The return of Headmaster Gellert Grindelwald seemed to inject new life into the panic-stricken Hogwarts.
In a remarkably short period of time, the atmosphere of panic and chaos on campus dissipated, replaced by a sense of restored order.
Professor Grindelwald addressed everyone, explaining the causes and consequences of the attacks, alleviating their fears.
He assured them that Hogwarts would be safe going forward and there would be no further danger.
In short, Hogwarts bounced back overnight.
And Matthew’s life returned to its previous state of tranquillity.
The students around him were no longer afraid and seldom discussed the attacks.
His routine became the familiar cycle of the common room, the auditorium, the classrooms, and the library.
Moreover, he reduced his visits to the Room of Requirement, choosing to spend more time in the library unless absolutely necessary.
Following Professor Slughorn’s “warning” that night, he felt it best to keep his distance from that mysterious book.
Even minimal contact within the same room seemed better to avoid.
And as Headmaster Grindelwald and the others promised, there were no more attacks.
The culprit responsible for the three consecutive attacks, the “blood-sucking” monster, appeared to have been deterred by Headmaster Grindelwald’s speech in the auditorium. It seemed that the enemy no longer dared to act recklessly.
Initially, everyone remained fearful, but after several days without any further incidents, the students at Hogwarts gradually returned to their usual selves.
True to his word, Headmaster Grindelwald stayed at Hogwarts and hardly left during this period.
At every breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Matthew could see him engaging in lively conversations with Professor Sprout, Professor Flitwick, and Professor Slughorn from the main guest seat in the auditorium.
According to some senior students, this was quite rare.
Professor Grindelwald had been busy in recent years and rarely stayed at the school, aside from the opening banquet, Halloween dinner, and special occasions like Christmas dinner.
Perhaps the previous attacks had influenced his decision to remain at Hogwarts.
However, Headmistress Vinda Rosier, who corresponded to Headmaster Grindelwald, was nowhere to be found.
This was unlike her usual behavior.
It was another Friday afternoon, and the wind howled outside the castle while rain poured heavily.
More torches and lanterns had to be lit to navigate the dim corridors and classrooms.
Holding his textbook, Matthew habitually lowered his head and entered the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom.
When he raised his head, he was taken aback.
The figure standing at the podium was not Professor Rosier but Professor Trocar, the Transfiguration teacher.
“Alright, everyone is here!” Professor Trocar glanced at the students and said, “We may proceed with our class.”
A hand shot up in the air.
“What’s the matter, Miss Granger?” Professor Trocar acknowledged the student who raised her hand.
“Where is Professor Rosier?” Hermione hurriedly asked.
“Professor Rosier was injured. Professor Slughorn, Professor Travers, and I will temporarily take over her classes. I will handle the first-year courses,” Professor Trocar replied calmly without showing any anger.
Matthew furrowed his brow, recalling the image of Professor Rosier limping that night.
“Does her absence have anything to do with the attack that Miss Adams and Mr. Carlo experienced?” Matthew inquired, raising his hand.
“It’s possible that it played a role,” Professor Trocar calmly replied, “I’m sorry, but I can’t disclose too much…”
“So… when will she return?” Matthew continued his questioning.
“It may take a while, perhaps a month; I can’t guarantee it.” Professor Trocar answered.
“Alright, thank you, Professor.” Matthew said and sat back down.
Hermione Granger, who remained standing, anxiously mentioned, “But Professor Rosier assigned a paper due in two weeks…”
“You can wait for Professor Rosier to return and give it to her. I don’t think I’m responsible for that,” Professor Trocar smiled.
“Great!” A cheer erupted from the students below the podium.
“Oh, please…” Hermione said disappointedly, “I’ve already finished writing it!”
Matthew frowned. He had also completed the paper but wasn’t concerned about it.
The Headmaster’s return, the Headmistress’s sudden disappearance, and the abrupt end to the attacks…
Could there be a connection between these three events?
“Now, let’s officially begin the class,” Professor Trocar announced from the podium, flipping open the textbook. “Please turn to page 69 of ‘The Dark Forces – A Guide to Self Protection’…”
They had a delightful Defense Against the Dark Arts class.
Professor Trocar seemed well-versed in the subject matter and was more than capable of teaching the first years.
His class atmosphere was much lighter than Professor Rosier’s, which had always carried a sense of gloom.
The bell rang, signaling the end of class. Everyone gathered their belongings and left the classroom. Matthew was among them, but…
“Matthew, wait!” Hermione Granger from Ravenclaw called out his name from a distance.
Matthew had a hunch that Hermione wanted to talk to him, but he didn’t feel like discussing it. His mind was preoccupied with something else.
So, amidst the noisy chatter, he pretended not to hear and walked out of the classroom without looking back.
Hermione rushed towards him but accidentally bumped into Agnes Lestrange from Slytherin.
“Sorry! Sorry!” she quickly apologized.
But when she looked up, Matthew Wickfield was already gone.
He was already on his way back to the Slytherin common room.
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