The Boring Opening Chapter That Could Have Easily Been Left Out Without Affecting The Quality Of The Book
The Prime Minister was having a bad week. London Bridge had fallen down, his Junior Minister was now in an asylum, two people had been murdered, and a freak hurricane had occurred. But all these troubles were very small potatoes compared to the Prime Minister's biggest problem.
"My tea is too cold!" he cried. "I can't drink cold tea! Good Lord, why isn't my tea warmer?"
The Prime Minister sunk in his chair. "This is almost as bad as being a character without an official name," he said.
There was a cough.
The Prime Minister turned around.
The portrait on his wall was coughing.
"Cover your mouth when you cough, or you'll get your germs all over the place," the Prime Minister commanded.
"Sorry," said the man in the portrait. He flung his long, sexy hair over his shoulder and said, "The Minister of Magic is going to be coming soon."
"Great," said the Prime Minister, sarcastically. He remembered the Minister of Magic. He remembered him so well that it was time for a flashback...
It all started years ago, when he first became Prime Minister. He was spending his first night in the Prime Minister's office when he noticed that the portrait on the opposite wall was a bit...well, odd.
"Why is there a poster of a topless lifeguard in my room?" he wondered. "That seems quite out of place. I'll have to take it down."
The Prime Minister looked at the portrait appraisingly. "Although...he is hunkalicious..."
The hunk in the portrait coughed. "Thank you," he said. "By the way, the Minister of Magic is going to be coming soon."
The Prime Minister thought he was going crazy, until, from out of the fireplace, came a weirdo called Cornelius Fudge, or Corny, as some people called him. Corny told him all about how wizards and witches still existed, and that they'd never meet again unless something really bad happened. "Like someone stealing that poster!" Corny joked.
Even though he said he would never return, Corny kept coming back. Apparently, he was a real screwball. His last visit had been concerning a mass breakout from a prison called Azkaban.
"It's okay," Corny said. "It's just a mass breakout from the our highest security prison, where the most dangerous and crazy murderers in the history of the world are sentenced! Ha ha ha! It's nothing to worry about! I'm sure we'll have them recaptured in no time!"
"Hm," said the Prime Minister, ending his flashback. "I wonder what Corny has been up to this time."
Corny jumped out of the fireplace. "Hey!" he said. "Having a good week?"
"No," the Prime Minister said. "It's been horrible."
"Mine, too," said Corny. "We've been having the same bad week."
"You mean your tea is cold, too?" the Prime Minister asked.
"About as cold as Antarctica," Corny said. "Maybe Eskimos like it, but it's way too cold for me."
"My condolences," the Prime Minister said. "So, what're you doing here?"
"Oh, I'm just here to tell you that I've been fired."
"Something to do with letting the most evil wizard in the history of the world attack the Ministry of Magic. Like that's my fault. It could happen to anyone!"
"Totally," said the Prime Minister.
"So I'm going to introduce you to my successor, Rufus Scrimgy, er, Rufus Scrimjee, Scrimgre, darn, that name is hard to pronounce. Anyway, his name is Rufus Something, and—"
Rufus Scrimgeour appeared from the fireplace. "It's 'Scrimgeour'," he said. "It's French."
"Oh," Corny and the Prime Minister said.
"You should know," Rufus said, suddenly becoming bossy. "that I've taken the liberty of replacing your secretary, your junior minister, and your tie."
"I'm not wearing a tie," the Prime Minister said.
"Silence," said Rufus. "Corny here is going to be my contact for you, because I'll be too busy." Rufus shot the Prime Minister a mean look and disappeared through the fireplace, leaving the Prime Minister and Corny alone.
"I can see why they hired him," the Prime Minister said. "He's such a nice person!"
"Are you being sarcastic?" Corny asked.
"Maybe," the Prime Minister said. "Want to go get some tea together?"
"Do I!" Corny said. "But not too cold!"
They laughed as they walked off together, never to be seen again in this story.