Chapter 4 How to Keep Muggleborns
Keeping muggleborns is an issue that our community has, especially in the aftermath of the conflict with the Death Eaters. Many muggleborns who escaped Britain refuse to return, the lives they have started to build abroad and their fears of the community keep them away. Likewise the number of muggleborns who refuse to go to Hogwarts because of the tales their siblings brought back with them have lost us those students, who tend to go to Ilvermorny and Beauxbatons. These muggleborns tend to settle down in America and France respectively as they have most of their connections there. Some do go on to work in international work, but that does not guarantee they will come back here.
While there are still some muggleborn students attending Hogwarts, the numbers are down and the number of those who are related to those who went to Hogwarts during the time the Death Eaters were in control are fewer. This means that muggleborns who were affected during this time have fewer connections here, and are less likely to return. The number of half-bloods who remember how their muggleborn relatives were treated may also push them away in the landscape, if they have the resources available to move. Right now keeping the muggleborns and half-bloods that were directly affected by the war is extremely limited, if not downright impossible.
In order to survive Britain needs to make itself more open to muggleborns and half-bloods, in order for fresh infusions of magical blood to take place. But how can they be encouraged to stay after they have been made unwelcome?
The first step would be to research a better trace and eliminate any type of advantage pureblood and half-blood students have over them. A trace that can identify whether the magic was cast by the under-seventeen wizard would put an end to children practicing magic outside of school, and have a more even playing field for grades. Another option, if such a trace cannot be spelled would be to amend the rules, allowing children to practice magic in their own home in front of their parents, effectively giving the same advantage to muggleborns that purebloods have.
Building onto this option would be allowing licensed tutors to register with the ministry to prioritize muggleborn students, which would open up homeschooling for muggleborns (as another less expensive option than leaving Britain) and offer subjects that tend to be taught in pureblood circles that my not be touched on. Muggles already have programs for learning other languages, but I have found tutors listed for penmanship (something that might be helpful for muggleborns to learn the year before setting off to Hogwarts), History, Magical Theory, and Wizarding Etiquette and Traditions. Offering these options to muggleborns will allow for students to continue their studies during the summer, and allow them to gain information that will fill them in on wizarding culture.
Muggleborns who are more aware of wizarding culture are more likely to embrace that culture, but only if that culture is seen favorable to them. As long as they are deemed second class citizens by those who continue to be where they are by virtue of connections and place of birth, getting further will only happen through 'marrying up'.
The first step to improving is making our culture accessible to muggleborns, and working through the parts that actively work against them. We do not have to do away with the terms pureblood, half-blood, and muggleborn but we need to take the negative connotations away from terms of society. By pushing for thoughts of new blood being brought in by muggleborns we can help dismantle part of the pureblood prejudice that exists. And by openingly welcoming them into our culture we can incorporate them without the thought of wizards losing their culture beyond magic.
Another step that must be taken is restitution to those who were affected by the conflict. This step is necessary to indicate that the governing body sees what happened as wrong and goes out of its way to be sure it doesn't happen again. More monetary support for muggleborns going to Hogwarts, laws in place that protect against crimes that are committed because of blood pressure to elevate on merit rather than connections, all these are critical if Britain's wizard population to remain stable.
However, pushing them away makes our numbers smaller, and at the end of the day there are not enough purebloods to do everything that is needed to keep our society running smoothly. With the max exodus of muggleborns after the rise and fall of Tom Riddle the ministry is strained to find the manpower to keep essential services running. Several stores have help wanted signs left in their windows for months, and some business owners are preparing for another slow year of Hogwarts school shopping.
Like it or not, society needs muggleborns. And as muggleborns leave society slowly dwindles as alone wizards cannot push up their own dwindling numbers.
Percy had been working as an aide in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes for the past month. Starting from the bottom meant getting an general aide position doing paperwork, but do well enough on the paperwork and making the right connections would allow him to move into actual department positions. The Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes also issued guidelines on how to avoid them. Percy had been told to report to his supervisor for a special assignment.
However, the supervisor wasn't immediately available. Another aide was arguing with him loudly through the door. Words like 'clout', 'outstanding', and words not to be said in a professional setting were heard through the door, before it suddenly opened and a slightly older harried aide stepped out. Her dark hair pinned back in a tight braid, and her ministry robes slightly off kilter. Alice Bakerson, a muggle born who had been two years ahead of him. She'd helped him with his potion's OWL studying he remembered, as using the school's time turner had left him exhausted. His professors had helped hook him up with a couple of tutors under the understanding that he would stop using the time turner for his NEWT classes.
"Ah, Percy, my boy come in" Percy stepped into the supervisor's office. Terrance Fawley didn't really have a need for a ministry job, but felt that nurturing those who had just come out of school to work in the ministry was a respectful enough hobby for someone who otherwise made his money on investing and loaning. He was a thick set man, with hands that were roughened by his other hobby, tending and riding expensive aethon horses. "I was just looking over your NEWT results, an Exceeds Expectations in potions is no small feat."
"It took a lot of studying to get it, sir," Percy nodded respectfully.
"There is a proposal to adjust the thickness of cauldron bottoms, with the thought being to use spells in the forging process to reinforce them. This is being put forth under the presumption that this could make cauldrons cheaper and lighter. We need someone to do some research and write a report so the department can give its recommendation on the possible new guidelines." Terrance handed a small folder to percy. "We need that report in a week, do you think you can do that? I'll pull you off paperwork sorting and filing to get it done."
"Of course, I'd be honored sir." Percy reigned in his excitement as he grabbed the folder. Reports were the first things you needed to get noticed.
Percy worked through the paperwork and regulations that made it across his desk as undersecretary to the minister. He only had brief respites to work on his own paperwork to make his proposal of a board to help spearhead the pro-muggleborn, pro-muggle, and pro-outside wizard changes that had to happen to help the ministry not only recover face, but to prevent another event similar to the last two wars. A knock at his door forced him to pause his work.
"I'm sorry to disturb you, but the report I was asked to work on was too heavy to be sent through the memo system," A dark haired aide held a thick stack of papers close to her chest. Her black robe in a civilian cut marked her as a general aide, just like the name tag on the right side of her chest. Alice Bakerson. Percy looked confusingly at her as he reached out for the stack of papers. Last he knew Alice was a minor respondent in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes. Someone sent to document failed protocols and perform minor fixes in areas.
"I thought you'd been promoted," Percy's statement fell out of his mouth without a chance for him to glance down at the paperwork she had handed him.
She frowned at him. "They'd already filled my position when I was released. I was offered to come back as an aid with a note to promote me if a position came open I was qualified for," her hands were shaking from her clenching them. Percy looked down at the paperwork, even with more than a year passing after Voldemort had been defeated their country was still behind helping those who had been hurt by his reign.
The paperwork was an updated report on the number of muggleborns requesting to study out of the country, glancing at the graphs on the first page Percy noticed a spike in second years requesting transfer. The world wasn't getting better fast enough. She walked out of the room while he thumbed through the report. He made his notes for Kingsley almost absentmindedly. He skimmed the same places in the document multiple times. His mind resting again on Alice.
She'd gotten an Outstanding on her potions NEWT, he remembered, as she had told him after he showed his own Outstanding on his potions OWL. And yet here he was, skipping over people like Alice from Aid position to a very cushy job of being an Senior Undersecretary. He set the report down and summoned some more blank paperwork from his filing cabinet. Percy knew Alice's work. He could work with her, and if he was going to help create a group to fix the ministry he would have to walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
Percy finished the transfer paperwork, before pulling back Alice's report, his mind clear enough to finish marking and making notes for Kingsley. He gathered the report, the transfer paperwork, and his proposal, in triplicate, and headed for Kingsley's office.
He knocked on the door, watching a few memos zip through the small window at the top. "Come in," Kingsley's voice greeted. Percy opened the door and stepped into the sunshine brightened office. Two large enchanted bay windows were set into the wall behind the minister's desk, bright light streaming through them. Kingsley was working on correspondence, checking the two memos, before refolding one and sending it back on its way. "What can I do for you Percy?"
"I think I've come up with a way to make the ministry better, but I'm going to need some funds and staff allocations," Percy started.
"And I assume you have a proposal written up? Sit down Percy and let's go over it together." Kingsley smiled warmly as Percy sat down. For the first time since the end of the war Percy started to feel like he might be able to make a tangible difference.