her birth, shortly after the Crystal Empire had returned from its thousand-year-long absence. There were rumors that Magnolia's parents had lost their good reputation in Canterlot and that they moved to another place to start anew. Some said that an empire made of crystals simply appealed their fine tastes and others again thought that they simply wanted to expand their successful trade conglomerate in the newly appeared empire with its struggling economy.

And indeed, due to the many changes Equestria had seen in the thousand years the Crystal Empire was gone because of King Sombra's curse, changes that made many businesses and goods produced in it less important or even entirely obsolete, the Sunshine Family has bought up many of these struggling businesses and shops and gave them a new direction, something that saved them from getting closed down and it saved the economy of the whole empire in the process.

Economy-wise, this made the Sunshine's the most powerful family in the Crystal Empire, just one step beneath the royal family itself. There were some other rich families moving into the empire after it had returned, but since the Sunshine's were the first ones, they now owned most businesses that kept the economy of the small city state running. If it wouldn't be for Flurry Heart's parents being the rulers of the Crystal Empire, they would be the most influential family of it.

And Magnolia Sunshine was the heir of the Sunshine Family, the one who would one day take over the conglomerate her parents controlled, and this gave the pegasus filly a sense of importance and of superiority over her classmates. And yet, unlike with all the other foals in the school, Flurry Heart was a threat for her. For more than one reason, but for one reason more than for the other.

As Magnolia had almost reached Flurry Heart, the little princess winced and did instinctively a step back, which was noticed by Magnolia and acknowledged with a sly grin.

Despite her threatening and arrogant entrance, Sunny Spirit gave the rich filly a smile, as much as this was possible in this situation. “Hi Magnolia, how are you doing today?” Sunny asked with as much sympathy as she could bring up for her.

Magnolia shot her an angry glare. “As if you would care.” This was all she replied to Sunny's warm welcome.

Hearing this saddened Sunny and she sighed, followed by a roll of her eyes. Despite this filly's attitude that made it hard to be nice to her, she tried to be friendly and welcoming to Magnolia, but was rejected every time. Lately, Sunny often thought that the daughter of the Sunshine Family really was a hopeless case and this answer just drove the realization deeper into her mind.

Ignoring Sunny again, Magnolia brought her attention back to Flurry Heart. Flurry winced once more and shivered as Magnolia's eyes met hers again. The white pegasus brought the last distance between her and Flurry behind it and for a moment, she just stared into Flurry's face, her eyes as cold as frost. Flurry gulped and raised a hoof, her eyes taking on an intimidated look.

“Don't cause any trouble, Magnolia!” Sunny intervened now, the voice unsually stern for the positive filly she was, with a bit of nervousness in it.

“Oh, I'm not! What makes you think that?” Magnolia replied, cynicism cleary audible in her voice. “I'm just here to admire the princess and pay my respects to her!” Accompanying her words, she gently let a hoof glide over Flurry's face, a gesture that just made the filly shiver even more.

Flurry knew such situations well. She knew exactly what Magnolia meant with “paying respect” and even though it didn't happen in the same way every time they ran into the bully, it was never something pleasant that happened when they encountered her. Those encounters had left scars on Flurry, figuratively, and with each of those encounters, Flurry's fear that some physical scars were added to them increased. She was scared of Magnolia Sunshine a lot.

Magnolia moved her hoof under Flurry's chin, lifting it up for a moment so that Flurry was forced to directly face her nemesis.
“You have a beautiful face,” she commented on Flurry's appearance, the cynical tone still ringing in her voice. “Nothing extraordinary, like mine, but nice.” She retracted her hoof and walked up to Flurry's side, now fixated on her wings. Flurry Heart followed Magnolia's movements warily with her eyes. “But your wings.....” Now her voice took on a sneering tone that felt to Flurry like Magnolia was outright cutting her. “Your wings are a real miracle!” Reaching out with a hoof, she touched her right wing and stroke over it a few times, a longing expression visible in her eyes, then she carefully unfolded the wing in a way that could have almost been described as “gentle”, if it weren't for a slight, but noticeable, drasticness in the movement. Flurry Heart pressed her eyes shut. She could feel her heart beating stronger now.

And her friend couldn't watch anymore either. Sunny Spirit did a step forward, her face showing a mixture of concern and anger. “Magnolia, it's enough! Leave Flurry alone or I go and get one of the teachers!” Her voice was slightly shaking with fear now.
There had never been a moment where Magnolia had really injured her friend, but over the last few weeks, Sunny had noticed that her advances became more intimidating, almost scary.

Just two days prior, after Flurry gave a little flying performance for her classmates, Magnolia walked up to her right after she landed and, without any warning sign for what should follow, gave her a slap in the face. Then she walked away like nothing happened. Sunny shuddered as she thought back to this moment. There was no doubt that the bully had become more unpredictable lately.

As Sunny had expected already, Magnolia was ignoring her warning. Instead, she poked at Flurry's wing with her hoof a few times, clearly intended to mock the young crystal filly that was concerned for her friend. Not sure if it was really just mocking or an actual, implied threat, Sunny frantically turned around on the spot she stood on and proceeded to enter the school building to get a teacher for help.

Magnolia's only reaction to this was a pityful glance, then she looked over to a bush that was located just right of the entrance gate and raised her voice. “Dope! Dork!” was all she exclaimed, her voice having taken on a commanding tone now. And upon this commando, two colts suddenly emerged from behind the bush and one short moment later, Sunny felt being grasped and held in position by four strong, muscular hooves. She struggled to get out of the grasp, but it was to no avail. Looking left and right, her suspicion was confirmed, as she saw the two familiar faces of the Bulb Twins, going by the names of Dope Bulb and Dork Bulb. They greeted her with vile grins.

The Bulb Clan was a family of woodcutters. Same as Magnolia's parents, the clan had moved to the Crystal Empire shortly after its return. Despite the fact that the buildings in the Crystal Empire were all made of crystals, there was still a demand for wooden furnitures, among other things. All the other wood-selling companies in Equestria already delivered the rest of the towns and cities of Equestria with the natural resource and they weren't prepared for another one in need of wood. So the Bulb Clan decided to take its chance and got into the wood business.

The whole clan moved into the Crystal Empire, where they planted trees around the city-state, in the area that was still covered by the Crystal Heart and kept snow-free by it, and, due to their earth pony magic, began to cut down trees and harvest wood soon after. Selling the wood in the Crystal Empire let them accumulate some riches, not as much as the Sunshine's had, but enough to live and to acquire some luxuries here and there. And Dope Bulb and Dork Bulb were the youngest members of the clan.

The business of their clan wasn't owned by the Sunshine Family, yet they always accompanied Magnolia and followed each of her orders. The reason for this was simple:

Both of the brothers had a crush on Magnolia.

Being her minions and doing everything she wanted would, so they hoped, eventually lead to it that she answers their love one day and makes a decision for one of them to become her coltfriend. More often than not, this led to them fighting over Magnolia's attention and trying to one up each other in serving her.

Needless to say, Magnolia wasn't really interested, in neither of them. The filthy earth ponies, as she referred to them when they couldn't hear it, with their fir green coats, reddish brown manes and tails and their red eyes weren't to her taste at all. Magnolia would rather stay without a coltfriend for her whole life before she would allow any of the two brothers to kiss her. But she kept them around. They were loyal in their love for her and very useful for things she didn't want to make her hooves dirty with. They had often assisted her well in executing some of the more nefarious schemes against the little alicorn princess she hated so much. Schemes she didn't want to have her family associated with, in case their execution should create trouble. Two dirty woodcutters, however, were expendable, as she liked to say. Magnolia intended to use them for her plans until they eventually realized that she would never agree to any of them becoming her coltfriend and leave her, which she knew would take a while. Dope and Dork weren't exactly intelligent. Not entirely stupid either, but naïve, slow and easy to manipulate. The perfect minions for the rich filly. And those two minions prevented Sunny Spirit from getting help for her best friend now.

“Keep her in place until I'm done here,” Magnolia commanded the two colts.

“Everything you want, Magnolia!” the two brothers answered in unison.

As Sunny had realized that it was futile to try getting out of the grip of the two strong brothers, she addressed a desperate plea to leave Flurry Heart alone to Magnolia, but this time, the bully was just ignoring her.

Satisfied with not getting disturbed and distracted anymore, Magnolia returned her attention to Flurry Heart's wing, which was still in her grasp, firmly enough to invoke fear in Flurry Heart. Continuing what she had begun, Magnolia unfolded Flurry's wing more until it was stretched out to its full length. “Your wings really are an amazing wonder of nature,” she began to comment on it. “You are only five years old and you already have wings the size of a grown-up. I'm sure you're proud of them.”

Magnolia's continued remarks about her wings made Flurry just more nervous and afraid. A whimper left her mouth now and she began to break out in sweat. The little alicorn knew that she should say something, anything, to make the bully let go of her, but there was only a lump in her throat. Anything she would say, she feared, could make the bully do something drastic, so she could only be silent about it.

Magnolia, though, was anything but silent. And her voice became cold now. “I bet a lot of young pegasi would give, or do, anything to have such big wings as you.” She intentionally put a lot of emphasis on “do” while she was speaking. “Or maybe..... They would do everything to make your wings as small as theirs.”

Flurry's eyes shot open the moment her tormentor had finished her sentence. Gasping from shock, she tried to pull away from Magnolia, but her wing was still firmly in her grasp. Flurry Heart pulled at it in hope to get it free, but as it began to hurt from the traction, she let out a low-pitched scream and stopped her attempts. Terror on her face now, she eyed the bully that was holding her wing.

Magnolia answered the scared expression in Flurry's face with a vile grin that showed her teeth. Then, from one moment to another and to Flurry's surprise, the bully broke out in broad laughter. “Oh, I'm just kidding! How I could harm those precious wings of yours? It would be a crime.”

The terror in Flurry's face remained, though, as the voice of the sadistic filly was still as cold as the frozen wasteland around the Crystal Empire.

The expression on her victim's face amused Magnolia. “Still so afraid? Aww.....” Now her voice took on a mocking tone.

For a bystander, it wouldn't have been hard to see that the bully absolutely enjoyed it to torture her classmate like this. But the three fillies and the two colts were alone. It was not long anymore until the bell of the school would ring and all the other foals were already inside of the kindergarden. Nopony was here to witness the cruelty that happened in front of the building.

“Stop shaking,” Magnolia continued. “I already said, I won't harm those wings of yours.” To underline what she just said, she bent her head down to where the wing was growing out of Flurry's torso and gave one of the feathers there a gentle kiss. It was as effective to calm Flurry down and to take her fear away as trying to make a baby stop crying by yelling that it should be quiet. Receiving this gentle gesture by a pony that had anything but her well-being in mind irritated her and her heart just pounded even stronger in her chest. Another laughter came from Magnolia upon seeing that Flurry continued to be terrified. Then she bent down on Flurry's wing again and with one, rapid movement, she took the feather she had just kissed into her mouth and ripped it out. A small, red spot remained where the pink feather was. It glistened as a tiny drop of blood emerged from it.

A strong twitch let her wing almost glide out of Magnolia's hoof and Flurry Heart gave a painful whimper. Tears shot into her eyes now.

As Flurry felt that the grip of the pegasus filly on her wing finally loosened, she immediately flapped it out of the hoof of the dreaded bully and stumbled a few steps backwards, in the direction of her friend. At about the same time, Dork Bulb and Dope Bulb released their own grips and let Sunny Spirit go, like Magnolia had just given them an invisible signal.

The latter just stood there and watched the scene with a vicious grin, even though Flurry's feather was still in her mouth. The two other bullies didn't pay any attention to Flurry as they trotted past to take position at the side of their master.

As she was at the side of her friend, who already looked at her with eyes full of concern, Flurry Heart turned her head around to her wing, that she had stretched out still, and inspected it with a look of fear and grief in her eyes. The gap where the feather Magnolia had ripped out was once protruding from her wing was clearly noticeable. Flurry shivered as she saw the drop of blood sitting on the tiny hole in her wing that ripping out her feather had left. For once, her fears were confirmed. It was the first time that her nemesis had actually injured her wing.

Taking Flurry's reaction like a cue to comment on what she just did, Magnolia took the feather out of her hoof and eyed it admiringly. “But I guess keeping one of those won't be a bad thing. You have so many..... I'm sure you can agree to donate just one of them to me.” She snickered as she demonstratingly stuck Flurry's feather into her long, pink mane. Despite having the same basic color, the feather stuck out of it like a terrifying trophy, due to the slightly brighter shade it had. And of course the cruel bully made sure to put it where Flurry Heart could see it very well every time she would meet her from now on.

Flurry ignored what Magnolia had said and only paid attention to her wing. Now that her shock subsided, it began to hurt. She blew on the spot where her feather had sat.

Sunny Spirit looked away from Flurry Heart for a moment, directing her eyes at the filly who had just hurt her friend. “Why have you done this, Magnolia?” she asked her sternly. Her eyes were filled with anger, sadness and a bit of disappointment. Of course, Sunny knew why the other filly had done this. Everypony knew why she hated Flurry Heart. But such a cruelty just didn't have any place in the world of the positive, young filly.

Sunny didn't get an answer. Magnolia just demonstratively shrugged her shoulders, malice in her face, then she made her way towards the entrance gate of the magic kindergarden, the two colts eagerly following her.

“I'm going to tell the principal about what happened!” Sunny called after her just as she wanted to open the door.

The white pegasus filly turned around, smugness in her face. “What happened?” she repeated her words. “That our dear Flurry Heart here was clumsy while preening her wings and accidentally ripped out one of her feathers and that she said I could have it? Of course, go ahead and tell him this. I just don't think he will be very interested in such a mundane event.” She paused for a moment and looked from Dork to Dope. “This is all that happened here, right?”

The two colts nodded collectively. “Mhm. Yes, Flurry Heart was just clumsy, nothing else,” Dope answered the question then.

Satisfied, she looked back to Sunny Spirit again. “Well then, I hope you will have fun with your smalltalk with the principal. But we better head inside now. We don't want to come late.” She did a last look at Flurry Heart, whose eyes were still fixated on her injured wing, and gave her a smile. “Thanks again for presenting me with your feather, little princess. I will treasure it.” The last sentence was permeated with her trademark cynicism. Then she finally turned around again and opened the door. Elegance in her movement, she disappeared inside of the building, her two minions following closely.

With a bang, the door closed behind them, leaving Sunny and her now distraught friend alone outside the building.

Sunny Spirit just eyed the door the three bullies had disappeared in. She had felt her heart sinking as she had to hear how easily Magnolia talked herselt out of the responsibility of the events that just transpired. It was an audacity that made her speechless and she felt desperation and hopelessness rising in her heart.

In this moment, the bells in the towers above them rang, sending out gloomy, echoing clangs.

Flurry Heart sobbed.

Author's Note:

I feel so embarrassed for Dork's and Dope's names..... I put many thoughts into those and tried my best to give those an actual meaning (which I leave up to you to figure out, for now) and this was really the best I could come up with, but they still sound a little silly.
Thinking out names is not my strength.....

Speaking about names, Magnolia's name was provided by no one else than Chantal Strand, Diamond Tiara's voice actor!
Full credit for the idea of using "Magnolia Sunshine" as a pony name goes to her: