The Elements of Harmony are meant to be a blessing. A force for the greater good. But WhatIf one of the bearers decided that wasn't enough? WhatIf they wanted more...?

Yet another Grim{{Dark Fic}} based off the world of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', ''Severing'' explores a world where Twilight Sparkle is ordered by Princess Celestia to collect the Elements of Harmony for herself. According to her research, the best way to do this is to perform an act that is the complete antithesis of that element, severing it... right at the moment of its current bearer's death. Thus, she sets out to betray each of her 'friends', amping up the [[MoralEventHorizon sheer cruelty of each act]] as she works towards the one she ''thinks'' will be the easiest to claim...

Its sequel, ''Reconnection'', brings a PeggySue-style spin to the table: when an Element is tampered with and Its current bearer murdered, It can return that bearer to a point in the past, allowing them to relive their life... and, perhaps, SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong. Unfortunately, they all arrive at different points of time, and Twilight still has Celestia's orders to follow... [[spoiler: and her own second chance to waste.]]

For the curious, ''[[http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/01/story-severing.html Severing]]'' and ''[[http://www.equestriadaily.com/2011/01/story-reconnection-severing.html Reconnection]]'' can be found via those links. ''Reconnection'''s page also includes its AlternateEnding and yet another sequel, ''Breaking the Circle''.

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This FanFic contains examples of:

* [[spoiler: AlternateUniverse]]: Hinted at in ''Reconnection'', and confirmed in ''Breaking the Circle''.
* AlternateEnding: As is common for grimdark ''[=FiM=]'' stories, ''Reconnection'' has an alternate ending wherein ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Rainbow Dash Puts Her Hoof Down]]'' and protests [[spoiler: the plot to kill Twilight]]. [[spoiler: It just turns the whole thing into a GroundhogDayLoop]].
* BatmanGambit: At the climax of ''Severing'', [[spoiler: Fluttershy and Spike]] pull one off: [[spoiler: knowing that Twilight plans to kill all her animal companions as her element-severing act of Cruelty, Spike mercy kills them first. Fluttershy then claims she was the one who did it, severing her own element so Twilight couldn't collect it]]. As pointed out afterward, had [[spoiler: Twilight called her bluff, she would've gotten Kindness and completed her collection]].
* BittersweetEnding: Every single story. ''Reconnection'''s Epilogue focuses mainly on making it a little sweeter.
* CloseEnoughTimeline: While the differences in the ''Reconnection'' timeline throw off the rewound ponies at first, in the end, the survivors adapt.
* ColdBloodedTorture: In ''Reconnection'', [[spoiler: Rarity's plans for Twilight]].
* CruelMercy: In ''Severing'', just before her defeat, Twilight is informed that [[spoiler: in certain cultures, killing a lame pony]] is considered a form of kindness.
* DarkerAndEdgier
* DeadpanSnarker: Magic doesn't like Twilight much.
* DeathByChildbirth: The fate of [[spoiler: Applerush/jack]] in ''Severing''.
* DeathByOriginStory: In ''Severing'', [[spoiler: Summer Sparkle, Twilight's mother, is killed when she refuses to give up her daughter to the Princess' whim]].
* DeathGlare
* EarnYourHappyEnding: ''Reconnection''.
** ''Rainbow Dash Puts Her Hoof Down'' implies this, though [[spoiler: not in the traditional sense: after Dash is killed by Twilight, Loyalty broadly hints that she'll have to earn her happy ending by killing her former friend in the next go-round]].
** ''Breaking the Circle'' sees [[spoiler: Twilight stuck in an endless loop of worlds for thousands of years, gradually working her way towards a Heel Realization and countless attempts at breaking the cycle by stopping Celestia before she finally ends up in a world where Celestia isn't evil]].
* ElementalEmbodiment: Each of the Elements of Harmony has one, most of which get to speak directly to their current bearers in ''Reconnection''.
* EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses: {{Subverted}} here, as Princess Celestia is [[TheManBehindTheMan The Mare Behind The Mare]], and the whole reason she came up with the plot was [[spoiler: to make Twilight into a weapon she could use against her sister in their owngoing power struggle]].
* EvilGloating: Twilight engages in this a few times.
* Grim{{Dark Fic}}
* [[HoistByHisOwnPetard Hoist By Her Own Petard]]: Twilight never considered that [[spoiler: Fluttershy might decide to sever her own element first just so she couldn't collect it.]] Or, for that matter, [[spoiler: lie about it]].
* IgnoredEpiphany: In ''Reconnection'', Twilight completly ignores the implications of [[spoiler: being reborn as anything but a second chance... to collect the elements without dying this time around]].
* InSpiteOfANail: ''Reconnection'''s Epilogue reveals that [[spoiler: even with Twilight dead, the rest of the mane cast stays close friends]]. The very last scene also reveals that [[spoiler: Celestia and Luna end up battling on the same date they did in the prior timeline]].
* JustBetweenYouAndMe: As part of her later betrayals in ''Severing'', Twilight tells her victims ''exactly'' what she's done/is about to do. [[spoiler: After all, she's figured that Horror is the antithesis of Laughter...]]
* LackOfEmpathy: This Twilight doesn't give a damn about her friends. All she cares about is [[ItsAllAboutMe what she can get from them]].
* MeaningfulRename: After marrying, Applejack changed her name to Applerush.
* MercyKill: Key to the finale of ''Severing'', as [[spoiler: Fluttershy]] ''claims'' to have done this, and [[spoiler: grown-up Spike]] actually ''did''. Also:
-->[[spoiler: '''Fluttershy]]:''' Now, do you know what those barbarians do to poor lame ponies who have broken their leg?
-->[[spoiler: '''Twilight]]:''' No! No, please...!
-->[[spoiler: '''Fluttershy]]:''' Don't worry. They consider it a form of kindness.
* NeverMessWithGranny: By the end of ''Severing'', Twilight and her final target have gotten ''very'' old, but are still capable of [[spoiler: a knock-down, drag out fight with a full-grown Spike thrown into the fray]].
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: The end result of [[spoiler: Rainbow Dash Putting Her Hoof Down]].
* PayEvilUntoEvil: Explored as one of the main themes of ''Reconnection'', as the reborn victims of Twilight's betrayal grapple with whether or not they should seek vengance upon her.
* PeggySue: ''Reconnection''. [[spoiler: Expands into GroundhogPeggySue in ''Rainbow Dash Puts Her Hoof Down'', and ''Breaking The Circle'' takes it into ''Franchise/WhenTheyCry'' territory.]]
* PowerMakeover: At the end of [[spoiler: ''Severing'']], this happens to [[spoiler: the all-element embodying Fluttershy]].
* PutOnABus: Done deliberately by Twilight in ''Reconnection''; since [[spoiler: her assistant Spike played a key role in her original defeat, she has him reassigned]]. Played with, however, in that [[spoiler: he still plays a minor role in the story as Dash's penpal]].
* RoaringRampageOfRevenge
* ShootTheDog: To stop Twilight's evil plot in ''Severing'', [[spoiler: Spike killed all of Fluttershy's animal friends so that Twilight couldn't slaughter them as her act of Cruelty]].
* SourSupporter: Played with: [[spoiler: Magic is bound to keep sending Twilight back, but makes clear she doesn't support her evil schemes at all. In fact, she openly mocks the futility of her insane quest, especially in ''Breaking the Circle'']].
* TheSociopath: Twilight.
* [[spoiler: SuperBreedingProgram]]: Twilight is the result of one.
* TimeSkip: Twilight takes her time with each of her betrayals in ''Severing''.
* TykeBomb: ''Severing'''s Epilogue makes clear that Twilight was deliberately raised as one of these as part of Celestia's Vessel Project.
* TookALevelInBadass: By ''Severing'''s climax, [[spoiler: Spike is all grown up]].
* VillainousBreakdown: Twilight doesn't take having her plots foiled well.
* XMeetsY: ''Reconnection'' and ''Breaking the Circle'' are basically ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' meets [[spoiler: ''UminekoNoNakuKoroNi'']].
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: ''Reconnection'' uses one to explore the aftermath.
* YouCantThwartStageOne: In ''Severing'', Twilight succeeds in betraying and murdering [[spoiler: four]] of the other Element holders before [[spoiler: Fluttershy and Spike can stage their BatmanGambit]].