Upon hearing his wife’s words, Lucius experienced a moment of contemplation before responding firmly, “Isn’t this what we should be doing? Otherwise, where else should we put our trust in the wizarding world?”

While Narcissa acknowledged his point with a nod, she couldn’t help but express her concerns with a worried expression. “Having said that, the Crouch family is not inferior to our Malfoy family. However, the fact that the Alliance is privy to such a crucial secret is unsettling. Just think about it; if this information were to become known, it would instill fear in everyone.”

After a brief period of silence, Lucius gently held Narcissa’s hands and reassured her, “Don’t dwell on it too much, my dear. We must press on, if not for ourselves, then for Draco! Moreover, there’s nothing wrong with aligning ourselves with them when faced with an adversary we can’t defeat, is there?”

Hearing Lucius’ words, Narcissa let out a sigh and spoke slowly, “I hope this time, we are indeed standing on the right side of history.”

In the ensuing days, the entire British magical world was in upheaval, with a deluge of news flooding the scene and causing a whirlwind of activity.

On the second day following the Gringotts incident, newspapers across the wizarding world extensively covered the attack by the Alliance on Gringotts.

This event triggered memories of the British Ministry of Magic battle involving the Alliance in London two years ago.

However, in comparison to the previous ministry battle, this time, two individuals emerged as celebrated heroes across all newspapers, including the widely read Daily Prophet.

The first naturally was Gilderoy Lockhart, who had already achieved considerable fame.

The Gringotts incident propelled Lockhart to the pinnacle of popularity among commoner wizards, surpassing even Fudge, the current British Minister of Magic, in terms of public adoration.

The other hero was Thomas Vole, the Director of the British Ministry of Magic’s Floo Network Office. With the backing of the Ministry, Thomas’ name frequently adorned the front pages of major newspapers, solidifying his status as a prominent figure in the wizarding world.

In a startling turn of events, Lockhart took a bold step in Diagon Alley, standing outside the doors of Gringotts and publicly raising concerns about the safety of the renowned wizarding bank.

Even more shockingly, he announced his plans to establish the Central Bank of the Wizarding World.

This announcement created ripples across the magical community, leaving many wizards in disbelief.

For generations, it had been a deeply ingrained habit for wizarding families to entrust their Galleons to Gringotts. The idea of changing this long-standing tradition proved to be a challenging proposition.

However, Lockhart’s vision for the future of central banks in the wizarding world captivated the imaginations of many. The prospect of depositing Galleons in the new Central Bank of the Magical World, where not only would there be no fees but also the promise of earning interest, garnered considerable attention from ordinary wizard families.

Amidst the extensive discussions within the British wizarding world, the Daily Prophet was the first to report another significant piece of news.

The Ministry of Magic had proposed the suspension of Lockhart’s New Bank, with the primary objective being to maintain peace between wizards and goblins.

The fear was that this new development might disrupt the delicate balance between the two magical communities, which in turn would lead to another goblin rebellion.

Upon hearing this news, a wave of objections surged among the wizarding population. It’s a common human trait to react strongly when faced with potential losses.

Many wizards, who had been observing the news with a measure of indecision about depositing their Galleons in the new bank, suddenly found themselves vehemently opposed to its suspension.

While Lockhart’s promised interest rates had intrigued them, doubts lingered in their minds.

Nevertheless, the prospect of losing what could potentially amount to hundreds of millions of Galleons if Lockhart’s new bank were to be shut down struck a nerve.

The idea that Gringotts and the Ministry of Magic would not compensate them for the lost interest intensified the fervor of discussions and debates within the British wizarding world.

Meanwhile, within the British Ministry of Magic, Fudge sighed heavily, covering his forehead as he observed the tumultuous discussions unfolding among the ministry officials.

The atmosphere was charged with excitement and controversy.

Arthur Weasley, the head of the Office for Prohibiting the Abuse of Magic, passionately stood in his position, expressing his enthusiasm for the new bank proposed by Lockhart.

He believed that this visionary establishment could significantly address the poverty issues faced by wizards.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Arthur shared a personal aspect of his life, shedding tears as he spoke to his colleagues, “Everyone, you’re aware of the circumstances in my family! I have seven children, seven children!”

He continued, articulating how the envisioned bank by Mr. Lockhart could positively impact his own life, “If Mr. Lockhart’s bank can truly come to fruition and operate as he envisions, I could allocate a portion of my salary into the bank each month, earning interest. This way, I wouldn’t have to worry every month about affording textbooks for my kids before the school year begins!”

In a poignant moment, Arthur further emphasized his hopes for the future, “And even if things don’t go as planned, I could temporarily borrow some Galleons from the bank. At the very least, I want my children to have all the textbooks they need! I can then use my monthly salary to repay the loan gradually.”

“I can’t fathom why anyone would object to such a beneficial bank. Must you all rely on me to borrow money from my house every Hogwarts school season?!”

Upon hearing Arthur’s words, many wizards in attendance struggled to contain their laughter.

Nevertheless, Arthur’s argument was undeniably persuasive, especially given his family’s well-known financial struggles, a matter widely known throughout the UK Ministry of Magic.

Even Fudge, at this moment, found himself nodding approvingly to Arthur’s sentiments.

Arthur, in turn, acknowledged the support from those around him, feeling satisfied with his performance.

He believed that his speech had solely represented the perspective of impoverished wizard families and had not intertwined with personal matters.

As for his son, Bill, resigning from Gringotts due to safety concerns, the subsequent invitation from Lockhart to join as the head of the spell-breaker at the Central Bank of the Wizarding World had no connection to his speech.

Just as Arthur felt content with his speech, he observed his immediate superior, Barty Crouch, the current head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and the British Ministry of Magic.

Barty stood up slowly.

Glancing at Arthur, Barty spoke calmly, “Arthur, I envy your family. Despite occasional financial hardships, at least your family enjoys the happiness of togetherness. You share your precious moments together…”

Turning his attention to Minister Fudge, Barty Crouch continued, a hint of disdain in his eyes, “Minister Fudge, I presume you understand the significance of Gringotts to the goblins. Allowing Lockhart to open a new bank and openly opposing the goblins might well trigger a new goblin rebellion.”

“We are already grappling with the looming threat of the dementors. Engaging in a war with the goblins would mean countless Aurors from the British Ministry of Magic never returning home for dinner. Their parents, their wives, their children—they would never see them again.”

“Therefore, I am against the establishment of new banks.” Barty closed his statement sternly.

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Published On: April 4, 2024

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