The Pensieve #8: The Politics of Harry Potter

By Joshua Smith

First I’d like to apologize for the tardiness of my column. I thought I was in the clear when I got my computer up at school, but, alas, a virus ran through the whole campus system, and my computer got messed up pretty bad. But now I have everything squared away, and I see no reason why I can’t meet my bi-weekly deadline from now on. So without further ado…

Politics played a major role in OotP. The Ministry of Magic’s steadfast refusal to accept Voldemort’s return complicated matters throughout the entire book. Now they have no choice but to accept that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is back, and that opens up a whole new can of worms. And, it leaves the Minister himself in quite a bind.

Obviously, the Ministry is now going to join the fight against Voldemort. They tried to vanquish him in the past, so there is no reason to think they won’t. Cornelius Fudge, however, is going to be under some major heat. He avoided going to war against Voldemort despite direct evidence that he had returned. (Let’s save all the “sounds like the opposite of Dubya” jokes until the column.) People are obviously going to be upset with him, which leaves him with two choices.

1. He admits his mistake, and does everything within his power to rectify the situation.
2. He can try to cover his back with cover-up stories and conspiracy theories. (Seriously, I know it’s tough…. Keep the Bush jokes to a minimum.)

If Fudge gets kicked out of office however, that puts a whole new spin on things. He’s very power hungry, as we all know, so I don’t think he’d be very happy about giving up his post as MoM. Some of you wrote me about the possibility that he would join Voldemort and the Death Eaters if he got the boot. I don’t think he’d do that, and here is why. We know he’s power hungry, and if you hang out with Voldemort, there is no power to be had. Voldemort is the top dog in that circle and always will be. And you run the risk of untimely death if you don’t do as he says. So, I don’t think that’s an option for Fudge. What he might try to do is be a hero. He may think that if he is the man who brings about the destruction of You-Know-Who, he will regain his prestige and rightful place at the top of the Ministry. We know the only person who can destroy Voldemort is Harry; so, if Fudge does attempt this, we all know how it will end.

There is one other thing that struck me about Fudge in Book 5. He just didn’t seem… normal. Don’t rule out the possibility that the real Fudge is dead and somebody is taking the Polyjuice Potion to impersonate him. There are two major things that support this argument. First, how on earth did the Death Eaters get into the Ministry of Magic so easily in Book 5? Did they walk right in the front door? Granted, Harry and his friends got in pretty easily too, but it’s just fishy. Second, Wormtail is conspicuously missing throughout the entire book. It’s entirely possible that he was pretending to be Fudge (much like Crouch pretending to be Moody).

Now, on to the movie trivia section of the column. Last week (actually a couple weeks now) winner was Tania Bedrian. Congrats Tania! Emerson will credit the 5 galleons to your MuggleNet hokees account. This week’s quote is…

“Now, she should be good-looking, but we’re willing to trade looks for a certain… morally casual attitude.”

Good luck to all, and I’ll see you in a couple weeks!