Prefect Waring approached Professor Ilona with an air of anxiety and declared, “Professor, I protest!”
Professor Ilona glanced at Prefect Waring and inquired with a monotone voice, “Protest? What are you protesting?”
Pointing towards Hufflepuff’s area, Prefect Waring explained with a disheartened expression, “Professor, Hufflepuff is being disrespectful!”
Facing Welling’s accusation, Professor Ilona rolled her eyes and responded without even looking at him, “Hufflepuffs cheating? Could you please specify how they cheated?”
“They…they…” Prefect Waring faltered, struggling to find words.
After all, Hufflepuff had merely employed some tactics in the order of appearances, and they hadn’t violated any agreements or duel rules.
Seeing Prefect Waring at a loss for words, Cassandra from Slytherin couldn’t endure the silence any longer.
She had sensed something amiss when Wentworth first stepped onto the arena to face Prefect Waring.
However, Cassandra only fully understood Hufflepuff’s strategy when Prefect Green entered the arena.
Conflicted emotions swirled within Cassandra.
While she admired Hufflepuff’s strategic prowess, she couldn’t help feeling resentful.
Approaching Professor Ilona, Cassandra expressed her viewpoint, “Professor Ilona, I believe that Hogwarts reopened the Dueling Club to assess the actual combat capabilities of our students. Hufflepuff’s tactics undermine the purpose of this duel. Don’t you think?”
“What’s your opinion, Professor McGonagall? Professor Flitwick?”
Faced with Cassandra’s question, Professor McGonagall seemed uncertain, but Professor Ilona responded resolutely, “Cassandra, you must understand that actual combat doesn’t involve standing still, simply casting spells at each other! Strategy often matters more than sheer strength.”
Professor Flitwick, the head of Ravenclaw, nodded in agreement, adding, “Absolutely. I concur with Professor Ilona. Exceptional wisdom is humanity’s greatest asset.”
As the head of Ravenclaw, Professor Flitwick succinctly concluded the debate.
Though Professor Ilona and Professor Flitwick supported Hufflepuff’s methods and expressed their approval, Cassandra was reluctant to concede.
She returned to the Slytherin camp, despite her dissatisfaction.
At Professor Ilona’s prompting, the duel between Hufflepuff and Slytherin resumed.
Prefect Green, even though he acknowledged that he was outmatched by Prefect Waring, demonstrated his proficiency as a Hufflepuff prefect against a lower-tier Slytherin.
Additionally, Prefect Green’s demeanor remained steady beneath his cynical facade.
Employing a Shield Charm to render himself impervious, he eventually disarmed his opponent with a well-placed Curse, sending the rival’s wand flying and securing an easy victory.
Upon returning to the Hufflepuff students, Prefect Green did not mind the cheers and compliments.
Instead, he headed straight for Wentworth, enveloping him in a hug and expressing gratitude repeatedly.
The next two duels, featuring Hufflepuff’s fourth-year student against Slytherin’s third-year student and Hufflepuff’s third-year student against Slytherin’s second-year student, transpired without much drama.
Both ended in Hufflepuff’s favor.
As Hufflepuff claimed victory in the third duel, enthusiastic cheers erupted from the Hufflepuff camp.
Perhaps inspired by the fervor or admiring Hufflepuff’s strategy, Gryffindor and Ravenclaw also joined in, offering hearty applause.
Amidst the cheers that echoed throughout Hogwarts, Prefect Green, and Cedric flanked Wentworth, leading him forward.
With assistance from other Hufflepuffs, they collectively hoisted Wentworth into the air to express gratitude for his instrumental role in securing Hufflepuff’s triumph.
“Put me down! I’m scared of heights! You prankster lot! Ahhhh!”
Wentworth’s terrified cries only amplified the cheers, making the atmosphere even more electric.
The Professors, watching this unfold, refrained from intervening.
Professor Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, and others privy to Wentworth’s true identity shared a common thought.
From this day forward, Wentworth became a celebrated figure within Hufflepuff.
Having endeared himself to the Hufflepuff students’ hearts, he had effectively conquered the entire House.
However, Professor Ilona’s reflections diverged.
She recognized that Wentworth, currently a first-year, had a long journey ahead of him at Hogwarts, spanning a total of seven years.
He would evolve from a new student to a seasoned classmate during this time.
And where was he? He was at Hogwarts! In the era of magic!
Here, the new leader of the Alliance Party had arrived with ambitions to harness the magical talents of an era!
A great era awaits the Alliance Party.
When Professor Ilona had still been Rosier, upon discovering Wentworth harbored a concealed plan, she had attempted to deduce its nature.
However, each time she believed she had a grasp on it, Wentworth managed to surprise her yet again.
Now, Professor Ilona had come to a conclusion.
Leadership could be cultivated, but authentic leadership was innate.
It applied to former Master Gellert, and it now applies to Wentworth.
While most professors were immersed in their thoughts, Hufflepuff reveled in their joy, and Slytherin bore their disappointment, one individual remained vigilant.
“Hey! Have you had enough fun?! This duel isn’t over yet!”
The room fell silent at the chiming, bell-like voice that rang out, each eye turning towards its source.
A Prefect Green-robed girl with emerald eyes, poised and graceful, stood in the duel arena, clutching a wand.
“Cassandra, we…we’ve lost…”
Seeing this, Prefect Waring approached Cassandra from behind, attempting to reason with her amidst his evident frustration.
“It’s you who lost, not me! It’s not even my turn yet! Also, stay away from me! You’re not worthy of Slytherin’s greatness!”
Cassandra’s words flushed Prefect Waring’s cheeks, causing him to involuntarily step back.
The other Slytherins wore expressions of shame.
“Professor Ilona, although Slytherin may have lost, I haven’t! Please proceed with announcing the next duel participants.”
Her resolve unyielding, Cassandra stared ahead, awaiting the continuation of the dueling event.
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