With the arrival of November, the weather turned bitterly cold almost overnight.

The mountains surrounding Hogwarts Castle appeared gray, covered in snow and ice. A thin layer of ice formed on the surface of the Black Lake.

As they stepped out of the Slytherin common room each morning, frost covered the ground outside the entrance.

They had to bundle up in thick clothing to ward off the cold.

Matthew reduced his visits to the library and the Room of Requirement.

When he had free time, he preferred to sit in the comfortable armchairs of the Slytherin common room, basking in the warmth of the fireplace, reading a book, or working on his homework.

Whenever he didn’t understand something, he could always seek advice from his fellow students.

Just like Hermione’s “prophecy,” since Halloween, Professor Rosier had vanished again.

The official explanation was that she hadn’t fully recovered from her injuries.

Meanwhile, “Gellert Grindelwald,” the Headmaster, appeared punctually every morning, lunchtime, and evening, sitting in the main guest seat of the Great Hall.

Perhaps Hermione’s previous conjecture was correct—Professor Grindelwald didn’t possess complete authority as the Hogwarts Headmaster and couldn’t stay at the school for long.

Now, they saw him every day, accompanied by Headmistress Rosier, who was all dressed up.

But Matthew’s “prophecy” wasn’t wrong either. Though the principal who appeared before them daily was likely an imposter, the “true culprit” lurking in the shadows still feared him and dared not launch new attacks.

Apart from the minor “interlude” on Halloween, the castle remained peaceful.

Since Professor Rosier “hadn’t completely recovered yet,” the first-year Defense Against the Dark Arts class was still taught by Professor Trocar.

Under Professor Trocar’s guidance, their Defense Against the Dark Arts proficiency gradually improved.

It was another Friday afternoon, another Defense Against the Dark Arts class.

“Among all the protective spells, the Full Body-Bind Curse is undoubtedly the easiest… and one of the few suitable for young wizards like you, who are new to magic!” Professor Trocar explained.

“You see, the younger the wizard, the more difficult it is to control the magic within their bodies… Contacting powerful protective spells blindly, even if you have extraordinary talent, poses a high risk of accidents!”

Professor Trocar’s voice remained hoarse, but his appearance had improved recently, at least compared to when he first arrived at Hogwarts.

“At the same time, the Full Body-Bind Curse is one of the few spells that won’t cause any harm… Most of the time, when facing plausible ‘enemies,’ the Full Body-Bind Curse is the most appropriate spell to use… It restrains the target, rendering them unable to move for a certain period. However, their body functions remain intact, so it doesn’t cause any harm.”

“The Petrificus Totalus also has a counter-curse, ‘General Counter-Spell’ or Finite Incantatem. When you realize you’ve targeted the wrong person with your Full Body-Bind Curse, use it immediately!”

“Remember, the emphasis is on the first ‘P’ and the second ‘T,’ respectively. Pay attention to a half-second pause between the two words… Don’t make a mistake!”

Professor Trocar’s Defense Against the Dark Arts class was undoubtedly more popular than Professor Rosier’s.

It wasn’t because of the academic level but because Professor Trocar was much more easygoing, and the classroom atmosphere was more relaxed.

“Remember, the stress is on the last syllable of Incantatem…”

This was their third lesson on learning the Full Body-Bind Curse.

Like in Transfiguration class, Professor Trocar would repeat these details, ensuring they remembered them.

They were divided into pairs for practical exercises.

Matthew’s partner was Draco.

Raising his wand, Draco pointed it at Matthew and shouted, “Petrificus Totalus!”

A sudden explosion occurred at the tip of his wand, causing poor Draco to recoil and hit the wall behind him. He fell to the ground, groaning in pain.

“Malfoy! Remember to pause for half a second between the two words! Don’t forget!” Professor Trocar yelled as he helped Draco up.

Draco, who had missed nearly two months of classes compared to other students, lagged behind in every subject.

“Wickfield, your turn!” Professor Trocar called out to Matthew.

Matthew raised his wand and aimed it at Malfoy.

“Petrificus Totalus!”

A faint red light shot from the tip of Matthew’s wand, accurately hitting Malfoy’s body.

Malfoy’s arms fell to his sides, his legs stiffened, and he stood straight like a board.

His entire body became rigid, swaying a few times before he fell to the ground with a thud, resembling a wooden plank.

His face, upper and lower jaws locked together, rendered him speechless, only his eyes darting around.

“Well done, Wickfield!” Professor Trocar praised.

“Now, release the Full Body-Bind Curse on Mr. Malfoy.”

Matthew raised his wand again and said, “Finite Incantatem!”

Another red light flashed.

This time, Malfoy’s stiff body quickly returned to normal. He promptly got up, gasping for breath.

“Excellent!” Professor Trocar commended Matthew, his praise resounding.

About ten minutes later.

Professor Trocar glanced at his watch and said, “Alright, class is over. I hope you’ll practice diligently for the next class!”

“The feeling of being petrified is awful!” Malfoy whispered as he gathered his belongings.

“Don’t be discouraged. You were so close to success just now,” Matthew reassured him.

“Oh, and Wickfield!” Professor Trocar called Matthew’s name once more.

“Stay behind for a moment.”

Matthew was taken aback.

“I’ll see you in the Great Hall later!” Draco waved before leaving the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom with Vincent, Gregory, and Theodore.

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Published On: July 30, 2023

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