“Lord Armand,” Skyler spoke deliberately, “Cease your pretense. If your intention is to seize Draco and accomplish your resurrection, there is no need for this elaborate act. Draco’s mental and soul strength is insufficient to withstand the encroachment of your soul.”

Armand arched an eyebrow, questioning Skyler’s sudden insight. Without halting the amplification of the ring’s power, he peered intently at Skyler. Despite the escalating density of the surrounding black mist—a spectral entity reminiscent of a demon’s whisper—the discerning Skyler noted that the accompanying feeling of oppression remained relatively constant. It seemed more theatrics than substantial escalation.

“Many years ago, around the age of six,” Skyler continued, “I delved into the family’s extensive collection of books and documents, uncovering the Malfoy family’s history. This revelation left me with numerous inquiries.”

“The Malfoy lineage traces back to France, landing in Great Britain in 1066. Our ancestor, Armand I, served as the trusted advisor to William the Conqueror, accumulating vast wealth and lands. Common sense dictates that the family should have flourished and branched out over the centuries. However, as I surveyed our family history, I discovered an unusual trend— the Malfoy family has remained a single line for centuries.”

“Moreover, my exploration into the Malfoy bloodline unveiled enigmatic talents such as ‘Snake Whisperer’ and ‘Prophet.’ Serendipitously, delving into the Malfoy Secret Curse revealed potent spiritual black magics unknown to the broader magical community, surpassing the three Unforgivable Curses dreaded by contemporary wizards.”

“Logically, with such a formidable heritage, the Malfoy family should not be in its current state. Even if each successive generation fails to produce a legendary figure at the level of a great magister, it should not have dwindled to its current stature. Regardless of Dumbledore’s pro-Muggle stance or the pure-blood supporters like Voldemort, the family should have aligned with one side. Even after Voldemort’s demise, the Ministry of Magic dared to investigate dark magic items openly.”

Armand’s eyes gleamed with a hint of approval. “So, have you uncovered the answer?”

“Initially, I believed that intermarriage with outsiders led to the dilution of our bloodline, resulting in the loss of its inherent power. This, in turn, forced Malfoy’s descendants to rely more on intrigue, politics, and business while neglecting the magical legacy,” Skyler expounded deliberately.

“Now, what does this imply?” Skyler’s eyes gleamed with intensity as he locked eyes with Armand. He observed the eerie transformation in the other’s pupils—now completely red, akin to a demon from the depths of hell, radiating an unsettling gloom. “Finally, we’ve unearthed the true reason—”

“It’s you—Lord Armand II.” Skyler’s conviction grew stronger as he confronted Armand’s peculiar smile. His tone turned icy. “The loss of the Malfoy family inheritance, the family’s frailty—everything is because of you!”

“Family history documents reveal that since the third generation descendant, Armand II Malfoy, there has never been an awakening of bloodline power within the family…”

“Similarly, family records detail your utilization of the bloodline power known as ‘Magic Eye’ to commune with magic, create your own magical secrets, and bring glory to the family! A figure of your stature should be revered and immortalized in the annals of our history, yet the family records mention it only briefly, with scant acknowledgment…”

“In other media, they won’t even bother to mention your name properly… As if you don’t exist at all…”

“If my deduction is correct—” Skyler’s voice turned chilling, “In your pursuit of further power, or to intensify the potency of your soul, you orchestrated the massacre of the entire Malfoy family!”

Armand, upon hearing this, could no longer contain his admiration and erupted into serious applause. The resounding claps echoed eerily in Draco’s dormitory.

“Your ability to deduce so much from just a few clues is truly commendable. Your intellect deserves genuine praise. I must admit, I have underestimated you. While your decisiveness may be lacking, you do possess the potential to elevate the Malfoy family to glory…” Armand nodded thoughtfully as if engaged in a conversation with himself.

“You’re correct…” Armand lifted his gaze to Skyler. “When I experienced my first magical outburst, unlocking the potential in my blood, my family, myself included, had a total of 11 bloodline descendants. Yet, I was the sole individual able to awaken the bloodline talent. The family held high expectations for me, providing ample resources and entrusting me with the family’s secret curse.”

“I lived up to those expectations. By the age of 14, as per the family’s aspirations, I had mastered all the family secret spells and even refined and enhanced them. Under the family’s arrangements, I didn’t need to attend Hogwarts to reveal my strength—Black, that elegant young man, once learned a hard lesson from me. As for Gaunt, relying on his Slytherin blood and taunting me with a few words in parseltongue, I beat him until he lost his way.”

“I fought relentlessly for the family, amassed wealth, and defended our glory. The family prospered each passing day until, one day, I found myself bored…”

“I’m sure you can empathize. Every day was a repetition of the same actions, making those days unbearably dull,” Armand spoke with intensity. “The monotony intensified after I defeated the head of the formidable Gaunt family, the most powerful at the time, when I was 20. No longer… I could no longer find an opponent who matched my strength, no longer discover a challenge that stirred excitement within me, and no longer discern the purpose of my life. In this confusion, I questioned my existence. What was I living for?”

“Merely for the family? For worldly power? Or for boundless wealth?” Armand inquired, shaking his head gently. “None of these. The so-called family, power, and wealth are all illusory to me. Once I die, I can’t take these with me…”

“At that moment, I had an epiphany.” Armand whispered, “We wizards are born into this world to possess extraordinary power that Muggles, beasts, and other creatures lack. The meaning of our existence is not found in pursuing wealth and power, but rather in uncovering the truth of the world! Yes! The essence of magic! It is the pinnacle of power! It is the eternity of time! It is the immortal soul!”

“I desired to attain more formidable power, to achieve immortality,” Armand revealed with a dark smile. “So, I created a Horcrux. Despite strong opposition from the old man and my family, they eventually succumbed to my relentless determination, conceding and permitting the creation of a Horcrux. They compelled me to swear an oath that I would never disclose the Horcrux to anyone. What they failed to consider, however, was—”

“After creating the Horcrux, the sensation of the soul being torn apart is indescribable. The pain is exquisite, but the overwhelming surge of power truly captivates me,” he licked his lips. “Dissatisfied with the existing magic system, I ventured to seek even greater power.”

His voice trembled as he continued, “I clandestinely constructed a secret chamber in the manor and began abducting Muggles for experiments. When Muggles could no longer satisfy my needs, I secretly targeted the family’s servants, and then the common folk. My son… ultimately—”

“At the age of 30, my secret chamber was accidentally discovered by my sister, Agatha, the one closest to me… A delightful and charming girl, adored by the entire family. She perceived me as a respected, strong man and the only one who truly understood my solitude… But…” For the first time since Skyler entered the dormitory until now, Armand’s cold countenance revealed a touch of humanity. “But… why… her…”

“In my misguided attempt to preserve all my painstaking efforts, I accidentally made an irreversible mistake—I killed her… I killed her…” Armand’s visage gradually turned cold, and Skyler could sense the underlying violence brewing in his eyes. “The sensation of ending the life of the one I loved with my own hands… it hurts… truly hurts. Yet, because of this act, my power surged exponentially, surpassing anything I had experienced before… I finally unraveled the secrets of soul magic.”

“The essence of magic derives from blood, but the potency of that magic is contingent on the soul and emotions. The most potent emotions in the world boil down to love and hatred…” Armand explained. “Now that Agatha is gone… the sole purpose of my existence is strength, and I am determined to pursue the pinnacle of power! My family is no longer a support but has transformed into the chains that bind me…”

“I will start by eliminating the old man… followed by the mother… and then the uncles… hahahahaha!” Armand’s eyes began to reflect a dangerous and unhinged demeanor. “The remaining feeble members of the family have banded together in a futile attempt to resist—they are but a collective of ants deluding themselves about their capabilities!”

“As I systematically eliminate each one, with every life extinguished, I savor their fear, drink in their despair. Then, as I gaze into the depths of my own heart, I sense a transformative shift—from the entanglements of family ties to the embrace of genuine liberation. The blood coursing through my veins and the very core of my magical essence pulsate with exhilaration, akin to having indulged in the most exquisite feast the world has to offer…”


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Published On: March 12, 2024

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