• 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 93: Meetings Madness and Methods

Among muggle governments, balls were never held for pleasure; such a concept could never be publicly acknowledged. There always had to be some official occasion. The importance of which could be assessed by the budget allocated. New furnishings and gourmet fare were indicative of most important of functions. Recycled decorations and convenience store consumables spoke of more mundane matters.

In the wizarding world, obliviators normally removed the more embarrassing official faux pas. Creativity, not budget, constrained how their balls were held, and the Unspeakables were responsible for orchestrating them, including both planning and logistics. One Minister, whose name had somehow been erased from the records, had instructed the planners to go wild. For the next iteration, the planners had also been instructed to keep things safe. As a result of a few roasted chestnuts, the set of instructions for the next gathering forbade dragons, showing that safety was a matter of perspective. The most senior of the witches and wizards could attest that dragon party pranks are not for the faint of heart or flammable of clothing.

The planners of this year's Winter Ball had learned from the mistakes of their predecessors. The sensible witch who headed the planning committee had vetoed the inclusion of the yeti, keeping the theme aligned with winter wonderland, rather than winter horror. Despite grumbling about the relatively mundane theming, the venue was still breathtaking. The ballroom looked like something out of a fairytale. A blanket of enchanted snow with melting point set to tropical levels covered the floor. Arctic fairies flitted about, leaving sparkles in their wake. The furnishings were trimmed with holiday finery, evoking the spirit of the season.

This ball was most definitely not being held for pleasure. It was tailored to serve as part of the integration process for a group of refugees. These women had undergone months of intensive training in the customs of their new home, and this was an opportunity for them to safely test their comprehension of their lessons.

Their numbers had been thinned by the diversion of some into a more personal tutoring program. The eight formerly-unattached male instructors had shared more than knowledge and had, consequently, found themselves unwittingly married many times over. Their brides had thrived with the personalized lessons, and they were now serving as liaisons to make the lessons more understandable for their fellow refugees.

Despite the awkwardness of the head of the new Department of Interdimensional Affairs absconding with the Minister and vanishing into an owl's pouch, a sense of joy that had nothing to do with the holidays filled the air. It was an opportunity for the refugees to relax, and the others were doing their best to help them fit in.

Some, like the matron of the Winterwrite family, had ulterior motives for their participation. She walked up to a pair and said, "Hello dears, my name is Ophelia Winterwrite. I must say that it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Hello Ophelia, it’s nice to meet you, too.”

“Indigo!” chided Candied Clove. “Remember what we’ve learned about human naming conventions and forms of address." Turning, she continued. "It’s a pleasure to meet you Mrs. Winterwrite.”

Ophelia gave a gentle laugh. “Don’t worry. You may call me Ophelia, and I must say I do love your hair.”

“Thank you, Mrs. Winterwrite.”

Indigo winced at the thump on her arm. Candied Clove hissed, “She just asked you to call her Ophelia.”

“Would you make up your mind?” grumbled Indigo.

Candied Clove gave an exasperated sigh as she rolled her eyes.

Ophelia said, “Well, dearies, allow me to introduce you to my son, Tarquin.”

“Hellooooo Tarquin,” crooned the two refugees.

“Hello, ladies,” said Tarquin stiffly.

“This is Indigo Pollen and my name is Candied Clove.”

“Your names are as charming as your hair,” Ophelia said.

“Thank you,” replied the two.

“Tarquin here was just commenting on how well your colors complement each other; that’s why we decided to come over and introduce ourselves.”


“He’s available you know,” Ophelia continued, unperturbed.

“I am not. I’m in a relationship,” insisted Tarquin.

“You mean with Estienne?” Ophelia waved her hand dismissively. “He’s going through a phase,” she stage-whispered conspiratorially toward the two ex-ponies.

“It’s not a phase, mother. If it weren’t illegal, we’d already be married.”

“You’d never give me grandchildren that way,” snorted Ophelia.

“Mother.” Ill-concealed anger coated the voice.

“Wait, are you saying that we'd have to take both of them together?” asked Indigo. She winced when she was again thumped on the arm.

“Indigo, stop drooling!" hissed Candied Clove.

A wide smile appeared. “Why yes, I suppose you could look at it that way,” Ophelia said.


“That wouldn’t be a problem, would it?” asked Ophelia.

“No . . . no . . . not a problem.”

“Yes, it’s a problem.” Tarquin interrupted. “Estienne and I are very happy together.”

“I fail to see what the problem is,” Ophelia countered. “This way, everyone is happy. You get more companionship and I get grandchildren.”


“If we’re not enough mares . . . err women, we could join with Red’s herd and bring it up to five… all the more to take care of you and Estienne,” Indigo suggested.

“You’d do that?” Ophelia asked hopefully.

“In a heartbeat,” Indigo said.

“Don’t I have a choice in the matter?” Tarquin demanded.

“The way I see it, you're getting five choices -- six if you count Estienne,” Ophelia said.

Tarquin didn’t bother replying, he just huffed and strode away.

Indigo took two steps in his direction before a firm grip on her arm halted her progress. “Where do you think you’re going?” snarled Candied Clove.

“There are two of them!” Indigo explained.

“It’s not worth getting exiled again.”

“But! There are TWO of them!”

“Go ahead dearies,” Ophelia said. “There's nothing illegal about talking.”

“Are you sure?”

Ophelia snorted. “Talk is free. If I could get away with it, I’d stun him and Estienne myself and deliver them to you.”

“That’s kind of why we were exiled in the first place. I don’t think we get a third chance,” explained Candied Clove.

“You needn’t worry.” Ophelia said. “As long as you do no permanent harm, no one will raise a fuss. Line continuation is serious business, so you’ll have the law backing you with my blessing.”

“That’s all I need to hear,” said Indigo.

“Indigo, get back here! This is a bad idea!” As Candied Clove chased after her herdmate, a germ of an idea began to form. Maybe there was a carrot she could dangle in front of Tarquin and Estienne.

Christmas Eve was supposed to be a time for family and friends. This wasn’t always the case for the staff at Hogwarts. This year was more hectic than most. There was just so much to do with the imminent onslaught of new students, the first ever midterm influx of new pupils, an influx that would be made up entirely of muggle-born . . . and one pony. Consequently, the faculty lounge was filled to capacity with staff both old and new. Lesson plans didn’t write themselves. Schedules didn't arrange themselves. New concepts from the pony world didn't integrate themselves into the curriculum.

In what appeared to be a choreographed response, everyone’s heads raised and turned when the door to the chamber opened to admit Professor McGonagall.

“Welcome back, Minerva,” Filius said from where he sat next to his wife Paola. “How did your urgent business go? I see you returned without Severus. Will you tell us what that was all about now?”

“Let’s just say our potions master has had a change of status,” Minerva said.

“Change?” Pomona asked.

“I’ll put it this way; who picked December as the month Severus would end up married to both Zecora and Applejack?”

“That would be me,” Professor Trelawney replied in an unnaturally chipper tone.

“You may collect your winnings from Filius at his earliest convenience,” Minerva replied. "The betting pool has been fully funded since October."

Shocked silence dominated the room for several seconds before Professor Babbling said. “That is . . .”

“Unexpected.,” added Professor Vector.

“Obviously it wasn’t,” Professor Goodman countered. “Sybil is making off with more of our money.”

“Lucky guess.” Professor Trelawney shrugged dismisivly.

The other staff all eyed her suspiciously.

With a sigh, Filius asked Minerva his next question. “Were you able to track down Albus, or are we to continue without him?”

Minerva pursed her lips in a tight frown. “He was kidnapped and will not be available for the foreseeable future.”

“Pay up!” Sybil demanded of the room in general.

“Would somepony please tell me why the buck we’re betting against someone whose job is to literally predict the future?” Fizzlepop demanded, introducing her face to her hoof.

“She’s not normally this accurate,” Pomona said softly.

“Me, I was just skeptical over the whole betting on whether the headmaster would show up tonight,” said the new muggle studies professor.

“Why did you bet Dumbledore, of all people, would be kidnapped?” Professor Vector asked.

“Eh, it worked for Severus earlier.” Sybil shrugged again.

“Yes, but this is Dumbledore we’re talking about here,” Professor Babbling said. “He has single-wandedly fought off an army of darkness.”

“And yet, here we are,” Goodman said. “Do they have any idea who did it or why?”

“They suspect a rock.” Minerva said.

“A roc?” Goodman asked. “How is it they only suspect a roc? Something that big should have been pretty obvious."

"The DMLE is pretty sure. However, they have to be careful not to give the barristers any ammunition. After all, it was caught practically red-handed at the scene after Albus vanished." Minerva frowned. "Of course, it didn't have hands.

"What a horrible way to go." Pomona all but sobbed. "I know we all had our disagreements with him, but he didn't deserve to be swallowed up whole."

"Don't be silly," said Minerva. "That rock couldn't have swallowed a grown man whole."

Goodman shuddered. "How ghastly! It must have torn him up and eaten him bit by bit. I want to know what one is doing so far north."

“I’m pretty sure it was an Equestrian rock,” Minerva said. “And I have no idea how it got here.”

“Those things are nasty,” Fizzlepop replied. “I’ve seen one take off with a goat before; his poor wife was inconsolable. Something that big has no business moving so fast. I understand that they prey on baby dragons even though they are near impossible to hurt.”

“He and his friends weren’t that big,” Minerva said. “Only about the size of my fist.”

"That's more the size of a sparrow," said Filius. "How did it manage to carry Albus off?"

"Was it African or European?" asked the muggle studies professor.

The other professors looked at him quizzically.

“What I mean is the headmaster must weigh a good deal more than a coconut,” the muggle studies professor clarified.

The staring continued.

“Never mind. You were saying that a roc made off with the headmaster?”

“The aurors aren’t sure how it made off with our headmaster,” Minerva admitted. “I must say, you are all taking the news much more calmly than I would have suspected.”

“Are you kidding?” Professor Vector said. “With our impossible workloads, Poppy has been handing out calming potions like they were mugs of cocoa. Would you like one?”

“I may actually take you up on that offer,” Minerva confirmed.

“Back on subject. Albus was attacked by a pint-sized roc?” Filius asked. “How do they know it was from Equestria?”

“Educated guess,” Minerva said. “I met one in the garden at the Canterlot palace.”

“The princesses have a pet roc?” Fizzlepop asked. “I know they are supposed to have all kinds of wildlife in there, but a roc? The turnover for caretakers must be murderous, literally murderous.”

“That’s it,” Professor Weiss said to the pony in the room. “No more calming potions for you. That’s the second time you’ve misused the word ‘literally’ in three minutes, and you don’t normally use it.”

Pomona declared, "That means Sybil didn’t win, this was a vicious animal attack, not a kidnapping."

The proverbial light switch went off in Minerva’s head. “Just a minute. I’m talking about a rock, not a roc.”

“Huh?” said more than one voice.

“R. O. C. K.” Minerva spelled. “As in mineral, not animal.”

“Oh!” said the other professors in the room.

“That makes more sense,” Professor Babbling added.

“I know I’m new to the magic thing, but I must say that makes less sense to me,” said the muggle studies professor.

“I just can’t see a roc sneaking up on Albus; I would think a rock would have a better time of it,” Professor Babbling said.

“Because they are known for their subterfuge,” the muggle studies professor said sarcastically. “Instead of, I don’t know, sitting around all day.”

“Ironically, the rock brought up a similar point.” Minerva said.

“Does this mean we’re back on kidnapping instead of a vicious animal attack?” Trelawney asked hopefully.

“I don’t know about that,” Professor Vector replied.

“When was the last time you saw a vicious rock?” Trelawney pressed.


“For that matter, rocks don’t count as animals. Like Minerva said; mineral,” Trelawney added.

Goodman interrupted. “So, you met the rock at the pony palace.”

“I would be positive that it was the exact same stone if not for the two exact copies accompanying it. As it is, I’m not sure how many of them there might be.”

“So, Albus got jumped by a pile of rocks?” Professor Weiss asked.

“And a potted plant.”

“What?” asked several voices.

“I know.” Minerva nodded. “The plant caught me off guard as well.

“I hope I’m not the only one having problems with this revelation,” said the muggle studies professor.


“Yes, Filius?”

“You are aware that the holiday is Christmas not Huntigowk Day?”

Minerva looked at the professors staring at her with unblinking eyes. “How many potions have you had?” she asked.

“Poppy gave us all one dose,” Fizzlepop replied.

It was Minerva’s turn to stare. Paola, not being a rock, caved in. “We may have raided her stores afterwards. It’s been a stressful week.”

“You raided Poppy’s stores?” Minerva’s face was stony. “How did you manage that?”

“There may have been some distractions employed,” Goodman said.

“I’m going to go have a word with Poppy,” Minerva said. “Nobody leave this room.” In direct defiance of her own words, she left the room only to come back a few seconds later. “Give me all that’s left,” she said, holding out her hand.

In the improvised isolation ward at Ponyville General, the party was winding down when the jingle of sleigh bells announced the arrival of Mayor Mare. Her aide followed closely on her hooves, carrying a pile of colorful packages on his back.

Taking in the general mood, the Mayor called out. “Happy Hearth's Warming!”

Patients and visitors alike returned her heart-felt greeting.

“I realize that this might not be the most appropriate time, considering the unexpected medical situation,” Mare Mayor said. “but I have a few presents here that would be better given sooner, rather than later.

This announcement gained the undivided attention of all of the younger ones.

“You got us presents?” Hermione asked. “How kind of you.”

“They are from the entire town,” the Mayor admitted. “It was a group effort.”

The aide hoofed an orange package to Scootaloo; the air holes were conspicuous.

“Ooooh, thank you,” Scootaloo said, accepting the gift.

“I must say this is very kind of you,” Rarity said as the aide passed out more boxes. “What brought this on?”

“With Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom having Magah and Fluffy, we didn’t want the rest of their herd getting jealous over not having pets of their own,” Mayor Mare said.

“Magah is not a pet!” Sweetie protested.

“She’s not a pony either,” Scootaloo said, ripping open her present. “Oh, that’s cute. What is it?”

Pinkie looked over the foal’s shoulder and gave a gasp. Her hair shot straight up, dislodging a crate of firewhisky.

“Relax Pinkie,” Mayor Mare said. “They aren’t parasprites; the human store clerk said they were completely harmless.”

“What is it?” Scootaloo repeated, scooping a ball of fur out of the package.

“It’s a puffskein.” Lavender said, carefully undoing the tape on her own gift. “If you stroke it, it’ll purr for you.”

Scootaloo brought the tiny puffball closer to her muzzle to examine it. “A furry, wingless, legless parasprite with beady eyes,” she commented. “Does it do anything?”

Suddenly, a long skinny tongue whipped out of the small creature’s mouth and buried itself in Scootaloo’s right nostril.


“Careful,” Ginny said. “They like to eat boogies.”

“These are some very thoughtful gifts,” Rarity noted as she watched Harry liberate his puffskein from its box.

“The townsponies wanted the foals to have them,” Mayor Mare stated.

“Never let it be said that the ponies of Ponyville are completely without any sense of self-preservation,” Twilight quipped.

“I don’t know,” Rainbow said. “They look kinda boring.”

“Ah think that thar is the idea,” Applejack whispered to her.

“Why is my present pink?” Dean whined.

“They match your coat color,” the mayor said. “Makes it easier to see who gets which.”

“Oh,” Dean said dejectedly.

“Cheer up,” Parvati said. “You’ve been waiting for Twilight to talk to a nurse to learn the color changing spell; well, there’s a nurse standing not five feet from you. Why don’t you ask her to cast it on you?”

“That’s a good idea!” Dean turned a pleading look on the nurse in question.

“I don’t know . . .” the nurse started.

“Pleeeease!” Dean whined.

“It couldn’t hurt,” the nurse said, charging her horn. “Hold still.”

“Thank you!” Dean excitedly exclaimed.

A beam of light shot from the nurse’s horn and struck the hyperactive colt.

“Did it work? Did it work?” Dean raised a leg to examine. “It didn’t work!”

The nurse stood stock still with wide-open eyes. “I swear, his magic just screamed ‘I’m fuchsia, not pink!’ at me.”

“Aaaaaaaaaaaaaah!” Dean added his own scream.

“You’re scaring your puffskein,” Sweetie warned him.

“I don’t care!” Dean snapped. “It’s just a useless furball; I’m stuck this way!”

“Well, Ah think it’s cute an’ so are you,” Apple Bloom said from the other side of the magical shield where she and the rest of the patients stood gathered. “They don’t hold no lick ta Fluffy, but they sure are urrrrp!”

Startled, the ponies watched as all of the patients started burping. To everypony's horror, the burps turned into something more substantial; objects started flying out of the quarantined ponies’ mouths.

“Are those cupcakes?” Elisa worriedly asked.

“Why do they have fangs?” shrieked Molly.

“I can’t believe I’m about to say this.” Pinkie shrieked. “They aren't baked goods! They aren't even baked bads! They're baked evils!”

“Looks like Emma wasn’t too far off with the ‘magical tapeworms’ theory,” Twilight said as the possessed pastries proliferated.

The estrogen levels in the Apple Family farmhouse had faded to nothing as the men stared at the lone stallion in the room.

“Are you going to tell us why you held us back while the women and children went off to the hospital?” Remus asked.

“Are you planning on laying down the law on Severus?” Sirius asked hopefully.


“Pity, I wanted to see that,” Sirius said while Severus let out a relieved sigh that his occlumency could not contain.

“You really looked like you were serious when you kept us back,” Bill stated.

“But I’m Sirius. He looks nothing like me.”

“You just can’t let any opportunities pass you by, can you,” Remus said.

“Eenope,” replied Sirius.

Dan asked, "Should we call Applejack back to interpret?"

"Why would we need an interpreter?" asked Severus.

"Big Mac generally uses sentences of one syllable or less," replied Sirius.

"No need," replied the stallion. "Sweetie brought another human-side unicorn home with her. This one attacked a foal before making a run fer it inta the Everfree. I need to track it down before somepony gets hurt.”

"You can speak?" Sirius said, shocked.

“Do not disparage my brother-in-law,” Severus warned.

“Now look here, Snivelous.” Sirius snapped.

“Sirius!” Remus interrupted. “Now is not the time. You heard Mac; we have a situation to handle first. You and Severus can hash out your differences later.”

“That’s very mature of you, Lupin,” Severus sneered.

“I sense some history here,” Dan said.

“A lot of bad blood,” Remus admitted. “Neither side is free of blame, but I fear we were the instigators. Reconciliation is going to take a lot of effort from all involved.”

“Remus!” Sirius had the accusation of betrayal in his voice.

“Sorry, Sirius.” Remus grimaced. “We should have stopped this years ago; it's the right thing to do. Besides, what's more important to you, your marriage or some childhood grudge?"

“You are finally reining in your friends?” Severus said. “To say that is overdue would be sadly understated.”

“Stop it!” Dan snapped. “You two can go behind the barn and duke it out later. We have more important things to tackle right now.”

“Fine,” Sirius snarled. “I can be civil.”

“That remains to be seen,” Severus said.

“Professor Snape,” Dan interrupted, “that means you, too. Now, put that wand away and let's grab a map. We’ll break into two search parties.”

“Nope.” Big Mac countered. “Snow on the ground.”

“Huh?” Remus said. “Oh yeah, that’s going to make it easier to track the unicorn down. We should get Hagrid here to help.”

“He’s too big for an owl pouch,” Severus said.

“How’d they get Fluffy here then?” Sirius asked.

“Their phoenix,” Severus stated. “Something is going to have to be done about that bird next semester; I’m almost positive they are sneaking off campus with it.”

“I can confirm that,” Dan said. “I hate to say it, but I think Mr. Discord is encouraging them there. However, he does seem to be keeping a close eye on them as well. The rings he gave them alert him to danger.”

“Wonderful,” Severus said. “The most effective mode of travel is in the hands of eleven-year-old children. I am going to place tracking charms on the lot of them.”

“Let’s go get the unicorn. These discussions can wait,” Charlie said.

Remus said, "At least the children left their brooms."

Sirius replied, "No offense, Moonie, but some of us can't see in the dark, and the unicorn is sure to run from the light."

Bill said, "We should be fine if we go slow."

Big Mac shrugged. "Best hurry. Monsters come out at night."

Swiftly, the brooms were distributed. Dan eyed his critically. "Which way do you twist to open the throttle?"

The scene in the ballroom was pure pandemonium as ponies fled, screaming. Inside her protective bubble, Clouded Hope was ignorant of the chaos outside. Her ears were still ringing as she blinked away the spots in front of her eyes. She could make out a white blob in front of her on the other side of her shield.

“You dare!” she heard from somewhere beyond the blob. “This does not concern you! It is in my territory! It is my rightful prey!”

“Princess Luna should never have let you walk away,” Shining Armor shouted as the blob resolved itself into his body.

Clouded felt the thundering of fleeing hooves as the queen shouted, "This is not a pony affair! Step aside, or I will make you regret it."


"Then die!"

Around the room, as if reacting to an unseen signal, several guards abandoned the evacuation and turned their attention to the combatants. From their horns, powerful bolts of magic lanced toward the stallion, smashing against his shield and forcing him aside. Standing tall, the yellow unicorn pooled all of her magic preparing for a concentrated blast.

The lethal blow never came, instead a beam of cyan magic spoiled her aim, blasting her from her stance. With a primal scream, the newest combatant announced herself. "Murderer!"

Battered, the unicorn skidded across the floor before coming to a disjointed halt. A gasp was all she managed before throwing up a shield barely in time to deflect four rapidly approaching pink hooves. Inside her bubble, Clouded bounced as her adoptive mother's attack cratered the marble floor.

There was desperation in her voice when the yellow unicorn screamed, "To me!" Speckled around the ballroom, traitorous guards struggled to comply as they fought against their former allies. The yellow unicorn dodged a cyan blast from Cadance, only to find herself in the path of a magenta lance originating from Shining Armor. In an act of desperation, one of the rogue guards broke free and flung himself into the path of the spell. A shrill shriek heralded his success as he took the full brunt of the attack just before it reached the queen; his body disintegrated against her shield with a sickening sizzle.

The unicorn screamed in frustration. This time it wasn’t an offensive spell to light her horn; once more, the world went white, blinding all onlookers. Her voice faded toward the windows as she screamed, "To me! To me! To me!"

Cadance and Shining Armor raced to the window. Desperately scanning the darkness, Shining Armor exclaimed, "They're gone!"

Grimly, Cadance said, "No. Shining, I can still sense her; lend me your magic." Magenta magic wrapped around the mare and spiraled to the tip of her horn, wrapping around the cyan ball that was forming. Cadance intoned, "To protect my child, I fight with you. From a mother's heart, I strike at you. For love's sake, I cast you out!" The ball of combined magic shot from her horn and wove drunkenly through the night sky.

High above, away from prying eyes, the changelings had dropped their disguises. The retreating queen risked a backward glance. She snorted in derision as a bright spot shot from the ground and veered away from her. As she and her swarm continued, she saw it turn back and overshoot in the other direction. Her eyes widened as it turned back again. "Evasive maneuvers!" she screamed. The ball grew larger at an alarming rate as the time between turns grew ever shorter. Despite her desperate weaving, the ball kept homing in on her. Eventually, parents’ love made its opinion known about the queen’s hate.

From the ballroom's window, the explosion seemed to fill the night sky like the world's largest skyrocket.

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