• 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 76: A Lay In Sounds Preferred

Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night would stay the wizarding world from their appointed times at the Ministry, despite the wishes of the workers there. With most people traveling by floo, the knee-high snow from yesterday’s storm was not a concern. Saturday mornings, however, would transform the offices into a ghost town. The wizard behind the desk took full advantage of the lull, sitting on a high stool behind the podium, rather than standing as was strictly proper. To pass the time, he critically evaluated the image on the extra-long insert in his magazine. He would surely memorize every nuance and every movement by the time his shift ended.

Mere words could not express his irritation when he hastily stuffed his magazine behind the counter and dismounted in response to the sound of approaching footsteps that announced the arrival of a witch dragging a young, towheaded boy behind her. That irritation quickly turned to concern when he noticed the panicked look on her face.

“Miss, is something the matter?”

Instead of answering, the witch whipped off her hat and presented her wand for inspection. The wizard ignored the offering and stared at the now-exposed shock of pink hair instead.

“You’re not going to start singing?” he asked.

To his dismay, music filtered up from nowhere, and she started to do just that. It was precisely like the rumors described. He was filled with the desire to listen and provide background vocals. A strange magic stirred his soul, compelling him to participate in an act he would normally never dream of outside his shower. Fearing the worst, he took out his own wand and just barely managed a stinging hex.

“Ouch!” The woman’s hand latched onto her arm where the spell had landed, and she began to rub. “Thanks, I needed that. I can’t believe I picked up that habit.”

“Not a problem,” the wizard said as the boy she had brought with her looked around in confusion. His next words marked him as muggleborn. “Just so you know, that line from the alien invasion movie has been copyrighted, even if you did change the next line to ‘and I don’t feel fine’.”

“That doesn’t matter,” she replied, still rubbing her arm. “Where is everybody?”

“It’s the weekend; I’d wager they are all home in bed, like I’d like to be.”

“At home?” the woman shrieked. “The statute of secrecy has gone belly up, and they are all at home having a lay in?”

“Oh, you’ll be wanting the obliviators then?” the wizard said, taking the woman’s wand from her limp grasp. “Let me just get this weighed for you and you can be on your way.”

“I don’t think the obliviators are going to be able to fix this mess.” She shook her head.

“Oh?” he asked as he put her wand on the scales. “You think they’re going to need the Unspeakables’ backup as well?”

“Do you know what CNN is?” she snapped.

The wizard blinked and then deflated. “Blimey, that’s it then, isn’t it? The snitch has been caught, hasn’t it?”

“The fat lady’s singing all right,” the woman agreed. “Hurry up with that. I need to get down to Auror central.”

The boy looked at her weirdly. “Why would a fat lady sing? Does it have anything to do with that music magic?”

“Not now, Draco,” the woman said. “Give the man your wand; we have to hurry.”

Hermione rubbed some sleep out of her eyes as she opened the front door of her house. “Aunt Grace?” she asked blearily. “What are you doing here so early?”

“We’ve been driving all night,” the boy, a year younger than Hermione, said from behind the frantic-looking woman on the doorstep. “Could you let us in? It’s cold out here.”

“Sure, come in. Let me get you some tea,” Hermione said, stepping to the side. “Why were you driving all night in the storm?”

“I need to speak to your father,” Aunt Grace said wearily. “Please go get him.”

“I don’t think he’s up yet.” Hermione hid a yawn behind her hand.

“This is important.” Aunt Grace said. “Please go wake him.”

“I’ll do that,” Hermione said. “Have a seat in the living room. You look like you’re ready to fall over any second.”

“Thanks, that’s a dear,” Aunt Grace said, starting to take her boots off. “Everything has gone to pieces, and we really need Dan’s advice.”

“I’ll go get him,” Hermione said and rushed up the stairs without another word. She raced down the hall and barged into her parents’ room, worried about her aunt. “Mum! Dad!” Hermione exclaimed excitedly, intent on waking them up. She found that she didn’t need to, and her next words were filled with shock. “Mum! Dad!”

“Hermione!” Emma gasped. “Good morning. Um, we were just . . . wrestling.”

"Freestyle," Dan added limply.

Hermione clapped her hand over her eyes. “We’ve already had that talk; I know what’s what.”

“That’ll teach you to knock,” Dan said with a chuckle.

“Aunt G . . .grace is d . . . downstairs and she looks to b . . .be in a b . . .bad way,” Hermione stammered. “If you’ll excuse me, I need to go have Madam Pomfrey obliviate me once or twice.” With those words, she streaked from the room, slamming the door behind her. That didn’t prevent her parents from hearing her cry out. “The horror! The horror!”

“Eh, she’ll get over it,” Emma said. “I guess we’ll have to put off using pony forms, though.”

Dan pursed his lips. “You don’t think she was serious about getting obliviated?”

“I doubt they use that spell that frivolously,” Emma said. “Remember the letter we got the last time it happened?”

“Right, then. We should probably get downstairs and see what has my sister in a tizzy. It’s a good drive even in the best of conditions.”

Emma sighed. “She could have better timing. I’m sure she can wait a few.”

Nymphadora rushed into Auror Central, dragging Draco behind her. She did a quick tally of the skeleton crew present before darting up to the wizard in charge. “Penman!” she exclaimed. “Quick, what’s bigger than a mackerel?”

“Bigger than a mackerel? Are you playing at being a Ravenclaw?” Penman said, looking at someone he wasn’t expecting to see anytime soon. “By the way, good to see you too, Tonks.”

“No, you twit,” Nymphadora said. “I mean the bloody protocol names. What’s bigger than a mackerel?”

Penman took in Nymphadora’s appearance before placing his wand toward his throat. “Sonorus!” he snapped. With voice amplified, he cried, “We have a mackerel! Call everyone in for disaster stations, and I do mean everyone!” After cancelling the spell, he fixed Nymphadora with a steely gaze. “Explain.”

“A mackerel isn’t going to be enough,” Nymphadora said. “That only refers to one city breaching the statute.”

“That’s the highest level we have. They haven’t updated those procedures in eighty years,” Penman snapped. “Just how bad is it?”

“We’ve got a whole school of mackerels then.”

“How big of a school?” Penman barked, brooking no foolishness.

“How many cities are there on the planet?” Nymphadora asked.

Hermione wandered into the living room where her aunt had collapsed onto the chair nearest the new fireplace. “They’ll be down in a bit,” she said listlessly.

Aunt Grace took one look at Hermione and broke out laughing. “I suppose they will be,” she managed to get out. “Oh, you poor dear. I had a similar experience with your grandparents when I was about your age.”

“It’s not funny,” Hermione huffed.

“Sorry,” Aunt Grace said. She didn’t stop laughing, though she did manage to tone it down.

“I’ll have you know; I’m scarred for life.”

“Yes, dear, I know,” Aunt Grace gasped apologetically.

“You could be a little more sympathetic.” Hermione pouted.

Aunt Grace snored lightly in response.

Hermione blinked in surprise. “I’ve never heard of anyone laughing themselves to sleep before.”

“She’s really tired,” Hermione’s cousin said. “She has been up all night worrying and driving, after all. What was she laughing about anyway?”

Hermione winced. “I’m not going to explain that one to you, so don’t ask. Why aren’t you as tired as her, Hector?”

Hector shrugged. “I slept in the car.”

“That always makes me more tired than not,” Hermione said. “Do you know what’s got your mum so worried?”

“It was the news. They’re saying magic is real, and, well, we got this letter the other day that we were sure was a lark.”


“Yeah, just a sec.” Hector got out of his seat and went over to open his mother’s purse.

“I’m sure she won’t appreciate you rummaging around in there,” Hermione scolded.

“The letter has my name on it; I’m sure Mum won’t mind.” Hector said. “I’d rather not wake her.”

“How considerate,” Hermione drawled. She gasped when Hector withdrew a familiar-looking letter. “You’ve got your Hogwarts letter!”

“You know what this is?” Hector blinked.

“Of course, I do!” Hermione said excitedly. “Oh, this is wonderful! I hope you’re in Gryffindor! We need to get you supplies! And a trunk! Oh, and an owl! Let me go get my coat! We only have nine months to prepare!”

Hector decided to sit in his recently-vacated chair and let his cousin calm down. The way she ripped out of the room suggested it might take a minute or two.

“Mum!” he heard Hermione call from the other room. “Hector and I are going out for a bit.”

“Okay, dear,” his aunt called from somewhere upstairs. “Don’t forget to bundle up.”

Hermione tore back into the room holding both of their coats and tossed Hector his boots. “Here, put them on.”

“I could have gotten them myself instead of stomping through the house to get to the front door,” Hector said even as he complied.

“We’re not using the front door,” Hermione said, pulling on her coat but not zipping it.

“You are bonkers, you know,” Hector said.

“And you are a brat,” Hermione answered, taking the lid off a pot resting on the mantel. She took out a pinch of green powder. “Leaky Cauldron!” she called out after tossing the powder into the cold hearth.

Hector was impressed by the green flames that sprouted. Curiosity peaked, he bent over to investigate. “Woah, wicked!” were his last words before Hermione booted him into the flames.

Amelia Bones was not happy. Being called into the office for a supposed mackerel was not how she wanted to start the day, especially after offering a sacrifice to the porcelain god. She was desperately hoping the auror dropout who had sounded the alarm was overreacting. Otherwise, the city-wide rainmaker needed to cover all of London would have to be dusted off. While it was truly a work of art, one crafted in response to that debacle in New York all those years ago, it only had a few charges, and it cost the DMLE's annual budget to run. Using that to correct the memories of everyone in London would require far more paperwork than a mere mortal could endure.

Historians would later argue that it was an exaggeration to say that the ground shook when she stormed over to where Tonks was talking to Penman, but they would be wrong. “Report!” Amelia snapped.

“It’s all over the telly,” Tonks said before Penman could speak up. “They’ve been talking about it all night. The muggle Prime Minister even gave a speech welcoming us back into society.”

Amelia pursed her lips together. “How many muggles saw?”

“All of them.”

“I’m going to end up approving a lot of overtime for this.” Amelia sighed. “How many cities were affected?”

“All of them.”

“You have to be exaggerating.” Amelia firmly said.

“Not by much.”

Amelia sighed. “I suppose it’s convenient that we don’t have a telly handy to support your claims.”

“We could go back to the café.”

“Actually,” Draco spoke up, “they have a telly in the Gryffindor common room.”

“They have a working telly at Hogwarts?” Amelia asked. “Since when?”

“Since the beginning of the year,” Draco said before pouting. “We’re not allowed to watch anime without a prefect present anymore.”

Amelia blinked and then went to floo Professor McGonagall.

In stately Black Manor, Andi was sitting at the breakfast table, finishing a quick meal before heading off for her shift. Despite having established schedules, healers were never truly off duty. Even the most senior could count on being called in on a moment’s notice if the situation warranted it. Still, they maintained the illusion that they could truly schedule time for themselves, and Andi was still hoping that after she completed her ninth year of service, she could actually get one weekend off per month. Harsh experience had taught her that weekends were the worst time for her ilk; her superiors were incredibly adept at vanishing during those times, while bacteria, bad luck, and stupidity never slept.

She scarcely looked up from her meal when an owl landed on the back of the adjacent chair. “Good morning, Owlowiscious. I see Twilight wants to get an early start with Sirius today. Would you care for some bacon?”

“Who,” Owlowiscious said agreeably.

“Just let me get her out of there first,” Andi said, tapping her wand on Owlowiscious’s pouch. “Ex dimittere.”

The pouch filled the room with its customary, boorish din before Andi started keeping company with a unicorn who was definitely not the Twilight she knew. “Good morning,” she said pleasantly.

“Why hello there,” the unicorn said. “That was not nearly as exciting as crossing dimensions should be. I was expecting flashing lights, maybe a good amount of shaking. Is it asking too much for just a little drama to go along with the commute?”

“I’m sure that the craftsman who made the pouch could add some bells and whistles if asked,” Andi said.

“Hmm,” The mare said, studying Andi. “I wasn’t expecting human stallions to look so feminine. I’d say you look closer in appearance to a minotaur cow than a bull.”

“That is because I identify as female,” Andi said dryly.

“Oh?” The unicorn blushed and brought a hoof to cover her mouth. “You’re not Sirius Black? Did I get the wrong destination?”

“Sirius is still upstairs sleeping, if I were to guess,” Andi said. “May I ask who’s calling?”

“Of course, you may,” The mare said with a wide grin. “I should have gotten that out of the way first thing. My name is Twilight Velvet.”

“Nice to meet you,” Andi said. “Based on that name and the familial resemblance, I’m going to assume you are Twilight Sparkle’s sister.”

“What a delightful complement,” Twilight Velvet said. “I’m not her sister; Twiley is my daughter. With her and Shiny poring over some crystals, I thought I’d just pop over and introduce myself to her stallion.”

“Oh,” Andi said, resolving to call in to work and take time off for a family emergency. This was sure to be more than worthy of her pensieve. “Does Twilight know you’re here?”

“Well, she was preoccupied when I asked her how she went about visiting her Sirius. And, when she’s focused like that, she does have a tendency to answer questions without considering them too closely. I figure I have about fifteen minutes before the realization hits her. Factor in that she’s been up all night and is fresh out of coffee, and I might squeeze out a half hour.”

“I see. Have you had breakfast yet?” Andi asked. “I can have Kreacher bring you something while we wait for Sirius to come down.”

“Oh, you needn’t bother,” Twilight Velvet said. “My foals might have cluttered up the kitchen with their project but my husband went out to pick up some pastries.”

“I see; shall I get Kreacher to go fetch the victim then?”

“That would be marvelous.”

A pristine white unicorn with carefully-coiffed mane and tail was surprised to find a human and a royal guard at her front door well before opening. This didn’t stop her from flashing a welcoming smile. “Good morning gentlestallions. I'm afraid we shan't be ready for business for at least an hour, but you are welcome to browse in the showroom until then.”

“Good morning Lady Belle,” the human replied. “I am Lord Greengrass. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance.”

“Ah, Lord Greengrass, Daphne Greengrass’s father,” Lady Belle said, subconsciously fluffing her coat. “The pleasure is mine. Please, I am simply 'Rarity'. We were just about to break our fast. I would be overjoyed if you were to join us.”

“I am afraid I must decline your gracious invitation,” Lord Greengrass said. “My wife is sitting with our youngest and has been ever since we have arrived. I must coax her into exploring the rooms that Princess Celestia has set aside for us so that she may get a proper meal and some rest that doesn’t include dozing on a much too small chair. I merely came by to ascertain that my daughter has not been an undue burden.”

“Daphne has been a delightful guest,” Rarity said, taking a few steps back and gesturing into her home. “Please come in. I understand humans are less comfortable in cold weather, and it would be rude of me to keep you standing out there.”

“Thank you . . . Rarity.” Lord Greengrass had to duck to fit through the doorway, but found plenty of headroom on the inside.

“Won’t you join us as well?” Rarity asked the guard.

“My post is outside,” the guard returned before taking position by the front door.

“Very well, darling,” the unicorn said. “But I want you to promise if you find yourself getting cold that you’ll come in right away. You’re no good to anypony frozen to the bone.”

“Yes ma’am,” the guard replied. “I’ll be just fine.”

Rarity ushered Lord Greengrass into the generous kitchen, where a pair of unicorn fillies were daintily dining. Lord Greengrass frowned when he saw that the one with the yellow coat was grazing.

“Daphne,” Lord Greengrass said, “you’ve been taught better than that. Use your silverware.”

“Father?” Daphne gasped, raising her muzzle from her plate.

“I must protest,” Rarity said, taking her place at the table. “She is using proper etiquette for a young filly who has yet to learn how to use her horn.”

“I defer to your expertise.” Lord Greengrass bowed his head slightly to the white mare. “I merely wanted her to display proper manners.”

“You can rest assured that she has been a most delightful guest,” the mare insisted.

“Good morning, Father.” Daphne said, not returning to her meal. “How is Astoria?”

“I hope she’s feeling better,” the other filly said, concern evident in her voice. “Daphne’s been so worried about her.”

“Good morning to each of you as well. Astoria has awakened for the first time this morning,” Lord Greengrass replied, giving each filly an acknowledging nod. “The doctor has said that she is recovering without complications. She is projected to be recovered enough to leave the hospital early tomorrow.”

“That is wonderful news,” Rarity said. “I’m afraid I’d be a frightful mess if Sweetie were to be in a similar position.”

“Your concern is most welcome,” Lord Greengrass said, “as is your assistance in looking after Daphne. It is a joyous occasion that Astoria has hope for the first time."

“I am happy for you,” Rarity replied. “Daphne Greengrass is welcome to stay as long as needed.”

“Thank you, Lady Rarity. Now I apologize for this hasty visit, but I must attend to my wife. Before I go, please allow me to invite you to our manor next week. My wife and I would love the chance to entertain you properly as thanks for your unsolicited generosity. We would relish the opportunity to get to know you and yours better.”

The unicorn mare blushed. “I’m not sure . . .” she started.

“I must insist, my dear lady.”

“Then I have no choice, but to accept.”

“I shall owl you after conferring with my wife, and we shall set a date.”

“That is acceptable.” Rarity blushed deeper.

“I look forward to your future company. I shall be taking my leave now. Daphne, be on your best behavior.”

“Yes, Father,” Daphne said as her hostess hurriedly abandoned her seat to escort the human to the front door.

“Hello there, welcome to our home,” Spike said cheerfully as the woman picked herself up off the floor. “I hope you brought more love honey; my supply got used up.”

“Spike,” Andi said, “Nymphadora pukes that stuff up.”

“I know all about the birds and the bees,” Spike said. "Besides, that stuff is great!"

“You aren’t going to get me to try it,” Andi said, grimacing.

“Your loss.” Spike shrugged. “What’s up?”

“I need to speak to Twilight.” Andi said.

“She and Shiny are in the kitchen, making a mess.”

“Take me to her,” Andi urged.

“Okay, follow me,” Spike said as Owlowicious started on the strip of bacon he had been carrying.

The kitchen was indeed a mess. Many arcane and complicated constructs that were far beyond the ken of a mere Ravenclaw, let alone a Slytherin, littered the table, counter, and floor. The two unicorns in the room were concentrating on several crystals strewn about the table, not even looking up when Spike and Andi entered the room.

“Twilight, do you have a moment?” Andi asked.

“Oh, hi Andi,” Twilight said, not looking up. “I’m kind of busy at the moment; can it wait?”

“I just thought I’d let you know that I left your mother in the dining room of 12 Grimmauld Place,” Andi said. “She wants to meet Sirius.”

“That’s nice,” Twilight said as she triple-checked her calculations on a scroll she floated up to eye level.

The stallion standing next to her stopped what he was doing to fix Andi with all of his attention. “Give her five seconds.”

“That must be some interesting work,” Andi observed.

“Yes, we’re using the unique readings we have to create . . .” Twilight stopped mid-sentence, eyes going wide as her pupils shrank to pinpricks.

“My bad,” the stallion said. “That only took three. I’m coming along, by the way; this may be my only chance to play imposing older brother.”

Dan gently shook his sister. “Grainy . . . Grainy . . . wake up. You’re going to get stiff if you sleep like that.”

Grace started awake and fixed her bleary gaze on her brother. “Dan?”

“Who else?”

“Let me sleep.”

“You can take the bed in the guest room. I’m sure it’s more comfortable. But first, what got it into your head to risk driving all night in a storm?”

Grace forced herself more awake. “Dan, I’m scared. Magic is real, and Hector may be a witch. I got a strange letter claiming to be from a school that teaches magic. I was just going to ignore it and not be home when it said we would be contacted, but now . . . Magic is real. There are alien ponies on Earth.”

“I thought those all went out during summer break,” Dan mused. “Still, you didn’t have to drive all that way. Besides, unless Hector's been hiding something, there's no way he could be a witch.”

“The world is going to change, Dan,” Grace said, even more awake. “They want my Hector to be square in the middle of it. I don’t think you could understand how frightening that is.”

“I’m sure we can relate,” Emma said, walking into the room. “Coffee will be ready in a few. I didn’t see the kids in the garden; they must be out front.”

“You can relate?” Grace said. “I don’t think so. They want my son to go to school with alien ponies. Can you imagine that? Alien ponies. What if they bite?”

Emma was about to respond when green flames flashed into existence in the fireplace. “Hermione?” inquired a disembodied voice.

“She’s outside with her cousin playing in the snow, Luna,” Emma said to the flames as Grace stared in surprise. “Give me a moment, and I’ll go get her.”

“Um,” the voice from the flames said. “Daddy rushed out of the house; he seemed upset and he told me to floo to the Weasleys and stay there all day. I think he forgot that they were all on vacation.”

“I have a good idea why he’s upset,” Emma said. “You are welcome to come through and stay with us.”

“Thank you,” Luna said and popped out of the flames, only to fly up and attach herself to the ceiling.

“You know,” Emma said, “there has got to be some kind of time dilation going on here. I know going through the floo takes a while, yet from the outside it seems almost instantaneous.” She turned her attention back to Grace. “But I digress; you were saying?”

“I almost feel as if I should accuse you of setting me up,” Grace said, eyeing the newcomer on the ceiling. “Those teeth do nothing to allay my fears, though.”

“What’s wrong with my teeth?” Luna asked innocently.

“Nothing dear. You have beautiful teeth,” Emma said. “I should know; it is my profession after all.”

Grace groaned and shifted in her chair. “Prestigious school in Scotland? Hermione goes to Hogwarts. How long were you going to let me make a fool of myself?”

“We were just letting you get it out of your system,” Dan said smugly.

“Whatever. I can’t handle this right now. I need a few hours’ sleep first.”

“Let me help you up the stairs,” Dan said.

“Would you like something to eat first?” Emma asked.


“How about you? Have you eaten breakfast, Luna?”

“Not yet, Mrs. Granger,” Luna said cheerfully.

“You’ll be joining us then.”

“Will there be mangos?” Luna asked hopefully.

“Mangos?” Emma asked.

“Yes, I’d never had any before, and Mrs. Bates gave some to us for lunch yesterday. They are really good, better than even pudding.”

“Sorry, I don’t have any in the house at the moment,” Emma said.

“Oh, pooh!” Luna pouted.

Dryly, Grace asked, "Are we quite finished with surprises?"

Fingering a necklace, resting on the mantel, Dan replied, “That depends on how you feel about being a little horse.”

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