Does each house only have two Prefects? If so, wouldn't that mean new Prefects only every three years? Are new Prefects chosen to replace the Head Boy and Girl when they are chosen?
No, each year has two prefects per house, making it 16 prefects for years 5 and 6.
How it is handled in year 7, I'm not too sure. We know Lily was prefect, as was Remus. But James became Head Boy, and Lily was made Head Girl. This would mean there were at least 7 prefects + Lily as Head Girl who was the formerly 8th prefect. Maybe they appointed a new prefect in Lily's stead? What do others think or know?
But all together there should be 22 prefects minimum (8 year five, 8 year six, 6 year seven) + the two Heads to 24 prefects maximum (8 year five, 8 year six, 8 year seven) + the two Heads.
Hope to have helped (and made sense )
That's not actually stated in the books.Originally Posted by luinrina
It's implied that a new set of Prefects gets chosen from the incoming fifth-years, but (assuming Prefects generally keep their jobs the following year), that would mean every house has six Prefects, for a total of twenty-four Prefects in Hogwarts, which seems like an awful lot.
Of course we know Rowling is notoriously bad about working out logistics. She probably didn't think the Prefect system out.
I'd tend to assume each house has only two Prefects at a time. A Prefect will keep his or her badge until s/he graduates (or resigns, or loses it for malfeasance). This would mean that, on average, new Prefects are appointed every three years, but probably some Prefects are replaced earlier, for various reasons. In any given year, each House might see one, two, or no new Prefects.
That's my take, but it's not canon.
I think the reason James was able to being made Head Boy even though he wasn't prefect was because he was Quidditch Captain, and they have similar rights to prefects. I don't think they choose replacers for the prefects made Head Girl/Boy. Otherwise I can't only agree with previous speakers.
Well, we know from the books that Percy made prefect for Harry's first year. In his third year, he became Head Boy, and that the twins had the potential to make prefect, but they didn't. And then, in their fifth year, Ron and Hermione became prefects, as did two students, a boy and a girl, from every other house.I'd tend to assume each house has only two Prefects at a time. A Prefect will keep his or her badge until s/he graduates (or resigns, or loses it for malfeasance). This would mean that, on average, new Prefects are appointed every three years, but probably some Prefects are replaced earlier, for various reasons. In any given year, each House might see one, two, or no new Prefects.
What I believe is that every year, two prefects are chosen from the class, and they keep their title until they graduate or make Head Boy or Girl. 4 houses times 2 equals 8 prefects per year. And then three years will have prefects making for twenty-four, maybe more if the Head Boy or Girl weren't prefects.
And J.K. has said before that there are a thousand students attending Hogwarts, even though the numbers don't add up, she seems adement about this total. So twenty-four prefects for a thousand students really doesn't seem like that much of a leap to me.
I don't think she was adamant about it; it was an off-the-cuff answer she gave, and there's been a lot of debate about it, because the numbers really don't add up.Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
If Hogwarts has a thousand students, then yes, twenty-four Prefects would be reasonable. But I have a hard time accepting that figure.
That's where the issue of how Prefects get replaced comes in. If you go with the ~280 students/8 Prefects estimate, then in theory, new Prefects get appointed in their fifth year, they remain Prefects until they graduate, and then a new batch gets chosen from the current crop of fifth-years. So Prefects would be replaced only once every three years.Originally Posted by Neville's Girl
But, probably not all Prefects serve for three years. Some might quit, because they no longer want the responsibility, they'd rather join the Quidditch team, or concentrate on their NEWTs, etc. Some probably get removed due to misbehavior, or because of falling grades. Some might leave Hogwarts (maybe to go overseas). It appears that you can't be a Head Boy/Girl and a Prefect at the same time, so if a Prefect makes Head Boy/Girl in his or her seventh year, then s/he would have to be replaced. And so on.
Hence my original comment, that (assuming only two Prefects per House), each House could get 0-2 new Prefects in any given year.