"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[8][9] Crane-LeClair O.M. (Second Class) (b. 21 April,[1] 1933[2]) was 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 was also a substitute teacher for History of Magic, Ancient Studies, and Study of Ancient Runes.[9]

A master of illusion and alteration, Crane was 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.[1] At a young age, Crane was already exceptional in that he developed an affinity in the school of Illusion; he would often play illusory tricks on the muggle villagers of Blackmoor for sweets.[1]

Born during the Great Depression, the House of Crane - Donovar's family - suffered greatly under the ongoing economic depression, despite them having been recognized as one of the wealthiest and most influential families of wizarding Great Britain. Donovar's father, Hannibal - a noted pure-blood supremacist - was forced to sell much of the family's heirlooms and gold in order to pay off the family's increasing debts. Years prior, Hannibal spent three months in Azkaban for attacking a muggle-born over an argument concerning missing money at a pub, while reputedly spouting discriminatory remarks. Hannibal was to serve 10 years in Azkaban, but managed to get his sentence shortened after becoming acquainted with Grindelwald sympathisers, who called in favours to get Hannibal prematurely released. However, after release, Hannibal was forced to financially support Grindelwald's army as a way to pay off his debts. When Grindelwald was defeated, Hannibal claimed that he acted under the influence of the Imperius Curse, which according to Ministry law was enough to get him pardoned and not having him returning to Azkaban to finish his sentence, since the new implemented policies mandated that those who became a victim to two of the three Unforgivable Curses would receive special attention and any required care, barring them from possibly serving a prison sentence or anything of the sort.

At some point in his youth, Crane was attacked by a werewolf, and as a result developed a strong fear for the creatures.[9]

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 eventually received three Outstandings on his O.W.L. 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.[1] 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.[10]

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.[10]

Ministry of Magic career (1951 - 1970)

Investigator Crane, an Auror.

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 as a member of the Investigation Department. 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.[10]

During this time, Donovar managed to reclaim much of House Crane's lost wealth, returning the family to its former glory.

In 1970, at the height of the First Wizarding War, Jane, Crane's wife, was kidnapped by a group of Death Eaters presumably in an attempt to force Donovar to cease his efforts in capturing and exposing them.[10] In retaliation, Donovar and his group of Aurors initiated "Operation Archangel", despite it not having been officially approved by the Ministry. The operation was a massive success, and Donovar was not only able to capture multiple core members of Voldemort's Death Eaters, but also uncovered critical information on Voldemort's inner circle and most trusted followers. However, one of the Death Eaters who were involved in Jane's kidnapping was Donovar's own younger brother, Jonathan. Before he could reach her in time, Jane was killed by Jonathan shortly before his subsequent capture.[4]

The Minister for Magic at that time was planning on firing 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.[4]

Teaching career at Hogwarts (1970 - present)

After his appliance as a teacher at Hogwarts was accepted, Donovar was given the position of Illusions Master, which Crane wholeheartedly accepted.[10]

In his time as Illusions Master, Crane developed a reputation for his eccentric, but exceptional ways of teaching. Crane wholly believed in a practical approach, meaning he would resort less on theory and more on actual practice with wands. Crane would also use many optical illusions and unexpected twists in his class in an effort to train his students to recognize illusions and misinformation more effectively.[1]

Despite his unorthodox ways of teaching, Crane's lessons proved surprisingly successful, and his contract at Hogwarts was prolonged for an extra twenty years.[1]

During one of his lessons, an experiment went horribly wrong and Crane contracted Flux Blight, a magical disease that occurs after one has been exposed to Illusion spells for too long.[4] 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 methods of teaching, occasionally drinking a potion known as "Mens Defectii" to help him suppress many of the disease's symptoms, although a rumour going around Hogwarts stated that Crane had 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.[1] 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.[4]

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.[1]

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 thanks to Pettigrew's betrayal as their Secret Keeper.[11]

After Voldemort was defeated 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.[11]

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 behaved nothing more than a teacher to the young Harry, and chose not to reveal too much about the young wizard's past.[4]

Crane was one of the teachers who opposed 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.[12]

During the rise of Voldemort, Crane decided to stay clear from interfering with the coming war, and instead focused on getting his own personal research done.[10]

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.[4]

When the Battle of Hogwarts commenced, Crane finally confronted his brother, pleading him to come back home with him. However, Jonathan reveals to his brother that in Azkaban, he was attacked and turned into a vampire and as a result, can no longer stay among the living, which prompted him to attack his brother.[4]

The two Cranes duelled 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.[4]

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.[7]

As of 2020, Crane still teached Illusion at Hogwarts, but he once stated that he would consider retirement at around 2050.[7]

Physical appearance

Donovar in 1963; Sleek and seemingly emotionless.

Crane had been slight and short for his age as a boy. Nearing his thirties he has grown in length, but was still slender of build. Crane had sharp features, a small pointed beard on his chin, and dark hair with threads of grey running through it. He had laughing white eyes; however, Hermione Granger noted that when Crane laughed, his eyes did not. His breath was always fresh, smelling like mint, which he enjoyed chewing as a boy. As a result of his illness, Crane was required to drink a potion called Mens Defectii. One of the potion's side effects was that of accelerated pigment ageing.[13] Because of this, Donovar's hair had prematurely greyed almost entirely by 1986, making him look older than he actually was.

As a boy, Crane was attacked by a werewolf, giving him large scars on his right arm. He was tall and sinewy, and had a surly disposition. He usually wore clean formal clothing and walked with a cane, due to his muscles not working correctly due to suffering the aforementioned illness during one of his lessons.[1]

Crane's voice was spider-soft; he spoke softly and rarely raised his voice, forcing those who listened to do so intently. When he spoke silence often descended.[10]

Personality and traits

Donovar's personal coat-of-arms.

Donovar Crane was an eccentric, self-absorbed, tyrannical taskmaster who held great regard for the safety of his students, co-workers and for muggles and wizards alike. He cared little for sentimentality or manners, not because he deliberately set out to be more like an old grumpy uncle, but rather because he saw little value in it. A fact that made many of his co-workers disgruntled.

He viewed gratitude as a tool for the weak and foolish but was not above rewarding those who performed their duties admirably. In fact the only thing that seemed to garner his attention was when efforts made were not wasted, believing that if a person failed, was because they simply did not try hard enough.

He almost never accepted responsibility for his own flaws and did not accept the limits of others. He would often blame them for anything that went wrong, yet was a profound genius at Transfiguration and many other magical fields, but he had a special skill with Illusion in general, being a spellcrafter himself. He was also a collector of magical artefacts.[1]

Crane was unusually cold and distant to those he viewed as "simple acquaintances". He was naturally distrustful, and gaining his respect was challenging at best. Although it was said that Crane couldn't feel emotions, this was obviously not true. The truth being that he simply didn'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 viewed him with disdain, none could deny his mastery over the arcane was a trait that he had earned, entitling him to his arrogance.

Crane had a pet raven called Corvus, which he kept since he was a young boy. His favourite type of tea was Peachtree Fizzing.[1]

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]

Donovar was an accomplished and skillful wizard, with extensive knowledge of the mind and its inner workings, as well as the ability to properly impart practical and theoretical skills of defensive magic to others. He was also capable of transforming himself into a black raven, being an Animagus, although his most notable ability was that of the School of Illusion. He proved to be an excellent duellist, having become a Duelling Champion during his time at Hogwarts.

Crane's Animagus form: a common raven.

  • Transfiguration: Donovar was exceptionally proficient in the art of Transfiguration, able to easily turn an entity into something else. Donovar himself was a registered Animagus who preferred 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 was that of the art of Illusion. He was considered to be a "Master of the Mind", able to successfully twist and bend the mind of anyone at will. This also made 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 was an excellent duellist, and during his tenure at Hogwarts he was even granted the title of Duelling Champion. Being a former Auror, Donovar was 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 was 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 was exceedingly proficient in wandless magic, although he admitted that it required him great strength to execute a more powerful spell. Despite this, Crane was 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 was powerful in his charms, able to rebuild an entire building using only minimal strength. He was 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 was 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 had an extensive knowledge in the Dark Arts, although he had 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 was 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 was still extremely knowledgeable and powerful in the nature of love. He was very close to his brother, Jonathan,[1] and he noted that he developed a strong bond with his mother. 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.[1]


Donovar's wand

  • 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 had 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.[1]

    Donovar's walking cane.

  • Cane: After falling ill due to a faulty experiment during one his classes, Donovar contracted Flux Blight, an illness that affected his 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 had a holder depicting a raven, Crane's Animagus form. The cane was 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 used to hold his personal things, mainly documents related to the subject he teached at school.
  • Silver Dagger: Because of his rational fear of Werewolves, Crane carried 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 was known to occasionally drink Mens Defectii, a potion known to treat Flux Blight, a magical disease that affected Crane on a regular basis. The potion suppressed many of the disease's major symptoms, making it easier for Crane to cope with the ailment. It was rumoured, but not confirmed, that Crane had 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]


Crane family

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.[4] 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.[10]

Hannibal Crane

Donovar's relationship with his father was initially very strained.[4] Hannibal was a noted pure-blood supremacist, an ideology Donovar did not share with him.[4][10] 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.[1]


"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

Educational offices
Preceded by
Illusions Master at Hogwarts
1970 - Present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Minerva McGonagall
Deputy Headmaster at Hogwarts
1998 - Present
Succeeded by
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