From the back door, Chaucer found the stables. For a few plastic bracelets, they were on biped mounts, trotting down a narrow lane. Leia changed her mind from wanting a pink ponies party and wanted a magenta bipeds one instead. Wilf wanted a biped that didn't sway from side to side like his did.
Soon they were at the dump. Both children decided that they didn't like the place as it was so messy and everything was covered with glittery, sticky cobwebs.
"Who are those," Leia asked, pointing to a some sad looking beings who carried large packs of stuff on their backs.
"Runners who failed," Chaucer replied. "Leave them alone; do not talk to them."
"Why?" Wilf asked.
"It will make the sad ones sadder and the angry ones angrier," he replied. "Lenny is over there."
Their mounts picked their way through a long winding path through various odds and ends until they reached Lenny. He was trying to take an age-restriction off of a copy of Professor Vindictus Viridian's Favorite Love Poems. A copy of Potions for Dunderheads by Professor Vindictus Viridian lay next to him, on top of a large copy of Professor Kirke's Atlas of Cross-over Universes.
"Hey," he shouted to them, "Look what I got!" He held up the Ship of Fools. "Healer S. will like this! It's a real Hieronymus Bosch."
"Yeah, especially as you lost her other one," Wilf said.
"What's that?" Leia asked, pointing to his pocket.
"A bicorn. Want it? It has real horns," Lenny said, offering it to her.
"No," Leia said. "It looks dirty."
Lenny shrugged and tossed it away but kept the Ship of Fools.
Chaucer picked up the atlas and gave it an appraising look-over before he shrunk it and pocketed it.
"Are you going to take those?" Wilf asked, pointing to the stack of comic books.
"I read them all. I'm hungry. Got anything to eat?"
"Lenny eat when we get back to Goblin City," Chaucer said. "How did Lenny get here?"
"In the Gobstone." He noticed it was missing. "Hey! Gobstone!"
The Gobstone floated over to him. In a matter of minutes the three children and Chaucer were crowded into the Gobstone, which slowly enlarged itself until they felt comfortable. The mounts wandered away.
"Now we have to find Bruce and Owen," Lenny said. "Any ideas, Chaucer?"
"Gobstone knows where to go," Chaucer said. "Someone has Summoned it."
"Where is the space ship going?" Vorg asked as it drifted up and away.
Bruce had no answer for him. "Hey! Get back here!" When the Gobstone drifted over the trees and out of sight, Bruce stomped around in anger around the edge of the bog until his foot went through a weak spot and he fell again into the muck.
"Walnuts!" he cursed as he floundered.
"Do you want me to get you some?" Vorg asked, looking confused.
"No, I'm mad because I keep falling into this stupid bog." Vorg pulled him up to the land, where Bruce sat in a dejected heap.
"Haven't you fallen into stuff before, Major Tom?" Vorg asked. "I do it all the time," he said as he sat next to him. "I like walnuts. They're pretty crunchy. Don't like that stuff in the middle; it tastes weird."
"I can't go to Hogwarts, not stinking like this," he mumbled, his hair and clothes dripping with fresh green slime. "And the smell is going to last forever. Lucy Graves said so."
"Is Hogwarts another planet?" Vorg asked, hoping for another story.
"It may as well be now," Bruce said with a self-pitying sigh. "I can't go anywhere now. Got any more food?"
The two of them were chewing on fluxweed bread and cold knotgrass and leeches stew when the Gobstone reappeared.
"Hey, Bruce!" Lenny yelled down to him.
"Who's that?" Vorg asked, looking around.
"Bruce is, uh, my last name. I'm Major Tom Bruce, but my friends call me Bruce. You can too," Bruce said quickly. "Remember, call me Bruce. Always call me Bruce."
"Okay, Major Tom," Vorg said happily.
"What's that smell?" Leia asked.
"You look awful," Wilf said.
"Did you fall in?" Lenny asked. "You know it's the Stinky Swamp That Smells Forever."
"You can't go to Hogwarts smelling like that," Wilf said.
"He's not going with us anywhere," Lenny said.
"Pee-you," Leia said in a very loud voice.
"Can you clean it off him, Chaucer?" Wilf asked.
"Bruce can clean himself," the house-elf calmly replied.
"I looked in that atlas," Lenny announced. "It said that whoever even puts a toenail in it will stink forever."
"But Bruce can't clean up then," Wilf said in a worried voice.
"Not if he's a Squib," Lenny said.
"I thing mum wouldn't like it if he were a Squib. Then he couldn't go to Hogwarts," Wilf said earnestly.
"I am not a Squib," Bruce fumed.
"Are too. And a stinking one at that. You're like that king said. Your name should be Stinker," Lenny replied. "We're going to go now and leave you to your Fen or Foul Fumes or whatever that is."
"It's the Bog of Eternal Stench," Vorg said helpfully.
"Stinker! Stinker!" Leia sang out. "Bruce is a stinker!"
"Don't go!" Bruce angrily ordered. "Get down here."
"Shan't," Lenny said. "Whatever it's called, you have a new citizen," Lenny told the goblin. "Take good care of him, but he cheats at games."
"I DO NOT! Get BACK here!" Bruce roared as he flared with rage, setting the nearby swamp grass on fire.
"Wow! Is that a solar flare?" shouted Vorg as the bush by him caught fire. A swarm of lacewings rose up like a cloud.
"You're in trou-ble no-ow," Leia sang.
"Get in! Get in!" Wilf cried.
Bruce helped boost Vorg into the Gobstone, which increased its size accordingly. Bruce was hauled in by Chaucer and Lenny while the fire spread to shrubs by the woods.
"Get us out of here!" Lenny shouted to the Gobstone. "Walnuts, you didn't have to pitch a fit," he yelled at Bruce.
"It wasn't my fault," Bruce yelled back. "No one can control under-age magic. You know that!" The tree behind him blazed up. The Gobstone was in the center of a sea of smoke and steam and lacewings as it sped upwards away from the bog.
Vorg peered out of the Gobstone and held onto the edge, hoping that the whole thing wouldn't tip and spill them out. Mudpots exploded below him. Flames danced across the surface of the bog.
Chaucer eyed the goblin but said nothing. A flock of birds flew up, narrowly missing the Gobstone; Leia and Wilf tried to grab at them as they went past. A cloud of smoke filled the Gobstone.
"I'm telling," Wilf whined. "My nose hurts."
"My eyes hurt," Leia cried. "I can't smell anything."
"We're out of the smoke now," Bruce announced.
Terrified, Vorg whimpered, "I don't want to go into outer space."
"I'll bet that king gets mad," Lenny said watching the forest fire.
Bruce shoved him.
"I'll bet Healer G. never takes you on another field trip," Lenny said with a shove back.
"You made me!" Bruce yelled at he shoved again.
The Gobstone swayed.
"I did not!" Lenny pushed Bruce back. "You're the Squib who couldn't figure out what to do. Even Lucy Graves got out of the bog better than you."
"I got a spider," Wilf said, holding it by its silvery thread.
Wilf put the spider on Leia, who took it and put it on Vorg.
Vorg started to weep. "I...I...don't feel so g...g...good," he stuttered.
"Walnuts. He's going to puke," Lenny shouted.
"Chaucer will not clean that up," the house-elf stated.
The boys immediately stopped shoving. "Put us down over there," Lenny commanded, pointing to a place outside the bog.
"No, over there," Bruce said, pointing to place further away.
The Gobstone stayed in one place.
"There's not a fire under us, is there?" Lenny asked, peering down through the smoke and floating ash. "Wouldn't this be a good place?"
Volg lay curled up on the bottom of the Gobstone, his eyes shut, while the others looked over the side.
"Hey, there's Owen!" Wilf shouted, pointing to a closed-in dark area. Small fires were burning and strange orange headless bodies were running around. Owen sat in a tree with about a dozen of eye-less orange fur-covered heads hanging from the branches. He waved at them.
Vorg was forgotten for the moment. "Over there!" Leia shouted.
The Gobstone drifted until it reached Owen. The other children scrambled to the side, causing it to tilt. Vorg whimpered.
"Oh, yeah, him," Bruce said.
Vorg peeped over the edge and cried louder. "Not there, not in the Fire Gang pit!"
"Walnuts, all right," Bruce grumbled at the goblin. "We won't land there."
"He's your friend; take care of him," Lenny groused. "We'll be right back, Owen," he shouted.
Owen waved again but didn't seem upset.
"There," Bruce said, pointing to a space beyond the wall. The Gobstone set itself down and Chaucer helped Vorg crawl out. In the wall there were two doors, one with a ring in its mouth, the other with a ring in its ears. Vorg yanked open the door with the ear ring and fled. The door slammed behind him.
"So rude," the door said with a sniff. The other door mumbled in agreement.
"Let's go get Owen," Wilf said.
The Gobstone rose again. "Cheaters!" the one door yelled as the children drifted above him. The other door mumbled loudly.
Fortunately for both doors, children didn't hear them as they had spotted Owen and were shouting at him.
Carefully, they had the Gobstone drift near Owen. He threw the heads in before he reached over and was pulled into the strange craft. Chaucer took the heads and piled them neatly together.
"Walnuts! Took you guys long enough. Look what I got!" He reached down his front and pulled out some solid white orbs that looked like small onions. One fell and everyone could see that it was an eyeball.
"What were you doing there, Owen?" Leia asked.
"Goblins threw me in there. Took my white knight. You still have your pawns?" he asked.
She shook her head.
"Well, here, have some eyes," he said as he handed some out to her.
"I'm starving," Lenny said. "Does anyone have anything to eat?"
"We just had some bread," Wilf said in a complaining tone.
"Gobstone, go to Goblin City," Chaucer commanded.
The Gobstone obeyed and drifted toward the city.