Wentworth observed the Imperio descending upon him, a torrent of questions flooding his mind.
Why did he find a door key on his bed? Who was behind this? Were they affiliated with the group from his initial crossing?
Yet, his greater concern was that the Imperio had been chosen over the more lethal Unforgivable Curse.
Whoever had cast it likely had an ulterior motive, intending to use Wentworth for their own purposes or extract vital information.
He dreaded the possibility of being manipulated into actions he would later regret.
The curse finally took hold despite his trepidation, and Wentworth’s vision blurred.
“Wentworth? Wake up! Lost in a daydream? Head back to bed!”
Wentworth’s eyes shot open, he sprang to his feet, wand at the ready.
“Whoa, Wentworth, what’s with the sudden movement? Trick or treat? The problem is, Prefect Green already took all my treats!” Cedric exclaimed, his hands raised defensively, a playful expression on his face.
Distracted by his own thoughts, Wentworth failed to react momentarily, his mind still grasping the remnants of the dream’s vividness.
Shaking his head vigorously to snap himself awake, Wentworth’s gaze swept around.
Recognizing the Hufflepuff common room’s familiar setting and the jack-o’-lanterns adorning it, he gradually realized that the previous events had been part of a dream.
Yet the dream had felt so real that he could still recall every scene and detail.
“Wentworth, something up with you? Not feeling well?” Cedric approached, placing his hand on Wentworth’s forehead in concern.
“You’re not feverish, but you’re sweating. What’s going on?” Cedric asked, baffled.
Finally certain it had been just a dream, Wentworth sighed and sat on a bench in the Hufflepuff common room.
Having abandoned his cards, Prefect Green approached and handed Wentworth a chocolate frog. “Clearly, a nightmare! Have some chocolate to recover. But seriously, Wentworth, I’m dying to know what kind of nightmare can spook you like this? Was it about growing up and not finding a wife? Haha!”
Prefect Green’s laughter made both Wentworth and Cedric roll their eyes in unison.
“I dreamed of Merlin,” Wentworth told them, affecting an air of mystery.
“Really? What did Merlin look like? What did he say?” Prefect Green inquired eagerly, leaning in while Cedric also perked up.
“Merlin asked me to make a wish. I said I wanted a pet dragon. He told me dragons are too difficult to tame, so I changed my wish to wanting Prefect Green not to be a simpleton in the future. So, Prefect Green, what color would you like your dragon to be?”
The room fell silent, then Cedric burst into laughter, followed by Prefect Green, who threw Wentworth onto a couch with a chortle, looking exasperated.
“Just kidding, just kidding! Senior Prefect Green, Cedric, help me out here!” Wentworth implored, though Cedric only laughed harder and showed no inclination to intervene.
Prefect Green pinned Wentworth down on the couch with a triumphant grin.
After some playful quarreling, they finally released each other.
The ruckus had, at least, shaken off Wentworth’s residual unease from the dream.
With cheerful farewells to Cedric and Prefect Green, Wentworth left for his bedroom in a lighter mood.
Upon entering, he swept his gaze across his bed, and a wave of cold enveloped him from head to toe.
The sensation was chilling, and his skin prickled with unease.
He couldn’t help but swallow nervously.
On his bed was a pumpkin head, just like the one in his dream.
Wentworth stood frozen, his eyes wide, disbelief coursing through him.
He averted his gaze, seeking reassurance from the other three beds in the room.
They, too, held similar jack-o’-lanterns.
However, Wentworth refrained from approaching the pumpkin on his bed.
He knew better than to recklessly investigate in such an unusual situation.
Even a bookworm prone to irritation could recognize that something was amiss.
Rushing to Cedric and Prefect Green’s bedroom, he summoned them out. “Hey, do you have any idea about this?”
The bewildered pair followed Wentworth back to his dormitory.
He pointed at the pumpkin on his bed, asking for answers.
“Oh, this? It’s a Hufflepuff tradition. We carve our own jack-o’-lanterns during the day. Our head of the house, ” Professor Sprout places candy under them for every Hufflepuff,” Prefect Green explained, reaching out to pick up the jack-o’-lantern.
“Wait!” Wentworth intervened, swiftly moving forward to grasp Prefect Green’s wrist.
“What’s the matter? It’s just candy, not something scandalous,” Prefect Green responded, peeved by Wentworth’s intervention.
Wentworth, however, drew Prefect Green away a few steps and then let go of his wrist.
“Wentworth, is something wrong? Why do you seem unnerved by a pumpkin?” Cedric, standing nearby, noticed the unease in Wentworth’s expression.
Wentworth’s gaze remained fixed on the pumpkin on his bed.
The vivid memory of his dream returned, particularly the climax where Imperio had been cast on him, plunging him into despair.
The memory sent shivers down his spine, making him tremble involuntarily.
“I think someone is trying to harm me,” Wentworth whispered, his voice tinged with fear.
Read up to 40 Chapters ahead on my Patreon page!