Ponies in Hogwarts

by KittyrinnAiko


Chapter 21: End of year banquet.

The morning following the test was free time following breakfast. Most of the staff would soon be cloistered for the better part of the next three days going over exam results. But Nova needed to get permission for Alalme to attend the end of year banquet and had every reason to believe that Professor McGonagall would sequester herself as soon as breakfast was over.

“I do believe Phenik has a message for you.” Luna offered as the Phoenix landed at McGonagall’s place with a note.

“Well, it’s not every day I get a message by Phoenix,” McGonagall replied taking the note and offering Phenik a morsel of bacon. “Hmm, Luna, she wants to know if it’s alright for Alalme Silverwood to attend tonight’s banquet.” There’s a note of puzzlement in her voice. “Surely she doesn’t mean…? Is there another Alalme?”

“Only the one that I’m aware of.” Luna offered. “I’m to understand Draco’s nose bleed, was due to her figuring out Rose Myrtle’s trick. One moment the boy is looking at a pegasus, the next he’s standing in front of a very good looking woman without a stitch of clothes on.”

“Oh is that what that was all about,” Minerva replied with a big smile. “Even so, the girl is still a pegasus regardless of any abilities.”

“I must say I’ve never heard of a pegasus learning the animagus spell though.” Madam Hooch offered. Dumbledore quietly sat back choosing to keep his peace for the moment.

“She’s extremely intelligent.” Luna offered. “I’m to understand that many of the pegasi of the Silver wood could read and write. At least about a hundred years back. That and it’s not quite the animagus spell as you understand it. - After all, they are going from a magical creature to a human.”

“Did they? Reading and writing suggest they were fairly civilized at one time.” Madam Hooch asked. “What happened?”

“I’m to understand Salizar Slytherin’s monster happened. The thing took a liking to their eggs for some reason.” Luna offered. “It devastated their community's tenuous hold on higher learning. And they were further devastated by the introduction of the acromantula to the forest. It seems the spiders decided that they wanted that valley for themselves.”

“And they’ve been living like refugees ever since.” Madam Hooch surmised.

“Can she really read and write?” Dumbledore asked.

“I’m to understand she started out with a rudimentary understanding of the ancient Arcadian language and script. I’m also to understand that many of the more intelligent magical beasts of England can speak it, or a variation of it. Nova got Alalme started on a primer that covered both the Arcadian and Roman script. After that, it was a matter of teaching her enough modern English that she could communicate with those who didn’t know the old language. Gadgull is fairly fluent in the old script, and Istel and Talma can also read and write in the old language. The three have been helping teach the other pegasi much of what had been lost to them. - Every last one of them can speak the old language with a few learning English well enough to communicate their needs.”

“I recall a rumor of sorts that claimed that among the English pegasi there was a family descended from witches and wizards who chose to give up their humanity rather than suffer the constant warring of our own kind.” Dumbledore offered.

“I’m afraid there is more truth in that then you may have guessed.” Luna offered. “From the oral traditions of these pegasi, I’ve come to understand that they were once servants of my own household. The manner by which they came here is a bit of a mystery yet.” Luna had a fairly good idea how they’d come to England, but she wasn’t about to let Dumbledore know the mirror of Erised was a portal. The original mirror that is.

“Well then, tell her to come to tonight’s dinner, and she will be an honored guest.” Dumbledore offered.

“But will she be alright around so many people?” Minerva asked. “After all she was born, raised, and lived as a pegasus her whole life.”

“I’m sure Nova can whisk her away if there are any issues.” Luna offered. “If nothing else, she and her closest kin have certainly taken to the luxuries of civilized living.”

“That apartment she keeps is certainly luxurious.” McGonagall offered.

“Well, she is the mother of a young chief,” Luna replied thinking of Nova. After all, the apartment is Nova’s.

“Mother?” Dumbledore asked. “How old is she?”

“She says she's fifteen, but I'm leaning more towards seventeen. - And yes, that’s young to be taking care of a foal.” Luna offered. “Alalme is about the same age.”

“I’m afraid it’s fairly old compared with the rest of our pegasi population.” Madam hooch offered. “Hang on, you said Alalme is about the same age? Which is the mother of a young chief?”

“Nova is. She’s no fifteen-year-old, that I’m sure of.” Luna offered. “She took into her care the last male heir of a noble line of pegasi.”

“So can she come?” Asked a little white-winged fox who’d only just scrambled up on to Luna’s lap.

“Little sneak.” Luna scolded. Nova pressed up against her, looking up at her. “She can come, now get back to your own table.”

“Yes, Muma.” Nova offered and vanished under the table. She reemerged a short time later back in her place at the Gryffindor table.

“Any idea how she did that without our seeing her cross the open space between the tables?” Dumbledore asked puzzled.

“Loose floorboards?” Luna guessed. “That or she’s learned an undetectable concealment charm even I can’t spot. - I blame her father mostly.”

“What’s he like?” McGonagall asked suspiciously Nova had the invisibility cloak they'd been looking for.

“He can be most serious when he wants, quite playful at times, very clever, handsome, and has three tails.” Luna offered.

“Three tails?” Pomona Sprout asked sounding quite confused by the pronouncement.

“I married a 237-year-old celestial fox.” Luna offered. The other’s looked at her with a look of dismay and horror. “He’s very good at transforming himself. In fact, I didn’t have a clue what he was until after he’d asked Twilight and ourselves to marry him.”

“So then it’s true, you, and that Twilight girl we met are both married to the same man, and he’s a magical creature?” Pomona asked sounding as though she was horrified.

“I wouldn't be a bit surprised if they are all magical creatures.” Snape offered with a rather suspicious smile on her face. His statement had Dumbledore wondering if perhaps they might be guilty of teaching magic to non-humans. But then they had done what he’d been unable to do. The question of whether or not certain individuals were witches who all had similar animagus forms, or if the opposite might be true, lingered on his mind. Could they all be a race of magic ponies? The very thought of which seemed quite absurd.

“And I just blew a perfect opportunity.” Luna lamented.

“And what might that have been?” Madam Pomfrey asked.

“I just had my daughter on my lap.” Luna pointed out. “It was a perfect opportunity for a little forced loving, and I blew it.”

“Oh, so that’s where she gets that from,” Minerva replied with a smirk.

😼

“She can come,” Nova announced excitedly shortly after returning to her seat.

“Who’s this Beatrice Lulamoon person?” Ron asked as he looked at the paper.

“Trixie?” Nova asked. “Is she in the paper?” Nova had learned that Trixie and her Beatrice were indeed the same person, and couldn't be more delighted. Though it did beg the question, who was the Trixie who had attended Canterlot High School? Could she be another pony run away?

“Trixie?” Ron asked looking at her.

“Beatrice Lulamoon is better known as Trixie to those who know her.” Nova offered.

“Trixie?!” Apple Bloom, Sweetie Belle, and Scootaloo chime.

“They’ve made her the interim Minister of magic,” Ron announced.

“Who’s crazy idea was that?” Apple Bloom protested.

“She’s a native of England, knows how things work in the wizard community, and I’ll bet she’ll make a good minister.” Nova offered and proceeded to finish off her breakfast. “She’s from an old pureblood family so she’ll likely have a certain amount of credit right there.”

“Trixie!?” All three crusaders chimed.

“Well, she can’t be any worse than Fudge.” Ron offered. “And yes, he’s in the papers again. ‘It seems a certain former Minister of magic attempted to bully his way out of his hearing in front of the muggle magistrates by telling them exactly who he was. The minister had to be cautioned against speaking about things we all know aren't real, or risk being put in a care facility.' Add breaking the statute of secrecy to the ever growing list of crimes."

“How does someone like that become Minister of magic in the first place?” Hermione asked.

“Apparently by bribing his way to the top.” Ron offered. “Dad has been working overtime doing raids, and the whole thing has been making a lot of people very nervous. - Get this, the Muggle government has told all the muggles he’s the head of the Ministry of Thaumaturgy, which is chiefly concerned with tracking meta-humans.” “Metahumans? - And reports to the Prime Minister, and falls under COBRA. - Cobra?"

“People with abilities above and beyond what is considered in the normal range of mundane humans. People like that Thor person. The irony is that Thor isn’t even human.” Nova offered as she got up. “Now if you’ll all excuse me, I’ve some quality free time ahead of me. And don't ask me what cobra is, I've no idea."

“Not without me, yer not,” Scootaloo called to Nova, finished off her last bite, and was after Nova moments later.

"COBRA has something to do with the Prime Minister's cabinet." Hermione offered as Nova and Scootaloo were walking away. "It basically means they report to the Prime Minister."

“So you get the feeling we are being left behind?” Sweetie Belle asked Apple Bloom.

“Um, they just did.” Apple bloom announced.

“You know what I mean. I feel like we are slowly growing apart.” Sweetie countered. “They go flying every morning before anyone else is up, and have foals. - I may not be ready for my own foal, but I have never wanted a pair of wings more then I do right now.”

“What about just using a broom?” Harry asked.

“It’s not the same,” Sweetie replied sounding a bit dejected.

“I’ll be lucky if I even pass. You’ve seen me on a broom.” Apple Bloom reminded them. “Even if I was any good, it won’t do me a lot of good once we leave Hogwarts.”

“Live in a muggle area, do you?” Ron asked. “Maybe you can come to visit?”

“That might be fun.” Sweetie Belle offered. “I doubt Nova will be able to get much flying in over the summer either.”

“Well, then it’s settled.” Fred began.

“You’re all invited.” George finished.

:unsuresweetie:

Nova and Scootaloo hurried upstairs and were greeted with hugs from the foals, as well as Alalme. “Any pony want to get in a little airtime outside?” Nova asked. The foals all responded enthusiastically. “Moonie, you can come too.” Moonie appeared among them with a delighted grin.

“Can I come?” Rose asked.

“Of course you can,” Scootaloo replied, transformed to her pony form and nuzzled her. “I mean if you don’t mind my supporting you with my magic?”

Rose gave her a calculated look.

“Don’t worry, Moonie, and I will be there too.” Nova offered as she transformed into her pony form. “So if Louise here gets distracted, and drops you, we’ll be there to catch you.”

“Oh kays,” Rose responded with a big smile.

A short time later Nova, Scootaloo, Moonie, Alalme, Rose, Alya, and Goldwine had been joined by Istel, Talma, and Gadgull along with their fillies Laire, and Sorcha.

“You know you don’t have to paddle your legs,” Nova said to Rose, with a hint of a smile on her face as they exited the balcony to soar out over the school grounds. “Tuck em up to reduce drag. Your wings will give you a little control over your direction. Go on, give it a try.”

“Just don’t get too far from me.” Scootaloo cautioned. She couldn’t help but smile as Rose tried out her wings to see what would happen according to how she held them and was soon sashaying back and forth in a slalom-like manner.

“Wee!” Rose exclaimed with glee.

“You’re not even flapping.” Goldwine pointed out. “How’s that flying?”

“I’m not flapping either, Goldwine Sparkle Silverwood.” Nova cautioned. Goldwine knew immediately he’d erred, and nearly lost control of his flight, as they rounded around the castle towards the lake. Goldwine flew over, did a very impressive roll for one so young, and landed on Nova’s back.

“How you do that?” Goldwine asked Nova. “You’re as solid as da grownd.”

“Lots and lots of flying.” Nova offered, dropped out from under him, causing him to flap his wings frantically, she pulled her wings in, flipped upside down, spread her wings again, lifted back, up, grabbed Goldwine, and snuggled him.

“No fwar! You use magic!” He complained bitterly.

“Not right now I’m not. I’m taking advantage of the updraft, and when Rose is older she’ll be able to fly just like me.” Nova offered, and let Goldwine go. He took the opportunity, spread his wings, and climbed away from Nova. Nova did a tight snap roll and chased after him. Alya joined in on the impromptu game of tag followed by Laire, and Sorcha. Rose had to follow along as best she could with Scootaloo, and Moonie following close behind. Alalme, Istel, and Talma followed along delighting in the antics of the foals as they flew out over the lake. How different this new life was from their old.

Within the castle, Princess Luna is looking over tests, making notes, and marking down scores. She had to sigh at the responses put down by many of the Slytherin students. Slytherins just seemed to think all problems were a nail that needed to be hammered. Looking out the window hadn’t helped either as it didn’t take her long to spot the small flock of pegasi out over the lake.

Also happening over at the quidditch pitch the Ravenclaw team has challenged the Gryffindor team to a grudge match. To begin right after lunch. The Ravenclaw students were understandably upset when they’d heard that Miss Magnus had had an unfair advantage.


Nova dropped down and skimmed the surface of the water of the lake, and when she was satisfied there was nothing bigger then a lake trout nearby she set down gently on the water, and bobbed about much like a duck. Goldwine settled down next to her, and circled around one way and then the next as he inspected the dark green depths of the lake. Scootaloo, Myrtle, Alalme, and Alya were next to set down on the lake followed by the others a moment later and began paddling along the shoreline.

“Oh hey, some seven-years,” Nova called quietly. “Lets all quack like ducks as we paddle past.”

Along the shore were several couples, who on hearing the quacking would look up only to see pegasi swimming past… quacking. A most peculiar sight it was.

Everything was going along swimmingly until one of the foals was suddenly pulled under. Pegasi wings beat heavenward, while Nova, Moonie, and Scootaloo plunged into the depths. Nova came up a moment later with a tentacled creature in her mouth, killed it, threw it up onto the bank, and dove down again accompanied by the sound of running hooves. The students watched as a young unicorn, and a yellow pastel pony dove into the water. Nova came up again with the stricken foal and ferried them to the shore. Three sea ponies propelled themselves out of the water, transformed into a pegasus, unicorn, and earth pony, and joined Nova who was presently performing CPR. The colt coughed up water, vomited, and began to cry, followed by Nova hugging him while crying herself. Alalme and the others landed. Moonie surfaced a moment later with one of the creatures skewered to her horn.

“Come on, let's go home,” Alalme said as she placed a wing over the two. Alya snuggled up to her little brother joined momentarily by Rose and the other foals. “I think we’ve had enough excitement.”

“What are those things?” Apple Bloom asked.

“Grindylows.” Offered a nearby seventh year Gryffindor boy. “They lurk in the shallows mostly.”

“What the absolute buck!?” Loki called as he and Gunny Gotha landed on the bank and folded up their wings. “I swear I can’t let you out of my sight.” To Nova’s surprise, Loki abandoned all pretense of professionalism and went right in for a nuzzle and a hug. “I don’t think I could bear it if anything happened to any of you.”

“Loki?” Nova asked in a soft tone and blushed.

“Was I too forward?” Loki asked as he slowly pulled back. Nova shook her head no. “Goldwine, let's have a look at you.” Loki looked Goldwine over, cast a foxfire spell on him which resulted in Goldwine coughing up some sludge. “Felling a little better?” Goldwine nodded. “Come on, let's go back to the apartment and get cleaned up in a nice safe bath.”

“Thank you.” Nova offered. “And I didn’t mind the hug. You are sort of an older brother.”

“Is that all I am to you, and older brother?” Loki asked quietly.

“No, no… but then if you wanted to be something more, you’d need to ask Princess Luna, say if you wished to court me.” Nova smiled, as the others looked back and forth at the two.

“I certainly wouldn't mind the extra attention.” Alalme offered with a smile.

“Well, this sure escalated in an interesting direction,” Scootaloo said with a rather curious smile on her face.

“Come on, let's get back upstairs.” Loki offered. “Also, we should probably get word to Princess Luna.”

“No need to worry her unnecessarily.” Nova offered. “She has tests to score, and if some pony goes running to her it might put her into a panic.”

“Fair enough.” Gunny offered.

It took a few moments to untangle from the group hug. Loki did a quick medical inspection of Goldwine and then offered to carry him.

“I can carry him.” Nova protested softly.

“You are soaking wet, and your feathers need straightening. Can you even get off the ground?” Loki asked as Nova shook herself off, used a drying spell, and looked herself over. She still looked like a half-drowned fox. She’d been so soaked the drying spell hadn’t quite done the job. Goldwine was no better. “Also, I think a nice walk might help calm everyone down,” Loki added.

“I guess it’s going to take a bit to straighten my feathers out.” Nova offered while managing a smile. “Goldwine needs new nappies too. The dry spell failed when he got pulled under.”

“And from now on no swimming in water that you can’t see what’s beneath you without us.” Apple Bloom ordered as they began to make their way around to where they could gain access to a path, and Moonie rid her horn of the thing she’d impaled.

“Sweetie Belle, can I ask a question?” The Gryffindor boy asked as he and his date followed along. Sweetie looked at him and transformed back to her human form.

“It’s an enchantment placed on the three of us by the queen of the kingdom under the sea.” Sweetie Belle offered, nor was she going to tell him it was the pendant she wore. “Long story. How’d you know it was me?”

“You transformed in front of everyone at the party.” He offered. “You’d had a bit too much to drink.” His girlfriend was presently hanging back a bit. She was a Hufflepuff student and wasn’t quite sure what to think given the turn of events.

“A bit he says.” Apple Bloom said with an air of sarcasm.

“What exactly did I do last night?” Sweetie asked. “I don’t actually remember much.”

“You and the others were kind of the life of the party, till you transformed, and vomited.” He offered as they found their way to the boathouse. His news wasn’t something Sweetie wanted to hear, nor did she want Rarity to ever find out. From there they climbed their way up the winding path to the entrance courtyard where they cut over to the Quad, ignored all curious onlookers, and made their way up to the Gryffindor tower being it was the shortest route from where they’d come.

“Why are they going to the Gryffindor dorm?” the Hufflepuff girl asked her boyfriend in a whisper.

“There’s access via the girls' dorm, and I gather none of the ponies feel much like flying after tangling with the Grindylows,” he informed her. When they arrived, Nova gave the password, and everyone climbed in. Fortunately, the dorm was empty as everyone was outside enjoying the warm weather.

“Thanks for the escort, I’ll take them from here.” Sweetie Belle said to the seventh-year boy, as the group went up the stairs to the girls' dorm.

“Ah, Loki, the stairs?” Scootaloo cautioned.

“The spell only reacts to human boys.” Loki offered as he climbed the stairs. “Otherwise a certain rat would never have managed it. Not to mention all the real male pets.”

Sure enough, he had little trouble with the stairs flattening, and turning into a slide as what was normal for the boys whenever they attempted it. And when they retired to the apartment, Loki insisted on everyone involved going down to the infirmary to give everyone a proper check-up. Doctor Hawkeye joined them as well, and it was soon apparent that Nova and the Crusaders had earned some new scars from where the Grindylows had bit them. Goldwine on the other hoof was found to still have some water in his lungs which was quickly dealt with by the use of a potion and a little more fox magic.

Madam Pomfrey had to be summoned regarding the Grindylow bites as well resulting in Miss Idda, and several other girls coming along with her. Madam Pomfrey had all those who’d been bitten drink a detox potion that would counter the venom, after which they were all bathed in Nova’s greenhouse by the girls.

“Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve been treated like a proper princess.” Nova teased as Idda scrubbed her down. Her bath was taking the longest as she’d been the dirtiest. “Oww, that’s a bite.”

“Sorry,” Idda replied. She was oblivious to the fact that the whole operation was in Nova’s luggage being the girls had come in through the infirmary and were under the delusion it was a portion of the school they simply hadn't known about. “Soon as we get you cleaned up we’ll get some ointment on those bites.”

“How’s Goldwine doing?” Nova asked. There was a sound of deepest concern to her voice. “Loki?”

“I’m to understand the foals have been bathed, and are down for a nap.” Idda offered. “Your brash young stallion is keeping an eye on them in another part of the greenhouse. He’d look a lot like yourself if not for the blue mane and tail.”

“He is Ensign Loki Moon, and I’d say his true age might be close to your age.” Nova offered. “He’s sort of an adopted brother.” “Today’s the first time he’s ever acted like he was part of the family.” Nova was quiet for a moment as if lost in contemplation. “It’s my fault. I forgot just how dangerous this place can be, and nearly lost the foal I’d won.”

“Won?” Ida offered as she poured water over the top of her.

“I rescued his egg from Slytherin’s great wyrm. Eyes like a basilisk it had and could kill just by looking at its victim. The people from the ministry thought it might be a hybrid, and here I nearly lose my Goldwine to a damn freshwater octopus thingy. And don't tell anyone about what I just said. It's a matter for the Unspeakables. - So why is it we have to have a bath?”

“He’s safe now, and there is nothing more calming than a good scrub down, and a hot bath.” Idda offered. “Now let's see what we can do about those wings.”

“No.”

“No?”

“It’s a thing of, how should I say it, an act of intimacy normally reserved for family and close friends.” Nova offered. “It’s not really that big a deal, but I’m kind of particular regarding who I am comfortable with enough to let them do it.”

“Oh?” Idda said dismayed. “How intimate? I mean I just bathed you.”

Nova climbed out of the bath, shook herself off, and then dried herself with a spell.

“And now I’m all wet,” Idda complained.

“Sorry about that.” Nova offered and then used the same drying spell on Idda. “It’s just that to preen properly I need the oil from my uropygial, or preen gland. That or a partner’s.” She then transformed to her human form and pointed right about where her tail was a moment before. She was also now fully clothed, her clothes having the look of just having been washed save for being torn in a few places due to the magic of the creatures that had gone after Goldwine. “The gland is right about there. It has to be licked to get the oil out, and it can be kind of sensitive too. It’s right under my purple and vermilion tail feathering. You kind of need to be part of our herd.”

“Oh,” Idda said nearly breathless. “Um, ointment?”

“I think I can manage. It’ll be easier this way, I won’t get any ointment in my fur.” I’m also anxious about Goldwine.”

“Well then, let's go find him.” Idda offered.

The two went up to Nova’s bedroom first to get the ointment and were a little disappointed when they didn’t find anyone there.

“Where is this?” Idda asked as she looked around the bedroom. The bed looked like it could fit a half dozen grown ponies. Up to that point, she’d thought they were in a section of the hospital wing, but now she wasn’t too sure as she followed Nova into the bath and lavatory. “Should we even be here… why are you disrobing?”

“So I can put ointment on the bite marks,” Nova replied. “Truth is, this is my real bedroom. What you’ve seen up to this point is just a front. A spare apartment. My luggage is actually a portable palace. Best not say anything, wouldn't want anyone trying to snoop about. - And my clothes are all shredded where I got bit. I’ve a mind to go do some night hunting of those cursed things. Thin their numbers down.”

“You’ve quite a number of marks on your back… Oh, I see the outlines of your wings, and your, what’s it called?”

“Cutie mark.” Nova offered. “All the little jagged marks are scars. My weakness seems to be chunks of wood for some reason. I can wear armor, project a shield about myself, and I’ll get stuck in the plot every time. I had my guard down this time around. I never should have had my guard down around here. No one ever said anything about the lake not being safe!”

“They accentuate the bite mark well.” Idda offered timidly as Nova retrieved some ointment, applied the ointment to the bite marks, and then retrieved new clothing.

“Miss Aiko, where are the foals?”

“Out in the greenhouse where the sun pavilion is, enjoying the sun.” Aiko offered, causing Idda to jump. Miss Aiko simply hadn’t been there a moment before.

“Thank you. - Idda, would you and the others like to join us for lunch? I’m thinking we’ll skip going down to lunch, and have lunch out in the greenhouse.”

“I, I’d like that.” Idda offered, and a short time later they were out in the greenhouse where they found everyone in a patio area sunning themselves with wings outstretched. Idda was astonished at the sight of a perpetual sunbeam that defied any reason for being there.

“Come on, transform yourself and let's see what we can do about those wings.” Alalme offered.

“Oh alright,” Nova replied, transformed, and walked on over like she hadn’t a care in the world. Goldwine was nearby on a cushion being fussed over by the fillies. “So how is he?”

“He’ll likely need a new nappy before too long.” Loki offered. “Side effect of the potion I gave him.”

“How much did you give him?” Nova asked.

“I estimated for his size, and then halved that to be on the safe side,” Loki replied. “Which came out to four drops of the potion. The potion itself was one for removing fluids on the lungs.” Nova tilted her head. “It makes him pee a lot.”

“Alright. I understand.” Nova offered as Alalme began working on Nova’s wings.

Idda watched a bit, and as Nova had said it really wasn’t a big deal. At least not the part where feathers were being straightened out, and repaired. She found her self turning away when Alalme went down on Nova’s Preen gland. Feathers had to be lifted, and Idda discovered that it often came very close to exposing Nova’s nether region. Granted that Nova was a pony, Idda was fairly sure of that, but the fact that Nova was an intelligent sentient being who could take on human form was warring with Idda’s sensibilities. Age wise Nova was no first year, and quite possibly should be in fourth-year, possibly even fifth or sixth. Definitely should be in fourth-year, if not fifth. But then Idda began to wonder what it must be like to be preened? It certainly wasn’t on the same level as being brushed. There was that extra little bit that made it the sort of thing one didn’t ask just anyone to do, and if done wrong it could ground the flier.

“Maybe Miss Idda would like to join the herd?” Loki said in a sort of teasing way. He’d seen the furtive glances Idda had been giving the two mares.

“Get a load of him, no one’s agreed to anything yet, and he’s already adding to the harem.” Scootaloo scolded.

“Alalme, perhaps that’s enough for now?” Nova suggested.

“Just a bit more,” Alalme said matter-of-factually.

“It’s nearly lunchtime, and I think Idda may have misunderstood what I said concerning preening being a family thing,” Nova said coyly. Alalme gave Nova a funny look and began to chuckle.

“I, um, was kind of wondering what it’d be like to have that kind of closeness bordering on intimacy with someone I cared about.” Idda offered with a smile and a blush.

“I’ve rounded up the others.” Miss Aiko offered. “If you’d like to join them, lunch will be ready shortly.”

“Well then, my feathers will just have to wait.” Nova offered with a smile.

:twilightblush:

Meanwhile down in the hall, those present for lunch were talking about the challenge match that was to take place shortly.

“Has anyone seen Louise?” Wood asked. “It doesn’t really feel right playing, and not telling her.”

“It’s not like she can play.”Katie Bell offered. “Not to be fair.”

“Hermione, have you seen her?” Wood asked. Hermione presently had her nose buried in a book.

“She went out with Nova right after breakfast.” Hermione offered. “I wouldn't worry about them.”

“So what is it you are reading?” Katie asked her.

“It’s a short study on the issues concerning animagus playing Quidditch. The Ministry did indeed know about the issue and went so far as to commission a study. It was deemed a rare enough issue that it wasn’t deemed worth the effort to adjust the spell on the snitch. The recommendation was that if anyone was found to be using that specific tactic that they should be barred from professional games or any game in which is awarded a prize of any sort. The catch will be null and void, and the match replayed as soon as appropriate, with the player removed from the team. Oh dear. That means the game between Gryffindor and Ravenclaw doesn’t count.”

“What?!” Wood protested.

“It’s an unpublished foul,” Hermione announced.

“Harry, Harry, you have got to catch that snitch. Do you hear me?” Wood ordered as he turned on Potter.

Shortly after lunch the teams went out to the pitch and made ready. Nearly everyone in school was present. The teams faced off, the balls were released, Harry careened off at a wild angle, crashed hard enough to leave a small crater, got up brushed himself off unharmed, and presented the snitch.

Hermione was just a little suspicious something wasn’t quite kosher, and she’d a mind to find Nova. Her inquiries as to the whereabouts of Nova Moon, Louise Magnus, Sweetie Belle, and Apple Bloom proved more frightening than helpful. Sweetie had been last seen escorting a small heard of pegasi. Rumor had it that a foal had drowned, and it was a funeral procession of sorts. What little Hermione could find out concerning Nova was a rumor that she had to be treated for Grindylow bites after having fallen in the lake.

Hermione’s heart was sinking fast. She had to know and hurried as fast as she could back to the Gryffindor tower where she discovered yet another party.

“Hermione, you made it!” Ron called. “We were beginning to wonder whatever became of you.”

“No time, I have to find Nova,” Hermione replied, worked her way through the crowd, and up the stairs.

Not finding anyone in the apartment wasn’t very comforting. From there she made her way through the closet to the library, where she found Corporal Pfalz on sentry duty. “I’ve heard some horrible rumors,” Hermione said on approaching the pony. “Please tell me that’s all it is?”

“We had a scare, and everyone is going to be alright.” He offered. “I’m to understand that Goldwine was pulled under by Grindylows.”

“Oh no?!”

“He’s alright now. You’ll find them in the greenhouse.”

“Thank you,” Hermione said, and hurried downstairs.

Entering the greenhouse caused her to stop and ponder. Sure she’d seen it before, but this would be the first time she’d actually gone into the greenhouse. Nova had shown her the mathematics behind it, and yet it was still more then Hermione could take in.

“Oh hi. If you are looking for the ponies, they are that way.” Idda offered.

“Hang on, what are you doing here?” Hermione asked.

“Several of us came in through the entrance in the hospital wing to help out.” Idda offered. “I’m going to assume you came in through the dorm? I kind of found out the truth by accident. That is to say, our princess had to explain to me who’s bedroom it was we’d walked into uninvited. The other girls just think it’s a secret area behind the hospital wing. You know what with the way wizard space works.”

“I’m to understand this place is actually some kind of technical marvel… still looks like magic to me.”

“Magic… The idea that all this fits in one tiny suitcase... This is well beyond any magic we know.” Idda offered as she looked about. “This shit is god level.”

“Ya, it sure does seem that way. - Which way are they?”

“Down that path, you’ll find a pavilion where they are presently indulging in an after meal nap.”

“Thank you.”

:raritywink:

Later that afternoon, in Paris France.

Rarity

Rarity had just debuted a new fashion line at her first Paris fashion show. The models have walked the runway, strutted their stuff, the audience seemed to like the fashion line, and Rarity is walking down the runway to take a bow. The room fills with the light of a phoenix, Rarity bows, the phoenix lands on a shoulder, wings outstretched, and with a snap, the two are gone.

:raritydespair:

“I don’t know what we are going to do, nothing fits, and none of us know any spells for adjusting clothes.” Nova protested. Alalme was standing in the bedroom in her human form with a robe on. Clothes are scattered everywhere. The room fills with light, Phenik appears sitting upon Rarity’s shoulder and lets out a triumphant squawk.

“Aunt Rarity, just the pony we need,” Nova said sounding delighted. Rarity looked about, marked well the presence of Louise, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle, and straightened up. All of whom were presently in human form.

“Sweetie Belle, you’d better have a good explanation for this, and who is this person who’s the brazen audacity to call me Auntie? - I was about to take a bow at the end of my fashion show!”

“Oh no,” Nova said softly.

“I’m ruined, ruined I tell you!” Rarity said in a rather melodramatic way, made to swoon, and stopped on seeing a fainting sofa slide over to her on its own.

“But mom, weren’t you just going to go to some stuffy meet and great in Canterlot today?” Sweetie Belle asked sounding quite confused. Rarity looked at Sweetie Belle with a look of horror.

“Um, Sweetie, I don’t think this is our Rarity.” Nova offered. Phenik for her part vanished with a flash. “Phenik!?”

“You’re Rarity?” Rarity asked, her eyes opening wide as several foals rushed in, ran about, and ran out again.

“Should I have scolded them or something?” Alalme asked.

“No, not after the morning we had. Let them play.” Nova offered.

“So where am I and how do I get back?” Rarity asked sounding cross.

“You’re in Scotland.” Nova offered. “Getting you back...”

“Scotland!?” Rarity protested just as Phenik appeared presenting a very fashionable pony.

“Phenik, will you stop that?!” Nova ordered. “Sweet harmony, where does she get the energy to do teleports like that?”

“Rarity?” the two Raritys ask as they look at each other.

“I’m so sorry.” Nova offered. “We were having a wardrobe crisis, and Phenik seemed to think the thing to do is to fetch you… both of you apparently.”

“End of year banquet?” Pony Rarity asked.

“I invited Alalme, even got permission for her to come, and we’ve nothing for her to wear,” Nova explained.

“Well, this will never do.” P Rarity declared as she transformed into a human.

“Indeed not.” The human rarity offered. “Well as long as I’m here, and between the two of us, we are bound to come up with something. When did you need it?”

“Tonight.” Nova offered.

“Fabric?” P Rarity asked.

“I wouldn't be a bit surprised if there is fabric in the attic,” Alalme suggested. “There seems to be just about everything imaginable up there.”

“One thing though...” Human Rarity began in a cautionary tone. “The morning you’ve had? Before I do anything I’d appreciate you spilling the beans as they say.”

“I’m a bit curious myself now.” P Rarity added.

“We had, that is to say, there was an incident this morning.” Nova offered.

“Incident?” P Rarity queried. Her concern grew when it became apparent it was something unpleasant that no pony wished to talk about. “What happened? Come on, out with it.”

“We were paddling around in the lake when something, some creature in the water, pulled Goldwine under.” Scootaloo offered reluctantly.

“He drowned,” Nova said quietly. “I nearly lost him, and right now … I don’t want to dwell on it. I was able to revive him. Got all the water out of his lungs so he could breath. - Did so just as soon as we’d pulled him out of the water, and he seems to be fine now. And hopefully, this incident won’t scar him emotionally. - It sure hasn’t done me much good, and right now, right now I just want to do whatever I can to distract myself from thinking about what nearly happened. I’ve lost far too many ponies I’ve loved. As Harmony is my witnesses I had no idea such creatures lurked in that lake. A person would think the presence of a giant squid would drive out all competitors.”

“A giant squid?” H Rarity asked.

“It stays well clear of me. I bit it the first day I arrived at this school.” Nova offered. She couldn't help but smile at the memory, but then she wondered what had ever become of Maggie. Dear sweet Maggie, leaving her behind had been so difficult.

Pony Rarity went over to Nova and gave her a hug. “You know what, I think you could use a new dress too. Let’s see what we can scrounge up.”

So with that in mind, the party decided to go explore Nova’s attic.

That evening not only would Alalme attend dinner in a new outfit, Nova, and the crusaders did as well. “Pity we have to wear our school robes over the top of our new outfits.” Nova lamented, as the now five girls entered the dinning hall. All eyes were on Alalme who sported only the new outfit Rarity and Rarity had made for her. Rarity and Rarity had also finagled their way into the banquet as Princess Luna’s guests. Luna had yet to hear about what had happened regarding the incident at the lake though.

“How’s Goldwine?” Hermione asked as the herd approached the Gryffindor table. Overhead hung the banners of Ravenclaw.

“One would hardly know he’d been drowned only this morning.” Nova offered hoping to keep the mood light. “Istel and Talma are keeping an eye on the foals right now along with Alice and Captain Hoofstrong.”

“Gadgull has gone on to Eques to help with the resettlement of our community who chose to return.” Alalme offered as they found their seats.

“How’s everyone?” Idda asked as she gave Nova a hug.

Meanwhile, Rarity and Rarity were meeting Professor McGonagall in a faculty lounge where they were introduced as identical cousins.

“So what brings you two to Hogwarts, and at the same time?” Luna asked.

“Kidnapped. - Foalnapped.” The two Raritys offer at the same time.

“Kidnapped?” Professor McGonagall asked.

“By Miss Nova’s phoenix no less.” Human Rarity offered. “I must say I was a bit bewildered at first being my cousin’s daughter is the spitting image of my sister. - I just assumed she and her friends had been the culprits.”

“Sweetie.” Pony Rarity offered. “And yes, they do have a tendency to get into all manner of mischief."

“Yes, Miss Peverell mentioned you were her mother.” McGonagall offered. “Won’t being spirited away by a phoenix cause problems for you?”

“What’s this?” Dumbledore asked as he entered the lounge. “I was just on my way in. Who have we here?”

“This is Rarity Belle, in fact, they both have the same name.” McGonagall offered. “Look-alike cousins who for whatever odd reason somehow ended up with the same name. - Our Miss Sweetie Belle is the Daughter of one.” She looked the two over. “This one I think?” She offered, indicating the last Rarity to speak. The two at least had on different outfits, the human Rarity being dressed to put on a fashion show, and the pony Rarity dressed for a state dinner.

“Yes that’s right, Sweetie is my daughter. - Other than gossip about skipping out on a state function I’ll be fine.” P Rarity offered.

“Might be problematic for me.” H. Rarity offered. “I was just taking my bows at the end of a fashion show. I do hope my handler can manage things.”

“A fashion show?” Dumbledore asked.

“What I believe you’d call a muggle thing.” H. Rarity offered fairly sure no one in the wizarding world had a clue about fashion. “My handler is a graduate from Beauxbatons so hopefully they’ll be able to deal with the issue.”

“We sent word to our contacts in London to let her people know where she is.” P. Rarity offered.

“Forgive me, but you’re not…?” Dumbledore inquired.

“A no maj? Hardly.” H. Rarity offered. “I was recruited by Ilvermorny but turned them down to attend a prestigious fashion institution in Paris. - My handler has been helping me with a correspondence course on magic that was made available to me by Madam Olympe Maxime. I must say, she is an impressive woman. And fully supports my desire to follow my passion.”

“Have you been to Beauxbatons?” Dumbledore inquired.

“Only the once to meet Madam Maxime.” H Rarity offered.

“An impressive place is it not.” Dumbledore offered.

“It’s nice.” H. Rarity offered. She’d seen better.

“Nice?” Dumbledore asked wondering if this woman had even been to Beauxbatons.

“I’m afraid the entire place could fit into even the smallest compound of the Canterlot palace.” H. Rarity offered. Having been there as an honored guest at her counterpart’s wedding, she’d seen Canterlot at it’s finest.

“Canterlot?” Dumbledore asked perplexed at the name.

“The capitol of Eques.” Luna offered.

“But Canter lot?” Dumbledore asked.

“What, you think maybe we should call it Camel Lot? Now there’s a name that hearkens to old Bob Hope road pictures.” Luna teased.

“We do have an impressive city.” P. Rarity offered. “Eques is a unique place that is neither here, nor their, and both places at the same time. What you might call wizard space.”

“I see,” Dumbledore replied not sure what to think. Was there really a whole city in a wizard space? Could there be a wizard space large enough for a whole city? Nova’s trunk, what he’d seen of it, seemed to be quite large. The thought that her luggage may simply be a moving door to lodging in another place weighed heavily on his mind. “Shall we go into dinner now?”

“Yes of course, but there is one other thing, Luna darling...” P Rarity began. “Nova asked we relay some news to you before you hear it from anywhere else.”

“Oh my, this does sound dire.” Dumbledore remark teasingly.

“They are all alright.” P Rarity continued with a very serious expression. “Goldwine was pulled under while out on the lake by a Grindylow, whatever that is?”

“What?” Luna asked. “Why wasn’t I informed sooner?”

“Goldwine?” Dumbledore asked.

“No one wanted to interfere in your duties, and there is the issue of maintaining a certain amount of separation while you decide the fates of the students.” P Rarity offered. “He’s alright, everyone is alright. Nova wanted to go about the rest of the day as though nothing had ever happened, possibly in hopes that the little ones would soon forget it ever happened.”

“Who’s Goldwine?” Dumbledore asked with concern now in his voice.

“The presumed Chief of the Silverwood clan, and not even a year old yet.” Madam Pomfrey offered as she joined the group.

“Are you saying there are children, little babies here at Hogwarts.”

“He’s a pegasi, and yet to figure out Rose Myrtle’s trick.” Madam Hooch offered as she too joined the group. “Miss Nova Moon took in a family of pegasi who are descended from a wizard family. Little Goldwine is far more advanced than any ordinary human baby. He can already talk in near complete sentences. English. He can speak English. And I was just about to ask Luna about a rumor regarding the matter. Seems they decided to walk back to the dorm rather than fly, and it took on the tones of a funeral procession in the minds of a number of witnesses. I’m glad everything is alright.”

“Give him time, and we’ll soon have him on two legs.” Luna offered. “Shall we go in? I’d like to see how my Nova is holding up.”

When Luna approached the Gryffindor table there seemed to be some miscommunication concerning Goldwine’s status on being pulled out of the lake.

“He wasn’t dead. Are you dead when you hold your breath, or asleep? No!” Nova scolded. “All we did was get the water out of him, and he started breathing on his own.”

“But when someone drowns they are dead… aren’t they?” Ron asked.

“No, they are not.” Luna scolded. “Even a muggle can revive a drowned person so long as the time elapsed is short enough. - Has no one instructed you on basic first aid and emergency resuscitation?”

“Um… no,” Ron replied sheepishly.

“I have received training in first aid myself.” Hermione offered. “Goldwine is perfectly healthy. There’s not a thing wrong with him.”

“It was a close one, but I doubt he has a clue.” Nova offered. “He got pulled under, swallowed some water, and muck, at which point his brain decided it’d be best to stop trying to breathe. He was pulled out of the water, his lungs cleared with the help of a little magic, and he started breathing all on his own. He’s no worse off than had he fallen off a bed.”

“I fell off my Gran’s feather bed once.” Neville offered.

“How bad could falling off a bed be?” Harry asked.

*“Well, it was nine feet high, and six feet wide, soft as a downy chick. It was made from the feathers of forty ‘leven geese, took a whole lot of cloth for the tick.” Neville offered.

“My gran has a bed just like it.” Apple Bloom offered. “It’ll hold eight kids, four hound dogs, and a piggy we stole from the shed. Not including ourselves mind you.”

“Didn’t get much sleep, but we sure had a lot of fun.” Scootaloo offered with a smile and a lilt to her voice.

“Maybe you’d better stop.” Luna offered. “I can hear banjos. - And Nova, I sure wish you would have told me directly about what had happened?”

“Sorry, Princess. We’d thought it best not to get you worried.” Loki offered. Loki was presently in human form, and wearing his dress white uniform. He cut the figure of a fine young man of perhaps twenty, mixed heritage, and very good looking.

“Loki?” Nova asked, her heart racing. Why was he here? “Is everything alright? Goldwine?”

“Everything is fine. The little ones are sleeping off their dinner. They are worn out from all the activity today.” Loki offered reassuringly. “No, this is concerning that question you said I should ask, and now seemed a good time.”

“Oh, you can’t be serious?” Nova asked.

“Well, it was your suggestion,” Loki replied with a smile.

“But now? In front of all these people?” Nova protested.

“It seemed the best time.” Loki offered. *“Tu ne quaesieris, scire nefas, quem mihi, quem tibi, finem di dederint, Kitzumi, nec Eques, temptaris numeros. Ut melius, quidquid erit, pati. Seu pluris hiemes seu tribuit Iuppiter ultimam, quae nunc oppositis debilitat pumicibus mare Tyrrhenum. Sapias, vina liques et spatio brevi spem longam reseces. dum loquimur, fugerit invida aetas: carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero.”

“Seize the moment, and trust to tomorrow as little as you may, is it?” Luna said as she gave him a calculating look. “Out with it. What do you want?”

“Your permission to court the fair Kitzumi Nova,” Loki informed her, and all those within hearing distance.

Luna gave Nova a calculated look. “By chance did you tell him he needed permission to put him off?”

“A little yes, a little no.” Nova offered while blushing. “I’m not averse to his advances.”

“I see,” Luna replied in a rather dry tone. “Loki, did I not adopt you?”

“Yes, Ma’am.” Loki replied. “To forestall certain shoestring relatives of mine from dragging me home as they considered me to be far too young to be in thy service.”

“Well then, as the two of you are technically brother and sister I will not object to the two of you spending time together.” Luna offered in a cold tone devoid of emotion that sent chills down the spine. “See to it you behave appropriately.” And with that Luna turned, and went to her place at the head table.

“Well, that went better than I could have imagined.” Loki offered. He felt oddly weak in the knees.

“It seems we have another guest, do sit down, and let's get started,” Dumbledore called from the head table.

“Oi look, twins.” Fred and George said on spotting the two Raritys.

“They’re not twins, they are identical cousins.” Sweetie Belle offered. “The one talking to Luna is my mom.”

“That’s your mom?” Idda asked sounding astonished. “She, they both look so young.”

“It’s complicated.” Sweetie offered.

“He’s made a declaration of intent.” Luna was saying as she sat down. “He wants to court Nova.”

“Oh my, that is a juicy bit of gossip.” P Rarity replied with a smile.

“No names.” Luna cautioned. “Let's keep in mind that there is a five-year-old Nova as well. There could be confusion.”

Dumbledore banged his goblet on the table to get everyone’s attention. “It would seem that we have arrived at the end of another year.” He waited for everyone to quiet down. “It is time to award the house cup, and I must say that it has truly been a momentous year.” He paused a moment. “I’m sure you are all aware of Slytherin’s recent drastic lack of points. It’s not some kind of mistake, and the lack of certain individuals should be a clue as to why. Other than that I’ll say nothing more. Slytherin house, you were so close. It’s a shame a handful of individuals spoiled your chances of gaining the house cup yet again.” He paused and looked about before starting again. “Gryffindor presently has three hundred and twelve points, and Hufflepuff stands at three hundred fifty-two points. And in the lead, Ravenclaw presently has four hundred and twenty-six points.” He paused a moment while the student body applauded Ravenclaw’s achievement. “I feel that some corrections need be made.” Dumbledore offered as he continued. “We have among us some of the most unique animagus in recorded history, and given certain facts that have come to light concerning Miss Louise Magnus, I feel that it would be appropriate to restore the fifty points taken from her, Miss Bloom, and Miss Belle regarding the egg they had. Under the circumstances, I can appreciate why they were so close-lipped about the origins of the egg. Miss Louise, I’d like to extend my most sincere apology to what we put you through in making a difficult situation worse.” Dumbledore paused, this time not a sound came from the hall. “It is important, that we as members of the magical community maintain an open mind to possibilities that would never have occurred to us. We need to think about our actions before we do them, act when it’s appropriate, and we need the wisdom to ask the right questions before making our conclusions.” “Never before in our recorded history has anyone ever obtained an animagus form of a magical creature. Least of which so little is known. In our attempts to remove certain marks from the person’s of these same three girls we behaved little better than muggles.”

“You did what!?” P. Rarity exclaimed as she jumped to her feet.

“Mom, sit down!” Sweetie Belle called.

“We can discus it later.” Luna cautioned. “The man is apologizing. Let him.”

P Rarity reluctantly sat down.

“Those points will also be restored.” Dumbledore offered wary of the fact that both Raritys were presently giving him a dirty look. “As such, the house cup will go to Gryffindor.” His news led to a great cheer erupting from the Gryffindor table. He waited a moment or two for the hall to quiet down. “It seems we need to switch out the banners.” He clapped his hands, followed by the Ravenclaw banners rolling up, and Gryffindor banners unrolling. “And one last announcement before we begin. I am to understand that the pegasi that tangled with the Grindylow are all doing well despite their misadventure.” A paused but a moment to make sure everyone had heard. “And with that. Let us begin our dinner.”

Once more food appeared on the tables, and all seemed right with the world.

“Any chance Snape is going to stay a woman?” Harry asked. He’d soon be going back to number four Privet Drive and the Dursleys, and yet he didn’t seem bothered by it. Granted he’d give just about anything to not have to go back, but at the moment he was at peace.

“Planing on asking her out is it?” Fred asked while bouncing his eyebrows.

“No. She just seems more settled, nicer even.” Harry offered. “She hasn’t leered at me once since the test.”

“Things are going to get better.” Nova offered. Nova wondered if the thing that had been lodged in Harry’s skull might have had something to do with the animosity aimed towards him as Snape hadn’t taken a point from Harry since its removal.

“So tell us about this adopted brother of yours?” Idda asked with a smile.

Nova spent the better part of Dinner trying to explain who Loki was without giving away inconvenient truths. No point in telling anyone he had been born over a thousand years ago, that he was a fox pony, or that thanks to being banished with Nightmare Moon he’d the embarrassment of being a Tenko with only one tail. Normaly a thousand-year-old fox would have nine tails. In short, his actual physical age placed him in his late teens, to his early twenties. What Nova told them is that Loki had run away at a young age, and joined the Night Watch. When Luna learned of him, she took him under her wing and adopted him when self-serving relatives had tried to take him away. Loki was surprised that she knew so much about him, and rather pleased as well.

Inevitably the talk turned to the finals. Nova was satisfied with her efforts, though Hermione could always think of something more she could have added or done.

“Any chance they’ll bump us up a year or two?” Scootaloo asked Nova. “What with all the tutoring you did for us, those tests were easy.”

“Be nice to be a little closer to our proper age.” Nova offered. “I’m not holding out much hope. I imagine if they hold me back, I’ll just go back to Celestia’s school in another year.”

“In another year?” Scootaloo asked sounding concerned.

“Maybe apply for the academy.” Nova offered. "Reapply? - I seem to recall I was due to start next year anyway?"

“You think I could get in?” Scootaloo asked.

“Don’t see why not, though I’m not sure if they’d even know what to do with a pair like us,” Nova replied.

“I’m not sure what to do with the pair of you half the time myself.” Apple Bloom chided with a smile.

“I’m sure you’ll figure something out.” Scootaloo offered.

“Alalme, you doing alright?” Nova asked. Alalme had been unusually quiet.

“I’m alright.” Alalme offered. “It is rather overwhelming. So much food, and all the people.”

“And loud.” Sweetie Belle offered. “Took me a bit to become accustomed to it.”

“And we’ll likely miss it when we’ve gone.” Nova offered. “On the plus side, I’ll get to spend more time with the foals.” “Loki?”

“It’s just that actually being down here is a bit different than I’d imagined. Kind of like a chow hall only louder.”

“Brings back memories, doesn't it?” Nova offered with a smile. “I’ve been in a chow hall once or twice.”

“Once or twice?” He asked.

“A good deal of my enlistment was spent in the field.” Cook tents don’t hold very many.” Nova replied. “They gave me first aid training as a medic because there’d be times I’d arrive where I was to deliver a message, and there’d be wounded, and no medic.”

“I was a scout.” Loki offered. “That’s how I ended up with the elite team. - Alalme, what was it like for you growing up?”

“We had a nice little cabin high in one of the silver trees of the forest, everyone here calls the Forbidden forest.” Alalme offered. “It was safe from most predators, and our guard could drive off most.”

“And then the Wyrm found your village.” Nova offered.

“My father was one of the first to fall. Along with our chief. Goldwine, and Alya’s father.” Alalme continued. “We didn’t know the beast could kill just by looking at us.” She let out a sigh. “After that the free herds of the Silver woods scattered.”

“And I found you shortly after.” Nova guessed.

“You did indeed,” Alalme said with a slight tinge to her cheeks. “A beautiful young mare stole into the barn where I’d been held captive, along with this magnificent bird.” Phenik, who’d been going from person to person to see what delights they had, realizing she was being mentioned, held herself up, and puffed up a bit. A moment latter she was joined by Fawkes who playfully bumped into Phenik. Fawkes had become much more active with the younger phoenix about, and the two had often been seen about the school and grounds in the company of each other.

Later, after the dinner had concluded, and everyone returned to their rooms, Nova was troubled to find that Goldwine had insisted on staying awake until she’d returned. This meant that the fillies had been restless as well. Nova, Alalme, and Scootaloo bed down with the foals, each snuggled up to their perspective mamma, and every pony was soon fast asleep.

Alalme woke sometime in the wee hours of the night at some feeling of distress, found Nova was having another night mare and nuzzled her to drive the unpleasant dreams away.