Ponies in Hogwarts

by KittyrinnAiko


Chapter 14: Here there be dragons.

Nova flew down to the quidditch area where she pretty much ignored the goings on around Longbottom, found Scootaloo, dove down, and snatched her up by the belt of her team uniform.

“I can fly on my own you know?!” Scootaloo protested as the two flew away.

“No time!” Nova announced and dropped her in the process.

Scootaloo let out a squeak, instinct kicked in, and a moment later there were two pegacorns flying together.

“Seriously, what the buck!?” Scootaloo protested.

“The egg!” Nova said excitedly.

“Egg?”

“Egg!”

“EGG!!”





The two pegacorns speeding away was not missed by Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle. The two quickly extracted themselves from the innocent bystanders and ran for the castle. Meanwhile, instructors were ordering Neville to drop the hammer. Not knowing that doing so was generally considered a bad idea he did just that. The hammer crashed through the bench, and down through the stands snapping several supports before hitting the ground where it made a small crater. Neville snapped back to himself, and the grandstand just sort of started to sway back and forth. A mad scramble to get off the stricken stand ensued.

Crabbe and Goyle came to there senses, partially at least, and looked about wondering what was going on.

“Run, you idiots!” Malfoy shouted from the safety of a neighboring stand. He, Ron, and a few others had been helping others to scramble across the gaps between the stands.

“Listen Malfoy, just because your father is a big shot doesn’t mean you get to tell me what to do all the time!” Crabbe shot back, as the stand cleared.

“Ya.” Goyle echoed.

“Suit yourself then.” Draco offered as the stand started to teeter.

“Why do you hang out with them anyway?” Ron asked as the stand started to tilt into the pitch. All animosity had been momentarily forgotten.

“You know, I’m really not quite sure.” Draco offered as the stand started to fall. “And they picked a really stupid time to assert themselves.”

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!” Crabbe and Goyle screamed on their way down.





Scootaloo arrived at the bedroom just in time to see a section of eggshell fall away to reveal a pair of tiny hooves with white legs. Scootaloo moved in, climbed onto the bed, lay down, and started clearing away bits of eggshell. A little ivory freckled head popped up covered in curly sweaty red mane, and a small white horn scarcely protruding from the mane. When more of the back was revealed ivory and gold wings were revealed. Myrtle had a band of gold on her back from the base of her skull to her plot bordered by golden dapples, but her overall color was that of ivory.

“So, um...” Scootaloo began as she nuzzled, and cleaned Myrtle with a combination of soft magic, and little kisses. “..you had a milk mother lined up?”

“Ahh, be right back,” Nova announced, and dashed for the stairs going right past Alalme, Goldwine, and Alya who’d been looking on in excitement.

“Nova!” Alalme called. Nova stopped to look back. “I’m still nursing.”

“Oh,” Nova said. “But I can't ask you to nurse three foals.”

“That’s quite alright. Istel, and Talma will be able to help out once their eggs have hatched.” Alalme offered.

“I should go tell them Myrtle has hatched.” Nova offered and dashed downstairs.

Alalme smiled, turned, and went into join Scootaloo and Myrtle. Alalme looked Myrtle over checking to make sure Scootaloo did a proper clean up, removed the remainder of the shell and joined Scootaloo and Myrtle on the bed. “You are blessed to live in the world you do.” Alalme offered.

“How’s that?” Scootaloo asked.

“She’s brightly colored, and a button head.”

“It’ll be a while before a proper set of flight feathers come in is what you mean,” Scootaloo replied. “Nova and I were the same.” She told Alalme with a look of bliss on her face. “I always kept my mane up to hide that little button. It didn’t hide so well when the horn started growing. Far too many ponies back home don’t seem to understand that having a horn and wings don’t make a pony a royal pretender.”

“Royal pretender?” Alalme asked.

“Attitudes of some of the ponies at home can be kind of out there.” Scootaloo offered. “Princess Celestia and Princess Luna are seen as deities. They are taller than every pony else and have considerably more magic. On top of that, ponies with both wings and a horn are extremely rare.”

“They are here as well. Few survive into adulthood.” Alalme offered. “But then ours is a much harder world to live in.”

“In my world, it’s ignorance that harms ponies like myself.”

While Alalme and Scootaloo discussed the hardships of being labeled an artificial alicorn, Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom having thrown caution to the wind are presently galloping through the halls of Hogwarts on all four hooves. Yes, hooves. Had not the majority of the student body been out watching the game and subsequent collapse of one of the viewing stands, our two little ponies might have been in serious trouble. Even so, they realized their mistake when the battle cry, “Ponies in the halls!” began to ring out.

Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle narrowly dodged several flying glomps from boys and girls alike.

“Pig snout!” Apple Bloom called as the two skidded up to the portrait of the fat lady. The portrait swung open, they dove in and found themselves in the midst of a group of excited Gryffindor girls who hadn’t gone to the game but had heard there were ponies in the school. “Oh, horseapples!”

“PONIES!!!!”

Sweetie Belle immediately teleported away. Which was something being she hadn’t as yet figured out how to do that. Panic, the great motivator.

“Sweetie, you bi...” Apple Bloom began, but then Sweetie teleported back, and then teleported them both to the rotunda.

“I wouldn't forget you.” Sweetie Belle offered apologetically.

“I swear I have never felt closer to death than at that moment.” Apple Bloom replied. They both had to take a moment to calm down.

When the two had decided they were calm enough, they went back to check on Myrtle and were delighted at the beautiful little filly. Scootaloo was bottle feeding Myrtle. Sunset Shimmer having anticipated the need had procured donations only just that morning from mothers in Ponyville who were told only that it was for a young pegasus who she anticipated would be in need. As for going down to dinner, it was decided to send a changeling in Scootaloo’s place. No pony was going to ask her to walk away from that cute baby so soon, and Scootaloo would be provided for from the in house kitchens that provided for the pegasi guard force.

“She’s beautiful.” Sweetie offered once the shock of seeing Scootaloo in a much more mature light then she was accustomed had faded.

“You don’t mind if I give her a new name do you?” Scootaloo offered.

“What did you have in mind?” Apple Bloom asked. “I mean, it’s going to be difficult to think of her in any terms other than as Myrtle.”

“Rose, I want to call her Rose.” Scootaloo offered. “She can be Rose Myrtle, which is a good pony name, and she is a pony now.”

“Which is a good thing,” Sunset said from the doorway of the bedroom. She had a smile. “Otherwise this would be even more awkward then it already is. Sure would be nice if there’d been a boy involved.” Sunset didn’t really have a lot of room to talk, but then at least these girls would have a lot more support than she ever had. Sunset could only wonder what life would have been like if she’d had swallowed her pride and gone back to Celestia when she needed her the most. Pride had always been her downfall. As for the crusaders, their undoing would ever stem from a desire to help others combined with a heaping helping of a lack of caution.

:scootangel:

When Nova, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and let's say Louise number 2 went down to the Gryffindor common room there was a lot of chatter about everything that had happened that day.

“Ponies here, in the common room?” Nova asked one of the older girls and then added that it had to be a prank. Of course, she suspected otherwise and gave Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle a dirty look as they went out the door ignoring the suspicious looks of the girls who’d clearly heard the brightly colored Shetland pony use the name Sweetie in Apple Bloom's voice.

“Oh right, and who was it who swooped down, and snatched up Scootaloo.” Apple bloom hissed.

“There is a unicorn killer on the loose,” Nova informed the two. They froze in the hall. They’d never heard the full story. “We haven't actually caught him in the act, but we’ve a good idea who’s doing it. Apple Bloom, about all you have to worry about, is getting snuggled to death by the girls.”

“Ahhh….” Apple Bloom started but wasn’t sure she knew quite what to say. She had definitely seen that predatory look in the eyes of the girls in the common room. “OK, point taken.”

“So if I was found out?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“We don’t really know why they are doing it.” Nova offered. “We do have a theory but it’s kind of a stretch.” Nova took a moment before continuing. “Claiming you are Animagus or telling them you are a Metamorphmagi may not be enough to insulate you.”

As more Gryffindors began to file out of the common room, the four decide it’d be best to keep quiet about their activities and anything concerning things the majority of the student body need not know about. When they arrived in the great hall, they found there was a large gathering of students and faculty. In the middle of it was Princess Luna and three men. Being somewhat on the short side they’d no idea who was in the center of the crowd.

Nova pushed through to see who it was and discovered Luna talking with a rather unlikely group of individuals. They weren’t wizards, but they weren’t muggles either. “Um, Muma?” Nova asked as she made her way through the last ring of people. Nova looked at them feeling like she should know who they were.

“Nova, I thought you might show up right about now,” Luna said beckoning Nova to her. “I’d like you to meet an old friend of mine.”

“Um, hi.” offered the man in the red suit of armor with no apparent helmet. “She’s kind of old for, what was it…?”

“It’s complicated.” Luna offered. “Nova, this is an old friend of mine, Tony Stark, and with him are Steve Rodgers, and Thor Odinsson.

“Hi,” Nova said.

“So, can I get my hammer back?” Thor asked.

“Sweetie Belle, you still have that hammer Pinkie found?” Nova asked.

“I think I left it out at the quidditch stand.” Sweetie offered.

“Neville had it last, we’ll have to ask him.” Apple Bloom informed them.

“So that was yours then?” Professor Dumbledore asked looking at Thor critically.

“I’m Thor… you know, the whole god of thunder thing. And what do you mean by he had it last?” He gave the girls a puzzled look.

“Oh, you’re a god, I’d no idea,” Dumbledore replied sounding just a bit bemused.

“From Asgard.” Thor offered. “I’m sorry about the hole in the forest, and I’m to understand there...” Luna was looking him right in the eye. He got the message to shut up about what she’d told him about operatives in the forest.

“He was chasing down a rogue dragon.” Mr Rogers offered. "We were just helping him retrieve his hammer."

“A Norwegian Ridgeback.” Thor offered. “I kind of lost track of the hammer over your forest.”

“I see,” Dumbledore replied. “It’s a very powerful magical artifact.

“It was made by Sindri of Niðavellir in the mountain kingdoms of the dwarfs of old.” Thor offered.

“Not goblin made?” Dumbledore asked.

“By thunder, no.” Thor protested.

“Well, I’m afraid it’s at the bottom of a pile of rubble.” Dumbledore offered. Which is still being cleared. A viewing stand collapsed, two boys were injured, and we are missing a member of the faculty.”

“If you’re talking about Professor Snape I saw him out in the forest. I’m sure he’ll be along sooner or later… provided nothing got him while he was out there.” Luna offered with a rather guilty smile.

“Well then, that’s everyone accounted for,” Dumbledore remarked.

“Muma, why don’t we show these gentlemen to the quidditch stands so they can retrieve Mr Odinsson’s hammer.” Nova offered taking hold of Thor’s hand. He’d caught sight of Professor Quirrell and was looking at him like he was set to throw down with the wreak of a man at any moment.

“Yes, that might be a good idea.” Luna offered, maneuvered to Thor’s other side, and the two escorted him out the door followed by the other two men.

“Remarkable,” Dumbledore said as they left. “The man with the round shield, Mr Rogers, he looks remarkably like a man who was part of a mixed task force that fought in the war against the Wizard known as the Red Skull. He was called Captain America.”

“I’d have taken them for muggles if not for Mrs Moon.” Flitwick offered.

🎯

Nova returned a short time later and took up her place at the Gryffindor table. Dumbledore stood up, said a few things, took five points away from each individual involved in the fight, and then rewarded ten points each to Ron and Draco for their ability to put differences aside, and decisive thinking which helped to clear the damaged viewing stand before it collapsed. Though it was a pity about the two boys who proved too stubborn to be helped. He also found the need to tell everyone that if ponies are spotted in the building, students are not to chase them, as it will only make things worse.

Snape came shuffling in just as Dumbledore had finished, and sat down again. Snape apologized for his tardiness and sat down. Snape was looking somewhat disheveled as well. His robe was dirty and his normally straight black hair was anything but straight. There was a stick in his hair as well, leading to whispers suggesting the stick had migrated from its usual location.

“What happened to him?” Ron asked.

“I saw him go out into the forest.” Harry offered.

“And?” the twins asked.

“He got blasted by a Nightmare,” Harry informed them. “A Nightmare with Gatling guns of some sort.”

“Oh, get off!” Ron protested. “A Nightmare with Gatling guns my foot.”

“They’re called Mini guns.” Louise2 offered.

“Now Louise, didn’t we tell you to be careful about what you tell people?” Nova reminded her.

“Oh, sorry. - You are absolutely right Ron, it is get off.” Louise2 replied.

“I don’t suppose you want to tell me what the real Louise is doing?” whispered Hermione.

“Don’t know what you are talking about?” Apple Bloom offered. Meanwhile, Seamus Finnigan was going on about Avengers, and how can you people not know who Thor is?

“Is he some kind of famous dragon hunter?” Nova asked.

“Dragon hunter?” Seamus asked in astonishment. “He’s the God of Thunder.”

“I thought I was the god of thunder?” Nova asked.

“No, you’re the good of tsundere.” Apple Bloom teased.

“Am not.” Nova protested with a pout on her face.

“The tsundere is strong with this one.” Sweetie Belle teased.

“What’s tsundere?” Hermione asked.

“Someone who seems cold, distant, and can even be hostile if their personal space is invaded, but is actually a warm caring individual once you get to know them.” Sweetie Belle offered.

“Do I seem cold and distant?” Nova asked.

“You do, kind of.” Idda Peverell offered. “You’ve warmed up since you got here.”

“I’ve moved around a lot.” Nova offered. “It’s always hard to leave those I care about behind.” Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom gave Nova a hug.

“Well if it helps, those two bonehead teachers of ours still don’t know how to get past Fluffy.” Harry offered.

“Seriously?” Apple Bloom asked with a big grin. Fluffy had been replaced with a first-class illusion created by Lady Aiko several weeks prior, for the benefit and safety of both dog and students. Anyone other then the intended targets would just get slobbered on. The Troll was also replaced with an illusion along with other adjustments to prevent students from getting injured once it had been discovered that the only detection charms had been on the mirror itself. “What do we have to do, replace Fluffy with a kitten?”

“At this point, I doubt they’d be able to get past that.” Nova lamented.

🍻

Meanwhile, at a local bar known as the Hog’s Head, Luna is presently sitting at the bar talking to a man who’s looks were hard to define. He is of average build, short black hair slicked back, and a long thin black mustache that blended down into a well-manicured beard. He wore black trousers, and an immaculately tailored black jacket with a white lapel, under which was a white shirt with a large oversized collar fastened in front with a black bow tie. At first glance, one might mistake him for a muggle, but to do so would be a grave mistake.

“So where’s my bug spray?” Luna asked.

“I’m afraid I’m having some difficulties on that bug spray.” He said. “Seems the customs agents don’t think napalm counts as bug spray.”

“Bet they’d change their mind soon enough if they saw the spiders I want to spray with it,” Luna said with a smile.

“Oh don’t tempt me.” He replied with a smile.

“Not to but in, but what’s napalm?” The bartender asked.

“A highly flammable sticky jelly.” Luna offered.

“To kill spiders?” The bartender asked.

“I’ve a mind to burn out the acromantula colony in the forbidden forest.” Luna offered.

“Acromantulas?” he asked horrified at the idea there could be a colony of the giant spiders so close.

“Hundreds of them, some as big as a shed, and they’ve been venturing into what you’d call muggle areas.” Luna offered. “They are a non-native invasive species, they are dangerous, and they’ve got to go.”

“Hundreds?!” he said with a squeak and dropped the glass he’d been polishing.

“Wizards can use wards to keep them out, but by not taking proactive measures, people outside the wizarding community are being affected. Are there no foresters, or game wardens who keep an eye on the health and well being of that forest?” Luna inquired.

“Just Hagrid.”

“I wouldn't be a bit surprised if that dull-witted buffoon was responsible.” Offered the man in black.

“Hagrid is a good groundskeeper.” The bartender offered.

“Who is, I’m to understand, doing a job that was once done by a large team of wizards and witches who actually graduated.” Luna pointed out. “And yes, he’s a good sort, very likable.”

“I sense a but in there.” The bartender commented.

“He’s got some judgment issues.” Luna offered. “The Master here is at least partially right. Hagrid did release an acromantula when he was a student at Hogwarts. Granted it takes more than one to establish a colony. However, that spider had been suspected of killing a girl, and the release of that creature prevented the Aurors from confirming whether or not the spider was responsible. Had Hagrid not released that spider, the investigation would have turned to one Tom Riddle, and it was Tom who would become Voldemort.”

The barkeep and the handful of others in the bar looked at her in horror.

“So you see, by one selfish act a murderer went on to kill again, and again, and… well, I don’t really need to tell you now do I? Oh, how the purebloods flocked to him, and he with a muggle father.”

“You shouldn't be saying stuff like that!” A wizard shouted standing so fast that his chair toppled. He pulled out his wand, and then to his perplexion found he was now pointing his wand at his own head.

“Such fools these mortals be.” The Master said, and chuckled. “Princess, you know, you could rule this world.”

“If I ruled this world I’d have to govern it,” Luna replied. “No thank you. I’ve more than enough to keep me busy.”

“What about him?” The master asked referring to the man now staring down the business end of his own wand.

“Oh, that’s not my doing. Surely you didn’t think I’d come here without a shadow or three to watch my back?”

“Don’t you trust me?” The Master asked in feigned hurt, sounding a bit like Discord.

“You? Of course, I can trust you. I can trust you because I know what to expect from you. You are a businessman who’d like nothing more than to get one over on Mr Fixed Point in Time.”

He started laughing. “True, too true.”

🌌

Elsewhere, Captain Hoofstrong has given Rodgers a lift so that he wouldn't have to hoof it all the way back to their pick up point. Tony Stark -Iron Man was with them with his helmet back on, but Thor had gone on ahead.

“This is sweet, sure you don’t want to partner up?” Captain Rodgers offered from the back of the large pegasus.

“My duty is to my Princess.” Hoofstrong offered as Stark dropped down to get a better look at something in the forest. “I wouldn’t get too close!” Hoofstrong called after him. There were several flashes of bright light a moment later. Iron Man came rocketing back up covered in sticky gray netting of some sort. “Can’t say I didn’t warn you.”

“What the absolute heck!” Stark said as he rejoined them.

“Heck?” Hoofstrong asked.

“The big boy scout doesn’t like it when I swear.” Stark offered. Rodgers just rolled his eyes.

“I’ve a princess who swears like a long shore teamster, and can kick plot to back it up.” Hoofstrong offered.

“We aren’t talking about Princess Luna, because I don’t recall her using a lot of bad language?” Iron Man asked.

“The little one, her daughter. She’s been through some rough stuff. Displaced in time I'm to understand.” Hoofstrong replied. “So, what do you think of our little spider problem.”

“F***!!! - Little he says?! - Those are the biggest F’ing sons of Bytches I’ve ever F’ing seen!!!” Iron Man exclaimed. “Hang on, the bug spray thing in the news!”

“Wait a moment, that report about a seizure of napalm marked as bug spray, that was you guys?” Captain America asked. “Just how big are these spiders?”

“Oh, I’d say about the size of a Sherman tank. To use a point of reference you’ll understand.” Stark offered. “There was one that looked like it was bigger then a King Tiger.”

“No. - There is no way.” Rodgers protested.

“We’re clear of the forest.” Hoofstrong offered. “I see some military personnel, I’ll drop you with them, and I’m curious about what they are doing.” Hoofstrong set down a short distance away from the farm and transformed back to his human form resulting in Steve Rodgers riding on his shoulders.

“You think you could perhaps set me down now?” Rodgers asked as Hoofstrong jogged around to the farm. What they found were some rather unfriendly men and women in camouflage BDUs and light blue berets on which was a cap badge of a globe with wings stretching out and under the globe the word UNIT.

“Don’t move!” One of the soldiers shouted as a number of guns were pointed their way.

“Is this how Brits greet everyone, and where’d Mr Stark go?” Hoofstrong asked.

“I’m to understand those blue berets are United Nations." Rodgers offered.

“Names Hoofstrong, and I’m with the Eques corporation.” Hoofstrong offered. “And this is Steve Rodgers.”

“Why are you wearing uniforms?” Demanded a woman.

“I’m private security, and he’s Captain America.” Hoofstrong offered.

“I’m going to get down now, try not to shoot us.” Rodgers offered. He slowly dropped down to stand on his own two legs, and then slowly stepped up to the left of Hoofstrong.

“Alright, who are you, and what are you doing here?” Demanded a dark complected officer as she approached.

“And you are?” Rogers asked.

“I’m Brigadier Bambera. - Who are you?”

“I’m Captain America.”

“A likely story.” The Brigadier cut in.

“I believe that is who he is.” Hoofstrong offered.

“And who are you, is that some kind of uniform, you aren’t the person supplying weapons to the ranchers around here are you?” The Brigadier asked in an accusing manner.

“I’m with the Eques Corporation. I’m with the private security unit of the Eques Corporation. We sell supplies for horses.”

“That’s not a denial.” The Brigadier shot back.

“We’ve sold nothing that’s illegal.” Hoofstrong countered.

“Explain this!” She then produced a long arrow with a canister at the end where the tip would be. “And explain the ballista at the top of the silo.”

“One, it’s not illegal to have, and two, there have been a lot of attacks on the local livestock by stray dogs. The canister has a repellent, and the ballista just makes it faster to get the repellent to where the dogs are.”

“Repellent, for dogs? - I doubt that.” Offered a funny little man coming out to them. He had on an off white pork pie hat, a brown jacket, and a sweater that was covered in question marks.

“It’s the Riddler.” Captain America said on seeing the man.

“The who?” Hoofstrong asked. “The Riddler isn’t even part of your franchise.”

“I’m the Doctor. I am not the Riddler, nor The Who. And the rest of you, put those guns down before you shoot someone.”

“Doctor?” Hoffstrong asked. “How do I know you are who you say you are?”

“You know this Doctor?” Captain America asked.

“The Doctor I knew had white hair, and always dressed impeccably. I did meet him again recently, but he’d really let himself go. His hair had gone from white to brown, and it was all spiky. He’d taken to wearing pinstripes as well.”

“Pinstripes? Oh dear.” The doctor said. “Well, I don’t know how I’m to prove I’m Who to you.” He rummaged around in a pocket and produced a small white paper bag. “Jelly Baby?”

“Don’t mind if I do,” Hoofstrong replied, and took one of the offered sweets trying it. “Just like what the Doctor ordered from Sugar Cube corner. I guess that is you. A word in private, just you and me?”

“Now hold on Doctor, you aren’t going to trust him are you?” The Brigadier cautioned.

“Seems like a reasonable sort. I don’t see why not?” The Doctor offered.

The two walked a short distance away.

“Doctor, it’s a bit of a mess here. And no, that’s not dog repellent in that canister, it's spider spray. Specifically formulated for one especially nasty large spider.”

“Spider?”

“Ranging in size of a small cab to a lorry, and no, they are not native. Also, I can’t tell your friends about it thanks to British law.” Hoofstrong offered. “There’s a rather serious schism within the government of the United Kingdom, and only one side even knows about it.”

“Why ever for.”

“There is in this world as in mine individuals who have abilities that are for lack of a better explanation, magic. Persecution of those who have these abilities by those who have not, forced a large segment of this world's society to go underground, figuratively speaking of course. Beyond the hedgerow on the other side of the field is a forest. It’s a nature reserve set up in the tenth century, and it is so secret, that the majority of the people on this planet don’t have a clue it’s there. The very laws of this land prevent me from openly acknowledging any issue derived from the magical community to individuals not part of that community.”

“So why tell me? Aren’t you breaking that very law right now by telling me this?”

“Equestrians never agreed to the secrecy accords, and there is nothing that says that I, as an alien, can’t tell you, as an alien, anything I want.”

“There is always a loophole, isn’t there.” The Doctor replied with a wry grin.

“The branch of the government that manages that reserve are their own separate government answerable no one else.”

“No one?”

“They’ll report to the Prime Minister when horse apples hit the fan, but that’s about it so far as I know.” Hoofstrong offered with a resigned air. “But to make a long story short, rather then go through endless bureaucracy we decided to take matters into our own hands.”

“Hooves don’t you mean?”

“Well, that too.”

“So how is it Equestrians even got involved?”

“Private school, a couple of princesses in the school, and the local pegasi population are Equestrians.”

“The local pegasi are Equestrians?”

“The Unicorns are native. Dumb as rocks too.”

“So there are still Scottish Unicorns left.” The Doctor had to remind himself that there were two types of unicorns involved, one that had created an advanced society, and the other not having even hit the stone age yet.

“Possibly why the reserve was set up in the first place. There are some really nice perception filters around it too. What started our involvement with the forest is a poacher killing the unicorns. I try to tell myself they are just dumb animals, but visually there isn’t a big difference between the Scottish Unicorn and the Equestrian Unicorn. That and just the fact that it’s happening makes it a concern, plus there’s a portal involved.” Hoofstrong contemplated for a moment if he should say more, and decided it might be for the better. “Something else, perhaps you might know why our poacher is sucking the blood from his victims?”

“Sucking the blood?”

“That’s all they are doing. They kill the unicorn and drink the blood. It’s such a waste of life too, what with what these wizard types are capable of, the killer could just immobilize their victim, take some blood, and let the unicorn go, but no, they kill their victim.” Captain Hoofstrong had to take a deep breath.

“The only thing I can think of is it would sustain a person who is neither dead nor alive. They’d be a walking dead man. Not just taking the blood, but draining the very life force so that they could pass themselves off as human. Without it, their true state would soon become far too apparent.”

“We’re hoping to deal with him first, but it’s a matter of drawing him out in the open, and getting him cornered. He can fly, and move fast. Once we’ve done that, we were planning on roasting those spiders.”

“He?”

“At one point in time, he used to be a man.”

“And you were going to drop those napalm canisters yourselves I suppose?”

“And why not?”

“You’ll get fried, extra crispy KFC. That’s why not.”

“We were going to drop them from our maximum altitude, and then fly away as fast as we could.”

“Still seems mighty iffy to me. The heat those things produce is over 2,700 degrees Celsius. And it pulls all the oxygen out of the air. You can boil rivers with the stuff.”

“Well then we are in a bit of a fix, aren’t we,” Hoofstrong said, and even as he was saying it, a patrol was coming in accompanied by Ironman. They’d encountered the spiders.

:scootangel:

The Nova, Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle knew little of the schemings of their elders and had plenty of other things to occupy their minds. Istel and Talma’s fillies hatched a week after Rose and were named Laire Oighrig, and Sorcha Raoghnailt. Laire was a chestnut paint like her mother, and Sorcha was white and gray.

If keeping an eye on two fillies was difficult, keeping an eye on five was an even bigger challenge. Watching Rose Myrtle was even more nerve-wracking as it required unicorns to snatch hold of her with their magic every time she tried to fly. As far as Rose was concerned, the other foals could fly, she had wings, and therefore she too must be able to fly.

“Ugh,” Scootaloo said as they went into Transfigurations. “When is she going to understand that she can’t fly?” “Was I like that I wonder?”

“Considering where we live and how often we managed to get hurt, I’d say it’s a good possibility.” Apple Bloom offered as they sat down at their seats.

“At least I don’t have to worry about Goldwine falling to his doom. Crashing maybe, falling no.” Nova offered.

“Talking about your little siblings back at home?” Lavender Brown asked with a smile. The inquiry was friendly enough and seemed genuinely interested. She was a pretty girl with long curly hair. She had also been the first to be sorted into Gryffindor that year.

“To hear them talk a person might think they were going on about their own children.” Hermione quipped as she took her seat.

“Are we that bad?” Nova asked.

“Every time you think no one is paying attention.” Ron bemoaned. “I actually look forward to Classes with the Slytherin’s, it’s the only time you shut up.”

“Prof they trust us enough to talk within earshot of us.” Lavender offered. “Can’t say I blame them for being on guard around the Slytherins either. That and I’m more inclined to think they are talking about pegasi babies.”

“What makes you say that?” Sweetie Belle asked.

“Rose can’t fly.” Lavender offered. “That wouldn't be an issue if you were talking about a sibling, not unless being able to fly is common for people in your families.”

“Well no, it’s not.” Apple Bloom replied.

“I’m also betting Rose is that egg you had,” Lavender added.

“You knew?” Hermione asked, her voice accusatory.

“All the first year girls knew,” Lavender informed her.

“I thought it was hurting her,” Hermione replied in her defense. “I guess I hurt her far worse.”

“Seats pleas,” Professor McGonagall said as she entered the room. “Today we’ll be turning Beatles into buttons.” John, Paul, Georg, and Ringo weren't too sure they were ready.

🎺🎩🎸🥁

Over the next few weeks, Hermione spent more and more time with Harry and Ron. She knew now where she’d gone wrong. She’d looked over her notes on the spell, and the spell required a pegasus. Not someone who could turn into a pegasus, but an actual pegasus. She’d assumed Louise was an Animagus who turned into a pegacorn. She was beginning to have doubts that suggested the other way around was true. If she’d really cared she’d have not helped them figure out that spell in the first place. And when it came right down to it, she only told about the egg because she feared the reprisal that would have eventually happened. Once she’d agreed to help, it’d become a lose-lose situation, and she’d had the ability to put a stop to the experiment before it went too far. She hadn’t. Hermione had realized that her friendship might not be so strained if she’d chosen to support the girls rather then betray them. They’d gotten in trouble for something they hadn’t done, and she’d been praised when she hadn’t told the whole truth. When she discovered Hagrid had a dragon egg she was torn. She’d even been horrified at first as she’d assumed he’d gotten his hands on a pegasus egg, and was roasting it. Finding out it was a dragon egg had been a relief at first. But unlike pegasi, having a dragon was illegal and could land a person in Azkaban. She couldn't tell anyone, no she couldn't repeat her last mistake, but a dragon wasn’t a pegasus. Hagrid could not keep it.

🐉

The first Nova, Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle knew anything about a baby dragon it was May, and they were up to their eyeballs in pegasi foals thanks to their interaction with the Hogwarts herd. Ron was in the infirmary with a swollen hand and a high fever, and Alalme had earned her cutie mark in taking care of pegasi foals owing to the local pegasi taking their foals to them so they could get out and forage without having to keep an eye on their little ones. Nova, Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo had been wondering why they hadn’t seen Ron in class and decided to go pay him a visit after dinner having seen the condition his hand was in earlier the day before.

“It’s just a little dog bite.” Ron offered. Madam Pomfrey looked worried. She’d tried all the dog bite, and infection cures she could think of and was presently administering a series of tests that would identify the culprit of the infection, and or venom. She was leaning towards venom by this point.

“Dog bite my fat Aunt Fanny.” Nova accused. "Madam Pomfrey would never have let a dog bite get so bad."

“No really, it’s just a dog bite.”

“Ya, no. You can't-fool me, my sister is the Element of honesty.” Apple Bloom stated. “What bit you?”

“There isn’t a dog this side of Tartarus that could have caused an infection like that.” Sweetie Belle added.

“Ron, you can tell us the truth, or...” Nova began, but the answer was right on the top of Ron’s mind. She hadn’t meant to read his mind, but he seemed so determined that no one fond out that it was all he could think of to the point of broadcasting his guilt. “Fine, have it your way. Go on, and die from a venomous lizard bite, or whatever that thing was.” All Nova was getting was images, and what she was seeing simply hadn’t registered as anything other than a large winged lizard. At least that’s how she perceived it at first. Had Ron found a wild Fire Lizard?

“Ron, dying is not a better option than getting in trouble for doing something stupid.” Scootaloo implored.

“No, really it was a dog… Lizard?” Ron insisted. “Who said anything about a lizard… what are you doing?”

Nova had begun to form a foxfire screen to get a better look at what the culprit was. “You’re insisting on doing this the hard way, the hard way it is.” A mist began to form about her feet spiraling up, and her ears and face began to take on some very fox-like features. Ron’s eyes grew wide. Was he hallucinating? He must be because the other girls weren’t reacting at all. They did take a few steps back from him. Madam Pomfrey looked on in fascination. This was a form of magic she had no knowledge of, and her tests had just shown her the infection stemmed from the venomous bite of some creature.

Ron felt a warm tingling sensation as Nova’s venom cleansing spell washed over him. When you live and work in close proximity to the Everfree forest you learn some spells for cleansing venom from someone, and Nova had a good one that relied on her kitsune heritage. Ron dropped back down, the magic faded, and Nova stepped back a couple paces to find herself being braced up by Madam Pomfrey. It was a spell of last resort, and the greater the spread of poison, the greater the toll on herself. Her features slowly returned to that of a human girl.

“What spell was that?” Madam Pomfrey asked.

“An anti-venom spell.” Nova offered. “It tends to make me a little dizzy.”

“I get this feeling it’s not one you can teach.” Madam Pomfrey remarked.

“Afraid not. It’s kitsune magic. I’ve kitsune ancestors.” Nova offered. “It’s powerful magic but it takes centuries to master. I’m lucky I can do that spell at all. Hopefully, you’ll be able to undo the damage now.”

“Centuries?” Ron asked. He felt groggy, but he had to admit that he was feeling better.

“Yes, and depending on how much of that heritage I’ve got in my blood, I could potentially live well beyond the longest-lived wizard.” Nova offered, and then a bit of information collated in her head. “A baby Norwegian Ridgeback? That’s it isn’t it?”

A look of panic washed over Ron’s face telling everyone gathered that Nova had hit on the correct answer.

"Bing Bong!" Sweetie Belle exclaimed.

“Some idiot stole a baby, that’s why Thor had to chase down that dragon,” Nova added as more of the pieces began to fit.

“Look, I don’t know what you’re talking about?” Ron pleaded.

“No, I don’t imagine you would, though you can’t deny having come into contact with a baby Ridgeback.” Madam Pomfrey said. "Still, a half a truth is better than dying to avoid getting in trouble for foolishness.” She then went to her potions that were kept handy, retrieved one, and brought it over to him. “This will speed up the healing process.”

“What’s it taste like?” Ron asked.

“Oh, it’s about as nasty as everything our Potion’s Master makes.” Madam Pomfrey offered.

“And if you don’t drink it, we’ll make you drink it.” Apple Bloom informed him.

“One way, or another,” Scootaloo emphasized with a rather sinister smile.

Ron took the vial hesitantly.

“Best not to smell it.” Madam Pomfrey cautioned. He gave her a pleading look. “Well if you had owned up to what bit you, we could have given you something far less nasty. Drink it up fast, it won’t be so bad if you don’t let it linger.”

They all watched as Ron drank the contents as quickly as he could.

“God, that taste like Percy’s dirty socks,” Ron said when he’d finished.

“Oddly specific?” Sweetie Belle mused with a smile.

“My guess is the twins have shoved dirty socks in his mouth.” Apple Bloom offered.

“And he’s asleep,” Nova announced. Ron was sitting while breathing softly. “Is he supposed to be asleep?”

“Are you sure it was a baby dragon that bit him?” Madam Pomfrey asked.

“Try not to take this the wrong way.” Nova began cautiously. “I can read minds. Sometimes whether I want to or not. I don’t know for a fact it was a baby Norwegian Ridgeback that bit him. All I can tell you is that’s what he believes. He also seems to be protecting someone, though I could probably take a guess as to who." The fillies had no love for Hagrid. "As for my ability, I was born with it, and had to learn how not to use it.”

“I see.” Madam Pomfrey replied. “Can you, well, to put it mildly, make people do things?”

“I can’t make people do things they don’t want to do. I can put suggestions in people’s heads. Make an annoying person go away, tell storm troopers these are not the droids they are looking for, but the suggestions do wear off. Which can be disastrous if I’m counting on someone. Help of any kind has to come willingly.”

“So then you never did anything to me.” Madam Pomfrey remarked.

“I didn’t really need to. Not once we’d shown you the info we had on Harry.”

“No, I suppose not.” Madam Pomfrey said on thinking about it. “Now, it’s getting late, and you should probably get back to your dorm.”

“We’d best take the short cut.” Apple Bloom offered. The others agreed and went into one of the private rooms only moments before Dumbledore entered the infirmary.

“Madam Pomfrey, perhaps you may want to check for venom of some kind.” Dumbledore offered. “Hagrid seems to be secreting away a new pet in his hut.”

“Already one step ahead of you, and right now we are leaning heavily towards Norwegian Ridgeback.” “Considering Hagrid’s track record, I can’t help but think that first years might best be banned from his hut.”

“I’ll have a word with him in the morning.” Dumbledore offered, sounding disappointed. “A Norwegian Ridgeback? It would have to be a Ridgeback, wouldn't it? I made some inquiries and found out that someone took an egg. The mother tracked that egg across muggle areas at which time that Thor person was forced to put it down. That’s when he lost track of his artifact. It went down in the forest, and there is a sizable crater where it hit. What I can learn of this Thor person seems to be steeped in ancient lore, and deemed godlike even among wizardkind. That such a being as that would make an appearance now concerns me deeply.”

“You don’t say.” Madam Pomfrey offered in a deadpan tone. “I saw what just dropping that hammer onto a bench can do.”

“There’d been a number of ponies, pegasi, out there as well. Out at the crater site.”

“Likely curious about the lightning strike.”

“Picked up the hammer, and brought it back here.”

“You think that’s likely how it made its way to Neville Longbottom?”

“He told me that Sweetie Belle had brought it out to the grandstand.” Dumbledore offered. “During that same incident, I saw a flock of pegasi in armor of some sort, well-made armor, flying from the school out to the forest. And they were in formation without the aid or riders. I also saw that Black and white pegacorn come fetch Miss Louise Magnus by the belt, hoisted her up into the air, dropped her, at which time Louise transformed into the very same pegacorn that had been injured by a runaway bludger.”

“Are you suggesting Miss Louise is a pegacorn?”

“A pegacorn who can turn into a human? God, I hope not, otherwise, we’ve done her a terrible injustice. Being able to turn into one, however unlikely as that may seem, is our other option. I’m also concerned that we aren’t seeing any more foals. The pegasi seem to be keeping them hidden.”

“So, we are faced with the possibility that one of the students may be a pegacorn, of which we know very little of because they are so rare, or that Miss Louise is an Animagus who can turn into one of the rearrest creatures known to wizardkind. Add to that, our mishandling of that egg.”

“There were also reports of a unicorn yearling and a bright pastel yellow Shetland pony with a red mane and tail running through the halls. Oh and that unicorn had purple and pink mane just like one of our first year Gryffindors.”

“So now three students are ponies?”

“Maybe four, perhaps?”

“Now who might that be I wonder?” Madam Pomfrey asked thinking she knew who he was about to suggest. She was also ready to shoot him down.

“Miss Nova Moon.”

“Well unless she can manage more than one transformation you’d be wrong.” Madam Pomfrey had already guessed that Nova must have two transformations. Just seeing her picture in the old file had been shock enough. And then there'd been the revelation about where the egg had actually come from, and that really was Louise's egg, plus the golden pony of light. Everything she knew was causing her to question Dumbledor's judgment.

“Pardon?”

“I looked up her medical file, she has a blood curse and turns into a fox. She also seems to be ninety-nine years old. Care to elaborate?”

“It would seem she passed through a portal through time.” Dumbledore offered. “Madam Marchbanks has confirmed that she is indeed the student she had the pleasure of teaching. And before you say anything she needs to have taken her exams before I can move her up.”

“Because doing otherwise would invite too much scrutiny from the ministry, wouldn't it?”

“Why Madam Pomfrey, whatever are you getting at?”

“Now Professor Dumbledore, surely you aren’t going to deny that you are playing a very dangerous game, are you? And I know that he’s here as well.”

“He?”

“You know who.” Her statement rang like a death bell. “And you’ll find the pegasi are a lot smarter then you could possibly imagine. You knew that he’d come after Potter the moment he resurfaced. You kept the boy where you could keep him close by, condemned an innocent man without a trial, so he wouldn't get custody of the Potter boy. Brought Harry back here, and then you brought the stone here as a secondary lure. Only it’s not working. This grand scheme of yours. Has he seen through your traps, is he waiting for some reason I can’t guess, What could it be? Maybe in his diminished state, he can’t get past Fluffy?” Dumbledore was stunned. “Student’s haven't exactly stayed out of that corridor. Meanwhile, he’s been going out into the forest killing unicorns, which has gotten the pegasi riled up.”

“How do you know all this?”

“Princess Luna Moon of Eques has been keeping tabs on things. How do you think she managed to show up so conveniently when those three men wandered in? Everything is ready to blow up right in your face. You know who is at your door, and there is an army in your attic you have no control over. Who’s move is it I wonder?”

Dumbledore just stood there at a total loss. Somewhere during all his strategy, he’d gone from chess master to pawn.

:trixieshiftright:

Nova had napped for a while in the pony pile that was quickly becoming her family and feeling restless decided to shift Goldwine over and got up. She and the Crusaders were right in there with Hermione when it came to studying, though they did most of their studying behind closed doors while their doubles covered for them. They wanted to do more than just pass, they wanted to impress upon the testers that they were deserving of being bumped up a couple of years.

Nova went out to check on the night shift and found Ensign Loki and Princess Twilight of all ponies. “Late Saturday night rendezvous?” Nova teased.

“We’ve got activity tonight.” Loki offered, ignoring the dig.

“Activity?”

“Harry Potter and Hermione are at the top of the Astronomy tower.” Loki offered.

“Aren’t they a bit young to be sneaking around like that?” Nova asked.

“Aren’t you a bit young to be setting up a family?” Loki quipped.

“According to my medical file, I’m ninety-nine years old.” Nova pointed out.

“Still a pup.” Loki countered.

“So says the one-tailed Tenko.” Nova teased in reference to his being part of a group who’d wound up being banished along with Nightmare Moon. The very same group that was presently assigned to keep an eye on her. “So what else do you have?”

“Neville Longbottom is in a corridor on his way to being caught out of dorm at night.” Twilight offered.

“Where is he?” Nova asked. Twilight pointed out his location on the map. “I’m feeling restless, think I’ll go get him myself.”

“Not going to send Phenik?” Twilight asked.

“Send Phenik? I might as well fire a flare down the corridor.” Nova replied, picked up an earpiece in her magic, shrunk down to her fox form, shrunk the earpiece to fit her ear, and teleported away.

Neville spun in place at the sound of a loud snap nearby, felt the impact of an animal hit his gut, his feet going off the ground, the cold nothingness of between, followed by landing on his bed with a girl on top him.

“Hi Neville, you’re sure up late.” Nova teased.

“What, who, how?” Neville squawked.

“A girl, Miss Nova, girls can climb the stairs, and don’t ask why just accept it.” His roommate supplied with a note of caution.

“Hush… it’s just a dream.” Nova offered in a breathy voice, and began to hum, followed by singing. “Come, little children, I’ll take thee away, into a land of enchantment. Come, little children, the time's come to play here in my garden of shadow...” Nova knew the song well having grown up listening to it. The boys drifted off to sleep and would remember nothing of what happened the night before.

“Got four bogies headed for the Astronomy tower.” Loki offered over the radio. Nova transformed back into a fox and flew out a window.

“Let's see what’s going on before we make any contact,” Nova suggested.

“I’m on my way, we’ll have back up shortly.” Loki offered.

“Confirmed,” Nova replied using the old ponish. She then flew over towards the tower where she saw Harry and Hermione handing off a cage containing the very same winged lizard that bit Ron, to four cloaked individuals who’d come in by broom. “Looks like Harry and Hermione are passing off Ron’s dragon to four humans.” Nova offered in old ponish over the radio.

“And here I thought they were just up here for the stars.” Loki offered in the old ponish as another celestial fox took up position on Nova’s left.

“Hi, Loki,” Nova said with a smile. They watched as the baby dragon was attached to a harness between the four humans, and was carried off into the air. Going going gone. Harry and Hermione satisfied with a good days work went down the stairs.

“Well, that’s it unless Trollfart decides to show.” Loki offered.

“Hang on,” Nova said and dropped down to land on the tower.

“What are you doing?” Loki asked dropping to the parapet of the tower. Nova was gone. “Nova?”

“I’m right here, can you see me?”

“Ahh, no, hang on… wow I can just barely make out your aura.” He nearly fell off the parapet when Nova’s little fox head appeared as though it’d been disembodied.

“Can you see me now?”

“OK, that’s just creepy.”

“Shizen!” Nova exclaimed, took hold of the invisibility cloak, and took off after Harry and Hermione. She arrived at the base of the tower just in time to see Harry and Hermione being caught by Filch.

To Nova’s dismay, Loki came bounding down the stairs, crashed into her, and the two went sprawling out into the corridor. At least they were still in their fox forms. “What are you doing?!” Nova scolded in the old ponish language. To the humans, it just sounded like guttural animal noises. Loki just dropped his ears and head, and just whined pitifully.

“Oh, and left the hatch open too by the looks of it.” Filch scolded. To filch the two winged foxes were just more exotic animals typical of the wizarding world. He’d no idea what sort they were, but he’d not been able to actually attend Hogwarts as a student being a squib.

Thinking quick Nova ran back to the cloak, snatched it up, raced to Harry, wrapped it about his legs, and then raced back over to Loki, and seemed to Harry to be scolding him some more. Hey, hey, shoe, get out of here!” Filch yelled waving his arms around. “And don’t you two...”

Harry and Hermione were gone, and to keep him from going after them, Nova preceded to race about Filch’s legs, even to the point of running between them. Loki decided this was the best of fun, and joined in. Filch breathed in a sigh of relief when the two foxes decided to leave him in peace.

Harry and Hermione entered into the Gryffindor common room and pulled off the invisibility cloak.

“You’re not out of the woods yet,” Nova said as she took the cloak. “I’d better hang on to this for a bit.”

“Filch will know who we are. That or he’ll just lay in wait to identify us.” Hermione bemoaned. “And Malfoy will have told them about the dragon.”

“And once again Nova seems to know everything,” Harry said. “And why should I let you have my invisibility cloak?”

“I don’t know who had the dragon, and I can hide the cloak where McGonagall can’t find it.” Nova offered. “Also, I was one of the foxes that returned your cloak, and distracted Filch.”

“They are bound to come looking for the cloak.” Hermione offered.

“Tell you what, Hermione, just tell them you heard from the older students it was a good place to see dragons, and you took Harry because you heard you had to have a guy with you.”

“What?” Hermione asked.

“Trust me, it’ll work.” Nova offered with a smile.