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Both Filch and Mrs. Figg are Squibs, which means they lack magic power, but were born into wizarding families.

However, their Top Trump cards, specifically the Order of the Phoenix ones, rank their magic power at a bit more than 0. Filch's card had his magic ranked at 8, meaning if you put that against Young Pettigrew's card, which put his at 1, as to magic power, Filch would win.

Arabella Figg. Mrs. Figg, the Dursleys' elderly neighbour, is more than just the little cat-loving lady next door. After Harry battles Dementors™ in Little Whinging, she reveals that Dumbledore™ had asked her to keep an eye on him - and later testifies on Harry's behalf at his Ministry of Magic™ hearing. Magic: 40. Cunning: 13. Courage: 30. Wisdom: 52. Temper: 4. Argus Filch. Argus Filch is the caretaker of Hogwarts™ castle. He clearly enjoys disciplining students, and is thus loathed by every student in the school. Magic: 8. Cunning: 16. Courage: 11. Wisdom: 42. Temper: 9.

Why is this?

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  • 2005 Specials - tcdb.com/Images/Cards/Gaming/186948/186948-11848189Fr.jpg gives him a 5
    – Valorum
    May 2, 2022 at 10:40
  • Just a an aside, the PC game of Philosopher's Stone suggests Filch can do magic. He manages to somehow lock a magic door in the library. May 2, 2022 at 11:42
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    Hmm... this is probably contradicted somewhere in the source material, but I had thought that Squibs were just under some sort of threshold in terms of being able to do magic. It's kind of like how, at one point, there were minimum IQs in the United States to be considered a legal adult.
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 2, 2022 at 13:04
  • I admit I'm surprised at these two magic levels relative to each other (having no idea what a standard wizard's might be on the same scale). I don't think Mrs. Figg is ever shown doing the slightest bit of magic, but I would argue Filch's relationship to his cat Mrs. Norris is definitely magical. May 2, 2022 at 15:30
  • @WolfieSmith - Possibly worth its own question, but I believe he's commanding a magic door to lock, rather than using magic on it himself.
    – Valorum
    May 2, 2022 at 19:03

1 Answer 1

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The blurb for the cards state that the ranking is based on the possession of magic, not necessarily the capacity to use it. Squibs are clearly magical in some respects but their low levels of power make it impossible for them to use active magic. Low isn't zero.

Pit your favourite characters against each other to find out who really possesses the most magic or is the most cunning.

This chimes nicely with Ron's description of a squib;

"A Squib is someone who was born into a wizarding family but hasn’t got any magic powers."

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    If it's based on "possession of magic" perhaps it covers not just their own magical powers, but also potential magical artefacts, allies or creatures they could call upon. Despite having no magic himself, Filch might be able to rely on some of the innate magics within Hogwarts, for instance.
    – Showsni
    May 2, 2022 at 15:25
  • @Showsni - Plus he operates things like a sneakoscope and has a KwikSpell coursebook. It's possible that he knows a reasonable amount of magic, just that he can't perform it
    – Valorum
    May 2, 2022 at 15:28
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    As a simple example, Filch has the aid of a magic cat!
    – ti7
    May 2, 2022 at 18:47
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    Indeed, although it's not explicitly explained in canon, it seems to be a pretty widespread fan theory that the difference between Wizards and Squibs is that Squibs can't cast spells, and the difference between Squibs and Muggles is that Muggles can't use magic artifacts, potions, etc, and often can't see magic at all. For example, the Knight bus, the Hogwarts Express, magical trunks (and Hogwarts itself), are likely invisible (or disguised) to Muggles but visible to Squibs. So Squibs cannot cast spells but can interact with magic, and can use magic through magical items, while Muggles cannot.
    – vsz
    May 2, 2022 at 21:12

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