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[personal profile] kareina
Friday morning David and I spent cleaning up a bit at home and packing and organizing things to take with us. He focused on getting stuff put away from the landscaping projects and I caught up on things like vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom. I also vacuumed the inside of Styx, since that car is big enough (when the back seats are out) to put a mattress in it, which I did, and then added pillows and doona as well, and the covered the nest with a wool blanket to keep it clean, and then I added one bag of costume for the larp, one of clean modern clothes for the next several days, one full of sewing projects, one with my comp, another of yardwork clothes, and one of the soft sided ice chests full of food to take with me.

Then he added his bags, and we were off. He drove us the two hours south to his brother's house, where I left him, then I drove 55 minute northwest to the Larp village, where the larp had already been on going for more than 24 hours.

I parked in a small sand/gravel quarry in a spot that looked like it would have shade most of the time, changed into costume, packed a few useful things into a small bag, and walked down the path to the Larp village. Upon my arrival I asked, in English, the first person I saw to please direct me to Academia Octavia. When she told me I had found it I expressed surprise, and wondered where the castle was, but then recovered, introduced myself as Inspector Montgomery from the European Commission for Magical Education, and asked to be taken to the Head Master, which she did. I gave the Head Master my card as I introduced myself, and let him know that I was there to conduct a routine acrediation check and proceeded to pepper him with questions about the academy, his personal qualifications, etc. He eventually got rid of me by taking me out to interview his teachers, who were relaxing at the tables outside waiting for dinner to be served. I had time to interview several of them, in a very brisk manner. Till I got to the teacher of magical energies, who after answering a few questions told me "you sound stressed, here take this rock, which has been filled with calming energies". At which point I agreed that I had been pushing too hard recently, this was my third school inspection this week, and instead of standing, looming over her, notebook in hand, asking about her qualifications, I sat down next to her on the bench and admired the rock, and how one could see the different levels of energy contained in the different layers of the rock (a nicely river-rounded stone that probably started out as a mudstone before undergoing some low level metamorphism and being cut by a series of small quartz veins). We chatted pleasantly for a bit before I wandered off, at a much more relaxed pace, to interview some of the other staff members. The school nurse had trained under Florence Nightingale herself, and served in the Korean war before taking the post as a school nurse, as it would be"less bloody".

Not long after dinner I found myself sitting on the front steps of one of the houses, chatting with one of the PhD students about his research, when the Head Master asked us to step asside so that he could use the porch as a speaking platform.

He then proceed to present two little girlls with a very large hammer as some sort of school honour, and then tried to perform some sort of ritual magic, which failed, so he called for his assistant to fetch him the chest containing the stone of magical power which is the basis for being able to have this school of magic at all.

Of course, when they opened the box it was empty, and the students were dismissed and the teachers summoned to an emergency meeting to decide what to do in this crises.

About that time I realized just how tired I was from several very long days of cooking for the guys doing landscaping, and I decided that the Inspector needed to hurry off to a meeting herself, and I went back to the car, crawled into that nest and went to sleep (at 19:55!) for a couple of hours, then got up, did my yoga for the day and went back to bed. I arrived back at the school the next morning in good time for the classes. The first period had five classes, so I spent just a few minutes in each. Some of the teachers paused their lectures to explain to me in English what they were doing, others just carried on as if I weren't there.

During the second period I started in the care of magical creatures course, where I didn't catch the name of the creature, but I had no problems understanding when the teacher explained that they are fond of fruit and can thus sometimes be lured forth with an offer of grapes and cherries.

She then lead the students (and I) off intothe forest and up the hill, where we actually found a magical creature! Oh, sure, a cynical observer could see that it was just a human in a (very good) costume pretending to be a creature, but the actress had "act like a timid creature who loved fruit" down very well, and it was really quite believable, and I think the kids enjoyed it. I certainly did, and wound up spending most of that hour with that class.

The day ended with the Head Master revealing that he had suspected one of the staff members of conspiring against him, and had this hidden the stone himself to try to trick the guilty party into revealin themselves. Then he hadthe school nurse give all the teachers in turn a truth serum and asked them if they had conspired against the academy. They all passed the test, but when the school attorney took his turn he admittedtjat he had, and ran into the building to try to get away. But the head master and atudents were too quick for him, and working in unison they all cast the spell to turn the guilty lawyer into a coffee pot, and with so many working together, the spell worked, even through the closed door, and the school was saved, and the larp ended. Good thing, too, else my poor inspector would have had to spend the rest of the day filling out her report, in triplicate.

Instead I returned to David's brother's house and spent a couple of hours helping him with hand-finishing ta drainage ditch (the digger had been used to start it, but to get it exactly the correct level to add the drainage pipes needed carefully adding back just the perfect smount of dirt).

By then I was too tired to do more and went into the house to do my yoga. Then I kept them company as they atea late meal before crawling into bed and typing this. But now it is after 23:00 and I can no longer keep my eyes open, though I can still here the boys out there working.
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