• Published 23rd Apr 2017
  • 10,778 Views, 6,081 Comments

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 7: Hat Trick

Apple Bloom blinked as the sudden change in location assaulted her senses. The new scene was still at a train stop, but it was different from where she had just been. While no expert on human structures, where she had been and where she was currently felt different on a gut level. There were still humans everywhere, but these tended to favor the robes she had gotten used to seeing them in.

Before Apple Bloom had long to register that she was somewhere else, another figure rushed through the seemingly solid brick wall and pulled to a stop beside her. It resolved into that new black-haired colt, who had introduced himself as Hairy. With his shaggy mane, it was obvious where he had received that name. Still, it felt like only half a name. Perhaps it would turn out to be something like “Hairy Cutter”, or maybe “Hairy Shaver”. Regardless, he was gawking at the new platform in awe. That feeling Apple Bloom could relate to; she remembered the first time that Twilight had teleported her.

“Impressive, ain’t it?” Apple Bloom said to him. Then, as Ginny came through the barrier, she cautioned, “We had best make room, ‘fore we get trampled.” Redheads steadily continued to trickle into the new area.

“It’s wonderful,” Hairy agreed, his mouth remaining half open the entire time.

“Now is not the time for standing around,” Molly firmly told everyone present. “Onto the train with the lot of you. It’ll be departing soon.” She knelt to give Ginny one last hug. “Remember, if you think it’s too much, just have a professor floo us, and you can wait until next year.”

In response, Ginny gave her a look letting her know that that was most definitely not going to happen.

The colt, Hairy, was watching this interaction with a look of longing. Noting the look, Sweetie Belle shuffled up to him and asked if he needed help with his things; then she grabbed the cage containing the white owl without waiting for an answer.

“Yah, let’s git agoin’.” Apple Bloom reached over to grab his trunk. The Weasleys and the colt all marveled at how easily the small girl lifted it.

“Looks like he’s got a featherweight charm,” one of the twins commented as he and his brothers struggled with the remaining trunks.

“What’s a featherweight charm?” Hairy asked, confused.

“We want to thank you for having us over at your home for the last couple days,” Sweetie Belle added hefting the cage to a more comfortable position, the resident barking her outrage at the treatment. “We had fun and we enjoyed your hospitality.”

Scootaloo and Apple Bloom nodded their heads in agreement. “Yeah,” Scootaloo added, “what she said, hos-bit-all-ity.”

“Hospitality,” Sweetie Belle corrected.

“That’s what I said,” Scootaloo insisted as she made her way over to help Percy with his trunk and owl combo.

<->

An empty compartment was found, and the six first years claimed it as their own. Harry hadn't really had a choice in the matter; the girl with purple and pink hair was carrying Hedwig. More startling, the girl with the outrageously bright red hair was carrying his trunk -- by herself -- with no apparent effort. Once inside the compartment, she even did a jump in the air and lightly deposited his trunk onto the overhead shelf. Harry watched in stunned silence; he had trouble maneuvering the trunk as it was, never mind jumping with it.

The youngest redheaded boy of the group, “Percy” or maybe “Ronald”, wordlessly handed his trunk over and the redheaded girl repeated the jumping maneuver.

Meanwhile, the purple and pink-haired girl was studying Hedwig through the bars of her cage. “Are owls good to eat?” she asked.

At this Hedwig swiveled her head to stare at the girl, the owl’s eyes somehow managing to go wider than they were already.

“Sweetie Belle,” Ron scolded, protectively covering one of his pockets with his hands, “’Tisn’t polite to go around asking people if you can eat their pets.”

“Okay,” Sweetie Belle beamed, handing Harry the cage. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude.”

Harry eagerly accepted the cage, while Hedwig retreated as far from the crazy girl as she could manage in the cage. “I think that it might be Hedwig, you should be apologizing to,” he observed.

“I’m sorry Hedwig,” Sweetie Belle directed at the bird. “I wasn’t planning on eating you. I was just wondering if owls in general were good to eat.”

“Bark!” Hedwig berated Sweetie, as the owl did her best to huddle up to her wizard through the cage’s bars.

Harry quickly stowed Hedwig next to his trunk. The owl was glad to no longer be the object of attention.

“Owls are for carrying letters and mail. They are more like family than pets. Definitely not lunch,” the smallest redhead girl clarified to Sweetie Belle. She had a more normal shade of red hair, the kind Harry would have called bright red, just this morning, before meeting a girl with truly bright red hair.

“Letters?” the purple . . . yes, purple-haired girl asked. “So that’s actually a normal thing and all?”

“Yup, owls can take your letters anywhere,” Ronald said proudly.

“Anywhere?” Sweetie Belle asked. A glint in her eyes told she was planning on testing the limits of that statement.

Conversation stopped as the train started moving. The children raced to the windows for one last wave goodbye.

<->

She hadn’t moved in two days. Upon her cloud she perched, never taking her eyes off the line of trees below.

It had been four days gone by since they went missing. There had been search parties out to canvass the surrounding areas, but the Everfree could not be subjected to the same treatment. The trees grew so that the canopy blocked all aerial scouting.

Few would venture into that forest, even to look for lost fillies. The royal guard had been called to supplement the effort. They were already in the shadows of the trees. Searching. Hoping. Praying. Somepony had to mount a watch on the forest’s edge, just in case they found their own way back and needed help.

She hadn’t moved in two days. Upon her cloud she perched, never taking her eyes off the line of trees below.

There were volunteers who brought her food and water. They even offered to take the watch for a time so she could rest. She just shook her head, her rainbow-colored mane uncombed and uncared for. She could handle it. She WOULD handle it.

Somepony had to mount a watch on the forest’s edge, just in case they found their own way back and needed help.

She hadn’t moved in two days. Upon her cloud she perched, never taking her eyes off the line of trees below.

She didn’t cry. She most decidedly did not cry. She had no tears left.

Somepony had to mount a watch on the forest’s edge, just in case they found their own way back and needed help. That somepony was she.

<->

“Ah don’t think we properly introduced ourselves,” Apple Bloom said to the newest addition to their group, “what with all the hustle and bustle. She then gestured to herself. “Mah name’s Apple Bloom.”

“And I’m Scootaloo.” Scootaloo bounced up and down in her seat for attention.

“Sweetie Belle.” The owner of the name said, “Sorry again about the owl question.”

“Ron Weasley, and this here is my sister Ginny.” Ron gestured to his sister as way of emphasis.

“Hey, I can introduce myself,” Ginny complained, scowling at her brother.

The black-haired colt smiled and said, “Pleased to meet you, my name’s Harry Potter.”

With that declaration, Ron stared at the colt, with his mouth open and Ginny once more took a deep breath.

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!” was heard in the compartment.

Sweetie Belle looked, deadpan, at Harry. “She does that from time to time,” she informed him.

<->

She trudged through the underbrush of the forest, a multitude of burrs caught in her straight pink mane.

Though her people were known for being herbivores, she was hunting, hunting for a sign, a track, a tuff of fur, anything.

There had been no “hoof ache, eye twitch, foreboding sense of dread”, that one combination she never talked about, the one that let her know somepony she knew wasn’t coming back. There was still room for optimism, even if it had been four days.

There could still be a “You ran off without telling anypony, but managed to come back unhurt so you’re only grounded for life” party. She would do her best to make it happen. Parties were her thing after all.

She trudged through the underbrush of the forest, a multitude of burrs caught in her straight pink mane.

<->

After the prefect, who had come to check on the screaming, left, Ron focused his attention on Harry. “So,” he said pointing to his own forehead, “do you really have it?”

Sighing, Harry moved the fringe of hair covering his forehead.

“Cool,” said Scootaloo, “how’d you get that?”

Ginny shot her a dirty look, letting her know that was exactly the wrong thing to ask.

<->

She would contribute as much as she could.

One of the missing was a unicorn, a unicorn that she knew especially well, a unicorn who had practiced fledgling magic in her library countless times.

There was still residue on the toys used for such practice. Residue that could be used to craft a compass. A compass that would point to any new or recent magic usage by that very same unicorn. Sure, it would be limited in range, but the search had turned up nothing so far. Maybe this would be the help they needed.

She would contribute as much as she could, and anything else that was needed.

<->

“I do know one spell, the twins taught me,” Ron went to reach into his pocket then suddenly eyed Sweetie Belle, “but right now probably wouldn’t be a good time to try it.”

The door to the compartment opened and a girl with bushy brown hair stood in the doorway. “Have any of you seen a toad? Neville here has lost his,” she asked.

“Toad?” Sweetie Belle tilted her head as she readied her question. “Are toads . . .”

“Sweetie!” the other children in the compartment all yelled.

“What?” she pouted, “I was just going to ask if they were actually a common pet.”

“Bark!” came a reprimand from the overhead shelf.

<->

She stopped to question a local.

She had one of the larger royal guards with her, as well as Harry the bear. They watched over her as she canvassed the local populous. She was hoping one of the resident critters had seen something.

Mr. Squirrel shook his head; there was no news for him to relay.

Sighing she lowered her head in frustration, doing her best to hide the tears. There had been no luck. Not a critter had seen them.

This could be a good sign. Maybe they hadn’t entered the forest. She would keep asking, of course, just in case.

She stopped to question a local. The hedgehog had nothing to report.

<->

“I think I can tell the wrong sort for myself.” Harry ignored the outstretched hand of the blonde-hair boy who had invaded their compartment.

Behind him all the girls and Ron were glaring daggers at the offender.

“Another Diamond Tiara,” Scootaloo muttered under her breath. Then out loud, she stated, “Now we know to steer clear of Slytherin.”

“Actually,” Apple Bloom corrected, “the twins told us that yesterday.”

“You were going to tell me when?” Scootaloo complained.

<->

She marched through the forest.

She kept her ears perked ready for the slightest of sounds.

Chores could go on waiting to be done. She had family to find. She had to believe that. She had to believe it because if she didn’t, she couldn’t lie to herself.

Suddenly, a single timber wolf jumped out in front of her, clearly a loner on the lookout for a possible pony meal. She didn’t even break stride, somehow plowing through as she moved forward. There was a trail of timber wolf bits five miles long, falling to the forest floor.

She marched through the forest. Woe betide whatever got in her way.

<->

“We’ll be arriving soon,” the bushy haired girl named Hermione informed everyone. “You should all get into your robes.”

She had taken it upon herself to join the rest of the group. Decidedly a bit on the bossy side, she had the strangest name yet encountered. On the plus side, she was a fountain of information, though Ron didn’t appear to think this was much of a plus.

“Okay.” Scootaloo jumped up and started to remove her current outfit.

“Wait, wait!” Hermione waved her hands frantically. “Let the boys leave first; they can have the compartment next.”

<_>

She slogged through the mud.

Her escorts followed obediently behind her. Celestia had sent her best. They were helping her, helping her find what she could not on her own.

The wet earth seeped into her white coat unheeded. It wasn’t important. She could find gems easily enough. It was her talent, after all. Gems didn’t matter.

What did matter, she couldn’t find. She couldn’t stop looking. She wouldn’t.

She slogged through the mud.

<->

“Firss’ years.” The largest human by far shouted, “Firss’ years ova’ here!”

There were boats. Ginny and the fillies took one. Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Neville took another. Soon, they were on their way. The boats moved by magic.

The image of a castle filled their vision. It wasn’t as grand as the castle in Canterlot, but it had presence. Old, magnificent and magical, it called out that it was there, and it was a force to be reckoned with.

<_>

The sun lost the sky and Luna brought the night.

She hadn’t moved in three days. Upon her cloud she perched, never taking her eyes off the line of trees below.

She trudged through the underbrush of the forest, a multitude of burrs caught in her straight pink mane.

She would contribute as much as she could.

She stopped to question a local.

She marched through the forest.

She slogged through the mud.

Silently night fell. There would be no sweet dreams this eve.

<->

The doors to the castle parted, revealing a stern-looking Minerva McGonagall.

“I’ve brought the firs’ years fer ya,” the big man said to her. “All safe and sound like.”

“Thank you, Hagrid.” Professor McGonagall nodded in acceptance. “Follow me, children. It is almost time to be sorted.” She led the gaggle of children into a small chamber where they were told they were to wait until the sorting commenced.

“How do you suppose they’ll be sorting us?” Hermione asked. “It wasn’t covered in ‘Hogwarts a History’.”

Then somebody screamed, “Ghost!”

Apple Bloom planted her feet, Sweetie jumped on her back, and Scootaloo piggy-backed on Sweetie’s.

Everyone, the ghosts included, stared at them as they made faces designed to scare ghosts away.

One of the ghosts with his head nearly removed turned to another covered in silvery blood, “Now, that’s a first,” he said

“Alright children, form up a—What on earth are you doing?” Professor McGonagall entered the room to the sight of the strange standoff.

In response, the entire first year class pointed at the ghosts.

“Those are just the school’s ghosts. They won’t hurt you.” Professor McGonagall gave a stern look. “When Tom told me you did that when scared, I had thought he was joking.” She pursed her lips then continued. “Enough of that now, you’re keeping everyone waiting. Line up and follow me. It is sorting time.”

They followed Professor McGonagall into a large hall. There were four long tables dominating the majority of it, with a shorter one set up on a platform near the far end. Human fillies and colts of different ages sat at the long tables wearing similar robes that had trim color coded to their different tables. The adults in the room were sitting at the table on the platform.

Glancing up, Apple Bloom saw that the ceiling was painted to look like the night sky. It was . . .

“It’s enchanted to look like the sky outside.” She heard Hermione say to another girl, “I read about it in ‘Hogwarts, A History’.”

Um, glancing up Apple Bloom saw that the ceiling was enchanted to reflect the sky outside. It was a beautiful sight.

Professor McGonagall stopped the first years near the back of the hall. She then went to the platform and produced a stool, and then set a hat on the stool. It was a worn-looking thing. “Battered” would probably be a better description. Sweetie Belle could practically feel the dirt radiating off it from where she stood with the rest of the first years. Rarity would have had a fit just looking at it.

Suddenly the hat’s brim ripped open, and it started to sing. It wasn’t a heart song by any measure, but it was a song, a song coming from a hat!

Apple Bloom was tempted to plant her feet firmly, but the other two fillies didn’t move. After the talking mirror, a talking hat was acceptable.

After the song, Professor McGonagall informed the first years that they would be sorted by placing the hat on their heads. They would then be placed in a house which would be their families for the next seven years.

She then called out for Miss Hannah Abbott. The girl, who was misfortunate enough to have a name near the beginning of the alphabet, marched forward toward her fate. It wasn’t long before the hat called out, “Hufflepuff!” and Hannah was ushered to the table that had yellow-trimmed students. As she walked, her robes took on a yellow trim as well.

Professor McGonagall looked at her list a second time and called, “Miss Scoot Aloo.”

The entire hall watched as she nonchalantly approached the stool and had a seat. There were more than a few whispers over the shade of her hair.

The hat was placed over her head and eyes. The hall disappeared from her view.

“Well well well,” a voice said from inside her head. Alarmingly, it wasn’t her own voice. “You are the first pegasus I have had the pleasure of sorting,” the voice, the hat said.

“Um, hello,” Scootaloo bravely answered.

“There is so much new and exhilarating information in here,” the hat continued, ignoring her greeting. “I am extremely grateful I don’t have to sort this Rainbow Dash, whom you are so fond of.”

“Why?” Scootaloo asked, feeling a bit of annoyance at the perceived insult to her idol.

“It seems she would fit in perfectly with the Gryffindors, almost by definition.” The hat chuckled. “But with her literally being the Element of Loyalty from your world, I’d almost be obligated to put her in Hufflepuff.”

“Oh.” Scootaloo didn’t understand, but it apparently hadn’t been an insult.

“You’re much easier. You don’t have much ambition beyond getting a cutie mark, and that is more of a desire to grow up than an ambition. Slytherin is most assuredly out. I am sorry to say, you lack qualities central to the mindset of Ravenclaw; that house is also not an option for you. Hufflepuff is not a house you would be comfortable with. You have loyalty aplenty and are not afraid of hard work. However, the students there are not prone to excitement, they would drive you to boredom soon enough. No, the answer lies in the fact you are sitting here below me on this date, a happenstance brought about by a bold and daring action. Yes, there is only one house for you.”

The hat spoke a word from its place atop of Scootaloo’s head, and that word was “Gryffindor!”

Scootaloo saw the Weasley twins jumping with glee and motioning for her to sit beside them. She got off the stool and joined her new house, happy to see them and Percy waiting for her.

“Miss Sweetie Belle” was the next name to be called. With her hair bouncing merrily, she skipped up to the stool, confident after watching the ease with which Scootaloo had conquered the challenge.

Her world went dark and the hat spoke, “First a pegasus, now a unicorn. This truly is a wonderful day for Hogwarts.”

“Um, hello?” Sweetie Belle was startled by the voice in her head.

“Let's see, you lack ambition but not drive. You badly want to be able to cook but that does not define your desires for your future.”

“Um, okay.”

“I can see you easily succeeding in either Ravenclaw or Hufflepuff. You have both the mindset desired by Rowena and the sincerity that Helga adored.”

“That’s good . . . I think,” Sweetie agreed.

“However, what defines you is your willingness to take a chance, even though, most times, you're just along for the ride. It is obvious what your house shall be.”

For the second time that night, the hat added to the Gryffindor table.

“Miss Apple Bloom” was called next.

“Ah, and here we have an earth pony to complete the set.” The hat said inside her mind as soon as it was settled.

“Y’all can talk?” Apple Bloom thought, “inside mah head that is.”

The hat chuckled and said, “Obviously. Now let’s see where . . .”

“Put me in Gryffindor,” Apple Bloom interrupted.

“Don’t you wish to explore your options?”

“Ah don’t care. Put me in Gryffindor with mah friends please.”

“I see; yes, you will do well in the house of the lions. So be it.”

One declaration later and Apple Bloom joined her friends at the Gryffindor table.

One of the older girls giggled and said, “Three new firsties in a row, does that qualify as a hat trick?”

Fred and George had just finished explaining the pun to Scootaloo when Hermione joined the table.

Names were called, children found new houses to sit with, and there was much clapping to be had. All the while, the background chatter cast a relaxing and constant white noise.

A name was called and the chatter ceased. All eyes fell with expectation and wonder upon the boy called. Daunted by the attention, Harry Potter made his way to sit and be sorted.

As most of the rest held their breaths in anticipation, Apple Bloom leaned into Fred, or maybe it was George and asked, “What gives?”

“Harry’s very famous in the wizardly world,” the twin whispered back.

Silence reigned, and all wondered at the conversation going on beneath the hat. When the verdict was announced, the twins led the celebration by chanting “We got Potter! We got Potter! We got Potter!”

Sweetie Belle was pleased how the sorting was going so far. Just two more, and they would have the set. Finally, after an insufferable wait, Ginny’s name was finally called. Not too long afterward, she was sitting across from Sweetie.

Ron was next to be called after his sister. The hat spent less time on his head than hers before sending him to the house his family claimed as their own.

This generation’s Weasleys had in one voice declared their allegiance, and it was good.

After that, there was one more named called. Blaise Zabini went to the Slytherin table, and thus, the sorting was complete.

Professor Dumbledore stood from his seat at the teachers' table. “Welcome,” he said. “Welcome to a new year at Hogwarts! Before we begin our banquet, I would like to say a few words. And here they are: Nitwit! Blubber! Oddment! Tweak! Thank you!”

With that he sat down.

Harry blinked and asked, “Is he mad?”

Percy answered, “Mad? A bit maybe, but he is a genius. A more powerful wizard you’ll not find.”

Harry blinked and realized that the table, which had been barren before, was now covered with all sorts of food. He immediately set about to trying some of everything.

Ron had sat down next to Apple Bloom and was just as gleeful as she was at the sight of the food. The two, in a devastating show of teamwork, proceeded to lay waste to everything within arm’s reach.

Disturbed by the sight, Scootaloo chose to settle on some of the fish she found. She finished off her meal with as many varieties of vegetables as she could find.

Meanwhile, Sweetie Belle was intrigued. There were all kinds of meat to sample. Here was one shaped like a tube. Kind of like a hay sausage only with meat instead. It was rather spicy, but tasty. Here was some kind of bird that came with a thick white sauce. The liquid was a bit too salty, but the bird meat by itself went down nicely.

A summary glance showed that there was no Beef Wellington to be had, but Ginny introduced her to something called steak. It was chewy, but the texture was nice. With experimentation, it turned out that it actually went nicely with the sauce meant for the bird. Also tasty were the more familiar pork chops, a bit greasy, but filling.

After observing the girl for several minutes, Percy said, “Sweetie, you have to eat your vegetables too.”

“Okay,” she agreed as she gnawed the bone that came with her steak. Examining the table, she decided that maybe some potatoes should be had.

After a while, the dishes filled with supper suddenly disappeared and were just as quickly replaced by an array of desserts. With gleeful abandon, Ron and Apple Bloom quickly demonstrated that they still had room available. With quick movements, they each claimed a whole pie for themselves. Ron’s was pumpkin, and Apple Bloom took one filled with apples.

Sadly, Scootaloo looked on, wishing she had thought to save room for dessert.

Meanwhile Sweetie Belle scrutinized the offering and found none to be containing meat. Full from the meal, she quickly lost interest after that.

Harry was surveying the table with the teachers and at one point clapped his hand over his scar in pain. He immediately denied anything being wrong after that.

“I’m pretty sure they each consumed their own body weight in food,” one of the twins’ friends was saying to them. “How is that even possible?”

Time passed and desserts were finished. Once again, the tables were cleared.

At the head table, Dumbledore once more stood and addressed the student body. “A few words for the start of the term, before we find our beds for the night. First years should note that the forest on the grounds is forbidden to all pupils. A few of our older students would do well to remember that as well. Also, our caretaker, Mr. Filch, would like you all reminded that no magic is to be used between classes in the corridors. Quidditch trials shall be held the second week of the term. If you are interested in playing, please contact Madam Hooch.”

Dumbledore then rubbed his beard as if to give consideration to a deep thought, “And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death.”

This immediately got the attention of each and every member of the CMC. Forbidden forests were kind of their thing after all. Furthermore, the off-limit corridor sounded like challenge as well. How dangerous could something in a school be? Anything really dangerous would be behind more locks than you could shake a hoof at.

Dumbledore then called for the school song to be sung. The resulting audio fiasco had all three fillies cringing in horror.

Afterwards it was time to follow Percy, their prefect, to the Gryffindor tower. He led them through the castle, up several flights of stairs until he finally stopped in front of large portrait of a fat lady.

The picture moved and asked “Password?”

With a startled squeak, Apple Bloom planted her feet solidly on the floor, Sweetie Belle jumped on her back, and Scootaloo topped the formation.

There were a few seconds of complete silence, then Hermione asked, “Do you do that often?”

<->

The night continued a slow progress towards dawn.

She would not abandon her watch.

She would turn over every rock.

She would think of something.

She would ask all for help.

She would not stop.

She would continue no matter the cost.

One way or another, the fillies would be found.

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