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Dumbledore’s Put-Outer is a magical device introduced in PS1, and it is unique as the only tool used to perform magic aside from wands. The Put-Outer also has the distinction of being the first magical tool introduced in the series: [Dumbledore] found what he was looking for in his… Read More
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On this page: Related information: What Magical Ability Is Canon Examples The Philosopher’s Labyrinth What Wands Are Stuff From Canon: Wand Idiosyncrasy and Power Harry as Focal Point There’s Something About Harry blood status wands   What Magical Ability Is Canon Examples What is magical ability? The wizards… Read More
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We know that book 2 takes place in 1992 because Nearly Headless Nick holds his 500th Deathday Party in CS8. There’s a cake on the table of “food” that bears this inscription: SIR NICHOLAS DE MIMSY-PORPINGTON DIED 31ST OCTOBER, 1492 Obviously, if you add five hundred years to… Read More
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WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT In Muggle vernacular, we’re talking about ghosts; more specifically, the ghosts living at Hogwarts. But enlightened Muggles like ourselves know better, since there are some “ghosts” who aren’t ghosts after all. Peeves the Poltergeist is one: to quote Nearly-Headless Nick: “he’s not really even a ghost” (PS7). There… Read More
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In one of her many interviews, JKR said that wizards generally live longer than Muggles. After a thorough research about food in the Harry Potter universe and, above all, its magical part, the only possible conclusion is that wizards don’t have problems with cholesterol, otherwise their life span would be… Read More
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Yes, Harry is half-blood. We learned in PS4 that Lily’s parents were Muggles. At least, that’s the implication of Aunt Petunia’s remarks that they were proud having a witch in the family. Voldemort, too, is half-blood: we learned in CS13 that his father was a Muggle (his mother was a witch). The intense focus on whether or not a certain character does or… Read More
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There is much we don’t know about wizarding education. How do younger wizards and witches get educated in basic skills like reading and writing? We see very little of this in the books, although obviously the kids entering Hogwarts have been trained in some of these basic skills or they wouldn’t be… Read More
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Do we ever find out what the language of instruction used at Durmstrang Institute is? At Beauxbatons it would have to be French, but although “Durmstrang” sounds German, the Durmstrang students we meet are all of Slavic ancestry as far as we know. On the one hand, German continues to be sort of a “lingua franca”… Read More
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Updates by Michelle Worley The Booklist Every year Hogwarts students receive book lists in the post, telling them which textbooks they will require for the year. First years get the longest list, presumably because some of the books last them the whole seven-year course of their study. Here is a… Read More
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Most authors expend substantial effort on description, describing scenes, events or characters so that readers will be able to visualise them. The best descriptions often offer no more than hints, keywords, a trained butler’s unobtrusive opening of a particular door. The reader goes through that door himself or herself. Rowling,… Read More
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Recently I read the book 13th Gen which got me thinking across generational lines. One of my mother’s favorite sayings is “times change, people don’t.” As true as that may be, I do think that one’s place in time affects them in some way. The book outlined the six generations of Americans… Read More
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Prejudice against Muggles compared to the attitude of Arthur Weasley (“bless them”) “Muggle-baiting”—the Shrinking Keys during the Voldemort years: Muggle killing and torturing at the Quidditch World Cup—Muggle torture, connected to Death Eaters Prejudice against Muggle-borns (Mudbloods) Salazar Slytherin—argued with Godric Gryffindor about admitting Muggle-born students Lucius and Draco Malfoy… Read More
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We read from Dumbledore’s Chocolate Frog card that Dumbledore is “particularly famous for… his work on alchemy with his partner, Nicolas Flamel (PS6).” Later, Hermione reads from an enormous old book that Flamel is “the only known maker of the Philosopher’s Stone” (PS13). Harry and Ron continue reading “…The stone will transform any metal into pure gold. It also produces the Elixir of Life,… Read More
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Twelve times he clicked the Put-Outer, until the only lights left on the whole street were two tiny pinpricks in the distance. (PS1) It was a very odd watch. It had twelve hands but no numbers; instead, little planets were moving around the edge. (PS1) “I must have passed a dozen feasts and… Read More