Finally! Bath and Bed
have a dagger I can borrow?" asked Jack.
"What do you need a dagger for?" asked Gibbs handing over his.
"If I am to wash my clothes I need to remove the papers from the lining of my coat. While the Dragon membrane pouch is water proof I doubt even it would cope with being immersed in water for such an extended period." He said.
"True enough and those papers are all that stand between you and probably us and the gallows when Norrington turns up." Said Gibbs watching Jack carefully slit the lining open to remove the pouch.
"I’ll fix that for you when I get my wand." Offered Gibbs "I might be useless with a Muggle needle and thread but when I had my Magic I was the best Wizarding Tailor in Diagon Alley."
"Thanks I'll take you up on that." Said Jack with a smile. "Will you be opening your shop again, not that you'll need money with your share of the treasure but having nothing to do can be boring eventually."
"Now that will be a tricky situation all round." Said Gibbs with a sigh.
"In what way?" asked Jack puzzled.
"The Diagon shop has been in my family for centuries, when I lost my Magic that day, I lost my families livelihood as well. My wife was useless at the family business her being what you would call a useless piece of social waste of space."
Jack's eye went up at the disgust in his voice.
"Sorry old hatreds mutual on both our side I can assure you. It was an arranged marriage and not a happy one at that. Anyway my wife being a drain on the fiancees not an asset so to speak, I found myself in a bit of a dilemma afterwards. My wife thought all her birthdays come at once she tried to claim the shop when she got the marriage voided due to me new found squib-hood. Only managed to keep it due it being family run and owned since the founding of Diagon, she weren't too pleased at only getting her freedom out of it. A more vindictive bitch you'll never meet she signed over me daughter to my keeping so she didn't have to shell out money for her upbringing. Last I heard she moved to France and married some rich unsuspecting wizard, but it left me with a problem a sixteen year old daughter and no way to make a living. In the end I had to make a deal with a French Wizarding tailor to do the tailoring while I ran the shop so my daughter didn't starve and complete her Hogwarts education. Nice boy young Theo Markin, always very kind to my little Patricia during the holidays. About twelve years ago they got married and I signed the shop over to them as a wedding present. I didn't have any thing else to give them. Then I shipped out and learned how to be a Muggle sailor and eventually quartermaster so as not to be a burden on the new couple. Trouble is there really isn't need for two tailors in Diagon and I'd be taking away their business."
"A quandary, perhaps a specialty tailor, Dueling clothes are becoming popular for the Auror and some of the younger high-borns and curse-breakers have their own needs. Such a specialist would not have to work full time merely when the need arose."
"It's an idea, I'm sure my daughter would let me keep the appointment book at the Diagon shop. Well that's for the future, it will take a long time to get my skills back for normal tailoring let alone such specialty stuff. Besides I'd probably miss the bloody sea if I tried to settle down again. Then of course I'll will need to find a place to live, seeing how my daughter and her family have the shop and house above it."
"You are of course welcome to stay at Siren Keep or whatever it becomes known as. After all," Jack smirked and made an expansive gesture to indicate the size of the massive Keep. "It is not as if I will be short of space in the near future and The Black Pearl will need her quartermaster even more than she does now once she is reconfigured to Wizarding standards and those bossy little Goblins start throwing work at us." Laughed Jack. "And as for getting your skills back, we have a whole rider weyr full of exquisite fabric, we have velvet and lace, silk and satin, we are inundated with every conceivable material, ever shipped by ship. I even saw bolts of Indian cotton and English linen and we didn't even scratch the surface of what the is wrapped in that oil cloth. You are welcome to practice to your hearts content, I doubt the crew would object to you making them new clothes both Wizarding and Muggle from the Pearls extensive plunder."
"Thanks Jack, I'll probably take up the practice offer but where I live won't be up to me." smiled Gibbs his eyes automatically moving to track Cotton who was feeding his Parrot on the other side of the room.
"I did not know you and Mr Cotton were a couple." Stated Jack.
"We aren't, well not really, more like courting if you get my drift. He's being awfully stubborn about it due to his tongue being gone." Sighed Gibbs.
"There are potions that will regrow his tongue now that he has his magic back." Said Jack reassuringly.
"Aye, that's my hope but even with his tongue back it will be years before he learns to use it fully again. Spell work is damn particular about pronunciation, as you well know. His entire family has been Healers, Potion Masters and Herbologists for centuries. He's given up on ever being a Healer again but I've seen him looking at plants and in apothecary shops so I'm thinking he'll be wanting a Herbarium and a Potion laboratory where ever he lives." Mused Gibbs.
"Again it is not as if I do not have the room, Joshamee. Ravenclaw has had many a scholar or researchers take up permanent residence over the centuries. If he wishes to create a Potion laboratory and or Herbarium for rare Magical plants. There is both room and probably a permanent use for them by future researchers. The outer caves are extensive stretching the full length of the Keep, while part of it is obviously a dock there is a lot of room left over. I noticed Gillyweed in one of the lower rock pools probably rooted while the Keep was in the Mediterranean, as the Keep is Magical it would naturally attract and sustain magical plants. Gillyweed is probably the least of what is out there in the rock pools, then there are the higher caves which the seas does not reach. I am sure you noticed how rich and black the soil is in the outer caves, it can only be the remains of dragon dung from when this was a working Weyr."
"Bloody hell! You think the outer caves were where they shovelled the dragon dung too?"
"Think about it Joshamee, sixty Weyrs means sixty Dragons, centuries of waste to be rid of, what better way than to shovel it out into the caves and let rainwater compost it to soil and wash down to the sea through the cave layers." Said Jack calmly.
"That means the caves are actually a filtering system for the Keep the sewage is probably handled the same way, the plants used for the filtration have all died due to lack of nutrients once the keep was vacant." Mused Gibbs in awe at the concept.
"Not just this Keep, the outer caves are part of the Master Dock I think it was used for all the Keeps when they were docked. This is a War Keep and totally self contained, it is also designed to be hidden when entering a Demon occupied area, fouling the water around the dock with raw sewage and Dragon dung would have given it away. So all waste was filtrated through the caves and its plants before it entered the sea."
"Aye I can see that, I'll talk to Cotton he might have some idea of what they planted on each level, he might even be interested in setting it back up. It was probably part of their potion supplies for the healers as well. A lot of Magical water plants are vital for medical potions and in a battle situation you can't just send off for the potions to treat wounded, more practical to grow them on site so they are always on hand for when they needed them."
"Even if he is not interested in the project, an idea of what is needed would be helpful, I wouldn't be surprised if the farm is already starting to produce more waste than it can absorb."
"I noticed that the pirates have been using it on the islands top soil layer they have been growing fodder for the animals. It is too windy for trees but the root vegetables that cover the ground in vines, not grow up might survive the gale winds up there. Come to think of it all it really needs up there is some sort of windbreak and something built on the cliff edges to stop the soil erosion. You could make a nice formal garden complete with greenhouses and a lot of the farm could be moved up there as well. It's not as if it has to be all hidden from first circle Demon incursions any more these days."
"It is a possibility, with Magic anything is possible, even probable when you play with Magic." Smiled Jack.
"True enough and here are some advanced spells against erosion, they were used on Hogwarts cliff face when it was built." Mused Gibbs. "Read about it in 'Hogwarts Marvel of Magical Architecture and Construction.'" Said Gibbs.
"As long as the Keep and Master Dock defences are not compromised the Master Dock does not care, gardens would be nice but were would we get the rock for all the construction, even Magic requires something to work with." Said the Black Pearl wistfully.
"Well for one thing there is all the rocks making ship hazards even inside the barrier. We leave the outer barrier as it's part of the defences I think but these inner waters can be cleared of all that fallen rock from the cliff erosion making it less dangerous for the Pearl to move about inside the barrier."
"The outer barrier remains when the dock moves, each port has its own barrier in place, there is an inner ring closer to the dock that marks the area that travels with the port which basically swaps places with another port. If we move to Wales the empty ring there would come here and we would take its place there."
"Pity any poor Mer inside the ring when we change places they would end up in the Caribbean very lost." Said Jack giving Gibbs back his dagger.
"The ring sounds a warning that the Mer and Selkie can hear, they know to get out of the ring, it isn't immediate it takes a hour, half an hour to build power and another half an hour to travel and lock into place." Said the Pearl.
"You said the Keeps when they move are different?" asked Jack.
"Not really they just don't have a waiting port to go to, it is more a matter of the travelling Keep finding a mountain or cliff in the area they are going to and swapping the same amount of rock. They change places without an anchor on the other end they needed more versatility then the Master Dock as they got closer to the battle areas, they had to return to the Master Dock between shifts then move out again."
"Which brings to mind a number of questions, like how they exited a Keep from inside solid rock and how can they be sure they were not just swapping with a Demon nest or a Goblin Hoard site or Dwarf Warren."
"It has to be solid rock, not caverns or empty open space for the Keep swap to happen. Although it was not unusual for a Battle Keep to materialise under a Demon nest and drill up into the nest from underneath indeed it was a favourite tactic of the guards as they could start from the bottom of a nest up. This Keep as home to the Dragon squadron did not use that tactic, as it needed the air for its troop to manoeuvre during a battle. As for how they get out, that's what the Portcullis were for they use the Sunstone and Icestone in the tunnel to drill out a tunnel to the surface at the same time protecting the inner keep from invasion. That's why each keep has a number of portcullis on each level so it can drill the weakest point closest to the surface when it lands."
"I'd always heard these Keeps were fearsome things but I suppose they had to be considering what they faced. Sounds like they had to hide until the last minute." Said Gibbs.
"All but the Inner Keep while it could transplant rock like the others it didn't need to. The Inner Keep only carried Sirens and they simply didn't care if it landed in plain site, most times it just appeared and the Demons in the area panicked giving the rest of the Keeps time to move in." chuckled the Pearl. "But then the Demons had cause to panic, a hundred fully armed Siren berserkers flying out of the inner keep would panic any sane Demon. A full Siren can't be killed by Magic and you have to dismember them to kill them physically and on top of that they could control all four elements and sing death. A Siren battle group always made an impression; they are the archetype for Angels in the world religions. Winged immortal warriors with inhuman voices of great beauty and destruction." Said the Pearl.
"The Elves also travelled in the Inner Keep, they may not have been winged but they were just as fearsome in their own way." Objected Jack. "Their favourite battle steed were Threstals, which probably added to the Demon's terror, to this day Threstals have been known for savaging and eating Demons. They kept the pretty Pegusus for social calls." Laughed Jack.
"That's true but the Elves and the Siren are of the same parent race that evolved on Atlantis, the Elves lost their wings and voice when they retreated inland to the deep forests gaining other talents in their place, while the Siren remained with the sea." Said the Pearl.
"True but the Elves also died during the breaking of Atlantis, they stood guard for their Siren cousins while they sang Atlantis down, more survived and they didn't go mad like the Surviving Sirens simply because they blocked their ears so they could guard the Sirens at their work. It was the Elves that carried the surviving Sirens to the Keep." Said Jack. "To much of the story has been lost, to time and prejudice so please give the Elves their due credit for their part of the battle. The Sirens final tragic fate was the reason the Elves left this world they used the Golden pathways to go elsewhere away from this world of grief."
"You are right, Jacklon. All the story should be remembered too much has been lost already." Said the Black Pearl.
"Well on that sombre note, I'm for a bath." Said Jack picking up one of the blanket pieces he had cut for use as a towel and a jug of liquid soap as well as a new cake of soap.
"What about the sheets and blankets they still need drying and the beds made." Objected Gibbs.
"Socky!" called Jack loudly.
"Yes! Captain Master Jack." Came the House Elf's happy voice as she materialised.
"Socky if Pedigrine does not need you for the moment would you mind drying the bedding we have just washed and making the first twelve beds, while the crew have baths." Asked Jack with a smirk as the House Elf's face brightened as if all her wishes had come true.
"Captain Master Jack has work for Socky. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou." She cried ecstatic at the prospect.
"My pleasure Socky, after that can you come and collect our dirty clothes and wash and dry them for the morning." Laughed Jack.
"Socky like to work, Master Pedigrine is very easy to be nanny for, Socky thanking Captain Master Jack for more work." Smiled the House Elf brightly. "Dreamless sleep will not wear of for eight more hours, and Socky does not need that much sleep."
"Socky the one thing not in short supply at the Keep is work, Pedigrine might not wake for eight hours but when he does you have to have food ready for him. Which means cows have to be milked and food collected and cooked in ways young Pedigrine can eat it. So after you dry the bedclothes, make the beds and wash and dry our clothes for the morning you are to go to sleep and get plenty of rest as you will have to get up to make Pedigrine's food for when he wakes. Savvy Socky?" demanded Jack.
"Socky Sav…vy, Socky get rest so Socky can work." Said the House Elf.
"Good girl and don't forget to eat yourself." He ordered.
"Yes Captain Master Jack, Socky will also eat." She said disappearing.
"Problem solved." Said Jack brightly. "Don't start about the amount of work I gave her, it won't take her long to do it and she will be bored and looking for jobs to work herself to death. That's why I ordered her to eat and sleep." Said Jack calmly "Throw me a nightdress and over-robe from my pile, I'm going to soak before I collapse from exhaustion."
"Here take this as well." Said Gibbs giving him a piece of cut up dress.
"What's this for?' asked Jack looking at it.
"Wash cloth so you can get a lather and scrub, I cut up the dress the monkey shredded. "Damn I better see about the monkey before the storm hits can't leave it out in the caves when we close the Keep for the night."
"Better you than me, I hate that thing," Shuddered Jack, then he sighed "Better feed it while you're about it." he ordered taking the nightclothes from Gibbs and walking off before something else interfered with his bath.
He got as far as the bathroom below Pedigrines nursery and realise he had forgotten something.
"Socky!" he called.
"Yes Captain Master Jack."
"Do you think you could get me a light for the bathroom, my hands are full." He asked with a sigh. "What did they use for lights originally?" he asked the Pearl.
"See the columns set into the wall." Asked the Pearl.
"Yes!" said Jack doubtfully.
"Glass tubes that had water light weed growing in them. The groove on either side are to slide a curtain to give as much or little light as you want." Smirked the Pearl. "All dead because of lack of feeding."
"Bloody hell, remind me to barter for some water light weed cuttings from the Caribbean Mer it doesn't grow in European waters because of the cold. "I presume they had a way to keep it warm enough to glow without renewing the warming charm every hour on the hour."
"Of course, small sunstones behind the tubes keep the water at the right temperature, and the sea water is renewed every few days that's how it is feed, you can even remove the tubes for cleaning and replanting. You should be able to feel the warmth if you touch the tube. We just need new cuttings and remember to keep it feed and trimmed when it is big enough."
"Long term that job it will take decades to fill all the tubes, the Mer won't give us more than a dozen cuttings at a time as the need for warmth makes it hard to grow so we will have to grow a supply from that. It's probably how the Sirens did it had a supply in the Herbarium for emergencies." Said Jack.
"Socky have lantern for Captain Master Jack. Master JoshameeGibbs, have Socky clean bush and comb set for Captain Master Jack and rest of crew, Socky bring with lantern." She said.
"Thankyou Socky, just set the light up so I can have a bath.
"Socky do." She said scrambling into the bathroom and placing the light to best effect. "Socky get clothes later have beds to make." She said happily, disappearing.
"Finally!" said Jack piling the clean clothes on a handy shelf and with his makeshift towel and putting the soap and liquid soap container and wash cloth next to the brush and comb set. Next he set the water full blast as hot as he could stand it. Catching site of what was obviously a towel rail he laughed and jauntily draped his blanket towel in place. Making sure his clean clothes were out of harms way he told the Pearl to close the door and began to strip starting with his boots and socks. Last he removed his rings and as the bath was still filling made use of the facilities, damn he loved Magical plumbing, the Muggles had certainly gone backward since Rome, they were only now starting to think about such things again. It really just showed how insane they were forgetting such necessities as plumbing and running water was a crime Wizards couldn't understand.
Sinking into the hot soothing water all Jack could think was Muggles were insane to give this up they needed to get their priorities back.
Sinking under the water to soak his hair he grimaced, The three dips into the ocean during this last adventure might have helped keep his hair bearable but they had also caked it with sea salt as it dried. Using his Siren lungs to stay under he let the water swirl through the long strands of hair dissolving some of the salt and dirt. Surfacing he dipped his hand into the liquid soap container and worked it through the wet mass. It hardly lathered at all due to the salt and dirt, sighing he sank under the water to rinse, surfacing he reached for more soap knowing he was in for a long frustrating job. By the third rinse he was finally getting a decent lather so moved onto the next stage using a comb on the wet soapy hair to get out the knots. After the final wash and comb through he hesitated he needed clean water for the final rinse and he still had his bath to complete, so he swirled it up into a soapy bun on top of his head only to realise he had nothing to hold it in place. Frantically searching he saw only two possibilities his wand or the comb. Ollivander was already going to scream about the abuse his wand had taken over the years, he didn't want to add soap damage to the abuse Ollivander would scream about. So reached for the comb and used it like one of those elaborate Spanish hair combs their woman favoured.
Now for a scrub he thought, ships were wonderful but drinkable water was always a valuable commodity you had to renew, which forced a man or Wizard for that matter to make due with sea water washes. Even for Magic users water purification was labour intensive salt was damn resistant to Magical shifting that’s why it was often used for casting it didn't like to be moved. He'd have to find out how the Sirens made all this pure water at the Keep it would be very handy to have the luxury of ready water on the Pearl. He thought wistfully as he scrubbed his face and unplaited beard of dirt and grime and Kohl from his eyes. Enjoying the feel of the rough cloth and lather as he vigorously removed layers of dirt, salt and at least a layer of dead skin cells from his scarred and battered body.
Finally clean he contemplated just soaking in the heat but a yawn warned him it wouldn't be the wisest idea. A quick pull of the bath plug started the water draining before he changed his mind and risked drowning. He fingered the carved rock plug in admiration the spells that created a seal when in place were a work of art as was the carved rock chain that attached it to the tub so it wouldn't be lost. He had seen wood carved into such a seamless chain but never rock.
When the water had lowered enough he turned on the taps and rinsed the soap from his hair, glorying in the simple pleasures of clean hair and a salt and grime free body.
There after it didn't take long to dry himself and climb into the nightdress and over-robe. He was perched on the bath edge using the towel to dry his hair enough for a drying spell gentle enough not to fry his hair to work when Gibbs call out for entrance.
"You descent Capt'n?"
"You can open the door, Milady." Said Jack not moving from his perch.
"Here Capt'n I thought you might like something for your feet," said Gibbs who had obviously had his own bath and was dressed in a long nightshirt and stockings. "The rock floor is cold and the air is chill even with the openings closed and Socky has taken all our footwear along with the clothes. Marty said he found an unopened box of wool stockings up with the soap so we brought them down they aren't much but they are nice and thick. Damned if I can work out how they heated this place, haven't found a fireplace yet. The pirates were using a stone depression with a raised section around the edge of it for their fires but it looks like a water tough for the dragons to me as they have no chimney but seeing as the rider rooms have one I had to rule that out. If it is Hearth I have no idea how it works as it would smoke the place out if we used them like the pirates did and unlike those bloody pirates we need to breathe."
"Oh!" cried the Pearl embarrassed, "I forgot, I'll open the sunstone hearths in the occupied rooms immediately. Including young Pedigrines room."
"I suppose we will find out, the Sirens were pretty ingenious if unusual in their thinking and Magical application." Shrugged Jack "Feel this." He ordered putting his hand to one off the glass columns that use to be the lights.
"It's warm, it isn't rock either." Said Gibbs in wonder.
"Glass filled with sea water and heated by sunstones, The Pearl tells me it and all the others in the keep had water light weed growing in them."
"Bloody hell! They solved the candle problem." Exclaimed Gibbs in wonder. "Sirens certainly were a wonder and a puzzle, take this place there isn't anything overtly Magical about the place, until you bring in all the Wizard stuff Muggles won't be too upset with it. The Sirens have used Magic to enhance the rules of the non magical world instead of contradict them like human Wizards don't get me wrong it screams Magic to the initiated. Plants lighted it; yes I know Magical plants but still plants. Even more plants handled the sewage and waste. Even the water room works on Muggle principles, things float if light enough every Muggle knows that, so they made the room light enough and used Magic to pump water up and down to move a Magically lightened room. Goblins with their tunnels and cart tracks are similar the only Magic is what makes the cart move."
"Sirens used the Elemental Magic like the Elves, Goblins and Dwarfs." Said Jack. "They usually Magically enhanced nature not work against it like Wizards, then of course you must remember this isn't a Siren house this is a Battle Fortress it is designed for simplicity, and ease of use and almost self sufficiency in a war zone. Pass me the stockings, then I'm for bed." He said hanging his blanket towel to dry and grabbing his rings along with the brush and comb set and the most important thing his wand.
Opening the doors to the Weyr across from the bathroom, he and Gibbs saw exactly what the Pearl meant by a sunstone hearth. The raised part was now filled with a slice of wall that had moved down to fill it as it opened exposing a stone grate behind which were piled large sunstones emitting a fierce heat.
"Bloody hell! It's like having your very own little larva pit to heat a room." Said Gibbs in awe. "I'm beginning to think the Sirens who built this place didn't use anything as simple as fire for anything."
"It's a Battle Keep, fire is a liability, the smoke gives away position and uses up oxygen and a chimney is an opening in the defences, so they eliminated the need for fire. The sunstones are the replacement and are obviously very effective in doing so."
"The bedrooms upstairs but the heat will rise so it will soon be warm enough, I had Socky clear out Barbossa's stuff from up there when she made the bed, the clothes you and Ana picked for Lady Jennifer are in the trunk, your hair trinkets are on the dresser. The pouch with your papers I put on the desk over there, I had Socky leave all the papers and stuff Barbossa had down here it's an office by the look of it and you probably need to sort it before we get rid of anything." Reported Gibbs quietly.
"Efficient as always Mr Gibbs. I have been thinking about Pedigrine and his nursery we will have to leave his rider room open, which will mean also leaving the room above and below open as well for floor symmetry to avoid suspicions that others also exist. The Aztec chest is in the one below, the one above is as yet empty. I think as long as we either leave that one empty or store simple non-valuable stuff we should be okay I vote for all the pirates' personal stuff being dumped there and if Norrington wishes to take it he can. It will actually give us the use of one open bathroom on each floor available for our use if the good Commodore extends his stay for any reason. As Bootstrap always said be consistent, so when our makeshift towels dry we can wrap the dry soap in the washcloth's we used and have them on the dresser in our rooms with the rest of our grooming sets."
"Aye can you see his face pirates setting up bathrooms like proper Ladies and gentlemen, if we act very respectable he'll be thrown off balance. Some of those small tables out in the caves would be useful for the towels and holding clothes and lanterns in the bathrooms. That big yellow chair I'm giving to the water room as you wanted a seat in there with the table for a lantern as that room is awfully dark. Our first cuttings of water light weed are going in there I'm thinking."
"Indeed and I will have to fill the Black Pearls safe and doctor the ledger just in case we need money in the near future. Get one of the men to take one of the Potter's wands and retrieve Rowena's Founder box in the morning. All my private documents were stored in it up to the mutiny, so it will make sense for me to bring it to this office if I am making it my home." Mused Jack.
"Anything else in there?"
"Bootstrap stored some stuff and Auror papers he also used the stasis room as a potion laboratory as the ingredients stayed fresh." Said Jack "He was corresponding with an alchemist called Nicholas Flamel about an ancient potion they were trying to recreate, it was suppose to be the original cure for Hecate's Bind." Sighed Jack "I know it frustrated Bootstrap, as there were references to what it does but not instructions, even that Muggle playwright Shakespeare made a reference in his Romeo and Juliet play but finding a full list of the ingredients let alone how to make it." Sighed Jack.
"What's it called?" frowned Gibbs.
"Draught of Living death." Said Jack, "Puts a person to sleep simulating death, your alive but your dead, which of course will break Hecate's Bind. It is also the only known way to keep some of the victims of the darkest bloodbinds contained. You could see why an Auror would be interested, he also was fascinated by the cocoa beans brought from the New World, he thought they had a medical use in treating Dark Magic. I suppose all his notes are still in the laboratory." Sighed Jack.
"Aye, look Capt'n go to bed you're
out on your
need the rest well handle it all in the morning." Said Gibbs gently
him climb the stairs before he left seeking his own bed, they still had
a lot to do before Norrington turned up.