As all eyes turned toward him, Wentworth momentarily froze.

Yet, thanks to the training Rosier had imparted before the school year began, he quickly adorned a flawless smile and offered a courteous bow to the gathering crowd.

Dumbledore took the opportunity to provide context, explaining, “Allow me to introduce this year’s Hogwarts freshman, Wentworth. He is the child of an old friend of mine.”

While Dumbledore’s words flowed, Wentworth’s smile broadened. Internally, he couldn’t help but think, “Dumbledore truly lives up to his reputation as the conqueror of two Dark Lords. He can weave lies as easily as he breathes. Old friends, indeed. I might have almost believed him if it weren’t for my parents’ early demise.”

To the audience, Dumbledore’s explanation appeared plausible, and they regarded Wentworth with kinder expressions.

Mr. Malfoy was particularly enthusiastic, even extending an invitation for Wentworth to be a guest at Malfoy Manor after the game.

However, Wentworth, citing school commitments, politely declined.

Inside Wentworth’s mind, he thought, “Let’s not see each other again anytime soon. Your son isn’t one to be taken lightly, and neither are you. It’s best we keep our distance, at least for the next few years.”

As the group chatted, they made their way towards the venue.

Before long, Wentworth followed Dumbledore to the Quidditch stadium’s VIP section.

Standing amidst the stands, the atmosphere electric with cheers and waving banners, even Wentworth, who initially had little interest in Quidditch, found himself swept up in the excitement.

A newfound curiosity about this wizard-exclusive sport took root within him.

Suddenly, a roar resonated, and countless streamers cascaded from the sky.

A host emerged, hastening to the center of the arena. Behind him, two individuals placed a box at his feet.

The host struggled to make himself heard above the clamor.

With an exaggerated expression of frustration, he elicited laughter from the audience.

Resorting to magic, he cast Sonoruson himself, amplifying his voice.

“Welcome to the 421st Quidditch World Cup Finals! Tonight’s teams are Canada and Scotland!”

Following the announcement, players from the Canadian and Scottish teams entered the arena one after the other, greeted by their respective supporters.

Completing a lap around the field, the players retreated to the lounges.

The host remained at the center, exclaiming excitedly, “To enhance the fairness and entertainment of today’s game, we’ve introduced a new element! Follow me!”

He opened the box at his feet, releasing a torrent of golden lights that ascended into the sky.

The lights materialized into winged golden snitches, captivating the crowd.

Seeing this novel sight, cheers erupted once more.

As the jubilation died, the host continued, “Dear wizards in attendance! We will select a lucky wizard from among you.”

“This wizard will ride a state-of-the-art conceptual Firebolt, unreleased to the public. A hundred golden snitches will be released, and one will be chosen as tonight’s Golden Snitch!”

He brandished a sleek broom for emphasis, unveiling the latest conceptual Firebolt.

The audience’s excitement escalated upon seeing the Firebolt.

Hands shot up, each participant hoping to be the chosen one.

With a wand flourish, the host spun around before casting a spell.

A luminous white light emanated from his wand, soaring skyward and gently descending to land upon Professor Dumbledore.

All eyes followed the shining light, fixing on Professor Dumbledore.

While some had given up on their chances of being selected, their grumbles and frustration were replaced with stunned silence as they realized the light had settled on Professor Dumbledore.

Thunderous applause and cheers soon followed.

Minister Fudge leaned in to whisper to Mr. Malfoy, “Where did you find this host? What an impeccable job! To pinpoint Dumbledore amid this multitude! Watching him twirl around like that, I thought I might faint!”

Mr. Malfoy, wearing a confident smile, explained, “Mr. Minister, it’s a rather simple spell. The light automatically seeks the wizard with the highest magical power present.”

Minister Fudge’s expression shifted to one of realization.

In contrast to the jubilation around him, Wentworth observed the white light descending onto Professor Dumbledore.

Beyond his disdain for the event’s orchestrators, he sighed inwardly.

He knew precisely what Professor Dumbledore’s next move would be.

As expected, Dumbledore gracefully stood, advancing to the front of the stage.

He raised his hands, and the ruckus hushed.

With a wry smile, Professor Dumbledore began, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve always believed my longevity was due to careful care of my health. Little did I know that luck played a significant role.”

Amid laughter, Professor Dumbledore continued, “However, as a hundred-year-old wizard, I’ve refrained from riding a broom for decades.”

“When I venture outside, the school arranges a student to accompany me—I’m afraid I might get lost! To expect me to catch the Golden Snitch is a rather embarrassing proposition.”

Laughter echoed once more, some even applauding his words.

Professor Dumbledore turned, gesturing behind him, and proposed, “Therefore, esteemed audience, I’d like my student to take my place in this delightful ceremony. What do you think?”

The crowd erupted in cheers, and Wentworth, prepared for this moment, stepped forward with a smile on his face.

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Published On: September 27, 2023

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