|Amanda (carpediem_mods) wrote,|
@ 2015-07-04 21:57:00
American Wizarding Culture
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Wizarding Culture in America
Just like the difference between United States Muggles and United Kingdom Muggles, American Witches and Wizards are quite different than their European counterparts. This guide is meant to educate you on the culture of magical Americans, from their fashion to their interactions with and thoughts about Muggles and the American Wizarding Government. It won’t be long before you’re an expert on the American Wizarding community.
In America, Wizarding culture is much more integrated with Muggles. Most families are a mixture of both magical and non-magical blood. This isn’t to say that there’s widespread knowledge or acceptance of the magical world, only that compared to their United Kingdom counterparts American Wizards know more about their non magical neighbours and aren’t afraid to improve on Muggles items.
Though this doesn’t mean that all America witches and wizards accept Muggles or Muggle Borns. Just like in the United Kingdom there are many families, young and old, that are made up of only witches and wizards which make up the Pureblood families of America. Some of the newer families are more accepting of Muggles and Muggle Borns, while many of the older families do not accept Muggle Borns as one of their own because they see them as weakening the magic. Tradition and magic are very important to Purebloods.
Just like Witches & Wizards in the United Kingdom, owls are the primary method of mail delivery in the United States. Unlike their United Kingdom counterparts, magical Americans have the option of using a special branch of the USPS to ship large items or things that must be shipped longer distances (due to a law preventing abuse of owls). It’s simply called MUSPS or Magical United States Postal Service. These packages and letters will be delivered just like your normal mail, via mail-carrier, but said mail-carrier will be a magical individual working for MUSPS. Non-magical employees of the USPS have no knowledge of these special co-workers of theirs or the branch. These individuals may appear to be normal mail-carriers to anyone without magic but their uniforms and trunks do have the add M in front of USPS which Muggles cannot see. And if asked by non-magical folk, they will simply state they work for the USPS and nothing more.
While the United Kingdom has the Daily Prophet and Witch Weekly, America also has print outlets for news and entertainment. There is a branch of USA Today devoted to magical Americans known as WSA, or Wizarding States of America that covers general news and media. Witch Weekly America, is an extension of its British counterpart and there are any numbers of other wizarding print news media including tabloids. In America, instead of the Quibbler, we have the Wizarding World News, which isn’t any more reputable than it’s non-magical counterpart.
Much like the cable network TV in Muggle America, the Wizarding world also has a television network, called Wizarding Wireless. There are channels devoted entirely to issues and entertainment deemed important and enjoyable by the magical world; special television sets that are compatible with the Wizarding Wireless network are the only devices able to pick up these magical tv stations. In the last couple of decades wizards and witches have been making it in Hollywood which means more and more muggle tv shows and movies have been appearing on the Wizarding Wireless despite the protest from the Pureblood families.
Unlike in the United Kingdom, telephones are becoming more and more common in the wizarding households (at least the non Pureblood households), due to the United States large size and vast population coupled with its integration with Muggle society. Cell phones are also starting to become popular among the younger generation of wizards and witches though they aren’t always reliable due to magical interference.
One thing that the magical community in United States has that the United Kingdom doesn’t is Mirror Time or M-Time. Mirror Time uses a mirror to talk to someone else face to face (think facetime on an iPhone). Certain mirrors can be connected to the M-Time network by magic and used much like Skype calls on a Muggle computer. To place a call, simply point your wand at the glass to activate the service and state the name and/or address of the person you want to contact.
Computers, much like cellphones, are being used a lot more by the younger generation but just like cellphones computers are not 100% reliable because magic tends to make them either explode, die unexpectedly, or not work at all. There tends to be more interference between computers and magic than magic and cellphones and no one is sure why.
But in the last year or two a new magical invention has appeared and it’s becoming more and more popular. The device is called a Magical Journal and it acts very much like a muggle tablet but not as versatile (it really has only two features). The main use of the Magical Journal is keeping in contact with other witches and wizards. It has a blog feature that is connected to other Magical Journals so anything you write in it can be seen and commented on by others. The second main feature is you can take pictures and videos with the device. It runs on magic so there is no interference or need for batteries. There is one downside though. If you happen to forget or neglect writing in the Magic Journal it will turn into a book beast and eat/destroy anything it can but once it is ‘full’ it will settle down. The inventors put this feature in so whoever bought it would have to keep using it.
In the United States, magical individuals use the same currency as their Muggle peers. It is possible to see, own and use galleons, sickles and knuts but it has fallen out of practice among most magical Americans except for the older Pureblood families (they love their traditions). There are branches of Gringott’s in America but only in large cities like NYC, Boston, LA and Washington DC and they still deal primarily in galleons, sickles and knuts and not American currency. Most witches and wizards in America use a local branch of the NWBA or the National Wizarding Bank of America. Magical Americans may use Muggle currency in their world which means they do have a debit card for NWBA. Wizarding folk tend to prefer to deal solely in cash (a habit they haven’t broken yet) but that doesn’t mean they will deny someone using their debit card.
As with most Muggles in the United States, English is a common and accepted first language. Spells are still taught and cast using the Latin format common in the United Kingdom but learning these is no different for a magical child than a Muggle child learning a foreign language like French or Spanish.
The number one mode of transportation in the United States among the magical community is apparition. And just like in the United Kingdom, young witches and wizards in America have to wait until they are 17 to apply for their apparition license. The classes will be offered at their school during their 7th year.
There was talk of lowering the age to prevent young witches and wizards from getting their driving licenses to help keep traditions, but the test group went horrible wrong and it was decided 15 and 16 year old witches and wizards weren’t responsible enough. So the age restriction stayed at 17.
Second only to apparition is the use of the Floo Network. In America, the Floo Network closely resembles a train or busing system. There are stations nationwide in metropolitan areas as well as smaller wizarding communities. Private floo stations set up in a fireplace have all but fallen out of use except for some old, wealthy wizarding families. Travelling by Floo Network is much the same, though. All a witch or wizard must do is step into the portal, grab a handful of powder, throw it down and announce their destination clearly. Within seconds they’ll arrive at their station of choice among many others, just like a train station.
Brooms are the third choice of travel in the magical world though not as widely used by adults as apparition. They are used more for small trips within wizarding-only areas and for sport, such as Quidditch. Most other flying objects and enchanted Muggle objects have been outlawed for safety and the risk they pose if discovered.
A choice of transportation that is becoming popular, especially among muggle borns, is driving. More and more of the younger generation is getting their learners and then license so instead of using a broom or the Floo Network they can drive when they turn 16. It might not be the fastest way to get around that America witches and wizards have but a lot of them seem to enjoy driving.
In the same way that the Muggle governments of the United Kingdom and the United States differ, so do their magical equivalents. Where the magical community in United Kingdom has the Ministry, we in America have the Bureau of Magical Affairs or BMA. The Bureau is a secret branch of the Muggle government and is headed up by the Secretary of Magic. Each Department in the Bureau is run by a Vice Secretary and like the Muggle President, is a member of the Secretary of Magic’s cabinet. The Muggle President of the United States is aware of the Wizarding world but sworn to secrecy and when he leaves office, his memory of said world is obliviated (unless of course he is of magical descent beforehand). The Bureau has it’s headquarters in Washington DC, just like the Muggle government. In a building, across the street and to the left by a fab little kosher deli.
Magical children in the United States attend Muggle school from preschool to usually grade 5. There is the option of magical and Muggle day cares for children under the age to be enrolled in school and both are common choices for those in the wizarding world with no real bias towards the Magical day care centers. The more traditional option for magical families is hiring a nanny until the child is old enough to go to school.
Once a child is old enough to start preschool, most attend a Muggle school though there are some magical options but these are private and expensive and not nearly as widespread. There is also the option of hiring a tutor for their child/children but this option is mostly done by the older more traditional families. Magical children who attend Muggle Elementary schools learn everything their non-magical peers learn but are also taught the basics of Magical Government and often how to ride a broom at home by their parents before entering their secondary education.
At the start of Secondary education or the end of Middle school (start of grade 6) is when a magical child leaves the Muggle education system in favor of being taught at a wizarding institution. There are three main schools that exist in the United States, and all are located in remote places that are not easily accessible to Muggles or easily found. Just like their United Kingdom counterpart, all magical schools in America are unplottable and hidden with magic. The three American schools are:
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry - Appalachian Mountains, WV (co-ed)
The Salem Witches Institute - Salem, MA (all girls)
The Merlin Wizarding Academy - Washington State (all boys)
It is quite common for magical students in America to continue their education on past attending a wizarding institution and go on to a college or university, especially if they plan on working in a field that is non magical. While some magical universities exist, they are highly specialized, very expensive as well as few and far between. Some examples of magical universities are for Healers and Nurses, Curse-Breakers, Magical Law Enforcement Patrol, Magizoologist.
It’s considered common for a wizarding student to attend a Muggle university. It allows the magical students to study and see the culture and behavior of Muggle firsthand and get a feel for their lives. Not all young adults attend colleges or universities, however and some simply go straight into the magical work force.
There are a wide variety of job options for magical individuals after school, just as their are in the Muggle world. Of course there are some more specialized jobs that deal with magic-specific aspects of life or those who work for the Bureau. Income levels vary between occupations, the more high-paying jobs being in the medical and political fields and the more dangerous jobs like curse-breaking.
The acceptance and even love of Muggle fashion is far more popular and widespread in the United States than it is in Europe. It’s not unusual to see a wizarding young person wearing Muggle fashions but they often augment it with a bit of their own flair. Adding cloaks and robes to Muggle trends is common.
Hobbies, Sports & Recreation
These areas don’t differ much from their European counterparts. Collecting Chocolate Frog cards, playing Wizard's Chess or Gobstones or Muggle watching are still common and much enjoyed as are sports such as broom racing and Quidditch.
Thirty years ago a blackness crossed North American in a wave that few have ever seen. Wizards and witches amassed under a flag of hate and fear but declared it a gathering of shared ideals and of cleansing as they rallied under the banner of the Dark Lady Nyx. They called themselves Death Eaters and under her charismatic and terrifying rule, they travelled across the nation laying waste to any and all they deemed unclean. The fact that most of these people seemed to be of mixed or muggle blood (as well as near countless muggle lives) spoke more about their true intent than anything else. They seized people and antiquities of power for their own purposes, keeping or destroying them upon Lady Nyx’s whim it seemed and two years her reign of terror knew no end.
It was only through the tireless efforts and hard work of a few stout and strong-willed individuals who banded together to face these oppressors that any hope survived; many sacrificed their lives in the process. To them there is no debt that can be repaid for their actions helped secure the hard fought victory against the Death Eaters and helped reveal the key to ultimately stopping the Dark Lady herself though many of the survivors and witnesses of that final battle couldn’t recall just how exactly it had happened other than a blinding light wash across the battlefield and once it cleared, Lady Nyx was no more. Her followers soon fled or surrendered after that while the Bureau under the leadership of Emrys, after his recovery from the battle of The Longest Night as that final conflict was soon dubbed, went on to spend the next several years attempting to track the fugitives down while simultaneously advancing criminal proceedings upon the ones already in their custody.
If you have any questions please go to the Dropbox.