When Skyler reached the age of nine, Lucius and Narcissa decided it was time for their son to socialize and make friends.
They began inviting children of similar age and status to their home, hoping that Skyler and Draco could find like-minded companions before starting school.
However, most of these children hailed from pure-blood families similar in status to the Malfoys, including Theodore Nott of the Nott family, Pansy Parkinson from the Parkinson family, Millicent Bulstrode of the Bulstrode family, Gregory Goyle from the Goyle family, and Vincent Crabbe of the Crabbe family, among others.
In Skyler’s eyes, this group consisted of arrogant, spoiled children, often indulged by their parents.
It was a wonder Skyler could tolerate them, especially considering that more than half of these children were related to Death Eaters.
Draco’s charisma shone brightly during these gatherings.
With the backing of the Malfoy family, he effortlessly gained the allegiance of Crabbe and Goyle, two large, dim-witted boys who served as effective bodyguards.
Even Pansy, who often displayed a condescending attitude, seemed to take a liking to Draco’s slightly arrogant demeanor.
At this time, Pansy, with her short black hair, dark eyes, clever nose, and two small dimples, appeared quite cute, though her personality left much to be desired.
She was particularly harsh in her remarks and took pleasure in mocking others, earning her the nickname “the little witch” from Crabbe and Goyle.
Theodore was one of the few who did not pander to Draco’s favor.
The Nott family was renowned in the British wizarding world for their alchemical creations. They were the giants in the British alchemy realm.
Theodore possessed his own talents but exhibited a rather pompous personality marked by insufferable narcissism.
Nonetheless, Draco held him in high regard and considered Theodore the only peer of his generation worthy of respect.
Skyler would find various excuses to avoid joining them whenever these young aristocrats gathered.
If the meeting took place at Malfoy Manor, Skyler would seize opportunities to slip away beforehand.
Draco, immersed in the mutual flattery of his peers, eagerly participated in their various activities.
Skyler often saw him engage in outings and parties with friends.
While Skyler was occasionally invited to join, he declined multiple times.
Eventually, Draco sensed his brother’s lack of enthusiasm for his circle of friends and stopped insisting.
As a result, everyone left Skyler to his own devices during these gatherings.
Narcissa was somewhat disappointed upon learning this but soon realized that persuading Skyler otherwise would be futile.
Over time, she resigned herself to his solitary disposition.
However, Skyler couldn’t help but notice the imposing figures of Crabbe and Goyle, and he decided to start focusing on his physical fitness.
Lacking the ability to perform spells didn’t mean he couldn’t enhance his physical prowess.
In the wizarding world of Harry Potter, battles between wizards typically depended on the potency of spells, spell accuracy, and evasion skills.
The amount of magic power became a crucial factor only in rare cases when battles turned into prolonged struggles due to closely matched opponents.
Thus, physical fitness was, in fact, essential for combat wizards.
In secret, Skyler embarked on a rigorous physical training regimen with Dobby each night, unbeknownst to his family.
He couldn’t help but feel a sense of disbelief when he considered the lack of physical training in Hogwarts.
It seemed that little wizards at the school primarily focused on acquiring knowledge and honing their spellcasting abilities throughout their seven years of study.
The only semblance of physical education was the first-year flight class, which lasted only a brief year.
It was no wonder that young wizards became proficient in numerous spells but often struggled in actual combat situations.
This phenomenon likely arose from the relative peace era, where most young wizards saw more value in learning practical household spells than in dedicating time to physical fitness.
Drawing from his expertise in wilderness survival from his previous life, where he excelled in long-distance running, climbing, diving, and combat, Skyler decided to take matters into his own hands.
Based on descriptions of wizarding battles from the original books, he adapted training techniques from Muggle war games to create a systematic physical training regimen focused on improving his dodge and accuracy rate
ler enlisted Dobby’s help, having the elf aim harmless marking spells at him.
These spells, upon impact, left ink-like marks and posed no real danger.
Within a confined space, Skyler practiced a variety of dodging techniques while instructing Dobby to progressively increase the casting speed to intensify the challenge.
After mastering dodge skills, Skyler tasked Dobby with using flying spells to create airborne paper birds, which he then practiced targeting with darts.
His goal was to hone his aim to the point where he could hit each paper bird with precision.
Skyler was determined to continue this rigorous physical training to enhance his combat capabilities.
During the day, Skyler developed the habit of diligently reading the Daily Prophet, taking the initiative to stay informed about events in the magical world during this peaceful era.
In his spare time, Skyler remembered a detail from the original books: Bill Weasley of the Weasley family had a pen pal from Castelobruxo School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Brazil.
On a whim, Skyler wrote a letter to the newspaper’s editor-in-chief, expressing his desire to publish an international pen pal advertisement under the pseudonym “Xiaomi.”
Surprisingly, the newspaper responded swiftly, agreeing to promote international magical exchanges by publishing Skyler’s pen pal request for free.
This might have been due to a lack of material for the newspapers in this peaceful era.
A few weeks later, Skyler received several letters from potential friends and successfully made a few foreign pen pals.
Among them, he communicated most frequently and harmoniously with a pen pal from North America and another from Japan.
Skyler gained insights into the magical world outside of the UK through their correspondence.
Since then, every weekend, Skyler has developed the habit of reading and replying to letters.
While Lucius had a somewhat disdainful view of foreigners, believing the British magical world to be the most powerful and noble, Narcissa was more concerned about Skyler’s emotional well-being.
She often observed her son with mixed emotions, suspecting that his lack of like-minded friends left him feeling lonely.
She could also see that Skyler didn’t particularly enjoy the company of the pure-blooded children his age, leading to feelings of guilt as a mother.
Nonetheless, Skyler remained unperturbed by his parents’ opinions.
When Skyler informed his parents that he had read hundreds of books from the family library, even the typically reserved Lucius couldn’t help but express surprise and delight.
Narcissa suggested a visit to Skyler’s grandmother, Druela Black.
Druela had visited their home once when Skyler was very young and had developed a fondness for her naturally intelligent grandson.
Skyler and Draco were her only two acknowledged grandsons.
Skyler also had two aunts—Bellatrix Lestrange, who joined the Death Eaters after marriage and had no children, and Andromeda, who was disowned for marrying a Muggle.
Druela resided in a small house in Wiltshire.
Her face radiated excitement upon seeing her beloved grandson, and she was overjoyed when he proposed staying for a few days.
Eager to please, she moved all the books in her house for Skyler to peruse, revealing a collection inherited from her and her late husband, Cygnus Black.
Druela had originally come from the Rosier family before marriage, so part of her collection included books from the Black family, the Rosier family, and even the Lestrange family.
Some of these volumes had been sent to Malfoy Manor with Narcissa’s marriage, and others were acquired when Aunt Bella and her husband were sentenced to life in Azkaban after the First Wizarding War.
Following the transfer of property in accordance with wizarding law, the remaining assets were placed in Druela’s name, giving Skyler the opportunity to explore a treasure trove.
He discovered classics from the Black, Rosier, and Lestrange families among the books—over a hundred volumes in total.
While Druela was elderly, she remained sharp-minded, and the books she shared did not contain any dark magic.
However, they did contain secret spells from the Black, Rosier, and Lestrange families.
Skyler recognized that these represented the most precious knowledge of pure-blood families, and he avidly absorbed all he could with the help of the Time Hourglass.
After spending a month at his grandmother’s house, Skyler and Narcissa bid farewell to a disappointed Druela.
In a generous gesture, Druela gifted all her books to Skyler and had Sasha, the house elf, deliver them directly to Skyler’s bedroom at Malfoy Manor.
With this, Skyler acquired the Black family heirloom curses, Rosier family curses, and Lestrange family curses.
Upon seeing Skyler’s bedroom overflowing with books, Narcissa couldn’t help but chuckle, both amused and exasperated.
She gifted him a portable book bag engraved with a non-marking Stretching Jinx to ease the situation.
Inside, it possessed the space of an entire library, enabling Skyler to store tens of thousands of books.
He cherished this gift, as it gave him the feeling of having his own private library.
Eagerly, he organized all the books from Druela’s house into the bag’s space, only to realize that he had barely filled one percent of the bookshelves within.
Skyler had successfully established his own private library.
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