Dolores Umbridge: "I have testimony from Willy Widdershins, Minerva, who happened to be in the bar at the time. He was heavily bandaged, it is true, but his hearing was quite unimpaired. He heard every word Potter said and hastened straight to the school to report to me —"
Minerva McGonagall: "Oh, so that's why he wasn't prosecuted for setting up all those regurgitating toilets! What an interesting insight into our justice system!"
Dexter Fortescue: "Blatant corruption! The Ministry did not cut deals with petty criminals in my day, no sir, they did not!"
Dolores Umbridge, Minerva McGonagall, and the portrait of Dexter Fortescue discussing the Ministry's actions about Willy Widdershins[src]

Willy Widdershins was a British wizard who repeatedly engaged in Muggle-baiting pranks.[1] He was arrested by the Ministry of Magic for enchanting a series of regurgitating toilets in Muggle areas, but he made a deal with the Ministry, that if he spied on Harry Potter and his friends, they would let him go. He carried out his assignment, and the Ministry kept their end of the bargain and released him.[2] He was later caught selling biting doorknobs and was subsequently given a prison sentence that he could not avoid.[1]

Biography

"I was just reading about Willy Widdershins’s arrest when you arrived. You know Willy turned out to be behind those regurgitating toilets last summer? One of his jinxes backfired, the toilet exploded, and they found him lying unconscious in the wreckage covered from head to foot in —"
Arthur Weasley regarding Willy's arrest detailed in the Daily Prophet[src]

Willy Widdershins eventually discovered he was a wizard and procured a wand.

In adulthood, he repeatedly engaged in Muggle-baiting pranks. He was arrested by the British Ministry of Magic for jinxing a series of regurgitating toilets in Muggle areas such as Bethnal Green, one of which backfired against him during its creation, as well as covering him in the toilet's contents. He was badly injured in his capture and was wrapped heavily in bandages.[1] He made a deal with the Ministry, that if he spied on Harry Potter and his friends, they would let him go. He did so, and reported to Hogwarts High Inquisitor Dolores Umbridge and Cornelius Fudge that they were planning on making a secret Defence Against the Dark Arts group while they were in a meeting at the Hog's Head Inn. By doing so he was able to avoid prosecution. The fact that the Ministry was willing to work with a petty criminal who had violated wizarding law highlighted how corrupt and immoral they were at the time.[2] Whilst he spied on Harry and his friends in the Hog's Head, he was covered in dirty grey bandages as a result of his injury, and also to likely obscure his face.[3][2]

Widdershins was later caught selling biting doorknobs, which bit off the fingers of two Muggles, and was subsequently given a prison sentence that he could not avoid.[1]

Personality and traits

Widdershins was an extremely mischievous wizarding prankster who enjoyed using magic to play pranks on unsuspecting Muggles, which was a violation of wizarding law, showing he appeared to have little regard for the law and saw no problem in breaking it.[1] He also appeared rather underhand in nature, given how he willingly spied on Harry Potter and his friends in the Hog's Head for the Ministry.[2] His feeling towards Muggles was unknown; he could have felt his pranks on them were harmless jokes, but according to Arthur Weasley, Muggle-baiting pranks were often a sign of sinister supremacist attitudes towards Muggles.[4]

Magical abilities and skills

Etymology

Widdershins (sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) means to take a course opposite the apparent motion of the sun (in the Northern hemisphere), going anti-clockwise, lefthandwise, or to circle an object, by always keeping it on the left.[5]

Behind the scenes

Appearances

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Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 22 (St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 27 (The Centaur and the Sneak)
  3. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 16 (In The Hog's Head)
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 9 (The Woes of Mrs Weasley)
  5. Widdershins at Wikipedia
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