The Wizarding World
Multiple theories exist on what magic actually is. Some claim it to be one of the universal forces that, for some reason, only a handful of people can interact with. Others wonder if it has its origins in human beings and their sapience. Maybe it is born of Earth, maybe it's a gift from outworldly forces, maybe it's a glitch in the weave of the Universe...
Access to magic seems to have some genetic component to it. Two wizard parents are unlikely to give birth to a muggle, and the opposite is true for muggle parents. Whether it's actually genetic or passed down via a different sort of connection is still up to debate, as none of the multiple research projects has yet yielded a conclusive result.
Usage of magic, in its most rudimentary forms, has been proven to appear in children as young as three years old. Most of such simple magical activity has often been dismissed even by wizarding parents, since the results are often so inconsequent that they could easily be attributed to failure in parent's perception. At such a young age, children are yet unable to affect the world in a major way, and their usage of magic is most often directed at their objects of interest, be it toys, items they use or other people.
Around the time the usage of magic becomes more conscious and intentful, children often suffer the so-called crisis of power: the disenchantment due to being unable to make everything the child wills into reality. Left unattended, such disenchantment may leave the child with severe psychological scars for the rest of their lives; cases have been recorded of magical children being unable to cast spells as adults because their early issues haven't been addressed.
There's no way to reliably trace the origins of magic among the peoples of Earth, or at which point magic became a part of being for humanity. It is, however, generally accepted in the thaumatological community that rituals were a part of early humans' beliefs. As such, it is assumed that real magic asserted itself a long time ago. A prominent hypothesis also suggests that magic has always been around, but it was the increase in the brain mass of early hominids – and / or the associated mental development – that allowed humans to tap into magic.
While most magical interactions require an intent put forth, under certain conditions – for example, in young children and in extreme situations – it is possible to use magic in ways not formally defined by the wizardry education, including coming up with creative ways to bend the laws of reality on the spot.
While many people rely on their learned-and-rehearsed spells, some go about seldom using a pre-defined spell, and a select few are capable of using magic in creative ways, without a formal structure. However, such creativity is understood to be – from medical studies as well as anecdotal evidence – mentally-taxing, and it's suggested that wizards formalize and rehearse the spells they use most often, to reduce the cognitive load.
A charm is the basic component of any magical action. They are, for the most part, anthropocentric abstractions of the actions humans deem most common: movement, physical interaction between objects, mental suggestion, energy exchange etc.
Another way of thinking of charms is the basic idea a wizard has to visualize in order to produce the desired effect. One has to make up their mind about what they want to enact using magic before any effect could be produced. Vaguely-visualized, the charm may produce unexpected results, including the intent backfiring.
Simple charms are rarely, if ever, taught to wizards within the approved education framework, as on their own they're too abstact to be useful. They're skimmed over to make way for the somewhat-complicated common charms, which find use in spells that see daily usage.
For example, the concept of movement is considered a simple charm, while moving the target object is a common charm and is a main component to Wingardium Leviosa, a first-year spell in most countries' magical education.
simple charms ⟶ common charms ⟶ compound charms ⟶ complex charms
Compound charms are charms that consist of up to three common charms. They make up the spells wizards learn in their later years of primary education, and are the most utilized component in spells in general.
Complex charms each may have an infinite number of components to it. They're used in the advanced spells that students often touch only in specialty courses or during higher education.
Since any given spell most often consists of more than one charm, complex charms are rarely used, and their effects are often highly-detailed and may sometimes cause unexpected interactions in uncommon circumstances. Their usefulness, however, lies precisely in their intricacy. It's for that reason complex charms used in advanced protective charms, making those more difficult to bypass, break through, or disassemble.
There exists a special notation, called the Pruett notation, used to formalize a given spell similar to the way mathematicians describe their ideas. It uses a number of symbols to describe the most basic effects, and combines those symbols in various ways to present more complicated interactions. Since 1998, the Ministry of Magic requires all accredited wizarding schools use textbooks where spells are described with the Pruett notation. The notation also sees informal use, with wizards using the symbols in metaphorical sense to describe people, locations, events, and feelings.
A spell is a rehearsed combination of charms, used to repeatedly and reliably produce the same kind of effect. Most spells include physical expression of intent – a gesture, a stance, an incantation, among other possible kinds – since it's been well-established, even before the research came along, that supporting a mental effort with a physical action helps memorization.
Which components a spell involves depends on the culture. In Britain, traditionally, a spell involves a gesture with the magical conduit – wands and other such tools – and a vocal calling of the spell's name. None of the components are required in order to enact the underlying charms, but training oneself to recall the same charms after the same actions reduces the cognitive load, thus helping enact the effect quicker, more reliably, and with less effort.
History of Spellmaking
Modern spells – brief and mostly static – are a result of centuries of optimization. The oldest known spells were ritualistic and exceptionally long, often taking hours or days to complete, and even the slightest mistake risked undermining the whole effort; they often involved dances, chants, and a thorough set-up of the environment – things like bonfires, doing the ritual under the full moon, relying on certain kinds of rain etc.
The Roman wizards have improved massively upon their predecessors. While there has been a continuous process of reduction in ritual components during ancient history, it was in the Ancient Rome that those rituals became more formalized in their use of language and movement, in ways that remain recognizable in the modern European tradition. The Roman spells were still long and required exaggerated movements, but they could be completed in under ten seconds – a noticable step forward from the Sumer-Akkad school, which could take minutes and focused more on controlling one's surroundings.
In Europe, it was the Germanic shamans who started the modern tradition of short spell names, mostly using runes as their medium. Sometimes, they went to the extremes of shortening a spell down to a few runes, which could be inscribed on the clothes, armor, accessories, and weapons. Such enhancements' effectiveness remains under question, since very little is known of how the German mages kept their charms up, and making stable artefacts is a fairly modern technology.
Around the same time there was a tradition of Norsemen warriors with magical potential using a handful of spells in combat to gain the upper hand, sometimes against overwhelming forces. Their spells are thought to have been simple, yield straightforward, onefold effects, and reported to have been fueled by their anger – something known in the modern thaumatology as emotive charms. While there have been sparse reports of similar traditions all over Europe since, this category of warrior-wizards is thought of to be the prototype for the legends of berserkers, the fierce fighters of Icelandic sagas.
The shortening of the magic staves into wands allowed for simplification of spell gesturing.
Early spells' phrasing would often mutate due to the oral tradition of passage, wizards being outcast from the Christian and Islamic societies in Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East because of the dominant populace's anti-magical religious beliefs. This is only known because of a handful of saved pieces of writing – mostly missives by the servants of churches and mosques to their superiors, citing the persecuted wizards' misconducts and warning about their "foul use of language", which was either Latin or one of the Semitic languages.
Many common spells finally settled in their form in the XVI century, thanks both to the proliferation of printing and to the well-established magical network in major cities. It was also around that time that the wizarding societies in Europe started their education programmes, aiming to teach mages of any age the proper, tested techniques to spellcasting. This proved a positive feedback loop, with most spells preserved in the exact form they have been taught with mass education.
New spells continue to be created, particularly after new technologies enter public life and require either access or the ease of use magic affords.
Secrecy in Spellmaking
While spells themselves are not much more than a memorization technique, their creation process is often a close-guarded secret. Most of the time, it concerns the idea of intellectual property, not dissimilar to that of the muggle world. Sometimes, it's a matter of advantage to the spellmaker, in terms of either market or combat, as it allows them to perform unfamiliar charms onto targets that are unlikely to have the countercharm protecting them. Some spells are known to public in their effect, but not in their formula, since the spellmaker may be so capable in spellcasting that their complex charms are unlikely to be replicated by the majority of wizards, so the recipes for those spells don't exist.
The intellectual property aspect of most spells in Britain is determined with the so-called "third-year test". The Wizarding Council asks three randomly-selected third-year students of a respected wizarding school – Hogwarts comes up often – to infer the structure of a spell and replicate it in front of the Spell Patent Committee, once every five years. If at least one of the students succeeds, the exclusive ownership of the spell recipe is waived, and the spell is released into public domain via the Ministry's official newspaper, The Ministry Times.
The test is not without controversy, with the contests often involving the spell's secondary, non-obvious effects, such as protections against misuse, or interactions with a particular set of objects or environments. If the spellmaker proves beyond doubt that their version is superior to the one produced by the third-year students, the Committee holds a hearing. Half the time, the simpler version is allowed into the public domain under a different name, while the spellmaker is compelled to reform their patent under more specific conditions.
Terminology and Different Kinds of Magic Usage
A distinction is made between different terms used to describe magic users, as well as different methods of using magic, since each puts forth different requirements and produces different results.
Mages (or magics) are people with the connection to magic, not necessary trained in using it. Children may be mages as much as adults.
Wizardry is the way of using spells – that is, memorizing certain patterns to reliable evoke the required effect on the spot – by utilizing one's mind and connection to magic. It's the most common method of using magic around the world, as it requires the least training and the fewest supplements.
Witchcraft is the way of harnessing the nature's powers to produce, most often via magichemistry, the rather long-lasting – and even permament – effects on an environment or a large group of people. It is rarely used to target a particular person due to very low cost efficiency of the process. Instead of producing all of the effect themselves, the witch – stereotypically a woman, although many men have always been taking part in the witching – channels their magic through various items, where each item changes and, sometimes, strengthens the effect. Witchcraft is an advanced course, only the basics of which are covered under the British primary education programme.
Warlock is a derogatory term used towards a mage, implying said mage has been using magic against his magical brethren, seldom – against humans in general, and rarely – against any living being. In calling someone a warlock, one is evoking the word's grim etimology, calling the person an "oath-breaker", the "oath" in question being the idea of respect towards life and living beings. One needn't be a criminal to be called a warlock: the word may be used as a general, though harsh, curse towards a mage, not dissimilar in tone to how Christian muggles may call a mage "devilspawn".
Instruments of Magic
While using specialized tools to cast spells or protect oneself is not necessary, for most wizards it become too handy to go without.
The art of creating such items has long history, as deeply-rooted in ancient magical rituals as spells. It is believed that those connected with magic among the early tribes at first confused their worship of a given thing with it helping their desires come to life. This process, as speculated by magianthropology, naturally led to discovery of the more potent "totems" and elimination of the false ones, at least in groups where thaumic persons weren't shunned or ostracized. Lore continued down the lines, and so the search for conduits of magic refined.
Today's thaumists consider most of the potent and capable magical materials found and thoroughly researched. There are still cases of new materials popping up every now and again, but mostly, the field has moved towards synthetic magical matter – either via recreation of the existing structure or development of new, potentially even more potent magestuffs.
In terms of usage, the most utilized magic conduits in the modern Britain are wands, due to their low weight, relative ease of production and versatility in the field. The tradition has spread from France and onto the most of the Western wizarding world and the Middle East.
Most wizards only ever possess and use one such item in their lifetimes. However, it's not uncommon for a wizard to suddenly find themselves without one – most often due to the damage of the magical conduit inside. Because such matter is beyond even magic-assisted repair at the moment, one should buy a new tool, lest they find themselves at a disadvantage around wizards with more precise instrumentarium.
Traditionally, wands are made of wood – usually a solid piece cut by hand – with a thin, long slice of magic conduit matter introduced in the center of it. The majority of British wizards own one of those, produced by one of the handful of modern wandmakers. (see also Materials)
A wand is a fairly straightforward tool. For the most common designs, the aim is predictable, the handle is comfortable, and the size is conducive to concealed carry.
It's uncommon, though not unheard of, for wizards to have highly-personalized wands – sometimes ones they made themselves, without the help of a skilled wandmaker. Such wands may have an unusual magical conduit inside – like raven's eye or mandrake leaves; be of unusual shape: bent, helical or even bifurcated wands have all been seen in the hands of prominent wizards; or distinguish themselves by other means, such as mixing of magical conduits, using rare materials for the body, or even incorporating other kinds of magical matter into the construction.
The most popular wandmakers in Britain for many years remain Garrick Ollivander, Herbert-Klaus Benz, Sara Bilderman and Marina Rosehall. While there's a handful of startups that sell wands, particularly out of modern materials, few can hold their own in a fairly saturated market.
One particular name to keep track of, however, is Rams – a small wand store in Shadow London's Diagon Alley, ran by twins Sabine and Andreas. Their usage of thaumaturgical materials mixed with clean design aimed at comfort of use and durability seems to have hit the spot for a new generation of wizards particularly eager to reject the old fashions and stand out with a progressive, functional style.
While using a wand is simple enough even for children, using two at the a time with any effectiveness is an astonishing feat of practice and concentration, requiring an immense amount of focus and well-trained timing to account for visualizing multiple charms, one after another.
Such a feat is not taught at school or at a university, for it is considered too advanced for most wizards. Certain schools even prohibit trying to dual-wand on their grounds, for fear of the damage that an unskilled wizard may cause to themselves, those around them and the school property. Dual-wanding is something one most often learns on their own, or under a mentor of sufficient skill.
Famous modern practitioners include Albus Dumbledore, who famously used Gellert Grindewald's wand alongside his own in the duel that led to Grindewald's incarceration, and Voldemort, who boasted his mind-parting technique that could allow him to defeat several wizards at once. Harry Potter was trained by Albus Dumbledore, but did not succeed because of what Dumbledore described Harry's "single-mindedness". Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape were both rumored to be able to dual-wand.
Historically, a number of wizards have boasted about their skill with wands, some claiming to have been able to use two or more at a time, though how true that is is up to debate. It is, however, well-documented that both Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin were able to dual-wand, once even duelling each other with two wands in hands each. It is said that the twelve-hour stalemate is what led to them earning each other's respect: Salazar admired the persistence, Rowena – the cunning.
Above all them, however, stands the infamous Indian wizard Amandeep Dangi, who could wield seemingly any number of wands at a time. During his assault on the southern India, he'd be seen with his arsenal of wands – most taken from the opponents he defeated – floating around him, creating an aura of sorts, moving towards the target as necessary. His methods have desintegrated with him, since his very existence was considered a threat to the wizarding communities of India and the rest of Asia.
Staves and Other Options
Before the time of booming world population and exponentially-increasing surveillance, wizards were less conscious about revealing their status. Many used staves with most of the conduit magically-contained at the top of the staff, giving their weapon of choice both striking visual appearance and a certain personal flair.
Unlike wands, staves are less wieldy, requiring more physical strength to operate effectively, as well as being difficult to conceal. They still remain in use in the modern wizarding community, mostly as ceremonial props, as well as symbols of status, gifted to wizards of merit by the Ministry of Magic.
Certain wizarding communities prefer staves to wands to this day, particularly in beyond the Arctic circle, where navigating the snow is difficult, and having a long, sturdy stick proves useful. Other such communities include the secluded, muggle-invisible Char-grad in the European part of Russia – an old, wizard-only town with the population of about 20,000 and a strong propensity for early Slavic culture – as well as the mountain dwellings in Chile and Nepal.
Outside of that, wizards may prefer to use other kinds of items for their conduits. Younger wizards in Russia and the Eastern Europe may use umbrellas, lighters and watches as surreptitious tools; older wizards prefer canes. Married wizards may charm their engagement rings, linking them to the essence they wear elsewhere on their persons. (see also Advanced Magical Instrumentarium)
Conjuring Charms without Tools
Magical conduits are not necessary to produce an effect on reality. While the focus they provide increases the spell's effectiveness, ultimately, magic flows equally through the person evoking the spell, and as such, they're capable of using magic on their own.
Such method – often referred to as plain casting – requires mental discipline in order to momentarily focus on the precise target of the spell and not break the image before the spell finishes. When mastered, it allows the wizard to perform only slightly worse than wanded casting. In many countries, plain casting is taught to older school students as an emergency technique, in case their conduit is ever lost or damaged beyond repair.
Certain schools of magic around the world focus on spellcasting entirely without a conduit, believing this to be a superior method of magical mastery, since it requires no instrument and may be utilized at a moment's notice.
Thaumatics is a field of magic usage aimed at enhancing existing or creating new devices powered through magic, rather than electricity, steam or other such source of energy. Thaumatically-enhanced devices may also receive additional functionality – such as Albus Dumbledore's deluminator, a simple device proven to offer hidden features during Harry Potter's hunt for horcruxes.
Thaumatics is inspired by and borrows a lot of ideas from electronics. With the advancement of the muggle usage of electronic devices, the wizarding society took up a keener interest in the technology. While there have been similar precedents in the magical history – such as the Crumbling Stones, a turn-of-the-millenium cave system where mages recorded their wisdom for future generations – nothing came to be as portable or capable in so many ways.
While by no means a successful student, Ron Weasley took great interest in thaumatics, mostly likely following his late father's interest. His capacity for invention exceeded all expectations and astounded even experienced Ministry specialists. Finding himself at a disadvantage against more spell-capable wizards, Ron devised – practically from scratch – a set of thaumatic tools that would counter or help against most dangers a wizard is likely to face. His expertise came in handy in reverse-engineering the ancient rituals Voldemort used for his ressurection without triggering the Ministry's magical surveillance, and it was with his help that Voldemort's undeath protection was disabled, allowing the Dark Lord to be defeated again.
Jumpgates are a highly-advanced thaumatic equivalent of a muggle lift (or, elevator). Architecturally, jumpgates are nothing more than an empty shaft along the height of the housing building. The movement is achieved with purely magical methods, though the principles behind the safe usage have been lent by the quantum physics.
To operate a jumpgate, one has to enter the shaft – each floor of the shaft has an invisible footing – and provide an intent to move to a certain floor, whether by its name, its number of an area – e.g., a department – the floor houses. The person would then move to the required floor at a very high speed – it takes less than a second to cover a hundred floors. Due to magical enhancements, no adverse effects of such a swift traversal are felt.
A jumpgate can be used simultaneously by any number of people, provided any group of users is able to fit into the shaft at once. Collisions are prevented with the use of magically-achieved phasing and subtle user movement. The mechanism has been carefully engineering to prevent all kinds of scenarios, and any edge cases are swiftly investigated and corrected for, so the use of jumpgates remains safe in the absolute majority of cases.
The most well-known jumpgates in Britain are the complex jumpgate system within the Wizardry Council building in London – which was also the first building to utilize jumpgates – and the dormitory transportation system in Hogwarts.
"Hammerspace", instead of the actual space, refers to a Renaissance-era paradigm developed by Italian wizards-sculptors; no exact originator can be reliably traced.
The sculptors, enthusiastic about their work but slightly absent-minded, got frustrated with how their instruments are always getting misplaced and lost. They refused to use magic to do their sculpting for them, claiming it detracts from the work, but chose to employ magical effects to their benefit outside of their direct craft.
The original technique they developed to hold their tools – namely, their hammers and chisels, hence the name – was relatively rough, as it only allowed for small objects to be placed outside of the physical realm, and only under a structure of its own, which was easy to recreate. It spread within the community, but hadn't been developed until wizards outside the field found out, many years later.
Currently, hammerspace theoretically allows for creating vast spaces of any shape, as long as its structure has been properly calculated. Making hammerspace architecture is a semi-automated process that requires both a powerful processor and an extensive knowledge of multiple disciplines, both muggle and magical, because of the amount of variables one has to take into account.
While viable hammerspace may be created in almost any environment, it often relies on the architecture already present in the desired space, and aimes to be introduced to already-existing spaces rather than be created in a plain field. The default failure mechanism for such a fictional space is to collapse onto the real world's matter, expunging everything inside of it outside, into the real world. While it may be at least very difficult to damage such a structure enough to cause its failure, precautions are necessarily taken so that people inside the facility would not end up in the Thames or in the middle of a cold nowhere, possibly without their magical tools.
It is for this reason that, for example, the Computational Thaumatics Centre resides within the confines of the Gherkin: in an event of a sudden collapse, the wizards working at the CTC would end up in the real building, rather than in any danger out on the street.
Interestingly enough, the Italian sculptors thought of the process in terms of sculpturing rather than architecturing. Their philosophy of magic was to "take the nothing and carve out the space you want to have".
Shadow London refers to the part of London that wizards occupy and use for magical business. Not a territory of its own, it is, instead, a layer of geography constructed in the nooks and crannies of the city, including those using hammerspace architecture.
Since muggle population of the city significantly outweighs the London wizardkind, many wizard businessmen run muggle stores – delis, antique shops, coffee boutiques – with secondary functionality accesible only to those who can reliably present themselves as wizards. An identifying item – such as a wand or a talisman – would do for most. Others implement little trials, such as magically fixing a digital clock after the owner's charms made it go haywire. Some may respond to an order muggles wouldn't make, such as ordering mandrake latte in coffee shops. There's usually enough rumor in the magical community to be able to distinguish between different kinds of store tests.
Others – wizard-only facilities, such as the Ministry of Magic headquarters or the Computational Thaumatics Centre – prefer to employ the physical space of London in a way that hides their presence, yet is accessible to any interested wizard. The technology used to facilitate this, despite ostensible similarity, is not an advanced version of the Undetectable Extension charm. Instead, it relies on a different technique – the hammerspace architecture – which creates abstract, fictional space where a lot of real things can reside indefintely. Since the quality of construction of such spaces is most often superb, these hidden buildings are allowed to serve as crucial points of the wizarding world's infrastructure.
Economics of the Wizarding World
Ministry of Magic
The Ministry of Magic serves as the extragovernmental body overseeing the magical activity in the United Kingdom, including the magical flora and fauna.
Officially, no such ministry exists anywhere in the Britain, nor has it, or the existence of magic, ever been officially supported or even acknowledged. No books have been made to finance the work of the ministry, and not a single non-disclosure agreement had to be signed by those few required to know about Ministry of Magic's existence.
As a semi-official body for magical oversight, the Ministry of Magic was established during Margaret Thatcher's service as the Prime Minister, in 1984. The organization superseded the Wizarding Council – the de facto governing body of the magical community in the UK – in nature, with the Council remaining the name of one of the departments, directly overseeing human interactions with and their usage of magic.
The incorporation wasn't without controversy. While the reasons stated for the national institution included increased muggle-wizard interaction in terms of scientific and technological progress, some observed that transferring the reigns to the British government – even partially – reduced the magical community's autonomy. Some wizards saw it as a takeover by a government still exhibiting its imperialist roots, rubbing the muggle country's nose in their history – while conveniently forgetting their own people's part in it.
However, the incorporation has also led to several important scientific discoveries – for either world, in their own ways. Most of the technology researched that way makes its way into the public, in one way or another, in both worlds.
The Ministry is divided into departments, each responsible for its part of the wizarding world of the United Kingdom. In the past, most of these departments were independent organizations, whose services were employed by a substatial part of the wizarding world. While many were bureaucratically internalized, some remain semi-independent in their service due to their status and the importance of their work, continuing to bear their long-standing names as sign of unwavered priorities.
While mass magical education has existed for a long time (see History of Spellmaking), it was the 1855 decree by the Wizengamot – the predecessor, in many ways, to the Ministry of Magic (see also addendum on Wizengamot) – that mandated all mages residing in Britain to receive one.
The doctrine regarding what kind of education the British mages should receive changed with time. Initially, while the possibility certainly existed, few mages went on to receive the muggle curriculum – languages, geography, literary education, mathematics, physics etc
As the time went on, the necessity of interaction between the two worlds increased exponentially. Starting with the 20th century, wizards would find themselves outmatched by non-magical children in terms of the knowledge of the world. That, along with the increasing merging of the two worlds (see Ministry of Magic), would promote civil education among but the most conservative wizards.
As such, since 1947, the Wizarding Council – another predeccessor to the Ministry – issued the Breadth of Development decree, whereby all wizards were now required to receive civil education, according to the latest requirements of muggle primary schools.
Until the age of 11 magical children would go to the same schools as their non-magical peers, though instructed to keep their abilities a secret. Despite the risk of such an exposure – children of such age are especially prone to seek peer approval – the Wizarding Council and, later, the Ministry of Magic would both concur on the benefits being too valuable to pass.
According to the current ideology, the civil education allows magical children both to immerse themselves with the common, muggle living, and to receive a vast array of knowledge otherwise unavailable in the wizarding society that would allow mages to continuously improve and be able to offer better protection to their peers. (see Higher Education)
Unlike within the civil education system, the wizarding pedagogical doctrine makes no distinction between "primary" and "secondary" education. Primary education takes 7 years and, like the civil education, is required by law. Mages with primary wizarding education may enter higher education facilities afterwards.
The core of many a magical education system is comprised of
- wizarding studies: what charms and spells are, how to employ them in real-life situations, what is the ramifications of getting spells wrong etc.
- supplementary magical courses: witchcraft, magichemistry, artificery, thaumatics and, in some schools, wandmaking and the basics of magical engineering
- magibiology studies, including regional magibiology
- non-magical studies, mostly regarding the matters where the two worlds intersect
- physical and sports activity, including quidditch and other interschool competition
- thaumaturgy, particularly since the 1988 World Magical Congress hearing on modern technology and the need to adapt
Bigger primary schools, such as Hogwarts or Beauxbâtons, offer a selection of optional courses that aren't required to receive the diploma, but may be required for particular university specialties or work prospects. Most of those courses start in the last two or three years of school and observe the basics of the given field, with further exploration presumed to come from university studies.
Such courses include
- Ethics & Law, an overview of various legal fields from both of the worlds, including magical animal rights and persecution for magical and mage-on-muggle crimes
- Magical Architecture, which delves into physics and explores the opportunities of using magic to construct real or even imaginary buildings (see Hammerspace)
- Advanced Thaumatics
- Advanced Spellmaking – an unofficial requirement for most of the Shadow London's research and development firms, since it explores the structure of charms in much more depth than primary education alone
Graduation celebration is usually grand, with all-day spectacular performances, a feast, and, often, fireworks. Graduating students are expected to take some time – usually a year, sometimes two or three – before deciding on a job or a university prospect.
Higher magical education consists of three-to-seven-year programmes, depending on the specialization, and offers significantly deeper insight into the topics of specialty – something required for certain jobs, particularly within the Ministry of Magic.
While this level of education usually focuses on magical or mostly-magical studies – such as thaumatics or magical architecture – there exist a plenty of opportunities for non-magical education, such as political, legal, ethical, philosophical and art studies. Rarely, higher education may also include culinary studies, muggle infrastructure, muggle culture and, since recently, theological courses and muggle integration development. Only three universities in the world offer wandmaking education, the programme for which, unusually, is strictly controlled by the Ministry of Magic.
While such a level of education is not required, it opens a much wider range of work prospects.