• 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 79: Gathering, Groceries, and Guts

The sight of newly fallen snow framed by the frosted picture window always brought a smile to Mrs. Baker's face. The scents of cloves, oranges, and cinnamon added a festive ambiance. As far back as recorded history spanned, the ancestral home had been where her family gathered for the holidays, and Mrs. Baker had done everything she could to dress it up for the season.

By tradition, the large farmhouse and its surrounding lands had been passed from parent to child. When her grandfather had died, her father had become lord of the manor. She had moved back in when her sire had grown too frail to maintain the place. He had lived a happy life until that stormy night when he had spent his final moments, comfortable in his own bed before moving from this world to the next.

She paused to look in the mirror. Experience had etched lines in her face. While she was quite active and healthy for her age, she could no longer manage the property on her own. Her youngest son had moved back in to lend support, bringing his wife and two children. The chain of succession would continue. The house and its land were in good hands.

The knock on the front door was unanticipated but not unwelcome. Her eldest had said that this year his family would be spending the holidays with his wife’s parents; they went on alternate years to keep both families happy. It was doubtlessly them deciding that the storm made the longer trip infeasible. They were more than welcome, of course. More room would always be found. Smiling at the thought of seeing her son, the old woman beat her daughter-in-law to the front door to let her kin in. She was sorely disappointed when she found four strangers waiting instead.

“Good morning, Mrs. Baker?” the man in front asked. He wore black robes as well as a grim expression that were better suited for Halloween. The two men with him also wore black robes but their neutral expressions were positively jovial in comparison. The woman in the group seemed to silently scream for attention, decidedly non-conformal in a bright orange strapless dress. Despite her bare shoulders and lack of outerwear, the leggy blonde did not seem to mind the cold. The plum-colored plushie that she cradled was a sure sign that she was in a festive mood.

“In the flesh,” the old woman said. “May I help you?”

“We’re here to fix your fireplace,” the stuffed toy declared, drawing the old woman’s attention.

“Hush, Georgia,” the woman in the orange dress admonished the toy. “Let Professor Snape handle the introductions.”

“Who is it, Mum?” Mrs. Baker’s daughter-in-law asked, coming to stand beside the old woman.

“Some carolers, I think. They have a talented ventriloquist with them.”

“We are not carolers,” the man in front said. “I am Professor Snape, and we have urgent business with Irene Baker.”

“Ooooh,” Mrs. Baker’s daughter-in-law cooed. “Is that a unicorn?”

“Yes!” The toy waved her forehooves excitedly. “Fear me, human! I am the Great and Powerful Georgia!” A tiny spark floated from the tip of the toy's horn and almost immediately faded.

“Georgia!” the woman holding her gasped. “Behave!”

“Why do I feel like I’ve just been threatened by a kitten?” Mrs. Baker’s daughter-in-law asked.

“As amusing as this may be,” Professor Snape said, “we have work to do, and this conversation would be best had while it progresses. May we please come in?”

“Sure, come into the living room,” Mrs. Baker said. “The family is all gathered, and I’m sure they’d love to meet your unicorn.”

“Mum, that’s not a dummy. That’s an alien, and I assume these men are the wizards the news has been going on about,” the younger Mrs. Baker said.

“How astute,” Professor Snape said as he walked past the two women. “We are indeed wizards and this is my apprentice, Barbie. She was minding her sister when I summoned her and had the misguided assumption that I wouldn’t object to her bringing the waif along.”

“I’m not a dummy or an alien,” Georgia complained. “You are.”

“I’m not going to warn you again,” Barbie said, placing her hand over Georgia’s muzzle. “Be nice to the humans; you’ve been taught better manners than this.”

“Didn’t you hear what she called me?” Georgia said accusingly.

“Ponies are new to most humans,” Barbie said placatingly. “Give them a chance.”

“How could anypony not have met a pony before?” Georgia whined.

“Is that a pony?” A little girl stood on her tip toes to get a better look at Georgia. There were five other children right behind her with looks of eagerness on their faces.

“Yes, this is my little sister Georgia,” Barbie said. She looked over and found that Professor Snape was talking to the parents while the installers were working on the fireplace. There were still more than a few adults paying attention to Georgia and her.

“You’re not a pony,” a boy stated. “How can she be your sister?”

“I can change my form,” Barbie said, placing Georgia on the ground. “Would you like to see?”

“No!” Georgia wailed. “Pick me up! Pick me up! They have cooties! That one has snot all over his face!”

“Puppy!” the youngest boy in the room exclaimed, tackle hugging Georgia and burying his face in her fur.

“Eeeew!” Georgia exclaimed.

“Well,” said a woman who had been reaching for a tissue box. “At least he doesn’t have snot on his face anymore.”

The treehouse cum clubhouse that was nestled in the branches of an ancient apple tree had served as a refuge for the Crusaders far too often. Force of habit kept them away from the doors and windows, away from the prying eyes and ears of judgmental adults. Here, they could talk freely about touchy subjects. Sweetie Belle's latest cake had certainly been touchy . . . and feely . . . and probing. Sweetie Belle gave a delicate shudder as the others piled in, happy to be far away from all the excitement.

Daphne broke the silence. “I propose that Sweetie not be allowed to cook without at least two other people watching her.”

“You can’t vote, you’re not part of the herd,” Scootaloo reminded her.

“Does that really matter?” Daphne asked.

“Y’all better believe it does,” Apple Bloom said. “'Sides, most of the herd ain’t here ta take a vote.”

“It is a good idea though,” Ginny said.

“Ah’m not saying it ain’t,” Apple Bloom said. “Daphne jus' don’t have no right ta call fer a vote. Least wise while she’s not in tha herd.”

“Well, I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Sweetie snarled.

“No, you just think it’s a good idea to add basil to a cake,” Ron said. “What were you thinking?”

“It’s not so much the basil I’m worried about,” Daphne said. “I’m more concerned with infusing the batter with magic.”

“I did no such thing,” Sweetie said.

“Of course, you did,” Daphne countered. “How else do you explain Mr. Personal-Space Invader?”

“Y’all think she’s doing it without realizing it?” Apple Bloom asked.

“That would explain a lot,” Ginny said. “I wonder if that is what affects her potions, too.”

“I think her habit of changing the ingredients has more to do with it,” Ron said. “I may not be the best at potions, but even I know enough not to add mint just to make it taste better.”

“That only happened once,” Sweetie whined.

“The time before that you tried to add chocolate before Resonate Wave stopped you,” Daphne reminded her.

“Wait a sec,” Scootaloo said. “I want to test this infoosing theory. Sounds like the perfect way to get our cutie marks.”

“Infusing,” Sweetie corrected. “It’s has a 'u' not an ‘oo’.”

“Whatever,” Scootaloo griped. "Everything you cook has an 'eeeew'."

“Ah could get the ingredients from the kitchen.” Apple Bloom rubbed her chin with a hoof. “We could try a smaller batch ta control it.”

“Are you seriously thinking of letting her back in the kitchen?” Daphne gasped.

“I do need to practice,” Sweetie countered.

“No,” Daphne insisted, “just no.”

“We could try apple pie instead,” Apple Bloom suggested.

“Or cinnamon rolls,” Ron added.

“Are all Gryffindors crazy?” Daphne asked rhetorically.

“Ah wasn’t planning on eating it,” Apple Bloom explained. “It’s just that Apples are loyal, an' nothing could possibly go wrong with baking an apple pie.”

“Hello!” Daphne said. “This is Belle we are talking about here. You’ve seen what she can do with a foolproof boils potion.”

“Maybe we should try something already made,” Ginny suggested. “We do have all those candies we bought yesterday; we could sacrifice a box.”

“I don’t know why I bothered asking; you are crazy,” Daphne said. “I have a better suggestion, let’s not experiment anymore today. There are other things we could do. I still need to get a few more gifts.”

“Yeah, shopping trip,” Sweetie agreed.

“I wouldn’t mind hitting the mall,” Scootaloo conceded. “Let’s go grab Button Mash. I wanna see him go wild in the arcade.”

Apple Bloom objected. “Nah, that’s something we need ta have everypony present to see. It wouldn’t be fair ta hog that to ourselves.”

“I was thinking pony presents,” Daphne suggested.

“We shopped in Ponyville yesterday.” Ron shook his head. “How about Diagon Alley? Haven’t been there in a while.”

“That’s an idea,” Apple Bloom said. “Y’all’ve seen how skittish my sister is around our trunks. Having one of her own would do wonders fer getting her used to 'em.”

“We could get Twilight a book while we’re at it,” Scootaloo mused, “and a trunk for Rainbow Dash.”

“You don’t really think she hasn’t looted the book store yet?” Sweetie asked. “They probably know her by sight by now.”

“True, but we could find her something,” Scootaloo said.

“Oh,” Apple Bloom exclaimed. “Ah jus' remembered Ah wanted ta get a telly and VCR fer tha farmhouse.”

Sweetie chimed in. “I want to get Rarity a flying carpet. They may be illegal where we go to school, but Hermione says they are available in France, and they are legal here.”

“So, we got a plan,” Apple Bloom said. “I’ll go get mah trunk ta carry everything. Sweetie, call Philomena and we’ll go get tha best presents fer everypony.”

“Or we could call Philomena first and just pop in and get your trunk,” Ginny said. “It would be faster.

Daphne sighed in relief. The universe was safe for another day; Sweetie had forgotten about cooking.

“What did you step in?” Lyra cried out as soon as she opened the door to Bon Bon’s candy shop. "This reeks like a fertilizer factory."

“That’s dinner,” Bon Bon said weakly. "I bet everything'll be fine when I add those onions that you and Harry are carrying." She sighed. “I don’t think I’ll be getting any more customers today.”

“Dinner?” Lyra asked. “What are you cooking?”

“Chitterlings.” Bon Bon moaned. “It’s supposed to be a favorite meal for griffins. I figured our young human would appreciate the treat.”

“Is that why he’s in the corner doing his best impression of an owl’s pouch?” Lyra asked drily.

Harry gagged. "Parts is not parts."

Bon Bon sighed. “He’s the fifth one today. Those every flavor beans certainly live up to their name. I can’t see the appeal, but we’re going to need another barrel of them.”

“Didn’t you . . .” Harry dry heaved. “Didn’t you put some orange slices on top before you started cooking them?”

“Why would I do that?” Bon Bon asked.

“The smell,” Harry moaned pitifully.

“It’s not that bad,” Bon Bon weakly insisted from behind the clothespin on her nose.

“Bonnie, you just made the natural born meat eater lose his cookies . . . and his taffy . . . and everything else he's eaten today,” Lyra observed.

“Would orange extract work?” Bon Bon asked.

“No, you want a fresh orange,” Harry insisted.

“And where are we going to get a fresh orange?” Bon Bon queried. “It’s the middle of winter, so we’re not going to find them in the market. They are a seasonal import.”

“Greengrocers will have them,” Harry said. “I’ll just owl myself over to Hermione’s.”

“Can you get fresh lemons too?” Bon Bon asked.

“Sure,” Harry said before making his escape.

“Wait for me!” Lyra yelled after him.

“just a minute, Lyra,” Bon Bon said from around a mouthful of her tail.


“Scourgify.” Bon Bon pointed toward the corner.

“I’m getting far too much practice with that spell,” Lyra grumbled.

Hector was glad that he had foregone breakfast as he found his third foray through the floo just as exciting and disorienting as his first two. He was relieved that he was finally getting the hang of things; his gluteals bore a pair of size seven souvenirs of his cousin's help. Granted, he wouldn’t have entered the green fire the first time just on Hermione’s say so, but still, he managed to get the point in the end. He now had no doubt that he could do magic. He was proud that he only stumbled a little when he stepped through the Leaky Cauldron's fireplace for the second time that day.

“Hello there.” A cheerful little man, shorter than Hector, greeted him when he exited. The man scanned through a scroll he held in one hand while keeping his place with a quill in the other. “May I get your name, please?”

Hector looked around and saw that the pub was full of children with adults. Most of them were crowding around three small, colorful ponies, oohing and ahing. “Um . . . Hector Lavin,” he said hesitantly.

“Ah, Mr. Lavin, we were expecting you sooner,” the man said. “Did you come through on your own or did you lose your grip on your adult companion?”

“Huh?” Hector replied intelligently.

“Don’t worry,” the small man said. “Yours wouldn’t be the first parent we’ve had to rescue from the floo system today.”

Any reply was cut off when the flames flared green and Hermione came through, making a perfect Telemark landing. “Oh, Professor Flitwick. Hello,” she said upon seeing the little man.

“Hello, Miss Granger,” Professor Flitwick greeted. “Planning to do some shopping today? You would be well advised to put that off until a later date.”

“Yes, sir. Hector and I are only here to pick up his trunk,” Hermione said. “They said at Flourish and Blotts that the reading list for next year hasn’t been issued yet, and his letter doesn’t have the same purchase list mine had when I received it.”

“Yes, Professor McGonagall did say she was experimenting with contacting muggleborn out of season,” Professor Flitwick said. “Am I to understand that Mr. Lavin has yet to receive a home visit from the floo installers?”

“We came from my house, sir,” Hermione said. “His mother is non-magical, so they wouldn’t be getting a floo connection.”

“I see. That is no longer the case; the Minister has decreed that all muggleborn households are to be connected by floo as a precaution.”

“That could be messy,” Hermione said. “When we had our floo installed, it fried all of our electronics.”

“Magics have been imported from Equestria to prevent that,” Professor Flitwick replied.

“Did they also get more of the gems that spark in the presence of floo powder?” Hermione asked. “Miss Sparkle made us some so that there doesn’t need to be a fire already going.”

“Not that I am aware of. They do sound convenient.”

Once again, the flames turned green. This time it was a man and a young girl about seven years old, tightly holding hands. They executed a perfectly synchronized superhero landing, leaving carpet burns on their hands and faces. Several witches and wizards sitting at the bar clapped before swishing their wands, summoning fiery numbers floating in the air.

“A seven, three sixes, and a five,” Professor Flitwick noted absently before addressing the newcomers. “I’m afraid the first trip through the floo can be an experience.”

“You travel like that all of the time?” The man groaned in disbelief.

“You get used to it quickly,” Hector offered.

“Look, papa!” the girl said, picking herself up. “More ponies!” With a squee, she rushed over to join the crowd surrounding the besieged equines.

“The newcomers are enjoying the company of Professor Snape’s apprentices,” Professor Flitwick commented. “You could join them Miss Granger.”

“Not it, sir,” Hermione said, taking a step back. “Not it.”

Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were in lock step as they followed Diamond’s parents back to the mansion. The visit to Canterlot had been a mind-boggling success. Even if they had come in second place, it had been a very comfortable second place. Getting the aluminum hadn’t been that hard. They knew a Slytherin who had a brother in Ravenclaw who had taken muggle studies. One simple letter and a simple promise later, and they had rolls of the metal in paper-thin sheets. It might not have been what the Crusaders had been selling, but it was in high demand at thirty percent less than the market rate. Their small herd was now financially secure by their own hooves, cementing their position among the elite. The few sickles they owed the Ravenclaw would be replaced by galleons as gratitude for a job well and quickly accomplished. If only they didn’t need to go through the Crusaders to exchange their bits for wizarding money.

Still, that minor inconvenience was nothing compared to the euphoria of having bits of their own to spare. It was time to get something that they absolutely needed. “Daddy,” Diamond Tiara said as she walked. “May we go to Diagon Alley? Silver Spoon and I are having a hard time using brooms, and we’d like to buy some to practice with.”

“You could just send Randolph to acquire some from the warehouse,” Spoiled Rich said from where she walked next to her husband.

“We need special magic brooms,” Diamond Tiara explained. “They are an important status symbol.”

“In that case, nothing but the best will do.” Spoiled Rich was quick to hop onto the bandwagon. “No daughter of mine shall be seen with anything less.”

Diamond Tiara smiled over the ease at which she was going to get what she wanted. “The Crusaders all have Nimbus 2000’s, top of the line.”

“They also have a chance to practice outside of classes,” Silver Spoon said, resentful of her own attempts at using the school brooms. She could swear the Widowmaker absolutely hated her.

“I’ll ask Rarity to exchange a substantial number of bits for galleons. Then, you can open a vault with the goblins,” Filthy said. “I want to get my hoof in on the ground floor for the human world import and export. Care will just be needed, with the princess’s wanting to monitor that trade. It'll be tedious work, but if kept above board, it should be profitable. Gold, aluminum, and gems may already be banned, but there are still a multitude of items that they should allow for trade.”

“No chests,” Spoiled Rich insisted.

“You haven’t seen the inside of George,” Filthy said.

“I’d like to keep it that way,” Spoiled replied.


Whatever Filthy was going to say was interrupted when an object crashed into the center of the street forming a small crater and flinging snow and debris everywhere.

Filthy and Spoiled immediately put themselves between whatever it was and the fillies.

“Ooooooh.” A pink hoof reached over the edge of the new hole, followed by a familiar, if shaky, pony. “Why me?”

“Princess Cadance?” Diamond Tiara asked, looking through her father’s legs.

“Huh?” The newcomer looked around unsteadily. “Oh, Diamond Tiara.” Then, when the filly took a step forward. “Stay back, it’s not safe.”

“What’s wrong?” Filthy asked. “I’ll summon the guard.”

“That won’t be neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!” Cadance said as she was suddenly replaced by her attacker. The sound of hooves striking flesh was heard as the princess was sent hurdling in the direction of the Everfree.

“Come back here, I’m not done with you yet,” said the second Cadance as she launched herself in pursuit.

The Rich family and everypony on the street watched the spectacle, agog.

“Looks like somepony found the lost mirror pool,” the Mayor’s assistant said, shaking his head.

“Could have been worse,” Cherry Berry replied. “Pinkie could have found it first.”

Grace was painfully aware that she was not in good hands. Her insurance rates were sure to skyrocket after yet another claim. It drove home the consequences of driving impaired; fatigue and terror were just as debilitating as alcohol. To make matters worse, the risk had proven to be completely unnecessary; she could easily have put her son in serious jeopardy. Grace let her sister-in-law know just how pathetic she felt her decision had been.

Emma placed a comforting hand on Grace’s shoulder and said, “Yes, it was stupid. You’ll get no argument over that, but I understand that you were scared and you did what you thought would keep Hector safe. No harm, no foul.”

“My car says otherwise,” Grace said, thinking of her abrupt stop.

“That’s nothing to worry about,” Emma said. “I know someone who can fix it in a jiffy.”

“You know a magical mechanic?” Grace asked hopefully.

“Something like that,” Emma said, taking a pinch of the green powder from its container. “Grimmauld Place,” she called out, tossing it into the cold hearth.

“I guess this is more convenient than getting it towed,” Grace allowed as the green flames flared into being.

“What’s convenient?” came a voice from the flames.

“Sirius, could you come through please.” Emma said. “We have a minor emergency.”

"What did the Crusaders do now?" It was a female voice this time.

“Nothing that drastic,” Emma said. “I just need about a dozen reparios cast.”

“That does seem out of character for the Crusaders,” the female voice said. “It’s always one or one hundred with them, nothing in between.”

“I’ll be right back. Coming through,” the male voice said, and a man with lustrous black hair stepped out from the green flames.

“Hello, Sirius. Thanks for coming,” Emma said as the flames flared again, this time announcing the arrival of a woman sporting purple hair with a pink stripe. “Twilight, good to see you.”

The flames flashed once more. This time, an off-white bundle of fur tumbled out. “That’s more like it!” Grace heard the unicorn exclaim upon coming to a stop.

“Mother,” said an embarrassed Twilight.

“Twilley,” said the unicorn. “You didn’t think I was going to let you and your stallion rush off like that mid-visit, did you? Besides, this way, I get to meet your friends.”

Twilight sighed. “Emma Granger, this is my mother, Twilight Velvet. Mother, this is my friend, Emma Granger.”

“Hiya.” Twilight Velvet smiled and waved.

“Hello, Mrs. Velvet,” said Emma. “Allow me to introduce you all to my sister-in-law and the reason I called, Grace Granger.”

“So, what did you break?” Sirius asked.

Grace groaned. "A lamppost came out of nowhere and attacked my car. It's out front."

“We’d better hurry then,” Sirius said, “before some muggle sees and then wonders how it got fixed.”

“Haven’t you heard?” Emma asked. “The whole world knows of magic now.”

Sirius blinked. “The whole world?”

“Yup, announced it on the news last night. It’s all they are talking about on the telly and the radio now.” Emma nodded.

Sirius blinked again. “Twilight, I need to go to the Ministry and see what’s up.” He turned to the unicorn in the room. “I’m going to have to take a rain check on getting to know you, say, dinner tonight?”

“Rain check?” Twilight Velvet asked.

“Go ahead, Sirius,” Twilight Sparkle said. “I’ll take care of the car. Then, I need to get back to a project I’m in the middle of. We’ll come by for supper. I’ll bring my father, brother, and niece.”

“Okay, sorry to rush off like this,” Sirius said, retracing his steps and reentering the fireplace after using more green powder.

“Are you going to let him go by himself?” Twilight Velvet asked her daughter.

“Humans' norms are different than ponies',” Twilight said. “He wouldn’t appreciate it if I’m ‘overprotective’.”

“So, he’s a masconist?” Twilight Velvet asked.

“That’s masochist,” Emma said. “Oh, hello Hedwig.” A white owl seemed to fly into the room from nowhere.

“Where did that come from?” Grace asked eyeing the bird warily.

“From Ponyville,” Twilight answered. “That’s Bon Bon's and Lyra’s owl.”

“Bark,” Hedwig corrected.

“I left my wand upstairs,” Emma said. “Would you mind getting this?”

“Sure,” Twilight said and placed hers on the owl’s pouch before uttering the release phrase. The pouch enthusiastically regurgitated a pair of ponies. The smaller one had wings instead of a horn.

“Hello, Lyra, Harry.” Emma addressed the newcomers.

“Hello,” the two chorused.

“She’s green,” Grace said. “Is that normal?”

“Ponies come in a wide variety of colors,” Emma said dismissively. “Harry, Luna’s downstairs watching a movie, if you’d like to join her.”

“We just need to go to the grocers.” The smaller pony transformed into a boy about Hector’s age. “Mum is cooking chitterlings, and we desperately need to pick up an orange.” He put a strange emphasis on the word ‘mum’.

“The roads are still pretty bad out there,” Emma mused. “Give me a minute, and I’ll get my keys.”

“Nah, we need to get pounds from Gringotts anyway, and there is a shop within walking distance of the Leaky Cauldron,” Lyra said. “We don’t want to inconvenience you.”

“It isn’t a bother,” Emma assured. “But your plan is better and safer. Would you mind picking up a mango or two while you’re at it? Luna’s been going on about them at length.”

“This is your human form?” Twilight Velvet studied Harry closely. “Why are you wearing glasses now?”

“Thanks for reminding me,” Lyra said. “We need to get him a new pair; we might as well get that out of the way while we’re at it.”

“Mum, we need to hurry with that orange,” Harry reminded her.

“Okay, okay,” Lyra said as another owl entered the room. This one did not wear a pouch. Instead it carried a scroll in its talons.

“Is it normally this busy?” Grace asked as the bird landed close to Lyra.

“Not normally,” Emma said.

“That’s from Princess Celestia.” Twilight said, recognizing the stylized sun on the seal holding the scroll shut.

“Why would she send me mail?” Lyra wondered, opening the scroll to read. “Twilight, I’d understand, but why me?”

The full detachment of the Ponyville garrison watched as the princesses of day and night motioned for them to stay back. Celestia asked, "Luna, do you have any idea what's gotten into our niece?"

"Nay," replied Luna. "Mayhap we can ask when they finish."

"At this rate, it will be Winter Wrap-Up by the time they are done."

A feral snarl punctuated a super flying suplex. The spectators watched with mouths open as Cadance landed heavily against the trunk of a mighty larch. The tree slowly tipped before crashing to the ground.

“KO!” Luna declared triumphantly.

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