“Professor Snape?” At the sight of the figure, Cedric and Green exclaimed in surprise.

Professor Snape, who had been gazing into the Mirror of Erised, turned to face Wentworth and the others.

“Wentworth, it seems you’ve been quite acquainted with these trials. Care to share your secrets?” Snape inquired.

Wentworth responded with an indifferent smile, saying, “The cat has its ways, the mouse has its ways, and, of course, the wizard has his own. Professor Snape, I assure you, I’ve accomplished it. Harry Potter is safe and sound on Halloween, just as you promised me back then.”

Upon hearing Wentworth’s response, Snape turned away with a stoic expression, directing his attention to the Mirror of Erised. He uttered, “You made me betray Dumbledore, Wentworth!”

Despite Snape’s accusation, he threw a stone at Wentworth without looking back. Examining the stone, Wentworth observed its blood-red, irregular shape, yet it exuded a crystal-clear quality. Occasionally, streams of light flowed within the stone.

At that moment, Snape’s voice reached Wentworth again, “Wentworth, gather your belongings. Let’s go! Our deal is concluded! Unless you want me to deduct points from Hufflepuff!”

Upon hearing Snape’s words, Wentworth shook his head, stowed the magical stone in his hand, and replied, “Professor Snape, the Mirror of Erised reflects our deepest desires, but it’s not a prophecy. It’s an illusion. Don’t succumb to it!”

As Wentworth walked to Snape’s side, Snape snorted and added, “Wentworth, you don’t need to lecture me on that! Also, deduct five points from Hufflepuff!”

With that, Snape turned and left. Watching Snape depart, Wentworth called out to his retreating figure, “Professor Snape, if Dumbledore discovers your betrayal, he’ll expel you from Hogwarts. We welcome you to join the Alliance!”

“Keep on dreaming, Wentworth! Not even in another life will I dedicate mine to that organization of yours,” Snape hesitated upon hearing Wentworth’s words but continued walking away at an increased pace.

Observing Snape’s departure, Green and Cedric approached Wentworth. They stood at the entrance, quietly watching the exchange between Wentworth and Snape, hardly daring to breathe.

Cedric joined Wentworth’s side and inquired immediately, “Wentworth, I never expected Professor Snape to strike a deal with you without informing Professor Dumbledore!”

In response to Cedric’s remark, Wentworth sneered and retorted, “You think you could hide anything from Professor Dumbledore? You underestimate Dumbledore too much! And you underestimate our dear Potion Professor as well!”

Cedric and Green exchanged glances involuntarily. Finally, Green asked, “Wentworth, are you suggesting that Professor Dumbledore was already aware of this?”

Wentworth nodded slowly and replied, “Don’t forget, this is Hogwarts. As the Headmaster here, the greatest white wizard of all time, how could he not be aware of our conspicuous activities around his carefully protected target!”

Ignoring the tense expressions of Cedric and Green, Wentworth shifted his attention to the Mirror of Erised behind him.

“Can you see what my heart desires most? I don’t even know what my deepest desire is!”

With that said, Wentworth took two steps forward and positioned himself in front of the Mirror of Erised.

However, as soon as he halted, Wentworth’s expression changed upon glimpsing the magic mirror for the first time. Without hesitation, he swiftly drew out his wand and pointed it at the Mirror of Erised before him.

This sudden change startled Green and Cedric, who were standing beside Wentworth. They anxiously observed Wentworth’s expressions, witnessing a myriad of emotions playing out on his face.

Meanwhile, Snape briskly made his way to the Headmaster’s office at Hogwarts, where Dumbledore awaited him. Upon their encounter, Snape immediately voiced his concern, “The Philosopher’s Stone has been given to him, but I still don’t understand.”

Facing Snape’s perplexity, Dumbledore responded nonchalantly, “Severus, what’s troubling you?”

Snape answered without hesitation, “I don’t understand why you gave the Philosopher’s Stone to Wentworth. You’re well aware that he is also searching for it!”

Confronting Snape’s inquiry, Dumbledore remained composed, “Yes, I am aware, and I even know that Hogwarts is not secure at this moment! That’s precisely why I relocated the Philosopher’s Stone to a safer location!”

“Behind Wentworth stands the entire Alliance. Even at the height of Voldemort’s power, he might struggle to seize assets from the Alliance, let alone now. That’s why I instructed you to entrust the Philosopher’s Stone to Wentworth.”

Snape fell silent for a moment, appearing hesitant. Eventually, he spoke, “Professor, I understand your strategy of provoking a conflict between the Alliance and the Death Eaters. But aren’t you concerned that the survivor may emerge stronger than ever?”

Upon hearing Snape’s direct inquiry, Dumbledore burst into laughter and replied, “Severus, I’m not concerned because I know who will emerge victorious between them.”

After Snape’s departure, Dumbledore remained alone in his office, lost in contemplation. After a prolonged silence, Dumbledore murmured softly, “Gellert…”

Although their relationship has been broken, Dumbledore never once doubted the kind of people Grindelwald was able to rally for his sake.

Gellert Grindelwald’s ability to pull people in with his high charisma and make them serve him, all the while fulfilling their purpose in life, having the same view on the wizarding world, is something one should never underestimate.

Meanwhile, in front of the Mirror of Erised, Wentworth’s countenance shifted between clouds of uncertainty. The wand in his hand hovered several times, but ultimately, he stowed it away.

Beside Wentworth, Cedric anxiously called out, “Wentworth, what happened? You said something!”

Taking a deep breath, Wentworth slowly shook his head and reassured, “I’m fine; let’s go! Of course, if you wish to see the Mirror of Erised, you can…”

Before Wentworth could finish his sentence, Cedric and Green vigorously shook their heads.

Perhaps, in the past, Green would have eagerly stepped forward to take a look, but Wentworth’s recent expression frightened both of them, erasing any desire to gaze into the mirror.

Observing their reluctance, Wentworth offered a wry smile, turned, and headed out. However, as he turned around, the smile faded from Wentworth’s face.

The reason was that the Mirror of Erised had just unveiled Wentworth’s most profound secret—he saw the man he didn’t expect to see again.

Perhaps the deepest desire of Wentworth’s current life is not riches nor fame, but to be recognized not as Wentworth.

But as his past life before trasversing into the current world…


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Published On: January 29, 2024

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