Harry Potter: "What do you see when you look in the mirror?"
Albus Dumbledore: "I? I see myself holding a pair of thick, woollen socks. One can never have enough socks. Another Christmas has gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books."
— Albus Dumbledore on what he sees in the Mirror of Erised[src]

Socks are short stockings that reach a point between the ankle and the knee.


On Harry Potter's tenth birthday in 1990, he was given a pair of Vernon Dursley's old socks, and a coat hanger.

On Hallowe'en 1991, when Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley went to search for Hermione Granger to save her from the mountain troll that had been let into Hogwarts, Harry detected an odour that smelled like "a mixture of old socks and the kind of public toilet no one seems to clean."[1]

Not long after Christmas later that year, when Harry was caught staring at the Mirror of Erised by Albus Dumbledore, he asked Dumbledore what he saw when he looked into the mirror. Dumbledore lied that he saw himself holding a pair of thick, woollen socks, noting that one can never have too many socks.[2]

In 1993, Harry Potter tricked Lucius Malfoy into freeing his House-elf Dobby by placing one of his socks into the diary that he handed back to Malfoy. Because he was only given one sock, he thinks that they are worn mixed up. A pair of socks were placed on Dobby's grave after his death.

The Dursleys often give Harry socks as birthday and Christmas gifts. One of the socks Harry was given held his sneakoscope.

On the Christmas of 1993, Ronald Weasley received a pair of maroon socks apparently knitted by his mother, Molly Weasley, as a Christmas gift, even though he wasn't fond of the colour.[3]

Once, when Fred and George Weasley offered to attach Ron's Prefect Badge to his forehead with a Permanent Sticking Charm, he wrapped it tenderly in his maroon socks and locked it in his trunk.[4]

See also

Behind the scenes

Nippy23: "We see socks a lot throughout the series, such as Dobby's love for them and Dumbledore's claim to see them in the Mirror of Erised. What's the reason behind all the socks?"
J.K. Rowling: "Nothing deep and significant, I'm afraid. They're just a comedy item."
J. K. Rowling on the lack of significance of socks[5]
J.K. Rowling has said that there is nothing particularly significant about socks in the Harry Potter series, serving merely as a source of comedy.


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
  2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12 (The Mirror of Erised)
  3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 11 (The Firebolt)
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 9 (The Woes of Mrs Weasley)
  5. Accio Quote!
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