Through the Eyes of a Friend

by LuminoZero

First published

Anthea, the adopted daughter of Fluttershy, has been mostly blind for all of her life. A chance meeting with one of her mother's friends may give her a unique opportunity.

Anthea has seen the world as blobs of color for her entire life. Somepony offers her the chance of a lifetime, true sight. What is the price of this gift, and will the pain of losing the sight be worth the temporary delight in having it?

Characters are based on the OCs designed by the incredible Kilala97, who also made the awesome cover art! Identification of OCs can be found: here and here.


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The pink unicorn walked slowly down the worn dirt path that lead from her house to Ponyville proper. Anthea had lived in this town her whole life, and even though she could not see more than the splotches of color around her, it was home. Over the years, she had learned how to navigate by distance and color. She was heading to Sugarcube Corner today, to pick up an order for her mother. An old friend of hers was visiting, and she'd wanted to get something special. Anthea was always happy to help her mother, especially since she would probably be zipping around their house, fussing over all of the details. She'd heard that years ago Fluttershy and Turquoise's mother, Rarity, had been really close. With how they could both fuss over things endlessly, Anthea didn't doubt it was true.

As she was crossing the small bridge into Ponyville, she felt something odd. The sun was not beating down on her anymore, she was in a shadow. There were no trees or buildings around her, nor was there any breeze that would betray the presence of a flier playing a trick on her.

"Hello?" she said, looking up. She saw a blotch of color, so there was somepony there, but it wasn't something she recognized. Many colors were crashed together before her damaged eyes. Red, brown and gold, to name a few.

Her expression must have given away her confusion, as a decidedly male voice spoke. "Why hello there, little pony! Just out for a stroll?" The voice was loud and boisterous, but not overbearing. It was as if encountering her was a great treat for this pony.

She shook her head, pleasantly smiling at the source of the words. "Oh, I am just running an errand for my mother. I'm sorry, you snuck up on me." This pony was hard to track. His voice kept waving, as if he were constantly moving as he spoke.

"A little pony out running an errand for her mother, and is set upon by a horrible monster? Ah, what a classic tale! I wonder how this story will end?" There were some strange noises coming from this pony, as if he were making all sorts of impressive gestures and such. She could have sworn she heard the sound of him chewing on something.

"M...Monster? But you don't sound like a monster," she retorted. After encountering the manticore those many years ago, she'd never known a monster to sit down and have a conversation.

"Perhaps I don't sound like one, I am a bit of an actor after all. But don't I look the part of the horrible monster?" She could hear him hiss at her, as if he were trying to act like some feral beast.

"I wouldn't know, I'm blind," she spoke with a smile. "All I can tell is that you're flying. But I don't know how since you aren't making wind."

She could almost feel the excitement drain from his voice. "Blind? You mean I've been putting on all of these theatrics for somepony who couldn't even appreciate them? Ah, what a waste." His tone suggested he was sulking now, how strange. He went from prankster to monster to colt in mere moments. He was so... chaotic.

"I'm sorry." Anthea wasn't sure why she was apologizing for being blind, but the words just came out.

The pony answered dismissively. "Oh it is fine, my dear. It's not your fault, is it? Anyway, I really must be running along." He said this, but then stopped to consider something. "Hmmm, you said you were running an errand for your mother? And I can assume you live back at the other end of this road? And there is only one house down this way... hmmmm."

Anthea jumped back as there was a bright flash of light in front of her. Whomever she had been talking to was now right in front of her. That had to be a teleportation spell! Was he an Alicorn? No other way he could use both magic and fly. Maybe he was like Claire and Turquoise? No, that wasn't right either. Turquoise could fly, Claire could use magic, but only the Princesses could do both.

"How about a little game, my dear? I always like mixing things up a little bit. How would you like to borrow my eyes?"

Anthea had heard many things in her short life, but she had no idea how to respond to this. "W-What?"

"Oh not permanent, that would be silly. Just for, let's say, an hour. A perfectly good, working set of eyes." As he spoke, she could hear an odd rolling sound. It was as if Turquoise was rolling a bit through his claws. "What do you say? A full hour of being able to see the world around you, all of your friends, everything. Tempting, isn't it?"

Tempting wasn't the right word. Maddening was more appropriate. Anthea had heard these stories before, there was always a catch. Something that was wrong with a seemingly innocent deal.

"What do you get?" she asked.

He let out a loud belly laugh. "A wise, young mare, excellent! All that I get from this, besides your eyes for one hour so I don't fly around with empty eye sockets," he stopped in mid sentence. "Though that does sound like fun. Anyway, all I get is repaying an old debt. So what do you say? Do we have a deal?"

Anthea had a happy life here in Ponyville. If those stories were to be believed, doing this could ruin everything. Was it worth it to risk what she did have for something she'd always wanted?

"All right."

"Wonderful!" he exclaimed. "Now then, hold still. This is a very delicate procedure, I wouldn't want to make a mistake."

Anthea's body tensed as she heard this. She didn't move, she didn't blink, she didn't even breathe. She felt a smack on the back of her head, and then everything went dark. Even without perfect vision, being able to see blurry colors had been something. This was just darkness, pure and total. The next thing she felt was pressure on her face, as if somepony was pushing their hoof gently against it. As the pressure moved away, a blinding light assaulted her vision. She shielded her eyes with her foreleg, blinking a few times to try and clear her vision. It was distorted, even worse than normal, but it was slowly going back to the usual.

Anthea's heart began to pound against her chest as the blurriness in her vision continued to fade. The colors weren't blobs anymore, they had defined lines where they ended and new colors began. They had shapes, they had form. She blinked again, not realizing that she was actually seeing now. The first thing she did was look up, only to see nothing there.

"H-Hello? Pony?" she asked meekly, remembering she'd never gotten his name.

"Why are you wasting your time here?" the voice responded to her. She couldn't see where it was coming from. "One hour is all we agreed on, the clock is ticking. Urgh, is this really how you see things? How annoying... Anyway, go off and see what you can with those eyes of mine. I'll find you when the time is up." The voice faded away to the wind, leaving Athena with the feeling that she was alone once again.

For the first time, she looked at the world around her. Everything was foreign, and she had no idea what she was even seeing. Green and brown and blue and all manner of colors. What were all of these things?

"Ok, first thing's first," she said, to nopony in particular. She looked down, seeing the brown path she'd be following. Dirt, this was dirt. Next to it was an endless amount of green, and she placed her hoof on it. She paused a moment to make a mental note of what her own hoof looked like.

"Ok, this is grass. Right, dirt and grass. And this is my hoof and... oh Celestia I can see!" she shouted with joy. The truth that her vision was restored had just hit her full force, and the emotional blow staggered her. She allowed her vision to follow the path, seeing many odd sites along it. She saw large structures of varied colors. One of them was blue, one green, and one pink. She recognized the colors and the order, these were shops! The third one was Sugarcube Corner, the pink on it was what made it stand out.

She went to gallop, but barely made it five paces before she slipped and fell flat on her face. She wasn't used to seeing so much in front of her, especially not her own hooves when she moved. It was too much for her mind to take in, causing her to lose her balance. She resigned herself to a slower pace, walking into Ponyville with the biggest smile she'd had since her mother had taken her home all those years ago.

Anthea reached the shop quickly. The new sights around her were making it really difficult to focus. She saw creatures walking on four legs all around the town, and it didn't take her long to realize they were ponies.

This is what ponies look like? Wow, but do I know them? She found that she was having a difficult time identifying anypony, since she'd never seen them like this. As she passed Sugar Cube Corner, she spied a pony on the inside of the building. Anthea turned towards this pony, who responded in kind. Their coat was a light pink, accompanied by a light green mane. This pony had something on their forehead that most of the ponies she'd seen had not.

Oh wait! That's a horn! She's a unicorn, like me! Anthea reached up and touched her horn, seeing the other unicorn do the same. Anthea waved, which the pony returned, and was about to ask a question to the pony, when she saw the confusion in her new acquaintance's yellow eyes.

"Hi Annie!" came the shout from behind her. Anthea jumped a full three feet into the air in surprise. Thankfully, her ears had not failed her, and she could identify the mare by her voice.

Anthea turned around as she spoke. "Candy, you scared me!" She saw a... mare? The difference was still hard to tell, but the voice at least helped. The pony that trotted up to her was not a blob of cyan as she'd been seen before, but a well defined pony-like shape. Her face showed an expression, but Anthea didn't understand it directly. She knew, however, that Cotton Candy was almost always happy, so it was likely that what she was showing right now was a smile.

Cotton Candy was the daughter of the one pony in town everypony knew the name of, Pinkie Pie. Anthea remembered the stories her mother would tell her about Pinkie, and if half of them were true then Candy was a real chip off the old block. She was friendly, excitable and a little bit silly as well. Still, that energy was tempered with patience, something Anthea was very grateful for. Anthea liked Candy, she was always willing to help, but she usually reigned herself in around Anthea, since she was incapable of going full speed like Candy could.

She reached out a hoof as Candy bounded up to her, poking it against the mare's cheek. Candy blinked in confusion. "Huh? What's wrong, Annie?" she asked with legitimate concern. Her face scrunched again, and Anthea took note of this expression as well.

"Please, just give me a second.," Anthea said, moving her hoof as she spoke. She was trying to connect her new sight to what her mind knew, but for that she needed to use her sense of touch to identify things. "Coat, mane, tail," she began, "nose, ears, hoof." Cotton Candy stood still, letting her friend do whatever this was. She seemed so focused, this was obviously very important.

Finally, Anthea threw her hooves around Candy with a squeal of delight. "Candy! It's amazing to finally see you!"

Candy thought nothing of the comment at first, before her mind registered it. "Wait, see me?! "

Anthea was excited, but she recalled the other pony she'd been looking at when Candy showed up. "Yes! I can see now! I see you, and the ponies in town, and the pink unicorn in the shop too!" she said, gesturing into the shop through the window.

Candy got over her shock quickly, as she followed Annie's gaze. There were no customers in the shop, so who had she seen? The answer quickly became obvious, and Candy laughed. "Silly, that isn't another pony! That's you!"

Anthea blinked as she looked back into the window. She'd never seen her reflection before. So this was what she looked like? She raised her hoof again, watching as the other pony imitated it. Something bothered her, however.

"I don't get it, everypony said my eyes were blue. Why did they lie?"

Candy giggled again. "Silly! You're eyes are blu-WHA?!" her comment ended in a shout as she took a good look at Anthea's eyes. "When did your eyes turn yellow and red? That isn't right!"

Right, these eyes belonged to somepony else, she was just borrowing them. A sudden realization occurred to her, the clock was ticking. Anthea had always been pretty good at keeping track of time in her head, and this had been almost fifteen minutes unless she was really off. "Candy!" she said, turning back to her friend. "I need your help! I need to see as much of Ponyville in less than an hour! You know where everything and everypony is. Please help!" Anthea could find her way around Ponyville easily enough, but it would be much quicker if someone who knew the town like Candy did lead her.

"Okie-Dokie-Lokie!" she declared, turning towards the bustling town. "We're going to meet everyone in Ponyville in record time! Hold on tight!"

Anthea tried to keep up with the galloping mare, but that plan was doomed to failure before it began.

The first stop on their adventure had been the opposite end of town. Candy had surmised that working from the other side back towards Anthea's house would be the easiest way to see as much as possible. Now, they stopped outside of a large plot of land. Even seeing it for the first time, the smells identified Anthea's location. They had arrived at Sweet Apple Acres.

"Del! Hey, Golden Boy! Come on!" Candy shouted as she galloped towards the farm house. Anthea had fallen behind her a while ago, but still struggled to catch up.

"Now what in tarnation is all that ruckus about?!" came the distinct voice from inside the farmhouse. Candy was prancing in place when the door swung open, a red-maned earth pony looking at her. "Where's the fire, hun?"

"Hi Apple Bloom, is Del around?" Candy asked, her smile not faltering for a second. She positively beamed up at the older mare.

As annoyed as Apple Bloom was at the noisy and mysterious disturbance, she could never stay upset at Cotton Candy. She was just so... happy. "Well it must be mighty important to have you in such a tizzy. He's helping his uncle in the west fields. We've got lots of work to do today, so promise you won't bother him for long, ok?"

Candy nodded, turning around and hopping towards the fields. "It's ok! Annie just needs to see him!" she called. For the first time, Apple Bloom noticed the other mare coming down the path. She was out of breath, but still kept moving.

"Hello... Ms. Apple," Anthea managed out between gasps of air. Apple Bloom clicked her tongue in amusement before responding.

"Ms. Apple's my sis, it's just Apple Bloom," she corrected Anthea. "Now what got into her? Girl is wound tighter than a pig's tail! Something important going on?"

Anthea turned to look at Apple Bloom. It was a quick look, but something about it seemed off to the farm pony. "Nothing important, I just need to see him for a minute," she explained. She knew that if word got out to everypony about her being able to see, they would stop her with questions and other such things. Normally she wouldn't mind, but she was on a time table today. She could not afford to stop and explain the entire day's events to everypony, or she would waste all of her time.

It was fortunate for her that Cotton Candy found her first. That mare didn't care about the why. She knew that she was needed, and she helped. She might ask why later, but not now. Anthea gave a quick wave to Apple Bloom as she followed Candy into the fields.

Thankfully, Big Mac and Golden Delicious were close to the farm house. In barely two minutes, the tan and red hides of the two stallions came into view. Candy spoke up first, doing what she had been doing since this escapade started.

"Hi Big Mac, Del!"

Calling everypony by their name so Anthea could identify them. Anthea had never asked her to do it, she just started doing it. The eccentric nature of hers covered a deep wisdom that many overlooked.

The two stallions turned when they heard her, and Candy ran right up. Anthea had gotten her second wind a bit ago, so she was only a few seconds behind Candy. She managed out her own greeting, through labored breaths.

Big Mac just nodded with a smile, while Golden Delicious gave an awkward and silent wave. AJ had always said Del should learn farming from Mac, since they were ideal conversation partners. Del was a bit more talkative than Mac, but not by much.

"Morning Cotton Candy. Howdy Anthea," he spoke simply. He was one of the only ponies that called any pony by their full name. That could be kind of funny when he wound up with the names that were a mouthful, like Rarity's children. "What brings you two around?" As he stopped to speak with them Big Mac moved on to the next tree, giving a silent signal for him to not dawdle too much.

"Oh, not much! We just wanted to go around Ponyville and see all of our friends!" Candy announced, making Big Mac shake his head with a smile. No doubt he thought this was just her silliness.

Del, however, looked a bit closer at her. "You sure? You two are moving a mite fast for a social call." Anthea met his gaze, dead on, and shook her head.

"N-No. We just came to see you both. I know you're busy, so we'll be on our way. Oh, before I forget, is Cheerilee here?"

Big Mac spoke up, right on cue. "Nope."

Golden glanced at his uncle, then back to his friends. "She's still up at the school, she hasn't come home yet. Ma's in the east field, if you're looking for her. I think she's a bit deep, though. Might take a while to find her."

Candy bounced on her hooves, clearly excited. "Oh we totally have to visit Cheerilee! I haven't spent time with her since I was an itty-bitty-filly!" Without further conversation, the two mares were on their way again. Del stood there, thinking for a moment longer.

"Uncle Mac, did that seem odd to you?"


"...I thought you'd say that."

After a quick visit to the schoolhouse, Candy had veered in yet another direction. This time, she was leading Anthea outside of the town. Anthea had lost track of where she was a while ago, such was the price of keeping up with Candy. Still, she trusted her and followed her without question. When they finally stopped, Anthea nearly collapsed onto the ground. It felt like she'd been running non-stop since this all began. That might actually be true, now that she thought about it.

"Who...who is next?" she managed out between greedy gasps of air. Candy pointed up, and Anthea followed her hoof to see a figure upon a cloud. Black against white, there was only one pony in town that would make that color clash. "Is that Prism Bolt?"

The pegasus on the cloud looked down when he heard his name called. He looked down from his perch and saw the two mares looking up at him. He stood up and spread his wings out majestically, allowing his short, rainbow-colored mane and tail to flap in the breeze.

"Oh wow, those are his wings, right? Look at his mane and tail too! They were so hard to see before!"

Bolt wasn't the smartest one of their group, so it surprised them both when he was the first to notice the change in her. "Whoa, Annie. What's going on with your eyes? They are all weird. Some new magic or something?"

Candy jumped in, not wanting to lie to a friend or bother hiding it. He was the only one here, and he wouldn't flip out over it. "She can see now! Isn't that awesome? I think it is SUPER awesome!"

Prism did a quick fly by overhead, the wind causing their manes to wave about messily. "No, I'm awesome! It is awesome for you because now you can see how awesome I am!" From anypony else, that would have been a very insulting thing to say. Thankfully, years of dealing with Prism's ego had pretty much made them immune to his arrogance. It was all for show, this was just the only way his ego would allow him to be happy for others. "Wait a minute, how do I know you're not pulling my leg? Come on, prove it!"

Anthea rolled her new eyes before she spoke. "Well, I can see your wings now, instead of blobs of black attached to your body. I don't suppose that proves it, though." How could she prove that she could see him? It shouldn't be this hard to think of something.

"Oooh! I know!" Candy shouted, picking up a flower in her teeth and holding it up towards Anthea. Anthea just blinked as she looked at it, Candy mumbling something through her teeth.

Anthea and Prism Bolt looked at each other in confusion. The latter landed next to Anthea, trying to understand what Candy wanted.

After a moment of garbled translations, Anthea finally deciphered it. "Oh! She wants me to count the petals on the flower. One, two, three, four, five, six. There are six petals," she announced, poking at them with her hoof.

Bolt was shocked. "Wow! You really can see, you weren't joking! That's awesome! Was it magic? It was magic right? Had to be! But only Starburst's mom could be that strong, and I haven't seen them in a while. Did you go up to Canterlot to meet her?"

"No, I mean yes, I mean." she paused for a moment, gathering her thoughts. "No it wasn't Princess Twilight, at least I don't think so. I think it was magic, but it didn't feel like any magic I know of. I know that whoever did it was really powerful, though. He sounded nice too!"

Prism Bolt was brave and headstrong, but he wasn't stupid. "You don't know who fixed them, isn't that dangerous? I mean, I'm all for doing dangerous things, but that seems really dangerous. Dad always said I shouldn't jump on something without looking."

Cotton Candy just waved her hoof with a snort. "Oh come on, Bolt! What bad could he do by letting her see? He'd have to be really powerful to even do it. There aren't many ponies like that, heck I can't even think of one!"

Really powerful... yes that was accurate. She had no idea what kind of magic that pony had used on her, but it was amazing.

It was also temporary.

Anthea's face fell in horror as she realized how much time she had spent so far. It had to have been almost an hour, her time was almost up. At that moment, when she realized she was about to lose this gift forever, she recalled the one thing she should have been doing the entire time. She'd been so involved in her fun and excitement, she'd forgotten about the one thing she'd always wanted to see.


She shook her head out, turning up to Prism Bolt. "Bolt! I need to get home, now! Can you get there fast enough?"

Prism Bolt looked at her oddly, not understanding what the rush was for. "Well, it is hard to fly while carrying ponies. That's a lot of work..."

Thankfully, Candy saved the day again. "Hey, didn't your mom do a Sonic Rainboom with four ponies on her back? She wasn't that much older than you when she did it. I guess you really aren't the best flier in Ponyville."

Prism Bolt's face went red enough to match his mane. "I'll show you!" he declared, zipping under Anthea and picking her up on his back. His wings beat powerfully, carrying the two of them into the sky. Anthea had difficulty keeping her eyes open as the wind beat against her face. She resigned to placing her face into Bolt's back to save her some of the discomfort. She could hear the wind around them, and then a voice.

"Whoa! Watch it, Bolt!"

His voice.

"Sorry T, it's an emergency!" Prism shouted back. Anthea tried to squeeze her eyes open to see Turquoise, but it was to no avail. She couldn't focus on anything with as fast as they were moving. She thought about telling Bolt to go back, but she knew that was wrong. Her mother was the most important, she couldn't let it slip away.

When Prism Bolt touched down at her cottage, Anthea fell off of his back. Traveling so fast had been sickening, but she couldn't stop now. She stumbled to her hooves, walking unsteadily towards the door. She pushed it open with all of her strength, making it slam against the wall. Flutteryshy jumped in surprise from the sound, turning towards her adopted daughter.

"Anthea! Where have you been, I was starting to get worri-" She never finished, as her daughter galloped up to her and wrapped her hooves around her. Fluttershy was confused, but returned the hug as Anthea pulled her face back. She looked hard, she took a long look at the mare that she loved more than anypony else in the world. Her golden coat, her pink mane, her loving blue eyes, Anthea burned all of it into her mind. She never wanted to forget it.

Fluttershy gasped as she looked down at her daughter. "Annie! Your eyes, what happened? Are you hurt? Did somepony do something to you?"

A familiar voice rang out from the corner of the room. "Honestly, Fluttershy. Didn't you realize you were staring into your daughter's eyes for the last hour?" Sitting on the couch was a figure Anthea didn't know how to describe. Not a pony, at least not by what she'd seen so far, but not anything else she could think of. That voice, however, she knew beyond a shadow of a doubt.

"It's you! You're the one who helped me see!" Anthea shouted, causing both Prism Bolt and Fluttershy to eye Discord with confusion.

Discord took a sip from his tea as he found every set of eyes in the house on him. "Oh now don't be like that. I offered her a little trade, my eyes for hers. Just for an hour, which is just about up I believe," he said, checking his wrist for something that wasn't there. "Very punctual, how kind of you. I would like my eyes back now. I have grown attached to them over the years."

There was a voice from outside as another two figured arrived. "Annie!" came the male voice that she knew very well. Turquoise had arrived, and the chattering explanation behind him suggested that Candy had as well.

Anthea turned to look at the door, just to catch a glimpse of her first real friend, when everything went dark again. Discord let out a whistle.

"Wow, now how is that for timing? I set the magic to expire so you wouldn't think to run off with my eyes. I guess that means it's time to switch back."

Anthea realized, as she turned her head towards the sound of T's voice, her vision blank, that the ponies she'd ignored for all of her time having sight were the two she wanted to see most of all. She would have been able to see him, to see his face as he smiled, to imagine it every day from now on. Now she had nothing, nothing but a phantom made of touch and fantasy.

The stories were right, there always was a bittersweet endings with stories like this. "...Ok..." she spoke softly, walking up to Turquoise and running her hoof along his side, as she often did. It was a sense of familiarity, an anchor in the darkness.

The young hybrid had no clue what to say in this situation. Cotton Candy had only just explained the situation to him, and there was a lot he still didn't understand. She had been able to see, but now she couldn't? Apparently this... being had done it for her. She looked so heartbroken that he'd been the only one she never saw, and in truth he was a bit sad for it as well.

"Annie, it's ok," he lied to her. He'd be strong to help her through this, because no doubt she would beat herself up over this event if he let her. "What does it matter? I'm here for you, you know that. We never know what would have happened if things went another way. We met because you couldn't see me, because you couldn't be afraid of me. Maybe you're always supposed to see me like you do now, I don't know." Words were never Turquoise's strong point, he was usually a quiet one. He was stumbling over the right thing to say, to the obviously crestfallen mare.

The silence in the room was interrupted by a loud honking sound, as Discord blew his nose into a conjured kerchief. "Oh, how touching! You normally have to pay for a drama this good!" He dabbed at his eyes, still wearing a mischievous smile. Fluttershy looked at him with a combination of surprise and disappointment. For him to pour salt in the wound like that was just cruel.

"Discord..." she pleaded, but the tone of the response dashed whatever hopes she had.

"My dear Fluttershy, you know that I can't go around just fixing everything bad in the world. Why, then everypony would demand that we fix all of their woes, and that just cannot be done. Now let me give back what is yours, little Annie." He spoke so calmly, almost as if he was actually bothered by her situation. Had he been setting a trap this entire time, or had his offer really been altruistic?

She felt the familiar smack on the back of her head, and heard a few shocked gasps. Prism sounded like he was about to lose his lunch, and somepony had fainted. That familiar pressure on her face, and then light came back into her world. Her vision returned to its normally blurry state, as she looked at the mass of light green in front of her that she knew to be Turquoise. This is how he would be for the rest of her life, a shapeless mass of color when she could at least remember the faces of her friends and family. He, her first and best friend, would be the one she could never see. Even with Starburst, she could imagine what she looked like based on what pegasi looked like. Turquoise and his sister were unique, there was nothing like them in all the world. She didn't even have anything to base him on.

She saw his crystal blue eyes watering as he looked down at her, wrapping a draconian wing around her. She batted it off, raising a hoof to touch the cheek of a very surprised Turquoise.

"I... I can see you," she declared, almost not believing what was happening. "Your eyes, your coat, your mane, your tail. I can... I can see..." her eyes began tearing up, not understanding what was happening.

Discord just shrugged as if nothing out of the ordinary had just happened. "Hm? Oh yeah. You didn't expect me to fly around all day with those faulty eyes, did you? I just gave them the old spit and polish. I'm allowed to fix my own problems, after all," he said with a wink.

Anthea tore herself away from Turquoise, slamming into Discord with a delighted sob. Discord looked a bit distracted, and slightly annoyed. "Hey now! I just fixed those, don't go messing them up already!"

"ThankYouThankYouThankYou!" she sputtered out, clinging to him happily as her tears flowed freely.

Discord grumbled, snapping a clawed set of fingers once. Instantly, Fluttershy rose from her place on the ground, shaking her head softly. "Oh my, what just happened?"

"A little help here?!" Discord called to her, gesturing to the crying mare, clinging to him.

Fluttershy walked over, preparing to comfort her blind daughter. "Now dear, I know how badly you wanted it but-"

"He fixed them, mom! I can see! I can see you!" she declared again, meeting the gaze of her mother. Their blue eyes met, overflowing with tears and happiness.

Now Discord had two mares clinging to him, sobbing uncontrollably.

"Group Hug!" Candy shouted, crashing into both Turquoise and Prism Bolt as she forced them all into the hug.

Discord just sighed, laying on the ground after the ponypile had overcome his own levitation spell. Nothing to do for it now except wait until they got bored.

"Well don't thank me too much, I could never miss the chance to sow some chaos and disharmony," he said. The atmosphere of the room changed as a few ponies looked up at him. "Well, now she can see, yes. In one hour, she tripped around town like a little foal. Now she is a full grown mare that doesn't know how to read at all, and all the lovely little skills that come from sight. I imagine some ponies would be quite cruel to find a full grown mare studying things they teach foals. If that doesn't cause some chaos or disharmony around here, I don't know what will!"

Anthea let him go, considering something. "I can... I can read now! I want to learn right now, come on!" she said with excitement, practically bowling over her friends in her dash out the door. Well, running around with Cotton Candy all day had taught her quickly how to gallop, and it was something she was making liberal usage of. The entire pile of children seemed to dissolve out the door after her, leaving a very disoriented Fluttershy and an endlessly amused Discord behind.

"Wait! Annie make sure you... oh pony feathers," she turned to Discord with a soft smile. "That was a mean joke, Discord. Thank you, though. Thank you so much, you really are a sweetheart," she said, flying up to kiss his cheek as he straightened himself up.

"It is just like I told little Annie. Repaying a favor, and teaching a lesson at the same time. With all these lessons I am teaching, maybe they should write me letters on what they discovered about the magic of chaos, hmm?"

"So now do you understand, my boy?"

"I think so, but how did you know she was gonna forget about her mom until the end?"

"When you've been around for as long as I have, nothing is really random anymore. The trick isn't to know what they will do, but to plan for every realistic outcome, and a few that aren't realistic in case you are dealing with the really clever. Now what else was important in how I did it?"

"Misdirection, don't let your motives seem too obvious."

"Exactly! And the final part?"


"Alibi, my boy! Now, when your mother asks, where were we?"

"Oh right! I was with Claire and you were having tea with Fluttershy, but you stopped for a bit to turn a tree into chocolate and launch branches over the town," Discord arched an eyebrow at Illusion's addition. He had done nothing of the sort today. "If we tell her you didn't do anything wrong, she'll never believe either of us."

Discord gave a toothy grin. "You're learning. Keep it up and you might be able to pull one over on me, but only one pony has done that before." He turned back to Fluttershy's cottage, remembering that fateful moment when he realized just how important the pegasus was to him. Old memories, but good ones. He knew this was all a waste, Celestia would find out about what he did, but he didn't think it would be too much trouble.

It was for Fluttershy and her daughter, and Celestia knew the weak spot Discord had for her.

"You know you probably shouldn't announce your plans in the middle of an open meadow right outside of town."

Discord and Illusion both looked up at the pink hybrid who was looking back at them with a bored expression. "Honestly, darlings, the master of chaos and his heir, and you get caught by not looking behind you." If Claire was intimidated by the presence of royalty and something akin to a god, she was doing a remarkably good job of not showing it.

Discord smirked at her. Crystal Clarity, or Claire for short, had that same fearless wit of her mother, that was for sure. Even being confronted by a being as powerful as himself, she was unshakable. He looked over to his son. "I like her; she's a wild one. You kids have fun," he said before he teleported away, leaving Illusion behind as his laughter echoed in the air around them.

"So... you were going to use me as you alibi without even coming to see me when you were in town?"

Illusion took a half step back from her gaze, feeling like an animal face to face with a predator. "Er... I mean I was coming to visit. Dad just wanted to train're not buying any of this are you?"

Crystal Clarity grinned darkly. "Nope," she said, before pouncing on the prince.

"Ahh! I give, I give! Heeeeeelp!"