• 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 24: News Networking and Neighing

The dying rays of the sun cast long shadows on the few ponies left in town hall. The business day had ended long ago. Mayor Mare herself had scarcely put the key in her office door when she sprang back to avoid the fireball that accompanied the crack of displaced air.

As she peeled herself out of the plaster on the freshly-repaired wall, the fireball resolved itself into a familiar firebird. Once her hooves were solidly on the floor, she scolded the bird. "Philomena! You should be ashamed of yourself! You know better than to go around scaring old gray mares!" She groaned as she mentally tallied the cost of redoing that repair yet again.

Philomena trilled at her lightly in response. She did not chuckle; Mayor Mare was adamant that phoenixes could not chuckle. It didn't matter what it looked like. It did not matter what it sounded like. Mayor Mare would swear on her honor that Philomena did not chuckle.

“What brings you here so late?” the mayor asked, dusting off a fetlock with one hoof.

Philomena held out a claw and offered the mayor a scroll.

“So,” the mayor said, accepting the scroll, “they still have you pulling mail duty?”

Philomena trilled happily.

“Let’s see what you brought me.” The mayor took the scroll in her mouth and placed it on a nearby table. Taking an end of the ribbon in her teeth, she opened the scroll and then began perusing the first few lines. “The Crusaders want to update their herd agreement?”

As she continued reading, she stepped back. Her eyeballs nearly pushed off her glasses, and her lower jaw made a plucky attempt to meet with the ground even though the mayor was standing.

Alone in the stark room, Rarity fidgeted in her chair, like a school filly about to be scolded by her teacher. She daintily kept her hands in her lap as she looked over the back of the empty chair on the opposite side of the table. The doorknob had not moved one iota since she started keeping watch. Her fury had waned and reduced itself to a low simmer. Maybe she had gone too far. Attacking a high government official inside a government building couldn’t possibly endear her to the locals. Now she sat, waiting to face the music.

Then again, maybe she hadn’t gone far enough. After all, she had missed her opportunity to separate the old stallion from his two best friends. Now, the old stallion would doubtlessly turn tail and run at the sight of her. That was a true pity because now he would never understand just how livid she was at him.

The door to the room opened and a lone human stallion entered. “Mrs. Belle?” he said, running his hand through his red mane and stopping just inside the chamber. “May I please come in?”

Continuing to be impressed by the politeness of her captors, Rarity nodded her head to indicate the empty chair on the opposite side of the lone table. “By all means.” She said apprehensively, “After all, I am your detainee.”

“You misunderstand,” the stallion said, taking the proffered seat. “I am not an auror, nor am I here in my capacity as head of department. My name is Arthur Weasley; Sweetie Belle has appointed me as her proxy. Since I accepted, that makes our families allies.”

“Allies you say?” Rarity gave a weak smile. “That is refreshing to hear. Although, I do wish we could have met under better circumstances.”

“Yes,” Arthur said nodding, “this situation does present a sticky wicket. You see, my family has been a staunch supporter of Dumbledore and his policies. Your actions today are at odds with what we would normally condone.”

“I see,” Rarity said, some of the friendliness going out of her voice. “You wish to defend Dumbledore’s actions?”

“No,” he said placing his hands on the table and folding them, “I don’t know what actions I’d be defending. On top of that, Minerva stormed in here looking for Dumbledore soon after your altercation.” Arthur paused to select his next words. “Even though she has always supported Dumbledore in the past, she seemed bent on doing something similar to what you had already accomplished.” He paused again then added, “I thought it best that I gave a full disclosure of my position before you found out another way. I don’t want you thinking I was deliberately misleading you.”

“Thank you,” Rarity said as warmth returned to her words. “Your sincerity is appreciated.”

“I don’t want to make you angry,” Arthur admitted.

Rarity gave a reassuring smile to show that she was harmless.

“Madam Bones has gone on record to state that you had ample reason to challenge Dumbledore to a duel.” Arthur proceeded, “Furthermore, she insists that you would not know the legitimate process to accomplish this.” Arthur looked her directly in the eyes. “If you had not ambushed Dumbledore in his office and had instead called for a formal duel, the aurors would not have interfered.”

“Honestly?” Rarity perked up at the news. “Isn’t that a bit . . . uncouth?”

“Perhaps,” Arthur agreed. “Dueling is highly discouraged, but it remains a legal option.”

“May I ask what happens now?”

“Now I give you this,” Arthur said, removing Rarity’s wand from his coat pocket and rolling it across the desk to her. “Then, as an ally, I politely ask you to leave British soil and not return anytime soon.”

“So, I’m being banished?”

“Not so much banished,” Arthur shook his head, “as being encouraged not to put in an appearance for a couple months. Maybe as much as a year.”

“That seems rather merciful.” Rarity was flabbergasted at the turn of events. “I was sure I’d be in more trouble.”

“Dumbledore attempted to use his position to meddle in private family affairs, even after you formally approached our government, asking for the sanctity of family matters to be observed.” Arthur informed her, “Your mistake was ambushing him without filing a blood feud first. As it is, the Ministry is hoping you don’t file a complaint with the ICW; they are even more unbending with family sanctity than we are.”

“I see,” Rarity said. “They want to sweep this under the rug, so to speak.”

“Basically,” Arthur confessed, “yes.”

Rarity gave a winning smile. "Thank you for your advice, and your candor, Mr. Weasley. I must warn you, however, I am a guardian, and I take that responsibility seriously.

Applejack stuck her head in the farmhouse and called out, “Granny! Ah’m ‘fraid Ah’m not going to be a’ staying for dinner. Something's come up an' ah need to get mah flank back over ta Twilight’s.”

“All righty,” Granny Smith replied from the kitchen, “you git along and take care of business then. Thar will be leftovers in the icebox when you amble back.”

“Thank you kindly,” Applejack said.

“’Fore you go: Big Mac has a new owl, one y'all will be seeing hanging about.” Granny warned, “The owl seems a right friendly sort, but the bag he wears is a mite grabby.”

“Ah’ll keep that in mind.” Applejack shuddered. “Ah’ve already been vomited up by one piece o’ luggage today.”

“’Fore this afternoon, Ah’d have been inclined to ask you to explain that thar statement.”

The Gryffindor herd was having a nice, lazy supper when the owls came, delivering a special evening edition of the "Daily Prophet". After receiving his, Percy took one look at the headline and said, “Sweetie!”

Sweetie Belle dropped the turkey leg she had been gnawing on and said, “Yeah, yeah. I know. Just pass it down please. I really need to get my own subscription.”

Harry silently put down his pumpkin juice, and Hermione scampered behind Sweetie to read over her shoulder. “Black Freed from Azkaban and Belles Do the Impossible,” she read aloud for everyone to hear and shot Sweetie a questioning look.

“No,” Sweetie said, “I didn’t free anyone from an Azkaban. I don’t even know what an Azkaban is.”

“It’s the wizard prison,” Percy said, coming to stand next to Hermione. “Black was the man who betrayed Harry’s parents to You-Know-Who.”

“What?” Harry gave Percy his full and undivided attention.

“Didn’t you know?” Percy asked. “He was the Dark Lord’s second in command. He told the Dark Lord where to find your parents. Then, if that weren't enough, he was in the process of hunting down another of his childhood friends when the aurors finally caught up with him -- unfortunately, not before he murdered a street full of muggles. I can’t think of any good reason that the Ministry would free him; he must have escaped, and that’s very bad news.”

“Hurry up and read the story!” Harry said with a hint of anger coloring his voice.

Hermione complied and started reading, “'Editor's Note: Today we discovered that our fundamental truths are wrong. The shocks have been both numerous and overwhelming. In the end, we could not decide on a single lead story. Instead, we shall start with a brief summary of all the news in our lead story, with references to the story in depth for each item. In brief, Sirius Black had been released on his own recognizance due to the Ministry's violation of its own laws' . . ." Hermione looked up and turned to Percy. "It looks like he didn't escape after all."

“This is horrid news.” Percy rubbed his chin thoughtfully. “Maybe Harry can use that old rite to claim retribution and get him thrown back into Azkaban.”

“That might be worth looking into,” Parvati agreed. “We should see about getting a lawyer for Harry.”

“Is there any more about him?” Harry asked, gritting his teeth and fighting back tears.

‘Just a sec,” Hermione said flipping through pages. “Here we go. New Wizengamot member Alice Rutter proclaims Black's innocence, proves Ministry has violated his rights for a decade. Yadda yadda, yadda yadda . . . Black's lawyer says Black is obsessed with ensuring Harry Potter's welfare? He accuses Peter Pettigrew of the betrayal of Harry's parents. Wait a minute! A 100,000 galleon reward for the capture and conviction of Peter Pettigrew for aiding and abetting the murders of James and Lily Potter?!"

“That doesn’t sound like a follower of You-Know-Who,” Lavender said. “And I thought Peter was dead.”

“A hundred thousand galleons!” Ron gasped. “You’d be set for life with that, you would.”

“I don’t care about the money!” Harry all but shouted, “Someone has to be lying! I just want to know who killed my parents!”

Scootaloo came over and wrapped her arms around Harry in a heartfelt hug. “We’ll help you find justice, no matter what,” she whispered.

“The Gryffindor herd stands with you,” Neville vowed, and his statement met a round of agreement from the rest of the first-years.

“Just to be certain,” Dean spoke up, “do any of the other stories have anything to do with Harry’s parents?”

Hermione quickly skimmed the editor's note. “No, it’s just about our resurrection attempts.” Then, her voice took on an appalled tone. “And someone named Rarity Belle beat our headmaster to a pulp in an illegal duel and duffed up six aurors when they tried to break it up.”

Walking into the Ministry's atrium, Arthur Weasley saw the two women he wanted to talk to standing next the center statue, conversing with each other.

“She was more than willing to do as we asked," Arthur said as he walked up to Amelia Bones and Judge Brown. “She seems remorseful that she’s caused us difficulties.”

“That’s good to hear.” Amelia said, “We’ve avoided some very serious complications that we cannot afford right now.”

“It’s also good to hear that she’s sorry for attacking Dumbledore,” Judge Brown said. “Not having to worry about her finishing what she started is a relief.”

“Oh no,” Arthur said with a shake of his head. “She apologized for causing a scene and taking down the aurors. I’m pretty sure she wants another go at Dumbledore.”

“Tell me again how Mr. Discord is the one we have to worry about," Amelia said to Judge Brown.

A flash of light heralded the newest additions to the occupants of the library.

A pink blur screamed. “Rarity!”

“Oooooof!” Wham! Thump! Thump! Thump!

The bits of purple and white peeking out from under the blanket of pink spoke in a strained voice. “Pinkie, darling, I am glad to see you as well . . . could you, please, get off me now?”

“Discord, welcome back.” Fluttershy bashfully walked up to her friend. “Thank you for helping Rarity. I hope things didn’t get too hectic. Did Rarity manage to civilly chastise the stallion she was mad at?"

Rainbow Dash looked down at the draconequus rolling on the floor laughing. “Yeah,” she said, deadpan, “that’s not a good sign.”

“Time to fly! Time to fly!”

"Scoots,” Lavender snapped, “Change it up a bit.”

"Time to fly! Kiss the sky! Thread the needle through the eye!"

“Ah hope Madam Hooch doesn’t mind that we’re bringing ‘borrowed’ brooms instead of using the schools'.” Apple Bloom watched Scootaloo bounce around the herd, gleefully waving her own broom as they walked down the halls.

“See the box? Mind the walls! Stay inside or take the fall.”

“Do you think she’ll mind the rest of us tagging along?” Harry asked, hefting one of the twins' brooms. “We did get flying time second period after all.”

“Point to point, wing to wing, roll like clockwork with a spring.”

“I can’t believe Hermione decided to go to the library instead,” Dean said.

“See the rain cloud way up high? Squeeze until you make it cry.”

“I can’t believe the Weasley brothers had eight Nimbus 2000’s just waiting around in their trunks,” Parvati said. “That’s almost enough for each of us to ride one.”

“Find a thunderhead and churn. Unleash the lightning; feel the burn.”

“We can take turns,” Sweetie said her hands empty as she had handed Seamus her own broom. “Later, we can owl order more brooms, and all of us will have one next time.”

“Higher in the sky you sail. Drop the hammer; hit the nail.”

“I don’t think the Weasley’s have that much room left in their trunks,” Harry noted.

“Climb up high until you stop. Mind your tail when you drop.”

“So, we’ll get them new trunks first.” Apple Bloom shrugged dismissively.

“Around and 'round and 'round you whirl. Make a tube and shoot the curl.”

“The fact that you say that so casually is slightly troubling,” Parvati said. “I think you might be missing a true appreciation for the value of a galleon.”

“Loop and loop and loop and tuck. Show the cloverleaf for luck. Spin like a maple seed on down. Float like a thistle seed to ground." Scootloo kept bouncing.

“That’s better.” Neville smiled gratefully as her chant ended.

“Hold that thought,” Twilight said. heading for the front door. “Just let me see who it is. I don’t want to miss any of this story.”

“Take your time,” Rarity said smiling at a protective and blushing Spike; he had been lavishing her with attention ever since she got back. “We’ve just gotten Pinkie calmed down enough to listen. A few more minutes to compose ourselves would not go unappreciated.”

“But,” Pinkie protested, “I was so worried about you!”

“Oh! Princess Celestia! Princess Luna!” Twilight said, surprised at whom she found on the other side of her door. “I wasn’t expecting you. Won’t you come in?”

“Hello Twilight, my faithful student.” The distinct, motherly voice of Celestia wafted into the main room as the mare herself soon followed. “I was hoping to find Discord here. I would like him to take us to have a few words with somepony.”

“I’m sorry,” Fluttershy said. “You just missed him. He said something about needing to have a conversation with a new friend.”

“Discord is continuing to make new friends?” Celestia said with a knowing smile on her face. “That is most pleasing news.”

“He was also singing some weird song about playing a silver ball,” Applejack noted, “an’ a deaf dumb blind kid. Maybe that thar 'Tommy' is the new friend he was talking about.”

“You can never tell with him,” Celestia said, “but his efforts to make friends on his own is a step in the right direction.”

“Princess Celestia?”

“Yes Pinkie?” Celestia answered patiently.

“Why are you and Princess Luna wearing full barding and your greatswords?”

“I see you’re all ready to go,” Madam Hooch said as she entered the courtyard full of students, “and you brought your own brooms?”

“We borrowed them from the Weasley brothers,” Sweetie offered helpfully as she selected one of the school brooms for her ride, while Magah once again began cropping up grass.

Madam Hooch openly laughed at the student, “Girl! Don’t think you lot are the first to use that particular loophole. No upper-year is going to let a bunch of first years borrow a Nimbus, let alone eight, without something happening in the background.”

“You’re not angry?” Parvati asked also selecting a school broom.

“As long as you keep passing grades, I’ll not raise a fuss,” the flying instructor said. “If I hear tell of just one of you slacking, I’ll confiscate the lot of them, no matter who says they own them.”

As one, the group turned to look at Ron, who gulped audibly.

“Consider it an incentive, boy,” Madam Hooch said, noting the looks.

Ron quickly nodded his acceptance.

“And you, girl,” Madam Hooch focused her attention on Apple Bloom, “a school broom might be a good idea for you; that one you are holding is more of a handful than you’re ready for.”

“Me an’ this broom have an understanding,” Apple Bloom said with a small shake of her head.

“Oh?” Madam Hooch asked.

“Yeah; it don’t buck me an’ I don’t turn it into kindling.”

Madam Hooch chuckled and said, “We’ll see. Okay now, all of you mount your brooms like I showed you earlier.”

“Waaahoooo!” There was a distinct red shift as the voice faded into the background.

“That wasn’t permission to lift off!” Madam Hooch shouted at the receding black and purple blur.

“Save your breath,” Ginny advised. “Once she’s in the air, she’s in a world of her own.”

“How long has she been flying like that?” Madam Hooch watched as Scootaloo began her aerial ballet.

“What day is it?” Sweetie asked.

“Tuesday,” Madam Hooch said.

“Then it’s been a week.” Ron shrugged. “She’s a natural.”

“I hope you’re not expecting us to do that,” Lavender said in awe.

“No, no.” Madam Hooch shook her head. “She’s already pulled three impossible moves -- literally impossible. What she’s doing is beyond me. What she’s doing is beyond professional quidditch level. What she's doing is beyond any witch or wizard, ever.”

“I can just sit and watch her for hours,” Ron admitted.

The class's eyes followed Scootaloo’s antics as she continued to waltz across the sky.

“Yeah,” Dean agreed, “you could sell tickets for this.”

After watching for a couple minutes more, Madam Hooch said, “Okay, the rest of you, mount your brooms; let’s give this another try.”

“You seem to have had a very busy day,” Princess Celestia said looking at Rarity, “first your new trunk, then a foray into the heart of an alien government.”

“Truly a notable occasion,” Luna added. “In one afternoon, thou hast managed to assault one of their head officials -- spectacularly, in the center of their very seat of power. Then, thou didst in due course lay waste to several of their peace keepers.”

“Then,” Princess Celestia continued, “instead of punishment, you received a polite request to leave their country and to not come back until you could behave properly.”

“A request motivated by their desire not to incite an international incident,” Luna noted.

“I must say,” Celestia stated, “I find that we are greatly disappointed.”

“Indeed!” Luna agreed. “Did thou not think we would wish to accompany thou? Now, we need wait for the scoundrel to mend before we may have a significant conversation.”

“Yes,” Celestia said, “it would appear that we got all dressed up for nothing.”

Professor McGonagall was waiting for the first-years when they reentered the castle. “I do hope you behaved for Madam Hooch,” she said passing a stern gaze over the collection of students, “I hear your earlier attempts left much room for improvement.”

The children nodded their heads and Ginny said, “Apple Bloom managed to stay upright the entire time.”

“Ah’m getting better,” Apple Bloom agreed. “It jus’ took some practice.”

“Very good.” Professor McGonagall allowed a thin smile to pass her lips. “Now, if you all would follow me, you have garnered the attention of the Ministry and they have sent some representatives to ask you some questions and, maybe, witness a demonstration.”

“A demonstration?” Harry asked, shrinking behind Magah.

“Yes,” Professor McGonagall said, “Miss Granger is already with them and has gathered the needed materials. They would request that you repeat your performance with Miss Warren. I assume you will be needing your phoenix, but I don’t see her.”

“I had her deliver a quick message to Rarity,” Sweetie said. “I almost forgot about it, but she should be back soon.”

“Well,” Rainbow Dash said as Princess Celestia nuzzled her pet in greeting, “what does it say?”

“Let’s see,” Rarity said unfurling the scroll. “'Dear Rarity, You are having way too much fun with that trunk.'”

“Y’all need to work with her on her definition of fun,” Applejack insisted.

“I’m glad the twins showed up to take the brooms,” Seamus said as they entered an unused classroom to find Hermione and three others waiting. “Saves us from lugging them around.”

“I think they wanted to grill us over our flying lessons,” Sweetie said noticing that Hermione was accompanied by two wizards and a witch.

“Children,” Professor McGonagall said, ushering the rest of the students and unicorn into the room then closing the door behind herself, “this is Mr. Croaker. He has some questions for you.”

One of the wizards stepped forward and said, “I am so glad to see you all tonight. You’ve performed a remarkable feat of magic that has the potential of helping many individuals. We’d like to record the details for the betterment of all of wizarding kind.”

Parvati shuffled her feet, “Shouldn’t we wait for Philomena to get back first? She danced around the ritual circle the first two times; it may be important.”

“That’s not really part of the instructions,” Hermione objected as she gave the chalked circle in the middle of the room one more inspection.

“She’s a phoenix,” Parvati said.

“It really wasn’t dancing,” Dean noted, “It was more like hopping and bobbing her head.”

“She’s a phoenix.” Parvati repeated.

“How important could it possibly be?” Ron asked.

“Hello!” Parvati said. “Phoenix acting oddly right before bringing the dead back to life?! I hope I’m not the only one here that thinks that it might be important.”

“You're right,” Hermione conceded. “We should wait for Philomena.”

“Try to do everything exactly how you did it before,” Mr. Croaker encouraged as he studied the setup Hermione had arranged. “With rituals, little details matter.”

“Don’t forget the doll,” Dean said nodding.

“What?” Scootaloo asked. "We didn’t have a doll last time."

“Never mind.” Dean shook his head.

Magah stood next to a wall, watching the proceedings and nervously tapping her forehooves as she drank in all the details.

“Any idea how long until your phoenix returns?” the unnamed witch asked taking notes as she watched.

There was a flash of flames and the bird in question appeared.

“Em-peek-able timing.” Scootaloo grinned widely.

“Impeccable.” Sweetie Belle and Hermione automatically corrected.

“That’s what she said,” chimed Harry, Neville, Dean, Lavender and Ginny before Scootaloo opened her mouth.

Philomena took one look at the circle on the floor, trilled and landed next to it. She then proceeded to hop around it, bobbing her head the entire time.

“See?” Parvati pointed, “Tell me that’s not important.”

“Needing a phoenix does significantly limit the availability of this ritual,” Mr. Croaker said frowning and the witch taking notes scribbled on her scroll furiously.

“Where’s the victim?” Dean asked, looking around for a ghost.

“I am right here,” a woman said, floating through the back wall of the classroom. “I was just waiting my summons.”

“Thank you for participating, Helena.” Professor McGonagall inclined her head at the ghost.

“This is too great of an opportunity to pass up.” The ghost smiled in return. “It is worth the risk.”

Suddenly, Magah whinnied loudly, staring at the newly appeared ghost. After screaming, the unicorn rushed over to the closed door and turned. The door was thoroughly bucked, twice. It flew off its hinges. The equine then escaped through the opening.

“My unicorn isn’t that great,” Seamus said, “but that was obviously ‘Ah hell no!’”

“Language, Mr. Finnigan,” Professor McGonagall admonished.

“Sorry,” Seamus said.

Magah trotted back into the room, grabbed Sweetie Belle by the collar of her robe and exited once again, dragging the girl with her.

“Hey!” Sweetie yelled as she was forced to exit.

“Um,” Neville said, “I didn’t see that coming.”

Magah trotted back into the room, grabbed Hermione by her robe’s collar then left the room once more.

“I don’t think she likes this ritual,” Harry observed.

Magah trotted back into the room and left again.

“Hey! That thar bow is connected to mah mane!”

“That looked painful,” Parvati observed.

Magah trotted back in and out again.

“Ow! Ow!” Ginny complained, “I’m coming. I’m coming. Don’t pull.”

“Yup,” Parvati said, heading for the door on her own, “we have an established pattern.”

Magah trotted back in and grabbed Neville.

The rest of the children followed her out, not wanting to be dragged.

The remaining wizard who had yet to say anything opened his mouth and said, “Never in my life have I ever thought I’d say this, but it looks like the resurrection is called on account of unicorn.”

Author's Note:

I feel like a jerk adding this so late. When I originally posted this chapter I had written an author's note, but I guess I didn't hit save when I was done.

I need to give credit where credit is due. Scootaloo's chant was the brain child of my editor rich-online. I owe him a shout out for that effort. I thought I already had. It wasn't until I was rereading this chapter, as reference, that I realized my previous author's note hadn't made it.

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