• Published 15th Apr 2021
  • 1,023 Views, 76 Comments

Bound Snow - notaproxy



A human makes a faustian bargain to save their own life, ending up as a griffin chick in the care of Fluttershy. With dark powers hanging over their head, will they be able fulfill their end of the bargain even if it means betraying their new family?

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Heading Home

995 CE

(Twilight)

I looked out of the train window as the countryside speed by me, Spike sleeping peacefully in his seat next to me. I had opted to take the train rather than a chariot back to Canterlot. Officially because I wanted to get started on the small mountain of paperwork that had resulted from the egg incident and subsequent adoption of Gwen, unofficially, I just needed some time to process all the events of the last few days.

Gwen had stayed at the hospital after I had dropped her off. She would be staying there for a good few days until the doctors could verify her health, just like any young foal... chick.

Spike had decided to head to the hotel rather than come with me back to the library. He was smart enough to know when paperwork was coming, and he wanted no part of it. I can't say I blame him.

I was shocked to learn that the yellow one had volunteered to take the little griffin into her home. It made a lot of logistical sense. The teleporting curse was still active, so if griffin and pony were too far apart, the curse would forcefully bring them back together, with possibly lethal results. That said, the yellow... I looked over the paperwork quickly to remind myself of her name... Fluttershy is only about as old as me. There is no way she could be ready for that type of commitment! I made sure to inform her, to the best of my abilities, of all the responsibilities and risks that taking care of this particular griffin would entail. Not only would she have the stress of a normal foal, but a chick of a different, carnivorous, species. That is not even considering that the young griffin is both magically enhanced and positively soaked in dark magic. There is also the fact that somepony must have enchanted the egg, and it was likely they would get involved again.

Despite all this, she wouldn't abandon the life that was magically bound to her.

Her bravery shook me to my core.

I know myself enough to know that I would have never been able to do what she did. I would have left the griffin to an orphanage, a S.M.I.L.E agent, or foster care. A youngling like that would have gotten in the way of my studies. They would have caused too much mess, been too expensive, too disruptive, too much baggage, too dangerous.

I look down at the quietly sleeping form of Spike and feel a sharp pain of guilt through my chest. It was impossible not to see the parallels between me with Spike and Fluttershy with Gwen. Both of us encountered a mysterious egg; neither of us thought the egg would be anything more than a quick obligation; both of us influenced the birth of the creature inside the egg, me by hatching it, her by saving it. Both eggs gave birth to sapient, innocent, but predatory creatures. Both of us chose to take responsibility for the unintentional result of our actions.

The similarities only stood to contrast our differences. I lived with a loving, upper-class family who could take care of Spike and me. Fluttershy lives by herself with only her own income. I had the support of the Princess to protect Spike and me from any threats. Fluttershy only has the support of the normal townsponies and an undercover S.M.I.L.E. agent who is supposed to check up on her once in a while. I had access to the largest library in the known world, with extensive writings on both foulcare and other species. Fluttershy has a nearly abandoned library that is only open on weekends. The most damage Spike could do was a few shallow cuts and a small fire. Gwen is saturated with dark magic and is likely a target of some unknown organization or cult that is perfectly fine with mutilating babies.

Ever since I became the Princess's student I have thought of myself as special, as being better than most of the ponies I passed on the street. I might be one of the most powerful mages alive, but I have nothing on the humble bravery of this small town mare.

It shames me.

It shames me to realize that if Spike came into my life right now instead of when he did, I would have turned him away. Spike, who looked so adorable as I fed him ground-up gems as a baby. Spike, who would stay by my side as I study, providing the perfect amount of white-nose while he read his comics. Spike, who give me a blanket when I fell asleep on my desk, whose face would light up when I offered to read him a bedtime story, who would make me breakfast after a long night in the library.

Spike was one of the brightest points in my life as the Princess's student, second only to the Princess herself. While I love all of my family, I am closer to him than my big brother or my parents. He is a son, a little brother, an assistant, a caretaker.

And I am not worthy of him.

I am still not sure if all the Princess's lectures about friendship are all that accurate, but it is apparent that I have a lot that I could learn from this Fluttershy. I could start up a correspondence, for educational purposes of course, so I could give her advice on raising Gwen and she could help me learn what makes her so brave. As a bonus, I might get the Princess off my back about this whole friend thing.

With the decision made, I took out a blank sheet of paper and began to write.

Dear Fluttershy


(Angle Bunny)

I was not happy.

This all started about half a week ago. One day, the Caretaker came home, both physically and, I could tell, mentally, drained. That was not too unusual, especially considering that day was supposed to be one of the Great Pink One's parties. But this was not party exhausted, it was something else, something that I dismissed at the time. By the next morning, it had seemed like she had recovered, just in time for that bastard egg to show up. I had to take charge again that day, as she wasn't home until very late. By then, all of those in her care had started to become worried. We feared it was finally time to enact Operation Undateable. It would be unfortunate if the operation scared somepony who the Caretaker loved away, but if they couldn't handle Operation Undateable, they weren't worthy to be the Caretaker's mate.

Thankfully, we did not have to initiate the operation. Instead, she came home with hoofs and mouth stained black with, edible, ink. She went to bed early that day but tasked me with assembling those under her care in the marrow for a big announcement. I, being the dedicated and vigilant leader of the animals that venerated the Caretaker that I am, completed the task with no issue.

The announcement she made spelled certain doom. A cuckoo! A vile brood parasite had somehow enticed our kind Caretaker to raise it. It was an outrage! How dare it take so much of the Caretaker's time and attention without even the common decency to pass on her linage! What's more, with this cuckoo in the house, I might no longer be the first among those under the Caretaker's watch!

Obviously, this would not stand. Despite my self-evident and undeniable charisma, I could not convince my peers to aid me in getting rid of this parasite. They said things like, 'why don't we meet them first?' or 'I am sure the Caretaker knows what she is doing.' or 'Stop being a bully, are you really that insecure?' Fools the lot of them! Can't they see I am doing this for the Caretaker's own good? The fact that I would stay at the top of the local pecking order is a simple coincidence.

The next few days consisted of many ponies, both from the local herd and suspicious strangers, coming and going from the house. I could tell the intrusion into the Caretaker's sacred isolation was unwelcome, but alas, it was not enough to sway the Caretaker from her erroneous course. The interlopers soon transformed the spare bedroom into a nursery for the foul parasite, complete with a winter theme, designed by Opal's servant.

Today was the day of reckoning. The petulant, persistent, parasite was permitted permanent passage into the Caretaker's pristine and perfect pony-produced paradise. All the local animals had gathered to greet the newest member of our society for the first time. Most of them were excited or hopeful. The fools! The change this clever conniving cuckoo will certainly cement in our currently casual and content community can not be anything but a calamitous catastrophe!

The other animal warmly welcomed the damnable bird despite my protestations. I will concede that it is cute, but I can see the mind of a predator behind its slitted eyes! It was calm as it surveyed what it surely thought would be its new dominion. That in itself is ample evidence of its ill intent! No young that I know of is ever that calm with faced with a new situation and with so many new creatures! It did not even seem phased by Harry!

There was no denying it now. Something had to be done to combat this feathered invasion. I needed to bide my time and wait for the right opportunity to strike. Tonight, while the Caretaker is not able to intervene, I will put the upstart in its place! After the Caretaker introduced the parasite to the easily appeased sheep, she led it on a tour of her sanctuary. Afterward, she left it in its crib while she prepared the evening meal. Good, while it is in its caged bed, it will not be able to marshal a resistance or poison the minds of any of the good animals under the Caretaker's watch. But do not think those wooden bars will protect you vile beast! For I will surely restore the natural order!

The rest of the evening passed most uneventfully, although there was more evidence of the parasite's nefarious nature. The cuckoo was strangely quiet for a chick of only three days. It hardly seemed to cry out but when it was hungry or had some other obvious need. Treachery! It is well known that newborns scream at every little thing. Surely this is but more proof of its evil character.

Finally, the hour of reckoning was at hand. The house was quiet, as those animals who worked under the sun were asleep while those who worshiped the moon had left the cottage to start their night. I prepared myself, grabbing a few nuts from dinner so I may reach the beast should it think flying would protect it and my trusty sword to finish it off. The greedy greasy griffin had been placed in the new nursery by the Caretaker to rest. The door was locked, but that was no matter. I was able to quickly and acrobatically scale the exterior of the cottage to assault the parasite's refuge from the window. From there, it was simple to infiltrate the cuckoo's domain.

As I enter, I am shocked to see the beast is awake, but rather than crying out for its mother as a normal chick would do, it was staring intently at a wall, chirping to itself. Madness! I am left with no choice but to protect my dear and kind Caretaker from this maliciousness! I sneak around the room, the griffin no match for my stealth and cunning. Soon I have penetrated the bars of the crib that the repulsive rapscallion recklessly relied upon to repel my righteous ravenous retribution. It did not detect me as approached it, still caught up in its mad ramblings. While I was not so dishonorable as to stab an opponent in the back, that did not mean I would recklessly abandon my first strike. With a great heave, one of the nuts I had prepared sailed through the air and struck the deceiver in the back of its white-feathered head. Brought from its madness, the beast turned and the battle was joined. Oh, it would be glorious!

En garde!


(Gwen)

It was surprisingly easy to pretend to be a baby.

Worried about slipping up and talking way before you should be able to? Not a problem if everyone talks in a different language. Concerned about having to pretend to not understand your body? If you have a whole new body with a whole new mode of transportation, you have to relearn how to walk anyways. Afraid of having to use diapers? ... Let's not talk about that one. I am just glad that my new species does not breastfeed. With my new beak? The very thought makes me shiver.

Not long after I was first born, the blobs took me to what I assume was a hospital. That does make me wonder why I wasn't already in a hospital, I am sure there is some drama there, but I digress.

By the time I got there, my vision had more or less cleared up. I could finally learn what the blobs were. They were these weird horse-things. Some were wearing clothes, while others, including the one that was carrying me, were not. This gave me a better opportunity to study this new species, and boy are they bizarre by Earth standards. Some had horns, others had wings, others yet had nether. I could not tell if they were subspecies or genders or what. All three subtypes had a variety of bright neon fur and hair colors and the skin underneath matched. All three subspecies had these weird, simple images on their hips. My first suspicion was that they were tattoos, but from what I can tell, both the fur and the skin underneath them were dyed. Was it some kind of ritualistic rite of passage or genetic quirk? A mystery for another time. Most unusual, however, was some of their movements. Their joints moved in ways that didn't seem possible. Sometimes they would half stand up for long periods in ways that simple physics suggest would require tendons of steel to pull off.

Anyways, while in the hospital, I went through what I can only assume was the standard array of tests. I was weighed, measured, poked, prodded, and forced to put my claws, which I apparently now have, into ink and then onto what I can only assume is a birth certificate. After that, I got placed in a crib and left alone. From what I could see, it seemed like this was a pretty small town, or at least had a pretty small hospital. There were no other babies in the nursery and I think there was only three or four hospital staff around.

With the initial excitement of the whole 'being born' thing out of the way, the next few days gave me plenty of time to reflect and learn about my new situation. I was not sure if I should be happy that I got another lease on life, or sad that I effectively lost all my friends and family. Both of course. But I think overall I don't have any regrets yet. Sure I had to give up a lot, but it wasn't like I could have seen my family if I had stayed and died on Earth. At least now I will have time to grieve, and on the plus side, I now know how to make myself cry at will.

No, I can't allow myself to focus on what I lost just yet. I still don't know enough about this new world. I have to stay focused. Maybe, once I am older, like three or four, I can make myself a little shrine and have a proper burial for my old life, but not now. Now I needed to focus on my new body and new situation.

I was significantly different from the horse people around me. They were definitely equestrian, but their shorter legs and larger heads gave them a distinct, younger look, even the ones that were appeared to be older, so let's call them ponies. As I mentioned before, they seemed to have three subspecies, which I learned over the course of my stay in the hospital are not genders. I stuck with the obvious names for the horned and winged ones, unicorn and pegasus respectfully, but the normal type was harder to name. They appear to be similar to horses from Earth, so let's call them earth ponies for now. I am sure I can think up a better name later.

I am none of the above, being some sort of bird-cat thing instead, which I have named a griffin. All these connections to mythological Greece do raise some interesting questions, perhaps I am not the first connection between our worlds. But then again, the idea of a horse but with wings isn't exactly unbelievably original. It could be some kind of coincidence. I will have to look into it in the future.

Anyways, while I have yet to see any others of my kind. The ponies don't appear to be surprised by me, so I have to assume my species is well known and I won't be vivisected in some government black site. I just hope we aren't mortal enemies of the ponies or a slave species or something like that. It also makes me wonder how I got here. Was I eggnapped or something? I saw no signs of any potential parents, so I guess I am an orphan.

Besides learning about my caretakers, I also learned a lot about my own body. I am definitely female, which does make me wonder if I am going to have to lay eggs. I am part bird after all. I stopped that particular train of thought pretty quickly. That was a problem for future me. I also learned how to walk/crawl which, considering I am quadrupedal, are not that different. I haven't gotten flying down yet, but I figure I have time to take it slow learning. I don't want to end up scrambled so soon after getting out of my egg. It is still weird having six limbs, I would try to describe it, but that is like trying to describe color to a blind person.

My journey of self-discovery was interrupted when the pony I assume was the yellow blob I saw when I was first born came to pick me up. She was rather young as far as I could tell and was of the pegasus verity. Her fur was a soft, sun-shine yellow and her mane an equally soft pink, with an image of three butterflies on her hips. Even as cynical as I am, I have to admit she was diabetes levels of cute. At first, I assumed she was just going to take me to the local orphanage or something. Imagine my surprise then, when we come to a little cottage filled not with little pony children, foals I suppose, but with what appears to be completely mundane animals. Is this an animal shelter? Is my species non-sapient? I wonder if I should start taping out prime numbers to get some attention?

I did not have much time to think this theory through before I was given a tour of the yellow mares abode. It was surprisingly spacious and clean for how many animals were around. I was eventually left in a nursery after being placed in my very own crib, a little mobile with stylized lightning bolts hanging above me.

After a meal and a short nap, turns out I inherited a baby's sleep schedule, I now find myself with not much to do. I am sure a normal baby would cry until someone came to entertain them, but it is the middle of the night and I am not quite that malicious.

"How are you finding your new body?"

I freeze up as I hear the sickly sweet voice of my Patron for the first time in this new world, seemingly whispered right into my ear. In a panic, I whip my head around looking for the source. Then I see it. Shadows coilless into a vaguely equine form in front of my crib. More solid than when I had seen it on Earth or in the non-space, but still not quite real, like bad CGI hitting just the right spot in the uncanny valley.

"Come now, there is no need to be shy. I will be able to understand your pathetic little chirping, and no pony else will be able to hear or see me. You have nothing to worry about."

Well, that is quite worrying.

"What do you want. I don't owe you anything yet. My part of our deal won't start for years." I chirp back in reply.

"Do I need a reason to see how my investment is developing? And besides, I can't have you getting any silly notions about who is in charge of our little relationship."

I didn't respond. The Figure begins approaching me, looming over my crib like a Sword of Damocles.

"I hope you like your new body. I had it custom-made. I am probably going to lose the people that made you," its voice took on a dark tone, making me shrink back instinctively, "I hope you make it worth it."

"I will do what we agreed to," I respond hesitantly.

"Oh, you will. I will make sure you will," The Figure now entered the crib, phasing through the cage and bedding like they weren't even there. "Don't forget the kindness I showed you. Don't forget that I could have left you in that puddle to die. Don't forget that I can take back my gift whenever I so please."

It took its shadowy hoof and begin stroking my back. The dark limb caused no sensation, but the mockery of a comforting gesture chilled me to my new hollow bones.

The voice took on a new, almost motherly tone. "But don't worry my pet. I know you won't disappoint me. If you obey me as we agreed, you will have everything you have wanted. A simple life or unimaginable power, responsibility or relaxation, immense wealth or the perfect companions. All this and more, if you just listen to me as a mortal such as yourself should."

I was about to reply when I was interrupted by something softly hitting the back of my head. I looked down to see a shelled pistachio at my feet... claws. Turning around, I saw a bunny wielding a butter knife like a sword at the other end of the crib. I vaguely remembered this bunny giving me the stink eye during the tour earlier today.

"Well how lucky," I heard the voice of my Patron whisper in my ear. I had hoped it would have gone away with the interruption. "A perfect chance to prove your loyalty. Kill it."

"What!?"

"Don't worry. You're a hunter species and it is prey. No one would blame a young griffin for acting out on instinct. It would just be a tragic accident."

I could tell it wasn't lying. Some part of my bird brain wanted to pounce on the juicy rabbit. I had even taken a crouching stance without realizing it.

"But... I don't... Why would I...? There is no reason to hurt this thing!"

"There are plenty of reasons; because I told you to, because it would taste good, but most importantly, because you can. Here, let me give you a push."

Before I realized what was happing, my instincts took over. I flew through the air like a coiled spring. Using my hard beak, I easily deflected the butter knife the rabbit was holding in front of itself for protection. The utensil flew through the air, vibrated as it became stuck in-between the floorboards outside the crib. Its wielder was now pined beneath me, my claws preventing any means of escape. Even as I newborn, I was twice the size of the struggling little rabbit, her exposed throat underneath my sharp beak.

"There you go. Was that so hard? Now kill it. All you need to do is a quick nip and you will have yourself a fine midnight snack."

Images of stakes and meats filled my mind. I had always preferred medium-rare, but raw was fine. I am pretty sure there are some types of sushi that use raw rabbit.

"Kill it. Feel its life in your claws, and snuff it out because you have the power to do so.

My beak begins to lower, preparing for the kill. I saw the fear in its beady little eyes, felt its heart beating rapidly beneath my claw. The inside of my mouth begins to salivate at the thought of the feast that was in fount of me.

"No. It might be someone's pet. And it was holding a knife! It might be intelligent."

"It attacked you, the superior being, now you must end its insolence. If the rabbit was meant to live, it would have been smarter, stronger. It worked hard for this Darwin award, now reap what it has sown. Killing it would be justice."

My Patron was right. No one would blame me. Even if the rabbit was sapient, I am acting in self-defense. This creature attacked me, a baby, with no provocation. How could I know that it wouldn't attack again if I let it go? And it would be such a waste to leave good meat to go bad.

My parents and I were doing our usual walk around our neighborhood. It was the first time I had been home from college in a while, so it was nice to see the old sights again.

"It's the neighborhood bunny!"

My mom stops, pointing at a fat brown and white rabbit hiding in the weeds of one of the more forested parts of the neighborhood. We watch the rabbit but don't stop our walk, soon passing out of sight of the animal. My dad then goes on to explain that they had been seeing it on their evening walks for a while now and were speculating that it was a runaway. Most of the wild rabbits in the area were a uniform gray, making this one stand out.

I paused for a moment at the memory, then I made my choice.

Author's Note:

Hi everyone. This week we got some development for Twilight, the first (last?) Angle Bunny pov chapter, and a big choice for Gwen. It was very fun to write Angle Bunny, although I think I might have gone a little overboard with the alliteration.

For the lore corner this week, I wanted to go over how language is handled in this story. So the ponies don't speak English, and would thus have different, pony words for the tribes ect. What I am writing from both the ponies and Gwen's perspective is then a translation of this pony language, and most ponyisms come from imperfect translations.