Aurors and Hit-Wizards
The Aurors are an elite group of witches and wizards who battle the Dark Arts. They operate in some ways as soldiers but more often as intelligence agents, seeking out Dark wizards and defeating them, often in fierce wizard duels. Alastor Moody and Frank and Alice Longbottom were famous Aurors. Aurors are sometimes refered to as Dark Wizard catchers.
The Aurors were responsible for bringing to justice many of the Dark wizards who supported Voldemort during the 1970s. They also battled the giants, killing many and driving the rest from Britain. Under the leadership of Bartemius Crouch senior, who headed the Department of Magical Law Enforcement after Voldemort's defeat, the Aurors were given sweeping powers. These powers allowed the Aurors to bypass the normal channels of justice and kill or capture enemy wizards using means nearly as vicious as those used by the Dark wizards they fought. Sirius Black was imprisoned during this time without a trial because of these policies (GF27).
Auror Headquarters is located on Level Two of the Ministry of Magic. It consists of a series of open cubicles, each Auror being assigned a space to work. The cubicles are decorated with pictures of known Dark wizards, maps, clippings from the Daily Prophet, and other odds and ends. Kingsley Shacklebolt's cubicle is located at one end (OP7).
Barty Crouch junior, disguised as Moody, told Harry (GF25) and Hermione (GF29) that they had what it took to be Aurors. When he heard of Harry's ambition, Slughorn also said that Harry would make a good Auror (HBP15). Harry told McGonagall during his careers consultation that he wanted to be an Auror and she vowed to help him along that path (OP29). After the Battle of Hogwarts and the final defeat of Voldemort, Kingsley Shacklebolt made both Harry and Ron Aurors (BLC).
Historical note: the first Auror recruitment programme was established by Minster for Magic Eldritch Diggory (1733-1747) (Pm: Ministers for Magic). It is unclear if this marked the actual beginning of the Aurors. However, since Hesphaestus Gore, listed as "one of the earliest Aurors," became Minister for Magic in 1752, it does seem likely.
Training to be an Auror takes three years after leaving Hogwarts; the Aurors ask for a minimum of five N.E.W.T.s, with nothing under "Exceeds Expectations" grade. Apart from Defence Against the Dark Arts, the recommended N.E.W.T.s include Charms, Potions (particularly the study of poisons and antidotes), and Transfiguration (OP29).
If a candidate for Auror training has the required academic qualifications, he or she must pass a background check for a criminal record, and must pass "a stringent series of character and aptitude tests at the Auror office." These tests assess skill in practical defence, perseverance and dedication, and the ability to react well to stress (OP29).
Once accepted into the program, an Auror trainee is taught (among other things), "Concealment and Disguise" and "Stealth and Tracking" (OP3).
- Hesphaestus Gore (Pm: Ministers for Magic) one of the earliest Aurors c. 1750
- Venusia Crickerly (Pm: Ministers for Magic) second Auror to become Minister for Magic, c. 1900
- Dawlish, John (OP27)
- Longbottom, Alice (OP23)
- Longbottom, Frank (GF30, OP23)
- Moody, Alastor "Mad-Eye" (retired, deceased) (GF11)
- Proudfoot (HBP8)
- Robards, Gawain - Head of the Aurors after July of 1996 (HBP16)
- Savage (HBP8)
- Scrimgeour, Rufus - Head of the Aurors until he was named the new Minister for Magic in July of 1996 (HBP1)
- Shacklebolt, Kingsley (OP3)
- Tonks, Nymphadora (OP3)
- Williamson (OP36)
- (unnamed) witch with eyepatch (OP7)
- (unnamed) wizard with a pony tail longer than Bill Weasley's (may be the same as Williamson) (OP7)
- Harry Potter, joined 1998, became head of the Aurors in 2007 (BLC)
- Ron Weasley (BLC)
The Department of Magical Law Enforcement maintains squads of trained Hit-Witches and Wizards whose job it is to capture dangerous wizarding criminals. A group of these Hit-Wizards captured Sirius Black after he supposedly killed Peter Pettigrew. The Hit-Wizards are not the same as Aurors. Hit-Wizards, it would seem, are sent primarily against criminals while Aurors track down and capture Dark Wizards.
The Magical Law Enforcement Squad asks for a minimum of five O.W.L.s, requiring Defence Against the Dark Arts. They require that applicants be over 17 years of age and "not of a nervous disposition" (DP2).
Once accepted into the program, a Hit-Witch or Hit-Wizard trainee is taught (among other things):
- defensive charms and counter-curses (DP2)
- how to restrain magical law-breakers without attracting Muggle attention (DP2)