Discord sighed as he flopped pathetically to the ground on his rear, glaring over his wife's 'to do' list. It was so long! Why was a royal King's chore list so long? They had servants for this kind of thing! This was why they had servants!

It will teach you some responsibility, Celestia had told him sternly, wagging a hoof like a mother scolding her naughty child. Ugh. Responsibility. It sucked.

"Like a king doesn't have enough responsibilities," the draconequus muttered. "Whatever happened to the 'royalty can do whatever they want' rule?" He narrowed his eyes as Celestia's little know-it-all student piped up smugly from where she was bouncing on his tail.

"Queen Celestia says that EVERY pony has some sort of responsibility," Twilight Sparkle pointed out, giggling when the chimera glared down at her silently. After several minutes, she was flicked off his tail.

"Who asked you?" he snapped sourly at the pouting little filly who was now in the corner, her mane mussed. "It's bad enough I've been stuck with the simply most dreadful of fates: taking care of you. Being stuck with taking care of a miscreant brat equals the wife's way of saying she's mad at me for something. Perhaps later on I shall do something to try and appease her..."

Twilight only pouted, her lower lip sticking out childishly. "I'm not a brat, Uncle Discord!"

The seemingly, never ending, grouchy glare from that morning finally melted off to a teasing smirk. "Sure you aren't, Sparkle Butt." He then looked thoughtful, floating throughout the wide, kitchen chambers. "Ah, perhaps she found out about my 'operation drench-the-servants-with-chocolate milk routine'," he wondered, and grinned as he floated towards the castle window.

A silver bucket brimming with thick chocolate milk was hovering high in the air, and had been for days. Discord had been smart enough to erase it from sight whenever Celestia came into the kitchen, but he always 'poofed' it back when she left. The main objective here was to tip it over the gardeners as they went to work in the flower beds. The only problem was it had rained endlessly the past week, and thus, no gardeners.

At last though, three oblivious green thumbed ponies were working away in the dirt, smack dab in the middle of the target.

"Bombs away~!" Discord sang cheerfully, laughing as the brown waterfall slammed into his poor victims below. The servants' eyes closed when they felt the sticky liquid puddle below them, but they knew they couldn't say anything disrespectful to their childish king.

"Oh – priceless!" Discord howled laughter throughout the balcony, falling onto his back and kicking his feet in the air. "The looks on their faces – absolutely priceless! Ahahaha!"

The servant glared out of the corner of a miffed green eye. He, however, knew better than to snap or reprimand his king for this. Wiping the creamy liquid off him, he merely set to work.

"You rang, sir?" another drenched servant asked as respectfully as he could. He grimaced as Discord casually flicked his milk covered talon towards him.

"Indeed I did; send a servant up to feed little Sparkle Butt here." He was still giggling under his breath as he retraced the silver bucket from the window ledge, and thoughtlessly threw it somewhere into the kitchen.

The purple mare cautiously peered over the balcony, ears falling back at what a mess Discord created. (As usual.) It really wasn't uncommon to look into the gardens and see something amiss there. It seemed to be Discord's favorite location to wreak chaos and havoc. Most likely because Celestia rarely went out into the courtyard, and thus, never saw the mess her husband made.

Now the courtyard's snow white path was stained an ugly brown, and – oh, when did he turn the rocks into candy corn? And it appeared every statue was a giant gummy now. Oh, for the love of Equestria – Celestia was not going to be pleased. She took pride in those statues.

Sighing, the little mare trotted into the royal bed chambers, clambering up onto the bed as she watched the draconequus slip on his crown, bands, and chain.

"Uncle Discord, maybe you shouldn't be so mean to the servants all the time," Twilight hesitantly advised. Discord looked at the filly as if she had sprouted five heads.

"And why, in Celestia's name, would I want to do that?" he asked absently, smirking and tying a velvet robe around his snake like body. "They're servants, after all; it isn't like they have emotions."

"Uncle Discord!" the little unicorn exclaimed, horrified by his heartless conclusion. "Uh-huh, they do! They're ponies just like us." She blinked as he lightly pressed his talon to her snout, leaning in towards her.

"Ponies just like you, you mean. In case you haven't noticed, my dear, a pony only makes up a small fraction of me." He smirked, and then straightened his crown, whirling away from her, knocking her from his bed with his robe and tail. "Now, go wash up and get ready for breakfast. I'm sure the cook will finish with it any minute now."

Twilight tried to protest and follow, but one of the servants that looked after her gently ushered her away to the bath chambers to wash up.

Splashing cool water against her face, the purple mare peered up at the servant. "Miss Rain Drizzle, why is Uncle Discord so mean to you and the other servants?"

The yellow mare was wringing her hooves in distress, and she sighed, levitating a towel towards the filly and wiping the drops of water off her face with it. "My dear, you've seen nothing."

That wasn't the truth; Twilight, since being here, had seen everything he had done. Unbeknownst to her, she hadn't seen the worst of his pranks and malice, but she did see quite a few that rather horrified her, and sometimes made her scared of the spirit.

She remembered one time after she was supposed to be in bed, she had snuck into the kitchen when she heard a dreadful clatter. There she had witnessed the servants destroying the kitchen. At first, Twilight was about to run in and beg them to stop – sure her teacher and uncle would be furious. It was then that the filly noticed the perplexing ways the servants moved about; it was as if strings were controlling them. When she peered up over the fridge she saw the draconequus perched in the air, tilting marionettes in his hands and snickering darkly.

The frightened mare had scrambled back when her mentor literally burst into the room and slammed the door. Celestia slammed the door. Discord had been carried off by the ear and the door to the royal chambers had slammed. From then on, it was absolute silence, and Twilight knew the alicorn had put a sound proof spell on the room. Never did Twilight see him mentally control and twist the minds of the servants again, but the image haunted her for days.

"Actually, I have seen...'something'," Twilight began quietly, but Miss Rain Drizzle picked her up and carried her off into the dining room, where a delicious looking feast had been laid out. Discord was already chowing down.

"It was about time you showed up," Discord spoke, his mouth full. "I was about to dig into your serving as well."

Twilight miserably took her place at the table and merely glanced down at the plate of food in front of her. She flipped the toast onto its side and rolled it around on the plate.

"What's the matter – developed a sudden distaste for bread and jam?" the spirit smirked, knowing how much Twilight loved bread and jam. The smile faded to something more of a concerned and annoyed frown when the filly didn't respond or smile to the little joke. "Twilight?"

"I-uhm-I'm not hungry," the pony said softly, sinking into her chair and mumbling into the table. Intimidation set it when she felt Discord stare her down suspiciously, and she awkwardly looked away.

"So I see. Ah, perhaps you'll be hungrier later." He waved a paw dismissively, sipping (of course) chocolate milk from the side of his mouth. "Go on and play; you obviously don't have lessons today." He drummed his fingers on the table and rolled his eyes in annoyance. "And according to Tia, teaching you the way to properly fill her horseshoes with raspberry jelly doesn't qualify as 'a true lesson.'"

Slightly relived, Twilight pushed herself away from the breakfast table and eagerly trotted to the door. At the last second, she smiled and turned back to the spirit. "Will you come play later?" She loved it when he played with her (when it didn't include torturing the servants). It was always so much fun, and he could be a good mentor at times, as well as making the lessons enjoyable. It was him that taught her the basics of teleporting when they played a game of "Teleportation Tag."

She was disheartened by his answer: "Maybe later; your dear old teacher stuck me with an annoyingly long list of chores, and apparently, she added, that I'm forbidden to ask the slaves for help."

"Servants," Twilight corrected with a wince.

"Whatever." Lazily, Discord laid back in his chair and stretched. Before the filly reached the doorway, he loudly cleared his throat and turned to her, expression all business.

"Stay out of danger, and stay out of trouble; stay in the boundaries and failure to follow these rules will result in rather painful consequences." He leered quietly, hoping she'd get the little riddle. "Understand, Sparkle Butt?"

Ears lowering nervously, knowing what he meant, the filly nodded quietly and shook her head yes.

"Very good." The smirk returned as he also pushed back his chair and floated up over the table. "Now, I don't believe Celestia directly stated that dousing the servants' beds in glue wasn't something I couldn't add to my 'to do' list." He snickered and merrily walked off to the servants' quarters.

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The palace gardens were enchantingly beautiful this time of day (minus the chocolate coated roads and candy sculptures). The sun was just luminous; rays of fire from so far up above warming the land, casting its shine on the reflections of ponds and flowers.

The filly gave a small blissful sigh and laid flat out in the warm grass. She giggled when a pair of milky teeth gnawed at her bottom hooves. He was in the nipping stage. (Discord's tail had received the brunt of that.)

"Spike, come on, my feet aren't chew toys." Twilight giggled and gently nuzzled the infant dragon – who promptly latched onto the end of her snout and chewed away. The little mare reared back with a shriek, laughing and vigorously shaking her head to fling the baby off her nose.

The purple tot tumbled back onto his back. He blinked, kicking his little feet. Then, he giggled and hopped back onto his haunches, looking curiously around for something else to gnaw.

"Oh, isn't it so nice out today?" Twilight smiled. For just this minute she was glad Discord wasn't at her side; he was fond of changing the weather around the palace to chocolate rain, and the sun and ice blue skies were too pretty to ruin today.

A babble was the response – next to the wet sounding chewing coming from behind her. Twilight turned, crying out in shock when she saw Spike take a mouthful of the gummy statue and eagerly swallow, before toddling over to another statue – the one of an ancient knight that Celestia said represented 'victory.' Twilight shrieked in horror as Spike took a huge chunk out of its foot.

"No, Spikey!" She grabbed the baby in her mouth, pulling the protesting hatchling away from the edible sculpture. Gently, she set him down, watching him sniffle. "I bet you're hungry, huh?" She drew the crying baby close to her, nuzzling his face. "Hm, doesn't the color of this gummy remind you of one of the rare red gems in my book?"

She levitated one of her books towards her and sat down with it, using magic to flip through the pages. Only recently had Celestia taught her to gently turn the pages without ripping them or accidentally levitating them out!

"It does; it looks like the rare pony ruby... It says you can find them underground AND they're said to be the most juiciest of gems in Equestria!" The filly giggled when she saw the drool dripping down the baby dragon's chin. "Think we should try looking for them?" A rapid nod was the response.

Shutting the book, Twilight backed up a bit. She needed a lot of room and concentration for this spell. Destruction spells weren't something in Celestia's favor, but for the sake of her student's safety, both her and Discord joined in on teaching this one to her.

Twilight closed her eyes and concentrated. There was the fizzing sound of electricity, and her horn glowed a bright vibrant purple. With the sound of an echoing pop, the magic ceased, and there was now a deep pony sized hole in front of them both.

"Wow, we did it!" Twilight squealed, eagerly hopping up and down in front of the opening. Excitedly, she trotted to the entrance with Spike and peered into it. It was like the palace corridors at night: long, twisting, dark, and seemingly endless.

"Last one to find a pony ruby is a rotten egg!" Twilight giggled, deliberately, gently pushing Spike onto his back as she galloped down the black tunnel. The baby dragon gave a chagrined whine, and then scurried down after his surrogate sister.

"This is so neat." Nothing could be seen in the pitch black tunnel; there was only the smallest sliver of sunlight from the distant opening. Twilight normally wasn't too fond of the dark, but being in such a cool location made it fun rather than scary.

Spike didn't seem to share her feelings, and would most likely have bolted back to the courtyard if he wasn't in it for the food.

"Start diggin', Spike," Twilight grinned, bucking the loose dirt off the walls. "My books say that you ALWAYS have to dig to find gemstones, especially rare ones." She kept bucking the walls down, disappointed when all she saw was moist dirt and ugly black rocks.

A rumble.

Twilight's head shot up, briefly panic stricken until she glanced over at the flushing little dragon, who was holding his stomach and giggling. Laughing herself, the mare returned to the walls and gave them a fierce buck.

Another rumble – a deep unsettling one. The ground vibrated, and Twilight gave a screech of fright as the wall she had just been kicking collapsed entirely.Dirt rained down from above, and rocks began to quickly collapse and roll down the walls. The tunnel was caving in!

Desperately, Twilight grabbed Spike and teleported – only to go a few feet and end up falling roughly onto her face. She was panicking too much to be able to use magic correctly, and every teleporting spell only brought her a couple feet ahead, and ate up precious time.

The filly screamed as a rock tumbled down the walls, pinning her tail to the ground. She sobbed into the dirt, desperately clambering to get to the entrance.

That's when she saw the baby blue pegasus wing, and felt his tail roughly smack the rock off her. His mouth latched around her and Spike, and she clung desperately to his face with her little hooves.

Discord shot through the tunnel with the kids securely clamped between his teeth. Twilight gave a horrified cry when she heard him grunt in pain as a rock slammed into his thigh.

Out of breath and nearly at the surface, the draconequus whipped his head back and hurled both children out of the entrance of the hole. Battling to breathe, his shaky body fell briefly into the dirt to try and recover. In the meantime, the tunnel continued to collapse.

It was only when he was nearly buried did the spirit curse himself from his idiocy. Heavily face palming, he snapped his fingers. The cave walls became quivering blobs of jello. Effortlessly, Discord wriggled out of the opening, smiling at his ingeniousness. Goodness, the tunnel was long. He would praise Twilight on her magic skills if the situation wasn't so dire.

He was about to really let go, but she started crying before he could lay into her. Not to mention the fact his voice was still paralyzed with the fear of almost witnessing seeing her (and her stupid pet) crushed.

"That was scary," Twilight sniffled, inhaling deeply to try and keep from sobbing. Only now, the filly really feared what was to come next. She wondered if this would be a night she'd be sleeping on her stomach; Discord was beyond furious with her.

In truth and though the pony didn't realize it, it was actually himself that Discord was most angry with. He should have known better – the kid was only seven! Only seven and only just learning magic and how to control it. He should have been there, or had one of those stupid servants to watch her. Well, that was a mistake he wouldn't make again.

Twilight, meanwhile, was miserably waiting for him to start screaming at her, but it didn't come. It took a lot to anger her Uncle Discord; he seemed to approve almost everything, unless it had to do with outright disobeying him, putting herself in danger, or the rare instance where she had sassed. Oho, that had not gone well.

Sighing, Discord held his chest until he was sure the threat of a heart attack had passed. Inhaling deeply, he turned towards the trembling little mare. "Are you alright?"

It was only now that Twilight felt the uncomfortable sting on her front hooves from where the rocks had scraped her up. She knew the medical paste would sting more, so she kept her mouth shut, and kept any evidence of pain from showing. "I-I'm fine."

Yet, somehow, he knew. It was just like with Celestia; she always knew when she was in trouble, when something was wrong - sometimes what was wrong. She heard it was something called 'a parent's intuition.' Celestia was almost like a surrogate mother, so perhaps Discord had this intuition as well.

"You're hurt." The glare deepened, looking threatening. "It would be wise not to lie to me at this moment." When the filly still didn't respond, Discord heavily rolled his eyes, and held out an outstretched talon, which glowed with a soft yellow. In mere seconds, the filly was forcefully dragged towards him, and her hoof was also forcefully held out for his inspection.

Examining the slightly bleeding scrape, he sighed and picked her up with his tail, gently tossing her up into his arms. Finally moved by the filly's pitiful sobbing, Discord's glare faded as he went into the palace. Twilight clutched tightly to his chest, drenching his cinnamon fur with her childish tears. He made little attempt to comfort her as he sat down and laid her on his lap.

The filly's breath quickened when she saw the medicine bottle uncap, and she moved to run. Discord was one step ahead of her, and the filly felt herself being pinned to his lap with his eagle talon. Twilight softly wailed as the medicine seeped into her wounds.

His lion paw raked softly through her ruffled mane, and Twilight swallowed the rest of her sobs, grateful he was there with her.

"I'd suggest not trying to open the earth from now on for the sake of harvesting rocks," he finally said, clearing his throat. "The gem you were looking for – the pony ruby – is in the highest mountain in Canterlot." A slight smirk came to his face. "Definitely not under our courtyard, of all places."

Still writhing from the stinging medicine, Twilight scrubbed the tears from her eyes. "You're not mad?"

"You didn't know any better," he said calmly. "After all, Tia and I are at fault for telling you to experiment with that destruction spell. We should have been clearer on where you could test it out. Exploding pebbles and such to be more accurate." He snaked his neck slightly towards her, sternly glaring with those mismatched red eyes. "Rest assured though, now that you do know, you will be in huge trouble if you try it again." He absently pet her back slightly. "Hopefully you're not stupid enough to try it again."

The insult barely touched her; the filly was just in mixed emotions, relieved she'd been spared a lengthy lecture or a spanking. Twilight shook, tears streaming from tightly shut eyes as the memories haunted her. She could still feel the deadly rumble of the ground, and she could still hear the rocks slamming into the earth.

She had to blink several times to assure herself she was no longer in any danger and was instead in the safety and calmness of the palace. The terrifying sounds and memories still haunting her, she sobbed into Discord's lap. Whimpers and sharp inhaled breaths squeezed out past her lips.

The draconequus sat her up, cupping a tender and surprising paternal paw around the tiny head as she cried into his fur. He glanced through the window, where the sun was taking on a faint pink and the sky a pastel hue. It was slowly slipping past the trees of the Evergreen Forest, and the room was dimming.

Knowing exactly what to do, Discord raised his talon high in the air. The stream of light flowed to the tips of his claws and he watched the silver face of the moon start to peek up from behind Canterlot Mountains.

When Celestia finally entered the room, she was met by the sight of two content sleeping little figures resting against the cabinet. One was snuggled securely in the golden paw, tears still drying on her face. The other had his head lolled off to the side; a golden hue coating his fingers as the moon continued to rise into the sky.

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(The whole "soundproofing" the room joke is something only one friend of mine will get. Hoohoo.

Anyways, yeah, so I was home today and worked a lot on my project and a lot on this. I just love writing paternal Discord. Yet, paternal or not, you see the more serious and malicious side of him with the whole controlling the servants thing.

XD In every parent/child fic I do, the child always gets into some sort of danger and needs to be saved. Did you notice?

Also, I figure that Discord would be the one to raise the moon, and Celestia raises the sun. It made for a sweet ending too. )