Disclaimer: I own neither Harry Potter, nor My Little Ponies: Friendship is Magic! This was just a silly little thing that got stuck in my head and wouldn't leave.
Chapter 2: The Art of Conversation
"… Wuh? Yeh can talk?!"
"Um… Yes? Am I not supposed to?" Twilight looked at him with bemusement.
"Ah… well… I've ne'er met a unicorn that did." He kept her supported with one hand and his side while he ran his other hand over his beard. "Tha's not to say tha' they couldn't I s'pose…" he trailed off in thought. "Yer not an animagus are yeh? One that got stuck? Yer a different color than any unicorn I've ever 'eard of, and that marking yeh've got on yeh could be from a tattoo."
Twilight blinked at him, "I don't think so? I'm not sure what an animagus is, exactly so I can't be sure, but as far as I know I'm just a regular unicorn." She shifted her feet slightly, correcting her balance a bit, and glanced down at her flank. "This is my Cutie Mark, I got it when I became Princess Celestia's student." Her voice glowed with pride at her accomplishment as she looked back at him. "I'm Twilight Sparkle by the way."
"Oh," he blinked back at her, then smiled widely. "M'name's Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts, and Professor of Care of Magical Creatures." He puffed his chest out with pride. "Jes' started teachin' this year as a matter o' fact."
"Ah, I thought that you might be. You had mentioned that you were working on your lesson plans earlier." Twilight shifted her feet again, and Hagrid put his other had back on her other side to help steady her.
"Well now, Twilight, It's good teh be makin' yer acquaintance. Would yeh like teh come and have sumthin' teh eat with me? We could talk about unicorns some more, seein' as how yer a magical creature, an' I've gotta be teachin' the thir' years abou' yeh."
Twilight smiled at him. "That sounds wonderful, professor. I'd love to learn more about the creatures that you'll be teaching about, and I could do with a cup of tea."
"Professor," Twilight said in a tone that was both curious and cautious.
"Yeah, Twiligh'?" Hagrid paused in his note taking to look at her.
"Are all your students as large and… robust as you?" She shifted slightly to be able to look directly at him. She had settled on a thick blanket that Hagrid had laid down for her next to the steps leading up to his hut. After brewing both of them a massive pot of tea, he had then sat back down, and continued to construct his syllabus while talking to her about the different creatures that he was excited to show them. He had just finished telling her his plan to make a big splash on his first day by introducing them to a herd of hippogriffs that he had earned the trust of.
"Aahhh… no. I'm a bit… different than the res' o' them." He paused and fidgeted uncomfortably a bit before elaborating. "Mos' humans are much smaller, thinner and… less 'airy than me." He scratched his cheek absentmindedly. "An' mos' of the young'ns are righ' tiny." He chuckled a bit under his breath. "Even up to the fourth an' fifth years." His gaze became lost in the middle distance as he got momentarily caught up in memories. Shaking himself, he turned back to Twilight. "Why do yeh ask?"
"Well, I was just wondering, considering the descriptions of the creatures in your book, how you chose what creatures would be safe for the younger students. If they were all built like you, then they would have very little problem dealing with most creatures I'd imagine. But, if they're much smaller and weaker, then wouldn't it behoove you to introduce them to more gentle creatures first? At least until they prove that they can behave themselves, and can earn the reward of more interesting creatures. It would make sense that you can trust the older students to act respectfully, considering that they've been taking this class for a few years, but the young ones won't necessarily know how to act, and will be more inclined to behave poorly because they don't understand the severity of the situation. Young of any species do tend to get over-excited and forget about the rules when faced with something interesting after all." She crooked a small smile at him while giving him a questioning look.
"Uh… huh. I never really though' about tha'." Hagrid turned to look into the middle distance again, a considering look on his face. "I jes' wanted teh show them somethin' really impressive for their firs' lesson." He ran a hand over his beard again while he thought. "Yer not wrong though. Some o' them can be righ' hyper some o' the time." Tapping his quill absentmindedly on his journal, he thought about it some more. "Hippogriffs are righ' prideful beasts. If any o' them were to insult 'em, purposefully or no', they'd react poorly. And I know tha' one o' my firs' classes will include the Slytherins. They're no' the mos' respectful lot at the bes' of times." His eyebrows furrowed at that thought, and his mouth pulled down in a small frown.
"Well, are there any other creatures that are suitably impressive, that will put up with children that have questionable manners?" Twilight leaned over the Monster Book of Monsters, looking at the current page depicting a creature that had the head and wings of an eagle, and the body of a horse. "Maybe something fluffy, or brightly colored? You can always reward the ones with good behavior later by introducing them to the hippogriffs after they've proven that they can be polite and respectful."
Hagrid shook himself a bit, and looked back at her, smiling thoughtfully. "Well, nifflers are cuddly, but no' really impressive, and I was saving 'em for my fourth year class. Gonna have a diggin' competition and 'opefully turn it into a yearly thing where e'ry student 'as to take care of and train their own. Bugbears are fluffy and bright red, but we run into the same problem as the hippogriffs." Tilting his head slightly, and looking up to the right, he considered the question. "I was going to introduce 'em to unicorns later in the semester, and the li'l ones are brigh' gold. The girls always seemed to ge' excited over 'em. They're no' fond o' boys when they're grown, but the young'ns don' mind as much."
Twilight blinked. "Young unicorns are all golden? Do you mean golden yellow, or like the actual metal? I know you had said that all the adults were white as far as you knew. I had just assumed that they started off that way." After a while of resting, drinking tea, and eating, her memories of the events leading up to her arrival in the glen had mostly come back to her. They then had a very eye-opening conversation that had led her to the conclusion that she had, indeed, accidentally traveled between dimensions. She had practically hyperventilated from excitement at the discovery, and at the fear of not knowing how she'd get back. She had been using the discussion of different creatures to help distract her mind and keep her from panicking.
Hagrid looked back at her, blinking slowly himself as he caught her question. "Huh? Oh, yeah. The foals are brigh' gold, like a Galleon coin. They turn pure whi' when they grow older, aroun' a year." He gestured a meaty hand towards her with a grin. "Tha's no' the case where you're from I'd guess."
Twilight smiled back. "Um, no. Definitely not. We stay the same color our whole lives. The only thing that changes is getting our Cutie Mark." Shaking her head at another difference between this world and her own, she got them back on track. "Using unicorns for your first class sounds like a good compromise. You had mentioned that they're rare and purely magical creatures that are fast, and hard to catch. It would be very impressive for you to be able to find and coax some foals to let them see. Would their parents mind?" She leaned down to take a drink of tea from the clay bowl that Hagrid had gotten for her earlier.
"Their paren's?" Hagrid looked bewildered for a moment, his brows furrowing again. Then his face cleared in understanding. "Oh, you mean the adul' unicorns. Nah, I don' think so. They've let me patch 'em up in the pas', and I've go' a bit of a rappor' with 'em. They'll jes' stay on the edge of the wood-line an' keep an eye on their young'ns."
"Well, as long as their parents are fine with it, then I guess that you've got a plan." Twilight smiled at Hagrid, happy to have helped him.
"I guess I do." Hagrid returned her smile with a wide grin. "This'll be a real trea' for the thir' years." His gaze became thoughtful once more, and he looked off to the side towards the horizon. "I won'er if I could ge' Charlie Weasley to bring out Norberta for my N.E.W.T.S class."
Twilight blinked in confusion. "Who's Norberta?" Before Hagrid could reply, a sphere of bright violet light flashed about fifty feet away from them. When they had both blinked the spots out of their vision they saw the form of a twelve foot tall winged unicorn with a multi-colored mane and tail that seemed to flow, almost as if it were in a stream of water. Her body and wings were brilliantly white with a golden sunburst of her haunch, and her hooves were adorned with golden shoes. She wore a gold collar set with a large purple stone, and a golden crown of the same. She stumbled a bit before righting herself, and quickly looked around. "Princess Celestia!" Twilight surged to her feet, and clumsily made her way over to her monarch as swiftly as she could. "You're here! You found me! How… Oh my goodness, you're huge!"
"Yes, Twilight, I found you." Princess Celestia chuckled, then smiled down at her favorite student with a smile that was equal parts relief, fondness, and amusement. "It took us a while to realize that you were gone, considering that it most likely happened last night. We started worrying when you didn't show up for classes after breakfast. Spike has been frantic." She swished her tail a bit at this, and Twilight hung her head in embarrassment.
"I couldn't sleep because I was thinking about a passage that I had read in a book about trans-planar teleportation, so I went to the library for research. It took me a long time, but I finally found a book that had information about it. I guess I ended up mumbling out an incantation when I was reading it." Her cheeks blushed rosy and her head fell further in embarrassment. "I'm sorry."
"Well, I am just glad that you are safe. Make sure that you take this experience as a lesson, and in the future try not to read any passages out loud unless absolutely certain that they are safe." Princess Celestia chided gently, wearing a soft smile.
"Yes, Princess." At a strange garbled noise behind her, Twilight's head came up, and she looked back toward where she had come from. Hagrid was sitting there, mouth agape and eyes impossibly wide. "Oh! I forgot! Princess, this is Professor Rubeus Hagrid; Professor, this is Princess Celestia, ruler of Equestria, and my teacher."
"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Professor Hagrid. My thanks for taking care of my student." Princess Celestia nodded towards him. There was a long silence as Hagrid just stared at her, entranced, until Twilight *snrked* and raised her front knee to her mouth, trying to cover up her laugh. This caused Hagrid to start, and he shook himself bodily. Standing up, he put his things to the side, and laid a hand to his chest, bowing deeply, and rather more gracefully than one might expect from a being so large.
"The pleasure's all mine, yer Majesty." He stood straight, and had a massive smile on his face. "I've been having a won'erful time with Miss Twiligh' here, and she even helped me a bi' with my lesson plans." He paused, and his cheeks turned a bit pink. Swinging his hands toward his hut, he gestured to the giant pot of cooled tea that was sitting on the stairs. "Would yeh… like some tea? Yer Majesty?"
Celestia smiled at him, and shook her head. "While I'm sure that your tea would be lovely, I'm afraid that we must take our leave. There is much to do back at the palace, and I cannot be away from it for long." Turning to Twilight she inquired, "Do you have anything that was brought here with you?"
"No, Princess Celestia." Twilight shook her head a bit, then turned to Hagrid, giving him a wistful smile. "It was amazing meeting you, Professor Hagrid. Thank you for all of your help. You're going to be a wonderful teacher." Her smile brightened. "And your tea was fantastic!"
Hagrid's eyes seemed to tear up a bit, and he waved his hand at her. "G'bye Twiligh'! It was grea' meeting you too!" Princess Celestia murmured some words, and her horn flashed bright violet. When he blinked his vision back, they were gone. Sniffing a bit, he let his hand fall back down to his side. After a minute of staring at where they had been, he took a great sigh, dusted his hands off, then sat back down on his steps. Pulling his writing desk back onto his lap, he paused, then pulled out a piece of parchment and started to compose a letter to Charlie Weasley.
[A/N 1]: Yes, Twilight Sparkle can talk using her mouth. Horses have the muscle dexterity to talk, smile, and frown - meaning that they are physically capable of it. They just lack the mental maturity and racial emotional response to do so.
[A/N 2]: Yes, I know that Pinkie Pie used to be a grey earth pony, and that she turned pink the day that she got her cutie mark. Twilight doesn't know this, seeing as she hasn't met her yet. As far as Twilight knows, there are no ponies that have changed color. Also, Pinkie Pie is the single exception to this rule.
[A/N 3]: The type of tea that Hagrid brewed for them was an Apple-Spice Tisane. He is fully aware how caffeine affects most creatures (although he doesn't know it's the caffeine per se, just that tea leaves themselves have an adverse affect on most creatures), and thought that since she was a horse-like creature, that she would like apples.