Daphne quickly grasped the concept and eagerly ventured, “So, we shouldn’t just aimlessly attack the enemy. While attacking and defending, we should also strategize to limit the opponent’s actions, right?”

Observing Skyler’s affirmation, Meredith chimed in with another inquiry, “I have one more question. In terms of combo spells, I feel there’s still untapped potential. Do you have more examples to share?”

Since Skyler was dedicated to training the two women with his right and left hands, he was open about his methods. “There are numerous examples of such combination spells. For instance, when facing foes with robust magical defenses, like werewolves or massive creatures, you can initially employ a ‘corruption curse’ or ‘hardening curse’ to weaken the skin on a specific area. Afterward, direct a cutting or smashing curse at the same spot, allowing the second wave of attacks to penetrate the opponent’s skin and magical defenses more effectively. Naturally, this demands precise spell accuracy.”

Curiosity piqued, Daphne inquired, “What is the Corruption Curse? I’ve never heard of it.”

Skyler didn’t hold back and disclosed, “I recently devised this curse, which is an improved version of the water-making curse. It emits highly corrosive acid. Additionally, I created the ‘sticky curse,’ which releases high-viscosity adhesive to hinder an opponent’s mobility. Both spells are incredibly practical.” He retrieved his notes on these two spells from his pocket, handing them over to Daphne and Meredith. “Here are the records for these two spells. You can practice them and reach out to me if you have any questions.”

Returning to the topic of combination spells, Skyler added, “There are numerous single-attack combo spells. With some thoughtful consideration, you can easily devise your own combinations. For example, the ‘Incisor Teeth Big Stick’ spell makes it impossible for someone to close their mouth. Now, imagine how it would work if coupled with a ‘mad laughter curse’ – ‘Grin’!”

Daphne couldn’t help but laugh, “Skyler, you’re mischievous. They’d just be stuck laughing without closing their mouth.

Skyler shook his head, explaining earnestly, “I’m not suggesting we play pranks. Consider that spells like the tongue-locking throat spell or the front tooth match stick are essentially attacks that hinder clear spell incantations. However, students in the fifth grade and above must learn silent casting. While not everyone may master it, a fair number can perform it silently. For these individuals, the effects of the aforementioned spells won’t be effective. Now, ponder how adding the Laughter Curse could impact even silent casting. Laughter includes syllables and can interfere with silent spellcasting.”

Daphne and Meredith, both quick-witted and composed, maintained their attentiveness despite Skyler’s playful dig. They were now contemplating how to combine the spells they knew creatively.

After that day’s training, the two girls seemed to have stumbled upon a new world, continually generating fresh ideas for combo curses. Some were genuinely promising, while others amused Skyler with their sheer absurdity – like combining the leg-lock curse with the dance curse ‘Tarantai Pull Dance’ to make people hop around with their feet together. It was quite comical.

The girls around Skyler never questioned Skyler about the sudden increase in training activities.

They understood that their role was to cooperate wholeheartedly.

They realized that, as long as they could keep pace with their newfound mentor’s strength, Skyler would eventually divulge the knowledge they needed. If they fell short in strength, acquiring more knowledge would serve no purpose.

Although Skyler didn’t vocalize it, he couldn’t help but grasp their unspoken determination. Seeing his beloved lovers committed to rigorous magic practice, he was touched but kept these emotions hidden in his heart.

In parallel with this, Skyler’s research on the Death’s Invisibility Cloak was progressing smoothly.

He had successfully unraveled its primary principle.

This achievement was attributed to Skyler’s comprehensive inheritance of Nicolas Flamel’s knowledge and the alchemy course from the current semester, which bolstered his foundational understanding and led to a significant leap in his alchemical expertise.

While a typical invisibility cloak is crafted from the fur of invisible creatures, the Death’s Invisibility Cloak employs an Icelandic Gurunis magic talisman called “Hulinhjalmur” to etch the invisibility effect.

The Nepalese translation of this talisman is “invisible helmet,” derived from Icelandic legends. According to the lore, donning the helmet grants the wearer invisibility.

The Gurunis charm, while intricate in design, is represented by a central circle, a 45-degree rotated square, and an octagon. It features an outer octagon adorned with eight protruding fork-shaped patterns. (Readers interested in visualizing this symbol can search for it on their own.)

Nonetheless, the Death’s Invisibility Cloak conceals more than meets the eye. It is not simply about inscribing the Gurunis talisman. Skyler conducted over three hundred detection methods on the cloak and managed to identify most of the components.

Skyler determined that the pigment used for inscribing the Gurunis charm requires a drop of blood from the index finger of the left hand, a drop from the index finger of the right hand, and then six drops from the heart of a live raven. These drops are mashed together and mixed with raven’s brain matter to create the paint.

However, Skyler reached an impasse in his research. He experimented with several pieces of fabric, but all of them failed. It appeared that, in addition to the paint, the chisel used for engraving runes had specific requirements.

Skyler tried sterling silver, bronze, and black charcoal chisels, but none proved effective. It seemed that completing the transformation of the Supreme Wizard’s robe before the semester’s end would be a considerable challenge.

This was, of course, to be expected. Otherwise, no alchemist would have invented an equivalent product for nearly a thousand years. The three Peverier brothers’ alchemical prowess was certainly no joke.

However, Skyler had samples to study, giving him an advantage that other alchemists lacked.

All in all, Skyler was quite content with his achievements for the semester.

Thanks to the magic enhancement potion, his magical power now rivaled that of senior students, and his strength had greatly increased since mastering spiritual magic.

The successful Patronus Charm exchange and the immense popularity of “Me and the Basilisk at Hogwarts” had catapulted his reputation to new heights. It seemed like everyone at Hogwarts knew his name.

While the attention had attracted prying eyes from pure-blood diehards and the Ghost Society, Skyler considered it a testament to his accomplishments.

Harry from the original books never faced such scrutiny; they evidently hadn’t taken the savior seriously. In their eyes, Hermione, with her determination to bring about reform, might pose an even greater threat.

The week preceding the Easter holiday had arrived. On this particular day, following Hagrid’s outdoor Magical Creatures class, a group of Slytherins lounged on the grass as they returned to the castle.

Since Black’s second intrusion, stricter security measures had limited Harry and his friends from venturing outside the castle, leaving them to engage with Hagrid at this time.

Buckbeak’s execution had been averted thanks to Skyler’s intervention, but Hagrid still bore the weight of his mistake, which had complicated Dumbledore’s life. Mrs. Shabini, after Buckbeak’s disappearance, had become incensed and accused Hagrid of deliberately freeing the creature, despite Dumbledore’s guarantee.

Media outlets, notably the Daily Prophet, started to scrutinize Dumbledore’s actions, accusing him of concealing Hagrid’s dubious employment and neglecting the students’ education in the Defense Against the Dark Arts class.

Dumbledore himself faced mounting concerns, fearing the fallout if students’ parents discovered their Defense Against the Dark Arts professor was a werewolf.

This revelation could potentially jeopardize his control of the school board, despite Lucius’s expulsion. Meanwhile, Fudge could offer little support, as he faced intense public backlash following Black’s two breaches at Hogwarts, which had been exposed thanks to an anonymous letter.

Parents had grown discontented with the Ministry’s incompetence in ensuring their children’s safety.

Additionally, the presence of dementors had significantly disrupted the business and daily life of Hogsmeade Village, leaving its merchants and residents outraged. They felt the dementors hadn’t fulfilled their intended purpose.

Dumbledore’s approach was distinct from the Dark Lord’s; he didn’t rely on force to persuade people but rather played within the confines of the political landscape. This time, Hagrid refrained from releasing Buckbeak.

However, his actions were deftly linked to the hiring of a new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, portraying Dumbledore as incomprehensible and suggesting that nepotism influenced his decision. It seemed there was a mastermind manipulating public opinion behind Mrs. Shabini.

In all fairness, Skyler strongly disapproved of Dumbledore’s actions.

While Hagrid might be capable of being a professor of magical biology, it didn’t necessarily mean he was the best candidate for the role.

Skyler didn’t object to giving Hagrid a chance, but the condition was that he should have a fair opportunity, competing among other applicants, rather than being promoted through a nontransparent process influenced by Dumbledore’s nepotism.

Even the formal recruitment process seemed to have been bypassed.

As for the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, the situation was even worse.

Whether it was hiring Quirrell in the first year or Lockhart in the second year, it appeared to be closely tied to Harry’s development. This, Skyler believed, was unfair to other students.

Hogwarts wasn’t Dumbledore’s personal enterprise; it was the only wizarding school in the UK, and it should be run with fairness and transparency.

Regarding the Defense Against the Dark Arts class, Skyler was particularly critical. The argument that it was challenging to find suitable professors didn’t hold up, given the past appointments of Lupin and Mad-Eye Moody.

Returning to the current situation, Hagrid has been under significant public pressure recently. He struggled to hold back tears, and his emotions got the best of him. As he walked away from the group, he buried his face in his handkerchief and made his way quickly to his cabin.

Noticing Hagrid’s distress, Draco couldn’t resist his urge to mock. He commented on Hagrid’s tears and displayed a lack of empathy, saying, “Look at him crying like a baby! Have you ever seen such a pathetic creature? Is he even fit to be our teacher?”

Harry and Ron reacted angrily to Draco’s cruel remarks, but Hermione was even quicker. She slapped Draco with all her might, confronting him for his heartless words and insulting behavior.

The slap left Draco’s face stinging, and it triggered a deep sense of shame. This was the second time he had been humiliated at Hogwarts. The first time was when he was beaten by Ron due to his arrogance, but at least it was done privately.

The second time, in front of everyone, a Muggle-born witch had slapped him in the face.

“How dare you, you crazy mud blood!” Draco’s anger flared, and he shouted a derogatory term at Hermione.

He quickly drew his wand and attempted to cast a spell at her, but Harry’s disarming spell was faster. Draco narrowly avoided Harry’s spell but missed his own target.

The situation quickly spiraled into chaos. Other Slytherin students like Goyle and Crabbe joined the conflict, casting spells at Harry. Ron and Hermione rushed to Harry’s side as they realized he was outnumbered, while other Slytherin students, led by Pansy and Blaise, also got involved, escalating the confrontation.

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Published On: December 19, 2023

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