Ron Weasley yelling into a telephone, misunderstanding how to use it[src]

A telephone is a Muggle device used to communicate long distances using electricity. Most wizards are unfamiliar with this piece of technology, with Ron Weasley calling it a "fellytone,"[1] and believing he had to shout into the receiver to be heard.[2] Consequently, the wizarding world prefers to use owls[3] and the Floo Network for communication.[4]


On 1 November, 1981, Vernon Dursley made a number of important phone calls while at Grunnings, his drill company, and later nearly telephoned his wife Petunia to tell her about the strange activities of his day, but thought better of it.[5] A number of people watching television phoned weatherman Jim McGuffin about downpours of shooting stars rather than the promised rain.[5]

On 31 July of the same year, when Harry Potter watched Rubeus Hagrid using owl post to send a letter to Albus Dumbledore, he noted that Hagrid sat down as though what he had done was as normal as talking on the telephone.[6]

On 6 August, 1992, Arthur Weasley spoke to Harry on how to use the telephone, which Arthur found rather ingenious and interesting.[7]

On 31 July, 1993, Ronald Weasley attempted to make a telephone call to 4 Privet Drive, Harry having given he and Hermione Granger the telephone number for the house at the end of the previous school year.[2] It went poorly, however, as like most wizards, Ron did not know not to shout into the receiver.[2] Hermione also decided not to call, as it might have gotten Harry into trouble again, which was unfortunate for Harry, because he was sure that, as a Muggle-born, Hermione would have known not to shout.[2]

That same year, Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban and a telephone hotline was established for Muggles to report sightings of him.[8] One such Muggle reported to the hotline after seeing Black in Dufftown, which was not too far from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but by the time police arrived, he had left.[9]

On 16 August,[10] 1994, a man named Frank Bryce, possessing no telephone of his own, resolved to use a telephone booth to contact police after hearing the plans of Lord Voldemort, but was unable due to his subsequent murder.[11]

On 1 September of the same year, Molly Weasley used a telephone to call three taxis to escort the Weasley family, as well as Harry Potter and Hermione Granger, to King's Cross Station in London to board the Hogwarts Express, an action considered brave by her family.[4]

A telephone booth is used as the visitor's entrance to the British Ministry of Magic. Dialling 62442 allows one to make a connection, allowing them to state their business, receive a badge, and then transport down into the Ministry.[12]

In 1996, the Prime Minister of England was waiting for a telephone call from the President of a foreign country, but it was arranged for that president to forget and call back on another night so that the Minister for Magic, Rufus Scrimgeour, could speak to him.[13]

Behind the scenes

  • On the main page of the J. K. Rowling's official site in the upper right corner was a mobile telephone, prior to the site's April 2012 redesign, punching in 62442 on the phone's keypad (the same combination used to access the visitor's entrance of the Ministry of Magic, and telephone code for "Magic") caused a brief voice clip of J. K. Rowling answering the phone to play.
  • There also exists such a thing as a mobile phone, also called a cell phone, which can be used to record videos in such a manner as a cine-camera; the police used video evidence from mobile phones as evidence after the fatal collapse of the Millennium Bridge.[14]


Notes and references

  1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 1 (Owl Post)
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 11 (Aboard the Hogwarts Express)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 1 (The Boy Who Lived)
  6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 4 (The Keeper of the Keys)
  7. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 4 (At Flourish and Blotts)
  8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 2 (Aunt Marge's Big Mistake)
  9. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 7 (The Boggart in the Wardrobe)
  10. Harry left for the Weasleys' fourteen days (two weeks) before 1 September; this was 17 August. However, Bryce was murdered the day before Harry left - the 16th.
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 1 (The Riddle House)
  12. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 7 (The Ministry of Magic)
  13. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 1 (The Other Minister)
  14. Harry Potter Limited Edition
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