Perhaps Matthew had little chance of getting the answer to his question again.

Because since then, whether it was in Transfiguration or Defense Against the Dark Arts class, he never found an opportunity to talk to Professor Trocar alone.

However, Matthew hadn’t forgotten Professor Trocar’s warning.

If even Professor Trocar believed Hogwarts was dangerous now, then Matthew had to be more cautious.

After that incident, Matthew rarely left the Slytherin common room except for meals and classes.

He avoided walking alone in the castle corridors as much as possible.

Despite how it was in Hogwarts Castle, this time was peaceful.

The weather grew colder and colder, and their clothes became thicker.

December had arrived, and this winter felt exceptionally cold.

Although the common room, classrooms, and auditorium were filled with blazing bonfires, creating warmth, the freezing cold wind made the glass windows rattle.

Bitter gusts of wind blew through the corridors, and exhaling would create a cloud of white mist.

These circumstances gave Matthew more reasons to stay in the common room and avoid venturing out.

One mid-December morning, when they woke up, they were surprised to find the castle covered with several feet of snow.

The Black Lake’s surface had also frozen over with a layer of hard ice.

Professor Kettleburn would go to the Black Lake every morning and evening to make a hole in the ice.

He would then sprinkle Ashwinder Eggshell Powder into the lake to prevent the precious fish from freezing to death this season.

Naturally, everyone was delighted because it meant they could have a snowball fight and enjoy themselves.

Draco received punishment for attempting to sneak a snowball into Evans’ collar. Professor Sinistra witnessed the act.

Consequently, the students happily playing in the snow outside the castle were driven back inside by Mr. Pringle, leaving countless footprints at the gate.

Mr. Donald sat by the oak gate, wearing a look of malaise, seemingly uninterested in stopping the students who violated the school rules.

Since the attack on Weasley, the previously energetic Golden Retriever had become decadent.

Even the potions Professor Slughorn prepared on Mr. Pringle’s request seemed ineffective.

The teachers assigned a lot of homework in every class for first-year students

.

Undoubtedly, one of the most important classes was Professor Rosier’s Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Yes, Professor Rosier had returned to school, fully recovered from her illness, just a week after the Christmas holiday.

Naturally, everyone was disappointed with this news.

They had hoped that Professor Rosier’s recovery would be delayed another week.

Matthew also noticed that just a few days before Professor Rosier’s return, Headmaster Grindelwald, who had appeared in the main guest seat, had disappeared again.

This further confirmed Hermione Granger’s original view.

But none of this could dampen the desperate longing for a holiday that consumed everyone.

Yes, the semester was about to end, and the Christmas holiday was approaching.

However, there was also some bad news.

With the arrival of the Christmas holidays, the number of students remaining at Hogwarts started to decrease.

Even in the wizarding world, Christmas was the most important holiday of the year, albeit celebrated for different reasons than Muggles.

Nevertheless, wizards cared deeply about family reunions during this festival.

Due to the previous attacks, Hogwarts still harbored some panic.

Students scrambled to reserve seats on the Hogwarts Express, hoping to go home for the holidays.

Matthew and the young wizards from Muggle families found themselves without a place to go and had to stay in the increasingly deserted Hogwarts.

Slytherin House, in particular, experienced this situation more prominently.

With its admission standards, there were few students from Muggle families in Slytherin.

During the Christmas holidays, it was almost inevitable that very few students would remain in Slytherin common room.

On the first day of the Christmas holiday, Matthew was left in his dorm alone… Draco, Vincent, Gregory, and Theodore went to their wizard families.

To his surprise, only three students remained beside him.

One of them was a seventh-year girl, immersed in her studies, preparing for the N.E.W.T.s exam in a few months.

The other was Agnes Lestrange, who was in the same grade as Matthew.

“Why did you stay?” Matthew asked curiously as he approached her. “Don’t you go back to be with your family?”

Lestrange raised her head, a look of disgust on her face.

“I have no family!” she said coldly, leaving the common room.

But before she left, she turned around and gave Matthew a piece of advice. “You better check the bulletin board!”

“Bulletin board?” Matthew muttered to himself, intrigued.

He headed towards the bulletin board, wondering what it held.

In addition to the new password for the Christmas holidays, he found a notice posted.

The notice stated that the passage between Hogwarts and Hogsmeade would remain open during the Christmas holidays, allowing students to come and go freely.

Hogsmeade, the only all-wizard village in the U.K. with no Muggles, was a famous location in the wizarding world.

“What does this have to do with me?” Matthew wondered aloud. “Isn’t access to Hogsmeade restricted to students above the third grade?”

Or so he thought. Just as Matthew was about to turn around and leave, he realized something.

He quickly reread the notice from beginning to end, focusing on every word.

To his delight, there was no mention of any restrictions for students above the third grade in the entire notice.

“This is great!” Matthew exclaimed, grinning from ear to ear.

He reached into his pocket, where he kept the dozens of galleons Draco had given him before leaving school.

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Published On: August 1, 2023

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