With great magic comes great responsibility. Yet while it is awesome to be a wizard, the magical community shares some pitfalls with humans, and the Wizarding world isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. Below are some examples of uncomfortable and dark truths that plague the community at large.
1. Identity theft is not a joke, Jim!
Yeah, Hermione is a genius, but she was still only 12 years old when she managed to brew Polyjuice potion in The Chamber of Secrets. One swipe of a hair and anyone can do anything posing as you with little to no oversight. In Goblet of Fire, Barty Crouch Jr. managed to pose as a professor and live in Hogwarts for an entire year among the greatest minds in the Wizarding world before his plan backfired. This gross negligence means that any number of innocent people have been framed for terrible crimes, and thrown in the slammer to have their souls ripped away. If Dumbledore and Snape can’t put two and two together, who could?
2. You Say Kadabra, They Say Kedavra
Ask a Muggle to play pretend magic, and they will likely wave a stick around and jokingly say “abra kadabra”. This is clearly a bastardization of the infamous killing curse “Avada Kedavra”, which kills you on impact before you are able to react. Muggles being aware of the general sound of this spell implies that they may have been on the receiving end of Muggle hunts enough times that they passed the sound of the spell down through generations initially as a warning until it morphed as a harmless joke.
3. Magic or Wifi
We can somewhat relate to this concept. The moment the Internet goes down, our first thought is to Google a solution. Removing a tool we are so dependent on can be disorienting, and the insular Wizarding community has been shamed into finding alternative solutions to their magical problems since birth. When we are first introduced to wizard curriculum in The Sorcerer’s Stone, it is clear that Hogwarts doesn’t teach math or science and won’t even allow ballpoint pens. This means that once a witch or wizard is thrust into the Muggle world, they simply can’t function and wind up drawing attention to themselves. Very counter-intuitive to the “let’s keep our community a secret” thing.
4. Soul Sucking? They’re cool with that!
Ghosts and souls are an established fact in the Wizarding world, but that doesn’t stop the hand of justice. After being sent to Azkaban, oftentimes without just cause and with little more than kangaroo courts, innocent victims are doomed to have their souls sucked out by the Dementors introduced in The Prisoner of Azkaban. Until the Dementors went rogue and joined the dark side, the Wizarding community was exceptionally blasé about their existence. The best they could do is teach 13-year-old children to fight back against this existential threat by using a notoriously difficult spell that most wizards are unable to master.
5. What a Wonderful World This Could Be
The awesome power of magic allows the Wizarding community to do incredible things. Magic can mend bones and heal maladies, repair infrastructure, eliminate fossil fuels, and make life much more convenient. The bigger on the inside tents introduced in The Goblet of Fire even hint that magic can help alleviate homelessness, yet the Wizarding community keeps all this do-good potential to itself. The Statute of Secrecy forbids the blending of Muggle and Wizard lifestyles, claiming it’s for the protection of both communities. There are holes in this claim, as it is outrageously outdated and seems to be upheld out of either an abundance of caution or plain old us vs. them mentality. The Muggle Prime Minister and the Minister of Magic are even aware of each other and tip each other off when a crisis appears, as seen in The Half-Blood Prince. This acceptance of each other’s existence yet refusal for integration is a choice rather than a necessity, forcing Muggles to endure illness, hardship, and tedium.