• 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 21: Obstructions, Observations, and Obligations

“But I want to keep flying.” Scootaloo pouted as the girls made their way over to the greenhouses. “I barely got any air time.”

“You’ll just have to wait,” Parvati said. “We’ve already missed Herbology once; missing it a second time is a sure way to get detention.”

“I guess,” Scootaloo relented, “but the sooner we’re allowed to fly on school grounds, the better.”

“I’m sure Hermione would disagree,” Lavender said. “I still can’t believe she wanted to come with us to Herbology instead of staying and flying.”

“She’s obviously afraid of heights,” Sweetie Belle said. “We’re going to have to help her with that.”

“And how are we going to that?” Parvati asked.

Apple Bloom shrugged. “Just drop her off a cloud a few dozen times. Believe it or not, screaming in terror gets boring afta awhile.”

“I hope you're joking,” Lavender said, giving Apple Bloom the eye. “No, you’re not joking. You do realize that’s only going to make her fear worse.”

“It’s how mah sister had me cured.” Apple Bloom shrugged. “As cruel as it may sound, it actually works wonders. Besides, they never do stuff like that without at least seven catchers paying attention.”

“Yeah,” Parvati said with a shake of her head, “we’ll just table that suggestion for a later date. Right now, we need to figure out how to keep Magah from following us into the greenhouse.”

“That’ll be easy,” Scootaloo said. “See that open window there? It’s big enough for Sweetie and way too small for Magah.”

“Good idea, Scoots,” Sweetie Belle agreed. “Now go inside and check underneath the window to make sure there’s not a vat of tree sap or something similar waiting for me.”

The morning news had been disastrous. His master’s servants had been routed from the Wizengamot en masse. Most of those not holding a seat were now fugitives and had their assets frozen. What had once been a readymade support base was now in shambles. Worse, the replacement government looked like it might have some backbone. If they chose a competent new Minister, the difficulty factor could be increased exponentially.

But, none of that mattered until the master had a new body. Therein lay the favorable news hidden in the assorted bad tidings. One of the students had managed to resurrect a ghost. What had formerly been an impossible feat was now a wellspring of opportunity. The stone was no longer necessary; an easier method had presented itself. Though no names had been mentioned, it was easy to deduce the responsible party. She had two symbols of rebirth and healing at her beck and call. Only a fool wouldn’t realize that the unprecedented act of raising the dead could fall only at her feet. Luckily, he had his first class with her later today. It shouldn’t be too hard to trick the child into doing what he wanted, right under the nose of Dumbledore himself.

Quirrell grinned as he made plans. It was his free period, and he sat in his office, rereading out loud the events depicted in the "Daily Prophet". He had just gotten to the list of charges against the former Minister when he realized he wasn’t the only person in the room. Looking up, he saw a man in a dapper brown suit frowning down at him.

Jumping back and out of his seat in alarm, Quirrell stammered at the intruder, “W-w-where did y-y-you come from? How, d-d-d-did you get in h-h-h-here.”

The man’s eyes flashed yellow, and he said, “These children are under my protection. Leave now and never return.”

“I-I-I’m a p-p-p-profess-s-s-ser here.” Quirrell objected, “I p-p-pose the children no h-h-h-harm.”

“I wasn’t talking to you,” the man growled contemptuously.

“W-w-w-whatever are you t-t-t-talking about?” Quirrell brought his wand out; he’d keep his wandless abilities hidden until the appropriate time.

With a disdainful snap of his fingers, the man sent Quirrell’s turban tumbling from his head, despite how tightly it had been wound.

“Enough.” A voice said from the back of Quirrell’s head followed by a cough, “I will speak with this interloper.”

“Master.” Quirrell’s voice lost all hints of a stutter. “You are not yet strong enough.”

“Turn around so that I may address him properly,” the voice commanded, gasping for breath at the end of the sentence. Hurriedly, Quirrell complied and put his back to the intruder. On the rear of his bald head was another face -- a twisted face. “Who are you, to dare interfere in things beyond your ken?” it rasped as it cast its gaze upon the man in the brown suit.

“Could you be anymore cliché?” the man asked, unimpressed. “Let’s keep this short. You are on my list of pre-existing threats slated for elimination. Your only path to salvation lies outside these walls. One way or another, you won’t be in this castle tomorrow.”

“You dare threaten me?” Rage infused the face. “Do you know who I am?”

“Again, with the cliché. This is not a threat; this is a professional courtesy.” The man in the brown suit cleared his throat then said menacingly, “Leave, or I will see that you regret it.”

The face on the back of Quirrell’s head laughed until it had a coughing fit. “You will find that I am not so easily destroyed,” it sneered once it regained its composure.

“How very droll and unimaginative.” The man in the brown suit tsked. “If you do not heed my final warning, I promise what lies ahead will make your current existence seem like paradise.” With a snap of his fingers, he was gone in a flash of light.

“What the hay, Scootaloo?” Sweetie Belle groused, “Seriously, what the hay?”

“What?” Scootaloo said defensively, “I told you there was a bed of flowers under the window, and to be careful.”

“I’m stuck to Ginny,” Parvati complained, trying to get her arm to detach from the redhead’s back.

“At least it’s not sap,” Apple Bloom said, one leg glued to another at an uncomfortable angle and Lavender stuck half sitting in her lap.

“This is stickier than sap!” Sweetie Belle snapped from her position on top of Scootaloo, who had her back glued to the floor.

“It’s seeped right through my robes,” Ginny informed everyone as she tried to remove her hands from Sweetie Belle’s shoulders.

The Ravenclaws and a spattering of Slytherins gawked at the Gryffindor girls, freely laughing at the tangled mess.

“Here comes the professor; she’ll help,” Lavender said as she spotted the herbology teacher approaching.

Professor Sprout arrived and immediately assessed the situation. “I see you girls have become acquainted with the spitting tulips,” she said.

She was the largest mare in all of Equestria. Her pure white coat was accented by a multicolored mane and tail, both of which shimmered unnaturally as they fluttered in the nonexistent breeze. “That is undoubtedly the most aggressive luggage I have ever encountered,” she said to the ponies standing with her as she surveyed the beautifully carved chest just ten feet away. Her gentle smile hid any trepidation she might have.

“I am so sorry, Princess Celestia; George does have a bit of an attitude problem,” Rarity admitted from where she was still trying to calm down the hyperventilating Twilight.

“Where did this remarkable piece of art come from?” Celestia asked, not taking her eyes off the subject of inquiry.

“Sweetie Belle sent it to Rarity as a present!” Pinkie cheerfully informed her.

“She sent a pony-eating chest?” Celestia asked in amazement.

“Well, the letter did say it could be aggressive until it was bound,” Applejack said, ready to put herself between George and the princess at the slightest hint of danger.

“Did binding it not help?” Celestia continued.

“I was waiting until after I read the instructions before binding him.” Rarity patted Twilight on her back. “Breathe, just breathe. Princess Celestia isn’t hurt, and she isn’t angry.”

“Where are the instructions?” Celestia asked.

“The letter said they were on the coffee table, but apparently Sweetie Belle forgot to send them,” Rainbow Dash said.

“Perhaps you should bind it now, regardless,” Princess Celestia suggested with a twinkle in her eye.

“Yes,” Rarity said, “right away. Rainbow, darling, if you would be so kind and fetch me the letter from inside. I need a reminder of the words I need to say.”

After rereading the letter, Rarity stood before George and hesitantly placed her horn on the brass plate on his front. “Sibi Stipitem?” she said.

Nothing happened.

Holding their collective breath, the ponies all watched the chest for movement as the seconds ticked by.

George did his best impression of an inanimate object.

Somewhere, paint continued to dry, giving a more exciting show.

“Tap the fifth square rune and say 'open',” Twilight finally said from where she was holding Sweetie Belle’s letter.

Rarity took careful aim, tapped, and said, “Open.”

The lid popped open and Rarity leapt back, clearing a good twelve feet -- a truly remarkable feat for a sedentary unicorn.

“You are afraid of your luggage,” Pinkie noted in a sing-song voice as she bounced up to look into the chest.

“Pinkie, be careful!” Applejack said from where she was still guarding the princess.

“OOOO . . . stairs!” Pinkie said before disappearing into George. “These weren’t here before.”

“Pinkie! Wait!” Rainbow said, diving after her friend.

Seconds later, Pinkie’s voice came from inside George. “There’s a whole house down here!”

“A house?” Twilight’s head snapped up in realization. “Is there a living room?”

“Yes!” came Rainbow Dash’s voice.”

“Is there a coffee table in the living room?” Twilight continued.

“Yes!” Pinkie shouted, “and yes to your next question as well!”

“Horsefeathers!” Applejack said, “Just horsefeathers.”

Myrtle Smith was having the most bizarre day of her life. She had used that phrase before, but nothing that had happened before even came close to the events currently unfolding before her eyes. Any doubts that magic existed were well and truly stamped out of existence. She could have remained skeptical, even after the parlor tricks the small professor had showcased, but the fact that she and her mother were now standing in an alleyway in downtown London was not to be shaken off so lightly. The trip hadn’t been painful, not exactly. It hadn’t been pleasant either, rather like being squeezed through a straw. While that was not even a remotely accurate description, she could not think of anything closer to the truth.

Her grandmother had insisted on paying for the necessities that the younger . . . older . . . other Myrtle would be needing. Olivia had produced an ornate key which she claimed went to a vault she had opened for Myrtle when she first went to school. Decades had passed with a small trickle of funds being filtered into said vault in anticipation of their next magical descendant. Now, they had two who would be using it for their schooling.

There was a sharp cracking noise, and the little professor appeared with Amy and the other Myrtle. He had been adamant that he would not be bringing Olivia, claiming that she was too frail, and that the shock could be harmful.

“I have another question,” Myrtle Smith said to Flitwick as soon as he had regained his bearings. “How is it no one took note of our arrival?”

“There’s a permanent muggle-notice-me-not charm in that portion of the alleyway,” Flitwick answered as he led them out, into the alley proper. “It’s not uncommon to bring muggle-born and their parents by this route.”

After a few minutes, he stopped and said, “Here we are.”

“I do hope you don’t mean for us to go into that dodgy-looking pub,” Myrtle Smith said, eyeing the establishment.

“What pub?” Emily asked, looking up and down the street for the establishment.

“You can see the Leaky Cauldron without holding the hand of either your daughter or your aunt?” Flitwick raised a surprised eyebrow. “You have at least squib level magical awareness.”

Frowning, Emily reached out to take Amy’s hand. Her eyes widened as the pub came into view.

“Well, it is obvious this place was decorated by a stallion,” Rarity said as she descended the stairway into an impressive foyer with a decorative marble floor. Through a large archway she could see a large sitting room boasting couches, chairs, and tables all different shades of brown. “The palate is so drab and dreary. I’ll lay odds that there’s not a hint of pink in the entire place.”

“Perhaps,” Princess Celestia said from right behind Rarity, “but the workponyship on both the furnishings and the spellwork speak of pride in one’s trade.”

Surprised that she had been followed so closely by royalty, Rarity hurried the rest of the way down the steps and turned.

It was Pinkie who voiced Rarity’s unvoiced thoughts, “Princess Celestia, you shrunk.”

Celestia tittered, “The entrance wasn't princess-sized.”

“Well, it’s certainly bigger on the inside,” Rainbow Dash said rejoining the group. “Wait until you see the bathroom.”

Twilight’s voice drifted down from the entranceway, “Look at that! They multilayered the subspace matrix by intertwining the linear inclination array back on itself using a modified alpha overlay! That’s pure genius! I think it might be more stable than the matrices we use on our buildings.”

“Did anypony understand any of that?” Applejack asked as she reached the bottom of the steps.

“To me it just sounds like she picked a bunch of impressive sounding words at random,” Rainbow admitted.

“The spellwork is exceptional,” Princess Celestia repeated. “It is both exceedingly clever in some aspects and disturbingly clumsy in others. It’s like the caster were completely ignorant of some basic magical principles and worked his way around them. At the same time, it seems he may have used some principles we are not currently aware of. I cannot overstate the value this trunk represents to the advancement of ponykind. Where did Sweetie Belle find it?”

“I am pretty sure she got it from the local marketplace,” Rarity said. “I vaguely recall passing a shop that specialized in luggage.”

Princess Celestia turned her patient gaze onto Rarity and asked, “A local marketplace?”

“Well, local for the dimension the fillies are going to school in,” Rarity admitted.

Pinkie may have said, “Wait! What?!”

Twilight doubtlessly gasped.

Rainbow probably asked, “Another dimension?”

It was even plausible that Applejack said, “Say what now?”

However, it couldn’t be absolutely certain that these events happened because the words, “THEY ARE GOING TO SCHOOL WHERE?!” dominated the reality of everypony present as the force of the words plastered everypony and everything in the room that wasn't the princess against the far wall.

Celestia blushed slightly as everypony stared at her in a dazed stupor. The only thing that prevented an awkward silence was the eerie squeak made by everything against the wall that wasn't anchored sliding to the floor. “I apologize,” the princess said. “I haven’t lost control of my Royal Canterlot Voice in a very long time.”

The assembly hall was once again filled to capacity. Word had gotten out over the short recess, and more curious onlookers had arrived to supplement the already record crowd. It soon became apparent that the room was expanding to accommodate the excess. No one present could have claimed to have known that the room had that capability, but it was a welcome discovery.

Up at the main podium, Dumbledore once again brought his gavel into play. “Ahem,” he said, waiting for the last of the chattering to die down. “Welcome once again. As Chief Warlock, I hereby reconvene today's assembly. We shall continue where we left off. The prisoner, Sirius Black has been retrieved and shall stand trial momentarily.”

“I object!” An elderly wizard in the front row stood up to draw the attention of all present.

“Mr. Taylor,” Dumbledore said recognizing the speaker, “we have hardly begun; on what grounds could you possibly object?”

“My firm has represented the Black House for generations,” Mr. Taylor said, radiating an aura of confidence. “As matter of fact, we are still on retainer. We are Lord Black’s legal counsel.”

“I was unaware of Sirius obtaining the title of lord,” Dumbledore reprimanded the old lawyer.

“He was heir apparent, he was never cast out of the family by the house head, he was never convicted of any crimes. Ergo, he is Lord Black,” Mr. Taylor informed the assembly.

“Very well,” Dumbledore conceded, “are you objecting to Miss Rutter’s claim of speaking for House Black?”

“By no means.” Mr. Taylor shook his head. “We are objecting to his being forced to stand trial immediately after being retrieved from Azkaban.”

“Are you suggesting that Lord Black needs to wait for his fair trial?” a member of the Wizengamot asked. “Wasn’t a decade long enough?”

“By law, our government may not imprison a citizen for more than three months without setting a trial date,” Mr. Taylor said. “By failing to do that, the Wizengamot has obligated itself to allow Lord Black to be released on his own recognizance until the date of said trial. Furthermore, he is guaranteed respite for any time spent in Azkaban before facing trial. I do believe the law states one week for every month spent in that hellhole. So, if you would be so kind, book us a date, two and a half years hence. In the meantime, I will take my client into custody and see to his recovery.”

“That is outrageous!” another member of the Wizengamot snarled.

“Yes,” Mr. Taylor agreed. “This whole situation is outrageous. Even with emergency procedures in place, holding a man in Azkaban for a decade without trial is indefensible. The Ministry has played fast and loose with the laws, denying basic rights. I mean to see that my client receives his due.”

“What of James Potter and his wife?” the same Wizengamot member continued. “Are they to be denied their due as well? Shall their murderer walk free on a technicality?”

“Their murderer is dead.” Mr. Taylor corrected, “At worse, Lord Black was an accomplice, something that many have already said would have been vastly out of character for him. If you drop the assumption of guilt and look at the situation objectively, you’ll find that the official story does not make sense. Why would a man, who just betrayed his closest friend, proceed to hunt down another of his allies instead of fleeing the country once he knew his lord was dead? It is so irrational that he has been called crazy to have done that. It makes more sense that he was hunting down the one who had done the actual betraying. That would be completely within his previously displayed character.”

“Are you accusing a recipient of the Order of Merlin of base betrayal?” a third member of the Wizengamot asked without accusation in his voice.

“I do not have enough evidence to make such an accusation at this time,” Mr. Taylor conceded. “I am merely pointing out the possibility. The administration at the time has already demonstrated a lack of ability in dispensing justice. Is it hard to believe that they may have also erred in dispensing accolades?”

“Regardless,” Matron Longbottom spoke up without rising from her seat, “I would like some reassurances before unleashing an accused mass murderer on the public. Two wrongs do not make a right, and I do believe we are well past a dozen wrongs at this point.”

“With all due respect,” Mr. Taylor nodded his head politely at the old woman, “what you would like is irrelevant; the law is clear in this regard. Lord Black is to be released immediately.”

“You are aware that his head of house rights are to be suspended until after any trial?” Dumbledore queried.

“We are aware that Miss Rutter shall be directing house Black until the situation is resolved, all charges are dropped, and our client stands acquitted,” Mr. Taylor acknowledged.

“That is rather presumptuous of you,” yet another member of the Wizengamot stated.

“To put it bluntly, even if Lord Black had committed the atrocities purported by these fictions, the Ministry had forfeited all rights to hold him as a consequence of their flouting of our laws,” Mr. Taylor said. “However, let me make this clear; we firmly believe Miss Rutter’s assertion that he is innocent.”

“Well,” Alice said, watching the exchange, “that didn’t go according to plan.”

“No, no.” Applejack was saying, “Ah’m certain that none of the letters mentioned that the school was in another dimension. That’s the kind of detail that Ah would never forget.”

“It’s cool,” Rainbow Dash interjected. “So, the Crusaders are learning magic from interdimensional ponies.”

“Ponies? Yes, about that,” Rarity said doing a reasonable impression of Rainbow Dash by placing her hoof behind her head, “there is something else I should mention.”

“Am Ah going to have to sit down for this?” Applejack asked.

“That would most likely be prudent,” Rarity confirmed; then after a sideways glance she continued, “Pinkie, where ever did you find that popcorn?”

“Well, that’s a first.” Professor Sprout said as she watched her students’ efforts to return some plants to the soil, “I’ve never seen pussy willow uproot itself just to come over and say ‘hello’, before. Professor McGonagall wasn’t exaggerating your affinity towards plants.”

“Why do we have to help?” a Ravenclaw complained. “It’s all her fault.”

“The practice will do you good,” Professor Sprout replied. “Besides, it’s a good thing to help your fellow students.”

Apple Bloom added, "Y'all will never understand plants unless you get your hooves dirty."

“Please,” Twilight begged as she lay on the couch with her head under her forehooves, “don’t tell Lyra, just don’t tell Lyra. I’ll never live it down.”

“Too late,” Rarity said.


“Scootaloo, please don’t eat my flowers; some of them bite back.”

“These taste awful!”

“Yes, they do.”

“It is funny you should mention marriage contracts.” Celestia had claimed the largest couch as her own. “It has been my experience that they are primarily used as a means of controlling helpless stallions. I make it a point to personally investigate any reports of ‘binding’ marriage contracts being submitted for validation, hence the reason for my visit today. Can you offer an explanation for the existence of said document?”

Rarity said, “Discord.”

“I see.” Celestia nodded her head knowingly. “Now that we have established that you have a rock-solid explanation, perhaps you have a few more details to add?”

“That wasn’t so bad,” Parvati said, exiting the greenhouse. “It was nowhere as exciting as either Potions or flying lessons.”

“We got glued to the floor,” Sweetie Belle said as she greeted a relieved Magah.

“I stand by my statement,” Parvati insisted.

“Wow! The legends were right. She gets hot when she’s mad,” Rainbow Dash observed.

“Yeah,” Twilight said as she maintained her shield, “Sorry about your new couch, Rarity . . . and the two adjacent chairs . . . and the rug . . . and the ceiling beam . . . and your marble floor.”

“Quite all right, darling,” Rarity said dismissively, not taking her eyes off the sphere of flames. “You managed to contain the worst of it.”

“I’m glad my name’s not Dursley,” Pinkie noted.

“The next item shall be the trial of former Minister Fudge,” Dumbledore stated.

Immediately, twelve different individuals found their feet, wishing to be heard.

“Yes, Mrs. Furweather?” Dumbledore said, picking one at random.

“If it pleases the assembly,” Mrs. Furweather said, “the charges against the former Minister do not go far enough. The consequences of his actions, motivated by greed, have led to much loss among the general public and not a few deaths as well. I move that his trial be delayed a month to allow for a thorough investigation into his crimes. His deliberate abuse of power must be countered by levying all applicable charges against him.”

“Mrs. Furweather,” a pureblood faction member said, “the law has protections for government officials when their decisions prove to be flawed. It would hardly be productive if the Minister had to worry about jail time over every hard decision he had to make.”

“True, but those protections apply only to actions taken in good faith. Since when is our government supposed to be the best money can buy?” a new Wizengamot member, appointed by Alice, countered.

After finding that the remaining eleven had similar requests, a vote was taken, and Fudge was granted a one-month reprieve from Azkaban.

The Gryffindor first-years sat in the Great Hall to partake of lunch. Sweetie Belle generously ladled beef stew into a bowl before retrieving her newest letter from her shoulder bag. Dipping her spoon into her meal with one hand, she flipped the letter open with her other.

Dear Sweetie Belle,

I do hope this letter finds you well. However, I do apologize, I do not have time for pleasantries. There are two pressing matter that require your immediate attention. The first and more urgent is the need for another copy of the instructions you mentioned in your letter. We have searched the entirety of my living room, without success. I very much feel it would be prudent that I have those instructions before I attempt to bind your marvelous, yet aggressive gift. It has already made a meal of several of my friends. So, I implore you to send another copy of the instructions.

Secondly, I need to inform you of a recent contract I have signed. Furthermore, since you have submitted a herd agreement, in writing, to the town hall, you will have to inform Apple Bloom and Scootaloo as well. Surprise! You have a marriage contract with one of your classmates. The colt, Harry Potter, is to be your stallion. I know this may come as a shock, but I assure you my intentions are in the best interests of both the colt and you.

I confess, I was reluctant to have this weight placed on your back at such a young age, but you and Harry will both have the option to back out of the contract once you reach seventeen. Until then, he is your responsibility. You must take care of him as I have taken care of you. Yes, an adult caretaker has been arranged for your time here in Ponyville, but the primary obligation for his wellbeing falls to you and your herd sisters. Do not be afraid to ask those you trust if you need help or advice; it takes a village to raise a foal.

One letter is hardly enough to explain the entirety of the duty I am entrusting you with. Thankfully, Twilight has graciously offered to provide you with a book on what is required by Equestrian law. I know it’s a lot, but I have faith in your abilities, with the exception cooking. Take care of Harry, and I am sure he will take care of you in return.

Love and kisses.


P.S. Please hurry with those instructions!

Sweetie Belle had stopped eating after the first paragraph, her spoon held limply in her free hand. Once she was finished reading, she calmly folded the letter and replaced it in her shoulder bag.

“Harry,” she said calmly, “put down your pumpkin juice; we need to talk.”

Harry had no explanation as to why, but those words terrified him on some primal level. “Oh, come on Sweetie Belle.” He said, “That wasn’t even the 'Daily Prophet'.”

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