• Published 23rd Apr 2017
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Magic School Days - Dogger807

When the CMC asked Discord to help them attend magic school, he pulled an owl out of his hat. Only he didn't exactly have a hat. Which was okay, since their new school had a singing one laying around. Where the hay was Hogwarts anyway?

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Chapter 90: A Constructive Cluster of Conversations

He was a killer. He would be the first to admit it. Under the same circumstances, he would not hesitate to do it again.

He would argue that his actions were justified. He railed at the injustice of his circumstances. He did not deserve to be incarcerated. Even his gaoler admitted as much. Circumstances left them with few options. Even if he dared to step out of his cell, he would have no idea where to go. He had no idea where he was.

To make matters worse, escape would mean sullying himself. Already, one of the impure ones had shown the gall to approach him. Fortunately, a show of displeasure was enough to scare it away. More horrors awaited outside the door; he could smell the peril.

Still, this cloud had its silver lining. The bone-numbing chill of winter was kept at bay, and the food and the water were plentiful. His gaoler tried to spend as much time as he could to keep him company. It was a pity he could not understand what the gaoler was trying to communicate.

Day by day, the situation was getting more desperate. Try as he might, he could not get the gaoler to understand his pain. Surely, there must be some way to let him know that this confinement was driving him mad.

He slumped down to the floor. Concerned, the haggard gaoler nudged him. He ignored the gesture. Once more, the gaoler attempted to impart reassurance. Once more, there was no response. In a flash of flames, the gaoler was gone. He huffed in resignation. He was alone again.

Sometime later, how long, he did not care, there was another burst of flames. Looking up, he blinked in disbelief. Was he seeing double? Were there really two of them? If one were his gaoler, he was looking positively radiant compared with how he looked when he had left. He narrowed his eyes. The one to his left had more delicate features. Had the younger brought his mother? The huang hopped over and trilled at him. He had no better luck understanding her, but at least it broke the monotony. He lifted his head and huffed before settling down again. The feng bounced next to him and gently nuzzled his cheek as the huang vanished in a ball of flames. He brushed his cheek against the gaoler; he understood that the feng had only been trying to help.

He had no idea how long he'd been wallowing in self-pity when the ball of flames appeared. The huang had returned, but this time, she had brought friends, a mare and her foal. Elated, he leapt at the chance to be with his own kind again.

Moments later, a nip to the ear reminded him that he was being entirely too familiar with the mare. He stepped back with an air of contrition. Slowly, so as not to scare her away, he tried to express his thoughts and feelings, but they came out in a jumble. The mare wore an expression of concern as she prodded here and there, trying to guide things along. Finally, there was someone who could understand him.

When he finished, he found everyone staring at him. The mare cocked her head. The question was clear. Why?

He snorted with annoyance. How could he explain something that was so strange? Perhaps he could show instead of tell. He pranced in as large a circle as he could around the cell before going to stand in the middle. Everyone looked at him, confused.

With a hint of impatience, he repeated the maneuver. This time, he stared at the feng and begged for help. The fire bird blinked in confusion.

To the stallion's surprise, the foal made noises like a two-legger. "Did you bring him here, Fawkes?"

The feng nodded and let loose a soft trill.

The stallion stared in amazement as the foal's horn glowed. A piece of chalk rose from the desk and traced the circle he had trod.

The foal turned to the huang and made more noise. "Philomena, can you dance like you did for Myrtle?"

The fire bird pranced around the circle, bobbing and weaving. The stallion and the mare both reared in shock.

"Stop!" The foal looked at the feng. "Did Professor Dumbledore do this?"

Emphatically, the feng shook his head. Hopping to a photograph, the fire bird pecked at one of the figures. It made an effete noise. "Hey! Stop that!"

"Professor Quirrell? I need to tell Professor McGonagall!" The foal moved toward the door.

The stallion gave a whinny and leapt in front of the door. The poor foal had no idea of the dangers that lay beyond. Urgently, he snorted before lying in front of the door. They were all doomed to stay for the rest of their lives. A single tear trickled down his face.

The mare seemed puzzled at his reaction. He explained as best he could. It was hopeless.

The foal made more noise. "Magah, what's wrong with him?"

To his surprise, the mare transformed into a two-legger. The noises she made were strange. "Bad. Home."

The foal babbled. "Poor thing. I bet you live out in the forest somewhere, but I'm not allowed to go by myself."

The mare transformed back and lay her neck against his while the foal leaned against him. He drank in the comfort they provided.

Suddenly, the foal sprang away. "I bet if I got everypony together, we could figure something out. Cutie Mark Crusaders Home Finders are a go!"

There was no discernable reason for the sudden surge of emotion, but there was no denying the spike of terror that tore through the stallion and left its mark on the office floor.

“Hey! Wait a sec! Magah, you just changed without your necklace!”

The barrage of changes had come with such regularity that Draco had come to accept it as part of his daily routine. The cloistered, cushioned egg that had been his world view had not just been cracked; it had been launched through the wall of reality with the force of a hurricane. What little remained of the original might generously be described as scrambled. While he was no stranger to last-minute shopping, the spectacle of a muggle shopping mall was almost enough to make him collapse from sensory overload. The masses were, unfortunately, literally unwashed. He knew he should feel indignant that he, a proud pureblood, should have to stoop so low as to mingle with his inferiors. Instead, he just felt a grudging acceptance. This was far from the most alien thing to happen to him in the last few months.

His shopping companions, Diamond and Silver, should have been mobbed by muggles drawn to the metallic sheen of their hair like moths to a flame. Only the presence of the chaperones kept most of the hordes at bay. Ordinarily, his cousin's pink hair would have drawn a crowd of well-wishers and envious young girls. However, she had elected to invite her new boyfriend along for the outing. His wickedly-pointed beak and razor-sharp claws were enough to convince most to keep their distance. Those who dared approach generally sported sharp points of their own, with metal protruding from places it shouldn't. Draco shuddered at the thought of having his cheeks pierced like that; he'd never sit again.

Nymphadora had insisted that the gryphon was not her boyfriend; he was just a friend she was showing around, a friend who happened to be a boy. Her disavowal lacked the vitriol normally used to decry her own name. Clearly, denial was not a river in Egypt; it was obviously her middle name.

“Are we about done yet?” Tonks had a hint of a whine in her voice. “Your ‘quick bit of shopping’ has taken up all of the morning. I’m ready to grab a bite to eat.”

“I’m starting to get tired of being stared at,” Gordon added. “The ponies in Canterlot were bad enough, but these humans are taking it to a new extreme. I mean, why does everyone call me 'Merv'? I swear, if just one more child climbs on my back demanding a ride . . .”

“At least they aren’t asking you to change form so they can pet you,” Silver grumbled.

“It’s demeaning,” Draco agreed.

“It’s not so bad,” Diamond countered. “At least they recognize greatness.”

“Don’t deceive yourself,” Tonks said. “They just recognize cutesy wootsy fluffy ponies.”

“You’re just being smug because they aren’t bothering you,” Silver said

“Yeah, because you’re wearing your boyfriend like a hedgehog's quills,” Draco said.

“He’s not my boyfriend,” Tonks insisted, irritation marring her voice, “and for the record, Gordon is staying close to me, not the other way around. I think all the attention is making him nervous.”

“I’m not nervous!”

“Then why are all of your feathers fluffed up like you’re trying to make yourself look bigger?” Tonks asked.

“I thought he was just trying to make himself look cuter,” Silver said.

“As if,” Gordon huffed. “And for the record, ‘boyfriend’ is the wrong word. It makes me sound like a human child.”

“What’s the right word then?” Draco inquired.

“Isn't it obvious?" asked Gordon as he mantled his wings. "Cockfriend.”

Barely-concealed snickers could be heard in the background.

“. . . Um, yeah,” Nymphadora said. “Do us all a favor and never utter that term again.”

“Of course, I’ve already told you that griffins aren’t into herds, so you don't have to worry about that."

Draco asked, "Just out of curiosity, if she were your type, what would that make her? Henfriend?"

Gordon fluffed the tuft of his tail. "Pussyfriend."

This time, the snickers were not so concealed.

“I think she has a different objection for the use of that word,” Diamond said as Tonks blushed brightly.

“Oh?” asked Gordon.

“I think you mean idioms, words or phrases that don't mean what they literally say,” Silver said also blushing.

“Like where hamburgers don’t have a scrap of ham in them, or any other pork products for that matter,” Gordon said with an accusing glance at Nymphadora.

“Something like that.” Nymphadora sighed. “You know, I don’t believe for one second that you are that naive, Gordon. You know exactly why those words are inappropriate.”

“Nonetheless, they are the proper way to address a male or female griffin that you are dating.” Gordon shrugged.

“How does that even match?” Nymphadora persisted. “Other than the obvious way.”

“It’s a reflection of the dual nature of griffins. Males get it from the avian half while females from the feline,” Gordon explained.

“That still doesn’t make sense,” Diamond objected. “The female term isn’t gender specific. Female cats are called . . . Help me out here, Silver.”

“I don’t know either. Does it look like my name is Sweetie Belle?”

“It makes perfect sense, once you stop to consider that somegriff in the past must have had a very perverse sense of humor,” Gordon said.

His companions just stared at him incredulously.

“You can’t possibly believe we are the first group to have this very conversation, can you?” Gordon asked.

Aloe didn’t bother looking up from the appointment book when she heard the front door open. “I am so sorry. We are closing early today in observation of the holiday.”

The voice of one of her favorite customers caused her to pay more attention. “We understand, darling, but we have a fashion emergency and were hoping you could find it in your heart to make an exception.”

“Ah, Rarity. I’m sure we could fit you in for some last-minute care.” Aloe looked up and saw that Rarity was accompanied by two unexpected companions. One was a human, female most likely, and the other was a rare sight if not as rare as the new humans. It wasn’t every day a pony was graced with the presence of a fluffle pony. This one was so puffy that she looked like a giant lavender fluff ball with only her hooves and the tip of her muzzle showing.

“It’s not for me, darling.” Rarity pointed a hoof at the ball of fur next to her. “Twilight here needs some help.”

“Twilight?” Aloe tilted her head in surprise. “As in Twilight Sparkle? Our town librarian?”

“In the fur,” said the ball of fluff.

“What happened to you?” Aloe asked, intrigued.

“I went to Andi for some medical attention.” Twilight may have sighed, but it was hard to tell through all of the fur. “She healed up my burns in no time, but my side was left bald. As you can see, the hair regrowth potion took care of that.”

“This really isn’t that bad anymore,” the human said. “We trimmed the majority of it off before owling ourselves to Rarity.”

“You trimmed some of it off?” Aloe said incredulously.

“Most of it,” Andi restated. “There’s enough back in the parlor to make seven separate ponies.”

“Why did you give her so much potion?” Aloe couldn’t resist asking.

“Well, I did the calculations to scale for the size of the bald spot. I think I may have misplaced the decimal point.” Andi shrugged. “Live and learn.”

“What I don’t understand is why you are trying to get all of your sons married.” Pinkie said during a lull in the cooking. “What’s the hurry?”

Molly sat heavily in a chair she had scaled to fit a human. "For some Merlin-awful reason, both Bill and Charlie have chosen occupations that are sure to lead to an early grave. I'm so worried about them that I don't know whether it'll be mine or theirs."

"Colts will be colts," Granny said.

"I want them to live to be husbands. I want them to live to be fathers. I want them to live to be grandfathers. I am going to make sure they find the right girl and settle down," said Molly.

“Y'all need to be careful,” Granny said. “There’s givin' tha young 'uns gentle nudges in tha direction ya want them ta head, and then there’s pushing them so hard that they slip away. It’s a mighty fine line to be treading.”

“I can’t sit back and do nothing.” Molly huffed.

“Ah’m not telling ya ta.” Granny said. “Ah’m jus’ warning that yer colts are their own ponies, and y'all are about ta cross a line that'll lead to a lifetime of regret." She sighed. "It's like pruning a tree. Ya can cut a little to guide it, but cut too much and it's gone forever.”

“I don’t think you understand,” Molly said to the old mare. “I don’t think anyone can understand how I feel.”

Granny snorted. "Ya ain't the first pony ta trot down that path. Ah said the same exact thing to my mah every time she told me something ah didn't like. First fight, first coltfriend, weddin' day, an' tryin' ta keep mah not so li'l colt from courtin' the enemy. Only later did Ah realize she'd already been in mah horseshoes at every step."

"That's different," said Molly. "You're a pony."

"Ah was jus' like you, only on four legs. Tha time fer you ta protect 'em has passed. Now, ya can only nudge them now an' again an' hope they don't make the mistakes ya made yerself. Ya can't let it tear ya apart when they come up with another set on their own."

“I can’t sit back and do nothing,” Molly repeated with less conviction.

“It’ll be the hardest thing y'all ever do,” Granny said. “Ah can’t promise that y'all be pleased, neither. But Ah can say it is better than losin' 'em forever.”

“Are you saying I shouldn’t be trying to get my sons to meet good women?”

“Heavens no, Ah’m jus’ saying play yer cards carefully,” Granny said. “After all, ya don’t have ta live with the results, they do."

Molly chuckled. "I guess you're right. Still, it'd be nice to see who my daughters-in-law might be."

Pinkie pronked peripatetically. "Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! I can introduce them all at the party!"

Molly said, "We can't invite every woman I've tried to throw at Charlie and Bill; that's almost a quarter of the town."

“What about Percy Weasley's?” Granny asked. “Don’t he count none?”

“He’s too young to think about marriage. He has his schooling to complete first,” Molly said.

“Now if that ain’t closing the pen door after the pig's run off,” Granny said. “Tha way Ah hear it, yer Ministry considers him married 'cuz he done got frisky with the fillies. Joined thar herd an’ all that. Didn’t yer husband tell ya?”


“Guess not,” Granny muttered.

“Somepony is in trouble,” Pinkie said in a sing-song voice.

Charlie had always understood the whole ‘getting into the holiday spirit’ thing, but he had to admit that the ponies took it to another level entirely. How he managed to get in his current position was still a mystery, but he would swear that he had never before felt such merriment. Father Christmas himself could not have spread so much cheer.

A septet of fillies had Charlie and his brothers cornered on a roof when a lone mare had started singing about the joys of the season. All the ponies in earshot had been caught up in the song. Somehow, everyone arranged themselves into teams of dancers and acrobats who sang along as they staged an impromptu performance that was worthy of the best of theatres. A professional troupe could have spent months rehearsing and still not come close to the level of performance that a random group of ponies had managed on their first try.

Charlie still had no idea how he and his brothers had ended up as part of a chorus line with their would-be captors, but they had all harmonized perfectly as they wove through the other groups in an intricate dance.

When the last note died, Dull Roar said, "Would you three like to come over to my place for some cocoa in front of the fireplace?"

Shaking his head, Charlie replied, "I'm really flattered, girls, but you are much too young for me."

“That won’t matter so much in just a couple years,” whined Sad Smile. “We’ll grow on yah.”

“Girls,” Icy Hot snapped. “You’re getting greedy. Fred and George are more than enough.”

“Yes,” Minor Miracle joined in. “Let’s all snuggle in front of the fireplace and get to know each other better.”

“Sounds good to me,” Random Order said in agreement.

“I’m afraid that’s not an option,” said a white unicorn stallion, barely out of colthood, walking up with three young mares in tow. “We have a family gathering to attend, and it’s about time we head in that direction."

Charlie squinted at the approaching unicorn. “Percy?”

Percy blinked a few times in surprise, but he recognized the voice. “Charlie?”

“Well met, little brother.” Charlie smirked. “Now, don’t be a prat and introduce me to your friends.”

“I would have already, given a minute,” Percy returned. “Dainty Lace, Gracious Tact, Bristle, allow me to introduce my older brother, Charlie. Charlie these are my wives, Bristle, Gracious Tact and Dainty Lace.”

Charlie stared at his brother, stole a glance at the mares, and looked Percy in the face again. “Does mum know?”

“Father promised that I could be the one to break the news to her,” Percy said. “I had planned to broach the subject tonight at supper.”

“Dad made that promise, did he?” Charlie said. “How did you manage that?”

“It was easier than you might think.” Percy said. “His exact words were ‘Son, you know I love you and would do anything for you, but I won’t do that. It’s on you to explain to Molly why you’re married before you’re finished with Hogwarts and more importantly, why she didn’t receive an invitation to your wedding.’”

“I’m starting to think that skipping supper and hanging out with the girls is the way to go,” George said.

“I don’t know.” Fred countered. “I kind of want to put off that particular conversation for a few more years.”

“Is that a promise?” asked Soft Rock.

“Ah,” Fred returned.

“We could wait a couple years.” Dull Roar relented. “Let’s just fill out the herd paperwork.”

“It’s not too early for snuggles, though.” Minor Miracle insisted.

“Ah,” said George.

“It’s not too late for you, either.” Open Secret looked directly at Charlie.

“Still too young,” Charlie stated emphatically.

“We’ll grow on you,” Sad Smile promised.

“No,” Charlie said. “I’ve already got a girl whom I’m interested in.”

“There’s room in the herd for her,” Random Order promised.

“My brother, the cradle robber,” Percy said.

“Give it a rest,” Charlie groaned.

Emma and Applejack joined the group huddled in the family room. “How long has she been at it?” Emma asked during a lull in the hollering.

“Only about fifteen minutes,” Rainbow Dash said. “Based on past experience, she’s just getting started.”

“How are Ron and Bloom doing?” Dan asked.

“The doctors don’t know what’s wrong.” Emma sighed. “I think they might not have believed it, if not for the other five ponies already admitted for similar symptoms. They are keeping the children for observation.”

“They also asked us to bring any leftovers from dinner,” Applejack said. “They’ve taken a hit ta thar stores. Ah’m going ta spend the night there after we eat. Those two can’t be too happy ta spend Hearth's Warming stuck in the hospital.”

Sirius sighed. “Things have gone downhill rapidly. Though, I can’t blame Molly. I can’t believe Arthur hadn’t already brought up the fact that Percy got himself married.”

“He did what now?” Applejack gasped.

“You know, Pinkie said. “He got up close and personal with his filly friends, so the humans' Ministry recognizes them as being married. We’ve only been talking about it for the last couple days.”

“What?” Applejack jerked her head in Pinkies direction.

“Yeah,” Pinkie continued. “Just like we were saying about Twilight and Sirius. Don’t you remember? Hmm, wait, you weren’t there for that conversation. How about when we were at Rarity’s discussing . . . No, wait, that was Fluttershy. How about . . . No, you weren’t there either. Wow, I think you were absent whenever the subject got brought up.”

Applejack gave a keening wail. “Aaaaaaa . . .”

“I’m thinking we should have probably have told you before your date,” Pinkie mused.

“. . . Aaaaaa . . .” Applejack continued.

“How’d that go anyway? We haven’t had time to sit down and have a mare’s talk,” Pinkie said.

“. . . Aaaaaaaa . . .” Applejack continued.

“I can tell that we really need to hold a class on the dissemination of critical information,” Remus stated.

Professor Snape sent a sideways glance at his colleague. “Minerva, I hardly need someone to hold my hand. I am perfectly capable of making the inquiry on my own.”

Professor McGonagall tutted as she and the potions professor crossed the atrium of the Ministry. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world, Severus. If Mr. Lee’s information is accurate, you’re in for a surprise.”

“The theatrics ill suit you.” Severus sneered. “You could simply tell me what you expect to find.”

“And risk you attempting to make a run for it?” Minerva said. “I think not.”

“That’s hardly reassuring,” Severus replied.

“It wasn’t meant to be.”

“I fail to see why I should continue on this course of action,” Severus said.

“This will be good for you,” Minerva said cryptically. “I dare say that it will change your outlook on life.”

“I have a perfectly fine outlook on life,” Severus countered.

“Your outlook isn’t the least bit healthy,” Minerva noted.

“It is, however, my outlook. I’ll thank you to keep your nose out of it.”

“I’ve learned my lesson not to leave things as they are if they prove detrimental,” Minerva said. “I cannot believe the things I let slide before.”

“I was content with the way things were,” Severus said.

“No.” Minerva shook her head. “You most assuredly were not. You were merely surviving.”

“How did you two beat me here?” Amelia called out from behind them. “Tell me who informed you; this isn’t ready for release yet.”

The two professors turned to find the director of the DMLE bearing down upon them. They shared a look before Severus said. “I am sure we have no clue what you are going on about.”

Amelia snorted. “I don’t believe for a second that you’re not here because of the recent attack in Dumbledore’s office.”

“Something happened to Albus?” Minerva asked.

“Did he have a run in with another pony?” Severus inquired.

“Please spare me the feigned surprise.” Amelia snapped. “You know perfectly well, that there was a battle which was over before my aurors could arrive.” She huffed indignantly. “I suppose there is nothing to be done about your presence.” She scowled. “When I find out who leaked this to you, mark my words, heads will roll.” She took a second to compose herself. “Follow me and try not to get underfoot.”

The two professors shared another look before following quietly after the irritated woman as she hurried on her way. Before long, they arrived at a disheveled office. Not a single piece of furniture had been spared, and the walls were covered with gouges and scorch marks. Somehow, an end table was embedded neatly in the ceiling.

“Well?” Amelia snapped at one of the aurors in the room going over the scene.

Looking over his shoulder, the auror replied. “Aside from the obvious damage, there is nothing new to report. When we got here, all the combatants had fled the scene without a trace. We have no idea how they got in or out.”

Amelia sighed. “No sign of Dumbledore?”

“We’re at a loss,” the auror admitted.

“The 'Daily Prophet' is going to have a field day with this,” Amelia lamented.

Taking a step forward, Professor McGonagall spoke up. “I do believe I may be of some assistance.”

“You have something to add?” Amelia asked, diverting her attention.

“Possibly,” Minerva said walking forward only to stop in front of three rocks conspicuously lying in a corner. “Well?” she said expectantly.

Silence met her question.

“Well?” Minerva repeated as the others in the room looked on curiously.

More silence followed.

“Don’t make me reduce you to gravel.” Minerva said.

“There’s no need to get violent,” the rock responded, and more than one auror trained their wand on the harmless-looking stones.

“It would appear that there has been sufficient violence already,” Minerva said.

“The old man was rather cranky,” the rock noted.

“Where is Albus?” Minerva asked.

“Albus who?” asked the rock.

Minerva raised an eyebrow, yet didn’t utter a word.

“You’re glaring at me, aren’t you?” the rock said. “You do realize I don’t have any eyes.”

It was Minerva’s turn to return silence.

“He’s been removed so as not to be a danger to innocents,” the rock admitted.

“That isn’t your decision.” Minerva said. “Kindly return him.”

“I don’t think that would be a good idea,” The rock argued. "Our queen has calculated there is an 85% chance that he will traumatize an entire generation." More silence ensued. "There is also a 97% chance that he will cause the end of an eighth of your family lines."

“I can’t fathom how you’d make those calculations. Be that as it may, don’t just sit there,” Minerva admonished. “I expect the prompt return of our colleague.”

“I’m a rock; sitting here is kinda my thing.”

“As is kidnapping helpless old men, it would seem,” Minerva said.

“Helpless?” the rock said indignantly. “Have you seen what he did to this room?”

“I thought you said, you didn’t have any eyes,” Minerva scolded.

“That doesn’t mean you don’t,” the rock countered.

“Just admit that you’re caught and return what you have taken.” Minerva sighed. “Perhaps you should work at not being obvious.”

“I’m not Obvious!” the rock protested. “She is.”

“Shut up!” commanded a potted plant laying on its side.

“Right then,” Minerva said, turning away from the conversation. “We’ve done all we can; let us continue on to the Records Department, Severus.”

“You need to learn to keep your mouth shut,” the plant admonished.

“I haven’t got a mouth, either,” The rock protested. Then it snorted. "At least we're field agents. We only have to deal with the fun stuff."

A ream of parchment slammed down in front of it. "What's this?" asked the rock.

Amelia said, "That's the paperwork that needs to be filled out for this case. You and your friends aren't going anywhere until it's done."


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