1

Like if they took a wooden stick and some brushwood and tied everything together to make a broom, would it fly? Or does a broom need to be bought?

  • 8
    ....well...*some* witch or wizard is making the broom at some point. They don't grow on...erm...uh...trees – NKCampbell Oct 17 '17 at 16:51
10

If you enchanted it, sure

Fundamentally, a flying broomstick is just an enchanted stick. If you can cast the enchantment, you can make the stick fly. This is, in fact, the origin of flying broomsticks, and they started out being made by the individuals using them (emphasis mine):

As wizarding families in [Medieval times] made their own brooms, there was enormous variation in the speed, comfort, and handling of the transport available to them.

Quidditch Through the Ages Chapter 1: "The Evolution of the Flying Broomstick"

However, as that quote hints, doing this limits the quality of the broom available to you; you can't make a broom better than your own skill, so if you want a better broom you have to trade someone for it:

By the twelfth century, however, wizards had learned to barter services, so that a skilled maker of brooms could exchange them for the potions his neighbour might make better than himself.

Quidditch Through the Ages Chapter 1: "The Evolution of the Flying Broomstick"

An arbitrary wizard, working out of their garage, is unlikely to be able to produce a broom of similar quality as someone who has spent years practicing the craft. Not impossible, mind, just unlikely. This is, broadly speaking, the point of labour specialization

  • And this is before getting into the "optional extras", like cushioning charms – Jason Baker Oct 17 '17 at 17:10
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    strange to think wizard apparently didn't know the concept of trade before the twelfth century ;) – Hermien Scholten Oct 18 '17 at 9:24
7

It would work, but likely not as well as one they'd buy.

Wizards did all make their own brooms at one point, but they were nowhere near as good quality as the brooms used by modern wizards, like the ones Harry flies on. The first brooms tended to be very uncomfortable, and weren't very pleasant to fly on.

“Records show that witches and wizards in Europe were using flying broomsticks as early as AD 962. A German illuminated manuscript of this period shows three warlocks dismounting from their brooms with looks of exquisite discomfort on their faces. Guthrie Lochrin, a Scottish wizard writing in 1107, spoke of the ‘splinter-filled buttocks and bulging piles’ he suffered after a short broom ride from Montrose to Arbroath.” Quidditch Through the Ages

For the most part, the broomsticks wizards made themselves were of fairly low quality - they couldn't fly particularly well, and they were uncomfortable.

“A medieval broomstick on display in the Museum of Quidditch in London gives us an insight into Lochrin’s discomfort (see Fig. A).

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A thick knotty handle of unvarnished ash, with hazel twigs bound crudely to one end, it is neither comfortable nor aerodynamic. The charms placed upon it arc similarly basic: it will only move forwards at one speed; it will go up, down and stop.” Quidditch Through the Ages

Broom sports like Quidditch don't really take off in popularity until brooms became more comfortable - which was only after wizards started bartering, and getting brooms from wizards who were better at making them. Before that, they were only used as a necessary form of transport.

“By the twelfth century, however, wizards had learned to barter services, so that a skilled maker of brooms could exchange them for the potions his neighbour might make better than himself. Once broomsticks became more comfortable, they were flown for pleasure rather than merely used as a means of getting from point A to point B.” Quidditch Through the Ages

While wizards have learned ways to improve their brooms since medieval times, such as casting Cushioning Charms on them to make them more comfortable, it's still very likely that a skilled broom-maker could make them better than an average wizard. Most wizards probably buy their brooms for the same reason they buy wands from Ollivander - they could make their own, but nowhere near as well.

1

There's no good reason a wizard or witch who knows the right magic couldn't make their own broom, but there surely is a reason almost everyone buys theirs. We can reasonably presume that reason is the same as it is in the muggle world relative to cars: you can get a much better one, for less investment (counting cost of both materials and your time, plus the likely need to pay someone to teach you needed spells), if you buy it from someone who mass produces them.

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