Upon hearing Draco’s question, a furrow formed on Cassandra’s brow.

“Although the name Nicolas Flamel feels vaguely familiar, I should have come across it somewhere. Yet, for the life of me, I can’t recall it at the moment,” Cassandra admitted, a hint of panic creeping into her tone.

An uneasy realization dawned on Cassandra.

The air of mystery and power she had carefully cultivated within the secret gathering was now at risk of being undermined, casting a shadow of doubt in Draco’s mind and leaving Cassandra on edge.

Unexpectedly, Green interjected, “Oh my God, Jack of Heart, I never expected you to ask such a question! Haven’t you ever tried a Chocolate Frog?”

Cassandra was caught off guard by Green’s remark, and Draco, looking perplexed, responded, “Of course, I’ve had Chocolate Frogs, but what does that have to do with my question?”

With a subtle smile, Green replied, “Since you’ve indulged in Chocolate Frogs, have you collected Dumbledore’s wizard cards?”

Hearing Green’s words, Cassandra was stunned once again, as if a memory was rekindled within her.

Despite Draco’s confusion, he continued to inquire, “Of course, I have collected Dumbledore’s cards. In fact, I’ve gathered nearly all of the cards from Chocolate Frogs. Back then, I bought numerous Chocolate Frogs, even consuming them just to acquire the cards. I wouldn’t discard a single one without checking for the cards inside.”

“But, what does this have to do with my question?” Draco asked, still puzzled.

Amidst the uncertainty, Green chuckled and elucidated, “Then you must not have examined those cards closely. On Dumbledore’s card, there’s a passage that reads: ‘Dumbledore’s most outstanding achievements… and his contribution to alchemy with his partner Nicolas Flamel!'”

As Green’s words resonated, Cassandra experienced a sudden revelation, finally recalling where her familiarity with the name Nicolas Flamel originated.

On the other side, Draco’s excitement heightened, and he couldn’t contain himself, exclaiming, “My God, King of Spades, have you memorized everything written on those cards?”

Feigning surprise, Green responded, “Do you really need to memorize such things? Don’t you recall them after reading them once? It’s like the history of magic at Hogwarts; do you still need to memorize that?”

Cassandra remained silent, and Cedric followed suit, their expressions indicating a shared understanding of the situation.

On the contrary, Draco offered an awkward smile and commented, “Oh, it’s all the same, it’s all the same.”

Cedric, recognizing Draco’s discomfort, chimed in, “Nicolas Flamel is the sole known creator of the Philosopher’s Stone. I won’t delve into further details about what the Philosopher’s Stone is.”

Draco nodded uneasily, inwardly relieved, “Fortunately, they can’t see my face now! How am I supposed to know what a Philosopher’s Stone is? Is this supposed to be common knowledge? Impossible! If it were common knowledge, how could I not know? Even after searching for so long with Harry, we still haven’t found the answer! It’s not because these questions are simple.”

“It’s just that the enigmatic individuals in front of me are exceptionally powerful! Perhaps, what might seem profound to others is merely commonplace to them. Just like in Transfiguration class, Professor McGonagall effortlessly turns a steel needle into a mouse. It’s already an accomplishment for us if we manage to transfigure it into any lifeless object!”

As Draco pondered this, he couldn’t help but acknowledge that this mysterious organization appeared to be even more formidable than he initially thought. Securing an invitation to join their ranks made him feel a sense of accomplishment—a confirmation of his own intelligence.

Just as Draco was reveling in his achievement, a voice broke in, “Okay, let’s conclude today’s meeting. Congratulations to our Secret Hallows for gaining a new member. Welcome to the fold, Jack of Heart!”

In response, Draco promptly stood up, showing respect, and replied, “It’s my honor! I feel very fortunate to become a part of the Secret Hallows!” His sincerity was palpable in these words.

Cassandra, discerning the genuineness in Draco’s response, smiled and added, “Alright, as per our Secret Hallows’s rules, all members should exit at five-minute intervals. Avoid lingering near the entrance, and refrain from deliberately probing into other members’ identities. Our elders will address any violations on behalf of the Secret Hallows.”

Upon hearing Cassandra’s instructions, Draco assured her of his compliance, repeatedly expressing his commitment to abide by the rules.

With Draco having made his commitment, Cassandra directed, “Let’s begin with you, Jack of Heart. You’ll be the first to depart.”

Draco bid farewell to the trio in turn before exiting the Room of Requirement. As he left, Cassandra let out a sigh of relief and turned to Green, saying, “King of Spades, it’s fortunate that you reacted quickly just now!”

Green smiled and responded, “No, King of Heart, you’re being too anxious. We all recognize the dedication you’ve put into establishing the Secret Hallows. It’s fair to say that you founded it.”

“However,” Green continued, “remember that you’re not fighting alone. We are all members of the Secret Hallows, and you shouldn’t bear the entire burden. Trust us; we can be your reliable partners!”

Hearing Green’s words, Cassandra fell silent for a moment before acknowledging, “You’re right. I’ll keep that in mind moving forward.” Subsequently, Green and Cedric left the Room of Requirement ahead of her.

However, Cassandra opted not to leave immediately; instead, she sat quietly in her seat for a while. Eventually, she rose, approached the Joker card, and carefully stowed it away.

Gazing at the card in her hand, Cassandra spoke slowly, “This is just the beginning, Wentworth. One day, I will transform the Secret Hallows into an unparalleled network of influence, and you will be its sole master.”

Subsequently, Cassandra gathered all the star cards, turned, and left the Room of Requirement with a determined stride.

The following morning, as Harry and Ron entered the Hogwarts Great Hall for breakfast, they noticed Hermione engrossed in a thick book.

Sharing a glance, they approached her, and Ron inquired, “Hermione, I remember you were reading this book yesterday.” Noticing Hermione’s progress in reading the book, Ron was surprised, “Merlin’s beard, how many pages have you read since yesterday?! Did you find anything?”

Hermione sighed, shook her head, and replied, “I spent the night reading a book and searched until the early hours, but unfortunately, I still found nothing about Nicolas Flamel.”

Harry and Ron exchanged resigned glances.

It was at this moment that Harry, sensing something amiss, inquired with a hint of suspicion, “Did any of you see Draco? We agreed to meet at the library after breakfast when we left yesterday.”

The three of them scanned the surroundings, but Draco was nowhere to be seen.

Witnessing this, Ron sneered and remarked, “Don’t bother asking; our dear young master must have found the library too taxing and decided to play truant!”

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Published On: February 4, 2024

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