“So, you guys want to… go for a nighttime stroll tonight?”
At nine o’clock in the evening, Albert was writing a letter to his family. Upon hearing the conversation between the twins, his face twitched involuntarily.
Didn’t he have a pending task about a nighttime stroll?
It’s too risky!
Now is not the time!
Albert lightly slapped himself on the cheek, reminding himself that venturing out at night now would surely lead to being caught by Filch.
“Albert, do you want to join us?” the twins asked in unison.
“I’ve heard…” Albert put down his quill, turned and looked at the twins, “that Caretaker Filch knows most of the secret passages in the castle. This means he can easily catch you if you’re unfamiliar with Hogwarts.”
“If you don’t want to be detained for misbehavior before the term officially starts, it’s best not to take unnecessary risks.”
“That’s what I was saying, venturing out now will surely get us caught by Filch,” Lee Jordan quickly added.
“No, no. I think the most important thing isn’t that. If you want to go for a stroll at night, you must be well-prepared, otherwise you’ll definitely land yourselves in trouble,” Albert reminded them. “The bravery of Gryffindors isn’t about being reckless. At the very least, you should learn the Lumos charm first.”
“Don’t you think carrying a lantern is too troublesome? It’d be difficult to run if necessary,” Albert said, placing his wand down and pointing to a borrowed book from the library titled “19th Century Selected Spells”. “This book contains information on the Disillusionment Charm. If you can master this spell, it’ll be hard for Filch to catch you.”
“So, you’re saying you’ll join us for the stroll?” The twins clapped their hands together, seemingly celebrating some good news.
“You guys, you can’t possibly be thinking…?” Albert quickly realized their intentions, shaking his head and saying, “I’m not against joining you for a nighttime stroll, but not now. I don’t want to be caught by Filch. I suggest you first master some useful spells, then we can roam the school without being caught.”
“That’s great! With you on board, we’re even more confident about our nighttime stroll plan,” George excitedly said, dancing a strange tap dance with Fred.
In the eyes of the Weasley twins, their roommate was definitely reliable.
“Tomorrow, Lee, George and I plan to sneak to Hogsmeade. Do you want to come?” Fred shared the plan for the next day, adding, “Only third-year students are allowed in Hogsmeade. However, we can sneak through the secret passages. It’s the only wizarding village in Britain.”
“I want to go to Zonko’s Joke Shop and buy some stuff. I didn’t bring money last time,” George said eagerly.
“It’s the best place in all of Britain…” Lee Jordan began, but was interrupted by Albert.
“I’m not particularly interested in prank items, but… getting a feel of the wizarding village wouldn’t hurt.”
Speaking of which, there are quite a lot of panel tasks today. Albert took a glance and froze for a moment.
**Beginning of an Adventure**
This is the start of a grand adventure, going through secret passages to Hogsmeade, experiencing the thrill and fun of the adventure.
**Rewards:** 100 experience points, +5 goodwill from George Weasley, +5 goodwill from Fred Weasley, and +5 goodwill from Lee Jordan.
Goodwill, what on earth is that?
It felt like something out of a dating simulation game.
Would reaching 100 goodwill from both sides make them legendary close friends?
Albert quickly dismissed the bewildering thought from his mind.
No way he could accept such a thing.
“After breakfast, we’ll go together,” Albert agreed and resumed writing his letter, describing many things about Hogwarts based on photographs. Albert was a pro in this aspect, though it had been a long time since he last wrote. It was a skill that once earned him his living.
Fred and George did not disturb him. The three of them were browsing through “Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1”, searching for usable spells. Albert was right, carrying a lantern was cumbersome. They needed to master some spells.
A few minutes later, Albert suddenly smelled the scent of burning paper. Turning his head, he found that a Prophet newspaper had been set aflame, with the twins hopping about trying to stomp out the fire.
“What on earth are you two doing?” Albert quickly placed his unfinished letter back in its box, walking over to open a window to let the smoke out.
“George just tried the Fire-Making Charm,” Fred coughed a bit, “The newspaper caught fire successfully.”
“You almost burned the carpet. Don’t start fires in the room!” Albert said with annoyance. “You both still can’t control your magic perfectly. What would we do if the whole room caught fire?”
“I think I might have a natural talent for spells,” George remarked.
“How did you manage to do it?” Lee Jordan asked curiously, seemingly eager to try casting spells himself.
“Don’t use it here. Go to the common room and aim at the fireplace!” Albert grumpily shooed the bunch out.
Such a handful, he thought.
“If you still want to visit Hogsmeade tomorrow, you better master the Lumos spell. I don’t want to carry a lantern through the secret passages, and don’t expect me to carry it for you.”
“Alright, I think you’re right. We’ll practice the Lumos spell first. It’s quite useful,” both George and Fred agreed with Albert’s suggestion.
Much like when Albert first tried the spell, the light couldn’t last for a long duration. Lee Jordan couldn’t even get his wand to light up.
“You’re not focused enough. Concentrate all your attention on the wand,” Albert advised, watching the three practice the Lumos spell. “Don’t hesitate when you wave your wand. Speak the incantation clearly and accurately. Beginners need to be concentrated.”
“You sound a bit like a professor. Maybe you could consider pursuing that in the future,” Fred joked.
“I’d rather not!”
“Why not?” George inquired.
“Because being a professor is exhausting, especially having to deal with a bunch of mischievous kids. I don’t have much patience, especially for strangers outside of family and friends,” Albert replied, sitting on his bed and picking up a Rubik’s cube from the table.
“What’s that?” Fred was instantly drawn to the cube.
“A Rubik’s cube. It’s a Muggle toy used to develop spatial thinking, memory, and responsiveness,” Albert answered offhandedly, playing with it simply out of boredom.
Of course, it also helped improve his quick memory and reflexes. The experience might be minimal, but every little bit counts, and it’s a good way to kill time.
The trio spent the entire night mastering the Lumos spell.
With dedication, one can quickly grasp simple spells. Though their usage of Lumos wasn’t quite flawless yet.