Observing Cassandra’s departure, Wentworth smiled faintly and then shook his head, making his way back to Hufflepuff’s common room.

Meanwhile, Cassandra swiftly returned to Slytherin’s Common Room.

She promptly retrieved her identity card, the heart-shaped K, and began crafting a reply to Draco, encapsulating the situation in one simple sentence:

“The Alliance has purged Hogsmeade Village of wizards posing a threat to them.”

Draco sensed a sudden surge of warmth in his arms in Wiltshire, England, within Malfoy Manor.

Swiftly reaching for his identity card, the Jack of Heart, Draco was puzzled as he read the response behind the card to his inquiry.

“What? What reason do they have to raid the poor village? I thought all the Alliance were calculative in their moves…” Draco exclaimed.

Despite the confusion, Draco, without dwelling on it, hastily left his room and headed towards his father’s study.

As he approached the study’s door, Draco overheard the agitated voice of his father, Lucius, “Damn it! Can anyone tell me what transpired in Hogsmeade Village? Why have we lost all contact with our family’s properties there? There are countless Galleons worth of investments there!”

Soon after, Draco caught the sound of his mother’s voice as she exited the study, “Alright, Lucius, it’s evident that the entire Hogsmeade village is under the Ministry of Magic blockade. Even owls can’t freely come and go. Can’t you send a letter to the Ministry of Magic? We keep paying tributes each year to them, and yet you can’t obtain a shred of information in return?”

As Narcissa’s words lingered, Lucius hastily responded, “Of course, I’ve sent letters to the Ministry of Magic, not just one, but several. However, every response I received claimed ignorance about the situation. Some letters even seemed to vanish into thin air, receiving no reply whatsoever!”

Following Lucius’s revelation, the room sank into an uneasy silence.

After a pause, Draco discerned Lucius’s voice trembling as he cautiously spoke, “Could it be that it’s truly that person who has returned?”

As Lucius uttered these words, Draco suddenly heard a sharp, shattering sound emanating from the study, like the noise of something breaking.

Following that, his mother’s voice reached him, “It’s alright, Lucius. Even if that person has truly returned, we are still safe. We haven’t done anything to harm him, have we?”

However, right after Narcissa’s statement, Draco caught the sound of his father’s wry smile, and Lucius responded wearily, “What nonsense are you talking about, Narcissa? Have you forgotten what kind of terrible person he was?”

Standing outside Lucius’s study door, Draco eavesdropped on the conversation between his parents within the room.

Filled with curiosity, Draco couldn’t help but be perplexed. Despite comprehending every spoken word, he failed to grasp the context of their discussion.

As the conversation in the room hushed once more, Draco, with a curious expression, leaned in towards the study door, eager to hear more.

A thump of his foot against the door notified of the presence of his two parents, who were discussing inside.

However, at that moment, a loud shout erupted, “Who’s outside!”

Subsequently, the door to Lucius’ study room swung open abruptly!

Startled, Draco, who was gripping the door, tumbled and found himself inside his father’s room.

Inside the room, Lucius and Narcissa, who had already drawn their wands, were taken aback upon realizing it was Draco who had unexpectedly entered.

In a fit of anger, Lucius was about to advance and question Draco about eavesdropping on their conversation, “Listen here, young man! Didn—” but Narcissa intervened.

She stepped forward, wearing a concerned expression, and assisted Draco, who was sprawled on the floor, “Draco, are you alright? Does it hurt anywhere, dear?”

Observing the anxiety on his wife’s face, Lucius wisely refrained from advancing further and remained rooted in his position.

Narcissa raised Draco from the floor, and witnessing her concerned expression, Draco felt a stir of emotion in his heart.

Observing that Draco appeared unharmed, Lucius promptly inquired, “Draco, what were you doing? Were you eavesdropping on my conversation with your mother just now? What did you hear?”

Draco observed his father with a sense of helplessness, and as the gravity of the situation sank in, his expression grew increasingly grim.

In haste, Draco spoke up, “That’s enough, Father. I know what happened in Hogsmeade, and I know who’s behind it!”

Upon hearing Draco’s statement, both Lucius and Narcissa were dumbfounded.

Narcissa then grasped Draco’s shoulder urgently and inquired, “Tell us, Draco, what in the world happened in Hogsmeade?”

As Draco stood before his concerned parents, knowing that he held the answer they were desperately seeking, he couldn’t help but feel a surge of pride within himself.

He cleared his throat and began to speak deliberately, “It was the wizards of Alliance who orchestrated it. They purged the village of Hogsmeade, eliminating those wizards who posed a threat to them.”

Draco’s response left Lucius and Narcissa momentarily stunned. Subsequently, they exchanged glances, detecting a trace of horror reflected in each other’s eyes.

Simultaneously, the figure of the young man named Wentworth Grindelwald rekindled in the minds of Lucius and Narcissa.

Upon hearing Draco’s revelation, a moment of silence enveloped Lucius and Narcissa. Then, Lucius inquired loudly, “Draco, can you confirm this information? How did you come by this news?”

Draco’s heart sank at his father’s question, realizing he had overlooked a critical detail.

While sharing the news with his parents earlier, he had neglected to mention that the information originated from the Alliance.

Moreover, the Alliance strictly prohibited its members from divulging any information about the organization to external wizards.

If Draco couldn’t disclose information about the Secret Hallows, he truly struggled to explain how effortlessly he obtained the information his parents sought diligently.

Observing Draco’s hesitation, Lucius furrowed his brows, advanced, and cast a disdainful gaze upon Draco, uttering coldly, “Draco, are you merely fabricating a tale to deceive us?”

Lucius’s words triggered a sudden wave of anxiety within Draco.

He even contemplated divulging all he knew, including details about the Secret Hallows.

Yet, reflecting on the fact that the Secret Hallows effortlessly provided information that eluded even his parents’ determined efforts, Draco felt honesty might be the best course of action.

Just as Draco grappled with his predicament, his mother stood.

The air inside the room were tense as they stared at their only son, demanding for the reasoning behind his answer to their question.

Draco, still grappling with his feelings, was undecided whether he should come clean and tell the existence of Secret Hallows or should just stay silent and get back to his room.

Meanwhile, Lucius’ heart was yearning for an answer from his son. Each second passing made his expression grow furious, like a bomb nearing its explosion.

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Published On: February 11, 2024

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