#3. There Are No Career Options
In the books and movies, every job in the wizard world looks like fun. There are the Aurors (the awesome wizard police who track down dark wizards), the teachers at the school, the owners of the wacky shops in Diagon Alley and the people who work for the Ministry of Magic.
Who basically look like the sort of people you pretend you're out of the house for.
And, um ...
The Horrific Implications:
Yeah, there appear to only be like five careers in the wizard world. When questioned about his aspirations after graduation, Harry's response amounts to a big shrug and contains the word "maybe": "'Well, I thought of, maybe, being an Auror,' Harry mumbled." You can understand his reaction -- the career options available to wizard graduates aren't exactly giving them the world on a silver platter.
"My golly yes, my ambition is to be a heavily disfigured psychological wreck of a man."
Remember, you have to get a magic-related job -- you can't just take a job at some muggle business, since the school system hasn't even taught you enough to work fast food or operate a photocopier in an office. So every career that Harry knew from non-wizard society is pretty much out of the question: engineer, architect, doctor, data processor, plumber, telemarketer, etc. And no, there are no equivalent jobs in the wizard world. Why would they need them?
"So apparently you've contracted Ebola. I have no goddamn idea what that is, so here's some magic flowers."
In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, muggle-born Hermione explains that her parents are dentists to a room full of people who have no idea what dentists are (because wizards magic their teeth into perfection every day). Likewise, their world needs no carpenters or painters -- in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, some wizards accidentally destroy a wall in a muggle's home and repair it with a flick of the wand -- brick, plaster, paint, all in an instant. Hell, even the reporter in the series has a magical quill that automatically creates prose for her articles. You can't even get a job working in wizard finance -- a race of goblins owns the entire banking system.
It's probably a horrible racist metaphor.
So, yeah, we hope they like teaching or working in civil service, or can get a job working in one of the magic stores that exist in the only two all-wizard neighborhoods in England.
#2. Harry's Magical Map, and Magical Invasion of Privacy
The Marauder's Map is an enchanted map of Hogwarts, one that shows every inch of the castle and surrounding grounds. If that sounds just like a regular map, the "magical" part is that you can see where everyone is at all times, since all the people on campus are marked with black footprints with their name under them.
It's a hugely valuable object for a young hero who doesn't play by anyone's rules (the main purpose of the map was to let Harry run around on school grounds while avoiding teachers or bad guys). And some of the potential for abuse was mentioned in the movies -- a teacher does angrily ask Harry if he's considered what the villains could do with such a map, since it would tell them where all of the security is.
"Does it need to make a note every time he pops a boner? That seems ... terrible."
But that's just the beginning.
The Horrific Implications:
You already have thought of the invasion of privacy the map entails. It doesn't tell you what the people are doing, but you can pretty much guess. If the two feet are standing with their heels to the toilet, that person is probably taking a dump. There's even an Easter egg at the end of Prisoner of Azkaban where two students are clearly fucking in the corner:
The possessor of the map can see their crush sitting too close to a member of the opposite sex, or they can see their professors sneaking around with each other, feet entangled at the foot of a bed. Then they could just kind of walk in on them for fun, if they were so inclined. Either way, they'd know everything. Now let's give one example where things get really disturbing:
At the beginning of the story, the owners of the map were Fred and George Weasley, the brothers of Harry's best friend, Ron. They had the thing for years, which means that they had to overlook some serious shit, such as their little brother's love affair with a middle-aged man.
This man couldn't look anything more like a pedophile.
In the third book, we discover that an evil wizard named Peter Pettigrew has been in disguise as Ron's rat, Scabbers, for 12 years. We discover this because Harry saw Pettigrew's name show up when he had the map in his possession, despite Pettigrew's disguise as a rodent. So even though Ron thought he was just sleeping with his pet rat, Fred and George saw Ron bedding some guy named Peter every single night.
"That explains why he didn't burrow into my eyes at night."
Oh, and even better: Scabbers was once their older brother Percy's pet until he gave it to Ron. So from Fred and George's perspective, Ron inherited Percy's lover.
But really, all of this just leads us to a larger point ...
#1. In the Wizard World, Nothing Is Private; No One Is Safe
In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, HP receives an ominous letter from someone at the Ministry of Magic:
"Dear Mr. Potter, We have received intelligence that a Hover Charm was used at your place of residence this evening at 12 minutes past nine."
"We hope you have a YouTube video of it, as it sounds a hoot."
Boom! Busted! Harry, as an underage wizard, is not supposed to be using magic outside of his school, and so the Ministry of Magic wanted to make damn sure he knew that they had their eye on him, thanks to their ability to invisibly monitor everything he does, 24 hours a day. Job done, Ministry of Magic. Job done.
Sure, it was all a misunderstanding that got cleared up later, but it's nice to know they're keeping such a close eye.
And that they have safeguards against that department falling into evil hands and ... ah.
The Horrific Implications:
The magic that lets them spy on you, invisibly and completely undetected, is available to everyone, at all times. A read through the series reveals at least one new way to go undercover per book: invisibility cloaks, potions that will let a stranger perfectly imitate your friend or family (or your pet, or any passing animal), mind control that will take over your best friend and force him to relay back what he hears.
A 13-year-old girl seen here casually making one of the most dangerous potions in the world.
And all of these techniques are being used by children, and used with resounding success against the finest minds of the magical government. The Imperius Curse, for example, is the Jedi mind trick of wizard-land. It's illegal, sure, but by Deathly Hallows, a teenage Harry and the gang are using it to break into a bank. In other words, they have rules against using these spells, but no magical protection against them -- and the rules only matter if you get caught.
And technically there's no rules against using them on spiders, which is a ... comfort?
And you won't get caught, because a simple spell will wipe their memory of the event or, far more terrifying, create false memories. Hermione Granger uses one of these to convince her own parents that she never existed, instantly rewriting 17 years of memories in their minds with a squirt of wand magic.
Think about that. Imagine living in a world where anybody, from con artist to salesman to spiteful co-worker, can do that to you without your knowledge. It's amazing to consider that there may be a wizard in the Potterverse who is still capable of trusting another living creature.
That blank cataracty stare just means he loves you.
You know how you just assume that 80 percent of your email is going to be spam, and as a result basically don't trust any offer that lands in your inbox? Now imagine a world where every conversation with your best friend could be a ploy -- it might not really be him, he might not be in his right mind, it might be a magically induced hallucination. Hell, the entire existence of your friend could be a falsely implanted memory.
"OK, Harry Potter has to die to save the world. Volunteers?"
Not even your own feelings or instincts can guide you -- at any moment, you can be manipulated to see or feel things against your will (see: the date rape love potions we discussed in this article, which are sold over the counter). You can trust absolutely no one, at any time. Not even yourself or your own perceptions.
We're not saying we wouldn't want to run off and live in the wizard world if given the chance. We're just saying that it would be a never-ending twisted hell of despair and madness.
"Fuck right off."
For more horrifying truths from fictional universes, check out 6 Horrifying Implications of Awesome Fantasy Movie Universes and The 11 Most Retarded Fictional Weapons.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn why Ron was the sexiest character in Harry Potter.
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