|closers (closers) wrote,|
@ 2010-10-06 21:16:00
Yet to come under attack of the Death Eaters and You-Know-Who, the Wizarding World has spent the last year feeling impotent as they learn about the occasional (technically illegal, mind) attack on Muggles. Things aren't so bad as they were when You-Know-Who first revealed himself to be back - recall if you will the Brockdale Bridge, and giant attacks - but the Prophet has been printing (not as headline stories, mind) reports of Muggles who have had to be taken to St. Mungo's for treatment and release, of exploding toilets and a mysterious collision on the Muggle Underground that stopped it running for six whole days. Very few people actually feel in a place to do much of anything about this, although some might keep a good watch on their Muggle neighbors, if they're friendly with them.
July is a month when most wizards and witches were left still reeling after Dumbledore's sudden death. Many were frightened about what this could likely mean, given that Dumbledore was widely known to have stood up to You-Know-Who in the past, and commonly seen as the only wizard who You-Know-Who might be afraid to challenge. Without him there, what was going to happen? To the surprise of some, the answer was that - publicly, at least - very little happened. No major changes were instigated, and it's not likely that anyone who wasn't already affiliated with a "side" would have been pressed to choose, at this point.
Still experiencing that dreadful wait for the other shoe to drop, wizards and witches who were involved in the first war are more likely to understand that the last year of quiet must mean You-Know-Who is working on something very big. After the Ministry of Magic is overtaken - and we'll stress that the coverage of the story was much more on the murder of the Minister, rather than who took his place - there's a gradual change of tune in regards to the Ministry's policy on Harry Potter, eventually culminating in naming him as the most wanted wizard in the country. The Prophet remains mostly neutral, avoiding printing anything front page about Potter when possible. The Muggleborn Registration Committee is formed, and a list of Muggleborns wanted for questioning is drafted.
September marks the return of students to Hogwarts, as well as actual implementation of the first magical heritage trials, a sign that the Ministry of Magic will not be protecting a significant number of its citizens, but rather, will be attempting to persecute them. It's not widely known what exactly happens to those who are found guilty - it almost seems like they vanish immediately, and there are vicious rumors about them being sent to Azkaban, or killed, or receiving the Dementor's Kiss. Just as ominously, there are rumors - but no evidence - of policed Muggleborn camps, where those willing to admit their heritage can come and live, under the Ministry's monitoring. The most reasonable of suspicions includes the idea of reintegration initiatives, where Muggleborns are returned to the Muggle way of life, in Muggle settlements, without wands. It should be noted that public attacks against Muggleborns are still illegal, as is discrimination against them by public establishments.
Hogwarts is, for the most part, business as usual. There are a few new teachers, and even stricter requirements on what is on the banned items list. As part of the new security measures, students not escorted by a Professor must be inside the castle by dark, when the doors are locked for the night. Any parcels sent via owls will be inspected by Filch. Headmaster Snape is infrequently seen. His introduction of the Carrows at the welcoming feast is a cool, distant one; however, the newly minted professors are rather the opposite, they seem to want to get to know their students, though some may not believe their behavior to be genuine. The most offensive thing about them is a lesson in Muggle Studies that asserts the need of Muggles and Muggleborns to be protected and directed. It may be noticed that they are happy to praise the students who are willing to listen to their side of the story, particularly ones who have well known Wizarding names that stretch back through several generations, and quick to refute, silence, or ignore those who do not. They are not crazy or cruel yet, and no students are being tortured in any way. You can draw more bees with honey than vinegar, and while the Carrows may not be sweet or exceptionally bright, they do as they're told: get as many children on our side as possible.
Tides begin to turn a bit during October, though the nature of the Ministry is still only suspicious at most. It should be noted that only the uppermost personnel are aware of the campaign against the Undesirables, it is not yet public knowledge. However, there is a pamphlet circulated which makes the Ministry's standpoint clear: Muggleborns are not to be associated with. The investigations against them continue; some are released without wands, some vanish, a few are known to have been sent to Azkaban. The Order of the Phoenix is trying to keep public opinion of Harry Potter from dwindling in his absence, while the Death Eaters are continuing to enjoy their new found power, and venture further out into the open, unpunished by the Ministry which they secretly control.
At Hogwarts, similar things start to happen. The DA gradually starts to re-form, but as they start to make their presence known, so does the IS. The Professors Carrow are visibly perturbed by students who voice disagreement with their teachings, and a handful of detentions (which are truly just detentions, writing lines and cleaning store cupboards, etc.) are issued to those who disrespect them. Many students complain about the Carrows and some about Snape, but mostly just to each other.
November brings dark days and darker news. The Ministry has announced the need for the public's assistance: A reward is now offered in exchange for persons found to be Muggleborn, or for detailed information that leads to their capture. The Daily Prophet continues to print speculative, unflattering articles about Harry Potter that have little basis in fact.
The Death Eaters have begun to move freely through the Wizarding world, with masks and without. General opinion is that they are dangerous, but ultimately growing to achieve a status that is fully above the law. The Order, on the other hand, must be vigilant but extremely cautious. Those who are known members have been forced to take extra precautions with their homes or move, and those who work at the Ministry are having a hard time keeping their jobs. New recruits are found for both groups, although the majority of people remain without a direct affiliation.
At Hogwarts, the Professors Carrow have begun to take House points for students standing in continued opposition to their lessons, which are biased and pointed, but have not so far been particularly frightening. This changes as DADA shifts from counterpoint arguments on why magic is classified as dark and when use of pre-conceived 'dark magic' might actually be acceptable; in November the practical aspect is brought in, in the form of learning both how to use dark spells, and how to defend against them, with the opinion that it is best to well know your opponent and what they could use against you, not just defensive or evasive measures. Muggle Studies lessons revolve around the violent and unpredictable nature of Muggles, with profiles on cruelty toward wizardkind (the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem witch trials, etc.) and detailed examinations of Muggle weaponry. At this point, students who are not completing assignments or are failing them miserably will start to receive detentions, although they are run off the mill; including lines, cleaning, writing extra papers, reading aloud from books, etc.
With the holidays so close, many people both inside and outside Hogwarts are choosing to put most of their focus on Solstice, Christmas, and Hanukkah celebrations in order to avoid recognizing the shifts in the wizarding world. The opportunity is used by some to do things that might otherwise go unnoticed, or to catch people unawares.
Both the Order of the Phoenix and the Death Eaters begin to show more open aggression against the other, rather than evasive maneuvers. At Hogwarts, the Professors Carrow become in charge of all punishments, requiring other Professors to defer to their judgment of how best to discipline the student body. At term break, points are as follows: Gryffindor, 20; Hufflepuff, 50; Ravenclaw, 80; Slytherin, 245.