It's clear throughout the Potter books that someone who takes Polyjuice potion assumes another person's physical characteristics, while keeping their own mental characteristics. Suppose a wizard took Polyjuice potion and assumed the identity of a muggle. Would they still retain the ability to do magic, or would that be considered part of their physical characteristics (which they temporarily drop)?

  • 3
    Interesting! I want to say "Of course they wouldn't lose their magic!" But considering things like poor eyesight are changed to perfect vision and vice versa via Polyjuice it's an intriguing thought.
    – ThruGog
    Dec 17, 2016 at 18:51
  • 3
    @ThruGog Poor eyesight is just a function of the shape of the cornea or something like that, which is a physical characteristic.
    – Scimonster
    Dec 18, 2016 at 10:10

1 Answer 1


Transforming oneself into a muggle (using Polyjuice Potion) doesn't remove magic.

Harry pretends to be a red-haired Muggle boy at Fleur and Bill's wedding.

Harry was rather uncomfortable. The Muggle boy whose appearance he was affecting was slightly fatter than him, and his dress robes felt hot and tight in the full glare of a summer’s day.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter Eight: The Wedding

A few minutes after the wedding is crashed (and presumably while he's still transformed) he draws his wand and uses magic.

The force of the Death Eaters’ spells shattered the tiled wall where Ron’s head had just been, as Harry, still invisible, yelled, ‘Stupefy!’
The great, blond Death Eater was hit in the face by a jet of red light
: he slumped sideways, unconscious.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter Nine: A Place to Hide

A similar situation occurs later in the same book. Both Harry and Hermione transform into muggles

They were to Apparate to the village under cover of darkness, so it was late afternoon when they finally swallowed Polyjuice Potion, Harry transforming into a balding, middle-aged Muggle man, Hermione into his small and rather mousy wife.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter Sixteen: Godric’s Hollow

a few minutes later, Harry uses magic to clean some of the pictures in Bathilda Bagshot's home

He saw a few tiny movements from the pictures. As Bathilda fumbled with logs for the fire, he muttered, ‘Tergeo.’ The dust vanished from the photographs, and he saw at once that half a dozen were missing from the largest and most ornate frames. He wondered whether Bathilda or somebody else had removed them. Then the sight of a photograph near the back of the collection caught his eye, and he snatched it up.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter Sixteen: Godric’s Hollow


‘Lumos,’ said Harry, and his wand ignited. He gave a start: Bathilda had moved close to him in those few seconds of darkness, and he had not heard her approach.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter Sixteen: Godric’s Hollow


The snake lunged as he took a running leap, dragging Hermione with him; as it struck, Hermione screamed, ‘Confringo!’ and her spell flew around the room, wardrobe mirror and ricocheting back at them, bouncing from floor to ceiling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter Sixteen: Godric’s Hollow

  • I can tell I need to reread. This is clearly the correct answer (and very thorough, to boot!) Dec 19, 2016 at 1:47

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.