You might still be waiting for your admissions letter to Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, assuming that studying under Dumbledore would be a dream come true in comparison to your cinder block inner-city education.
But for those of us who didn’t survive a killing curse like Harry, don’t possess the erudite qualities of Einstein like Hermione, and didn’t luck out on the Hogwarts Express on the first fateful day of school like Ron, Hogwarts might not be the font of knowledge, learning and adventure you’d expect.
Enter: Keen Potter fans of Reddit, ready with their personal readings of the books to crush your hopes and aspirations of a magical education.
One wrote, simply:
Your education was constantly disrupted by Harry and his gang.
This book-keen Reddit user makes a good point. Not only would you spend most of your classes feeling envious of Hermione’s unending knowledge of Hogwarts, A History, you’d probably find it near impossible to learn anything, particularly come the dark days, with all of that nasty Voldermort business going on in the background and the impending doom of magical people imminent amid a fight to the death on the very grounds of your school.
Referring to the Defence Against the Dark Arts class in which Lupin introduced his students to Bogarts – the shape-shifting ghoul that morphed into your biggest fear, one user wrote:
I honestly wouldn’t be happy about my whole class knowing my worst fear.
Poor Neville got mocked for fearing Snape.
Another, quick to point out Hogwarts’ lax take on bullying among students, wrote, ‘Maybe if they spent more time teaching Tom Riddle not to be a bully we wouldn’t have a problem’.
Meanwhile, others point out Hogwarts wasn’t the safest environment in the world what with the kids’ access to the wizarding equivalent of chemical weapons.
I mean, a whole class brewing cauldrons of liquid death where a single drop can kill everyone in the room? And some idiot in class is causing nearby explosions?
I’d say the whole complete lack of safety for what amounts to military grade weaponry throughout the school is what blows me away.
… this person has clearly never seen the damage that can be done on school property with a meagre Bunsen burner and some ethanol.
More concerned with the health of their brain, this user hates the idea of ‘when you study for weeks and get super psyched up and ready to ace your Charms exam, then Harry Potter kills a giant snake and exams are cancelled.’
Maybe they could’ve studied with Hermione, after all.
One a more practical note, one man who has lost the magic wrote, ‘It must be hard to use the restroom with those big robes’.
Another commentator corroborated his concerns, adding, ‘…With ghosts in the bathrooms constantly watching’.
Musing over yet another magical classroom problem, one muggle typed:
Having to use quills. The novelty might be cool at first, but it must be a pain in the ass if you’re a muggleborn knowing that there are pens and pencils out in the world.
Not to mention the contraband ‘Quick Quotes’ quills favoured by tabloid journalists in the wizarding world.
Disregarding all the practical difficulties which make life at Hogwarts so hard, the building’s curses and magical features make death at Hogwarts pretty damn easy, according to this poster.
That when you sneak back to the castle drunk on Rosmerta’s mead, there’s a high chance you’ll miss one of the moving staircases and fall a few stories down.
Personally, I’d be avoiding the Womping Willow, the evil mermaid-infested lake, the countless historical ghosts with missing limbs and the Chamber of Secrets, which is home to the sabre-toothed basilisk.
While these are all very good points, well made, all Potter fans know the perils would be worth it just for those enchanted ceilings, the Great Hall Christmas feasts and Hagrid’s constant supply of cool pets.
I await my letter patiently.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.