This page will set up the current world of Harry Potter, as the story in the books end in 1998, and is tailored a bit to how we play here. For reference, Harry was born in 1980; he is currently 36 and the head of the Auror office. The next quidditch world cup is in 2018.
Canon Keeper's Note: Anyone may bring in a Wizarding character, so long as it is within canon and agrees with the below explanations. Please be aware that this was set well BEFORE Fantastic Beasts came out. We will deal with any problems as they arise. It is only necessary to contact the canon keeper first IF (a) your character works within the Creatures or Law Enforcement offices of the British Ministry of Magic OR (b) is currently attending Hogwarts.
Ministry of Magic
Kingsley Shacklebolt became Minister for Magic after the Second Wizarding War, and is still. He has been influential in revolutionising the ministry, and is often rumored to be stepping down soon. His most controversial decision so far has been to allow the HP franchise, albeit as carefully controlled, as the main function of the ministry is to ensure the safety of the wizarding world.
Among one of the newer programmes in the Ministry is an exchange programme under the Department of International Magical Cooperation, which is how Caroline Carr ended up in Japan. The programme places a witch or wizard of at least 18 years of age (ensuring graduation from Hogwarts or home schooling) in another country for one year, where they work in that country's Ministry. At the end of the year, they must return to the UK for at least 4–6 months for debriefing and to reflect/report on their experience.
To be clear: Wandless magic is rare in Western Culture. Rowling, however, has now revealed that African and Native American wizards and witches mostly practice magic with hand gestures rather than wands. If you have a wizarding character from one of these practices, wandless magic is okay, but remember that very high quality magic may be difficult, especially charms and transfiguration. In Western cultures and others which generally use wands, it is usually only extremely powerful wizards like Dumbledore and Voldemort who are capable of it.
Wordless magic, on the other hand, is much more common, as one can internalize and think the words of a spell. Upperclassmen at Hogwarts are given introductory lessons in wordless magic, beginning in Fifth or Sixth Year. However, it should be noted that some wand woods greatly dislike wordless magic and one or two will not perform it, while certain others are very comfortable with it. Wand wood and core information is available on Pottermore and the Harry Potter wiki (harrypotter.wikia.com).
While choosing a wand can be quite spectacular when things go wrong, getting it right is a bit more subtle. The ominous gust of wind seen when Harry's wand chooses him is atypical; usually it is just the warm light, perhaps a few decorative sparks, and the unmistakable internal knowledge that the wand is yours. As wands are magical entities, they are not easily hurt or broken by daily activity or use. Many times, it takes a lot of force or power to break a wand. Thus, Mr. Ollivander can have a shop full of wands despite the fact that explosions or other violence often occurs in it.
While enchanted paintings can speak and move around, and seem to be enbued with some of the essence of their subject, photographs and other such moving images as appear in newspapers are simply moving images, and will not be hurt or injured (either for real or in the image) if torn, incinerated, etc.
One can conjure liquids and drinks, but not food. Non-edible inanimate objects are a different matter.
Common or Not?
There are several things, notably in the movies, which are portrayed as rare, but in actually might be quite common.
These are quite useful for all kinds of things, such as tents or pockets, whether undetectable or not. Although they are officially only used by manufacturers of such products, many witches and wizards do things on their own, anyway. For our purposes, the latter were all the rage during the Second Wizarding War, and many people still use them. Caroline has such a bag, and has made a wallet version for Raihosha.
While students performing this charm is rare, it's entirely possible for a skilled adult to perform this spell with practice, especially someone skilled in charms or who deals with darker matters or whose jobs include practicing and learning new spells, etc. It is known that most, if not all, of the members of the Order of the Phoenix could cast this charm, while Severus Snape is the only known Death Eater to have been able to cast it, as it requires pureness of heart. Keep in mind that one's Patronus and Animagus forms are likely often the same, excepting cases where the Patronus form has changed due to love (Snape, Tonks).
One may also imagine that since the Second Wizarding War and the popularization of the Harry Potter franchise, many more people practice this charm today than ever before, even if they have yet to master the full-bodied form.
Because one can create spells, and some spells are never actually given incantations in the books, I will be listing some here for use in play. ABC Order.
Capillus Redeo (Hair Reversion Charm)
A spell which returns one's hair to its original state after something has been magically done to it.
Seen/Mentioned: Worked by Caroline Carr after her Budokai match with David O`Cain, in which she used "Calvario" to remove his hair.
Etymology: Capilus - Latin, "hair"; Redeo - Latin, "to go back" or "return."
Liquidus Replere (Refilling Charm)
A canonical charm, but has yet to receive an official incantation. Used to refill a cup of whatever one was drinking.
Seen/Mentioned: Half Blood Prince, when Hagrid and Slughorn are drinking in Hagrid's hut.
Etymology: Liquidus - Latin, "to fill again"; Replere - Latin, "fluid," "liquid"
A spell used to solder small parts, mostly for computers and small circuitry.
Seen/Mentioned: Worked by Caroline in her work in building, repairing, and tinkering with various computer-based technologies.
Divergence of Magics
While HP magic is fully functional in SS, and I imagine can stand against most other types of magic in the box per wielder performance, it is known to not be compatible with the Lupa astral abilities. If you plan to play a HP character, please be aware of this fact.
This is magic based only on a person's own internal ability, such as the astral power used by some members of the Lupa species. It does not draw or rely on mana in any way. This magic when combined with or set against astral creates an extremely volatile environment. While it is unlikely that either party would be able to do anything to the other via means of a spell or attack, the interaction of the two powers will produce strange, and at times, explosive, results.
Interactions of these two powers most often produce dynamic sparks or flames. Miara and Caroline Carr stopped seeing if they could train together only after 2 or 3 sessions, and are now quite leery about directing their power toward each other. As for the dramatics, some years ago there was an incident a Ollivender's with an exploding wand, and while Mr. Ollivander was quite polite about it, it is unlikely that Miara will ever enter the shop again.
Since cannon isn't clear how schooling is always handled in different countries, for now we will maintain that Wizarding folk always have the option to home school, regardless of the muggle/no-mag population. The current Headmistress of Hogwarts is Minerva McGonagall.
Squibs are non-magical people born into magical families, or those with so little magic that they cannot really use it (such as Mr. Filch). While they aren't suspect to the usual spells that keep Muggles from noticing or seeing the Wizarding World, they are often treated as second class citizens of that world. Most are encouraged to join the Muggle world for a better life. Muggle-born witches and wizards are thought to be the result of recessive magic passed down from Squibs. For our benefit here, a Squib can be the direct parent of a magical person, especially if the other parent is magical.
Newer Canonical Decisions
Since the publication of the Harry Potter books, some new developments in the Wizarding world have negated a few things. Since these come from J. K. Rowling as she discovers new things about the Wizarding world, I will list things that contradicts the books here.
- One cannot create food from nothing; only liquids. However, existing food may be summoned from another place, likely with accio. House Elves may do so with teleportation.
- Accio cannot be used on living things.
- Magic can be used to assemble and cook food.
- Magic can be used to transfigure one's clothing.
The Japanese Wizarding Community
Since the Hotel is set in Japan, pertinent information and differences between the British and Japanese Wizarding communities will be listed here.
The Wizarding district of Tokyo is located in Shibuya down an alley behind the Adores Shibuya arcade and contains many stores, shops, restaurants, a bank, etc. The entrance is guarded by police working under the Japanese Ministry of Magic, which is also located here. It has many of the same types of shops as in Diagon Ally, although in Japanese mode. There is also a separate stationary and ink shop, which sells both ink sticks and liquid ink.
In Japan, one must apply to the Japanese Ministry of Magic in order to homeschool a child. Not only will they investigate the parents' ability to do so, if approved they will provide appropriate paperwork should anything come into question in the Muggle world.
The Japanese school, Mahou Tohoku, gives its' students robes which change color as the student progresses academically. It takes into account all subjects. They also learn more subjects from the beginning, such as divination and magical creatures, and later go into more difficult subjects like arithmancy and ancient runes. They do accept day students from the age of 7, shuttling them back and forth every day, and regular boarding school starts at age 11 as usual.
Unlike the Western wizarding world which generally writes with quills, the Japanese community usually uses a traditional ink brush, or sometimes an ink pen, with either an inkstick or liquid ink as one would use with a quill. Students, however, often use pencils so as to easily correct their work.
Cherry wood wands are naturally highly prized in Japan.