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....


2. Too Much

"So," Discord began. "Chaos magic 101."

It had taken very little to actually convince Discord to help her out, and the walk back made Twilight realize the probable reason why. Her walk to Fluttershy's cottage had not been exactly subtle, even if just by virtue of it consisting of a draconequus walking through town.

Discord had summoned half a school carriage and started driving it down the street, a banner proclaiming 'Twilight Sparkle's First Chaos Class' trailing behind him. It was decidedly less subtle. On the upside, everypony had been too busy gawking to actually stop them.

Now seated in her basement laboratory (she had no interest in cleaning up a mess from Discord in any other room), Discord had donned - by which he was suddenly wearing - a martial arts gi and a blatantly fake mustache to go with his equally fake accent. "You must unlearn..." Twilight's volume of Starswirl the Bearded's 'The Physical Properties of Common Equestrian Magic' appeared in his hand, "...all that you have learned." And, with a flick of his wrist, he sent the volume flying out a window that slammed shut an instant later.

Twilight didn't even process the issue of 'window' and 'basement' as she rushed over and pulled the glass panes open, only to find smooth stone on the other side. "You can't just throw that out!" Twilight spun to face Discord. "That was a gift from Princess Celestia!"

Discord grinned at her as he held out a claw and the volume dropped into it. "Really now?" The gi and mustache disappeared and were replaced by a pair of spectacles as he started flipping through it. "Ah - so it was. She even signed it."

Twilight found her gaze bouncing between the window - which was no longer there - to the ceiling - which was as it always had been - and back to Discord - who was flipping through her book. "How… you… but…”

"First lesson, Twilight." Discord said as he snapped the book shut. "Cause and effect are no longer relevant beyond you-" He tossed Twilight her book, and Twilight scrambled to catch it. "-and whatever you just decided to cause."

"But you can't just disconnect them like that!" Twilight said.

Discord cocked an eyebrow. "Why not?"

"Because that's fundamental!" Twilight replied, stomping a forelimb. "Cause and effect is why when you pour water into a glass, water flows down instead of strawberry glue. To disconnect the two means completely removing causality which means that you don't just break reality, you unravel spacetime. Completely. Forward and backwards."

"Only if you get lazy about it." Discord replied as he summoned his wingback chair again. "Cotton candy clouds and modified bunnies are safe enough - reality doesn't like it when you start changing what points are next to each other - and don't get me started about time." He gave a overdramatic shudder. "Egads, what a headache! You're lucky I like my visual gags!"

" can mess with space and time." Twilight summarized as she clutched her book closer. "What about something Can you make the effect precede the cause?"

Discord arched an eyebrow as a small grin spread on his face. "Now you've got it. It’s a devilishly hard trick - reality likes it even less than the space thing. It can also backfire horribly."

“So...breaking the relationship between cause and effect." Twilight sighed. "Where do I start?"

Discord snapped his fingers, and a few dozen apples rained down around Twilight's head. "You were on the right track earlier - vector changes are fairly simple. Once you get that down we can start looking at transfiguration."

"Wouldn't transfiguration be easier then reversing gravity?" Twilight asked.

"Reversing gravity just means you make the apple do what it wants to do anyway." Discord waved a finger and a few of the apples started dancing in the air around him. "Transfiguring means making it into something it isn't. Apples don't like that." He paused before adding "Neither do the bunnies, now that I think about it."

"But how does probabilistic manipulation let you change an apple?" Twilight asked, finding herself quickly jotting notes down in a little notebook with her quill… from somewhere.

"Well, that apple is, in fact, a didgeridoo in some reality." Discord replied. "It's that whole...branching timelines thing. You just make that apple and your apple the same thing."

"Interesting..." Twilight was jotting away furiously in her notebook. "What about-" She was cut off as a coil of rope wrapped around her muzzle and tied it shut.

"Less talking, more practice dear." Discord waved languidly at the collection of apples still sitting on the ground, bound by the cruel force of gravity. "We can talk about the fun stuff once you get the boring stuff worked out."

Twilight scowled at Discord and pulled off the rope binding her muzzle before turning to the apples. "Princess Celestia never pulled off anything like this."

"No, she didn’t." Discord replied as he idly flipped through a magazine. "She just sent you to some town to face down an ancient evil created from her own mistakes and didn't tell you about it." The draconequus shrugged. "But, hey - if you think she can help you out, send her a letter. I'm sure she'll be thrilled about this latest development."

Meanwhile, in Canterlot, Celestia sneezed.

Back in Ponyville, the one apple that Twilight had managed to get wobbling tumbled over as Twilight gaped at Discord. "Oh sweet- I haven't told her yet!" What calm she had managed to recollect since that morning evaporated as she once again entered panic mode. "What is she going to think?! I was tampering around with CHAOS MAGIC! She'll banish me to the moon. Or turn me into stone. Or turn me into stone and THEN banish me to the moon! I'm a draconequus for pete's sake! I'm-"

Twilight was cut off as Discord shoved one of the apples into her mouth. "You really do think too much." Discord sighed. "As far as I can tell, you are still Miss ‘Boring Stick-in-the-mud’, Twilight Sparkle. And as much fun as it would be, your darling Princess doesn't banish ponies nearly that often - and I doubt you qualify. So, stop with the panicking." Twilight stared at him as he went back to his chair and his magazine. "You're disturbing my reading."

"" Twilight took a deep breath. "I... I needed that. Thank you, Discord." Twilight paused as she processed what she had just said. "...Wow. That felt really strange to say."

"Imagine what it was like to hear it." Discord gave a little shudder. "So - what are you going to do? Your lesson or go running to your Princess?"

"For now?" Twilight replied. "The lesson. It will be better if I can inform her that I have the situation at least partially under control." She paused before adding "And besides, Spike isn't here."

"Where is the scaly little fellow, anyway?" Discord asked, lifting a hind-leg and looking underfoot as if he was worried he'd stepped on him.

"Helping out Rarity with restocking her shop." Twilight replied. "He was somewhat nervous about being here while I learned chaos magic." She shot Discord a knowing look. "I can't imagine why."

Discord shrugged as he continued flipping through his magazine. Twilight finally noticed the title - 'Woodland Wonders Weekly'. The name on the subscription sticker said 'Fluttershy'. "He was probably worried you were going to turn everything into tapioca pudding. I much prefer cotton candy, but you knew that." He tapped his magazine against his chin thoughtfully as he gazed up at the ceiling. "You think Tia would like me more if I summoned cake?"

"Since it still involves warping reality..." Twilight replied. "I'm going to have to say 'no', to that." She turned back to her apples. "Could I really turn everything into pudding by mistake?"

"Nah." Discord replied. "You aren't enough fun. Stop worrying and levitate some apples already."

Twilight turned her attention from the meddlesome draconequus and to the nearest apple as she once again stretched out the thin line of her awareness toward the fruit before she twisted gravity around it again. "Oh, changing vectors." Discord commented as the apple slowly drifted off the ground. "How droll. Still thinking in terms of actions and counter actions?" he shook his head. "Still, at least you got the idea of redirecting forces fairly quickly."

"Sorry I'm still thinking in terms of normal physics!" Twilight replied heatedly as she tossed a quill at him, which bounced off his shoulder ineffectually. "Unlike you, it’s what I'm used to."

Discord grinned at her. "You aren't nearly as sane as you like to think, my dear Twilight."

Twilight met Discord's gaze uneasily. "What do you mean?"

"Where did you get that quill, my dear?" Discord asked, slinking from his chair and wrapping around to behind Twilight. "Or that notebook?"

"I..." Twilight paused as she found herself unable to answer. "I got them from...or..." Her eyes went wide as the realization hit. "I don't remember."

"Luckily," Discord replied. "I do. You got them from the same place I got my lovely chair. You created them out of thin air."

Twilight turned to Discord, mouth agape as she she tried and failed to say something. Discord smirked as he gently closed her jaw with a single claw. "You, my dear, are a natural. At least, when you aren't thinking about it too hard."

Twilight swatted his hand away and glared up at him. "I don't want to be a natural! I want to be a pony again!"

Her purple eyes locked onto his yellow and red ones, but the chaos lord simply grinned. "It seems the latter will require the former." His brown furred body coiled around as he summoned a bundle of cotton candy into his right paw, sticky pink confectionery getting itself stuck in the grey fur from his head all the way down to his neck as he started to snack on it. "So I suggest you relax and try to enjoy it." He paused as his tongue snaked out and slid across his fur, cleaning up the pink mess before he idly scratched at his antler with a claw. "I know I am."

Twilight just glared at him for a moment, anger boiling. He was her only chance of her ever being a pony again. She could feel her foreclaws involuntarily clenching as she fumed and her tail twitched. He was treating this like a game! "This is not one of your pranks, Discord! This isn't a game!"

"Oh, yes it is." Discord replied, waggling a claw at her. "And it’s no filly’s game either. You want to drive yourself up the wall? Be my guest - I'll have my popcorn waiting."

"Does everything have to be a joke with you!?" Twilight yelled at the draconequus.

"I take things as seriously as I have to." Discord replied, inspecting his claws. "Which, in my case, is 'not very'." He pointed a claw at Twilight. "You asked me for help, and I accepted because I figured it would be a good laugh - you haven't disappointed. So, please, keep stressing out if that's what you want." A snap of his claws and a lounging couch appeared just in time to catch him as he flopped down. "Let me know when you actually want to learn something - having someone else with a proper grasp of chaos would be a nice change of pace, after all."

Twilight was almost certain that she could feel herself starting to combust. "You... you..." The chaos lord ignored her, opting instead to focus on adjusting his limbs. Why did she ever think this was a good idea? "Gah!"

Discord looked up from the wing he had started to preen just in time to watch the converted alicorn storm out of the room and down the hall, vanishing around the corner.

Discord stared after her before giving a sigh and tossing his cotton candy. "Mares." He dropped to the ground, hindhoof and hindclaw clicking on the crystal floor as he plodded after her.

One thing that Discord hadn't expected was the the sheer size of Twilight's new palace. She had let him poke around it for a little while, but after his house-warming gift of a vase of poison joke, she had stopped letting him come over.

Sure, so they caused random magical changes in ponies - but they were still absolutely lovely. And they went with the drapes as well.

Discord meandered around the castle, looking for his wayward student and cursing the sheer number of rooms to check. Really, who needed four libraries? Even by his standards, that was excessive.

He was about three seconds from turning the place into pudding and just eating his way through - Fluttershy's displeasure with rendering her friend’s house into dessert be damned - when he finally found her.

One of the few things the palace had more of than libraries was kitchens - whatever magical force built the place knew Pinkie's eating habits. But close behind was the balconies. He found Twilight out on one that gave a really quite impressive view of Ponyville, but it didn't look like she was enjoying it. "Tired of our lessons already?" Discord asked as he leaned against the doorway.

"Go away, Discord." Twilight nearly growled at him as she continue staring out over Ponyville.

"Oh, come on." Discord said as he undulated his way over to Twilight and prodded her in the side. "We were about to get to the fun part!"

"You're already at the 'fun part' aren't you?" Twilight replied morosely. "You get to watch me implode from my own stupid mistake. I'm sure you're loving it."

"Well..." Discord leaned back against the railing. "...I can't say that I'm not finding this highly entertaining, but then again so is that pink friend of yours."

"Why are you still even here?" Twilight asked, still gazing numbly out over town. "I figured you would have left me to suffer by now." There was a dull thud as she drummed her head against the rail. "I can't believe I was going to blame somepony else for my own mistake - even if it was you." She sighed. "I mean, it would be so much easier to just blame you for all of this, but it isn't - I thought I could deal with it myself, but I should have known better. That was the sort of thinking that led Celestia to send me to Ponyville in the first place. You'd think I'd remember a lesson like that, but..."

Discord rolled his eyes. "Oh stop it." Discord drew himself up. "Oh, woe is me! I've been turned into a pretty purple draconequus! I'm all lithe and curvy and soft and everypony will hate me! I'm an egghead who gets to reverse engineer an entire field of magic! Life is so cruel!" He dropped back down and gave Twilight a flat stare. "Really, you're worse than Tia."

Twilight finally tilted her head, a red and purple eye gazing up at him. "What?"

"What is with you Alicorns and the melodrama, anyway?" Discord continued. "I mean, sure its fun, but I am almost positive that none of you even know what 'fun' even is. So can we skip the boring bits here and just go back inside already?"

Twilight just stared at him for a moment before, slowly, a small smirk spread on her face. "You're doing it again."

Discord arched an eyebrow. "Doing what?"

Twilight turned and started back into the castle. "Being nice. Fluttershy has been a better influence on you than I thought." She was half-way through the door when something clicked. "Wait...did you say I was pretty?"

Discord froze, and quickly went through his options. Either casually dismiss it, or make things awkward for Twilight?

Well, that wasn't much of a question.

"What can I say," Discord replied with a lecherous grin as he drew closer to Twilight. "I haven't seen a female in three thousand years and you are quite easy on the eyes." Twilight gaped wordlessly, her face slowly shifting into magenta as Discord eyed her approvingly. "Sunbutt does have some nice curves - no doubt from all that cake - but nothing really compares to the supple form of a lady such as yourself."

"S-Stop saying ridiculous things!" Twilight managed to stammer through her embarrassment. quickly turning away from him and started back into the castle.

"Oh, yeah." Discord called after her. "Work that tail." Any further flirting was cut off as a chair went flying toward his head.

"Less stupid and more teaching!" Twilight called back down the hall.

"Sonofa-" Discord muttered as he dodged. "Did you just summon a chair!?"

"No," Twilight replied. "It was in the hall. Thumbs make a fair substitute for telekinesis. Now lets get going."

Discord sighed as he summoned himself a smoothie and followed after her. "Well, somebody is feeling better..."

They managed to make it back without any further furniture being thrown. Instead of heading back into the laboratory they had been before, Discord found himself led into what he guessed was the main library.

Three floors of bookshelves spread out in front of him, a broad staircase heading downward while the floor above formed a pair of ambulatories that circled the room, leaving the center clear for a massive crystalline chandelier. Twilight trotted straight down the stairs in front of her and to the reading area under the chandelier. "Nice place." Discord said as he looked around the room before turning to the broad table and the surrounding chairs - one of which Twilight was settling into. "Spend a lot of time in here?"

"Recently, yes." Twilight replied with a nod. "Most of my collection was either gifted from the Princess's after Golden Oak Library was destroyed or obtained as part of my research into chaos magic." Twilight sat a little higher in her seat. "You are sitting in the middle of the single largest dedicated research library in Equestria."

"And thus the egghead capital of the world." Discord added as he dropped into one of the lounge chairs. He glanced down at it for a moment. It was a dark reddish-brown, much like Twilight's own seat. "Tired of blue I take it?"

"Are we here to discuss my furniture or learn chaos magic?" Twilight replied. "So, where do we start?"

"Same place as before," Discord snapped a claw and an apple manifested. "With the only trick you have managed. So, how did you get the apple to float?"

"I managed to alter its vector in relation to gravity and made gravity pull it upward." Twilight replied succinctly. "Why?"

"If all you did was reverse gravity on it," Discord explained as he lazily levitated the apple above the table. "Then it would have just crashed into the roof. You left some of the original vector around to slow it down."

"Well, I guess I did." Twilight replied. "What's your point?"

"My point is you didn't think all of that out." Discord leaned forward and poked the apple, sending it floating toward Twilight. "You just tried to make gravity pull the apple up a little, and the magic took care of the rest."

"So you're saying what?" Twilight replied. "Chaos magic just knows how to fill in the blanks?"

"Yes and no," Discord replied with a shrug. "Like I said, reality doesn't like being messed with too much - so it tries to reassert itself. Makes undoing my changes pretty easy actually - just pull on the string and the whole thing unravels. It's the same with your spell - you only wanted to lift the apple a little, so you only redirected some of the force."

"That," Twilight replied, "is actually brilliant. Simple, but efficient - except for the part where the apple's own potential energy is used to lift it even higher, meaning that it then has even more potential energy to lift it even higher, so-" Twilight stopped as she felt a tea biscuit bounce off the side of her head.

"Yes, yes - I'm breaking causality and capable of creating a perpetual motion system." Discord grabbed another biscuit off his platter and popped it into his mouth. "If it makes it easier for you to not go cuckoo, the whole thing stops working if you stop putting any effort into it."

"That...only slightly helps." Twilight replied somewhat anxiously. "So - levitation?"

Discord shrugged. "You had the right idea before. Just do it again."

Twilight glared at Discord. "You call that teaching?"

"I believe in a 'claws on' approach," Discord replied as he stretched out on the couch. "besides, I need to see what you can do. Now hop to it."

Twilight grumbled but complied, turning her attention to the apple as she tried to replicate her earlier success.

That was, more-or-less, how Spike found them that evening as the sun began to set. There were a few differences - instead of one apple, there were maybe a half-dozen floating around Twilight. She was standing in the middle of the reading area, while a veritable flock of writing implements circling around her as Discord cackled from...somewhere. "Come on, you'll have to be more creative than that!"

"Would you stop taunting me and just do something already?" Twilight replied with a roll of her eyes. "You're just upset I managed to survive that quill barrage."

"You were supposed to dodge them!" Discord said indignantly as he swung down from the chandelier, hanging upside down in front of Twilight and staring her in the eyes. "Not transmute your apples into rock!"

"Diamond," Twilight corrected. "And it was just the surface coating."

"It's still cheating!" Discord replied with a haughty sniff.

"Discord," Twilight replied flatly. "There are no rules. You said so yourself."

"Still isn't very sporting." Discord said with a pout. "Also, your dragon is back."

Twilight turned from her argument to Spike, breaking out into a smile as she saw her assistant. "So, how was Rarity's?"

"Great..." Spike replied as he continued staring at the gleaming apples still bobbing around mid-air. ", it looks like you're having fun."

"Fun, right." Twilight replied as her ears folded back. She turned back to Discord, only to find him gone. She blinked in surprise for a moment before her frown redoubled. "First he tells me to levitate one apple - a diagnostic he said. Then he has me levitate six of them. THEN he starts plucking them out of the air and THEN he has the gall to admonish me for not keeping my apples floating properly! Do you have any idea how hard it is to come up with ideas to counter a lord of chaos?"

"Pretty hard?" Spike ventured.

"Very hard!" Twilight replied. "Luckily my diamond surface treatment seems to-" She was cut off as something shattered behind her.

"Look back at me!" Discord boasted. "My quills are now diamonds!"

Twilight groaned as she brought a claw up to massage her temple. "That was cheap, Discord." The falling chunks of apple stopped falling mid-air before flying back together and coalescing once again into an apple.

Discord blinked at the reformed apple, tapping on it with one claw and getting a soft 'clink clink'. "So is that!"

"Wow," Spike said. "You've gotten pretty good at this."

Twilight rolled her eyes. "I had to if I wanted to keep up with his-" The apples fell from the air as Twilight stopped dead.

Spike stared up at the converted alicorn. "Twilight?"

"I-I think that's enough teaching for the day!" Twilight exclaimed as Discord rolled his eyes behind her.

"Nice one, boya." Discord said as he picked up the apples. "She was on a roll too."

"Discord!" Twilight said quickly. "Go home!"

"Yeah, yeah..." Discord trotted past her out the door, munching on one of the diamond apples as he went. "I'm going..."

Twilight watched him go before shutting the door behind him as low chuckling echoed from behind her. "Something funny, Spike?"

"Nothing," Spike lied as he managed to get his laughing under control. "I'm just sorry I interrupted you - you seemed like you were having fun."

"Right..." Twilight replied as a quill and blank scroll floated over to her assistant. "well, the 'fun' is over and I have a message to compose - Spike, take a letter."


It was well into evening when the wisp of green flame drifted from Ponyville and into Canterlot Castle. It was a rare hour, in which both diarchs were up and about - one enjoying their first meal of the day, the other their last.

Given that Twilight usually sent her mail far earlier in the day, Luna was understandably surprised when a sealed scroll suddenly manifested from dragon fire above her sisters celery soup. "Mail? At this hour?"

"And from Twilight, no less." Celestia said with a frown as she stared at the scroll floating before her in an aura of magic. "This is...worrisome."

"Mayhaps she is just very excited about something." Luna suggested as she sipped her coffee. "Or is complaining about Discord again."

"Perhaps..." Celestia said as she cracked the wax seal on the scroll and unfurled it before she began to read.

'Dear Princess Celestia,

'I must somewhat sheepishly inform you that for the past several months I have been studying chaos magic through both my own research and observations of Discord.'

"Tia?" Celestia looked up sharply from the letter as Luna spoke, her sister's face displaying obvious concern. "You look troubled. Has something happened?"

"It is likely nothing," Celestia replied as she turned back to the letter, levitating her own tea to her lips as she returned to her reading. "but it seems that Twilight has been studying Discord and his magic."

Coffee sprayed across the table as Luna choked on her drink. "She has been what?!"

"I am sure it is nothing," Celestia replied as she sipped her tea. "Twilight has always shown the utmost caution." Luna started cleaning herself off as Celestia continued reading.

'After a great deal of work, I was certain I had devised a way to control his form of magic. The spell, however, had unforeseen consequences as...'

Luna was muttering to herself about coffee stains in her coat when she noticed that her sister had gone very still. "Tia?" Her sister didn't respond, staring wide-eyed at the letter in front of her as her tea cup slipped from her telekinetic grip and fell to the ground where it shattered unnoticed. "Sister, has something happened?" Luna asked as she rose to her hooves and walked around the table to where her sister was still sitting stunned. It was hard to tell through her white coat, but Luna thought her sister might have been a little pale. "Celestia, talk to me."

"S-She..." Celestia stammered as she pointed at the letter with one hoof.

Luna raised an eyebrow at that. Anything that could rattle her sister from her usually unflappable demeanor was something indeed. She turned to the letter and started reading it out loud. "Let's see - '...unforeseen circumstances as I have somehow managed to-'" Luna's eyes went wide. "'Turn myself into a draconequus!?"

"It gets worse." Celestia murmured, so Luna kept reading.

"'In light of these circumstances, I decided that the best course of action is to pursue instruction from Discord in regards to the use of chaos magic. I await your response. Your faithful student, Twilight Sparkle." Luna found herself staring at the letter for several minutes before she realized her mouth was hanging open. "Well," Luna said as she tried to recollect her thoughts. "This is a thing."

"A thing!?" Celestia replied as she finally snapped out of her stupor. "This is a potential disaster!"

"Oh, posh." Luna replied. "No matter who she learns from, Twilight Sparkle is still your faithful student, first and foremost. I doubt that Discord will be able to change that. I see no reason to worry about her being taught by him."

"That is not what worries me." Celestia replied as she stared at the letter. "A draconequus - another draconequus. Another being who can wield the power of chaos."

"A being that is also your protegee and a princess of the realm." Luna pointed out. "I don't think she will do anything rash."

"She won't." Celestia replied. "But what about her magic?"

Luna blinked. "I don't follow."

"There has never been, in the known history of ponydom, two beings who could wield chaos." Celestia pointed out. "Let alone two beings as powerful as Discord and Twilight Sparkle. We have no way of knowing what the possible ramifications are."

"So you believe that your prized pupil is going to rip a hole in reality," Luna summarized. "By accident?"

"Yes." Celestia replied with a nod as she started out of the dining hall. "I must-"

"You must sleep, sister." Luna said, cutting her off before she could reach the doors. "Your day has finished - if you insist on this matter, then at least allow me to organize things."

"This is my student, Lu-" Celestia started, but was cut off by a blue hoof.

"And my savior." Luna said levelly. "I would not be here today if not for her - you know that as well as I. You have just finished with court - please, let me handle this."

Celestia considered her sister for a moment. "You will have somepony wake me once things are ready?"

"As soon as I have the Court sorted out I will awake you myself." Luna replied.

Celestia stared at her for another moment before letting out a sigh and giving her sister a thankful nod. "Then I will be in my chambers, Luna." She paused part way through the door, "Perhaps I should send a letter before-"

"Celestia," Luna replied. "Go to bed."

Celestia gave her sister a wan smile. "Then I bid you goodnight, sister."

Luna watched Celestia leave for a moment before turning back to the table and the now forgotten meal. An aura of blue magic wrapped around the letter, carrying it toward Luna as she walked around the table toward it. "Oh, dear Twilight, what have you gotten yourself into?"

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