During dinner, Draco couldn’t resist but urge Goyle and Crabbe to venture over to the long Gryffindor table, looking for mischief.

Skyler could only shake his head, wondering just how much Draco loved to provoke others, particularly Harry.

Following the events described in the original book, Draco arrogantly challenges Harry to a wizard’s duel.

In his view, Harry, who had spent most of his life in the Muggle world and had only recently been introduced to magic, wouldn’t dare to accept the challenge.

This would allow Draco to mock him to his heart’s content.

However, to his surprise, Ron stood up beside Harry and volunteered to assist in the duel.

He declared defiantly, “If it’s a duel you want, it’s a duel you’ll get! I’ll be his second. Who will be yours?”

Draco glanced back at Crabbe and Goyle, not hesitating for a moment. “Of course, my brother will be my second.”

Crabbe and Goyle chimed in, “Then you’ll see what we do…”

Draco proposed a midnight rendezvous in the trophy room, where the door was never locked.

He ignored their protests and continued making arrangements.

Skyler’s calm voice echoed from afar, “I must say… discussing duels and openly planning fights in public, let alone choosing to break school rules by engaging in a midnight duel… Is this really a wise course of action?”

Ron responded with a sneer, “You’re the one who suggested the duel in the first place. Now that you’re afraid, you want to back out? What a coward you are!”

Ron’s words were admittedly harsh, and even Harry frowned, not wanting to be seen as taking Slytherin’s side.

Skyler, irritated by Ron’s words, though his expression remained unchanged, adopted a stern tone. “I simply don’t see the point in breaking school rules for such a trivial matter. If you wish to duel, there’s no need to wait until midnight…”

Skyler drew his wand and tapped lightly on one of the cups on the Gryffindor table.

The cup instantly transformed into a menacing gray wolf. Its sharp fangs bared and emitted a terrifying howl.

A collective gasp resounded along the Gryffindor table. Harry’s face turned as pale as parchment, and Ron was so startled that he tumbled from his chair to the floor.

Professor McGonagall, seated on the teacher’s platform, rushed over.

With a wave of Skyler’s wand, the gray wolf reverted to its original form as a cup.

Skyler spoke with his usual detached demeanor, “So, do you still wish to proceed with the duel?”

Professor McGonagall arrived with a stern expression, demanding, “Mr. Malfoy, could you please explain what just occurred? Using magic to harm fellow students is strictly forbidden at Hogwarts!”

Skyler turned to face Professor McGonagall, knowing she was a fair and impartial professor who wouldn’t favor Gryffindor.

He replied calmly, “Professor McGonagall, Mr. Weasley has always harbored a strong dislike for our Malfoy family. I don’t mind, but he insulted me just now, calling me a coward. I merely used Transfiguration to startle him. I believe it did not harm my fellow students. Furthermore, plenty of witnesses here can testify to that.”

Professor McGonagall questioned several students who had been present at the Gryffindor table, confirming that Skyler’s account was accurate.

She pressed her lips tightly together, and due to Ron’s offensive behavior, she decided to deduct 20 points from Gryffindor.

This added to Gryffindor’s recent point losses, placing them at the bottom of the house rankings.

Many of the young Gryffindors glared resentfully at Harry and Ron.

Professor McGonagall turned her attention back to Skyler.

Though her expression remained stern, a hint of concealed satisfaction gleamed in her eyes. “Mr. Malfoy, while there may have been a reason for your actions, it is still not acceptable. You are just a first-year student. What if the magic had gone awry and accidentally harmed your fellow students?”

Skyler’s voice remained calm and unwavering, but it carried an air of undeniable confidence. “Professor, it is impossible to accidentally harm fellow students with this kind of magic.” With a nonchalant wave of his wand, the four cups on the table transformed into snakes, spiders, chicks, and red foxes.

Then, with another wave, the four small animals intertwined and fused into a serpent-like creature with a fox’s tail, rooster’s comb, and eight spider legs.

This amalgamation of creatures hissed menacingly.

A final wave of his wand returned the creature to its original state, reverting it back into the four small animals, which, in turn, became four cups once more.

Professor McGonagall was left momentarily stunned by Skyler’s demonstration.

She composed herself and spoke slowly, “Mr. Malfoy, your skills in Transfiguration are truly remarkable. Could you please tell me how advanced your knowledge is in Transfiguration?”

Skyler thought for a moment, then reached up to touch his chin. “To what extent, you ask? I believe… aside from the Vanishing and Conjuring Charms taught at the OWL level, I have essentially mastered all aspects…”

He glanced at Ron and added, “To be honest, just now, if I had wished, I could have completely transformed him into a ferret.”

Ron was taken aback, his shock, fear, anger, and resentment all evident on his face.

However, Professor McGonagall’s presence and Skyler’s imposing aura prevented him from uttering any harsh words.

Professor McGonagall’s expression remained stern, but Skyler could detect a trace of subtle delight behind her stern facade. “Mr. Malfoy, given your remarkable talents, I don’t want to see them go to waste. I would like to invite you to join my Transfiguration Club.”

“A Transfiguration Club?” Skyler appeared puzzled, knowing the original book by heart, and he couldn’t recall any mention of such a club.

He was well aware of the Dueling Club, which only appeared in the second year; the Slug Club, which was exclusive to sixth-year students; and the Gobstone Club, sponsored by the students.

Besides, he vaguely remembered Gryffindor’s Vicky Frobisher and Ron discussing something called the “Curse Club” when competing for positions on the Quidditch team.

Perhaps the Transfiguration Club was something similar.

“That’s a club I’ve established,” Professor McGonagall explained, “It meets once a week and includes some of your senior peers who excel in Transfiguration. The club focuses on discussing and researching topics related to Transfiguration. I hope you’ll also contribute by publishing some academic papers in ‘Today’s Transfiguration’ to further our understanding of the subject.”

As she spoke, Professor McGonagall retrieved a book from her shelf.

It was her personal Transfiguration notes from when she prepared for the OWL exam.

The book was filled with private tips and experiences that went beyond the standard textbook content.

She handed it to Skyler, expressing her optimism about his future achievements in the field of Transfiguration.

“Professor McGonagall’s Transfiguration Notes Obtained!” Skyler remarked with gratitude, bowing respectfully before leaving her office.

Draco, Daphne, Meredith, and Pansy eagerly surrounded him at the Slytherin table in the Great Hall.

Draco couldn’t contain his curiosity and asked, “What did Professor McGonagall want to discuss with you in her office?”

“Nothing out of the ordinary,” Skyler replied nonchalantly. “She invited me to join her Transfiguration Club and gave me a book on Transfiguration.”

“Transfiguration Club?” They all chorused. “What’s that?”

“I heard that Professor McGonagall established it herself,” Skyler explained. “We’ll discuss and study topics related to Transfiguration.”

Pansy was shocked by the news and exclaimed, “Are you serious? Professor McGonagall personally invited you? That’s quite an honor.”

Skyler was quite certain he saw her casting an unintended glance at Draco, her eyes reflecting a complex mixture of emotions.

“You’re incredibly talented, truly enviable,” Meredith said with a hint of jealousy.

It was evident that Professor McGonagall’s special attention to Skyler had left her feeling envious.

“Of course, it’s not about whose brother I am,” Skyler continued with a smile. “If my brother were more diligent and spent more time studying and doing homework rather than trying to annoy Gryffindor students all day, he could certainly excel just as well, don’t you think, Draco?”

“Absolutely!” Draco answered proudly.

At that moment, Skyler caught sight of Harry and Ron, who seemed to be attempting to eavesdrop nearby.

He calmly remarked, “Potter, Wesley, do you think it’s polite to eavesdrop on others?”

Draco and the others turned to see the two of them nearby, glaring at Skyler with evident anger.

Ron protested, “Why do you say we were eavesdropping? We were just passing by. Do we need your permission to walk through the corridor?”

Skyler retorted calmly, “It doesn’t matter. The matter concerning our duel from earlier isn’t settled yet. However, I don’t intend to break school rules for you. How about this? In front of everyone here, I challenge you to a game of Wizard Chess to determine the outcome. Are you up for it?”

A flush of excitement reddened Ron’s face as he exclaimed, “I’m up for it! What do you think I can’t do?”

Skyler continued, “Of course, even if it’s just a Wizard Chess match, I won’t waste my time just to beat you. If you wish to compete, you’ll need to put down some stakes. How about 10 Galleons?”

Ron suddenly blushed.

He didn’t have even a single Galleon in his savings, and he couldn’t admit to being penniless in front of the Malfoy family.

His pride wouldn’t allow it, but he couldn’t summon the courage to make such a bold claim in front of Skyler.

Ignoring Ron’s predicament, Skyler turned to Harry and said, “And if you don’t have Galleons on hand, well, since this situation didn’t arise due to your actions, I think it’s reasonable for you to contribute a Galleon, isn’t it?”

Harry readily agreed, “Alright! I trust Ron.”

After dinner, Skyler proudly took his newly acquired 10 Galleons and returned to the Slytherin dormitory with Draco and the others.

Meanwhile, Ron sat at the Gryffindor table with a despondent look, and Harry who seemed rather solemn.

Harry attempted to console Ron in a low voice, but his words didn’t appear to have much effect.

Losing to Ron in a Wizard Chess match wasn’t a significant issue to Skyler, but being defeated by the Malfoys in front of their peers was a considerable blow to Ron’s self-esteem.

He felt deeply embarrassed and couldn’t bear the gazes of those around him.

Covering his face, he dashed into the Gryffindor dormitory, and Harry followed shortly after, leaving the Great Hall behind.

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Published On: November 17, 2023

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