Towards the end of Order of the Phoenix, after Umbridge has been carried away by the Centaurs, and when they have to get away from Umbridge's Inquisitorial Squad, Ginny overpowers Malfoy in Umbridge's office.

“How did you get away?” asked Harry in amazement, taking his wand from Ron. “Couple of Stunners, a Disarming Charm, Neville brought off a really nice little Impediment Jinx,” said Ron airily, now handing back Hermione's wand, too. “But Ginny was best, she got Malfoy – Bat Bogey Hex – it was superb, his whole face was covered in the great flapping things.”

Shouldn't Ginny own Malfoy's wand then? Harry should have had to disarm Ginny to get Malfoy's wand in the last book. So how does this work? Do they need to claim the wand as well, besides overpowering the owner, as Harry did in the final book? Then why does the Elder Wand belong to Malfoy and then to Harry, as non of them actually claimed the wand after overpowering their respective owners?

  • A single hex isn't likely enough to make a wand consider Ginny its new master, especially if she never disarmed or otherwise removed Malfoy's wand from him. Sep 14, 2013 at 17:42
  • so to get a wand, you need to overpower as well as claim a wand then; just overpowering is not enough for some wands
    – user13267
    Sep 14, 2013 at 19:35
  • See also the related question scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/6910 Why does everyone's wand still work for them?
    – b_jonas
    Dec 16, 2013 at 9:38

4 Answers 4


It's only the Elder Wand that changes allegiance when its master is defeated. That fight between Ginny and Malfoy took place before Malfoy disarmed Dumbledore and became the new master of the Elder Wand. Fights he lost before that are not relevant to the mastery of the Elder Wand.

In Deathly Hallows chapter 24, we're told

“Hawthorn and unicorn hair. Ten inches precisely. Reasonably springy. This was the wand of Draco Malfoy.”

According to this answer unicorn hair wands are very loyal and don't change allegiance easily. Since Ginny didn't keep Malfoy's wand, she never gained its allegiance.

  • that's not the point. The question is, why didn't Ginney own Malfoy's Dragon heart string wand after that victory?
    – user13267
    Sep 14, 2013 at 7:56
  • 2
    Well, for one thing, his wand wasn't dragon heartstring, it was unicorn hair.
    – cjm
    Sep 14, 2013 at 14:24
  • 3
    First sentence of your answer is incorrect, as demonstrated by the quote in your answer and the discussion taking place immediately afterwards. Sep 14, 2013 at 17:27
  • 1
    @AnthonyGrist No, the point is that Harry disarmed and took Draco's wand, while Ginny didn't take it. While I don't know if Rowling ever spelled out the specifics, we do know that normal wands require more work than the Elder Wand to switch allegiance.
    – Izkata
    Sep 14, 2013 at 18:21
  • 8
    @Izkata I'm well aware of all of that, but that doesn't change anything with regard to my comment. Saying the Elder wand is the only wand that switches allegiance when its master is defeated is flat out wrong; at best they worded it awfully, at worst they don't know what they're talking about (I suspect it's the former rather than the latter, but either way the answer needs some serious edits as far as I'm concerned). Sep 14, 2013 at 23:41

I don't agree that it's only the elder wand that will change allegence.

With wand lore Olivander states that wands can change allegence, he doesn't specifically mention the elder wand in that statement.

So, does Ginny own Malfoys wand ? I'd say no, purely because she just cast the 'bat bogey hex', this doesn't mean she disarmed him.

Also, there has to be a wand lore limit to 'wand changes allegence after defeat/disarm' otherwise the members of Dumbledores army, when practicing in the room of requirement would have been changing wands left right and centre !


Perhaps it did.

Harry never had any interaction with the Elder Wand (prior to the final battle with Voldemort). He didn’t disarm it from Dumbledore, nor did he disarm it from Malfoy. All he did was disarm Malfoy’s regular wand.

In order for Harry to have the Elder Wand’s allegiance, then, we have to assume that when one wizard disarms another he gains the allegiance of not only the wand he disarmed but all wands currently under the allegiance of that wizard. By disarming Malfoy Harry thus gained the allegiance of all of Malfoy’s wands, one of which was the Elder Wand.

Now let’s consider Ginny. If we assume that the Bat-Bogey Hex counts as defeating an opponent then that would mean that Ginny gained the allegiance of all of Malfoy’s wands at that time. Then a year later Malfoy defeated Dumbledore and acquired the allegiance of all of Dumbledore’s wands, including the Elder Wand.

Almost a year after that Harry defeated Malfoy. That means that he then acquired the allegiance of all wands whose allegiance was to Malfoy. That would include the Elder Wand but it would not include Malfoy’s original wand. Since Harry never defeated Ginny, that wand still owed its allegiance to her (or to anyone who may have defeated Ginny in the interim).

The conclusion of all this would be that Harry had the allegiance of the Elder Wand without ever interacting with it, but he did not have the allegiance of Malfoy’s wand despite disarming it from him.

It is perhaps noteworthy how Harry's relationship with Malfoy's wand is later described in Chapter Twenty-Six of Deathly Hallows:

Harry looked down at the hawthorn wand that had once belonged to Draco Malfoy. He had been surprised, but pleased, to discover that it worked for him at least as well as Hermione's had done.

This doesn't tell us that Harry had won the allegiance of Malfoy's wand. All it tells us is that Malfoy's wand worked as well for him as Hermione's wand did. Harry had not won the allegiance of Hermione's wand. The reason why Malfoy's wand worked for Harry would be that any wand can work for anyone, though various factors can affect how well they work. As Ollivander told Harry in Chapter Twenty-Five:

“Oh yes, if you are any wizard at all you will be able to channel your magic through almost any instrument. The best results, however, must always come where there is the strongest affinity between wizard and wand. These connections are complex. An initial attraction, and then a mutual quest for experience, the wand learning from the wizard, the wizard from the wand.”

Thus, Malfoy's wand worked as well as Hermione's wand because they both may have had some level of affinity with Harry, but that does not necessarily mean that they had the higher level of full allegiance. The true allegiance of Malfoy's wand may have actually been to Ginny, but the Elder Wand had never been won by Ginny.


Maybe Ginny would have had to take Malfoy's wand physically in order to get it to change allegiance?

I think it's a plot inconsistency. Ginny overpowered Malfoy in a combat situation, so surely, the wand allegiance would change, no? Maybe JK Rowling forgot to use her own rules here.

On the other hand, maybe you have to use Expelliarmus, the spell to make a wand fly out of someone's hand, or some other spell to very specifically knock someone out of the way - although she used Bat Bogey Hex, so that should do it. It's very odd she doesnt just go grab the wand, because if nothing else surely the kids could use an extra weapon at the dept of myst when they go to fight? Even if it had not switched allegiance and she wouldn't have been able to do good spells with it, you can still use a wand to stab an eye (excuse the grossness please!).

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