With the parchment in hand, Matthew returned to the empty bedroom, eager to uncover the mystery. He opened his “History of Magic” textbook and reviewed the lessons about Merlin and Morgana that Professor Bagshot had covered in the previous class.

Afterward, he turned to the “The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1” book and previewed the content related to the “Hovering Spell,” which they were scheduled to learn in tomorrow’s spell class.

Time seemed to slip away with each passing minute and second.

Almost an hour later, the bedroom door suddenly swung open, and Theodore Nott entered, humming a small tune. Matthew looked up, and the two boys awkwardly locked eyes.

“Hello!” Matthew greeted enthusiastically.

Theodore was taken aback for a moment but eventually nodded in acknowledgment.

Professor Rosier had given Matthew a description of what had transpired in the bedroom the previous afternoon. However, it was only speculation, and Matthew was keen to hear Theodore Nott’s account.

Closing the textbooks in front of him, Matthew approached Nott.

“Hey, Nott!” he asked with excitement. “Can you fill me in on what happened here yesterday afternoon? I’ve been left in the dark so far!”

The presence of an eager listener reignited Theodore’s interest, although he still carried a tinge of fear from the previous day’s events. Nevertheless, he was happy to share his story in vivid detail.

“I was writing my Transfiguration essay, and Draco, Vincent, and Gregory suddenly gathered near your bed, looking quite bewildered,” Theodore Nott began with a loud voice.

“I wasn’t concerned with them because I was preoccupied with figuring out the relationship between a match and a needle. But suddenly, there was a loud bang, and the bedroom door swung open, revealing a terrifying figure. It was like a skeletal being, incredibly eerie…”

As he spoke, the narrative took on a peculiar direction.

“…Draco screamed and was knocked down by this figure. Vincent and Gregory attempted to attack, but they were swiftly subdued as well. Soon, only consciousness remained in the room. Wickfield, you can only imagine the scene!”

Theodore Nott grew increasingly animated as he continued.

Matthew understood that Nott’s memory likely extended only as far as when Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle surrounded his suitcase. Everything beyond that was Theodore’s own embellishment of the “adventure.”

However, Nott carried on with his tale.

“I remained remarkably calm throughout the ordeal, even when the dark wizard turned his attention towards me. I found myself directly beneath his legs and made a split-second decision. With a swift movement, I conjured a sliding shovel beneath him, narrowly avoiding his spell, which grazed my scalp and struck my favorite vase with a resounding crash…”

“My fondness for that vase cannot be overstated,” Theodore continued, “so when it shattered, anger surged within me.”

“Wizard’s temperament varies greatly,” Matthew interjected, intrigued by his friend’s storytelling. “And what did you do next?”

Theodore nodded eagerly, appreciating the interest. “Then… then…” his voice grew hoarse and hesitant.

“What’s the matter?” Matthew noticed Theodore’s sudden change in demeanor.

“Then… it’s still here!” Theodore Nott exclaimed, his body trembling.

“What are you talking about?” Matthew stood up abruptly, his expression shifting.

“It’s still here… it never left,” Nott muttered, seemingly replying to Matthew while also speaking to himself.

“Relax, Nott!” Matthew spoke firmly, attempting to calm the distressed boy.

“It never left… never left…” Theodore Nott’s trembling escalated, and his voice faded, “It won’t leave…”

“Theodore?” Matthew approached him cautiously. Matthew’s face contorted into a look of concern as he observed Theodore’s fragile state.

Sensing that Nott could easily lose control, he contemplated calling for help from outside the room.

Suddenly, Theodore turned around abruptly, eyes locked onto Matthew’s gaze. At that moment, he let out an ear-piercing scream as if confronted with an indescribable monster.

Overwhelmed by fear and confusion, the eleven-year-old boy collapsed, losing consciousness.

A quarter of an hour later, inside the school hospital, several Slytherin students, including Matthew Wickfield, gathered around Theodore’s bedside. Madam Pomfrey, the Hogwarts Matron, meticulously examined the unconscious boy before shaking her head in frustration.

“It’s just a minor episode, nothing more,” Madam Pomfrey grumbled, “Did anyone ask him or remind him about the incident?”

The students looked at each other, afraid of telling Mrs. Pomfrey the truth.

A student finally talked. It was Miss Gemma Farley, the Slytherin’s perfect, “Since Nott left the hospital yesterday, he has been telling the other students about what happened.”

“This idiot, I told him to try not to remember anything about the incident once he got discharged.” Madam Pomfrey shook her head with a palm on her face.

“I—is Nott okay?” Matthew couldn’t help but ask slowly.

“He will be okay. It’s just I won’t let him out of his bed till the next week!” Madam Pomfrey replied with a hint of anger in her tone.

Even though it feels like Madam Pomfrey is mad, you can feel her compassion with how she takes care of Theodore Nott and how she replies to the students.

“Now off you go, hurry! The patients need to rest.” Madam Pomfrey ushered the students to the exit.

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Published On: June 28, 2023

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