• Published 23rd Apr 2017
  • 14,967 Views, 7,154 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 22: Gathering no Moss

The blazing South American sun beat down on the canopy of leaves raised to pay it homage. The greedy foliage allowed very little of the life-giving energy to pass, leaving the jungle floor wrapped in shadows. At ground level was an unusual sight -- a beetle, a seemingly unremarkable beetle that any local entomology student would have called an oxysternon festivum and kept walking, having seen dozens of the kind before. The sphere it was manipulating was a wholly different matter. After all, one did not normally come across golden, gem-encrusted spheres just lying on the forest floor.

Methodically, the beetle did what it could to move the object in the desired direction, employing an impressive construct of small twigs and piles of dirt. To say that it was inching along would be generous; an inch a week would be an impressive improvement. The gems made it awkward; the sheer mass of the gold was unwieldly. Yet, the beetle never stopped and never abandoned the task. It would get what it desired.

The beetle could remember having been a man long ago. It could remember being more than a man. Men were its subjects, its followers, its sacrifices . . . its prey. Willingly, the populous would do whatever it asked. With every full moon, they would, once again, sacrifice their young daughters to him. The bodies would be offered up on a bloody altar. It would have that euphoria again. Once again, men would fear his name. Once again, men would be his playthings. All he needed was to get this sphere over to where his body lay entombed. Then, he would walk the world again. The blood of innocents would freely flow once more.

How long had he inhabited the body of this mere insect? How long had he inhabited the bodies of its ancestors? The answer was centuries. Centuries of moving this sphere a hair’s breadth at a time, all towards the goal of remanifesting his glorious body. His enemies were long gone. They were dust, as was the secret of his downfall. All he needed was to move this sphere a few more hand breadths, and it would be in range. A couple more years, and he’d be whole once more.

Unexpectedly, it grew darker. Peering up, the beetle saw the perplexing form of a man, a man in a place that had not seen another human in well over a hundred and sixty years, a man wearing a dapper brown business ensemble that was as inappropriate as a deep-sea diving suit for the stifling heat and humidity of this environment.

Though there were no longer any who spoke the sacred language the beetle had called his own, what was next said was easily understood by the beetle. “You are, without a doubt, on my list of preexisting threats to be neutralized.”

The beetle could only look on with impotent rage as the man reached down and seized the golden sphere. Morosely, the beetle watched centuries of work become undone as the misbegotten wretch drew back his arm and hurled the sphere impossibly far. Worse, he threw it downhill!

“Well now, that was exceedingly anticlimactic,” the man said, dramatically raising a foot and taking aim with an expensive wingtip. "But, it can’t hurt to make doubly sure.” Down came the foot.

At a loss for words, Harry gaped at Sweetie Belle. Slowly, the significance of her news sank into his awareness, and a smile crept across his face.

“I’m just as surprised as you,” Sweetie Belle was saying, yet he was no longer paying attention. An adult caretaker would be provided for his time away from Hogwarts. That meant he wouldn’t be returning to the Dursleys’! He’d never have to go back! He’d never have to go back again! All he had to do was marry Sweetie Belle, and he would never have to go back!

“Harry, are you listening to me?”

All the humiliation was at an end. He’d never have to listen to his uncle’s rages again. The cupboard under the stairs was to be a thing of the past. Maybe he’d even get to eat more than just the leftovers. Maybe he would no longer go hungry away from school!

“This is important.”

He would have friends away from Hogwarts. He would be with people that wanted him. He would be more than "the boy who wasn’t welcome".

“Harry, hello?”

His cousin would no longer be able to get his gang together and play "Harry Hunting".

“Ah think you broke him, Sweetie.”

It was all at an end. The future held promise. He was never going back!

“Harry!” Shocked, Harry found a purple-framed face mere inches from his own.

“Scootaloo?” Harry jumped back slightly. “What?”

“Perhaps you should wait 'til after classes to talk about this,” Lavender said with her arms draped around a sniffling Ginny.

“Yeah,” Sweetie said, eyeing the loopy grin on Harry’s face, “that might be a good idea.”

“I never have to go back,” Harry whispered happily.

“Very well,” Dumbledore addressed the assembly, “The next order of business is our immediate need for a new Minister.”

A round of murmuring washed over everyone present as they prepared for a heated debate.

“The floor is now open for nominations to the post,” Dumbledore concluded.

“I object.” A muggle-born member of the Wizengamot said, standing up to have his say, “The current method of selecting our Minister was supposed to be a temporary measure. It was a thinly-veiled power grab by the political majority at the time of its inception.”

“It has worked well enough,” a pureblood faction member countered.

“That is debatable,” a moderate returned. “Regardless, he is right; the legislation for the alternative method has expired. Without a vote to the contrary, the process should revert to the original method.”

“Our ancestors abandoned that method as inefficient,” the first pureblood member argued.

“Our ancestors wanted a minister they could control,” another Wizengamot member emphasized. “We see where that has gotten us. The office of Minister was never meant to be held by a puppet of the Wizengamot majority.”

“You would alter our process of electing a minister,” one of the less extreme conservative members stated.

“I would return it to the unbiased and uncorrupted method mandated by the Ministry charter,” the first Wizengamot member corrected.

“I call for a vote to extend our current method of selection,” a neutral member, who had yet to speak, said. The call for a vote was seconded, and soon the measure was soundly defeated. Another major upset to the status quo was accepted, and the Goblet of Fire would be choosing the next Minister.

The Gryffindor first-year flock was gathering their things, preparing to venture to their next class, when one of the tutors introduced that morning by Professor McGonagall sauntered up and interrupted.

“Children,” he said with a friendly smile, “my name is Mr. Goodman. I’ve been hired to handle the Defense Against the Dark Arts class for Miss Belle, Miss Aloo and Miss Bloom.”

“They’re not going to be in our class?” Lavender asked, clearly disappointed.

“Their sponsor very adamantly wishes for them not to be taught by the professor currently offered by Hogwarts,” Mr. Goodman answered. “However, the offer to attend my classes in lieu is open to each and every one of you. The choice of under whom you wish to study is yours.”

“We’re friends,” Ginny insisted firmly. “We’ll stick together.”

A swell of verbal concurrence quickly surged through the remaining Gryffindors.

“I was counting on that response.” Mr. Goodman smirked. “I should warn you that I’m an ex-auror and plan to put you through a regimen well exceeding that mandated by the Ministry-approved curriculum. I will push you harder and will expect more from you in return. This is not the easy path to take.”

“More work?” Ron whined.

“Yes,” Mr. Goodman said bluntly, “more work. The option for the easy path is still open; you can still opt to go that route.”

“Ah’m not afraid of hard work,” Apple Bloom asserted.

“But that means more homework,” Ron complained.

“Ron,” Ginny growled in warning.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Goodman,” Hermione stated with a glance toward Ron. “His work ethic is a work in progress.”

“There is a time for play and a time for work.” Mr. Goodman said, eyeing Ron, “I can’t make the decision for you. It’s your call whether you want to be adequate or exceptional.”

“Isn’t there a way to be exceptional with less work?” Ron asked.

“No.” Mr. Goodman turned and walked away from the table. “All those still willing, follow.”

Sullenly, Ron joined his fellow Gryffindors in mimicking ducklings as they trailed along after their new instructor.

He was packed and ready to leave, proving that arrogance was not synonymous with stupidity. If his master had been at full strength, he would not have been cowed so readily. If his master had been at full strength, the current arrangement would not have been necessary to begin with. Doubtlessly, the successful retrieval of his prize hinged on him remaining incognito. That was no longer an option. Dumbledore would, unquestionably, be informed before too long, if he did not know already. This endeavor was crushed before it truly began.

His only consolation was that he did not plan on leaving alone. The girl was to be in his next class, and he fully intended on convincing her to come with him, her and her animals. Despite the warnings the interloper had uttered, it was well worth the risk.

Once he had her, his master would be able to gather strength and reform his body. With help, he would be able to rebuild the master’s following from the ground up. There was a new generation of malcontents just waiting for the right leader, and, once more, that leader would be his lord.

With a show of patience that he did not feel, Quirrell sat behind his desk and waited for the students to filter into the class.

When the bell rang to indicate the start of the period, there were only four students in the class with him.

“W-w-w-where is everybody else?” Professor Quirrell demanded of the meager showing.

“Half of our house has been excused due to deaths in their families,” one of the female students explained.

“I heard the Gryffindors talking to their tutor after lunch,” the one remaining male student offered. Sarcastically, he continued, “Apparently, what this school needs is a whole bunch of auror-trained Gryffindors running around.”

“A-a-a-auror trained Gryffindors?” Professor Quirrell repeated in disbelief. Who was Dumbledore trying to fool? That wasn’t a defense class, that was a miniature army in the making.

“Yes,” the male student continued, “I heard him say that he was an ex-auror.”

“I s-s-s-see.” Professor Quirrell said, “Now, class, open your books and read chapter one. I’ll be back soon.” With that, he rose from his desk and left the room. He did not return for the rest of the class. He did not for the next period. He did not return for supper. He continued to prove that all times are "soon".

“The decision to reconvene next Wednesday to resolve the choice of the new Minister has passed.” Dumbledore stood behind his podium and raised his gavel for a strike. “On that note, as Chief Warlock, I declare this session of the Wizengamot, concluded.” With his words, the assembled clapped their acceptance before filing out of the room at their leisure.

It had been a turbulent two-day session. On one hand, not much had been accomplished, no trials had been held, no new laws had been passed or even discussed. On the other, everything had changed. The balance of power did not just slide, it jumped. It took a running start and vaulted. And, its momentum showed no signs of fading. It didn’t take a genius to foretell that the next session would see many current laws struck from the books. Then, they would dig in and start with new laws.

Change would be coming at a breakneck pace, faster than Albus felt would be prudent. Even if most of the changes were positive, it would still be too much too fast. The next few months would be demanding a great portion of his attention. Luckily, he had Minerva to handle the more mundane school-related tasks.

But, before any of that was to be addressed, he needed to have a conversation with Judge Brown. Whatever subterfuge had been used to deny him access to his student’s paperwork would have to be identified and neutralized. Forgoing his accustomed after-session networking, Dumbledore hurried from the chambers and made his way through the network of hallways toward the office populated by the judge in question.

Before long, he was knocking on the door of the office in question. The door opened by itself without a sound, and Dumbledore saw the Honorable Judith Brown sitting behind her desk, wand in hand.

“Albus Dumbledore,” she said with a small frown on her face, “right on time, I see. Come in and have a seat.” It was not a request.

“Ah Judith.” He donned his most warming smile as he walked up to her desk, ignoring the proffered chair. “I just need a few minutes of your time to correct a misunderstanding.”

“I said sit,” Judge Brown snapped at the most powerful wizard in generations.

Surprised at the hostility, Albus took the lone seat in front her desk and shot her a questioning glance.

“You are here to reclaim magical guardianship of Harry Potter.” It was not a question.

“Yes, there seems to have been a mistake, and he was removed from my care.” Dumbledore said carefully, “I was his legal magical guardian and was informed that the responsibilities were transferred to another without me being consulted.”

“There is no mistake.” Judge Brown continued to glare at the old wizard. “Mr. Potter’s closest living relative exercised her right to choose the minor’s magical guardian.”

“That wouldn’t be in the best interests of anyone involved,” Dumbledore contended, leaning back in the chair to show he was still in control.

“Oh?” Judge Brown questioned, her glare never wavering. “Can you raise your wand and swear that you have Harry Potter’s best interests in mind and you are not trying to use him for political purposes?”

“That won’t be necessary.” Dumbledore said, “I am the magical guardian of a multitude of children, all of whom attend Hogwarts.”

“It’s a simple question,” Judge Brown said, undeterred. “Could you make such an oath on your magic?”

“With all of my varied responsibilities,” Dumbledore admitted, “I would find it impractical to make such an oath.”

“And, with that statement, you will never again be Harry Potter’s guardian,” Judge Brown informed him.

“That would be an ill-advised decision.”

“Also, don’t think I didn’t find that marriage contract between Mr. Potter and Miss Weasley, a contract that you had no authority to draft, even as his Wizengamot-appointed guardian.” The judge continued, “I’ve had it annulled and stricken from the records.”

“I see that I am going to have to bring this to the attention of the full Wizengamot,” Albus noted, inwardly cursing the loss of that important piece of his plans.

Judge Brown snorted her dismissal. “First and foremost, this is a family matter; the Wizengamot cannot and will not vote on a family’s internal affairs. Secondly, Mr. Potter’s magical guardian is a foreign national, making this matter outside the scope of the Wizengamot. You’re not going to be able to use politics to manipulate this situation to your liking.”

“I see,” Dumbledore said, starting to rise, realizing this judge was not going to align with his views. “Then I suppose we have nothing else to discuss at this time.”

“Sit!!” Judge Brown snarled, reaching into a desk drawer to throw a standard medical folder onto her desk before Dumbledore. “Explain this. Explain this now.”

The Princess concluded her visit and was soon on her sky chariot, headed back to Canterlot. She had given firm instructions to be notified of any updates on the human colt situation. She had also requested four chests similar to the one Rarity had received, though not of such high quality. In return, she left Rarity with a bank draft for a substantial number of bits, saying that it was for both a down payment on the new chests and for repairs to George.

“Well,” Rarity said, levitating George into her home, “it certainly has been an exhilarating morning.”

“All’s well that ends well,” Pinkie agreed, bouncing along side Rarity, “and you got a super-duper terrific wonderful present to show for it.”

“Ah got vomited up by a piece a luggage.” Applejack reminded everypony. “'Exhilarating' ain’t the word ah’d use to describe this here morning.”

“Yes . . .well . . .” Rarity started, trying to compose a proper reply.

She was saved by Rainbow Dash raising a hoof and saying, “Look, you got mail.”

“You're enjoying saying that, aren’t you?” Twilight commented as an owl flew through the still open front door, carrying a large envelope.

“Hello,” Rarity said, addressing the bird. “Welcome to the Carousel Boutique, where every garment is chic, unique, and magnifique.” A minute later, the bird left without the envelope, but with a new tasty biscuit in its place.

“Did Sweetie get the new instructions that quickly?” Twilight asked as Rarity opened the envelope.

“Let me see,” Rarity said, pulling out the first piece of parchment. “No, this is from Judge Brown; it says she’s sent the results from the medical checkup.”

“Medical checkup?” Rainbow Dash asked.

“For Harry Potter.” Rarity nodded her head, retrieving a cluster of papers from the envelope. “Apparently, since I am his new guardian, they are required by law to send me a copy.”

With that, she started reading. Before she had finished the first page, her eyes had narrowed to slits, and the tears were freely flowing. Soft sobs were escaping her throat by the time she finished that page. She was audibly grinding her teeth as she started on page two. Sobs openly filled the air as she continued, and her friends looked on, with worry evident on their faces. Half way through the second page she stopped and stuffed the papers back into the envelope.

“Rarity?” Pinkie asked, creeping forward to comfort her friend.

“If I remember correctly, Fluttershy said Discord would be stopping by for tea today,” Rarity said, blinking away tears. “If I hurry, I can catch him. I need for him to take me to have a word with the Dursleys.”

“Ah don’t rightly know that you’re in the right frame of mind to have words with anypony right now,” Applejack cautioned carefully.

“Not words, Apple, darling,” Rarity said heading for the door, her voice still carrying the traces of her sobbing, “word, just a single word.”

“What word is that?” Rainbow Dash asked following closely after her friend.

Rarity’s voice became colder and harder than a diamond. “Run.”

The wards and the shop bells announced another customer. Sighing to himself Garrick Ollivander left the half-finished aspen wand on his work table and wandered to the front of his shop.

A professor, a muggle, a squib, and a witch walked into the shop. Ollivander prepared a witty quip. Suddenly, he saw the revenant in their midst. The humor in the situation evaporated. Shakily, he stepped out of the shadows and addressed the anomaly. “You're dead.” he stated.

She looked back at him defiantly and said, “I got better.”

Dumbfounded, he continued to stare.

“Yeah,” she said with a smirk, “that’s not getting old anytime soon.”

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” Twilight asked as they trailed after Rarity, heading towards Fluttershy’s.

“Ah know what ya’ll mean,” Applejack said, glancing at the back of Rarity’s head. “The thought of her finding the Dursleys right now is a might frightening.”

“No,” Pinkie said shaking her head violently, “what’s scary is that there is no possible way we can avoid showing those papers to Princess Celestia.”

As soon as those words left her mouth, Twilight stumbled, Applejack stopped in her tracks, and Rainbow Dash plummeted from the air where she had been hovering. Rarity keep moving, her single-minded quest uninterrupted.

“Um, yeah,” Rainbow said, “and on a completely unrelated topic, I need to go make sure my life insurance premiums are paid up.”

“You have a life insurance policy?” Pinkie asked.

“No,” Rainbow clarified as she shook her head, “but how hard could it be to get one?”

“Ya’ll know,” Applejack said, “that would actually be funnier if’n it warn’t a good idea.”

Sirius Black sat on a hard, straight-backed chair. He hadn’t been this comfortable in years. Who would have thought that having something to sit on besides the floor was genuinely one of the things you came to long for after even a short stay in Azkaban?

They had seemed to have forgotten about him, something he was decidedly not going to complain about. The hours he had spent sitting alone in this room were heaven compared to the alternative. It wasn’t like he wasn’t used to being by himself.

The door to the room opened, and an older wizard walked in, smiling.

“Lord Black,” he said, “my name is Johnathan Taylor. I was your Grandfather’s lawyer. I was your father’s lawyer. Now, I am your lawyer.”

“I remember you.” Sirius said, staring at the wizard. “Were you the one who got me my trial?”

“To my shame,” Mr. Taylor said, shaking his head, “I had written you off. Another is responsible for your illegal imprisonment being brought to light.”

“What happens now?” Sirius asked. “Did they catch Peter? I need to catch Peter. I need to catch Peter for James and Lily.”

Mr. Taylor paused, as if cataloging what the other man had just said, then answered, “Now, we get you to St. Mungo's; you have been granted a reprieve until you stand trial, a two-and-a-half-year reprieve.”

Sirius nodded his head happily; it had been so long since he could do anything happily. “I can find Peter in two years. I can avenge James. I can avenge Lily. I have to protect Harry. I will protect Harry.”

Sighing, Johnathan Taylor could see that his client had yet to recover all his wits after his stay in Azkaban. Worse, it was entirely possible that he never would. On the bright side, everything the Lord had said validated what Miss Rutter had already claimed.

The defense class had turned out to be less painful than Harry had first feared. It had consisted of Mr. Goodman talking in front of the classroom. There was no spellwork discussed or even hinted at. After all, they had only had three days of classes: theory was the only thing within their skill range at the time.

“It is almost time for next period.” Mr. Goodman said, “Luckily, for you lot, History is up next.”

“Awwwww.” The entire class, minus Hermione, groaned.

“I vote we do double defense instead.” Scootaloo spoke up, “I doubt Professor Binns would know the difference.”

“Now, now,” Mr. Goodman said, savoring the fact that he knew something the children didn’t, “Professor Binns isn’t that bad.”

“I thought you said you went to school here,” Dean said in an accusing voice. “He is that bad, and resurrections have been banned.”

“Ah,” Mr. Goodman chuckled holding his sides, “so that was your objective.”

“Well,” Ginny huffed, “yeah.”

“That was actually a pretty creative plan,” Mr. Goodman admitted. “Your follow through needs some work, though.”

“So, you’ll let us resurrect Professor Binns?” Lavender asked eagerly.

“As tempting as that sounds,” Mr. Goodman smiled, “no. But as you may recall, there were two tutors introduced to you this morning.” He nodded toward the back of the class.

The students all turned around to find a woman was standing at the rear of the classroom quietly observing.

“Miss Weiss here has been hired as a tutor for Misses Bloom, Aloo and Belle.” Mr. Goodman continued, “The rest of you have a choice: you can stay here for your History lessons, or you can continue to attend Professor Binn’s lectures.”

“Are you serious?” Ron asked in Binn's monotone. “You can’t possibly think that’s an actual choice.”

“Discord, just the draconequus I was hoping to find.”

Looking up from his chatter with Fluttershy, Discord saw that Rarity had entered the cottage without knocking. The unicorn was headed directly toward him with an unusual look on her face.

Now, Discord hadn’t made it to a thousand plus years without developing certain instincts -- instincts that were yelling at him at the top of their non-corporeal and inaudible lungs. They weren’t stupid; there was no way they were going to put in a physical appearance. Comedic license could go stuff its head in a lake; they were staying where only Discord could hear them. So, they stayed immaterial and told Discord not to antagonize this mare. They told him to choose his words very carefully. They told him that upon choosing his words, he was to discard them and try again, because his first choice was likely to be very painful.

“Um? Hello?’ Discord said, ignoring his instincts and going with his first choice.

His instincts hollered at him, informing him he made the wrong choice, asserting that he should have chosen "Um? Bye!"

“Discord, I need you to take me to the Dursley household.”

Discord opened his mouth to say, "That wouldn’t be a good idea.", but his instincts managed to grab ahold of the words and stamp them out, before they could escape his mouth.

Instead, he said, “There is something you probably want to know first,” his gaze trapped on the sight of the predator before him.

“Do tell.” Rarity said levelly and without emotion.

“The Dursleys, they were under a lot of compulsion charms. As much as it pains me to say it, they are victims here, not the villains.”

“I see. Do you know who cast those charms?”

Discord blandly nodded his head.

“Then take me to her.” Rarity commanded.

“He’s a he,” Discord said before his instincts could catch the words.

“Won’t be when I’m done,” Rarity vowed.

Author's Note:

I'd like to take a moment and thank all my readers. I can't begin to tell you how happy I am that my first attempt at fanfiction has been received so well.
The last chapter saw my one hundredth thumbs up, my first 100k words and my first 1k views. When I started, I could not say that I expected to hit any of those marks. To be fair, I have had a lot of help from my editors and from the comments you all leave for me.
Once again, I want to thank you all for reading my efforts. The whole point of fanfiction is the chance to share your imagination with others. :twilightsmile:

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