In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, whilst Professor Snape is covering for Professor Lupin, Snape sets an assignment to write two rolls of parchment on the werewolf and emphasises recognising it.

The students, including Mr. Potter, react as if he has set an essay of 7000 words. Something that would take a considerable amount of time. Two rolls of parchment suggests two sides of A4/letter size. Like the standard paper you find in a household printer. This would take, I guess, on average what...an hour..two, maximum?

Do we know of a more accurate dimension/size for ‘two rolls of parchment, considering the students reaction to the assignment?

1 Answer 1


I couldn't find a definitive answer for you, but the wizarding world tends to use more old-fashioned units and technologies. Foolscap folio was the traditional writing paper size prior to the introduction of A4 in the UK. Foolscap folio is 8.5 x 13.5 inches - almost two inches longer than A4 and certainly quite a bit longer than US Letter.

So two scrolls might be slightly more than 2 sides of A4 (or I guess 4 sides of A4 if they can write on both sides.)

I think the reaction of the students in this scene is more about Snape. They've been used to having fun practical lessons with Lupin and now they have Snape as a substitute, a teacher they detest and distrust, who is giving them a boring written homework task. Also they have to write these using quills on rough parchment not modern pens and paper, it might take longer for the same amount of words.


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