- "Some of these wandless can be troublesome. While they do nothing but beg I have no objection, but one of them actually asked me to plead her case in the Ministry next week. 'I'm a witch, sir, I'm a witch, let me prove it to you'!"
- — Travers mocking Muggle-borns reduced to begging on the streets by Voldemort's oppressive regime[src]
Travers was a British Dark Wizard and a Death Eater. He fought in the First Wizarding War, during which he helped murder Marlene McKinnon and her family, and was imprisoned for committing this crime.
Travers escaped from Azkaban after Lord Voldemort's return in 1995 and fought in several battles of the Second Wizarding War, including the Battle of the Seven Potters, the Ambush at the Lovegood House and the Battle of Hogwarts. His ultimate fate is uncertain.
First Wizarding War
During the First Wizarding War, Travers murdered the family of Marlene McKinnon, according to Igor Karkaroff. According to Karkaroff, Travers was among Lord Voldemort's most important supporters. He could not escape imprisonment and was sentenced to Azkaban sometime in, or prior to, 1981 for this crime.
Second Wizarding War
- Hermione Granger: "But I thought Stan Shunpike was in Azkaban?"
- Kingsley Shacklebolt: "Hermione, there's obviously been a mass breakout which the Ministry has hushed up. Travers's hood fell off when I cursed him, he's supposed to be inside too."
- — Hermione and Kingsley after the Battle of the Seven Potters[src]
He was apparently arrested at some point afterwards, though he escaped again in the 1997 mass break-out with Stan Shunpike that was hushed up by the British Ministry of Magic as Kingsley Shacklebolt said that Travers should be in Azkaban. On 27 July, 1997 Travers participated in the Battle of the Seven Potters, pursuing Hermione Granger, who was disguised as Harry Potter, and Kingsley Shacklebolt, who cursed him, causing his hood to fall back revealing to Shacklebolt that he had broken out of prison.
Fall of the Ministry
Now falsely cleared, Travers went on to work at the Ministry of Magic (at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement), as a superior to Mafalda Hopkirk. He also seemed to have some involvement with the recently created Muggle-Born Registration Commission, as he got to choose which Ministry employee could act as a stenographer for the Muggle-born trials.
Ambush at the Lovegood House
In early 1998, Travers and Selwyn came to Xenophilius Lovegood's home because he claimed, truthfully, that Harry Potter was there. After Travers checked the area, they threatened to kill Luna Lovegood, his daughter, if he summoned them under false pretences, only to see Harry escape.
Break-in of Gringotts Wizarding Bank
- Travers: "Well, I confess I am surprised to see you out and about, Bellatrix."
- Hermione Granger (as Bellatrix Lestrange): "Really? Why?"
- Travers: "Well, I heard that the inhabitants of Malfoy Manor were confined to the house, after the... ah... escape."
- Hermione Granger (as Bellatrix Lestrange): "The Dark Lord forgives those who have served him most faithfully in the past. Perhaps your credit is not as good with him as mine is, Travers."
- — Travers and Hermione Granger (disguised as Bellatrix Lestrange)[src]
Later that year, Travers met Hermione Granger, disguised by means of the Polyjuice Potion as Bellatrix Lestrange, and went into Gringotts Wizarding Bank with her. While there he expressed disdain towards Muggle-born beggars as well as goblins; a Muggle-born witch had previously begged Travers to represent her case to insist she was magical, and requested his wand to prove it, which Travers refused and cruelly mocked her. Harry placed him under the Imperius Curse to facilitate their breaking in to the Lestrange Vault and sent Travers off to hide.
Battle of Hogwarts
On 2 May, 1998 Travers took part in the Battle of Hogwarts. During the conflict, Travers fought Parvati Patil and Dean Thomas with the help of Dolohov and another Death Eater. His ultimate fate is uncertain though it's likely that he was either killed in battle, imprisoned in Azkaban for his crimes, or on the run from the law, following the defeat of Voldemort and the Death Eaters.
Travers was described as a tall, thin wizard with a crown of bushy grey hair, a long sharp nose, and a cool voice. As a Death Eater, he bore the Dark Mark on his left inner forearm, which had faded to a mere scar since Voldemort's death.
Personality and traits
Travers was a Death Eater, obsessed with blood purity. In 1998, he expressed his disdain towards Muggle-born beggars, whom he laughed at (going as far as calling them "it"), as well as goblins, whom he didn't like to associate with. He was also something of a xenophobe: when he was met with an apparently foreign wizard, Dragomir Despard (in truth Ron Weasley), Travers didn't shake hands with him with his entire hand, but instead just used two of his fingers, acting as though he feared he would be soiled, despite being told that the man is sympathetic to their cause. His hatred towards Muggles lead him to hate blood traitors as well, as he brutally murdered a member of the Order of the Phoenix and her entire family. He seemed quite calm and composed as an individual, especially when compared to more mentally unstable Death Eaters such as Bellatrix Lestrange or Selwyn. He also took the pragmatic action of using the Human-presence-revealing spell when Xenophilius Lovegood claimed to have Harry Potter, even when Selwyn believed him to be lying. He was willing to be social with other Death Eaters shown when he greeted Bellatrix Lestrange (actually a disguised Hermione Granger) and spoke with her on their way to Gringotts, though he was also suspicious of her presence and continued to watch her. He was also offended when Bellatrix (again Hermione) suggested that he did not have as much of Lord Voldemort's favour as she, showing that he desired his master's approval.
Magical abilities and skills
- Dark Arts: Being a Death Eater, Travers was highly talented and well-versed in dark magic, being an accomplished Dark Wizard. He would have been very capable of casting multiple dark charms and most likely the Unforgivable Curses.
- Duelling: Being a high ranking Death Eater, Travers was a competent duellist. During the First Wizarding War he took part in the murder of the McKinnon family, who Rubeus Hagrid described as some of the best wizards and witches of their time. He was however unable to overcome Kingsley Shacklebolt while flying during the Battle of the Seven Potters and was injured in the process. He also took part in the Battle of Hogwarts where he was briefly seen duelling against Parvati Patil.
- Charms: Travers was shown to be proficient in charm-work, as he capable of casting the rather advanced Human-presence-revealing Spell in order to reveal the presence of Harry Potter during the Ambush at the Lovegood House in 1997.
- Flying: Travers was furthermore an accomplished broomstick flyer, as he took part in the Battle of the Seven Potters, in which he fought members of the Order of the Phoenix whilst flying.
- Wand: Travers's wand was of unknown length, wood, and core material. He used it to cast the Human-presence-revealing Spell to detect the presence of Harry Potter during the ambush at the Lovegood House in 1998. A convicted Muggle-born witch pleaded Travers to lend her his wand to prove she was a witch, but he refused and cruelly mocked her.
- Gringotts vault: It is likely that Travers had a vault at Gringotts Wizarding Bank, because that is where he was going when he met "Bellatrix Lestrange", actually Hermione, "Dragomir Despard", actually Ron (both in disguise), and Harry and Griphook under the Invisibility Cloak, in Diagon Alley, during 1998. He was also seen holding a key. It is unknown if this is his family vault or his own personal one, though as he comes from an old Pure-Blood family the former is most likely.
Travers is an English and French surname that described a man who lived near a bridge or ford, or occasionally as an occupational name for the collector of tolls at such a location. It is derived from the Old French verb traverser, meaning "to cross".
Travers also shares a surname with the writer P. L. Travers, author of the Mary Poppins books: J. K. Rowling is an admirer of P. L. Travers and followed Travers in having her books published under her first two initials and surname rather than her full name.
Behind the scenes
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Travers is portrayed by Tav MacDougall. Travers participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries in the film.
- He's likely related to Torquil Travers.
- It's possible that he participated in the Battle of the Astronomy Tower and was one of the Death Eaters who duelled either Ron or Lupin. If this is true this may explain why he was sent back to Azkaban before the final break out.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, Travers is absent from the scene of the Break-in of Gringotts and, as such, is never placed under the Imperius Curse.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Mentioned only) (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game) (Mentioned only) (Possible appearance)
Notes and references
- Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Wizarding World - The Travers family was one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight, so like the Malfoys, may have had pure-blood or half-blood members - see Writing by J. K. Rowling: "The Malfoy Family" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts) - "A tall, thin wizard with a crown of bushy grey hair and a long, sharp nose was striding toward them."
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 21 (The Tale of the Three Brothers)
- J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
- Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Pure-Blood" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 5 (Fallen Warrior)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 13 (The Muggle-Born Registration Commission)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 26 (Gringotts)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 32 (The Elder Wand)
- Behind the Name: French Surnames
- Picardie, Justine. "Was P L Travers the real Mary Poppins?". The Daily Telegraph, 28 October 2008.
- See Forum:Incorrectly identified Death Eaters