Upon hearing Abernathy’s words, a discussion erupted among the assembled witches and wizards.
After a brief exchange, Auston, standing beside Abernathy, quickly caught on to something. He tentatively asked, “The wizard who escaped first?”
Abernathy nodded in agreement, and the other members of the shamanist party soon came to the same realization.
Without waiting for more deliberation, Abernathy slammed his hand on the table, commanding, “Find this individual at all costs. Not just in the UK, send a letter to our American partners to check if they have any information on this person. I have a hunch that we’re close to identifying their true identities.”
Observing everyone busy with the task at hand, Abernathy then turned his attention to Auston, asking, “How is the new bar owner preparing? Ensure his prompt departure from London.”
Auston reassured him, “It’s all being arranged. I’ve purchased a wizard bar in Paris, France, through my family’s connections. I plan to relocate him there. He’ll be responsible for gathering local information for me in France.”
Abernathy insisted on speed, saying, “It must be done swiftly. Too many wizards have seen him join the Alliance. I don’t want to go to Azkaban to retrieve him!”
As Auston nodded in agreement, Abernathy shifted his gaze to a stack of papers on the table, with a letter from Rosier on top.
In the letter, Rozier had agreed to Rita Skeeter’s proposal.
Beneath Rozier’s letter were several newspapers from various sources.
Abernathy carefully sifted through them and selected one with the heading “The Quibbler.”
Early the following morning, Wentworth and Cedric continued their journey under the Whomping Willow to the Shrieking Shack.
Meanwhile, Abernathy, accompanied by Auston, arrived at Ottery St. Catchpole.
“There it is,” Abernathy pointed to a large cylindrical house on a nearby hill.
Together, they began ascending the hill, but they were soon obstructed by someone.
A girl with silver eyes and dark golden brown hair, sporting radish-shaped earrings, was seemingly engrossed in searching the hillside for something.
Upon Abernathy and Auston arrival, the girl spoke softly, asking them, “Have you seen my Nargle?”
Perplexed by the question, Abernathy and Auston Greengrass exchanged uncertain glances.
Not receiving a response, the girl didn’t seem to mind.
She continued to hop around, appearing ready to leave.
Abernathy quickly intervened, inquiring, “Excuse me, do you know where we can find Mr. Xenophilius Lovegood?”
The girl paused, looked at Abernathy, and inquired, “Are you here about the royalties?”
Abernathy was baffled. Sensing their misunderstanding, Auston clarified, “No, there’s been a mix-up. We’re actually here to contribute.”
The girl gestured toward the house behind her and said, “My father is inside working. If your article pertains to Goblins or Crumple-Horned Snorkacks, my father would likely be interested.”
As they walked toward the house, Abernathy and Auston Greengrass concealed their bewilderment.
However, upon arriving at the house on the hill, their expressions returned to normal.
Just as they were halfway up the hill, the door of the house opened from within.
“Luna, why do I hear more than one set of footsteps? Has Fudge dispatched his army?
Abernathy frowned as he observed the disheveled figure before him.
He couldn’t help but feel irritated by the man’s unkempt appearance.
The man had white hair as wild as cotton candy and continued gazing downward.
As Abernathy was uninterested in engaging further, Auston clarified their purpose, prompting the man to inquire whether they were seeking royalties.
Abernathy and Auston exchanged glances, and Auston Greengrass responded, “No, there’s been a misunderstanding. We’re here to contribute.”
The man introduced himself as Xenophilius Lovegood and his daughter as Luna Lovegood.
He extended his hand to Abernathy, who shook it firmly.
However, as the handshake continued longer than expected, Xenophilius noticed Abernathy’s lingering grip. Abernathy finally asked, “Mr. Lovegood, can you explain the significance of this pendant you’re wearing?”
Perplexed by the question, Xenophilius responded, “This? It’s the symbol of the Deathly Hallows, of course. Legend has it that in ancient times, the Master of Death possessed three sacred objects…”
Abernathy’s frown deepened.
He had no interest in hearing the story of the Master of Death.
He merely wanted to ascertain the man’s affiliations.
However, upon learning that the pendant represented the Deathly Hallows, Abernathy concluded that this individual had no connection to the Alliance and lost interest in further conversation.
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