Wizarding Culture

The culture and society of wizardkind is both similar and quite different from that of Muggles. In some ways, it very much reflects the modern Muggle world. In others, it is like a piece of Muggle history from several hundred years ago. In others still, it is completely unique.


Daily Life

The average day of a wizard isn't all that different from a Muggle's, at its core. They wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast, go shopping, go to work, take care of the family, and so on and so forth. What is different is how they go about these tasks. Magic is pervasive in the wizarding world, and while wizards don't use magic for everything, it does tend to be present in some form or another wherever they go.


Wizards eat much the same sorts of things as Muggles, though their meals might more closely resemble Muggle food from a century ago. Wizards are slow to adapt to new trends, so more modern cuisine like hamburgers are a bit foreign to the wizarding world.

Where wizard food truly differs is in the area of magical food. Usually these are novelty treats and snacks, aimed at children for amusement, like Burpy Bubbles Soda, or Fizzing Whizzbees.

Fashion and Appearance

Body Modification

Tattoos and piercings are about as common among wizards as they are among Muggles, which is to say not very common. Women might have pierced ears, but that is usually the extent of it. Tattoos are more likely to be seen among lower classes, if at all, or within secret societies as a badge of membership.

Wizard fashion tends to be an odd blend of modern Muggle trends and medieval-to-Victorian styles. Wizards favour robes in all cases, even if only as an accessory to an outfit. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is simply that it helps to identify wizards and distinguish them from Muggles. Robes are also useful environmental protection, can be used to conceal magical objects or obscure spell casting, and will often have many pockets sewn into them for convenience.

When in the presence of Muggles, wizards are legally required to dress according to Muggle standards (see Magical Law, below). Of course, it doesn't always happen this way, whether due to wizard pride or a simple misunderstanding of Muggle fashion.

Home Life

Wizards and Muggles live very similar lives at home, save that where Muggles have technology to aid in their daily living, wizards have magic. Muggle lives are made easier with various appliances and devices, while wizards achieve many of the same benefits with charms and minor magical items.

One of the key differences is the lack of electricity in wizard homes. Electricity and magic don't mix well, so there is no point in having electric lights and devices in a magical household. Likewise, wizards are unlikely to have gas and other modern conveniences. Who needs gas when one can light the oven or lamps with a flick of the wand? Some electrical items can be converted to operate on magic, but it requires special knowledge to accomplish this, and is more a novelty or luxury than a necessity.

Similarly, wizards don't have telephones, nor any such convenient forms of instant communication commonly available. This is one area where Muggles have wizards licked.

Hogwarts House-elves

Hogwarts keeps dozens of house-elves, primarily in its kitchens. Though very few people know this to be the case, as they stay out of sight. In fact, they quite deliberately try to avoid any students learning about their existence. The notion of a few hundred immature little humans ordering them around and abusing them isn't all that enticing to the elves.


One of the many pillars upon which wizarding society stands is that of the house-elves. These magical beings live to serve, possibly due to some ancient contract binding their race. They are essentially slaves, though few wizards or elves view it that way. It is simply the nature of the relationship.

The service of a house-elf is typically passed down like an inheritance. As such, they are most typically found in the service of pure-blood families. It is rare to see one in a "lesser" home. Even the wealthiest families typically have no more than three or four house-elves at the most, if that. The elves are born into servitude, belonging to the family that retains their parents. Receiving a house-elf is a tremendous gift.



Witches and wizards living in the United Kingdom and Ireland attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Student-aged wizard children in other countries attend the magical schools of those nations. There are no transfer-student programs. For a foreign student to attend a given school, the family's primary residence must be in the region serviced by that school. Some children of wizarding families are home-schooled, but this is rare. (Note, all player characters are required to attend school at Hogwarts).

The name of every child born with magical potential (including Muggle children descended from Squibs) appears in a special book at the Ministry of Magic, which alerts the Ministry to place the Trace on that child.

Early Manifestation of Magic

Witches and wizards show signs of their magical ability long before they reach school age. Sometimes as early as infancy, magical children inadvertently use magic in uncontrolled ways. Typically, these are harmless effects, and quite often are simply manifestations of strong emotional wants and needs.

These manifestations trigger the Trace, which alerts the Ministry to investigate (to be certain it was actually the child using magic). Once this is ascertained, the child is assured a letter from Hogwarts when the time comes. Children that have not demonstrated magic by the time they are ten years old are almost assuredly Squibs.

Pre-Hogwarts Schooling

Muggle-born children, and some half-blood children, will typically attend school at a Muggle institution during their early years. Those children raised in the wizarding world are typically home-schooled for their first ten years. There are no magical educational facilities for children below the age of eleven, though there are certainly tutors that can be hired by families wealthy enough to afford their services. But in no case is a child permitted to learn practical magic prior to Hogwarts, as this would violate the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery.

Post-Hogwarts Learning

Hogwarts is the highest institution of magical learning in Great Britain. After graduation, wizards generally go on to apprenticeships in their chosen field. The Ministry of Magic has training programs in every department. Some are as short as a few weeks, other (such as the M.L.E.) take years. St. Mungo's has an intensive program for training new Healers. Some that choose to go into the performing arts look into W.A.D.A..

Now and then, a wizard will seek further education in a Muggle university. This generally requires an application with the Muggle Liaison Office to provide falsified Muggle credentials. Naturally, this option is usually only taken Muggle-born wizards.


An alternative those that didn't pass O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s or complete their Hogwarts education is the Wizards' Ordinary Magic and Basic Aptitude Test, or W.O.M.B.A.T. These written exams are given by the Wizarding Examinations Authority once a month, and are available to anyone that wishes to take them, for a fee of 1 Sickle per test.

There are a wide variety of W.O.M.B.A.T.s, covering various subjects, including (but not limited to):

Grade 1 W.O.M.B.A.T.s

  • Everyday Magic: Common spells for daily life. Includes magic for domestics, minor healing, and concealment from Muggles.
  • Magical Law: Law, crime and punishment, functions of the Ministry of Magic.
  • Magical Transport: Methods of magical transportation (e.g. brooms, the Floo Network, portkeys, flying magical beasts, etc.),
  • The Natural World: Magical creatures and plants, distinguishing between mundane animals and magical beasts.
  • The Wizarding World: Wizarding society and culture, wizard family lines, economy, magical locations (e.g. the Mysticked District, Hogsmeade, etc.).

Grade 2 W.O.M.B.A.T.s

  • Professional Magic: Spells commonly used in magical trades and professions, such as organisational and repair spells.
  • Magical Beings: Understanding and identifying intelligent magical beings.
  • Magical Objects: Magical artefacts, common magical items.
  • Muggle Studies: Muggle-wizard relations, Muggle technology, Muggle society, Muggle history.
  • Wizarding Current Affairs: Demonstrating an awareness of the concerns of the modern magical world, including political affairs and major events of the past year.

Grade 3 W.O.M.B.A.T.s

  • Advanced Potioneering: Powerful potions and their applications.
  • Dark Magic: Knowledge of the Dark Arts, Dark creatures, and methods of defence against them.
  • International Wizardry: The wizarding world beyond the United Kingdom and Ireland.
  • Magical Engineering: Application of magical principles to mechanical engineering.
  • Magical History: Major events of magical history (e.g. introduction of Secrecy, Goblin rebellions, past Ministers for Magic, etc.).
  • Magical Theory: Higher-level understanding of the laws of magic.

A student must be able to pass at least three W.O.M.B.A.T.s at Grade 1 (or higher) and two at Grade 2 (or higher) for O.W.L. equivalency. Beyond that, most employers will consider three W.O.M.B.A.T.s to be roughly equivalent to a single N.E.W.T. Though for some professions, specific W.O.M.B.A.T.s will be required. That is if W.O.M.B.A.T.s are allowed at all. Some professions will not accept W.O.M.B.A.T.s for qualification, particularly those that require a high degree of practical skill, such as Aurors, Obliviators, Unspeakables, and Healers.

At minimum, the time required to study for a Grade 1 W.O.M.B.A.T. and get a passing grade is about eight weeks. Grade 2 tests usually tend half again as long (about twelve weeks), while Grade 3 tests take twice as long (about sixteen weeks). This is assuming the student can devote considerable time each day to study — a student who is also working a job will have less time available for study. A dedicated student can reasonably complete their O.W.L. equivalency in about a year.



As in most things in wizarding culture, much about magical society reflects what is seen in Muggle culture — they are all human, after all. But wizards have different values than Muggles, so while some attitudes are the same, they tend to be focused on different things.

It is important to note that, in many ways, wizards are more socially evolved than Muggles. The Muggle world is still massive and highly segregated, whereas magic causes the lines between cultures and nations to blur significantly.

Social Classes

Though wizards have long since shed many of the prejudices that plague Muggles still, wealth and influence are still universally divisive. There is still a gap between the haves and the have-nots. The rich try to protect their riches, and the poor tend to resent them for doing so.

Blood Status

But the strongest division in the wizarding world is that of blood status. Many so-called "pure-blood" wizards feel that mixing Muggle blood with wizard blood dilutes the magic and makes wizards weaker as a whole. Many pure-blood families will disown any family member that marries a Muggle, Muggle-born, or half-blood. Still, there are plenty of pure-blood families that don't shun the practice, though these tend to be less influential and wealthy.

For more information, see Blood Purism.


As a whole, wizards don't have religion. In ancient times, there may have been sects and cults devoted to higher powers, but as wizards came to understand more about the deeper mysteries of the universe, such faiths died out. There are the rare wizards that keep to a Muggle religion, but these are typically Muggle-born, who were raised with their faith and never let it go.

Gender Roles

Wizards shed their prejudices about gender equality ages ago. Men and women have been filling the same positions in society for a very long time. That said, old ways die hard, and there is something to be said for the natural instincts of men and women. Witches are still more likely to be the at-home parent of a family, while men more frequently fill the role of breadwinner and protector. But in no way is this an absolute rule, nor is it taboo to break out of those traditional roles.

Sexual Orientation

In sharp contrast to Muggle society, wizards take almost no issue with non-heterosexual relationships. They simply did not have many of the same influences as Muggles to turn the idea into a taboo. The one exception to this is when families are looking to continue their legacy. But in those cases, it is not so much a matter of distaste for homosexuality as it is a matter of practicality.


Wizards celebrate many of the same holidays as Muggles, though they do not carry the religious aspects that many Muggle holidays do. Among those practiced by wizards are: April Fools' Day, Boxing Day, Christmas, Easter, Hallowe'en, and Valentine's Day.




The number one sport among wizards is undoubtedly Quidditch. It is the football of the wizarding world. It's rare to find a witch or wizard that isn't at least marginally interested in Quidditch. It is the only organized sport at Hogwarts, and professional Quidditch players are heroes to their fans.

The professional Quidditch season starts at the beginning of spring (trust wizard logic to put their training season in the winter), and runs to the end of summer. Every four years, the Quidditch World Cup is held, in which national Quidditch teams compete for the coveted trophy.


Duelling tradition began as a means of formalizing magical combat to keep violent conflicts between wizards as civil as possible, with minimal collateral damage. Over time, commonly accepted rules came into practice. These days, duelling is done largely for competition and entertainment. In fact, duelling is second only to Quidditch as popular wizard sports go. Celebrity duellists enjoy a great deal of fame, fortune, and adulation.

Though rare, duels to resolve real conflicts are still legal, and do occasionally occur. The laws and traditions surrounding these duels are discussed in greater detail under Magical Law.



While wizards do have a concept of science, it rarely reflects what Muggles think of when they hear the word. Wizards have little concept of the Muggle understanding of the way the universe works. Why study physics when you break its laws every day? Chemistry just strikes them as a very strange and limited way to approach the concepts behind potioneering and alchemy. It is a rare wizard that has real knowledge of Muggle science.

Wizard science deals less with the physical nature of things, and more with the fundamental essence of the universe. Potions don't work like chemical compounds and medicines, acting on some cellular or molecular level. Cells and molecules are alien concepts to wizards. Potions work because the magical properties of the mixture interacts a certain way with the essence of the subject's very being.

The one science that Muggles and wizards have in common is astronomy. Both are fascinated by the movement of celestial bodies, and there is much about outer space that remains a mystery in both worlds.

Engorgement Tanks

Muggle technology is confounding to most wizards, and those "mike-row-scopes" they use to look at tiny things are no exception. Not only are they unnecessarily complex, it is just silly to a wizard to try to "see smaller" when one can simply make what is being looked at bigger.

St. Mungo's is equipped with engorgement tanks; essentially huge aquariums enchanted with Growth Charms. When Healers need to examine something like a blood or skin sample (keeping in mind that they do not cut into their patients), the sample is placed in the tank, and engorged to enormous size, allowing the Healers to look at the sample at a much larger scale.

Health and Medicine

The field in which the differences in science are most obvious is medicine. Wizard Healers are not doctors. They don't even use the term. To wizards, doctors are butchers that slice people open and perform crude and primitive treatments that harm as much as (or more than) they heal. It's easy to carry such a prejudice when one has access to charms and potions that Muggles would consider miracle cures.

Magical healing doesn't even operate on the same principles as Muggle medicine. Notions like bacteria are rather foreign to them; their ability to perceive the microscopic is quite limited (see sidebar). Rather, they focus on ideas that Muggles would consider archaic (primarily because they lacked the means to properly understand them), such as balancing bodily humours, or aligning a patient's aura. This isn't to say they are ignorant of more mundane diseases and afflictions; they simply treat them differently.

In most respects, magical healing is capable of much more than Muggle medicine. Healers can regrow bones, regenerate tissue, eliminate scars completely, purge most common diseases and poisons, etc. Injuries and illness caused by magic are more difficult to combat, especially when caused by Dark magic. Such injuries do not heal properly. Dark magic leaves scars, and limbs lost to it cannot be reconstituted.

Where wizard healing falls short is anything involving surgery. Any sort of cutting, bleeding (including blood transfusions), or other "butchery' is simply not in their bag of tricks. Usually such things are unnecessary, given that spells can accomplish many of the same effects. But once in a rare while, a case comes along that only Muggle medicine can handle.

Artefacts and Technology

The wizard's concept of technology is very different from the Muggle's view. While many devices and artefacts might perform similar functions, the actual operation of these things vary dramatically. As such, most wizards have no easier a time understanding Muggle technology than Muggles have trying to make magical artefacts work.

Firstly, electricity can be a real problem for wizards. Magic tends to make electricity behave strangely, or not at all when it comes to electrically-powered devices. Imagine the potential mayhem of a wizard driving an automobile, casting a perfectly normal everyday charm, and suddenly finding the car deprived of power. It wouldn't necessarily happen every time, but the unpredictability makes it a toss of the dice. As a result of this, no magical artefacts use electricity as a power source. Those that don't use more archaic sources of energy (which generally means fire) are usually designed to operate purely on magic, making use of various charms to motivate the device's function. The same is true when Muggle devices are converted for wizard use.

Aside from power issues, the very nature of wizarding secrecy means that wizards are generally removed from Muggle culture and, as a result, Muggle technology. Aside from Muggle-born wizards, who are the vast minority, most Muggle devices are as alien to wizards as a toaster would be to an 18th century Muggle. If it's less than a century or two old, chances are a wizard won't know which end of it goes up.

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