W.O.M.B.A.T stands for Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Test. It's administered by the Wizarding Examinations Authority. The head of this Authority is Griselda Marchbanks, CDMG, APMD, fbBB.
The W.O.M.B.A.T. test appeared on Rowling's website on March 31, 2006. This test consisted of questions which require an extensive knowledge of canon and an intuitive understanding of the Wizarding world to answer. A number of the questions require educated guesses, since we don't have sufficient information to answer them definitively.
The test is reproduced below with commentary by Steve Vander Ark and Belinda Hobbs. The purpose of this commentary is to help those who want to be reminded of handy canon details or who want to consider some of the implications of what we do or don't know. The commentary is not intended to give specific answers in most cases, but rather to provide support information so that the test taker can formulate their answers most effectively. Remember, in many cases, there is no way for us Muggles to know the exact correct answer, so feel free to make your best guess.
NOTE: We don't know what the acronyms after Marchbanks' name stand for. Considering Rowling's devious sense of humor, we're not likely to be able to guess for sure. That won't stop us, of course.
See the WOMBAT tests -Results page to learn about the scoring.
(Points available: 36 out of a possible 100)
Which Ministry of Magic department(s) and/or committee(s) would you contact to resolve each of the following dilemmas? (Questions 1-5)
1. Your neighbour is concealing a stash of flying carpets, some of which he is allowing to fly loose around his back garden.
b. Department of Internationsal Magical Cooperation
c. Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office
e. All of the Above
f. None of the Above
Steve: Flying carpets fall under Arthur Weasley's department, judging by the conversation with Barty Crouch before the Quidditch World Cup. So The Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office seems the likely choice. The Obliviators might be needed if the carpets were spotted by Muggles, but since they seem to be limited to the back garden, it seems unlikely that they would be spotted by Muggles.
Belinda: I have to wonder about flying carpets being considered "misuse" in some parts of the world, but not in others. In QA7 we learn that they are still an accepted mode of transportation in some Eastern countries. But letting them fly free is most likely misuse. Seems that the bloke Arthur is talking about in GF7 is contesting his jurisdiction over them, but it falls under a Trade Restriction as a Proscribed Charmable Object. But yes, we know it is his department that handles this.
2. Your friend C possesses a Muggle Penny Farthing (old bicycle) that has been enchanted to skim an inch above the ground, achieving speeds of over 100mph. C did not personally enchant the Penny Farthing, never rides it and merely wishes to keep it 'for sentimental reasons' as it was her grandmother's.
a. Department of Magical Transport
b. Improper Use of Magic Office
d. Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office
e. Committee on Experimental Charms
f. None of the above
Steve: A Penny Farthing is pictured on the right. This is clearly a Muggle artifact. The only office which would be involved would be the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office. The other offices wouldn't be involved. C didn't enchant it, they don't ride it, and therefore the magical nature of the artifact will never be observed by Muggles who would therefore need Obliviating.
Belinda: Since she has no "intentions of using" the PennyFarthing, it should fall through the loophole in the law Arthur wrote that specifically allows someone to own an enchanted Muggle item such as, oh, a car, if the wizard did not intend to actually use it. In CS3 we have this exchange between Arthur and Molly:
[Mr. Weasley] There's a loophole in the law, you'll find.. As long as he wasn't intending to fly the car, the fact that the car could fly wouldn't - "So I wouldn't report it at all.
"Arthur Weasley, you made sure there was a loophole when you wrote that law!" shouted Mrs. Weasley. "Just so you could carry on tinkering with all that Muggle rubbish in your shed!"
3. Your sixteen year old nephew, D, has hexed his seventeen-year-old sister, E. E has retaliated with a Stunning Spell that missed D and hit a Muggle motorist, who smashed into a lamppost.
a. Department of Magical Accidents & Catastrophes
b. Department of Magical Accidents & Catastrophes and Obliviator Squad
c. Department of Magical Accidents & Catastrophes, Obliviator Squad and Improper Use of Magic
d. Department of Magical Accidents & Catastrophes, Obliviator Squad, Improper Use of Magic
Office and Wizengamot
Steve: We have Underage Wizardry involved, since D was 16. That means that the Improper Use of Magic Office will have to be consulted. Since a Muggle was injured, the Magical Accidents & Catastrophes would handle it, and the Obliviators will probably be necessary to erase the memory of the Muggle. The Wizaengamot typically doesn't get involved with matters of underage wizardry. Dumbledore, at Harry's trial, points out how unusual it is for the Wizengamot to hear that particular case:
'Of course they can,' said Dumbledore, inclining his head. 'And vou certainly seem to be making many changes, Cornelius. Why, in the few short weeks since I was asked to leave the Wizengamot, it has already become the practice to hold a full criminal trial to deal with a simple matter of underage magic!'Some time later, Arthur exclaimed in surprise when he realized that Harry's simple hearing had been before the high court:
'Merlin's beard!' exclaimed Mr Weasley wonderingly, pulling Harry aside to let them all pass. 'You were tried by the full court?'However, since E fired off a spell which injured a Muggle, they might step in with punishment. It's unclear in the canon how serious an offense needs to be in order to involve the Wizengamot.
4. Your Friends wizard A and wizard B are in dispute over which of them owns a field in which Mooncalfs dance periodically. A accuses B of using nightly a Summoning Charm to collect the precious Mooncalf dung which is rightfully A's.
a. Improper use of Magic Office
c. Pest Advisory Board
d. Improper Use of Magic Office and Wizengamot
e. Improper Use of Magic Office and Pest Advisory Board
f. Wizengamot and Pest Advisory Board
Steve: Mooncalfs are mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. These creatures are not the key to this problem, however, rather the accusation that B is supposedly using a Summoning Charm to steal something. Since it's not a creature issue, the Pest Advisory Board would not be involved at all. The Improper Use of Magic Office would, certainly, and if the charges prove true, the Wizengamot would try the case.
Belinda: This question has me wondering if it is the responsibility of the reporting person to notify all the relevant agencies, or if by simply notifying the Misuse of Magic Office they would refer charges up to the Wizengamot. I tend to think that ordinary folks wouldn't call the Wizengamot, that it is more an upper level of law enforcement, like our Court systems.
5. Witch F fed love potion to a Muggle man, who has married her. When you went around with a wedding gift you discovered that she is using him as an occasional table.
a. Auror office
b. Misuse of Magic Office
e. All of the above
f. None of the above
Steve: Using a Love Potion on a Muggle would almost certainly fall under the jurisdiction of the Misuse of Magic office. It's possible that the Obliviators would need to modify the Muggle's memory, but the Auror Office would definitely not be involved--they're Dark wizard catchers, after all. So it's most likely that the answer is b.
Belinda: Let's assume that the "Misuse of Magic Office" is the same as the "Improper Use of Magic Office" (I think Jo was confusing the names of two departments here, Misuse of Muggle Artifacts and Improper Use of Magic.) As in the question above, would notifying this office result in their calling upon the other departments as needed, the Obliviators for example? I also wonder if this kind of magic is considered Dark Magic and Aurors would be warranted. I may be over-reacting, but I would like to think I would recognise the Dark Arts and would act quickly to apprehend a Dark Witch. Sorry Steve, I'd call the Aurors, and probably all of the above.
6. Which of the following should be most SEVERELY punished by the Wizengamot?
a. The injury of three Muggles due to a poorly performed Forgetfulness Charm
b. The death of a chicken due to a poorly aimed Bat-Bogey Hex
c. The use of the Cruciatus curse on a shark about to attack a Muggle
d. The use of the Imperious curse on a Muggle mugger
Steve: We have two Unforgivable Curses being used here. The other two examples are probably not as serious. One Unforgivable Curse is being used on a shark and to protect a Muggle, so it's almost certainly legal. The other is a bit more problematic. Is someone's life in danger? What actions did the Curse force on the Muggle? There is no clear cut correct answer to this one, but the use of the Imperious Curse seems to be the most glaring violation. Surely there would have been other ways to subdue or escape from a Muggle.
Belinda: The Unforgivable Curses we are told are unforgivable and result in life imprisonment if used on a human being. Perhaps it's not as serious an offense when used on animals, since Crouch/Moody uses them on the spiders in DADA class. In the situation with the Muggle mugger, surely use of an Unforgivable is not warranted, even if a life is in danger. I'd say it was still illegal, and the worst offense.
7. Which of the following should receive the LIGHTEST punishment from the Wizengamot?
a. Horns created accidentally on a culprit's mother, caused by broken wand
b. Jellylegs Jinx performed on threatening Muggle
c. Breeding fanged Puffskeins
d. Underage witch performs Cleaning Charms in privacy of own home
Steve: The first choice clearly is an accident. Should there be any punishment at all? The other three are all violations of various rules and regulations. However, the reference to fanged Puffskeins makes one wonder whether Fred and George had permission to create Pygmy Puffs. Just because they're harmless doesn't make them legal...does it? I suppose they might not have invented them, though.
Belinda: I think the important issue in the Puffskeins answer is that they are fanged. This would involve experimental charms or cross breeding and would make them dangerous, which normal Puffskeins are not.
I wonder about the broken wand in answer A. Let's examine what we know about broken wands. Could it be wrong, or illegal to "use" a broken wand? Probably not, since Ron is not remanded for having Spellotaped his, but snapping one's wand in two is the ultimate punishment. Hagrid hides his in his umbrella and conceals that he uses it, but the fact that he HAS the pieces is curious. Was he allowed to keep them? Why wasn't it destroyed completely? hmmm.
For answer D, why would the Wizengamot even assign punishment for this? They aren't usually involved in Underage magic use. (See question #3)
Steve: According to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, one needs a license to own a Crup. We've seen the lead-up to the students getting Apparition licenses. There are all sorts of rules and regulations about selling magical items. No mention is made of needing a license to own a house-elf. They seem to be more or less inherited with big old wizarding houses.
9. Which of the following wizarding laws, in your view, stands in most urgent need of change?
a. The detection of underage magic in all-magic households (currently impossible)
b. The ban on goblin possession of wands (ought to be lifted)
c. The re-classification of centaurs and merpeople (ought to take their views into account)
d. The guidelines on house-elf welfare (need to be enforced)
e. Definitions of 'Muggle-baiting' (needs to be made less stringent)
Steve: Since the question says "in your view," there can be no incorrect answer. However, let's look at the choices. The question doesn't ask which of these laws need changing at all, rather which is in most urgent need of change. Unfortunately, we don't really know enough about some of these situations to make a determination. For example, we don't know what the guidelines on house-elf welfare actually say...this is the first mention of any such guidelines.
Belinda: I'm with Steve here, that we just don't know enough about these laws. So I based my answer on how important these issues seem to be to the characters in canon, and whom they matter to. Hermione of course, is very up-in-arms over Elfish Welfare, and we see Lucius Malfoy mistreat Dobby. but does that indicate that the rest of the wizarding world has issues with this topic? The Centaurs and merpeople seem to not care about their reclassification, content to ignore humans. We see that Underage use of Magic is not accurately detected even in non-magical households, so probably not such an urgent issue. But why exactly are Goblins not allowed to have wands? Was it the action of a few untrustworthy individuals that led to an unjust enactment of this law centuries ago, and lifting it could prove to be a benefit to society? In OP7 Arthur, Bill and Lupin are discussing which side the goblins would take,
"It depends what they're offered," said Lupin. "And I'm not talking about gold; if they're offered freedoms we've been denying them for centuries they're going to be tempted."Perhaps this will prove important to fighting You-know-who, in which case it may be urgent?
I would think that Muggle-baiting guidelines would only be important to unscrupulous wizards, and therefore making them less stringent, not urgent at all (eek).
(Points available: 28 out of a possible 100)
RESOURCES FOR THIS SECTION:
MoM- Department of Magical Transportation
MoM-Rules and Regulations
10. Which mode of transportation would you advise for a young mother traveling with one-year-old twins with a low boredom threshold, her grandmother, who suffers from severe motion sickness, and her husband, who has never mastered the three 'D's?
c. Floo Powder
d. Knight Bus
Steve: Whoa, this is a mess. Let's see...we don't know if it's possible to do Side-Along Apparition with that many people, so we can't be sure if that's even an option. Broomsticks would be out of the question with the one-year-old twins. The Knight Bus would certainly not suit the grandmother. Floo Powder requires that the traveler be able to say the destination clearly and the twins wouldn't be able to do that...but can a parent hold a small child in their arms while they use the Floo network? We don't know. The Portkey might be workable, providing that the grandmother can stand the short amount of wild motion and that the twins would touch the portkey when they're supposed to.
Belinda: I too wonder about Side-Along Apparition. Can more than one person be included? I tend to think it might be a one-to-one ratio per Apparition license. Perhaps the grandmother is capable of transporting the husband, but that would leave Mom with both twins. Nice if it works, but probably unlikely.
We know that brooms can be equipped with devices for carrying loads, perhaps they can have child seats like a bicycle? This may still be problematic for the boredom threshold on a long journey, but not make them out of the question necessarily. The portkey requires special permission to use, so would be inconvenient for frequent travel. But it might work for a one-time long distance trip if, as Steve says, the twins are capable of holding on. I'd certainly avoid the Knight Bus with motion sick granny. So Floo Powder seems logical, if Mom and Dad can each bring along a child. We know that folks can bring sacks and items with them, since the Weasleys go shopping this way, perhaps the small children can be carried as well.
11. Which of the following unorthodox means of transportation is considered the most serious breach of the International Statue* of Secrecy?
b. Abraxan horse-drawn giant carriage
d. Flying Muggle vehicle (eg, car, motorcycle)
e. Underwater ship
Steve: Any of them could be, but the reason is not the means of transport but the actions the wizard might or might not take to hide what needs to be hidden. I think we can assume that the giant carriage was in some way hidden from Muggle eyes. Disillusionment charms are required for some magical creatures. The flying Muggle vehicle, however, is very possibly a breach of a separate law against enchanting Muggle Artifacts. We don't know for sure whether Sirius's motorbike was illegal, and Arthur's car was only legal because of a loophole he personally wrote into that law.
Belinda: *note that this is a typo on the exam , not by us. We assume that it should read Statute. (and that it is not a trick question, or referring to a replacement for the demolished Fountain of Magical Brethren.)
Which mode(s) of transportation could you use to reach/enter each of the following wizarding institutions?(Questions 12 - 16)
Steve: Azkaban is located in the far north of the North Sea. We are not told if it's Unplottable or if it's possible to Apparate into it. We do know that the Knight Bus won't go anywhere underwater, though, so there's no way to get to Azkaban by that means. We also don't know if Azkaban is hooked up to the Floo Network. We simply don't have enough information to be completely sure about the answer to this one.
Steve: Gringotts is located in Diagon Alley. We have seen people come to Diagon Alley by Floo Powder and by Knight Bus. At no point are we told that folks can't apparate into Diagon Alley.
Steve: Well, Apparition is out if you want to get into Hogwarts itself. However, we've seen people Apparate away from the school just outside the front gate, so we have to consider it as possible. We've seen people use every other method mentioned in this question as well, although the connection to the Floo Network was temporary.
Steve: Arthur says that he usually Apparates to work, so it must be possible. There doesn't seem to be any reason why the Knight Bus couldn't get someone to the street above the Ministry, and the Atrium is lined with fireplaces for people to Floo into work.
Steve: Pretty much the same as for the Ministry, since it's located in central London as well.
Belinda: But are there Floo Network fireplaces in the vicinity of St.Mungo's that one could use? I would guess that in muggle London, this would not be feasible. Also there may be an anti-Apparition charm on St.Mungo's too, to prevent patients and visitors from coming and going indiscriminately. (Imagine someone Apparating into or out of the Closed Ward?) I'd lean toward answer C on this one.
(Points available: 20 out of a possible 100)
RESOURCES FOR THIS SECTION:
Encyclopedia of Spells
Encyclopedia of Potions
Magical and Mundane Plants
17. Which of the following would, in your opinion, provide the best security for a convention of broomstick salesmen in a large, Firebolt-shaped marquee?
a. Fidelius Charm
b. Muggle-repelling Charm
c. Confundus Charm
d. Disillusionment Charm
e. Unplottable marquee
f. Forgetfulness Charm
g. Giant three-headed dog
Steve: A marquee is a large tent, remember. A Muggle-Repelling charm would be useful, certainly. A Disillusionment Charm wouldn't be amiss either. There is nothing to suggest that making a place Unplottable makes it invisible to Muggles. The Fidelius Charm, on the other hand, does make the building disappear, so that might be a good choice. It should be noted that until now there was no mention in canon of a Forgetfulness Charm. There is a potion, and there is the spell to modify memory, but no Forgetfulness Charm.
Belinda: The Fidelius charm poses the problem of a single person needing to tell all the wizards how to find the place. The Confundus charm could confuse the attendees, as might the Forgetfulness charm. A giant three-headed dog would be foolhardy of course, though probably effective! Dissillusionment would camouflage the marquis, but not the comings and goings of the salesmen. Since the question does not allow for a combination of answers, I'd opt for the Muggle-repelling Charm.
Steve: Tough one. We don't know enough about any of these ingredients to judge properly, but we do know some facts worth consideing:
- Alihotsy causes hysteria.
- Bubotuber pus is not mentioned as edible or inedible, so it might be used in cooking even though it's digusting.
- Daisy roots are non-magical but the foliage and flowers are poisonous...the roots might be just fine.
- Dragon blood has twelve uses, including oven cleaner. It sounds like it would be a rather inedible sort of substance, but who knows.
- Mandrakes are dangerous, of course, but we don't know anything about their leaves.
- Murtlap tentacles were used by Fred and George as ingredients in their sweets.
- A shrake is a fish...magical, true, but just a fish.
19. Which of the following would most effectively clean up a spillage of wart cap powder?
g. Mrs. Skower's All-Purpose Magical Mess Remover
Steve: We'll have to guess again on this one. Some can be ruled out because they have nothing to do with cleaning. Evanesco, Scourgify, Tergeo, and Mrs. Skower's All-Purpose Mess Remover could all be helpful, though. Evanesco might not be the best choice, though, since it only makes things disappear. Tergeo seems likely, since it actually vacuums things up.
Belinda: I would be leery of using anything that could result in accidentally touching the wart-cap powder, since we know it causes a nasty skin condition. I would guess that Mrs. Skower's would be a kind of cleanser, and mixed with the powder could be either a good result, or very dangerous.
Steve: None of these are specifically noted for being good for Doxy bites...or any bites at all. However, we can eliminate some choices. Murtlap essense certainly helped Harry's sore hand after he had to write lines for Umbridge, so that might be a good choice.
Belinda: In OP6Mrs. Weasley has a bottle of antidote handy while they are de-doxy-fying the drapes. We don't know if this is a purchased product, one of her own potions, or even a simple solution of one of the answers above, but it does seem to rule out the use of a spell.
21. Which of the following commonly held wizarding beliefs is actually true?
a. If an inanimate object appears to think for itself, Dark Magic has been involved in its creation
b. The use of magic in front of a Muggle is prohibited unless the witch or wizard is under threat of personal injury
c. Releasing a Portkey before it has arrived will result in death or serious injury
d. 'Finite Incantatem' should be used as a precaution when a Muggle rings the doorbell.
e. Bad luck can be prevented by turning three times on the spot and deliberately Splinching one's thumbs.
Steve: The Sorting Hat appears to think for itself, but it's not associated with Dark Magic (that we know of). This is clearly a reference to Arthur's admonition:
"Ginny!" said Mr. Weasley, flabbergasted. "Haven't I taught you anything? What have I always told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain?" (CS18)The last choice seems ridiculous, although this is the wizarding world we're talking about. The use of Finite Incantatem would seem like a good idea before opening the door to a Muggle and using magic in front of a Muggle is permissiable under some circumstances. Take your pick, I guess.
Belinda: At Harry's hearing in OP8, when his charges are read, they include the statement "in the presence of a Muggle" as well as the charges against underage restrictions, and further on refers to "section thirteen of the International Confederation of Wizards' Statute of Secrecy". I assume this must be what this section regulates, making the use of magic in front of a Muggle illegal. Both Lupin and Hermione mention a provision allowing for "even underage wizards to use magic in life-threatening situations".
The Natural World
(Points available: 16 out of a possible 100)
RESOURCES FOR THIS SECTION:
Steve: Some of these creatures simply wouldn't make good companions, no matter what. The Augurey would just be depressing to have around, although you would know when it was going to rain. Only the Crup and the Kneazle seem like the kinds of creatures one would keep as a pet (well, okay, so Dark wizards like to keep Runespoors, but that doesn't really count) and each has some advantages. Kneazles can detect unsavory or suspicious people. The Crup is loyal to wizards and hostile to Muggles, which may or may not be a good thing. The fact that 'CHOOSE' is highlighted suggests that some of these creatures might come along of their own accord. The Jarvey and the Runespoor might do this. However, neither would be a particularly good traveling companion. Once again, take your pick.
Belinda: The kneazle is known to have the ability to detect suspicious or unsavory characters, which I would find comforting, and its ability to lead its master safely home if lost, could be a truly useful skill.
Steve: They're all annoying. It's tough to guess which one would not be considered a pest. However, the question asks which one is not listed as such by the Pest Advisory Board. Certainly the Bundimun, Chizpurfle, Doxy, Gnome, and Horklump are pests. The Knarl wrecks garden plants (and uses very bad language). So we're left with Pixies, which are at least as annoying as the others, but which don't necessarily damage gardens or houses. Pixie seems the most likely to be correct.
Belinda: I was inclined to think Pixies too, Steve, but their aggressive and mischievous behavior leads me to think they might be listed as pests. Knarls on the other hand, don't seem to cause much trouble unless offended, and Horklumps seem harmless enough, probably only attracting Gnomes. I also note that Horklumps are the only creature listed with a MoM classification of X (boring), all the others are XX or XXX.
Steve: My first reaction was to choose Crup, but on further thought I realized that a Crup pretty much acts like a dog. When Sirius was transformed into his Animagus form, he did act non-canine to some extent, but pretty much acted like a dog too. A dog Patronus, on the other hand, is glowing and doesn't touch the ground. That sounds pretty non-canine to me. At least I've never seen my dog do that.
Belinda: My thinking on this one was to the commonness of each. How common are Animagi and Patronuses? are Grims real? and a boggart wouldn't appear as a dog unless a "suspicious acting dog" were your worst fear. I think I'd suspect magical training first, even though I don't know how that would be accomplished.
25. Which of the following plants has NO curative, restorative or protective properties?
a. Alihotsy shrub
d. Snargaluff tree
e. Venomous Tentacula
g. Whomping Willow
Steve: This is yet another tricky question. We just don't know whether some of these qualify. On the other hand, the Whomping Willow would seem to be the odd plant out on this list. If you could get close enough to gather some of the bark, would its bark have similar properties to that of our Muggle variety willow? And am I right in thinking that the name of the Venomous Tentacula suggests that it's, well, venomous? We just don't know enough to answer this one for certain.
Belinda: ... and what IS a Snargaluff tree, anyway?
Steve: It's in Half-Blood Prince, Bel. Chapter 14. We just missed getting it into the Lexicon, I'm afraid.
Belinda: Oh! Yes, silly me. How could I forget that? Well, I suppose we could say it might have some of those properties... look what it did for Ron and Hermione