• 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 37: Not So Buried Treasure

Slowly she awoke, content if not fully coherent. For the first time she could remember, she had gone to bed sated. With a wispy smile, she snuggled closer to the source of warmth against which she lay. Wait! Source of warmth? Oh, that’s right; she had gone to bed sandwiched between two other girls, Lavender and Apple if she remembered correctly.

Abagail had expected things to be different where living with magic was concerned. Bathing with every other Gryffindor girl in her year had been surprising, to say the least. Washing each other had brought the level of weirdness up another notch. It had been almost disappointing to sleep in the same bed with everyone else; it completely defeated the purpose of having her own apartment in her own trunk.

Of course, the sleeping arrangements paled in comparison to finding that their dorm room had been converted into a stable, a stable for a unicorn no less, an honest-to-goodness unicorn. Sweetie had a pet unicorn. The strange woman was a unicorn, changed into human form by a magic necklace. If Abagail hadn’t already been sold on the idea of magic, that would have tipped the balance on the spot. The phoenix showing up was overkill.

That’s not to say that her evening had been all rainbows and lollipops. Hermione had insisted that she sit down and cram in a week’s worth of material. After supper Abagail sat down at a corner table in the common room and studied. It was mainly Hermione and Parvati who tutored her, but upperclassmen kept popping in and out to lend their support. She hadn’t even been to her first class yet, and already Abagail had transformed a matchstick into a needle, and she would never need another flashlight again. She could scarcely wait for the morning for the flying lessons that Terisa had promised, but she still couldn't understand what sort of transformation that the sixth-year was waiting for her to perform.

Lazily, Abagail had almost drifted back to sleep when a girl, two bodies over, sat up and stretched. “Time to get up!” Sweetie Belle proclaimed.

Yawning widely, Richard Goodman exited his room, entering the comfortably-appointed common room he shared with Marcy. To his surprise, it wasn’t vacant.

“Good morning, boss,” he said cheerfully to the man sitting on one of the couches. He tried not to wince when he noted that the colors of his employer's clothing looked like dijon mustard locked in mortal combat with its yellow brethren.

“Good morning, Richard,” Discord said as he proudly sported a natty, pinstriped suit in a nauseating brown with gold pinstripes. “I’d like a moment of your time please.”

“Of course.” Richard took a seat on one of the chairs littering the room. “How may I help you?”

“It’s about your primary task,” Discord said bluntly.

“Teaching the children?” Richard asked.

“No, keeping the children safe,” Discord corrected. “It occurs to me that you can’t keep an eye on them if you’re not aware when they leave the castle.”

“First-years aren’t allowed to leave the castle,” Richard reminded him. "The wards prevent unauthorized travel."

“They have a phoenix,” Discord reminded Richard.


“Not to worry,” Discord continued. “While I don’t want you to curb their rule-breaking tendencies, I do want you to be able to jump in when they run afoul of something they can’t handle. When they leave the castle again, Philomena has agreed to come get you and take you somewhere close and unobtrusive.”

Richard nodded in agreement. Discord was paying him a good deal more than the salary of a tutor; some tasks beyond the basic job description were to be expected.

Furious, he settled into a new nest made of red embroidery floss, tucked away in the back of a drawer in the tiny apartment. Moodily, he reflected on how his plans were more than a little askew. First, the older female had drunk of the potion as well. Appallingly, she had tainted it with salt before consuming it. Now, he was sharing power with two instead of one, and he was getting no feedback from one of the recipients. The massive surplus of mana he had received when the girl had drunk was being rapidly depleted. Soon, he would be worse off than when he had started.

Before then, he needed to act. He had to use what was gained to transfer his essence into a larger vessel, preferably something that did not have a will of its own. Then, he could remove the complication of the older woman. From there, he would just have to wait for the power he shared with his preferred sacrifice to mature. All the while, his true body would be gradually decomposing due to the increased distance between it and his soul. Each day of separation would take a tremendous toll on both his power capacity and his general wellbeing. When that man had thrown the orb that housed his soul, the countdown for his true demise had begun. Filled with grim determination, he was well aware that time was not on his side.

As the familiar farm slept, row on row of silent sentinels bore witness as an individual quietly touched down on the white border fence that stood out starkly in the full moon. Another of his ilk turned to face the sudden intrusion, unblinking. The visitor nervously fluffed himself out before screwing up his courage as he smoothed his feathers. With false bravado, he finally broached the subject that had been bothering him.

“Who,” he stated firmly.

The larger bird stayed still as a statue for a moment before responding with a slow blink. In a disinterested tone, he said, “Hoo.”

Steeling his resolve, the smaller answered emphatically, “Who who.”

“Hoo,” the larger replied in a laconic drawl.

“Who,” the visitor insisted, “who who!”

Large eyes regarded him and his request, before the monotone response finally came. “Hoo.”

Relief filled him as, on muffled wings, he followed his new sensei into the air.

Hermione Granger strolled up the walkway to her house, guiding one of the scariest men she had ever met. After breakfast, Professor McGonagall had sought Harry and her out. Harry had been told that he was to have a couple visitors at noon. Hermione had been told that she was to be escorted home to deal with a surprise that had come up. The first concern to cross Hermione’s mind was that she was being sent home and would not be allowed to attend Hogwarts any further. It had taken several minutes for Professor McGonagall to convince her that wasn’t the case.

The trip home had been an adventure in itself. Unlike instantaneous phoenix teleportation, this journey gave her an opportunity to take in the sights. The floo network had dropped her off at 10 Downing St., just in time to see a ruffian absconding with the plaque from the letterbox. Moody escorted her to the rear of the building, where he hailed the Knight Bus. Its complete disregard for ECE safety standards had made disembarking her favorite portion of the ride.

Nonetheless, worry warred with curiosity as she rang the doorbell. She had left her latch key in her trunk. Waiting for the door to be answered, she cast another gaze at the man following her. The blue artificial eye moving around erratically was more than a little disquieting. It was more than enough to distract her from the fact that he had a wooden leg.

With a click, the door swung open, and her father smiled at the sight of her. “Welcome home, pumpkin,” he said cheerfully. Turning his gaze to the man behind her, he continued. “And you must be Mr. Moody. My name is Dan Granger, pleased to meet you, and thank you for taking the time to help us.”

“It’s all in a day’s work.” Moody snorted to dismiss the gratitude. “Anyone with an ounce of decency would be glad to help.”

“Perhaps,” Dan said to the grumpy old man, “but from what I hear, you’re the best. It means a lot to us that you’d agreed to be here.”

“Yer welcome,” Moody said, nudging Hermione forward, into the house. “The first thing that needs saying is that the matter Minerva discussed with your wife turned out to be inaccurate, so that’ll be one less worry.”

“That is a relief.” Dan offered a hand by way of greeting. Suspiciously, Moody stared at a few seconds before firmly shaking it.

“What matter was that?” Hermione asked curiously.

“If he wanted you to know, he would have come right out and said it.” Dan told to his daughter, “Respect your mother’s discretion. You’re not entitled to know everyone’s business.”

Predictably, Hermione pouted and crossed her arms. In response, Dan placed a loving hand on the top of her head as reassurance.

Moody hid a smirk of approval as Emma entered the room. “Mr. Moody, thank you for coming. I heard what you said, and I’m very relieved.” She also extended her hand in greeting. “Would you care for any refreshments before we get started?”

“There is no telling how long this will take.” Moody grunted. “The sooner we get started, the sooner we get done, and everyone'll be happy.”

“Fair enough,” Emma said. “I had Dan lug it downstairs; it’s in the backroom.”

Moody scowled as he headed in the indicated direction, wand drawn. “That was stupid. You're lucky you didn’t trigger a hidden defense.”

Dan and Emma frowned at the rebuke but said nothing. Silently, they followed the scarred man into the back room.

“That old thing?’ Hermione said, spotting the trunk, sitting in the middle of the room. “It’s been in the attic for as long as I can remember.”

“Probably longer than that.” Moody waved his wand in intricate patterns as he intoned a litany of spells.

Her inquiring nature rearing its head, Hermione took a step forward to begin a barrage of questions only to be brought short by her mother, who quickly slipped her hand over her daughter’s mouth. “Maybe later,” she quietly hissed at Hermione.

For twenty minutes, Hermione wrestled with her drive to learn as she watched Moody's wand dance.

After an eternity, Moody admitted, “It should be safe to open. Go ahead and place your hand on the lock, girl. It will prick you for a blood sample, and there is a surprise waiting inside, so be ready.”

“A surprise?” Hermione asked, eagerly approaching the chest.

“Looks like a boggart has taken up residence,” Moody said. “They're harmless, but can deliver some nasty frights.”

“What’s a boggart?” Hermione asked, not yet having read anything on the subject.

“A boogey man?” Emma asked, raising an eyebrow in disbelief. “This I have to see.”

Hermione and Dan both shot Emma a glance before Hermione turned her attention to lock. Without hesitation, she slapped her hand on the brass work. She grimaced slightly at the pain, but smiled as she heard the lock click. Ready for anything, she threw the lid open. Looking inside, she saw a set of stairs descending into shadows, but more importantly, something was climbing toward the exit. Instantly, Hermione recognized the figure. Primal instincts took hold, and she opened her mouth to . . . well . . . Hermione is a little girl. There’s a reason they have the saying, “Scream like a little girl.”

Dan could have sworn he saw her after image shift to orange when she rocketed from the room.

“Riddikulus,” Moody intoned, taking care of the problem. “Yer daughter is afraid of dolls?” he asked casually, taking a shrunken box out of a pocket. It would have taken a detective worthy of Holmes to have noticed the astonishment that the auror displayed.

“It’s a particularly vicious doll,” Dan said, fighting his anger as Emma left after Hermione. “Was that necessary?”

“Like I said, it's harmless, but it had to be flushed out,” Moody said, levitating the redheaded doll in a pink straitjacket into the restored box. “Boggarts take the form of whatever scares the closest magical being they sense. In the end, they really just want to be left alone.”

“So, you just wanted to get a laugh out of scaring my daughter?” Dan asked with a hint of anger.

Moody shrugged. “It was either her or me.” He asked, “Did you really want to see what scares me?”

With a shudder, Dan considered the implications before replying, “No, thank you, I’ve found I’ve become rather fond of sleeping at night.”

Emma rushed out the back room, looking for her daughter. She was about to climb the stairs to the upper level when she noticed an orange gleam from underneath the couch. The seat was much too low to the ground for an eleven-year-old to fit underneath. Getting on her hands and knees, she lifted the cloth skirt to have a peek. “Hermione?”

“Mu..Mu . . . Mum,” the shaking bundle of adorableness replied.

“Did you realize you glow in the dark?” Emma asked, nonchalantly.

“Wha... what about.” Hermione glance toward the backroom.

“Mr. Moody is taking care of it,” Emma reassured her daughter. “He did warn you before you opened the lid.”

“It was him!” Hermione hissed, defending her actions.

“Yes,” Emma agreed, “it did look like him. When your Professor was here before, she mentioned boggarts take the form of whatever scares you the most. I just didn’t think it would do such a convincing job of it. Oh well, live and learn, I suppose.”

Hermione kept her thoughtful gaze on the passageway to the back when a thought hit her. “Um, mum?”

“Yes dear?” Emma asked patiently. “You can come out now, by the way.”

“Aren’t you surprised that I’m . . .” Hermione asked, creeping out from under the couch.

“Surprised that you’re screaming to be cuddled?” Emma inquired, catching up her daughter and sweeping the little pony the rest of the way out and into a hug. “Where do you think the necklace got to?”

“Oh?” Hermione said snuggling closer to her mother. “You tried it on?”

“Yup,” Emma said, tickling Hermione’s belly, “Looks like you get your fur color from me, although I’m nowhere near as vibrant.”

A few seconds passed before Hermione said with a sniffle, “I guess your ashamed of me then?”

“Why ever would you think that?” Emma asked as she continued to pet Hermione.

“My being afraid of such a silly thing,” Hermione whimpered.

“You're eleven years old.” Emma chuckled. “Being frightened of silly movies comes with the territory. I don’t imagine you should act like a little adult all the time. In fact, you should enjoy being a child sometimes.”

“While I am loath to interrupt this touching mother daughter moment,” Discord said standing just off to the side, “is everything all right?”

Startled, the two females stared, wide-eyed, at the man.

“Mr. Discord,” Emma said after a few seconds.

“That suit color is absolutely horrid,” Hermione commented.

“You don’t like it?” Discord said, still searching the room for danger. “Alice told me I have to change my outfit every day. I have to admit, I couldn't be happier with Eurydice's recommendation.”

“It’s horrid.” Hermione repeated before dramatically covering her mouth with her forehoof and inflating her cheeks.

“Be nice,” Emma said, flicking Hermione’s snout lightly with a finger. “What brings you here today, Mr. Discord?

“A large spike of fear caught my attention,” he stated. “I came with all due haste.”

“I believe Mr. Moody has already taken care of the situation,” Emma said, placing Hermione on the floor, “Why don’t you go check; I’m sure you'll want to see what’s in the chest.”

Hermione looked back at her mother for a moment. She then turned back toward the doorway. Squaring her shoulder, she purposefully marched back to the trunk, shifting forms midstride.

After watching Hermione leave, Emma turned to Discord and asked, “You can tell when they’re afraid?”

Discord nodded his head and said, “Yes, the rings I gave them alert me if the feel fear or pain. I can’t always be near, so some precautions are necessary.”

“Fear and pain?” Emma said, standing up. “Why not anger as well?”

“My dear,” Discord said tilting his head slightly, “with so many young souls due to hit puberty in a couple of years, putting an anger detector on their rings would only ensure that the things would never shut up.”

“There is that,” Emma agreed, she pursed her lips, debating on her next question, “Would it be improper of me to ask after Harry? It was kind of ominous the way you came and got him on Friday.”

A frown claimed Discord’s face and he said, “I’m not sure what I should say on the subject. The list of individuals not waiting to get their pound of flesh is already shorter than the queue out for blood. Truthfully, I’m not certain if I could pencil you in as well.”

Emma studied Discord then said, “Then, I’ll have to trust you have everything well in hand.”

Discord replied, “The problem does not lack attention.”

“Well then, would you care to join us exploring Hermione’s inheritance?” Emma asked, changing the subject.

Terisa was more than a little traumatized when she accompanied the first-years to the quidditch pitch. She had known that the Weasley twins had been holding onto brooms for the first-years. A secret like that wasn’t likely to keep for very long, after all. What she hadn’t expected was a literal wall of brand new Nimbus 2000s in the twin’s trunk. She wasn’t positive which twin owned the trunk with the brooms, but, to be honest, she wasn’t sure if the twins really knew either, not that it really mattered where those two were concerned.

Watching the first-years flock around with a small fortune in broomsticks was daunting. The fact that Percy had lent her his broomstick was also more than a little unsettling. She couldn’t help but feel self-conscious even with the twins trailing along with a chest full of quidditch equipment and their own brooms. If she hadn’t promised Abagail flying lessons, Terisa might have forgone the entire experience just for the fear of breaking such an expensive broom.

An uninvited but not unanticipated Oliver Wood followed along. The new quidditch captain was drawn to the brooms like a moth to flames. He had hinted several times that the twins should lend the brooms to the team for practice and games. The thought of his yet-to-be-chosen seeker riding such a broom was driving him to distraction.

Then there was Scoot; the girl needed to have sugar removed from her diet. She was lapping around the group as they walked, singing some absurd song about flying the entire way. By the time they reached the pitch, she would have traveled three times the distance as everyone else.

The new girl, Abagail, was gleefully taking in her surroundings, talking nonstop and even going so far as to accompany Scoot for several laps. The only thing to hold her attention for very long was Magah. Sweetie had removed the necklace as soon as they exited the castle, and the unicorn was wandering about cropping up grass, never far from the group.

Once they reached the center of the field, one of the twins said, “Don’t go off quite yet, Scootaloo; we want to teach you how to play Quidditch.”

“Don’t care,” Scootaloo replied. “I just wanna fly.” Terisa was sure she heard Wood gasp at the blasphemy.

The twins shared a look between them before one opened the chest and retrieved the snitch. “I think you’ll like this. See this? It’s called a snitch. We just want you to catch it.” With that he let the ball go. The winged spheroid vanished in a blur of motion.

“That’s it?” Scoot scrunched her nose as she stood with fists balled, arms akimbo. “Catch a little ball with wings? That’s the whole game?”

“Not by a long shot,” the other twin answered. “Besides, it’s harder than it sounds. The snitch is wicked fast and hard to spot. Catching it is the job of the seeker and ends the game.”

Smirking, Scootaloo straightened her arms and extended her right fist, palm upward. The golden ball squealed in protest. Dean laughed. "You have done well, grasshopper."

The first twin said, "That's not right; you're supposed to chase it down when you're riding."

“Okay, hold that thought.” Scootaloo said. She hurled the snitch into the air and zipped off on her broom. Less than ten seconds later, she returned. “Here you go, game over. Can I go fly now?”

Terisa tried to lure random flying insects with her mouth as Wood wobbled where he stood. The new captain could already feel the Quidditch cup in his grasp.

“Well yeah,” the first twin said, accepting the proffered ball, “but in a match, you don’t take off after it so quickly. There’s normally like a half minute beforehand where it can get good and lost. Try again, but first close your eyes and count to thirty before you go.”

“I just want to fly.” Scootaloo grumbled but closed her eyes.

“That was bloody brilliant,” Wood finally managed to vocalize. “We’ve found our next seeker for sure.”

“It looks that way,” Terisa agreed as the rest of the first-years gathered around the chest to have Ron explain the rest of the equipment.

“Thirty.” Scootaloo said aloud as she finished her count, and she opened her eyes. She did a quick scan of the field, mounted her broom and was off.

“She’s fantastic at handling that broom,” Wood noted as she sped away. “Now, we just have to get Professor McGonagall to okay her being on the team.”

“I don’t think that’s going to be a problem,” the second twin said as he watched Scootaloo do a screaming chandelle turn and head right back.

“You don’t think she got it already?” Lavender asked, seeing her return.

“Nah,” one of the twins said, “that was way too quick.

Scoot stopped in front of that twin and held out her hand. “Here you go. This is way boring. I’m going flying now. Okay, bye.” Without another word, she took to the sky and proceeded to fuel her passion, leaving her housemates behind in the dust.

Dylan retrieved the letter and the shrunken chest from a large owl he recognized. In fact, the bird wore a harness he had custom-crafted for a customer. Anticipating yet another large order, he read the letter. To his disappointment it was just a request for repairs. Oh well, with the large order just completed for this patron, he would be able to take a much-needed vacation and leave his shop in the hands of his apprentice for a while.

A short time later, he was standing in the front room examining the damage. Whatever had occurred had done structural damage he would not have thought possible. Materials would need to be brought in to complete the repairs. This was not a minor task that he could complete in less than an hour. As matter of fact, the level of destruction was awe inspiring once one stopped to consider the wards that the source had to have overcome. The fact that the customer had survived the experience was a wonder in itself.

Shaking his head, Dylan went into the kitchen and removed all the stores of orange juice. He would replace it with something else; it was obvious that this particular family had no business messing with the breakfast drink.

Ron spat out a clod of grass and groaned. He had plowed a good furrow in the Quidditch pitch with his face.

“Dear brother,” a voice behind him said, “that is not how you accomplish a Wronski Feint.”

“I just don’t know what went wrong,” Ron protested, looking at his broom as if it had betrayed him.

‘Someone needs to help Longbottom out of that tree!” Wood shouted from somewhere downfield, “Lavender look Oooooooof!”

“You know,” Parvati said from where she hovered next to Apple Bloom. “I’m starting to detect a pattern here.”

“Yah,” Apple Bloom agreed, skillfully sitting on her broom, “a painful pattern, in mah experience.”

“Lavender! Down! Down! You need to go down!” Wood panicked as he started to lose his grip.

“Ooo,” Sweetie said looking in Neville’s direction. “That had to hurt.”

“Are flying lessons always like this?” Abigail asked, wobbling between Ginny and Terisa.

“No,” Seamus stated, “it’s a new tradition we just started this year.”

“Incoming!” Harry yelled as Lavender and Wood careened right for them.

In Hermione’s opinion, the inside of the chest wasn’t as spectacular as the one she had back at Hogwarts. It was less like an apartment and more like an attic with a lot of stuff strewn about. Ironically, there were chests inside the chest, but that didn’t matter, at least not yet. Hermione’s attention was riveted to the main prize, a prize she had yet to be allowed to approach. In one corner sat five bookcases filled to the breaking point with, to her delight, books, all of which were taunting her with their inaccessibility as the adults perused the lovelies searching for supposed dangers. True, there might have been something interesting in all the other objects littering the interior, but, how could she just ignore books?

Impatiently, Hermione stood with her parents and watched the two wizards do their work.

“This whole shelf is questionable,” Moody said indicating a row of books.

“I disagree,” Discord said, reading the titles. “I have no question that they need to be burned.”

“What?!” Hermione’s voice hit an impossibly high note. “You don’t burn books!”

“Mmmm,” Discord said turning to her. “Tell me munchkin, are you a good witch or a bad witch?”

“I’m a good witch.” Hermione proclaimed proudly.

“Then I have no doubt that you would try to use the information contained in these to better the world around you since you would strive to use the knowledge to counter its intended purpose,” Discord said. “Despite your good intentions, you must learn that knowledge holds its own power, especially magical knowledge. It can corrupt just by being learned. I don’t mean it will tempt you; I mean it will literally corrupt you; it's an independent force working against your will. Knowledge for knowledge's sake is not a commendable concept where magic is concerned.”

“But.” Hermione forced back her tears, “you don’t burn books.”

Discord gave a sad smile. "Come now, every child dreams of being a fireman at some point."

“I’m afraid the law backs her in this case,” Moody snarled. “While it’s illegal to sell or buy these, they are protected as legacy items. I can’t confiscate them, only warn you about them.”

“How bad are they?” Dan asked worriedly.

“Not as bad as some I’ve seen, but far from good,” Moody admitted.

“Luckily, I’m not bound by the rules restricting Moody here,” Discord said. “When I leave, these books are coming with me, and we’re going to find a nice toasty volcano together.”

Emma nodded her head. “That’s probably for the best.”

“Mum!” Hermione screamed, outraged.

“Mr. Discord,” Moody said menacingly, “I don’t know you well enough to consider letting you leave with these. To say that they are dangerous in the wrong hands would be like saying fiendfyre is a bit hot. I have no way of knowing that you’d actually destroy them.”

“Fair enough,” Discord drawled, tenting his fingers. “Would you fancy accompanying me on a quick hop to the Ring of Fire then?”

“But, the books! “Hermione protested.

“Are being burned,” Dan said with finality.

“But Dad!” Hermione whined.

“I know we raised you to respect knowledge,” Emma said, hugging her daughter from behind, “but it’s a hard fact that most rules are not absolute. Some knowledge is better off lost.”

“Who thinks of these things?!” Discord yelled from where he was still reading titles. “You know what? No, just no.” He snapped his fingers and suddenly, they, along with the bookcase, were on a platform magically suspended over bubbling molten rock. The deadly heat and fumes were diverted away with powerful magic.

Dan looked up at the wide-open sky then down open mouth of the volcano and said, “That’s mighty impressive, but couldn’t you have just brought the lava to us? It seems that would have been easier.”

“It’s not like you can carry lava around in a bucket.” Discord shook his head, “I mean you can use the stuff to smelt metals, it would eat thru a bucket in a matter of seconds.”

“A magical bucket maybe?’ Dan suggested.

“Where's the fun in that?” Discord shook his head. “Besides, even if they're warded, no one will be able to fish them out of magma.” Looking over to Moody, he said, "You may throw when ready, Mr. Montag."

Moody added, “Besides, the HSE paperwork for transporting the stuff is murder.” The auror tossed the first tome over the side with prejudice.

"Wait," Discord said after a moment's thought, "I simply need to get this on film. I know somepony who is going to freak out worse than your daughter when she sees this."

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