When Minister Scrimgeour inquired, Dumbledore answered with composure, “Of course he’s in his dormitory, Rufus. You know, all Hogwarts students must strictly abide by the school’s curfew system.”

Minister Scrimgeour nodded without further questioning and maintained his silence.

Dumbledore departed promptly, followed closely by Minister Fudge.

The Minister approached Dumbledore, seemingly eager to explain something.

As Dumbledore left, he kept nodding in agreement, not pausing his stride.

Once Dumbledore and Minister Fudge had left, an Auror approached Minister Scrimgeour and asked, “Head, do you think Dumbledore could be the murderer?”

Minister Scrimgeour remained silent for a while, then responded slowly, “I don’t know who the murderer is. It’s up to us to find the answer. But, in my opinion, if Dumbledore were indeed responsible, he could have accomplished it discreetly, without leaving these bodies outside the Ministry. This seems more like a provocation to our Ministry.”

His words cast a brief silence over the Auror’s office.

In the magical world, news of a group of powerful wizard hunters being eradicated overnight spread like wildfire.

It was rumored that the unknown wizard from the past had returned.

This rumor struck fear into the British wizarding community, particularly among influential pure-blood families.

Even many dark wizards, who usually operated covertly, sought various means to leave the UK.

A few days later, a new rumor emerged from Knockturn Alley, suggesting that the incident had been orchestrated by the long-lost Alliance.

However, this was a separate tale altogether.

Amidst the turmoil in the wizarding world, Hogwarts remained tranquil and serene.

Finally, the weekend arrived for Wentworth, who had been eagerly awaiting it.

Today was the day Dumbledore had promised to introduce him to the new teacher.

In the early morning, Wentworth and Cedric journeyed to Dumbledore’s office together.

Along the way, Cedric appeared uneasy, almost nervous.

Noticing Cedric’s demeanor, Wentworth offered reassurance, “Don’t worry, Cedric. Professor Lupin is a very kind person and an excellent wizard.”

Cedric, puzzled, questioned, “You know him, even though he’s a Werewolf?”

Wentworth replied succinctly, “I don’t.”

Cedric, perplexed, asked, “Then how do you know he’s fine?”

Wentworth smiled mysteriously and replied, “Cedric, have you forgotten? I’m a Prophet!”

As they arrived at the headmaster’s office in Hogwarts, Dumbledore was already waiting for them.

“Ah, you’ve come early, gentlemen. Have you had breakfast? Would you like some treacle tart?”

Wentworth and Cedric declined the offer, and Wentworth expressed concern, “Professor Dumbledore, indulging in sweets too often may not be good for your health.”

Dumbledore kindly smiled and responded playfully, “Thank you, Wentworth. However, for someone who has lived for over a century, the most important thing is to find happiness every day. Sweets have a way of making people happy.”

Wentworth could only shake his head, amused by Dumbledore’s perspective.

Wentworth, Cedric, and Professor Dumbledore proceeded towards the Forbidden Forest.

Wentworth wondered if Professor Dumbledore had chosen to conceal Professor Lupin in the Forbidden Forest.

While it made sense for Lupin, it seemed unusual to have him there among the magical creatures.

Nonetheless, Wentworth felt a sense of excitement.

After spending so much time at Hogwarts, there weren’t many places he hadn’t explored, and the Forbidden Forest was one of them.

Dumbledore, however, did not lead them directly into the forest.

Instead, they arrived at its edge, where a massive Whomping Willow stood.

“Is this it? The Whomping Willow?” Cedric exclaimed in surprise.

Wentworth seemed to have anticipated his intentions.

Under the guidance of the Professor, they reached the Whomping Willow’s trunk.

Professor Dumbledore pressed a particular spot on the tree, and Wentworth and Cedric watched in awe as the agitated tree stilled.

Subsequently, the two hurried over and, led by Professor Dumbledore, discovered a concealed tunnel entrance at the tree’s roots.

“I had no idea Hogwarts had such a place!” Cedric marveled.

Wentworth considered, “Hogwarts isn’t as serious as it appears on the surface.”

“Alright, boys, let’s go down together!” Professor Dumbledore invited.

Wentworth and Cedric entered the secret passage with their Professor, and they traversed the tunnel under Dumbledore’s guidance.

As they moved deeper, Dumbledore informed them, “This secret passage leads all the way to the Shrieking Shack in Hogsmeade Village. Your future teacher usually resides there, and every weekend, he will conduct your classes there.”

Cedric expressed his concern, “The Shrieking Shack? Isn’t that place rumored to be haunted?”

Dumbledore chuckled and didn’t provide an explanation.

After a moment, he added, “Remember this passage. If you ever find yourselves in danger, return to Hogwarts immediately through this route. You needn’t concern yourselves with anything else. Do you understand?”

Wentworth and Cedric exchanged glances, and in the distance, they could see the exit’s light.

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Published On: November 4, 2023

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