• 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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Misunderstanding

Misunderstanding

Blueblood strolled into the police station, his expression one of smug satisfaction. The officer who noticed his presence first groaned inwardly, but hastily pasted a smile across his face. "Good day, monsieur, we were not expecting you today."

Blueblood smiled at the young officer. "To tell you the truth, I had not planned to visit, but after a recent conversation, I realized that yes, I could afford time out of my schedule to stop by."

The officer continued to smile, although it was extremely apparent that it was not genuine. "Inspector Silverstar is not here at the moment–"

"I do not wish to speak with Inspector Silverstar," Blueblood cut in. "And stop smiling like that, you look like an absolute idiot."

The officer's smile quickly fell, but his interest was now peaked at Blueblood's announcement that he did not wish to speak with the chief inspector. "May I ask then, monsieur, what…well, what–"

"What perhaps you can do for me?" Blueblood finished the sentence, his smile growing by the second. "Yes, you may." Without another word, he tossed the noose that the stagehoof had sold to him to the officer.

The young officer let out a surprised gasp and stared at the object he now held with wide eyes. "This looks like…forgive me for bringing up painful memories, monsieur, but…this looks like–"

"The same noose that had been around my own neck but a few nights ago? Yes," Blueblood confirmed, although his warm smile had momentarily vanished. "I got this one off a stagehoof at the Maris Opera House, and no, he was not the stallion who attempted to murder me, so don't even begin to make such accusations."

The officer closed his mouth and quickly nodded his head. He gazed once more at the noose he now held and then back at the Prince. "If you don't mind me asking, monsieur, but…how exactly did he obtain–"

"The Phantom of the Opera," Blueblood said with a nonchalant wave of his hoof. "And before you begin to mimic your chief inspector, do this for me, and I shall pay you hoofsomely."

The officer once more closed his mouth and without another word nodded his head. "Yes monsieur! What can I do for you?"

Blueblood sighed and gazed at the noose in the officer's hoofs. "I assume you keep records of all your cases? At least of all your severe cases?"

The officer quickly nodded his head. "Oh yes, we keep records and files of many of our past cases, especially severe ones, such as murder investigations, if that is what you mean?"

Blueblood's cool smile returned. "I want you to go through those past records, and find me all the cases that deal with the Maris Opera House."

The officer's eyes widened and his face paled at the Prince's instructions. "But monsieur! T-t-that could take hours…days even!"

"Don't worry, I only want you to investigate the past 25–" he paused for a moment, and then smiled even wider. "Make that the past 20 years. Go back 20 years and find me everything you can about police investigations with the Paris Opera House."

The officer could not suppress his groan of disdain. "It will still take many hours."

Blueblood's calmness remained intact. "I do not mind, I have other…business…to attend to first anyway. Perhaps later this evening?" The officer looked ready to protest, but Blueblood knew the answer that would win anyone over. "As I said before, I will pay you quite hoofsomely for your troubles."

The officer closed his mouth a third time and simply nodded his head inagreement. "If you come back later this evening I may have it ready?" he suggested.

Blueblood thought for a second. "Tomorrow," he concluded, before placing his hat back on his head and turning to go. "I have a very important dinner engagement this evening."

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Fluttershy was furious.

She had not spoken to her father since that morning at breakfast when he announced that she would be joining the Prince for dinner that very evening. The shock of the announcement had momenarily stunned Fluttershy speechless; but when she regained her speech, her reaction was not the one her father was expecting.

"PAPA, HOW COULD YOU?"

Time Turner stared at his daughter, the shock she had worn now mirrored on him. "B-b-but my dear, I…I thought you would be thrilled–"

"THRILLED? YOU THOUGHT I WOULD BE THRILLED?" she threw her napkin down and pushed herself away from the table. "Naturally I would be thrilled," she muttered sarcastically. "After all, he's rich and hoofsome and charming. I must be a complete idiot to not find him agreeable!"

Time Turner winced at his daughter's high-pitched tone. "Fluttershy–"

"NO!" she rounded on him, her hooves pressing down on the table, causing it to creak, while she leaned down and stared at him, her eyes reflecting anger and betrayal. "I have told you, many times, that I do NOT like the Prince, at least not in the way that you would have me like him!"

Time Turner flinched slightly at her words, but more at the sight of angry passionate tears that began to drip down her cheeks. "Fluttershy, he is a good stallion–"

"Why, papa?" she demanded, her arms now folding across her chest as she glared at her father. "Why do you wish me to marry him? And don't deny that you were not thinking that, I can tell that this whole plot to have me be alone with him was simply another way to get the Prince to propose." She held her tongue about the scandal her and Blueblood's meeting would cause; her father was misguided, but not vicious. He saw her as Cinderella and the Prince as her hoodsome fairy tale prince. Because it had happened to him, he thought it only natural that somepony who was an aristocrat would marry someone who was a pauper.

Her father stared up at her, shock written across his aged face. He opened his mouth to speak, but Fluttershy, who was pacing furiously back and forth across the room, rounded on him once more. "Is it because he is rich? Is that what this is all about?"

Time Turner gasped at her words. "Of course not! Fluttershy, I will not deny that I want you to have every comfort in life, Lord knows I wish I could have provided your mother with the same, but I would be just as satisfied with him were he one of those stagehooves at the opera house."

Fluttershy groaned at his words. The stagehooves were poor examples of decent stallions–yet perhaps fitting where the Prince was concerned.

"Fluttershy…I've tried to understand your dislike for the stallion. But the only reasons I can find is that you believe him to be arrogant and you dislike his social class; not exactly reasons I find worthy to condemn him for all eternity."

"No, of course not," she spat, turning and grabbing her coat which Cherry Jubilee had laid out for her. "Never mind that I've told you, repeatedly, that he makes me uncomfortable, that I do not hold him in high esteem, and that I believe his kindness holds selfish motives that are only meant to benefit himself!" She pulled her coat on and stormed out the door, not pausing to even glance back at her father.

And so the day had continued. Upon arrival at the opera house, she made herself busy to avoid her father at all costs. If he attempted to speak with her, she knew that she would cause a scene, and more gossip was the last thing she needed. She threw herself into her work, her singing extremely passionate, although Madam Octavia had to pause every now and then to remind Fluttershy to stop shouting her lyrics at Fancypants, who looked somewhat terrified.

A thirty minute break was called, but Fluttershy still did not feel ready to face her father, so she retreated to the only place where she was sure she could be alone; a place that she had been thinking about a great deal.

She quickly entered the star's dressing room, shutting the door and locking it, before leaning against the wooden surface, closing her eyes, and taking in a deep breath of relief. Peace and solitude; these were things she was beginning to cherish ever since she began singing with the company.

The room was rich in a beautiful fragrance. Fluttershy opened her eyes to see where it was coming from, and gasped at the sight of hundreds of roses, of every shade and color, that adorned the elegant room.

They were strewn across her dressing table, scattered over the chaise lounge, and several bouquets hung from the large mirror against the wall. Fluttershy's hooves flew to her mouth in surprise at the beautiful sight, but her blue eyes sparkled with happiness, and her lips curled into a grin.

Discord had done this. He had been with her the last time she was in the dressing room, it wasn't just her imagination. And last night…

Fluttershy had hidden the bracelet she had found on her hoof last night, not exactly sure how to explain it to her father. She had kept the bracelet in a small pocket on her skirt, and now reached in to retrieve it. It was very beautiful, but also simple. Unlike the gaudy jewelry she saw many mares of wealth wear, with large jewels set atop more jewels that looked to weigh the wearer down, the bracelet was a simple, elegant gold band. Fluttershy smiled and tenderly ran her hooves over the bracelet before taking a deep breath and slipping it once more upon her hoof.

It wasn't a dream. He had been in her room last night, he had found her and his message with the bracelet was the same with the roses…

"He still loves me," she whispered to herself, hope springing to new life within her heart.

Without another thought, she picked up her skirts and ran to the mirror, pounding on it, running her hooves over its edges, seeking desperately to find the trigger mechanism that would open it. "Discord!" she cried, hoping that perhaps he would hear her. "Discord!"

"Who is Discord?"

Fluttershy gasped at the sound of the other voice and whirled around, her eyes wide with shock at the sight of Celestia, who was stepping from beyond the changing screen in the far corner of the room. Had she been hiding there this whole time?

"W-w-what are you doing here?" Fluttershy asked, her voice shaking from the shock at seeing the prima donna, as well as with fear, wondering how much the soprano had witnessed.

Celestia grinned, although it was a grin filled with sinister promises. "I believe I asked you first. It is rude you know, to ignore somepony else's question."

Fluttershy stared at the mare blankly. "This is my dressing room–"

"Don't be cute with me!" the diva snapped, her calm composure momentarily disappearing. However, another smile quickly replaced the frown she wore and she glided over to the dressing table, her hooves running over the roses that lay there. "I'll ask again…who is Discord?"

Fluttershy's face paled. What could she say? By telling Celestia who Discord really was, she would be betraying Discord's trust, not to stallionstion endanger the lives of Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Shortround, and Derpy.

Distraction was her only answer.

"I was simply rehearsing a scene from Don Juan," she said plainly, lifting her chin in hopes to not appear intimidated.

Celestia eyed her suspiciously. "There's no 'Discord' in Don Juan," she retorted. "I've seen that score with my own eyes, I've watched every scene from rehearsals…" she cocked a golden eyebrow at Fluttershy. "I think you're lying to me…"

Something inside Fluttershy sparked to life at Celestia's words. With her head held high and her eyes locked with the blonde soprano's, she said with an even tone, "Truth be told, signora…it's none of your damn business."

Celestia's eyes widened at the young mare's words. All signs of cool collectiveness were gone. "How dare you speak to me in such a way, you disgusting little–"

"No, signora," Fluttershy interrupted, her voice filled with cold disdain. "How dare you sneak into my dressing room and hide here, plotting who knows what," she accused, causing Celestia's mouth to fall open from shock.

"I…I…I w-was…" she shook her head, anger boiling in her for the insolence of this country girl who was enjoying her new star status far too much. "This was MY dressing room at one point!" she angrily snapped back. "And I have as much right to come in here as–"

"No you don't, signora," Fluttershy cut in. "This was your dressing room at one point, but not anymore. Your privileges to enter it at any time have been stripped from you, at least during the rehearsal and performance of this particular opera," she calmly explained, before crossing the room to open the door. "Now, signora, if you don't mind," Fluttershy said with a sweet smile, although her voice was anything but. "Get the hell out of my dressing room."

Celestia was completely speechless. She stared at Fluttershy with a mixture of hatred and astonishment. She attempted to speak, but her voice came out in gurgles. She attempted to move, but her anger had her frozen in place!

"Oh! Fluttershy! There you are!"

Both mares turned to see Twilight Sparkle standing in the doorway of the dressing room. Twilight was smiling, but one glance at Celestia's face, which was the brightest shade of scarlet she had ever seen, caused the dancer's smile to quickly disappear. "Um…sorry, I…I didn't mean to interrupt anything…"

"It's quite alright Twilight," Fluttershy reassured, her eyes traveling to Celestia. "I am done with Signora Celestia," she stated quite plainly, before glancing back at the dancer. "Am I wanted on stage?"

Twilight nodded her head, but her eyes were still fastened on the prima donna who looked ready to explode like Pompeii. She gave Fluttershy a smile, before quickly disappearing from the impending disaster.

Fluttershy turned once more to the mare whose eyes looked to be throwing daggers. "Allow me to present you with my own accusation, signora, as you were quite ready to call me a liar," Fluttershy said quite evenly, folding her arms across her chest. "I think you came in here with hopes to find some reason to be rid of me, or perhaps to spread more malicious gossip in order to intimidate me and make yourself feel superior–but allow me to reassure you that none of it will work." She glared back at Celestia, her words cold as ice, and their meaning twice as sharp. "I remember you calling me 'most favored of the Phantom'. Perhaps you are right…after all, I was chosen over you, to play the lead. Perhaps I am favored?"

Celestia just growled.

"The truth of the situation is this, signora," Fluttershy concluded. "I am playing Aminta, and you can not make me leave, and you will not succeed in doing so," she pleasantly smiled, despite the other mare's silent fury. "Now," Fluttershy gestured towards the door, "if you would be so kind as stay out of my dressing room from now on?"

That did it! Celestia had had enough of this mare's impertinent–

She stopped momentarily, her eyes darting to Fluttershy's hoof as the light from the room reflected off the bracelet she wore. Fluttershy didn't seem to notice, and Celestia wanted to keep it that way, so without another word, she stormed out of the dressing room, grumbling in Italian to herself, but her mind still fresh with the image of the bracelet.

Fluttershy let a large sigh escape her and leaned against the open door. She still couldn't believe that she had stood up to the mare! She bit her lip, a part of her worrying if perhaps she would later regret her words, but she lifted her chin, telling herself that she had a right to stand up for herself and not let others push her around. She smiled at this thought, and quietly closed the door behind her, before retreating to the stage where she could already hear Madam Octavia call her name in annoyance.

Behind the mirror, Discord smiled as he watched his angel depart. When he realized she had gone to the dressing room, he hastened to the mirror, wanting to see her reaction to the roses, but stopped short when instead he found her arguing with the harpy.

Never before had Discord been more proud of her. She stood up to the harpy's threats, put the damn mare in her place, and hopefully, reinstated the fear she and the others should have when it came to the Phantom of the Opera.

"Well done, Fluttershy," he whispered. "Well done."

The afternoon rehearsals were long and tedious. Fluttershy groaned and tried to massage the muscles in her lower back and neck, yearning for the time when she could go home and collapse upon her bed.

Would Discord come again tonight? She felt her heart skip a beat at the expectation at what the night would bring. Her eyes momentarily closed as memories of his beautiful song floated through her. It was as if he had written that song just for her...

Oh how she longed to lose herself in her fillyish dreams and fantasies. But every time she glanced at the orchestra pit, her heart sank as she saw the sadness written across her father's face.

Fluttershy's anger towards her father began to dissolve not long after her confrontation with Celestia. Also, the absence of the Prince during the day's rehearsal gave her fewer reasons to hold a grudge. Truth be, she knew her father loved her, and that he was only encouraging her to court the Prince because he wanted what he thought would be best for her. Sadly, her father was so blinded by Blueblood's charms, that he could not see how manipulative the hoofsome noblecolt was.

She couldn't entirely blame her father for liking the stallion. After all, according to her father, the Prince had often visited him in prison, and it was through Blueblood's help that she had been able to free him. Fluttershy was extremely grateful to Madam Luna and the hospitality of her household, but she knew that both she and her father were intruding upon them all, and once more, the Prince stepped forward with a solution.

Yes, she wearily thought, she could not blame her father for finding the stallion agreeable. Anyone in his situation would think she was mad for not being flattered by the Prince's attentions. Her only excuse lay with Discord, who revealed to her all the horrible things Blueblood had done throughout the years he was a patron to the Paris Opera House. It was hard enough trying to convince her father of her own distrust towards the Prince; she could not even fathom how difficult it would be to reveal that her distrust came from stories revealed to her by the infamous Phantom.

"Time Turner!"

Fluttershy gasped at the bark of her father's name, quickly waking from her trance and glancing at the orchestra pit to see why Madam Octavia was fuming.

"You're half a beat late…again!" the conductor groaned, throwing her baton down on the music stand.

Time Turner gave a somewhat sheepish smile, but quickly readjusted his music, avoiding Gerard's disapproving gaze. "I beg your pardon," he softly murmured. "I'll get it the next time."

Octavia threw her hooves up in the air. "The next time? THE NEXT TIME?" she grabbed hold of her hair and looked ready to tear it out. "Monsieur…we've rehearsed this introduction sixteen times! And still, each and every time, you come in half a beat late!"

Time Turner flushed with embarrassment and began to shrink as the conductor threw curses to the wind. He glanced up at Fluttershy, his eyes filled with sorrow and shame, and her heart immediately melted.

"Madam Octavia!" she called out, causing the swearing conductor to momentarily pause and turn to her. Fluttershy took a deep breath and gave the mare what she hoped was a pleasing smile, before speaking again. "Could perhaps we take a quick break? Of ten minutes? I know that Signor Fancypants has been standing for quite some time and would probably benefit with a quick stretch of the legs," she suggested, smiling at Fancypants, who in truth did look exhausted.

Octavia eyed Fluttershy for a moment before shrugging her shoulders in agreement. "Fine. We're not exactly making any progress at the moment anyhow," he muttered.

The orchestra groaned with relief, and Fluttershy immediately went to her father's side, who was silently tuning the strings on his violin.

She didn't say anything; she knew this was his way of dealing with his shame. Her father was a perfectionist; he didn't need somepony to tell him how disappointed they were with his playing, he was already reprimanding himself for it. He finally looked up at her, a sad smile spreading across his face. "Looks like I need to practice harder," he said simply. Fluttershy returned the same sad smile he had shown, knowing he was trying very hard to rise above his own disappointment.

"It's not easy music to learn," she sighed. "And you've had less time than everypony here to rehearse. They should be praising all that you have accomplished, not pin-pricking the tiniest of details."

Time Turner smiled to himself. "Ah, but my dear, sometimes the tiniest of details make the most difference to whether someone will be moved by music." She smiled at his philosophy, knowing that she too possessed such a spirit when it came to singing, thanks in large part to Discord. "Besides," her father added. "It took you no time at all to learn your songs. Now that is an accomplishment."

Fluttershy's cheeks flushed at his words, but remained calm, knowing that her father was merely speculating, as opposed to putting puzzle pieces together. She reached out and took his hoof in hers, giving his hooves a gentle squeeze. "I'm sorry for shouting at you this morning…and for avoiding you all day," she gave a heavy sigh and looked down at her feet. "I've been a selfish filly."

"No, my dear," Time Turner murmured, squeezing her hooves back. "It is I who should ask for your forgiveness." He smiled sadly, and reached out to brush a stray brown curl that had fallen across her cheek. "You are my pride and joy in this world and your happiness matters more to me than anything else," his words were warm, but Fluttershy read the deep sadness in his eyes. He looked down and softly groaned, before whispering, "When I lost you to the Phantom, I thought my life had ended. And as those long days in that prison turned into weeks…and then months…I wondered if I would ever see you again. I feared I would die before seeing your face once more…"

"Papa–"

He lifted his hoof, motioning for her to allow him to continue. "Then a miracle happened," he smiled. "You found me, and we were together again," a few tears trickled down his wrinkled face as he gazed into her eyes. "But after that moment, I realized that my greatest worry was not whether I would see you again…but knowing whether you would be alright."

Fluttershy swallowed the lump in her throat and nodded her head. She knew now what her father was trying to say. "The Prince was good to me," he continued. "Whenever we were in need, he always seemed to be there, ready to help, and I thought to myself…this is a stallion that I know I could trust with the safety, comfort, and life of my dearest treasure…" he smiled and caressed her cheek with gentle hooves. Fluttershy smiled at the gesture, but her own eyes were unable to meet his; how could she begin to give her father hope when it would be lying to her heart?

"He seems like such a good stallion…and he is very hoofsome," he added, a soft chuckle in his voice. "And you would never want for anything…even love, for I do believe he does care deeply for you…"

Fluttershy closed her eyes to block back the tears. She did not wish for her father to see her crying, especially not over the Prince.

"…but I can never condemn you to such a life."

Fluttershy's eyes flew open and she looked up at her father, her brow furrowed with confusion. "W-w-what?"

Time Turner smiled, a sad smile, but one filled with love for his daughter. "What I wish for you is not the same as what you wish. I told you Fluttershy, I want nothing more than your happiness, and while I want you to be loved and cherished for the precious treasure that you are…so do I want you to feel love and to cherish someone just as fiercely."

Fluttershy's mouth fell open with surprise. She knew she was crying, but she wasn't exactly sure for what reason. "Papa…are you…are you saying–"

"You have told me, many times, that your feelings for the Prince are not entirely favorable," he murmured. "I did listen to you, but a part of me wanted to hold onto the belief that perhaps you would change your mind. But he is not the stallion for you…I see that now. And it wasn't right of me to make arrangements for you to have dinner with him…"

"Papa–"

"No Fluttershy, it's true. What you said this morning was true," he took both her hooves in his and squeezed them tenderly. "I want you to be happy, and I want you to find a stallion who you can love, and who will make you happy. That is my wish for you," he smiled and reached up to wipe away one of her tears. "And I will speak to the Prince this evening and apologize for answering on your behalf, and simply explain that you will be unable to have dinner with him."

She could not deny the fact that she was grateful to hear him say that, but the ease she yearned to feel did not come. "No Papa…"

Time Turner's eyes widened at her words. "No?"

Fluttershy took a deep breath; she couldn't believe what she was about to say. "I…I will have dinner with him, tonight."

The old stallion looked very confused. "But…but I thought that you–"

"I don't…I mean, yes, I am grateful for all that he has done for us…but my feelings for him are not warm or tender or loving," she sighed deeply. "I don't love him, and it would be a lie to pretend that I care for him in any great capacity. But even if you do apologize on my behalf, I do not think he will understand what you are trying to say for me. And…you shouldn't be the one who has to say it, it's my responsibility, really."

Time Turner stared at his daughter, discomfort mounting in his eyes. "Fluttershy, he is a gentlecolt. While it is not news that most stallions would favor, you make it sound as if he'll…he'll hunt us down and force you to marry him!"

Fluttershy bit her lip. Why would Blueblood wish to marry her she had no idea, in fact, she doubted very much that it was marriage that ruled the Prince's mind. She was simply another conquest in his eyes, an uncharted land that he wanted to explore and claim as his own. "The Prince is most persistent," she muttered. "If you tell him my feelings, he may not understand or believe them to be true. I should be the one to tell him, and I will, tonight."

Time Turner now bit his lip, the worry lines on his forehead creasing greatly. "I do not like the sound of this Fluttershy…"

Neither did she; but as far as Fluttershy could tell, it may be the only way to convince Blueblood to stop pursuing her. Now all she needed to do was convince herself that this was the right thing to do…

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Eight o' clock came far too soon.

Fluttershy had spent the rest of the afternoon and evening dreading every passing hour. And she was beginning to seriously doubt her plan.

Her father, who had always been praising the Prince’s kindness and gentility, truly looked concerned when she said she would accept the invitation. That in itself was disconcerting. But more than that was the question as to where they would be having dinner. She recalled how a few nights ago the Prince suggested that both she and her father join him at his town house. It would not be proper at all for a single mare to attend a private dinner party at the house of a single stallion, no matter how renowned his reputation was. The scandal would never hurt Blueblood, but she could greatly suffer from it.

She took a deep breath and ran her hooves across the bracelet, praying for courage to get her through the evening.

At a quarter to eight, the auditorium doors opened, and Blueblood stepped forth, dressed in his finest, a bouquet of yellow roses in hoof.

Several dancers began giggling when they noticed him holding the flowers, but Madam Luna quickly shushed them to silence.

Celestia had noticed the Prince's grand appearance, and her eyes glowed with hateful fire at the roses he held.

Madam Octavia knew it was hopeless to try and keep order with the company, now that the Prince had entered, so with her hooves thrown in the air, she muttered in a defeated tone, "until tomorrow," and ended the rehearsal.

Fluttershy felt her cheeks grow hot under the Prince's gaze. She quickly glanced at her father, whose expression was one filled with worry and uncertainty. "Good evening, monsieur," he greeted in a somewhat strained voice as Blueblood slowly approached the stage.

"Ah, good evening Monsieur Time Turner," Blueblood returned warmly, bowing elegantly before the old stallion. "And good evening to you, mademoiselle," he murmured, his eyes moving over Fluttershy hungrily.

Fluttershy smiled back, somewhat nervously, but Blueblood didn't seem to take any notice. His eyes were too busy raking across the swell of her breasts beneath the lacy green gown that she wore.

Blueblood momentarily snapped out of his trance and held the roses out to Fluttershy. "Shall we?" he offered, extending his hoof to help her down from the stage.

Fluttershy smiled once more, although it took great force to do so. She reluctantly took the flowers, and even more reluctantly, took his hoof. "I just need to gather my belongings."

"Ah, actually, my coachcolt, has already fetched your things," Blueblood smiled, clapping his hooves as if he were calling a dog, and the coachcolt came rushing forward, with Fluttershy's coat open.

Time Turner eyed the Prince suspiciously. "You do seem to plan for things well in advance, monsieur," he murmured.

Blueblood turned and smiled, taking Time Turner's words as a compliment. "Thank you…but what is this 'monsieur' business? Please, call me Blueblood…" he looked at both Fluttershy and her father, indicating that he wished for them both to be less formal with him.

Fluttershy glanced around the stage warily. She could feel dozens of eyes gazing upon her, some of them curious, some of them envious, and many of them judging. She caught Madam Luna's gaze which chilled her to the bone. The ballet mistress' dark eyes seemed to grow even blacker as she watched Fluttershy politely take Blueblood's arm as he led her out of the auditorium.

She could only begin to imagine what some of them were thinking of her…

Blueblood led her out the doors into the cold night air, his finest carriage being pulled by four beautiful snowy white horses, waiting for their departure. Time Turner followed them all the way out to the carriage, and watched with unease as Blueblood helped Fluttershy inside. "Monsieur," he reached out and grasped the Prince's arm before he could climb in after her.

Blueblood turned, his eyes filled with confusion, as well as some annoyance with being delayed. "Please Monsieur Time Turner, call me–"

"Blueblood," Time Turner finally muttered. "It…it has been a very long day for my daughter, she has been singing all morning and afternoon, and…I do not think she has entirely recovered from her brief illness two days ago, I…I think it would be best if…if perhaps you bring her home within the hour."

Blueblood stared at the old stallion as if he had been told that Fluttershy herself was the Phantom of the Opera. The hoofsome stallion's face broke into a smile, and then rich deep laughter erupted from his chest.

Time Turner scowled at the way his concern was being mocked. He was beginning to understand his daughter's disdain for the stallion.

"Oh…forgive me, forgive me," Blueblood sighed, his laugh tapering off. "You did say that…you wish me to bring Fluttershy home within the hour?"

Time Turner lifted his chin stubbornly. "Indeed, monsieur, and I do not appreciate my concern for my daughter's health to be mocked!"

All the jest that was alight in Blueblood's eyes vanished. He did not appreciate ponies giving him orders, especially when the pony was an old lunatic. However, instead of letting his irritation show, he put on another charming smile, and reached out to give the old stallion's shoulder a firm squeeze. "Forgive me," he bowed. "I assure you, I will have her home before midnight; she will get the rest that she rightly deserves," without another word or glance, Blueblood released Time Turner and climbed inside the carriage. "And good luck to you, monsieur, with your violin playing!" he called out, just as the carriage driver cracked his whip.

Fluttershy leaned her head out to look at her father for a brief moment as the carriage began to pull away, the worry clearly evident in his eyes. She truly doubted the sense in her plan.

Blueblood watched her intently as she settled herself back in her seat. He noticed how rigid she sat, how every muscle in her body was on full alert. "Relax, my dear," he murmured warmly. "You have had a hard day from the sound of it," he smiled, reaching into a basket that lay under his seat.

Fluttershy knew that when she was alone with the Prince, she would never truly relax.

She watched as he pulled out a bottle of champagne and two glasses. "I think we can begin our celebration somewhat early. After all, you do deserve it," he grinned, popping the cork off the bottle and happily pouring himself a glass.

"No thank you," Fluttershy replied, as Blueblood handed her the glass. "I prefer to wait until we are at dinner."

The Prince scowled, but only momentarily. "As you wish, mademoiselle," he smiled, lifting the glass in her direction, before taking a sip of it.

Fluttershy smiled, but it was still a smile of nervousness. She wanted to have all her wits about her, especially when they were alone together in a carriage. But it was most disconcerting to watch him drink–what if he lost all of his wits? Her hooves simply tightened about her purse and she turned her eyes to gaze out the carriage window. "I must say," she began, hoping to distract him with conversation; she detested the way he eyed her. "I was surprised to see you at the opera house."

Blueblood, who was gazing at Fluttershy's skirt and imagining what her legs looked like under it, was momentarily shaken by her words. "Surprised?" he asked, taking another sip of champagne. "But you knew–"

"I meant I was surprised because I did not think you would be taking me to dinner yourself…I assumed you would be meeting me there, and your driver would take me," she explained.

Blueblood smiled, now fully understanding what she meant. "Well, that would have made excellent sense if I were having you join me for dinner at my town house…however, after your father told me that he would be unable to join us…I made new arrangements."

As if on cue, the carriage came to a stop. Fluttershy's brow furrowed as she gazed out the window at the lovely stone building with candles lit in every window. "Where are we?" she asked, turning back to the Prince.

Blueblood grinned and climbed out of the carriage after the coachcolt opened the door. He offered his hoof and helped Fluttershy down as well. "Welcome to the Château de Sugar Cube Corner," he smiled proudly. "One of my favorite restaurants in all of Maris."

Fluttershy bit her lip as she gazed up at the elegant building. She always believed that the lacy green gown that she was wearing was quite pretty, but it was nowhere near as stylish a dress for such a fancy place. Her cheeks burned with embarrassment as one elegantly dressed couple exited the restaurant, the mare dressed in purple silk, fine jewels, and mink fur, eyeing her with contempt. She tried to reassure herself that at least she would not be alone in his home; surely that would lessen the scandal. However, now that they were being seen in public, who knows what sort of gossip would spread…

As far as Fluttershy was concerned, it was a lose-all situation for her.

"Ah! Monsieur Prince!" a finely dressed waiter greeted them as they entered the restaurant. "So good to see you this evening!" the waiter turned to Fluttershy and smiled down at her, although he too seemed to be judging her simple appearance.

"Pleasure as always, Horte Cuisine," Blueblood grinned. "I trust you have my table reserved and waiting?"

"But of course!" Horte Cuisine replied, happily leading them through the throng of patrons that crowded the front of the restaurant. Blueblood is used to people gazing at him, he probably expects it, Fluttershy thought. But as hard as she tried to keep her head held high, she could not conceal the blush on her cheek as she noticed several people lean in to whisper to one another, while also pointing their hooves in speculation, at her.

"Here we are!" Horte Cuisine happily announced, opening a silken curtain to reveal a small, private dining room, decorated with candles and crushed rose petals, overlooking a beautiful view of the river.

"It's beautiful," Fluttershy whispered.

Blueblood's chest seemed to swell with pride. "Thank you Horte Cuisine, I shall help mademoiselle with her seat."

The waiter bowed graciously. "I will be serving you this evening. I will bring you a bottle of our finest–"

"1854 Bordeaux," Blueblood finished.

Horte Cuisine smiled and nodded his head, before closing the silk curtains behind him.

Fluttershy whispered her thanks as he helped her with her coat and then pulled her chair out for her. It was indeed a lovely room, nothing like she had ever imagined. If only her company were different…

"They have excellent fish here," Blueblood explained as he opened his stallionsu. "Although I find the filet minion is quite excellent as well," he murmured, studying the list of entrees.

Fluttershy knew this wasn't going to be easy; both having to explain to him to stop his attempts at courting her, as well as getting through the meal. Louis, their waiter, arrived in a matter of minutes, opening the bottle of wine that Blueblood had ordered, and taking their orders. As they waited, Fluttershy listened as Blueblood went on and on about himself, talking about his estate in the south, how long it had been since he had last been there, but how he planned to spend the summer months down there, as well as visit several of his favorite casinos. Fluttershy detested gambling, but even if she attempted to show her displeasure, it wouldn't matter; he was too enamored with himself.

"I am thinking of renovating the eastern wing of my estate, it is far too old fashioned," he muttered. "Middle Eastern décor is all the rage here in Paris, I am speculating of building a mosque-like structure on the grounds…I am told that my gardens rival even the most beautiful here in the city. Perhaps I shall have a garden ball on midsummer's eve…yes, it is time I have a party at my estate, it has been far too long…or instead I could invite a few close friends to stay for a weekend; it has been quite some time since I had a hunting party, and there is a great deal of game on my land; fox, rabbit, deer…I must say, I do like that idea far more, however there is the issue of the dogs, I need some new ones, many of them are just too old. Perhaps my winnings from my casino visits can go to purchasing new ones…"

Fluttershy was so grateful when their food arrived; it meant he would have to pause now and then to chew. Had she simply been invited to be an audience to his endless tirade of himself? She was so surprised when he actually directed a question at her, that she nearly dropped her fork.

"How is your fish?" he asked politely.

Fluttershy smiled back, although it was rather forced. "Very good, thank you. A fine recomendation, monsieur."

"Blueblood," he corrected her, his eyes gleaming with amusement. "And I am glad you took my advice. I imagine that your advice is coveted by those who are fortunate enough to receive it…" he murmured. Fluttershy glanced up at him to see the gleam in his eyes; it, like his words, it held many meanings.

"Perhaps you can tell me about my opera?" he went on, taking another bite of his steak.

Fluttershy practically choked on the piece of fish that she was swallowing at his words. "I…I beg your pardon?" she asked, reaching for her water glass and taking a long swallow.

"The opera I am endorsing," he clarified, not having missed the way she reacted to his previous words. "I know very little about it, other than that the composer is a mad stallion," he smiled, before taking another sip of wine. "Please, I would like to know about it from the perspective of a rising star."

Fluttershy blushed at his words, however she frowned when he called Discord a mad stallion. "Very well," she replied. "It's a beautiful story, really…and a tragic one too," she murmured. "A stallion by the name of Don Juan falls in love with a young mare by the name Aminta."

"The part that you play," Blueblood pointed out.

Fluttershy nodded her head and continued. "Sadly, Don Juan was horribly disfigured in a fire–"

"I thought Don Juan was a great lover, like Casanova?" Blueblood interrupted.

Fluttershy ignored his rudeness. "In this opera, little is mentionned of his past. It is eluded that he had many conquests before his accident, but the focus of the story is on his love for Aminta."

"Ah, the tragic love story that is most opera," Blueblood muttered, taking another long sip from his wine glass, before taking the bottle and pouring himself some more.

Fluttershy frowned at his actions, but continued. "Aminta is a country mare who does not find Don Juan frightening…she is fascinated by him, as well as moved with pity for how cruel the world has treated him."

Blueblood cocked one eyebrow at this. "A country mare? How appropriate that you were cast for the role…"

She ignored him and continued. "The devil tricks Don Juan into selling his soul, promising that he will make Don Juan hoofsome once more to win Aminta's heart…but only when Don Juan looks through a particular mirror, does he see how he once looked; to the rest of the world he is…he is–"

"A monster," Blueblood finished for her.

"No, not a monster!" Fluttershy snapped, surprising them both. Blueblood stared at her with question, but Fluttershy adverted her eyes and went on. "Aminta loves Don Juan regardless. But…but there is a horrible mistake…"

Blueblood cocked another golden brow at this. "Mistake? Go on…"

"There is a young stallion who is infatuated with Aminta…and…and Don Juan sees him with her and believes they are lovers, which is false for she loves Don Juan alone."

Blueblood's brow furrowed at this.

"Don Juan seeks out the devil and pleads for the power to overthrow his enemies. Don Juan plots to kill both Aminta and the young stallion he believes to be her lover, and lures the unsuspecting Aminta to his home, where he seduces her with promises of unending pleasure and love…"

Blueblood watched as Fluttershy became more and more impassioned with her tale. Her eyes even seemed to be shimmering with unshed tears…

"But all is made well," Fluttershy sighed, taking in a deep breath. "Don Juan realizes that he can not kill his beloved, and Aminta explains everything. With the help of her love, Don Juan is redeemed and wins back his soul. And…the opera ends with the two of them sharing a beautiful love song…" her voice trailed off into a whisper, and she gasped as she felt the tears that had been swelling beneath her lashes finally find release.

Blueblood silently hoofed her his hoofkerchief, his hooves lightly tapping against his lips as he gazed at her. "Strange," he murmured to himself. "That sounds like a completely different opera…"

Fluttershy looked up at him, seeing the speculation in his eyes. Why did she do that? She inwardly cursed herself for momentarily losing her senses; perhaps it was the wine? She groaned, knowing that it didn't matter how much she drank at dinner, it was no excuse for losing herself in the story of Don Juan and Aminta…the story she and Discord had composed and revised together.

"Now, granted I have not seen every single scene being rehearsed, nor have I read the entire score…but from what I have seen, and what I have read, I recall Aminta having tricked Don Juan, having run away with this young hoofsome lover of hers, and Don Juan succeeding in killing them both…before killing himself, of course," he quickly summarized.

Fluttershy felt like such a fool, and she despised how the Prince, who sat there pretending he knew nothing about the opera, had instead lied and been testing her. "If I had written it," Fluttershy muttered, "that would have been how I would have ended it."

Blueblood could not help but chuckle. "Ah, Fluttershy is a romantic, I see," he grinned. "An interesting idea, I must say…an opera with a happy ending–is that truly opera then?" He continued to chuckle as he took another sip of his wine.

Fluttershy was fuming, but instead of losing her temper, or simply allowing him to laugh at her, she lifted her chin and returned his smile with one of her own. "Happy for everyone but the young stallion," she explained.

Blueblood lifted his brows at this. "I beg your pardon?"

Now she grinned, although there was something cold in her smile. "You said how interesting it was, to have an opera with a happy ending. I was merely clarifying that it was a happy ending for everypony but the young stallion mistaken for Aminta's lover."

The amusement in Blueblood's eyes vanished. "Meaning?"

Fluttershy took her own wine glass and lifted it to her lips for a sip. "In my version, monsieur…the young stallion is the villain. And in all gothic rostallionces, the villain dies."

The evening quickly came to a close after Fluttershy's final comment on Don Juan. The meal was finished in silence, and now they were both in his carriage once more, being taken to the guest apartstallionst that she and her father presently occupied.

Little was said in the carriage. Fluttershy knew that she still needed to tell the Prince that she would not see him further after this evening. In a few days, she and her father would leave the apartment he kept, and find a place of their own. The sooner the better, she thought to herself. Perhaps Madam Luna could help them? She hated falling back on the ballet mistress, feeling as if she were using her, but Fluttershy knew that the most important thing at this moment was to separate herself as best as she could from the Prince.

"You never told me how you escaped…" Blueblood whispered into the shadows of the carriage. Fluttershy was startled by his question, and practically jumped. He looked very strange…sinister even. There was something in the depths of his eyes that gave her cause to tremble. "I am curious, as I know others are," he repeated. "How did you escape the Phantom's lair?"

Fluttershy swallowed the nervous lump in her throat, not exactly sure how to respond. It was still strange to her that he knew about her staying with Discord. Well, no one truly knew it the way she did, and perhaps it was for the best. Better that they fear the Phantom than know of Discord's tenderness.

"I…I was kept in a cage," she murmured, remembering the costume cages she had originally been locked in. "And…one evening, after giving me my meal…he had not locked the door properly…and I managed to escape."

She was lying. Not only was her story unconvincing, but her very mannerisms betrayed her. However he chose to not press the matter further, at least not at the moment.

The carriage slowed, and the coachcolt quickly climbed down to open the door. Blueblood exited first, helping Fluttershy out, and walking with her to the door.

It was now or never.

"Thank you for joining me this evening," he elegantly bowed, before taking one of her hoofs in his and bringing it to his lips.

Fluttershy, however, quickly withdrew her hoof, and Blueblood found his lips caressing the air instead. He looked up at Fluttershy, his eyes narrowed with confusion. Fluttershy took a deep breath, as well as a step back. "Monsieur, I thank you for all that you have done for my father and I…"

"It was a pleasure," he replied, taking a step towards her.

Fluttershy took another step back. "I fully intend to repay every last bit of money that you spent on our welfare…" There was a strange look in his eyes, one that she could not describe, nor did she wish to dwell upon.

He continued stalking forward. "I told you Fluttershy, that is not necessary, in fact, if you attempt to pay me, I shall refuse it."

Fluttershy's last step brought her back against a stone column near the doors of the building. "You have been most charitable," she practically squeaked. "And…and for aiding my father, I thank you very much–"

"Blueblood, Fluttershy…" his voice was a deep whisper, and he was leaning towards her. "My name is Blueblood…say my name–"

"Blueblood please!" Fluttershy's hoofs were on his chest and she was pushing him away. He had been too close, his body closing in, his lips descending to hers. Crying out his name and pushing him with all the force she could, had momentarily broken the spell that he had been under, and he stumbled backwards, just catching his balance, his cheeks flushed with obvious embarrassment.

"I…I'm sorry," Fluttershy sighed. "But…this must end, tonight…now."

Blueblood stared at her, confusion mixed with irritation, clearly written across his face. "End? What must end Fluttershy? What are you referring to exactly?"

Fluttershy swallowed another nervous lump and lifted her chin. "Any girl would be flattered to be in my place," she sighed. "You're hoofsome, you're charming, you have high social connections, and of course, you're very rich. But…such attentions should be placed on a mare who…who is worthy of taking your arm and entering such fine places as the Château de Suger Cube Corner."

Truth masked as flattery. By enlarging his ego, she hoped she could convince him to leave her be.

Sadly, her words seemed to have had the wrong effect.

Blueblood had been staring at her with wide eyes as he listened to his words; for the briefest moment, Fluttershy saw something wild and dangerous in their green depths. However, it had been fleeting, and the harsh set in his jaw relaxed, replaced by a perfect hoofsome smile.

"Oh my dear Fluttershy," he murmured, reaching out and taking her hoof in his. "What must I do to prove that you are worthy of such attention?"

Fluttershy gasped and felt the color drain from her face. "No, Blueblood, you don't understand, I–"

"Hush," he whispered, as one of his hooves touched her lips. "There shall be no more talk on this tonight. You are sweet girl, Fluttershy Time Turner, always thinking of others," he smiled, and before she could remove her hoof, planted a soft kiss upon her knuckles. "It may take some time to convince you, but I am more than willing to help you see that you are worthy of being seen on my arm."

Fluttershy couldn't believe what she was hearing. The arrogance of the stallion! She sadly recalled their dinner conversation and remembered how it was entirely about him, until they reached the subject of the opera. Oh to be condemned to a life of having to feed his ego every few seconds! Of having to fill his ears with praises, even at the cost of ridiculing herself!

Was it possible for hell to be much worse?

"Goodnight, monsieur," Fluttershy snapped, grabbing her skirts and turning on her heel, leaving him to stare after her retreating figure as she slammed the door to the building in his face.

Blueblood was momentarily stunned by her actions. He couldn't possibly understand what had upset her? "Most likely she is embarrassed by her feelings of self doubt," he reasoned with himself. After all, that was what had to have been bothering her…right?

Upstairs, Fluttershy burst into the apartment, throwing her coat onto the floor, not caring about anything at the moment, just wanting to retreat to her room where she could be alone with her thoughts.

"Fluttershy?" her father heard her enter and rushed into the parlor. "Are you alright? He didn't do anything he shouldn't have done, did he?"

"No Papa, he was a perfect gentlecolt," she muttered with disgust. "Most of the time." Her father opened his mouth to ask her more questions, but Fluttershy lifted her hoof to indicate that now was not the time. She brushed passed him and went into her room, shutting the door and letting out a frustrated sigh. "Of all the stupid messes I've ever gotten myself into," she groaned. Getting rid of the Prince was going to be more of a chore than she had intended.

A brush of cold wind blew through Fluttershy's hair. Her eyes snapped open and she stared at the open window at the other end of the room. "Oh no…" she gasped. "No…please, please no…" She flew to the window, her hooves gripping the sill as she looked wildly about.

Nothing. Just like the night she thought she saw him standing on the ledge and looking in.

Fluttershy bit her lip and turned to face the room. Had he been there? She would never forgive herself if she had missed him being there. Last night had felt like a dream, but she was so sure that he had been in her room…had he come back?

Then her heart froze as a new horror dawned upon her.

Did he see her with Blueblood?

As if to answer her question, Fluttershy's eyes were drawn to something that lay upon her bed. Silent, cold tears dripped down her cheeks as she gazed upon a single red rose, with a small note attached by a black piece of string.

With trembling hooves, she reached for the rose, and carefully, so as not to damage its petals, she untied the note.

The words cut into her heart more than a thousand knives.

"I gave you my music…made your song take wing…and now, how you've repaid me: denied me and betrayed me…"

Fluttershy's tears were already blotting out the remainder of the words. "No…no, not when I just got him back…" she wailed, before crumpling the note in her palm. She rushed to the window and threw her head out into the night. "DISCORD!" she screamed. "DISCORD, PLEASE!"

Her anguished cries fell on deaf ears, at least on the deaf ears of her intended.

Fluttershy crumpled to the ground, her body trembling from her sobs. She couldn't believe this was happening to her, all over again.

Her worst nightmare was coming true; the tragic tale of Don Juan Triumphant was coming to life.

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

From a safe distance, Derpy watched as her master descended the building he had mysteriously disappeared into for several hours. She had followed the Master that evening, curious to see what it was that was driving him into the cold night air. She had watched the Master leave several nights ago and then once more last night. Tonight, she decided to follow.

Derpy had been distant from the others ever since Fluttershy had left. She had never realized how dark and dismal that place was until Fluttershy left them. She had hoped she would return, but she chose to remain in the world above…although there were some moments she swore she could hear Fluttershy singing.

Things had gone from bad to worse. The Master rarely spoke to them, although in the brief moments she did see the Master, he did not look as unhappy has he had been. Yet that did not improve the emotions of the others; Rarity never smiled, Shortround always frowned while praying, and Rainbow Dash…well, Rainbow Dash seemed more miserable than ever before. As for herself…Derpy had lost all interest in reading ever since she made the discovery about her favorite story.

She sighed and watched as the Master clung to the shadows and began his journey back to the opera house. Whatever had driven the Master out into the cold had not had the happy effect that Derpy had speculated. She could tell by the way the Master moved that he was upset. Best not to reveal herself, Derpy silently thought. She too would cling to the shadows and follow the Master home–

But something caught the hunchback's attention; something in the water of the river…

A reflection.

Derpy glanced up at the object that had been reflected, and he felt his breath escape his lungs at the awesome sight.

Notre Mane Cathedral.

"The p-p-place the h-hunchback lived," she softly breathed to herself. In all her life, she had never thought she would see the place where her story had been set…but there it was, standing proud and tall, its ancient stone filled with stories, and its bells beckoning for her to come closer.

"It's true…" she whispered. "I k-k-know the s-s-story is true…"

Forgetting all about the Master, Derpy turned in the direction of the majestic cathedral, hope flaring in her heart once more.

Author's Note:

Enjoy!