With twenty-four days remaining until the inaugural event, Skyler remained unruffled about the impending competition. His confidence stemmed from meticulous preparation and an expectation that events would unfold according to the original plot.

Even if there were deviations, such as the first project not being the fire dragon, Skyler was undaunted, ready to overcome any challenge with his formidable strength.

This wasn’t arrogance but a genuine belief in his capabilities. Skyler’s strength far surpassed the typical prowess expected of a student, even in comparison to an ordinary adult wizard.

He was selected to partake in the Triwizard Tournament and accomplished the initial goal set for his semester at Hogwarts.

By securing an exemption from end-of-semester exams, he gained additional time to strategize and sought further guidance from professors under the pretext of tournament preparations.

Contrastingly, Harry faced a different situation. Since the resumption of classes, he found it challenging to avoid the scrutiny of fellow students.

Many students from other academies perceived Harry’s solo enrollment in the championship as less honorable, unlike Skyler, who enjoyed universal respect for his unparalleled magical prowess.

Whether one admired or disliked Skyler, akin to the Malfoy family’s sentiments, no wizard could dispute his extraordinary strength.

Moreover, Skyler and Draco’s accomplishments, including the basilisk slaying and dementor defeat, had become widely known. Skyler’s act of dispelling the dementors with sheer willpower and Draco’s exploits were acknowledged by everyone.

Despite being in the same fourth grade as Harry, Skyler carried the high expectations of everyone at Hogwarts. His selection for the Triwizard Tournament was seen as well-deserved, with no doubts about the legitimacy of his achievements.

Contrastingly, Harry’s situation took a different turn. Many young wizards believed that Harry resorted to dishonorable means to manipulate the Goblet of Fire and secure a spot in the Triwizard Tournament.

They perceived his actions as driven by a selfish desire for fame and attention. The memory of Harry arriving at school in a speeding car further fueled this negative perception.

In the eyes of his peers, Harry was seen as robbing Skyler of his rightful honor and tarnishing the reputation of Hogwarts.

Even Ernie McMillan and Justin Finnery, who had previously been on good terms with Harry, distanced themselves. The camaraderie they once shared faded, and when a mischievous jumping bulb escaped Harry’s tray and playfully hit him in the face, their laughter was noticeably absent, creating an uncomfortable atmosphere.

Ron, feeling betrayed by Harry’s decision to enter the Triwizard Tournament without informing him, ceased communication with his friend. Hermione, positioned between the two estranged friends, attempted to mediate and ease the tension within the trio.

The growth of Harry’s journey, along with the people alongside him who’ll support him in times to come, have been changed totally from how it was in the original story.

Skyler couldn’t help but wonder at how everything was going to turn out moving forward.

This semester, Hermione experienced significant personal growth compared to her portrayal in the original book. Notably, she developed a greater emotional maturity, demonstrating an ability to accept the diversity of values among her peers and learning the art of compromise.

Hermione initiated a process of self-reflection, acknowledging that she had tended to exhibit a self-centered attitude and lacked emotional intelligence.

Previously, she imposed her thoughts, values, and ideas on others without considering the reasons and original intentions behind their actions.

This time around, she refrained from criticizing Ron’s perceived naivety and instead sought to understand his feelings of rebellion and discomfort.

Using a more empathetic approach, Hermione comprehended Ron’s emotions and sincerely tried to address his concerns from his perspective.

She conveyed the message that everyone is unique and possesses their own place in the world.

There is no need to conform to others’ expectations because she recognized the immense pressure Ron, as the youngest son and older brother, faced—much of which he imposed on himself.

As Hermione actively worked on understanding Ron, their relationship gradually improved.

Unbeknownst to Hermione, Ron observed her attentively when she was not aware, and he began experiencing complex and unfamiliar emotions toward her.

In a similar vein, while Hermione harbored strong dissatisfaction with the treatment of House-elves, she refrained from imposing her sense of justice on others.

Demonstrating a more open-minded approach, she listened to Hagrid’s perspective and opted to treat House-elves with as much consideration as possible.

This marked a departure from her original portrayal, where she had completely dismissed House-elves’ thoughts and attempted a forceful liberation.

Notably, Hermione did not entertain the idea of initiating a House-Elf Rights Promotion Association. Instead, she directed more of her energy towards academic pursuits, understanding that practical impact ultimately relies on strength and influence.

During moments of contemplation, Hermione found herself wondering if this sense of responsibility mirrored that of a certain young man she held in high regard.

Was this the driving force behind him to tirelessly pursue knowledge and fame? Was this the significant difference in their positions?

Returning to Skyler’s narrative, he was currently engrossed in the quest to discover Merlin’s secret room, with Peeves providing an evident clue. Contrary to popular student perception, Peeves was not a ghost but a poltergeist—an entity that could move objects, create disturbances, and generate various sounds.

The term “Prankster,” derived from German, literally translates to “noisy ghost.” Pranksters are intangible entities with enough physical form to perform actions such as chewing gum or even stuffing it into their nostrils.

The prankster, belonging to the category of “non-creature” or “non-existence” similar to dementors and Boggarts, has never been a living person. Its defining characteristic is that it has never died and cannot die, as it has never experienced survival.

Confident in his ability to navigate the Hogwarts grounds during the curfew, Skyler embarked on a night tour. He anticipated that Filch and his cat would be powerless to stop him.

True to his expectations, Skyler encountered Peeves and, as anticipated, was on the receiving end of a prank. Just as Peeves was about to raise an alarm, Skyler swiftly wielded his wand.

In an instant, Peeves found his mouth sealed, his tongue knotted, rendering him mute. The Poltergeist, well-versed in the ways of countless individuals, suddenly realized it had provoked a formidable character and promptly fled.

Pointing his wand in the direction of Peeves’s escape, Skyler murmured softly, “Insequere Anima!”

Peeves, struggling desperately, felt his body uncontrollably drawn toward Skyler as if subjected to a powerful suction. Despite its efforts, resistance proved futile in the face of the current predicament.

Another spell that Skyler learned from one of the book’s content that he managed to procure; based on reading some pages over and over again while thinking of how some cruel spells can be adjusted into another that would fit his purpose, Skyler modified another spell to catch one’s soul.

Although it might sound a bit brutal, but this spell is something that he managed to practice time over time to go against something that doesn’t have physical body. This is a perfect counter to the Spirits such as Peeves, a prankster of Poltergeist.

After Skyler cast the spell to capture Peeves forcefully, he deftly produced a specialized bottle container, using his wand to coerce Peeves into it.

“Let me go, LET ME GO!” Peeves yelled as he got sucked into the bottle.

Meanwhile, the hurried footsteps of Filch and his cat approached. Unperturbed, Skyler casually applied the Invisible Phantom Charm on himself, calmly walking past Filch and Mrs. Norris, effortlessly returning to his dormitory.

Once back in the dormitory, Skyler had just released Peeves. The mischievous Poltergeist swiftly darted toward the wall, attempting a quick escape while Skyler was caught off guard.

To its surprise, it discovered that its ethereal form had been ensnared by a magic chain emitting a sinister red glow, rendering it immobile. The other end of the chain was linked to the tip of Skyler’s wand.

Peeves vented his frustration, exclaiming, “Peeves is in trouble this time, and I admit it! Can you tell me the reason why you are going this far?”

Skyler responded leisurely, “No need to be in such panic, Peeves. If you provide a satisfactory answer, not only will I release you, but I’ll also give you some prank supplies.” Skyler gestured toward the box of large dung eggs on the desk as he finished speaking.

“Alright, deal! Let’s talk. What does your question consist of? Peeves knows everything and can talk endlessly!”

Skyler grinned and inquired, “Tell me what you know about Merlin!”

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Published On: February 7, 2024

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