"Fred and George tried to get me to make [an Unbreakable Vow] when I was about five. I nearly did too, I was holding hands with Fred and everything when Dad found us. He went mental, only time I've ever seen Dad as angry as Mum. Fred reckons his left buttock has never been the same since."

Since Ron was five, Fred and George would only have been seven years old. How would they have been capable of (nearly) getting Ron to make an Unbreakable Vow? Their parents would certainly not have told them about Unbreakable Vows, and the Weasleys were not the sort of wizards to own a book on the subject, let alone to leave it lying around where the twins could get hold of it. Possibly they could have learned from one of their older brothers, but I doubt that either one would have been older than thirteen or so--not old enough to know much advanced magic (if an Unbreakable Vow is actually advanced magic). In any case, Unbreakable Vows were not taught at Hogwarts, much less how to make them. How would the twins have figured it out?

  • 38
    Do you have kids? They usually have an uncanny ability to learn all the things they should or could not possibly know :)
    – Alarion
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 3:54
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    Ron was five. He might be overstating how real this was.
    – zeldredge
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 4:04
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    Alarion--perhaps the Muggle equivalent to this would be a scientist's child figuring out how to put together a dangerous compound on their own. No exact equivalent, of course.... The twins do plenty of things that they shouldn't, but this seems to have required some advanced Magical knowledge. It's beyond the twins' usual level of learning/doing things they shouldn't be able to do.
    – E. J.
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 5:01
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    I once accidentally made a pink liquid that ate a hole through a plastic beaker, using only a kids' science set. Got it for Christmas when I was somewhere around Fred and George's age in the question, maybe a year or two older. So I'm with @Alarion on this.
    – Izkata
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 6:25
  • 3
    Also note, Bill and Charlie were out of school by the time Ron was 11, putting the younger of the two at least 5 years older than Fred and George, so there may have been textbooks with advanced magic lying around for Fred and George to peruse. Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 17:54

3 Answers 3


One possibility would be: they were NOT capable of performing the unbreakable vow spell. They were only pretending to do so just to make a joke on Ron.

Since Ron was five it was very unlikely that he would recognize a real spell from a fake one.

Why did their father go mad whey he found them do it? One plausible explanation is that it is a dangerous game to play. Is it fake or not - Ron, Fred and George ARE wizards. So there could be a tiny little chance that the spell actually WORKS which could cause the death of Ron.

It's like finding a kid pointing a locked and empty weapon at someone. You know that there is no ammunition inside, you know that the kid probably would not be able to unlock the weapon but nevertheless you must not allow the kid to play with such a thing.

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    Even at 11, Ron didn’t recognise a real spell from a fake one (“Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, turn this stupid, fat rat yellow”? Seriously?). Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 5:14
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    Fred and George were mischievous, but not murderous, so it is very unlikely they intended to cast the actual spell if they know how, seeing as how they supposedly knew of the consequences. Keep in mind it is Ron telling the story, and he might be inclined to believe it was the real deal when his brothers pranked him.
    – Oskuro
    Commented Dec 19, 2016 at 17:13
  • @Oskuro I don't think that they intended to kill Ron. They were just kids fooling around with dangerous stuff.
    – vap78
    Commented Aug 29, 2020 at 12:20

Fred and George were very intelligent in their own way. They created a lot of things when they were in school like Extendable Ears, Patented Daydream Charms etc.

There are instance in the book which indicates that the twins were very well informed for their age.

“It’s not funny,” said Ron, fiercely. “If you must know, when I was three, Fred turned my — my teddy bear into a great big filthy spider because I broke his toy broomstick... You wouldn’t like them either if you’d been holding your bear and suddenly it had too many legs and...”

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Chapter 9, The Writing on the Wall

You must understand that they come from a wizarding family and add to that they were very mischievous. It is possible that they would have overheard conversation about "Unbreakable Vow" from other family members and learnt whatever they could about it from their elder brothers. Or it could have been a prank on Ron.

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    I tend to agree with the answer on this thread: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/58987/… Fred probably Transfigured the teddy bear by accident. To do it on purpose would have been nearly impossible for a fivev-year-old. Voldemort could control his wandless magic somewhat, but probably not to the point of performing fairly advanced Transfiguration. And I would have trouble believing that Fred could outperform Voldemort.
    – E. J.
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 13:08
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    You are right. I posted it to show that Fred was capable of doing things out of the ordinary.
    – Vishvesh
    Commented Jun 8, 2015 at 16:47
  • we also are unsure, whether or not they would have actually succeeded in casting the spell, as with all magic, we see the wizard or witch must actually be powerful enough to cast the spell. The other point i see is that OP is assuming it is dark magic, the unbreakable vow seems like a very practical spell to me, especially between family and friends, or even for business.
    – Himarm
    Commented Jun 9, 2015 at 14:15
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    I never thought that the books treated it as Dark Magic--just a very dangerous thing to do. In the event that something changed, how would you be able to change the Vow without killing yourself? Good point about the twins possibly not being able to actually cast it, however.
    – E. J.
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 1:20

Knowing Fred and George they overheard someone talking about it one day and decided to manipulate more information about it out of whoever they could and then stole a family members wand (there were at least 4 laying around the house by that point after all). Those two have been known to perform magic beyond their years and be very intelligent; They only got poor grades in school because they chose to.

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