Quote of the Day: Remus Lupin on How Voldemort Took Over the Ministry of Magic

 

Background: Harry, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger just narrowly escaped (warned by Ron’s father work works at the Ministry of Magic, warning that the Ministry has fallen to Voldemort) from Death Eaters who crashed the wedding of Ron’s brother Bill to Fleur Delacour, looking for Harry.  They managed to make it to Harry’s Godfather’s house (Sirius Black, who was murdered and willed the house to Harry), and have learned from the House-elf Kreacher that Sirius’s brother, Regulus, stole a Horcrux from Voldemort’s hiding place.

They receive a visit from Remus Lupin, a werewolf, Member of the Order of the Phoenix, and sometime professor at Hogwarts, and he tells them about all the changes happening in the Wizarding World, and at the Ministry, now that Voldemort is essentially in charge.  Do these changes remind you of anything?

Harry reads the headline in the edition of the Wizarding world’s newspaper, the Daily Prophet:

WANTED FOR QUESTIONING ABOUT THE DEATH OF ALBUS DUMBLEDORE

Ron and Hermione gave roars of outrage, but Harry said nothing.  He pushed the newspaper away; he did not want to read any more.  He knew what it would say.  Nobody but those who had been on top of the tower when Dumbledore died knew who had really killed him and, as Rita Skeeter had already told the Wizarding world, Harry was seen running from the place moments after Dumbledore had fallen.

“I’m sorry, Harry”, Lupin said.

“So Death Eaters have taken over the Daily Prophet, too?”, asked Hermione furiously.

Lupin nodded.

“But surely people realize what’s going on?”

“The coup has been smooth and virtually silent,” said Lupin. “The official version of Scrimgeour’s [the minister of Magic] murder is that he resigned; he has been replaced by Pius Thicknesse, who is under the Imperius Curse.”

“Why didn’t Voldemort declare himself Minister of Magic?” asked Ron.

Lupin laughed.

“He doesn’t need to, Ron.  Effectively, he is the Minister, but why should he sit behind a desk at the Ministry?  His puppet, Thicknesse, is taking care of everyday business, leaving Voldemort free to extend his power beyond the Ministry.

“Naturally many people have deduced what has happened: There has been such a dramatic change in Ministry policy in the last few days, and many are whispering that Voldemort must be behind it.  However, that is the point: They whisper.  They daren’t confide in each other, not knowing whom to trust; they are scared to speak out, in case their suspicions are true and their families are targeted.  Yes, Voldemort is playing a very clever game.  Declaring himself might have provoked open rebellion: Remaining masked has created uncertainty, confusion, and fear.”

“And this dramatic change in Ministry policy,” said Harry, “involves warning the Wizarding world against me instead of Voldemort?”

“That’s certainly part of it,” said Lupin, “and it is a masterstroke.  Now that Dumbledore is dead, you–the Boy Who Lived–were sure to be the symbol and rallying point for any resistance to Voldemort.  But by suggesting that you had a hand in the old hero’s death, Voldemort has not only set a price on your head, but sown doubt and fear amongst many who would have defended you.

“Meanwhile, the Ministry has started moving against Muggle-borns.” …

“Ron, as we’re on the run with Harry Potter, the most wanted person in the country, I don’t think it matters [said Hermione].  If I was going back to school it would be different.  What’s Voldemort planning for Hogwarts?,” she asked Lupin.

“Attendance is now compulsory for every young witch or wizard,” he replied. “That was announced yesterday.  It’s a change, because it was never obligatory before.  Of course, nearly every witch and wizard in Britain has been educated at Hogwarts, but their parents had the right to teach them at home or send them abroad if they preferred.  This way, Voldemort will have the whole Wizarding population under his eye from a young age.  And it’s also another way of weeding out Muggle-borns, because students must be given Blood Status–meaning that they have proven to the Ministry that they are of Wizard descent–before they are allowed to attend.”

To me, this sounds very familiar, as if the same kind of changes are happening right here, and right now.

This quote is from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, by JK Rowling.  Pages 207-211 in the Scholastic edition.  

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  1. EODmom Coolidge
    EODmom
    @EODmom

    I think the thing is – it’s not possible to overestimate how radical those is the background of the administration are, and how radical the changes they propose will be. Try it – imagine something outlandish and then ask Would they propose it?

    We did that last night with TG travel. There are those who really would like to eliminate air travel (for all but some) and how many airlines do you think will survive to February 2021? Truckers are certainly taking the threat to their industry seriously. All in the name of “public health.”

    • #1
  2. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    EODmom (View Comment):
    Try it – imagine something outlandish and then ask Would they propose it?

    I can’t think of anything socialist or bad for the country they wouldn’t want to try.


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    • #2
  3. Ekosj Member
    Ekosj
    @Ekosj

    Arahant (View Comment):

    EODmom (View Comment):
    Try it – imagine something outlandish and then ask Would they propose it?

    I can’t think of anything socialist or bad for the country they wouldn’t want to try.

    And, because they control the language, these dangerous social experiments are “progress.”

    • #3
  4. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Muggles are deplorables.  The Ministry should only have the right sort of chap on board.

    • #4
  5. repmodad Inactive
    repmodad
    @Repmodad

    First we saw conspiracy theories about fixed voting machines and stolen elections. Now we have a Harry Potter-as-political-allegory post. 

    I think Ricochet is turning into Bizarro Left Wing Twitter.

    • #5
  6. Chris Gregerson Member
    Chris Gregerson
    @ChrisGregerson

    Kingsley Shacklebolt gave the warning, not Ron’s dad, see the last two paragraphs of Chapter 8 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows. But I understand the point about the silent coup. And the Harry Potter series is a good allegory for good vs. evil. 

    • #6
  7. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    repmodad (View Comment):

    First we saw conspiracy theories about fixed voting machines and stolen elections. Now we have a Harry Potter-as-political-allegory post.

    I think Ricochet is turning into Bizarro Left Wing Twitter.

    Not all conspiracy theories are irrational. That depends on the evidence.

    I do agree we don’t have enough evidence at present to demonstrate the fixed voting machine allegation.

    I have posts where I’m trying to keep track or what evidence there is and weigh it carefully.

    • #7