Matthew felt dizzy for a while. Fortunately, he didn’t fly for very long as his feet finally touched the ground.
Matthew looks around; he realizes he has gone to a mysterious place.
The insides had a medieval aesthetic; the room was vast but gloomy. A wooden table with a dripping candle on top of it, its flame is shyly dancing against the room’s darkness. Dusty floor, yet the furniture is shiny; the fireplace has a wild green fire blazing, and a cup of warm Chai tea.
“There is no one else here except me, but why are there other noises coming from the other side of this room?” Matthew said to himself.
Just as Matthew is about to check it out *BAM*, the door is pushed open; Matthew is surprised. A girl in a black trench coat rushes in.
“Are you Mr. Matthew Wickfield?” The girl in black asked.
The girl looks very young; judging from her appearance, she seems to be around her late adolescent age.
The door didn’t stop moving even after she entered the room, but judging by her relaxed expression feels like the door was not hostile at all.
“Yes.” Matthew nodded.
“I’m pretty sure you have lots of questions to ask. Let me tell you this first; you are a wizard. A young wizard, to be exact; you just need to study at Hogwarts, and you’ll be a prominent wizard figure in the future.” The woman in black said to Matthew.
“Wizard?” Matthew knew of this matter some time ago, but still, he played along with her and made a surprised expression.
“My name is Penelope Clearwater, the prefect of Hogwarts, and I will be your guide.” She said.
The name Penelope Clearwater rings a bell in Matthew’s head as a character in “Harry Potter.”
“That letter from Hogwarts was authentic, but why does it feel something is strange?” Matthew thought to himself, but he kept his emotion clear.
“Mr. Wickfield, perhaps the words magic and wizards simply reminds you of fairy tales. That is not the case, magic exists in every corner of this world, but you were living in the Muggle world before.” Penelope explains.
“Muggles are people who lack any magical ability and were not born in a magical family.” She added.
Penelope then picked a letter from the ground; it was the Hogwarts acceptance letter Matthew had brought with him.
“This letter could bring you from Northampton 80 miles away straight to London in no less than 10 seconds. This is the power of magic, Mr. Wickfield!”
“London?” Matthew asked softly.
“Yes! If you don’t believe me, you can look through the window. Charing Cross Road is just right outside.” Penelope said with a smile.
Matthew goes to the window and has a peek through it; he can hear the noisy crowd and see the crowds moving like waves; he looks back to Penelope and then back to the street. He remembered when he saw the group of people disappear; it was around here.
Penelope Clearwater recently became Hogwarts perfect this summer, the first time facing a Hogwarts freshman from a Muggle family, and is responsible for his guidance.
She heard other prefects’ experiences convincing the freshmen who grew up in the Muggle world about the existence of wizards and magic. Some cried and wanted to go home to their parents.
Matthew Wickfield obviously is not among them.
He seemed calm no matter what she described about the magical world and Hogwarts. Although his expression changed a little occasionally, he had listened to every word Penelope had said.
“Miss Clearwater. Thank you very much for telling me all this, but before that, can you please send me back home first? Let’s discuss it with my parents first before making a decision. After all, I’m only eleven years old.” Matthew said calmly.
“Your parents?” Penelope asked. “Are you referring to your Muggle parents? I simply don’t think it’s necessary.”
Matthew’s expression changed this time; he was visibly confused.
“I don’t think I catch what you are saying, Miss Clearwater.” Matthew asked slowly.
“They are just Muggles who don’t know an ounce about our world. Telling them these would simply be a waste of time.” Penelope said. “In fact, before reaching seventeen, you are not allowed any contact with the outside world.” Penelope adds with a stern voice.
She then took out a palm-sized hardcover book out of her pocket.
“Let me see… it’s around page 216…” Penelope murmured.
She then shows the page right where she opens it to Matthew, a black and white photo of a girl about the same age as Matthew; the girl in the picture suddenly grinned at him.
“Abigail Williams is her name.” Penelope exclaimed.
“The story happened almost three hundred years ago in Salem, Massachusetts, the New World. This Muggle girl was suffering from a strange disease, dying on her bed groaning. A thirteen-year-old witch passed by and heard her groans; she felt empathetic toward her. The young witch then quietly took her to the hidden wizard village in Salem; they cured her of all her illness with magic….” Penelope tells in a severe tone.
“… but later in the evening, the cured girl ran to the church and told the priest there about the evidence of magic and the existence of the hidden wizard village. In the next day’s early dawn, thousands of Muggles suddenly attacked the wizard village. Almost two hundred witches and wizards were caught by Muggles in their sleep; many of them were burned and hanged. The thirteen-year-old witch that helped the Muggle got stoned to death.” Penelope continues while closing the book and returning it to her pocket
Matthew could not help feeling fear and afraid… after all that, a story finally broke Matthew’s calm.
Miss Penelope Clearwater feels quite satisfied seeing how his expression finally changes.
“For young wizards, especially wizards from Muggle families, you are not capable enough to protect your own yourself. Any contact with Muggles may lead to terrifying consequences.” Penelope said sternly, looking straight into Matthew’s eyes.
“Therefore, in the ‘Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery’ of 1956, it was specifically stipulated that minor wizards from Muggle families are prohibited from contacting Muggle society until they reach the age of seventeen; this restriction will not be lifted until they reach adulthood!” Penelope declared while still looking at Matthew’s eyes.
Matthew nodded; he didn’t ask for anything because he was caught by surprise; he didn’t even bother to ask what would happen if he violated the law.
“Any questions, Mr. Wickfield?” Penelope asked.
“There is indeed another question, Miss Clearwater.” Matthew asked in a low voice, “Are wizards and Muggles equal?”
“Of course, we are equal. Wizards, Fairies, Giants, and Muggles are all intelligent beings living in the same world. We are all equal. This sentence was said by the greatest wizard of the twentieth century…” Penelope answered without any hesitation in her voice.
She continues “… but of course, as the true masters of magic, wizards should be above the others!”
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