- "You realise that I am on my way downstairs to interrogate your wife, Cattermole? In fact, I'm quite surprised you’re not down there holding her hand while she waits. Already given her up as a bad job, have you? Probably wise. Be sure and marry a pure-blood next time... But if my wife were accused of being a Mudblood — not that any woman I married would ever be mistaken for such filth — and the Head of Department of Magical Law Enforcement needed a job doing, I would make it my priority to do this job, Cattermole. Do you understand me?"
- —Yaxley threatening "Reg Cattermole" and his wife[src]
Corban Yaxley was a wizard, a Death Eater who fought during the First Wizarding War. Yaxley did not search for Voldemort after his first downfall, but this was forgiven after Voldemort's return in 1995.
Yaxley also fought at several battles of the Second Wizarding War, such as the Battle of the Astronomy Tower. When Voldemort was in control of the Ministry of Magic, Yaxley became the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. He went on to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts, where he was subdued by George Weasley and Lee Jordan. His fate after Lord Voldemort's final defeat, however, is uncertain.
First Wizarding War
Corban Yaxley was one of the many Death Eaters who fought in the First Wizarding War. After Lord Voldemort's first downfall, Yaxley managed to avoid imprisonment in Azkaban. Like many others, Yaxley believed Voldemort had been finished and, thus, did not attempt to find him.
Second Wizarding War
On 27 June, 1995, three nights following Voldemort's return, Yaxley arrived at Slughorn's house under cover of dark, intending to recruit him or take him by force to Voldemort. Transfiguring himself into an armchair, Slughorn successfully evaded the Death Eater's detection. A few days later, Slughorn locked up his house and went on the run, often squatting in Muggle dwellings while the owners were away, where he felt undetectable.
Battle of the Astronomy Tower
- "We've got orders. Draco's got to do it. Now, Draco, and quickly."
- —Yaxley pressures Draco to murder Dumbledore[src]
In June of 1997, Yaxley was among the group of Death Eaters who led an assault at Hogwarts Castle. Along with Alecto Carrow, Amycus Carrow, and Fenrir Greyback, they managed to overpower the Aurors who were assigned to guard the palace, and reached the Astronomy Tower, where he pressured Draco Malfoy to do the deed Voldemort ordered him to perform: murder Albus Dumbledore. Yaxley was determined to follow the orders, attacking Greyback when he moved forward to attack Dumbledore. Before Draco could bring himself to kill him, Severus Snape arrived and, seeing Draco unable to do it, murdered the Headmaster himself, blasting the body from the tower. The Death Eaters had stood aside due to a fear/respect for Snape's presence, as Yaxley did not try to argue.
The Death Eaters proceeded to flee from the castle, before any of the Order of the Phoenix summoned Ministry of Magic reinforcements. While getting down from the Astronomy Tower, Yaxley was hit with a Full Body-Bind Curse by Harry Potter.
- "Severus, here. Yaxley — beside Dolohov."
- —Voldemort to Severus Snape and Yaxley when they almost arrive late to the meeting[src]
A few weeks later, Yaxley had already broken out of Azkaban, and instigated his master's plan to subjugate Ministry officials to begin the silent coup. Yaxley attended the Death Eater meeting at Malfoy Manor in July of 1997. During that meeting, he reported that he had placed Pius Thicknesse, then head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, under the Imperius Curse as part of Lord Voldemort's plan to take over the Ministry of Magic.
Many of his fellow Death Eaters were impressed, though Voldemort believed Snape's estimate of when Harry Potter would be removed from his relatives' home over Yaxley's. Yaxley fell for the trap set by Alastor Moody on that count, whereas Snape knew the true date, setting the stage for the Battle of the Seven Potters.
As Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement
On 1 August, 1997, Voldemort's plan and Yaxley's efforts succeeded when Minister Rufus Scrimgeour was murdered and Pius Thicknesse became the puppet Minister for Magic. The Ministry fell under Voldemort's control and Yaxley, as an inner-circle Death Eater, was made the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
In this role, he participated in at least some of the interrogations and harassment of Muggle-borns, along with Dolores Umbridge, Head of the new Muggle-Born Registration Commission, while using his cruelty and new authority to intimidate lower ranking employees such as Reginald Cattermole. The Ministry also designated Harry Potter as "Undesirable No. 1", under the excuse of him being wanted for questioning of Dumbledore's death. Snatcher groups were then dispatched to capture any Muggle-borns who refuse to register, along with Order of the Phoenix members and Harry himself.
Infiltration of the Ministry of Magic
Yaxley played a major role in this infiltration alongside Dolores Umbridge. During Umbridge's interrogations of Mary Cattermole as part of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission, Yaxley sat next to her observing the case, refusing to pity her children while mocking her questionnaire answers, and having intimidated the man who disguised as her husband earlier to get his office dried in time. When the trio reached the courtroom they saw Umbridge obtained the locket and at that moment they acted. Harry, under the Invisibility Cloak, stunned Yaxley. When Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ronald Weasley freed the Muggle-born prisoners, Yaxley woke up and pursued angrily.
Yaxley madly began to chase the trio as he ordered all Floo Network transportation to be sealed. At the last moments he grabbed Hermione's arm as the trio Disapparated. Hermione managed to evade him by using a Revulsion Jinx, but not before revealing the location of 12 Grimmauld Place. Thus, the house was no longer a safe hideout for the trio while leaving Ron splinched. After this the trio had to go to their tent in the forest. Harry speculated that Yaxley was bringing fellow Death Eaters into the house via Apparition.
- Yaxley: "Definitely heard something. Animal, d'you reckon?"
- Antonin Dolohov: "That head case Hagrid kept a whole bunch of stuff in here… Time's nearly up. Potter's had his hour. He's not coming."
- Yaxley: "Better go back. Find out what the plan is now […] "
- — Yaxley and Dolohov guarding the Forbidden Forest[src]
On 2 May, 1998, Yaxley participated in the Battle of Hogwarts. He and Antonin Dolohov stood guard in the Forbidden Forest during the brief interlude that followed Voldemort's ultimatum to Harry Potter. They were followed back to the Death Eater camp by Harry under his Invisibility Cloak. During the final moments of the battle, Yaxley was defeated by Lee Jordan and George Weasley. His ultimate fate is unknown, though if he survived, he was most likely captured and sent to Azkaban along with the rest of the surviving Death Eaters.
Yaxley was described as having hard, blunt features and an unpleasant smile. He was relatively tall, and has long, pale blond hair tied in a neat braid that hangs down to his lower back. In spite of his snide comment about Lucius Malfoy's fondness for luxury upon seeing a peacock on his property, he shared Malfoy's sense of superiority over the rabble surrounding him, attiring himself in long, magnificent flowing robes to set himself apart from his fellow Ministry officials and highlight his position of power and authority.
As a Death Eater, he bears the Dark Mark on his left inner forearm, which has since faded to a mere scar upon Voldemort's death.
Personality and traits
Yaxley, like many other Death Eaters, was obsessed with blood-purity. In 1997, he became the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and he, along with Dolores Umbridge, imprisoned muggle-borns in Azkaban. During one of such Yaxley laughed at Mary Cattermole, who was afraid of what would happen to her children, saying that "the brats of Mudbloods [did] not stir [his] sympathies", indicating that he despises even half-bloods, despite Voldemort permitting them to continue living in the Wizarding community.
Yaxley is a proud and ambitious person, as he described in detail on how he subdued Thicknesse, as well as eagerly speaking of the plan to move Harry, in hopes of attracting more praise from Voldemort and fellow Death Eaters. He can also be rather harsh with his fellow Death Eaters when they overturn the Dark Lord's orders, as he violently blasted Fenrir Greyback aside for trying to kill Dumbledore without letting Draco a chance, though he did step aside when Snape stepped silently forward to accomplish the deed, showing that Yaxley may have a certain level of feared respect for him. During his tenure as the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, he was very intimidating to the lower-ranked employees: he used his authority to intimidate Ron Weasley, disguised as Reginald Cattermole, to get his office dried in time, while ignoring a greeting from another wizard, showing his lack of manners; though he did nod approvingly at Harry, disguised as Albert Runcorn, showing he still has a level of respect for who he considers to be a fellow pure-blood supremacist.
Magical abilities and skills
Evidently an accomplished wizard, the fact that Lord Voldemort sent Yaxley single-handedly on missions such as collecting Horace Slughorn (whose own magical prowess impressed the Dark Lord) and capturing the parents of Hermione Granger (a good friend of Harry Potter's whose house thus were not unlikely to be under the protection of the Order of the Phoenix) speaks for the faith the Dark Lord had in his skills.
- Dark Arts: Yaxley was skilled in the use of the Imperius Curse (which requires a powerful bit of magic to perform), being able to keep Pius Thicknesse under his control throughout the entire war. However, Yaxley did claim that he had a difficult time in subduing Thicknesse.
- Nonverbal magic: Yaxley hit Greyback with a powerful knock-back jinx, possibly Ventus, without speaking an incantation.
- Duelling: Yaxley was a very proficient duellist, able to hold his own extremely well against former duelling champion Filius Flitwick and fight him to a stalemate while Antonin Dolohov, one of Voldemort's most powerful Death Eaters, was defeated by Flitwick. Yaxley was amongst the Death Eaters who managed to last until the end of the Battle of Hogwarts and it took George Weasley and Lee Jordan to finally take him down. Voldemort had enough confidence in Yaxley's skills to send him to recruit Horace Slughorn, a very powerful wizard.
- Wand: He owned a wand of unknown materials.
Yaxley became a Death Eater and served Lord Voldemort around the First Wizarding War. When Voldemort met his first downfall at the hands of Harry Potter, Yaxley was not loyal enough to try to find him, as he managed to feign his way out of the Ministry's search by claiming to be under the Imperius Curse. Thirteen years after this, Yaxley returned to his master's revival, and was forgiven for his loss of faith.
Following this, Yaxley was imprisoned into Azkaban during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, but was released during a breakout. Despite this, he managed to remain in Voldemort's confidence, and was praised by Voldemort for being able to subdue Pius Thicknesse. After the takeover of the Ministry, Voldemort placed Yaxley as the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, showing great faith in him despite the past lack of faith and the imprisonment. This contrasts how Lucius Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange were treated, whose past failures had led to a loss of faith and respect amongst the ranks of Death Eaters despite the latter's unyielding loyalty.
Amongst his fellow Death Eaters, Yaxley has some mixed relationships. He reacted violently against Fenrir Greyback for trying to kill Albus Dumbledore when it was assigned to Draco Malfoy, though in all fairness Fenrir was not an official Death Eater, and therefore received little respect amongst them. Yaxley, at the very least, respected Severus Snape with a sense of fear, as he backed down when Snape stepped forward to kill Dumbledore. He received many praises from the Death Eaters when he went into detail in subduing Thicknesse, though he seemed a little envious when Snape was receiving slightly more attention and praise from Voldemort. He also appeared to be on good terms with Antonin Dolohov who patted him on the back during the meeting and were seen conversing together while on the lookout for Harry Potter during the Battle of Hogwarts.
He seems to have a sarcastic opinion on Lucius Malfoy's extravagance and show off attitude on his wealth. When he and Snape encountered an albino peacock on a hedge in front of Malfoy Manor, he sneered that Lucius always did himself well. When Voldemort humiliated the Malfoys during the first meeting, he joined his fellow Death Eaters in their mocking and sneering laughter.
Ministry of Magic Employees
During his tenure as the Head of Department of Magical Law Enforcements, Yaxley abused his position by intimidating the less-ranking employees, such as Reg Cattermole, especially for marrying a muggle-born, and threatened him to have his office dried out within one hour or have his wife face even more dire consequences. He also ignored a wizard's greeting, showing little respect for those he did not deem worthy. However, he did nod approvingly at Albert Runcorn, showing respect for a fellow pure-blood supremacist. Seeing Yaxley scold and intimidate the trio in disguise, other employees refrained themselves from entering the same lift as them, as though in fear of infection.
Muggle-borns and half-bloods
As a Death Eater who believed in blood purity, Yaxley shows hatred and contempt for Muggles and Muggle-borns alike. During his time in assisting Dolores Umbridge in prosecuting the captured Muggle-borns, he ruthlessly sneered at their despair and ignored their pleas. He made it clear that he would never marry any woman who would be even mistaken for a "Mudblood", nor cared about the children of such a marriage.
Behind the scenes
- Yaxley is portrayed by Scottish actor Peter Mullan in the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
- It is likely that Yaxley is related to Lysandra Black (née Yaxley), wife of Arcturus Black II and maternal grandmother of Arthur Weasley, and thus to the Black, Crouch, Longbottom, and Weasley families, albeit distantly.
- In the video game adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows he is mentioned by a passing ministry official muttering about him being promoted again, although he is not seen. His role during the Infiltration of the Ministry of Magic is taken instead by a senior Ministry official (who takes "Reginald Cattermole" and "Mafalda Hopkirk" into a meeting) and by a Death Eater (who grabs Ron Weasley at one of the fireplaces).
- It is unknown how Yaxley succeeded in placing an Imperius Curse on Pius Thicknesse following his arrest at Hogwarts following the murder of Albus Dumbledore.
- It is possible, however, that he were able to cash in on the fear and uncertainty resulting from the revelation that the Dark Lord had indeed returned, using both his position within the Ministry, notable absence from the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, the considerably more aggressive presence of Lord Voldemort's followers following the news of his return to add credibility to the claim of how he once more had been placed under the Imperius Curse by the Death Eaters, swearing his loyalty to the Ministry and subsequently forgiven his involvement in the infiltration at Hogwarts, where he had strictly speaking done nothing but enter the school ground in Death Eater robes before being incapacitated - only to continue feeding information to the Death Eaters. The fact that he wore business-appropriate attire when he arrived at Malfoy Manor as per the Dark Lord's summons as opposed to the black robes of his comrades and his later position as Head of Magical Law Enforcement after they gained control over the wizarding community, might both hint to that Yaxley were already (and still) holding an office within the Ministry of Magic prior to the assassination of Rufus Scrimgeour and working late when he was summoned to his Master's side, as well as explain how he managed to get close enough to Pius Thicknesse to be able to place an Imperius Curse upon him following his apprehension, seen as how he otherwise would have been conclusively exposed as a Death Eater and rendered the status of an escaped convict, which would have made it nearly impossible to accomplish such a feat with the Aurors presumably on high alert following the demise of the Hogwarts Headmaster.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Consoles and Windows versions)
Notes and references
- ↑ Yaxley fought in the First Wizarding War, which ended in 1981. He was not neccessarily of age during that period, as Voldemort allowed underage wizards to join his Death Eaters.
- ↑ The Yaxley family was part of the Pure-blood Directory published in the 1930s. If Yaxley was born after the 1930s, there is a possibility that he descended from a member who had a relationship with a non-pureblood, but still claimed to be pure-blood.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- ↑ July 30, 2007 Web Chat with J. K. Rowling
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Pottermore Presents - Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists, Chapter 3 (Horace Slughorn)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 2 (Spinner's End)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 12 (Magic is Might)
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 27 (The Lightning-Struck Tower)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 28 (Flight of the Prince)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 30 (The White Tomb)
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 1 (The Dark Lord Ascending)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 13 (The Muggle-Born Registration Commission)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 14 (The Thief)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 34 (The Forest Again)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
- ↑ Black family tree
- ↑ During the Battle of the Astronomy Tower in the sixth game, there is a masked Death Eater who brings up the rear, just like Yaxley did.
Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Antonin Dolohov | Augustus Rookwood | Avery (I) | Avery (II) |
Barty Crouch Jr. | Bellatrix Lestrange | Corban Yaxley | Crabbe | Evan Rosier | Gibbon | Goyle |
Jugson | Lestrange | Mulciber (I) | Mulciber (II) | Nott | Pyrites (possibly) | Rabastan Lestrange | Rodolphus Lestrange | Rosier | Selwyn | Thorfinn Rowle | Travers | Walden Macnair | Wilkes
|Death Eaters who Defected:|
|Death Eaters' allies:|
Albert Runcorn | Borgin | Delphini | Dolores Umbridge | Fenrir Greyback | Golgomath | Gregory Goyle | John Dawlish | Mafalda Hopkirk | Narcissa Malfoy (defected) | Pansy Parkinson | Quirinus Quirrell | Scabior | Vincent Crabbe
Dementors | Draco Malfoy's gang | Giants (Golgomath's control) | Muggle-Born Registration Commission | Snatchers | Werewolves