Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Albert Runcorn
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
|Loyalty||Ministry of Magic|
Albert Runcorn is a wizard of apparently high rank within the Ministry of Magic. We know very little of his appearance except that he is very tall and has a black beard.
Role in the Books
When Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley sneak into the Ministry to attempt to recover the Locket Horcrux, they each disguise themselves as Ministry employees. Harry ends up in the guise of Albert Runcorn, who is apparently quite senior in the Ministry. A wizard who bumps into him in the Atrium apologizes and rushes away, and the Minister for Magic, Pius Thicknesse, addresses him familiarly as "Albert."
At one point, Harry as Runcorn is sharing an elevator with an unnamed wizard who apparently is applauding Runcorn's revelation of the Muggle ancestry of Dirk Cresswell, and trying to grease his way into the position that Dirk has been ousted from. Later, in another elevator, Arthur Weasley tells Runcorn that this revelation of Cresswell's background is the sort of thing that will get him into trouble.
He seems to be one of the higher ranking Ministry workers under the corrupted Ministry. He is also apparently quite intimidating towards the other workers as seen by their attitudes towards Harry while disguised as Runcorn.
Relationships with Other Characters
Runcorn is very high in the Ministry and has done things that are underhanded in order to achieve his rank, apparently. There are wizards who are frightened of him, wizards who are smarming up to him to try and catch a ride on his coattails, wizards secure in their ancestry who are coldly furious at his tactics, and the upper echelons who treat him, apparently, as a near equal. Even so, Harry doubted very much that, even disguised as Runcorn, he would be able to get away with interrupting a trial or pulling one of its key figures away.
We really know almost nothing of Runcorn except via the reactions of other people. It is uncertain whether he is actively in Voldemort's camp, or is simply making use of the upheaval to advance his own aims within the Ministry as Dolores Umbridge is doing. It's certainly not necessary that he be a Death Eater in order to behave as he is.
Given that we don't know anything about Runcorn from outside, it is interesting how solid the picture we can build of him mentally is, simply through people's reactions to him. This again is one of the strengths of the series: the characterization, even of characters like Runcorn who we see for only a handful of chapters, and then only from the very odd perspective of Harry "wearing his skin", so to speak, is so precise. Having decided that Harry would have to impersonate a high-ranking Ministry official in order to reach Umbridge's office with only minimal questioning, the author took the time to determine how he would have achieved that rank, and what other Ministry workers would think of him.