Ways to Expand the Wizarding World

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Averis, May 15, 2015.

  1. Averis

    Averis Don of Delivery Prestige

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    Simple excuse: Defense Against the Dark Arts is not one of the 'core' classes, therefore you only need one professor to cover all years.

    Transfiguration, Potions, Herbology and Charms are core courses until OWL level, and then if you pass, you learn 'Advanced Potion-Making' and the like. All the Masters are Heads of House to boot. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility to have far more attendance in those classes, purely because some students wouldn't see 'defense' as core subjects.

    This would also work well with Umbridge's 'theory = practical' logic. Why would any fifteen year old need to learn how to duel? Imagine if Umbridge's ideas appealed to some students purely because of all the strange coincidences that have happened since their first year. Then you could see how she'd take control of the school, criminalizing Harry, who needs to learn as much defense as possible and is really good with offensive spells, and lauding students that do exactly what she says.

    Ron, Hermione, Harry and most of the Gryffindors see defense as an important thing, even as first years, because they all have been bullied at different times in their lives and could have used that protection. In second year, there would be a dueling club, so I'd suspect attendance would be up, but then in third year it would lag again, and in fourth, half the students would be so frightened by Moody that they wouldn't want to be taught anything by him at all.

    Then again, as far as Professors who aren't Masters goes, it would be a really intriguing way to write an AU. Quirrel teaches first year, Lockhart second, Remus third, Moody fourth and fifth (imposter Crouch leads to incumbent Umbridge in fifth), unnamed sixth and seventh year Professor is replaced by Snape with Slughorn taking over as Head of House (seniority, plus Snape's too busy with Voldemort).

    The number of students have increased, therefore the Professors are so busy that they rarely take students aside for more personal tutelage. Only students that are really enthusiastic about learning (Hermione), well-known (Harry) and sons/daughters of former students (Ron, Ginny) are noticed, and this also applies to the students as well -- if you aren't important in anyway, Harry (or his narrator) is not likely to notice or mention you.

    Fleshing out little known characters - Newcomb's Vaisey for example - is an easy way to make Hogwarts' world seem a lot larger. Adding a few unknown quantites -- a flock of girls from second year that follow Harry around, two or three Ravenclaws that have it out for Hermione, a vast array of boys and girls that want to play pickup Quidditch with King Weasley -- will make Hogwarts seem a lot bigger than if you simply gave a laundry list of everyone's names.

    I mean, people that went to big high schools certainly wouldn't meet everyone, so I think its reasonable to suggest that Harry would run into a lot of people at Hogwarts that know HIM, but not the other way around.
     
  2. redlibertyx

    redlibertyx Professor

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    Well this assertion isn't 100% true. Five professors with time-turners, as theminikiller stated earlier, would get the job done. It's not the best solution (in fact I'd argue it's a pretty awful solution) but it exists.

    That said, between the options of 'less students' and 'more teachers' I think the general weight of the evidence suggests 'less students' as being the more probable option. We know, for instance, that Harry's year only had about 35 students in it. And based on the fact that only four boys were sorted to Gryffindor in James's and Sirius's year it would not be unreasonable to expect roughly similar numbers. While I could certainly see some reasons to explain either (low wartime births for Harry's year and lower sorting numbers to Gryffindor/Slytherin for 'non-combatant' families for James's year being two obvious cases) I don't think they sufficiently explain the situation.
     
  3. wordhammer

    wordhammer Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    The Time Turner solution has one other merit- it makes Hermione's use of one unremarkable.

    The teachers will know that she's registered for simultaneous classes, so at least some of them would need to be informed that she's using one. The fact that Snape didn't go ballistic about it suggests that he found the decision acceptable to some level.

    I'd think that the teachers would be amenable to allowing a promising student to leverage a teaching aid. It would indicate as well that most of the threat posed by the time turning is against Hermione- if she screws up, it's most likely to wipe out her existence than anyone else's. Also, ready use of turners by staff would allow a chance to correct a temporal error if Hermione really screwed up.

    I'm also cool with the idea that Defense only has one class a week for each student (two classes of two Houses for each year on the DADA professor's schedule, twelve classes total per week if the NEWT levels are unified), if only to provide Umbridge enough time to run her classes whilst harassing other Professors during theirs.

    Hogwarts' Time Turners may be restricted to only operating within range of the school, making the loss of the Ministry's collection a non-issue with the Hogwarts collection. Also, you really only need one Time Turner to give all the teachers a second or third iteration of a five-hour span, so long as they all convene in the staff room at appointed hours to Turn back together.
     
  4. Averis

    Averis Don of Delivery Prestige

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    Really like that idea wordhammer. Hermione being such a good student that they allow her a Professor's time turner seems like its right out of canon. The constant time-turning also explains how McGonagall looks so old (lol). Must be draining teaching several courses in the same time slot for decades.

    Defense, Magical Creatures, Divination and the like could be handled in three-hour blocks once a week. You'd have to follow up in your spare time to keep up (ex. feed Hagrid's creatures every day, being graded on it/writing a dream log every night, etc.) but, because the students schedules are not ridiculously full and they live at Hogwarts nine months out of the year, they become used to it.

    Also feel like it would be cool to have later year students have jobs and responsibilities that fit in line with wizard culture -- harvesting raw materials for potions in the Forbidden forest, for example. That would take away a lot of "wait, there are a thousand students and only less than twenty professors" and replace it with "oh, they are learning by actually doing the work themselves under supervision of such and such Professor/older students/Prefects/Head Boy".
     
  5. Lindsey

    Lindsey Death Eater

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    You could also make an argument that Hogwarts is not a bordering school for the majority of the students.

    The teachers and students we mostly see are those who stay at the school for the majority of the school year (and perhaps are head of their departments). This is why they eat in the Great Hall and are seen in the book quite often.

    The other 700 or so students are those who attend classes just for the day (or perhaps just a class or two). These classes are taught by teachers who go home each day, just like the students.

    This is why NEWT courses are hard to get into, as it is the head professors who are teaching these courses for all the students who reach this level.

    The public school/boarding school set up could explain why the school is well-known in the Wizarding World. Anyone can attend and get a basic education, but it is great for those who can afford or receive a scholarship as they are taught by people at the top of their fields.

    It could also show the blood divide as well. Purebloods can normally afford Hogwarts and there are large scholarships for other purebloods who can't. Halfbloods must be rich, well connected or smart. Muggleborns are often given scholarships for them being a minority (similar to how minorities can get special scholarships in our universities).
     
  6. wordhammer

    wordhammer Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    While I enjoy the idea of day students (though if they live in Hogsmeade do they have to trek down to King's Cross just so they can take the train back?) the heightened security from 1993 onward doesn't lend itself to the gates being left open. It'd be hard to call it the safest place in Britain if they expected children to wander in and out at least twice a day... past swarms of Dementors in 1993. It's like a fortress of learning.
     
  7. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    I do like the idea of day students (I raised the idea in my first post in the thread), I feel like the biggest direct canon contradiction is the novelty of Hogsmeade weekends. If there are hundreds of students going to and from the castle every day, including from Hogsmeade, then it doesn't really make sense that they couldn't go to Hogsmeade until 3rd year, and were really excited about it.
     
  8. wordhammer

    wordhammer Supreme Mugwump DLP Supporter

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    Then again... if the Day students come in via Floo, they wouldn't have to face the Dementors and could be commuting from just about anywhere. This doesn't mean they have off-hours access to magical shops at all.

    Day students 'bussing' in via timed Floo to the Entrance Hall, with them being probed by Filch during Umbridge's tenure as High Inquisitor- this is a scene I could believe.
     
  9. NuScorpii

    NuScorpii Professor

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    I don't really consider the issue trivial. Like you said earlier, in order to have a 1000 students, you need to be able to teach them somehow. As such, it becomes an important problem.

    Agreed

    Agreed.

    Canon facts don't support this. If a student can attend 3 classes simultaneously. 12 teachers can definitely be in 17 classes simultaneously. I'm not saying that time turners are a likely solution, or even a realistic one, but to assume something that is directly contradicted in canon as a fact in an argument is not the way to make a proof.


    Since your point 5 doesn't hold true with canon facts, the proof doesn't follow.


    In fact, there are other possibilities, perhaps just as unlikely as the time turner, but ones that might explain how students are taught. Since the time turner idea has already been discussed, I'm not going to mention it here.

    1. More ghost teachers: Binns is the only ghost teacher mentioned in canon, and we do not see him outside of classes. I don't believe there's any evidence that Binns was at any meal in the Great Hall. It is also more realistic that the narrator didn't notice them, as he likely wouldn't have come across them in any important setting.

    The problem with this theory is how a ghost teacher would teach magic.

    2. Lindsey's argument of non-resident teachers: This is another possible solution, but then you have to ignore lunch. Even if there are non-resident students and teachers, they would likely have lunch in the Great Hall. This would have created a major discrepancy in the numbers of students at lunch vs breakfast/dinner. That this went completely unmentioned, especially during Harry's first few days at Hogwarts is a bit unrealistic, even with the unreliable narrator.

    The other problem is the size of the great hall, which we see as being full during dinners in some scenes. The missing 80% students would have created a large open space.

    3. Suits of armour: While I admit that this is a ridiculous idea, it's still one to put forth. There is a large number of suits of armour around Hogwarts. Perhaps they do serve a purpose and are animated to teach the missing students, possibly mimicking the professor who's teaching in another class. This might be a problem during practical lessors, but for nearly all theory, they are a possible solution. It's also not far fetched to imagine that in this case, everyone would still consider themselves to have say Flitwick for Charms, McGonagall for Trafiguration, etc.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  10. D.H.

    D.H. Seventh Year DLP Supporter

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    NuScorpii, I think that you are misunderstanding the point of this thread. While it's true that canon does not directly support many of the ideas put forth in this thread, but the purpose of this thread is to talk about ways to expand the Wizarding World. Most of the ideas put forth are not canon, just ideas that people think are plausible enough to work well. You are missing the point, I think.
     
  11. Puzzled

    Puzzled High Inquisitor

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    Another way to keep the canon number of named teachers without time travel would be lots of teaching assistants. They would be grad student analogues going for their Masters and they'd essentially teach sections of practical magic while the named teachers just did lectures.
     
  12. NuScorpii

    NuScorpii Professor

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    Perhaps I am, but to understanding is that the OP wanted to do this without making it AU, which I take to mean without disregarding canon evidence.

    As far as I can see, the idea that there could be a large number of unmentioned teachers completely ignores all the evidence to the contrary in canon. It's not based on some ambiguous idea available in canon, like the possibility of using a time turner, but assumes that the narrator was unreliable to the point where the entire idea of a 'canon fact' becomes meaningless.

    It is also why, as you can see, I suggested other possibilities. They have many problems, but they are also based on ideas that are ambiguous in canon.


    EDIT: As an example, consider this:
    We know house elves are capable of magic, we know that they understand wizard magic, we also don't know much about what they do beyond the kitchens and even the fact that they do exist in the kitchens is not common knowledge at Hogwarts. So, why not simply state that it's the Hogwarts House Elves who teach the unmentioned students? I personally don't consider it believable by any stretch of the imagination. To me, the idea of 5 unmentioned professors is believable, but one of 50 unmentioned professors is not.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  13. Goten Askil

    Goten Askil Slug Club Member

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    Well, if you have dozens of unmentioned teachers and hundreds of unmentioned students who do the exact same thing as the known ones without ever being noticed in canon, why not putting them in a completely different place?

    You can have it under Hogwarts juridiction if you want to maintain Hogwarts as the only school in Britain, or have it totally separated. You can imagined whatever way you want to sort students into schools (from difference in tuition fees to detection of "magical core" to bribing of officials to go to the best one). I personnally like the idea of Avalon's Ministry School of Magic.

    I think it more plausible to imagine a few hundreds of students exceptionnally coming to watch a Quidditch match rather than using the Floo everyday. And it allows you to have an unreliable narrator who, while not noticing that most supporters at the match are not in fact Slytherins, is not so blind that he doesn't see 80% of his school.

    Edit:
    I know that, hence the quotations mark. I meant that as a quick way to say you send the most powerful students (define "powerful" the way you want) to Hogwarts and others to another school.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2015
  14. NuScorpii

    NuScorpii Professor

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    There's no such thing as a magical core.
     
  15. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast Prestige DLP Supporter

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    Incorrect. All time-turners were destroyed in the wizarding world at the end of OotP (Pottermore). Even if they were using them books 1-5, they couldn't have in HBP, and yet Hogwarts continued as normal. This indicates they eren't using them books 1-5 also.

    Further, you had agreed earlier in the thread that they didn't use time turners, so I was taking it as given.

    Now you're just getting absurd. Even putting aside everything we know about wizarding attitudes to House Elves, and putting aside the fact that House Elves themselves do not go to Hogwarts so don't have any knowledge of wizardry to confer, it's illegal for House Elves to use wands (GoF).

    Not to my argument. The argument only requires that the students are taught by some teachers, somehow. The particular logistics are irrelevant, so long as it requires more people than exist in canon.

    Again, remember, all I'm showing is canon compatibility, not canonicality. If I can find a single "possible world" in which:

    A) There are more teachers
    B) It doesn't contradict canon

    Then it's a possible canon interpretation.

    Plausibility is another issue and largely subjective, when it comes to a fictional world. I'm not interested in plausibility, only possibility.

    This is why I said the issue was trivial. You're still treating it as a "balance of the evidence" sort of thing, not a "is it remotely possible?" thing. Your arguments against there being more teachers all say "That's not necessarily the case". I don't need things to be necessarily the case, I just need them to be possibly the case.

    E.g. you come up with alternative possible ways in which you could have more students without being more teachers. That doesn't impact my argument, it just shows other possible interpretations of canon. My argument only requires that in one possible canon world, those teachers do exist.
     
  16. NuScorpii

    NuScorpii Professor

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    At the end of OotP, Voldemort was revealed to the public, which could have resulted in a loss of students, possibly even a large number of them, nullifying the need of one. Also, my point was that there was at least one known way the argument could be called into question, and therefore is not definitive.

    I was going for absurd here. My point was that the idea of a very large number of unmentioned professors seems equally absurd to me.

    This is something I can agree with.
     
  17. Quiddity

    Quiddity Auror

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    Why? By all accounts, Hogwarts under Dumbledore is probably the safest place in wizarding Britain.


    Oh and there is no way that Hogwats having a large number of teachers is equally absurd to house-elves teaching at Hogwarts.


    Besides, I think the point is that Taure's argument can be followed in an easily canonical way. The only evidence against it is subjectively weak or strong, so there's clearly an interpretation of canon where it holds. Maybe it isn't JK Rowling's, but it could be. Yours could also be. So both possibilities exist. So why is there a debate?

    Besides, I really don't think this is the point of this thread.
     
  18. NuScorpii

    NuScorpii Professor

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    Yes, because that's how normal people think isn't it. Let's see:

     
  19. JoJo23

    JoJo23 Auror

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    Teachers using time turners could circle the square that is Dumbledores shifting age.

    Could introduce a new plotline after year 5 when they are all destroyed that they need a bunch of new teachers.
     
  20. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    So, ignoring the argument about more teachers, the actually relevant question is "how far can you stretch Canon-Hogwarts while remaining believable". I calculated this various times, and thought I'd post one approach.

    We know that generally, the structure of the day at Hogwarts is as follows:

    Code:
    08:45 - 09:30 L1
    09:30 - 10:15 L2
    10:15 - 10:25 (break)
    10:25 - 11:10 L3
    11:10 - 11:55 L4
    12:00 - 13:00 Lunch
    13:00 - 13:45 L5
    13:45 - 14:30 L6
    14:30 - 14:40 (break)
    14:40 - 15:25 L7
    15:25 - 16:10 L8
    ...
    16:30 - 19:30 Dinner
    The times are (more or less) of my making; the general structure, however, is not. We are shown it is such various times in the books, at least for the morning classes; how many lessons there are in the afternoon is slightly uncertain.

    The point is that we see we can fit 8, maybe 9 or 10 lessons into one day, so there's a range of 40 ... 50 hours of lessons per week. This is true for a student as well as a teacher, so the question is how many students can there be so that one teacher per subject can cover that.

    In the first two years, students have seven subjects: Transfiguration, Charms, Defense, Potions, Herbology, Astonomy and History. If one assumes simple double lessons for all, that results in 14 hours/week, which isn't enough, so presumably, they have at least two double lessons a week in most subjects. That brings us to 28 hours/week, which is a reasonable number.

    Now, the actual distribution isn't relevant here, it's enough to note that each OWL-year will at least need 4 hours/week of every teacher -- times four (or two, if the classes are shared with another house). NEWT years would need just 4 hours/week, since the classes are shared by all houses.

    At best, all classes are maximally shared, so a teacher needs to spend 8 hours per week per year for years 1-5 (40 hours) plus 4 hours per week per year for years 6 and 7 (8 hours). This fits into our 40-50 hours/week schedule, so in theory, one teacher could cover all the lessons. (I'm ignoring insane additional work hours with correcting the essays of an entire school each week and administrative duties, presumably magic makes that possible.)

    The flip side of this is that we assumed all (or at least most) classes to be shared, which sets a limit on how many students there can reasonably be; and personally, I set this at 50 in one class. That is a really big class, but not unheard of. From there, it's simple extrapolation: 50/class, 100/year, 700 students at Hogwarts.

    And scaling those 700 students up to the population of Wizarding Britain results in ~10,000 wizards, which is less than I'd like, but at least a somewhat-reasonable figure.


    TL;DR: One can make it work. Kinda. If you squint here and handwave there -- and for most purposes and most stories, that should be enough.
     
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