Albert Runcorn was a Ministry of Magic employee of high rank during the administration under Pius Thicknesse. His chief function was an investigator of alleged Muggle-borns. In this capacity, he uncovered the falsified family tree—and thus the Muggle ancestry—of Dirk Cresswell.
It is unknown where Runcorn was born, but it is expected that he joined the Ministry of Magic and eventually attained a position of power.
Death Eater control of the Ministry
During Pius Thicknesse's administration of the Ministry of Magic, Runcorn informed on Muggle-borns to the Ministry of Magic, subsequently leading to their arrest and imprisonment. It is uncertain whether he was actively in Voldemort's camp, or was simply making use of the upheaval to advance his own aims within the Ministry as Dolores Umbridge was doing. It is certainly not necessary that he had been a Death Eater in order to behave as if he was one.
Harry Potter's infiltration of the Ministry
In 1997, Harry Potter impersonated Runcorn (who he learned was apparently quite senior in the Ministry) when he, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley infiltrated the Ministry in order to recover Salazar Slytherin's Locket, one of Voldemort's Horcruxes. The Polyjuice Potion used to achieve this impersonation was made with Runcorn's hair. Harry became a fake Runcorn and used the disguise to gain access to the Ministry.
Once in the ministry, a wizard who bumped into him in the Atrium apologised and rushed away, and the Minister for Magic, Pius Thicknesse, addressed him familiarly as "Albert." At one point, Harry as Runcorn was sharing an elevator with an unnamed wizard who apparently was applauding Runcorn's revelation of the Muggle ancestry of Dirk Cresswell, and trying to grease his way into the position that Dirk had been ousted from. Later, in another elevator, Arthur Weasley tells Runcorn that this revelation of Cresswell's background is the sort of thing that will get him (Runcorn) into trouble.
Harry, disguised as Runcorn, with the assistance of Hermione Granger (disguised as Mafalda Hopkirk) and Ron Weasley (disguised as Reginald Cattermole), helped Mary Cattermole escape her trial before the Muggle-Born Registration Commission headed by Dolores Umbridge, as well as obtaining the locket and helping Mary and the real Reginald Cattermole escape with their children.
After Lord Voldemort's rule of the Ministry fell and Dolores Umbridge was imprisoned, Runcorn may also have been sent to Azkaban for his crimes, though his fate is unknown.
Runcorn was described as more than six feet tall, and powerfully built, with a black beard and a gravelly voice. It was said that he was very intimidating to the likes of Reginald Cattermole.
Runcorn was very high in the Ministry and had done things that were underhanded in order to achieve his rank, apparently. There were wizards who were frightened of him, wizards who were smarming up to him to try and catch a ride on his coattails, wizards secure in their ancestry who were coldly furious at his tactics, and the upper echelons who treated him, apparently, as a near equal.
Runcorn and Arthur Weasley worked at the Ministry of Magic together, and did not get along very well. This was due to the fact that Mr. Weasley did not approve of Runcorn's persecution of Muggle-borns.
Dolores Umbridge and Runcorn were work colleagues, working in close proximity with each other during the Second Wizarding War. Although Umbridge was Runcorn's superior, they got along quite well as they had similar opinions concerning Muggle-born witches and wizards.
- Albert is derived from the Germanic words adal, meaning "noble", and beraht, meaning "bright".
- Runcorn is a town and cargo port within the borough of Halton in Cheshire, England.
Behind the scenes
- The real Runcorn only appears twice in the film adaption, once when Pius Thicknesse gives a speech in the Atrium, and again before Harry transforms into him using the Polyjuice Potion.
- Albert Runcorn is portrayed by Scottish actor David O'Hara in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
- Runcorn appears to be clean shaven in the film, but in the book, Runcorn had a beard. However, when looking closely Runcorn seems to have stubble. This is eaiser to see on his minifigure in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7.
- The outfit which Runcorn wears in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is in line with the Nazi imagery of the film. The leather trench coat when combined with Runcorn's duties and demeanour give him the appearance of a Gestapo operative.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
Notes and references