Mark Reads ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’: Chapter 12

In the twelfth chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the trio finally escapes Grimmauld Place to infiltrate the Ministry of Magic. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Harry Potter.


Everything is fucked. And worse than I thought.

Grimmauld Place becomes a zone of painful boredom for Ron, Harry, and Hermione, but we learn that they’ve been leaving daily, in shifts, to spy on the Ministry of Magic. I was worried that boredom would consume their lives, being unable to leave Grimmauld Place, but Lupin’s visit in the previous chapter shows them that there is actually a way to leave undetected.

As the chapter unfolds, it becomes clearer what their reason for going to the Ministry is: they’re going to infiltrate it to retrieve the Horcrux from Dolores Umbridge. It’s an absurd, dangerous, stupid, and risky idea, but we’re now dealing with three characters who realize the severity of the situation and are choosing to use their strengths to as a tool.

Let’s talk about something else first, though. Time has passed since Lupin and Mundungus left, and in that time, these Ministry visits have occurred. Harry is returning at the opening of the chapter and every day, a copy of The Daily Prophet is brought into the household so that they can still have some knowledge of the outside world. That day’s issue, however, is mind-boggling:

  • A large picture of a familiar, hook-nosed, black-haired man stared up at them all, beneath a headline that read:


It’s as if we’re trapped in some alternate universe, as if we’ve traveled through some sort of wormhole and everything is the opposite of what it should be and it’s all evil and no-good. The very thought of this is nightmarish: the man who murdered Dumbledore has now taken his place. It’s disgusting, revolting, and despite that I generally want MOAR SNAPE most of the time, I don’t know if I could stand a scene with him running Hogwarts. I don’t even want to entertain the notion.

To further hone the point about how awful everything is, while the three main characters are discussing the execution of their plan, Harry’s scar sears with pain. He’s become so familiar with the sensation that he immediately tries to cover things up and nonchalantly excuse himself to the bathroom.

His vision is of Voldemort as always, searching for Gregorovitch, whom he can’t seen to find.

  • He raised the wand. She screamed. Two young children came running into the hall. She tried to shield them with her arms.. There was a flash of green light—

Does Voldemort have a thing for killing parents in front of their children? What the shit, dude? Vary your choices. Wait. Um…forget I said that.

Ok, so let’s move on to the Ministry of Magic. The three of them Apparate outside of the Ministry and we get to watch how their plan unfolds. I loved that so much of what they used came from Fred and George; it gave the twins’ work a sense of validity because the Puking Pastilles proved so useful.

I’m sort of glossing over a lot of this because I wanted to get to the scenes inside the Ministry. I really enjoyed how much detail we got from Rowling during Order of the Phoenix and I was intrigued to see what sort of changes would be made now that Voldemort was running the show.

Those changes are pretty instantaneous. First of all, all Ministry employees have to enter into the building through toilets. LITERALLY. Am I meant to interpret that this is a way for Voldemort to subconsciously suggest to Ministry employees that they are nothing but shit? Oh god, I am so clever someone get me a book deal.

  • The great Atrium seemed darker than Harry remembered it. Previously a golden fountain had filled the center of the hall, casting shimmering spots of light over the polished wooden floor and walls. Now a gigantic statue of black stone dominated the scene. It was rather frightening, this vast sculpture of a witch and a wizard sitting on ornately carved thrones, looking down at the Ministry workers toppling out of fireplaces below them. Engraved in foot-high letters at the base of the statue were the words MAGIC IS MIGHT.

Well, that’s a change. The change in the Ministry is both physical and metaphorical, and they both cater to the party line Voldemort wants the Wizarding world to follow: those who do magic are always more superior than those who can’t.

  • ”It’s horrible, isn’t it?” she said to Harry, who was staring up at the statue. “Have you seen what they’re sitting on?”

    Harry looked more closely and realized what he had thought were decoratively carved thrones were actually mounds of carved humans: hundreds and hundreds of naked bodies, men, women, and children, all with rather stupid, ugly faces, twisted and pressed together to support the weight of the handsomely robed wizards.

    “Muggles,” whispered Hermione. “In their rightful place.”


Ron gets separated from Harry and Hermione when Yaxley, one of the Death Eaters present when Dumbledore was murdered, orders Ron (who is someone named Catermole) to take care of a possible curse in his office that’s making it rain non-stop. Those details aren’t as important as what Yaxley says to him:

  • ”You realize 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 pureblood next time.”

Hell, this is unbelievably brutal. The very people who shouldn’t have an ounce of power control everything, using fear to silence people. I don’t like this at all and it makes me uncomfortable to think of what on earth Dolores Umbridge is doing during all of this.

Oh. Speaking of:

  • The golden grilles slid apart again and Hermione gasped. Four people stood before them, two of them deep in conversation: a long-haired wizard wearing magnificent robes of black and gold, and a squat, toadlike witch wearing a velvet bow in her short hair and clutching a clipboard to her chest.


Oh, you asshole, Rowling. Surely you realize I committed to reading this chapter-by-chapter when you wrote this, right?

This is moronic now. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO STOP? Oh god OH GOD.