After Snape departed, Professor Dumbledore stood alone in his headmaster’s chamber at Hogwarts.
His gaze remained fixed on the letter from Newt Scamander that lay on the table, his thoughts adrift in contemplation.
Only after a considerable time had passed did Professor Dumbledore seem to resolve his musings.
Rising from his seat, he traversed the room to its other side.
Here, the enigmatic Phoenix Fawkes, a creature uniquely Professor Dumbledore’s own, lay in repose.
Sensing Professor Dumbledore’s presence, Fawkes roused from its slumber, fixing its eyes upon him before leaning gently into his touch.
“Fawkes, I extend my gratitude for your devoted service,” Professor Dumbledore spoke softly, his hand tenderly brushing against the majestic creature’s feathers.
In response, Fawkes released a resounding phoenix cry, and with a sudden burst of light, both Professor Dumbledore and the Phoenix disappeared from the confines of the headmaster’s room at Hogwarts.
They reappeared amidst the heart of Europe, in a landscape blanketed by snow and sparsely populated.
A towering edifice loomed before them. Amidst the empty expanse of snow, the figures of Professor Dumbledore and Fawkes emerged.
Professor Dumbledore stood before the imposing tower. His gaze fixated upon the inscription adorning its summit: “For the Greater Good.”
Following a beat of silence, Professor Dumbledore embarked on his solitary journey into the Nurmengard Castle structure.
Ascending its steps alone, Professor Dumbledore eventually reached the pinnacle of Nurmengard.
An old man with weathered features and tattered attire sat in solitude in an empty chamber.
If one were to catch sight of this man outside the Castle, few would associate him with the first-generation Dark Lord, Gellert Grindelwald.
This man, who had once reigned over Europe and the Americas, struck terror into the hearts of wizarding governments far and wide.
Professor Dumbledore’s gaze lingered upon the figure before him, a man who had been both his confidant and adversary.
The transformation that had befallen him over the years rendered him almost unrecognizable.
Yet, the weight of their shared history hung heavily in the air.
“Albus, it has been quite some time since your last visit. What brings you here today? Are you merely checking whether I continue to draw breath?” Gellert Grindelwald’s voice resonated through the chamber without glancing at Professor Dumbledore.
Professor Dumbledore crossed the room without hesitation, lighting a fire to dispel the chill.
“Albus, it seems that creature comforts have become your refuge. Do you find yourself unable to endure this frigid air? The fate of the wizarding world entrusted to individuals like you, the thought is most disconcerting.”
Faced with Grindelwald’s jest, Professor Dumbledore remained unperturbed, responding as if addressing a long-lost friend:
“I was merely concerned that your vision may falter in the dimness, rendering you unable to decipher the words within the letter.”
With those words, Professor Dumbledore produced the letter dispatched by Newt Scamander, handing it to Grindelwald.
Grindelwald accepted the letter with a quizzical expression and began to read. As he perused its contents, a sneer crept onto his features.
“It appears this is a letter composed for your consumption by that child who parades about with a menagerie of creatures. To think that you have maintained contact for all these years,” Grindelwald remarked with a scoff.
However, as Grindelwald continued reading, his countenance shifted from disdain to one of growing displeasure.
Finally, he cast the letter aside, discarding it onto the ground.
In response, Grindelwald rose to his feet, his eyes locking onto Professor Dumbledore’s.
Eyes that conveyed depths of understanding and knowledge that defied his outward appearance, those same eyes that had once been the hallmark of the Dark Lord.
“So, you have come to that child’s behest to ensure I do not breach our agreement and emerge from Nurmengard? Dumbledore, it seems that time has eroded your memory of who I am,” Grindelwald spoke from his seated position.
Professor Dumbledore stepped into the vacant room and kindled a fire, providing warmth to the cold surroundings.
“Gellert, I have never questioned your commitment to our agreement. I am well aware that you would not violate our accord. The current circumstances have their own reasons, and I understand the true cause.”
Grindelwald’s expression seemed to lighten upon hearing Professor Dumbledore’s response, prompting him to ask with a tinge of suspicion:
“It seems that changes are afoot in the world outside?”
Professor Dumbledore nodded slowly before explaining:
“This year, a young man named Wentworth Grindelwald has joined the ranks of Hogwarts’ incoming students.”
Grindelwald’s reaction was immediate and incredulous.
“That’s impossible! Just as your family’s bloodline is intertwined with the Phoenix, the Grindelwald lineage is inherently gifted with prophecy. According to my prophecies, no more wizards from the Grindelwald family should be after me!”
Professor Dumbledore’s response remained measured.
“While his magical abilities manifested abruptly, there’s no doubt that Wentworth possesses magical talent.”
“And soon after his enrollment, Alliance activities have resurfaced worldwide. Even within Hogwarts, there are suspicions of Alliance affiliations.”
Grindelwald interjected with a frown, “Are you certain this child carries the blood of the Grindelwald lineage?”
Professor Dumbledore’s affirmation was unwavering, “Absolutely, Gellert. I understand your concerns. You fear that someone might pose as the heir of the Grindelwald family—a deception intended to exploit your loyalty and achieve an ulterior motive.”
Grindelwald nodded, and Professor Dumbledore continued, “I’ve taken every precaution. The acceptance letter and admission book cannot be manipulated, and Wentworth bears an uncanny resemblance to your younger self.”
“Before the school year even began, he garnered attention, securing his place in the freshmen’s memory. He was even hailed as a good omen in Hufflepuff. On his second day, he astounded even the potions professors with his remarkable handling of ingredients.”
“Gellert, he is undoubtedly a member of the Grindelwald lineage. Furthermore, it seems my newly appointed Defense Against the Dark Arts professor is a follower of yours. He’s taken on the role of Wentworth’s secret guardian. You understand, your followers are not easily deceived.”
After digesting Professor Dumbledore’s explanations, Grindelwald nodded slowly. After a prolonged silence, he released a sigh and spoke.
“Very well, it seems things have taken a favorable turn. By the way, my brother, have they departed? What about Wentworth’s parents? They should leave Europe and settle in Asia or Africa.”
“I once believed that the Grindelwald family’s connection to the magical world would be severed after my departure. But now that Wentworth has returned to this realm, news of his return will inevitably reach the ears of our old adversaries. His parents are Muggles. It’s prudent to send them away.”
Pausing briefly, Professor Dumbledore replied, “Based on the information we have, Wentworth is an orphan. His parents passed away in a car accident many years ago…”
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