Solve Harry Potter problems with Muggle Solutions

It’s in lots of places. In the Harryhausen filmThe Golden Voyage of Sinbad the Evil Sorceror Prince Koura (played by onetime Doctor Who Tom Baker) gets older and feebler with every spell he casts. In the "magic’ stories that Larry Niven wrote, you needed something called “mana”* to produce magic, and when it was all used up in an area, you couldn’t do magic there anymore – that’s the reason for the title of his book The Magic Goes Away, and the shared-universe anthology The Magic May Return.

*“Mana” is a term for power, magical and otherwise, in Melanesia, but not used quite the way it is in Niven’s magical universe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mana

And regarding my original comment about the guy using magic to stir his beverage, you don’t have to conjure it, just have a spell that says “mix this in the appropriate proportions” and be done with it in one second.

Not to continue the Hijack, but I remember in the novelization the shields were explained as “Fast and small objects can’t get through (bullets) and slow and large objects can’t get through (those tanks, big projectiles).” So only slow and small objects like the droids could get through. Which was dumb, but we already knew that.

Hijack over.

I just remembered a passage in one of the books where Mrs. Weasley was preparing a meal and either a sauce or soup was coming out of her wand into the pot.

Frank Herbert rolling in his grave and slapping his forehead can also pass through shields.

Who can forget “oculus reparo.” At one time, a wizard decided that magic was needed instead of an optician. So they decide to create an extremely limited spell to fix glasses (does it work on smashed or torn contacts), all phrased in a beautiful piece of Dog Latin.

I’m not a big HP fan, so this may be patently obvious, but aren’t the wizards hiding from muggles, like Vampire: The Masquerade? While a wizard child may be able to beat the most hardened muggle soldier, the wizards are so outnumbered that they would be massacred if humans ever found out that wizards existed.

MI5, the CIA, or equivalent could probably deal with it without too many people finding out. That’s the sort of thing they’re supposed to do.

I’ve wished I had this one. It’s not always convenient to go to the optician’s when your glasses break. At least the ones I’ve dealt with usually won’t to fix broken frames. They always tell me to get new frames. That’s not cheap or instant.

There’s the problem that a lot of muggle technology doesn’t usually work at Hogwarts, due to all the magical energy. (Harry’s watch, for example)

Besides, POA was written and set in the mid-90s, so cellphones and texting weren’t as common.
Umbridge, however, would have been a snap. Wait until she left for London, then call the Muggle cops on her, and claim she was abusing children. If you wanted to be really unethical, (and in this case, since it was a matter of life and death, I wouldn’t blame you), imply it was sexual. The British equivalent of CPS would be on her ass faster than you could say “Lumos!”

:smiley:

I’ve always thought of bullets versus wands as a no-brainer win for the wizards. A gun uses a lot of intricate mechanisms to fire, and even without magic they sometimes jam or misfire. Wizard twitches his pinky finger, a small but vital gear rusts or bends, and there you go, the muggle army is carrying a lot of awkwardly shaped clubs.
Now if it they sneaked up on the wizards and had machine guns, maybe they could turn the whole lot into Swiss cheese before you can say “avada kedavra”. If the wizards didn’t know that the army was after them in the first place, they probably wouldn’t have bothered to put up an anti-bullet shield. Do Harry Potter wizards have anti-bullet shields?
Of course, you take more than a few seconds to kill everyone, the remaining wizards still ruin your guns. Whether three evil wizards are signifcantly less trouble than thirty evil wizards depends on how good they are at multi-tasking, I guess.

A good high colonic solves just about any problem.

It’s what I like about The Dresden Files series. Harry Dresden can’t use high tech stuff because magic users tend to make electronics go kablooey when near them.

Which is why he carries a .44 Magnum revolver instead of a semi-automatic.

As was revealed in Deathly Hallows, if the magical community revealed themselves they would have a choice between conquering the world or being in danger of extermination themselves. It isn’t that one witch or wizard is an invincible mage warrior so much as how much harm they could do before being brought down. One hundred people with the Imperious Curse acting secretly for a year could probably seize control of most of the major world governments. The problem for the magical community is that a 1,000 to 1 casualty ratio is a net loss. In a to-the-death war between the Muggle and magical worlds, victory either way would not be a sure thing; an apocalyptic level of death and destruction would be.

You do know that moving your finger is faster than waving your arms around and saying several bullshit words?

Duels in the HP universe are awful. Guns would win hands down.

In book five it says some wizards learn to just think the spells in their heads. But still, if they know you’re coming, they’d have time to do the waving and muttering. The question, then, would be if they can do area affects, and if magic has a set range. If they can only attack one-on-one, and they need to be close by, you could take them down by superior numbers.

ETA: This sounds like something for the game room. Wizards and Muggles have a theoretical war, and play around with ranges and power and tactics.

So you’re saying that magic disrupts physics? Magic auras somehow cause electrons to not act within their parameters of the laws of physics? Or gears? Or springs? The first instant I read that line I called bullshit on the entire series. If magic has that kind of effect on electricity, then all wizards should break down and disassemble at the atomic level.

I had always assumed that in a conventional battle that the wizards would have what I would call a Maxwell’s Demon shield. Objects with over a threshhold amount of kinetic energy would be stopped.

I think that was the principle behind the personal shield generators in Dune.

As long as we’re dealing with fictional universes, what would happen if a Potterverse Wizard was assimilated by the Borg (TNG-era Borg), would the Collective be able to use magic, or would the new Wizdrone lose their abilities?

are the Borg considered Muggles?

I suspect it would end up a half-assimilated mess as various aspects of the technology refused to work due to the anti-tech effects of magic ( I assume nanites are close enough to liveing things to keep working ).

Now, for real fun you want to unleash something purely biological on them, like the Thing.

I’ve always liked Pratchett’s take on this: on the Discworld, the wisest witches and wizards are those who’ve learned mastery of how not to use magic. The idea being that using magic is (a) fiendishly difficult, such that the effort needed to stir your tea is just as likely to result in tea-flavored china pancakes thirty feet wide and 15 microns thick, and (b) true wisdom comes from the ability to choose the right tool for the task. No need for a wizard to use magic to overcome a mugger when his staff, aka a conveniently-available 5-foot long plank of solid wood, works perfectly well as a lethal weapon on its own.

I think that “reparo” is the main spell here, very useful, and “oculus” is more of a focusing word.

Was the watch specified to be a clockwork one, as opposed to digital? (Or quartz analog, for that matter.)

There are specific principles I can think of that could be disrupted to affect electronics, if ‘magical auras’ happen to target them - the semiconductor principle in silicon and the vibrational frequency of quartz crystal, for example. Neither would affect living things.

I admit that I’m not sure about clockwork gears and springs, unless it’s a specific magical surge that recognizes it as ‘muggle technology’ and breaks something delicate or shakes the innards harder than they can cope with. :wink: