What branches (like Transfiguration, DaDA, etc) of magic were the Weasley twins good at?

And what, if any, Hogwarts course-work helped them in their business/startup?

  • 4
    They seem to be good at all subjects, and, of course, the all time class of pissing off filch.
    – bleh
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 13:41
  • 1
    I took the liberty of removing your initial note and simply replacing ‘brothers’ with ‘twins’, which makes it more obvious and unambiguous in the title too. Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 15:00
  • 1
    Bhuf, I feel like: just read the books answer :). Some branches, which spring to my mind: defense against the dark arts (invisibility hats etc.), potions (love potions). I'd say also general spell-inventing.. As for what helped them.. Well, simply put: doing what they shouldn't have (weren't supposed to), not doing what they should (at least when we talk about school policy and general rules).
    – quapka
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 15:07
  • harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Ordinary_Wizarding_Level - this lists the OWLS that Fred and George respectively received - that's a good objective measure of what they were 'good' at academically - they left school prior to taking their 7th years NEWTS.
    – NKCampbell
    Commented Jun 20, 2016 at 15:32

1 Answer 1


They did poorly in formal academics

Fred and George only each passed three O.W.L.s.

“Anyway, it’s a nightmare of a year, the fifth,” said George. “If you care about exam results anyway. Fred and I managed to keep our spirits up somehow.”

“Yeah . . . you got, what was it, three O.W.L.s each?” said Ron.

“Yep,” said Fred unconcernedly. “But we feel our futures lie outside the world of academic achievement.”

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Generally speaking, Fred and George tended to treat schoolwork as optional, and spend much of their time playing pranks.

However, they may have excelled academically in certain areas

Since one must get an O.W.L. in order to take the corresponding N.E.W.T.-level classes, we can surmise that Fred and George both got O.W.L.s in Defense Against the Dark Arts:

Lee Jordan had pointed out to Umbridge that by the terms of the new rule she was not allowed to tell Fred and George off for playing Exploding Snap in the back of the class.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

As well as Charms:

“You lot had an inspected lesson yet?” Fred asked them.

“No,” said Hermione at once, “have you?”

“Just now, before lunch,” said George. “Charms.”

“What was it like?” Harry and Hermione asked together.

Fred shrugged.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

On the other hand, George alone got an O.W.L. in Transfiguration, given that he was doing Transfiguration in his sixth year:

“I asked McGonagall how the champions are chosen but she wasn’t telling,” said George bitterly. “She just told me to shut up and get on with transfiguring my raccoon.”

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

And only Fred got an O.W.L. in Herbology:

He heard Fred say overhead, “Ask us no questions and we’ll tell you no lies, Hermione. C’mon, George, if we get there early we might be able to sell a few Extendable Ears before Herbology.”

Harry Potter and Order of the Phoenix

Each of them can only be taking three advanced classes at most, since each received three O.W.L.s. Thus George cannot also be taking Herbology, and thus Fred must be the one taking it.

So their best classes probably were, for Fred:

  • Charms
  • Defense Against the Dark Arts
  • Herbology

And for George:

  • Charms
  • Defense Against the Dark Arts
  • Transfiguration

Charms would probably be the most important field of magic for producing joke items, since most of the spells that affect objects are described as charms. It is telling, then, that both of them deemed formal Charms work of sufficient importance that they were willing to put the time into earning their O.W.L.s in Charms.

Presumably Defense Against the Dark Arts was so important to the Weasley Twins for the obvious reason: they wanted to join the fight against Voldemort. However, it is possible that knowledge of the Dark Arts (which indeed DADA is helpful for) may have been helpful for some of their pranks. In addition, they also produced Shield Hats, Cloaks, and Gloves, which besides requiring great Charms skills, also would require proficiency with the Shield Charm, generally considered part of Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Knowledge of Herbology would invaluable for knowing how to procure and use many of the biological ingredients necessary for their jokes, such as venomous tentacula pods and perhaps Peruvian Instant Darkness powder.

Transfiguration would have been very useful for items such as the Canary Creams and Ton-Tongue toffee, which transformed individuals in some sense or another.

Their academics were misleading

Fred and George's O.W.Ls. likely represented those areas in which they were most skilled. However, note that lack of O.W.L.s in a certain area does not imply incompetence. Fred and George were brilliant, but undermotivated (in contrast to Hermione, who was brilliant and motivated). Thus their academic performanced did not reflect their true abilities, which spanned the board. Besides Transfiguration, Charms, Defense Against the Dark Arts, and Herbology, in which they showed academic as well as practical proficiency, they were skilled a few additional subjects:

  • Potions: They produced a line of very potent love potions.
  • Care of Magical Creatures: Some of their products were sourced from magical creatures. For example, they may have used doxy eggs in their Skiving Snackboxes.

As such, a fair generalization would be this: the twins were particularly skilled at the magic that helped them in making joke items: Transfiguration, Herbology, Charms, and perhaps Potions and Care of Magical Creatures.

  • Why does this reasoning never excuse my sub-standard academic results? :p
    – Theyna
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 3:31
  • Doesn't C’mon, George, if we get there early we might be able to sell a few Extendable Ears before Herbology imply that George was taking Herbology also?
    – Alex
    Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 1:49
  • @Alex - It suggests it, certainly, although it's not definitive, but I think it can't be true, because if George was taking Herbology then he must have received four O.W.L.s, and we know he only got three.
    – Adamant
    Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 3:00

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