A History Of Magic

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The Formation Of The Ministry Of Magic

Chapter 24
Before the creation of any official wizarding
governing body in Britain, witches and wizards lived among Muggles in plain
sight. While they certainly did not publicize their existence, Muggles knew of
them and, to a certain extent, tolerated them. When it became apparent in the
turn of the first millennium that Muggles were incapable of interfering in
wizarding affairs, a brief (if not reluctant) understanding arose between
wizards and Muggles. However, this was not enough to keep wizards from
interfering in Muggle affairs. Early Muggle sporting events were rigged for the
benefit of the occasional gambler, and the results of these events were
tampered with for reasons ranging from petty revenge to mere amusement. It was
eventually a game of Cuaditch (pre-Quidditch) in which the Bludgers escaped the
confines of the pitch and caused 29 Muggle casualties that spurred the creation
of the Wizards’ Council in the following year, 1269.

The Wizards’ Council’s first acts were to establish
rules and regulations in regards to wizard sporting events. This goal was
theoretically meant to detract from wizard involvement in Muggle sports and to
prevent further harm on the Muggle population. The Wizards’ Council’s first
Chief Warlock was Barberus Bragge, best known for his release of a Golden
Snidget onto the field of a Cuaditch match and offering 150 galleons for its
capture. Bragge was primarily ruled by his fondness for hunting, his tendency
to look down on Muggles as inferior beings, and a love for fruit ganache. Thus
began the rocky road of British wizarding politics.

  For the majority of his
four year term as Chief Warlock, Bragge’s advisor Eadlac Earl worked behind the
scenes to establish the first British Wizard Census, an official compilation of
English spells and enchantments that was based off of the Standard Book of
Spells written in the year 132 AD, and The Wizarding Entities’ Decree of
Unlawful Magic in 1273, or WEDUM. WEDUM was the first British document to
outline a system of punishments and fines for using magic that would harm,
endanger, or kill other humans. The decree was later revised to include goblins
in 1285 (though this was later revoked during the goblin rebellions), merpeople
in 1294, and other human-like creatures (including vampires and hags) in 1301.
Efforts were made to include centaurs and leprechauns, though none were
successful, namely because centaurs thought themselves too intelligent for
wizards, and leprechauns wouldn’t stop laughing long enough to sign anything.
Eadlac Earl went on to become Chief Warlock for twenty years (from 1273 to
1293) after Bragge’s accidental death, in which he was pecked to death by a
flock of Golden Snidgets when his wand snapped on a hunting excursion.

  Burdock Muldoon, Chief
Warlock from 1388 to 1402 was the first to attempt to establish an official
electoral process, and the majority of his two year term was spent establishing
which magical creatures would be responsible for governing the beings of the
wizarding world. This first required that the Wizards’ Council define ‘being.’
Muldoon initially defined it as anything or anyone who walked on two legs. On
14 September 1391, Muldoon extended an invitation to all magical ‘beings’ to
gather in Stockport, a village just to the south east of Manchester. The
goblins–with whom there was already increased hostility–took advantage of this
definition and took it upon themselves to invite every imaginable two-legged
creature, from trolls to pixies to diricrawls and the only Occamy at the time
residing in Great Britain. The entire village was closed off for three weeks
and its residents evacuated until such a time that the Occamy could be
relocated back to its nest. Muldoon’s successor, Elfrida Clagg attempted
several times to convene another meeting of magical beings, this time altering
the definition of ‘being’ to include anyone or anything which could speak in
human languages. As an added precaution the meeting was held in a magically
closed off area in northern Britain, in Cove Bay, Aberdeen on 2 July 1404.
However, with the revised definition, creatures such as Jarveys attended, causing
equal mayhem.

  Around the late 15th
to early 16th century, animosity between Muggle and wizarding
populations grew at an alarming rate. Witch burnings, while relatively
harmless, became increasingly frequent, and in the Muggle’s quest to eradicate
magic from their lands, many non-magical Muggles were also executed. Elfrida
Clagg, who remained Chieftainess of the Wizards’ Council from 1402 to 1433, was
the first in British wizarding history to implement the Wizarding Entities’
Decree for Magic in the Presence of Muggles (WEDMPM). The wizarding census,
which up until that point had been voluntary, was now lawful and enforced.
Witches and wizards who lived among Muggles were forced to pass
Muggle-Authentication Exams (MAE), in which they had to prove that they could
live among Muggles without arousing suspicion. This method for establishing
secrecy was rather ineffective, especially given that no one knew exactly what
it was that made Muggles suspicious of magic. As such, examining the MAE’s was
a very subjective process.

  While WEDMPM explicitly
prohibited magic in the presence of a Muggle, catching and prosecuting those
who went against the decree was extremely difficult. The Wizards’ Council did
not have the manpower to actively supervise Muggle locations, nor were there
spells at the time that could identify magic-users in Muggle territory. For a
period of approximately six months the Wizards’ Council attempted to limit the
use of all magic to only certain pre-approved areas in Britain, though this was
met with massive resistance. Ironically, the struggle to hide magic from
Muggles led to approximately two centuries (from the end of Clagg’s term as
Chieftainess to the late 1600s) where magic was as prominent as ever in Muggle

The bloody 1612 goblin
rebellion left the wizarding Britain reeling, and concessions made to the
goblins following the truce in Hogsmeade did not sit well with the majority of
wizarding Britain, who were outraged by the actions of the goblins in the
Scottish town. Goblin hate-groups continued to exist, though the Wizards’
Council officially promised the goblins security and recognized the opinions of
the Brotherhood of Goblins. A few members of the Wizards’ Council even resigned
over the recognition of the Brotherhood of Goblins, though most stayed on ‘to
fight the problem where we can,’ as one Council member wrote in his private

with the Wizard Council’s ‘capitulation’ to the goblins, the wizarding
population of Britain began to grumble about the government’s ‘failure to
protect the wizards,’ already threatened by Muggle witch-hysteria prior to the
goblins’ uprising. Dissatisfied wizards refrained from acting against the
government, however, and eventual change came from within the Council itself.

Darryl Swigart
doomed himself to be the last Chief Warlock of the Wizards’ Council when he
followed the example of Muggle King Charles I, who dissolving Parliament in
March 1629, ruled as no British king had since the thirteenth century without
consulting a council of freemen. Encouraged perhaps by the comparatively wise
and successful rulings of Charles I following the dissolution of Parliament and
seeing many of the Muggle king’s opponents returning to him, Swigart tried to
use his title of Chief to assert sole authority or ‘personal rule’ as the king
had done. This greatly angered other members of the Council, in which decisions
had always been made by debate and vote.

Council, perhaps also looking to the Muggle government for inspiration,
presented Swigart with a list of demands and refused to leave Swigarts’ home,
where the Council, in the absence of any public building for the wizarding
government, was then convening. One of these demands was that a number of
formalized advisors to the Chief be elected, each in charge of a specific
department of the government, thereby setting in place a system of checks and
balances to the Chief. From this emerged the Ministry of Magic’s department and
office heads.

Council also demanded that Swigart immediately resign from his position as
Chief.  Swigart remained on the Council
and sat grumbling in the corner as the wizards sat down to rearrange governing
council of wizarding Britain.

Council voted to dismiss several weeks later with an outline for a new governing
system to be known as the Ministry of Magic.

of the Wizards’ Council continued till 1631 when the Council agreed to enact
their changes in whole, elected the first Minister for Magic, Damian Muther,
who held the position till 1657, disbanded the Wizards’ Council, and reconvened
as the Ministry of Magic.

of the Ministry’s first acts was to pass the so-called Wand Ban, a clause in
the Code of Wand Use that forbade any magical beings apart from wizards,
witches, beings that were half-witch or –wizard, and werewolves from carrying a
wand, striking a blow against the goblins and reassuring the general wizarding
community that the new government would listen to their complaints.

Initially the Ministry only had four departments: The
Department of International Magical Cooperation, the Department for the
Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, the Department of Magical Games
and Sports, and its largest department today, the Department of Magical Law
Enforcement. Soon after its creation the Department of Magical Accidents and
Catastrophes became a necessary addition.

The Department of Magical Law Enforcement, already
busy enforcing the Statue of Secrecy and taking to law those wizards whose
hatred of Muggles boiled over into curses, was made busier in 1717 when
Minister for Magic Larson Mole coined the term ‘Unforgivable Curses,’ and
officially classified the Imperius Curse, the Cruciatus Curse, and Avada Kedavra as unforgivable and worthy
of a lifetime sentence in Azkaban.

Magical transportation had, for the better part of the
18th and 19th century, been overseen by the Department of
Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, what with the constant Splinching
associated with Apparation, but once wizard Quintin Quale discovered how to
connect to Muggle fireplaces using Floo powder in 1902, the workload for the
department simply became too much, and the creation of the Department of
Magical Transportation was added to the Ministry.

  Sometime during the
late 1800s the Department of Mysteries also came into being, though it is
unclear exactly when, how, or why it came about. Not even the Minister for
Magic at the time, Faris ‘Spout Hole’ Spavin knew of its existence until
several years into his term.

  From its founding in
1631, the early days of the Ministry were dedicated to creating and
implementing wizarding policies. In over 300 years, there have been exactly
twenty-five Ministers for Magic, all of whom were men until the year 1798 when
Artemisia Lufkin, the twelfth Minister, was elected into office. As a result,
several older members of the Wizengamot resigned in protest. Nevertheless,
Lufkin had a successful term in office, and worked alongside the then Head of
the Department of Magical Law Enforcement Torin McTaggart to standardize
training for Aurors and Hit Wizards.

  Her successor Grogan
Stump, who served in office from 1811–1819, is credited for the creation of the
three sub-divisions of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical
Creatures: Being, Beast, and later, Spirit Division. Initially, there had only
been two sub-divisions, but a protest float by the British ghost population
caused Stump to create the aforementioned Spirit Division.

  The Ministry’s
involvement in British wizarding education was at a minimum until Ottaline Gambol
came into office in 1935. Until that point, transportation to Hogwarts had been
dependent on a number of Portkey collection points. However, the use of
Portkeys caused several problems–approximately a third of students would fail
to arrive every year, and those that did were prone to Portkey sickness.
Previously Head of the Department of Magical Transportation, Gambol’s
fascination with Muggle technology inspired the idea of using a train as a
comfortable, safe alternative to Portkeys. Obtaining the locomotive itself
required a large-scale operation involving one hundred and sixty-seven Memory
Charms, combined with the largest Concealment Charm ever to be performed in
British history.

  Ottaline Gambol was
also the first Minister for Magic to introduce herself to the acting Muggle
Prime Minister. On 7 June 1935, the night that Muggle Stanley Baldwin was
elected to his third term as Prime Minister, a portrait of former Minister for
Magic Klaine Rogers was installed in the Prime Minister’s office. This move was
highly criticized at the time, and Gambol was accused of breaking the Statute
of Secrecy. However, her actions were praised by the International
Confederation and allowed for open communication between the two governing
bodies and the occasional influence on Muggle media when it suited the
Ministry. It is now official policy for the acting Minister for Magic to
introduce himself to the acting Muggle Prime Minister and to inform him of all
pertinent incidences in the magical world that risk affecting the Muggle

the fall of Lord Voldemort in the year 1981, Britain was ruled by a succession
of unsuccessful Ministers for Magic. Minister Millicent Bagnold’s retirement in
1990 was followed by the election of the wildly unpopular Minister Cornelius
Fudge, who is best known for his refusal to acknowledge the return of Lord
Voldemort and his fondness for bowler hats. Not long after Lord Voldemort’s
second rise to power, Fudge resigned as a result of public pressure and was
replaced by Minister Rufus Scrimgeour, who was Minister for Magic for little
over a year before his death. Minister Pius Thicknesse then replaced
Scrimgeour, though he too lasted a year only before his arrest for involvement
with Lord Voldemort (doubt remains as to whether or not the Minister was acting
under the Imperius). He was succeeded by the popular Kingsley Shacklebolt, a
known member of the Order of the Phoenix and former Auror. He has been in
office from 1998 to the present day.

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