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"To ensure that no underage student yields to temptation, I will be drawing an Age Line around the Goblet of Fire once it has been placed in the entrance hall. Nobody under the age of seventeen will be able to cross this line."
Albus Dumbledore explaining his casting of this spell[src]

The Age Line (incantation unknown) was a charm used to prevent people above or below a specified age from accessing a specific object or place.[1]

History

On 30 October, 1994, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore used this spell on the Goblet of Fire in the Great Hall of Hogwarts Castle to restrain under-age students from placing their names within the goblet for the Triwizard Tournament; anyone under the age of seventeen was forbidden from entering.[2] He then traced a thin golden line with a ten-foot diameter on the floor around the goblet to show how far out the enchantment reached.[2] Fred and George Weasley of Gryffindor, Summers of Hufflepuff and S. Fawcett of Ravenclaw all used Ageing Potion to attempt to bypass this line, believing that it relied on physical age as opposed to calendar age, and were all proven wrong; they all ended up in the Hospital Wing with long, fine white beards, as witnessed by Dumbledore himself, who found the notion amusing.[2]

Despite this, the Goblet of Fire unexpectedly selected a fourth Champion: Harry Potter, who was also underage which caused great confusion to Albus Dumbledore.[3] It was revealed that a powerful Confundus Charm was cast on it by Barty Crouch Jr, disguised as Alastor Moody that enabled Harry Potter to be selected as part of a plan to revive Lord Voldemort. Because Barty Crouch Jr was a fully grown adult, he was not affected by the Age Line in the slightest.[4]

Nature

An age line could not be fooled or bypassed, even by a powerful potion like the Ageing Potion as proven by Fred and George Weasley, Summers and S. Fawcett; subjects who were not at the preset age and attempted to breach the spell regardless were thrown backwards and sprouted long white beards, regardless of gender.[2]

Behind the scenes

  • In the book, the thin golden line is a regular line and is gouged into the floor of the Hall; in the film, however, the line appears to be a mark of the spell itself, shimmering and glowing with a weird yellowish gleam. The Pottermore illustration (seen above) features yet another take on the Line, which manifests as a circle of large Rune-like symbols, glowing blue with power like the Goblet's fire itself. 
  • Also, in the film, the diameter of the age line is much smaller than described in the book.

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Pottermore - From the Story: Age Line
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 16 (The Goblet of Fire)
  3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 17 (The Four Champions)
  4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 35 (Veritaserum)
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