Chapter 8 Lunch with the Elves

12:45 pm

Dining Room

Potter Castle

After an informative tour and learning his way around, to a small degree, Harry and Edgie return to the dining hall for the requested lunch with the elves.

"Thank you Edgie. Once I get some details worked out I will need your assistance to get back to the portrait hall to seek advice and assistance with my plans from my ancestors."

"I can move copies of the portraits to your study if that will be easier, sir."

"That will be perfect, Edgie. Winky is everyone here or am I early?"

"We are waiting all here Master Harry."

"Very well, shall we start with introductions?"

"Master Harry," starts Winky, "let me first ask your approval of Smoke for Master Severus. He was the personal elf to a previous Potion Master in the Potter family. He will be a good assistant. He was trained in potions and as a valet. I think he will be a very good assistant for Master Severus."

"Hmmm … Smoke, Severus will test you for personal compatibility. If he approves the job is yours if you want it."

"I have missed working for a Potions Master. I hope to be able to prove myself to him."

"Be at dinner tonight and I will introduce you. I take it you are the head elf in the potions department?"

"Yes, Master Harry. I train the new elves in collection, processing and storing of ingredients. I oversee the few who make easy potions for the castle residents and elves to use."

"Severus will test everyone under you Smoke. I do not want you insulted. He is a perfectionist."

"I would expect no less, Master Harry."

"Very well, who is next Winky?"

"Slade is head of the security elves. His knowledge of the castle protections including the wards will be a great asset to Master Kingsley."

"You made excellent choices. I hope you still have options for the breeders. I don't know who they are yet but I trust you."

"Thank you Master Harry I will do my best."

"I know you will. So … Adel, introduce me to the rest of the staff please."

"Of course Master Harry. Nettie is head nursery elf."

An elf in a royal purple dress with gold trimmed sleeves stood and curtseyed. Harry noticed then that all the uniforms so far had gold trimmed sleeves and assumed that to signify the head elf of each department.

"Hello Nettie. Your elves care for all the children in the castle?"

"Yes sir, the elflings, young Veela, elves, and even some of the centaur foals. We will be honored to care for the masters little ones once again."

"We will welcome your aid. Do you have a central facility or are they all spread out?"

"Currently we are in separate locations. I would like only one place but until yesterday there was no one to approve building a new center, Master Harry."

"Well Nettie that will be my second project. Dobby, add it to the building project list please."

"Yes sir we can start in two days. Where would you like it and will there be underground passage as well?"

"Get with Nettie for a location and building specifics. She will know best what she needs and wants. I would like the passages built and eventually want them to include all outlying areas as an emergency escape route. Use a central building in the far reaches instead of one to each building."

"I will talk it over with Hammer. He is the building/maintenance head elf."

Looking around Harry notices a tanned elf in what closely resembles elf sized carpenter pants, orange shirt with a tool belt on his waist. The shirt having the now recognized gold trim on the sleeves. Seeing Harry watching him Hammer stands and bows before speaking.

"Master Harry I can have a designer meet with Nettie tomorrow to discuss her needs in the structure; size, location and amenities. We will be ready to start construction once they are done. I have a second crew that can begin the job. When the first crew finishes the current job they can begin on the tunnels you want to all the outer areas."

"Excellent Hammer! Any funds you need to buy supplies Dobby can get for you. The building will not be bare. Winky you help Nettie with decorating the child center as she sees fit."

"Yes sir," is heard from four elves.

"Next Adel."

"Head housekeeper, Poppet. She is in charge of all the elves that clean the castle and the laundry."

"Welcome Poppet. Are there any pressing needs for your department I can supply?"

A female elf in a black maids dress with a white apron stood to address Harry. "We are currently without need sir. We are happy to have family in the castle again. How many private rooms do you wish open sir?"

"I will definitely want 10 for the breeders and Protectors and maybe a few extras in case family decide to stay over. Thank you for asking"

"I am Pots sir, head chef. Is there anything the master wishes to change on the menu?"

Harry turned to look at Pots. A white chef uniform adorned the male elf.

"Pots until all of my Tribe is assembled then no changes. I do however assume you will take into account any creature specific diets once new members join us?"

"Naturally sir. My cooks will always add or change any item necessary."

"Then keep up the good work."

"Herb is in charge of the greenhouses and landscaping."

"Herb? Do we have separate locations for potions and produce?"

"Yes sir. I can give you a map and list which will tell you what is located where."

"That will be great Herb."

"Last for now Master Harry is Herd. He is in charge of all the creatures."

"Herd any issues I need to be made aware of?"

"Master Harry we need fresh blood in our herds. I know as do we all that you have other properties. Being the animal specialist I can sense your other animals as well. With your permission I would like to exchange some of our males with some on other properties. It will benefit all locations we exchange with."

"I trust your knowledge in this matter. You have my permission. I will be asking a half giant friend to join us. He has a vast knowledge of animals and will love to help you out."

"I look forward to meeting your friend sir and thank you for your permission."

"Anytime any of you have a request or suggestion to help or improve our lives please contact me. Now this is supposed to be a lunch meeting… let's eat."

"Master Harry the gym/duel room will be finished tonight then I can begin adding equipment. As Hammer informed us the tunnel crew will begin tomorrow. First they will connect the gym and create a central room. Then they will connect all the grounds. Each branch will be labeled for easier navigation."

"Let the crews know I am very pleased with the speed and efficiency of their tasks Dobby."

"Yes sir, Master Harry."

Harry grabbed a serving of grilled chicken tossed it with his salad and some Italian dressing for lunch. He then grabbed a serving of strawberry shortcake.

"Excellent meal Pots. Please ensure your staff gets my compliments."

"Of course, sir." Can go the family Library

"Well, Edgie when you are done we can go the Family Library and I can learn that spell. Pots, my Protectors will be joining us for dinner, a light and dark Elf. I want them to feel comfortable so adjust the menu as needed."

"I will Master Harry."

"Master Harry I am done, we have a few hours to work before dinner. You may want to limit your learning today it will require sleep to completely integrate and understand what you learn. I assume you will want a clear head for dinner."

"Yes Edgie, perhaps just the ward knowledge for now. That way I can add my Tribe members."

Following Edgie down the hall to the family library, Harry is amazed at the site before him. Stack after stack of books, a central stand on which rests a slim tome bearing the Potter crest.

"Place your hand on the crest, sir and state. 'I, Harry James Potter, request the family knowledge pertaining to the Potter Castle wards.' Then relax and the knowledge will be fed to you. Occlumency will make it easier for you to learn more and make it easier to assimilate."

"Rowena Ravenclaw gifted me with mind arts. I need to meditate later and review the knowledge from my ancestors so I can make use of it. Thank you for the reminder."

With that said Harry approached what he figured was a central index. Placing his right hand on the crest he stated, "I, Harry James Potter, request the family knowledge pertaining to the Potter Castle wards."

When he finished his request a white glow surrounded him and the tome. He could almost feel the new knowledge as it was being added to his growing mental library. Ten minutes later the glow faded. Looking at his watch he realizes he has just over two hours before he has to be ready for dinner. He decides to meditate and incorporate the occlumency so he can begin using some of the gifts from his ancestors.

Retiring to his study he settles on the floor in a comfortable position closes his eyes and relaxes into his magic. Remembering he thought of a library before, he thinks of one while immersed and his magic guides him to his mental library. Understanding he needs to have fast access to information he settles in his library to study occlumency. He had almost finished the first text when he felt someone tapping him on the shoulder. Leaving his mind he discovers Dobby wringing his hands in worry.

"I am sorry Master Harry but it is 4:30 your guests will be here soon."

"Thank you Dobby for waking me. I haven't discovered how to keep track of time yet while meditating. I will get ready and meet my guests in the Entrance Hall."

Turning Harry walks to his room to change into dress pants and a button down emerald shirt for dinner. One last look in the mirror to drop his glamours and Harry made his way down to meet his Protectors.

Chapter 9 Dinner and Discussions