• Published 4th Dec 2018
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Love Sickness - XenoPony



Dragons are not hot! Or at least Twilight keeps telling herself.

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Chapter Three: Oh Talons and Tails!

"Okay, Twilight, not the time to panic. You've totally got this all under control. You're just molting, it really just must be an alicorn thing!" the princess of friendship stated profusely as she paced up and down her bedchamber. "Sure, you scared the fur off of Rarity... Haha, fur off, funny joke!"

Yeah, because spitting smoke is totally a thing the other princesses do, Twilight, her mind interjected as she paused and took a deep breath. Oh, it still tastes of smoke, how marvelous!

"Oh, just hold it together, Twilight. Hold it together!" She pressed her forehooves to her aching temples as she shook her head, then flinched at the pressure her strong limbs asserted. "W–what... No, no, no... They're the same, my hooves are not getting sharper!"

Upon confirming to Rarity that a craving for gems was just another alicorn thing, she'd gotten her new dress and raced from Carousel Boutique as fast as her wings would carry her. It was funny, they almost felt stronger, despite the fact she was starting to see bald patches between her ruffled feathers.

Oh, yeah, what did you tell her? Alicorn metamorphosis? You need to replace your magic or something because you have so much? Ha, what a joke, Twilight, you're lucky she bought it! If anything, it looks like you're going to pupate at this rate, her mind chastised, and she shuddered as she recalled the lie she'd conjured to cover her condition.

"You're not helping, brain!" the princess hissed, smacking her head. "I'm staying right here until tonight, going to take everything I can to make this stop for the party then sort it out tomorrow first thing, got it?" she told herself, jabbing a hoof at the mirror.

Then she finally took a breath, only to snort out a trail of smoke. She covered her face as her stomach growled and really tried not to think about how tasty the walls of her bedchamber were starting to look. She looked at each of her forehooves, noting several balding patches in the lumpy limbs. Yet beneath there was no pale flesh, but instead a hard, purple bristle, similar to the growing ridge on her nose. That had been another thing that had grown in the past few hours, to the point that there were now two more similar ridges either side of it, trailing along the bridge of her muzzle like scales.

A muzzle that looks far wider and longer then I recall, her mind added as she peered down at it. How many times have you accidentally bitten that snake you call a tongue today, Twilight?

She pressed a hoof to her mouth, feeling the edges. Just as she suspected it was getting longer, sharper and more defined. Her skin was becoming hard and her fur falling away. Twilight swallowed, her throat singed with the acrid sensation of smoke. She dared open her muzzle and had to nibble on her hoof to avoid trying to eat the shimmering wall next to her.

First dragon physiology becomes irresistible, now crystals... If I didn't know any better, I'd say... Her thoughts were cut short as pain bloomed in her forehoof. "Ouch!"

She moved it away from her mouth only to see a small cut in the falling fur. Twilight's eye twitched as she dared reach back to her mouth, and poke her teeth. They felt strong and rigid, her gums expanding to support her warping jaw. Then she felt a prick, and another as she tapped a large pair of teeth.

"Are... Are those fangs?" she asked herself, looking at the small puncture in the frog of her hoof. Another feel of her inner jaw, and it was pretty clear that there were far more than two sharp teeth sprouting in her mouth. "No... Not all of my teeth can be fangs... I... By Celestia, it's like what happened to Fluttershy!"

There was a cramp in her gut and she doubled over, feeling a wave of heat escape her mouth. She lay on the floor and huffed, smoke blasting from her flared nostrils. Her aching limbs splayed out around her, the tips of her hooves starting to tingle more and more as she stared across her room at the window. The sun was starting to set, it would be night soon and then the party.

You really think you can go looking like this? Your whole body is changing for some reason! her mind exclaimed, and the alicorn growled, sharp teeth grinding. It's their anniversary, how can I not? she asked herself.

"It's fine, Twilight, just do all you can to cover it up. You have the dress, maybe a scarf and a hat too? Makeup should help," she stated to herself as she heaved herself up.

Yeah, because that went so well the last time, her mind countered, but she shook her head.

There had to be some way she could fix things and not disappoint her friends, nor end up messing up their party with her plight.

Providing you don't accidentally set the place on fire, her mind added and she face-hoofed, desperately trying to think of what she could have done to cause her to be changing so drastically.

"Stop, Twilight, let's think... I used transmogrification to turn into a breezie once, then into a pegasus and an earth pony with Starlight. We had failsafe and reversal spells so nothing could go wrong. The incantation should always default me to my original form," she confirmed to herself, looking at her knobbly forehooves.

"We played it safe, just pony transformations, not even as far as a griffin or half pony like a hippogriff." At that, Twilight's face fell into her forehooves yet again.

"This should not be happening, I'm a pony... But it feels like I'm..." Before she could finish there was a knock at the door and her ears perked, head snapping to the bed chamber's entrance. "Erm... Don't come in... I–I... I'm not decent!"

"Erm, Twilight, we don't usually wear clothes... I've seen you naked," came the muffled voice of the only pony Twilight could even consider wanting to see right now.

"Starlight!" she exclaimed before darting over to the door in a flash. "Oh, thank Celestia it's you... I thought it may be... Oh, never mind, just get in here!"

Before Starlight knew it the door was flung open and a very strong hoof pulled her into the princess' bedchamber. Ruffled, the lilac mare had just a second to stop her head from spinning, at which point she was met with the very crazy face of her mentor way too close to her own muzzle for comfort.

Look, Twilight... Look, she's still a perfect pony... No bald spots, no fangs. This is all in your head, Starlight did everything you did! The tiny mare in Twilight's head rolled her eyes. Seriously, you still think this is all in your head? I'm in here, I know for a fact it's not.

"Whoa, Twilight... You..." Starlight waved a hoof in the air cautiously. "Have you done something with your mane, you look terrible?"

Twilight's eye twitched, her vision distorted for just a second as her morphing pupils shifted. Then she finally slumped, head drooping. Whoa, okay neck feels longer... odd feeling, odd feeling!

"Starlight, can you look at me and tell me I don't look a mess?" Twilight asked, lifting her head. Starlight immediately shifted from worry to uncertainty as she searched for an answer.

"Ermmm, well... You look... You look like a total mess, yes Twilight," the lilac mare admitted, then poked at one of her mentor's forelegs. "You were so strong... And, what in Equestria is happening to your fur, it's falling out!" she exclaimed.

"Please just tell the whole castle while you're at it!" Twilight suddenly snapped, pressing a hoof to Starlight's lips. Seconds later her eyes went wide and she drew back. "Oh... my, Starlight I... Sorry, I don't know..." She shied away, rubbing the back of her neck.

Grr, what's with me... And why does my neck feel so lumpy? Twilight thought, wincing as several more clumps of mane fell out in her hooves.

Starlight was swift to recompose herself and creep back towards her former mentor. "It's okay, Twilight, just tell me what's wrong... You... I've never seen anything like this before?"

"That's the problem, I have no idea what's wrong!" Twilight exclaimed, forehooves wide and wings losing feathers as they flared. "A few days ago I could not think straight, then there was this itching, now my coat's falling off!"

Starlight lifted a hoof to her chin, then leaned forwards. "Not thinking straight, how?" she pressed, and Twilight instinctively hid behind a balding wing as she went bright red.

"I may... Or may not, have had an uncontrollable urge to be rutted by a dragon," she muttered before swiftly declaring. "Totally not Spike! That would just be weird." She shuddered.

Taken aback by the sudden burst of information Starlight almost fell backward. "Oh, I thought maybe it would just be anger issues or something... But I guess that works too," she admitted and Twilight huffed smoke as her face went redder than ever.

"I hate this... Stupid dragon instincts, why is this happening to me?" Twilight groaned, falling onto her back. "We did everything safely, nopony even turned into a dragon!"

Starlight shrugged. "It was transmogrification, you know changing our shape in the universe can have big impacts, right?" the lilac mare elaborated, but Twilight shot her a flat look.

"You think I don't?" She sat up and looked at her balding forehooves. Ooo, please tell me they're not starting to look even lumpier... No claws, no, no, no!"

"But secondary shifts like this... ones resistant to magic, should not be happening. That's soul transmogrification stuff, we only used body?" Twilight explained, starting to feel new muscles in her limbs that she really shouldn't. "My soul is still a pony... I'm still a pony!"

Starlight took another step back as smoke sizzled from Twilight's nostrils. "Wait, magically resistant? What do you mean?" she asked, and Twilight sighed.

"I tried to cast a spell this morning to cover up the changes, they were not as bad back then." She rubbed the hard bumps on the bridge of her muzzle. "But nothing I did worked, I was just going to keep it a secret, hope it would just blow over..." She sighed, face in her forehooves. "But I give up, help me Starlight."

Starlight bit her bottom lip. Twilight's pleading eyes did not quite have the same effect now that her pupils were narrowing into draconic slits. Nevertheless, the unicorn stomped a hoof down.

"Twilight, you need to cast a self-scrying spell, maybe that can help?" she offered as Twilight staggered up on her ever elongating limbs.

"I tried that last night... I got nothing. Urgh, magic is supposed to solve my problems, not turn me into a..." Twilight paused, pressing a hoof to her throat. My voice... did it just break... Oh Celestia, I don't sound that deep all the time, do I?

Starlight lifted a forehoof to her muzzle, looking like she was caught halfway between laughter and fear as she regarded her friend. One hard look from Twilight and the lilac mare collected herself with a dismissive cough.

"Okay, okay, sorry." Starlight waved her hooves defensively before sitting down to think. "Try a spell, how about a simple illusions spell? That won't change you physically so this transformation curse won't know the difference, right?"

Twilight's expression fell flat again, yet Starlight insisted as she levitated over a book from the princess's shelves. Grumbling, Twilight finally did as she was ordered, only for a pain to blossom in her skull. The changing mare winced, reaching up to grab her horn.

"Ouch, what in Equestria?" she shrieked, voice shifting between deep and shrill as Starlight also perked up. "I–... My magic... Starlight, I can't do it!" she declared, face scrunching as she tried to force a spark from her horn.

Oh, no, no, no, Twilight please tell me that's not your horn you're feeling! her mind's little avatar pleaded as Twilight's hoof tapped against the longer, more crooked shaft that was once her horn.

Panic gripping her, her ears folded back and she pressed both forehooves to the back of her head, only to feel two more sharp bumps pushing their way out from her skull. She gasped, coughing on a jet of smoke before finally covering her elongating muzzle with her forehooves.

"This... This can't be happening... How can I fix this without magic?" Twilight stammered, looking down at her forehooves to see nubs parting to form small claws in the newly bald patches in her fur.

"Okay, Twilight calm down, I can fix this, I'm sure. It's just a little side effect, right? Your soul's probably been contaminated by somepony else's," Starlight suggested as she tossed the illusion spell book aside.

"Yeah because knowing that makes me feel so much better," Twilight huffed, slouching as she looked at the lilac mare.

Starlight did her best to sympathize as she sat down next to her larger friend. "Look, stand up for me please, I'll have to look you over instead," she suggested.

Twilight glanced back with a sniff. "Seriously, a scrying spell? You know how intimate they can be, right?" she asked, blushing a little.

Starlight hid her own embarrassment with a smile. "Yeah, but I'm married, Trixie will understand," she responded before her horn started to glow. "Besides, if I let her see you like this I know she wouldn't let either of us ever live it down."

As instructed, Twilight got to her hooves, now standing almost half a head taller than her former student. She felt her whole body starting to shift in ways she really wasn't used to, she was stronger and sterner. Yet less magic was flowing through her veins every second, replaced by the fire in her chest and stomach. Starlight's face contorted with confusion, and she hummed as she looked over Twilight's body completely. There was an odd tingle as the observational magic passed through her. Feeling oddly naked, she shifted a wing to cover her side, flopping her now very thin tail fur over her flanks. The spell reached her lower body, then her rear and she let out an eep, the feeling sharp as it pinched her most sensitive areas.

Urgh, it's like a serious doctor's exam all over again! her mind moaned, recalling the few times she'd suffered minor magical side effects as a filly. Always too ambitious for your own good, Twi.

Finally, Starlight leaned back, face a little red and ears flushed as she rubbed her chin. "Not a word to anypony, okay? I promise." Starlight motioned a cross over her heart, held up and wiggled her forehooves, then put one hoof over an eye, and Twilight smiled, nodding.

"So, what did you find, anything?" the princess pleaded and Starlight stood up, pacing up and down.

"As a host, the transformation must not respond to your magic, even a scrying hours ago would have told you something was different. Twilight, your whole insides have shifted, your organs are all over the place and there’s whole new ones!" Starlight elaborated and Twilight paled, her butt hitting the floor.

It's so cold with no tail to sit on... Ooo, why does my dock feel like it's grown so much longer? Her thoughts spun as she huffed, smoke sizzling from her nostrils again. Look on the bright side, at least it's not itching anymore.

"I can only guess it is something in your soul, it's seeping outwards, it affected you inside first and now it's asserting itself on the outside," Starlight proposed, stopping to take a good look at Twilight.

The dragon-mare perked up. "Yeah, but that still makes no sense, I never changed my soul. You and I both know how dangerous that is. One of us could have ended up turned into a rock or a stupid chair. You think I wanted to risk my soul being lost in the ether forever?" she exclaimed.

As unsure as she looked, Starlight could only shake her head. "I know, I know, you should be fine... Urgh, but there's so many things about transmogrification that nopony understands, this could be a breakthrough for all we know!"

"I prefer my magical breakthroughs when they don't break my body, Starlight!" Twilight snapped, then flinched away once again, hiding behind a wing that was rapidly looking far more like that of some crazy bat creature. "Sorry, I'm just getting so frustrated... I can't control it."

"Just like a dragon," Starlight observed, tapping a hoof on her chin. "It's in your mind too, Twilight, it could be some kind of ether parasite for all we know!" she exclaimed, then face hoofed. "We never should have messed with this stuff."

"Easy for you to say... I have no magic, I can't fix this," Twilight muttered, then slumped again. "Maybe Celestia, but I can't go to her like this... What will she think when one of her princesses can't even get this kind of magic right?"

"Twilight, not to say you're wrong, but we might have to. This is way over our heads," Starlight proposed, but Twilight shook her head.

"No, no, we can fix this. We're the two most magically gifted ponies in Equestria, right... Not counting Celestia and Luna," Twilight beamed, even as she was sure she could feel muscles shifting in her face and hear the crack of her spine elongating.

Yeah, and when one of those two mares offered help, why did you turn her down again, Twilight? Her mind asked, images of Luna's giggling face from her dream flashing before her eyes.

Starlight winced. "Maybe we can, but it's going to take a while. We can't leave you like this." She motioned to her friend's balding fur and leathery wing tips.

Twilight looked herself over, noting that her last strands of tail fur were now falling out of a very dragon looking tail bud on her butt. Her shifting eyes twitched, strands of frazzled mane falling in her face as she looked at Starlight.

"Sure we can fix it, I'd trust you with my life, Starlight. You can fix this in no time. All we have to do is make me look presentable for the party tonight then I just wait in here until you fix this." Twilight manufactured a toothy smile.

"The party, are you sure... Plus, we don't know how long it will take, what if you outgrow the castle?" Starlight countered.

"Pfft, I'd be more worried about eating it first, plus there's no way I can let Applejack and Rainbow down." Twilight flexed a hoof-claw. "I just trust you Starlight, you're the only pony I have," the dragon-mare pressed and Starlight finally sighed.

"Okay, I understand, I promise I'll do all I can for you, I owe you that much," Starlight admitted, smiling at her mentor. "But what about the party? Seriously, it's just hours away?"

Twilight almost subconsciously scratched her balding chest with a newly squat set of claws, unsure, before finally, an idea came to her. "Starlight, I can't use my magic but you can clearly use yours on me. What was that about illusion spells?"

********

"Ha, take that stupid dragon curse, it worked!" Twilight shouted into the mirror, jabbing a hoof at her perfectly pony like reflection as Starlight panted next to her. She looked at both of her hooves on the dresser-top, giggling. "Ooo, it feels so good to not have them twitching like that all the time!"

"Twilight wait, there's still some things..." Starlight forced through her panting, only to be cut off as Twilight hugged her with a very feathery wing.

"Now I can go to the party no problem, thank you so much, Starlight!" she said as she squeezed the lilac mare.

"Twi–Twilight... Y–you, your strength... It did not change... You're crushing..." Starlight tapped Twilight's wing and in a second the princess recoiled with a gasp.

"Oh, by Celestia, Starlight, I'm sorry... I forgot..." Twilight stammered, forehooves pressed to her chest.

Taking a deep breath Starlight rested a hoof on Twilight's side. "It's just a perceptive illusion, Twilight, you only look and feel like yourself, inside you're still..."

"Still some freaky monster?" Twilight interrupted, drooping as she looked down at her normal forehooves.

"No, no, I was going to say dragon-mare... hybrid... Gah, you're not a freak Twilight. Whatever did this to you, we'll stop it, I promise," Starlight insisted, waving her forehooves.

Twilight pouted, wings ruffled. "Still not perfect though, is it... What have I done to myself?" she asked, looking back at her reflection.

Is it just me or did I see those stupid dragon eyes flash in the glass? Her mental avatar wondered, tapping her chin as Starlight considered what her former mentor had said.

"Well no, but we only intended for it to be temporary, right? So what if we have no idea how much you'll have changed when we take the mask off, or how stable it is?" The lilac mare chuckled and gave a sheepish grin.

Twilight shot her an unimpressed look. "Of course, I can be like your wingmare. I'll make sure nopony finds out by accident, I promise?" she went on, tapping her forehooves together.

Twilight raised an eyebrow. "How's that even work when you're married, Trixie's going to be there?" she asked, but Starlight shrugged.

"Yeah, but Pinkie said there'd be karaoke, you know what Trixie is like when she sees a stage. We'll have a magic show by the end of the night, I'm sure," she explained.

"Let's just hope it's enough to keep this dumb dragon mind I have off of Spike and Ember," Twilight admitted with a huff as she looked at herself in the mirror. "Or everypony’s eyes off of me too."

Starlight placed a hoof on her shoulder, a reflection of the lilac mare appearing at Twilight's side in the shimmering glass. "Just try not to think about it, all you have to do is show your face for a bit... What was it you told Rarity, it's an alicorn thing right?"

"Ha, like that will work again, they'll know something's up," Twilight countered, feeling muscles squirming under Starlight's illusion even now. "They all know me too well."

Regardless, the troubled princess's former student smirked. "Well, they don't have any reason to not believe you yet," she prompted, and Twilight looked at her. "Not if I can help it, that is."