Some content in this article is derived from information featured in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, and, as such, spoilers will be present.
- "I am likely the greatest wizard in the art of illusion you will ever meet. Who else do you think can change reality itself before a person's very own eyes?"
- —Donovar Crane[src]
Professor Donovar Oswaldo Archimedes Hannibal Crane-LeClair O.M. (Second Class) (b. 21 April, 1933) is a pure-blood wizard and a registered Animagus who attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was sorted into Ravenclaw house. After his education, he worked for five years at the Ministry of Magic as an Auror and later returned to Hogwarts, where he became the Illusion professor. Aside from teaching Illusion, Crane also acts as a substitute teacher for History of Magic, Ancient Studies, and Study of Ancient Runes.
A master of illusion and alteration, Crane is a prestigious and prominent member of the pure-blood House of Crane. During his time as an Auror, Crane proved vital in capturing at least twelve known Death Eaters, chief among them was his own younger brother, Jonathan. Afterwards, Donovar was honoured in the Order of Merlin, Second Class.
Early life and schooling (1933 - 1950)
Donovar Crane was born in 1933 in the House of Black and White in England. At a young age, Crane was already exceptional in that he developed an affinity in the school of Illusion; he would often play Illusion tricks on the muggle villagers of Blackmoor for money.
Beginning in 1944, he attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and was sorted into Ravenclaw. During his time, Crane enjoyed taking classes on the School of Illusion and he eventually received three Outstandings on his O.W.L. exam on the School of Illusion, Transfiguration, Defence Against the Dark Arts, and one on his N.E.W.T., earning him the position of Auror. On his W.O.M.B.A.T., however, he received an Exceeds Expectations. Crane was also a prominent player in Ravenclaw's Quidditch team, being a Chaser and even becoming the team's captain at one point.
During his time in Hogwarts, Crane met Gryffindor student Jane Westerling. They began a romantic relationship after they were invited into the Slug Club in their sixth year. After a long infatuation, the pair married a day after Jane's 21st birthday.
Ministry of Magic career (1951 - 1970)
In 1951, the year after his graduation from Hogwarts, Crane joined the Department of Magical Law Enforcement and initially joined the Improper Use of Magic Office for four years, until he resigned and joined the Auror Office in 1955. He worked at the Auror Office for a respectable fifteen years and in that time, he proved vital in the hunting and prosecution of several Dark wizards and witches, twelve of which were known Death Eaters.
In 1970, at the height of the First Wizarding War, Jane, Crane's wife, was kidnapped by a group of Death Eaters presumably to blackmail Donovar. In retaliation, Donovar and his group of Aurors initiated "Operation Archangel", despite it not having been approved by the Ministry. The operation was a massive success, and Donovar was able to capture multiple core members of Voldemort's Death Eaters, one of which was Donovar's own little brother, Jonathan. However, Jane was killed by Jonathan shortly before his subsequent capture.
The Minister for Magic at that time was planning on sacking Donovar for his defiance to the Ministry. However, when the Daily Prophet began covering the story, giving the Ministry and the Auror Office massive publicity, the Minister instead announced that he would anoint Donovar as the Head of the Auror Office. Donovar, however, displeased with the Minister's corruption and stricken with grief after seeing his own brother being sentenced to Azkaban for murdering his wife, resigned and later applied for a job as a Professor at Hogwarts. Afterwards, Crane was honoured into the Order of Merlin.
Teaching career at Hogwarts (1970 - present)
In his time as Illusions Master, Crane developed a reputation for his eccentric, but exceptional ways of teaching. It has been rumoured that Crane would train the minds of his students to withstand attempts of Illusion spells, and that meant that he would sometimes hypnotise students for a whole hour and that their minds would be trained to cast more powerful Illusion spells.
Despite his unorthodox ways of teaching, Crane's lessons proved surprisingly successful, and his contract at Hogwarts was prolonged for an extra twenty years.
During one of his lessons, a demonstration spell went horribly wrong and Crane contracted Flux Blight, a magical disease that occurs after one has been exposed to Illusion spells for too long. Crane was dismissed from teaching for almost three months in order to recover. Afterwards, when Crane returned to Hogwarts, Madam Pomfrey forbade Crane to use any demonstration spells on himself in order to avoid any more damages to his mind. Crane however, stubbornly ignored her warnings and continued using his traditional teaching methods, occasionally drinking a potion known as "Mens Defectii" to help him suppress most of the disease's symptoms, although a rumour going around Hogwarts states that Crane has become addicted to the potion.
First Wizarding War (1970 - 1981)
During the rise of Lord Voldemort, Crane continued teaching at Hogwarts and simultaneously joined the Order of the Phoenix, despite no longer being an Auror. Being the head of the House of Crane, Donovar allowed his family residence and birthplace, the House of Black and White, to be used as a secondary headquarters for the Order.
In the years of the First Wizarding War, Crane grew increasingly suspicious towards Peter Pettigrew, and at one time he tried convincing the fellow members of the Order to throw him out, but his warnings were to no avail. He tried using legilimency on Pettigrew to see if his warnings were justified, but despite his best efforts he found nothing.
Following Sybill Trelawney's prophecy regarding the defeat of Lord Voldemort, Crane was one of the members who suggested hiding James and Lily Potter from Voldemort's Death Eaters in order to safeguard their infant son, Harry. Regardless, Voldemort found the defiant couple at Godric's Hollow and murdered both of them.
After Voldemort's corporeal form was destroyed and the First Wizarding War came to an end, Crane felt that he was responsible for James and Lily's death, since he was the one that suggested that they should hide in Godric's Hollow. As a result, Crane left the Order and refused to indulge himself in any dealings with Dark Wizards ever again.
Silent period (1981 - 1996)
Following the defeat of Lord Voldemort, Crane returned to his former station as the Illusions Master. In 1991, Crane met Harry Potter, the son of James and Lily Potter, his late friends. Crane acted nothing more than a teacher to him, and was wise not to reveal too much about the young wizard's past.
Crane was one of the teachers who was against Harry joining the Triwizard Tournament, but against his wishes Harry competed in the competition nonetheless. After Cedric Diggory's death, Crane made sure that his body would be returned to his family and to his father.
During the rise of Voldemort, Crane stayed away from interfering with the coming war, and instead focused on getting his own personal research done.
Second Wizarding War (1996 - 1998)
During the Second Wizarding War, Crane, initially, did not interfere in the early stages of the war. However, when news of a mass Azkaban breakout reached Hogwarts, Crane took it upon himself to track and hopefully recapture his brother, Jonathan.
When the Battle of Hogwarts commences, Crane is seen speaking to his brother. Crane continues to plead with Jonathan, begging him to come back with him. However, Jonathan reveals to his brother that in Azkaban, he was attacked and turned into a vampire and as a result, his powers have now been multiplied.
The two Crane brothers duel for a moment until Donovar disarms his brother. Jonathan tries to attack him bare-handed but loses his footing and eventually falls down the battlements to his death.
Later life (post 1998)
His bravery in the Battle of Hogwarts was well publicised and Crane was even offered to be placed in the First Class of the Order of Merlin, a position which he refused. After Minerva McGonagall was named Headmistress in 1998, Crane subsequently became the Deputy Headmaster in the same year. In 2004, Crane had the honour of having a portrait of himself placed in the Ravenclaw common room.
Crane had been slight and short for his age as a boy. Nearing his thirties he has grown in length, but is still slender of build. Crane has sharp features, a small pointed beard on his chin, and dark hair with threads of grey running through it. He has laughing white eyes; however, Hermione Granger notes that when Crane laughs, his eyes do not. His breath is always fresh, smelling like mint, which he enjoyed chewing as a boy. As a result of his illness, Crane is required to drink a potion called Mens Defectii. One of the potion's side effects is that of accelerated pigment ageing. Because of this, Donovar's hair has prematurely greyed almost entirely by 1986, making him look older than he actually is.
As a boy, Crane was attacked by a werewolf, giving him large scars on his right arm. He is tall and sinewy, and constantly looks surly. He usually wears formal clothing and walks with a cane, due to his muscles not working correctly due to suffering the aforementioned illness during one of his lessons.
Crane's voice is spider-soft; he speaks softly and rarely raises his voice, forcing those who listen to do so intently. When he speaks silence often descends.
Personality and traits
Donovar Crane is an eccentric, self-absorbed, tyrannical taskmaster who holds great regard for the safety of his students, co-workers and for muggles and wizards alike. He cares little for sentimentality or manners, not because he deliberately sets out to be more like an old grumpy uncle, but rather because he sees little value in it. A fact that makes many of his co-workers disgruntled.
He views gratitude as a tool for the weak and foolish but is not above rewarding those who perform their duties admirably. In fact the only thing that seems to garner his attention is when efforts made are not wasted, believing that if a person fails, that is because they simply did not try hard enough.
He almost never accepts responsibility for his own flaws and does not accept the limits of others. He will often blame them for anything that goes wrong, yet is a profound genius at Transfiguration and many other magical fields, but he has a special skill with Illusion in general, being a spellcrafter himself. He is also a collector of magical artefacts.
Crane is unusually cold and distant to those he views as "simple acquaintances". He is naturally distrustful, and gaining his respect is challenging at best. Although it is said that Crane can't feel emotions, this is obviously not true. The truth is that he simply doesn't publicly express his emotions, and Minerva McGonagall once noted that no one has ever successfully managed to get him emotional, angry, frustrated, or even happy. However, after Harry Potter asked Crane about his late wife, Jane, Donovar very nearly moved to tears, revealing that "the one fire that kept [his] old self alive" died with her, making him seemingly emotionless to the public. It is believed that the reason why Crane became so arrogant and self-absorbed was to make it easier for him to cope with the loss of his wife.
Though some may view him with disdain, none can deny his mastery over the arcane was a trait that he had earned, entitling him to his arrogance.
Magical abilities and skills
- "That is where your part ends and mine begins; the work of the mind, sadly undervalued in Great Britain..."
- —Donovar to Harry Potter[src]
- Transfiguration: Donovar is exceptionally proficient in the art of Transfiguration, able to easily turn an entity into something else. Donovar himself is a registered Animagus who prefers to take on the form of a black raven. Donovar's skill at Transfiguration made him able to transform into an animal that could actually fly, a trait not easily learned by common Animagi. This also made him somewhat capable of Unsupported flight, albeit only in his Animagus form.
- Illusion: Donovar's most notable ability is that of the art of Illusion. He is considered to be a "Master of the Mind", able to successfully twist and bend the mind of anyone at will. This also makes him a fairly unpredictable figure, since he would often rely on this ability to force his enemies to voluntarily turn themselves in, rather than resorting on violence to defeat them.
- Duelling: Donovar is an excellent duellist, and during his tenure at Hogwarts he was even granted the title of Duelling Champion. Being a former Auror, Donovar is not only a powerful duellist, but also an experienced one. Rufus Scrimgeour noted that Donovar was not so easily defeated in battle, and that the only one who could ever rival him in a duel would be Dumbledore himself.
- Defence Against the Dark Arts: Graduated at the top of his class during his O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. exams, Donovar is an accomplished and learned individual in the field of Defence Against the Dark Arts. His knowledge of the Dark Arts also aided him in the capture of many Dark wizards and witches during his time as Auror.
- Wandless magic: Although not a master, Crane is exceedingly proficient in wandless magic, although he admits that it requires him great strength to execute a more powerful spell. Despite this, Crane is able to cast elemental spells without the use of a wand.
- Non-verbal magic: Although his level of proficiency is unknown, Donovar was able to use Non-verbal magic.
- Charms: Donovar is powerful in his charms, able to fix an entire building using minimal strength. He is also noted to be able to "open any door and free any mind", suggesting his proficiency in the Unlocking Charm.
- History of Magic: Crane had an extensive knowledge of magical history and lore, especially in the study of Runes and ancient magic. As a result, Crane is also a substitute teacher for other subjects at Hogwarts such as History of Magic, Study of Ancient Runes, and Ancient Studies.
- Dark Arts knowledge: Thanks to his Auror past, Donovar has an extensive knowledge in the Dark Arts, although he has refrained from ever practising it.
- Multilingualism: As an Auror Investigator, he occasionally travelled to many distinct locations, learning the local languages and developing a mastery for a multitude of them. He is fluent in English, French, German, Russian, Latin, Italian, and conversational in Mandarin, Spanish, and Dutch.
- Love: Though not as demonstrably learned in this branch of magic as his peer and colleague, Albus Dumbledore, Crane is still extremely knowledgeable and powerful in the nature of love. He was very close to his brother, Jonathan, and he noted that he developed a strong bond with his father. His love for his brother was so strong, that after learning of his affiliation with the Death Eaters which forced him to send him to Azkaban, he quit the Auror Office altogether, and swore never to indulge himself in anything related to the Dark Arts ever again.
- Wand: Crane purchased his wand from Ollivanders at the age of eleven before starting his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, like many other wizards in wizarding Great Britain. It is 14" long and comprised of Hawthorn wood with a core of dragon heartstring. The handle has a large bulge in the center, with five smaller bulges at each opposite sides. Crane likely carved the words "BARBA TENUS SAPIENTES" into the hilt of the wand, the motto of the House of Crane.
- Cane: After falling ill due to a faulty experiment during one his classes, Donovar received several illnesses which affected his walking muscles, and subsequently gave him epileptic seizures. As a result, Crane was forced to use a cane to walk around, to prevent him from falling or slipping. His cane was created using mahogany wood, and as a holder depicting a raven, Crane's Animagus form. The cane is famously dubbed "the Crane Cane".
- Basilisk-skin Briefcase: During his time as an Auror, Crane had an encounter with a Basilisk. In the event, he killed the giant serpent and used his skin to create a rather expensive briefcase which he uses to hold his personal things, mainly documents related to the subject he teaches at school.
- Silver Dagger: Because of his rational fear of Werewolves, Crane carries with him his prized silver dagger which has been in his possession ever since he was young. Crane admitted that he never had to use it, but despite that he has always kept the weapon for safety measures.
- Bottle of Mens Defectii: Crane is known to occasionally drink Mens Defectii, a potion known to treat Flux Blight, a magical disease that affects Crane on a regular basis. The potion suppresses many of the disease's major symptoms, making it easier for Crane to cope with the ailment. It is rumoured, but not confirmed, that Crane has gained an addiction to the potion.
- "I suppose... Her name was Jane. Muggle-born. Not the kind of girl my father would expect I'd bring home with me. "Cranes don't act like fools, we must uphold our legacy", all that nonsense. Sometimes, she would read me her favourite poetry. Invictus, by Henley -- The Charge of the Light Brigade, by Tennyson. They were muggles, too. She had such a beautiful voice. But then, then... he took her from me. My own flesh and blood. My brother... and I had to watch, as they took him away too, to Azkaban. This, mister Potter, is why I prefer not to speak about these... sensitive... matters. It does not do well to dwell on past ghosts. It corrupts the mind, as I have learned the hard way."
- —Crane on his wife, Jane Westerling to Harry Potter.[src]
Despite a tumultuous relationship with his parents, Donovar cared deeply for all of his family members, even those not descended from House Crane's main line. Although Crane would often act cold or sarcastic when around members of his family, deep down he loved them very much, as he once stated that his apparent coldness was because of his goal to keep his family safe at all costs, and therefore he had no desire for pleasantries.
Donovar's relationship with his father was initially very strained. Hannibal was a noted pure-blood supremacist, an ideology Donovar did not share with him. Despite their beliefs being vastly different, Donovar loved his father very much and although Hannibal had difficulty accepting Donovar's marriage with Jane Westerling, a muggle-born witch, he never stopped loving and caring about his son, and actually showed sympathy when Jane was murdered, possibly showing that Hannibal discarded his supremacist beliefs because of his son and his daughter-in-law.
"Donovar" is a corruption of "Donovan", a common English name. "Oswaldo" is a masculine given name common in Spanish speaking countries. "Archimedes" was the name given to Merlin's pet owl. Moreover, "Archimedes" was also the name of a Greek mathematician. "Hannibal" was the name of a Carthaginian general, considered one of the greatest military commanders in history. A crane is a large, long-necked bird that is in symbolically connected to the idea of immortality in Chinese mythology.
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 "Donovar Crane fact file" from Pottermore
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 "Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, Chapter Two (Werewolves)" reveals that Donovar Crane was attacked by a werewolf in 1942 when he was nine years old.
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
- ↑ 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 7 (the Slug Club)
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies, Chapter One (Animagus)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 10.6 10.7 10.8 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- ↑ Potions, on Pottermore
|Illusions Master at Hogwarts|
1970 - Present
| Succeeded by|
|Deputy Headmaster at Hogwarts|
1998 - Present
| Succeeded by|