It was growing dark at Hogwarts. With the castle already under curfew, Mr. Pringle didn’t have to work hard to light the lamps.
The entire castle was almost engulfed in darkness, except for the auditorium, where a faint light still flickered.
Gathered in the auditorium were almost a dozen teachers, including the Headmistress, the four Heads of Houses, and several other professors.
Mr. Pringle was there, too, accompanied by the loyal Mr. Donald. Nearly all the teachers in the school had come together.
They knew what had happened.
Their faces displayed a range of emotions—anger, sadness, and worry.
A teacher stood in the center of their attention, bound tightly by magic ropes. Or rather, a former teacher…
Professor Trocar, the Transfiguration Professor, was securely tied to a chair with his wand confiscated. His face appeared pale, but he maintained a calm expression.
Professor Flitwick, the diminutive Charms Professor, stood before him, visibly agitated. His voice trembled with anger as he confronted Trocar.
“Trocar! The portrait of Principal Dilys Derwent revealed that during that time, only you, Granger, and Longbottom were in the Hospital Wing!”
Trocar replied calmly, “Yes.”
“How could you…” Professor Flitwick angrily raised his index finger and cursed, “Do you think we are unaware of your identity as a Vampire? We trusted Grindelwald’s judgment… How dare you? How dare you attack Hogwarts students!”
Trocar lowered his head, remaining silent.
Professor Sinistra, the Astronomy Professor, appeared calmer compared to Professor Flitwick. She gently patted his shoulder, signaling him to calm down.
“Trocar, did you harm Madam Pomfrey?” Professor Sinistra asked coldly.
“Yes,” Trocar replied with the same composure.
“Did you drink Justin Finch-Fletchley’s blood?” Professor Sinistra continued her questioning.
“Yes!” Trocar’s expression remained unchanged.
“And then you took Granger and Longbottom from the school hospital?” Professor Sinistra asked finally.
Trocar nodded once again.
“I can’t believe it…” Professor Sprout covered her face with her hands and shook her head in disbelief.
She wasn’t the only one reacting this way; the other teachers also expressed shock.
However, with all the suspects admitting their guilt, there was little left to say.
“Damn, it…” Professor Flitwick grew even more furious and shouted, “Where did you hide Granger and Longbottom? Hand them over!”
This time, Trocar’s face displayed hesitation.
“I initially took them to my office… but then… they disappeared suddenly… I’ve been searching for them all afternoon…”
“Lies! Poorly constructed lies!” Professor Flitwick seethed, “Do you think this kind of lie can deceive us?”
Professor Trocar raised his head briefly before lowering it again. If one followed his gaze, one would see that he was looking at Professor Rosier, the Headmistress.
At that moment, Trocar’s eyes held a pleading look. However, due to the dim lighting, none of the other teachers noticed it.
“Horace! Horace!” Professor Flitwick called out.
“I’m here, Filius!” the Potions teacher, Professor Slughorn, responded promptly.
“Please, bring your best Veritaserum… we must make this Vampire speak the truth!” Professor Flitwick exclaimed hysterically.
“Alright!” Professor Slughorn didn’t hesitate, turning to leave for his office.
“But wait!” Professor Rosier suddenly spoke, stopping Professor Slughorn in his tracks.
“Don’t you need to go and get it, Professor Rosier?” Professor Slughorn’s gaze held a tinge of confusion.
“Veritaserum won’t work on a Vampire like him,” Professor Rosier replied flatly.
She added, “Even if we use it on him, his Occlumency can shield us… Therefore, such actions would be futile.”
“Then what should we do?” Professor Flitwick looked at the Headmistress, seeking guidance.
The gazes of the dozen teachers turned toward Professor Rosier, including Professor Trocar.
Coincidentally, Professor Rosier was also looking at Professor Trocar.
Their eyes almost met, and Professor Trocar’s gaze carried a pleading expression. However, Headmistress Rosier, still expressionless, glared back at him.
“I will write to Minister Millicent Bagnold. The true culprit responsible for this series of attacks at Hogwarts has been found—it is our Transfiguration Professor, Edward Trocar!” Professor Rosier stated calmly. “Edward Trocar will be sent to Azkaban, where the Dementors may compel him to speak…”
“This is the only way,” the nearby teachers sighed.
“Horace, write a letter to Mr. Cuffe, the editor-in-chief of the Daily Prophet, informing him that everything that transpired at Hogwarts can be published in the newspaper,” Professor Rosier instructed.
“Okay, I understand,” Professor Slughorn nodded. “I will write the letter soon.”
Upon hearing Principal Rosier’s words, Trocar’s face contorted in pain.
He opened his mouth as if to say something, but when he lifted his head, his eyes met Headmistress Rosier’s again.
The Headmistress glared back at him sharply.
In the end, Professor Trocar had no choice but to lower his head, weakly smiling and shaking it in a self-deprecating manner.
The trial was coming to an end. The true culprit had been apprehended, and he had confessed to his crimes.
They only needed to wait for the Aurors from the Ministry of Magic to arrive and transport the criminal to Azkaban, and it would all be over.
“Everyone, disperse!” Professor Rosier declared calmly. “Pomona, Horace, take the Vampire to the Tower and lock him up.”
Professors Sprout and Professor Slughorn nodded in agreement.
The teachers began to disperse one by one.
At the same time, behind the closed doors of the auditorium, something peculiar occurred—a small, black figure swiftly moved, skillfully evading notice, until it vanished entirely into the darkness.
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