The boy at the door was named Harry Evans.
The five Slytherin sophomores were familiar with him.
Last year, Harry Evans had been in the same grade as them, though he belonged to Gryffindor House.
Unfortunately, his final exam scores were so dismal that he ended up repeating the year.
Now, while his peers had moved on to their second year, he was forced to start his first year again.
As a result, he had been subjected to quite a bit of teasing.
Matthew was aware that Evans wasn’t to blame for this situation.
Most of the previous semester, the “Harry Evans” they had interacted with was actually an impersonation by a dark wizard.
The real Mr. Evans had been confined to the school hospital for over half a year due to illness, during which he had not learned anything.
It was hardly surprising that he ended up repeating the year.
However, this matter was kept strictly confidential at Hogwarts, and only a select few knew the truth.
Even the memory of “Harry Evans” might have been erased.
“Well, everyone’s here,” Professor Snape said with a smile.
“Come in, Mr. Evans,” he motioned towards the door, “Mr. Evans is here for his Transfiguration class. I thought I’d have him join in today’s practice with you all… First, have some tea!”
He began distributing cups of tea to the students in the office.
Matthew took a cup of the steaming tea, sweetened with plenty of brown sugar. It tasted quite good.
“Let’s discuss today’s plans,” Professor Snape said while sipping his tea, “This after-school session might extend through the entire day…”
“Oh Merlin…” Matthew overheard Theodore’s murmurs behind him, “Another whole day… I might as well learn from Professor Bagshot…”
“However, I won’t confine you to a classroom. In fact, I’m planning to take you to the Forbidden Forest,” Professor Snape continued.
He seemed unperturbed by Theodore’s comments. “I’ve always believed that merely studying in a classroom isn’t sufficient—”
He paused, taking another sip of his tea, then continued, “Many wizards who transition into the real world consider Transfiguration somewhat useless…
“…In a sense, they are correct; however, this viewpoint also reflects a failure to integrate learning into life!”
Matthew narrowed his eyes, lost in thought.
Though Professor Snape’s identity remained questionable, his words did make him ponder.
“Now, let’s proceed!” Professor Snape stood up with a playful smile. “I hope none of you have forgotten your wands.”
The six students left the Transfiguration Professor’s office one after the other.
Their united voices caused the small benches that had appeared out of nowhere to vanish.
Professor Snape retrieved a suitcase from the table, locked the office door, and led the way out.
The group of seven ventured beyond the castle.
When they passed by the oak gate, Mr. Pringle was busy cleaning there.
Spotting them from a distance, Mr. Pringle looked up and greeted them warmly, “Professor Snape, taking the students out for practice again?”
“Yes,” Professor Snape replied with a smile and nod. “Thank you for your early efforts, Mr. Pringle…”
Pausing, he then bent down to affectionately pat Mr. Donald’s head before moving on.
Matthew observed quietly.
This situation was somewhat unusual…
Mr. Pringle was known for his odd and irritable temperament, while Mr. Donald was a rather aggressive Golden Retriever.
Not only students but even teachers around the castle seemed to have a strained relationship with them.
Yet, Professor “Snape” appeared to get along well with them.
They continued past the greenhouse and Professor Kettleburn’s cabin.
On the small rooftop at the forest’s edge, smoke wafted upward— Professor Kettleburn seemed to be cooking.
Professor “Snape” didn’t pause to disturb him but led the way deeper into the Forbidden Forest.
The faces of the students looked slightly pale, but they had no choice but to follow Professor Snape into the forest.
The expansive Forbidden Forest gradually enveloped them, and they followed a narrow path that wound deeper into the dark woods.
The forest was eerie, cloaked in silence.
“Curious, I’m sure you all wonder why I’ve brought you here,” Professor Snape spoke casually, his tone relaxed. “After all, today’s practice involves Transfiguration and not defensive dark magic or magical creature protection.”
There was no response, and Matthew himself wasn’t sure what was happening at this point.
“In my view, however, Transfiguration demands the most practice and needs real-world exposure,” Professor Snape continued, his tone growing more serious:
“Let’s take a basic example… Can any of you turn this tiny piece of wood into a needle?”
The students exchanged uncertain glances.
“Mr. Malfoy, why don’t you give it a try?” Professor Snape handed the small piece of wood to Draco.
Draco nervously accepted it and drew out his wand.
Bending down, he placed the piece of wood on the ground and aimed his wand at it:
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