Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Magic

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Creatures[edit]

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Animals and intelligent non-human beings that inhabit the magical world.

  1. a b c d e f Found only in the the Quibbler

Devices[edit]

Objects used by wizards for various purposes.

  1. a b c d e f Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes
  1. a b c d Dark Detectors
  1. a b c d e f Transportation devices

Magical Plants[edit]

Newspapers, Magazines, Journals[edit]

Potions[edit]

Potion Ingredients[edit]

Methods[edit]

Techniques wizards use alone or when interacting with other wizards.

Subjects[edit]

Courses offered in Hogwarts. A table of who teaches which course in each year is located here.

Spells[edit]

Words or phrases that cause a certain effect when using a wand or when said by a wizard. In the books, the terms Spell, Charm, Jinx, Hex, and Curse are all used; the author explains the difference as follows:

  • Spell is the generic term, used for all incantations.
  • Charms typically would affect the behaviour of an object but do not change its nature. Thus making a pineapple tap-dance across the desk is properly a Charm, because the object remains a pineapple; but turning a teapot into a turtle, as is done in Transfiguration, is not.
  • Jinxes carry a connotation of dark magic, though of a very minor sort. Jinxes, like Rictusempra, irritate and amuse, rather than harm.
  • Hexes also carry the connotation of dark magic, again of a minor nature, but slightly darker than Jinxes. An example would be Petrificus Totalus.
  • Curses are spells that are quite firmly in the Dark Magic camp, and are purely harmful in effect.

A Stunning spell is more properly a charm, because the spelled object changes behaviour and not nature; but the name is kept because of the alliteration. These definitions are flexible; for instance the stunning spell Stupefy can be used either by light or dark wizards, in which case it might be seen as a charm or a hex.

A note on incantation pronunciation[edit]

It appears that there are three components to a spell: the incantation or spoken portion, the wand motion, and a mental component involving visualization of the desired effect. We learn in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that the incantation does not need to be spoken, but can be subvocalized, and we also observe a few spells where one or two of the three components is not required. In those cases where an incantation is required, we note that it seems to be based on the Latin word for the desired effect; this, with other context, would suggest strongly that most incantations are to be pronounced with the Latin character sounds. In particular, the "i" is generally, though not always, pronounced as a long "e", and the "o" is the long form of that vowel, while the "a" and "e" are generally the short forms of those vowels. Among the exceptions are "Wingardium leviosa" and "Rictusempra", where the first "i" seems to be best pronounced as the short English "i". "U" generally takes the long form when it is on its own, but the short form in the "ium" and "us" word endings.

  1. a b c Unforgivable Curses

Near-Human and similar[edit]

It does not seem quite right to place these in the same category as magical beasts.

Blood Status and similar categories[edit]

A sizable fraction of the Wizarding population believes that lineage is important, to the point that they actually categorize wizards based on their ancestry. As this is a characteristic of the Dark side in these books, these categories are important to the story, and are listed below:

Additionally, the following terms are used to refer to segments of the population.

Languages[edit]

Fictional languages used throughout the books.

Terms[edit]

Legal Structures[edit]

Key Magical Artifacts[edit]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Objects that have special significance to the entire series.