Matthew Wickfield was taken aback by the current turn of events.

He had spent a long time at the library, only to return to his dormitory and find his roommates in a state of chaos.

Four of them were injured, with one on the verge of death and three driven to madness. Under normal circumstances, Matthew might have felt sympathy for them.

However, since he learned from Professor Rosier that these four individuals got into an incident just as they were about to open Matthew’s suitcase and then falsely accused him of stealing, any trace of compassion had vanished from his heart. The only thing remaining was a lingering sense of bewilderment.

But there were more pressing matters at hand. The mysterious book had vanished.

Matthew diligently searched the bedroom, checking the bookshelf, under the bed, and inside the suitcase. Yet, there was no trace of it whatsoever. It was hardly surprising considering the accident that had occurred.

Professor Slughorn, the Head of Slytherin, would undoubtedly conduct a thorough search of the dormitory area. If the book were still there, it would surely be found.

At least for now, Matthew didn’t have to think about the book because it had rid of itself.

“What is this? What did that book do? Are they gonna suffer the same fate as the toad?” Matthew muttered to himself. He felt as if he had narrowly escaped a disastrous fate.

Alone in the vacant dormitory, Matthew’s mood lifted considerably. He even found himself humming a small tune while working on his vampire essay. Even the sound of the waves outside the window seemed to have lightened.

Monday arrived.

As Matthew entered the auditorium and handed over his course papers from the previous week to Slytherin’s prefect, Miss Gemma, he was instantly surrounded by numerous senior students.

Clearly, news had spread about the attack that had taken place in the male dormitory, resulting in injuries to four students. Such a significant event during the first week of school was bound to attract attention.

Consequently, Matthew was met with an unprecedented level of attention. Being the only “survivor” in the boys’ dormitory, he became the center of curiosity. Although he disliked the feeling, he had to repeatedly explain to the senior classmates from various houses that he did not understand what had transpired.

“Sorry… I don’t know… I can’t explain…” He repeats himself.

However, the students seemed to come and go in an unending stream, leaving him only when he finished his breakfast and hurried to the Transfiguration classroom.

Unsurprisingly, the classroom door was securely locked, as there were still about forty-five minutes before class began.

Matthew lightly knocked on the door, but there was no response. He tried again with more force, calling out, “Professor Trocar, are you there?”

He waited patiently for a minute or two, and finally, the door of the Transfiguration Classroom opened. Matthew’s gaze fell upon Professor Trocar, who appeared pale and worn.

“Wickfield?” Professor Trocar’s expression displayed a hint of nervousness, and he pressed his lips together as he spoke.

After opening the door, he turned around, keeping his back to Matthew, and lowered his head slightly as if wiping his mouth. “You came early today. I apologize for not hearing your knock on the door; I was engrossed in reading your paper on transfiguring matches into needles.”

Matthew sighed and surveyed the transfiguration classroom calmly. He noticed a few drops of fresh blood on the marble floor near the podium, accompanied by some chicken feathers scattered around the bloodstain.

He averted his gaze and took a seat, taking out his copy of “A Beginner’s Guide to Transfiguration” and his wand from his bag. While Matthew focused on his book, Professor Trocar tidied up the classroom to some extent, making it appear cleaner than before.

“I heard about what happened in your dormitory.” Professor Trocar began, taking a seat beside Matthew. Despite his tired demeanor, he wore a faint smile.

Matthew glanced up from his book and shrugged. “Yeah, everyone in the auditorium was eager to know the details, but I truly have no idea what happened.”

“Curiosity is a common trait among young people,” Professor Trocar remarked, his smile widening, “Rest assured, Professor Rosier is deeply invested in the study of Dark Arts, and she will make sure such incidents don’t recur.”

The two engaged in a conversation about various transfiguration-related topics. Matthew shared his confusion and doubts about the material he had reviewed over the weekend while Professor Trocar patiently explained and clarified each point.

Nearly fifteen minutes passed, and just as their discussion reached a halt, the Transfiguration Classroom door creaked open again.

Agnes Lestrange stood there watching them; she was surprised to see Matthew and Professor Trocar conversing.

“I need to prepare for the next class.” Professor Trocar announced calmly, standing up from his seat. He then went to the dark room behind the podium, closing the door behind him.

Agnes approached Matthew, her tone tinged with incredulity, “Wickfield, you were alone with Professor Trocar?”

Matthew blinked, raising an eyebrow, “Yes, what’s the matter?”

Agnes’ voice lowered, and a hint of frustration laced her words, “How dare you… after Professor Rosier’s class last Friday, don’t you understand?”

Confused, Matthew raised his hand to cut her off before she continued rambling, “Miss Lestrange, if you want an explanation for how I transfigured the matches into needles last week, I believe I can provide one now.”

He spoke slowly, his words hanging in the air, inviting Agnes to seek her desired answers.

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Published On: June 26, 2023

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