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An Unspeakable was a wizard or witch who worked in the Ministry of Magic's Department of Mysteries. Little is known about their workplace, and even less is known about their jobs. Employees of the Department of Mysteries were forbidden from discussing their jobs or disclosing any information about their department, hence the name "Unspeakable."
Jobs and Responsibilities
Very little is known about what Unspeakables actually did, due to a high level of secrecy surrounding the Department of Mysteries. Some studied love in the Love Chamber, which, according to Albus Dumbledore, was kept locked at all times, or time in the Time Chamber, where the Ministry's stock of Time-Turners was stored prior to being destroyed during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries; others explored the nature of thought in the Thought Chamber, or death in the Death Chamber, where Sirius Black was killed by his own cousin. There was a Veil in the Death Chamber that acted as a one-way doorway, separating the land of the living and the land of the dead. Any living being who went near it would hear voices of his/her dead loved ones. Any living being who tried to cross it would suffer instant death.
The autonomous nature of the Department of Mysteries granted the Unspeakables a great deal of impunity, as they were the only division that did not need to answer to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. They were even known to ignore the Minister for Magic's interventions, as they did when Minister Radolphus Lestrange attempted to shut down the Department.
As the title suggests, the key limitation of Unspeakables was that they were not permitted to talk about their work. It is known that, due to the dangers of tampering with the laws of time, a series of strict laws and penalties were placed around those studying time-related magic. As such, it can be assumed that there likewise were laws and penalties in place for Unspeakables studying other areas in the Department.
Unspeakables were also unable to remove prophecies from the Hall of Prophecy or even take them off their shelves, as prophecies could only be removed by those about whom they were made. Anyone else who attempted to do so would be struck by the defensive spells placed on the prophecies, resulting in significant mental harm. The damage seemed reversible in time, judging by Broderick Bode, an Unspeakable who was Imperiused into attempting to retrieve the Prophecy regarding Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort, in 1995. Lucius Malfoy noted that Bode showed unusual resistance to the Imperius curse, which Augustus Rookwood suggested may have been because the Unspeakable knew what would happen if he touched one of the Prophecies.
Despite the high degree of independence the Department of Mysteries received, when Voldemort conquered the entire Ministry, the Unspeakables came to produce falsified research results regarding how Muggle-borns were 'usurping' magic from 'real' wizards, being corrupted or threatened by the Death Eaters.
- Augustus Rookwood
- Broderick Bode
- Saul Croaker
- Gareth Greengrass
- Levina Monkstanley
- Eloise Mintumble
- Regina Rowle
- Albert Sallow
- Grim Fawley
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Wizarding World
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7 (Bagman and Crouch)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 24 (Occlumency)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 34 (The Department of Mysteries)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 35 (Beyond the Veil)
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ministers for Magic" at Wizarding World
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Time-Turner" at Wizarding World
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26 (Seen and Unforeseen)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 30 (The Pensieve)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 13 (The Muggle-Born Registration Commission)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- Wonderbook: Book of Spells