Just as Abernathy exited Rita Skeeter’s residence, Minister Fudge briskly entered the Auror’s office on the second basement floor of the Ministry of Magic.Just as Abernathy exited Rita Skeeter’s residence, Minister Fudge briskly entered the Auror’s office on the second basement floor of the Ministry of Magic.

Inside the Ministry’s Auror Office, numerous British Ministry of Magic Aurors had gathered.

As the Minister of Magic walked in, they parted to give him space, yet their expressions bore disapproval, frustration, and alarm.

Amidst the gathered Aurors, at the center, stood Minister Scrimgeour, the new head of the Auror Office, and several lifeless bodies lay nearby, neatly surrounded by a few suitcases.

The sight of so many corpses within the Ministry of Magic left Minister Fudge pale.

Minister Scrimgeour, who had been examining the corpses, stood up and approached Minister Fudge, stating, “Minister Fudge, after our examination, we believe all of them were killed by the Killing Curse and possibly subjected to torture before their deaths.”

Minister Fudge, still aflame with anger, vented, “Outrageous! Absolutely outrageous! They should all be sent to Azkaban!”

Following his outburst, Minister Fudge seemed to regain his composure. After a moment of silence, he inquired, “Have you identified these victims?”

In response, Minister Scrimgeour quickly asserted, “Minister, without a doubt, these are the same wizard hunters who attacked Dumbledore not long ago. While we’re uncertain about a single individual, the physical characteristics match Dumbledore’s description. The attackers’ descriptions are consistent, making it highly likely they are the culprits.”

Hearing this, Minister Fudge displayed a hint of surprise, then seemingly realized something, and with a mixture of panic and excitement, he asked, “So, are these deaths related to Dumbledore? Did Dumbledore use the Unforgivable Curse to kill them?”

The Aurors at the scene exchanged uncertain glances and hesitated to answer Minister Fudge’s question.

Ultimately, Minister Scrimgeour cleared his throat and replied, “Minister, we know who the victims are, but we haven’t established the identity of the murderer. It’s too early to conclude that Dumbledore killed these wizard hunters with Unforgivable Curses. At this point, we lack any evidence connecting Dumbledore to their deaths.”

Upon hearing this, Minister Fudge began to realize that he had let his emotions get the better of him earlier.

He quickly added, “You’re right, Rufus. We must identify the murderer as soon as possible. Since the fall of that individual, there hasn’t been such a grave and terrifying incident in the British wizarding world. Regardless of who is responsible, they must be severely punished.”

Minister Fudge then shifted his tone and inquired, “By the way, where was Dumbledore when this incident occurred?”

Acknowledging his outburst, Minister Fudge took a more composed approach.

However, before he could finish his thought, Dumbledore interrupted him and said, “Minister, you misunderstand my presence here. I am not here as a private individual.”

Minister Fudge looked perplexed. “Albus, I don’t quite understand.”

Dumbledore peered at Minister Fudge, and through his gaze, Minister Fudge felt as though Dumbledore could see right through him.

This made Minister Fudge uneasy. Dumbledore continued, “Minister, this is not merely an Auror’s office matter. I now represent Wizengamot as the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.”

This statement left Minister Fudge momentarily stunned.

Dumbledore then ignored Minister Fudge’s presence and turned to Minister Scrimgeour. “Indeed, Minister, as you mentioned, these individuals are the same group of wizard hunters who attacked me and my students.”

Dumbledore’s words led Minister Scrimgeour to bow respectfully before him.

He then inquired humbly, “I apologize, Headmaster Dumbledore. Please forgive me for any earlier insensitivity. May I ask, where were you last night? What were you doing? Do you have anyone who can vouch for your whereabouts?”

Minister Fudge, who had recovered his composure, joined the conversation attentively.

Dumbledore, however, appeared unfazed by Minister Scrimgeour’s questions.

He nodded slowly and began to explain, “After dinner last night, I returned to the headmaster’s office at Hogwarts. There, I engaged in an extended discussion with Professor Snape, our Potions Professor, who was brewing a special potion at my request.”

“We spoke at length, and it was late into the night. Following Professor Snape’s departure, Professor McGonagall, our Headmistress, engaged me in further discussions regarding future educational matters. It was only after your owl arrived that I left.”

After hearing Dumbledore’s account, Minister Scrimgeour nodded noncommittally and said, “Thank you for your cooperation, Headmaster Dumbledore. We may need to confirm your whereabouts with Professors Snape and McGonagall later.”

Dumbledore smiled and agreed, “Of course, I have no objections.”

With the questioning seemingly concluded and Dumbledore preparing to leave, Minister Scrimgeour raised one final query, “Headmaster, what about your student, Wentworth? Where is he tonight?”

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Published On: November 3, 2023

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