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Magic genes

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Magic genes are portions of human DNA that determine whether a person will have magical abilities. Those people born with the genes active are witches and wizards, while those who are not are Muggles or Squibs.

Magic genes are dominant,[1] and any child born to a wizarding family will have some degree of magical ability, or at least magical awareness. Squibs, while unable to use magic, are still able to function within the wizarding world to a limited degree. The descendants of squibs who instead integrate into the Muggle world and marry will usually be Muggles, although the magical abilities occasionally resurface in later generations producing a Muggle-born witch or wizard.[2]

It is not clear how the expression of the genes (or lack of it) produces Squibs or Muggles, or how Muggle-borns manifest their abilities the same way as Half-bloods or Pure-bloods. It is unknown how many genes are involved in the ability to perform magic - only the existance of an on/off switch can be inferred from available data.

Behind the scenes

  • J.K. Rowling stated that she had considered having Dudley Dursley have a magical child in the epilogue, and see them off to Hogwarts at Platform 9¾ at the same time as Harry and his family. She decided against this, however, stating that any latent wizarding genes would never survive contact with Uncle Vernon's DNA.[3]
  • According to J.K. Rowling, nobody knows where magic comes from.[4]


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