After consolidating the power of “Memory Manipulation” in his grasp, a new round of plans and calculations gradually took shape in Skyler’s mind.

Time was becoming increasingly urgent. It was now the end of March, and only three months remained before Voldemort’s resurrection. Skyler needed to ensure that every chess piece fell into the right place.

With this in mind, Skyler redirected his thoughts to the profound meaning of “Memory Manipulation.” Why does Slytherin create such a powerful spell in the first place?

In Skyler’s understanding, this should be an invincible magic. Once executed, all wizards would yield, and all demons would kneel. So—

Why, then, did Slytherin believe there was still a powerful enemy he couldn’t defeat? Even if we don’t dismiss this as a mere fantastical notion unilaterally assumed by Skyler, it is explicitly documented in wizarding history that Slytherin publicly contested Gryffindor, resulting in a draw.

This battle forms the basis for why the four founders, with clearly differing ideas, could jointly establish the school on an equal footing.

In this scenario, this magic must have limitations that Skyler does not yet fully understand. It’s certainly not the kind of magic that is absolutely invincible.

The reason why it had such a profound effect on Salff was likely due to the master-servant contract between them. As a servant, Salff was naturally more susceptible to being restrained by me.

So, what would be the effect if it faced other people?

Assuming that Skyler’s conjecture about “Slytherin’s powerful enemy” is correct, then theoretically, this magic must be ineffective against individuals who surpass him in certain aspects. This aspect could refer to “personality strength” (i.e., will and consciousness), “mental power,” or even more so, “magic level.”

The Imperius Curse serves as a useful reference. Both the Imperius Curse and “Memory Manipulation” are forms of magic that influence and even control other people’s minds. The key distinction lies in the fact that the Imperius Curse uses intense pleasure to cloud others’ judgment, making them willingly submit and become puppets, but this pleasure diminishes over time.

Sooner or later, the controlled puppet can break away from the control of the Imperius Curse. For instance, as seen in the original book, Barty Crouch Jr. successfully managed to break free from Voldemort’s Imperius Curse and went to Hogwarts to report the news.

The principle behind Memory Manipulation is distinct from that of the Imperius Curse. It doesn’t rely on any emotion to cloud reason but instead completely distorts a person’s personality and alters their cognition.

Skyler envisions that individuals under the influence of this magic wouldn’t be aware of the manipulation and wouldn’t retain memories of their prior character and personality. Breaking free from this control seems almost impossible.

Regardless of the variances between the two, the successful casting of both spells hinges on the same premise: invading the other person’s spirit and soul to erode, influence, and transform their minds.

Achieving this is highly challenging.

Even individuals as powerful as Voldemort and Dumbledore find it difficult to employ Legilimency on Snape, illustrating his qualification as a double agent. Similarly, Barty Crouch’s proficiency was such that he couldn’t cast the Imperius Curse successfully on Harry during their fourth-grade class.

Drawing from the Imperius Curse example, Skyler deduced several key points:

Firstly, individuals with robust personalities pose a significant challenge to the success of “Memory Manipulation.”

Secondly, those with strong mental power or expertise in Occlumency exhibit a certain resistance to the effects of “Memory Manipulation.”

Thirdly, the purported invasion of the mind and brain is achieved by combining mental power and magical energy, blending them into an invisible force.

In other words, even if the opponent’s mental power and personality strength are not enough to resist “Memory Manipulation,” as long as his magic power is strong enough, it is likely that the user will need to increase the expenditure when invading the mind and brain. As long as the opponent’s level of magic power is no less than his own, he can probably consume it until his own magic power is exhausted.

On the third point, “Memory Manipulation” is not as useful as the Imperius Curse. Because “Memory Manipulation” consumes too much energy, the party that invades will definitely consume much more magic power than the party that simply resists.

Then this point needs to be paid great attention to. If one accidentally consumes all the magic power and fails to perform the spell, then he will really have no choice but to be slaughtered.

Let’s delve into the current scene at the basin.

Dobby, utilizing the House-elf’s distinctive cleaning magic, commenced the task of clearing away the weeds and rocks scattered across the ground. Casting spells with phantom-like movements, his industrious figure was visible from every corner of the basin.

Meanwhile, Salff transformed into a large snake, slithering across the terrain, employing the keen senses of a serpent to explore the entire basin meticulously.

As Skyler opened his eyes, a surprised cry resonated from Salff’s location.

Swiftly making his way to where Salff was, Skyler found Dobby already present. It turned out that while Salff was in snake form, she discovered a small opening beneath a rock.

Just spacious enough for a giant python to enter, Salff ventured inside and stumbled upon an entirely new crypt. She hastily withdrew and called for assistance.

Skyler instructed Dobby to remain there as both a warning signal and a guardian. Transforming into large snakes simultaneously, he and Salff burrowed into the earth.

Below the ground lies a cave, a space resonating with potent magical energy fluctuations. Numerous protective magic circles are inscribed around it, creating a barrier that secludes this atmosphere from the outside world.

Magic power fluctuations remain confined within, preventing any leakage. This made it challenging for Skyler to detect this hole using his magic eye earlier. Additionally, the nature of the cave, coupled with the fact that not many individuals would venture into a snake hole like Salff did, renders this crypt highly elusive for exploration.

The crypt isn’t extensive, allowing one to survey every corner at a glance.

In the center stands a stone platform, upon which rests a large turquoise bowl filled with a mysterious dark black liquid.

Utilizing his alchemy skills, Skyler approached the bowl and took a cautious sniff. Though unable to pinpoint the specific composition, it was evident that the liquid contained a magical power-targeting poison.

While not necessarily lethal, it promised to diminish magical abilities over a brief duration significantly. Even individuals with Dumbledore’s caliber of magical prowess could find themselves reduced to a level akin to that of a Muggle if exposed.

Skyler speculated that the true essence lay concealed at the bowl’s bottom, obtainable only by consuming a substantial portion of the poison. Regarding the prospect of employing magic to neutralize the poison, Skyler refrained from experimenting. The renowned Slytherin wouldn’t make such a foolish mistake.

Wait a minute… Why does this scenario feel eerily familiar?

It could only be surmised that Voldemort is indeed the last descendant of Slytherin. Are their thoughts and methodologies truly so analogous?

Upon careful consideration, Skyler found the arrangement to be quite rational. Whether it be Slytherin or Voldemort, they shared a commonality – individuals who prioritize results and goals, resort to unscrupulous means, and possess shrewd and cunning qualities.

In this context, their adversary, the one they least desire to acquire the contents of the bowl, must be someone akin to Dumbledore and Gryffindor – someone who values principles, champions righteousness, and preaches fraternity.

For individuals of that ilk, the arrangement proves highly effective, as they cannot bear to subject an innocent person to the risk of consuming poison. Their benevolence and moral standards prevent them from making such a decision.

However, the dynamics change when dealing with someone like Skyler, hailing from Slytherin House. Despite valuing emotions and harboring compassion even for adversaries, Skyler is not one to make critical errors in such crucial situations.

Certainly, he would never subject anyone in his vicinity to such a risk. He wouldn’t allow even Dobby, who was utterly loyal to him, to take such a risky gamble. He questioned whether he possessed the determination to lure innocent Muggles and compel them to drink from this potentially dangerous bowl.

Nevertheless, this reluctance doesn’t imply that he is devoid of options.

He retrieves a petrified man, a statue, from the confines of his suitcase. This man happened to be his first adversary in life – Gallup Lestrange.

With a wave of his wand, Skyler dispels Gallup’s petrification. Gallup, now without his wand, regains self-awareness. Fully aware that he is akin to a piece of meat on a chopping board, he exhibits no inclination to resist whatsoever.

This turns out to be advantageous, sparing Skyler the need to employ the Imperius Curse on him.


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Published On: April 22, 2024

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