Quick Harry Potter Q: Hermione's parents are both Muggles?

I saw the first two Harry Potter movies, and I’m in the process of reading The Prisoner Of Azkaban.

My question’s quite simple really. In TPOA I read that both of Hermione’s parents are Muggles…so, how did she get to be a witch?

Some kids are just born with wizarding talent (and some aren’t, like squibs). Other muggle-borns who “got the letter” include Dean Thomas and Lily Potter.

That’s gotta be confusing to get that first letter from Hogwart’s. “Hey, guess what, your kid’s a wizard and you can send her to wizard school! Just come buy a whole bunch of weird junk in this alley you can only get into if you know the magic password, then load your kid onto a train on a platform that doesn’t exist! She’ll be back in nine months! Honest!”

Yeah, that probably wouldn’t be the best tack. I’m now seeing a letter somewhere along the lines of:

And so on and so forth, in the form of a 419 scam, but I’m not nearly funny enough to make it work any longer.

It’s an inborn talent that sometimes crops up in Muggles. It seems to be a dominant trait, as:

  1. Muggle-born wizards are apparently not unusual (e.g. Lily Potter, Hermione Granger, the sisters Patil and the brothers Creevy), while Squibs are very rare, and
  2. all the Muggle-magical couples we’ve seen seem to produce magical children (e.g. Seamus Finnegan, Dean Thomas, Voldy) rather than Muggles. There’s also Ron’s statement in book 2 to the effect that “if we hadn’t intermarried with Muggles we’d have died out”.

Interesting that purebloods seem to make no distinction between a Muggle-born [witch|wizard] and a Muggle: Harry, with two wizarding parents, is called a “half-breed”, along with Voldy, the son of a witch and a Muggle.

It seems to be that there must be two separate letters – one sent to the children from wizard families and one sent to the muggle-borns. Harry, in spite of his nonmagical rearing, was a wizard and received the standard letter (even if the means of delivery was a bit unorthodox). I imagine that the letter written for muggle-borns would be rather different in nature, providing a great deal more explanation and even some kind of magical element to convince the non-believers of its authenticity.

Are Squibs children born to wizards/witches but who have no magic talent?


I read somewhere (I wish I could remember where) that Hogwarts sends a special messenger to the Muggle born witches and wizards families to help explain it all. It also said that it’s usually not a complete shock as their child has always been somewhat “odd”. (Unexplained events and things.)

It has been mentioned that some parents (Lily’s for instance) were proud to have a witch in the family. This makes it seem like people in the Harry Potter world are a bit more open to the existence of a secret world along side their own than one would expect them to be.

Also magical talent probably isn’t a simple M and m type set up. Squibs, while they cannot work spells, have connection with magic that is greater than Muggles. I suspect that genes don’t have anything to do with it, instead some sort of magic blood-rite stuff is going on.

not only are Hermione’s parents both Muggles, but they are both dentists. She mentions this in more than one of the books.

I can buy the concept of wizardry and magic existing in a secret world alongside our own, but if you’re going to make up obvious fantasies like British dentists, I have to put my foot down!


So. Draco Malfoy hates mudbloods… and he’s an anti-dentite.

I recall seeing a cite from JKR to the effect that Muggle parents would receive a personal visit from a Hogwarts representative, rather than having an owl simply drop a letter through the flap.

When I read this, I tried to envision the reaction of a middle-class British couple to having a robed figure appear on their doorstep, claiming that their offspring is a witch/wizard. Since I couldn’t really envision my own reaction, I had a bit of a problem with that—until I realized that the parents probably had more than a few hints that the child in question was a bit, er, unusual. So mayhap it isn’t as traumatic as it might seem on the surface. In fact, in a way it might come as a bit of a relief (“so that’s why the sitting room chairs keep doing the Macarena!”).

Spoiler simply because it’s pure conjecture from my SO and me, based on what we’ve read - but I will say that the books never make it clear that Lily was a Muggle.

And now the spoiler (involves the next book and conjecture upon that):


Apparently, the next book is called Harry Potter and the Half Breed Prince (announced on CNN this morning). All we know about Lily and her sister Petunia is that Petunia was jealous of Lily from the first book because she was continuing the ‘family tradition’. There’s absolutely nothing written that says that Lily was a Muggle - it points to her being from a wizarding family. And there have been several scenes - the last book, we were given hints that Petunia knew more about the wizarding world than she lets on. So - speculation - the Half Breed Prince is actually Dudley, Aunt Petunia is a squib. Nothing based on anything other than our thoughts.


Of course Lily wasn’t a muggle. She was a Hogwarts student, hence she was a witch/wizard. Maybe you mean her parents?

At least one of Lily’s parents must be a muggle, since in OoTP Snape says, ‘I don’t need help from filthy little Mudbloods like her!’ when Harry is in Snape’s memories in the pensive. He wouldn’t have said that if both her parents were wizards. Is someone considered a mudblood if they have one muggle parent and one wizard parent? Or only if both their parents are muggles, like Hermione? Maybe it depends on the prejudices of each person. I have heard MANY other people speculate that Petunia is a squib, and I guess for that theory to pan out at least one of her parents would have to be a wizard. Ah well, I guess we’ll have to wait to find out.

[spoiler]Oops - phrased that wrong. I just meant that it seems like Lily didn’t come from a Muggle family. I do remember that quote now - totally forgot. That blows our theory about Dudley out of the water;). I have GOT to reread the damn books. I’ve never heard it speculated that Petunia was a squib, but this is about the only HP thread I’ve ever participated in - usually, it’s just me and the SO arguing at restaurants:). SO just said “Maybe she was raised as a mudblood to protect her”, but I don’t buy that either. Is there a way in the wizarding world, aside from family trees, to determine whether or not one is a muggle or from a pureblooded wizarding family? A spell or something? And I stand corrected - I just checked through the first book and it makes it look like Lily came from a Muggle family, just a proud Muggle family. I’m not entirely convinced that she IS a mudblood, but I guess we won’t know until the series ends.

But James Potter was from a wizarding family, correct? Or has that never been stated one way or the other?[/spoiler]


Half blood. I’m not sure even JKR could use your title and not be accesed of racism!

Holy crap.

I should NOT be laughing hysterically at that.

But I am. That’s the dumbest mistake I’ve made in a long time (at least ten minutes). Can I blame it on the five-day migraine I’ve been fighting? I didn’t even realize. I swear to God, I read the email from my SO this morning as breed instead of blood. He just told me I was wrong.

It’s either the migraine meds making me laugh this hard or sheer embarrassment at being a dumbass. I think it’s both.

Just ignore any of the speculations I’ve made in this thread. If I can’t even get the name of the book right, I have no right to be speculating on anything else :D.


No sweat, Ava, we’re all here to fight ignorance, right? :slight_smile: