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  1. #1
    annegirl.shruti
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    Muggle law manipulation by wizards

    Hello!
    I was wondering, how does Hermione manage to change her parents legal identities in the muggle world? Would the use of magic to do so(manipulate muggle documents) be legal? What does the Ministry of Magic have to do with it? What exactly is the procedure to obtain a passport in UK?

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    Quote Originally Posted by annegirl.shruti View Post
    I was wondering, how does Hermione manage to change her parents legal identities in the Muggle world?
    Thatís a very good question, and one which requires a lot of thought. If she wants to make certain that no one knows, then there is no legal way to do it. Sheíd have to use magic, as any other method would leave a paper trail.

    Quote Originally Posted by annegirl.shruti View Post
    Would the use of magic to do so(manipulate muggle documents) be legal?
    In the Muggle world, manipulation of the documents would be a crime. I doubt, however, that itís a crime in the magical world, as wizards may occassionaly need documentation.

    Quote Originally Posted by annegirl.shruti View Post
    What does the Ministry of Magic have to do with it?
    Nothing at all. If the Ministry know, then Voldemort could find out, and Hermione isnít that stupid. She would organise everything herself.

    Quote Originally Posted by annegirl.shruti View Post
    What exactly is the procedure to obtain a passport in UK?
    You collect a long and complicated form (which you can pick up at any Post Office), fill it in, and sent it off to and send it off to the Passport Office. Sounds easy, it isnít. The form asks your date of birth and town of birth, and if youíre a UK citizen your birth will be registered. The basic check is that someone of the name youíre using was born when and where you claim you were born. You also need to send two photographs, and they must be countersigned by someone who is not a relative (and who must provide their name and address on the form). This person signs to say that you are who you claim to be.

    Personally, I think Hermione simply magically changed the names on her parents passports. They must have already had passports.

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    Personally, I think Hermione simply magically changed the names on her parents passports. They must have already had passports.
    I think this is the most plausible explanation. Mind you, people obtain false passports all the time and fake identities by stealing people's details, or using birth certificates of people who are dead. The problem would have been finding a married couple whose details she could steal.

    I wonder if she cast something like a Befuddlement Charm on the documentation - if that is at all possible. I was thinking something along the lines of the Psychic paper used in Doctor Who where the person examining the Doctor's card basically reads what they expect to read - the card itself is blank.

    She'd have needed something like this, not just for the passports, but to get her parents into Australia to live. That would have taken a lot of work otherwise, given that it can take months to get your permit to live/work there through.

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    I don't know whether it's a crime to falsify Muggle documents, but I'll just say that I don't think it really matters whether it's illegal or not. Hermione and the rest of the trio are on the run from Voldemort, and they do plenty of illegal things, from infiltrating the Ministry to breaking into Gringotts. I think Hermione's priority is probably just getting her parents safely out of the way, even if she has to break the law to do it.

    On the flip side, it seems unlikely to me that, what with everything else that's going on in the Wizarding world at this point, the Ministry would be very concerned with someone forging Muggle documents. The Ministry is an extension of Voldemort in the seventh book, and Voldemort's trying to capture Harry, wipe out all the Muggle-borns, find the Elder Wand, keep control of Hogwarts, protect his Horcruxes....It just feels like a falsified Muggle passport would be pretty insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

    So, while it might be illegal to forge documents under normal circumstances, I think it's a) unlikely Hermione would care, and b) unlikely that the Ministry would notice.

    I'm with the others who say she probably just changed the names on their passports, magicked visas and working papers, etc. If anyone could figure out a way to do this, Hermione could.
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    I think Carole and Neil have things well covered, though I do have a quibble.

    It may be a crime in the wizarding world to forge or change Muggle documents.

    Certainly, wizards may occasionally need documentation. But we have seen that at least at the highest level, Muggle governments are aware of the wizarding world's existence. Whether there is some kind of agreement in place regarding documents is unknown. Without it, or without some of kind of measure, there wouldn't be any way to stop wizards from say, Transfiguring a whole bunch of leaves into pound notes. Not the same thing, but there may some kind of restriction in place.

    The simplest way for Hermione to get her parents out of Britain would be to change pre-existing passports. We know they have them - they once went to Paris. Hermione's a clever witch, she almost certainly changed it herself, and if she had to invent a way to do so, she very well might have.
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    The simplest way for Hermione to get her parents out of Britain would be to change pre-existing passports. We know they have them - they once went to Paris.
    Not necessarily. If I'm not mistaken, Europeans don't need passports to travel within Europe. The can do it with just their identity cards.

    But Hermione's parents probably traveled outside of Europe at one point or the other, or even if they hadn't they probably had their passports anyway. It just seems like something a responsible person would do (judging by what we know about them, they seem responsible), have a passport even if they don't have plans to travel because you never know when you might need it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Indigo Cygnus View Post
    Not necessarily. If I'm not mistaken, Europeans don't need passports to travel within Europe. The can do it with just their identity cards.
    You are mistaken, for a couple of reasons (I'm a Brit, but I'm not an expert on this).

    First, we don't have identity cards. Many European Countries do, but not us. Our Driving Licence can be used as a photo ID, but they don't prove our nationality, and are not accepted.

    Second, freedom of travel within the EU is covered by the Schengen agreement, but not all EU countries have signed up to Schengen, and we haven't. I could (and have) flown to Copenhagen (Denmark) where they checked my passport on entering the country. I then hopped on a train (at the airport) to go to Sweden. No passport required for that, because I was travelling between Schengen countries.

    -N-
    Last edited by Northumbrian; 08-27-2012 at 07:55 AM. Reason: tpyos :)

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