The Hungarian Horntail that suddenly appeared in the cave ended the farce of greed. No one focused on the prize before them anymore…
A dragon will pose a deadly threat in a small and dark environment.
One breath it took, and they will be burnt to a crisp!
They encountered a dragon, which is the last thing they could ever wish for in this kind of place, but they never knew the one behind it would simply be a normal wizard.
An Animagus, Sean.
As they took a few steps forward, they both suddenly noticed a shadow descending in front of them.
Like Ravena, a few wizards who remained composed attempted eye affliction and hypnotic spells.
However, the massive and lightning-fast creature took them by surprise.
No one would have expected a ghostly Charmander lurking more than ten meters away in a corner.
The spells whizzed past Sean’s scales, and an unknown student, panicking, cast an explosive spell that struck Sean’s head.
The explosion momentarily disoriented him, and rubble from the blast obscured his path.
Fortunately, the dragon’s robust body only caused Sean minor pain and dizziness, which left him somewhat irritated.
The solid ground was torn open by the dragon’s claws and barbs.
The student nearest to Sean, who had barely managed to cast an explosive spell, let out a terrified cry before being engulfed in the dust.
The unstoppable dragon tore through Nurmengard’s elite players one by one.
Two slower students were the last to fall, which unexpectedly worked in their favor.
A man and a woman sprinted frantically toward the cave entrance, placing obstacles in their path.
However, Sean, determined to eliminate this group, would not let them escape unchallenged.
The man and woman tapped into their reserves of determination to survive.
They ran much faster than their initial approach, and they didn’t take long to spot the bright exit in the distance.
They pushed themselves forward, their strides quickening.
Yet, just two steps from freedom, they both spotted a shadow descending before them simultaneously.
Before they could clearly discern the shape of this shadow, their gaze locked onto a pair of dark, round pupils.
“What…” Without a moment to spare, both the man and woman fell into an instant slumber.
Sean, who had been following them leisurely, witnessed the scene and commented, “Well done Pudding.”
However, he couldn’t help but think that these intruders had exceeded his expectations.
He had anticipated that they would leave some precautions, not only the cats and leopards near the exit but also other measures, such as the illusion-spell-covered pit he had prepared.
At the cave entrance, Sean had placed a plant known as the stone vine shrub.
This plant was a key ingredient for the stasis potion.
Normally, it resembled a coiled haystack and clung to the rock’s surface when dormant.
Upon activation, it would slowly extend into a plane, and its rigid vines would appear rock-like.
Sean had cast an invisibility illusion spell on the stone vine bush, and once everyone entered the cave, the plant would provoke any intruders that slipped past Pudding’s line of defense.
So, if any unwelcome guests managed to evade Pudding’s watchful eye, they would collide headfirst with the ‘rock’ created by the stone vine bushes.
Given their previous speed, falling into a coma seemed to be a more favorable outcome.
Sean had acquired this rare plant from Professor Alita Mistedtin, Nurmengard’s Herbology expert.
He had spent time helping the irritable liontail vine in the professor’s office to calm down, and in return, he received a few interesting little plants.
“People are certainly useful…” Sean thought to himself, then slapped a corner of the cave floor with his paw, causing a comatose student to materialize.
“I’ve counted every one. The Disillusionment Charm doesn’t work on me, and the cave is filled with shadow worms bearing my magical marks, so I couldn’t hide.”
After dealing with the last unconscious person, Sean transformed back into his human form.
When he transformed into a dragon earlier, he could have easily sneaked up on the players without making dragon noises, but he deliberately roared to signal those outside the cave.
To be precise, it was a signal for Grindelwald.
Sean believed that there was still an unspoken understanding between them.
Outside the cave, the students in the stands anxiously watched the center of the field.
They had all entered the cave together for some unknown reason, and then they heard the roar of a aragon.
Unable to see what was happening, they could only wait anxiously.
Professor Goodman, usually calm, had a solemn expression.
He didn’t know the details, but judging from the current situation, the dragon inside the cave had been provoked, yet none of the students had managed to escape.
“These idiots…” Professor Goodman cursed silently and was about to Apparate to their aid.
But as he raised his wand, he felt a burning sensation on the back of his right hand.
He quickly glanced at it and saw the Deathly Hallows symbol wriggling and appearing on his skin.
Beneath the symbol, one of his blood vessels had ruptured, and the blood formed a line of small characters on his hand.
“No need to intervene. This is a minor test for me, and they will be fine,” Lord Grindelwald’s voice echoed in Goodman’s mind.
Goodman looked serious; this was the communication method among the Saints, reserved only for a few trusted confidants.
The blood flowed backward, and the small wound on the back of Goodman’s hand healed on its own.
Simultaneously, the Deathly Hallows mark gradually faded until it disappeared.
It was all arranged by Lord Grindelwald… Goodman felt relief washing over him.
He quickly lowered the hand holding his wand.
Sean carefully retrieved the unconscious students from the rubble and dust inside the cave, stacking them together.
The massive dragon furrowed its brow in a human-like manner.
“Should we administer the antidote…” Sean hesitated.
He vividly recalled a segment from “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” that he had read at the beginning.
Crooked serpent venom could erase unpleasant memories when diluted.
Aware of this, Sean decided to try it, given that he happened to have a crooked serpent.
With Newt’s help and numerous trials, Sean had acquired a few bottles of Forgetfulness Potion, a substance capable of erasing negative memories.
Fortunately, there was no need to add anything else to this substance; it had to be diluted according to a specific ratio.
Sean’s potion-making talent was such that he might not have been able to create it otherwise.
Yet, Sean found himself caught in a dilemma. He pondered whether to use the Forgetfulness Potion on the unconscious students.
He worried that if someone later recalled the peculiar behavior of this Hungarian Horntail, they might uncover Sean’s Animagus form.
This would leave him without a means of defense and lead to a sentence in Azkaban.
However, Sean had always trusted Grindelwald’s intellect.
He believed that Grindelwald, who had asked him to take action, would have carefully considered these potential scenarios and taken precautions accordingly.
Furthermore, Professor Goodman, the supervisor, had not yet Apparated in the cave, which suggested that Grindelwald had indeed alerted him.
After much internal struggle, Sean decided not to use the Forgetfulness Potion.
Erasing everyone’s memories of entering the cave would likely raise suspicions among those who cared.
Outside the cave, the students grew even more anxious. No students emerged from the cave’s entrance following the dragon’s roar.
Professor Goodman, responsible for the rescue, remained motionless.
Then, another deafening dragon roar echoed, and to the shock of everyone watching, the contestants who had just entered the cave were forcefully ejected by a Dragon’s tail-like limp ragdolls.
All the contestants had their eyes shut tightly, and many had limbs twisted into unnatural angles.
The students gasped, and someone tremulously asked, “A-Are they all dead?”
They saw Professor Goodman quickly Apparateto the players, assessing their condition.
He then signaled the medical team to attend to them.
“It doesn’t seem like they’re dead. I saw the white glow of healing magic.”
“They might have just passed out.”
“The whole team wiped out… Is this the terrifying power of dragon…”
Hogwarts students exchanged bewildered glances, disbelief written in their eyes.
Is this Nurmengard? An intramural competition turned this tragic? It’s no wonder they continually take away the Goblet of Fire.
In the center of the arena, Professor Goodman did not immediately depart.
He glanced at the dark cave entrance.
Only injured, not life-threatening… This was undoubtedly Grindelwald’s arrangement.
Goodman was unaware of the dragon’s origins.
Perhaps it was tamed by Grindelwald?
Looking around, he prepared to officially announce the end of the challenge, as all the players were currently receiving treatment.
At that moment, a relaxed figure strolled over from a distance.
Goodman’s brows furrowed when he saw the approaching figure.
He had momentarily forgotten about this second-year Hogwarts student, Sean, who had been sitting quietly in a corner since the start of the game.
He had no intention of underestimating Sean.
After the magical flame blessing curse, Goodman understood Sean’s importance in Master Grindelwald’s eyes.
“Mr. Wallup, you are the last contestant. Would you like to continue the challenge?” Goodman asked.
“Yes, I will give it a try.” ‘Sean’ replied with a smile.
“Very well, stay safe,” Goodman nodded.
He didn’t Apparate away but retreated to a safe distance.
He knew not to underestimate what Grindelwald could do for someone he valued, but protection was still his priority.
Goodman decided that if Sean were in danger, he would intervene immediately.
The students in the stands also witnessed this scene. Indeed, not all contestants had been wiped out; there was still one left.
“Wallup… is he going to use that spell?”
“I don’t know, but no one understands the nature of the curse, and he’s only in his second year. He’s facing a fearsome dragon that just eliminated a team of senior students…”
Hermione and Daisy exchanged puzzled glances.
“Is that really Sean? Or is someone else using an illusion charm? It can’t be this convincing…”
“I don’t know, but the Hungarian Horntail must be Sean—could he have secretly mastered some kind of magic spell for cloning?”
“Don’t be absurd; there’s no such spell…”
As the students discussed it in the stands, ‘Sean’ approached the hole and raised his wand.
Everyone held their breath, anticipating the next move from this lone competitor.
“Pointing at himself? What kind of magic is that?”
“Maybe it’s some sort of protective spell? One that guards against flames? But I doubt it could withstand the dragon’s breath.”
‘Sean,’ standing at the cave entrance, cleared his throat and then projected his voice powerfully.
The students in the stands were taken aback.
“That voice is loud… What does he want?”
“Is he provoking the dragon with a loud spell? He must be suicidal!”
Inside the cave, Sean heard the voice and sighed inwardly.
He understood the message conveyed in that tone.
“Do I really have to go along with this act… or should I just act alone…”
Sighing, Sean walked out of the cave and saw his double standing before him, an exact replica of himself.
“I look quite annoying when I smile, it seems…”
Sean sighed internally, then raised his head and let out a roar.
“Play the role to the fullest, commit to it, and enjoy it!”
The dragon’s roar sent shivers down the students’ spines, and they couldn’t fathom how Sean must be feeling standing in front of the dragon.
“Why isn’t Wallup moving? What’s his plan?”
“The dragon is bowing its head! By Merlin’s beard!”
Sean lowered his head and glanced at his duplicate.
Grindelwald’s voice reached his ears.
“You know what to do, Sean? Pretend to be convinced…”
Grindelwald winked at him. “Don’t thank me; it’s Sean who’s earning these accolades.”
“The old man…” Sean sighed.
Doesn’t this exposure reveal his affinity for magical creatures? Though a few people are aware of it, most still aren’t, and those who do will probably recall his previous incantation, “Birds and snakes emerge from their lairs.”
But all of this is just for show and not even for his own benefit!
Grindelwald seemed to understand Sean’s thoughts perfectly, and he whispered again.
“Don’t worry. A true king should stand under the spotlight. The more you shine, the greater your prestige will become. In the future, you’ll reap the benefits of all this. And I can achieve the same effect in a different way…”
With that, ‘Sean’ stepped back and cleared his throat again.
“Roar…” An unpolished and unfamiliar dragon’s roar echoed from his mouth.
“Wallup, he’s a dragon whisperer!” The students in the stands were dumbfounded.
Dragon whisperer? Of course, Sean, in his current dragon form, could understand Dragon Language. Grindelwald was simply mimicking his voice.
Sean stifled his complaints and put on an alert expression. He slowly crouched down.
“Look, Wallup is a real Dragon Whisperer, the dragon understands him!”
Grindelwald’s whisper reached Sean’s ears again.
“Maintain your guard but still convey the effect of my earlier use of Dragon Language. Act like a true dragon. You’re doing well, kid.”
Not as well as your acting, you crazy old man!
Under the shocked gazes of everyone present, ‘Sean’ gently rested his hand on the Hungarian Horntail’s head.
“He did it! The dragon didn’t attack him!”
Professor Goodman, who had maintained his calm and solemn demeanor, waited for a moment before raising his hand and announcing loudly:
“The winner of this challenge is Sean Wallup!”
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