How did the Weasley twins create all of their jokes at the Burrow in book four? They had to use magic to create them, but they were underaged at the time...
Wonderwitch 01:45, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
- Dumbledore says in book 6 that for underage magic performed in the homes of wizarding families, the ministry leaves it up to the parents to enforce the rules and discipline their children. Nick O'Demus 02:04, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
- The Trace can only detect if magic is performed around an underage witch or wizard, not if it is performed by them (DH4). Children brought up in wizarding households will be exposed to magic on a daily basis from parents, older siblings, and other relatives. It would be unrealistic for the Ministry to routinely investigate all of these spells, so as Nick points out, they overlook hits from wizarding households. Can you imagine if the Weasley children had received hundreds of warning owls for Molly's cooking and cleaning charms? :)
- The thing with The Trace is that it discriminates against Muggle-borns, as well as half-bloods raised in all-Muggle households, like Harry and Dean. It's almost as if the rule was designed to keep such individuals from practicing magic at home and thus ensure that they lived up to pure-blood supremacist stereotypes about Muggle-borns and half-bloods being less magically gifted than pure-bloods. In essence, the selective enforcement of The Trace gives children from all-wizard households a free pass to hone their magical talents, as long as they do so out of sight of their parents (some wizarding parents may also oppose restrictions on underage magic and thus refuse to enforce them in their households). It would also seem that half-blood children living with one magical and one Muggle parent are let off the hook: Sirius Black claimed that Severus Snape "knew more curses when he arrived at school than half the kids in seventh year" (GoF27), which suggests that young Severus was able to practice at home, and that any magic he did was attributed to his mother, who either didn't know or didn't care what her son was doing. The only warning letters we know of were sent to Muggle-raised Harry Potter and his Muggle-born mother Lily.
- The one thing I really want to know is how Tom Riddle, who grew up in a Muggle orphanage, was able to get away with murdering his father, grandfather, and grandmother and then making his first Horcrux while he was still sixteen. You would think that, even if the Ministry sometimes overlooked minor infractions from the Muggle-born and Muggle-raised, they would look into stuff that Dark. Is this an error on Rowling's part, or proof that Riddle was able to deactivate The Trace placed on him somehow? ★ Starstuff (Owl me!) 12:02, 26 June 2009 (UTC)