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Lucius Malfoy had his wand hidden in some sort of walking stick... but where/how did ordinary wizards usually carry their wands?

The wands seemed a wee bit long (9-13") to fit into pockets.

Book canon answers only please (e.g. no movie)

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    Moody yelled at Harry for putting his in his pants pocket ("Better wizards than you have lost buttocks that way"). – Kevin Oct 4 '12 at 21:36
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    I prefer for my wand to be carried inside my umbrella. – NominSim Oct 4 '12 at 21:39
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    AFAIK, they don't hide their wands among wizards, only those like the Malfoys are that pretentious. Among muggles - illusions, man. Illusions. – rsegal Oct 4 '12 at 22:38
  • Same place Muggles carry their Gold Watches – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 4 '14 at 13:02
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    From the movie; Only Scabior had a "wand holster". All the others had to make do with putting it in their pockets or robes; youtube.com/watch?v=Fc7pqa87sW4 – Valorum May 18 '14 at 16:19

12 Answers 12

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Examples
Here are some references from the books of wands being stored/pulled-out.

At school, the Students seemed to carry their wands in their bags (at least some of the time).

From The Order of the Phoenix, when Prof. Umbridge tells the students "wands away", they put their wands back into their bags:

[Umbridge]: “That wasn’t too difficult, was it? Wands away and quills out, please.”

Many of the class exchanged gloomy looks; the order “wands away” had never yet been followed by a lesson they had found interesting. Harry shoved his wand back inside his bag and pulled out quill, ink, and parchment.

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter Twelve (Professor Umbridge).

And later:

“Wands away,” she instructed them all smilingly, and those people who had been hopeful enough to take them out sadly returned them to their bags.

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter Fifteen (The Hogwarts High Inquisitor).

Now another interesting piece of evidence is when the Gryffindor team is about to play Quidditch in the rain, they seem to have pockets in their robes (or at least their Quidditch robes?), as they store their wands in them after they cast Impervius onto their faces:

They all stowed their wands back in the inside pockets of their robes, shouldered their brooms, and followed Angelina out of the changing rooms.

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter Eighteen (Dumbledore's Army).

Another interesting piece is when Ron is driving the enchanted car to Hogwarts:

Ron let go of the steering wheel completely and pulled his wand out of his back pocket

-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter Five (The Whomping Willow).

In Philosopher's Stone Ron seems to have stored his wand in his trunk (on the train on their way to Hogwart's), and then puts the wand back into the trunk:

He [Ron] rummaged around in his trunk and pulled out a very battered-looking wand.

...

“Whatever House I’m in, I hope she’s not in it,” said Ron. He threw his wand back into his trunk.

-Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Six (The Journey from Platform Nine and Three-Quarters).

Now, in their dorm rooms, they seem to keep the wands close at hand, maybe on their bedside tables, as per Ron and Harry when they are about to sneak out and duel Draco at half-past eleven pm:

“Half-past eleven,” Ron muttered at last, “we’d better go.”

They pulled on their bathrobes, picked up their wands, and crept across the tower room,...

-Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Nine (The Midnight Duel).

Another instance is when Ron hides his wand 'up-his-sleeves':

“Now, don’t forget, it’s Locomotor Mortis,” Hermione muttered as Ron slipped his wand up his sleeve.

-Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter Thirteen (Nicholas Flamel).

As Mac Cooper pointed out; Mrs. Weasley keeps her wand in her apron pocket (probably only when she's at home cooking/cleaning) as it seems to be the most convenient:

Mrs. Weasley came to a halt in front of them, her hands on her hips, staring from one guilty face to the next. She was wearing a flowered apron with a wand sticking out of the pocket.

-Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter Three (the Burrow).

In Summary

It seems to me that it all depends on what the person is doing, as well as what JKR thought was most convenient at the time:

  • Hiding the wand - Up the sleeves
  • Not needing it / travelling - In their bags / trunks
  • Going to sleep - On their bedside table, or fish tank (Ron in CoS)
  • If wearing their robes - In the inside pocket of the robe
  • Need it for quick access - In their back pockets, or just in-hand.

According to DVK, in their back pockets seems to be the most general place, and it seems that that is where JKR wanted the wands to be kept, but she doesn't adequately provide consistency for it to be true.

Is there a place where Wizards usually keep their wands? I haven't found sufficient evidence or consistency to say for certain.

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+50

I would imagine they would carry their wand in their robes ... That's like saying where did cowboys carry their guns. They had a holster so I imagine that the robes have a special container/pocket/holster for the wand.

  • 2
    I always imagine this, that inside a robe there would be a special pocket for a wand. i suppose you could also have it up your sleeve... – Chris S Feb 4 '13 at 14:05
  • Except, that isn't the only place people carry shit, and wands seem to be no exception: See my answer for examples. – Möoz Nov 19 '18 at 2:32
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I think that it is simply the pants' pockets.

As Kevin said, Moody yells at Harry for putting it in his pants' pockets since it is a bad practice - however, between Moody and Harry, I doubt that Moody counts as a "normal wizard". Normal wizards are probably unaware of such danger, so they probably do put their wands in their pants' pockets.

... where else would you put it, anyway? XD

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    Where else? They are WIZARDS for merlin's sake! Magically stowed in wherever... floating in the air... in the ears shrunk... special holster... – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 5 '12 at 1:02
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    See Hermione's bottomless bag in DH. Or Moody's 7 level chest from GoF. You don't need ACTIVE magic to retrieve contents. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Oct 5 '12 at 1:24
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    wizards wear robes right? probably their robes have special pocket on it? – Sufendy Oct 5 '12 at 2:02
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    I think Moody yelled specifically because Harry used his back jeans packet. Muggles aren't advised to store electronic devices or bank cards there either, because sitting can damage them there. The back packet is for items that can't get damaged easily, like cash or keys. I believe the side packets of a jeans, knee packets, any packets of your coat, sweater, or shirt are okay for storing wands, as well as a bag. Many Muggles carry a bag of some form, so it wouldn't looks strange. – b_jonas Oct 6 '12 at 15:51
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    @b_jonas - I might imagine that breaking one's wand by sitting on it could do something unpleasant. – Compro01 Aug 16 '13 at 21:54
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We see a few examples of where Wizards and Witches store their wands.

  • Harry uses his back pocket
  • Mrs. Weasley stores hers in her apron pocket.

I was going to suggest that in wizarding houses they'd just leave them laying around much like we'd just have our phones on the table.

However, this poses the problem of identity. In the books there seems to be little to differentiate each person's wand (unlike the vastly different designs in the films) to the point where Mrs Weasley picked up and attempted to use one of the twins' fake wands, without realising it was not hers until it backfired (I can't remember exactly what it did; it turned into a rubber chicken or a flower or something). Its intention was to be humorous but the point is that she did not notice.

If wands are that similar, then not noticing that a wand is not yours before picking it up would be a problem in leaving them around the house.

In actual canon, however, we are not shown many character's [wand storage] places - Harry and Mrs Weasley, I believe, are the only characters who have their wand location described in the books.

In school uniform the students wore robes, so perhaps there would be special pockets in these robes. It follows, then, that it would be the standard for adult robes to have these pockets as well - such as how pretty much all trousers have a little change pocket.

Considering how hard a time wizards have wearing Muggle clothing, it seems that where to place a wand in Muggle clothes would be a little found problem; Harry wears Muggle clothing as the Dursleys would flip if he strutted in robes, but in wizard households I suppose everyone would wear robes as casual dress - I always imagined Ron wearing robes during the summer and the same with other Wizarding families.

EDIT:

Just been reading The Prisoner of Azkaban: In the Shrieking Shack, when Lupin is trying to explain to the trio, he hands them their wands back and places his wand back into his belt. So some wizard's do, in canon, keep their wands in their belts.

  • @BorhanMooz: thanks for the edit, but I must ask: are wizard and witch capitalised in your version of the book? Doesn't bother me for the answer, just curious if capitalisation is done differently in our copies? – Mac Cooper May 19 '14 at 20:39
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    Umm, no... Not sure why I capitalised them... Seemed ok at the time. But now that I look into it, I think not capitalised is better. Lol – Möoz May 19 '14 at 21:06
  • Oh haha, what a boring mystery. For what its worth, muggle is capitalised though. – Mac Cooper May 20 '14 at 7:00
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    My mind = baffled! – Möoz May 20 '14 at 9:15
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I tried wearing a wand (Severus Snape's wand) just for the heck of it. I stuck it behind my belt and down to my pocket; I could wear it and also hide it by wearing a jacket or a large t-shirt over the top.

Then again, if my Muggle clothes were produced with wands in mind they would have included 1/3 longer pockets than they normally would have. So perhaps there is a secret Muggle fashion line for wizards.

If I was to fly on a broomstick, I would wear my wand through my belt - just as you would a sword. That way, it would make it easier to draw. If a Muggle saw me flying, a "fancy stick" would have been the least of my troubles.

2

While the answers deal with the "usual" places, there are other somewhat unusual places as well.

In Book of Spells, Miranda Goshawk recounts the story of a witch who was cornered by Muggles

The following day Snickerton led a band of men to arrest the accused witch. Cornered at her shop, she was unable to explain why she owned no scissors. Snickerton insisted that her hands should be tightly bound to stop her cursing them all and set about searching for the wand he swore he had seen her using. After several hours, however, he had found nothing suspicious, and his friends were starting to doubt him.

At last, Madam Crimp asked whether she might at least be unbound to scratch her chin, on which there was a large wart. Unable to see the harm in this, her foolish accusers agreed.

The moment Madam Crimp touched the wart, it sprang out of her face, revealing itself as her concealed wand. She promptly Disapparated along with a large bag of gold, and was never seen in London again.

Wonderbook: Book of Spells - Chapter 4

1

There are a number of mentions of Harry storing his wand inside his robes. There's also mention of Mad-Eye Moody, when escorting the Weasleys and Harry from Grimmauld Place to St. Mungo's Hospital, having his hand through the buttons of his jacket holding his concealed wand (though I doubt he was storing that in there, he likely wouldn't have let go of it until they were safely at their destination).

I'd guess that the majority of wizards would store their wand in a pocket inside their robes near the chest, since that would serve to conceal it and prevent it from being stolen, as well as giving them easy access to it. It's also slightly more secure, especially when performing activities such as flying on a broomstick, than an outside pocket. Perhaps not entirely unsurprising that's very similar to the location in which pretty much every TV/movie detective keeps their gun.

That only addresses robes, though, which would obviously be designed with wands in mind since they're clothing for witches and wizards. For wizards in Muggle clothing, pockets seem to be the most common choice; Harry checks his pockets for his wand just after the Quidditch World Cup, is told not to put it in his back pocket by Mad-Eye Moody at the beginning of Order of the Phoenix, et cetera. Harry's wand was, if I recall, eleven inches (so roughly middle of the road in terms of wand length); that would definitely stick out of most pockets on standard Muggle clothing but he wasn't deterred (likely due to a lack of better options).

There's one other option, probably specific to witches, and that's purses/handbags. I'd have to check the book to verify, but I can imagine somebody like Mrs Weasley or even Rita Skeeter storing their wand in their bag while outside the home.

1

Seeing as most wands are upwards of nine inches, it immediately rules out wrist holsters on the forearms unless Wizardspace is used (and some part of me doubts that's the greatest idea, since no-one does it). Belts aren't a good idea since you won't be able to bend at the hips if you do that unless you do it Muggle swordsman style - with a specialized holder hanging off it. Upper arms are too hard to reach and calves are hard to reach and risky, with things like tripping, getting kicked in the shins, etc.

With the number of wizards and witches (Harry, Molly, Mad-Eye possibly since he yells at Harry for putting his wand in his BACK pocket) who tend to just shove their wands in their pockets, I think Wizarding tailors may occasionally just sew a long, thin pocket into pants and skirts - with how old-fashioned the Wizarding World is, things like mini-skirts and short shorts might not be very popular anyways. If your jeans aren't skin-tight it's one of the simplest solutions to have a way to carry it constantly.

Or, like so many before me have said, a jacket or robe with a long, thin inside pocket might work. Jackets are popular in the Muggle World, and let's face it, Britain is cold, so wearing a jacket constantly wouldn't exactly be suspicious. Robes are common among wizards so I doubt it'd be much of an issue.

If it was me, I'd stick it in a holster on my thigh or leave it hanging off my belt, but then again I live in a place where it's mostly too hot to wear a jacket or bottoms that reach any further than the knee during the day.

I personally suspect wizards just have them in their robes/jackets or hanging off their belts like swords.

  • "An in canon answer will be required" – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 18 '14 at 16:23
1

According to JKR, Harry Potter specificaly carried a wand in a pocket... BUT not Tom Riddle/Voldemort:

Sometimes when we are writing, we ask ourselves, What is in my character's pockets or backpack? It helps us find out what kind of person that character is. What is in Harry Potter's pockets? What is in Voldemort's?

OK...in Harry's pockets there are some chocolate frogs just in case there is a wizard card inside one of them that was missed. His wand, of course, and probably the latest quidditch ball from the Daily Prophet. Voldemort at the moment doesn't have pockets because he is a kind of spirit, but once he gets his pockets back I don't think any of us want to know what is in there. (src: Barnes and Noble interview, March 19, 1999)

I haven't seen ANY other canon reference on the topic so far (searched books, accio quote/interviews and Pottermore for various wand, pocket, holster etc... terminology).

  • 1
    Tom riddle put Harry's wand in his back pocket though "He pulled Harry’s wand from his pocket and began to trace it through the air, writing three shimmering words:" Chamber of Secrets (The Heir of Slytherin) – Möoz May 19 '14 at 2:20
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    @BorhanMooz - Who ya gonna believe, JKR or your own stinkin' eyes? :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To May 19 '14 at 2:25
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    Hahaha. I'd like to believe JKR. But she's so inconsistent. Also bad at math :p – Möoz May 19 '14 at 2:28
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I must point out that even though this thread is old, in the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play, as well as the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie, some of the characters seem to have small holsters on their belts. These may be used when their robes don't have pockets, or for dueling.

  • 1
    No rules against posting new info to the old Q&A. But you may want to offer specific evidence of your claims (screenplay quotes, screenshots from film) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 31 '17 at 4:33
  • @DVK - The OP specified that he wasn't looking for movie answers. – ibid Jan 31 '17 at 13:44
  • @ibid - wait. OP was me. looks embarassed – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 31 '17 at 14:08
  • @DVK-on-Ahch-To - We have a different question for that. – ibid Jan 31 '17 at 15:35
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Throughout the series it seems that the overwhelming majority of times wands are stored inside robes. We see this not just with Harry, but with a bunch of different characters. Below are 29 such references.

Chamber of Secrets

  • Flint had to dive in front of Malfoy to stop Fred and George jumping on him, Alicia shrieked, "How dare you!", and Ron plunged his hand into his robes, pulled out his wand, yelling, "You'll pay for that one Malfoy!"

  • His breathing slowing down again, Harry stuffed his wand back into his robes.

Goblet of Fire

  • Several people screamed — Harry felt something white-hot graze the side of his face — he plunged his hand into his robes for his wand, but before he'd even touched it, he heard a second loud BANG, and a roar that echoed through the entrance hall.

  • He slipped his wand back into his robes, waited until Cedric's friends had disappeared into their classroom, and hurried up the corridor, which was now empty of everyone but himself and Cedric.

  • Harry stuck his webbed hand quickly inside his robes and fumbled for his wand.

  • Harry slowed down a little, slipped his wand back inside his robes, and looked around, listening again.

  • Snape's eyes flashed. He plunged a hand into the inside of his black robes. For one wild moment, Harry thought Snape was about to pull out his wand and curse him — then he saw that Snape had drawn out a small crystal bottle of a completely clear potion. Harry stared at it.

  • Harry shook his head, staring at the place where he'd seen movement. He slipped his hand inside his robes, reaching for his wand.

  • He therefore pulled his wand out of the inside of his robes, cast a nervous look around the office, looked back at the contents of the basins, and prodded them.

  • Dumbledore drew his wand out of the inside of his robes and placed the tip into his own silvery hair, near his temple.

  • Voldemort slipped one of those unnaturally long-fingered hands into a deep pocket and drew out a wand.

  • Moody raised his wand, he opened his mouth; Harry plunged his own hand into his robes —

  • He could fell a kind of ringing in his ears. His hand gripped his wand under his robes.

Order of the Phoenix

  • They all stowed their wands back in the inside pockets of their robes, shouldered their brooms, and followed Angelina out of the changing rooms.

  • Snape pulled out his wand from an inside pocket of his robes and Harry tensed in his chair, but Snape merely raised the wand to his temple and placed its tip into the greasy roots of his hair.

  • "He will not be single-handed!" said Professor McGonagall loudly, plunging her hand inside her robes.

  • Seething, Harry replaced his wand inside his robes and made to leave the room.

  • Snape reacted so fast it was as though he had been expecting an attack: Dropping his bag, he plunged his hand inside his robes, and his wand was halfway into the air when James shouted, "Expelliarmus!"

  • Take his wand," she barked at someone he could not see, and he felt a hand grope inside the chest pocket of his robes and remove the wand.

  • Malfoy stowed Harry’s wand inside his robes and left the room smirking, but Harry hardly noticed.

  • Malfoy’s hand flew toward his wand, but Harry was too quick for him. He had drawn his own wand before Malfoy’s fingers had even entered the pocket of his robes.

  • He thrust his wand back inside his robes and headed straight for the front doors without another glance at Snape and Malfoy.

Half-Blood Prince

  • Scrimgeour grasped it briefly, his eyes scanning the room, then pulled out a wand from under his robes.

Deathly Hallows

  • At her touch, Malfoy put his hand into his robes, withdrew a wand, and passed it along to Voldemort, who held it up in front of his red eyes, examining it closely.

  • Krum did not seem to know whether or not Harry was making fun of him. He drew his wand from inside his robes and tapped it menacingly on his thigh; sparks flew out of the end.

  • His hands were sweating as he pulled off the Invisibility Cloak and stuffed it beneath his robes, with his wand.

  • He knew that his wand was still stowed beneath his robes because he could feel it pressed between his chest and the ground.

  • His glasses flew off and he felt his wand slide a little beneath his robes, but he kept himself floppy and lifeless, and when he fell to the ground for the last time, the clearing echoed with jeers and shrieks of laughter.

  • But Harry had no possibility of extracting the wand concealed under his robes without being noticed by the Death Eaters, who marched on either side of them through the slowly lightening darkness....

-1

I always thought that was a "shout out" to real magicians, who have things secreted in their clothes.
But basically she has them treating them much as you do your cell phone - you always know vaguely where it is, but it could be anywhere; a table, in your pocket, on top of the fridge, in your shoe, ...you knows?!

But that's not important. What is important is how do MAKE a sheath for your wand!

Note: not necessarily for use in sky diving!!

protected by Möoz Apr 26 '18 at 5:26

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