“Why does the Hogwarts freshman in this newspaper look so much like Wentworth?” someone in the Great Hall of Hogwarts asked, echoing the curiosity shared by many.

Marcus swiftly snatched the Daily Prophet from a fellow Slytherin student, his eyes scanning the pages of the delayed issue.

The newspaper was dominated by reports about the recently concluded Quidditch World Cup.

Among these reports, a full page was dedicated to a pre-final event involving a Hogwarts student.

The young wizard had been chosen from the audience to perform at the Quidditch World Cup final.

Incredibly, this student displayed no stage fright.

In a brief span, they managed to capture more than a dozen Golden Snitches, astounding the gathered witches and wizards.

The student’s touching gestures added to their charm.

In an interview, they mentioned that they caught the Golden Snitches for friends who couldn’t attend the match, not for themselves.

Fudge, the new British Ministry of Magic minister, hailed the student’s performance and demeanor as a testament to Hogwarts’ successful teaching methods.

A magical photo at the center of the article depicted a young boy on a broomstick pursuing a Golden Snitch.

In the final shot of the photo, the boy turned, revealing a handsome face, the very face of Wentworth, seated before the Hufflepuff table.

“It can’t be true. How could he have been there?” Marcus exclaimed, staring at the photo in disbelief.

Skepticism echoed throughout the hall.

Many couldn’t fathom that the wizard featured in the article could possibly be Wentworth, who had just begun his first year at Hogwarts.

Prefect Green surprised everyone by producing a Golden Snitch that matched the one from the Quidditch final. “I never thought I’d own a Golden Snitch like the one from the Quidditch final. Wentworth, thank you!” he said with a grin.

The hall erupted into excitement, with students rushing towards Prefect Green and Wentworth.

Some sought their own Snitches, while others, from wealthier families, offered bids.

Students who couldn’t afford the Snitch still clamored to see it, drawn by its rarity.

Watching from a distance, Marcus flushed with frustration as Wentworth and Prefect Green became the center of attention.

Waring approached Marcus, offering a cheeky remark. “Look at his smug face. There’ll come a time when he’ll regret it.”

But as soon as Waring finished speaking, Marcus felt a pat on his shoulder.

He turned to find Waring with an arm on his shoulder.

“Quiet down! If I hadn’t stepped in, I wouldn’t have gone over to Wentworth just now. Maybe I can buy a Snitch from him now,” Marcus confessed bluntly.

Waring turned red, caught off guard by Marcus’ candid admission.

As Wentworth and Cedric left the Great Hall, they realized Prefect Green was missing.

Cedric explained that Prefect Green was likely still surrounded by students from all four houses.

Cedric said, “I doubt Prefect Green can get out soon.”

Wentworth glanced back in surprise, nodding as he understood. “Makes sense. After all, Prefect Green studied at Hogwarts for five years and probably never had this level of attention.”

Then, Wentworth remembered something and scanned the Slytherin table.

Frowning, he asked, “Cedric, have you seen Cassandra?”

Cedric looked back at the Great Hall and shrugged. “No, I don’t think she came to eat in the hall at noon today.”

Wentworth nodded, and the two continued walking.

Cassandra lay on her bed in the Slytherin dormitory, lost in thought.

Several sheets of paper were spread out in front of her, capturing her emotions: surprise, fear, and ambivalence.

A knock on the door interrupted her reverie.

Cassandra hastily hid the letters as she opened the door to find a group of Slytherin girls.

One of them greeted, “Hey, Cassandra. We noticed you weren’t at lunch. We brought you some desserts.”

She raised a paper bag, a smile on her lips.

Cassandra glanced at the bag, her impatience palpable.

The girl seemed taken aback by Cassandra’s directness, her smile faltering.

Unfazed, Cassandra questioned, “What do you want?”

The Slytherin girl’s smile dimmed as she stuttered, “Um, well, we heard Wentworth got several Snitches at the Quidditch World Cup final. He said he’d share them with his friends. We heard you’re close to him, so we thought you could help us—“

Before she could finish, Cassandra abruptly closed the door, leaving the confused girls outside.

A muffled commotion and a touch of annoyance were audible outside the door, but Cassandra paid no heed.

Instead, she returned her focus to the letters, her gaze vacant.

In the Great Hall, students rushed toward Wentworth and Prefect Green.

Amidst the noise, Marcus and Waring observed their interactions tinged with jealousy.

With Wentworth finally free, he and Cedric headed for the exit.

Cedric explained Prefect Green’s situation outside, and Wentworth nodded in understanding.

Suddenly, a realization struck Wentworth, and his gaze shifted to the Slytherin table.

Although he found nothing, a frown settled on his face.

Cedric noticed the change. “Wentworth, have you seen Cassandra?”

Wentworth turned to Cedric, his concern evident. “No, she didn’t come for lunch in the Great Hall.”

They continued walking, unaware of Cassandra’s introspection in her Slytherin dormitory.

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Published On: October 8, 2023

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