Matthew believed that the intention of Professor Slughorn telling Matthew to wait at the Potions classroom was to invite him to join the Slug Club.
The club consisted of students Professor Slughorn considered outstanding and relatives of famous and successful individuals, making it an elite group within Hogwarts.
However, it turned out that Matthew had overestimated the situation. The head of the house of Slytherin, who had escorted Harry Evans to the hospital and then returned to the classroom, only greeted Matthew in a “somewhat” concerned tone.
He mentioned that if Matthew ever had any questions, he could visit his office for assistance. He never mentioned anything about the club.
It seemed that Matthew hadn’t quite met the Professor’s standards. Nevertheless, it was a good start. Matthew gathered his supplies and returned to the Slytherin common room.
“Pure blood is thicker than the Muggle’s blood!” He whispered as he touched the head of the giant snake on the door.
The gate swung open; Matthew walked through the room to his bedroom. Having been there for a few days, he had grown accustomed to living beneath the lake, with the constant sound of waves and various aquatic creatures swimming outside his window.
The previous night, he even saw a terrifying monster with a human head and fish body, holding a fork and peering toward his bedroom. It had startled him, but he quickly realized it was likely a mermaid from the Black Lake. To avoid any further encounters, he decided to close the curtains.
Just as Matthew was about to head to the Great Hall for dinner, his name was called from behind.
“Wickfield!” It was Draco’s voice; following him was his posse. Crabbe and Goyle standing behind him, towering over him.
Draco Malfoy, Vincent Crabbe, and Gregory Goyle were childhood friends. Rather, the two were Draco’s followers. While Theodore Nott came from a pure-blooded family and had known them prior to Hogwarts.
Matthew existed awkwardly in this small group of Slytherin boys. Though they were roommates and the same freshmen as Matthew, Matthew did not want to deliberately fit in with their group or get acquainted with them. They were, at best, roommates.
This was the first time Malfoy displayed such a hostile expression to Matthew, though Matthew simply replied calmly, “What’s the matter, Malfoy?”
“Slughorn invited you to join?” Malfoy asked coldly.
“Join?” Matthew frowned, realizing that Malfoy was already a member of the Slug Club and was asking Matthew about his own invitation. Matthew shook his head in response.
A smug look appeared on Malfoy’s face as he boasted, “It seems all your attempts at flattering in Potions class were in vain! You see, I didn’t do anything, and yet he invited me on the first day of school!”
“Perhaps,” Matthew shrugged nonchalantly, “I’m heading to the Great Hall for dinner; care to join?”
Malfoy seemed to have been struck by a heavy blow; now, he had a strange expression. He appears to be in disbelief over Matthew’s response.
Matthew then turned around, leaving the room.
Life at Hogwarts continues.
The Defense Against the Dark Arts class was the most anticipated for first-year students. The Slytherin and Ravenclaw first-years finally had their first joint class on Friday afternoon.
Over twenty young faces filled with anticipation entered the classroom on the fourth floor, waiting quietly for the class to begin.
Professor Rosier entered the classroom punctually as the bell rang, donning her neat black robe.
“The Defense Against the Dark Arts class is the most crucial class at Hogwarts,” Professor Rosier declared, her voice commanding the entire class’s attention, “It will accompany you throughout your life.”
“If anyone dares to make trouble in my class, then I will ask them out and never allow them to set foot in here again. Understand?” Professor Rosier clarified that disruptive behavior would result in immediate expulsion from her class.
The warning left the classroom in a state of silence; neither the Slytherin nor Ravenclaw students dared to make a sound.
Professor Rosier glanced at the quiet crowd and continued her introduction, “Very well, at the beginning of this first lesson. I have a question for all of you, What is dark magic?”
Almost instantly, Hermione Granger’s arm shot up, eager to answer.
“Miss Granger.” Professor Rosier acknowledged her with a nod.
“Dark magic is evil witchcraft created and used by dark wizards. It often inflicts great pain and suffering upon its victims, with the caster deriving pleasure from the harm they cause.” Hermione replied without confidence.
Matthew knew this passage was recited from “The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection,” but he couldn’t recite the passage as flawlessly as Hermione.
Unfazed, Professor Rosier simply gestured for Hermione to sit down, “Miss Granger, your answer is entirely incorrect.” Professor Rosier said mercilessly, shattering Hermione’s confidence, “First and foremost, magic itself is neutral; it is the intentions and actions of the wizard that determine whether it is good or evil.”
Matthew listened intently, realizing that this Defense Against the Dark Arts class would be far more challenging than he had anticipated. He resolved to study diligently and prove himself in Professor Rosier’s eyes.
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