To be frank, before Voldemort, most magical communities viewed the United Kingdom’s wizarding world with something akin amusement.
The vast majority of the wizarding world had long since incorporated muggle scientific thought and knowledge into their magical tutelage, while the United Kingdom proudly used the same textbooks and spells that their ancestors had thousands of years ago. In the late 70s, the American Wizarding President passed sweeping school reform, instituting a magical curriculum that taught muggle logic and critical thinking alongside wand work and spells. Having seen that the gap between muggle education and wizarding education was growing wider by the year, and taking note of the rising number of accidental magical injuries, the reform sought to make magic safer for all who used it.
The reform worked, which created a sense of vindication among the muggle born witches and wizards, many of whom had been pushing for such changes for years. Instead of blindly stabbing about in the dark with magical experimentation, barriers and secrets thought impossible were broken and unearthed. Medicine, technology, all corners of magical studies were expanded. There was an attempt of course, to include the UK in the changes. Which was met by the national wards being tightened, and the laws governing visitors becoming stricter. The UK had a long tradition of “pure blooded” ancient houses of power and influence, and the very idea that they should expose their children to muggle nonsense was met with violent opposition. Never mind that the Chinese, Japanese, Maori, several African Nations, First Peoples of North and South America and uncountable others had bloodlines just as long and powerful. Never mind that they had accepted the change in magical teachings with far less national ‘harrumfing’.
So the United Kingdom was allowed to sink further and further into the dark ages, left alone with their fading bloodlines and ridiculous robes and brooms. Very little communication happened between the UK and the rest of the wizarding world, so it came as a shock to most everyone when the Dark Lord Voldemort came to power. Both times the ministry refused aid, stating that if any foreign aurors were caught within the country, they would be shipped straight to the barbaric hellhole of Azkaban.
ROWAN, the American paramilitary force that dealt primarily with major magical disturbances and dark magic, tried to help the war effort more than once. At the Battle of Hogwarts, ROWAN dispatched over 100 highly trained aurors, only to be stopped by the national wards. They knew children were being slaughtered in droves, but without ministry permission, they could do nothing. They could have broken the wards, of course, but with traditional lack of forethought, the national wards supported several smaller wards around ancients places of power. Places that Voldemort could not be allowed to breach for fear of what he would do with such wellsprings of magic. They waited, the sun rose, and they read the death count in the Daily Prophet with something that was not amusement.
After the war, the UK Ministry was in tatters, their terrifyingly small contingent of aurors barely keeping up with the deluge of ex-Death Eaters still causing havoc. After several years, the damage lessened, but the list of “missing” Death Eaters grew longer with each passing month. It was assumed they had gone into hiding, fled the country, and that was left at that.
The Death Eaters had indeed fled the country. A great many fled to America and South America. Drawn to the vast expanses of territory that even ROWAN, with its ranks upon ranks of trained aurors, were hard pressed to patrol. The DEs dug in deep, creating smaller pools of dark magic, drawing those of a… like mind together. In a country that was so very muggle-friendly, these sickened minds were often drawn to acts of horror and violence. Many attacked unprotected muggle schools, killing muggle children with abandon. Many more tried and succeeded to storm the halls of wizarding institutions. ROWAN and its allies asked the Ministry for help in containing the threat they themselves had created, to be met with cold and precise letters of rejection.
It was not that those within the Ministry were bad. Or even so apathetic as to ignore the plight of children across the pond. Mostly, it was politics. Old loopholes that allowed a select few and all-but-obsolete cabinets to screen such correspondences. And it would have continued on in this fashion, had the Golden Trio not dropped in for a friendly visit, trying in their own ways to increase international magical cooperation.
Hosted in the American wizarding capital of Salem, MA, it was the type of charity ball that each of the trio had avoided as point of fact for most of their lives. But a friend, Neville Longbottom in fact, had asked that they attend as a personal favor. Neville had spent a great deal of time in America, after receiving a particular letter from a concerned Mediwitch. She specialized in treating affects of the cruciatus curse, and had expressed regret that his parents were not taken to a suitable hospital in time for the effects to have been reversed. Something which was considered impossible by all the respectable Mediwizards and Mediwitches Neville had spoken to.
So he knew something of what was about to happen when a woman in a black dress, pale and shaking, approached the Golden Trio at the ball. Neville recognized her from the morning’s newspaper. She was the mother of child killed in the most recent Death Eater attack upon a wizarding school. He watched with a deep regret as the woman tried to hold herself together, tried to converse politely with the savior of the wizarding world. He thought that she would make it, that she could keep her grief contained, but the façade cracked as Harry, unknowingly, made an offhand comment about how well his auror department had been doing this year. Neville saw several people tense as the woman stared at Harry with eyes full of grief and horror. Harry tensed himself, his smile strained, before the woman darted foreword and slapped him across the face. Harry rocked back on his heels, blinking in shock, as the woman was dragged away from him by the heretofore unseen ROWAN security wizards.
“How dare you! How dare you act like it’s over!” she screamed, tears running down her face. The crowd went still, answering expressions of sorrow and anger on their faces. Harry stared at her, frowning in confusion. The woman went limp, sobs wracking her slight frame. The ROWAN security gently steadied her as she started to sway in place. Neville heard one of them murmur something about getting her back to her room. Neville watched the crowd turn accusing eyes upon Harry, watched his friend tense again. Hermione stepped up beside him, her own face twisted in confusion.
“What is she talking about?” Hermione asked the room at large. There were several intakes of breath, furious gasps, a low murmur starting up.
“Like you don’t know!” a man shouted from the back of the crowd. Ron stepped up on Harry’s other side, his hand ghosting past the wand holster on his hip. The trio shared a look of anxiety, of confusion, between themselves. Neville stayed silent and took a long drag of his wine.
“I’m sorry, but— I really don’t know what’s going on. Did something happen?” Harry asked, taking a step towards the crowd, his hands held out beseechingly in front of him.
“How can you not know? You’re the head auror and you’re trying to tell me you don’t know about the attacks?” the woman in black asked, her face twisted with grief and anger. Harry shook his head, back and forth, while an explosion of angry murmuring rippled out through the gathered crowd. The woman took a step back, as if she had been the one slapped now.
“Death Eaters are killing our children! The ones you didn’t hunt down after they fled. They attack muggle schools, they attack wizarding schools!” the woman shouted, her voice hoarse. Hermione gasped, her hand flying to cover her mouth, while Ron placed a steadying hand on his wife’s shoulder. Harry, for his part, went completely still, his face a mask of shock.
“Did— did your—“ Harry started to ask the woman, fists clenching. She nodded, openly sobbing into her hands. Neville decided that maybe this was the time to intervene, and he stepped up beside his friend. Harry turned to face him, his eyebrows pinched in concentration.
“Many of the “missing” Death Eaters came here after the fall of Voldemort. There’s so much land that they can hide out for years without being detected,” Neville started, watching his friend’s expression closely. When Harry said nothing, the crowd started to grow restless, so Neville continued.
“Their school system uses much much more muggle information than ours. There’s more interaction, and it’s everything Voldemort hated. So these Neo-Death Eaters have been attacking children and schools. Last week they stormed a school, Cross Winds, and killed twenty students before ROWAN could respond. Her son died,” Neville said, nodding to the woman.
“How is it possible that we didn’t know?” Hermione asked, to no one in particular. Her eyes were narrowed in thought, fingers absently tapping against her robes. The room had gone eerily still, quiet.
“I think,“ Neville said, loud into the silence, “That there are some problems in our ministry.”
(written and submitted by stopdropandbeauty. This is a very very different take on the UK vs. the rest of the magical world. The US presented here is not my magical US, but I feel privileged to read about it nonetheless. I’m a huge fan of how swiftly stopdropandbeauty’s interpretation dismantles so many assumptions about the canon. Oh, and the picture is theirs, too!)