• 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 95: Shades of Auld Lang Syne

The holiday revelry at the Sleepy Saguaro Sanitorium had ended at an early hour in deference to its residents' needs and general lack of vitality. In the gaily decorated common room, a gilded cage was perched on the top shelf of a bookcase. Inside, a rat watched morosely as three mares cleaned the remnants of the party. The gray mare set down her broom when she reached the refreshment table. Using tongs, she picked up a shortbread cookie and slipped it between the cage's bars.

The rat sniffed the treat and turned away. The mustard-colored mare faced him and said, "Don't look so glum, Peter. You've brought more happiness to our clients than you can imagine.”

The rat huffed and turned away. The tawny-colored mare added, "We know your kind doesn't have feelings like ponies do, but we're thankful for all your help."

The gray mare set the tongs down and said, "We couldn't decide what an immortal demon would want, so we got you something for your smaller form."

Peter's ears perked as he turned to face the mare. He watched as she reached under the table and pulled out a cardboard box. She tugged away the string and lifted the lid. The sides fell away to reveal a large, transparent ball with slots cut in it for ventilation.

The tawny mare rolled it away from the packaging and opened its door.

The mustard-colored mare brought the cage to the floor and opened the door. As the rat stepped out, someone pounded on the door and yelled, "Peter Pettigrew! You're surrounded! Come out with your hands up!"

The mares shoot startled looks in the direction of the door while the rat displayed its survival instincts. With nary a sound, it scampered into a nearby closet. Displaying the dexterity of his kind, he squeezed behind a wooden crate. The time had come to see whether or not the mares had kept their promise. After a quick search, he pressed along the baseboard, causing a spring-loaded door to swing open. He heard a multitude of hooves, far more than the comfortable three sets, reverberating from the room he had just left. If it weren’t for his rodent mouth, he would have smirked as he stumbled through the concealed doorway onto a toy railcar. As he longed for an engineer's cap, Peter pushed a lever, causing his ride to plunge down the tracks, revealing abandoned diamond dog tunnels below. Phosphorescent lamps flashed by as he sped along toward the outskirts of town and safety. After a several minutes, the car crested a small hill and came to a gentle stop.

Peter stepped out and breathed a sigh of relief. In the eerie green glow of the lamps, he could see there was food, water, and bedding, enough for several days. Were it not for the damned necklace, he'd have eaten his fill and snuck onto the next train headed anywhere. Now, however, he was compelled to wait.

He had not even settled into the bedding before he started to glow and rise into the air. His panicked squeak was the only response he could manage as he found himself trapped in a telekinetic field. A unicorn stepped from the shadows and said, "Happy Hearth's Warming, you dirty rat. The princesses would like a word with you."

In the barn at Sweet Apple Acres, the feral unicorn lay on a bed of straw, covered by a robust attempt at earning a blanket knitting cutie mark. Magah watched him with concern as she lay beside him. The scent of poison on his breath was all too clear. She cringed yet again as she felt the bass thump of another powerful explosion. Only the reassurances of the foals kept her from fleeing -- well, that and the fact she had gotten used to hearing occasional explosions on the telly. The stallion, by contrast, lay still, oblivious in his stupor. Thankfully, the explosions were growing farther apart.

When the barn door opened, the mare turned toward the sound of hoofbeats as her ward entered with a large bundle held in a green glow. The yellow foal beside her carried a bucket in her mouth while the orange foal hovered along, carrying a blanket in her forehooves.

The white foal said, "Scootaloo, make sure you tuck her in."

The orange foal rolled her eyes as she draped the blanket over Magah. "Yes, mom."

The yellow foal set the bucket in front of the stallion. She said, "I still don't see why you won't let Professor Snape handle this, Sweetie Belle. He's an expert with potions."

The white foal replied, "Potions for humans, Apple Bloom. We already know that human magic doesn't work that well on these unicorns."

The orange foal grumbled, "Why don't we just use a necklace and turn him into a human? That way, everyone'll be happy."

Shaking her head, the yellow foal replied, "He'd freeze out here. Big Mac won't let 'im in the house."

The white foal set the bundle down and unwrapped it. It held a large bottle of vile-smelling liquid and a syringe. The foal said, "This is Berry Punch's patented hangover cure. All we have to do now is to get him to drink it."

Everypony cringed when they were rocked by another explosion. The yellow foal said, "Maybe we should wait until the excitement dies down."

The white foal walked to Magah and nuzzled her. "We'll be back. Keep him out of trouble."

Magah sighed as she watched the three climb onto the loft.

On the roof of the barn. the snow had been cleared away, and a makeshift viewing platform had been set up. As they lay on blankets, the Cutie Mark Crusaders had a clear view of the smoldering farmhouse. Its roof had been peeled back like the flaps on a carton. A whoosh announced the launch of another shell, and a moment later, a multi-colored explosion filled the sky.

With a pop and a flash of light, a draconequus appeared in their midst. He said, "When the Marauders said they were going to raise the roof, I didn't think they meant it literally."

As one, the foals chorused, "Discord!"

After watching a few more displays from pyromaniac wizards Apple Bloom said, "Thanks again fer sendin' us all to magic school."

“Yeah,” Scootaloo added, "I never would have gotten my wings, or my mom, otherwise."

Sweetie Belle tapped her chin with her hoof before she asked, "We made it home. Does that mean our quest is over?"

Discord replied, sporting a familiar navy blue hairdo with a pink stripe. Somehow, he had acquired a scroll and quill. He studied the paper and checked a few boxes. "Well, you have completed your first set of objectives. Extra marks for the side quests. Carry the two. Divide by pie. Peach cobbler. Yes, a good start if I do say so myself."

“A good start?” Apple Bloom snorted, "After that Fenrir business, Ah feel like we could take on the world . . . worlds."

With a sad smile, Discord replied, "Confidence is good, but as my personal student Jean-Luc would tell you, hubris is bad. There is much more out in the worlds than you might imagine. I have to admit, you have the spunk to meet most challenges; just try not to get too cocky.”

In the bowels of Canterlot Castle, a single chair sat in front of a table; a spotlight focused on it. On the other side of the table, Xenophilius and Arthur fidgeted in their wingback chairs while Celestia sat serenely on a simple throne. Behind them, the tools of interrogation hung from pegs on the wall, lovingly bathed in gentle lighting. It was an impressive collection of feathers whose sole purpose was to tickle select ponies.

Well used to apparition the men barely raised an eyebrow when the crack of displaced air announced the arrival of princess of the night. In her telekinesis, she held a horseshoe box with holes punched in the sides and top. Unceremoniously, she removed the lid and tipped out the contents. It was a sad sight of a rat that tumbled out and landed on its back, eyes shut and tongue lolling.

"It's just a rat." Celestia quirked an eyebrow at the supine form. "A rat who thinks he’s a possum.”

Luna replied, "Not just any rat, sister. Allow us to introduce the late Peter Pettigrew."

Celestia said, "He's not dead. I can see his chest move as he breaths."

The Minister shrugged, "The records say otherwise." His eyes narrowed as he glared at the rat. "How could you do that to all those widows?" he snarled.

Arthur grimaced. "How could you do all those widows? Half were old enough to be your grandmother."

The rat continued his non-response.

Luna said, "Peace, gentlestallions. We have questioned some of the cur’s unwitting wives, and we can attest that, for the most part, he was acting under duress. Aside from the issue of his immigration status, we are satisfied that he has paid for all known crimes committed on Equestrian soil."

Xenophilius gave the princess a side glance, "But he targeted those widows."

Luna shook her head. "It was under their guidance that these acts were sanctioned. He was mistaken for an incubus and thus was employed as a service animal."

Arthur said, "Be that as it may, there is still the matter of the murders of James and Lily Potter, Harry's parents. I implore you to release him into our custody so that we may seek justice."

Celestia shook her head. "We are judged by how we treat the worst among us. So long as you employ the wendigos, I cannot do that in good conscience."

Luna looked at the rat and declared, "We know thou are cognizant. Return to thy human form so that thou may speak in thy defense. If thou persist in thy foalishness we shall see judgement swiftly dealt."

The rat continued his non-response.

Luna said, "Very well, thy time has expired. Legilimens!"

For Luna, the room faded, and she found herself confronting a basalt wall. She quirked an eyebrow at the rough-hewn inscription that dominated the obstacle. "When the night walks the worlds and the minds of men, remember: STEP FORWARD. Four on fifteen."

Luna snorted; this was not in the same league as Honesty’s stallion. With contempt, she strode ahead, passing through the wall like a ghost. On the other side, a balding man in a black robe confronted her. He said, "Begone, horse! You do not belong here!"

Calmly, Luna replied, "Peter Pettigrew, we are here to seek truth and judge thy guilt. Thou refused to speak for thyself; thus, your mind is ours to explore."

Peter sneered. "You have no power over me. I am protected by the forces of darkness." Proudly, he let the sleeve fall back from a forearm, revealing a mark on his arm, obviously the standard of his master.

Luna smirked, "We are the night. Thy protections hold no power over us." With those words, she leapt into his forehead, vanishing like a wisp of smoke.

Inside, she waded through his memories going in reverse order. Stoically, she struggled to keep her emotions in check, swearing herself to chastity. With each glimpse of his past, the grim frown she wore darkened. Her disgust at his voyeuristic activities did little to endear the human to her sensibilities. Searching even deeper, she saw the one he obeyed. She saw the ones he betrayed. Thanking the new skills she had collected from the human books, she decided she had seen enough.

Fading back into the real world, Luna blinked and looked at Celestia and the men. She said, "Under the cover of friendship, he hath sold the very lives of Harry Potter and kin to the one who did them harm. What now, sister?"

Celestia replied, "We shall hold him in custody tonight. There is other business that must be concluded first." Underneath her throne, her aura gripped a wrapped package. Inside was an ancient tome. On its cover was a design that matched Cadance's cutie mark.

In the frozen wastes of the north, crevasses opened where there had once been solid sheets of ice. Although the pace was glacial, there was no denying the change. Anypony nearby would have felt a deep sense of foreboding. There was something evil there, something evil and powerful. What was lurking beneath was working its way free. It was only a matter of time.

Professor Dumbledore woke to find himself in an uncomfortable position. His head was free, but the rest of his body seemed to be trapped in some sort of gel. Waiting patiently for him was the woman in the page's costume. The spade symbol on her chest had been replaced by a red heart. She sneered at him and said, "All rise for the Pink Queen!"

Six men in porter's uniforms carried in a palanquin and set it down in front of Dumbledore. Without words, they took away the canopies and walls, revealing a preternaturally beautiful woman sitting on an ornate throne. A simple silver tiara rested atop her tri-colored tresses, and she was clothed in an Elizabethan dress with a large red heart on its chest. Anger filled her eyes as she said, "Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, you stand accused of the willful and continued abuse of Harry James Potter. What do you have to say in your defense?"

Unable to move, Dumbledore took a moment to compose himself. He said, "You have me at a disadvantage. Whom do I have the pleasure of addressing?"

The woman replied, "I am judge and jury. What other roles I may play depends on your answer. Speak the truth and be judged."

Dumbledore sighed. "I have acted, and shall always act for the greater good. There is an evil that threatens to destroy the wizarding world, and it will drag the muggle world with it."

Pink was his new obsession. Try as he might, he could not escape it. He rued the loss of Macnair; the man was almost competent. He had already anticipated that he would lose Quirrell after their separation. That left him with only one ally at hand, the one the locals called faras nahr. To his regret, her choice of decor left no doubt that pink was her favorite color, and he now seamlessly blended in.

He still could not believe the incompetence of his minions. The only good thing he could say about the fiasco was that he again had his own body, such as it was. Admittedly, it was a relief to be able to breathe again, to taste again, to walk again. That relief was tempered by the body in which he was now trapped. He was Voldemort, Lord of Darkness. He was supposed to be tall. He was supposed to be menacing. He was supposed to be male. Now, he found himself the size of a lapdog. Now, he found himself with the might of a kitten. Now, he was constantly conscious that he lacked the proper set of plumbing.

His screams of outrage had come out as adorable squeaks. There was no denying that he was now a little horse; the mirror did not lie. Those useless hooves could not wield a wand. Using his mouth would prevent him from uttering the incantations. For now, he had to endure the idiot's constant cooing. He didn't even have the strength to shake out the braids in his mane and tail.

His original plan had been foolproof. The stone had been there for his taking. The old man might have thought that his defenses were impregnable, but if a gaggle of first-years barely into the term could break in, disabling the first obstacle, then they would have been no obstacle for a fully-trained wizard like the late, unlamented Quirrell. If only he had acted sooner.

Someone was going to pay for disrupting his plans. He didn't care if he had to cast the cruciatus curse on every single person on the planet. He would make sure that the ones responsible would feel the full weight of his wraith. All would learn to fear the name of Voldemort.

He knew just where he wanted to start. That upstart Discord had cowed his former host into abandoning his original plan. That interloper would be no match for the flaying spell that would strip every square inch of skin from his body. His screams would prove that no one could match the power of the Dark Lord.

Just as soon as he got a proper body.

The worst part of the mess was that the sole survivor was not a true believer; she did not bear the Dark Mark. Likewise, his new body was also pristine; it was something that should be in a little girl's bedroom, not hosting the one who would conquer the wizarding world. He had no way to call his followers; there had to be some who had survived the massacre at the Wizengamot.

For now, he would have to start from scratch. All he needed was time. With the gift of immortality, he could afford to proceed carefully. The pieces of himself that he had left hidden throughout the kingdom would keep him firmly rooted in the mortal coil. He had all the time in the world. He would plan. He would prepare. When all was ready, he would strike. No one would be able to stop him.

On an isolated island, a small figure stood motionless, facing the direction of the threat he was committed to counter. He knew it was dormant. He knew it was trapped. He couldn't shake the feeling that something was not quite right.

In the suffocating darkness, he lay alone with his thoughts. How had things come to this? This was worse than the centuries he had spent as a lowly beetle. In that form, he had a purpose. In that form, he could see the slow and steady progress toward his return to glory. The interloper had taken all of that away.

Even with that setback, he still had a clear path to victory. He had groomed the perfect patsy. She had amassed the mana he needed to resurrect his body. He had summoned it to his current form. Something had gone wrong.

There had been a ripple across the world well. He had felt his connection to his body shatter. He had felt the link with the past disintegrate.

With the link severed, he should have ceased to exist. Somehow, that same ripple denied him the release of death. That same ripple left him trapped in his current form.

In this form, he could not move. In this form, he could not see. In this form, he could not hear. All he could do was exist, stingily hoarding the infinitesimal measure of mana that was left over after he had absorbed what was needed to sustain himself. He could not even will himself out of existence. It was sheer torture.

His sacrifice was lost to him. The girl had made her own magic. Any attempt to seize it would be roundly rebuffed.

The mother was there, somewhere. He could barely detect her presence, and it grew fainter with every passing moment. Surely, it would fade completely in a fortnight. Thankfully, she was no longer a drain on his mana reserves.

He had no other options. For now, all he could do was wait.

As another firework faded, Apple Bloom said, "Ah don't understand. What sort of difference are you talking about?"

The draconequus smiled. "Once you know what you are capable of doing, you will know that there are things that you cannot do. You will learn that no matter how much you know, there will always be something that you don't know. Never believe that you've mastered everything. The real quest is just beginning."

In a dusty storage room, somewhere in a respectable museum, sat a box. It contained a curious artifact, the purpose of which had never been divined. The fact that it was made of gold and gems had categorized it as art, albeit art that was atypical for the region and timeframe of its creation. Too valuable to dispose of and too abnormal to display, it sat in storage, seeing the light of day only when curious academics unearthed it to marvel at its uniqueness.

On its surface was a cracked gem.

Still, it had purpose.

Still, it was part of a plan.

Chaos could play the long game.

It was not the sole wielder of that skill.

After much retreating, Fate took a step forward.

Author's Note:

Hello everyone, I hope all of you have been healthy and well. I also want to thank you all for reading my first attempt at publishing fanfiction. Don't worry, the story isn't stopping here. You see, I was writing a time skip when I stopped and thought that I would buck convention and not make each book a full school year. In fact, I think I may have set some kind of record for the longest winter break in Harry Potter fandom, as it is.

As for this chapter, Rich really does deserves the bulk of the praise. As for myself, for the first time since I started this project, it slipped to zero on my priority scale. Real life has decided to smack me in the face. If not for Rich, this chapter would most likely not have seen the light of day for at least another week, if not two.

Anyway, I can not say that I'm in the right mindset to properly express my thanks for all of you joining me on this journey of imagination. Instead, I'll once again convey my wishes that all of you and your families are healthy and safe. I hope to see you all in the comments when the second book is posted.

My best wishes for you all--- Dogger807

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