The following morning, Matthew went to the Magical Menagerie in Diagon Alley.
His eyes look drowsy, and his face looks tired, the sign of someone that didn’t sleep all night long… all this follows with the sight of him holding a dead toad in his hand.
Nothing is surprising about this; after such a terrible incident last night, no one usually would be able to sleep through it. He got his thoughts tangled with how he would die like the toad if he ever close his eyes.
Fortunately, such things didn’t happen… he survives to see another day.
The mysterious book is still inside the box where the toad was; Matthew didn’t dare to touch it. He just took the toad out and ran to Magical Menagerie.
“You mean this toad suddenly died?” The witch asked Matthew with a baffled expression.
The owner of the Magical Menagerie, the witch herself, observes the toad corpse closely. Searching for any anomalies.
“What’s going on here? You should know that a toad is much more tenacious than they look.” She muttered.
“I also want to know what happened, Madam!” Matthew plead.
“Hush, dear!” The witch asked Matthew to shut his mouth while taking her wand from the waist and waving it gently.
A magnifying glass came out of nowhere and flew into her hand. She sat down, put the toad’s corpse on top of the wooden table, then observed it carefully once again.
Matthew can only look at how she works. He could see how the witch’s expression changed abruptly after seeing something; the serious look on her face changed to a horrified expression.
“W—what’s the matter, Madam?” Matthew asked nervously.
“No… nothing…” The witch shook her head and observed it once more, “This is impossible… it can’t be…” She continues with fear in her voice.
Matthew nervously asked again after finding the courage, “I—is the toad’s cause of death something unexplainable?”
“This poor toad seems to be scared to death…” The witch replied, “It’s just a mere toad… there is no way anyone would go that far…” She stood up while trembling, picked up the toad’s corpse then threw it into the bin.
“I’ll compensate for this; why don’t you pick another toad, dear…” The witch said with her usual calm tone, gradually returning to her.
Although she still looks terrified, she tries to continue serving Matthew to her best while he is inside the store.
She tried to reach the cage filled with toads but couldn’t reach it for a while and then almost accidentally broke the cage. While writing the notes for the transaction, she broke two quills; after that, when Matthew finally had a toad in his hand, she kicked some kettle on the ground because she wasn’t paying attention.
When Matthew went out of the store, she looked relieved; she corrected her monocle and then took a deep breath celebrating it.
Based on how he sees the witch acts, Matthew couldn’t help but feel anxious about it. The worries and doubts in his heart grow with every step he takes…
Matthew couldn’t bother to continue asking her if she didn’t want to say anything about it; Matthew knew his place as a young wizard that doesn’t know anything about magic yet; he respected the witch’s decision and continued walking.
With the new toad in hand, Matthew finally arrived at his next destination Flourish and Blotts Bookseller.
The clerk at the store doesn’t remember anything about Matthew; they greet him like they should, with a smile.
Matthew wanders inside the store; it seems like he doesn’t have the courage to ask about the mysterious book. After around five to ten minutes of walking around, he picked up the courage to ask some clerk that was alone.
“Excuse me… do you perhaps, by any chance, have any older books? Old books like—” Without having the chance to finish his sentence, the clerk cut Matthew off.
“No!” The clerk replied without even looking at him.
“But my friend told me that he found an old book covered with leather, and the pages were yellow inside the Hogwarts freshman book package that your store sold to him.” Matthew tries to convince the clerk.
Finally, Matthew got his attention after a while; the clerk lifted his head up and looked at Matthew with a furious expression. “He’s lying! In every single freshman book bundle, there can be no such things inside! Besides, this store doesn’t sell those kinds of antiques in the first place. We only sell new books here; if you want to ask about that kind of book, then go to the library!”
“But…” Matthew seems confused with how to react to how this clerk suddenly just went and vent his anger on him.”
“Listen here, if you are here to chat, not buying anything, then please get out!” The clerk said while standing up. “I can give you a hand for that!”
The clerk waved his wand, drew some runes in the air, and cast magic. Before Matthew had the chance to react, he got pushed out of the store by an invisible force. Matthew was violently pushed through the door and fell off outside on the cobblestone road.
The other visitors of Diagon Alley have no interest in such things; they simply go past him, not paying any attention at all.
Matthew picks himself up from the ground while cleaning himself of the dust on his body and clothes. He feels embarrassed…
It seems like he won’t find his answer in Flourish and Blott Bookseller. Although the clerk was rude to him, it didn’t seem like he was telling a lie.
“So, where did that book come from?” He thought to himself.
Matthew then returns to the entrance of the Diagon Alley; he doesn’t have any wand with him, so he can only wait for another wizard to open the archway and follow them.
He feels burdened, but there is nothing he can do about it for now.
The only thing he can think of is that by the time he goes to Hogwarts, he can give the book to Albus Dumbledore. With the help of his insight, maybe he can help Matthew out, he thought.
Suddenly Matthew stopped, “In this world, isn’t the possibility of Albus Dumbledore not being a principal of Hogwarts exists? I hope not…” Matthew thought to himself.
As his heart is still burdened by it, he can only return to his room at Leaky Cauldron.
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