“By the time I got home, it was after two o'clock in the morning.” …CRAP! My time-line is off by a couple hours! (*fixes*) There we go. Now where was I...
It's been a rough day for Harry so he decides to do some alchemy to unwind. That's right, more magic. He does not really have another hobby but this also means we get to meet Bob this chapter, so all is forgiven.
Harry lives in the basement and subbasement of a, “roomy old house that has been divided up into lots of different apartments.” This also means that he pays, “less than all the people who have whole windows,” and he hears all the creaks and sounds from the whole house. “It's home.”
And Mister is waiting at his front door to be let in. Let me try that again. And Mister, the over-thirty pound gray cat
with little fat on his frame that Harry saved as a kitten, is waiting to be let into his apartment that he happens to share with Harry.
The jokes Harry has about Mister are endless (eats smaller dogs, parent was a large cat, etc.).
Anyway, Mister enters first and we get a look at the inside. Studio room with a fireplace and kitchenette, check. One other room that is the bed- and bath-room, check. The lab in the subbasement, reached via trapdoor and ladder that is always cold so he normally wears a robe while working down there (thus fulfilling the “wizard” look), check. Oh, and lots of things that use fire to produce light. The ceiling lights “foul up so often it almost isn't worth turning them on.” At least it all smells nicely of woodsmoke and charcoal from the fireplace (no matter what he does).
The lab is where you find all the interesting wizard supplies. A pawn-shop owner would be proud with the variety of apparently useless stuff Harry has. Other than a completely clean brass circle set in the floor, there are four tables (one table in the center and three more against the walls) and shelves on all the walls filled with “empty cages, boxes, Tupperware...several old books
, a long row of notebooks filled with my own cramped writing *
, and a bleached white human skull
- Harry “Bob, wake up.” Pause. “Come on, lazybones.”
- A pair of lights came up in the empty sockets of the skull, orangish, flickering like candle flames. “It isn't enough that I have to wake up. I have to wake up to bad puns. What is it about you that you have to make the bad puns?”
- ”Quit whining,” I told him, cheerfully. “We've got work to do.”
An now you have met Bob the Skull. The centuries old, cocky, wisecrack-making, extremely perverted, spirit of air that Harry uses instead of a computer. Not only can Bob keep track of where everything in the lab is, he has detailed knowledge of “the slowly changing laws of quasiphysics.” To be clear, the skull is not Bob's, it is just the container that “he” is forced to live in.
Apparently, Bob knows how to get Harry out of his current predicament. But he wants “out for a ride” in exchange.
- Harry That made me wary. “Bob, I let you out once. Remember?”
- He nodded dreamily, scraping bone on wood. “The sorority house. I remember.”
To summarize the rest of the banter/conversation: H: “don't understand why you're obsessed with sex.” B: “academic interest.” H: Yeah right. Etc. The whole point is that Bob learns about the date and insists on Harry making a second potion along with the escape potion Harry wants. Specifically, a love potion. Harry agrees, but not before we learn that A) a potion's effect is determined by the ingredients more than the intent (unlike spells and why Harry wants Bob's imput) and B) potions are only good for a couple of days.
After a little chat about just how badly some of Harry's previous attempts at potion making turned out, we get the basic recipe for a potion: a liquid base, something related to each of the senses, something for the mind, and something for the spirit for a total of 8 ingredients.
How to make an Escape potion
- Eight ounces of Jolt cola (liquid base), a drop of motor oil (smell), cut-up bird feather (touch), three ounces of powdered chocolate-covered espresso beans (taste), shredded bus ticket (mind), broken chain (spirit/heart), a flickering shadow (sight), and mouse scampers (hearing).
- Effect: be the wind for a few minutes.
The shadow was stored in a clean white cloth “for just such an occasion,” and the mouse scampers were in a jar. I told you a pawn-shop owner would be envious.
How to make a Love potion
by Bob with input from Harry
- Eight ounces of Tequila (liquid base)thinks this will produce a sleazy result and champagne would be better, three ounces of dark chocolate (taste), drop of perfume (smell), an ounce of shredded lace (touch), last sigh from a jar (hearing), candlelight (sight),
passionate love letter fresh out particularly erotic paragraph from a erotic novel (spirit/heart), teaspoon of powdered diamond no diamonds torn up fifty dolor-bill last of the fifties I have (mind).
Final step is to run enough magic into the potions for all the ingredients to activate/combine. This magic energy “can come from a special place... a focus... or from inside people.” The last generally means emotions of some kind and Harry throws all of his anger/worry/stubbornness into completing the potions. Once they stopped fizzing, he puts them into their own, clearly labeled, sports bottles.
The whole process did exactly what Harry wanted it to do: it tired him out enough that he can go to sleep peacefully.
99/322, 13.5 hours from the start, about 2:30 in the morning. No good end of chapter quote for me to work with, just a recap of what the overall situation is.
Thinking back, I probably did not need to type out the entirety of the potions... Oh well. They show just how varied the materials Harry has in his lab are.
Also, feel free to let me know if my hottips in the index post (first post
) are missing anything important.
edited 19th Nov '10 8:25:40 PM by Belian
Yu hav nat sein bod speeling unntil know. (cacke four undersandig tis)the cake is a lie!