I was wondering what would happen if someone who was mentally disabled could use magic. Would they get as much of a full magic training they could handle? Or would they be trained to minimize it?

I'm going to generalize the question to either mental or physical disabilities (like blindness or deafness). Note I generally mean someone born with the disability (either genetic or birth-defect), not someone who acquired it later in life (like Neville's parents, or the protagonist at the end of the Empire Strikes Back).

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    Dumbledore has a sister driven mad by an attack, and she didn't go to school. Whether this was the norm i don't know
    – Doctor Two
    Mar 23, 2017 at 13:53
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    The best example for a wizard with a physical handicap I can think of is Alastor Moody. He misses a leg, an eye and several parts of his nose/face
    – Iarwain
    Mar 23, 2017 at 15:56
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    Please make it more clear what kind of disabilities you are looking for.
    – Skooba
    Mar 23, 2017 at 16:06
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    It seems like a number of Quiddich injuries are repairable, so it seems like a number of birth defects could be fixable as well. I'm sure this has limits though, as with modern medicine. For example, it's easier to restart a heart or fix a stroke than it is to grow back a limb, despite the fact that many animals can grow back limbs. This would seem counter-intuitive that you could repair the two most important organs but not something as frivolous as a finger, until you understand the mechanics of what is involved.
    – jfa
    Mar 23, 2017 at 23:30
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    I would interpret "mentally disabled" to refer to severe and unusual cognitive limitations (inability to process language, anterograde amnesia, very very low intelligence, ...) but "mentally ill" to refer to other sorts of trouble (depression, mania, hallucinations, ...). The boundary between these isn't perfectly well defined (e.g., severe schizophrenia might count as either or both). Mar 24, 2017 at 12:01

3 Answers 3


During a press conference in 2005: She mentioned a character named Mopsus, who was blind. Although, he never made the final cut...

Richard Wheatley for the RNIB - Blind children everywhere are delighted that they can read this book at the same time as sighted people, would you ever include a blind character in one of your Harry Potter books?

JK Rowling: Funny you should say that because at one point there was a blind character who went by the name of Mopsus, and I will let you look him up because there is a mythological connection there, but he sort of ­­ that was a very early character and he had the power of second sight, in other words he was a bit like Professor Trelawney, he was a very, very early character, this was when I was drafting Philosopher's Stone, the reason I cut him was he was too good. As the story evolved, if there was somebody who really could do divination at the time that Harry was alive, it greatly diminished the drama of the story because someone out there knew what was going to happen.

So that is why Mopsus went and I have never really replaced him, although I suppose Mad-Eye Moody, had some of Mopsus' characterisation. He has one magical eye because he lost an eye in a fight with a Death Eater, so good question.

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    So, just like we see some characters (like Harry) using glasses, at least some birth/genetic disorders can't be "magic-d" away. Not too happy with the blind seer theme here; I was thinking more of a regular schmoe (modulo being a magic user) who happens to be blind.
    – CTMacUser
    Mar 24, 2017 at 12:44

Mentally challenged people were normally sent to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. There are two instance I can think of in the books.

Gilderoy Lockhart after his training:

“Oh, my goodness," said Hermione suddenly, sounding breathless. "Professor Lockhart!"

Their ex-Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher pushed open the doors and moved towards them, wearing a long lilac dressing gown.

"Well, hello there!" he said. "I expect you'd like my autograph, would you?'

"Hasn't changed much, has he?" Harry “muttered to Ginny, who grinned.

"Er — how are you, Professor?" said Ron, sounding slightly guilty. It had been Ron's malfunctioning wand that had damaged Professor Lockhart's memory so badly that he had landed in St Mungo's in the first place, though as Lockhart had been attempting to permanently wipe Harry and Ron's memories at the time, Harrys sympathy was limited.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 23 - Christmas on the Closed Ward

Ariana Dumbledore before training:

“And my father went after the bastards that did it,” said Aberforth, "and attacked them. And they locked him up in Azkaban for it. He never said why he'd done it, because the Ministry had known what Ariana had become, she'd have been locked up in St. Mungo's for good. They'd have seen her as a serious threat to the International Statute of Secrecy, unbalanced like she was, with magic exploding out of her at moments when she couldn't keep it in any longer.”

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 28, The Missing Mirror

Because of the International Statute of Secrecy, mentally challenged people are sent to St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.

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    Don't forget Neville's parents, who were driven mad by crucio.
    – Jeff
    Mar 23, 2017 at 15:00
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    @Jeff I think this exactly what the OP is not looking for. These are not birth/genetic defects. "not someone who acquired it later in life (like Neville's parents,"
    – Skooba
    Mar 23, 2017 at 16:04
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    @Skooba that also disqualifies Lockhart Mar 23, 2017 at 16:54
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    Unless I'm mistaken, both examples are disqualified. AFAIK, Arianna was normal until she was attacked by muggle children who saw her do magic.
    – GreenMatt
    Mar 23, 2017 at 17:21

Prof. Remus Lupin's disability was he was a werewolf. Because of this disability, he could not secure any job for him. An excerpt from Pottermore,

The downfall of Voldemort, such a source of jubilation to the rest of the wizarding community, marked the beginning of a long stretch of loneliness and unhappiness for Remus. He had lost his three close friends and, with the Order disbanded, his previous comrades returned to busy lives with families. His mother was now dead, and while Lyall, his father, was always delighted to see his son, Remus refused to endanger his father’s peaceful existence by returning to live with him.

Remus now lived a hand-to-mouth existence, taking jobs that were far below his level of ability, always knowing that he would have to leave them before his pattern of growing sick once a month at the full moon was noticed by his workmates.

Prof. Remus Lupin was persuaded by Dumbledore to be DADA professor when headmaster Prof. Dumbledore explained that there would be a limitless supply of Wolfsbane Potion at Hogwarts, courtesy of the Potions master, Prof. Severus Snape.

Alternate theories:

(i) When Peter Pettigrew cut his arm to resurrect Voldemort, temporarily, he also had become disabled.

(ii) Any person under the influence of Imperius curse can also be called as disabled.

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    Good point about Lupin! Could you also provide quotes for Lupin not being able to secure a fob? Mar 24, 2017 at 9:33
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    OP is looking for people who were born with disabilities, Remus wasn't born a werewolf (he was infected by Fenrir Greyback, IIRC)
    – F1Krazy
    Mar 24, 2017 at 15:40
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    I dunno if this is a disability, exactly. I think OP is looking for conditions that also exist in the Muggle world, like Down's Syndrome and blindness. Mar 24, 2017 at 15:48

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