A tattoo is a type of artwork imprinted on the skin of a person. It can be either temporary or semi-permanent.
In 1997, after she had begun dating Harry Potter, Ginevra Weasley complained that after three Dementor attacks in a week, the only thing that Romilda Vane was interested in asking her was whether Harry had a hippogriff tattooed on his chest. Harry asked what she told her, and Ginny replied that she had said that it was "...a Hungarian Horntail Much more macho," referential of Harry's evasion of a Hungarian Horntail dragon in the Triwizard Tournament to capture the Golden Egg clue.
Harry then asked what type of tattoo she had said Ron has, and she replied "A Pygmy Puff, but I didn't say where." At this, Ron scowled and threatened to withdraw his "permission," referring to his belief that Harry and Ginny's relationship required his permission.
Later, as Ron transformed into Harry via the use of Polyjuice Potion during the famous "Seven Potters" operation, he observed his bare chest and commented "I knew Ginny was lying about that tattoo."
The Dark Mark is described as appearing similar to a vivid red tattoo when inactive.
Behind the scenes
- The application of normal, non-temporary Muggle tattoos is very painful, and it seems unlikely that it would be used in the Wizarding world, but likely that they could be applied by some form of magic, likely a Charm or Human Transfiguration. The shop Tatoo Artist [sic] in Diagon Alley in fact offers tattoos that are stated to be quick, painless and hygienic.
- The associate of Ollivander's at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter referred to a customer's tattoos as "odd Muggle stuff."
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Mentioned only)