A year had passed, and Skyler had turned ten years old.
Thanks to a nutritious diet and regular physical exercise, Skyler’s physique was now slender and tall, towering half a head above his brother Draco.
He possessed a handsome appearance and a gentle temperament, radiating a charm that exceeded his years.
Draco often felt envious and jealous of the elder brother, believing that Skyler should be the elder based on his height alone.
However, the differences weren’t limited to their appearances; their personalities also contrasted greatly.
Driven by his admiration for his father, Draco had developed an arrogance and haughtiness reminiscent of Lucius, albeit mixed with childish behavior.
On the other hand, Skyler had inherited none of his parents’ character traits.
He remained consistently low-key, quiet, modest, and polite, exuding confidence without arrogance.
In many ways, he resembled a Hufflepuff.
Despite Lucius and Narcissa’s satisfaction with Skyler’s maturity and stability, they held a special affection for the assertive Draco.
Draco’s personality aligned more with the typical Malfoy family style, and his occasional childishness endeared him to his parents.
Skyler’s dedication over the past year had allowed him to complete the collection of books he had brought from his grandmother’s house.
He had started referring to 12 Grimmauld Place as his own.
Skyler regularly inquired about his beloved grandmother through letters, eventually pinpointing the exact location of the Black family’s old house.
One day, guided by Dobby, Skyler Apparatedat 12 Grimmauld Place and encountered Kreacher, the House-elf living alone. B
y this time, Kreacher was over 600 years old and had reached an advanced age for an Elf.
It lived alone within the empty Blackhouse, bound by contract magic that prevented it from leaving the premises without the owner’s permission.
It spent its days conversing with the portrait of its late owner, Mrs. Black, which had driven its personality to a somewhat erratic state.
Kreacher, however, recognized Skyler as the son of Narcissa and a member of the Black family due to his bloodline.
Consequently, Kreacher treated Skyler with utmost respect and obedience, starkly contrasting its usual demeanor.
Skyler understood that House-elves were intelligent beings who appreciated kindness.
Despite the elf’s apparent servitude, he didn’t adopt a condescending attitude toward Kreacher.
Instead, he showed kindness and sympathy, dressing Kreacher cleanly and offering him candy snacks from home.
Kreacher was deeply moved and expressed unwavering loyalty in response to Skyler’s kindness.
Kreacher voluntarily gave Skyler a tour of the Black House, a pure-blood wizarding mansion with centuries-old decorations.
Many of the items within were priceless antiques, particularly the silverware forged by ancient fairies.
Unfortunately, after Voldemort’s return, 12 Grimmauld Place served as the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix and remained uninhabited.
Consequently, magic didn’t protect it, resulting in its accumulation of thick dust over the years.
While exploring the second-floor studio, Skyler noticed a vast tapestry covering almost an entire wall.
It displayed the Black family’s family tree; to Skyler’s surprise, his name appeared on it.
After inquiring with Kreacher, Skyler learned that Mrs. Black passed away in 1985 when he was five.
He also recalled the presence of a Slytherin locket, one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes, stored in this room.
However, Skyler, who hadn’t yet started school, was fully aware of the dangers associated with Horcruxes and refrained from any illusions about it.
Skyler’s primary objective for the visit was the Black family’s library.
As one of the oldest and most prestigious pure-blood families, the Blacks possessed a larger and more comprehensive collection of books than the Malfoys.
The library contained numerous out-of-print magical books, including some from the Middle Ages.
The prospect of these rare volumes thrilled Skyler, who hungered for knowledge.
With no apparent successor to the Black family, he believed that it was better to make use of these valuable books himself than to let them gather dust in the hands of Harry Potter, who showed little interest in reading.
Besides, Skyler felt that he was more qualified than Harry, whose surname wasn’t Black.
Securing Kreacher’s consent as a member of the Black family, Skyler confidently packed all the Black family’s books into a portable book bag.
The collection comprised hundreds of books covering a wide range of magical topics.
Skyler was particularly excited to find notes on ancient magical charms that aligned with his observations from the Malfoy family collection.
These confirmations delighted him.
However, the most valuable finds were the secret curse notes, which were exclusively passed down within the Black family’s direct line.
Some of the notes in this book overlapped with those he had seen at his grandmother’s house.
Still, the notes at the Black House were more complete and comprehensive.
Unfortunately, the Black family’s collection lacked books on dark magic.
Skyler suspected that, like the Malfoy family, the Blacks also had a secret room dedicated to storing forbidden items.
He asked Kreacher about this but received no information.
Given Kreacher’s inability to lie to Skyler due to House-elf slavery, Skyler concluded that knowledge of the secret room was confined to the core family members, and the house elves had no involvement with it.
Skyler’s life settled into a routine.
He dedicated his days to reading books, practicing physical exercises at night, and reserving weekends for reading and writing letters to pen pals.
Before his eleventh birthday, Skyler, the diligent student, utilized the time-turner to complete his studies of the Black family’s books and documents.
Through careful cross-referencing and integration with the Malfoy family’s collection, Skyler expanded his understanding of the magical world’s history, magic’s origins, spell development, and more.
His greatest achievement was piecing together numerous clues found in the extensive texts, unraveling secrets from the Middle Ages, and gaining proficiency in interpreting and deciphering ancient magical texts, especially those related to Grindelwald’s magic.
In the wizarding world, the ancient human language shared the same basic script as the Muggle’s ancient human language, both consisting of 22 Phoenician characters.
However, as wizards discovered the latent magical properties within their texts, they gradually developed their unique writing system.
Over time, ancient wizards crafted various runes exclusive to their craft.
The utilization of runes to harness and channel magical power, especially in alchemy, was widespread.
However, with the advent of peacetime, magic became increasingly integrated into daily life, and the use of ancient magical texts began to wane.
Skyler possessed expertise in ancient human languages from his previous life.
Drawing upon his previous experiences and the vast collections of both families, he swiftly grasped the principles governing Guruni magical texts and the secrets of their decryption.
His proficiency in this field would undoubtedly be considered a remarkable achievement.
Guruni texts were renowned for their complexity, and according to Hogwarts’ standard curriculum, the study of ancient magic was typically introduced in the third year, covering only basic runes and terminology.
In contrast, Skyler’s ability to read historical documents written in Guruni magical texts demonstrated a level of expertise far beyond what Hogwarts could offer.
As Skyler approached his 11th birthday, he began to reflect on his progress and couldn’t help but feel satisfied with his accomplishments.
Despite being born into a family aligned with the wrong side of history and potentially facing the family’s impending tragedy, he had a head start compared to the original book’s protagonist, Harry.
Skyler possessed an in-depth understanding of the wizarding world, the advantages of his family’s bloodline, and the inheritance of secret spells, all of which guaranteed his future potential.
Moreover, with the time-turner as his secret weapon, he was destined to embark on a path of academic excellence during his time at Hogwarts.
As the 11th birthday neared, Skyler and Draco both received their acceptance letters from Hogwarts.
The second page of the parchment listed the required textbooks, wizard robes, cloaks, wands, cauldrons, and other essentials for first-year students.
Lucius made a final effort, suggesting that Durmstrang might be more suitable for Skyler due to fewer restrictions on dark magic research and a lack of non-pure-blood students.
He believed that Draco should receive a better education there.
On the other hand, Narcissa insisted on sending Draco to Hogwarts, which was closer to home.
She argued that Lucius, as an academy director, might have some influence there.
Lucius frowned, admitting that he and Dumbledore were not on good terms.
However, Skyler calmly stated his decision to attend Hogwarts, and Draco agreed.
The presence of his younger brother and close friends swayed the decision in favor of Hogwarts.
Lucius reluctantly agreed to the consensus of mother and sons.
Preparations for the new school year required Skyler and Draco to purchase the necessary supplies.
The Malfoy family, consisting of four members, embarked on their journey together in their luxurious night horse carriage.
After Lucius cast the spell and set the destination, the carriage’s pattern shimmered with magic, and it gently lifted into the air, heading towards Diagon Alley.
Skyler, who was aware of the original book’s details, recognized the invisible creature, Thestrals, pulling the carriage.
This emphasizes the Malfoy family’s power, as only individuals who have witnessed death can see Thestrals.
The family arrived at Diagon Alley without needing to pass through the Leaky Cauldron, thanks to their exclusive parking space for the carriage that descended directly from the sky.
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