• 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 88: Restaurants Registration and Ranting

Something was not quite right with the hustle and bustle of the holiday rush in Diagon Alley. Barnaby had anticipated huge crowds with sharp elbows; despite the tinsel and fairy lights, he had often found that the holiday spirit tended to be confined to bottles at 120 proof. This year, however, it was not just the children who strolled about in wide-eyed wonder. Shoppers in sensible robes were far outnumbered by those in woolen pants and balloon-like jackets. Surely, things couldn't have changed so drastically in the weeks he'd been away. He could hardly wait to inquire when he took his turn at the apothecary's counter.

“Hello sir, how may I help you?” the witch behind the counter mumbled as she struggled to keep her eyes open.

“I need three dozen pepper-ups,” Barnaby said.

“Three dozen?” the witch asked as her eyes popped wide open. "You know, we don't recommend taking more than two per month. You should have plenty of time to come back for more after you finish the second semester of what I assume is your N.E.W.T. year."

Distracted by the crowd milling about outside, Barnaby replied without thinking. "Actually, I want to make the most of what's left of my winter break."

“You want to use three dozen pepper-ups in a week’s time?” The apothecary employee gaped. “Are you planning to spend your holidays in St. Mungo’s?”

Barnaby blinked. “No, I just plan on being very active.”

“You can have seven doses,” the witch said with finality. “I’d be a fool to sell you any more than that.”

“But . . .”

“That’s final.” The witch cut him off. “I don’t know what’s gotten into your fool head, but I’ll have no part of it.”

“Is that any way to talk to a customer? They're perfectly harmless when you're a little horse!” Barnaby snapped.

“Yes,” the witch said, unimpressed. "I'm not about to help any customer of mine turn their insides into haggis.”

Barnaby sighed. “Okay, seven then.” He paused to look out the window again. “Why are there so many people in the alley today?”

It was the witch’s turn to sigh. “Have you been living under a rock?”

“I’ve been sequestered since the winter break started,” Barnaby admitted. “This is my first chance to get to the alley.”

“I suppose you don’t know that the Statute of Secrecy has fallen then,” the witch said, using her wand to summon his order.

“What?” Barnaby exclaimed.

“I’ll take that as a 'no',” the witch said, packing seven bottles. “All the extra custom is from muggleborns and their families. The Ministry has released all the bindings on magicals who had forgone going to Hogwarts when they got their letters. In fact, they are coming in here to get potion kits for the upcoming semester. Everything’s already being paid for by the muggle government. I just have to keep a tally.”

“They’re just throwing a literal army of muggleborns into classes already underway?” Barnaby asked incredulously.

“Nah, they’re starting new classes for them. Bunch of new professors at the school and all.” The witch took Barnaby’s money. “There’s going to be a special session to catch everyone up with those already studying. They are rushing things in my opinion.”

“May I use your floo to make a call?” Barnaby asked.

“Five knuts,” the witch replied.

“Thank you.” Barnaby collected his change and purchase before making a beeline for the shop’s fireplace.

The maze of administrative paperwork in Professor McGonagall's office was both literal and figurative. The papers were in stacks taller than the witch herself. With Professor Dumbledore otherwise occupied, it fell on her alone to process every single sheet. With the new semester starting in little more than a week, she could not break away to lead the planning for the influx of new students.

To her relief, Filius had volunteered to take on that burden as he and the rest of the faculty hammered together a working plan. The process had been streamlined through the use of the microcomputer that the new muggle studies professor had brought along. Fortunately, his predecessor had directed him to commandeer the Gryffindor common room, where he could borrow the power supply and the protective charms to allow the electronics to function.

McGonagall had been amazed at the ease with which organization and scheduling could be done with the device. The others had been quick to point out that it could be adapted to ease both her current burden and the mundane tasks of the headmaster. However, there was simply not enough time for her to hunt through the jumble of little lettered buttons. Besides, the blue screen with white characters always seemed to crop up at the most inopportune moments.

Inopportune was the best description for all of the interruptions that plagued her. It seemed that every few minutes, the floo would flare with a call from a bombastic Ministry member or a frantic parent or an unctuous salesperson. She still couldn't believe anyone would buy a timeshare by the shores of Lake Titicaca. She sighed as the flames turned green once more.

“Professor McGonagall?” came the voice of a young man.

Looking up, Professor McGonagall assessed her newest disruption. “Yes Mr. Lee?” she said, maintaining her stern persona.

“Professor, I heard, that you were preparing for new students to arrive with the new term,” Barnaby said. “A mid-year admittance?”

“You heard correctly,” Professor McGonagall said. “As such, I have little time to converse. Please come to the point; I have a backlog of responsibilities to attend.”

“I’d like to enroll my daughter,” Barnaby said. “I hope it’s not too late to do that.”

“Your what?” McGonagall deadpanned.

“My daughter,” Barnaby repeated. “Stepdaughter, actually.”

There was a small pause before McGonagall replied, “Congratulations on your nuptials. I must say this comes as a complete surprise.”

“It was a bit of a revelation to me as well,” Barnaby said.

“How . . .” Professor McGonagall stopped to reconsider her words. “In what way?”

“Turns out that magic recognizes a marriage if you become particularly close to a pony,” Barnaby said.

The professor raised an eyebrow. “How close?”

“Close enough to be husband and wife.”

“Ah,” Professor McGonagall said. “Your files have probably automatically updated, then. I don’t have time to check right now, though. What is the name of our newest student?”


“We shall be expecting Miss Shine to come the start of the next semester, then. You will have to buy her supplies yourself, since the muggle government is only paying for their own citizens.”

“Actually, 'Berryshine' is one word,” Barnaby said. “If she must have a family name, then I suppose Lee will have to do.”

“You adopted her, then?”

“Not yet, but now that you mentioned it, I suppose that would only be proper.”

“I see.” McGonagall turned her attention back to her paperwork. “Will that be all?”

“Yes, Professor. Thank you for your time.”

“You are welcome. I shall see you when the term starts then, Mr. Lee.”

There was no better example of a Chinese fire drill than the scene in Won Hung Lo's. It had started innocuously enough when what appeared to be a mob of pre-teens asked to be seated. Finding no adult among the fourteen, the hostess had insisted that they pay in advance. After the group had perused the menu, a polite girl among them had ordered three tables of the special banquet package and handed the hostess a sheaf of bullseyes. The waitress had raised an eyebrow both at the group's unexpected wealth and their unexpected appetite; they had requested twice the normal amount for a group their size.

The fun had really started when Mr. Lo himself recognized the red bird perched on the shoulder of the polite girl. Eager for the luck that the creature was bound to bring, he had decided to serve them personally. To his dismay, the cook had informed him that the special ingredients needed were still on a slow boat from China. Embarrassed, he had delivered the bad news to the children along with a platter of cold char siu.

To his relief, the girl with the harmony bird had smiled brightly and asked him to simply do his best. He could have sworn that the red headed twins had nearly bitten the bird's head off when they inhaled the peace offering. It was then that he had noticed that three of the girls had unusually vibrant hair. The pieces of the puzzle had fallen into place; these customers were the special ones that had been dominating the airwaves. He had realized that the simple request had been a challenge; he had sworn he would prove himself worthy of their custom.

What had followed was a parade of dishes worthy of an emperor. It had truly been a wonder to watch the group enjoying their meal. To be more accurate, a dozen children had been competing for scraps while the red headed twins inhaled everything he had brought to the table. Two things had become patently obvious. First, there had been good reason for the double-sized order. Second, he would have to break from tradition and serve the dozen a little something individually, lest they starve.

The situation had gone to pot when a white owl had flown in from nowhere.

“Hedwig.” Harry had said, abandoning his attempts to skewer his noodles with his chopsticks. “No letter, I see. You must be here for something to eat. Sorry, no bacon, but you have got to try the shitake mushroom with oyster sauce.”

“Bark!” Hedwig had reprimanded.

“I think she has somebody in her pouch,” Parvati had said.

“Ron, leave some of that for the rest of us,” Hermione had ordered.


“That was not an invite for you to finish off the platter, Apple Bloom,” Scootaloo had scolded.

“Just a sec, I’ll check,” Harry had said, placing his wand on Hedwig’s pouch. “Ex dimittere.”

The noisy restaurant had gone dead silent as the ultimate gastronomic criticism had rattled the doors and windows. The other patrons had gathered around in morbid curiosity. Mr. Lo waded through the crowd carrying a stack of towels.

Disgust transformed into wonder when, instead of the expected mess, two figures from myth and legend appeared. The first was a proud white unicorn stallion with blue mane and tail. The second was a pink, winged unicorn mare. Both were clad in crystal barding, sparkling like diamonds.

“Are you foals all right?” Shining demanded as Cadance levitated a medallion and touched it with her horn.

“Why wouldn’t we be?” Sweetie asked innocently.

In a flash of light, the crowd was moved away from the table as if by unseen hands. Four ponies appeared in the space they had vacated. Twilight stood with horn glowing menacingly as she scanned for threats. Rarity was at the opposite side of the perimeter, clad in silver chainmail whose elegance stood in stark contrast to the lethality of the artfully arranged assortment of silver maces, daggers and swords that danced around in her levitation field. At another point on the compass, Applejack stood, twirling a simple lasso over her head. On the perimeter opposite her, Rainbow hovered, posing dramatically with her weapon of choice.

“Hey, that’s my net caster!” Dean told Rainbow.

“We’re going to need two more orders,” Luna Lovegood said to Mr. Lo.

The crowd was pushed even further away when a peal of thunder reverberated in the room. Robe-clad adults appeared, with most brandishing wands.

"Better make it four," Ron added. "We'll need another table, too. Can you bring more stuffed crab claws while you're at it?"

“I swear, you'd better share those,” Lavender threatened. “I haven’t gotten to try one yet.”

“What do you foals think you were doing?” Rarity roared as her weapons danced a graceful ballet. “Picking fights with werewolves!”

“It was only one,” Neville corrected.

“And that was over an hour ago,” Sweetie added.

“You didn’t leave one for us?”

“Rainbow!” Emma exclaimed.

“I’m just saying. We got all worked up. The least they could have done is let us have some fun.”

“Y’all are so grounded.” Applejack said around her lasso.

“Of all of the irresponsible stunts you could have possibly pulled!” Andi shrieked.

“Are you going to stop eating while they yell at us?” Seamus asked Apple Bloom.

After swallowing, Apple Bloom said. “Nah, they might decide ta send us ta bed without supper.”

“You’ve already had enough for a decent supper,” Hermione deadpanned.

From around a mouthful of longevity noodles, Ron said, "Nah, this is just a light snack."

Abigail grumbled, "Now you know how we feel."

“Situation normal,” Shining said, addressing Cadance. “Mind sending the all clear to our reserves?” Cadance nodded and touched the medallion with her horn a second time. She and Shining jumped, startled, when a sound of thunder erupted.

“Bill!” Ginny leapt from her seat to greet one of the newest arrivals only to halt as the assault began.


“You know,” Applejack whispered to Rarity. “Ah was getting ready to lay into the foals, but Ah think Ah’ll jus’ let her handle this.”

“She is rather good,” Rarity agreed.


Elisa shot Twilight a questioning look.

Twilight shrugged. “I got it from the knight bus. That thing is a nightmare.”


George looked over the snowy eaves of the farmhouse and counted. “There are only six of them. Minor is missing.”

“You do know that unicorns aren’t supposed to be that good at climbing?” Open Secret called up from below.

Fred looked over the edge as well. “Maybe we should have stayed in the trunk, boring or not.”

George answered. “Well, we are definitely not bored now.”

“Come down here and we’ll make sure your even less bored.” Sad Smile offered.

“I say we burn that book when we get back.” Fred suggested.

“Which book is that?” Minor asked from behind them, hovering on a broom.

“Yipe!” the twins called out in stereo as they leapt forward into a perfectly synchronized reverse flying one and a half somersault free, with negative points for style and execution. A sextet of eager earth pony fillies proved to be much more forgiving than the frozen, hard-packed ground.


Remus waved down a waitress. “Could you bring us all some sake? We’ve had a right proper scare and I dare say some of us are going to need a bottle or two.”

The waitress frowned. "No sake. Have my jow -- Chinese, better than sake."

Sirius added, "Can you also bring something stronger?"

The waitress nodded. "Two bottle my jow, two shot oom lang yick."

“I’m back,” Barnaby said unnecessarily after the owl’s pouch regurgitated him.

“Welcome back,” Carrot called back. “Did you get the potions you were after?”

“They would only let me buy seven.” Barnaby sighed. “They said too many in a short time could be harmful.”

“So . . . bedroom?” Berry Punch asked.

“Not quite yet.” Barnaby shook his head. “I need to take Berryshine shopping to get her school supplies.”

“She doesn’t need anything else,” Cheerilee countered.

“I just found out that they are having open enrollment for Hogwarts,” Barnaby said. “When I go back, after winter break, Berryshine is coming with.”

“She is?” Berry Punch narrowed her eyes.

“With your permission,” Barnaby hastily added. "They will teach her the magic that I have been learning."

“Wait,” Carrot said. “You’re planning on going back to school?”

“Of course,” Barnaby replied. “Why wouldn’t I? It is my last semester.”

“You don’t think we can’t support you between the three of us?” Carrot asked, hurt.

“Huh?” Barnaby asked intelligently.

“What she’s saying is that there are sure to be a lot of foals in our future,” Cheerilee said diplomatically. “You don’t need a job; we’ll bring in enough for everypony.”

“While we’re not rich, there is a substantial amount in the Lee family vault,” Barnaby said. “Money really isn’t a major worry, but I don't want to abandon my education.”

“It is our responsibility to see to your needs,” Cheerilee stated. “But I can understand that you want to finish what you started. It’s just that we don’t want to have to wait months to see you.”

“I’m an adult; I can leave campus whenever I like. I just have to be there for classes,” Barnaby said. “As her father, I can even bring Berryshine home for the weekends.”

“But,” Carrot started.

“Okay,” Berry Punch interrupted. “It is a blow to our egos, but we need to remember that humans act differently than ponies. We don’t like it, but we need to take the good with the bad.”

“But.” Carrot tried again.

Cheerilee sighed. “You’re right. As much as I hate to say it, it wouldn’t be fair to have him drop out just as he’s about to finish his schooling.”

“But,” Carrot interjected.

“And there is the added bonus of him looking after Berryshine,” Berry Punch thoughtfully added. “That is, if she wants to go.”


“We need to compromise here, Carrot,” Cheerilee said. “Our stallion wants to complete his schooling, and it’s not too much to ask.”


Barnaby said, "I want our daughter to have the best of both worlds."

“All right.” Carrot relented.

“Let me go find Berryshine; then, we can all go shopping together.” Berry Punch said.


“Thank you,” Sirius told Mr. Lo who had brought another round of oom lang yick with my jow chasers. “When we’re done here, just let me know how much business you’ve lost, and I’ll reimburse you.”

“You are too kind,” Mr. Lo said. “I have to ask though, is she using magic? How long can she keep this up?”

“It’s a natural talent,” Mr. Weasley said. “We may be here a while though; I’ve never seen her this angry before.”

“These stuffed crab claws are great.” Rainbow said. “We’ll take another order.”

“Looks like they finally caught your brothers.” Dainty Lace said to Percy after watching the earth pony fillies carry their prizes down the street towards Sugarcube Corner. Two fillies carried each twin tied upside down on a pole slung over their withers.

“They said they were spending the rest of their vacation in their trunk,” Percy said. “I guess they got bored.”

“They’re not bored now,” Gracious Tact said. “I guess that’s a plus.”

“They know better than letting things go too far,” Percy said. “They should be fine.”

“Ah, youth,” Dainty said. “Remember when we were just like them? It seems like it was just yesterday.”

“You mean just last month,” Bristle said. “They are only a year younger than ooooof!” She was cut off when a brown blur collided with her side and bounced off.

“Button Mash, you’re supposed to be practicing in the field,” Dainty scolded.

Button Mash apologized. “Sorry, it got away from me again.”


“Do you think she’ll let us have a turn?” Mrs. Thomas asked.

“Do you really need a turn after this?” Ted asked.

“YES!” said every woman in the restaurant, including the waitress.

In the moderately-sized soundstage, the host looked into the camera, smiling. “And next, the guest you have all been waiting for. I am proud to say this is her first personal appearance on any show. Please welcome Lyra Heartstrings, the pony ambassador.”

A lithe woman wearing her short teal and white hair in a shaggy bob cut walked on stage waving energetically at the audience who, in turn, applauded and sent wolf whistles her way. The pantsuit that she wore exuded both the gravitas of her office and the sensuality of her form. Its colors subtly shifted between shades of gray and pastel teal as she moved, drawing attention to every curve. The host left his position behind his desk to administer a welcoming hug before ushering the new celebrity to her chair.

“I must confess,” The host said, taking his own seat behind the desk. “I find that I am somewhat disappointed that you chose to come in your human form. I think everyone was looking forward to seeing you as a pony.”

“That’s easy enough to fix,” Lyra said, her form melting as she satisfied the crowd’s curiosity. “Tada!”

The audience roared in approval.

“Talk about a wonder to behold.” The host smiled as he saw his ratings skyrocket. “I saw it and I’m still having a hard time believing it.”

“It does take some getting used to,” Lyra admitted.

“I can only imagine,” the host said. “Where to begin? Here I have a visitor from another dimension and I have so many questions I hardly know where to start.” He paused before saying. “Let’s talk about the incident that just occurred in Marlborough. Several young ponies ambushed and captured a werewolf, of all things. What can you tell us about that? Did they need a hunting license? Were any of them seriously hurt? Who was the little girl with them?”

Lyra frowned. “Those were the Cutie Mark Crusaders. My son is one of them. To be honest, I almost called off this little talk when I heard the news, but Bon Bon talked me into coming anyway. I’m afraid I don’t have any current news, but responsible ponies are with them to deal with any injuries.”

“You almost called off your appearance? I take it that werewolf hunting isn’t a common pastime for pony kids?”

"Kids are young goats, and no, we ponies teach our children to stay away from dangerous animals," Lyra said bitterly. “I have no idea what they were thinking, but I plan to find out.”

“It’s good to hear that this is not something you encourage.”

Lyra sighed. " You can bet your last bit that anything you hear them doing is something abnormal. They are children, very curious, very intelligent children with an underdeveloped sense of danger. Rest assured, their parents and guardians are doing their utmost to instill more sense into them."


“This is beef? Isn’t it?” Bon Bon pushed away the offered platter. “If it’s all the same to you, I’ll stick with the pork, duck, chicken, and fish. I don’t care how good it tastes.”

“You do know the cows here aren’t sapient,” Twilight said.

“I don’t care,” Bon Bon affirmed. “I have to look Jessibelle in the eye when she comes in to buy her weekly treats.”

Despite having his muzzle taped shut, Fenrir managed an eerie howl with every strip of tape that was ripped from his body. The adhesive took more fur than it left behind, making it look like he was suffering from a case of severe mange coupled with alopecia.

Amelia gritted her teeth and said, “I suppose I should read off the list of crimes we are holding you for, but somehow, I don’t think you’ll be paying me much mind. Your case file is a quire thick just for the murders. It’s due time for you to pay the piper.”

Another strip of tape was removed, causing the wolf to flop painfully on the examination table.

“Can he understand you in that form?” the healer asked. “For that matter, how is he transformed? The moon is nowhere near full.”

“That’s one of the questions I plan to ask him once I can get some veritaserum down his throat,” Amelia stated, tapping a thick folder she was holding. “Though, all things considered, it would be best if I hold off confronting him with all these charges.

The auror reached for another segment to yank. “He sure is an ugly git, under all this tape. Don’t you think?”

Amelia admonished. “There is no call to be unprofessional.”

The wolf in the room made a whining sound.

“Did he just say ‘whale’?” Amelia asked.

“He’s a wolf. I don’t think he’s capable of saying that, especially with his mouth taped shut,” the healer said. When questioned later, he would swear that the wolf did not laugh.

The wolf looked at Amelia and repeated the sound.

The auror cocked his head. "I think he's commenting on your marital status." He, too, would swear the wolf did not laugh.

The wolf looked at Amelia and repeated the sound, but more slowly, as if enunciating.

“Why don’t you take a break?” Amelia said. “Your arm has got to be getting tired. I can pull off a few strips while you rest.”


“You might want to rein her in, Arthur.” Remus suggested. “We did want to take the children to be checked by a healer just to be on the safe side, and we'll have to deal with the graveyard shift before long.”

Applejack disagreed. “Ah’d think it would be more prudent like to let her get this off her chest.”

“Someone cast some stinging hexes. It looks like some of the children are starting to drift off. That will only make her madder,” Elisa advised.

The door to Sugarcube Corner opened. Everypony saw red as a familiar stallion entered.

“Hiya Big Mac!” Pinkie called from behind the counter.

“Howdy,” Big Mac said as he crossed the shop and closed in on a cluster of smaller ponies. Almost lazily, he lowered his head and grabbed two tails in his mouth. “Say goodnight,” he said as he lifted two young unicorns out of reach of their admirers.

“Looks like it’s time to go,” Fred said to the gathered fillies.

“Thanks for all of the sweets and your sweet company,” George added.

“Bye, Fred. Bye George,” Dull Roar said.

“We’ll see you tomorrow, right?” Soft Rock asked.

“We really like you,” Icy Hot added.

“And we’re still holding out for snuggles,” Minor Miracle informed them.

“Bye,” Big Mac said as he trotted out of the bakery with two colts dangling from his mouth.

There were a couple minutes of silence before Fred spoke up. “Girl ponies are aggressive.”

“How is it you’re not married yet?” George asked.

Big Mac chuckled.

A few more minutes went by in silence.

“You can let us down now,” George said.


“Okay, color me impressed,” Andi said.

“Meh, she started repeating herself about an hour ago,” Rainbow countered.

“We really need to cut this short; I think they want to close the restaurant,” Sirius observed.

"Are you sure she's all right?" asked Dan. "It looks like she might blow a blood vessel."

"She'll be fine," replied Arthur. "At worst, she'll be a little hoarse."

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