• 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 42: Toeing the Line

Inside the rustic schoolhouse, a magenta earth pony stood in front of the blackboard as her students filed in from recess. The day had been going very well, so far. The class had managed to work its way through a particularly complicated math lesson with very little difficulty. Surprisingly, Snips and Snails had been the first to demonstrate the basic concepts. She could never tell beforehoof whether those two would be able to keep up with their peers on any lesson; they seemed to be idiot savants, with emphasis on the former.

With a satisfied grin, the earth pony surveyed the foals as they took their seats. She was dejected to see that one of the fillies, who had left in very high spirits, had returned looking like somepony had bucked her puppy, twice.

“Diamond Tiara?” the earth pony asked.

“Yes, Miss Cheerilee?” the pink filly replied listlessly, her ears drooping, reflecting her mood.

“Is something the matter?” Miss Cheerilee prodded carefully. She needed to find what had caused such a reversal without upsetting the filly further.

“It’s no fair.” Diamond Tiara replied. The rest of the foals stopped their chatter to listen in on the conversation.

“What’s not fair?” Miss Cheerilee asked. “Did something happen during recess that I should be made aware of?”

“My butler gave me some news,” Diamond Tiara said looking away from the teacher and staring at the ground.

“I hope nopony was hurt,” Cheerilee said, fearing the worst.

‘No, he just came from Town Hall where my daddy was filing my marriage contract. I told him to come here when it was done so I could make an announcement.”

“You have a marriage contract?” Miss Cheerilee gasped and a murmur wafted through the remaining students. “Did something go wrong with it?”

“No!” Diamond Tiara said, planting her face on her desk with a thud. “It got filed without a hitch.”

“I . . . I don’t understand,” Cheerilee said trotting in place, “How are you not jumping for joy? I know I would be in your place.”

“Randolph saw the Crusaders’ modified herd agreement on the mayor’s desk,” Diamond Tiara wailed.

“Diamond Tiara, you shouldn’t let that bother you. I assume they added Sweetie Belle’s marriage contract colt to their herd. That is not unexpected,” Cheerilee ventured.

“Randolph couldn’t tell,” Diamond Tiara wailed again.

“I don’t understand,” Cheerilee repeated.

“We don’t know the name of the colt on Sweetie’s marriage contract.” Diamond threw back her head and decried to the ceiling, “He could be any of the five colts on the agreement!”

“WHAT!” Cheerilee shrieked. “FIVE!”

“Yes!” Diamond Tiara howled. “The crusaders have five colts in their herd agreement!”

“FIVE!!!???” Cheerilee repeated.


Silence reigned as the collected students stared down at their teacher.

“Good going, Diamond Tiara,” Button Mash spoke up accusingly. “You broke Miss Cheerilee.”

“What?” Diamond swiveled her head to gape at the colt and waved at the downed pony. “I never laid a hoof on her!”

“Wait a minute,” Silver Spoon said. “Five colts?”

“Yes,” Diamond Tiara moaned.

“Why are we not going to that school?” Silver Spoon questioned.

“I’m not sure,” Diamond Tiara admitted, miserably. “I need to talk to my daddy about that.”

“Um,” Dinky Doo said meekly, “shouldn’t we be doing something for her?” She gestured at Miss Cheerilee.

Snails said, “I asked my mom that when the flower sellers did the same thing. She told me to turn their heads to the side so they won't choke and then leave them be and they’d get up on their own.”

“I don’t know,” Button Mash said. “It doesn’t seem right to just leave her lying there.”

“We could throw water on her,” Peppermint Twist suggested helpfully.

“I think that would just make her mad,” Zipporwhill countered.

“Just let her take her nap,” Snails insisted.

“What do we do for the rest of the class then?” Peppermint Twist asked.

“More recess?” Rumble proposed with a shrug.

“Sounds like a plan,” Button Mash agreed. “Anypony up for some buckball?”

Quietly, the gathered foals courteously left to let their teacher enjoy her much-needed rest.

Scootaloo stood and waved for attention as Sweetie Belle led Magah into the Great Hall for lunch. “Over here, Sweetie!” she called out.

“Hey guys!” Sweetie said, skipping over to them, causing Philomena to spread her wings for balance. “We’re back.”

“How’d it go?” Harry asked, sliding over to make room for her.

“It wasn’t nearly as boring as I thought it would be.” Sweetie admitted, sitting and reaching for the roast lamb. “When they announced the new Minister, it was like everypony couldn’t find the words to express their joy. They were all polite and quiet for the rest of the swearing in ceremony. Once that was over, the people in the press box nearly trampled everypony else in their haste to get the story out. which is kind of understandable since the new Minister came from the press box. I’ll bet they are ecstatic that one of their own was chosen.”

“The new Minister is a reporter?” Parvati asked, transferring some roast lamb and peas onto a plate for Magah.

“Yeah, he was a real surprise, it seems.” Sweetie nodded her head. “Mr. Weasley kept saying that he couldn’t believe it.”

“So, who was it?” Lavender asked.

“I’d sound like Scootaloo, if I tried to say the first part of his name, but the second half is Lovegood,” Sweetie said.

“Luna’s father?” Ginny asked.

“Hey!” Scootaloo complained, “I’m not that bad.”

The whole table looked at her then returned their attention to Sweetie Belle without a word.

“Anyway,” Sweetie said, “where’s Hermione? I’m sure she’d want to hear this.”

“She said she was going to skip lunch and head to the library.” Harry said worriedly, “I think she’s upset over something.”

“Then, why are we here? Let’s go help.” Sweetie said, standing up stuffing some roast between two slices of bread.

“She told us not to worry and go eat.” Dean said, “She was rather insistent on it.”

“Yeah, something's up with that girl.” Seamus agreed. “Apple Bloom grabbed Neville and they went to watch over her, even though she chased us away.”

“I repeat,” Sweetie said, “Why are we here?” She stormed out with Magah and Scootaloo at her heels. The remainder of the herd shrugged and brought the rest of lunch with them as they followed.

Despite being a land of harmony, equine nature would inevitably lead to transgressions that required incarceration. The local constabularies had cells, as did the guard stations and outposts throughout the country. The worst offenders, however, were consigned to the dungeons of Canterlot Castle.

In an apparent irony, the dungeons had the most comfortable accommodations of any cells in Equestria. A casual observer could easily mistake it for a boarding house. The rooms were warm and cozy, with furniture and bedding that would be the envy of the finest hotels. Paintings and tapestries that had been retired from public display adorned the walls, and the doors did not even have locks.

The food was prepared by the castle chefs; prisoners were so rare that the expense of hiring somepony else to cook for them could not be justified. Granted, the most junior and least skilled members of the staff were saddled with that responsibility, but even their simplest dishes were worthy of the finest restaurant in the land.

However, there was no mistaking that this was a cage, albeit a gilded one. The access to the dungeon was heavily warded and guarded. The punishment meted out was from the cruelest source of all, the prisoner's own conscience. To be imprisoned here, one must have not only broken the law, but also offended the sensibilities of one of the princesses. To a prisoner, it was almost like being a recalcitrant child. However, instead of corporal punishment from a disappointed parent, the punishment was the anger of an alicorn.

There were several offenses that the average pony would think serious enough for this sort of punishment. Embezzlement, and simple arson, however, would only see a pony securely away in an ordinary guard facility. Not even wackadoodling was enough to merit such attention. Granted, it took a special kind of sick pony to engage in that depravity, and the gerbils involved were permanently traumatized. However, the princesses had a special hospital for such offenders and a sanctuary in the Royal Gardens for the victims.

The dungeons were reserved for those who did serious harm to a pony. The fact that so few crimes qualified spoke volumes about the ponies' ethics. Murder was on that list, as was aggravated foal abuse. Stallionnapping with intent to molest was most definitely something the princesses wanted to quash.

It was for the last offense that three young mares found themselves sharing a cell. The sheer lack of stallions had driven them to desperation, and now they found they had all the time in the world to contemplate the error of their ways. Their posture told the story; head, ears, and tail drooped. When they first entered, the recriminations had been swift and fierce. Now, however, silence reigned. Everything that needed to be said had already been voiced. All that was left was for the trio to huddle together for mutual support as they waited for the sentence to be set and administered.

The plaintive wail of a harmonica crescendoed, just loud enough to be audible. The dirge reflected the ponies' mood so well that they did not notice it right away.

The first to take note was a pale green pegasus with a flowing aqua mane. “Cumin Bite, Vanilla Lick, do you hear that?”

The pale brown unicorn at her side raised a sorrowful head and said, “Where’s it coming from? We’re the only ponies in here, and the guards prefer playing statue to playing a harmonica.”

“Relax, Updraft,” the cream-colored earth pony on her other side said. “It’s just the draconequus in the corner playing his heart out.”

“Oh,” Updraft replied dejectedly, and all three ponies returned their attention to the floor in front of them to once again wallow in their shared misfortune.

In the corner, said draconequus held up three digits and counted down as he continued to play his harmonica. As soon as he reached zero, all three mares' heads shot up, and they shared confused looks with each other before turning their attention to the newest occupant.

“My but aren’t you a bunch of jail birds,” Discord quipped with a snap of his claw. Where three mares once sat, there were now three startled, fat, and fluffy canaries. None of them made a sound as they continued to stare at Discord.

“I understand you three are in a spot of trouble,” Discord continued.

“Chirp,” one of the bird said in an affirmative tone.

“Since my name’s not Fluttershy,” Discord said with an amused grin, “this conversation is going to be annoyingly one-sided at this rate.”

The three birds continued to stare at him dumbly.

Discord sighed and said, “Alright, you're no fun.” With a snap of his claw, he returned the three to their birth forms.

Once again ponies, the mares threw their hooves around each other and trembled. “Are you here to break us out?” Updraft ventured, little hope in her voice.

“Tsk, haven’t you heard? I’m reformed,” Discord said with a wave of his paw. “I can’t very well go around breaking bad ponies out of jail anymore, now can I?”

“What do you want?” the earth pony of the group asked warily.

“Ah, but that’s the 64,000-bit question now isn’t it?” Discord said, holding his chin as he circled the huddled mass of ponies. “Do you have any idea what Celestia normally does to ponies who’ve done what you did?”

“Ba-banishment,” the unicorn said, still shaking. “She’s going to banish us.”

“Too true,” Discord said, still studying the trio. “Dear Celestia tends to take a dim view when mares such as yourself get over enthusiastic at acquiring a stallion. The poor lad will be scarred for life.”

“We weren’t going to hurt him,” Updraft insisted. “We just . . .” She fell silent for a moment before wailing, "We just needed a stallion in our lives! Is that too much to ask?!" She again fell silent, dejected.

“Well, we all know how dangerous it can be out there for three young ponies like you,” Discord said. “I do not recommend traveling beyond the badlands, they consider ponies property over there.”

Updraft held the two other ponies closer as they all silently began to cry,

“Of course,” Discord said, tapping his chin, “no matter where you end up, the odds of you acquiring a stallion are rather slim.”

“Did you come just to rub it in?” Updraft sniffed. “We already know we’re doomed. Nowhere safe for ponies will allow banished criminals to settle in their lands.”

“I was just highlighting your current predicament,” Discord said. “It makes what I have to offer all the sweeter.”

The three mares locked their eyes on him, feeling hope for the first time in days.

“I can take you somewhere much safer than your current prospects,” Discord continued. "To be fair to dear Sun Butt, though, you still will be banished."

The trio shifted uncomfortably. Cumin said, "We're listening."

Discord gave a half smile. "There, you would each have the opportunity to find a male to call your own. You would each have the opportunity to make and raise your own family."

“What’s the catch?” the cream earth pony asked.

“The catch, my dear Vanilla Lick.” Discord said, “is that it’s going to cost you your hooves and tails.”

Almost the entirety of the Gryffindor house sat in a semicircle around their newest prized possession. They even managed to pry Hermione loose from the library, though she did end up just sitting on a couch reading and refusing to pony up. In a show of pure genius, Fay had at the very beginning insisted that everyone show their completed homework before anyone was allowed to turn it on. This led to the teachers wondering just what had made the Gryffindors emulate the Ravenclaws in their percentage of on-time assignments.

“I said 'jump', you wanker!” Lavender yelled at the screen as she violently shook the controller.

“Wanker!” Magah gleefully echoed, bouncing in place and disturbing Neville, who had been napping in her lap.

Everyone in the room turned to look at the transformed unicorn in surprise.

“I did warn you,” Dean said, shaking his fuchsia head

“Right then,” Fay said. “You did say that the telly can do things other than play the same game over and over. Why don’t we try that?”

“Do you think we can get a signal out here?” a muggle-born boy asked.

“Just how big do you think Scotland is?” another asked.

“It’s not just distance that would cause problems,” the first replied. “It's also everything between us and the station.”

“Don’t worry,” Seamus said. “I already thought of it. We got crystals that relay signals between linked pairs regardless of physical interference. They are even supposed recover the signal if it becomes corrupted. Hopefully, they work on telly stations. I figure we just need to attach an antenna to one and place it somewhere with good reception.”

“Antenna?” Hermione asked, closing her book. “I have a better idea.”

“Okay,” Seamus said. “They’re in Sweetie’s trunk.”

“Thanks,” Hermione said, abandoning her place on the couch. “Come on, Sweetie.”

“I’m going to lose my turn again, aren’t I,” the white unicorn said, following Hermione from the room with Philomena riding on her back.

“Your Highnesses!” A Royal Guard exclaimed as he intruded upon the sisters. “Your Highnesses! The prisoners have escaped!”

“What!” Luna exclaimed, rearing and spreading her wings. “Gather the Night Watch! I shall see that they are returned to face proper punishment!”

“They left a note,” the guard continued, holding up a scroll with his magic.

Celestia took the offering and read aloud. “Dear Tia, I know how much you hate having to banish any of your little ponies, so I thought I’d save you the trouble and take care of this lot for you. Discord. PS. They shouldn’t be harmed and will be out of your mane for good.”

Luna looked at the paper her sister was levitating and asked, “Should we be worried?”

Looking up from the missive, Celestia asked in return, “Was that a serious question?”

Straightening from where she had been loading the dishwasher, Emma smiled at the children who had just entered through the back door. “Hermione. Sweetie. What a pleasant surprise. Hello to you as well, Philomena.”

Philomena trilled a greeting as Hermione bounced over to hug her mother.

“Thanks again for the second necklace Sweetie,” Emma continued with her daughter in her arms. “We do so love them.”

“You’re welcome Mrs. Granger.” Sweetie said proudly.

“What brings you three here on a school night?” Emma asked.

“We’re not staying long.” Hermione said, “We just came to steal the cable.”

“All right then.” Emma said following the two girls into the living room, “Just as long as you leave some for your father. He’d be downright irritable if he had to miss his team playing.”

“I know there’s a splitter in the junk drawer.” Hermione said producing a fist-sized purple crystal. Looking at it critically she said, “Mum? Where’s the duct tape?”

Croaker was proud of the wards that protected his house. It wasn’t a stretch to say that they were unique in the level of protection they offered. With his position, he had access to ward schemes that were unheard of by even the most experienced enchanter outside of the Unspeakables. He had personally designed and implemented every single protection on his home. There were wards to suppress fire and explosions, wards to provide fresh air and water, wards to deflect or absorb spells, and, of course, wards to regulate every known mode of travel. No one could enter his home without his knowledge, be it by floo, apparation, walking, flying, portkey, or whatever could be imagined. Yes, Croaker was the true master of his own . . .

“Hello there,” Discord said from off to the right. “Would you mind terribly if we interrupted?”

Oh well; back to the drawing board.

It was difficult to tell that Croaker had been startled. He calmly turned to his unexpected visitor to find that the wizard was accompanied by three women. A quirky sense of humor was being displayed, as each woman was in a separate cardboard box, with just their heads showing. The cartons were all labelled with the shipping information, as well as all of the caution stickers befitting such precious cargo. Doubt marred the women’s faces and eyes.

“Mr. Discord.” Croaker said evenly, “good evening.”

“Good evening, Mr. Croaker.” Discord said, holding and studying a clipboard “I believe you ordered some unattached young females.”

“I hardly expected a home delivery,” Croaker returned before turning to the three new arrivals. “Ladies,” he greeted.

“Hello,” the three woman murmured in return, their wide eyes drinking in their surroundings. Two of them had the peculiar hair coloring displayed by the known women of Equestria. One had aqua hair, and the other had creamy brown with yellow highlights -- not blonde, but true yellow. The third had hair that fell within the norms of blonde but was still striking in appearance.

“Sign on the dotted line,” Discord said handing over the clipboard and a muggle rollerball pen.

Smiling at the women before examining the page, Croaker saw that it was a bona fide delivery receipt for three women.

“This is much faster than anticipated,” Croaker noted. “We’ve not had the time to arrange proper accommodations.

“Did you want me to take them back?” Discord asked innocently.

“No, we’ll manage.” Croaker said, signing the receipt before handing the clipboard back.

Fay and the rest of the Gryffindors eyed the new addition to the telly. It consisted of a purple crystal with a length of wire wound around it, following the spiral traced on the crystal. Duct tape kept the wire in place, and the ends of the wire were attached to the inputs port of what looked like an old tube radio with a multitude of knobs and adorned with a handful of dice-sized crystals. At a table, Seamus, Sweetie and Hermione fiddled with the controls on the device. Stage by stage, the crystals turned from red to green.

“If this works, we should be able to choose twenty channels as keepers,” Seamus said, reading the instructions over Hermione’s shoulder.

“Well don’t keep us in suspense,” Abagail said. “Let’s see what’s on the telly then.”

“All right,” Sweetie said turning the terminal set of dials, “let’s see what we get.”

After a little fiddling, a new picture claimed the telly screen.

“Wicked.” The muggle-born boy cheered, “We get HBO!”

“It’s like a newspaper, only in color,” the seventh-year male prefect said.

“Well, that one’s a keeper.” Seamus said, “Let me lock it in memory.”

“That’s funny,” Hermione mused. “My parents don’t get HBO back home. We don’t watch enough telly to justify it.”

“Let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth,” Dean replied, drawing a groan from everyone in the room.

“What?” Dean asked in surprise.

“Nothing,” someone commented. “You’re just currently a little horse.”

“Oh yeah.” Dean blushed, though no one else could tell, “I forgot.”

“Let’s see what else we can get,” Hermione said reaching for the dials.

“CNN!” came a happy exclamation. “We have news.”

“That’s another keeper,” Sweetie noted.

Soon another channel came into focus. “BBC. We’ve got the basics now,” Dean said cheerfully.

“Another keeper,” Sweetie agreed. “We’re on a roll.”

More fiddling brought up yet another channel.

“All right,” the upperclassman muggle born boy exclaimed, “Playboy Channel.”

Apple Bloom tilted her head as she studied the screen. “They need to change the name of the channel. That thar is girls playing.” Then after another glance she added, “Ah kin tell.”

“That one’s not a keeper!” Fay insisted as she twisted the knob with a vengeance.

Discord looked down at the woman in front of him in horror as the water steadily fell, bouncing off the sheaf of paper in his hands.

“Really?” Amelia asked, “Are you serious?”

“No, I’m Discord,” Discord said. “I do believe he is enjoying his convalescence.”

“And you think you’re funny too.” Amelia noted.

“Sorry.” Discord winced. “I couldn't pass up the perfect setup line.”

“I see.” Amelia crossed her arms, drawing Discords attention even lower.

“My eyes are up here,” Amelia said.

Discord snapped his head up. Blushing, he said, "It looks like I caught you at a bad time."

Amelia huffed, "I take it you're here on business?"

“Endowment for the arts,” he let slip. "Wait. I know it's something important."

“I was going to apologize for how I reacted the last time this happened,” Amelia said, “but I’m starting to change my mind.”

As Discord turned to leave, Amelia laced her fingers behind her neck. "Wait!" she commanded.

Discord looked back and froze. Amelia continued. "Since you're intruding on my personal space, I'd like you to take care of a personal matter."

Discord gulped. "Personal?"

With a predatory grin, Amelia stretched. "You know, I think you're trying to show me up, coming dressed so much fancier that I am."

Discord absently snapped his fingers. Their attire was now matching.

Amelia gasped and then smiled, “Good boy, now come here.”

The full moon illuminated two friends who sat on the wild grasses of the moor. One was panting heavily while the other looked at him in concern. They had started the night filled with hope. There was a chance that a major problem might finally be resolved. When the transformation started, both had been bitterly disappointed. After the transformation, they weren’t sure how they felt.

One of them abruptly stood up, wearily eyeing his companion for any signs of hostility as they were bathed in the bright moonlight.

“Remus?” he asked cautiously.


“Remus?” the first repeated.

“Yes, Sirius, I can hear you. I seem to have retained all of my mental faculties, so the potion isn’t a complete bust.”

“Remus,” Sirius repeated.


“You’re a goat,” Sirius informed his friend.

“I’m a what?”

“A goat,” Sirius said, “a purple, talking goat.”

Remus stared at Sirius with unnaturally large eyes. “Are you sure?”

“Well, animal identification isn’t my forte,” Sirius admitted, “but I’m positive about the purple and talking part.”

“I don’t feel like a goat,” Remus said, lifting a hoof to study it.

“But you are a goat,” Sirius insisted. “Repeat after me. Baaaaaa!”

“I’m not going to say 'baaaaa',” Remus snarled.

“You just did,” Sirius said with a smirk. “Trust me, you’re a natural.”

“I’m pretty sure goats have horns,” Remus said. “Do I have horns?”

“Nope, no horns,” Sirius replied. “Go 'baaaa' again.”

“I am not going to go 'baaaa' again,” Remus fumed.

Sirius grinned at him in triumph.

“Okay, I walked into that one,” Remus admitted. “But, I think I remember reading that goats have cloven hooves; these are uncloven.”

“So, you’re saying you’re a what? Small deer maybe?”

“No, remember James’ hooves were cloven as well.” Remus shook his head. “I’m not a deer.”

“I can’t say that I paid much attention to his feet,” Sirius said. “They might have been.”

“Offhand, I’d say I’m an ass,” Remus said, shakily getting up on all four hooves. “A big improvement over being a mindless beast though, and the change wasn’t nearly as bad.”

“First of all, no one calls my friend an ass except me,” Sirius said ticking off on a finger, “and secondly, you got something on your arse.”

“What?” Remus said swiveling to examine his flank. He was met with a picture of the full moon superimposed with the silhouette of a howling wolf. “That’s not ominous or anything,” he commented.

Croaker found himself in the extraordinary position of playing host to three strange women. It was too late to arrange for suitable lodging for the night. However, he had two empty bedrooms they could occupy this evening. They didn’t seem averse to doubling up. In the meantime, he could pump them for information.

“Let me get this straight, Updraft,” he said fixing his gaze on the nominal leader, “You were about to be banished from your homeland when Discord offered you the chance to come here?”

The aqua-haired woman clasped her hands in front of herself and nodded, ashamed.

“How do I know you won’t repeat your crimes here?” Croaker demanded.

"We learned our lesson," Cumin wailed mournfully. "Just give us a chance." Her two friends nodded solemnly in agreement.

"You did who knows what and you expect me you just introduce you to eligible bachelors and hope for the best?" Croaker maintained a steely exterior as he read his guests' body language.

“Please!” Vanilla wailed, “You’re our only hope. We’ll do anything you ask of us.” As she trembled, Croaker noted the genuine fear.

Softly, Updraft said, "We don't want our family lines to die with us, but we now know some prices are too high to pay."

“I suppose I can find three young gentlemen to introduce you to.” Croaker relented. Inwardly, he was amazed at how easy it was to read these women.

“We just need one to share,” Cumin said. “We’re a herd.”

“You're willing to share the same man?” Croaker said, amazed. “I must admit I envy the lucky lad.”

“Envy?” Updraft asked, shyly looking up from the floor.

“Yes.” Croaker sat back in his chair and sighed, “With my work, there's no time for proper friendship, let alone any romance. To think some lucky bloke is going to have a relationship with all three of you lovely ladies.”

“You think we’re pretty?” Vanilla gasped.

“Very pretty,” Croaker admitted.

“And you’re unattached?” Cumin asked.

“Well, yes,” Croaker said and was amazed to watch their body language shift from submissive to predatory as they all shared glances with each other.

“No need to introduce us to other males, after all,” Vanilla said with a sultry smile.

“Yes,” Updraft agreed, “we think you’ll do nicely.”

Croaker observed the approaching women. He suddenly realized how it felt to be the only candy bar in a fat farm.

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