The next morning, before dawn, Skyler arose from his slumber.

After freshening up, he went to check on Draco in his room, only to find that Draco was still fast asleep.

Deciding not to disturb his brother, Skyler planned to wake him up later after having breakfast.

Luckily, there were no classes scheduled for the day, allowing Skyler the freedom to explore the castle and familiarize himself with its layout.

As he strolled through the common room, he spotted Daphne emerging from the dormitory.

The two decided to head to the Great Hall for breakfast together, but upon arrival, they realized it was too early for the meal.

Undeterred, they decided to explore more of the legendary castle.

Hogwarts had a total of one hundred and forty-two staircases, each with its unique characteristics.

Some were wide and sturdy, while others were narrow and precarious.

Some shifted to different destinations each Friday, while others featured vanishing steps that required careful navigation.

Furthermore, the castle was riddled with numerous doors, many of which wouldn’t yield to a simple push or prod.

Some doors weren’t real doors at all but solid walls disguised as such.

Skyler and Daphne took their time exploring all nine floors of the castle, including the dungeons, while marking down the locations of the classrooms they’d be attending.

Along the way, they stumbled upon three secret passages hidden behind tapestries, stone carvings, or even portraits.

These secret routes sometimes demanded specific passwords or the touch of certain unique spots to unlock.

Upon their return to the Great Hall, a few Slytherin students had already gathered for breakfast.

Draco, still looking half-asleep, was seated with Crabbe and Goyle. Skyler greeted them, introduced Daphne, and the group ate together.

Skyler casually enjoyed a bowl of oatmeal with milk, took out a piece of parchment and a pen from his pocket, and began sketching.

Draco couldn’t contain his curiosity and asked, “What are you drawing?”

“I’m creating a map of Hogwarts, marking the locations of every classroom and the secret passages I’ve discovered,” Skyler replied without looking up, fully engrossed in his task.

Upon completing the initial drawing, Skyler flipped the parchment and continued his work.

Suddenly, a girl’s voice interrupted him, asking to see what he was drawing.

He turned to find Pansy Parkinson, a fellow Slytherin.

While Daphne subtly displayed a trace of disdain upon Pansy’s arrival, Skyler, with his keen attention to detail, did not miss it.

Using his wand, Skyler effortlessly cast a copy spell to duplicate the map and handed it to Pansy. “I still feel that exploring the castle on your own is one of the joys of starting a new life.”

Pansy’s gaze fixed on Skyler’s wand, and she exclaimed in surprise, “You’ve learned how to cast a copying spell?”

Skyler offered a nonchalant “um” and replied, “It’s not a particularly difficult spell.”

Pansy’s expression shifted, and Skyler couldn’t help but notice her exchanging a subtle glance with Draco.

At that moment, her eyes revealed a mix of annoyance and hesitation.

She turned her attention back to the detailed map Skyler had drawn.

It was intricate, with clear lines and markings, showcasing the locations of secret passages and classrooms, even noting which stairs led where.

The level of detail surpassed what a mere student could create—it required skills in spatial understanding, surveying, and architectural drafting techniques.

As an experienced adventurer in his previous life, Skyler had honed his mapmaking abilities in various mazes, castles, and forests.

Although he had only been reborn for eleven years, his expertise allowed him to produce works far beyond the capabilities of his peers.

It didn’t take long for Pansy’s close friends to start arriving in the Great Hall.

Sensing that Daphne wasn’t particularly fond of these girls, Skyler decided to take his leave with Daphne.

Before departing, he made a few extra copies of his meticulously drawn maps, distributing them to Draco and their classmates who were present, ensuring that the new students wouldn’t get lost in the maze-like castle.

Skyler and Daphne had no intentions of returning to the dormitory; instead, they headed to the library to explore the vast collection of books that Hogwarts boasted.

With 100,000 books at their disposal, the library’s resources far surpassed those of the Malfoy family, the Black family, and even his grandmother’s estate combined.

Daphne settled down with a book about spells, reading it in silence.

On the other hand, Skyler spent hours perusing books on various shelves, acquainting himself with the layout of different fields.

His primary objective was to master Occlumency.

Within Hogwarts, he knew that accomplished Legilimens like Dumbledore and Snape posed a potential threat.

With numerous concealed plans, Skyler couldn’t afford to have his thoughts exposed.

He borrowed several books on Occlumencyfrom the library, planning to retreat to his dormitory room to study them at his own pace.

Hogwarts’ first-year curriculum consisted of eight courses: Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Potions, Herbology, History of Magic, Astronomy, Charms, and the highly anticipated Flying class.

The following day marked the first class for Slytherin: Transfiguration.

Transfiguration was a joint class with Hufflepuff students taught by the strict and meticulous Professor McGonagall.

She treated all students impartially and would not show favoritism or target anyone.

The freshmen quickly realized her exacting standards.

“Transfiguration class is one of the most challenging courses in your first year, and I won’t tolerate any misbehavior in my class,” Professor McGonagall declared sternly.

“Anyone who disrupts the class will be asked to leave. I’ve conveyed this message to every first-year class, and I expect you all to take it seriously.” Professor McGonagall continued.

Professor McGonagall stepped to the front of the room as the class bell rang and raised her wand.

She aimed it at an empty desk and swiftly incanted a spell.

To the amazement of the freshmen, the desk began to shift and transformed into a pig. “Wow!” The magical display left most of the students in awe.

“Many of you have probably already reviewed the textbooks and have a basic understanding of this subject,” Professor McGonagall continued as she used her wand to return the desk to its original form.

“As you can see, Transfiguration is an advanced and intricate subject. Magic carries inherent risks, so unless you’re absolutely certain, it’s best not to attempt it on your own.”

While most of the young wizards were somewhat skeptical, Skyler didn’t take this course lightly. Having read through all the first-year textbooks, he found the “Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration” to be the most challenging.

This course required the correct incantation and a profound understanding of the nature of the objects being transfigured.

Transfiguration students needed a deep grasp of the material properties of objects and an understanding of potential magical properties within their own bodies to minimize the risks involved.

Transfiguration was known for its increasing difficulty as the complexity of the transformation grew.

A novice wizard could easily turn a match into a needle, but turning a match into a wand was significantly harder.

Moreover, maintaining a transfigured object’s form requires precise control.

Accomplished Transfiguration experts could not only transform objects at will but also cast additional spells to make those transformations permanent.

However, Transfiguration posed little difficulty for Skyler, who had studied mathematical and physical formulas extensively in his previous life.

His grasp of material properties far exceeded that of the average student.

All he needed to do was visualize the image of a needle in his mind, using the spell to inject magic into the object and change its form.

The process demanded absolute concentration, confidence, and unwavering focus.

While his classmates struggled to grasp the principles, Skyler effortlessly transformed his match into a silver needle, complete with a lifelike snake’s head at the eye of the needle.

Professor McGonagall was delighted with his quick success, awarding Slytherin a point.

By the end of the class, only the Malfoy brothers had successfully completed the task; Draco, with a bit of Skyler’s coaching, had performed commendably.

As Professor McGonagall had the class inspect each other’s transformations, she bestowed Slytherin with rare smiles of approval.

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Published On: November 13, 2023

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