The headquarters of the Ministry of Magic, the most central government agency in the entire British magical community, is proceeding with the day's work in an orderly manner.
The Atrium of the Ministry of Magic remained as busy as ever, with all sorts of witches and wizards emerging from the different fireplaces in the walls and disappearing in the elevators to the different floors and offices.
Occasionally one could even see a few goblins wearing the uniforms of the Gringotts, stepping out of the elevator. They obviously maintained full restraint when looking around, and even the pride of the goblins, which had not been put away even when they were defeated in the war, was carefully hidden, and they showed enough politeness to the wizards who received them.
In the minister's office, the head of the Department of Magical Affairs, who was responsible for the logistics and more of the entire Ministry of Magic - Gris Rozier - was directing four or five half-blood employees with an unpleasant look on his face, carrying the same number of parchment scrolls as them, which are as tall as half a man, as he walked in the direction of the entrance to the elevator with hurried steps.
On the way, all the wizards who saw the head of the department consciously made a spacious path. In this magical world where the hierarchy is extremely strict, the first lesson that adult wizards who really enter society have to learn is to distinguish what kind of people can be messed with and what kind of people cannot even be crossed paths with.
The head of the Department of Magical Affairs is very different from the regular head of the department, as he is responsible for the logistics and administration of the entire British magical community, and the person who can hold this position is certainly a member of a pureblood family with a very high status and is a close confidant of that gentleman, a figure that ninety-nine percent of the people in the entire magical community cannot afford to offend.
However, just as Gris led his men to the entrance of the elevator, all the wizards who had already entered the elevator consciously came out and gave him space to go up first.
In the elevator, a chubby figure, on the other hand, did not budge a bit, showing absolutely no awe-inspiring gesture like the others.
Gris, who was anxious about a bunch of things, looked down at the pair of feet wearing elaborate leather boots, and his originally tightly frowned brow was more deeply squeezed together.
He thought it is some rash young man who just entered the Ministry of Magic after graduating from school, every year there are actually quite a few such people, and only after suffering, they can know what this social order planned by the sir, is actually like.
But just when he had figured out in his mind who to ask to carry out the Cruciatus Curse punishment on this rash fool, and raised his head.
He saw the iconic walrus-like moustache, the ever-smiling face, and the well-endowed figure, and Gris' originally tightly furrowed brow melted away like ice and snow that waited for the spring flowers to bloom.
"Aha, Mr Slughorn, you just came back from outside?"
Almost two years had passed, Slughorn still did not change much from before, and he looked at the head of the Department of Magical Affairs whose face changed faster than the London weather after seeing him, he nodded his head with a smile on his face.
"Mr Banderas, the head of the Spanish Department of International Magical Co-operation, insisted on having a meeting with me at a muggle café in London to negotiate about the export tariff on flying brooms, and he said he is not quite used to the atmosphere in our Ministry."
The expression on Gris' face became gloomy for a few seconds.
"Is the Spanish Ministry of Magic still not adapted to the right order?"
The elevator had begun to move downward, and the few employees who were carrying the parchment scrolls with a levitation charm, rather sensibly, stood together in the corner, leaving the two big men, second only to that gentleman in the magical world, to discuss something that, with their bloodline, they could never be exposed to in their lifetime.
Slughorn patted Gris's shoulder.
"Don't be so sensitive, Gris, that Mr Banderas is also a pureblood, it's just that he's genuinely not very used to the atmosphere on our side, and this meeting I had with him went quite well."
As he spoke, his eyes glanced just appropriately at the files the half-blood employees carried and asked in a joking manner as if trying to lighten the mood.
"What big outflows and inflows have the ministry had again? I don't recall that we are supposed to have any large-scale construction activities or welfare payments during this period."
At this time, the elevator had reached the floor where the data filing office is located, and Gris gave those employees a cold glance, they immediately understood and left the elevator with the archives themselves, ready to go to file these freshly compiled bills and data.
After clearing the idle people, Gris' face turned back to the gloomy look again.
He stepped out of the elevator with Slughorn who walked in the direction of the head's office as well, with no one else around.
"There are some big troubles over in France, about all these things, I guess you will be informed soon too, sir."
A puzzled look flashed across Slughorn's eyes, and his mouth asked in surprise.
"The situation over in France? Isn't that the last place where problems should arise? Only last week I finished signing all the duty-free contracts for magic items with the France Department of International Magical Co-operation, and even deeper cooperation is also proceeding, what else can go wrong?"
Gris did not answer Slughorn's question first, after alertly returning to his office, he poured a cup of honey tea for Slughorn before he spoke gruffly.
Saying out a report that would be enough to make the whole British magical world shocked beyond belief.
"Lord lost to Dumbledore!"
Slughorn's pupils, who had just got his cup of tea, shrank sharply.
His reaction was not half false, it is unlikely for the British side to know what happened over there in France immediately, especially the kind of thing like Voldemort losing to Dumbledore, it is essential to block the whole information before it comes here.
It is also impossible for Slughorn to get in touch with Dumbledore anytime and anywhere to understand the latest progress, so he indeed just learned about it from the mouth of Gris.
Gris did not mean to hide it, even if the news is blocked further, it is not possible to block it off from someone of Slughorn's status, it's just that he knows about a few things earlier because of the convenience of his duties.
And recently he was under a lot of pressure, decades ago, he also used to be a student under Slughorn when he was the head of Slytherin when due to family heritage issues, he received a lot of care from the fat walrus, so when it came time to find someone to vent, this once friendly older man is undoubtedly the best target.
"Today is not April Fool's Day, Gris, and such a joke is not funny."
Slughorn said seriously.
Gris let out a prolonged sigh.
"I wish it could just be an April Fool's joke, sir, but our lord has truly caused us some worrisome difficulties this time."
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