Pottermore has revealed a new magical device that will feature in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The device can be seen in the in the Fantastic Beasts trailer, just to the right of President Seraphina Picquery’s portrait in the foyer of MACUSA.
The device measures the level of danger that the American magical community are in danger in from No-Maj, or non-magical humans. Jo Rowling has discussed the fractious relationships between magical and non-magical communities in her History of Magic in North America, and a combination of Puritanical oppressors and corrupt wizards called Scourers forced the magical community to remain secretive and even hostile towards non-magical people.
The device, which resembles a clock, has hands that swing between levels to indicate the level of threat , and it also measures the number of witch hunts in America, the number of times a witch or wizard has been exposed and the number of times someone has had to Obliviate a No-Maj.
Graphic artists Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima, who have worked on every Harry Potter film, and production designer Stuart Craig, who has also worked on all eight Harry Potter films, came up with the design.
‘Stuart was very clear about what he wanted,’ Eduardo told Pottermore. ‘He wanted it to look like a station clock. We looked at how they show terror alerts in the States, and National Security issues like that, and used their colour scheme.’
‘It does say in J.K. Rowling’s script that there is a radar-type clock that’s measuring the amount of threat or danger,’ says Mira. ‘She says the dial is on “severe unexplained activity” and we came up with the other words on the clock face and the cogs you can see working underneath.’
Mira says there is a miniature version on Auror Percival Graves’s desk. Fans will recall Alastor Moody had many Dark Detectors in his magical trunk, including a Foe Glass which warned him when his enemies were near “I’m not really in trouble until I see the whites of their eyes.” And Molly Weasley had a clock which detected the danger her family was in. Although previously it served more domestic reminders, after the second Wizarding War begun all nine of the clock hands, one for each family member, pointed towards “mortal peril”.
This device is one of the most complex we’ve seen so far. North America’s magical history is proving more and more interesting with each new revelation.