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In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, why didn't the Aurors in the Ministry go and rescue Rufus Scrimgeour when he was captured by Voldemort at the Ministry?

Clearly the Aurors can throw off the Imperius Curse, right? Clearly the Auror Department is the most elite department in the entire Ministry of Magic right? And clearly the Auror Department is under the command of the Minister of Magic right? But how come the Aurors didn't send someone to rescue Rufus Scrimgeour when he was captured by Voldemort and some Death Eaters?

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    Because he was dead. He wasn’t captured, as far as I know, just killed outright. No magic can save you from that. Also, you have been asked this on pretty much all your questions now: please title your questions meaningfully. In particular, DO NOT title all your questions by a book name and a character name. That is not an adequate title. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 29 '18 at 1:11
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    You asked another question about this character where the answer seems to state, very clearly, that he was 'over run very fast', and was killed. – Gnemlock Aug 29 '18 at 5:04
  • I also think that the Death Eaters could have expected an attempt to save the Minister or retake the Ministry, and prepare for that. – TimSparrow Aug 29 '18 at 12:21
  • First, you are asking why Scrimgeour used Aurors to protect Hogwarts from Voldemort, as they are clearly inferior to him (scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/193516/…). Now, you are asking why they didn't try to protect Scrimgeour, implying that they are at least equal in power. You understand that one question contradicts the other, right? – Lefteris008 Aug 29 '18 at 21:01
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    @Alex Or maybe he is just posting random questions. – Lefteris008 Aug 30 '18 at 5:59
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There probably wouldn’t have been enough people to rescue him.

The Dark Lord was waiting until he’d converted a lot of Ministry officials to go after Scrimgeour. Presumably, he’d consider the Aurors to be one of the biggest threats to his successfully killing the Minister of Magic, as they were trained to fight Dark wizards.

“It will, I think, be easy, now that we have such a high-ranking official under our control, to subjugate the others, and then they can all work together to bring Scrimgeour down.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 1 (The Dark Lord Ascending)

There’s nothing that says Aurors can all resist the Imperius Curse - resisting it is known to be rather difficult. In addition, however he got the Aurors under control, it’s highly likely that the Dark Lord would ensure they were out of the way, as he didn’t want to try to have the Minister killed and fail. By the time they try to kill him, most of the Ministry would be on their side. Lupin tells Harry after Scrimgeour is killed that Death Eaters and Ministry people have become effectively the same.

“Were they Death Eaters or Ministry people?’ interjected Hermione.

‘A mixture; but to all intents and purposes they’re the same thing now,’ said Lupin.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 11 (The Bribe)

It wouldn’t matter that Scrimgeour would have authority over the Auror department. He was quickly losing control of the Ministry. The Dark Lord controlled most of its employees, who then would no longer care about following the Minister’s orders. He couldn’t wield his authority over them, and anyone trying to rescue him would be very much outnumbered.

It’s possible that some, like Kingsley, tried to but ultimately failed.

Kingsley was able to send a Patronus warning to Bill and Fleur’s wedding when Scrimgeour was killed. It’s possible that the reason he knew this was because he was at the Ministry at the time. If he was, he may have attempted to rescue Scrimgeour, but was ultimately unsuccessful.

“Then the Patronus’s mouth opened wide and it spoke in the loud, deep, slow voice of Kingsley Shacklebolt.

‘The Ministry has fallen. Scrimgeour is dead. They are coming.”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)

There may indeed have been a rescue attempt - just not a successful one.

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There are several premises to this question:

  • Scrimgeour was captured and held in captivity long enough for there to have been an attempted rescue.

This is not necessarily what happened. From Voldemort's meeting with the Death Eaters in the beginning of Deathly Hallows it seems that his plan was to slowly have Scrimgeour surrounded by Death Eaters and then go in for the quick kill:

“It is a start,” said Voldemort. “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.”

This could indicate that they simply killed Scrimgeour on the spot and there was no time for any attempted rescue.

However, later in the book Lupin tells Harry about a rumor that Mr. Weasley heard:

Arthur heard a rumor that they tried to torture your whereabouts out of Scrimgeour before they killed him; if it’s true, he didn’t give you away.”

We don't know whether the rumor is true, and even if it was true, "torturing" could simply have been a couple of minutes of the Cruciatus Curse, after which Voldemort gave up on extracting information from him and just killed him. Thus, there is still the possibility that there was not a large enough timeframe for there to be a rescue.

  • There were still enough aurors left to mount a rescue operation.

This, too, is not necessarily true. By this time Voldemort had already infiltrated much of the ministry. In the meeting with the Death Eaters it is even kind of implied that the Auror Office is no longer a threat:

“If he has been Confunded, naturally he is certain,” said Snape. “I assure you, Yaxley, the Auror Office will play no further part in the protection of Harry Potter. The Order believes that we have infiltrated the Ministry.”

“The Order’s got one thing right, then, eh?” said a squat man sitting a short distance from Yaxley; he gave a wheezy giggle that was echoed here and there along the table.

This shows us that the Order suspected that even the Auror Office had become compromised, and the Death Eaters confirm that this is true. Thus, there may not have been a team of aurors not under Voldemort's control left to attempt to rescue Scrimgeour.

  • Aurors can throw off the Imperius Curse.

This is also not necessarily true. As Barty Crouch Jr. in the guise of Professor Moody said in Goblet of Fire:

“The Imperius Curse can be fought, and I’ll be teaching you how, but it takes real strength of character, and not everyone’s got it. Better avoid being hit with it if you can.

It is thus very possible that aurors (some of them at least) cannot throw off the Imperius Curse.

  • The auror department is the most elite department in the entire Ministry of Magic.

This one is probably true. At least Ron seems to think so:

“Well, it’d be cool to be an Auror,” said Ron in an offhand voice.

“Yeah, it would,” said Harry fervently.

“But they’re, like, the elite,” said Ron. “You’ve got to be really good. What about you, Hermione?”

  • The Auror Department is under the command of the Minister of Magic.

In the sense that he is the top ranking official of the agency that they are a part of, they are under his command; however, that does not necessarily mean that they are directly under his command on a day-to-day basis. There is a Head of the Auror Department for that. Morevoer, even if the minister could command the aurors it wouldn't help here because you are asking about a situation in which the minister was in captivity, with presumably no way to contact the aurors.


In conclusion, we don't know if Scrimgeour was even held in captivity for any length of time, we don't know if there was even a functioning Auror Department (not controlled by Voldemort) at that point, we don't know that aurors can throw off the Imperius Curse, and we don't know that Scrimgeour had access to command them. In short, we don't have any information that would support the possibility of a rescue operation.

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