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One of the best things about being in the innermost part of the Underground vault was the peace — in fact, the entire Underground vault was a delight to work in. Quinn didn't have to travel through potentially life-threatening dangerous trials like those inside the Aquatic vault to get to the innermost region. He didn't have to work with something capable of wiping his life in less than a fraction of a second like Absolute Zero (which Quinn still didn't know so much about). Finally, nothing messed with his mind and emotions, and because of that, he could work while being 100% of himself.
Here there was just him and one big-ass stratum of marble waiting for Quinn to work on to repair it to its former glory — whatever it was. Quinn still had to figure out what the runes etched into the marbles did, but he was making progress.
Right now, Quinn sat above the marble platform with a plethora of papers laid in front of him, spreading out and away from him as his eyes roamed on every single page visible to him.
"Nine layers," commented Quinn to himself, "nine layers worth of runes — every layer not just connected to its adjacent layer, but to all other eight layers. What was the creator thinking while building this. . . . why did he even need these many layers."
To put it to comparison, Quinn's Recon was a three-layer construct, MagiFax was a five-layer construct, the containment and defensive mechanism that kept Absolute Zero in check was a seven-layer construction, and that was already a complicated structure. Plus, the addition of layers wasn't linear; the addition of every subsequent layer was a more significant addition than the preceding one. — to see a nine-layered runic construct was something Quinn couldn't even begin thinking what it would result in — the usage when it would complete.
"Well, at least, I have the complete plans with me," said Quinn while looking at the papers — he had successfully figured out what the original construct was before the roof collapsed and damaged the runes — right now, Quinn was sure that he knew all of the runes and the connection map to get the construct working.
"Time to get to work," he said, getting up as the papers formed a stack and floated near him. "Now, where to start," he hummed. He turned around on the spot to isolate a starting point, and as he did, the paper stack shuffled — bringing the relevant page to the top of the stack.
"Alright, I will start there," he stared west, choosing to begin with his favorite direction, "but first. . . ." Quinn closed his eyes and took a deep breath. When he opened his eyes, his vision had changed. Now, to Quinn, everything on the marble was divided into squares of one foot marked by red lines.
"Casting illusion on myself," he muttered, blinking his eyes, but the red grid remained, "I'm not sure if I should like this or not."
"Whatever, let's get to work."
Quinn sat down on the ground with his legs crossed. His focus was on just one box in the massive grid. Quinn placed his right hand in the middle on the marble stone with palm flat resting against the cold surface.
"Let's see, what do I have to do here." Quinn read the page on the top of the stack and read the detailed blueprints written on it.
The magic trickled from his core through his hands into the marble, seeping into the stone.
There were runes engraved on the marble, but they had been worn down with the passage of time and damaged from the fallen debris. Quinn's magic fixed that — the rune engraving which looked like they had been etched with a hammer and chisel, crafted by a grandmaster, renewed their original charm and straightened out, smoothed down every surface while the cracks filled up by shifting and merging the stone together.
Within a minute, the marble top had gone from ancient to something that looked it had been freshly carved.
But Quinn didn't smile in admiration or stopped funneling his magic; instead, he made his magic drip down deeper — as previously mentioned, there were nine layers of runes, and the carving on the surface was only layer-one — eight other layers etched inside the stone remained to be fixed and cleaned up.
Ten minutes later, Quinn removed his hand and breathed out, "Alright, one block done," he looked around and smacked his lips together, "over a hundred more to go."
From then onwards, Quinn spent two hours every day for an entire fortnight to complete the renovation of the carvings and another three days to prime the marble by imbibing it in potions and solutions to get the stone ready for conducting magic.
"To the worms below and birds above, thank all that this is finally ready," clapped Quinn, clenching his fist. He stood in the middle of an intricately carved, beautiful, and, more importantly, clean rune structure.
"I should probably do one last check," he said, pushing his magic into the magic while flipping through the paper stack, which was now a file, "uh-huh — north, done. . . . south. . . . east. . . . west. . . . hmm, alright checked and done."
"Now, let's what this actually does," smiled Quinn while humming.
He looked down, watching the spot he was standing — the middle of the marble platform was rune free, at least on the surface. This was the spot where he needed to input magic to start the magic.
"This one will need a lot to get this beauty up and running," he squatted down and grinned, "let's see if I can fill its appetite."
While large-scale runes were more powerful, they needed a lot more juice to get working. While Quinn had time-to-time reached the limit of the magic, he could push out at once; he never had, not once, ever encountered a single task that would exhaust his capacity — or even come close to it.
It took dynamic plans that were constantly developed and updated throughout the years of daily magic usage every single day so that Quinn could exhaust his magic by the end of his day — by doing that, Quinn's magic was abundant than ever, much larger than what ordinary magicals could even imagine — Quinn had no doubt had more enormous reserves than anyone in Hogwarts and the British Isles. . . . that included the white-bearded, half-moon glasses old man with sparkling eyes and maybe even the prime Dark Lord, who was currently stuck in a homunculus body.
It was already a surprise that with his reserves, Quinn could exhaust his magic every single day — if someone saw how and how much magic Quinn used every day, they would classify him as a. . . . monster.
Quinn started to discharge in waves and waves of magic. Magic comparable to rivers started ours into the marble and the runes. The white marble patterned with black splash patterns began to glow in rainbow lights.
"Oh, oh, it's working," smiled Quinn, but then the glow started to weaken, "huh, it's not enough — need more?" It brought a deeper grin to Quinn's face as he started to push more and more magic into the stone.
"It's getting stronger!" and with it, the light in Quinn's eyes flickered, and soon, they were showing their purple glory.
Hroom. . . . a thrum spread from the marble into the ground reaching every corner of the Underground vault.
Quinn stopped, stood up before running and jumping out from the marble stratum, and then he watched the show. Rainbow lights grew so strong that the orbs of light that Quinn cast for light disappeared within the presence of the stronger light — he had to shield his eyes from the light that was still bright even though his eyes were closed.
When the light finally subsided, Quinn opened his eyes and peeked around to observe what had happened, but nothing stood out.
"Did something happened?"
He walked to the marble stratum and touched the stone to see if he could diagnose the problem. "Ouch! Hot, tssss!" he pulled back his hand because the stone was skin-searing hot.
Quinn looked at his hand, and he swore he could literally feel the heat from his wound travel through his body. "Man, that was hot, shit!" he cursed and healed his hand of the severe burn.
"What's the temperature on this?" when Quinn checked, the stone was at room temperature, "huh, it cooled off so quickly? Hmm. . . . well there were some runes in there that could be interpreted for cooling purposes."
"But what the hell, man," complained Quinn, "did I make a mistake somewhere? That doesn't seem likely." He went over his notes, plans, and memories, but nothing stood out to him.
"Does it mean that my plans are completely wrong?" he questioned his entire research as he couldn't find anything that stood out.
Quinn couldn't believe that he had made an error, so he started to look around and finally decided to collect samples — he collected a piece of marble, the surrounding soil, and the underground plants that had grown around the stratum.
"There must be some change; the tests will surely reveal something."
It was getting late, and Quinn decided to end for today. He pulled on his Noir gear and exited the Forbidden Forest with the samples in tow. He hid in an isolated and changed back into his Hogwarts uniform robes before stepping into the castle.
"That was a good magical workout," if there was one thing that he was satisfied with, then it was the magic exertion.
Quinn turned around when he heard the flutter of a bird's wings, which was strange as he hadn't seen a bird when he passed by.
"Hmm?" And as he had thought, there was no flying bird or even a stray bird in sight. "Must've flown away. . . . Oh boy, I'm feeling famished — I wonder what's for dinner."
- (Scene Break) -
It was quidditch Saturday, and another tournament game had gone by successfully. Right now, Quinn stood by the stadium exit, seeing the guests off.
"Mr. Zangba, the tenth time in the row; look forward to seeing you once again, next week."
"Mrs. Van Pelt, how's your cat doing? Is she feeling any better?"
"Ah, Mr. Straus! I wasn't expecting you today; St. Mungos has been keeping you busy these days, hasn't it?"
Tracey stood by Quinn's side and watched as he talked to anyone who made eye contact with him — be it new or someone he already had contact with; Quinn spoke with everyone as if they were his friends.
This was vital. Let's say while seeing a play, one enjoyed the beginning and the middle parts immensely, but if that end — that climax doesn't follow up after the amazing buildup, then people tend to be disappointed; it taints their view of the other fabulous experience. . . . his tournament games were exciting, full of ups-and-downs, there was sufficient buildup and with riveting endings, no need to worry about the experience — but if he did this, then everyone will remember this moment as the last memory of their visit here and who doesn't like to be remembered.
'Then they will come the next week and week after that until the tournament ends.'
Quinn had to do this because he had started the tournament with zero cash. He had used all of the sponsorship resources in the setup. As such, to keep the tournament running week-after-week, Quinn needed a high attendance to keep bringing in the cash.
"Ah, Quinn! It has been a while. How have you been?"
Quinn turned to the voice and saw the entire Potter family with James Potter in the lead. The Senior Auror looked satisfied and happy as he greeted Quinn.
"I'm doing just fine, Mr. Potter. How about you? Did you enjoy the game?"
"It was a delight," beamed James Potter. The few tournament games he could attend were one of the few things he got to enjoy in his busy Auror life — there were perks of being a Senior Auror; James could sneak out once in a while, and as Quinn's format had a limited duration, it ensured that he could return soon.
Quinn nodded with a smile before greeting the rest of the family, "Professor, twins, good to see that all of you're still supporting the tournament. . . . well, one of you plays in the tournament while the other two actively participate in betting."
Lily blushed at the mention of her partaking in the school betting while Ivy shrugged, she was turning her allowance into more spending money, and she liked it.
Suddenly a face peeked from between James and Lily and spoke, "Ah, so you're Quinn West, huh. You're the guy who kissed the Veela in front of everybody. . . . nice!"
"Sirius!" rebuked Lily.
"Actually, she. . . . never mind, yes I'm Quinn West, and you're Sirius Black, Senior Auror."
"In the flesh," smiled Sirius as he stepped forward to shake hands with Quinn.
"It's nice to meet you, Mr. Black," said Quinn and shook hands with Sirius.
Sirius looked Quinn up and down and nodded. "I like you, kid."
Quinn released Sirius' hand and nodded back. ". . . .Okay."
"So, tell me, kid. How did you bag the Veela? Do you have any tips?" Sirius Black dressed like an aristocratic man, but his personality was so roguish that it felt contradictory, but he could pull it together with overflowing self-confidence.
"Sirius! Would you stop with that?!" exclaimed Lily; one would think that after so many years, she would get used to it, but she wasn't.
But Sirius ignored her and continued to gaze at Quinn with a smile.
"Contrary to popular belief, I'm not dating Fleur," replied Quinn. No one believed when he said that sentence.
". . . .Really?" said Sirius. He reached towards his back in a grabbing before he found and shoulder and pulled Ivy to the front, "how about this one right here? I think one is prettier than her mum, and her mum is beautiful, you know," he pointed at Lily standing behind him, "you can see it for yourself, see?"
The two redheads of the group started to shake. Without context, it seemed they were embarrassed, but Quinn knew the context and stepped back.
Ivy whipped out her wand and straight out attacked Sirius with a stunning spell. But Sirius swatted away the spell with his suddenly out wand with flowing effortlessness. Sirius stared at Ivy and shrugged, "Not my first time, little lady. Not my first time."
A spell came from his back, but Sirius raised his wand, and it struck an instantly conjured protego shield. He turned back while twirling his wand and once again shrugged, this time at Lily.
"You're really predictable, you know. You will have to do much better if you want to hit me. You should really know that I don't go making fun of people without having the confidence to defend myself — and I'm an Auror, so it comes with the craft."
Ivy made a face at Sirius with a slight blush on her face.
Sirius raised his hand and poked Ivy in her nose with a smile, "Boop," and grinned happily.
Quinn watched Sirius Black and his first impression? He liked him.
"Well, it's nice to meet you, Mr. Black. But now I'll take my leave."
"Oh, sure," smiled Sirius, "let's catch up the next time I come to see a game."
Quinn saw of the Potter family and the Black tag-along, and as he turned around to also leave, he saw a black crow perched just above the stadium gate.
"Hmm, is that a crow or raven. . . . it's massive, so I guess a raven."
Then he walked away with the raven caw-ing in the background.
Quinn West - MC - I can't be wrong.
Sirius Black - Senior Auror - I like having fun.
Ivy Potter - Making money - Is still trying to attack a dog.
FictionOnlyReader - Author - Day-4 of 4 of end-terms is over. . . . but, at the end, during the last exam (subject 8) was cancelled mid-exam. . . . 1 hour into the paper (90 minute paper). The college goofed up by giving us the exact same paper as last year (which we had from our seniors.) I had a five-day break from college. . . . but now? Now, I'll have to wait in tension about the reschedule.
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The link is in the synopsis!