At the heart of the Potterverse sits the British Ministry of Magic, the government authority that oversees everything in the British wizarding world. Even though audiences get a look inside its offices throughout the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, most movie fans know more facts about the halls of Hogwarts than they do about the Ministry of Magic and its many divisions, such as the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Details about Ministry of Magic jobs and history aren't covered fully in the movies or even in the books, but these facts are still considered canon thanks to J.K. Rowling's expanded wizarding universe.
Even though the Ministry oversees everything from wands to Aurors, many Muggles still have a lot to learn about this bastion of wizarding society.
The Ministry Covers All Costs Of Attending HogwartsPhoto: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone / Warner Bros.
Attending Hogwarts is expensive, requiring supplies like books, wands, and robes. Tuition, according to estimates based on tuition costs for the best boarding schools in England, would be about $41,000. It makes sense that the cost of attending one of the most prestigious schools of the wizarding world would be expensive, but its overwhelming price means many wizarding children would be left out.
It turns out that whether you're a Weasley or a Malfoy, you don't have to pay for school at Hogwarts because the Ministry of Magic takes care of it. Author J.K. Rowling explained this deal of a lifetime on Twitter:
@emmalineonline1 @micnews There's no tuition fee! The Ministry of Magic covers the cost of all magical education!— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) July 17, 2015Interesting detail?
The Ministry Communicates News To The Muggle Prime Minister Through An Enchanted PaintingPhoto: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 / Warner Bros.
When it comes to communication between the Minister for Magic and the UK prime minister (their equivalent in the Muggle world), chitchat and diplomatic photo opportunities are out, but the two do meet under important or troubling circumstances. Each new British prime minister learns about the wizarding world after a visit from the Minister for Magic, who explains that if the Ministry needs to reach out to them with important news, they will.
Communication takes place through a portrait of Ulick Gamp, the first Minister for Magic, that's stuck to the wall of the prime minister's Downing Street office with a Permanent Sticking Charm. If the Minister for Magic needs to tell the prime minister something, the painting's subject makes an announcement and the Minister for Magic pops into the prime minister's office. For example, when Voldemort and his followers return to wreak havoc in both the Muggle and wizarding world, Rufus Scrimgeour visits the prime minister to explain what is happening.
No prime minister has ever paid a visit to the Ministry of Magic, however, simply because the prime minister probably just couldn't handle it.Interesting detail?
The Minister For Magic Is A Democratically Elected Position (Most Of The Time)Photo: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros.
In a world where an enchanted hat sorts students into their Hogwarts houses and a magic goblet chooses participants in a dangerous Tri-Wizard Tournament, it might be surprising to learn that the Minister for Magic is chosen democratically more often than not. Ulick Gamp, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot before the Ministry was founded, became the first Minister for Magic in 1707. He served until 1718, when elections for the position began.
Ministers for Magic must serve for at least seven years and there are no term limits. The rare cases when a vote isn't taken are times of great stress on the wizarding world, which is why Dumbledore received multiple offers through the late '80s and in 1990. Usually, when a Minister gets the job, they keep it until they're tired of the rigors of the position.Interesting detail?
The Ministry Controlled Dementors For Hundreds Of YearsPhoto: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / Warner Bros.
After the discovery of Azkaban Prison, the Ministry of Magic had a major problem on its hands: what to do with all the Dementors there.
Rather than set them free on the wizarding world, Minister for Magic Damocles Rowle suggested using the Dementors as a tool for law enforcement. Rather than hiring guards to staff the wizard prison, Rowle figured it would make the most sense to just use the Dementors to make sure that no one could escape.
His arrangement with the Dementors meant they could feed as much as they want as long as they kept wizards from escaping. His deal worked and the prison had an incredibly low rate of escape.Interesting detail?