"That's Dad's boss...Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic."
-- Ron Weasley
Harry, Ron and Hermione decide not to confront Hagrid, as time passes and there are no more attacks. Second-year students choose their courses for the next year, Quidditch practice becomes more frequent, Harry returns to his dormitory to find his belongings ransacked and the diary gone. Harry hears the voice again, Hermione runs to the library, and Gryffindor’s match with Hufflepuff is cancelled when Hermione and another girl are attacked. Harry and Ron visit Hagrid and overhear a conversation between Dumbledore, Cornelius Fudge, Hagrid, and Lucius Malfoy. Hagrid is taken away and Dumbledore suspended as the Ministry tries to stop the attacks.
Interesting facts and notes
We first meet Cornelius Fudge in this chapter, and learn that he responds far better to political pressure than to any abstract demands of justice.
"Maybe it was some other monster attacking people..."
"How many monsters d'you think this place can hold?" Ron asked dully.
Apart from the monster of Slytherin - who in hindsight, of course, wasn't Aragog, but the basilisk - we have the acromantulas, Fluffy himself, boggarts that come and go...
Ernie Macmillan asked Harry quite politely to pass a bucket of leaping toadstools in Herbology one day...
So these are part of the second-year Herbology curriculum.
...and in March several of the mandrakes threw a loud and raucous party in Greenhouse Three. This made Professor Sprout very happy.
"The moment they start trying to move into each other's pots, we'll know they're fully mature," she told Harry.
What would a mandrake do during a party? Can they eat and drink, for example?
"We keep all our old subjects, or I'd've ditched Defence Against the Dark Arts."
"But that's very important!" said Hermione, shocked.
"Not the way Lockhart teaches it," said Ron. "I haven't learned anything from him except not to set pixies loose."
Ron's making an extremely important point, here. All the students of Hogwarts would have been better off with almost any other DADA teacher. Even Umbridge at least set the kids reading assignments that didn't require the kids to memorize their teacher's favourite colour.
Exceptional character moments
Fudge, who takes Hagrid into custody and condemns him to Azkaban because he himself lacks the backbone to stand up to the wizarding public and do what is right rather than what is easy.
Hermione voiced the knottiest question of all in a hesitant voice: "Do you think we should go and ask Hagrid about it all?"
"That'd be a cheerful visit," said Ron. "Hello, Hagrid, tell us, have you been setting anything mad and hairy loose in the castle lately?"
"I haven't learned anything from him [Lockhart] except not to set pixies loose."
From the Web
Writing by J K Rowling on WizardingWorld.com (Pottermore):
Harry Potter Wiki: Cornelius Fudge
WizardingWorld.com (Pottermore) features:
Tags: arrest attacks blackmail clues fear government influence loyalty manipulation panic prison scapegoating suspicion/suspicious theft trust