This article needs a new title. How about Unexpected Magic? Tyminator1 16:11, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
- How about Uncontrolled magic or Underage magic? - Cavalier One(Wizarding Wireless Network) 17:25, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
- I agree that this needs a better title; either 'Uncontrolled magic' or 'Accidental magic'. We need to differentiate it from wandless magic, which is intentional, controlled magic performed without the use of a wand, an advanced skill, rather than the uncontrollable magic of a child. Oread 16:46, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
- I think maybe 'Underage magic' would be the best title, since Tom Riddle exhibited some control over his abilities when he was a child, and so did Lily Evans. That appears to be unusual, but it still suggests that if a young wizard or witch is aware of their magic, they may be able to exert some control over it. Oread (talk) 15:43, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
- The Ministry's definition of "underage sorcery" is broader, including any magic done outside of school by a a wizard or witch under the age of 17, even if it is performed intentionally and with a wand. "Wandless magic by children" might work better as title, because its possible scope is narrower than that of "Underage magic," and it wouldn't exclude controlled examples like "Uncontrolled magic" or "Accidental magic" would. ★ Starstuff (Owl me!) 17:54, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
There seem to be several different varieties with sometimes subtle differences, so I suggest an "Underage magic" article that is defined, like the Ministry one, as any magic done outside of school by someone under 17, and then distinguishes between the different types we've identified:
- (1) Accidental/uncontrolled wandless magic - examples such as Harry speaking to the snake in the zoo, and Ariana Dumbledore's outbursts.
- (2) Intentional wandless magic - examples such as Tom Riddle's ability to "make people hurt", Lily Evans manipulating flower petals, and Snape making a branch break and hit Petunia; we should distinguish it from the wandless use of spells (perhaps that article could also be renamed "wandless spell", like the nonverbal spell article, to avoid confusion between the advanced type of magic and the kind sometimes used by children).
- (3) Magic with a wand - all underage magic performed with a wand, such as Harry's Patronus Charm in Order of the Phoenix.
The first two could have their own articles as well, I suppose, while the last could briefly explain the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, the Trace, Apparition licenses, etc. What do you think? Oread (talk) 19:21, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
- I think it would be a good idea to have a single article covering the three kinds of underage magic. I'm not certain about having individual sub-articles to go along with it, though, because these are bound to have provisional titles, whereas "underage magic" is a canonical term (a quick search of The Lexicon showed it's used in OotP2 and HBP17).
- Another possibility would be to merge this article into Wandless magic along with House-elf magic. ★ Starstuff (Owl me!) 21:20, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
Snape and Petunia
I'm not sure that the tree branch incident was intentional. Snape's anger at being insulted by Petunia may have manifested in the form of unintentional wandless magic like what happened with Harry and Aunt Marge. When Lily confronts him, Snape denies being responsible for the branch breaking, and the text acknowledges this as a lie:
- "Did you make that happen?"
- "No." He looked both defiant and scared.
- "You did!" She was backing away from him. "You did! You hurt her!"
- But the lie did not convince Lily: after one last burning look she ran from the little thicket, off after her sister, and Snape looked miserable and confused...
However, this only confirms that Snape's magic did make the branch break, not that he meant for it to happen. His confusion and fear seem more consistent with him having had no control over the outcome of his anger. ★ Starstuff (Owl me!) 02:56, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
- I'm not sure if he could control it either, but I took "the lie" as Snape's denial that he made it happen. You missed a line in that scene:
- “Did you make that happen?”
- “No.” He looked both defiant and scared.
- “You did!” She was backing away from him. “You did! You hurt her!”
- “No – no, I didn’t!”
- But the lie did not convince Lily. After one last burning look, she ran from the little thicket, off after her sister, and Snape looked miserable and confused…
- Thus, Lily believed that Snape was lying, and that he did intentionally hurt Petunia. I agree, though, that it could have just been a manifestation of his anger, rather than a deliberate act. It certainly seems more similar to Harry blowing up Aunt Marge than to Lily manipulating a flower's petals in terms of levels of precise intent and control. Oread (talk) 04:24, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
- Thanks for catching my omission. Lily asks Snape "Did you make it that happen?", not "Did you mean that to happen?", so I think a literal reading of the passage only confirms that Snape caused the branch to break and then lied about it. It says nothing about whether he meant for it to happen, although you're right that Lily's "You hurt her!" seems to imply an assumption of intent. Or perhaps she reached the conclusion that Snape must have done it intentionally, because, as a Muggle-born, she had been unaware of the unintended consequences that strong emotions can have for a young witch or wizard. The fact that Snape was telling Lily about the Ministry's restriction on underage magic shortly before Petunia intruded seems to suggest it was a topic she wasn't very familiar with at the time. ★ Starstuff (Owl me!) 05:52, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
- I agree with you; it doesn't seem that Snape actively intended to hurt Petunia. He might have, in his anger, thought something along the lines of wanting to get back at her for insulting him, but he probably didn't intend to actually do it. I'll move it to accidental uses. On that subject, I can't recall how the incident with Fred turning Ron's teddy bear into a spider is described, but it sounds like it might have been intentional - the twins certainly practiced magic outside of school with wands, and I can see them experimenting even before then. I don't remember it well, though; what do you think? Oread (talk) 16:56, 29 March 2009 (UTC)
Harry's Wandless Lumos
In Chapter 1 of Order of the Phoenix, Harry cast Lumos wandlessly as the Dementors attack him and Dudley:
- A fist made contact with the side of Harrys head, lifting him off his feet. Small white lights popped in front of his eyes. For the second time in an hour Harry felt as though his head had been cleaved in two; next moment, he had landed hard on the ground and his wand had flown out of his hand...
- "DUDLEY, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! WHATEVER YOU DO, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT! Wand!" Harry muttered frantically, his hands flying over the ground like spiders. "Where's - wand - come on - lumos!"
- He said the spell automatically, desperate for light to help him in his search - and to his disbelieving relief, light flared inches from his right hand - the wand tip had ignited. Harry snatched it up, scrambled to his feet and turned around.
Harry was underage at the time, but it still seems a little off to me to put this incident in the same category as Tom Riddle and Lily Evans using magic before they even had wands. Their use of magic, though intentional, didn't consist of actual spells, while Harry's did. This incident seems like it should be categorized as a wandless spell. Oread (talk) 03:13, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree, I was going to put it on the page, but it said it should be on this page -- Hellabore
- Oh, I wasn't a hundred percent sure, which is why I brought it up. It sort of overlaps, really. Maybe it should be under wandless spell, but with an explanatory note that mentions he was underage at the time? Oread (talk) 03:18, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
- I agree -- Hellabore
- This incident technically counts as wandless because Harry's wand was not in his hand at the time. However, his wand was described as being "inches" from his hand, and the Lumos spell was evidently channeled through it, because light appeared at its tip. So, if Harry's wand was involved in the performance of the spell, can we accurately describe this as an instance of wandless magic? It would be a lot more clear cut if Harry had summoned a light in the palm of his hand without his wand nearby. ★ Starstuff (Owl me!) 05:45, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
- I agree, it's very difficult to categorize not only because the spell does involve a wand but isn't technically performed with a wand, but also because Harry is using a specific spell, which neither Tom Riddle nor Lily Evans did. I've put that incident in its own section, because it doesn't really fit into intentional wandless magic or wandless spells. Oread (talk) 16:43, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
Fred Transfiguring the Teddy Bear
This is the line from Chapter 8 of Chamber of Secrets when Ron explains Fred transfiguring his teddy bear into a spider:
- "If you must know, when I was three, Fred turned my - my teddy bear into a great big filthy spider because I broke his toy broomstick... You wouldn't like them either if you'd been holding your bear and suddenly it had too many legs and..."
Fred would have been five years old at the time, and thus obviously did not have a wand. It also sounds as if he was using his magic intentionally, rather than accidentally. I'm going to recategorize that incident unless someone disagrees. Oread (talk) 15:06, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
- This seems to be the Kevin incident to me... It's possible that Fred stole the wand from his parents. -- Seth Cooper (Owl Post) 16:20, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
- It's worth noting that Ron breaking Fred's toy broomstick was what provoked the teddy bear incident. I take this as evidence that the transfiguration was the unintended effect of Fred's anger, like what happened with Harry and Aunt Marge, and not something that Fred directed. In his anger, Fred probably wished to destroy something of Ron's, as Ron had destroyed something of his. The simple desire for revenge may have been enough to turn Ron's teddy bear into a spider. ★ Starstuff (Owl me!) 06:15, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
I don't know; it seems rather specific and elaborate for an unintentional outburst of magic, even though Fred was angry. In the incidents with Harry and Aunt Marge, or Snape with Petunia, their anger seemed to simply manifest as hurting the person who hurt them. If Fred just had the desire to destroy something of Ron's in retaliation, wouldn't the teddy bear blow up or vanish or something? Transforming it into something else -- something designed not to hurt Ron, but to scare him -- suggests more specific intent to me. Oread (talk) 16:59, 13 April 2009 (UTC)
- Fred's anger, like Snape's, seems to have been magically channeled through a nearby inanimate object. I wouldn't label his incident as intentional unless there was evidence that he planned it or had done things like it before. It's clear that Lily floated off the swings at least once prior to the day she met Snape because she had been forbidden to so by Mrs. Evans. Young Tom Riddle also had some degree of control over his magic before getting a wand because he evidently planned the incident with Amy Benson and Dennis Bishop. But, as far as I know, there's no evidence that the teddy bear incident was something other than an unintentional one-off. It would be different if Ron had said, "Fred warned me not to touch his things. Then I broke his broomstick, and suddenly my teddy bear was a spider." That said, I think having an "Other Underage Magic" section is fine, but perhaps "Uncategorizable Underage Magic" would work better as a title? ★ Starstuff (Owl me!) 03:09, 19 April 2009 (UTC)