Under the watchful eyes of Snape, Skyler and Karkaroff formalized their alliance by signing an “Unbreakable Vow.” The terms were explicit: Skyler committed to providing Karkaroff with a secure sanctuary, ensuring the latter’s safety.

In return, Karkaroff was obligated to grant Skyler unrestricted access to the entire Durmstrang premises, with a particular focus on the forbidden library section that captivated Skyler’s desires.

The quandary of securing a safe house was easily resolved through the implementation of a Fidelius Charm. This enchantment, if cast, would prevent Voldemort from pinpointing Karkaroff’s whereabouts even if he attempted to use the Dark Mark to track him.

As for the question of why Karkaroff didn’t employ this strategy in the original narrative, the answer lay in the challenge of finding a trustworthy secret keeper.

The chosen individual had to possess unwavering loyalty, exceptional intelligence to avoid betrayals, youthfulness to prevent complications related to sudden demise, and sufficient strength to fend for themselves in the midst of war.

Crucially, the secret keeper needed the wisdom to prioritize self-preservation over impulsively joining the front lines of battle. These stringent criteria made the task a complex undertaking.

Having secured an unbreakable contract, Skyler unquestionably fulfilled all the aforementioned prerequisites.

Following the subjugation of Igor Karkaroff, Skyler engaged in discussions with him to formulate their next course of action.

With ample time before Voldemort’s return, Karkaroff could remain at Hogwarts, maintaining his facade as the headmaster.

Despite Karkaroff’s profound fear of death and avaricious nature, his physical prowess was formidable. As long as he recognized someone stronger, guaranteeing his personal security, the risk of rebellion was minimal.

Karkaroff proved to be a compliant subordinate, easily controlled by Skyler. Presently, Skyler’s primary sphere of influence and control resided within Hogwarts.

Beyond the school’s boundaries, Skyler’s dependable workforce was limited to a handful of house elves. Thus, an urgent need arose for skilled individuals capable of executing tasks beyond the school’s confines, with Karkaroff emerging as an ideal candidate.

However, instilling fear alone wouldn’t suffice to enlist Karkaroff’s cooperation. Offering incentives and benefits became imperative, prompting Skyler to contemplate a long-term strategy.

Having systematically addressed the pending issues, Skyler deemed it appropriate to prioritize the current tasks at hand.

The upcoming day was a Saturday, designated for the customary visit to Hogsmeade. Eager and in high spirits, the young wizards embarked on their journey to Hogsmeade, filled with laughter and banter.

Joining the excursion were Harry, Ron, and Hermione, who had arranged to rendezvous with Sirius in Hogsmeade.

However, Skyler opted not to partake in the Hogsmeade visit.

With the addition of six prefects, the Serpentis Vigil Club experienced a substantial boost in influence, rapidly expanding its membership.

Nearly 80% of Slytherins were now affiliated with the Serpentis Vigil Club. Senior students assumed leadership roles over the prefects bearing the Serpentis Vigil Mark, while Daphne and Astoria oversaw the lower-class students.

Cho, Morag, Susan, and Luna managed students from other houses. Given the unwavering loyalty he perceived from them, Skyler entrusted the administration and growth of the Serpentis Vigil Club to their capable hands.

Skyler, displaying generosity, allocated 1,000 Galleons as funds for the club. The prefects and female leaders were authorized to utilize these funds to organize trips to Hogsmeade Village, foster camaraderie among members, and strengthen the collective spirit and cohesion of the organization.

In all honesty, Galleons had become a mere numerical concept to Skyler. Virtually all of the industries under his ownership were thriving, generating a continuous and substantial income every minute and every second.

Rumors had it that the Fire Dragon Breeding Farm and Puddlemere United had significantly expanded their operations in the short span of a year, with their market value more than doubling.

Skyler even harbored suspicions that his personal net worth might have already surpassed that of the Malfoy family. He could establish his own independent family and forge an entirely new legacy if he wished.

This scenario wasn’t unprecedented. The once-powerful Gaunt family had two equally influential direct bloodline heirs. The eldest son had married the granddaughter of the second of the three Peverell brothers.

He not only inherited the Resurrection Stone from the Peverell family but also received the Slytherin pendant bestowed by his ancestors. By combining the legacies of these two families, he proudly proclaimed the orthodoxy of his family, often referred to as the “main family.” Voldemort, along with his mother and uncle, were direct descendants of this bloodline.

His younger brother, demonstrating equal personal strength and influential connections, was unwilling to be relegated to a side branch of the family—a fate often associated with being a “split family.”

Determined to avoid such a destiny, he courageously took the ancestral gifts and departed from the family. He sought refuge in the McGillicuddy Mountains in Ireland, where he married into a prominent local family and established his own branch of the Gaunt family.

The majority of these noble families were staunch supporters of the Druid sect, and their inheritance heritage was on par with that of the pure-blood nobles in England. For instance, the Sayre family traced its ancestry to the renowned “Phantom Queen” Morrigan. Isolt Sayre, the founder of Ilvermorny, was a direct descendant of this bloodline.

Her father hailed from the Sayre family, and her mother belonged to the Gaunt family. Eventually, her mother’s Slytherin wand was passed down to her.

Following the tragic events of her parents’ demise at the hands of her aunt, she fled to North America, where she established a new life.

Certainly, Skyler had no intention of creating his own family. Not only had he pledged to assist Draco in assuming the role of the family head, but he also valued the familial bonds, particularly the enduring obstinacy and independence of Narcissa.

Furthermore, given his current perspective, he didn’t underestimate the heritage of the Malfoy family. While he was unaware that portraits of his ancestors were concealed in the family head’s secret room, his strength, comparable to that of Armand II, the most formidable family head in history, led him to believe that any additional legacies in the family would likely pale in comparison.

On this particular day, Skyler ventured to the Black Lake alone. The serene lake surface lay undisturbed, resembling a crystal-clear mirror reflecting the azure sky.

A tranquil atmosphere enveloped the Black Lake, with no other souls in sight. Having chosen to forego the trip to Hogsmeade, the young wizards remained concealed within the common room, engaged in indoor games with their friends.

Skyler strolled towards the shore where Durmstrang’s ghost ship was moored. Several boys, clad only in swimming trunks, sprawled on the deck, basking in the sunlight. Sunny days appeared to be a rarity in the Nordic region they hailed from.

His purpose for being there was to rendezvous with Eleanor. A week had elapsed since their last joint venture at the lake’s bottom. Perhaps preoccupied with their respective commitments, they had yet to find a moment to reconnect.

As the descendant of one of Germany’s preeminent pure-blood families, Eleanor traced her ancestry back to the renowned Pallaser, earning her a natural bond of kinship with Skyler.

Moreover, their shared adversary forged an even stronger connection between them. Confronted by a clandestine organization deeply entrenched in the wizarding world’s recesses, one that wielded two Dark Lords as its pawns, Skyler couldn’t afford to underestimate the threat.

Every potential ally held immense value in his eyes. Skyler harbored the belief that Eleanor, given her demonstrated wisdom, shared his perspectives on the matter. Their alignment of thoughts only strengthened the camaraderie between them.


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Published On: March 25, 2024

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