Hey friends and fans! Kairomaru is bringing you another chapter of Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy! Time moves forward, and Harry continues to craft. Maybe he should look into specific materials for his new scabbard project? There's also the matter of getting stronger to be able to wield Dourfrost without being frozen over. Not to mention that Harry isn't the only one working on things. Penny might need some help with testing.
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Chapter 58 – Testing and Material Acquisition
Harry chuckled as he stood outside of Wood End Cottage in the afternoon sun. It was a bit after lunch and Penny had requested his help with testing her newest configuration of the Anti-Magic Area. At the moment, said Area was being set up around him to the maximum size that Penny had worked out. Harry had to give his girlfriend credit. The size had greatly increased since he'd first helped her with it. Now it had a become a three-meter by three-meter square when set up at maximum size. It could also hold a charge for much longer now, being able to maintain its full-effect for almost a full twenty-four hours.
"Almost done, Harry." Penny smiled at him as she placed the last runestone in its correct position.
"Take your time, Penny." Harry returned her smile with one of his own. "Better to have everything right for a test so that you get the most accurate data."
"Very true, Harry." Penny stood up and kissed him gently. "Now, let's get to testing!" The excitement lit up her eyes as she stepped out of the area that the runestones encompassed. "Anti-Magic Area, three-by-three area, live subject test number one." Penny spoke and the floating notebook and Dicta-Quill wrote down her words. "Subject is Harry Potter; current mana level is just shy of twenty-seven-thousand." As she spoke, she placed her foot atop one of the runestones and began to charge the array with her mana, making all of the stones glow slightly.
"Hmm, doesn't feel different." Harry spoke up so that Penny could catalogue his experience within the field accurately. He moved his hands, clenching and unclenching them. "I don't seem to have any loss of feeling, no sensation of uncomfortableness or pain either."
"Good, good, this is just meant to stop Magic, not torture Witches and Wizards." Penny noted down Harry's words as she watched him move about within the Anti-Magic Area. "Any loss of coordination? Feelings of lethargy?"
"Not that I can tell." Harry shook his head. "I'll try a few things." He hopped from foot to foot, stood on one leg, and even jogged in place for a bit. "Yeah, I'm not feeling any different physically."
"Excellent, then it doesn't cause any physical anomalies to Witches and Wizards within its borders. That's great." Penny wrote down the new findings into her research notebook. "Can you try casting a spell? Something simple to start with, like Lumos."
"Yeah," Harry cast the spell with a thought, but grinned when nothing happened. "Well, that's new." The Artificer chuckled as he tried to cast the charm a few more times. "How strange."
"What does it feel like, Harry?" Penny questioned as she looked eagerly at her boyfriend.
"It's…different, to say the least." Harry thought for a moment on how best to describe the sensation of his failed spellcasting. "I can form the spell, but the instant I try to cast it, the spell fizzles."
"Fizzles?" Penny raised an eyebrow even as she wrote down the description.
"Like the spell is being broken down or unraveled before it can really activate." Harry tried to explain better for Penny's notes. "Almost like trying to blow up a balloon with a hole in it, as strange as that comparison is."
"So, there's no way to build up the spell, it just flows instead of inflating?" Penny gathered after a moment to think about Harry's description.
"That's it!" Harry pointed at her with a laugh. "That's it exactly!"
"Fascinating." Penny was quick to note down the description for further testing.
"Shall I try something a bit more complex?" Harry asked with a grin at seeing how excited Penny was getting.
"Yes!" Penny nodded rapidly, her dark-blonde locks shaking from the movement. "Maybe some elemental conjuring?"
"Right, right." Harry laughed, but Penny was in too good of a mood to retort. "Let's try this." He raised his left palm up and focused on the spell he wanted. Aguamenti was a familiar spell and he could control it to form only a ball of water if he wished. "Huh…" He blinked as the spell did nothing as he cast it. Not even a drop of moisture formed from the simple spell. "Well, Aguamenti is a bust." He informed Penny with a shrug.
"Got it." Penny was ecstatic on the success of her project so far.
"What about fire?" Harry tried to conjure flames, but merely stood within the Anti-Magic area with nothing. "Yeah, fire conjuring isn't working either." He saw Penny write that down too. "Should I try with a wand?"
"Yes, that would be good for comparative data." Penny admitted as she flipped to a new page in her notebook and had her quill poised to write. "Use the same three spells so that we can get one-to-one comparisons, please."
"Right." Harry slid his Holly and Phoenix Feather wand into his hand from within his Storage Cloak. He tried Lumos non-verbally for the comparison that Penny wanted. The tip of his wand didn't light up though. He felt his mana passing through his wand, but as soon as it left the tip of the focus, nothing happened. "Okay, so using a wand didn't change the outcome." He shook his head.
"So, a focus doesn't make a difference to the effect of the Anti-Magic Area." Penny wrote into the notebook. "Try the other two, maybe more complex spells through a focus will present different results."
Harry focused on Aguamenti and pointed his wand off to the side to blast a stream of water from it. Nothing happened from his attempt though. Not a drop of water left his wand. Flicking his wand, Harry attempted to conjure fire. Once more, nothing came from the attempt. His wand was merely in a different position now.
"Still nothing?" Penny tilted her head curiously.
"Not a thing." Harry confirmed as he marveled a bit at what Penny had made.
"The tests are going well." Penny was beaming as she continued to gather data on her latest version of the Anti-Magic Area. "Let's try Transfiguration next!"
"Sure thing, love." Harry couldn't help but chuckle at how happy Penny was. He understood that kind of joy well. The feeling of watching something you'd spent time, energy, and countless attempts to make performing exactly as you had envisioned was a very satisfying experience.
For the next couple of hours, Harry and Penny both took turns within the Anti-Magic Field trying to find some way to circumvent its effects. Transfiguration was a dud just as much as Charms. Trying to conjure anything failed. Attempting to change the ground or one of the runestones didn't work. Penny was nearly vibrating in joy as her creation continued to hold up against every form of Magic they attempted. Wandless, with a wand, non-verbal, verbal, none of it seemed to make any difference within the field.
"Let's up the power even more." Harry grinned on his latest turn inside the Anti-Magic Area. He focused, bringing his significant mana to bear as he formed the Fulmen Curse. The Anti-Magic field became visible for a second as small sparks were seen traveling down Harry's arm. With a thrust of his arm, his index and middle fingers pointing forward into an empty area of the yard, he produced…a small spark, not much bigger than what one might see in a contact taser. That same spark was also gone in the blink of an eye.
"Hahahahaha!" Penny couldn't help but laugh. Her bright laughter made Harry smile as he looked over at her. "Sorry, sorry, Harry." She tried to stifle her laughter, but mostly just reduced it to giggles.
"I don't know what to say…" Harry shrugged, a grin on his face. "This has never happened to me before…I must be tired."
"Mhmm." Penny nearly snorted at the silly joke. "Performance issues aren't uncommon, Harry. One in ten men will experience them in their lifetime."
"Oh, I'll show you that I don't have any performance issues." Harry hopped out of the circle of runestones with a laugh before wrapping his arms around Penny. He dipped her slightly and captured her lips in a long kiss.
"Mmm…" Penny hummed appreciatively once they separated, and Harry pulled her back onto her feet. "We can test that theory a bit more later on." Harry wiggled his eyebrows and made Penny crack up again. "There's one more thing I'd like to test though."
"What's that?" Harry cocked an eyebrow. They'd gone through almost every spell they knew of, and from low power up to his latest high-powered attempt.
"I want to see if House Elves can circumvent the Anti-Magic Area like they can with other wards that don't specifically target them." Penny explained her interest.
"Hmm, that's not a bad idea." Harry nodded after a second of thought. "The Anti-Magic Area is based on Warding after all…though it's not like any other Ward in existence."
"Yes, and House Elf Magic is different than what Wizards and Witches use." Penny stated what anyone that paid a modicum of attention to the helpful creatures knew. "The Anti-Magic Area is supposed to work on all Magic, but perhaps the differences would make it less effective?"
"I'm sure Tayla wouldn't mind helping us out for a bit." Harry agreed with Penny's thoughts.
"You called for Tayla, young master Harry?" Tayla popped in with a curious look on her face. Her large eyes looked between Harry and Penny and then to the circle of runestones.
"Yes, Tayla, thank you for coming." Harry smiled at the elf, making her smile back brightly. "Penny would like to ask for your help with a few simple tests of her creation.
"Oh? Yes, Tayla will help the future young mistress." Tayla nodded happily, her words making both Penny and Harry smile at each other softly.
"Thank you very much, Tayla." Penny thanked the elf, once more making Tayla beam at the pair.
"What would you have Tayla do to help?" Tayla looked eager to please, as always.
"First, do you think you could 'pop' into the ring of runestones?" Penny asked as she readied her notebook and quill.
"Of course," Tayla gave a short bow and popped away. Half a second later, and with an identical popping sound, Tayla reappeared on the opposite side of the Anti-Magic Area. "Huh?" She looked confused by her location outside of the ring of stones. With a confused look, Tayla tried again, popping out of sight and reappearing on a different side of the Anti-Magic Area. This was repeated almost a dozen times before Tayla shook her head with a frown. "Tayla cannot be doing it, Miss Clearwater! The stones keep her out."
"That's fine, Tayla, you did brilliant." Penny praised the elf, making Tayla's frown turn into a smile.
"Interesting." Harry hummed at the complete denial of even House Elf Magic to enter the space.
"Can Tayla be doing anything else?" Tayla looked happy to give her assistance further.
"Could you stand inside the circle and tell me how you feel?" Penny requested and Tayla was quick to walk into the Anti-Magic Area without a bit of hesitation.
"Hmm…this is a strange space." Tayla mentioned as she stood in the middle of the circle of runestones. "Tayla knows that she can't use her Magic here."
"Do you feel different at all, Tayla?" Penny was right beside the Anti-Magic Area in case she needed to intervene and pull Tayla out. That is, if Harry didn't do it first from beside her.
"Tayla is fine, but her Magic will not work here." Tayla looked curiously at the stones surrounding her. "I cannot travel out of this circle with Magic…but I can walk out normally. It is very strange." She mentioned and Penny wrote down her words exactly. Having a House Elf's viewpoint on her creation was just providing further legitimacy.
"The Anti-Magic Area is working even better than I thought." Penny noted down Tayla's words. "If we could scale up the size a bit more…" She quietly mumbled to herself as she continued to write.
"You did great, Tayla, feel free to return to what you were doing." Harry grinned at Penny getting lost in her thoughts.
"Thank you, young master Harry." Tayla stepped out of the ring of runestones and gave a short bow before popping away.
"Harry, do you think if we changed this part of the sequence in the array, that we'd get a larger area of effect?" Penny had stopped her light mumbling to show him a new note she'd made in her notebook. "The strength of the Anti-Magic Area is already better than what I thought. But I'm still having trouble coming up with a way to increase the overall size of the area."
"Let's see…" Harry smiled as he conjured them two chairs to sit on and a small table to pour over her ideas and make new notes together. "I don't think you can change this part without breaking the sequence." He pointed at one of her changes. "That part needs to be that way to maintain the strength of the effect."
"Hmm, what if we repeated this section at set intervals?" Penny tapped another section in the long list of runes that made up the Anti-Magic Area's array. To most it would look like a wall of text. To the two of them, it was the instructions for the array and its functions. Such was the difference that came with familiarity and experience in a Branch of Magic.
"Perhaps…but what intervals would you connect them to? It fits here perfectly, and the two sequences that it connects don't repeat." Harry noticed of the array.
Inside of Wood End Cottage, Sirius and Marlie watched on from the kitchen window with smiles. Sirius was happy that Harry had time to relax and focus on his relationships. Marlie was happy to see her family happy. The two sipped some tea with the occasional chuckle as they watched Harry and Penny go over Penny's creation.
"Ah, nerd love, how precious." Sirius quipped with a chuckle.
"Oh hush, it's cute." Marlie lightly swatted his arm with a melodious giggle.
-Forbidden Forest ~ Scotland-
"I knew I'd be back here again." Harry mused with a chuckle as he flew over the ancient forest.
Summer was almost over and soon enough the next year of Hogwarts would begin. As a graduate, that didn't mean much to Harry, but he was looking forward to visiting his friends on the first Hogsmeade visit of the year. But today he was here to gather materials from the forest. More specifically, the oldest and most Magical Ash wood that he could find.
"Ash is said to have some alignment with fire and it wards off witchcraft if one believes some of the old tales." Harry flew over the forest a bit longer, slowing down slightly as he started checking the older trees he saw. "Shouldn't be too hard to find Ash trees, Scotland has plenty of them."
The Artificer was going to use the innate properties of Ash wood to make a scabbard for Dourfrost. He'd have to carve it into proper shape, and may have to refine it a bit to bring out the properties he wanted to their fullest, but he'd pair it with some powdered dragon fangs for their own connection to fire. Adding both as the physical materials of the scabbard and then carving a similar array to the one that made up the barrier currently sealing the sword away should make for the perfect sheath. As long as he took his time and imparted enough of his mana into his creation, he'd have a paired Artifact scabbard to match Dourfrost. Something that could contain the powerful Artifact Sword indefinitely while he worked to grow strong enough to wield it.
"Well now, hello there." Harry floated over to a tree that had caught his eyes. It was an Ash tree and the top of it jutted above the tops of the trees around it. He slowly floated down through the canopy, careful not to make too much noise lest he get the attention of one of the denizens of the forest. When his feet (clad in his Wind Walker item) touched the ground, Harry could only marvel at the ancient tree. "You must be centuries and centuries old, huh?"
Harry walked up to the tree and gently placed both hands on it. He poured just a tiny portion of his mana into it to feel out its own Magic and its health. Not surprisingly, the tree was in perfect health, not so much as a single sign of sickness or parasitism on it or within it. The Artificer marveled at the age-old Ash tree and tried to commune those feelings to it through his mana. He got a slight feeling back, not so much words or thoughts, but just a feeling of contentment.
"I don't suppose you could spare a branch that you're not using, old one?" Harry patted the trunk of the tree. A few seconds later and a loud snap was heard before a large branch fell to the ground with a crash about six or seven meters away. Blinking at what seemed to be a response from the ancient tree, Harry chuckled and patted its trunk again. "Well, thank you very much."
He walked over to the fallen branch, noticing both its impressive length and the sheer thickness. Harry placed his hands on the newly fallen branch and felt the Magic within. The branch was practically still alive, even though it bore no leaves. It probably weighed as much as Harry himself if not more. After inspecting his seeming gift from the ancient Ash tree, Harry stood back up and threw the hem of his Storage Cloak over the branch. As it was designed to, the cloth spread over the entirety of the branch, regardless of its own size, and then billowed back to normal around Harry as the branch disappeared within its space-altering folds.
"I thank you for this gift." Harry gave a short bow to the old tree. "Please accept my thanks." He raised both of his hands and focused intently.
This was an incredibly hard spell to pull off as it was a ridiculously focus-heavy spell. From the forest floor, what seemed to be powder slowly rose up like a cloud. Harry gathered a good amount together between him and the tree and once he felt he had enough, he stopped and held the strange dusty cloud in the air. A simple thought saw water droplets gathering in the air. More and more swirled together until a large ball of water floated next to the odd dusty cloud.
"Woo…" Harry exhaled as he looked at the cloud. "Summoning specific elements from other materials is still so difficult. But common tree fertilizer is made up of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium from what I read. Equal parts of the three and plenty of water is good for Ash trees."
He sent the cloud of nutrients down into the soil around the Ash tree's roots carefully, so as not to damage or disturb the tree. Then the water orb spread around the tree in a ring of water before falling like rain onto the freshly fertilized soil. Once the water had soaked into the soil, Harry smiled at the ancient tree and then slowly ascended into the air again. Once he was clear of the canopy, Harry looked over in the direction of Hogsmeade and Hogwarts. He was so far into the forest that he could only barely see the castle sitting up on its hill.
"Hmm, maybe it would be a good idea to learn how to Apparate?" Harry thought aloud, looking at the school in the far distance. "I love flying, but the trip is ridiculous without something like the Floo or a Portkey." He pulled out a length of rope and held it in his right hand. Sure, you weren't technically supposed to make your own portkeys without registering them with the Ministry.
But…Sirius had never been a stickler for the rules, and when Harry had expressed an interest to learn…yeah.
"Portus." Harry intoned and watched the rope glow for a second. With a second to prepare himself, Harry activated the Portkey and was whisked away in a swirl of light.
-Wood End Cottage-
"Shite…" Harry steadied himself after the Portkey trip. "There has got to be a better method than this one." His stomach always felt like it was about to rebel after a Portkey. "Note to self, look into an Artifact version of a Portkey." He made a mental note to try his hand at creating something better once he had some more time. There was a litany of things he'd have to learn and know about Portkeys and what interfered with them if he wanted to succeed in such an endeavor.
"Harry!" Sirius came out of the cottage waving a note in his hand. "What's this supposed to be?"
"The note I left you." Harry spoke after seeing it.
"Harry, a note that you're going out should have the location and when you expect to be back." Sirius stared blankly at his godson. "What does your note say?" He held it up to the teen's eyes.
"Hey Sirius, I've gone to gather a material for my next project. Be back later, Harry." Harry recited from memory. It had only been a few hours since he'd written it after all.
"Do you see the issue here?" Sirius questioned after a moment of silence.
"Yes." Harry gave a one-word answer.
"Do you know that I was worried because I had no idea where you'd gone?" Sirius leaned in slightly.
"Sorry about that…I'll be more thorough in my note-leaving in the future." Harry apologized. He hadn't meant to make Sirius worry.
"You have that half-dead tosser after you, Harry." Sirius placed his hands on Harry's shoulders. "I worry when I don't know where you've disappeared to." He patted his godson's shoulders and stood back to his full height. "I know I can't do much to stop you from going out to gather materials or visit the Dwarves. But a little more information about where you're headed would help me out."
"Right, sorry for making you worry, Sirius." Harry pulled his godfather into a short hug and the two men separated with a smile afterwards.
"Good, now then, where did you go and what were you getting?" Sirius looked at Harry curiously.
"The Forbidden Forest, and this." Harry tossed his Storage Cloak to the side with one arm. The pitch-black cloth spread farther than it should've been able to and a thump was heard. The cloak fell back around Harry as normal and Sirius stared at the huge tree limb that now rested on the grass.
"A bit much for a scabbard, isn't it?" Sirius cocked an eyebrow at the massive piece of wood.
"I'm not going to use all of it for a single scabbard, no." Harry looked at Sirius like he was crazy. "This is ancient Magical Ash tree wood freely given from the tree. I'll be able to make good use of this for a long while." The Artificer already had ideas for other things he could use such Magical wood for.
"I see," Sirius stroked his well-trimmed goatee with a look of faux understanding. Harry deadpanned at him and Sirius chortled at his godson's expression. "Ah, right, since the Ministry situation was handled fairly easily, Dumbledore is hoping that you'll meet with the Order soon."
"Oh yeah, that's right, I was putting that off until I finished my Artifact Sword." Harry glanced over at the barrier where Dourfrost was sealed. "Technically it's not finished until I can wield it, right?"
"Oh no, no, no, Harry." Sirius shook his head with a mischievous smile. "You're not getting out of this so easily."
"But you said the Order hasn't even been doing much when it comes to figuring out where Voldemort is or what he's up to." Harry reminded his godfather. He didn't want to just sit around and talk about unsubstantiated reports and make plans for things that may happen. That was time he could be spending crafting and actually preparing for whatever Voldemort would come at him with next. That or spending time with his girlfriends, which was infinitely more desirable than being surrounded by people old enough to be his parents.
Harry Potter, youngest Artificer in history, was still very much a teenager at heart.
"True, but consider it a pseudo punishment for making your poor old godfather worry." Sirius grinned at Harry, his eyes alight with mischief.
"I said I was sorry…" Harry looked away with a sigh. "When is the next meeting, anyway?"
"Oh, I don't want you to get too wrapped up in work on that particular day, by accident, of course. So, I'll let you know the day of." Sirius saw the minute twitch of Harry's head and knew he'd just cut off the route of escape the Artificer had been planning on.
"Is it tomorrow?" Harry questioned, narrowing his eyes at Sirius.
"No, tomorrow you're still in the clear." Sirius assured him with a look that screamed 'I know something that you don't know!' and Harry rolled his eyes.
"Fine…but I want it on the record that I was the mature one that agreed to go." Harry was barely suppressing a grin of his own now.
"Oh, but of course, you're such a paragon of maturity and reason, Harry." Sirius replied, almost not snickering…almost.
"Glad that we're in agreement." Harry put his nose in the air in a faux pompous manner.
Godfather and godson quickly cracked up and devolved into loud laughter together. Sirius whipped out his wand and levitated the large branch off the ground. Harry led him into the smithy and had Sirius set the branch down on the floor next to some of his other stored materials. Pulling over a notebook and pen, Harry made note of the branches dimensions as a charmed measuring tape went to work. Once he had the necessary information, then he'd be able to make some precise cuts to the branch and have plenty of usable timber for his Artifice.
"Now what exactly are you thinking of to contain that deathly sword of yours?" Sirius was both cautious and worried of just what he'd seen Dourfrost do to Umbridge. He'd not want Harry to ever unseal the damned thing without a way to control it and keep it out of the hands of others.
"Ash wood has some fire alignment, I'll use powdered dragon bone to fill in the modified barrier array as a circuit material, then I'm thinking of wrapping the outside in dragon hide." Harry laid out his current plans for the scabbard Artifact.
"Why not some of the basilisk hide you still have?" Sirius questioned as he thought over what Harry had told him about the material. "Isn't it more Magic resistant than dragon hide?"
"It is, but bringing together the Horntail's fangs and its hide should create a symbolic rejoining and add synergy to the scabbard. Doing so should increase the finished products fire alignment by quite a bit." Harry explained his reasoning for choosing dragon hide over basilisk hide this time. "Ideally, the scabbard should have a high fire alignment to give it an edge in suppressing Dourfrost's ice aligned Magics."
"Ah, I get it now." Sirius nodded at the simple explanation.
"Plus, I'm going to start running low on basilisk hide soon." Harry admitted as he looked at the chest with the basilisk parts stored inside of it. "When I do use it, I want to make sure that it's going to give the most to the item or Artifact it becomes a part of."
"That's fair," Sirius understood the desire to use the material sparingly. "Not like anyone has another thousand-year-old basilisk just lying around waiting to be slaughtered for parts."
"That would be both exciting and terrifying." Harry laughed at the remark. "Exciting to get more parts from. Terrifying in what someone could do with a millennia-old basilisk if they really wanted to hurt others and didn't care for subtly."
"Well, thankfully you seem to have killed the only one in Magical Britain, so we should be safe on that front." Sirius shrugged jokingly.
"If anyone is dumb enough to try and hatch a basilisk, then I hope they know that they'll more than likely be the first one dead when it meets their eyes for the first time." Harry scoffed at the massive amount of danger even the newborn King of Serpents posed to those around them.
"One of the few laws that the entire ICW agreed on was outlawing the hatching of a basilisk." Sirius nodded at the foolishness of such an endeavor. "It's considered a capital offense in a few of the member nations, if I recall correctly."
"It should be." Harry nodded his head as he set down his notebook on his work desk. "I'll be busy until dinner time with this." He motioned to the huge branch from the ancient Ash tree.
"I'll stay and watch for a bit." Sirius had a soft smile on his face as he summoned a chair from against the wall and sat down.
"Suit yourself," Harry shrugged, but there was a small smile on his face as he used a wandless Cutting Charm to begin cleanly splitting the wood into measured sections.
Penny and Harry working together is so cute! Nerd love!
The Anti-Magic Area is certainly coming along well! It even stops House Elves! But the range is still limited. If only Penny could crack that, she'd revolutionize many aspects of the Magical World. Safety, Combat, Policing, Incarceration, etc.
I mean, you don't really need Dementors if your Witch and Wizard convicts can't use their Magic at all. They could be dealt with by Aurors with their standard issue batons (courtesy of Harry). Heck, a new profession of corrections officer/prison guard could potentially be made if Penny's ward can be perfected.
Harry once more flies into the Forbidden Forest to get some Magical timber. This time, he's much more experienced and is gifted a Magically powerful branch from an ancient Ash tree. It's amazing how far the young Artificer has come in his ability to commune with materials and items, huh?
How long will this tense peace last?
Keep reading to find out!
Current Mana Levels
Harry – 27,242
Tonks – 22,490
Penelope – 16,964
Fleur – 17,376
Until I get your reviews, later!