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Percival Graves[6] was an Auror, 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.[7] It is unknown if he was killed or kept in captivity during this time.

Physical appearance

When Gellert Grindelwald Transfigured himself into Percival in December 1926, he was described as an early middle-aged, good-looking man, wearing elegant clothes.[8]

Personality and traits

As the Director of Magical Security, Percival Graves was likely highly professional and determined. As the Director of Magical Security, tasked with the protection of the North American wizarding community, Graves was likely very responsible and brave as well, with President Picquery trusting him as her right-hand man. While Gellert Grindelwald impersonated Graves, he displayed a prim, serious, and ambitious personality, without arousing anyone's suspicions, implying that this was in line with the real Graves' personality. However, when Grindelwald ordered Newton Scamander and Tina Goldstein to be swiftly executed without a trial, this shocked Tina, which implies that the real Graves, while strict, was not a cruel man.

Magical abilities and skills

  • Magical Mastery: Percival Graves was an immensely powerful and skilled wizard, excelling enough as an Ilvermorny student to qualify for Auror training, becoming one of the most distinguished members of the Investigative Team. Indeed, Graves was later deemed powerful and skilled enough to get promoted to both Head of the MACUSA's Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and the Director of Magical Security. While Gellert Grindelwald was impersonating Graves, he did not arouse any suspicion when effectively performing feats of immense magical power, a testament to Graves's exceptional power and skill.
  • Leadership skills: Percival Graves was an exceptionally skilled leader, given his status as an Auror, the Head of Magical Law Enforcement, and Director of Magical Security, all duties which he was so effective at, that President Picquery herself trusted Graves as her right-hand man. Given that, as Director of Magical Security, Graves was trusted with safeguarding the North American wizarding community, he was likely a responsible leader as well. Indeed, when Grindelwald impersonated Graves, the position allowed him the authority to instantly sentence Newton Scamander and Tina Goldstein to execution without a trial, with Tina's shock implying that the real Graves had been a skilled enough leader to not abuse this authority.
  • Magical Law Enforcement expertise: Graves was presumably highly knowledgeable about wizarding law enforcement, seeing as he occupied the senior MACUSA posts of Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and Director of Magical Security.
  • Auror skills: Percival Graves served with distinction as an Auror with the Major Investigation Department, given how he was deemed sufficiently good at his job to merit a series of prestigious promotions, and even the confidence of President Seraphina Picquery herself. It is therefore safe to say that Graves' skills surpassed those of most MACUSA Aurors, which speaks for his immense abilities in the field, seen as how being just an Auror in the first place is a mark of superior magical ability. As such, the President trusted (who she thought was) Graves with the important missions of covertly looking into the alleged Obscurial's attack on the No-Majes, and interrogating Newt Scamander about the latter's illegal beasts.
  • Charms: While impersonating Graves, Gellert Grindelwald was able to use the Disarming Charm, Levitation Charm, and Summoning Charm wandlessly and non-verbally to great effect, which did not attract suspicion, indicating Graves's skill with Charms would have allowed him to do the same. In addition, Grindelwald was also able to lock Graves's office with a powerful enchantment that Queenie was unable to dispel and Queenie noted Graves too knew the spell Grindelwald to lock her out.
  • Defense Against the Dark Arts: Being such an excellent Auror, it is certain that Graves was highly accomplished at defending against the Dark Arts.
  • Duelling: At a point in which he was still maintaining his cover as Percival Graves, Gellert Grindelwald felt at liberty to best the highly skilled former Auror Tina Goldstein in a duel, deflecting her spells with "perfect ease", his reactions "marvellous, astounding". Though it was actually Grindelwald doing the spellwork, it was likely consistent with what the real Graves would be capable of in a similar situation, given that Grindelwald was intent on not blowing his cover.
  • Occlumency (Possibly): Percival Graves was quite likely a very accomplished Occlumens, as he necessarily would have to be, lest he wanted classified information in his possession to be accessed by MACUSA employees without the proper clearance for it, inadvertently or otherwise. Indeed, when Grindelwald used Occlumency to prevent Queenie Goldstein from learning that he was not the real Graves, Queenie was not suspicious, suggesting that the real Graves' mind likewise used to be inaccessible to her.
  • Wandless and Nonverbal magic: While impersonating Graves, Gellert Grindelwald openly demonstrated an immense mastery at using magic without speaking the incantation out loud and without the use of a wand, even both simultaneously, something widely regarded as exceptionally advanced and difficult to perform. This did not seem to attract any suspicion, so those abilities are likely what the real Graves would be capable of.
  • Apparition: Percival Graves, like most adult wizards, was capable of Apparating at will.


Percival Graves wand
  • Wand: Despite having prodigious skill with wandless magic, Graves still possessed and made use of a wand. The wand's specifications are unknown, but it shows characteristics of being a Thiago Quintana creation.
  • Polyjuice flask: Used for holding Polyjuice Potion. However, this is just speculation.
  • Collar pins: These were shaped as scorpions and inlaid with green jewels.


In French, the name Percival means "valley piercer; piercer of the valley; one who attacks through the valley". In Greek, the name means "destroyer" and is related to Perseus, a hero of Greek mythology considered the greatest Greek hero and slayer of monsters before Heracles.

Percival is also the name of one of the Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend and who was the original hero in the quest for the Holy Grail before being replaced in later literature by Galahad (a name and origin he shares with Percy Weasley).

The surname Graves is of both English/Anglo-Saxon and French origin. In Anglo-Saxon terms, it is derived from the baptismal name Reeve (which itself means "representative; herd; monger; maker; hewer; smith; wright") and means "son of Reeve". As an occupational name, it means "manager" or "overseer." In French, the name originates from an old family of the southern region of Languedoc, but could also derive from the Old French word "grave", which meant "gravel." It also refers to a place where dead remains (typically human) are buried, referring to death.

Percival Graves' name is almost identical to that of Richard Perceval Graves, an English biographer, poet, and lecturer best known for his three-volume biography of his uncle Robert Graves, who was responsible for the modern (but false) concept of the Celtic Tree Calendar (on which wandlore is based).

Behind the scenes


Notes and references

  1. According to J.K. Rowling's screenplay, Graves was "early middle-age" during the events of the first Fantastic Beasts movie. No one below the age of forty would be considered "middle-aged".
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 116 states that when Grindelwald transforms from being Graves, he "no longer" has "dark" hair and that he was now "blond and blue-eyed", implying his hair and eye colour were different.
  3. EW - Fantastic Beasts: First look at Ezra Miller's mysterious character
  4. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" at Pottermore
  5. 'Fantastic Beasts' Character Descriptions Revealed
  6. Announcement Trailer for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” to Be Unveiled Worldwide on December 15th
  7. - Welcome to my new website!
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay - Scene 5
  9. "Colin Farrell Joins ‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’" at

Magical Congress of the United States of America

Josiah Jackson (1693-?) · Charity Wilkinson · Thornton Harkaway (c. 1760) · Able Fleming · Elizabeth McGilliguddy (c. 1777) · Emily Rappaport (c. 1790) · Seraphina Picquery (1920-1928) · Samuel G. Quahog (c. 2014)


Abraham Potter · Achilles Tolliver · Berthilde Roche · Carlos Lopez · Cormac O'Brien · E. A. Limus · Gondulphus Graves · Helmut Weiss · M. L. Minus · M. P. Carneirus · Mary Jauncey · Mungo MacDuff · Percival Graves · Porpentina Goldstein · Robert Grimsditch · Theodard Fontaine · Wilhelm Fischer · Unidentified MACUSA Aurors

Other positions

Apparition Examiner · Auror Commissioner · Captain of Aurors · Chief Auror · Chief of Staff · Director of Magical Security · Executioner · Federal Identity Commissioner · Federal Wand Permit Officer · Keeper of Treasure and Dragots · Obliviator ·Surveillor of Activity

Other employees

Abernathy · Albert Perschky · Aristotle Twelvetrees · Bernadette · Beryl · Cecily · E. A. Limus · F. Wakefield · Irene Kneedander · J. Ward · L. O'Sullivan · Magali Crowe · Paloma Proudfoot · Queenie Goldstein · Red · Ruby · Sam · Unidentified executioner (I) · Unidentified executioner (II) · Unidentified guide · Y. Blishen


Body for Protection of Magical Species · Department of Aurors · Department of Magical Law Enforcement · Department of No-Maj Misinformation · Department of Unidentifiable Magical Objects · Department for Confiscated Items · Federal Bureau of Covert Vigilance and No-Maj Obliviation · MACUSA Surveillance Wizarding Resources Department · Magical Cleaning Department · Major Investigation Department · Office for Magic Relations and Education · US Auror Divisions · Wizarding Resources Department


Death Cell · Great Meeting Chamber · Lobby · No-Maj Fraternisation sub-division · Pentagram Office · Percival Graves' office · Register Office · Typing Pool · Wand Permit Office · Young Wizards Daycare Center