As the sorting ceremony unfolded at Hogwarts, Thomas Vole, the former head of the Auror’s office at the British Ministry of Magic and father of Cassandra, found himself emerging from the Minister of Magic’s office. The dim lights in the hallway reflected the somber expression on Thomas’ face.

Inside the minister’s office, Fudge sat behind his desk, and Umbridge stood before him, suggesting, “Minister Fudge, since you don’t favor Rufus Scrimgeour, why not seize this opportunity to bring Thomas Vole back to the Auror office?”

Fudge shot Umbridge a cold look, and only when Umbridge lowered her head did Fudge respond slowly, “Even if Rufus isn’t performing well, he was my choice, and Thomas Vole is not.”

“I understand, Mr. Minister,” Umbridge replied respectfully.

Descending through the stairs of the Ministry of Magic, Thomas reached the sixth underground floor, where he halted before a shabby door. The label on the door read: Department of Magical Transportation Floo Network Management Department.

With a sigh, Thomas pushed the door open and entered. The room appeared disheveled, with only two wizards sporting gray hair seated at a nearby table, engaged in a seemingly boring game of wizard chess.

Hearing the door open, the two old wizards glanced up at Thomas and greeted him half-heartedly with a quick “Welcome to the new supervisor of the Floo Network Administration!” Despite the words of welcome, the two wizards didn’t bother to stand up.

Upon returning to the British Ministry of Magic, Thomas concocted a fabricated incident, passed a cursory review by the Ministry, and managed to reclaim his position.

However, Fudge, citing the leadership transition to Rufus during Thomas’ disappearance, assigned him to the Floo Network Management Department as a supervisor, a significant downgrade from his former role as the head of the Auror Office.

While the title may suggest a semblance of authority, wizards within the Ministry understood that Thomas’s political career, under Fudge’s influence, had effectively come to an end.

Undeterred by the lack of warmth, Thomas took his seat with a stoic expression, facing forward. Meanwhile, in another corner of the room, the two old wizards continued their game of wizard chess, showing no inclination to acknowledge their new supervisor.

After an indeterminate period, as the two old wizards prepared to start another round of wizard chess, a mysterious change came over Thomas. A subtle upturn of the corners of his mouth soon escalated into unrestrained laughter that echoed throughout the room.

“Haha, ha ha ha!”

The unexpected burst of laughter startled the two old wizards, who exchanged bewildered glances. Thomas, who was still amused with his current predicament, decided to rise from his seat.

Following the outburst, Thomas composed himself and began methodically tidying up the messy room. The two old wizards, failing to grasp the shift in dynamics, exchanged contemptuous glances before resuming their chess game.

Unbeknownst to them, behind their backs, Thomas’s gaze turned colder as if a resolute decision had been made.

Inside Thomas’ head, he’s already planning to forsake everything and go to the Alliance. He has thrown everything he has worked hard for this far just to get back at the people who ridiculed him behind his back.

If the Alliance decided to raid the whole Auror’s office, then Thomas wouldn’t even think twice about letting them wreak havoc or even join in the fun to get rid of his opponents.

Simultaneously, as the Sorting Ceremony concluded, Wentworth, Cedric, and their fellow students reveled in a lavish opening dinner.

While Dumbledore, with a twinkle in his eye, directed the prefects to guide the students back to their dormitories, officially closing the dinner.

Seizing the opportunity, Wentworth and Green exchanged greetings with the senior prefects before heading directly to the Professor’s table and approaching Dumbledore.

Wentworth initiated friendly greetings with the Professors he knew, and despite Snape’s persistently cold demeanor, the other educators welcomed him with smiles. Across cultures and ages, teachers universally favored diligent and well-behaved students.

Without hesitation, Wentworth approached Dumbledore and expressed, “Headmaster Dumbledore, I have a matter I wish to discuss with you. Is this the right time? I can come back later on if that’s what you want.”

Dumbledore responded warmly, “It’s fine, Wentworth. I can always make time for an honorable student like you.” He said with a smile.

Guided by Dumbledore, they made their way to the Headmaster’s office at Hogwarts. The venerable wizard gestured, summoning a serving of vanilla pudding for Wentworth, and settled back into his chair, observing Wentworth as he savored the dessert.

Between bites of pudding, Wentworth relayed, “Professor Dumbledore, my mission has been accomplished. Harry Potter has been safely delivered to Hogwarts.”

Dumbledore nodded appreciatively, “Thank you very much, Wentworth. You understand that Harry’s upbringing was less than ideal. I believe that allowing him to connect with his classmates at Hogwarts ahead of time will aid in his smoother integration into the wizarding world.”

Wentworth continued to savor the vanilla pudding, his disapproval evident. Between bites, he inquired, “Professor Dumbledore, you truly care about Harry!”

Upon hearing Wentworth’s words, Dumbledore released a long sigh and replied, “Indeed, Harry’s parents, in their struggle against that certain person, had met their tragic fate… leaving Harry alone! Yet, their sacrifice was not in vain; justice and triumph prevailed in the end.”

Wentworth burst into laughter upon hearing Dumbledore’s words. After a brief pause, he lifted his gaze to Dumbledore and remarked slowly, “Justice prevails in the end? Naturally, only the victor is deemed just!”

Dumbledore fell silent for a moment in response to Wentworth’s statement, while the portraits of past Hogwarts Headmasters on the office wall began to murmur. As Wentworth observed Dumbledore, he noticed a newfound boldness in himself since encountering Quirrell at Hogwarts.

Unperturbed, Wentworth wasn’t concerned that Dumbledore had failed to detect Quirrell’s abnormality. After all, in the original book, Dumbledore had issued a warning to Snape about keeping an eye on Quirrell.

Dumbledore, however, seemed uninterested in prolonging the discussion on this topic. After a pause, he lifted his head and looked at Wentworth before asking, “You didn’t come here to me tonight to simply talk about Harry, right? Tell me what’s on your mind, child.” Dumbledore asked with a hint of teasing as the corner of his lips lifted slightly.

Wentworth nodded in agreement and posed his question, “I want to know, are there any other means in Gringotts to open a vault that requires a bloodline ritual for access?”

Dumbledore shot a questioning glance at Wentworth upon hearing his question, “What makes you ask of such a thing? Rest assured, the only thing you should know is that Gringotts is the safest place in the whole world to store your valuables.”

Hearing his answer only made Wentworth smile before he looked at Dumbledore once again. “You won’t believe what I’m about to tell you, Professor!”

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Published On: January 8, 2024

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