• 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 71: Chaotic Musings

Screams of terror filled the air. The gravity of the situation was not lost on the airborne ponies as they began their descent. From this height, if the earth ponies hit the ground just right, they would escape with only a broken bone or two. The best the more delicate unicorns could hope for was a month in traction.

Scootaloo evaluated her options with the lightning-fast thought processes for which pegasi are renowned. She had enough time and wingpower to save Daphne or Sweetie Belle, but the twins were simply too heavy. Harry might be strong enough to save Ginny, but even that was questionable. Somepony was going to be hurt badly, and there was nothing she could do about it.

Harry's life flashed before his eyes. Unbidden, a memory came to the fore, a scene he had watched in the recent past. The screams brought him back to reality. Desperately, he wracked his brain as he saw his friends flailing. A true wizard would use his wand, but Harry didn't know any spells that could be even remotely useful. What use could an eleven-year old boy be against gravity? A tug on his back slowed him as his wings instinctively opened. He shouted, "I don't need a little dog Toto! I have wings!"

Scootaloo shouted, "Wait, Harry!" The other pegasus shot past and began flying in the tightest circle he could manage in the expected flight path of the herd.

Electricity crackled down Scootaloo's wings as she dove down to join him. Taking station opposite Harry, she shouted, "Faster and tighter, like me!"

Harry looked over to find Scootaloo in a vertical bank. He copied the maneuver and cried, "Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind!"

Reluctantly, the wind moved to follow the two pegasi, forming an air cushion that slowed their non-feathered companions. As they paced their companions, Harry shouted, "It's no good! They're still falling too fast!"

Scootaloo looked down, hoping to find that the impact zone would be a soft one. She shouted back, "Keep going! We need more time!"

As they sailed over the farmhouse, inspiration struck. Once again, her friends had flown to her house that morning to wake her. Daphne had borrowed Harry’s broom, and Scootaloo had brought her own just in case there was time for the herd to help Apple Bloom and Ron hone their quidditch skills after the chores were finished. In her mind's eye, she could see six Nimbus 2000s in the mud room, where they had been abandoned when the quest for a greenhouse had begun. Scootaloo shot out a forehoof toward the building and screamed, "To me!"

The voice carried into the dwelling below. Six broomsticks heeded the call of their god. The picture window in the front of the farmhouse didn't stand a chance as the brooms took to the sky.

Scootaloo's cry caught the attention of the falling. Even from their height, they could hear the window shatter into confetti. Looking down, they saw the orbiting pegasi. Further down, they saw salvation; an armada of brooms was racing up to meet them.

“Tinder! Heel!” Scootaloo heard Apple Bloom yell.

“Mr. Twittersticks come here!” Sweetie copied Applebloom's lead even as Ginny called out “Over here Dasher!” and Ron shouted. “Murphy, come!”

The twins transfigured back into their human forms and held their hands out for Scootaloo's and Harry's brooms. Obediently, the brooms came. Meanwhile, the other riders also transfigured into humans. The lessons of the quidditch pitch now came to the fore while Scootaloo and Harry continued to slow the descent of the falling.

Fred scooped up Random Order and Open Secret. George grabbed Icy Hot and Dull Roar. Ginny snagged Sad Smile while Sweetie plucked Soft Rock out of the air. Apple Bloom caught Daphne while Ron yelped, "Hey! Watch the hooves!" as Minor Miracle expressed her appreciation.

Scootaloo and Harry glided down as they were finally able to rest their burning wing muscles. They could see Applejack galloping toward them and Magah charging through the snow to intercept those on broomsticks. As soon as the pegasi touched down, they lay on their backs to let the snow soothe their aching muscles.

Harry groaned, "I must be the world's worst wizard. I couldn't think of a single spell to save my friends."

Scootaloo reached out a wingtip to touch Harry's. "I don't care. You're a real pegasus. I never would have dreamed to do a cyclone spin with only one partner. I'd be proud to have you as my wingmare."

Harry groaned. "I'm a boy."

The bespectacled man absently savored the flavors of juniper, citrus, and spice that accompanied the burn of 150 proof ethanol as he continued his discussion. The morning was still young, but days like these screamed for something to ward off the sanity robbers. He used to think that nothing in the world could truly astound him. After all, his subordinates were duty-bound to report all significant events to him promptly, regardless of how unusual they might be. He had become inured to the bizarre, despite knowing that panic would inevitably follow. He had been sure that the limits of the unusual had been reached with the impromptu visits from the Minister of Magic. He now knew he had been wrong.

The morning had begun innocuously enough. He had been in the daily briefing with the head of each government agency. The disturbance had been like a silent but deadly emission, arriving unexpectedly and leaving everyone upset as they tried to make sense of what had happened.

The meeting had scarcely begun when the conference room tabletop was suddenly occupied by seven men and seven women, each representing a different culture. Suspended above them had been a sure trigger for both coulrophobia and arachnophobia. The gaily-dressed twelve-limbed red-headed creature had been nearly as large as the table itself.

It had escaped notice as the humans had begun arguing among themselves, demanding satisfaction. No one had ignored its salutation. "Everyone, let's not be penny-wise . . ."

Screams had interrupted whatever it was going to say next. The scents of sheer terror had filled the air.

The giant spider had then sighed before absently waving a foreleg. The Prime Minister had felt a wave of calm overtake him as the screams came to a sudden end.

"Listen," it had said. "We don't have much time, and I'm in enough trouble as it is. So, no questions. I'm exploiting a loophole that allows initial encounters to be where I choose, but I can bend the rules only so far. I am a recruiter for the interdimensional stability consortium. Technically, those I take are supposed to simply disappear for the duration of their term and reappear afterward as if nothing had happened. I'm not supposed to leave any evidence, but I prefer to let your leaders know that you will be missing for the next thirty years so that you will be able to re-integrate upon your return."

"The consortium is a centralized command tasked with mitigating the effects of naturally occurring cross-dimensional contamination. Those of you coming with me shall be saving billions of lives on a regular basis. Under ordinary circumstances, your world would not be tapped for resources yet, but you have a magical subspecies that is now interacting with another dimension on a regular basis. By law, the consortium must take some from your dimension to help maintain the system that safeguards innumerable worlds. You might consider it payment for the system's transformation of pony emigrants to humans, and human emigrants to ponies. Aside from this encounter, you shouldn't be hearing from us for centuries. I apologize for the inconvenience. Farewell, new consortium members."

With the last word, the intruders had vanished without fanfare, leaving those left behind questioning their sanity.

Resolutely, the Prime Minister had reached for the intercom. “Miss White, if you wouldn’t mind, please bring the rolling bar in here. I dare say it is going to be needed.”

“So early in the day?” the woman’s voice had come.

“Yes.” The Prime Minister had released the button before saying, “Did you all just see what I did?”

A junior aide had asked, "Was this trip really necessary -- not that I've ever tried LSD."

“Just to be sure,” one official had said. “Everyone just saw a giant bloody spider appear out of nowhere with a slew of people, ramble for a bit, then disappear as if it were never here?”

A general display of nodding had rippled down the table.

“I suppose it’s too much to hope for everyone just agreeing that this never happened and go about our business as usual,” another official had quipped, drawing out another round of nodding.

“We have a magical subspecies?” the head of MI5 had asked.

“Yes, our wizards and witches like to keep a low profile for obvious reasons,” the Prime Minister had replied.

The head of MI5 had fixed the Prime Minister with a penetrating stare. “Ponies?”

“I thought the man was barmy.” The Prime Minister had sighed. “However, it looks like I may owe the Minister of Magic an apology. His stories about interdimensional ponies appear more substantial than I originally gave them credit for.”

“Minister of Magic?” the head of MI5 had asked in an unpleasant tone. Somehow, the Prime Minister had realized the day was now doomed to be a long one.

The tabletop offered an amusing perspective as Discord watched the head of MI5 grill the Prime Minister. The draconequus had traced an unexpected eddy in the interdimensional flow to the room. Appearing on the pristine conference room table as a set of salt and pepper shakers was supposed to have been a subtle joke. Being grabbed and shaken into Bloody Marys and shots of vodka was not the reception he had expected. However, if the drinkers were so eager for his input, who was he to deny them?

As a connoisseur of chaos, Discord was well aware that the improbable and the unpredictable were far more common than mere mortals might imagine. After all, it was the reaction to these events that was his bread and butter. Still, there were things that came from so far in left field that they appeared to come from the right. A consortium snatcher straying from the straight and narrow for even two minutes fell into that category.

He couldn’t begin to imagine what that aeogic had been thinking. As a race, aeogics tended toward order with sickening regularity. Exceptions were extremely rare, bordering on nonexistent. This left Discord of two minds on the matter. His salt side was screaming that this had to be a setup of some kind; it just didn’t make sense otherwise. His pepper half was calmly insisting that all of his senses agreed that it was completely random. Pepper insisted that since the consortium's laws made the Prime Directive look like a casual suggestion, there was no way the higher ups were even aware this was going to happen. Salt smugly stated that pepper had proved his point.

Despite their obvious differences, both sides agreed that, whatever the underlying cause, this incident just made things more complex. At this rate, Discord was going to need more popcorn.

Arthur was not above engaging in a bit of skullduggery if it were for a good cause, and the surprise Christmas party that he and the other guardians for the Gryffindor first-years were planning definitely qualified. The plan had been put in place as soon as the children had arrived at Platform 9 3/4. Sending his children to stay with the ponies was essential to maintain secrecy.

The smell of brimstone had added urgency to this phase of Arthur's mission. No sane wizard should be anywhere near this preserve, let alone volunteer to work here. Arthur preferred to be far away from gigantic beasts who considered him crunchy and good with ketchup, but his second-born, Charlie, had made dragons his passion. Thus, Arthur had to visit this purgatory in order to meet with his son.

Thankfully, persuading Charlie to come home for the holidays had been quick and easy; the prospect of meeting a sentient baby dragon from another dimension had proven irresistible. They would return to the Burrow tomorrow, leaving them plenty of time to prepare for the party. Now, Arthur's only worry was that word of the party might leak into Equestria.

The prospect of losing his children to foreigners had almost convinced Arthur to keep them in the Burrow. Conversations with the refugees had revealed the expectations and obligations of a herd agreement. Such an arrangement had legal and contractual obligations that were not age-restricted. His youngest son and only daughter had no idea of the implications of the contract into which they had entered. Arthur was intent on keeping Molly in the dark for as long as he could since there was nothing they could do about it. The Minister had been adamant that the Wizagamot would not allow contesting such arrangements. The fact that the Minister's only daughter was in the same contract as Arthur's children lent gravitas to that decision.

Arthur would have protested, but Croaker had made it abundantly clear that without drastic actions, the wizarding population would shrink to nothing within eight generations. The course the purebloods had charted was a road to ruin, and Arthur was disgusted at the way they had chosen to sacrifice the entirety of their world in order to maintain their precious purity. Pure or not, new blood was needed for the wizarding world to survive.

The Minister himself had recognized the existential threat. He had shared his concerns and presented the facts to a pony princess. The two had negotiated an agreement to give the wizarding world some relief. The wizarding world would recognize the legality of the herd agreements. In return, wizarding members would each be allowed one override vote for bringing a new member into their herd, ensuring that each herd would have at least one witch or muggle. The purebloods would have screamed that the bloodlines would be thinned to nothing, but anyone with any sense would have replied that having thinned blood was better than having no blood at all.

It was with trepidation that Arthur had sent his sons to Equestria. He was painfully aware that Percy and the twins might find herds of their own to join on this visit, and they were simply too young to take such a serious step. Still, his youngest two had already committed, and he knew that Percy had already met three young pony women during his first visit to Ponyville. As a father, he worried that his sons might be taking advantage of innocent ponies. His only solace was that the princess had communicated that the arrangement might allow mares to take advantage of unwary wizards. The moral undertones were enough to give a philosopher a headache.

He knew the winds of change were already blowing. There had been an owl waiting for him at the dragon preserve. The head of the Unspeakables had sent a report from the records department. All those who had been intimate with the former and current ponies were now registered as being wedded to their partners. Arthur couldn't help but wonder whether Sirius would be more surprised to learn that there was now officially a Lady Black or that there was now officially a Lord Sparkle.

The course ahead was clear. The status quo had been demolished in the interests of survival. It was now up to the current generation to navigate. Fortunately, if the Crusaders were any indication, the seas ahead were calm.

Clouds of condensation covered the heads of the draught pony team as they worked in conjunction with the brakeponies to ease the train into Appleloosa Station. Weary ponies oozed out of the cars, setting hoof on the frontier. This was the end of the line, the last bastion of pony civilization in this direction. Ironically, most of the passengers were there for a new start, including one stowaway rat who hopped down from the leeward side of the caboose's chimney.

The rat had left what he had thought was a perfect refuge. Unfortunately, while his body had been safe, his spirit had been under attack. There had been a draconequus in his paradise. His savior, Fluttershy, had an undeniably intimate relationship with the beast and his mate. Try as he might, he could not unhear the exuberance they had expressed. If there were any justice in the world, he would have been the one showing Fluttershy his appreciation.

The longer he had stayed, the more disturbing the revelations had become. He had overheard that the object of his desire, the beautiful buxom blonde Applejack was actually a pony turned human. Worse still, he had learned that she was interested in that halfblood, Snivellous. How could that woman be so blind to his obvious inferiority?

Despite the disappointments, not all the news had been bad. If Snivellous were friendly with these ponies, the other surviving Marauders would shun the ponies like lepers. Peter had reveled in the knowledge that his secret was safe. No one who could blow his cover would even dream of coming to his sanctuary.

Still, having the strange dragon-like creature had kept him on edge. There was something undeniably familiar about the beast that Fluttershy had considered her stallion. Peter could swear that the beast would always pick him out regardless of how well hidden he might be. Worse still, the abomination seemed to understand exactly who Peter really was. That realization had put paid to any voyeuristic ambitions Peter had previously harbored.

Over the next several months, the awkwardness of the situation had tempted Peter to try his luck taking up residence in the town proper. However, the conversations he had overheard had convinced him that his current lot was preferable to being hunted down by a pest control pony. Besides, he had realized this was the perfect place to be to find a pony to adopt him as a pet.

The situation had taken a drastic turn for the worse half a week ago when one of Fluttershy's friends had visited. The purple unicorn had apparently just managed to find a break in her myriad duties to pay her friend a visit. Without modesty, she had claimed to have read enough books in the last three months to fill a modest library; Peter could scarcely believe that the mare didn't have a Ravenclaw emblem on her rump. The bombshell, however, had been a personal matter; the mare had claimed to be dating Sirius Black. Peter had realized it was only a matter of time before Padfoot would come calling.

Peter had nearly fled the cottage on the spot. Only the fear of drawing attention to himself had stayed his paws. He had maintained enough presence of mind to wait until after the ponies had left to do whatever it was that they did. Then, at his first opportunity, he had opened the puzzle box that created the transfiguration rings and stolen a handful.

He had realized that life as a rat was unfulfilling. The ponies he had observed had all turned into beautiful women. All he had to do now was to find a home far away from prying eyes. With the help of the Imperious Charm, he would have his harem. There were no Aurors around to stop him from taking what was rightfully his.

He had left the cottage with a bounce in his step. While exuberance had been part of the explanation, contact with his underside on the foot-high snow had been a stronger motivator. Sneaking onto the first train leaving town had been child's play.

“Ah can’t thank y’all enough fer taking the time to ta check this out fer me,” Applejack said as she, Rainbow Dash, and Twilight approached the newest structure on the Apple Farm.

“I’m happy to help,” Twilight said as she trotted alongside her friends. “The phrase ‘the Crusaders got tossed halfway across the farm by their rogue greenhouse’ just begs for a proper investigation. If it had come from anypony else, or involved anypony else, a straitjacket would probably be in order. Besides, Rarity and Big Mac can handle the negotiations until we make sure it’s safe.”

“The Crusaders wanted to tag along and see what’s what, but Ah sent them into town with a big bag of bits. It’s not like they can’t afford it, and it’ll keep them out from under hoof,” Applejack said. “That should keep 'em out of trouble, leastwise 'til Pinkie’s party starts.”

“I’m just glad somepony else besides me has seen the flying brooms,” Rainbow said. “I thought I was losing my marbles after they showed up at my house two mornings in a row.”

“Now, thar’s another couple of sentences Ah would have thought made somepony eligible fer a straitjacket,” Applejack said.

“Nah.” Rainbow shook her head. “After ‘Rarity, your trunk just ate the mailmare’, everything else has been downright normal.”

“Since that has become an acceptable sentence, it sure says a lot about our lives,” Twilight said.

“Ah don’t know; we’ve had some doozies since George arrived,” Applejack said. “’Yer dog thinks he’s a truant officer’ comes to mind.”

“Oh, I know a good one,” Twilight said. “Could you please come and help us with the fire breathing ponies?”

“Yeah, it’s too bad you missed that entire episode,” Rainbow said. “Firewhisky is really good.”

“Mind you, Dash,” Applejack said, “when the Mayor’s assistant asked you to help Ah don’t think he meant becoming a fire breathing pony yerself.”

“Two words,” said Rainbow. “Flaming rainbow trail.”

“That’s three words,” Twilight scolded.

“I was just going to say ‘flaming Rainbow’, but that brought an image of me flying around with my mane and tail on fire.”

“Ya know,” Applejack said as they had reached the front door of the building, “this house sure don’t look green ta me.”

“The glass does have a slight blueish tint.” Twilight studied the construction. “It is literally nothing but supports and windows. Who would want to live in a house that is nothing but windows?”

“Somepony who doesn't throw stones,” Rainbow said. “Why did you let them build this, anyway?”

“Ah thought they wanted to build a green clubhouse big enough fer their entire herd.” Applejack bristled. “How was Ah supposed to know they’d build something three times the size of our home? Before lunch, even.”

“Speaking of three times the size,” Twilight said, “look at those doors.”

“So?” Rainbow asked. “I’ve seen bigger doors at the palace.”

“Yes, but those doors still have handles at pony height,” Twilight replied. “These are three times as high as those in a human house.”

“Lookie here.” Applejack had spotted a pamphlet half-buried in the snow. “Reckon those are instructions?”

“I sure hope so.” Twilight said, levitating the papers toward herself. “That box is probably relevant too.”

“First question,” Rainbow said. “Do we have to bind it before we try to open the door? I don’t want to have to try dodging this thing. Not that I couldn’t if I had to, but we are already running late for our other meetings.”

“Let’s see,” Twilight said, reading the pamphlet and turning pages with her magic. “Oh, that explains that.” Another page flipped. “This is actually an ingenious idea.” Again, a page flipped. “Well I know what happened.” Twilight said, lowering the pamphlet. “And I know why this is called a greenhouse.”

“Do we need ta bind it so it won’t attack us?” Applejack asked. “Ah don’t want to try mah luck at flying today.”

“No,” Twilight shook her head. “This building doesn’t come with offensive or defensive capabilities. What happened is an understandable mistake. You see, to properly place it, you need to bury four runestones in the corners and then say a phrase to start them charging. There is a warning, in very big red letters, not to let them charge for more than fifteen minutes but to at least allow them ten. Overcharging causes the building to grow extra-large and expels a dangerous burst of kinetic force.”

“So, yer saying the Crusader’s ignored the warning?” Applejack sighed.

“No, these instructions are based on the background magic of the human world. Here, allowing them to charge for more than four minutes is a bad idea.” Twilight looked at the pamphlet again. “But this is a building where you can grow plants any time of the year. It has controlled temperature and humidity for four distinct compartments. The kit is even supposed to come with starter plants.”

“Ah don’t see no plants in there.” Applejack peered through the glass.

“They’re in this box,” Rainbow said, slipping into the wooden container. “They got all kinds of stuff down here, including some very tasty looking flowers.”

“Don’t y'all go eating any of them.” Applejack pulled herself over the ledge and into the box. “Ah’m sure that the foals want to use them to start a garden.”

“They aren’t going to miss one or two,” Rainbow said, licking her chops.

Do you think we bought enough?” Harry asked, adding another box to the growing pile. Daisy had agreed to watch Bon Bon’s shop for the day, but she hadn’t expected a group of foals to come in and make a huge purchase of gift boxes.

“Eh,” Scootaloo said, eyeing the candies on display. “Get ten more boxes, just to be sure. If we forgot anybody, we’re covered, if not, more for us.”

“Okay,” Harry said just before there was a flash of light.

“Girls?!” Twilight said from her position sprawled on top of Applejack with her face oddly buried in the orange pony’s fur, making it impossible for her to see. “Are you there?”

“Thar here.” Applejack said. Her left forehoof was held tight against the side of her face and her right hind leg and tail were plastered to her barrel. “Mr. Cake was right.”

“Mmmmm! Mmm mmm!” Rainbow added, laying on her back atop Twilight, her wings stuck to the unicorn in what had to be an uncomfortable manner.

Sweetie Belle looked at them and said. “I see you found the spitting tulips.”

Lyra followed the three happy children out into the biting cold. The wind had picked up since they had arrived, and it was fast approaching the time she should be getting them to Ponyville for Pinkie’s party. The trip had been fruitful. The owners had sold her a barrel of every-flavor beans and some other candies at a bulk price. They would make for some novel additions to Bon Bon’s shop. In the end, it was hard to tell who was moderating whom as both she and Dean stopped each other from buying too much.

Rosie, in particular, was bouncing around crazily, having consumed way too much sugar.

“You may want to save some space.” Lyra smirked. “Pinkie is guaranteed to have made a lot to eat.”

“Are we eating lunch with her?” Eva asked, nibbling on a flashing piece of licorice.

“She’s throwing a party today. Didn’t Dean tell you?”

“She is?” Dean said. “I didn’t know.”

“I guess your herdmates forgot to tell you,” Lyra said.

“Yeah!” Rosie morphed before jumping in the air to spread her wings. “Pony party tiiiiiiiiiiime!”

The last word was said just as a stiff wind wound its way through the small village, lifting the small pony and in the blink of an eye she was sailing over the nearby forest.

Lyra sighed. “You two go wait in the pub; I’ll go get her.” With those words, she too transformed and started to gallop after the airborne foal.

Dean noted the direction in which his little sister was disappearing. He screamed as he transfigured, "That's the Forbidden Forest! Wait for me!"

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