• 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 69: Commerce, Construction, and Commitment

In the living room of the quaint cottage, the synthetic stallion failed to reconcile what he saw with what he felt. Although there were no overt cues, the dwelling exuded estrogen. The couch that held his attention was a prime example of the dissonance. It lacked the frills or pattern that would have screamed femininity, but no one could even begin to conceive that it might be owned by a stallion. The truth of that observation was borne out by the undeniably cute mare who lay upon the living room's centerpiece, snuggling with a blanket. There was something captivating about the gentle rasps her breath made as her barrel rose and fell. Doubtless, if Professor Snape's apprentices were exemplars, this mare would transform into a stunningly beautiful woman.

Barnaby Lee had found his host to have been a perfect gentlemare, sacrificing her own bed so that he might rest unmolested. Still, he had found the foreign environment disquieting, and the first rays of dawn had quickly roused him to full wakefulness. He had quietly made his way to a guest chair in the living room. From this perch, he had watched his hostess peacefully dosing on her makeshift bed.

As he watched, he reflected on what he had learned about the mare. She had told him she was a teacher, unwittingly triggering an old fantasy. If he could persuade Primus Tiara to lend him her transfiguration ring, he could no doubt convince his soon to be erstwhile bride to "test the merchandise" as Carrot Top had so crassly suggested. In fact, he should be able to get that mare and her friend Berry to join them in what would no doubt be the educational experience of a lifetime.

The best part was that he would have sated his desires, and with the end of the winter break, the laws of this land would let him escape, unfettered. The mayor had already started the process to nullify the contract with a letter to their princesses. The mare fully expected her ruler to arrive the next day to void the contract. Since Barnaby himself had taken no action to prompt this response, he would have fulfilled his obligation to his primus while regaining his freedom.

It was a perfect Slytherin scenario. Carrot Top had practically thrown herself at him, and he should have no problem manipulating her to persuade Berry and Cheerilee to satisfy their curiosity. Transfigured, the trio should sport assets that would put any supermodel to shame. A few honeyed words should make the mares think that it was their idea to take advantage of him. Once he had taken his fill, he could easily play the part of the victim, with no one being the wiser.

From his perch on the guest chair, Barnaby Lee licked his lips in anticipation as he watched Cheerilee slumber. Like any typical seventeen-year-old boy, he let his imagination run wild, shifting in his seat as he attempted to conceal his mounting excitement. Getting that ring would be his top priority.

Marcy Weiss found that, from a professional standpoint, she could not be happier. Her tutoring position was a teacher's dream assignment. Mr. Discord's contract had given her so much leeway that her colleague Richard's seemed like a short leash. The trio from Gryffindor were the only students she was obligated to tutor. She was free to teach anyone else she desired. She had let the student body know that she was open to teaching anyone who was willing to learn, so there were no malcontents among her students. The entirety of Ravenclaw had jumped at her offer, as had two thirds of both Slytherin and Hufflepuff. Gryffindor had unsurprisingly been less academically inclined, with only half of the house taking advantage of this invaluable resource. The remaining did not want to exchange their nap time for actual learning.

Her students were acutely aware that Marcy was under no obligation to teach them, and they did their utmost to avoid the alternative. Discipline was self-administered. While they were far from being perfect students, they were always on their best behavior.

Ron Weasley was the proverbial red lantern, who, if left to his own devices, would be the epitome of a slacker. However, loyalty to his year mates, or herd, as they were apt to call themselves, had prompted him to put in enough effort to scrape along at a barely-acceptable level. Marcy had noted that Mr. Weasley had unwittingly absorbed some good study habits despite his avowed disdain for academics. Surprisingly, Scoot Aloo had also made a similar adaptation and consistently remained a step or two ahead of Ron.

Still, she had needed to occasionally provide firm guidance to keep that pair on the right path. It had taken a few reminders that they were her true responsibility to convince them to consistently do their utmost to learn. Mr. Discord had given her ample incentive to see that the Gryffindor first-years were properly educated; he was paying her the salary of a full professor while giving her only the obligation of a tutor.

There was a distinct downside to the position. In a normal setting, her greatest obstacle would have been coordinating her curriculum with the schedule of the sanctioned class. Instead, she found herself teaching in a vacuum. An audit of Professor Binns' classes had revealed they were, for the most part, a waste of time. While his incessant droning about the Goblin wars was factually accurate, he simply did not do any teaching. As a ghost, he could not collect homework. He could not discipline students. He could not administer tests. He could not even allow himself to be interrupted by student questions.

Marcy had found that she alone would have to shoulder the responsibility of teaching her students. To meet Hogwarts' standards, she had used a copying charm on her students' homework, and she had placed the duplicates on the same table where those still in Binns' classes turned in their assignments. Since the ghost could not correct the papers, house elves repurposed them as a convenient form of tinder. Marcy, however, graded the originals and returned them to her students. She was determined to see that Magical Britain would no longer have the worst history marks among the ICW members.

The first term had featured some unexpected changes. When Marcy had first arrived at the school, she had been sharing a common room with Richard. When Richard had taken on the DADA post that Quirrell had abandoned, the former auror had taken the former professor's quarters, and Richard's assistant had moved into his old room.

Richard's assistant had proven to be eccentric, to say the least. Miss Fizzlepop Berrytwist was as far from normal as Marcy could expect anyone to be. Her hair coloring was the most obvious indication; there was no way any person should have hair the colors of a dying star, but Marcy was in the position to know it was natural. Stranger still was the fact that Fizzlepop seemed to be a naturist at heart. Marcy was sure that the woman would have blithely wandered the hallways in her birthday suit had Marcy failed to explain the concept of modesty.

Fizzlepop had certainly shown no hesitation in flaunting her body around Marcy. The tutor blushed at the thought of how well-sculpted the assistant's body was. Fizzlepop had some strange perceptions about personal space, physically greeting Marcy as if it were the norm. The way the assistant had nonchalantly tried to join Marcy in the bath had convinced the tutor that Fizzlepop was looking for a more intimate relationship; Marcy almost regretted that she was unable to reciprocate such affection.

To Marcy's surprise, Fizzlepop's magical education seemed woefully inadequate. The assistant was constantly roping Marcy into teaching her the basics. Surely, her other attributes must have convinced Mr. Discord to install her as Richard's assistant. Marcy sincerely hoped that those attributes were complementary to what the ex-auror offered. She shuddered to think that the assistant might have been hired for non-academic reasons.

Yawning, Marcy left her private room, intent on making her way to the Great Hall for breakfast. She stopped short in the common room when she saw something strange laying on a couch, reading a book. When Marcy’s door clicked shut, it looked up from its studies and smiled at her.

“Good morning, Marcy,” said the small horse.

Marcy blinked. “Fizzle?”

“Who else would it be?” Fizzle asked in her maddingly stoic voice.

Thinking quickly, Marcy compiled the clues. “You confiscated one of the first year’s rings?”

“No,” Fizzlepop said. “Graceful Charm went home for the holidays and was kind enough to lend me hers, since she won’t be needing it.”

Thinking of the potions apprentice with lime green and aqua hair, Marcy asked. “Why did she have one of the first year’s rings?”

“So she could walk around as a human,” Fizzle said, returning her gaze to her book. “They have a rule here that we are supposed to be human outside our chambers.”

“Graceful is supposed to be a horse?”

“What?” Fizzle asked dangerously.

“I asked if Graceful was born a horse?”

“We are ponies.” Fizzle grated. “Calling us horses is . . . rude.”

“Sorry, I’m just . . .” Marcy fought for words. “You were born a pony?”


“All of Professor Snape’s apprentices were born ponies?”


“All of the first year Gryffindors were born ponies?” Marcy gasped.

“No, only three of them were.”

“Oh.” Marcy looked at the stub of a broken horn on Fizzle’s forehead. “What happened to your head?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Oh.” Marcy would have backed up away from the hostility in Fizzlepop’s voice if her door hadn’t closed behind her. “Um, why haven’t you had the school nurse fix it?”

“What?!” Fizzle’s head shot up.

“It’s only bone. I’m sure if you asked her Madam Pomfrey could . . .” *Slam!* Marcy found herself talking to the closed door leading to the school corridor. There had better be some coffee for breakfast; tea just wasn’t going to cut it this morning.

From a distance, the heavily bundled children waiting at the curb in front of the suburban house looked like the three bears. Puffs of condensation formed as Dean looked at the sky and said, "Red sky in morning, shepherd's warning."

Rosie bounced in time with a disco tune that only she could hear. Her siblings watched as she finally sang the chorus.

The reality of the situation hit Eva in the face. Shocked, she declared, "We're not taking the bus!"

“Yes, we are,” Dean stated. “Dad says I need to help out around the house, so that means we’re going grocery shopping.”

“It’s not too cold to walk to the supermarket,” Eva protested.

“It is too,” Dean said. “Besides, we’d have no way to get all the groceries home, and my money only works in the wizarding world.”

“We could carry it,” Eva suggested. “I’ll bet they wouldn’t mind too much if we borrowed a cart and brought it right back. Besides, you can exchange witch money for normal money.”

“No, they get mad if you take their carts, and to get normal money, I’d need to go to the goblin bank, which would mean a ride on the bus anyway.”

“Can’t I wait here?” Eva whined.

“No, you can’t,” Dean said. “Mum and Dad said I have to watch you when they're at work, and they told you, you have to listen to me. We’re going shopping for food so they don’t have to worry about keeping the heat on.”

Eva blinked away tears. “Okay,” she agreed meekly.

“The bus is fun,” Rosie declared.

“No, it’s not,” Eva said. “It scares me.”

“Just keep your eyes closed, and you’ll be fine,” Dean said as he raised his wand. There was a bang, and then the Knight Bus was parked right in front of them.

“Good morning kiddies,” the attendant said, opening the door for them. “Off to visit some friends or family, are we?”

“We’re going grocery shopping,” Rosie declared. “We’re being helpful around the house.”

“It’ll be Wheatbound Row you’ll be wanting, then,” the driver said. “Normally, I’d say you were too young to be going so early by yourselves, but with the weather set to take a turn for the worse, there will be plenty of responsible types present to see that you don’t get yourselves in too much trouble.”

“Dean Thomas!” a voice called out from inside the bus. “Eva Thomas! Rosie Thomas! Over here.”

“Miss Heartstrings.” Dean waved as Rosie bounced up the steps and into the arms of the waiting woman. “And Miss Bon Bon. What are you doing on the bus?”

Bon Bon sat on a thinly upholstered straight-backed chair, clutching a trembling Hedwig in her lap. “We are picking up the Dursleys for a hospital visit. Unfortunately, this was our only option for transportation from Emma Granger’s house.”

Dean pressed his bank key in the receptacle for payments before dragging Eva onto the bus. “Couldn’t you have just owled yourselves?”

“No, the Dursleys can’t open owl pouches.” Lyra shook her head. “Hedwig will be able to get us back home after she’s done with her nervous breakdown, though.”

Dean noted that the owl was wearing a neatly tailored white pouch on her breast. “I don’t think she likes the bus much.”

“Smart bird,” Eva added, plopping herself on a rattan rocking chair promptly screwing her eyes shut.

“You may want to choose something more stable if the jerking motions bother you so much,” Bon Bon suggested, petting Hedwig in an attempt to keep the owl calm. Bringing her on the Knight Bus had been a bad decision. “Where are you foals headed?”

“Grocery shopping!" Rosie said, bouncing in Lyra's lap. “We’re helping out around the house!”

“Does your mother know you’re going?” Bon Bon asked suspiciously.

“It’s going to be a surprise,” Dean said, wiggling on his ottoman.

Bon Bon sighed. “If I didn’t already know you were a Crusader . . . Lyra, would you mind going with them and making sure the markets are still standing when they’re done?”

“I was just about to suggest the same thing,” Lyra said, petting Rosie’s hair in a manner similar to how Bon Bon was petting Hedwig.

“Thanks for getting us out of the owl pouch, Rarity,” Twilight said, picking herself up off the boutique's showroom floor. “I need to talk to Dylan about some sort of mechanism that allows for the pouch to automatically open upon arrival . . . preferably something involving soft padding or a mattress, as opposed to landing on hard floors.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” Rarity said, using her magic to pick Spike and his rucksack up off the floor. “Though it is a small price to pay for spending the night with your beau.”

“You have no idea.” Twilight grinned. “I know humans are serial monogamists, but I’m feeling really guilty keeping Sirius all for myself.”

“I’m sure it will only take a little persuasion to get him to agree to a proper relationship,” Rarity said, floating Spike closer for a welcoming kiss on his cheek. Any awareness he may have had of the conversation went down the drain.

“I have plans along those lines,” Twilight said, “but they will have to wait. We have enough to do today as it is.”

“Rainbow Dash and Big Mac should be along shortly.” Rarity answered Twilight’s unasked question.

“Big Mac?”

“Yes.” Rarity placed Spike on the ground. “We are setting up financial advisors for the Crusaders’ affairs. Applejack may be the best at operating a farm, but I fear anything relating to managing large sums of bits is well outside her limits. Big Mac is the much more sensible choice for today’s outings. It will be a day of fancy mathematics, after all. Besides, there are few mares more capable of looking after all of the foals running around.”

“Speaking of foals, where’s Sweetie?” Twilight asked.

“She and Daphne Greengrass have collected Harry Potter and Magah with the intent of joining their friends at the Apple farm.”

“I think it’s safe to say that we will be having a less eventful day than Applejack,” Twilight said.

“Obviously,” Rarity agreed.

“Applejack?” Apple Bloom said as her sister exited the bathroom, having taken an after chores shower.

“Yes?” Applejack acknowledged.

“Can we build a greenhouse on the edge of the east fields?” Apple Bloom asked with soulful eyes. She had the added support of all of the Crusaders currently in Ponyville, a truly devastating show of cute force.

“Ah suppose that’ll keep ya busy enough fer tha day.” Applejack smiled. “Ya can used the cured wood in the stack over by tha east entrance.”

“Thank you, Applejack.”

“If’n you ask nicely, Ah’m sure the twins an’ Percy Weasley would be glad ta help as well.”

“Fred and George already said they would,” Ginny said.

“Didn’t Percy Weasley want ta help as well?” Applejack asked.

“He made off with three girls while you were in the shower,” Harry said.

“He did now, did he?” Applejack gritted her teeth.


“Which way did they go?”

The Brown residence stirred as flames flashed green in the living room's fireplace. Lavender walked out of the floo, holding a pouch clutched to her chest. Several seconds later, her older brother, who had graduated Hogwarts just last year, followed her.

“Thanks for taking me to Diagon Alley,” Lavender said gratefully. “I just couldn’t wait for Mum to wake up and take me.”

“Well, you did buy me supper.” Her older brother smirked. “Besides, with me working nights and you being at Hogwarts, most of the time, I need to take the opportunities that present themselves.”

“You’ll love what I got once I put it together,” Lavender said.

“A bag that you ride our owl with? I’ll pass; I prefer to apparate.”

“This is just the first step. I need Mum for the next,” Lavender said before shouting, “Mum! Are you awake yet?!”

“If I wasn’t before, I am now,” Lavender’s mother called out from the downstairs workroom. “Where have you been?”

“Diagon Alley,” Lavender said, following her mother’s voice. “Dale took me. Are you at a good stopping point?”

“I’ve just finished one project, but I have several others that need to be finished in time to be presents for the holidays," her mother said as Lavender entered the room where Mrs. Brown did her rune work. "I’m afraid I can’t spare much time today.”

“I just need you to come with me to pick up a few things,” Lavender said. “It shouldn’t take long.”

“Can’t you have your brother take you again?”

“No, I need a parent with this time.”

“That doesn’t sound too encouraging.” Lavender’s mother fixed her daughter with a stern glare. “You’re not planning anything dangerous, are you?”

“Nah, we have the same items in the common room at school,” Lavender said, heading directly to her mother’s owl. “I just need you with to buy some of them.”

“I suppose I could take a break,” her mother said, planning on evaluating the purchases before they were made.

Wheatbound Row turned out to be a small community that specialized in foodstuffs and was accessed in a manner similar to Platform 9 3/4. The noticeable lack of those wizards and witches who would have considered themselves of proper pureblood breeding made for a more welcoming atmosphere.

“A store dedicated to selling meat?” Lyra shuddered, her love of humans warring with her pony sensibilities as she followed the children into the butcher shop. “I’m just happy it’s me with you instead of Bon Bon; she’s still shaken over the ‘eating cows’ thing.”

“Yup,” Eva said. “We can get all kinds of good stuff in here.”

“I want mince pie.” Rosie informed everyone.

“I heard you the tenth time.” Dean snorted.

“You’ll forget if I don’t keep reminding you,” Rosie said.

Growling, Dean snatched a package from a festive holiday display. “Here, have a chocolate frog. Just let me have some quiet.”

Rosie took the package and started turning it over to inspect it while Dean turned his attention to the wizard behind the counter. “We’d like to start with a goose.”

“And mince pie.”

“And a couple mince pies.” Dean gritted his teeth.

The wizard looked at Dean then glanced up at Lyra for confirmation. When she nodded, he turned his attention back on Dean, only to snap it back on Lyra in shock. “You’re not planning to start singing, are you?” he asked cautiously.

“I don’t have any particular desire to,” Lyra said, tilting her head in confusion.

“Eeeeeeeee!” Everyone in the store jumped at the sound of the screaming little girl.

*Stomp!* *Stomp!* *Stomp!*

“Rosie!” Dean exclaimed.

*Stomp!* *Stomp!*

“Rosie!” Dean exclaimed again.

*Stomp!* *Stomp!* *Stomp!* *Stomp!*

“Eva, don’t help her!” Dean shouted.

“It moved!” both girls cried together.

“Of course, it did!” Dean screamed. “It was a chocolate frog!”

“Why did you give it to her?” Eva demanded.

“So, she could eat it,” Dean growled.

His younger sisters shot him a pair of withering glances.

Sighing, Dean turned back to the now-laughing wizard. “As I was saying, a goose.”

“And mince pie.”

“A couple mince pies,” Dean said, “as well as two boxes of chocolate frogs.”

Mystic Book was reading the newspaper when she sensed more than heard something land on the counter near her head. She was surprised to see an owl staring back at her. She couldn’t honestly say who was more bewildered, she or the bird.

“Who,” the owl said, giving the unicorn the letter it held in its talons.

“Thank you,” Mystic Book said cautiously as she daintily took the letter in her magic. She reread it three times before looking back at the avian. Sure enough, it was wearing a satchel. Warily, Mystic Book brought her horn closer to the object. In turn, the owl took a step backwards.

“Hold still,” Mystic said. “I’m just following the instructions.”

The owl skeptically looked at her, but it held its position.

“Est dimtree,” Mystic said once her horn was in place. “No, that wasn’t right.” She sighed and floated the letter over to have another look. “Ex dimittere?”

The bag emitted sounds reminiscent of a violin being devoured by a manticore, and something out of the darkest legends popped out. For a second time, Mystic Book wasn’t sure who was more surprised, she or the minotaur-like creature that was getting to its feet.

“Is this Ponyville again?” the creature asked once it was standing, its head barely clearing the ceiling.

“No, you’re in Canterlot, but we do have a train that stops in Ponyville,” Mystic said, doing her best not to cringe away.

“We’re not going to Ponyville,” a voice near her hooves said. “We’re here to buy more crystals.”

Looking down, Mystic saw an earth pony filly whom she’d never forget. Somehow, the child had managed to come in without Mystic noticing. “I’ll be with you in just a sec,” Mystic said and, as discreetly as possible, put herself between the filly and the strange creature.

The filly lifted a hoof to cover a giggle. “She’s with me.”

“Really?” Mystic asked as the filly scooted around her legs to stand next to the towering oddity.

“Yup, we’d like everything we purchased last time I was here,” the lavender filly said.

“I remember that sale,” Mystic replied, not taking her eyes off the taller customer. “How could I forget something bought with a promissory note from the Princess?”

“I could sit on the floor, if you like,” the creature said. “I’m sure I’d be less imposing if I were at eye level.”

“Where are my manners?” Mystic closed her eyes for a second and gave her head a small shake. “Bonjour, and welcome to Enchantment Essentials.”

“Enchantment Essentials?” The creature had interest in her voice as she looked around at the shop’s contents. “I’m going to have a look around while you’re helping Lavender.” She pulled a stick out of the clothing she was wearing and strolled over to examine a shelf of merchandise.

Mystic watched the creature walk off before returning her attention to the filly. “You didn’t bring another promissory note from the Princess, did you?” she asked.

“No, I was planning on writing one of my own this time. We have a lot of bits in the bank now,” The filly answered.

Mystic noted that the filly had yet to receive her cutie mark but decided that the resulting lack of security was worth the financial risk. “Of course, I wouldn’t expect you to bother her every time you want to buy something.”

“I guess I could have asked her when we were having tea yesterday.” The filly shrugged. “But it honestly never crossed my mind.”

Mystic resolved not to alienate this customer. The filly could just be fibbing, but the previous promissory note was strong evidence to the contrary. “Why don’t I assemble your purchase while you peruse my wares?”

“That’s not a lot of wood,” Harry said, looking at the pile Applejack had said they’d be allowed to use. “And there’s no glass.”

“Not a problem,” Apple Bloom replied. “We’ll jus’ send Sweetie and Ginny to get what we need while we grade the land.”

“Sure, we can just pop over to the store Hermione showed us yesterday,” Sweetie said before calling out. “Philomena, could you come here please.”

“Nah,” Apple Bloom corrected as a burst of flames appeared near Sweetie. “They weren’t wizards. Wizards can shrink it fer easy transport. Jus’ go to Diagon Alley.”

“Good point,” Scootaloo said. “Get the stuff for the foundation first, we’ll probably be done with the leveling before you get done with your shopping.”

From the comfort of his room, Severus Snape was at war with himself as he contemplated the scroll that he had received. He had tried to convince himself that, despite the tumult of his introductions to Zecora and Applejack, he had been cultivating a strictly professional relationship with each woman, exchanging owls with both. In Zecora, he had found a fellow traveler, a potions master like himself. Applejack had proven to be a font of folk medicine. Both offered skills complementary to his. Something in the back of his mind kept trying to tell him that he really wanted more.

Despite his best efforts, each missive exchanged had added to a foundation of a relationship that was more personal, more intimate. With the coming of the holidays, Snape found that the cover behind which he had been hiding had been stripped away. There was no classwork to attend. There were no apprentices to mentor. Now, he had to give a direct answer.

The women had invited him on a date.

At the same time.

At the same location.


All three of them.

Superego fired the opening volley at id. "This is not the way courtship is supposed to happen!"

Id counterattacked with blasts of its own. "It must be a pony thing."

Ego joined the fray. "Have you lost your mind? This is absolutely terrifying! Just send our regrets and be done with it."

Dual-wielding, id took aim at both antagonists. "Just feel how much we want to go. Minerva said that Lily would want us to be happy, remember?"

Superego returned fire. "This is hardly the proper way to find happiness."

Ego added, "Are you crazy? Both at once? They must have found out about each other and think you're cheating on them."

Id countered. "You know how much it means to have one woman interested in us for who we are, let alone two."

Ego shot back. "You saw what Applejack's daughter could do; we'd be lucky if we just ended up in St. Mungo's with every bone in our body broken, like Dumbledore."

Superego fired his own blast. "The proper thing to do would be to find some excuse not to go. Any excuse."

Id suddenly grew, towering over his opponents, eyes blazing with power. "We want to go."

Snape's world went white.

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