Minister for Magic Matthew Soo
In conversation with Philomena Pest
For Witch Weekly Magazine
Winter has reared its frosty head, and brought with it not death, darling, but in fact a new lease of life, in the form of a vibrant, fresh-faced and deliciously handsome new Minister. But all leases come with an expiry date, so it is in our best interests to get the most out of them and really get our money’s-worth. After all, it’s a fickle thing, money, for you see, darlings, it comes and then it goes; for most of you, it went away and never came back. Unseemly!
So we turn to the hallmark signs of Christmas, and we take them as not a symbol, but a promise of the one thing money can’t buy: family. It’s in the snow, darlings, in the trees, and in the wreaths, in the tinsel, the baubles, the lights, the pudding and the stockings. Not even dementors could resist the smokey quartets of our billowing chimneys. But is it delusional, darling, to enact our ritual traditions, when the very fabric of our society is being torn from limb to limb? Nevermind unseemly, try wretched!
In this exclusive one on one interview with the newly elected Minister for Magic, Matthew Soo, in the quaint cats pub of Godrics Hollow, The Thirsty Dragon, I ask a number of questions to give us all an idea of who he is, and what’s to come. Riveting!
Arriving via floo powder, Soo, dressed in a smart and modest suit with a statement striped tie, sits across from me, with a serious but engaged expression. Dashing.
Minister Soo, darling! you made it. How are you, darling, how are you!?
I’m doing quite well Philomena, it’s been a fairly productive first week in office I should say. And I hope you’re doing well?
Marvelous, darling, marvelous. Tell me about the day you found out you’d won the Ministers race. Were you at home? out and about, darling? Were you with anyone, tell me about that.
Well I didn’t know what to expect, the day after the election, honestly, so I was at home in London with Lisa–em, my little sister–when the owl came in informing me of the win. It was fairly early so it was just us at home but we were both ecstatic. I made my way into the Ministry to accept straight away–well after breakfast of course, I wasn’t about to do all that hand shaking on an empty stomach.
How delectable, darling! And once again a huge congratulations to you. Where did you grow up? Where are you from?
I’ve lived in London all my life. Grew up in Chiswick, both parents worked for the Ministry in the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes as obliviators, but they’ve since retired. My passion was law of course, I took an interest from a very young age and focused my career in the Wizengamot.
Chiswick is a district of West London, noted for its leafy and village-like qualities, and its teeming selection of 18th century pubs, indie shops, wine bars and restaurants.
OH, darling! Chiswick! West London is every bit the café capitale of the British isles. What is your go to café purchase? I’m partial to a mochaccino, and a snide fondant fancy myself.
I like to change it up but more often than not I’ll have an Irish cream breve and a mille-feuille if the mood strikes me, generally anything to put me in the mood before dealing with court business all day.
Speaking of court business, you did mention that you started out in the Wizengamot. Describe your time there in one word.
[He chuckles] In one word? Tedious I suppose, that’s not to speak ill of anyone on the Wizengamot though. It’s just the nature of the work, the Wizengamot isn’t there for radical change, quite the opposite really. I realised if there was going to be any hope for change in the Ministry I was going to have to move up.
What about your current cabinet? Will you do a little, what do they call it, darling… reshuffling?
At the moment I don’t think I’ll be replacing anyone. I’ve already had a meeting with the department heads and I think we’ll get on just fine.
Merriweather has been slated by critics as one of the main reasons our economy has slumped to such miserable depths. What say you? Is she to blame, darling?
Well she certainly didn’t help anything did she? Think we can all agree that hopping in a life boat and turning over the helm to your first mate at the first sign of choppy water isn’t the best course of action, but I don’t think It’s fair to say she caused this particular crisis.
On a lighter note, darling, tell me about your sister. Lisa, was it? Are you her legal guardian?
She’s 10 years old, yes, she’ll be starting at Hogwarts next year. I have guardianship of her, yes, we both live here in London, still in Chiswick unless we decide to move now with my recent appointment. She’s a lot of fun, very spirited, hard to keep up with her.
Are you married, and do you have a type?
No I’m not married, can’t say I have a particular type either, I keep my options open…
What Quidditch team do you support?
[He chuckles] Well I’ve always been a fan of the Holyhead Harpies.
A marvelous team, darling! They’re mine too. How do you usually like to travel? Portkey? Floo? Broom? Enchanted limousine?
[Nervous laughter here, darling] Well I’ve always traveled by floo or apparition just like anyone else, not sure if that will change now that I’m Minister. Course I’m sure Metel will have something to say if I divulge too much of my travel habits
Alexandr Metel is the Ministry of Magic’s Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and is largely responsible for the Minister for Magic’s safety both in and out of the United Kingdom.
Christmas or Halloween, darling. If you had to choose one.
[He smirks] Christmas, hands down. Bet I’ll lose some supporters with that one but no apologies.
What do you intend to do first, as Minister? and will it get done before the Christmas festivities draw to an end?
Well of course we’re tackling the economic situation head-on, it’s my top priority but I know that will be a long road and no I unfortunately don’t believe that will be behind us quite yet by the holidays. But in the meantime, we’re doing everything we can to make sure British citizens have their needs met and can remain employed, working with our top businesses to give them incentives to keep people on their payrolls so that they can feed their families.
There is talk of a self-made currency, no longer in the hands of the Goblins. When can we expect this?
As part of the infamous Grexit, Dermot Trickelbank, Head of the Department of Magical Resources and Revenue, confirmed the Ministries intentions to replace our current Goblin-made coins with a production of our own instead. Daring!
Well, not soon, sadly. There’s been an issue with the metalcharmer in charge of that project and he had to unfortunately be let go, we’re now searching for a replacement. It’s still on the table though, we’re still pursuing it, we just need the right people in place to make sure it happens and we can do it properly.
If you had not chosen politics, what else might you have sought? Did you consider yourself as anything else? An obliviator, perhaps, like your mother and father?
Certainly not an obliviator, but no I don’t think I could see myself doing anything else. Perhaps a professor, if I really had to make a choice. [He laughs]
Lastly, tell us something that we don’t know about you, darling. Who are you? How do you like to relax, unwind? Do you have any hobbies? Any habits? Who are you, darling? No pressure.
Hm, well, to unwind I like sailing, something about being out there on the open water just you and the wind is the best feeling I can think of. I like fine wines and good food. Lisa and I had a goal to try all the best restaurants in London, magical and muggle alike. But that’s about all there is to tell about me, on a Friday night you can probably find me at home with a good book so long as I don’t have a charity event to go to.
And there it is, darlings! Quite the concise interview, but just enough to really dig your festive talons into the well-oiled skin of our newest bigwig. But does he possess the vernacular, the grit, the prowess, the unmitigated drive, darling, to really flip our crumbling country off its back, or is he diving too deep, and will he choke in the murky depths of our dark and dingy politics. Who wants to know? I do, darling! But for now, Christmas beckons. Mwah!