• Published 23rd Apr 2017
  • 11,056 Views, 6,165 Comments

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 11: Flame Tales

Author's Note:

Well, here we are at 50,00 plus words. I haven't even gotten half my ideas for the first year down yet and already 50,00 words. I did not even guess I could stretch out the first week as long as I did.

Thank you all for sticking with me for as long as you have. I really do appreciate it.

It was late morning on Saturday when the first-year Gryffindor collective found its way into the Great Hall for breakfast. The tables already accommodated a significant portion of the school population by the time these first-years got there and took their seats.

Apple Bloom promptly found the Weasley twins. “Hey ya two, good morning.”

“Good morning,” the twin on the left replied

“How are you this fine morning?” his mirror image continued.

“Wondaful, I just found out I have an unequipped potions lab in my trunk,” Apple Bloom jubilantly responded as she started to pile food onto her plate. It didn’t matter if it were fruit, grain, vegetable, dairy, or meat; everything was fair game.

“How does one. . .”

“. . . just now find out they have a potions lab?”

“By just opening the first, second, and fifth compartments and ignoring the other three,” Scootaloo explained as she snatched a tureen of oatmeal from Apple Bloom’s grasp. Unfortunately, she wasn’t quite fast enough to get to the blueberries before Ron. “Turns out compartment four is a clothing closet, full of hanger space and drawers.

“Ah, figured if anyone here had an owl order catalog for potion supplies, it’d be you two,” Apple Bloom said reaching for the bacon platter only to find Sweetie Belle had beaten her to it. She had no illusions that she’d get even a morsel.

“We might. . .” twin on the right started.

“. . . have something like that. . .”

“. . . laying around.”

“When might we see your lab?” the twins said in unison.

“Afta breakfast, would be great.” Apple Bloom waved her fork absently as she demolished an apple fritter.

Suddenly, the air was filled with owls entering through the upper windows. “Looks like they took down the security wards they had up for some reason,” a fifth-year commented as she looked up. “It was a bit of a bother missing the post yesterday.”

All manner of owl made their way towards their various targets, delivering assorted payloads. Suddenly, in the midst of the chaos, there was burst of flame. When it faded, a majestic red and gold bird was revealed.

Dumbledore, who had been sitting at the head table, looked up in alarm. Fawkes would not be delivering a letter to him here in the Great Hall unless it was urgent -- very, VERY urgent. The headmaster put down his fork and sat back waiting for his familiar to land. To his bemusement, the bird continued to circle the Great Hall, its rare form ensuring every student in the hall turned their head upward to witness the spectacle.

With a start, Dumbledore realized it was not Fawkes looking to deliver a letter to him; instead, it was another, an unknown phoenix bearing a scroll. The unfamiliar bird appeared to be looking for someone, but couldn’t quite find whomever it was searching for.

Then, the call came from the Gryffindor table, “Philomena!” and with sudden recognition, the bird turned and dove in the direction of the voice.

Everyone in the Great Hall was silent as they watched Sweetie Belle address the phoenix. “Hello Philomena, is that message for me?”

Philomena trilled joyously as she presented the scroll she was carrying.

“Thank you.” Sweetie Belle accepted the scroll and held up a strip of meat in response. “Want to try some bacon? It’s really rather good.”

Philomena gladly accepted the treat as she examined the “pony” she had been sent to find. It was at this time that a screech owl bearing a small package and a folded paper also found Sweetie Belle.

“Is that a phoenix?” Hermione demanded impatiently, ignoring the new owl as the rest of the Great Hall continued to rubberneck.

“Mmm, hmm,” Scootaloo said around a mouthful of oatmeal. “Her name’s Philomena; she’s Princess Celestia’s pet.”

“You know a phoenix and a real princess?” Hermione squeaked in astonishment.

“Mmm hmm.” Apple Bloom didn’t even bother to stop eating, or even nod her head, as she replied.

Up at the head table, Professor McGonagall muttered to herself, “So much for keeping a low profile.”

“What’s with this owl anyway?” Harry asked, pointing to the screech owl pestering Sweetie Belle for her attention.

“It’s an owl order,” Parvati informed him. “It wants Sweetie to mark its payment receipt with her vault key and take the package.”

“Oh!” about half of the Gryffindor first-year conclave said together.

The owl was soon relieved of the package and Philomena had finished her first piece of bacon. Again, there was a burst of fire in the air above, and a second phoenix appeared above tables in the Great Hall. This one homed in on the first and landed beside her. The two birds were soon quietly trilling at each other, obviously deep in conversation.

“What’s the letter say?” Scootaloo gestured at the scroll Philomena had delivered.

“Oh.” The ribbon around the scroll was removed and Sweetie began to read. “Just a second, and I’ll find out.”

“Well?” Apple Bloom said after a minute.

“It’s a good thing, letters can’t yell at you,” Sweetie Belle said as she rolled the scroll back up, her complexion becoming paler. “We should probably write some responses as soon as possible.”

“It’s a muggle howler?” Fred asked curiously,

“They found out about your potions class already?” George finished.

“Something like that.” Sweetie Belle grimaced. “Come on girls, we have some letters to write.”

“I’m not done yet,” Apple Bloom complained, fork halfway to her plate.

Sweetie Belle simply glared at her.

“All right, all right.” Apple Bloom swallowed, and then dumped a platterful of biscuits into her purse.

Watching Sweetie Belle stand to leave, Philomena took a hop and, with a few wing beats, was riding on her shoulder.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders then trouped back up to their dorm and disappeared into Apple Bloom’s trunk, not to be seen again until supper.

<->

The mare sat on a wooden bench in a small enclosed room, the hot steam penetrating her hide in a most pleasing manner. “Ah have ta admit, Rarity.” Applejack practically purred from her spot, “Ah’m a mite glad you talked me into this here outing.”

“If by ‘talked’, you mean lifting you bodily and floating you here,” Pinkie noted from the bench she was in the process of melting into. “Then, yes she talked you into it re-e-e-e-e-ealy well.”

“I do apologize darling,” Rarity said as she ignored the slur, “but it was exceedingly apparent that you needed a respite.”

“We all do,” Twilight concurred, sweat slicking her coat, making her a shade darker than normal. “It’s been a strenuous week for everypony.”

“Yeah, strenuous.” With her eyes cast downward, Rainbow Dash agreed, saying some of her first words since the group got together. Her friends all looked at her, worried by the lack of her usual flair.

“Do you want to talk about it, darling?” Rarity asked as Fluttershy fluttered over and draped a wing over the pained pegasus.

“No, I just. . .” Rainbow Dash shook her head unable to voice what she wanted to say. “. . . just no.”

She was saved from further prodding, as, abruptly, there was a flare of flames in the middle of the sauna, and Philomena practically got mugged when the ponies present realized she was carrying a stack of letters.

Fifteen minutes later, the group was out of the spa, hunting for draconequus. There may or may not have been a blunt instrument or two involved.

<->

Draco Malfoy sat in his room, hesitantly composing a letter to his father. He had already relayed that he had failed his orders to make friends with the scion of house Potter. The reply he had earned for that bit of news did not make for a pleasant read. Having to report that Potter had chosen Gryffindor was not received much better. Even though neither outcome was particularly unanticipated, they were decidedly unwelcome.

Now, Draco had a report that was wholly unforeseen, something unforeseeable. At breakfast this morning, it became apparent that Dumbledore had found a new, powerful ally; how else could you explain the appearance of a second phoenix? His father would want to know about this immediately; Draco just wished he didn’t have to be the one to tell him.

Sighing, Draco put quill to paper and wrote down what he had witnessed. Soon, an owl was making its way in the direction of Malfoy Manor.

<->

As soon as she awoke, Alice rose from her bed and, without much delay, was at her kitchen table once more, the organized chaos of her notes making way for a cup of coffee. Earlier, she had been forced to take a nap when the words began to blur together incomprehensively. Regardless, she wouldn’t allow herself much downtime, not with her goals so close.

Sipping her coffee, she almost missed the addition of a satchel to the clutter on the table. Warily, she opened the strange container. Then, after a few minutes reading what was inside, she broke out into a wide grin. Life was getting better and better.

<->

Noticing a flash of pink out of the corner of her eye, Berry Punch double-checked the anomaly and, to her relief, it wasn’t an elephant. Still, she took a careful sniff from the open bottle she was carrying, just to be safe. Satisfied that nothing was amiss, she trotted up behind the pony who had caught her attention.

As the other mare peered around the corner of a building, Berry asked, “What cha up to, Pinkie?”

“Shhhhh,” Pinkie said holding her hoof up to her lips, a crazed look in her eyes. “Be very, very quiet; I’m hunting draconequus.”

“Um, okay,” Berry said and slowly backed away from her.

Without warning, Pinkie took off around the corner and was soon lost from sight.

Berry Punch took a swig from the bottle as her friend Carrot Top trotted up beside her and asked, “What was that all about?”

Berry partook of another swig then said with an amazing stretch of insight, “I’m not sure, but if I were asked to place bits on it, I’d say Discord had something to do with the recent lost filly fiasco.”

“Oh.” Carrot Top contemplated the direction Pinkie had disappeared to. “Sucks to be him.”

“Pretty much,” Berry agreed with another swig.

The two mares were quiet a few seconds more before Carrot said, “Want to get a hayburger? They’re having a two for.”

Berry shrugged and finished off the bottle, “Sure, I’m a bit peckish.”

<->

Impatiently, Lavender knocked on the lid of the trunk for the third time. Just as she finished, it swung open and Scootaloo looked at her questioningly.

“We were starting to get worried about you.” Lavender said, trying to hide her curiosity, “You’ve been in there since breakfast.”

Scootaloo managed a sheepish look, “Sorry, we started with letter writing and that led to Apple Bloom explaining the basics of cooking and potion making to Sweetie. I kinda took a nap myself.”

“Sweetie cannot be as bad at cooking as you keep implying.” Lavender stated putting her hands on her hips.

Scootaloo yawned and stretched, “I’m going to remember you said that.” She warned.

“Anyway,” Parvati said from her bed, where she had been lying, reading a magazine, “It’s almost time for supper, and we need to go rescue the library from Hermione first.”

“She’s been there the entire time?” Scootaloo asked, descending the stairs into the trunk.

“Yeah, pretty much,” Lavender confirmed. “Once she picked up the package Sweetie forgot at the table when you three left, she made a beeline for it. Said something about looking up phoenixes”

“Hey, you two! Dinner time!” Scootaloo called out from the bottom of the stairs.

“Coming!” came the duet from deeper in the trunk.

Soon, the fillies were exiting the trunk, with Philomena once again resting on Sweetie Belle’s shoulder.

“I can’t get over the fact that you have a phoenix,” Lavender said getting as close to the bird as she dared. “May I pet her?”

“Y’all should be asking Philomena that,” Apple Bloom informed her as the lid of the trunk was closed, “’Fore we go, come over here so we can key you to our trunks, so you won’t be locked out again.”

“Where are the colts?” Sweetie Belle asked as she stood still and let Lavender give Philomena attention.

“Off doing whatever boys do.” Parvati was also examining the phoenix but was keeping her hands to herself. “Ginny’s with them, following Harry like a little lost puppy.”

“Less chatting and more eating,” Apple Bloom commanded. “Ah, didn’t get to finish brunch an’ my stomach is a rumblin’”

Sweetie Belle whined, “But I made cookies.” The other crusaders looked at her, horrified.

Not wanting to get between the redhead and a meal, the girls quickly completed the changes to the trunks and then took off in search of the library.

As they made their way through the hallways, everyone they passed stopped to stare at the phoenix-toting girl, some going so far as to follow behind the group for a bit to get a better look. Strutting, Scootaloo was basking in the attention, while Sweetie Belle was getting nervous and ended up walking closer and closer to Apple Bloom for support. Giggling, Lavender and Parvati seemed happy enough to be in the group that was the center of attention.

Before long, they ran into Hermione, who was making her way back to the dorms with her arms full of books. “Hermione!” Scootaloo waved as they approached her. “We were just coming to get you!”

“Oh, hey!” Hermione returned, pleased by the notion that children her own age were looking to include her. “I just have some light reading here to take back to the dorm first.”

“She is not to be left in a room alone with Twilight,” Scootaloo insisted as she looked at the pile of books that the girl had called light reading.

“Aw,” Apple Bloom pouted realizing they were about to make a trip back to the dorms, “more delays until we can eat.”

“Well, if we were in a real hurry,” Hermione said, clutching her books tightly to her chest, “we could just ask Philomena to flame us to the dorm.” There was a sudden bright flash as flames surrounded the girls and the hallway vanished from view. “Kind of like that,” Hermione finished, placing her books on her bed. “The wards stop apparition but not phoenix travel.”

“I didn’t know you could do that,” Sweetie Belle said to the bird on her shoulder. Philomena’s reply was a trill and a smug look.

“Wow!” Parvati exclaimed, once again examining the phoenix, “I could get used to that. How long did you say she was going to be sticking around?”

“Princess Celestia asked her to keep an eye on us until further notice,” Apple Bloom interrupted, then addressing the bird, “Think y’all could take us to the eating hall now, please?”

More flames came into existence, and the girls found themselves once more in the Great Hall and, consequently, the focal point of all the present diners.

“Great!” Apple Bloom cheered as she claimed a seat next to Ron, who was gawking with his mouth half open and half full. “Let’s eat.”

“Okay,” Ginny accused from her seat next to Harry, “that’s just cheating.”

“Nah.” Hermione shook her head as she took a seat next to Scootaloo. “It’s just creative rule following.”

“Learns fast, she does,” Dean commented as he offered a chunk of rabbit from his hasenpfeffer to Philomena, who was still sitting on the shoulder of the girl who claimed the seat next to him.

“I didn’t know phoenixes ate meat.” Scootaloo watched as the bird accepted Dean’s offer.

“They’re omnivores.” Hermione took on a lecturing tone, “Just like us. Didn’t you see her eat the bacon?”

“Speaking of meat,” Percy said from down the table, a few seats away, where he was sitting with some of his classmates, “Scootaloo, you need to eat some more; I swear you’re trying to go vegetarian on us, and that’s not a good idea for someone so young. You’re still growing. And Sweetie, the opposite holds true for you, eat more veggies.”

“There’s a limit on how much meat I can eat?” Sweetie Belle asked in dismay, even as she reached for the platter of steaks.

“You need a balanced diet; don’t you know?” Hermione started dishing greens on Sweetie Belle’s plate for her. “You need a variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need.”

In unison, Sweetie Belle and Scootaloo looked at each other and then turned to look at Apple Bloom, who was once again racing with Ron.

“I’m not touching that one.” Hermione shook her head at their unasked question. “I might lose a hand in the process, if I try.”

<->

Sullenly, he lay on his pallet, weak both from lack of decent food and from the jailers who roamed the halls. For what seemed like forever, he knew he deserved his punishment. He knew that he didn’t deserve to feel happiness because his brother could no longer feel happiness either. Never again would his brother know the love of family, all because he had failed. He had failed to protect those who had meant the most to him. He failed because he had suggested using the traitor. Worst of all, he had failed to bring the traitor to justice. He had failed.

He failed to notice the stranger in his cell, looking upon him with sadness and cunning in mismatched eyes. He failed to see change coming.

<->

Harry’s day had been enjoyable. He had spent it exploring the castle with the rest of the Gryffindor boys and Ron’s sister. Together, they had poked their noses into every nook and cranny they could find. They had even shared a laugh at the thought of the girls’ reaction if they happened to meet one of the moving suits of armor. There had been no plan or agenda, just fun, just learning how to be a child.

The down side came in the form of the whispers from the other students in the halls.

“Look, it’s him.”

“Does he have the scar?”

“Did you see his scar?”

“He’s wearing glasses.”

“Next to the redhead girl, see?”

Harry was not used to the attention. He survived his entire prior existence with the Dursleys by avoiding attention whenever and however possible. The sudden celebrity status was the antithesis to all he had known before, and frankly, he wasn’t sure how to handle it.

He also wasn’t sure how to handle friends. Without Dudley around to chase them away, Harry was making friends. Predictably, it was an idea he could get used to; he very much enjoyed having friends. What had once been a fond dream was becoming a reality. Surrounded by acceptance, Harry knew one thing for certain, he was never going back to the Dursleys’ willingly.

And then there was the mystery that was Ginny, Ron’s little sister. Though she said nothing outright, she seemed to be wanting something from him and was never too far from him. Yet, whenever he tried talking to her, she would go all silent and stare at him, answering his questions only with nods or shakes of her head. It was frustrating, especially knowing she could speak just fine to everyone else. Having little social interaction beforehand, he wished she would stop seeing him as the Boy-Who-Lived and start just being his friend. Harry found that she made him uncomfortable in a new and unusual way. Not uncomfortable enough to avoid her, but certainly just uncomfortable enough that he was always aware of exactly where she was.

With the good far outweighing the bad, life was good for the first time he could remember.

<->

Six friends were gathered in the library one of their number called home. It was an inviting location, inside a living tree, with the distinct smell of books filling the air. There was tea being served with small cakes.

“He ain’t no whars to be found.” Applejack stomped her forehoof soundly on the wooden floor. “And he ain’t coming when called.”

“Nopony has ever accused him of being exceedingly stupid,” Rarity agreed, putting down the bat she had been levitating. “I’m sure we won’t be seeing him for at least a week.”

“I’m sure he had a good reason for doing what he did,” came a meek defense for the condemned. “We should probably hear what he has to say before. . . umm. . . that is. . .”

“He’ll have exactly three seconds to explain himself once I get my hooves on him,” Applejack allowed grumpily.

“He needs to know that he’s been a mean mean meanie pants and needs to let ponies know when he moves fillies around so we don’t get all worried like and go looking for them only we can’t find them since they aren’t anywhere here they are there instead which would have been nice to know before we went out here looking for them!” Pinkie had started bouncing in time with her speech’s cadence, and by the end of her, we’ll call it a sentence, she was going up and down so fast that she had become a pink blur.

After watching Pinkie for a second, Rainbow Dash turned to Twilight and asked, “How is that even possible?”

Twilight just shrugged, she had been down that path before; therein lay madness. “Fluttershy is right. It would be my guess that he’s keeping an eye on the crusaders and just forgot to let us know. While nopony has ever accused him of being responsible either, I’m sure he wouldn’t go as far as to leave them unattended.”

“So, we just let him off scot-free then?” Applejack stomped her hoof again, this time hard enough that the room shook.

“No, I never said that. All I’m saying is we shouldn’t pour all the emotion of the last week into his punishment.” Twilight tapped the bottom of her chin with her hoof. “Remember, he’s new to the whole friendship idea.” She paused for a breath. “And in a sense, he did exactly what a friend should do and helped the crusaders with their goals. Admittedly, his methodology could be considerably improved upon, though.”

“So, I don’t get to hit him?” Rarity asked once again hefting the bat in her unicorn magic.

“I fail to see how that would be helpful,” Twilight said.

“It would make me feel better,” Rarity offered with a sweet smile.

“Me too,” Applejack agreed.

“And me!” Pinkie added.

“Girls!” Twilight scolded, “violence isn’t going to help and the fillies were never in any real danger.”

“Sugarcube,” Applejack snarled as she fixed Twilight with a steely gaze, “are you seriously trying to talk us down from beating the tar out of a certain draconequus?”

“No,” Twilight returned with a shake of her head, “I’m trying to talk myself down; you five are just a bonus.”

<->

Once they were all back in the Gryffindor common room and sitting on comfy chairs, Hermione reached into a pocket and pulled out a pillbox-sized package. “Here, you left without this earlier,” she said as she passed it to Sweetie Belle.

Sweetie Belle turned the package over in her hands a couple times. “This is a lot smaller than I was expecting.”

“Tap it three times with your wand,” Lavender suggested.

When the package grew to a much more respectable size, Sweetie Belle opened it. She was happy to find that inside were the shoulder bags she had ordered. Pulling them out, she saw that they were made of canvas and were weirdly-shaped, maybe a foot long, six inches high, and less than an inch thick.

“The welcome to Hogwarts gifts are here!” Sweetie Belle exclaimed and started passing out bags to all of the first-years while Philomena trilled joyfully from the back of her chair. “Sorry, Philomena, I didn’t get you one, since I ordered them yesterday. Give me some time and I’ll see if they have something in your size.”

Though it wasn’t the point she was trying to get across, Philomena nodded her head in acceptance.

Dean studied his new bag and said, “I guess we’re going with the whole bigger on the inside theme. Otherwise this wouldn’t. . . Someone help Ginny! It looks like her bag is trying to eat her!”

Everyone in the common room turned to see that somehow, Ginny had managed to get the entire upper half of her body into her bag and was kicking her legs vainly trying to gain purchase.

“Oh look.” Hermione held up a pamphlet retrieved from inside the package. “Instructions for the bags; these should come in handy.” Then, after reading the first paragraph, she said, “Here’s a hint on how not to trigger the bags’ defense mechanisms if you haven’t bound them to yourself yet. Kind of like Ginny just did. . . Trigger the defenses that is.”

With a loud slurping sound, Ginny’s legs disappeared into her bag, and it bounced on the floor a few times before coming to a rest. Hastily, the remaining first-years dropped their bags and turned their attention to Hermione in anticipation.

“That’s more than a little disturbing,” Seamus commented.

Hermione read through the small packet quickly. Then, with a look of determination, she tapped Ginny’s bag with her wand and said, “Ex dimittere.”

There was a puking sound and Ginny rejoined the group. Looking terrified, the redhead quickly put some space between herself and her bag.

“I can’t decide if the sound effects are cool or just disturbing.” Scootaloo looked down at her own bag warily.

“This is the first time anyone’s given me a girl-eating bag before,” Harry noted. “Is it possible to sic it on people?”

Apple Bloom bopped Harry lightly on his head. “Hush now, I wanna hear how to avoid getting eaten.”

One of the seventh-year girls, who had been listening in on the newbies muttered, “You’re going to be changing that tune later on, you will”

Luckily, none of the first-years heard her as they went on to learn about their new bags.

<->

A glass of single malt whiskey sat on the desk, waiting patiently as Lucius Malfoy reread the letter sent by his son. Snarling, he crumpled the paper in his hand. Then, leaning back, he downed the contents of the glass in one swift motion. Grimacing at both the news and the fluid, he contemplated.

A phoenix! Now, all the girl needed was for a bloody unicorn to come up and offer her a ride, and the image would be complete. A new figurehead for the light had just made an appearance, and that wouldn’t do, wouldn’t do at all. The meddlesome Dumbledore was bad enough; the addition of a preadolescent phoenix-bonded would be insufferable. Politically, it was completely unacceptable; she was already guaranteed a seat on the Wizengamot, just for showing up with the accursed fowl. Age was not a factor for that old law. On top of it all, she was reputedly making ties with the Potter brat as well.

Lucius could just see the neutral voters flocking to the show of strength presented by such a young phoenix-bonded. It would ruin his years of carful power mongering. No, this was a problem that was best nipped in the bud before it bloomed.

Well aware that, without too much hassle, accidents could still be arranged, Lucius made plans. Clearly, it was time to assure certain events happened.

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