Chocolate! Food of the Gods
| Jack heard banging and went to investigate;
two of the crew hanging a wooden door to a doorframe they had set up in
the bathroom archway.
"It already has a door." Said Jack quietly.
"Aye Captain but we thought it would be less suspicious if it we use Muggle doors on the three bathrooms we leave open, we don't want the Muggles thinking about concealed doors at all." Said Kursar the ship carpenter.
"That is an excellent idea," praised Jack, glad they were showing initiative, the Muggles would take such a doorway as normal, the Magical one would just make them paranoid and questioning every wall which was the last thing they wanted. "While you are here could you manage a child's gate at the top of the stairs too stop young Pedigrine trying to attempt the stairs on his own and a screen to keep him away from the sunstone hearth in his room. He is starting to explore and both are dangerous."
"Aye Capt'n. We've already done the other two bathrooms, children that age can get into mischief, it's wise to take precautions. We'll get the house elf to charm the hearth screen to repel little fingers after it's made. Child gates usually just have an age recognition charm on them so the littlies can't get them open." Kursar said.
"I'll leave you too it then." Said Jack heading back to Barbossa's books. The Mutinous Captain had made a complete hash of his original attempt at record keeping and the man had obviously gotten lazier as time went by. That very laziness would now be in their favour as some of the ships were not listed anywhere in the books other than in a separate manifest obviously taken from the ship before sinking. Jack had decided the easiest thing to do in that case was to act as if they didn't exist, so he'd sent the manifests up to Gibbs with orders to hide everything listed down to the last box, bale or Keg. Doing so saved them a lot of work and bother, as he didn't have to falsify the records for Norrington's future accounting.
That evening when they closed the Keep again and finished the meal Socky had cooked and started on the desert Gibbs drew Jack's attention to what had been bothering them.
"Capt'n! We've all been wondering, what do you thinks taking Norrington so long to get here?" asked Gibbs felling mellow after a well cooked meal that was luxury compared to what sailors usually could afford.
"It's only been four days since we left Port Royal." Said Jack; "He'll be a few days yet."
"How do you work that out, Capt'n?" asked Gibbs puzzled.
"Norrington doesn't have the compass, only the Baring's and then only if he memorised them, a map will be wrong." Smirked Jack.
"It's unplotable!" gasped Gibbs awed.
"You obviously didn't listen to the Islands legend." Laughed Jack amused. "An island that cannot be found, unless you already know where it is. Which of course means it can't be marked accurately on a map, the moment you name the spot on any map, the mark moves elsewhere, sending you on a wild goose chase. Which of course is why toys like my little compass were originally made, no use having a base if you can't find it. Barbossa was still using my original map, I never named it as an island or gave it an individual identifying mark that singled it out, because that is just another naming by the rules of Magical Symbols as you well know. I just called it reefs one of a hundred identically marked navigation hazards on the map. It was up to my memory which one of the reefs it actually was."
"I'm surprised Barbossa let you take the compass?"
"I never told him about it, just gave him the Baring's for the island. The compass has it's own little tricks," Jack sighed, "It is designed to home in on the Unplotable spell when I was in England it always pointed at the closest unplotable place which with Ravenclaw dismantled meant Diagon Alley, further north it pointed to Hogwarts. One of its best defences obviously from the Atlantean Demon Wars is that it seems to point at Demons when they are in the vicinity. Presumably so any Demon that captured one would think it a Magical Demon detector not a way to find the enemies base."
"When you think about it that is actually a very smart and useful cover, it made the compass have another function which not only disguises them in the face of the enemy but can be used to identify that same enemy. If others still exist they are probably in collectors hands and thought of as Demon detectors their real function lost to time. Has your family always had that one?"
"I discovered it in a little Magical instrument shop in Singapore. Bootstrap loved all those things so he always dragged me into everyone he found. The old Witch who sold it to me claimed it was a Demon Detector, which had Bootstrap in hysterics and insisting I buy it because I'd been hit on by three different sex Demons in the Muggle market. I seem to attract them for some reason, although most of the Demons I encounter can't decide if they want to bed me or kill me, it can be very disconcerting at times." Said Jack with a sideways significant glance at Gibbs, which made the Quartermasters lips twitch as he realised it must have something to do with Jack's Siren blood.
"Jack," said AnaMaria seriously "It's not just Demons who can't decide that, sometimes killing you seems a very reasonable course of action when you get in one of your moods."
The entire crew laughed at that.
"You think I'm joking, I'm not, you lot will find out just how insane he can get when the mood strikes him you never know what he's going to do next." AnaMaria said seriously.
"Ana luv, we all knew we were following a Ravenclaw and every Wizard that was born in England knows the whole lot of them tread the line between madness and genius. The truth of the matter is 'The Banes' like Jack just swing a little wider on the path between the two extremes. We all know Jack has cause to be as crazy as he is, hell after fourteen years of being under Hecate's Bind I doubt any of us are completely sane." Gibbs said seriously. "It's an insane world girl, think on this; if Jack was as insane as he pretends to be, he wouldn't have waited ten years to go after Barbossa and the Black Pearl. It isn't as if he didn't know where the ship was all these years, he was sane enough to wait until he actually had a chance at getting the ship back."
"I had to wait for the opportune moment." said Jack calmly. "Until that happened I just had to wait. When the Muggle Admiralty sent me those instructions, I knew the time was at hand."
"Aye, it was a wild ride but it all worked out in the end, we have a cure for the Bind and all of us are fairly rich if we can keep it hidden from the Muggles. The Ravenclaws have a new home and the Black Pearl is safely back in Ravenclaw hands." Gibbs said with a smile.
"True enough! How much have we left to hide?" asked Jack.
"We are running out of space, we have sorted and hidden everything on the separate manifests, but there is still a lot we wanted from the rest. How are you going with doctoring the books?" asked Gibbs.
"I've done everything you sent down and burnt the notes afterwards so we are up to date. The cargoes are the priority tomorrow that will just leaves the salvage from the ships, the farm and things the pirates were making." Mused Jack.
"Aye! There is a lot of that, the ground floor is chock full of ship parts, enough to divide all the rest of the Weyrs and the rest has salvaged furniture from those same ships. Unfortunately we haven't much room left so we could lose a lot of it to the Muggles. We probably won't hide all the cargo I doubt we can even think of hiding the farm animals and produce."
"We will just have to chance it then, the treasure and cargo's are the priority the rest is salvaged from the wrecks." Said Jack running over the lists he had been working on in his head.
"We also cleared out the obvious plunder from the Pearl's cabins, left only a little of the plunder still on the ship, we decided if we took it all they'd be suspicious as Miss Elizabeth might have mentioned some of it."
"All the silver and dining service originally on the Pearl was from Ravenclaw so it all had a Celtic Raven engraved on it." Said Jack moving onto the desert with pleasure it had been ages since he had eaten apple pie and custard.
"Aye I recognised the Ravenclaw monogram, so had Socky Magic it onto anything they had added. I also had her do the same with the set we are using at the moment. So I suggest you adjust the Ravenclaw inventory in the Pearls original manifest upwards. I left the numbers on your desk on the way to dinner." Winked Gibbs.
Jack instantly turned over the desert spoon to look at the Celtic monogram on the silver handle. "How big is the set?"
"Settings for one hundred and fifty, the crew and I talked it over and as we are all going to be using it we decided to contribute it to the Keep. Before you object it should be divided we all know Ravenclaw has been the backbone of research in the Wizarding world for centuries and it is obvious you intend to do so as well. The ground floor would be the easiest to convert into library and work rooms and that gives twenty rooms with bathrooms for visiting scholars and permanent researchers to live in down there I remember how Ravenclaw was set up. So it's all been monogrammed to match the real Ravenclaw stuff from the Pearl but we hid all but twenty sets as a ship wouldn't carry any more."
"Aye a ship doesn't need that many settings. Good idea at least we'll have something to eat off when they leave." Muttered Jack going back to his pie slightly embarrassed at his plans being obvious.
"That's what I was thinking, we needed to have it on hand for our use here in the Keep while they were here but able to prove it belonged to Ravenclaw therefore part of the Pearls original manifest or they'll take it as plunder."
"It might be an idea to cast a glamour onto everything downstairs so it looks and feels water logged and warped from constant flooding." Mused Jack thinking about it. "Once we create rooms and expand the cargo holds with Wizard space during the Pearls refit we'll need furniture for the new crew cabins, we may as well use what we have down there it is designed for ships and will save money."
"That's wise the spells will all have to be aligned and balanced so the weight isn't affected we don't want to sink, overbalance or be so heavy we slow down and become a target for pirates, Muggle or the more dangerous Wizard ones. That type of spell work is expensive and knut pinching on that part of the refit isn't wise saving money other ways is just common sense we already have the cabin fittings we may as well reuse them." Said the ship carpenter nodding at the wise choice of not scrimping on the spell work but he wouldn't have expected anything else from a Ravenclaw. "When we get to a Wizard market I'd like to get some Wizarding carpentry tools as I'll finally be able to use them again, this Muggle stuff is damn hard to use and time consuming and down right limiting in what you can do with it."
Jack nodded, "Ask the Pearl to let you into the Master Dock to check out the work areas, I Know there must be a forge as Sirens were master smiths but the Elves worked with wood so check the Elven workrooms in the infrastructure before you make a shopping list. The Pearl will still need some basic stuff to use aboard ship but best to see what the main workshops contain first and if we can use it before we shop for the keep." Mused Jack. "There is every chance it can't be used as it will be designed for Elven Magic and millennia old." Warned Jack. "Take Cotton with you they might have had a potions laboratory as they grew their own medicinal plants, yes I know there will be nothing useable in the ingredients after this long but the actual laboratory should still be there."
"Aye best we know what's in the Master Dock as well as this Keep, bound to be a lot of surprises considering the way Sirens and Elves think and use Magic. We will probably cut down the shopping list if we check as well." Said Gibbs with a frown suddenly remembering that the Keeps had been mainly self-supporting so it made sense that most of the major work rooms were in the Master Dock and available to all the Keeps.
"Check out the forge as well, that way we have a list of what the forge already has for Will when we bring him here." Said Jack absentmindedly watching Socky clear the table as they had finished, it was the sudden quietness that brought his head up and made him realise what the problem was. "No! I am not going to interfere with his relationship with Miss Swann, it would make him hate me." Snapped Jack in disgust at the speculative looks the crews were giving him. "I was just thinking that as we will be delaying giving him his part of the treasure until he is twenty-five he will need a reason for the money we give him until then. The Keep could use a blacksmith for a few months I can think of countless things he can do to make this place more habitable plus it will give him time to get use to having Magic and we can get him a wand and start him on the basics. Which reminds me, I'll make a list of basic books to get for both AnaMaria and William so they can start learning how to use their Magic when they get a wand."
"Aye it will give young William a chance to be among Wizards and Witches again, once we get an accounting of the Siren Forge we can ask some of the metal workers in the Magical section of Tortuga for what else it needs." Said Gibbs thinking about it.
"Remember William has yet to learn Magic, that might have to wait for him to get up to a competent level before he can use a Magical forge in its entirety. We might even have to take him to Tortuga and have the metal workers there show him how it is done." Said Jack.
"Very likely." Said the Carpenter, "There was a tremendous difference between Magical carpentry and Muggle carpentry, it was almost like doing my apprenticeship all over again and unbelievably frustrating because of the things I could no longer do."
"Aye I did give up on tailoring." Sighed Gibbs, "Sure I learnt how to use the needle and thread as more than something to embroider and tack but it was frustrating having to actually cut and stitch seams instead of Magically seal them together and the tedious work involved just to stop it coming apart and fraying. Young William at least will be coming from Muggle blacksmithing to Magical, which should be easier once he learns the techniques. It's one of the reasons we are willing to contribute to setting up a new Ravenclaw, most of us have to get our old skills back and the Keep is perfect practice we are not likely to find as perfect a place to rebuild without having to pay Apprenticeship Tax." Gibbs grimaced at that thought. "You know the Ministry will gouge us for that all over again and the Ministry will also try to run our lives claiming we are back to apprentice level due to lack of use of our skills until we retake our trade examinations." Signed Gibbs.
"That is more than likely simply because it will make the Ministry money and will let them control the adult Wizards and Witches coming back into the Magical world." Nodded Jack realising the Ministry would be out to control the returning citizens and would have a dozen excuses for doing so.
"We would rather practice on the Keep instead of being under Ministry apprentice rules this late in our lives. I take it the Caribbean School has the same tests as Hogwarts?"
"Aye, the Goblins got me the curriculum and it is the same including OWL's and NEWT's. So far the British Ministry as accepted them as the same which they are as they are sent out by the British Ministry each year and the Tortuga Ministry which is still a subsection of the British Ministry administers them and sends the results back. I made sure of all that as I didn't want the Caribbean students penalised if they went back to England in the future."
Gibbs nodded relieved, "Which means the Hecate Bind youngsters like William and AnaMaria can study outside the system and when ready they can just go to the Caribbean School and sit the tests. Although you might want to add owl delivered courses with once a week practicals at the school for the adults in the area who need to work they will need to get their OWL's just to be able to use their wands without supervision. You too Jack you need to get your NEWT's or the Ministry will make your life hell, simply because you are a Ravenclaw and own the Caribbean School you might have gotten away with just your OWL's if not for who you are." Warned Gibbs. "Things they let slide due to Hecate's Bind will no longer apply. It won't matter that you don't actually teach at the school the fact that you own it will be enough for them to play politics. Whether or not a person has their OWL's and NEWT's has always been the easiest way to control use of Magic so it will be the easiest road to controlling the sudden influx of adult untrained or retraining Wizards and Witches. After that they will be going for forcing re-apprenticeships for those with specialised skills."
"True enough," sighed Jack he could see it happening all too easily "Luckily I know the NEWT spells I just haven't practiced them." Said Jack thinking about it. "I will also need to learn Wizarding Cartography to supplement my Muggle training. I've read the books." He began only to be cut off by laughter.
"Jack, of course you've read the books you’re a Ravenclaw, if you are interested in something you will read everything on the subject even if you can't do it. The trouble only starts when a Ravenclaw isn't interested in something, then it's like pulling teeth the Muggle way to get any interest in it. Your father Neran hated History of Magic he use to sneak Arithmacy and Rune books in, only subject he failed." Chuckled Gibbs the rest of the crew were smirking as well.
Jack flushed, "Well yes, I suppose that was obvious but actually doing the spells. True Wizard Cartography it isn't something as easy as mapping a plot of ground with set border markings or a building which again has set limits to work with. NEWT level students could probably do such a simple map if they tried and had the brains to look up the spells and potions for the map. It gets a lot more complicated depending on what you want the map to do as you progress upward in skill. A lot of the spells counteract each other and balancing them is both dangerous and exact a high level Master Wizard Cartographer is as rare as a high level Potion Master both are Artforms and very few Wizards or Witches have the Talent."
"I hate to say it but before the Bind I would not have been able to reach the level of a Master Carpenter so would never be let work on a Wizard Ship, I was simply too Wizard and prone to taking Magical shortcuts to ever reach the mastery level. Yet I might be able to reach that level now once I master my Magic again and study and gain proficiency in the Master spells." He flushed and admitted sheepishly "I too have been studying the master spell and theory books for my profession over the years and it wasn't until I finally understood Muggle carpentry and limitations that they made sense. Which is why I suggest we find a stone worker who has been under the Bind yet still working in the same field in the Muggle world. I believe the work on the Keep will give him or her their mastery levels, don't forget the entire island moves so is in a way just a larger ship so all the major stone work will have to be balanced or the transport spells might be disrupted."
"Looks like the Keep is about to be a finishing school for Wizard Masters." Chuckled Gibbs making Jack and the rest laugh.
Jack shrugged, "Ravenclaw always has been, although it was usually just the more esoterical and artistic ones who ended up there in the past or the odd Potion Master doing research. Hogwarts was built in such a manor only masters and mastery apprentices worked on the school which is why it is better built than most Magical buildings, Rowena and Salazar insisted on it being a defendable working castle which meant if the Magic was somehow counteracted it wouldn't collapse. Most Wizards wouldn't see the point of that as the spells are so strong very little can disrupt them but Helga and Godric gave in simply because children would be in their care and all precautions had to be taken."
"It is one of the reasons few Wizards or Witches gain mastery level they can't see the point of doing so, which is also one of the reason a lot of it is becoming a lost art, the work of Master Crafters are for the rich. A Carpenter or Stone mason is rarely called for in building a Wizarding home these days as any competent Wizard or Witch can add a room to an existing building as long as the Magic does not fail or get disrupted they work reasonably well and cost a lot less."
"That is fairly true, master work is for the rich and pureblood who like to show of their riches and look down on the lowly working class wizards and witches. The interesting thing is that as a carpenter I noticed that the informed Muggleborn also tend to buy master products if they can afford it which admittedly few can but they are more likely to save up to buy such things. I saw it on many an occasion a Muggleborn would buy the cheapest thing to do the job without any frills while they save for the masterwork. Where the Wizard born will make do with the middle range cheaper spellwork and crafted products and rarely even think of Master work. I think being raised Muggle, the Muggleborn prefer the safety precautions master built work brings."
"Aye, I noticed that, the Muggleborn go for really cheap and or practical and hard wearing or the best they can afford or save for." Nodded Gibbs. "Most of the purebloods haven't noticed that as they rarely see them dressed up. I think it is only the storekeepers who deal with every level of our society who have noticed who buys what. Although the Muggleborn with money can be as bad as the rich purebloods for following the trends and ignoring durability."
"Which is where the money is for a tailor." Laughed Jack. "I'm afraid your family business got little work from Ravenclaw, our vaults were too short of coin for new clothes it all went on books. We didn't even visit the second hand shops there were so many of us and the trunks in the attic were full of cast offs from adults and children of all ages. Even my school robes were third hand possibly more having belonged to at least two of my siblings before myself. Even everyday clothes belonged to someone else before I got them."
"Oh Aye, Ravenclaws tend to be proper little ragamuffin's if you let them get away with it. I doubt that will change in the years to come even with a fortune in the vaults unless you force it on them. Your father Neran was the same, couldn't see the point of spending money on clothes when he could buy a book or parchment and ink instead. I use to practice my tailoring on his clothes making them fit better all I had to do was let him keep the book he was reading and he'd stand there letting me do what I liked to his clothes." Chuckled Gibbs in fond reminiscence. "Although your mother, bless her Hufflepuff practicality did make sure he had some decent clothes after they married, usually had some book in his hand while I measured and pined, just like old times at Hogwarts."
"Father and mother did dress up when they needed to, which was only when they visited Diagon alley or other people. The rest of the time old clothes were more practical as they both did Potion research. Why wear good clothes when you are just going to get them torn or stained. I was always tearing my robes when I was growing up, I dreaded when I wore the good clothes for whatever reason they watched me like a hawk so I didn't wreak them." Jack shuddered. "It was probably why I adapted to Muggle clothes so well, I pay more attention when I'm Jennifer than Jack mainly because a woman is judged more by her clothes in both worlds and Jack Sparrow is a pirate I wear what I like as Jack. If I was Jacklon more often I might have had to dress up and go to social functions. I've gotten out of it until now because of the Bind making me a social misfit now that my magic is back I shall probably have to make the effort and turn up at a few of the functions I'm invited to." Said Jack grimacing at the thought.
"Jack do you even know what to wear to such a function?" asked Gibbs amused.
"Not really, I remember Father and Mother dressing for them but I've never been to one unless you count the Hogwarts Balls. I suppose I'll have to find out." Muttered Jack in disgust. "Can't be worse than the Muggle ones I've gone to as Lady Jennifer. At least Jacklon's married so I won't spend the evening fending off suitors like Jennifer does."
Gibbs closed his eyes imagining the havoc Jack could cause at a Wizard high born party, "I'll make you some proper robes but we need a book on Wizard etiquette."
"My etiquette is fine I was sixteen not six, mother drilled us all on etiquette every chance she got. How do you think Lady Jennifer survived but if you find a Wizard etiquette book buy it Lady Jennifer's Orphans are learning from a Muggle one which was all I could find at the time. That might put them at a disadvantage later on, Muggle society is a child's game compared to the Wizard one. So don't worry Joshamee as long as I'm dressed right, as a Ravenclaw I can get away with much more in Wizarding circles than a lot of the other families they all know we are eccentric and more than half mad." Smirked Jack.
"We need to find one for young Pedigrine or he'll turn out like you." Said Gibbs horrified and amused at once.
"We'll considering he's one of Godric's descendants he could probably get away with a lot although they do expect Potter's to be saner than Ravenclaw's although not by much." Shrugged Jack. "Talking of clothes how are you going with the ones you were changing."
"Socky and I have taken off most of the braid and changed the pattern so they will be fairly plain, I made up for that with wizard dye effects although I made them more subtle than wizards usually have because we'll be wearing them amongst Muggles. As it is a Muggle would swear the material is woven in those colours and patterns not dyed. Socky will be transfiguring the buttons once they dry tomorrow at the moment they are soaking in the dye setting potion so they wont run when they are washed. I found boxes of silk stockings and Shirts what we don't want will sell in the Wizarding market on Tortuga at a good price so all the silk will be hidden until they leave. The normal shirts and stockings I found I might hide as well after we take a couple each. I'm still finding boxes that aren't on any manifest we have everything from fine wool silk and Linen to courser wool and linen from the lower class workers. It is frankly a mess a lot of the manifests are half gone or missing altogether or we are finding stuff we can't find listed anywhere. I've marked those that are missing so you can check the books again and made a list of the unlisted stuff, you will have a nightmare sorting it out."
"On the other hand once we have sorted it out and completely hidden what we want, the audit of what is left will show Norrington what we have been doing until he turns up, I think he will be suspicious if we hadn't been doing something." Concluded Jack taking in Gibbs report.
"I don't think we should have more than two good outfits maybe only one for safety sake we have been thinking Wizard not Muggle who usually have few clothes unless they have money." One of the crew suddenly said. "We can hide the rest."
"Aye, I think you're right Duncan," sighed Gibbs. "We have been so pleased at getting our Magic back we are already forgetting what it's like to be Muggle. Magic can keep clothing in better shape longer so Wizards and Witches have more clothes as their old ones don't wear out much, I doubt any of us had more than one or two outfits all these years while under the Bind. Luckily Jack's been playing Admiralty spy so our 'Pirate' outfits can be for our play acting as Jack Sparrow's dregs of Tortuga crazy Pirate crew." Everyone laughed. "Which is actually mainly true we were acting slightly for young Will. Jack can get away with more as the Ravenclaw chest was on the Black Pearl and he might have kept his more expensive clothes in it. We can either hide AnaMaria's more expensive dresses or put them in young Pedigrine chest and pretend they were his mothers same with Lady Jennifer's."
"Hide them, all of Jennifer's things as well," said Jack decisively. "Clothes would have been in the main compartment of Pedigrine chest, Muggle Pirates could have gotten at that section. Have you finished with my boots?" he asked suddenly changing the subject "While walking around in wool stockings is comfortable inside the keep, it is slightly chilly until we get some carpets down and if I keep it up my new stockings will get holes." Said Jack.
"Damn! I forgot to return them, I found a box of mules and Marty was sorting them by shoe size. How did you go Marty?"
"I sorted them out but they are actually very plain I think they were headed from a cobbler to somewhere else for finishing as they are either plain leather or heavy silks, not a touch of embroidery or embellishment on them which is unusual. I sorted them by size putting the ones that matched our present shoes in one crate. There were four crates so there are a lot left over but they will sell well on Tortuga, although Jack might want the child shoes for the orphanage. I suggest having only two pair in our trunks, one each leather and silk but they will all have to be embellished so they do not look alike. The silk ones will respond well to Wizard dye but the leather will need a different formulation for the dye potion for the leather to take up the dye."
"That's not a bad haul considering." Said Gibbs. "That idea about the orphanage is a good idea we could probably find a lot of other things for the children come to think of it. Take those redcoat uniforms we were going to give back, I could easily adapt them for children to use."
"Hide the lot then," said AnaMaria, "Jack has been barely keeping those kids in clothes they grow so fast. As well as any other clothing no matter what it is, Jack has over a hundred children to feed and clothe. Not to mention the freed slaves, who he has looking after the children, Jack supports them all. What we or the orphanage doesn't use will sell in the Wizard section of Tortuga."
"I don't think any of us would object to giving Jack's orphanage as much as possible especially things we can't use ourselves or were going to give back to the Muggles." The rest of the crew nodded agreement with that sediment. "In fact it will probably save us a lot of trouble if there isn't any uniforms or clothing listed in the books or manifests they won't suspect the changed ones when they see them or if they do they will suspect we bought them in Tortuga not found them here."
"While we are rethinking things, I think we are going the wrong way by trying to claim or hide everything. That will just lead to disaster they need to find stuff on the books that we have been using because it is convenient and we needed them." Said Marty decisively. "It will be less suspicious in the long run if we have been using some of the pirate plunder therefore I want to resort all the soaps and oils, instead of hiding it all, I think we should instead sacrifice a quarter of it so we can keep the rest. The crates had twelve boxes of twenty cakes of each scent. I found four crates with the scents Rose, Lavender, Jasmine and Sandalwood. What I want to do is reduce it down to one crate of mixed soap three boxes of each scent making a total of twelve boxes of twenty. That is still a lot of soap for the Muggles to find so we should get away with it if we adjust the manifest correctly and hide the rest. We have been using some of the Lavender and Rose to clean everything so the open boxes will be accounted for as far as the Muggles will know that is all there ever was they will take the unused stuff and leave the hidden part of the shipment." Said Marty. "We should treat the oils the same way."
"What do you think, Mister Gibbs? You’re the Quartermaster so you have last say." Said Jack accepting the hot chocolate Socky had just poured. "Please tell me you hid the chocolate." Said Jack shocked.
"Aye, all the cocoa, coffee and spice kegs." Laughed Gibbs. "Although if we go with Marty's idea we might have to sacrifice some of it."
"Damn!" Muttered Jack ruefully. "I admit Bootstrap got me addicted to this stuff. Bootstrap swore it helped counter the effects of Dark Magic and creatures so he'd feed it to me whenever we encountered something dark, I must admit it did help sometimes."
"The coffee and cocoa are in bean form in hessian bags at least two hundred of each it must have been one of the bigger merchant ships the wreck is probably out in the graveyard around the island the Pearl wouldn't have been able to carry it all back here." Said Gibbs sombrely he tried not to think of all the dead crews and passengers Barbossa caused but sometimes it smacked you in the face. "So if we go with Marty's quartering idea that is fifty bags of each we sacrifice."
"One hundred bags is a fair cargo for a small merchant. Don't think of the dead Gibbs, the Muggles won't when they take it from us." Said Jack quietly. "Barbossa was on par with one of the lessor Dark Lords our own world has had to endure. The fact that he wanted plunder not power is all that was different, in fact from the plans I found Hector Barbossa was after power as well he just needed the money to get the power he craved as he didn't have Magic."
"Aye I know that it is just when you
died to fill this keep with cargo." Sighed Gibbs. "Sometimes
can be as bad or worse than our Dark Lords can too many of our people
forgotten why we hide Magic from them. What did you want to
Cotton?" he asked when the mute W
"You want to keep all the cocoa so you can experiment." Said Gibbs.
"Why not?" said Jack. "So we make it one hundred bags of Coffee on the manifest and wipe out any mention of the cocoa. No that won't work then we can't have any cocoa for our use while they are here."
"It was a good idea looks like we have to go for a straight split fifty bags each." Said Gibbs. "Sorry Cotton I know you would have liked to experiment we will save you some of the other cargo."
"No! I have an idea how about we lower the cargo we tell the Muggles about to eighty bags of coffee that is still a good cargo for a small ship. The extra twenty bags will be in cocoa beans which we will set aside for Cotton's experiments that way we don't break into the rest of the cargo for that as it would have gone to the Muggles anyway. What I propose is that we prepare and crush one or two bags of beans and store it in containers in the chest potion lab the stasis spell would have kept it fresh even after ten years. All of Bootstraps notes are there so we should be able to say we are using the cocoa from the potion supplies. It should work as the Muggles won't find any other cocoa in the Keep." Smirked Jack. "How does that sound?"
"Solves the problem, Cotton gets twenty bags of cocoa beans to experiment with, we have the rest of the cargo to use and sell and the Muggles get eighty bags of coffee beans to confiscate. Everyone will be happy and the Muggles none the wiser about the cocoa beans."
"Indeed." Was all Jack said. "Well I guess we will be redoing everything tomorrow."
"Aye but it will look better, Marty is right hiding everything would have made them suspicious over all, bad enough all the treasure from the caves is missing if all the cargo's disappear they will suspect we hid the goods. The pirates were obviously getting ready for when the curse broke so some of that has to be in place. I'm not letting them have it all some of it will remain completely hidden, things like that separate manifest of Bedlinen from France and the Turkish rugs, the Chinese rugs as well. We will have to leave some of the furniture cargo out as well. Which would Milady like to sacrifice to the Muggles, the English, French, Chinese or Indian pieces." Called out Gibbs to the Black Pearl.
"Must I choose?" asked the Pearl the crew was quiet waiting for her decision, "Very well sacrifice the Indian as nothing really matches it and the French and English will mix well with the Ravenclaw furniture that was salvaged and the Chinese lacquer work is too beautiful to give up." Sighed the Pearl.
Gibbs raised an eyebrow he hadn't expected that, "You do know more than half of it is Indian you are sacrificing a lot more than a quarter of the furniture you wanted."
"Yes but Marty is right we need to make it look correct and as Jack pointed out I still have the Ravenclaw furniture in storage, anything else we need can be easily obtained. When I was being rebuilt as a ship Jack told me all about the orient so I think I would rather go shopping for more oriental furniture and sacrifice the Indian pieces to the Muggles. I'm a ship and I am not controlled by Muggle pirates anymore so I can now go anywhere and shop for what I really want." She said brightly. "The Indian furniture will fill a lot of the empty space out in the Weyrs as it is made up of big bulky pieces that and the eighty bags of coffee beans will actually fill he Weyrs enough to alleviate a lot of suspicion. Also a lot of other things can then be hidden in their place in the rider rooms as it is obvious that something has to be sacrificed let it be the Indian furniture."
"True it will let us save a lot more cargo." Said Gibbs relieved it had gone so well. "Jack while I think of it your mention of glamour for the ground floor Weyrs, gave me the idea one of the Pirates has been making new mattress out of sail canvas, cotton wadding and feather down the man obviously knew his business. Those I want to keep as they are in better shape brand new except for the canvas which came from sails and very comfortable I have never seen this mattress design before. Trouble is they are too good the Muggles will take them for sure, I'd hide them if I could find the room but there are over twenty of them. So we need some good illusions on them so the canvas looks weak and stained and the stitching weak and badly done a faint mildew smell wouldn't hurt."
"Accent the used look of the canvas and other things that make them not worth the time to ship because other cargo is more valuable in the space they'd take up." Asked Jack amused.
"Aye that's the idea." Grinned Gibbs.
"Easy enough to do." nodded Jack thinking of some of the glamour spells that could be adapted. Jack yawned "I have no idea why I am so tired but I'm going to bed." He muttered rising and making his way to his room.
Joshamee Gibbs frowned at the House Elf nanny who looked very pleased with herself as she gazed after Jack before clearing the table.
"Socky, what did you put in Jack's drink?" he said sternly.
"If my Master Jacklon was not needing sleep he would not be tired from the drink." She said primly.
"Socky!" he warned.
"It was three drops of Dreamless Sleep Potion, Socky did it on my orders. Think on this, three drops is a standard baby dose it would only have effected an Adult if they badly needed the rest, it just proved how exhausted Jacklon is." Said the Black Pearl.
Gibbs looked at Cotton for confirmation that they were right about the potion, his nod just made him feel old. "Why is he so exhausted?"
"He has been running on adrenalin since he commandeered AnaMaria's boat. Since then he has had little rest, been cursed, fatally stabbed while cursed during a sword duel, had the curse lifted, shot Barbossa with all the emotional trauma of that, had his Magic activated, almost hung, fallen of a cliff, used just returned Magic constantly, off course Jacklon is exhausted. I'd be surprised if he wasn't." she said reproachfully. "Socky is doing her job as a Nanny which is looking after Jacklon and Pedigrine."
"We will let him sleep in as long as possible tomorrow." Sighed Gibbs. "Since it's still early and we aren't exhausted, I want to at least sort out what will be hidden and what will stay for the Muggles to find before we go to bed." When the rest of the crew agreed he relaxed. "Socky can you get us some more chocolate drink before be get back to work."
The house Elf obediently popped out to the makeshift kitchen area for more of the drink.
"We try to make sure Jack gets enough rest." He ordered. "He obviously has no reserves left, which could effect his health if we let him keep pushing himself. Other than that while he and Socky are the only Magic users available we will still need his help. Try to do as much the Muggle way or get Socky before we go get Jack. Anyone have any ideas on what we do with the clothes Socky and I have been remaking. We have to decide what we keep in the trunks and what we hide."
"I think we have to work out what we will be pretending to the Muggles first." Said Moises thinking about it.
"What do you mean?" asked the quartermaster confused.
"You said it yourself, we are going for the idea that were playing pirates, none of us have a brand like Jack or are listed as such. The old clothes we are wearing are going to be just for setting the scene so to speak."
"I see what your getting at." Said Gibbs slowly, "Kursar, do you think Socky or Jack is up to Magically fitting false bottoms in our new trunks if you supervise. Nothing as elaborate as a multi compartment chest, just a simple wizard space the same or even twice the size of the Muggle trunks originally was internally was hidden under a false bottom."
"The wizard space has been made by Socky because of the Muggle construction the internal space only tripled in size. I'll look downstairs for some thin wood I should be able to do it with Jack's help; House Elves aren't very good at the fine detail it will need. I'll have to raid the material to reline the trunks if they are to be truly hidden to Muggle eyes." Explained Kursar.
"That's fine do what it takes to make it viable. That will give us a lot more options, good outfits can go into the hidden section two full outfits fit for respectable rich gentry each with a set of silk and a set of fine linen shirt and stockings. We don't want the Muggles like Norrington thinking they can look down on Wizards and Witches. In the Muggle compartment we can have a good set of sailor work clothes and the trousers that go to the ankles and a set of courser made shirt and stockings nothing respectable Muggle sailors wouldn't have. We'll get Socky to make them have a little wear we don't want it looking brand new to Muggle eyes. So four outfits when you count our pirate outfits. Two hidden one warn and one for show."
"What about Jack and myself?" Demanded AnaMaria.
"Female clothes take up more room, you might fit two dresses and petticoats in the hidden section along with a set each of silk and Linen stockings and the shirts I made into shifts. Don't try for the court gowns pick one of the dressier velvets or silk and an under skirt that can be worn with a second dress more for day to day wear if you can fit it in. Put the less expensive underthings and the corsets and other such in the Muggle compartment. I'm sure you can work out what you would really hide if you knew you might be encountering pirates put a good but serviceable dress in the Muggle compartment something a genteel Lady would wear travelling. I'll get you a set of pearls and a few other Jewels for your hidden section. Not a lot but things that such a dress would naturally have with it. Same for us."
"What about Jack?"
"Well Jack's both harder and easier, having two chests to hide clothes in one from ten years ago and it being a proper founder chest has more room. I'll sort it all out later on but he's going to have some of the best, we often forget that he is Lord Ravenclaw but I'm not going to let the Muggles forget it any time soon. The best idea is to run with the Admiralty spy and give him a wardrobe with something that will let him pass in all levels of Muggle society and it will make our own supposed playacting more believable. I just wish I had my Magic and access to a working wand all of us need at least one set of robes each to be safe but Jack is the main one who needs rich robes to show off."
"Jack's wand has a phoenix feather core, when your Magic is useable you might be able to borrow it, get the robes cut out for us all and pined ready and see if you can make Jack's wand work, if Norrington still hasn't come by then." Suggested Marty.
"Aye I'll try that and some of you
the Potter wands work by then as well which will take a load of Jack's
shoulders." Said Gibbs.