Chapter 2: Ad-minister
They Apparated into a run-down
part of town Harry vaguely remembered.
Mr. Lovegood began bustling down
the street immediately while Harry paused a moment to recover his bearings. Before
long they were upon a familiar broken telephone booth Harry would not soon
“Here we are,” Mr. Lovegood
announced cheerfully. Luna retained that far-away dreamy gaze she assessed
everything with. Harry’s stomach tightened unpleasantly. The last time he had
entered that booth he had lost someone very dear and nearly much more. He
wasn’t in a hurry to revisit the place.
Mr. Lovegood, sensing Harry’s
apprehension, proclaimed “Just here for a pit-stop Harry. Need to verify some
facts for the latest issue of The Quibbler.”
This put Harry somewhat at ease. Taking a deep breath he
stepped over the phone booth’s threshold and shut the door behind him.
As soon as Mr. Lovegood had keyed
in the appropriate number the cool operating voice began its calm
interrogation. Moments later he and the Lovegoods
were stepping out of the cramped compartment pinning their visitor badges to
their chests as they exited.
The Ministry looked quite untouched from the inside, as if
someone had taken a picture of it prior to the DA’s
raid and restored each minute detail accordingly. The only noticeable
difference was the brigades of Aurors swarming about
the interior. Aurors guarded the visitor’s entrance,
each fireplace, and each Apparition center passing thin wand-like objects
carefully over each arrival and departure. Satchel contents were being
carefully examined for potentially illicit items before being returned back to
their owners and the large entry gate to the ministry held some sort of charmed
barrier extending from floor to ceiling that was being crossed one at a time.
Harry was being forcefully pulled from the telephone
elevator by a wizened looking Auror who was examining
him thoroughly with the wand-like object.
“Bringing anything into the Ministry today?” the Auror clipped at him mechanically.
“Er…no sir, just my wand I
suppose…” Harry stumbled, taken aback by the new and improved ministry security
“Wands will need to be checked prior to crossing the
Concealment Barrier,” the Auror replied curtly “And
will be snapped without question should they indicate any recent illicit
activity. Have a nice day.” The Auror released Harry
abruptly, causing him to stumble backwards slightly.
He followed the Lovegoods to the
security desk where not one but five personnel stood waiting to service the
incoming and outgoing masses. They did much more than print out the composition
of Harry’s wand this time; they examined the wand with extra security and
revealing spells. The security person shoved Harry’s wand unceremoniously back
into his hand and filed away the extensive paper copy of his wand search.
Harry backed away, queuing into line behind the Lovegoods. He had never seen anything like it. It was hard
to believe that this is what their once diplomatic and peaceful community had
come to: a relay of necessary evils to ensure peace.
“Excuse me, Mr. Lovegood? What
exactly does the Concealment Barrier we’re crossing do?” Harry inquired.
“It checks for use of Polyjuice Potion
or other disguise charms. Whilst in the barrier the individual will show up as
his or her true self. If the person that enters the barrier isn’t the person
within the barrier they are detained immediately by wizarding
law enforcement. The barrier continues to work after-hours as well; if for
example, an Animagus were to cross the barrier in
animal form the barrier would return them to their true form, contain them
indefinitely, and sound its alarm.”
“What about people like Tonks
then?” Harry blurted.
“People like who?” Mr. Lovegood
looked at him quizzically.
“Metamorphmagi. People that can
change their appearance at will.”
“Ah right you are, Harry. Each Metamorphmagus
is registered by the Ministry, and a copy of their registration is held at the
barrier. They must present their license before entering and demonstrate a
series of specific morphological changes upon exiting.” Seeing Harry’s shocked
expression Mr. Lovegood added “Metamorphmagi
are so sparse, Harry, that it is a practice scarcely used, but nonetheless a
necessity should one enter the Ministry.”
Harry nodded, wondering if these
methods would always be in place or if feelings of false security would
eventually lead wizards to revert back to their previous way of doing things.
As he crossed the barrier he wondered whether these practices were the makings
of extreme paranoia or a belated example of the safety precautions wizards
should have taken all along.
A/N: Since we haven’t really
seen Mr. Lovegood in action during the books, it was
difficult to conceptualize what indeed he might be like. Surely Luna is the way
she is for a REASON. I felt that Mr. Lovegood, while
eccentric, is also a very powerful and honest wizard. I believe he would answer
Harry’s questions truthfully and straightforwardly. After all, despite being
eccentric wizards, both Dumbledore and Mr. Weasely
are very powerful, honest, and capable wizards who provide guidance to Harry.