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On the train to Hogwarts in the first book, Ron says he uses Charlie's old wand. I have two questions:

  1. Doesn't he have to kill or disarm Charlie to be able to effectively use Charlie's wand? How could he do this with no wand.

  2. Didn't the Weasleys just have to buy Charlie a new wand anyway? Why didn't they buy Ron one? Charlie would be fine with his old wand, unless he drove a car into the Whomping Willow.

Here is what Ollivander says:

"Much also depends on the wand itself. In general, however, where a wand has been won, its allegiance will change." ".....the conquered wand will usually bend its will to its new master."

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    Ron was never able to use the wand effectively. also its hard to gauge the wands abilities or Rons abilities with the wand, when we only see him use it for 2 years and he can barely use magic as it is during those years. – Himarm Aug 25 '15 at 16:31
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    Your premise is flawed. It is not necessary to defeat someone to use the wand, it simply will not be as effective. And probably Charlie bought his own wand when he moved out, or perhaps it was his Prefect's gift. You should probably split this into two questions. – Dave Johnson Aug 25 '15 at 16:39
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    I think the root of the confusion here is that you are drawing generalities from the Elder Wand. The Elder Wand is an extreme example of both wand loyalty and fickleness, far from the norm. – DavidS Aug 25 '15 at 17:06
  • I think the killing/disarm - ie. need to conquer/defeat - someone, only applies to the Elder Wand... which is a bit special and gives special powers to the owner. Other wands would work (more or less good) for anybody. However, best result was gotten when "the wand chooses the wizard". – Baard Kopperud Aug 26 '15 at 12:45
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J.K. Rowling has answered your first question:

Stephanie: If the wand chooses the wizard, then why do wands work when passed down from father to son, e.g. Neville had his father's wand

J.K. Rowling: As established by Ollivander, a wizard can use almost any wand, it is simply that a wand that chooses him/her will work best. Where there is a family connection, a wand will work a little better than a wand chosen at random, I think.

http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2007/0730-bloomsbury-chat.html

Charlie was already working by the time Ron enrolled into Hogwarts. So Charlie could afford another wand.

We never read about Mr. and Mrs. Weasley borrowing money from their kids, instead they purchase used things for their kids. It is possible that Charlie might have given away his wand to his brother. To reduce financial burden on his parents.

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    It might be a question of culture and family values but wouldn't it have made more "sense" for Charlie to pitch in and buy Ron a new wand and stick with his own (no pun intended)? Or buy a new one for each of them. – skytreader Aug 25 '15 at 18:23
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    Unless, perhaps "Charlie's wand" was also a hand-me-down. Considering the Weasley fortunes, it's pretty likely. Once he had money of his own, Charlie probably went wand shopping - or rather, took himself to a wand shop so the wands could go wizard shopping. – T.J.L. Aug 25 '15 at 18:25
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    @skytreader, Who in their right mind would buy a brand new wand that they want (and quite possibly need to do their job properly), and then give it to a middle-schooler? I recently bought myself a new wand--I mean cellphone, and plan on handing off my old one to my much younger brother because it's better than the one he's currently using which was another hand-me-down. – zzzzBov Aug 25 '15 at 18:48
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    Also, Harry uses Hermione's wand without too much trouble. I would make an answer of my own but I don't have the books to quote – childcat15 Aug 26 '15 at 2:38
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    Charlie may also have got his new wand through his job. "We're going to restrain DRAGONS; if that tatty thing falls apart we all die. Here's 50 Galleons, go buy yourself something pretty." – deworde Aug 26 '15 at 15:10
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As well (i.e. rather badly) as Neville's father's wand for Neville. We learn that Neville was using his father's wand when it snapped in the ministry of magic at the end of Order of the Phoenix.

Both Ron and Neville get new wands. Both do better (or less badly) at magic afterwards. Before they are often described as failing at spells. This is especially true for Ron with his broken and spell-o-taped wand, which is described as failing him next to every time. They seem to be falling behind the class implying they are below-average students. After getting new wands the occurrences of failure diminish, at least in my subjective memory.

We see Ron using Charlie's wand only in the first year. In the second year it breaks before classes start. So I'm concentrating further on Neville:

Note that Neville leads DA and fights successfully in the battle for Hogwarts in the end. Probably he got a serious boost in confidence after the fight at the Ministry, which might have to do with being accepted by his grandma but also with getting a wand that actually works for him.

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