Draco was genuinely shocked. He had always seen his brother Skyler as exceptional.
Despite his efforts, he could only watch Skyler’s achievements from a distance.
In the last semester, Skyler summoned an unprecedented giant fire dragon patronus to face hundreds of dementors, highlighting the vast gap between the two brothers.
While Draco couldn’t deny feeling jealousy towards Skyler, but he cherished the brotherhood they shared growing up.
If Skyler succeeded and brought glory to the family, Draco would genuinely be happy for him.
Initially, Draco assumed Lucius would pass the Patriarch position to Skyler, given Skyler’s undeniable superiority.
Draco found a mix of emotions in this complex moment, including a hidden joy.
Did this indicate his father’s optimism about him?
“Father,” Draco’s heart raced, and he stammered, “Do you want me to yield the position of Patriarch to my brother?”
Lucius shook his head, “Draco, you’ve misunderstood. Dad wouldn’t do that to you.”
He glanced at each portrait, addressing the ancestors, “Dear ancestors, you have your sources in the Ministry of Magic, St. Mungo, Hogwarts, and Diagon Alley. I believe you’re well aware of my second son, Skyler, and his deeds over the past few years.”
After a brief exchange of glances among the portraits, Nicholas spoke, “Yes, he’s a good lad, adding much glory to the family. Lucius II, I understand your intentions. The two heirs, though brothers have different paths. Nicely put, it’s a bet on both sides; awkwardly put, it’s a separation. Only time will reveal whose path is right…”
“If Draco fares well in the end… If Skyler’s chosen path proves most beneficial for the family, it might seriously challenge Draco’s standing as Patriarch, akin to the ancient principle of merit. High-ranking lords have faced such situations—brotherly conflicts, family schisms—all possibilities…”
“No!” Draco exclaimed, “I apologize, ancestors, fathers. I must assert, that I believe in Skyler. He’s my only brother. We may have disputes and disagreements, but—I never believe that he and I will be torn apart!”
Lucius gazed at Draco with mixed emotions. In his heart, both were his biological sons.
Why wouldn’t he desire the two brothers to love and support each other?
Yet, Skyler’s exceptional abilities, surpassing even Lucius himself, raised concerns.
Lucius had sensed ambition and an unbending character in Skyler, evoking a chill reminiscent of facing Voldemort.
It wasn’t jealousy but a lingering hope that Draco could securely become Patriarch, upholding the pure-blood glory.
While Skyler’s arguments weren’t baseless, they contradicted Lucius’s lifelong pride in pure-blood heritage.
He still couldn’t accept Muggles as equals to pure-blood families.
“Draco, you will undoubtedly be the next Patriarch. This is unchangeable,” Lucius asserted. “But to prove your beliefs, you must acknowledge that your strength is lacking.”
“Come here every day. Consult each ancestor about magic. They are masters of dark arts, each excelling in a particular field. Under their guidance, your strength will soar, qualifying you as the rightful next Patriarch!”
Portraits murmured, and Abramaxus intervened, “Lucius, my son, does this mean Draco inherits that? Perhaps you should reconsider.”
“No need!” Lucius’s eyes showed resolve. “That is Draco’s only chance. You haven’t seen Skyler; you don’t know how exceptional he is. Honestly, his strength may surpass mine. I couldn’t gauge it when facing him.”
Turning to Draco, Lucius added, “Keep this from your mother. I don’t want her to worry.”
“I understand, but brother—he…” Draco hesitated.
“Don’t worry! Skyler is my son too. I know him. As long as you prove your strength and that your path benefits the family most, even if things don’t go as planned, he won’t turn against us,” Lucius reassured, though doubting his true understanding of Skyler.
The conversation concluded, and every subsequent day saw Draco prioritizing his time in the main sanctuary, learning potent spells, and enhancing his strength under the guidance of his ancestors.
Shifting the focus to other parts of Great Britain, an unidentified murder occurred on August 16 in Riddle’s Mansion in Little Hangleton.
The old gardener met his demise with a killing curse, witnessed by Skyler through a magical device.
Unlike the original storyline, Voldemort used a Vanishing Spell to obliterate the body instead of Nagini consuming it.
This indicated that Voldemort hadn’t acquired a new creature as a replacement for Nagini and hinted at the unknown status of his sixth Horcrux.
On the same day, Harry received a letter from Ron, conveying Mr. Weasley’s invitation to the Quidditch World Cup finals at the Burrow.
The Weasley family planned to pick him up through the Floo Network the next day.
Concurrently, Hermione, accompanied by her parents, also headed to the Burrow, shedding the somber appearance from the previous semester.
Hermione’s transformation pleased the Grangers, who had misunderstood the nature of her relationship with Ron.
Despite their reservations about Ron’s appearance and character, the Grangers respected their daughter’s choice, understanding her recent emotional struggles.
The following evening, Arthur, the twins, and Ron used the Floo Network to reach Harry’s house but faced an unexpected challenge due to modern Muggle families sealing traditional fireplaces.
After Arthur skillfully breached the wall, they made an unforgettable entrance.
Harry officially met Ron’s elder brother Bill and the second brother Charlie at the Burrow.
He also learned about Percy’s successful internship in the Ministry of Magic and his job at the International Trade Standards Association.
Early the next morning, Arthur, along with the twins, Ron, Harry, Hermione, and Ginny, used the door keys to travel to the Quidditch World Cup venue in Devon, Dartmoor Wilderness.
As the days unfolded, Draco immersed himself in the teachings of his ancestors, delving into the intricate and powerful aspects of black magic.
Each day spent in the main sanctuary saw his skills and understanding of the magical arts grow exponentially.
The ancient wisdom imparted by the portraits of Malfoy’s ancestors provided Draco with a unique insight into the family’s dark magic traditions. Under their tutelage, Draco honed his magical prowess, preparing himself to uphold the legacy of pure-blood wizardry.
Meanwhile, on the outskirts of Little Hangleton, an unsettling incident occurred at Riddle’s Mansion.
The murder of the elderly gardener marked a sinister turn of events.
Observing through magical surveillance, Skyler noted that Voldemort had chosen a Vanishing Spell rather than Nagini to eliminate the victim.
This development hinted at the mystery surrounding Voldemort’s sixth Horcrux and the absence of a new pet.
In parallel, the Weasley family extended a warm welcome to Harry at the Burrow.
As friendships deepened and familial bonds strengthened, Arthur, along with Ron and the twins, faced unexpected challenges using the Floo Network.
Their amusing mishap, involving a modern Muggle home’s sealed fireplace, added a touch of humor to their journey.
The Grangers, witnessing Hermione’s positive transformation, accepted her evolving relationship with Ron.
Despite reservations about Ron’s background, they recognized their daughter’s happiness as a paramount factor.
The supportive and open-minded Grangers chose to prioritize Hermione’s well-being over societal expectations.
Harry encountered new members of the Weasley family at the Burrow, including Ron’s elder brother Bill and the adventurous second brother Charlie.
The news of Percy’s successful internship and subsequent job at the International Trade Standards Association showcased the diverse paths each Weasley sibling was forging in the wizarding world.
With the dawn of a new day, Arthur, along with the young wizards and witches, embarked on a journey to the Quidditch World Cup venue in Devon, Dartmoor Wilderness.
The anticipation and excitement of this magical event loomed on the horizon, promising unforgettable experiences and adventures for the group.
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