• 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 66: Supply and Demand

Regardless of the plane of existence, mornings on a farm start early. While fields and orchards sleep through the winter, cows still expect to be milked before sunrise, and eggs still need to be collected before they are broken or soiled. Other chores could wait for later in the day, but they still had to be completed in order to maintain the farm.

On a typical day, one would expect to see a red stallion and an orange mare fighting their never-ending battle against entropy. This day was far from normal. The familiar pair was nowhere to be seen. Instead, six youngsters of varying ages had taken up the cause, now that they were on break from school. Unlike typical ponies, they could bring more to bear on the work than mere numbers. They could change form to access dexterity that only a highly-trained unicorn could be expected to manage. They could call on their magic to impose their wills on the world around them. They could finish in a couple hours what would take the stallion and the mare the entire day, even if the children did frighten the hogs so thoroughly that the swine refused to leave their barn. On this day, with the work finished early, there was plenty of time to play.

The three youngest had plenty of energy to burn, despite putting in a morning's worth of farm labor. They took turns bucking a large, colorful ball as far down a fallow field as they could manage. They didn't worry about retrieving their toy; their large, three-headed canine companion was more than happy to fetch.

“Ah was skeptical at firs’,” Applejack said as she oversaw them bonding. “But Fluffy has turned out to be a welcome addition to the family, leastwise after Twilight made him a collar to stop all of the earthquaking he was doing.”

“Earthquaking?” Ginny asked.

“Yeah, his magic was causing the ground to shake whenever he got excited an' ran about. Twilight learned us on a few l'il known facts about three-headed dogs, like how they need to eat less than Winona. We’re using most of the kibble that Apple Bloom sent as hog feed.”

“Have you been teaching him to help the roundup an' such?” Apple Bloom asked, thinking of Winona.

“The cows have threatened to go on strike if Ah try that again,” Applejack admitted. “He does have other uses though.”

“Such as?” Ron asked.

Suddenly, Fluffy lifted all of his heads and swiveled his ears to listen to a bell tolling in the distance. Then, he raced over and scooped up a foal in each mouth before running in the direction the sound had originated.

“Fluffy! Bad dog!”

“Put me down!”

“I’m not a ball!”

Applejack shook her head before turning to the farmhouse. “Ah have to admit, that thar was some good timing.”

In the quiet suburban kitchen, Dean Thomas looked up from his plate of pancakes and fixed his mother with a plaintive gaze. “Do I really have to watch Rosie and Eva?”

“Yes,” his mother returned sternly. “You’re old enough now. There is no reason we need to spend money on a babysitter when you are capable of looking after your own sisters. It’s all part of growing up and taking on responsibilities.”

“But I was going to go find the guys,” Dean whined. “I haven’t seen them in three months.”

“You don’t always get what you want. We need you to watch the girls. The groceries you brought are a welcome windfall, but we still need to conserve funds if you don't want to choose between eating and staying warm,” his father informed Dean. “That means you have to start helping out around the house.”

“Okay.” Dean wilted and returned to his breakfast.

The screaming had stopped by the time the familiar structure came into view. The three foals hanging in the mouths of Apple Bloom’s dog shared worried glances when Fluffy stopped at the front door and scratched at it. A short time later, it opened, and a smiling face peered up in greeting.

“Apple Bloom,” Miss Cheerilee said to the foal closest to her. “I see you’ve decided to join us on our last day of classes before break. And you brought friends.”

The foal in the center groaned. "I'm Ron."

Cheerilee did a quick double-take. Turning to the foal to her left, Cheerilee said, "There you are, Apple Bloom. Did you want to take the old Crusaders' desks?"

“We weren’t exactly planning on it,” Apple Bloom admitted.

Miss Cheerilee chuckled as the three were deposited on the ground in front of her. “Fluffy has been very helpful in making sure that all of the foals in town make it to school on time.”

“Traitor,” Apple Bloom directed at Fluffy, who wagged his tail at her in return.

Cheerilee said, "You really must share your story with the class. Everything at your new school must be so different."

Surrounded by the kaleidoscope of small sounds and motions that lent atmosphere to his office, Dumbledore sat behind his desk going over paperwork. With all of the wizarding government on holiday, he finally had time to address the less critical duties of the headmaster. It was now time to reconcile all of the unanticipated expenses, and he was sure that with all of the parents' protests about how their little angels couldn't possibly be responsible for the disasters, he would need every last drop of the raw firewhisky in the gallon jug on his desk.

He made the mistake of bringing the jug to his lips as he read the first letter. The resulting spit take scorched a healthy spot on the opposite wall. He had been absolutely certain that the school would take a loss on this matter. He was sure that he would have to negotiate with each family involved in turn, wringing only a few galleons from each. Five barrels of jellyfish tree sap was worth more than its weight in gold, but the first family on the list had returned the invoice almost immediately, authorized to be paid immediately.

He had painstakingly documented each time the first-year Gryffindors had managed to drench themselves in the sticky liquid. He still could not understand how they could have accidentally done it on no fewer than five separate occasions. He had expected all of their parents to argue that such accidents were a normal part of schooling. He could not understand the missive he now held in front of himself. It was authorization for payment of not five, but ten barrels of the sap. Someone named Macintosh Apple had included a short note stating that he was simply preparing for the inevitable.

How very curious.

The two newest residents sat with their family and enjoyed an unusual breakfast. It was deep-fried hay pellets on a bed of sautéed tomatoes, mushrooms, and onions. The dish was drizzled with a savory cider reduction seasoned with sage, thyme, and rosemary and brightened with bits of parsley. Even Celestia's personal chef would have been impressed.

Well, one of the newest residents enjoyed the new culinary experience; the other contented herself with owl treats.

“I hope you’re not disappointed that there is no meat for breakfast.” Bon Bon directed a worried look at the colt devouring the plate of food before him. “Lyra tells me that every meal she’s had on your world has had at least a little. I’ll get some chitterlings and salt cod for later.”

Harry swallowed his latest mouthful. “Um, you don’t have to do that. Professor McGonagall says that I can live on whatever ponies eat as long as I take my meals in pony form. She warned us not to expect any meat during the break, and this is really good.”

“Still, I don’t want to deprive you of a proper diet.” Bon Bon’s voice held a hint of concern.

“Don’t worry Bonnie,” Lyra said, digging into her own meal. “Humans have nutrition down to a science. They know exactly what parts of each food does what for the body. In fact, when you go to one of their stores, their food has writing on it that tells you the amount of each substance is present in every item you purchase. They even sell pills that help supplement anything you might be low on and I have a bottle of full-spectrum supplement in my office. He’ll be fine.”

“That doesn’t make a lot of sense.” Bon Bon looked at her own plate as Harry went back to attacking his meal. “I mean, I know that certain beings need to have certain things in their diet to be healthy, but how can a pill help that?”

“We were just not seeing the trees for the forest. We've been looking at the sum of the parts while they've been looking at the parts of the sum,” Lyra explained. “The pills have the same things that are in our food, but concentrated. It's amazing the things they've done because they don't have magic; things we had to figure out with trial and error they have worked out with math. Our eggheads are having fits over atomic theory and what that means for us. I mean, in Harry Potter's world, they even figured out a way to make aluminum so it's even cheaper than wood."

“Aluminum is worth a lot of money?” Harry asked, raising his head.

“Yes, several ponies have based their fortunes on it,” Bon Bon replied.

“Oh,” Harry said and went back to his breakfast.

A knock from the front door interrupted further conversation as Bon Bon left the table to answer it.

“Hello, foals,” she said upon seeing who it was. “That’s not tree sap you’re covered in is it?”

“Nah, it’s Fluffy slobber,” Ron answered.

“Oh, thought you were skipping class, did he? Now you know why truancy has dropped to zero around here.”

“Yup,” Apple Bloom said, disgruntled. “We thought we’d pick up Harry on the way back to the farm. We got a full day of crusading ahead of us fer the first time in a while.”

“I’ll be ready to go after I finish the dishes,” Harry called out after licking his plate clean. “Give me ten minutes.”

“Why would you think you had to do dishes first,” Lyra asked.

“Um . . .” Harry said, baffled.

“Go play with your friends,” Bon Bon said, trotting back up to the table. “I’ll do the dishes this time.”

Harry stared in shock at the two older ponies for a few seconds. “You’re not going to make me do chores?”

“Don’t think you’re going to get out of chores entirely,” Lyra said. “Cleaning your own room is your responsibility, but you won’t be doing nearly as many as you did before. Now, go play.”

“Are you sure?” Harry asked warily.

“Go play,” Bon Bon repeated. “Just remember to be back in time for supper.” Harry winced at the reminder before making his way out the front door.

“Now we just need to stop and get Sweetie an’ her broom,” Apple Bloom said. “Then we can get ours before heading over fer Scootaloo.”

There are a lot of things Rainbow Dash could be called. Fast would probably be one of the first things to come to mind. Braggart would most likely be a close second. And one could not forget loyal; she was definitely that as well. However, one thing a pony could not claim was that she was a morning pony. Well, technically, anypony could in fact claim that, but they would then be immediately called out by Applejack.

It was, therefore, a bleary-eyed blue pegasus who opened her front door in response to the annoying doorbell. “Hey, girls. Good morning.” Rainbow Dash yawned at her visitors.

“Good morning, Rainbow Dash,” the foals chorused back. Then, one of the yellow ones continued with, “I’m a boy.”

“Hard to tell with that bow in your hair,” the blue pegasus colt teased.

“What?! How’d that . . . I’m going to strangle Fred and George!”

“I think it looks cute,” the mini Big Mac commented.

Rainbow chuckled at their antics. “Come on in. I’ll go let Scootaloo know you’re here.” With those words, she turned around and started walking toward the room occupied by the filly in question. She got four steps before stopping mid-stride. To confirm a theory, she bounced her right forehoof up and down and was rewarded with the familiar feeling of fluffiness. Not quite convinced, she looked down and certified that she was, indeed, standing on a cloud. She hadn’t fallen asleep at Twilight’s or Fluttershy’s. Confused, she looked back over her shoulder at the foals. Sweetie Belle waved back with a huge grin.

Rainbow Dash looked forward again and mulled the situation over in her sleep-addled mind. Something wasn’t adding up. She checked over her shoulder a second time. It was Apple Bloom’s turn to wave a hoof, an odd sight, with her sitting on a broom and all. Yup, something wasn’t right; "earth" was in the name "earth pony" after all. Rainbow Dash looked forward again and did some calculations. After adding two plus two and getting Thursday, she lifted her left foreleg to her mouth and gave it a quick nip. That had hurt; she was awake, after all.

Taking a deep breath, she let out a shout. “Scootaloo! Did you spike the apple juice with a weird potion or maybe some firewhisky?! If so, ya got me. Ha ha, now make it stop!”

Clearly, Rainbow Dash was not a morning pony.

What had been her sanctuary was now her punishment. It was almost unbearable. Her parents had gone off to work, leaving her alone in the house. There was a time when this would have been paradise for her. Her parents knew she was responsible enough to be left unsupervised, and she had always reinforced their trust. This was the first time she had been truly alone in months. It wasn’t a quick hop from the library to the common room, where she could find all kinds of attention. For once, being alone with her books did not appeal to her, not that she didn’t still love reading. She wished there were someone close to fill the hole in her heart that she hadn't noticed until now. She needed companionship. Perhaps she should get a cat? Was she becoming a crazy cat lady already?

Sitting in a chair next to the new floo connection, Hermione debated on whether or not it was too early to try calling her friends. After sleeping by herself, she was starving for some physical contact, and she was too old to ask her parents. The analytical portion of her mind was marveling at how quickly she had become accustomed to having others around all the time. She almost couldn’t believe how much she craved their company after just one day away from them.

It was, therefore, a sigh of relief instead of a gasp of surprise that crossed her lips when a ball of flames blossomed in the middle of the family room.

“Hey Hermione!” Scootaloo hailed. “We’re going to try for our finedancer cutie marks today.”

“Financer,” Sweetie Belle corrected.


“Actually,” Hermione mused, “Scoot’s word is probably more accurate.”

Regardless of the plane of existence, money talks, although it only seems to say, "Goodbye." More importantly, money is the key to possibilities. For example, in Canterlot, bits can be used to rent rooms in lavish hotels to conduct business. Bits can be used to retain members of the royal guard to stand watch while you conduct said business. What’s more, bits can be used to have the hotel cater to ponies waiting in a rented room for their turn to conduct said business. Truly, it takes a little time for even the most naïve to learn the real benefits of having money. That time is compressed when one’s herd contains a member who likes to read all kinds of books.

It really was amazing how much they had accomplished that day, and it was only a couple hours after lunch.

“So, we have a deal?” Luna Lovegood asked of the snooty looking unicorn who sat across the desk from her.

“Yes,” The white unicorn mare said, sleaze practically dripping from her voice as she considered the small thestral who looked back at her through welder's glasses. “The bits, my property on Main Street, and a shipment of iron ore for two hoof lengths of aluminum bar. I consider that fair."

“I’m not sure what we’re going to do with a shipment of iron ore,” Luna confessed, “but we don’t want to force you to liquidate any of your holdings.”

“I’d be willing to offer much more for another hoof length or two,” the unicorn said hopefully.

“I’m sorry; we’re limiting each customer to two hoof lengths,” Luna said demurely. “We have a limited supply, after all.”

“I understand Lord Grubby Hooves got much more than two hoof lengths,” the unicorn wheedled.

“He was one of the first deals of the day,” Luna replied. “We didn’t foresee the interest we’d generate.”

“Yeah,” Sweetie Belle said from the next desk over. “This is better than any lemonade stand we’ve ever run.”

“What’s a lemonade stand?” Seamus asked from his own desk.

“We’ll show yah sometime.” Apple Bloom answered.

“I don’t know,” Scootaloo groused. “We didn’t get our cutie marks for it.”

“I’m not complaining,” Dean said. “I got that guard to take Rosie and Eva to the park for me. This is much more fun than sitting at home watching them.”

“I’m not sure that’s the proper use for a guard,” Parvati complained. “I still can’t believe they were willing to let us have a squad for the day.”

“With as much wealth as you are flaunting, it’s in their best interest to have members on hoof in case of trouble,” a blue stallion standing across from Abagail said.

“Trouble?” Apple Bloom scoffed. “Ah’d say we managed to stay out of trouble fer today.”

Diamond Tiara opened the lid of her trunk and called down the stairs. “School’s out for the day. Now’s our chance to catch her.”

“Yes, Primus,” Barnaby called, standing from the couch he had been sitting on. He was dreading what was to come.

“You’ll just have to use my ring to change.” Diamond continued, “Silver Spoon. you got the bows ready?”

“Have you decided what colors you want?” Silver Spoon asked.

“We’ll just have to wait and see what color he is first.”

Twilight strolled down a street in Ponyville with a love-besotted Spike sitting on her back. With her were Applejack and Rarity; one could practically see the hearts floating over from the baby dragon to the white unicorn.

“Thanks fer helping me look,” Applejack said. “There ain’t no telling what those three will get up to now that they gone an’ drug Percy Weasley off to who knows where.”

“I think you might be acting a little bit overprotective,” Rarity said. “Remember, you were young once.”

“Ah remember,” Applejack said. “That’s why Ah’m worried.”

“Rarity!” Lyra called out, trotting up to the trio. “Twilight, Applejack. Have any of you seen the foals lately? We have a dinner date tonight, and I can’t find Harry Potter anywhere.”

“Ah haven’t seen them since this morning,” Applejack said. “They said something about catching up on their crusading; have you tried checking the clubhouse?”

“Tried there already,” Lyra said. “And there has been a disturbing lack of commotion, considering that they are crusading.”

“If you find them, please send Sweetie home. Magah keeps circling the shop trying to find her. At last count, seven stallions have tried hitting on her; it’s starting to lose its entertainment value,” Rarity interjected.

“Buuuuuurp!” Spike added his input to the conversation. “Letter from the Princess, Twilight.”

“Thank you, Spike,” Twilight said. “Would you mind reading it out loud?”

“Sure thing,” Spike said, unrolling the scroll. “Dear Twilight, please come to Canterlot and collect the Crusaders. They are attempting to crash the economy. Yours truly, Princess Celestia.”

Spike’s reading was met with silence and many eyes opening as wide as they would go.

“I can honestly say I didn’t see that coming,” Spike commented as he rerolled the scroll. “At least now we know where they are, and Lyra may have spoken too soon about the lack of commotion.”

“Crash the economy?” Rarity whispered, questioningly.

“How did they get to Canterlot?” Twilight grasped at the first thread she didn’t understand. “Foals can’t ride the train without adult permission.”

“Ah didn’t think Celestia was the type to go around funning ponies like that,” Applejack said. “There ain’t no way foals could collapse the economy. Not even the Crusaders.”

“Yeah,” Lyra started slowly. “they’ve only been back one day and there is no way they could collapse the . . . Oh!” she concluded with her eyes going wider and her lips forming a perfect O.

“Lyra darling,” Rarity said, “I, for one, find the way you chose to finish that sentence more than a little disconcerting.”

Cheerilee strolled down the street with Carrot Top and Berry Punch, glad that it had been an early day for school.

“So, we just ask them for more firewhisky?” Berry mused as she walked. “We can get a collection going to pay for it.”

“It might be a wise idea to hold the party in the gem cave,” Carrot Top suggested. “Less flammable objects there.”

“Or you can just forego trying to get anymore firewhisky,” Cheerilee retorted. “There were ponies who didn’t recover for a whole week after the last batch.”

“Nah.” Carrot shook her head. “You missed out, being at school and all. Trust me, when I say you want to try firewhisky. It’s worth the pain.”

“We just need to find the Crusaders and ask them to order some more,” Berry said.

“Miss Cheerilee!” the voice of a young filly called out, halting the conversation.

Turning as one, the three mares watched Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon approach leading a sullen looking grey unicorn stallion with a dull orange mane. Color had been added to his features in the form of multiple small bows tied in his mane and tail, finishing with a large pink one that was a mockery of the one Apple Bloom always wore.

“Girls.” Cheerilee smiled down at her former students. “It’s good to see you. We miss having you in class.”

“Hello, Miss Cheerilee,” Diamond Tiara said excitedly. “I hate to give presents and run, but Daddy just told me that we are going to Canterlot on the next train to shop and spend the night. I have to hurry.”

“Forget presents,” Carrot Top said, devouring the young stallion's chiseled figure with her eyes. “Why don’t you introduce us to your friend, instead?”

“He’s for Miss Cheerilee,” Silver Spoon stated.

“What?” Cheerilee asked in alarm, fixing her eyes on the healthy stallion.

“Remember how jealous you were when I had a marriage contract and you didn’t?” Diamond said. “Well I’m giving you this stallion as a present.”

Silver Spoon prodded Diamond Tiara in the side with a hoof.

Diamond sighed, looked at Silver Spoon then back up at Cheerilee. “Miss Cheerilee,” she said with sullen formality, “on behalf of the Cutie Mark Crusaders, I present you with your own marriage contract and stallion. Barnaby Lee now belongs to you.”

“What?!” Cheerilee tried again.

“Well, got to go! Daddy’s waiting,” Diamond yelled, galloping toward the train station.

“Hey! Wait for me!” Silver Spoon called out, chasing after her friend.

After watching the fillies run away, the three mares turned their attention back on the virile young stallion.

“Hello,” Barnaby said with as much dignity as he could muster.

“Hello,” The mares echoed back.

A few seconds passed before Berry said, “The bows are cute.”

“I could pass on them,” Carrot Top opined.

“I’m supposed to let Miss Cheerilee unwrap me,” Barnaby said.

“Mmmmmmm,” Carrot Top purred as she licked her lips.

“Would you please stop drooling?” Cheerilee said to Carrot Top. “It’s unbecoming.”

“Says the mare with a fine young stallion waiting to be unwrapped,” Berry noted.

Cheerilee managed to blush through her magenta fur. “Um . . . Hello,” she addressed the stallion.

“You already said that,” Barnaby noted.

“So, I did,” Cheerilee answered.

“Is this even legal?” Berry asked.

“I can’t see how it possibly could be,” Cheerilee admitted.

Berry sighed. “I suppose we should go talk to the mayor.”

“Well, are you going to try him out first?” Carrot Top asked.

“What?” Cheerilee asked for the third time in as many minutes.

“I’m just saying you should test the merchandise before you have to return him is all,” Carrot protested.

“What part of ‘this probably isn’t legal’ are you failing to understand?” Berry asked.

“I can’t hear you over this fine young stallion waiting to be unwrapped over here.”

Cheerilee sighed. “Right, then. It’s off to the town hall we go . . . before we do something we’ll regret later.”

The pouch on Lodestone’s breast disgorged its contents with its expected show of poor taste. The occupants of the palace’s private dining room didn’t even bat an eyebrow at the process.

“Twilight, so good of you too arrive so promptly. We were just settling down for some tea. Won’t you and your friends join us?” Princess Celestia gestured at the table surrounded by foals and her sister Luna.

“Thank you Princess Celestia,” Twilight said, leading Rarity, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, and Lyra over to join the repast. “We came as quickly as we could.”

“Ah see you managed to wrangle up all of the Crusaders,” Applejack said, counting the foals at the table. “Wait a sec, yer missing one.”

“Please don’t tell us there is one more roaming around Canterlot unsupervised.” Princess Luna gasped. It was hard to tell if she was anxious over the foal or, perhaps, the city itself.

“This filly has a twin sister. Ah don’t see her about none,” Applejack said, pointing a hoof at Parvati.

“Padma?” Parvati said. “She’s not a Cutie Mark Crusader. She’s in Ravenclaw, we didn’t bring her with.”

Rarity sighed and wrapped her magic around a cup that a servant had just filled with tea. “So, what are the damages?”

“Let’s see now,” Celestia said, floating a scroll off the table. “The Crusaders are now the proud owners of five illustrious estates in Canterlot. In addition, also in the city, there are twenty-seven other properties, fifteen of which are notable venues. Additionally, there are a spattering of properties outside the city, including a failing gold mine and a more prosperous salt mine. Then there is the impressive number of bits they have in the banks as well as an imposing list of goods I have no idea what they plan to do with. These foals are going to be paying more in taxes this year than the entire annual budget of Ponyville. Luckily, we were able to stop them before they did too much damage.”

Frowning, Rainbow Dash reached out with a wing and lifted Scootaloo out of her seat, hindquarters first.

“Hey!” Scootaloo complained, flailing her limbs.

“Nope,” Rainbow said, studying the younger pegasus’ flank. “Still no conpony cutie mark. I have no idea how they manage to pull off stunts like this. And in just one afternoon no less.” She deposited Scootaloo back onto her seat.

“I can’t decide if it would be a very good idea or a very bad idea to teach them the value of a bit,” Twilight said. “You’ll be wanting them to return what they have gained today, I assume.”

Princess Luna snorted. “There was not a single pony with whom they traded with who will be permanently inconvenienced by today’s transactions. In fact, none gave anything approaching the true value of the aluminum if one were to go by the current market. To a pony, they thought they were taking advantage of gullible foals. There are clear displays of greed while it is equally evident that the foals did not legitimately know just how much of an advantage they held.”

“Yer going to let them keep all of it?” Applejack gasped.

“Yes,” Princess Celestia said. “My first assumption was that they were receiving fair market value for the large volume of aluminum they imported, which is why I feared for the economy. After going over the transactions, I saw that they were unabashedly taken advantage of. As it is, it is easy to predict that all those who traded with the foals are going to squirrel away their ill-gotten gains in hopes that I do not come after them for shamelessly defrauding the youngsters. Little do they know that it is going to come back and bite them in the flank at a later date.”

“I guess two wrongs do make a right,” Lyra said, sipping her tea. “Or at least a tidy profit.”

Rarity addressed the foals, listening to the adults talk. “New rule, no more importing aluminum from the human world. You can seriously undermine the economy of all of Equestria if you do, just like you threaten their world if you import too many gems.”

“Yes ma’am,” the foals chorused.

“Wait a minute,” Applejack piped up. “How is it they even own all that stuff? None of them are even adults.”

“That’s easy,” Twilight answered. “It’s all being held under the Cutie Mark Crusaders Herd. There are no age restrictions for herd holdings.”

“This whole thing is giving me a headache,” Rainbow Dash complained. "Not only should they not be able to do what they did, there is no way they should be able to get away with it griffin free.”

“Oh, but they shan’t be getting away with anything griffin free,” Princess Luna corrected. “They still have to pay their taxes.”

“That does it.” Applejack addressed Apple Bloom. “when we get back to the farm Ah’m having Big Mac teach you how to handle the finances. Yer going to need the practice.”

“I know what we're all going to need,” Rarity said, using her magic to reach into Lodestone’s pouch and pulling out a bottle of McCartin’s finest. “Here’s to disasters averted.”

The foals all huddled together fearfully and peered between the legs of the ponies standing between them and the heavily scorched door that had been slammed shut by the back blast. Everything and everypony in the room was now coated in fine ash ablated from every exposed surface from hock-level up.

Princess Luna turned toward Rarity and said. “Thou art never again to offer my sister firewhisky. Dost thou understand? Never again.”

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