• 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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Interlude 6: A Few Random Scenes

In the oppressive darkness, he had been thinking. There was little else that he could do. He still could not understand what went wrong. He should have been restored to his full glory, powered by the victim he had so carefully recruited, but hardly a dribble of power had come back. Now, he lay trapped, barely able to move the doll that had become the proxy for his body.

He had been thinking, and with nothing to distract him, he could focus exclusively on extricating himself. Although he was experiencing dark days, his situation was far from hopeless. His borrowed body had no lifeforce to maintain, so there was no need to waste mana on that. Unlike the dolls with which he was familiar, the material that formed the body of this one was surprisingly uniform, simplifying the task of adapting it for mana storage. Had he been with his physical body, that fact would have been meaningless. The slow, steady drip of mana that he was being fed was barely enough to sustain him. This form, however, was different. He could practically taste the mana in the air. Extracting it was child's play.

Perhaps the sudden return to glory was never meant to be. After all, nothing worthwhile comes easily. He could build his reserves slowly, perhaps at triple the rate of what he was being fed. He could squirrel away his harvest until he had enough to take action. Then, he would return, triumphant. It was just a matter of time.

The excitement on Monday afternoon in the war room in Canterlot palace was palpable. The finest minds in the land were gathered around the the mountain of books piled high on the table. They had been given the only weapon that could be used against their foe. They would win the war on ignorance.

They had been given a window to a new world, and the Princess of the Sun was just as enthusiastic as the assembled scholars as they pored through the new books. The occasional scratch of quill on parchment was the only audible sound as they gorged on the smorgasbord of new information. Their ravenous minds trumped the needs of their bodies. Sleep was staved off with coffee. Hunger was satisfied with catered snacks. Waste management was better left to the imagination.

Celestia had her nose buried in a book explaining the basics of runes when an owl flew in from an orthogonal direction.

“More books?” Slanted Insight asked, not removing his muzzle from the book he was devouring.

“I think we have enough books to hold our attentions for a while,” Celestia said, levitating a scroll from the owl’s grasp. “If you wouldn’t mind waiting, I’d like you to carry a reply to Twilight. I think a few resident owls for the palace would be a prudent idea, and I'd like her to purchase a parliament if she has the opportunity.”

“Who.” The owl bobbed its head before flapping to the back of Slanted’s chair to wait.

“Now, let’s see what my faithful student has to say.” Celestia unrolled the scroll with her magic. After reading she muttered. “Well, that just goes to prove that no matter how well you think you know somepony. . . ” She lowered the scroll and called out, “Guard, please go inform Raven that I would like to speak with her.”

A short time later, an ashen gray unicorn with a glossy black mane entered the meeting room. “You called?” she asked, bowing respectfully.

“Raven.” Celestia wore a worried look. “Do you remember that sabbatical Cadance took? It was what? Eleven years ago?”

“If you are referring to the year she spent away from Canterlot exploring the countryside. I’d say it was closer to twelve years.”

Celestia sighed. “She was gone the better part of a year, wasn’t she.”

“Yes.” Raven chuckled. “Remember how that stallion of hers showed up at least once a week to check and see if she had returned yet. He was always overjoyed when a letter from her was waiting for him.”

“I can’t believe I completely missed the signs,” Celestia said, glancing at a rolled scroll on the desk in front of her. “She’s normally such a responsible young mare.”

“Signs?” Raven raised a questioning eyebrow.

“The signs of youth.” Celestia let out another sigh. “Please send a guard to wake my sister. I’m afraid I’m going to need her assistance containing a scandal. We cannot delay in issuing a joint proclamation, announcing the existence of the realm’s youngest princess. As it is, my nephew, Prince Blueblood is going to throw a fit. I should insist that Cadance break the news to him, herself. After all, she kept it from me.”

“Oh!” Raven eyes went wide as the implications sank in. “This is going to be so much fun. One collective nobles’ meltdown coming right up.”

“I can’t believe she didn’t come to me sooner.” Celestia’s ears drooped. “At least this explains why she’s always disappearing without any explanation.”

“I can’t say I blame her. This way the foal has had a normal life so far.” Raven consoled the larger pony.

“Yes.” Celestia nodded. “But, as you see, the truth eventually comes out.” Grimly she continued. "Before I forget, bring me the big paddle. I'll make sure that Cadance makes an honest stallion of the father."

“I’m home!” the woman called out as soon as she entered the front door of the quiet suburban house. “You won’t believe the day I had.”

“We’re having a day up here,” her husband called from upstairs, humor and some worry bleeding into his voice.

The woman hurried up the steps and found her husband cutting the wall in their bedroom with a keyhole saw. “What are you doing?” she demanded.

“Your daughter is stuck in the wall,” he stated, as bits of plaster and sawdust continued to rain down on the drop cloth.

“What?” the woman asked.

“Daaaaadyyyyy!” Rosie’s voice came from the other side of the object in question. “Hurry! I don’t like it in here!”

“Just how much space is between the walls?” the woman asked, dumbfounded.

“Evidently, enough for a small pony to fall into from the attic,” her husband returned.

“Daaaaadyyyy! Hurry!” Rosie wailed, panic evident in her voice.

“I suppose the story of how your son was attacked at school will just have to wait then,” the woman said, reaching for a pry bar.

“Where are we going?” Lyra asked as she, Twilight, and Emma followed Arthur down Diagon Alley.

“When I was with the goblins, earlier, I had a message sent to a barrister. He was willing to relay a message to his client to meet us for a late lunch. Our reservation is in ten minutes,” Arthur said.

“His client?” Emma asked.

“Sirius Black!” A purple blur exclaimed before launching itself at the target in question.


“Wow!” Remus Lupin said, coming over to shake Arthur’s hand. “All that’s missing was her screaming ‘Mine!’”

“Don’t be obtuse,” Narcissa scolded. “Every witch in the alley clearly heard her proclaim that word.”

“Shouldn’t we help him?” Lyra worriedly asked.

“Don’t be daft.” Emma scoffed. “It wouldn’t be healthy getting between her and her prey.”

To Emma's surprise, Sirius vanished. From his previous position sprang a large black dog who bounded away with his tail between his legs. Nopony was surprised when, a heartbeat later, Twilight vanished, and a purple unicorn galloped in pursuit.

“Oh, look,” Narcissa said dryly. “She can turn into a goat.”

“Goat?” Lyra asked, aghast.

“I can’t believe you have a pet bear.” Alice said as she watched the yellow pegasus massage the back of the large, furry ursidae.

“Oh, Harry isn’t a pet; he’s a friend,” Fluttershy corrected.

“Fair enough.” Alice flapped her wings, the leathery one refusing to coordinate with the feathery one. “I can’t believe you have a bear for a friend.”

“It’s nothing special, really.” Fluttershy said. “Harry is a wonderful friend. Being friends is special, but I’m not special for being friends with Harry.”

“You don’t give yourself enough credit,” Alice said, whipping her draconic tail back and forth experimentally. “You are very special.”

Fluttershy hid behind her mane and squeaked a thank you.

“You both are very special.” Discord said, popping into existence with a flash of light. “I cannot believe my luck in meeting you two.”

“Discord!” the two females cried before throwing themselves at the recently-arrived male.

If ever there was an expression of pure love, it could not equal what the trio displayed. The owl who had flown in from an orthogonal dimension stared indecisively for a several minutes before interrupting with a simple "Whoo?".

Startled, the three looked up. The mood deflated as Alice recognized the owl as one of the Ministry's couriers. With a sigh, she said, "Duty calls."

Professor Snape’s face showed as much emotion as a porcelain mask when he surveyed the Slytherin common room. None could be sure whether he was pleased to find no one from his house was missing. “I trust no one present is so lackwitted as to be ignorant of the purpose behind this gathering.”

He was met by unified silence as the Slytherins stared back and waited.

Nodding his head in satisfaction, Snape continued. “I am sure that you were all duly impressed by what passes for Gryffindor subtlety. The statue Professor McGonagall transfigured from a plate was solid iron. Please note that she did not cast a featherweight charm on it when she asked Miss Apple Bloom to move it from one end of the Great Hall to the other because its placement was not satisfactory. Please also note that there were no charms cast when Miss Bloom changed its pose.”

“She’s the one who threw Barnaby out the window?” a second-year boy asked.

“No, it was the Lavender Brown who hurled me.” Barnaby said from his place of shame, standing next to his head of house. “You need to watch out for her; she’s meaner than she looks.”

“Let me make myself explicitly clear,” Professor Snape said. “I will not be informed of any confrontations between members of this house and the first-year Gryffindors.” Once again, he surveyed the room looking for signs of dissent only to be met with the children’s own attempts of stoic faces. “As Mr. Lee can attest, physical prowess is only the first hazard you would face. Even the headmaster would think twice before risking exposure the sheer amount of political pressure that they can call upon. Keep in mind that the Minister’s own daughter is part of that group.”

A murmur made its way around the common room as everyone present considered the ramifications.

“For his insolence and poorly conceived actions,” Professor Snape continued, “Mr. Lee shall be spending his next four weekends shoveling dragon dung for the goblins.”

At that news, shock registered on most of the student’s faces. “How did they manage to get the goblins to agree to that?” someone blurted out.

“As I said.” Professor Snape sneered. “Their political clout is formidable.” He let the statement sink in before adding, “It should be noted that the gathered parents considered this the more humane option compared to leaving Mr. Lee alone in a room with Miss Bloom for ten minutes.”

“Sounds about right,” Silver Spoon commented, causing everyone else to stare at the girl who threw others across classrooms when she was irritated.

Snape fixed her with a hardened glare. “I trust you have no intentions of antagonizing Apple Bloom or her friends.”

“Oh, you needn’t worry about that.” Diamond Tiara waved a dismissive hand. “We’ve already negotiated an alliance with her and her herd.”

“You negotiated an alliance?” Snape switched the target of his glare. “With the Gryffindors?”

“Yup.” Diamond Tiara nodded. “If we get in trouble, they will come to our aid.”

“At what cost to you?” Snape probed.

“Mainly that we will help them in turn. A real bargain once you consider how much more assistance they are able to muster.” Diamond shrugged. “Why, just the fact that I can sic Apple Bloom on anycreature that threatens my Draco Malfoy makes it well worth the effort.”

Snape continued to glower at Diamond Tiara for a few more seconds before saying to the room in general. “I hope none of you have any lingering doubts as to why Miss Tiara is primus and Mr. Lee is not.”

Another murmur washed through the chamber as many present sent respectful looks Diamond Tiara’s way.

“Which reminds me,” Silver Spoon said. “As primus, can Diamond add to Barnaby Lee’s punishment? He did attack our allies after all.”

Everyone in the room went still, then an older boy said. “His parents would have sworn allegiance when they got their marks, and that allegiance would default to the heir of Slytherin, or in this case, the primus.”

Most occupants of the room proceeded to go several shades paler and Barnaby began to visibly sweat.

“Which means?” Silver Spoon queried.

It took a few seconds, but Professor Snape finally answered. “Miss Tiara may impose any number of punishments that she may deem appropriate. For example, she has the right to decree financial penalties, levy a period of confinement, force an arranged marriage, inflict physical punishment, or let the situation go with a stern warning.”

The occupants of the room lost a few more shades of their collective coloring.

“I would recommend the final option as Mr. Lee was unaware of the alliance at the time he committed the infraction.” Professor Snape finished. “Do not forget, Mr. Lee has had adequate sanctions imposed already.”

“Oooh. I know what to do.” Silver Spoon said and began to excitedly whisper into Diamond Tiara’s ear.

Diamond Tiara broke into a wide grin. “I like it,” she declared. “It will make the Crusaders happy, fulfill our side of the alliance, and prove we can do something that they failed at.”

Anyone wagering that the people in the room couldn’t have gotten any paler would have lost that bet.

A casual observer would describe Hogsmeade as a village out of a Christmas card. From her seat in the quaint Three Broomsticks pub, Nymphadora Tonks skimmed a sensational story from the "Daily Prophet". She snorted, "Harry's harem? What sort of nonsense is that?" The picture showed Harry and his betrothed hugging a clearly-distraught girl while another girl with a large bow, in her hair looked over them protectively. Their school robes clearly showed that they were in Hogwarts. It was a pity that wizard pictures were monochrome in the paper, but the article claimed one had purple hair and the other a striking red.

The pub's owner, Rosmerta, stopped by with a mug of butterbeer and said, "Can you believe that? If he weren't already engaged, I'd think that the Prophet was trying to get him married off. I mean, he's inherited the Potter fortune, his animagus form would melt any girl's heart, and he's supposed to be the secret backup seeker for Gryffindor."

Tonks rolled her eyes. "That's all rumor and speculation."

Pointing to the picture, Rosemerta said, "You do have to admit he looks awfully comfortable with those three."

A commotion at the floo caught their attention. A witch held back a laugh while her companion gave a groan from the prone position. Tonks rushed over and helped the witch pull the man to his feet. "Wotcher, Clementine," said Tonks. "Is this who I think it is?"

Nodding, Clementine replied, "Wotcher, Tonks. This is my friend Jason." Turning to the man, she said, "Jason, this is my friend, Nymphadora Tonks."

Weakly, Jason said, "Give me a minute. I think my stomach is still at your end of the floo."

Rosmerta led the three to Nymphadora's booth and said, "Why don’t you rest a moment? I'll get you a nice pot of chamomile tea."

Once they were seated, Tonks asked, "Is this your boyfriend?"

Weakly, Jason said, "Clementine is very special to me. I wouldn't give her up for the world."

Smiling, Clementine added, "I can't believe how lucky we were to find each other. We're like two sides of the same coin."

With a little more vigor, Jason said, "Clementine said we were meeting a friend who was down in the dumps. Tell us, what can we do to help?"

Tonks replied, "You two have done me a world of good just by visiting. I had thought I was going to have to spend the rest of my life stuck in a pureblood's world. But, you would not believe what just happened!" Her voice cracked at the last declaration.

Anxiously, the others asked, "What?"

"I get to be the first exchange student to a whole new world!" Again, Tonks's voice cracked.

With concern, Clementine said, "You've got to be more careful, or you'll end up a little hoarse."

The denizens of the dingy bar had long ago learned that curiosity was a dangerous pastime. Still, they could not help but stare as Faras Nahr waddled up to the bar. She glared back at them with equal intensity.

The stool groaned in protest as its metal legs bowed under the weight. The perspiring pink patron pronounced, "I'll have the usual."

The bartender shrugged and brought a tea service for one, including a dented metal teapot and a clean glass. He tried not to wince as he watched her empty the sugar bowl into the glass.

Her meaty fingers brought the glass to her lips. She grimaced as the familiar flavor assaulted her taste buds. The air purification charm kept the rest of the local flavor away from her as she scanned the crowd. She had always felt a sense of wrongness in this place, but there was something a bit different this time. On a whim, she cast a true sight charm.

The magic revealed the true ugliness in the room. It was a pleasant as a hands-on experiment in scatology. Unexpectedly, something shown through, like a coprolite transformed into a diamond. The effete face under the turban belonged in the classroom, not in this uncivilized wasteland. Perhaps he, too, had been victimized by Rutter's insanity. Perhaps he could be recruited to the cause.

With a predatory smile, she turned to the bartender and said, "Barkeep, please send a strawberry daiquiri to the gentleman in that booth with my compliments."

With a shrug, the bartender delivered the order. The woman watched as her target turned his head to follow the bartender's direction. Their eyes locked. A smile came to the lips in the back of his head. This had to be destiny.

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