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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

J. K. Rowling
  • Study Guide
Quotes

Important Quotes Explained

Quotes Important Quotes Explained

Quote 2

“Wands only choose witches or wizards. You are not a witch. I have your responses to the questionnaire that was sent to you here—”

Dolores Umbridge speaks these words to Mary Cattermole in Chapter Thirteen, at Mary’s hearing before the Muggle-Born Registration Committee. The words perfectly express Umbridge’s particular form of villainy—smug, bureaucratic, and hypocritical rather than forthright or aggressive. Under Voldemort, the Ministry’s new policy is that wizards and witches who do not have wizard parents must have stolen their wands and magic, and thus may be persecuted and imprisoned. Of course, this claim is false, and everyone knows it, as wands have been choosing Muggle-born witches and wizards for years. Umbridge’s lie is pointless—Mary Cattermole was weak to begin with, and is now in a basement room guarded by dementors. Umbridge uses the law to degrade her further, not only taking away her wand but also her identity as a witch and her right to practice magic. And she does so with relish, taking delight in the questionnaires, orderly proceedings, and other bureaucratic machinery with which she persecutes Cattermole.