The following day, the sky was clear and bright.

Jerry awoke in Slytherin’s dormitory, greeted by the sight of a massive octopus leisurely swimming past the enchanted glass pane beside him.

Slytherin’s dormitory, nestled in the castle’s basement, was submerged in the depths of the Black Lake.

This unique location allowed the students to witness a daily spectacle of wondrous and magical creatures inhabiting the lake, a defining feature of Slytherin House.

The sight of unique creatures waving and passing by the glass window is something one could never get used to.

Seeing it for the first time, you might get scared or surprised by their existence.

Long after you get used to it, seeing them instead brings a sense of calmness…

During this period, Jerry enjoyed the simplicity of life – regular sleep, daily meals, and genuine immersion in his surroundings.

It was a refreshing change from the extraordinary events that had unfolded.

The clock showed half-past six, and the Malfoy trio still slumbered soundly in their beds.

Rather than waking them, Jerry proceeded to the bathroom, lightly snapping his fingers.

A subtle surge of magic animated his personal toiletries.

The toothpaste cap lifted, a pea-sized amount squeezed onto a levitating toothbrush, a glass filled with water, and a towel wrung itself over the sink.

In less than a minute, Jerry completed his morning routine under the attentive care of these enchanted objects.

Jerry’s morning routine is undeniably one of the simplest things he would do in the entire day compared to everything he planned.

With another snap of his fingers, his pajamas transformed into the Hogwarts fourth-year uniform.

Exiting the dormitory, Jerry made his way to the Great Hall, his early awakening motivated by a desire to avoid the entanglements of his adoring classmates.

At the Great Hall, Hermione had already arrived before him.

She sipped pumpkin porridge while engrossed in her magic book.

Upon noticing Jerry, she waved and greeted him warmly. “Good morning, Jerry! I might not be as gifted as you, but I’m putting in extra effort. The O.W.L.s exam is just around the corner, and I can’t afford to slack off!”

Hermione admired Jerry’s brilliance, but she didn’t want to be a follower.

She might not be the sun, but she aspired to be the moon who stands right next to Jerry. She sought to rise to his level.

The effort of Hermione’s to stay on the same level with Jerry is nothing to be laughed at.

It’s a shame Hermione would never know how far off Jerry is compared to even the Professors of Hogwarts.

Jerry couldn’t help but smile, pointing out, “Aren’t the O.W.L.s exams scheduled for next year? You seem pretty anxious.”

Hermione shook her head, acutely aware that time waits for no one, and she needed to prepare early to excel. “Next year will come around quickly, and it’s best to start preparing now for optimal results.”

With a nod, Jerry gestured encouragement.

He admired Hermione’s unwavering determination and relentless effort, qualities that set her apart.

Although Harry Potter was the focal point of this world, his talent didn’t match Hermione’s.

He was capable, but he often didn’t put in the hard work needed to excel.

Jerry knew that, as someone who understood the threat posed by Voldemort, Harry hadn’t fully capitalized on his potential.

Perhaps it was due to his youth, lack of maturity, and insufficient sense of urgency.

Hermione, on the other hand, was a year ahead of Harry and displayed a level of maturity and dedication beyond her years.

It was these qualities that Jerry admired most, alongside her relentless pursuit of knowledge and unwavering resolve.

After their breakfast, Jerry and Hermione found themselves with some free time before their classes began.

They headed to the grassy lawn next to the Black Lake, basking in the warm morning sun, and engaged in discussions about various magical topics.

The thought of having these normal conversations daily would be farfetched for Jerry compared to the other worlds he’s been treading in.

Typically, it was Hermione who posed questions, and Jerry took his time explaining the intricacies.

Their vibrant conversation continued until just ten minutes before their respective first classes.

Slytherin and Gryffindor’s fourth-year schedules diverged significantly, and their first classes of the day differed—Slytherin had a spell class while Gryffindor had an outdoor herbology lesson.

Meanwhile, in the headmaster’s office on the castle’s eighth floor, Snape stood by the window, observing Jerry and Hermione below, with a rare, somewhat contented smile on his face.

Dumbledore, standing beside him, couldn’t help but express his surprise at Snape’s expression.

Snape’s features returned to their usual stoic state. “I feel as though some old wrongs have been set right,” he said, nodding at the sight of Jerry and Hermione.

Dumbledore, continuing to knit his half-finished sweater, acknowledged the significance of Snape’s statement.

He knew precisely what Snape meant.

“Headmaster, what brings you to me at this early hour?” Snape inquired, his eyes narrowing as he watched Dumbledore resume his knitting.

He couldn’t help but feel baffled by Dumbledore’s daily activities, given the headmaster’s relatively leisurely lifestyle.

Dumbledore stopped his knitting and patted his head as if he had forgotten something.

He retrieved a box from the desk drawer and presented it to Snape. “Take a look at this.”

Snape peered into the box and observed the powerful, magical Philosopher’s Stone within.

He was taken aback and raised his eyes to meet Dumbledore’s gaze. “The Philosopher’s Stone? I thought you said…”

Dumbledore continued calmly, “It had been taken by a wizard from New York before, but last night, as I slept, it reappeared by my bedside, accompanied by a small note expressing gratitude from the same wizard.”

Snape’s eyes widened considerably upon hearing Dumbledore’s explanation. “So, while you were asleep, this wizard from New York managed to place the Philosopher’s Stone near you without your knowledge. This is impossible!”

Hearing Dumbledore’s words made Snape put his hand on his chest. Perhaps hearing such an impossible thing the first thing in the morning is proven to be too much even for him.

Dumbledore was the world’s most formidable wizard, and even Voldemort paled in comparison to him, Snape acknowledged.

However, the notion that someone could evade Dumbledore’s formidable mental perception and approach him was nothing short of astounding.

This development meant that if the wizard had harbored sinister intentions and wasn’t merely returning the Philosopher’s Stone, Dumbledore could have been assassinated in his sleep.

The possibility of a wizard stronger than Dumbledore existing in the world was a chilling revelation.

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Published On: November 29, 2023

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