I was reading Deathly Hallows and got to the part where Harry remembers he didn't catch the Golden Snitch in his hand, but rather almost swallowed it. He had to touch the Snitch with his mouth before the Snitch would reveal I open at the close. I began wondering how the Snitch would react to the touch of its original owner's identical twin -- would the Golden Snitch react to the touch of an identical twin, and treat it as if it were the original flesh memory?

Please no Wiki/Wikia references; I'm looking for an answer based in HP canon. The books, Pottermore, and J.K. Rowling are all fair game. Subjective answers based in the spirit of canon are totally fine.

I am referring to the identical twin of the person who first caught the Snitch, not a random person who happens to be an identical twin. Just so it's clear.

  • My immediate thought here was to expand it: what about Chimaeras ? If you don't know what that has to do with DNA: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimera_(genetics) But since we're dealing with magic I don't think it makes one bit of difference. Still interesting though. Very interesting question!
    – Pryftan
    Nov 9, 2017 at 21:24

3 Answers 3


No, I don't think identical twins could confuse a snitch.

Even identical twins are different enough that people (who know them well) can tell them apart, and any reasonably good magic spell for that purpose ought to be at least as good as humans at it.

Unless the snitch's flesh memory is based purely on a raw DNA sequence match (and slightly fuzzy at that, it's highly likely they'd have mutated apart slightly since conception), there's no reason the snitch should have trouble telling them apart - twins have different fingerprints, gene expression, etc. Quite similar, in general, but different enough to make them different people. And in the magical world, why would such a spell go by DNA only, especially as (I believe) the spell was known before DNA was?

  • A reasonably good magic spell such as the Marauder's map can tell Fred and George apart?
    – b_jonas
    Jun 3, 2012 at 8:47
  • They wouldn't necessarily need to know about DNA to create a spell that uses it, though. They'd know there was something about the person's flesh that the spell could use to uniquely identify them, even if they didn't know precisely what that something was. Jun 3, 2012 at 12:21
  • I think it's pretty easy to spot differences in the facial features and structures of most identical twins, without knowing them well at all. This is from personal study into portrait and figure art. You just need to recognize proportions and geometry. So, a magic spell made for the purpose of distinguishing individuals (or parts of them), would hopefully be easy enough.
    – user31178
    Jun 9, 2015 at 20:57

No. The snitch can even tell when a different part of the same person touches it (recall that Harry had to put the Snitch into his mouth in DH - it didn't open when he touched it with his hand). So it can definitely tell a difference between 2 different persons.


I prefer to think that it goes by soul.

  • No way. Hermione claims the Snitch has “flesh memory”.
    – b_jonas
    Jun 5, 2012 at 21:54
  • Right, I think it's also mentioned in Quidditch Through the Ages. But I think the term is more related to "contacting the container" (the flesh), like a very short-range memory, where you need the very same situation to be able to recognize someone (a soul).
    – n611x007
    Jun 5, 2012 at 23:06
  • Can you expound a bit? One sentence doesn't tell me what you mean, but I'm interested in your theory. :) Jun 12, 2012 at 12:29
  • So if Tom Riddle had caught a Snitch, it would have reacted to being dropped in Hufflepuff’s Cup or by Nagini sliding over it? I sincerely doubt that. Jun 9, 2015 at 18:19

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