• 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 50: Sorting It Out

In the darkness of his temporary tomb, he brooded. He could barely fathom the indignity of having a bit of broken furniture as his final resting place, but he was confident that he could escape before that came to pass. He was at last familiar enough with his new vessel to store mana. The fools who attacked him had unwittingly given him a new lease on life. However, unless he acted, this would only delay the inevitable.

This was not supposed to happen. The extraneous female was draining his mana at an ever-increasing rate. If his pawn were doing its job properly, this would not have been an issue. However, even if its production were normal, now that the daughter was so much further away than the mother, the mother would still drain more than the daughter would provide. What exacerbated matters was that the younger's production had slowed from a trickle to a drip. This could only mean the younger was learning to focus what he provided. Soon, she would be independent.

He had to act while there was still time. If she were to develop her own relationship with the world well, her spirit would recognize his intrusion, and her power would become poison to him. This would remove his only means of reclaiming what was rightfully his. Everything he invested would be lost. His existence would come to an end.

A universal truth was that desperate times called for desperate measures. Unforeseen circumstances forced his hand; it was well past time for him to cut his losses. There was no hope of gaining any meaningful amount of mana from his pawn at this rate. He had to sacrifice it now, far earlier than he had planned. It would be a simple matter to overwhelm the link. He would marshal his mana and force every iota he could spare into the distant tool. This would trigger a resonant feedback loop, forcing the pawn's mana production to accelerate to the point where its physical vessel could no longer contain it. She would die screaming as the power slowly disintegrated her from the inside out. Only then would the mana be returned to him. It would only be a pittance compared to what she should have provided had she played her part properly, but it would be enough for him to execute an alternate plan.

It was a pity she was too far away for him to witness her demise. From that distance, her screams wouldn't be a whisper. That would not be an issue with the mother. She had contaminated the link, so he would need a hands-on approach. While this would be difficult, he could not help but anticipate the satisfaction of witnessing her end. Both mother and daughter would be joined in agony for eternity for disappointing him, the sooner the better.

A passer-by would have been surprised to find the teachers' lounge in Hogwarts occupied just before supper on a Saturday. Four friends had repurposed it into a game room as they enjoyed a cutthroat session of dominoes. This muggle game was not nearly as popular as exploding snaps, but it did provide entertainment enough for those who were tired of being detached from their eyebrows.

Pomona looked at her hand and smiled to herself. She and Septima, the Arithmancy professor, had a large enough lead over Filius and Paola that she felt a win was in her immediate future. It would go a long way toward reducing the sting of the current tally of four games to one.

As she considered her next move, Pomona became aware of the arrival of two owls. One, an exceptionally large example of its species, landed on the back of a chair just out of her reach. The other was much smaller and not from a species with which she was familiar.

“Hoo.” The larger directed the comment at the smaller in an almost inquisitive manner.

“Who,” the smaller replied and bobbed its head enthusiastically.

“How did they get in here?” Filius asked, scanning the room and noting that the doors and windows were still closed.

The three witches started and quickly realized the smallest professor had made a valid observation.

“Only one of them seems to have a letter,” Septima said. “This is most peculiar.”
The larger owl, who was wearing a satchel on its breast, hopped closer and offered a leg to Pomona.

“Let's see, shall we?” Pomona said. “What couldn't wait for the normal post?”
Filius drew his wand and scanned the owls for anomalies while his colleague studied the note.

“It's from Minerva,” Pomona said, taking out her own wand and tapping it on the owl's pouch. “Ex dimittere.”

A rude regurgitating sound preceded the appearance of a familiar cat and four small colorful horses -- two with horns and two without.

“What do we have here?” Septima asked even as the cat stood up and took the form of Professor McGonagall.

“Minerva,” Pomona greeted. “Where have you gotten to all day?”

“I've been rounding up some new students for the roster,” Minerva said matter-of-factly. “Our first-year numbers are sparse this year, and we have more than enough room. Please say hello to Miss Silver Spoon, Miss Diamond Tiara, and Miss Clouded Hope.”

“More ponies?” Filius said. “I count four; you neglected one.”

Minerva glanced down and said, “Miss Granger?”

“Oh, right,” Hermione said and flowed to her full height, once more clad in her school uniform. “Sorry.” The other three fillies who had been huddled close to her backed away with a gasp.

“She's an animagus!” Septima accused.

“She has an artifact that facilitates the change,” Professor McGonagall corrected.

“Why did you change these poor children into ponies?” Septima asked. “It seems rather extreme.”

“Hey!” Diamond Tiara found her voice. “There's nothing wrong with being a pony. You should try it sometime.”

“Miss Tiara,” Professor McGonagall firmly said, her lips thinning, “such outbursts shall not be tolerated. You shall show proper respect to all of the professors and staff.”

“Yes ma'am,” Tiara said meekly, her ears wilting. “I'm sorry.”

“Septima,” Filius said, “these children were born ponies. Their secondary forms are those of human children.”

“What are you . . .” Septima started before a thought hit her. “Miss Belle is a unicorn, isn't she?”

“Very astute,” Paola said, breaking her own silence. “It would seem that Hogwarts is expanding its horizons.”

“Um,” Silver Spoon ventured, “we could attend classes as ponies if that were all right.”

“You wouldn't be able to walk five feet without someone scooping you up and trying to cuddle you to death,” Hermione advised. “Trust me, it'll get old really quickly.”

“This explains the vibrant hair colors,” Septima noted. “How many ponies do we have in attendance?”

“These three will bring the number to six,” Minerva supplied. “Now, supper is fast approaching. It would be best if you three took your new forms.”

“If the Crusaders can do this, so can I,” Diamond Tiara said. She stuck a ring in her mouth and stood up on her two human feet for the first time. “Thath wassn't sso baff.”

Silver Spoon sighed and put her ring in her mouth, soon she was standing next to Tiara. Both were clad in outfits that would have made Umbridge beam.

The two were examining their hands when Clouded Hope raised a hoof. “Um, I would really like some privacy to change,” she said.

“Of course, child.” Professor Sprout smiled at the apparently shy filly, “That door leads to the staff washroom. Go change in there and hurry back.”

“Thank you,” Clouded murmured before rushing off for some seclusion for her first foray into human form. Less than a minute later she was back, wearing an ensemble matching those of the two earth ponies. Her mane had lightened slightly with the transformation, and she looked strikingly like a miniature Paola.

“That clothing will have to go,” Septima commented, scrunching her nose.

“I know, they are frightful,” Paola agreed. “Someone needs fashion lessons.”

“I was referring to the uniform requirement,” Septima said, “but you have a point.”

“I think they look adorable,” Discord huffed in indignation.

“If they were four years old, maybe,” Septima said, turning to the two new individuals in the room. “Do we have a hidden door around here that I'm not aware of?”

“Harry!” Hermione exclaimed, rushing forward to scoop up her herdmate into her arms, “You won't believe the day I've had.”

“Hermione!” Harry rasped, suffering in her embrace. “We were worried about you, disappearing without a warning like that.”

Hermione blushed. “I wasn't gone all that long, what possibly could have happened?”

“I don't know,” Tiara snarked. “It's not like you'd just go out and come within a hair's breadth of killing off a town with your rampant singing.”

“That was an accident,” Hermione huffed.

“I'll explain later,” Minerva said as all the adults in the room shot her questioning looks.

“Potter has wings?” Septima quirked an eyebrow at the remaining pony in the room.

“This was a revelation for me as well,” Filius admitted.

Septima remarked, "You know, boy, you're a little hoarse."

Hermione groaned, "That gag's been done to death."

“Well, well, well,” Discord commented, fondly ruffling Hermione's hair. “I see, you found your own way back, and you brought extras.”

“Yes, thank you for sending me to Twilight. She took care of my problem.”

“I knew you would be in good hooves,” Discord said. “I had a moment of doubt when your fear started spiking, but a quick peek showed that both my fears and yours were not well-grounded.”

Hermione shuddered and glared at Discord.

“Miss Granger, Mr. Potter,” Minerva said, “it is about an hour until our evening meal. Perhaps you would like to go find your friends before everyone needs to take their seats. We do have four sortings to complete before we partake, and these three need to be made ready.”

“Yes ma'am.” the two Gryffindors chorused, realizing they had been dismissed. “Thank you again Mr. Discord!”

“You can put me down now,” Harry said when Hermione reached the door.

The girl nuzzled him and replied, "You do have the softest fur." As his hooves touched the floor, Harry transfigured back into his native form.

They heard Discord say, “You really do not like these magnificent outfits?” as they left the room.

The Gryffindor common room was the site of yet another tectonic change. A pile of ponies was lying in front of the telly, intent on watching one of their number master yet another level of their favorite game. Intermingled with them were three girls, more intent on petting ponies than watching the game. The normal crowd was curiously absent.

“Welcome back,” Scootaloo called out without turning around. After two weeks that felt like forever, she was once again in her pony form. Abagail gently went through her feathers one by one, cleaning and smoothing before returning each to its proper position.

“Hey there.” Harry said wondering how she knew who was approaching.”

“Hello, everyone,” Hermione added. She groused, "Why couldn't I get a normal shade of orange?"

The enthralled ponies and girls all offered up a greeting.

“Um, Lavender,” Hermione ventured. “how are you managing to play that with hooves?”

“I haven't the foggiest of ideas,” Lavender said sullenly.

Confusion mounted, and Hermione asked, “Lavender? Why are you foaming at the mouth?”

“Apparently, because Mr. Discord decided that she should clean up her language,” Parvati said, running her fingers through Dean's fur.

“Is that connected in any way to why Magah is in the corner fighting with a floating bar of soap?” Hermione asked.

“It's also how we got the telly to ourselves for a while,” Seamus said. “After the soap attacked Lee, everyone decided clear off for a bit.”

“The soap attacked Lee?” Harry asked.

“Yeah,” Sweetie said. “When it was attacking Lavender, he said, 'I can't believe she has a piece of soap that takes offense when she says that word.'”

“Only he didn't say 'that word',” Luna said. “He actually said the word.”

“How he could not've seen that coming, I'll never know,” Ginny commented.

“Mmmm hmm.” The group in front of the telly nodded in agreement.

“Oh.” Hermione looked at the besieged pseudo-human. “Shouldn't we help her?”

“Nah,” Dean said. “It'll teach her not to say that word.”

“Besides,” Neville added, “we need to give her a bath anyway.”

“It seems awful cruel,” Harry complained.

“Do you know how to stop a berserk piece of soap?” Abagail asked, starting on the other wing.

“Not offhand,” Harry admitted.

“Thus, bath time.” Sweetie Belle said.

“Aaaaand, why are you three not in pony form?” Harry inquired to change the subject.

“I'm petting ponies,” Parvati said defensively.

“And we promised to wait 'til after supper,” Abagail added. “The twins started a pool on color and tribe. They asked us to give everyone a chance to make a guess.”

“Y'all seem calmer, Hermione.” Apple Bloom finished studying her formerly misplaced herdmate. “Ah take it, Twilight was able to help ya.”

Hermione irately narrowed her eyes. “My week would have been a lot less stressful if you had thought to mention that we should expect pictures to magically appear on our bums.”

The heads of the three original Crusaders jerked up and they gawked at Hermione.

“You got your cutie mark?” Scootaloo demanded slowly.

“You were only a pony like two days when you started acting weird.” Sweetie Belle wailed.

"It happened without you doing anything?" asked Apple Bloom.

Hermione nodded.

“It's not fair!” the trio cried out. “It's not fair, I tell you!” The foundations of the school shuddered at the plaintive wail that followed.

The upscale apartment above the bank was far too large for one person. The kitchen was large enough to service a medium-sized restaurant. Its well-stocked larder was the envy of any gourmet chef, and it would have easily kept said restaurant running for a week. For a lonely stay-at-home mother, it was an open invitation to try all the recipes she'd seen prepared on the cooking shows but never had the means to try. Mulia Mild would have been proud.

Having prepared a veritable banquet, Elisa Bates suddenly realized that she had made far too much food for one woman and her two goblin bodyguards. As she looked over the spread, it occurred to her that her efforts need not go to waste. She never had given her benefactors proper thanks. What better way to do that than to have her guards invite their families over for dinner? Of course, she couldn't forget the one who had made all of the arrangements; the Overseer himself would be the guest of honor, with the seat at the head of the table.

Unwittingly, Elisa had created an awkward situation. Ordinarily, the Overseer would never have broken bread with those so far beneath him in social standing. In a remarkable show of generosity, the brevetted the others to let them freely converse with both his host and him, if only for one night. He even let his guards rotate with Elisa's to give everyone a chance at the table.

It had taken some time for every goblin to realize that their new lord was not testing them. She truly wanted only the pleasure of their company. While goblin tastes and human tastes had distinct differences, there was considerable overlap. Before the evening ended, even the Overseer started wondering how he could secure a future invitation; the tiramisu was to die for.

It would have been a perfect evening, if not for the sudden sense of dread that crawled up Elisa's spine. She had an eerie premoniton that something was going to happen to her daughter. The woman gave a wan smile as she looked over her dinner guests. There was no rational reason for her unease. Still, she couldn't help but worry.

It was much too early in the term for this sort of drama. After six years at Hogwarts, Fay had become accustomed to the school's patterns. Generally, this sort of disturbance was the response to some trivially asinine issue that would resolve itself over time. Reluctantly, Fay descended the stairs with Terisa at her side. Her responsibilities as prefect dictated that she investigate. Hopefully, whatever it was didn't involve unrestrained beauty aids.

“Apple Bloom!” she said once the common room came into view. “Stop banging the wall like that, you're going to crack it.”

“And by 'it', she's not sure if she means the wall or your skull,” Terisa added.

“Aaargh!” Apple Bloom commented.

“We're happy for you,” Sweetie Belle said to Hermione. “Really, we are. It's great that you got your cutie mark . . . it's just that . . .”

“You got it in a couple days!” Scootaloo exploded, “We've been trying for forever to get ours and you get yours in two bloody days!”

The bar of soap abandoned Magah and turned its attention to Scootaloo.

“Aaaaah, gaaat ooooff!” Scootaloo yelled.

“Ba kon,” Magah whimpered gratefully.

Terisa marched across the common room and snatched up Apple Bloom, “Seriously, you need to stop. I think you dislodged that brick.”

The atmosphere in the master bedroom of what had been stately Malfoy Manor was thick with anticipation. “Discord, you're back,” the stunningly beautiful pink-haired woman breathed when the man appeared in the room. “I hope that's the last errand that you have to run for a while.”

“Fluttershy and I were starting to get anxious,” the raven-haired beauty agreed, looking through her long eyelashes.

“Just one more task,” Discord said. To the dismay of readers around the world, all external access to the proceedings vanished with a snap of his fingers.

A contrite Apple Bloom rubbed herself against Hermione's legs. “Ah'm sorry. We should be overjoyed that y'all got your cutie mark so quick like, not wallowin' in self-pity 'cause we ain't got ours.”

“Yeah.” Sweetie Belle's ears drooped in shame as she rubbed against Hermione's legs from the other side. “It is really rotten of us to treat you this way.”

“I'm not mad at you.” Hermione shrank as she transfigured to nuzzle her friends reassuringly. “If I could, I'd erase it and wait until after you had yours.”

“Don't say that,” Apple Bloom gasped. “Yer cutie mark is a part of ya. Be proud of it. Don't let our sour apples ruin it fer ya.”

“Gaaaahh! Pbbbt!” Scootaloo flopped and desperately tried to remove the cleaning product from her mouth.

“Stupefy,” Fay helpfully added.

“Surprisingly, that worked,” Terisa said. “Now, you just need to revive Scoots.”

“Do you mind?” Sweetie Belle snapped. “We are trying to have a sentimental moment over here.”

“Not at all,” Fay said. “Just let me wake the last participant.”

The remaining first-years were crowded in the boys' dorm room, staring under Harry's bed.

“Magah,” Ginny coaxed, “come out from under there; the nasty soap isn't going to get you.”

“Ba kon,” came a retort from somewhere underneath the bed.

“Come on girl,” Neville begged with Philomena sitting on his shoulder singing encouragingly. “It's safe.”

“Wan-- Ba kon!” came the stubborn reply.

Hermione released herself from the group hug and said, “I don't know if this is a good time, but Pinkie told me to tell you, as soon as possible, that tomorrow we are all supposed to go to Sugar Cube Corner for a 'cute-ceañera slash day before your birthday that you never bothered to tell anypony about party'. She's kind of scary so I don't really want to upset her by not telling you.” The girl shuddered. "I do so hope she meant 'stroke' and not 'slash'."

“That's understandable.” Scootaloo nodded her head in sympathy.

“I have no idea how she knew it was my birthday or how she knew I hadn't told anyone,” Hermione said in a small voice.

“Eh.” Apple Bloom shrugged. “That's just Pinkie being Pinkie.”

“I've heard that phrase more than once today,” Hermione said.

“Are we all nice and made up now?” Terisa asked.

“Yeah.” the four ponies answered.

“Good,” Terisa said, “now will someone please tell me why Granger has pictures of books and wands on her arse?”

With exaggerated modesty, Hermione covered up.

Everyone except the first-years in the Great Hall knew that this would be no ordinary Saturday supper. To the uninitiated, there were two notable differences. The most obvious was the added furniture in front of the head table. A battered stool stood there for a rare third time in a single term. Hushed whispers rippled through the gathered students as they sat in anticipation of the show.

The second difference was paradoxically both more drastic and more subtle. It was the norm for the houses to self-segregate at meals. It was a show of unity and pride for each house. On the weekdays, the colors were in full display at each table. On the weekends, however, more casual clothing was the norm. A casual observer would have missed that the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff students were integrating on an unprecedented level.

Dumbledore easily fell into the familiar role of the stately elderly wizard. He rose to stand behind the podium overlooking the sorting stool. As soon as he left his seat, the conversation began to dwindle of its own accord. By the time he took his place, he had silence without calling for it.

“Good evening,” he said in a quiet yet commanding voice. “I trust each and every one of you realize that we have some business to attend to prior to beginning our meal. It has been an extraordinary year, with many surprises. The newest of these is that we have the good fortune of adding four new students to our numbers.”

With those words, the double doors swung open and Professor Septima Vector chaperoned four fledgling girls into the Great Hall. The sounds of the footsteps carried clearly throughout the room.

“On that note, I once again yield the floor to our beloved deputy headmistress, Professor McGonagall.”

With a purposeful stride, Minerva walked over to the stool, ferrying the sorting hat. Reverently, she placed her charge on the waiting stool.

In anticipation of what was to come, Percy cast a silencing charm on Magah.

As was its custom, the hat started singing once it had everyone's attention. The headgear was ecstatic; long had it been since the last time it had three performances in a single year. This time, it managed to make it through its verses without interruption.

After the musical interlude, Professor McGonagall said, “When I call your name, you will put on the hat and sit on the stool to be sorted. Hope, Clouded.”

The girl did nothing to hide her nervousness as she took her place.

“What have we here?” the hat said into her mind as soon as she was seated. “You are not at all as you appear; but that is your very nature isn't it.”

Clouded went rigid at the intrusion, certain that this was the end. From a corner of her mind, another presence made itself known. In something short of yet, at the same time, approaching words it communicated, “What is this? Who are you to intrude on what is mine?”

“How very interesting,” the hat replied gleefully. “You are linked. Hello, everybuggy listening in.”

Suspicion and concern overwhelmed the mindscape. “Who are you, and do you intend my daughter harm?”

“No, no,” the hat said. “My job is to merely sort her into her house and judge whether or not she is a danger to her peers.”

“And how do you judge her?”

“I can discern that she is less dangerous than many who hold to certain philosophies. However, I shall have her word that she takes only what is on the surface; that will eliminate the possibility of a mishap.”

“We have no assurance that will be enough to sustain her,” the dominant personality protested.

“Then a professor will see to her needs,” the hat countered. “If she cannot co-exist reasonably with the rest of the students, she will be returned unharmed.”

“That is acceptable.” Like a cat who had lost interest, the presence backed off from the forefront.

“Now to the task at hand,” the hat said. “You are neither ambitious nor brave. Those traits do not appeal to you. Substantial intelligence is here, but not the drive to learn. Loyalty and the will to work you have aplenty, though. I think it would be best if you went to . . .”

The brim of the hat went wide as it called out, “Hufflepuff!”

Clouded remained ramrod-straight as her face betrayed her shock over passing the unexpected test. Her borrowed robes took on the familiar yellow and black.

“You may sit with your house now.” Professor McGonagall said, trying to elicit a response.

“Thank you,” Clouded said, numbly removing the hat.

Loud applause accompanied the shell shocked girl as she made her way toward the humans gesturing for her to come hither. Minerva continued to to watch until the new student was seated before saying, “Lovegood, Luna.”

The other new blonde skipped up to the stool and presented her head for the hat. Once in place, a voice, barely on the surface of her mind said, “You're a Lovegood?” a shudder rolled through the ancient artifact, “I'm not going in there!”

“Hello,” Luna returned, “is there a miremoot hiding in the hat?”

“You are definitely a Lovegood,” the hat answered its own question. “Here's the deal: Lovegoods get to choose their own house, and they do not let anyone else know about this rare privilege.”

“Okay, Mr. Miremoot,” Luna said happily.

Hats should be incapable of wincing, but somehow it was managed. “Do you know which house you want?”

“At first I wanted to be in Ravenclaw like Mummy and Daddy,” Luna thought at the miremoot. “Now I have a question.”

“I'll be glad to answer what I can.”

“How many ponies are in the other houses?”

“Currently, all ponies are in Gryffindor,” the hat confided.

Luna was a ten-year old girl, and a no-brainer was a no-brainer no matter how you look at it. “Daddy did tell me to be brave.”

The hat's brim parted once more. “Gryffindor!”

Professor McGonagall smiled as the newest member of her house skipped over in a blur of red and gold to claim a spot next to the rest of the first-years, “Spoon, Silver,” she called out.

Soon, the hat was on its third head of the night. “What have we here?” it said into the mind of the second earth pony it had met. “You certainly have your plans laid out, don't you?”

“Hello Mr. Hat,” Silver Spoon thought back. “Could you tell me which one is Draco Malfoy?”

“He's the one sitting between those large first-years,” the hat responded, “I suggest you wait until after our talk before worrying about him. I see your determination to be in Slytherin but I need to tell you that you are not the sort that the snakes cherish. You do not have the cunning or the thirst for power that they crave. You would do swimmingly in either Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff.”

“If you're even half as good as I think you are, you know why that's not going to happen. You know why I belong in Slytherin.”

“Yes,” the hat confirmed, “this conversation had one forgone outcome before it even started. You ponies have very strong bonds. Despite not yet formalizing an agreement, the core of your herd is already set in stone. Though I must say, I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you two explain that to Mr. Malfoy.”

“I'm sorry if I caused you any difficulties,” Silver Spoon thought sincerely.

“You would have been exceptional in Hufflepuff,” the hat lamented before declaring for all to hear, “Slytherin!”

At the head table, Professor Snape's eyes narrowed slightly. The stark white hair marked this student as a pony, and he would have to admit that he wasn't anticipating any of them having the mindset needed for Slytherin.

Professor McGonagall watched the young girl walk over to the Slytherin table and say something to the last Malfoy. Upon receiving a positive reply, the girl wrapped her arms around Crabbe. Clearly the boy out-massed her three to one, yet, with an audible “Pardon me”, she hauled the boy from his place before claiming the vacated spot.

Minerva gave a small frown at the incident; it would seem she had no reason to worry over the pony being placed in the house of snakes. Perhaps she should start worrying for the snakes, instead.

Resolving to talk to Snape in the future, Minerva called the last name, “Tiara, Diamond.”

“OH! COME ON!” an outraged child screeched as her fears were confirmed and the person she thought she recognized turned out to be exactly whom she thought. The outcry echoed for awkward seconds.

“That will be ten points from Gryffindor. Miss Belle, see me after the meal.” Professor McGonagall demanded. She didn't miss the evil grin on the next occupant of the stool.

“Oh my,” the hat said as soon as it was situated, “I'm delighted to say you are exactly what Salazar envisioned as a member of his house. You may not have his blood, but you have his spirit.”

“Who is Salazar?” Diamond Tiara asked.

“He was the Slytherin founder,” the hat replied.

“Perfect,” Tiara said, “put me in Slytherin, please.”

“So mote it be,” the hat said before addressing the room as a whole. “This one is Slytherin!” The polite clapping started before the hat finished. “Primus!”

A hush washed over the hall as Diamond Tiara proudly handed the hat to Professor McGonagall. With the bearing of a young aristocrat, the girl glided over to the Slytherin table, every eye glued to the green and silver that flowed with her. When she reached her destination, she looked at Goyle and tilted her head slightly to the side.

Taking the hint, Goyle evacuated his seat, leaving Diamond Tiara to triumphantly sit next to her stallion.

The last Malfoy shuddered as he felt as though he were about to be eaten alive.

The ruin of the dresser would be a tomb no more. The moment of action had come. He gathered all of his energy, checked the connection one last time -- then pushed.

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