A resounding “bang” echoed through the auditorium.
Then, an eerie silence fell over the entire space…
The members of the Duel Club watched in astonishment as the events on the stage unfolded.
Their gazes shifted from the injured Draco to the bewildered Matthew, sparking a flurry of discussions and speculations.
“By Merlin’s beard!”
Professor Flitwick let out a soft exclamation, rushing off the stage to hurry toward the wall.
Professor “Snape,” on the other hand, cast a mildly surprised glance at Matthew before hastening to Draco’s side.
The two Professors assisted Draco as he struggled to rise.
“Mr. Malfoy, are you alright?” Professor Flitwick’s voice carried deep concern, though Draco was already unconscious and unresponsive at this point.
“It’s just a Disarming Charm. The injury isn’t severe,” Professor Flitwick assessed quickly. “However, the impact of hitting the wall and the bleeding are concerning.”
“Take care of the rest of the students, Professor Flitwick,” Professor “Snape” made a swift decision. “I’ll take this young man to the school hospital.”
“Very well,” Professor Flitwick nodded. “Be cautious on your way.”
With Draco cradled in his arms, Professor “Snape” strode away, parting the crowd with ease.
Matthew stood on the stage, flabbergasted.
As Draco collided with the wall, the intense negative emotions that had possessed him suddenly vanished, and his consciousness returned. It was as if the previous events in his mind had never transpired.
Only the faint traces of blood on the wall’s edge served as a reminder.
“What just happened?”
“Who am I?”
“What’s going on?”
His mind was a jumble of confusion.
He glanced down at the black walnut wand in his left hand.
A wand that had been with him for over a year, yet now, he found it oddly unfamiliar.
Wasn’t it said that a black walnut wand was among the most loyal and a wand with a Unicorn tail hair core was quite stable? Then why had it behaved so uncontrollably?
A slew of questions swirled in his mind.
“Wickfield!” Professor Flitwick’s gaze fell upon the still-standing Matthew, waving him over urgently. “Come down, come down, my boy!”
Still somewhat dazed, Matthew made his way off the stage almost mechanically.
“Professor… Professor Flitwick,” he stammered, struggling to find an explanation.
“Don’t fret, lad!” Professor Flitwick’s tone was as soothing as ever as he patted Matthew’s shoulder gently.
Bending over, Matthew peered into the professor’s eyes.
“Don’t worry, it was merely an accident,” Professor Flitwick reassured. “It’s not uncommon for something like this to occur during a duel. Even Mr. Malfoy, I doubt he’ll hold it against you. Fear not… Have you practiced the Disarming Charm before?”
Matthew shook his head.
“Really?” The diminutive professor raised an eyebrow in mild surprise. “To execute the Disarming Charm so masterfully on your first try, your talent in this field is exceptional, a rarity…”
“…If only your talent extended to spell classes!” He quipped.
“Sorry… Professor…” Matthew’s lips pursed.
“Never mind the minor mishap,” Professor Flitwick climbed back onto the stage once more, motioning for everyone to quiet down.
“The Duel Club practice will continue. The next pair of students, please take the stage. Just remember to go easy. We don’t want to repeat what happened to Mr. Wickfield, as our practice may have to end prematurely…”
Undoubtedly, even an experienced wizard-like Professor Flitwick couldn’t discern the peculiar occurrence that befell Matthew.
The same held true for the watching students.
After all, the “Disarming Charm” Matthew cast wasn’t anything extraordinary.
Under the right circumstances, a perfectly executed Disarming Charm could result in such damage.
Although it was a feat accomplished by a few wizards.
As for Matthew’s case, it didn’t seem particularly strange, especially since Professor Flitwick attributed it to his exceptional talent.
After all, Matthew had demonstrated proficiency in various subjects over the past year.
In contrast, many students cast envious glances at Matthew, unaware of the turmoil he had experienced.
The Duel Club practice resumed.
There were a couple of instances, similar to Matthew’s, where students hit the wall.
Professor Flitwick, however, was now prepared.
He reacted swiftly, preventing the students from crashing into the wall and instead guiding them to a controlled halt.
Furthermore, Professor “Snape,” who had escorted Malfoy to the school hospital, didn’t reappear.
Though not needed for the current practice, his absence was noted.
As the collective practice session concluded, pairs of students resumed their two-on-two drills across the auditorium.
When Professor Flitwick paired Matthew with a new partner, Theodore, the latter vehemently shook his head, avoiding Matthew with palpable apprehension.
Eventually, Matthew found himself partnered with Spinnett, a fourth-year Gryffindor.
“How did you do that?” She asked with keen interest. “Can you show me?”
“I’m sorry…” Matthew managed a wry smile. “I don’t really know how I did it…”
“Alright,” Miss Spinnett shook her head with mild disappointment. “Let’s just carry on!”
After injuring Draco, Matthew struggled to ask Professor Flitwick about his strange experience.
The abrupt loss of control over his body wasn’t pleasant, and he was eager for answers.
However, with the auditorium filled with students, discussing the matter with Professor Flitwick privately and discreetly proved challenging.
As Professor Flitwick concluded the day’s practice and dismissed everyone.
Matthew contemplated approaching the professor, but he realized that Professor Flitwick had already departed, his figure no longer visible.
With a dejected sigh, Matthew exited the auditorium, pondering whether he should visit Draco in the school hospital.
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