As the players from Hufflepuff and Slytherin were pushed together, Madam Hooch’s whistle sounded promptly.
Simultaneously, the stands erupted in boos. The little badgers and little snakes, who were in close proximity, had even exchanged spittle on each other’s faces.
It wasn’t until Professors Snape and Sprout stood up and reprimanded their respective house’s students that the two groups were separated, preventing a large-scale conflict.
Madam Hooch then gathered the Hufflepuff and Slytherin team members to her side, delivering a stern warning, “I hope this kind of incident won’t happen again! Otherwise, I’ll call off the match, and both teams will be considered losers! Understood?”
Facing Madam Hooch’s warning, Green, with Wentworth’s hand in his own, protested innocently, “It was Marcus who attacked Wentworth first! Look, Wentworth’s hands are all red! Poor Wentworth, he’s just a first-year, only eleven years old! In the future, his hand will be as important to him as his beloved girl! But now it’s injured!”
Initially relieved that Green had come to his aid, Wentworth now felt three black lines appear on his forehead in response to Green’s dramatic exaggeration.
Seeing Wentworth’s reddened hand, pinched by Marcus, Madam Hooch frowned and called Marcus over for a stern word.
Marcus repeatedly insisted that it was an accident and he didn’t mean to harm anyone.
Returning to the Slytherin team, Marcus found himself briefly perplexed, wondering why he had been so impulsive earlier.
However, the memory of the mysterious package and a line from the letter came to mind:
“Defeat Wentworth, victory belongs to Slytherin!”
Upon recalling this, Marcus initially dismissed the idea, thinking, “What kind of impact can a first-year Hufflepuff make?”
Yet, upon seeing Wentworth in front of him, Marcus sensed his heart quicken, feeling an inexplicable urge to eliminate the person before him.
At this moment, Madam Hooch’s whistle had already sounded, marking the official start of the first Quidditch match of the school year at Hogwarts.
Marcus had no choice but to shake his head, leaving behind his momentary lapse of judgment and attributing it to a desire to win.
Meanwhile, the players of Hufflepuff and Slytherin were officially engaged in the match.
“Really, this year, I changed Slytherin’s first opponent from the fierce Gryffindor to the more peaceful Hufflepuff just to prevent such incidents,” complained Professor McGonagall, seated next to Professor Dumbledore.
Professor Dumbledore, his gaze focused on Wentworth, responded meaningfully, “That’s because this year’s Hufflepuffs see hope. They inspire and give courage to face any challenge.”
At the start of the game, before Wentworth could even spot the Golden Snitch, a Bludger on the field nearly collided with him.
Thanks to a quick response from a Hufflepuff Beater, Wentworth narrowly avoided injury, sparing him the embarrassment of an early mishap.
“Thanks you!” Wentworth expressed his gratitude to the Hufflepuff Beater beside him.
The Hufflepuff Beater waved off the thanks, busy tracking the Bludgers on the field, and assured, “Wentworth, your focus should be on the Snitch. We’ve got everything else covered. Captain Green made it clear before the game that my job is to protect you. Go find the Snitch with confidence!”
Touched by the Hufflepuff Beater’s words, Wentworth intended to express his gratitude again.
However, before he could do so, a Slytherin Beater, not far away, sent a Bludger towards Wentworth with a loud thwack.
This time, accustomed to the rhythm of the game, Wentworth chose not to trouble his Beater.
He swiftly maneuvered in the air, evading the oncoming Bludger.
Just as Wentworth dodged the Bludgers, a resounding cheer erupted from the Slytherin students in the audience.
It turned out that Marcus Flint, Slytherin’s Chaser, had taken the lead in scoring ten points for Slytherin by successfully throwing the Quaffle into Hufflepuff’s goal.
As the proud Slytherin players flew past Wentworth, Marcus Flint taunted, “Well, well, is this the occasional Hogwarts prodigy? Taking a leisurely stroll on the pitch? You haven’t even taken a few steps!”
The Slytherin players burst into laughter. In the face of Marcus’s mockery, Wentworth refrained from responding and continued scanning the field.
Suddenly, his eyes narrowed, and his broom accelerated sharply, diving downward.
Wentworth’s sudden movement left Marcus Flint momentarily stunned.
However, he quickly realized the situation and urged their Seeker, “Quick, follow Wentworth! He’s found the Snitch!”
Before Marcus could finish his sentence, the Slytherin Seeker accelerated abruptly.
Unable to spot the Golden Snitch, he kept his eyes glued to Wentworth’s back, flying closely behind him.
Then, the Slytherin Seeker abruptly noticed that Wentworth had reached out.
Seeing this, he concluded that the Golden Snitch must be right in front of Wentworth.
The Slytherin Seeker decided to increase his speed to overtake Wentworth in one fell swoop.
Yet, just as he was about to succeed, Wentworth abruptly pulled up his broom and ascended rapidly, obscuring the Slytherin Seeker’s view.
When the Slytherin Seeker realized, he found himself facing a silver pillar – Hufflepuff’s goalpost!
A cacophony of exclamations filled the stadium as the Slytherin Seeker collided with the goalpost and fell from his broom.
At this moment, Wentworth had returned to Marcus Flint’s side, expressing his regret, “Unfortunately, not you…”
Before Marcus Flint could react, Wentworth soared away, leaving only a parting remark, “Marcus, you’re a great teammate!”
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