(This is an AU during the time of Twilight's training with Celestia (since I'm a massive Dislestia shipper), in which both Discord and Celestia look after Equestria. This is far back in the past when she's a kid.
And despite co ruling Equestria, he still plays malicious pranks - though usually just on the servants, such as controlling them as marionettes to destroy the kitchen and such.
This doesn't take place after the events of "The Return Of Harmony" It's in Twilight's childhood.)
Childish scribbles and scrawls of hearts filled the bright fuzzy construction paper as she merrily worked away at her craft, smearing glue and fragments of raw macaroni all over it; even pasting dabs of glitter here and there. Her pictures of her parents were messy, and none of their legs were the same size, but she loved it all the same.
"It's almost done!" Twilight exclaimed happily, adding a few more blobs of glitter and smearing them over the sky. "Isn't it so pretty?" Just then, a rain of juice drips and tiny pieces of apple splattered her beautiful creation. Lip trembling angrily, the filly spun to the culprit.
The spirit stopped chewing, mouth bulging to the side with his apple as he gave the steaming little mare a questioning glance. "What?" he asked, a few more pieces flying from his mouth.
"You ruined it!" Twilight cried, holding back her frustrated and heartbroken tears as she tried to rub the juices from her homemade card. She sniffled, face scrunching up when her hooves only smeared the juice across the page.
"Oh, come on," Discord drawled, rolling his eyes, yet still feeling a tinge of guilt when Twilight started to cry. "It doesn't look that bad, and it's not my fault – apples are terribly juicy."
Before Twilight really started to cry, a soft pastel hue enveloped the paper, and, immediately, before the filly's very eyes, the apple juice faded off the paper. Twilight gave a happy gasp, turning to the smiling alicorn walking up to her, who's horn was still glowing.
"There you are, dear," Celestia said, smoothing an affectionate hoof over her pupil's mane. "As for you," she turned, shooting her husband a glare, "apples may be juicy, but it wouldn't be a problem if you'd chew with your mouth closed. Manners, Discord," she reminded him. "You're a King."
"Manners are sooo cliche~" the draconequus singsonged under his breath, summoning a cotton candy cloud and relaxing on it. He yelped and glared as his wife bucked him from behind.
"How-how does my card look?" Twilight asked sheepishly, flushing and scraping her hooves on the tile as she proudly levitated her beautiful card to the King and Queen. It was – quite frankly – adorable. Still dripping a mahogany colored glitter down the paper, the craft shone brightly from the tiny artificial sapphires and rubies clinging to the surface. Both King and Queen could make out the sloppy scribbles in the middle that they presumed to be Twilight and her parents underneath an array of stars.
"It's lovely, Twilight Sparkle," Celestia assured her, gently nudging the tot's snout with her nose.
"Eugh, how sickeningly saccharine," Discord muttered, and then held up his hands in defense when his wife glowered at him. "Wait – wait – that's a compliment! I swear!" he protested under Celestia's doubting look.
Hovering towards the filly and her craft, he used a talon to scratch his beard thoughtfully as he examined the drawing. "It could do with just a dash of chaos." With a snap of his fingers, the scribbled white clouds on the paper were a bright sunset pink, and were quite obviously cotton candy. Discord sniggered, pleased with his creation. His face fell into a frivolous pout when his wife sighed and turned the clouds back to normal.
"Your parents will love it," Celestia promised, running a hoof down the sticky creation and gazing endearingly at its homemade depth. "When will you give it to them?"
"Tonight, right after we have our dinner," Twilight chirped, folding up her card and tucking it into her saddlebag. "It's tradition that we have our dinner first, and then we spend the rest of the night exploring the stars. Every year we make up brand new constellations and we write them down in our journals! Then we look for them the next year and then we make up more!" She gave a little hop. "And so on!"
Celestia nodded on to the child's excited rambles, but Discord just snorted and traced patterns into his cotton candy cloud. He didn't like the stars too much anymore. He never had; they were too normal for him, but he just simply detested them since Luna's banishment. He knew Celestia didn't like them much anymore either, but just because they didn't like them anymore didn't mean they should ruin them for Equestria.
Besides, Twilight adored stars.
"Mm, yes, with you away at least I can finally have some time with my dear wife," Discord smirked, gently coiling himself around the alicorn's snow white body. "I mean, honestly, Sparkle Butt, you hog her sooo much."
The filly tilted her head, confused and a little hurt. Her fuzzy, purple ears fell back for a moment – until the spirit wrapped his tail around her foot and repetitively tossed the squealing little mare up in the air.
"Oh, I'm just kidding, Twilight Sparkle," Discord scoffed, bouncing the foal up and down on his tail. "Don't take everything so seriously." He created a small ramp at the end of his scaly red tail, and watched, snickering, as the child flew off the tip of it – directly into one of the palace nannies' hooves.
"Your Majesties.." Rain Drizzle kowtowed, her long, brown, beaded braid flowing to the floor as she did. "The carriage is all ready for Miss Twilight. Is she-" And the beige unicorn was knocked over as both the tiny filly, her suitcase, and her craft whipped by as she galloped eagerly down the halls. "...ready?"
Discord waved a dismissing paw in annoyance, anxious to just get the servant and the filly out of the room so he could finally have some quality time with Celestia. "Yes, yes, she's ready. Off with you now." He flicked his wrist. "Go on and please change Twilight's bed sheets."
Finally, the tall, grand, swinging doors to the throne room closed with a heavy thud, and left the two royal lovebirds there in the silent, sunset lit room. Discord took the ivory mare in his arms, his thin red tail entwining with hers as he buried his face in his wife's long, flowing mane, nuzzling into it like a pile of soft colored clouds.
"Shall we finally head to bed?" the spirit smiled, raising his talon to summon the moon as the sun dipped below the distant, orange Canterlot hills.
"Aren't you going to bring out the stars?" Celestia questioned, smiling and snuggling into the tufts of cinnamon brown fur from his chest. "After all, it's where little 'Sparkle Butt' as you call her – is tonight."
Discord huffed in annoyance, blowing a hot stream of air through the cottony mane, as he begrudgingly trudged to the balcony and threw open the doors, grimacing as a blast of wind lifted his cape, which rippled behind him. Sighing, the draconequus glared up at the black sky.
It was hard enough lowering and raising the moon every night; the one thing in the world that forced him to remember Luna no matter how much he tried to get away from the memories of her. The stars were just pushing it. Discord tried to avoid summoning stars as much as he could, and Celestia let him get away with it on some nights; not every night needed stars. Still, hearing some complaints around the kingdom on the decline of stars forced him to bring them out most nights.
Anypony would say that it was nothing – that it was just a matter of snapping your fingers and what-not to bring out a few stars, but that wasn't it. Raising the moon and summoning stars just reminded Discord of Luna's betrayal and banishment. Not only that, but he felt like a traitor for taking the position she loved so much. She lived for the moon and stars.
Oh well. If just for Twilight.
"Discord?" The draconequus's head shot up when he heard his wife's worried and soft intone from the bed. "Discord, come back in."
It was then that Discord glanced up and saw the specks of diamonds dotting the ebony sky. Huh. He hadn't even realized he had summoned them; too caught up in memories.
For just a moment, the draconequus perched his chin up against a talon, gazing far past the Canterlot Hills, wondering if he could spot the tiny purple form sitting atop the hill with her parents.
Enjoy your night, Sparkle Butt.
Twilight Wish giggled, watching as her determined and persistent seven year old climbed the hillside for the umpteenth time in about ten minutes, stumbling in the wet grass, yet keeping her telescope tightly clenched between her teeth.
"Hunny, I can take that telescope from you no problem," her mother said, bending down and catching her daughter with her nose before she went tumbling back down the hill again. "Or you could levitate it up."
"It's too heavy," Twilight whined, grabbing a few rocks for leverage as she advanced up the bumpy hill. "I can only levitate plates of food and a little stack of books. Queen Celestia's been teaching me."
"Has she, my little star?" her father asked, beaming at the joy in his child's eyes as she surveyed the night sky eagerly. There was little to see so far; the stars weren't out in this part of Canterlot yet.
"Where's the stars?" Twilight whispered, her ears falling back in dreadfulness as she scouted the night sky, only to find a canvas of black, and nothing else. "He was gonna bring out the stars tonight." A lump came in her throat. Had he forgotten?
A small fleck of white appeared, and then another. Soon, the entire sky was decorated with patterns of small, white crystals, that shone brightly and helped to illuminate the sky.
Mother and father giggled to each other, watching as Twilight hopped up and down eagerly, squealing in joy and repeating over and over: "it's the stars! The stars are out!" The young filly flipped open her astronomer's book and joined her parents' loving embrace as the three of them settled down, pointing at and naming all the stars.
"The servants said we're out of hot chocolate," Celestia called out into the dark bedroom. No response, and the empty bed in the middle of the room had the celestial Queen puzzled. She tried to squint through the darkness; perhaps he had gone out for some air on the balcony, or maybe the bathroom.
It was when she turned to leave that she heard the muffled snicker and finally saw the outline of a subtle lump underneath the heavy quilts.
The Queen shook her head and smiled to herself. Discord, you little colt... He was such a child sometimes. It could be very endearing and irritating – depending on the situation. Celestia grinned silently and gently hopped up on the bed.
Almost instantly, the bed sheet transformed; its beautiful silk diamond pattern now merely a spooky face, with blinking eyes and a jagged, manically grinning mouth.
"BOO!" The blanket spirit barely had a time to react as his wife grabbed his bundled form and pulled him into her lap, suffocating him with rapid nuzzles. Discord protested, trying to sound angry through his laughs.
"Celestia! You're wrinkling my face!" That was a weird sentence, and it only made his wife laugh more. "Come on! You're going to need to iron me before the night is done! Hey – come on! Let gooo!"
The joyous laughter, private and special moments of husband and wife continued on for a good hour, while the moon dipped behind the clouds, darkening the room as Celestia and Discord laid there under the covers, copying Twilight and trying out their own constellation game as they proceeded to make up silly little names for the different patterns of stars.
"What do you think that one looks like?" Celestia wondered, pointing a white hoof towards a small little patch of stars.
"Chocolate milk," Discord answered, without a beat.
"And that one?"
The Queen threw her hooves up in exasperation as the smug spirit wrapped around her and snickered. "Come on, really." She nudged her face against her husband's cheek. "You see any stars that look like me?"
"No – nothing is quite dreary enough to be you." He laughed, giving a choked yelp as the flushing queen furiously swung her pillow into his face. Holding the plush object under his chin, Discord pointed to the sky. "Oh, look. That one looks like your favorite flower."
Celestia's violet irises sparkled, captivated by this constellation that she now looked at as her favorite flower, the moon bud "Oh, it does, doesn't it. It's so beautiful.." She looked thoughtful, giving a quiet sigh of sadness and leaning against the cinnamon chest.
"I haven't seen a moon bud in ages. How pretty it would look on our dresser.." She glanced briefly at their old, oak wood dresser – bare since the last bouquet of flowers died.
"I hear there's a patch of them just outside of Canterlot, planted around the forest Twilight is near, actually." He felt his wife starting to sag against his chest, and he smiled to himself, knowing she was about to drop.
Celestia's exhausted and subconscious reply was barely coherent as she sank deeper into the soft chest of her husband, listening to the steady and soothing rhythm of his heart. "Someday...we should get some."
And she was out, sleeping peacefully, not even flinching as Discord gently wriggled out from under her and replaced himself with a few of her favorite pillows, which she closely snuggled into. The draconequus pulled back the sheets - now again a soft pink, glittering with diamond patterns – and he slipped through the balcony.
Wasting no time and not in the mood to fly, Discord teleported to Canterlot's borders, landing with a soft thud in the dirt.
It had been ages since he'd been outside Canterlot – however close to the border it was. Even just outside of the city he was so accustomed to, everything looked different. The hills seemed to stretch on for ages. Who knew where his wife's flowers were? Who knew where Twilight was?
It was a good thing the draconequus had been here enough as a young spirit to know where everything was. He didn't know the precise location of the flowers, but he did know the basic area they were in. Indeed it was close to the hill Twilight and her family was at. Perhaps he'd be able to briefly interfere in to their little get together and see what the fuss of all those stars was about.
Or perhaps he could demonstrate his powers and REALLY wow them by turning the stars into sugar cubes. Discord snickered to himself; oh, there was all sorts of beautiful little chaotic things he could do to boast.
His foot stepped on something soft, with a thin velvet feel under his heel. Discord picked up the small object, and softly gasped, heart quickening in excitement as he gazed at the luminous beauty of the delicate silver petal. A moon bud! Oh, he was close.
He walked more, lifting his foot in surprise when he stepped on a sea of the petals. A sea of petals! It was supposed to be a sea of flowers! Deeply disheartened, Discord scooped up an armful of the petals and sighed bitterly, just imagining the conversation:
Yes love, I made you a lovely pot of potpourri.
The draconequus peered angrily down at the flower petals – and immediately did a double take. The petals...were shredded. Ripped to pieces; not even one of them whole. Glancing up, Discord finally saw the mass grave of flowers. Trampled to death, shredded, nothing remained.
But that wasn't all: trees were bent, ripped in two, toppled over, as were some bushes. Devastation. Widespread devastation. Finally, finally Discord's eyes took in the terrifying sight – the terrifying pattern in the ground he wouldn't ever forget. The prints – the sharp, large, jagged footprints. The footprints of a hydra.
"Twilight Sparkle!" There wasn't a time increment small enough to define how fast he had thrown the worthless flowers and was darting through the forest. The devastation only got worse, more trees on their side and shredded as he at last reached the end of the forest.
The sight would haunt him for the rest of his life.
Broken shards were all that remained of Luna's old telescope that he and Celestia had let her borrow. Glass littered the hills, covering them like a sharp sheet of snow. Twilight's favorite book was shredded to pieces; tiny, torn bits were being carried by the wind over the hills. Everything was destroyed, from the last fragment of nature, to the possessions of Twilight and her family.
Twilight... The draconequus just sat there in a state of complete, frozen shock and numbness. It was all too surreal. It couldn't be real. It could not be real.
Twilight...Twilight! Every last shard of his heart had fallen into the deepest pit of his stomach, where – for all he knew, at the moment – it would forever stay. His entire body crumpled over to the ground, and he held his mouth, unsure if it was the scream or vomit that would emanate from his throat.
That's when the clouds shrouding the moon finally dissipated for the first time that night, since he had risen it. The luminous night orb shone a dappled silver, serene beam down on the silhouette of a tree, that was finally becoming visible in the new light. The tree and the tiny, dirty, shivering form shielding herself under its branches.
Discord almost cried. He stumbled over, barely by his own accord, reaching the fallen tree, where the frightened little filly had her back turned to the horrors around her, crying and mewling into the leaves.
The light barely touched her, but Discord could still make out the still and pale body in the moonlight. Weakly, he raised his paw, and the golden hue embraced the lifeless form, but only faded after a few minutes of a futile revival attempt. It was too late.
Closing his eyes and swallowing the bile, Discord couldn't bear to look at the bottom of the hill, where the stallion lay. Or, what was left of him.
It was then the draconequus realized it. The moon had saved her life. Had the moon not been behind the clouds, the downed tree would have been in plain sight. The tree was the only part of this hill left in total darkness the entire time. The only part.
Although certain it was inevitable insanity slowly creeping up his mind, Discord couldn't shake the thought that what happened with the moon wasn't an accident.
Numbly, silently, he moved towards the tree and quietly picked up the tiny, trembling, filthy little foal, sliding down the mangled tree with her tucked in his arms. Never had she looked so tiny and frail, buried into him.
His body rocking back and forth, his eyes closed, the moon once more shrouded the hills in darkness and masked the tears on their faces.
(So after a rather heartbreaking night, you all get to experience my very first Pony drama. I knew it would only be a matter of time before I tainted this innocent show (not innocent fandom, innocent SHOW) with my twisted, heartwrenching creations.
But oh well, this differs very little from "Journey To The Valley Of Life"; I doubt that's a spoiler if you know Land Before Time.
And no, I haven't abandoned "Journey To The Valley Of Life" or "Broken Spirit"
This will probably have another part.)