The new school semester has commenced, and Skyler is advancing rapidly in his Spells, Potion, and Transfiguration classes, especially focusing on enhancing the Shield Charm.
Protego, a defensive spell, creates a magical barrier that deflects spells and physical entities. Skyler aims to explore advanced applications of this Charm, such as “Protego Totalum,” summoning a protective barrier for a specific area, and “Protego Horribilis,” an advanced version offering extensive defense.
Protego Totalum combines protective and isolation functions, creating an invisible barrier to block or repel spells, safeguarding the protected area.
When Hermione cast this spell, Harry observed a slight tremor in the surrounding air, signifying the establishment of an imperceptible protective barrier.
Protego Horribilis, the most robust defensive spell, surpasses “all protection” in both coverage and durability. In the final battle of the original book, when Flitwick cast Protego Horribilis on the castle, the strength of the airflow and sound effects emphasized its formidable defense.
These advanced protection spells can synergize with Salvio Hexia to fortify the barrier against evil spells, collaborate with Fianto Duri to enhance strength and durability, and, in conjunction with Muggle Repelling Charm and Enemy Repelling Charm, repel Muggles and identify and prevent hostile enemies from infiltrating.
(Note: The term “Protego Horribilis,” translating to “defend against evil,” was inaccurately rendered as “super armored body” by the People’s Agency, leading to its misinterpretation in many fan fiction. Contrary to popular belief, it is not a combat spell. In the original book, Professor Flitwick requires a protective shield, and complex spells are involved.)
(Layman’s Explanation: The Shield Charm creates a shield in front of the caster; “All Protection” generates a shield of micro air currents in a small area; “Defend Against Evil” forms a large cyclonic protection covering a substantial area.)
Skyler’s goal is to masterfully combine various defensive spells and employ them strategically based on different situations.
The first week of Herbology class focused on Balbo tubers, unsightly plants resembling large, black slugs emerging from the soil.
Each tuber squirmed slightly, bearing shiny, liquid-filled pouches.
Students, including Skyler, had to carefully extract the pus from these tubers, avoiding skin contact as the undiluted pus could cause skin damage.
Though the squeezing process was unpleasant, it oddly brought a sense of satisfaction as a viscous yellow-green liquid sprayed out with a pungent gasoline smell.
Skyler, mindful of Balbo tubers’ significance in the beauty potion he aimed to develop, led his group meticulously, securing the highest score once again.
Observing Draco’s group, Skyler noticed Crabbe’s mishandling of the Balbo tuber, resulting in splashes on himself and Goyle.
Large yellow blisters appeared on their faces and arms. Draco skillfully casted Protego to shield himself from the pus, earning applause from fellow Slytherins.
Draco voiced his complaints about Goyle and Crabbe’s incompetence, using the Aguamenti to cleanse them.
Despite washing away the pus, the exposed skin bore painful pimple scars.
“Oh, Merlin’s beard,” Professor Sprout hurried over at the sight, “I think you two better hurry up to the hospital wing and let Madam Pomfrey take a look…”
“It’s okay, Professor, don’t worry.” Draco produced a bottle of potion from his robes. “This is a healing potion I concocted myself. Just apply it to the affected area.”
Goyle and Crabbe, already in pain, eagerly accepted the potion, applying it directly to their bodies.
The pimples and scars melted away visibly, leaving no trace. It seemed as if the previous ordeal was merely an illusion.
Pansy gazed at Draco with fascination, while Audrey and Tracey regarded him with admiring eyes.
Draco, reveling in his triumph, basked in the spotlight, even though his group’s scores were notably low due to the errors of his companions.
As the herbal medicine class ended, Daphne and Morag observed Skyler, who remained expressionless and silent.
A perplexing thought crossed their minds – could something be developing between the two brothers?
After the class, Morag approached Skyler and expressed a desire to talk privately.
Sensing the need for privacy, Daphne returned to the Slytherin common room.
Morag voiced her concern in a secluded corridor of the castle, away from classrooms and offices, “Skyler, are you okay?”
“It’s okay, what can I do?” Skyler maintained his gentle smile. “By the way, you disappeared for a summer vacation. Weren’t you heading to France with your family? How was the journey?”
Morag didn’t answer immediately but continued to scrutinize Skyler, as if searching for something on his face.
“What’s the matter? Do I have a flower on my face?” Skyler joked with a smile.
“Don’t evade the issue!” Morag’s usually gentle demeanor was replaced by a forceful tone, “You’ve always been like this, always wearing that hypocritical smile—”
Her voice caught, “In your eyes, am I only worth the fun moments we share? Have you never regarded me as a true friend from the beginning?”
“Morag…” Skyler, accustomed to maintaining a facade since the journey, felt a twinge of guilt and remorse for the harm he might have caused. He softly apologized, “I’m sorry…”
“I don’t want your apology!” Morag charged forward, enveloping Skyler in a tight hug. “I heard about Meredith… Even though I wasn’t deeply connected with her, it was enough to leave me uneasy and disturbed throughout the summer. I kept wondering, worrying about how you were affected by the incident. And what did I get? We finally meet, and you act like everything’s fine, asking about my summer vacation!”
Morag raised her tearful eyes, rubbing Skyler’s eyebrows vigorously. Trembling, she pleaded, “Don’t go back to being like this, okay? You’re not alone. Whatever unhappiness or pain you carry, I’m willing to share it with you.”
A bitter realization weighed on Skyler’s heart – why did he want this?
Last semester, he faced Gemma’s betrayal, severed ties with Hermione, and dealt with the enigmatic “Ghost Society.” Can he even talk about these things?
With Meredith’s whereabouts unknown after summer vacation, the looming threats of the Shadow Dragon, Draco’s changes, Mad-Eye Moody’s peculiar behavior, and the unraveling of the plot – each issue piled upon another, leaving him with a myriad of worries and pressures.
There was hardly any time for him to truly process his own sorrow.
“I always knew, but I kept silent…” Morag’s voice quivered even more intensely as she finally gathered the courage to voice her thoughts, “Occlumency, isn’t it? You’re proficient at it, aren’t you? There’s no need to hide from me any longer. Your eyes… I know… those are the eyes of an adept Occlumens… vacant, devoid of emotion…”
“Morag, I…” Skyler hesitated for a prolonged moment, his myriad of words eventually culminating in a heavy sigh, “I’m sorry. I do know Occlumency, and I’ve used it to conceal my true emotions, but it’s never been about mistrusting you.”
“I’m a selfish person,” Skyler bitterly laughed at himself, “I’ve always known this. I have my own ambitions, my own goals, but I lack the courage to let anyone in. I’m afraid… afraid that once you discover who I truly am, you’ll leave.”
Mori gently reached out to touch Skyler’s handsome face, “Do you realize that every magic comes with a corresponding price? This price can be magic, physical strength, or even life. Occlumency, it’s no exception. Without the use of wands or traditional spells, the cost is substantial. Do you understand what that cost is?”
“I don’t know… maybe I know… But I just turned my face away from it, pretending I didn’t know about it because the burden was too heavy for me to live without the help of this spell… I don’t know, Morag…” Skyler’s solemnly looked at her with a pitiful expression.
Morag’s expression shifted to one of distress and compassion, “Emptying all emotions is just the basic tenet of Occlumency. To delve deeper, it requires forcibly suppressing emotions to the point where the brain’s functions linked to emotions are entirely shut down. When you deny all emotions – pain, sorrow, the fractures within your heart – and quash the internal conflicts of your personality… your character and soul become distorted, destroyed, or even torn apart.”
Skyler suddenly grasped why his spiritual and soul magic had seen significant advancement – he had suppressed his longing and sorrow for Meredith, suppressed his anxiety and fear concerning Draco, and stifled all the pain within his heart…
The more he suppressed, the more the soul suffered damage, and the stronger the soul’s power grew?
So, did Dumbledore and Voldemort relish their penchant for mystery for this very reason?
“Did you know? Even if your eyes lack emotion, the furrows between your brows deepen more and more. Your heart is burdened, crying out for help—” Morag’s voice carried an agonizing tone, “I implore you, Skyler, please heed your own emotions and cease bearing all the pain alone…”
In Morag’s tender words, Skyler sensed a profound and genuine concern. It warmed him, evoking thoughts of Narcissa and even his nagging parents in his previous life.
It seemed he was truly fortunate, surrounded by a genuine sense of “love.”
Skyler smiled, a genuine smile. Regardless of Voldemort, Dumbledore, and the Shadow Dragon!
No matter how many thorns and troubles lay ahead, failing to embrace the happiness in the moment would be a waste of life.
Skyler released the use of Occlumency… For now, he is bare in front of Morag. All of his vulnerable emotions are lying naked before her…
Images of Meredith and Draco flashed through his mind, and a wave of profound grief struck his heart. It was mingled with negative emotions—fear, anxiety, helplessness, bitterness, and gloom.
His heart felt as though it couldn’t bear the weight of so many emotions, and Skyler’s body trembled uncontrollably.
Finally, Morag’s eyes gleamed. She gently cradled Skyler’s head in her arms and softly uttered, “If you need to cry, then cry. Sometimes, men crying is very sexy.”
Morag’s scent wafted into his nose, and Skyler felt the warmth of the person in front of him.
His eyes welled up with tears, pouring out uncontrollably. He swallowed hard, confessing, “Morag, I’m so scared. I fear I may never be saved! I’m afraid Draco might truly become my enemy! I’m afraid I’m on the wrong path! I’m afraid I’ll bring everyone around me to their demise! I’m so afraid…”
Morag gently stroked Skyler’s back with her delicate hand, soothing him in a hushed voice, finally displaying a comforting smile on her face.
The two were immersed in their shared moment, unaware that the peculiar black energy that had once accompanied Skyler’s magical power was slowly dissipating from his b
The magic, liberated from the black energy, flowed joyfully within him, transforming into a vibrant array of colors.
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