Her aching and freezing cold hooves felt like ice when she lightly pressed her snout to the bottoms of them. They were still iced with snow and no amount of rubbing could thaw the frozen feet. Fluttershy once again glanced up as the beautiful pair of green winter boots were held out to her.

"Oh, Rarity, are you sure?" Fluttershy asked timidly, giving the boots an experimental step around the boutique, having to smile as she could feel the frigid ice melt away as it came in contact with the wool.

"Oh, trust me, darling, I have plenty more boots, and – my stars! Green is certainly your color!" Fluttershy flushed, looking down at her borrowed pair of boots that matched her candy striped, green scarf nestled around her neck.

The pegasus had been awake and trotting around Ponyville since the crack of dawn, having made a nice hot breakfast for the lazy and snoozing little bedhead before Celestia even rose the sun that morning. Animals were either still nestled warmly in hay or twigs, or gathering their food rations of the day. The day was freezing cold – perhaps Fluttershy should have listened to verbal warnings that Discord had ushered out the night before that it wouldbe cold, but she figured she could tolerate it.

Well, her coat was strong enough to withstand the pearl white flakes that clung to it, and it protected her skin from winter's cruel fingers. Her hooves – buried deep in snow - didn't fair as well as the rest of her had. Stepping in Ponyville with half frozen hooves and a crystal coated mane hadn't gone well with Rarity. Within seconds, Fluttershy found herself in a variety of boots, until both she and Rarity decided on a pair of little green boots, bringing them up to this point.

"It's sweet of you to allow me to borrow these, Rarity," Fluttershy said softly, a bright smile spreading across her butter colored face, flushing it a faint pink.

"Borrow?" The fashionista pony turned to her, mouth hanging as if Fluttershy had spoken a blasphemy. "Oh, darling, that's a gift! Think of it as an early Hearths Warming gift," Rarity smiled, nuzzling the pegasus's cheek lightly. "Well, in addition to the one I already bought for you."

"Oh, Rarity.." Fluttershy stepped up, still in the wooly boots and wrapped her hooves around her best friend's neck. "I have gifts for you too. Oh, I just can't wait until Hearths warming Eve!"

"Is the party still on at Pinkie's?"

"I think so."

Rarity gushed happily, fleeing to her wardrobe and whisking out a long flowing royalty purple dress. "It's my outfit for the celebration. What colors do you think you might wear?"

Still twirling around in her boots, Fluttershy plopped onto her haunches, looking thoughtful as she smoothed a hoof over the velvety feel of the boots. "Pink, maybe – it is Mummy's favorite color."

Rarity gave an absent nod, the pondering look on her face making Fluttershy rightfully guess she was trying to figure out what accessories would look the best. "Oh, yes, your mother is supposed to be coming to Ponyville, right? Oh – didn't you say she needs a new scarf?"

"She did mention that," Fluttershy agreed, wrapping her own scarf around her neck. "If you wouldn't mind – do you have some affordable scarves-" She was cut off, blinking as Rarity stuffed a hoof to her lips, silencing her.

"Buy a scarf? Nonsense, my dear, I will make a positively lovely scarf for your mother. While I'm at it I may as well use the leftover fabric on that dog of yours." 'That dog' was Rarity's special nickname for the draconequus and had been since the one time – the first time – Discord was out in Ponyville. He needed to be taken by leash. Since then, the nickname stuck.

"This is all incredibly generous of you, Rarity," Fluttershy whispered in awe, before mentally face hoofing and giggling at her silly mistake. Of course, Rarity was the Element of generosity. "It's so kind and I know Mummy will appreciate it. Now, I need to get home and see how the decorating has been coming."

"You do that, dear, and by the way, the girls are outside the boutique with some things for your mother."

Fluttershy giggled, face flushing deeply, grateful. "Wow, really?"

"Well now, darling, parents coming to Ponyville is always a big thing, especially since the majority of our parents live quite far from us. And well – to be truthful, dear, we've always wanted to meet your parents especially."

"You'll love my Mummy," Fluttershy gushed, overjoyed at the thought of seeing her mother again after quite a while. "She will love you all as well! I think she might even really like Discord."

"Now other than you somehow because you love every creature, who in Equestria would love him? You remember what he did to little Opalescence! Poor little dear couldn't taste food for a week!"

Fluttershy sighed, recalling the oh so fond memory of the hot sauce incident. "Yes, I recall.." She swung a few presents into her saddlebag, beaming at the fashion pony. "Anyways, I really should be getting back now. He's probably turning poor Angel into a cotton swab again." She really couldn't make those two get along.

Her body shuddered from winter's icy fingers when she stepped foot back into the cool snow, her hooves at least protected by the thick wool inside the satin green boots. "Yes, these will be very useful..."

"Fluttershy!" The southern pony's voice made the pegasus's head shoot up from where it was gazing at the snow. She eagerly scampered up to the voice belonging to Applejack – and a few other voices from the rest of her friends.

"Brought ya some candy apples; I really do hope yer mother likes them," Applejack piped from behind her teeth, gripping a basket of candied apples in her mouth.

"Oh, yes, she will love them, girls. I promise I will bring my mother over tomorrow afternoon to see you all!"

"Well, we can't wait to see her," Twilight chimed in. "I remember you told me her passion is gardens, so I found a "Gardeners' hoofbook", and it's full of all sorts of flowers and tips. Oh, I know she'll like it!"

"I promise she will," Fluttershy promised, taking her friends into a tight four way hug.

"She can fly, right?" Rainbow Dash asked from inside their cuddle, earning weird looks from her friends. "Well, I know she's a pegasus and all, but, I mean..well, last time I saw her she didn't seem to be able to fly too well – kinda like you, and-"

"Oh, oh, oh!" The party earth pony jumped up and down like a flea. "Are those gifts I see hanging out of your bag?" Fluttershy squeaked in surprise and hurriedly used her snout to jab the unwrapped presents back in. "Well, they aren't wrapped, Fluttershy!" She hurriedly scurried over and used her body to cover the holey bag.

"We better get to my place fast and wrap them! I mean – you know how horrible it would be if ponies saw their gifts BEFORE Hearths Warming? Nuh-uh! The fun thing about gifts is surprises, so nopony needs to see what you got them!" Without even asking her friend, Pinkie Pie began dragging her away by the hoof.

"We'll fix that right away! Maybe while we wrap I'll let ya try some super yummy yummy cupcakes Mrs. Cake made for the holidays!"

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"Discord?" Fluttersh'y voice came from..somewhere, if it was at all possible to spot the poor little pony from somewhere under the seemingly endless mound of packages. Discord could see the pony out of the corner of an eye, but was too busy 'decorating' and trying to ignore her to care.

"Discord, I really need help?" Fluttershy squeaked. "There's so much here...!" She could feel her legs quiver underneath as the weight of the boxes and bags threatened to push her deeper into the snow. "Please..?" From the crack between two packages, she could see a glimpse of red dangling off the Hearths Warming Tree in the middle of the room. Ornaments?

"I'm busy," the spirit said flatly, hanging the last of the chili peppers off the luscious green branches. "Bring them in yourself."

"Oh, please," Fluttershy whined, "it's all really heavy, and I've got groceries, and decorations, and presents-"

"PRESENTS?" All at once, dropping the squishy peppers from his hands, eyes wide and eager, Discord bounded through the air like a child, tackling the frazzled pony down into the snow, disregarding the fact she was now pinned under a pile of spilled groceries and only snatching the brightly wrapped parcels from the air.

Fluttershy stumbled unsteadily to her feet, kicking a few oranges and – eugh – broken eggs off herself as she dusted the snow off the bags, and shook some from her mane. She let the childish spirit shake and probe at his gifts, but when he scratched a small tear at the corner of his parcel she snapped her tail against his wrist.

"No!" she scolded, taking the present in between her teeth as he rubbed at his sore wrist with a frivolous pout. "It isn't Hearths Warming Eve yet." When he tried to subtly reach for the other parcels on her back, she kicked a mist of snow at him and went through the door.

"I normally and still do abhor anything having to do with this disgustingly saccharine holiday you ponies have created, but...well, if I get free gifts." He snickered, and laid back to relax on one of his clouds. The tone was still flat, but he was truthfully a little..touched she had gotten him something.

"Yes, not to mention you get to be in charge of decorating the cottage." Yes, speaking of which.. Fluttershy surveyed the room, shaking her head and snorting out giggles at the Discord flair their decorations seemed to have. The tinsel looked to be made of shredded piece of licorice, and the tree was decorated with chili peppers. Wreaths with mushrooms lined the cottage walls, and the holiday lights appeared to be made of hard icing.

"Couldn't find the ornaments?" Fluttershy asked playfully, spinning a chili pepper on her hoof.

"Ornaments are so cliche," Discord smirked, sinking his snaggle tooth into a pepper and noisily chewing away. "Peppers are not." His eyes once more drifted to the prettily wrapped up boxes under the tree, and Fluttershy had to suppress the giggle when his feet seemed to give an impatient hop.

"Don't you dare," she said, trying to be stern but evidently failing due to the pouting frown on his face. "If my friends can wait for their presents than so can you." She caught those mischievous red eyes falling on the other small pile of gifts, and her eyes narrowed when a smirk went across his face.

"Discord," she warned, sternness leaking into her tone as she stepped protectively in front of the gifts. "Don't even think about messing with their presents. If you do, you'll be in trouble." When the dastardly smirk didn't fall she stomped her hoof. "Discord, I mean it. I will tell the princess."

At that the scheming grin vanished and the spirit heavily rolled his eyes in annoyance. It seemed everypony always resorted to using Celestia as a threat, and – irritatingly enough – it worked. He didn't want a complete suspension from his magic!

"Oh, fiiine." The spirit moaned and flopped around pathetically on the floor, rolling his sad and rather endearing little eyeballs up to her. "Why make me wait? Why must you be so meeean!" He then smirked. "I must be rubbing off on you. Excellent~"

Fluttershy rolled her eyes and salvaged what was left of the spilled and rather mangled groceries, trying to get as much in her mouth as she could since the dumb draconequus had ripped open the paper bags. "Well, there go the eggs." She sighed and glanced over to where the white snow was stained with yellow mush.

"So squeeze your chickens until some pop out of them," Discord unhelpfully advised, tilting his head back over his pillow to see if he managed to get some sort of reaction from the pegasus. Nothing. That annoyed him; she'd usually either get annoyed (which was beyond fun for him) or find his jokes funny. She didn't even seem to be listening to him!

The pony had heard him, but seemed too busy scouting for a few eggs still in tact, breathing in relief when she pulled a few surviving eggs from the snowbank he knocked her into. Without even sparing a passing glance to the spirit (who was tapping his foot in annoyance) she trotted into her kitchen and set the bag of groceries on the counter.

The groceries were instantly turned into stuffed animals.

"Discord!" Fluttershy exclaimed, angrily spinning to the spirit. She looked...odd, not just annoyed, but almost desperate? "Please turn them back?" Studying her pleading expression, he slowly did so.

"What is with you today?" the spirit grouched, chagrined that his harmless little pranks weren't provoking the response he was hoping they would. "Stress of the holidays or something?"

Again Fluttershy didn't seem to be listening, and it was now at a point where Discord was ready to attach her to a marionette and forcibly turn her to him if that'swhat it would take to get the pesky little pony to listen to him.

"Fluttershy!" he growled, pleased when the butter colored pegasus squealed in surprise and stumbled back from the counter, landing hard on her haunches at his feet.

Towering over her, Discord bent his body forward, creating a flexible bridge with his long serpentine form. "What is going on? And don't you ignore me!"

Intimidated by those narrowed demanding eyes, Fluttershy lowered her own to her hooves, twiddling with them and looking like she was preparing what to say. Numerous times her mouth opened and Discord's ears perked expectantly, only to flatten in annoyance when she'd close it. Fluttershy decided to just come out and say it:

"My mother is coming for Hearths Warming Eve," she squeaked in a tone barely audible, but loud enough that the spirit seemed to be able to hear her. He floated in front of her face, confused.

"And that's bad because..?"

Fluttershy sighed, rolling over onto her back and pushing herself to her hooves, once more striding to the kitchen to put away what was left of the groceries. "Well, it isn't bad, she's just.. never met you, and I'm nervous. Of course, she's never met the girls either."

"How exactly do I differ from the girls?" Discord asked, now upside down and somehow..walking on the ceiling. His dragon wing fluttered into view and he ran a paw over it, before looking down at his mismatched hands and the rest of his body. "Ah, gotcha~" He snickered.

"No, it isn't that I think she'll be afraid of you or anything," Fluttershy went on, flopping back onto her haunches and fighting to open a jar of jam. "I guess I am just – well, you know how ponies get when their parents are coming over; they want everything to be just perfect." Her eyes took in the wayward edible decorations of the room and she sighed. "Just perfect.."

Juggling tomatoes (Equestria knows where he got them), the draconequus swooped down to the pegasus's level, tossing the tomatoes high in the air and swallowing each of them whole with a smack of his lips. "Oh, come now, what pony wouldn't appreciate my lovely decor~?" He really knew nothing about Fluttershy's mother, and just hoped that she wasn't as sensitive as little Fluttershy could be. He'd absolutely love to welcome a guest with, oh, pies to the face and a bucket of water over their doorways; fun stuff like that.

"Not to worry, my dear," Discord said, feigning innocence in his tone as he secretly plotted out different and hilarious little schemes to greet the elder pegasus with. "I promise you I'll help make her feel welcome."

Fluttershy was obviously too occupied at the moment to see the true devious look behind the mask of innocence, as she absently responded, "oh, thank you. Now, I could use some help sprucing up the cottage. If you don't mind that is.."

"Mind?" he piped, summoning a paint roller and a bucket of honey. "Why, I'd be delighted to~!" He then proceeded to dunk the roller into the honey and smear it across the walls and ceiling, humming an old Equestrian tune as he did so.

Fluttershy smiled at his eagerness to help, not catching her poor little Angel in the corner who was frantically waving his paws at her as the thick globs of honey coated his face and the floors. "Thank you so so much for helping. I should have told you sooner – I don't know why I was so worried. It was very silly of me, I suppose." She flushed quietly and began feather dusting her old tables.

A large, golden blob of honey splat itself right in the middle of her poor table. Fluttershy nervously looked up – only to get some honey in her eyes. "Oh, no..that's really not what I meant when I asked you to spruce things up." She watched as he dipped the rollers into some molasses, gluing the couches together. "...Ah...never mind."

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Fluttershy watched the snowflakes dance their yearly dance at the windows early that morning. Truth be told, she had been awake and watching their patterns in the sky since late that night. For some reason, she was just never able to sleep well the night before she saw her family. She had no reason to be nervous, she knew, and yet she was.

Was she nervous that perhaps her mother wouldn't like Discord? Honestly, no. She could see her mother liking the spirit due to the fact they were both pretty mischievous. That and her mother – well, loved everypony, just like her~

The thought that is was actually common for an offspring to worry when their relatives were coming over didn't really cross her mind. She was also wondering about her mother's cold – it had lasted forever it seemed, and Fluttershy wondered if she'd even make the journey. She hoped her mother would stay at an inn if she needed to.

Lost in the memories and thinking about her mother, the pegasus reached underneath her pillow and pulled out a photo album aptly titled "Memories." She flipped through the leather book, resting a hoof on a picture of her and her mother and father. She ran the hoof lovingly over the page, tracing each detail of their smiling faces.

"Hummingway." Fluttershy turned to the groggy just-waking-up hummingbird on her windowsill. "Did I ever show you photos of my family?" A stupefied coo was all she got in response, and Fluttershy took it as an invite, opening the album and flipping through the pages. "This is Mummy, Daddy and me on a picnic. Oh, isn't Mummy's hat beautiful?" The bird rubbed at his sleepy eyes with a wing, tilting his head to the photos.

"And this is Daddy trying to teach me to fly. Oh – I was so scared of the sky." She shrugged. "Even now I still prefer to keep my hooves on the ground. Not Daddy; Daddy and the sky belonged together."

When Hummingway gave a questioning chirp, Fluttershy's smile became slightly sad as she lovingly rubbed the photo with a hoof. "Oh, Daddy? He's in the skies..flying. He's happy," she said, and the small bird understandingly nuzzled her.

Fluttershy hopped back and Hummingway flapped in alarm when the bed bounced, Angel landing on the startled pony's stomach. He did not look happy, snout wrinkled up in frustration; large flat foot slapping the mattress impatiently.

"What is it, Angel?" The bunny only pointed his paw out the door, and then made the motion of...

"Digging?"

He shook his head.

"Eating?"

He shook his head.

"Um..thrashing?"

Slapping a paw to his face, Angel's paws made ripping motions, before looking like he tossed something imaginary over his shoulder.

"Tearing? Ripping open?" Fluttershy smiled when the bunny eagerly hopped and nodded. "Ripping op...oh, Discord!" She closed her photo album and bolted through the open bedroom door. Fluttershy galloped down the stairs with Angel, halting her scuffed up hooves at the edge of one of the steps, peering over the banister, not exactly all that surprised with the sight that met her eyes.

Yup, there he was, under the tree, wiggling his long snake body as far under the tree as it could go. His fingers scraped at the air as he tried to grab at the ribbon ties and pull the gift out. Fluttershy was as quiet as a mouse as she nonchalantly flapped there in the air behind him, her hooves crossed.

A smirk of victory plastered across his face, Discord wiggled back with his prize, chuckling manically; his simple and evil little ploy had been a success. As his fingers gripped the tip of the ribbon ties, Fluttershy swiftly skittered her hooves under his arms. The spirit jerked back with a laugh and dropped the present.

Fluttershy rolled him onto his side and began fiercely nudging and nuzzling his exposed belly with her snout. "No!" she scolded over his loud laughter, "I told you that you had to wait to open those!" He kicked against the wooden floor, occasionally letting out squeals through the laughter.

"Oh, honestly," the pegasus huffed, her voice muffled in the cinnamon brown fur, "aren't you ever going to do as your told?" She paused in the tickle punishment to receive a most likely snarky response, which she did.

"No, I was sure I had clarified that," the spirit snickered out, wrestling the hooves as they went for his sides. He got a good hold on the hooves and slammed the pony on the ground beside him with a dull thud.

"I guess I'm going to have to hide these, aren't I?" Fluttershy narrowed her eyes at him, inches away from his face on the ground. He didn't respond and merely blew a raspberry straight at her face. The pegasus groaned in disgust, removing the dragon/pony/lion – whatever - saliva from her face as the spirit laughed at her plight.

The clock chimed for breakfast with a powerful dong that resonated through the cottage walls. Animal heads peeked out from the dark, waiting for their caretaker to make their meal. Fluttershy laid there on the small mat under the holiday tree for a while, looking peaceful enough to drift off at his side. It dawned on her in an instant, and she had bolted upwards, accidentally stumbling on Discord's throat.

Discord's contended sigh as he nearly dozed off turned to a choked and gagging yelp of pain as she stepped on his throat. He jumped up abruptly from under the tree, shaking a few chili peppers loose as he did.

"Oh, fantastic," he coughed, rubbing at his injured throat. "If you could find my windpipe somewhere on the floor and return it to me it would be most appreciated," he snapped sourly.

Fluttershy glanced back from where she was making last minute preparations, and she hesitated, looking about to apologize but seeming to change her mind. "Well, you should not have been under the tree snooping." She shoved a hairbrush into his paw. "Clean yourself up before Mummy arrives. Fix your mane – oh, it got so ruffled under the tree!"

The draconequus glanced dully at the bristled brush and then back to the pegasus. A sly grin came to his face as he snapped his fingers. "I'm done."

"That fast?" Fluttershy asked flatly, just turning to face him. "I don't think so – EEP!" He was there, floating in the air in front of her, and he was completely purple, covered in green polkadots that the pony realized matched her baby blanket. "Discord, be serious!"

"How drawl~" He snickered when Fluttershy once again turned her back, and he looked down at the brush once more, turning it over in his hands and contemplating. After a few seconds he snapped his fingers again. "Hey, Flutter Butter, who am I~?"

Fluttershy slammed her hooves down on the counter, her mouth up in a tight frown. She didn't even turn to the draconequus this time, once again, angrily, tightly gripping the brush between her teeth. He kept whining however, and narrowing her eyes, Fluttershy turned, trying to glare.

He stood there with a goofy grin on his face, his horns having disappeared and were instead replaced with a long rainbow mane. His tail flowed as well, glowing with the ever familiar pastel colors. Fluttershy said nothing as she turned away, burying her face in her hooves and exploding into giggles, which turned into loud laughter.

Discord smirked, poofing the clown colored hair out of existence and squeezing the pegasus's shoulders. "There, see now, my dear. Just try to lighten up a little won't you~?" The butter colored face had softened, slowly turning towards his own and letting a warm smile stretch slightly over her face.

Angel knocked on Fluttershy's leg a little, snapping her back to reality as he yanked frantically on her mane and pointed to the clock. Discord's own triumphant grin fell as Fluttershy's eyes widened, struggling from his embrace and accidentally snapping her tail against his eye as she quickly galloped away from the yowling spirit holding his eye, and she scrambled up the stairs.

Discord gave his eye a few experimental blinks, only to moan in pain and tightly shut it again. From his uninjured eye, he could see through the misted window, and beyond the snowdrifts trotting up the white blanketed path was a pony. He tilted his head at the weird way she was limping, but thought nothing of it.

"She is old," he snickered to himself, wondering how well she'd be able to run if she found a spider in her bed. He had already secretly vowed not to take the pranks too far – at least until he could better discern this mare's personality.

It didn't mean he hadn't set up a few little plots to 'welcome her.'

THUD! A rough tumble and an "ow" was heard from somewhere up the stairs. Discord correctly guessed the pegasus had tumbled into a wall, and he snickered as he made last minute preparations, such as propping a bucket of water over the doorway.

"Discord, if Mummy comes before I'm ready will you open the door?" Fluttershy called down the stairs. A smirking sneer crossed the spirit's face; he was hoping she'd say that.

"Certainly, my dear~" He could already see the form right at the doorway. It was hard to make out features through a fogged window, but he knew that was obviously the mother. Barely anypony came around if he was floating around the cottage.

The draconequus snickered darkly as the door began to open slightly. The snow covered hoof stepped in; Discord ignited the magic in his right talon and just waited.

Hoho, he had so much planned for this little pony. There was hardly a doubt in his mind that she'd not want to come back, but maybe she'd be a little more joking and playful and would perhaps take well to the pranks. It was always funny to witness different ponies' reactions.

The door completely opened – and Discord promptly halted the sloshing bucket just as he began to take it off the door frame.

The older pegasus smiled at him; her eyes seeming much older than she was, yet still held onto a blissful and kind sparkle. She had Fluttershy's beauty and a similar coat, even though hers was faded and worn. She was pale..very pale, and Discord knew it wasn't merely the cold temperatures outside. Her body seemed to stumble to the side slightly; so that was the unsettling limp he noted from before.

Silently, the draconequus lowered his hands to his side, poofed the bucket from existence, and met the mare's kind gaze.

The mother pegasus's smiling eyes trailed off the creature and instead took in her surroundings. She chuckled softly as she looked at every decoration; from the chili peppers to the licorice tinsel, and she turned, looking back up to the doorway.

"No bucket of water and or chocolate milk?" she smiled, "that's what my daughter said you might pull." She still got no response, so the mare pouted slightly and pulled out a frilly umbrella, extending it over her head. "I even brought an umbrella for the occasion."

Discord awkwardly tried to avert her gaze, face completely devoid of his usual smirks and sneers as he got rid of the rest of his booby traps. He lowered himself slowly to the ground, standing quietly in front of the mare.

She tilted her head to him. "Don't talk much, do you. Interesting, that's not how Fluttershy said you usually were. Or are you just shy of meeting new ponies?"

"MUMMY!" Thank Equestria – at least Discord now had something else to look at other than the swollen hooves, and her sagging face. Fluttershy stood on the top step proudly, one hoof hovered above the ground. She looked..well, not really like Fluttershy. The pegasus was wearing a translucent pink shawl that fell over her shoulders, and pretty, pink butterfly hair pins. Covering her hooves were shiny little pink slippers. Quite frankly, she looked adorable.

"Mummy!" The pegasus flew down the stairs, knocking Discord out of the way as she flew into her mother's arms. Discord winced as the elder pony gasped and bit back an evident cry of pain.

"My little flower, how are you?" The mother nuzzled her daughter's nose, pressing the pony to her chest tightly. As soon as she did however, her throat seemed to tighten and she nearly collapsed coughing.

Fluttershy was at her mother's side, nuzzling into the mare's waist and helping to upright her. "Is that cold STILL bothering you, Mummy? You get a lot of those don't you?"

Wait, what? A cold? Did that ridiculously naive pony really think that..all her mother had was a virus? And why wasn't the pony correcting her? Discord could make out the tight and sorrowed features on the gentle, aging face as she gave her daughter a quiet nod.

Was Fluttershy really trying to fool herself into thinking her mother had a meager cold? Didn't she realize, or was she only trying to protect herself? The solemn look in the mare's face and the painfully oblivious little filly nuzzling against the swollen legs was almost too much to bear. Dragging a stressed paw down his face, the spirit turned his back.

"Your little friend isn't very talkative," the pegasus chuckled, glancing over to where Discord stood staring at the wall. "You said he never shuts up."

Fluttershy glanced up from where her face was buried in the beige leg, and she tilted her head in confusion where the spirit stood, ears slightly pinned back. For a moment, a hint of worry flickered in her face, but she shrugged it off with a small eye roll. "Oh, he is probably just mad at me for not letting him open the presents yet."

Her mother laughed, taking a step towards the draconequus and holding out a greeting hoof. "I really should help you brush up on your chaos creating skills," she said, a mischievous twinkle in her eye. "I was quite a prankster when I was younger."

And healthier I bet, Discord mentally grumbled. He felt the urge to snap at the mare that dared have the audacity to tell him he needed to work on something he had done all his life, but bit it back. Of course she would think that. He had nothing to show for his name when she walked in. Nothing but chili pepper ornaments and mushroom wreaths.

"In any case, it's still a pleasure to meet you. My name's Camellia."

Finally, Discord took the hoof, resisting the urge to shut his eyes when he felt how frail the hoof was in his paw. "Likewise," he finally muttered.

Camellia and Fluttershy trotted by him, settling themselves on the couch and chatting busily about their lives. Discord tried to keep both himself and his mind occupied as he floated to the ceiling. This was not how today was supposed to go – for him anyways. He had been looking forward to driving both mother and daughter to their last string of sanity with his pranks. He had so many prepared and now..he didn't want to do any of them.

The spirit summoned a giant wad of gum with the intention of blowing a bubble until it covered the room. He didn't even feel like doing that. Sighing, sitting crossed leg in the air, he poofed a puzzle into existence and silently began to ponder how to solve it.

He was annoyed by these sudden change of events. He had an entire day of pranks and tormenting planned out, and here Camillia was sick. Very sick. His eyes trailed down to the chattering pegasus and he sighed, flinging a piece of the jigsaw puzzle against the wall in frustration.

Very very sick. But, well, what right did he have to tell Fluttershy something was very wrong with her Mummy? He should have expected this (not the probably terminal illness); Fluttershy was the childishly naive one of the group, wanting to believe anything if it saved her mind and heart from some pain. Wanting to believe that he was capable of changing his ways, and now wanting to believe all her mother had was a cold.

It wasn't his place to tell, but something needed to be done soon; it wasn't a secret that could be kept for long. For now the draconequus juggled the puzzle pieces in his hands, occasionally glancing back now and then to lay sorrowful eyes on the haunting sight of the small little pegasus nuzzling into the coat as sickly white as what blanketed the hills outside.

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(So..I decided to take my unfinished Up Christmas special and take some of the plot and make thiiisss.

Title will be changed; as far as a I know there will be three parts, and Discord trying to creatively get a hold of his presents and being injured by Fluttershy) will be a running gag. XD

Be warned, comedy aside, you are reading a drama/tragedy/hurt/comfort sorta thing.

And yes, the other ponies have more appearances in here, but..well, it is mainly Fluttershy, Camellia, and Discord.

(Make me aware of any spelling mistakes as it is late at night and I revised only twice)