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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

by J.K. Rowling

Rufus Scrimgeour

Character Analysis

Affiliation: Ministry of Magic

At the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Rufus Scrimgeour has succeeded Cornelius Fudge as the Minister of Magic. The Daily Prophet tells us, "the appointment has largely been greeted with enthusiasm by the Wizarding community, though rumors of a rift between the new Minister and Albus Dumbledore, newly reinstated Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, surfaced within hours of Scrimgeour taking office" (3.4).

"Rufus is a man of action and, having fought Dark Wizards for most of his working life, does not underestimate Lord Voldemort" (Dumbledore, 4.45).

Luna Lovegood, queen of conspiracy theories, is convinced that Rufus is a vampire (15.109).

When Scrimgeour visits the Burrow with Percy in Chapter 16, we see his real side. He plies Harry to be the poster boy of the Ministry of Magic, but Harry won't have any of it. His manipulative tendencies seem to come out: "[…] and I can't help but feel that, once you realize this, you might consider it, well, almost a duty, to stand alongside the Ministry, and give everyone a boost" (16.191).

He's really good at being patronizing too. He has a Ph.D. in patronization. When Harry refuses to be his poster boy in order to help give the "impression" that everything's A-OK at the Ministry of Magic, Scrimgeour coolly says, "I would not expect you to understand […]. These are dangerous times, and certain measures need to be taken. You are sixteen years old –" (16.201). This is a moment in which we learn that age does not equal wisdom or coolness.

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