When Dumbledore and Gellert Grindelwald convened at Nurmengard Castle, an expansive round stone table adorned an undisclosed chamber, encircled by about twelve figures shrouded in darkness.

These concealed figures appeared to be engaged in hushed conversation. After a while, the room gradually quieted, interrupted only by rhythmic fingers tapping against the table.

A gruff voice broke the silence, “It seems they’ve stumbled upon something. During this period, everyone should exercise heightened caution in their activities! Originally, we utilized the maneuvers of the Magic Congress of the United States to cloak our plan. While it may not have achieved its intended purpose, it shouldn’t have exposed us.”

“In this scenario, the most likely possibility is the presence of traitors among our ranks! Each of you needs to scrutinize our insiders, particularly those who participated in the operation against the Muggle couple a decade ago. We suspect that the traitors lurk among those participants!”

With the conclusion of this directive, the room plunged back into an eerie silence.

Upon closer inspection, the room was now vacant.

***

Despite the growing turbulence in the outside world, within Hogwarts, the atmosphere remained relatively calm.

Wentworth and Cedric maintained their routine of attending classes during the day, practicing spells in the Room of Requirement at night, and engaging in spellwork sessions with Lupin on weekends.

Despite the looming presence of a menacing figure within the school, Wentworth found solace in the fact that he wasn’t the target of the threat and chose to remain indifferent.

While Wentworth enjoyed this comfortable routine, someone else was actively working on his behalf.

One day, after Cedric exited Snape’s class, Cassandra intercepted him, wearing a mysterious expression.

“Cedric, can I have a word with you?” Cassandra asked while drawing Cedric aside.

Perplexed by Cassandra’s sudden action, Cedric inquired, “Hey, Cassandra, what’s going on?”

Cassandra tried glancing around to ensure privacy, and waited until everyone had dispersed before leaning in and whispering, “Do you remember the story Wentworth shared on the train?”

Cedric struggled to recall what Cassandra meant by that, instead responding, “Story? What story?”

Cassandra rolled her eyes before she explained, “The one about Cassell College!” She said impatiently.

Recognition dawned on Cedric. He only smiled in return before replying, “Ah, yes, I remember. But what does that have to do with us?”

Annoyed by Cedric’s apparent obliviousness, Cassandra retorted, “You’re quick to learn spells, but why are you completely dense in situations like these?! Haven’t you caught on to Wentworth’s subtle hints?”

Cedric continued to shake his head, baffled by Cassandra’s frustration.

Observing Cedric’s continued confusion, Cassandra rolled her eyes in exasperation but persisted in explaining,

“Wentworth brought up Cassell College as an example for a reason. Besides the Student Union, Cassell College has a Lionheart Club that’s equivalent to the Student Union. Do you really think Wentworth was just sharing trivia with me? He’s dropping hints for us!”

“Even though we’re at Hogwarts, we can’t openly establish the Alliance due to Dumbledore’s influence. But that doesn’t mean we can’t form a new group or organization—just not under the Alliance name!” Cassandra explained with fire in her eyes as she squeezed her hand tightly.

Cedric, who was still taken aback, expressed his surprise by saying, “Cassandra, are you reading too much into this? I don’t think Wentworth meant all that! If he had such plans, wouldn’t he keep it to himself?”

Cassandra sneered at Cedric in response, “Cedric, don’t be so naive. Have you forgotten? Our Headmaster is Dumbledore! How many secrets do you think you can keep from Dumbledore? Wentworth can’t be too explicit about it; otherwise, he’d be directly challenging Dumbledore!” She explained once again expressively using her hands.

“That’s precisely why Wentworth is dropping these hints. We can’t even discuss this plan with him. This way, even if Dumbledore uncovers it later, he won’t trace it back to Wentworth. After all, Wentworth wasn’t directly involved from the start!” She continued.

After absorbing Cassandra’s explanation, Cedric rubbed his temples and said, “Hold on, let me process this slowly; my brain needs a moment!”

“So, you’re suggesting we establish a new organization within Hogwarts using Wentworth’s name, but Wentworth won’t be directly involved. This way, even if Dumbledore discovers our new organization, Wentworth can deny any knowledge of it,” Cedric clarified.

Pleased with Cedric’s comprehension, Cassandra nodded and proudly affirmed, “Exactly! Even if Dumbledore attempts Legilimency, he’ll struggle to find any link between Wentworth and this organization.”

Just then, a somber voice interrupted them from behind, stating, “I believe I heard someone discussing Legilimency.”

Startled, Cassandra and Cedric turned to find Snape standing nearby, wearing a grim expression as he observed them.

Reacting quickly, they greeted Snape, “Good afternoon, Professor!”

Snape approached them deliberately and patted their heads before reprimanding them, “You two presumptuous individuals! Legilimency is not a topic for your current discussions! You’re marginally smarter than those fools, yet you aspire to master this spell and become as foolish as them in the end!” He scolded while slapping their head with a book in his hand.

With a final order to “Get lost!” Cassandra and Cedric sprinted away.

After running a considerable distance, they looked back and saw no sign of Snape, prompting a simultaneous sigh of relief.

After catching her breath, Cassandra lifted her head and addressed Cedric, “It seems this isn’t the right time for this discussion. Go back and let Green know I’ll be waiting for you in the prefect’s bathroom on the sixth floor tonight. We can talk it through there.”

Puzzled, Cedric asked, “Why the prefect’s bathroom?”

With confidence, Cassandra replied, “Purely out of curiosity! I haven’t been there yet.”

Cedric sighed in agreement.

Suddenly, exclamations nearby drew their attention. Glancing in the direction of the Quidditch pitch, they noticed the commotion and Cedric remarked, “Looks like the first-year students are having their flying class. I wonder which unlucky soul had an accident this time. There’s always something happening in the first-year flying class at Hogwarts.”

For some unknown reason, Cassandra blushed and seemed lost in thought. She remembered the first time her encounter with Wentworth as they crashed in the flying class that made her almost lose her life.

Deep down, Cassandra always prays for another opportunity where Wentworth will come and save her. Because that’s the only way for Wentworth to ever focus his attention on her. Besides, there is no way Cassandra would ever have the chance to save Wentworth from the grasp of the villains.

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Published On: January 10, 2024

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