15

KWIKSPELL
A Correspondence Course in
Beginners’ Magic


Intrigued, Harry flicked the envelope open and pulled out the sheaf of parchment inside. More curly silver writing on the front page said:

Feel out of step in the world of modern magic? Find yourself making excuses not to perform simple spells? Ever been taunted for your woeful wandwork?

There is an answer!

Why on earth did Filch want a Kwikspell course? Did this mean he wasn’t a proper wizard? Harry was just reading ‘Lesson One: Holding Your Wand (Some Useful Tips)’ when shuffling footsteps outside told him Filch was coming back....

Chamber of Secrets - pages 97-98 - British Hardcover

In Is It Genetically Possible for a Squib to Produce Magical Offspring, the two answers given agree that it would be possible for Squibs to produce magical offspring. Going off this premise, a Squib would have to be harboring magical genes (they would be recessive, I believe?). Would a wand be able to sense these magical latent genes and "choose" a Squib, even if the Squib could never perform purposeful magic with the wand? Is there anything in the law that states a Squib cannot own a wand, even if it seems silly or stupid that they would want to?

Can a Squib own a wand?

04.26.12 - I'm still looking for answers to compare on this question. Please feel free to leave an answer. :)

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    I'm surprised that no one has mentioned a squib inheriting a wand. Ron had Charlie's old wand and Neville had his father's so wands can be inherited as heirlooms. I suppose a squib could possess one or more by that method. – pleurocoelus Jul 23 '14 at 2:33
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Anyone could possess a wand, whether Muggle, Squib or Wizard. While it's a magical object, it's clearly visible, and generally wands have no enchantment that would keep a Muggle from picking one up (and as Squibs, while having no ability to exert magical power, do seem to have some capacity to sense magic, such enchantments may not even work on a Squib anyway). The question is whether the Ministry would allow a non-Wizard to own a wand. There are many magical creatures of (near-) human intelligence and of varying magical power which are forbidden by wizards from possessing wands.

Specifically regarding Squibs, I would think it's a question of necessity. A wand that can sense no magical power in a person simply will not choose that person. If a wand cared about recessive genes that never manifested, it could choose the Muggle parent of a Wizard. With the Statute of Secrecy, and the fact that Squibs are usually encouraged to integrate fully into the Muggle world, I would think that even if Ollivander or Gregorovitch would let a Squib walk in and purchase a wand they could do nothing with, the Ministry would have something to say about a person living wholly in the Muggle world having such an object, and the risk of exposure that could cause.

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    "The fact that Squibs are usually encouraged to integrate fully into the Muggle world" - really? What support do you have for this assertion? – Martha Apr 9 '12 at 23:06
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    It's in Chamber of Secrets, just after Ron actually explains to Harry about Squibs. It would be a point of shame for most Wizarding families to produce a Squib, so if it were to happen the fact would be covered up and the child would be encouraged to pursue other interests. It's been a while since I've read CoR but that's a pretty close paraphrase with what's in the book. – KeithS Apr 9 '12 at 23:15
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    @KeithS: I can't find that in CoS, but in DH, Auntie Muriel says to Harry: "Squibs were usually shipped off to Muggle schools and encouraged to integrate into the Muggle community... much kinder than trying to find them a place in the Wizarding world". Note that Muriel is talking about past days. – Hendrik Vogt Apr 10 '12 at 17:27
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    @HendrikVogt True. In addition, there is a "black sheep" of the Weasley family, a second cousin or something who's an accountant, mentioned in (I think) Book 1. So, it's still relatively common for those who have no magical power, but know of those who do, so simply go on living a normal life outside the Wizarding world. – KeithS Jun 25 '12 at 16:50
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There would be absolutely nothing stopping a Squib from owning a wand, or trying to use one. As I've said before, there seem to be degrees of Squib (some can do very simple spells, others can't do anything at all).

Also, we've seen that using a borrowed wand, or one that didn't 'choose' you, is entirely possible. Ron, for instance, had a hand-me-down wand through all of book 1, and most of book 2. He was able to use it to complete his studies in book 1, and was able to use it to make the car work in book 2 - this can't be trivial magic. Additionally, he does not notably improve in magic after getting his own wand - the limitations of a borrowed wand may not be as severe as some think.

Even a damaged wand, or one in nonmagical hands, is still likely capable of limited function (though uncontrolled or less controlled). Ergo, I don't think it's unlikely that there are squibs with wands. There may even be some who function in society very well, never giving hints that they are, in fact, squibs.

edit:

Not to mention that the very Squib-targetting Quickspell course you mention doesn't think Squibs may get a wand, it assumes they have one. It's a very basic part of life in the wizarding world.

I think the very quote you give demonstrates (in canon) that Squibs can and do own wands.

3

There is little account and evidence of Squibs in the world.

Examples

Merope Gaunt: (not actually a Squib)

In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we see in one of Dumbledore's Pensieve memories (The House of Gaunt) that Merope Gaunt owned a wand.

She was not a Squib, but her father (Marvolo Gaunt) thought that she was; I think that in this case, it is fair to assume that if Squibs weren't allowed to (or couldn't) own a wand, Marvolo would not bother with a wand for her.

This leaves us with a couple of points to consider though:

  1. If Squibs weren't allowed wands; Did Marvolo know, or care?

The Gaunts were fiercely segregated (by choice or otherwise) from the general and the Magical communities; if there was a law or rule or anything similar to stop Squibs from having or owning a wand, then they may not have known about it, hence why Merope had one.

  1. Did Merope know she wasn't a Squib?

Merope may have known all along that she wasn't a Squib, and therefore may have found herself a wand to use.

Angus Buchanan: (wrote My Life as a Squib)

...As the time approached for him to leave to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, his sister Flora forged an acceptance letter and Angus, frightened of his father, played along, going as far as going to Diagon Alley and buying a wand and pretending it had chosen him ... 1 [emphasis added is mine]

At this point, Angus has bought a wand; meaning that they can obviously possess one; but the wand has seemingly not chosen him.

Argus Filch:

Filch clearly cannot do magic. As demonstrated multiple times:

... “Don’t Stun them, Filch!” shouted Umbridge angrily, for all the world as though it had been his suggestion.

“Right you are, Headmistress!” wheezed Filch, who was a Squib and could no more have Stunned the fireworks than swallowed them.
-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Twenty-Eight - Grawp)

and

...Umbridge and Filch had been observed trying different means of removing it but without success. Eventually the area was roped off and Filch, gnashing his teeth furiously, was given the task of punting students across it to their classrooms. Harry was certain that teachers like McGonagall or Flitwick could have removed the swamp in an instant, but just as in the case of Fred and George’s Wildfire Whiz-Bangs, they seemed to prefer to watch Umbridge struggle. ...
-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Chapter Thirty - Grawp)

Does he own a wand? Not sure...

Keeping up Appearances

It's just strange that Umbridge tells Filch not to Stun them (the fireworks). She likely didn't know that He (Filch) was a Squib. But it brings about my next thought: A Squib likely would want to make it appear that they are not a Squib by purchasing and brandishing a wand. [No proof or citations for this one.] So he may have attempted magic with a wand but clearly failed. Is this because he is a Squib with no magical abilities, or the wand hadn't chosen him so he could not perform magic. See next thought.

Wand Lore

Now, assuming that you mean "mastering" when you say 'own' a wand:

As answered here, (although the question is aimed at wands being won), the same rule applies: a wand 'generally' and 'usually' bends its will to its new master, but doesn't always have to!

I believe that a Squib could hold a wand as Angus Buchanan did, and not quite be able to own it.


1 Harry Potter Wikia - Angus Buchanan

1

They can have one. But I don't think they can buy one. I mean Ollivander said that "the wand chooses the wizard". A squib is no wizard, so I don't think any wand would react to him and so he won't be able to buy any wand even if he wanted to. He can have other wizards' wands though, but he'll still be unable to cast any spell.

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    Ollivander can't be the only wandmaker in England - Hagrid says as much in the first book. Ollivander is just the best. It's likely that others aren't nearly as good, and may not particularly care who is buying their product. – Jeff May 10 '12 at 14:23
  • Yes Hagrid did, but won't the other wand-maker follow the same principle? I mean in mid 19XX Albert Einstein is the best when it comes to physic. He make the Relativity Theory and everyone follows that. Now, if Ollivander make the Wand Theory, won't others follow that as well? – 絢瀬絵里 May 13 '12 at 3:07
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    There's a big difference between creating a revolutionary new theory in an emerging field and being a master craftsman in a long-established one. That's like saying that programmers in India working for $10/day will follow MSDN best practices because Bill Gates says it's the best way to do something. – Jeff May 13 '12 at 14:07
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A squib could well steal a wand, or win one in a [non-magical I'm guessing] fight. In that case, the wand could presumably change allegiance to the squib (much like Draco's wand changed allegiance to Harry in Deathly Hallows). Whether or not the squib could then use the wand is another question entirely.

Also, wands can be used by people who they're not allied with - Harry using Hermione's wand for a while after his broke, for example - it just may not give a great result. So a squib could I suppose 'find' or 'borrow' someone else's wand and in some ways try to make it work...

  • There is only one wand (that we know about) that changes allegiance based on its previous owner being defeated. Really. Just the one. Why do people keep insisting on applying the Elder Wand's rules to every other wand? – Martha May 10 '12 at 16:55
  • Hmm, maybe it was just in the film where Ollivander says to Harry that Malfoy's wand may have changed alleigance to Harry. Will have to re-read Deathly Hallows! :) – Nick Shaw May 10 '12 at 17:53
  • @Martha No, Ollivander says it in the books as well. Although he doesn't specifically say that Harry now is the master of Draco's wand, but that Draco 'was' the master... – Möoz Apr 23 '14 at 0:41
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The wand chooses the Wizard, it is not clear of how. It was never really explained how or why the wand chooses some Wizards or Witches, but it is clear that the wand is a magical being, even though it is an in animate object, it still contains a conscience, an awareness about who the holder is, and the personality. Just like the Sorting Hat, it is a living being it knows the Wizard or Witch. I believe that even a Muggle could do magic to some degree. Even if they may not know what to say, the wand can sense what the holder is trying to do and accomplishes that simple task. For example; when Ron attempted to curse Malfoy because Malfoy had called Hermione a "Mud Blood". Ron's curse to "eat slugs" was not a incantation, and the wand understood what Ron meant. However, it did backfire on poor Ron because the wand had been damaged. I am sure that even Filtch could conjure a spell if he desperately needed to. It is not really stated in the books about his relationship with Miss Norris his cat, and how does she "Communicate " with him, unless as I am only guessing, That Filtch himself had attempted to do some sort of magic and Miss Norris is the unfortunate "victim" of a spell gone wrong. And to repay her for his mistake, he took her as his cat, and made sure she was safe and taken care of. Again this is not part of the books or I am not sure if even JKR had even explained this either. So, what we have here is, A wand in the hands of anyone magical or Muggle, are able to do Magic if they set their mind to it.

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