• Published 2nd Feb 2013
  • 17,961 Views, 1,035 Comments

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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Entre Act

Entre Act

The housekeeper grumbled in irritation as she approached the pounding door. It was the middle of the night, and she was a having a wonderful dream of being a queen in a far away land with servants of her own to tend to her every need. And then, the irritating pounding came, awaking her from her make-believe paradise. Who on God's green earth would be calling this time of night?

She opened the door a crack, only letting the knocker see her face. "Here now! What on earth are you doing at this ungodly hour?" she snapped.

A young mare stood on the door step, several bundles cradled in her arms, her hair a great mass of tangled waves, covered in snowflakes, and she wore a thin coat, one that did not look very warm, proven by the fact that she was shivering and her teeth were chattering. "P-please, I…I n-n-need to…to s-s-speak w-w-with Madame L-l-luna…"

The housekeeper eyed the waif with suspicion. "Do you know what hour it is? Madame is sound asleep, and so should I! Do your begging somewhere else and leave this door step at once!"

The housekeeper moved away and attempted to shut the door, but Fluttershy's hoof shot out, catching the door before it fully closed. "Please…l-let me speak w-w-w-with her…I b-b-beg of you…"

The housekeeper frowned and attempted to push Fluttershy away. "Go away, you vile, disgusting, little–"

"What seems to be the problem, Sandy?"

Fluttershy looked past the angry housekeeper and felt relief wash over her at the sight of Twilight Sparkle. "Oh, Twilight, please…I…I n-need to speak with–"

"Don't go bothering the young miss!" the housekeeper retorted in Fluttershy's face. "Just some pauper attempting to take advantage of Madame's charity," she informed Twilight.

"Sandy wait!" Twilight placed a hoof on the mare's shoulder and pried the housekeeper away from the door. "Fluttershy?"

Fluttershy wanted to smile, so happy to see somepony she knew, but she was cold, tired, and emotionally exhausted after everything she had endured that night. The smile was fleeting, and gave way to a cascade of tears that were only inevitable. Twilight ignored the housekeeper's harsh words about letting a beggar in, and drew Fluttershy inside the small home of the ballet mistress and her daughter.

"My Goodness, you're frozen all over!" Twilight gasped at the feel of Fluttershy's hooves. "Come, sit here, and I'll fetch Cosmic to build you a fire and Sandy will make you some hot tea."

The housekeeper's eyes widened at the mention of her name. "I most certainly will not! You can't go trusting some homeless waif that shows up on our doorstep just because–"

"Do as my daughter says, Soles," came a cold voice from above.

All heads turned to the top of the narrow staircase to see Madame Luna descend the steps, tying a dark robe around her body. "Twilight, go wake Cosmic to build that fire, and then fetch Mademoiselle Fluttershy a clean night gown, as well as a robe. Soles, make us a whole pot of hot spiced tea."

It wasn't a request, it was a clear demand. The housekeeper eyed Fluttershy warily one last time, before grumbling and disappearing in the way of the kitchen. Twilight also disappeared to fetch the other servant to build the fire, as well as to get clean clothes for Fluttershy. She sat alone with Madame Luna in the small parlor; the snow that had crowned her curls had now melted and left her hair a cold wet mass.

Cosmic, the other servant, entered the room and quickly went to work lighting the parlor's fireplace. Twilight then returned with fresh nightclothes for Fluttershy and took the young mare to her room where Fluttershy could change. Fluttershy then returned to the parlor, where Madame Luna sat, sipping some of the spiced tea that Soles had brought. "Feel any better my dear?" she softly asked as Fluttershy sat down across from her.

Fluttershy slowly nodded her head, but Madame Luna could tell the mare was going through an emotional conflict of great proportions. "Thank you Twilight, Soles," Madame Luna softly dismissed. Sandy Soles was all too grateful to go back to bed, yet Twilight hesitated.

"Are you sure mama? I don't mind–"

"Thank you dear, but you need your rest, tomorrow will be a very busy day with rehearsals for the new opera," she said in a low voice, her eyes never leaving Fluttershy's face.

Fluttershy practically flinched at the mention of Discord's opera. She had forgotten all about it, and wondered if that had been a lie too. Did Discord really think she had potential for being a great singer? Or were the lessons his way of keeping her there longer so that he could eventually bed her?

Strange…he seemed so genuine when he told her how he wanted to change the ending of Don Juan. He also seemed so sincere when he told her he loved her…

Had she been so blind? Or was Discord truly that good of an actor? She didn't know what to think, she was so confused.

"Drink this my dear, it will help," Madame Luna soothed, holding a cup out to Fluttershy. She had been watching the mare ever since she came into the house. She had this distant look in her eyes, the look of one who had experienced some sort of horrifying trauma. Had she been wrong? Perhaps Discord was not in love with Time Turner's daughter, perhaps her worst fears were correct and Discord had taken advantage of the poor mare, using her for whatever purposes he wished to have sated.

Yet she remembered how Discord turned away with disgust at the mention of raping Fluttershy. It was not just his own honor that he was defending then, but she felt that perhaps he had been defending Fluttershy's as well. Yet love can blind people, she reminded herself. Discord may believe himself in love with Fluttershy, but that didn't mean he was doing what was right by her. Fluttershy had been locked away for months down there, and even if Discord had not laid one hoof on her, it was still extremely traumatic to be taken away, locked up, and have one's own family removed.

And yet Discord had been looking for Time Turner, something he had been clearly doing for Fluttershy. Perhaps he was beginning to see the light of his errors.

"I'm glad you came here," Madame Luna whispered, leaning across and placing a soothing hoof on Fluttershy's. "You did the right thing, coming here."

Fluttershy hadn't been paying attention until she felt Madame Luna's hoof touch hers. Her mind was far away, in a darker place, with the memory of the stallion she loved, God help her, the stallion she still loved…and yet it had all been an illusion.

"I didn't know where else to go," she softly murmured.

Madame Luna smiled, yet it was a sad smile, one full of pity for the young mare. "You are always welcome here, my dear. Should anything ever happen, you will always have a place here."

Fluttershy looked down at the teacup she held in her hooves. "Thank you," she whispered. Then, suddenly, her memory stirred to why she had sought out Madame Luna in the first place. "My father!" Fluttershy gasped, the teacup almost falling off her lap. "He is being held in a Maris prison! We must go to him! Please, we must free him at once–"

"Hush my dear, I promise you we shall, but we must wait till dawn, then we shall go at once and release him."

Fluttershy looked at Madame Luna, a puzzled expression written across her face. It was then that she thought it odd that the dance mistress hadn't even questioned to where either she, or her father, had been all this time. True, Fluttershy reminded herself, Celestia had fired her in front of both Madame Luna and the managers, and therefore the dance mistress may not have assumed Fluttershy had been missing this whole time. But to suddenly show up on her doorstep without warning…and to blindly accept everything Fluttershy was saying…

Did Madame Luna know more than she was letting on?

"You say that as though…you're not surprised to learn he is in jail…" Fluttershy whispered, a new feeling of anxiety coming over her.

Madame Luna recognized the emotion the young mare was feeling and reached out, grasping both of Fluttershy's hooves in her own. "My dear, I only just learned the news tonight…and…I only just made the discovery about…about you being kept below by Discord, tonight as well," she sighed.

Fluttershy's eyes widened further at Madame Luna's revelation. "You…you know Discord?"

The older mare nodded her head, releasing Fluttershy's hooves and leaning back in the chair she sat on. "Yes, I know him," she sighed again and looked down at her own teacup. "One could say I was his…liaison to the outside world. The Phantom's representative to the world above."

"Of course," Fluttershy murmured, the pieces of this strange puzzle falling together. "How else would he have gotten food, fabric for clothing, even the money…"

Madame Luna lifted a dark brow at Fluttershy's words. "Money?"

Fluttershy nodded her head and then reached down, picking up one of the small bundles that she had carried in with her. She opened the bundle, reveling a cascade of gold coins. "He…" Fluttershy stopped momentarily to wipe one of her cheeks. "That is, the Phantom…he gave this to me…" she did not wish to explain the full reasons why Discord had given her the money, but she could tell the older mare her intentions. "He knew about my father too," she whispered. "He said I could use the money to free him."

Madame Luna nodded her head with understanding. She had provided Discord and his little family with many things over the years; food, fabric for clothes, parchment for music, books, candles, oil for lamps, and many other things. Yet she never gave him money, for she knew he would only waste it on prostitutes. She was aware that Discord had developed the art of pick pocketing, although he justified his stealing by only taking money from those who could more than afford it, such as the Prince. If Blueblood only knew how much money he was losing every night he went to the opera…

However, seeing this huge pile of money that Fluttershy had revealed caused the dance mistress to take pause and think about Discord in a new light. She had many thoughts go through her head when she saw Fluttershy that night; she had hoped her words would have softened Discord to at least the thought of releasing Fluttershy, but she had not expected that he would have done it so soon. Also, he had revealed to the girl that her father was in jail; yet something about the way Fluttershy had said, "he knew about my father too", caused Madame Luna's brow to crease with confusion. Fluttershy made it sound as if Discord had known for some time that Time Turner was in jail, which she knew for a fact was not true. Discord always tried to give off a stony exterior, yet when she had delivered the news to him earlier that night about Time Turner, he had been taken completely by surprise.

What had transpired between both Discord and Fluttershy after she left?

"That is a hearty fortune my dear," Madame Luna murmured, taking another sip from her teacup. "It will certainly be enough to help your father," she added, hoping to give Fluttershy a chance to smile.

Foolish notion, she thought to herself. The poor mare had just learned that her father, who had been missing all these months, was in jail somewhere in Maris. She wouldn't be happy until she and the old stallion were reunited. "Come," Madame Luna sighed, rising from her chair and reaching to take Fluttershy's teacup. "There is a spare bedroom next door to Soles's. I wish I could offer you better, especially a place away from my grumpy housekeeper," she muttered. Madame Luna wondered how Fluttershy had been living these past few months. Had she been caged? No, she could not imagine Discord being that cruel, however, she had never imagined Discord keeping a mare, period! Perhaps she slept in the same chamber with the others…on a pile of rags. This bed may be the first Fluttershy had slept on in a long time. The tiny servant's room may seem like a palace.

Fluttershy followed Madame Luna's example, and rose from her chair, hugging all the bundles to her body, afraid that if she let them go long enough, she may lose one of them. She said nothing; she simply followed the dance mistress to the spare bedroom she had mentioned.

"Here we are," Madame Luna motioned to the door. "There are clean sheets and blankets, and I promise to wake you as soon as it's dawn, and we will go at once to fetch your father."

Fluttershy nodded her head, although she knew that she wouldn't get any sleep that night. However, before Madame Luna turned to leave, Fluttershy reached out and grasped the older mare's arm. "Madame, I…I need to know something…"

Madame Luna looked at Fluttershy with concern, thinking that perhaps the mare wished to know what prison her father was being kept in, or how, perhaps, she had come to this information about her father.

However, her question was none of those things. In fact, it took the dance mistress completely by surprise.

"How…how well do you know the Phantom?"

Madame Luna looked down at the mare, Fluttershy's blue eyes shimmering with new tears and filled with a need to hear answers to many unspoken questions.

"Well," she took in a deep breath and began. "I met him when I was younger…not as young as you, but before I married, and not long after I began dancing in Maris. He was only seventeen at the time; I remember recognizing him from the carnival. I'm not proud to admit it, but I went with several mares to the carnival and I remember seeing him there, caged and beaten…" she spoke these words with such venom. "The night I met him, I thought I was alone. I was rehearsing for a complicated scene in the upcoming opera, when I heard a noise from off stage. I followed it and found him trapped, his leg caught in a trap door that led below stage. He had been looking for scraps, and when he heard me enter the auditorium, he attempted to flee but got himself caught," she sighed, remembering everything so clearly as if it were yesterday. "I helped him free himself, to which he said nothing, he simply dashed away. I was surprised that he was there, but I was also happy…happy that he had escaped such a horrible place. The next day, I stayed late again, only this time I had brought food with me. I placed it near the trap door I had found him at the other night, and sure enough, he came," she smiled softly to herself. "He was starving, it was quite obvious, and for the next few nights, that's what I did…I brought rations and would leave them by the trap door. And then, one night, he finally spoke to me."

Fluttershy had been enraptured by this tale, and all thoughts of how things had transpired earlier seemed to have vanished. "And? What did he say?"

"He said, 'could you bring more for my friends?'," Madame Luna could not help but smile tenderly at the memory. Fluttershy found herself smiling too, and then a wave of confusion coming over her. How could a stallion, who cared so deeply for his companions, be as cruel as he had been to her that night? It just didn't make any sense…

"The next night I did as he asked, bringing more food than usual. I soon learned that while he had eaten some of the food I had brought him the night before, he was giving larger portions to the others. This way, they all could have an equal share," she explained. "And then, the night that followed that one, Discord struck a bargain with me. I was to begin to tell ghost stories about a mysterious creature called The Phantom, who haunted the Maris Opera House, and who oversaw everything. If one didn't do as they were told, The Phantom would see to them. And then I was to say that The Phantom lived beneath the opera house, and anyone who dared to enter his domain, would not return…alive. And thus began the legend of the Opera Ghost," Madame Luna concluded.

Fluttershy looked up at Madame Luna, puzzlement still written across her pretty face. "In all the time you've known him, has Discord–I mean, the Phantom, has he…has he ever taken anypony…hostage?"

Madame Luna slowly shook her head, a hoof rising to brush across the mare's face. "No my dear, at least not that I have been aware of…" she paused, her own brow furrowing. "Of course…I did not learn that he held you prisoner until tonight," she confessed. "I had my suspicions, for instance, the night at the New Year's masquerade I thought I recognized you–and then my suspicions were confirmed when I realized the mare in gold had disappeared with Red Death…but I was never sure, until tonight."

Fluttershy had felt her heart lift and then dash into a thousand pieces. She had been hoping that Madame Luna would tell her that Discord was not capable of the cruelty he had inflicted. Yes, she knew he could be frightening, but she knew that his reasons were to protect himself and his friends from trespassers. However, if Madame Luna had only tonight learned of Fluttershy living below, there may have been other times she was not aware of Discord keeping somepony else below for…whatever purposes he had.

"You really should get some rest, my dear," Madame Luna murmured, coaxing Fluttershy into the small bedroom. "Tomorrow will be a new day, we shall find your father, and everything will be made right."

Fluttershy wanted to agree with the mare, but her heart was still breaking. She simply nodded her head and shut the door of the tiny bedroom. She placed the small bundles she had been cradling down upon the bed, eyeing them all carefully. There were four bundles total; the money that Discord had thrown at her feet, and the others were items she had gathered from her chambers.

She slowly sat down and began to unwrap them, her fingers shaking as each bundle slowly revealed its secrets.

One held the books Discord had given her. She ran her hooves across the leather bindings, remembering how happy she had been upon discovering her gift.

The second bundle contained the dresses Rarity had made for her. They were plain compared to the grand gowns Discord had fetched for her from the costume cages, but they were dear gifts that she treasured. A tear trickled down her cheek as she thought of her friends who she sadly did not say goodbye to.

The final bundle was one that Fluttershy was very wary of opening. It was the smallest of all the bundles, and she still questioned herself as to why she brought it. Yet at the time, when she looked at it, she couldn't imagine leaving it either.

Slowly, she opened the bundle, her hooves trembling as she did so. Inside, lay one of Discord's black leather gloves. One evening he had come to her chamber, and they made love for what felt like hours. Discord had dropped the glove, and she always meant to bring it to him, but always forgot. Tonight, she spotted the glove, and without another moment's hesitation, snatched it up and stuffed it in with her other bundles.

Fluttershy lifted the glove and ran her fhooves along the smooth black leather, remembering how his paw and claw felt when they had touched her, how tender he had been when they first made love, how careful he always was when they were together. He never rushed her, he always waited until she was ready; what had happened to them?

She squeezed her eyes shut as hot fresh tears began to pour down her cheeks. She ran the glove's smooth fabric along her cheek, wishing it truly was Discord's paw, that he would be there and tell her it had all been a horrible misunderstanding, that he didn't mean what he said, that it had been a nightmare–that he still loved her and would never do anything to hurt her.

She opened her eyes then, and let out a soft wail as she sadly realized she was still in the tiny bedroom. Indeed, this was a nightmare…but it was one that she was living.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"HE DID WHAT?"
Shortround winced at the rather ear-piercing shriek from Rarity and Derpy, but sadly nodded his head.

"S-s-she's…s-s-she's g-g-going away?" Derpy whimpered, her face already growing wet from tears.

Shortround sighed and reached out, placing one hoof on the hunchback's arm. "Yes…I'm afraid it's true. And she's not going away Derpy…she's…she's already gone."

Derpy's eyes widened in disbelief; this couldn't be happening! "But…b-but I thought…I t-t-thought s-she liked it here? I…I t-t-thought s-she liked us?"

Shortround squeezed Derpy's arm tenderly, wishing he could explain things better. "She does Derpy, she does, it's just…well…she just had to go."

"WHY?" Derpy cried, her face now shining from her spilt tears.

Rarity was also struggling with the news. "Fluttershy would never…she would never just leave without saying anything to us!"

"Well, she did, so get over it," Rainbow Dash grumbled from her corner.

Rarity turned towards the peg legged mare, her eyes narrowing into tiny slits of fire. "You had something to do with this, didn't you? DIDN'T YOU!"

Rainbow Dash sprang to her feet, her own eyes burning with the same angry fire. "You know nothing! Do not accuse me unless you have proof!"

"Stop it!" Shortround roared, his hoof already rubbing Derpy's shoulder, which was trembling from her sobs. "Fighting will not bring Fluttershy back; nor will it help the Master," he murmured.

Rainbow Dash and Rarity glared at one another before Rainbow Dash retreated back into her darkened corner. Rarity took Derpy's hoof in her own and led her over to her bed, where she coaxed her to sit down. The anger still burned within her eyes and veins, but she tried to calm herself so as not to upset Derpy further.

"You never cared for her, you always made that abundantly clear," she grumbled towards Rainbow Dash.
Rainbow Dash glared back at her, but said nothing. She simply stared at the shadows and huddled her body around the heap of rags that she slept on.

Shortround watched Rainbow Dash pensively for a moment, before Derpy's question interrupted his thoughts. "W-w-why…w-w-why d-did Fluttershy h-h-have t-to go?" She hiccuped here and there through her sobbing.

Shortround sighed. "You remember how the Master was giving Fluttershy singing lessons?" Derpy nodded her head. "Well…the Master made a bargain with Fluttershy; if she would let him train her voice, he would…he would release her when the time was right," Shortround lifted his hoof to brush away a tear that was trickling down his own cheek. "I suppose that he felt that now was the right time."

Raritys brow creased with confusion. "But…but surely she will come back? I mean…if what you say is true, if the Master truly made such a bargain with Fluttershy, then…then surely she would at least visit…"

"S-s-she h-has to!" Derpy wailed, before scooping up the tiny black kitten that was trying to sleep next to her pillow. "Carmen! S-s-she f-f-forgot Carmen!"

Rarity eyed Rainbow Dash from her corner, an uneasy feeling washing over her. "I'm not wrong with thinking that you do know something more to all this…" she murmured. Rainbow Dash said nothing, she simply huddled her body closer, attempting to turn her back on the prying eyes of her companions. "Rainbow Dash…" Rarity rose from Rarity's bed and began marching towards the mare. "Rainbow Dash you will answer me," she said through clipped lips. "You at least owe us that much."

"I owe you nothing!" Rainbow Dash snapped, turning slightly to send the mare a death glare.

Rarity was not phased one bit by the look. "What do you know about Fluttershy's leaving?"

Without warning, Rainbow Dash leapt to her hooves once more, this time she was bearing down upon Rarity, her eyes wild with anger and…something else. "You want to know what I know? FINE! But I will not be blamed for this!" she shouted. "I was doing my part for the Master, I was doing my job! He ordered me to search for the mare's father, that was EXACTLY what I did! And I found him, yes I found him!" she roared at all three of them. "He was in a prison cell, I overheard two police officers say his name and how they had been holding him for quite some time…" she paused as she recalled the danger of the situation. "They saw me…not my face, or my…" she glanced down at her leg and moved her arm behind his back. "But they saw my shadow and chased me…if it hadn't been for her, I would have…I…I would have…" her words trailed off as the nightmares from the past began to fill her head.

Shortround slowly approached the trembling mare, his voice calm and soothing. "Who helped you Rainbow Dash?"

Rainbow Dash woke from her trance and glanced into Shortround's eyes, before looking once more at the ground. "Madame Luna," she muttered. "She pulled me into her carriage and brought me back to the opera house," she paused for a moment before continuing. "She demanded that I take her to see the Master."

Rarity gasped, her hooves flying to her mouth. "Madame Luna was here? She spoke with the Master?"

Rainbow Dash nodded her head, but couldn't look into anypony's eyes. "She…she said it was important…and…and I knew it had something to do with Fluttershy…I…I didn't know what else to do, and I had to tell the Master about Fluttershy's father–"

"It's alright Rainbow Dash," Shortround interrupted. "Madame Luna can be a very commanding person; if you had not taken her to the Master, I'm sure she would have discovered her own way inside…and you're right, you had to tell the Master about Monsieur Time Turner."

Rainbow Dash said nothing; he simply kept her eyes to the ground. "I listened for a short while, outside the Master's chambers…they were arguing, he and Madame Luna; arguing about Fluttershy."

"Oh dear," Rarity whispered. "She must have thought the Master had kidnapped her and…and done terrible things to the poor mare!"

Rainbow Dash slowly nodded her head. "The Master must have heard me, because he quickly led Madame Luna from the chamber to another place…I…I dared not follow, the Master looked…I've never seen the Master look so angry in all my years of knowing him…"

A chill went down the spines of all four friends. They had known Discord for many years, and they had seen his fits of rage and the extremes his temper could be taken. But something about Rainbow Dash's words caused a sense of dread to creep into the hearts of all of them.

"Well, that explains it then," Shortround sighed. "The Master released her because of her father. If he was in prison, Fluttershy had to go and save him, naturally."

Rarity lowered her head, a feeling of shame washing over her. "I'm so selfish–I had forgotten all about the poor old stallion. Of course, Fluttershy had to go and save him, she had to go and be with him," yet Rarity's brow was still creased with worry. "But…but something still doesn't make sense. I understand Fluttershy's need for leaving, but…but why didn't she say goodbye?"

Shortround shook his head. "I'm not sure. Perhaps…perhaps she thought it would be too painful?" He reflected on his thoughts and slowly murmured, "You should have seen the Master's face. I…I've never seen him like that before…"

Rainbow Dash's eyes widened at these words. "W-w-what do you mean? W-was he still angry?"

"No Rainbow Dash, you do not need to fear him," Shortround reassured, but no calming smile creased his lips. Instead, his eyes shown the deepest concern a pony could ever show for another. "I've never seen the Master look…look so sad. As if his very life had been sucked out of his body–not even his music could give him joy. He just…he looked so lifeless, so–"

"He's in love," Rarity whispered, yet her words rang clearer than any bell.

Shortround sighed, and softly nodded his head.

The others stared at her, their eyes wide as realization slowly fell upon them. "I…I always wondered since the night Fluttershy had gone above to warn the Master if something…if something had happened between them…"

"They were spending much of their time together…" Shortround continued. "And the Master had given me specific instructions to come to his chambers this evening and bring my bible…"

"And he was hard at work when I brought Madame Luna in to see him," Rainbow Dash finished. "He was smiling when I first saw him…and then he became so angry, especially when Madame Luna began to…well, to accuse him of doing horrible things to Fluttershy…"

Rarity looked at the others, a tiny smile lighting her face. "After all this time…the Master has fallen in love."

"And that is why he released Fluttershy," Shortround sighed. "He knew her father needed her, and he knew she missed him dreadfully."

"But it wasn't enough," Rainbow Dash muttered. "She's still gone, for a good reason, yes, but she's not coming back, you said so yourself that the Master told you she's gone for good."

"But surely she will come back! I mean, where will the poor mare stay, even after she's saved her father?" Rarity bit her lip with worry. "I mean, she loves him! We all know that she loves him, and if he loves her…well, they should be together! And her father could stay here too, they could–"

"Rarity," Shortround interrupted, his eyes full of wisdom and truth, truth that Rarity did not want to see.

"Yes, yes, I know," she sighed, feeling tears burn her eyes. "I just…she brought light to our darkened world, and for once I believed in goodness because of her," she smiled as several memories of Fluttershy returned. "And while we have no choice to live in hiding…this is no world for a mare like her, or an old stallion."

Shortround nodded his head, although he too was saddened by the truth of the situation. "The Master knew what he was doing…and he did the right thing by letting her go."

"Yes, you're right," Rarity sighed, although her heart was aching with the sad truth. "I just hope Derpy can understand why she had to go. Derpy?" she turned towards the mares's bed, but gasped when she realized she was gone.

"Where…where did she…?"

"Must have left while we were talking," Rainbow Dash grumbled. "Took that blasted kitten with her too," she pointed to the blank spot on the bed where Carmen had been sleeping.

"Oh dear," Rarity bit her lip. "We have to find her, she won't understand, she'll think Fluttershy abandoned her–"

"It will be all right," Shortround soothed. "We'll explain everything when we see her later, but for now, let her have some time to herself."

Rarity nodded her head, but a horrible feeling was washing over her body. "Yes, of course…it's just…something doesn't feel right," she murmured, more to herself than to the others. "Something doesn't feel right at all…"

Author's Note:

Sandy Soles opens a window and joins the chorus of the Smile Song in A Friend in Deed. Her cutie mark is two interlocking horseshoes.Cosmic is shown in Luna Eclipsed. His cutie mark is a crescent moon.