Percival Graves[6] was an Auror, Director of Magical Security and head of MACUSA's Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

At some point prior to 6 December 1926, his identity was assumed by Gellert Grindelwald using Human Transfiguration.[7] It is unknown if he was killed or kept in captivity during this time.

Physical appearance

When Gellert Grindelwald transfigured himself into Percival in December 1926, he was described as a middle-aged, good-looking man wearing elegant clothes.[8]

Personality and traits

As the Director of Magical Security, Percival Graves was likely highly professional and determined.

Magical abilities and skills

A highly skilled and powerful wizard, and formerly one of the most distinguished members of the 'investigative team', Graves was known as a "powerful wizard", and not even the goblin gangster Gnarlak wanted to cross him, which speaks for his efficiency.

  • Auror skills: A formidably accomplished wizard, Percival Graves served with distinction as an Auror with the Major Investigation Department, given how he was deemed sufficiently good at his job to merit a series of prestigious promotions and even the confidence of President Seraphina Picquery, it is safe to say that his skill presumably surpassed most of the other Aurors of MACUSA. Which speaks for his considerable abilities, seen as how only being an Auror in the first place is a mark of superior magical ability.
  • Duelling: Percival Graves must have been an extremely skilled duelist, as the ease with which Grindelwald bested the former but still highly trained Auror Porpentina Goldstein, deflecting her spells with 'perfect ease', his reactions 'marvellous, astounding' taking place at a point in time where he was still suppressing his true powers to maintain his cover as, meaning the manner in which he defeated her and his subsequent victory over Newt Scamander until the events broke of their duel was very consistent with what the real Graves would be capable of in a similar situation. However, he was still unable to defeat Gellert Grindelwald when the latter made his move to assume his identity.
  • Apparition: Being an Auror, Graves was capable of apparition when needing to move fast.
  • Wandless and Nonverbal magic: A testament to the formidable magical skills of Percival Graves were his incredibly high level of control and mastery at using magic without speaking the incantation out loud and without the use of a wand, either of which is advanced and often difficult to perform even individually, making his prowess all the more impressive, as he was known to be capable of using both simultaneously, even capable of casting basic spells such as the Summoning Charm, levitate things and otherwise exert force on people and objects through silent hand gestures.
  • Magical Law Enforcement: As Head of Magical Law Enforcement, Graves presumably had an encyclopedic knowledge of wizarding law, and especially the ones relevant to the magical community of North America. As Director of Magical Security, he would also be supervising the Federal Bureau of Covert Vigilance and No-Maj Obliviation, and as such be required to be good with charms of concealment and memory modification, both which was vital to maintain the particularly persecuted wizarding America in the 1920s and presumably a job requirement for magical law enforcers roaming No-Maj locations in the line of duty, seen as even those unqualified for Obliviation such as Queenie Goldstein could do it. As a former Auror, he would also have been highly trained and skilled with defensive charms, counter-curses and know how to restrain criminals without attracting the attention of the non-magical population. All skills he would have employed effectively to keep the magical citizenry safe.


Behind the scenes

  • Gellert Grindelwald transfigured as Percival Graves is portrayed in the film inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Colin Farrell.[9]
  • Graves' story was similar to that of Alastor Moody during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, though Moody was ultimately rescued and it is unclear if Graves was already killed.
  • Graves was possibly an accomplished Occlumens, as he necessarily would have to be, lest he wanted classified information in his possession to be accessed by employees without the proper clearance for it such as Queenie Goldstein, inadvertently or otherwise. Also, when Gellert Grindelwald used Occlumency to prevent her from learning he was not the real Graves, Queenie was not suspicious, suggesting that the real Graves' mind likewise used to be inaccessible to her.
  • Graves is quite possibly one of the most powerful wizards ever shown in the world of Harry Potter, as all of the actions performed by Grindelwald whilst masquerading as him did not seem to be regarded as out of character so it can be assumed that he was capable of doing these things himself.
  • The 1991 comedy film King Ralph featured another character with the same name, Lord Percival Graves. Lord Graves was portrayed by John Hurt, who also appeared in the Harry Potter film series as Garrick Ollivander.
  • Percival Graves' name is almost identical to that of Richard Perceval Graves, an English biographer, poet, and lecturer, best known for his three-volume biography of his uncle Robert Graves, who was responsible for the modern (but false) concept of the Celtic Tree Calendar (on which wandlore is based).


Notes and references

  1. Graves is able to take a wand out of Ilvermorny and not be breaking Wizarding law, so he is at least seventeen. As he is head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, he is presumably much older, but his exact age is unknown.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them states that when Grindelwald transforms from being Graves, he "no longer" has "dark" hair and that he was now "blond and blue-eyed", implying his hair and eye colour were different.
  3. EW - Fantastic Beasts: First look at Ezra Miller's mysterious character
  4. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" at Pottermore
  5. 'Fantastic Beasts' Character Descriptions Revealed
  6. Announcement Trailer for “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” to Be Unveiled Worldwide on December 15th
  7. - Welcome to my new website!
  8. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them - Scene 5
  9. "Colin Farrell Joins ‘Harry Potter’ Spinoff ‘Fantastic Beasts’" at

Magical Congress of the United States of America

Josiah Jackson (1693-?) · Charity Wilkinson · Thornton Harkaway (c. 1760) · Able Fleming · Elizabeth McGilliguddy (c. 1777) · Emily Rappaport (c. 1790) · Seraphina Picquery (1920-1928) · Samuel G. Quahog (c. 2014)


Abraham Potter · Berthilde Roche · Carlos Lopez · Cormac O'Brien · E. W. Limus · Gondulphus Graves · Helmut Weiss · M. L. Minus · M. P. Carneirus · Mary Jauncey · Mungo MacDuff · Percival Graves · Porpentina Goldstein · Robert Grimsditch · Theodard Fontaine · Wilhelm Fischer

Other positions

Apparition Examiner · Auror Commissioner · Captain of Aurors · Chief Auror · Chief of Staff · Director of Magical Security · Executioner · Federal Identity Commissioner · Federal Wand Permit Officer · Keeper of Treasure and Dragots · Obliviator ·Surveillor of Activity

Other employees

Abernathy · Albert Perschky · Aristotle Twelvetrees · Bernadette · Beryl · Cecily · E. A. Limus · F. Wakefield · Irene Kneedander · J. Ward · L. O'Sullivan · Magali Crowe · Paloma Proudfoot · Queenie Goldstein · Red · Ruby · Sam · Unidentified executioner (I) · Unidentified executioner (II) · Y. Blishen


Body for Protection of Magical Species · Department for Magical Security ·Department of Aurors · Department of Magical Law Enforcement · Department of No-Maj Misinformation · Department of Unidentifiable Magical Objects · Federal Bureau of Covert Vigilance and No-Maj Obliviation · MACUSA Surveillance Wizarding Resources Department · Magical Cleaning Department · Major Investigation Department · US Auror Divisions · Wizarding Resources Department


Death Cell · Great Meeting Chamber · Pentagram Office · Percival Graves' office · Register Office · Typing Pool · Wand Permit Office · Young Wizards Daycare Center

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