The Commodore Reflects
expecting you this week gone.” Jack
said weakly once they had him clean and bungled into his bed propped up
as he was too weak to do it himself.
“I marked this place on my charts, yet when I went where my chart said, it was false!” he growled annoyed. “It took time to retrace the bearings from memory, given the fact every time I marked the damn island, the next time I went to check our position the mark had moved position on the map or disappeared altogether.”
“That, I can assure you, was none of my or my crews doing Commodore!” Jack stated with a wince. “The island itself is spelled to do that so it can’t be found, basically you can’t find it unless you know where it is. Mark it on a map, it changes or disappears as you found out to your frustration. Some even say the island itself can move if found too often.” Jack said softly his voice not up to its usual tricks.
“Aye the island has her own protections.” Gibbs added. “Rest Jack, I’ll explain as best I can.” he said forcing the Commodore downstairs to the lower level of what had become Jack‘s Weyr. “Socky,” he called startling the Commodore who reached for a sword when the little elf appeared.
“Master JosameeGibbs calls Socky?” she said happily but warily staying far from the sword in the Muggles hand. Tortuga had taught her to quickly keep distance between herself and swords, the bad Uncle had often thrown swords and daggers at the House Elf.
“Some rum tea would be nice, Socky.” he asked politely.
“What the hell is that?” demanded the Commodore horrified and a little shaky after she disappeared again, finally he sheathed his sword realising he was being an idiot brandishing it as the impression of the creature had given had been one of subservience not violence.
“She’s a House Elf, Commodore, a Magical being who has attached herself to a Wizard family as a servant, in Socky’s case she is a Nanny, she won’t harm you unless you prove dangerous to her charges.” Gibbs said tiredly.
“Charges?” questioned James Norrington with a frown, taking careful note of the fact Gibbs didn’t say the creature was harmless but then he was intelligent enough to know anything could be dangerous if you approached them wrong and Magic probably just made the danger greater.
“I is Master PedigrinePotter’s Nanny and the Mistress BlackPearl has been making me Master JacklonRavenclaw’s Nanny now as well, he needs looking after and she has no hands, so Socky is being her hands.” Socky explained happily as she popped back in, expertly keeping her distance until she noticed the sword was back in it holder cutting down the danger, a snap of her fingers brought the rum and teas Master JoshameeGibbs had ordered, as well as a plate of fresh baked scones she had made with jam and cream. Then she only waited a few seconds to make sure nothing else was needed before quickly heading back to guard her little Master from the Muggles as ordered. Mistress AnaMaria had ordered her to move a bed for the Mistress into the little Master’s room so even when Socky was doing other things, her little Master would be safe from the Muggle’s but she felt better when she was the one guarding him for the young Mistress was not yet trained in her Magic and was little more than a child herself in fact the Lady Pearl had told her to keep an eye on the little Mistress as well as if she had not known to do such a thing, she had already seen how the Muggle’s treated Witches, her Mistress had been hard used but she had been ordered by the Ministry to obey the bad Uncle unless it hurt the Little Master. When the tunk had opened the first thing she had noticed was the lack of a link to her Mistress telling her the Mistress was dead and her little Master was all she had left.
“How the hell can a ship make someone, even that creature a nanny?” Norrington asked plaintively collapsing into the chair by the fire in shock as the little creature disappeared again.
Gibbs chuckled taking the other seat, “Young Jack was a might annoyed at that, getting a Nanny at his age was a might embarrassing but ‘The Lady’ had a point, he does need looking after, but in truth I’m thinking that whole Nanny business is ‘The Lady’s’ way of looking after young Jack better now she has him back, she’s like a Dragon hoarding her surviving dragonets after the nest has been raided, I doubt she’s quite sane about the subject. Jack himself knows it’s not something he can fight.“ Gibbs said calmly as he poured them both a cup of tea adding rum to his own but leaving the Commodore to add it to his own.
“It’s a bloody ship man, you’re as insane as Sparrow.” was all the reaction he got as Norrington added a good splash of rum into his tea cup obviously shaken by his first encounter with a House Elf.
Gibbs frowned at him, “Haven’t you seen enough Magic to know you can’t take anything at face value. The Black Pearl wasn‘t a normal ship to start with and she’s has been under a curse powered by the Aztec Gods for a decade.”
“What do you mean not a normal ship?” growled Norrington wondering if he was dreaming this nightmare wasn’t unkillable skeleton Pirates enough.
“Just what I said, the Black Pearl isn’t just a ship, she is made from the remains of a thousand year old Wizard Manor, Ravenclaw Manor to be exact Jack’s ancestral home, it was reduced to kindling by the Dark Lord LeStrange an evil Wizard who ran amok killing and cursing as he pleased and even our Aurors, officers who maintain the laws of the Magical world couldn’t stop him.”
Norrington frowned, the ideas in that sentence would have to be pondered carefully, “So how did Spa…Raven survive?”
“Survive is perhaps the best term indeed, Commodore.” Gibbs said with a sigh. “The Healers might have fixed young Jacklon Ravenclaw’s body of all the tortures he endured, his mind I fear was another matter, after Ravenclaw’s destruction and the horrors he saw and endured at LeStrange’s mad hands them fixing his sanity is debatable. He was functional and capable of looking after himself when he finally left the Healers care after the massacre which was the best anyone could hope with his Magic Bound as it was. With the Hecatian Bind lifted and his Magic unbound we should see a bit more stability as his mind finally has the ability to settle itself. It‘s time Jacklon learnt to do more than survive I‘m thinking, it’s a real shame about young William, Jack would have settled a lot easier if he had someone to nest with and be sane for.” sighed Gibbs.
“Lord man, you talk about a possible relationship that would get them hung as if it was the most natural thing in the world.” groaned Norrington truly shocked, homosexuality was rampant in the Navy with months at sea without female company, he himself tended to ignore it as long as it remained in the shadows and was not forced, he would be a hypocrite to do otherwise as he had played that game more than once before his rank made him forsake such indulgences as with rank came more scrutiny.
Gibbs snorted, “Muggle Law Commodore, not ours, the nature of Magic have forced our laws to move beyond such limitations, while male-female pairings dominate our culture as it does your own, unlike you Muggle’s our laws don‘t discriminate against those of the same sex who decide to pair up, it is after all the way of nature and occurs even in the lessor creatures of the Earth, there will always be a certain percentage of the population inclined to mate with their own sex and even more who are inclined to both.”
James was shocked, “But what of procreation don’t the families object to the lack of future generations from those pairings?” even as a younger son he was expected to marry and have children, the attrition from child mortality made it a necessity if a family was to survive, even as a second son he was expected to do his duty to the family in case the main line died out if they had been richer the marriage would even have been arranged when he was a child.
“True but that’s where Magic is the great leveller, in our world procreation is no longer dependent on simple biology, spell assisted potions have been around since Ancient Greece enabling procreation to occur between same sex partners, it‘s just damned expensive as the ingredients are rare, so the process is hardly used.”
Norrington groaned every answer just brought more headaches.
“Don’t think about it Commodore it will just make you dizzy trying to fit our world into your own, that is one of the main reasons why we keep ourself separate from your own, the main reason we keep ourselves hidden barely intermixing with you Muggles is twofold, our own safety and your own.”
Norrington frowned there was that word again, “Muggles?” he interrupted wanting clarification if he was having this damn conversation he was damn well going to understand it.
Gibbs grimaced but explained, “It’s what we call you non-Magical people don’t ask me where it came from just except that is the term our people use for your own.“ James nodded with another frown but waved him to continue. “There is much about the world we all live in your people have forgotten Commodore but now is not the time to discuss the two versions of history but I shall give you a general overview of how our separation occurred it is not a pleasant tale.” Gibbs said quickly before the conversation devolved into a non stop History of Magic lesson and nothing got done at least this way he could limit the time waisted on such a lesson. “Once the Magic and Muggle worlds were intertwined and all the Intelligent Races of our world were Magical in nature, all humans included.“
Norrington held up his hand, “All Races?” he demanded.
“Aye! Humans have never been alone on this planet Commodore, you’ve seen Socky, she is a House Elf as I said and proof of what I say, but she is from but one of the many Magical Races that make up our world now hidden from Muggle eye, your own people still have the legends and myths from the time Magic and Muggle mingled, but undoubtedly those same legends show you Magic and Muggle have always been an uneasy mix.” Gibbs said with a sigh. “Muggle’s have a great fear of Magic and tend to blame all wrongs on it, at the same time they have a great greed for it, believing it would solve all their problems and become angered when they discover it is not the solution for their woes. Fear, greed and anger Commodore, none of those is a sound base for two people to interact but once upon a time we did interact and live side by side in the same communities but those days are long gone, the golden days of Camelot was the last true merging of our people, since then your religion has persecuted us to such an extent, Magic itself has hidden from your sight and your people prefer it that way and I must admit it has done Muggles a world of good as you no longer blame Magic for all your problems or even look to Magic to solve all your problems, you now see the true cause of most of your woes no longer decrying Magic as the cause of everything including a child’s skinned knee or a stubbed toe.” Gibbs snorted Muggles tended to blame Magic for everything once they knew of it which was why it was better they forget Magic all together. “For the most part it has been a wise decision and you Muggles are finding your own way and solutions to your daily woes without our help or interference, admittedly your people fell badly when we pulled the crutch of Magic from your sight but eventually you learnt to walk on your own.”
Norrington frowned, “Obviously this is a wide spread movement, why was Magic hidden so thoroughly?”
“Self defence, Commodore!” sighed Gibbs sadly, “Your people have lumped all the wonder, delight and beauty of Magic into the same category as the Demons and other evil Hellspawn. This new religion has not helped, the growing paranoia it fostered in your people was leading to a state of war between the two worlds, and frankly the only way to stop it was to wipe you Muggles from the Earth something we were loath to do as we did remember you are of our blood and bone so the decision was eventually made to remove from your sight that which your hated and envied, we gave you the world your people wanted a world without Magic, out of sight out of mind as the old saying goes and it worked. Once out of sight it did not take long for Magic itself to become a myth to you Muggles although it does not stop your people from using the memory as a goad to stamp out thoughts and ideas you do not deem suitable, I doubt the Witch hunts have finished Commodore and those who end up burnt at the stake are as Muggle as yourself.”
James Norrington raised an eye in slight amusement at the thought of Christianity being a new Religion but grimaced at the entire statement that followed knowing it was true, none of the Religions he knew tolerated Magic in any form or for that matter questioning of doctrine that religion and the Witch Hunts often had undercurrents with a political or secular agenda not seen on the surface it was a terror weapon in his opinion often used to be rid of ideas they found unpalatable or people in the way, the Catholics were the worst in their intolerances the Inquisition was still very much a threat to anyone not adhering to their doctrine but they were not alone in the campaign against Heresy and Witchcraft and in many cases it was just an excuse to stamp out thinking deemed ungodly or to steal the possessions and land of a rich widow or some other hidden agenda, he could well see why these people hid from such insanity.
“You said Humans were once Magical what happened?” he asked that had been a startling statement.
Gibbs snorted, “Greed, Commodore, what else could cause such havoc, the true failing and eventual downfall of our Race. The Human Race created their own bed and has to live with the consequences even these untold millennia after the fact. Your own legends have some recollection of the deed, in the tale of the Garden of Eden but it has been much twisted from the truth, there was a Magical fruit right enough but it wasn’t knowledge those who ate it gained but an extended lifespan adding three hundred years to their human life given that a Magical Human already had a greater lifespan than a Muggle baring accidents, illness or other misfortune a Magical Human can conceivably reach their one hundred and fiftieth birthday some fortunate but rare individuals have even seen their second century but that is indeed a rare occurrence, most are lucky to reach the century mark in this day and age we also lost much from that bout of idiotic greed, the knowledge of healing one of the main losses. Greed it was pure and simple and Envy I suppose, Humans of the time lived side by side with the Sidhe and a mere century and a half of life compared to a race who lived millennia must had seemed paltry indeed.“ Gibbs snorted.
Frowning heavily at the very idea of beings living so long, a play his brother had dragged him to came to mind and a line that had always struck him as all to true, “What fools these mortals be!“ he murmured softly.
“Aye!“ Gibbs said sombrely, “Immortality is still a prize many fools still search for forgetting it is indeed a curse in and of itself, the Sidhe were created and born with that curse it is natural for them and they do not suffer unduly from such long lives their souls being made for it, the nature of Humans is quite different we were not made to endure eternity in such a fashion, our souls can not endure such unending life we grow weary and eventually seek our own end, the people who managed to eat the golden apples in Ancient Greece proved that. Again a Magical fruit proved a curse but at least this time only the fools who ate the fruit suffered from it which is a mercy, the Golden Apples robbed the eaters of the ability to procreate in return for eternal life, Magic always has a price Commodore even my people often forget that Law of Magic and suffer for it. Those particular fools ended up begging the Gods for their ending which is why none still live today the Gods for once had mercy on those fools and granted them release before their very souls were torn asunder from the stress of a life they were not designed to endure. It did of course show exactly how long a human soul can endure life unending, a thousand years seems to be the limit but many were ready for death long before then, the gods being what they are made them learn the lesson fully and let them reach a few more centuires before granting release those souls have yet to be reborn as the damage they suffered from that folly was so great, if only others learnt the lesson many fools still search for eternal life thinking they can beat that little problem.”
Norrington grimaced, “I’m not surprised. Self delusion is common there will always be fools who think themselves exempt from such things.”
Gibbs snorted, “You Muggles at least have some excuse, Wizard born such as ourselves know better but many still spend their lives searching for that holy grail of Magic Immortality, they ignore the fact we Humans have our own form of eternity as the form it takes does not please them for there are always fools who want more, that is also greed of course. They spend their life amassing power and treasure and want to keep it but the nature of humanity is against them we are designed for reincarnation not outright physical immortality, our souls need to rests between lives, Birth, life, Death, Rest or punishment then Birth again, that is our eternal Cycle of Life but it means we start each life with a clean slate without any burdens from the last life but also without all the power and riches many spend their life amassing, you can’t take it with you is all to true, each life we must begin again and what life or sex you are each life, is also luck of the birthing draw, next life a soul could be born a slave or king or male or female, Muggle or Magical for that matter, it is all part of the cycle.”
“Reincarnation?” he said tentatively vaguely recognising the word a name for a belief that was alien to what the church taught them.
“Aye!” Gibbs nodded. “Our people have proven it a fact but I’d advise not to mention it to any of your church folk unless you wish to be denounced as a heretic and find yourself tied to a stake for your trouble.”
Grimacing Norrington nodded accepting the warning for what it was, Religion was another divide between their two people and one not easily crossed, he himself had seen the remains of such bonfires all to often, once the missionaries had done their work any backsliding was punished severely especially by the Roman Catholic Church who didn‘t even tolerate the other Christian religions not that the other were much better given the wars they fought amongst themselves any such pagan belief would be stamped out brutally which was probably yet another reason these people hid from sight and with real Magic at their beck and call he doubted any zealot would survive attempting to convert them to the Christian world view especially if they had actual proof of their own beliefs being correct not just faith.”
“Aye that’s another reason our two worlds are better of kept separate, your various religions will not tolerate our existence for we invalidate a lot of their teachings and in many cases can actually prove them false, a situation they will attempt to rectify with our death.“ Gibbs had been sorted Ravenclaw for a reason and since his cursing had only Muggle books to bide his time with, while books were not a common object amongst the Muggles, Tortuga usually had a steady supply as Pirates usually sold all they found on a ship in the markets and he freely admitted the books he indulged in were better for him than the rum and whores who occupied him the rest of the time. The books he had found in the junks stalls of Tortuga were very diverse and cheap, much cheaper than they should be as many Muggle Pirates couldn’t read or write so had no care for the printed word or saw their value, in Tortuga books sold for a few pennies where elsewhere they would cost pounds, as a consequence he had a small fortune in Muggle books sitting in his Tortuga vault, he had known they would not only be entertainment for himself but bring a tidy profit back in England on resale and less likely to be stolen on the trip back to England. He had also found the information helpful in filling in many of the blanks he had in his Muggle knowledge while the knowledge of the Muggles he had gathered that way was scattered and containing great gaps he still found the history of the Muggles both fascinating and horrific and reading it from the Muggles own hands and point of biew had also been more than enough to come to the conclusion their ancestors had known what they were doing when they created the Enclaves and set up the secrecy laws, those books had given him a good idea of how brutal and bloodthirsty Muggles could be where religion was concerned.
“True,” admitted Norrington grimly. “What was the effect of the first Magcial fruit you glossed over it without any true explanation?“
“Elven Life Fruit one of the main staples of the Elven diet, the fruit is highly Magical and boosted the Magical Cores of the humans who ate it to unheard of limits it also added another three hundred years to their lifespan, that Elven fruit was a great temptation to the Humans of the time obtaining a great leap in their Magic would have been enough but when you add the extra centuries of life it was too much of a temptation, it must have seemed worth it to those fools but the cost of their greed wasn’t worth an iota of the pain their greed and envy caused Humanity.” Gibbs said with a sigh.
Norrington raised an eyebrow “That still doesn’t tell me what ingesting the fruit did man?”
Gibbs flushed realising he had left the main information out of the story and made hast to finish the take, “They became brutes Commodore, brutes ruled by their emotions yet they retained all their Magic augmented by the power of the Elven life fruit they had stolen, some of the darkest of the Dark Arts came from this time and they ruled the lessor Magical’s left amongst humanity who were still uncursed with a brutal fist but it was the many children of their loins, many created by force that proved Humanities downfall as they were truly cursed, they were born without a Magical Core isolating them from the Magic around them, as you can guess everything we Humans had built up to that point fell to pieces as more and more human children were born without the ability to do the Magic that had been at the heart of our Race.”
“What happened?” asked Norrington grimly the picture Gibbs was painting wasn‘t a pleasant one at all.
“We barely survived and each generation more and more children were born with the curse and the cursed children often forcibly interbred with the uncursed, it was not as if the uncursed had any say in the matter given the fact the fruit cursed who enslaved our race at the time favoured their own brutish offspring over all. Humanity had only one hope in those dark days, the Seers told us the curse would slowly lift as the fruit filtered out of Humanity slowly but surely, unfortunately it would take millennia and it would not happen all at once according to the Seers, so eventually the Magic was lost to almost all the Race with but a few pockets of Magcial humans remaining but eventually those brutal overlords who had been the cause of it all passed beyond the veil for judgement but in their own brutal way they had given the Magicless or Muggles as they came to be called some protection and with their death even that small protection was gone and we the human race faced the world around us in all it brutal glory without Magic, it is truly a wonder we survived at all, the few remaining Magical humans became the leaders and guardians but they were always resented as they were a daily reminder of what most of humanity had lost. Eventually a few children began to be born with their Magical Core intact we call them Muggleborn and each one born is proof the curse is lifting slowly but surely but it is a long slow process it will be many more millennia before Humanity is once more back to the place we were before the cursing but that too is inevitable and cannot be halted as being Magical is humanities natural state. The sad fact is you Muggle’s are the unnatural state of Humanity, think of being Muggle as an illness that all Humans will eventually be cured of unless we do something just as foolish and end up truly killing themselves.” snorted Gibbs under no illusions on just how foolish humans could be.
“That is a lot to take in!” he murmured, his mind swarming with a thousands thoughts and questions not sure if he really believed the tale or not but willing to give it the benefit of a doubt as in it’s favour it actually made more sense than the Garden of Eden tale in the bible, it also had the added benefit of not blaming Humanities downfall on anyone but themselves as Gibbs so succinctly put it Humanity made their own bed and had to live with the consequences and hopefully learn from it. A much better sermon in his opinion than blaming everything on some devil in the form of a snake. Humans had always been their own worst enemy in his opinion with a nasty habit of blaming anyone but themselves when things went wrong which might be another reason the Magical Races stayed hidden, they simply didn‘t want to become a target whenever humans started looking for a scapegoat for their problems. From the sound of it Magic itself had been blamed one to many times and withdrew from the target area.
Deciding continuing this conversation at the present time would just be a rehash and it was something he had to digest more thoroughly before he asked questions that wouldn’t sound completely inane he moved the subject back to Sparrow.
“So you believe that idiot upstairs is in love with Turner?” he asked shifting the direction of the conversation without any hint of subtlety making Gibbs blink briefly in confusion but he was fast the Commodore had to give him that, he picked up where they left off to explain Muggle’s without a hitch, it reminded him not to underestimate this man either.
“Aye! Just believe young Jacklon understands how you are feeling about the impending marriage of Elizabeth Swann to William Turner very well indeed. Truthfully it probably would have been better for all concerned if you had won the hand of young Elizabeth and our Jack young Turner. I fear that marriage will not last, as Jack pointed out, young William is a little too staid to satisfy an adventurous soul such as young Elizabeth, she would have been better off enjoying the world you intended for her as it would be much more to her liking.”
Norrington snorted, “Turner isn’t staid he’s insane, he showed that all through that mad adventure and just confirmed it all over again when he freed Sparrow yet again and almost got himself Hung for it.” he grumbled.
Gibbs laughed he‘d noticed that himself, “Aye but his insanity compliments Jack’s, if they were together they’d pull each other closer to sanity and they’d probably settle down into domestic bliss and everyone would breath a sigh of relief.”
Norrington sighed, “Then why the devil didn’t he fight harder for Turner? He practically handed him to Elizabeth on a plater.” he snapped with more than a bit of annoyance although he did admit Sparrow or Raven as he really should call the infuriating man had done everything he could to push Elizabeth toward him.
Gibbs sighed knowing better than to mention Siren pathway gifts but even the Muggle’s had stories of Seers so a half truth might do, “Commodore, I think young Jacklon’s got a touch of the Seer gift and he is insane enough to let it guide his life more than he perhaps should. When he says ‘Opportune Moment’ I figure he is waiting for something he has ‘Seen’ to give him the best chance of succeeding.“
“My God!” he exclaimed realising the man was dead serious and if it was true it explained so much about Sparrow. “No wonder he can’t be caught and gets away with some insane plots and schemes, he’s one step ahead of everybody.” Norrington said faintly no wonder the Admiralty spoke of Raven their best spy and saboteur in awe.
“Aye,” Gibbs said solemnly, “That touch of Seer in him probably isn’t much and if he was sane he’d probably ignore it as most people with such a low Seer gift do, labelling it instinct and experience but as we said, sane isn’t something you can label young Jack, therefore he actually pays attention to those little hints of knowing, it makes him a formidable strategist. From the hints he has let drop this last week, his only chance of getting young William at this point in time was for you to win young Elizabeth. Now that particular venture has failed he has to wait for young Elizabeth herself to ruin the marriage and abandon it, make no mistake Commodore, Jack knows that will happen and he’ll be waiting, once what he’s ‘seen’ comes to pass he’ll make his move and claim young William for himself.”
Norrington sighed drinking the tea while he digested all that, finally he waved him to continue when he realised Gibbs was waiting for him to digest the information.
“Jack isn’t a vindictive man Commodore, he knew marriage to you would have been the best possible future for Elizabeth herself, bringing her the most happiness and he did like her despite her being a rival, so he did try to make that future work not just because he wanted young William for himself, he wanted young Elizabeth happy as well. You yourself wouldn’t be hurt either way, young Elizabeth would have made you a fine wife and exactly what you wanted and she would have thrived as Mrs Commodore as Jack labelled it but you surely must realise so will many other young ladies of similar rank and fortune. Jack has assured me your own future is unchanged, whether you marry young Elizabeth or not, your own path is set, only the name of your wife is different.” Gibbs said a touch sorrowfully knowing such self knowledge could be very unpalatable.
James shifted at that statement finding the implications about his relationship with Elizabeth Swann uncomfortable but at the same time something deep inside of him was telling him it was the truth and something he would have to face up to eventually.
Gibbs continued ignoring the Commodores obvious discomfort with the subject. “It is Jack himself who has to be patient and wait for the only person who could make him settle down permanently. I’m thinking our main occupation over the next few years will be keeping him from mischief while he’s waiting for young William.” mused Gibbs with a grimace.
Norrington snorted, then laughed at thought of Sparrow waiting patiently for Elizabeth to get sick of the marriage to Turner. Sparrow would be bored with waiting within the month and off adventuring on some crazy treasure hunt or job for the Admiralty. He would definitely need to be kept busy until they could get him settled down with Turner, he‘d tumble the mad idiot himself if it kept him contained, he was pretty enough so it wouldn’t exactly be a hardship. Suddenly he frowned as he backtracked that thought realising he seemed to be accepting his non-marriage to Elizabeth Swann extremely easy, where was the heartbreak and loss he had been feeling this last week and more importantly where was the outrage at the thought that Elizabeth as his wife or not made no dent in his future. The sombre knowledge that any suitable wife would suit and be as satisfying, brought on a brutal questioning of his real motives for wanting to marry Elizabeth that finally made him regroup and examine his emotions and motives in detail.
Self knowledge flooded him and he sighed thoughtfully reaching absentmindedly for a scone and adding jam and cream as he let that knowledge settle deep into himself. He wasn’t heartbroken at all he acknowledged, just a little annoyed and miffed, his pride more injured than his heart. So obviously he wasn’t in love with Elizabeth Swann as he had first believed, he had simply been deluding himself into thinking he was, the question was why he had been deluding himself to that extent.
Chewing thoughtfully he found himself enjoying the scones immensely as they were amazingly light and well made, if the little creature made it he could well see why they kept her around, good cooks were a treasure you defended against all poachers on the ships.
Bringing his mind back to the matter at hand he worked though his true thoughts on his marriage to Elizabeth now that he realised he wasn‘t actually in love with her. The most obvious point was she matched perfectly what he desired in a wife and secondly he was very fond of her as he had watched her grow up, fond enough he realised in hindsight that he could easily see it becoming a comfortable marriage. The third point was obvious he knew his own baser nature well despite his somewhat staid and strict surface, he was a passionate man and he frankly enjoyed sex in all its forms and he had been getting damn little of it for the last few years, marriage would have solved that problem beautifully. Choosing Elizabeth had the added bonus of her being both beautiful and passionate; he was experienced enough to know without a shadow of a doubt, that would probably echo how she would come to view sex if she was taught correctly. Elizabeth would definitely enjoy the marriage bed if he made it worth her while and as a virgin she would have no preconceptions of what was proper and easily trained in the art of pleasure to his satisfaction. If he played his cards right she might even indulge him in some of his favourite sexual games such as fellato it wasn‘t as if he didn‘t enjoy recipitation, his first sexual partner had been his mother’s French maid and she had been insatiable servicing both him and Gordon on a regular basis and seducing the footmen when they weren‘t enough, by the time she moved on both he and Gordon had been well trained in exactly how to satisfy a female in all ways including bringing her to orgasism orally in between fucking her. After she left they had felt the lack of regular sex painful and experimented with the footmen themselves, he had found cocks were just enjoyable as cunts, confirming he had a decided oral fetish as it was quite the power trip sending a male or female bed partner insane that way as the oralis was the one in control.
“Are you alright Commodore you have gone awfully quiet?” Gibbs voice brought him back to the present.
“I just realised something.” he said with a sigh reaching for the teapot and refilling his cup adding another dash of rum from the accompanying bottle. “I’m not in love with Elizabeth, she was simply what I wanted in a wife and she was available and a good catch.” he ruefully admitted. “I convinced myself it was love as that was what a young girl of her age wanted and I was fond enough of her to give her what she wanted. I‘ll be back in England in a few years, my best bet at saving my dignity is to let her go and do as my older brother wishes which is let him start looking for a suitable wife for me for when I return to England.” sipping the rum tea, he realised with that decision he was much more relaxed than he had been in months.
“At least you have realised that Commodore.” Gibbs said more than a little relieved at it being so easy. “Hopefully you will do better than my own arranged marriage we made each others life hell as we hated each other.” nodded Gibbs reaching for the pot himself and adding a touch more rum than necessary at the thought of his ex-wife.
“My own parents marriage was the same which was undoubtedly one of the reasons I found a match with Elizabeth tempting. I’ve known her half her life so know we would be comfortable in the match which is what I want in my marriage. Thankfully I trust my brother, Gordon would not arrange a marriage I would be unhappy in given his own reaction to our parents marriage, he is also wise enough to let me to do the final review to make sure we are compatible before any offers are made.” he said not expanding on that, his older brother had a very good idea of his sexual tastes having shared the French maid as well as Richard the young footman assigned to them. James lost his anal virginity to that footman who was hung like a horse and could go all night. Gordon had hinted in his last letter that Richard their footman playmate was now in charge of the old hunting lodge and if marriage wore on him he could always take off for a bit of ‘hunting’ at the Lodge as Richard had aged well and was in fine form having lost none of his stamina or good looks. No Gordon would not force some ugly harridan on him and certainly knew better than to choose a frigid woman for his bed. Gordon had called him an insatiable hedonistic whore more than once during his teens so definitely knew better than that. The whole love thing wasn’t really in his nature he was too selfish for that, it had simply been what Elizabeth expected so he’d let it play that way as it furthered his suit, it had actually made him extremely uncomfortable he realised in hindsight. Frowning thoughtfully he sighed obviously the main reason he had been rushing the marriage was just as base than he thought, marriage would have solved the annoying lack of sex problem he was having at the moment without compromising his ambition and rank, obviously the lack of sex was detrimental to his sanity if he had convinced himself he was in love.
“Well lets hope you’re brother does better than my father did, if you’ll excuse me Commodore.” Gibb’s said standing up. “I have to see about sending the Black Pearl to Tortuga to get the cure for this Magical Fungus before it kills us, from what I have read in the books tis a horrible way to die as it devours you from within, it’s dormant for the moment but the potion we used isn’t the cure, ridding the Keep of this infestation will also be a job requiring supplies only found in the Wizarding section of Tortuga.”
“Go, your crew explained it all to me when we arrived. I don’t like it but realise it is a medical emergency, take Groves and a couple of soldiers with you, he is sensible enough not to freak over Magic he took the entire Aztec Curse thing much better than myself in fact.” he grumbled. “I need to go over Barbossa’s notes, from even a glimpse of them the man was ambitious plus we need to account for the treasure Elizabeth claimed she saw.” he said with a frown wondering what had happened to it, the caves had been almost empty as they transversed them, not matching Elizabeth‘s description at all.
Gibbs nodded, keeping his face bland a few days ago a daring plan had occurred to them, Marty who had been a Charms Master before his binding with the rest of them helping as much as possible had created a few spell store and attached them to the transfigured metal ropes on the Aztec chest, the spell store anchored a detailed solid illusion of treasure around the chest for a certain distance that depended on the size of the room it was in, out in the caves it spread out covering all the space around the chest, in a small room it stayed in the room. The illusion was only broken when you attempted to take some of the treasure, with a little more work they had included a few solid illusions as well, away from the source of the spell namely the vicinity of the Aztec chest they would dissolve, they were all extremely proud of that one as it took some inventive charm work to imitate Leprechaun gold even as poorly as that.
“Aye, the treasure!” Gibbs shook his head in seeming regret. “Bad news on that I’m afraid, there isn’t much treasure here, at least not silver and gold, it’s all illusion centred on the chest as we found to our sorrow when we shifted the chest to a safer storage place, the illusion went with it leaving the poor dregs you saw out in the caves. I fear the only treasure any of us will be finding are the remains of the more mundane cargoes of the ships Barbossa sunk. Jack has had us sorting the remaining cargo and marking it all on the manifests he found, trying to find the missing money.” Gibbs gave a sigh for show, “Truthfully there is little here to show for ten years of Piracy, really only the stuff they kept for themselves for when the Curse was lifted. Jacklon’s thorough, I’ll give him that but after a week all he can come up with is that Barbossa sold it in Tortuga and salted the resulting money away out of easy reach. Jack thinks he might possibly have banked it under another name in case he had to flee, he‘s looking for traces of that here amongst all that parchment he left behind but if it is banked in such a fashion, tis possibly too well hidden so it may never be found.” Gibbs said adding a well acted grimace. “The crew are a bit put out about that, as you can well imagine as they were supposed to be paid from the salvage.”
Norrington grimaced, he’d check the truthfulness of that but so far his men hadn’t found any trace of the large treasure Elizabeth had seen, so unless it was on the sealed ground floor he was going to have to accept they were telling the truth, which would cause an unholy stink back in Port Royal. Swann had a gleam in his eye James hadn’t liked at all whenever the treasure had been mentioned, the small treasure in gold and jewels Sparrow had been draped in had enflamed his greed. James well knew there was more to Governor Swann than his surface face; the man was a shark pretending to be a friendly dolphin. He reminded James too much of his first Commander whose pleasant jovial façade hid a sadistic bastard with a taste for the whip and buggering his juniors as James had found to sorrow as he spent most of his time on that damn ship sacrificing his arse to spare his back. In the early days he had made that comment to Gordon in one of his letters home and gotten back a detailed report on the man, it was nice having a paranoid big brother who loved him and thought he needed looking after. Reading the report on Weatherby Swann had made him even more wary of the man although he had been careful not to show that distrust least he ended up poisoned because while it was all unprovable there were definitely hints the man had paid for the murders mentioned, only to find out the hidden clauses on the inheritance tied to his daughters well being.
“Governor Swann will be disappointed, as will the crew of the Dauntless as we would have gotten some of the prize money on the salvage.” Norrington said tiredly.
“Aye looks like both crew lost out on that. I’d best get cracking or the Pearl will not be back before the potions we are using run out.” Gibbs said heading for the door to make his escape before he got delayed again, time was against them. If only Jack hadn’t been a victim, they couldn’t even the use the stasis chamber of the trunks as Jack was the only person able to open them, frowning at that he paused outside the door as he realised that wasn‘t quite true, young Pedigrine’s blood could be used to open the Gryffindor Chest if worst came to worst or a vial of Jack’s blood kept fresh in a potion stasis vial as another key to the locks and Jack‘s would work on both chests. Happy to have found a solution in case there were delays he headed for the rest of the crew to start issuing orders. He also needed to find young Groves and get him to take a coin to be rid of the bind before the ship left, he would also have to find him and whatever soldiers he took with him civilian clothes, they wouldn’t last long in Tortuga in those uniforms.
After Gibbs left James moved to the desk with another cup of tea and began sorting through the mass of papers realising he would be here for weeks if not months sorting it out. Sighing softly he sat back in the chair and found himself once more lost in his musings.
Rank had brought equal pleasure and pain. He loved being in charge but he hated the scrutiny he was constantly under from the world around him. At his age taking a mistress wouldn’t refect well and would probably put a sharp holt to many of his future plans, he well knew at his age he was expected to find a wife and show how stable and worthy of rank and promotion he was, he also had no wish to become diseased so abstained from visiting the whore houses even discreetly. And worse still he was much too high in rank to safely find relief in male company. That required even more discretion, homosexuality was not something he could afford to be caught indulging in, there were to many eyes on him both aboard ship and in Port Royal to take the chance otherwise he would have buggered young Groves by now as he knew damn well who amongst his command was open to such things and Groves was not only the most discrete but one of the few men inclined that way who had attracted his attention that wouldn‘t eventually use it for blackmail. In disgusted hindsight his musing just confirmed all over again that the whole rushed engagement was simply because he was damn sick of only his hand for relief and had been looking forward to marriage as a solution, it had been a totally brainless decision on his part given her infatuation with Turner, one of his more spectacular thinking with his dick plans as his brother called them.
A sudden smirk crossed his face, as his eyes took in the mass of paper awaiting his inspection a truly masterful plan coming to him, the Dauntless would have to return to Port Royal but if he picked a few men who he trusted not to blackmail him, the idea of keeping Sp… Raven occupied and out of trouble for the next few months had a lot of merit and would certainly solve his sexual frustration, a few months of regular sex would do him a world of good and let him survive until he went back to England in a few years. If he framed his need to stay at Isla de Muerta right, stressing the need to oversee the catalogue and salvage of the cargo’s that did remain, plus do a more through search of the Island in case they were lying about the treasure being an illusion. Swann couldn’t really object he often spent weeks at sea so his duties at the Port would not suffer unduly from his absence, plus he wanted to keep a closer eye on these Wizards, they talked a good talk but he wasn’t wholly convinced they weren’t truly Pirates and this wasn’t all an elaborate hoax to keep the treasure they had hidden somewhere, he had no intention to trust them more than he had to. He would also have the reviewing Barbossa’s papers to conduct. Given all the work he had here he could also claim the time he would spend here would be duty, he could also pretend to be taking the time to reflect on his life now that his future plans with Elizabeth were dust, perhaps he should stress that he also needed distance for the moment to came to terms with Elizabeth’s marriage to Turner, it should work quite well given the love sick fool he had been acting around Elizabeth.
Frowning at the paperwork in front of him he grimaced, realising much of it really would be Duty and the Admiralty would prefer someone of his rank to review all of Barbossa’s plans, the ultimate goal even a brief purview of the documents scattered on the desk told him turning the Caribbean into Barbossa’s personal Kingdom had been Barbossa’s ultimate plan. That thought was terrifying and showed him they needed to review and secure every scrap of parchment they could find to ensure no one else took up where Barbossa left of. Then they had to plug all the shown gaps in their defences throughout the Caribbean Barbossa‘s plans showed they had. Sp..Raven might be insane but he was a genius who might actually have some ideas on how to do that which was a major reason to do that work here away from prying eyes, the Admiralty would not be pleased if he compromised Raven‘s, Captain Sparrow cover by dragging him to Port Royal for such work.
Staying here for a while would also give him a chance to find out more about this so called Wizarding World, there were some hints of hidden dangers and not just things like this deadly fungus that infected Sparrow and two of his men but others, that casual mention of an evil Wizard terrorising their society had been telling, the man Gibbs had shadows of old terror in his eyes as he spoke of it and those shadows told their own tale. James had seen and experienced just how helpless you could be against Magic and those hints didn’t sound good, he needed intelligence and this would be the best way to obtain it. He would also ask his brother Gordon if he had heard or had hints about this hidden world, his brother was a nosey bastard and had always had a fascination with the idea of Magic, all those bedtime tales their great grand mother Callistra had told them when they were children had found fertile ground in his older brother Gordon, who much to James worry now that he knew Magic was real, had been collecting a library on Magic and the occult at an alarming rate since he came of age and finished his schooling.
Decision made he turned back to sorting the papers on the desk into different piles.