The desk is covered with densely packed research notes, all meticulously crafted by Skyler himself.

Upon closer inspection, these notes exclusively delve into the exploration of the animal transfiguration curse magic. Topics range from the transfiguration of individuals into five-legged monsters, the metamorphosis into serpents to the intricate study of werewolf curses.

In the laboratory’s corner, the floor is strewn with the dissected remains of five-legged monsters and werewolves, their original forms rendered unrecognizable amid the carnage.

Skyler acquired these five-legged monster research samples by enlisting Miss Giuliana and the elite adventure teams from the Medieval Wizards Association and Silver Spear to venture to the Hebrides’ island of Dria. On the other hand, the werewolves were hunted down in Knockturn Alley with the assistance of hags and vampire royals.

As Skyler peruses the notes on the “Human Shape Restoration Curse” obtained from Lockhart, he discovers not only the spell for reverting werewolves to their human forms but also textual research on the origins of werewolves.

The document contains speculations about the werewolf curse, sparking profound inspiration in Skyler. Subsequently, he explores the beast transfiguration spell in “Forbidden Transfiguration” and the curse magic detailed in “Abatel’s Curse.”

Skyler achieved a significant breakthrough a few days ago by successfully employing the Humanoid Restoration Spell to revert a fully transformed and deranged werewolf to its human form.

Naturally, the werewolf subjected to this successful experiment received Skyler’s reward – a swift and merciful death. These werewolves, chosen as experimental subjects, were all wanted criminals with a history of numerous offenses in Knockturn Alley.

While Skyler acknowledges that the transfiguration into a werewolf might elicit sympathy, he contends that this does not excuse succumbing to societal discrimination and choosing the path of criminality.

Moreover, when the Rowle family fell, under Little Wolf’s arrangement, these werewolves had the opportunity to sever ties with Fenrir Greyback and align themselves with Skyler’s cause.

Unfortunately, they chose to persist in Greyback’s footsteps. Skyler, not being a saint, did not afford them a second chance.

The success of the “Humanoid Restoration Spell” bestowed valuable experience and inspiration upon Skyler, offering him a more profound comprehension of both transfiguration and curse magic.

The purpose behind Skyler’s investigation into the Humanoid Restoration Spell was not specifically aimed at countering werewolves, as jestingly indicated. In the preceding semester, he effortlessly handled Lupine’s werewolf transfiguration without encountering much difficulty; werewolves posed minimal threat to him.

Rather, his investment in research aimed to share this spell with the global wizarding community, contributing to the advancement of spells and Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Seeking recognition in academia was part of his initial plan. Moreover, Skyler had made a commitment to Miss Giuliana to align personal achievements with the organization, fostering a closer relationship by sharing the acclaim and success derived from inventing the “Humanoid Restoration Spell.”

Furthermore, Skyler remained mindful of the advantages associated with the Order of Merlin. In the previous semester, he earned the third-level medal of the Order of Merlin by combining the Patronus Charm and the Happy Spell.

According to the Order of Merlin’s charter, this recognition is bestowed upon individuals who have “contributed to the accumulation of knowledge or entertainment.”

Publishing another study on the Humanoid Restoration Spell this time would undoubtedly meet the qualifications for the second-level medal of the Order of Merlin.

According to regulations, this medal is reserved for commending “extraordinary achievements,” and Skyler’s consistent contributions to enhancing defensive black magic align perfectly with this criterion.

Furthermore, securing the second-level Order of Merlin medal would provide Mrs. Leah with a legitimate reason to petition the Wizengamot for Skyler’s inclusion as an alternate member. This time, his inclusion would be justifiable, leaving even Dumbledore without grounds for objection.

Initially, Skyler studied the Humanoid Restoration Spell for these anticipated benefits. However, the knowledge and experience gained from successful research far exceeded his expectations. Amid his investigations, Skyler discovered inspiration for enhancing a crucial magic.

Conducting experiments with a substantial number of five-legged monsters and werewolves, Skyler meticulously developed the envisioned magic, ensuring its alignment with his ideal standards. The success of the Humanoid Restoration Spell instilled in him the confidence to embark on the next phase of his research.

He approached another section of the laboratory, where a distinctive transparent cylindrical container housed Nagini, unseen for quite some time.

Skyler carefully poured a bottle of a light green potion, totaling 6 pints, into the container. The liquid gradually filled the base of the container, enveloping Nagini’s entire snake form. Upon contact with Nagini’s skin, the potion was absorbed effortlessly, diminishing visibly to the naked eye.

This specially crafted potion drew inspiration from the wolfsbane potion Skyler had acquired. The enhanced formula was tailored to counteract the deformations induced by curse magic, featuring unicorn horns to neutralize the curse’s power and mature mandrake roots capable of reversing the effects of Dark Shapeshifting.

(Note: The Basilisk’s “Petrified Eyes” inherently involve a form of dark transfiguration.)

After approximately fifteen minutes, Nagini had absorbed all the potions.

Skyler carefully lifted Nagini from the container. Despite enduring numerous cruel experiments conducted by Skyler before the previous semester, Nagini, being a cold-blooded creature devoid of emotions, couldn’t suppress the instinctive fear triggered by Skyler’s methods.

However, at this moment, it coiled around Skyler’s arm obediently, allowing him to cradle it in his hand. The ominous and predatory gaze from the original narrative was absent.

Skyler carefully placed Nagini on the experimental table, configuring its form into that of a Möbius ring connected end to end.

With a pointed wand, he recited aloud, “The curse is gone!” The serpent’s body, once struggling and contorted, now levitated with a black-green light, revealing ancient curse marks one after another. Skyler was taken aback to discover that these marks bore a striking resemblance to the curse marks on Astoria’s body, occurring seventy-eight times.

In a meticulous process, Nagini’s skin, flesh, bones, and blood were gradually peeled away. The magic potion absorbed earlier began to manifest its effects on these components.

The sanctified aura emanating from the unicorn’s horn permeated Nagini’s skin, bones, flesh, and blood, creating a momentary sacred ambiance in the laboratory. Skyler heightened the output of his magical power. Guided by this surge, the curse marks on the snake’s body dissolved gradually.

During this transformative phase, Nagini’s soul faintly emerged. It took on the form of a slender, snake-shaped white mist, adorned with an incredibly malevolent “power” rune (thurisaz) etched upon it!

Thurisaz, representing the most primal power, often referred to as the power of chaos, is void of a clear distinction between good and evil. However, the magic talisman engraved on Nagini’s soul is blood-red, emitting a fishy odor and an overpowering scent of blood. The twisted strokes subtly reveal a chilling malevolence.

“This scent of blood…” Skyler furrowed his brow, saying, “Fascinating. This is the blood of the Rune Snake… Could this be the legendary Gorgon’s curse?” “It’s you!” The corners of Skyler’s mouth curled slightly as he recited aloud, “Anima Delevare!”

Indeed, it was the spell he had witnessed from Armand II. Originally one of the secret soul spells of the Black family, specifically designed for cutting and destroying souls, Skyler wondered how Armand II had come to learn it.

What Skyler sought was not Nagini, but the cursed talisman attached to its soul!

A scythe emitting silvery-white light swung decisively at Nagini’s soul in one swift motion! Nagini only had time to let out a distressed sound before abruptly falling silent!

Skyler, devoid of mercy, skillfully guided the sickle to sever the cursed talisman from Nagini’s soul. Originally designed to inflict harm on the soul, this curse was repurposed by Skyler as a precision tool, akin to a scalpel meticulously cutting through the soul. The cursed talisman was successfully detached from the soul, creating a conspicuous void within the snake-shaped white mist that constituted Nagini’s essence.

“Aquila, lend me your assistance!” Skyler urgently called out.

As the mark on the back of Skyler’s neck heated up, Aquila promptly materialized. However, the majestic creature was left dumbfounded by the gruesome scene unfolding before it. Utterly perplexed, Aquila questioned, “What are you doing?”

“I don’t have the luxury of explaining right now,” Skyler replied swiftly. Simultaneously with Aquila’s appearance, a sizable animal-skin book with a simplistic design manifested in front of Skyler. This was the Book of Merlin, an heirloom from Merlin himself. Unlike conventional books meant for reading, this one served as a magical artifact containing a myriad of spells, including those for sealing!

“Now, assist me in sealing this cursed talisman into the book!” Skyler urgently requested.

Aquila released a resounding cry, transforming into a cascade of colorful light that swiftly encircled the cursed talisman hovering in the air. Gradually, it guided the talisman toward the Book of Merlin, maneuvering with precision.

As Aquila and the magical talisman inched closer to the Book of Merlin, a peculiar occurrence took place—the book autonomously unfurled, revealing its contents, and emitted a radiant white light from its blank pages.

When Aquila, pulling the magic talisman, reached within a foot of the Book of Merlin, the book responded to an unseen force, spontaneously splitting open. It exposed two blank pages positioned upward, radiating a brilliant white light.

The cursed talisman, seemingly encountering a formidable adversary, was swiftly drawn into the pages through an imperceptible suction force. A vivid crimson “power” talisman materialized on the page, encircled by an image of a snake, effectively containing the talisman at its center. In an instant, the malevolent ambiance within the laboratory dissipated.

Skyler scrutinized Nagini’s now-altered physique, deliberating for a brief moment. Eventually, he emitted a cold snort, remarking, “Well, cultivating is no easy feat for you—no, I misspoke. You’ve contributed to my research for the sake of contribution, and since you haven’t committed any wicked acts, I’ll grant you a reprieve.”

From his pocket, Skyler withdrew two vials of liquid. The first contained Phoenix, capable of rejuvenating blood and muscle, nearly rescuing individuals from the brink of death.

With a determined gesture, Skyler poured the entire contents of the vial onto Nagini, observing as the snake’s body gradually expanded and reshaped. However, the restructuring process deviated from its original form.

“Perhaps it’s due to the absence of the curse’s influence?” Skyler mused with interest. “In that case…” Raising his wand, he intoned, “Reverse the transfiguration!”

The snake’s body, impacted by the curse, quivered violently. A pervasive, intangible breath—omnipresent and imperceptible—filled the entire space.

The scorched skin and bones underwent a remarkable transfiguration, akin to the skilled strokes of a masterful painter.

Charred remnants were replaced by white bones, pink flesh, and intricate purple blood vessels that manifested one after another. The snake body suspended in the air assumed a humanoid form in no time.

Observing the white soul mist with a conspicuous void at its center, Skyler shattered a second vial of potion, showering its contents over the ethereal mist. The white mist of the soul absorbed the potion, generating fresh mist to fill the void gradually.

“Return to the time when you were human. Let soul and body unite!” Skyler enunciated the final incantation, and the white mist emerged, progressively integrating into the humanoid body suspended in mid-air.

As the tranquility settled in, an oriental woman with closed eyes materialized in the laboratory. Appearing to be around 25 years old and in the prime of her life, she retained the attire she wore decades ago – a traditional East Asian ensemble comprising a long skirt with wide sleeves and her hair neatly tied.

Her eyelashes quivered, and after a brief moment, she opened her eyes. A pair of eyes, pristine and devoid of impurities, blinked as she spoke in somewhat rigid English, “Who am I? Where is this place?”


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Published On: March 19, 2024

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