what if wizarding america isn’t silly















when i heard there’s only one wizarding school in america, i laughed incredulously, and i know i’m not the only one. one school for the whole huge country? obviously brits don’t have any idea how big america is! cue derisive anecdotes about visitors who thought they could visit hollywood as a day trip from new york.

but recently something’s occurred to me: what if ilvermorny IS the only ‘wizarding school’ in america, with ‘wizarding school’ being defined as a wizard-only establishment where they teach nothing but magic?

aside from how unprepared that leaves kids for the rest of life, there just isn’t the population density to support wizard-exclusive pocket-universe enclaves anywhere but the east coast and possibly los angeles. even chicago is more spread out than that, and when it comes to mid-size cities like minneapolis and st. louis, forgeddaboudit. not even wizards would choose to live crammed cheek by jowl on quaintly crooked pedestrian-only streets when they could have a three-bedroom prairie-style on a wooded half-acre in edina.

so i’m thinking, yeah, ok, most american magicals don’t send their kids to wizard school. kids go to regular school and have wizarding clubs and retreats and summer camps instead. gives new meaning to “one time at band camp.”

the pureblood prejudice never developed in america? well, of course not, no one but the hamptons set goes even a single day without interacting with muggles. most of your friends are going to be muggles. there aren’t enough magical jobs for everyone, so most people’s coworkers will be muggles. except we wouldn’t call them muggles, of course, and certainly not ‘no-maj’ – that sounds like something that was said for a while by one particular new york jet set clique in the 1920′s and got written down in an english etiquette book as ‘what americans say’. we’d probably call them ‘mundanes’ or ‘normals’ if we called them anything at all.

the stuff about wand permits and other odd regulations makes sense for a small bureaucracy that doesn’t really understand why it can’t control things the way european magical governments do. it’s kind of a cargo cult legislation. probably most americans don’t even use a wand most of the time. european wand-focused magic might be the Done Thing among the WASP contingent, but everyone else undoubtedly knows at least something about navajo healing ritual, haitian voodoo, lakota dance magic, chinese feng-shui warding techniques, etcetera. taking away a person’s wand doesn’t take away their magic. you can’t say ‘corn pollen permit’ with a straight face and they sell chalk at the corner store.

i expect american wizards look at the hogwarts set as kind of a weird sect with weird restrictions and weird costumes. like the amish, but instead of furniture and quilts, they export clueless young men.

if I lick your brain will I gain your creativity?

i don’t know but it’s worth a try

also no one else will be able to eat it because it’s got your germs on it, which will be handy if zombies

this has always pretty much been my whole exact understanding of the hp universe

i also figured a lot of american magic is in english instead of the pseudo greek/latin British spells since, unlike British schools, most Americans never study those, so our spells are like ‘Fire’, ‘Unlock", “Magic Missile’

also american wands have gun grips or are baseball bats

when i was a kid i made a wand out of a piece of copper pipe with brass end caps, and carried it around with me for most of a year; i know a lot of kids who had walking sticks from summer camp or hiking, and pretended they were magic. hell, i bet a lot of wizard kids learn to cast with a #2 pencil, just from idly messing around.

also, spells based on superhero powers: definitely a thing.

imagine some baddie trying to AK someone and getting hit by SHAZAM in return.

american wizards learn how to do spider-man webbing out of wands the way kids learn to do that one S symbol

source: remember those dumb/racist comics ron had in his room? that’s all they got. britwizards don’t know a single spider-man

spells based on d&d too, i bet. and not nearly as much distinction between ‘dark arts’ and the rest, largely because a lot of the nonwhite arts got classified as Ebil Scary Bad by anglos, and the rest of america wasn’t having it. in louisiana, knowing the voodoo lady can raise the dead just speaks to the high quality of her marching powder.

florida wizards can use pool noodles as wands

not a single british wizard has ever returned from florida

dude florida is just one big messy cryptid zone, the ‘florida man’ phenomenon is real and ‘hold my beer’ is a very powerful spell

edit: ok, wizarding america IS silly, just not the way rowling thought


In Chicago you must be careful not to diss deep dish pizza aloud as the entire city is imbued with enough inherent magical pride that you may incur a hex if you say “deep dish sucks” while walking too close to the lake. Lots of pizza-fond kappa dwell in there, and they can get nasty. The Chicago Cubs curse was very, very real and it took a united ward circle featuring two thousand souls holding hands, the length of the entire magic mile, and a fuckton of celery salt to finally rid our poor baseball team of its 108 year curse. As such Chicago magic-users are extremely wary of the power of Goat Magic© to this day.

It’s a city named “onion” in the vernacular of the Miami and Illini, built on a swamp: you know it is steeped in some serious ancient native magic. And no ordinary cow started a fire bringing the whole town down in one fell swoop, come on now.

Whereas, let’s be real, the majority of magic used in Los Angeles is either a) used to alter/improve appearance as it is the city of undying vanity or b) used to bypass traffic while invisible because screw taking the 101 and the 405, honestly.

Minnesota wizarding families use old Norse pagan and church sigils, as well as some Proto Norse runic magic (the uses and varieties of which they do not share with scholars who would really like to know how to use the runes properly thank you). Hot Dish is a traditional meal at magic conclaves. Last year a nineteen year old wizard claimed he cast a spell using a cheesy breadstick from Toppers, but the claim has yet to be substantiated.

In the early 2000s every young witch chose to practice her magic by using a feather gel pen as a wand. Summer magic camps devoted entire charms classes to making your tech deck levitate and do flips. Wizarding Pokémon cards feature Pokémon that jump off the card and perform tiny battles when played.

as a minnesota bear i can inform you that our magic is equal parts scandinavian and ojibwe. our weather magic is unsurpassed. oh, we don’t use it to control the weather – that would fuck everything up so bad you don’t even know. we just know things like when to plug in the engine heater overnight, and when the tornado sirens are for realsies.

snow golems: totally a thing. plow truck patronuses are not unheard-of.

whatever lives in lake superior, you do not mess with it. it’s nothing so friendly as homicidal merfolk. the lake itself is alive, and she has weird moods. all the other 9999 lakes, we can calm with the swirl of a canoe paddle, but gitchigumi you leave the hell alone. when she kicks up you apologize and gtfo. all magic can do is give you fair warning.

the edmund fitzgerald didn’t have a water witch on board. bad idea, guys.

And then there’s everything within the DC Beltway. The Metro system doubles as an underground market for both spell traders and peace brokers. Metro Center is one of the major hubs; so is L’Enfant Plaza. If you walk around the Mall in the right pattern you can run into the National Wizarding Museum which has a room for artifacts from every state. Muggles too but then they get confused why they can’t find that Museum again it had the coolest gift shop. Yes, the Washington Monument is a magical artifact. The fish market sells more than just fish if you know what to ask for. There’s a Thestral on patrol at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. There are a bajillion types of charms all over the embassies, government buildings, international organizations. There’s a huge confundus charm over Fort Meade, too, that’s why everyone keeps getting lost there. 

In Colorado, the 100 year flood of 2013 (or 1,000 year flood depending on who you talk to) came about from the collective magic of enough Colorado witches and wizards saying “we could use the moisture” with accidental intent, building enough to bring on the rains that caused the state-wide flooding. 

About C.A. Jacobs

Just another crazy person, masquerading as a writer.
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