by Chaotic Dreams

First published

The Student Six have been transformed into the opposite sex. They aren’t too happy about it.

The Student Six have been through a lot together during their time at Twilight’s School of Friendship. As their final year draws to a close and graduation looms, though, the now older students find themselves facing one last trial.

After a magical mishap transforms them into the opposite sex, they’ll have to figure out a way to turn back before the change becomes permanent... And before the situation drives them all mad.

Cover art by dervonnebenaan

Chapter One: Gallus & the Deranged Detention, Part I

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Gallus gulped as he walked up the steps to the School of Friendship. Normally, even the outside of the cheery building was bustling with other students, staff, and visitors. Ponies would lay on blankets out in the nearby field, enjoying the sun, picnics, perhaps toss a frisbee about. Batponies would hang upside down from the eves of the roof, snoozing before night classes began. Some of the non-pony students from the other nations would be interspersed amongst the rest--another griffon such as himself placing a whoopee cushion for an unsuspecting pony to sit upon, a small swarm of changelings trying to outperform one another in a game of charades.

Today, the field and the exterior of the school was empty, though the sun still shone bright overhead. Gallus assumed most of the other students had gone home for the long weekend, or at the very least, were sleeping in at the dorms.

Not him, though.

Gallus sighed, at last pushing open the front doors and entering the grand hall. The place was eerily bigger when it was so empty, and he could almost swear he could hear the echo of his heartbeat ringing in his ears.

The nearer Gallus drew to the doors at the end of the hall, the more his mind raced to catch up with his heart. His friends would be waiting on the other side of those doors, and for once, he was dreading seeing them.

Despite himself, though, Gallus couldn’t help but crack a small grin. The reason behind all of this may have landed them all here over the long weekend, but by the great griffon gods’ gizzards, had it been hilarious. Gallus only hoped his friends would agree.

After a short walk through the grand hall, Gallus pushed opened the doors to the library. The door slammed shut behind him, propelled by a purplish-magenta aura.

“You’re late, Mr. Gallus,” tutted the all-too-familiar voice of the head mare.

“Sorry, Miss Twilight,” Gallus said with a wince, the tip of his leonine tail having just barely avoided being caught in the door.

He turned his attention from Twilight, who looked more annoyed than angry, to the rest of the library. A few study tables had been arranged in the front lobby area, but today they were free of students cramming for exams or pretending to read books while they lazily flipped through comics.

Today, four other non-pony students and one earth pony stallion sat at different tables. They looked to have been avoiding eye contact, or perhaps even staring off into space, before he entered. Now, all eyes were silently on Gallus, with mixed emotions.

“Hey, guys,” he ventured.

Smolder merely rolled her eyes, tapping a claw against the table. Yona looked even more disgruntled, and Ocellus... Gallus felt worst looking at her somber avoidance. The poor little changeling must be taking this hard; Gallus highly doubted she’d ever been in any kind of trouble before this ‘incident.’

Sandbar, Gallus’ own roommate at the student dorms, looked... Well, he honestly looked doped out of his mind. He must have taken more than a puff of his secret stash last night after Gallus’ crashed to ‘cope with the stress.’

At least Silverstream seemed to have thought the whole ordeal funny, as she had clamped both claws around her beak, mirthful tears in her eyes as she struggled to stop herself from bursting out laughing. She was shaking as it was.

“Is there a problem, Miss Silverstream?” Twilight asked.

“Ha!” Silverstream finally burst. “I mean, no, sorry, Miss Twilight.”

Silverstream still looked like she was trying to choke down giggles, but had for now turned away.

“You all know why you’re here,” Twilight said at last, motioning for Gallus to take a seat at the one empty table. “The School of Friendship encourages creativity, but not such a flagrant disregard for professionalism, and what’s worse, your little stunt could have hurt several students.”

“But it didn’t,” Gallus muttered under his breath.

“What was that, Mr. Gallus?” Twilight intoned.

“Nothing, ma’am,” Gallus quickly amended. “Although... If I may have permission to speak?”

Twilight looked like she might deny his request, but finally sighed and nodded.

“None of the rest of my friends had anything to do with this,” Gallus said. “Please, they shouldn’t be punished for my... Mistake.”

“That’s just the problem, Mr. Gallus,” Twilight said. “You don’t seem to think it was a mistake at all. If you hadn’t involved your friends, it would have also only been your mistake, whether you view it as such or not. But as it is, they each knew of your plan and none of them informed a professor, much less tried to stop you, apparently.”

“Ocellus tried to talk me out of it,” Gallus corrected.

“And yet she still provided a distraction,” Twilight said with a glare. “By impersonating me, I might add.”

The room was silent for a moment, save a low whimper that Gallus was certain had come from Ocellus.

“You’re all here to think on the consequences of your actions,” Twilight finished. “You all are free to leave at six this evening, with a brief break for lunch. I’ll expect you all back bright and early tomorrow morning, and the day after as well.”

“But that’s all weekend!” Gallus gasped. “I thought it was just supposed to be for today.”

“It was,” Twilight said as she exited. “But that was before you were tardy. Spike will be back to supervise momentarily.”

Earning another heated round of glares, save from a still-giggling Silverstream, Gallus slumped in his chair. He could hear the ticking of the clock mounted on the far wall, like a metronome pounding into his skull.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

It wasn’t nearly as bad as the holes he felt boring into his feathers from his friends' glares.

After what felt like an eternity but was most likely only a few seconds, Gallus shouted, “It was just a prank!”

His outburst was immediately followed up by a fist slamming down on the adjacent table, nearly buckling the wood. Gallus risked a glance over to see smoke pouring from Smolder’s nostrils, literal fire in her eyes.

“This was all your idea!” she raged. “You dragged us into it!”

“You could have said no!” Gallus rebutted, but merely shrunk back again when Smolder stood up, flame licking about her lips.

"Griffon yap, yap, yap forever!" Yona growled.

“Yona's right,” Smolder shouted. “Maybe we would have said no if you hadn’t kept bothering us for weeks! We’re all going to be laughing stocks as it is, Ocellus is bound to have nightmares, and--”

“Whoa, whoa, don’t harsh the mellow of the world-vibe, yo,” spoke a subdued voice.

They each turned in their seats to look at Sandbar, his reddened eyes staring straight ahead, unseeing, or perhaps, seeing everything all at once.

“Stay out of this, Sandy,” Smolder huffed. “You were on Gallus’ side the whole time!”

“No, I mean, like, crank down the volume, for real, you feel me?” Sandbar replied, still unblinking, not meeting anyone’s gaze.


The arguing was quickly silenced by a fit of laughter, sounding as if it had been constrained for far too long. For once, it wasn’t coming from Silverstream, either.

“You guys are more than Pinkie sometimes,” chortled an adolescent draconic voice.

Each student winced and turned to see Spike sitting on the librarian’s front desk, presumably having slipped in during the heated discussion. He kicked his knees idly, smiling a wide, toothy-grin.

“Please don’t tell me you’re going to give us more detention for talking,” Gallus implored.

“I wouldn’t dream of it, dragon’s honor,” Spike replied, to a chorus of relieved sighs. “Of course, I will have to tell Twilight, and I can’t say what she’ll do.”

The sighs quickly devolved into muted grumbling.

Gallus, Smolder, and the rest resumed slumping in their chairs. Ocellus looked as if she was on the verge of crying, Yona not too far off herself.

Spike, meanwhile, hopped down from the desk and circled around to the back. Climbing atop the librarian’s swivel chair, he pulled out a gemstone and a comic he must have stashed in the desk earlier, chomping as he read.

The clock ticked away, slowly driving its sonic piledriver ever further into Gallus’ skull.

Tick. Tick.

After a few moments more, Gallus felt his eyelids growing heavy. The metronomic tick of the clock faded to a gentle lull, and he settled his head onto the table.


If today was going to be nothing but sitting here, being bored, he may as well sleep it away.

He’d hardly closed his eyes when Spike called over, “Sorry, no sleeping.”

Grumbling, Gallus picked his head back up.

“Mr. Spike, is there--” Gallus began.

“Just Spike, please,” Spike chuckled. “‘Mr. Spike’ sounds too weird.”

Spike,” Gallus continued, trying his best not to shout. “Is there anything we can do? Can we...”

Gallus swept the library with his gaze. Unfortunately, although he didn’t know what else he should have expected, all he could see were the endless rows and rows of books.

“...Read?” Gallus finished at last. “I mean, you’re reading.”

Spike looked to be considering things for a moment.

“Twilight probably wouldn’t mind if you all were doing something educational,” he mused, though not unkindly. “Sure, I’ll give you all a few minutes to grab a nonfiction book.”

At this point, thankful to have anything at all, Gallus smiled and rose from his chair. The others quickly did the same. Gallus grinned sheepishly at them, hoping his small victory would have made them them at least somewhat forgiving, but based on the glares, he doubted it.

Gallus nearly apologized, but hesitated. In the next instant, his friends had disappeared into the bookshelves. With a sigh, he followed suit.

Reaching a bookshelf at random, Gallus extended a talon to the spine of the nearest book, titled The Proud History of the Griffons.

Gallus cursed himself. Of course.

You’re better than that, he thought. You can be strong and proud AND still be sorry you got your friends into this mess.

Gallus inhaled, prepared to find the nearest of his friends and do just that, only to feel the breath leave his lungs in a defeated sigh yet again.

Maybe they’ll come around on their own, he thought, not convincing himself. They know I didn’t mean any harm... Right?

Screwing up his beak into a contorted frown, Gallus headed deeper into the bookshelves. There were so many books, how was he supposed to just pick one at random? He certainly was no reader, but if he had only books to turn to in this war against boredom, Gallus admitted that he could do far worse than griffon history. The rise and fall of the kingdoms across the ages were littered with battles against fearsome beasts, magical mysteries, and more often not, other griffons. He’d never actually want to be in a life-or-death brawl, but history was one of the few subjects on which Gallus didn’t need to borrow notes.

“One minute warning,” Spike called over the library.

Gallus plucked a book at random after all and hurried back to the tables. The other students had already seated themselves with their own choices. Smolder was idly flipping through a book on gemstones, probably contemplating lunch. Sandbar and Yona had scooted their tables together to share a large book regarding geography. Ocellus, unsurprisingly, had chosen a thick, old treatise on advanced magical theory. Silverstream, also unsurprisingly, looked to be reading a book about spoons, upside down and backwards.

“You all good?” Spike asked, to a chorus of muted nods. “Excellent. I’ll be right back--no talking, please.”

Spike hopped down from his chair and exited the library. The moment the door closed behind him, Smolder leaned over to Gallus and whispered, “Didn’t take you for an egghead, Gally.”

“Don’t call me that,” Gallus snapped, only to quickly furrow his brow at the first insult. “And what do you mean, egghead?”

She snickered and gestured to the book he had chosen.

“Metamorphamagica?” he read, not quite sure he was even saying the title correctly, imprinted as it was in a curlicued script in a tiny gold plate inset into the cover. The book itself looked even older than the tome Ocellus had chosen, nearly falling apart and coated in dust.

“Looks like a magic book,” Smolder commented. “You can’t even do magic.”

“I grabbed this from the ‘griffon history’ section,” Gallus said. “What was this doing over there?”

“Mr. Spike said no talking, please,” Ocellus whispered. “He could come back at any moment.”

With anyone else, Gallus would have argued, but he relented for Ocellus. He’d already done enough harm to her, perhaps her most of all.

Turning back to the book, Gallus almost pushed the decrepit tome away rather than risk further teasing from Smolder. Still...

Tick. Tick. Tick, went the clock.

There would be no escaping boredom without at least trying to read the book, whatever it was. Besides, who knew? It could still be about something interesting. Some magic was intriguing, in its own way. Maybe this book was where it had been because it somehow related to griffons after all... Did griffons use magic in their many wars, at some point?

Regardless, Gallus flipped open to the first page.

The thaumaturge has no higher duty than the rigorous study of the most arcane of arts and the recitation of the proper incantation at the proper time with the proper purpose, Gallus read, his heart sinking and his eyes threatening to glaze over already.

Still, he pressed on.

The most ancient of magics is that of the transmutation. The alchemist is a catalyst for the metamorphosis of geologic entities into their own antithesis, such as the fabled philosopher’s stone and its ability to change lead into gold.

Gallus flipped a few pages more.

Spiritual transmogrification is an advanced form of higher thaumaturgy best reserved for the practiced shaman or priest of the elder deities. Although the demonologist has often found success in such fields as well, theirs is a dark magic that is forbidden in all civilized lands, and of it no more shall be discussed amongst these reputable pages.

Gallus flipped quite a lot further into the book still, nearly splitting it at the middle.

Bio-thaumaturgic-meta-reformation is by far the most complex and difficult to master of all the arcane magics of transformative mysticism. It should never, under any circumstances, be undertaken by anything less than a wizened sage. That being said, should a studious apprentice wish to learn--though not recite--the spells needed to master such an art, it is important to know that...

And then, the ink faded, blotched, and spattered across the page. It seemed that whoever had been writing this, most likely with an ink quill more centuries ago than Gallus was willing to count, had lost control of his writing utensil. The page itself was a bit more weathered than the rest of the book as well, and parts of it even looked torn.

Most curious of all, though, was the single raised circular something-or-other in the center of the page. A deep purple, its casing looked vaguely like Ocellus’ chitinous shell, despite possessing the faintest of glows.

“What in the world?” Gallus murmured as he tapped the thing with a talon.

The tiny thing juttered with a chittering screech, nearly causing Gallus to jump backwards as it tore itself from the page. Tiny mandibles and far too many eyes regarded him with insect revulsion. Its mandibles swallowed the last tatters of parchment that had still been half-stuck down its miniature throat, its many legs skittering away.

“Oh, no you don’t!” Gallus said, catching the tiny creature in his claws like a small cage.

“What is that?” asked Smolder, having looked up to watch the tiny altercation.

“I think it’s one of those bugs Head Mare Twilight warned us about,” Gallus said. “A book worm? Those things that eat paper? I should probably get rid of it for her. Maybe she’ll even lessen our sentence.”

Gallus cringed at his bad attempt at a joke, tightening his grip on the bug.

“No, Gallus, don’t!” Ocellus cried, but it was too late.

With a sickening crunch, the creature’s shell casing crashed in on itself, iridescent goo seeping through Gallus’ claws.

“Oh, sorry, Ocellus,” Gallus said, imagining it must have been rather unpleasant to a changeling to watch a bug squashed, even an unintelligent one. “I probably should have waited till Spike got back and let it outside...”

“No, that’s not it,” Ocellus whimpered. “That wasn’t a book worm. That was a witch-weevil.”

“A what?” Gallus asked, his talons feeling oddly tingly.

Whatever was in that bug’s inner fluids must have been some nasty gunk indeed. Without thinking, Gallus' flicked his talons, flinging some goop onto the table and wiping the rest of the residue off on his coat.

“No!” Ocellus yelled, perhaps the loudest he’d ever heard her speak.

“What?” Gallus asked, genuinely worried now. “They’re not poisonous or anything, are they?”

“Witch-weevils eat the pages of spell books, feeding off of the magical residue left by the unicorns who used them,” Ocellus explained in a rush, having gotten up from her chair, rather unexpectedly. “They attune to the spells used the most, and they store them inside themselves. Killing it just let all that magic seep out!”

Gallus never thought he’d ever see the day with Ocellus willingly disobeyed a direct order from the school staff, but now he understood why. What had the book said about bio-meta-whatever-it-was? That it was only for the most advanced wizards?

“Gah!” Gallus gasped, looking for a tissue, a paper towel, anything to rub off the rest of the goo from his claw and coat. “Get it off!”

“A-are we fine?” Smolder asked. “I mean, only Gallus touched it, and--”

“I don’t know!” Ocellus said. “But we need to get as far away from the magical field as possible. It could be in the air right now!”

The rest of the students’ eyes widened, and for once, even Silverstream looked deadly serious.

Gallus nearly tripped over the table in his rush to reach the librarian’s front desk, looking for anything he could use to wipe away the witch-weevil’s crushed innards, but by then the tingling had grown tenfold. What had started as the pins-and-needles sensation of a limb fallen asleep had become something far more intense, and far more bizarre. Gallus could see tiny ripples burbling beneath the scales of his avian forelegs like goosebumps, something that should have been impossible on the hardened flesh.

“Gallus, what did you do?!” Smolder snapped, although her voice sounded odd, somehow, like it was cracking, and then... Deepening? And had she always been that tall?

“I didn’t know!” Gallus said, his last word squeaking up an octave, sounding almost melodic, like a songbird’s chirp. “Wait, is that my voice?!”

The last word of his second exclamation had sounded even higher-pitched than the first. It sounded almost... Like the voice of a...

Gallus nearly doubled over as a further bizarre sensation wracked through him, this time focusing deeply internally, as if the ripples beneath his flesh had burrowed inwards to play havoc with his insides. It felt as if his stomach was trying to sneak into a new position, and the rest of his innards weren’t being too still, either.

No, it wasn’t his stomach, Gallus realized. He could still very much feel his stomach being pushed into a new position, but at the same time, he could sense the strangest feeling of something new forming, adding itself to his inner workings, and it wasn’t alone.

So unsettling was the feeling of his very body reshaping itself from the inside that Gallus’ limbs felt unsteady, causing him to fall back on his rump and realize that his insides weren’t the only things changing. For one, the impact didn’t feel as hard as he would have thought, as if his rear were sitting on a slight cushion... A cushion that was still slowly fluffing up.

Gasping, another octave higher still, Gallus looked down to see his leonine hind legs pushing further apart as his hips expanded, his rear end filling out to a rounder, softer, and ultimately more noticeable shape.

A shape he had recognized on a few of the griffon girls he’d occasionally eyed in the school...

Gallus’ eyes widened as he looked up, lids feeling a bit heavier for some reason, although he was suspecting why. There was now something else feeling decidedly different down by his hind legs.

“I think I’m going to puke,” Gallus uttered, his voice now unmistakably of a far more feminine cantor.

All around him, the others didn’t seem to be faring much better.

Smolder was definitely getting taller, her body stretching upward even as parts of it pushed outwards as well. Her once-scrawny limbs gained more of a muscular definition, the sudden new weight sending her careening off-balance and crashing to the floor. She let out an aggravated “Ouch!” several octaves lower than what Gallus was used to hearing. Even Smolder’s snout was growing larger, adopting a squarish, more boxy shape.

Ocellus looked to be outright panicking, zipping between her many favorite forms in quick bursts of changeling magic. Each time, however, just like the insectoid equine between the bursts, the forms looked increasingly masculine. A mare became a stallion, a peahen became a peacock, a lioness, a lion.

Sandbar’s face pushed back in on itself, acquiring a far more rounded, small-snouted look as his eyes grew larger. His eyelashes grew decidedly longer and thicker as well, his mane cascading out and down around his narrowing neck and shoulders.

Yona, if possible, was growing bigger and more shaggy, then bigger still, then bigger, and bigger…

“Yak… Not like… Creepy bug magic!” Yona struggled to bark, her voice lowering deeper than Smolder’s by far.

Finally, Silverstream was… Just regular old Silverstream? She was watching the goings-on with a mixture of her own panic and a sort of morbid fascination. At the same time, though, she had for some reason transformed into her seapony guise, and looked none the worse for wear.

Before he could ask Silverstream why she was being spared, much less formulate a proper question for any of this, Gallus felt the changes sweeping up to his forefront section. His breastbone felt like it was enlarging, pushing forth new musculature and other tissues with it. Gallus nearly fell forward in response, catching himself on his talons as his chest pushed out to accommodate the further changes, outfitting him with a more pronounced, curved shape. This shape was only accentuated when his feathers bristled and fluffed up as well, growing softer and larger.

Just as Gallus was dreading whatever change might be assaulting him next, the sensations of stretching flesh and rearranging organs abruptly faded.

“Is… It over?” Gallus squeaked.

The voice coming out his beak was not his own. It responded to his thoughts, came out when and how he wished it, but was the voice of a griffon female, and not anyone he recognized.

He blushed fiercely, as much from embarrassment as from the awkwardness of hearing his new voice and physiologically feeling himself to have a new sex.

Shakily, but at least finally able to move again without falling over, Gallus crawled into a standing position and surveyed the other students. There was no question that they had all--save Silverstream, somehow--been transformed into new sexes. Smolder and Yona in particular were hardly recognizable anymore due to their increased mass and bulk. Sandbar and Ocellus were still somewhat recognizable as the same persons, albeit with altered features.

Once again, Silverstream was just Silverstream.

Gallus furrowed his brow and took a tentative step, legs still feeling uncomfortably fluid as he headed towards Silverstream, whose fishy tail was flopping awkwardly about in a chair meant for land-dwellers. Each step made Gallus feel like he was fighting his own body. His usual confident gait insisted on a more languid stride, hips demanding to be swung rather than move stiffly. Gallus burned red when he realized his rear must be bobbing in time for all to see.

“Silverstream,” Gallus said when he at last arrived at the back table after what felt like an awkward eternity but really must have only been a few seconds.

“Hiya, Gally!” Silverstream chirped happily, before erupting into a fit of giggles. “Golly, I guess Smolder’s nickname for you really fits, now!”

“Why didn’t you change?” Gallus asked, electing to ignore that comment for the moment.

“Oh, uh… Look, a convenient purple distraction!” Silverstream shouted, pointing at the front of the library.

His feathers fluffing up more than they already had, Gallus slowly turned alongside the rest of his friends to see a very shocked Spike standing in the doorway, his mouth agape.

“I left for five minutes!” Spike exclaimed.

Chapter Two: Gallus & the Deranged Detention, Part II

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Gallus sat uncomfortably in the school library between the study tables and the front desk, looking as uneasy as the rest of his friends. He’d tried standing for as long as he could manage so as not to sit down on his fuller rear and make it even more apparent what had happened to him, but he’d since given up.

The others didn’t seem to be faring much better. Yona’s fur had grown so much fuller and shaggier that she had to hold it away from her eyes like parting a thick curtain to see anything. What’s more, the growth of braid-like locks beneath her chin gave the impression of a scraggly beard. When Yona wasn’t holding her fur outwards, the entire mass muddled together to shield her in a giant puffball with horns.

Smolder quite literally steamed, smoke spiralling from her nostrils and the air wavering in a heated haze around her simmering scales. Whether she wasn’t quite used to handling the larger amount of fire within her overall larger frame or she was so angry she couldn’t get a hold over it, though, Gallus was unsure. Come to think of it, neither would have been that much better than the other.

Ocellus and Sandbar looked to be perhaps the least different physically. Ocellus had grown a bit larger and more angular and Sandbar had shrunk slightly and become a bit more curved. Nevertheless, they appeared to be roughly the same masses they had been.

Of course, that didn’t mean Ocellus wasn’t still sniffling and trying to cover up the tears in her many-segmented eyes, or that the rush of commotion hadn’t sent Sandbar’s lingering high nose diving into bloodshot, wide-eyed frigidity. Even as buzzed as Sandbar had been, Gallus imagined this was far more surreal than being high. Gallus hadn’t so much as seen Sandbar blink since the spell did its work, though his right eye twitched plenty of times.

Silverstream was, most puzzlingly of all, still the same old Silverstream. For whatever reason, she had yet to revert to her hippogriff form, and remained flopping awkwardly with her fishy tail in one of the study table chairs.

Whenever Gallus shot her a quizzical glance, she flashed a toothy grin that was equal parts nervousness and thinly-veiled mirth. Like everything, this little incident seemed to be most amusing to her.

“I don’t understand how this could have happened,” Twilight huffed from the front of the library, bringing Gallus’ attention back to the only two individuals in the room unaffected by the change.

“It was my fault, I shouldn’t have left them unattended,” Spike said, having rushed to get Twilight as soon as he’d returned.

“It was an accident,” Gallus spoke, once again wincing at the higher pitch of his voice.

“None of you are at fault for this spell,” Twilight said, much to Gallus’ surprise, as she continued to pace. “In fact, I’m surprised Ocellus knew what a witch-weevil was, even if she is top of the class in magical biology.

“What I don’t understand,” Twilight continued. “Is how such a dangerous spell book ended up in the griffon history section. Books like that are meant to be locked in the restricted archives. I’ve checked the logbooks, and the Metamorphomagica isn’t listed as having been checked out. Besides, I would have had to approve any use of it.”

“So someone stole it and planted it in the regular library?” Gallus asked.

“I haven’t the slightest idea,” Twilight admitted.

Gallus felt his heart sink, and judging from the looks on his friends’ faces, he wasn’t alone in that sentiment.

“But, you can still fix us, right?” Smolder asked, her voice gravelly with the popping of sparks from her still-smoking throat. “You’re a princess. This should be easy for you.”

“Normally, it would be, if the spell caster had been a pony, or any other intelligent creature,” Twilight said. “However, a witch-weevil makes things significantly more complicated. They don’t cast spells in the traditional sense. They release their stored magic in a tangled burst, usually to escape predators, but also upon death. The spells come out jumbled and fragmented, and it’s a wonder you all transformed so completely rather than only halfway, or in some combination of randomness.

“Because of that,” Twilight said. “I can’t undo the spell without risking serious magical harm to you all.”

“Yona stuck as big shaggy yak-guy forever?” Yona whimpered, surprisingly quietly.

“I’ll do everything in my power to reverse this,” Twilight promised after a tense silence. “But at the moment... I can’t make any promises.”

A heavy silence fell across the room.

It was broken shortly thereafter by a muffled chortle.

“Is there something you would like to add, Miss Silverstream?” Twilight asked, her eyes widening as she saw that ‘miss’ somehow still described Silverstream perfectly. “You didn’t change, and yet, you reverted to your hippocampus form. Why is that?”

“I, uh, I... Don’t know,” Silverstream admitted. “My charm got all hot and sparkly when everyone was changing and, then, well...”

Silverstream undid the thin chord holding her charm around her neck and handed it to Twilight, who studied it carefully. A sizable crack had nearly split the charm down the middle.

“It’s dead,” Twilight said.

“What?!” Silverstream gasped.

“The magic stored inside the charm has completely left it,” Twilight explained. “I’m not sure how, or why, but I suspect the witch-weevil’s magical burst settled on the nearest sources of magic it could find. All life has at least a bit of magic, particularly intelligent creatures. However, the magic needed to create a transformation charm probably outweighed your own magic, Silverstream. The witch-weevil’s discharge clashed with the magic of your charm, overloaded the mechanism, and escaped with a small discharge as they cancelled each other out. That’s also probably why you turned back into a hippocampus”

“...What?” was all Silverstream could say.

“Think of your charm being a shield that took the arrow for you, but broke in the process,” spoke an oddly melodic yet masculine voice.

It took Gallus a moment to realize it was Ocellus who had spoken. Her eyes were downcast. She clearly wasn’t used to her new voice, either.

“Does that mean we could get other charms to take our ‘arrows’ for us?” Gallus asked, mirroring Ocellus’ sentiment about his new voice.

“Yapping griffon already lost ‘his’ arrow,” Yona snorted, earning her a heated glare from Gallus and a smoky chuckle from Smolder.

“We’re all arrowless,” Sandbar murmured. “Wayward souls, tossed across the uncaring oceans of time and space like ships without rudders or oars, but we do have sails, but the wind is blowing the sails for us, and we don’t have the necessary rope or nautical knowledge to harness the wind to our advantage, and... And... I can see forever...”

Twilight eyed Sandbar warily before shooting Gallus a quizzical look.

“He does that sometimes when he’s coming down from... Um... Serious thinking,” Gallus admitted sheepishly. “Wakes me up in the night sometimes, reciting poetry, with that stare... Freaks me out.”

“I’ll schedule Mr. Sandbar an appointment with the school counselor,” Twilight sighed. “I had thought we’d gotten over the ‘recreational herbology,’ but we have more pressing matters at the moment. I’ll have to research the matter thoroughly, but for now, you are all dismissed. Your detention is hereby waived. I think this incident will give you all more than enough reason to reflect.”

“Wait, we’re supposed to... Walk out into the rest of the school... Like this?” Smolder asked, gesturing down at her considerably larger, boxier frame. “Let everyone see us?”

“Most students are home for the holiday weekend,” Twilight pointed out.

“Not all students!” Yona harrumphed. “Yona not want anyone see Yona’s ugly face-beard!”

“Your beard isn’t ugly, Yona,” Twilight said with a half-smile. “Unfamiliar, yes, but we’ll hopefully return things to normal soon enough.”

“Yona’s fantastic facial follicles frolic forever freely fabulously,” Sandbar said.

“Sandbar really think so?” Yona asked, glancing at Sandbar somewhat hopefully through her parted curtain of shaggy locks.

Sandbar didn’t return her gaze, but did smile and nod.

“Yona think Sandy's new mane very pretty,” Yona replied. “Yona do ask Sandy blink, though. Gallus right about one thing. Infinity stare is big freaky.”

Sandbar’s eyelids attempted to do so, got about a third of the way, and gave up.

“I’ll send for you all soon with any progress I make,” Twilight announced. “Until then, please try not to go too far from the school grounds.”

With a flash, Twilight, Spike, and the Metamorphomagica disappeared, leaving them all alone in the library.

Everyone’s gaze shifted to Gallus, who backed up hastily.

“Guys, girls, everyone,” Gallus spoke. “How can you blame this on me? You heard what Twilight said; this was a total accident!”

“None of which would’ve happened if you had left us alone when we said ‘no’ to your stupid prank idea the first hundred times,” Smolder snapped. “Why was this one such a big deal? You’ve dropped your dumber ideas before when we’ve told you no. Why couldn’t you let this one go, too?”

“This one was different,” Gallus began.

“Yona wanted final semester of Friendship School to be magic, not tragic!” Yona growled.

“Exactly, that’s why--” Gallus tried to say.

“I looked, and behold a pale griffon, and his name that sat on him was detention,” Sandbar mumbled. “A bummer of a summer followed him.”

“Sandbar, that doesn’t make any sense,” Gallus managed to say.

“I think you all look great!” Silverstream chirped. “Think of it as a fun chance to explore the other side! I mean, look at me. I’m wet all the time and dry the other part of the time, and now you can all be wet or dry maybe sort of also!”

Everyone stared at Silverstream blankly.

“The ocean and dry land?” Silverstream elaborated. “The two different worlds I experience? It was one of those... You know, hyperbole, or simile, or... Uh...”

“Metaphor,” Ocellus spoke quietly, tearing her gaze away from her hooves at last and looking up at Gallus, tears in her compartmentalized eyes. “Why did you have to mess up our last real time together as friends, Gallus?”

Gallus froze, his words caught and dying in his throat.

“Ocellus, I never meant for this to happen, I swear,” Gallus said. “I only did this because--”

Gallus words fell silent as, in a shimmer of magic, Ocellus disappeared, replaced by the form of a diminutive ladybug. She flew up to the nearest library window and slipped outside.

Gallus looked from one to the next of his remaining friends, who all averted their gaze. With sighs or grumbles, they headed towards the doors and exited the library, leaving Gallus stammering after them. Tears welled in his own eyes.

“I’m sorry,” Gallus sighed, though there was nobody left to hear him. “I didn’t mean to mess up our final time together. That’s exactly why I did all this. That’s why... I wanted to do one last...”

He hung his head, his elongated and greater abundance of feather-fluff falling flat.

“Students!” gasped Twilight, reappearing in the library with a burst of violet magic.

Gallus gasped, stumbling backwards.

“Mr. Gallus?” Twilight said, glancing around. “Where’s every-creature else?”

“They left,” Gallus said.

“Already?” Twilight asked.

“Yes,” Gallus said, picking himself up and rubbing his surprisingly tender backside with a wing, shuddering at the sensation it caused. “You nearly gave me a heart attack. Why’d you come back so fast?”

“This is more severe than I anticipated,” Twilight said, levitating the Metamorphomagica out from her cloak and setting it on the nearest table, causing Gallus to flinch back as if the book would transform him further still. “I don’t have much time to explain, but you need to tell every-creature as soon as possible.”

“I don’t think they really want to see me right now,” Gallus said, only for Twilight to grasp him in her magic and drag him over.

“Friendship is about being there for each other even when it’s hard,” Twilight said in a rush. “Besides, they all deserve to know what’s going to happen to them. What affected you was only the beginning of the spell.”

“What?!” Gallus gasped.

“There’s a lot more,” Twilight said with a worried tone. “The magical residue and the spell section containing the eaten pages was for bio-thaumaturgic-meta-reformation. Due to the jumbled nature of witch-weevil discharges, only the first part of the spell affected you first, but the rest will surely follow shortly.”

“In plain speak, please,” Gallus groaned.

“You were all subjected to the ‘bio’ portion,” Twilight explained. “That’s the body, transforming your physical sexes, save for Silverstream, I suppose. Soon the ‘thaumaturgic’ portion will kick in. That’s magic, the mind, the soul, the self.”

“So...?” Gallus said. “Ocellus is the only one of us who can cast magic.”

“But you all have magic,” Twilight argued. “All creatures have their own unique mystical signature, and soon, yours will change.”

“Which means?” Gallus asked.

“It’ll start slowly at first,” Twilight went on at a rapid pace. “The spell will assimilate new experiences as the baseline for a new persona. Altered interests or quirks at first, based on whatever you do or encounter from here on out. Then, larger shifts in personality. You’ll always remember who you were, but if we don’t cure this soon, you won’t be the same person anymore. Soon after, the ‘meta’ portion will activate. If you don’t resume your original body and self by that time, whoever you become will remain who you are, forever.”

“...What?” Gallus asked blankly.

“Gallus,” Twilight sighed, looking him dead in the eyes. “I have to research the book, but you really, really need to go tell all your friends they need to put aside their grievances. You all have to work together to find whoever tried to cast the spell the witch-weevil ate, or you’ll all turn into new people. You won’t be you as you now understand yourself anymore, and no magic will change you back permanently, because that’ll become the new real you, and the same for your friends with their changes.”

Gallus felt frozen in place, his eyes widening.

“How are we supposed to find who tried to cast the original spell?” he asked at last. “They must have died hundreds of years ago.”

“That’s the strangest thing,” Twilight finished. “I cast some scan-spells. I can’t tell everything because of how jumbled the magics became, but whoever stole the Metamorphomagica and tried to cast the original spell did it this morning. The book is ancient, but the magic the witch-weevil tried to eat is brand new.”