Seeing Prefect Waring’s agreement, Prefect Waring visibly relaxed and smiled slightly as he responded, “In that case, we’ll see you tonight!”
Welling, facing Prefect Green as he turned to leave, also asserted confidently, “Prefect Green, I’ll be waiting for you in the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom tonight. Don’t you dare back out!”
Dumbledore noticed that the two sides had reached an accord, so he gestured and stated, “Alright, students, you can all go now. I’ll see you in the evening. Oh, and I should clarify in advance: I’m doubling the winnings for the winning house tonight!”
Dumbledore’s announcement prompted cheers from Slytherin and Hufflepuff students alike.
Even Gryffindor and Ravenclaw exchanged glances from a distance, their provocative expressions only being averted by the timely intervention of Professors McGonagall and Professor Flitwick.
Otherwise, the two houses might have engaged in a quarrel right there.
As Wentworth, Cedric, and others returned to the Hufflepuff common room, Prefect Green followed closely and reiterated, “Wentworth, can your plan really work?”
Wentworth confidently patted Prefect Green on the shoulder and replied, “Don’t worry, Senior! You, Cedric, and I will each represent our respective grades. I have everything figured out. Once you’ve chosen the third and fourth years, we’ll be ready to proceed!”
Seeing Wentworth’s assurance, Prefect Green seemed to catch his confidence and nodded resolutely.
On the other hand, when Prefect Waring returned to the Slytherin common room, Professor Snape followed suit.
Professor Snape immediately selected four students, including Prefect Waring, who were most skilled in spellcasting from the second to fifth year.
However, when it came to the first-year representatives, Snape hesitated.
Despite being the Slytherin head of the house, he wasn’t familiar with the first-year students, having only started teaching them.
At that moment, Cassandra, noticing Snape’s uncertainty, stepped forward and offered, “Professor Snape, I’m willing to represent the first-year Slytherins.”
Snape gazed at Cassandra, his tone surprisingly normal as he responded, “Cassandra, remember that Wentworth is in Hufflepuff. Facing him won’t be easy. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
Professor Snape’s concern was genuine, as both he and Professor Dumbledore understood that Wentworth, having undergone special training from the Alliance faction, wouldn’t be easy for these first-year Hogwarts students to handle.
Even among the upperclassmen, there were likely very few capable of matching Wentworth’s prowess.
The purpose behind Professor Snape’s plan, and Professor Dumbledore’s consent, was to gauge Wentworth’s capabilities, not necessarily to have the first-year Slytherins defeat him.
Their aim was to force Wentworth to reveal his strengths through multiple engagements.
Professor Snape was confident that they could decipher some of Wentworth’s secrets with his and Professor Dumbledore’s expertise.
However, there was a caveat: the first-year Slytherin confronting Wentworth was at risk of getting hurt.
After all, the Alliance’s specialty was Dark Magic. That’s why Snape hesitated.
Though Snape’s warning had been heard, Cassandra felt an increasing sense of urgency.
She reluctantly pointed her wand and stated, “I, Cassandra, will represent the first-year Slytherins. I am the strongest among them. If anyone disagrees, they’re welcome to challenge me.”
Cassandra’s declaration stirred several first-year Slytherins who were eager for an opportunity.
This was Slytherin House, where students were strong in pride and ambition.
No one was willing to back down.
Ordinarily, Cassandra’s confidence was bolstered by her family’s influence and beauty, which granted her a certain level of arrogance within the school.
No one wanted to be labeled as ungentlemanly.
However, Cassandra observed that many were eager to prove themselves this time and smiled coldly.
She then cast a flawless Shield Charm, a spell many were unfamiliar with, including the first-years.
Seeing this, most of the eager first-years hesitated and backed down.
Cassandra’s Shield Charm showcased her skill, which left the others feeling inadequate.
Professor Snape, observing this, made up his mind and declared, “Alright, including Cassandra, the five of you will represent Slytherin tonight. Follow me; I’ll explain the duel’s rules and give you special training. And remember, if anyone disgraces Slytherin, they’ll have to deal with me!”
As for the rest, Professor Snape scornfully remarked, “The rest of you, what are you still doing here? You don’t even have the qualifications to represent Slytherin. Don’t waste any more of my time!”
As Professor Snape conducted special training for Cassandra and Prefect Waring, Professor Sprout approached Hufflepuff’s common room with Professor Flitwick.
Professor Sprout, being the Head of Hufflepuff and a Herbology professor at Hogwarts, was aware of the differences between the two houses’ strengths.
Since she wasn’t well-versed in dueling, Professor Sprout had enlisted Professor Flitwick’s help.
The latter, a former duel champion, was more suited to guide Hufflepuff in this regard.
Professor Flitwick accepted the request from his old friend without hesitation.
Both sides were now making their final preparations for the upcoming duel.
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