Upon hearing Professor Ilona and Professor Snape’s words, Wentworth realized that the situation was more intricate than he had initially perceived.

Professor Dumbledore, standing nearby, seemed to concur with the professors’ assessment.

He calmly drew his wand and aimed it at Marcus.

Instantly, Marcus’s eyes regained clarity.

Upon regaining consciousness and seeing the numerous professors surrounding him, Marcus’s legs trembled.

If not for Professor Snape firmly gripping his collar, he might have collapsed right then and there.

“Professor! I don’t understand what just happened! My sole intention was to secure victory in the game. Not long ago, I received a package containing a vial of Strength Potion and a letter. The letter instructed me to use the Potion before the match, emphasizing Slytherin’s need to win!”

“At first, I was contemplating whether to employ the Strength Potion. However, when I read the news about Wentworth in the newspaper, anger welled up within me. I decided to confront him directly and took the Potion right before the game.”

“I know it was wrong, but I genuinely don’t understand how this happened!”

Soon, without further prompting, Marcus Flint disclosed all the information he possessed.

Listening to Marcus’s account, the Professors present wore grave expressions. Professor Dumbledore then spoke up, “Severus, Minerva, accompany Marcus to retrieve the package. The other Professor, return to the school and maintain order. Professor Ilona, please take care of Wentworth, who was deeply disturbed today.”

After Professor Dumbledore concluded, he cast a significant look at Professor Ilona before turning and departing.

Later, Professor Ilona escorted Wentworth back to his dormitory and, after a thorough check, left.

However, when Professor Ilona returned to her office, she wore an icy demeanor as she took out pen and parchment to compose a letter.

In the letter, Professor Ilona initially recounted the day’s events and then proceeded to rebuke Abernathy and others severely, accusing them of incompetence and lamenting the failure to identify the mastermind behind the scenes before dispatching the letter.

While Hogwarts was embroiled in chaos, the world outside was far from tranquil.

In Knockturn Alley, even the midday sun couldn’t dispel the shadows completely.

In this dim and foreboding alley, a series of explosions suddenly erupted near a colorful trash can.

Moments later, a dozen or so British Ministry of Magic Aurors, led by Minister Scrimgeour, the new head of the Auror Office, materialized at the scene with wands at the ready.

“Is this the place?”

Rufus inquired with a furrowed brow as he gazed at the trash can before him.

One of the Aurors stepped forward to respond, “Yes, according to the informant’s tip, the bald wizard and the cloaked wizard were last seen here. However, a group of dark wizards claiming to be the Alliance arrived shortly after, compelling the bar owner to join them and subsequently ejecting the informant. We don’t know what happened afterward.”

Upon hearing his subordinate’s account, Rufus Scrimgeour’s frown deepened as he questioned, “Why did the informant wait until now to provide the information? What does he do? Spend the yearly allowance we provide him on butterbeer?”

The Auror appeared somewhat embarrassed as he replied, “Well, you see, the informant insisted on ensuring his own safety first. He has since fled to Sweden and sent us the information via owl after arriving there.”

After a moment of silence, Rufus Scrimgeour waved his hand and declared, “Once we enter, if the other party resorts to the Unforgivable Curses first, we won’t hesitate. Ensure the bar owner’s safety, but as for everyone else, their fate is of no consequence.”

As Rufus led the Aurors through the trash can and into the bar, a shadow not far from Knockturn Alley revealed the countenance of an elderly wizard, only to vanish instantly.

“Abernathy, there’s a problem. The Aurors have entered the bar in Knockturn Alley.”

A moment later, the elderly wizard appeared in Abernathy’s quarters and relayed the information urgently.

“Why? Hasn’t the bar owner left yet?” Abernathy inquired with a furrowed brow.

The elderly wizard replied with a hint of embarrassment, “I had intended to take him to Paris today. Many witches and wizards witnessed his association with us. However, he insisted on taking one last look at the place where he’d struggled his entire life.”

“Snap!”

Hearing the elderly wizard’s words, Abernathy was incensed.

He smashed the wine glass in his hand and exclaimed angrily, “What good are these wizards to us? They do nothing but bring trouble!”

Confronted with Abernathy’s wrath, the elderly wizard appeared even more chagrined.

After a moment of silence, he said, “I thought that recruiting seasoned wizards would rejuvenate our ranks and infuse fresh blood into the cause.”

“Or perhaps we should abandon…”

But before the elderly wizard could complete his sentence, Ilona’s owl arrived.

After Abernathy read Ilona’s letter, he remained silent for an extended period.

Yet, within that silence, the elderly wizard detected Abernathy’s mounting fury.

At that moment, Abernathy spoke icily, “Even if he’s displeased, even if he’s to be held accountable according to family rules, we must wait for his return. Now that he’s joined the Alliance, we cannot allow him to fall into the hands of the British Ministry of Magic.”

Upon hearing this, the elderly wizard hastily suggested, “Shall we proceed immediately?”

Abernathy waved his hand and countered, “Going now may be too late. His three confidants are no match for the Aurors.”

With that said, Abernathy deliberated for a moment and asserted resolutely, “We must make our way to the Ministry of Magic! The British Ministry of Magic!”

The elderly wizard expressed concern, “Now? To the British Ministry of Magic? Just us?”

Abernathy nodded and stated, “Now is the time. However, it won’t be just us. Inform all Alliance members in the UK, especially those near London. Tell them to gather at the British Ministry of Magic!”

The elderly wizard remained apprehensive and voiced, “Is there enough time? We don’t have much.”

Abernathy responded confidently, “We cannot notify each member individually. It’s time to awaken the magical world to forgotten memories.”

Upon hearing Abernathy’s words, the elderly wizard was both exhilarated and anxious. He inquired, “But is this not too costly for a new wizard?”

Abernathy smiled significantly and stated, “It’s not just for him! It’s for our young master! If we cannot locate those mice hiding in the shadows for the moment, then let’s send them a message audible throughout the magical world.”

“Our Alliance can incite a war spanning the entire wizarding world. Anyone or any organization daring to challenge our Alliance must first prepare for a life-or-death battle. Let’s see if they have the nerve!”

On that day, London’s sky darkened, despite the sun hanging high in the sky.

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Published On: November 23, 2023

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