Tag Archives: open letter

An Open Letter to Lord Voldemort

24 Jan

(Writer’s note: despite the current political climate, I am not in fact referring to anyone other than the fictional character from the Harry Potter books. Seriously. Also, this contains spoilers if you’re one of about twelve people who hasn’t read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.)

Dear Lord Voldemort,

I have a bone to pick with you. Well, to be honest, I have some larger issues with your actions and policies, as I am not in favor of a dark wizard overlord spreading fear and death across the land. But there’s something else that’s been bothering me, and I think you need to know. And how else do we learn, if not from our mistakes?

I noticed and laughed about this issue when I first read the book series in which you feature prominently (I assume since good wizards don’t like to say your name, you don’t like hearing your enemy’s name spoken aloud either). Now that I am rereading the series as an adult, I thought I might pick up on some crucial detail I had overlooked as a teenager.

But no. Your mistake still stands.

Let me elaborate.

In The Boy Who Lived and the Goblet of Fire (you’re welcome), you concoct an elaborate scheme to gain access to The Boy Who Lived away from the magical protection of his family at home and of Albus Dumbledore at Hogwarts. This involved the following:

  • Freeing your faithful servant from the oversight of his father
  • Keeping the father under the Imperius Curse and forcing him to continue to work as though nothing were wrong for many months
  • Attacking an advanced Auror
  • Brewing an immense amount of the Polyjuice Potion (an enormously complicated potion to make, as we know thanks to The Boy Who Lived and the Chamber of Secrets)
  • Breaking into the offices of a potential (and suspicious) enemy to get ingredients for this potion for 10 months
  • Keeping the previously mentioned advanced Auror alive but subdued
  • Risking detection throughout the entire school year because of faithful servant’s proximity to your strongest enemy, Albus Dumbledore
  • Tricking an ancient magical object into believing four schools were competing in the Triwizard Tournament to make The Boy Who Lived’s name appear
  • Guiding The Boy Who Lived through not one, not two, but three tasks without appearing to actually do so (which all presented their own difficulties, but this list is getting long)
  • Enchanting the Triwizard Cup to become a portkey right under Albus Dumbledore’s nose
  • Overall, waiting a full year and dealing with many magical trials and subterfuge.

Look, the idea to get Harry to touch the Triwizard Cup and be transported straight to you is a good one. It’s an easy way to get him out of Hogwarts.

But that’s all you had to do – just get him to touch a portkey.

You could have saved yourself one hell of a lot of trouble if you simplified this plan. Your faithful servant might still have had to replace the Auror, to get someone seemingly trustworthy near The Boy Who Lived.

But the Triwizard Cup? Completely unnecessary extravagance.

gobletoffire

So extravagant.

Once The Boy Who Lived began to trust your faithful servant, all he would have had to do was offer him a cup of tea. Or a key. Or an old boot, for goodness’ sake.

“Potter, come to my office. Here, have a boot.” WHOOSH. Done.

I mean, we all know that kid can’t keep his hands off of anything. He started writing in your old diary, a strange magical object that he found in a toilet, because he was curious. He fell into Dumbledore’s Pensieve full of his private thoughts literally because it was SHINY.

But maybe Portkeys don’t work inside of Hogwarts, and that’s why it had to be outside in the Quidditch pitch. But again, this seems easy to simplify.

“Potter, come with me. I saw something odd out of my window and we need to investigate. Oh look, there’s a Galleon on the ground over there. All yours, kid.” WHOOSH. Done.

Perhaps you didn’t want your faithful servant and The Boy Who Lived going for a suspicious walk together. But the kid goes to Hogsmeade at every opportunity. If your Portkey worked in the Quidditch pitch, it must be able to work at Hogsmeade.

“Hey Potter, look – there’s a letter on the ground with your name on it.” WHOOSH. Done. (You wouldn’t even have needed to replace Moody at this point. Anyone in Hogsmeade could have left that laying around.)

I understand you have a flair for the dramatic. (And that works for you; it’s hard to be an evil overlord if you don’t let people know about it.) So perhaps his disappearance HAD to be in front of a big crowd. Fine. Your servant literally told The Boy Who Lived what he should do to get through the dragons in the first task and knew he would be summoning his Firebolt. He could offer to carry it down to the first task and enchant it then.

“Accio Firebolt!” WHOOSH. Done.

Before I recently reread the book, I assumed there was some explanation as to why the Portkey had to be placed in the final task of the Triwizard Tournament. Perhaps creating a Portkey is a noticeable magical disturbance, but there were so many spells and enchantments and creatures in the third task that it would go unnoticed. But that’s not even on the table. Here’s what you say to the Death Eaters when you recount your entire plan, Bond villain-style:

“So how could I take him? Why…by using Bertha Jorkins’s information, of course. Use my one faithful Death Eater, stationed at Hogwarts, to ensure that the boy’s name was entered into the Goblet of Fire. Use my Death Eater to ensure that the boy won the tournament – that he touched the Triwizard Cup first – the cup which my Death Eater had turned into a Portkey, which would bring him here, beyond the reach of Dumbledore’s help and protection, and into my waiting arms.” (p. 657)

Voldy, this is overkill. (Although, since you didn’t kill him, I guess it’s underkill?) I understand that you just had to use this kid instead of literally any other enemy you have; it’s very you. But the whole Triwizard Tournament? This is just poor planning.

All in all, I think you should know that your penchant for easily recognizable dramatic plots might get you into trouble someday. Like, if you’re going to, I don’t know, hide pieces of your very soul, maybe just pick an old sock somewhere.

If you want to hold on to your magical empire, play hard to get a little bit.

Best,
Allie

voldemort

SO dramatic.