* The novel opens with the Cornelius Fudge, current Minister of Magic, requesting a meeting with the muggle Prime Minister. The Prime Minister does not enjoy his unannounced visits and knows they often bring bad news.
* Fudge arrives, much to the Prime Minster's chagrin. Fudge announces that many of the problems the Prime Minister is facing are actually stemming from the wizard community, mostly as a results of Voldemort's reappearance and warring factions of wizards who are either with him or against him.
* Amidst this discussion, however, Fudge announces that the real purpose of his meeting is to introduce the Prime Minister to the new Minister of Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour. Fudge also informs the Prime Minister that the Prime Minister's new secretary is a wizard who is assigned to him for his safety and protection.
* Two Death Eaters, Bellatrix and Narcissa, arrive at Snape's house. Bellatrix is...
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