Professor Dumbledore’s unexpected question left Wentworth bewildered.
Though he was familiar with the rules of Quidditch, he had never actually played the sport before.
His knowledge was mainly derived from watching games in movies during his previous life.
Consequently, Wentworth found himself momentarily stunned by Professor Dumbledore’s inquiry.
Quickly regaining his composure, Wentworth responded, “Certainly, Professor Dumbledore. The Quidditch World Cup is held every four years. But how does this relate to me?”
Professor Dumbledore met Wentworth’s gaze and spoke slowly, “Wentworth, you’re still young. Youth is meant to explore activities suitable for your age. Don’t let concerns about the future hinder your experiences. You might regret it later if you miss out on certain opportunities.”
Professor Dumbledore continued with a touch of intrigue, “As a form of punishment today, you’ll be accompanying me to the Quidditch World Cup finals. What do you say?”
Surprisingly, Wentworth’s initial reaction wasn’t excitement but rather skepticism.
While he was generally interested in Quidditch, Professor Dumbledore’s notion of being personally invited to attend such a grand event felt like a pie falling from the sky.
However, the caution from his adult soul made him question the intentions behind such an unexpected invitation.
After all, he wasn’t related to Professor Dumbledore in any way that would warrant such generosity.
Could Professor Dumbledore have somehow unearthed his secrets?
That didn’t make sense.
In the midst of his thoughts, Wentworth posed a tentative question, “Professor Dumbledore, while I’m certainly interested in attending the Quidditch World Cup, wouldn’t that be more of a reward than a punishment? It doesn’t quite seem appropriate.”
Without hesitation, Professor Dumbledore responded, “Why would it not be a punishment? Remember that I am an old man of over a hundred years. Traveling can be quite exhausting for me. Your responsibility will be to assist me during the journey. That, my dear, is your punishment.”
Professor Dumbledore’s explanation almost sent Wentworth into a fit of laughter.
To him, Professor Dumbledore was still at the pinnacle of the magical world despite his age.
However, given Professor Dumbledore’s statement, Wentworth had little choice but to comply.
With a surprised expression, he responded, “Alright, Professor Dumbledore. It’s truly an honor. Let’s get going.”
Yet, as Wentworth was about to turn to open the door, Professor Dumbledore halted him with a raised hand.
“You’re headed in the wrong direction, Wentworth. This way,” Professor Dumbledore directed.
Wentworth followed the direction Professor Dumbledore indicated and was taken aback.
A magnificent fiery bird stood in a corner of the headmaster’s office, a presence that hadn’t been there when Wentworth first entered.
Without a doubt, it was Fawkes, Professor Dumbledore’s loyal Phoenix.
As Wentworth gazed in awe at the legendary creature before him, he instinctively reached out to touch it, only to have Brittany intercept his hand.
“We should be on our way, Wentworth. The match is about to start,” Professor Dumbledore reminded.
With a hand on Fawkes, Professor Dumbledore and Wentworth vanished from the office with a resounding Phoenix cry.
In an instant, Wentworth felt himself again grounded, standing at the edge of a verdant meadow.
Before them, the sky was painted with brilliant fireworks, and beneath the colors, countless tents adorned the grassy field.
“Usually, the Quidditch World Cup final takes place in August, before the school year begins. Many Hogwarts students attend.”
“However, the match was postponed to September due to inclement weather this year. I suspect many Hogwarts students will be sleep-deprived tonight,” Professor Dumbledore commented, leading Wentworth towards the bustling crowd.
Walking closely behind Professor Dumbledore, Wentworth couldn’t help but ask, “Professor Dumbledore, why didn’t we Apparatedirectly? Instead, we arrived at the outskirts of the field and walked here?”
Professor Dumbledore turned with a mischievous grin. “Because, Wentworth, I lack a ticket.”
Wentworth stumbled slightly, his expression registering surprise. “You don’t have a ticket? Then how could we get inside?”
Professor Dumbledore replied nonchalantly, “It’s not a concern. Though I lack tickets, the President of the International Confederation of Wizards does not. Conveniently, I happen to hold that position.”
At Professor Dumbledore’s words, understanding dawned on Wentworth. “So, while others use tickets, we rely on influence.”
As Wentworth and Professor Dumbledore proceeded toward the center of the event, they encountered a group of formally dressed individuals, some holding elegant canes, exuding an air of sophistication.
At the forefront was a portly man who approached Professor Dumbledore with a warm smile. “Professor Dumbledore, I’m delighted you could make it. Your presence will undoubtedly enhance tonight’s match. Before the event begins, requests a few words from you.”
With a grin, Professor Dumbledore replied, “Hello, Cornelius. I’ve brought my students to witness the match. As for speeches, I suggest Minister Fudge himself.”
Fudge didn’t display any disappointment at Professor Dumbledore’s choice.
In fact, his smile grew warmer as he turned to Wentworth, his gaze filled with nostalgia.
“Ah, a young wizard just starting out? Freshmen, I presume? He reminds me of my own days at Hogwarts. It’s quite the nostalgic feeling.”
Wentworth learned then that the man before him was Cornelius Fudge, the recently elected Minister of Magic for the United Kingdom.
The stark difference between his current friendly demeanor and his eventual betrayal of Professor Dumbledore was a revelation.
Before Minister Fudge could proceed, other attendees approached, exchanging greetings and introductions.
Wentworth stood to the side, attentively listening to their conversations and becoming familiar with the characters from the original book.
One such individual was Lucius Malfoy. Pale blond hair, gray-blue eyes, and a pale complexion.
As Wentworth gazed playfully at Mr. Malfoy, their eyes locked.
“Headmaster, who is this little wizard? It’s rare for you to bring a small wizard with you when you go.”
Mr. Malfoy’s gaze focused on Wentworth, causing him to feel somewhat exposed.
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