An Auror is an official in the Ministry of Magic or any such similar organization assigned with the task of catching Dark Wizards. They represent the equivalent of the defense forces fused with detectives in the wizarding world. Harry Potter aspires to become an Auror after his OWL exams and eventually becomes one, only to later get promoted as the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. The first mention of an Auror in the Harry Potter series happens when Alastor Moody, the renowned Auror responsible for putting a lot of Death Eaters in prison, attends Hogwarts as a Professor.
Etymology and History
The exact root of the term Auror is not very clear. It is believed that Auror may be derived from “Aurora” meaning dawn, as Aurors are Dark Wizard catchers and this could be metaphorical of how the dawn appears after the dark is over. Auror could also be derived from “Aurum” meaning gold, or the Hebrew “Arur” which means “someone who is cursed”. However, Auror is more likely to be derived from the Latin “Auris” which means ear, which makes sense because Aurors are basically detectives in the magic world and are supposed to lend their ears to intelligence.
What Is An Auror?
An Auror is an officially appointed equivalent of the police or military in the wizarding world and was responsible for the prevention of magical crimes and the catching of criminals. Aurors were highly trained individuals and were therefore very rare in number. According to Professor Minerva McGonagall, there had been no official recruitments into the Auror Office after 1995, which meant that Nymphadora Tonks, who got appointed as an Auror in 1994 must have been the last one, for quite a while.
Aurors were an elite group of witches and wizards who had different assignments based on which region or country they were from. For instance, the Aurors in the UK were mostly dark wizard catchers who prevented the dark arts from propagating and being performed. This was different from the Aurors in the USA who were also assigned with other tasks such as preventing the detection of wizardkind and catching criminal wizards and witches.
Aurors were required to be highly qualified and were needed to possess Outstanding or Exceeds Expectations in the N.E.W.T exams in at least five core subjects. Some of these subjects included Defense Against the Dark Arts, Potions, Transfiguration, Charms, Arithmancy, and Herbology.
Furthermore, after graduating from school with these qualifications, they were subjected to an intense regimen of training which weeded out most of the applicants who were not a fit for the risky and highly dangerous job of becoming an auror.
However, after the Second Wizarding War, it is believed that Kingsley Shacklebolt, the new Minister of Magic granted the opportunity in the Auror department to every wizard and witch who fought in the Battle of Hogwarts without taking any aptitude tests or Auror training. This was because he claimed that the experience they gained from the Battle was solely enough to qualify given how there was a shortage of Aurors at that time. Naturally, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley were all given the chance to become Aurors despite not having graduated from Hogwarts yet.
Appearance in the Harry Potter Series
The proper mention of the term Auror in the Harry Potter series happens when Mad-Eye Moody appears in the Hogwarts Castle. Charlie Weasley claims that his father Arthur Weasley helped Moody get out of a difficult situation and that Moody was once a celebrated Auror, a dark wizard catcher who put a lot of Death Eaters in Azkaban.
Several mentions of the term Auror are made later as throughout the rest of the book series, readers are introduced to several other Aurors including Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and Rufus Scrimgeour, who was the head of the British Auror Office before he became the new Minister of Magic. Gawain Robards replaced Scrimgeour as the Head of the Auror Office. Furthermore, Neville Longbottom’s parents Alice and Frank Longbottom are also said to have been Aurors in the Ministry before they were tragically tortured with the Cruciatus Curse by a group of remaining Death Eaters including Bellatrix Lestrange after Lord Voldemort disappears.
Several members of the Order of the Phoenix both from the time of the First Wizarding War and the Second Wizarding War were also Aurors. Other Aurors who appear in the books includes John Dawlish, who is one of the Aurors who accompany the Minister to arrest Albus Dumbledore, and Proudfoot and Savage, two other Aurors who are briefly mentioned by Tonks when she discusses the security arrangements at Hogwarts with Harry.
In the new movie spin-off series Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, where the Magizoologist Newt Scamander goes to the USA with a suitcase filled with magical creatures, a lot of Aurors are shown. Firstly, Newt’s elder brother, Theseus Scamander himself is an Auror in Great Britain. Furthermore, the story is set after the time of the First World War, and Gellert Grindelwald, the dark wizard, is in his prime. In the first movie, Grindelwald impersonates an Auror from the MACUSA, the American Ministry of Magic, Percival Graves.
Tina Goldstein is another Auror in the series who catches Newt in the USA and tries to warn the MACUSA that he has a suitcase of dangerous animals with him. However, her actions caused her to be demoted to a Federal Wand Permit Officer. It is shown that Aurors in North America at that time were assigned several other tasks too, including keeping magic secret from the no-majs (non-magical humans or muggles). In New York City, the Aurors’ mission was to ensure that Grindelwald is caught before he starts causing any harm.
Understanding Aurors as Elite Forces
The reason that Aurors are considered a group of elite wizards and witches with a very strong skill set is because the threats they encounter are very specialized and require rigorous training. Secondly, most Aurors are required to possess a wide variety of skills across a myriad of disciplines and are absolutely required to not have any criminal record.
Every Auror trainee undergoes strenuous training and a minimum amount of exposure to offenders in the world before they are ready to take on the job. They are comparable to the elite forces in the real world who have a wide variety of abilities ranging from hacking computers, advanced electronics, speaking several languages, advanced tactical training, combat training, and weapons training, each of which takes years to master. This is why they are required to achieve top grades in a wide variety of subjects, anything that can help them deal with the uncertain nature of the threats they face to their best ability.
Is Harry an Auror?
Yes, Harry became an Auror after the Battle of Hogwarts and went on to become the Head of the Auror Office in the Ministry of Magic. However, since he hadn’t completed his seventh year at Hogwarts, it is believed that he went back to Hogwarts to finish his studies along with Ron and Hermione and later joined the Ministry as an Auror. It is revealed in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child that Harry eventually became the head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
Who is the best Auror?
While there is no sure way of knowing who the best Auror is, because of how vague the criteria to decide this is, there are several contenders in the Harry Potter book series that would befit this status. One of the major names would be Alastor Moody, who was a war hero and a veteran Auror known to put a lot of Death Eaters in Azkaban. He was fierce and very powerful. Then, there’s also Kingsley Shacklebolt, who was also very strong and went on to become the Minister of Magic. Even Nymphadora Tonks was a very powerful and skilled Auror who just after giving birth to her son, came to fight in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Is Harry Head of the Auror Department?
Yes, Harry did become the Head of the Auror Department in the year 2007. This promotion came after several years of him working as an Auror in the Auror office. He was one of the youngest Aurors to be made the Head of the office at the age of 26 or 27. He was recruited immediately after the Battle of Hogwarts along with his friends after Kingsley Shacklebolt, the Minister of Magic brought several reforms to Auror recruitment.