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Spells for Office Work

Discussion in 'Fanfic Discussion' started by Taure, Oct 11, 2019.

  1. Taure

    Taure Magical Core Enthusiast ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    From HBP Chapter 1:

    It seems likely that there are a lot of Charms which would assist in expediting office work. Conveniently, DLP is now full of adults who work in offices. What spells can you think of that would dramatically speed up your work?

    Here's a few thoughts from a legal perspective:

    Ordering Charm - Charm which re-orders documents according to some criteria set by the caster. Chronological order, order by sender, by recipient, or even subject matter like "Vessel documents; salvage documents; general average documents."

    Duplication Charm - Self-explanatory. Chuck out all your photocopiers. The amount of time and money this would save is amazing.

    Redaction Charm - Charm which blacks out sensitive information on documents.

    Summoning Charm - from Hermione's "Accio books on horcruxes", it's clear that the Summoning Charm can be used as a search (albeit this is probably a more advanced use). So, for example: "Accio any emails where our clients accept the offer" or "Accio all letters about time bar".

    Availability Divination - identifies a calendar date and time at which all prospective participants are available to have a meeting.

    Covering Letter Conjuration: Conjures a covering letter enclosing documents.

    Pagination Charm: paginates a stack of documents.

    Unpagination Charm: removes pagination of documents.

    Index Conjuration: with reference to a set of documents, conjures a list of those documents.

    Comparison Charm: cast it on two documents, it indicates with glowing light what the differences are.

    Transcription Charm: Transcribes speech to text.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  2. sonder

    sonder Fourth Year

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    I do automation engineering as part of my role and you absolutely know I would be building more spells for automating daily tasks. Can you imagine a spell for running a western blot (tells you what proteins are in a mix)? My gods, I would save so much time. I'll add more as they come, but off the top of my head:
    • Constant Stirring - modified tea spell for your laboratory mixing needs. It's just a big enough problem that I've built five different kinds of stirring things in the past four years. Trust me. We stir things.
    • Serial Dilution - exactly as it says on the tea tin. You take one fluid and dilute it (1/10 usually) and you repeat that 20 times to create a logarithmic standard for your experiment. It is tedious and depending on what you have, by the time you finish the dilution your sample is useless.
    • Density Matching - the number of times I've accidentally killed a sample with an improperly matched solution... well, you're not gonna see your suspension separate anymore. Everything has density and if you don't want it to sink in a fluid, you have to make the solid density match the density of the fluid it is in.
    • Conductivity Scan - so I don't need to ferry my samples between the wet lab and the electronics lab. It will tell me the exact conductivity of a surface in ohms. It's a glorified multimeter.
    • Acid Etching - Soaks my samples for exactly what time I need. Rinses them with water and dumps the acid (at a dilution gentle enough I don't make the company's environmental health and safety board mad at me). I don't want to see my hydrochloric acid or any other acid for that matter bubbling enough to take my hand off again.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  3. Blorcyn

    Blorcyn Order Member DLP Supporter DLP Silver Supporter

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    I know it’s not quite canon for many, but one of the most impressive sections of The Cursed Child was Harry charming his office clean.

    It had a very reparo aesthetic but put things into drawers and piles.

    This isn’t much of a contribution. But it was cool tho.

    Oh a thought, a speaking charm for quotes or transcripts. In much the way a howler works, a quote or section of a text should be able to speak out to the office where needed, to be heard in the voice of its original author. Perhaps to read back from what your dictation quill has jotted down.

    It turns out my reading comprehension is poor, I thought it was entirely about what spells might Ministry workers use.

    I’ve quite thought about the culture of St. Mungo’s before, if I were to write some drama that took place there. I think I’d want it to be quite 50s in style, with strict ward rounds and senior healers exhibiting patients like zoo-animals and saying all these odd and concerning features about various diseases in front of a patient who has come in with simple X or Y.

    I think it’s quite difficult to think of canon compliant charms when what little we see discussed of muggle medicine is treated with such disdain, they don’t even call healers doctors - despite how Galen, Paracelsus and Hippocrates all massively outdate the statute of secrecy.

    It’s fair though. A good episkey and a pepper up potion would fix almost everyone I see, I suspect. A cheering charm would at least leave the rest at peace with what the other two can’t fix.

    Magical surgery would be fascinating, if a simple switching charm was not fit for purpose.

    I think in mundane terms, something that trailed after you and wrote down your notes, for example the ability to summarise a patient’s weeks with you with out having to go through the whole notes to find if X happened on the fifteenth or sixteenth.

    So , a chronology charm - that places a calendar date next to an event on the day the event took place.

    A klaxon charm - so when people say, ‘the evidence I’ve seen suggests otherwise’ you can blast out an air horn surreptitiously and your senior colleague knows he has to produce the goods or else be quiet.

    I think in particular, imaging charms would be awesome - casting a charm and looking through someone’s arms in real time, and it’d be amazing to gain 3D understanding of the anatomy of you tap an arm and can see through successive layers and move them about.

    A rectal charm and a catheterisation charm - just something that places things in there or takes things out there.

    A sterility charm - you could wear what you want and never fear the wrath of a scrub nurse. You’d get fun medical student stories out of this, too: ‘Did you hear about McHale? He was asked to make himself sterile for theatre and he cast castrati on himself not aarchaebacterium! Now he can’t walk for a month’.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2019
  4. Thaumologist

    Thaumologist Supreme Mugwump

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    (Not going to dive back into the books for exact wordings)

    Tonks uses 'Pack' to stuff Harry's belongings into a trunk, and says her mother can use it to make socks match up (?). It would make snese that this could be used to put books/files/papers away, and mastery might allow you to sort them as you go.

    Expanding that, this could maybe be linked with stamps/coloured paper depending on security level, or urgency, and 'Pack Clearance T and up' (because the tea-lady came in), or 'Pack Urgent' (to my in-tray) could be used.

    Expanding even further, if these could be tied to proximity alarms to the badges everyone wears - as someone without security clearance opens your office door, the paper automatically sorts itself face down, or into a literal black box.


    Charms to extract either specific liquids, or extract all but specific liquids would make sense - someone spills tea/water/firewhiskey on your desk, so you need to get it out before all the effort is ruined.

    Proximity and intent charms/'wards', to let you know someone is coming looking for you; or for helping find your way. Think like the coloured lightways in Ender's Game, but maybe interactive? When asked your purpose at the ministry, if you mention a specific department/office/person, they get a notification somehow, and you get a highlighted path to them.

    Spellcheck charms, and (possibly previous mentioned extract charm) the ability to remove the incorrect word to rewrite.

    Anti-cheating ink/quills/parchment for job interviews, tax filling, or the like. That might be dipping into bad fanon though.

    Parchment/paper forming transfigurations - maybe you need to have a document in A4, but you only have B5, so you cast the 'A4' charm to change the size and shape of the paper.

    Form forming - you need to fill in forms E11, B5, and subsection B(ii) of C917, so you ask the clerk to cast those spells to ink in set lines, to save having a backlog of forms hidden away somewhere.
     
  5. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Order Member

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    Why limit oneself to Westerns? One Chromatography Spell to rule them all, one spell to find them, one spell to bring them all and in the light, separate them. With the incantation "Split." I mean, I can't even imagine just how amazing that would be.

    For genetic engineering, I'd love a spell to transcribe genetic data from my head/a piece of paper into an actual DNA molecule, and another which would just perform the necessary transformation. Fuck CRISPR, we've got magic bitches. Another would be to speed up microbial/cellular growth. God, don't get me started, I'd love to magic everything and anything I do in a lab.

    And one lab housekeeping spell which would write your lab notebook as you worked. Perhaps the one spell any researcher needs to know and be able to maintain for an extended period of time.

    EDIT: And a spell to tell you about mutations. Give it a DNA molecule and a sequence and it would just tell you about each mutation. Would be amazing for validating your work. More generally, a spell to sequence a piece of DNA and write that onto a piece of paper.
     
  6. Alistair

    Alistair First Year

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    I work in R&D as a technical expert.

    Imperio is the best office spell.

    For example, "Imperio, stop pushing your personal agenda and start listening to what your production and technical team are saying..."

    "Imperio, that's not feasible, lets work this through to come to an arrangement and timeline which is actually possible..."

    "Imperio, be a bit more open to this new process, it won't burn down your production site and might even give some benefits..."

    "Imperio, if you say you'll do something, actually do it, and if you have issues, be up front about it"

    The possibilities are literally endless.

    On a more practical note, general animation charms on stuff like brewing, blending, packaging, filtation would save me days of work, whilst divination, even something basic like pass or fail on a recipe would be awesome.

    Apparition and the floo network would be great for getting materials or samples to stakeholders as well. The amount of time I spend following up on parcels which are lost / delayed / stuck at customs...

    Liquid luck would also be amazing. Get a technical brief, take a shot of liquid luck, stumble upon the optimal recipe or process in like 15 minutes. That right there would basically make my job obsolete though in fairness, so... maybe not?
     
  7. Shouldabeenadog

    Shouldabeenadog Auror

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    This charm would of course be illegal:

    Bureau rectifying- a ritual that reveals all of the waste and dead weight in an office or department, covering them with a red colored patina. Includes office staff.
     
  8. Genghiz Khan

    Genghiz Khan Order Member

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    @Alistair Dude, I never thought of divination being used for predictive work. That's... genius. Every university department could have an official seer who can tell them whether a given project would pass or fail. As could every grant committee. The economy that would enable would be... mind-boggling.
     
  9. Nevermind

    Nevermind Auror

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    As an adult who works in an office:

    A charm that sets up a self-updating workflow chart would be divine.
     
  10. Mordecai

    Mordecai Drunken Scotsman ~ Prestige ~ DLP Supporter

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    A charm to search large numbers of documents, not just for specific words or phrases, but for concepts would be so useful.

    A spell to tell me if any door/drawer/cupboard in the room is unlocked.

    A charm that identifies if any sensitive or classified information has been left openly visible within a given space.

    Legilimency would be a god send, as would Veritaserum.

    Something to give myself perfect recall, even for a temporary period, would be so useful.
     
  11. Sesc

    Sesc Slytherin at Heart Moderator

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    Well, I suppose, everything you'd have to pay a secretary for, no? That's usually what you do if you want to work, as opposed to documenting your work. Given that we have a secretary, the next things I'd need to have fixed are useless, endless work meetings, and also writing up the results of work, instead of producing more results (impossible for the secretary, because it needs expert knowledge).

    So: A spell to link minds selectively (everyone is always on the same page, no need for meetings), and a personalised Auto-Dict Quill that write what I would have written without actually me having to do it.

    And of course all the secretary stuff: reading-waffling-and-producing-a-one-sentence-summary-spell, filing spells, copy spells, making-coffee-spells ...
     
  12. MonkeyEpoxy

    MonkeyEpoxy Prisoner DLP Supporter

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    A charm that could perfectly duplicate your signature would be useful, but also horrifying. It would have to be innately tied to your personal identity or something to stop someone from just signing away willy nilly
     
  13. Paradise

    Paradise Professor DLP Supporter

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    Dictation Quill: records exactly what you say and corrects it to a degree, but they take on a mind of their own eventually and start subtly adding their own opinions, specifically toward non-organic sentient rights.

    Monotaste Spell: Makes any food look rotted and revolting to anyone besides the caster, it also tastes quite awful unless you are the caster. Gets a bit finicky from time to time, leave it on for too long and it makes the food always taste like peaches that are three days old, left in a room tempature environment.

    Paper Airplanes (Canon I know): Enchant a piece of paper to quickly fly off to a recipient. The farther it goes the more intelligent it becomes, and eventually realizes that its one purpose is to deliver mail, and begins to resent its purpose and caster, but cannot deny the one command of it's creator. So it viciously attacks its intended recipient except its just a piece of paper, so it rams into the guys head for a few minutes and gives up.
     
  14. arkkitehti

    arkkitehti Groundskeeper

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    Flow-potion: removes all distractions and allows you to have a 100 % focus on what you are currently doing.
     
  15. Skykes

    Skykes Minister of Magic DLP Supporter

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    Adobe has this feature, although i think it is locked behind the paid version. You have the choice to ignore punctuation changes also, dead handy.
     
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