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Leaky Cauldron (General) Have a Potter topic that doesn't fit into a specific book or movie? Come here for a hoot!

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Old 05-23-2021, 10:04 PM
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Default The Statute of Secrecy

Recently I've been taking random stuff out of the books and focusing on the details of it. Right now, I'm thinking about the Statute of Secrecy that prevents muggles from knowing about the wizarding world.

If a muggle is related to someone in the magical community, they are often told about it. This also applies to marriage.

But some people don't get married for a long time, or they don't get married at all. And if a wizard is in a relationship for ten years with a muggle, it kinda seems like it would be super hard to not tell them about magic. Especially if someone wanted to make sure the muggle accepted magic before thinking about spending their life together.

So, what are the requirements a relationship has to meet before people are allowed to reveal magic to a muggle? Is it a certain amount of time, or maybe a specific milestone like moving in together/planning to get married/actually getting married/whatever? Is it a case-by-case decision? Are there exceptions to the rules?

I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this!
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Old 05-25-2021, 02:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Super interesting point there!

I agree that seems like something someone would want to bring up before getting married to a muggle or entering a long term relationship with them. After all, if they have kids their kids are going to be magic or squibs in the worse case scenario - and that is something they have to be OK with. I personally think a case by case situation is probably the way they go about it? Some people IRL get married after less than a year and then others don't get married for years. Or like you said, they never get married but are still together. I would imagine the wizard/witch is given a little bit of liberty on deciding when they want to tell them?

Now this makes me wonder if obliviators are routinely being used during breakups and if that's the majority of their cases
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Old 05-25-2021, 02:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Canon-wise, I don't think there is a strict set of requirements to break the Secrecy when it comes to relationships. It would depend on the witch/wizard involved to disclose the information.

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Originally, Isobel McGonagall followed the Statute by concealing her magical heritage from her Muggle husband, Robert McGonagall Snr. However, when their first daughter Minerva began exhibiting magical powers, Isobel was forced to break the Statute and reveal to her husband the existence of the wizarding world. This shows that wizards and witches with Muggle spouses could reveal the magical world under such circumstances. It was for this reason that Minerva refused to marry Dougal McGregor, fearing to bring up her magical heritage.
This one's also a good read.
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Old 06-07-2021, 05:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I wonder if this is more of an 'exception to the rule' thing that varies case by case. So rather than having a blanket rule about when a person can disclose this information to their partner, perhaps it's more of a matter of the magical person deciding what feels right and then .... getting it approved via the ministry of magic before breaching the statute?

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Originally Posted by Lissy Longbottom View Post
Now this makes me wonder if obliviators are routinely being used during breakups and if that's the majority of their cases
Oooh, this is super interesting! I wonder if there's a whole division of obliviators who are assigned to these sort of cases because I can definitely see this being a need, especially with this seeming to be more of a case by case issue.

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Canon-wise, I don't think there is a strict set of requirements to break the Secrecy when it comes to relationships. It would depend on the witch/wizard involved to disclose the information.



This one's also a good read.
The bit you quoted about Isobel McGonagall is so neat, Stefan! It's really interesting that she didn't tell her husband until AFTER Minerva started exhibiting signs of magic. I guess at that point, it is really personal preference. What really surprises me about a case like this is that the witch/wizard would have to be 100% okay giving up a life of magic if they were just to decide not to disclose this information to their partner.
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Old 06-07-2021, 08:14 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Telling a muggle, knowing that there's the possibility that they might react badly, or that a relationship could end also implies that the magical person would have to know that there's a chance their person might end up being obliviated or otherwise tampered with without their consent. For me I feel like that'd be a really big reason NOT to tell someone, and to choose to keep it secret from them, because the idea of being the reason that someone could potentially be violated in that way (because mental and emotional manipulation with magic or otherwise IS a violation) on my account is something I would find incredibly difficult.

Another angle on this is how do they stop the muggle from telling other people? Other family or friends for instance? This might also entail some kind of spell or tampering to make the topic taboo for the muggle, and again how does that sort of thing interplay with the concept of consent? Obviously the magical world has no issues meddling with muggles in order to protect themselves, obliviators do it all the time, but I imagine it is something that could put strain on a relationship to begin with. Parents of muggleborns too, there must surely be some kind protection in place to stop them from telling what they know, whether it is an actual spell or just the threat of one.

I suspect that most magical folk who are willing to be with a muggle are probably willing to give up their magic to some degree anyway and adapt to their partner's way of life, and most muggles who ended up with a magical person as a partner would potentially be more open-minded by default, so perhaps its easier to navigate that topic than it feels like to me, but consent is still something that niggles at my mind in relation to the statute.
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