Hearing Arthur’s words, Fudge silently acknowledged the man’s broader perspective.
He didn’t expect the honest-looking Weasley to have such a well-thought-out viewpoint.
However, Fudge maintained a righteous expression and responded, “As the Minister of the British Ministry of Magic, if I agree to the Alliance’s demands, wouldn’t that be compromising with them?”
Arthur shook his head firmly and explained, “No, Minister Fudge. Our aim here is to save an innocent child. While those wizards can still be apprehended later, there’s no going back if the boy loses his life.”
Fudge felt the tension in the room had reached its peak. He glanced around and, with an exasperated expression, suggested, “I still can’t make up my mind! I can’t bear to see the Alliance leave without consequences. Let’s put it to a vote!”
After pausing momentarily, Fudge continued, “I disagree with exchanging the Alliance members and can bear the consequences for the child who has left us because of this war. Please raise your hand if you agree.”
The Aurors and Ministry of Magic wizards present displayed varying expressions in response.
Some were initially eager to raise their hands at Fudge’s first statement, but when he added the second part, not a single hand went up.
Clearly, no one wanted to bear the consequences of allowing the Alliance to escape.
After a brief pause, Fudge sighed in relief but maintained a regretful tone, saying, “Since this is the collective decision, as the Minister of Magic of the United Kingdom, I cannot go against the majority’s will. If everyone agrees to exchange the Alliance members for the child, then so be it.”
With a heavy heart, Fudge walked back toward Rosier.
Meanwhile, Rosier, still with a sly smile, inquired, “Have you decided, Minister Fudge?”
Fudge responded indignantly, “Don’t get too comfortable! This isn’t a compromise. As the Minister of Magic in the UK, I am responsible for protecting every wizard. If we meet again in the future, we will still capture you and imprison you in Azkaban!”
Rosier, unimpressed, retorted, “Really? Would you like me to provide you with some of our Alliance’s strongholds in London, Minister Fudge?”
Fudge’s face turned pale upon hearing this, and he was at a loss for words.
Rosier chuckled and turned away, stating, “Bring the child here!”
Auston pushed Cedric toward Rosier, who, with a cold gaze, asked Fudge, “Where are our people?”
Fudge instructed Rufus, “Bring them out!”
Rufus, though initially reluctant, followed Fudge’s orders.
He waved to his Aurors to release the prisoners.
After a while, the bar owner and several wizards who had been detained by the Aurors emerged from the building, bewildered by the chaos outside.
They had assumed they were merely being summoned for questioning and weren’t aware of the events unfolding.
Upon seeing the crowded streets and the wizards assembled, the bar owner appeared surprised.
Led by the Aurors, they were brought to Fudge and Rufus, still bewildered by the situation.
Fudge pointed to Cedric behind Rosier and instructed, “Release the child first.”
With a casual air, Rosier declared, “We Alliance has principles and rules. We won’t stoop to such petty tactics.”
With that, he grabbed Cedric and pushed him toward Fudge.
Rufus cautiously approached, checked Cedric for any enchantments or curses, and then signaled to his Aurors to release him.
The bar owner and his group of wizards, still confused, were pushed forward by the Aurors.
Abernathy approached them with concern and asked, “Are you alright? Did you face any mistreatment?”
His eyes filled with tears, the bar owner looked around and suddenly broke down.
He knelt at Rosier’s feet and choked out, “Thank you! Thank you, little master! Thank you, everyone! From this day on, I pledge my life to the Grindelwald family, and I will never betray!”
Hearing this heartfelt declaration, Rosier, with a satisfied smile, supported the new Alliance member and said earnestly, “Keep your life for yourself. Thank our Young Lord and not us. We all follow Grindelwald’s vision for the greater good.”
The bar owner wiped his tears and said solemnly, “From today onward, I will become the sword’s sharp edge. I will move forward in the direction pointed by the Grindelwald family’s wand, regardless of mountains, rivers, or deserts in my path. Even if it drains the last drop of my blood and turns me into dry bones, I shall have no regrets in this lifetime!”
Read up to 40 Chapters ahead on my Patreon page!