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The lawnmower owned by Ludo Bagman's brother Otto is the most important objects in all of the Harry Potter series*! And everyone was obviously so immersed in the lawnmower's awesomeness, nobody thought to ask: Why does Otto Bagman even have a lawnmower?

Assuming Otto Bagman is a competent wizard, he had no need for a lawnmower, which is a muggle artifact. He could just wave his wand and cut the grass.

Here's what Mr.Weasley says about it:

"I liked Ludo," said Mr.Weasley mildly. "He was the one who got us such good tickets for the Cup. I did him a bit of a favor: His brother, Otto, got into a spot of trouble--a lawnmower with unnatural powers--I smoothed the whole thing over."

*No, really. Without this lawnmower, Barty Crouch Jr. might never have stolen Harry's wand, escaped, and Harry would not have won the Triwizard Tournament, and Voldemort would never have come back. Otto Bagman was secretly the biggest Death Eater of them all.

  • Barty Crouch Jr. did not escape during the finals. His father found him and got him back at home. It was Wormtail and Voldemort who overpowered Barty Crouch Sr. and freed his son. – vap78 Aug 28 '15 at 19:22
  • But still...the lawnmower!! – CHEESE Aug 28 '15 at 20:53
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Canon

The short answer is that we don't know. There's no answer in canon and to the best of my knowledge, JKR has never spoken about it.


Guesswork time

The lawnmower is evidently an enchanted object, much like Mr Weasley's car. Although it looks superficially like a normal lawnmower, the most obvious magical enhancement would be that it can mow the lawn by itself.

Assuming Mr Bagman lives in a muggle area, rather than a wizarding community, this could easily lead to awkward questions being asked about his committment to the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, hence Mr Weasley having to step in and smooth things over with the Ministry.

  • So Otto himself enchanted the lawnmower to mow his lawn? I can totally see Ludo Bagman's brother being this stupid! – CHEESE Aug 27 '15 at 21:54
  • @CHEESE - Simply put, we don't know. The sole mention of this amazing lawnmower is in the quote you've given – Valorum Aug 27 '15 at 21:54
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    Surely Mr Weasley isn't the only wizard who is fascinated by muggle artifacts? Perhaps Otto is another aficionado - which could be why Arthur was kind enough to "smooth it over" - he recognised a kindred spirit. (Now I'm picturing clandestine swap meets between collectors, or some wizarding equivalent to the dark web!) – NiceOrc Aug 28 '15 at 4:32
  • Also explains why my neighbour always looks shifty when I ask how his Roomba works. But I completely agree with this answer, it very much seems like another Mr Weasley type character... Recall that the MoM has an entire department for handling this stuff, and we can assume that it's fairly common for Wizards to misappropriate muggle objects – Jon Story Sep 11 '15 at 3:14

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