“Wingardium Leviosa!” Matthew, frantically brandishing his wand, cried out mid-air.
He wasn’t sure if the spell had worked, but he immediately felt lightheaded and lost consciousness.
When Matthew finally opened his eyes, he found himself face-to-face with an old, handsome, and familiar visage.
“Professor Grindelwald…” Matthew uttered weakly.
A surge of red light emitted from Professor Grindelwald’s “Elder Wand” tip and flowed into Matthew’s body, instantly restoring his strength.
“A perfectly timed levitation spell, Mr. Wickfield!” Professor Grindelwald put away his wand, offering his assessment.
“Although there was a slight mishap in the execution…if you aim your wand directly at the ground, there’s a high chance of escaping unscathed…”
“…Overall, it was well done,” Professor Grindelwald continued.
“Falling from such a height would have landed you in the school infirmary for at least a week… Considering that Poppy is also injured, you might have missed two to three weeks of classes.” Professor Grindelwald chuckled as he finished the sentence.
Matthew humbly nodded, having just witnessed the true power of Gellert Grindelwald.
He was now as meek as a lamb, bowing his head while surreptitiously glancing around.
The once massive spherical water prison on the surface of the Black Lake had vanished.
The five statues, except for the griffin head beast, had departed.
The pieces falling from the castle during the battle were now back in their original positions.
Everything had been restored to its former state.
“Professor Grindelwald, is the Witch… is she dead?” Matthew mustered the courage to ask in a hushed tone.
“Death is not a cruel punishment, Mr. Wickfield,” Professor Grindelwald smiled. “But I can assure you she will never pose a threat to Hogwarts or you…”
Matthew nodded faintly, absorbing the principal’s words.
Professor Grindelwald lowered his head and glanced at his watch.
“Eight o’clock already!” he muttered as if speaking to himself and Matthew. “In fifteen minutes, the Aurors will arrive at Hogwarts!”
He waved his wand lightly, and the Griffin head statue flew to his side.
Professor Grindelwald climbed onto the back of the Griffin head statue.
“Shall we bid Edward Trocar farewell one last time, Mr. Wickfield?” he turned around and glanced at Matthew. “I’ve heard him say you’re his most admired student.”
“Yes!” Matthew nodded earnestly.
He then leaped onto the back of the Griffin head beast.
It was a peculiar way to fly, standing on a statue and soaring through the air.
Matthew remained stiff and restrained throughout the journey, afraid to move lest he accidentally bumped into the principal beside him.
They flew silently to the upper floors of the castle. Professor Grindelwald stretched out his hand and counted the swiftly passing windows before him.
“We’ve arrived!” he suddenly announced.
The Griffin head statue slowed down and came to a stop. It remained in a hovering position, wings flapping.
Through the window before him, Matthew caught sight of Professor Trocar, who was being held inside.
He hurriedly reached out and tapped on the window pane.
Professor Trocar raised his head, his face bearing scars, pale like never before, his mouth agape.
“Be careful!” Professor Grindelwald cautioned, waving his hand.
The entire window instantly swung open.
“Matthew…” Professor Trocar glanced at Matthew, then focused on the principal. “Master Grindelwald…you actually…” His voice quivered.
“Thank you for your efforts, Edward!” Professor Grindelwald bent down and embraced the Vampire. His voice carried a hint of sorrow.
“I’m sorry you had to endure such grievance during this time… You were unjustly burdened with nonexistent ‘crimes’… I’m truly sorry, my friend…” As he looked towards Professor Trocar with sorrow.
“No! No! No!” The Vampire shook his head vigorously. “I have long grown accustomed to it, Master Grindelwald… It is an honor to serve you… To have you personally come to my rescue tonight is the ultimate honor…”
Had he been capable of shedding tears, the Vampire would surely have wept.
“Edward!” Professor Grindelwald spoke softly. “You should also thank Wickfield. If not for his arrival… I’m afraid I would have had to watch you enter Azkaban and suffer a never-ending nightmare…”
“Truly, Matthew!” Professor Trocar turned around, his gaze fixed on Matthew with a surprised expression. “Thank you so much… It seems the time you spent with me at Hogwarts was not in vain.”
“What do you mean, Professor? Are you suggesting Professor Trocar’s name won’t be cleared?” Matthew’s brow furrowed, and innocently whispered, “Professor Trocar is innocent. He didn’t harm anyone…”
The Vampire’s gaze shifted to Matthew, a smile suddenly gracing his face as he shook his head.
“You don’t understand, Matthew… The wizarding world harbors deep prejudices against Vampires like us. Moreover, I did drink Mr. Weasley’s and Mr. Finley’s blood, and I did attack Madam Pomfrey…”
The former Transfiguration teacher let out a sigh. “I fear Master Grindelwald has eliminated the witch, and her curse will dissipate. When Mr. Weasley and Mr. Finch-Fletchley wake up, they will quickly press charges against me.”
“Such irrefutable accusations, should Master Grindelwald decide to intervene, would cause him significant trouble… Don’t worry about me. I have grown accustomed to such circumstances.” Professor Trocar said with a bitter smile looking at Matthew.
“Professor Trocar…” Matthew Wickfield fell silent.
He spoke with utmost sincerity, his expression serious: “You are an exceptional Transfiguration Professor!”
“The feeling is mutual, Matthew. You are an outstanding student!” Professor Trocar smiled.
“In five minutes, the Aurors will arrive!” Professor Grindelwald rechecked his watch.
“Thank you for allowing me to teach, Master Grindelwald…” The Vampire cast a final glance at the Hogwarts Headmaster.
“You will have more opportunities in the future, Edward!” Grindelwald bid Trocar one last farewell, embracing him tightly. “Good luck!”
“Good luck to you too, Master Grindelwald… and to you, little Matthew!”
Edward Trocar, the Vampire, stepped onto the Griffin head statue outside the window, soon disappearing from sight.
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