A My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic fanfiction
by Jonathan "KnightMysterio" Spires
All characters not original copyrighted to Hasbro and used without permission for non-profit amusement purposes. All original characters copyrighted to their respective owner. Set three months after the end of Season 4.
A dark, stormy morning...
"...Stupid Everfree storms," Diamond Tiara muttered, the pink filly glaring up at the dark, stormy sky as they walked to school. "Blasted things make everything dreary. At least it's not raining yet..." She shook her head and looked to her friend, the gray filly walking beside her, for support, only to find that she had a pensive expression on her face.
Silver Spoon adjusted her glasses nervously, looking away from Diamond Tiara. Diamond Tiara scowled, and said, "What's up with you today?"
Silver Spoon quickly shook her head. "...Nothing," she said quickly.
Diamond Tiara shook her head. "Silvy, I know you," she said, her expression softening a little. "I know when something's wrong with you. Now c'mon, tell me. What kind of friend would I be if I didn't try to make things right with my best buddy?"
Silver Spoon smiled a little. "...I think you overdid it with Dinky yesterday," she said hesitantly.
Diamond Tiara groaned, her head drooping. "This again?"
Silver Spoon grimaced. "Were all those comments about her mother necessary? And... and you really laid it on thick with calling her a burden to her mother..."
"Geez, Silvy," Diamond Tiara said, rolling her eyes. "It was just some harmless teasing."
"...She ran off crying, Titi," Silver Spoon said. "You've been going after her pretty hard the past few weeks, ever since the end of the Equestria Games."
"Nothing's working on the Blankflank Crusaders anymore," Diamond Tiara said, shaking her head. "I gotta have some fun, don't I? Plus, picking on her is surprisingly relaxing."
Silver Spoon shook her head. Diamond Tiara scowled.
"What is WITH you lately, Silvy?" she demanded.
"It's just..." Silver Spoon said, shaking her head. "With the Crusaders, it was always a challenge. With Dinky... Titi, it's like you're kicking a puppy."
Diamond Tiara rolled her eyes. "Whatever. C'mon, let's go. There's supposed to be an actually cool guest speaker today," she said.
Silver Spoon frowned, but nodded, she and Diamond Tiara heading to school. Once they got to class, they sat down near the front, chatting amiably, although Silver Spoon's worried expression never fully went away. The Crusaders came in, Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon giving them their usual insults, the three fillies ignoring her as they went to sit in the back, pouring over an elaborate construction plan of Apple Bloom's.
Cheerilee came in, the class putting away what they were playing with and greeting her politely. She looked around the class, taking attendance. When she noticed an empty seat, she frowned.
"Odd..." Cheerilee said. "Dinky's not here today. Has anyone seen her?"
The foals shook their heads, everyone except Diamond Tiara trading worried looks. Cheerilee stared suspiciously at Diamond Tiara for a long moment, the pink filly glaring back at her, wondering what her problem was. After a moment, she just shook her head.
"Well, we'll give her some extra time," she said. "In the meantime, class, we've got some special guests for you today!" She went over to a window, opening it and calling out, "We're ready for you! Come on down!"
Diamond Tiara briefly noticed Scootaloo getting the world's biggest smile, her underdeveloped wings buzzing so much that she was starting to hover out of her desk. She understood why a moment later as three Wonderbolts, accompanied by Rainbow Dash, who had made the reserves a few months back, flew in threw the open window.
Spitfire, Soarin, and Fleetfoot landed near Cheerilee's desk, Rainbow Dash doing a tight loop-de-loop in the classroom before landing right alongside them.
"Hey kids! How's it going?" Soarin said, grinning cheerfully. The class cheered, especially the pegasus students.
Cheerilee grinned. "The Wonderbolts are here to talk about how their group got started as well as their various duties, and Rainbow Dash is here to tell you about the training program Wonderbolts go through."
"SO AWESOME!" Scootaloo cheered, leaping out of her seat. Rainbow Dash chuckled, Spitfire nudging her playfully.
Cheerilee managed to calm the excited students down, the Wonderbolts all sitting down. Spitfire opened her mouth to speak, but before she could, Derpy Hooves came in, the wall-eyed pegasus in tears. Standing near her was Sparkler, her eldest daughter, the amethyst unicorn with a worried expression on her face.
"I-I'm sorry..." Derpy said. "But I can't find my youngest daughter, Dinky. I've been looking for her all morning, and..." She broke up into sobs.
Silver Spoon cast a worried glance at Diamond Tiara, who just scowled, angry that the visit had been interrupted. The other students took note of this, the Crusaders in particular turning glares at Diamond. Cheerilee stepped forward. "Derpy... Derpy, it's okay. I'm sure the Wonderbolts will be more than willing to help with the search."
"Sure thing," Spitfire said. "Even if it wasn't part of our job, we'd be more than willing to help find a missing foal. Right?"
"You bet!" Rainbow Dash said, nodding firmly.
"We're in, boss lady," Fleetfoot said, flapping her wings for emphasis.
"No problem," Soarin said, smiling confidently.
Derpy smiled. "Thank you..." she said softly.
Cheerilee grinned. "Do you have anything that would help us find her? Any clue?" the teacher asked.
"We found this taped to Dinky's bedroom door," Sparkler said, a worried expression on her face. She stepped forward, levitating a note. Cheerilee and the Wonderbolts all leaned in to read it, expressions of horror coming over their faces.
"Full grid search," Spitfire said, her face darkening. "Scan the entire town and the surrounding area. Focus on trees, cliffs, roofs, high places in general, and stores that sell pharmaceuticals. Fleetfoot, that zebra that lives in Everfree was in town earlier today. See if she's still there and try to convince her to set up a search party."
"Zecora's cool," Rainbow Dash said, visibly shaking. "She'll be more than happy to help."
"All right," Spitfire said, nodding. "Let's do this. Derpy, you're with us. Wonderbolts, to the skies!"
The Wonderbolts zipped out of the classroom, Derpy following them. Cheerilee cast a murderous look at Diamond Tiara, who just gave her a confused one right back. The schoolteacher shook her head, biting her lip.
"Classes are canceled for the rest of the day," Cheerilee said, audibly fighting off the urge to snarl.
Silver Spoon, hesitantly, came forward. "Can... can I see the note?" she asked.
Cheerilee and Sparkler glared at her, Silver Spoon flinching, her ears down in fright. After a moment, though, Sparkler nodded, giving Silver Spoon the note.
She read it aloud. "'Dear Mommy. I'm so very sorry for what I'm about to do, and I hope you can forgive me. I can't take it anymore. I'm scared to go to school because of her, and no matter what Cheerilee tries, her father always gets her out of trouble in some way. I have to get away from her, and this is the only way I can think of to do it. The worst part about it all is that she's right. Diamond Tiara always told me that I was a burden to you. I've seen the hospital bills from my accident last year, and I've seen you working at a calculator looking all sad and worried as you try to figure out how to pay for everything. It's why I never told you about what Diamond Tiara was doing to me. I didn't want you to worry even more. I hope that by doing this, I can relieve you of some of the burden you're under. I love you always, Mommy. I hope that I will see you again one day. Love, Dinky.'"
By the time she was finished, every student in the classroom, save for Diamond Tiara, had a look of horror on their faces. Silver Spoon, in tears shook her head. "I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU THAT YOU WERE OVERDOING IT!" she shrieked.
Cheerilee took the note back from her, she and Sparkler storming out of the classroom. Silver Spoon ran after them. "Wait! I'm gonna help look!" she said, following her teacher and Dinky's sister.
Diamond Tiara frowned. "I don't get it. What's the big deal?" she asked.
"You... You really don't understand?" Sweetie Belle asked, shaking her head incredulously.
Apple Bloom snarled. "Forget her," she said. "She wouldn't know she done something wrong if someone paid her. Now c'mon, let's go help find Dinky before she runs away." Apple Bloom led the Crusaders out the door. The other students filed out of the classroom, leaving a confused, angry Diamond Tiara.
"Geez..." Diamond Tiara said after everypony else had gone. "Is that little blankflank really gonna do this just because she can't take a damn joke or two?" She shook her head and went outside, mad at Silver Spoon for abandoning her. Maybe some ice cream would cheer her up.
Once outside, Diamond Tiara looked up, seeing the four Wonderbolts were zipping back and forth, scanning the ground for any sign of the young unicorn. Several other pegasi, including Fluttershy, Blossomforth, and Thunderlane, had also been drafted into the search. As she headed into town, she saw Zecora briefing several ponies on the dangers of Everfree, clearly preparing to lead a search party into the forest.
She shook her head. All this time wasted on one little blankflank, she muttered, heading for the ice cream shop. Before she could get there, however, she heard Fleetfoot call out.
"I see her!" the white-maned pegasus shouted, looking in the direction of the cliffs. "She's over by Ghastly Gorge, she... oh no... crap, she jumped!"
"DINKY!" Derpy wailed.
The Wonderbolts and the other pegasi all streaked off in the direction of the Gorge, Rainbow Dash rapidly pulling ahead of the pack. Various other ponies gathered around, staring worriedly in the direction the pegasi went in. Diamond Tiara, her curiosity overcoming her desire for ice cream, gathered with them. Derpy, too distraught to fly properly, landed nearby, tears streaming down her face as Sparkler hugged her tightly.
After far too long, the pegasi who had flown off came back. And to everypony's horror, cradled gently in Rainbow Dash's forelegs was a limp, motionless, bloodstained form. The other Wonderbolts flanked her, looking somber.
"I... I'm sorry... I wasn't fast enough..." Rainbow Dash said, tears in her eyes as she gently lay Dinky's corpse down on the ground.
"No... NO! PLEASE CELESTIA NOOOO!" Derpy wailed, hugging Dinky's limp form, tears streaming down her face.
"Dinky? Dead..." Sparkler said softly, tearing up as well. "It can't be..."
Spitfire shook her head. "By the time we caught up with her her," she said softly, "her neck had already been broken from hitting several outcroppings."
"I'm so sorry..." Rainbow Dash said, her voice choked with despair. "I couldn't get to her in time..."
Derpy and Sparkler held each other tightly, sobbing into each other as they hugged the young filly's lifeless form. Thunder rumbled as rain began to pour down. Diamond Tiara frowned, and shrugged, preparing to leave. She was stopped though when her father came through the crowd, a disturbed look on his face.
"What happened here?" Filthy Rich asked, stepping towards Derpy. "Is that... By all that's holy... Dinky?"
"STAY AWAY FROM US!" Derpy shrieked, pure hatred on her face as she screamed at Filthy Rich, the older Earth pony backing away, flinching as if struck. "THIS IS YOUR FAULT! I NEVER WANT TO SPEAK TO YOU AGAIN! I NEVER WANT TO SEE YOU AGAIN!"
"Derpy, I..." Filthy Rich stammered, looking distressed.
Diamond Tiara, indignant, started to step forward, planning to yell at Derpy for daring to insult her rich and powerful father. Before she could, however, Cheerilee got into Filthy Rich's face, her face a mask of rage, the rain hiding her tears.
"DAMN YOU! She's right! This is ALL your fault!" Cheerilee snarled. "I've begged you, I've pleaded with you, I've done EVERYTHING I could to try and get you to reign your daughter in! But every time I or Mayor Mare tried to get a schoolboard official involved, you'd just bribe or blackmail them into leaving her alone! And now look at what's happened! Dinky KILLED HERSELF because of your little MONSTER!" She forced the suicide note into Filthy Rich's grasp, the businesspony looking it over with growing horror.
"...Diamond?" he said softly. "Did you really say something like that?"
Diamond Tiara looked around, at the ponies either glaring at her or looking sympathetically at Derpy and Sparkler, Fluttershy gently leading them away, Zecora throwing her cloak over Dinky's body, a unicorn nurse gently levitating the body away. She frowned, trying to think of something to say, and just sighed.
"Really, is it my fault she can't take a little teasing?" she said.
It was one of the worst things she could have said. Cheerilee snarled angrily, the other gathered ponies giving her looks of disgust. She barely paid attention to them, her attention focused on her father, who was staring at her as if seeing her for the very first time.
It was unsettling. "Daddy..." Diamond Tiara said, shuffling uncomfortably. "Please... please stop looking at me like that..."
Cheerilee shook her head. "You're not stopping me this time, Rich," she said. "I'm taking this directly to the Princesses if I have to!"
"Consider it taken to them," said another voice. Filthy Rich, Cheerilee, and Diamond Tiara turned, seeing the young dragon Spike riding on Rarity's back. "Twilight, Luna, and Celestia are in conference in Canterlot, but they'll come for this. I just need a quill and a scroll."
Rarity nodded. "I have both at my shop," she said, the fashion designer casting a glare at Diamond Tiara before turning and leaving with Spike. Cheerilee grunted in satisfaction, following them. Slowly, other ponies began to file away, Filthy Rich sitting down, suddenly feeling nauseous.
As the other ponies began filing away, an elderly green Earth pony hobbled up to Filthy Rich, her expression unreadable.
Filthy Rich smiled nervously. "H-Hello, Granny Smith..." he said.
The elderly mare nodded. "Filthy. Ah had a thought just now... Ah don't think Sweet Apple Acres is gonna want t'do business with Barnyard Bargains anymore. In fact, if ah think about it... Pretty much the entire Apple family is gonna t'stop selling our products through your stores." she said calmly.
Filthy Rich winced. He had been expecting this. "Of course," he said, nodding, ignoring the stunned look Diamond Tiara gave him. "I'll issue a global recall of all Apple family products immediately."
"Thank y'kindly," she said. "It ain't nothin' personal against you, Filthy. It's just that with all that's happened, we got t'think of the family's reputation."
"I understand completely," Filthy Rich said. "Good day, ma'am."
"Good day t'you, Filthy," Granny Smith said, turning and hobbling away. "Y'best get inside. Everfree storms tend t'last a good long bit..."
Filthy Rich watched her go, frowning. Diamond Tiara shook her head, outraged. "Daddy, are you really gonna let that RUBE cheat you like that?!" she demanded.
"Diamond, please... Just shut up for once..." Filthy Rich said. Diamond Tiara, stunned, stared at her father worriedly. "C'mon," he said. "Let's go home. She's right, this damned Everfree storms take forever to dissipate."
Wordlessly, the two of them went back to Filthy Rich's carriage, the driver having put on a raincoat. They drove back to the Rich estate in silence, Diamond Tiara snuggling up to her father but unable to get him to look at her. They went inside, a unicorn butler waiting at the front door with towels for both Diamond Tiara and Filthy Rich.
Filthy Rich dismissed the butler, telling him to take the rest of the day off, and to have the rest of the servants take the day off as well. Once he was gone, he put his face in his hooves and sighed.
"Okay... damage control, damage control..." he said. "Just think of the business angles and you won't dwell on the personal ones you just lost..." The businesspony got up and headed for his office, a nervous Diamond Tiara following behind him.
"Daddy... Daddy, what do you mean? What 'personal angles?'" she asked.
Filthy Rich stopped, sighing. "...Derpy and I have been dating for the past few weeks. I had fallen madly in love with her... I was going to ask her to marry me today..."
Diamond Tiara gagged. "You were gonna marry the retard?!"
Filthy Rich stared at her, Diamond Tiara flinching. After a long moment, Filthy Rich turned and hugged her tightly. "Oh Diamond... I've done so wrong by you..." he said. Diamond Tiara felt fear building up in her heart at this confusing statement. Filthy Rich looked her right in the eyes, Diamond Tiara grimacing at the disappointment and sadness he saw in them. "I never should have stopped you from being punished... I should have been willing to discipline you... But after your mother died giving birth to you, I became so focused on just keeping you happy..." He shook his head. "They're right. It is my fault Dinky killed herself, just as much as it is your fault..."
Diamond Tiara was starting to get scared. Why was her Daddy talking like this? "I don't understand," she said.
"And I will forever hate myself because I never taught you that understanding," Filthy Rich said, continuing on to his office, Diamond Tiara following behind. "We're probably going to have to move, too..."
"WHAT?!" Diamond Tiara shrieked. "WHY!?"
Filthy Rich shook his head. "You bullied a filly into killing herself, Diamond. And you have a reputation as a bully, too. I've deflected the efforts of Cheerilee, Applejack, Rarity, Rainbow Dash, Mayor Mare, EVERYPONY that's come to me about you, and now because of that, a girl has died. We've lost a lot of face and a lot of respect in town. In addition to that, we're also going to take a hit in profits as well," he said.
"What, just because that rube family pulled their stuff out of the store? Surely to goodness that won't affect things THAT much!" Diamond Tiara said, incredulous.
Filthy Rich gave her a pained look. "Diamond, that 'rube family' has a near Equestria-wide monopoly on fruit production. The only places they DON'T have control of are places that don't have members of the Apple family living there! And on top of that, if competition DOES arise in a place with Apples living there, they don't drive them out of business, they charm them into joining the family!" he said, shaking his head. "We're looking at a seven percent loss in profits across every single one of my stores at LEAST."
Diamond Tiara sat down, stunned. "But... they're always so poor..." she said softly.
"Because most of the money they make selling in my stores and at their stand in town has to go to maintaining their farmlands. They own more land than we do, Diamond," Filthy Rich said, sighing.
Diamond Tiara's mind was in chaos. This was all too much to process.
"There's more..." Filthy Rich said, stopping in front of his office door. "The Apples were just the first to pull out..."
Diamond Tiara stared up at him, shocked. Filthy Rich nodded. "You bullied someone to death. Because of that, our store's reputation is going to take a hit. Locally, at least, we have deals with several farmers. After what's happened, most to all of them are likely to pull out in order to avoid being associated with us."
Diamond Tiara collapsed, all the strength going out of her legs. "I... what..." she said. "This can't be real! Why..."
"The things we do have consequences, Diamond," Filthy Rich said, opening his office door. "It's time we both started facing them."
"Indeed," said a voice from in his office.
Both Filthy Rich and Diamond Tiara jumped at the sound, looking into the office. Princess Celestia and Princess Luna, both with stern looks on their faces, were waiting inside, Princess Celestia sipping at a cup of tea. Filthy Rich and Diamond Tiara both bowed, neither Princess stopping them from doing so.
"Filthy Rich," Princess Luna intoned. "We have received word of thy daughter's heinous actions. We wish to discuss reparations for thy shared sins."
Filthy Rich nodded, standing up. "Of course," he said. "Is Princess Twilight here as well?"
Princess Celestia shook her head, sipping her tea. "No. She is in town coordinating funeral arrangements and arranging financial compensation for the loss Ms. Hooves and her eldest daughter have suffered. Small comfort, I admit, but it's a start at least..." she said.
"In addition, we need discuss prison time for thy brat," Princess Luna said, scowling.
"PRISON!?" Diamond Tiara almost shrieked.
"You bullied a girl to death," Princess Celestia said, her voice as cold as an arctic wind. "In the eyes of the law, that's just as bad as if you killed Dinky yourself. In our eyes, especially considering your apparent ongoing record of bullying, that makes you as low a scum as any villain we've vanquished over the years."
Filthy Rich nodded. "As you say, your majesties. Diamond, please go to your room and wait," he said, starting to enter the office.
"Daddy..." Diamond Tiara protested.
"GO TO YOUR ROOM!" Filthy Rich bellowed. Diamond Tiara, her ears back, scuttled away and ran to her room, leaping onto her plush bed and crying.
Why? Why was all this happening? It isn't fair! she thought. Why should Daddy have to suffer for... for... She looked up, the idea that she was responsible for all this finally sinking in, finally breaking through her pride. ...for what I've done...
"Dear me," said an inappropriately cheerful voice. "Have we finally reached an epiphany?"
Diamond Tiara yelped, looking around frantically. She spotted something that wasn't there before, a goofy-looking pink dragon amidst her pile of giant plush toys, which sported yellow, mismatched eyes and a cruel smirk. As she watched, the plush dragon transformed, turning into a slender, serpent-like figure with mismatched limbs, horns and wings.
"Discord..." Diamond Tiara said softly, recognizing the draconequus. She wanted to snap at him, but she, like everyone else in town, knew full well what Discord was capable of, especially when he felt insulted. "What are you doing here?" she said after a long moment.
Discord chuckled, looking around the room. "Good heavens... So many stuffed animals in here, you'd think it was Fluttershy's menagerie..." he said, chortling and turning to Diamond Tiara. "'Why am I here?' My, what a philosophical question."
Diamond Tiara shook her head. "I don't have time for this..." she muttered, frustrated.
"From what I hear from Sunnybutt, you're going to have a lot of time," Discord teased. "Several years of it."
Diamond Tiara groaned, burying her head under a pillow. "Leave me alone, okay? I have enough problems right now!"
"Problems that you yourself have caused, my little pony," Discord said. "And really, you're being quite unprofessional about this."
Diamond Tiara stared at him, confused. "What are you talking about?"
Discord gestured, a mortarboard appearing on his head. "Firstly, remember Professor Discord's Two Rules of Bullying. Number One, everything you do always comes back to you. And Number Two..." Before Diamond Tiara could react, Discord grabbed her by the throat with his griffon claw and lifted her into the air. "...THERE'S ALWAYS SOMEONE BIGGER."
Diamond Tiara shrieked. Discord dropped her, laughing like a loon. "Oh, you should see your face right now! PRICELESS!" he cackled.
Diamond Tiara glared at him. "So what, are you here to bully me?" she said. "Pay me back for what happened to Dinky?"
Discord scoffed. "Oh, good heavens no. I'm a good little draconequus! Fully reformed!" he said, an angelically glowing halo appearing over his head. He chuckled, and added. "Well, mostly." He pulled an invisible string on the halo, which blinked out of existence with the sound of a lamp turning off.
"Then what are you here for?" Diamond Tiara said, scowling.
"To make you an offer," Discord said, turning serious as he floated around the room. "One I don't think you can refuse."
Diamond Tiara blinked, confused. "What do you mean?" she asked.
"Dinky's suicide has created a great deal of chaos," Discord said, sitting down on the bed next to her. "This is the strongest I've felt in quite some time. In fact, I feel strong enough to, say, rewind time so you can correct the mistakes of the past."
Diamond Tiara gasped. "You... you can reset things?!" she said. "Make it so Dinky's alive and Daddy's business won't be hurt because of me?"
Discord nodded. "I can send you back to the point in time which you started to focus your bulling on Dinky instead of the Crusaders," he said. "All you have to do is NOT be so much of a jerk to her."
"I can do that," Diamond Tiara said. "I can do that easy! Anything to keep Daddy from hurting."
Discord shook his head. "Egads, you do care about somepony other than yourself!" he said.
Diamond Tiara growled. "I love my Daddy! And Silvy!"
"And yet you never thought about how what you were doing would hurt them?" Discord asked, smirking.
Diamond Tiara froze. "...S-Silvy too?"
Discord snickered. "Oh yes. Being your friend will have hurt her badly. Her parents will pull out all of their investments in Barnyard Bargains, and they'll have to move far away from Ponyville. After all, being associated with a family who's heir bullied a girl to death won't do at all if they want to get their precious Silvy into a good college."
Diamond Tiara staggered. More and more she was starting to realize the depths of her mistake.
Discord shook his head, sensing this as well. "My my... so many revelations... and still, all of them self-centered."
Diamond Tiara just winced, glaring at the draconequus. He smirked. "You know..." he said in a conversational tone, floating into the air again and doing lazy loops around her bed, "most people wouldn't be willing to give you a second chance. They'd just laugh in your face and tell you that you deserve everything that's coming to you."
"Then why are you?" Diamond Tiara asked, starting to tear up from frustration.
Discord chuckled, gesturing and making some of Diamond Tiara's plush toys dance around the room. "Well... as much as it pains me to admit it, Fluttershy's been a good influence on me. I felt it necessary to make this offer. This way, Dinky stays alive and you get a chance to better yourself."
Diamond Tiara stared at her hooves. It sounded too good to be true... "What's the catch?"
Discord smirked. "I want a favor," he said.
Diamond Tiara sighed. "Of course..." she muttered.
"Standard issue deal for these things," Discord said. "We'll be the only ones that remember what happened. I'll rewind time back to when you first started to be especially mean to Dinky. All you have to do to fix things is actually start being NICE for once in your life. In time I'll claim my favor, and you'll have no choice but to give it to me."
Diamond Tiara stared out her door. Her father and the Princesses were likely still in his office, discussing her fate. "...I don't really have a choice, do I?"
"You've always had a choice, Diamond Tiara," Discord said, staring at her with interest. "Now's the time to start making the right ones."
Diamond Tiara closed her eyes. "Deal..." she said after a long moment.
Discord snapped his lion paw's fingers, and the world vanished in a flash of light. When Diamond Tiara's vision cleared, she found herself sitting in the stands at the Crystal Empire Stadium alongside Silver Spoon and their families, watching the Cutie Mark Crusaders perform their routine to the thunderous cheers and d'awwws of the crowd.
It's the past... Diamond Tiara realized, looking around. The Equestria Games, just before things started to go south...
"Stupid blankflanks..." Silver Spoon muttered. "How come they get to perform at the Equestria Games and we don't?"
Diamond Tiara remembered exactly what happened next, and played out the part. "Ah, forget about those losers," she said. "C'mon, let's go get some ice cream."
"Sounds good!" Silver Spoon said, asking her mother for some money. "My treat!"
"Awesome!" Diamond Tiara said, chuckling. The two of them set out, chatting amiably. Diamond Tiara had to bite back the urge to talk about what was coming, not wanting to disrupt things.
Finally, came the turning point.
Dinky was outside a gift shop, a guard with a Changeling detection lantern standing nearby and watching the filly with amusement. Dinky was writing in a card for her mother, drawing cute pictures as well, Derpy inside the shop buying presents for her.
Diamond Tiara stared at her, remembering what happened clearly. Dinky had just recovered from being in a wagon accident a few weeks before. Diamond Tiara had gone to taunt her, Silver Spoon trying to hold her back. She had made the girl cry, the guard chasing her off angrily, promising to report her to Dinky's mother. Everything had gone south shortly after, the incident forgotten.
All you have to do is be nice for once, Discord said in Diamond Tiara's head.
The tiara-wearing filly took a deep breath, and started towards Dinky. Silver Spoon put a hoof on her shoulder.
"Um, Titi?" Silver Spoon said nervously. "She was in that bad accident not to long ago, and she's more of a crybaby than the Crusaders are..."
"Relax, Silvy," Diamond Tiara said, smiling. "I got it covered." She sauntered over to Dinky, who saw her and looked worried, holding her card up against herself defensively. The guard, sensing Dinky's sudden distress, stared at her suspiciously.
"Hey," Diamond Tiara said, smiling pleasantly. She had to bite back her reflex to say 'blankflank.' "What'cha making?"
"...A card for mommy," Dinky said. "The nice guard bought it for me..."
"Huh. Cool," Diamond Tiara said. "Can I see?"
Reluctantly, Dinky held out the card, too afraid of Diamond Tiara to resist. Diamond Tiara looked it over, seeing the crude hearts and envelopes drawn all over it.
"Neat. Hey, doesn't your Mom like muffins?" she said, Derpy's love of the baked good well-known in Ponyville, "Maybe draw some of those on there too."
Dinky blinked, and grinned, putting down her card and beginning to sketch again. The guard relaxed as Diamond Tiara walked back to Silver Spoon, who stared at her incredulously.
"...You okay, Titi?" she asked. "Not that I'm complaining, but..."
Diamond Tiara shrugged. "Eh. I got no reason to be mad at her," she said. "C'mon, I want some ice cream."
Silver Spoon stared at her a long moment and then turned to the guard. "Those changeling-detector lamps... they work automatically, right?"
The guard nodded. "Yep. Any time a changeling gets near, a green light comes out of this thing, casting a spell that cancels their disguise."
Diamond Tiara laughed. "Geez, Silvy, glad to know you think of me so highly!" she said. Am I really that much of a jerk that me being nice is weird? she thought, frowning inwardly. Out loud, she said, "Like you said, she was in the hospital not too long ago. It'd be like kicking a puppy. No fun at all and you'd get that morose look that makes you feel like dirt. C'mon, forget her! I want some ice cream!"
Silver Spoon stared at her a long moment and shrugged. "Sure thing," she said, privately relieved. She had a bad feeling that picking on Dinky would have been a terrible idea...
Diamond Tiara, as they walked away, looked back, seeing Derpy come out of the shop with a bag full of presents. She hugged Dinky and beamed with joy at the card, thanking the guard for buying it for Dinky.
Diamond Tiara just smiled. Okay... Disaster averted, but I guess I should start being nice to EVERYPONY now instead of just Dinky... Well, I can work with that. It'll be a pain trying to be nice to those obnoxious Blankflank Crusaders, but I'll deal with it. I've got a second chance now, a chance not to ruin things. And I'll be damned if I'm going to waste it.