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| "Ya look pleased with yourself. Do ya have
idea how nerve rackin' it is to just wait? Knowin' ya could be
for all I knew," grumbled Vin softly.
"It is a good thing you will not be trapped in a Muggle bed until you recover, if this is what you are like after only a few hours," muttered Ezra.
"Sorry, Ez," said Vin contritely, "I know ya doin' ya best but trapped in this bed I couldn't even see if ya needed help or not. I don't think I could take it if ya needed to do it again," explained Vin.
"You don't look to good, Vin," said Ezra taking in the younger man's blurry eyes and flushed face, he looked like someone suffering from a particularly strong winter cold or suffering the misery of pollen season.
"Feel real awful, if I didn't know better I'd a thought I drank about a gallon of Muggle milk from how bad I'm feeling, got all the symptoms, headache, churning stomach, flushed face and stuffy nose. Can ya get me the Magic chamber pot from the cupboard in the water closet room? Think I'm gonna need a upchuck bowl real soon," whispered Vin.
"I'll be back in a minute," reassured Ezra going to the nearby room and quickly finding the requested chamber pot, returning to the room at a run. After handing it to Vin, who looked relieved to have it available, Ezra had an idea.
"You said it felt like when you had Muggle milk, do you think some sea-milk might mitigate the symptoms?" he suggested.
"Ain't a clue, I ain't had Muggle milk so it shouldn't be happening. Can't hurt to try some," Vin decided.
"I'll be right back, " said Ezra making his way to the kitchen at a fast pace. He quickly grabbed the jug of made up sea-milk from the larder and a new glass, then returned to the bedroom only to find he was too late. Vin was retching into the chamber pot he was clutching. Ezra winced. It sounded painful and considering the broken ribs probably aggravated with each heave Vin must be in extreme discomfort. Placing the sea-milk jug and glass next the water jug and glass already on the dresser he went to the bathroom and wetted a washing cloth wringing it out almost dry and grabbed a small drying towel and returned to the bedroom. Thankfully, Vin had stopped heaving probably because he only had water and soup in his stomach to begin with.
Taking the chamber pot from Vin's slack hands he was surprised to note the pot was not only empty but so pristine in its cleanliness you would think it was brand new. Well, Vin had called it a Magic chamber pot. He'd ask the particulars of its spells later; he definitely wouldn't mind one of those in his room at Four Corners. He placed it on the bed in easy reach in case Vin suddenly needed to make use of it again. Ezra then gently wiped the sweat from Vin's face and the traces of his ordeal from his mouth, wrapping the damp cloth in the towel so it would not soil anything he poured a glass of water and grabbed the chamber pot.
"Rinse and spit, Vin," he ordered. "The taste of vomit is quite disgusting, you will feel much better without that taste lingering in your mouth." The younger man obediently followed the instructions, when he finished he placed the pot back on the bed in handy reach. There was a slight delay before the chamber pot lit up with a flash and the contents disappeared, another flash returned it to pristine condition.
"Oh! Hell! Just like when I upchuck stuff made with Muggle milk," said Vin his voice stronger, and from the look of it the flush and other symptoms of his distress were slowly dissipating.
"In what way?" asked Ezra curious.
"Start feeling better as soon as I get rid of it. It don't make sense. I don't keep anything with Muggle milk in my larder and I know you have more sense to give me anything after I warned ya."
"Indeed, Mister Tanner, the object of feeding you is to make you well, not sicker," said Ezra dryly. "Unless perchance you accidentally put Muggle milk in the container labelled chicken, vegetable and barley stew. I have no idea what caused the reaction you just suffered through, as that and water are the only two things you have ingested other than the Hypothermia potion 'Warm Up' and it does not contain milk of any sort or form."
"I don't have a clue then, " sighed Vin despondently. "Maybe I'm getting sick or something from being in the water."
"Highly unlikely, Mister Tanner. Simple vomiting would not relieve the symptoms if that were the case, as the reaction was identical to your ingestion of Muggle milk it must have something to do with this 'Magical Malnutrition' the healer diagnosed. I need you to tell me exactly what this healer told you about your condition, perchance I can find something to explain your reaction," ordered Ezra worriedly.
Vin sighed but obeyed, "Grimblehall, the Goblin Healer who told me the Muggle milk was making me sick because I had 'Magical Malnutrition', claimed it was because I was a Magical being and needed a lot of Magical food to thrive. He claimed some of my ancestors were from at least two of the five most magical beings on the planet. Four of which were the Atlantean Sidhe; the Phoenix, called the fire-birds, the Queonix, called the Ice-Drakes, the Siren, called the Sea or Song Lords and the Elven, called the Forest Lords. While he believed I had some Elven blood, that wasn't causing the problem as Elven-Human breeds revert to Human form without Life Fruit to sustain them unless the Elven is dominent which can produce other problems. My main problem is that I am predominantly of the fifth race, which ain't Sidhe yet are more powerful and more Magical than any of the four Atlantean Sidhe races. The fifth Race, my ancestors, are made up of of Primal Chaos energy able to take any form including human. I guess he was describing Gods from what ya was saying about Unicorn Lords being of the Divine descent?" asked Vin with a questioning look.
"I would say so, Mister Tanner. The Healer probably decided you were dealing with enough without the additional shock of your true heritage. He did not lie to you, Mister Tanner, the Natural Gods are indeed constructs of Primal Chaos, the Universe creates them to govern itself." said Ezra ironically.
"Oh! Suppose it were for the best he left that out. Weren't ready to hear about that then, had enough trouble dealing with all the Wizard stuff. The whole divine thing might have had me running for the hills," said Vin with a blush of embarrassment.
"You were saying your 'Magical Malnutrition' is related to your divine heritage?" Ezra got him back on track.
"Yeah! Seems according to Grimblehall a pure Siren or Elven would die without life fruit, since they need so much Magic to live. They can survive a little while by leaching the life fruit from their body and making them work like a human, but they die quickly within half a millennia, which is real quick for races that live tens of thousands of millennia. I got some of that from the Elven in me but my God side I suppose you'd call it is the real problem as it just makes the Elven problems worse. That part of me is pure chaos energy, according to Grimblehall. The human and Elven part has made me solid and human in form even if highly Magical but on top of that I'm part energy and that part of me needs Magic just to live. Unicorn milk and other really Magical food are usually enough to sustain a Unicorn Lord but as I lost access to Magical foods in my childhood I'm a bit more sensitive to non-Magical foods than I should be." explained Vin.
"Hold on! Non-Magical foods in general not just Muggle milk?" demanded Ezra.
"Grimblehall said, I'm Human-Elven enough that it really only shows with the milk because it was a Muggle infant food, a building block of Muggle nature, so the lack of Magic was magnified by sympathetic resonance. You think maybe whatever they done to me, made the 'Magical Malnutrition' so bad, now everything non-Magical is like the milk to me?" asked Vin slightly horrified at the thought.
"I have no idea Vin, all we can do is experiment. How is your stomach? Are you up to having some of the sea-milk I brought from the kitchen or would you prefer to wait longer before attempting anything else?"
"We both know I need to eat something that will stay down. Been too long without food as it is," sighed Vin. "Let's see if sea-milk stays down. At least it's Magical, so we'll find out if the Magic stuff will make me upchuck as well now." Vin said as he held out his hand for the glass of sea-milk Ezra was pouring for him.
When he had finished Ezra put the glass back beside the jug.
"Best set that jug to chill or it'll go off even in this weather due to the heat from the fire, only got a half inch of syrup left in the crock so can't waste it, especially if it turns out its one of the few things I can eat," said Vin tiredly.
Ezra quickly turned on the chill spell built into the jug. "Are you alright, Vin, is the sea-milk making you sick?" he questioned worriedly.
"I'm just tired, got a few hours before we know about that, I'm praying it won't make me sick need to be able to eat at least something in the place." said Vin.
"Yes, it might be a good idea to work out what foods have a Magical content and how much, that way we can work out what you can tolerate," said Ezra thoughtfully. "Start by telling me what purely Magical foods you have on hand?"
"Got the sea-milk syrup but it's running out, might have enough for seven eight gallons, less if we need butter as that takes extra syrup to make. Still got a block of sea-milk cheese, a few Magical herbs and spices I gathered for cooking, got a store bin full of dried Frook fingers. Got a couple of old sea-milk five gallon crocks full of fresh Frook fingers in sea water but that's my Frook seed pods so I can't eat it, and a sack of ground Frook flour. That's about it for the pure Magic stuff. Other than the waterlight seed in another old crock of sea water but that ain't eatable as it's poisonous."
"Sea-milk and Frook isn't a bad start, Mister Tanner, the bread starter in the larder is that made of Frook flour or a Muggle flour?"
"Don't use Muggle flours as I have to buy them while Frook don't cost me money as I grow it myself, it's the first stage of making Frooklight for the waste vat out in the workshop so I grew extra for flour."
Ezra's jaw dropped suddenly realising what that sickly glowing green substance in the glass vat was. "Are you insane, Mister Tanner, no one in there right mind goes anywhere near that seaweed hybrid, the acid in the stalks can an will dissolve a human and anything else other than glass on contact. It is classified as one of the most dangerous plants on the face of the Earth as there is no known neutralisation agent, other than saturating it with matter to dissolve until it neutralises itself in Frooklight render."
"This is a tent, Ez, where do ya think the water closet, the drains or even this empties into?" said Vin patting the chamber pot. "Got a vat of mashed Frooklight seaweed out in the workroom that's the waste vat, kitchen waste and all the curing waste goes into it. The acid boils off the water and eats everything else until the acid is neutralised into Frooklight render." Vin said calmly.
"Why on earth would anyone take the chance of playing with Frooklight, when digging a latrine would be both easier and safer?" snapped Ezra appalled at such a risk to life and limb.
"Ez, if I was dealing with just normal waste, sure a latrine would do but I got to get rid of used Pickle Frond curing potion. That ain't something ya just tip out or bury, it'll kill anything in the area for years after it's dumped. Dumpin' that potion is forbidden by International Magical law accordin' to Adrian, claimed it was one of the few things them idiots in charge all agreed on." Laughed Vin, remembering some of Adrian's rants about the idiots in charge of the Magical world and how they needed the Emperor to give them a good swift kick in the pants to get them back on track. "So ya either exhaust yourself breaking it down with Magic into something safer or like the Le'Herne been doing for centuries tip it into Frooklight acid and let the acid change it into render which is a fertiliser not a destructive plant and animal killer. The Le'Hernes been using Frooklight acid in their workshops and house plumbing for centuries, they got handling it down to a fine art. Think about it from this angle, Ez, if anyone uses the water closet in the tent they make Frooklight render and ya know how much ya can sell that for."
Ezra blinked, Frooklight render was the most Magical and expensive fertiliser in the world and was never less than a galleon to the apothecary or troy ounce often it was more depending on the availability of supply. While it was incredibly concentrated, an ounce of Frooklight render dissolved in water was a sought after liquid fertiliser in the Magical greenhouses that supplied cultivated Magical herbs to the apothecary shops. More than twenty times more effective than Dragon or Thestral dung, it was coveted by Wizarding gardeners the world over but the rarity and danger of its source made it expensive.
"Exactly how much Frooklight render does your waste vat produce at one time, Mister Tanner?" asked Ezra narrowed eyed.
"It ain't a big vat, Ez. Makes about forty pounds before it needs changing to a fresh vat," said Vin eyeing him warily waiting for the explosion he knew was coming.
"Mister Tanner, are you telling you make," he stopped and did a quick calculation of forty pounds at a galleon a troy ounce in his head, four hundred and eighty galleons a year from your waste vat." Ezra's voice was high and loud when he continued, "That is, seven thousand, two hundred American dollars at the present Galleon-dollar conversion rate, from something little better than a latrine." Ezra practically screeched in outrage.
"No, Ez," Vin winced, "I don't make four hundred and eighty galleons a year. I make four hundred and eighty galleons every time I empty my waste vat, and I do that four times a year."
Ezra quickly did the multiplication in his head and gasped in horrified awe, "Twenty eight thousand and eight hundred American dollars a year from waste. Mister Tanner, that is obscene on so many levels but I would suppose that the inherent built in profit would make the risk of handling Frooklight worth it."
"It's the best way to get rid of the curing potion, the rest just naturally followed," shrugged Vin.
"Mister Tanner, if you don't mind my asking what have you been doing with your money, you obviously make obscene amounts of money yet even with the few Wizarding luxuries such as sea-milk, live quite fugally?" asked Ezra extremely curious.
Vin flushed, "I bought the valley system where my vegetable patch is, got about six big valleys in the hills behind Chris's place, used my full name Karvindar Daffyd Jayce Slytherin-Tannerae on the deed, doubted anyone was gonna get Vin Tanner out a that mouthful, so it was safe enough."
"While you have my sympathies on your name, we both know that would have barely made a dent in the profit from just one of the waste vats, unless that land is laced with gold and gems, there must be a lot more to this than you let on." snorted Ezra in disbelief.
Vin flushed again, and started picking at the blanket embarrassed as he explained, "It's a nice little nodal valley that have a couple of creeks joinin' them together. Come high summer the creeks dry up which is how I found the place. The creeks run onto Chris's land and they just disappeared when we had 'em three weeks of scorching heat at the beginning of summer. I backtracked the creeks and found the source which was a small underground river coming out of a granite wall like a waterfall, trouble is it branched into two creeks. One split later on into three creeks one went to Ms Nettie's place, the other two the creeks on Chris's land. The other creek from the source lead to Royal's ranch although ya can't tell that from just looking as it goes underground into that big underground cavern lake he boasts about. Royal's creek bed runs of a small second waterfall that feeds a series of small basins into a small basin of granite about ten feet deep the basin has a hole just at the ten foot mark which leads into a underground channel so he got the most water flow. Which would a pissed Chris off if he knew where the water was going. All I could do was clear the above ground creek beds so they got more flow and leave it. The entire time I was there I was feeling some strong nodes under the valleys so I ended up buying it."
Ezra smirked, "I had noticed that Mister Larabee's two creeks as well as the one on the Well's ranch were flowing remarkably stronger by mid summer. I had thought it just nature but given what you have just said, I would hazard a guess some heavy Wizarding construction being the cause. Did you redirect all the water from Mister Royals famous water cavern?"
"Course not, that would a been wrong and against the law to cut off a man's water supply," smirked Vin. "Besides he would a noticed that within a month and started looking for the reason. I just cut the flow going underground by about two thirds, that cavern still gets plenty of water it just don't fill as quickly. He's got plenty to run his ranch in comfort and it refills fast enough for normal ranch use even if he expands, long as he don't waste it like he is now. I figure by next summer he'll start feeling the drop in water, if he's sensible he'll rein in his water guzzlin' and let his reserves fill back up and pay more attention to his assets. After he sold all that land to the railroad he built that big mansion and surrounded it with lawns and gardens, just to show off how rich he is, every damn plant a water hog, which gets a soaking each day. The fruit trees are about the only things worth the waste of water, the rest of it is all decorative to show of his wealth," snorted Vin.
"Hopefully, you have disguised your creek engineering, Mister Tanner, I would not put it past Royal to send people into those underground tunnels to track his water supply."
"Don't worry about that, all a Muggle like Royal will find is that my waterfall feeds four creeks and his is just one of them," Vin smirked. "Ya know how ya were talking about living in the tent?" asked Vin suddenly.
"Hardly a hardship, Mister Tanner, it is a very comfortable tent and would be a delight to winter in such enjoyable surrounds."
"I think you'd like the house better," laughed Vin with a grin.
"A Wizarding house?" asked Ezra doubtfully.
"Yeah, Ez, a Wizarding house, finished it just before winter set in."
"If you insist, as long as the house is as comfortable as your tent I will not complain about the change of plans," said Ezra in the tones of a martyr which made Vin chuckle until his ribs started aching. "Shit! Don't make me laugh."
"So while we are waiting to see of you void the sea-milk, tell me about this house you built." Offered Ezra.
"While I was looking at the creeks I could feel the nodes but also the springs in the area so I knew there was more than just the surface stuff on show so I bought it. Already found three cold water springs plus a hot spring so with Magic putting in plumbing was easy. I etched out the cellars and pipes over summer using Frooklight acid. Yeah! Yeah! Ez, don't start, I know how to handle Frooklight." Ezra just tightened his mouth to hold in his anger at the risk. "I let the render just soak through the valleys which made everythin' bloom especially the berry bushes and upped the Magic which should stay as it's got nodes to sustain all the Magic. Been thinking of getting the Goblins to send me some fruit trees, I got enough water if I'm careful and the Frooklight render will make them thrive, ain't as if I'm gonna be running cattle or anything."
"What of the house itself, what is that like?" asked Ezra fascinated.
"I picked it because Adrian's index said it was a small single story farmhouse, which was why the entire thing had been shrunk instead of just the rooms like in the mansions." Vin laughed, "Heck Ez! If that's small I'd hate to see Adrian's idea of big. It might be one story but it still got an attic in the roof, which is big enough to make two more rooms if need be. It's got four big bedrooms, two bathrooms, plus water closets, a big kitchen, dining room, separate parlor for visitors and a livingroom for the rest of the time and that ain't even listing the other little extra's. Almost had a heart attack when I opened the box and looked at it, ended up having to clear more land to set it up. At least it had walls and a roof most of the rest of the homes in the trunk are just the rooms as they left the house frame and roof behind. I finally got it finished just before winter closed in. So now I have a house and base to use while I search for what I really intend to buy. I didn't bother with the Frooklight vats as I still have the tent for working in, the water closets and drains soak into the ground throughout the valley, which deals with it and should keep it all moist even in summer without me needing to add more water."
"That sounds a lot of work for something temporary, Mister Tanner?" was all Ezra managed.
"We both know Four Corners ain't gonna need seven lawman forever, we've been getting a lot more free time lately. If I'm reading the lay of it right, JD and Buck are gonna end up permanent law, Nathan has his clinic, Josiah the church, you got the gambling and Chris, well Chris has his shack which he's been expandin' into a real fancy ranch house lately. He's even brought breeding stock for a horse ranch, he's started nestin' bad." Vin sighed, "He's been paying a lot more attention to Miz. Travis as well. I ain't an idiot, Ez, he's made his decision and from the way Mary's eyes have been lit up from happiness he's already proposed and they've been waiting for the Judge to visit before telling people. Mary will make him a good wife and Billy needs a Pa. I didn't buy the valleys because of that, I've owned it for months long before I gave up on his taking the next step, knew I couldn't live in his shack it's too closed in for my taste. I thought since it backed onto his land we could forget the shack and live in the valleys. Once I realised Chris had decided on Mary I was glad I’d bought the valleys, Chris is a greedy possessive bastard, he ain't about to completely lose what he considers his. He may have decided he wants a wife and family but I knew he weren't about to just let me take off," Vin snorted. "Don't get me wrong, the moment he made that decision he started treating me different, he's keeping it brotherly now and I know he won't be trying to turn me into a mistress or somethin'. What I do know is that he's crazy enough to track me down, drag me back and try installin' me in one of them rooms he's buildin' if I run out on him."
"I doubt Mrs. Travis would have stood for that," laughed Ezra amused at the thought.
"You're telling me, Ez," giggled Vin. "Miz. Travis knows damn well, I'm her competition. I figure I can head Chris off at the pass by showing him I'm nestin' nearby, thankfully I can prove I bought the land long before he started Couting her so can prove I didn't do it because him and Mary make me uncomfortable. I'm close enough to calm Chris's anxieties but well out of grabbin' and screamin' distance so he can't try installin' me in one of them rooms he's buildin'."
"A wise decision, Mister Tanner," laughed Ezra, before turning serious. "Forgive the presumption but I am curious as a Wizard you are quite capable of bearing a child which in many ways puts you on even ground with Mrs. Travis in that regard, the Wizarding laws regarding the telling of Muggles does have some leeway in such situations, especially as Mrs. Travis might be a squib but both Billy and his grandparents are Wizards so Chris will be exposed to the Wizarding world anyway. I do not see the point of not playing such a high card."
Vin sighed, "Ez, I lost my chance the moment Chris found out what I am."
"Did I hear you correctly, Mister Tanner? Christopher Larabee knows you are a Wizard?" he demanded shocked.
"Chris is a Wizard, Ez. It ain't the Wizard part that had him backin' off, if I was just Wizard, Mary wouldn't have stood a chance. It was the Unicorn Lord bit that had him back trackin' and headin' towards Miz. Travis as fast as his legs could carry him. It weren't anythin' I could fight, he was already antsy about me being a man as he's never been attracted to men before, Wizard helped as it weren't to uncommon or outlandish for Wizardin' kind. It was the non-human part that had him running for safety."
"Non-human? Mister Tanner, what does he think a Unicorn Lord is? Mister Larabee's about face is ridiculous; it does not even follow any of the pureblood standards they judge future spouses worth by. By those standards you are the purest of the pure, your mother was a purebred Witch directly descended from the Lords of Slytherin, one of the great houses of Britain, while your paternal line is descended from Gods, Gods! Mister Tanner, primal energy who took human form. Good grief, Vin, if the great houses of Europe knew of your existence they would be conniving to trick you into a marriage contract with one of their Heirs, just to get your Magical inheritance into their bloodline." Ezra was shocked at Larabee's reaction to Vin's bloodline. While Purebloods were fanatical about purity, it was usually about power only the truly insane or misinformed went the pure human fanatical route, massive inbreeding had wiped such thinking out in a few centuries. Even the term mudblood was a snide reference to the scale of Magical power, not race; mud blood, common mud, meaning made from non magical genetic matter, at the top of the scale were the Gods beings of pure primal energy.
"It's done, Ez, can we not talk about it?" begged Vin.
"Certainly," placated Ezra, willing to swallow his indignation at such a slur on Vin's bloodline if it made the young tracker more comfortable. "So if your valley is just a temporary stop and base on the way. What are you really looking for?" asked Ezra changing the subject much to Vin's relief.
"When Grandpa Red Hawk took me from Moonpath Valley, after Ma died, the Unicorn herd moved on permanently, they never came back. See Moonpath Valley weren't really the type of grazin' the Unicorns like. They like their winter's cold with snow. They set up in Moonpath Valley in Texas because of Belladonna, they didn't think a human child would survive in snow country without human adults and shelter. So the valley was a compromise for 'em, a nodal valley but not mountainous just a few hills and valleys."
"You are looking for the Unicorn's real grazing land and you intend to buy it so they will be safe." Realised Ezra in delight.
"Ez, ya don't think I'm a fool, wantin' to keep 'em safe?" asked Vin.
"Vin, from the sound of it that Unicorn herd is as much your family as any blood relation. Wanting them safe is quite natural under the circumstances. It is also probably a wise undertaking, Unicorns and Wizards like the same type of land I'm afraid, highly Magical. Your Unicorns could very well end up the losers unless you have bought the land first before Wizards discover their home," said Ezra cynically having no illusions about mankind, Muggle or Wizard.
"Yeah! That's what the Goblin's said," sighed Vin. "Even my ownin' the land might not be enough, if it's loaded with nodes the way Unicorns like it."
"True but at least owning the land will give you greater control. You may have to give some of it up for Wizarding use but the Unicorns will still retain some of it for their use, many of the great Wizarding schools are such a compromise." Ezra tried to reassure the younger man as best he could.
"I know, the Goblins explained it but I guess ya can see why I need as much money as I can make for buying the land," said Vin with sneaky smirk.
Ezra thought about it and finally raised a eyebrow saying dryly "The more land around the actual grazing land you own, the more less magical but still nodal influenced land you can palm off by compromise treaty for Wizard use, the more actual Unicorn grazing you can save," smirked Ezra.
"It were the Goblins idea, Wizards ain't as sensitive to Magic as Unicorns so outskirts nodal areas would do as well for them, might still have to share with a school on the inner area but that's better then losing it all." Explained Vin.
"It should work, as long as you manage to buy the land first," decided Ezra.
"Yeah! Which is why I got to start looking! This last year has been sort of a waste that way, it's been great but if I don't find it soon some Wizard or Witch will beat me too it. The only thing I got ahead of them is the ability to sense nodes better than most humans," sighed Vin. "Unicorns like big mountainous valleys or deep forests over heavy node areas. That place I just come from its got nodes to spare, I was getting' a buzz even as I was dyin'," frowned Vin.
Ezra frowned as well, remembering the conversation with Anyanka, "Aunty Anyanka claimed she had been sent after those Sorcerous miscreants who hurt you because they were over a massive nodal pool. The area was so massive and strong it was a potential convergence gateway. The danger of them opening was that the potential convergence sat over both a Heavengate and a Hellmouth, if you opened one you opened both and it would destroy this universe and all the universes connected to it," said Ezra.
"That don't sound good but they ain't the type of nodes Unicorn like, it would have to be a heavy concentration of natural nodes to attract them. They would stay clear of the Heavengate and Hellmouth convergence nodes even if they aren't active," frowned Vin. "How can a Heavengate and a Hellmouth be on the same nodes? That don't balance from what Adrian and Miz. Elsbeth taught me. Even a double point nodal would repel or collide with such opposites next to each other."
Ezra's eyes opened wide, "But a three point nodal conjunction would balance perfectly. The third nodal point would have to be natural nodes. Even though it is all just potential until the gates actually form even the potential has to balance or the gates would not even become potentially active."
"So it's a three point natural nodal system with the potential to become a three point convergence containin' both a Heavengate and a Hellmouth and it will destroy the world if opened," winced Vin.
"So it would seem, Mister Tanner. So it would seem, and if I am right your Unicorn's will probably be right in the middle of it as it will be the biggest nodal area on the continent."
"Ya think so, Ez?" whispered Vin horrified.
"Something we will definitely have to check," said Ezra with a frown. "If it is the grazing land of your herd we will have to tread lightly hiding its nature until it is safely in your possession. The first thing we will have to do is check the title on the ravine and valleys those Sorcerous creatures have infested. If they have actually purchased some of the land it could cause problems if your herd is in the area."
"A three pointer will be big, take up a lot of land and it will be mountains, valleys and forest. That will take a heap of exploring to make sure they ain't there. Even if they ain't there we can't just leave that place sit, given what will happen if some fool tries opening a gate," sighed Vin.
"Indeed, and I fear it might not just be Demons and creatures of that ilk that would cause problems, due to the potential Hellmouth. More than one Angelic contaminated Mage high on religious fervour has attempted to commune with Heaven in such a manner. You would think that the fact that the Angelic host on the other side get testy whenever it happens would deter them in their religious zeal yet it never does. Babel is a very real object lesson on just how annoyed they can get," said Ezra in disgust.
"I suppose I could buy it. Wizards like those types of places, if they ain't there it will give me more bargaining ground for when I do find their gazing land," offered Vin tentatively.
"That is a big risk, Mister Tanner, you may not have the funds to buy the land you do want if you expend it all on this place. Before we proceed we need to know for sure if your herd is in residence or if it is merely a highly Magical piece of real estate. Our plan of attack will be different depending on the answer to that question."
"Now ya lost me," stated Vin tiredly.
"Simply put, Mister Tanner, if your herd is in residence you need to purchase the entire area as fast as possible then plan everything around keeping their main grazing land safe. If, on the other hand, your herd is not in residence we have more options available as we will not have the Unicorn safety to plan around, merely stopping this place from destroying the Universe should be a lot easier without taking your herd into consideration."
Vin had to laugh, "Merely, Ez?"
Ezra's eyes twinkled back, "But of course, Mister Tanner, for without Unicorn safety to consider it is merely a matter of obtaining title to the land and setting up a viable system to keep the nodal energy below gate forming levels. The most simple way to obtain such a desired outcome is to create a Wizarding community over the nodes as Wizarding Magic will siphon the excess power to maintain the wards and Muggle repellers as well as maintain long term spells. So in that case the two most obvious options open to us is either you expend your savings on this place and chance not having funds in future for your herds true grazing land. Something I do not advise. Or we can talk to the Goblin's who have an eye for profit and use part of your savings as deposit while borrowing the rest. Even if your herd is not in residence, Mister Tanner, this entire nodal system will be highly sort after by Wizarding families as a place to settle. Reselling or renting the land at a profit would easily regroup such a loan; even more profit would be obtainable by creating improvements, such as a small Wizarding town and houses throughout the area ready for occupation. The Goblins themselves would probably like one of the mountains for a system of bank vaults so that is also a heavy bargaining chip in obtaining the loan. The western areas of this country are sadly lacking in even the basics of Wizarding settlement so a stable nodal powered Wizarding enclave in these western reaches would not only be desirable but quite profitable to the creators of it," instructed Ezra with a smile.
Vin frowned, "I ain't good at business, can barely read and write. Up til I learnt my letters from Miz Travis, I had to depend on Miz Elsbeth's old dictating feather pen to write with and it only wrote French. The reading prism read the replies, but only because Adrian had it spelled to read everything English for me. That plan of yours sounds real complicated even with the Goblins helping set it up," whispered Vin. "Even if we do it, there is going to be a heck of a delay deciding on the way to go. Can't do a thing unless we know the herd's here or not and given the state I'm in I doubt I'll be packing into the mountains looking to see if they're here or not. Ain't as if I can dig out my water diving fork and ask it if the herd is nearby," snorted Vin despondently.
"Yes! Why didn't I think of that," exclaimed Ezra enthusiastically.
"Think of what?" asked Vin in confusion.
"Divination, actually a combination of divination and scrying to be exact, I just have to work out the method to use considering our limited resources. My own paraphernalia is back in Four Corners, so if I cannot find some sort of substitute we might have to wait until then," mused Ezra.
"What ya need? Miz Elsbeth were a Seer so she had a lot of stuff. I only ever got the hang of a water diving rod although Miz Elsbeth claimed I have the power to do a whole lot more I just didn't trust it much."
"A recent map of the area, I have one but it is a few years old. Something coloured to use as markers for what we are searching for, using coloured inks would be incredibly messy but possible. A scrying bowl and finally if possible something once belonging to your herd, Unicorn hair or horn would do," listed Ezra looking at him hopefully.
"Got a new map when I bought my land so it's only a few months old. Miz Elsbeth's had lots of scrying bowls. The coloured stuff has me beat unless ya talking about something like Miz Elsbeth's sand table?" asked Vin confused.
"Sand table, I have seen something like that used when at school but only as a demonstration it was one of the more esoteric and little known divination methods, describe it to me?" Ezra ordered very interested.
"It's got this big tray and bottles of real fine sand every bottle is full of a different colour sand. Ms Elsbeth used it for meditation sat making sand pictures for hours at a time but claimed she could divine with it," explained Vin.
"I could probably use it but it would be extremely crude compared to what someone like your Ms Elsebeth could do. Do you know where it is?"
"You'd have to unshrink her bedroom, she kept all that in her meditation and scrying room of her bed chamber," explained Vin.
"Well you did want what you called her float chair," smirked Ezra.
"Hell yes! I want that float chair, want moved into that bedroom as well, her bed even has a pole that comes down so ya can pull yourself up, I keep falling off these pillows and getting stuck. If you couldn't walk you'd want it to, that whole room is designed for someone who can't walk," smirked Vin.
"Well then, tell me how to unshrink that room?" asked Ezra.
"There is a square box on top of the dining room display case, take it out of the room then shrink the dining room and put it in the box."
"All well and good, Mister Tanner, but I do not know how to shrink an entire room, you will have to teach me that spell," said Ezra dryly.
Vin blinked, "Ya don't know how to shrink a room, it's one of the first spells Adrian had me master, that and making it big again. Some of the trunks out in the storeroom have rooms and houses from when the 'Children' lived in Europe, they used that spell like Muggles use Attics. Hell! Miz Elsbeth claimed they had trunks in attics that were stored in boxes and those attic boxes were inside other trunks, which were inside other rooms in yet another boxes in a trunk. They put packrats to shame, doubt they ever threw anything away." laughed Vin. "She showed me these little dolls nestin' inside each other and claimed that was what their trunks were like. They left it all to me because Miz Elsbeth had a vision which told her I'd or someone close to me would eventually get bored or curious and take the time to sort it all out and I'd find use for it all."
"Damn you, Mister Tanner, I shall have nightmares about opening boxes, inside boxes for eternity even as my hands itch to explore those damnable trunks just to see what's in them." A horrible thought struck him, his mother use to take great delight in telling him the story of Pedigrine Potter trapped in a trunk with a stasis spell eternally frozen as a child until he was freed. Quickly explaining the legend of Pedigrine Potter to Vin he asked if some of those trunks might have time frozen prisoners.
Vin blinked but shook his head. "No, the shrink spell won't let that happen either will the tent. The Le'Herne always been real big on safety, even things like the chamber pot and the kitchen waste, won't transport anything living into the waste vat, well that ain't quite true, don't seem to mind transportin' rottin' food with things growin' on it but that's about it's life-limit accordin' to Adrian, had to leave that as otherwise nothin' would work as even air and water got some life in it from what they were teachin' me in my Herbology lessons."
"How so, Mister Tanner?" he asked curious.
"Adrian explained it, the shrink spell don't work on the living, but everythin' has life on or in it even rock. So they had to pick a life limit for the spells. It real picky, a living plant or seedling would stop it but unsprouted seed won't. Seed is potential life, Adrian showed me that one he put a living potted plant in the larder and tried to collapse the tent and it wouldn't work, but the Frook pod and waterlight seed store fine. Adrian claimed that's also the reason the Le'Herne don't have Wizard paintings, the spark of life in Wizard paintings is just enough to stop the spells working, so they stick to Muggle art. I was afraid Quisen would stop it but he's something else, Miz Elsbeth claimed he was related to Dragconis, alive but not alive so he don't effect the spells."
"I find myself thankful that your benefactors did take such precautions, Mr Tanner. Pedigrine Potter's story of time frozen imprisonment gave me nightmares as a child."
Vin laughed but smirked and ruined Ezra's relief by adding "Cause if ya get nosy, that don't mean a few of them rooms won't have bodies. As Miz Elsbeth explained, every family have black sheep from time to time and the 'Children' ain't no different than anyone else in that respect, killing someone and shrinking the room would have been a easy way of hiding the body and the crime."
"How reassuring to find out such lovely surprises await one in your storeroom, Mister Tanner. It is perhaps well that my own ancestors didn't know that spell their attics would be a graveyard."
"I think that might have been Ma's reaction as well," giggled Vin. "So you still want to learn the shrink and unshrink room and house spells?"
"By all means, Mister Tanner, you are about to give me the ultimate hobby, searching the Le'Herne's fascinating trunk attics. The lure of the unknown will be irresistible."
It took about twenty minutes to get the spell and wand movements into memory then Ezra went to try it out by shrinking the dining room. Returning to Vin's, Ezra was bright eyed and clutching a box.
"Mister Tanner, I love this spell, quickly tell me where to find this room we need unshrunk?" he ordered practically bouncing with excitement.
Vin laughed, Ezra looked like a kid in the candy store he was so excited, "The green trunk out in the storeroom it has everything from Adrian's old house as well as Ms Elsbeth's home, Adrian said he marked it with her name so I could find it easily, he knew I'd need to use all that stuff when I fixed my back."
Ezra made a run for the storeroom,
unshrinking spell. Vin felt exhausted just watching him and as
minutes dragged by Vin slipped quietly into slumber.