“Draco deserved it?” Matthew was taken aback by the straightforward admission.
In fact, after the Dueling Club incident, he had already begun to suspect that this book might have been responsible for his attack on Draco.
But he hadn’t anticipated such a clear and concise confession from the book and a seemingly “reasonable” explanation.
With a renewed interest, Matthew wrote again:
“Why did you decide he deserved such a fate?”
The ink shimmered for a moment before the green handwriting emerged once more:
“You’ll soon understand.”
Matthew found himself in a bizarre game of mime with the book and couldn’t help but chuckle.
Honestly, based on his interactions over the past year or so…
Although Matthew still remained in the dark about the book’s origin and abilities, he had gathered some clues:
Under normal circumstances, the book wouldn’t harm him…
In fact, it sometimes even seemed to actively protect him…
It’s worth noting that, considering its power, if the book wanted him gone, it could have achieved that at any point over the last year.
Yet, it had no intention of harming him—except for that unfortunate toad.
Rather than malevolence, it demonstrated what could be interpreted as “survival” behaviors…
For example, when Draco attempted to frame him last September, the book intervened to prevent it.
Otherwise, if Matthew had been falsely accused, his life at Hogwarts could have become exceedingly difficult.
Then, when he contemplated seeking Morgana in February of the current year, the book discouraged him.
Truth be told, Morgana posed a significant danger. It seemed that even with Professor Grindelwald’s strategic consideration, her power could lead to catastrophic consequences.
This book hadn’t undermined Matthew’s interests (except for that one toad).
Perhaps due to this, a few months ago, in the face of Professor Grindelwald, Matthew could have easily told him about the book.
Given Professor Grindelwald’s reputation, he might have been amenable to helping rid Matthew of the dark magical item on the mysterious side.
Such an endeavor could be daunting for ordinary wizards, but it might not have been insurmountable for someone like Professor Grindelwald.
Yet, in the end, Matthew had chosen silence.
Despite the strange events and the toad incident, he had developed a certain attachment to the book over the past year.
Regardless of its purpose, it had remained with him for so long without attempting to harm him. Thus, he decided to adopt a wait-and-see approach.
Furthermore, his relationship with the book could be deemed a peaceful coexistence.
If the book had genuinely hostile intentions, what would prevent it from resorting to extremes? And how could Matthew guarantee that it wouldn’t push him into a corner and lead to disastrous consequences?
He had no wish to witness such an outcome.
Closing the book and returning it to the drawer, Matthew felt a sense of anticipation.
If the book claimed he’d know soon, then he could afford to wait.
Barely had he closed the drawer when he heard a clamor of footsteps outside his door.
Moments later, the bedroom door swung open.
Draco and the others had returned.
Draco still had a bandage wrapped around his head, traces of blood visible on the gauze.
Vincent and Gregory supported Malfoy on either side, their sturdy arms serving as makeshift crutches.
Theodore followed closely behind.
The four of them locked eyes in the doorway, with Matthew inside the room.
Matthew couldn’t help but sense an odd tension emanating from them.
Notably, their eyes reflected a mix of fear and reverence, and they seemed hesitant to meet his gaze directly.
A stifling silence enveloped the room, creating an increasingly peculiar atmosphere.
“Good evening,” Matthew greeted slowly.
“Matthew…” Draco’s voice trembled, cutting through the silence in the room.
His words were strained, his voice quivering as though suppressing intense fear.
“Forgive us… We’re sorry… We were wrong… We won’t do it again… Please forgive us…”
Draco’s words sounded almost incoherent, resembling a jumble of nonsensical thoughts.
Likewise, Theodore, Vincent, and Gregory lowered their heads in a mixture of fear and unease.
It was as though they were on the verge of kneeling…
Matthew blinked, his comprehension suddenly dawning.
He had finally understood the situation!
Why had Draco and the others been avoiding him?
Why did the book manipulate him during the Dueling Club practice, causing him to attack Draco?
Why did the book attribute such strong sentiment to Draco?
The truth seemed to become evident in an instant.
While he lacked all the details, it was evident that Draco, Theodore, Vincent, and Gregory were all from pure-blood families and returned from the summer break with no intention of allowing another term of being “dominated” by “Mudbloods” within Hogwarts.
From Malfoy’s perspective, they were tired of feeling underrepresented and sought a change.
Thus, they had likely been plotting something since the start of the term.
Even the supposed “confiscation” of his broomstick by Mr. Pringle might have been an elaborate ruse; their true intention had been to strategize together.
It could have been an act of retaliation against Matthew or perhaps an attempt to embarrass him publicly…
Though the details remained shrouded, Matthew didn’t need to know them.
However, although they had operated in the shadows, the book was privy to their actions.
The book had detected their activities and subsequently exhibited a “righteous rage” during the Dueling Club, manipulating Matthew to target Draco and causing him to sustain injuries.
Naturally, Draco was unaware of Matthew’s side of the story, and Matthew remained ignorant of the plot Draco had hatched.
Draco, interpreting Matthew’s actions as retaliation, had returned to the dormitory and felt compelled to confess everything…
Matthew neither confirmed nor denied; he simply gazed at the four individuals in the doorway.
It was evident that their hearts were fraught with unease and trepidation.
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