Harry Potter: No One’s Ever Proven the Ministry's Incompetence Like the Weasley Twins
The Ministry of Magic has been blatantly incompetent since day one, but we didn’t realize just how much — until the Weasley twins revealed its dumbest secret.
- After Voldemort’s return, the Weasley twins began selling Shield Clothes that protected people from hexes.
- The Ministry of Magic was regularly ordering large quantities of these items for their employees.
- These deals exposed the incompetence of the Ministry staff and the organization’s many faults.
Ever since Sirius Black’s escape from Azkaban, we started seeing the real face of the Ministry of Magic: that of a slow and corrupt bureaucratic machine that cares little for the truth and lacks the resources to properly handle problems. As time went by, we saw more and more proof of the Ministry’s utter incompetence, especially in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
But it’s not until The Half-Blood Prince that we learn how incompetent the Ministry workers really are. Surprisingly, this “revelation” came from the Weasley twins.
How Did the Weasley Twins Reveal the Ministry’s Secrets?
After the Battle of the Ministry, the Wizarding World’s bureaucrats finally acknowledged Lord Voldemort’s return and informed the public about it. At the same time, the Death Eaters started operating more openly, and wizards and witches all over Magical Britain were understandably scared for their lives and families.
Fred and George Weasley were already the proud owners of their iconic joke shop, Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes. By manipulating the Protego Charm and making it passive rather than active (which was quite a wizarding feat!), they created Shield Hats — new clothing items that could block most weak and middle-range hexes.
Imagine the twins’ surprise when the Ministry of Magic came around, bought their entire stock, and ordered 500 more items for internal use! Fred and George saw the commercial potential and expanded their line of clothing, creating Shield Cloaks and Shield Gloves, as well. But the clothing options are beside the point.
Apparently, the vast majority of Ministry workers were incapable of casting the Protego Charm or not trained well enough to shield themselves! Not even two decades have passed since the First Wizarding War and the employees of the Ministry were so incompetent they could not properly use one of the basic charms.
How Does the Shield Clothes Expose the Ministry?
Some fans may argue that, unlike the Protego Charm, the Shield Clothes applied the protection passively, and that’s true. Items like these would have been useful for many wizards to shield them from unexpected attacks, but there are more layers to this situation than just Fred and George’s phenomenal wizarding skills and acumen.
First, the Ministry was supposed to be the bastion of Magical Britain, protected by the best operatives. The Weasley twins specifically mentioned that the Shield Clothes were ordered for the Ministry’s support staff, not the Aurors; but while presumably capable, the Aurors were not trusted to protect the staff on their own.
Second, the Ministry was ordering the Shield Clothes in secret and only for its own employees. Instead of including Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes’ Shield Clothes in their propaganda materials and advising the general populace to acquire those items for their families, the Ministry kept it a shameful secret. What about the other people?
Third, the very fact that the Ministry bought such huge quantities of Shield Clothes implies…corruption. Various calculations suggest the entire wizarding population of Britain is up to 10,000 people. The very first Ministry purchase of Shield Clothes was 500 items, and they kept ordering more on a regular basis. Who did it all go to?
There’s just too much to uncover here. The Ministry’s distrust of its own protection measures; the lack of care for the general populace; the supposed corruption; the general inability of the Ministry workers to cast the most basic protection spell taught at Hogwarts… We could keep going, but one thing is perfectly clear: the Weasley twins accidentally stumbled upon the biggest proof of the Ministry’s incompetence.