Wandless magic is supposed to happen only when the caster is experiencing strong emotions, if that person is inexperienced. However, Harry was able to summon his broomstick wandlessly in his first year. Is that a flaw in canon, or am I missing something?

"Stick out your right hand over your broom,” called Madam Hooch at the front, “and say ‘Up!’” “UP!” everyone shouted. Harry’s broom jumped into his hand at once.

It makes sense when Harry inflates Marge wandlessly because she insulted his parents, thus making him angry.But in the above case it doesn't.

Is there an in-universe explanation for this wandless summoning?

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    You're confusing under-age, untrained magic (by kids who don't have access to wands) with wandless magic in general. The former requires strong emotions, the other doesn't at all. Aug 28, 2017 at 7:49
  • @The Dark Lord -Makes sense. Sounds Likely.
    – user88577
    Aug 28, 2017 at 18:32

2 Answers 2



While Harry, and his other first-year students, don't have their wands, I also don't think they're performing any magic at all. It seems more likely that the magic is happening on the broomstick side - after all, we know that there are all kinds of enchantments placed on broomsticks.

It's possible that this particular enchantment is only placed on the Hogwarts broomsticks, as we never see it used by Harry again, and it would give a reasonable starting point for Madam Hooch to determine how experienced and confident each of the students is.

There's precedent for other objects being enchanted to respond to spoken words, as well. Dumbledore's office is located behind a pair of gargoyles (or a single gargoyle, I forget which) that moves when a specific password is spoken.

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    His office is behind a golden phoenix statue. I was also thinking that the broomstick had the magic so +1 Aug 19, 2017 at 10:04
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    And the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets
    – Valorum
    Aug 19, 2017 at 10:10
  • On that note, don't wands respond do words/feelings and act as a proxy for magic? Aug 20, 2017 at 10:18
  • @atayenel No, his office is behind a pair of Gargoyles in the books. And behind a golden phoenix in the films. Also, it doesn't really matter for this question does it?
    – Rubenxfd
    Aug 21, 2017 at 13:59
  • @Rubenxfd nope it doesn't. This answer is complete and self explanatory. Aug 21, 2017 at 14:08


The instance in Philosopher's Stone you're referring to involve the Hogwarts school brooms. It is possible that these brooms (and perhaps all brooms) are able to respond to simple commands at a short distance.

This quote, following your own, enlightens us (emphasis mine):

"Stick out your right hand over your broom," called Madam Hooch at the front, "and say 'Up!"'

"UP!" everyone shouted. Harry's broom jumped into his hand at once, but it was one of the few that did. Hermione Granger's had simply rolled over on the ground, and Neville's hadn't moved at all. Perhaps brooms, like horses, could tell when you were afraid, thought Harry; there was a quaver in Neville's voice that said only too clearly that he wanted to keep his feet on the ground.

Clearly a word-of-command has to be spoken, in this case "Up", for the broom to respond. It does not necessarily have to be wandless magic, and it is highly unlikely either way for the reasons you have given: 1) The students aren't feeling any strong emotions. 2) They're inexperienced.

Other instances of summoning brooms, all with the Accio spell:

  • Harry summoning his Firebolt with the Accio spell in Goblet of Fire (from dorm to Quidditch pitch)

  • Fred and George using the Accio spell to summon their Cleansweeps in Order of the Phoenix (from Umbridge's office to Entrance Hall)

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    @Anthony Grist -Reasonable Answers. Particularly the 'short distances' part. +1 for both :)
    – user88577
    Aug 19, 2017 at 10:00

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