“A guy and a girl can be just friends, but at one point or another, they will fall for each other…Maybe temporarily, maybe at the wrong time, maybe too late, or maybe forever”
A spell which causes the hands to seem to run with blood continuously. Its origins are in a 1753 blood feud between the Lowrys and the McGinnises, two wizarding clans then living near Darien, Georgia. Malcolm Lowry devised the spell after the death of his brother and used it as retribution against Samuel McGinnis. The South-Eastern district soon formalized and restricted its punitive use.
Commonly known as the “Lady Macbeth curse”, sanguinem aeternum was once a common punishment for murderers in the AWC, often compounded with other components of sentencing. Popular in the five eastern and central districts, its use as a judicial measure never caught on in the west. The spell fell out of fashion in the 19th century, particularly in the wake of the American Wizarding Civil War, but remains on the books as a potential component of sentencing by the wizarding courts.
[X: photo by Nathan Carême]
One of the last witch trials in the United States was also one of the few in the New World to actually involve a witch. Miss Caroline Norton, a halfblood with great talent in herbology and healing, had returned to her home in Connecticut after completing her education at the newly-founded Salem Institute. In 1760, however, she attracted the attention of local authorities after taking extraordinary measures to save the life of a young man gravely injured in a hunting accident. Despite her assertion that the seeming-miracle was “but the work of our kind and gracious Lord, whom I serve as best I may,” the town council intended to go forward with prosecution, seeking the death penalty. Miss Norton was imprisoned in iron and locked safely in a guarded room, but when the town fathers arrived to bring her to the courthouse the next morning, they were astonished to find no trace of the young healer. They attributed her disappearance to satanic powers and resolved to speak no more of her.
In truth, her mother managed to smuggle Caroline her wand, allowing her to simply Apparate away. When Johnny Steward, the young man she saved, learned she had vanished, he begged Mrs. Norton for information. At long last she agreed to pass Caroline a letter. After a year’s correspondence, she finally made her location known. They married soon thereafter, and Steward became one of the first Muggle residents of Sleepy Hollow, then the largest wizarding community in the region.
[X: photo by Wilson Freeman. For an extensive listing of witchcraft trials in the US, please see this site from the University of Tulsa. While many of these were extensions of extant feuds or lawsuits and dismissed by the courts, many others ended in tragedy]
Renowned around the world as one of the most beautiful libraries of magic (and, consequently, magical libraries) the Sorensen Memorial Library at the Blackgate School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, hosting more than 15,000 books, a third of which are tomes of magical knowledge and several hundred of which are magical books (which are kept behind locked iron grates and carefully monitored by the staff). The shelves, carved of rich, dark mahogany, stand three stories high under the vaulted, cathedral ceilings which are bewitched to show the grandeur of the northern skies, filled with bright stars and the flashing colors of the aurora. Sound-dampening spells have been set into the stonework and shelves, the result of which is the strange but pleasant not-quite-hum of anti-sound.
Given the school’s penchant for enchantment and the creation of magical objects, it should not be surprising that the library is veritable treasure trove of bewitched tools and marvels, donated over the years by alumni and faculty. Statues and gargoyles line the wood paneled shelves, both watching over the collection, providing directions, and dispensing knowledge. Many a student has learned that a long chat with the statue of Barnabas Belle will provide far greater understandings of the nature of hauntings and poltergeists activity than any amount of time reading Ghoulier’s Ghostly Grimoire, or White’s Haunts, Hallows, and Horrors. Also confined in a small chamber in the southwestern corner of the room is the bequest of Blackgate Alumni, Geraldine Finner, compatriot of Alejandro Pisk, the famous astronomer responsible for engineering the first magical space flight. Finner’s “Eye” is a small chamber the size of a Catholic confessional that, when entered and activated, provides a view from the vantage point of Selena III, the first successful, magical satellite to ever be launched into orbit around the planet.
Auriga Black, 1789-1870. Expelled from Hogwarts in her 6th year for “gross insubordination and conduct unbecoming a lady,” Auriga emigrated to a cousin’s estate near Ashwinds, Virginia and completed her education at the Randolph-Poythress Institute. Thereafter she engaged in a tour of her new country.
Gifted in combat magic, Auriga was fond of dressing in men’s attire and provoking duels, both magical and mundane. She soon earned a fearsome reputation as a warrior, a gambler, and a degenerate, infamous from Maryland to Louisiana. As a Metamorphmagus, her disguises often concealed her gender entirely, as well as allowing her to escape the attentions of both the Muggle and wizarding authorities. On at least one occasion, she reverted to her natural appearance mid-duel, so shocking her opponent that he accidentally hexed himself and three bystanders.
With her face-shifting abilities allowing her to evade capture, the Wizarding Department of National Security eventually resorted to offering her a more compelling reason to give up her reckless and often destructive lifestyle: in exchange for a full pardon of all her misdeeds, Auriga would join the department to protect America against British invasion in the War of 1812. Auriga agreed, and though many voiced opposition to her appointment, she acquitted herself notably at the Battle of Baltimore, where her anti-conflagratory charms were partially responsible for preserving the fortress against bombardment.
Auriga never again took up the rakish misdeeds of her youth, though she maintained an active and often adventurous life, first with the DNS, then transferring to the Aurors’ Board sometime in the 1830s. Despite her advanced age, she fought for the South-Eastern region in the American Wizarding Civil War and was killed at the Battle of the Tappahannock. She never married, though she lived for many years with her second cousin, Miss Emmaline Black-Wythe.
Piscae Patronae is considered by many scientists to be the happiest animal on the face of the planet. Known more commonly as the spark fish or a “sparky,” to witches and wizards who live along the shores of the Great Lakes, Piscae Patronae never grows larger than two inches long. Despite its diminutive size it is one of the most potently magical creatures known to wizarding kind.
Found in the deepest, darkest waters of lakes Superior, Huron, and Michigan, Sparkies have evolved the unique ability to replicate a Patronus Charm. The spell takes the form of an individual krill, which lights the darkness of the fish’s habitat like a streak of silver lightning.
On certain nights of the year, Piscae Patronae swarm to the surface in large numbers in certain parts of the lake, illuminating the surface with their magic. It is a spectacular show for anyone lucky enough to witness it, and one which the Department of Secrecy and Obfuscation, along with the Department of Resources and Magical Conservation, keep hidden from the mundane population
Despite their intense beauty, the existence of the Sparkies raises several questions, not the least of which is what a fish’s happiest memory must be, and what lurks in the dark places of the Great Lakes to necessitate such a marvelous but potent adaptation.
Ahhhhh I got em all right without even looking
WIZARDING SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD: AUSTRALIAOriginally located in Arnhem Land, The Australian College of Sorcery and Witchcraft was a sprawling campus of large huts that eventually coalesced into one single structure. The college detached from mainland Australia soon after British settlement in order maintain their practices and culture. Ever since, the school has been drifting haphazardly in the ocean, although it never strays far from the Australian coast for ancient magic keeps the school tethered to Australian soil. Every year, a team of witches and wizards must be employed to anchor the floating campus so students aren’t forced into a cat-and-mouse chase at the beginning of the year in order to attend school (a frustrating endeavour which often results in the postponing of classes due to a large number of absences). To students’ great enjoyment, various creatures (including the occasional mermaid) can often be found sunbathing around the perimeter of the campus which gently slopes into the water. Due to their exposure to unusually friendly oceanic creatures, the college boasts incredibly extensive courses in aquatic-life studies, and is held in high esteem by the international wizarding community for its innovations in water magic.