Celestia was having a decidedly bad day; one of her towns had effectively been enslaved, and she hadn’t done anything at all to help. She would have responded if she hadn’t assumed the first report was a joke. She was gobsmacked that a single unicorn, even with the Alicorn Amulet, could manage to conquer an entire town that was just a day’s ride from her own capital. So when Twilight eventually delivered her the unicorn in question she asked several pointed questions. Of course, when she asked who had taught the young prodigy all her plans went out the window.
And so here she was. Angrily sipping tea while a very embarrassed unicorn sat across from her, staring at the orb in the corner while deciding on a course of action. After finishing what she had to guess was her fifth cup of tea she spoke. "Trixie, how often does Ragar send you to get artifacts?"
Trixie shuffled on her seat like a filly sent to the principal's office. "Uhm, Trixie gets sent to ruins and places of interest frequently. Ragar prefers Trixie to use the spells he teaches her in practical environments."
Celestia nodded, still staring at the orb. So Ragar hadn’t sent an inexperienced young filly to retrieve a dangerous relic. However, he also hadn’t warned Celestia he was bringing such a dangerous artifact into her country. Black Sun had visited just a week ago, too; his failure to warn her meant he should also get a talking to. Celestia sighed, before sending a sliver of energy to the orb. It rang for a moment before Ragar appeared in view.
Celestia was used to the surreal and outlandish outfits Ragar would don in his strange experiments, but even so this one was notable. Ragar was in a blue business suit with a red tie gracing his spinal column, his black shoes shined to perfection. Atop his skull was a wig of what looked like plastic hair, slicked straight back. Celestia took a moment to appreciate the obvious care in his outfit before speaking. "Ragar, I think there's something we need to discuss."
Ragar nodded stiffly, his apparent business-like demeanor raising an eyebrow from both Trixie and Celestia as he retrieved a briefcase from outside the view of the orb. Without a word he placed it in the air, where it floated in place as he opened it. "Of course, your honor; we may begin the trial."
Celestia paused. What trial? She was just going to ask him about his apprentice, but now he was acting like a lawyer. "Ragar, there isn't a trial goin-"
Ragar threw a bony claw in the air. "OBJECTION!!" Ragar ran a hand over his plastic hairdo. "You are holding Ragar's apprentice after she has committed a criminal act. Therefore, Ragar is her defense lawyer. It is the way of the law."
Celestia paused. She slowly turned to look at Trixie. Trixie was staring with abject horror at Ragar as her mentor did... whatever he was doing. Celestia refilled her teacup yet again and momentarily debated adding something stronger to it. "Ragar, we aren't having a trial. I am simply trying to find out why your apprentice was transporting a dangerous artifact through Equestria without a permit." There was a pause, and Celestia continued. "Also why you never told me you had an apprentice."
Ragar paused for a moment, before looking into his briefcase again. Celestia sighed and cradled her head in her hooves as Ragar fumbled through paperwork; he looked very official, but the pony drawn in crayon she could see on the sheet of paper he was examining ruined it. Finally, Ragar put down the paper. "According to Royal Order #347, no mage, be they pony or other, are required to report their apprentice to any authority until the apprentice wishes to take the qualification test for national status." Ragar put the paper down. "And Ragar did not tell you he asked her to retrieve a dangerous artifact because Ragar thought she would be another week."
Ragar clasped his hands together before making eye-contact with Trixie. "Which would have been accurate if SOMEpony hadn't used the amulet to teleport home faster in order to impress her teacher."
Trixie flinched under Ragar's glare, but Celestia cleared her throat, moving the focus back to her. "Be that as it may, there are several laws I would request you follow in the future; could you perhaps hear me out?"
Ragar paused, then dived back into his briefcase to pull out a small portfolio. He stood up fully while reading it. "According to Equestrian law, Ragar has the option to see both the artifact in question and the defendant; I can already see Trixie, but would it be possible to show the Amulet to Ragar?"
Celestia began rubbing her eyes with a wing. "Ragar, this is sadly not the first time I've had to talk legal precedents with you. Last time you teleported in every book of Equestrian law and read them out loud. A dangerous artifact was transported through my land without any safety measures, and was the cause of a number of crimes; it will be confiscated."
Ragar sighed. "Well, Ragar guesses he didn't really need it any longer anyway. So Ragar gifts you the amulet in good faith." Celestia paused as Ragar flipped out another sheet of paper. "Ragar will make all employees sit through a safety presentation and leave the Alicorn Amulet in your very capable care. In exchange, Ragar expects..." Black smoke spilled out from under Trixie, and Ragar threw off his wig. "Book it, Trixie! Ragar got through the wards again!"
Celestia resisted the urge to smile as Trixie looked around in confusion, black smoke rising up around her. Trixie's head bounced between Ragar, the smoke, and Celestia. She barely managed to stammer out an apology before the smoke covered her. "Oh buck, sorry Princess!"
Celestia turned to look at Ragar, who was awkwardly staring back. "Uhm, Ragar's dramatic timing is off. One moment, princess." He tapped his bony fingers on the briefcase as they continued their awkward staredown. Ragar started whistling as a smoke cloud appeared and began to rise to pony height. Celestia took a moment to marvel at that. Ragar had no lips and no lungs. And yet, his jaw was slightly opened and was letting some dithering tune out. She watched as Ragar finished his tune and shrugged at her. "What? The powers of Jeopardy always make spells finish faster!"
As soon as Ragar finished his sentence the smoke blew away, leaving behind a terrified Trixie.
Ragar patted Trixie's head. "Welcome home, Trixie! Ragar missed you, especially since Black Sun has wandered off again." Ragar paused. "Oh, and we have to adjust your lesson plan. Ragar didn't think you would travel that fast, even with Sombra's folly hooked to your neck. Ragar is certainly proud of your progress!"
Trixie seemed torn between smiling at the praise and blanching at the horror of being teleported from Celestia's side while she was technically still in trouble. She looked between Celestia and Ragar for a moment before sighing. "Thank you, lord. May Trixie apologize to Princess Celestia?"
Ragar tilted his head. "Can it wait? Ragar will give you a couple weeks off once he sucks that corruption out of your head. While Ragar is curious what it would do, using you as a test subject would be rude." Ragar paused. "Though, Ragar could make a copy to house the corruption and check the changes in its brain."
Ragar began pacing, as Trixie jumped up in front of him. "LORD! You can't say such things in front of the Princess!"
Ragar patted her head again, barely seeming to notice her words. Celestia felt her lips quirk upwards by a hair. Ragar didn't seem to notice this either. Instead, he began to idly pet Trixie's fur, like one would run their hooves through their mane while thinking. "Of course, that brings more moral quandaries. Would it still be ethical to create a copy of a brain purely to watch it fall to corruption? Would Ragar technically be a father again if he made this new life?" Ragar froze as if struck by a spear. "RAGAR LET HIS CHILD FALL TO CORRUPTION! HOW COULD RAGAR BE SO CRUEL!!"
Ragar collapsed to his knees, a sobbing noise coming from his bony face. Trixie looked between Ragar and Celestia again, before tapping his back with a hoof. "There there, lord." Trixie seemed to pause. "Trixie would like to ask, you are aware you didn't actually do that yet. Right?"
Ragar sobbed twice more, before pausing. "Wait a moment. YOU ARE RIGHT!" Ragar jumped back up. "Ragar did not commit such a monstrous act, thank you Trixie."
Celestia sighed, not even bothering to hide her smile. "Ragar, while I do so love hearing about your experiments, we do still have the matter of the safe transport of dangerous magical artifacts. Can you at least be sure to warn me when you’re transporting an artifact that can cause the downfall of cities through my nation? At this point, I'm worried you already have a few in your home."
Ragar waved his hand. "Of course Ragar does. Stasis locks keep the vile magics at bay quite well. But yes, Ragar will send you warnings. And make Trixie sit through the POWERPOINT OF HEALTH AND SAFETY STANDARDS! One of Ragar's tour guides has been improving it for centuries; Ragar never listens."
Celestia knew she should try to get details on the artifacts Ragar mentioned, but she couldn’t help but be distracted. "Ragar, what is a powerpoint? And why does your tour guide use them?"
Ragar cocked his head to the side. "It is the most boring way to teach. Forsooth, 'tis a punishment most foul that Trixie will be forced to sit through." Trixie looked alarmed at this and began making a slow exit. It didn't work, as Ragar scooped her up. "And as to why a tour guide uses them... whenever Ragar asked he simply chuckles and then mumbles ‘soon’." Before Celestia could respond Ragar started leaving the room. "Now if you'll excuse Ragar, he has an exorcism to perform and then a tour guide to hunt down. Until next time, Tia" With that the spell ended and Ragar disappeared.
The guards outside the room were stoic. They were sure the necromancer was involved in whatever criminal acts the unicorn had committed and were on high alert, ready for whatever strange and otherworldly antics would come from the room. After almost an hour of waiting, Celestia left the room alone, a smile on her face as she hummed a tune that the guards found unfamiliar. As soon as it finished a servant walked up. "Princess, there is a strange gift basket in your room. It came with this note."
Princess Celestia read the note and smiled. "Ah, it appears the song is magical after all! Get together three scholars; Ragar has sent us a game."