Trespass at Ministry

Harry, Ron and Hermione read about Sturgis Podmore's arrest in the Daily Prophet

Extract from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By J.K. Rowling

Ron and Hermione bent closer to read it; the item was barely an inch long and placed right at the bottom of a column. It was headlined:


Sturgis Podmore, 38, of number two, Laburnum Gardens, Clapham, has appeared in front of the Wizengamot charged with trespass and attempted robbery at the Ministry of Magic on 31st August. Podmore was arrested by Ministry of Magic watchwizard Eric Munch, who found him attempting to force his way through a top- security door at one o’clock in the morning. Podmore, who refused to speak in his own defence, was convicted on both charges and sentenced to six months in Azkaban.

‘Sturgis Podmore?’ said Ron slowly. ‘He’s that bloke who looks like his head’s been thatched, isn’t he? He’s one of the Ord—’

‘Ron, shh!’ said Hermione, casting a terrified look around them.

‘Six months in Azkaban!’ whispered Harry, shocked. ‘Just for trying to get through a door!’

‘Don’t be silly, it wasn’t just for trying to get through a door. What on earth was he doing at the Ministry of Magic at one o’clock in the morning?’ breathed Hermione.

‘D’you reckon he was doing something for the Order?’ Ron muttered.

‘Wait a moment ...’ said Harry slowly. ‘Sturgis was supposed to come and see us off, remember?’

The other two looked at him.

‘Yeah, he was supposed to be part of our guard going to King’s Cross, remember? And Moody was all annoyed because he didn’t turn up; so he couldn’t have been on a job for them, could he?’ ‘Well, maybe they didn’t expect him to get caught,’ said Hermione.

‘It could be a frame-up!’ Ron exclaimed excitedly. ‘No – listen!’ he went on, dropping his voice dramatically at the threatening look on Hermione’s face. ‘The Ministry suspects he’s one of Dumbledore’s lot so – I dunno – they lured him to the Ministry, and he wasn’t trying to get through a door at all! Maybe they’ve just made something up to get him!’

There was a pause while Harry and Hermione considered this. Harry thought it seemed far-fetched. Hermione, on the other hand, looked rather impressed.

‘Do you know, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that were true.’

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

By J.K. Rowling