• Organizations American No-Maj group seeking to expose and destroy witches and wizards in the 1920s led by the extremist Mary Lou Barebone, a descendant of Scourers, and her three adopted children. Their meeting place was the “dingy” New Salem Church in New York City where they ran a soup kitchen for… Read More
• Event Tragic trials and convictions of witches and wizards in North America by Puritans who believed that magic was the devil possessing the accused person. Many of the accused were actually magical, although some were merely unfortunate No-Majs. At least two Judges were known Scourers (Pm:History of Magic in North America). Read More
• Incantations Specific effect is not given, but the Latin derivation seems to suggest that this affects and possibly augments the other spells being cast. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:16 —… Read More
• Character Scabbers was Ron Weasley’s pet rat, until he wasn’t anymore. Scabbers was actually Peter Pettigrew in his Animagus form. After tricking Sirius, Pettigrew transformed into a rat and stayed that way for twelve years, from November 1981 to June 1994, living as Percy and then Ron’s pet, Scabbers, in order to hide from… Read More
• Organizations 17th century – Rogue band of vengeful mercenary wizards who caused a huge problem between wizards and No-Majs in North America. During the early years of the European Wizarding community in America, there was no government or laws. As a result, unscrupulous bands of wizards formed mercenary bands to enforce… Read More
• Caves and vaults Inaccessible except by magic, this cave complex on the coast was visited by young Tom Riddle while he was on an outing to the coast with children from the orphanage (circa 1930). While there he terrorized two of his classmates, Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop (HBP13). Many years later,… Read More
• Security This sensor is a type of Dark Detector that is golden in color and resembles a squiggly television aerial. It vibrates when it detects concealment and lies (GF20). Podcast: Play in new window |… Read More
• Architecture Secret passages are everywhere in such an old and magical place as Hogwarts; they are concealed in a variety of ways but many have been discovered by more rebellious students such as the Marauders and the Weasley twins, as well as Filch. Podcast:… Read More
• Hogwarts castle and grounds There are seven known secret passageways leading out of Hogwarts that Harry learns about after acquiring the Marauder’s Map. Fred and George Weasley tell Harry that Filch knows about four of them, and they warn him against the other two (the one behind the… Read More
• Character Seraphina Picquery was a highly accomplished American witch who served as President of the Magical Congress of the United States of America from 1920 to 1928 (Pm). Piquery was already a gifted witch during her years at Ilvermorny. She was one of the few incoming students at that school which were chosen… Read More
• Spells This spell creates a magical barrier that will deflect hexes thrown at the caster.   Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:16 — 4.8MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Spells Magically silences the target of the spell. Similar to Muffliato Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:16 — 4.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts… Read More
• Event Snape is intensely curious about where Remus Lupin goes each month. Sirius jokingly suggests that Snape follow Lupin through the passage beneath the Whomping Willow. James Potter, realizing that Snape would encounter a full-blown and very dangerous werewolf at the end of the passage, stops Snape from going through, thereby… Read More
• Event On the last night of winter break, Severus Snape arrives at Grimmauld Place, headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. Mrs. Weasley tells Harry to go to the kitchen where he finds Snape and his godfather, Sirius Black, sitting in awkward silence because they are old rivals from school days. Read More
• Character Horace Slughorn is a teacher at Hogwarts. He served as Potions Master until 1981, then again from 1996. He was also Head of Slytherin house for the school year 1997-1998. At the beginning of Harry’s 6th year at Hogwarts, Dumbledore and Harry convince a genial wizard named Horace Slughorn to come… Read More
• Houses and addresses A small stone house in Budleigh Babberton (HBP3). Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:16 — 4.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts |… Read More
• Character Salazar Slytherin was the founder of Slytherin house and one of the co-founders of Hogwarts, described as one of “the four greatest witches and wizards of the age” (along with the other three founders) (CS9). He believed that only pure-blood witches and wizards should be allowed… Read More
• Diseases and healing Anchovies featured in a Daily Prophet death announcement (DP2) Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:16 — 4.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts |… Read More
• Potion ingredients Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:16 — 4.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google… Read More
• Organizations The Snallygaster Protection League (founded 1949) is a Maryland-based organization dedicated to obliviating No-Majs who encounter Snallygasters. Because the creatures do not shy away from Muggles, they tend to attract attention; the Snallygaster Protection League was created in response to multiple instances of Snallygaster sightings threatening to expose the magical… Read More
• Houses and addresses This brick row house is almost certainly where Severus Snape grew up, and then lived alone for most of his adult life. Narcissa Malfoy and Bellatrix Lestrange sought him out here in 1996, when he made an Unbreakable Vow to Narcissa that he would kill Dumbledore if Draco failed to… Read More
• Event Death Eater Severus Snape sent a message to Albus Dumbledore to meet him on a lonely windswept hilltop in late 1980 so he could warn him that Lily Evans Potter and her child were in danger of being attacked by Voldemort (DH33). When the Headmaster arrived he found a… Read More
• Event When Dumbledore met at the Hog’s Head with Sybill Trelawney as a “courtesy” to interview her for the post of Divination Professor, she suddenly launched into a real prophecy about a child with the ability to vanquish the Dark Lord. (OP37) Lurking outside the door and listening at the… Read More
• Character Severus Snape was Potions Master, Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, and Head of Slytherin House at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry; he succeeded Albus Dumbledore as Headmaster. He was personally killed by Lord Voldemort and his snake, Nagini. Snape… Read More
• Occupations The Snatchers were roaming mercenary groups of wizards during the second rise of Voldemort (circa 1997-1998) who earned gold from the Ministry of Magic (or Voldemort) for rounding up Muggle-borns and blood traitors (DH19). Podcast: Play in new… Read More
• Magical identities A part of a human being’s spiritual identity which is eternal and leaves the body upon death to go to the afterlife. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:16 — 4.8MB)… Read More
• Podcast Episode
Posted by in Essays
Note: This piece is not about the class Charms, and I’ve left aside the vexing question of the difference between Charms and Transfiguration (e.g., why are winged keys a Charm and giant moving chess pieces are a Transfiguration?). Rather, I’m looking at Charms in the general sense, as a synonym for spells, that is,… Read More
• Ministry of Magic A division of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures with responsibility for ghosts Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:16 — 4.8MB)Subscribe:… Read More
• Character Mr Jorkins is a Ministry of Magic spokeswizard (DP4) Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:16 — 4.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts |… Read More
• Creature The streeler is a giant snail that changes color every hour, and deposits a trail of venom as it moves that kills and shrivels all vegetation over which it passes, and which can kill horklumps. It is often kept as a pet (FB). Podcast:… Read More
• Books and Literature A Study into Muggle Suspicions About Magic is a Ministry of Magic report warning against the dangers of underestimating how much magic Muggles notice (DP1). Professor Phoebus Penrose headed a committee which produced this report about Muggle suspicions about magic. Among other magical examples, it notes that… Read More
• Character Square-jawed wizard with thick straw-colored hair. Member of the Order of the Phoenix and part of the Advance Guard that helped Harry escape from number four Privet Drive (OP3). Podmore was on guard duty at entrance of the Department of Mysteries on August 31, 1995 when he was apprehended… Read More
• Event He can’t explain to Eric Munch, the Ministry guard on duty, why he’s sneaking around the Ministry of Magic headquarters at 1 am and is arrested. He had been ordered by the Order of the Phoenix to guard the Hall of Prophecy from any attempt by Death Eaters to steal… Read More
• Food and drinks Sweets that look like quills. Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 4:16 — 4.8MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts |… Read More
• Creature The Swedish Short-Snout is a species of dragon, native to Sweden. Its habitat is wild, uninhabited mountain areas. The Short-Snout is silvery-blue in color and it’s flame is a brilliant blue (FB). Sweden maintains a dragon reservation for the Short-Snout, located in the mountainous heart of the country… Read More
• Thing A small spiny cocoon houses the large flying creature known as a Swooping Evil, and contains a “luminous venom” which can be squeezed out and used to remove unpleasant memories (WFT). The cocoon unravels to release the creature, and closes up again when the Swooping Evil returns. Podcast:… Read More