A/N: because Dresden Files/My Little Pony crossovers are strangely good.
My apologies if this lacks the usual Dresden flavor. I despise the first person perspective when I write. It always feels like I'm making a self-insert.
Disclaimer: the Dresden Files belongs to Jim Butcher, and I make no money off this fan fiction. MLP belongs to Hasbro, but Lauren Faust made it work. Damn them for having Luna in only one episode this season! At least last time she was in two! No, the finale didn't count.
It was, by all accounts, a happy ending. The forces of evil had been defeated— with a convenient lack of bloodshed— the Changelings banished away from Equestria, never to be seen again. They'd had the honeymoon, and things the led to littler ponies appearing 'the natural way' had happened.
No one wondered where the Changelings had gone upon being banished. No one wondered where they had come from in the first place. No one, that is, except for the people whose job it was to do so…
It had started as a perfectly normal case. Murder was nasty and evil and one of the most heinous expressions of human evil there was, but it was a perfectly normal crime to commit, with no need to get complicated. The body had been found naked in the middle of a field. Records had been consulted, missing persons reports were checked, biometric markers had been measured and run through the system. They'd come up with a name, a Mr. Stephen M. of Chicago and an overworked civil servant had to make the laborious phone call to tell someone that their loved one was dead.
The first complication arose when the alleged deceased answered the phone…
Apologies were made, accusations of tastelessness and incompetence were thrown around, and people completely undeserving of the demerit got a few black marks on their records. The body of the deceased was put through more tests and, when it came back still saying they got it right the first time, people gave up, stuck a classification to the amount of "unsolved, because we can't be bothered anymore" on the body, and shoved it in the metaphorical back of the filing cabinet.
And that would have been it. Something weird had happened, turns out someone had screwed up, it was all shoved under the rug, and people got with their lives, believing themselves a little wiser.
It would have been forgotten… but some people just can't take a hint…
Mac's was as crowded as it usually was, filled with the supernatural crowd of Chicago. Over at the bar, a dark-haired kid with pretensions of Neo-hood was wearing a dark coat and drinking lemonade. Several old men were sitting at their usual table, two of them playing a game of chess as they talked about nothing in particular. In the corner, a ridiculously tall man was sitting with an adorably short woman, a file folder on the table between them along with a couple of drinks.
"Stephen I. Mayor," Harry read from the file Murphy had handed him over dinner. "Isn't he that guy that wrote that book about those gay werewolves?"
Murphy nodded. "Officially, this case is cold. The coroner made a mistake, the samples have been contaminated, whatever. Someone screwed up, and they got the results mixed up."
Harry nodded. "But you don't think that's what happened." It was a statement, not a question.
"I think," Murphy said. "That if we're dealing with pod people and the invasion of the body snatchers, then I want to know about it. This isn't the only case, Harry. There have been four others, each one declared a clerical error. Some people are getting suspicious, but at best, they're declaring these doppelgangers 'statistically improbable similar individuals' or some stupid like that."
Harry looked at it grimly. "If that true, we're talking an epidemic here." He paused. "Is epidemic the word you use for something like this?"
She shrugged. "How should I know? You're the wizard. I'd have figured you'd have a word for this."
"Nothing comes to mind," Harry said, peering at the file again. "This is off the books?"
Murphy nodded. "It looks like the kind of thing that your people need to know about. If people are being replaced with things that go bump in the night… well, that can't be anything good."
"You never know," Harry said. "I can think of a couple of people I'd like to have replaced."
Murphy glared at him, but was obviously thinking the same thing. "Look, I've got to get back to work, Dresden. Call me if anything comes up. Who knows, maybe their actually right, and this is all a really big coincidence."
Harry nodded solemnly. "If that's the case, I'll tell you via flying pig."
"You're going to learn how to fly?"
"Ha ha, Murph. Don't you have a job to get back to?"
Harry returned home with the intention of doing some research on doppelgangers. The phenomenon wasn't uncommon, magically speaking. Plenty of things from the Nevernever could copy people's appearances. Fewer, however, could do it for long, and so perfectly that they could seamlessly impersonate someone like that. Still, such shape-shifters probably existed somewhere in that big somewhere out there, and even though he knew how very far the odds were that there was more than one, he trusted in his luck to make them a lot closer if it turned there was a chance he would get killed because of it.
That was his plan when he arrived home. It was one immediately derailed by the fact that his godmother was lying on his sofa.
"Hello, Harry," his godmother said as he just stared at her. "Perhaps you should close the door?"
Briefly, Harry debated the merits of bolting. His last meeting with his godmother– hells bells, how long had it been?– hadn't gone well. There'd been mentioning of the shoving of things, mostly on his part, among other really stupid things. He still sometimes wondered how'd he'd gotten out of that alive.
Finally, he closed the door. There was no point. Even with a head start, he'd never outrun her on foot, and going up against her with magic unprepared was just suicidal. Swallowing, he said, "Hello godmother."
She looked at him intently through her long lashes. He faced her right back, trying not to look weak. Looking weak was always a no-no with the denizens of the Nevernever. He tried to get a read on her. He'd managed to learn the rudiments of her body language back when he was younger, but he'd always been a bit thrown when she was sitting or lying down. His palms began to sweat, but he didn't dare try and wipe them. Abruptly, he wondered where Mouse was. Had she done something to him? The Foo dog wouldn't have just let an intruder into the apartment, and–
Abruptly, his godmother burst out laughing, her hair rippling behind her as her whole body shook. "Oh, Harry!" she laughed as he jumped back in surprise. "Harry, relax! I'm not going to bite." She dabbed the tears out of her eyes, still chuckling. "The look on your face…Honestly, godson, relax. I have no intention of eating you."
"Promise?" Harry said, half-sarcastically.
To his surprise, his godmother suddenly became very solemn. "Cross my heart and hope to fly, stick a cupcake in my eye," she said, her wings flapping as she mimed sticking something into one of her eyes.
Harry stared. "What was that?" he asked.
"That, godson, is the strongest, most binding promise a pony can make," Princess Celestia said, looking completely solemn. "To break this promise is to lose someone's trust… forever!"
"Forever isn't going to be much of an issue if you eat me, godmother," Harry pointed out.
Celestia sighed. Her horn glowed briefly, and a book flew from Harry's shelf and smacked him lightly on the forehead. "Harry, really, will you please cease being obtuse? It's hardly productive."
There was a mild growl from behind the sofa, and Celestia momentarily looked over the back. "Yes, well, I think you'll agree a little loving discipline was called for," she said. Mouse's growl subsided, ending with sounded to Harry like a mildly amused, grudging huff.
"Are you trying to turn my dog against me?" Harry said incredulously.
Celestia's horn glowed slightly, and he heard a satisfied sound that sounded suspiciously like the dog was having his belly rubbed. "Nonsense. Mouse and I have had an arrangement ever since he moved in. I must say, it's nice to see he's been taking care of you." She sighed. "Though I wish you would need less taking care of, godson. Is your hand feeling better?"
Harry hesitated, then raised his left hand, still in its glove. "Well, it no longer looks like candle, at least."
"My poor child," Celestia said, leaning forward and getting off the sofa. Her hooves stepped lightly on the floor as she walked towards him, her mane and tail flowing like a manner behind her, glowing slightly. Harry resisted the instinctive urge to step back, not meeting her face. "I regret forcing you to leave. I wish we had more time to talk about this properly, but time is short. I need your help."
Harry frowned and turned to her, finally asking the question he should have at the start. "Why are you here, godmother?"
Celestia bowed solemnly. "To warn you, godson. I believe evil has come to your home."
Harry's eyes flicked over his apartment.
Celestia coughed. "To your home city, godson. Sorry, that wasn't very clear. Chicago is under threat."
"Threat? From what?" he asked. "Can you narrow down what evil we're talking about here godmother? I mean, it is Chicago."
"It is an enemy you have never encountered before, Harry," Celestia said. "One that nearly conquered Equestria itself before we repulsed it. It believe that the Changelings have come to Chicago."
Harry opened his mouth, but Celestia raised a hoof to forestall him. "I'm not talking about the foals of humans and the Fey, Harry, but rather of a separate species. The Changelings are shape changers, taking the forms of others and feeding upon the love of those they have replaced, gaining a measure of control over them as they do so."
Harry's head snapped up. "Shape changers? Are you sure?"
Celestia nodded. "I fear they are already upon your city, godson. After they beaten back, they came here to Chicago, following whispers of a powerful weapon, one they could use to fuel their powers. I do not know what weapon they speak of, though I have my suspicious, but should they acquire it, their court will take your city and drain it of ever last drop of love to fuel their dark purpose."
It was official, Harry decided. That was the corniest, scariest evil plan he'd ever heard.
My Little P.I.: Friendship and Magic
by Shadow Crystal Mage
Chapter 1: My Pony Godparent
- To be continued...
A/N: Set after Small Favor and The Warrior. I would like to thank the season 2 finale (THIS IS HOW YOU FINISH A SEASON!) for giving us Equestrian Changelings. They are awesome evil vampire insect rotting tree pony... things! And their schnicht it awesome! What a way to use the power of Love! On BOTH sides!
But seriously, lucky save. I needed a plot idea…
This started innocently enough, with me reading all five of the Dresden/Pony crossovers on this site and not for the first time screaming at myself for not doing it first. Then I got to thinking. What's a different way to do this? Then I spotted a common thread in two of them of Harry being Winter Knight and faeries, one thing led to another, and I ended up with this: Celestia is Harry godmother instead of Lea. Now, I like Lea. She's a fun little crazy death Sidhe lady, so Harry still met her. It's just that the thought of Celestia teaching a teenaged Harry magic… especially the Magic of Friendship…
It was too hilarious to pass up. For added lulz, Lea is Thomas' fairy godmother…
There are various takes on Celestia. There's the ever-popular Trollestia; the sometimes fun Molestia; and the rare Evilestia. Personally, I'm going try for my personal favorite depiction, one that a reviewer on Tales of Fluttershy's Harem once dubbed "Vetinari Mk. Pony". After all, how else will she come out as a power in the Dresden-verse?
Now, if I can just get her a pair of puppies named Wuffles and Mr. Fusspot…
Oh, and there will be no abacuses in this fic. It's too derivative. Be more original, people!
As for Harry harping on about getting eaten… in some of the original mythology, unicorns– which Celestia is certainly slightly derived from– are carnivorous. We saw a little bit of that with the unicorn in Summer Knight, which was NOT from Equestria.
Please review, C&C welcome.
Until next time, this is Shadow, signing off.