They trip over the words, the syllables and sounds sitting strangely on their tongues. Latin. Greek. Old English, the language of the Saxons. Words that can be meant, but never felt. They move their wrists, but the movements are all wrong. Too fluid, too flowing, not the precise jerky movements that declare forthright intent and blunt direction and no appreciation for the finer points of the whys and wherefores.
To understand this, you must remember that the wands came to them only in 1829.
No, that’s wrong. You might think, therefore, that they had a choice in the matter, but they didn’t. In 1759, for the first time, they were told they couldn’t practice magic the way they did anymore. It was the British, the muggles, as the Confederation called it. They couldn’t have them know about magic and they needed a way to make sure there weren’t any violations of the Statute of Secrecy. A trace.
The trace does not work on wandless magic, or ritual magic, of course. Oh, a signal registers, yes. Magic has been used, that much is clear - but who? There is no way of pinpointing it.
It starts out that way, in 1759. In 1829, they learn for the first time that their magic, all wandless, is inferior to that of the magic produced by the wand. Wand magic is swift, precise and immediate - it is the future of magic. When put that way; a choice between lingering in the romantic past or moving into the future and accepting progress; there is only one choice to be made. To take up wands and learn new words. Another language, that is what it boils down to in the end. Their language is old, but too old - that is something you thought would never have been said by men and women who value, above everything else, ancient bloodlines and ancestries that can be traced back centuries. Age, it seems, is virtuous only as far back as the founding of the Greek kingdoms.
Two centuries. That is enough and yet not enough. It sits wrong. Something is missing - and they do not know what.
Some of them, they invent their own spells. Spells they really feel, because magic, magic is about thought, emotion and will coming together in one swift moment and then exploding, coursing through one’s veins to create, to do, to be. In the end, these polyglot spells are truly theirs - neither here nor there, just like them and so, easier to be felt and to be willed into existence. In the end, magic is their heart and if they cannot feel their magic - does not that take something so very fundamental away from them?
Some of them, they break their wands and perform wandless magic alone once they have outgrown the reaches of the Ministry and the International Confederation of Wizards. Talented witches and wizards who will never receive the adulation that those who perform magic without wands in England, in Europe, will be awarded for daring to go beyond the bounds of normal magic. They will disappear completely - law abiding citizens in the wrong place at the wrong time, doing the wrong kind of magic for the rest of their lives with nothing but the quiet comfort that they are doing magic the way it was once done by their ancestors to keep them company.
There are others who refused to take up wands, who refused to hide from the muggles and to give up their old ways of magic. They are called criminals nowadays. Whole groups of people, just like that, because they would not comply with the Statute of Secrecy.
And lastly, there are those who one day look at their wands and ask themselves if it might not be better to send the muggle friends of these witches and wizards who were so concerned for their safety - for the continued secret of their existence - back home where they belonged. Who ask themselves if their wands, once tools of their oppression, might not be turned against their oppressors. Who will ask themselves, why should we stand by in silence while our comrades-in-arms suffer for the sake of secrecy and the safety of men and women who live pampered lives in a faraway land - who will never know what it means to starve or to watch men die or to have to turn one’s collar points down for fear that it might give offense to a well-dressed English gentleman?
And having answered those questions, those are the witches and wizards who will take up their wands - who have taken up their wands and fought because magic is not magic and non-magic but magic is magic is magic, because magic was given to them all, because it is their land and their identity.
Those witches and wizards; they are the ones who will never be remembered in Hogwarts, or for that matter, any of the history books they use to teach them there. Zuhair Shafiq. Parvati Zuhair Shafiq (nee Chatterjee). Siddhant Patil. Ram Chandra Azad. Padma Mukherjee. Ramesh A. Rajkumar. Sunil P. Jadhav. Joseph de Silva. Sharda Rajagopalachari. Sana M. Syed. The All-India Jadukara Azaadi Association. Thousands of names that would take far too long to list - witches and wizards who asked themselves why and found they had no answer, not until they took up their wands and fought for freedom.
You could argue that their fight was in vain. In 1950, the Indian Ministry of Magic was formed and signed the Statute of Secrecy. But the fight for freedom, the fight against these wands is a struggle that will continue, always continue until once again the magic sits comfortably in their skin and their tongues no longer stumble over spells and they find that they can move their wrists as they were once wont to - and the magic will burst forth and they will be as they have never been for two hundred years.
That, that, is freedom. That is independence.