The headmaster of a private school has tried to claim that reading Harry Potter can cause brain damage, and dark thoughts.
Yeah yeah, I know what you’re thinking: “Obviously not, the Harry Potter books are harmless.”
Maybe, but look deeper into the content of the books, and the movies, and you realise that the wizarding world is actually fraught with disturbing realities.
1. Bludgers are designed to maim children
Not only do Bludgers – the heavy and erratic balls used in the wizarding sport Quidditch – have the obvious potential to seriously injure students, but maiming underage players is literally their purpose.
Imagine going to the under 7s football try-outs, and being told by your PE teacher that the football actually roams the pitch freely, and will attempt to attack you if you get too close to it.
Health and safety would be a nightmare.
2. There’s obviously a class issue
Yeah, quick question: why is it that Diagon Alley clearly receives mountains of gold in funding, while Knockturn Alley is barely even cleaned?
Who’s in charge of this wizarding world? I thought there was some kind of government? What, are the folks in Knockturn Alley not as good as you Diagoners? Is that what it is Harry? IS IT?!
3. James Potter is an idiot
So in the fifth movie/book (The Order of the Phoenix) we discover, somewhat shockingly, that Harry’s father, James, was nothing more than a little scrote who spent most of his time bullying others less fortunate than him.
And then nothing more is said on the subject for the rest of the franchise.
Forgive the bluntness Harry, but we find ourselves caring less and less about your tragic family history every time you tell us that one of your parents was a contemptible person. At the minute, our sympathy is at 50%.
4. Cerberus lives in a school
Oh, there’s a ravenous three headed-dog living on the Third Floor, so yeah, don’t go near that if you want to keep your limbs.
There’s a good chance unaware First Years might accidentally be eaten by this unnecessarily dangerous pet, but if you’re the kind of person who likes to take the class pet home for the holidays, you’ll probably not get much competition at least.
5. The teachers are ex-terrorists
We believe in second chances as much as the next headmaster of Hogwarts, but Snape? Snape, Dumbledore? You’re going to employ an ex terrorist, murderer, and general bad guy to work at your school?
“What do you mean you’ve got a plan where he turns good and then bad and then good again? HE’S A DANGER TO THE STATE ALBUS. GET A GRIP!”
6. The trees are killer
Why has no one done anything about that crazy killer tree on the school field?
Clearly, the Harry Potter universe has a very different Code of Conduct when it comes to standard health and safety procedure, but putting a sentient tree with a blatant thirst for blood not 500 yards from your front gate is surely suicide, at best.
7. Everyone is a potential arsonist
Science, Year 3, lesson one. A room full of eight year-old kids learn about absorption, leave the classroom, and proceed to make 300 wet toilet tissues before barraging the interior of the school, just for a laugh.
Substitute ‘absorption’ for ‘magic spell that sets fire to things’ however, and we can see a serious problem arising in or around the Hogwarts toilet area. See, if Voldermort was really smart, he’d have become a science teacher.
8. Who’s trusting the goblins with the money?
That guy right there does not wish anyone in the Harry Potter universe well whatsoever.
Who’s idea was it to put the goblins – famously greedy and devilish creatures – in charge of all the money? Was this another one of Albus Dumbledore’s meticulous master strokes, by any chance?
9. Snape was given a death sentence
Apparently we’re all okay with the fact that the almighty wise Dumbledore groomed Harry from birth to use as his own personal shield against Voldermort, but to condemn Snape to a life-time of teaching teenagers, as well as an inevitable grizzly death? That’s a bit harsh.
How did clever old Albus think Snape’s double/triple agent scheme was going to end? Voldermort holding his hands up and going: “Well, I certainly did not expect that Severus. Well played sir, you are quite the actor?”
Evidently Dumbledore made his name by sacrificing all of his friends…