• 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 34: Gaining a Level in Color

Golden Oak Library bore mute testimony to the fact that Ponyville had started as an earth pony settlement. Vibrant green leaves and small brown acorns showed that the hollow tree was still quite alive. Outside, it housed a colony of hornets in a nest in its upper branches. Inside, it housed the town's lending library, one baby dragon, one owl, and one unicorn prodigy.

Under ordinary circumstances, one would lay even odds on seeing the dragon working during normal business hours. He was still growing, and there was much more to life than dusty old books. The unicorn was another matter entirely. More often than not, she could be found in her study with her muzzle in a book and her ears turned to listen for patrons' requests.

That Twilight Sparkle was now in her study with her muzzle buried in a book would come as a surprise to absolutely nopony. After all, it was a new book that had arrived while she was away in Canterlot. What would have surprised most ponies, however, were the multitude of candle stubs that lay on the desk and the length of the scroll she had covered with meticulous notes. This reading was a matter of duty, not pleasure.

The newness of the book was a matter of novelty, not age. The print in front of the unicorn was the last of its run, and it was over fifty years old. Books on marriage contracts and the laws pertaining to them were generally of interest only to desperate JD students in search of arguments for moot court. Why should anypony else care about something that had been unattainable for a quarter century?

The books themselves would leave any decent pony thoroughly disgusted. They were filled with case studies of the way that, over the years, ponies had attempted to twist the contracts to satisfy their less than noble intentions. With the gender disparity that left males as only a quarter of the population, many parents had, understandably, done some outlandish things to ensure that their daughters would have a stallion in their lives. Unfortunately, most of these things had left the unlucky stallions as little more than chattel. These abuses had led to a progression of laws to fill every loophole a pony could imagine. Leave it to Discord to show that imagination is without limit.

Sighing, Twilight closed the book after reading the last page. The responsibilities laid upon the mare in the contract were onerous. The penalties for violations were draconian. There was no denying that Sweetie Belle was now saddled with duties that would leave a full-grown mare screaming for relief.

The saving grace was the signed and filed herd agreement. Its very existence wreaked havoc with most of the laws in the book. The laws simply had been written with only individual mares in mind. Ironically, this chaos promised to be an improvement for everypony involved, including the colt. In short, the first valid marriage contract in twenty-five years was going to send shock waves throughout pony society.

The din of 256 tones vying for dominance marked the open-air video arcade in the center of Ponyville. Throngs of fillies and colts of all ages exchanged one bit for the chance to manipulate eight bits. In the middle of it all was a comedic sight that was somehow mundane, despite its silliness. Two friends were at a gaming console that was ideally sized for neither. One friend was a typical patron; the small brown colt wore a propeller beanie. The village vidiot was the undisputed champion at these games; he could play for hours on a single bit. His companion, however, would have caused a major stir anyplace outside of Ponyville. Even in this jaded town, the draconequus who towered over the console, waiting his turn, was a spectacle regardless of what he did. That he was throwing fireballs that entered gameplay should have been astonishing, but, frankly, was not.

“Stop it Discord." The colt complained as he wiggled on the stool that let him reach the controls, “This area is hard enough as it is.”

“I have to do something,” Discord countered. “Your score is crushing mine. Besides, this makes it more interesting, wouldn’t you say, Button Mash?”

“It just takes practice,” Button Mash explained. “Soon, you’ll be keeping up on your own.”

“Mr. Discord?” a new voice ventured from somewhere nearer the ground.

Looking down, Discord addressed the pink filly with the distinct headdress. “Yes? Would you like a turn? You could hardly do worse than I am.”

“No thank you." The filly shook her head. “My daddy has two of these in our game room.”

“What?” Button Mash asked, in shock, not taking his eyes off his game.

“They’re just dumb games,” the filly insisted. “I need your help on something important.”

“Oh?" Discord raised a questioning eyebrow even as Button growled, “They aren’t dumb.”

“You got Sweetie Belle a valid marriage contract." The pink filly pointed an accusing hoof at Discord.

“Yes,” Discord agreed, making a grab for his wayward eyebrow, “I recall doing something along those lines.”

“I want one too." The filly stamped a demanding hind leg. Then, after a second’s pause, she added, “Please?”

Button Mash heard this and his two things ran through his mind. One part of his brain whispered seductively, “She has two arcade video games in her house." Another part screamed in panic, “Run for your life, you fool! Run now and don’t look back!”

Discord peered down at the adamant filly and smirked. “You do? Well now, Button, what do you think of . . .” When Discord turned to look at his companion, all he saw was a dust trail leading down the street, already dissipating.

“I didn’t know he could move that fast,” the filly said with a touch of awe in her voice. “He always seems so lethargic in class.”

“Yes, will wonders never cease?” Discord agreed, moving to take his turn. “And isn’t 'lethargic' a big word for a young filly such as yourself?”

The filly shrugged dismissively. "Sweetie Belle used to be in our class.”

“Here’s the last of them." Sweetie Belle handed the last letter to Philomena. “I thought your carry pouch would have been here by now, but it looks like you’ll just have to hold these in your claws for now.

Philomena trilled happily before disappearing in a ball of flames.

“Now that work's done,” Scootaloo said as she bounced eagerly, “it’s time to see you all change.”

“What?” Parvati and Dean asked.

“Harry,” Apple Bloom prompted, “y’all go first. Use your ring.”

“Sure,” Harry said, “why not.”

“Did you hear screaming?" Terisa asked from her spot on the couch where she had been chatting with her friends.

“Nah,” one of her friends replied, watching as Fay and the seventh-year male prefect charged up the stairs to the boys' dorms, “that was squealing, not screaming, like when you see something adorable and just can’t keep it to yourself.”

Terisa shot her friend a skeptical glare. “How can you tell the difference?”

“You weren’t here the last time they made that noise," her friend replied. “Apparently, Apple’s animagus form looks like a walking plush doll; she probably just changed forms, and her friends are throwing another fit over it.”

“Apple has an animagus form?!” Terisa gasped in disbelief.

“Yeah. As a matter of fact, let’s go have a looksee. I’d like to take a gander for myself.”

Fay sighed inwardly as she descended the steps into Ron’s trunk. The cries of ‘Bad unicorn!” and "Leggo!" were testimony that whatever she was about to find would not be covered by the rule book.

Sure enough, a clone of Lady Godiva holding up and studying a thrashing bundle of blue and black was doubtlessly not something written down anywhere in the prefect manual.

“Leggo!” the squirming mass of blue shouted, flailing both hooves and wings. “Magah! Leggo my tail!”

A jumble of first-years surrounded Magah, trying to persuade her to drop her prize.

“Hey!” Fay shouted, claiming everyone’s attention and causing all movement to halt.

“Coooooo?” Magah questioned, still holding a suddenly less animated burden. It resolved into a blue pegasus colt, barely larger than a foal, holding its wings and legs closely to its body.

“Hi, Fay.” The pegasus waved a hoof. “Sorry to bother you again, we’re just having some problems training our unicorn; that’s all.”

Fay pinched the bridge of her nose. “Why is she still naked? Her bath was over an hour ago.”

“See the previous statement,” Parvati offered.

“Why is Potter just begging for me to make a joke about him being a little horse?” Fay asked.

“That would just be beating a dead horse,” Seamus complained.

“Not to nag, but such a joke would be lame,” Lavender agreed.

“Besides,” Dean insisted, “we were just horsing around.”

“No need to saddle us with the attempt,” Neville suggested.

Groaning, Fay looked to her fellow prefect for support, only to find that he had appropriated a cushion from a couch and was clutching in in front of him, against his waist, while he continued to stare at Magah. He wasn’t going to be much help.

“Hey!” Harry called. “I realize I’m just hanging around here, but SHE STILL HAS MY TAIL!”

“Don’t even think about starting on little tail jokes,” Fay warned, striding forward to claim Harry from Magah. Her fellow prefect groaned loudly at her remark.

“I don’t think I know any little tail jokes,” Hermione admitted.

“I’m not buying it, by the way,” Fay said, handing Harry to a gleeful Ginny.

“Gaaaaavvvv!” Magah commented as she got on her hands and knees to continue to scrutinize Harry, pointed away from the prefects. The male prefect made some distinctive strangled cries.

“Buying what?” Scootaloo asked, peering suspiciously at the older boy who was obviously trying to keep his distance.

Sighing, Fay nabbed a napkin from the nearby kitchen table. She tossed it onto Magah and took out her wand. “I don’t buy that you’ve taught Potter to be an animagus that quickly. He can barely do a lumos.”

“Eeeeeeee!” commented the sixth-year girls as they descended the stairs and caught sight of Harry.

“Should I just put on tea?” Parvati asked as more people crowded into the trunk.

“That sounds absolutely wonderful,” George said from behind the girls.

“Scones too, if you don’t mind,” Fred added.

“Mine!” Ginny growled at the sixth-year who had tried to liberate Harry from her death grip.

“Need to breathe here, Ginny!” Harry commented.

Terisa poked Apple Bloom. “Let’s see your other form, since we’re all here.”

“Ask Ron,” Apple Bloom answered. “It was his turn.”

“Not it!” Ron bellowed.

“Not it!” chorused through the room as first-years caught on.

“Not . . .” Lavender started, “aw, bloody hell!”

“Not it,” Seamus added.

“Wait a minute!’ Lavender snapped.

“You only got it half out.” Sweetie ruled.

"But Scoots didn't say it!"

Smirking, the purple-haired girl replied, "Medical waiver."

Watching the seventh-year male prefect rush up the stairs, Sweetie Belle asked, “Where’s he going with our pillow?”

“He just needs a quick shower,” Terisa answered, eyeing Harry hungrily.

“What’s with all the screaming?” Percy called out as he and the remainder of the Gryffindors trickled down the stairs.

“We’re going to need a whole lot more tea!” Dean called out to Parvati.

“Amelia?” Dumbledore said, taking in the small rocky isle, void of any notable feature except for a wooden table at its center. “May I ask why you felt it urgent to portkey us all the way out here?”

“It’s on the table. Good luck,” Amelia said and apparated away.

Dumbledore took a simple brass bracelet out of a hidden robe pocket and pointed his backup wand at it. “Portus.” Placing the jewelry on his wrist, he headed toward the table. Not far from his destination he saw that the table bore a bright red envelope. The missive throbbed with the cadence of a heartbeat.

Somewhere, in a monitoring station the equipment emotionlessly and systematically noted an anomaly. Earthquakes were not common in that region of the world, let alone one that measured 5.3 on the Richter scale.

The watchers saw something far more uncommon than the monster they stalked. A waterspout towered over the lake, followed shortly thereafter by a pseudo-tsunami. Doubtless, Nessie was not pleased.

The healer walked away from the apparition point with a bemused look on his face and a heavy glass flask held loosely in his hand. He wasn’t enthused with the course of action on which he was about to embark. It would unquestionably be a waste of time, no matter which potion master had provided the material. A cure for lycanthropy, indeed! Even if the potion could transform the body, the mind would still be corrupt. Werewolves were monsters, completely beyond redemption.

Still, he had a duty to make at least a token effort. That meant he had to find a test subject from which to collect tissue samples. That would take time, time better spent elsewhere. His sock drawer still needed sorting.

Bemoaning his workload, the healer entered the crowded breakroom.

“Milo,” one of his friends called at the sight of him, “What’s with the frown? You look like someone scheduled you a triple shift.”

Milo grimace and held up the flask he was carrying. “Severus Snape just dropped a ton of work in my lap. Behold, the cure for being a werewolf.”

“That’s a tall claim,” his friend said. “I’m not going to wager on it working.”

“Severus gave you a cure for lycanthropy?” Healer Tonks spoke up from where she was sipping on some juice. “I’m surprised he’d work on that.”

“Untested cure,” Milo emphasized. “Now, I have to find a willing werewolf to give me tissue samples. I’m half tempted to just pour it down his throat and be done with it one way or another.”

“Well, that’s easy enough,” Healer Tonks said. “I just happen to have a friend nearby who’d be more than happy to provide samples.”

“You’re friends with a werewolf?” Milo asked, aghast.

“Of course, I am,” she replied. “He’s more like family than a friend.”


“I’ll tell you what,” she said with a smile, ‘I’ll go get him and meet you in your office.”

Milo nodded his acceptance. What a fortuitous turn of events; that had taken less than five minutes. In retrospect, it should have come as no surprise that a member of the Black family had a werewolf readily available -- even a disowned member.

“Hey, Twilight you in here?” Rainbow Dash’s shout reverberated through the oaken library. “Twilight! You need to see this!”

Since coming to Ponyville, Twilight had seen and heard a lot of strange and wonderful things. She could fill a book on the subject of Pinkie Pie alone. Nonetheless, there were still things she told herself she’d never witness. Things she’d never see or hear.

One of those things caused her to dart out of the basement storage room. Her legs flailed futilely as she attempted to negotiate a turn on the slick wooden floor. She received a practical lesson in traction and momentum as she slid into the wall. One loud thud later, she pried herself out, and she was off again, ignoring the new dent in the solid oak wall of her home.

She had seen and heard a great many things since coming to Ponyville. Until now, hearing fear in Rainbow Dash’s voice hadn’t been one of them.

Ron’s trunk, while not cramped, was unquestionably hosting a large tea party. Eager upperclassmen prepared the refreshments using Ron's supplies. Scone dough was mixed and kneaded by magic, and baking charms cooked them to perfection in a matter of seconds. Underclassmen watched in awe as simple spells brought water and teapot to just the right temperature with a wave of the wand. No one was so uncouth as to hurry the steeping. Chatter died down as the promised entertainment was prepared.

Finding herself the center of attention, Lavender said, “I’m not sure I want to do this with so many people watching.”

Almost the entirety of the Gryffindor house looked back at her even more expectantly.

“It isn’t that bad,” Harry said encouragingly from his seat on Ginny’s lap, luxuriating as she stroked his back.

Lavender sighed and said, “Okay, but remember the rules. No grabbing.”

“Get on with it!” one of the sixth-year boys urged. “We’ve just got to see this!”

Sighing again, Lavender clapped her hands together then held them out before herself, leaning forward slightly. “Here we go!” A look of concentration crossed her face just before the human silhouette melted into that of a miniature pony. A gasp rippled through the congregated house.

“Well, that’s singularly unoriginal,” one girl commented. “She’s lavender.”

“Well, of course she’s Lavender,” Ron said loudly. “You didn’t think she changed her name to Marcy, did you?”

“No,” the girl said, “I mean she’s lavender.”

“That’s right,” Dean said, backing Ron up. “Her name is Lavender Brown.”

“No, no!” The girl pointed in frustration at the new pony. “She’s lavender.”

“Well, her mane and tail are brown,” Katie Belle offered. “Someone seriously needs to be hexed for this pun.”

“The rest of her is purple,” Ron agreed.

“Lavender,” the first girl insisted.

“Yeah, that’s her name,” Seamus helpfully supplied.

“I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.” Fay broke in. “She means that this particular shade of purple is lavender.”

“Well of course Lavender is that particular shade of purple,” a fourth-year boy noted. “She’s sitting there; she has that particular shade, so that shade is Lavender. Kind of circular logic and all that.”

“How can you say something so clever and completely idiotic at the same time?” the first girl asked.


“No! Down Magah!” Fay admonished. “Bad unicorn! Don’t grab the little ponies.”

“What is with her and tails anyway?” Lavender screeched, futilely thrashing her hooves around. “You’d think she’d be more considerate, since she has one of her own.”

“She certainly has a nice tail,” a seventh-year boy concurred.

“I said no tail jokes,” Fay snapped and sent a stinging hex his way.

“Wait a minute,” Harry piped up. “Back up a sec. I thought that lavender was a type of flower.”

“It is.” Scootaloo grinned. “And they’re tasty, too.”

“Tasty?” a third-year boy said. “Well, I guess that explains why they have it as a flavor of shampoo.”

“Flavor of shampoo?” Terisa asked.

“Yeah, my mum has shampoo in tons of flavors.” The boy nodded his head. “Though, I’m of the opinion that they all taste the same.”

“I’m sorry I asked,” Terisa said with a grimace.

“Though, the mango peach honey kind is a touch sweeter than most,” the boy continued.

“That does actually sound good.” Another boy smacked his lips.

“Are you guys seriously going to sit there and talk about eating shampoo while I’m hanging here by my tail?” Lavender snapped.

A flash of light announced the arrival of Twilight and Rainbow Dash. Not even waiting to blink away the stars, the pair rushed the front door to the Apple family's home.

“Big Mac!” Rainbow yelled, easily outpacing Twilight. “We need to borrow Lodestone!”

“Hold on thar,” Applejack said racing out of the farmhouse. “What’s the matter? Where’s the fire?”

Rainbow grabbed her and began shaking her violently. “Where’s Lodestone? We can’t find Discord and Philomena’s come and gone! We need Lodestone!”

“He’s in the south field with Big Mac,” Applejack managed to stammer through chattering teeth.

Rainbow Dash didn’t even stop to thank her before she jetted off in the direction of the south field.

“What’s her problem?” Applejack growled.

“Read the last paragraph.” Twilight said tossing a letter at the farm mare, before she, too, made haste toward the aforementioned field.

Grumbling, Applejack retrieved the paper and followed Twilight’s instructions.

If Twilight had stopped to remember that she could teleport, she would have been the first mare to reach the south field. If it had been any pegasus other than Rainbow Dash, Applejack would have outrun them, flying head start or not.

Dean looked down at his new form. “The wings are nice,” he commented, stretching them to their fullest extent.

The Gryffindor girls ached to scoop him up and cuddle him as they cooed and watched the exercise.

“And the hooves are strangely comfortable,” Dean continued, “but I have one question, and it’s important.”

“Go ahead.” Apple Bloom grinned at him.

“Listen carefully,” Dean demanded.

“We’re listening,” Hermione said in a reassuring tone.

Dean took a deep breath, then shouted, “WHY AM I PINK???!!!!!”

“Fuchsia, actually.” The girl who had made the lavender comment corrected.

“Pink!” Dean returned.


“I know pink when I see it.”

“We are not having this conversation again!” Fay roared.


“Magah! No!” Sweetie yelled.

Milo looked away from his chalkboard when Healer Tonks led a ragged man into his office. “This is your friend?” he asked as way of greetings.

The subject walked forward and offered his hand. “Hello, my name is Remus Lupin,” he said. “Andi tells me you are working on a cure for lycanthropy and are in need of a test subject.”

“I’m sorry I can’t stay and make introductions, but I’m running late. Don’t worry; I’ll be back in thirty minutes or so,” Healer Tonks said, turning to leave. “Play nice you two.”

Making sure his wand was in his pocket and within ready reach, Milo turned to the werewolf Tonks had brought him. “Hello, Mr. Lupin. I am Healer Milo Yates. Thank you for coming. Earlier today I was informed by a master potion brewer that he had a cure for lycanthropy that he needed tested.” He gestured toward his desk where the flask waited. He then turned back to his blackboard. “So far, I’ve just made the preliminary observations. Color, dark grey. Viscosity, similar to maple syrup. Bubbles constantly at room temperature. For some reason it is stored in an uncharmed, unusually thick, glass container. Smells strongly of basil and pine. I, personally, expected it to smell heavily of wolfsbane.”

“I didn’t smell any wolfsbane either,” Mr. Lupin commented. “Tasted like peppermint with a hint of lemon.”

“You drank it?” Milo hid a smirk as he turned to see the man had the empty flask in his hand.

“Wasn’t I supposed to?”

“We were supposed to test for toxicity, get baseline readings from you, and then test the potion on tissue samples well before consumption.” Milo shook his head. “The standard procedure for testing new potions for safe consumption takes hours of work.”

“I’m sorry; I thought when you gestured to it, that you meant for me to drink it.”

“Well, the standard method is intended for the safety of the test subjects, bureaucracy and all that,” Milo said. “Just drinking it and hoping for the best tends to be hard on the test subjects.”

“Honestly, you had me at ‘cure for lycanthropy'.”

Milo stared at the man in front of him, already regretting setting up the situation for an easy misunderstanding. “You’re nothing like I had imagined a werewolf would be. I may have underestimated the potential good in a cure.”

Minerva sat in a wainscoted private room in the Leaky Cauldron. When she had entered the pub, Tom had taken one look at her and had ushered her into the back for a little privacy and a fifth of quarter-century blended spirits. After thanking her friend, Minerva set to proving she was of as much Scottish descent as the water of life in front of her.

The Overseer had said that the goblins would see to Abagail’s school supplies and have her at the castle in time for supper. The Overseer, who never talked to humans, had personally taken the time to see to the needs of a human girl. The very thought was preposterous, yet it just happened. The goblins had practically tripped over themselves in their attempts to please both Abagail and her mother. Minerva had no idea what to make of it.

In the short time she had spent with the her, Minerva had noted that Abagail was outgoing, curious, and fearless. She suspected the girl would be getting along fabulously with the rest of the Gryffindor first-years. There was no way Abagail would end up in any other house.

Sighing, Minerva poured two fingers of exquisite Scotch whisky into her glass. She had thought this year would be interesting with just Lily’s child showing up and the Stone being hidden in the school. She hadn’t anticipated the comical rate at which it exceeded her expectations. The shocks were coming left and right. While most were not unfavorable, she was loath to change her ways. Talking ponies, a phoenix, a forest unicorn, a resurrection, and now Abagail. Oh, and she shouldn’t forget the Hufflepuff’s new pet. This year would have its own chapter in "Hogwarts, a History" by the time it was over. All these incidents were good. As much as they upset the status quo, they caused her no loss of sleep.

The one bad thing to happen was coloring her current disposition, making her react moodily, and resort to drinking in response to her surprise treatment by the goblins: Albus. She had told him that they were the worst kind of muggles. Every other oddity took a backseat to that mistake. She knew with all her heart that he was committed to the path of light, but she couldn't fathom how he could stoop so low.

Mulling over what she should have done, she was confounded when an owl flew into the room and landed on the table to present a letter. A quick check showed that she was in a windowless room with the door firmly closed. How had the owl gotten in?

Taking the letter, Minerva emptied her glass before reading.

“Okay Hermione, it’s your turn,” Sweetie prompted.

“Are we doing something with Magah first?’ Hermione asked. “I don’t fancy being held up by my tail.”

“We could put a collar on her,” a seventh-year boy suggested. “I’ll hold the leash.”

Several girls sent stinging hexes his way.

“Don’t worry,” Terisa said, petting Dean as he lay on her lap. “She barely picked Dean up; she’s getting used to the whole changing thing.”

“That’s easy for you to say,” Dean grumbled. “It wasn’t your tail.”

“You could just turn her back into her natural form,” a third-year girl suggested. “That way, she wouldn’t have hands to pick you up.”

“I don’t fancy being trampled by a unicorn eager to see the new ponies,” Percy said, rejecting the proposal. “Just cast a sticking charm on the couch and sit her on it.”

“Good idea,” one of the older girls said and proceeded to do just that.

“I can’t wait to try this,” Hermione gushed as she took the center of the room. Not waiting for a response, she changed forms.

“Maaaaaaaaaaa!” Magah cried gleefully and lunged.

“Note to self,” Terisa said, still petting Dean, “sticking charm on couch doesn't stick cushions to couch.”

“I was right,” Hermione said. holding her hooves close to her body. “This isn’t pleasant.”

“Two things of immediate note,” Angelina Johnson said, moving forward to help. “First, don’t ever try hiding like that, a blind man could track you from a mile away.”

Hermione looked at her fluorescent orange hoof and said, “This color does scream, ‘Look at me! I’m right here!’”

“Secondly,” Angelina said, scooping up the filly, much to a frowning Magah’s disappointment, “you appear to be a unicorn.”

Despite it being Saturday, Amelia sat at her desk and tried to focus on paperwork. She still couldn’t believe that Judith suggested she do something like that. She had done so much to be seen as respectable, even going so far as to dye her hair grey. She simply couldn’t afford to appear as a flighty young woman. Imagine her, chasing after some man, a claimed man at that. She didn’t even know why she was still thinking about it.

A silvery light proclaimed the arrival of a patronus. The cat-shaped phantasm arrived and started talking in the voice of Hogwarts's deputy headmistress.

“Amelia, I have just received a disturbing letter from a student’s parents. Apparently, she was thinking of asking for a targeted spell but decided against it since the worry was supposed to be in London, and she suspects the wards at Hogwarts won’t let him in. And, she didn't want to give the impression that she was planning on hunting him down. Amelia, she wants a spell for dealing with, and I quote, ‘killer animated redheaded dolls possessed by serial killing psychotic spirits’. What in the name of Merlin is going on in London?”

Amelia dropped the paper she was holding and ran to her office door. An amplification charm projected her voice throughout the building. "Aurors!" she barked as she opened the door. “Gear up and assemble! We’ve got a situation!”

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