After reading this question and its answer I realized. How come one of the twins, Fred or George, does not matter that much was able to transform Ron's teddy bear into a great spider? Let's quote Professor McGonagall:

‘Transfiguration is some of the most complex and dangerous magic you will learn at Hogwarts,’ she said. ‘Anyone messing around in my class will leave and not come back. You have been warned.’ Then she changed her desk into a pig and back again.

After this, everybody is excited to transfigure something. But:

After making a lot of complicated notes, they were each given a match and started trying to turn it into a needle. By the end of the lesson, only Hermione Granger had made any difference to her match; Professor McGonagall showed the class how it had gone all silver and pointy and gave Hermione a rare smile.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's stone, ch. 8, The Potion Master

And this is only one of the mentions about Transfiguration being one of the hardest magic. Not to mention, that wizards normally get a wand at the age of eleven. Although, against this argument might stand the fact, that Weasley family was rather poor, unable to buy new wand for Ron - he used old Charlie's wand, so Fred or George might have nicked the wand.

I mean, Fred or George would not care, if it was dangerous - on the contrary. But how come, was one of them able to do such magic at the age of five? Think about what he would need:

  • a wand (I assume from what J.K.Rowling said about wandless magic)
  • to know the proper incantation
  • the proper pronunciation/articulation of the incantation
  • the correct wand moves
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    Fred and George are uncommongly gifted wizards (See the swamp piece that the Charms Professor left hanging around since he admired the magic so much). It's not unreasonable that they could do some troublemaking spells before 11. {no canon support, so just a comment} Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 14:26
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    I wonder if the teddy bear was actually turned into a spider, or if it was just some kind of illusion where it appeared to turn into a spider in a way that would have frightened Ron.
    – Zoredache
    Commented Apr 16, 2015 at 21:52
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    @Zoredache still, changing anything at all is pretty advanced for a five year-old. (Two years older than Ron, who was three). Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 9:38

1 Answer 1


There's next to no details in what Ron says, and it's ambiguous at best, but I think the most reasonable canon explanation is unintentional magic. Especially since Ron would have been at an age where he'd possibly carry a teddy bear around with him everywhere he went, and therefore the two incidents may have happened at much the same time.

In the Potterverse, unintentional magic is generally done by witches and wizards under school age (eleven years old) during times of extreme stress, fear or anger. They also tend to manage feats that they couldn't dream of performing intentionally when first learning to control their magic. Harry was able to either levitate or even apparate onto the roof of his school and make his hair grow back, neither of which he would have been capable of doing intentionally in his first year.

However, we've also seen that it doesn't require a particularly stressful situation to trigger unintentional magic; Harry made a pane of glass disappear just because Dudley pushed him over. It's not entirely unreasonable to think that, at the age of five, Fred may have been upset enough at Ron breaking his toy broomstick that he could have unintentionally transfigured a teddy bear into a giant spider.

  • Worth noting that unintentional magic can happen to any witch or wizard it's just that children lose control much more easily. Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 13:52
  • Don't forget that Harry even before going to Hogwarts was able to make the glass at the Zoo completely disappear and then reappear. Commented Jun 9, 2014 at 14:04
  • @DoctorWho22 in the book the glass does not reappear, as a matter of fact. Commented Nov 14, 2014 at 0:36
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    Not unintentional - he fully intended to punish Ron for breaking his toy broomstick. Commented Aug 10, 2019 at 9:37

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