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Dark Lore: Occlumency

Incantation: None

As I have stated before, nothing is innately dark or light, merely shades in between. However, as Legilimency's natural tendency is dark due to its nature, Occlumency tends towards the light by its nature. Protection of oneself, and protective spells in general, lean towards the light, though of course there are ways to twist their nature and effects, like with all magic. So, if not innately a Dark art, why am I writing about it here? The answer is simple...I would be a fool not to consider such forces in my research of spells like the Imperius and Cruciatus Curses which directly affect the mind. As it obviously has an impact on my research and results, I am making sure to learn more about it, and I see no reason not to record my knowledge here.

Occlumency is the act of magically closing ones mind. It is ancient, and has existed since medieval times...for an account of its creation refer to my writings on Legilimency. It can theoretically prevent a Legilimens from accessing ones thoughts and feelings, or influencing them. This, however, depends solely on the training the Occlumens and the opposing Legilimens have had and their willpower. As noted in the Imperius Curse research, there is also some blood heritage effect where pure-bloods seem naturally more resistant than muggles or mudbloods.

The most basic form of Occlumency involves clearing ones mind — making it "blank and empty" — in order to prevent a Legilimens from perceiving ones emotions and thoughts. Of course this only prevents a Legilimens from using their basic skills on the target to glean information or emotions on a most basic level. A Legilimens could of course attempt to break into the Occlumens' mind, but that requires a lot more time and effort.

More advanced Occlumency involves suppressing only the thoughts, emotions, and memories that would contradict whatever it is an Occlumens wishes a Legilimens to believe; hence, it is not obvious that Occlumency is being used even if the person is lying. It requires a great deal of will power, as with resisting the Imperius Curse, as well as a high degree of mental and emotional discipline.

This more advanced form of the discipline comes from time, effort, and practice. It requires the Occlumens to enter their own mind, and through the use of mental training and mental blocks, keep those things someone might be searching for protected. It requires great foresight on the Occlumens part due to the fact that they must set up these protections beforehand, preemptively so there is nothing for the Legillimens to find. It is nearly impossible to set up this sort of protection on the fly without the Legilimens noticing, and thus the Occlumens must know what information or emotions someone might try to detect from them and set up barriers before the encounter occurs.

Advanced Occlumency comes from entering ones own mind, and setting up protections, safeguards, and traps in the mind. Exploring ones own mind can be a rewarding experience as you learn more about yourself, and to accept that which you are. As I doubt anyone will ever find these notes, I do not see the harm in detailing my own mind here for my own research purposes. I will also include the basics of the discipline and how to set up basic defenses. Of course the ability to defend ones mind relies solely on their own willpower and craftiness...the mind is a playground for the clever and those will skill will be able to defend it fiercely and in ways nobody else could expect.

Before expanding on the chambers of the mind, there are some truths that must always be remembered while working with it. First, the owner of the mind has the ultimate power there, and yet they can be beaten by their own mind and become powerless inside. I have never had trouble inside the mind of another, and I attribute this to the fact that in real life they all acknowledge me as master or fear me greatly, and thus in their minds they are also powerless. While in defense of ones own mind, if it is remembered and believed one is in ultimate control, they are impenetrable. I believe this is why I have never seen a mind completely able to prevent intrusion or stop a Unforgiveable curse...they do not actually believe it is possible and thus fail at least some of the time.

Secondly, you must never forget that your mind is constantly working, and if it is not working for your purposes, it must be working against them. You can change anything inside your own mind for a time, but if you do not make it work with your mind, it will eventually be rejected and return to how it previously was. You can create any number of traps, barriers, guardians, or other defenses, and if you do so in a cunning fashion where your mind accepts them as part of itself, it will maintain and even power and repair them for you. If not, it will eventually destroy them itself potentially leaving you vulnerable. While it is much more beneficial to work with you mind than against it, it is also possible to reshape your mind to accept things it would not have previously.

Finally you cannot, without great consequence, prevent the mind from how its indented to work using Occlumency. In my experiments I have set up powerful mental blocks inside a subject's mind and repaired it daily to keep anything from specific chambers from moving into the antechamber, and thus the subject's mind. While the results were promising and there are a great many short-term uses for this technique, such as soldiers who cannot feel fear or pain, the long term results destroys the section of the mind you block and it is utterly destroyed. While this does not kill the subject, they lose a part of themselves and become mentally handicapped in some way. Theoretically it may be possible to recreate these portions of the mind to heal these sort of mental problems, but such a line of research is irrelevant to my purposes and will thus stay theoretical.

The mind is separated into six parts or chambers. There is always a central chamber which links to the other five, and which is the entrance and exit of the mind. My antechamber has been designed to resemble Hogwarts. It has taken a great many years to rebuild and reshape my mind as it must be done with great care so nothing is lost or misplaced, but it is now an impregnable fortress. Everyone who enters must go through the main gates of the castle, through a myriad of traps and defenses. Naturally it still links to the other chambers, but I have hidden those entrances in the most cunning way I could divise...in plain sight.

There are doors in the castle which lead to other parts of the castle, and there are those that lead to other chambers in my mind...but as they are identical any intruder would not be able to determine if they had in fact moved from the antechamber and into some other portion of my mind or not. All of the chambers have been reworked and redesigned to be a larger part of the whole, which is of course how they function in the mind, and though doing this I discovered that my making the separate chambers of the mind work in tandem it has increased my mental abilities themselves. I am able to think more quickly, recall information faster and more accurately, more easily control my body functions such as stamina and heartbeat, emotions, and of course my logic and problem solving. It has taken decades of work to re-work my mind into such a streamlined tool, and I had to overcome many problems to make it accept my vision for what it should resemble, yet I will say without a doubt it was worth the time and effort. I have always been one of the most talented wizards in the world...and now I am second to none.

My other chambers all are places in the school, and as mentioned before through doors or portals as their entrances, but with no way for one to know you have moved from the antechamber. My emotion chamber is where the Headmaster's Office resides which was constructed by Godric for those who will eventually replace us...as Godric and I have engaged in many a fiery debate there it seemed appropriate. Also, it is as well guarded as is the real version, by passwords and traps. My Logic chamber is hidden down in the Chamber of Secrets. It is most well protected as none can enter save myself, or possibly one of my heirs, and if anyone was to penetrate my mind, it is the place I would most want to protect from intruders. Of course it resembles the Chamber in the real castle where I have spent so much time working on my research and experiments, with the cool dampness under the lake. My memory chamber is the Room of Requirement, which I designed and created in the castle. I did so in real life so that my mind would accept it as part of itself and allow me to restyle that part of my mind as such. One attempting to penetrate my memories would take years just to find the chamber, much less find what they were looking for inside as it changes to meet its users need...and who truly needs to examine my memories save myself? The Motion chamber is the Great Hall since it ias always in constant motion with all the students and their childish antics. It was designed by Rowena and the elements of motion and wind are dominant in that room. Finally, my Basic functions are protected in the kitchens that Helena so loved, dug out of the earth by her magic. One does not generally visit such a modest place, and thus the chamber is well protected there.

While I will admit I have not been able to fully flesh out my Experiments on the topic and its relation to the other topics written about in this tome due to a severe lack of those whos minds are trained in this art; On those I have been able to experiment on I have found a number of uses for this discipline. These include a resistance to anything which affects solely the mind, including Veritaserum, Posession, Mind-Altering Curses such as the Imperius or Cruciatus Curses, and various potions and poisons which affect the mind. While under these effects, a trained Occlumens is able to enter their own mind and resist these effects to some extent. The effect is of course dependent on the training and experience of the Occlumens, and while I have never seen one completely resist the effects of one of the Unforgiveable Curses, I do theorize it is possible (see my notes on the Imperius Curse).


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