The Fault in the Wizarding World
Now before I start, I’ll have you know I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I even identify myself with the term Potterhead.
Days and nights spent crying over the books and practising magic spells when no one was watching? Yes, been there done that. So naturally, my friend once posed this question to me.
Would you rather be a witch studying at Hogwarts, or live your life knowing it is only part of a fantasy?
To my surprise, I chose the latter. Sure, I would love to be able to do magic and go to schools like Hogwarts and possibly trip over their moving staircases (how fun). But the problem was with the Wizarding World.
Let’s start with the obvious one.
Wait, Who Am I?
Seriously, there is no saying to when or where some other witch or wizard could just obliviate me as I’m walking down the street.
Also known as a Memory Charm; it is used to erase memories from an individual’s mind.
I mean, they could cast any other spell too I guess but we’ll just go with this example because it is rather widely used.
Case in point: Gilderoy Lockhart. He is a celebrity wizard who rose to fame by using the Memory Charm to his advantage. He deceives witches and wizards into revealing their accomplishments to him and makes a living out of claiming credit for their work after erasing their memory.
Well he does get a taste of his own medicine at the end of The Chamber of Secrets, when his magic backfires on him and he is left with a permanent memory loss.
You may be thinking he deserves it but I’m sure many people would use this spell to their advantage. Caught me doing something illegal? You never saw me. Trying to bring down someone in class the day before a test? You won’t remember your name when I’m done with you.
And it might even be done with good intentions, like with Hermione’s case when she was trying to protect her parents.
So someone gifted enough could just take away your entire memory permanently if they want to, since there is evidently no law saying they can’t. And nope, no take backsies. (This is just an example of one spell, just imagine all the worse scenarios that could happen.)
I’m As Good As Dirt
So if you are a Muggle-born (born to parents with no magical abilities aka Muggles) or more unpleasantly termed a ‘Mudblood’, you are as good as dirt. Since my parents are Muggles (I think), that would be a great start for me won’t it.
To Pure-blooded wizards (basically wizards born without a trace of ‘Muggle’ in their bloodline), they are at the top of the hierarchy. They think themselves to be amongst the richest, and the most powerful families ever lived. Everyone else is beneath them.
Apparently, association with Muggle-borns counts as well. Shown by how the Weasley family (as pure-blooded as they can get), are ranked lower than other families and suffer from the same discrimination Muggle-borns do, just because they are open to befriending Muggles.
No amount of skill or talent would matter because people would judge magical beings by their bloodline first. Even the oh-so-mighty Voldemort is no exception. He had to claim himself as a Pure-blood when he was really born a Half-blood.
Also, most Pure-bloods still use house elves to wait on them. Which is basically the equivalent of slavery.
Muggles from 1833 called, but they don’t want anything back because your laws are way behind theirs.
Why You So Obsessed With Me?
The Ministry of Magic aka the Ministry of Micro-managing.
When rumours of Voldemort’s return first started, the Ministry of Magic sent Dolores Umbridge to Hogwarts in order to sniff out any form of possible rebellion by Dumbledore.
Not only did they send her in under the pretence of the new Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, she was hands down the worst person to ever fill that role (not forgetting that Voldemort once lived on the back of Professor Quirrell’s head).
And just because the Minister for Magic was afraid of Dumbledore leading an army of students to overthrow him, he started implanting rules in Hogwarts that would severely get in the way of the students’ education and social life. This included the new Ministry-approved curriculum that only allows theoretical teaching of spells.
Who cares if they are easy targets of He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named because they lack the necessary skills? As long as the Ministry is not overthrown by students right?
And they are extremely manipulative. Yes, every government has spread some sort of propaganda but the Ministry uses the media to control witches and wizards by inspiring fear and spreading misinformation amongst them.
The fact that they allowed the name of a 15-year-old teenager to be smeared just because they did not want to deal with the possibility of Voldemort being back just shows how wrong the entire system is.
They Don’t Know What A Rubber Duck Does
The magical community has shown almost no progression for the last century because they have become so over-reliant on their magic.
In the entire span of the books, the only things close to innovation were the practical joke objects and sweets Fred and George Weasley had invented.
They think themselves superior to Muggles because of their magic, but our society is the one that has made huge advancements in terms technology and democracy.
Meanwhile, they still can’t figure out this complex and exasperating mystery.
I still think the series is amazing and I don’t blame anyone who would jump at the idea of doing magic. But just thinking about the backwards and non-progressive wizarding community does dull the excitement a little. Though I’m sure things would have gotten better under the new Minister, Kingsley Shacklebolt.
And who says it isn’t as fun if it’s just a fantasy?