• Published 2nd Feb 2013
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The Opera Phantom Discord - Alexandrite Ward



Fluttershy's father is captured by the villianous Discord, Phantom of the Opera! Can she save him while being pursued by the handsome and charming Prince Blueblood?

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Intrigue

Intrigue
"Did I please you monsieur?"

He groaned, awoken from his trance by the mare's voice. Yes, the pleasure was pleasing, but always brief.

"You pleased me very much, my dear," he grunted, backing away. The mare seemed to pout a bit, but only momentarily and quickly dusted herself off.

"Is there anything else I can do for you, monsieur?"

He didn't want to look at her. This was the part he always hated. He was a stallion with needs like any other, and when he needed release from the cravings of the flesh, he knew exactly where to find them. The city was littered with prostitutes who were willing to do far more than he had asked of this mare. However, he wanted to keep the encounters as brief as possible. After he received what he wanted, he would give the mare what they wanted.

"Here," he muttered, tossing the mare several gold coins.

The mare's eyes widened in amazement. "But monsieur, this is too much for a mere-"

"My dear," he whispered, with as much calmness as he could muster, "you are a mare of great talent. You deserve every penny."

The mare said nothing, she wasn't about to argue over money. She quickly tucked the coins into her bodice, yet attempted to peer past the shadows that covered her customer's face. She had seen him before; this wasn't the first encounter the two of them had shared. He was a mysterious pony; only seeking out "company" long after dark, and always refusing to go indoors. He preferred dark lonely alleys and hard stone walls to soft feather beds. She had seen him here with other mares as well, sometimes seeking the pleasure she had provided for him, sometimes seeking more. But he himself never changed, always sticking close to the shadows and keeping his face covered with the collar of his cape. She shrugged her shoulders, thinking it didn't really matter what he wore or how he behaved, so long as she got paid.

"Shall I be seeing you again soon monsieur? Are you sure there isn't anything I can-"

"Yes," he growled. The mare jumped at the sound of his voice, not expecting the frightening tone. He quickly began to move away from the mare, holding onto his last strand of sanity.

"You've been paid, now go, quickly…and don't say a word about any of this," he warned, before turning on his hoof and disappearing into the shadows, his cape billowing behind him.

The mare had no idea how lucky she was, he thought disdainfully. If she had spoken one more word, his patience would have fled entirely and there was no telling what he would have done. Indeed, it was good that he left when he had. He hated falling pray to his baser needs, but was forever grateful for the small bit of magic he possessed allowing him to look like a pony, if only for a short while. Most magic had died out in this world, falling prey to fast growing technology. Most ponies couldn't even cast a basic spell anymore. Horns had become nothing more that a show of status or wealth.

Quickly, silently and swiftly, looking like a bat in the night air, he returned to his sanctuary, where the demons that threatened to consume him could be kept at bay by the power of his genius.
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She gazed out the window at the night sky, pleading for the clouds to reveal the glow of the silver moon and allow its welcoming beams to illuminate her tiny bedroom. She sighed, leaning her head against the hard iron window frame, knowing it was a lost cause. There was a storm in the air; she could feel it in her bones. Years of living in the country had hued such detection skills within her. Fluttershy sighed again and wrapped her blanket around her body, shivering, but not from the cold night air.

She had awoken only a few moments ago from a strange dream that caused her body to tremble violently. She was confused; her surroundings were strange and after a brief moment's pause, she remembered that both she and her father were staying at a cheap flat only a few streets away from the Opera House. Indeed, she could see its domes rising over the rooftops in front of her. And once again, she had that strange feeling that it was looking right back at her, even through her…

"Oh Mama," she whispered, feeling like a filly and wishing for her mother's soothing voice to calm her and tell her everything would be alright. That despite the stories Fluttershy begged her mother to tell, there really were no such thing as monsters or ghosts. Fluttershy cursed herself for thinking earlier that ghosts were romantic. She was lost in the beauty of the Opera House; now after having that strange dream, she felt ghosts could be anything but.

"Maybe it wasn't a ghost," she whispered to herself. "Maybe it really was a stallion…" she shook her head, feeling so foolish for analyzing something that meant nothing to her. It was a nightmare, pure and simple. And now she was awake and the dream was gone. She was safe, and things for both she and her father were going to be alright. He was to play the violin for the orchestra, and she was…going to work as Fleur de Lis' costume pony. The very thought turned Fluttershy's stomach.

She recalled how her father would not stop apologizing to her that whole afternoon while they moved into their new flat. "I can always tell them that I won't play if you are not given a place in the chorus-" She stopped him immediately and scolded him for daring to think such things.

She reasoned with her father, explaining to him that she was still young, she had plenty of opportunity in her life to be a singer, and she could always audition for the next season. And they could not afford to play such silly games with the managers to simply cater to her dreams. This was their only chance of survival. Fluttershy cursed the family of her mother, hating them for buying the farm right out from under her father and throwing both of them off their own land. It was done as a punishment for "stealing" their precious daughter, a mare with whom they had not contacted since the day she ran away to be with Fluttershy's father.

They had no where else to go except Maris. And if her father had been refused, then the only other option would be the streets.

Yet things were going to be alright, she reminded herself. While his position was deemed merely temporary, she was sure that once her father played for the orchestra, they would find something permanent for him. He was such a great musician, and it was he who inspired her love for music. That evening, before they had gone to bed, he played a few tunes on his violin and she sang along. It was just as if they were back on their small country farm. Fluttershy sighed again and quickly wiped the tear that was threatening to trickle down her cheek. While the splendor of the city was certainly dazzling, she missed her simple home.

She gazed one last time at the Opera House before shutting her window and returning to bed. She would dream of singing, instead of ghosts and monsters. She would work hard to win Fleur de Lis' favor and audition for the company the following season. Yes, that was what she would concentrate on. She smiled at her determined thoughts, and closed her eyes, waiting for her dreams of singing at the Opera House to fill her head.

But it was a different music that invaded her senses, a passionate melody that haunted her being. Somewhere in the night, across the miles of darkness, there was music; a sad sweet song that squeezed at her heart. And when she dreamt, it was that song she sang.
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The day had been long for Madame Luna, the rigid dance mistress that all the stage hooves feared. No one dared to cross paths with her, not even Fleur de Lis. Everyone believed that Madame Luna's icy demeanor came from an old knee injury that prevented her from ever dancing again, or the fact that her own daughter was the rising star, and she was being over protective. If they only knew the whole truth, she thought to herself. Yes, it had been a long day indeed; after a vigorous rehearsal she was left to find lodgings for the new violinist and his daughter. She didn't say much to either of them, yet observed the two closely, judging whether or not they could be trusted. Satisfied that they could be, she thought despite the late hour, now was as good a time as any to tell him of the day's events.

There were many secret passages that led to his lair; she knew about half of them. She also knew where to avoid the traps he set for intruders. Dressed in her traditional matron's black, she walked with dignity through the tunnels to where there was light burning in the distance, as well as the rising cords of organ music.

As she grew closer, there were movements off to the side. Any other pony would have run screaming, but she continued on, nodding her head to the figures that watched from the shadows. Finally, she came upon a clearing in the cavern, where hundreds of candles lit the room, illuminating the space in an orange glow. In one corner sat a caped figure, hard at work over a piece of music.

"I do not recall inviting you here madam," spoke a cold dark voice.

"I was not aware I needed an invitation, monsieur," she replied just as coldly.

The figure chuckled. "It would never matter; you come as you please, just like me."

Madame Luna felt the corners of her lips twitch at that. "We are more alike than you can imagine, Discord."

He made a sound to her words and continued going over the score in front of him. She stood silently while he played several cords on the organ before him, before stopping and examining the music again.

"A new opera?"

He smiled. "I'm already hard at work planning the next season." He picked up a pen and made a few changes on the sheet of music. "So what brings you here besides the dazzling conversation?" he asked, his voice dripping with sarcasm.

Madame Luna was not one to beat around the bush so she spoke quite plainly. "The managers hired a new violinist."

Discord dropped the pen and his muscles went rigid. "Today?"

"Yes."

He slowly turned to face the dance mistress, his eyes ablaze with fury. "When did this take place?" he asked, his voice fighting for calmness.
Madame Luna knew he did not like it when anypony focused on his face or body. She glanced briefly to see whether he was masked or not and if his body was covered. She was pleased to see that both were. "Just this afternoon, around three. I did come to tell you shortly after dusk, but…I learned you were otherwise…engaged."

Discord ignored the disgust in her voice and brushed past her to where he kept more parchment. She sighed and continued speaking. "Are you truly surprised? They have been in desperate need of a new violinist since…the rather surprising 'disappearance' of Monsieur Caramel…" she watched him for any reaction, but received none. "Discord, what did you do with the pony? Was his playing that offensive to you?"

He ignored her statements, showing no emotion to any of her words. "Who is this stallion, this new violinist?" he demanded, not looking her.
Typical, she thought. "His name is Time Turner."

"Means nothing to me," Discord icily replied, brushing past her again to the organ. He sat down and began furiously writing notes on the new parchment. "Can he play?"

Madame Luna sighed. "I have not yet heard him, but I do believe he will do the orchestra good."

Discord scoffed at her words. "Amazing how a pony who has not even played is regarded as a musical genius." He was extremely displeased. He knew the managers of the Opera House were idiots, but he never thought they would hire a random pony off the streets who held a violin in his hooves.

Madame Luna knew he was extremely upset. Discord disliked change, and quite frankly, he had been in a bad mood for the past two years ever since Flim and Flam became the Opera House managers. Unlike all the others before them, these two didn't follow Discord's instructions very well, not to mention their love for money was far greater than their love for music and art. Hence why Fleur de Lis was the star. "And those fools actually think they run this theater," he growled beneath his breath.

"Please be kind Discord, they have no where else to go," Madame Luna pleaded.

Discord's head popped up from his writing. "They?"

She sighed. "Yes, Monsieur Turner and his daughter."

Discord rolled his eyes and groaned loudly, before arranging the music just so and trying the new notes on the organ. "I detest fillies; I will not allow a filly to run around in my theater!"

"Mademoiselle Fluttershy is a mare, Discord."

He stopped his playing momentarily. "Oh?"

"Yes…a young mare still, if you ask me. She just turned 20."

"Ah, I see," he whispered, before resuming his playing. "A spinster then."

Madame Luna rolled her eyes. "Hardly. She is no older than my own daughter, and she had hopes of joining the chorus-"

"Do not tell me they hired her too?" Discord groaned, turning and looking at the dance mistress. "We don't need any more singers! We have the right amount for pitch and quality; I thought that was perfectly clear to those fools! "Discord stood up swiftly, knocking over the stool he was sitting on. He began to furiously pace, his breathing becoming harsh and uneven. "The only singer I would welcome is someone to replace that harpy they have warbling day after day! That, madam, is why I must flee this place now and then…if I don't, I'll become madder than I already am…" he sighed and slowed his pacing. If he could, he would kill Fleur de Lis this very night, and he would have no regrets whatsoever. It was this infernal mare's pleas that kept him from doing so. It was also the fact that Fleur de Lis, being a supposed "star" would no doubt cause a riot of some kind. But one day, if things went too far, he would throw caution to the wind and do what he had been longing to do ever since she first stepped hoof in his Opera House and opened her mouth.

Madame Luna saw the rage written across Discord's masked face and quickly continued, hoping it would calm him.

"Mademoiselle Fluttershy was not hired for the chorus…she is to work as Fleur de Lis's costume pony."

Discord relaxed somewhat, but a new rage began to spread within him. "These fools will hire anyone, won't they?" He began to pace again. "A costume pony is even worse! Gives her more of an excuse to snoop around! She could trespass easily, and then I would be forced to take matters into my own claws, and you know as well as I, madam, that I can not abide trespassers." His voice was dark and cold. It sent a shiver down Madame Luna's spine, for she had seen what Discord had done to previous trespassers.

"I warned them both about not going below the stage or taking unknown corridors."

"Do better," he hissed, before stomping back to the organ and fixing the stool so he could resume playing. Discord was one who treated music as precious glass…yet at the moment he was banging the keys with a blind fury.

Madame Luna took a deep breath, knowing there was only one way to calm his anger. "Fleur de Lis accused the young mare for trying to murder her…"

Discord suddenly stopped his playing, his head perking up at the words. "Really? Go on..."

Madame Luna couldn't help but smirk. "Fleur de Lis was rehearsing and Mademoiselle Fluttershy was watching from behind the curtains. Apparently a stage hoof attempted to grab Mademoiselle Fluttershy, who side stepped him, causing him to run into a piece of scenery which nearly crushed the managers' beloved star."

Discord rarely laughed, but he found himself grinning at this tale. "Tis a pity the scenery did not succeed," his playing became softer and gentler. "And Fleur de Lis accused the mare?"

"Yes," Madame Luna replied. "Although it was not her fault. It was Cranky Doodle Donkey who caused the accident…" she paused before continuing. "You should know that he was fired."

Discord only momentarily paused from his playing. "That shouldn't bother you," he whispered. "I recall you cursing his name many times for his leering at your precious dancers."

"True," Madame Luna said. "After all, the donkey was a drunkard, as well as a lout. But I know in some strange way he did you some good."
Discord nodded his head. "Cranky Doodle Donkey told more dark tales about me than any of my notes could have done. Because of him not one stage hoof or dancer dares go far below the stage." He turned the music and continued his playing, the music calmer, sweeter. "Still, it is a small loss…the time would have eventually come when I would not have been able to stand the donkey and have killed him myself."

"Discord-"

"My dear mare, when are you going to get a sense of humor?"

She eyed him warily. "Perhaps when your jokes are actually funny."

He couldn't help but grin a little at that. "Touché, madam, touché."

She sighed and turned as if to go, but paused momentarily. "You will not harm them, will you?"

Discord did not miss one beat of his playing. "If you are referring to Monsieur Time Turner and his little charge, then no…so long as his playing is decent and she stays in her place and they all follow my rules."

Satisfied by this answer, Madame Luna turned to leave. Like their greeting, there were no formalities when they parted. She climbed the steps and took the passages that led her out of Discord's purgatory to the pony world. All the while, his music followed her every step.
Discord continued his playing, however his mind was wandering to the news that was recently shared with him. He wasn't sure why, but he was deeply intrigued by the Opera House's new tenants. He would have to pay a visit to Monsieur Turner and his charming daughter. He found himself wondering about her, wondering what she was like, how she looked, whether she had a love for music. Could the mare sing? Madame Luna said that she had hopes to join the chorus. He brushed the thought away, knowing there were many ponies who auditioned year after year to sing in the Opera, and few had talent of any kind. This mare was probably no different from them…yet why did this unknown mare intrigue him so?

The tensions that drove him out earlier were beginning to rise again. No amount of music could soothe this need. He cursed his weakness and adjusted his cloak so that his masked face could be hidden. Damn him, and damn this mare for causing such weakness. Indeed, he would find out more about her, and perhaps, just perhaps, she could satisfy these primal urges that possessed his soul and kept him as a beast . . instead of a pony.

Author's Note:

Enjoy!

EDITED: 7/8/2014
www.operaphantomdiscord.tumblr.com