Being experienced wizards, Lucius and Narcissa were well aware that purchasing magic wands could be time-consuming.

Therefore, their first stop for shopping was at Ollivanders Wand Shop.

As they pushed open the creaky old store door, it sounded like jingle bells.

The shop itself was quite small, with only a bench in front of the counter.

The rest of the space was occupied by numerous long, narrow boxes stacked nearly to the ceiling.

Ollivander had been in the wand-making business for almost two thousand years and was one of the three major European wand manufacturers.

Skyler recalled that the Ollivander family was also one of the sacred 28 pure-blood families.

“Good morning,” a gentle voice greeted them, and an elderly man seemed to materialize before their eyes.

Draco was startled and instinctively grabbed Skyler’s clothes.

Clearly, this elderly man was none other than the shop’s owner, Garrick Ollivander.

Skyler’s keen observation could detect the magical aura of the old man before him.

Although not as potent as Lucius’s, Skyler didn’t underestimate the elderly wizard.

He replied respectfully, “Mr. Ollivander, my brother and I are new Hogwarts students this year, and we need new wands.”

“Of course, of course!” Ollivander’s gaze was fixed on Skyler. “A wizard needs a wand to perform magic, but remember, the wand chooses the wizard! So, which one of you, Mr. Malfoys, will go first?”

Skyler nudged Draco forward, and Ollivander proceeded to measure him meticulously.

He measured from the shoulder to the fingertip, wrist to elbow, shoulder to the floor, knee to armpit, and head circumference.

Then, he selected a wand for Draco to try.

Draco made several attempts and finally settled on a wand crafted from hawthorn wood with a unicorn hair core.

It was exactly ten inches in length, displayed a certain degree of flexibility, and boasted a decent design.

Skyler couldn’t help but think that Draco was still quite innocent, as unicorn hair cores were known to favor kind-hearted individuals.

Unicorns were beautiful creatures found in the Northern European forests.

A fully-grown unicorn resembled a pure white horse with a horn and had a penchant for associating with kind-hearted people.

This characteristic was reflected in the wands containing unicorn hair cores, which often favored those with good intentions.

On the other hand, Hawthorn wands favored wizards with complex or contradictory personalities or those going through periods of inner turmoil.

It was Skyler’s turn next.

After taking all the measurements, the tape measure slid to the floor and rolled into a ball.

Ollivander selected a wand and handed it to Skyler for him to try.

However, each time Skyler held it, Ollivander promptly took it back.

The same scenario repeated with different wands.

Skyler noticed that Ollivander’s wrinkles deepened with each attempt.

Ollivander paced back and forth as if wrestling with a decision and eventually retrieved a very old-looking box.

“Try this one,” he said. “Fourteen and a half inches, vine wood, and the core of the wand is from Thestral hair tail. This was the last wand crafted by my great-grandfather, a renowned wandmaker of his time.”

When Skyler took the wand in his hand, a warmth flowed through his fingers, and the wand’s tip emitted a white halo reminiscent of ripples spreading across water.

“Marvelous, absolutely marvelous!” Ollivander’s voice softened. “I must confess, I’m not particularly fond of using this particular material, but, sir, you and this wand are an exceptional match.”

Skyler couldn’t help but ask, “I’m sorry, Mr. Ollivander, but what was unusual about the previous attempts?”

Skyler was genuinely curious.

Most of Ollivander’s wands used cores from phoenixes, unicorns, and dragons, but the core in his current wand was from the hair tail of a Thestral, unlike the other wands he had tried.

“As you may know, Thestrals are often considered symbols of ill fortune,” Ollivander explained, locking his milky eyes onto Skyler’s.

“It’s a peculiar substance that only a wizard capable of mastering death can control. As for the vine wood wand, it’s quite unusual, and I couldn’t help but notice that its owners are usually aspiring but unnoticed wizards. My grandfather always sought to create a wand that could rival, or even surpass, legendary ones.”

“Personally, I find this combination of wands superior to the older ones. The older wands accept only powerful wizards as their masters; too great a pursuit of power can invite misfortune. The owners of those old wands seldom meet good ends. This wand has a more restrained temperament, and I believe its owner, Mr. Malfoy, will achieve extraordinary things in the future.” Mr. Ollivander continued.

Skyler felt a mix of emotions but was relieved that the wand-purchasing ordeal was finally over.

Next, to save time, the Malfoy family decided to split up.

Lucius headed to the bookstore to purchase textbooks, Narcissa went to buy a cauldron and potion ingredients, and Skyler and Draco went to Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions to buy their school uniforms.

Skyler couldn’t help but observe the surrounding stores as they strolled toward the robe shop.

There was a dimly lit Eeylops Owl Emporium, with low and soothing hooting sounds emanating from within.

Several children of the same age as Skyler and Draco lay on their stomachs, gazing intently at a flying broomstick on display.

Skyler suddenly realized that Draco seemed unusually quiet at this moment.

“Skyler, Ollivander said you’ll become an extraordinary wizard in the future, and I’ll be nothing. I feel inadequate,” Draco confessed, his voice tinged with bitterness.

Seeing his brother like this, Skyler wrapped his arm around Draco’s neck and reassured him, “Of course, I’ll become an extraordinary wizard. Don’t forget whose brother I am. But, Draco, you’re also exceptional. It’s just that you need to put in the effort. What do you say?”

Draco shook his shoulder lightly and smiled. “You’re right. I want to start working hard, too! As the older brother, I won’t lose to my younger brother.”

Mrs. Malkin, a short and plump witch with a friendly smile and dressed in a purple robe, stood at the shop’s entrance.

When Skyler and Draco approached, she greeted them warmly, “Oh, two young gentlemen, are you here to purchase Hogwarts school uniforms? We have a wide variety of styles, fabrics, and sizes available.”

Skyler wore a faint smile and addressed Mrs. Malkin, saying, “Please provide each of us with three sets of regular, well-fitting plain robes. Additionally, I have some specific requirements that we can discuss in detail after purchasing the uniforms.”

As the two of them were led to the back of the shop for measurements by a young witch, Skyler overheard someone entering to have their size measured.

He turned his head and saw a slender young man with black hair and a slim build.

The boy’s face seemed oddly familiar. Draco, too, turned to the newcomer and asked, “Are you going to Hogwarts as well?”

The boy appeared somewhat uncertain but nodded in response.

Draco continued excitedly, “My dad is buying books for us next door, and my mom is shopping for school supplies on the street. I plan to convince them to take me to see the flying broomsticks later. I can’t understand why first-year students aren’t allowed to have their own broomsticks. I’m thinking of persuading my father to buy one for me and finding a way to sneak it into Hogwarts. Don’t you agree, Skyler?”

Skyler rolled his eyes at Draco’s enthusiasm but chose to ignore his brother’s remarks.

Instead, he extended a friendly hand toward the boy. “Hello, my name is Skyler Malfoy. This is my brother, Draco Malfoy. We’re both first-year students heading to Hogwarts this year, and it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

The young man introduced himself, saying, “Oh, hello, my name is Harry Potter, and I’m delighted to meet you too.”

Draco, unable to contain his excitement, blurted out, “Merlin’s beard, are you really Harry Potter? Oh, I mean, it’s nice to meet you.”

The three of them stood together, engaging in a lively conversation about their fantasies and excitement regarding Hogwarts.

They also discussed flying broomsticks and Quidditch for a while. After purchasing their uniforms, Harry bid farewell to the two of them, explaining that he needed to buy some other supplies.

While Draco was eager to see the flying broomsticks, Skyler sensed that he himself was not particularly interested in Quidditch.

After Draco went off to explore the broomsticks, Skyler remained behind to inquire with Mrs. Malkin about the different types of wizard robes available.

Madam Malkin’s Robe Store not only sold Hogwarts student uniforms and plain robes but also had an extensive range of everyday wizarding attire.

These included decorative robes adorned with carved patterns that shimmered with a touch of golden light, slim-fit robes designed to appear sleek and slender, loose-fitting robes for a casual look, robes that automatically adjusted their length as the wearer grew taller, and temperature-regulating robes suitable for any season.

Furthermore, all robes from Mrs. Malkin came with two additional functions: automatic ironing and automatic repair, ensuring that wrinkles, dampness, and damage were never a concern.

Skyler recalled a question he had pondered while reading about the wizarding world in his previous life.

The design and aesthetics of wizard robes had remained largely unchanged for over a thousand years, even though they didn’t seem practical for running, quick dodges, or battles between wizards.

These robes often posed a hindrance during magical combat, and tripping over one’s own robe was considered quite unlucky.

Moreover, these traditional robes lacked any practical magical functions, such as defending against dark curses, reducing weight to increase agility, or changing appearance to aid in disguises or transformations.

Given his understanding of the wizarding world and magic, Skyler was convinced that it was entirely feasible to create wizard robes with these advanced functions.

When he raised this question with Mrs. Malkin, she regarded him with a complex expression.

She marveled at the innovative ideas presented by the young boy before her. Mrs. Malkin explained that she could indeed craft robes with the functions Skyler had described, but there were a couple of factors to consider.

Firstly, the wizarding world had remained traditional for a long time, and she doubted that such advanced and expensive wizard robes would have a significant market.

Secondly, she admitted that the wizarding world had lagged behind Muggles in terms of aesthetic and functional clothing needs, which was a matter of concern.

Skyler then requested that Mrs. Malkin tailor a special set of combat robes for him, listing his requirements step by step.

The design of this battle robe would be close-fitting and streamlined, made from bird snake skin for flexibility.

It resembled a Muggle suit jacket and included two cuffs with secret pockets for discreet storage of wands or other weapons.

The robe’s pockets were to be expanded using the non-marking stretching spell to provide ample storage space, accommodating Skyler’s belongings and spellbooks.

Additionally, the fabric needed special alchemical treatment to remain stain-free, even from blood, while offering waterproof and moisture-resistant properties.

It also had to maintain a constant temperature and provide ventilation for comfort in all seasons and locations.

Although Skyler initially considered adding functions such as defensive curses, reduced gravity, and shape-shifting, Mrs. Malkin explained that these features were beyond her capabilities.

Creating this specialized combat robe would be a complex and time-consuming task.

Initially, Mrs. Malkin had hesitated to accept the request.

After all, as a respected figure in the wizarding clothing industry, she had no shortage of customers or income.

However, when Skyler mentioned his intention to present this idea to other store, with the potential to revitalize the store’s reputation and attract new customers, Mrs. Malkin began to reconsider.

She recognized that the wizarding world was in need of innovative designs, especially for robes with practical functions. Mrs. Malkin understood that if the other store successfully tapped into this new market, it could pose a significant threat to her own future market share.

With that in mind, she agreed to do her best.

This battle robe came at a price of 30 Galleons, more than seven times the cost of an average wizard robe.

Mrs. Malkin estimated that it would take two weeks for the cutting, sewing, and special processing.

After Skyler paid half of the deposit, she promised to begin work on the project.

Upon completion, the robe would be delivered to Skyler through the owl post.

With a sense of accomplishment, Skyler left the shop.

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Published On: November 11, 2023

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