The prospect of winter in the wizarding world conjures up a host of cosy images: a snow-covered Hogwarts, umpteen delicious feasts, endless games of Exploding Snap in the common room – we’d even put up with the icy chill of Snape’s dungeon classroom if the pay-off was getting to sit in front of a roaring Gryffindor fire.
But even in the wizarding world, winter isn’t all Weasley jumpers and Butterbeer. Witches and wizards seem to rely on a few little spells to help them through the colder months. Spells we think it would be quite useful to have in the real world, too. Here’s a few of them:
AKA the fire-making spell. It’s probably obvious why Incendio would be useful during a cold snap – the ability to just point at a space and create a fire deserving of Hogwarts’ Great Hall would certainly come in handy.
You’d have to be careful, of course. To keep warm at Hogwarts, Hermione favoured the similar spell, the Bluebell Flame charm, which magically contained blue flames in a nice warm jar.
A safer option altogether might be...
Remember when, in Order of the Phoenix, Hermione returned from Hagrid’s covered in snow, which she then just magicked off her robes with “a complicated little wave” of her wand? How great would that be?
The idea of steam-drying your clothes as you are wearing them seems very economical. It is, indeed, a practical spell worthy of Hermione, and also one that might be useful if you were to, say, find yourself soaked in muddy rain-water after being splashed by a car driving through a puddle.
Plus, this spell would be great for the splashy drivers themselves. There’d be no need to waste valuable morning minutes scraping ice off a windscreen if all you needed to do was blast your car with a bit of hot air.
Another Hermione-special, this would be especially useful for glasses-wearers because, yes, Impervius is the spell Hermione casts on Harry’s glasses so that they repel rain during a very wet Quidditch match. You’d never need to worry about steaming up your spectacles ever again with this one in your back pocket.
And presumably it can be applied to any garment you wish to protect from the elements. Hats. Shoes. Phones. Face masks. Seriously – with Impervius up our winter sleeves, would we even need umbrellas?
A lot of these spells are about dealing with the realities of bad weather, but another fact of winter life in the UK is that, at this time of year, it gets very dark, very early.
Say you wanted to go for a run at 5pm in the middle of December – well, a cynic might say you’d be better off going in the morning, but if you had access to a wand and knew your Lumos from your Nox you could easily dismiss that cynic with a flick of your wand and a shout of this spell (it’s Lumos, just to be clear – Nox is the one that turns lights out.)
A head torch might be easier to secure, but surely a wand’s more reliable (and, let’s face it, a lot more exciting.)
What is it about winter that makes everything feel grubbier? Mud gets crusted onto your shoes, the floors get covered in sludge, that horrible sleety snow leaves marks on your best coat. Well, if we could get the hang of what Tonks calls “these householdy sort of spells,” winter could do its absolute clothes-and-floor-destroying worst and nobody would ever know. Just imagine: there’d be no market for harsh chemical cleaning products and you’d never have to even think about taking your coat to the dry cleaners.
Hot Chocolate, Mulled Wine, Eggnog, Pumpkin-Spiced Latte... whatever your warming winter drink of choice, wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could just keep that mug/glass/tankard topped up without ever having to vacate your seat?
Obviously, you should stick to your limits, but when you’re curled up on the sofa and a trip to the kitchen seems like a journey too far, well, a little responsible refilling can’t hurt.