• 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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Resolve

Resolve

Time Turner gasped with shock as his daughter burst into the bedroom, the bang from the door echoing throughout the apartment. "Fluttershy?" he murmured, sitting up in bed and looking to his daughter for answers, but she gave none, she simply marched over his window and threw open the curtains.

It was barely dawn.

"Fluttershy, what is going on? Are you all right? Answer me, please!"

She finally turned to her father, a determined look upon her face. "I must go. I just wanted to let you know should you awake and not find me here."

Her father was still rubbing the sleep from his eyes. "G-go? What are you talking about? Go where?"

"The opera house," she simply replied, before turning and leaving the room.

Time Turner stared after his daughter with puzzlement. He had never seen her in such a state. She looked as if she were ready to go into battle and face a great foe, like Goliath. He quickly got out of bed and began to dress at once. As soon as he had pulled his shoes on, he exited the room to find Fluttershy by the door, buttoning her coat.

"What is this all about?" he asked, his tone both worrisome as well as sleepy.

Cherry Jubilee suddenly appeared, a shawl wrapped tightly around her nightgown. "Monsieur? Mademoiselle? Is something wrong?"

"Everything is fine Cherry Jubilee," Fluttershy softly explained to the pretty maid. "And I really must be going, I can not waste any more time," she explained to her father, turning to leave, but Time Turner caught her arm and whirled her around to face him once more.

"Fluttershy, so help me, you will answer my questions!" he nearly shouted. "The sun has barely risen, what do you mean, having to go the opera house?" He paused and softened his voice. "Is this…is this about last night?"

Fluttershy was looking down at her feet. At her father's question she glanced up at him and then briefly at the maid who was practically leaning in to hear every last word.

Her father quickly understood. "Thank you Cherry Jubilee, you may go back to bed."

The pretty redhead jumped as she realized she had been caught and was being dismissed. She gave a small curtsy and then quickly turned and left the two of them in peace.

"Now," he sighed, turning to face his daughter once more. "Will you please explain what is going on?"

Fluttershy groaned and then threw her hooves up in the air out of exasperation. "Oh Papa, everything went wrong!" she wailed, collapsing onto one of the couches in the parlor and burying her face in her hooves.

Time Turner's face paled with concern. "But I thought you said he didn't…" his stomach churned at the horrible idea. "He didn't touch you, did he?"

Fluttershy shook her head. "No, no, other than kissing my hoof and helping me out of the carriage, he did nothing of the sort…but…I'm such a fool," she whispered, her voice dripping with self-hatred. "I felt so sure with what I was doing; I thought that I could explain to him to stop his attempts…" her voice trailed off and she slumped further on the couch.

Time Turner bit his lip and tenderly rubbed his daughter's shoulders. "I shouldn't have let you go in the first place. As your father, I should have spoken with him, it was my responsibility, and I encouraged him–"

"No, Papa," she sighed. "It wouldn't have mattered. I see that now only the plainest, and bluntest language, will work to convince him."

Her father's face softened with sympathy. "What did you say to him exactly?"

Fluttershy groaned as the memories came back. "I thought that by inflating his already over-sized ego, I could successfully convince him that I was a waste of his time. I told him that I was wrong for him, that a pony of his station should place all his attentions on a mare who is worthy to be seen and interact in his stylish aristocratic world."

A small smile appeared on her father's lips. "Oh Fluttershy, but you are worthy. In truth, it is people like him who are unworthy to be seen with you."

Fluttershy couldn't help but smile softly at her father's compliment. "Thank you, Papa," she whispered. "But it was all in vain. My plan backfired; instead of bruising his arrogance by attempting to show him that I was an embarrassment to his title, he tried to 'ease my worries' by telling me that I was worthy enough to seen with him, and then he complimented me on always thinking of others, more or less 'forgiving me' for being of inferior birth."

Time Turner sighed and wrapped his arms around his daughter's shoulders. "Oh my dear," he whispered into her hair. "I truly do not know what it was that I saw in him. I was blinded by his charm and manners, but I see now that he would have made a very poor son-in-law."

Fluttershy couldn't help but chuckle at his words.

"But what does this have to do with you traveling to the opera house so early?"

Fluttershy bit her lip. How did one explain that the stallion, who the rest of the world saw as villainous, was the stallion that had captured her heart? "I…I can't explain that right now," she murmured, "but I will…soon…but right now I must go, for I have already wasted more time than I should!"

Time Turner watched with confusion as his daughter rose from the couch. "Wait!" he called after her, grabbing his own coat and hurrying out the door after her. "I may not know what has gotten into you this morning, or what exactly is going on, but I will not allow you travel alone!"

Fluttershy said nothing; she obediently waited for her father to catch up, but walked very briskly down the wet cobble-stoned streets. She was so exhausted after last night, that she cried herself to sleep after reading Discord's hateful note. Had she not fallen asleep, she would have stormed the opera house walls until she found him.

Hopefully there was still time to do that this morning.

She hastened her steps as her mind reeled with questions. Why didn't she consider the possibility of him seeing her leave the opera house with the Prince? After all, everyone else saw it. Oh what the gossip would be like that day…

"Hang the gossip," she muttered to herself. The only thing that mattered was putting things right with Discord. "He loves me…I know he does!" It had to be true, she felt so sure of it! Somepony who did not have love in their heart for another would not have bothered to leave such a note. She knew now that his reasons for sending her away in the first place had to do with her father, there could be no other answer. And while his words were vile and filled with such hatred…she knew deep within her heart that they were not true.

"No more lies, no more pretenses," Fluttershy softly vowed. She would demand the truth as well as tell it. She shuttered to think how horrible it must have looked if he had seen her with Blueblood on the front steps outside the apartment. She had only just stopped him from kissing her! Of all the stupid ideas! She would make it quite plain the next time she saw the Prince that she was not a candidate to be one of his paramours.

"Don't know what good this will do," her father grumbled as he hurried to keep up with her. "The opera house will surely be locked up."

"The stagehooves will be there," Fluttershy answered back. "And Madame Luna always arrives before dawn."

Her father muttered something, but it was inaudible. Fluttershy glanced over her shoulder at the red-faced stallion who was desperately trying to keep up. "No more lies," she whispered once more to herself. Fluttershy made a solemn vow that before the day was over…she would reveal everything at last to her father. She owed him that much.

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The faintest of the sun's rays wove through the cracks in the cavern ceiling just over the lagoon. Discord, standing straight and tall, his black cloak wrapped tightly around his broad shoulders, watched as the rays gently played across the water.

What a fool he had been.

He had no one to blame but himself, he knew that deep down, yet still…of all the ponies in this world…and after she knew the sort of creature he was!

He closed his eyes, feeling his jaw tighten at the memories of watching her leave the opera house on his arm. It couldn't be true! He watched from the roof as she was escorted into the Prince's carriage, before flying to the cellars to retrieve his own black carriage to silently follow. He saw them disappear into an elegant restaurant, and he waited several hours at the end of the street until he saw them once more emerge. He began following them again, until it was clear to him where they were going. He left the carriage a few streets away, before continuing his journey on foot, traveling through the shadows and climbing buildings, until he reached the rooftop of the building at which they stood before.

He remembered cracking the stone pony with his own claw as he saw the Prince advance upon her. And then, to his great horror, he watched as the stallion bent his head to Fluttershy's beautiful face…

He could not bear to see more.

Pure fire ran through his veins. He descended through the window into her bedchamber, placing the red rose he had brought, upon her pillow. He had originally planned to come to her again that night, but to stay…to stay until she realized that she wasn't dreaming, and to fall to his knees and beg for her forgiveness for how he had treated her before.

But it was too late.

His romantic gestures had not been enough to heal the wounds on her heart by his horrific words, and could he blame her? She probably assumed he was toying with her, purposefully confusing her, telling her to leave when in truth...he wanted her more than ever before.

He had driven her into the arms of his greatest enemy.

In a moment of heartbreak and anger, he wrote her the letter and tied it to the rose. He wanted her to feel his pain, for her to know the betrayal that he felt.

It was only later, after he abandoned her room and arrived at the opera house, that he realized it was truly his own fault. He returned the horses and hid the carriage, before descending to his lair. Lord help him, how was he going to get through another day of those blasted rehearsals? What was once his pride and joy had now become something he loathed more than anything; how he despised this opera.

It was pure torture, hearing her beautiful angelic voice reverberate throughout the whole opera house, being so close to her, and yet not being able to reach out and touch her. And now this on top of everything else; oh how wished for death to free him.

"Master?"

Discord turned his head to the sound of the small voice that came from the entrance to the lagoon's cavern. Rarity stood there, a shawl wrapped tightly about her body, her face etched with worry.

"I wish to be alone now," he softly commanded.

"I understand that Master, but…please, this is of great importance."

He glanced at her once more and saw how deeply distressed she looked. His heart, which he thought had turned to stone after enduring what he saw the previous night, melted at the sight of the tiny mare who had truly been the closest thing to a mother in his life. He sighed and softly approached her, lowering himself until his eyes were level with hers. "What troubles you Rarity?"

"It's Derpy…I…I haven't seen her since yesterday and I have this…this terrible worry…" she choked back a sob that threatened to escape her throat. "I fear for her life!"

Discord reached out and took one of Rarity's hooves in his paw. "I'm sure she is fine," he reassured. "She is most likely in one of the far northern caverns, keeping to herself. She seems to be doing that more lately," he softly added.

Rarity's brow furrowed. "You're a one to talk," she muttered.

Discord ignored her comment. "Do not worry yourself Rarity; she will reveal herself when she is ready."

But the tiny mare could not be consoled. "No Master, this is different from those other times!" she wailed. "I…I don't know how to describe it, but…I feel something deep in my bones! Something is not right, something…" she bit her lip to keep herself from going into hysterics. "I fear for her life!"

Discord's brow furrowed at her words. "Her life? You believe her to be in danger?"

She nodded her head. "Ever since…" she glanced up at Discord and saw the way his jaw clenched. He knew exactly what she was thinking. "Ever since...she left…Derpy has retreated into complete solitude. She doesn't read anymore, she barely touches her food, and there are many mornings when I awake to see that she has not slept in her bed. But…but this is different from those other times. She…she recently learned that…that I had been lying about her favorite story…"

Discord arched a brow at this. "The Hunchback of Notre Mane?"

Rarity sadly nodded her head. "She hasn't spoken to me since. I had hoped that Shortround…or even Rainbow Dash, could perhaps talk to her, but they have not had any success either…and they are preoccupied with their own problems," she whispered.

Discord softly cursed to himself. He had been blind to all that was going on around him–mainly because he chose to be so. His own selfishness had kept him from seeing the distress of those he had sworn to protect, and now, something could seriously be wrong. He wanted to convince Rarity that Derpy was fine, but even he was having serious doubts.

"Find Shortround and Rainbow Dash and have them begin searching the southern and western corners of the labyrinth. You take the eastern tunnels, and I will search the northern caverns, as well as the catacombs."

Rarity let out a sigh of relief and squeezed Discord's paw tightly. "Thank you Master, thank you so much!"

"Do not thank me until we find her," he muttered, but he gave the tiny mare a reassuring smile, before squeezing her hoof in return.

Rarity quickly scurried away to find the others to help them in her search. Discord glanced one last time at the lagoon before turning to leave himself. The opera would have to wait; besides, he welcomed a distraction from it.

"Damn it!" Fluttershy cursed as her attempts with opening the hidden door behind the mirror in her dressing room failed once more. There had to be a trigger somewhere! Surely if Discord used the mirror to get to the dressing room, there had to be some way to go back as well.

Her hooves were red, raw, and blistered from all the pulling and prying. She refused to cry, but the frustration was so great that it took every nerve to not let any tears be shed. She gazed at the mirror with both longing and irritation. "Perhaps if I break the glass…" she whispered to herself. Her eyes narrowed at the idea; surely that would be too easy? If anyone broke the glass, then they would be able to get through…but it was the only option she had left.

Upon first arriving at the opera house, Fluttershy went immediately into the auditorium, going directly to the trap door that was backstage, the same door that she took so many months ago that led her to the Phantom's lair.

It was bolted shut.

A stagehoof, who saw her trying to force the door open, stopped her. "Won't do no good," he muttered. "And a pretty thing like you don't want to go down there, believe me."

She ignored the stallion's words, but stood up to face him, wiping the sweat from her brow. "This used to be open before, why can't it open now?"

The stagehoof shrugged. "S'pose the Phantom had his fill of trespassers," he mumbled. "Been bolted for weeks now, all the secret doors," he waved his hoof around the auditorium. "Just as well if you ask me; only askin' for trouble if you go down there."

All the passages were bolted.

It made no sense. Surely Discord continued to freely travel throughout the opera house–perhaps there were passages that the stagehooves didn't know about? She tried to remember all that Discord had shown her in the time she was with him. Sadly, she knew all those secret doorways from the other side; she would have no idea where to begin looking for them now. The only door she could think that the stagehooves didn't know about was the mirror in her dressing room. It had to be a door, she was sure of it! She felt his presence so clearly through it, and what other reason could explain the sudden appearance of all those roses? So without a second thought, she fled to her dressing room, eager to tear open the mirror and find her masked love.

But the project had been harder than she had anticipated.

Fluttershy pushed back several damp waves that had fallen across her forehead, a weary, but determined sigh escaping her lips. So help her, she was going to find him and put everything to right!

With a deep breath, she picked up the wooden cushioned stool that sat by the dressing table, prepared to fling the piece of furniture at the mirror with all her might. "I'd rather have seven years of bad luck than a life without Discord," she hissed to the air. With one last breath, she gave out a battle cry, charging at the mirror with the stool–

"FLUTTERSHY!"

The sound of her name being squealed startled her so, that Fluttershy lost her balance and tumbled forward, going directly over the stool.

"Oh! Oh Fluttershy, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to startle you!"

Fluttershy groaned with embarrassment, frustration, and a little pain, as she pushed the cursed stool away from her. She glanced up to see Twilight Sparkle rushing towards her to help her stand. "Are you alright? Oh I pray nothing is broken or sprained…good God Fluttershy, what were you doing?"

Fluttershy forced a smile upon her lips and winced slightly as Twilight helped her stand, her knees feeling the worse for wear. "Rehearsing," she mumbled. "A scene from Act II."

Twilight seemed satisfied with this answer and pressed nothing further. However, the eager expression on her pretty face caused Fluttershy to tremble with slight worry. She had a bad feeling about this…

"Well?" Twilight giggled, her eyes bright with anticipation.

Fluttershy tried to smile back, but she was so confused. "Well…?"

Twilight rolled her eyes but let out another giggle. "Oh don't be modest Fluttershy, we all know!"

Fluttershy felt the color drain from her face. "K-k-know what?"

Twilight groaned, but reached out to grab Fluttershy's hoof. "ABOUT YOUR ENGAGEMENT OF COURSE!"

Fluttershy thought her heart would stop beating. She couldn't believe what she was hearing! However, before she could begin to question Twilight on where she had learned this news, a mass of giggles erupted from the hallway, and over a dozen dance mares scrambled inside the dressing room, each grinning and giggling and demanding to see Fluttershy's engagement Bracelet.

"Knew the Prince liked you…saw how he looked at you ever since the day you came here!" one mare practically shouted.

"I'm so jealous! What is your secret Fluttershy? How can I land a rich husband?"

"Never thought the Prince would settle down, but then you go and snatch him up! How did you do it Fluttershy?"

Her head was spinning with all the questions and the giggling faces that surrounded her. This couldn't be happening…of all the misunderstandings in the entire world…

"MARES!"

Madame Luna's bark echoed off the dressing room walls. All smiles disappeared as a deadly silence filled the room.

The dance mistress stood in the doorway, her scowl darker than the black gown that she wore. "You should be on stage rehearsing!" she hissed. "You dance for one of the most prestigious dance companies in the whole world! And here you are, acting like insolent fillies who are unworthy to dance on that stage!" She moved away from the door and pointed one long finger in the direction of the stage. "Everypony leave at once and begin practice immediately!"

Without another word or glance, the mares quickly filed out of the dressing room in the direction Madame Luna was pointing. Twilight bit her lip and whispered "sorry" to Fluttershy, before hurrying out with the others. "Sorry Mama," she murmured as she past her mother. Madame Luna said nothing; her eyes were now focused entirely on the pretty pink haired mare.

Fluttershy felt like a bug being examined in a jar under Madame Luna's scrupulous gaze. She was still trembling with shock at the news she had just received from the dance. Engagement! She couldn't believe her misfortune.

"I suppose I should congratulate you," Madame Luna muttered. "Although you must forgive me if I struggle with doing so; after all, he is not a stallion worthy of you, but I suppose a hoofsome face, a great estate, and a hefty allowance make up for everything else–"

"I'm not engaged!" Fluttershy practically shrieked with anguish. "I…I don't know where you heard this from but…but it's not true!" She crumpled to the floor, exhausted and upset, the tears that she refused to shed earlier now flowing freely.

The dance mistress continued to keep her calm cool manner, but a great weight was lifted off her shoulders at Fluttershy's declaration. "But…we all saw you leave with him; you took his arm and left in his carriage. Also, it is very well known, not just here, but throughout Maris, that you are staying in his guest apartment. With all the gossip that has been traveling around, an engagement can only be assumed; in some ways it puts you in a better light than before…"

Fluttershy wiped her eyes and looked up at Madame Luna with confusion. "Better light? What…what do you mean?"

Madame Luna sighed and reached out to help Fluttershy to her feet. "Come now Fluttershy…a mare of your station? An actress? Staying in a place that all society knows belongs to the Prince? What do you think people were thinking?"

She always knew that her association with Blueblood would hurt her more than help her…but she had assumed that the rumors would stay at the opera house and amongst the company…she never thought that they would spread further. But after last night, appearing with him at the restaurant, and leaving with him in his carriage…

"I can't believe how stupid I've become," Fluttershy groaned. "I always thought myself a good judge of character, and a person of sense…I…I thought that such rumors would be squashed since I was with my father, or…or…oh God above, help me," she sighed, her face falling upon Madame Luna's shoulder, her arms wrapping around the dance mistress as new tears sprang forth.

Madame Luna sighed and hugged Fluttershy back, whispering soothing words into her dark hair. "So he did not propose to you?" she asked, lifting Fluttershy's face and gazing into her eyes.

Fluttershy shook her head. "If he had, I'm sure he's the sort of person who would tell every last newspaper in all of France, paying them to put the story on the front page."

"Yes, you are right about that," Madame Luna murmured. "But…but Twilight said she saw you wearing a bracelet?"

Fluttershy's eyes widened with shock.

The bracelet Discord had given to her.

She remembered how Twilight demanded to look at her hoof when she burst into the room, quickly followed by several of dance mares all wanting a peak. Fluttershy had only worn it briefly the day before, after she came into the dressing room and tried for the first time to get through the mirror. But later, when she returned for rehearsals, she hid the Bracelet once more in her pocket and had not worn it since. She didn't think anyone had seen her wear it, she was sure of it!

Celestia.

Fluttershy let out a shaky breath as she remembered Celestia being with her at the time she was wearing it. And then she remembered Celestia's eyes, which were already glimmering with hatred, falling upon her hooves.

Celestia had seen the bracelet and must have started the rumors. And her leaving with Blueblood only added fuel to the prima donna's vengeful fire.

"Madame Luna, I need your help," Fluttershy whispered. "The only reason I left with Blueblood was because my father promised at the time, that I would have dinner with him. But my father now realizes that the Prince is not the sort of pony one can trust, and further, I tried to tell him that I could not be seen with him anymore, but…it didn't work…" she mumbled, remembering the disaster that was the night before.

Madame Luna's eyes narrowed at Fluttershy's words. "He didn't hurt you, did he?"

"Oh no!" Fluttershy quickly reassured. "But…I realize now that I will have to be extremely blunt when I next see him…and I know that when that time comes, my father and I can not be at that apartment. Please…can you help us find another place to stay?"

Madame Luna's eyes softened at the young mare's request. "Of course…and you know that you and your father are welcome to stay with Twilight and myself if need be?"

Fluttershy nodded her head, although she hated being a burden to the mare. "Thank you," she whispered. "And the sooner, the better."

Madame Luna nodded her head. "Start packing your things tonight. Tomorrow you can stay with us, and then we will go about finding you both your own place."

Fluttershy let out a great sigh of relief. Being away from Blueblood made her feel so much better; but there was still the matter of telling Discord the truth.

"Madame Luna…I…I know that…that you have connections with…" her eyes glanced towards the mirror, and Madame Luna's gaze quickly followed.

The dance mistress stiffened at Fluttershy's words, but softly nodded her head. After all, she had revealed to Fluttershy on that snowy night not so long ago that she was Discord's liaison with the outside world.

"Tell me how I can get down there, to his realm, please! I must speak with him, it's of urgent importance!"

Madame Luna was entirely caught off guard by Fluttershy's words. "S-s-speak to him?" she stammered, her calm collective appearance momentarily shaken.

Fluttershy nodded her head. "Yes, there's been a terrible misunderstanding, and I need to tell him the truth. Especially now with…with this horrid news circulating." What she wouldn't give to throw her hoof into Celestia's over-made face. "I've been trying for the last hour to get through the mirror, I know it's a door! But I can't find the mechanism to open it…please…do you know a way inside?"

Madame Luna couldn't believe what she was hearing. Somepony actually wanting to get into the Phantom's lair and find the Phantom himself! "Fluttershy…why…why would you…" she shook her head, so many different things running through her mind. "Fluttershy, he kidnapped your father! And he took you prisoner! I…I thought you despised him!" Had she been wrong? She knew Discord claimed to be in love with the mare…but was it possible that Fluttershy loved him as well?

Fluttershy took a deep breath and looked directly into the mare's eyes. "I did once…twice actually," she whispered, recalling what she first thought of him when he took her prisoner, as well as when he told her to leave. "But…in my heart, I…I feel, no, I know that he loves me…still, and…and I still love him."

Madame Luna's pale face only grew whiter at the words. In all her life, she never thought it was possible; Discord felt love, pure, selfless love for another mare. And perhaps even more miraculous was that someone else loved him just as fiercely.

"You and Discord…you…you…"

"Yes," Fluttershy whispered, nodding her head without shame or hesitation.

Madame Luna swallowed the lump in her throat and blinked back the tears she could feel stinging her eyes. "You love him?" she asked, her voice filled with surprise.

"Very much," Fluttershy whispered with great sincerity.

"But…but he is so much older…"

Fluttershy smiled softly. "He is practically 20 years older than me, but I would not label a pony of 38 as 'old'. Besides, I am nearly 21...in society's eyes I'm an old maid; not exactly a green mare from the schoolroom."

"Fine, but…but he…" Madame Luna hated herself for doing this. "His face my dear…have you seen it?"

Fluttershy locked her eyes with the dance mistress before nodding her head. "His face holds no horror for me. I will always see him as hoofsome, no matter what the world sees."

Madame Luna was in complete awe. "I never thought I would live to know a day where…where Discord felt love, as well as receive it."

Fluttershy grinned and blinked back the happy tears that shimmered in her eyes. "Nor I," she grinned. "I love him Madame Luna, I love him and he loves me, I just know it, I feel it!"

Madame Luna's brow furrowed at Fluttershy's words. "Has Discord not told you of his feelings?"

Fluttershy shook her head. "No, I mean…yes, he has told me that he loves me, but…" she closed her eyes and groaned sadly. "Before he released me, he…he told me that it had all been pretense, that he was only using me for his own carnal desires."

Madame Luna stiffened at the mare's words. "Did he hurt you?" she whispered.

"Oh no!" Fluttershy defended. "No, I…it made no sense, what he was saying. Because when we…" she blushed deeply and saw the knowing look in the dance mistress' eyes. "He was always gentle…and he took great care when he held me in his arms," she closed her eyes briefly at the beautiful memories. "And he would tell, as well as show, how deeply he loved me," she whispered. "But then, one night, he told me he was finished with me, that he no longer desired my 'services', and then…" she turned away from Madame Luna and wrapped her arms tightly around herself. "And then he told me that he knew where my father was being kept, that he had known all along–"

"That's not true!"

Fluttershy turned her head to look at the dance mistress, her eyes filled with confusion as well as growing hope. "W-w-what?"

Madame Luna reached out and took one of Fluttershy's hooves in hers. "That night, the night you were released from Discord's imprisonment, the night you came to me…was the same night he learned about where your father was."

Fluttershy's eyes widened with shock. "But…but…how do you–"

"I told him," she whispered. "He had sent Rainbow Dash in search of your father's whereabouts, and she and I crossed paths. I helped Rainbow Dash back to the opera house, and revealed the news to Discord," she looked down at her feet and felt a sudden wash of shame come over her. "I…I learned that night that Discord was keeping you with him. Why else would he send someone in search of your father? I confronted him, telling him that it wasn't right, keeping you there, believing that he…that he was being selfish, that he was keeping you as one keeps a caged bird, locked in a cage and being fed to sing for his pleasure. But I never knew that you both…that you both had grown such an attachment to one another…"

Fluttershy couldn't believe what she was hearing. She remembered how there was that tiny voice inside her that never truly believed the harsh words that he said, which told her constantly it was all a lie. "He said those things…to make me leave, so that I could find my father, and help him," she whispered with realization. A part of her always suspected it…but now she knew.

Madame Luna nodded her head. "I believe you are right," she smiled softly, but then a frown clouded her face. "But I have not spoken to him since that night. He will not see me; he will not have anything to do with me, or the outside world. Ever since the night you left, many of his passages have been–"

"Bolted, I know," Fluttershy murmured. "And the mirror?" she asked, hope flaring in her heart.

Madame Luna shook her head. "Discord doesn't think I know this, but yes, it is a door…but sadly, I do not know how it works. I would not be surprised if it can only be opened one way, from the inside. Many of his secret doors are like that," she explained.

"No," Fluttershy whispered, a fierce fire of determination rising within her. "I have felt his presence with me in this room. And just yesterday, I came in here and there were all these roses…I know there must be a way inside!" she looked down at the stool and quickly picked it up. "Perhaps by breaking the glass–"

Madame Luna's hooves took hold of the stool. "You shatter the glass, you find nothing but the wall itself. It is not the mirror, it is what's behind the mirror. The mirror is not the door; it is the cover of the door. It's complicated, I know, but…trust me on this. If you truly wish to get a message to him, but fear he will not see you, then…the only solution I have is to write him a letter."

Fluttershy stared blankly at the mare. "Write him a letter?"

"Yes," Madame Luna replied, as if it were obvious. "Write him a letter, seal it, and then leave it in Box 5."

Fluttershy's eyes widened. "But isn't that the Prince's box?"

"Yes, but Discord has lain claim to it for far longer," Madame Luna simply answered. "If he ever makes any requests, he always leaves instructions to leave a note in Box 5."

Fluttershy nodded her head, seeing the sense in that, but would Discord find the note if he were not expecting it? Or did he always check Box 5, no matter what? She had so many questions, and there was so much information for her to grasp. Her note would be simple, and she prayed he would answer it.

She needed to see him. She needed to hear from his own lips that all those things he had said were simply his way of getting her to leave to be with her father. She needed to hear him tell her what Madame Luna had revealed about the knowledge of her father, and more than anything, she needed to know if it was possible for him to still love her? And just as important…she needed to tell him that she still loved him with all her heart.

"I must go and deliver my message," she said with determination. "Thank you, Madame Luna, thank you for everything." She gave the dance mistress a grateful smile and turned to leave, but gasped when she felt the mare's cold hoof grip her arm.

"Just one more thing, my dear," Madame Luna murmured, releasing Fluttershy's arm. "How…how are you feeling?"

Fluttershy looked at her with confused eyes. "How am I feeling?"

"Yes," Madame Luna pressed. "I know that you have been feeling lightheaded and nauseous recently. I was simply curious to know if you have been feeling any better, or if your symptoms persist?"

"Oh," Fluttershy said, somewhat surprised by the question. "I am feeling much better, thank you, I think that day of rest has done me some good," she smiled, but felt it fade away at the stone expression on the mare's face. "I…I do now and then feel nauseous, but I have been able to keep my food down for the most part."

Madame Luna looked at the mare closely and then nodded her head. "Go write your letter. I will take it to Box 5 for you, as I'm sure you are wanted on stage by now."

Fluttershy nodded her head and quickly left the dressing room, hoping that she could manage to pen a few lines before Madam Octavia or the managers lost their patience. She passed several chorus members in the halls, many of whom were whispering at the sight of her. A few stepped forward to wish her congratulations, to which Fluttershy rolled her eyes and pushed past them. She caught Celestia's eye from backstage, and Fluttershy felt her blood boil with anger at the sight of the blonde soprano who was also sending her a similar deadly glare. She felt her fists tighten with anger, and more than anything, Fluttershy wanted to go over to the prima donna and tear out her hair.

But all vengeful thoughts, all urgent hastiness to write her letter to Discord, vanished as she overheard several stagehooves in conversation.

"Did you hear about what happened at Notre Mane?"

"No, what are you talking about?"

"Seems that the cathedral does have its own hunchback!"

"What are you saying?"

"Some poor friar was scared out of his wits early this mornin'. Went to go and ring the bells for morning vespers, and found a monster in the bell tower!"

"You're serious? There was an actual hunchback in the bell tower?"

"Go outside and hear for yourself! It's all anyone's talkin' about on the street!"

"What did they do with the creature?"

"What do you think they did? Arrested him of course! Can't let some monster run around Notre Mane, can you? What a stupid question," the stagehoof muttered.

"MADAMOISELLE FLUTTERSHY!" Madam Octavia's exasperated roar filled the auditorium and the far corners backstage.

Soon, grumbling with irritation, Flim and Flam emerged behind the curtains, their faces set with deep scowls. "Where is Fluttershy?" Flim demanded. "She was due on stage 15 minutes ago, and no one can find her! She's not in her dressing room–"

"You mean that pretty pink-haired mare who's been singing lead soprano?" a stagehoof asked.

The managers rolled their eyes in annoyance. "YES!"

"She was just standing here," the stagehoof calmly explained. "Then but a second later, she was off and running," he lit a cigarette and inhaled deeply. "Funny…never seen a mare run that fast. Wonder what caused her to leave?"

Author's Note:

Enjoy!