At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald. As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film). As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
Some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and, as such, spoilers will be present.
- Dean Thomas: "Auror?"
- Ron Weasley: "Dark wizard catcher."
- — An explanation of what a British Auror is[src]
Auror is the occupational title of any witch or wizard serving as a member of an elite unit of highly-trained, specialist officers tasked with upholding the law and protecting the magical communities in their respective countries from large-scale threats, and is employed by the wizarding governing bodies of many European countries, as well as the United States. In Great Britain, Aurors work for the Ministry of Magic while in North America, they answer to the Magical Congress of the United States of America.
Auror training is extremely difficult and intensive, so there are few qualified applicants. As Aurors of different countries deals with different high-risk situations that are most prominent to them, their training and areas of responsibility might vary greatly depending on the type of threats for which they are prepared and the magical education they received beforehand. In Britain, for example, the Aurors are trained to investigate crimes related to the Dark Arts, and to apprehend or detain dark wizards and witches.
In the United States however, they seem to go up against any criminal posing a significant threat. When working for the Major Investigation Department, using 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 may pose a threat to the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy. Also, unlike their British counterpart, the American Aurors are divided into several divisions around North America to keep the peace, as opposed to all working within the same one.
Aurors are, essentially, the wizarding world equivalent of police officers and military (as they serve in both roles for Muggles).
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.
British Auror headquarters are on Level Two of the Ministry of Magic, which is the level that contains the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. The Ministry is located on Whitehall, a road in Westminster in the heart of London England. The office consists 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 line the cubicles. When Harry Potter visited the office in 1995 he was impressed by it.
American Auror headquarters are located within the Magical Congress of the United States of America. 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.
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 is very difficult to fulfil the requirements to get into Auror training. Applicants must first have excellent academic credentials, before they are accepted into a rigorous training programme. It is also possible that the wizarding governing bodies look into the criminal records of the applicants, and that those without a clean one will not make it through the cut.
In accordance with British standards, one has to have a minimum of five N.E.W.T.s in challenging subjects, highly recommended are: 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 is 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 grade meets the requirements.
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).
It is incredibly difficult to fulfil Auror training. If accepted into Auror training, prospective Aurors are required to undergo a stringent series of character and aptitude tests. These tests are done in order to show how they react well under pressure. Applicants are then required to train extensively in advanced magical combat and other elements of practical defence, and most likely methods of criminal investigation. Given that Harry, Ron and Neville became Aurors immediately after the Second Wizarding War, it is likely that they improved their capabilities in advanced defensive magic during the work hands-on.
Two of the disciplines included in training are 'Concealment and Disguise' and 'Stealth and Tracking', while poisons and antidotes are also essential studies. Minerva McGonagall, also mentioned that Aurors often Transfigure and Untransfigure 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 lasts for three years and is very hard work.
An Auror's job is investigate crimes related to the Dark Arts and to hunt down and capture Dark Wizards, often with help from Hit Wizards. Once a criminal is captured they are generally handed over to the authorities. It is not uncommon for criminals to resist arrest; some choose to fight to the death rather than let themselves be captured, such as Death Eater Evan Rosier. The Ministry also enlists them to guard high profile targets such as Harry Potter during the 1996-1997 school term and the British Prime Minister had an Auror bodyguard, posing as his secretary, to protect him against the possibility that Lord Voldemort might take control of him to gain access to various Muggle resources at the highest level.
- 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]
The job is seen as glamourous by some, as there is a great deal of danger involved and it is extremely difficult to join the ranks of the Aurors. Harry Potter became increasingly interested in becoming an Auror as his schooling came to an end, since he has had to fight against Dark Wizards his whole life.
Though Auror training is very taxing, and means an additional three years of studying even after graduation from school, they seem to be very well respected in the wizarding community, and the higher members are potential candidates for Minister for Magic. For example, Rufus Scrimgeour was a leader of the Auror Office, but replaced Fudge after the call of his resignation. Another example of a respected Auror (though not Head) that became Minister is Kingsley Shacklebolt. Harry Potter eventually promoted to the Head of the Auror Department after serving nine years as an Auror.
The American Aurors are 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 goes about their work and how it differs from that of the British Auror Department.
An Auror Division is a field office of the Department of Aurors located throughout North America, and specifically tasked with the capture of dangerous criminals within the jurisdiction of their designated areas. The divisions report 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 works 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 are 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 is contacted and takes over from there.
Aurors working for the British Ministry of Magic were sent into war zones in order to provide aid, such was the case with the First World War. Theseus Scamander worked as an Auror and was described as a "powerful" wizard. Scamander participated in the wizarding effort in the First World War, afterward he was considered a hero. In 1926, Theseus corresponded with Percival Graves, the Director of Magical Security of MACUSA. He corresponded with Graves regarding the events in New York.
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 power was re-issued in the second war.
It was also stated the former Auror Alastor Moody (one of the most famous Aurors of modern time) 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, that resulted in a replacement eye and a wooden leg. This is proof that the work an Auror conducts is dangerous, with a high mortality rate. Moody also came from a long line of respected Scottish Aurors.
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 Bartemius Crouch Jr. 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 still remain.
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]
It can be assumed that after the First Wizarding War the Auror office went back to usual procedures and practises, as the extreme methods used in war time were no longer needed and were most likely different then when in times of peace.
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
After the return of Voldemort had been made public, Rufus Scrimgeour, hitherto the head of the Auror Office, became Minister for Magic, as the wizarding world placed more trust in him as a war leader than his heavily disgraced predecessor, Cornelius Fudge. It was said that Scrimgeour had the disposition required to handle the crisis, but in reality failed to do so and was eventually murdered. Gawain Robards succeeded Scrimgeour as Head of the Auror office.
However, the most famous Auror in recent times is Alastor Moody, who agreed to come out of his retirement to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts (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. It was a mission to remove Harry Potter from 4 Privet Drive, he 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 which 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 1998, after the destruction of Lord Voldemort and the end of the Second Wizarding War, Kingsley Shacklebolt became Minister for Magic and led a massive reform of the Ministry. Harry Potter, at age 17, and Ron Weasley, at age 18, joined the Auror's Office and helped revolutionise the Auror department. The office was reshuffled and corruption was weeded out. Harry and Ron were considered to be the "experts". In 2007, at the young age of 26 or 27, Harry became the Head of the Auror's Office.
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".
Harry remained Head of the department for many years, 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 raid the Nott residence and confiscate it. Harry then turns 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 have 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 have been given particular respect in the US ever since.
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 War
Percival Graves was an 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 he 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 he had done to Credence. Due to 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 also meet 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 Muggle community. This incident was one of the biggest breaches in the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy.
During the 1920s and throughout the entirety of the Global wizarding war, as the revolutionary endeavours of Gellert Grindelwald and his supporters became increasingly aggressive and led to a number of much published attacks, European Aurors prepared to fight the threat and worked together with each other to track down Grindelwald. They also cooperated with the International Wizarding Police to accomplish this.
|Gawain Robards||Head Aurors||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.|
|Venusia Crickerly||Regular Aurors||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.|
"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.
- 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)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault
- LEGO Dimensions
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ministers for Magic" at Pottermore
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" at Pottermore
- ↑ 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’: 43 Things to Know about the New Wizarding World Story" from Collider
- ↑ "Orphans, Aurors & War Vets: we meet the 'Fantastic Beasts' film cast on set (Part 2)" from SnitchSeeker.com
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, Scene 60
- ↑ "‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’: 43 Things to Know about the New Wizarding World Story" from Collider
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 4 (The Seven Potters)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 "J.K. Rowling Web Chat Transcript" on The Leaky Cauldron
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 J.K.Rowling Official Site Wizard of the Month (Archived)
- ↑ Entertainment Weekly - 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them': See 9 Magical Character Posters'
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film)
- ↑ 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
- ↑ 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|