Wizarding culture
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Wizards from Infancy to Old Age

Wizards from Infancy to Old Age


  • magic quill at Hogwarts notes the birth of a magical child and his or her name goes on list for Hogwarts
  • magic not always apparent in a child
  • can be born a Squib but this might not be known for several for years
  • can be born to Muggles


  • Even small children can use wands to create magic, but it’s uncontrolled.
  • Fred and George once turned Ron’s teddy bear into a spider (CS9)
  • Kevin enlarged a slug while playing with his dad’s wand, but got in trouble for it (GF7)
  • play with toys which have limited magic, such as toy brooms that float a little above the ground (GF7)
  • no “elementary school” specifically for wizarding children; some attend Muggle schools, others are home schooled (WBD)
  • During Harry’s first year, Ginny was not yet old enough to go to Hogwarts, but desperately wanted to (PS6)
  • a Muggle family will start to realize that there is something unusual about their child if he or she is magical

School age

  • receive letter before their first year, typically the summer that they’re eleven, since they must be 11 years old as of September 1
  • trained Muggle liaison witches and wizards deliver the letter to Muggle families
  • begin schooling with little actual magical understanding or ability (Harry found that he was not really far behind when he got there)
  • sorted, take classes at Hogwarts
  • are not allowed to use magic outside of school or even in the corridors between classes at Hogwarts
  • seven years of training
  • OWLs and career advice in May-June of their fifth year
  • more specialized classes chosen to help toward their career in sixth and seventh years
  • NEWTs in June of their seventh year
  • become “of age” when they turn seventeen, even if they are still in school
  • All children who are not Squibs are sent invitations to attend Hogwarts, but they don’t all accept
  • It is possible to be expelled from Hogwarts and never finish the training to become “fully qualified wizard”
  • it is also possible to quit before the full seven years are done
  • Fred and George left school part way through their seventh year (OP29)
  • Seamus Finnigan’s mother didn’t want him to return to Hogwarts for his fifth year (OP11)
  • Draco Malfoy’s father considered sending him to Durmstrang — he didn’t say whether this was a decision made before Draco first started or after some years passed (GF11)
  • Hagrid was expelled from Hogwarts at the end of his third year

NOTE: they do not “graduate” from school, they “leave” school; “high school graduation” is an American phrase


  • Upon leaving Hogwarts, witches and wizards are considered “fully qualified”. This is not the same as being “of age,” which is simply a matter of turning 17; seventh year students are often “of age” even though they haven’t become fully qualified (OP5).
  • can apply for a license to Apparate when they turn seventeen and come of age (even if they haven’t left school)
  • take up a vocation
  • There is no wizard university (Sch1).

Old Age

  • Wizards can live longer than Muggles.
  • Dumbledore is about 150 and McGonagall is a “sprightly 70” (Sch2)
  • Madam Marchbanks is even older, since she tested Dumbledore in his N.E.W.T.s
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