Dark Things Most People Didn’t Realize About the Harry Potter Series

Being one of the most popular books of all time, Harry Potter is read and loved by many

But because of the fact that it’s entire premise starts with the murder of a baby’s parents by a psychotic wizard, it’s bound to have some dark things. And I mean things like bestiality, slavery, and capitalism run amuck. Odds are, you didn’t consider them until they were pointed it out to you. I don’t blame you, they took me by surprise too!

#1 Brief exposure to horcruxes corrupt people, but Harry is a horcrux too

The Dursleys force Harry to live in a cupboard and work as a servant int heir home, and make a big show of spoiling their own son while depriving Harry. But Harry was a horcrux that whole time – meaning he had a portion of Voldemort’s soul in him. Brief periods of horcrux exposure were enough to corrupt Ginny and Ron Weasley. What if the Dursleys were nice people who were corrupted over time by the evil in Harry?

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Source: Cracked

#2 The Imperus Curse can make you do anything

The Imperus Curse. We know that the Death Eaters were deeply horrible people..and this spell grants them total control over your actions. Let’s make that mother smother her children to death…and then remove the curse so she can snap back into awareness and scream as she stared down at her blue faced child she has just strangled to death. Only the tips of the horrible things you can make people do with that spell. Unwilling suicide bombers? Destroy somebody’s reputation by having them do some deeply horrible stuff in public?

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#3 Being expelled is a death sentence

Getting expelled from school, like Hagrid was, is basically dooming the entire rest of the child’s life. At least in the muggle world, if you get expelled, nothing stops you from continuing to pursue an education. It’s not like it’s illegal for you to read a book or do algebra or learn a trade.

But they don’t just stop learning magic, they’re BARRED from using it. In a world where literally everything is done with magic. What are they supposed to do with the rest of their lives? Even unskilled or manual labor isn’t worth hiring them for, considering there’s nothing they could do that couldn’t be done more quickly and efficiently with magic. And they can’t even make it by just going into the muggle world, because they have no normal education or social skills.

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#4 Polyjuice potion is too effective

Polyjuice potion lets wizards perfectly impersonate another person for a limited period of time. The effect is so complete that it allowed a Death Eater to impersonate a Hogwarts professor for a whole year. This means that any person, at any given time, could be somebody else in disguise. And the potion can be brewed by children…

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Source: Cracked

#5 Dumbledore wasn’t as great as everyone thinks

Dumbledore allowed Snape to teach kids. Yeah, I understand Snape has his uses as a spy, but couldn’t Dumbledore think of any random position to stick Snape in? As written, Dumbledore has a teacher who is known to be extremely biased in his grading. He plays favorites. He verbally abuses 11 year old kids DAILY. For years. And you literally have no choice but to take his class every single year until your sixth year.

It says a lot about Snape’s character when you consider that Neville’s Boggart was Snape. Think about that. Snape is the one thing Neville feared the most. Not death eaters, not the Cruciatus Curse, not dementors. But Snape. A man he had to see several times a week for five years.

It’s a wonder Neville didn’t go the way of his parents.

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#6 How is Hogwarts still a secret?

How has Hogwarts remained a secret? Students are transferred at age 11, and before that they attend regular, non-magical schools. During the summers they’re home, often in non-magical communities. How has no 11-year-old given away the existence of Hogwarts?

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Source: Cracked

#7 Wizards don’t use modern tech

Wizards live in a perpetual dark ages. Any technology necessary to do any significant job, they use magic, and it’s done. Need to lift stones? Get your wand and lift them. Ropes and pulleys? Not necessary. Steam engines? Not necessary. Hydraulics? Not necessary. Technology improves when people need to solve problems. The magic world, Magic is used to solve problems, so there is no need to advance. It is only the Muggle World that is vibrant and progressing. The Wizarding world has been pulled into the middle ages, but are falling further and further behind.

Throw in that any technology, significantly advanced will look like magic to the primitive observer. As the Muggle world advances, they will start to produce things, that appear to wizards, as magical. The wizard world is on the brink of extinction…

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#8 The sorting hat is terrible

As soon as you go to school you are sorted into four houses that will more or less define who you are or how you have to act .. and you are 11… and from then you have to follow the guidelines, habits, and traditions of that house. Of course SOME characters in the Harry Potter series manage to break these rigid categories and show qualities that aren’t exactly the ones their house emphasizes. But they are shown as exceptions — Cedric is very courageous Hufflepuff, Hermione a very clever Gryffindor, Snape a wonderful Slytherin etc…

But if you focus on the majority of people there, it’s just telling a 11 year old: “Well, you are a good guy but not good enough to go to Gryffindor, but you’re not evil so let’s put you in Hufflepuff….” or worse, saying to a kid, “Well, you’ve got anger issues and your family has a tradition of violence or racism or whatever, so let’s put you in Slytherin so you have no chance to make yourself better”. All in all the whole sorting thing is really wrong and divides kids in rigid casts that they are unlikely to leave.

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#9 Sentenced to utter oblivion

Cessation of existence. The Ministry of Magic can sentence someone to the Dementor’s Kiss, whereby a person will have their soul sucked out of them by a Dementor. Since the afterlife is explicitly stated to exist in this universe, and one needs their soul to enter the afterlife, this means the Ministry of Magic can sentence someone to utter oblivion.

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Source: Séamus Brough

#10 They’re totally inept

Think about how many students go to Hogwarts.

Now think about how many of the classes there are at all applicable outside of the wizarding world. Now think about how many of them will have to live among muggles for most of their lives.

That’s right. Hundreds of people are going into the adult muggle world without any knowledge needed to function in society.

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#11 Over the top punishments

The punishments for criminal behavior in the wizarding world are way over the top. Prisoners in Azkaban are tortured. Having your soul slurped out by a zombie makes standing in front of a firing squad seem like walk in the park.

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#12 Plot holes everywhere

Sirius Black was imprisoned in Azkaban for a murder committed by Peter Pettigrew. But there are at least three tools in the wizarding world that would have proven his innocence: Priori Incantato would have revealed the most recent spell cast by his wand, Legilimency would have revealed his secrets, and Veritaserum is a truth serum. Come on!

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#13 Fred & George are great at secrets

Fred and George saw their brother sleeping with a man named Peter every night and never thought to mention it.

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#14 Wizarding universities?

All the professors at Hogwarts apparently only have 7 years of education, since there’s no wizarding university anywhere…

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#15 Possible cannibalism?

How horcruxes might be made. This is truly disturbing, if it’s true.

JKR: “I see it as a series of things you would have to do. So you would have to perform a spell. But you would also– I don’t even know if I want to say it out loud, I know that sounds funny. But I did really think it through. There are two things that I think are too horrible, actually, to go into detail about. One of them is how Pettigrew brought Voldemort back into a rudimentary body. ‘Cause I told my editor what I thought happened there, and she looked as though she was gonna vomit. And then– and the other thing is, how you make a Horcrux. And I don’t even like– I don’t know. Will it be in the Encyclopedia? I don’t know if I can bring myself to, ummm… I don’t know.”

It has been explained in the books how one must kill someone to be able to create a horcrux, but as per Rowling, it doesn’t stop there. The books have depicted murder before, so that’s not the horrible act she is pointing out. One of the most plausible explanations would be that creating a horcrux involves cannibalism. Consuming flesh and blood of fellow humans to gain power has been part of not only fiction, but our history as well. And considering Voldemort went way beyond the norm to gain power and experiment with the Dark Arts, I would not be surprised if this is true.

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#16 Goat magic?

Aberforth Dumbledore was prosecuted by the Ministry of Magic for practicing “inappropriate charms” on a goat. When a child asked about the reference, J.K. Rowling laughed and said it meant to he’d tried to make the goat easier to care for. Then she added, “that’s my answer to YOU” as all the adults in attendance laughed.

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Source: Cracked 

#17 Capitalism

That Aquamenti creates water out of nothing.

Think of all the people dying of thirst in the world are only dying because a wizard can’t be bothered to create some water.

I won’t get into the fact that the wizard could then become a de-facto ruler of said nation by controlling the water source for the country afterward.

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#18 Casual slavery

Other than the crippling class system that the wizarding world exists in (not to mention the second class citizens who are the goblins, but are still put in charge of all of the money), there is also the subjugation and slavery of the race of House Elves, and no one seems to care.

Sure, Hermione goes on her crusade about it and starts S.P.E.W, but the rest of the characters give her a condescending attitude and an “atta girl”. Even though S.P.E.W. fails from lack of participation, it illustrates a major issue: No one in the wizarding world really cares about house elves and nobody notices the elves’ existence until services usually taken for granted cease.

People seem to believe that the house elves enjoy what they do. Really?

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Source: Ankit Gohel

#19 Mental illness

The possibility that all mental illnesses in the muggle world could be explained by magic or magical instances and they were improperly diagnosed or treated due to the magical world not wanting to come forth into the real one.

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#20 Wizards are selfish

Wizards don’t interfere in the affairs of non-magical “muggles”, because if they did, muggles would want wizards to solve all of their programs.

But what about problems such as starvation and dwindling resources? Granted, wizards can’t create food out of thin air, but they can conjure up water and they can multiply existing food. For that matter, they could duplicate other essentials like oil, natural gas, medical supplies, and so on.

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#21 The wizard world is dying

That their world is dying.

Think about it. All of the great magicians are dead and ancient. Time Turners? Nobody knows how to make those anymore. A powerful magic who’s methods have been lost to time. The Deathly Hallows, three items that turn well known laws of even magical physics on their heads, cannot be recreated using modern means. The three brothers were probably intelligent and powerful to create them, yet modern wizards find the idea so outlandish they consider them a fairy tale. There are even old magics, like the The Arch in the ministry, that nobody even knows what they are anymore. What purpose they may have served.

The pure blood lines are crumbling, falling back on old money and old blood to prop up their nobility. The segregation and racism deepen the gulfs and serve only to ensure that their world sinks deeper into disrepair. Wars flicker off and on, magic guarded jealously, and even among magical people there are those born without the spark. Squibs.

Certainly there are powerful wizards. Dumbledore was put forward as an example of such. But bear in mind that he also used the Elder Wand and still was no match for Voldemort. The creator of the Sorcerer’s Stone, Nicolas Flemel, opted to let the secret of its creation die with him. And maybe it’s that mentality of wizards, to jealously guard their secrets, that have led to a world that is slowly dying around them.

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#22 World war blitz

When the Chamber of Secrets was opened the first time they thought that the best place for the students to save them from occasional snake attack was to send them back to London. It was 1942. Mid to late Blitz.

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#23 Living portraits

In the Harry Potter universe, the people in photographs and paintings can move and talk. But it’s not like they’re just video clips of the person — hell, we could do that. You actually see characters interacting with the “people” in the pictures, particularly in the portraits that hang all over Hogwarts School – several major plot points revolve around it. The people in the paintings are able to talk, think and even travel to other paintings. They relay information that no one else has.

And as such, some portrait subjects serve as security guards for locked rooms, while others are used as errand boys to deliver urgent messages (they can travel to any room that also has a painting). They possess all of the personality and (presumably) memories of their living selves.

Apparently, in the wizard world, if you paint a picture of a dead person, presumably with some magic paint or the right enchantment, their memories and the essence of their personality will be on canvas. Forever. For example, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, former Slytherin headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black is forced to take orders from his philosophical enemy and student Hermione Granger ,and he is pissed off about it.

The problem is that not every magical portrait is going to be of a Dumbledore or a comic-relief character like the Fat Lady at the entrance to Gryffindor Tower. What if someone paints a picture of Voldemort? Will it carry all of his evil genius and scheming? Somebody in Potterland didn’t think this through. The guy has already proven he can carry out most of his plans without the benefit of a body — Voldemort didn’t even have one for the first half of the series.

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Source: Ankit Gohel


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  1. 1) “…the fact that its* entire premise”, not it’s;
    2) The Dursleys are portrayed as being the same terrible people already, and show a tendency to condone and even reward Dudley’s bad behaviour from the time when he was a toddler. Granted, “exposure” to Harry may have made it all worse, but it can’t all be blamed on the horcrux exposure. Especially since when Ron is explaining why he left in the 7th book, he says he was already thinking those things, and the horcrux just made it worse to the point when it exploded out of him: “(…) stuff I was thinking anyway, but it made everything worse”;
    3) Ginny wasn’t corrupted due to horcrux exposure, she was possessed by Voldemort’s fraction of a soul because she poured her heart out to the diary and connected with it;
    4) Imperius*, not imperus;
    5) Non-magical people can find jobs in the wizarding world, although it is obviously hard. Filch and Hagrid are the most obvious examples, but if they’re there, there are bound to be others; and they can decide to go into the muggle world, it’s not impossible. Nothing stops them from getting an education there and learning how to live in a non-magical community, much like Mrs. Figg did;
    6) The potion can only be brewed by exceptional children like Hermione, because even she admits it is extremely difficult to do so;
    7) In the 7th book, when the memory shows Lily found a letter Dumbledore sent to Petunia explaining why she couldn’t go to Hogwarts, they speculate that there must be wizards working undercover in the post office. By the same logic, there could be wizards working anywhere and everywhere. I’d imagine hundreds or even thousands of little kids have revealed Hogwarts to exist, but for those rare muggle children who actually believe that, a simple “obliviate” would do the trick;
    8) J.K. has explained in the many short stories she’s written for Pottermore that wizards have taken a lot of muggle ideas into their world. Are steam engines really not necessary? Just take a second to think about the Hogwarts Express. And hydraulics? Wizards have “muggle plumbing” in their bathrooms. Why else would there be pipes in the bathrooms? Hidden decoration? I don’t think so. And by that same logic, it would be a matter of time before they found out how to get TVs and other tech stuff to work around magic… might have happened already, since the books take place over a decade ago;
    9) Cedric is a* very courageous Hufflepuff;
    10) Snape is NOT a wonderful Slytherin. He is an evil, sadistic, bullying prick who did something brave out of selfish reasons. He was probably one of the most important characters in the war to take Voldemort down, but that does not mean he was wonderful. He was in love with a muggle-born and still decided to join a group who despises those of her origins; she was his friend and he fell in love and automatically felt like he had some kind of hold on her, as if she owed him something; he saw that his choices had led his love away from him and still stuck with them; he gave Voldemort the information that led to her being killed; he was willing to let her husband and baby die if it meant he got to keep her to himself; and only when that failed and she died did he decide to do the decent thing, not out of a sense of justice or out of the realisation of his mistakes, but because he wanted to keep “her memory” alive in her son; he still mistreated that son and so many other kids daily, as this same post points out. Being brave does not make him wonderful;
    11) Slytherin is not comprised of only bad kids who can’t make themselves better; it just so happens that Slytherin characteristics are often found in bad people. It doesn’t mean being sent to Slytherin will automatically turn you into a villain. Maybe you just have a higher sense of self preservation and ambition;
    12) Muggle studies, muggle studies, muggle studies. Those who want to/intend to live and work in the muggle world have the option of taking the class. And those who don’t are not stupid for it. Sure, they seem inept if they’ve spent a few minutes among muggles, but they do have brains and learn to adapt after a short while. Isn’t Ron driving a car in the last chapter?
    13) Sirius says, when he is in the cave and being visited by Harry, Ron and Hermione, that Crouch sent him to Azkaban without a trial and was largely supported by the people. No trial means no chance to prove yourself innocent, no chance of presenting evidences and, therefore, no “plot holes”;
    14) Priori incantatem*, not incantato;
    15) The map does not show animagi when they are in their animal form, only when they are human, which Peter never did before he was discovered. There is a theory, and I don’t know if it’s supported by J.K. or not, that the Marauders made the map work that way so that, even if someone caught it and figured out how to use it, their secret animagus-selves wouldn’t be discovered;
    16) It meant that* he’d tried, not to;
    17) thirst in the world that* are only dying because a wizard can’t be bothered to create some water;
    18) The elves do enjoy what they do, so people don’t “seem to think” that, they know it. That does not mean it’s right to subjugate them and they should be given an education that allows them to question their very nature, but to say they don’t enjoy it would be wrong. They just needed to be taught that freedom, wages, vacations and alternative jobs are all okay;
    19) Muggles would want wizards to solve all of their problems*, not programs;
    20) You say all the great wizards are dead because you don’t know who the next great ones will be, as they’re too busy being teenagers for the most part of the books. All the time turners are broken, sure, but the department still exists and you can’t possibly know they won’t figure out a way to make new ones, better ones, in the next 10, 50 or 100 years;
    21) Whose*, not who’s;
    22) Again, the deathly hallows couldn’t be recreated *yet*;
    23) Of course people know what the Arch is, or the death eaters wouldn’t have been so scared of approaching it when Harry did; he was the one who did not know that Arch represented death, meaning that was the room in the department that studied death and the afterlife (as can be seen by the whispers heard by Harry and Luna);
    24) The pure blood lines crumbling does not mean wizards are dying… it’s only natural and the same thing happens in our real world. Just because the death eaters were racist, doesn’t mean everyone was… just think about the amount of “mixed” marriages portrayed in the books. Furthermore, Squibs have always been a thing and will always be, just as much as wizards born from muggle parents;
    25) He used the Elder Wand and was “no match for Voldemort”? When? He planned his own death months before it happened and Voldemort did not “win” that battle;
    26) Nicolas Flamel*, not Flemel; and he let the secret die with him not out of selfish reasons, but to keep Voldemort from regaining a body by using the stone. Same reason why he destroyed his stone and sacrificed his life and his wife’s life;
    27) “that mentality (…) that has* led”, not have;
    28) J.K. has explained that, for a painting to retain the same personality the portrayed person had, they need to be “taught”. That is why, when a new headmaster gets to the school, a painting is made and kept with them, so they can impart some of their own knowledge, memories and personality into the painting. Otherwise, it would just be like a brand new person… we don’t know the history behind the fat lady, for example, but she might have just been a regular person and her painting-self may have developed a completely different personality. Basically, if someone made a painting of Voldemort after his death and he had no chance to learn from the real Voldy, that painting guy could become a stand up comedian for all we know;
    29) They can travel to any room that also has a painting *of themselves*, as Phineas explains to Harry when he asks to see Dumbledore’s painting-self.

    • Also to add on the points of the sorting hat, it sorts a person according to the traits they value most not their characteristics. For example, Hermione could have been in Ravenclaw due to her intellect and love for knowledge but she values loyalty and bravery more. Another example is Draco who of course is in Slytherin because he is raised to believe that Pureblood is good, the rest is bad. The main traits he values are being cunning, having pride and ambition. Even Fred and George could have been sorted in Slytherin due to their deviousness but they value being brave and loyal. It is not just the whole point of being brave but not brave enough so the sorting hat puts you elsewhere.

    • Actually Harry sees Peter Pettigrew on the Maurauder’s Map in POA when he is in animal form, when he gets out of bed to find him, which is why he doesn’t see him when he points his wand right in his direction.

      Standing ovation for the rest of them though, I was going out of my mind!

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