- "Aurors are the Wizarding World's best defence against the practitioners of the Dark Arts. We're well-versed in offensive magic, because our very lives depend on it. It takes courage, wit and guile. Not many have the stomach for it. Do you?"
- —Harry Potter addressing members of the S.O.S. wanting to pursue a career as an Auror.[src]
An Auror was a wizard or witch who acted as highly trained law enforcement officials for magical governments. Auror training was extremely difficult and intensive, so there were few qualified applicants. Aurors of different countries dealt with different high-risk situations that were most prominent to them. Their training and areas of responsibility varied greatly depending on the type of threats for which they were prepared, and the magical education they received beforehand. In Britain, for example, the Aurors were trained to investigate crimes related to the Dark Arts, and to apprehend or detain dark wizards and witches.
In the United States however, they seemed to go up against any criminal posing a significant threat. When working for the Major Investigation Department, Aurors used a number of magical tools and devices such as the Real-Time Hex Indicator map and the USA Spell Contraventions map to track down illegal or especially flamboyant use of magic that could pose a threat to the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy. Also, unlike their British counterpart, the American Aurors were divided into several divisions around North America to keep the peace, as opposed to all working within the same one.
According to Minerva McGonagall, no Auror had been taken on by the Ministry of Magic for three years prior to 1995, though Nymphadora Tonks stated that she qualified the year before, meaning she was probably one of the last candidates taken on. The head of the British Auror Office (as of 2007) was Harry Potter, but he left to become Head of Department of Magical Law Enforcement by 2019.
- Ministry of Magic, which was the level that housed the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. The Ministry was located underneath Whitehall, a road in Westminster in the heart of London, England. The Auror Office consisted of a series of open cubicles, each Auror being given a place to work. Pictures of known Dark wizards, maps, clippings from the Daily Prophet, and various other things lined the cubicles. When Harry Potter visited the office in 1995 he was impressed by it. The British Auror headquarters were on Level Two of the
- MACUSA's location during the 1920s was in the Woolworth Building in New York City. Nothing is known about the setup of the American office. The American Auror headquarters were located within the Magical Congress of the United States of America.
Becoming an Auror
- "You'd need top grades for that... They ask for a minimum of five N.E.W.T.s, and nothing under 'Exceeds Expectations' grade, I see. Then you would be required to undergo a stringent series of character and aptitude tests at the Auror office. It's a difficult career path... they only take the best."
- —Minerva McGonagall regarding the process of becoming an Auror[src]
It was very difficult to fulfil the requirements to get into Auror training. Applicants had to have excellent academic credentials, before they were accepted into a rigorous training programme. It is also possible that the wizarding governing bodies looked into the criminal records of the applicants, and that those without a clean one would not make it through the cut.
In accordance with British standards, one had to have a minimum of five N.E.W.T.s in challenging subjects. Such highly recommended subjects included: Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Herbology, and Charms with top grades of either 'Outstanding' or 'Exceeds Expectations' in the students' chosen subjects.
It is not known if Herbology was required, though it is possible, as Harry Potter continued to take it to N.E.W.T.-level as his fifth subject. It is also possible that any other subject could be substituted as the five, as long as the grades met the requirements. It is also possible that Nymphadora Tonks didn't do quite as well in Herbology, even though she did gain A or O at O.W.L. level, because she did not do so at N.E.W.T. level, and ended up replacing Herbology with History of Magic.
The requirements for applicants to become Aurors were temporarily relaxed following the end of the Second Wizarding War. With many Aurors destroyed by Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters, the need to restrengthen the department to combat the remaining Death Eaters was great. The new Minister for Magic and former Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt, permitted any of-age participant in the Battle of Hogwarts to become an Auror immediately if they were interested. He did this on the grounds that having fought in and survived such a battle and the Second Wizarding War in general, and not changing sides against such odds, more than satisfied the character and skill requirements. Some of these recruits, including Harry Potter, Neville Longbottom, and Ron Weasley, did not achieve any N.E.W.T.s (they had not attended and completed their final year at Hogwarts).
The known courses included in training were Concealment and Disguise and Stealth and Tracking, Battle Instinct, Best-Laid Plans, Duelling in the Dark, Field Training, History of the Dark Arts, Method in the Mad-Eye, Resilience Training, and The Auror Advantage; while poisons and antidotes were also essential studies. Minerva McGonagall also mentioned that Aurors often Transfigured and Untransfigured things in their line of work. In 1995, Tonks stated that she passed training without any difficulties on the 'Concealment and Disguise' portion, but nearly failed the stealth tests. Training lasted for three years and was very hard work.
- Ron Weasley: "Well, it'd be cool to be an Auror,"
- Harry Potter: "Yeah, it would,"
- Ron Weasley: "But they're, like, the elite,... You've got to be really good."
- — Discussion of future careers[src]
Though Auror training was very taxing, and meant an additional three years of studying even after graduation from school, by the time of the First Wizarding War, they seemed to be very well respected in the wizarding community, at least in Britain, where and higher-ranking members of the Auror Office sometimes went on to become potential candidates for the job of Minister for Magic. For example, Rufus Scrimgeour was a leader of the Auror Office, and replaced Fudge as Minister after the call of his resignation. Another example of a respected Auror (though not Head) that became Minister was Kingsley Shacklebolt. Harry Potter was eventually promoted to the Head of the Auror Office after serving nine years as an Auror.
The American Aurors were also militarised to a greater extent than their British counterparts, carrying ranks such as "chief" and "Captain", which may give some insight into how these divisions went about their work and how it differed from that of the British Auror Office.
An Auror Division was a field office of the Department of Aurors located throughout North America, specifically tasked with the capture of dangerous criminals within the jurisdiction of their designated areas. The divisions reported back to their home office at the Department of Magical Law Enforcement in the Woolworth Building in New York, the headquarters of the Magical Congress of the United States of America.
Each division presumably worked in collaboration with local offices of the Federal Bureau of Covert Vigilance and No-Maj Obliviation across North America. If their splitting into multiple divisions is any indication, the Aurors of North America were a much more numerous, organised and meticulously structured group than those in Great Britain, likely out of necessity to keep order across the large continent. In other words, should a suspect or escaped convict manage to slip through the fingers of the Aurors in one place, the Auror Division in the area to which the criminal in question is believed to have fled would be contacted and would take over from there.
Minister Eldritch Diggory first established an Auror recruitment programme for Great Britain in the 18th century, and by 1752 some of the earliest members of the Auror Office were already actively pursuing Dark witches and wizards, prominent among them Hesphaestus Gore, who would eventually be elected Minister for Magic.
Early to mid- 20th century
Although Aurors working for the British Ministry of Magic would usually only work domestically and keep themselves within the boundaries of the Ministry's jurisdiction, they would occasionally be sent abroad during extraordinary circumstances, presumably after being granted prior permission to operate there from local magical authorities. Notably, some Aurors (including Theseus Scamander) were sent into war zones to represent their country's interests at the field of battle, such as was the case with the First World War. Scamander, who would later go on to be appointed Head of the British Auror Office, famously participated in the wizarding effort in the First World War, carving out for himself a well-deserved reputation as a war hero through his courage and skill during the war. He was later sent abroad by his superiors to assist in the manhunt for the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald during the early days of his For the Greater Good Revolution, a task that the whole Auror Office had been coveting at the time.
In 1926, Theseus corresponded with Percival Graves, the Director of Magical Security of MACUSA. He corresponded with Graves regarding the events in New York due to his younger brother's involvement. The following year, he and other Aurors were present at the rally of Grindelwald in the Lestrange Mausoleum at the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise in Paris, France, and fought Grindelwald himself after the rally was broken up, where many of them were killed. During Grindelwald's speech, it was revealed that Aurors had fought and killed many of his followers prior to that point in time, although it's uncertain how many of these, if any, were from the British Auror Office.
First Wizarding War
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, in the war during Lord Voldemort's first rise to power, Aurors were authorised to use the Unforgivable Curses on suspected Death Eaters and criminals. This was put into effect by the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Barty Crouch Snr. This gave Aurors the licence to kill, coerce, and torture. It is unknown if, following the return of Lord Voldemort, these powers were re-issued in the second war.
It was also stated that former Auror Alastor Moody (one of the most famous Aurors of modern times) put away a vast number of criminals during this time period, and that half the cells in Azkaban were full thanks to him. During Alastor's time as a Auror, he received many injuries, including ending up requiring a replacement eye and a wooden leg. This is proof that the work Aurors conducted was dangerous, with a high mortality rate.
Some Aurors were also members of the Order of the Phoenix, a secret organisation created by Albus Dumbledore. This organisation was founded in order to fight Lord Voldemort and his supporters. Frank and Alice Longbottom were members of the Order who were tortured into insanity by four of Voldemort's most loyal followers: Bellatrix Lestrange, Rodolphus Lestrange, Rabastan Lestrange, and Barty Crouch Jnr. The attack on them caused permanent damage and they were sent to the Janus Thickey Ward for incurable spell damage at St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, where they remained for the rest of their lives.
Between the wars
- "In fact, I don't think anybody has been taken on in the last three years."
- —McGonagall stating that no one had been taken on for three years prior to 1995[src]
Also during this period, Alastor Moody took Nymphadora Tonks as his protégée. Undergoing three years of Auror training under the tutelage of Alastor Moody, Tonks's natural metamorphic abilities allowed her to easily pass the Concealment and Disguise portion of the training, without doing any work for it at all.
However, her clumsiness gave her trouble with the Stealth and Tracking portion of the course, which she almost failed. She had a habit of knocking over items, such as plates and umbrella stands. Tonks qualified fully as an Auror in 1994. At some point Moody retired from active service, though by this time he was considered the greatest Auror of all time.
Second Wizarding War
Alastor Moody agreed to come out of his retirement to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts (although, as his identity was assumed by Bartemius Crouch Junior, he never actually taught), and was a long time member of the Order of the Phoenix. He ultimately died in the Battle of the Seven Potters on 27 July 1997, during a mission to remove Harry Potter from 4 Privet Drive. Moody took a Killing Curse to the face, courtesy of Lord Voldemort.
Many of the other Aurors followed Voldemort's regime when he took over the Ministry. This was due to them being blindly loyal to the Ministry and Voldemort acting discreetly to prevent potential mutiny. Other Aurors, such as Kingsley Shacklebolt and Nymphadora Tonks, continued to fight against the Death Eaters. This continued willingness to fight led to Tonks' death during the Battle of Hogwarts. After the war ended, Shacklebolt became the new Minister of Magic.
After the Battle of Hogwarts
- "Harry and Ron utterly revolutionised the Auror Department in — at the Ministry of Magic. So they — I mean, they are now the consummate — they are experts... 19 years later — I would imagine that Harry is heading up that department, which is not corrupt in any way."
- —J. K. Rowling regarding the Auror Office post the final batttle[src]
In 2014, Harry was sporting a nasty cut over his right cheekbone. Rita Skeeter's requests for information as to its provenance merely produced the usual response from the Ministry of Magic: "We do not comment on the top secret work of the Auror department, as we have told you no less than 514 times, Ms. Skeeter".
When, In 2019, the British Ministry of Magic became the World Centre for containing the threat of The Calamity, the Auror Office ministered the subscribed training programme to the members of the then recently established Statute of Secrecy Task Force who were interested in pursuing a career as an Auror. Though undoubtedly tasked with tracking down and rounding up the reappearing Death Eaters, the Ministry Aurors also worked to help contain the current catastrophe, as Aurors, such as Harry Potter, were known to be working towards that end as well.
Harry remained Head of the office until he was promoted to Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement by the summer of 2020. It is unknown who succeeded him.
In August 2020, after hearing a rumour about an illegal Time-Turner, Harry and his team of Aurors from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement raided the Nott residence and confiscated it. Harry then turned it over to Hermione Granger, the Minister for Magic, for safekeeping.
- "The names of the first dozen volunteers to train as Aurors in the US have a special place in United States’ wizarding history."
- —The original twelve are still highly respected in America[src]
The first President of MACUSA was Josiah Jackson, a warlike wizard who was voted into post by his fellow representatives because he was considered tough enough to deal with the difficulties of the post-Salem Witch Trials era. President Jackson’s immediate priority was to recruit and train Aurors. The names of the first dozen volunteers to train as Aurors in the US had a special place in United States’ wizarding history. There were so few of them, and the challenges they faced so great, that they knew they might be required to lay down their lives when they took the job. The descendants of these witches and wizards were given particular respect in the US.
The original twelve were: Wilhelm Fischer, Theodard Fontaine, Gondulphus Graves, Robert Grimsditch, Mary Jauncey, Carlos Lopez, Mungo MacDuff, Cormac O’Brien, Abraham Potter, Berthilde Roche, Helmut Weiss, and Charity Wilkinson.
Of these twelve, only two survived into old age: Charity Wilkinson, who would become MACUSA’s third President, and Theodard Fontaine, whose direct descendant Agilbert is the present day Headmaster of Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Also of note are Gondulphus Graves, whose family remains influential in American wizarding politics, and Abraham Potter, whose distant relationship to the famous Harry Potter would be uncovered by eager genealogists centuries later.
Global Wizarding WarPercival Graves was an American Auror, and in 1926 he was the Director of Magical Security and head of MACUSA's Department of Magical Law Enforcement. At some point prior to 6 December 1926, his identity was assumed by Gellert Grindelwald using Human Transfiguration. It is unknown if the real Graves allowed this, got captured, or was murdered during this time.
Porpentina Goldstein was originally an Auror, untill she stood up for Credence Barebone and used magic in front of his adoptive mother Mary Lou Barebone, the leader of the New Salem Philanthropic Society, to assault her for what she had done to Credence. Due to the No-Majs that needed to be Obliviated and the resulting scandal, Tina was demoted to the position of Federal Wand Permit Officer. In 1926 she met Newt Scamander, who had in his possession a case full of illegal magical creatures, and brought him before President Seraphina Picquery.
Also during the 1920s, American Aurors also had to deal with the threat of Grindelwald and his almost successful attempt at exposing the wizarding community and inciting war with the Muggle community. This incident was one of the biggest breaches of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.
During the 1920s and throughout the entirety of the Global wizarding war, many Aurors all over Europe were involved in the effort to put an end to Gellert Grindelwald's seemingly unstoppable rise to power as the revolutionary endeavours of he and his supporters became increasingly aggressive and led to a number of much publicised attacks, and worked together with each other to track down Grindelwald. They also co-operated with the International Wizarding Police to accomplish this. By 1927, numerous Aurors had already fought and killed many of his followers, but also suffered losses in the conflict as well, with a number of Aurors having been killed in duels with Grindelwald himself. Grindelwald's charisma and idealism also led some Aurors to become seduced by what he stood for and to become supporters of him as well.
|Gawain Robards||Head Auror||Succeeded Scrimgeour in 1996.|
|Theseus Scamander||Brother of the famous magizoologist and author Newt Scamander. Head of Auror office during Gellert Grindelwald's revolution in the 1920s.|
|Rufus Scrimgeour||Retired, became Minister for Magic in 1996, murdered by Lord Voldemort on 1 August, 1997|
|Harry Potter||Auror from 1998-2007, promoted to the Head of the Office in 2007, at the young age of 26 or 27.|
|Mordecai Berrycloth||Regular Auror||Hosted useful combat training visits to field members of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures in the 2010s|
|Venusia Crickerly||Became Minister for Magic in 1902|
|John Dawlish||Auror between the wars and during the Second Wizarding War.|
|Hesphaestus Gore||Became Minister for Magic in 1752|
|Alice Longbottom||Mentally incapacitated by a group of Death Eaters via the Cruciatus Curse in the final days of the First Wizarding War in 1981|
|Ronald Weasley||Retired, works at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.|
|Neville Longbottom||Resigned position to become professor of Herbology at Hogwarts.|
|Alastor Moody||Retired, murdered by Lord Voldemort in the Battle of the Seven Potters on 27 July, 1997|
|Proudfoot||Auror that was stationed in Hogsmeade along with others during the 1996-1997 school year at Hogwarts.|
|Kingsley Shacklebolt||Became Minister for Magic in 1998, following the Battle of Hogwarts.|
|Nymphadora Tonks||Murdered by Bellatrix Lestrange during the Battle of Hogwarts on 2 May, 1998.|
|Williamson||First Auror to see Lord Voldemort just before he fled the Ministry of Magic in 1996 after the Battle of the Department of Mysteries.|
|Percival Graves||Director of Magical Security||The Director during the early 20th century. Status unknown due to his identity being stolen by Gellert Grindelwald, who impersonated him for some time.|
|E. A. Limus||Chief Auror||Chief during the early 20th century.|
|M. P. Carneirus||Captain of Aurors||Captain during the early 20th century.|
|M. L. Minus||Auror Commissioner||The Commissioner during the early 20th century.|
|Theodard Fontaine||Regular Aurors||One of the original twelve. He was one of only two who survived to see old age.|
|Wilhelm Fischer||One of the original twelve|
|Charity Wilkinson||One of the original twelve. She was one of only two who survived to see old age. She also became the 3rd President of MACUSA.|
|Porpentina Goldstein||An Auror until her dismissal for magically assaulting a No-Maj, Mary Lou Barebone, in front of witnesses because she was beating her son. Reinstated in 1926, after helping to arrest Gellert Grindelwald.|
|Achilles Tolliver||Worked in the 1920s.|
|Saranna Wilkinson||Assisted with the Calamity that began in 2018.|
"Auror" may be derived from "aurora", meaning "the dawn", from the Latin word "aurum", meaning "gold", or from the Hebrew word "Arur" (ארור), meaning someone who is cursed.
Most likely, however, it is derived from the Latin word for ear, 'auris' and the related adjective, 'aural'. Since aurors are detectives (among other policing and justicial roles), they are those who listen for and receive information. Alternatively, if it is derived from "aurora" the name is possibly a metaphor based on the fact that Aurors are notorious Dark Wizard hunters. Indeed, after the night and the darkness it brings always come the aurora/dawn which always end it and restore light.
Behind the scenes
- Aurors can easily be comparable to elite Muggle national law enforcement officials, intelligence operatives, or military units such as the MI5, MI6, SAS, SBS, RAF Regiment, etc. Some require excellent academic credentials (but not all), have an exhausting selection process to weed out the weak, undergo extensive advance training (sometimes up to a year or two to be operationally ready in the field), and are employed for the most dangerous missions/criminals. And like many units in real-life, the Auror office is very selective based on character traits. An example would be how the American agency known as the CIA has often taken into account a potential candidate's personal history and moral compass through a series of intense psychological screening processes. Given this, there is likely a Wizarding equivalent of such screening in the process of becoming an Auror.
- Harry's goal to be an Auror is only briefly mentioned by Minerva McGonagall in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, despite the Careers Advice scene being omitted from the previous film.
- In the films, Aurors tend to wear brown trench coats, possibly as a uniform. Kingsley Shacklebolt is the only Auror seen on-duty without one.
- In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Talbott Winger aspires to be an Auror after he graduated, achieving at least an A in Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Herbology, and Charms. Nymphadora Tonks also aspires to become an Auror.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play)
- Harry Potter: A Pop-Up Book (Mentioned on a poster included as an extra)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- LEGO Dimensions
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ministers for Magic" at Wizarding World
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" at Wizarding World
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act One, Scene Five
- ↑ http://www.castingcallpro.com/uk/actor/profile/chris-warner-drake
- ↑ The Case of Beasts: Explore the Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - (see this image)
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 60
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 4 (The Seven Potters)
- ↑ See this image
- ↑ "J.K. Rowling Web Chat Transcript" on The Leaky Cauldron
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 J.K.Rowling Official Site Wizard of the Month (Archived)
- ↑ Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (See here)
- ↑ Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (See here)
- ↑ Entertainment Weekly - 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them': See 9 Magical Character Posters'
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film)
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
- ↑ https://www.pottermore.com/features/a-closer-look-at-the-characters-of-fantastic-beasts-the-crimes-of-grindelwald
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay, Scene 36
- ↑ Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
- ↑ https://actors.mandy.com/uk/actor/profile/christopher-birks
- ↑ http://www.imdb.com/name/nm4854335/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cl_t60
|Magical Congress of the United States of America|