Wentworth’s gaze settled on the wizard hunter seated on the ground.
His words were measured as he addressed the situation.
“If he’s saying holds true, we should hand him over to the authorities. However, if his claims are false, I request that you entrust him to me, Professor .”
Professor Dumbledore acknowledged Wentworth’s perspective with a slight nod and drew his wand.
The wizard hunter’s eyes widened in horror as he watched Professor Dumbledore approach.
The man staggered on his feet, fear evident as Professor Dumbledore’s wand pressed against his forehead.
In his weakened state, the wizard hunter appeared even paler.
His voice quivered as he muttered, “You’re planning to use the Legilimency on me, aren’t you? Why didn’t you do it sooner?”
Wentworth retorted with a hint of satisfaction, “Consider it a method of verification.”
With the incantation “Legilimency” on Professor Dumbledore’s lips, the tension grew palpable.
After a pause, Professor Dumbledore lowered his wand and turned to Wentworth, nodding slightly in approval.
“It appears that his words hold true, and his memories remain untampered.”
Suddenly, the air around them rustled, and several wizards clad in suits or coats, their wands drawn, materialized before them.
Upon their arrival, some wands were aimed at Professor Dumbledore and Wentworth, while others were directed at their surroundings in a show of caution.
These were Aurors from the British Ministry of Magic, present in undercover guise.
“Headmaster… Headmaster Dumbledore?”
Recognition dawned on the Aurors as they identified Professor Dumbledore.
A few younger Aurors initially aimed their wands at Professor Dumbledore. Still, under the reprimanding gaze of their seniors, they quickly reoriented their wands elsewhere, acknowledging Professor Dumbledore’s presence with respectful greetings.
However, their eagerness was swiftly scolded by the older Aurors, who admonished, “Stay vigilant! How many times must I tell you, rookies? Even if you encounter your father during a mission, maintain vigilance. How can you be sure this is the real Dumbledore?!”
Amid the rebuke, a wizard with dark brown hair and bushy eyebrows strode forward to address Professor Dumbledore, giving him a rather leonine appearance.
Professor Dumbledore greeted the man with a smile.
“Oh, Rufus, is that you? I hear you’ve taken over as the new head of the Auror Office at the Ministry of Magic, replacing Thomas Vole.”
The wizard, identified as Rufus, approached Professor Dumbledore with a vigilant expression, his wand still in hand as he addressed him.
“Headmaster Dumbledore, please understand my caution. I must verify your identity.”
Professor Dumbledore chuckled lightly, offering understanding.
“Of course, Rufus. Your vigilance is commendable, much like when you courted that young lady by the edge of the Black Lake. You’d cast protective spells in advance, though they seem rusty now. That girl, if I recall…”
Before Professor Dumbledore could finish, Rufus interjected, his smile somewhat sheepish.
“Headmaster, please forgive my impertinence. This is a protocol intended to prevent anyone from using Polyjuice Potion to impersonate you and tarnish your reputation.”
Rufus’s smile was a touch awkward, but he slowly lowered his wand.
Professor Dumbledore maintained a playful demeanor.
“It seems your last marriage wasn’t your first, was it?”
Rufus’s embarrassment grew, his gaze shifting behind Professor Dumbledore as he queried, “Headmaster Professor Dumbledore, who is this?”
Professor Dumbledore drew Wentworth closer and introduced him. “Allow me to introduce you. This is Rufus, the new head of the Auror Office at the Ministry of Magic. Rufus, meet Wentworth, a new student at Hogwarts.”
Wentworth and Rufus exchanged smiles and nods.
Rufus’s attention shifted to the wizard hunter, seated with his back against a tree.
The man suddenly sprang up as he approached, gazing around in shock.
Confusion etched his features as he questioned, “Who are you? Why am I here? What happened to my hand? What’s going on?”
Wentworth observed the bewildered wizard, intrigued by his sudden memory loss.
Turning to Professor Dumbledore, he recognized the source of this phenomenon.
Professor Dumbledore had undoubtedly manipulated the man’s recollection, erasing tonight’s events.
Wentworth met Professor Dumbledore’s knowing gaze, appreciating his intervention.
As Wentworth stepped forward to inquire, he noticed the wizard’s genuine bewilderment.
It was clear that the man had no memory of tonight’s events.
On the other hand, Rufus regarded Professor Dumbledore with uncertainty, his attempts to question stifled.
Professor Dumbledore, however, didn’t press Rufus.
He spoke candidly, explaining the situation.
“This is what transpired tonight. While returning from an outing with Wentworth, we were accosted by a group of wizards. I believe these individuals are wizard hunters.”
“After a confrontation, they attempted to flee. Given my responsibilities toward Wentworth, I prioritized his safety over pursuing them. We detained one of the wizards for questioning, but someone on their side cast an Obliviate spell, resulting in his current state.”
Wentworth stood by Professor Dumbledore’s side, his expression reflecting a mix of concern and anxiety as he nodded in agreement.
Listening attentively, Rufus frowned, evaluating Wentworth, the wizard hunter, and the entire situation.
He hesitated, appearing unsure of how to proceed.
After a pause, he spoke thoughtfully, “According to our findings, the disappearance of my predecessor, Thomas Vole, is linked to a group of wizard hunters…”
Wentworth’s heart raced, though he maintained a composed demeanor.
Professor Dumbledore’s expression, however, turned contemplative.
“Very well, Headmaster Dumbledore. We will handle matters from here. I’ll take this wizard hunter into custody to ascertain whether his memory can be restored. If we uncover new information, I’ll inform you.”
Professor Dumbledore acknowledged Rufus with a smile and a nod. “Thank you, Rufus. Let’s depart, Wentworth.”
Just as Professor Dumbledore held Wentworth’s hand, preparing to Apparate, Rufus’s voice cut through the air.
“Headmaster, you do seem to look out for Wentworth quite a bit. First, accompanying him to the Quidditch World Cup, and now venturing late at night. I’m curious about Wentworth’s lineage. What’s his last name?”
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