The sudden cold current from the North Atlantic Ocean swept Western Europe overnight.
The weather turned dreadful.
Relentless heavy rain persisted for nearly two weeks, shrouding the sky in darkness.
The dense clouds, accompanied by fierce winds and downpours, drenched the ground.
Even the typically calm North Sea now raged and roared.
On the sea’s surface, a Muggle fishing boat valiantly battled the stormy waves, teetering on the brink of being engulfed at any moment.
Onlookers couldn’t help but feel anxious for the crew.
“This damned weather!” Cornelius Fudge exclaimed, angrily tossing his half-smoked cigar onto the ground.
Even enjoying a smoke had become a luxury in such a fierce storm.
His eyes remained fixed on the Muggle fishing boat out at sea.
“When will I be able to leave this cursed island?” he complained aloud, forcing himself to avert his gaze from the distant boat.
Suddenly, a brilliant flash of lightning pierced through the dark clouds, illuminating the sky and Earth.
In that instant, Fudge saw it clearly. Just a few yards away, perched on a fence, was a peculiarly marked cat.
The lines around its eyes formed an unusual pattern, resembling a pair of square brindle cat glasses.
The cat sat quietly in the midst of the storm, seemingly unaffected.
Fudge couldn’t help but clean his glasses.
How could such a creature exist on this small island? It was incredible!
But upon closer inspection, the “Piebald Cat” had vanished completely, leaving only an empty fence.
It was just his imagination, Fudge concluded.
He hurried past that section of the wall, unwilling to linger any longer in the storm.
He yearned to return to camp as quickly as possible.
Meanwhile, several dark shadows drifted slowly across the sky.
Only a few days prior, Cornelius Fudge had celebrated his fiftieth birthday.
Only a handful of colleagues and a group of creepy, putrid-smelling creatures—unfathomable to him—accompanied him on his birthday.
This milestone marked fifty years of his somewhat unremarkable life.
Over thirty years ago, a young Fudge had graduated from Slytherin College at Hogwarts, brimming with vitality.
Relying on his family connections, he swiftly joined the Ministry of Magic. He became an employee in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, eagerly aspiring to make a name for himself in the Ministry.
And so, he remained in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes for over three decades.
During that time, he neither committed any major mistakes nor achieved notable accomplishments.
His career could only be described as mediocre.
To this day, he is merely the Deputy Head of the Invisibility Task Force within the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes.
Many of his peers who joined the Ministry simultaneously had ascended to prominent positions.
The thought haunted Mr. Fudge, depriving him of sleep at night.
The sole responsibility of the Invisibility Task Force was to ensure that magical creatures and magical locations remained hidden from Muggles.
And one such location was Azkaban.
Mr. Cornelius Fudge served as a special agent of the Invisibility Task Force assigned to Azkaban.
Undoubtedly, it could have been a more pleasant job.
Azkaban was a wizarding prison, one of the largest in England and Western Europe.
Perhaps only the Château d’If near Marseille could rival its scale.
The prison was situated on a desolate island in the vast North Sea.
Nearly a hundred criminals resided there: extreme wizards who maliciously employed mass destruction magic, murderers, and Dark Wizards who betrayed their kind, violating the 1945 Wizarding Compact.
The British Ministry of Magic also stationed several special commissioners on the island, including Cornelius Fudge, alongside a substantial population of creepy creatures despised by wizards.
They were known as “Dementors” and considered some of the most detestable beings on Earth.
“Dementors!” He said while feeling annoyed.
These creatures, shrouded in cloaks, resembled decayed figures submerged in water.
Their withered hands and rotten bodies instilled terror, draining the surrounding environment of vitality and reminding both wizards and Muggles of their worst fears.
No one liked them, not even the Ministry of Magic officials who frequently interacted with them.
If one were to delve into the history of Azkaban and Dementors, the name of the malevolent Dark Wizard “Ekrizdiz” would be impossible to ignore.
Ekrizdiz said to hail from the Netherlands, was Azkaban’s original occupant—a mighty Dark Wizard who lived during the 14th and 15th centuries.
He constructed a fortress on the island.
While alive, Ekrizdiz relished luring, torturing, and killing Muggle sailors passing through, using them as subjects for his dangerous experiments in dark magic.
During his lifetime, no one knew of Azkaban Island’s existence.
The island’s spell concealed it from view, even on maps.
After Ekrizdiz’s demise, the hidden spell lost its effect, and the British Ministry of Magic finally discovered the island and its structure.
The wizards dispatched to investigate the island hesitated to disclose the horrors they witnessed there.
They merely remarked on the existence of profoundly repugnant magical creatures, dubbing them “Dementors,” and declined to reveal further details.
Many British wizarding authorities believed the island exceedingly malevolent at the time, advocating for its complete destruction.
However, concerns arose that destroying the island would unleash vengeful Dementors upon the wizarding world, as there were no effective means to combat these terror-inducing creatures at the time.
The “Patronus Charm” had yet to be studied, and the wizarding community, lacking a powerful force, was ill-equipped to face them.
Furthermore, before Uric Gamp founded the Ministry of Magic, the British wizarding world was in disarray, needing more significant authority.
Consequently, Azkaban’s Island was abandoned for many years.
Dementors continued to attack passing Muggle ships, tormenting sailors and draining their happiness and souls.
Every wall of Azkaban carried echoes of torture and suffering, attracting more Dementors to its confines.
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