Magic School Days

by Dogger807

Chapter 20: Wooden Troubles

The living room was in shambles.  Cushions and knickknacks were scattered everywhere as four ponies and baby dragon hunted diligently for their prey.

“It’s not here,” Applejack said as she dropped the blanket she had been looking under.  “Ah think Sweetie Belle forgot to send it.”

“I have confidence that she wouldn’t forget something so important,” Rarity said as she levitated a couch to check under it.

“Ah just got vomited up by a piece a luggage,” Applejack countered.  “Mah, confidence is pretty much kaput for the day.”

“Yeah,” Rainbow Dash agreed.  “Those puking noises were so not cool.”

“Come now.”  Rarity put the couch back on the floor.  “It wasn’t that bad.”

“Ah just got vomited up by a piece a luggage.” Applejack repeated slowly, emphasizing each word.

“Me,” Spike said from where he was picking up knickknacks to replace, “I want to know what exactly you're supposed to feed pet chests, besides ponies, that is.  And are you sure it was a good idea to leave it on the front lawn with just Pinkie guarding it?”

“It can stay outside until we find those instructions,” Rarity insisted.  “The last thing I need is for it to decide that my dresses are lunch.”

“Besides, Spike,” Twilight said, levitating the cushions back onto the couch, “with Pinkie guarding it, what could possibly go wrong?”

Everypony and dragon stopped what they were doing and turned to stare at Twilight.

“Did she just?” Applejack started to asked.

Without warning, Pinkie’s voice shouted from the front, “Rarity!  Your trunk just ate the mailmare!”

“She did,” Rarity confirmed.

“Twilight,” Rainbow Dash said, waving a hoof at the mare, “you know we all pretty much agree that you’re the smartest of us all.  Please stop trying to prove everypony wrong.”

“Rainbow,” Twilight snapped as she stamped a forehoof indignantly, “you can’t possibly believe that was anything but a coincidence.  Just because I say something like ‘It can’t get any worse’ doesn’t mean . . .”

“There goes the mayor!” came Pinkie’s shout

Rainbow Dash raised a questioning eyebrow but refrained from saying anything.

“What else could go wrong?” Twilight deliberately said, to prove a point.

“It just got Lyra!” Pinkie shouted.

“The worst is past.”  Twilight tried again.

“Aaaand!  Bonbon’s next!” Pinkie continued.

“This is as bad as it can possibly get?”  Twilight’s voice had started to contain a questioning note.

“Octavia just volunteered to be an appetizer!”  Pinkie's shout drifted into the room.

Twilight’s tail and ears drooped, and she said, “I’ll be shutting up now.”

“That might be a good idea,” Applejack said, coming up to Twilight to give her a one-forehoof hug.  “That thar box has just about enough to make its own hoofball team.”


It had been a very long time since Dumbledore had spent the night in his office at the Ministry.  If truth were to be told, it had been a little over a year since he had last stepped foot in the small collection of rooms.  Even though the duties of Chief Warlock entitled him to the amenities, he rarely indulged.  His office at Hogwarts was bigger and much more inviting.  However, these rooms were available when he needed them, and they included a small bedroom and a washroom -- nothing spectacular, but more than adequate to accommodate a late night of work.

He had spent the previous evening trying to moderate the ambitions of the newly-seated lawmakers.  They had several ideas in mind that would alter the landscape of the political community.  The most striking of these was a requirement of magical oath for all ministry employees to refuse bribes.  That, and the abolishment of the preferential treatment for purebloods in the hiring process would both be opposed soundly by the conservative faction, a faction that no longer had the numbers to stop the coming overhaul.

Dumbledore firmly felt that changes would be coming much too quickly.  He was going to have to muster his supporters to throttle back on the alterations that had been proposed.  Otherwise, the Ministry of tomorrow would look nothing like the Ministry of today.  Yes, changes were needed in the current system, but if they came too quickly, chaos would soon follow.  Stability would be lost, and traditions discarded.  The sturdy foundations of society would become like jello.

After waking early, Dumbledore quickly ran through his morning routine.  He needed to visit the records department before the Wizengamot was to convene later that morning.  The rumors of Miss Belle having a marriage contract with Mr. Potter required investigation.  The potential disaster that would cause had to be neutralized.

With a grandfatherly smile, Dumbledore greeted the young wizard manning the information counter.  “Ah, Mr. Tilley, just the person I wanted to see.”

Mr. Tilley returned a nervous smile and said, “Good morning, Professor Dumbledore.  How may I help the Chief Warlock this morning?”

“There have been some troubling rumors, and I fear I must check on the welfare of a couple of my students.”  Dumbledore stepped up to the counter.  “I wish to see any recent paperwork pertaining to a marriage contract between Harry Potter and Sweetie Belle.”

Sighing, Mr. Tilley said, “I was afraid you were going to ask that.  You’re going to have to talk to Judge Brown for that.”

“There’s no need for that.”  Dumbledore smiled encouragingly.  “I’m the Chief Warlock; checking contracts is well within my rights.”

Giving Dumbledore an apologetic look, Mr. Tilley said, “To quote the judge, ‘When he tries to pull rank tell Albus Dumbledore that he is to see me on the subject and that is the end of the matter.’  End quote.  So, you see, I cannot get that paperwork for you.”

“That is most distressing.”  Dumbledore ran his hand through his beard thoughtfully.  “Did she mention why she felt such measures were necessary?”

“She only said that your attempting to see the contract was both a conflict of interest and an abuse of power,” Mr. Tilley said, looking away from Dumbledore.  “So, as far as I’m concerned, you never showed up today.”

“I see,” Dumbledore said, before angrily leaving the room.


The group gave up on their inspection of Rarity’s living room and converged on Pinkie Pie, who was sitting ten feet from the trunk, watching it intensely.

“Pinkie!” Applejack said, walking up to the pink mare.  “Y’all were supposed to be guarding that thar chest.”

Smiling, Pinkie gestured to the trunk and said, “I was.  As you can see, nopony took it.  It’s still right over there.  You can consider that chest successfully guarded.  Though, if you’d asked me, I’d say it was perfectly capable of guarding itself.”

“Didn’t you think It might be a good idea to stop ponies from going over there and examining it?” Rarity asked as she and Twilight cautiously approached the chest.

“Nah,” Pinkie said, shaking her head.  “Your letter said that it was just a harmless defense mechanism, and it’s actually pretty hilarious watching other ponies meet your trunk.  It’s like the best prank ever!”

“Yeah, but the letter also said that we can only make it puke up ponies once before binding it to Rarity.”  Rainbow Dash landed next to Pinkie keeping a wary eye on the subject of interest.  “Since Rarity refuses to bind it until we find the instruction book, how are we supposed to get them out now?”

“Besides, weren’t you the one who told me not to use the word 'harmless' in conjunction with the Crusaders?” Twilight asked as she reached out a hoof to open the chest, causing Rarity to leap back in alarm.  A few seconds later the trunk settled back into its original position.”

“Now why do you reckon she went and did that for?” Applejack asked just before there was a flash of light common to teleportation.  Once the stars had cleared from her vision, Applejack saw Twilight standing next to a frazzled looking Mare Mayor and Bonbon.  “Oh.”

“Yeah,” Twilight said trotting back up to the chest, “that’s more than a little creepy.”  Once again, she reached to open the lid.


A row of brooms lay on the ground when the first-years came outside for their broom flying lesson after breakfast.  Scootaloo had bounced the entire way, chanting, “It’s time to fly!  It’s time to fly!”

“Calm down, Scoots.” Dean said, watching the girl’s antics.  “You’ll be in the air soon enough.”

“I can’t wait!  I can’t wait!  I can’t wait!” she insisted and ran over to scoop up a broom.

“Hold on there, girl!” Madam Hooch commanded.  “Just stand next to your broom until the whole class is here and ready.”

“Aww!” Scootaloo whined as she stared down at the tantalizing broom waiting for her to ride.

Sweetie Belle took position next to a broom on the end and then glanced back at Magah, who had stopped to graze.  The mare was obviously still keeping an eye on her even as she cropped up the grass.

“I’m a little nervous about this,” Hermione admitted to the rest of the group as she eyed the broom at her feet.  “These things seem too flimsy to support our weight.”

“Gran’s never let me ride a broom before,” Neville said, nervously, also eyeing his broom.

“Relax,” Ron said cheerfully.  “It’s really not that hard to learn.”

“Speak for yarself,” Apple Bloom said, taking her place.  “These critters are right temperamental.”

“Well, what are you waiting for?” Madam Hooch said, seeing that all the Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs were present.  “Stand next to your broom, hold out your hand and say ‘up’."

Filled with excitement at the prospect of learning to fly, Harry promptly stuck his hand and gave the proper command.  He heard several other students do the same as his broom suddenly shot sideways, undercutting his legs, upending him.  As he landed on his back he heard **thwack**  "ow.”  **thwack**  “Ow.”  **thwack**  “Ow!”

Still dazed, Harry looked over and saw that Scootaloo was covered by every broomstick that had been in the yard, a look of astonishment plastered on her face.”


The Wizengamot chamber was packed to capacity.  It may have even grown a bit to accommodate the entire crowd.

At the main podium, Albus Dumbledore once more stood, ready to commence the proceedings.  “Good Morning.” he said and the room grew quiet in anticipation, “as Chief Warlock, I hereby call this assembly of the Wizengamot to order.  We are gathered here today to complete the agenda that was scheduled for yesterday.  Also on the docket is a trial for former Minister Fudge.”  He paused to let his words sink in.  “But first, as it is customary, the floor is open to anyone wishing to present new business.”

A member of the Wizengamot promptly found her feet and coolly said, “I have new business to be brought before the Wizengamot.”

Absolute silence met the declaration as even the crickets missed their cue; every eye in the assembly landed on Alice.  Though none gave them voice, the words “oh bloody hell.” rippled through the mass of witches and wizards.

“Yes, Miss Rutter, you now have the floor.”  Dumbledore allowed with a note of caution in his voice.

“As steward of the last two free individuals with claims to the House, I hereby claim the right to speak for House Black,” she said with an aggressive inflection.

“Have you not amassed enough wealth?!” a member from the remaining pureblood faction snapped.  “Are you to now claim the holdings of Black as well?!”

Alice ignored him and said, “I hereby demand the immediate release of Sirius Black who has been held without a trial for nearly a decade.  Furthermore, I lay claim to the prescribed penalties from the Ministry for denying a member of House Black his right to a speedy trial.”

Dumbledore joined the entirety of the assembly in staring at the woman in bewilderment.  “I was under the impression you wanted to punish those who followed the dark lord.  Why, then, are you trying to release his right-hand man?” he finally asked.

“Sirius Black is not now and never was a follower of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.”  Alice insisted, “He is a political prisoner who has been denied a trial while imprisoned on a fiction.”

“What proof do you have of this allegation?” Amelia Bones stood up from her seat, demanding the attention of all present.

“I require no proof.” Alice countered, “You need to either produce the trial records or produce Sirius Black, and you need to do it now.”

“You misunderstand the reason behind my question.  I attempted to locate those trial transcripts just last night and could not find any.”  Amelia raised a placating hand.  “My concern is that where there is one innocent prisoner, there may be more.”

“Miss Rutter, these are some very serious allegations,” Dumbledore interrupted.

“Yes, they are,” Alice agreed crossing her arms.  “So, if you would now, call a recess and order the retrieval of the victim; the clock began ticking as soon as I demanded his release.  Any delay and or his death will increase the penalties drastically.  Also, you should know that I am well aware that the penalties can be applied to the individuals responsible for the miscarriage of justice, before being taken from the public coffers.  We have some rather strict laws on abuse of power, if one knows to look for them.”

“You do realize we just convened?” Dumbledore asked.

“You do realize an innocent man is still being held in Azkaban?”

“That remains to be seen.”  Dumbledore struck his gravel on the podium.  “This assembly shall stand in recess until the prisoner is retrieved.  I do hope you are not wasting our time, Miss Rutter.”

“Even if he were guilty, it would be no waste of time making sure he received his trial.” she returned, refusing his rebuke.


“Maybe you should just bind it to yourself like the letter says,” Applejack suggested as she stood in the library, watching Twilight finish up the letter and attach it to Philomena’s leg.

“Now, darling, I’m sure Sweetie Belle will be able to get me another copy of those instructions before it comes to that,” Rarity said

“Don’t tell me that you’re afraid of your own luggage,” Rainbow Dash scoffed.

“It’s a pony-eating chest.”  Rarity huffed with indignation.  “It’s only prudent that I get all the pertinent information available before I approach it.”

“Yeah, I can’t blame you for that," Pinkie Pie agreed.

Everypony in the room instantly pivoted to look at her.  “Pinkie!” Applejack yelped.  “When did you get here?”

“Just now,” Pinkie said with a wide grin.  “I was getting bored.”

“Um,” Rainbow Dash asked, “then who’s watching the trunk?”

“Rrrrelax,” Pinkie practically purred.  “I left a sign.”


“Okay, class,” Madam Hooch said, “with the exception of Miss Aloo, let’s try that again.”

Harry stuck his hand out once again and was rewarded by his broom instantly heeding his command, smacking solidly into his palm.  He was rather too distracted to feel elated though.  He was too busy watching Apple Bloom’s broom flee the girl.

“Did that broom just yipe?” Susan Bones of the Hufflepuffs asked.


While flying over the town, Blue Blaze had spotted something unusual in the front yard of the Carousel Boutique.  Giving in to curiosity, he landed to investigate.  There on the front lawn was an elaborately decorated trunk, and next to it was a sign post with a very puzzling message.

Scratching his head with a forehoof, the azure-colored pegasus read out loud, “Beware! Pony-Eating Trunk!”

Laughing to himself, Blue Blaze recognized Pinkie Pie’s mouthwriting from all the banners she’d made.  “She probably has some kind of surprise set up,” he said as he trotted forward for a closer look.


“I thought you said you’d taken flying lessons at Ginny’s house over the summer,” Parvati gasped as she and the other Gryffindors helped Apple Bloom’s attempts to corral the rogue broom.

“Ah did,” Apple Bloom said, shifting to the right to cut off the broom’s retreat, “but we started with the brooms firmly in our grips -- none of this ‘UP’ business.”

“That’s a good idea,” Scootaloo said and held out her hand toward the fleeing broom.  “Come here!”

The Hufflepuffs gasped as their brooms once again tore themselves away to answer the call of their god.

**Thwack!** **Thwack!** **Thwack** **Thwack!**

“How could she not have seen that coming?” Hermione asked as she and her friends moved to help Scootaloo out from under the pile of all of the training brooms.


Soon after she had issued the orders to ‘gently’ retrieve Sirius Black, Amelia Bones sought out a certain new member of the Wizengamot.  She found her target conversing with some of the other new members of said body.

Finding herself in no mood for niceties, Amelia said, “Miss Rutter, a moment of your time please.”

The conversation stopped, and the newest members of the Wizengamot focused their attention on the head of the DMLE.

“Is something the matter?” Alice asked as worry crossed her face; this type of one on one conversation wasn’t in her game plan.

“I need to speak to you privately,” Amelia said gesturing toward a doorway.  “Please follow me to a private conference room.”

“I don’t think . . .” the younger woman started.

“Now, Miss Rutter.” Amelia said, and headed toward the doorway.  She sensed that Alice had indeed followed and Amelia grinned at the thought that the new faction leader had yet to completely shed her instinct to follow a perceived authority figure.

In short order, they were in a small room with just two uncomfortable chairs and a barren table.  Amelia cast some privacy charms before motioning Alice into one of the seats.

Gone was the confident woman who had started down the entire Wizengamot assembly.  In her place was a nervous woman who wasn’t quite sure of her current standing.  While she had obviously known the laws to invoke to achieve her aims, she didn’t appear to understand the power and protections she could invoke in her current situation.

Amelia let Alice stew for a good half minute before saying, “Where are you getting your information?  Who is feeding it to you?”

“Pardon?” Alice asked, the question catching her off guard.

“I want to know, whose puppet you are,” Amelia clarified, never taking her eyes of the fidgeting woman.

“I’m no one’s puppet,” Alice objected.

“Bull!  Your showing up out of nowhere with knowledge of old laws could be explained away by you finding a law book and studying.”  Amelia narrowed her eyes and leaned forward.  “However, the detailed intel you had on the crimes of seated members of our government far exceed the resources you possessed.  Make no mistake, it is obvious you had help.  My concern is what on the surface may appear as nothing more than a much-needed cleansing of the corruption inherent in our system may have sinister undertones.  Like it or not, you destabilized our government yesterday.  Today you are well on your way to undermine public confidence in what remains of that government.  So, once again, who is helping you?”

Amelia watched the woman gather her courage to lie, “I’m doing this for Justice.”

“You expect me to believe that?” Amelia snarled.

“You just admitted our system is corrupt,” Alice countered, rediscovering the fortitude that had aided her in the Wizengamot chambers.  “I don’t have to sit here and take this abuse.”

“Ladies!  There’s no reason for you to be at odds.  You two are basically after the same things,” a third occupant of the room said from his comfortable-looking chair situated a few feet from the table.

‘Mr. Discord,” Amelia said, addressing the newcomer, “you are not unexpected.  Thank you for joining us.”

“Well now, I couldn’t just let you two antagonize each -- OOOF!” Discord said.

“Hello Discord, it’s good to see you,” Alice said from her new seat.

“Aaaa,” Discord smartly answered.

“I see that you’re happy to see me too.”  Alice smiled brightly at him from mere inches away.

“Well, I see you two are getting along now, gotta go bye,” Discord said as he disappeared with a snap of his fingers and a flash of light, leaving Alice to land on his vacated, comfy chair.

After a short pause, Amelia said, “You certainly are direct.”

Alice shrugged and replied, “I don’t do subtle.”


After scouting ahead, Rainbow Dash landed next to her friends, who were making their way back from the library.

“Well?” Rarity asked, never stopping her forward movement.

“Pinkie would have gotten fewer hits if her sign had read, ‘Do not push big red button!’” Rainbow said, falling into formation.  “But, on the bright side, she was right; it is hilarious.”


Susan Bones watched as Hermione and Apple Bloom flew by.  Hermione had a look of terror plastered on her face while Apple Bloom wore one of resignation.  Somehow, they had both ended up on the same broom, facing backwards.

“Come back here girls!” Madam Hooch admonished as she scurried after her two wayward students.

“I’m glad I got sorted into Hufflepuff,” Susan stated.

Her friend, Hanna, nodded her head in agreement as the two watched the flying Gryffindors.  Scootaloo zipped by, intent on cutting off the wayward broom while Harry, Ron, Sweetie Belle and Ginny fanned out, blocking off its retreat.  The unicorn tracking Sweetie Belle from the ground only added to the spectacle.


Berry Punch walked down the street with her accustomed bottle in hoof.  She happened to look over and saw an unattended trunk sitting next to a Pinkie Pie-style sign.

After reading the sign she said, “Not happening,” and kept walking.


“That’s the last of them,” Twilight said as she appeared with Snips and Snails.  “Now let’s go check the rest of Rarity’s.  I know Sweetie should be getting another copy of the instructions, but we don’t know how long she’ll take.  At this point, the originals may have appeared anywhere in the Carousel Boutique.”

“Are we just leaving it outside again?” Applejack asked pointing at the trunk.

“By now, most of the town already knows about it, and we’ll leave a guard,” Twilight said.

“I’m on it.”  Pinkie saluted sharply with a hoof.

“I think it’s Rainbow’s turn to play guard,” Rarity suggested.  “You’ve already had two turns.”


“All right, everyone.  Mount your brooms.  I’ll be coming by to check your grips and stances,” Madam Hooch said; her students had once again formed into lines to continue with their class.

Before she had checked three students, a flash of flames briefly appeared above the class, and a bird of fire drifted down to settle on the shoulder of one waiting to be inspected.

“Hello, Philomena,” Sweetie chirped.  “I see you brought me a letter.”

“No reading mail during class,” Madam Hooch said as she continued to inspect her students.  “It can wait until afterwards.”

“Yes Ma’am,” Sweetie said and stuffed the letter into her shoulder bag.

Philomena gave a questioning trill, then shook her head.  After seeing that the letter would not be immediately read, she flew over to settle on the back of Magah, who had gone back to grazing.

Once she completed her inspection, Madam Hooch retook her position in front of the class and said, “Okay, on the count of three your all going to lightly kick off and rise a few feet then come back down.  I’m afraid our time is almost up, but I am going to extend this session into the second period for those with a free period.  Don’t worry, for those of you headed to Herbology, I’ll be available after supper as well.  All right now.  One . . . Two . . . Three . . .”

The event-filled class had left Madam Hooch hyper-aware and edgy.  It came as no surprise that she quickly cast a cushioning spell on Neville, who had kicked off too hard and then lost control. “That’s more than a few feet!” she yelled up at Scootaloo, who was soaring like a homesick angel.


He heard them coming.  That was strange; they did not normally come at this time of day.  Groaning, he shifted and sat up on his meager pallet.  Before long, the door to his cell opened, and a trio of aurors entered, training their wands on him.

‘Get up Black,” one of them said, not unkindly.  “There’s a witch who’s been wreaking havoc on the former Death Eaters, and she says you’re not one of them.  You’ve got an appointment with the Wizengamot.”

“The Wizengamot?” Sirius said, unsuccessfully trying to gain his feet.  “Am I finally getting a trial?”  He would later deny that a sob escaped his throat.

The lead auror, ignoring protocol, put his wand away and stepped forward to help the weakened man.  Ashamed that he had been part of the travesty of justice that had imprisoned a man without due process, he said, “Yes, Black, you’re getting your trial.”


Amelia sat in her office and contemplated the current crisis.  Whether the intentions of Mr. Discord were benevolent or not didn’t matter.  Magical Britain's government was in the process of being subjugated by a foreign entity.  Already, they had a foothold in the Wizengamot.  Miss Rutter had admitted to being beholden to Discord, and, in turn, she had a group of followers beholden to her.  The political power already surrendered was not insignificant.

Then, there was the Minister’s office.  Currently vacant, it would likely go to someone leaning toward the policies Discord seemed to be espousing.

That basically left the Chief Warlock.  Amelia very much doubted Dumbledore would be holding that office for much longer.

Individually, these changes were a nuisance, at best.  Taken as a whole, it was chillingly obvious that Equestria had decided to unseat the current, corrupt administration, leaving the British magical government open for whatever plans they may have, and there was very little Amelia could do about it.


They had just finished going through the showroom of Rarity’s shop when Twilight called for a halt and demanded everypony’s attention.

“I just want to take a short pause,” she said, “and disprove this silly superstition that’s been plaguing us all day.”

Her friends all looked at her curiously, wondering where she was going.

“Since we’ve taken all the necessary precautions and the hectic pace has slowed down, I’d just like to say one thing.”  She paused for effect and dramatically continued. “Things couldn’t possibly get any worse.”

Pinkie gasped loudly, Applejack dropped to the floor covering face with her hat, and Rarity did a ladylike facehoof.

“See, nothing happ . . .” Twilight started to say triumphantly, but stopped when Rainbow Dash nailed her cue and ran in.

“Guys! Guys!” Rainbow clamored, but stopped when she saw her friends’ current states.  Looking at Twilight she asked, “You didn’t just?”

“She did.” Rarity interrupted, hoof still on her face.

“Anyway, your chest.” Rainbow said still looking at Twilight.

“George,” Rarity stated.

“What?”  Rainbow stopped her report yet again.

“It’s my pony-eating chest.  He needs a name.  So, I’m deciding on George,” Rarity informed everypony.

“Yeah, well,” Rainbow said, “I think you ought to know that George just tried to eat Princess Celestia.”