UGH! WHEN AM I GONNA STOP STARTING NEW FICS?!
Oh well, after watching Keep Calm and Flutter On, I wanted to write a fic centered around Fluttershy and Discord. I also thought, what if Discord hadn't been defeated by the Mane Six? So the idea for this was inspired by Beauty and the Beast, movie and story, an old Swedish legend called Bride of the Lindorm King, and a couple stuff from other fics. I hope you enjoy.
Disclaimer: DO NOT own My Little Pony. If I did, there would be more Fluttercord.
Everything was going well. They had found the Elements of Harmony and they were all returned to normal. Their enemy thought nothing of it, only yawned on his red and black throne as Twilight powered up her spell. Light illuminated the six ponies as they were lifted into the air. It was the same as when they had defeated Nightmare Moon, until more light shot from their necklaces.
"What's this?" Discord said in wonder.
Fluttershy had sworn to close her eyes, but opened one for a moment. Even through the bright light, she could clearly see the draconequus' face. She recognized it as pure fear.
"No," he uttered.
The pegasus couldn't stand it anymore and shut her eye again, as Twilight opened hers, revealing them to be white. As a rainbow shot from their bodies, Fluttershy heard the creature's horrifying scream. She tried to block it out, but it was useless. That scream would forever haunt her.
When the blast was over, the friends gently floated to the ground. Ponyville was back in order, but there was something that wasn't right. Pinkie was the first to notice.
"Hey, where's Discord?"
Rainbow Dash rolled her eyes. "Don't you know, Pinkie? We turned him to stone."
"I know that, but where's his statue?"
The others looked around.
"She's right," Applejack said. "Where is he?"
"I don't understand," Twilight lamented. "That spell should have turned him to stone!"
Fluttershy gasped. "We didn't kill him, did we?!"
"I don't think so. He'd still be here."
"Unless we vaporized him!" Pinkie Pie shrieked. "Or turned him to grass!"
Rarity yelped and stood on her back legs. "You mean we may be walking on him?!"
Rainbow and Fluttershy leapt into the air in horror.
"Guys, we didn't kill him!" Applejack assured them, but then turned nervously to the purple unicorn. "Right, Twilight?"
"We shouldn't have," Twilight replied. "The Elements of Harmony cannot destroy. They may work in mysterious ways, but they cannot destroy. Whatever they did to Discord, they at least returned everything to normal."
"So what do we do now?" Fluttershy asked.
"We must inform Princess Celestia about this."
A few hours later in Canterlot, the six ponies told the princess all that had happened. After hearing this, Celestia demanded to speak with Twilight in private.
"We didn't kill him, did we?" she asked once they were alone.
Celestia shook her head. "It is not in the Elements' power to do such a deed."
"Princess, what do they do exactly? I mean they banished Nightmare Moon to the moon, but then later changed her back to good. Why did they turn Discord into stone?"
"The Elements' job is to restore balance in the land. It is complicated, but basically what they do is turn something into what it is on the inside. The first time they were used on Luna, she had darkness in her heart and that's what banished her to the moon. The second time, there was something good inside her that wanted to get out and that's what turned her back into my little sister. Discord, however…" She trailed off and looked at said creature's picture in the stain glass. "His heart is as cold as stone."
"Does he even have one?" Twilight inquired.
"Every creature has a heart, though some of them refuse to show it."
"So what did the elements do to him now?"
She paused. "Nothing."
The unicorn's eyes widened. "What?"
"Nothing. He escaped before the spell hit him."
Twilight was astonished. "But…but…I restored everyone's memories! Ponyville, it's fine now! The Elements should have worked!"
"They did, and Discord saw that. He saw that he could not break apart your friendship with the others, so he chose to be a coward and fled."
"How…how do you know that's what happened?"
"I know Discord. He's smart enough to know when to flee."
"So he's still out there? We have to find him! Equestria's not safe as long as he's free!"
"No, he knows not to make another attempt to takeover, not without time to contemplate his next move. When he does, that's when we take action."
"But what if…?"
"Twilight Sparkle, we do not know where Discord is. The only thing we can do is to wait for him to come out of hiding. When he does, I want you and your friends to be ready. Do you understand?"
She opened her mouth to protest, but then sighed and nodded.
"Good. Now, I will leave the Elements with you, so you will be ready when the time comes. But first, I will cast a spell protecting them, so Discord cannot take them again."
Twilight nodded again. "I understand, Princess."
So the six ponies went back home and waited for Discord's return. They each wore their Elements at all times for precaution. For weeks, they waited in agitation for their enemy to make his attack. They told no pony else that the Spirit of Chaos had escaped, for Celestia did not want her subjects to panic. It was because of this that the friends went about their daily routines as if there was nothing to worry about, but they each slept with one eye open, all except Fluttershy, who slept with two.
Soon the days turned into weeks, then months, until after a year, the ponies assumed Discord had left Equestria for good. They began feeling more at ease, with a few exceptions. Twilight became more and more worried each day and studied divination, in hopes of finding their enemy's location. So far, she had had no such luck.
Fluttershy spent nights waking up with a scream, after experiencing a nightmare where the monster had her in his clutches. Of all the frightening creatures she had encountered in her lifetime, she had never been as afraid as she was of Discord. Even though she had not seen him in a while, he still haunted her. Everywhere she turned his yellow and red eyes were there, staring into her soul. Sometimes he would appear as three butterflies, or as his stained glass image. Whatever form he took, it felt like he was always there, watching her.
She told her friends of this, but they said it was purely her imagination. This did not take any of the nightmares away.
Then Twilight became a princess, which turned every pony's life around. While Twilight was still living in Ponyville, she spent most of her time in Canterlot or elsewhere performing royal duties. As for her other five friends, they were all famous after saving Equestria numerous times and being friends of a princess.
Rarity's designs became more popular than ever. She had so many orders to keep up with, that she had to hire help. Her sister Sweetie Belle had little talent in sewing, but did what she could to organize everything. Her friend Apple Bloom proved to have a greater knowledge of design and Rarity was so impressed that she made the young filly her apprentice. Even Scootaloo provided assistance, by making deliveries with her scooter.
Rainbow Dash's dream finally came true and was recruited by the Wonderbolts. With them, she traveled all over Equestria, performing her tricks and earning the praise she adored. She still made time for her friends and offered them tickets whenever they were in town. Pinkie Pie attended all the shows and derbies and was Rainbow's biggest fan.
While keeping her job at Sugar Cube Corner, Pinkie Pie kept a party planning service in Canterlot. Whenever there was a special event, the royals called her. Not only did she always throw the best of parties, but she did it for free. She did not care for money, only fun!
When making visits to Twilight in Canterlot, Applejack would take the opportunity to sell her apples. They were much more appreciated once every pony heard they were grown in the princess's hometown. As a result, Applejack earned a lot of money and not only managed to buy a tractor for Big Macintosh and fix Granny Smith's broken hip, but added a new floor to the barn, so whenever her relatives visited, they could stay the night. Whatever money was left was donated to the Canterlot Orphanage. Because of this, the orphans looked up to her. She also became a fan favorite at the rodeo competitions, whether she won a blue ribbon or not. Her athleticism was much admired and cowboy attire was made fashionable, thanks to Rarity.
In their new glamorous and comfortable lifestyles, the ponies slowly forgot about Discord altogether. Every pony was happy, save one.
Once the six were known to the public, many stallions began taking interest in Fluttershy, who had turned out to be a great beauty. She received a lot of gentlemen callers now, but she refused all of them. Although she was of marriageable age now, the pegasus was not ready for such a thing, let alone dating. She had gained more confident over the years, but the idea of romance terrified her. Having a boyfriend meant spending time with a single stallion that might be the one or might not. She knew he would be doing most of the talking, and asking, and touching, etc. She was not prepared for that.
She continued having the nightmares. The evil face of the draconequus would not leave her mind. She knew he was still out there, and he would come back to turn her nasty again. Despite the good fortune of her friends, she could not move on. She attended social events for their sake, but wallowed in fear when alone.
Meanwhile, Twilight Sparkle was studying and learning more about magic and being a princess each day. She took pleasure in it, but sometimes, she would look out the window and wonder about her enemy in hiding. It had been almost three years since he had vanished without a trace. Where was he? What had he been doing all this time? When was he going to strike?
No pony knew.
So that was my theory on how the Elements of Harmony work. Yes, I'm still working on "It's All Hooey," but I just happened to write this in between.