• Published 22nd Sep 2018
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Ponies in Hogwarts - KittyrinnAiko

A pony stranded in the past must go to another dimension and learn the ways of wizards before she can return to her own time.

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Chapter 5: Sausages and ghost balls

As the train rolled down the track, the curious would stop by to see the phoenix, and when the food cart came by, Nova was glad for the distraction. Even if she couldn't touch half the things on it. Nova had found out at the Weasleys that she could not eat chocolate. She’d been horribly sick for several hours, and took three days to recover. The doctor had pronounced it a manifestation of her blood curse. Nova picked out a pile of goodies, mostly tarts. Everything had so much sugar in it, it was nearly too much. Most of what she’d bought went untouched, and she let the others have it. She just wasn’t accustomed to that much sugar.

“You aren’t eating any more?” Daisy asked with a touch of concern.

“It’s too much sugar all at once.” Beatrice offered. Having had extremely thick, or rather strict parents, Beatrice was in much the same boat as Nova. “Beatrice hasn’t seen this much sugary sweats in her entire life.” “Beatrice wouldn't mind some bangers right about now.”

Nova pulled her suitcase out, opened it up, “You don’t mind a leftover banger do you?” She then produced a plate full of bangers from breakfast, took one and handed the plate over to Beatrice. Even cold from the cooler, to Nova it tasted much better then all the sweets combined. “Nothing like a good banger to get a girl going.” Nova offered, and took a bite. She then ripped off a bit and offered it to Phenik.

“Beatrice loves a good banger now and then.”

“You know, I wouldn't mind a banger.” Daisy said taking the plate.

“Oh, can have a banger?” Maggie asked.

“Guys, want a banger?” Daisy asked holding the plate out.”

“It’s not all dried out is it?” Fergus asked.

“Just suck on it a bit.” Daisy offered.

“Never thought I’d be getting a banger on a train,” Newt said taking one.

“Alright, what’s going on in here?” asked a stern looking woman at the door.

“We’re just eating sausages.” Maggie offered.

“Hello, Professor Marchbanks.” Potter offered. “What can we do for you?”

“Somehow you lot have convinced half the train that you’ve got a phoenix in here. Out with it, how’d you do it?”

“But we do have a phoenix. Her name is Phenik.” Beatrice offered. “Miss Moon is feeding her bits of sausage.” Nova held up the gold and red bird for professor Marchbanks to see. On spotting Phenik her eyes opened wide. Phenik was only slightly larger than the average sized chicken but her plumage was far too bright to be taken for anything other than a phoenix.

“Say hello to my little friend.” Nova offered. Phenik bobbed her head up and down, and then turned her focus back to the sausage.

“Alrighty then.” Professor Marchbanks said real slow like. She took a moment to recover. “Well, I guess you do have a phoenix in here. - We’ll be arriving soon. Make sure you have your school robes on by then.” Professor Marchbanks turned and went back in the direction from which she’d come.

“So, where is Beatrice supposed to change?” Beatrice asked.

“I suppose we could just kick the guys out,” Daisy suggested.

“Why don’t we just use the room across the hall.” Nova offered while getting up.

“What room? That’s the other side of the carriage.” Daisy said sounding just a little bit annoyed.

“Wait for it.” Maggie offered as Nova placed her case against the outside wall. A moment later there was a door on the side of the train. This time the door had no stained glass window and was relatively plain. She opened the door to reveal a small room in which were a number of cupboards, built in wardrobes, a day bed with blankets that looked like a golden sunset, two large sturdy chairs done in rich velvety gold, and a window at the far end that looked out onto the passing scenery. The cabinetry was stained and polished in rich shades of golden oak, the carpet looked as though it was a slice out of the sky from a warm summer’s day, and the curtains were the most intricate lace in a golden alabaster color.

Nova walked in and whispered the words, ‘lock configuration’.

Maggie smiled knowingly, got up, and went in.

“Beatrice, Daisy, care to join us?” Nova asked.

“Isn’t that her closet?” Fergus asked Newt in a whisper as Daisy and Beatrice retrieved their robes from their trunks. Maggie already had a robe waiting for her in the closet.

“Oh, I bet she’s configured it so that that’s all anyone will see if they insist on having a look.” Newt whispered back.” “Come on then, let's get our robes out.”

“This is nice,” Daisy said as she walked in. “I have got to get one.” A moment later the door shut behind them.

Cygnus Black and a couple of his cohorts from Slytherin came by about an hour later with their robes on. “Hey, Potter, where are the girls? I thought you’d have at least one with you. They in another compartment?”

“What’s with this door?” One of the other Slytherin’s asked looking at the closet door on the outside wall of the corridor.

“It’s Miss Moon’s closet. That’s her luggage.” Fergus offered. “They went in to change, and still haven't come out.”

“Girls, go figure. - This is Mr Crab and Mr Goyle. They were hoping to see Phenik.” Cygnus offered. “So who all is in there besides Nova?”

“Maggie, Daisy, and another firsty named Beatrice Lulamoon.” Fergus offered.

“I thought the Lulamoon family died out years ago?” Goyle asked. “Powerful dark wizards, but there was too much inbreeding.”

“My guess is her family are descended from the squibs.” Fergus suggested. “From what she’s told us they went full muggle.”

“Aw man, never go full muggle.” The Slytherins chimed.

“She’s kind of messed up, so if she ends up in Slytherin, go easy on her.” Newt cautioned.

“How messed up.” Crab asked.

“Refers to herself in the third person,” Fergus told them. “She seems nice enough though, and Nova seems to like her. Still, though, I can see her going to the dark side.”

“And why not? After all, we have cookies.” Goyle offered. “So is it true, does Nova Moon actually have a pet nightmare as well as a phoenix?”

“Wouldn't she have to be some kind of dark wizard to get a pet Night Mare?” Crab asked.

“Ah, but that’s where you’d be wrong.” Newt offered. “You see, this specific Night Mare, likes kids. All you really have to do is not be afraid of it.”

“That’s it?” Crab asked.

“Hang on, let me see if I’ve got this straight.” Goyle began sounding a bit incredulous. “What you are suggesting is that instead of going into a blind panic on encountering one of those things, just be nice to it?”

“Ya, that seems to be about it.” Fergus offered.

“Blimey.” Crab and Goyle chimed. It went against everything their parents had told them regarding the treatment of magical creatures.

“So what house do you think Miss Moon will be in?” Crab asked.

“To be honest, she could easily go either Slytherin or Gryffindor.” Fergus mused.

“True, but we did try our best to warn her off,” Cygnus informed the other two Slytherins.

“Now why’d you go and do that for? Anyone who can tame a Night Mare belongs in Slytherin.” Goyle protested.

“Because she just wouldn't be a good fit.” Cygnus countered. “She’s a horrid book worm when she’s not in the air. - My bet is she’ll be in Ravenclaw.”

“She made her own broom,” Newt announced.

“She made her own broom?” Goyle asked astounded.

“Sweetest ride I’ve ever been on,” Fergus said wistfully. “Rides like the wind, and can undercut the nimblest snitch.”

“I’d love to see it.” Crab said.

“Except first years can’t bring brooms.” Cygnus reminded them. “Pity that.”

“I would have gladly smuggled it in.” Fergus offered as the door to Nova’s closet opened.

“Gentlemen,” Daisy said with a cold air to her tone.

“Oh lay off would ya, we aren’t even at school yet.” Fergus scolded.

“Oh, that’s a nice closet.” Goyle said looking in. Phenik could be seen sunning herself in the window. “Not having to climb down a ladder is a plus too. My sister is going to be green.”

“She’s a Slytherin, she’s supposed to be green,” Daisy informed him and stepped out into the hall. The girls now had their school robes on. Daisy had the nicest, and Beatrice had the plainest, but none were exceedingly gaudy or shabby.

“And a window, there’s actually a window.” Crab announced. “And I see the phoenix.” Outside the window, the weather had grown rather gray, and Phenik was presently brighter than the sun outside. Or at least it seemed that way.

“Just the closet then is it?” Cygnus asked as Nova exited. Nova had been the last out.

“Just the closet,” Nova replied, closed the door, and folded it back down to a suitcase. She wasn’t exactly telling the truth, but she wasn’t exactly fabricating either. The train whistle gave warning that they were approaching their destination. A moment later a voice echoed through the train informing them they’d be in Hogwarts soon. Nova wondered if she’d even be able to see it in the gathering gloom.

“Not so sure I like the idea of just leaving my suitcase in the train,” Nova responded after the announcement to leave the luggage in the train.

“It’s what they want.” Newt offered. “Maybe they figure it’ll just be more efficient this way.”

“Still, I really need to physically hand it over to someone to prevent the security spell from triggering,” Nova replied.

“Well then bring it with you, and if someone says anything, you can hand it off to them then.” Newt offered as the train began to slow down.

A short time later the train had stopped at what was little more than a platform in what looked to be the middle of nowhere. That or the highlands of Scotland. Nova wasn’t really sure which, or if there was even a difference. She waited along with the others and climbed down onto the platform when instructed to do so. Here, and there, lamps bobbed in the air that reminded her of the little mini lamps she liked to make for dispelling the gloom and anything of draconequus origins.

“You there, you were told to leave your luggage on the train.” Shouted a man in a thick Scottish brogue.

“She needs to hand it off to someone or it’ll eat them,” Fergus explained.

“Ach isn’t that just lovely. Hand it here then lass.” The man instructed. Nova offered it up to him, he turned and walked off with it. A moment later another voice was calling for the first years to gather and follow them.

“Good luck,” Newt said to Nova giving her a hug.

“What about me?” Maggie asked.

“We know you’ll be in Gryffindor.” Daisy offered. “It’s Nova he’s worried about. - Now best get going, you don’t want to be tardy on your first day.”

“Come on Maggie,” Nova said, and the two were off in the direction of the voice while the boys and Daisy went the other way.

“First years, this way.”

“Take hold of my arm,” Nova whispered to Maggie as the first years were led down a steep path in the dark. Nova found she could see just fine, her unique fox pony eyesight transferring to her human form, but poor Maggie was near blind, and could barely see the students, let alone the forest they were going through. What’s more, it had rained recently, and the path was slick.

“I’m glad I’ve got you,” Maggie whispered. They heard a squeak and a thump as someone slipped and fell.

“Beatrice is alright but would appreciate a hand,” Beatrice called in the dark.

“Wait for me,” Nova said, and a couple of moments later she’d returned with Beatrice in tow. They started up again with Nova in the middle supporting the other two.

They made there way around a bend in the path, and by the sound of hushed voices, they knew they were about to see something wonderful.

“That must be it?” Maggie said as the lake had come into view first for Nova, but now they could see a massive black castle, dotted with lights high on a promontory and reflected in the lake ahead of them. It gave Nova the shivers bringing up memories of Queen Moon and everything she went through before finally being ordered by Queen Moon herself to go home. Nova had done more in the few months she’d been in that dimension, then in the rest of her life.

Meanwhile down at the lakeshore the first years were being directed into small boats without any apparent means of propulsion. The students would get in, and the boats would start drifting across the lake. Nova, Beatrice, and Maggie got into a boat sat down, and waited.

“Is it a current do you think?” Beatrice asked as the boat began to move.

“I don’t think...” Nova began while eyeing a tentacle that had come up over the top of the gunwales on the starboard side of the small boat. Nova lunged at it, holding it fast with her hands and took a bite out of it – or at least attempted to. The moment her teeth started to sink in, it jerked loose and vanished into the now extremely inky depths. The other two girls looked on in horror as the momentum of the boats just stopped. “What, I’m hungry.”

“Nova, honestly!?” Maggie scolded. Beatrice busts up laughing.

“Why’d we stop moving?” Asked another first year in another boat. No one knew. Meanwhile, their guide who had no idea what had happened was at a bit of a loss. Not knowing what else to do people just started pulling the boats forward by rowing with their hands. Those that weren’t afraid to put their hands into water that turned their hands noticeably darker.

Maggie, and many of the other girls had no desire to put their hands in that water. There was definitely a watcher in the water. Granted that the watcher was presently cowering in a corner of the lake nursing a fanged bite wound, but it was there.

“So what did it taste like?” Beatrice asked once she’d regained her composure.

“Humm, squid actually. - Raw squid is a Neighpon delicacy.”

“Ya, I think I’ll pass,” Maggie commented.

About a half hour later someone came down to find out what the delay was. Shortly thereafter a small boat was rowed out to the boats so that they might pull them the rest of the way. One by one the boats were pulled into a cave at the base of a cliff, and, the students unloaded onto the gravel shore in a cavern in the face of the cliff. Quite a few needed to be dried out, and many were scattered across the lake as they’d no idea where to go. It all ended up taking the better part of an hour. By the time everyone was unloaded it was quite late.

“Something tells me that was all for show.” Nova offered as they were led out through a tunnel to a grassy area. They walked around to the front of the castle and up the steps where huge oak doors awaited them. Inside was an enormous entry hall. Nova couldn't help but feel the place had been designed by some lord with more money than sense. Who puts a door that big on a castle with no bailey, and have it go right into the main hall. Even Canterlot’s main keep had a bailey, and you had to go through two gates, which required a sharp tight turn to get at the second gate. The first years were directed to a small chamber off the front hall where they were crowded in quite tightly.

“Beatrice is not sure how she feels about this much togetherness,” Beatrice complained. She and most of the others were getting weary and were quite ready for an end to the games.

Professor Griselda Marchbanks walked up to the front, asked for everyone’s attention, welcomed them to Hogwarts, informed them that the opening banquet would be starting momentarily. They would, of course, need to be sorted into their houses first. Once sorted, they were to go to the appropriate house table and wait quietly. There was a brief introduction to the houses, and the instructions regarding the houses being their homes while they were at Hogwarts. Nova got the feeling they were getting an abridged version of a well-practiced speech. From there they were led back out into the entry hall, and through a set of double doors into a grand dining hall filled with worn out impatient people who’d been sitting there for at least an hour if not more.

“Bout time.” Someone said, only to get hushed.

To the human first years the thousands of candles lighting the hall floating in mid-air, and the ceiling that looked as though it continued right on into heaven was perhaps the most amazing thing they’d ever seen, their weariness forgotten. To Nova, it wasn’t that different than the palace of the two sisters, and kind of made her homesick in an odd sort of way. That or she was just hungry. Most likely just hungry. Having read the history of Hogwarts already, she and Maggie already knew about the various bewitchments.

Nova and the others watched as an old bar stool was brought out, set in front of the head table, and brought out an old conical hat that looked like it’d seen better days. They placed the hat on the stool, a rip opened up, and it began to speak. “Oh I’m the sorting hat, I tell you where to go, and I had a date with a pretty blue bonnet an hour ago, so let's get this over with.”

There was stunned silence. Nova let out a stifled laugh, which seemed to echo through the chamber as other students did their best not to laugh. From there the new students were called forward one at a time, the hat placed on their head, and then the hat called out the name. The house would applaud, even cheer in a few cases, and then the new student would go find a seat at their house table.

“Beatrice will be in Slytherin!” Beatrice shouted shortly after having the hat put on her head.

“Fine, go join the Slytherin, see what I care.” the hat retorted. Nova put palm to face. Several Slytherins echoed her motion.

Nova was beginning to get nervous. How exactly did the hat work? Was it reading minds, or just somehow judging character. Was it perhaps simply talking to the new students, and most importantly would it be able to tell she was a pony? Would it tell anyone else?

Maggie was called forward. She put the sorting hat on, sat there for a moment or two, and then the hat called out Gryffindor. The Gryffindor table applauded generously.

Nova continued to wait. There didn’t seem to be any real order or logic to when the names were called, and she was beginning to wonder why she hadn’t been called. She got really nervous when she found herself standing all by herself.

The next name had to be hers, it just had to be. She’d no idea that there was a lot of money riding on which house she’d be in, or that they’d intentionally saved her for last.

“Princess Nova Moon of Eques.”

Oh for harmony’s sake, did they have to throw in the title? The hall had grown deathly silent. Nova gathered up her dignity and walked forward. The hat was lifted up as she sat on the chair. She looked up at the hat as it was lowered on her head, and noticing regularly spaced threads attached to the brim looking as though something had been sewn on at one point in time.

“Well well well, what have we here.” The hat said more in Nova’s mind than her ears.

“Did you perhaps have bells attached to your brim?”

“Were are about to decide your fate, and you are worried about our missing bells? Look… things happen when you get old.”

“You just reminded me of Starswirl’s hats.”

“Starswirl?” The hat’s voice had changed to Celestia, and the next thing Nova knew she was standing on a flat surface in a dark room of indefinite expanse. The floor seemed to be the source of light, and Nova was back to being a pony. It reminded her of the dreamscape but it was something else, not quite a proper dreamscape, but more of a daydream.

“Oh for the sake of the gods, she’s not even human!” Protested a voice.

“Oh stuff it up your pie hole Slytherin.” Said another voice.

“You, you’re a pony. A young alicorn by the looks of you.” Said Celestia’s voice. The image of Celestia appeared a short distance away. Moonie appeared standing next to Nova. “Luna?”

“She’s a simulation.” Nova offered.

“As are we.” Offered another voice. One by one the founders of Hogwarts appeared.

“This could be interesting. I think we let her attend.” Rowena Ravenclaw said.

“Oh, you can’t be serious. I see in her great darkness. She’d be a threat to the school.” Salazar Slytherin cautioned.

“And I see great light in her.” Godric Gryffindor offered.

“I see Loyalty.” Helga Hufflepuff added.

“Tell me, young… young filly. If you are allowed to learn, will you seek power? You could achieve much.” Slytherin asked.

“I am a Princess of Equestria, and have great wealth at my disposal. By accident of birth to be true, but I am none the less already in a position that others look up to and aspire to. What’s more, is I already know a great deal of magic and have achieved quite a lot. I have no need for your kind of power.” Nova informed him as if his offer was a trifle.

“And what of knowledge?” Rowena Ravenclaw asked.

“My thirst for knowledge is insatiable.” Nova offered with a smile.

“And what of your fellow creatures?” Godric Gryffindor asked.

“I can answer for that.” Moonie offered. Nova was perhaps more surprised then the others. Especially being Moonie seldom spoke if ever. Granted this being like a dreamscape Moonie was in her element. “Miss Nova is generous to a fault, kind, honest, she brings hope to others, she has integrity, bravery above and beyond what any her age would be expected of. Often have I seen her rush headlong into danger for the benefit of others. As her protector, she’s made my job difficult.”

“Miss Nova Moon, can you name for me the five elements of harmony?” Celestia asked.

Nova smiled.

“You’re a little behind the times. There are seven elements.” Nova offered. The first is comprised of honesty, strength, and sincerity. The second is comprised of kindness, healing, and compassion. The third is comprised of Laughter, hope, and integrity. The fourth is comprised of generosity, beauty, and honor. The fifth is comprised of loyalty, bravery, and duty. The sixth is magic, sorcery, and respect.”

“Respect?” Salazar scoffed.

“Without respect, your magic will never know its full potential,” Nova informed him.

“You said seven?” Celestia asked.

“Heroic courage and redemption.” Nova offered. “Above these the greatest power you can have is the power of friendship.”

Celestia stomped her hooves in excitement.

“Friendship?” Slytherin scoffed.

“Was it not your friendship that gave birth to Hogwarts?” Nova asked. “How much more have your students achieved since then?”

Salazar Slytherin let out a sigh. “I fear that many have not lived up to our expectations. - I’ll say yes, but not in my house. - If they ever found out, I fear they’d use her for potions.”

Everyone in the hall waited expectantly. When the hat finally spoke the verdict was Gryffindor.

The Gryffindor table erupted in applause and cheers along with applause from many of the other houses. Nova went to the table and found a seat next to Maggie.

“Oi, Nova,” Cygnus called from the Slytherin table. “Did you really bite the squid?”

“OMG – Phrasing!” Someone whispered.

Nova laughed. “I did no such thing.” She replied in a haughty manner and a wink.

“Bite the squid?” asked a girl at the Gryffindor table as laughter erupted over at the Slytherin table.

“There might have been a tentacle that came up over the side of the boat, and I might have grabbed it, and I might have bit it.” Nova offered sheepishly. There was a bit of a delayed reaction followed by uproarious laughter from the people who’d heard what she’d said.

“Students...” called a voice over the din. Despite the long wait and late hour, many had gotten their second wind. Nova looked up to the head table to see an unimposing wizard in plain black robes, conical hat, long gray beard and sported a long thin handlebar mustachio that looked more like feelers then facial hair.

“Who’s that?” Nova asked in a whisper.

“Brutus Scrimgeour senior, the headmaster,” Newt whispered back.

“Welcome to Hogwarts. A hearty welcome back to the returning staff and students, and welcome to the new students after their adventure on the lake.” the headmaster offered. “Despite a few hiccups, it seems most of us have made it. Most of you will find your luggage in your rooms. Some of you will need to see us after dinner concerning the anti-theft spells on your luggage. As a matter of fact, I’m to understand several porters have been eaten.” This news elicited several barely contained laughs throughout the student body. “I had a speech, but owing to the late hour I thought it best to forgo it.” This news generated a considerable amount of enthusiastic applause. “And now without further adieu or delay, let the feast begin.”

More applause erupted, only to be cut short by the appearance of a veritable smorgasbord appearing on the tables. Nova quickly filled her plate with a verity of delightful dishes, and if anyone noticed that certain dishes were avoided altogether, no one said a thing. All the more for them. She and a few others paused only just slightly as a group of silvery individuals entered through the hall. To Nova, they looked more like they were made of clouds then actual people. And perhaps in a way they were indeed made of cloud material.

“Who or what?” Nova asked.

“Oh, those are the school's ghosts. Not all mind you, just an assortment.” Newt offered.

“Oh right, I’ve read about them,” Nova said as one broke away, and glided on over. He looked quite the poof to her, what with the tights, and puffy shorts. He’d even had a collar about his neck that seemed most impractical in its rolled layers of starched linen.

“So, I see the new students finally arrived.” The ghost offered as it drifted right into the center of the table. “Sir Nicholas de Mimsy – Porpington, at your service.”

“Hey Nic, we’ve an actual princess.” one of the boys offered.

“Oh yes, I’d heard something about a princess,” Nicholas said. Nova raised her right hand, he bowed, “Ah, your royal highness.” Old habits kicked in, he reached over as he would have in life to take her hand, and she has been through this same odd ritual herself more times then she cared for, offered her hand up to him. Nicholas took her hand in his and just froze. To Nova, it was like having her hand held by a cloud. Nova reasoned that it was her pegasus magic reacting to him, and didn’t think twice about it. As for Nicholas, it was the first time he’d actually touched anything since his death. What’s more, is he could feel her warmth.

“Good sir, what will people think, you linger so?” Nova asked at length with a blush.

Nicholas blushed. He actually blushed. His face lit up as though a shaft of light from the setting sun had eliminated him, and slowly pulled his hand away.

“What just happened?” Newt asked. The exchange not having gone unnoticed, quite a few people were looking on in something akin to shock.

“I don’t understand?” Nova asked.

“You, he, actually touched.” Fergus offered as though it was a really big deal that confused Nova all the more.

“Oh don’t tell me you two are jealous?” Nova asked. “It was just a cordial greeting. - Even if he did linger a might too long.”

“My most humble apologies, your highness.” Nicholas offered.

“No need hold to formalities, please.” Nova offered. “Miss Nova, or Miss Moon will do. I appreciate it if my friends and classmates just call me Nova.”

“Yes, of course.” Nicholas offered. “It’s just that, I haven't been able to touch anything since I died.”

“Nothing?” Nova asked.

“Nova, he’s a ghost. Ghosts can’t touch anything.” Fergus informed her.

“Nothing?” Nova asked again.

Nothing.” Newt emphasized.

“Hang on.” Nova offered, held her hands as though she was holding a ball, blew into the cup of her hands where a little bit of mist formed as she blew. She then started packing, added a bit more, and packed some more until she’d a little cloud the size of a snowball. “How about this?” She tossed it to Nicholas who out of reflex caught it. His eyes lit up in delight. It’s really easy, it’s simple wand-less magic that doesn’t require any spoken words, pretty much anyone can do. - It’s one of the first spells I ever learned.”

“Did you just seriously make a ghost ball?” one of the boys asked.

“It’s water vapor given form with magic.” Nova offered. “Cup your hands, direct your magic into the center, and think snowball. Blow into it, and pack the vapor.”

“Hey, I did it!” Daisy announced triumphantly.

“What should I do with it?” Nicholas asked. “Can I keep it?”

“It’ll dissipate after a while so I suggest you just have fun with it.” Nova offered. He smiled as a mischievous gleam twinkled in his ghostly eyes.

“Hey, Barron!” Nicholas shouted, took aim, and launched the ghost ball at a ghost over at the Slytherin table. The Barron, a bald apparition wrapped in chain and covered in bright silvery splotches turned just in time to get hit right in the face. The ghostly snowball dribbled down his face, which presently had the most perplexed expression man or ghost ever had. Daisy hurled hers at one of the boys only to have it bust apart in a big poof.

“What… what was that?” The Barron asked. He seemed quite astonished.

“Catch!” Nova said tossing a ghost ball to him.

“Oh, you didn’t just give him one?” Nicholas protested.

“Only fair.” Nova offered. By now several of the Gryffindors had figured out how to do it.

“How are you doing that?” Cygnus asked having snuck over to Nova.

“What exactly am I looking at?” Professor Marchbanks said as she looked out over the student body.

“I’m not entirely sure.” Said the instructor sitting next to her. “It looks like the ghosts are having a snowball fight, and a number of students seem to be providing the snowballs. - Darnedest thing I’ve ever seen.”

“Perhaps they’ll settle down once the dessert is served?” The headmaster offered. “Being the Barron himself is involved, I’m not sure I want to interfere. - I mean, he actually looks like he’s having fun.”

Sure enough, as soon as the desserts were served the students lost interest in making the ghost balls in favor of the delights in front of them.

“Don’t be giving her chocolate!” Maggie scolded as the deserts were being devoured.

“I do so appreciate the offer.” Nova offered apologetically. “I simply can’t touch the stuff.”

“Made her really sick when we treated her to chocolate,” Maggie explained.

“And it was so good too.” Nova offered wistfully. “Which likely only made things worse because I didn’t hold back.”

“So was it worth it?” One of the older girls asked.

Nova leaned back and thought about it. “Totally. - But if I eat any now, I’ll be sick all night, and miss my classes tomorrow and possibly the next.”

“I hear that. - My Name’s Luyif, but you can call me Caydence. I’m the Gryffindor Prefect on the girls' side. Halbert is the Prefect on the boys' side. If you ever need anything, be sure to come to us first.

“Last name’s Armor.” Halbert offered. “My ancestors made armor, that’s where the name came from. - What’s Moon from?”

“My mom raises and lowers the moon every twenty-nine days with one day off.” Nova offered about as deadpan as anyone could be. Armor just looked at her. He could tell when someone was outright lying to him. Even if they were just pulling his leg he’d be able to tell. Miss Nova Moon had just told him the biggest whopper he’d ever heard, and his instincts for the truth was telling him she’d just told him the truth.

“Alrighty then.” Armor said not sure what to think.

Nova just smiled. She liked these two prefects. They also sort of reminded her of her aunt and uncle Shining Armor and Princess Cadence for some reason, but she couldn't quite place her hoof on it.

“Your attention if you please?” Headmaster Scrimgeour called out. Once more he was standing to address the student body. “Before we send you off to your dorms there are a few things we must address. - First off, those of you who have security spells on your luggage you will need to check with your heads of house to see if you need to retrieve your luggage. - And if you’ve an apartment in a trunk you are required to sleep in the beds we’ve provided so that we can do head counts. - Second item. We are in the process of refurbishing an old laboratory on the second floor to be used as a lady's toilet. It’s not quite finished. Some of the stalls are ready for use in desperate need, but the sink doesn’t work as of yet. Don’t go behind the curtain as there is a pitfall, and we won’t go looking for you because no one is willing to go down there. Thirdly, please stay out of the forest on the edge of the grounds. It’s not safe. There are things out there that will eat you. And I’m not talking about wild luggage either.” He had to pause a moment for laughter. “Thank you and have a pleasant evening.”

It’d been a long day, and Nova was actually looking forward to going to bed early. She couldn't help but wonder if her human form was causing her to become diurnal. Just one thing. “Excuse me, Caydence, who’s our head of house? I need to see if there was an issue with my bag.”

“That’d be Professor Marchbanks. She’s right over there.” Caydence offered.

“Hopefully I won’t be but a moment,” Nova said and hurried over to Professor Marchbanks who was presently gathering a small number of Gryffindors who were on a list she had.

“Excuse, Professor, any chance my luggage made it to my room?” Nova asked approaching her.

“One moment...” Professor Marchbanks looked over her list. “You’re not on the list so you should be good. Hurry up, and catch up with Miss Luyif.”

“Thank you,” Nova replied, turned around, and rejoined the first year Gryffindors.

“Do we have everyone that’s coming?” Halbert asked.

“I do believe so.” Caydence offered.

“Alright then, I’ll take the lead. Follow me first years.” Halbert said and escorted the first years out into the grand entry hall, they all following like little ducklings with Caydence bringing up the rear of the train.

They made their way out of the hall into a grand staircase, and up a flight of stairs that moved from one floor to another. Once it had stopped Halbert told everyone to get off as quickly as they could. Moments after Caydence had stepped off, the staircase moved to another floor.

Suddenly an object came hurtling through the air at them. Nova reacting instinctively placed a shield spell between her group and the projectile. It bounced off the shield with a powdery puff of chalk. She then quickly retrieved her wand from her robe pocket so it would at least look like she used the wand to cast the spell.

“Not bad for a first-year student.” Caydence offered. “You’re nearly as good as my Halbert.”

“Nearly, I’d say that was pretty good considering it was an ambush,” Halbert commented. “Peeves, I’m warning you!”

Nova looked about until she spotted a wire trash bin full of blackboard erasers hanging over the stairwell. “Ten O: clock, about twenty paces out,” Nova said softly.

“Can’t see anything in the dark, and he’s likely invisible,” Halbert said in a growl. “How are you even able to see anything.”

“I’ve an idea.” She put her wand away. “Everyone who can manage a ghost ball, get one ready. I’ll throw in the direction I think I see who or whatever this Peeves is, and everyone else aims for that area.”

“And your shield?” Halbert asked.

“It’ll hold long enough.”

“It might just work.” Caydence offered as she balled up a ghost ball.

“Ready?” Nova asked. When everyone was ready, Nova rushed ahead and cast that magic missile right at the poltergeist. Unlike the others, she could make out the faint aura created by the convergence of energy that made Peeves what he was. It was a direct hit, followed by a half dozen more of the ghost balls. Counting Nova’s only four had hit, but it was enough for Halbert to spot where Peeves was hiding. Quick as a wink before Peeves could move he cast a spell trapping Peeves in a sphere. Unfortunately, the results weren’t quite what Halbert had hoped for.

“Look out little firsties, here I come!” Peeves shouted. He no longer cared if he could be seen or not and started rolling the sphere like a giant hamster ball. The only saving grace is he was having difficulty keeping on target and started to drift towards the wall. It looked like with luck Peeves would hit the wall, maybe do some damage to the painting, but hopefully, bounce off in the other direction… Everyone readied to flatten to dodge the ball.

Everything seemed to happen in slow motion, the ball approached the painting, the hind end of a night mare came out, the basket of erasers exploding in dust turning the insides of the ball a chalky white, the ball shot out over the stairwell, dropped into it like a pinball bouncing off banisters and stairs. On a few bounces, moving stairs would even send him flying right back up again. With each bounce, Peeves would let out a squawk followed by a stream of curses. What’s more is the lights were set to light up every time they sensed movement, it truly did give the whole spectacle the look of a massive pinball machine.

“You know I almost feel sorry for Peeves,” Caydence commented as she looked over the railing.

“Can’t say he hasn’t had it coming.” Halbert offered, a wicked grin on his face.

Nova looked back and forth at the bouncing ball ricocheting back and forth up and down in the stairwell, and Moonie who was poking her head out of the painting like it was just an ordinary window. Nova went to her and gave her head a hug.

“You know that apparition?” Halbert asked.

“Ya, that’s Nova’s Moonie.” Maggie replied with a big smile on her face.

“Be a cold day in Tartarus before anypony out ambushes me,” Moonie whispered to Nova.

“So, you have a pet Night Mare?” Caydence asked as they continued on.

From the stairwell, they went down a hall, through a secret passage, and into another hall where they approached a painting of a large woman in a pink dress who asked for a password. Nova had noticed the paintings with people and animals moving about. She’d grown accustomed to the paintings at the Weasley Abbey, though a painting she was sure had to be Celestia bed down with pegasi foals made her horribly homesick.

“Sweet flower, upon the canvas sublime, where never comes the blight of time.” Halbert offered.

“Sweet talker. You may pass.” The fat lady said, and the painting swung open to allow egress into the Gryffindor common room. Inside were a number of chairs, some bookshelves, and a fireplace. Nearly everything was upholstered in red and gold, the rug was red and gold, and the draperies were red and gold.

“Is this a schoolhouse, or a sports team?” one of the new girls asked.

“A little of both I think.” Nova offered as the girls were separated from the boys. The girls went up one flight of stairs, and the boys another.

Nova was getting rather weary of stairs, especially being it would have been so much faster if she could have just flown up. Her shared room also just happened to be at the top of Gryffindor tower.

“That looks like an awfully small suitcase.” One of the girls who’d be sharing the room with Nova and Maggie commented. She looked like she wasn’t too sure about this princess, but if she was placed in Gryffindor, well then she must be alright.

“It’s big...” Maggie let out a big yawn. “bigger on the inside.”

“But it’s so small.”

“Things you never say to a boy. - Hi, the name’s Nighy, Ruth Nighy. My father is an officer in the Dragoons. Looks like we’ll be bunkmates.” Ruth was a dark haired girl with brown eyes. Nova couldn't help but think she’d be pretty if only she was a pony.

“Your father is a dragon?” Nova asked figuring she just wasn’t hearing right. “I’ve a brother who’s a dragon.”

“Not dragon, Dragoon. You’ve a brother in the Dragoons?”

“Um, ya, he’s in the Dragoons… can’t really tell you much about what he does though.” Nova offered. She didn’t have a clue what a Dragoon was, so decided to fold out her suitcase to its trunk configuration. “Oh, and this sleepyhead is Maggie Weasley. Her family have been my sponsors while I’m in England.”

“Hi.” Maggie said as she pulled out a flannel nightgown. “Nova, it looks like they only have the one bath for all the girls, let's use one of yours.”

“One of? - Name’s Florence Portendoffer.”

“That’s an interesting name.” Nova said trying to figure out what ‘port end offer’ could pertain to. She opened up the trunk, and Maddie stepped down into it. A moment later Phenik and Owldrey flew out, landed on the bed, and looked at Nova expectantly. “Alright, alright. - Sorry, I have to feed them.” Nova's statement was followed by her going down the steps into the depths of the trunk.

“Oh wow, your apartment is huge,” Florance called. The Phoenix clinched it, despite having a Night Mare as a pet, she also had a phoenix, and apparently an owl as well. “Might I use one of your baths?”

“Use the one in that suite, clean up after yourself, and let's keep this quiet. I don’t want the whole dorm in here.” Nova called.

“Suite?” Ruth asked, and looked down. “Oh, my word. She’s got a whole palace in there. - And her own park to boot!”

“So what is a Dragoon anyway?” Florance asked.

“Her Majesties army, he’s an officer in a horse regiment known as Dragoons.”

“Is that a Muggle thing?”

“Mom and dad are magical.” Ruth offered quickly. “Truth is they were poor as church mice in the wizarding world, so dad got himself a commission in the muggle army. He’s even got a couple Aurors on staff because they never know when they might run into something the muggle troupes can’t handle.”

“I had no idea that sort of stuff went on.” Florance offered. She then grabbed a few things out of her trunk and went down into Nova’s trunk. Ruth followed shortly after. “Isn’t that sort of thing against the secrecy accords though?”

“Do you think wizards in places like Africa, the Philippines, or India give a rat’s patooty about the secrecy accords?”

“Africa? The Philippines? India? I must confess I’ve never even heard of those places. - Is it really that bad?”

“And I never even knew about Eques until Princess Nova showed up. - I swear the Ministry of magic is keeping us blind to the outside world, and it’ll lead to disaster, mark my words. There’ll be some big blow up, and we’ll get drug into it not having a clue what happened.”

“I fear you may be right. I mean look at this place. It’s enormous. She’s got a whole palace in a suitcase. I’d no idea magic on this scale was even possible.”

“How’s everyone doing in here?” Caydence asked as she came up the steps. “Must have missed them.” Caydence turned around and went back down the steps. “Has anyone seen Ruth, Florence, Maggie, or Miss Nova?”

“I’ve looked everywhere. - I can’t find them?” Caydence informed Professor Marchbanks yet again.

“Well the Fat Lady said no one has been in or out so what say we have another look in their room.” Griselda offered in a calm voice as they climbed the stairs. Sure enough, everyone was in bed, to include a sleeping Phoenix curled up on top of Nova looking like a chicken on a nest. A chicken that glowed like a night light. From a nearby painting a night mare watches. “They’re in their beds, sound asleep. What say we do the same.”

That night Nova dreamed of exploring the portraits with Luna.

Author's Note:

Just a few notes. I'm trying to use canon characters as much as possible. Downside is the information available suggest that JKR's notes and back stories are no where near the same level as JRT. This is both good and bad. I've used Brutus Scrimgeor Senior as the headmaster for no other reason then Brutus Scrimgeour is listed as the head master of Hogwarts prior to Phineus Nigellus Black in at least one list I've looked at. I had thought to use Black as there are some definite dates for him concerning birth and death, but in 1903 Phineus Black would have been 57. A might bit young for a head master by my thinking. Armando Dippet comes before Dumbledore, Sometime after 1925 to between 1965 and 1971. Scrimgeour has no date of birth being given, but died sometime around 1994. Professor Mordicus Egg was also a headmaster at some point, but there is little concrete to no information regarding when he was headmaster except that he was at Hogwarts in 1993. There are several former headmasters for which there is only a smattering of info, with no dates as to when they were the headmaster until Eupraxia Mole in 1876. One possibility that struck me was that many of these individuals may well have had access to the elixir from the Philosophers stone. Subsequently I decided to play it safe and just name my head master Brutus Scrimgeour Senior.

As to my approach to introducing my OC to the world of Harry potter, well that should be obvious by now. I get to play fast and loose with canon. It's 1903, yes there is a certain amount of animosity and distrust of muggle born, but the houses get along with each other. I get to throw in characters that weren't in the books, and have things happen that didn't happen in the books. The deterioration of trust between houses and general ill feelings towards Slytheren House in Harry Potter's time following two wizard wars is going to be that much more jarring to Nova as well.

One more thing, keeping in mind that nothing is to be taken too seriously, expect Nova's palace to get bigger. ;)

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