School of Wizardry and Ponies

by Ranoa- Walker of Worlds

In the Night and at a Lecture

In all respects, all members of the Faust household should have been long asleep. It was well in the hours past midnight but a particular member of the family was still awake. Luna usually had a hard time falling asleep without the use of a sleep aid. She would take one on a working day, but during the summer months she would generally go without and let her natural sleep cycle take over. Leaning back in her chair in the living she was reading a book.
Her reading was disturbed when she became aware of someone else in the room. She turned her gaze from her book and spied a skinny eleven-year-old on the stairs.
“Harry? What are you doing up?” The boy was nervous,
“I… um… I had a bad dream, needed a drink.”
Luna placed her book mark on the page she was reading before standing up, leaving the book on her chair,
“Here, why don’t I make us some tea?”
The two cousins then retreated to the kitchen where Luna began heating water. To pass the time Harry decided to make small talk,
“So what are you still doing up? I thought everyone was asleep.” Luna gave Harry a sad smile before explaining,
“I have a few chemical imbalances in my brain. My doctor believes it to be some form of depression. One of the issues that I get to live with as a result of one particular imbalance is a disrupted internal clock. My body has a hard time falling asleep at night. I am prescribed a sleep aid, but I don’t like taking it when it’s summer. Though I do find that a nice cup of tea can help sooth me enough to help me sleep.”
“Depression?” Harry asked. He had heard the term before but hadn’t understood what it meant.
“It’s what the doctors believe. I might disagree with them on some points of diagnosis but it seems to make sense to them.” It was then that Luna decided to change the subject, “So what did you think of the festival today?”
A genuine smile appeared across her cousin’s face,
“I thought it was brilliant. I hope to go again next year.”
“Don’t think that summer is the only time that the town comes together to celebrate. If there is one thing that you will get use to around here it is the number of town festivals. If there is a reason to celebrate you can be sure that someone is going to make a big deal of it.” Luna reached into the pantry and produced a couple of bags of her favorite peppermint tea blend and placed them in a pair of empty mugs,
“That is doubly true when you are friends with Pinkie Pie.” Luna said with a laugh to herself.
“They seem like nice girls.” Harry commented.
“Indeed, they could be considered to be the back bone of CHS’s current state of mind.”
“What do you mean?” At Harry’s question Luna’s expression fell.
“Well Harry, the school use to be very divided against itself. People with common interests kept to themselves. From an administrative point of view, it was a very oppressive environment.”
“So what happened?”
“Someone came and showed us a new way. She reminded us the value of friendship and more than one person was changed by her.”
“Her?” Harry was very confused. With a very mischievous smile Harry had not seen on his darker toned cousin before Luna responded,
“Oh, you’ll find out soon enough.”
Luna continued her brewing and sweetening the peppermint tea. Once the brew was ready the two retired back to the living room where they took up residence on the couch. Luna could see that Harry wanted to say something but was having a hard time making the first step. So, she decided to play the family card. She placed her tea down on the nearby coffee table and moved right next to Harry. From here she put an arm around Harry,
“Harry, is something on your mind? You know you can talk to Tia or myself whenever you need to right?”
The eleven-year-old looked down at his tea, seeing his image distorted in its surface. Luna new she needed to reach out to him, he needed to know that he didn’t have to suffer alone.
“Harry, can I tell you something?”
“There was a time in my life that Tia and I were not on good terms. I was a troubled teenager. I hung with a bad crowd and did a lot of things that I regret. Nightmare Moon they called me. It came to a point where I would not even come home. I felt that no one understood me, let alone my family.”
This story got Harry’s attention. He looked up at his cousin,
“What happened?”
“Mother sent Tia after me. My sister found me and we just talked.” The memories of the conversation brought a few tears to Luna’s eyes, “We talked for a long time and I came to see that I was wrong when I thought no one could love me. Tia became my support and I turned my life around.”
Luna lifted Harry’s chin and looked him right in the eyes,
“Look Harry, I guess what I am saying is that you don’t have to face your troubles alone. I know you feel like you have the weight of the world on your shoulders; even with the little things. I’ve been there Harry. If you need to talk, please don’t shut out others.”
Harry could feel the serene compassion coming from Luna. Her story touched him, and her plea was even more touching. He internally debated for a minute before he set down his cup of tea and hung his head,
“I think I saw my parent’s death. In my dream I mean.” This was not quite the confession that Luna was expecting but she listened to her cousin explain,
“I hear his voice ordering someone to get out of the way but she refuses. There’s never any images just sound. It unnerves me.” Harry pulled his legs in and hugged them close, “That night changed my life forever. I… I became a nation’s idol. I was their hero and what thanks do I get? I got the Dursleys and all that that life entailed. All I wanted to be was normal, to be just like everyone else; but now that I know what I am I don’t think that I will ever be able to have that.”
Luna looked on as tears formed in Harry’s eyes. Years of pent up emotions rising to the surface were having their effect on Harry’s magic because the lights started to flicker.
“It’s not that I’m ungrateful for my magic Luna, it is a part of me. It’s just that… I don’t know where to go from here.”
Luna quickly pulled Harry into a hug and held him close. She spoke softly to comfort him,
“It will be alright Harry. You’re not alone in this Harry. Tia and I are new to your world and we are facing much of the same insecurities. We’ll work through them together alright?”
Luna felt Harry nod his head in agreement. She and Harry were taken by surprise when another set of arms also joined in the embrace, but relaxed when they realized it was only Celestia. It would seem that none of the Faust household were getting a full night’s sleep; but at the moment it didn’t matter. The three family members stayed like that for a while until Harry spoke again,
“Celestia, Luna? I know we’re cousins but… is it alright if I call you my aunties?” The two sisters looked at each other before nodding before Celestia said,
“Only if we get to call you our nephew.”

-The Next Day-
-The District of Columbia-

The American University of Magic, the first attempt of establishing a school of higher Wizarding learning. After graduating from the Salem Academy, or an acceptable homeschool program, wizards and witches are given the opportunity to gain degrees and special teaching in a wide selection of topics. Located beneath the District there are several entrances to it; usually a well warded door in one of the monuments or private buildings, even a couple in the Metro stations. Numerous entrances helped to diffuse the amount of people flowing into the Undercroft of the nation’s capital. If it was one thing that the Americans knew it was that loads of people flowing to one place was going to draw attention.
The campus was a spacious cavern that encompasses the length and breadth of the National Mall. A simulated sky illuminates the campus and to aid the passage of time whilst underground. Buildings of different sizes and shapes were spread throughout the space with the distance between them filled with gardens, benches, fountains, and statues. Indeed, the campus of the university did justice to the nation’s capital above.
In front one of the large lecture halls there was a sign posted displaying a special speaker,

Professor Colton Smith
Universal Magical Theory

This message was superimposed over a moving image of a man in his thirties with a head full of flat red hair. Professor Smith was already in the midst of giving his lecture within the hall. About two to three hundred students and adults filled the dimmed hall, all looking down at the floor where a spotlight bore down on the academic wizard wearing a hybrid blend of wizard robes and a suit. When he spoke he tended to talk with his hands and his body as well as he paced back and forth, giving the spotlight operator something to do.
As the professor was giving his lecture two men in suits made the decent from District, the Lincoln. On their left lapel they wore the same pin. It was an American eagle with its wings spread out and a scroll in its beak. Thirteen stars formed an arch over the eagle and in its talons was held a bundle of arrows and a wand in the other. These two men wasted no time in crossing the campus to the lecture hall and stood by the door and listened to the professor,
“… The use of wands has indeed made magic easier for humans. However, they are not necessarily needed for a human to use magic. Who remembers their first accidental magic? Come on, let’s see a show of hands.”
Several hands went up in the air, as well as the professor’s own,
“All right, all right. Anyone want to share? Yes, the young lady there in the back.”
With the use of an Amplifying charm she responded,
“I turned my brother’s pants and shirt into a dress when I was a child when he teased me about the dress my mother made me wear for family photos.”
There was a ripple of laughter through the assembled group, even Professor Smith was laughing,
“Tell me, did he ever mock you for your choice of dress?”
“No, but that may be because he has taken a liking to wearing a kilt.” This made a bit more of a ruckus.
Once the lecture hall had quieted down Professor Smith walked to a podium and set his wand down and walked away his voice still as loud as before,
“Tell me, when did you learn to replicate this feat of Transfiguration?”
“When I was thirteen.”
The professor walked all the way to the back of the lecture hall,
“As I said before wizard kind has both accelerated and stunted their growth by the use of wands. Without any formal training young wizards and witches are able to manipulate their magic in times of emotional duress. However, as adults we seem to lose this ability and have to relearn how to do such a feat. Even then it is considered to be an advanced form of magic. In reality,”
The professor raised his hand and his wand sailed through the air from the front of the room and landed securely in his hand. This delay earned some murmurs of awe from the younger members of the audience,
“It is the most natural form of our magic.” Professor Smith walked back down towards the front slowly talking as he matched back to his spot, “Goblins, naturals at metallurgy. Centaurs, masters of divination. House Elves, whose power is only limited by the will of their master. These and so many more beings that we call ‘creatures’ each hold a brand of their own magic. But there is a big question that we must ask ourselves, ‘Where did our magic come from?’ It is the pursuit of Theorists to seek the answer to this question.”
A projected image of a cave drawing shone on the wall. The image seemed to reflect some of the races of magical beings in a sequence,
“This is the earliest known reference to magic on record. This painting was found in a cave in the south of France. We can see the image of the human on the same level as the ancestors of the other magical beings. We see them in communion with each other. Each one displaying what they know about magic. This would lead us to believe that all those who could do magic had similar abilities. Later in the image we see the ancient mage observing a nearby tribe of man; he sees them building tools. The wizard then decides to build his own focus, then we see him placing himself above him fellows. This is the first reference to wand lore. However, the main focus of this lecture is here,” With a wave of his wand the first images were highlighted, “Where wizard and ancient magic being appear to be on the same level of spell casting.”
A hand shot up in the back to which the professor called on.
“Professor Smith, are you suggesting that all those who are called magical being all share a common magic?”
A predatory grin grew on the academic’s face,
“Now that is what we call Universal Magic Theory. The search for the origin of all magic, and to see if all magically inclined beings share a common source of magic.”
The lecture proceeded with Professor Smith dissecting the Universal Magical Theory and showing evidences of it being a possibility. Compatibility of magic in the case of cross species procreation, wavelength measurements showing similarities between human and House Elf magic, even the way that wands were able to focus magic through their cores.
After a few hours the lecture dispersed. As the hall emptied the two men in suits that came in late moved toward the front of the hall where Professor Smith was answering questions. When the last student cleared out the two men approached.
“Professor Colton Smith,” The first said getting the packing academic’s attention.
“Yes gentlemen, how may I…” Professor Smith’s voice trailed off when he saw the pins on the men’s lapels. Any member of the American Magical Community should be able to recognize the seal of the Department of Magic under the United States government.
“I am Agent Messerschmitt and this is Agent Mendoza, we are with the DoM. The department is in need of your skills.”
“Why me?”
“You are one of the best in the field of Magical Theory and your security clearance is high enough for this investigation.” Agent Mendoza said waving his wand and silently casting a privacy spell around them.
“A young wizard has recently moved into a previously unmonitored area. Upon investigation it was discovered that a potent magical source has been at work; we are unable to identify what it is though.”
Agent Messerschmitt reached into his coat pocket and withdrew an air plane ticket,
“We already have a team assembled in the field. They await your arrival. We have people already packing your office.”
“How long is the assignment?”
“Indefinite. You will be paid the same wages as you would have here as well as a fair consultation payment.” Mendoza said as Messerschmitt handed Professor Smith the ticket. It was a flight out of Reagan to Cloudsdale.
“This must be important; you’re flying me business class.”
Agent Mendoza reached into his coat pocket and extracted a large manila envelope that should not have fit in any of his pockets,
“Your flight leaves in three days. These are the particulars.” After the two agents left Professor Smith was left standing on his own contemplating what just happened. After a few minutes he returned to his office and opened the envelope.
He sat in silence for a long time reading the contents. This was the first time he had been asked to consult with the Office of the Secretary of Magic. He had consulted with the different investigative branches for sure but nothing like this. Eventually he came across the photograph of the young wizard in question.
“So you are the one who started this all?”
It was a photo from the Immigration Office, a glorified mug shot really. Black hair, green eyes, distinctive lightning bolt shaped scar,
“Well Mister Harry Potter, I look forward to meeting you.”