Harry Potter: How To Be An Auror

Alastor "Mad Eye" Moody, the world renowned Auror

Okay, let’s be honest here: who hasn’t daydreamed about becoming an Auror? All of the examples of aurors in Harry Potter are pretty hardcore. Mad-Eye Moody is probably the first auror to come to mind, but there are dozens of others. Tonks, Scrimgeour, and Kingsley are all aurors as well. So were Neville’s parents, Alice and Frank Longbottom.

But what, exactly, does it take to become one? And who would be best suited for the job? Some hints were dropped throughout the course of Harry Potter’s adventures, but let’s try and piece it all together.

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6 What Is An Auror?

Via: Pottermore

The first step to becoming an auror is to understand the job itself. Aurors have arguably one of the most dangerous jobs in the wizarding world. Second possibly to dragon keeping and taming, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

Aurors are a specialist organization within the Ministry of Magic. Their job is to track down and contain rogue wizards. Ideally, they should arrest these witches and wizards whenever possible…but we all know that this isn’t always an option. That means that aurors come up against the biggest and the baddest witches and wizards out there. In order to survive, aurors have to be the best they can be, not to mention highly skilled in a variety of dark arts countermeasures.

There’s another, frequently overlooked job that an auror has. They frequently end up on guard duty for high-risk characters. This fact alone is the reason we know some of the aurors as well as we do. Harry naturally was one of those high-risk characters, and thus warranted auror protection at multiple points during the series. Other characters protected to this level include the muggle Minster and other higher level members of the Ministry itself.

5 Hogwarts Training

The training to become an auror starts all the way back in Hogwarts, believe it or not. Any student that wishes to become an auror must first make sure their studies meet the minimum requirements.

All prospective aurors must get a minimum of five N.E.W.T.s with Outstanding or Exceeds Expectations. There are courses that are highly suggested, however, there’s no indication that any one of these classes is actually required (though they would be very useful for staying alive, so you might as well consider it a requirement). The suggested classes are; Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Herbology, and Charms.

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An auror could arguably change one or two of these classes out for others, especially if they wanted to specialize in something specific. However, these five courses offer the best options for being well rounded for self-defense.

4 Further Training

George Harris as Kingsley Shacklebolt in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Based on some snippets of conversation during the books, we also have an idea of what additional training is required of an auror. We know that their training doesn’t finish once they graduate, for example. In all likelihood, they’ll still have another two to three years of work to get through before they can progress further.

The newly graduated students will have to face extensive training in order to pass their upcoming tests. They’ll have to deal with advanced magical combat, of course. Other likely courses include investigation, tracking, and intel gathering.

3 Testing

Ron Weasley and Harry Potter at Hogwarts

All aurors must pass a series of tests. These tests are likely decided based on who is currently in charge of the aurors at the time. For example, when Tonks was in training, Mad-Eye Moody was the one in charge. It’s extremely likely that all of his tests would have been exceedingly difficult. When you think about it though, this makes sense. There’s little point in allowing too many wizards and witches through under minimal testing, if it’s only going to result with their lives being lost. Better to just try and weed out those that would otherwise not make it. Mad-Eye Moody, in particular, would likely see things this way.

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We know some of the tests include Concealment and Disguise (Tonks mentioned excelling in this one), Stealth and Tracking, and Transfigure and Untransfigure. There are likely even more than that as well. For example, there’s no mention of potions, even though an auror likely would face a poisoning attempt or two in their lifetime.

2 The One Exception


There is only one exception to all of these requirements. At least, so far there’s only been one exception made. After the Battle of Hogwarts, Kingsley, the new Minister of Magic who had been a top auror, made a new ruling. He declared that any student that participated in and survived the battle would be allowed to become an auror.

His logic actually makes sense, too. By his reasoning, any student that was able to come up against some of the worst the magical world has to offer and come out of it alive is worth adding to the aurors. They already showed that they were brave and bold, and that they were capable of surviving (and presumably in taking down a dark wizard or dark ally).

As far as plot points are concerned, this moment is actually pretty major. We know for a fact that Harry and Ron never graduate Hogwarts. They also weren’t testing well enough to have hit the requirements, even if they had gone back to school. Yet we also know that they became aurors. Kingsley’s announcement explains how the two were able to jump ahead as they did.

1 The American Aurors

Seraphina President of MACUSA in Fantastic Beasts

Presumably, other countries have their own versions of aurors, but the only one we’ve had confirmed to such a level is America. In fact, one could argue that the American version is larger and significantly stricter. The Americans had to deal with the Salem Witch Trials, and thus are understandably very concerned about setting off another series of events like that one.

The American Aurors use military titles to define ranking among their members. This also helps to indicate the number involved – the aurors for Britain don’t have that problem, from what we’ve seen. We’ve seen the titles Chief and Captain thrown around during the course of the Fantastic Beasts movies, but we can only assume that the other military titles are also used.The bureaucracy is also slightly more convoluted for the American branch. There are multiple branches of aurors throughout North America, which makes some sense. Each branch is called an Auror Division, and they are all within the Department of Aurors. The Department of Aurors reports back to the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. There may be more steps and branches between those two, but there is no confirmation on that (yet).

One part of the American aurors job that is different from the British version is the priority placed on oblivations on muggles/no-majs. Again, because of the scare created by the Salem Witch Trials, all aurors are required to ensure that any no-maj witnesses have their memories wiped. In fact, this is seemingly considered a priority over almost anything else.

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