As Wentworth and Cedric exchanged whispers, the sorting ceremony finally concluded, prompting Professor McGonagall, who had been standing beside the Sorting Hat, to breathe a sigh of relief.

“Well, at least I only had one house to consider,” Wentworth thought.

With the sorting over, Professor Dumbledore, renowned as the greatest white wizard of the era, stood up and tapped the glass before him with a spoon, silencing the entire Hogwarts auditorium.

All eyes were on Professor Dumbledore, and Wentworth couldn’t help but marvel at the Headmaster’s reputation and charisma.

Professor Dumbledore smiled kindly and addressed the students, “Welcome, everyone, to Hogwarts. Before the new semester starts, I have two customary words to say: Nitwit, blubber, oddment, tweak! Alright, thank you, everyone! Let’s have dinner!”

While the older students appeared used to Professor Dumbledore’s words, the freshmen, including Wentworth, were taken aback.

They hadn’t expected the Headmaster’s opening remarks to be so unconventional.

As for the meaning behind Professor Dumbledore’s peculiar words, Wentworth had come across many online analyses in his previous life, but none provided a compelling answer.

“I’ll have to find a chance to ask Professor Dumbledore about it in person,” Wentworth thought.

As the banquet began, a plethora of delicious food magically appeared on the long tables of the four houses, eliciting exclamations of awe from the freshmen.

Cedric explained to Wentworth how the House-elves prepared the food in the kitchen below the auditorium, and then brought it up by magic when it was time to eat.

Though Wentworth already knew this, he was still amazed, “Wow, what an amazing school! I really like it here! And choosing Hufflepuff was a wise decision. Cedric, you seem to know a lot about Hogwarts. You can show me around in the future!”

Cedric chuckled and replied, “No problem, Wentworth. We’re friends, aren’t we? I’ll be happy to help!”

The two exchanged smiles and turned their attention back to the dining table.

However, Wentworth noticed that the food in front of him had already been reduced by half in the short period of their conversation.

The other Hufflepuffs eagerly enjoyed their meal, aiming for the next plate of food.

“Hufflepuff is really a simple and honest house,” Wentworth remarked, contrasting it with the grand introductions at the Slytherin table nearby.

Slytherin students were introducing themselves in a style reminiscent of ancient Greece, just like Achilles introducing himself as the son of the hero Peleus.

Cassandra proudly introduced herself at the Slytherin table, which garnered a burst of applause.

Wentworth couldn’t help but jest, “I sighed that Hufflepuff chose the flat-headed badger as its representative animal, but Slytherin’s flair for introductions is quite entertaining!”

Suddenly, a head popped out of the table, causing the new students to scream in surprise.

“Hello, Mr. Ghost!” Wentworth greeted the apparition politely.

The head slowly emerged to reveal a short, fat monk-like ghost.

“This is the ghost of our house, Fat Friar. This is our new Hufflepuff, Wentworth,” Cedric introduced the ghost to Wentworth.

“What a handsome guy, as handsome as you, Cedric. You must take good care of him. Our Hufflepuffs are the most harmonious house,” the Fat Friar said with a smile.

Cedric affirmed, and the Fat Friar went to greet other Hufflepuff students.

Wentworth thought he could finally enjoy his meal in peace with the ghost gone.

But he looked back at the dining table and found it in disarray.

The sauce on the chicken legs before him looked unappetizing, and he lost his appetite.

Cedric noticed and offered his untouched steak, “If you don’t like it, here, you can have this steak. I’m quite full from earlier.”

“Wow, Cedric, you are so kind. Then I gladly accept!” Wentworth hugged Cedric, grateful for his gesture.

As Wentworth savored the steak, an idea struck him, and he couldn’t help but laugh, thinking about how he could repay Cedric for this delicious meal.

Then, Professor Dumbledore stood up again to introduce a new Professor, Ilona, as the new semester’s Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.

Her introduction was met with applause and whispers from the students.

“I hope Professor Ilona doesn’t have an accident,” Cedric murmured.

After Ilona took her seat, Professor Dumbledore smiled and announced, “I think everyone has almost eaten, so let’s move on!”

With a snap of his fingers, the mess on the table disappeared, replaced by an array of desserts.

“I am most looking forward to this moment at the opening ceremony!” Professor Dumbledore said with a smile.

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Published On: August 21, 2023

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