Upon hearing Professor Dumbledore’s statement, Wentworth was momentarily stunned.

He fell silent, lost in thought.

He couldn’t help but reflect on how he went from celebrating Christmas at Hogwarts, enjoying feasts and festive songs, to being thrust into this desolate wilderness surrounded by dark wizards.

Who would willingly choose such a holiday experience?

Gazing skyward, both he and Professor Dumbledore fixed their attention on the wizard hunter who dangled from the branches, his severed finger an odd sight against the backdrop of the night.

After gently lowering the wizard hunter to the ground, Wentworth noticed the man’s disheveled appearance.

His hair was singed in the middle, turning it into a patchwork of burnt strands.

Wentworth squatted down beside him, curiosity piqued. “Could you please explain who you are and why you brought me here?”

Leaning against a tree, the wizard hunter averted his gaze, showing no intention of responding.

Frustration flickered across Wentworth’s face as he turned to Professor Dumbledore.

“Professor, this guy doesn’t seem to want to talk. Shouldn’t we just eliminate him?”

Professor Dumbledore’s kind voice chimed in, offering an alternative perspective. “Wentworth, perhaps you could consider another approach. Remember, you’re a wizard now. Why not employ some magical methods?”

Wentworth suddenly realized his options. He retrieved his wand, pointing it at the man on the ground, and incanted, “Legilimency…”

Before he could complete the spell, the wizard hunter screamed in terror.

“Stop! Stop! Damn it, are you really a Hogwarts student? That’s an Unforgivable Curse! In the UK, you’d be sent straight to Azkaban!”

Startled, Wentworth’s eyes lit up. “I’ve stumbled upon something interesting… It seems you’re not a wizard from England.”

The wizard hunter nodded in agreement. “You’re correct. Employing the Unforgivable Curse would certainly land you in Azkaban. But how could anyone know? It’s not the wisest of spells to use. Besides, disposing of a body in the wilderness is rather convenient.”

Wentworth’s lips curled into a smirk. “You’re worried I’d kill you? Did you have no such qualms about me if it wasn’t for Professor Dumbledore’s presence? Were you planning to let me go?”

“However, I’m willing to make a deal. Explain everything, and I’ll release you. What do you say?”

The wizard hunter regarded Wentworth with a mixture of disbelief and dread. “I don’t believe Albus Dumbledore, the greatest white wizard, would allow such an act.”

Professor Dumbledore’s eyes narrowed. “Indeed, I wouldn’t stand by if my student engaged in such an act.”

Just as relief washed over the wizard hunter’s face, Professor Dumbledore turned away, no longer fixated on him.

Wentworth, in turn, grinned and aimed his wand at the wizard hunter once more.

“I’ll talk! I’ll talk! What do you want to know? Get your cursed wand away from me! I’ll tell you everything!”

Observing this, Wentworth’s smile disappeared as he inquired sternly, “Who planned to kill me?”

“No one planned to kill you! Well, at least we weren’t supposed to kill you. We’re all wizard hunters. We take assignments from whoever pays the most. It’s that simple.”

“This time, the guy in the cloak gathered us. He claimed to have a commission and needed a student brought to a specific location.”

“We were curious. Why would someone hire us to kidnap a child? However, the reward was outrageously high. Once we all agreed, he revealed that the student attended Hogwarts.”

As Wentworth lowered the man, the wizard hunter’s gaze flickered fearfully towards Professor Dumbledore.

He swallowed hard and continued, “This is all true! That’s why the guy in the cloak sought us out.”

“I’m from Canada. I recognized a few of the wizards from past encounters. We’ve crossed paths in our respective regions. Some, like me, are from Canada, others from Mexico, Brazil, or other countries across the Americas.”

“According to the guy in the cloak, he couldn’t use local wizards from the UK for this job, given the target—Hogwarts. He feared the local wizard hunters might unite against him. One blackguard devouring another, you know.”

The wizard hunter shared his tale without hesitation, detailing every piece of information.

Wentworth nodded, satisfied with the cooperation.

Finally, Wentworth’s curiosity led him to ask the question that gnawed at his thoughts, “How did you manage to plant the door key on my bed?”

Professor Dumbledore, who had been listening, couldn’t help but share Wentworth’s intrigue.

This puzzle was about the security of Hogwarts, a matter of grave concern.

After all, Professor Dumbledore knew that his long legs couldn’t carry him to plant the key on Wentworth’s bed.

“I know nothing about a door key! Our task was merely to wait. The guy in the cloak instructed us to seize the young wizard who arrived tonight and deliver him to the specified location. Beyond that, we needn’t worry about a thing.”

Wentworth’s gaze shifted back to Professor Dumbledore, his expression quizzical.

“Professor, can you verify if what he’s saying is true?”

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Published On: October 17, 2023

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