HP: A Magical Journey - Chapter 9

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After Alan extended his contract with the West family, Quinn spent another five weeks completing his second set of another detection layer and a thinner five-layer hexagon-based shield.
Quinn, who had painstakingly completed his last line of defense, looked at Alan with expectation clear on his face, "Now that I have completed my last line of defense, are we finally going to learn the aspect of efficiency?"
Quinn couldn't conceal the excitement from his voice. Quinn clearly understood the importance of the defense of his mind against legilimency. He didn't want his emotions, thoughts, and memories to be leaked or spied upon by any outsider. But, Quinn couldn't help but want to move onward to learning the aspect of efficiency as he knew that this part of occlumency might support his other magic endeavors.
He impatiently waited for Alan's response, yet the reply wasn't the one Quinn was expecting.
Alan shook his head and explained, "We are not done with your defenses yet, Mr. West. There is still some work that needs to be accomplished before we proceed."
"What! But that is not what you promised. You said that this was the last step to completing my defenses," Quinn spoke with heat lacing his words.
Alan disagreed with Quinn and quipped, "Mr. West, I did say that this was the last step to building your defenses, but I never said that it would be the last task with regards to your defense. We still have to test your defense as a whole; to see if it works well as an integral system."
Quinn immediately cooled down hearing that. It was true, while he had completed building his defense, he hadn't tested if said defense worked against a legilimency attack. After all, what was the use of having a defense system if it didn't perform its task?
Quinn rubbed his temple, internally scolding himself for his impatience. His thirst for magic was making him impatient. Quinn stared at Alan and enquired, "So, how are we going to test if my mental defenses work?"
Alan smirked and replied, "The simple way, I am going to attack your defenses with legilimency of varying strengths and employ various techniques that we used while training your detection layer. Step-by-step, I am going to increase the level of my legilimency attacks, and on the way, we are going to examine the problems and try to fix them."
Quinn nodded in response as he saw no problem in this approach, as practically testing his defenses was the best possible method to test his progress.
"One more thing, Mr. West.", Alan spoke, gaining Quinn's attention as he declared, "During this period, I am going to be attacking your mind with the full intention of looking at your memories."
Quinn stiffened at that statement as he till now Alan had only gone as far as looking into his surface emotions and had never looked into his memories. Just the thought of Alan looking at his memories terrified Quinn.
"Please remember that whatever I see or discuss is protected by the contract I have signed. I am not allowed to speak or reveal any memory that I end up witnessing in your mind." Alan tried to assure Quinn, who he saw stiffen up at the mention of memories.
It took Quinn a while to calm down as he looked at Alan with determination in his eyes, "I am ready for it. Please do whatever is necessary."
Alan nodded and addressed, "Before we start, please tell me if you remember the difference between passive and active defense."
Quinn nodded and recited what he remembered about the asked topic, "Passive defense is when the occlumens is not aware that his mind is being attacked, and the occlumency defense that has been built defends against the attack without the occlumens knowledge. The shields are in a weaker state as the occlumens is not concentrating on fighting the attack and not focusing his magic on the shields.
While the active defense is the scenario when the occlumens is aware of the fact that his mind is being attacked and is actively trying to defend against the attack by providing magic to his shields, making them perform at their full capabilities."
Alan nodded, satisfied with the answer, "Yes, which is why the detection layer is essential as it would alert you about the presence of the legilimens, and you would be able to switch from passive to an active state.
I will be testing your active defense for now. For your passive defenses, I will test them randomly in the future when I am teaching you the aspect of efficiency, as you won't be aware of the timing of my attacks."
Seeing Quinn reply with a yes, Alan stated, "Alright, the moment your detection layer senses an attack, you must pull up your shields to their maximum capacity."
Quinn gulped and made eye contact with Alan, and the next moment he felt a hit on the detection layer, and the heaviness covered his mind.
The attack was on. Quinn immediately focused on his shields, and they thrummed into action.
Alan smiled as he spread his legilimency attack thinly and tried to sift through the shield, but Quinn immediately stiffened the paths Alan was using, trying to trap Alan and cutting off his attack.
Alan chuckled, "An interesting approach, Mr. West. Let's see how you deal with this."
Alan stopped trying to sift through his shield and began drilling through the layers of the shield. Quinn gritted his teeth and abandoned the first four layers of his shield as they had already been breached and shifted his focus to the last six, giving them extra power, but Alan drilled through them like a hot knife through butter.
Quinn cursed as he felt the second detection trigger, which meant that Alan was already past the primary ten-layer shield, and the only thing between Alan and his mind was the secondary five-layer shield.
He immediately put his all into the secondary shield and waited for the attack. For a couple seconds, Quinn felt nothing. Then he felt a sharp pain in his head as Alan slammed his legilimency into Quinn's secondary shield like a wrecking ball, immediately cracking the shield.
Alan easily slipped into the now unprotected mind. He found himself in Quinn's mind as he witnessed a few random pieces of memories. Alan saw some of Quinn's experiences during his time traveling.
He saw few glimpses of Quinn's piano and dance lessons, a few memories of Alan's own occlumency lessons. He also a weirdly large number of memories of Quinn staring at a rubber toy ball.
But, maybe because it was Quinn, who was desperate to hide his memories of him doing magic, or perhaps it was pure luck that in the short time Alan was inside Quinn's mind, Alan didn't see any memories of Quinn performing magic.
When Alan came out of Quinn's mind, Quinn's shoulder slumped as he placed a hand on his temple, trying to nurse the dull pain caused by the brutal cracking of the secondary shield. It took a couple of minutes for Quinn's shields to return to maximum integrity. This feature of occlumency was the one Quinn liked as it relieved him the most knowing that he won't have to consciously repair his shields by rebuilding those damned hexagons.
Quinn looked at Alan and asked, "What did you see?". He felt his heart threatening to beat itself out of his chest as he asked the question.
Alan described all the memories he had seen, and Quinn noted that there was no mention of him doing magic, and more importantly, 'There was no mention of my past life memories.'
Quinn felt his heartbeat calm down, but he didn't let just this one exchange be the proof of a theory that birthed in his mind. He needed another attack from Alan to cement his findings.
After a short break, Quinn once again defended against an attack from Alan, and again, failed to keep him out. But this time, it relieved him as when he asked Alan about the memories, there was no mention of his past life memories. There were a few mentions of Quinn performing magic, which Alan took as accidental magic, but no mention of otherworldly memories.
'Memories of my past life are somehow safe from legilimency,' Quinn thanked Gods, Merlin, Death, Fate, R.O.Bs, any higher divine being he could think of, as this was one enormous weight off his shoulders.
Quinn stared at Alan and asked, "Was that a novice legilimens' level of attack?". While Quinn was rejoicing that his biggest secret was safe, he was worried if his defenses couldn't handle a novice legilimens' attack.
Alan shook his head and revealed, "I wanted to see your current level, and I would say that my attack was at the level of a good intermediate legilimens."
Quinn exhaled hearing that, then he heard Alan speak up, "I must ask Mr. West, there have been an unusual amount of memories of you staring at objects. May I ask what is that all about?"
Quinn's eyes twitched. He knew it could take as little as another legilimency attack from Alan to rid him of his misunderstanding, that what he saw Quinn perform wasn't accidental magic but proper controlled magic.
Quinn stared at Alan for a while. He contemplated how to reply before deciding that if the secret is going to be out, then it would come out as he wished.
"Those were my attempts to use magic. I was trying to do magic without a wand.", Quinn said, setting up a conversation that he was going to control.
Alan laughed as he could understand Quinn's wish to do magic. Which magical child didn't want to use magic before turning eleven? It was a part of most magical children's childhood. "I see. From the number of memories, I must say that you truly love magic, don't you?"
Quinn nodded, to which Alan said, "Mr. West, magic without a wand or a better word focus is tough. It takes a lot of practice and skill to perform magic without a wand. This is why I love occlumency and legilimency. Even though only at a low level, both of these magic can be performed without a focus.
It is said that a few can use magic without a focus, and none have been truly able to be free from using focus to perform magic. Only the best and the wisest succeed to perform magic without a focus."
Quinn nodded, a smirk etching his face. Alan didn't notice the smirk as he was too busy staring at the jug of water that had suddenly floated from the table and was now pouring water into a glass. The glass then slid itself towards Quinn and stopped in front of him, who picked it and drank from the glass.
"It was tough, you know. It took a year of staring at various things trying to move them, but nothing worked. It was pure luck that I succeeded." The smirk on Quinn's face widened as he continued, "Mr. Baddeley, you said the best and the wisest succeed to perform magic without a focus; I will take that as a compliment. Thank you."
Alan D. Baddeley stared at the boy who sat in front of him. He had just seen something that he hadn't seen in his life, and he was over a hundred and fifty years old. A boy who was in the eighth year of his life had just performed magic without a focus.
"How?" was all he could say.
Quinn shrugged and spoke, "I have no idea. I don't know why magic responds to me as it does. Maybe one day I will know why, but currently, I am content just knowing that I can perform magic."
Alan was still trying to wrap his mind around the concept of an eight-year child performing controlled magic, but he wanted to know more, so he asked, "What kind of magic can you perform?"
Quinn revealed his capabilities to Alan as he was sure that Alan would with time, "I can perform spells from spells on a second-year level." He explained to Alan how he studied material from all around the world, which impressed Alan as he traveled the world to improve his craft.
"The absence of focus hampers my ability. I have read the third-year material, but I am just only stepping into practically performing third-year magic," Quinn sighed as he finished, "The progress has been slow."
Quinn looked at Alan and said, "Mr. Baddeley, you are the sole person on this world who knows that I can perform magic. Not even my grandfather and sister know I can do magic. And, the magical contract will keep it that way."
Alan nodded and leaned back into his chair. He remembered something and questioned, "Is your ability to do magic why you choose the aspect of efficiency?"
Quinn nodded and explained, "As I am reading material from various magical communities, it is becoming harder to keep track of things. I would like to improve my retention, and the aspect of efficiency would help me with that."
Alan nodded but informed, "Mr. West, you do know that even if you learn the aspect of efficiency, it will take at least a year before you could achieve noticeable gains."
Quinn nodded, "I am well aware of that face. As much as I would love to see immediate returns, I also know that if I put in the time, the return would be worthwhile and sweet."
Alan looked at his students and found that his image of Quinn had changed. At first, he thought Quinn was just a talented child, but a child nevertheless, but now he saw a boy with wisdom beyond his age.
Quinn also told Alan, "I would like if we don't talk about my magic during the lessons. I would like it if we spent all our time learning occlumency. You can satisfy your curiosity by the memories that you chance upon when in my head, but I will not be talking about it."
Alan nodded as he understood that talking about Quinn's ability would hinder the learning, so he agreed to not talk about the matter in the lessons.
After the discussion was closed, Quinn and Alan got back to testing Quinn's defenses, trying to improve them by practical experience.
It took another two months to solve all the kinks in Quinn's defense and gave Quinn crucial experience in the art of defending his mind. By the time they were done, Quinn could defend against a newly minted master level legilimens.
It took a whole nine months for Quinn to become an occlumens who could defend against a new master legilimens from having no defense at all. He could also defend against various forms of attacks, which was impressive as most legilimens only knew and used one or two methods.
Alan's experience and knowledge from around the world had given Quinn the knowledge of legilimency attacks from various magical communities. And, that had made Quinn's defenses might be the most adaptable in his age group.
Quinn West - MC - Almost nine years old - Can now defend his mind.
Alan D. Baddeley - Teacher - Stunned by his latest student.
A/N - If Quinn comes out as whiny and not considering what is good for him by trying to rush along the occlumency shield process. It is because I am trying to make him not so Gary Stu. Quinn would have his faults.
He would still be better than us real people (we suck), but he wouldn't be the perfect child with magic abilities that would put Merlin to shame (while he is eight years old).
It would take some time for Quinn to become strong.
If you have any ideas regarding the magic you want to see in this fiction or want to offer some ideas regarding the progression. Move onto the DISCORD Server and blast those ideas.
The link is in the synopsis!

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