• Published 17th Jan 2019
  • 3,664 Views, 116 Comments

Harry Potter and the Equestrian Elegy - Maelaeran



The Battle for Hogwarts ends in catastrophe and Harry finds himself in a whole new world and in a new...body?

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Chapter 1 - Millennial Grudges

Chapter 1 – Millennial Grudges

“Ugh...bloody hell.” moaned Harry. As he returned to consciousness, any lingering aches that he still had, quickly faded away and his vision swam into view. There was a bone-deep weariness that tempted Harry to just sink into the welcome embrace of sleep. It was a familiar calling and one that he shrugged off with force of will, mainly through habit than any particular pressing reason.

Of course that was when another sense decided to kick in.

Harry hissed out a long note of pain as the business end of an ice pick decided to get intimate with his brain. There was something in the air that was pressing down all around him, a tingling sensation that he remembered feeling in areas such as Hogwarts or Diagon Alley.

Amplified a thousand times over.

His eyes were clamped shut as his head throbbed with the sudden explosive addition to his senses, but after a couple of minutes, the sharp pain in his skull diminished to a dull throbbing before fading away as he apparently adjusted to...

...Wherever he was.

Tentatively exploring his...well, calling it a new sense seemed a tad disingenuous, but perhaps saying it was...enhanced? Yes, his enhanced senses quested out into the world feeling out how much more weight the air seemed to have and the odd currents of what he thought was pure magic that saturated it. The air had an oppressive and dark feeling to it that was wreathed with something that Harry associated with death.

'Always a good sign.' he thought. In a way, he was somewhat grateful that he was placed in such a familiar situation as it helped to distract him.

Harry was lying down on something cold and clammy to the touch – stone, he thought. There was light filtering in from somewhere and even though it wasn't much, everything was clear to him as if he were in broad daylight.

Clop. Clop.

Harry froze at the odd sound as he pulled himself off the ground with his hands, unsure as to where it exactly came from. Definitely somewhere close though as he cautiously swiveled his eyes around and noticing for the first time that there seemed to be something in the centre of his visual field.

Lifting a hand to his face, Harry's eyes locked onto the limb that he was moving that was most assuredly not a hand.

“What.”

Where digits and skin should be, there was what Harry could only call as a hoof that gave way to a dark silvery fur as it traveled up the limb. The hoof was a deep glossy black that gave off a dull shine from what little light was in the area. Baffled, he gently tapped the...his hoof onto the floor.

Clop.

What.

Harry twisted his head and looked at what he suspected but only just now confirmed: A dark-silvery furred and distinctly equine body met his gaze, along with two rather desiccated looking appendages hanging off to the side.

Point Me: Mirror.” he muttered absently.

It was a reflexive action borne of the Great Prank War in the Boys' Dorm in Gryffindor in his third year at Hogwarts. Confident in the wards that...she...had taught him, Harry had felt secure in his protection and walked downstairs happy as can be without the knowledge that his face was 'dolled up' in garish red lipstick, massive amounts of blush and obscene amounts of eye-shadow.

It was only half a second later that he realized his mistake as his hoof was attempting to grasp a wand that wasn't there anymore ('and really, how could a hoof properly grasp anything?').

It was even more surprising that the spell actually worked.

He felt the familiar tingle of his magic, which was responding much easier and far stronger than ever before, activate and something on his head illuminated his surroundings in a sickly white glow.

The Locator Spell was a simple one: Simply declare your intent for a specific object to be located with your wand on your palm and the wand would then spin in place like the needles of a compass pointing you towards your goal. Because it was based on intent, like most spells, it would direct its' caster to the closest object that suited their desire.

Whatever was on his head did not swivel in place, however, there was a niggling sensation that prompted Harry to look to his left. He didn't see a convenient mirror there unfortunately, but he did get a better view of his surroundings now that he wasn't so focused on his new appearance.

He was in a large hallway with weathered stone architecture all around him where he lay at the end of a corridor with an open archway in front of him leading into a large hall of some kind – with the battered down remnants of a large gate scattered across the entryway. Harry tilted his head up and took note that various parts of the roof were missing and gave way to an incredibly clear starry sky with a full moo-

“...One thing at a time.” sighed Harry. There, emblazoned on what he was fairly certain was an alien moon, was a series of pockmarks – craters, he thought – on the lunar surface that strongly resembled the head of a unicorn.

Deciding to take his own advice – 'Not like I have anyone else to ask anymore.', something at his sides fluttered oddly at this morose thought before settling down – he gingerly stood up with all four of his new limbs.

Clop. Clop. Clop.

Alright! It was a bit of a shaky start, but Harry felt like he was fairly stable when he settled down into a posture that felt right. Now he just had to take a step forwards and-

Clop. Clip. Clop. Clip.

-break into an easy canter. Harry frowned to himself thinking that that was far easier than that should have been. Then again, so was riding a broom.

Harry decided to chalk it up to magic as he walked into the hall that his...not-wand was directing him towards. The hall in question looked as if Fred and George had used it as their personal testing ground considering how utterly ruined it was. There was no ceiling, scorch marks decorated the walls (the more intact ones, anyway) and large sections of the floor were simply gone that left only great yawning pits that sunk into the earth.

At the very end of the hall, situated on what was probably once a nice looking stone dais were six plinths. The largest stood in the centre and bore upon it a moss-covered boulder of some kind with five other plinths each bearing their own stone that had different symbols etched onto them.

Past the sights of the ruined vista and the sensation of his still active Locator spell, there was an almost...hostile...presence that lingered over the area and set Harry's fur on edge.

'Wow, that is a weird feeling.'

On guard, Harry cautiously made his way into the hall, following his spell's directions as he crossed to the other side of the hall to an opposing doorway. A large mound of rubble blocked off most of the left corridor, but Harry saw his goal lying just a few metres ahead of him. Dismissing the spell – and thus the odd white glow that accompanied it – Harry trotted over to the large shard of reflective glass partially lying against chunks of dislodged masonry.

It was rather grimy, but luckily he had a quick and dirty solution to his problem.

Scourgify.” Tilting his head towards the glass, Harry was pleased to see the cleaning spell take effect as years of detritus and assorted filth were rubbed away as if something was viciously scouring it to leave a clear surface once more. Harry looked at his reflection and attempted to form a smirk rather than the pained grimace it came out looking as.

Staring back at him was what he could only call was a small unicorn with dark silver fur with a long brilliant silver horn protruding through a short tuft of messy black hair. His face was that of an equine muzzle but with familiar green irises set within eyeballs that were disproportionately huge. It should have been a very ugly thing with such bulbous eyes, but somehow, combined with the rest of his body, it made him look...cute.

'Ugh.'

Moving on.

Focusing on two appendages strapped to either of his sides, Harry tried commanding them to move and was disappointed when they didn't respond in any noticeable fashion. Frowning, Harry tried to flex random muscles on his back, finding it to be both a familiar and alien experience. After a few minutes, he found a set of muscles that felt somewhat right and was rewarded as the appendages slowly unfurled from his sides.

A pair of sickly white wings revealed themselves to him in the mirror, with several sections revealing bone instead of feathers. Where these exposed areas were, the same sickly white light that had surrounded him earlier approximated the shape of feathers. Stretching out his new wings to their fullest extent, Harry was somewhat surprised at their size, just a little over half the size of his horsey torso.

Satisfied, Harry finished up his inspection by gently lifting up the bangs of his hair to reveal smooth...er...normal fur. No scar whatsoever and peering at his right hoof didn't show any trace of the words: 'I must not tell lies.'.

“Well...it's better than looking like Goyle at least...” he muttered to himself.

As was typical for his luck, he ended up getting an unexpected reply.

Mmm, I wouldst certainly say thou doth look much better than some stuffy old gargoyle.” purred a feminine voice just off to his right. He froze in place at the sound and was about to turn around when a second voice made itself known.

Really, Periwinkle? Really? We locate the source of our awakening and find it to be the most rare of beings and your first comment is one borne from your loins?

Oh, do cease with such prudish behaviour, dearest Azure. We may be dead, but that does not mean that one cannot...appreciate such a fine specimen.” scoffed the first voice who was apparently named-

'Dead?'

Slowly turning around to the source of his voices, just off to his left side, Harry saw his apparent admirer and her friend. The two reminded Harry of the various ghosts in Hogwarts – who were also small horses ('Or is the right term: Ponies?'), as well – on account of their translucent, monochromatic bodies that sported numerous lethal wounds that they seemed to take little notice of.

Another clue was that Harry's voyeur – Periwinkle, the one without wings or even a horn – was halfway off the ground and partially sticking through one of the walls. Conversely, Azure, who was a small pegasus with a large hole in place of where her right eye should be frowned up at her friend before looking back at Harry.

I...suppose in exchange for your vitriolic behaviour whenever She deigns to make a visit – HATE, HATE, HATE, HATE HER!-” Harry was caught off guard by the rapid shift to frothing rage from the calm-looking Azure, only for her to return to her previous collected self an instant later,“-slaking your apparent undying lust by ogling a – admittedly attractive – stallion is a good trade.

Azure sighed in evident resignation and Periwinkle giggled at her friend's misfortune. Periwinkle floated forwards a bit more, revealing a long and ugly wound that stretched from the bottom of her chin to the underside of her barrel, and stared hungrily at Harry that reminded him of a more lusty Myrtle.

I must say, I'm rather glad he decided to turn around,” she sighed dreamily, “I could get lost for hours in those eyes of his.”

What do you suppose he is looking at?” Azure cocked her head to the side and looked around in genuine confusion.

Periwinkle snorted and gently floated down to the ground next to her friend. “Who cares. Let us just enjoy the sights for ever how long he decides to stay here.” her eyes became slightly mischievous as she continued in a sly voice, “Despite not bearing a Cutie Mark, he does have quite a nice pair of flanks...as I'm sure your wandering eyes have noticed already~

It was weird seeing Myrtle blush over him and it was even weirder seeing a ghost pony do the same thing as she stammered out denials to her cackling friend. It was probably best to end...whatever this was right now.

“Actually, I'd rather appreciate it if you didn't do that.” interjected Harry.

The two ponies stopped and looked at him oddly before checking up and down the hall with puzzled expressions.

Perhaps you were on to something after all, Azure. He is definitely talking to somepony.

'Some...pony? Is that supposed to be a pun?' thought Harry as Periwinkle trotted up with a curious look on her face.

Honestly, it almost appears that he is looking at me. How queer.

Harry unconsciously backed up from the pony currently invading his personal bubble until his legs...rear legs hit the wall. Unfortunately for him, this was a rather curious ghost who continued to follow him until he had no path of retreat.

“...Sorry...but, do you mind backing up a bit?” he asked tentatively. Technically Harry could just walk through her, but that always struck him as being rather rude.

Suddenly Azure was also in his face, pressed up against her friend. “You can see us?” she demanded in a commanding and slightly plaintive tone.

“...yes?”

And you can hear us...” whispered Periwinkle in awe.

Harry briefly debated saying 'No', but then he remembered some of Myrtle's more impressive tantrums over perceived sleights.

“That...would seem to be the case.”

A tremulous smile spread across Azure's face while Periwinkle started to vibrate in place with glistening eyes.

Hehe...you can see us. Hahaha...” began Azure.

HeehEheeHee and you can HeAr Us!” Periwinkle's voice started to distort as giggles escaped from her mouth.

'Maybe I should have pretended I didn't see anything.' Harry's eyes were already flickering towards possible escape routes. Both of the two spectral mares voices took on an eerie quality that echoed unnaturally as their faces split open into impossibly wide and demented grins.

HaHaAhAHaHaHaHaHaAhAHaHaHaHaHaAhAHaHaHaHaHaAhAHaHaHaHaHaAhAHaHaHaHaHaAhAHaHaHaHaHaAhAHaHaHaHaHaAhAHaHa!!!

HeeeHOooooHHhaAAHhahahaHAHAHAHHeeeHOooooHHhaAAHhahahaHAHAHAHHeeeHOooooHHhaAAHhahahaHAHAHAHHeeeHOooooH!!!

Just as he was about to make a break for it, things somehow got even worse when Azure reached out a trembling hoof towards Harry's cheek, as if to stroke it. Considering he was backed against a wall and knowing their own insubstantial nature, Harry wasn't too concerned.

At least, he wasn't really concerned until he felt Azure's hoof touching and making physical contact with his face.

The laughter ceased at once as all three of them goggled at the impossible sight. On Harry's part, it felt as if something with the texture of a soap bubble and was slightly cool to the touch was stroking his cheek. This sensation doubled when Periwinkle performed her own examination on her flank.

“Do you mind?!” yelped Harry, reflexively slapping their hooves away (though he did Periwinkle's first as hers were wandering much lower than he was comfortable with) and quickly brushing past the two who were staring absentmindedly at their hooves. Now with a little breathing room, Harry started to retrace his steps and carefully started to tip-toe away.

This would have been an excellent strategy considering how distracted the two girls were and if he still had toes.

But Harry didn't have toes anymore.

Harry had very noticeable and very noisy hooves.

Clip. Clop. Clip. Clop.

““Stop.”” ordered both of the ghosts in perfect synchronicity.

“Bollocks.” Harry slowly turned around to face the two mares with a sheepish grin. “Uh...hehe...is there...anything else you need, ladies? Because I've really got to be going-”

““How?””

Harry took a cautious step back, preparing a defensive spell and getting into a mode ready for combat.

““How can you see us. How can you hear us? HOW can you TOUCH us?!””

'You're probably in a different world, so magic is probably different. But my Locator Spell still worked fine.' even as he thought this, Harry's mouth was already operating hoping to calm them down.

“I'm not sure myself, to be honest. I'm just as surprised as you are.”

““LiAr!””

'Maybe if I were a Hufflepuff, that would have worked better.'

“I'm not lying to you, I really don't know how what happened...happened.” Harry was still moving backwards even as Azure and Periwinkle started to drift menacingly towards him with increasingly distorted expressions of rage and fear.

““Liar. Liar. Liar. Just like her. Liar. Liar. Liar. JUST like HER. You are LYING. LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! YOU ARE JUST LIKE HER! JUST LIKE HER! JUST LIKE HER! JUST LIKE HER! YOU LIED! YOU LIED! LIAR! YOU SAID YOU WOULD KEEP US SAFE! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR!””

Even as their tones became more and more accusatory as they started to overlap whoever they had such a grudge against, Harry didn't lose his cool as he entered the large hall with the odd plinths.

He was a little concerned when he saw a rather large amount of ponies, unicorns and pegasi entering the room through the walls and floor, all of them continuing the same line of accusations that Azure and Periwinkle were lashing out at him.

““LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! TELL US NOW! TELL US HOW! HOW CAN YOU DO THIS?! HOW COULD YOU LEAVE US?! WHY DID YOU LEAVE US?! WHY DID YOU KILL US?! WE TRUSTED YOU! LIAR! LIAR! LIAR! I HATE YOU! I HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE YOU! HATE! HATE! HATE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE!-””

Protego Spiritus Sphaera!

Harry's horn flared up with power as a protective bubble formed around him in an instant just before the wave of mad ghosts crashed into it's defences. The 'Spiritus' series of spells were great for poltergeists who had more of a physical presence than typical ghosts and based on the ghost ponies tried to ineffectually batter down his shield-

“-DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE! DIE!DIE! DIE! DIE!-

-it seemed to work just as well. There was a dome-shaped version of this particular shielding spell, but considering these ghosts could come from all directions, the much more costly sphere version was the better choice.

Not that he felt any noticeable drain on his reserves as his shield continued to stand strong. While he doubted the ghosts would get tired, Harry was very confident that he could keep his shield up and mobile as he searched for an exit from the castle. Hopefully these ghosts worked the same as the ones he had experience with and were bound to a certain location.

And if they weren't...

'I'll wing it like usual.'

~Equestrian Elegy~

The numerous plans, strategies and scenarios racing through Celestia's head went out the window the moment a burst of green flames briefly obscured her vision to reveal a torn scrap of parchment.

“Wha-” began Cadance.

Celestia caught the note in a telekinetic hold before it could be snatched away from the wind and read what was written in a childish scrawl:

“Deearr Prin-ccess . Twili ght had night mare. Crying lots.

Scared. Wants you.

Now!

-Spike”

Numerous tear stains marked the parchment and the pen wavered on several of the letters before making sharp turns, as if the writer – who was clearly in a hurry – kept having their writing hand disturbed.

As her niece peered up at the note, Celestia had a brief moment of indecision, debating on whether or not to leave it to Cadance while she checked on the source of the mysterious Alicorn magic.

It was the smart decision after all. What was one filly's peace of mind compared to the safety of all of Equestria?

“Twilight!” gasped Cadance, she looked at the forest and back to her, evidently reaching a similar conclusion. “Auntie. I can go and check on Twilight. You should go and find...whatever that is!”

She made the smarter decision when she still had Luna by her side.

When Sunset Shimmer was still her prized pupil.

She would be damned if she made that mistake again.

“She'll have both of us, Cadance.” Without waiting any longer, Celestia fired up a teleportation spell that encased both her and Cadance.

Pop!

Once again, Celestia found herself in the room just a short time ago. Except now her attention was immediately diverted to the trembling form of Twilight Sparkle desperately clutching a very worried looking Spike. The room was lit up thanks to several balls of light hovering near the ceiling; their caster was evident by the purple nimbus that spiraled around Twilight's horn. Spike, who looked to be near tears himself, brightened up considerably when he saw the two.

“Twilight! It's okay! Princess Celestia is here! And so is Cadance!”

Seeming not wanting to let her brother go, Twilight simply opened a forelimb and silently implored the both of them for a hug. This request was quickly granted as they snuggled the distraught filly and disturbed dragon between them.

“My faithful student, what troubles you so?” asked Celestia gently.

“I-I-I h-h-had, I had a, I-, I-”

“Breathe, Twilight. Just take nice and deep breaths. We're all here. Me, Auntie, and Spike.” advised Cadance.

“In and out.” piped in Spike, demonstrating himself by taking big breaths with puffed cheeks before blowing them out.

Twilight gave a watery giggle and took several calming breaths, though she still looked rather scared...for Celestia.

“I had a nightmare-” Celestia's breath hitched slightly, though it went unnoticed by all save Cadance who spared her a brief look of worry before focusing back on Twilight, “-and I woke up and my horn was hurting a-a lot! And I felt cold and the room was so dark! And I thought it was just in m-my head when I felt it again...”

“P-Princess, what is Twilight talking about?” asked Spike, worriedly staring at his sister who was still shaking.

Celestia briefly debated telling her student a lie, but she also knew just how intelligent Twilight Sparkle was and her clever little student would spot and falsity in an instant. Still, that didn't mean she couldn't blunt the truth a bit.

“Just a few minutes ago, Cadance and I sensed a...worrying bit of magic near Ponyville. It could be dangerous, but I'm sure that I will be more than capable of dealing with-”

“NO!” screamed Twilight, startling everyone as she clamped on Celestia's forelimb in a tight vice-like grip. “You can't go! I s-saw the Sun going out!”

Celestia's eyes widened at this proclamation and her heart turned to ice as Twilight clutched onto her even tighter with fresh, hot tears spilling from her eyes.

“...I saw you d-d-d-di-” she tried to complete her sentence but soon gave it up before begging Celestia, “...please don't go. Please?”

Twilight had an incredibly intimate connection with magic, as was made clear by her Cutie Mark. Her so-called 'nightmare' of the Sun going out certainly had the possibility of killing Celestia. Her unprecedented control over the Sun and intimate connection was a two-way street: what affected one would affect the other.

“Please stay. Don't leave. Please...please...!”

But even though it may not be a fitting action for a monarch who was charged over watching all in her nation, right now, her focus was on reassuring her precious student.

“Twilight.”

“...please don't go...”

“Twilight. Look at me.”

Ever the faithful student, Twilight gazed up at her that was filled with so much concern and love that it nearly took Celestia's breath away.

“Twilight. Yes, it may be dangerous, but that is why I have to be the one to investigate. I want to keep everyone safe. You, Cadance, Spike, your brother, your parents – I am responsible for the protection of everyone in Equestria.”

“But-”

“I know you're scared of me getting hurt, of something even worse happening to me,” Twilight's breath hitched and Celestia nuzzled her reassuringly, “But we can't let a fear of the unknown paralyze us with indecision just because something might go wrong.”

“Besides, she won't be going in alone.” chirped Cadance. The cheerful tone belied the steely glint of determination in her niece's eye.

“She won't?” said Spike curiously.

Honestly, she should have expected this .

“Cadance-”

Cadance was not a noble that relied on her title. She was the rare soul that earned it through her spirit and determination.

“Celestia.” stated Cadance firmly, forgoing the use of any sort of title or familial affectation which stopped Celestia's own protests cold. “I am also a Princess of Equestria. One alicorn is powerful, true. But, two?”

Her niece was growing into a fine ruler indeed.

“We can overcome anything if we work together.”

She gave a confident grin for the benefit of Spike and Twilight, whose expressions were becoming more relieved and hopeful.

~Equestrian Elegy~

-DIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIE-

All things considered, this wasn't the worst situation to be in.

-DIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIE-

He wasn't in too much danger as despite the increasing fury of the mass of spirits out for his blood, his shield was holding as strong as ever. A little bit of thought and subsequent application of his magical muscles, had Harry carefully padding his way to a potential exit.

-DIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIEDIE-

The sheer amount of spirits made seeing a little difficult and more than once he had ended up in a corner or had to make a detour around a large hole, but overall it wasn't too difficult to push his way through the wailing ghosts. As long as he kept calm and a steady pace, he should be fine.

The ghosts suddenly froze and stopped their relentless assault on his shield. Before he could make a move, the ghosts' heads turned as one towards the direction to where Harry was retreating.

“““She...is...coming.”””

Their faces which were briefly blank and void of any emotion, slowly started to darken with a familiar anger.

“““Coming...to...apologize. To say She is sorry! Always, always ALWAYS to the Moon first!”””

The madness was quickly coming back as several ghosts started to pull away from Harry. Indeed, most of them were flat out ignoring him in favour of the one who had apparently killed them or at least contributed to their deaths.

“““NEVER to us! An afterthought! NEVER GOOD ENOUGH!”””

The same person who was coming here right now.

“““YOU ARE NOT WELCOME HERE! TRAITOR! MURDERER!”””

'Bugger!' Harry kept the curses internal, lest he attracted the attention of his attackers once more.

The ponies were all starting to stream past to where Harry had hoped to retreat to. Now that his vision wasn't being obscure anymore, Harry found that he was in the same corridor where he had first woken up in this place. Opposite the side of the entrance to the hall and a little bit to his left was another archway bearing the remains of a shattered doorframe.

“““LEAVE! LEAVE! LEAVE! GO AWAY! HAVE YOU NOT DONE ENOUGH?!”””

And just past this door was a wide entranceway where the spirits that had previously been harrassing him were congregating to form a very loud and very angry roiling mass of madness and grief. Harry had a brief view of the outside world – a rather rickety looking bridge leading out into a forest that reminded him of the Forbidden Forest – before his sight was blocked once again. As the ghosts shifted and writhed against an invisible barrier that prevented them from crossing onto the bridge, Harry was able to get a glimpse of something in the treeline rustling.

It may have been a trick of the constantly shifting ghosts, but it almost looked like there were a set of numbers making their way through the shrubbery.

Harry shook his head free of the odd thought as the ghosts' screams began to reach a crescendo and they once more devolved into incoherency with one final intelligible cry.

“““CeLeStIAaAaAaAa?!?!?!”””

The last ghost that was attacking his shield finally left and Harry made the quick decision of dismissing it, backing away into a side hallway so that he wasn't presenting himself to whatever was outside. He would rather not have the attention of whatever was coming here and needed a new plan. Different illusion and disguise spells rapidly flitted through his mind before he decided on a mix of a sound-dampening charm and a Disillusion Spell.

It was as Harry's thoughts were focused on hiding and fading away that he felt an odd sensation of something gently tugging on the ends of his hair. Harry's eyes widened as he spun in place, only to discover nothing as he felt something drape over the rest of his body.

'What...?'

Despite not casting a spell, his entire body had somehow become invisible as that same sensation once again occurred over his head. A strong sense of déjà vu permeated Harry's mind as he recalled all the times he had used a certain Hallow passed down in his family.

“...The Invisibility Cloak...” breathed Harry in slight wonder.

It was perhaps understandable that Harry was a bit preoccupied with the fact that one of the Deathly Hallows had crossed over to him and the possibility of the other two having done so as well. There was also the fact that he was in a totally unfamiliar location in an alien body with very heightened senses that he was still adjusting to. Finally, there was the incessant screaming from the clearly restless spirits that haunted this castle that served as an extra bit of distraction with all of the racket they were making.

All of this added up to him being very caught off guard when a two white ponies in gleaming armour passed within spitting distance of him, causing him to suck in a deep breath and backpedal reflexively. Harry clamped down on the hiss as quick as humanly possible, forgetting once again that he had hooves now.

'Please be quiet, please be quiet!'

It was to his slightly giddy relief that while his hooves came down onto the ground the second he had made that prayer that no sound emanated from them at all. The armoured pony nearest to him – a unicorn with blue hair and purple and gold armour – turned sharply and looked straight at Harry, who froze immediately.

“Something wrong, Captain?” asked the other pony in a low soprano. It was a bit hard to make out the mare's words over the noisy spirits, who remained out of sight for now, but he managed.

“I thought I heard something...” replied the so-called Captain, staring at Harry and then around the corridor he stood in.

'Noooo, you definitely did not.'

“Is there a problem, Captain Armour?” asked a feminine voice just outside of Harry's view, one that was tinged with both a quiet dignity and rich majesty.

“It appears not, ma'am.” Captain Armour straightened at the voice, though he still did not turn his back on Harry as his horn lit up with a pink glow and briefly built up in power before discharging a wall of energy that raced down the hall and over Harry before he could react.

“At least nothing I can detect.” he reported with a slightly less suspicious frown.

'...That was too close.' Harry inaudibly relaxed a bit as the captain finally turned around. The Cloak that had once given away his location thanks to a similar spell, now no longer seemed vulnerable to magic that checked for concealed presences. That was when Harry took notice of an odd little feature floating over both of the ponies' heads.

'27 3 21'

'31 5 8'

A set of three glowing red numbers hovered above both of the ponies' heads, with the first set belonging to Captain Armour. The last two numbers of each set shifted almost constantly, while the first ones remained static-

'27'

|

|

v

'28'

'Huh.'

This odd numerical mystery was further compounded by the next four ponies who trotted in after the armoured ones. The two in the back were also armoured and whose eyes were constantly scanning the area.

'A feral grin was on the scarred Auror's face as he slammed a fist down onto the table, causing everyone who was drowsing to shoot up in alarm.

“Constant Vigilance!”'

A stab of pain shot through Harry's heart and he forced himself to focus on the more interesting and relevant pair in the middle. The first was a pink pony bearing both wings and a horn and who was adorned with a golden choker and matching tiara. Honestly, the first thought when Harry looked at it was 'pretty, pink, pony, princess.' and felt that he wasn't being too disingenuous in that thought when she spoke.

“Always so thorough, Captain Armour.” said the mare in a teasing tone.

'132238697300 02 14'

“The safety of the Princesses is paramount to the safety of Equestria. To do any less would disrespect you and the nation we serve.” he replied stoically.

“Do not discount your own importance so readily, my little pony. All life is precious and everyone matters.” gently chastised the large white mare, who towered over everyone present. Adorned in larger and finer regalia than the smaller princess, her hair and tail floated by themselves in an unseen breeze, giving the mare a very ethereal quality.

'5450000627 06 21'

Their numbers were far larger than anyone else's, though Harry didn't really understand the reason for the huge discrepancy other than the extra appendages having something to do with it.

Fortunately or unfortunately, Harry didn't have much time to ponder on the odd floating numbers much longer when the ghosts blasted into the room screaming with rage. They passed through the bodies of all the new ponies, but seemed to focus particularly on the white pony princess-

DiE!!!cEleStIA!!!!!

-of whom he was fairly sure was called Celestia. The ponies didn't seem entirely unaffected, however, as there was a certain amount of tension present in all of them based on the way they held themselves. He still couldn't get a good read on Celestia which left Harry with two choices:

Follow them and try and find out what they're doing here, which would perhaps let him get a better grasp on their personalities as it would be nice to know whether or not they were a pack of sadistic murderers.

Or, now that they had the attention of the angry spirits, wait for them to proceed deeper into the castle ruins and escape whilst they were distracted. Shelter was something that he might not find in the forest, but it was a higher priority for him to get a better grasp on his new body and magic without getting mobbed by spirits.

Harry nodded once to himself firmly and made his decision.

Author's Note:

Technically Harry did find himself in a forest, it's just that he's in the castle part, sooooo...

Anyhoo, this was a shorter chapter as the stuff I was going to add to it didn't really have a cutoff point that I would be satisfied with, without making it too long. Thus, this first chapter ended up being more setup stuff with not a whole lot happening. My apologies if this was a bit boring to read through, because of that, but hopefully there was enough stuff to keep readers somewhat interested.

The next chapter, there'll be some more exciting stuff and Harry will get to talk to some fruity people who aren't dead. The mystery of the numbers will perhaps be a bit more clear to those who didn't get it as well