"What would we want to be prefects for? It'd take all the fun out of life."
George Weasley[src]

A prefect at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is a student who has been given extra authority and responsibilities by the Head of House and Headmaster. One male and one female student are chosen from each house in their fifth year to act as prefects. They would continue to be prefects in their sixth and seventh years until they leave school.

Thus, there are approximately six prefects per house and twenty-four prefects in the whole school at one time. The Head Boy and Head Girl may be chosen from among this number and may not be replaced. However, the Head Boy or Girl does not have to be a prefect.


Molly Weasley: " I don't believe it! I don't believe it! Oh, Ron, how wonderful! A prefect! That's everyone in the family!"
George Weasley: " What are Fred and I, next-door neighbours?"
— Upon learning that Ron was appointed a Gryffindor Prefect[src]
Prefects are allowed to take House points away from houses, but they are not allowed to take points from other prefects. Prefects can give detentions as a form of punishment.

The Prefect's Bathroom

Prefects patrol the corridors of the Hogwarts Express on the way to school and attend a meeting in a special prefects' carriage where they are instructed by the Head Boy and Girl. They also patrol hallways to ensure that other students are not breaking curfew. There is a bathroom with a large, pool-like bath on the fifth floor of Hogwarts Castle that is reserved for prefects and Quidditch captains. It is located at the fifth door to the left of the statue of Boris the Bewildered. The only known password to this bathroom is "pine fresh", which was used during the 1994–1995 school year.

Prefects have other responsibilities as student leaders. They show the first years the way to their dormitories on their first day of school at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and supervise the decorating of the castle for Christmas (and presumably other events as well). They also watch the younger students when bad weather keeps them indoors over break times.[1]

Once a student becomes a prefect, they have a better chance of becoming Head Boy or Head Girl; however, a student is not required to earn the former honour in order to earn the latter. This fact was exemplified in the knowledge that Remus Lupin was a Gryffindor prefect but James Potter was later appointed the Head Boy.

Prefects are given a badge; the colours are the colours of the prefect's House and/or silver[2]. They are supposed to wear the badge on their school uniform. The badge would have the letter "P" on it while the Head Boy's badge would have "Head Boy" on it, and the Head Girl's with "Head Girl". If the prefect is on his or her house Quidditch team, he or she would not be required to wear the prefect badge on their Quidditch robes.

Hermione Granger was a sensible prefect, and took the role very seriously. Ron Weasley was a little less serious about it, to the point of neglecting several rules. In fact, he was extremely surprised to be chosen as a prefect as he expected Professor Dumbledore would have chosen Harry. Dumbledore thought Harry would have too much on his mind and gave it to Ron instead. Ron received a letter from his brother Percy, stating that Ron might risk losing his badge by associating with the apparently dangerous Harry Potter. This may mean if the prefects cross a certain point of abusing their powers, they might have their position revoked.

Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson abused their positions greatly, to the annoyance of Hermione Granger, by being uncharacteristically harsh towards first years and deducting points from students who do not strike their favour. In his sixth year, Draco ceased to live up to his prefect duties any further, in preference of his Death Eater mission of assassinating Albus Dumbledore, as he did not even show up to the Prefects meeting on the train. This could mean that students have the right to reject the position of prefect any time they desire, or that Draco was given sanctions for rejecting his obligations.

Known prefects





Behind the scenes

Notes and references