After a prolonged pause, Dumbledore uttered with a hint of bitterness, “Yes, much like Tom Riddle back then. I’ve made such a mistake once.”

Wentworth was uncertain how to respond, but Dumbledore continued, “This time, even if I owe you a favor, Wentworth, you must understand that the favor of the Hogwarts Headmaster is a significant debt.”

Hearing this, Wentworth displayed a satisfied smile and casually remarked, “Professor, I believe this isn’t a mistake but rather a good habit. You should maintain it. If one day I’m perceived as committing a heinous crime by ordinary wizards, you must stick to your good habit. Don’t hesitate to come after me, righteously claiming to eliminate a dark force within your own ranks.”

As Wentworth finished his words, Dumbledore, renowned for his wisdom, couldn’t help but pause momentarily before both burst into laughter. “If there is one thing similar between you and your grandfather, it’s your witty mouth!”

With the resolution of Quirrell’s affair, Hogwarts transitioned into the annual exam week, the most challenging period for many students. Yet for Wentworth and his associates, it was merely a fleeting ordeal.

With the exception of the History of Magic, which remained a challenging subject for Wentworth, other courses posed no difficulty for him. It was during such times that Wentworth couldn’t help but acknowledge the significance of talent in aiding one’s academic pursuits.

As the exam week drew to a close, Hogwarts entered the annual farewell dinner. Following this event, students were free to return to their respective homes.

During the farewell dinner, Professor Dumbledore, as customary, announced the standings for the House Cup.

In this altered timeline, Harry, Ron, and Hermione weren’t able to contribute a substantial number of House Cup points to Gryffindor at the last moment, as was the case in the original book.

However, Gryffindor’s points were not reduced either, and it was no surprise when Gryffindor ended up in the last position.

Hufflepuff emerged as the winner of the House Cup once again this year, maintaining their dominance.

“I need to talk with the both of you,” Green called out to Cedric and Wentworth.

Green, sharing a quiet moment with Wentworth and Cedric, revealed that as the Hufflepuff prefect, he had led the house to victory in the House Cup for two consecutive years.

Furthermore, Green had been informed by a professor that in the next term, he would assume the role of President of the Hogwarts Student Union.

Upon hearing Green’s announcement, Wentworth and Cedric offered their hearty congratulations.

“Now, isn’t that fantastic?! Who would have thought you would reach this position, Senior?” Wentworth asked as he gently patted Green on the back.

“Seems like being hit by a spell or two is rather something you need to get from time to time. Look at what it brought you!” Cedric joked.

Green looked at Cedric with a surprised expression, “Cedric, what kind of friend are you? Are you telling me if I got blasted into oblivion with many spells, then I would be replacing our Headmaster one day?”

They laughed together before the other students finally came in to congratulate Green on his achievements.

As they observed Green confidently mingling with the crowd of students, Wentworth couldn’t help but contemplate other matters.

After the farewell dinner, Wentworth and his companions boarded the Hogwarts Express for London the following day.

Upon their arrival at the station, Wentworth, suitcase in hand, spotted Auston Greengrass making his way towards him, followed closely by Rosier.

Wentworth handed his suitcase to Auston, the current patriarch of the 28th Holy Family in the United Kingdom, and warmly embraced Rosier. “Grandma Rosier, how are you? It’s been so long!”

Rosier returned the hug, “I’m fine dear, I’m fine…”

The two hadn’t seen each other in quite some time, as Wentworth had not returned to London even during Christmas.

Despite Rosier bringing witches and wizards from the Alliance, a significant cleanup took place in the village of Hogsmeade. However, they never had the chance to meet.

After the customary greetings, Wentworth scanned the surroundings but noticed Abernathy was absent. Considering that Abernathy had been a constant presence during the past two semesters, both at the beginning and end of each school term, his absence was conspicuous.

Observing Rosier’s slightly embarrassed smile, Wentworth, still in a joking tone, remarked, “Grandma Rosier, is Grandpa Abernathy planning a surprise welcome ceremony for me?” He chuckled as he spoke.

However, as Wentworth continued to smile, he noticed that Rosier’s laughter carried a hint of discomfort.

Sensing something amiss, he decided to shift his gaze to Auston, only to find the patriarch of the 28th Holy Family in the United Kingdom wearing an expression that could be described as anything but pleasant.

It was at this moment that Wentworth also became aware of several figures discreetly circling around him, each moving in different directions with an underlying sense of protection.

Wentworth’s heart quickened, and he couldn’t help but furrow his brow, questioning Rosier more seriously, “Grandma Rosier, what’s going on with Grandpa Abernathy? What happened? Are you keeping something from me?”

Upon hearing Wentworth’s inquiry, Auston appeared ready to provide an explanation but was promptly silenced by Rosier’s intervention.

Rosier surveyed their surroundings and then uttered, “Wentworth, this isn’t the appropriate place for discussion. We’ll fill you in once we’re back. We never intended to keep this from you, but only you can decide how to proceed with this matter.”

Accepting Rosier’s words, Wentworth recognized that something significant had occurred. He complied with Rosier’s decision, realizing that the conversation would take place at a more suitable location.

To Wentworth’s surprise, instead of heading to his residence in London, Rosier directed them straight to the outskirts of the city—the Greengrass family estate.

Upon entering the manor, Wentworth noticed a considerable increase in security, nearly rivaling the defenses employed when the Alliance convened there the previous year.

This heightened alertness only fueled Wentworth’s curiosity, leaving him wondering about the gravity of the situation Rosier was about to disclose.

Despite the commotion within, Wentworth maintained his composure and followed Rosier towards the hall inside the manor.

As they approached the hall’s entrance, the echoes of shouts and arguments became more audible. It was evident that a sizable group had gathered inside, with Carrow seemingly leading the uproar. Even from outside the ornate wooden door, Wentworth could discern Carrow’s voice resonating:

“What’s the point of negotiating here? Who are we? Wizards of the Alliance! We don’t follow the norms! If they refuse, we’ll engage in another Ministry of Magic battle!”

“When did the Alliance start caring about evidence? When did we begin to value convincing people with reason? Or are you afraid? If you are, I will…”

However, Carrow’s words were cut short by the sound of Rosier pushing open the door.

Rosier shot Carrow a stern glance and rebuked, “What are you doing? What is your intention? Alliance, when will you learn your lesson?”


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Published On: March 5, 2024

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