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Fanfic / The Dresden Fillies

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The Dresden Fillies is a crossover fanfic series by Psychicscubadiver, combining The Dresden Files and My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. It currently consists of four stories:

  • The Dresden Fillies: Strange FriendsNote  - After the events of The Dresden Files #4: Summer Knight (and between the events of MLP seasons 1 and 2), Harry Dresden is traveling through the Nevernever and finds himself chased by a pack of monsters and, making a Blind Jump between dimensions, arrives in Equestria. After the initial Fish out of Water comedy, the story gets more serious — as it turns out, even a Sugar Bowl like Equestria may sometimes need the skills of one such as Harry.

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  • The Dresden Fillies: False MasksNote  - After the events of The Dresden Files #6: Blood Rites and two Equestrian months after Strange Friends, Harry has been invited back to Equestria to be formally thanked for his actions in his previous trip. Unfortunately, an Ancient Tradition has gotten wind of his visit, and is certain that he represents the return of an Evil long since past. Also, since the thanking is to be in public, Harry is gonna have to make certain "adaptations" for his stay in Equestria.

  • The Dresden Fillies: Great PowerNote (-Updated October 2019!) - After the events of The Dresden Files #8: Proven Guilty (and between the events of MLP seasons 2 and 3), the Mane Six and Spike, not having seen Harry for a while, decide to go to Earth to find him instead. Things go wrong almost instantly.

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  • The Dresden Fillies: Extra Stuff - a collection of non-canonnote  Bonus Material.

Compare and contrast My Little Denarians.

This fanfic contains examples of:

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  • Alternate Universe: Earth's universe and Equestria's are obviously alternate universes of each other, but the Equestria we see in The Dresden Fillies appears to be an alternate universe of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's Equestria as well. In terms of characterization, they are almost identical, but in terms of history and what takes place there are some divergences. Obviously, its hard to imagine Equestria Girls taking place in psychicscubadiver's Equestria, given that his Twilight is already aware of the existence of humans and their world (plus, there's the lack of human magic and a greater diversity of skin tones on the Equestria Girls Earth). And while these are probably of a different tier of canon than the show itself, some of MLP's supplementary materials contradict psychicscubadiver's Equestria, namely:
  • Badass Adorable: The Mane Six, once their natural talents come into play.
    • In case you're wondering, the tropes after World of Action Girls represent Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Applejack, Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie Pie respectively.
  • Badass Crew: The Mane Six and Harry make for an interesting adventuring party.
  • Blue-and-Orange Morality: It quickly becomes clear, explicitly so in False Masks, that ponies do not subscribe to the same Laws of Magic that keep White Council wizards on the straight and narrow. Twilight Sparkle frequently performs spells that would call for her execution on Earth.
    • Discussed in-story, as while Twilight may be violating the letter of the Laws of Magic, the reasoning behind why those Laws exist in the first place is still being adhered to.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Not to the point that My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's Lighter and Softer feel is lost, but it is a crossover with The Dresden Files.
  • Crapsaccharine World: Equestria does seem to have some darkness under its cutesy appearance, if the Nightmare and the Order Triune are any indication.
  • First-Person Smartass: Dresden, so very much.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Something that Twilight didn't believe existed until Harry showed up.
  • Had to Be Sharp: The ponies come to realize that Harry's world requires a certain degree of ruthlessness in order for one to survive as well as to enable good to win, and Luna applies this to humans as a whole, one of the reasons the Humans Are the Real Monsters trope is averted, as detailed below.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The only pony who comes even close to Harry in terms of height is Celestia.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: Nicely averted. There's the requisite shock over Dresden eating meat, but the Mane 6 grow to like him fairly easily. Luna and Celestia even say humanity seem to be a noble race, going by his example, and from what they saw of early Christians last time they visited Earth.
  • Humble Hero: As a result of the Soulgaze, Harry has a basic grasp of Twilight's personality. When she comments on him seeing something possibly untoward in her (he only sees a giant library decorated with photos and pictures of her friends and family, and he finds it absolutely beautiful), he puts aside the invasion of privacy and reassures her that she has absolutely nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Innocence Lost: The events of the stories have done a number on the ponies' innocence. Harry is very concerned about their psychological scars, but there's not much he can do about them.
  • Knight in Sour Armor: Likewise with Harry, Twilight got an overview of his personality through the Soulgaze. Unlike Harry, she was terrified by what she saw. She saw him as a knight fighting a near endless horde of monsters, never once backing down. A knight who was more in danger of losing himself than losing to the horde.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Harry.
  • Lady of War: Rarity, Celestia and Luna.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Harry, at every opportunity.
    "No. I don’t accept this." I rolled my eyes and crossed my arms. "A wizard from another dimension happens to open a gateway into a magical land filled with talking ponies, and the first one he meets just happens to be the holder of an ancient and sacred power. Then those two and her friends, who also bear these powers, must rescue somebody she cares about from a jealous rival? Are you kidding me? If Kirby did that in Arcanos, I’d walk out! That’s the plot of a crappy fantasy novel!"
    • And another one:
    Twilight Sparkle: "What, you're just going to ignore it? The Elements are the foundation on which all of Equestria is built."
    Harry: "Yes. I'm very good at ignoring things. Watch in awe as I ignore the fact that Pinkie’s cupcake launcher is way too big to fit in her saddlebags, for instance."
  • Mama Bear: Celestia of course, as quiet as it's kept.
  • Mind over Manners: Protip: Don't stare into a wizard's eyes for too long. You'll regret it.
    • Harry nearly Soulgazes Princess Celestia by accident, only for some unknown force to stop him. He's not even sure if the force did it for her protection or for his, but it still serves as a reminder that Celestia is not like him.
  • Morality Chain: The ponies become this for Harry, especially Twilight and Fluttershy.
  • Not So Different: Rainbow Dash and Harry get off to a rocky start (though they quickly overcome their first impressions), which is humorous since Undying Loyalty (as well as a tendency to become very angry when their friends are threatened) is a defining character trait for both of them.
    • Turns out, Harry shares more traits with Pinkie than one would expect.
  • Odd Friendship: Harry's friendships with Twilight, Fluttershy, Pinkie, and Princess Luna.
  • Physical God: Harry meets Celestia and describes her as being as powerful and graceful as a Lady of the Fae Court, minus the scary. He is absolutely impressed when he learns that Twilight is her student. Luna, for obvious reasons, isn't quite as powerful, but he can sense that she still is miles above him. They get on smashingly.
  • Pop-Cultured Badass: Dresden manages to reference The Princess Bride, the new "Who", Star Wars (twice!), Indiana Jones and use a Vulcan greeting in Strange Friends alone. Without breaking a sweat.
    Harry: That’s the worst part about being here. Nobody gets my jokes.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Harry and Twilight.
    • Also Luna and Celestia. This actually makes them both pragmatic in combat in different ways.
  • Scars Are Forever: Inverted, much to Harry's surprise. Due to their nature, the ponies don't seem to scar at all.
  • Sociopathic Hero: Harry has to be reminded to tone down the violence several times. Though he's really only "sociopathic" by Equestrian standards. (See Had to Be Sharp above.)
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Harry is not easy to sneak up on, so Pinkie doing just that quickly becomes a Running Gag. And then Luna does it too. Harry just can't catch a break.
  • Who's on First?: Ponies keep saying that Harry isn't hairy.

    Extra Stuff 
  • Brainwashing for the Greater Good: Celestia indulges in this in "Ruined Utopia" before Harry arrives at the behest of Mab to try and talk her out of it.
  • Canon: While Extra Stuff is primarily composed of non-canon stories, "Ditzy Dream" and "Obsidian Journeys" are in-canon with the rest of the Dresden Fillies, and are specifically marked as such.
  • Crossover: "Ruined Utopia" is a take on the The Conversion Bureau, showing what would likely happen if the story took place in the Dresdenverse.
  • Eviler Than Thou: "Obsidian Journeys" shows that He Who Walks Behind is eviler than Obsidian. The Dreaded Obsidian was nothing more than He Who Walks Behind's slave.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Subverted in "Foolish Mistake". Twilight overhears Dresden and Rarity having an extremely suggestive conversation in her guest room and wants to assume the obvious, but figures that she's probably reading too far into it. That is, until Rarity blurts out "Oh, [Dresden]! This is the best sex I’ve ever had!". Double Subverted when Twilight breaks in and discovers that Dresden and Rarity weren't having sex, and weren't even in the room at all. Bob was mimicking their voices to troll Twilight.
  • Knight Templar: Celestia in "Ruined Utopia" truly believes that humanity would much rather prefer life transformed into ponies with their violent instincts removed.
  • Large and in Charge: In "Wizard Royale", Applejack is baffled by Harry's insistence that he is not the leader of the humans. After all, she knows perfectly well that leaders are always larger than the rest of their people, and Harry is clearly the tallest of the humans in the party by a large margin.
  • Light Is Not Good: Celestia in "Ruined Utopia," as lampshaded by Harry.
  • Made a Slave: "Obsidian Journeys" reveals that this was Obsidian's fate. He Who Walks Behind replaced Obsidian's heart with a chunk of Mordite, and through it controlled him.
  • Marty Stu: Invoked in "Holiday Present". Harry gains the 7th element of harmony, courage, and uses it to defeat Nightmare Chrysalisombra and save the Mane Six. Afterwards he proposes marriage to Twilight, and she accepts. As it turns out, the whole sequence is a fanfic-within-a-fanfic written by Harry's daughter.
  • Obliviously Evil: In "Ruined Utopia," Harry realizes this of the ponies and Celestia and tries to get them to leave for their own safety, knowing his world has a steep threat curve to anything not ruthless enough. Celestia doesn't listen.The expected happens.
  • Oh, Crap!: At the end of "Obsidian Journeys" Obsidian realizes he made a huge mistake dismissing the two "powerless" humans when they draw their holy swords.
  • The Quiet One: "Kindred Spirits" celebrates this trope by having the representatives from both franchises, McAnally and Big Macintosh, meet up and exchange a few words (the key word being "few") over drinks.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Obsidian's mistake in "Obsidian Journeys". The two "powerless" humans were the ones he really needed to beware. Especially since one of them puts him down for good.
  • White Pony's Burden: "Ruined Utopia." It ends badly.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Derpy gives such a speech to "Blackstone" in "Ditzy Dream" when she realizes that he has the same self deprecation issues that she does.

    Strange Friends 
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Harry gets chewed out by Twilight in this manner. He can't decide whether it's cute or terrifying until she follows it up with a near-Fluttershy-level Death Glare.
  • Batman Gambit: After failing to defeat Trixie, Twilight Sparkle appeals to her ego, tricking her into defeating herself.
  • Berserk Button: Pinkie becomes enraged when the Dark and All Powerful Trixie severely injures Rainbow Dash. Harry himself gets set off by women or children being threatened and people/ponies trying to brainwash him.
  • Blind Jump: This is how the whole story starts: Dresden is being chased by monsters through the Nevernever (a sort of shadow dimension between Earth and the worlds of The Fair Folk), and has to randomly exit to escape.
  • Bookends: As with the first canon novel, Harry's narrative starts and ends with 'My Name is Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden'
  • Carnivore Confusion: Harry is smart enough to avoid any blunders in this field but still faces a difficult moment when Rarity inquires about the origins of his leather coat.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When Harry's possessed by the Nightmare, he flattens the Mane Cast in a physical confrontation. The spiritual confrontation, on the other hand...
  • Cuteness Proximity: Hilariously, Dresden suffers this upon first meeting Twilight, saying that just seeing her makes him want to squeal like a little kid and hug her. He later describes Fluttershy as "weapons-grade adorable". When he meets Luna, he's struck by how Endearingly Dorky and LOUD she is.
  • Demonic Possession: The Nightmare, the same demon that turned Luna into Nightmare Moon, possesses Trixie and aids her in petty revenge on Twilight and the others. After they beat it, it possesses Harry and turns him against them, until he sees through its mental manipulations and finally destroys it for good.
  • Death Glare: Before his soul gaze kicks in, Harry finds himself on the recieving end of Fluttershy's stare. It is not entirely clear which one Twilight is saving when she makes the two break eye contact.
  • Determinator: They all take turns, but Rainbow Dash and Applejack take the cake when trying to defuse the wall trap.
    Trixie: I hope you all enjoyed that little glimmer of hope while it lasted, because those snakes have enough power in them to destroy anypony.
    Applejack: Good thing I ain’t just anypony, then.
    Rainbow Dash: Yeah. Equestria’s best flier isn’t gonna stop just because of some little bug zapper!
  • Did We Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?: Twilight waking up from the Soulgaze in Fluttershy's house to find Fluttershy and Harry preparing for lunch.
  • Dulcinea Effect, Papa Wolf: You do realize this fanfic has Harry Dresden in it, right? Though perhaps a bit much since he has to be talked out of killing Trixie. Twice.
    • In Harry's defense, he was being possessed by Nightmare the second time.
  • Dungeon Crawling: After gaining new powers, Trixie builds what looks like a typical fairy tale castle...then succumbs to paranoia and fills it with an absurd number of deadly traps.
  • Dwindling Party: Invoked and defied. Trixie lures the group into her traps exactly for this purpose, but Harry and the Mane Six push their powers and skills to the limit to keep everypony alive.
  • Easily Forgiven: Harry shows concern when this happens after his Demonic Possession but Twilight tells him not to worry about it. He held back while possessed and ultimately fought back against the Nightmare, after all. That counts for something.
  • Evil Is Hammy: The Dark and All-Powerful Trixie!
  • Exact Words: Harry uses the names of the Mane Six to prevent them from moving, but not from using magic.
  • Family-Unfriendly Violence: Due to the Cerebus Syndrome, the Mane Cast walk away from this adventure with much more severe injuries than they do in the show. Rainbow Dash, Pinkie Pie, and Twilight Sparkle get the worst of it, with Rainbow and Twilight being on the receiving end of a Flechette Storm and Pinkie being poisoned.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Foreshadowing: In-universe. Harry notices that Twilight's magic shield protects not just against kinetic force, but heat as well. He idly considers beefing up his own shield in the future, but apparently forgets, since "Strange Friends" takes place right before The Dresden Files novel Blood Rites, in which flamethrower-wielding vampires cripple one of Harry's hands when his shield fails to protect it from the effects of convection.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Trixie, after getting possessed by the Nightmare.
  • Full-Body Disguise: Twilight uses an illusion spell to disguise Dresden as one of Celestia's guards when he's in public.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Luna has a bit of this when she learns that Harry forced out and killed the Nightmare, something she was unable to do on her own. Harry tells her that Twilight made it sound much easier than it really was and that if the Mane Six hadn't been there, he'd be a goner.
    • Twilight realizes she's a bit jealous when she discovers that Harry's magical power exceeds hers, but quickly gets over it.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Harry, to the point that the Soulgaze nearly counts as foreshadowing.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The Nightmare is exactly like the Nemesis that crops up years later in Harry's home series, as a nebulous, shadowy thing that corrupts beings like humans and Fae into becoming it's servitors and pawns by granting power or other desires.
  • Holy Hand Grenade: The Elements of Harmony when used to empower a fire spell.
  • Humans Are Cthulhu: How Twilight and Fluttershy see Harry in the first two chapters. It ends after they have a chance to chat with him.
  • Hurricane of Puns: Harry finds himself on the receiving end of one when the subject of Equestrian cities comes up.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Where Pinkie Pie keeps her Cupcake Launcher TM. Lampshaded, naturally.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Luna accepts Dresden's using the Elements of Harmony to supercharge his fire spell to destroy the Nightmare, admitting she's more pragmatic than Celestia.
  • I Know Your True Name: Except that Pinkie Pie isn't hers.
    • This becomes heartwarming when Harry gives Twilight his full name, showing an impressive amount of faith in the pony.
  • I'm Having Soul Pains: Trixie shattering the Elements of Harmony to summon the Nightmare has the side effect of inflicting crippling pain on the Elements' bearers. Trixie even chooses the order in which each bearer is struck down so as to cause the most distress among the party. She starts with Fluttershy.
  • Kill It with Fire: How Harry kills the Nightmare, natch.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Pinkie, of course.
    "Meanwhile at Fluttershy's house!" Pinkie Pie announced proudly. Fluttershy and I just looked at her. Fluttershy had apparently learned better than to ask, but I couldn't help myself.
    "Sorry, what?" Not that much of what she'd said had made any sense so far. But hey, a guy can hope, can't he?
    "Nothing, just setting up a scene transition." Pinkie's smile took up more of her face than I think was physically possible.
  • Lethal Harmless Powers
    • A telekinetic blast can be deadly when used to throw sharp objects. Also, the Elements of Harmony — they never cause direct harm, but that's still a lot of magic for Harry to channel into a fire spell. Celestia is not amused.
  • Loyal Phlebotinum: The Elements of Harmony. Trixie finds this out the hard way when Twilight tricks her into trying to use the Element of Magic.
  • Memory Palace: When Harry accidentally soulgazes Twilight, this is how her soul appears to him, in a castle/library flavor.
  • Mind Rape: The first thing Harry does after arriving in Equestria is accidentally soulgaze Twilight Sparkle.
  • Mood Whiplash: Used extensively, but particularly when Pinkie Pie invokes Rule of Funny to appear in the room with the mane cast after holding back the hornets. She collapses from poison seconds later and would have died on the spot if Harry didn't react quickly.
  • More Than Mind Control: This is how the Nightmare influences its hosts. It offers suggestions and temptations based on their darker impulses, then helps them plan when carrying those suggestions out.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: The Elements of Harmony can only be destroyed temporarily, as they repair themselves rather quickly. The bearers of the Elements can feel them in either case (e.g. they feel crippling pain when their element is destroyed).
  • Out-of-Character Moment: As with main verse, having one of these alerts a person to the fact that Charm Person is being used on them. Its how Harry realizes he's a victim of Demonic Possession.
  • Point of View: Scenes focusing on Harry naturally use his signature First-Person Smartass/Private Eye Monologue style of narration. Scenes focusing on anyone/anypony else use third-person narration.
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: While everyone else is out adventuring to save the day, Celestia notices something is up, quickly returns home from Coltenhagen, places Canterlot on lockdown, searches her study for clues, interview all personnel on location and then leads a platoon of palace guards to Ponyville upon realizing that Twilight Sparkle is probably in danger. After the fight against Trixie and the Nightmare, it's assumed that she personally brought the seven of them home and put them to bed since the palace guards and cooks still don't know what Harry is and that he's even there. Luna is the one with the maps of Earth and she even leads Harry back down the path towards his world.
  • Rule of Funny: Invoked by Pinkie Pie to appear in the room with the mane cast after holding back the hornets. Once again, Pinkie proves that the Element of Laughter has some practical uses.
  • Shoot the Dog: Harry wants to do this to Trixie, but the Mane Six talk him out of it. When the Nightmare possesses him, it coerces him into trying again.
  • Slasher Smile: Trixie sports a rather extreme one when she kidnaps Spike.
  • Sleep Cute: After their ordeal, the ponies and Harry are taken to Canterlot where they sleep most of the day away on two extra-large mattresses, thanks to Harry's height. When he wakes up, Harry wishes like hell he had a camera — if only to blackmail Rarity and AJ with a picture of them asleep in each other's arms.
  • Taking the Bullet: Twilight Sparkle teleports in the way of glass shards thrown at Trixie.
    • Trixie attacks Pinkie with high-speed shards of metal, but Rainbow Dash jumps in front of Pinkie just in time and takes the attack herself.
  • That Came Out Wrong: In trying to verify Harry's gender, Pinkie asks if he is a "stallion". Harry narrowly avoids a Spit Take, then has to explain that the term doesn't carry quite the same connotations among humans as it does among ponies. Fluttershy still doesn't get it.
  • Unskilled, but Strong:
    [The wall] wasn't well-made by any standards, despite all of the power that had been poured into it, but it was so massive and durable that the sloppy construction hardly mattered.
  • We Can Rule Together: Twilight Sparkle tries to talk possessed Harry into giving up on The Dark Side and gets a Star Wars quote for her trouble.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Delivered to Harry by Fluttershy, when he protects the Mane Six from a pair of manticores and nearly kills the two creatures through excessive force.
    • Fluttershy talks the manticores down. He's completely thunderstruck that they listen to her scolding.
    • Harry very nearly returns the favor with a Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids! in the form of a Soulgaze. Twilight, recognizing the danger signs, manages to alleviate the tension.
  • White Magic: The Elements of Harmony seem to work like this, as they are capable of healing their wielders of all wounds, expelling the Nightmare from its host, and empowering a fire spell to what Harry later describes as "the closest thing I've ever seen to holy fire."
  • Would Hurt a Child: Trixie kidnaps Spike and leaves a threatening note out of a paranoid fear that Twilight has caught wind of her schemes. Too bad for Trixie that threatening children is Harry Dresden's Berserk Button.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are
  • You Shall Not Pass!: Pinkie Pie pulls one off, holding back a swarm of venomous hornets so that the others can escape. It nearly costs her her life.

    False Masks 
  • Accidental Pervert: Harry and Pinkie Pie, thanks to Bob. It takes awhile for Pinkie (who doesn't understand these sorts of things at all) to explain to Twilight exactly what happened. She repeats the matter in a later chapter, both saying that it's rude to gawk at a pair of ponies making out... because she'd been told so by Mrs. Cake.
  • Ambiguously Equine: As it turns out, Celestia and Luna are not native to Equestria, and were actually born in a completely different universe. In light of this, one wonders if their pony forms are real or not...
  • Animorphism: The Princesses want to award Harry a medal for his services in the previous story, but first they have to make it so that he can walk around without anyone staring at him too hard. That means he has to go native. Naturally, he's a unicorn.
  • Anti-Hero: Celestia may be more powerful, but you do NOT want to piss off Luna. She actually levels a death threat at the Big Bad and the only reason she doesn't go through with it, is that it is illegal.
  • Anti-Villain: Vigilant Watch, Arcane Mind and most of the Order Triune truly believe in their mission to protect Equestria. When she is proven to be completely and unequivocally wrong, Vigilant Watch is angry to find out she essentially will suffer no longstanding consequences for her actions.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: The entire Order Triune becomes this. They are sacrificed to a demon by Novel Notion, and while it is karmic when you remember they tried to kill Dresden, it becomes tragic when you realize that they had been misled this entire time, genuinely wanted to protect Equestria, and had been betrayed by one of their own. The way they go is horrible: running for their lives as the circle swallows them, with nothing left of them afterward. The horrified reactions of the Mane 6, and even Harry show this.
  • Anvil on Head: complete with Bomb Whistle and Shadow of Impending Doom. Narrowly averted thanks to Harry's survival instinct. By his assessment, it would not have ended with Amusing Injuries.
  • Arch-Enemy: Obsidian the Undying to the Order Triune. To the point of essentially grabbing the Idiot Ball should someone so much as mutter his name.
    • As far as Obsidian himself is concerned, the Order is an Unknown Rival. He hasn't been on Equestria in over a thousand years, so he has no idea they still exist. Obsidian's real Arch-Enemy is "The Watchman," aka: The Gatekeeper.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Rainbow and Harry fighting a Hydra in chapter 7.
  • Attractive Bent Species: When Twilight turns Harry into a unicorn, he is apparently an absolute stunner. Harry's not sure whether this is just because his features happen to match pony standards of attractiveness when mapped onto a unicorn, or because Twilight had a crush on Harry and that bled into the spell.
  • Batman Gambit: All of False Masks is essentially this: somewhat imply to the Order Triune that Harry is Obsidian, watch them go to pieces trying to kill him and then completely wreck the shit of whoever's still standing. It's as brilliant as it is horrifying and it almost works.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: Bob being Bob, when he finds out about Harry's misadventures from Strange Friends, suggests this route. Harry and Twilight shoot him down.
    • Note that since Twilight is a sentient being, it would be more of an Interspecies Romance - its just her equine appearance that makes the situation so awkward.
  • Big Bad: Novel Notion
  • Big Brother Instinct: In the epilogue, Shining Armor readily admits that professionalism is the only thing keeping him from killing the villain who tried to murder his little sister Twilight. As it stands, he merely hopes they don't survive their journey through the Everfree Forest.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Luna in chapter 21, revealing the Armored Luna to be Celestia. She causes Big Macintosh's captor's shadow to choke him, forcing him to release the stallion and threatens to Mind Rape Novel Notion if he doesn't tell her how to banish the Demon.
  • Big Eater: Harry and Pinkie Pie devour a pile of fried egg and cheese sandwiches in chapter 6. Twilight settles for some cereal since she likes her arteries unclogged.
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Rainbow Dash likes big... wings.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Novel Notion, whose sheep's clothing was good enough to fool Celestia. In chapter 22 she muses on how she had trusted and even liked someone who hated her so much.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Novel Notion gets a Fate Worse than Death and Vigilant Watch is incensed that she doesn't suffer even close to a similar fate, despite being, in her eyes, almost as bad. Harry is exiled from Equestria under threat of execution by Celestia if he returns with a Denarius sigil still burned into his hand in spite of the fact that she doesn't really want to.
  • Born-Again Immortality: This is essentially what the Order Triune credits their age-old nemesis Obsidian with and what motivates them to kill ponies that look too suspiciously like him.
  • Brain Bleach: Early on, Harry and Bob have a short argument about finding ponies physically attractive (with Bob being in favor, naturally). After Bob points out "[I'm not the only one who appreciates women of other species]. How do you think centaurs were made anyway?" Harry immediately wishes that mental magic was legal.
  • Broken Pedestal: After Bob calls out Harry for not killing Arcane Mind when he had the chance and reminds him that he plans to summon He Who Walks Behind again, with Harry killing Justin Dumorne for summoning the demon, Harry believes he has become this for the Mane Six.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Celestia, who is normally a Physical Goddess at tip top condition burned out a lot of magical power during the fights against He Who Walks Behind and the demon centipede Novel Notion summoned. She surmises that it will take years to recover in full.
  • Bullying a Dragon AND Mugging the Monster: Pretty much what the Order Triune is doing to Harry with the various attacks: they know he's dangerous (because he IS) but they honestly have no idea what they're messing with.
  • Captain Obvious: Twilight ends up falling prey to this in Chapter 16.
    "Wait." Twilight said, her brow creasing with worry. "Before we do anything I need to tell you something." All three sets of eyes turned towards her. Twilight lowered her voice just in case anypony from the small crowd watching them had ulterior motives. "This may sound unbelievable, but there's a group of ponies that's planning to kill you, Blackstone."
    Blackstone starts laughing.
  • Carnivore Confusion: This gets him in trouble since, even though he's safely changed into a pony and thus has no current cravings for meat, the Order Triune overhear him talking about the issue to Bob.
  • Chick Magnet: Hello, Blackstone.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Lyra. She not only has information on the Order Triune, she also has obscure texts referring to worlds other than Equestria, the Fae, and humans.
  • Cool Old Guy: Keen Vision who's also a Blind Seer. And a Mad Oracle.
  • Cool vs. Awesome: Celestia and Luna vs He Who Walks Behind.
  • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Some of the "crazy" things Lyra believes in, such as the Order Triune, fae, humans, and other worlds, really do exist.
  • Damsel out of Distress: The Order Triune captures Twilight. She overcomes their brainwashing and later figures out how to disable the magic-inhibitor they placed on her.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Hinted for Bon Bon.
  • Deader Than Dead: According to Novel Notion, his ancestor sealed Obsidian's heart and took it into the Astral plane over a thousand years ago, making his death permanent. Celestia confirms this to Vigilant Watch, claiming that she hasn't sensed Obsidian's magic in Equestria for all that time. Subverted since Obsidian survived and attacks Earth during Harry's time in Equestria. Double-subverted since Michael stabs Obsidian in the heart with his holy sword, which the Gatekeeper believes destroyed Obsidian for good.
  • Deal with the Devil: He Who Walks Behind granted Obsidian power in exchange for his heart. Novel Notion made a deal with another demon to sacrifice 120 other ponies and Celestia in exchange for similar powers. He tries making another deal in the epilogue with a huge demonic dragon, but the dragon isn't interested and it swallows him and his allies whole.
  • Didn't See That Coming: In chapter 21 Harry warns the others about relying too much on the plan, since plans don't usually survive contact with the enemy. Neither the heroes' nor the villains' plans work out perfectly thanks to the unexpected. The heroes didn't expect Novel Notion feeding the rest of the Order to a second demon. The villains didn't expect that "Luna" was actually Princess Celestia in disguise.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Celestia learns this lesson when she tries to threaten HE WHO WALKS BEHIND into giving up who summoned it. Not only is it completely unimpressed, it manages to very seriously injure her in the ensuing altercation. Needless to say she was striding a tiny bit outside her safety zone despite all her power.
  • The Dulcinea Effect, Papa Wolf:
    • Twilight decides to play this up when she's trying to convince Harry to let her use her transformation spell on him.
    • When Twilight is kidnapped in False Masks, Harry experiences this again. Princess Celestia is reluctant to let him continue investigating since she believes he might actually kill whoever is responsible. She even acknowledges that he would have every right and reason to do so, but the last murder in Equestria was over 30 years ago and she rather likes Equestria's current murder-free state.
  • Eaten Alive: Novel Notion and his allies' final fate in the epilogue, courtesy of a giant demonic corpse-dragon swallowing them whole. Novel Notion finds himself wishing the dragon had chewed him up first when he reaches its digestive fluids.
  • The Extremist Was Right: Chapter 24 reveals that the Order of Truine wasn't entirely wrong. Obsidian survived Curious Notion's attempt to destroy him a thousand years ago and really had become a powerful demon lord. He just never reappeared in Equestria, showing up only to attack Earth.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Novel Notion's pretty dang evil, demented and kind of brilliant by Equestria's standards but he's no Obsidian. Thus while Obsidian flourishes after being sent to the Nevernever, Novel Notion and all of his mooks are Eaten Alive by a giant dragon demon within four days of being there. You almost feel bad for them.
  • Fatal Flaw: The Order Triune's fear of and obsession with Obsidian causes them to miss important hints that he isn't Blackstone. The Order's higher-ups refuse to listen to Vigilant Watch when she tries to tell them that Bookmark is up to something. All of these allow Bookmark/Novel Notion to lure them into a demon sacrifice/summoning circle.
    • Novel Notion is very self-righteous, proud, overconfident and just a tad ungrateful. Instead of being glad that Celestia and Luna did not understandably have him executed and try to make the best of his and his allies' now depowered lives, he vows revenge and travels to the Nevernever to find a new demon to bargain with. The first demon he and his allies find eats them all alive without even acknowledging them.
  • Fate Worse than Death:It is eventually decided that Novel Notion will suffer one of these as decided by Twilight and agreed upon by Judge Verdict and Princess Celestia: "Merciless Exile." The accused is branded with symbols so that all may know of their crime, are forced to march from Equestria without any sort of aid whatsoever and any magic they possess is permanently sealed away. This also counts as Cruel Mercy as theoretically the victim could survive.
  • Female Gaze: Mares can't stop telling Harry how good he looks as a stallion.
  • Foreshadowing: Of the straightforward kind is "The left hand doesn't know what the right one is doing." Of the subtle kind is Bon-Bon's entire back story. She's somewhat uneasy about her upbringing which sets her up as a foil to Novel Notion, who outright hates it and tries to destroy everything associated with it.
  • Freudian Excuse: Double Subverted: Novel Notion at first mockingly states "his parents never hugged him" as his excuse for betraying and murdering the entire Order. Then he gives his real reason. He was frustrated with being indoctrinated into the Order with all its secrets and lies, and sought to destroy it as a means of escape.
  • Fridge Horror: In-universe, Harry's expression becomes dead serious when he sees the bag of poisoned treats apparently kill a Hydra and recalls that Scootaloo and Rainbow Dash nearly ate some.
    • Lessened somewhat when they later learn that it wasn't poison, just a very powerful sleeping potion.
  • From Bad to Worse: The assassination attempts on Harry in False Masks get more extreme and less subtle as time passes. A bag of poisoned candy -> "accidents" like a falling anvil -> poisoned pins -> an entire burlap sack of poisoned food -> siccing a Hydra on Harry.-> unleashing HE WHO WALKS BEHIND when he was about to receive an award for his services.
  • Full-Body Disguise: This time around, Twilight uses a spell to temporarily transform Harry into a pony.
  • The Gadfly: Luna messing with Harry by pretending she's interested in his pony form.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Bob certainly thinks so.
  • Girly Bruiser: Rarity while fighting in the Order Triune's HQ.
    • Celestia fighting He Who Walks Behind. This is the first clue that the armored Luna fighting the Demon in chapter 21 is Celestia because Luna prefers magic.
  • Guys Smash, Girls Shoot/Sword and Sorcerer: Harry and Rainbow Dash have a good time inverting these tropes while fighting a Hydra.
  • Handicapped Badass: By the time Harry returns to Equestria, he's hurt his hand.
    • Keen Vision.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Bon Bon, after Soulgazing Harry and finding out once and for all that a) Harry is NOT Obsidian and b) nothing and no one, short of the Princesses, is going to stop him from trying to rescue Twilight.
  • Heel Realization: Vigilant Watch's is severe enough that she protests the lenient sentence she was given in chapter 22, believing she deserves the harshest punishment the court can inflict upon her for her crimes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Colgate. Dresden isn't sure if it's the most noble or cliche situation he has ever seen.
  • Hero of Another Story: Chapter 24 reveals that while Harry was embroiled in a conspiracy during his time in Equestria, Michael, Sanya, Morgan, and the Gatekeeper were fighting the real Obsidian the Undying.
  • High-Pressure Emotion: Rainbow Dash becomes what Harry can only describe as "volcanic" when Bob makes a lewd remark to her about "turning tricks". Harry is relieved when a Hydra attacks him.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight Bon Bon being a secret agent turned out being more accurate than the author ever would have guessed.
  • Ignored Epiphany: The Cutie Mark Crusaders ponder the truth of Dresden's statement that Cutie Marks are not the be-all and end-all of a pony's existence. For all of five seconds.
  • I Just Want to Be Free: Novel Notion grew up indoctrinated as a member of the Order of Triune and hated every minute of it. The entire plot is his scheme to kill off the Order.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Twilight, unaware of most humans' social taboo on nudity, instructs Harry to strip down because she has a "surprise" for him (she wants to transform him into a unicorn for the duration of his stay in Equestria), causing Harry to react with a Spit Take and Bob with glee. Twilight is mortified to learn just what her comment sounded like to Harry and Bob.
  • Intimidation Demonstration: Whilst storming the Order's hideout, Harry comes across Twilight's trail. He sees a whole group of ponies in his way, several picking up weapons in anticipation of a fight. He tells them point-blank to either get the hell out of his way or die and forzares a table into splinters. They haul flank.
  • Jerkass: During his second trip to Equestria, Harry brings Bob, a spirit of air and intellect that resides within a human skull. He remains quiet during Harry's meeting with Twilight until her Innocent Innuendo, at which point he speaks out, terrifying Spike out of his wits. After having a considerable time convincing Spike that Bob was not a ghost and they were not haunted, Bob promptly shouts "Boo!" at him once Spike worked up enough courage to approach the skull.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: The Order Triune may have finally done this in chapter 18 when they summon He Who Walks Behind to kill Harry.
  • Karmic Death: After spending the whole story trying to assassinate Dresden, putting innocents in danger, betraying the kingdom they swore to protect, and summoning the VERY demon that Obsidian sold his soul to (Twice) , the Order Triune itself is betrayed by Novel Notion and sacrificed to a demon. Not that it makes the whole thing any less tragic.
    • Novel Notion and the rest of his cronies travel to the Nevernever, hoping to make another Deal with the Devil so they can get their revenge. The one demon they meet, a gigantic corpse-like dragon, isn't interested in making any deals and promptly swallows them whole. They die painfully and slowly as he digests them.
  • Karma Houdini: Vigilant Watch complains about being this as despite her guilt and all she's done, she's essentially given a slap on the wrist as punishment.
    • Played With for the rest of the surviving Order. According to Word of God, the remaining higher-ups are facing criminal charges, but in the narrative, many of them got suspended sentences. However, they are on a tight leash, and many of them did lose their friends and family, so they didn't walk away clean.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Spike meeting Harry.
  • Lady of Black Magic: Luna prefers magic to stomping ponies' faces in.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:Novel Notion used his magic to make a Deal with the Devil to kill roughly 120 ponies (and Celestia) in a bid to take over Equestria. When his plan fails, he is permanently banished from Equestria with the pony equivalent of a scarlet letter on his body and his magic is permanently sealed. When he and his cronies escape to the Nevernever to make another Deal with the Devil, the devil-in-question is completely uninterested and swallows all of them whole.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: A variation appears in chapter 7. Harry is talking with Applejack about his suspicion that his cover's been blown. He's about to say that someone has figured out he's not actually a pony — but when the Cutie Mark Crusaders ask how he was going to finish that sentence, he says that someone has figured out that he bleaches his mane.
  • Mad Oracle: Keen Vision, though he's not so much mad as he is a weirdo. He manages to tell Twilight in chapter 16 that Vagueness Is Coming.
  • Mare Magnet: Harry finds that his Pony form is extremely appealing to the ladies of Ponyville.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Everyone present is horrified when Novel Notion betrays the Order and sacrifices them to a demonic centipede in chapter 21.
  • Mind Rape: The Order Triune manipulates Twilight's dreams in an effort to turn her against Harry. She overpowers their efforts, forcing them to try words instead.
  • Motive Rant: Novel Notion's "defense" in chapter 22 was a defiant rant in which he claimed nothing he did such as demon summoning, mass murder, treason, and attempted regicide was wrong. His fellow defendants whom he is representing along with himself quickly regret choosing him over a public defender.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Harry becomes the pony equivalent of Tall, Dark, and Handsome, thanks to Twilight's transformation spell. She has to remind herself not to gape. It amuses Bob.
    Bob: You didn’t see her face after you first turned into a pony. I'm surprised she wasn't drooling.
    • This also causes Harry a great deal of trouble when he finds himself swarmed by adoring mares after very publicly saving the Cutie Mark Crusaders from an accident meant to kill him. One or more of them may have been in on the assassination plot, and he can't tell who it was.
  • Noodle Incident: Oh, Bob and your unceasing interest in the female fleshy form...
    "Everyone at that sorority was a consenting adult and the alcohol was just as much to blame as I was."
  • Not Brainwashed: Novel Notion denies that he is being influenced by Obsidian. His evil is all him.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Harry's enemies in False Masks scare him more than most of the threats he's faced in the past because they refuse to show themselves. An opponent he can't just blast into oblivion deeply unnerves him.
  • Not So Different: Novel Notion sought to destroy the Order Triune, a group of zealots, and dispose of the Princesses, whom he saw as tyrants. But in doing so, he sacrificed almost 200 ponies to summon a demon, and would have killed many more to cement his power, which makes him this to the Order Triune, another group that also sought "the greater good" by any means necessary.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: The Order Triune fail in their undercover attempts to kill Harry. Then they summon He Who Walks Behind and things become more dire.
    • Novel Notion. At first he appeared to have been another agent of the Order, who was easily cowed by Harry when found out. It turns out he had manipulated the Order to kill Dresden, and later sacrificed almost all of them to the demon, and later threatened to kill the Mane 6's friends and family if they did not surrender the Elements of Harmony.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: While Harry was in Equestria, an epic fight between the real Obsidian, now a powerful demon lord, and a team consisting of two Knights of the Cross, a veteran Warden, and the Gatekeeper was taking place on Earth.
  • Oh, Crap!: Novel Notion, realizing that the huge demon dragon just swallowed them whole.
    • Harry, when Michael mentions the demon lord they had fought was Obsidian.
  • Only the Worthy May Pass: How the runes in the Order's HQ work. As Bob explains it, it's not in the least reliable or safe.
  • Pony Sacrifice: In chapter 21, Novel Notion feeds most of the Order of Triune including Arcane Mind to a demon.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Lots of it. A justified case in chapter 9: the one fact Twilight could reveal to the Order Triune that would prove that Harry isn't Obsidian — that Harry is a human wizard from another dimension whose magic doesn't quite follow the same rules as pony magic — is also the one thing she believes she really needs to keep a secret.
  • Power Glows: Harry's aura as a unicorn is red-orange. Makes sense considering how much he likes fire.
  • Precocious Crush: Well probably not so precocious since by pony standards, Twilight's an older teen/young adult, but Twilight develops one on Dresden shortly after he assumes an equine form. Dresden doesn't reciprocate. Dresden also believes that the reason his pony form is such a Chick Magnet is because Twilight subconsciously made him one due to her crush.
    • It should be noted that in the following story, Twilight's human form is, hair notwithstanding, heavily subconsciously influence by Harry on account of being taller than usual for a human woman.
  • Properly Paranoid: After suffering three near-death experiences in chapter 6, Harry believes that someone or something is trying to kill him. He's completely right, as proven by at least two more assassination attempts in the next chapter. After suffering several more assassination attempts in the chapter after that, Harry decides he's not being paranoid enough.
    • The Order Triune believe they're this. Unfortunately, they're mostly just paranoid. They were right about Obsidian cheating death though. After his first few returns, however, Curious Notion, Novel Notion's ancestor, traveled to the Nevernever with Obsidian's heart and sealed him out of Equestria forever. Which means that every subsequent act of violence and murder on the part of the Order were against innocent ponies.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Princess Celestia. Despite the trouble he caused in Strange Friends, she doesn't blast Harry within an inch of his life and even thinks he should get a medal for all he's done in Equestria. However while she has no intention of stopping Harry from looking for the Order Triune or Twilight, she knows that while he is the definition of Neutral Good in his world, she also knows that if she gave him free rein over the investigation that it would take literally all of his self-control to keep from turning whoever kidnapped Twilight into a smoking crater. Celestia genuinely likes Harry but the ponies first, always. She also exiles him from Equestria for as long as he bears the mark of the Fallen. Celestia likes and trusts Harry but she will not risk having a Denarian anywhere near Equestria.
  • Rescue Romance: Trixie is shaping to be the third in the triangle. Even though Harry refused.
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: Vigilant Watch rightly believed that Novel Notion wanted to wipe out the Order. She wrongly believed that he was Obsidian. Novel Notion was simply sick of life in the Order and wanted out.
  • Runic Magic: In the prologue, a door covered in runes that give off mystic power is mentioned as protecting a location.
  • Shipper on Deck: Bob wants to see Harry and Twilight get it on. Of course, this is Bob. Bob's preferred ship is Anyone Female/Anyone Else. He's ecstatic when Lyra and Bon-Bon kiss.
  • Shout-Out: Twilight's calming mantra after she finds out she's been kidnapped strongly echoes the Litany Against Fear from Dune.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Harry and Rainbow Dash, Rarity, Bon-Bon, and Colgate.
  • The Starscream: Novel Notion at first seemed to be another one of the Order's many spies, as a secretary of Princess Celestia. He knew Harry was never Obsidian, and used that fact to mislead the Order Triune, whom he sacrificed to a demon.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: The Order Triune summon HE WHO WALKS BEHIND. And then Celestia and Luna FIGHT IT.
  • Tall, Dark, and Handsome: Harry's pony form "Blackstone". It's a truly unfortunate coincidence that the Order Triune believes that powerful unicorns with dark pelts are Obisidian reborn.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: In chapter 5 Bon-Bon tries to leave a bag of candy laced with poison for Dresden whom she and the other members of an Ancient Tradition believe to be the reincarnation of the Evil Overlord Obsidian. Things take a turn for the worse when Pinkie Pie eats one. Fortunately, she realizes that there's something wrong with the candy and spits it out, though she still feels drowsy afterwards and passes out in the nearest bed — next to Harry.
    • Reaches new heights in chapter 7 when someone gives Dresden an ENTIRE burlap sack bag's worth of poisoned treats — enough to slowly and fatally poison a fully-grown Hydra. Though it's later revealed that it wasn't poison, just a very powerful sleeping herb.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: Even after her Heel–Face Turn Bon-Bon still doesn't like Dresden and vice-versa. She thinks that Dresden is dangerous even if he isn't Obsidian. She also truly believes the Order are the good guys, considering she has friends and family in it, and she doesn't want Dresden to hurt them. Dresden and Rarity, on the other hoof, would very much like to hurt them since they kidnapped Twilight. It gets so bad that Dresden tricks her into teleporting home with an escape potion because he can't trust her to not betray them after he is forced to attack Bon-Bon's mother in self-defense.
  • The Reveal: Obsidian, whom the Order Triune believe Harry's pony form to be, never resurrected anywhere in Equestrian history. Unfortunately for the Triune, their true enemy was Novel Notion, who rather than just another mook, was in fact the one who had been stringing them along so he could destroy the Order.
    • Red Herring: In-universe and out, Obsidian is mentioned so often that no one really considers that he might not have resurrected this time even though there's never been any hard evidence that he has.
    • Chapter 24 has another reveal on top of this one: Obsidian did resurrect. He just never reappeared in Equestria, having become a powerful demon lord in his own right in the Never Never. While Harry was in Equestria, Obsidian attacked Earth.
  • Sequel Hook: A gigantic demonic dragon devours Novel Notion and his allies, which only whets its appetite. Keen Vision suffers more visions of disaster in his sleep.
  • Time Skip: False Masks takes place after Blood Rites. Nearly a year has passed on Earth, and two months have passed in Equestria.
  • Token Good Teammate: Colgate is shaping up to be this for the Order Triune. Mouse seems to like her when she first visits Twilight's home. As is Bon-Bon. In fact, from what we've seen, the entire Order Triune itself is more like a bunch of Well Intentioned Extremists, with a single Token Evil Teammate who doesn't care about mind control or collateral damage.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not that she wasn't badass already, but Twilight manages to figure out how to use magic circles while Harry is gone.
  • Trust Password: Harry's full name becomes this when they are reunited with Twilight.
  • Tyke Bomb: Harry cynically wonders if every member of the Order is one of these after hearing that Bon-Bon was literally born to join the Order. Novel Notion's frustration with being one kicks off the entire plot, culminating in a mostly successful attempt to slaughter the Order.
  • Vagueness Is Coming: Keen Vision warns Twilight of this, specifically that the coming "darkness" is centered around her and Harry.
  • Villain Has a Point: His complete bastardry aside, Novel Notion makes the point that the Order Triune was horrible at recognizing genuine threats and understanding when a threat has truly passed. He's right, they waited 1200 years for Obsidian to come back and he never did, because he was already dead as the general public rightfully believed. Celestia also acknowledges that he's not entirely wrong when he called her a tyrant.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The nervous tan unicorn in the prologue who claims that Harry is Obsidian? He's the Big Bad.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Novel Notion, even under trial for the murder of almost 200 ponies, retains a calm air. Then Twilight sentences him to a Fate Worse than Death, and he loses his composure.
  • We Are Everywhere: Order Triune has its members in seemingly every town and organization, including the Royal Guard.
  • What the Hell Are You?: Harry silently asks this of Celestia when a mysterious force interrupts their Soulgaze. He's not sure if the force was meant to protect her or him.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Novel Notion claims to be this, and is willing to sacrifice almost 200 ponies and the Princess to create his own Equestria. He does despise the Order for a very good reason, and Princess Celestia admits that he is correct in saying she's a tyrant, but as she points out he probably would have sacrificed many more ponies for the power he craved.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Harry now has a fear of fire thanks to getting his hand cooked by a vampire with a homemade flamethrower in canon. He can't even perform the smallest flame magic without sweating nervously, and he is shaken when Spike breathes fire at an enemy.
  • Would Not Hurt A Child: Whoever is trying to kill Harry is considerate enough to shield the Cutie Mark Crusaders from being killed by the runaway wagon they hijacked to kill Dresden. However, said assassin was also willing to use them as bait in the first place to keep Dresden from just running away. As well as dole out a large amount of tainted treats, far more then Harry could eat on his own, with the foals around in plain sight of it, and which they almost instantly try to eat some of.
    • this dichotomy of both protecting, and endangering the foals is what leads Harry to believe there is either two groups, or two separate factions of the same group, each trying to off him separately. With one taking more care to avoid collateral damage then the other.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy:
    • The Order Triune is wrong about a lot of things. Obsidian is Blackstone? Nope! Obsidian is Novel Notion? Nope! Was Obsidian any of those powerful, dark-furred stallions the Order killed? Nope! Did Obsidian ever come Back from the Dead at all? Actually, this was the only one they got right.
    • Novel Notion is under the impression that he's tough enough to cross the Nevernever depowered with thirty-three of his cronies, only three of them full-powered ponies. He is disabused of this idea. Permanently.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: When Harry returns to Equestria, only two months have passed. On Earth, it's been nearly a year. Since as far as Twilight knows, time dilation is more or less the same between the worlds, she doesn't get it. Harry assumes it's because of the Nevernever, but states that there is a basic balance, with one side's time going "faster" and the other going "slower" at certain points so that neither world gets too far ahead of the other, time-wise.
  • You Have to Believe Me!: The Order's arguments that Harry is the reincarnation of an Evil Overlord of the past all basically boil down to this.
  • You're Insane!:
    • Harry and the Mane Six call out Arcane Mind's decision to summon He Who Walks Behind again as this.
    • After everything Novel Notion says and does in chapter 21, this is the response.
      Twilight: What is wrong with you?!
      Novel Notion: Megalomania, most likely, but that isn't important.

    Great Power 
  • Big Eater: The Wendigo, as befitting a spirit of insatiable hunger possessing a human host. During its meeting with Harry it eats three raw turkeys then gets ready to go to dinner when they party ways. It also demands two deer and a dozen meat-lover's pizzas as compensation for its time.
    • Ouroboros, the demonic dragon that followed the Mane 6 to Chicago, is shown ravenously devouring anything set before her once she makes the cross over.
  • Buffy Speak: Pinkie is the humanest human that ever humaned.
  • Crazy-Prepared: The SI officers in chapter one are geared for most supernatural attackers, with blessed steel rounds, rock salt and water at hand.
  • A Degree in Useless: Sean's father felt this way about Sean pursuing a music degree and refused to pay for his schooling. Even worse, Sean's inability to accept criticism kept him from improving, making it even less likely that he would be able to make a good career out of his degree. Still worse, he was fiscally irresponsible, living far beyond his means and taking out student loans. When Sean went missing, he was facing serious debt without a degree that could help him find a job that would allow him to actually pay it off. The police think Sean simply ran off to avoid dealing with his debts.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Mane Six in the prologue come off as this. While their human appearances are more or less good enough to fool the locals, the rather idyllic setting of Equestria means they have no idea of the technology that humans use on a day-to-day basis.
  • Fantasy-Forbidding Father: Sean's father refused to pay for what he considered a useless music degree and thought little of Sean's dream of becoming a rock star. He wanted Sean to pursue a degree that would help him find a good job with a future. Sean's father ultimately turned out to be right — Sean wasn't a very good music writer since he couldn't take criticism, meaning there was little to no chance he would ever become a star.
  • Fish out of Water: In a reversal from the first, and to a lesser degree second, story, the Mane Six and Spike are this rather than Dresden, having come to Earth rather than the latter returning to Equestria.
  • Glamour Failure: Murphy isn't fooled one bit by the Mane Six's disguises because Spike's appearance isn't human-accurate enough.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: The girls reveal that they are all wearing smiley-face boxers to show that they are indeed wearing underwear. Murphy falls over laughing.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Molly is not happy when sees the Mane Six glomp Harry and initially acts rude and standoffish towards them.
  • Heroic BSoD: Played for Laughs with Rarity when the police explain human underwear in more detail. He reaction is to enter into a state of shock, tremble, and mutter repeatedly "Am I still a proper lady?"
  • Humanity Ensues: The Mane Six and Spike try to disguise themselves as humans.
  • I Know Your True Name: Part of the Dresdenverse in general. Twilight uses this to teleport herself and the Mane Six to Chicago, with Harry's Name acting as a sort-of beacon.
  • I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Upon meeting a lost human toddler, Pinkie Pie brings him back to the rest of the Mane Six and Spike and asks if they can keep him. Fluttershy has this reaction, telling Twilight that she wants one, and that she'll take good care of it.
  • In a Single Bound: In chapter one, Rainbow jumps four stories in one move in order to get a good look at the city. Her only complaint is that it's kind of tough on the hocks, or whatever humans call their leg joints. She later gets around town by means of Roof Hopping.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Pinkie Pie lets slip in front of Special Investigations that the Mane Six all shared a bed with Harry. Twilight makes things worse by mentioning that they were all "exhausted," with Rainbow Dash compounding things even further when she comments that that night got pretty crazy and that she was sore for two weeks afterwards. Of course, they were all in their natural pony forms at the time, they were placed in bed with Harry when they were all passed out from exhaustion (and did nothing more than sleep), and said exhaustion, soreness, and craziness stemmed from a showdown with a demon-possessed unicorn. They just don't clarify that for the people listening.
  • Killed to Uphold the Masquerade: Dresden suspects that this might be the case of Sean, a missing person he's trying to find. A rock musician, Sean apparently unknowingly incorporated actual information about the supernatural in his lyrics, which may have prompted one of the beings he sung about to silence him.
  • Must Be Invited: In Harry's world, most supernatural beings must be invited across thresholds to homes, lest they experience negative repercussions ranging from the weakening of their magical power while within the home to outright debilitation. Murphy cunningly uses this to ascertain the true nature of Twilight and her friends when she lets Twilight enter her home without explicitly inviting her in, undoing the spell maintaining Twilight's human form. The same thing happens to Pinkie when she enters Harry's apartment without being invited in.
  • Missed Him by That Much: While searching for Dresden, the Mane Six come across a beat up old blue Volkswagen Beetle before moving on again...
  • Not What It Looks Like:
    • Non-romantic version. When a veiled Ouroboros, in search of Harry, starts attacking people at Navy Pier, Harry, Michael, Twilight and Rainbow must unleash an almighty battle just to put her to flight. As the fight rages, Harry becomes acutely aware that the onlookers perceive not four heroes saving them from a monster but two large men and two fit teenage girls ganging up on one tiny, ragged, shoeless old woman who appears to be mentally unwell.
    • A more traditional version happens earlier, when Twilight and the girls give Harry a very affectionate group hug in front of Murphy and her SI colleagues...and Molly.
  • Oh, Crap!: Dresden's reaction when he hears someone (actually Twilight) say his full True Name.
  • Small Name, Big Ego: The missing person Sean was an example. He was convinced he was going to become a famous rock star someday. His advisor at the university noted that he had a talent for wordplay but was hampered by an inability to accept criticism that left him "creatively shackled". Sean's former bandmates were even harsher and flat out tell Harry that Sean couldn't write a decent riff to save his life, though his lyrics were good. Sean also spent money like he was going to become a big star someday even though his frustrated father had cut him off, and ended up in serious debt and stuck in an expensive lease on an apartment he couldn't afford as a result. Sean's father tells Harry that Sean was finally starting to face reality, and during their last dinner together Sean told him he had taken a new job to help pay the bills. Sean went missing after that.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Murphy all but spells this trope out when Twilight maintains that she and her friends are "perfectly ordinary, non-magical humans".
  • Technicolor Eyes: The Mane Six's eyes retain their natural color. Unfortunately, these aren't colors seen on Earth. However, Murphy points out that they won't be giveaways because people do wear contacts to change the color of their eyes. Spike's slit pupils on the other hand...
  • Treacherous Advisor: Dresden views Lasciel, or rather the imprint of Lasciel currently residing in his head, as this. Since the original Lasciel is an actual fallen angel, and imprint-Lasciel's job is to tempt him into allowing the Fallen to possess him, he has good reason to.
  • Walking Techbane: Twilight becomes one just like all human magic-users in the Dresden-verse, and accidentally shorts out a workstation in the police station.
  • Wendigo: These creatures (the Earth version, not the Equestrian one) are some of Harry's early suspects on Sean's disappearance. When one shows up, it uses shapeshifting magic to look human — until it takes its true shape to eat Harry's offering of three raw turkeys, which has the traditional appearance of an emaciated giant with a deer-like head and a mouth full of fangs. They're specifically described as spirits that possess and corrupt humans, plagued by insatiable hunger for meat that drives most of them insane, although some possess enough self-control not to succumb to madness. They like their meat raw and preferably human, although all-you-can-eat buffets and meat lover’s pizzas are acceptable substitutes.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: The Mane Six's appearances as humans mirror their pony forms fairly closely, which leaves them... kinda eye-catching.


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