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Thread: Pencils

  1. #11
    The thing with Muggle items is that all Muggleborns and most Half Bloods have access to them. So it's really hard to tell where the Pure Bloods learn of the items (if they did learn of them).

    It also depends on the family. I don't see Draco Malfoy using a Muggle pencil, but if Ron knew about them, he might try it out...


  2. #12
    Actually, I think we don’t hear too much about pencils because teachers simply won’t accept anything written with a quill. I’m currently attending a French school in France, and everyone is astounded to hear that in the US I was allowed to turn in something written in pencil: to them it is downright sloppy and unacceptable. Even math equations should be written in ink, and only figures and graphs should be done in pencil (I even had a teacher that required that we write the numbers on the graph in ink). So although I could see them using pencils for Arithmacy, I really don’t think they use them for much else.

    I second the pencil case quote…does anyone have a copy of the UK book on hand to check?

    As for what you could do in the drabble, I suggest you introduce a mechanical pencil. Those would probably be rarer for wizards.

    ~The Candycanes from Oz

    Edit: Maybe they would also use pencils for Herbology and Care of Magical Creatures to draw diagrams of the plants and animals. I seem to recall Harry drawing a bowtruckle...does anyone know if he was using a pencil or a quill?

  3. #13
    The Canon Queen Hufflepuff
    Sirius Black Entered Gryffindor Tower
    mudbloodproud's Avatar
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    Jan 2008
    With Sirius on his flying bike
    I guess the one advantage to having read the books so often is I can find things in them rather quickly.

    As for what Harry used to draw the bowtrickles in OoTP it was a quill. It's in chapter 13, 'Detention with Doloris'.

    The pencil scene with Parvati and Lavender is in chapter 31, 'O.W.L.S'.
    Also, in chapter 18, Dobby is described as having a "pencil-like nose".

    I have the American Scholastic paperback copies, so I didn't list page numbers.

    I would also think that Muggle-borns would be most likely to have knowledge of pencils. Possibly Half-bloods, but that would depend on how much the Muggle-born parent held onto his/her Muggle upbringing.

    For example, I could see Harry and Hermione having pencils in their homes and teaching their children to use them. Both attended Muggle schools up to age 11 so they would have to be familiar with them. However, we see in the books that when Harry is at Privet Drive doing his homework, he uses a quill and ink, so that leads me to believe that work done for school must be done with a quill.
    Terri Black (as in Mrs Sirius {aka Padfoot} Black)
    Hufflepuff Head of House

  4. #14
    Perhaps they keep their quills in a pencil case? I mean, the quills would break if left free in a schoolbag.

  5. #15
    Well, here in England, except for primary school, all work is done with a biro/fountain pen. I assume that this would be the equivalent of a quill. As said earlier, graphs and drawings are done in pencil.

    However, many students, and Harry could have been one of them, ignore this rule, and draw graphs in pen as well, usually out of pure laziness. So, I think that while some students might have a pencil, I don't think it would see the light of day all that often.


  6. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by mudbloodproud
    Also, in chapter 18, Dobby is described as having a "pencil-like nose".
    I believe you, plus I don't have my books here at college with me, but all the books are done from Harry's point of view, who was raised by Muggles. Things are described from the point of view of someone who was not raised in a wizard environment, so the pencil reference to Dobby's nose is just because that's how Harry sees it himself.

    I'm American, so I don't know much about how schools work over in Europe. I do remember that we weren't allowed to use pens for a long time in elementary school. You had to pass some English tests in fourth grade to get your own set of pens, and when they gave you a set of pens, then they let you use pens on homework.

    And at college, the only classes that let us turn anything in that isn't typed up are classes like math or my Logic class because it's really hard to do equations and such on a computer and make it understandable--just writing it is easier. And my Logic professor only cares if we understand the concepts and can think critically, how we turn our homework in is of no importance, and he doesn't even grade it anyway--his TAs do.

    As for how Remus got the pencil, Remus is often said to be the Hermione of the Marauders. I can completely see him getting intrigued by pencils from hearing about them in Muggle Studies class and going to buy one over the holidays. He doesn't use it for homework, but just for notes when they're for himself, jotting things down. Peter needed to write a quick reply to a letter, and they were going to be late for class, so he suggested Peter use the pencil because it was faster.

    Oh, as another note, perhaps the pencil case was just another thing from Harry's point of view, you think? They're used to hold quills, but he's just so used to thinking of them as "pencil cases" that he automatically translated that in his head?

    Or maybe I'm just trying too hard to justify an honest mistake on JKR's part. ^_^;

  7. #17
    No, I wouldn't think that wizards have ever heard of pencils; they are stuck back in time with those sorts of things, I guess. I second the students, namely the pureblood students, around being confused and intrigued by them, as all they seem to use is ink.

    Also, when Harry, Ron and Hermione go to Diagon Alley to buy their books, potion ingredients etc. for the coming year, there is only mention of them stocking up on quills and parchment. In DH, at the very beginning, when Harry is cleaning his trunk, it also mention broken quills at the bottom of his trunk among the debris (I think... Haven't got the books on me), but no pencils.

    So no, I think it would be a thing that they might have studied in Muggle Studies class, but quills and ink are the only writing implements that seem to be present in the Wizarding World.

    Hope this helped!

    ~Caitlin of the Candycanes From Oz~

  8. #18
    Pinkcess of the Abyss
    This concept of wizards using pencils to do work seems rather silly. But that is only because from as soon as we went into Juniors at Primary school we HAD to use a pen. And then in high school a lot of teachers wouldn't even accept Biro, it had to be fountain pen or ball point.

    So, I'd imagine that using something other than ink to do work in a magical world would be the same to most British school students.

    However, what do the wizarding world use to draw? You don't draw in ink; you draw in pencil. So, perhaps they have a wizarding equiverlent that we don't know about because Harry has never used one.

    This is possibly redundant, because I have read your drabble, and it was really good, but it also means that you have already written it. But I can imagine a pureblood being stumped by the appearance of the pencil. It would look differant to what the wizarding world would use.

  9. #19
    Harry draws all of his charts in ink, throughout the books.

    Drawing in pencil has only been round as long as pencils have been, long after the use the of the quill. I believe wizards draw with quills as well. In ink. Many people draw in ink.

  10. #20
    Yeah, I've known plenty of people to draw in ink, and get incredibly jealous every time I hear about it because I can't even draw well when I can erase mistakes. >.>;

    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkcess of the Abyss
    This is possibly redundant, because I have read your drabble, and it was really good, but it also means that you have already written it. But I can imagine a pureblood being stumped by the appearance of the pencil. It would look differant to what the wizarding world would use.
    Yeah, I wrote it a while ago and after getting a few replies, I edited some things and posted the drabble in response to the challenge. I tried to edit the subject line so the mods would know they could lock it, but for some reason, it didn't change the main subject line of the entire thread, just the subject of my first post, and I can't figure out how to change the subject of the whole thing so the mods will lock it. >.>; I did try! Besides, people seemed to be having a lot of fun trying to answer the thread, so I let it be.

    And thank you. *blush*

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