HP: A Magical Journey - Chapter 13

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Quinn looked at Alan, who was sitting in front of him.
They were sitting in their usual room. It was their first lesson after Alan's break. The old mind-arts teacher had his usual relaxed grin on his face, but there was something different about him.
"You got tan." That was it. Alan had gotten a tan.
Alan's smile widened as he told what he had done on his vacation, "I spent an entire month near a beach. Fantastic Weather, relaxing atmosphere, and amazing people. I had the time of my life. Sun is good for a person my age."
They chatted about the things they did during the break. Quinn told Alan about his progress with his occlumency.
"I have increased my primary shield from ten layers to fifty layers. My secondary layer has also gone from five layers to twenty-five layers. I have also worked on my detection layer."
Alan gave him some tips, before deciding that they had done enough catching up and it was time to start learning.
"That was enough catching up. Let's start with our lessons. From now onwards, we will learn legilimency." Alan said before continuing. "Legilimency is the act of magically navigating through the many layers of a person's mind and correctly interpreting one's findings. We know a person who practices this art as a Legilimens. The uneducated might call this mind-reading, but practitioners disdain the term as naïve. And, legilimency isn't just restricted to navigation of the mind, but also affecting the same minds to an extraordinary extent."
Alan spread his arms and declared, "Mind-control, emotion-manipulation, body possession, hypnosis, and many other things. Legilimency is a mind-magic; magic that strives to better understand the workings of the mind. A beautiful magic that has been tainted. Tainted by uneducated people, who only think of it as a means to spy on other's thoughts. Legilimency can be used to help people.
Do you know the profession of Mind healer, Mr. West?"
Quinn nodded and answered the question. "A healer who specializes in mind-related problems and diseases. They heal people whose minds have been disturbed."
Alan nodded and shared, "Every Mind healer is a legilimens. They know the mind from a healing point-of-view. A noble profession that shows and proves that legilimency can be a virtuous branch of magic. Mind-healer brings their patients' minds to peace and helps them through the healing of the most intricate part of their being, their mind."
He pointed at himself and revealed, "Mr. West, I have made mistakes while pursuing the art of mind-magic, and many times have caused damage to my mind. I have taken steps that weren't correct and not a few times that has jeopardized my mental health. But every time, a mind-healer had been there to monitor my recovery and make sure that my mind didn't suffer permanent damage. I, who value my mind above all else, see mind healers in high regard."
Quinn could practically feel Alan's respect for mind healers and the art of legilimency. Which was cemented by what he said next, "Mr. West, I charge a lot for my services. I was bought up in a poor household, so I didn't have any luxuries, so I value money a lot and consider money to be one of the things a person needs to live a happy life. But, whenever I am asked to appear as a guest lecturer to share my knowledge of mind-arts at mind healer conventions, I don't charge a single piece of copper because I know that sharing my experience with them is the betterment of the magical art I love. It is my way of returning to the community that helped me become what I am today."
He looked straight into Alan's eyes and spoke, "So, before we start learning, I would like you to understand that legilimency is not just a magic of harm but also an art of healing. It could do as much good as it can harm. I hope you would understand what legilimency represents and that people don't understand the true essence of this magic."
Quinn's eyes were wide by the time Alan finished his passionate rant. "Mr. Baddeley, I understand what you are trying to convey, don't worry, I won't dishonor the art of legilimency. I understand that there are two sides to a coin.
Now, would you like some water?"
Alan silently nodded as Quinn poured him a glass of water with magic. The old teacher received the glass and gulped it down in one shot. He once again looked at Quinn and expressed. "I apologize Mr. West. I let my feelings overcome me there for a second. I am a bit too sensitive when it comes to mind-magic."
Quinn nodded with a smile, "I noticed. It just shows that you love what you do."
The tanned old man cleared his throat and decides to go back to his lecture, "Now, unlike occlumency, which requires you to work inside your own mind, legilimency requires you to work in the mind of others. Accessing your own mind is simple, as it is yours to command, but other's mind is foreign territory. So, the question that presents itself is how to reach out to someone else's mind? How does one open a path to someone's else mind knowing that the two people have no connection?"
Alan stared straight into Quinn's eyes, and Quinn felt the familiar heaviness from his detection layer. Quinn instinctively pulled up his shield to an active state.
"How does a legilimens accomplish this? How am I able to stretch my magic to your mind?" Alan said as he retrieved his legilimency probe.
Quinn thought about the question for a while before answering. "You once said that eyes are the gateway to the mind."
Alan nodded his head in agreement, "Correct, eyes are the easiest point of entry to the mind, but if you are proficient, you can access the mind without going through the eyes. And, beginners start by trying to access the mind via a person's eyes."
Alan pulled on his sleeve to reveal his bracelet. "The only reason I agreed to teach you legilimency is because of your unique capabilities." He pointed at his bracelet and continued, "Beginners need a magical focus to perform legilimency, but I wanted to see if you could perform focusless legilimency right of the bat."
Alan paused for a moment before remembering something,
"You know you are lucky that your grandfather didn't study legilimency. Otherwise, you wouldn't be able to learn legilimency without arising suspicion."
Quinn's eyes widened like saucers as he slapped himself on his head, "Damn it!" Even though it had caused no problems and Alan had taken care of this problem, this could have turned into a big problem. If his grandfather had caught onto this fact, then Quinn wasn't sure how to explain things. And Alan couldn't tell the reason because of his contract.
Quinn massaged his temple as he thought, 'I have to be more careful in the future.' A sigh escaped him as he decided to triple-check his plans in the future. He looked at Alan and asked, "I assume that you already knew that my grandfather didn't know legilimency."
When Alan nodded, causing Quinn to sigh, "I am not going to ask you how you know that."
Alan shrugged and continued teaching. He instructed Quinn to follow his instruction, "Mr. West, I want you to look into my eyes and try to sense my mind. It will take some time, but you will be able to sense it in time. You know that there is a mind that you can access. You just need to believe that you can reach my mind through my eyes, and find a way to connect to it.
Now, please try it out."
Quinn nodded and stared into Alan's eyes while trying to sense anything through his mentor's eyes, but he couldn't find anything. He tried to spread his magic, get it closer to Alan, molded his magic in different ways, but nothing happened.
He continued to try, and somewhere along the way, Quinn started glaring at Alan, which made the older man joke, "Mr. West, you are trying to find my mind, not drill a hole through it."
If it had been any other time, Quinn would have laughed, but currently, he was concentrating, so Alan only got a grunt in response.
It was an hour, multiple attempts, and Alan's patient guidance before Quinn got a hit. He had changed his approach five times, and the fifth time was the charm as Quinn felt the presence of something that felt familiar to his own mind.
Quinn, who was concentrating on Alan's eyes, focused on his whole face before speaking a bit too loudly in exclamation, "I felt something! Was that your mind?"
Alan smiled as he nodded, "I felt your probe. It was weak, but an excellent result for your first time. And yes, that was the edge of my mind that you sensed."
Quinn breathed out a sigh of relief. He looked at Alan and then frowned. "Mr. Baddeley, did you blink because I can't remember you blinking?"
Alan chuckled and shook his head, "I used magic to keep my eyes moist. A handy spell I learned to teach legilimency." Alan quirked his eyebrows and displayed a proud look on his face.
For the rest of the lesson, they repeated the process so that Quinn could get used to it. That was the end of the first legilimency lesson.
- (Scene Break) -
It turned out that the decision of increasing the frequency of lessons from twice a week to thrice a week was a good one as, unlike occlumency, legilimency was tough to practice alone. Quinn couldn't practice legilimency on anyone in the house and could only wait for the next lesson. The only thing he could do was read the theory, and that too was restricted by Alan, who had spelled the legilimency book so that he could read what they were going to learn in the next lesson.
For the next two weeks, Quinn trained with Alan to strengthen his legilimency probe, so that he could dive deeper and faster into others' minds. Lesson-after-lesson was dedicated to improving Quinn's legilimency. The result of the two weeks was that Quinn had gone from feeling the presence of a mind to finally finding the mind.
The first time Quinn had chanced upon Alan's mind was surreal. It was a mental-sight that awed Quinn. Quinn had looked into Alan's eyes, and the next second, his mental sense showed him Alan's occlumency defense.
All he saw was the color blood-red, a blood-red semi-liquid sea as occlumency defense that covered Alan's mind. Quinn noticed how at equal intervals, there would be slight disturbances in the sea of blood-red, and the semi-liquid would move in concentric circles, just like when you touch water, and it creates circle waves. Quinn wondered if Alan was using those disturbances as sonar used sound waves.
Quinn didn't dare approach the blood-red sea, as he didn't know what would happen if he made contact with Alan's defense. An occlumens at the level would have some counter-offense tactics built into his defense.
"How is it, Mr. West?" He heard Alan's voice in his mind. Alan had gotten used to listening to Alan speak directly to his mind, which was disturbing as it meant he had bypassed his defenses and was inside his mind.
Quinn took a moment to gather his thoughts and then spoke, "I feel fear when I look at your defenses." Even though Quinn hadn't touched Alan's shield, it still scared him.
Alan chuckled and revealed, "You feel fear because it is a feature of my defenses. It induces fear in the attacker. I am using legilimency as part of my occlumency defense."
As Alan finished speaking, Quinn found he was no longer feeling fearful and he was feeling normal. "Did you just remove the fear inducer feature?" He got a hum in response.
Quinn continued to observe the blood-red sea and asked, "Is this blood-red semi-liquid your detection layer?" Quinn's own detection layer was translucent in color.
"I don't have a separate detection layer and shields. A separate detection layer and shields is a basic level technique. My defenses are from a much-advanced system. Someday, you too would move on from your current system. And, the blood-red sea isn't even my first line of defense," was Alan's response.
Quinn frowned as he asked, "But, I encountered nothing else." The blood-red sea was the first thing he saw. Quinn was sure he would've noticed something else.
"You didn't notice anything else because I removed my first layer of defense. If my first layer had been active, you would be lost in my defense."
Suddenly, Quinn saw a fog appear around him, but it kept at a distance from him.
"This is my first line of defense. If you had encountered this fog, you would have been lost in it. I designed this fog to confuse the attacker's probe. You wouldn't find the blood-red sea if you encountered the fog. It would have caused you to wander inside itself until you gave up. Mr. West, my defenses incorporates all three occlumency aspects and many of the legilimency aspects. It is an intricate system of multiple parts that work in harmony," said Alan with pride in his voice.
Quinn wondered how much time would it take to reach this level? He wondered if he could ever reach Alan's current level. Unlike Alan, Quinn wasn't aiming to become a mind-arts specialist, and that would divide his time between many fields, so it made him wonder when in his life would Quinn reach Alan's level.
Quinn decided to end his legilimency probe, and when he did, Quinn couldn't help but ask, "How long did it take you to build your defense."
The answer Quinn got showed why Alan was one of the world's best mind-arts specialists. His answer was, "From the day I started learning mind-arts to this very day. It took me this much time to build my defense." He smiled softly before continuing, "I never stopped improving my defenses. It has been decades since someone had broken into my mind, but I still haven't stopped working on it. Mr. West, even I don't know what would it take to break into my mind."
Alan paused before saying something that would stay with Quinn for the rest of his life, "In the past, I always wonder if those powerful ancient magicals could break into my mind if they were alive." Then his eyes glowed with confidence, and he declared, "But, then I concluded that no one could break into my mind, not even those ancient magicals. Do you know why I think that? People always believe that the golden age of magic has passed, that we could never reach the level of ancient magicals like Merlin and Solomon."
Alan scoffed with pure pride as he continued, "I don't believe that the golden age of magic has passed. I am confident that even if the mages who became so powerful that they become gods to non-magicals, they won't be able to break into my mind."
Then he declared,
"I am the golden age of mind-arts."
Quinn felt goosebumps on his skin at the last sentence. Quinn could see that Alan considered himself the best mind-art master that ever lived. Listening to him changed something in Quinn's mindset.
Somewhere in his heart, Quinn thought he could never match the likes of Merlin, mages-turned-gods, Hogwarts founders, or any ancient magical people who reached such a level of magic that we turned them into legends. Just before he was wondering if he could ever surpass Alan in the field of mind-arts. But, listening to Alan made him wondered, why can't he surpass those ancient magicals? Why can't he reach a level where people would turn him into a legend? What is stopping him? Both them and he had the same magic, so he should be able to reach their level.
In his excited state, Quinn looked at Alan and made a declaration of his own.
"I will become the greatest magical that ever lived! I will surpass everyone that came before me and will set myself so high-and-above that no one after me will ever catch up to me."
Alan hearing that let out the loudest laughter Quinn had listened from his old teacher. "Yes, that is the spirit! Aim high and achieve the greatest goal possible."
Both teacher and student laughed loudly. If Alan hadn't warded the room to be soundproof, the other people would definitely wonder what was going inside.
Quinn looked at Alan and challenged, "I will become the greatest, so I will also surpass you in mind-arts. One day, I will break into that mind of yours, and build a defense so strong that you won't be able to break into my mind. So, be ready for that day."
Alan grinned a smile that split his face, "Ha! I will wait for the day you challenge me, brat. You are still wet behind your ears. I guarantee that no one much less than you would be able to break into my mind."
After that day, Quinn continued to learn legilimency with Alan, potions with Elliot, and his own secret magic studies with a renewed and increased vigor caused by a higher goal and belief that he could achieve his aim.
Almost a year later, came July of 1990, and arrived the time for Quinn to enter the next phase of his life. In the first week of July of 1990. Two letters arrived at the West Manor.
Quinn West - MC - Ten years old - Wants to be the greatest magical that ever lived.
Alan D. Baddeley - Mind-Art Specialist - Considers himself the G.O.A.T in the field of Mind-Arts
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