Curse of the Werepony
Chapter 2 "Hell Hath No Furry Like a Dragon Scorned"
By Steven Little
My Little Pony © Hasbro
When Spike woke he found himself lying on a bed with purple sheets. He was in a large room with purple wall hangings and a balcony off to one side. Behind the bed was a small bookcase overflowing with books and scrolls. At the foot of the bed was a trunk and beyond that against the wall was a wardrobe and large dressing mirror. "Welcome back Spike, you had me scared for a while there." Princess Luna said.
"What happened, where am I?" He asked.
"You are in my personal chambers. You fainted, for lack of a better term. The transformation took a lot of energy, your subsequent flee from Ponyville and your emotional state did not help matters either." She informed him, sitting down next to the bed. "Spike, what has happened?"
Spike was blushing at the knowledge that he was in Luna's bed. "No one knows what happened to me. It's all very confusing."
"Tell me Spike,” Luna’s tone was soft and gentle. “I will listen.”
Spike told the Princess everything. He told her about Twilight's sickness, the bite, and the reactions he received from Applejack, Pinkie, and Fluttershy when they found out that the pony they saw before them was actually Spike. Luna couldn't help but chuckle slightly. "It's not funny Princess, it was really embarrassing."
"I am sorry, but tell me Spike, that is not what is truly bothering you, is it?" Luna asked him. "That is not what brought you to the edge of the overlook?"
"No, I guess not." Spike confessed. "It was Rarity, I love her but I guess I didn't really know how she felt about me." He said choking back fresh tears. "She hates me!" He bawled. "She said I was just an annoying little reptile! She said my only use was lift and tote work. After all I've done for her, everything I've done to make her happy; all I am to her is free labor." Luna's heart went to out to him. She climbed into the bed and lay next to him, wrapping a wing around the injured soul. "Why does it hurt so much?" Spike begged, tears streaming out of his emerald eyes.
"Shhhh, it will be all right; a broken heart hurts more than someponies know and I am sure Rarity did not truly mean the things she said, you will see." Luna said, trying to console him. Spike buried his face in Luna's shoulder, crying his eyes out.
"It will be all right, I promise." She said, gently rocking back and forth and stroking his mane. A single tear rolled down her cheek. It wasn't long before Spike had cried himself to sleep. There was a quiet knock at the door. Luna used her magic to very carefully open the chamber entrance.
Celestia walked in and shut the door behind her. She was much like her younger sister except that she was much taller and white in color. Her mane and tail flowed on invisible currents like Luna's but instead of blue violet; Celestia's mane and tail was a pastel spectrum of pink, blue, green and purple. "Sister, some of the guards told me you brought a young stallion here to your room. I hope I'm not interrupting anything but they told me he was unconscious."
"He is here Tia and he is sleeping, please attempt to keep your voice down." Celestia approached the bed and saw the stallion's face snuggled into Luna's chest. Luna carefully extracted herself from around the sleeping stallion and carefully tucked her blanket in around him.
"Luna, you didn't…"
"No, I did not sleep with him. Do you not think that an eighteen year old is a little young for me?" She asked.
Princess Celestia smiled. "What about little Pip Fetlocksly? The poor dear is going to be heartbroken."
"Tia!" Luna hissed quietly. "If I ever get my hooves on the pony who wrote that book I will… I do not know what I would do but it would not be pleasant."
Her sister chuckled lightly. "Oh Luna it was just some mare looking for a quick couple of bits, you shouldn't take it so personally."
"You know, I recall actually seeing the book in a store once, right next to a copy of 'The Adventures of Princess Molestia'." Luna smiled evilly. "Tell me sister, how long has it been since you went out to fulfill your own sexual desires on the population of Ponyville? Your own student even, truly shocking!"
"I will not dignify that slanderous publication with a response." She said in a huff. "What's important at the moment is why this unconscious young stallion is in your bed."
Luna gazed down at the sleeping pony with a look of utter despair stamped on her face. "He ran all the way from Ponyville at a full gallop. I found him at the edge of the overlook and had I not been there, I'm certain he would have walked off. He collapsed from the effort of his departure. I decided to bring him here and watch over him."
"You've become such a gentle soul since your return little sister." Celestia said smiling at her.
Princess Luna gently stroked his emerald green mane. "It pains me to say, and I almost do not have the heart to tell you who it is."
Celestia studied him for a moment. "Should I recognize him?"
"It is Spike, Twilight's Spike."
"It can't be." She said, as she and her sister walked out in the hall so as not to disturb him. "How can that young stallion be Spike? It doesn't make any sense." Celestia was in shock. She had known Spike since he was freshly hatched. When Twilight had come to live in the palace during her tutelage, she had practically raised the small dragon until Twilight had become old enough to care for him herself. "You don't think Twilight was experimenting on him?" She asked
"Unfortunately no, if that were the case you or I could remedy this easily." Luna noticed one of the court scribes passing by on their way to the library. "Just a moment Tia, I need to send a quick letter." She said as she waved the scribe over to them.
"Take a letter for me?" Luna asked sweetly.
"As you wish, I'm ready."
"Dear Twilight Sparkle, I am aware of your current illness and hope that you are feeling well. I would like you to attend me at the palace as soon as you can. Spike is here with me and he is well for now but we have much to discuss. Bring your friends as I am sure Spike will need all the help he can get in the coming turmoil. Always your friend, Princess Luna."
"Will that be all your majesty?"
"Yes, please have one of the guards deliver this letter two hours before mid-day; Twilight Sparkle is sick and I would like her to get as much sleep as possible." The scribe bowed and went about his duties. Luna walked back over to her sister. "Tia, after you have risen the sun could you assist me in the drawing room?" She asked with a long sigh.
"Whatever is the matter sister?" Celestia asked concerned. "Do you know how Spike became a pony?" Luna sighed again.
"Spike has become a Werepony and if we do not change him back soon, I am afraid he could die."
"But Luna, there hasn't been a case of a Werepony in over a millennia. Are you certain?"
"Of course We are certain!" She hollered. "Do you think We would be so distressed and upset if We were not!?"
"Calm down sister, you’re using the Royal We again. You know that I'm worried about him too; if that really is Spike than he's in a great deal of trouble, I just wanted to be sure."
Twilight Sparkle was mad. Of all the ponies who should have been told about Spike, she should have been the first. Twilight was busy helping to search the town for Spike when Rainbow Dash swooped down from the sky. The pegasus pony was much like Fluttershy in build but was thinner and more streamlined. Her short unkempt rainbow colored mane and tail complimented her cyan blue coat. "Is there any sign of him Rainbow Dash?" She asked her pleadingly.
"Sorry Twi. I searched all the way to Manehatten. Nopony's seen him."
"How about the rest of you; seen anything, any sign of him?"
"Sorry sugar cube, I haven't seen anythin' yet." Twilight looked to Rarity, Fluttershy, and Pinkie. All of them shook their head in defeat.
"Keep looking!" She shouted. The lavender unicorn lowered her head, coughing. They all gathered around her.
"Twilight, you need to slow down. You've been sick for days and the medicine Zecora and I made takes time to work." Fluttershy explained. "I've been reading about the illness; you're not completely well and I'm afraid if you push yourself too hard you could have a relapse."
"Thank you for your concern Shy but I feel fine thanks to you and Zecora. Right now I'm more concerned with Spike." She said, coughing again.
"Twilight, I know you're still upset about all this but please, I'm the one you should be mad at. I'm the one who caused him to run off." Rarity confessed, still hurt from what she had said that night. Twilight took a deep breath and let it out slowly.
"I know none of you intended for this to happen but the fact of the matter is, I should have been told as soon as possible. I'm responsible for the little guy and if anything happens to him I don't know what I'd do." Twilight was close to crying when one of the white, pegasus royal guards flew down from the sky.
"Miss Sparkle?" He asked.
"Yes sir? That's me." Twilight said, wiping her eyes. The courier gave her a letter and flew off.
"Who's it from?" Rainbow Dash asked. Twilight opened the letter and started reading it.
"It's from Princess Luna. She says that Spike is with her at the castle and that we all need to get there as soon as we can. Oh I hope he's okay." Twilight said. "The train to Canterlot has already left so we'll have to take my balloon. Let’s go everypony." All six of the ponies headed for Twilight's balloon except for one.
"What in tarnation are you waitin' for Rarity? We need to get goin' right now." Applejack asked.
"I can't go. I can't face him, not after what I said." Rarity ran, making a mad dash for her home at the Carousel Boutique.
The other five charged after her. "Rainbow, Applejack, stop her before she gets inside!" Twilight shouted. The two ponies raced ahead as fast as they could and tackled her to the ground. Twilight, Pinkie, and Fluttershy caught up to the other three. The lavender unicorn was breathing hard, her breaths wheezing out of her. "I'm sorry Rarity but you have to come too. If what Princess Luna said is true, he's going to need all of us and that includes you." She said, trying to catch her breath.
"I can't help him." She said, lying there in the dirt.
"What are you talkin' about?" Applejack asked.
"All I seem to do is hurt him. You saw the look on his face. How can I possibly make up for that?" Fluttershy knelt down and helped her to her feet.
"Do you like him?" Fluttershy asked.
"Yes, he's always been a good friend." She said.
"That's not what I mean. Do you, like, him?" Fluttershy asked again. "Nod your head Rarity. We all know you do. You need to tell him you're sorry." She said. "Tomorrow, you tell him you're sorry again and the next day, and the day after that. You keep telling him that you're sorry every day until he tells you to stop apologizing. Then you apologize for apologizing."
"And that will make everything all right?" She asked hopefully.
"Well, no, I don't think so but that's not the point." Fluttershy explained. "Whether you meant it or not, you hurt Spike and he needs to know that you're sorry. That's just the first step. The next step you have to figure out for yourself."
Pinkie bounced up and hugged Rarity. "We all know you feel awful about what happened but we need you, and little Spikie Wikie needs you. So, will you come with us so we can try to help him?" The pink party pony asked her.
"Yes, I will go but I need to get something first, you may accompany me if you wish." They followed Rarity into her shop. The main floor was a boutique set up with mirrors and dressing rooms where ponies could try on her latest fashions. The group of ponies bypassed the shop and walked through a door to the left of the main entrance. Climbing the stairs they entered the small upstairs apartment, which consisted of two rooms and a storage closet. The small space served as a home for her and her sister Sweetie Belle. Rarity headed straight for her bedroom. It wasn't overly large but neither was it small since it also doubled as her workshop. Ponykins stood waiting for their master's command, a workbench with an antique sewing machine stood at the ready. Bolts upon bolts of cloth in every imaginable color sat in their own cubbyholes waiting. Rarity ran over to a medium sized blue chest sitting on a makeup table against the wall to the left of her red canopy bed. "Where is it, where is it?" She said flinging jewelry left and right."
"You okay Rarity?" Rainbow asked.
"Yes, I mean no, I need to find it. Ahh, here it is, I knew it was in there somewhere." She said as she pulled out a necklace with a wide gold band and a heart shaped Fire Ruby at its center.
"Isn't that the ruby Spike gave you three years ago when he turned into that giant dragon monster?" Twilight asked her.
"Yes, it is. I'm going to give it back to him. I'm undeserving of such a generous gift. Maybe this will help him forgive me." Rarity informed them. "Okay, I'm ready to go." The six friends made their way back to the balloon and while Twilight, Rarity, Applejack and Pinkie climbed into the basket, Rainbow Dash and Fluttershy both grabbed a rope and flew off towards Canterlot as fast as they could with the balloon in tow.
The balloon had sprung a leak and they had to land to make repairs. By the time they reached the palace, the sun was already starting to set. Landing in the palace garden they were met by Princess Luna. "Hurry, come to the drawing room, Celestia can not keep the moon from rising forever." The ponies ran through the palace, bursting into the drawing room. In the middle of the room they found Spike as a little dragon yet again. Unlike the day before, all the dragon's scales had returned but their shine was gone, each and every scale on his body had lost its luster and shown faded in the failing light.
"Spike!" Twilight and Rarity ran to him. Both mares wanted to hold him forever and never let go. Twilight was a little taken aback when Princess Luna unexpectedly blocked both their path.
"Please, you must keep your distance for now." Twilight looked beyond the Princess and saw Spike's little body breathing shallow and rapidly. Tears were in Rarity's eyes. Spike looked as though he'd been fighting to hold onto whatever life was left in his little body.
"What's wrong with him?" Rarity asked her pleadingly.
"Spike has become a Werepony. Holding the moon and the sun at twilight has been difficult on him. Celestia is going to let the moon rise then you can go to him." Luna informed her.
"A Werepony?" They all asked in unison.
"Yes, a Werepony." Celestia said as she walked into the room.
"Are you okay sister?"
"Yes, I'll be fine. I just need a little rest." Celestia addressed the six ponies around her. "A Werepony is very rare and can only happen to young dragons. When a dragon is shedding his scales, like Spike was, he becomes vulnerable. If during this time, he or she is bitten by a pony suffering from pony-pox he can be infected, and the only cure is a spell performed by four casters."
"Well that's oddly specific." Pinkie Pie stated.
"Why four?" Twilight asked.
"The amount of magic necessary to break the curse and seal Spike into his true form is so taxing that one or even two spell casters alone could die in the process." Luna explained. "That is why four are needed, spreading the strain out is simply safer."
"Oh no, this is all my fault!" Twilight cried out.
While Celestia and Luna had been explaining the situation, the moon had risen and Spike again exploded in a cloud of purple smoke and scales. When the smoke cleared, Spike was again a pony, but he seemed a lot more tired than the night before.
"No Twilight." Spike reassured her. "This is not your fault." Spike said as he got to his hooves and stretched out. "You couldn't have known and even if you did it's not so bad being a pony."
"You may enjoy being a pony but you can not stay that way." Luna said reluctantly.
"Why not?" Spike asked.
"Spike, you are a dragon,” Luna explained. "Changing into a pony every time the moon rises is a terrible strain on your body. However, my sister and I will not force you into a decision, you can either return to being a dragon or you can stay as you are now but you must understand, the constant shifting from one form to the other is extremely harmful and will significantly shorten your life span."
"How much?" He asked her. Luna looked to her sister.
"Spike, your particular species of dragon can live for a couple of hundred years. But if you choose to stay this way, your life span will be reduced to only ten years at most and that's only if you're careful." The ponies in the room gasped in surprise.
Spike stood there, frozen in shock. "Is that all?" He asked, his voice shaking with emotion
"I am most regretful Spike,” Luna said, giving him a hug. "We are not trying to scare you but neither I nor my sister can change the outcome. If you choose to stay a dragon we have to wait till you change back. I want you to really think about this but do not take too long, the longer you stay like this the more difficult it will be to change you back. Even with our combined ability, after a week we will not be able to cure you at all. With that in mind, I'm giving you two days to decide." Spike stared at the ground thinking hard, unwilling to acknowledge Rarity's presence.
"I have a question." Rainbow Dash said. "Spike is a baby dragon, but as a pony he looks as grown up as the rest of us."
"That's because he is. You see; Spike is only five years younger than Twilight and as a dragon that makes him still a toddler. When he changes into a pony, the curse takes his age into account and transforms him into a pony approximately eighteen years of age." Celestia explained.
While the others were busy asking questions of Princess Celestia, Rarity could only stare at the purple stallion with regret. Luna leaned over to Rarity. "Rarity, will you follow me please?" She asked softly. Rarity walked with Princess Luna to a secluded chamber off of the main room. "Have a seat please." Rarity sat on a cushion opposite the Princess. "I do not think I have to tell you how upset I am with you at the moment." Rarity remained silent. Luna sat on a cushion and sighed. "I feel sorry for Spike, the curse is not the only thing that's hurting him. My moon is also part of this but I can't keep the moon from rising, I can delay it but it will have to rise. I have always wanted my moon to inspire beauty but in this instance it brings pain and every time it rises, Spike will be hurt."
"I'm sorry Princess. I didn't realize." Rarity apologized. Luna glared at her slightly.
"There is a great many things you did not realize. You did not realize you were destroying the feelings of another. You did not realize that words could hit as hard as hooves when they are chosen incorrectly and in haste; it is not me you should be apologizing to. You have hurt Spike greatly and because of his feelings for you I do not think anypony could ever hurt him as badly as you have."
Rarity began to sob. "I'm so sorry. I didn't know what I was saying." Rarity confessed. "To see him like that, hanging onto life. If he returns to being a dragon, will he stay that weak? Will every day be a struggle for him?"
"No, if he returns to his true form he will regain his strength, his vitality and live out his life as if nothing had happened." She answered.
"And if he stays the way he is?" The white unicorn asked. "Is it true, what Princess Celestia said?"
"It is as my sister said. If Spike remains a werepony, every day will find him weaker than the one before. Eventually Spike will become bed ridden and one day, he will simply slip away." The Princess said with a heavy heart. "Rarity, I do not intend to make things more difficult but my sister has explained to me what happened three years ago on Spike's birthday, and I've read Twilight's report of what happened. I have to ask, the jewel you wear around your neck, is it the same one Spike gave you?"
"Yes, it is. I brought it with me to give back to Spike. After the way I've treated him, I don't deserve a generous gift such as this." She said.
"Under the circumstances, I believe that would be an extraordinarily bad idea." Luna said.
"Why's that your majesty?"
"When you look at that gem around your neck, what do you see?" Princess Luna asked.
"I see a rare treasure given to me out of selflessness. It's beautiful and flawless and perfect. Then, when Spike gave it to me, what he said. I don't think I'll ever forget it. He said, this beautiful gem was meant to be with me. It was supposed to be Spike's birthday dinner but he gave it to me instead."
"Do not fool yourself Rarity. According to Twilight, Spike had been cutting and shaping that stone for months. I am sure you know that Fire Rubies are not heart shaped by nature. He knew the second you saw that gem, you would be enthralled by it. To be honest, I did not think Spike had it in him. He was afraid of you rejecting the gift so he made up the subterfuge about it being his dinner. It really was a clever way for him to give you something he has wanted to give you for some time now; his heart."
Rarity was at a loss for words. "I didn't know; all I saw was the gem. I wore it around like a trophy, and then I verbally trampled his heart last night." She said. "Why didn't Twilight tell me?"
"She could not. Before Spike would tell her anything, he swore her to secrecy. The only one she was allowed to consult on the matter was Celestia or myself but Twilight has always had a preference for Celestia." The alicorn said; a hint of sadness in her voice.
"Do you think he will ever forgive me?" Rarity asked her.
Luna wiped a tear away from Rarity's cheek with her wing. She placed a hoof on her shoulder and looked Rarity in the eye. "Whether he forgives you or not is entirely up to him. Now dry those eyes and let us go back into the other room." Rarity wiped her eyes and followed Luna back into the drawing room.
The others were there waiting for her but the only pony Rarity could see was Spike. Rarity trotted right up to Spike but before she could say anything he turned his back on her and started walking toward the door. "Spike, please don't walk away."
"Why are you wearing that thing?" He asked sharply. "I'm sure either Twilight or one of the Princesses has told you the real story behind it. Twilight never could keep a secret. I know it doesn't mean anything to you so why did you keep it?"
"You gave this to me Spike and I've always treasured it. I couldn't possibly get rid of this." She tried to tell him, but Spike was still so angry.
"Keep it, cut it, sell it, throw it away; I don't care anymore. Do whatever you want Rarity; it's what your good at." Spike turned around and faced her, tears of pain in his eyes. "You know, you should try to hook up with Blue Blood again. You and him are exactly the same; shallow, superficial, vain, and self centered."
"Spike, that's not fair." Twilight said.
"Fair? I'll tell you what's not fair. For five years I do everything for her and ask nothing in return except a little consideration. I did everything from dig in the dirt for gems for you Rarity, to taking out your garbage. Heck, I was a pincushion for you. When the Diamond Dogs took you prisoner, I led the charge outnumbered against foes four times my mass. I gave up going to parties and events to watch Sweetie Belle and her friends while you went out with the others and left me behind. I did everything for you and you treated me like dirt. I never once gave up hope that maybe, somehow, someway you and I could be together." Spike turned again and walked toward the door. "I should be thanking you Rarity. You finally opened my eyes so I could see you for who you really are. I'm done with you. Go crush someone else's heart, you've already destroyed mine." Spike ran out of the room and headed for the tower room he and Twilight used to share all those years ago.