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Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes

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Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes
Organisation information
Leader(s)
Headquarters

Ministry of Magic, London

Intentions

Reverting the consequences of major magical mishaps

Affiliation

British Wizarding Government

Enemies

The Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes is responsible for repairing accidental magical damage. Cornelius Fudge was once Junior Minister of this department prior to his promotion to Minister for Magic. It is located on the third level of the Ministry of Magic and houses the offices named below.

Divisions

Accidental Magic Reversal Squad

The Accidental Magic Reversal Squad is an organised team of wizards and witches whose job it is to correct mistakes in magic, such as spells or potions gone wrong. Mistakes are normally caused by inexperienced witches and wizards, those who have not learned to control their magic, or those who may not be very skilled in using specific spells or potions.

For instance, the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad was once sent to the scene of one such accident in 1993, when Harry Potter inadvertently used magic to inflate his "Aunt" Marge. They were able to successfully reverse the spell, deflate her, and modify her memory to remove any recollection of the incident. Presumably this memory modification was performed by Obliviators, according to their duty.

Obliviator Headquarters

The Obliviator Headquarters is the main office for Obliviators, wizard who have the task of modifying the memory of a Muggle after witnessing incidents caused by magic.

"... Arnold Peasegood, he's an Obliviator - member of the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad, you know..."
—Arthur Weasley pointing out individuals to Harry and Hermione at the Quidditch World Cup[src]
The act of memory modification can be used by any wizard via the spell Obliviate. This is discouraged in wizarding society. Obliviators are professionals and those who not experienced in using Obliviate could cause harm to others.

One such example is author and former Hogwarts professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, who attempted to erase the memories of Harry Potter and Ron Weasley to cover his reputation. His spell backfired onto himself when he tried to cast the spell using a broken wand. He is still a patient at St Mungo's.

Another example of use of Obliviate is the Hogwarts student Marietta Edgecombe, whose memory of secret D.A. meetings was modified by the Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt in an emergency. Edgecombe had attempted to expose the secret meetings to the Ministry, when Shacklebolt prevented her from doing so with the spell.

Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee

This committee invents excuses for the Muggle community for any magical accidents or occurrences which cannot be magically cleared up or completely obliviated. Thus, the committee will inform the Muggles community with any kind of non-magical excuses for the accidents.

For example, Peter Pettigrew killed twelve Muggle bystanders and tore apart a city street with an immense explosion during an altercation with Sirius Black. The massive and obvious damage and mortality was explained to the Muggle community as caused by an explosion in the local gas main.

Known employees

Behind the scenes

  • When Harry Potter was caught by Snatchers in 1998, he claimed that his name was "Vernon Dudley" and that his father worked for this department. The ruse worked initially, as Scabior seemed to think that there might be a Dudley working in that department, but the ruse fell apart once the Snatchers identified Hermione Granger.[1]
  • Obliviators make a first appearance in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, although they are mentioned in the previous novels.
  • Similar obliviating techniques are used in other works of fiction. For example, the Men in Black series uses electronic light pulses to modify the memories of witnesses to alien encounters or anything related to outer-space matters.

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 23 - (Malfoy Manor)


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