In the middle of the night, Cedric finally returned to Hogwarts Castle, accompanied by his father Amos, where Dumbledore awaited their arrival.

Before their return, Amos sent a letter to Dumbledore explaining that Cedric had left Hogwarts due to concerns about his safety.

He hoped that Headmaster Dumbledore wouldn’t hold it against him.

As the two parties met at Hogwarts Castle, Cassandra, in her Slytherin dormitory, awoke in her bed.

She noticed that Cedric had silently left the room by himself.

Cassandra, acting alone, made her way to the fourth floor of Hogwarts and stood before a mirror.

She softly recited a few words, causing the mirror to shift, revealing a hidden passage behind it.

After ensuring no one was watching, she slipped into the secret passage.

Simultaneously, Mr. Amos handed Cedric over to Dumbledore and offered an apologetic tone, saying, “I’m sorry, Headmaster Dumbledore, for causing you any inconvenience.”

Dumbledore kindly stroked Cedric’s hair and smiled warmly, saying, “No need to apologize, Amos. Cedric is an exemplary Hufflepuff, showcasing the bravery and loyalty of his house.”

Amos’s smile brightened at Dumbledore’s praise.

Afterward, the two engaged in a brief conversation about Amos’s own time at Hogwarts, sharing anecdotes. Eventually, Amos bid Dumbledore farewell.

Once Amos had departed, Dumbledore took Cedric’s hand and began walking toward Hogwarts Castle.

In the village of Hogsmeade, not far from Hogwarts, Cassandra nervously stood before a house with a red lantern hanging by the door.

Despite her uncertainty, she took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

After a moment, the door creaked open from the inside, revealing a dimly lit room. Without hesitation, Cassandra entered.

Meanwhile, Cedric, who had been escorted back to Hogwarts by his father, still felt somewhat uneasy.

Yet, as he walked through the familiar grounds of Hogwarts, his unease began to fade.

At that moment, Dumbledore’s voice softly echoed in Cedric’s ear, “You’ve joined the Alliance?”

Dumbledore’s sudden words startled Cedric, causing him to inadvertently ask, “How did you know?”

Immediately, Cedric realized his mistake; he had nearly admitted it.

He couldn’t help but smile wryly.

However, Dumbledore held Cedric’s hand as they walked toward Hogwarts Castle and answered, “It’s quite simple. There’s no other reason the Alliance would allow you back except for this.”

Hearing Dumbledore’s explanation, Cedric fell silent momentarily before apologizing, “I’m sorry, Headmaster. I swore not to disclose anything I saw or heard today. However, I’ve never done anything wrong at Hogwarts.”

Dumbledore did not respond to Cedric’s apology, leaving Cedric with growing worries.

As they approached the entrance of Hogwarts Castle, Cedric couldn’t contain his anxiety any longer and asked, “Professor, are you going to send me to Azkaban?”

Upon hearing this, Dumbledore stopped abruptly and regarded Cedric with surprise. He inquired, “What? Have you committed a crime?”

Cedric vigorously shook his head and assured Dumbledore, “No, not at all! I haven’t.”

Dumbledore smiled and reassured Cedric, “Then why would I send you to Azkaban? Merely for joining the Alliance? Everyone has the right to choose their own path. As long as you don’t commit any wrongdoing, I remain your Headmaster, Cedric.”

Meanwhile, outside an inconspicuous house in Hogsmeade Village, Christine brought Cassandra to a room’s door and pushed it open.

Upon seeing the middle-aged man bound to a chair inside, Cassandra, despite her prior resolve, couldn’t help but burst into tears.

Cassandra cried out for her father and rushed towards him. Outside the room, Christine called out, “Thomas Vole, I’ve brought your daughter. You’re clever; you should know how to persuade her.”

Christine closed the door, leaving Cassandra alone with her father.

Seeing her haggard father, Cassandra inquired tearfully, “Father, what’s going on?”

Thomas did not answer Cassandra’s question. Instead, he asked, “Do you now know your classmate’s identity?”

Cassandra, her eyes brimming with tears, nodded in acknowledgment.

Christine had just revealed Wentworth’s true identity to Cassandra.

Similarly, Cedric asked Dumbledore, “Professor, did you already know Wentworth’s identity?”

Dumbledore readily nodded and replied with a playful tone, “Of course, Cedric. I am the Headmaster of Hogwarts, after all.”

Cedric, taking a moment to process this, questioned further, “So, within the confines of Hogwarts, do all the students instinctively forget to ask Wentworth’s last name? Is that something you did as well?”

Dumbledore affirmed Cedric’s query, explaining, “Just a minor modification to the Confundus Charm. Naturally, it works only within Hogwarts. Whenever Wentworth steps out of the castle, I am at his side to ensure the enchantment remains.”

Similarly, Cassandra directed the same question at her father, Thomas: “Father, how did I never notice that everyone ignored Wentworth’s last name?”

Thomas considered for a moment before urging Cassandra to recount her experiences, from the Hogwarts Express to the events leading up to the Opening Ceremony.

When Thomas learned that Professor McGonagall had gone to the train station to greet the newly awakened Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, he said, “Hogwarts doesn’t have a tradition of Headmistress personally welcoming new professors. All of this, it was orchestrated by Headmaster Dumbledore.”

Seeing Cassandra’s puzzled expression, Thomas continued to explain, “In the outside world, making everyone instinctively forget a person’s last name may be challenging. However, within a relatively closed environment like Hogwarts, especially with Dumbledore’s magical prowess, it’s quite achievable. Many spells, such as the Confundus Charm, can achieve this. It’s possible that Dumbledore even invented a unique spell for this purpose.”

At the entrance of Hogwarts Castle, Dumbledore also provided further details to Cedric, “It’s just a slight alteration to the Confundus Charm. And, of course, it only functions within Hogwarts. Whenever Wentworth leaves the castle, I make sure to stay by his side to maintain the spell.”

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Published On: December 5, 2023

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