Harry Potter, in his later Hogwarts years, is aiming to become an Auror, and in The Cursed Child we see that Harry did become an Auror. However, the first thing he really excelled at Hogwarts was broom riding, becoming Gryffindor's youngest Seeker in 100 years and I think setting a school record for fastest catch of the snitch.

Why didn't Harry become a professional Seeker? He was very good at it, however it wasn't the only thing he was good at (defeating dark wizards also became a specialty). Is there a canon reason, or, lacking that, a canon-inspired reason for why Harry chose becoming an Auror over Seeker?

(Related question establishing Harry was good enough to play professionally)

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    I guess for the same reason Richard Feynman was a physicist, and not some tomborine-playing, club visiting, nude-model-painting hippie. Also, Kingsly specifically asked Ron and Harry to become Aurors, since the staff was all but wiped after WW2. Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 17:12
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    The point is Feynman chose what he liked to do - physics - and left other stuff for recreational purposes. Nowhere in the books do we see Harry thinking "Gee, I should really professionally play that neck-breaking sport 24/7"; as if his struggle with the most powerful dark wizard was not enough. Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 17:31
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    Because he didn't want to.
    – CHEESE
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 19:53
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    @Joshua in the related question, I opined that Harry probably felt being an Auror was more meaningful work than playing Quidditch. I think that's probably the answer. Not everyone wants fame and fortune. Harry is already the most famous wizard alive and he was already uncomfortable with his fame. And with such a tiny population, there might not even be that much money in Quidditch anyway.
    – Jay
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 20:08
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    @Anoplexian The older question is asking whether he could have, given that he didn't want to. This question is asking why he didn't, given that he could have. Not a duplicate.
    – Rand al'Thor
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 23:35

6 Answers 6


It will be difficult to provide a definitive "canon reason", however, there are canon hints that can be used.

  1. The first representative of Professional Quidditch that Harry meets, Ludo Bagman, is not impressive. A has-been star, his personal comportment is off-putting. He offers to help Harry cheat, presumably to help Ludo cover his own bookie debts, and in the end his gambling habits are the largest portion of his legacy.
  2. The second representative of Professional Quidditch that Harry meets, Viktor Krum, is an impressive player and an admirable human being... who expresses regret at being reduced to a famous Quidditch player at the expense of his other attributes. His attraction to Hermione is largely based on her ability to see past the public profile to the man underneath. This example can not have been lost upon Harry, someone whose life has also taught him that most people see our accomplishments rather than our essence.
  3. In the end, Harry felt the pull of responsibility. "It has to be me," he said many times, accepting the role Dumbledore had groomed him for. Being unable to pass up his part in the battle with Voldemort, he likewise would have felt the pull of responsibility to use his skills where it mattered - catching Death Eaters, not Golden Snitches.

So it really comes down to he chose a career that mattered more to him.


Harry was sick of the spotlight

Harry's experience as the boy who lived taught him to spurn the spotlight. He was annoyed by the attention of people like the Creevey brothers, and, even worse, the schemers like Skeeter. His fame as the Hogwart's champion in the Triwizard Tournament almost cost him his best friend as well. Harry was very aware that fame can turn quickly to infamy, and he expresses on multiple occasions that he would rather be normal - before the first task in the Triwizard Tournament he dreams of being a spectator without a care in the world, cheering on the Hogwarts Champion.

Mad Eye (Barty Crouch Jr.) set him firmly on the path to become an Auror

Harry really respected Mad Eye, so the latter's suggestion that he would make a good auror stuck with him. Even after the revelation that Mad Eye was an impostor, Harry acknowledges that his complement and career advice lodged in his mind. When the time comes to prepare for O.W.L.s and start exploring career options, he admits he never really considered any other career ever since Mad Eye planted the idea in his head.

It should also be noted that Harry's firebolt was destroyed in book 7, and he likely could not afford another (in book 3 he is concerned that buying one would mean he would have to mooch off of the Weasley's to finish school). While the team he played for would undoubtedly buy him a new broom, this would certainly be a psychological blow to him, especially as it was one of his last connections to Sirius.

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    It is interesting that Mad Eye and his firebolt, symbols of his two potential career paths, were both lost on the same day.
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 1:12
  • Nice. Though I'd note that it's not clear if he could afford it or not - he didn't have unrestricted access to his money while still at Hogwarts. It might very well be that he'd have to "mooch off the Weasleys to finish school", while being able to pay them off with pocket change as soon as he became an adult wizard. In other words, he'd strain his spending limit, not the contents of his vault.
    – Luaan
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 13:25
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    From what I remember, Harry had stacks of gold within his vault and he was able to retrieve it at his will. The problem with him acquiring new brooms was that he was emotionally attached to his old ones and purchasing a new one felt like a betrayal to the previous one. As for the spotlight, I agree with you there. I believe this to have been the most contributing reason as to why he would choose not to be a Professional Seeker.
    – Bojan
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 21:54
  • @bagzli Yes, he did have the emotional attachment to his old brooms. He felt like buying a firebolt was also unnecessary as he had never lost a game with his Nimbus 2000. And while it is clear he had the gold to buy a firebolt, it was clear it would make an irresponsibly large dent in his reserves.
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 22:03

He didn't want to

I don't know of any definitive canon statement that says this, but it seems obvious. As you say, the first thing Harry truly excelled at was flying a broomstick and playing Quidditch. He knew that Quidditch was played professionally before he learnt of the existence of Aurors, so he had plenty of time to consider - or even daydream about - being a professional Quidditch player.

Yet when he had to decide what he wanted to be after leaving school the only answer he had was "I want to be an Auror." As far as I recall professional Quidditch player didn't even cross his mind, despite his love of the sport and ability as a player.

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    Supplementary point: when he gets into Quidditch he's in his first year - still trying to justify that he belongs at Hogwarts and still trying to move out of the shadow of his famous parents/his survival of AK. He has less to worry about in terms of Dark Arts. In later years it's implied that he still enjoys Quidditch but only because he was already doing it. He has less to prove and cares less about winning the House Cup. Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 0:02

Another (minor) factor: In the end, we find out that Ginny Weasley spent time playing for the Holyhead Harpies. It would have been rude of him to play; due to his own prior notoriety he would have upstaged his own wife - not good for a marriage (nor would he have wanted to hurt her this way anyway).

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    But I imagine there was some gap between Hogwarts and their marriage.
    – ibid
    Commented Feb 13, 2017 at 23:06
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    ...why would that be rude? People can have healthy competition. Isn't that the main principle behind sport?
    – xDaizu
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 9:18
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    @xDaizu If only relationships worked that way...
    – yitzih
    Commented Feb 14, 2017 at 20:27

I like many of the answers that have been suggested here, but I should mention that often professional athletes (or at least smart ones) take a real degree in college just in case something falls through with their plans for greatness. Thus I believe that Harry might have very well have planned on being a professional seeker, he just wanted to make sure that he had a plan B.

I also would like to acknowledge that Viktor Krum played seeker professionally while he was still at school. Harry very well might have done the same if he hadn't been, well, busy with other things.

Note: As far as the Cursed Child, I think it's really lame I don't think J.K. Rowling wrote the whole thing either, so I am not considering it as "canonized". As far as I'm concerned, he would have become a professional seeker, but also may have been an orar, as a side job. I can't imagine him in the ministry anyway.

  • I don't know the HP world as well as some others here, but I'm not too sure HP struck me as the athletic type. Perhaps Seeker was his Plan B? Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 4:03

He was very talented at other things as well and lots of his adult influences worked at the ministry so that would be a understandable choice! He also made it clear that he hated being in the centre of attention which would be unavoidable if he had become a quiddich player! Although I agree that he would have made a great professional seeker, it makes more sense for him to land a job at the ministry!😀

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