As three out of the four Heads of the Hogwarts houses hastily convened, Professor Sprout, the Head of Hufflepuff, was absent tonight due to her responsibilities of tending to her own herbs.

“What’s currently happening there? Who ventured into the Forbidden Forest at such a late hour?” Professor Flitwick eagerly inquired as the professors gathered.

Just as the stern-faced Professor McGonagall was about to respond, an abrupt “thud thud” sound of breathing emanated from behind the group of professors.

Turning around, they saw Filch hurrying towards them, carrying a lantern and exclaiming, “Just had the news it was actually Hagrid. Why did he cause a commotion at this hour?”

Upon hearing Filch’s explanation, both Professor Flitwick and Professor Snape shown a visibly relaxed. Ah, it was Hagrid; that explains it.

However, Filch continued, “Could it be that those boys got lost?”

Professor Snape, upon hearing this, immediately furrowed his brows, seized Filch by the collar, and demanded, “Who else is in there?”

Caught off guard by Professor Snape’s forceful actions, Filch stammered, “There… there are Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Draco Malfoy, and Harry Potter!”

Each time Filch mentioned a name, the expressions on the faces of the surrounding professors twisted into frowns.

When Filch uttered Harry Potter’s name, Professor Snape forcefully shoved him aside and sprinted towards the forest, his cloak billowing behind him.

Observing this, Professor McGonagall promptly followed suit, and Professor Flitwick trailed behind due to his shorter legs, muttering to himself, “For the first time, I thought banning Apparition in Hogwarts was a mistake.”

Professor McGonagall remarked with a hint of skepticism, “It’s unlikely that a few first-year students can produce this kind of signal just by casting Lumos. They shouldn’t possess such potent magical abilities to conjure such a brilliant beam of light!”

In the midst of their conversation, Filch, trailing behind, shouted, “And Wentworth!”

Upon hearing Filch’s words, Professor Snape and Professor McGonagall briefly halted, then increased their pace toward the Forbidden Forest.

Professor McGonagall, in particular, performed the Animagus transformation, morphing into a small cat, and swiftly raced toward the forbidden forest.

In the Forbidden Forest, Hagrid and the others noticed the sudden beam of light in the distance.

Ron, intrigued by the radiant light, inquired, “Hey Hagrid, what’s that? Is there some creature in the Forbidden Forest that can glow so brightly?”

Concern etched on his face, Hagrid pulled out his umbrella and explained, “No creature in the Forbidden Forest can produce such light. That’s the Lumos Charm, you idiot, that’s why you need to pay more attention to your class!”

Hermione, expressing disbelief, retorted, “Are you serious? Lumos? Hagrid, are you joking? Who could manipulate Lumos to create such an effect?”

Without turning around, Hagrid replied, “I reckon Wentworth could.”

With that, Hagrid eagerly marched towards the source of the luminous light.

Meanwhile, the trio of Wentworth, Draco, and Harry continued their rounds with the mysterious figure in the Forbidden Forest.

However, with each step, the distance between them and the enigmatic man steadily decreased, and Harry’s forehead scar throbbed and ached persistently.

In the end, the persistent pain overwhelms Harry, causing him to lose consciousness abruptly.

Draco, who was guiding Harry forward while holding his hand, was caught off guard and ended up tumbling to the ground along with Harry.

Upon hearing the screams from behind, Wentworth swiftly turned to witness Draco and Harry collapsing simultaneously.

Despite Draco’s earnest efforts to lift Harry, it was evident that he couldn’t manage alone.

Draco looked at Wentworth with anxiety etched across his face as the mysterious man approached, drawing nearer to the trio. “Wentworth, we can’t just leave Harry here!” he exclaimed urgently.

Rolling his eyes in exasperation, Wentworth retorted, “Is that really necessary to point out?” With determination, he turned back to face the approaching stranger, raised his wand slightly, aimed it at the ground, and uttered, “Protego Diabolica!”

As the surge of magical power emanated, a wall of fire spontaneously erupted in front of Wentworth.

The fiery barrier continued to expand along the trajectory of Wentworth’s wand, eventually shaping into a compact ring of flames.

The mysterious figure, draped in a cloak, was merely a step away from the trio but found his path obstructed by the fiery circle conjured by Wentworth.

The blazing flames enveloped the surroundings, casting a flickering light on Wentworth’s composed countenance.

On the side, Draco couldn’t help but exclaim, “Impressive, Wentworth! Where did you learn that?”

Wentworth responded with the utmost calmness, “From Professor Dumbledore.”

Draco quirked an eyebrow, “Why didn’t you use it earlier? We wouldn’t have had to run so much!”

Wentworth sighed in response, “Do you comprehend the saying ‘setting fire to the mountain and sitting in jail’? Moreover, have you not realized that even we can’t escape now?”

Upon hearing Wentworth’s explanation, Draco’s face immediately drained of color, and he asked with a tremor in his voice, “Wentworth, what do you think we should do now?”

Wentworth shrugged helplessly, responding, “There’s not much we can do. We’ll have to see if the other side can break my spell quickly or if our reinforcements arrive in time. It’s been a while since I requested assistance. If we can just hold him off for a bit longer, we might have a chance…”

Before Wentworth could finish his sentence, he witnessed the figure extending a finger outside the wall of fire.

With a subtle motion in thin air, a doorway materialized on the fiery barrier in front of Wentworth.

It wasn’t a tangible wooden door; rather, the wall of fire extinguished itself at a specific distance, creating an opening that allowed free passage.

Observing the unfolding situation, Wentworth involuntarily swallowed, adopting a diplomatic smile while uttering, “You know, it’s all just a big misunderstanding. I’m not really acquainted with them. How about we talk it out, and I’ll just take a step back?”

Simultaneously, Wentworth casually placed his hands behind his back, signaling his reluctance to engage further.

However, Draco noticed Wentworth’s fingers frantically tapping against each other behind his back.

Observing Wentworth’s hand signals, Draco realized that Wentworth was pointing towards the opponent and then pointing upwards.

This subtle communication sparked an idea in Draco’s mind.

The one idea that he had suggested before to Wentworth was actually going to happen!

Although they are currently in danger, the feeling of satisfaction inside Draco’s heart appears, knowing that Wentworth deemed one of his ideas was good enough to be deployed.

Surprisingly, the mysterious figure seemed taken aback by Wentworth’s unexpected response.

The mysterious figure tilted their head a bit to the side, observing them, trying to discern whether it was a lie or not.

But just as the figure hesitated, Wentworth’s expression abruptly changed.

He crouched down suddenly, urgently instructing Draco, “Draco, now!”

Without a second thought, Draco swiftly raised his wand and declared, “Levioso!”

 

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Published On: February 19, 2024

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