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Only one chapter today. My brains are literally melting from today's weather. Enjoy!
When I returned to the Chamber of Secrets after lunch, I told Delphine that I had to see Flitwick in two hours. She didn't mind, and I ended up sitting quietly, memorizing various books, which increased in number on my desk. And I hadn't seen any of those in the library. At least in the Restricted Section.
After two hours of studying the literature, a little surprised Delphine that I had no questions, and I was sent to Flitwick. I walked up to the classroom door in Ravenclaw Tower at the same time as the end of class, but the classmates who came out were clearly distracted by some thoughts, so they didn't even notice my absence from class. Hermione was waiting for me at the lectern, where the professor stood on a stand of books. She immediately called me closer.
"Hello, Professor," I nodded to Flitwick, and he took his eyes off the journal.
"Ah, Mr. Knight! Excellent. One moment..." Flitwick quickly made a couple of notes, closed the journal, and jumped briskly off the stand, heading quickly toward the door to his office. "Follow me, Mr. Knight, Miss Granger."
In the professor's office, so cozy and homely with this dark wood trim, various furniture, and more, there were elements of chaos - lots of different small and large boxes and bundles, bars of different types of wood, bones, a bunch of transparent little boxes with different minerals and crystals.
"I was so anxious to check the package that I opened it all up and laid it out," the professor explained. "We won't be studying here, so I have to ask you to help me put everything in that big trunk over there."
Where the professor nodded, there was indeed a large elongated trunk. It had two handles on each end but no lid at all. Together with the professor and under his guidance, we stacked everything quickly and neatly.
"There's weight relief out there, so feel free to take it and follow me."
Hermione and I took the really, very lightweight trunk on both sides, followed the professor out of his office, and left the classroom. After walking literally a dozen yards down the corridors, the professor waved his wand in front of a large painting, and it0 pulled aside, opening a wide and high passage.
"Watch out for the step," the professor deftly stepped up into the passage, and we followed him.
Just two meters and we entered a large and very spacious laboratory. Everywhere along the walls were desks and stands, simple and comfortable, without design intricacies. There were several rows of shelves with boxes, parcels, and chests at the far end of the laboratory. Everything was signed and neat. The unsophisticated visitor would say that along the right wall, under a dome of special unknown charms, was a potions laboratory with three tables and three cauldrons. Still, a pile of specific liquids, retorts, distillation flasks, and a very complex ritualistic diagram in the middle of one of the tables made it clear that it was an alchemist's lab.
"Lay out your things while I'll bring you up to date. Well, I will help, of course," the professor beckoned us closer to the center with a smile, and as we began to take things out of the chest, he spoke.
"Magic accumulators are a rather fresh area of magical science, despite the seemingly obvious pluses. However, researchers are faced with a number of problems that need to be solved. The first is materials. As you must have already understood from the books, the scatter of magical capacity of different materials is not so great, and this capacity itself is somewhat insignificant. Organic materials of still living creatures have the most capacity. There are exceptions for some chimeras, but again they are insignificant. Okay, this one right here, please..."
The professor pointed to one of the free tables when it came to various crystals and minerals in transparent cubic boxes.
"What was I saying? Oh, yes! Among the various materials, as you know, quartz crystals, diamonds, and other silicon or carbon structures with or without various impurities have the greatest magical capacity. Yes, yes, don't be surprised. I have studied the chemistry of ordinary people for a greater understanding of materials. Carbon ones, for the most part, can accumulate, and silicon ones can channel magic. But their capacity makes them somewhat unprofitable - a diamond the size of a man's eye can store the amount of magic that a wizard's body produces at peak load in three minutes. It's enough for spells and charms, but even for average ritual schemes and more or less complex charms and spells, it might not be enough. And the abrupt withdrawal of magic from the crystal, sometimes necessary for some purposes, can easily ruin it. It's too expensive and hard to obtain, and it can also be a one-time thing."
"That's not a rosy picture."
"That's nothing!" the professor somehow exclaimed cheerfully, levitating a bundle of unknown contents. "There is a far more serious problem here. You've probably noticed that once magic leaves the body, the wizard loses control over it very quickly? It's the same with storages! I take a crystal, pump it with my magic, and in a few minutes, I won't be able to use it properly!"
"And how can we help you then?" a reasonable question came from Hermione when we were done with laying things out.
"You're damn good at runes and arithmancy, but just as important, your Muggle upbringing. I dare to hope that you have not yet too much merged into the wizarding world and can look at things from different angles."
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