The corridor was dim, and Matthew couldn’t see his fingers.
“Lumos!” Matthew drew out his wand and softly shouted the incantation.
A faint light suddenly illuminated the darkness, revealing the path ahead of Matthew.
“Oh, what are you doing, kid!” On a large oil painting next to him, several drunken monks quickly covered their eyes and shouted, “Put that light out! You’re going to blind us…”
“For Merlin’s sake, get out of here.” In another portrait below, a gray-haired old man waved his arms and exclaimed his dissatisfaction.
“My dear little baby, don’t cry anymore…” The oil painting depicting a mother and daughter came to life.
The child cried loudly while the mother comforted her, humming a lullaby.
Ignoring their complaints, Matthew continued down the corridor.
He didn’t seem in a hurry; his pace was leisurely.
Matthew was lucky. During his “night tour,” he didn’t encounter Mr. Pringle, the Caretaker, Mr. Donald, or any other teachers.
Soon, he emerged from the dark and damp basement, crossing another corridor until he reached the Potions classroom.
This was the exact location where two Slytherin students from the Slug Club, Adams, and Carlo, had been attacked.
Matthew didn’t proceed forward or enter the potions classroom.
Instead, he abruptly stopped in front of a broken iron gate.
This was an abandoned girls’ bathroom with a large sign that read “Out of Order.”
In the original work, this bathroom held significance.
It served as the “Secret Chamber” entrance, the haunting grounds of the ghost “Moaning Myrtle.”
Several hundred feet below this bathroom lay the secret chamber where the Basilisk resided.
Matthew lowered his head and looked at the rusty brass doorknob.
Ignoring the sign that labeled the bathroom as “out of order,” he turned the knob, opened the door, and stepped inside.
“Is there anyone here?” Matthew looked around the bathroom and called out loudly. He repeated his question three times, “Is there anyone? Anyone?”
No response came, neither from a Human nor a ghost.
Confidently, he walked forward.
This was the darkest and gloomiest place Matthew had ever been in.
In front of him stood a large, mottled, cracked mirror with a row of stone sinks beneath it, their surfaces peeling.
The floor was wet, and a few candles burned low on the brackets, illuminating the gloomy surroundings with a dim and eerie light.
The individual toilet doors looked old and bore numerous scratches. Broken chandeliers hung weakly in the air.
Matthew didn’t bother searching the bathroom. Instead, he found a relatively clean toilet, put down the lid, and sat on it.
Then, he patiently waited, even extinguishing the faint light emitted by his wand.
“I wish I were older so I could smoke a cigarette while waiting. That would be great,” Matthew thought to himself.
Fortunately, he didn’t have to wait long.
After about five minutes, footsteps echoed in the corridor outside.
The footsteps were light, growing closer and closer…
Then came the sound of the brass doorknob being turned…
Finally, a small figure clad in black entered the dimly lit bathroom.
She turned around and gently closed the door behind her.
Meanwhile, Matthew rose from the toilet seat.
“Good evening!” His voice could have been louder but clear enough for the other person to hear. “Miss Evans.”
The figure seemed taken aback.
But upon realizing that the voice belonged to a twelve-year-old child, she seemed relieved.
She strode toward Matthew until their faces were visible under the faint light of the candles.
Before him stood the familiar face of Harry Evans.
However, she didn’t lower her head this time or wear a panicked, inferior expression.
Though her expression now held a hint of surprise.
“Wickfield?” Evans’ voice still sounded male. “What are you doing here? It’s dangerous to wander around the castle at this time. The perpetrator behind the series of attacks is still at large…”
“Perhaps it’s more appropriate to call you Mr. Evans,” Matthew interjected thoughtfully. “Of course, I know that the perpetrator behind the series of attacks is still in the castle. I’m not here to find them, am I?”
Evans’ face darkened, and she gently grasped her wand.
“I suppose you must be considering harming me…” Matthew said calmly. “But before that, I’d like to request the opportunity to say a few words. I imagine you haven’t had a conversation with anyone in many years… Look, I’m alone now, and as a first-year student, I pose no threat to you.”
Evans suddenly smiled.
Although she still had the face of a little boy, her smile carried a flattering expression.
“Well, Wickfield, you’ve piqued my interest!” she said with a smile. “Tell me, how did you discover my true identity?”
“To be honest, there were too many inconsistencies. I didn’t know where to start,” Matthew shrugged. “But fundamentally, your disguise wasn’t very clever…”
Matthew paused and continued slowly, “…I suspect you’ve been doing your best to pass as a little boy, minimizing your interactions with others. However, some habits are hard to change in a short time…”
“…I discovered it on my own; perhaps it was just my imagination. But when several of my friends shared the same ob mmmmmservations, it wasn’t our problem, but yours…”
“…a first-year boy who occasionally exhibits behaviors more commonly associated with girls. It’s highly unusual!”
“I don’t believe that Hogwarts or the Sorting Hat would make such a foolish mistake when determining a student’s gender. So, there’s only one explanation left!”
Matthew blinked slightly and concluded, “You’re not the real Harry Evans; you’re an impostor, aren’t you?”i
Read up to 40 Chapters ahead on my Patreon page!