• 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 65: Generation Blessed

There was rather little to distinguish the house of the newest residents of Ponyville. It was neither the largest nor the smallest. It was neither the fanciest nor the plainest. It was simply home, and for Fenton, that was enough. It was more than his most desperate hope. It was more than his wildest dream. He, his wife, and their children had a place they could call their own, a place free from the specter of justice delayed. It was much more than he deserved. It had cost him his hands, but that price was gladly and gratefully paid in full.

He, however, was not completely free. He had been stripped of his wand, and his wife had been compelled to forfeit hers as well. While he no longer had access to the magic he knew, his wife had been blessed with a way to use what she had learned in their old world. The horn in the middle of her forehead had proven to be every bit as effective a focus as the bit of wood and core that she had discarded. With that substitute, she had leveraged a mundane spell into a service that promised to keep them reasonably well off. She had modified a combined shrink and featherweight spell so that it could be cancelled by uttering a nonsensical key sentence. The local farmers were quick to exploit that to ship their harvests far and wide at a fraction of the normal cost.

If he were honest with himself, he'd have to admit that his wife made more in that harvest season than the two of them had managed in their best year at their old jobs. It was more than he deserved. He could now reap the benefits of having a loving wife and loving her in return. He could now watch his children grow and prosper without worrying about the sword of justice. He could now lay to rest the ghosts of his past. If he were honest with himself, he deserved death. He deserved to suffer every bit as much pain as he had inflicted. If there were one thing he did not deserve, it was forgiveness.

He had received forgiveness.

No, that wasn’t entirely correct. All was not forgiven, much less forgotten. What he had received was leniency. Stepping one foot . . . one hoof out of line, would bring justice crashing down upon his head. Still, what he had lost could not compare to what he had taken from the blameless. One of his victims’ offspring had tempered justice with kindness. For that, he would always be in her debt.

He still remembered the agony, sitting in the custody of the aurors, waiting and wondering what would be his fate. He would have a trial, then, if he were lucky, Azkaban. If he weren’t, then the veil would be his only future. Self-loathing had been his only company. The longest wait of his lifetime ended when they had come. Madam Bones had led his three saviors into his cell, a grim scowl on all of their faces.

A woman had stepped forward. The hatred she felt was evident on her features and in every move she made. He had recognized her; she was Alice Rutter. It was her thirst for vengeance that had brought him to this sorry state. She was someone who had suffered as a result of his actions, someone that he had hurt so badly that no apology could ever suffice.

He said the words anyway; it was the least he could do. Those words could never return what she had lost. Those words could never convey the true extent of the regret he held for his conduct. Those words held no power to undo what had been done. Yet, most importantly, those words had not been empty.

Rutter had stood there, motionless as her emotions warred across her face. Then, she had struck him, using her entire body as a pivot. With her arm held stiffly she had connected with a resounding slap. The smaller woman had knocked him to the ground. It had taken several minutes for him to regain enough control to stand once again. The pain he had visited upon her far over stripped what she was capable of inflicting with just her hands. He said the words again and offered the other side of his face.

This time, Rutter pulled back her arm, clearly intent on delivering the mightiest punch she could muster. That was when the then-unknown woman with pink hair had stepped forward. She stared at Rutter with wide eyes -- unbelievable eyes -- eyes filled with infinite pain -- eyes filled with infinite understanding -- eyes filled with forgiveness.

He would later learn that it was kindness who had carried that day.

With tears freely falling, Rutter had turned to leave. Her only words had been that she would not allow him to turn her into the same kind of monster he was.

The trial never came. Instead, he was given a choice. He could risk the veil, or he could accept exile. He could take his family and leave everything behind. He could start a new life in a new world, but at the price of his humanity.

Fenton smiled down at his children playing, one now a unicorn, the other an earth pony like himself. They had been wrong about that last part. His humanity hadn’t been lost, only transformed into something different, yet so familiar.

Maybe, something better.

The large kitchen felt just a bit smaller with the hefty, roughhewn table extended with sawhorses and planks. Granny Smith had outdone herself while she was waiting impatiently for her kin to return from Canterlot, and the fruits of her labor had been neatly arrayed on the table. The venerable chef looked on at the gathering with love and pride as she watched family old and new enjoy the offerings she had prepared. The new faces were remarkably similar to the old, and even if it had not been official, she would have declared them members of the Apple family.

A pair of what could only be described as twin foals devoured an apple pie they were sharing; both had sticky filling smeared on their muzzles. The elder had initially mistaken them for identical twins until the colt realized that his brothers had put a matching pink bow in his mane. To the colt's side sat a red filly who would have left the local single mares wondering about Big Macintosh's conquests, and who the lucky unicorn mare might be.

On the other side of the table, her son’s second born sat, sandwiched between two colts. One, a cream-colored unicorn, was almost too old to be considered a colt, but he was also too young to be considered a stallion. The other could easily be mistaken for Applejack's younger brother, with identical coat and mane colors. His twin was not so identical, with mane and coat colors swapped.

The only biological twins at the table were staring down at their plates, with matching looks of constipation scrunched up on their muzzles.

“Would you two give it a rest and just eat your meal already?” Ginny, the red filly, huffed. “It took me, Sweetie, and Seamus weeks of being nagged by Hermione to be able to do it.” To emphasize her point, she levitated her next bite of food toward her mouth. “Sweetie’s still upset that Hermione managed to do it before she did.”

“Mmmm Hmm.” George, the orange-coated twin, nodded his head but did not stop staring at his food.

“Eavve em lone inny,” the colt helping Apple Bloom inhale a pie said, not even lifting his head.

Motivated by years of raising generations of youngsters, Granny Smith said, “'Ere now, Ronald Weasley, tain’t polite to go talking with yer mouth full of pie.”

Lifting his head and swallowing, the little yellow colt grimaced. “Sorry, Granny Smith,” he said dutifully.

Nodding her head in approval, Granny Smith said, “See there, Apple Bloom; he can be taught. You jus’ need to work on him with his table manners is all.”

“Ah’ll work on it,” Apple Bloom said, not raising her own head from the mostly empty pie tin.

“Hey! Save some for me!” Ronald declared, returning to attack the remaining food.

“Even those two are going to be stuffed after this meal.” Percy, the creamy unicorn said diplomatically, “Thank you for the wonderful feast, Granny Smith.”

“Yer welcome.” Granny smiled happily. “It does this old heart good to see a meal properly enjoyed.”

“Speaking of stuffed,” Applejack said, “are you sure that you an’ yer brothers will be comfortable in the guest room? Three o’ you in that bed will be getting mighty cramped an’ we kin easily break out the folding cots.

“Not a problem,” Fred said, still attempting to will his supper into his mouth.

“We brought our trunks. They each have their own bed included,” George finished.

“They ain’t pony-eating chests by any chance?” Applejack asked cautiously as Big Mac shuddered slightly.

“Nah,” Apple Bloom said, removing her muzzle from the now-empty tin and licking her muzzle. “They don’t allow trunks with that ability in the school. Sweetie jus’ got all the bells an’ whistles when she ordered Rarity’s. It’s our saddlebags that you need to watch out fer.” Then, almost as an afterthought, she added hopefully, “We got 'nother pie?”

Minerva winced and quashed the wish that Albus had been in his office to receive this floo call. In her office fireplace, the head of House Greengrass continued to make demands as worry over his younger daughter clearly drove him on.

“I am sorry,” Minerva apologized again. “I’ve sent an owl to Mr. Discord, and I’m afraid the patronus charm doesn’t seem to know how to reach him. You can rest assured that wherever he took your daughter, she is being properly cared for.”

“He bypassed all my wards, apparated into my home, and snatched my daughter right out of my wife’s arms!” Lord Greengrass bellowed, unconvinced.

Minerva took a deep, calming breath and prepared her response. “I hate to interrupt,” Mr. Discord said, appearing in a flash of light, dressed in a natty brown business suit, “but I am in need of your immediate assistance.”

“Mr. Discord?” Minerva said. “Just the person we were discussing. I assume you managed to get Astoria the help she needed?” There was more than a little hope in her voice over the last part.

“She is safe and is being cared for,” Discord said. “However, I popped in and out so quickly that I failed to get my bearings. I have no clue where I got her from.”

“Where is my daughter!” Lord Greengrass demanded, getting his own bearings after the unannounced arrival.

“Oh?” Discord glanced at the head floating in green flames. “You are her father? Good, just the person I was looking for.” He snapped his fingers. Then, in a flash of light, Lord Greengrass was standing next to Minerva. “You will have to come with me. Dear Celestia has some questions for you.”

“Me too!” Minerva blurted before Discord could snap his fingers again.

“As you wish,” Discord said and snapped his fingers. In a flash, they were standing in front of what appeared to be an incensed white alicorn. Minerva’s first thought was that it was a few degrees warmer than it had any right to be that time of year. After noting that they were in the gardens and the foot-deep blanket of snow stopped abruptly in a circle extending three meters from where the princess stood, she amended her thought to it was a lot warmer than it had any right to be, ever.

The two humans froze where they stood as Discord drifted away in his natural form. He did so apparently lackadaisically, yet at the same time wasted no time in being somewhere else.

“Professor Minerva McGonagall,” Celestia greeted curtly before fixing her eyes on the other human. “And you are the filly’s father?”

“Yes, Miss Celestia.” Lord Greengrass gulped. He was proud. He was arrogant. He was overconfident. But, Lord Greengrass wasn’t stupid; he could sense the power radiating from the winged unicorn before him.

“That is Princess Celestia," said a smaller brown wingless unicorn who had been overlooked in light of the angry white sovereign.

“Yes, your highness,” Lord Greengrass hastily corrected. “I meant no disrespect.”

“Dr. Leg Splint here informs me that he has admitted a young filly with disturbing magics entwined in her own, magics that should have been long ago removed.” For someone radiating such heat, she had no business sounding so frosty.

Minerva had to give Lord Greengrass credit; he didn’t appear to cow at the accusation. “Do you think I haven’t tried?” he said, drawing himself to his full height. “Astoria was born with a blood curse. We have been trying for generations to dispel it.”

“Don’t lie!” the brown unicorn snapped accusingly. “An intern in her first year could have removed that ‘curse’. Did you not think to take her to see a doctor?”

Lord Greengrass turned toward Dr. Leg Splint. “Are you telling me that you cured my daughter?”

“Of course, I cured her.” The doctor snorted. “Do I look incompetent to you?”

Lord Greengrass stared at the doctor for several seconds, emotion cracking his frozen mask. In contrast, the surrounding atmosphere started to cool as winter reclaimed the area. “If that is true, then you have my eternal thanks.”

“What do you mean ‘if it is true’?” The doctor gritted his teeth. “I am insulted that you would think I would lie about the wellbeing of a foal.”

“We have brought in healers from all over the world at the slightest chance that Astoria might be cured.” Lord Greengrass recovered his haughtiness. “Forgive me if I am skeptical of claims from a small brown unicorn. Regardless, even if you made an attempt that failed, I thank you for your efforts.”

The stubby mane on the back of Doctor Splint’s neck stood up, and he snarled, “Now see here, you large two legged . . .”

“Doctor,” Celestia interrupted, “we get nowhere when insults fly.”

The doctor balked and promptly bit his tongue.

“Why did you stop them?” Discord pouted. “Things were just getting interesting.”

“Discord, please,” Celestia said. “I need to get to the bottom of this. I need to assess whether or not this human is a danger to his own daughter.”

“My name is Lord Greengrass, and I resent the implications, princess or not.” This was said coldly enough to freeze lava.

“My apologies,” Celestia acknowledged. “However, I will not see a foal mistreated no matter the standing of the individual doing so. You appear properly distressed, yet there are still implications that I resent. When a trusted medical advisor tells me that the situation should have been easily rectified and the child was made to suffer unnecessarily, well, I cannot and will not ignore the situation.”

Lord Greengrass measured his next words. “I understand. Know that questioning my resolve to provide the best care possible to my daughter is a grave insult. I was not lax in procuring whatever medical assistance was available nor would I have hesitated to take the burden upon myself to spare my daughter.”

“So you say,” Doctor Splint replied, his voice measured as well. “I would very much like to have a conversation with these hacks you call medical professionals.”

“Oh.” Discord suddenly materialized. “That is a good idea.” He snapped his claws.

Milo Yates, as befitting a healer, kept several standard potions in his office. These could treat any of the routine maladies. Though he rarely partook himself, it was not unthinkable that he would be placing an empty vial that had contained a mild calming draught in his pocket.

“Let’s try that again,” he said to his audience. “How may I help you?”

“Mr. Yates, was that potion really necessary?” Professor McGonagall pursed her lips disapprovingly.

“It’s been a long day,” Milo said. “And I suspect it’s about to get longer.”

The large unicorn with wings said. “We are sorry to bother you. However, we have some urgent questions regarding one of your patients. Lord Greengrass’ daughter to be exact.”

“More specifically,” the small brown unicorn interjected, “we demand to know why the child has not been properly treated prior to today.”

“Properly treated?” Milo asked. “We have done everything possible to cure Astoria. Are you telling me that you have removed her curse?”

“Everything possible?” The reproach was evident in the brown unicorn’s voice. “What in the name of Discord are your medical schools teaching?” The unicorn turned to the man in the natty brown suit and hastily added, "No offense."

In an amused tone, the man replied, "None taken."

The smaller unicorn continued, "Our first-year interns demonstrate the treatment as part of their qualification exam."

Milo stared at the volatile equine before saying, “Follow me.” He then stood from behind his desk and made his way toward his office door where he stopped as a thought hit him. “On second thought, you may be a little too large to go about roaming the halls, let alone fit through the doorway,” he said to the large, winged unicorn.

She gave him a warm smile and said. “That will not be a problem.” Then her horn lit up. Where she had stood was now a large, Shakespearean beauty with a flowing ethereal hair, and where the brown unicorn had stood was the spitting image of Othello.

Milo studied their new forms and said, “While an improvement, you are now going to draw attention for an entirely different reason.”

“Oh?” the woman asked, raising a questioning eyebrow.

“Please, allow me, Princess Celestia.” Professor McGonagall picked a blank scroll off the desk and started transfiguring it into a dress worthy of Queen Elizabeth.

“Thank you, Professor Minerva McGonagall,” Princess Celestia said.

“Just a moment,” Lord Greengrass interjected. “I believe that I would like to be taken to see my daughter now. You have heard enough to conclude that I have not been negligent.”

“That would appear to be the case,” Princess Celestia acknowledged. “You have my apologies for the earlier accusations. I hope we can put them behind us.”

“Your highness,” Lord Greengrass said, “I only wish to see to the welfare of my daughter. Since that was your intention as well, apologies shall not be necessary.”

“Well said, Lord Greengrass.” Princess Celestia smiled as she examined her new golden dress. “Still, allow me to make amends by extending an invitation to you and your family. From what the good doctor tells me, young Astoria shall be unconscious for several days, and I am sure you’d like to stay close to the hospital until such time as she awakes. You shall have a suite at the palace made available to you.”

“You are most generous,” Lord Greengrass said. “I will gladly accept.”

“Discord,” Princess Celestia said. “Would you mind taking Lord Greengrass along with his family to the palace and inform Raven that they are to have the Pearl Suite?”

“What do I look like? A chauffeur?” asked Discord. There was a flash, and his natty brown suit was replaced by a smart black outfit complete with matching gloves and glossy cap. A domino mask completed the ensemble.

“That looks good on you.” Princess Celestia commented. “However, I would like to forgo stuffing Lord Greengrass into an owl's pouch at this time; so, I’d appreciate you taking care of the matter.”

“I suppose I could be bothered,” Discord sighed. Turning to a mildly befuddled Greengrass, he said, "Yes, I know kung fu." He snapped his fingers, disappearing in a flash with Lord Greengrass.

“Now,” Princess Celestia addressed Milo, “shall we continue?”

“Yes, your highness.” Milo opened his office door.

Raven was floating a ledger before her as she strolled casually down the palace hallway. Only her hard-earned past experience prevented her from spooking when a flash of light signaled the arrival of the all too familiar pest. Nevertheless, her look of utter surprise matched that of the three humans who had appeared with him.

“Ah, Raven,” Discord said upon seeing the dazed unicorn.

Turning toward the male voice, Lady Greengrass saw Discord in his natural form and let out a long shrill shriek, drawing the attention of all in the hallway. After a few seconds, her husband placed a calming hand on her shoulder and her scream trailed off.

“Are you done?” Discord asked, removing the corks from his ears. “Or did you want to try for C-sharp?”

Lady Greengrass stared at him and dumbly nodded her head.

“As I was saying.” Discord turned back to Raven. “Sunbutt wants you to put them up in the smooth spherical calcite rooms. Now, if you will excuse me, I am missing out on what may prove to be serious entertainment.” He snapped his claws and disappeared in a flash of light.

The humans and the unicorn turned to stare at each other. “Smooth spherical calcite rooms?” Raven ventured after a few seconds.

“The phrase Princess Celestia used was ‘the Pearl Suite’.” Lord Greengrass removed his hand from his wife’s shoulder after seeing that she had regained her composure.

“Ah.” Raven shuffled her hooves. “That makes more sense.”

A few more seconds of awkward silence followed before Lady Greengrass asked, “Does he do that often?”

“Yes.” Raven laid her ears back on her skull with a sigh.

“My condolences.”

“I’m just happy he didn’t turn the floor into peanut butter this time,” Raven shared.

Another pause. “Do you know what happened to my daughter?” Lady Greengrass challenged.

“Would she happened to be the little gold filly taken to Canterlot General earlier?”

“Yes,” Lady Greengrass replied, keeping her voice steady as hope filled her eyes, “that’s she.”

“I understand that she is out of danger and is resting comfortably,” Raven informed the distressed mother.

“Take me to her,” Lady Greengrass demanded.

Raven said. “I’ll have a guard escort you after I show you to your rooms.”

“I would prefer to go straight to the hospital,” Lady Greengrass countered.

Raven motioned to one of the guards who had come to investigate the screaming. “Take these humans to the hospital, maintain close escort, and return them to the palace when they are ready.”

The guard saluted sharply in acknowledgement.

After watching the guard lead the humans away, Raven continued to study the ledger, altering her course slightly to visit the kitchens. She suddenly had a craving for peanut butter and celery.

Jessamine lay in bed, propped up by several pillows. She didn’t even have the energy to read a book; no longer could she enjoy her favorite pastime. She sat there and waited to die. For as long as she could remember, there had always been the specter of imminent death hanging over her head. Even as a little girl she had always held firm in the knowledge that each day could be her last. Sooner or later, the curse would win. It was just a matter of time, and she could feel the final grains draining from the hourglass.

Oh, she had made peace with her inevitable fate. She had decided to never marry, never have children. Leaving behind a grieving husband would have been cruel. Passing down her suffering to another generation would have been unthinkable. She could not stop the curse; so long as her family line continued, it would find its way back, claiming victim after victim. Her sacrifice, however, might spare a generation or two the heartbreak. Still, another daughter of the house would inevitably be born with the wasting malady. Her entire life would be nothing but a steady loss of vitality that would claim her life as well. Jessamine pitied the yet to be conceived child.

Unfortunately, there was nothing she could do. All she had left in her was to silently lay still and wait to die.

The door to her room opened, and she used some of her remaining strength to turn her head to see who it was. A small smile crept over her lips when she saw Healer Yates lead a small procession into her room, one of whom was her old transfiguration professor. It was nice to think the teacher had come to see her off.

“Miss Gray,” Healer Yates said. “I have brought someone to have a look at you. He has made progress on a similar case.”

Another smile was Jessamine’s only reply as a frowning, short, dark man came to stand over her. He stood there for a few seconds, just looking at her, not taking out his wand to do a scan. Then he crossed his eyes as if trying to look at his own forehead.

Sighing, he said. “Princess, if you would be so kind? I will need my horn to do a proper diagnostic.”

A statuesque woman with a flowing rainbow for hair nodded her head, and the man’s form glowed before shrinking into a small brown unicorn, of all things. Jessamine gave a weak smile; unicorns were supposed to have healing magic. The brown glow surrounding his horn was soothing, at the very least.

“Well, Dr. Splint?” the woman with the rainbow hair asked.

“The spell is bound to her much more thoroughly than in the filly's case, but it is still well within my abilities,” the unicorn said, placing the tip of his horn against Jessamine’s forehead.

For the first time in a very long time, Jessamine felt hope.

“Got it,” the little unicorn declared, drawing his horn away from Jessamine’s head. There was a sucking sensation as a black cloud followed, connecting her head to the animal’s horn. “This is a nasty one.”

The unicorn moved backwards, obviously straining to take each step.

“Do you need any help?” Healer Yates asked in a dispassionate voice.

“No magic!” the unicorn snapped as the smoke pulled him back toward Jessamine. “However, if you would grab on and help pull, I would be grateful.”

Without another word, the healer wrapped his arms around the small horse and lent his full strength to the effort. It was slow work, but eventually the last of the smoke popped free of Jessamine’s head, and immediately, she could breathe easier.

“Don’t touch it!” the unicorn snapped. “I just removed it from the patient; I don’t want to have to take it out of you as well.”

Healer Yates took a step back. “What are we to do with it?”

“Do you still have that vial from earlier?” the unicorn asked and Healer Yates took an empty vial from his pocket.

“Perfect,” the unicorn declared as the vial glowed brown and the cork leapt out of the glass container. In short order, the smoke was stuffed into the vial and the cork was replaced. “That wasn’t so hard was it?” The unicorn fixed Healer Yates with an accusatory glare.

Healer Yates had his wand out, and was scanning Jessamine. “I’m going to have to have you teach me what you just did,” he said, his voice still emotionless.

“As I said, a first-year intern could have done that,” the unicorn said with a sneer. “And you call yourself a healer?”

“Doctor,” the rainbow-haired woman gently chided, “a little decorum, please. I happen to know that a human healer has healed a young pegasus of her inability to fly. It is obvious that they just have a different skill set that is no less potent.”

“Really?” the doctor unicorn said skeptically as Jessamine sat up fully. “How would you fix a pegasus whose fragile broken wing bones have knitted irregularly, preventing flight?” he asked, looking at Healer Yates.

“That was not the case for the pegasus I am aware of,” the rainbow haired woman replied.

Healer Yates shrugged and said, “Regardless, that’s an easy fix. Just vanish the bones then regrow them.”

“You can do that?” Dr. Splint asked, surprised.

“Yes.” Healer Yates smirked. "Even a first-year intern could do it."

Author's Note:

This chapter took longer than normal, for a very good reason. I rewrote half of it due to deciding to remove a subplot from the story. This caused me to have to remap my outline and I didn't get back to writing for awhile.

You see, in a nutshell, I had originally planned on Sweetie Belle having a secret cutie mark, the same color as her coat. It would have been reveled when Twilight cast a modified color changing spell on the foals, to demonstrate what she had been working on for Dean and Hermione. The mark would have been an ancient symbol that represented secretly changing ingredients and would have been used to explain why she can not cook or do potions properly. Twilight would have wondered if 'same color as the coat' cutie marks could explain the 152 adult ponies in Equestria who do not have cutie marks but seemed to get along just fine without them. ((One of which would be a nurse named "Mercy Kill"or something similar.)) Anyways, keeping it short, I had a lot extrapolated along those lines. Even though it means rethinking a good portion of what I have planned, I decided to drop it for several reasons.

1) People have complained that I focus too much on Sweetie Belle.
2) It is pretty much a complete story idea all by itself.
3) I couldn't rationalize stopping Snape from banning Sweetie Belle from potions the instant he found out.

Now, I just need to figure out what to do with the whole color changing subplot I was building up to with Twilight. :fluttercry:

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