For the rest of those two lessons, Karkaroff remained stationed behind Snape’s lectern, determined not to let Snape slip away after class.

In order to eavesdrop on Karkaroff’s conversation with Snape, Harry intentionally knocked over a bottle of anteater bile when the bell rang with just two minutes left.

As the other students clamored toward the exit, Harry seized the opportunity to stay behind, ostensibly squatting behind the crucible to clean the spilled liquid with a rag.

Skyler also opted to stay in the classroom. He signaled for Daphne to join the departing students and leave first. Walking over to Harry, he pulled out his wand, “Clean!”

The spilled anteater bile vanished instantly, leaving no trace behind. “Alright, Potter, get out of here!” Skyler instructed Harry to leave with an unmistakable tone.

“Tch, both you Malfoys always have more than a reason to bother me!” He had no choice but to depart despite Harry’s reluctance, losing his excuse to linger.

“Malfoy, what are you doing here?” Karkaroff inquired, noting the commotion caused by Skyler and Harry.

“Professor Karkaroff, I believe I’m qualified to hear what you want to discuss with our beloved Professor Snape. I intentionally sent away Potter, who sought to eavesdrop on your conversation, and remained here,” Skyler stated bluntly.

He harbored no fear of Karkaroff. With his current reputation, power, and strength, individuals and factions might instill fear in him, but Karkaroff wasn’t one of them.

Snape chimed in, “Karkaroff, let him stay. He’s right, and he has the qualifications.”

Facing Snape’s somber yet resolute expression and then glancing at Skyler, Karkaroff seemed to grasp something. He relented, saying, “Since you insist, fine!”

“What’s the urgency?” Snape inquired in a low voice.

“See for yourself,” Karkaroff raised the left sleeve of his robe, revealing the dark mark of the Death Eaters on his arm—a skull emitting a long serpent. Currently, there was a subtle magical fluctuation. “Did you notice it? It’s never been this conspicuous.”

Karkaroff’s tone conveyed unease and anxiety. “You should understand what this signifies, right?”

“He Who Must Not Be Named is making a return from the dead,” Skyler stated abruptly.

Karkaroff’s complexion instantly paled. Despite entertaining this notion in his mind, having the suspicion voiced so explicitly unnerved him. Karkaroff wasn’t lacking in strength; he held a prominent position among numerous Death Eaters, which was evident in his role as the headmaster of one of the three major magical schools in Europe.

However, his temperament, marked by a fear of death, made it difficult for him to confront the looming return of the mysterious figure.

“How can you be so certain?” Karkaroff inquired with trembling lips.

“It’s not that hard to make such an assumption based on the happenings around,” Skyler articulated with ease. “Ever since the Dark Mark surfaced during the Quidditch World Cup, I initiated a close monitoring of intelligence from various sources.”

“There were two specific pieces of information that captured my attention,” Skyler continued. “Firstly, in Little Hangleton, a small English town, a Muggle named Bryce went missing. He was tasked with guarding Riddle House…”

“A Muggle died? Riddle House? What relevance does that person have?” Karkaroff queried impatiently.

A subtle smile played upon the corners of Skyler’s mouth. “Riddle… that surname belongs to that person, and Riddle House is the place where he grew up in!”

Karkaroff swallowed nervously. “And then? You mentioned two incidents that caught your attention, so what was the second incident?”

Confident in Karkarov’s acceptance of his intelligence, Skyler proceeded, “The second incident occurred in Albania. You’re likely aware of the speculations circulating in various circles that the Man Who Shall Not Be Named didn’t truly perish after losing power but rather concealed himself in the Albanian wilderness, biding his time for his loyal followers to locate him and aid in his resurgence.”

“My intelligence indicates that someone witnessed Peter Pettigrew, presumed dead, appearing there. One night, he rendezvoused with Bertha Jorkins, a female employee of the British Ministry of Magic. Following their departure from the hotel, neither of them was ever seen again, and Jorkins was declared missing by the Ministry of Magic.”

“Considering the aforementioned incidents, my most plausible speculation is that Peter Pettigrew is, in fact, a Death Eater, and his appearance in Albania suggests his involvement in aiding his former master’s resurrection. The disappearances of Jorkins and the Muggle named Bryce likely play a role in the Man Who Shall Not Be Named’s plan for a resurrection.”

Karkaroff was taken aback by this revelation. The missing individuals were unknown to him, and he struggled to comprehend why the Man Who Shall Not Be Named would target them.

“But there is no way he would be coming for us, right?” Karkaroff asked.

While he acknowledged the Man Who Shall Not Be Named’s penchant for violence, the idea that their deaths could facilitate his resurrection seemed implausible.

Observing Karkaroff’s skepticism, Skyler sneered, “Are you questioning my credibility?”

Karkaroff, casting a vague glance at Snape, hesitated before admitting, “I don’t fully understand. How does killing these two individuals contribute to his plan for resurrection?”

Skyler shook his head dismissively. “Your imagination is lacking. Who is Jorkins? An employee of the Ministry of Magic. Isn’t it conceivable that she possesses valuable information? I, for one, find details about this year’s Triwizard Tournament at Hogwarts quite useful.”

“Ah!” Snape exclaimed, a spark of realization in his eyes as he looked at Skyler. “Do you mean…?”

“Hold on a moment, what are you two discussing? Why is everything so cryptic? Please tell me about everything you’ve been talking about.” Karkaroff, feeling increasingly frustrated, couldn’t make sense of the conversation.

Skyler regarded Karkaroff with a measure of disdain as if addressing someone with a thoroughly dull intellect. “We’ve discussed it this far, and you still can’t grasp it? Is this how the headmaster of a wizarding school operates?” Seeing Karkaroff’s face turned livid, Skyler decided to refrain from further taunting. “Let me pose a question: If a person only has a damaged soul remaining, how could they be resurrected?”

Karkaroff muttered to himself, deep in thought, “Body possession? No, that’s not a sustainable solution; there will be a backlash sooner or later… The Philosopher’s Stone? It’s rumored to have been destroyed… In that case, only one possibility remains…” He appeared to have a revelation, and his expression turned exceedingly solemn.

“You’ve come to the same conclusion, haven’t you? It’s a ritual involving flesh and blood sacrifice. This ceremony demands the father’s bones, the servant’s flesh, and the enemy’s blood.” Skyler smiled, his tone light, “Bryce, the man who mysteriously disappeared, provided the bones from Riddle House. Peter Pettigrew can supply the servant’s flesh. Now, the only missing piece is-“

“Harry Potter!” Karkaroff grasped the significance immediately, his eyes widening in realization. He couldn’t help but exclaim, “The Man Who Shall Not Be Named is after his blood!”

“It took you quite a while to finally get the answer right, Professor Karkaroff. I was expecting more from you!” Skyler teased with a sly smile.

Seeing how confident Skyler is while they’re discussing Voldemort made Karkaroff question more about his capabilities.


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Published On: March 24, 2024

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