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93 votes
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Why aren't Muggles extinct?

We don't need to argue about reproductive fitness to explain this. Here in the real world, the fertility rate falls off as the standard of living increases. Until quite recently, the magical ...
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89 votes
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A cynical demon writing annotations into the book for puny human readers

You're looking for the Bartimaeus Sequence by Jonathan Stroud, the first book of which is "The Amulet of Samarkand" A brief summary of the trilogy from the wiki (spoilered for those who haven't read ...
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  • 1,063
68 votes
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Terry Pratchett's Discworld: is there an inconsistency in the treatment of magic?

The best explanation is that the first two Discworld aren't really "Discworld" books as much as they are "Rincewind" books. They're much more aimed at being parody of a large number of fantasy genres ...
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53 votes
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How could Ron possibly believe that "Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow..." is a real spell?

First let me say that I don't believe it is a real spell. The thing we need to realize is that Ron did not know enough spells to differentiate between fake and real spells. Mr and Mrs Weasley would ...
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  • 16.8k
53 votes
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Do the Kwikspell courses work?

Kwikspell courses are (probably) useful to some wizards, but not to squibs. The Kwikspell course literature comes with two testimonials. Madam Z. Nettles of Topsham writes: ‘I had no memory for ...
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  • 608k
51 votes

Why do wizards use such ineffective spells during serious situations in Harry Potter?

Crucio From the Order of the Phoenix: Hatred rose in Harry such as he had never known before; he flung himself out from behind the fountain and bellowed, 'Crucio!' Bellatrix screamed: the spell had ...
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50 votes
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Why did Dumbledore contemplate discontinuing Divination at Hogwarts?

It's a snake oil subject from practical Hogwarts teaching standpoint. He likely knew that for students like Harry and Ron, the best and only way to pass it is to make *&t up. The darker the better....
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50 votes

In Harry Potter, is it only children who can do 'instinctive magic'?

If you take this statement from Rowling at face value then anyone at any age would be able to use instinctive magic: You can do unfocused and uncontrolled magic without a wand (for instance when ...
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  • 65.4k
50 votes

Did Hermione invent the Four-Point Spell herself?

The use of the word "discovery" is used in another instance in the Harry Potter books: ALBUS DUMBLEDORE CURRENTLY HEADMASTER OF HOGWARTS Considered by many the greatest wizard of ...
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  • 65.4k
50 votes
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Books about dragons and war from a cat-loving author

It sounds like Eragon by Christopher Paolini. Published in 2003 but it looks like the German translation wasn't published until 2009. The film was 2006. Eragon finds a dragon egg and it hatches. ...
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  • 2,005
50 votes
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Can someone under an Imperius Curse know what is happening?

Barty Crouch Jr, who has a lot of experience in both ends of the Imperius curse, tells us that its victims can be aware of their situation, although normally they are not: ‘But your father escaped,’ ...
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  • 2,953
50 votes

Terry Pratchett's Discworld: is there an inconsistency in the treatment of magic?

Pratchett himself always claimed that all consistencies in his work were accidental so there almost certainly is an inconsistency. That's the first point. Secondly Rincewind is a special case, he has ...
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  • 6,296
49 votes
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In The Battle of Hogwarts, why didn't the Mandrakes do more damage?

There are several things to keep in mind. According to Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the cry of a mandrake is only fatal if the mandrake is fully grown. A juvenile mandrake would knock ...
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  • 4,223
48 votes

What is Voldemort's 'usual magic'?

Given the context of the line (Voldemort complaining that the Elder Wand isn't making him any stronger than before), I don't believe Voldemort was referring to a specific spell or set of spells, but ...
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48 votes
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Why didn't Umbridge use legilimency against Harry?

She had no reason to use Legilimency. It's true that the Veritaserum she uses on Harry is fake. "It was [Snape], too, who gave Professor Umbridge fake Veritaserum when she was attempting to force ...
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44 votes
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Why do wizards use such ineffective spells during serious situations in Harry Potter?

I'd like to challenge one of the assumptions in the question: ... we can see many wizards in many really important situations/fights using very ineffective spells ... emphasis mine Are they ...
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  • 1,572
43 votes
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A witch, a vampire and a pixie meet in a bar and talk about tomatoes eradicating humanity

The Hollows Series by Kim Harrison The Tomato-part checks out on this, as well as the titles. Relevant part from the above wiki: The alternate history is built upon two premises: the recent open ...
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  • 1,263
41 votes
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Origin of genies (from lamps) having a three wish limit?

According to Wikipedia: "The Fisherman and the Jinni" is the second top-level story told by Sheherazade in the One Thousand and One Nights. According to the synopsis, in the third century that ...
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40 votes

Was Ron's failed Transfiguration actually his fault?

Good question - ultimately one for the movie though, since, in the book, Ron wasn't trying to transfigure Scabbers, but rather, beetles into buttons. Here is what we do know about Transfiguration and ...
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  • 39.1k
39 votes

Why aren't Muggles extinct?

It's very possible that a lot of "muggles" just didn't know they were wizards. The book that admits students to Hogwarts needs concrete evidence of a child using magic before it will write them down ...
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38 votes
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Book with a main character who uses bells to dispel the dead

I believe this is the "Old Kingdom" series by Garth Nix. I haven't read it myself, but my sister loved them growing up. Always told me about it, and how the bells can also be used for ...
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37 votes
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Why do acts of "accidental" magic only seem to happen around Muggles?

The reason why there seems to be a bias is simple: Harry didn't grow up with wizards, and Harry's experiences are the ones we know. Given that the Dursleys gave him an inordinate amount of stress, it'...
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  • 1,270
37 votes
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Why can't you just duplicate money in the Harry Potter universe?

It's perfectly possible to duplicate gold currency but it breaks the law has a tendency to evaporate can be detected with trivial ease JKR spoke (tangentially) to the first two issues in an ...
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  • 608k
37 votes
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Manga about a female worker who got dragged into another world together with this high school girl and she was just told she's not needed anymore

The Saint's Magic Ability is Omnipotent (聖女の魔力は万能です, Seijo no Maryoku wa Bannou desu) by TACHIBANA Yuka. Originally a web novel, it also got comicalized. Cover page of the 1st volume of the manga ...
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  • 873
36 votes

Can wizards create their own spells?

I get the idea that spells can be created by wizards from Order of the Phoenix, when Luna tells Harry about her mother's death. When Harry asks her if she's known anyone who's died, she responds "...
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36 votes
Accepted

Is the Magic School Bus actually magic?

Yes, almost certainly. In the "Call the Producers" segment at the end of Episode 3, the Producer explicitly notes that Ms. Frizzle can't get sick because... ...she's magic at which point we see ...
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  • 608k
36 votes

Would a completely good Muggle be able to use a wand?

No, you've misunderstood the quote. JKR isn't saying that the result would be violent because violence is what lies inside a Muggle (though it does sound like something the Malfoys might come up with)...
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34 votes

Did Harry Potter ever invent any spells?

Fred and George appear to have invented a toy that is enchanted to so that the user is a witness to a daydream. Patented Daydream Charms One simple incantation and you will enter a top-quality, ...
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