Evan awoke at half-past five the next morning abruptly and completely, as if somebody had yelled in his ear.
He lay there immobile, slowly, remembering what he was going to do.
He would go to the Ministry of Magic with Dumbledore and Sirius to see the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, and get permission to enter Azkaban, the Wizard’s Prison.
Evan leapt out of bed, the sun had not yet risen, and the ward was dark.
Besides him, the others were still sleeping.
Harry huddled tightly in his bed, while Ron was lying sprawled on his back with his mouth wide open and slept soundly.
Evan turned and looked at Hermione, but now the girl had already woken up.
She was there looking at him in dismay, and there were tears in her eyes that she difficultly tried to hide.
“Godspeed, Evan!” Hermione whispered, leaning over and hugging Evan tightly.
She stopped crying, showing strength, for Evan to rest assured.
“I know!” Evan replied softly. “You too, take care of yourself during the holidays.”
Hermione nodded slowly, her beautiful chestnut eyes shining.
With Hermione’s warmth and sweet scent, Evan walked across the room and waved to her before leaving.
He reached the hall outside the ward and closed the door softly with the back of his hand.
Evan then breathed heavily, trying not to think that he might not be able to break the curse, and never see Hermione again.
He walked out of the school hospital and was ready to go to Dumbledore’s office as previously decided.
The narrow dark corridor was also quiet. The portraits on the walls were all asleep, snoring loudly. There was a red dragon lying on the ground with an apparently disproportionate body, with some sparks coming out of his mouth from time to time.
Evan thought that not long ago, he had actually killed a fire dragon in the Centaurs’ colony. But after all, that was in the illusion.
It sounded a bit unreal, not to mention that it was eight hundred years ago.
Passing through a spinning staircase, he saw Filch’s cat, Mrs. Norris, staring at him in the corner with bulging yellow, lamp-like eyes.
Evan waved his hand, and Mrs. Norris scurried away, with a low meow.
Suddenly he remembered that he did not know the password of the gargoyle at Dumbledore’s office door, and he was not sure what candy name to use to make it move aside.
When he walked to the corridor, he heard a voice near the gargoyle.
Dumbledore and Sirius had already been there waiting for him. They were dusty, as if they had just returned from outside the castle.
Seeing him coming, they both smiled to him.
“Good morning, Evan!” said Dumbledore with a smile. “We’ve just come back from the Centaurs’ colony. Like us, you didn’t have breakfast. I told the house-elf to prepare something. There’s still time. I think we can finish eating before we leave.”
They entered Dumbledore’s office, which was as wonderful as Evan had seen before. There were a lot of strange things on the table, and Fawkes the phoenix stood there motionless, his eyes closed tightly.
The portraits of the successive Headmasters on the walls were all really sleeping, but this old phoenix was just pretending.
From time to time, it opened its eyes and secretly looked at Evan and Sirius.
Dumbledore lit the fireplace with his wand, and the warm flame rose to dispel the cold in the room. He knocked on the round table beside the fire, and food such as sandwiches, eggs, desserts, milk and coffee appeared in turn.
“I wrote a letter to your parents explaining the matter and asking them to allow me to take care of you temporarily in the coming summer vacation.” Dumbledore took a lavender envelope out of his arm, handed it to Evan and calmly said, “You can send it to them with your own letter.”
Evan took the letter that had the Hogwarts school emblem printed in its upper left corner.
In the middle were the names and address of his parents with the unique round font of Dumbledore.
“Well, you can think about what you want to say to them. Even if everything goes well, we’ll probably be back in no less than a month. But now, you should have breakfast first and try this sandwich. Do you need some more honey?” Dumbledore pointed to the plate in front of Evan. “I like the sweet taste.”
“Thank you!” Evan had just picked up the sandwich and a new one appeared inside the plate.
The cooking skills of the house-elves were very good, and Evan felt that the sandwich was very delicious.
“Did you sleep well last night?” Sirius asked, pouring himself a cup of coffee.
“Very well!” Evan answered, but he was a little embarrassed.
He tried not to think about the curse on his arm, but as soon as his head was empty, the terrible evil spirit and Voldemort always appeared.
He shook his head and forced himself to think about other things. Hermione, for example had a lovely look when she laughed, but in the end, the face he saw always returned to her appearance when she bid him farewell, holding her tears back.
Dumbledore and Sirius were still there talking about the Centaurs’ colony, and Evan listened absently.
He was glad that they didn’t ask him to join the conversation. He struggled to eat the delicious sandwiches in his hands, but he was completely absent-minded.
“Almost time, I think we should go out!” About half an hour later, Dumbledore stood up, “I probably need to talk about the matter for a long time to Fudge. You can finish your letter to your parents there.”
His voice had just fallen, and no action had been seen. The red flame in the fireplace in front of Evan suddenly turned green, and it burned vigorously.
“Normally, Hogwarts fireplaces are not connected in the Floo Network, but you can apply for a temporary link if necessary.” Dumbledore winked at Evan. “You should have used the Floo Network, right?! Just walk in and speak out the Ministry of Magic where we are going.”
Evan nodded, and under the watchful eyes of Dumbledore and Sirius, walked into the fireplace burning green flames and shouted, “Ministry of Magic!”
His body was quickly sucked into the flames, everything was spinning before him; and after a whirl, he came out from the other end of the fireplace.
At this moment, he was standing at one end of a very long and splendid hall with a highly polished, dark wood floor. The peacock-blue ceiling was inlaid with gleaming golden symbols that were continually moving and changing like some enormous heavenly notice board.
The walls on each side were paneled in shiny dark wood and had many gilded fireplaces lined up in a neat row.
“Go ahead, don’t stop at the door!”
A man’s voice rang behind Evan, and he hurried forward.
Behind him, every few seconds, with a soft whoosh, a witch or a wizard emerged from one of the left-hand fireplaces.
On the right-hand side, short queues of wizards were forming before each fireplace, waiting to depart.
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