Magical Mystery Oops

Twilight Sparkle has spent months researching chaos magic, developing a new spell to unlock magic nopony has ever experienced before. But when something goes wrong with casting, Twilight finds herself turned into a Draconequus and unable to control her new chaos magic. If she ever wants to be a pony again, there is only one who can help her learn to control her new magic.

Of course, learning from Discord was never going to be simple. And after a while, being a draconequus doesn't seem so bad anyway....

http://www.fimfiction.net/story/249782/magical-mystery-oops

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16. Stiff Competition

The arrival platform of the Ponyville train station was unusually quiet, given the festival being held in town. That likely had something to do with the draconequus currently standing in the middle of it as he waited for the next train. The other ponies at the station were giving him a wide berth, leaving a fifteen and three-quarter radius circle around him clear.

Twilight had done the math, “It's going to look bad if everypony is avoiding him like that when she arrives,” she whispered as she watched through a pair of field glasses. Given the shrubbery they were hiding in was just across the platform, it was probably unnecessary. But better safe than sorry.

“He is obviously bored,” Luna replied from next to her, her voice equally quiet, “If he would stop messing with that uniform of his, mayhaps he would stop unnerving the others,” the alicorn glanced at the draconequus next to her, “Where did he get that, anyhow?”

“I have no idea,” Twilight replied, “He just said it was his 'Fleet Uniform'.” Which was odd, since the Equestrian Navy had never had a uniform consisting of black pants and a red shirt with black shoulders – though he did pull it off rather well. She still had no idea what the gold emblem on his chest was supposed to be though, “Just be glad he isn't wearing an orange suit and top-hat.”

“We suppose...” Luna replied, but she didn't sound convinced, “Twilight, are you sure this is a good idea?”

“Trust me,” Twilight eyes never came off her field glasses as she spoke. Off in the distance, a familiar plume of smoke was coming into view, “I know these two better than almost anypony.”

“We would like to think we know our sister better than anypony,” Luna replied, “a thousand years absence or not. As for Discord – would Fluttershy not be closer to him?”

“Fluttershy...” Twilight lowered the glasses as she mulled over her next words, “...She tries. She does, but she thinks she can make him... better.”

“And my sister?” Luna asked.

“Princess Celestia is...” Twilight paused as she sought the right word, “...Princess Celestia.”

“She's an embodiment of harmony and stability,” Luna suggested.

“And a pony,” Twilight added, “Remember the Gala?”

“Ah,” Luna replied with a nod as she turned back to watching the train platform as the train closed in, “Still – I'm surprised you aren't in your laboratory...”

“Spike and Flash are reorganizing the library after making a mess looking for a history book for Discord,” Twilight grinned as she adjusted her field glasses, “And who said an experiment has to be in a lab?”

The train came to a stop with a whistle, cutting off whatever Luna might have said. Instead the alicorn and draconequus both focused on the scene before them. Usually, at this point, a veritable sea of ponies would pour from the train and onto the platform, but today there was only one pony on board.

Everypony on the platform bowed as their solar diarch stepped off the train and came among them, gently prompting ponies to please stand, assuring them she was just here to enjoy the time among her little ponies.

Discord stoically stood in the middle of the crowd, standing tall and holding a sign that read 'sun-butt' as he waited for Celestia to notice him. Given he was the tallest being on the platform, it didn't take long, “Discord,” Celestia greeted him with a polite nod.

“Your Radiance,” Discord replied with an outlandishly deep bow, tossing the sign off into the distance as he dipped low. Somewhere in the distance, a cat screamed. Discord quickly rose back up, tapping at his chin, “...That is one of your titles, right?”

“...No, it is not,” Celestia said with a sighed, “I take it Twilight believes I should spend the day with you in order to realize the error in my judgment regarding your character?”

“Pretty much,” Discord replied with a shrug before flashing Celestia a grin, “Manipulating events to plunge somepony into a situation without their knowledge in an attempt to teach them some lesson since you think you know better than them. Sound familiar?”

“If you are implying that Twilight Sparkle somehow learned this from me...” Celestia began, but Discord quickly interrupted her.

“Oh, I wasn't implying it,” Discord said with a grin, “I know it – I was just wondering how it felt to have the tables turned on you.”

“Well,” Luna said flatly, “This is a disaster.”

“Oh, hush,” Twilight replied quickly, “It's only been five minutes.”

“But royal politics isn't why your here, is it?” Discord continued as he slid up next to Celestia and threw an arm over her shoulder, “You're here to take in the sights, enjoy yourself – have your cake, metaphorically and literally.”

As a small contingent of royal guards filed off the train and spread out around the pair, Celestia gave Discord a frown, “Why should I trust you with something as rare as my time off?”

Discord grinned, “Because, Sun-butt, Dear Twilight asked me to take care of you today - and if I disappoint her I doubt she'll keep being as much fun as she's been,” His grin quickly shifted into a frown as he glanced at the guards around them, “In fact, she'd be about as much fun as this lot – Well, that's one thing I can fix.”

Before Celestia could say anything, Discord snapped his fingers and the pair vanished in a puff of confetti and chocolate sprinkles. All they left behind was a gaggle of panicking guards and a pair of pale princesses.

“...Twilight,” Luna asked slowly after a moment, “Did Discord just ponynap my sister?”

“...maybe a little?” Twilight replied meekly.

On the other side of town, Discord and his captive princess re-materialized three paces to the left of a field of poison joke. Celestia stumbled on her hooves for half a heartbeat, giving her head a quick shake before glaring at Discord, “How in Tartarus did you teleport me? My wards should have-”

Discord simply tossed her a small slip of paper as he walked past her, “Come on Sun-butt; cake's this way.”

Celestia glowered at the draconequus as she unfolded the slip of paper and glanced over it, “...huh,” she said after a moment, “It never occurred to me to consider space as what was moving.”

Back across town, Luna had recovered enough of her senses to begin panicking, “He managed to circumvent sister's wards! That shouldn't even be possible!”

“It's Discord,” Twilight replied with a shrug as she started pulling herself out the hedge, “The difficult he does immediately. The impossible takes him a little longer. Come on.”

“Twilight, where are you going?” Luna asked as she followed after the purple draconequus, “We must muster a search party to-”

“They're in the eastern square,” Twilight replied simply, “That's where Sugarcube Corner and the other bakers have their stalls. If they're after cake, that's where they'll be.”

“Ah, of course,” Luna gave a sharp nod before turning toward the train platform, “I shall muster the guards and-”

“Luna, he ran from the guards once,” Twilight found herself rolling her eyes before she realized it. No, bad Twilight! Princesses don't roll their eyes at other princesses! “He can do it again. Trust me – I've been dealing with Discord for weeks now. Charging head-on will only get you a headache.”

“Speaking from experience?” Luna asked, quirking an eyebrow as she followed behind her.

Twilight shrugged, “He certainly hates getting out of my bed in the mornings,” There was a sudden thump behind Twilight, and the draconequus turned around to see the alicorn sprawled out on the ground, still have inside the bush, “you okay?”

“We're fine!” Luna quickly replied as she pulled herself back onto her hooves, “We were just... caught off-guard.”

“Right...” Twilight said after a moment before she started forward again. As they made their way though the crowds, they drew a constant stream of murmurs and gazes from the surrounding ponies – a pair of princesses was attention-grabbing like that, “I'm starting to wonder what Discord with thinking. He has to realize how much attention Celestia would get, right Luna...?” Twilight glanced back as she asked, only to find Luna was no longer behind her.

Rather, she was several paces back, surrounded by colts and fillies and busy signing one colts 'Blame My Sister' shirt. It took her a moment to notice Twilight looking at her, and the lunar demigoddess finally glanced up from her adoring fanbase, her wide grin temporarily turning into a look of confusion, “...What?”

“I think you just made my point,” Twilight said with a sigh, turning to continue toward the bakery when she found herself confronted with a fanbase of her own.

Except hers had robes.

Twilight massaged her temples with one claw. Only Discord was supposed to give her headaches this fast, “Guys.... robes? Really?”

The quartet of ponies in front of her glanced down at their purple robes for a moment before glancing back at the princess as their leader spoke, “What? We thought they were nice.”

“They are, really, but... ” Twilight started to assure them before stopping herself, “...no, wait. I don't have time for this. I need to find the princess.”

“She's right behind you.” the lead stallion provided.

“No, the other one.”

“Oh! She's in the Crystal Empire.” a mare in the back spoke up.

“Celestia!” Twilight finally snapped, “She's with Discord and...” she sighed as she slumped a little, “...he's probably hiding them somehow.”

“We can help!” the stallion quickly spoke up before spinning around, “Everyone! Spread out and start looking. The Goddess Prevails!”

“The Goddess Prevails!” the entire group chanted back before they all dispersed in seemingly random directions.

“Uh,” Twilight said after a moment as she watched the other four vanish into the crowd, “What are they looking for?”

“I dunno,” the stallion provided with a shrug before giving Twilight a quick bow and dashing off himself.

“Well...” Luna's voice suddenly came from right behind her as Twilight spun around to see the fellow princess regarding her with a raised eyebrow and a small smirk, “We did not realize you had such a following.”

“It's new,” Twilight replied with a shrug and a sigh before she started walking again, “It's not like you didn't have a cult back in the day, and these days you poll higher than Celestia for-”

“You are mistaken, Twilight Sparkle,” Luna cut in as she followed the purple Draconequus.

“Well, I know Cosmare polls aren't exactly scientific, but...” Twilight began to reply only to be cut off again.

“We were referring to the first comment, not the second,” Luna corrected her, “We never had a following until our...” Luna shuffled nervously, “...fall.”

Twilight turned back to Luna and blinked owlishly, “Wait, you didn't know? The Adeptus Astartes weren't big, but given they literally worshiped your work I figured you'd have known something.”

“It seems Discord is not the only one missing parts of their past...” Luna said, mostly to herself Twilight guessed, as they plotted along through the crowd.

“What is that about-wait, hold on,” They had finally reached the bakery stands, and there was a distinct lack of white alicorns being dragged around by deranged chaos lords, “This isn't right,” Twilight said with a frown as she scanned the crowd – much easier now then when she was still a pony, “Why aren't they here? They were supposed to be here.”

“Mayhaps they have already moved on?” Luna suggested.

“Impossible,” Twilight replied, dismissing the notion, “Too many cakes and not enough traumatized ponies about.”

“A harsh but reasonable metric, we suppose,” Luna shrugged in reply as she scanned the collected baking stalls, “Though we are wondering which you are attributing to our sister and which to her date.”

“Yes,” Twilight replied simply as she continued to scan the crowd, “This makes no sense – they didn't go past us, I didn't feel any teleports and we haven't seen...” Twilight blinked as she looked around again, “Everypony is being surprisingly calm given the number of princesses about, don't you think?”

“They are likely accustomed to you, Twilight Sparkle, and those interested in us have already made themselves known.” Luna replied as she drifted toward a strudel stand off to their left.

“But no crowds for Celestia,” Twilight pointed out, “Not even the usual fifteen and three-quarter paces half the town still gives him. You can practically track Celestia by her social wake, so why isn't...?” Her train of thought was interrupted as she felt a tap at her shoulder. She turned to find one of her... worshipers standing next to her, “Um...yes?”

“We, um, have been unable to find any sign of the princess or the Chaos Lord... My Lady.” The pony – a mare, based on the voice – said as she fidgeted nervously under her cloak. Twilight couldn't make out anything under her hood.

Twilight let out a sigh before giving the mare her most comforting smile, “That fine – I wasn't expecting much anyway.”

The mare turned to look at Twilight – or at least Twilight thought she did – for a moment before finally finding her voice, “Oh, thank goodness – I thought you were going to be mad. We did find something strange though.”

That gave Twilight pause. Little off-hoof comments like that almost never ended well, “Could you elaborate?”

The mare nodded before pointing across the square, “There were a pair of ponies cutting lines for Pinkie Pies' cupcakes but nopony seemed to care.”

“...huh,” Was all Twilight could manage as she followed the mare's hoof to where she was pointing. Sure enough, a couple of ponies were slipping past the crowd and heading straight for the front, grabbing a box of cupcakes and hoofing over some bits before heading back off. The mare was tall and sleek, her pink mane standing out against her white coat. In contrast, the stallion was rather drab – grayish brown coat and coal black mane. His only discerning feature seemed to be his well-groomed beard, “You might be on to something.”

The mare paused for a moment before she sprung forward excitedly, “Really?!” Twilight could now make out her features – yellow coat and jet black mane in a braid, and a bright smile that Minuette would likely give full marks.

“Really,” Twilight replied, giving the mare what she hoped was a reassuring pat on the shoulder as she started to move, “But I gotta go – enjoy the rest of the fair, okay?” With that, she headed off with Luna following a few steps behind. Twilight weaved her way through the crowd, angling for the front of the line and ignoring the angry grumbles of the ponies behind her as she finally reached Pinkie Pie, “Oh, hey Twi!” the perky baker greeted her with an energetic wave, “Oh, and you brought Luna too! Hi Luna!”

“Greetings, Pinkie Pie,” Luna replied with a bow, “How are things?”

“Great!” Pinkie replied, raising her voice as the line behind them started grumbling more loudly.

“Hey!” Twilight snapped as she turned to the crowd, “Cupcakes are on me if you'll all give me five fraking minutes!” The entire crowd went silent and after a moment, Twilight turned to her friend, “Anyhow – Did you notice anything odd about those last two customers? The tall white mare and the brown stallion?”

Pinkie tapped at her chin for a moment before replying “Nope! They seemed really nice.”

“Even though they cut the entire line?” Luna asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Well, they were in a rush, so why not?” Pinkie replied cheerfully, “Why?”

“No reason,” Twilight replied as she dropped a large bag of bits on Pinkie's counter, “Thanks – save a couple for me, will you?”

“No problem!” Pinkie replied with jaunty salute a the two princesses headed off. Twilight gave her friend a distracted glance as she worked to get an eye back on the suspect pair of ponies. They were, for some reason, oddly hard to keep an eye on.

“Twilight, I fail to see-” Luna started to say before the draconequus twisted around and quickly shushed her.

“Quiet!” Twilight whispered, “They'll hear you and-” Twilight froze as the color drained from her face – somewhat literally, as it dripped off the tip of her chin – as gaped in shock, “Oh my gosh! I'm sooo sorry Princess! I didn't-”

Luna cut her off with a hoof and a small smile, “Fear not, Twilight Sparkle,” she said softly, “I understand – now, why these two?”

“Because they're weird and nopony cares.” Twilight replied simply.

Luna blinked at that, “Not caring about a ponies oddities is something of a theme for Ponyville, no?”

“Quirks? Sure,” Twilight replied as she turned back around, “Cutting in lie for Pinkie Pie cupcakes? Not a chance,” She took a deep breath before closing her eyes, “I'm going to try something.”

Luna quirked an eyebrow at her fellow princess, “And what, pray tell, would 'something' be?”

“A trick I learned from Discord,” Twilight replied, “And no – it's not dangerous, so shush.” Luna' mouth snapped shut with an audible 'snap' as Twilight turned her attention to what she had started thinking of as her 'string sense'. Countless threads and strands criss-crossed the landscape, the ghostly forms of ponies and buildings visible through them as she tried to find the suspect pair again. It turned out they weren't hard to find. She was expecting one of them to be warping the lines around them to explain whatever effect they were using to cut lines and crowds – what she wasn't expecting was for both of them to be twisting reality as they walked around. That was...actually perfectly logical, if you made one assumption.

“It's them,” Twilight announced as she opened her eyes.

Luna blinked at the sudden announcement, “Who's them?”

“The strange couple,” Twilight replied as she started looking through the crowd, “Discord must be casting some sort of effect on them and-” Twilight stopped as she finally saw the couple, only now they were very obviously Discord and Celestia, “...woah.”

“What is it?” Luna asked as she followed Twilight's gaze and seemed to notice nothing amiss.

“Look over there,” Twilight replied as she grabbed Luna by the chin and forced her to look in the right direction, “It's Discord and your sister.”

“Twilight, I really think I would have-” Luna started before stopping, her eyes going wide, “How by the moon did I not notice that?”

“It some sort of... somepony else's problem field,” Twilight replied as she tugged Luna toward the edge of the square, “Makes ponies think nothing is strange about you or what you're doing. We end up making up alternate information to perceive that makes sense.”

“I...See...” Luna replied slowly as she let Twilight drag her along, “We are suddenly very glad Discord never fights seriously.”

“Try threatening Fluttershy,” Twilight replied idly as she pulled them into another bush, “Alright – this should be a good angle to listen in on them...”

“How?” Luna asked, “They are too far and the crowd is too loud.”

“With this!” Twilight replied by pulling out a dish-shaped object, “I found it in Flash Sentry's equipment. My brother used something similar to spy on Cadence before he asked her out.”

“...I see.” Luna replied as Twilight fiddled with the device until it finally jumped into life.

“-impressive mare, Tia.” Discord's voice was unmistakable, even with the distortion due to coming from such a small speaker, “You've truly taught her well.”

“Where are they?” Luna whispered. In reply, Twilight pulled out a pair of binoculars, handed them to the Alicorn and pointed  out of the shrub before dawning a pair of their own. Through the magnification, it was easy to spot the towering form of the draconequus and the equally tall form of Celestia sitting across from each other at a small table.

“I can assure you that Twilight is impressive all on her own,” Celestia replied demurely, “All I ever did was make sure she had the chance and resources to truly shine.”

Discord looked up from the slice of cake he was toying with and flashed Celestia a grin before popping a strawberry into his mouth, “I was talking about her eating habits; I thought only you could eat cake that fast,” Celestia turned a cheery shade of red before tossing a strawberry at Discord's head. The draconequus simply caught it in his mouth, consuming it before saying, “Come on Tia – you were grooming her to be a princess, right? Inhaling pastries is just part of the package...”

“It seems my sister's eating habits have caught up with her,” Luna snickered.

“...You should see your sister on Nightmare Night.” Discord continued.

“We're putting him back in our garden,” Luna said flatly as as she started moving out of the shrubbery.

“No, you're not...” Twilight grabbed Luna by the shoulder and pulled her back, “We're trying to get your sister to like Discord, remember?”

Luna grumbled but sat down again, glancing back toward her sister as she did, “...She does seem to be enjoying herself, for once.”

Twilight looked back toward the pair. It seemed Discord had begun to recount their adventure in the Everfree against the Shrubbery using table items and silverware. The princess seemed to find the entire thing very amusing, if her giggling was anything to go by, “Yeah, it looks like she is...”

The pair continued to alternate between recounting stories – it seemed they were seeing who could come up with the most embarrassing story about Twilight at this point, and Celestia had the upper hoof – and toying with their food. Somewhat literally for the latter, since once Discord realized Celestia was better at embarrassing Twilight then he was, he started trying to embarrass Tia, and usually got a fruit to the face in response. Eventually, one way or another, they ran out of cake. Discord tossed a few bits onto the table as he stood before moving to help Celestia out of her seat. “Come on,” Twilight said as she grabbed the other princess, “They're moving.”

Luna let herself get dragged along as they continued their stalking, watching as the two ahead of them snaked through the crowds toward another section of the festival. Unlike Discord and Celestia though, everypony seemed to notice the draconequus and the princess as they moved through the crowds. “We are beginning to suspect that we are not suited for espionage work, Twilight Sparkle.”

“I bet you a chocolate fudge cake at least one of them already knows we're here,” Twilight groused as she pressed on, “Of course, if we go and confront them on that then they'll just go home and this entire venture is wasted and...” Twilight paused, as she looked around, “...do you hear music?”

“It is a festival, Twilight Sparkle,” Luna replied as the continued along, “music is to be expected.”

“But it sounds like we're getting closer, and-” Twilight pointed out before she noticed something else, “...where did they go?” Ahead of them, the crowd thickened dramatically as the street opened up into another square where the music seemed to be coming from, “I'm going to scan for them again – make sure I don't walk into a pole or something.”

“Is that actually-” Twilight didn't catch the rest of what Luna said as she started looking for the characteristic warping of strings that seemed to mark the two of them, finally finding it near the center of the square where... “Wait, are they dancing?”

Luna scanned the crowd before finally spotting them again, “So it would seem – we did not realize Discord was such a good dancer.”

“Neither did I,” Twilight replied absently as she watched. In the middle of the  square, surrounded by dancing ponies, Discord was leading Celestia through the steps for some sort of dance meant for bipeds. As a result Celestia was leaning heavily on Discord as the slowly circled the square, though she managed to make it look surprisingly natural, “He always is full of surprises.”

“Anypony as old as him will be,” Luna commented as she slipped over to a nearby food stand and started sampling their wares, “I know my sister and I certainly do,” Twilight glanced toward Luna for a moment before turning back to the dancing pair. Luna paused her sampling of what looked like some sort of scone, “Come now, Twilight – is this not what you wanted? The two of them seem to be getting along grandly. We see no reason why our sister would continue to interfering in your research now. Personally, we were hoping for more of Discord's usual antics, but to see how far he's come under the tutelage of you and your friends more than makes up for such a dreadfully normal afternoon.”

“Let's just... go back to spying on them,” Twilight replied as she pulled the listening dish back out and pointed it at the pair. She suddenly didn't feel like talking to Luna.

“-Surprisingly well, I must say.” Celestia said as she looked up into Discord's eyes. As they were now, Discord was actually taller then the princess, and Discord took advantage of this to grin down at her as she spoke, “Your knowledge of griffon dances is impressive.”

“I would hope so,” Discord replied as they twirled across the dance floor, “I did teach it to them,” When Celestia gave him a questioning look, he abruptly broke eye-contact, “Shut up, I was hammered,” Discord said defensively, “Like you've never done something dumb before.”

It was Celestia's turn to break her gaze away, glancing downward, “Many, many times. And it always comes at the cost of somepony else's happiness...”

“Boop”

Celestia blinked before going cross-eyed to stare at the claw hovering just above her nose, “What?”

“Stop moping,” Discord admonished her, “You're no fun when your moping. So you made some mistakes – big deal. Everypony does sometimes. For beings like us, the costs will always be bigger. You ever blame someone else for your screw ups?”

Celestia balked, “Of course not!”

“And you always clean up after yourself,” Discord added, “So, like I said, stop moping. Or do you want your precious student to see your moment of weakness?”

Celestia just stared up at Discord for a moment before leaning closer to him with a chuckle, “I had forgotten what talking with you was like,” She didn't seem to care that Discord had suddenly gotten very stiff, "I've missed this.”

“What?” Discord replied with forced casualness, “Ever-escalating verbal spars followed by reality-rending magics being tossed around? Twilight told me to behave or she wouldn't let me play with the prism collider.”

Celestia chuckled, “The sparring, yes. The fighting not so much,” she glanced up at Discord, and as she did her expression turned pensive, “You really don't remember, do you?”

“How would I know?” Discord replied with a shrug, “But you're the second alicorn to say something like that to me so I suppose it's true.”

“You've been looking into it on your own, haven't you?” Celestia asked.

“Of course I have!” Discord answered back, “It's me we're talking about, who wouldn't want to know more?” he sighed in apparent resignation, “But even Twilight's library didn't have anything on me – at least, nothing I didn't know.”

“Perhaps Twilight could help you?” Celestia suggested.

“I'd rather not,” Discord replied with a shrug, “She has enough on her plate after all, what with being a draconequus and relearning magic and the rips in reality I might have accidentally caused on-”

“You don't want to worry her,” Celestia cut in with a smile, “How sweet.”

“Please,” Discord scoffed, “She lets me actually use my skills, that's all – and she's ever so much fun to mess with. Sort of like you in that regard.”

“Oh?” Celestia smirked as she moved closer to Discord, “And has she started messing with you back?”

Discord smirked back, “A little – I will admit it's more fun then I've had in ages.”

“Twilight?” Twilight jumped as she felt a hoof on her shoulder and spun around to find Luna looking at her, worry written across her face, “Are you alright?”

“Yeah,” Twilight replied quickly, “Yeah, I'm fine. Why?”

“You look like somebody just kicked your owl,” Luna replied, “Is something the matter?”

“No, nothing at all,” Twilight answered, “It's just... does Discord have amnesia?”

Luna blinked at that, “I suspect that he does not remember everything he should, yes. What brings this up?”

“Just...” Twilight gulped nervously, “Discord's been acting odd. Odder than usual, I mean. Did you mention something to him?”

“I might have,” Luna said with a frown, “I promise, I meant no harm by the comment. I had not realized that he would pursue such a idle statement so,” she sighed, “Then again – it is Discord. He would be rather obsessive in regards to himself.”

“It's fine, really,” Twilight tried to assure her, “I was just wondering. I guess that explains a couple things... thanks.”

“Think nothing of it, Twilight Sparkle,” Luna replied, “If there are ever any problems, please let me...” she trailed off as her expression turned puzzled, “Twilight Sparkle, you're beeping.”

Twilight blinked, “What?”

“You're beeping,” Luna repeated as she leaned closer to her, “Actually, it sounds more like clicking. Are you carrying glassware on you, by chance?”

Twilight blinked owlishly again before she rapidly started patting herself down. She eventually found what she was looking for buried in her mane, reaching in and pulling out a small glass sphere with a compass needle floating in the middle. “What is that?”

“I use it to measure and detect chaos effects,” Twilight explained as she frowned at the device.

“Is it supposed to be acting like that?” Luna asked. 'Like that' in this case meant the needle bouncing around erratically, jolting up and down like it was being used as a foals rattle even as it was held perfectly still. A sharp series of taps emanated from the device like the worlds smallest jackhammer as the two stared at it.

“No, it's not,” Twilight replied as she watched it, “Not unless...” her eyes went wide before she rushed forward into the dance floor, “Discord!”

Discord looked up at Twilight and smiled, “Ah, Twilight! Excellent timing! You just won me a-”

“Clear the square!” Twilight shouted, “Now!”

Discord let go of the princess, summoning a collection of over-sized brooms to start shooing ponies clear as he moved toward Twilight, “What's going-” he froze as a full-body shiver run up him from the tip of his tail to the end of his horn, “- Oh. That.”

“Yeah,” Twilight said with a grim nod, “That.”

“Excuse me,” Luna asked as she caught up to them, “But what is going on?”

Before anyone could reply, a tear in space materialized a dozen steps behind Discord with an ear-piercing screech and a flash of purple light before, slowly, a towering figure of claws and feathers lumbered out into the square.

Discord gulped nervously, “...company.”

 
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