Seeing Fudge return, Rufus immediately approached him and inquired, “Minister, what did the witch say?”

Fudge sighed and didn’t directly respond to Rufus’ question.

Instead, he shifted his attention to the Ministry of Magic’s wizards behind him and called out, “Amos, come here!”

Amos Diggory, who had been anxiously watching Cedric, heard his name and quickly made his way to Fudge’s side.

Fudge looked at Amos and spoke apologetically, “Amos, the child who was kidnapped by the Alliance, is he your son?”

Amos’ emotional turmoil was evident to everyone, given his actions earlier.

He was openly crying as he replied, “Yes, Minister, Cedric is my son! He’s a brilliant lad! Last year, as a Hogwarts freshman, he achieved top grades in all subjects and had a promising future. Minister, you must save him!”

Hearing Amos’ heartfelt plea, Fudge was somewhat relieved.

He had worried that Amos might react differently, perhaps expressing that Cedric’s sacrifice would be an honor or similar sentiments.

Fudge embraced Amos, attempting to console him. He said tremblingly, “Of course, Amos, you’ve dedicated many years to the Ministry of Magic, and everyone sees you as an exemplary individual. No one doubts that your son will become an elite of the Ministry of Magic in the future. However…”

Fudge’s voice trailed off, and a sorrowful expression crossed his face.

Amos sensed something ominous.

Amos, with tears still streaming down his face, asked hesitantly, “However, what, Minister?”

Fudge remained silent momentarily, then mustered the strength to say, “Unfortunately, the Alliance now intends to use him as a hostage in exchange for the Alliance wizards captured by us. I regret to inform you that, as the Minister of the British Ministry of Magic, I cannot grant their request. So, your son, I’m deeply sorry, may…”

Fudge couldn’t bring himself to complete the sentence, but Amos understood the implication.

He felt as if his world was crumbling.

Amidst the gasps of the surrounding Ministry of Magic wizards, Rufus stepped in to assist Amos, ensuring he didn’t faint on the spot.

Fudge, too, was taken aback by the sudden turn of events. He thought, “Don’t collapse on me now; we’re not done yet.”

The abrupt change in the situation caught the attention of the other Ministry of Magic wizards.

Fudge explained Rosier’s conditions to them, revealing the true cause of the conflict.

This was the moment many wizards of the Ministry of Magic finally grasped the underlying reason for the outbreak of the war.

With Rufus’ support, Amos gradually regained his composure.

Amos clung to Fudge’s shoulders with a pained expression and pleaded, “No, Minister! You can’t do this! He’s just a child! He’s the brightest student at Hogwarts and the future pride of our Ministry of Magic! You can’t let him die here!”

As Amos poured his heart out, tears welled up in the eyes of many wizards from the Ministry of Magic who had known him for decades.

Despite the circumstances, they couldn’t bear to see their colleague in such distress.

In this emotional moment, another Ministry of Magic wizard stood up and addressed Fudge, saying, “Minister, we can’t stand by and watch a young wizard die before our eyes. If we can’t protect a child, how can we convince the other wizards that we can protect the British wizarding world?”

Many of the wizards around him nodded in agreement, showing their support.

Fudge maintained a conflicted expression on the surface but thought to himself, “Well played, Arthur!”

Despite this show of support, Fudge hesitated.

He turned to Rufus, who was standing beside him, and asked, “Rufus Scrimgeour, if the Aurors make a desperate attempt, and even if I allow you to use the Unforgivable Curses first, can you guarantee the safe return of that child?”

Rufus glanced at Auston, who was holding Cedric at wand-point, and then at the Alliance wizard captives behind them.

He furrowed his brow and shook his head slowly.

Seeing Rufus’ response, Fudge sighed and shook his head, too.

He apologized, “I’m sorry, Amos. It’s the Ministry of Magic that’s sorry. You’ve devoted so many years to the Ministry of Magic we can’t even save your son. I apologize.”

Upon hearing Fudge’s answer, Amos looked at Cedric with despair in his eyes.

At this moment, Arthur Weasley stood up again and declared firmly, “Minister Fudge, if we stand idly by and witness a young wizard being killed before our eyes, then each of us present will be a murderer!”

Arthur’s words struck a chord with many in the room.

Fudge silently praised Arthur’s intervention while maintaining an outward appearance of hesitation.

Arthur continued, “Minister Fudge, there’s something you might not have considered.”

Intrigued, Fudge asked, “Oh? Mr. Weasley, please enlighten me.”

Arthur glanced meaningfully at the defiant Rosier on the opposite side and said, “Minister Fudge, the fight against the Alliance isn’t solely the concern of the Ministry of Magic. There’s no reason for us to endure such significant losses alone. This should be a joint effort of the Ministries of Magic!”

“Furthermore, if it takes a massive loss of life to defeat the Alliance, who will ensure the safety of the British wizarding world in the aftermath? Dark wizards in the United Kingdom extend beyond the Alliance.”

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Published On: December 4, 2023

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