• Published 16th Jun 2020
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The Power of Two - Locomotion



A young changeling runs away from home, only to be attacked by timberwolves in the Everfree Forest. Fortunately, Locomotion is on hoof to save her - but little do they know that she has a spy on her tail...

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Chapter 5: Meeting the Elements - Fluttershy

The following week, as far as Steamer was concerned, was the most chaotic he had experienced in years. Given her difference in species, Hornette was a surprisingly fast learner, and didn't take very long to grasp certain Equestrian concepts and customs; but even then, she would occasionally do something that she didn't know was frowned upon by ponies, which would lead to her being rebuked by Steamer and gently corrected by Locomotion. Whenever she was getting peckish, for instance, and saw an insect of any kind, she would gladly make a leap for it without a moment's hesitation. This frequently resulted in overturned furniture in the house and damaged plants in the garden, and there were a number of times when she ended up knocking either Steamer or Locomotion off their hooves in the process.

Even more maddening was her habit of spinning cocoons around herself at night. This left a hard, crusty, translucent green shell that Steamer and Locomotion would have to spend the morning breaking up and stuffing away into the dustbin, and while Locomotion tried his best to take it in his stride, it drove Steamer so far up the wall that he had a job trying to hide his agitation – not just with the extra work he had to do in order to keep the house tidy and feed Hornette without making her sick, but because he still didn't trust her. Sure, Twilight had said she was under suppression and wouldn't do anything to his nephew, but how in the hay could she be so sure it would work? Surely changelings could still manipulate ponies even without using magic...couldn't they?

By this time, Twilight had already told the whole town about Hornette, and that they weren't allowed to discriminate against her just for being a changeling. It didn't make them any less apprehensive towards the young refugee, but at least she could show her face in public without being attacked by an angry mob as long as Locomotion was with her. Because of her constant need for his support, the red-furred railway enthusiast was unable to carry out his jobs at Ponyville MPD, which by now mostly consisted of shunting the yards. Perhaps it was just as well, because the staff at the sheds wouldn't stop joking about how soft he and Steamer were going on the young changeling. Even Steamer's regular engine, No. 2508 “City of Cloudsdale”, seemed to be rubbing salt into the wound by throwing herself into a wheelspin every time he set her into motion!

By the end of the week, the buff-coated stallion was so exhausted that he could barely think straight. “Have you ever had one of these mornings where you just want to not exist for a few months?” he lamented as he broke up the last of Hornette's latest cocoon.

“Believe me, Uncle Steamer, there have been a number of times when I've felt like that,” replied Locomotion patiently.

“Seriously, this is getting ridiculous!” growled an agitated Steamer. “If I have to deal with one more empty cocoon, I swear I'm gonna complain about it to Princess Twilight.”

“You really need to take a chill pill, Uncle Steamer,” retorted Locomotion. “Hornette won't be able to hear you if you shout about it.”

But Steamer failed to see the funny side of it. “Loco, I've set certain rules in this house,” he began, “and I expect them to be obeyed....”

“And so has Twilight regarding how Hornette should be treated,” Locomotion reminded him. “I know you've been a role model to me in the past, but that doesn't entitle anypony to put her down like this.” Without even bothering to wait for a reply, he curtly turned tail and left the room to find a crestfallen Hornette standing outside. “Hey again, Hornette. Bit for your thoughts?”

The young changeling ruefully brushed a hoof against the floor. “I'm sorry, Loco,” she murmured meekly.

“Eh?!” Locomotion cocked a confused eyebrow. “What the hay for?”

“About the cocoons,” explained Hornette sadly. “I didn't mean to be such a burden on you ponies – I just...I just wanted to feel safe.”

“Well, making a mess of my house isn't exactly going to help, you know,” retorted Steamer's chastising voice from inside her room.

Locomotion rolled his eyes dramatically. “Look, give it a rest, will you, Uncle?” he chided back. “Hornette's still getting used to this place; it'll be a while yet before she feels comfortable here.”

“Well, that's fine by me – as long as she doesn't leave any more cocoons for me to clear up!”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever,” grunted Locomotion dismissively. He was growing tired of his uncle's antagonism by now, and couldn't help wishing that the buff-coated stallion would just wake up and smell the roses. “Try not to take it personally, Hornette,” he advised gently, trying not to appear irritated. “It's not as if you're doing this on purpose. Uncle Steamer's just being difficult because he's no more used to you than the next pony; but he's quite nice really.”

Hornette didn't appear convinced, but nodded as if in understanding. “If you say so,” she answered doubtfully. “I just hope these...Friendship Council ponies will like me better.”

“Well...again, it might take a little while for them to get used to having you around,” observed Locomotion, “but if I know Twilight, she'll still manage to persuade them to give you a trial run at the very least. Which reminds me,” he added, “she said she'd be taking us to see Fluttershy after lunch.”

“What?” squeaked Hornette, startled. “Today?”

“Yep – that's what she told me,” affirmed Locomotion.

The young changeling stared out of the nearby window, her confidence beginning to waver again. “Oh dear,” she murmured nervously. “I'd forgotten all about that. Oh...I sure hope this Fluttershy pony doesn't overreact when she sees me...”


“...well, yes, she might well overreact, but I'm sure you'll get along famously once she gets over the initial shock,” said Twilight as they made their way up the path towards Fluttershy's cottage. Because Hornette was so scared about meeting the remainder of the Friendship Council, the lavender-coated alicorn had already arranged with Locomotion to come along and ensure fair play with whoever she was being introduced to, and to provide moral support if need be.

Hornette didn't reply, instead choosing to gaze upon the abode they were approaching. Nervous though she was about meeting Fluttershy, she couldn't help but marvel at the way the cottage seemed to blend into the hill on which it had been built, almost as if it had been carved out of the ground. Its roof was covered in a thick layer of grass, and the surrounding territory was abundant with nests, birdhouses, dens, burrows, warrens and setts, one of which was tucked away under a wooden bridge that spanned a small stream. All told, it looked like the epitome of a nature lover's dream home.

But as soon as they reached the front door, the young changeling's awe was quickly overtaken by her earlier fears. She watched anxiously as Twilight knocked, almost tempted to turn herself invisible for fear of how this Friendship Council pony would react; but the door was already opening before she could make up her mind. Two timid blue eyes peered out from behind it.

“Hello, Fluttershy,” announced Twilight cheerfully.

“Oh...hello, Twilight.” The canary-yellow Pegasus stepped out of the house with a small smile. “You, um...you had somepony you wanted me to meet?”

“Sure did. You remember me telling you about Locomotion finding a changeling in the Everfree Forest?”

Fluttershy nodded.

“Well, now's your chance to meet her.” Twilight turned to the young changeling, who backed away a little upon meeting her gaze. “Come on, Hornette, don't be shy,” she coaxed.

Hornette muttered an indistinct response and slowly turned her attention towards the canary-yellow mare. “Um...nice to meet you?” she stammered.

“Likewise,” responded Fluttershy meekly, her face partially hidden by her long, pale pink mane. A long, awkward silence ensued as the two of them tried to think what else to say.

Locomotion chuckled lightly in spite of himself. “Blimey,” he murmured. “I've heard of a 'sponsored silence', but that's taking it a bit excessively.”

“So...you're the changeling that Loco saved from the timberwolves?” asked Fluttershy tentatively.

Hornette emitted a trepid squeak in reply. Realising that she was too shy to speak for herself, Locomotion tactfully stepped in.

“Yeah, that's the one,” he spoke up. “She's on the run from her homeland because...well...you won't believe this, but she doesn't agree with Queen Chrysalis' sentiments.”

Fluttershy goggled in astonishment. “She...doesn't?”

“No,” affirmed Locomotion gravely. “She believes in peace and equality where Chrysalis believes in power and supremacy. She'd been sorely mistreated for it back home, and that's why she ran away.” He directed an apologetic grin towards Hornette, who looked down at her front hooves.

“Oh...” Fluttershy gazed into Hornette's eyes and was met with a tearful expression of deep, pained, guilt-ridden sorrow. “Oh, you poor changeling,” she whispered. “I'm so, so sorry. I didn't realise...you're not mad at me, are you?”

“What? N-n-no, of course not,” faltered Hornette, taken aback. “I thought...I just thought you might be...well...I'm the one you should be mad at...after what my kind...”

“No, I'm not mad at you. I just...my behaviour was inexcusable – I shouldn't have been...you've every right...”

“Girls, you don't need to start an argument over who should be mad at whom,” interrupted Twilight with a chuckle. “The important thing is that you, Hornette, have come here with good intentions; and that you, Fluttershy – correct me if I'm wrong – are willing to give her a proper chance?”

“Oh, goodness, yes,” replied Fluttershy, anxious to make amends for her earlier apprehensions. “So...would you all like to come in? I was just about to make myself some tea, but I can do some for all of you...” quickly returning to her usual shy persona, “...um...if you want, that is.”

“Well, I wouldn't say no,” conceded Twilight without hesitation.

“Don't mind if I do – but do you mind if I just have apple juice?” requested Locomotion politely.

“Oh...of course not, Loco; you're more than welcome to some.”

“Thanks, Fluttershy. Hornette, you having anything?”

But Hornette barely heard him. She was so stunned by what had just transpired that she had simply frozen in place. Had this pony really invited her, a changeling, into her own home? After seeing the rest of her species up close at least once before, and then only for how vicious and warlike they were? How in the world was this happening?

“Hornette? Am I coming in clear?”

Hornette looked up. “Um...what was that, Loco?”

“I was asking you if you wanted something to drink.” Locomotion's brow furrowed with concern. “Is everything okay?” he asked. “You seemed to be spacing out a bit there.”

“Oh...sorry, Loco. I'm just so...overwhelmed,” admitted Hornette. “I was expecting her to be scared of me.”

“Well...maybe she was a little scared, but our Fluttershy doesn't represent the Element of Kindness for nothing,” soothed Locomotion. “I don't think there's anypony here in Ponyville who's as good at gauging the feelings of others as she is. Besides, you're going against practically everything the rest of your kind stand for; anypony would have to be stupid not to recognise that.” He smiled reassuringly and beckoned for her to come into the cottage.

Hornette looked back towards Fluttershy, who gave a small smile of her own. “So...what would you like then?”

“Um...just a glass of water, please,” the young changeling answered.

“Yeah, Twilight would know all about that, wouldn't you?” joked Locomotion, shifting his eyebrows.

The lavender-coated alicorn cringed, but pretended not to hear. She didn't like being reminded of the time when Discord had crashed her quality time with her former foalsitter by pretending to be ill!

If the outside of the cottage looked like a self-contained nature reserve, Hornette was pleasantly surprised – amazed, even – to see that the living room was little different. Everywhere she looked, there were little holes, nests and further birdhouses set into the walls and the rafters, and the only furniture she could find were a coffee table, two sofas and a small bookcase. Several animals were still frolicking around the room having not long finished their lunch; but as soon as they saw the young changeling, they all stopped what they were doing and stared curiously at her, wondering what she was.

Hornette gazed back at them with interest. She had seen all these creatures out in the wild, but never so many in the same place all at once. A chirping noise caught her attention, and she turned around just in time to notice an energetic red squirrel scampering towards Locomotion. It darted up his leg, scrambled onto his back and nuzzled his mane affectionately.

“Hullo, Nutkin,” chuckled Locomotion heartily. “You miss me?”

The squirrel chirped happily in reply.

“Sorry I haven't been visiting as much as I should have done,” the red-furred teenager apologised. “I guess it's just been...like...really busy for me lately, especially with my new friend here.”

Hornette looked surprised. “You know this animal?”

“Oh yeah,” replied Locomotion proudly. “I found this little guy a couple of Winter Wrap-Ups ago while helping to clear the main line. He'd come out of hibernation a bit too early and was half-dead when I found him; but a couple of days in front of the fire saw him back on his feet. Fluttershy was really grateful for my saving him, and allowed me to call him Nutkin. He's still pretty fond of me, as you can see, so I make a point to come and visit every once in a while.” He looked back towards the squirrel; “Wanna say hello to Hornette?” he offered, holding out a hoof so that he could climb on.

Nutkin looked down at the hoof, and then back to Hornette with an uneasy expression. Locomotion chuckled again, gently petting the red-furred critter in an attempt to soothe his nerves. After only a few seconds, Nutkin climbed onto his hoof, and the unicorn gently set him down. Twilight and Fluttershy watched patiently, wondering how he might respond.

The little red squirrel tiptoed across to Hornette and examined her carefully. Apart from her small fangs, her slim barrel and the holes in her legs, she didn't look that different to an ordinary pony. He sniffed curiously at her hoof. Her scent was an unusual one, somewhere between a pony, a spider and a beetle – but still a friendly smell, he decided. With a soft chirp of approval, he scrambled onto her back and began to nuzzle her mane.

“Oh my goodness!” remarked Fluttershy, mesmerised. Never in all her life had she seen one of her animals take to a changeling so quickly – yet Nutkin was already growing friendly with Hornette after little more than two minutes.

“Aww,” cooed Locomotion, “I think he likes you.”

Hornette was so touched and astonished that she didn't know how to respond. Taking Nutkin's cue, the rest of the animals slowly set aside their timidity and began to gather around the black pony in insect's clothing – and before anyone realised it, most of them were fawning over the young changeling as if they had known her for years. Locomotion smiled warmly as he watched each and every one of them offer her the paw, talon or wing of friendship in their own way.

Three robins perched themselves on her head, tweeting merrily while a family of mice played hide and seek through the holes in her hind legs, and an orange-coated cat lovingly rubbed his head against her left arm. Caught up in the sweetness of this otherwise uncanny moment, Hornette instinctively reached out to the cat and began running her hoof along his back, earning a soft purr in response. Far from being scared to visit, she was growing rather fond of this place.

“Wow,” remarked Locomotion at last. “Way to make a good first impression, Hornette. How in the world are you so good with animals?”

“I don't know,” said Hornette, the smile never once leaving her face. “I guess I'm just...that good.” She gazed around herself for the umpteenth time, quietly revelling in her new-found popularity as the animals eagerly continued to frolic around her – all except for a white rabbit who glowered fiercely at her as if to say “Keep your dirty hooves off my companions, you scum!” The young changeling didn't seem to pick up on this she was so busy basking in the other animals' company; but Fluttershy did.

“Um...Angel Bunny? Aren't you going to go and say hello?” she asked.

Angel continued to scowl at the black beast that had dared to set hoof in his home, ignoring Fluttershy completely. He had heard all about these so-called changelings, and there was no way he was going to let this one off the hook. And why were they giving that...that thing a name?! She didn't even belong here!

“Now, Angel, be nice,” coaxed Fluttershy, calmly but firmly. “Just because Hornette's a changeling doesn't mean she's nasty.”

The heck it doesn't, thought Angel sourly as he hopped away to another corner of the room. Fluttershy was disappointed, but reluctantly shrugged him off.

“Um...I'll just go and get your drinks,” she announced. “I won't be long.”

“Thanks, Fluttershy. Oh, and by the way...”

Fluttershy stopped. “Yes, Loco?”

“...you still got some of that nice marble cake that Pinkie likes to make from time to time?” asked Locomotion. “I know it's not been that long since lunch, but I'm still a little snacky.”

“I'll see what I've got,” answered Fluttershy.

“Yeah, while we're at it, Fluttershy,” put in Twilight as she followed the canary-yellow mare into the kitchen, “I just wanted to ask you a few things about the upcoming...”

Locomotion listened curiously, but the last few words were blocked out completely as the lavender-coated alicorn closed the door behind her. Reasoning that it probably wasn't all that important, he went straight back to watching the animals playing with Hornette...but only for a moment.

Without warning, a blur of white shot across the room, causing the animals to scatter in alarm; and the next thing either of them knew, Angel had tackled the young changeling to the floor and was kicking, punching, biting and clawing at her with all his might. Hornette screamed in terror, rolling about and flailing her legs in a blind panic, while some of the other animals tried desperately to prise Angel away from her. But no matter how hard they tried, the militant rabbit fought them off with ease.

Locomotion sprang to his hooves. “HORNETTE, HOLD STILL!!” he shouted, and swiped at Angel with such force that he sent him flying across the room, landing with a thud next to the staircase. Angel hastily recovered and tried to lunge at Hornette again; but the red-furred stallion only just managed to grab him by the ears with his magic before he could even poise himself. He hovered the white-furred fiend right in front of his face and leered furiously at him. “YOU DARE TO HURT HORNETTE?!?”

Angel snarled and flailed his legs in an attempt to kick Locomotion in the eye, but the livid unicorn kept him well out of reach. “HEY! PACK IT IN, YOU PEST!!” he thundered. “THAT CHANGELING HAS DONE NOTHING TO DESERVE...”

“Loco?! What's going on in here?”

Locomotion was so startled that he nearly let go of his telekinesis. He swung around just in time to see a perturbed Twilight and Fluttershy exiting the kitchen. “It was Angel's fault!” he blustered defensively, suddenly overtaken by shock. “He started beating Hornette up as soon as you left the room!”

“He what?!” Twilight was even more startled to find Hornette curled up in the middle of the room, trembling and sobbing in sheer terror as the rest of the shaken animals tried to comfort her. “Oh my gosh! Are you okay, Hornette?”

But the frightened changeling was in too much of a state to reply. At first, Fluttershy could only feel sorry for her – but then her own expression turned to one of untold fury, and she glared disapprovingly at her pet. “How dare you, Angel!” she scolded. “That's no way to treat a guest!”

Had Angel not still been suspended in mid-air, he would have huffily turned his back on the pathetic pushover who called herself his owner. Instead, he shot her a sulky scowl – only for Fluttershy's glare to harden.

“Don't you look at me like that, mister!” she ordered fiercely. “That was very inappropriate, and you know it! Locomotion's quite right; Hornette doesn't deserve this kind of treatment! Just for that, you're on a big time-out – I'm sorry to have to do this to you, but you've crossed the line once too often!”

Angel's look of disdain quickly faded, and he cowered in discomfort as Locomotion set him down. He may have liked to think he was in charge around the cottage, but even he was no match for “the Stare”. As soon as he was back on firm ground, he slunk meekly up the stairs – but not before shooting the unicorn a final condescending sneer of hatred.

Locomotion glared back at him. “It's your own fault, you little bully,” he snorted under his breath; but he quickly composed himself and began looking Hornette all over for any injuries. Twilight had managed to calm her down and help her into a sitting position, but the young changeling was still visibly shaken from Angel's ambush. “You alright, Hornette?” he asked anxiously. “Not hurt, are you?”

No sooner had he said that than Hornette flung her arms around his withers and cried feverishly into his chest, still quivering with fright. Locomotion was so taken aback by the sudden embrace that at first he didn't know what to think, and even his red pelt did little to disguise the flustered blush that was spreading across his cheeks – he may not exactly have been the touchy sort, but other than his parents, his older sister and one or two of his friends, nopony had ever subjected him to this level of contact. But his shock was soon replaced by sorrow as he felt her tears soaking into his fur, and he gently wrapped his own forelegs around her barrel in a bid to comfort her.

After a while, Hornette finally managed to regain control of herself and pull back for air. “Has he gone?” she whimpered, scanning the room for any sign of Angel.

“Yeah, we've seen him off,” said Locomotion. “You're gonna be alright now.”

Hornette gazed up the stairs with a light sniffle. “Gosh,” she murmured, her voice still shaky. “I never knew rabbits could be so brutal.”

“I'm really sorry, Hornette,” whispered Fluttershy. “I don't know what's gotten into Angel. He's never usually this vicious.”

“Not your fault, Fluttershy,” said Twilight reassuringly. “We've never had a changeling here before; he probably thought she was up to something.” She hastily corrected herself at this point; “Uh...well...apart from that unconfirmed sighting at Cranky and Matilda's wedding.”

“There was a changeling there too?!” Locomotion was so stunned that he momentarily forgot about Hornette. “I thought Shady and the rest of them were joking!”

“Well...we don't know for certain. It could have just been Alula playing another of her pranks,” observed Twilight.

“I wouldn't know, personally,” put in Locomotion. “I was in another part of the hall, so even if there was a changeling in there, I wouldn't have seen it.” His eyes lit up with curiosity as a minor possibility occurred to him; “It wasn't you, was it?”

“No. I don't even know who Cranky and Matilda are,” replied Hornette, confused.

“Oh...” Locomotion's face fell. “...well...just a thought. Still,” he went on, forcing a smile, “no point in getting all worked up about unconfirmed rumours. Still wanna socialise with Fluttershy and her charges?”

Hornette looked back towards the animals, her earlier shock and distress fading completely as they began to gather round her again. She had no idea what the word “socialise” meant, but as long as she could spend time with her new little friends, she didn't mind that in the least – in fact, so glad was she of their affection that she forgot all about Angel and his unprovoked assault. With a soft smile, she laid herself down on her barrel and let them climb all around her.

Locomotion chuckled quietly. “I'll take that as a yes,” he mused.


Over the course of their visit, Hornette found Fluttershy to be just as amicable as the animals that lived in and around her cottage; and with Locomotion and Twilight's help, she gradually opened up to the canary-yellow mare until the two of them were chatting away like old friends. Fluttershy, for her part, was rather disturbed when she learned the full story of the young changeling's troubled past and escape from the Badlands. “Oh, Hornette...that's awful,” she sympathised. “I can't think how you managed to put up with it for so long.”

Hornette smiled sadly. “Neither can I,” she mused. “There were times when I felt like I was the only one with a heart...like we were meant to be ruthless and cruel towards you ponies.” She paused briefly, raising a thoughtful hoof to her chin. “I just wish I knew why they were turning bad so suddenly.”

“Hmm...yeah, does seem a bit...suspicious,” agreed Twilight. “Still, I've seen how vindictive Chrysalis can be, so I wouldn't be surprised if she herself had something to do with it.”

“You and me both, Twilight,” muttered Locomotion. “Vile dictatress! It's a wonder she ever got to the throne in the first place.”

“Unless she was an immortal like Princess Celestia,” Fluttershy theorised.

Hornette shook her head. “I can't be too sure, but I think there might have been others before her. A lot of other changeling foals had been saying something about her having an older sister, but I never found out too much about her or any of the other rulers because Chrysalis never allowed us to speak of them.”

Locomotion's eyes narrowed suspiciously. “So you're saying there might have been a much nicer heir to the changeling throne? That that power-hungry, two-faced cad might have been trying to cover it up all this time?”

“Well...probably,” answered Hornette. “Again, I don't know for definite – and to be honest, I don't think I ever will. Not that it matters anyway; I've been through enough of Chrysalis' reign, and I'm not going back......um......that is, unless there was a way to reform them,” she added meekly.

“How about it, Twilight?” put in Locomotion optimistically. “Will you and the other Elements be able to sort them out with those...wicked cool Rainbow Powers of yours?”

“Uh...I'm not sure,” said Twilight doubtfully. “Granted, the Elements of Harmony can work miracles in the right hooves, but I don't see them changing the personalities of entire races. If they could, we'd have made peace with the changelings years ago, and Hornette wouldn't have needed to run away.”

Locomotion looked down at the floor with a disappointed frown. “So...unless Chrysalis gets overthrown or some massive disaster or whatever gets them to see the light, we've no choice but to keep fighting for our lives, is that it?”

“That's about the size of it, as far as I can see.”

Hornette looked somewhat perturbed. “But...I don't want to fight,” she protested. “I can't possibly bring myself to hurt you ponies.”

Sensing the young changeling's discomfort as if it were her own, Fluttershy patted her shoulder reassuringly. “It's okay, Hornette,” she soothed. “Nopony ever said you had to fight – and even if they do, then you don't have to listen to them.”

“Yeah, just because you're a changeling doesn't automatically make you a savage, you know,” put in Locomotion feelingly. “You are who you choose to be, and no pony or changeling can tell you different – least of all that lunatic who calls herself your queen.”

This coming from Locomotion and Fluttershy filled Hornette's heart with an uncanny warmth. For far too long, she had grown up in a society where others expected her – demanded her, even – to become a dangerous, brutal, unfeeling barbarian with no conscience whatsoever, to go against her true nature just for the sake of expanding their empire, whereas all she really wanted was to be her own person, make her own choices, live her own life. To be told that she was perfectly entitled to do so, that she didn't need to be anything like what others wanted her to be – that was all she had ever wanted to hear from any other creature, let alone ponies; but never in all her life had she expected it to come true. She smiled gratefully, shedding a small tear.

Angel, meanwhile, was nowhere near as moved by Locomotion and Fluttershy's kindness as Hornette was. He sulked bitterly at the top of the stairs, glowering upon the changeling with deep resentment. It wasn't his fault that some no-good creep had come here and tried to stir up his fellow animals – she was the one who deserved to be punished, not him. Looking through the window behind the three ponies, his anger turned to suspicion as he noticed a pair of vacant blue eyes, almost like those of an insect, which gazed furtively into the cottage. They seemed particularly focussed on the black monster that had rubbed him up the wrong way, and indeed the face to which they belonged looked very little different.

The white-furred rabbit narrowed his eyes warily as the creature receded into the shadows. Clearly, he thought to himself, there was something very fishy going on here...

Author's Note:

...and so Angel became the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog for a few seconds there - but fortunately no rabbits or changelings were harmed in the writing of this chapter.

Alternate lyrics to the song linked into the beginning of the chapter (Strange Things by Randy Newman) can be found here.

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