Oh, it was simply wonderful
to be able to see these trees again, to smell those flowers again. While there was a magic about her underwater kingdom that could never be replicated on the surface, Queen Novo had a deep, profound appreciation for the sheer amount of life up here. She had missed
it so, and the regal hippogriff walked slowly through the Royal Gardens, savoring each sight and sense and smell. Pausing, she swung her long, elegant head down to sniff delicately at a stunning, navy-blue rose. One of Princess Luna's own creations. The sweet, rich smell made a small smile appear on the queen's beak. Oh, how she remembered this scent. It was one of King Riverstorm's favorite potpourris...
Queen Novo was visiting Canterlot for the first time since the Storm King had been defeated, and she and her subjects had restored Mount Arris. The process was long and arduous, but Novo's pride in her peoples' strength never faltered. She and lifelong friend Princess Celestia had just finished signing the official peace treaty between the ponies and hippogriffs. The past was now the past. A large weight had been lifted off both royals' feathered shoulders. Celestia had another matter to attend to, so she invited Novo to tour the grounds as she wished. It was near noon now, and the noble creature found herself making her way around the gorgeous gardens.
And, though she hated to admit it, it was nice to enjoy the quiet tranquility of the outside world without her beloved daughter pointing out every new flower and set of stairs she saw.
Novo's soft ear suddenly swept back along her head, catching the slightest bit of movement behind her. She quirked one thick brow as she lifted her head, severe magenta eyes narrowed as she studied the empty space behind her. Giving an annoyed hum, she turned back towards the roses -
- and instead came nose-to-nose with a long gray muzzle, and utterly insane ruby red eyes.
Novo lurched backwards, spreading her huge wings in alarm. Oh, no
. Not this goon
"Well, well, well
! If it isn't the
Novo, Queen of the Hippogriffs, Lady of Mount Arris, second of her name, honorary Canterlot Court Member, blah, blah, blah
. Long time no see!"
The silky, slightly-nasally voice made the Queen's eyes narrow into slits. Her chin quivered as she fought to bite her tongue. Instead, she stood straight, her impressive crest flared out like a flag behind her. "Lord Discord. It is a pleasure to see you again."
The wily draconequus grinned even wider, his lips pulled back to show off his array of sharp, dragon-like teeth. His bushy brow quirked in a smirk, his large red eyes glimmering with mischief. He floated before the queen, studying her as he lifted something small and shiny towards his mouth, pinched between his claws. He took a mighty crunch, jagged teeth tearing into what appeared to be some sort of rock.
"Oh! Oh, Spike was so right! I'll have to take better note of that dragon's ramblings on food. Might be more interesting than I thought." He materialized a notebook out of nowhere, scribbling nonsense onto the pad with an over-sized pencil. "My apologies, Your Highness, would you care for a nibble? My friend Spike, he's a fearsome dragon, has rather turned me on to eating gemstones and other minerals, and this bismuth is to die
He held up a strange, rainbow-colored rock that seemed to be made of little sqaures, one edge jagged and broken from Discord's ravenous bite.
"Yeah, no. I'll pass." Novo said flatly, lifting her chin and walking around the sinuous and slinky creature. He snickered, throwing the rest of the rock into the bushes and quickly following the hippogriff.
"Why, I would have expected a much warmer welcome, Vovo! We were practically besties in middle school. After all, the last thing you heard about me was my being banished to that utterly awful stone prison. Er...the first time." Discord mused, settling himself in Novo's path once again. He waved his hand, a small flash of white light revealing a glass of rich chocolate milk, an overly-long crazy straw protruding from the brown liquid. His long, forked tongue poked from the corner of his mouth and wrapped around the straw, taking a long draw.
Queen Novo scoffed. "And I have no
earthly idea why Tia let your mismatched butt out." Her deep voice lowered into a near-growl, now openly scowling at the Master of Chaos. Discord waved a nonchalant paw.
"Tia decided to snap on some nostalgia goggles and get the ole' gang back together. So I got a new lease on life. I'm a changed fellow, dearest Vovo! I am the
most popular guy in Ponyville. Hit with the ladies, the life of every party. You'll have to come on down, it'll be a gas!" Discord exclaimed with glee, weaving himself in a loop of utter delight. Novo could only watch him with unconcealed disdain. Giving a snort, she continued down the path through the gardens, all those unpleasant memories of the endless pranks and always ending up in trouble rushed back. She was glad she hadn't eaten yet today.
"I know for a fact that you are not
the Element of Laughter." Novo said airily. "I had the pleasure of meeting her myself. Now, there's a creature that emulates life itself. She's got a strong heart in that tiny, pudgy little body of hers. You
, however, fill your days with utterly asinine pranks to fill some insane, insatiable need to cause as much havoc as you can. In all honesty, I can hardly believe that the sky isn't neon green and everypony isn't breathing soap bubbles!"
Discord frowned, crossing his arms and turning away from the growling hippogriff. "I cannot believe you are still angry about that. It was over sixteen hundred years ago -"
"It was my wedding night! The artists couldn't figure out what color my crest actually was! I had three pieces with three different colors. I sneezed bubbles when I kissed my husband! Your magic was so out of control, only Lady Eris could undo it! If Riverstorm hadn't had a sense of humor, I would have speared you on the spot!" Novo snapped back, flaring her wings again in a threatening gesture. The draconequus remained unfazed, his muzzle turned down in a pout.
"Do you know how cross she and Da were? I had to wash every single dish after the banquet that night. Without
magic." He groused, turning his long head to the sky. "You don't even want to know what Queen Nova said afterwards."
Novo's expression softened, her wings folding in a slight ruffling of feathered. She sighed softly as she glanced back towards the castle. "It was good to see them again. I still regret to this day that I wasn't able to convince Father to help in the cause. I suppose...in the end, I didn't do much better." Her voice dropped down into a murmur, ears flattening against her head. Discord watched the hippogriff before him, silence settling back into the garden.
"You did what you could to protect your subjects. All leaders must make hard decisions." He said quietly, slowly uncrossing his arms and glancing towards the castle as well. From their current spot in the gardens, the two creatures had a good view of the newest addition to the Hall of Windows - the Room of Ancients. The deep colors of King Galaxias, Queen Nova, Lord Disarray, and Lady Eris seemed to gleam in the noon sunlight. Novo chuckled lightly, turning back towards the draconequus.
"I can't remember how many times I heard your father say that." Slightly tilting her head, Novo studied Discord with a curious expression. "His regalia collar suits you. I have to admit, you've come...pretty far."
Discord then sat on his haunches, the silky tip of his tail tapping on the ground thoughtfully.
"Celestia has given me far more chances than I deserve. Yet she saw something in me that urged her to try and save me. Perhaps it was getting Luna back. Or she simply had a position that needed filling and was too laz...er, busy to conduct interviews."
"Tia filled me in on what happened after I went underground.About what happened with the elements. And this guy...Tirek, or something?" Novo said. Discord's brow furrowed as his eyes dropped. Queen Novo clearly noticed his change in expression. "She told be about the fight with the timberwolves, too."
Her eyes slightly traveled away from the male's face, for the first time focusing on the right side of his neck. She quickly found her confirmation the story was true, Celestia's sun highlighting the three faded gashes. His torn ear flicked back as he sighed gently.
"There are many things that have occurred that...I've come to regret. Some, quite deeply. And Celestia has ensured I face repercussions for each one. There's only so many times I can say 'you're welcome' without turning these ponies' teeth blue. Community service is by far more boring than being locked in stone." Discord gave a dramatic roll of the eyes. Novo continued to study him, thoughtfully running a claw through the feathers on her chest.
"That decision was one of the hardest your sisters ever had to make. They tried to bring you back before it was too late. Luna really went downhill from there." She then lifted a brow, a smile playing at the corners of her beak. "Sorry to say that it was far too late for your hair."
The pale hippogriff laughed as the draconequus snorted in indignation. Before he could speak, however, Novo offered him a rare, genuine smile. "Its good to see you picking yourself back up. Tia is happier than I've seen her in awhile. And with the three new princesses, Equestria is running pretty well, it seems."
Novo then lifted her beak slightly, her smile turning wry. "You know, I met the pony that Celestia said has really helped turn you around. The yellow mare? I didn't really get to talk to her directly, but there must be something special about her to get you turned around."
Discord blinked, looking slightly taken aback. For a moment, he was surprisingly lost for words. He could easily picture the butter yellow pegasus, her silky pink mane, her stunning turquoise eyes...
"Ahem, yes, well...there is certainly something
about her. I owe quite a lot to that pony." He conceded quietly. Novo reached up and placed a light pink paw upon Discord's nutmeg shoulder.
"Lord Disarray and Lady Eris would be proud of you." She said softly. Discord returned her smile. dipping his long muzzle in respect.
"King Riverstorm would be of his Queen, I would imagine. After all, she raised a whirlwind of a daughter that is as crazy as her father."
Queen Novo gave a nod, pinching the bridge of her slender muzzle. "Oh boy, don't I know it. I've barely been able to keep track of her the moment she got on the surface. She's visiting Princess Cadance in the Crystal Empire, so at least somepony competent is looking after her."
"You've met Candy, then?"
"She is a strong leader, and I admire her, mother-to-mother." Novo continued her stroll down the path, flaring her crest and soaking up the lovely sunlight. Discord joined her, his own mismatched padding falling into rythym with her own.
"I do kinda want to hear your side of the timberwolf story. Sounds like you had quite the existential adventure."
Discord let out a huff.
"Vovo, my dear, you have no idea..."
Oh my heavens, I would love to see an interaction between these two. The amazing amount of snark we could garner would be utterly amazing. I've had this piece on the back burner for awhile, so it's not the subject of my most recent poll. Its just a piece for funsies.
Queen Novo would later meet Athena, daughter of Discord and that little yellow pony they were talking about. Their introduction is a little rocky after Discord informs Annie that Queen Novo's absolute favorite snack is a big chunk of bismuth, and she excitedly gifts the queen with one. Novo believes Discord and his little ball of mischief are making fun of her, and poor Annie ends up a little confused.
Characters mentioned (UPDATED):
Characters, MLP:FiM (c) Hasbro, Lauren Faust Art (c) 2018