The New American Hunt
An Auror is a member of an elite unit of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement of the Ministry of Magic trained to capture Dark wizards and witches. Auror training is very difficult and intensive, so there are few qualified applicants. No Auror had been taken on for three years prior to 1995, though Nymphadora Tonks stated that she qualified the year before, meaning she was probably one of the last candidates taken on. The head of the Auror Office as of 2007 is Harry Potter.
Auror headquarters are located on Level Two of the Ministry of Magic as well as a hidden building in the Upper District of Washington, D.C. It consists of a series of open cubicles, each Auror being given a place to work. Pictures of known Dark wizards, maps, clippings from the Daily Prophet, and various other things line the cubicles.
It is extremely difficult to fulfil the requirements of Auror training, let alone to pass the training with high marks. Applicants must first have excellent academic credentials before they are accepted into a rigorous training program. To be accepted, one has to have a minimum of five N.E.W.T.s in challenging subjects such as Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Charms, and Herbology, and no grade lower than “Exceeds Expectations” in any of these subjects. Then, prospective Aurors are required to undergo a stringent series of character and aptitude tests to show they react well under pressure. According to Dolores Umbridge, the Ministry also looks into the criminal records of the applicants, and those without a clean one will not make it through.
If accepted into Auror training, applicants are then required to train extensively in advanced magical combat and other elements of practical defence, as well as, presumably, methods of criminal investigation. Two of the disciplines included are “Concealment and Disguise” and “Stealth and Tracking”. Training lasts for three years.
The job is seen as glamorous by some, as there is a great deal of danger involved and it is extremely difficult to join the ranks of the Aurors. Harry Potter became increasingly interested in becoming an Auror as his schooling came to an end, since he has had to fight Dark Wizards his whole life.
Annoyed by Dolores Umbridge’s insistence that Harry would never become an Auror during the 1995–1996 school year, Professor Minerva McGonagall declared that she will give him whatever assistance and tutoring he required in order to become one. Luna Lovegood, however, told him she did not think he should be an Auror, as, according to her, the Aurors are part of the Rotfang Conspiracy, working to bring down the Ministry from within using a combination of Dark magic and gum disease.
Though Auror training is very taxing, and meaning additional three years of studying even after graduation from school, they seem to be very well respected in the wizarding community, and the higher members are potential candidates for Minister for Magic.
The admission requirements to become an Auror were relaxed immediately following the Second Wizarding War, as Minister for Magic and former Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt permitted any participant in the Battle of Hogwarts to begin Auror training if they were interested. At least some of these recruits, including Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom and Ron Weasley, did not achieve any N.E.W.T.s (they had not attended their final year at Hogwarts).
The First And Second Wizarding Wars
In the war during Lord Voldemort’s first rise to power, Aurors were authorised to use the Unforgivable Curses on suspected Death Eaters and criminals. This means that they were given the license to kill, coerce, and torture. It is unknown if, following the return of Lord Voldemort, this power was re-issued.
Captured criminals are generally handed over to the authorities upon capture. It is not uncommon for criminals to resist arrest; some choose to fight to the death rather than let themselves be captured, such as Death Eater Evan Rosier. Aurors are also used to guard high profile personalities or people who are in great danger but are protected by the Ministry. The Ministry had enlisted them to protect Harry Potter and Hogwarts during the 1996-1997 school term. Prior to this, the Order of the Phoenix had Auror members who were part of the Advance Guard which protected Harry. Rufus Scrimgeour also arranged for the British Prime Minister to have an Auror bodyguard, posing as his secretary, to protect him against the possibility that Lord Voldemort might take control of him to gain access to various Muggle resources at the highest level.
After the return of Voldemort, Rufus Scrimgeour, hitherto the head of the Auror Office, became Minister for Magic, as the wizarding world placed more trust in him as a war leader than his heavily disgraced predecessor, Cornelius Fudge. However, the most famous Auror in recent times is Alastor Moody, who came out of his retirement to join the Order of the Phoenix, but ultimately died in battle. Most of the other Aurors have followed Voldemort’s regime when he took over the Ministry, due to them being blindly loyal to the Ministry, and Voldemort acting discreetly to prevent potential mutiny. Other Aurors, such as Kingsley Shacklebolt and Nymphadora Tonks, continued to fight against the Death Eaters, which led to Tonks’ death, but after the war ended, Shacklebolt became the new Minister for Magic.