I agree with JimPettis, I always assumed that Dumbledore's changing of the house banners by clapping was made possible do to a pre-existing charm, that would have been placed in on castle and made to respond to a gesture made by the Headmaster. Not unlike how the hour glasses filled with, precious stones of a specific color to represent each house, shift the number of stones on the upper or lower section of the glass, in response to the voice commands of a professor or prefect, when awarding or taking away points from a house. Same thing can be assumed about the ropes conjured by Quirrel. The measuring tape used by Ollivander to take measurements of Harry, which stopped at once, when he said "that will do", I would guess, was probably charmed itself to obey instructions before hand.
However we do see lot of wandless magic preformed in the books without the need ofmuch concentration. By magical children, and mostly involuntarily, such as when Harry, made the glass keeping the boa caged vanish, or when he "blew up" his Vernon's sister Marge. Then you have the case like Lily's where she was able to preform small, subtle bits of magic like making a flower spin, at will. Another example of a child using magic at will is of course Tom Riddle, who was apparently applying his abilities to torment the other orphans, I doubt that was very subtle. :P Probably the only example I can think of that has an adult wizard preforming wandless, without the aid of a charm, at will and, with little to no effort is when Tom had made flowers come out of no-where, for Hepzibah Smith. Still whatever a witch or a wizard can do without, a wand. Seems to be for the most part weak, and un-precise in comparison to what they can do with one.
So I do think they are capable of preforming some magic without a wand, since it is inherit to them, they are in essence magical humans. Only that, they aren't able to focus it, as well as other magical creatures such as house elves without wands. So unless it's something that takes intense practice and concentration such as legimency, or learning how to assume an animagus form. It won't really manifest itself how they want, or when they want, but instead come out in times of crisis....It's just like real life what are humans without their tools but the weaklings of the animal kingdom. :P
P.S This question was driving me crazy, I wanted to answer it but I had to wait for an opportunity where I had enough time. Since I knew it's complexity was going to warrant a long winded answer. :P
· 1 decade ago