• 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 39: Applying Overkill

The meeting room was the antithesis of the stereotypical newsroom bullpen. Instead of a dark, smoky pit, it was a bright, fresh, and inviting space. A wall of tinted glass filtered out the harshness of the morning sun. The warm rays bathed the modern glass-topped chrome table as the journalists gathered around, sitting attentively in ergonomic chairs.

Although the stale smells of smoke and sweat were absent, one thing remained unchanged, the scent of a promising lead. Mike had developed his nose for news over the decades, and this tidbit smelled positively enticing. The trick now was to convince the others.

“I can’t believe we are sitting here having this conversation,” a man in his late forties said with a smirk. “You do know most of what’s on those conspiracy threads are pure bunk, don’t you?”

Another man, a junior reporter nodded his head and replied, “Yeah, I normally just skim them for a laugh, but you never know when something may lead to a real story.”

“We might be able to get a human-interest filler out of it,” a young woman in a tidy yellow business suit said. “It can’t hurt to have a look.”

“That was my assumption, too,” Mike said. Despite the others' skepticism, he hoped his serious demeanor would underscore his sincerity. “I sent a camera crew to the site for a look. They came back with a lame excuse as to why they had to do something else first.”

“That’s weird,” the first man noted. “I assume you chewed them out for it, Mike.”

Mike grimaced at the memory. “Yes, and two more times to boot. I even threatened their jobs, and they still came back empty-handed.”

“I’m not sure I’m liking where this seems to be heading,” the woman said.

“It gets better,” Mike said. “I got fed up and sent Frankson instead. You know what kind of stubborn arse he is.”

“Yes,” the first man said, “a useful trait in our work.”

“Well, he came back empty-handed the first time, too,” Mike admitted. “That’s when I told him there was something making him want to avoid looking. I was only half-serious, but he said something about somebody else’s problem field and went back. He called me when he got there and said that he had to will himself to stay and that the SEP field was real.”

“SEP field?” the junior reporter asked.

“I’m not sure,” Mike said, pressing "play" on the VCR in the room, “but he got this footage.”

The large telly in the room showed a street in downtown London, specifically three shops next to each other. People in fancy dress walked into and out of the pub without eliciting the slightest reaction from the patrons of the other businesses.

“So,” the first man asked curiously, “what are we looking at? All I see is a dingy pub sandwiched between two newer stores.”

“That’s the thing,” Mike said. “If you were to go look for yourself, you’d swear the pub wasn’t there.”

“Oh boy,” the woman said. “So much for finding a filler. What was the name of that newsgroup again? I think my afternoon is going to be busy.”

“What’s next?” Seamus asked as they entered the boys' dormitory.

“Well, two things really,” Parvati said. “Neville needs a new wand, and we should go to that store Twilight mentioned for the stuff needed to get muggle 'lectricity to work.”

“We may be pushing our luck just a little,” Ginny said. “They’re bound to notice we keep leaving at some point.”

“Milk it for all it’s worth.” Dean shrugged.

“We can get the twins to cover for us,” Ron suggested. “We’re not going to be gone that long.”

“We should break into teams and do some stealth shopping,” Scootaloo said, “and I can’t believe I just suggested shopping.”

“I’ve got the promissory note from Rarity,” Sweetie piped up, “so Lavender, Seamus, Dean, and I will get the crystals for the alternator.”

“Ron, Neville, and I can handle the wand.” Scootaloo nodded. “We should be done in half an hour.”

“The rest of us just get to sit around and wait?” Parvati griped.

“Just run interference,” Dean said. “You, Abagail, and Ginny should be fine with that. We’ll be back before lunch.”

“Could you bring back pizza?” Parvati asked.

“You just had pizza the other day,” Ginny chastised.

“Your point is?” Parvati asked.

“We still have tons of leftovers,” Scootaloo said. “We shouldn’t let 'em go to waste.”

“You can only eat so many apples,” Parvati complained.

“Don’t let Apple Bloom hear you say that,” Sweetie warned. “Seriously, don’t.”

“Yeah.” Parvati agreed, “I kind of figured that one out.”

“Well,” Rainbow Dash asked as the train pulled out of Ponyville station, “are you going to explain why you’re dragging us to Canterlot?” She sat on a padded bench next to Applejack, eyes still bleary from being awakened from her nap.

Rarity patted the closed box that sat on the bench next to her. “The Crusaders have provided gifts for the princesses. It is only fitting for you two to be there representing Scootaloo and Apple Bloom when I present them.”

“Gifts?” Applejack asked warily, “What kind of gifts?”

“Chests,” Rarity replied honestly.

Suddenly, Applejack dove behind the bench for cover, keeping just her head in view. “Y’all sure it’s a good idea to bring unbound chests on the train? There’s no telling when they might decide it’s snack time.”

“Tsk,” Rarity snorted dismissively. “They are still shrunken and in their original packaging.”

“So, we should only worry about them taking a hoof or two instead of swallowing us whole?” Rainbow narrowed her eyes at the now-threatening box.

Rarity eyed the package as well before cautiously edging away. “I do wish you hadn’t put it that way.”

There was a timid knock on the heavy oaken door, catching the full attention of everyone in the room. The built-up tension was thick enough to cut with a popsicle stick, making it hard for the occupants to breathe.

“Come in,” Minerva called out, a somber frown dominating her features.

The well-oiled hinges let the door silently swing open. “We’re here,” a tentative voice called out.

“Miss Bloom?” Minerva said. “I was under the impression Mr. Potter would be attending alone.”

“Y’all didn’t think we’d let him face this by his lonesome did ya?” Apple Bloom said, following Harry into the room.

“Apple Bloom!” the purple-haired woman sitting in a chair cheerfully chimed up. “I’d recognize that bow anywhere. And Harry Potter, good to see you!”

“Twilight?” Apple Bloom skipped into the room. “Ah almost didn’t recognize you thar.”

“Hello, Mrs. Sparkle,” Harry said before asking, “why are those two wrapped in wooden cocoons?”

“They needed a timeout for tempers,” Professor McGonagall informed him. “Even though they have good reason, I simply cannot allow them to barge through the school bent on having a reunion with the headmaster.”

“In short,” another woman said from her chair, “They were letting their Gryffindor show when its clearly time for a Slytherin mindset.”

“Mmmmm,” Sirius yelled around his wooden muzzle.

Apple Bloom looked quizzically at Twilight and asked, "Tameshiwari?"

Twilight shook her head. "I think it would be best if we let them calm down."

“I do believe I put them there for a reason, Miss Bloom,” Professor McGonagall said. “I would appreciate it if you didn’t undo my efforts.”

“How did you manage to catch both of them like that?” Harry asked.

“Mr. Potter, I am not your transfiguration professor by virtue of my looks alone,” came the reply.

“I think you should let them down so they can be properly reunited with Harry,” another woman said. “That should keep them distracted for at least a few minutes.”

“Yes, you’re right, Alice,” Twilight said, wandering over to the children for hugs. “From what I understand, it would be a good idea to file a blood feud before commencing with the rampaging."

“Says the woman who brought a bat to the meeting.” Alice replied.

“I couldn’t pass up the chance, now could I?” Twilight said, pulling Harry and Apple Bloom close to herself, in a warm hug. "Besides, I filed my paperwork as soon as Rarity told me about it."

“Mrrrrrrrph!” The two men still attached to the ceiling reminded everyone that they were waiting.

A flash of flames announced the arrival of the entourage. Philomena lovingly nuzzled her owner while her passengers tried to orient themselves. Five creatures straight out of mythology gawked in wonder as their two friends wearing their guise cheerfully greeted a legendary being.

The human first-years could scarcely believe their eyes. They had become accustomed to Magah, the fantastic unicorn who radiated purity. The pure white creature who stood before them was something much grander. The twinkle in her eyes spoke of great intelligence, and her regal bearing commanded instant respect. The combination of wings and horn, though showed that she was something truly special.

“Hello Princess!” Sweetie waved merrily. “Sorry to barge in like this; I didn’t think Philomena would pop us into your chambers when I asked her to take us to Canterlot.”

“Hello Princess,” Scootaloo added. “It's good to see you, and yeah, sorry about just dropping in.”

The large white alicorn giggled and said, “That is quite all right. You are always welcome to visit.” She then refocused on the dumbfounded humans. “Are you going to introduce me to your friends?”

“This is Lavender Brown,” Sweetie said pointing to the girl, “and then Seamus Finnigan, Dean Thomas,” Sweetie paused to get a better view of the remaining herd, “and Ron Weasley and Neville Longbottom. Everyone, this is Princess Celestia.”

“Hello, your Highness,” the humans chimed in unison, bowing and curtseying as appropriate.

“My.” Celestia beamed at the small children. “You are all so polite. I am surprised you did not bring Harry Potter with you today.”

“We were just going to do a quick run to a couple of stores,” Sweetie said. “Everypony didn’t need to come.”

“I see,” Celestia said as she stood from her cushions to come over to inspect the human children. “And just what did you come to Canterlot to purchase?”

“Thaumatic resonating crystals.” Sweetie said before Scootaloo could answer. “Humans haven’t got their electronics to work well in high magic areas yet. We bought some electronic toys that won’t work well at school otherwise.”

“So, no resurrecting ghosts or anything outlandish like that?” Celestia asked, studying a slightly shivering Neville.

“No ma’am,” Scootaloo said. “We're just trying to get some common stuff to work right at school.”

“I cannot see how that would be a problem,” Celestia said turning her attention to Lavender. “Did you bring enough bits with you for the purchase?”

“Rarity sent me a promissory note.” Sweetie held up the paper.

“That would work fine in Ponyville, where she is well known.” Celestia sent her magic to her desk, retrieving a sheet of paper and a quill. “However, in Canterlot, this will be better received; I’ll just deduct the bits from the amount I owe Rarity for the chests you ordered.”

“Thank you, Princess,” Sweetie said accepting the new paper.

“You are welcome,” Celestia said moving to Ron. “Will you be staying for lunch?”

“Sorry, no,” Scootaloo said. “We are in a bit of a rush.”

“A pity,” Celestia said, “I’m sure Luna and Cadence would have loved to meet you all. As it is, Luna is going to be upset at sleeping through this chance encounter.”

“Maybe in the near future?” Sweetie suggested, “We can bring everypony.”

“That would be perfect,” Celestia said with a smile. “Now, don’t let me keep you from your tasks, I am sure you want to get your toys working.”

“Your Highness,” Dean spoke up, finding his voice, “would it be rude to ask for a couple of hairs from your wonderful tail?”

Celestia paused for a second, unsure how to answer, “Well Dean Thomas, that is a curious request. May I ask why you would want such a thing?”

“Er.” Dean shuffled a foot in embarrassment. “They make wands with unicorn tail hairs. I would feel like a right fool if I didn’t at least ask. I’m sorry if I offended you, I didn’t mean to make you mad.”

“I’m not mad.” Celestia reassured him, then winced as she used her magic once again. “I was just surprised at your unusual request. Here, let me put these in an envelope so you don’t lose them.”

“Thank you, your Highness.” Dean bowed deeply, accepting his prize. “My gratitude knows no bounds.”

Celestia giggled again, “Sweetie Belle, where ever did you find such a charmer?”

Scootaloo snarked, "Who are you, and what have you done with the real Dean?"

A pathetic body of a beetle stilled, never to move again. The transfer was half-complete.

Four foals trotted down the passageways of the palace, hoofbeat echoing in the long, marble passage. The rest of their number had been whisked away to Ollivander's. The periodically-stationed guards paid them little or no attention, even though the foals were staring at them in awe.

“Sweetie,” the little lavender-colored earth pony suddenly spoke up as her friends continued to inspect their surroundings, “as stupid as this may sound, it just now occurred to me that your animagus form isn’t a small white unicorn.”

“Oh?” Sweetie Belle said, turning toward her friend.

“I just realized your animagus form is a human girl.”

Sweetie Belle giggled. "I know; that would just freak out all my friends in Ponyville." With that, she continued to lead her friends through the palace.

The small professor escorted his guest to the Great Hall for an early lunch. They had skipped supper and breakfast and both were looking forward to a hearty meal.

Despite the rumors that were to come, they did not walk bow legged the entire way. Despite how they felt, there had been no bone deformation.

Professor Flitwick had always been known as a cheerful and happy man. The enthusiasm he displayed buoyed the spirits of all the students who passed through his classes. He was a joy to all who encountered him.

A smile graced his face more often than not. All his charges had fond memories of those smiles.

Those memories paled in comparison to the grin that currently monopolized his face.

Once again, Harry found himself at the center of attention. This time, it was a couple of friends of his father who could not seem to tear their attention away from him. The man, Sirius Black, had vowed most formally that he would do everything in his power to see that Harry never again suffered as he had in the past. There had been many apologies made over failing to do their duty and more than one warning not to trust the headmaster.

Then came the bombshells, Harry was related to several of those present through his paternal grandmother. He had family that cared. He had family that would have gladly taken him in and raised him with love.

If it had not been for the proclamation by Dumbledore himself, no one would have known that Harry had participated in any way in the destruction of the Dark Lord. It was because of Dumbledore that he was famous. It was because of Dumbledore that he needed protection from the still-prevalent followers of Voldemort. It was because of Dumbledore, that he had grown up secluded, ignorant and unloved.

Professor McGonagall said that when she had confronted the headmaster, he had stated that everything he had done in regards to Harry’s up bring had been for the Greater Good. You could almost hear the capital letters. Even with the medical report, she had not been aware of exactly what had transpired. She had thought that Albus hadn’t known that Harry had been mistreated. Hearing that the Equestrians were convinced that he had been using compulsion charms came as an unwelcome surprise.

In his peripheral vision, Harry saw tears in Apple Bloom’s eyes and surprisingly in Professor McGonagall’s as well. The rest of the women in the room were shaking with anger not bothering to hide their own waterworks. Harry hated the pity. He just wanted to forget the past. He wanted to go into the future with his new friends as an equal. He wanted to protect his herd from harm. He would protect them. As much as his herd had committed to him, he was now committed to them.

After all, Dumbledore had done this to the son of people he called friends. What would he be willing to do to the rest of them? Silently he vowed to himself not to allow the headmaster a chance, Harry would protect his herd. Dumbledore had failed to make a willing servant. Dumbledore had failed to capture the devotion of a desperate and unloved child. Dumbledore’s plans had backfired.

Dumbledore had succeeded in making an enemy.

“What’s wrong with Magah?” Fay asked as she watched the woman nervously scurry yet again around the common room, worry plastered on the pseudo human's face.

“She gets antsy when we're not all in her immediate sight,” Parvati explained. “She’ll be fine once they all come back.”

“I would have expected her to have followed Sweetie,” Fay commented.

“Sweetie needed a break,” Ginny said. “Magah hasn’t left her side in a week.”

“I can’t say that I blame her for wanting a breather,” Fay agreed. “Besides, it's funny watching all the boys obsess over Magah. Although I admit, I’m getting tired of vanishing all of the drool puddles.”

“It’s closed.” Scootaloo and her friends stared at the sign in the shop door. “We come all the way here, and it’s closed.”

“I suppose we shouldn’t have expected him to be open on the weekend.” Neville sighed. “It does seem kind of silly once you stop to think about it.”

“Let’s just get the pizzas and head back,” Ron said.

“Any ideas where to get pizza?” Scootaloo asked.

Ron stopped short and frowned. “Not a clue.”

“What is this?” a surprised voice said from behind them. “Three Hogwarts students loitering outside my shop?”

The spooked trio pivoted toward the voice. “Hello, Mr. Ollivander,” Scootaloo piped up after she got her breathing back under control.”

“Greetings Miss Aloo, Mr. Weasley, and Mr. Longbottom,” Ollivander said, skirting around the children to enter his shop. “Won’t you please come in?”

“Thank you,” Ron and Scootaloo said while Neville asked, “How did you know who I was?”

Ollivander chortled. “My dear boy, I sold your parent their wands; did you think I would not recognize their offspring? Now, what brings you three here? Without supervision I might add.”

“We were doing homework and found out that Neville’s wand was burnt out,” Scootaloo said, following the man into his shop.

“Burnt out?” Ollivander scowled deeply. “It takes a lot to burn out a wand; let me see.”

Hastily, Neville dug his wand out of his robe’s pocket and presented it. “It was my father’s,” he said unnecessarily.

“Yes, I see.” Ollivander gently took the wand and examined it, his eyes fogging slightly “Your father poured his very essence into his last few spells. The wood is permeated with his desire to protect you and his wife. I can still feel his determination to give his life to save yours. It pulses with all the unconditional love he felt for you. This wand wants to serve you, but it’s core is almost inert. That you have managed any magic with it proves it devotion to you.”

Neville let tears fall freely, “Can you fix it?”

“I am sure I have the material for a new core squirreled away somewhere in here.” Ollivander said with a sad smile, “The wand chooses the wizard, Mr. Longbottom, and this wand is screaming that it chooses you, even as it no longer has the means to do so. The bonds it has formed are invaluable. I could not craft a more perfect wand for you, even given a thousand years to try.”

“Oh,” Ron said, nudging Scootaloo. “We brought core material; maybe it can be used in Neville’s wand.”

“Did you bring me some hairs from your friend’s unicorn?” Ollivander asked, his interest piqued, “Maybe a tail feather or two from her phoenix?”

“Nah,” Scootaloo said, pulling an envelope from her robes, “We got hairs from Princess Celestia. She’s pretty magical, so we thought they might work.”

Scrutinizing the contents of the envelope, Ollivander’s breath caught in his throat. “Yes, these shall be more than adequate. I would be interested in purchasing any extras you would be willing to part with.”

“Sorry, they’re not for sale. They were given as a gift and that would just be rude.” Scootaloo shook her head, “But Dean did ask if you could make him a wand from one and I’m sure the rest of us wouldn’t mind an extra wand as well.

“Yes, I do believe we can work out an agreeable price for custom work.” Ollivander’s eyes sparkled at the thought of working with the new material. “It won’t take but a few minutes to set one of these in Mr. Longbottom’s willing wand, but the rest of the work will take a couple months at least.”

“We’re in no hurry.” Scootaloo shrugged. “The only other thing we’ve got for you is that Neville carries his wand in his robe pocket as do most members of our house. We’d like to order holsters for every Gryffindor.”

“I am sure I could arrange that,” Ollivander said, not taking his eyes off the contents of the envelope. “But first, let’s get Mr. Longbottom’s problem corrected.”

Disillusioned, Richard Goodman stood in a corner of the wand shop and watched Ron pay for the purchases with a vault key. It seemed Miss Aloo was almost broke for the year after a bulk broom purchase. Every now and then, the proprietor would turn his gaze in Richard’s direction, obviously well-aware that he was there.

The ex-auror could only watch one group of children at a time, and he had no idea where the other bunch had gone.

The door triggered a brass bell assembly when it was swung open and the four foals filed quickly into the store.

Mystic Book raised an eyebrow at the sight of them. Two unicorns accompanied by a pegasus and an earth pony was an odd combination for a store specializing in magical paraphernalia. She only sold a few goods that could be considered completed products.

“Bonjour,” she merrily greeted the plainly-lost children. “Welcome to Enchantment Essentials.”

“Hello,” the children chimed up, trotting over to the counter behind which she was standing.

“We need some crystals,” the pink pegasus colt said. He was a curiosity. The number of parents who passed up the opportunity to change coat colors on newborns foal when it came to pink colts could be counted on one hoof.

“I have plenty of crystals,” Mystic Book said pleasantly, “though I’m afraid they aren’t the spelled ones you are probably looking for. I sell the components for the items you're used to buying, not the finished products.”

“You don’t have any thaumatic resonating crystals?” the white unicorn filly asked, disappointed.

Mystic Book’s ears pivoted forward slightly, “You foals want to mess with electricity? That can be dangerous.”

“We need something to protect our stuff from magical fields and supply 'lectricity for it,” the earth pony filly said eagerly, placing her front hooves on the counter to stand on her hind legs.

“I’m not sure I’d be a responsible mare if I were to sell you anything like that,” Mystic Book said. “Besides, the better crystals with stable DC are rather pricy. I’m afraid I’d want your parents present for such a purchase.”

“Awww,” three of the foals said before the unicorn colt tried, “We don’t want a DC crystal, we want one at two hundred thirty volts and fifty hertz AC.”

“That is oddly specific,” the elder mare said, narrowing her eyes, “and while a lot cheaper, AC is more dangerous than DC. I can’t think of any equipment that uses AC because of that fact. I’m sorry; you are not helping your case.”

“Our parents aren’t in Canterlot.” The lavender earth pony pouted. “If we got Princess Celestia to vouch for us, would you sell us the crystals?”

“That would be a ludicrous amount of overkill.” Mystic Book said to the filly, with a patronizing smile, “As if I would waste the princess’s time on such a matter. Good luck on getting in to see her, though.”

“We just came from her chambers,” the unicorn colt said smugly. “She gave us a form to purchase the crystals and stuff.”

“You can’t expect me to believe such a tale.” Mystic Book turned a disapproving frown on the obviously-fibbing colt. “Not only am I disappointed in you for lying, I am appalled that you’d think I’d fall for such an outlandish falsehood.”

“It’s true.” the unicorn filly plopped a paper on the counter. “See.”

Mystic Book glanced at the paper, did a double take, then moved forward to examine it closer. Warily, a pulse of magic was sent through her horn to test the seal affixed to the sheet. “Where did you get this?” she squeaked.

“We told you,” the pink pegasus said. “Princess Celestia gave it to us.”

“You could buy an estate in the upper district with this,” Mystic Book whimpered, “no, questions asked.”

“That would be irresponsible,” The lavender earth filly said. “She gave it to us with the understanding that we would be buying those crystals. While I’m sure she wouldn’t mind us getting related items, an estate would be breaking her trust.”

“You said two hundred and thirty volts?” Mystic Book confirmed.

Goodbyes were said, and the children were sent on their way. Apple Bloom hovered so close to Harry that she was practically tripping over him with every step. As soon as the door closed a foreboding silence dominated the room. A very large elephant needed to be prodded.

“What now?” Alice asked after a while. “He can’t be allowed to get away with this.”

“I’m not sure I want the girls going to a school with him in charge,” Twilight agreed.

“With the forms you have signed,” Minerva said, “he has little to no authority over them. Despite your misgivings, I do not think you should withdraw your children.”

Twilight nodded. “Both Princess Luna and Celestia have pledged to reprimand him personally if he so much as looks at them crossly. Of course, first they’d have to beat Discord to him.”

“They should be careful.” Narcissa warned, “Dumbledore didn’t live to be over a hundred for no reason, you know.”

A minute later, Minerva raised an eyebrow as she watched the purple-haired woman who rolled on the floor and continued to laugh uncontrollably.

“How long do you think she’s able to keep that up?” Remus asked.

Supper saw the herd in the Great Hall, bunched close together at the Gryffindor table. For once, Apple Bloom wasn’t sitting next to Ron, stuffing her face. Instead, she sat next to Harry and ate about as much as Hermione, warily watching anything that approached the table. Needless to say, this had everyone in Gryffindor worried about her health.

“What happened at the meeting?” Parvati asked with concern as she scrutinized Harry and Apple Bloom. “Did Sirius Black hurt you?”

“Sirius did nothing wrong.” Harry snapped, then with a sigh said, “Sorry, I learned some things today.”

“It's okay,” Ginny said from where she sat on his other side. “Whatever you’ve learned, we’ll handle it together.”

“Please,” Harry said, “I just want to forget it and be happy with you guys. So, you all can stop getting up and hugging me every few minutes.”

“We need the hugs just as much as you do.” Hermione said quietly, “It hurts us to see you two hurting, especially since we don’t know why.”

“You colts are sleeping in our bed tonight.” Sweetie commanded, “I want to keep you close and safe.”

“Night clothes shall be worn.” Parvati said.

“I’m sure that breaks all kinds of rules.” Dean snorted.

“Don’t care,” Scootaloo replied with grim determination.

Silently, they returned to their meal.

Down the table a way, Fay looked up and said, “Two special editions in one month? What do you suppose happened now?”

Sure enough, owls delivered an evening edition of the "Daily Prophet" to all of the subscribers taking a meal.

“What’s it say?” Seamus asked in a subdued voice as Hermione scanned the newspaper.

“He’s real!” Hermione said with a gasp. “Some wizard copied the idea from the movie and now he’s real!”

“What?” Abagail looked over at the headline Hermione was displaying, “Oh, I have a doll exactly like that back home.”

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