“Wait a minute,” Hagrid said, peering into the box. “There’s still one Niffler left here… Where’s Harry? Why isn’t he around?”

“He had to go to the hospital,” Ron explained.

“We’ll fill you in later,” Hermione whispered. She immediately hesitated to answer Hagrid’s question, aware that Pansy Parkinson was lingering nearby, eavesdropping.

It turned out to be the most enjoyable Care of Magical Creatures lesson they had ever experienced. The Nifflers burrowed in and out of the field with enthusiasm, akin to swimming in water. Each Niffler hurried to the classmate who had released them, presenting gold coins into their hands.

Daphne’s harvest was particularly impressive, and her lap was soon overflowing with gold coins. She glanced at Skyler and blinked as if inquiring how he achieved such success. Clearly, Skyler’s method of selecting a Niffler was anything but random.

Skyler smiled but didn’t offer an explanation. In truth, he had no idea how to explain this newfound ability—it seemed to have surfaced out of nowhere.

At that moment, Harry strolled across the lawn toward them. Both of his hands were encased in thick bandages, giving him a pitiable appearance.

“Okay, let’s see how you did!” Hagrid declared, “Count your gold coins! Don’t bother trying to steal them, Goyle,” he added, squinting his bright black eyes, “These are leprechaun gold coins, and they’ll disappear in a few hours.”

Goyle took out the gold coin from his pocket, looking forlorn. In the end, Daphne’s Niffler secured the championship in a decisive manner. In the envious gaze of other young witches, Hagrid rewarded her with a large piece of Honeydukes chocolate.

Although Daphne was gradually maturing, she still retained the demeanor befitting a 14-year-old girl during class.

Grinning, she happily accepted Hagrid’s chocolate and planted a sweet kiss on Skyler’s cheek in front of everyone.

Applause erupted from both Slytherin and Gryffindor, the witches, for the golden couple.

Slytherin’s young witches, well aware that Skyler was out of their league, turned their attention to Draco, Nott, and Blaise. Meanwhile, the Gryffindor young witches couldn’t help but feel a twinge of envy at Daphne’s treatment.

Parvati gazed at Daphne, glowing with love, and couldn’t help but feel a pang of jealousy. How did their paths diverge so dramatically when they were both partners in the Champion Dance? Parvati found herself turning into a laughingstock in the gossip news, fueling her resentment toward Harry.

As for Hermione, another supporting character in the gossip news, witnessing Skyler being kissed made her accidentally tighten her grip on the current Niffler’s neck. In return, she got a painful bite from the Niffler, bringing tears to her eyes.

The lunch bell resonated across the field, signaling the departure of Skyler and the Slytherin wizards back to the castle. Only the trio of Harry remained, engaged in conversation with Hagrid.

Harry shared the troubling news of receiving a malicious letter, and Hagrid advised him not to take it seriously, suggesting he toss the letter into the fire.

Ron expressed concern, knowing that leprechaun gold coins would vanish on their own. He had given these coins to Harry at the World Cup as payment for a panoramic telescope.

While Harry, oblivious to financial matters, dismissed the leprechaun gold coins incident, Ron’s already fragile self-esteem took another hit due to the reminder of poverty.

Hermione, seemingly still recovering from the Niffler bite shock, observed the conversation with a furrowed brow, lost in thought. It wasn’t until Harry and Ron called her to leave that she snapped back to reality, wearing a bewildered expression.

The following week on campus was uneventful. Harry continued to receive malicious letters, and despite heeding Hagrid’s advice to avoid opening them, some ill-intentioned individuals sent howling letters that exploded on the Gryffindor table.

These letters, screeching insults, exposed the chaotic love triangle involving Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Parvati. The scandal became widespread, reaching even those who didn’t read Witch Weekly.

Amidst the turmoil surrounding Harry, Skyler received a string of positive news.

After nearly two months of dedicated effort, Morag and his team finally succeeded in pinpointing the location where the Secret Keeper was concealed under the Red Loyalty Curse. Simultaneously, Luna and her group received encouraging news that they had successfully researched the colorful dwarf cattails.

Skyler spent a night searching and enlisted Dobby’s assistance to reach Ella’s cabin. Using the loyalty spell, he transformed it into a secure haven, with himself as the secret keeper.

The next phase involved transforming No. 93 Diagon Alley, acquired from Mr. Nott, into a new store.

This establishment primarily showcased various armors developed by Skyler, including bracelets enhanced with the Shield Charm, cloaks rendering invulnerability to water and fire, and more.

Additionally, the store featured “Peruvian Dark Powder,” an escape tool imported from Peru by Ali Bashir.

In the initial stages of the store’s opening, Skyler only assigned a few Malfoy family members to manage it. He had yet to make any immediate plans for advertising or actively promoting the business.

In Skyler’s view, it was a more opportune time for a widespread promotion of protective equipment. His strategy involved establishing a foothold in Diagon Alley first, with the anticipation that business would naturally surge when the war period approached.

Voldemort had no alternative but to undergo resurrection in light of these circumstances.

While the armor store focused primarily on protective gear, it also featured some unrelated entertainment products for sale. The charming dwarf cattails, exclusively developed for girls, are perfectly aligned with their aesthetic preferences.

Skyler was confident that this would spark a craze of people adopting them as pets.

After another week elapsed, Ali Bashir returned to England after an extensive journey and met with Skyler in Hogsmeade. Ali surpassed Skyler’s expectations by procuring a piece of snakewood exuding an ancient aura.

The diameter and dazzling dark golden lines on the snakewood matched the staff’s material perfectly, making it the optimal choice.

Over the past three weeks, Salff utilized the time hourglass lent to her by Skyler to read through the entire collection of books diligently.

Interestingly, the time hourglass revealed an unexpected phenomenon: it left no traces of time magic on Salff’s body. This revelation surprised Skyler, as he had used the time hourglass extensively during his childhood without showing any signs of premature aging.

He attributed this to adhering to the five-hour limit and staying within the rules of magical time.

However, upon closer examination with the magic eye, he could detect nearly imperceptible traces of time magic on his own body. This suggested that employing time magic for temporal travel did affect the body, but the impact wasn’t a straightforward aging process akin to Muggle biology.

In contrast, Salff displayed no such traces of time magic. This prompted Skyler to furrow his brow, raising the question of whether Salff’s existence had somehow eluded the influence of time magic. Could it be possible?

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Published On: April 4, 2024

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