After what happened, Hermione seems more wary of Neville’s presence. She suddenly becomes much quieter.
Matthew continued the conversation with Neville instead; meanwhile, Matthew seemed really happy talking with Neville.
Matthew also inquired more about the wizarding world; although Neville is an eleven-year-old boy, he doesn’t know much about it.
While they were talking, the train already left London going North to where Hogwarts is.
Around twelve-thirty noon, a trolley voice came from the hallway outside. It stopped right in front of their door, then suddenly, their door opened.
A chubby witch stood beside the trolley, “Do you need any snacks, dear?” She asked.
“Yes!” Neville suddenly felt energetic and took a bunch of snacks such as the chocolate frogs, cauldron cakes, and every flavor of beans.
“How about the both of you, dear?” The witch looked at Hermione and Matthew.
Hermione walked over and hesitantly picked some snacks, “Are these free?”
“Yes, my dear. Just don’t be too greedy!” The witch nodded.
“Hogwarts is awesome!” Hermione said with a licorice wand in her hand.
“Hogwarts paid for our tuition, books, and living expenses. Providing these for free as well? Is Hogwarts that rich?” Matthew asked.
“Yes, the school Hogwarts itself is vibrant.” Matthew said, “Not to mention the principal…” Matthew mumbled to himself.
“Will these frogs move by themselves?” Hermione’s looking at the chocolate frogs.
“That’s right, So you have to be careful to not let them run away… They came with a collectible card of famous witches and wizards as well; I’m so close to completing my collection.” Neville explains.
Hermione took a chocolate frog and saw what kind of card she got.
“It’s Morgan le Fay!” She exclaims while looking at the picture, “I heard many of her exploits in the Muggle’s world.”
“That’s what the people at Muggle’s world know her as; in here, she was known as Morganna.” Matthew’s face changed as if he might have eaten a lousy flavor bean, “She is probably the strongest witch in British history; her power is on par with Merlin! Her card is also quite rare; I suggest you keep it!”
At the same time, Matthew also picked a frog and saw what kind of card he got.
He got a card with a picture of an old man, a good-looking old man, you would feel pleasant just by looking at his face. He had neat short silver hair, a mustache, and a gentle smile in the picture.
The name under the picture says, “Gellert Grindelwald.”
“It’s Grindelwald!” Matthew said.
“Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of Grindelwald; he is the greatest wizard of the century. I already have eight copies of his card.” Neville explained.
Matthew turned the card over and read the text on the back, “Gellert Grindelwald, the current principal of Hogwarts. Recognized as the greatest wizard of our time. Grindelwald’s notable contribution is as follow: Defeated Dumbledore, the Dark Wizard, in 1945; helped with the reconstruction of the Ministry of Magic after the first Wizarding War, discovered the uses of Dragon’s blood, helped Cassandra Trelawney with her prophecy; Professor Grindelwald loves sweets and Bocce Ball.”
Matthew suddenly turned quiet after reading all that; he turned the card over and saw Grindelwald smile at him. It made him shiver…
The next couple of hours inside the box, the whole situation suddenly went dead silent; after reading the card, Matthew suddenly went off with his thoughts somewhere, and Hermione is still unwilling to talk with Neville that much from earlier.
This whole thing went on for almost half a day.
A voice suddenly echoes on the train, “The train will arrive at Hogwarts in five minutes. Please take care of your luggage and don’t leave them behind after arriving.”
They got off at a brightly lit platform; the sign said “Hogsmeade.”
“First years come to my side!” An old man holding a lamp with a prosthetic leg shouted from the side of the crowd.
“That is Professor Kettleburn! He is the Professor responsible for the Care of Magical Creatures and the hunting grounds!” Neville explained to Matthew.
Matthew saw that besides his left arm, all of his limbs were made of prosthetics.
The Professor counted the crowds, and after a while, he said, “Very well! Follow me, all of the first-years, follow me!”
They did not take the main road but a steep and narrow trail. The students don’t say much; they can only follow the Professor.
There is a mass of pitch black on both sides of the path; it looks gloomy.
As they arrived at what seemed to be the end of the path, a black moor was seen in front of them; further than that, over the lake, they could see a towering castle standing there.
The students cheered.
There are boats moored by the lake.
“There can be no more than four people on each boat!” Professor Kettleburn shouted.
Matthew, Neville, and Hermione choose the boat near them, while some crowds become chaotic. Two girls came to their boat.
“There is only one spot left; let’s choose another one, Daphne!” said the girl in front, “Not to mention the Longbottom is also on this one.” She then took the other girl’s hand and left.
Matthew couldn’t help but look at Neville after what she just said.
“Our parents… had some conflicts…” Neville explained softly.
Soon, another student came. The last passenger at their boat.
A little kid with a short figure, and messy hair, he keeps his head down.
“Hello!” Hermione took the initiative and greeted him.
The timid boy just looked at them quietly and lowered his head again.
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