Answers: Undercover in Harry Potter

Barty Crouch JR. Peter Pettigrew Transforms Arabella_FiggLucius and Cornelisu

Could you name all of these undercover agents in the Harry Potter series? If so, you just might be observant enough to be a spy yourself!

1. She might be considered a sleeper agent because she is introduced in book 1 and not revealed as a spy until book 5.

Mrs. Figg

She broke her leg in book 1, which meant that 11 year old Harry Potter got to go to the zoo for Dudley’s birthday. In book 5, she appeared out of nowhere when Dementors descended on Privet Drive. There was much more than met the idea with this batty old woman!

2. He’s assigned to track down Sirius Black, but he seems to be pretty bad at his job.

Kingsley Shacklebolt

He always seems to be Cornelius’ Fudge’s right hand man. That is, until he sits down to dinner across from a known fugitive and greets him like an old friend. Shacklebolt balanced his job at the Ministry with his support of the Order quite well, don’t you think?

3. He uses his family’s wealth to insert himself in the Ministry of Magic

Lucius Malfoy

Hard to be entirely undercover when your bratty kid brags about your political bribes at school. Nevertheless, Lucius Malfoy just bides his time throughout the series, waiting until the Dark Lord returns and gives him even more power in the Ministry.

4. He is more of a diplomat than a spy when he attempts to win over a whole magical species.

Rubeus Hagrid

Although Hagrid and his stunning girlfriend, Madame Olympe Maxime, tower over most of their colleagues, they were pretty tiny compared to the giants they tried to recruit on behalf of the Order. Despite their gifts and common heritage, Hagrid and Maxime were unsuccessful in their diplomatic mission.

5. This creature changes sides more than once in response to the treatment he receives at the hand of his various masters.

Kreacher

Yes, he’s spiteful and hateful and bitter. But look who he’s had to serve his whole life! He is almost entirely responsible for Sirius’ death, but Hermione is quick to realize that the old house elf just needs a little kindness to change allegiances and help the Order rather than the Dark Lord.

6. This man spent thirteen years undercover with the Weasleys.

Peter Pettigrew

13 years as a rat is not nearly long enough for a man whose cowardice resulted in the deaths of James and Lily Potter. However, he’s the only undercover agent to maintain such an elaborate disguise and cover story for so long! So, kudos for cowardice?

7. He may win the award for most elaborate disguise used by a spy in the Harry Potter series — he may also qualify for the insanity plea!

Barty Crouch Jr.

He’s a nut job, no two ways about it. He was willing to drink Polyjuice Potion constantly for nearly 9 months just to get Harry Potter to touch a portkey in the middle of an elaborate labyrinth.

8. She kept her special talent hidden so she could get the best scoop on a scandalous piece of gossip!

Rita Skeeter

This journalist took the whole “I wish I could be a fly on the wall for THAT conversation” a little too seriously. As an unregistered insect animagus, Skeeter could get any of the information she wanted just by waiting patiently to eavesdrop on the right conversation.

The Spy for a Cause – Draco Malfoy

Draco Slide

Draco Malfoy

If you’ve been following along, you know that people often spy for personal reasons – patriotism/loyalty, fear, love, etc. There is one personal motivation we HAVE to mention, because it is SO important both in the real world and in the Harry Potter series. And that motivation is…

REVENGE!

ANALYSIS: Why would Draco Malfoy agree to try to kill Dumbledore in book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince?

Remember that, by that point in the series, Draco’s father is imprisoned and derided as a known Death Eater. Voldemort personally gives Draco his assignment, which makes Draco feel powerful and important at the precise moment he has begun to be humiliated by his father. But one must wonder, just as Professor Dumbledore wonders when he is visiting with Snape, whether Draco’s heart is really in it. Draco is not evil at this point, but simply terribly misdirected. His motive is revenge, not hatred, and the difference between the two is significant. Draco seems somewhat apathetic to Lord Voldemort’s cause. In book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Draco observes Lord Voldemort torturing and killing people—including Hogwarts’s Muggle Studies teacher, Professor Charity Burbage, the woman twisting above the drawing room table (DH 3, 11). When he sees his father forced to give his wand to Lord Voldemort, we imagine that he begins to understand Voldemort quite well and perhaps has terrible misgivings about the Dark Lord’s presence in his family’s home (a point raised by Voldemort at the time—perhaps by use of Legilimency!).

We assert that Lucius and Narcissi Malfoy come to the same conclusion by the end of the series, as shown in the final installation of the film series: during the last battle, they grab Draco and quietly leave the scene, no doubt to go into hiding—away from Lord Voldemort, in case he is successful, and in a position to claim they did not fight for him if the tide is turned. A shrewd move indeed, Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy! You will also note that, in the movie version, Draco has a hard time leaving his friends when asked to do so. He is clearly conflicted; after all, he had been saved just a little while ago by Harry Potter (to Ron’s great chagrin!) when the Room of Requirements went up in magical flames (DH 633–34).

Draco Malfoy Analysis

Recruitment by: Voldemort himself, no doubt

Incentive Used: Revenge for father’s downfall

Handler: Voldemort, perhaps through Lucius Malfoy or other Death Eaters when necessary (as when Lucius is in prison)

Method of Communication: Face-to-face

Memorable Quote:

“I haven’t got any options! I’ve got to do it! He’ll kill me! He’ll kill my whole family!” (HBP 591).

Dumbledore: “A frightened teenage boy is a danger to others as well as to himself. Offer him help and guidance, he ought to accept, he likes you—”

Snape: “—much less since his father has lost favor. Draco blames me, he thinks I have usurped Lucius’s position” (DH 682).