The two professors on the stage were poised and ready.
“Who do you think will win?” Students in the audience began to chatter excitedly.began to chatter excitedly.
Yet, the majority held a unanimous view—that Professor Felius Flitwick would emerge victorious.
The Duel Club had seen numerous sessions, and although Professor Flitwick invited several “assistants,” hardly anyone could claim victory in a “demonstration duel” against him.
After all, he was a former professional dueler, and his expertise far outshone that of amateur opponents.
Matthew, however, furrowed his brow as he observed the back of Professor “Snape” on the stage.
Murmuring to himself, he wondered, “Why do I sense that Professor Snape has a strong chance of winning?”
“Get a firm grip on your wand,” Professor Flitwick addressed the hushed assembly. “When I count to three, both participants will cast the first spell…for the purpose of this demonstration, it will only be the ‘disarming curse.’“
Both figures raised their wands almost simultaneously, though Professor Flitwick’s was elevated above his shoulder while Professor “Snape’s” was held slightly lower.
Their reactions were nearly matched.
“Expelliarmus!” Professor Flitwick cried out.
However, Professor “Snape” displayed a remarkable sensitivity.
He crouched and sidestepped—narrowly dodging Professor Flitwick’s disarming spell that barely grazed his shoulder.
“A splendid evasion, as you can observe…” Professor Flitwick offered an explanation while the duel continued.
Professor “Snape” retaliated with a shout, “Expelliarmus!”
Another vibrant red light flashed—
Professor Flitwick, well-versed in dueling tactics, agilely sidestepped.
But an astonishing spectacle unfolded.
Professor “Snape’s” disarming spell appeared to predict Professor Flitwick’s evasion, striking the exact spot the latter had moved to.
The red light struck Professor Flitwick with enough force to unsteady him.
After a few stumbling steps, his wand slipped from his grip.
A hush fell over the auditorium.
“An excellent prediction!” Professor Flitwick conceded, his face betraying a hint of embarrassment.
Dismounting from the stage, he retrieved his wand with a somewhat sheepish air. “Professor Snape’s disarming spell is impeccably executed…”
“Professor Flitwick, you underestimated your opponent,” Professor “Snape” humbly remarked. “If we were in earnest, I would not have been your equal.”
At this, Professor Flitwick could only nod in agreement. “Very well then. Now that the demonstration is complete pair yourselves off in groups of two. Juniors have priority.”
The crowd began forming pairs, and their enthusiasm was palpable.
Matthew found himself paired with Draco, the two of them having a history of partnering together.
One after another, second-year students took the stage to demonstrate.
Admittedly, their performances were far from exemplary; many had yet to master the Disarming Charm.
Their wands emitted nothing more than a faint red mist, hardly yielding any significant effects.
Onstage, Professor Flitwick and Professor “Snape” patiently rectified their posture, gestures, and movements.
Soon, it was Matthew’s turn.
“Mr. Wickfield and Mr. Malfoy, your turn!” Professor Flitwick called. “Step forward, please!”
Taking the stage, both Matthew and Draco stood poised.
“Face your opponent,” Professor Flitwick stood between them. “First, bow…”
The two shared a brief glance before both executed a bow.
“Bend lower, Matthew!” Malfoy whispered jokingly.
However, Matthew offered no reply.
Professor Flitwick continued to explain, “Good…now, turn together…count silently as I guide you through twelve paces…”
“Is everyone in position?”
“Excellent, now, listen for my cue. Upon reaching three, turn and begin the duel…”
Stepping onto the stage, a peculiar sensation washed over Matthew.
It was an overwhelmingly negative emotion that seemed to permeate his mind.
His body felt slightly out of control as if his actions were governed by an unconscious force.
Even as he bowed to Malfoy, he forced himself to perform the gesture.
As Professor Flitwick finished his “three,” Matthew promptly turned and raised his wand.
His reaction was quicker than Malfoy’s.
However, as Matthew gazed at Draco Malfoy’s familiar countenance, an intense and inexplicable hatred welled up within him—
He loathed this individual!
He desired to hurt him!
At the very least, inflict severe injuries!
What was happening?!
Panic surged through Matthew’s consciousness!
Why were his actions, his thoughts, and his emotions no longer under his control?
Theoretically, there was no reason for Matthew to despise Draco.
He wished to speak, to inform Professor Flitwick about this “accident.”
Yet, his lips felt as heavy as lead, rendering him unable to utter a word.
“Remember, only use the Disarming Charm. Aim solely to disarm your opponent!” Professor Flitwick’s reminder finally broke through.
“Only the Disarming Charm… only the Disarming Charm… only the Disarming Charm…”
Matthew’s mind clung to this thought.
“Expelliarmus!” he commanded, pointing his wand at Draco Malfoy.
Matthew’s voice was chillingly cold.
Hearing his own voice felt oddly detached as if it wasn’t his own.
A brilliant red light burst forth from the wand’s tip.
This was no mere wisp of red mist, as seen with previous students.
Compared to the disarming spells of Professor Flitwick and Professor “Snape,” Matthew’s Spell was equally potent.
Draco’s eyes widened.
Before he could react, he hadn’t even raised his wand.
A gust of air swept past him, propelling his body upward.
Though his wand slipped from his grasp, his body was sent hurtling across the stage.
Draco soared beyond the stage’s perimeter, colliding heavily with a wall.
His motion halted, and blood began to seep from his pallid blond hair.
Poor Draco fainted…
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