• 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 56: All Good Things . . .

Author's Note:

This chapter is shorter than usual. My excuse is that my nephew came back from Florida sick and, unfortunately, contagious. I started this chapter about a week ago and have spent most of the time since asleep more often than not. Sorry to say, I haven't done much writing in that time. If I had, it would have been a touch too surreal.

However, instead of keeping you waiting, I decided to just post what I've been sitting on. The next chapter should be regular length.

In the sanctuary that was his office, Professor Severus Snape wore a frown worthy of a true occlumens. Only the most empathic of observers would have even the slightest hint of the turmoil he felt as he double-checked the letter he had just finished composing. This was a day he had thought would be far in the future, but for the sake of his sanity, not to mention the safety of his school, he had to act now.

It was time for him to take on an apprentice. That was supposed to be a task for a master Dumbledore's age, not a job for a wizard in his prime. It was supposed to be the last meaningful act of a master in any field to pass all his knowledge along to the most promising of the next generation to build the foundation to advance the art, to find someone who could be trusted to carry on his vision.

From what he had seen of the current pool of candidates, this task was a sure path to bleeding ulcers, or, if he were lucky, an early grave. He would be committing to teach someone who had delusions of competence. He would be responsible for ensuring that they would be worthy of the title Master of Potions. The mere thought of the ensuing stress was almost enough to make him reconsider his offer. If the specter of Sweetie Belle's unintended discoveries were not threatening to again stab him in the back, he would have burned the letter and been done with it.

Had this been an ordinary solicitation, he could have taken solace in the respite the process would grant; normally, it would take one month for the first response to arrive. He would have one month to organize his lesson plan. He would have one month to redistribute his workload. He would have one month of relative peace to prepare himself for the rigors of training a high-level student. He would have one month of dealing with the untold abominations that Sweetie Belle was sure to brew if left unsupervised. It would be best if he could have the apprentice now, but that would take a miracle, and any occlumens knew better than to count on those.

A patient knock on the door startled him into coating the entire envelope with sealing wax. With well-concealed irritation, he stalked across the room. As he wrenched the door open, he snarled, "This had better be important."

“Did we come at a bad time?” Professor Flitwick asked mildly, drawing Snape’s attention downward for a second before it rose again to the young women standing a few steps back.

The vibrant hair colors that his unexpected visitors sported were the first thing that the head of Slytherin House noticed. It did not take a fertile imagination for him to divine the nature of the intrusion. “I see,” he drawled. “Am I to understand that you were sent by Applejack?”

The closest woman, a spindly young thing with dark red hair, awkwardly dropped forward into what looked like a variation on a sprinter's starting position. However, with elbows bent, the woman was clearly taking a deferential attitude. Snape interpreted it as some form of curtsey, despite the fact that her posterior was sticking up in what looked like an absurd salute.

Looking up from the awkward position, the woman said, "Yes, sir. The Bearer of Honesty relayed your request to the Bearer of Generosity. The Bearer of Magic informed Princess Celestia, and her highness selected us in hopes that you would consider us for the position."

“I assume you all have experience brewing?” Snape stared into the eyes of the lead woman, resisting the urge to examine her other attributes.

“We all recently graduated magna cum laude from Celestia’s school,” the redhead returned. “Mint Roots was the best of our class at potions, but she isn’t currently in Canterlot.”

Professor Snape sighed and closed his eyes as he massaged the bridge of his nose. These children would not have learned standard potion making, at least not standard as far as wizards were concerned. They would probably be as much trouble to teach as the less-qualified students he was now forced to take on for his N.E.W.T. classes. Still, he couldn’t risk insulting his patron.

“I should also mention,” the redhead said, her rear still comically in the air, “Princess Celestia would not be opposed to you taking more apprentices in addition to any of us you choose. The crown will pay all expenses for them as well.”

Professor Snape’s eyes snapped open and he fixed each woman in turn with his black eyes. “I shall not abide slackers. I expect nothing less than perfection.”

One of the women, with pale blue hair sporting an even paler stripe, sniffed and looked down her nose at the taller Professor. “We earned our way to the top of our class with our sweat and tears. Princess Celestia herself set us on this task. We shall not disappoint.”

Black eyes once again sought her out. Slowly, she wilted under the attention, lowering both her eyes and her nose. “You had better hope that is the case,” Professor Snape sneered. “Do not think I will not send you home with your tail between your legs if you do.”

As one, the women gulped, not one daring to speak up.

“Very well, you have one week to impress me. After classes, your skills shall be assessed. It will give me the opportunity to see where our knowledge overlaps and where you may be lacking,” Professor Snape announced. “With luck, one or two of you might have the potential to master the art of potion making.”

The assembled women continued to stare back at him with palpable fear as they all joined their leader in the curtsey. Snape could not help but think that they were fourteen shy of a twenty-one bum salute.

Emma Granger traversed the significantly less crowded floor, homing in on her husband. She looked down at his cross-legged form and said, “I see you have an admirer.”

Dan sighed and looked at the snoring purple mare. “She climbed into my lap without so much as a ‘by your leave’. I’d wager she’s had a touch too much to drink.”

“Should I be jealous? She’s claimed my spot,” Emma said with a smile.

With a snicker, Dan motioned for Emma to take a seat next to him. “I see you have an admirer of your own.”

Emma looked over her shoulder, glancing at Magah before sitting next to her spouse. “She’s been following me for a while now. I think the talking ponies are unnerving her.”

“The poor thing,” Dan said, running his hand through the mane of the mare in his lap.

“So, where is your other shadow?” Emma asked, leaning into Dan. “She looked as stressed as Magah does.”

“She went off to talk to her son and gather her daughters for the trip home,” Dan answered.

“Mum!” Emma found her own lap filled with a fluorescent orange filly.

“Hermione,” Emma said, petting her daughter, “I hope you had fun today.”

“Loads and loads,” Hermione confirmed. “Look! Apple Bloom gave me a couple rings for you and Daddy.”

“That was thoughtful of her,” Emma said, retrieving the rings from Hermione’s mouth.

“She knows how happy the necklaces make you,” Hermione confided. The filly turned toward the sound of heavy hoofbeats as Apple Bloom’s brother trotted over to their group. “Hello.” She waved a hoof at him.

He smiled and nodded at Hermione and her parents before concentrating on Magah. “Ma’am,” he greeted.

Magah glared at him.

“Um,” Hermione said. “Mr. Apple Bloom’s brother . . .” She was surprised when Emma put a silencing hand over her muzzle.

“I just wanted to apologize for earlier.”

Magah continued to glare at him.

“I realize you were protecting Apple Bloom.”

Magah glared some more.

Big Mac let his ears droop and lowered his head in shame. “Ah’m sorry.”

Magah snorted.

Big Mac peered up and prepared to be berated.

Magah glared at him.

Big Mac patiently waited for the mare to say something.

Magah persisted with her glare.

Big Mac took a weary step back.

Magah let her glare linger.

A green stallion sauntered up and said, “What’s the matter Big Mac? Find somepony who talks less than you?”

Hermione reached up with her hooves to remove Emma’s hand. “Mum, we really should tell him.”

“I promised Applejack and Pinkie that we’d let him work it out for himself,” Emma said.

Turning an ear to listen to the humans, Big Mac raised his head and tried again. “No hard feelings?”

Magah’s glare continued to bore a hole through the stallion.

Big Mac looked to his left and saw Pinkie, Applejack and Rarity watching. They all had wide grins and Rarity waved an encouraging hoof at him. Something wasn’t right here.

Magah’s glare remained.

“Uh, I’ll be going now.” Big Mac took another step back before whirling around and hurrying away.

The tension of the moment evaporated as Pinkie and Applejack dropped to the ground, howling with laughter.

“That was cruel,” Hermione noted.

She reached out with a pink hoof to stroke the collection flask. It sat on a table with two matching brothers, all three filled with a glowing pink liquid, all three filled with life.

A courier had brought them no less than ten minutes past. Filled in less than a day, they represented so much. Could they be the future? Should she call off the invasion? It had never been anything but an act of desperation, intruding on the territory of another.

In the end, it was a fool’s choice. Why fight when another route had presented itself? What could be better than food freely given for nothing more than being a friend?

It was time to revise her plans. Opportunity was knocking, and she was no fool.

Twilight was in a corner, talking quietly with Arthur Weasley, Xenophilius Lovegood, and Professor McGonagall, when the owl arrived and went straight to Applejack. She watched the farm mare retrieve a letter and offer the bird a treat. Once the owl was a cared for, Applejack read the letter before making a beeline for Twilight.

“Twilight!” Applejack said. “The princess took yer suggestion and galloped with it.”

“That’s wonderful.” Twilight broke into a wide grin.

The three humans looked on curiously but refrained from commenting.

“This here is a letter from Professor Snape. He got seven apprentices owled to him an’ he sends his thanks fer the prompt-like response.”

“I am so jealous.” Twilight started trotting in place. “Imagine. Studying under a master in a strange new land.”

“Seven apprentices?” Professor McGonagall said. “That is rather ambitious of him.”

“So, there will be more ponies at Hogwarts,” Xenophilius mused.

“The exchange of knowledge will advance the quality of life for both ponies and humans.” Twilight nodded her head enthusiastically. “The potential benefits are beyond imagination. This is big! Big, I tell you!”

“Big enough to justify having some of our own students apprentice with your masters as well?” Xenophilius asked.

Twilight froze midtrot as the implications hit her. With gazelle-like grace, she began pronking in a circle around her group. "Yes!" she cried as enthusiasm lofted just shy of the rafters. "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes! . . ."

Applejack interjected, "Twilight? Are y'all right, sugarcube?"

Twilight reddened as she froze at the apex of her leap before lightly touching down. Although she tried to compose herself, she was still quivering with so much excitement that her form was a blur. In a husky voice, she said, "I'll send Princess Celestia a letter. I'm sure she will start making preparations right away."

“Well, Arthur,” Xenophilius said, “I think it’s safe to say that you have just become the head of the Ministry's Department of Interdimensional Affairs.”

The melodic jingle of the bell above the door announced the arrival of the last Crusader and her guardian. An orange blur zipped past Rainbow Dash and circled the ceiling before streaking down to her herdmates. "Guys! Guys!" she called out as she dove.

“Scootaloo, welcome baaaaaaaaa!” Sweetie Belle exclaimed before being tackle hugged by the orange missile.

“Rainbow Dash is adopting me!” Scootaloo declared with her forehooves full of unicorn filly.

“That’s wonderful!” the gathered foals, both human and pony, all exclaimed.

“That’s worth missing even a Pinkie Pie party for!” Button Mash noted.

Lavender cantered over and hugged Scootaloo from behind. “Congratulations!” she said warmly.

The hug pile continued to grow as the enthusiasm infected the foals and they rushed to share in the joy.

Filius Flitwick was reading in his office when a familiar owl once again entered from an orthogonal dimension. “I don’t suppose you brought me students for Ravenclaw this time,” he said, looking up from his book. “I’m starting to feel a little left out here.”

“Hoo.” The owl shook its head.

“Oh well. Ex dimittere,” Filius said, brandishing his wand. Soon, he was rewarded with a jumble of gaily-colored pony foals accompanied by a cat.

The cat untangled herself from the rest and transformed. “Hello, Filius. Thank you for the assistance.”

“Hello, Minerva.” Filius watched the sluggish little ponies find their hooves. He noted several unfamiliar faces among the equines. “Collecting yet more new students?”

“I’m afraid not,” Minerva said. “These are all current students.”

“Hello, Professor Flitwick,” the ponies all chorused as they half-heartedly waved their forehooves.

“I see Miss Granger wasn’t the only one to receive a ring then,” Filius commented.

“It is safe to say that the entire first-year Gryffindor class will probably be skipping dinner tonight,” Minerva said as the ponies started to take human form.

“May I please change in your bathroom?” the remaining yellow unicorn asked.

In a nondescript house in a quiet East London neighborhood, a man capped off his celebration of fatherhood with his favorite program on the telly and a pint of his favorite brew. Yanks be damned, he was going to enjoy his beverage at the proper temperature, not so cold as to mask the toasty sweetness of malt or the citrusy bitterness of hops, but not so warm as to suck all of the refreshment out of the drink. He had been the perfect parent, taking some of the neighborhood boys to football practice and encouraging them to do their best. The only thing that would have made it better would have been his son's presence. Technically, Dean was his stepson, but the man did not care about technicalities. In every way that mattered, Dean was his son, and while he knew that sending the lad off to that boarding school was the right thing to do, the man regretted that the right thing meant forsaking much-coveted father-son bonding.

Upon hearing the front door open he called out, “Is that you dear?”

“Yes, we’re home,” called his wife. A split-second later, she exclaimed, “Rosie! Get down from there! You’re getting muddy hoofprints all over my white ceiling!”

“Sorry, mum!”

As he beheld the impossible, the man choked on his mouthful of beer.

The end of the party was punctuated by the loud crash that announced the transformation of a significant portion of the east wall of Sugarcube Corner into a cloud of shrapnel. The new parents who stood in front of the new egress were a study in contrasts as Bon Bon fumed with ill-concealed rage while Lyra looked on with somber acceptance. Everyone else watched as the earth pony fought to keep her temper in check as she marched toward the Bearer of Magic.

The floor trembled with each step as each hoofbeat sounded like a bass drum. There was no doubt she was every bit as much an earth pony as any member of the Apple family. Bon Bon spoke in a deceptively calm voice that would have frozen a wendigo solid. "Twilight, I need transportation." She stamped a forehoof, making the floor ripple as if it were the surface of a pond. "Now."

“What?” Twilight gaped.

“Dursleys.” Somehow, Bon Bon managed to make the word rhyme with "walking dead ponies". Zecora would have been impressed.

“Oh,” Twilight said. “They’re just pawns. The one you want is Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore.”

“Explain,” Bon Bon coldly demanded.

“He used magic to change the Dursley’s behavior,” Rarity said as she calmly and clearly walked to Bon Bon's side, carefully staying out of bucking range.

“That name is much too long,” Lyra said. “I’m just going to refer to him as 'nitrohumus'.”

“Anyway,” Pinkie said, “Princess Luna is being selfish and is taking up every night with her turn.”

“Though, I do have to admit that making Nitro Humus experience everything he made Harry Potter suffer through is a good start,” Twilight finished for the pink mare.

“That is an acceptable way to pass the night,” Lyra said.

"Princess Luna may have the dream cycle covered," said Bon Bon, "but the days should belong to us. We should relieve him of any non-essential bodily functions."

“The mare has a point,” Pinkie said.

“A good point,” Twilight agreed. “Rarity may I borrow Frank? I have just the charm to make sure he stays nice and hard for the entire experience.”

"I'm sorry, darling, but I had planned on some quality time with him. He even has extra studs now."

“You already had your turn,” Pinkie objected. "A mare has needs!"

“Excuse me!” Cheerilee broke into the conversation. “Not in front of the children.” She pointed at the remaining fillies and colts watching the drama with wide eyes. “Take it outside.”

A guilty silence followed.

Far to the north, under tons of ice and snow, beneath frozen dirt and frigid rock, a spell ran its course.

Gradually, consciousness returned.

After a millennium, evil began to awaken.

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