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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.[3]

History

British Aurors

Minister Eldritch Diggory first established an Auror recruitment programme for Great Britain in the 17th century.

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.[4][5] Scamander participated in the wizarding effort in the First World War, afterward he was considered a hero.[6] In 1926, Theseus corresponded with Percival Graves, the Director of Magical Security of MACUSA. He corresponded with Graves regarding the events in New York.[4][5]

First Wizarding War

"Half the cells in Azkaban are filled thanks to him."
—"Mad Eye" Moody's track record during the First Wizarding War[src]
Frank&alice

Former Aurors Alice Longbottom, Frank Longbottom, and Alastor Moody; all original members of the Order of the Phoenix

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 means that they were given the licence to kill, coerce, and torture. It is unknown if, following the return of Lord Voldemort, this 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.

Closed Ward

Alice and Frank Longbottom are permanent residents of the Janus Thickey Ward

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 LestrangeRodolphus 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 methods used in war time are most likely different then when in times of peace.

Tonks12

Nymphadora Tonks battling Dark forces as a Ministry Auror

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. 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.

Stated by Professor Minerva McGonagall, no Auror had been taken on for three years prior to 1995, though Nymphadora Tonks stated that she qualified the year before.

Second Wizarding War

Nymphadora Tonks: "I'm stationed in Hogsmeade now, to give the school extra protection,"
Harry Potter: "Is it just you who's stationed up here, or — ?"
Nymphadora Tonks: "No, Proudfoot, Savage, and Dawlish are here too."
— Discussion of the additional security stationed at Hogwarts[src]

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.

Aurors GreatHall

Open warfare, Aurors guarding Hogwarts against Dark forces

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 battle on 27 July 1997.[7]. Many of the other Aurors followed Voldemort's regime when he took over the Ministry, 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, which led to Tonks' death, but 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.[8] 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".[8] In 2007, at the young age of 26 or 27, Harry became the Head of the Auror's Office.[9]

American Aurors

Twelve originals

Macusa-history

The original twelve Aurors of MACUSA

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.[10] 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.[11] 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.[12]

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.[13] 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.[14]

Global Wizarding War

"Grindelwald attacks intensify risking war with No-Majs. "
—Issue of The New York Ghost[src]

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.

Fantastic-beasts-tina seraphina

Tina Goldstein hands Newt's case over to Seraphina

Porpentina Goldstein was originally an Auror[15], 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.[16] 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.

European Aurors

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.

Locations

British Auror headquarters are located on Level Two of the Ministry of Magic. It 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.  

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.

The German wizarding community also had a team of Aurors, possibly at the German Ministry of Magic.[17]

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]

Requirements

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 also looks into the criminal records of the applicants, like the one in Great Britain does, 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 continued to take it to the N.E.W.T.-level. 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 into becoming Aurors were temporarily relaxed following the end of the Second Wizarding War. With many Aurors destroyed by Lord Voldemort and his Death Eaters, and the need to restrengthen the Auror Department to combat the remaining Death Eaters, the new Minister for Magic and former Auror Kingsley Shacklebolt permitted any participant in the Battle of Hogwarts to begin Auror training if they were interested, on the grounds that having fought and survived in such a battle and not changing sides against such odds more than satisfied the character and skill requirements. At least 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 their final year at Hogwarts).

Training

"I got top marks in Concealment and Disguise during Auror training without any study at all, it was great... Nearly failed on Stealth and Tracking."
Nymphadora Tonks regarding Auror training[src]
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 to show they react well under pressure. Applicants are then required to train extensively in advanced magical combat and other elements of practical defence, as well as, presumably, methods of criminal investigation.

Two of the disciplines included are "Concealment and Disguise" and "Stealth and Tracking", while poisons and antidotes essential studies. As mentioned by Tonks in 1995, she stated to Harry that she passed without any difficulties on the transformation test, but nearly failed the stealth tests. Training lasts for three years.

The job

An Auror's job is to hunt down and capture Dark 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.

Reputation

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."
— Harry Potter and Ron Weasley discussing 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.

Known Aurors

British Aurors

Heads of the Auror Office

Person Notes
Gawain Robards

[18]

Succeeded Scrimgeour in 1996.
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.[9]

Aurors

Person Notes
Venusia Crickerly 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
Frank Longbottom
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.
Savage
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.
Theseus Scamander[5] Brother of the famous magizoologist and author Newt Scamander.

American Aurors

Directors of Magical Security

Person Notes
Percival Graves The Director during the early 20th century. Status unknown due to his identity being stolen by Gellert Grindelwald, who impersonated him for some time.

Chief Auror

Person Notes
E. A. Limus Chief during the early 20th century.

Captain of Aurors

Person Notes
M. P. Carneirus Captain during the early 20th century.

Auror Commissioner

Person Notes
M. L. Minus The Commissioner during the early 20th century.

Aurors

Person Notes
Theodard Fontaine One of the original twelve. He was one of only two who survived to see old age.
Wilhelm Fischer One of the original twelve
Gondulphus Graves
Robert Grimsditch
Mary Jauncey
Carlos Lopez
Mungo MacDuff
Cormac O’Brien
Abraham Potter
Berthilde Roche
Helmut Weiss
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.
Percival Graves A powerful Auror until his promotion to Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and Director of Magical Security at the Magical Congress of the United States of America, rising to the office sometime prior to the early 20th century.
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.

Etymology

"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.

See also

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named wandpermit
  2. 2.0 2.1 ARTICLE - Add to Template:PM at Pottermore
  3. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Act One, Scene Five
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named collider
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 "Orphans, Aurors & War Vets: we meet the 'Fantastic Beasts' film cast on set (Part 2)" from SnitchSeeker.com
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named FB60
  7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 4 (The Seven Potters)
  8. 8.0 8.1 "J.K. Rowling Web Chat Transcript" on The Leaky Cauldron
  9. 9.0 9.1 J.K.Rowling Official Site Wizard of the Month (Archived)
  10. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" at Pottermore
  11. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" at Pottermore
  12. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" at Pottermore
  13. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" at Pottermore
  14. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" at Pottermore
  15. Entertainment Weekly - 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them': See 9 Magical Character Posters'
  16. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film)
  17. http://www.castingcallpro.com/uk/actor/profile/chris-warner-drake
  18. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 16 (A Very Frosty Christmas)


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