Drinks? "I should quite fancy a pint of the local pale ale, please." Other parts of the country he might dare a bitter, but the water supply in the West Country was pretty good and would give a clear base for a rich, hoppy pale ale. He'd heard good things about the brewery at St Austell, but that was a little far from here - besides, the water here was probably a little nicer.
The Seven Swans was politely decorated - old fashioned, wooden beams still exposed, that sort of thing - but in keeping with habits more recent than those of the era in which it was built, there were booths around the outer part of the interior space, and stools and loose tables nearer the bar.
It was still quite early in the day - one might call it early evening at the latest - and the regular patrons of the Swans hadn't yet arrived, and Harold thought it best that they find a booth off to a side where they could stow their things as well as having some privacy. While their conversation was completely innocuous, certain elements might not care to hear.
Harold considered the comments Sid had as he sat at the rather hard seat of their booth, with a table with one leg fractionally shorter than the others. The seventeen caster theory had much to recommend it, after all, but...
His train of thought was interrupted as the barmaid brought over their drinks. Harold raised his pint to Sid, clinked glasses and took a sip. It was everything he had hoped for. Hoppy, not unduly fragrant, and no overbearing after-taste of yeast. "Thank you, this was just what I needed."
He took a slow draught, mulling over the problem.
"Yes, you rather have a point about the casters working together and seventeen would be quite adept at it - but you'd need to find seventeen casters of quite the right frequency. One of the reasons the Ministry favours portkeys over Apparating groups of people - other than side-alongs - is because the more people you involve, the more their resonant harmonics, well, resonate. Two or three people isn't usually a problem, though splinching does get rather more common the more you have."
Another sip. "I don't believe there's ever been a successful multi-casting of more than eight, even just to arrive at the same place together, without, well, considering using the group to extend everyone else's range."
Harold slumped for a moment, letting the weight of the world fall onto his shoulders and slough off by itself. "As for the atmosphere, the muggles believe there's not only no air but that it is frightfully cold. Bubble-head charm might work for the lack of air, but I'm not sure what we'd want to use for the lack of warmth."
Harold took another draught of his beer. "This is a rather lovely pint." He'd had half of it and felt a little tipsy already.