• Published 15th Oct 2019
  • 5,091 Views, 248 Comments

Castling Cozy Glow - Silvermyr

Castling is a special move in chess where a player’s rook ends up just next to the king. Thanks to a friend’s kindness, a calculating young filly would end up closer to her princess than she ever thought. But can a filly like Cozy Glow be changed?

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Chapter 2- The Demon Filly's Release

Twilight saw Rarity and Sweetie Belle leave, the latter with a noticeable spring in her step. She went around her desk again and magicked away the two formal letters to Ember and Thorax. She had thought to send them as a token of respect and to ensure them that she would still uphold her personal friendships with them, even if she was now Princess of Equestria in every sense of the world.

But those letters would have to wait; this was going to take careful planning.

”I hope Sweetie Belle is right about Cozy,” she mumbled to herself.

”Who?” came from the golden cage.

”Cozy Glow,” Twilight repeated with a look to Owlowiscious. ”Oh, never mind…”

First and foremost: how could she even free Cozy without ponies realizing it? Cozy was part of a popular tourist attraction, and if she just removed her from the statue then ponies would start asking questions within the hour. Twilight picked up a feather pencil and twirled it in her hooves, thinking.

She could make a copy of Cozy and put that on the statue… but it would be hard to get it exact. The whole statue then? She could copy the whole statue and switch them. If the whole statue looked a little off it would not come off as strange; ponies would just assume it was supposed to look like that, and it wouldn’t matter if she had Tirek and Chrysalis hidden someplace else rather than out in the garden. Problem: she needed a large chunk of stone to copy the statue from. But she had the extra blocks for her and her friends’ statue. She could easily forge the order to make it look like they had ordered one block less and then she could use that to copy the statue. And since she had commissioned the statue with her own money, it was not really stealing.

Twilight nodded. That could work, even if it had to wait until the night when the statuary garden was closed.

As for the detail on how to actually reform Cozy Glow, there was still a whole lot to work out. But that would have to come later. For now, she had a few hours before her life became decidedly more complicated, so she had better make what preparations she could. For example, she had to prepare Luna's old study for Cozy to live in. It was just next to Twilight's, so it shouldn't be hard for to keep tabs on her there. Twilight left her desk and went into Cozy’s would-be room.

Luna had more or less cleared it out, but the bed and bookcases had been built inside the room and were still there. There was also a balcony. "Have to lock that," Twilight made a mental note to herself. All in all, there were not a lot of things to work with already here.

She decided to visit the castle archives. There should be plenty of books she could burrow to fill up the bookcases, at least. When Cozy had helped with Twilight's duties in the school of Friendship, she had at least displayed some interest in reading, but other than that, Twilight did not really know what Cozy Glow was interested in, other than world domination. What did foals her age do?

Hours later, Twilight still had no idea what foals Cozy's age did, but she was satisfied with the room nonetheless. Aside from filling every bookcase, she had also gotten ahold of some puzzles of several difficulties and some crayons and papers, if Cozy liked to draw. She had also removed a small piece of window glass for the balcony door and stuck an old telescope through it. That way Cozy could look at the stars without being allowed out on the balcony alone. Pegasi often took up stargazing as a pastime, Twilight had learned from Rainbow Dash once. Through a discreet door there was also a bathroom.

This would simply have to do until Twilight could figure out just what Cozy Glow usually did in her spare time.

It was late evening now. Time to get to work. Twilight left Luna's old room and started down the stairs to the garden. She had sought out an old storage room on the bottom floor for her to awaken Cozy Glow in. There was only one way out, and it could be locked to ensure Cozy did not somehow escape. She had also sent the guards away so none of them would know what she was doing. She came to the castle doors and peeked out in the garden.

It was deserted, bathing in the cold light of Luna's… Twilight's moon. The thought of the moon as hers was a strange one. She suspected she would never quite get used to thinking about it like that. It would alway's be Luna's moon and Celestia's sun… Twilight was just their caretaker, but it was the Princesses who really controlled them, always. Twilight took a sobering breath and stepped out into the garden. First she had to make her copy. She made her way to the place were Chisel Hammer and Marble Dust were working on their statue to commemorate Twilight and her friends.

There was another strange thought. Ponies putting up statues of her… ponies prostrating before her when they came to speak. She knew she was a Princess now… but she couldn't have changed that much since she was just a unicorn, right? She was still Twilight, wasn't she? Ponies did not need to treat her like this, but they did anyway.

"Concentrate, Twilight. You don’t have all night," Twilight mumbled, bringing herself out of her rumination.

The blocks of stone had been carefully selected from the Pie family rock farm, and Limestone herself had guaranteed their quality. Hopefully that meant the stone would be easy to work with for her magic. She knew what to do. She just had to form a magic field identical to the statue she wanted to copy inside the stone block, and then blast the rest of the stone away. It sounded good in theory, but Twilight did not really know anything about sculpturing.

She selected a stone block and levitated it over next to her petrified enemies. It took about two seconds for her to understand that this was going to take a while. Their pose was much too complex for her to form in a magic field. She would have to do this in segments. She fixed a glare on Chrysalis's face and tried to replicate the furious snarl with her magic. It took her a few tries, but by modeling the magic directly on the statue itself, and then copy the exact shape over to the raw block she made it work. Concentrating, she amplified the power in her horn until a long crack appeared in the surface. Underneath, hopefully, was a replica of Chrysalis's face. Twilight continued with her legs and barrel.

It took the better part of two hours before she added the finishing touches to Cozy's ridiculously complicated mane. She was the smallest of them, but at least half of the time Twilight stood there had gone to trying to get her right. It had also given her plenty of time to look at Cozy's face.

She really did look afraid. Twilight could never quite feel remorse for her, but she was a little less certain in her own arguments for keeping Cozy trapped. Maybe, just maybe, Sweetie Belle had been onto something. After all, she was just a foal, right? She could still find her place in the world, couldn't she?

Twilight nodded and looked at her replica statue. It was definitely rougher than the original, but hopefully it would be good enough. She thought it would be, if nothing else because nopony would ever suspect anypony to switch the statues in the first place. She magicked up the old statue and put the new one in its place. Then she started back to the castle with the original statue in tow. She would probably just keep it down in the storage room. Twilight could never remember it being used for anything, and if anypony asked why it was locked she could just answer she kept some personal things down there. It was not like anypony would question the Princess.

Well inside the storage room, Twilight put the statue down and locked the door behind her. Then she flew up to Cozy Glow and ignited her horn with the spell Celestia had taught her so long ago to free Discord with. Back then Twilight had needed the Elements of Harmony, but as a Princess it would not be hard for her to do alone. Closing her eyes, she gently tapped Cozy's forehead with her horn.

A searing light began to shine from the point she had touched before beginning to spread like a spider's web of light. It spread over her body, up to her face and eyes. With a loud crack the shards of her prison began to fall away, revealing her salmon-pink coat underneath. More and more stone fell away until her tail was free and she fell from the statue. The rest of the stone fell away from her face, and she landed on the floor with a soft sound. She bolted upright and leaped backward, cowering by the castle podium with her hooves over her eyes.

”Cozy?” Twilight asked carefully. She had not expected that reaction.

Cozy peeked out from under her hooves, and her look of fear disappeared. Suspicion took its place. She unraveled from her curled up position and stood up. ”Why Am I here? Are you going to send me to Tartarus again now, huh? Well, just you wait, I’ll get out one day and you’ll be sorry, and-" Cozy silenced and looked around. "Uh, what happened to me? How did I get here?”

”Cozy, look up,” Twilight said. That ought to clarify a few things to her.

"Huh?" Cozy blinked and looked up, straight into Chrysalis’s enraged snarl. She balked from the changeling but soon regained her composure. ”Why did you make a statue of her? I thought it was weird when she cocooned her victims, but if you make statues of you enemies then that’s even weirder.”

"It’s not a statue," Twilight said. "It's Chrysalis. She is trapped in stone, just like Discord was. You know?"

Cozy looked between Chrysalis and Twilight and then flew up to Chrysalis’s head. Twilight heard her gasp and put her hooves over her mouth when she saw the small, sky-blue locks of her tail that still was caught on Tirek’s shoulder. "I was…? I was…?" She tried to hide a sniffle, but Twilight heard. "Why did you wake me up then!?" She asked angrily and turned to Twilight. "I’m sure you've had a good laugh at me, huh? I bet you even put bird seeds on my head just to see them sit on me. Did you just want to scare me even more? Humiliate me!?"

"Of course I didn't Cozy," Twilight said patiently. "Why would you even think I would do that? You know me, don't you?"

"Why wouldn’t you do it?" Cozy replied with a ghost of a smile. "It’s what I would have done."

Twilight decided not to answer that. "As for how you got here, a friend of yours asked me to give you a second chance," Twilight said. "And I couldn't say no."

"...Oh?" Cozy blinked in surprise. " I didn’t think I had any friends left." Then her face broke out in a wide smile. "But be sure to thank them from me! It makes me happy to know somepony still looks out for me!" Cozy looked around. "So… you can go now. I'll just get out of here and you'll never hear from me again. Sound good?" Cozy smiled even wider.

"No, Cozy," Twilight said. "I did not let you out to set you free. I let you out to give you a second chance. You will live in your own room in this castle, and you will not be permitted to leave without me saying so. You will have to earn my trust, and that of Equestria, before I can risk letting you go."

Cozy's smile disappeared instantly. "What!? You are not supposed to argue with me, JUST DO AS I SAY!" she roared, loud enough for a little bit of dust to fall from the roof. "If you are going to keep me prisoner then you could just as well have left me as a statue!"

"No, I couldn't," Twilight said and thought of Sweetie Belle's heartfelt plea. "But you will only have one more chance. If you turn on me or Equestria again… then there will be nothing more I can do for you."

The anger seemed to run off of Cozy. She felled her ears and shrunk back from Twilight's glare. "You aren't gonna… you wouldn't put me back… would you? Not you? You are not like that, right?"

Twilight debated on what she should answer. She hated scaring Cozy; that would not make her a better pony. But at the same time Twilight absolutely did intend to trap her in stone again if she became too dangerous. She was the Princess now, she had to put Equestria as a whole above any one pony. Cozy swallowed and backed away until she hit the base of the statue. Twilight's silence must have told her all she needed to know.

"I won't put you back to stone, Cozy, as long as you are not a danger to Equestria," Twilight said. She sat down so she could speak with her more like an equal, rather than looking down on her. "This will be in your hooves, Cozy. Your friend is sure there is good in you, and I believe her. I am ready to let this take time and help you become a kinder, happier pony." Twilight reached a hoof out towards Cozy. "Don't you want that? To have real friends?"

Cozy didn’t answer. She did not look afraid anymore though. She looked at Twilight's hoof with a neutral face. Twilight wished she knew what she was thinking. At the end Cozy just shrugged and batted her hoof away. "I suppose you are going to keep me in this prison cell. Just so you know, pegasi in my age can't handle being kept in a room this small for too long." There was a look of understanding on her face. "Maybe that's what you're playing at? You want to see me slowly go insane until I beg for your help."

"I'd never, Cozy," Twilight said gravely. "Never, not even to my worst enemy. You will live in Luna's old room, next to my private study and bedroom." Twilight stood up. "I will have to carry you there."

"I can walk on my own!" Cozy spat indignantly. "I'm not your filly!"

"Sorry, Cozy." Twilight ignited her horn, and a ring of light appeared around Cozy Glow's barrel, binding her wings to her sides. She visibly struggled with both her wings and to get her hooves around the ring, but it was a futile task. Twilight magicked the snarling filly up on her back and started back towards her study.

She really wanted to let Cozy walk on her own. She was a proud pony, and treating her like a filly would only make her all the more belligerent, but she could not risk it, not now. Once secured up in her room she would not be able to escape, Twilight had made sure of that, but out here there was still a risk. These two minutes of transport from the storage and up to the room were the most dangerous part of this entire process. If she lost Cozy now, then she could really escape.

"Are you hungry, Cozy?" Twilight asked, trying to lighten the mood.

"No," Cozy huffed angrily. Twilight had a feeling it was not just to hold on to her back that Cozy pulled at Twilight's mane. She took the hint and they walked on in oppressive silence. Once she was inside her private castle wing, she locked the door behind her and removed Cozy's bindings. ”Well… this will be your new home, Cozy. I hope you like it.”

"Hmph," Cozy made a displeased sound and stepped into the walkway, glaring at the few doors.

"This is a library, if you feel like reading," Twilight nodded to the closest door. "That is a common room… mostly I just use it when I have private visitors or for eating, but there are some more lighthearted books in there too. Do you like Daring Do?"

"Never heard of her," Cozy said coldly.

"Then perhaps you should give them a try. A.K. Yearling is a great author. A pegasus, just like you." Cozy just snorted in disdain.

Twilight ignored her rudeness and indicated the last two doors. "That is my bedroom and study. If you ever want something, don’t hesitate to come in, okay?" She pretended not to see Cozy rolling her eyes. "And this, finally, is your room." Twilight magicked the door open. To her surprise, Cozy actually went in on her own accord. Twilight followed. "I didn't know what you like to do in your spare time, but I hope you will find it to your liking."

"Suuure, I love bing trapped inside a tower with the pony I hate most in the world,” Cozy said sarcastically. She pawed the large, fuzzy carpet absently. "So this is my room now?"

"Yes, I'm sure you will-"

"Then get out," Cozy snapped. She turned to Twilight, tiny wings lifted in an attempt to look bigger. "I don't want you here!"

”… Right,” Twilight said without letting her hurt show. Twilight had fully expected Cozy to be difficult at first, but that did not make it any easier to see her so angry. But she suspected that the best she could do was to take a page out of Fluttershy's book for reforming villains. She should give Cozy some space to vent and adjust to her new surroundings. This could never have been a quick process. Twilight just had to be patient. "I'll be in my study. Good night, Cozy."

Cozy didn’t answer. She just glared as Twilight shut the door.