• 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 73: Skewed Conformity

If ever there were a sound that embodied determination, it would be the sound of strides taken in lockstep toward a common goal. The pony version, however, screamed that nothing in this world or the next could keep the ponies from their objective. The ground itself quaked at the show of unity presented by the Ponyville garrison as the almost imperceptible jangle of hastily-donned armor underscored that something serious was ahoof. They approached in standard battle formation, with earth ponies surrounding their unicorn partners while the pegasi provided top cover. Bystanders stopped to watch, amazed, as the garrison came to parade rest in front of the tree that housed the local library.

The show of force did not go unnoticed within. The top portion of the dutch door swung open before the troops were within five body lengths of their objective. Rarity poked her head out to assess the commotion. Upon spotting the guards, she exclaimed, "On my, Lieutenant Mocking Jay. What ever is the emergency?"

Turning her gaze skyward, she addressed the lead pegasus. "Please make haste to Sweet Apple Acres; I'm certain that Applejack, Twilight, and Rainbow Dash will be needed for whatever prompted this response." She concentrated for a moment before continuing. "Pinkie is at Sugarcube Corner, and Fluttershy should be in her cottage."

In a perfect rendition of the fashionista's voice, the lieutenant replied, "That won't be necessary, darling. Everypony we need is already present."

“Really?” Rarity asked skeptically. “It appears that you have brought enough support to wrestle a hydra. Are you sure that my friends and I are not needed to quell this ruckus?”

Mocking Jay gestured toward an armored mare whom Rarity recognized as the one who had fled the library earlier. "There is no need to discommode yourself. The good private has confirmed that the human, Petunia Dursley, is on these premises, and we simply must insist that she accompany us for an audience with the princesses in a most expedient fashion. Besides, no hydra has poked even a head up in our patrol zone of late for reasons unknown.

Rarity blinked. “Surely this can wait until she has recovered from her injury. The poor dear is not to speak for the remainder of the day.”

“Oh, but we must insist,” Mocking Jay said firmly. “To put it mildly, our illustrious leader is not known for outbursts of anger. After factoring in the reactions of the other two princesses, the colonel has issued priority orders to have any humans of interest brought before the princesses immediately, if not sooner. I do hope you appreciate my position.”

Bon Bon, still in human form, spoke up from behind Rarity. “There was a misunderstanding that has since been corrected. I’m sure those orders no longer apply to Petunia Dursley.”

Mocking Jay shifted her focus and with voice and accent matching Bon Bon’s said, “We have our orders. Any resistance to apprehension, any danger posed to ponies, is to be terminated with prejudice. I respect both of your opinions but my hooves are tied. I’m just happy that everything seems to be civil and hostilities don’t seem to be needed.”

Petunia came to stand beside Bon Bon, with a pink, lightly-glowing forehead. She pursed her lips and shot a glance towards the kitchen where Spike and Dudley were still snacking on sticky love honey.

“Don’t worry,” Bon Bon said, answering the unasked question. “This will be easy to clear up. I’ll keep an eye on your son while you’re gone.”

“I suppose there is no helping the situation.” Rarity sighed. “Let me just get Hedwig and she can carry us directly to Princess Celestia.”

“I am afraid that will not be possible.” Mocking Jay switched her accent and voice back to match Rarity’s. “Security dictates that we travel by pegasus carriage with a full complement. It may be slower, but it allows us to fend off any threats.”

Rarity sighed again. “Very well. Let’s get this over with.”

“Your cooperation is appreciated.” Mocking Jay nodded politely before changing her accent and voice yet again. “All right, bring tha flying deathtrap right 'round here. I want us in the air quicker than Pinkie Pie kin inhale a double chocolate and plum cupcake.”

Bon Bon was still watching the sky chariot disappear into the distance when Spike came from the kitchen with a pink-covered cracker. “What was that all about?”

“The guards just arrested Dudley’s mother and are taking her to see Princess Celestia,” Bon Bon said, not taking her eyes off the receding airborne procession, glad that the landbound members had returned to the garrison.

“Oh.” Spike took a bite from his cracker. “Let me guess, the guards haven’t gotten updated orders regarding anypony named 'Dursley'.”

“That’s it in a nutshell.” Bon Bon nodded.

“You do realize I could have sent a letter to the princess and she would have returned something to make this whole trip unnecessary.” Spike said, still chewing on his snack.

Bon Bon’s hand found her face with an audible smack. To her relief, hands proved to be much softer than hooves.

The tableau in the Victorian-themed family room looked like an encounter between mirror universe counterparts as two seemingly identical girls studied the cards in their hands. The eruption of flames was a minor distraction as the girls sorted their cards.

“Hey girls, what’s up?” Parvati asked, critiquing the hand she had assembled.

“Pinkie Pie Party Time!” Abigail declared, hopping in place excitedly.

“That’s brilliant,” Parvati said, putting down her cards. “Mind if Padma comes, too? I promised to spend the day with her.”

“Of course, she can come,” Hermione answered. “She is your sister; you need to spend time with her.”

“The more the merrier,” Sweetie agreed. “And you made a good point, we should include others from outside the herd. Draco, of course. That girl who Daphne always hangs out with, Tracy. Mmmm, probably not Hanna or Susan since Clouded is in Canterlot spending time with her family.”

“We shouldn’t go overboard,” Parvati cautioned. “It wouldn’t be fair to drop too many party crashers on Pinkie.”

“This is Pinkie Pie we're talking about.” Sweetie shook her head. “The entire town basically has open invitations to her parties, and out-of-towners are always encouraged.”

“I still think we shouldn’t overdo it,” Hermione countered. “At least not without asking first.”

“Um,” Padma interjected. “I’d love it if you invited Sue Li and Mandy. Being the only one in Ravenclaw who can pony up gets to be overwhelming at times.”

“Fair enough,” Sweetie said. “Gather 'round and Philomena will take us to get them.”

“Just a sec,” Parvati said, getting up and going to an archway that lead to the rest of the house. “Mother! Padma and I are going to a party! We’ll be back later!”

“Human or pony party?” came an answering shout.


“Okay! Just remember to tell your friends that tomorrow and the day after are family time and they are not to come over.”

“Yes, Mum.”

Sugarcube Corner was well on its way to being transformed into a party venue. A clearly worried earth pony trotted up to the pink party pony setting up the beverage table.

“Pinkie,” Mr. Cake said firmly. “We know that parties are your thing and we are always happy to host them, but I want to make it abundantly clear. Firewhisky is never to be served in the bakery.”

“Okie dokie, Mr. Cake,” Pinkie said before slipping the shipping crate back into her mane.

At Sweet Apple Acres, shards of glass twinkled in the light as they danced within a lavender aura. Neighbor found neighbor as they arranged themselves back into their proper positions. They moved back into their frame and fused together, once again becoming a crystal-clear picture window.

“Thanks fer coming over to fix that,” Applejack said gratefully. “Normally, I’d be jus' fine with doing it the old-fashioned way, but with it being winter an all, the quicker the better.”

“Always glad to help,” Twilight said happily. “Besides, apparently, this is safer than picking flowers.”

“I just have to say,” Rainbow said defensively. “Despite the danger, those tulips taste pretty darned good.”

“I’ll jus’ take yer word fer it,” Applejack said. “Although Ah have to admit, the foals were mighty quick with that spell that freed us.”

“They took entirely too much pleasure from that,” Twilight said, studying her handiwork. “But it was enlightening seeing them perform magic.”

“Kinda drives it home that they are going ta school ta learn fancy stick waving,” Applejack agreed.

“So,” Twilight said, staring through the nigh-invisible glass, “you're telling me that the foals fly around on those brooms?” She gestured at the cleaning implements leaned in a corner of the room.

Applejack and Rainbow Dash both looked in the direction Twilight was pointing, shared looks with each other, then returned their gazes to the brooms.

Barnaby all but staggered as he followed the three mares through the town. The consequences of his actions weighed heavily on his mind. Who would have guessed that his earlier fun was as ill-advised as accepting lunch with the fae of legends? Not only was he not getting out of his marriage contract, he was also now attached to not just one, but three older women.

“Question,” Berry Punch said into the silence, ignoring the envious glares of the mares they passed. “Since when have we been a herd?”

“Obviously since some time this morning,” Carrot Top said, a joyful hop in her steps.

“It’s just that I started the day as a hopelessly single mare raising her daughter by herself,” Berry griped. “This is all happening way too quickly.”

“Wait,” Barnaby said. “Are you saying that I’m a stepfather on top of everything else?”

The three mares all stopped as well and shared worried looks. “Don’t fret,” Cheerilee said, dread evident in her voice. “We’ll keep Berryshine out of your way.”

“Why?” Barnaby asked.

The mares shared another look. “Um, stallions take a dim view of foals from other stallions in their herd.” Carrot Top ventured cautiously. “We’ll keep her away from you so you won’t feel threatened.”

Barnaby couldn’t help smirking. Finally, he had some leverage, and he intended to take full advantage. He wouldn't have to pretend to be friendly with the yet unmet brat, and he could hold it over the heads of the so-called herdmates to shape the relationship into something more to his liking. “You needn’t bother. Remember, I am human.”

“What exactly does that mean in this case?” Cheerilee asked.

Barnaby shrugged. “That Berry’s daughter is now family.”

“You’re not going to try and hurt her?” Carrot Top asked skeptically.

“No, why would you even think that?”

“You did try to harm a herd of foals,” Berry stated, unconvinced.

“I was targeting one who had harmed my family,” Barnaby said smoothly.

The three mares watched him suspiciously.

Barnaby made a show of sighing. “It won’t do for my family to think I might commit violence against them. This is not how I want our relationship to start. Tell you what. Let’s find someone with a transformation ring. I can change back and then make a magically oath not to intentionally harm any four of you.”

“Intentionally?” Cheerilee had noticed the stipulation.

“A common clause in oaths.” Barnaby shrugged again. “Lest people lose their lives and magic in the heat of the moment when tempers flare and unkind words follow or, Merlin forbid, an accident happens.”

“We need to show that we trust you, so an oath ensuring your loyalty to us three would be immoral,” Berry said. “But I admit I would be reassured if you made one concerning Berryshine.”

“My aunt has always said that relationships were an art of give and take,” Barnaby said. “It is important that certain ground rules are set for any marriage. I think it would be in my best interest to allay any concerns that I might harm my stepdaughter.”

The three mares stared at him with their mouths hanging open.

“Is there something the matter with that?” Barnaby asked, afraid that he had overplayed his hand.

Carrot Top looked around warily as if expecting a timberwolf to jump out of an alleyway. “With the way things just keep going our way today, getting better and better, I can’t help thinking something really bad is just waiting to happen. A stallion willing to take a binding oath not to hurt one of our foals from a previous relationship is a dream I would have never thought possible this morning.”

“Don’t jinx us.” Cheerilee warned.

“One thing is for sure,” Berry said. “If this is the way human stallions think, every mare is going to want one. That’s not even counting how affectionate ours is.”

Myrtle Warren had not realized how much she had been frozen in time. While her stint as a ghost had allowed her to keep current with wizarding trends, she had only seen the merest hint of what was happening in the muggle world. Now that she was able to experience it for herself, the changes had hit her with the subtlety of a double-decker bus. The culture shock of discovering the wizarding world was nothing compared to that from a forty-plus year jump.

If asked to identify the largest changes, Myrtle would have no choice but to say "everything". The austerity of wartime had given way to prosperity. Drab fashions had been overrun by a riot of colors and styles. Women in slacks had been almost scandalous when she had left the living world. Now, dresses were the novelty. The rare automobile that had been hobbled by petrol rationing had multiplied like rabbits, with modest models within reach for most. The telly that had been the toy of the rich was now masses' window to the world. Social expectations had morphed to where she would have no problem being taken seriously as a woman.

The glimpses of the world that generations of muggleborns had imparted should have left her better-prepared for the changes, but she had never imagined that such information would be of any use. She was still trying to get used to the idea of having a body again. Clothing felt so restraining, especially the new muggle undergarments. She'd have laid even money that even Houdini would have been confounded by that curse of a training bra that her niece insisted that she wear. The dungarees from San Francisco that had been forced on her made her feel more like a sailor than a proper witch.

Still, there were wonders to behold. Myrtle's first night home for winter break had been a veritable treasure hunt as she rummaged through her sister's pantry, cataloging, sorting and rotating the cornucopia of shelf stable products. Her mother and sister sat at the kitchen table, making conversation and laughing at her exclamations of surprise. There was no doubt that Myrtle had found true love with the rotund chef whose face graced the tins of ravioli. The younger Myrtle had started taking bets on how many tins her namesake would be cramming into her trunk for the return to Hogwarts.

The real treasure, however, was family. After over forty years of physical isolation, a familiar touch was worth its weight in gold. Her mother hovered about constantly, touching, hugging, kissing, and doing everything possible to assure herself that Myrtle was truly there in the flesh, living, breathing, and solid. Her grandniece Amy was just as attentive, following Myrtle like an infatuated puppy. Given the amount of time that Amy spent as a small green pegasus, a casual visitor might mistake her for a faithful pet. Myrtle feared that the behavior was a statute of secrecy infraction just waiting to happen.

The little pony was with her as Myrtle continued to explore the house, eventually finding her mother’s small office.

“What’s with the telly and broken typewriter?” Myrtle asked, examining the oddity.

“That’s Granny’s computer,” Amy replied cheerfully, from the ceiling. “Here, let me show you how it works.”

Yes, the world had really changed.

The scream ripped from the throat of a stoic mare crescendoed. Abruptly, a collision with a luckless, leafless apple tree cut it short as the impact dislodged the snow from the tree's slumbering limbs.

“AJ! Are you okay?” Twilight called out as she tried to extricate herself from a deep snowbank where she found herself half-buried head-first.

“Ah ain’t hurt too badly, sugarcube,” Applejack called back. “But this here ornery overgrown stick is starting ta ruffle mah mane.”

“I don’t see why you two are having so much trouble,” Rainbow Dash said from where she hovered above the trees on a borrowed broom. “These things are tame and kinda disappointing. I’ve tried going all out, and they are way too slow.”

“I think the ‘fastest pegasus in Equestria’ may have some unreasonable standards,” Twilight griped. “I’m positive you surpassed the one hundred and twelve kilometers per hour the humans are so fond of.”

“Eh, you’re not going to manage a sonic rainboom with one of these.” Rainbow shrugged. “But I guess they’ll do in a pinch.”

“Now, y'all are jus’ being cocky,” Applejack said before kicking off from the ground for another attempt. She immediately started flipping forward, going head over tail and looking like a drunk pinwheel before crashing into the snowbank within reach of Twilight.

Rainbow started laughing so hard that she fell off her broom.

Mayor Mare sat behind her desk and addressed the mare standing on the other side. “I have to admit that I’m finding your reaction to the news to be selfish in the extreme.”

The unicorn mare gritted her teeth before replying diplomatically, “That’s because you were born a pony. For a human, what you are demanding is illegal and immoral. This is taking the old adage ‘when in Rome’ to an absurd level. I can’t realistically complain, though. You are sheltering my husband from some very serious wrongdoings, but, at the same time, I can’t force myself to like it.”

“You’ll have to excuse me for lacking empathy here,” the mayor returned. “There are mares who never know the embrace of a stallion. Monopolizing one for yourself is self-centered and reprehensible.”

Tears slowly leaked from the mare’s eyes. “I understand why you would think that way. I can find no fault with your requirements of parole. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. I’ve given up so much for Fenton, and now, what you want is yet another sacrifice I must endure.”

“I fail to see how taking at least two loving mares into your herd is a sacrifice. You are reminiscent of a filly refusing to share her candy.” The Mayor started firmly before letting some softness enter her voice. “Love is not a finite thing. I'm sure your heart has room for two loving mares.”

“I don’t think either of us can fully comprehend the other’s position,” the mare stated sadly. “As I said, Fenton and I shall comply. We just have to accept that the loss of our hands isn’t the only change that comes with our new bodies. You have our gratitude for accepting us into your society. You have our gratitude for saving our family. That cannot be overstated.”

“I do wish you weren’t finding this so unpleasant.” The mayor relented. “I suppose there is nothing else to say on the matter.” She was rescued from the awkwardness by a knock on her office door.

“Mayor Mare,” her aide said, sticking his head in the room soon after, “I wanted to let you know that Dainty Lace and her herd are here to add their colt to their herd agreement. With all the commotion we’ve been having over human stallions in herds I thought you might like to be made aware.”

“No surprise there,” the mayor returned. “Send them in; we are done here and I need to inform them that any intimacy will result in the human’s ministry recognizing them as being legally married.”

“What!” A colt’s voice came from behind the aide. “My mum is going to kill me.”

The mayor sighed.

Rainbow Dash was still laughing while she and Twilight teamed up to pry Applejack loose from the tree branches where the earth pony had lodged herself.

“If’n y'all keep it up with all that yukking, Ah’m gonna go fetch a couple tulips and sic 'em on ya.”

Rainbow laughed harder.

“Girls,” Twilight admonished.

“I can’t help it.” Rainbow smirked. “I’ve never seen a backwards Fleetwing special with side drift before.”

Twilight sighed again. “You know, I can’t help thinking we’re forgetting something.”

In the ostentatious office of Canterlot’s top fiduciary, the mare fought to maintain a professional facade. She could ill afford to be distracted by the rustic charm of her client. The portfolio he presented was worth more than all of Griffinstone, and she was determined to make the most of it.

“Considering the magnitude of funds and properties in question, I think it’s only appropriate that we designate at least two ponies to exclusively manage this account.”


What should have been a joyful occasion was dampened when a human colt approached the accumulated foals already present at the party.

“Harry, is that you?”


“You’ve got wings.”

“Yes, I do.”

An uncomfortable silence followed while the human colt wondered which filly was radiating more menace, the yellow one with a bow or the lavender one.

“Dad and Mum had a long talk with me last night.”


“They say I’m not to call you a freak anymore.”

“That’s good.”

“They say I have to apologize to you, freaky or not.”

“You're doing a ruddy poor job of it,” the dayglow orange filly noted.

The human colt paused to gratefully pick up the sad eyed unicorn filly who had come over to comfort him. “They say it’s not your fault that everything has gone to pot.”

The foals listened to the sounds of silence as they waited.

“The doctor said I didn’t have any spells on me and that I was just a brat.”

More waiting.

“Mum didn’t say anything. It might have just been her throat being burned and all, but before, she always got mad when someone said that. This time, she just looked sad.”

“What do you want, Dudley?” Harry’s voice was still guarded.

“Before, Mum and Dad were always so proud of me. Now they aren’t. I’d rather they just hit me instead.” He buried his face in the fur of the unicorn filly he was holding. “I don’t know what I want. I don’t know what I want anymore." He sighed. "Everything before was a lie. Dad says that all the toys I got before were a poor substitute for what was taken from me. They said I have no empathy, that I never stopped to consider how I treated you made you feel.”

“You hurt me. You hurt me badly.”

“I know . . . I’m sorry.”

“I don’t know if I can forgive you.”

“. . . I’m sorry,” the human colt said before retreating to the furthest corner, where he sank down to the floor. He began petting his friend, and let his tears flow freely.

He ignored all of the party food just out of his reach.

“Pinkie, stop!” Mrs. Cake said around her mouthful of pink tail fur.

“But he’s sad! I need to go cheer him up!”

“No, you can’t,” Mrs. Cake said. “He needs to be sad right now.”

“That’s wrong!” Pinkie protested. “He should be happy; it’s a party.”

“Pinkie,” Mrs. Cake said in an unusually serious tone. “Stop. As much as it may hurt, sometimes you have to let them grow on their own. This is one such time.”

“But. But.”

“Pinkie, no.” Mrs. Cake released her grip as the pink mare ceased her tugging. “Let him grow.”

A lone lime green earth pony colt watched the human boy sulk in the corner while lavishing attention on a lucky unicorn filly.

Draco didn’t know what to think. He understood wanting your parents to approve of you. He himself longed to hear those words of praise from his own father, words that would never come again.

The muggle was, ironically, in the same boat he was. The whole world had been turned upside down. His own mother had insisted that what he had been taught before was wrong. How could the fool not even acknowledge the superiority of his cousin? Yes, he was a half-blood, but that was head and shoulders above being muggle.

Wasn’t it?

When was the world going to right itself?

Mrs. Brown smiled indulgently as she watched her husband play the game their daughter and her friends had set up in the sitting room. It was obvious he was getting as excited about it as Lavender had been prior to leaving for a party. A wonder of muggle ingenuity, the console truly gave lie to all of the purebloods’ claims of overwhelming superiority. It was a welcome addition to the house, a nice way for her and her husband to spend an evening when the kids were away doing their own things.

Suddenly, Mr. Brown looked away from their entertainment. “Something is testing the wards,” he declared.

Mrs. Brown produced her wand; the building storm outside should keep anything even remotely dangerous in its lair. “Should we call in the aurors?”

“I’m sure we can handle whatever it might be.” Mr. Brown said brandishing his own wand. “It didn’t feel like a wizard prodding our defenses, something more feral. Probably just a boggart looking for a new home.”

“Let it bang its head against the wards all it wants then.”

“I’ll just go out and scare it away.” Mr. Brown said displaying the ethos of his former house.

“Don’t take any unnecessary risks.”

“I won’t,” Mr. Brown said, heading for the door, casting a warming charm as he went. “I doubt I’ll need to do anything more than put on a fireworks display.”

“I don’t like this,” Mrs. Brown added, following after.

In short order they were just outside the wards searching for the disturbance.

“Whatever it was, it’s gone now,” Mr. Brown said.

“I still don’t like it.”

“Okay, let’s go back inside. If it happens again, we’ll call in the aurors and they can worry about it.”

“You’re just saying that because you want to get back to the game,” Mrs. Brown chided.

“You have my number,” Mr. Brown said turning back towards the house.

“Look out!” Mrs. Brown cried as the form of a giant wolf in mid leap materialized from the falling snow, illuminated by the dying rays of the sun.

The witch and wizard both brought their wands to bear.

The snow muffled the twin thuds.

Crimson rain mingled with the falling snow.

Author's Note:

It should come as a surprise to no one that when writing a story mistakes can and will happen. I've made two major ones in the last couple chapters. First of all, Ron's broom was named Murphy, not Cannon. Secondly, Rosie's age is five not seven. That was the age I set for Eva.

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