Seated once again on the familiar Hogwarts Express, Wentworth gazed out the window, taking in the passing scenery. Beside him, Cassandra occupied the seat by the window, and the sight brought him immense joy.

On the opposite side, Cedric and Green huddled together, engrossed in discussions about Green’s plans post-graduation during this final semester.

“So, tell me more about your plans, Senior. Even if you wanted to work in Alliance right after you graduate, you’ll be needing to get a side gig. Preferably a place where you can collect more information for them,” Cedric explained.

Green stared at Cedric with a wide grin on his face, “Didn’t you hear what Wentworth had for me? I’ll just become a janitor in the new Bank of Alliance. I won’t even need to worry about it. I am pretty sure my life would be set.”

Just as their conversations unfolded, the train attendant entered the compartment. True to form, Wentworth had stocked up on an assortment of snacks and had also acquired the latest edition of the “Daily Prophet.”

Today’s headline showcased Lockhart’s iconic smiling face, capturing attention immediately. The Daily Prophet appeared to be dedicating almost its entire issue to an exclusive interview with Lockhart and the Wizarding World Central Bank.

The lead article, “The Secret Behind Lockhart and His Bank,” authored by Rita Skeeter, the current chief paparazzi of the Daily Prophet, dominated the front pages.

In Rita’s extensive article, detailed interviews with various individuals were featured, including the Malfoys and the Greenglass families among the twenty-eight esteemed families in England.

In these interviews, it became evident that they were wholeheartedly supportive of Lockhart’s endeavor to establish the Central Bank of the Wizarding World.

Moreover, numerous other pure-blooded families and influential figures within the current British wizarding community expressed keen interest in Lockhart and the wizarding world’s central bank.

This widespread support undoubtedly positioned Lockhart and his new bank favorably, enhancing trust among the populace.

While other articles didn’t embellish the details as much as Rita did, they echoed the same sentiment from different perspectives—the establishment of the Central Bank of the Wizarding World was imminent.

Soon, Cassandra seated beside Wentworth, as well as Green and Cedric on the opposite side, also took notice of the “Daily Prophet” in Wentworth’s hands.

Green couldn’t resist commenting, “Wentworth, remember when you suggested I consider working at the Central Bank of the Wizarding World after graduation? Well, now there are rumors that Lockhart is offering future employees an exorbitant salary to entice them away from Gringotts. Reportedly, it’s three times the pay for the same position at Gringotts! And you know, Gringotts’ salaries are already quite substantial in the wizarding world!”

Wentworth glanced at Green and quipped, “Are you in need of money or something?”

Green responded confidently, “Of course, I am! Unlike you, with your well-off background and Cassandra and Cedric having family support from the Ministry of Magic, I’m just an ordinary wizard without those privileges. Money is always tight for me—it comes and goes!”

Hearing Green’s assertion, Wentworth looked up at him with a smile and reassured, “No worries, the Alliance isn’t lacking in funds!”

Upon hearing Wentworth’s response, Green enthusiastically extended his hand, giving a thumbs-up, and exclaimed, “Atmosphere! Joining the Alliance is the best decision of my life!”

As the conversation flowed, the door to the four-person compartment suddenly swung open, startling the group. The nature of their discussion moments ago was not suitable for outsiders on the train to overhear.

Cassandra, reacting swiftly, reached for her wand, ready to take action. Just as she was about to draw her wand and cast a silencing charm, Wentworth intervened, halting Cassandra’s movements.

As everyone turned their attention to the door, they noticed a girl with blond hair and a peculiar aura standing before their compartment.

Amidst the others’ confusion, Wentworth smiled and clarified, “It’s Luna. Ah, right, you’re a first-year at Hogwarts this year. I almost forgot!”

Luna extended her hand and greeted Wentworth, saying, “Hello, Wentworth. I overheard someone discussing the Alliance. My ears are quite sensitive, so I decided to peek inside. I didn’t expect to find you all here.”

In response to Luna’s words, Wentworth smiled awkwardly, shot a stern look at Green, and then turned back to Luna, saying, “Luna, even though you’re in Ravenclaw and we aren’t in the same house, if you ever need assistance at Hogwarts, feel free to approach me!”

As Wentworth finished speaking, he noticed Green and Cedric on the opposite side casting strange glances at him. Puzzled, Wentworth asked, “What’s the matter?”

Cedric questioned with an odd tone, “If she’s a first-year at Hogwarts, the sorting ceremony hasn’t happened yet. How do you know she’s going to Ravenclaw?”

Realizing his error, Wentworth panicked and hastily tried to remedy the situation, “Oh, come on! Haven’t you forgotten? I’m a natural-born prophet with an extraordinary talent for Divination! I can do dream divination!”

Cedric and Green immediately nodded in understanding, catching on to Wentworth’s explanation.

Just when Wentworth thought he had successfully diverted the attention, Cassandra, seated next to him, chimed in quietly, “So, you dreamed about this girl?”

Cassandra’s words sent a jolt through Wentworth, leaving him speechless for a moment. He felt more nervous than when facing Voldemort.

In a bid to diffuse the situation, Wentworth instinctively turned his gaze towards Green and Cedric, seeking some form of support from the pair across from him.

However, Green and Cedric, in unison, turned their attention to the window, marveling at the scenic views and occasionally expressing admiration for the beauty outside.

“What a beautiful view outside, isn’t it, Cedric?” Green asked before whistling.

“It is indeed beautiful, Senior,” Cedric replied, following after his whistling.

Aware of the distraction, Wentworth glared at the darkness beyond the window, silently cursing his luck.

In the midst of this, Luna interjected, “Hello, it seems you’re members of the Alliance, right? I’m Luna Lovegood. My father is the editor-in-chief of The Quibbler, and my mother used to be a member of the Alliance.”

Upon Luna’s introduction, Green and Cedric promptly introduced themselves. However, when it was Cassandra’s turn, she inquired, “Your mother used to be a member of the Alliance?”

Luna nodded solemnly and added, “My mother passed away.”

Upon hearing Luna’s revelation, Cassandra suddenly realized and expressed apologetically, “Sorry, I didn’t know.”

Luna, however, shook her head and reassured, “It’s okay! Well, I’ll leave you guys to it. I’ll continue searching for seats.”

Observing Luna’s departure, Cassandra, who had been cautious about Luna’s presence, quickly added, “Sure, go ahead. If you encounter any challenges, you don’t need to approach Wentworth. Just come directly to me!”

In response to Cassandra’s offer, Luna smiled warmly and took a seat next to Wentworth, remarking with a grin, “You’re such a kind person!”


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Published On: April 22, 2024

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