• 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 62: Covert Chicanery

Mike's reporter's instincts screamed as he waited to make his move. He had been cautiously gathering information for his story, infiltrating a secret society by posing as a handicapped member, a "squib". He shuddered to think what would happen if his cover were blown. It was rumored that these people would erase the memories of those who stumbled upon their secret. He threatened to expose them to the entire world. What would stop them from simply removing any trace of his existence?

He had been approaching the gatehouse to their stronghold when a small crowd had stumbled out in panic, blocking the normally busy sidewalk. The normal throng of pedestrians showed no interest in the disturbance although they had to step into the street to bypass the obstruction. The crowd had now been staring at the space between the record shop and the book store for a half hour. He confirmed that his miniature tape recorder was turned on. With any luck, if things went pear-shaped, they wouldn't find it. Girding his loins, he sidled up to a younger woman and nonchalantly asked, "Something going on in the Leaky Cauldron?”

The woman, casually dressed in baby blue robes, replied, “A foreign witch blew her top a good bit gone by. We’re waiting to see when it might be safe to go back in.”

“A foreign witch,” the reporter mused. “As in the same one who beat the Chief Warlock silly the other day?” Back issues of the magical newspaper were proving invaluable.

“No,” a witch standing next to the first answered. “I remember the pictures of her from the 'Prophet'. This was someone else. Her hair had a pink stripe in it.”

“What exactly did she do to give everyone such a fright?” the reporter asked.

“She started putting out a lot of accidental magic. Whatever made her mad must be a real doozy.”

“Yeah,” the first witch agreed. “She screamed, ‘He did what?’ then burst into white hot magic, transfiguring her hair into flames for good measure."

The second witch shuddered. "Aguamenti couldn't touch her. I didn't even see any steam."

Grumbling, the first witch said, "I really need to get my apparition license; the rush to get out of the pub was murder.”

“Whoever, ‘he’ is I feel right sorry for him, I do,” the second witch said.

“I’m sure he has plenty of warning to run by now,” the reporter commented.

“I don’t think he can run far enough, fast enough,” the first witch said. “It just goes to show that you have to watch out for witches with unusual hair colors.”

“Are you saying they put the tempers of traditional redheads to shame?” the reporter asked.

“Not just that. Did you hear what a group of them pulled off in Gringotts this morning?”

“Can’t say that I have. They didn’t try to rob the place or anything did they?”

“Since the goblins aren’t in open revolt at the moment, I’d say it’s safe to say that didn’t happen.” A wizard walked up on the reporter’s opposite side. “What’s going on?”

“Foreign witch throwing a temper tantrum,” the reporter answered.

“Bouncing some poor wizard off the wall, is she?” the wizard asked.

“Time will tell,” the second witch answered. “As luck would have it, he wasn't present at the time.”

“So, what happened at the bank earlier?” the reporter prodded.

“They got the whole place singing and dancing, including the goblins. I hear Mrs. Ironbottom was doing burlesque with the head teller.”

“They had goblins singing and dancing?” The wizard next to the reporter snorted. “I don’t believe you.”

“You could always go ask the goblins,” the first witch said. “While you’re at it you could check and see if the pub is clear.”

“I like my head where it is, on my shoulders, thank you very much,” the wizard returned. “But I will have a looksee here; I’ve only got so much time to grab a late lunch.”

After watching the wizard disappear into the no see space, the reporter placed a hand on the shoulder of the closest witch in time to see his unwitting stool pigeon disappear into the pub. When the witch turned to look at him, questioning the contact, he said, “May I interest you in a pint or two? I’d like to hear some more on what happened.”

She smiled shyly at him. “Work fast, don’t you? Yes, I’d like that very much.”

“Mr. Lee,” Professor Flitwick said as the entirety of waiting crowd in the infirmary listened on. “You still wish to cling to this tale of the first years ambushing you, rather than the other way around.”

“Why would I attack a bunch of useless first years?” Barnaby countered, eyeing Dean. “And if I did, I wouldn’t cast a spell I had a chance of miscasting. They are obviously lying.”

“I find it hard to believe a group of first years, not yet through their first month of schooling, would randomly accost an elder student,” Professor McGonagall said. “Present your wand; we shall see what the last spells you cast are.”

“I must have lost it in the lake.” Barnaby smirked. “That is another thing: they owe me a new wand. Furthermore, I would like my head of house present. Everyone here is hostile and has made up their minds that I’m guilty.”

“Professor Snape is otherwise occupied,” Professor Sprout said.

“I can wait,” Barnaby replied.

“I have a better idea,” Xenophilius said, moving away from the wall where he had been leaning. “Since you are legally an adult, why don’t we call on Amelia Bones. We’ll let her question you with veritaserum.”

Barnaby’s eyes widened and he sputtered, “But this is a school brawl; she wouldn’t waste her time.”

“You have misjudged the situation,” Professor McGonagall said gravely. “You are an adult and stand accused of assaulting a group of children under the protection of this school. That alone is enough to earn you a date with a judge in the Wizengamot. This group includes three whose families hold seats in that body, including the Minister's own daughter. This group includes a sitting member of the Wizengamot. This group includes foreign students, one of whom is a ward of their ruling family. This shall not be swept under the rug, Mr. Lee. If you have anything to say, I would suggest doing so now."

Barnaby scanned the room of hostiles in front of him, allowing his eyes to grow even wider as the realization of the magnitude of his blunder. “It was Potter,” Barnaby blurted out. “He’s the reason my parents were in Azkaban. He’s the reason I haven’t seen them all these years.”

“Harry did nothing of the sort,” Molly Weasley objected, hugging Ginny closer to herself. “Your parents were responsible for their own actions.”

“And we get to the heart of the matter,” Discord said, “misdirected anger.”

“It’s obvious we can’t have him wandering around the school anymore,” Dean’s mother stated, sitting on the edge of the bed where her own child lay.

“I don’t like the idea of him running around outside the school either,” Elisa Bates added. “Perhaps the best option would be jail time.”

“He’s a clear danger to innocent humans,” Lyra said. “I recommend going straight to banishment.”

“I disagree.” Rarity argued, “He is young enough that we can afford to be merciful and protect our children at the same time.”

“How do you propose to do that?” Emma Granger asked. “It’s not like he can be watched twenty-four seven.”

“That’s easy.” Rarity grinned. “When I was getting my wand, Discord gave a good lecture on how they could be used to give oaths as well binding promises. We just get him to swear on his life and magic; then, there would be no need to involve the authorities.”

“You do realize that technically I count as ‘the authorities’?” Mr. Lovegood said with a hint humor.

“That takes care of future incidents,” Dean’s mother agreed. “But what about punishment for what he has already done?”

“I vote we lock him in a room with Apple Bloom for fifteen minutes,” Rainbow Dash suggested, trying her best not to channel a pretty perky pink pixie princess, but failing miserably.

“We will most certainly not be doing that,” Professor McGonagall said, firmly placing her foot down for emphasis.

“Ten minutes?”

“Mrs. Dash.” Professor McGonagall sent a piercing glare her way.

“All right!” Rainbow huffed. “Five then, but that’s my final offer.”

“No, Mrs. Dash,” Professor McGonagall said.

“I don’t see what the big deal is. You can regrow his bones.” Rainbow folded her arms and pouted, causing several in the room to go into shock from cuteness overload.

Cadance strode from the small bathroom. Displaying the same modesty as her daughter, the last pony standing had opted to take one of Discord's rings and transfigure in privacy. Although she sported purple, pink, and yellow hair, she could easily be mistaken for Lyra's twin.

Cadance unconsciously licked her lips as she studied the miscreant. He was radiating love for the human bound to an infirmary bed although he was doing his best to conceal his emotions. Her hips swayed seductively as she slowly circled around him. With a predatory leer, she said, "Why don't you release him into my care for a couple days? I’m sure I could drain him of any desire to harm children ever again.”

Discord shuddered and looked at Barnaby. “Trust me. You would be much better off with the fifteen minutes alone with Apple Bloom.”

Further discussion on the subject was interrupted by the fireplace spontaneously flowering green flames. “Minerva, are you there?” came the voice of an old stallion.

“Yes, Albus, I am here.”

A head appeared in the flames. “Good. I must insist on an update. I do need to know what is going on in my school.”

“You!” Rarity growled, producing her glowing wand. “We never did finish our conversation last time.”

“I’m afraid,” the head in the flames said. “Mrs. Belle that levitation does not work through the floo network. Furthermore, school discipline, by law, dictates that individual hostilities, including blood feuds, are put on hold for the duration.”

*Hummmmmm! Foooosh! Boooooooom!*

“My floo!” Madam Pomfrey cried out as the stones of her former fireplace clattered to the floor.

“Did I get him?” Lyra demanded, clutching her wand tightly. “It’s hard to aim with this thing.”

“I don’t know,” Emma said as she observed the epicenter of destruction. “Was that fireplace male or female?”

“Magical attacks don’t translate through the floo system.” Professor Flitwick said. “All you managed to do was damage school property.” He swished his wand and the fireplace began to fly back together. “Luckily, that is easily fixed.”

“No fair.” Lyra pouted. “Discord, would you mind popping me over for a face to face?”

Discord shrugged, snapped his fingers and Lyra disappeared in a flash of light.

There were a few seconds of utter silence then Professor McGonagall said. “Please tell me you didn’t just . . .”

*BWANG!* A single bass note from the headmaster's office reverberated through the school, shaking everyone off their feet.

“I think the headmaster will be spending another night at St. Mungo's.” Professor Sprout suggested.

“No.” Discord shook his head. “Fawkes decided that absence of body was more important than presence of mind. Your headmaster is unscathed. Sadly, the same cannot be said for his office. I never would have guessed its harmonic was a B-flat.”

“I wanna change my vote,” Rainbow Dash said. “Let’s stick the kid in a room with Lyra for ten minutes.”

“Thar ya are,” Applejack called out, dragging Snape into the abandoned classroom. Scootaloo was sitting on Ron’s lap in a corner, loosely hugging him while Harry, Sweetie Belle and Apple Bloom hovered close by, warily looking for the slightest disturbance.

“Hey sis.” Apple Bloom waved. “An’ hello, Professor Snape.”

Despite his years of occlumency mastery, the rational portion of his mind had not been able to keep abreast of the rapidly changing situation. It took a familiar situation to provide enough stability for him to focus. Professor Snape reflexively said, "Shouldn't the lot of you be in class right now?" He said with a sneer, “There has been more than enough excitement for today.”

“We didn’t cause no excitement,” Apple Bloom said. “We was jus’ minding our own business, goin’ back to the dorms to check on Magah before class when we got jumped by that weasel.”

“So, you say.” Professor Snape followed his habits and reached out with a light legilimency probe to test for honesty. Just like his comment, this was a matter of reflex. Had he been thinking clearly, he would have remembered his promise to avoid probing any of the pony-aligned first-years; there was no telling what might go wrong. As soon as his mind touched Apple Bloom's, Professor Snape realized that he was right to have been cautious as his mind was jerked into his student's.

His mind was supposed to be the anchor. His surroundings were supposed to be the dominant tableau. He now found himself in a mindscape that would be charitably described as psychedelic. Instead of a projection of his office, he found himself in a greenish void with pink and purple dots of varying sizes scattered around like stars in the night sky, but without any apparent organization. Instead of Apple Bloom, he found himself face to face with a completely alien creature. The beast vaguely resembled a dragon, but it had no semblance of symmetry. It had the tail of a red dragon, the hind leg of a green dragon, the wing of a purple dragon, and the foreleg and paw of a lion. It also had the hind leg of a horse, the wing of a pegasus, and the arm and claw of a griffon. The body was feathered and snake-like while the neck was horse-like. The head was similar to a dragon's, but it sported one antler and one horn. The snaggle-toothed snarl added a hint of menace as the creature casually swung a gigantic wooden mallet.

“Ah ah ah!” The oddity waggled a finger at Snape. “No peeking!”

A soft green glow marked the passage of a lone figure as it leisurely strolled through the caverns beneath Canterlot. The afternoon had been unexpectedly informative, very informative, but also more than slightly unnerving. She was positive her cover had been blown. Fortunately, some quick talking had cast her as a mother struggling to care for an illegitimate daughter. Her cover's reputation had been tarnished, but that was her cover's problem. Her agent now had a solid cover story, as well as the sympathy of the faculty. There was only one problem, and she was now going to address it.

She had never planned to maintain the persona. With an uncontested source of food, she had planned to release her prisoner and withdraw her hive. That was no longer an option. Her prisoner's face was now associated with her agent. Now, she had to maintain the status quo for the foreseeable future or risk losing everything.

The glow on her horn intensified as emerald magic melted a portion of the crystal wall to form a portal. The prisoner had been waiting for just such an opportunity. A strangled cry proceeded a feeble attack. No magic, just a lunge by an already weakened foe. She openly displayed her contempt as she snagged the organic projectile out of the air, wrapping the prisoner in yet more emerald magic. “None of that now. We wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself.”

“You!” The prisoner growled, venom dripping from the word as though it had been a viper's fang.

“Yes, me,” she replied. She gently set her prisoner on the far side of the cell before floating a basket over. "I brought you something to eat."

The prisoner regarded the container with greedy eyes but made no move toward it, even though restraint was no longer applied. “I haven’t eaten in three days. Why now?”

“I suppose, if I wanted to be snide, I could say something like ‘There were times when me and my hive would have been ecstatic with only three days between meals’ but the truth of the matter is you are much too powerful to have sitting around at full strength. Keeping you weakened is a necessary precaution, nothing more.”

“Why are you doing this?” The prisoner curtly demanded, “What are your evil plans?”

“Evil plans? You wound me. What I do, I do out of necessity not malice nor greed.”

“What are your plans?” The prisoner repeated, teeth gritted.

“Oh, I see. You want me to monologue. Wouldn’t you prefer to hear about my, or, rather, your day? I spent a lovely bit of time in another dimension. Talked to a new species. Observed a fair punishment give to a young stallion who got off a lot easier than he deserved. It was very interesting, let me tell you. By the way, you should have been more careful a dozen years ago. Your darling daughter has proven to be quite the prodigy at her new magic school.”

“I want to know why you are keeping me locked up in here. I want to know why you are threatening innocent ponies.”

“Monologue it is then.” She sighed and flicked her tail. “Well, I’m not going to tell you my plans. That’s the surest way to see that they fail. I’ll tell you what though. Why don’t I tell you the original idea?”

The prisoner growled, but said nothing.

"It all comes down to the fact that life is a zero-sum game. Everybeing has to eat, be they pony, griffin, ling, or what have you. But, everybeing eats from the same pool of food, and there is a limited supply. My hive didn't just spontaneously decide to move here. We used to have a fruitful gathering ground, Las Pegasus to be exact. We were content. Unfortunately, the queen of another hive was less so. Over the course of a decade, she rooted us out of our feeding grounds. You ponies never even noticed the struggle.”

“What does that have to do with Canterlot?” the prisoner asked.

“I would think it is obvious. We need food. Ponies provide food. We would just sneak in and set up feeding stations if it weren’t for the fact that another hive already claims these lands. My hive is starving and we can’t afford to be as subtle as we normally would. Keeping the existence of lings secret is worthless if it means letting my children starve to accomplish it. Understand that this was never a contest between lings and ponies; this is survival between competing hives.”

“You could have asked Celestia for help.”

“No, there still isn't enough food for everyling. What would have happened is we would have staged a grand assault. I would have used the love supplied by your beau, and ponies would have died. Well not actual ponies, that would be a waste, but lings from the rival hive are fair game. We would threaten to stuff ponies in pods or something just as silly. Can you imagine just how stupid it would be to stuff all your food in a pantry and leave none to grow the next year's harvest? That would be the same concept. Anyway, there would have been a dramatic climax and the real ponies would purge my lings and myself from the city, getting their happy ending. Ponies would rejoice, they would live their lives and give birth to more ponies, providing more food for my hive which would sneak back into the city to usurp the identities of the hive we would have displaced. I would even show up every now and again outside the city to draw attention away from the actual infiltration.”

“Dramatic climax?” The prisoner asked.

“Yes, I have even been working on my evil laughter. Would you care to hear a sample?”

“I’ll pass,” the prisoner said.

“Pity, all that practice is going to end up being wasted.”

“So, what changed?” the prisoner asked.

“Opportunity knocked.”

“There you are!” Twilight heard Lyra say, causing her to look up from the notes she was taking on the portal into Diagon Alley.

“Oh, hey there,” Twilight said to Lyra, Emma, and Arthur. “Where did you three get off to?”

“Mr. Discord was kind enough to involve us in an incident at Hogwarts,” Emma said.

“That doesn’t sound so kind,” Twilight noted, narrowing her eyes.

“Poor word choice.” Emma shrugged.” He brought something important to our attention, something the school would have probably tried to sweep under a rug otherwise.”

“I hope nopony was hurt,” Twilight said with more than a hint of worry.

“Nothing permanent,” Arthur replied, “but it did have the potential of getting out of hand.”

“Is it something I should worry about?”

“Nah,” Lyra said. “Discord summoned all of the parents, and we hashed it out. By the way, your niece wasn’t even involved.”

Twilight blinked rapidly. “My niece? I don’t have a niece.”

“Surprise!” Emma said. “You’ve got a niece!”

“I’m going to go out on a limb here and ask you what you are talking about,” Twilight said

“Well,” Lyra said. “When Discord summoned all of the parents, he got Princess Cadance in the mix. Turns out she’s Clouded Hope’s mother. What’s more, we got Applejack to confirm she was being honest when she said that the only pony she has ever slept with since coming to Canterlot was your brother. Ergo, you’re an aunt.”

. . .

. . .

. . .


On that cue, all the wizards and witches within earshot made a running break for it, with not a few cracks of apparition being heard.

“Well, at least there are no flames this time,” Emma noted after taking a step back. “By the way, that a nice new set of robes you are wearing.”

“Huff, huff. Huff,” Twilight replied.

“When you’re done hyperventilating, would you like to go into the pub and hear about our afternoon? We did miss lunch after all,” Lyra asked.

“Huff. Huff. Huff,” Twilight continued as Owlowicious flew in from nowhere and landed on her head.

Looking up at the bird on her head, Twilight reached into the bag on the ground, holding the new supplies she had bought. “You’ve been taking lessons from Lodestone, haven’t you?”


“Good. I need you to deliver a letter for me.”

It was a special time in the Sparkle household as one of their children paid a rare visit.

“Would you like some more dear?” Twilight Velvet asked her son Shining Armor who was at the table enjoying a home-cooked meal.

“No, Mom,” Shining said, pushing his plate away with his magic. “Three helpings are more than enough.”

“There will be leftovers in the fridge if you get peckish,” Velvet said as an owl flew into the room from nowhere.

“What’s this?” Shining asked as the owl landed on the table in front of him and offered a glowing red envelope.

“Who!” said the owl, shaking the envelope at the stallion urgently.

“Alright then. No need to. . . That can’t be good.” Shining said watching the owl vanish as soon as he had taken the letter in his magic.

“What is it, Shiny?” Velvet asked, trotting up to stand by her son.

“I don’t know,” Shining said, turning the letter over to see that his name was written on one side.

Suddenly, the letter jumped from his magic and started shouting.


Shining threw up a shield around the letter at the last words, and sure enough the letter erupted. The bubble of magic grew from the size of a bowling ball to the size of a manticore. The bubble made rude noises as Shining gradually bled off the pressure within.

“Shiny,” Twilight Velvet said after a while, “we need to talk.”

Shining Armor winced. It was never good to hear a mare say that.

Well after midnight, a flash of flames announced the arrival of a would-be thief with a bird of fire riding on her shoulder.

“Lumos,” she commanded, and the wand she was carrying provided the only light in the room. Without another word she hurried over to the workbench and started rummaging through the various containers holding the tools of the trade.

After a frustrating five minutes of searching, she muttered, “If I were a tail hair, where would I be hiding?”

“I would suggest the cedar box on the second shelf in the cabinet to your right,” Olivander said from the doorway.

The little girl jumped and lost her hold on her wand, while the bird on her shoulder barely registered the jostling. She gasped before turning to gape at the old man who had once again snuck up on her.

“You are up rather late, Miss Hope,” Olivander said walking across the room to open the cabinet in question. “I trust you have a good reason to visit me at such an hour.”

“Um.” The girl shyly replied.

“I assume you went through the trouble of borrowing Miss Belle’s familiar and that she was willing to lend her to you.”

“Um,” The little girl repeated.

“Was there a problem with one of the hairs I have in my possession?” Olivander retrieved a small cedar chest and opened it.

“You were given the wrong one,” Clouded Hope said, pulling an envelope out of her robes. “I was just going to swap it for the right one.”

“I see.” Olivander took the envelope from the girl’s unresisting hand and peered inside. “Yes, this one does emit an aura of love.” He said, withdrawing a pink strand. “Whereas, this one has an aura of deceit.” This time he drew a long green hair from the cedar chest. "Deception generally works only in the short term. Do have a care when the truth comes to light."

Author's Note:

Did you see that?
I can't believe it.
Here I was, following my editor's suggestion of giving Dumbledore a chance to offer some explanation. Went so far as to set up a scenario where he could safely talk through the floo and keep the entire thing civil. All that work and then Zap! Bow! Boom! I have no idea where that came from. I mean Rarity was all like. "I'm gonna shove that beard where the sun don't shine." Then Dumbledore was like. "wahahaha, you can't touch me, I'm protected by a contrived plot device!" Rarity was all set to pout and talk like a reasonable adult when out of nowhere. Boom, like major Boom! No more fireplace! Then Lyra was like "I missed! I didn't want to miss! Discord pop me over and let me get in a second shot!" And Discord was like "hey why not." Then Lyra was in Dumbledore's office and she was like totally channeling Lilly Potter and was "Bwaaaaaaaaa!" and Dumbledore and Fawkes were like "oh heck no, we be out of here." And then it was like "Boooooom!" Lemon drops everywhere!..... Yeah I didn't see that coming. Sometime the characters surprise the heck out of me.

Oh, and Happy Holidays everyone.

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