Harry Potter/Characters/Ministry of Magic

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Cornelius Oswald Fudge (Robert Hardy)

The Minister for Magic for most of the series, initially a rather affable figure with a keen fondness for Harry who continually asks Dumbledore for advice, he outs himself as a slanderous, incompetent coward when he refuses to believe that Voldemort has returned, instead opting to act as if nothing is wrong and making Harry and Dumbledore out to be insane. After Voldemort's return is revealed to all, he is sacked from his position and replaced by Rufus Scrimgeour.

  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: In Books 2 and 3 and for most of Book 4, he comes across, in Harry's own words, as kindly, if a little pompous. By the end of Book 4 and through all of Book 5, he reveals himself to be a pretty nasty piece of work.
  • Dying Like Animals: A stubborn, determined ostrich.
  • Head-in-The-Sand Management
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Come book five, it's easy to imagine Lucius Malfoy and Dolores Umbridge effortlessly manipulate him by acting like cliché Evil Chancellors. In fact, given their personalities, that's probably exactly what they do.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Throughout Order of the Phoenix, Fudge stubbornly refuses to believe Harry and Dumbledore's claims that Voldemort has returned, as it would mean the end of everything the Ministry had worked so hard to rebuild since his last defeat. This ends up costing him his job.
  • Nice Hat: Frequent attention is paid to his green bowler hat.
  • Obstructive Zealot
  • Our Ministers Are Different: Starts off as Minister Buffoon and Minister Focus Group, but becomes Minister Corrupt/Scheming.
  • Pointy-Haired Boss: He's definitely there by the fifth book, though Hagrid's remarks about him in the first book suggest that he was never a particularly effective leader. Even before he takes his level in jerkass, he is willing to send Hagrid to Azkaban on the mere suspicion of having opened the Chamber of Secrets just so that the Ministry appears to be taking action, and considering the nature of Azkaban, that's not a very nice thing to do.
  • Put on a Bus
  • Too Dumb to Live: Fudge's overall stupidity on Voldemort's return ends up being a subversion of this trope. Voldemort realizes that it's actually in his own best interst to leave Fudge alone and allow him to continue to misrule the Ministry and persecute the people who'd stand the best chance against Voldemort.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: At first, he was a kindly, generous old man who relieved Harry of being punished without a second thought. Then Voldemort came back and he became a...well, yeah.
  • Turn in Your Badge: The beginning of the Sixth Book reveals that, thanks to his discovery that Voldemort has in fact returned, Fudge resigned in disgrace, and introduces the Prime Minister of Britain (Muggle Britain) to his successor.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: You know, Fudge, if you actually listened to Harry and Dumbledore, things would have turned out for the better and you could have gone down in history as one of the greatest ministers of all time, in and out of office.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: A pretty major character for 5 of the 7 books, we hear nothing at all of him in Book 7, even though Voldemort's coup of the Ministry would undeniably have affected him one way or another, since he still worked there.
  • Written-In Absence: According to Robert Hardy, at least. Given what happens to Fudge in the books, it doesn't seem especially likely that he would have been in the last three movies anyway, but nevertheless Hardy claims he got written out due to being too old to insure.

Bartemius "Barty" Crouch Senior (Roger Lloyd-Pack)

The Head of the Department of International Magical Cooperation in the fourth book and one of the organizers and judges of the Triwizard Tournament. In the first Wizarding War, he was Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and one of the main forces opposing Voldemort. However, he fell from grace in the public eye after sentencing his own son to Azkaban on the charges of being a Death Eater. He was right in doing so, though, as Barty, Jr. really was one of Voldemort's supporters and ends up killing him after using him as a pawn through most of the fourth book.

Ludovic "Ludo" Bagman

A former professional Quidditch player, and the head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports in the fourth book. He's also one of the organizers and judges of the Triwizard Tournament. A rather easygoing and jovial fellow, he's also a gambling addict who has bet on Harry to win the Triwizard Tournament, and tries to help him win so he can pay back gold he borrowed to cover his gambling debts.

  • Boisterous Bruiser
  • Composite Character: Combined with the senior Barty Crouch in the film
  • Dumb Muscle: Lampshaded during the trial that almost gets him thrown into Azkaban.
  • The Gambling Addict: All the classical signs of it, including borrowing money to cover his debts, making extremely risky bets to try and win back what he owes, etc.
  • Long Bus Trip: He goes on the run after the fourth book to escape the goblins he owes money to and is never seen again.
  • Red Herring: He's set up as someone who may have put Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire, and is clearly acting suspiciously throughout the book, though for a completely different reason.

Dolores Jane Umbridge (Imelda Staunton)

A high-ranking Ministry functionary and perhaps the most universally despised character in the series, Umbridge affects the mannerisms of a kindly old aunt or grandmother, but they're only a thin veneer that covers governmental corruption at its worst incarnate in one woman. Sent to Hogwarts by Cornelius Fudge to keep an eye on Dumbledore, Umbridge wasted no time in turning it into her own personal fiefdom, running the school as a sugar-coated dictator. She lost her post at the end of Order of the Phoenix but retained her Ministry job under Fudge's successors, Scrimgeour and Thicknesse. Umbridge is loyal only to the Ministry itself, no matter who runs it, and will gleefully uphold the status quo it lays down, no matter how horrible. The books make no mention of her final fate, but Word of God confirms that she was ultimately tried, convicted, and sent to Azkaban.

  • Adaptational Attractiveness: In the books and the illustrations she's portrayed as resembling a large toad. In the movies she looks like someone's young grandmother, which actually helps ask her foul demeanor even better by not making it as obvious at first glance.
  • Animal Motifs: Umbridge uses the Cats Are Mean motif, but it's partially subverted - while she has paintings of cats and a cat Patronus, she's never actually shown with a living pet cat, and is thus juxtaposed against Hermione and Ms. Figg.
    • Judging by Harry's descriptions, her toad motif is another viable example.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Umbridge is this trope!
  • Bright Is Not Good: Pink, pink everywhere.
  • Color Coded for Your Convenience: Her color motif is pink to go with her sickly sweet personality.
  • Evil Counterpart: Several scenes position her as this to McGonagall.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: When she's introduced.
  • Family Values Villain
  • Fantastic Racism: She is noted to have an intense loathing of those she considers "half-breeds" or "part-humans," including ranging from werewolves to centaurs. Ends of biting her in ass at the end of Order of the Phoenix, where she is carried off into the Forbidden Forest by a herd of centaurs.
  • Fate Worse Than Death: In the film version of The Deathly Hallows, Harry's intervention in the courtroom loosens her control of the Dementors stationed above the crowd. The next shot is of our heroes trying to outrun the monsters... what do you think happened to Umbridge and her Inquisitors?
  • Faux Affably Evil: She certainly tries, but overdoes it - her fake persona is every bit as foul as her real one.
  • Glurge Addict
  • Hate Sink: Voldemort has done tons of despicable things, but we can't really hate him due to being an entertaining villain, as well as his sympathetic backstory. We can, however hate Umbridge with a passion. She's condescending, arrogant, obstructive, sadistic, and provides no help to her students outside of treating them as if they were infants. In addition, none of the non-Slytherin students really seem to like her. Believe it or not, there are some fans who feel that she should have been killed off more than Voldemort.
  • Just a Kid: Umbridge loves to use this trope. Nearly everything she says to the student characters can be translated into, "How DARE you children form opinions! I'm the adult, so I'm always right! Now shut up and agree with me or you'll be punished!"
  • Karma Houdini: Though she is thoroughly traumatized by the Centaurs at the end of the fifth book, she is next seen gleefully serving the new regime at The Ministry in the seventh. Word of God is that she ends up in Azkaban when the threat of Voldemort is over, but it still qualifies despite that as the Dementors were revealed to have long been fired afterwards. The film of The Deathly Hallows, it's implied that she... more obvious gets what's coming to her.
  • Light Is Not Good: Unlike the Death Eaters, she can summon a Patronus, and unlike the heroes, she is not the least bit impaired by Slytherin's Locket, thanks to the fact that what she considers "happy thoughts" are pretty much the exact opposite. To say nothing of her Glurge Addict status.
  • Meaningful Name: Dolores means "sorrows" or "pains," Umbridge = umbrage (outrage)
  • Misplaced Kindergarten Teacher: Supplies the trope quote.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: Umbridge doesn't care who runs the Ministry so long as she gets to keep her job, though one rather gets the impression that she enjoys enforcing the most ruthless laws more than anything.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat
  • Pink Means Feminine: To hide her real nature.
  • Politically-Incorrect Villain: Her prejudice against non-humans and half-breeds seems a little shoehorned in just to make her more hateable, but it might have been Foreshadowing to explain why she so gleefully goes along with the New Order's persecution of Muggle-borns.
  • Psychopathic Womanchild: In some respects.
  • The Quisling: In Deathly Hallows.
  • Smug Snake: Umbridge is highly competent at exploiting the system to get what she wants. Otherwise, she's largely inept, and the best way to deal with her is to put her in a situation where her connections can't get her out (like the middle of a herd of angry centaurs, for example...)
  • Stepford Smiler
  • Straw Hypocrite: She teaches the students that the Unforgivable Curses are illegal and unforgivable. The Cruciatus Curse appears to be one of her favorite spells.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Surrounded by centaurs aiming arrows at you... and you still insult them for being "filthy half-breeds"?? Dumbledore ends up having to personally bail her out of that one - and she's not even grateful for it in the slightest!
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Her horrible misrule follows this arc, with her replacing Reasonable Authority Figure McGonagall. Ex Trope-Namer.
  • Vile Villain Saccharine Show: Good God, almighty.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Tends to go in to one of these every time her plans get derailed.
  • Vocal Dissonance: Her high-pitched girly voice surprised Harry the first time he heard her speak, as her "frog-like" appearance had left him expecting a croak.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Forces the 15-year-old Harry to carve the words "I must not tell lies" to his own hand so many times that it leaves a permanent scar. In the film of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix we get a shot of a crying boy of eleven or twelve years, implied to have been subjected to the same punishment, and Umbridge commenting "Naughty children deserve to be punished."
  • X Meets Y: Stephen King describes her as a cross between Margaret Thatcher and Hyacinth Bucket. Shudder.
    • Some critics have likened her to Freddy Krueger meets Hannibal Lecter. No, really.

Rufus Scrimgeour (Bill Nighy)

Cornelius Fudge's successor as Minister for Magic. Though he's unquestionably more competent than Fudge, he shares with him a healthy dose of distrust for Dumbledore and Harry, and much like Barty Crouch, is harsh in his methods of fighting Voldemort, such as imprisoning people on the mere suspicion of being Death Eaters. He is killed when Voldemort takes over the Ministry, but in his final moments, he refuses to tell Voldemort Harry's whereabouts.

Percy Weasley (Chris Rankin)

The Black Sheep of the Weasley family. At the start of the series, Percy is a pompous, ambitious prefect with No Sense of Humor. Oh wait, did we mention he's a prefect? Well, he's a prefect, in case that hadn't been mentioned. He's The Dutiful Son who thinks himself the "respectable" one in the family. His self-important manner made him the target of teasing from his younger siblings, making him a bit of a Butt Monkey. Molly continuously failed to make the twins, Ron, and Ginny view Percy as a role model, but not through lack of trying. Basically, his portrayal in the early books was that of an officious twit, but this was Played for Laughs and he was mostly a sympathetic character.

After finishing Hogwarts, he joined the Ministry of Magic, and this is when he Took a Level in Jerkass. When Voldemort returned, he chose to believe Fudge over Harry, leading him to become estranged from the rest of the family. Even after the Ministry acknowledged Voldemort was back, Percy continued to give his family the silent treatment and seemed to have become an unthinking cog in the Ministry's machine. At the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, he pulls a Changed My Mind, Kid and returns to his family and to the side of good.

Also, he was a prefect. We mentioned that, right?

  • Ambition Is Evil: Without actually being a member of the house known for it!
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Not himself, but from his perspective, Fred, George, Ron, and Ginny follow this trope.
    • He was an Annoying Older Sibling, instead.
  • The Atoner: When he finally realizes what a git he'd been for putting the Ministry over his family.
  • Butt Monkey
  • Class Representative: Prefects are basically the British equivalent of this trope.
  • Demoted to Extra: After the third movie, his only appearances consist of non-speaking cameos in Phoenix and Hallows, Part 2. Unless you watch the backgrounds, you wouldn't even notice he's there and is apparently still going through his book plotline, albeit almost entirely off-screen.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: It seemed only Molly gave Percy the respect he believed he deserved, and often told the twins they'd do well to take a page out of his book. Even his dad would sometimes snicker at the cracks the twins made at him.
  • The Dutiful Son: Originally.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: In Goblet of Fire, it's briefly mentioned that Percy is envious of the more relaxed and familiar relationship Harry had with Cornelius Fudge. Until Fudge and the Ministry tried turning Harry and Dumbledore into pariahs.
  • No Sense of Humor: In the words of Ron, "Percy wouldn't recognize a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing Dobby's tea cozy." Eventually subverted by way of an Out-of-Character Moment. While he attacks Pius Thicknesse in the Battle of Hogwarts, he says "Hello, Minister! Did I mention I'm resigning?"
    • Which is Lampshaded by Fred immediately after. Who is then tragically killed a second later by Death Eaters.
  • The Obi-Wannabe: After he walks out on the family, he sends Ron a letter trying to mentor him into following his footsteps. Ron tears it up, saying "he is - the world's - biggest - git".
  • The Quisling
  • Running Gag: Half of Fred and George's teasing came from the fact that Percy would never shut up about being a prefect, or Head Boy, or his work for Mr. Crouch at the Ministry.
  • To Be Lawful or Good: Chooses lawful, but switches to good at the last minute.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: Though he gave back the level right before the Battle of Hogwarts.

Pius Thicknesse (Guy Henry)

A Ministry official who is initially head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. He is put under the Imperius Curse by the Death Eaters and made Minister for Magic when Voldemort takes over the Ministry. He participates in the Battle of Hogwarts but is beaten by Percy Weasley, and later by Percy and Arthur.

Albert Runcorn (David O'Hara)

Albert Runcorn is a massive, deep-voiced man who works at the Ministry. Under Voldemort's dictatorship, he is charged with investigating and persecuting Muggle-born witches and wizards, which makes him a favorite of Umbridge, but an enemy of Arthur Weasley. He is known to has falsified wizards' family trees when he considers them a political enemy. When the Trio infiltrated the Ministry of Magic, Harry disguised himself as Runcorn. In this disguise, Harry finds that many of his allies are being tracked by the Ministry, and he later steals the locket of Slytherin from Umbridge.

Reg Cattermole (Steffan Rhodri)

Reginald "Reg" Cattermole is a small man who works in Magical Maintenance as a janitor. His wife, Mary, is a Muggle-born witch who is subjected to a show trial on the day the Trio infiltrate the Ministry. Reg Cattermole is impersonated by Ron Weasley, and is unable to attend the trial, but later shows up and takes his family into hiding.

Mafalda Hopkirk (voiced by Jessica Hynes, later played by Sophie Thompson)

Mafalda Hopkirk is a short, middle-aged witch who works in the Improper Use of Magic Office. In that capacity, she sends Harry Potter notices on two occasions (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for Dobby's Hover Charm and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix for a Patronus) warning him about the use of underage magic. By the time of Voldemort's dictatorship, she is still working at the Ministry, and is impersonated by Hermione during the infiltration. Umbridge conscripts her as a stenographer for the show trial against Mary Cattermole.

Bertha Jorkins

A Posthumous Character in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. As a Hogwarts student, she was dim-witted and gossipy. She grew up to work for the Ministry of Magic. While working for Barty Crouch, she learned that his son was still alive and imprisoned in his home; Crouch placed a Memory Charm on her so powerful that it permanently damaged her memory, making her extremely forgetful. She was bounced hopelessly from department to department for years afterwards, ultimately coming to work for Ludo Bagman in the Department of Magical Games and Sports.

Shortly before the start of Goblet, Bertha Jorkins was captured by Wormtail and horribly tortured interrogated by Voldemort. From her, Voldemort learned information crucial to his evil plot, including the revival of the Triwizard Tournament at Hogwarts. He even broke through the Memory Charm to learn the fate of Barty Crouch, Jr. This "damaged" her beyond repair and Voldemort subsequently killed her. Her death was the murder used to turn Nagini into a Horcrux.

Throughout the book, the disappearance of Bertha Jorkins is talked about. Ludo Bagman and much of the Ministry assumes there was no foul play involved and that she will turn up alive sooner or later. While the characters don't know what happened to her until the end of the book, the reader does as her fate is mentioned in the Villain Opening Scene.

She appears in the book when Harry sees her sixteen-year-old self in the Pensieve and when her spirit reappears during the graveyard battle. She is not seen or mentioned in the film.

  • Cloudcuckoolander: Apparently partially the result of the Memory Charm placed on her by Barty Crouch, Sr. Her memory was actually good before that, at least for gossip. This is also why Bagman isn't concerned about her disappearance for quite a while. He assumes that she just got lost again.
  • The Ditz
  • Gossipy Hens: At least in her Hogwarts days
  • Loose Lips: Sirius says "she never knew when to keep her mouth shut."
  • Missing White Woman Syndrome: Might be why the Daily Prophet is so interested in her disappearance. We actually don't know her race, though.
  • Posthumous Character
  • The Stool Pigeon: Despite her being a Gossipy Hens, her actual classification under this trope is Lacerated Larry, since the reason she squealed was because she was tortured by Lord Voldemort and Wormtail.
  • Too Dumb to Live: As described by Sirius.

Sirius Black: She was at Hogwarts when I was, a few years above your dad and me. And she was an idiot. Very nosy, but no brains, none at all. It's not a good combination, Harry. I'd say she'd be very easy to lure into a trap.

Amelia Bones (Sian Thomas)

The celebrated Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

Madam Bones, having a seat on the Wizengamot, presided over the disciplinary hearing of Harry Potter. She was fair, unlike Cornelius Fudge, the prosecuter, and was astounded by Harry's ability to conjure a corporeal Patronus. She voted for the clearing of all of his charges, and Harry was allowed to leave. A year after, Madam Bones was killed by Lord Voldemort himself during the summer, though she put up a good fight.

Harry's classmate Susan Bones is Amelia's niece.

  • Action Girl
  • Badass: Amelia Bones was considered to be one of the greatest witches of her time. She was a highly skilled duellist and was able to hold her own against Lord Voldemort himself, when the Dark Lord arrived to murder her
  • Badass Baritone: A rare variation where it’s a female. Her voice is described as “booming”
  • Only Sane Woman
  • Reasonable Authority Figure