Fluttershy smiled and giggled at Discord’s new costume, happy that his magic seemed to be with his will again… Except for that kilt. Fluttershy suddenly blushed at Discord’s wink, and hid behind her hair with a smile so her friends wouldn’t see, Applejack catching the looks and narrowing her eyes at Discord then looking at Fluttershy for an answer, Pinkie Pie having a staring contest with Cocky.
Applejack seemed slightly stunned at how Discord easily did as Fluttershy asked, and Pinkie Pie whined at how she was winning at the Staring Contest. Applejack lead the way to their class they’d missed and Pinkie joyfully bounced behind.
Fluttershy took notice of the ponies giggling and pointing at Discord, and quickly flew to his side to hold his paw. Fluttershy raised her brow at seeing his kilt’s new color scheme, but decided not to comment on it seeing that Discord would only become more self-conscious.
Fluttershy couldn’t help but be intimidated at seeing what Twilight considered an amazing professor. He did look amazing, and seemed to be ancient and wise with his mane and twinkling eyes. His voice was deep and gruff, causing Fluttershy to feel her legs lock in slight fear. ”Oh but p-please Professor Starswirl! They were turned into stone! There was a loose cockatrice in the west hall just a few steps away from here.” Fluttershy begged.
Discord looked down at the girl holding his paw with surprise, it was as if she’d sensed his nervousness and had swooped in to comfort him. He’d never known a pony to do that for him. Then again, he’d never really needed a pony to do that for him until today. She was both the burn and the balm, a warm, gentle squeeze of her hand on his made his stomach butterflies flutter and the writhing bees in his heart sting. He couldn’t take it! The lonely draconequus pulled away, averting his gaze, trying to rebuild the walls that had been liquidized by the gentle pony’s kindness, but in vain.
He wanted things to be back how they used to be, where it was just him against the world, and all these ponies were the same, an ugly, boring race built to be dull and to repeat their orderly sequences ad nauseam. With Fluttershy’s actions he was now forced to look at the ponies in a whole new light. They were individual, they were wild and cruel and kind and wicked, and their pain was his pain, he had been awakened into empathy, and try as he might, he could not fall back into apathetic sleep.
This inner turmoil muted the outside world from Discord’s ears for the time being. A muffled roll of thunder faintly echoing from within his breast. Fluttershy’s pleading voice broke him free though, and he remembered what was happening in an electric flash. His voice came to him suddenly, words cliffdiving off his tongue, in an instinct to defend the petite pegasus.
"It’s true! I have the cockatrice here to prove it!" He lifted the cage, where Cocky had been dozing with his head under his wing. Halting in his departure, Starswirl slowly turned back to face Fluttershy and approached. He was very tall, Discord would notice, coming up to his chin just about, and easily looming over the fragile little filly in front of him. The professor’s expression was difficult to read behind his beard, his glasses flashed though and there was definitely no smile. He leaned in close to Fluttershy’s face, arms crossed behind his back. “Sir?”
"I don’t seem to have been understood- I said no excuses. Especially not one so far-fetched and ridiculous!” His voice started low, but grew to a furious shout. “Turned to stone?! INDEED- and how, pray tell, are they unpetrified, then? It would take a unicorn of the most highest ability to redact a cockatrice’s stony stare.” He straightened up to his full looming height, staring disgustedly down at the frightened filly in front of him. “As for the cockatrice, you clearly stole one from the Senior labs, extremely irresponsible and dangerous, young lady you could have caused a catastrophe. You’ll be joining your tardy classmates in detention, Miss… uh…” He paused there, Fluttershy, new to the school, was unknown to the elder professor.
"Her name… is Fluttershy.” Discord spoke up, his voice very low. “And you would do well to treat her with respect, professor.” The draconequus was pumped with a simmering fury. “She tamed that cockatrice with nothing more than a righteous stare. Where you’d be scrambling for shield spells and summoned incendiaries, she looked the beast right in the eye… and scolded it. AND IT LISTENED." He gestured to Applejack and Pinkie Pie. "It freed its victims upon her request, it went and released them from their rocky prisons, a power I doubt you even knew the cockatrice had. Ever thought to check? Ever thought to even ask? Oh no, always the monster with you ponies. Always the monster." He shook his head, eyes molten with dislike. His voice was rising with emotion now. "This girl saved her friends’ lives, and you go and decide to punish her?! YOU UNJUST GEEZER!!!"
"SILENCE!" Professor Starswirl boomed, attracting the eyes of all in the hall. "You try my patience, I will not stand for this nonsense, now, get to your next classes, all of you!" His eyes were furious and cold behind his spectacles as they swept across them all, lingering on Discord for only moments before hastily moving on to focus on Applejack. "Detention, Miss Apple, Miss Pie, and Miss Fluttershy." And, white mane and tail undulating with furious power, he disappeared into his classroom, the door slamming shut behind him magically.
Discord was fuming, he had half a mind to burst in there and confront the stubborn wizard, but the impulse faded as he looked down at Fluttershy. She quelled his anger, he felt ashamed for firing up, though he had no regrets defending her. And deep down, he knew he was no match for Starswirl.