Christmas should be a day worth celebrating.

The wizards of ancient Rome believed that this day was the hope of spring and the beginning of the recovery of all things.

For Matthew, he doesn’t have any mood to celebrate today. He didn’t even bother to go to breakfast; he returned to the Slytherin common room again.

Facing the emerald green flames burning in the fireplace, Matthew trembled and shook the book out of his pocket, placing it on a round table in the common room.

Those recent events had shattered Matthew’s previous beliefs. Initially, he thought the book was a powerful dark magic item, appearing frequently around him to take his life.

He had been trying to avoid touching the book for the past four months, fearing its dark influence.

Draco’s encounter with the book, which landed him in the school hospital, further reinforced Matthew’s belief. However, today, he realized that his judgment had been entirely wrong.

Mr. Pringle had found the book near his office, then it had returned to Matthew, and Mr. Pringle had patted him on the head with it.

If the book behaved as it had with Draco, both Matthew and Mr. Pringle would have been in grave danger.

But that hadn’t happened. Matthew was still alive and unharmed. This realization puzzled him.

Matthew lowered his head and observed the book closely. He noticed the leather cover had changed slightly since he first saw it. The strange color had softened.

This change might explain why Mr. Pringle hadn’t found anything unusual.

On the cover of the book, two crooked lines of green writing appeared:

“Matthew Wickfield.”

“Slytherin first-year.”

No wonder Mr. Pringle had been able to find Matthew. The book had somehow identified him.

Matthew blinked and decided to conduct a little experiment.

He returned to his bedroom and retrieved his pet, a black-framed toad, from its cage. The toad had spent the past four months lazily eating bread worms, but now it was time to test its worth.

Matthew grabbed the toad with his right hand, brought it to the common room, and approached the fireplace. He lightly dropped the toad onto the book.

The toad instinctively tried to jump away, but Matthew’s left hand, holding his wand, was already raised.

“Petrificus Totalus!” he incanted.

The toad’s body turned stiff in an instant, collapsing onto the book and ceasing all movement. Matthew took a seat in an armchair nearby, silently observing the scene.

Time passed, and Matthew remained patient. A seventh-year Slytherin girl briefly entered the common room and showed disgust at the sight of the toad, quickly retreating to her bedroom.

By almost noon, Matthew felt that the experiment had run its course. He raised his wand once again and pointed it at the toad.

“Finite Incantatem!”

The petrification curse was lifted, and the toad cried loudly before jumping away energetically. Its vitality and life were unaffected.

The test was a success.

Matthew watched the toad hopping around and then turned his attention back to the book.

A breeze seemed to pass through the common room, and the book suddenly opened on its own. It displayed the same page as before, with the green writing clearly visible:

“I mean you no harm!”

Matthew took a deep breath and slowly reached out, his finger touching the book’s page.

Nothing unusual occurred. He continued his experiment, gradually increasing the contact. To his surprise, he remained unaffected.

Could it be that… this book was telling the truth?

From the pen holder on the table, Matthew retrieved a quill pen and dipped it in ink. He wrote on the page:

“Hello there!”

The black ink shimmered on the paper briefly before being absorbed, leaving no trace. The green handwriting from the previous line vanished as well.

After a few seconds, a line of dark green writing flashed on the paper again:

“Hello, Matthew!”

Matthew’s expression turned serious. He dipped the quill in ink once more and quickly wrote:

“What do you want to do?”

In a matter of seconds, a reply appeared:

“I just want to help you.”

Matthew couldn’t help but chuckle. He tried to maintain a serious expression and wrote:

“I don’t need any help.”

The book’s response came swiftly, with a dense collection of words:

“Yes, you do… I can tell you the root of all the Hogwarts attacks… I can also tell you the true face of Grindelwald… Even I can teach you unimaginable and powerful magic…”

Matthew tilted his head and, once again, dipped the quill in ink:

“So, what’s the cost?”

All the previous writings disappeared, replaced by a line of enticing, small dark green writing:

“There is no cost!”

Matthew decisively closed the book before the ink of this line could vanish. He returned to his bedroom and placed it in his desk drawer.

He clapped his hands and left the bedroom without hesitation, leaving the common room behind. He hadn’t eaten all morning and was feeling hungry.

Matthew headed towards the Great Hall, muttering to himself:

“What about you?”

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Published On: August 8, 2023

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