You’d think a witch working down in the Department of Mysteries would know better than to go about flaunting a criminal record. Or to continue breaking the law, for that matter.
Padma Patil kept on. You could say it was a challenge, of sorts, one that she kept up even after being hauled up in front of the Wizengamot no less than three times. People said the only reason she’d got off scott-free was because she was a war-hero. Maybe they weren’t wrong; maybe war heroes were invulnerable, maybe they played by rules that others weren’t privy to.
It wasn’t as if it was a big offense. A minor infraction of the rules, a regular flaunting of the Statute of Secrecy. One little hole in the blind the wizarding world had pulled over the muggles’ eyes. But the way they went on about it, Merlin, you’d think it was the end of the world - putting us all in danger by her blatant disregard for the rules.
Of course, no one asked them why they thought a magical carpet was more likely to be spotted than a broomstick. A magical carpet - that was unusual and that was enough. Never mind that it was far more comfortable, far more efficient than a broom. It was odd, it was out of place, it was an infraction of the Statute of Secrecy.
Padma kept on flying her carpet. One day they’d figure it out. One day they’d realize it wasn’t simply about the Statute of Secrecy but something much larger. A whole way of living rendered invalid and meaningless by one petty little law - something they worried about because they knew and they couldn’t separate the threads of the magical and non-magical the same way these men from the Ministry could.
Till then they could keep slapping on the handcuffs as much as they bloody well liked. She was in bloody good company.
They trip over the words, the syllables and sounds sitting strangely on their tongues. Latin. Greek. Old English, the language of the Saxons. Words that can be meant, but never felt. They move their wrists, but the movements are all wrong. Too fluid, too flowing, not the precise jerky movements that declare forthright intent and blunt direction and no appreciation for the finer points of the whys and wherefores.
To understand this, you must remember that the wands came to them only in 1829.
No, that’s wrong. You might think, therefore, that they had a choice in the matter, but they didn’t. In 1759, for the first time, they were told they couldn’t practice magic the way they did anymore. It was the British, the muggles, as the Confederation called it. They couldn’t have them know about magic and they needed a way to make sure there weren’t any violations of the Statute of Secrecy. A trace.
The trace does not work on wandless magic, or ritual magic, of course. Oh, a signal registers, yes. Magic has been used, that much is clear - but who? There is no way of pinpointing it.
It starts out that way, in 1759. In 1829, they learn for the first time that their magic, all wandless, is inferior to that of the magic produced by the wand. Wand magic is swift, precise and immediate - it is the future of magic. When put that way; a choice between lingering in the romantic past or moving into the future and accepting progress; there is only one choice to be made. To take up wands and learn new words. Another language, that is what it boils down to in the end. Their language is old, but too old - that is something you thought would never have been said by men and women who value, above everything else, ancient bloodlines and ancestries that can be traced back centuries. Age, it seems, is virtuous only as far back as the founding of the Greek kingdoms.
Two centuries. That is enough and yet not enough. It sits wrong. Something is missing - and they do not know what.
Some of them, they invent their own spells. Spells they really feel, because magic, magic is about thought, emotion and will coming together in one swift moment and then exploding, coursing through one’s veins to create, to do, to be. In the end, these polyglot spells are truly theirs - neither here nor there, just like them and so, easier to be felt and to be willed into existence. In the end, magic is their heart and if they cannot feel their magic - does not that take something so very fundamental away from them?
Some of them, they break their wands and perform wandless magic alone once they have outgrown the reaches of the Ministry and the International Confederation of Wizards. Talented witches and wizards who will never receive the adulation that those who perform magic without wands in England, in Europe, will be awarded for daring to go beyond the bounds of normal magic. They will disappear completely - law abiding citizens in the wrong place at the wrong time, doing the wrong kind of magic for the rest of their lives with nothing but the quiet comfort that they are doing magic the way it was once done by their ancestors to keep them company.
There are others who refused to take up wands, who refused to hide from the muggles and to give up their old ways of magic. They are called criminals nowadays. Whole groups of people, just like that, because they would not comply with the Statute of Secrecy.
And lastly, there are those who one day look at their wands and ask themselves if it might not be better to send the muggle friends of these witches and wizards who were so concerned for their safety - for the continued secret of their existence - back home where they belonged. Who ask themselves if their wands, once tools of their oppression, might not be turned against their oppressors. Who will ask themselves, why should we stand by in silence while our comrades-in-arms suffer for the sake of secrecy and the safety of men and women who live pampered lives in a faraway land - who will never know what it means to starve or to watch men die or to have to turn one’s collar points down for fear that it might give offense to a well-dressed English gentleman?
And having answered those questions, those are the witches and wizards who will take up their wands - who have taken up their wands and fought because magic is not magic and non-magic but magic is magic is magic, because magic was given to them all, because it is their land and their identity.
Those witches and wizards; they are the ones who will never be remembered in Hogwarts, or for that matter, any of the history books they use to teach them there. Zuhair Shafiq. Parvati Zuhair Shafiq (nee Chatterjee). Siddhant Patil. Ram Chandra Azad. Padma Mukherjee. Ramesh A. Rajkumar. Sunil P. Jadhav. Joseph de Silva. Sharda Rajagopalachari. Sana M. Syed. The All-India Jadukara Azaadi Association. Thousands of names that would take far too long to list - witches and wizards who asked themselves why and found they had no answer, not until they took up their wands and fought for freedom.
You could argue that their fight was in vain. In 1950, the Indian Ministry of Magic was formed and signed the Statute of Secrecy. But the fight for freedom, the fight against these wands is a struggle that will continue, always continue until once again the magic sits comfortably in their skin and their tongues no longer stumble over spells and they find that they can move their wrists as they were once wont to - and the magic will burst forth and they will be as they have never been for two hundred years.
That, that, is freedom. That is independence.
Just a reminder that submissions for Resistance/Independence week (8th - 15th August) are open and will be open for that time period.
Resistance/Independence week will focus on stories of resistance by wix against colonialism, various forms of systematic…
lovespiper asked: Your question about magic different because of location was brilliant! If there were stronger witches in say Egypt why didn't they come forward and stop LV from trying to take over the wizarding world? Maybe they were unaware of it and that the secret ancient wizards of Egypt and Morocco do not interact with the wester wizarding world as they do not know of it's existence? Maybe there lack of a wand makes them seen as inferior to western witches and so are ignored by the western world! WHO KNOWS
I don’t think they were unaware or that it was a matter of strength of magic or lack of magic (I mean the whole point me and petrichorlore were making was that their magic was stronger due to a connection with ancient languages/the oldest languages in the world; therefore they didn’t have need of a wand)
Maybe there’s also intricate politics tied up in the magical world mirroring the muggle world: the magical folks can’t really interfere/don’t want to interfere with the affairs of the West—and there wasn’t any indication that Voldy had plans to conquer the world/or that he had forces outside of England (unless there was in the text but I’m forgetting now since it’s been a while). So like basically a ‘not our problem’ type of thing.
Or maybe they would’ve intervened if Voldy threatened international security (kind of like how everyone jumped into WWI after certain countries were invaded/people killed). So I think if after Voldy was successful in taking over the UK he would’ve expanded outwards, and THEN the international magical community would have banded together to stop him?
Yeah I feel like if it had been an international problem there would have been an international battle. In the real world, you can’t actually invade another country to help unless they ask for it without a huge amount of risk (according to my World Issues teacher).
I have this idea of a Wizarding UN and that with Voldemort it could have been a situation like Syria. It could have been that giving help might have caused other wizarding countries to fight whoever helped (in very broad and generalistic terms: China and Russia and Iran helping Syria vs Everyone Else), for political reasons.
Then you have the problem of choosing who to back (I don’t think pureblood supremacy is only a British Wizarding problem), and whether or not to fight civilian resistance groups, or the Snatchers.
I don’t think anyone would want another World War like with Grindlewald, and tbh, the simpler solution would have been to let the Brits deal with it, and I guess aid refugees?
Of course, lovespiper is making an interesting point (while I kinda ran on a tangent). Other wizarding communities could very well be hidden from each other or ignorant of each other. But I think that would be the smaller communities, only because it doesn’t make sense trade-wise (I remember in The Philosopher’s Stone there was talk of flying carpets not being banned in certain countries or something? And also, how would you explain Bill’s work in Egypt?)
As for the superiority some wixen might feel over those who use wands, I bet anything in the world that that’s the case sometimes, just like with the pureblood thing. departmentsofmysteries had a really interesting ficlet thing about wands potentially originally being a thing forced on people in detention camps to limit their magic use, which I thought was interesting.
The idea of a wixen UN/global alliances and relations is REALLY fascinating. I always equated the International Confederation of Wizards to the UN. And I wondered, couldn’t they have at least imposed sanctions on Voldemort’s Britain, or something?
I think part of the answer might be that the magical community is quite small. Hogwarts is usually estimated to have housed about 300-400 students AT MOST? Granted, there may have been a family here and there who decided not to send their kids to school, but even at a wildly overblown estimate of 100 home-schooled magic kids, that’s 500. Double it to account for the under-elevens. 1000. Then there are their families, and the single/childless/etc. 10K? 20K? The entire British wixen population is barely the size of a small town. Even if other major players in the International Confederation have ten times that many (America, Russia, China…) the magical population, globally, is MINUSCULE. Setting aside the issues that raises w/r/t sustainable population… It also means they are likely v. much spread out, with small pockets isolated in semi-magical communities like Godric’s Hollow, or Hogsmeade. And not as likely to have a highly organized form of government. Britain’s electoral system is shady at best (the Minister is said to be “appointed,” likely by the Wizengamot, but who appoints the Wizengamot? WHO?) and America is comparatively “new world” by wixen standards, I should think. It might be a total mess over there. Or maybe they’re locked in a race with Russia to land the first magical being on Mars… Maybe they don’t have peacemaking troops to spare because there are, like, 200 wizards in all of Hong Kong and they’ve got their own shit to deal with, thank you very much. Maybe, with such limited numbers, the sacred 28 families have connections all over the globe and there are just as many Malfoys/Notts/Mulcibers stirring up trouble in New York as London.
Maybe some of them thought Voldemort had the right idea.
Tangentially, can we envision what sort of contingencies the Int. Confederation would have re: Mutually Assured Destruction? These people can come up with HORCRUXES, they probably have some pretty twisted tricks up their sleeves.
International wizarding relations are MY JAM, and always have been, and I wished JKR had expanded on this more.
I’m looking up the international response to the Bangladesh Liberation War to see if I can make some sort of comparison. What stuck out to me was that very few countries got involved, even the UN barely made a dent, and when other countries did get involved it wasn’t because they had any strong feelings about Bangladesh but because they wanted to fight against their actual enemies. US supported Pakistan because they thought that if India (who supported Bangladesh) took over Pakistan they’d be spreading Soviet communism. The Soviets supported Bangladesh mostly to get at United States and China (who was also an ally to Pakistan and was one of the last countries to recognise Bangladesh as an independent country). Bangladesh’s own issues weren’t really of any particular importance to anybody; they were just convenient props for other countries’ own issues.
In HP canon flying carpets are banned in the UK, but are pretty common in South Asia and the Middle East. In one of the books there’s a mention of a businessman named Ali Bashir who gets really frustrated over this ban. In my Shafiq 28 verse the Bideshis are super frustrated about this ban, seeing it as a form of imperialism and racism (and this is probably one of the few things they’d be allied with the Maghribis/Pakistanis about).
I don’t know that they’d send people over to war unless specifically asked (as mentioned earlier). I see the international magical world as being a lot more segregated than the international muggle world - there’s obviously some sort of European alliance (Durmstrang, Beauxbatons, Hogwarts) but there doesn’t seem to be a lot of cooperation or understanding - especially when it leads to stupid stuff like banning flying carpets because they look too much like Muggle things while allowing flying brooms and Portkeys and Floo networks. And hey, have we seen the Brits be particularly interested in all the other countries when those countries are in conflict? Or are they all “not my problem”?
What could be possible is the other countries sending over aid after the war. Looking at this list of international response to Hurricane Katrina I see pretty amazing things like Bangladesh (which is much poorer than most of the world) giving $1 million.
This is also making me think of the response to the First Wizarding War, which we know has some parallels to WW2 (and it’s implied that the Nazi reign and Grindelwald’s rule were linked). It seemed that the international (really European) response to the Holocaust was mostly in housing Jewish refugees - I could see the Muggleborns escaping to nearby countries to protect themselves from the Snatchers (that would be a great fic idea actually: all these Muggleborn refugees from the UK now living outside the UK, maybe even outside the magical world, interacting with current-day refugees from the Eastern world who are being treated like shit, maybe some of them buy into that nonsense while some others become pro-refugee activists simply because they know what it was like even if others don’t think so because hey you’re British what do you know about being a refugee).
While the Holocaust is going on, there was also a lot happening in Asia - locals fighting off Japanese and British rule, various liberation wars, so on and so forth. And each region is focused on their own thing, just because there’s just so much going on. We don’t really hear of anyone like the Patils or the Changs in Marauders or OotP-era storytelling - maybe because the ancestors of Cho and Parvati and Padma were too busy dealing with stuff back where they came from or fled those countries to settle in England for safety and deliberately did not want to get involved with another fuckin’ war, or they could do what a lot of the Bengali shipmen did in the US around the 20s and 30s and organise people there to fight against British rule. All these smaller pockets that may not have anything directly to do with Lord Voldemort but were still part and parcel of the wars.
Hell there likely was some fallout from Lord Voldemort’s actions on the rest of the world even in Harry’s years - remember all the chaos that broke out during the International Quidditch World Cup? It’s likely that some of the casualties were foreigners - think of the pressure they might have put on the British MoM for not taking care of their people (I think Pottermore actually does have some info from JKR about the international wizarding world really not being happy with the UK MoM). Kind of like how China is pretty pissed off with Malaysia now because they still don’t know where MH370 is.
But how much would Harry be aware of this sort of thing? He’s never seem particularly interested in the wizarding world outside the UK; even Beauxbatons and Durmstrang get barely a mention. Yes he now has international in-laws (Fleur, and to some extent Bill and Charlie) but does he enquire deeply into their work? Not really. The person in the core cast who gets the most international exposure and curiosity in the entire series is Ron - he’s well-versed in international Quidditch and was excited about going to Egypt. We haven’t seen Harry or even Hermione venture overseas.
OK, enough digression. I don’t really agree that magic would be stronger or weaker with a wand, without a wand, with root languages, without root languages, yadda yadda. It’d likely be different, but not really anything you can measure on an appreciable scale. But I do think the perception of magical quality does play a lot into international magical relations, and I’m not sure there is a lot of magical collaboration even with the International Council of Wizards (I’m assuming Supreme Mugwump is like the UN Secretary General?). But it’s well established in canon that the British Ministry of Magic is hella corrupt and broken anyway - so possibly after the war, now that there’s some other Government, international relations are much more established.
[[UPDATE: BAH I got my tangents crossed. The Snatchers thing was a product of the 2nd Wizarding War, not the 1st Wizarding War - though it is possible that something similar existed in the 1st war too. Carry on!]]
On the origins of magic: how the wands came to be. (4/?)
From: Postcolonial resistance in the mythologies of the magical peoples of the South Asian subcontinent ed. Sunil P. Patil (1991).
Old magic. Old magic old magic old magic.
How could people forget?
How could people forget the magic that had helped raise the great stones, that had marked the stars that pyramids pointed to, that had sunk ancient cities and raised rivers from deserts?
How could they forget?
All too easily, the answer rang back, all too easily. They had forgotten how to live, breathe and drink magic. Had forgotten how the men of yore had lived without wands; how without those twigs the magic was channeled through movement and sway and song and sacrifice. How without those twigs the only barrier to the magic you could make was yourself, was your own mind, your own sacrifice. How without those twigs you could do anything when you had enough strength.
Magic was a muscle, the elders said. Practice with it and it shall grow, just as by lifting rocks and timber each day your muscles shall grow. But take one of those sticks, those little twigs and you are using a lever to do that work for you, you are letting yourself be weak when you could be so so so strong.
The young ones ignored them, pointed at them laughed at these elders stuck in their old ways with dreams of a great and ancient past but naught to show for those dreams, and argued that now they were old how could they sway and sing and sacrifice? Was it not better to do less for more? To conserve, waiting for a greater task, The Great Task? Why offer themselves up mind, body and soul to magic when in a moment, with a mere flick of a wrist, with a wand they could do the same thing just as well? And these elders could lament wands all they liked, but they had nothing to show for all their boasts of glory, could not with such precision, with such finesse accomplish the things these children could.
The elders’ faces were impassive.
The elders’ faces betrayed nothing.
So it went, for years and years, the children slowly outnumbering the elders, growing proud and mighty in their strength until the elders worried. Worried that in their pride the children would grow reckless, would forget that magic was no toy but a powerful force, one to be reckoned with - one that would demand its pay.
A great council they summoned, drawing magical folk from every corner of the uncivilized world and told them of their fears - of how they feared the children had forgotten the old magics of the world, had forgotten what it meant to channel power and force, what it meant to be responsible.
They fought. Father against son. Mother against daughter.
And late that night elders from every corner of the uncivilized corners of the world met in an old forest, untouched by time and human hands, still throbbing with the ancient magic of the world, deep and dark. There they breathed their old and ancient magic for the very last time, letting it seep through their veins, rich and heady and intoxicating. Then with calls foreign to all, they rose and bound their children.
You want wands? they asked the magic they worshipped and worked with, You want levers and magic getting weaker?
Then so be it.
They bound the magic and their children all at once, forever cursing those who took in hand the twigs they called wands, weapons, to be doomed to a life torn away from the old magics of the world. So it was that when a child used a wand, working wandless came to be a burden, a path fraught with great difficulty that few except the most dedicated would ever tread.
It is their punishment. The consequence of their folly.
When you see them, with their wands, remember the old magic, the magic that you breathe, drink and live. It is this magic in your veins, the magic of the civilized lands of the world. Dusty, old with time. Exercise it, children, use it, concentrate, feel it, let it flow through you, lest it be taken from you and lost forever.
I am disappointed, of course, that father never got to see this book. I think he would have quite enjoyed it. Would have found plenty of good use for it in his research.
Naturally, as you might imagine, the book is popular only among a few select academic circles in the wizarding world. Wands as punishment? Sacrilege! Though I suppose one ought to be thankful it did not receive the Myths of Magical Europe treatment. A.R.
(Submitted by essayofthoughts, with a few minor edits on my part.)
Amar baccha! My children, listen, for I have a story to share with you.
In the beginning there was the Kund, the deep wellspring from where the first Ohm of the Universe flowed. Soon other sounds and utterances flowed through, forming brooks of syllables, joined into streams of words, joined into rivers of sentences, joined into seas of stories, joined into oceans of truth.
And each sound and syllable and word, each sentence and story and truth, each little drop carried with it the Power of Creation and Destruction, the Power of Language: together like the ebbs and flows of tidal waves, like drought and floods, like sunshine and rain.
Creation comes from Destruction comes from Creation.
And this Power, the Power of Language, this exists for all those who speak, listen, write, read. For all those that carry Language in their heads and in their hearts. For it is Language that is your birthright and it is Language that is your responsibility.
And Language is not to be restricted, to be hoarded as though it is some precious and rare gold or silver. No, Language is to be shared by all, for it is everyone’s birthright, and everyone’s responsibility, to partake in the ebbs and flows of Creation and Destruction.
You are not the Master of Language, much like you are not the Master of Water or Air. You, all of you, are in Service to Language, much like you are in Service to Water or Air - Powers that create you, Powers that sustain you, Powers that destroy you.
There are some of you that will be entrusted to ensure the safety, sanctity, sanctuary of Language. You will be known as the Compassionate Ones, the Shafiqs, caretakers and custodians of Language and all those that wield it. It is your responsibility to care for the hearts and heads of those you serve, to ensure that their needs and desires are met, that they remain safe and protected and well. It is your responsibility to ensure that Language is shared freely, that Language is served for the greater good, that all hold access to Language and that your Language does not die before it is time.
And oh how its time will threaten to come! For there will be forces that claim to be Masters of Earth and Fire, claim their right to ravage your lands and control your people with ever-changing boundaries and restrictions. Forces that claim to be Masters of Water and Air and destroy all which you build in symbiosis to create that which dominates. Forces that claim to be Masters of Language, their own Language, while denigrating yours as lesser-than, impure, powerless.
And then there will be forces of your own. You claiming responsibility as privilege and using your custodianship as cruelty. You forgetting your own birthright and believing those that say your power can only be accessed by a select few through specific means foreign to you. You letting go of your Language, that which gives you Life, and forgetting all the syllables and stories and truths that it carries.
Destruction comes from Creation comes from Destruction.
The Power will still manifest, still create and destroy, even without your wielding of Language, even without those who speak and listen and write and read. It is Power that has existed before there was Humanity and will exist after there is Humanity, for it is Power that has created the Universe and will destroy the Universe.
Learn to approach Language with respect and responsibility, and you will gain strength, fortitude, prosperity, livelihood. But treat Language as though it is something you can control, restrict, deny, destroy, and you will find that it will control, restrict, deny, and destroy you.
And if you ever find that you are close to the brink of no return, return to the Waters: the oceans, the seas, the rivers, the streams, the brooks. Return to the wellspring, to the Kund, and call out for a new Ohm.
Remember this, baccha, for forgetting is the first step to Destruction without Creation.
[[source: Belinda Meggit
So thepostmodernpottercompendium is hosting this really interesting series on the origins of magic which is now becoming an interesting story in progress. I have been meaning to write this story for a long time, ever since I found this picture in researching the bede, or gypsy boat people of Bangladesh: she’s one of them. I knew she was the face of the dainee that mysteriously guides the Bideshis as soon as I saw her picture, and now I want to write her story.
The line about the kund and the first ohm is from a piece by Minal Hajratwala, about being a kinky queer femme Indian woman. In the piece she plays a lot with language and draws the connection between “cunt” and “kund” - as in “kundalini”. The name of the piece escapes me right now but it was performed in this year’s Yoni Ki Baat in SF.]]
The English could laugh all they liked when they saw those charlatans peddling their amulets, lining the sides of Diagon Alley. But they were wrong to blithely dismiss all amulets as mere fripperies and fopperies, the province of the uneducated and superstitious.
After all, what did they know of magic outside of the narrow confines of their world?
But witches and wizards (and even muggles) from the Middle East knew a thing or two about warding and protection against dark magic - of how to trick the evil eye. What good was a shield charm once a curse had already been cast? What good was it to have the most powerful wards on one’s house, only to wander the streets completely unprotected?
But then these fools seemed to have a funny sort of magic, all yelling about and waving arms in a wild frenzy, with none of the subtlety, the cruelty of their magic - magic which necessitated protection at all time, for who knew when someone would cast their eye upon you and curse you, sweet, simple and painful?
A simple amulet, each nazar was carefully handcrafted in the fires of a glass-maker, an art nearly as old as time itself, and while it was being carefully molded, a skilled warder would mutter the incantations, weaving the magic into the very heart of the bead itself. The wards themselves were nearly as old as the glassmaking craft, many of them lost except in the oral tradition of these witches and wizards who dedicated their lives to crafting protective amulets to fend off the evil eye. Only the three Unforgivables would ever break through these wards, once one wore it against one’s skin. Every other curse was deflected, its magic broken and shattered on the spot.
Real wards for real magic.
These English witches and wizards could rightly laugh at the peddlers and hoaxsters along Diagon Alley. Those crudely made charms and amulets were not true ward magic, merely pale imitations - a relic of the imperialistic imagination of a magically impoverished people. These wizards and witches could laugh at them too, with their nazar dangling from simple rope threads ‘round their necks. Amulets and charms, mere superstition, yes, yes they could laugh at all their superstitious nonsense.
They would have the last laugh when those foolish men in masks came for them all.
[[I’ve mentioned nazar battus on this blog as being a common village magic charm for the Bideshis - here’s how they came to be.]]
[[so ever since Shafiq appeared in the Sacred Twenty-Eight list on Pottermore it’s become a growingly-popular last name in fanfic, but there are some uses of Shafiq that kind of make me wince, even if unfairly.
The most jarring ones are the names where Shafiq is paired with a very bog-standard Anglo name - say Bob Shafiq or Jane Shafiq. Because the Potterverse isn’t white-washed enough as it is? I often have to check myself when I see this happen because my own name is an English word (Tiara) and there are Anglo names that travel (Daniel, Sara), but even within my family tree that’s fairly unusual.
The other extreme of this is picking very Arabic names and setting the characters as being from the Middle East. Yes, Shafiq is from Arab origin, but names travel! It’s a common-ish Muslim name, and Islam has a lot of roots outside the Middle East - hell there are a lot more Muslims in Asia than Arabia. A lot of Africa is Muslim, Bosnia and surrounding Central Asia/Eastern Europe esque countries are Muslim, and there’s all the converts and enclaves and intermarriages etc etc etc.
I’ve seen Bangladeshi Shafiqs and Malay Shafiqs (as well as variations on the spelling, such as Shafik and Syafiq) and I’m sure that there are Shafiqs of all sorts of ethnicities. I would love to see a lot more diversity not just in the naming, but also in the origin stories of these characters. How about, say, a Ali Shafiq, Malay wizard from Singapore? Or a Siti Nurain Shafiq from Jakarta? Or an Afroz Shafiq from the East Indian diaspora based in Kenya? Or or or…
So many possibilities for names, let’s look outside the bog standard!]]
Agent Sparrow Field Report: October 26th, 2000
Lady Patricia Shafiq of Essex, matronly figurehead of the Ladies’ Snidget Preservation Committee of 1894, was widely known to despise humankind. Unlike most of her contemporaries, she did not discriminate between Muggles and Wixenkind: she simply disliked the company of everyone she met.
When all of her children were grown and her husband (mercifully, she wrote in her journals) had died of a painful illness, Lady Patricia made a curious request of her eldest son, who was a renowned spellcaster. She asked to be transfigured into a ship. The sea, she claimed, was the only thing that understood her and the only thing in the world she could abide, apart from the Snidgets in her garden (but one does not transfigure onself into a bird, which is poor form). Lady Patricia’s son, understandably, refused. But under pressure from his exasperated siblings and what he described as “constant nagging” from his mother, he eventually relented.
Lady Patricia spent the rest of her days adrift at sea, lending her services to one unsuspecting crew after another. It was reported one day that she capsized in a storm, and the ship’s remains were discovered shortly afterward, badly damaged.
Inheritors of the Shafiq estate have often claimed that on stormy nights a ghost ship (specifically the spectral imprint of a ship, and not a real ship populated by ghosts) is in the habit of appearing quite suddenly in the drawing room with a flock of Snidgets roosting upon its sails.
The Department has received countless requests to investigate. But some claims are simply too ridiculous to be entertained.
 Addendum: For more on the series of Department cases related to the Shafiq estate, see the Ministry’s genealogical archives.
…what weird relative of mine ended up in England way back in 1894?! And apparently married some crochety lady that preferred boats to people?!
Then again, from what I can tell, we do seem to have a thing for boats…
was she the dainee my mother always talked about?
notyourexrotic asked: Haha, interesting that you chose that passage to illustrate your point, because in the Shafiqverse magic is supposed to be the domain of everybody. Those spells mentioned? Basic stuff. Cast spells to protect your paddy fields and place anti-evil-eye charms. Just reappropriated so that the upper crust can hire other people to do it. As far as skill levels go those are close to the quick-wand-magic variety!
Oh! But like preparing the fields! I thought that would take effort. And tantra is sort of ritualistic, from what I recall.
Gaaaaaaaah. I need more hours in the day to do research.
N.B. Oops I misread a thing. Sorry guys. We’re going to stick with the Notts and trance magic example.
[[“tantramantra” is what Google Translate gives me for the Bengali word for “spells”; it has no relation to tantra as the spiritual (or heavily appropriated) practice.
There is some ritual involved, I’d imagine (the Shafiqverse has some disdain for the quick-cheap-easy flicks of the wand), but there are differing levels of complexity, and this ranks amongst some of the easier stuff. The picture I had in my mind was closer to, say, reciting a few prayers and setting up a scarecrow.
I could see a case being made for some more intense ritual maybe at the beginning, or once a year or so, but general upkeep? Eh, pay the gardener.
A better example of the kind of intense ritual you’re talking about is this account of shopnojyoti, dream magic - the idea which I yanked from livesandliesofwizards and expanded on as a nearly-lost art.]]