A Professor of Magic at Hogwarts - C.337: The Education of Sniffs

A Professor of Magic at Hogwarts

C.337: The Education of Sniffs
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Fairies are one of the few humanoid races that have fully preserved their cultural heritage. Apart from their unique fairy magic and exquisite craftsmanship, they have their own language, customs, and habitats.

Many aspects of their culture are similar to wizards, such as the way parents scare their children.

In many fairy tales, Sniffs are portrayed as beings comparable to demons. Their reputation is far from unfounded; even in disputes among adult fairies, if you were to pick the top ten impactful phrases, "Your family has attracted Sniffs!" would certainly make the list, likely ranking quite high.

"Fear not, Valen has many treasures," reassured Felix.

Upon hearing this, Gornuk became even more uneasy. In the fairy mindset, the more treasures you have, the more desires you accumulate. How else could one amass such a considerable fortune? He hastily bid his farewells and Clementine, after glancing outside for a moment, gleefully announced, "Mr. Gornuk has chosen the tent farthest away from us." Laughter broke out among the group.

The night had fallen, and Felix was alone in the tent. He pulled out a stack of parchment and meticulously reviewed the gains from his journey.

First and foremost, he had acquired nine ancient magicstruly a bountiful harvest. For the sake of concealing his identity, Harp had inscribed only relatively normal magic on the stone slabs, devoid of any oddities. Felix introspectively wondered if he could have left here unscathed had he stumbled upon this place during his travels.

Especially on a stone slab closest to the hidden chamber, Harp had left behind some heartfelt words. The general sentiment was: since you've overcome myriad trials, you've earned my recognition; I've left all my knowledge within the hidden chamber, and so forth.

Err all lies.

Yet, this technique was incredibly cunning. Felix had to reexamine the details to truly fathom the intricacy of this scheme. Nine genuine ancient magics acted as bait, while interspersed between these spells were self-introductions and travel anecdotes on seemingly useless stone slabsthese were Harp's carefully arranged elements.

For instance, he introduced his background first, followed by tales of his remarkable journeying, revealing some secrets along the way. Between the lines, he projected an image of a powerful, reclusive, and proud wizard.

Would someone like that really design a trap for you? Totally unworthy of it! Wizards in that era had no concept of Horcruxes.

Most ancient wizards set up hidden chambers either to hide treasures or to establish tombs. Naturally, such places were laden with traps, and nobody would "publicly" showcase their formidable magic.

So, according to Felix's perspective, with the mindset of wizards from that time, it was hard not to be ensnared.

And when subsequent individuals accepted Harp's concocted wizard persona, their wariness would significantly diminish. They'd only cautiously confront the "trials" left by their predecessors, inadvertently neglecting to guard against covert malevolence.

Furthermore, in the subsequent slabs, Harp had left encouraging words, urging later entrants to proceed and offering some rather useless tricks. All of this aimed to elevate his status in the minds of those undergoing the challenge.

However, he deliberately omitted crucial information, setting up traps instead. For instance, disguising potent curses as small pebbles, placing them on essential paths; or suddenly increasing the curse's intensity and strength, catching people off guard. But once later entrants were predisposed to thinking of these as trials, they'd only assume their own inadequacy and never conceive of such malicious intentions.

Regrettably, all machinations and plots couldn't withstand the relentless march of time. Many of Harp's designs appeared feeble and impotent over the passage of extended periods. Even the Horcruxes he had painstakingly guarded and shielded were long destroyed by his own hand.

"It's also possible that his technique wasn't up to par," Felix pondered, "After all, he created the world's first Horcrux, and oversights are unavoidable."

...

Of the nine ancient magics that Felix noted down, four were offensive: Golden Flames, Black Lightning, Corrosive Black Mist, and Malicious Transfiguration. There were two defensive spells: Silver Shield and Compressed Air. The last three were of an auxiliary nature, ones he hadn't yet had the chance to examine closely.

"Hmm, Harp didn't leave the names of these magics behind. I'll just have to make up names based on their characteristics" Felix scratched his head in a somewhat puzzled manner. Well, names aren't really that important anyway.

At this moment, Sniffs, lazily lounging on the tent's carpet, came over. Felix casually tapped its head, and with a squeaky hum, Sniffs scurried aside, taking two Galleons, twelve Sickles, and six Knuts with it.

Felix didn't pay much attention, as he was pondering ancient magic. Among these, the most remarkable was the compressed air defensive spell. Rather than compressing air, it compressed space, achieving a similar effect.

Though not explicitly stated, wizards were generally aware that spellcasting had its limits in terms of distance, at least in most cases. You couldn't expect a Disarming Charm to be thrown skyward and reach an altitude of ten kilometers. This was the limitation of distance.

Among the spells Felix had mastered, the one with the greatest casting distance was the Patronus Charm. In his various studies, one direction he explored was having his Patronus change form, potentially taking on Felix's appearance. This would make shopping or communication quite convenient. However, when he shared this idea with Dumbledore, the latter quipped that he was overthinking things.

"A Patronus is a reflection of the mind. Instead of trying to change its form, I suggest you simply put a wizard's robe over it"

Felix gladly accepted the suggestion. Using blank memories, he crafted a transparent, glowing robe. This way, his Patronus could pass for a ghost at least. Perhaps, after the school term began, a new specter would wander within Hogwarts Castle.

Collecting his scattered thoughts, Felix focused on the compressed air magic. Its principle was rather simplebefore the spellcaster, a wall of air was constructed, but this air wall compressed a section of space. Consequently, any magic attacking him would exceed the spellcasting and control distances, naturally dispersing.

In theory, this magic could deflect all attacks, including the Killing Curse.

Felix had already decided to place it at the forefront of his study list, alongside the Black Lightning spell. The Black Lightning spell was also potent. It was characterized by extreme speed and formidable penetration power, rendering most defensive spells useless.

His humanoid Iron Armor Curse was already somewhat less defensive than a typical armor spell. Faced with the Black Lightning, it would be as vulnerable as a thin piece of parchment.

Once again, Felix marveled at how well Harp understood the concept of investment.

"Truly a good person, unfortunately departed."

Apart from these nine ancient magics, he had experienced a unique curse lesson. Even though Harp hadn't taught him a single curse, Felix managed to glean something from his own firsthand experiences. Now, he needed to jot these things down.

...

Valen, the Sniffs, entered the tent from outside. Seeing Felix fluidly writing on parchment, its shadow danced within the tent, causing the interior light to fluctuate. Startled, Sniffs grabbed a gem and tossed it at Felix's head.

Felix gazed at the gem before turning to Sniffs. Large and small eyes met, and they fell into a speechless silence.

A few minutes later, Felix lifted Sniffs and, reaching into its small pocket, extracted a pile of Galleons, along with various bits and bobs, including its Dreaming Merlin Badge and a damaged Time-Turner. Of course, the small suspicious pile of gems in the corner was particularly eye-catching.

"Seems like I need to give you a proper lesson," Felix transfigured a small cup into a stool, allowing Sniffs to sit on it properly. "Behave and sit tight. I've been neglecting your education. Before you return these things, we have... about four hours."

Valen Sniffs clutched its pink beak to its chest, sensing that its carefree childhood was drifting away.

"I need to give you a basic education. Otherwise, by the time school starts, who knows what sort of trouble you might cause... Let me think. Among the economics books I've read, the section about property ownership is quite educational..."

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