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Thread: Blood Tests in Wizarding World?

  1. #1
    the_weird_one
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    Blood Tests in Wizarding World?

    I'm not sure if this should go in Reference, or Plot Help, so...feel free to move it.

    Okay, I'm writing a DH-era story, and one of my characters isn't really sure of ancestry, since she found out her mother's not really her mother. Now they're really not sure of her ancestry, whether witch or muggle, and they're not in contact with her mother (the one she was raised with). So it's set in Harry's seventh year, with Snape ruling the school. The girl is in Ravenclaw, btw, if that makes anything clearer.

    I kinda had this vision of Dolores Umbridge using pain to find out who Oliva's (my character, OC) mother is. Is this inaccurate? How do they find out parents in the Wizarding World? [Spoiler](BTW, her mom's a muggle, and her birth mother's a muggle too; actually, her prissy aunt) [Spoiler]

    Any help would be appreciated!
    -Addy

  2. #2
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    How do they find out that the woman who raised her isn't her biological mother? Could it be covered up somehow so that nobody finds out? What about her father, is he still around? What blood status does he have? Does he not know who fathered his child?

    If her father was a wizard, I don't think Olivia would be targeted, because she has at least one magical parent. Seamus is 'half and half', and we know that he is still allowed to attend Hogwarts and isn't hauled in for questioning. The general concern then was with Muggle-borns, and if she had one wizarding parent then she would be okay for the time being, I think. If Voldemort's reign had gone on for longer then people like Seamus and Olivia might be at risk, but I think that in the beginning it would mainly be Muggle-borns targeted.

    Concerning how they find out their parentage, I think it would be down to plain old research. I don't think that they would have a test because Voldemort doesn't use it, and neither does Dean Thomas. She would either have to ask her father or look in records of prefects like Riddle does to see if his parents ever came to Hogwarts.

    Hope this helps.

    Sarah x


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  3. #3
    the_weird_one
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    I'm not really sure how they find out that her mom's not her real mom (birth records? A letter from her mom? Pure facts?) What do you mean by covered up? From Voldemort? Her father is still alive and well; the fathers don't really play much role in this story. Her blood status is "muggleborn", technically, although she does have a witch far back in her family. I'm planning for my other character, Jessie, to save the day by finding that out. Of course, there will be some identity loss in this story.

    I suppose she could look through, but since she doesn't know who her birth mother is, it probably won't be much help. I'm actually leaning toward now Jessie and Livvy inferring that she isn't the child of her mother (she doesn't look like her sisters and brother, she acts differently, etc.) and then having the question of her parentage thrown up in the air. And since she doesn't know if her parents were a witch or a muggle, I think she would go to Dolores Umbridge--and I have this idea of a scene where Dolores uses a needle to extract "magical blood" from Livvy, which causes her pain (couldn't you just see that nasty woman poking children with needles?).

    You feedback did help, and I really appreciate it! Thank you!
    -Addy

  4. #4
    Seventh Year Gryffindor
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    Sorry, I'm a bit confused here (it's been a long day)! So, her absent dad is a Muggle, and she knows that. The woman who presumably raised her is a witch and then tells her that she isn't actually her mother. Her real mother is actually a Muggle. Is that correct?

    I think that the woman who raised her (I'm gonna call her mum B) would undoubtedly be attatched and love Olivia (correct me if I'm wrong here), so would she go out and say 'hang on, my daughter isn't actually my daughter, so her parent could actually be a Muggle. You take her', to Umbridge? If she loves her then I think she would do her best to keep the secret until all of this is over, she wouldn't want to hand her 'daughter' over to Umbridge.

    I have this idea of a scene where Dolores uses a needle to extract "magical blood" from Livvy, which causes her pain
    To be honest, I don't think this would work. Wizards are science-phobes, and needles for taking blood are a definite Muggle thing; would wizards know about them? They don't know what stitches are. Anyone who suggests taking blood the 'Muggle way' would instantly be under suspicion for simply knowing about Muggle things, I think. We've seen in DH the way the interrogations work; lots of Dementors, lots of biased questions and lots of nastiness, but none of them were actually injected. I also don't really see how they would go about testing this blood, again, wizards don't know a lot about science. They would have to have a very good understanding of genetics to be able to do tests on the blood, and I really can't see wizards having that understanding.

    I don't think that magical inheritance has anything to do with blood, it's just symbolism, like the way Aragorn says 'I have the same blood flowing in my veins' when he's talking about Isildur in the Lord of the Rings films. He doesn't mean it literally, it's just a way of talking about decent.

    JKR said (I think) that magic was determined by a gene, so technically it is present in blood, but you would need a lot of scientific understanding to be able to isolate and identify it. Even if there was a spell to do this, you've got to think about why it wasn't used before, or why it isn't present in the book (Umbridges job would be a lot easier, and you wouldn't have to examine family trees to find the liars, you'd just test them). To me testing the blood like that creates too many problems and doesn't fit in with the books.

    Sarah x


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  5. #5
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    I almost tend to think that the wizarding world might not have a way of using blood to find out a person's parentage. For as many quick fixes as we see in term of medicine, wizards do seem to be slightly backwards in terms of the scientific aspects of medicine. We already know it is unheard of for a Healer to perform any type of surgery.

    I feel like they would try to wind out their parentage through non-medical means, such as brith records and the like.

    Maybe it is possible that they learn that Muggles have figured out a way to use blood to find out about people's parentage and decide to give it a try for themselves. We do have to give Muggles a little bit of credit, after all. In some ways, Muggle society is a great deal more advanced and enlightened than wizarding society.

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  6. #6
    ahattab33
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    Hmmm...I'm not sure if I'm entirely understanding thus far, but if I am...it seems like Hogwarts or even the Ministry has records on every Magical being. They keep track of when you enter Hogwarts, and you therefore receive your letter, no matter where you are, on your eleventh birthday. We saw this occurrence with both Tom Riddle and Harry Potter. In addition, they can track who is underage and their use of underage magic outside of school.

    It would seem like there is simply a way - magically - to track ancestory. Inverarity has a great method in her Alex Quick books that discusses the school keeping the birth names on the registry at the school - it records your real birth name, no matter what alias you may go by. And how? Magic, of course! So, it doesn't seem to me that there needs to be a spell - but maybe of course, this is too simple. Just a thought, but otherwise, how does the Ministry keep track of everything else? How did Dumbledore know to go find Tom Riddle, when he's supposedly a Muggle orphan? I thought it said in that passage that his name was down in the Hogwarts records, or something similar. If so, the name itself might give a clue.

    ~Amanda

  7. #7
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Well, we know that every magical birth is recorded by the Hogwarts quill, though I can't imagine this would be the most organized way of checking family records, not to mention that they probably wouldn't let just anyone take a look at them.

    But since Dumbledore was a teacher at the school at the time of Tom Riddle, he probably did have access to this book, and I do think that is how teachers find Muggle-borns at least.

    Maybe the Ministry keeps family records based on enrollment at the school. With all the burocratic departments we see within the Ministry, I can see a Department of Family Records being a possibility.

    People who educate their children at home would probably have to make an effort to make sure their children are on these records...or not, depending on how paranoid the family is.

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  8. #8
    Sixth Year Gryffindor
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    I don't know if this will make sense to anyone, but if a Muggle-born (who doesn't know that he/she is a wizard) get's a blood smaple or a blood test, and a doctor checks it, would something weird come up? Would something make their blood different than a Muggle's?
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  9. #9
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by ron lover
    I don't know if this will make sense to anyone, but if a Muggle-born (who doesn't know that he/she is a wizard) get's a blood smaple or a blood test, and a doctor checks it, would something weird come up? Would something make their blood different than a Muggle's?
    No, unless the "magic gene" is actually a magic virus. (Hmm, interesting idea...) For their blood to be "different," they'd have to be a different species.

    Genetically, however, if there is a "magic gene" (more likely, a combination of genes), then in theory, DNA analysis might be able to distinguish between Muggles and wizards.

    That would require Muggle doctors to know what the "magic gene" is, though. Since current technology doesn't allow us to identify a lot of things that actually exist and that we know are genetically linked, it's not likely that even magic-aware Muggles would be able to come up with a blood test to detect wizards.

    (And now I am suddenly picturing a Harry Potter/Battlestar Galactica crossover. "There are many models. They have a plan. And wands.")

  10. #10
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Hmmm, I suppose it would depend on how you invision the chemical nature of magic. What we know from the books is that magic is genetic and it is something innate. Where it comes from is something we do not know. Does anyone (particularily a biology student) have any opinions on this?

    One possibility, I think, is that wizard blood and Muggle blood is different, but not in a way that Muggle medicine can detect. Wizards, however, might have a way of telling...or not.

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