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In book 6, why did Scrimgeour station Aurors at Hogwarts Castle to protect the students?

Did he not know that Aurors are not powerful enough to stop Lord Voldemort himself?

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    And what you imply he should do? Not protect Hogwarts, surrendering to the superiority of Voldemort? Aug 25, 2018 at 9:42
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    Who else would he station?
    – user13267
    Aug 25, 2018 at 10:03
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    Nobody was powerful enough to stop Voldemort on their own, except probably Dumbledore. So, what else could he do? At least the aurors would buy some time for the students to hide/escape I guess.
    – Hans Olo
    Aug 25, 2018 at 10:24
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    @Ken_To_2018 Due to the ingenious conspiracy of Draco Malfoy, and the counter-conspiracy by Snape and Dumbledore.
    – b.Lorenz
    Aug 25, 2018 at 11:03
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    Well, one Auror might not be able to but a bunch of them could face & maybe even hold their grounds against Voldemort. After all, it is in their job description to protect the wizarding world from the Dark arts (and they are trained for it).
    – Shreedhar
    Aug 25, 2018 at 13:22

3 Answers 3

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While not definite proof of Scrimgeour's thinking, dialogue from both Dumbledore and Voldemort imply that Aurors can stop or at least affect Voldemort.

At the confrontation at the Ministry in Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore says:

"It was foolish to come here tonight, Tom," said Dumbledore calmly, The Aurors are on their way-"

Voldemort replies:

"By which time I shall be gone, and you dead!"

Dumbledore feels the Aurors can deal with Voldemort and Voldemort, instead of saying, "I can deal with them after you are dead" is planning on being gone.

So to me, the conclusion is that Dumbledore has confidence and Voldemort is reluctant about confronting multiple Aurors. Scrimgeour may have the same thoughts.

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    Key here is “multiple Aurors”. I think it is pretty clear from the books that Dumbledore is the only one who is capable of surviving a duel with Voldemort, but a team of Aurors might well be as dangerous for Voldemort. In addition, the Aurors are allowed to kill Voldemort, whereas Dumbledore refuses to do so. Since Voldemort fears nothing more than death, the Aurors might pose more of a threat in his mind.
    – 11684
    Aug 25, 2018 at 13:08
  • Well hold off on the killing – obviously he has his Horcruxes. But some of the dialogue during the duel mentioned in Treborcram’s answer does discuss Dumbledore not using lethal force. If I recall correctly Voldemort taunts him about this after which Dumbledore says there are worse things than death. Judging by Voldemort’s account at the grave of his father of his defeat against baby Harry that wasn’t particularly pleasant either.
    – 11684
    Aug 26, 2018 at 0:03
  • Yeah, they couldn't kill him because of Horcruxes but I think it's realistic that multiple Aurors would be able to take him to Azkaban. Aug 27, 2018 at 11:35
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They were the best that he had and they would at least slow Voldemort down if not scare him off.

Auror is the occupational title of any witch or wizard serving as a member of an elite unit of highly-trained, specialist officers tasked with upholding the law and protecting the magical communities in their respective countries from large-scale threats

Also, it seems like Voldemort didn't expect to be able take them down all at once:

"But Thicknesse is only one man. Scrimgeour must be surrounded by our people before I act. One failed attempt on the Minister's life will set me back a long way."

What I get from this quote is that if the security was heightened at the ministry Voldemort wouldn't be able to deal with it, or he would consider it a major nuisance. Another quote that reinforces this is:

"It was foolish to come here tonight, Tom," said Dumbledore calmly. "The Aurors are on their way-"

Furthermore, when Fudge and the others appeared at the end of the fight at the ministry Voldemort instantly Disapparates.

"I saw him, Mr. Fudge, I swear, it was You-Know-Who he grabbed a woman and Disapparated!"

Now this might have been an attempt to conceal his cover but I doubt it, if he knew that anyone had seen him he would know his cover was blown.

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Indeed, Scrimgeour probably thought that aurors could provide protection from Voldemort. This can be seen from the end of Half-Blood Prince when Scrimgeour directly offers Harry auror protection:

Scrimgeour hesitated, then said, in what was evidently supposed to be a tone of delicacy, “The Ministry can offer you all sorts of protection, you know, Harry. I would be delighted to place a couple of my Aurors at your service — ”

Harry, though, seems to agree with you that such protection would be futile, as illustrated by his response to Scrimgeour:

Harry laughed. “Voldemort wants to kill me himself, and Aurors won’t stop him. So thanks for the offer, but no thanks.”

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