Using magic outside of Hogwarts is illegal for wizards under seventeen. But it is also revealed that the Trace can only find the location of where spells are cast, which is why the Ministry blames Harry for the spell Dobby used to blow up the pudding.

So why haven't Fred and George, who have never been good rule followers, use magic when inside their own home? The Ministry would never be able to tell if it was them or the older Weasleys.

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    The "Trace" is completely useless for any member of a wizardling family. However, it does make sense for children from otherwise non-magical families. It would be quite irresponsible to leave the muggles helpless against an adolescent throwing magical tantrums. Apr 15, 2019 at 16:19
  • @MichaelRichardson the law applies to all children, not just to muggle-born children. The fact that the law enforcement is even more broken as the law itself is crap (Dumbledore himself says this law is crap), is just adding fuel to the flames. Regarding muggle-families, how does this law help? They get no help the first eleven years, then, they don’t know that their children are not allowed to do magic at home (Harry uses this until they find out), then, the punishment is to fire the children from the school, removing any reason not to use magic (Harry again does use that fact)…
    – Holger
    Apr 16, 2019 at 10:30

1 Answer 1


They presumably have used magic outside of school. Consider the following passage from Chapter Five of Goblet of Fire:

"Mum found this stack of order forms when she was cleaning Fred and George's room," said Ron quietly. "Great long price lists for stuff they've invented. Joke stuff, you know. Fake wands and trick sweets, loads of stuff. It was brilliant, I never knew they'd been inventing all that..."

"We've been hearing explosions out of their room for ages, but we never thought they were actually making things," said Ginny. "We thought they just liked the noise."

This tells us that Fred and George had been inventing their various joke products while at home while underage. As this certainly involved magic, we can conclude that they indeed did disregard the rule about not doing magic outside of school.

As for why they didn't use magic at home more often, presumably it was because of their mother. Even if the Ministry would never find out about it, Mrs. Weasley would probably not be so accepting of the lawbreaking. And we know from Chapter Three of Chamber of Secrets that even Fred and George would cower in the face of their mother's rage:

All three of Mrs. Weasley's sons were taller than she was, but they cowered as her rage broke over them.

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    Yeah. I reckon they were careful not to do magic outside of their room, precisely because this minimised the probability that their mother would think of confiscating their wands and thus stop them from doing magic inside their room. Apr 15, 2019 at 10:43
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    Also, it should be noted that underage wizards weren't prohibited from using magic outside of school - they just needed supervision. Presumably, noöne would much care if an underage wizard did magic in front of adults.
    – Luaan
    Apr 15, 2019 at 13:06
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    @Luaan It's only not enforceable to the extent that it's not detectable. It seems clearly forbidden. The letter Harry gets from the Ministry in Book 2 says it's not permitted. The end of Book 2 says that the train is the last time they are allowed to use magic before the holidays. In Book 6 Harry tells Dumbledore he's not allowed to do magic and Dumbledore gives him permission to use magic if they are attacked. Etc.
    – Alex
    Apr 15, 2019 at 16:14
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    @Baldrickk It doesn't say that. Note that whenever we see Harry and friends at The Burrow and Grimmauld Place they don't use magic, even though those are "magical locations". But as soon as they turn seventeen they do. Note Mrs. Weasley's rant in Book 5: JUST BECAUSE YOU’RE ALLOWED TO USE MAGIC NOW YOU DON’T HAVE TO WHIP YOUR WANDS OUT FOR EVERY TINY LITTLE THING!
    – Alex
    Apr 15, 2019 at 16:28
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    How do you explain Fred's comment at the end of Philosopher's Stone? "...notes were handed out to all students, warning them not to use magic over the holidays (“I always hope they’ll forget to give us these,” said Fred Weasley sadly)..." If he ignored the rule then why would he be sad not to be excused from it by them forgetting to give out the notes? Apr 15, 2019 at 22:24

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