• 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 78: Cold and Floo Season

The director of MI5 stood silent after delivering his report to a captive audience. As was normal for matters of this magnitude, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet members, the senior committee members from Parliament, as well as the director of MI6 took in his words. What was decidedly not normal was that everyone was crowded into the Prime Minister's private study, which had all of its chairs removed to accommodate the crowd.

The Prime Minister stood on the ottoman as the director of MI5 stepped down. The bespectacled man asked, "How many of you that remember attending the meeting also remember the outlandish details that our colleague has reported?"

Murmuring filled the room as its occupants looked at each other. Silence reigned when they saw two of their number raise their hands.

The Prime Minister sighed. "My only consolation is that I have some corroboration. While some of you may question my sanity when I fill you in on the details, rest assured that what I tell you is as accurate as my recollection. It seems I have underestimated the wizards' abilities to keep themselves secret."

“I can’t believe they don’t have contingency plans for the current situation,” an aide commented. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we have already had this conversation at least once before.”

“If so, what can we do about it?” another asked. “They can obviously penetrate our security without effort. Do we even want to interfere with their efforts to stay hidden?”

“Plans are already being put into motion to contain any future breaches,” the director of MI5 said. “I hate to admit it, but they have very good reasons to stay out of sight and out of mind." He wrinkled his nose as those in his vicinity did the same. "May I suggest that we adjourn to somewhere more capable of accommodating the number of people present?”

“We will when the last participant arrives,” the Prime Minister said. “While we wait, how is the rest of the world taking the news?”

“As expected, there are mixed reactions on the magical front, everything from barely contained excitement to barely suppressed fear,” the Press Secretary said. “As for contact, the Japanese, French, and Egyptians have reported that their magicals have already entered into talks with their individual governments. It would seem that their spheres of influence are similar to our own but are not an exact match. The Soviet Union has three distinct groups overlapping their territory, China has four, and several European countries are all grouped into one magical community. Then, there is the news of the ponies, most of which our news contacts admit is hearsay. It is a crying shame both discoveries have been lumped into one.”

“There has been some confirmation on that angle,” another official said. “A woman with pink hair and a child with abnormally pale hair were seen having a meal at a small London café this morning. The boy admitted to being an ‘Earth pony’ while the woman claimed to be an Equestrian changeling and made a point of it that she wasn’t one of the Fae.”

“An Earth pony?” The director of MI6 rolled the thought over in his head. “That means they’ve been here long enough for the lad to consider himself to be a natural born of our world. How old did you say he was?”

“He was at least ten.”

“Extraterrestrials have been on our planet for a decade and we are just now finding out?” someone lamented.

“The good news is that they can exist peacefully alongside us,” another MP noted.

The assembly started murmuring as its members debated the implications. The musing ceased when the merrily crackling fire in the fireplace suddenly flared and turned an unnatural green.

“Ah, here he is now,” the Prime Minister said, squeezing his way through to the fireplace. “Good morning, Xenophilius,” he said to the man exiting the flames, trailed by a stern looking woman and an even sterner looking smaller man. “I was expecting you sooner. Care to introduce your companions?”

The man ran his hand through his blonde hair, the haggard look on his face softening slightly. “Good morning, John. This is Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. The man who looks like he’s sucking on a lemon is my undersecretary, Trent Lewis.”

“Glad you could make it,” the Prime Minister said before addressing the packed room. “Gentlemen, allow me to introduce Xenophilius Lovegood and his entourage. He is the Minister of Magic, my counterpart in the wizarding world.”

The assembly took in the appearance of the newcomers as a sigh of disappointment filled the room. Someone said, “What? No ponies?”

The prisoner gawked as the owl returned to her gilded cage. It had gotten annoyed during its first visit and had made disagreeable hoots when she had tried using her limited magic to see what was in its pouch. How it had gotten in then out and then back in was a mystery. This time, it was carrying a letter. That much made sense; she had read how humans used owls to deliver messages. The runes may have just become moot. She could use her blood to write a short message and have her aunt come rescue her.

Having decided on a course of action, she levitated the letter over and read aloud, “I guess you forgot the words. Just place your horn on the pouch and say ‘ex dimittere’.”

Prancing in place, the prisoner did just that. The pouch turned out to be very rude, but she didn’t care; what it disgorged was too much of a welcome surprise.

“Shiny!” the prisoner exclaimed, throwing her forelegs around the stallion. “You’ve come for me!”

“Ooof! Of course, I did. If I didn’t come get you to witness my mom meeting Twiley’s stallion, you’d never let me live it down,” Shining Armor said, finding himself in a crushing embrace. “I probably should have come and gotten you earlier.”

“This is wonderful,” the prisoner said. “Your magic isn’t blocked; you can use one of your shields to break through the crystal and we’ll be out in a jiffy.”

“Or we could just owl ourselves,” Shiny said, pointing at the bird in question. “What’s going on?”

Celestia was settling on her throne, preparing to start Day Court when the owl arrived. She used her magic to snag an owl treat from a covered bowl and exchanged the tidbit for the letter from the owl. “Thank you, Mitchell,” she said to the bird as she opened her mail.

“What is it Auntie?” Cadance asked from where she lounged on a cushion between the thrones of the two sisters.

“Mmmm,” Celestia said, scanning the page. “Xenophilius says that the non-magical humans have learned of the magical on a scale that is impossible to contain. He’s talking to their leaders right now and they are asking about us ponies.”

“It was only a matter of time,” Cadance said. “I hope they can work out their differences without too many problems.”

“Yes; it might be a good idea to send somepony to act as a moderator,” Celestia agreed. “It looks like we are going to have to appoint an ambassador. We’ve been approaching this too informally as it stands.”

“Did you have somepony in mind?”

“Yes. There is a pony who will be perfect to grow into the role.”

The shop's showroom evoked memories of halcyon days of fraternity living, memories that were best left unvoiced in polite company. Considering how her day had started, Mystic Books was lucky to be even in condition to respond to the owl who had materialized from an orthogonal dimension and landed on her counter. The mare expressed no surprise, but she did squint as she attempted to focus on her visitor. “Careful where you place your feet, mon amie. I haven’t gotten around to cleaning up that mess.”

The owl looked first at the bleary-eyed pony and then at Extra Dose who was curled up in front of the counter, lightly snoring. “Who?”

“Laissez-la dormir,” Mystic said, wobbling toward the bird unsteadily. “Venez ici. I shall release your passengers.” She made a sweeping gesture with a foreleg to prompt the bird. Unfortunately, that particular leg was the exact same one that needed to find the ground next per her normal gait. Mystic Books overbalanced and landed on her side. "Whoof!" she exclaimed.

“Whooo?” the bird said as it watched the pony go down.

Mystic unsteadily picked herself up and staggered toward the bird. “Venez ici.” This time, she gestured with the other foreleg, but she neglected to consider that she had taken a step forward. Once more, her face made its acquaintance with the sticky floor.

“Who,” the owl said and flapped down to Mystic. Somehow, its expressionless face clearly displayed its dismay.

Mystic poked her horn at the avian-carried pouch when it got in range. “Ex dimittere,” she said with difficulty.

Fraternities around the world would have been proud of the fanfare that the human passenger received. With mincing steps, the stranger stepped between the struggling mare and her sleeping companion. In what sounded like a stallion's voice, he demanded, "Tell me where you keep the crystals that allow magic to work around muggle electricity."

With great effort, Mystic raised her head to look at her new customer before losing her battle with gravity. “I sell crystals with different field sizes. How large of an area do you want to cover, or do you just want to shield a single item?”

“About a hundred individual six-foot-tall items, each within a sphere as big,” the human said. “I want two hundred if you have the stock on hand; I'll take everything you have, if not."

“C’est quoi 'foot'?”

“About this distance.” The human held his paws apart to demonstrate

“Oui, they are on that shelf there: Class D TEIF crystals.”

“Thanks.” the human rushed to the indicated shelf which held a large variety of crystals. They were sorted by size, and most likely power, with their prices clearly marked. He could easily see that the price rose steeply as the class and size increased, with the Class D stones being the size of a cough sweet. He grabbed the bin and rushed back to the counter. Ignoring the sticky green mess, he spilled the treasure onto the surface and counted. As he returned the stones to the bin, he said, “I’ll take all 306.”

He need not have wasted his breath; the two inebriated ponies only snored in response. Shaking his head, the human took out a sheet of paper and wrote out both a bill of sale and a promissory note to be redeemed through Arthur Weasley's agent, Mrs. Rarity Belle. He peeled the paper off the counter and pasted it onto the cash box. Then, he vanished into the owl’s pouch, bin and all.

Princess Luna was slightly irritated when an owl landed on the pillow next to her head just as she was about to enter her realm. Since she was still in the land of the waking, she did not snap at the intruder. Instead, she proffered the requisite treat before setting her horn on the pouch and muttering the release phrase. She could swear she could hear her guards stifling their laughter as the bag noisily disgorged its contents.

She groaned in irritation as she found herself straddled on either side by two ponies.

“Niece?” Princess Luna asked sourly. “Captain? What transpires?”

“Auntie, would you please remove the inhibitors on me?”

Luna blinked and lit up her horn. “Thou hast some severe bonds blocking thy magic.”

“Can you remove them?”

“We could do this in our sleep,” Luna said weaving spell threads with her horn. “How did they come to be?”

“I’ll explain later. Could you please hurry?”

“Tis done,” Luna said.

“Thanks. I love you. Bye-bye!” The door soon slammed shut without another word. Luna turned to the stallion still sharing her bed. All she received in answer was a shrug. Knowing that she would not be getting any sleep until she got answers, Luna climbed out of bed and followed in the footsteps of the storming pony.

The morning had brought several unanticipated discoveries for Emma Granger. The first was that her daughter and her cousin were not in the front yard, playing in the snow. The only thing marring the pristine newly-fallen snow was a pair of tracks that led from an automobile neatly wrapped around the lamppost to the front door. The snow in the garden was likewise undisturbed. This showed that Hermione had meant something else entirely when she said she and Hector were going out for a bit. It didn’t take a genius to deduce their method of travel or their most likely destination. Dan grumbled; still, he had taken the time to dress appropriately for the weather before jumping into the floo. Grace had, unsurprisingly, been impressed watching the display.

The second discovery had come when Luna had suggested a pepper-up potion since Grace wanted to stay awake but was finding it difficult. Emma and Dan had purchased a cabinet stocked with common remedies, and she was pleased to see that the warded piece of furniture contained thirteen vials of the liquid. Grace had grimaced bitterly when she consumed the contents and then had said it did less for her than caffeine-free diet cola.

Luna had suggested using the necklace that Dan had been fingering earlier. Had she been fully awake, Emma would have warned Grace what to expect. It was gratifying seeing the look on Grace’s face when she had shrunk down to pony form. The steam briefly streaming out of her ear as she turned into a little white unicorn was a sight to behold.

“I’m awake now,” Grace had rasped. “And this had better not be permanent.”

Luna had replied, "I couldn't quite make that out; you're a little hoarse." Over the course of the next minute, the little bat pony had proven to be incredibly agile.

A floo call from the Ministry had stopped the barrage of throw pillows. The representative had asked for instructions on getting a floo to work in a muggle house with working electricity, only to hastily close the connection once the answer was given.

The next few discoveries had come in rapid succession. The third discovery was that the dress-clad Luna was now able to cling to the ceiling in her human form, much like an inverted gargoyle; her preference in underpants technically was part of the third discovery. The fourth discovery was that plasterboard was not meant to be load-bearing; even the weight of a slight ten-year-old girl was more than it could accommodate. The fifth discovery was Grace's; while Luna was clearly quite intelligent, the girl had proven to be a devastating blunt instrument.

The sixth discovery had come in the form of a floo call from St. Mungo's.

The flames had turned green and a head had appeared within. “Are you there?” a pleasant voice had said, suppressing laughter. “Am I speaking to Mr. and Mrs. Granger?”

“I am Mrs. Granger,” Emma had replied. “How may I help you?”

“Good morning, ma’am,” the head had said. “I am Healer Nightingale. I am just calling to get parental consent. I have a Hermione Granger here requesting standard obliviation package number eleven.” There was definitely laughter in her voice at this point.

“Standard obliviation package number eleven?” Emma had repeated numbly.

“Oooh, I have five of those on my record,” Luna had said.

“Yes,” the Healer had said, eyeing Luna. “It’s . . . well . . . it’s.”

“I have a good idea what it is.” Emma had saved her.

“Yes.” The healer had managed to blush in green. “Do I have your permission to proceed?”

“No; Hermione can manage. It’s an important life lesson.”

“Okay, I’ll note your preference in her records,” the head had said before disappearing.

“Wait, would you tell her to come straight home?” Emma had said too late.

Shaking her head, Emma had decided it was her turn to make a floo call. “Professor McGonagall, are you there?”

“Mrs. Granger?” the voice from the floo had replied. “I was just on my way out. A disaster has happened. The statute has fallen, and I must do my part in mitigating potential damages.”

“Sorry to bother you, Professor. I was just calling in regard to the letter you sent to Hector Lavin. I was under the impression that they went out during summer break,” Emma had said quickly.

“Yes, that is normally the case. However, since all of my lions have left for winter break, I decided to take advantage of the lull.” There had come the sound of pages turning. “Mr. Lavin was to be my first objective; the admittance book shows that all seven years of his education have been paid in full this morning from the Lestrange family vault. I assume he is related to you.”

“He is my nephew.”

“Is he somewhere safe?”

“My guess is that he’s currently at St. Mungo's. I just got a call from them asking for permission to obliviate Hermione.” Emma had answered.”

“I see; nothing serious I hope.”

“Standard obliviation package number eleven.” Emma had said.

“Ah, well . . . will he be staying with you for a couple days at least?”

Emma had glanced at Grace who had nodded with great effort. “Yes, I suspect he shall be.”

“Good, I shall move him down to the bottom of my priority list. Now I’m afraid I must cut this conversation short.”

“Oh course, Professor. Sorry to bother you,” Emma had replied apologetically.

“Quite alright.” The professor’s voice had come as the flames had died, leaving the hearth cold.

Jasper Eades opened the door of his apartment and was met with the sight of three men wearing robes looking back at him.

“Mr. Eades?” the one in front asked. If it weren’t for the fact that it was daytime, Jasper would have sworn he was a stereotypical vampire. “May we please come in?”

The reply to that was obvious. “No.”

Nonplused, the man waved a wand at him and said, “Levicorpus.” Jasper’s feet left the ground and he floated back into his home, followed by the three men. “I’m afraid we cannot accept that answer. Much needs to be done to ensure the safety of your daughter. We don’t have the luxury of time for niceties.”

“Who is it, Jasper?” his wife asked, coming out of the master bedroom. “Oh!” she finished as she saw her floating husband.

“My apologizes,” Nosferatu's twin said. “My name is Professor Snape. I realize this borders on assault. Truthfully, it falls too far on the wrong side of that border to be comfortable for anyone. However, with the revelation of magic to the general population, it is imperative that we provide security for all British-born wizards and witches without delay. Where would you like your fireplace?”

“We’re in the middle of an apartment block,” Jasper’s wife said. “We can’t exactly have a chimney.”

“Runes will be used to handle the smoke,” Professor Snape said, looking around before indicating. “That wall shall suffice.” The two men with him turned toward the indicated area, one took out a much too small bag and started extracting cut stones. The other cleared the pictures and furniture, shrinking them before sweeping them into a small pouch.

“You’re here for Nora,” Jasper’s wife said. “Funny things happen around her.”

“Yes,” Professor Snape said. “She is a witch and would have received her letter this coming summer if not for the current debacle. In response to that, the Minister has ordered a floo connection installed in all muggle-born households. All the normal fees are waived.”

“How does that help?” Jasper’s wife watched as the two men quickly assembled a fireplace out of the materials from the bag.

“If the worse happens, your child will be able to flee through the floo to a safe location,” Professor Snape said. “I will need to teach her how to use it.”

Jasper’s wife seemed to weigh her options for a second before calling out. “Nora come here!”

Nora came out of a small bedroom. “Yes, Mum?”

“You have a visitor.” Jasper’s wife indicated the dangerous-looking man.

“You can do magic!” Nora said, gasping.

“Yes. I can,” Professor Snape confirmed.

“You can let me down now,” Jasper deadpanned him.

Professor Snape gently placed him back on the ground.

“Where are the ponies?” Nora demanded.

“Ponies?” Professor Snape asked.

“The news said I get a pony,” Nora insisted.

Professor Snape narrowed his eyes slightly. “Ponies are not pets; they are classmates. You may have an owl, a rat, a cat, or a toad.”

“I wanna pet a pony,” Nora asserted.

Professor Snape said, “That is actually an excellent idea for smoothing the friction that is undoubtably in store for the rest of the day.” He then summoned a small wrinkly creature that he identified as a house elf. The little thing soon left with instructions and a stack of letters.

Despite her mildly benevolent expression, Celestia could not be more pleased with the way Day Court had gone so far. To test her niece's mettle, the diarch had referred all disputes to the younger alicorn. To the elder's delight, the pink mare had displayed an uncanny knack for identifying the heart of each conflict and had produced rulings that were fair to all parties involved. Clearly, Cadence was ready for a bigger challenge.

A hubbub in the crowd broke Celestia out of her reverie. Looking down the lengthy queue of petitioners, she was taken aback by the source of the disturbance. A pink dot grew bigger at an alarmingly rapid rate until it resolved itself into an incredibly irate pink alicorn mare. Her scream crescendoed as she approached. "Chryyyysaaaaaliiiiiis!!!"

With a sigh of resignation, the Cadance on the cushion said, "Oh, bother." The second Cadance slammed into the first, displacing her like a billiard ball. The first made an impromptu pocket in the wall. With a snarl, the second leapt, trying to catch the first before she could free herself.

Celestia somehow managed to hide her surprise as she watched her sister and Cadance's stallion wade through the sea of fleeing petitioners to get a front row seat for the proceedings.

Celestia flew down to join them. “Sister, you’re awake at an unusual hour,” she commented.

“We had our repose interrupted by yonder niece. We were implored to remove blocks on her magic and also cast a spell to expedite the digestion of the preserved spinach she did partake in on the way to these chambers.”

“They . . . she does seem upset,” Celestia noted. “I think I am going to have to put some warnings on those theses concerning time magic by Starswirl.”

“We can see the wisdom in that.”

“Shouldn’t we do something?” Shining Armor asked.

"Certes," said Luna. Pointing to the scribe, she said, "You, there. Fetch us the buttered popcorn."

The door to the Thomas house opened to an unanticipated sight. “Good morning,” said Mr. Thomas. “I’ll wager I have knowledge of magic going mainstream to thank for this visit.”

“It does make for a busy day for me,” Professor Sprout replied. “The Ministry has concluded they have no means to contain the outbreak, so they are taking the necessary steps to prepare for negative reactions.”

“Are you here to collect the children?” Mr. Thomas asked. “I don’t think retreating into strongholds is a viable course of action.”

“It hasn’t come to that. We are, however, installing floos in the households of every muggle born child as a precaution.” Professor Sprout gestured at the two wizards accompanying her.

“I’m afraid we can’t afford that expense right now,” Mr. Thomas said.

“The Ministry is bearing the cost. They have even acquired crystals that will prevent the floo from affecting the muggle technology in your house. May we come in? This is only the second house we’ve visited today and I have many to go before I sleep.”

“Come in. Would you like some tea or cocoa?”

“Thank you, no.” Professor Sprout stomped her feet on the mat just inside the door to remove snow from her boots. “Are the children present? I would like to check on them while I am here.”

“No, they spent the night at one of Dean’s friend's. It was decided the weather was not best for taking the magical bus.”

One of the installers smiled. “There is already a good-sized fireplace here; we’ll just need to expand it some.” He and his partner broke away from the conversation and went to work.

“That does complicate things.” Professor Sprout frowned. “Teaching them how to use the floo is of the utmost importance.”

“Oh, you don’t have to worry about that. They take it all the time; the only reason they take the bus is because the Ministry wouldn’t allow a floo in a house owned by someone who can’t do magic. I can ring them up with the floo address, and I imagine they’d be right home soon after.”

“That’s a relief,” Professor Sprout said as an owl flew in from an orthogonal dimension. “Now what?” After a bit of rather rude retching, a pony whom Sprout recognized appeared in the room. “Miss Crunch.” Professor Sprout addressed one of Snape’s apprentices. “To what do I owe this honor?”

“Hello, Professor Sprout.” Raspberry Crunch shook herself like a dog shedding water. “Professor Snape said that having a cute fluffy sapient pony along would help with your assignment.”

“He does have a point.”

Raspberry frowned. “Though I don’t have a problem being described by any of those words individually, stringing them together like that seems demeaning in some way.”

Shining Armor watched the fight, clearly concerned for the wellbeing of his beloved, or was that beloveds? He said, "Shouldn't we stop them before somepony gets seriously hurt?"

Luna shook her head. “Nay, she dost attack herself as a pegasus punishes a recalcitrant foal. There be anger here but no true malice.”

“Besides,” Celestia said, “it was time for a break.”

“My pancreas!” the Cadance with a green glow around her horn wailed as she crashed into Celestia’s throne this time.

The ground trembled after the next attack.

“I just had the marble floor in here replaced.” Celestia winced.

“'Twas a most excellent powerbomb, though.”

Desperately, Shining Armor pleaded, "Your highnesses, please. Stop them."

Celestia replied, "My sister is right. What is being done is being done out of love. There's nothing to worry about."

The citizens of Canterlot stood, shocked, at the mighty roar that blew the roof and windows from the throne room.

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