Lifts are the main way of moving between the levels of the headquarters of the Ministry of Magic. They are fat, vertical mode of transportation that efficiently moves people or goods between floors or levels of a building. They are located at the far end of the Atrium hall, on Level 8 of the Ministry, being behind a pair of golden gates. Behind these gates in a smaller hall with at least twenty lifts standing behind wrought golden grilles. When the lift reaches a floor, a voice announces the department residing on that level and then what subdivisions are part of that department.
Prior to Lord Voldemort's take-over of the Ministry, there was an attendent within each lift from Magical Maintenance, to ensure everything went smoothly. In addition to people, interdepartmental memos enter the lift to relay messages between people from different letters. They are in the form of pale violet-coloured paper airplanes; the Ministry used to use owls but the mess became too much to bear. Despite the lifts descending deeper into the ground, Magical Maintenance enchants the windows to decide what weather they have each day. There are also gold ropes hanging from the ceiling for passengers to hang onto when the lifts go sideways, backwards, or stop violently.
In the summer of 1995, Harry went to the Ministry with Arthur Weasley to be escorted to his trial before the Wizengamot for use of underage magic. He entered the Atrium, and after having his wand checked at the Security Desk he headed for the lifts. They first ascended the lifts from Level 8 to Level 7 (the voice announced Department of Magical Games and Sports, incorporating the British and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters, Official Gobstones Club, and Ludicrous Patents Office), in which Harry saw an untidy looking corridor with various posters of Quidditch teams tacked lopsidedly on the walls before the lift doors closed. They then brought him to Level 6, the Department of Magical Transport, incorporating the Floo Network Authority, Broom Regulatory Control, Portkey Office, and Apparation Test Centre. It was here that several interdepartmental memos zoomed in.
The lift then stopped at Level 5, and the voice announced that the floor was the Department of International Magical Cooperation, incorporating the International Magical Trading Standards Body, the International Magical Office of Law, and the International Confederation of Wizards, British Seats. When the doors opened, two of the memos flew out but several more came in. The lift than stopped at Level 4, the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, incorporating Beast, Being, and Spirit Divisions, Goblin Liaison Office, and the Pest Advisory Bureau. When the lift reached Level 3, the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, incorporating the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad, Obliviator Headquarters, and Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee, the only people in the lift were Harry, Arthur, and a witch reading a long piece of parchment. The lift then reached Level 2, Department of Magical Law Enforcement, incorporating the Improper Use of Magic Office, Auror Headquarters, and Wizengamot Administration Services, and Harry and Arthur got off the lift at this floor.
1997During Harry's infiltration of the Ministry, he, Ron, and Hermione used the lifts to get from the Atrium to Umbridge's office on Level 1, Yaxley's office on Level 2, and the Courtrooms of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission.
Behind the scenes
- The Ministry of Magic lift voice was provided by Daisy Haggard.
- To readers of the American editions, a lift is more commonly referred to as an elevator.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)