Several more days passed, and March arrived in the blink of an eye.

With the advent of March, the weather showed signs of improvement. Although the outdoors still harbored a biting cold wind that could cause discomfort to hands and faces, there was a slight clearing in the atmosphere.

As anticipated by Skyler, the investigation into the missing students reached a frustrating impasse. Despite the collaborative efforts of Dumbledore and the two Aurors, who meticulously questioned senior students and thoroughly searched portraits, statues, and ghosts, no leads were uncovered.

The families of the four missing students, though dissatisfied, found themselves unable to prolong their agitation.

Dumbledore, the most formidable wizard of the century and the spiritual leader of the European wizarding community, had willingly invested time and energy in the investigation.

However, his cooperation was an act of goodwill rather than an admission of helplessness. He was far from being a mere figurine at the mercy of others, and he was determined to prevent further intrusion by the Ministry of Magic into the sacred grounds of Hogwarts.

In Dumbledore’s eyes, Hogwarts was a sanctuary of education, and he steadfastly resisted any encroachment of politics onto the campus!

There is no space for any political or hidden agendas promoting any family’s important needs in this place. If he caught the slight air for it, Dumbledore wouldn’t even hesitate to reprimand their connection with Hogwarts right away!

The four families who suffered the loss of their children reluctantly conceded defeat. As for whether they clandestinely convened to hatch new schemes, that is a matter left unexplored here for the time being.

Meanwhile, for others, life continued on its course as they pleased.

Superficially, everything remained unchanged, but those caught in the whirlpool understood that, in reality, everything had undergone a profound transformation.

As mentioned earlier, despite their shared philosophy of pure-blood supremacy, pure-blood families were not a tightly-knit alliance. Each family harbored its own clandestine thoughts, driven by considerations of family interests, growth, and survival.

The Malfoy family may have presented a facade of prosperity, but behind the scenes, numerous pure-blood families looked down upon the upstart Malfoys. Families like Selwyn, Carrow, Avery, Yaxley, and even the decimated Lestrange and Rowle secretly entertained thoughts of uniting to suppress the Malfoy family.

The second-tier families, including Wakanda and Black, were initially affiliated with these leading families. However, witnessing the decline of their patrons, they gradually entertained aspirations independent of their once-mighty allies.

Following the students’ disappearance, the Wakanda family reveled in their strategic acumen. By cultivating a relationship with the Malfoy family, Skyler’s collaboration with them in the business realm proved fruitful, leading to significant wealth accumulation. Narielle, the family’s legitimate daughter, achieved her desired position as the sixth-grade prefect.

Conversely, the Black family, having made a misguided choice by siding with the wrong faction, faced severe repercussions. Mr. Black, once holding a director-level position in the Department of Legal Enforcement, found himself unjustly suppressed. A minor transgression led to his reassignment to the Centaur Liaison Office within the Beast Management and Control Department.

As common knowledge dictates, the Centaur Liaison Office serves no practical purpose, given the proud centaurs’ refusal to engage with it. In essence, it served as a position of no consequence, indicating Mr. Blige’s sidelining from the corridors of power.

Matters worsened as Miles Black, the family’s highly anticipated heir, inexplicably vanished. Those with keen insight foresaw the impending demise of the Black family.

In the midst of these transformations, the Wakanda and Black families stand as emblematic instances of conspicuous change.

As the landscape shifts, prudent families, unled by foolish heads, keenly observe the disparate fates of these two families. Witnessing these outcomes, they discern the emerging trends and promptly adapt, making fresh decisions and choices.

This flux manifests itself in personnel reallocations within political circles, business realms, and even among student factions within Hogwarts.

Skyler’s standing further solidified post-Druela’s funeral and the second Triwizard Tournament event.

Druela’s funeral served as a turning point, enticing neutrals, observers, moderates, and profit-oriented factions from pure-blood families.

They perceived opportunities in Skyler’s demonstrated stance. Despite not securing the highest score in the second tournament event, Skyler’s innovative approach garnered unparalleled attention. Dumbledore’s commendation of Skyler’s Transfiguration spread widely.

Extensive media coverage ensured that Skyler’s groundbreaking Transfiguration methods became known throughout the European wizarding world, reaching as far as China. From distant shores, Chang He caught wind of it and sent a letter to Skyler to verify the details.

Fame is akin to a snowball, accumulating steadily until it reaches a critical mass, at which point it undergoes exponential growth.

Spearheaded by influential families like the Carrows, McLaggens, and Runcorns, who extended gestures of goodwill and friendship to the Malfoy family, the banner bearing Skyler’s name swiftly unfurled.

In response, numerous smaller and medium-sized families, along with business-oriented ones that had initially remained on the sidelines, observed this development and promptly followed suit.

Fearful of being left behind, they hastened to approach the Malfoy family, expressing their allegiance and seeking sanctuary. Even families formerly aligned with Selwyn, Avery, and Yaxley discreetly shifted their allegiance, anxious about openly changing their affiliations and joining the Malfoy family camp.

The momentum of the Malfoy family soared once more, reminiscent of the peak reached during the era of the tenth-generation family head, Satimus.

After Draco conveyed his sentiments to Lucius in a letter, the latter reluctantly abandoned the pursuit of staunchly supporting pure-blood supremacy.

In his previous life, the concept of pure-blood supremacy had been deeply instilled in him by family and friends, embedding the idea of pure blood firmly within his psyche.

When Skyler initially proposed a new direction for the family, even though Skyler was his beloved biological son, it left him profoundly discontented.

However, that doesn’t imply he lacks discernment. In his view, Skyler’s current success and the apparent prosperity of the Malfoy family are superficial.

He is acutely aware that the families and forces forming alliances, making friends, attaching themselves, and seeking refuge are essentially flocking to Skyler. The alliance is not so much with Malfoy but, in reality, an alliance with Skyler himself.

To be blunt, Skyler has effectively stirred up turbulence in the British wizarding world and has become one of its focal points.

Presently, Skyler is well-informed about every major event transpiring on and even throughout the UK. This is facilitated by the four house elves who continuously apparate around the UK, tirelessly transferring information from various locations to Skyler or Daphne’s hands.

Except for the truly crucial information that the elves must report directly to Skyler, he typically delegates other matters, such as the alliances with small and medium-sized families, to Daphne.

As the eldest daughter of the Greengrass family, Daphne underwent family training from a young age. She is well-versed in the intricacies and power dynamics among various families. As a noble lady, she has devised enough stratagems to handle situations adeptly.

Her presence commands obedience, and encountering her (when the House-elf uses Apparition to bring her out) is akin to encountering Skyler.

Skyler himself remains concealed in the laboratory within the suitcase space.

He is aware that the time has come for the Serpentis Vigil Club to enter the planned second stage.

Before that, he still needs to master a particular magic!


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Published On: March 19, 2024

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