Time passed swiftly, and the peaceful days went by in a blur.
Day by day, the cold winter gave way to a sultry summer, and the castle buzzed with anticipation for the upcoming final exams.
The Transfiguration classes were taken over by other teachers, with Professor Sinistra now teaching the first years.
Since the series of incidents that plagued Hogwarts, there hadn’t been any more “accidents” in the castle.
As the final exams approached, everyone had to set aside the unpleasant events of the past six months, including the Vampire teacher who had taught them for half a year.
It was time to focus on their studies, memorizing complex potion formulas, recalling spells and magical knowledge, and learning about the significant moments in magical history, such as the invention of the Skelle-gro Potion and the Goblin Rebellions.
Hogwarts had high academic standards.
Any grade below an A required retaking the course in the following year.
If a student had three grades below an A, they risked repeating the year or even expulsion.
However, Matthew was likely unconcerned about such matters.
Hermione immersed herself in studying day and night, approaching the final exams with unwavering determination.
Due to the sweltering weather, the students remained in the large classroom while answering their exam questions.
After completing the Charms exam, Hermione burst into tears, citing exhaustion from studying late into the night as the cause of her poor performance.
Several Ravenclaw girls rushed to comfort her, understanding the pressure she had been under.
During the practical exams that followed, Matthew excelled.
He effortlessly transformed a white mouse into a snuffbox with an exquisite pattern, eliciting approving glances even from the stern Professor Sinistra.
In the Potions test, Professor Slughorn couldn’t help but applaud when he saw the potion Matthew had brewed, a concoction he had almost forgotten.
The last exam was History of Magic, where they filled in the birth and death years of Merlin and Morgana and the inventors of the Skele-Gro and the Pepper-Up Potion.
This marked the end of the entire school year.
When Professor Bagshot instructed them to put down their quill pens and parchment, many students couldn’t help but cheer.
On the final day of the semester, during the end-of-year banquet, Matthew again caught sight of Professor Grindelwald, who exuded his usual grandeur.
Professor Grindelwald delivered a brief speech, encouraging the seventh-year graduates to continue working hard after leaving Hogwarts.
He also wished the students in other grades a joyful summer vacation, urging them not to forget the knowledge they had gained.
As Professor Grindelwald took his seat, the students indulged in their last dinner of the semester.
That night, the final exam results were announced.
Matthew received O (Outstanding) grades in all his courses.
To his surprise, he also claimed the top position in his year.
He couldn’t help but wonder if Hermione should have scored higher than him.
Perhaps her intense studying had led to abnormal performance during the exams.
Draco and Theodore also achieved quite good grades, with most of their scores being E (Exceeds Expectations).
Their report cards weren’t unimpressive.
Vincent and Gregory’s grades, however, were less favorable.
Vincent received a P (Poor) in Potions, Gregory earned a P in History of Magic, and the lowest grade in Transfiguration, a D (Dreadful).
Thankfully, none of them needed to repeat the year or face expulsion.
The next day, the scarlet-red Hogwarts Express stopped on the tracks at Hogsmeade Station. The station’s steam locomotive emitted its cheerful siren.
The students’ suitcases and pets had been sent onto the train by the house-Elves the previous night.
Under Professor Kettleburn’s guidance, the first-year students boarded the train, filling it with laughter and chatter.
They watched the countryside outside the window grow greener and cleaner, listening to the rhythmic sound of the wheels rolling on the tracks.
The train passed through Muggle towns one after another.
They indulged in chocolate frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, eagerly discussing their excitement for the upcoming summer vacation.
Finally, the train arrived at Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station.
“See you next semester!” Matthew bid farewell to Draco, Theodore, Vincent, and Gregory.
After disembarking, he spotted Neville and Hermione waiting for him.
With Hermione were Gryffindor and Ravenclaw students Parvati Patil and Padma Patil.
“Neville, I’ve already decided. We’ll see you in Diagon Alley soon!” Matthew smiled at Neville.
“Well, goodbye!” Neville nodded.
“Goodbye, Matthew!” Hermione waved.
After bidding farewell to his friends, Matthew confidently entered the spacious fireplace room adjacent to the station.
Emerald green flames danced and crackled in the fireplaces all around.
With this, Matthew’s first semester is coming to an end.
Read up to 40 Chapters ahead on my Patreon page!