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Thread: International Floo Network

  1. #1
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    International Floo Network

    In a story that I am working on, international Floo tavel is used a great deal for travel, but I am still trying to work out a lot of the finer details of how it would work. I almost imagine a special level in the Ministry of Magic connecting to Ministry all over the world. Once in another country, a local Floo channel can be used to travel. Though because you have to keep transfering and moving to different fireplaces, internation travel by Floo as a whole is extremely complicated and time consuming (not so different from out own airport, huh?).

    What are you opinions on how international Floo travel works?

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  2. #2
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    What are you opinions on how international Floo travel works?
    It doesn't, in my opinion.

    The ramifications of magical long-distance travel are rarely considered by those fanfic writers who allow wizards to Apparate or Floo between continents. Portkeys are bad enough.

    I think wizarding society would be dramatically changed if it were easy to travel that far by magic. Who needs brooms? What would be the point of international borders?

    Also consider just how a Floo Network is supposed to work. While Rowling gave us no details (as usual, it's left to us to imagine the mechanics of her novel magical wonders), I assume that somehow you have to magically "attach" the chimneys that are connected to the Floo Network. Floo Network implies an actual network, rather than a series of warp gates that happen to be located in wizards' chimneys.

    I envision it being very difficult to create a Floo connection between cities, much less between countries. Especially if, as in Britain, you have an ocean between them.

  3. #3
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Alright. What are some other possible ways that wizards could travel internationally. They must be able to do it somehow. From what we can assume, there are witches and wizards in the Western Hemisphere. What are some ways they could do it?

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  4. #4
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Alright. What are some other possible ways that wizards could travel internationally. They must be able to do it somehow. From what we can assume, there are witches and wizards in the Western Hemisphere. What are some ways they could do it?
    I'd assume European witches and wizards came to the Western Hemisphere when Muggles did, the same way: on ships.

    There isn't really any canon information on what the range limits of Apparition or Portkeys might be, but it doesn't seem likely that wizards can just grab a Portkey from London to New York. London to Paris, maybe.

  5. #5
    Racing Co
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    I'm guessing most wizards probably have to do international travel the Muggle way (planes, trains, ships, and the like). However, I have to think there's some kind of service like the Floo Network for international business. Maybe it's like a flight service where they'd have to pay a certain fee because it is highly complex magic. Only certain grates could be used, and it would be something like an airport.

    Maybe all the allied ministries and governments are connected, so that government officials can communicate or travel instantaneously if need be. This is kind of futuristic since it seems like the wizarding governments have little to do with one another outside sports competition.

    I was thinking about this the other day too. There's the problem with long-distance travel for witches and wizards, but here's a similar problem: how do you suppose information is sent around the world? That'd be one sturdy owl to be capable of delivering a trans-Atlantic letter.

    For an organization like the Daily Prophet, how do they get the news on time? What if, say, the Quidditch World Cup is going on in South America? Surely they wouldn't be reporting on news that's several days old. Maybe they would. Or would they dare use something Muggle like a telegraph?

  6. #6
    psijupiter
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racing Co
    I was thinking about this the other day too. There's the problem with long-distance travel for witches and wizards, but here's a similar problem: how do you suppose information is sent around the world? That'd be one sturdy owl to be capable of delivering a trans-Atlantic letter.

    For an organization like the Daily Prophet, how do they get the news on time? What if, say, the Quidditch World Cup is going on in South America? Surely they wouldn't be reporting on news that's several days old. Maybe they would. Or would they dare use something Muggle like a telegraph?
    I read a fic where they used geese for transatlantic letters, which I quite liked.

    I wonder if there is a telegraph equivalent that can be sent through the floo? So, when the distance gets too far away for a person or a person's head to get through, they use a wizarding morse code of some description. Maybe combinations of different coloured sparks instead of dots and dashes?

    Alternatively, there might be a version of the charm that Voldemort uses in the Dark Mark and Hermione uses on the coins for the DA might work over long distances. So you could charm two quills, the second one writing whatever the first one wrote, and leave the second one at home. I'm now imagining the 'Foreign Correspondents' office at the Daily Prophet as a big empty room full of quills writing on long rolls of parchment - they would look a bit like a fax machines!

    As for international travel, there are witches from America at the Quidditch World Cup, so there must be some way. Perhaps people simply keep apparating from place to place until they eventually got there - to get to the Americas you'd have to apparate across Asia, and then jump across from Russia to Alaska. Time consuming and annoying, so most people don't bother going that far. Or maybe there are a handful of super-powerful portkeys, created by powerful wizards. They would be heavily in demand, if there were only a few of them, and I can imagine waiting around would be alot like waiting in an airport.

  7. #7
    Inverarity
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racing Co
    I was thinking about this the other day too. There's the problem with long-distance travel for witches and wizards, but here's a similar problem: how do you suppose information is sent around the world? That'd be one sturdy owl to be capable of delivering a trans-Atlantic letter.
    If I'm not mistaken, Harry at one point receives a letter from Sirius delivered by a tropical bird, implying that Sirius was in the Bahamas or something.

    Which was cute, but not really feasible, if you think about it.

    For wizards to have international travel and communications on a par with Muggles, there are really only two possibilities:

    (1) They use Muggle means.
    (2) They have magic that's much more powerful than anything we saw in the books.

    Neither one is canonical, nor is either one directly contradicted by canon, and they both have problems, so in fan fiction, you pretty much have to pick one and make some assumptions.

    Given the ignorance we saw of Muggle technology in the books, it's apparent that most wizards would have no idea how to buy an airplane ticket or send a package by UPS. Maybe there is a small niche for wizards that do business in international travel/communications, possibly pretending they use unspecified magical means as a front, so that their prejudiced customers don't realize they're actually handing packages to Muggles to transport.

    If you use (2), then you allow Floos, Portkeys, and/or Apparition to work long-distance. This is never seen in the books, but we're never told wizards can't do that, either. I think it's problematic for reasons mentioned earlier, and doesn't really seem in the spirit of the Harry Potter universe for wizards to be able to go magically globe-hopping.

    The few examples of magical long distance travel we do see in the books are the Hogwarts Express, Beauxbatons' flying carriage, and Durmstrang's submersible ship. They don't appear to be available to the general wizarding public, though; I can't see wizards making regular international trips on flying carriages pulled by giant flying horses.

    So, in my opinion, the wizarding population in general is pretty secluded, at least in Europe. Wizards in different countries don't have a lot of contact with each other, because of the lack of convenient travel and communications methods. Hence the fact that the Triwizard Tournament is such a big deal, and the fact that we see almost no involvement outside Britain during the Voldemort wars.

  8. #8
    Halgy
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    if we want to put muggle analogies to magical transport, the floo network could be scene as the bus or commuter train: just used for more-or-less local travel. Port keys, on the other hand, are like airplanes, used for longer distance transport. They are much more highly regulated and therefore are much more of a big deal. If you need to cross borders, flying or using a portkey is probably the way to go.



    Or you could do like I did and go mad with creative power. I have 'Rings' (pretty much like Stargates, but not) that transport people between major world cities. Each 'ring' can connect to any other ring at pre-determined times rather like muggle airplane departures. The departure area is in the Department of Magical Transportation, and is pretty much like a muggle airport.

    My reasoning for this is that neither the floo network nor portkeys can span large distances (like across the Atlantic Ocean in my fic), or at least not without utilizing many different jumps to get there (i.e. London to Iceland to Greenland to Nova Scotia to Chicago to San Fransisco). However, the 'rings' are recent inventions, and therefore aren't as widespread as other methods.

    But that's just me making up lore as usual. Half the reason I write, to tell the truth.

  9. #9
    ahattab33
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    Originally posted by Inverarity:
    The few examples of magical long distance travel we do see in the books are the Hogwarts Express, Beauxbatons' flying carriage, and Durmstrang's submersible ship.
    Same book, but one other instance not mentioned up until this point is the logistical challenge faced at organizing and gathering such a large group of wizards and witches to actually watch the Quidditch World Cup. Though Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys all use a Portkey, they are doing it within the same country. The only other description of how it's organized comes from Arthur's conversation with Harry about how wizards travel:

    GOF, American version, page 69/70, Emphasis added:

    "First, of course, we have to stagger the arrivals. People with cheaper tickets have to arrive two weeks beforehand. A limited number use Muggle transportation, but we can't have too many clogging up their buses and trains-remember, wizards are coming from all over the world. Some Apparate, of course, but we have to set up safe points for them to appear, well away from Muggles. I believe there's a handy wood they're using as the Apparition point. For those who don't want to Apparate, or can't, we use Portkeys. They're objects that are used to transport wizards from one spot to another at a prearranged time. You can do large groups at a time if you need to. There have been two hundred Portkeys placed at strategic points around Britain, and the nearest one to us is up at the top of Stoatshead Hill, so that's where we're headed."
    A few things of note:

    As the Quidditch World Cup during this particular passage is set in Britian, it would make sense that there would be more people from Britian attending. However, Arthur himself states that there are wizards from around the world attending, whatever their percentage may be (though Mr. Roberts does say that there were "loads of foreigners").

    There is no mention of how those outside Britain arrive, just that there is one Apparition point only. Whether that means there are others outside of it and they are able to Apparate across from France or other closer locations, it is not mentioned.

    The same is true with Portkeys - he only mentions the number of Portkeys in Britain. Whether these include those who are coming from other locations, making this their second, third, etc., Portkey jumps around the world, we obviously don't know.

    Originally posted by Inverarity:
    If you use (2), then you allow Floos, Portkeys, and/or Apparition to work long-distance. This is never seen in the books, but we're never told wizards can't do that, either. I think it's problematic for reasons mentioned earlier, and doesn't really seem in the spirit of the Harry Potter universe for wizards to be able to go magically globe-hopping.
    I completely agree...we have no evidence to show us that it can't work, even if it doesn't seem like it should or we weren't provided evidence otherwise except for the excerpt above.

    It would seem that it would become more dangerous for Apparition the farther the distance, and Apparation points would be needed along the way...how far that distance becomes is completely unknown.

    The same logic would be true of Portkeys...essentially you would be taking a string of Portkey's along the way.

    Both of these are true for cross-country travel. That changes, of course, with trans-Atlantic travel, for which I have no theory except for broomsticks (or flying cars...) or Muggle transportation.

    In addition (just because I ended up reading on for about fifteen more minutes...*sigh*) Ron says further on in the passage that Charlie also had a penfriend at a school in Brazil who sent him a cursed hat. Just more evidence of long-distance travel, at least of the bird kind.

  10. #10
    Sixth Year Hufflepuff
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    Hmmm, I'm just posting to point out that International Floo won't make much sense because many countries (like mine) are too hot to even bother with fireplaces in the houses.

    I think Apparition and Portkeys should do the job of international travel. I think the Department of International Magical Co-operation might keep a record of wizards immigrationg and emmigrating. Maybe you need permission from both Ministers of Magic before you Apparate or Portkey to any country.
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