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"The optimum writing tool for any witch or wizard."
— Description[src]

A quill is a writing instrument made from a feather whose tip has been cut into a pointed shape.[2] It was the standard writing instrument in the wizarding world, as opposed to pens and pencils in the Muggle world. They usually have to be dipped into ink.[1]

History

In 1992. Gilderoy Lockhart owned a large Peacock feather quill.[3] In 1992, Hermione Granger bought Harry Potter an eagle-feather quill for Christmas.[4] Harry used an eagle-feather quill to do his homework during the summer in 1993.[5]

In 1994, Harry Potter used his eagle feather quill to write a letter to Sirius Black.[6] He used this same quill to write to Ron saying he could attend the 1994 Quidditch World Cup.[7] In 1995, while at the Ministry of Magic for his hearing, he noticed an Auror dictating a report to his quill.[8]

Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop sold pheasant-feather quills. Hermione bought a black-and-gold one during the first Hogsmeade visit of the 1995–1996 school year.[9] Albus Dumbledore had a "handsome scarlet quill" on the desk in his office; since it matched the colour of Fawkes' body feathers, it might have been a phoenix-feather quill.[4]

Types of quills

a peacock quill

There was a great variety of quills, some plain and simple, some (like Fwooper quills) more fancy-looking, others enhanced with magical properties.

Numerous types of feathers were used including pheasant, eagle, peacock (Gilderoy Lockhart's favourite), and perhaps phoenix. Augurey feathers, however, were no good for this purpose as they repelled ink.[10]

Anti-Cheating Quills

Auto-Answer Quills

Dolores Umbridge's Black Quill

The Black Quill

  • This quill did not use ink, but used the writer's own blood to mark the paper. Harry had to use this quill to write lines in 1995 while serving detentions with Professor Umbridge.[13] His hand was now permanently scarred with I must not tell lies from writing with this quill. Lee Jordan also was forced to use this quill for joking about a rule Professor Umbridge imposed.[14]

Quick-Quotes Quill

  • Great for reporters, this quill wrote what the speaker dictated - often exaggerating the story. Rita Skeeter had an acid green one.[15]

Quill of Acceptance

  • Detected the birth of each wizard or witch, then wrote his or her name down in a large parchment book at Hogwarts. The Deputy Head checked the book every year, and then sent owls to these children as they approached their eleventh birthdays to invite them to attend Hogwarts.[16]

Self-Inking Quills

Sugar Quills

  • A confection that looked like a writing quill, so that it could be nibbled on discreetly during classes. This treat was sold at Honeydukes Sweetshop.[18]

Smart-Answer Quills

Spell-Checking Quills

Self-Spelling Quills

  • Presumably similar to the above and a banned device in examinations.[20]

Appearances

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Notes and references

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