• 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 36: Education Happens

Goblins were a proud and arrogant people, supremely confident in their inherent superiority. Only one thing held dominion over them, a Goblin Lord. To their eternal shame, from time immemorial, that title had been held only by creatures they held in utter contempt, humans.

Much as they wanted to forget this uncomfortable fact, they were honor-bound to be able to meet a Goblin Lord's every need at a moment's notice, as was evidenced by the exclusive lounge located far underground, heartbeats away from Overseer's apartment. Despite its subterranean setting, this did not have the dim, cool, damp, and drafty environment favored by goblins. Instead, it was warm, well-lit, and inviting. The furnishings were scaled for an adult human. Thick tan carpeting provided respite from hard stone floors. Cozy chairs were arranged around a burnished walnut coffee table in one side of the room, while a tea table with its taller chairs were prominent in another. The walls reflected the true nature of the room; they were made of cut stone, carved with intricate patterns that screamed, "This is for someone important!"

Currently, the room had only one occupant. She had requested some time alone. Her hosts had been only too happy to comply and had swiftly made the room available. She sat on the plush carpet in the center of the room with her knees drawn up to her chest, rocking slowly.

Elisa Bates was acutely grateful for the accommodation. She needed time away from the insanity that her life had become. Being away from all of the activity was essential. It allowed her to have her much-needed nervous breakdown in private.

Elisa was by no means a weak woman. She couldn’t afford to be; life had not been kind. Her parents had been unbearably strict, ultra-orthodox in their religion. Their dogma had been the impetus for all their actions and had been the bane of Elisa's upbringing. Her parents had sequestered her to the point of isolation, lest she be exposed to anyone or anything that might tempt her away from their god. Her only contact outside her family had been with the children and families of other true believers.

Her parents' painstaking indoctrination had left her woefully unprepared for the reality that lay beyond the confines of her home. Driven by basic curiosity, she had accepted an invitation to a party from one of her few friends. After her curfew, she had slipped out of her house and joined her friend. For the first time in her life, she defied her parents.

She was nearly overcome by the sheer excitement of trying something new, something forbidden. As she followed her friend to the gathering, she had to stop more than once to let the nausea from her apprehension die down. The sights and sounds of the party were nearly overwhelming. There, she had her first, and only, alcoholic drink. She did not remember anything that happened after that.

The next morning, Elisa had awakened with her friend on one of the beds. Both of them were groggy, feeling like their heads had been stuffed full of cotton. Both were sore in places that they were not previously aware could be sore. Fearing the wrath of their parents, they had snuck back to their homes and did their best to forget the whole episode. Elisa might even have succeeded if she weren't pregnant.

Elisa’s parents had been furious. Their daughter had committed an unpardonable sin. There was no place in their religion for someone who had committed such a heinous act. There was no place in their religion for someone who associated with such a sinner. There was no place in their hearts for a daughter they had failed to prepare for the realities of life.

Elisa was cast out. Disowned, excommunicated, shunned, she was left to fend for herself with only the clothes on her back. Thrice-cursed, thrice-damned, she would not even be acknowledged by any true believer. For that, Elisa was eternally grateful.

Her first night of independence was the hardest. Nothing in her upbringing had prepared her for this. Completely alone, she was sorely tempted to end in all; however, she could not bring herself to end the life of the innocent that she bore. Tears flowing, she sat on a public bench and prayed. That was how Craig found her.

Craig had taken her into his modest home and asked for nothing in return. Craig had taught her the skills she would need to survive in the urban jungle. Craig had helped her secure financial aid for her new family. Craig had been there when Abagail was born. Craig had pushed Elisa to finish her schooling. Craig had cared for Elisa as if she were his own daughter. Craig had metastasized adenocarcinoma. Craig had only months to live.

In the hospital, Elisa had let him know how much he meant to her, how much he meant to Abagail. She called him the greatest Christian she had ever known. Craig had laughed and said he wasn’t religious. He told her he had taken her in because it was the right thing to do.

Elisa’s life had not been easy. She had weathered many hardships. She had raised her daughter alone. In all that time, she had stood strong and persevered. However, everyone has a breaking point. The stress levels had been constantly rising. A sleepless night of worry had been followed by the discovery that both magic and goblins were real. Overnight she had gone from being a nobody to having goblins practically throwing themselves on the floor to please her daughter and her. The sight of the massive dragon in front of her new vault had been the final straw. Elisa sat on the plush carpet in the center of the room with her knees drawn up to her chest, slowly rocking herself back to sanity.

For the second weekend in a row, Sweetie Belle let dread fill her as she made her way to the office of a head of house. Thankfully, she didn’t think she was in trouble, but she desperately hoped that she wasn't going to be saddled with another weird obligation like a Wizengamot seat. Seriously, it was Apple Bloom’s turn for something strange to happen.

It wasn’t long before she was knocking on the door to the office of the Head of Ravenclaw.

“Come in,” a voice called out. Curiously, it wasn’t the expected cheerful banter of her charms professor; rather, it was a female's beckoning.

Inquisitiveness claimed Sweetie as she opened the door and dodged a leaning pile of books on the table next to the door. “You wanted to see me?” she asked, spying Professor Flitwick sitting at a small tea table with a beautiful blonde woman.

“Yes,” the small professor said, not taking his eyes off his companion. “It’s time to address your difficulties focusing through your wand. This is Paola Quint, and she has brought a training device to aid you in overcoming your minor handicap.”

“Hello, Miss Quint.” Sweetie Belle acknowledged the woman politely with a small curtsey. “Thank you for helping me.”

“Your hair really is purple and pink,” Paola said, her voice sounding just a little dreamy. “They had mentioned that in the papers, but I hadn’t truly dwelt on it before.”

“Yes,” Sweetie agreed, running a hand subconsciously through her mane.

“My apologies,” Paola said, moving on to business. “This is going to be a much more practical meeting than I first intended. You see, even though most know of the Veela’s allure, the true extent of its reach is keep a close secret.”

Sweetie tilted her head and wondered why this woman was sharing secrets with her after just meeting.

“Paola, I don’t think you want . . .” Professor Flitwick started, but cut off when a small pulse of magic saturated the room. He stopped talking and drooled slightly as he continued to stare at Paola.

Observing Sweetie’s reaction, Paola said with a grimace, “You felt that? Good. That was Début de la Liaison, something I have no control over.”

“What did you do to him?” Sweetie demanded, taking a half step backwards and settling into an awkward defensive posture.

Paola sighed. “You are too young for this, but our allure isn’t just for charming males. It is constantly looking for a Veela’s proper match. When she finds him, the Veela loses control of her allure in the presence of that male, the pulses forcing the two to get closer.” With shaking hands, she reached for her teacup. “It is not as common as you might think, but it is inevitable once started.”

Sweetie shot a worried glance toward her charms teacher.

“The Début de la Liaison is not fully understood,” Paola continued. “It strikes without warning. Sometimes a complete stranger, sometimes an old friend. The good news is that love always comes from it, if natural. The bad news is that there is a charm that wizards can cast to artificially start the process. We have done all that is possible to remove the charm from the minds of men.”

Sweetie watched Professor Flitwick shake his head and reassert himself with effort. “Paola, you probably don’t want to share your people’s secrets. Miss Belle is not a Veela.”

“What’s a Veela?” Sweetie asked, confusion flitting across her eyes. “You’ve mentioned them several times.”

“Really?” Paola chuckled mirthlessly. “Tell me child, what is your wand core made of?”

“Unicorn hair,” Sweetie Belle stated without pause.

“What?” Paola asked in bewilderment. “Filius, why did you ask to borrow the correcteur de flux? It cannot possibly help in this case.”

With a goofy smile on his face, Flitwick said, “Miss Belle, it would be best if you show Paola your true form. I’m sure she will keep your secret.”


Paola squealed loudly, but managed to make herself keep her seat. Tempted beyond the breaking point, the same could not be said of Professor Flitwick as he marveled at the softness of Sweetie Belle's mane.

In Canterlot Castle, the throne room had been cleared of everypony, except the princesses, their guard, and the squadron of pegasi. The process had taken far too long for Sky Sunder's sensibilities, leaving the old pegasus trembling with nervous energy over the delay. One of the nobles just wouldn’t take the hint and had refused to surrender her place in line for the second day running. It took the princesses promising to speak with her privately later to convince the mare to leave.

“Where is he? Where is Harry Potter?” Sky Sunder repeated once the court had been cleared.

“Sky Sunder,” Celestia said gently, “it’s not as simple as it first appears.”

Sky Sunder snorted and stamped a forehoof. “I must respectfully disagree, Princess Celestia, but it is that simple. Nopony treats a pegasus colt like that. Nopony treats any colt like that! We are here primarily to see that the colt is cared for, something we are sure that you’ll excel at, but we want to give our input nonetheless. Secondly, we are here for the name of the walking dead pony. The report stated that the family had been charmed to act the way it did. There is no acceptable justification, and we claim our right to punish the villain.”

“We are most impressed by thine resolve,” Luna said approvingly. “However, you cannot claim the right of punishment, for Harry Potter was not born a pegasus. He had been given that attribute by none other than Discord himself.”

“He is a pegasus now,” Sky Sunder said firmly. “We will not abandon our rights just because of an accident of birth. The colt’s wellbeing is of the utmost importance.” A murmur of affirmation rolled through the squadron.

“Your dedication is laudable.” Celestia nodded. “And, your counsel is most welcome. You should know that another government is involved, and they are not nearby. Nonetheless, we will share with you what we know.”

“I’m getting sick of hospitals,” Harry grumbled as he and Scootaloo entered the infirmary.

“I hear you,” Scootaloo agreed. “I haven’t been in one this much since the last time I ran my scooter through a wall.”

“Hello, Madam Pomfrey,” Harry said upon seeing the school nurse.

“Hello,” Scootaloo echoed. “Thanks again for fixing my wings.”

Taken off guard, Madam Pomfrey looked between the two students and said, "He knows?”

“Knows what?” Scootaloo scratched her head.

“I think she was talking about you being a pegasus,” Harry suggested.

“I see.” Madam Pomfrey went over to a cabinet and pulled a potion flask out. “Well Mr. Potter I’ve been adding some nutrients to your supper, supper that you did not partake in last night, I might add. You should not be skipping meals.”

“I ate supper,” Harry protested, “with the rest of my friends.”

“I was hoping that was the case,” the nurse said, pouring a milky white liquid that Scootaloo recognized. “Still, drink this.”

Harry accepted the cup and quickly downed the potion. When he was done, Madam Pomfrey said, “You may leave. I’ll just be giving Miss Aloo a quick checkup to see if there have been any complications.”

“I don’t mind waiting,” Harry said.

Madam Pomfrey gave him a nod then said, “That would be up to Miss Aloo. She may not want you here.”

“I don’t mind.” Scootaloo said, inviting Harry's presence.

“Right then,” Madam Pomfrey said after scrutinizing the girl, “onto the exam table with you, then.”

Scootaloo hopped to comply. Without another word, Madam Pomfrey began scanning the child with her wand. After a minute she said, “All seems well. Please remove your necklace now.”

“Actually, I’m not wearing it anymore.” Scootaloo held up her hand to show off her ring. “Discord has given us an upgrade. Also, I can’t change right now; he stuck me in human form for two weeks.”

“He did now?” the nurse asked. “When did he do that, and why?”

Scootaloo wilted and said, “Right after I woke up, he said that there were some imprettysessions that would work themselves out if I didn’t try flying for a week. Then he went and locked me for two whole weeks.”

Harry corrected, "Imperfections."

“I see,” Madam Pomfrey said with an approving nod. “Better safe than sorry. I would like to talk to him if at all possible. Do you know when he plans to visit next?”

Twilight gratefully accepted the missive from the owl who had flown from an orthogonal dimension into the epicenter of the destruction in George's living room. “Thank you very much.” she said to the owl as she levitated the letter from Professor McGonagall. “Here’s a couple owl treats, and would you like some water or maybe some tea?”

The owl slaked its thirst before returning in the same manner as it had arrived.

The Element Bearers had arranged the surviving furniture around the sphere of destruction in the living room. Ceiling and floor had been hastily buttressed with magically-reinforced planks, and the mares now sat facing each other, as if gathered around a bonfire.

“Ah hope it’s good news,” Applejack said from where she fidgeted impatiently on a couch.

“I’m hoping this whole debacle is just a misunderstanding,” Rarity added.

Rainbow Dash gnawed on a pillow as she watched Twilight read the letter.

“Well,” Twilight said, putting the paper down, “the doll is in a city that’s a full day’s train ride from the school, and the professor’s reinforced the wards specifically intended to stop possessed items. Scootaloo was right; the doll will not be able to make it into the castle.”

“So, it’s real then?” Applejack gritted her teeth.

“Looks like it,” Twilight admitted, “but it’s nowhere near the girls.”

“That doesn’t make me feel much better,” Rainbow Dash complained. “Maybe we should have them come home until that monster's caught.”

“Rainbow, darling,” Rarity said comfortingly, “we live next to a forest full of monstrosities that would make the doll seem like a toy. We cannot remove all dangers, no matter how hard we try.”

Rainbow Dash’s only response was to chew harder on her pillow.

“Since we're just sitting around being worried, worried, sad-lipped ponies,” Pinkie said as she pronked back into the room, “I’ve warmed up the hot tub. We can go worry there; it’s big enough for everypony.”

“George has a hot tub?” Rarity perked up.

“Yeah, it’s right next to the pool.” Pinkie nodded her head enthusiastically.

“Pool?” Twilight questioned.

Rainbow pulled the pillow out of her mouth and said, “Yeah, you'll see it after you get past the ice rink.”

The group aurors sat in the stark briefing room and waited for their shift to start. When they had arrived at headquarters, there had been no one present, except the rookie on floo monitoring duty. He had said that there was a situation, and someone would be by to brief them soon. Five minutes after the hour, a senior auror entered the room, looking frazzled.

“Listen up,” he said without any pleasantries. “We have a major crisis. A homicidal wizard has transferred his spirit into a child’s doll and is wreaking havoc on the muggles. He’s been spotted by several and is described as two feet tall, red-headed, with blue eyes and wearing coveralls. The cover story we are telling the muggles is that he is controlled by a puppeteer.”

“Wait,” Martin Higgins, a muggleborn said, “you mean like the movie?”

“Movie?” the senior asked.

“Yeah, there was a movie about three years back where the villain was a red-headed doll in coveralls.”

“Great,” the senior said, “just great. We already knew our culprit was comfortable in the muggle world. Now it seems he got the idea from them in the first place. What can you tell us about the movie?”

“The bugger can take a lot of damage and still put up a fight,” Martin said. “They had to shoot him through the heart to stop him. He’s right sneaky and treacherous, too. Best to watch your back.”

“That’s it? Hit him in the heart?”

“And don’t let him get the drop on you.” Martin nodded. “If he’s anything like in the movie, he’ll hamstring you in a heartbeat.”

“Right then,” the senior said, “I want this thing found tonight. It’s only a matter of time before some muggle notices that he’s not on strings. Listen up for your assigned areas. You are authorized to use deadly force against him.”

The Gryffindor first-years were in the common room attempting to study, practice, and maybe finish their homework before supper. They were hampered by multiple requests to cuddle, but Hermione kept laying down the law and putting their noses to the grindstone. The unintended result was several upperclassmen hanging around their table, tutoring, and hoping that there would still be time for more snuggles. The transfigured unicorn wandering around the room exploring was barely a blip on their radar in comparison.

Sweetie Bell sat at a tea table with a look of determination on her face. “Lumos!” she commanded as she pressed her wand against a heavy wooden cube that was inscribed with exquisite runes. Once again, the hair on her head lit up. She gave an exasperated sigh. “Why didn’t you guys tell me that my hair was lighting up instead of my wand?”

“We thought you knew,” Dean explained, focusing on his matchstick. “How can you not notice your hair is making like a light bulb?”

“I don’t know,” Sweetie Belle growled. “Maybe because it’s on my head where I can't see it? I thought the light was coming from somewhere behind me.”

“Is that thar box helping any?” Apple Bloom asked, studying the former matchstick that she had transfigured into a needle.

“Yeah.” Sweetie nodded. "I can feel where the magic is supposed to go now. I’m just having problems getting it to go where I want.”

“Lumos.” Neville tried again, gaining only a pinprick of light at the end of his wand.

“I think it's bigger than last time,” Parvati said encouragingly.

“Wait a minute,” Terisa said, eyeing Neville’s wand. “That wand looks awfully ratty for something brand new.”

“It was my father’s,” Neville said proudly. “Gran gave it to me.”

“Oh?” Scootaloo said. “The wand guy said hand me down wands might not work so well.”

“Yeah,” Ginny agreed. “He said Ron using Charlie’s old wand was not a good thing.”

“But,” Neville sniffed, “it was my father’s”

"Why don't you let me have a go at it?" asked Seamus, holding out his hand. The first-year girls dogpiled on him before Neville could respond.

From the bottom of the pile, Seamus offered his wand. “Here,” he said diplomatically, “try mine, instead.”

Neville looked at the proffered wand for a few seconds before accepting. “Lumos,” he commanded. This time, he produced a cricket ball-sized beacon at the end of the wand.

“Woah, not so much power,” Lavender chastised, being the closest to the new spell.

“Nox.” Neville frowned as he returned the wand to the just-released Seamus. “I can’t believe my dad’s wand doesn’t like me.”

“May I see it a second?” Terisa asked, holding out her hand.

Holding back tears, Neville handed it over.

“Lumos,” Terisa said confidently. Her effort was marginally brighter than Neville's. “I think this wand is burnt out.”

“Try harder.” Neville said desperately.

“I'm already using more than enough for a searchlight-sized lumos; any more power, and it'll pop like a firecracker.” Terisa shook her head. “You might as well just put it away for now and transfigure. I’m sure a good petting will make you feel better.”

Emphatically, Hermione vetoed the suggestion. “No, he still has nine inches to write for charms class. We can't count on having enough time on Sunday.”

“Petting will raise his spirits and make the task easier,” Terisa argued.

“Don’t make me take your pony petting privileges away,” Hermione warned.

Terisa pouted.

The Great Hall was abuzz with excitement. In front of the head table was a sign that something was special was going to happen. The uninitiated would think it was just a plain wooden stool. Every student, however, recognized it as part of their initiation in Hogwarts, something each of them had mounted on their very first day at Hogwarts. It most certainly was out of place outside of the start of the school year.

Gesturing toward the small piece of furniture, Professor Snape said, “I know Albus couldn’t make it, with him needing to stay at St. Mungo’s overnight, but shouldn’t Filius be here?”

“He’s busy,” Professor Sprout stated curtly.

“He could make the time to put in an appearance,” Snape insisted. “For all he knows, he could have a new student in his house.”

“He’s busy,” Sprout repeated, brooking no argument.

“What could he possibly be doing that is so important?” Snape asked.

“He’s busy,” Sprout said for the third time and then turned away from the potions master. She was not blushing slightly.

Professor Snape huffed in annoyance as Professor McGonagall stood to gain the attention of the student body.

“Good evening one and all,” she said, with her voice projecting throughout the hall without being overwhelming. “As you all can see, we have a break in our usual routine. A name was added to the Book of Acceptance just after the start of the term, and we will be welcoming a new student into our midst.”

Polite clapping wafted through the assembly, and most turned their gaze to the entry doors through which first-years would make their official entrances. Well, almost everyone turned; Magah was staring at the table wondering where the food was.

“I want you all to make our newest student welcome,” Minerva said, waving her wand to open the doors. “She’ll be a smidgen behind, but I’m sure that she can easily catch up with the help of her housemates.”

With a creak of ancient wood, a new girl was revealed to all, standing next to Hagrid. She had long brown hair that fell straight across her shoulders, and her grin seemed to threaten to split her face in two. As soon as she saw she had everyone’s attention, she began waving and bouncing excitedly, as her grin seemed to grow impossibly larger.

“Hello!” she shouted to the room at large. “I’m pleased to meet you! I’m pleased to be here! Thank you for having me at your school!”

“Never mind,” Snape muttered under his breath. “Filius doesn’t need to be here; she’s clearly headed for Gryffindor.”

“Abagail Bates,” Professor McGonagall intoned from the head table, “please make your way the stool so that you may be sorted into your house.”

Beaming widely, Abagail bounced down the aisle, darting between tables to shake hands as she went. Most were glad to return the gesture, but the students highlighted in a venomous green shot her withering glares instead of shaking hands.

“Right,” Abigail said halfway to her goal. “Which house are you wet blankets?”

“We are of the ancient house of Slytherin,” one of the older girls informed her snootily.

“Well I know what house not to be sorted into, then,” Abagail said and resumed her trek, making sure to make friends at the other three tables as she went.

“Can we just skip the sorting and put her in Gryffindor?” a Ravenclaw boy asked. “There’s no suspense of any kind here.”

Professor McGonagall hid a chuckle and said, “Miss Bates, we are waiting.”

“Yes Professor,” Abagail said and hurried to her place. When she was seated, Professor Vector entered the hall carrying a distinctive artifact.

“I didn’t get to do my song,” the hat complained loudly as he was borne to the waiting girl.

“It talks!” Abagail squealed with glee.

“Of course, I talk,” the hat replied. “Tell them you want a song before your sorted.”

“Okay,” Abagail agreed. “Everyone, hush, the hat wants to sing for us.”

“Thank you,” the hat said and began to perform.

The students followed Abagail’s command and gave the hat their undivided attention. About half way through the solo, a pained sound halfway between a shriek and a howl began to accompany the singer.

Alarmed, the students turned to the Gryffindor table where a striking blonde woman clothed in a lime dress was making her displeasure known. Some would later swear that they could see blood seeping between the fingers she had clamped over her ears.

There were several cries of, “No, Magah! Bad unicorn!” as the Gryffindor first-years coaxed her back to her seat.

“Well that was a bust,” the hat groaned. Several of the upperclassmen snickered. Ignoring the interruption, the hat continued, “All right, let’s get on with it, then.”

With a shrug, Professor Vector placed the hat on its target. Two seconds later, the hat screamed a word that surprised no one and Abagail made her way over to see what the deal was with the strange lady sitting with her housemates.

“Have we chosen our first example yet?” a man sitting in a dark room asked of the others, well-shielded from prying eyes and ears.

“Rutter would have been preferred, but she has formidable wards protecting her now. It would be unwise to find out what Malfoy might have had concealed in his defenses.”

“There are so many fat targets to select from,” another commented. “It’s hard to make a decision.”

“A pity, this will have no effect on the naming of the next Minister,” said yet another voice.

“Tut tut,” a woman tsked, smoothing her pink dress. “If the new minister is an undesirable, he or she can be added to the top of the target list.”

“Why are we waiting until after the selection of the next minister?” the first man asked.

“It will give us a better idea on how we should proceed,” the woman in pink said as if speaking to an idiot. ”And, our plant in the floo department will be working alone on the night of our first strike.”

“They won’t know what hit them,” came a voice backed by a confident sneer.

“Too true.” The first man gloated, "There is no way they’ll see this coming.”

Author's Note:

A reader's comment reminded me that Flitwick never receives loving in any fics. I figured I should correct that oversight.

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