On that fateful night, as Skyler and Draco entered the auditorium, they were met with the sight of a thousand bats arrogantly fluttering along the walls and ceiling.
Another thousand bats formed a canopy of low-hanging clouds above the dining tables, their flight patterns resembling an intricate dance.
Pumpkin lanterns dotted the room, casting eerie flickering shadows. The tables were adorned with a sumptuous feast reminiscent of the grand banquet at the start of the school year.
Amidst the chatter and the clinking of cutlery, a sudden commotion erupted as Professor Quirrell burst into the auditorium.
His oversized scarf askew on his head, his face contorted with terror. He rushed towards Professor Dumbledore’s chair.
Gasping for breath, he stammered, “The troll—in the underground classroom—I thought you should know…” before collapsing to the floor, unconscious.
Panic swept through the auditorium, and it took several bursts of purple fireworks from Professor Dumbledore’s wand to restore order. “Heads of Houses,” Dumbledore said in a low, commanding voice, “escort your students to their respective dormitories immediately.”
Gemma Farley, Slytherin’s prefect, rose from her seat, and the Slytherin students formed an orderly line to exit, heading back to the dungeons.
Skyler and Draco discreetly broke away from the group. Draco trusted his brother’s abilities and didn’t inquire about their destination.
Following the memory from the original book, Skyler swiftly made his way to the second-floor women’s bathroom.
At this point, the troll had yet to arrive, and Harry and Ron were not present either.
Skyler entered the women’s bathroom and urgently called Hermione’s name.
Hermione, startled by Skyler’s abrupt entrance, was momentarily taken aback.
He wasted no time explaining, saying, “Miss Granger, there’s no time to explain. There’s a massive monster outside, and we need to get out of here immediately!”
Hermione, who had been crying and crouching, seemed momentarily disoriented.
Skyler took her hand and led her toward the bathroom’s exit.
Just as they burst through the door, Hermione suddenly remembered the impending confrontation with the troll and let out a scream, inadvertently drawing the troll’s full attention to them.
Skyler had expected to feel panic, fear, and nervousness in his first real combat situation.
Surprisingly, he felt none of those emotions.
Instead, an exhilarating surge of determination and unwavering resolve coursed through his chest.
Drawing upon his adventurous spirit from a past life, Skyler felt a burning eagerness to finally put his magical knowledge to practical use.
He couldn’t contain his excitement and let out a victorious shout.
Raising his wand, he cast an eye spell, pinpointing and precisely targeting the troll’s eyes.
Suddenly robbed of its vision, the troll stood disoriented for a moment, unsure of its surroundings.
Seizing the golden opportunity, Skyler focused all his energy, aiming his wand at the wooden club the troll held and shouted, “Wingardium Leviosa!”
The club soared high into the air, guided by Skyler’s control, and positioned itself directly above the troll’s vulnerable head—the troll’s weakness.
With a swift downward motion of his wand, Skyler sent the wooden club hurtling toward the back of the troll’s head, creating a deafening impact.
The gigantic creature swayed as if performing an exaggerated dance, staggered, and finally collapsed face-first onto the floor.
Hermione appeared to be in shock, standing still and motionless. Skyler couldn’t help but remark, “Miss Granger, why are you afraid? You’re a Gryffindor!”
Hermione’s face flushed with embarrassment, and she responded with a slightly trembling voice, “I’m not scared, Mr. Malfoy. I was just wondering why the Levitation Charm you used is different from what we learned in class?”
Skyler didn’t respond immediately as a loud set of footsteps echoed in the distance.
Professor McGonagall led the way, with Snape following closely, and finally, Professor Quirrell rushed over in a hurry.
“Mr. Malfoy, I believe you owe us an explanation,” Professor McGonagall declared, pushing up her glasses while her voice carried a cold undercurrent of anger.
Deep in thought, Professor Snape bent down to inspect the troll’s superficial wound.
As for Quirrell, he had screamed in terror upon encountering the troll, then collapsed to the ground, clutching his forehead and chest, trembling.
Suddenly, a quiet voice emerged from the shadows, “Please, Professor McGonagall, there’s no need for this. They were looking for me.”
Hermione, finally managing to stand up, explained, “I sought out the troll because I believed I could handle it on my own. You see, I’ve read about trolls extensively in books, and I thought I was well-prepared.”
Skyler sighed and intervened, “Miss Granger, I appreciate your bravery, but there’s no need for this.”
He then turned to Professor McGonagall and explained, “The truth is, Professor, I overheard on my way to the Great Hall that Miss Granger was in the second-floor women’s bathroom. She seemed upset about something and hadn’t come to the dining hall here. When Professor Quirrell announced the troll’s presence in the auditorium, I realized Miss Granger likely didn’t know about it. I was concerned for her safety. Even though she’s a Gryffindor, she’s still my classmate. So, I hurried here to escort her safely back to the Gryffindor dormitory, only to stumble upon the troll.”
At this point, Snape had finished his examination of the troll’s condition.
He straightened up and fixed his gaze on Skyler. “You used the Conjunctivitis Curse and the Levitating Charm? You already grasp the advanced application principles of the Levitating Charm?”
“Yes, Professor,” Skyler responded calmly. “I can manipulate the position of a levitated object in the air freely or make it attack by dropping rapidly. Professor Flitwick is aware of this. He’s asked me to document and submit my research experiences to help him with his paper. He’s also invited me to join his Club…”
Professor McGonagall’s expression softened somewhat as she said, “Mr. Malfoy, it appears you are indeed one of the most gifted wizards I’ve ever encountered. That will be all for today, but I must emphasize that challenging trolls is highly perilous for first-year students. I hope you’ll exercise greater caution and restraint in the future.”
“I understand, Professor,” Skyler replied, secretly delighted by his special treatment as an academic prodigy.
It appeared that being a top student came with its privileges.
While commenting on Ron, he noted that the professors in the original timeline had unanimously attributed his victory over the troll to luck.
On the other hand, Hermione had joined Professor McGonagall’s Transfiguration Club earlier, and now she felt even more frustrated.
She had put in significant effort, so why was the gap between her and Skyler widening?
Noticing Skyler’s demeanor of receiving a lesson, Professor McGonagall’s tone softened further. “However, despite the recklessness of your actions, you saved a fellow student from a different house and ultimately defeated the troll with exceptional skill. Slytherin is awarded twenty points as a commendable example.”
Following this incident, Hermione, Harry, and Ron’s relationship improved, and the trio became close friends.
Hermione was no longer overly concerned with rule-breaking, which made her all the more endearing.
Harry and Ron often relied on her assistance to tackle their demanding coursework.
However, there was one exception in the trio’s dynamic—Skyler.
Harry and Ron continued to harbor resentment toward the Malfoy family and other Slytherin students.
Ron believed that Skyler had used Hermione to earn points for Slytherin during the troll incident.
While Harry didn’t share this view, he still found it challenging to warm up to any Slytherin students.
In contrast, Hermione, usually level-headed and sensible, felt a mix of complicated emotions toward Skyler.
She couldn’t deny his excellence and had heard from students of other houses that Skyler was unlike the typical arrogant Slytherins.
He was approachable, gentle, and polite.
Yet, she couldn’t help but wonder why he often found himself at odds with Gryffindor.
Skyler remained oblivious to these interpersonal dynamics; even if he were aware, he wouldn’t have paid them much heed.
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