“What going on, what happened?”
Filch was attracted by Malfoy’s shout, he pushed his way through the crowd.
“My cat! My cat! What happened to her?” Screamed Filch while almost fainting
“It was you, you killed my cat,” said Filch as he walked over and grabbed Ivan, I’m going to kill you.
“Let go of me!” said Ivan as he knocked Filch’s hand off of himself, ” I didn’t touch a single hair on your cat, no one touched her, when we came she was already like this.”
“Liar, you are lying! Someone saw you didn’t they” cried Filch
Dumbledore arrived at the scene, followed by other teachers. In an instant, he made it to Ivan, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and took the cat off the torch.
“Come with me, Filch.” told Dumbledore to Filch, “And you, Mr. Mason, Mr. Potter, Mr. Weasley, and Miss Granger,” said Dumbledore
Lockhart hurriedly said, “My office is closest to here, you can use it if you wish.”
“Thank you, Gilderoy!” nodded Dumbledore.
The Silent crowd parted letting them pass.
They were led into Lockhart’s dark office, followed by Professor McGonagall and Snape. Ivan saw that Lockhart was quickly cleaning off his photos from a table.
Lockhart then lit a candle on a table and retreated to the back. Dumbledore put the cat on the clean table and began to scrutinize her.
Dumbledore carefully observed the cat while professor McGonagall was so close while observing the cat she almost touched it.
Snape stood behind them, half hidden in the shadows while looking gloomy, his face had a very peculiar look, as if he was trying to restrain himself from laughing. Lockhart wandered around them and kept giving advice.
Ivan, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were nervously exchanging glances, they were sitting on some chairs that weren’t illuminated by candlelight. Filch stood behind them while staring at Ivan as if he had already identified him as the murderer.
“It must have been a curse that killed it, it is likely that it was a spell that deforms and tortures the subject,” said Lockhart, “I’ve seen this spell used many times, I’m sorry I was not there because I happen to know the spell that could have saved her.”
When Filch heard Lockhart words, it made him twitch a little with grief.
Then he suddenly slumped to a chair next to the table while clutching his face with his hand, he didn’t dare to look at Mrs. Norris’ miserable state.
At that time, Dumbledore whispered a few words and used his wand to lightly knock on Mrs. Norris, but there was no response, Mrs. Norris still lay there stiffly.
“Headmaster, this cat is dead! I remember a similar event in one of my books, where there was a series of attacks,” said Lockhart, “At the time, I gave the common people a variety of amulet to solve the problem.”
“Professor, she’s not dead, she’s just petrified.”
Ivan felt like he had to say something before Lockhart caused Filch to try to kill him.
“Nonsense, you killed her!” roared Filch.
“Mr. Mason is right, she’s not dead,” whispered Dumbledore to Filch,”She was petrified by a strong curse, first-year students cannot do this.”
“He did it, he did it! You saw the words written on the wall with Mrs. Norris, she has repeatedly prevented him from entering the girl’s bathroom on the third floor,” said Filch, “He must have harbored a grudge.”
“I didn’t touch your cat!”
;So what was the famous Mr. Mason doing entering the girl’s bathroom? Is there anything that can be posted in your fancy newspaper?”
“I am looking for ghosts of the castle to help provide me news sources for my newspaper, I think it is necessary to talk to Moaning Myrtle, she is very familiar with Hogwarts, and many girls like her,” explained Ivan, but Filch didn’t believe his words.
“I am deeply doubtful about that.” said Snape with a hint of ridicule while turning his eyes towards Harry, ” The whole thing is filled with holes, why did you go to the floor above and not attend the Halloween party?”
Snape raised a series of question that made Ivan feel like he was old.
Luckily he didn’t have to explain since Harry, Ron, and Hermione scrambled to explain they were at the Deathday Party.
“Hundreds of ghosts can prove that we were there.”
“But after this why didn’t you come to the Party?” asked Snape with his eyes flashing in the candlelight, “Why did you go up the corridor?”
“Since Ron had a little misunderstanding with Moaning Myrtle we were going to go apologize to her.”
“Going to apologize to a ghost instead of having dinner?” said Snape with a proud smile, “I don’t think the food at a ghost’s party is suitable for the living.”
“We weren’t hungry,” said Ron loudly, but his stomach growled, which cause Snape’s smile to become even more prominent.
“In my opinion headmaster, I don’t think they were entirely honest. So we should probably cancel some of their privileges until they are willing to tell us the truth,” said Snape, “Personally I think we should suspend Mr. Mason’s newspaper and make Mr. Potter leave the Quidditch team until they are honest.”
“To be honest, Severus,” snapped Professor McGonagall, “I see no reason to make these kids stop their favorite extracurricular activities since the cat wasn’t hit in the head with a newspaper or a broom, and there is no evidence that they have done anything wrong.”
Dumbledore looked at the four people with an inquisitive glance, his eyes seemed to see through everything.
“As long as they aren’t proven guilty, they are innocent, Severus,” said Dumbledore firmly.
Snape and Filch seemed irritated.
“My cat is petrified, and I want to see somebody punished!”
“We can cure her, Filch,” said Dumbledore patiently, “Mrs. Sprout recently got some Mandrake’s, and once they fully grow, we can make a potion to cure Mrs. Norris.”
“I’ll make it,” interjected Lockhart, “I’ve made it hundreds of times, I can even make in my sleep.”
“Pardon me! I believe I am the school’s Potions teacher,” said Snape
There was an awkward silence with Lockhart feeling a little uneasy.
“You may go,” said Dumbledore to Ivan, Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
They speedily left, almost running out. When they left Lockhart’s office, they went into an empty classroom and gently closed the door.
In the dark, Hermione squinted at Ivan, Harry, and Ron.