• Published 14th Sep 2012
  • 4,084 Views, 224 Comments

Roses for the Grave - Mordy



Dark magic is a powerful and banned art believed to be long forgotten. Unbeknownst to the common Equestrian citizen, that art is very much alive and practiced in secret by less harmonious individuals.

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Ch10: A Gift from the Grave

MLP: Roses for the Grave
By Mordy

Ch10: A Gift from the Grave

Julius stumbled into his shop, beaten, bruised, and covered from head to hoof in cuts. A bit blood leaked from his forehead as he fell to the floor with a loud groan. The moment Femme had caught the scent of iron she looked up from her romantic reading material and bounded over the countertop to make a beeline straight to Julius.

“Julius!” She shouted as she turned him over and shook him awake. She peeked under his robes and found that the bruises were everywhere.

He stared groggily up at her through slightly dazed eyes. One look at Femme and he could tell that she regretted feeding on him earlier, thinking that he got in this state from drinking too much blood, causing him to get a bit delusional again.

“What happened to you?” She asked softly in a concerned tone.

Julius brought his hoof to his head to rub it, but ended up sending a shock of pain from the bruise near his horn. Femme couldn’t begin to imagine how he got like this. This town seemed so safe… well the inhabitants seemed safe… then again there was some crazy ponies in town. Okay never mind she wasn’t too surprised by Julius state after thinking about it. Still, she wondered how he ended up like this.

Julius opened his mouth to answer only to let out a yelp of pain as he bumped his leg on a nearby table. Biting his lip for a short moment he did his best to look up at Femme, “I…” He had some trouble breathing and took a moment to get a few breaths in before finishing his answer, “I got in a fight….”

Femme was shocked to say the least, “A fight! I never would have imagined ponies would be so violent in this town! I’m gonna find that pony and-”

“With a library,” Julius cut her off causing her to stumble upon her vengeful thought process.

She looked down him scrutinizing what he just said. “I’m sorry, what was that?”

He groaned, “I got in a fight with a library.”

“You fought the town’s librarian?”

“No… the library,” He scowled, while answering in a serious tone.

“You fought all the ponies in the library?” She couldn’t imagine how he managed to piss off… okay she could maybe see him saying something pretty stupid, but she never thought he could piss off the inhabitants of an entire library.

“No, Femme,” he face hoofed, regretting the motion as pain exploded in his head.

“Then what do you mean?” She replied as she massaged the area he hit.

“I fought THE library?” He said with emphasis.

She blinked, “What?”

Earlier…

Julius had made his way to the Ponyville’s library that morning in search of, what else, a book. To his pleasant surprise his number one customer, Twilight Sparkle, was the town’s librarian. Unfortunately she and spike had to run to Fluttershy’s to practice a spell that required her animals. Thus, he was trusted to browse the library’s selection without worry. He wasn’t sure if it was because she loved his low prices or if it was because she wanted to be on his good side for even better deals. Neither possibility mattered to him for he had more important things on his mind.

Julius was in dire need of a book with information on the local fauna around Ponyville. Out of desperation to keep more blood in his veins after each of Femmes current feedings, he was planning to make an herbal tea that would hopefully curb her appetite. If he was lucky he could find all the plants around the surrounding area without having to use money out of his own pocket to acquire them. Besides, he enjoyed herb hunting. It was good exercise, got him out of the house, and he could make a bit of money out of it as a bonus by selling the excess materials.

Two books floated in front of him and he scrutinized the titles of each before putting them back. He began to reach out with his magic for another two books until he felt a rumble. His head twisted around to look around the library. There was nothing, but literature and a lone table with a horse bust on it. With a shrug he was about to go back to his browsing when he felt the rumble again.

“What is that?” He asked aloud to nopony in particular.

It was then one of the most unusual things happened to him. He started to fall up. Many things would enter ones mind if they suddenly started falling up. Things like; what the buck, holy crap, I’m falling, or in Julius case, something a little more audible.

“BUUUUUUUUUCCCCCKKKKKK!!!!” He screamed out at the top of his lungs as he descended to the ceiling or would it be ascending to the ceiling?

“Oomph,” He groaned out in pain as he landed on his back on the ceiling of the giant tree that the library was hosted in. Julius didn’t have long to contemplate what happened nor recover from the pain as a humongous pile books came tumbling toward him.

“Oh shi-,” His curse was cut off as the thick tomes came crashing into him and burying him under their heavy weight. His body twitched in pain before he struggled to pull himself out of his tomb of knowledge. He rubbed himself and discovered some bruises and paper cuts.

He looked around with his mouth agape as everything that wasn’t nailed down was on the ceiling. His eye twitched, “How… how? Who reversed the gravity?!”

After noticing an oddity out of the corner of his eye, Julius turned to one of the windows. An owl flew out, trying to prevent books from falling out of the highest window. His mouth then hit the floor as he saw that the sky was still very much in the sky, but he could also see the roots of the very tree he was in. It wasn’t the gravity that had been reversed, but that the entire tree had been pulled out and turned completely upside down.

He scratched the back of his head, ignoring the pain, “How did… how?” There was just no explanation for this. At least to him, if he had been outside he might have noticed a crowd of ponies near a very Great and Powerful mare where he would have seen the very tree he was in uprooted and turned right upside down.

Before he could further contemplate all that had happened he felt another rumble and a shift. Gravity was once again pulling up, or rather down and his eyes grew to the size of dinner plates as he started to tumble right back to the ground floor.

“No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no!” He shouted in vain as he flailed his four legs in the air before he slammed back into the ground. A pained grown escaped his lips before a part of his mind started to nag him about something important.

That important something came crashing down on top of him in the form of more books than necessary to get an obvious point across; being hit by falling thick tome really, really hurts.

As more bruises and paper cuts appeared on his body he couldn’t help, but ask, “Why? Why me?”

“Who?”

“Me.”

“Who?”

“Me!”

“Who?”

“Me da-,” He stopped his cursing retort as he realized Twilight’s pet owl, Owlicious, had been addressing him, “Oh…”

The little bird aided him in getting some of the books off of him, but only because he was trying to return them to their proper shelves. Still, Julius wouldn’t complain about getting all that weight off of him.

He was still lying there, groaning in pain, “Oh, goddess why? What did I ever do to deserve this? Why goddess? Why? Dear sweet Luna wh- oh hey, this book looks promising!”


Julius winced as Ecto dabbed another cotton ball of alcohol onto another one of his many cuts. An ice pack was resting magically on his head and his bruised eye involuntarily twitched as he looked between the ghost and Femme who were pacing back and forth in their lair.

“Let me get this straight,” Femme Fatale started out as she stopped in front of him and raised hoof, “You’re telling me the library flipped, then flipped again. Sending you crashing to the roof and back to the floor, correct?”

“Don’t forget I was crushed by books, but for the most part, yeah, that’s what happened,” He cried in pain as another cut was swabbed with the cotton ball.

Ecto dipped some more alcohol onto the cotton before voicing her opinion, “Well, that brings a whole new meaning to knowledge is power,” Her joke quickly earned a harsh glare from Julius.

Femme chuckled, “So, how exactly did that even happen?”

“Well,” Julius began as he braced himself for another sting of alcohol. He had to abandon his robes so Ecto could get to every cut, “As I limped back to the shop I saw this mare. Everypony was gathered around her and she was casting some very powerful magic’s. Think her name was Pixie, or something. Anyway, I didn’t stick around long- ow!” Julius bit his lip when a particular bruise was dabbed. After the pain subsided he continued, “As I was saying, I didn’t stay long, but I noticed this amulet around her neck,” Julius removed the ice pack from his head and then reached for a book from a nearby bookcase.

“An amulet? What does that have to do with anything?” Femme questioned as she trotted over to sit next to him.

Julius didn’t hesitate to answer as he started to flip through the book, “First of all, the spells that mare was casting seemed far too powerful for a normal unicorn. At least powerful for a spell that wasn’t dark magic,” Julius added the last bit not wanting to admit that anything could compare to the dark arts.

“Is that mare the reason there’s a giant dome around Ponyville?” Femme asked as she peered over his shoulder to see what he was looking at.

“A giant dome?” Ecto interjected before Julius could reply.

Femme was quick to catch her up, “Yeah, this giant glass dome has encased all of Ponyville. Like were being trapped under a giant fish bowl!”

“Neat! Does that mean were going to turn into giant fishies?” Ecto bounced on her wispy tail excitedly.

The necromancer and vampire just blinked at her before Julius answered slowly, “Nooo,” he grimaced as Ecto’s face fell in disappointment. He flipped another page of his book. “Aha!” Julius exclaimed as he found what he was looking for. With his hoof he pointed at the black necklace with a red gem and what looked like the upper torso of a black alicorn with red eyes, “This is what she was wearing!”

“Alicorn Amulet,” Femme read aloud. “Grants tremendous magical prowess to its wearer, but corrupts the user… well that can’t be good.”

“Right, that’s why I want that amulet!” Julius grinned triumphantly before wincing as Ecto dabbed another sore spot while looking at the page.

“What?!” Femme shouted, “Why in the world would you want that?”

“Were you even listening to yourself?” Julius retorted, “It grants immense magical powers. With a name like Alicorn Amulet, I bet it would put a pony on par with an alicorn!”

“Were YOU even listing to me?” She put a lot of emphasis on the word ‘you’ as she poked him with her hoof, eliciting a painful grunt as she hit a bruise, “The blasted amulet corrupts the user!

He shrugged it off, “Big deal. I bet it slowly corrupts so if I used in short bursts I could really make it last. Besides,” He said reassuring Femme with a broad knowing smile, “Not like I’m gonna put it on without trying to get rid of the whole, corruption thing,” He waved his hoof dismissively in the air, earning an annoyed glare from Femme.

Ecto read over the text and pointed something out, “Hey Julius, it says here the necklace thing can only be removed by whoever is wearing it.”

Julius shot his head back to where Ecto was pointing and growled as he read over it to make sure she wasn’t mistaken, “Bah, there’s always a catch!”

“Oh, that’s the catch? Gee, I thought it would have been the whole corrupts it wearer! But what do I know?” Femme said sarcastically to Julius.

Julius harrumphed, “Your sarcasm isn’t appreciated. But that little detail is a big problem. It’s going to make it a lot harder to get that amulet off of that crazed mare! I don’t want to imagine what she’s going to do to us and the rest of this town.”

Femme nodded, “Ah, I guess that is a good point. Better nopony wear that artifact than somepony we don’t trust. Got any plans?”

Julius rubbed his chin in thought, making him grown in pain and anger as he had a bruise around there and he still hadn’t shaved off the blasted goatee hanging from his chin. Closing his eyes he answered, “I’ll think of something….”


“Hehe, right square in the balls!” Deimos chuckled to himself. An old copy of the Silent Whispers was hidden within one of the local Fillydelphia news papers. He didn’t need anypony catching him reading one of the Darkmoon Covenant’s newsletters. It could end very badly for him if they knew of it. Even worse if they were a part of the Royal Guard.

Thankfully the worse was behind him. Took him long enough to reach the next major city after the fiasco in Manehattan. Unfortunately, for him, the guard was all over Fillydelphia as well, in search of the non existing pony named Shop Keep. He finally decided to just wait it out till security relaxed a bit and was able to get on board the train he was currently on.

Deimos took a moment to gaze out the window at the countryside quickly passing by him. Wouldn’t be long now before he got to Ponyville to stir up some trouble and find Julius. This brought a grin to his face as he looked forward to finally stop all this traveling. He was going to be incredibly late, but better late than never.

It was then one of the conductors stepped through one of the car doors and cleared his throat to address all the passengers in Deimos’ car, “Sorry folks, looks like we won’t be able to stop at Ponyville and will be forced to go on to our next destination.”

Deimos put down his paper and stared at him with disbelief, “What?! Why not!?”

The brown stallion in a blue uniform looked uncomfortably at him, “Believe it or not, a giant fishbowl seems to be covering Ponyville at this moment.”

Everypony in the car just gave him a blank look and Deimos voiced what was on all their minds, “Uh, what?”

“All Ponyville passengers will be reimbursed and given a free ticket back to the town when we reach our next stop,” He smiled sheepishly at everyone and was relieved when the passengers seemed to like that promise.

Deimos was fond of it too, but there was something else on his mind, “What is our next stop?”

“Los Pegasus!” The conductor answered without missing a beat.

Deimos eye twitched, Los Pegasus was located on the opposite side of Equestria from where he started. That was very unacceptable to him. He stood up and marched right over to the conductor, making him shrink away. His fear was palpable to him as he began to speak, “You expect me to believe we must travel all the way to the other side of Equestria just to turn around and come back because a giant bowl is encasing Ponyville?! You think I’m gonna believe that load of- holy crud Ponyville is covered by a giant fish bowl,” Deimos amended as he noticed the town outside.

All the other passengers looked on with equal surprise. This was definitely not something you see everyday. With this strange realization Deimos could only ask the most logical thing, “So… will there be any casinos near the station?”


A large sheet of paper was laid out on a table as Julius started to draw a crude blue unicorn on it with one of Ecto’s crayons. “Okay, here’s what’s up,” He started as he drew a gray unicorn and had both ponies blasting each with magic, “I’m a powerful unicorn and all, but taking on somepony empowered to unknown levels with an ancient artifact directly is well…” He drew an X over the picture, “stupid.”

“Are these poor drawings really necessary?” Femme asked with a bored and tired look.

Julius shot back an annoyed glance at her, “Well, they aren’t not necessary. Besides, I’d like to see you do better!”

Femme got a pencil and put it her mouth and began to sketch on the piece of paper. In just a few minutes she managed to sketch a lifelike bust portrait of Julius. She gave him a smirk as she dropped the pencil, “How’s that? Not bad for somepony using her mouth instead of hooves or magic.”

“Ooo, that’s really good Femme!” Ecto cheered with glee, “Do me next!”

Julius quickly glanced at the crayon drawing he was holding with his magic before looking back to Femme’s with disbelief. He only had one response, “Show off.”

He abandoned the crayons to stop himself from further shaming his terrible artistic talents and decided to go with a verbal explanation, “Alright, so direct confrontation is out of the question, especially when there’d most likely be witnesses. Can’t go throwing around dark magic in public,” he then smiled, “So, seeing as we can’t remove the necklace from her neck, we’ll just remove her neck from the necklace!”

Ecto scratched her spectral head, “What’s the difference?”

“Well, to remove the necklace normally would require it to be unhooked by her. However, my plan is to put this Pixie mare in a guillotine and slice that neck off!” He exclaimed as if it was the simplest thing ever.

This just elicited a jaw dropping stare from both Femme and Ecto. Femme chose to speak up as the voice of reason, “Okay, let’s call that plan B,” Trying to push that thought out of his mind, “Besides, where would you even get a guillotine?” Hopefully that bit of logic would make him come to a less brutal solution.

However, Julius just smiled, “Oh, we have one in the hall closet!”

Femmes jaw dropped further, “Why the hay is there a guillotine in the hall closet?”

A quick shrug and he answered, “Well, it was the only place we could store it.” This answer earned him another annoyed glare from Femme.

“Well that makes sense!” Ecto replied before Femme, thinking that was a perfectly good answer. Femme would be inclined to disagree.

She sighed and rubbed her forehead. “Let me rephrase my question. Why do we have a guillotine?!” She had to restrain herself from yelling.

“You never know when you need a guillotine!” Julius retorted with a prideful nod as if he knew better.

“Moving on! Do you have any other ‘brilliant’ plans?” Femme wasn’t going to let the guillotine thing go, but there were more important things at hoof. She was getting frustrated and hadn’t got to go to bed yet. She was normally sleeping around this time of the day.

Julius thought for a moment, “I guess we could try and trick her to take it off, but don’t have a clue how we would do that,” He tapped the table with his hoof while stroking his beard as he started to brainstorm once again.

Ecto then decided to help come up with ideas, “What if I possess her and then take off the necklace?”

“Nah, that won’t work,” Julius then widened his eyes, “Wait, what if Ecto possesses her and then makes her take off the necklace!”

Femme glared daggers at Julius before Ecto started to speak with narrowed eyes, “Julius that’s… brilliant!” She shouted with enthusiasm then smacked her head, “Why didn’t I think of that!”

He chuckled, “That’s why I’m the brains here!”

Femme just shook her head. I expect this behavior from Ecto, but from Julius? I got drink less of his blood. It’s starting to make him dumber!


Alright, just need to go over the plan one more time. Julius thought as he slowly trotted through the streets of Ponyville. He still looked very beat up, but he could push through the pain. I just need to lure her back somewhere near the shop, keep her distracted, and then have Ecto posses her long enough to take off the amulet. It’s gotta be quick, we won’t have a second chance if she’s able to fight off the possession.

His thoughts were interrupted by a bunch of cheers as the dark clouds that had been gathering over Ponyville started to part. It was then he noticed that the glass dome that had encased them was now long gone. He trotted up to one of the ponies in the back of the crowd and tapped his shoulder, “Hey, what’s going on?”

“That nasty showmare has been stopped- good gracious!” He exclaimed when he turned to see how beat up Julius was, “What in Equestria happened to you?”

Julius just shook his head, “Never mind that, somepony stopped that mare on a power trip? What happened to the amulet?”

“Huh? Oh, I think it was given to Zecora.”

“Who?” Julius was still learning names and only bothering with names that actually mattered or associated with him regularly. Even then he hadn’t learned many names. But he got away with it by just talking to them like he knew them. Which he did, but if one were pay attention, they would notice he would never say their name. If this went on long enough where he felt like he should know them he would be listening for somepony to address that pony by name as it was less embarrassing than admitting he didn’t know it.

“She’s right over there,” The stallion pointed off away from the crowd and Julius saw something he hadn’t seen in awhile. Ponyville seemed to have a lot of rare things as it had been a long time since he’d seen a zebra.

The black and white striped pony with gold hoop earrings, gold ring neck brace, and an anklet made of, what else, gold. Upon her back sat a small brown wooden chest which contained what one might assume to be the amulet he so desired. She was walking away from the crowd, heading back to her home.

Julius rushed right over to her, trotting right up next to her. He didn’t have a plan, but he needed to improvise and figure out where she was going and how to get the amulet away from her. She was quick to notice him and spoke before he could get in a word edge wise, “Oh my, what a terrible bruise; herbs and potions I believe you could use!”

It took him a moment to process what she had just said. He noticed the rhyme, but brushed it off as a coincidence, “Well yes, I had a…” He thought back to the attack of the killer library, “a very nasty fall.”

“Allow me to make a salve you will treasure. Making it will be my pleasure!” She rhymed once again causing Julius to blink in disbelief at his good fortune.

He found his words again and replied, “That would be most kind. So, you’re herbalist?” He was trying to make small talk while he began to follow her while also hoping she might know where to find the plants he needed for Femme’s tea.

She nodded, “With herbs and potions I can work wonders; healing wounds from trips, falls, and blunders,” She smiled at him with both her mouth and eyes. Julius no longer had a doubt that she was rhyming on purpose. He found it odd, but charming as well.

“Well, I don’t suppose you can point out the best places to find some certain herbs while you help treat some of my… bruises,” Julius asked hopefully, his eyes glanced for a moment at her box before back at her. He definitely felt some magic coming from it.

“I will gladly, if you follow me; I hope you don’t mind a walk through the Everfree,” She chimed as they both started to head into the forest.

While most were be intimidated by the forest, Julius didn’t fear it as much. Sure, he would admit it’s very dangerous, but in all honesty he was beginning to think it would be safer for him to live in the Everfree Forest than in Ponyville. Reasons being, his paranoia would be well placed, you could actually tell who or what would try and kill you, he wouldn’t have to worry as much at hiding his spell practices, and the biggest and most important reason, no Pinkie Pie.

With Zecora leading the way, they would safely arrive at her hut while avoiding some of the more dangerous animals and plants like cockatrices and Poison Joke.


Julius had been more cautious of Zecora when they got deeper into the forest. Not that she had given him any reason not to trust her and it wasn’t because he was superstitious of her doing some kind of voodoo curse. He’d actually studied a few various necromancy techniques developed by some zebra witch doctors. Fascinating reads they were.

No, the reason he was very cautious was that his previous encounters with a zebra had been… less than friendly. Multiple attempts on his life had been made. These included, but were not limited to; stabbing, poisoning, breaking of limbs, pushed off a cliff, and at one point trying to drop a kitchen sink onto his head. He was lucky to get away from all of that (mostly) unscathed. To be fair on Zecora’s part and her race, this was all done by the same zebra. One he hoped to never cross paths with again.

Such malcontent never came from Zecora. She patched up his wounds while naming off various places nearby that he could find the herbs he sought. He only wished that he had been able to relax around her a bit more, but memories of that other zebra still haunted him.

When Julius said his farewells and taking note of where the chest with his object of desire was placed, he got ready to return to Ponyville. As he walked out of her hut decorated with her homelands tribal masks and pottery Zecora rhymed her last goodbye, “Come again and don’t be a stranger; as long as you don’t mind the danger!”

He smiled broadly back at Zecora and waved at her as she returned the gesture and stepped back into her hut, closing the door as she did. The very moment the door was closed his smile became more sinister and conspiratory. He looked around to make sure nopony was watching and turning back to Zecora’s hut to make sure she wasn’t spying on him. He then cast a spell on a nearby rock.

A beam blasted from his horn and left a small rune etched within the gravel. It was glowing blue for a moment before looking nothing more than a carving. It still let off some faint magic as intended. This would allow anything sensitive to magic, like a ghost, to be able to home in on it. Eventually it would fade away and not even the marking would be left. Unfortunately that meant he was working on a strict time limit. A long time limit, but he had to make use of every second so there would be plenty of time to spare in case something went wrong.

He started to rush off along the path he had taken with Zecora, his bruises and wounds were healing much faster and the pain was numbed thanks to the medicine he had been treated with. That zebra had practically given him everything he needed. The only way it would have been better is if she had personally handed over the Alicorn Amulet and asked him to get rid of it in her stead. Julius couldn’t help, but wonder if she was just too trusting or just a sap for wounded individuals. Either way, she could be a very useful asset.

Renewed with a sense of purpose, he galloped off back to his shop.


Julius rushed into his shop and weaved past Lyra Heartstrings as he skidded behind the counter. Femme just stared at his behavior before she began to scold him, “Where have you been?!”

“Notimetotalkkeepwatchofshop, bye!” He said so fast with a single breath that it took Femme a moment to process it.

After a few seconds she finally pieced together what he had said, “Wait a minute,” she began, but Julius was already long gone. Femme was working on a very short fuse at this point, “Graahhh!!!” She growled and slammed her hooves on the counter.

It was nearly night time and she was exhausted. She had been up for almost 24 hours now without any sleep because she had to watch the shop while Julius was busy with that blasted amulet. Her eyes were bloodshot, she was hungry, and her hair was a wreck from all of the stress. Rarity would have a fit if she saw her right now and probably chew Julius’s ear off for allowing a mares hair to reach such a disastrous level.

About half an hour later the sun was setting and Femme heard Julius rushing up the stairs from the basement. She stepped in the back and gave him a half lidded stare. She wasn’t really looking at him as much as she was looking through him. A moment later she noticed Ecto float up through the floor.

“Okay, I already went this over with Ecto, but I’ll get you up to speed now,” He nodded to Femme, “There’s a zebra that lives in the Everfree Forest and she has the amulet in a little wooden chest. I made a magical rune near her hut so Ecto can locate her,” He nodded to Ecto as he said this, “She’s going to go in… undetected!” He said this harshly to ghost and she shrank a bit and quivered under his gaze. His eyes softened and he turned back to Femme, “Then when she’s in she’ll replace the amulet with the fake I made-”

He was interrupted by Femme, “Whoa, hold on one moment. You made a fake necklace?”

“Yep!” He announced proudly.

“Let me see it,” She said with a frown, expecting something shoddy after seeing his poor drawing skills. However, when he pulled out the fake he had made she did a double take and rubbed her eyes. She had seen a picture of the amulet in the book and the one before her looked like a perfect replica, “You… made this?”

“Yeah, something wrong with it?” He was suddenly concern that his fake might not be enough to fool everypony.

Femme sighed and rubbed her forehead, “You're telling me… you can’t draw for crap, but when it comes to making a counterfeit ancient artifact you can make a perfect forgery?!”

“Yeah, is that so hard to believe?” He scratched his head wondering what was wrong with that fact.

She just stared at him with her mouth agape, “Forget it! I’m too tired to deal with this BS!” She stormed back to the front of the shop, leaving him and Ecto alone.

With a shrug Julius addressed his ghostly compatriot, “Alright Ecto, I’m counting on you. That amulet is probably going to be thick with magic so you will have some trouble phasing it through walls and objects. Just come in from one of our secret entrances and then come get me,” He paused for a moment, “And be careful.”

She gave him a cold ethereal hug, “Don’t worry master! This will be like taking candy from a sleeping dragon guarded by deathtraps and a lawn ninja!”

He just blinked. “Riiight … easy,” he was now having doubts.

Ecto just gave him a bright smile as she took the amulet and started for one of the walls to phase outside, “Yep, easy!”

Julius just stared at where she had disappeared for a few moments before trotting to the front where Femme was laying her head on the counter staring at nothing. He rubbed her back before asking, “How you holding up?”

“Tired,” She croaked with a severe lack of energy, “Julius…” She began and rolled her head so she could look at him out of the corner of her eye, “When Ecto gets that amulet I want you to lock it up and forget about it until a later time.”

“What? Why?!” He couldn’t believe she just requested that of him.

“Lately you haven’t been making very good decisions…” She picked herself up so she could face him directly.

Julius tried to dismiss it, “So, I’m a little low on blood? It’s not impairing me that much!” He knew very well Femme draining him was affecting some of his thought patterns, but he was aware enough to try and think a little more thoroughly… most of the time.

Femme just shook her head at him, “Your poor decisions started before that. Back at our old home. You’ve been very distraught ever since IT happened. I don’t want you to do anything that might jeopardize all of us and you.”

His ears drooped and he looked to the floor in shame, “But Femme….”

She reached our and rubbed one of his fore hooves, “Julius, please. For me?”

He looked up at her at the tired, but warm smile she gave him. He let out a long drawn out sigh, “Fine… I’ll just lock it up somewhere safe until then,” This response earned him a kiss on the cheek as Femme leaned into his chest and quickly dozed off to the sound of his heartbeat.


Zecora shivered in her sleep as a cold chill passed through her hut. She tugged at her blanket and pulled it further up to cover herself for more warmth. Though she was asleep, her mind still managed to ponder the eerie chill that seemed to cause it.

An odd green misty air flowed through her huts window, carrying with it a familiar, but fake artifact. The mist stuck low to the ground as its leading tip searched the hut for the small chest she had been told about. It took a minute of careful and quiet searching before Ecto managed to locate the chest.

She approached it and started to reform into a pony while keeping an eye on Zecora. When she reached to open the chest she unfortunately found it to be locked. Scratching her head for a moment she knew what she could do.

Using the end of her wispy tail she protruded the lock and started to fiddle with the mechanism. In mere moments the lock was undone with a loud click. He head shot back to where Zecora was sleeping, but to her relief she was still out cold. Keeping her eye on the sleeping form, she opened the chest and then turned her focus back to it.

Inside was the real Alicorn Amulet. She smiled brightly and hoofed pumped… only to knock a vase off a shelf causing it to shatter against the floor.

Zecora woke with a start and shot out of her bed. She turned to the source of the noise and rubbed the tiredness out of her eyes. She didn’t see anypony there, but noticed that there was a shattered vase.

Shivering as she got out of her bed she slowly walked over and brushed the remains safely over to the side so she could deal with it in the morning. It was then a glint caught her eye. She walked over and found the Alicorn Amulet on the floor.

She scrutinized it for a bit, wondering how it could have gotten out of the chest. Picking it up, she turned to place it back in its container, but found it already preoccupied. She reached in and pulled out the other Alicorn Amulet and just looked between each one in confusion, “This simply cannot be true; how did one become two?”

At that moment Ecto chose to strike. She reformed herself and dove for Zecora, entering the zebra’s body and causing a terrible chill to flow through her being as she yelped and tossed the amulets in the air.

Her eyes closed, but when they opened they were no longer the blue eyes most ponies would know, but were instead a sea green. The now possessed Zecora looked up and juggled the amulets as they came down before getting a firm grasp on them. The zebra spoke with relief in her normal voice, but with an extra one echoing shortly after each word, “That was a good stroke of luck; to be caught would really suck.”

She blinked for a moment, “Well, that was very close, but I wonder why I feel more verbose?” Not Zecora shook her head, “I simply don’t have the time; to scrutinize why I speak in rhyme!”

She looked down at the amulets and her face fell. She was no longer sure which was which. “Oh no, what should I do? If I pick wrong I am through!” Biting what was Zecora’s lip Ecto started to feel the body beginning to reject her, “This decision is insidious; I do hope master won’t be furious!” With that she tossed one of the amulets behind her.

Ecto then released Zecora and grabbed the amulet she had thrown and slipped through the window without being seen. Only thing she left was a very confused zebra wondering if she hadn’t been getting enough sleep.


“Psst, master!” Ecto whispered from the floorboards below near Julius. He was still at the front counter and Ecto was being careful not to be seen, “I-I got it and I-I put it on your desk.”

Julius looked around while keeping a still dozing Femme next to him. When he was sure nopony was around he turned back to Ecto, “Very good. I’ve decided to just simply lock it up and forget about it for now. Femme doesn’t want me messing with it and I’m inclined to agree with her. I haven’t been thinking at my best as of late.”

Ecto’s worried disappeared and she just gave him her award winning smile, “That’s great! I think that’s a very good idea. Prolly best just to forget about it forever then!”

Julius chuckled, “Sure, sure. Can you help me get this blood sucker to bed?” He motioned to Femme as he lifted her onto his back and started to make his trip down to their lair. It didn’t take them too long to tuck Femme in her coffin and for him to lock away the Alicorn Amulet. Ecto was acting a little nervous when he did that, but once it was safely locked up tight she wished him goodnight and retreated to her own place of rest.

This left Julius in charge of running the night shift of his shop. It looked like he was in for an all nighter. He would have to if he wanted to make it up to Femme. So, this left him to his own devices. Unfortunately he didn’t really get late customers too often and it seemed everypony was more interested in some presentation that he had no interest in going to.

He sighed at his front counter and tapped his hoof on it in boredom while he leaned on his other hoof. It wasn’t long before he switched up the position and just settled both of his front hooves on the counter and laid his head on them, while staring at the door. He was hoping somepony would come in and distract him from this isolated mundane shift.

A thought then occurred to him and he kept his eyes on the front door for a moment longer before looking at the counter in front him. With one last glance back at the front, he returned his attention to the counter. His horn lit up and the shadows being cast by the varies objects on counter began to dance, as if there was a violent flame nearby.

After a bit, bits and pieces of each of the shadows fled their owners and formed a dark dot a little bigger than the size of a bit coin, the country’s currency. Then from the blackness it began to shoot up and take shape. First it seemed to resemble liquid, but then it began to solidify and gain trace amount of features.

In a matter of moments it took the form of a stallion unicorn. It was completely black until it opened its eyes, revealing them to be glowing white and without pupils.

Julius began to feel a smile tug at his face and it grew wider when the shadow pony began to wave at him. Sometimes he had to appreciate the little things dark magic could do.


Twilight Sparkle wiped some sweat from her brow as she opened up the front door to her library. Spike stretched as he walked in before her and yawned out, “You were great out there. I think those ponies from Saddle Arabia were really impressed!”

“Thanks Spike! Trixie’s firework show also gave it a little more flare. I’m so glad she finally came around and is willing to admit her faults,” She paused for a moment as she thought about her exit, “Even if she still need to work a little more on being humble.”

“Yeah, reminds me of a certain Pegasus,” The little dragon chuckled as he let out another big yawn.

Twilight covered her mouth as she laughed lightly, “I think it’s time for somepony to get to bed.”

Another yawn from Spike confirmed it, “Yeah, It’s late and I’m still tired from cleaning up the library after Trixie uprooted this place. I’m surprised nothing was damaged,” He began to climb up the steps to their bedroom on the second floor, slouching and yawning ever few steps.

“Well, goodnight Spike. I’m going to be up a little longer and- oh no!” She exclaimed as she remembered something important.

Spike turned to look at her, perking up slightly, “What? What is it?”

“I was so busy with practicing for the ambassadors and dealing with Trixie I forgot to get some shopping done! I’m almost out of ink, could use some new quills, parchment… oh where did I put that list?” She started to look around trying to find her shopping list.

Spike dismissed her worries with a wave of a claw, “Eh, no point in worrying about it now. Shops are all closed anyway.”

“Ah hah!” Twilight shouted as she found her list, but then Spikes words caught up to her, “Oh right, nopony is open this late,” as she said that she perked up. “But I think I know one place that might be.”

The dragon scratched his head, “Who would still be open at…” His eyes widened with realization, “Oh no, Twilight, don’t tell me you're going to go to that magic shop?”

“Of course I am. Why, what’s the matter?” She sensed Spikes disdain for her leaving.

“Well, it’s just…” he rubbed the back of his head, “I just have a bad feeling about that place.”

“This is the first time I’ve heard you mentioned this. Is it the owners?” She trotted up to him. He was a head above her from standing on the steps so she had to look up at him.

“No, they seem nice and I like that guy’s beard, but I just get these bad vibes whenever we go in there. It might be because it’s close to the Everfree and I don’t feel comfortable with you going there at night,” He looked down at her with pleading eyes.

Twilight just smiled warmly at him, “Oh Spike, you have nothing to worry about. I’ll be fine. Besides, Fluttershy lives closer to that forest and you never get these vibes when we go to her place, do you?”

“Well, no…” He admitted.

“I bet it’s because they keep the place so dark. I’ll admit it is a little creepy sometimes, but that’s just instinct bothering you,” She deduced with her usual logic.

“I… I guess that makes sense,” He scratched his head seeing where she was coming from.

“Now, you go to bed and I’ll be back in no time. Okay?” She reached up and patted his head and then leaned up to give his forehead a kiss good night.

Spike blushed a little and then kicked up a little bit of dust while he looked to the floor, “Alright, just be careful,” He then started back up the stairs to their bedroom.

“Good night Spike!” She called out as she grabbed her saddle bags and some bits as she went out the door.

“Good night!” He called back with another yawn and finally went off to bed.


The streets of Ponyville were very quiet at night at this late hour. Deathly quiet some would say. Most ponies were in bed at such a late hour and those that were still out would be in another part of the town with late night bars and small clubs. However, in this section of town there was an eerie calm in the air.

Twilight had been out late before. Unfortunately those times were usually due to emergencies requiring her to rush out without much thought. Sometimes she was out to stargaze when she couldn’t get a good enough view from her home. This time though, there was no rush and this allowed her to actually take in the ambiance. Least to say, it was a bit creepy.

Being a very logical pony allowed Twilight to ignore some of her more instinctual feelings. It was easy to deduce that she shouldn’t be afraid. Shadows can’t hurt you, the wind was just moving air, and if it moved and was hiding in the dark, it was more likely more afraid of her than she was of it.

Unfortunately, that didn’t stop those nagging fight or flight instincts. Regardless, she pushed them down, but took heed of them and kept an eye out for anything unusual. Better safe than sorry, not that she was really expecting anything, though going to a shop at the edge of town so close to the Everfree would warrant to err on the side of caution.

When said shop finally came into view, Twilight released a relieved sigh. She then realized the night had her a little more worked up than she thought. Trotting up to the shop she began to worry that it might be closed, but smiled to find that the sign said they were still open.

She quietly pushed the door opened and stepped in, shutting it quietly not wanting to disturb any nearby residents. She weaved her away around the center table where the shop premiered some of their items or advertising some deal of the day. This was also where they propped their sign about light sensitive materials.

A bit of moonlight was pouring into the shop; the light from it was far less intense than the sun thus was fine to let in. Twilight noticed a dimly lit candle at the front counter and also found Julius laying his head on his fore hooves staring at something in front of him. He never noticed that she had walked in.

Curious and wanting to make sure he knew she was there, Twilight trotted up to the counter. When she got closer she noticed movement on the wood. Her jaw dropped a little as she saw what looked like black dolls moving via the magic emitting from Julius’s horn. She found it very odd for a stallion his age to be playing with dolls, but knowing Spike he’d probably claim them to be action figures.

On closer inspection she noticed something odd. There was no aura surrounding the dolls and unlike any normal unicorn that would have just been making these toys bounce or slide across the surface, these pony toys had full body movement. Their knees would bend, they would trot like a normal pony, and even their necks craning were anatomically correct. She even saw them occasionally blink.

To her, it was like watching a puppet master. Not an amateur, but a true master, who could make every movement matter and look very realistic. Julius however, was looking like a master of masters with the way he manipulated these dolls.

Twilight, thoroughly impressed, decided to make her presence known, “Wow, that’s amazing!” She said this with a cheery smile hoping he wouldn’t be embarrassed by being caught playing with toys.

Julius attention snapped up to her and his head shot up to meet at her eye level. His concentration suddenly lost, Twilight watched as the “dolls” suddenly stopped moving and then began to melt like a liquid, but as it returned to a liquid form it dissipated into a black wispy smoke leaving nothing behind.

She just stared blankly at where they had disappeared. She had never seen anything like that before. She had seen figures made of other materials before, like earth, crystal, and even water, but nothing in her mind even came close to describing the material she had just seen.

Twilight finally looked up at Julius and swallowed nervously. His face was a mixture of between being mortified and horrified. With the dim light she could see his pupils were dilated and he appeared a bit scary to her. If only she knew what was going through his head she probably would have been running now.

Julius thoughts were currently along these lines: Oh goddess, I’m gonna have to kill her. But how am I to dispose of the body? Maybe I can get rid of it in the Everfree? Or I could just knock her out and imprison her in the basement. Femme could use her as a blood source!

Suffice to say, Julius was in a bit of a panic mode. Normally he would have sufficient time to react appropriately, but this came upon so suddenly he wasn’t sure what to do. He was caught red hoof using dark magic there was no way he could….

“Are… you okay?” Twilight asked reaching out to touch his hoof. He blinked and his eyes returned to normal before he looked at her hoof and then back to her. It was then he saw innocence in her eyes as well as ignorance. She had no idea he had been using dark magic.

There was an awkward silence before he regained his composure, “Uh, yeah. I’m fine,” He tried to put on his best friendly smile which thankfully seemed to work.

She smiled softly back and noticed that his eyes were looking down. She followed them and saw she was still touching his hoof. She quickly retracted, probably faster than she should have and covered a little blush on her face.

Eager to get her thoughts away from anything that just happened he entered his normal shop keeper mode, “So, what brings you to my dank little store this late at night?”

Twilight blinked and then remembered why she was here, “Oh yes! I need a few supplies. You have some ink, quill feathers, and parchment?”

Julius nodded and turned to reach under the counter with his magic, giving her a good view of his healing bruises. She let out a gasp which made Julius return his attention to her as he brought the ink and quills up with his magic and set them on the counter top. Twilight then voiced her concern, “What happened to you? Did you get into a fight?”

It took a moment for him to understand what she was talking about, “Oh, the bruises?” She nodded as he said this and he explained, “Well, I decided to challenge the town library to a fight. What I didn’t know is that tree libraries can turn upside down. I also learned that getting hit by a hard cover book hurts. And after I learned that, the library decided to perform a little experiment. It hypothesized that if getting hit by one book hurts then getting hit by a giant pile would hurt even more,” He then let out a light hearted chuckle, “In conclusion, yes it hurts a lot more.”

Twilight covered her mouth in horror, “You were in the library when Trixie turned it upside down?”

Doing his best Big Mac impression, he answered, “Eyup!” After a moment he then asked, “Wait, her name was Trixie? Huh, thought it was something like Pixie Kirin.”

Twilight shook her head, “Nope, and I believe her last name was Lulamoon.”

Julius just blinked and scratched his beard, “How did I get Kirin out of Lulamoon?” He just shook his head and sighed at his confusion.

“Sooo,” She drew out the word as she tried to pull the subject to what had caught her earlier interest. “What was that you were just doing?”

Julius’s eyes started to look everywhere except at Twilight, “What do you mean? I wasn’t doing anything!” Normally Julius was a good liar, but a long day plus blood loss from Femme’s feeding coupled with the fact he was caught red hoofed performing dark magic was making his lying skills pathetic. Not Applejack pathetic, but still pretty bad.

Twilight continued to mistake his nervousness for being embarrassed. “You know, that magic with the dancing ponies. Can you show it to me?” She got excited and leaned in and flashed him a bright smile.

Twilight’s eagerness caught Julius off guard. He now saw that she wasn’t going to report him or try to blackmail him. All he saw was a mare with a thirst for knowledge. It was quite a refreshing site to him.

With one last paranoid glance his horn lit up with purple energies and Twilight watched with awe as the shadows began to move and leave the objects that casted them. Three black dots formed and sprung up as three unicorns. One was more masculine than the other two, while the other was more feminine and shapely. However, the pony shadow between the two was far smaller, what would be a filly or little colt. All three were unicorns, but didn’t have any other significant features.

Twilight found the white blank eyes a bit eerie, but was too fascinated by them to care. She leaned down with a mirthful smile and giggled when the three waved at her. After the quick greeting the child ran up and jumped right up on her snout. She let out a very Fluttershy-esque meep, but the initial fear was drowned out by her curiosity.

The shadow puppet felt like she was touching cooled metal. It was strange, but not unpleasant. She reached up with one of her hooves as she looked cross-eyed at the child and gave it a poke with her hoof. It was solid and still cold to the touch. Twilight found herself at a loss for words at this little creation.

With one last wave at her the colt leapt from her nose and landed safely with its family. All three gave a bow to her and disappeared into a wispy smoke.

Twilight laughed and clapped her forehooves together. “That’s amazing! You should show everypony in Ponyville that!” Her eyes lit up with an idea, “You could perform that trick for kids at the school! Maybe that will stop Snips and Snails from idealizing Trixie,” She added thoughtfully while tapping her chin.

Julius was less enthused with that idea as his eyes widened with horror and he quickly and forcefully shouted, “NO!” which caused Twilight to lean back a bit. Julius calmed down and cleared his throat, “Umm… I mean no. I’d prefer it if nopony knew I could do that and much less show them that I can.”

A tilt of her head showed Twilights confusion, “Why? Is the spell dangerous?”

Julius shook his head. “No, it’s not dangerous at all,” Unless I make it so.

“Well, what’s the problem then?” Twilight didn’t see why he would act like this. At first she thought it might have been stage fright, the thought of showing his skill in front of so many ponies, but that didn’t explain why he didn’t want them to even know about it.

If Julius had his head on straight he might have been able to play off a lie of having stage fright. This left him to tread close to some of the most dangerous waters of the Darkmoon Covenant, the truth. “Well, that spell is a bit… frowned upon.”

“Why?” Twilight asked while drawing out the word as she looked a little more suspiciously at him.

“Uhh… well,” Julius paused for moment as worked up his nerves, “It’s kinda, sorta, technically… dark… magic,” He smiled sheepishly as he started to break into a cold sweat.

“Oh,” Twilight shifted uncomfortably and then asked, “But it’s not dangerous?”

“No,” He replied, as Julius started to go through all the worst case scenarios of how this was going to end. Most of them ending with him burying her body in the Everfree Forest.

It was then Julius heard something he never expected, “Could you teach me that spell?” When Twilight asked that his jaw dropped. Had he been undead his jaw would have more literally dropped. It would have actually detached itself and been on the floor right at that moment.

He only came up with one response, “Wha?”

“Could you teach me that spell?” Twilight repeated with a slight smile. Julius was carefully examined her and could see that she was completely serious.

The sudden freedom of the stress of being caught made way for ingenuity. He started to think straight and carefully contemplated everything. He rubbed the front of his mouth with his hoof to make it seem like he was carefully thinking over Twilight’s request, but really he was trying to hide his devilish smile.

When he set his hoof down he was very calm and he answered, “I could teach it to you,” Twilights face lit up. “But I won’t,” and her face quickly fell.

“W-why not?” Twilight was deeply devastated at being denied the chance to learn a new spell.

Julius had this all planned out and he just needed to carefully play on her thirst for knowledge. “Well, I’d get into huge trouble for one. Teaching dark magic can earn big jail time. Learning it not so much, depending on what you’re learning of course.”

Twilight’s ears drooped at this revelation, but perked up when he spoke again, “However… hmm,” He was acting at this point and playing off very well now that he was in control of the situation. “One moment,” Julius went off to the back and was gone for several minutes. During that time Twilight got her supplies together and pulled out the bits that she would need to pay.

Recently the trade and supply route reopened within the Darkmoon Covenant. Unfortunately the amount of supplies and how often the supplies would be delivered was very limited now. This meant that Julius still needed to make ‘donations’ to Femme’s blood bank. Luckily, he was no longer in threat of running out of supplies because there wasn’t a very high demand in Ponyville.

It was then Julius returned with one of the recent things he got in his last shipment. He was holding a book with his magic and set it on the counter. “Years back I found this little book that teaches the basics and fundamentals of dark magic. Just a fun and fascinating little hobby I picked up,” He was lying about all that. Sure he had read an older version of this book many years back, but most of his magic was either learned from a master or self-taught and if Twilight was to draw the wrong conclusions who was he to correct her?

Twilight was staring at the book with fascination. Julius figured with her being a librarian she would be eager to read a new book and his theory was dead on. Twilight ran her hoof over the black book. It had a metal clasp to keep it firmly shut when one wasn’t reading it and on the cover there was a dark blue moon with some stars of similar color.

She looked up at Julius with her mouth opened and a smile, “How much?!” she shouted with glee.

Julius had to struggle not to smile and put on a sad frown as he closed his eyes, sighed, then scooted the book away from, “I’m sorry, but it’s not for sale and I’m afraid I can’t let you read it either.”

For Twilight, being told she couldn’t read something was like telling her not to breath. She let off a frustrated growl when she heard that. “Then why did you even show me the book?!” Twilight flung her hooves up in the air show her frustration.

“Well,” Julius began as he slipped the book under that counter, “I can’t legally sell or give you the book. It’s fine to own it, but as the laws are now I can’t exchange this book to anypony. However, I showed it to you in case you someday come across it. Maybe you’ll find it at some bargain book sale or in the trash,” Twilight winced at the thought of somepony throwing a book away, “But as long as you know what to look out for you might be able to get one of these books. Some ponies don’t know when they have something special,” He gave her a sly wink making her think that he managed to buy the book off of some ignorant merchant.

Twilight gave a sigh of defeat as she paid for her supplies and slipped them into her saddle bags, “I guess I’ll just have to keep an eye out then.”

“Aw cheer up, you never know- hey what’s that?” Julius peered over as her as he seemed to concentrate on something behind Twilight.

Twilight turned around and looked through the dark corners of the shop, but didn’t see anything, “Uh, what’s what?” She turned back to him.

“Thought I saw something, must have been my imagination,” He walked around the counter. “I’ll see you out,” Twilight nodded gratefully as he led her to the front of his shop. She was still feeling disappointed, but she figured she’d get over it soon enough. As she left he called out to her, “Stay safe, crazy ponies tend to come out at night!”

“Oh, you don’t have to worry about me!” Twilight gave him a short wave and then cantered off to her library.

Julius chuckled to himself and prayed to Luna that his plan would work. Just as he was about to go back into his shop he caught something out of the corner of his eye. He looked across the street to the nearest building with a lamppost. Sitting there was a mare. A pink mare.

This pony slowly raised one hoof and scratched her neck slow and intently while glaring at him. She stopped then pointed at her eyes then pointed to him and she whispered. Julius had no idea how somepony could whisper to another from that far away without the aid of magic, but he would swear on his grave that Pinkie Pie was now whispering as if she was right next to him. She just said one thing, “Itchy neck….”

With the speed to create a sonic rainboom, Julius slammed his front door shut, causing the sign to flip around and say, “Go away, we’re closed!” while proceeding to barricade his door with anything that wasn’t nailed down… again.

After getting his heart rate to slow down, Julius’s eyes widened at a realization, “The back door!” He leapt over his front counter and ran into the back rooms where he quickly locked the door and barricaded it with everything in that he didn’t keep out front. Catching his breath he sighed with relief and slowly turned around.

“Julius?”

“GAH!” Julius flung himself against the nearest wall as his heart pumped at a mile a minute. It took him a moment to realize that it was just Ecto.

“You okay? You look like you’ve seen a ghost,” Ecto smiled and she started to laugh. Julius began to chuckle with her as he finally calmed down.

He wiped some sweat from his brow and Juilus asked, “So, why are you up?”

Ecto looked to the floor with a bit of embarrassment and shame, “I… I had a bad dream. I was wondering… would you read me a story?”

He just stared at her for a moment before Julius felt his heart fill with a deep warmth. Sometimes he forgot that Ecto was a child at heart and it was moments like this that he felt like he was her big brother or maybe even her father. It also made him feel guilty for sending her out into the Everfree and being so stern with her sometimes. With a warm smile he answered, “Sure, whatever story you want.”

Ecto’s face lit up like a beacon and she gave him a big hug. He shivered at her ghostly touch, but didn’t mind it too much. For just a moment he forgot all his troubles and enjoyed being hugged by one of the closest things he had to a family.


Twilight yawned as she entered her library. The brisk trot had tired her some, but she still had just enough energy to do a little bit of work before bed. She gently set her saddle bags on the nearby table and she opened them up and pulled out her fresh supply of ink and quills. However, as she took out her new parchments, she noticed something else was in her bags.

A gasp slowly escaped her mouth as she pulled out with her magic a very familiar looking black book that seemed to have “accidently” slipped into her bag. Twilights eyes lit up at the sight and she hugged the book tightly to her chest with a wide grin plastered across her face.

Twilight then opened the grimoire to the cover page and then read the title silently to herself, Fear Not the Dark….

Author's Note:

Wow, I made you guys wait far too long for this. On the plus side I actually proofread my story this time!

Now, I was hoping to have my cover story finished by the time I got this chapter done, but my artist had some real life issues sadly. Still, I have a better temporary cover now than what I had been using. I'll probably be working on a chapter for Darkness Within the Twilight next since that has been receiving so many faves.

Next chapter will be a Twilight chapter with her exploring this history and powers of dark magic! Bet you can guess what the chapters title will be called.