The Harry Potter series has sold billions of dollars worth of books, movie tickets and DVDs because it's one of those rare series that children can enjoy but won't make adults want to gouge out their eyes.
Author J.K. Rowling had a way of throwing a bone to the grown-ups here and there by slipping in sly little adult references along the way. It's usually done in subtext (like the elderly wizard Dumbledore's homosexual relationship with the male wizard Grindelwald), but sometimes it's right there in the open for anyone perceptive enough to get it.
And sometimes, that shit gets nasty.
#5. Dolores Umbridge Gets Gang Raped by Centaurs
Dolores Umbridge is perhaps the one person in the whole Harry Potter universe who is virtually impossible to like, no matter what angle you choose to piss on her from.
She's like Mussolini and your nosy old neighbor, all rolled into one.
The short-lived headmistress of Hogwarts gets off on torturing children, has an unflinching holier-than-thou attitude and, unless David Yates has something stashed for an extended edition of the films, *SPOILER* she gets away with it. *END SPOILER*
Well, unless you count the part where she is abducted and gang raped by centaurs in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. And if you think we're just filling in the rape stuff with our filthy imaginations, hang on.
Near the climax of the book/film, Umbridge is hauled screaming into the Forbidden Forest by a group of centaurs. No one sees what happens next.
What you have to realize is that there's a reason Rowling made sure it was centaurs who snatched Umbridge, rather than any of the countless other dangerous creatures in the forest (like the giant spiders). If you're familiar with the mythology of centaurs, seeing a screaming woman get hauled away by a bunch of them gives you the same feeling you get in Deliverance when Ned Beatty falls into the hands of the hillbillies, or when Bruce Willis and Ving Rhames wind up imprisoned by the same in Pulp Fiction. Centaurs rape human women -- that's what they do, that's a central part of their mythology.
In one legend, centaurs were invited to a wedding feast and attempted to rape the bride. In another, the famous centaur Nessus was killed while trying to rape a woman. That's the point of centaurs as characters -- they have the heads of men and the animal urges of horses.
Via Wikimedia Commons
And unfortunately, the ... um ... "equipment" to go with it.
People on the Internet familiar with the mythology were quick to notice this, as were feminist blogs. After all, showing Umbridge getting dragged away by centaurs would be like having Draco Malfoy getting his comeuppance by having him get hauled into the back of a windowless van by a creepy guy with a wispy mustache. We don't need to see what happens next if we know the context.
The thousand-yard stare of a woman who knows her centaurs.
Now, if that had been the last time we saw Umbridge in the series, then you could say, OK, maybe these centaurs are different, maybe they just trampled her to death or stabbed her or tied her to a tree and strapped a bag full of oats to her face. But Umbridge comes back, and comes back suffering from some kind of major trauma that didn't involve any damage to the visible parts of her body. Here's Rowling's depiction of her in the aftermath:
Professor Umbridge was lying in a bed opposite them, gazing up at the ceiling .... Since she had returned to the castle she had not, as far as any of them knew, uttered a single word. Nobody really knew what was wrong with her, either. Her usually neat mousy hair was very untidy and there were still bits of twigs and leaves in it, but otherwise she seemed to be quite unscathed.
'Madam Pomfrey says she's just in shock,' whispered Hermione.
'Sulking, more like,' said Ginny.
'Yeah, she shows signs of life if you do this,' said Ron, and with his tongue he made soft clip-clopping noises. Umbridge sat bolt upright, looking around wildly.
'Anything wrong, Professor?' called Madam Pomfrey, poking her head around her office door.
'No ... no ...' said Umbridge, sinking back into her pillows. 'No, I must have been dreaming ...'Hermione and Ginny muffled their laughter in the bedclothes.
To Make It Even Weirder ...
Two characters watch Umbridge getting dragged away -- Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. At least one of those two knows that centaurs are rape machines. (Hint: It's Hermione, the character whose main purpose in the plot is to know absolutely everything.)
"So this is why you spend so much time in that library."
Neither of them make an effort to save Umbridge. Potter gets in a witty, James Bond-esque quip as she's being dragged away, and Hermione seems satisfied that mass horse rape is a fitting punishment. We like to think that on the way back to school, Harry asked "So what do you suppose those centaurs are going to do to the professor?" and that Hermione casually described to him how Umbridge would almost certainly be brutally violated by equinely endowed inter-species rapists. And that was the day Harry learned that you do not mess with Hermione Granger.
"No, you go ahead back. I'm going to just enjoy this for a bit."
#4. Magical Date-Rape Drugs Are Legal and Sold in the Open
When you have repeated murders, werewolf sightings and evidence of students getting tortured being wholly ignored by the grown-ups in the wizarding community, it only makes sense that something as profound as a date-rape crisis plaguing students at Hogwarts would be placed in the same "do not care" file.
And we mean that the magical drugs that make it possible aren't even illegal -- they're sold in the open, at the magical joke shop run by Ron's brothers Fred and George Weasley.
There's nothing magic about roofies, kids.
The love potions in the Weasleys' WonderWitch line alone include such adorable names as Beguiling Bubbles, Heartbreak Teardrops, Kissing Concoction, Twilight Moonbeams and, no joke, Cupid Crystals. Seriously, crystals, and each one of the products can be disguised "as perfumes and cough potions" to hoodwink Hogwarts' already AWOL authorities.
Oh, and do they work? According to the Weasley twins themselves, "for up to twenty-four hours at a time depending on the weight of the boy in question--"
"-- and the attractiveness of the girl."
Even drug dealers are adorable when they finish each other's sentences.
In case you think this is just a scam by the jokers to hoodwink horny teenage wizards out of their money, we actually see a love potion in action later. At one point a female wizard named Romilda Vane (who according to Hermione "looked like she meant business") gives Harry a box of chocolates spiked with love potion. Harry doesn't eat them, but his friend Ron does, at which point he becomes a slack-jawed lust-obsessed zombie who has to be cured by a teacher just so he can function again.
He's just a love machine, and he won't work for nobody but literally anyone.
To Make It Even Weirder ...
In case you think this is just another movie treating female-on-male sexual assault as lighthearted fun, Rowling goes out of her way to portray the negative consequences. How far out of her way? The villain of the wizard world, Lord Voldemort, was the result of a female wizard using magic to turn a rich guy into a mindless sex slave. It went on long enough for them to birth a child.
"Don't you give me that look. You go brush your teeth and get in bed."
According to Albus Dumbledore, Voldemort's mother Merope Gaunt grew up in a dump that was the wizard equivalent of impoverished West Virginia. She finally found a man by using either an Imperius Curse (a mind control spell) or a love potion to make a wealthy man named Tom Riddle Sr. her lover, husband and private slave-stud for at least a year.
The result of this yearlong sex slavery at the hands of this circus-like freak was Tom Marvolo Riddle, Lord Voldemort, who understandably was a bit of a dick from the get-go.
"Would you like to talk about your deadbeat family, your pikey grandfather or your rapist mother?"
#3. Polyjuice Potion and Temporary Gender Reassignment
Polyjuice Potion, a nefarious cocktail that is requested more frequently throughout the Harry Potter series than water, is one of many brews from the wizarding world that is probably illegal everywhere outside of Amsterdam -- more on that later.
The 'juice enables anyone to take the physical form of any person. It's the perfect disguise, and it's not just their face -- you assume their entire physical body. Genitalia included.
"Let's not discuss how I know, but you should probably see a doctor."
With that firmly in mind, let's examine some famous uses of the potion in the books. First, dark wizard Barty Crouch Jr. avoided jail by using the potion to take on the body of his own mother. Yeah, that's Norman Bates shit right there.
And then you have the scene in The Deathly Hallows when Harry's best friend Ron, Hermione, Ron's brothers, Fleur Delacour and others all found out the hard way what it's like to have Harry Potter's junk in their trousers when they took the potion during a ploy to create a bunch of Potter decoys to foil an assassination attempt.
"I have the sudden urge to drive an unreasonably large truck."
To Make It Even Weirder ...
Imagine a universe where this stuff actually existed. To assume the physical form of someone else, all you need is one of their hairs. So imagine the black market in the wizarding world that exists for the hairs of, say, famous starlets, with dudes giving themselves several hours' access to famous genitals.
Now imagine what pedophiles would do with it.
Oh, and did we mention that getting a mix of human and animal hair in the potion turns you into a living, breathing furry?
Don't blame us. We're just reporting on the fan fiction that already exists.
Hey, speaking of human/animal sex ...