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From the Diaries of Minerva McGonagall: September 23, 1981

Dear Diary,

I need to list our successes, because at the moment the war seems full of failures.

First: Minister Bagnold has put several Death Eaters into Azkaban. This was the sort of thing people had been hoping would happen for months; why were the Death Eaters not being arrested, tried, convicted? Why were they allowed to continue behaving in ways that were both illegal and extralegal? If an ordinary wizard committed a single crime equivalent to the numerous crimes and corruptions demonstrated by the Death Eaters, that wizard would have faced consequences almost immediately.

Not that the Ministry hasn’t tried to prosecute Death Eaters, over the past few years; our previous minister, Harold Minchum, made a few attempts that were shut down by threats and—as the rumor goes—money. Minchum made a show of putting Dementors in Azkaban instead, claiming they were the real problem. (Minchum was the sort of politician who said the words “real problem” as loudly as possible, hoping he could make them true.)

So Minchum is out, Bagnold is in, and we are seeing victories.

Second: The Aurors have defeated the giants who were working with the Death Eaters. All of them, which none of us believed could happen. This wasn’t a clean victory, though; the Aurors used Unforgivable Curses to bring down the giants, and those that weren’t killed or captured fled Britain—whether they were allied with the Death Eaters or not.

We’ve gained a measure of peace, as the giants were both destructive and nearly unstoppable, but we’ve also removed an entire population, and we did it using measures that would have been seen as unacceptable—literally unforgivable—ten years before.

It’s at this point where I think “but the Death Eaters are killing wizards as well,” and start listing the names: Benjy Fenwick, Fabian and Gideon Prewett, Marlene McKinnon and her family. People I know—or knew.

Is it worth it to continue this fight, knowing what we have lost and will lose? Can’t it just end, somehow? Should we just let the Death Eaters take control, do what they want, because they already have control and maybe they’ll stop killing us?

Professor Dumbledore keeps telling us to carry on; to hope and fight and wait. Sometimes I think he knows something we do not; other times I think he looks tired, and sad, and ready for this to finally be over.

Yours faithfully,