Answers: Diplomacy in the Wizarding World

Bill and Fleur

Diplomacy at it’s very best!


Diplomacy, as we pointed out yesterday, is VERY important to spy craft whether you’re a muggle or a wizard. Did you pick up on all of these examples of diplomacy in the Harry Potter series?

1. What event does Dumbledore go to great lengths to host that could be considered a gesture of diplomacy?

The Triwizard Tournament. We learn at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire that “The Triwizard Tournament was first established some seven hundred years ago as a friendly competition between the three largest European schools of wizardry….it was generally agreed to be a most excellent way of establishing ties between young witches and wizards of different nationalities”

2. What two relationships suggest that Dumbledore’s event was successful?

Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour


Madame Maxine and Hagrid

3. How does Hermione establish herself as an excellent diplomat early on?

Her work with S.P.E.W demonstrates that she understood from an early age that bad relationships between wizards and house elves would prove problematic in the future.

4. What convinces the centaurs to join the fight against Voldemort?

Hagrid shames them into acting –

“‘BANE!’ Hagrid’s unexpected bellow nearly forced Harry’s eyes open. ‘Happy now, are yeh, that yeh didn’ fight, yeh cowardly bunch o’ nags? Are yeh happy Harry Potter’s — d-dead..?’ (DH 728).

5. When does Fudge visit the muggle British prime minister?

– When the new muggle prime minister is elected

– When Sirius Black escapes Azkaban

– When the death eaters storm the Quidditch World Cup

– When there is a mass breakout from Azkaban

– When He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has returned

– Fudge reveals that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is wreaking havoc

– When Fudge admits he is no longer the Minister of Magic.

Note to self: Be sure you talk to your allies when things are going well AND when they are going poorly… otherwise they are liable to get a little frustrated!

Diplomacy in the Wizarding World


Spy craft is not all about sneaking around — it’s about forging friendships with the right people and countries for the greater good. In other words, it’s about diplomacy.

Diplomacy (n): The art of using intellect to advance the interests of a nation, create good relations among nations, prevent war, and if possible advance the overall progress of humanity.

In other words, it’s pretty important.

Diplomacy has a big role to play in the Harry Potter series as well. Try this quiz about diplomatic tactics used throughout the series!

1. What event does Dumbledore go to great lengths to host that could be considered a gesture of diplomacy?

2. What two relationships suggest that Dumbledore’s event was successful?

3. How does Hermione establish herself as an excellent diplomat early on?

4. What convinces the centaurs to join the fight against Voldemort?

5. When does Fudge visit the muggle British prime minister?

A Spy in the Light of Day – Dolores Umbridge

Umbridge Giving Speech

One spy who does not fit into the typical definition of a spy is Professor Umbridge, who certainly spied for a cause (the Ministry can do no wrong, hem hem, giggle), but was spying openly. In other words, everybody at the school knew that Professor

Umbridge was there to spy on Hogwarts, its students, its staff, and its headmaster. We note this simple fact because normally a spy works covertly and secretly.

However, there are situations in which somebody spies openly, particularly when they have been given authority to do so by those in power! The role of such open spying is to assert the authority’s control with constant reminders that resistance will be observed, reported, and certainly not left unanswered!

Dolores Umbridge Analysis

Recruitment by: Cornelius Fudge

Incentive Used: Pure loyalty to the Ministry and the Minister

of Magic, Cornelius Fudge

Handler: Cornelius Fudge

Method of Communication: Owl, Floo Network, Educational Decrees

Memorable Quotes:

Umbridge: “Let us move forward, then, into a new era of openness, effectiveness, and accountability, intent on preserving what ought to be preserved, perfecting what needs to be perfected, and pruning wherever we find practices that ought to be prohibited” (OP 213–14).

Here’s her full speech, because it’s pretty awe-inspiring to watch:

What Cornelius doesn’t know won’t hurt him” (OP 746).

Other Spies in the Open

As an aside, we note two other “open” spies in the series, both appearing in book 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The first is none other than Petunia Dursley, who, it turns out, is quite the nosy neighbor! According to Harry, Aunt Petunia would love to be the one to call in and report the spotting of Sirius Black:

Petunia Dursley

“She was the nosiest woman in the world and spent most of her life spying on the boring, law-abiding neighbors” (PA 17).

Another “open” spy is Tom, the toothless landlord of the Leaky Cauldron, who at the request of Cornelius Fudge keeps an eye on Harry while he stays at the Leaky Caldron for a few weeks after escaping from the Dursleys’ (PA 46).

Tom, Leaky Cauldron

What do all of these spies in the open have in common? Do you have any examples of other spies in Harry Potter who make sure everyone knows what they’re doing?

Rita Skeeter Interviews President Obama

President Obama Calls Hillary a Loser and John Boehner He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named

by Special Correspondent Rita Skeeter*

Rita Skeeter Pic Obama stern

June 23, 2014

Rita Skeeter:  Thank you for having me here in the White House, President Obama.

The President:  Glad to have you.  But I didn’t quite understand which organization you are with.  The Daily ProphetThe Quibbler?

Rita Skeeter:  Oh, they didn’t tell you.  Fox News, of course.  Special correspondent.  All that jazz.

The President:  [shifting uncomfortably in his chair] Well, actually, I guess that figures  . . .

Rita Skeeter:  Read any good books lately?

The President:  Well, I am just now in the middle of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying by Lynn Boughey and Peter Earnest.  Peter is the head of the International Spy Museum and Michelle and my kids love going there, as Michelle has mentioned once on national TV.

Rita Skeeter:  I understand that you are a fan of Harry Potter.

The President:  Yes I am.  I loved reading those books to my daughters when they were young.  Great memories.

Rita Skeeter:  Any thoughts on how the series relates to the real world?

The President:  Well sure, it is hard not to think of Congress, and most particularly the House of Representatives, when you read about the Ministry of Magic.

Rita Skeeter:  Does that make you Cornelius Fudge?

The President:  No, I’d like to think of myself more as Dumbledore, if he were Minister of Magic.

Rita Skeeter:  But you’re married.

The President:  Well, yes, . . . but that’s allowed now, in part thanks to . . .

Rita Skeeter:  Fine, fine.  So what do you really think about John Boehner?

The President:  I consider him He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named.

Rita Skeeter:  Well, I guess we hit a soft spot there.  How about the Supreme Court?

The President:  There are four of them I like a lot, a fifth who it depends on the day, and the others . . .

Rita Skeeter:  Death Eaters?

The President:  Well, let’s just say I wouldn’t want them to be part of the Wizengamot.

Rita Skeeter:  And what about Hillary Clinton.  She used to work for you, a really really big supporter . . . after losing to you, I recall . . . So, if you are the Minister of Magic, is she your  Professor Umbridge?

The President:  [bristling, a touch of anger showing] Hillary is no Umbridge!  She is, if anyone, Hermione Granger—a present day Hermione Granger . . . she is bright, hard-working, and frankly, given some of the things she was able to do as Secretary of State, I think she can do magic too!

Rita Skeeter:  So, have you read her new book?

The President:  I have.  It’s wonderful!

Rita Skeeter:  In the first chapter at page 19 she mentions that she didn’t always agree with you, but she refused to provide any juicy details because you are still President.  Would you like to share those times when the two of you were at each other’s throats?

The President:  I am happy to say we were never “at each other’s throats.”  We sometimes disagreed.  I don’t hire “yes men” – or “yes women.”

Rita Skeeter:  So when you disagreed, who won?

The President:  Well, as President, I guess I get the final say, so that would be me.

Rita Skeeter:  Lovely.  Thanks for the lead.  Now, are you finally ready to admit that we shouldn’t have gone into Iraq?

The President:  [again, bristling] I believe, if you check your facts, that it was the previous president who did that.

Rita Skeeter:  [disdainfully] Facts, facts . . . they have a habit of getting in the way of a good story, like, say, Benghazi.  Shall we talk about that?  Hillary blew that one too, right?

The President:  Hillary did exactly what anyone else would have done in that situation.   She explains everything in her book.

Rita Skeeter:  Yes, and we all noticed that she took the blame . . .

The President:  Yes, she did.

Rita Skeeter:  So the buck stops here – stops at the woman’s desk?

The President:  [anger clearly being suppressed]  I think we are about done here . . .  [starting to rise from chair]

Rita Skeeter:  Just a few more questions, if that is OK.  What are you most proud of during your term?

The President:  Well, the health care reform . . .

Rita Skeeter:  Which we noticed you named after yourself . . .

The President:  I believe its actual name is the Affordable Health Care Act, and I think the intent by others in naming it ObamaCare was kind of like putting Nifflers in Professor Umbridge’s office – but I have come to accept the nomenclature . . .

Rita Skeeter:  Get anything else done?

The President:  Well, yes.  Named several people to the Supreme Court, saved the economy that I inherited, got out of one war I inherited –

Rita Skeeter:  How’s that going so far?

The President:  That’s it.  [standing]  Nice to meet you.  [pointing to her acid green quill]  Nice pen, too.

[The President leaves.]

*Interview discovered by Lynn Boughey, co-author of Harry Potter and the Art of Spying and provided as a public service as a blog on