If Wishes were Ponies . . .

Harry Potter, after a beating by Dudley and friends — with the help of a real gang member — wishes he had somewhere safe to go, and starts crawling home. He ends up in Equestria. The young Cutie Mark Crusaders find him. A year later, an owl arrives with his Hogwarts' letter!

This was originally written and posted on FiMfiction several years ago. I have re-edited it. This version differs from the original in only minor details.

Inspired by Dogger807's hilarious story, "Magic School Days," on FiMfiction. While there is occasional humour in this story, that is not its focus. Cover art adapted from a drawing by philomenathephoenix.

Published with the kind forbearance of the copyright owners of My Little Pony (Hasbro) and the Harry Potter series (Scholastic Press).

The timeline for "My Little Pony" is messed up. That is, if you look closely, the order of the shows as aired is out of order of their logical sequence. Evidence: in Swarm of the Century (#10) we see the dresses that Rarity makes in Suited for Success (#14) — so unless Rarity time-travelled, #14 should take place before #10! Also, in The Ticket Master (#3), the other five seem to know Twilight and Spike quite well, yet in Boast Busters (#6) they don't seem to know Twilight at all.

With careful attention to details such as those, you can put the three years of episodes prior to Princess Twilight Sparkle (#65, Season Four) into a two-year stretch of time. If you work hard enough, you can even squeeze them down to one five-season stretch of Summer to Summer.

I used the two-year seven-part timeline mapped out by deviantart's tobyandmavisforever (do a Google search for "tobyandmavisforever mlp timeline" as the fastest way to find them). Thus, Harry arrives in Equestria shortly after the Crystal Empire two-part episode, and Twilight and Spike have been in Ponyville just under a year, even though the Crystal Empire episodes start the third year of My Little Pony.

1 – The Great Escape

Dudley landed one last kick on Harry's chest. "There," he said with deep satisfaction, "Next time you'll think twice before snitching to the clerk I snuck that lady's fiver from her purse, won't you?"

Harry gritted his teeth and tried to breathe as little as possible. Everything hurt just soo much.

A voice he didn't recognize said, "Is that the best you can do? What a bunch of tossers."

"Oi!" Dudley said. "He deserved it, ratting me out to that clerk. I think we did pretty good!"

"Yeah," came the agreement from his two best pals.

The man, it had to be a man, his voice was too low to be a boy, said, "That's not how ya give a beating! Look at you. You're all breathing hard! You wasted too much time and energy in this."

Of course he wasn't doing anything to help Harry. The first time an adult sees Dudley's gang in action and he wants to help them! Harry hated his life.

"Wot? You know a better way?" Dudley said cautiously, not quite trusting that this stranger who had caught them red-handed wasn't going to start yelling for the bobbies.

"Sure do," the stranger replied cockily. A pause, then "Wanna know?"

After a brief moment in which Harry could envision the three boys looking at each other came the answer, "Yeah."

"Okay, you two pick him up."

Harry felt Piers and Malcolm lift him to his feet, not that he could stand very well.

"Keep a good grip boys, don't drop him. You."

"Me?" came Dudley's voice.

"Yeah. Make a fist, and hit him right here."

Harry felt a finger poke him just below his ribs.

"Not hard, just a good solid hit."

Harry tried to brace himself, but it was no use. The blow, when it came, took all of his air out of his lungs. He would have fallen if not for the two holding him. He tried to gasp, his mouth wide open, but couldn't get any air. It felt like he was drowning and unable to breathe.

Dudley gave a sick sounding laugh, "Lookit his face! He looks like he's a fish with his eyes popped out and his mouth opening and closing!"

"That's the solar plexus. Hit someone there and they lose all their air. They can't breathe. They're completely at your mercy. Ya see, the lungs drop down below the ribs and hitting that spot forces them closed, pushing out ALL their air. And because the insides of the lungs are wet and sticky, they stay stuck together, it takes a long time, several minutes, before they come apart properly and he can breathe normally."

"Now, knee him right there, as hard as you can."

Pain exploded from his groin. He couldn't even yell in pain, all that came out was a squeak.

"Did you hear that?" Dudley said excitedly. "He squeaked just like a mouse does when I stomp on it!"

"Yeah," came the man's voice. "The advantage of hitting him the solar plexus first is that he can't call for help." They all laughed. "Now the next target is right here."

Harry felt a touch on his side towards the back.

"That's the kidneys zone, one on each side. It's kinda hard to hit 'cause you gotta angle up a bit as they're somewhat protected by the ribs. Now, for most people it's merely painful as hell to get hit there. But this guy, he's already softened up. A solid hit there and he'll piss his trousers for ya"

"Really?" came Dudley's disbelieving voice, followed an instant later by a wave of pain from his side. His trousers suddenly felt warm and wet.

"Cor! That's cool!"

"Okay, now you try it."

"Me?" Polkiss said.

Harry felt them shuffle around as Dudley replaced Polkiss in holding him up. He passed out before Polkiss could get to hitting his kidneys.

He came to lying on the ground, face in the dirt. ". . . so if you're interested I'll be here next week and we can talk some more about me gang and you joining." The man laughed, "Maybe even get in a little practice if yer cousin here shows up. Welp, that's enough for today. Don't whale on the kidneys or bollocks too much or you'll put him in hospital for weeks. Ya rupture a kidney and the constables take a right serious look for ya. And the bollocks? Well, too much on them and he'll never have to worry about kids!"

Dudley laughed, "My folks would appreciate that!" He felt a foot kick him on the inside of his thigh, fortunately missing the target Dudley wanted.

Harry could hear some grumbling from the others, but the two holding him let him drop to the ground.

"And now what?" asked the man. "You just leave him here? Aren't you worried he'll tell someone you beat him up?"

Dudley laughed. "Naw. I'll just tell my folks that he had a falling out with his gang and they beat him up. He knows better than to say different. My folks never believe anything he says." He laughed again. "If'n Harry said the sky was blue my folks would call him a liar and lock 'im in his cupboard!

The man laughed as well. Then he said, "Well, tell you what, I'll drag him a bit farther into the trees here so someone in the park don't accidentally see him and call the constables."

Harry heard the others walking away, discussing how much fun it had been to beat up Harry and who they were going to harass next. When their voices had disappeared he felt the man grab his arm and drag him some distance. The man mumbled to himself, "What a lark. Here I am visitin' me cousin and I find those chumps. They'll make good fall guys come the right time."

Harry's trousers, overly large castoffs from Dudley, were slowly sliding down his legs. He was finally getting his breath back and beginning to try to struggle a bit when the man dragging him stopped and punched him in the solar plexus again.

He went out like a light. When he awoke, it was late in the afternoon, and starting to get dark. He hurt everywhere, especially his groin and backside. The man must have kicked him several times just for fun.

He looked around blearily. There, beside his head, were his broken glasses. At least the tape had held. The man must have brought them along, figuring that someone finding just the glasses might report it to the constables.

Getting to his feet was a major accomplishment and took much longer than it should. He wasn't sure where he was, but it had to be close to the Little Whinging Playground and Park. He couldn't stay here, though. He pulled his trousers and trousers back up and pulled the belt as tight as he could.

At the very least he had to make it to the Durleys'. Even if they hated him, if he was hurt bad enough, they would take him to the hospital. At least this time he wouldn't have to lie too much, he could truthfully say a gang had beaten him up instead of saying he had tripped going down the stairs. He just wouldn't say which gang.

Besides, he couldn't stay out here all night, even if he might prefer it. His . . . relatives . . . got upset if he stayed out too late. It reflected badly on them if anyone saw him out late alone. And that man might come back.

One side of the sky was lighter than the other, so he headed towards the sun, figuring that must be west and the park was on the east side of the Durlseys' house.

A few times he considered just collapsing where he was and waiting to die. Then, at least, he would be with his parents. They may have been drunkards, but he was sure they loved him.

He wasn't making fast progress as he staggered from tree to tree while trying to keep to the same direction. Fallen tree limbs and trunks that blocked his path made that difficult. He stopped frequently as pain wracked his body. He fell repeatedly, and each time it was harder to get up.

He just wished there was somewhere else besides the Dursleys' he could go. Miss Figg, his sometimes babysitter was right out. She'd just take him straight to the Dursleys. He wanted somewhere where he didn't sleep in a cupboard under the stairs, somewhere where he wasn't punished for things he didn't understand or for getting a better grade than his lazy cousin. Somewhere where he was safe — or at least as safe as everyone else. Somewhere where he could belong. Somewhere where he was considered normal.

He lurched from the current tree supporting him towards the next but somehow missed it. That was particularly painful for some reason, and he rolled across the forest floor. He could no longer stand upright and had to push forward on his hands and knees. Funny that, he couldn't feel his fingers anymore. Actually, it felt more like he was crawling on only his middle fingers.

Vaguely, he knew something was wrong. He should have crossed a street by now. Even if he had gone in the wrong direction, he still should have stumbled onto a street or path of some kind. But the light was getting brighter ahead. Eventually he found himself on the edge of a field. He must have gone the wrong direction and had stumbled into one of the farms in the area. And hadn't it been dark a few minutes ago? Or had the forest fooled him into thinking it was later than it really was?

He collapsed as he reached the edge of the forest. Standing again was right out. In fact, he couldn't even push himself up enough to crawl on his hands and knees. He started dragging himself forward, pushing, kicking, with his legs. If he got into the field, out from under the trees, maybe someone would see him — the grass didn't seem to be all that high, he could almost see over it.

He didn't notice the new scratches and cuts he accumulated doing this. Their additional pain was lost in the blaze of everything else complaining about his treatment.

Finally, he stopped and just lay there in the grass with the sun on his back.

He could go no farther. His legs stretched out behind him and his arms in front.

Oddly, he couldn't feel his hands or feet anymore. Wasn't that a symptom of blood loss? Losing feeling in your extremities? Huh, maybe he was dying. Small loss. He wondered if his mother looked like his aunt. He hoped not. Well, he would find out soon enough. At least he would be back with his mother and father. No more Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia, or Cousin Dudley to torture him.

He expected to fall asleep, but now that he wasn't trying to move the pain wouldn't let him. Rolling onto his side helped only fractionally. Breathing in short gasps helped keep his chest pains down. But everything below his chest was just solid pain. Breathe in, breathe out, not too fast, not too slow. That was all he could think. Nothing else mattered. Breathe in, breathe out, not too fast, not too slow.

It smelled like spring — moist soil and crushed grass. It reminded him of working on Aunt Petunia's agapanthi, roses, and pansies in front of the house and in the back garden. A good, earthy smell. Funny the things you thought about when you were dying.

۸-_-۸

Sometime later, whether minutes or hours he couldn't tell, he heard voices. From the pitch he thought they sounded like girls.

"I think it was over here."

"Naw, it was farther this way."

"I think it was closer to the trees."

"How 'bout we form a line starting over thar. Scootaloo, ya'll get over by the trees, but not too close. Sweetie Belle, get over thar on the other side of meh. We'll walk along the edge of the forest, that way we'll spot whatever it is easiest."

"Yay! Cutie Mark Crusaders Search and Rescue!" One of them cheered loudly.

It was quiet for a moment, then, "Look, over there!"

The voices were much closer now. He could hear soft footsteps on the grassy ground.

"I see it!"

"Celestia!" Cried one of them, "It's a filly!"

Harry tried to move his head, but it was just too much effort.

The voices were right on top of him. "Oh, Celestia," one of them half-whispered, "She looks terribly beat up."

A third voice said quietly, "Is she dead?"

Harry struggled to move his head.

"Her ear moved!" The first voice said excitedly.

"She's alive!" Said the third voice at the same time. "You can see the grass by her muzzle movin'!"

"Look at the blood on her pants, she's hurt bad! We need to get her to the hospital, fast!" Said the second voice. "I'll go get my sister!"

"Wait Apple Bloom! I got an idea!"

"Well, hurry up Scootaloo, what is it?"

They were so excited they were talking over each other.

"I can go faster than your sister can carry her. I'll get my scooter and cart and we can carry her there that way."

"Well, what are yeh waitin' fer? Get a move on!" Apple Bloom ordered.

Harry heard the sounds of two people running away. Breathe in, breathe out, not too fast, not too slow.

"What should we do?" asked the second voice timorously.

"Use your healing spells?"

"I'm not sure they'll help. I mean they're fine for small cuts and such, but for these . . . ," said the other voice. "I'm not good yet."

"Anythin' is better than nothin', AJ always says," came the quick reply. "Start with those cuts on her face."

Spells? Harry thought. Was he dreaming?

A warmness seemed to wrap around his head and a bit of the pain in his face went away. He hadn't even realized his face hurt that bad until the pain lessened.

"Do ya think it helped?"

"Well, it didn't hurt."

"What are those strange clothes she's wearing? They look more like rags!"

"Less fashion talk and more healin'."

"Alright, alright."

"Try each leg separately," Apple Bloom suggested.

He could hear something coming towards them, a clanking, rattling series of sounds accompanied by a flapping, almost buzzing sound. What a strange noise for a motor to make.

"What took ya so long, Scootaloo?"

"Hey, I ran as fast as I could!"

"Park it here beside her. I think we can get her into it if we work at it."

He could hear them walking around him. It sounded like six people, but he only heard three talking.

"Sweetie Belle, do ya think ya can lift her?" Apple Bloom asked.

"Uh-uh. As small as she is she's still too big for me."

"Uh, how about you lift her head and Scoots and I'll lift the rest of her?"

"Maybe," was the uncertain reply.

"Scootaloo, grab her belt. I'll grab her blouse. Sweetie Belle, try to keep her head up."

"Eww. Her pants smell like pee."

Apple Bloom said, "Scootaloo, there ain't exactly any toilets out here, and she isn't in any condition to use one anyway. If'n it bothers you that much, I'll do it."

Harry felt something grab the back of his collar and lift at the same time something warm wrapped around his head. As Scootaloo lifted him by his belt he could hear a constant mumbled, "Eww, eww, eww." He couldn't really hear anything more as waves of pain wracked his body. Breathe in, breathe out, not too fast, not too slow.

It felt like forever, a forever of constant pain, until the three girls finished manhandling him into some type of wagon. They folded his arms and legs to get him to fit lying down on his side. Which was weird, he would have thought they would have placed him on his back. He had tried to open his eyes, but all he could see was the side of the cart. He gave up on that rather quickly, it hurt too much.

"Hey, Apple Bloom," Scootaloo said after they placed him in the wagon. "Maybe you should tell your sister what we found. We got ta go right by the house, so why don't you see if you can find her and we'll meet you there?"

"Right!" came the quick answer, followed by the distinct sounds of a horse running off.

"Sweetie Belle," Scootaloo continued, "try to keep her head from bouncing around."

"Okay."

The next few minutes brought more pain for Harry. And a bit puzzling. He couldn't figure out what was moving this wagon. That flapping-almost-buzzing sound wasn't anything like any motor he had even heard before. He didn't think about that too much as the cart bouncing as Scootaloo dragged it across the field introduced a few new bruises and tortured him with the bruises he already had. All he could do was concentrate on breathing.

Fortunately, Sweetie Belle did manage to keep his head from beating the wagon's floor like it was a drum and his head the drumstick. Although, he wasn't sure how she managed to do it as he didn't feel anyone's hands or a blanket cushioning him. He did hear the hoof beats of a horse beside him though. For some reason he smelled apples.

Apple Bloom had found her sister, apparently, for when they stopped, some time later, he heard a woman's voice say, "Celestia! Ya'll're right, she is a real mess!"

"Scootaloo, Sweetie Belle, yeh take her on to the hospital. Apple Bloom is going to show me and Big Mac where ya found her. She might have had someone with her who didn't make it out of the forest. Now git!"

Almost immediately he heard three horses taking off back the way they had come, followed a moment later by that weird flapping noise and the wagon starting to move.

"You keep her head safe, Sweetie Belle," Scootaloo called from in front of him.

"Uh huh."

The ride, while still painful, was much smoother now, and faster from the sounds of it. Apparently, they were on some kind of a road now.

When Scootaloo started yelling "Gangway! Emergency! Coming through!" at the top of her lungs he realized they must have reached the town. There was a sudden decrease in speed and Sweetie Belle yelled, "I'll get the doors!" He heard the sound of hoof beats on a wooden ramp and the rolling sounds of wheels on wood. He figured the hospital was at hand.

The authoritative voice of a woman loudly protested, "Hey, you can't ride that thing in here!"

"Emergency!" yelled Scootaloo, "Hurt filly! Real bad!"

More hoof beats, then, "My word! Bring her over here!" A moment later he heard, "Doctor Well Heart to reception, STAT! Doctor Well Heart to reception, STAT!"

Oh yeah, Harry knew he was in a hospital now. But why were there horses here, he wondered. When he opened his eyes all he could see was the wooden side of the wagon he was in and the ceiling over his head. And it hurt to keep his eyes open, so he just closed them again and concentrated on breathing — in and out, not too deep, not too little.

"What happened?" the reception nurse asked. "You can let her down now, honey," she said to Sweetie Belle.

Before the other girl could answer Harry heard a horse clip-clop into the room and over beside him.

"Me and my friends, Apple Bloom and Sweetie Belle, were working on our cutie marks — you know, crusading? — when we saw something over by the edge of the Everfree Forest and we thought it was a hurt animal, maybe a deer, so we ran over to see what it was and found her and at first we thought she was dead because of the blood and all the cuts and stuff but then we saw her ear move and saw her breathing so we got my scooter and wagon and brought her here as fast as we could and is she going to die?" Scootaloo managed to say all in one breath.

"I tried casting the healing spell I know, but it's for small cuts and then I kept her head from bouncing in the cart as we raced over here," Sweetie Belle added. Then said quietly, "I feel dizzy." There was the thump of someone sitting heavily on the floor.

The Doctor, meanwhile had been, gently lifting and examining Harry's head, arms, and legs. Funny that, he could feel his arms and legs moving, but he couldn't feel anyone's hands doing the lifting. Maybe he was closer to dead than he thought. He couldn't find the energy to get worked up over that. He smiled, thinking maybe soon he would see his parents.

"Where's Apple Bloom?" asked the nurse.

"She took Applejack, and Big Mac to where we found the filly. Applejack said there might have been someone with her," Scootaloo explained.

"Right," said the Doctor after a moment, "we need to get her into the examining room there. I'll lift her."

Harry expected to feel someone pick him up but instead he just drifted up into the air as a warm blanket of air seemed to move under him. He opened his eyes again, but everything was a blur, although he did see several horses standing around. He wondered where the doctors and nurses were. He closed his eyes again. They hurt and the movements around him were unsettling.

"Nurse, sound the alarm bell. First send the code for the Guard to go to Sweet Apple Acres by Applejack's old tree-house. Second, send the code for all hooves on deck in-case there are more casualties. If not, it'll be a good drill."

"Yes, Doctor," came the rapid response of a different woman and the clip-clop-clip of hoof beats fading away. Why were they riding horses in a Hospital?

"Here, honey, drink this water. You're not hurt are you?" said the original nurse

"I'm just tired, I think," Sweetie Belle said. "I kept her head from bouncing around in the cart while we ran here."

"That's quite a distance to run while keeping up a levitation spell, honey, you did very well. Just rest here a bit, okay?"

"Uh huh," came the tired response.

Any further conversation cut off as the Doctor carried him into another room. He heard a curtain slide as the Doctor gently laid him down.

"First, we need to take off these clothes," the Doctor said quietly. Harry felt air swirl around first his right arm and then the other as his shirt was cut apart. Moments later, his trousers followed. No loss as far as he was concerned. They were rags anyway, but Aunt Petunia would throw a wobbly anyway over him ruining another set of Dudley's cast-offs.

Harry could hear the sound of a large bell ringing in a pattern of clangs and quiet. The codes the doctor had ordered, Harry guessed.

"Why is she bleeding there?" came Scootaloo's voice.

From the slight scrabbling of hooves Harry got the impression Scootaloo startled the Doctor's horse. "Ah, well, first, you are not supposed to be in here."

"Ah, come on, I brought her all the way here, can't I watch?"

"No, I'm sorry, but out you go." From the clipping, clopping, and sliding sounds Harry got the impression that the Doctor was rather forcefully pushing the girl out of the room. "And, by the way, he's a colt."

"What!?" came the startled reply.

After that it was quiet except for the Doctor's mumbling and the scratching of a pen on paper as he made notes. Oddly enough, as the Doctor moved around Harry, the pains and aches were slowly decreasing. They didn't go away completely, but he was definitely feeling better. Huh, he'd never had that happen before. Usually, it took a couple of hours for that to happen. And he thought he'd been hurt too bad this time. A vague sense of disappointment settled over him. He wasn't going to see his parents after all.

The quiet didn't last long as soon there was a flood of hooves entering the hospital in response to the warning bell.

"Ah, Doctor Heart, is this the new patient?"

"Hi, Doctor Horse, he is at that. Quite a mess, really. Two black eyes — multiple orbital fractures — split lip, numerous contusions and lacerations all over, especially the forelegs and chest. He clearly dragged himself in the dirt for quite some distance — need to make sure those are cleaned before we heal them. Some kidney damage, two broken ribs, the rest all have cracks of various sizes, swollen testicles from blunt force impact, and . . . ," he sighed deeply, ". . . this." There was a pause, then he added, "Not to mention chronic malnutrition and starvation. Based on his size, his weight is low by a quarter, and his height has been similarly affected, I would guess. No telling how old he is though and what he really should be in weight and height."

"Found near the Everfree?"

"Yep."

"That's a letter to Canterlot and an investigation."

"Yep."

They both sighed.

"Keep meticulous records."

"Oh, yeah, I plan on it."

"Guards?"

"Haven't heard back yet."

"Have you put him to sleep yet?"

"That's next. He's almost out already. Wanted to check for head trauma first. That's about the only thing he doesn't have. Might as well do it now."

Harry didn't hear anything else as he abruptly blacked out.

۸-_-۸