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Fanfic / Crystal Cotillion

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A My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic in The Weedverse by Kudzuhaiku. A sequel to Princess Flurry Heart Versus The Mud Monsters.

Flurry Heart is not a Princess Classic, much to the concern of the Crystal Empire nobility. The upcoming Cotillion is causing much planning, with the nobles intending to examine their princess, and determine what to do with her. Flurry herself intends to get revenge on the scheming nobles, and engages Dim Dark to educate her about the matter. Meanwhile, in Ponyville, Silver Lining is crushed after another job rejection, so to cheer her up, Sumac and Pebble invite her to come along to the Cotillion.


After they arrive in the Crystal Empire, Flurry recruits Sumac, Pebble and Silver Lining into her plan to get her revenge. Despite knowing the potential consequences, they agree to push forwards, and so the rehearsals begin.

It can be read here.

This fanfic contains examples of:

  • Affectionate Nickname: Shining calls Flurry "Fluffalump", in an attempt to provoke her into doing something while tongue-tied.
  • Altar Diplomacy: Part of Sumac and Flurry's plan is to make it clear during the Cotillion that they're only going through with the marriage to meet their duties, not because they love each other.
  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Gloomy has a brief fit of this, revealing that she's read Silver Lining's Secret Diary and telling Sumac and Pebble the depth of Silver's feelings for them as part of a If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her... talk.
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  • And Call Him "George"!: Downplayed, Silver's hug when Sumac and Pebble are being very cute is uncomfortable, but not harmful.
  • Arranged Marriage: Referenced, when Skyla is lecturing Flurry on royal duty Flurry suggests that she do this. Skyla responds by suggesting she might, after all, somepony like Sumac wouldn't be so bad. Flurry reminds her that not every arranged marriage is perfect, she might well end up with someone like Nuance. The nobility are also whispering about causing this for Flurry, in the hope that it'll "tame" her.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Discussed, Pebble is somewhat dubious as to the usefulness of Megara and Boomer's card throwing tricks. Megara demonstrates the usefulness of it by sticking Sumac with a Power Nullifier dart. Also, wearing a cloak is difficult for a pony, requiring a great deal of telekinetic tweaking to keep it from going underfoot or becoming untidy, hence why it's usually the province of wizards.
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  • Baby Factory: Noble Expectations emphasises the reproductive role of mares. The reasoning is sound, for the time it was written, but with significantly lower death rates, particularly with infants and in childbirth, it's just no longer necessary.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Dim threatens to turn a guard into something unnatural when they're reluctant to leave Dim and Flurry alone.
  • Bear Hug: Yak hugs have a reputation. It's entirely deserved.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Dim suggests that Flurry get revenge by giving the nobility exactly what they want. Although she initially accuses him of Reverse Psychology and threatens to withdraw her offer of payment, she quickly gets the idea.
  • Big Eater: According to Sunburst, dragons are this because soft food just burns away. It's why they eat things like metals and gems.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The result of the plan is described, accurately, as an "unmigitated disaster" by Shining. Cadance and Flurry's relationship has been soured and Flurry has given the sexist nobility more ammunition. But some lurking problems have been dragged out into the light, and Shining has been given an opportunity to do some good. Oh, and the city comes under attack from Ice Orcs.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Common in yak culture, and they appreciate Flurry's particular brand of princessing more than the Equestrian nobility.
  • Brains and Brawn: Flurry and Skyla have this dynamic. Skyla is intellectual, and her ability to hurt anyone is in doubtnote , whereas Flurry is quite alright with doing battle, and not especially brightnote . Dim reckons there's a good reason for this, with Flurry being guardian and protector, while Skyla is the one meant to rule and lead, mirroring the relationship between Celestia and Luna.
  • Brutal Honesty: Shining has a talk with Flurry about responsibility, where he's completely honest about the need to make sacrifices. Flurry appreciates this honesty. Later, in the aftermath of the Cotillion, he does the same. This time, Flurry is less keen, but he persists. Flurry's shown she wants to play rough, so she's got to live with that.
  • Bully Hunter: Sumac describes part of his motivation for joining in on Flurry's plan as this. The pressure from the nobles is just a bigger, more socially acceptable form of bullying peer pressure.
  • Call-Back: Sumac finally gets to see Pebble's cutie mark, an aspiration held pretty much since they met.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Part of the point of the plan is to show Cadance that Flurry won't be manipulated or used as a bargaining chip. Cadance never intended to use Flurry in such a way, despite the pressure from her subjects, and turns the outburst back on Flurry, who ruined an attempt to give her a nice evening with her friends out of selfish rebellion, and in the process upset a lot of people, causing many problems for the future.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: After getting darted by Megara, Sumac breaks out into one that accidentally attracts Tarnish's attention.
  • Competition Freak: Pebble is this, and applies it to every aspect of her life. As she informs Wormwood, she intends to become the best liege lady in Equestria, with the most well-off peasants. Wormwood also turns this back on her, pointing out that the same competitiveness also applies to making her friends happy, including Silver Lining.
  • Consummation Counterfeit: Noble Expectations contains instructions on how to encourage confidence in the marriage of their overlords.
  • Continuity Nod: Gosling's poor luck with trains is referenced, and Nomination contributes to the dessert table.
  • Cryptic Conversation: Flurry accuses Dim of being unhelpfully cryptic. She's had a bad day, so he is straightforward.
  • Dance Battler: Flurry only learned to dance to improve her combat skills. She's still very good at it, even when literally bringing down the house. And falling through an alchemy lab.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The attitude of many of the older nobility, as embodied in the book Noble Expectations, is very old-fashioned, and the story comes from the characters rebelling against the more dissonant expectations. While parts of the neofeudal revival, and the book's pointsnote , are good for Equestria, other parts should stay forgotten, in particular, Altar Diplomacy and Mandatory Motherhood forcing the alicorns to produce foals.
  • Ditzy Genius: Although not as extreme as some examples, Sumac has his moments. He's fairly self-aware about it.
    Sumac: I’ve had a giant rocket strapped to my back and I crashed into Applejack’s barn. I’m supposed be a genius with a magically enhanced IQ, but with some of the stunts I pull, I can’t be that smart.
  • Dragon Hoard: Boomer has begun stealing Sumac's airship models due to hoarding instincts.
  • The Dreaded: Ponies fear Dim Dark. This is entirely reasonable.
  • Does Not Know Her Own Strength: While dancing, Flurry accidentally shatters the floor.
  • Don't Tell Mama: Silver Lining would prefer her parents not hear about her occasional indiscretions with Sumac. Unfortunately, due to the nature of Wormwoodnote , he likely already knows, even if he hasn't let on.
  • Do You Want to Haggle?: Flurry and Cadance briefly engage in haggling over Flurry's behaviour. Flurry is after a ski trip for herself and the Wipe-Outs, supervised by Twilight Sparkle, in exchange for behaving herself during the Cotillion and not running off to join the Underwatch. Cadance acquiesces, but bargains for Pinkie and Seville going too. Flurry doesn't actually care about the trip. It's a distraction to keep Cadance from realising there's another motive behind her uncharacteristically good behaviour.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Sumac finally gets the opportunity to see Pebble naked. Unfortunately, he lacks his glasses and is in a sauna, meaning he fails to do so. His attempts to get closer end badly.
  • Evil Laugh: Although he's not evil, Dim's laughter is distinctly creepy.
  • Extreme Omnivore: When supplied corn-on-the-cob, Boomer eats it all, including the cob.
  • Fainting: An elderly mare finds Flurry's table manners a little too much to bear. Later, another falls during Flurry and Sumac's Mating Dance.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Mother: Cadance isn't very keen on what Dim has to say about Flurry's role and future, despite Flurry's own opinions, due to her own aspirations for Flurry. Shining is more accepting, possibly due to having something of the nightly nature himself.
  • Friend to All Children: Flurry has observed that while Dim has a sneering contempt for all adults, he doesn't for foals.
  • Future Imperfect: Discussed. While the reestablishment of the Clock Face Fiefdomsnote  was the product of Trixie's planning, but the future will remember it as Twilight's accomplishment.
  • Girl in the Tower: Mentioned after Cadance (jokingly) threatens to lock Flurry in a tower for the duration her "difficult phase". Flurry is pretty certain the Wipe-Outs would save her, if she didn't save herself first.
  • Good Parents: Despite their faults, Shining and Cadance.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Sumac gets an eyeful of Pebble's underwear, which is of this style. Specifically dolphins and hearts.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: Sumac is of an appropriate age. To be fair, Pebble and Silver are too, but they're less blatant about drooling over every attractive mare.
  • Humble Goal: Sumac doesn't want the power and authority of being a prince, he just wants to be a mortician, which is why Celestia didn't declare him royalty, something he explains to Big Mac when he complains about it.
  • Humiliation Conga: Part of the plan involves inflicting one on Pebble and Silver Lining after Sumac proposes to Flurry, refusing to associate further with such commoners and offering them positions as scullery maids. Fortunately, Pebble and Silver are in on the plan.
  • If You Ever Do Anything to Hurt Her...: Sumac and Pebble get one off both of Silver's parents.
  • Kansas City Shuffle: A brief one is used to convince Cadance that Flurry's out of character behaviour isn't malicious. Flurry negotiates a luxury break for herself and the Wipe-Outs in exchange for the good behaviour, putting Cadance at ease, but the actual plan is far more involved.
  • Kissing Cousins: Briefly Discussed as Flurry asks about her technical relation to Sumacnote . While Cadance points out the tenuousness of the connection, Dim brings up the Slippery Slope Fallacy. He has some experience in the matter.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Inverted and Discussed, Boomer's getting very protective and aggressive where Sumac is concerned, as a result of draconic instincts kicking in.
  • Kung Fu-Proof Mook: Wormwood is immune to Sumac's Silver Tongue powered More Than Mind Control, probably an effect of being an ex-Warden. Sumac still reckons he can talk him into letting Silver go to the Cotillion, though in the end it's decided that Pebble will do the talking, to avoid accidentally causing friction with Gloomynote  if they disagree.
  • Large and in Charge: Skyla believes that those in charge should be bigger than everyone else. This causes some Angst due to her own small build. Flurry tries to encourage her with the suggestion that she's not finished growing yet, and that being large isn't as good as it may appear.
  • Made of Explodium: Alchemy labs tend to be. Especially when alicorns come crashing through the ceiling.
  • Made of Iron: A significant chunk of ceiling (or maybe floor) lands on Flurry's head, but doesn't do much more than daze her briefly.
  • Magic Mirror: Subverted, Skyla gives the classic "Mirror, Mirror" speech, but to an entirely mundane mirror. It's a somewhat miserable comment on her opinion of her appearance.
  • Mandatory Motherhood: All the alicorns are getting pressure to reproduce from significant chunks of society. Not all of them are particularly keen on the idea.
  • Marry Them All: Flurry kinda hopes that Sumac will do this for all his current options, as she's friends with most of them and doesn't want the group to break apart, and reckons they might from how they currently act, but Cadance reckons it's just the natural processes of adolescence, and the group will end up drifting apart as such groups do.
  • Master of Illusion: Sumac got a touch of this when he got a sliver of Trixie's soul.
  • Mating Dance: Sumac and Flurry have the first dance, and, thanks to a little judicious bribery of the orchestra, it's rather more energetic than the assembled nobility were expecting. They fairly quickly get some competition in the form of Cadance and Shining, who are surprisingly good, before the entire dance floor is invaded by the youth of the Empire, and a few older ponies as wellnote .
  • More Than Mind Control: Sumac can easily manipulate most people he talks to, although Wormwood is immune. Flurry is later appreciative when he tells her she's filled with courage, as even though she knows what's going on, it doesn't make her immune to his magic, and at that point, she could really use the boost.
  • Morning Sickness: Lemon Hearts is unwell on the train ride to the Crystal Empire.
  • My Beloved Smother: Lemon Hearts has developed some shades of this recently. It's probably due to being pregnant.
  • Non-Standard Kiss: Allopreeningnote  is described as being sensual in the same sort of way as kissing, which is why Sumac has so many problems getting someone to teach him how to preen his new wings properly.
  • Not Himself: Flurry's suddenly good behaviour arouses the suspicions of her parents, and although Shining's concerns are quickly allayed, Cadance takes more convincing (see Do You Want to Haggle?, above).
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Flurry's response to dancing through the floor into an alchemy lab.
  • Only in It for the Money: Dim maintains a persona of this, only helping Flurry once she offers to pay him. This is implied to be a frequent way of acquiring his assistance.
  • The Peeping Tom: Apparently, Silver once spied on Sumac while he jerked off, something that fuelled her and Pebble's own Date With Rosie Palms later that night.
  • The Plan: Flurry and Dim spawn one. Cadance has doubts about Flurry's ability to see plans through, as does Flurry herself, but Flurry is borrowing Dim's abilities.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: Flurry Heart is not keen on her dress for the Cotillion.
  • The Plan: Pebble has a dress ready for Silver to wear to the gala, having planned to invite her for some time. She's got many, many plans for her friends, something she excuses as expected for the Lady of Lulamoon Hollow.
  • Primal Fear: The fear of the dark is referenced. Skyla is apparently afraid of the dark, as are most ponies, while Flurry is not, something that she takes as further proof of Dim's interpretation of their relationship, a counterpart to Celestia and Luna. Skyla is the leader and the ruler of the day, while Flurry is the protector, who guards the night.
  • Princess Classic: Skyla is much closer to this than Flurry, who is far less keen on the traditional duties of being a princess.
  • Psychoactive Powers: Skyla's telekinesis is dodgy when she's angry or upset. It's how Dim knows she and Flurry have been fighting, she's smashed her glasses.
  • Raging Stiffie: After a Suggestive Collision from Silver Lining, Sumac gets one.
  • Rebellious Princess: Flurry is this, partially as a direct reaction to the Crystal Empire's rather old-fashioned values. It drives most of the conflict of the story.
  • Revenge: Dim Dark is not allowed to teach Flurry about this. She offers to pay him.
  • Save the Princess: Sumac isn't used to the trope, being rather more experienced with the Inversion, having been saved by every Equestrian Princess at least once.
  • Seers: Sumac's exposure to the Ink gives him some postcongitive and precognitive powers. It plays tricks on him sometimes.
  • Sequel Hook: The story ends with the Crystal Empire coming under attack from the ice orcs.
  • Shout-Out: To A New Hope. For bonus points, Flurry is semitransparent at the time.
    Flurry Heart: Help me, Professor Egghead, you're my only hope.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Flurry does care about Skyla, but she finds her annoying, and recalls having been peeved at a newborn Skyla stealing attention.
  • Squick: invokedIt's apparently hard to fly and cringe simultaneously, as Flurry discovers when Boomer licks her eyeball.
  • Spot of Tea: In the aftermath, Pebble suggests that everyone have tea and cakes to help them calm down.
  • Stacy's Mom: Sumac finds utilitarian smocks attractive (probably as part of his long-standing attraction to Pebble), but she's not the only one who wears such things, she inherited her fashion sense off Maud. Sumac doesn't really want to think about it.
  • Suggestive Collision: After an excitednote  Silver Lining crashes into Sumac, he has some difficulties concentrating on what she's saying. And not getting crushed.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: Apparently, Hennessy only persuaded Flicker to come to the Cotillion by invoking a higher power, specifically Princess Celestia.
  • The Talk: While Sumac is well aware of the facts of life, he's at the age where Lemon worries, leading to periodic refreshers, much to Sumac's embarrassment.
  • Tears of Joy: Flurry, after a realisation about her mother's love.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Flash Sentry has this response to Dim and Flurry conspiring on revenge.
  • Tomboy Princess: Flurry Heart, which causes tension with sections of the nobility, who fail to recognise this as a valid way of princessing.
  • Tranquil Fury: When speaking with Flurry after the drama of the Cotillion, Cadance is calm and civil, but makes it very clear she's utterly furious.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: The two threads are Sumac, Pebble and Silver's preparations for the Cotillion in Ponyville, and Flurry's plotting in the Crystal Empire.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Because the entire story is told from the perspective of Flurry and Sumac, Flurry comes across as justified (due to Sumac's perspective largely coming from what Flurry tells him) until near the end, when Cadance points out just how foalishly selfish her motivations are).
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: The readers are shown every step of the planning and execution of the plan. Cadance knew something was going on from early on (though not exactly what) and let it play out. It turns out that the plan was basically the equivalent of a selfish temper tantrum, and will cause major problems further down the line.
  • Weight Woe: Silver Lining has a lot of self-esteem issues, with one of them being that she's a little overweight.
  • We Need a Distraction: Sumac sets up a distraction for Shining and Cadance by asking Shining about good places to sneak away to in the Crystal Empire, putting the idea in his head and knowing the only opportunity he and Cadance are likely to get to sneak away is during the Cotillion. It doesn't work. Cadance and Shining ward themselves against Sumac's tricks as a matter of course, but play along. After all, a brief respite from all the stress isn't exactly unwelcome.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Flurry is on the receiving end of this from Cadance.


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