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From the Diaries of Minerva McGonagall: September 13, 1970

Dear Diary,

Yesterday I told you that Professor Dumbledore had invited me to a meeting. I assumed it would be a gathering of faculty to discuss how to handle the rumors going around, the ones about the recent Muggle murders. I thought we might discuss how to prevent the older students from frightening the younger ones, how to respond when students asked us questions, and so on.

It was not that kind of meeting at all.

When I arrived at Professor Dumbledore’s office, he asked me to take his hand while we apparated to a location he told me not to reveal to anybody—so I won’t even write it. Not that I’m entirely sure where we went, but when we arrived there was already a large group of people there. Maybe fifteen, and at least three of them from the Ministry. Also Rubeus Hagrid, the half-giant who works as Hogwarts gamekeeper. I’ve rarely spoken to him; they told all kinds of stories about Hagrid when I went to school, including the part where he got expelled from Hogwarts and had his wand broken, and now that I’ve become a teacher our paths seldom cross.

But it was Hagrid who was at the center of our meeting, which was—as I suspected—about the murders and who might be behind it. Hagrid and Professor Dumbledore are certain it’s someone they know, a former Hogwarts student. They spent much of the meeting discussing this person with the representatives of the Ministry, comparing notes and trying to ascertain whether this student might be our prime suspect.

I didn’t know why I was there, honestly. Certainly Professor Dumbledore needed to be there, and the people from the Ministry, and Hagrid because he apparently knew this student when they were both at school. I thought at first that they might have been friends, but as I listened to Hagrid speak about his former classmate I am fairly sure that they were not.

But this student caused a lot of trouble when he was at Hogwarts, and Hagrid got involved in some of it somehow, and now he and Professor Dumbledore are trying to convince the Ministry that they should stop this person before he murders any more innocent people. That seemed to be the purpose of the meeting, as far as I understood it—but why the secret location? Why did nobody say this student’s name?

I asked Professor Dumbledore, when we were back in his office, why he had asked me to join the meeting.

“Because I trust you,” he said. Then he looked at me, his eyes careful and sad. “Because I may need your help, someday.”

“But the Ministry is going to apprehend this person, aren’t they?” I asked. “Now that you and Hagrid have told them whom you think it is.”

“I have no doubt that the Ministry will do the best they can,” Professor Dumbledore said. “But they may need additional assistance.”

I know from experience that the Ministry is not the fastest at solving problems, but certainly they’d want to put all of their effort into stopping a murderer! I cannot write any more because I must prepare for tomorrow’s classes. I hope this all gets resolved soon.

Yours faithfully,


Previously in The Diaries of Minerva McGonagall