At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
"Magical beasts are terrorising No-Majs. When No-Majs are afraid, they attack. Contain this or it will mean war." ― Seraphina Picquery[source]Madam President Seraphina Picquery (fl. 1903 – 1928) was an American witch born in Savannah, Georgia. She attended Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where she was sorted into the Horned Serpent house. Seraphina served as the President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America between 1920 and 1928.
During her tenure as President, Gellert Grindelwald tried to incite a war between the Magical and Non-Magical communities, by attempting to expose the wizarding world. Also in 1927, Madam Picquery made the thunderbird a protected species and later extended the law to include all North American beasts. She ended her term as President in 1928.
Seraphina was born in the city of Savannah, no later than 1903. At the age of eleven, she started her education at Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. During her sorting ceremony, she was offered a place in all four Ilvermorny houses, becoming one of very few students to be so honoured. She chose Horned Serpent as her house. She was then chosen by a controversial Violetta Beauvais wand, a kind said to "take to Dark magic like a vampire to blood."
- Porpentina Goldstein: "Ma'am, yesterday a wizard entered New York with a case. This case full of magical creatures and unfortunately some have escaped."
- Seraphina: "He arrived yesterday? You've known for twenty-four hours that an unregistered wizard set magical beasts loose in New York, and you see fit to tell us only when a man has been killed?"
- — Tina Goldstein bringing Newt Scamander's case before Seraphina[src]
She allowed wizarding consumption of alcohol during her mandate, saying that life as a wizard of the time was hard enough without banning booze. She famously stated to her Chief of Staff that "The Gigglewater is non-negotiable".In December 1926, Seraphina was working to contain a series of magical disturbances in New York, and concerned over the incidents in Europe tied to Gellert Grindelwald. When Magizoologist Newton Scamander arrived in New York, his creatures escaped from his case causing a massive threat to the Statute of Secrecy.
On 6 December 1926, Picquery held a meeting with Percival Graves and a few other workers in the Major Investigation Department to discuss the disturbances, she stated that she believed Grindelwald to be responsible. Porpentina Goldstein interrupted the meeting, with Newt and his suitcase. However, when she did not explain herself, Seraphina considered her presence an unnecessary disruption and asked her to leave.
That evening, when the No-Maj Henry Shaw Jr was murdered by an unknown magical force at a fundraising dinner, the Statute of Secrecy was placed in danger. The International Confederation of Wizards delegation and held a large meeting at MACUSA's Pentagram Office to discuss the attack, over which Picquery presided. Tina intruded again and explained that Newt had brought a suitcase with creatures and that some of them had escaped.Seraphina was outraged by the revelation and asked to see Newt. Tina knocked on the suitcase and Newt appeared from it along with Jacob Kowalski. Seraphina and the witches and wizards attending the meeting were upset to hear that Jacob was a No-Maj. Seraphina then showed them an image of Henry Shaw Jr's body to inquire about what creature could have killed him. Newt then pointed out the unusual injuries of Henry could not be done by any creature, but rather by an Obscurus. Picquery had Graves confiscate the suitcase and Newt, Tina, and Jacob were placed in restraints and taken to the interrogation cells.
They later escaped with the suitcase, and Seraphina was later reunited with them as they were all seeking the Obscurus of Credence Barebone, who had wreaked havoc on New York, creating a severe breach of the Statute of Secrecy. She and her Aurors had arrived in the New York City Hall subway station in time to find Newt, Tina and Graves trying to talk Credence down. However, her arrival scared Credence who returned to his Obscurus form. Seraphina then commanded the Aurors to destroy Credence.
When they had appeared to have destroyed him, Graves grew angry with her and openly questioned the value of the Statute of Secrecy. Seraphina told him that she believed the law protected them from the No-Maj community, but Percival argued that the law protected No-Majes more than it protected them. Graves responded that he refused to bow down any more, and began to attack the Aurors. Newt used his Swooping Evil to distract him, and unleashed a binding spell. He then revealed that Percival was actually the disguise of Gellert Grindelwald.Seraphina asked that Grindelwald be taken to MACUSA before she thanked Newt and his friends. She lamented that there was no way they could erase the memories of every No-Maj in New York and that the wizarding community was exposed for good. Newt then told her they could use the venom of the Swooping Evil by asking Frank the Thunderbird he had brought with him to fly across the city and create a storm with it. Seraphina agreed and thanked Newt, noting they were in his debt. However, before she left, she told them that she could not make an exception for Jacob and that he must have his memory erased. They agreed and she gave them a moment to say goodbye.
In late 1927, a year after Mr Scamander's visit to New York, Madam Picquery made the Thunderbird a protected species. She later extended the law to include all North American beasts. At her request, Newt Scamander agreed not to include these beasts in the first edition of his book, which otherwise might encourage wizarding tourists to seek out and disturb them.
Seraphina ended her term as President of MACUSA in 1928.
Personality and traits
Seraphina Picquery was haughty, blunt, and domineering. Implacable in nature, she would never let anyone put her in her place, as evidenced by how she refused to be lectured by a man who had allowed Gellert Grindelwald to surpass him. While not an intimately friendly person she was very politically astute and possessed a sort of authoritative charisma. Most people were not happy to cross her. She was rarely light-hearted.
Magical abilities and skills
- Wand: Made by the American wandmaker Violetta Beauvais, her wand is made of Swamp mayhaw with a Rougarou hair core. It is coloured purple with a jewel beset in it.
Behind the scenes
- Seraphina Picquery is played by Carmen Ejogo in the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. She reprised her role in Fantastic Beasts 2.
- An early draft of the script indicated that Picquery was from Africa, a detail that costume designer Colleen Atwood used as inspiration for her turban-like headdresses.
- In the second half of the 20th century or early 21st century, Rita Skeeter wrote in her Newt Scamander biography "Man or Monster? The TRUTH about Newt Scamander" that Newt left Madam Picquery with a broken heart in 1926, something he later clarified was not true.
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (First appearance)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- LEGO Dimensions
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Mentioned in forward of 2017 edition)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "1920s Wizarding America" at Pottermore - Picquery is said to have been President of MACUSA throughout the 1920s so she must have been of age by the beginning of the decade.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "1920s Wizarding America" at Pottermore
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 "J.K. Rowling to Reveal History of North American Magic – Beginning Tomorrow!" from MuggleNet
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" at Pottermore
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them - 2017 edition/
- ↑ Pottermore - Why Carmen Ejogo is 'so in love' with President Seraphina's wand
- ↑ * LEGO Dimensions
- ↑ "Announcement Trailer for 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' to Be Unveiled Worldwide on December 15th" at BusinessWire
- ↑ Carmen Ejogo's Instagram account (4 October 2017)
- ↑ The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, page 79
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and where to Find Them - 2017 edition
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