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"With a great jangling and clattering a lift descended in front of them; the golden grille slid back and Harry and Mr Weasley moved inside it with the rest of the crowd. Harry found himself jammed against the back wall of the lift. Several witches and wizards were looking at him curiously; he stared at his feet to avoid catching anyone's eye, flattening his fringe as he did so. The grilles slid shut with a crash and the lift ascended slowly, chains rattling all the while, while the same cool female voice Harry had heard in the telephone box rang out again."
Harry Potter using these lifts for the first time[src]

Lifts were the main way of moving between the levels in the headquarters of the Ministry of Magic.[1]


The lift controller

They were a fast mode of transportation to move people or goods between floors or levels of the building. They were located at the far end of the Atrium hall, on Level 8 of the Ministry, behind a pair of golden gates. Behind these gates was a smaller hall with at least twenty lifts standing behind wrought golden grilles. When the lift reached a floor, a voice announced the department residing on that level and its subdivisions.[1]

Prior to Lord Voldemort's take-over of the Ministry, there was an attendant within each lift from Magical Maintenance, to ensure everything went smoothly. In addition to people, interdepartmental memos entered the lift to relay messages between people from different letters. They were in the form of pale violet-coloured paper aeroplanes; the Ministry previously used owls but the mess became too much to bear. Despite the lifts descending deeper into the ground, Magical Maintenance enchanted the windows to decide what weather they have each day. There were also gold ropes hanging from the ceiling for passengers to hang onto when the lifts go sideways, backwards, or stop violently.[1]



Harry Potter's first time in the lift on the way to his trial

On 12 August 1995, Harry went to the Ministry with Arthur Weasley to be escorted to his trial before the Wizengamot for use of underage magic. He entered the Atrium, and after having his wand checked at the Security Desk he headed for the lifts. They first ascended the lifts from Level 8 to Level 7 (the voice announced Department of Magical Games and Sports, incorporating the British and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters, Official Gobstones Club, and Ludicrous Patents Office), in which Harry saw an untidy looking corridor with various posters of Quidditch teams tacked lopsidedly on the walls before the lift doors closed. They then brought him to Level 6, the Department of Magical Transport, incorporating the Floo Network Authority, Broom Regulatory Control, Portkey Office, and Apparition Test Centre. It was here that several interdepartmental memos zoomed in.[1]

The lift then stopped at Level 5, and the voice announced that the floor was the Department of International Magical Co-operation, incorporating the International Magical Trading Standards Body, the International Magical Office of Law, and the International Confederation of Wizards, British Seats. When the doors opened, two of the memos flew out but several more came in. The lift than stopped at Level 4, the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, incorporating Beast, Being, and Spirit Divisions, Goblin Liaison Office, and the Pest Advisory Bureau. When the lift reached Level 3, the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes, incorporating the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad, Obliviator Headquarters, and Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee, the only people in the lift were Harry, Arthur, and a witch reading a long piece of parchment. The lift then reached Level 2, Department of Magical Law Enforcement, incorporating the Improper Use of Magic Office, Auror Headquarters, and Wizengamot Administration Services, and Harry and Arthur got off the lift at this floor.[1]


Reginald (Ron in disguise with Polyjuice Potion) exiting the lift to deal with the raining in Yaxley's office

During the trio's infiltration of the Ministry on 2 September 1997, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger used the lifts to get from the Atrium to Umbridge's office on Level 1, Yaxley's office on Level 2, and the Courtrooms of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission.[2]

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 7 (The Ministry of Magic)
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 13 (The Muggle-Born Registration Commission)