• 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 29: Movie Night

Emma Granger surveyed the group of apprehensive children in front of her. Finding her daughter in the mall with a group of friends had been a surprise. After all, the school that she was attending was a considerable distance away. If she hadn’t been visited by the school’s deputy headmistress on a moment’s whim, Emma would have been surprised at the sheer mobility of the magical community. The kids probably used the floo network she had read about. Of course, the school must know where they were. There was no way that a group of students, just a little over a week in, could figure a way to sneak off campus and travel halfway across the isles. It was, though, alarming to see them out and about without supervision.

The awkwardness of the moment was underscored by the din of the shoppers as they flowed past the group like a river around a boulder. Nervously, Hermione introduced the herd. Emma raised an eyebrow as Hermione named the foreigners in the group. Their wild hair colors spoke of iconoclastic beliefs.

“So, did you have any particular movie in mind?” Emma asked, trying to break the ice and establish rapport with the children.

“And where is your supervision?” Emma winced as her husband Dan cut straight to the heart of the matter.

“Supervision?” the vibrant redhead that Hermione had introduced as "Apple" said, “Sweetie, go get the twins.”

“Twins?” the child with the two-toned lavender and pink hair echoed. “Yeah, just a sec.” She did a quick scan of the surroundings before hurrying off in a random direction, followed by one of the boys, the one with red hair.

Dan watched them go, clearly fighting the urge to tag along.

“So?” Emma prompted again, “Movie?”

“We were just going to see what’s playing,” the boy introduced as "Seamus" answered. “No plans, really.”

Moving at just short of a sprint, Sweetie skidded into the family restroom.

“Anyone in here?” she called out even as Ron closed the door behind them. Hearing no reply, she called, “Philomena!”

Flames filled her vision and coalesced into an avian form. Sweetie Belle addressed the bird. “Philomena, please go grab the twins and bring them right here. We need them.”

Philomena tilted her head questioningly before trilling and vanishing once more. Soon, there was another flash of flames, and a pair of redheads was staring around the bathroom in alarm.

“What?” one of them started.

“Thanks for the help Philomena,” Sweetie interjected. “We’ll see you later. You two, hurry! Put your robes in this bag. Hermione says not to wear them around here.”

“What?” the other twin asked, complying with the demand.

“Hurry up,” Ron said. “I hear someone coming.”

The thorn bush provided cover, a hiding place, an obstacle between him and death. He was very glad for the barrier it presented. Even so, he was sure the predator was aware of his presence; surely, the scent of his terror had tipped it off. Luckily, it didn’t seem to be hungry. Not wanting any kind of confrontation, he froze and quietly watched the horror prowl through the clearing.

The funny thing was, he was reasonably sure that manticores were supposed to be extinct.

In Snape’s private workroom, a crystalline mass sat on his central workstation. Snape closely watched the oddity slowly shift through a spectrum of rainbow colors. He honestly did not know what to make of it. Every diagnostic spell he had attempted had failed miserably. As far as his magic was concerned, the object didn’t exist. Yet here it was, sitting on his workbench.

When his first-year students had submitted their potion attempt that morning, he had been unable to think of any technique that could have produced such a result. Not wanting to take chances, he had attempted to vanish the debris. The material did not so much resist the endeavor so much as it just ignored it. Next, he tried levitating it into a secure box, only for it to stay firmly situated on his desk. In the end, Snape had been forced to use a pair of tongs and some dragon hide gloves to move it.

Immediately after his last class, Snape had begun a fruitless series of attempts to dispose of the material. Every spell cast had simply dispersed upon contact. He even attempted the killing curse. That, at the very least, should have chipped it. Instead, there was absolutely no effect. The object just sat there and changed its color every few seconds.

Next, he had tried a barrage of potions and solutions. He might as well have been pouring water on it for all the good it did. Even Everfield’s Extreme Obliterating Elixir failed to elicit any reaction, except for the brand-new hole on his workbench.

“Got them!” Emma heard the girl, "Sweetie", call out as she rejoined the group. She had left with one redheaded boy and returned with three. The two newcomers were obviously older, and, unless she missed her guess, brothers of the first. From their wide eyes, it was likely they were expecting to be brought to task for leaving their charges unattended.

“Hello,” Emma said giving the older boys a pointed glare. “How nice of you to join us.”

“Hello,” they chorused in one voice, their eyes darting every which way as if looking for an escape route. Emma suspected that her own daughter had done more to supervise her classmates than these two. If she were honest with herself, she’d admit that Hermione was more than up to the task. Still, it was good to see that there were a couple of older students nearby.

Emma’s husband, Dan chuckled openly as he watched one of the twins nudge the other and nod toward a group of girls walking by. Well, that explained why they had wandered off earlier; hormones were a harsh mistress. They wouldn’t be the first group of teenagers more interested in watching members of the opposite sex when the alternative was watching their younger siblings.

“Now that we are all here,” Dan said, “shall we pick a movie?”

“What horror movies are playing?” one of the boys asked.

“Dean,” Hermione admonished, “I hardly think a horror film would be the best choice. Remember, this will be the first movie some of us have ever seen.”

“Hermione,” Dean countered, “we literally have living ghosts floating all over the place. Horror films are more like comedic satire than anything else.”

Emma winced at the reminder. “Why don’t we wander over and see what’s playing before we make any decisions?”

Dramatically, Dan clapped his hands on the shoulders of the twins, who were in the process of drifting after the group of girls they had spotted earlier. “Yes, let’s all stick together this time.”

“Yes, sir,” one twin piped up.

“Wouldn’t want you thinking we were irresponsible or anything,” the other finished for him, without taking his eyes off the girls. Emma had to stifle a giggle.

“No, we wouldn’t want that now,” a man in a dapper brown suit and standing just two feet to Emma’s left said. “You two are doing a remarkable job, keeping these children out of trouble.”

Emma startled at the man’s sudden appearance, even as she heard the foreigners call out, “Discord!” He was wearing gloves and wingtip shoes, each sporting a different color. His fashion choices clearly identified him as a wizard. With that realization, Emma lost all her concerns over her daughter’s presence in the mall. Obviously, the adults knew where she was.

“I apologize for interrupting your outing,” the wizard said, “but decisions regarding Harry’s future are underway and we realized we haven’t gotten his input. It is a matter in which he deserves a say.”

“My future?” the boy with messy black hair asked.

“Yes,” Discord said, and Emma realized his eyes were mismatched. “Certain parties are trying to make it so you have to return to your aunt’s care.”

Emma certainly did not miss the boy’s response to that news. The child flinched violently and shrunk in on himself. The look of dread he wore could not have been faked. Dan saw the reaction as well and reached out to place a comforting hand on the boy’s shoulder only to pull back when the boy cringed away from the near contact. Surprisingly, several of the girls in the group noticed as well. Hermione was not alone in having a scowl cross her lips as the other children closed ranks around Harry.

Emma raised her gaze to the wizard called "Discord" and shot him a question with her eyes. His response was a subtle shake of his head. His lips thinned to a small frown before he forced another smile.

“So, Harry, would you mind coming with me?” Discord asked in a cheerful voice, which belied the expression Emma had just seen him display.

Harry hesitated. Without warning, was hugged on one side by Sweetie and the other by Parvati. Meanwhile, the smaller redheaded girl looked on jealously.

“Go with him,” Sweetie said encouragingly. “He can help.”

“Yes, sir.” With sudden determination, Harry firmly stepped forward and said, “I’d like that very much.”

“Very good my boy.” Discord smiled and Emma noted that he kept his hands closely at his sides, not making any threating gestures.

Professor Snape swept into the Great Hall with his usual flair. A quick glance showed that the attendance at his house’s table was still sparse, but that would change come Monday. On Monday, the task of reintegrating grieving children back into the school’s culture would begin.

Curiously, the Gryffindor table also had a noticeable decrease in participation. Meanwhile, it looked like the headmaster had finally decided it was time to put in an appearance as well.

Sitting at the head table, he opened with a casual statement. “It would appear that we are missing the entire Gryffindor first-year class.”

Professor Sprout shrugged as she took a sip. “It’s not like they don’t have fifteen kitchens available and are aware that they can order groceries via owl,” she said into her goblet. “I won’t be surprised when the entire house decides not to turn up for a meal now and again.”

Dumbledore glanced at the Gryffindor table then at his deputy headmistress and said nothing.

Suddenly, the bass thump of an explosion echoed throughout the castle. It wasn’t as if the walls themselves shook, but it was very audible. It effectively ended all conversation as everyone strained to listen.

As one the professors turned to the headmaster. It was he who held the wards and would most likely be able to offer some insight.

“Severus’ lab,” was all the old wizard said as he leapt from his seat and headed out of the Great Hall.

With a snap of the man’s fingers and a flash of light, they were somewhere else. For a brief instant, Harry had second thoughts about following Discord out of the mall.

Harry had been exposed to a lot in the last week. The magic castle, a phoenix, a unicorn, heck even the talking portraits were becoming mundane. All of that did not prepare him for his current locale. Wherever he was seemed to laugh in the face of all the laws of physics. There wasn’t really just one thing that made the experience noteworthy. The stairway leading nowhere was just silly. The goldfish swimming through the air, on their way to do whatever, were just cute. However, Harry was certain that shrubs shouldn’t be sprouting cupcakes, let alone be growing indoors. The less said about the bubbling wallpaper, the better. Wallcoverings should not emit little paper balls that floated away.

“Welcome to my home,” Discord said with a sweep of his arm, and Harry saw that there were people waiting for them. They were sitting around a table situated on the ceiling. No, wait, Harry was on the ceiling, they were on the floor!

A weak force compelled him to join the others. Hello gravity!

Alice wound her way through the empty halls of the Ministry. She had come expecting nothing but a skeleton crew. Much to her pleasant surprise, the wizard in the records department had told her that all inquiries into Harry Potter were being handled by Judge Brown, and he had just received a memo from her requesting certain records. The judge should still be in her office, even at this hour.

With a little luck, Discord would be showing up later this evening, but Alice felt it prudent to do her homework first, thus, her trip to the Ministry. It wasn’t like she didn’t now have a small office here anyway; that was one of the perks of being a Wizengamot member. With a confident stride, she marched up to the judge’s door and resolutely knocked. There were a few seconds pause before the door swung open soundlessly, and Alice saw the judge sitting behind her desk with her wand in hand.

“May I help you?” the judge inquired with a questioning look, surprised to have a visitor so late in the day.

“I’m sorry to bother you so late,” Alice said respectfully. “I was told to come to you with any questions regarding Harry Potter.”

Judge Brown narrowed her eyes and motioned toward her visitor’s chairs. “Come in,” she ordered. A swish of the judge’s wand removed Alice’s route of retreat as soon as the young woman crossed the threshold.

“What is your interest in Harry Potter?" Judge Brown demanded as soon as Alice sat down.

Alice resembled a deer caught in headlights at the abruptness of the inquisition.

“Um, I might be responsible for him?” Alice said; it was decidedly a question.

“How did you come to that conclusion?”

Alice sat as straight as she could and place her hands in her lap. “Dumbledore stopped by earlier and was strongly requesting that I sign over all guardianship to him since Lord Black is supposed to be his godfather and is in no condition to make decisions regarding a child. He said as acting head of house, I was entitled to do that.”

“Oh, he did, now did he?” the older woman locked Alice in a menacing glower. “Please tell me you did no such thing.”

“No ma’am, no your honor.” Alice fumbled her words.

“I see.” Judge Brown examined the woman sitting before her. “Are you here to play politics or do you care about the best interests of the child?”

“The best interests of the child,” Alice promptly said.

Judge Brown sighed. “Your answer would be the same either way,” she noted.

Alice obediently nodded her head.

The judge stared at Alice’s rigid form for a few more second’s before saying, “You can relax; I’m not going to hex you.”

Alice let out a relieved sigh, but did not lose her proper posture. “Thank you.”

“Dumbledore having guardianship would not be in the boy’s best interest,” Judge Brown said, opening a drawer on her desk. “His previous actions in that regard have been nothing short of atrocious. If it were not for the actions of Mr. Discord, I fear Mr. Potter would have slipped through the cracks.” She produced a packet of papers. “This contract with the Belle family is how he managed to rescue the boy from his previous circumstances.

Alice accepted the offered paperwork and ran her eyes over it. “It’s a marriage contract?”

“Yes,” replied the judge as she nodded, “written in such a way as to leave both parties ample opportunity to negate the eventual nuptials while providing Mrs. Belle all the authority she will need to keep the child safe.”

“I could mess this up if I sign the wrong thing?” Alice asked, still reading.

“You could make the situation problematic,” the judge agreed. “However, Mrs. Belle has made a magical oath stating that she has Potter’s best interests at heart, and Dumbledore refused to make a similar commitment. It would be messy, but I could override a lot on those premises alone.”

“Is this the best option for Harry, or are there other options I should consider?”

Judge Brown smiled at the woman still reading the contract. “I’ve met Mrs. Belle and witnessed her oath. On top of that, her display against Dumbledore earlier this week exemplifies her commitment to the minor’s welfare. Harry is in good hands with her.”

“What exactly did Dumbledore do?” Alice asked, finally lifting her eyes from the paperwork.

“I’m not at liberty to say,” Judge Brown informed her. “Your status in regards to the minor is iffy at best. There is much I cannot share with you at this point in time.”

“Fair enough,” Alice said reaching for a quill sitting on the judge’s desk.

“And what exactly are you planning to do?” the judge asked, observing her actions.

“I’m signing and dating this so Dumbledore can’t trick Lord Black into helping him in the future,” Alice said.

Somewhere deep in the Ministry, the Department of Mysteries was housed. The extraordinary level of secrecy about its work inspired the nickname for its members -- the Unspeakables. They lived the hackneyed saying, "Those who know do not say."

In one of those offices, well-hidden from the public eye, Saul Croaker sat behind his desk. A permanent charm kept the stench of too many hours without relief at bay. His scowl deepened as he scrutinized the latest reports that his department had produced. It had been an incredibly busy week for the Unspeakables, and these reports indicated that there was no relief in sight.

Under any other circumstance, the precipitous and complete reworking of the Wizengamot would have been their main concern. The fact that it was third on their list of priorities spoke volumes to just how hectic the week had been.

The second most important item led to a dead end. While a reliable means to resurrect ghosts would have proven invaluable, needing both a unicorn and a phoenix to complete the ritual had proven problematic, especially since the unicorn had resolutely refused to participate anymore. Worse, who knew when the next individual with the trust of both a unicorn and a phoenix would emerge? If he had been asked just two weeks ago, Croaker would have insisted that the personalities that attracted each of those species were almost diametrically opposed to each other. How the little girl achieved such a feat was a mystery.

Then, there was the fourth item on the priority list, a hidden magical community, unknown to the rest of the world. At the best current guess, Equestria was a warded island nation, a la Atlantis. Croaker and his team had spent hours speculating on the importance and motivations of this new culture's representatives. One of the most credible hypotheses to emerge was that they were having a population problem, most likely caused by inbreeding. Their outrageous hair colors and the fact that they were mainly only exposing females to the outside world supported this conclusion. Also, there was the fact that the one known male was heterochromatic.

Their rapid acquisition of a marriage contract for such a young student only served to support the theory. This was causing a large amount of anticipation among the wizarding communities around the world. Just about every magical government was anxious to absorb any extra women they may be willing to export, women who were obviously strong in magic. A casual conversation with the Hogwarts's staff confirmed their prowess. That was evident even before the incident in which Mrs. Belle had handily beaten Dumbledore. There had been no contest in that encounter.

Any one of these situations would have been enough to stir up his department like a stick taken to an anthill. It was astonishing that they were secondary concerns at best. No, there was a greater concern.

The door to Croaker’s office flew open, without any warning knock. “Sir!” the wizard who rushed in all but screamed, gaining Croaker’s immediate and undivided attention. This individual was not known to be excitable, just the opposite, in fact. “Sir, five more have gone belly up. Sir, Prophecy Prime was one of the casualties.”

That had been the main worry of his department all week. Prophecies had been crumpling left and right. Once unbreakable glimpses of the future were dissolving into rainbow-colored powder. Notably, Prophecy Prime had been his department’s mandate, its very reason for existing. Now, it was gone.

Leaning back in his chair, Croaker let a smile claim his lips. “Excellent,” he drawled as hope spread throughout his being.

“Hello, Harry,” the woman who had caught him said. “My name is Rarity, it is a pleasure to finally meet you.”

Harry, floating upside-down and surrounded by a magical sky-blue aura, waved and said, “Hello.” Had he been a few years older, he would have marveled at the woman's incredible beauty.

“I do apologize for Discord’s flair for dramatics,” the purple-haired woman continued, “but we did feel that his domain would be best for this meeting, considering that I am currently barred from Britain.”

“It’s all right,” Harry said, starting to enjoy his impromptu flight. “I was just caught off guard; that’s all.”

“But where are my manners?” Rarity asked. “I should introduce you to my friends. First may I introduce Twilight Sparkle.”

A woman with dark purple and pink hair stopped examining her own hands long enough to wave and say, “Hi! Pleased to meet you.” She had to be Sweetie’s mother or some close relative; the color scheme was just too similar. Come to think of it, with her purple hair, Rarity was probably related to Scootaloo.

“And I’d also like you to meet Fluttershy.” At the mention of her name, the extraordinarily beautiful pink-haired woman leapt from her seat and rushed over to guide Harry down to the floor.

“Oh, you poor thing,” she cooed, wrapping Harry in a hug. “You’ve been through so much.”

Harry froze; he had received more hugs in the last week than he had in all of his previous memory. He still wasn’t sure what to do about them, aside from staying still and accepting the contact. Despite the discomfort they made him feel, they were a decidedly welcome addition to his life.

The herd left the theater in a huddled, somewhat sticky mass. Noisily, their steps tore fibers from the carpeting. Somehow, they avoided tripping over each other despite the lack of space between the individual members.

“I told you a horror movie was a bad idea,” Hermione said from somewhere in the center of the jumbled mob.

“Eh, it was rather lame,” Dean said even as Parvati huddled close for reassurance. “I’ve seen worse.”

“I move that Dean doesn’t pick the movies in the future,” Sweetie Belle piped up.

“I second the motion,” Scootaloo announced.

“A motion to restrict movie choices from Dean has been proposed and seconded,” Apple Bloom’s voice declared. “All in favor?”

“Aye!” the members of the herd chorused.

“Opposed?” Apple Bloom continued.

“Hey!” Dean protested.

“Motion carried. Dean is hereby forbidden to pick movies in the future,” Apple Bloom concluded.

“Hey!” Dean repeated.

Emma and Dan followed after the children, snickering.

Harry’s existence had passed surreal ages ago. In retrospect, he should have known sanity was optional as soon as he appeared in Discord’s house. Learning that Dumbledore had been instrumental in his placement with the Dursleys had done little to shape his opinion of the headmaster; he had yet to even meet the wizard. All that news had done was tell him who not to trust.

It hadn’t taken much conversation to convince the adults that he didn’t want to go back to his aunt’s, ever. Harry was pleased to find that they were more than willing to help him with that.

Harry sighed and ruffled his wings. What had happened next had been unpredictable to say the least. Rarity had insisted that Harry be taken to the hospital for a checkup. Such medical attention was another novelty in Harry’s life that was becoming commonplace. In response to that decision, Discord had produced a ring that he claimed would turn Harry into a pony. Wouldn’t you just guess; it did exactly that. Harry was still shocked whenever he went to look at his hands and saw a blue hoof instead. If he were a girl, he would most likely have called it a royal blue hoof. But he was a bloke, darn it. The hoof was blue, just blue.

It had been a complete mystery to Harry as to why he would need to become a pony. He was about to ask when the women in Discord's room transformed into mares whose withers were almost at his waist level. If anyone were to ask, he would insist he absolutely did not squeal and pet them and scratch behind their ears. He was a bloke, darn it!

So, there he was, sitting on an examination table as giant colorful ponies ran around doing all kinds of unknown tests. A good portion of them were unicorns, making Harry wonder what it would be like to have a horn sticking out of his forehead. None of them looked like Magah; they were stockier and their faces were more compact, with large eyes. And, they were doting over him like there was no tomorrow.

There were also several that he learned were called earth ponies; they were running around just as much as the unicorns. All of them were wearing headgear that screamed their professions -- doctors and nurses. Lastly, there was a pair of pegasi who monitored the entire proceedings. They each bore a look that left little doubt that they wanted to hurt someone. Harry dearly hoped that someone wasn’t he.

The three mares were sitting in the waiting room for Canterlot General. Discord had begged off, stating that he really had to talk to Alice about the developing situation. He had teleported to London while sending the others to the hospital, where the mares now waited for the results of the physical. There was some hope that Harry's condition might not be as bad as the medical file had painted, hope that was anorexic at best. They had to be sure. Twilight had her muzzle in a book as Rarity and Fluttershy paced in the center of the room, where carpeting muffled their hoofbeats.

In due time, a yellow unicorn mare in a nurse’s cap entered the waiting area, flanked by a pair of royal guards. “Who here is responsible for Harry Potter?” she asked.

Rarity’s ears perked and she said, “That would be me, I’m reuuuuuurrrrggggggggk!”

Floating in the air, Rarity stared into eyes that were promising her a slow, painful death. “I . . . want . . . answers.” the yellow unicorn said through gritted teeth.

“Woah! Woah!” Twilight yelled as Fluttershy looked on, wide-eyed. “Rarity just got guardianship this week! You’re misdirecting your anger!”

The nurse looked at Twilight then back at Rarity. “Where is the pony who did this?”

“Last I knew,” Rarity said, wetting her lips, “they were carting him off to the hospital.”

“I would like it very much for you to introduce him to me,” the nurse said, placing Rarity back on the ground.

“I’m afraid you’ll have to get in line,” Rarity said, brushing imaginary dust off her withers with a forehoof. “Princess Celestia and Princess Luna have claimed the head of the queue to talk to him.”

The nurse’s demeanor flipped and she beamed. “I can live with that. Wait? Princesses Celestia and Luna? What about Princess Cadance?”

“She hasn’t found out yet, as far as I know,” Twilight said trotting up to stand next to Rarity.

“I wonder how long that will last,” Fluttershy pondered meekly.

In every corner of the Canterlot Palace, alarms were blaring. Guard ponies ran around with looks of panic, doing their best to herd the stampede of citizens out of harm’s way.

“Code ‘Name to be Determined Later’! Code ‘Name to be Determined Later’!” one of the guard ponies with officer markings was yelling at the top of his unicorn-amplified lungs. “We have a Code ‘Name to be Determined Later’! This is not a drill!”

“Are you bucking kidding me?” demanded a junior officer as he skidded to a stop. “Really, are you bucking kidding me!?”

“Shut up and get the civilians clear.”

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