• Headlines and advertisements Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occasions Summer Sale on Now! is a clothing advertisement appearing in the Daily Prophet (DP1). An advertisement for Madam Malkin’s shop appears on the front page of the Prophet, offering several types of robes (including slimming and lengthening), and including a free offer to entice customers to… Read More
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Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
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
• Organizations The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) is the governmental authority for the Wizarding world in the USA (Pm, WFT). The headquarters of MACUSA is hidden in the Woolworth Building. The emblem of MACUSA features an American flag combined with a phoenix (WFT). MACUSA is a single body, unlike the… Read More
• Clothing • Furniture and household items Witches and wizards use some non-magical items in their daily lives. Hogwarts students are required to purchase a selection of non-magical equipment which they will use as they study at school: a bookbag While cauldrons in general may be magical in themselves or not, students are required to have an ordinary… Read More
• Communication • Magical objects High above the MACUSA Lobby there is a giant dial with multiple clock-like faces and hands pointing to the present threat-level to the secret wizarding world. The color-coded levels include “Severe: Unexplained Activity” and “Emergency” (WFT). Podcast: Play… Read More
• Ministry of Magic A division of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement in the Ministry of Magic Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 4.5MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Ministry of Magic The Magical Maintenance Department within the Ministry of Magic is responsible for maintaining the facilities (OP7). Workers in that department wear navy blue robes (DH12). Magical Maintenance decides the type of weather visible outside the enchanted windows of the Ministry Headquarters (OP7). Reg Cattermole worked for… Read More
• Magical objects Maps that possess magical qualities, such as the Marauder’s Map. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 4.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts |… Read More
• Businesses, merchants, and shops The Magical Menagerie is a very crowded pet store in Diagon Alley, noisy with the sounds of all the animals, where Hermione bought Crookshanks. The proprietor is a witch who wears heavy black spectacles. She offers advice and sells things like rat tonic. Other creatures for sale… Read More
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Posted by in Essays
The way that witches and wizards think about everything, including spells, is completely different from the way we Muggles think about it. When we consider the mechanics of, say, aiming a spell at something, we ask “Muggle” questions like “Do you have to have line of sight?” that they would… Read More
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Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
From the start of the Harry Potter series, our hero finds himself a stranger in a very strange land. He discovers that the world he grew up in hides a secret wizarding world. This is no Oz or Wonderland that exists separate from the normal world and can only be entered through extraordinary means. Read More
• Ministry of Magic A massive black-stone statue in the Atrium at the Ministry of Magic added during the regime of Voldemort, carved with the motto “MAGIC IS MIGHT” in foot-tall letters (DH12). Podcast: Play in new window |… Read More
• Schools Mahoutokoro Wizarding School is an ancient wizarding school located on an island off Japan. Constructed of jade and located on the top of a volcano on the uninhabited island of Minami Iwo Jima, the only known wizarding school located in Japan has both day and boarding students. The day students ride giant… Read More
• Glossary • Titles, nicknames, and honorifics Shortened term for “No Magic” – American Wizarding slang for Muggles, or non-magical humans (Pm, WFT). Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 4.5MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Headlines and advertisements Making sure the purchaser of your old wand is human is a public information article in the Daily Prophet, following a report about goblin riots (DP3). A handy guide to species identification was included on page 11 of the Prophet after the goblins rioted in Chipping Clodbury using illegally obtained wands. Read More
• Headlines and advertisements Making it Stick is a letter appearing on the Problem Page of the Daily Prophet (DP3). Elveira Elkins wrote to say that she is unable to get the Fixing Charms she attempts to cast to actually work properly. Household magic expert and author Zamira Gulch gave her both magical… Read More
• Magical objects • Security The metallic Map of Magical Activity used a light display to help Aurors in the MACUSA Major Investigation Department to view magic occurring around New York City (WFT). Podcast: Play in new window |… Read More
• Magical effects The Masking Fog is a special magical fog used by the Ministry of Magic to hide the location of a Quidditch stadium in Exmoor National Park. Spectators for a Quidditch match between the Wimbourne Wasps and the Holyhead Harpies were advised to arrive early before… Read More
• Countries Mauritius is a tiny island nation found east of Madagascar in the southern Indian Ocean, and is famous both in the Muggle world and the wizarding world as the home of the Diricawl, which Muggles refer to as the dodo. Though Muggles believe that the bird died out over a… Read More
• Oceans and seas Sandwiched between Europe and Africa, the Mediterranean has for centuries been one of the most trafficked bodies of water in the world. Yet somehow merpeople (including the Greek Sirens), the hippocampus and the sea serpent have managed to live in the sea undetected. The Mediterranean Sea is also a natural… Read More
• Place In the fourteenth century, this was the site of a Wizards’ Council (precursor to the Ministry of Magic) meeting with all creatures that had been classified as “beings,” which according to Burdock Muldoon’s calculations was all creatures with two legs. The meeting didn’t go very well, or indeed take place… Read More
• Wizarding culture Charms used to modify or erase a (portion of a) person’s memory. The spell used is “obliviate”. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 4.5MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Spells The Memory Modifying Charm is also called “Memory Charm”. Modifies or erases portions of a person’s memory. A person who has their memory erased can be described as “Obliviated” (WFT). Memory Modifying Charms are often used to uphold the International Code of Wizarding Secrecy and to avoid frightening Muggles. Officials… Read More
• Glossary An American wizarding exclamation (WFT). Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 4.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts |… Read More
• Insults, Curses, and Interjections “Merlin’s Beard!” is a mild oath used to express surprise or exasperation – and is a form of swearing exclusive to the wizarding world. Appearances The phrase first appeared in the Daily Prophet, when Glinda Crook was interviewed about the new Hallowe’en restrictions (DP4). The words escaped from… Read More
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Posted by in Canon discussion / Essays
The Harry Potter books have been the subject of much religious debate after fundamentalist Christians warned parents against the books, deeming them pro-witchcraft and consequently anti-Christian. Some Muslims, on the other hand, have banned the books for the entirely opposite reason, claiming they are poorly concealed Christian propaganda. Surprisingly however, the… Read More
• Headlines and advertisements Merlin Remembrance Day Suggestion is the title of a letter written by Harold Skively to the Daily Prophet, suggesting a new public holiday (DP1). Mr Skively in his letter makes a case for a wizarding public holiday to honour the wizard Merlin, but ruins it by mentioning that what he… Read More
• Languages Merfolk language used above water (FB, DH8); Merfolk speak human languages underwater. It sounds like horrible screeching if heard in air. Dumbledore (GF26, HBP30) and Barty Crouch Sr. (GF7) can speak Mermish. Miranda Goshawk’s original The Book of Spells was translated into Mermish (BoS). Read More
• Place A river famous for running through the port of Liverpool on England’s west coast, there was a three-way broom crash over this river involving wizards racing to get to a Celestina Warbeck concert (DP). Podcast: Play in new… Read More
• Place A business that Molly Weasley describes as “very good,” that she hired to erect the large marquee at Bill and Fleur’s wedding in 1997 (DH6). Podcast: Play in new window | Download… Read More
• Quote “The Ministry has fallen.  Scrimgeour is dead.  They are coming.” Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 4.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts… Read More
• Headlines and advertisements Ministry Imposes Restrictions is a front page headline in the Daily Prophet about the Ministry of Magic’s plans to curb wizarding Hallowe’en celebrations (DP4). Hallowe’en is the one time of year when wizards can be “out and about” without arousing the suspicions of Muggles, so the plans announced… Read More
• Organizations The Ministry of Magic is the governmental authority for the Wizarding world in Britain. The basic mission of the Ministry of Magic is to keep the Muggles from finding out about an entire culture of magical folk. It’s a huge, complicated, and inefficient bureaucracy, just like most governmental organizations. Podcast:… Read More
• Event The Ministry is formed as part of the massive transition in the Wizarding world which followed the passage of the International Statute of Secrecy in 1692. UIick Gamp is chosen to be the first Minister for Magic. The initial task of the Ministry, led by Gamp, was calming… Read More
• Buildings • Wizarding places The headquarters of the Ministry of Magic is located in the heart of London. The actual structure is all underground, although magical windows show whatever weather Magical Maintenance has chosen for the day, from bright sunshine to hurricanes. Visitors’ Entrance A visitor to the Ministry of Magic comes to a… Read More
• Rules and laws Ban on Experimental Breeding 1965 written by Newt Scamander (FB) Code of Wand Use clause 3: no non-human creature permitted a wand (GF9) Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery 1875 (CS2, CS5, PA3, OP2, OP8) Violation under paragraph… Read More
• Cities Hagrid and Madame Maxime passed through Minsk on their way to meet the giants in the mountains, and in fact while there Hagrid “had a sligh’ disagreement with a vampire” (OP20). Minsk is the capital of Belarus, a nation that was formerly part of the Soviet Union. The fact… Read More
• Ministry of Magic A division of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement in the Ministry of Magic Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 4.5MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Businesses, merchants, and shops The Mnemosyne Clinic advertises in the Daily Prophet that they perform charms to help fix up faulty memories (DP4) Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 4.5MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Place Established in the fourteenth century in Somerset to protect a dwindling population of Golden Snidgets (dwindling because they were being hunted for sport as well as killed in Quidditch matches), the Reservation was named for Modesty Rabnott, who famously saved a Snidget from a Quidditch match in 1269 (QA4). Read More
• Place Montrose is a small port town with about 10,000 residents found on the eastern shores of Scotland, between Aberdeen and Dundee. More importantly, however, it is home of the Montrose Magpies, the most successful team in the history of the British and Irish Quidditch League. It was also the origin… Read More
• Place Though we don’t know where Mad-Eye-Moody lives, we do know that on August 30, 1994, he was ambushed at home by Barty Crouch, Jr., Stunned, then put under the Imperius Curse (GF35). The only part of Moody’s house that seemed to be damaged in the encounter were his rubbish… Read More
• Place A moor is a broad tract of open land, often high but poorly drained, with patches of heath and peat bogs. Of the heather moorland in the United Kingdom, most of it lies in North Yorkshire, Wales, Cumbria, and Dartmoor (with some moorlands in the far West Country in the… Read More
• Cities Moose Jaw in Canada is the home of the Moose Jaw Meteorites, who are one of the most accomplished Quidditch teams in the modern world. They are famous for flying around with sparks flying from their brooms after a victory (QA8). Although Moose Jaw is a relatively… Read More
• Character Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 4.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android |… Read More
• Place A town that was once the home of the Dumbledore family, and where Ariana Dumbledore was tortured by Muggle children. After her father Percival retaliated and was arrested, the family moved instead to Godric’s Hollow. Mould-on-the-Wold’s location is uncertain, but it is home to a number of wizarding families (… Read More
• Islands Moutohora is home of the Moutohora Macaws, New Zealand’s most famous professional Quidditch team (QA8). Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 4.5MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Insults, Curses, and Interjections Mudblood is a foul, nasty name for a witch or wizard who is Muggle-born (literally “dirty blood”). It is not a term used in polite company (CS7). Draco Malfoy loved using the word “Mudblood,”especially when the Chamber of Secrets opened in second year. Referring to Hermione as a “filthy… Read More
• Ministry of Magic After Voldemort took hold of the Ministry for Magic, a Muggle-Born Registration Commission was appointed. The purpose of this Commission was to interview all Muggle-borns (DH11). Podcast: Play in new window |… Read More
• Magical artifacts Magical device that acts as an alarm when touched by a non-magical hand (DP2) Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 3:55 — 4.5MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Headlines and advertisements Muggles Not as Stupid as We Think, says Ministry Report is the headline for a lead article in the Daily Prophet (DP1). This article in the Prophet outlines the findings of a report by a committee on Muggles, headed by Professor Phoebus Penrose, entitled “A Study… Read More
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Wizards don’t use electricity for a very good reason—they don’t need it, in fact they don’t need our technology at all (except maybe for sherbet lemons). Modern Muggle technology, according to wizards, is a poor substitute for magic. And modern Muggle technology is largely based on the availability of cheap,… Read More
• Buildings The Museum of Quidditch is located in London, although we don’t know its exact location. Featured exhibits A medieval broomstick predating the development of the Cushioning Charm (QA1). The diary of Gertie Keddle, who lived on the edge of Queerditch Marsh in the eleventh century… Read More
• Place Mykonos is a small island off the southeast coast of Greece, in the Aegean Sea. It was at one point home to the Chimaera (Dai Llewellyn was eaten by one while on holiday in Mykonos – FB), though today it is a popular upscale resort island, making it unlikely that… Read More