• 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 8: Good Morning Hogwarts!

Satisfied with Percy’s response, the portrait swung open. The room it guarded was a comfortable sort of place, round and filled with cozy armchairs. An unlit fireplace dominated the space opposite the entrance. As accents, two archways, with stone stairs visible, stood at the remaining two cardinal compass points.

Percy directed the girls up one set of stairs and then led the boys up the other. Left to their own devices, the girls languidly climbed the stairs to find their dorm; they had experienced a long day and a large supper, a combination draining for any young child. The room they found was another round room, pleasantly filled with seven canopy beds, three of which already had trunks set at their feet to denote their owners.

The girls gave a cursory inspection of the room and the adjoining shared bathroom. Then, four trunks unshrunk, marking the remaining beds. Taken aback by their sudden appearance, Hermione wondered about the artifacts’ ability to change size so radically. She was more than ready to start asking questions, but was held back by general tiredness.

“All right,” Sweetie sighed, “bath, then bed; I’m beat.”

“You’re out of luck,” a girl, Apple Bloom thought her name might be Lavender, said. “There are only showers in here.”

“That’s okay,” Scootaloo said, opening her trunk. “We brought our own.” She then disappeared into her trunk. Sweetie Belle, then Ginny, soon followed.

Apple Bloom trotted over from where she had been standing on the other side of the room. She said to the three remaining girls, “Coming?” before she, too, disappeared into the trunk.

Hesitantly, Hermione peered into the trunk. There was a staircase leading down. Shrugging, she descended. Not wanting to be left out, the two remaining Gryffindor first-year girls followed.

Soon, they were congregated in a large bathroom. A spacious, ground-level tub was filling with warm water.

“I am so beat,” Sweetie Belle repeated, and then proceeded to remove her clothing.

Hermione noticed that Apple, Ginny, and Scoot were all doing the same, not a shred of self-consciousness to be had among them. Shrugging once more, she, too, began to disrobe. A few seconds later, Lavender and Parvati duplicated the procedure.

The tub easily fit them all without being snug, seemingly bigger than the last time it had been used. As soon as they were all settled, washcloths were produced, and Ginny said, “Just so you know, this is where it gets weird.”

Harry was spent, but spent in a good way. It had been a wickedly wonderful day. Most importantly, he was away from the Dursleys. That alone was enough to make the day grand. Also, he had eaten enough food to be truly full for the first time he could remember. The icing on the cake was that he had made new friends, something that had been denied him by his cousin chasing away any who would attempt such a deed.

Admittedly, the Hermione girl was more than a bit bossy, but, at the same time, she was genuinely kind. The redhead Ron seemed an okay bloke, although quidditch seemed to be his strong suit. Speaking of strong, Apple Bloom seemed the sort that made friends for life. Even though he lacked experience in the friendship department, he had the feeling that, if he made the effort, she would be around for a long time. As for Ginny, she was starstruck by the whole Boy-Who-Lived thing. Harry earnestly hoped that the affection would soon moderate.

In contrast, the purple-haired girl, Scootaloo, was slightly scary and, at the same time, accepted him for himself. She conveyed the impression that she had more energy than she knew what to do with, to the point that she bounced almost as much as she walked.

Then there was Sweetie Belle. She did indeed seem sweet, but Harry was never going to leave her alone in a room with Hedwig. Had she really been thinking of eating his owl? It didn’t seem like she had been joking. No, it would be best to keep her as far from Hedwig as possible.

With as little fuss as possible, Harry donned his night clothes and climbed into bed. He was really spent.
Hermione was of two minds over the experience. It had been a long time since she had needed help washing herself, and the thought of washing another was foreign. She was most definitely not used to others touching her in the fashion that had accompanied the bath. There had been nothing sexual about it, not even a bit suggestive. It was simply not something she was used to. She hadn’t been uncomfortable with it, but it was outside her comfort zone.

What sold her on the idea was when Lavender had washed her hair. Having someone else massage her scalp while she in turn did Sweetie’s was an indulgence that would bring her back for more. It was much better than standing in the shower, doing it herself.

Honestly, she wasn’t all that interested in hair care, but Sweetie Belle had insisted on everyone using the conditioner. Afterwards, sitting in the tub, the presence of her new classmates surrounding her as the solution did its work, was almost Zen-like. Hermione could get used to the entire treatment.

After drying, Apple Bloom led them all into the bed chamber. A large single bed awaited them.

“Does the bed seem larger?” Scootaloo asked upon seeing it.

“You’re in your bedroom, that’s in your trunk, which you carried to school in your pocket,” Sweetie Belle yawned, clearly on her last legs, “and you’re worried about how the bed knows what size to be?”

Scootaloo thought about it, and then shrugged before climbing into the bed.

“Aren’t we going to use nightgowns?” Parvati asked, unsure about the whole idea of sleeping naked next to someone she just met.

“Too much effort,” Apple Bloom commented as she, too, made her way into the bed.

Feeling as if shrugging was becoming her new thing, Hermione was next.

Peer pressure is a compelling thing, even when applied unintentionally. It was not long before all the girls were asleep beneath the covers.

Fay Dunbar was a seventh-year Gryffindor prefect. As such, she had responsibilities. She was getting ready to commence patrolling the corridors for the first night of the school term, but beforehand, she was checking to make sure all of the girls in her tower were settled in. Working her way backwards in years, she checked each dorm and was satisfied with what she saw. That is, until she reached the dorm of the first-years.

She opened the door and saw that there were seven beds as there should be -- seven empty beds as there most assuredly shouldn’t be! Fay quickly searched the room. The beds had not been slept in, and there was no one in the bathroom! She had lost the first-years! The first day of school and she had lost the entire first-year girls’ class!

Panicking slightly, Fay raced to the common room, where the sixth-year male prefect was the only one present. Hasty questioning reveled that he had not seen anyone. Fay received his assurance that he would check the boys’ dorms, on the off chance the girls had snuck into them for some reason. Fay’s next action was to wake the fat lady, only to find that no one had exited the tower that night. With panic quickly approaching hysteria, Fay rushed to the quarters of her head of house.

Professor McGonagall was giving the schedules one more going over when the pounding on her door commenced. She had been an educator for many years, and had come to know the different styles of pounding a door would receive. This was not an angry pounding, or even an impatient pounding. No, this was a panicked pounding. She wasted no time, waving her wand to open the egress even as she left her seat.

Her seventh-year female prefect bolted into the room, out of breath and in quite a state. It seemed the first day wasn’t even officially over, and there was already going to be a crisis. Without waiting for the story, Minerva rushed toward the Gryffindor tower with Miss Dunbar in close pursuit. Professor McGonagall had been an educator for many years. When a prefect rushes into your office panicking and so out of breath that she can’t speak, well, you don’t wait for explanations, you make tracks for the scene of the disturbance. Grimacing, she barely slowed as she sent her patronus for Albus.

Professor McGonagall rapidly approached the tower. The fat lady, who had not yet fallen back asleep, saw the state of the head of house and swung open without the usual protocol. Once inside the common room, Minerva turned to her prefect, questioningly. When the girl pointed to the girls’ dorms, Minerva was off again. She heard Fay manage to gasp out, “Firsts.”

Minerva flew up the stairs and found her way to the first-years’ dorm. Upon entry, she found the room free of blood, clutter, or any sign of mishap. Surprisingly, it was also free of any sign of students. Minerva quickly added two and two and got four.

“You panicked after seeing none of the beds had been slept in and all of the first-years were gone?” she asked of Miss Dunbar.

Jealously, wondering how the older woman managed to run the whole way here without being out of breath, Fay could only nod her head as an answer.

Never losing her calm exterior, Minerva nodded. “All well and good. It is better that you rush me when the situation doesn’t call for it, than for you not to rush me when it does.” With that, she went to four of the students’ trunks and rapped loudly on the lids.

Professor Dumbledore chose that second to arrive. He, too, was not out of breath as he surveyed the dorm questioningly.

“I apologize, headmaster,” Professor McGonagall said as she patiently stared at the trunks. “It seems there has been a misunderstanding.”

Dumbledore nodded his head and said, “I see. A most understandable situation.”

Fay watched the two professors as her breath returned, clearly confused by the lack of action. She was about to start asking questions when the lid of one of the trunks flipped open, and the head of the girl with bright red hair popped out.

Rubbing her eyes groggily, the redhead looked around and said, “Whaaaa?”

Fay could see that the girl was standing naked on a set of stairs leading down into the trunk.

“Ah, Miss Bloom,” Dumbledore greeted, unfazed by the girl’s lack of clothing, “I am sorry that we have disturbed your slumber. It would appear that your and your classmates’ absence from the dorm has driven Miss Dunbar here to distraction.”

Apple Bloom nodded her head.

“Is it safe to assume that all of your classmates are either in this trunk or one of the others?”

Apple Bloom nodded her head.

“I’m afraid I’m going to have to insist that you, and the others who have brought such wonderful trunks, add the house prefects to the access list for each, if you plan on spending time in them. The prefects must, after all, be able to check in on you.”

Apple Bloom nodded her head.

“The vanilla yogurt goes especially well on the dog’s coat after the rain.”

Apple Bloom nodded her head.

“Perhaps we should continue this discussion tomorrow when you are more awake and might actually remember it?”

Apple Bloom nodded her head.

“Miss Dunbar, if you would be so kind as to escort Miss Bloom back to her bed.”

Apple Bloom nodded her head.

Sensing the pattern, Fay nudged Apple Bloom back down the stairs. She marveled at the well-appointed sitting room as she quickly maneuvered Apple Bloom into the bedroom. Inside, she was relieved as she counted all seven girls present. Their lack of clothing was odd, but they were too young for it to be a concern.

Dusting her hands, she climbed the stairs and exited the trunk.

“Leave the lid open.” Professor McGonagall instructed; it seemed that the headmaster had already left. “I wish to commend you on your quick action. Though unnecessary, it was the proper thing to do.”

Fay nodded gratefully; she was still embarrassed over the panic she had displayed.

Professor McGonagall bid her goodnight and left as well.
Ginny was the first to wake the next morning. She was deliriously happy. Not only was she at Hogwarts and not facing loneliness and boredom, she also had met Harry Potter, the man of her dreams, the prince she would someday marry. It was an unexpected and wonderful happenstance which had brought her to this point. She hadn’t thought she would ever be put in such a fabulous position, not even in her wildest dreams.

On top of that, she was friends with not one, but three unicorns! That, in and of itself, was reason for celebration. Sure, she hadn’t seen either Apple Bloom or Scootaloo in their true forms, but they wore those pendants just like Sweetie Belle.

It was time to wake everyone up and live life to the fullest.

The undertaking went well enough, the only hardship being getting Scootaloo moving. Ginny was sure Scootaloo even fell back asleep standing up once or twice. Then again, horses were supposed to be able to sleep standing, so it was entirely plausible.

It turned out that Apple Bloom and Scootaloo both needed assistance choosing clothing for the day. Again, that was an understandable situation, although Hermione clearly thought it odd.

“Should we wait for the boys?” Hermione asked once they all filed into the common room.

“Why wait?” Scootaloo asked, finally awake enough to be coherent. “Let’s go get them.” With that, she stormed the stairs to the boys’ dorms.

Their first stop turned out to be the seventh-years’ dorm. After some hasty scurrying to get a towel around his waist for some decency, the only awake occupant, fresh from the showers, directed them to the first-years’ dorm.

Giggling, the girls arrived to find no one yet awake. The key word being “yet”.

Sweetie Belle immediately started jumping on Ron’s bed. Seeing her example, the rest of the girls dispersed among the remaining beds.

“Get up, get up,” Sweetie Belle sang as she bounced up and down on top of Ron. The poor boy had a look of utter shock and confusion plastered on his not-yet-awake face. He clutched at the mattress of his bed in alarm.

Meanwhile, Harry, who had not yet donned his glasses, came abruptly to the awareness of being beset upon by a couple of differently-shaded red blobs. It took a few seconds of focus to realize the blobs were a pair of girls, Apple Bloom and Ginny to be exact. Nothing remotely like this had ever happened to him before during his stay at 4 Privet Drive. It was, without a doubt, better than being woken by a Dursley pounding on his cupboard’s door.

Neville never had a particularly social childhood; as such, the sensation of his bed suddenly doing flops jolted him awake but did not bestow coherency. He looked up and saw bushy brown hair bouncing atop a head somewhere above him. Grunting, he closed his eyes and attempted to reclaim sleep. The bouncing was genuinely relaxing, the exact opposite effect the perpetrator of the action intended. She had to resort to shaking him bodily.

Lavender and Parvati stood at either side of Seamus’ bed and took turns poking him in his arms. With a snort, he woke up and focused on the ceiling of his canopy bed. Something was annoying him, and he hadn’t figured out what it was yet.

Dean had what was probably the most memorable reaction. Scootaloo screamed with glee as she threw herself bodily at his sleeping form. One second, Dean had been sleeping peacefully in his bed, the next, he was standing next to said bed, shaking slightly as he tried to force some awareness into his brain.

“All right, since you’re up now, get ready; it’s time for classes!” Sweetie Belle joyfully chirped.

“We’ll be waiting for you in the common room,” Parvati added.

“Why bother? We can just wait right here,” Scootaloo said from her positon, lying on Dean’s bed.

“We will wait in the common room.” Hermione put her foot down. “Come on, girls, let’s give them some peace so they can get dressed.”

After the door slammed behind the last of the retreating girls, Dean shook his head, in an attempt to clear the cobwebs and asked, “What the bloody hell just happened?”

Less than seventeen, but more than fifteen minutes later, the Gryffindor first-year lads slogged down the stairs into the common room. They all had damp hair from their rushed showers. Fortunately, they were all too excited over their first day of classes to be upset over the rude awakenings.

En masse, the entirety of the Gryffindor first-year class set out to break their fast, and very promptly got well and truly lost.

“I’m sure that’s the third time we passed that painting,” Parvati informed the group as they hurried down yet another corridor.

“Fifth time actually,” Scootaloo corrected her. “Can anyone tell me how we are going down stairways yet still somehow appear to be higher up than when we started?”

“What I want know is how they fit this huge hallway in the tiny towers we saw from outside,” Dean commented in awe.

“Bigger on the inside than the outside seems to be a common theme,” Sweetie Belle replied. “You should see our trunks.”

“Really?” Dean glanced at Sweetie Belle, not completely believing what she said.

“Yeah,” Sweetie nodded, and then with a sigh continued, “I wish there were others awake to ask directions. I guess we got up too early.”

“Well,” a man with antique clothing said from his portrait, “you could always ask me.” Then, after being confronted by a sudden tower of cuteness, he continued, “Do they do that often?”

“Apparently,” Harry said as he glanced at the spectacle, “yes.”

Learning that the castle portraits were more than willing to help with directions greatly enhanced the search for the great hall. They managed to have no more incidents before they finally reached their destination some four minutes later.

“Those talking pictures are way creepy,” Apple Bloom commented as they filed in to claim their seats.

Lavender giggled at this statement while Seamus openly guffawed.

“Now that we’re here,” Ron looked around the otherwise deserted dining area, “does anyone know how we go about getting some brea--” He cut off as plates of food appeared on the table before the group.

“Never mind,” he said as he and Apple Bloom ceased participation in the conversation.

The rest of the first-years boggled at the gastronomic performance for a few seconds, then, as one, decided that they needed to grab some of the food before it all disappeared again. They weren’t particularly worried that the table would be the cause of the vanishing act.

With a little experimentation, Sweetie Belle swiftly found her new favorite food. It was simply delectable. She chopped it into her hash browns. . . yummy! She dunked it in grape jelly. . . divine! She wrapped it around boiled eggs. . . sublime! She sandwiched it between pieces of black pudding. . . blissful! She sampled it with the baked beans. . . glorious!

Slowly, as she devoured her meal, Sweetie Belle realized she had an audience. Hermione was watching her endeavors with interest and trepidation.

“What?” Sweetie asked her. Then, looking at the plate she had before her, she explained, “Everything’s better with bacon.”

Unable to dispute the logic, Hermione returned to her own breakfast.
When he entered his office first thing in the morning, Albus Dumbledore immediately lost all pretense of being a kindly old grandfather. The wards had not informed him. All defenses seemed to still be in place. Yet, he was not alone as he should have been. A stranger was sitting in the visitor chair, calmly sipping a cup of tea. At Dumbledore’s entry, he even had the audacity to smile welcomingly and gesture for Albus to take his seat behind the desk.

Unhurried, Albus made his way to the indicated seat. The stranger was dressed in a smart brown suit and sported a mismatched pair of expensive two-tone wingtips, one with green highlights and the other with orange. On his hands were a mismatched pair of tight leather gloves, one red the other yellow. This, and other subtle abnormalities, in no way detracted from the fact that he must be a powerful wizard to have bypassed the wards of Hogwarts so completely and undetected.

Upon sitting, Albus reached for his familiar comfort and started the pleasantries. “Lemon drop?” he asked, offering the bowl.

“No, thank you. I am watching my sugar and potion intake,” came the smooth reply; the voice held hints of amusement.

Fluidly, Dumbledore returned the candy dish to its resting spot. “A bit early to be making visitations, isn’t it?”

“I suppose. Yet, with your busy schedule, it felt like it would be the perfect time.”

“I see. And to what reason may I attribute your unsolicited presence?”

“Oh, I’m just here to make small talk.” The visitor put down his tea cup and stretched in his seat slightly. “You know, in a schemer-to-schemer sort of fashion.”

“I see, then there’s nothing in particular you wanted to discuss?”

“Oh, I might have wanted to mention the frailty of prophecies.” The man tsked, “Such delicate things. Sure, you can push and pull on them all you want to no avail, and yet, they can’t take a hit from certain parallel angles. Just one hit in such a manner, let alone three such hits, and they shatter completely.”

Albus frowned; he hoped this was not what it was beginning to sound like.

Unperturbed, the man continued, “Ah well, the plans of mice and men and all that. After all, finding myself presented with unforeseen opportunity, how could I not take steps to stack the deck in my favor?”

Albus’ frown deepened as he motioned for the man to continue.

“But why bore you with the details? Suffice to say, you most unmistakably lost your last war. In fact, you did so poorly that you even left chores for the next generation to clean up after you.”

Albus’ frown graduated into a full born scowl. Yet, he held his silence.

“We both know the time is coming where you must decide. What is more important? The second, third, and fifth chances of those who have abused their power? Or, the first chances of the innocents they will surely slaughter?”

“I don’t think you understand the complexity of the situation.”

“Perhaps, and yet, you no longer understand the simplicity of it.” The stranger lifted his hand as if to snap his fingers. “Sometimes, all it takes is to sit down and honestly ask yourself what you are actually fighting for.”

Suddenly as alone as he had intended, Dumbledore sat back in his chair. No longer were his thoughts of breakfast. A new player had taken to the game board, and the color of his pieces was unknown.
Breakfast passed slowly. The first-years had gotten to the great hall way too early, and since they had nowhere to be or anything in particular to do, they waited for the day to start getting exciting. There was enough time that Ron and Apple Bloom actually had their fill. This also resulted in plenty of time to chat and get to know each other. All the while, Scootaloo quietly napped sitting up.

They were all chattering about their hopes and plans for learning magic when Harry noticed Apple Bloom scrutinizing at a bowl of yogurt.

“What’s wrong?” he asked when he noticed her staring.

“For some reason, Ah have the urge to slather this on Winona, an’ it’s not even raining.”

Even Sweetie Belle looked at her weirdly for that explanation.

Surprisingly, Ginny soon found herself the center of attention. Even though she had expected Harry to be the focal point, the first-years were more intrigued by the girl who had made it to Hogwarts a year early than normal. There were questions on whether she was exceptionally powerful, smart, or just rich and influential. The revelation that she was just there because her core was sufficiently mature so that she might be able to handle the classes was more than a little bit of a letdown for all.

As they talked, the hall steadily filled with other students and the chattering increased. At one point, Professor McGonagall traversed the table to hand out schedules for the coming term. A preliminary inspection revealed that, since the current day was Friday, the Gryffindor first-years were to have double potions right off the bat, a development that both filled Apple Bloom with joy, and caused Ron to pout. Apparently, he had heard stories about potions from his older brothers and was not keen on the idea of the class.

With a path now laid out, the Gryffindor first-years, as a group, returned to their dorms to retrieve their supplies for class. They didn’t go unnoticed by the teaching staff. Apparently, the entire Gryffindor allotment of first-years had already banded together. This could prove to be most interesting and entertaining. If the headmaster had been present he would most likely have had a twinkle in his eyes.
It was very early in the morning at the Ministry when the head warlock put in a surprise visit. Immediately, he all but demanded that an unspeakable be provided to lead him to the hall of prophecy. It took several minutes for one to be located, and Dumbledore was already at the lifts when she arrived.

Down they traveled, and they then traversed the spinning room. Dumbledore hadn’t even slowed as he led his guide to a particular shelf amongst the multitude of prophecies. All around them were spheres, filled with swirling gray mist. Each held a prophecy record collected by the Ministry, each of them a true and unbreakable force.

A lone sphere broke the pattern. The clear sphere did not contain the familiar mist at all. Instead, there was a collection of rainbow-colored dust coating the bottom of the interior.

Dumbledore’s gaze bore into the sphere’s body, an expression of horror clearly gracing his features. So shocking was the sight that his unspeakable guide nearly wet herself in fright.

As the foundation of all his plans lay before him in ruin, Dumbledore felt doubt. He felt worry. He felt fear.
Elsewhere, the sun reclaimed the sky, bringing with it no relief.

Loyalty wept.

Laughter lamented.

Magic agonized.

Kindness floundered.

Honesty denied.

And Generosity despaired.

And yet, friendship never faltered, never wavered, and never admitted defeat.

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