Most Harry Potter fans spend their time thinking and talking about the characters, the storyline, that one friend they have that they just know is a Hufflepuff, etc. Others, though, prefer to take their Harry Potter talks in another direction. Those fans are into talking about the psychology, the anthropology, the politics... what the Harry Potter universe could mean. That's where one Reddit user came into play when they asked:
What are some of the more horrifying implications of the Harry Potter universe? Be warned, the answers went dark almost immediately and are not for the faint-of-heart or children.
1. Soul-crushing... literally.
They have confirmed, empirical evidence for the existence of souls
The general public is perfectly OK with the destruction of the soul as a form of punishment
2. Maybe Muggles Were Slaughtered As Cattle?
Avada Kedavra = Abra Kadabra
The only spell that exists for the one purpose of killing, is also the spell that's deeply ingrained in Muggle culture. Which means that the Killing Curse was used enough around Muggles that its butchered pronunciation is used as a general "magic" sounding phrase.
3. Ohhh That's Creepy McGross
You know that girl you've got a crush on? Just find a single hair and some polyjuice potion and voila! Have a prostitute drink some polyjuice for an hour of fun with anyone. And you know there is a black market for that shit. Lockhart probably sells a few clippings a day for a thousand galleons a pop
5. Nope, We Didn't Want To Think About That.
The sheer number of times poor Peter Pettigrew had to watch young Ron wank.
6. Well That Killed Our Buzz
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.
Edit: In addition they are stagnant. They don't know how to grow. As a society they don't know how to advance. For the most obvious example let's look at Snape and Potions.
Snape was a school child, around Harry's age, yet he was a prodigy. He made vast and sweeping improvements to the art of potions and tried his hand at inventing spells. He was a remarkable young person who was revolutionizing the way that Potions are made and the methods used. He was improving on methods that could have conceiveably been in place for hundred of years.
Fast forward all those years. Snape is now Potions Master at the top school in the world. He has political clout and is close with Dumbledore. It has been decades since he was a child and he has likely turned the art of Potion Making into something unrecognizable from what it was only a short few decades previous. Surely the children are learning the Snape Method right?
The children are still learning the same old methods from the same old textbooks. And Snape is forced to teach those same old inferior methods because that's the way it's done.
7. Would Accio O-Zone Layer Work?
Magic is a clean, renewable source of energy. We could end pollution, oil dependence, etc.
But screw us muggles. Wizards are too busy playing broom ball to end global warming.
8. Molly Weasley The Secret Savage
Molly Weasley is unique among the protagonist characters in that she dueled to kill, not to capture or incapacitate.
Sure, fred's death and ginny's near miss probably pushed her over the edge, but that distinction is important to make.
Molly Weasley may look at all cheerful and plump, but she will f*cking end you.
9. Well this just became a YA novel
Its something that is not talked about or even heavily implied since is a childrens series BUT my god underage sex must have run rampart there I mean teenagers jailed in close proximity 24 hours a day with the opposite sex, all those wonderful empty classrooms laying around?, and the wonderful sense of discovery to know what is behind the robe? Man that was some crazy *rgy going on in the boys room after the Quidditch games and the house cup!
10. Poor Weasleys
How does their economy work? Why are the Weasleys "poor" if they could theoretically just make things appear out of thin air or change into other things?
11. Ending Drought Could Be Easy
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.
12. It's Not That He Couldn't...
I've thought about this a lot....I mean c'mon I'm pretty sure there was a lamp in that flashback, babies aren't hard to murder
I've decided it was the principal of the matter. He could have just murdered the shit out of him (I mean he was a baby, what could he do poop on The Dark Lord? Drool a bit?) But what kind of crap could be spread if it was found out that the Dark Lord, the most powerful wizard in history, didn't trust his own magic enough to do the job. It would have been too muggle, and not enough dark evil wizard if he had just punted him across the yard and screamed "AND THE FIELD GOAL IS GOOD"
13. Like An Evil Cage Match?
Its implied in some comments that wizards are a dying breed.
Those who use horcruxes are utilizing dark magic and don't die until their horcrux(es) are destroyed.
When all wizards (and potentially humans) die out, nobody is left except those with horcruxes. Ultimate evil showdown.
15. Is The Human Government Holding Wizards Hostage For Weapon Use?
There is some serious conspiracy shit going on in the Harry Potter universe. How does a society, outnumbered outnumbered by a margin of 1000 to 1 not know ANYTHING about the society they are hiding in? Wizards don't know how muggles dress, they don't know anything about muggle weapons or muggle technology in general. How is it that only 2, underpaid, overworked men compose the entire ministry's concern with muggles? The ministry, as far as I can tell has the primary duties of A) Keeping wizarding society secret and B) Keeping the wizards from getting too bored (seriously, who makes a teenager have to fight a dragon with a magically binding contract? They seriously couldn't have written in a "Contestants can bow out whenever they feel like clause?")
The currency system seems designed from the ground up to be absolutely confusing, and it isn't at all compatible with muggle money, which for some reason no wizard understands despite it being significantly more simple. Compounding on that, the whole banking system is run by one race of tiny, greedy, hateful monsters who everyone hates. It all just smacks of a system designed to keep wizards happy, complacent and ignorant to me, which is why one charismatic psychotic was able to do as much as he did.
But I'm getting ahead of myself. Everyone in the wizard community seems to assume that everyone, muggle born to full blood wizard, will be loyal to the wizard community and its never really answered "why?" And I have absolutely no good answer for this. I've yet to hear one. The muggles, at least at high levels are aware of the wizarding community. I cannot believe, for a single moment, that the government wouldn't immediately start trying to gather as much information as possible on wizards from the moment they learned of them. I would even say that they would recruit wizards, most likely muggle born, but a big enough payoff would get some wizard in their pocket.
The only logical conclusion I can find is that the Government has, at a minimum, spies in the Ministry, and possibly a number of wizards actively on its payroll doing work for the Government. So now that the government has its agents its starts learning all about wizards. The government becomes worried about one spell in particular. Death is easy for muggles. Guns, chemicals, nukes, weaponized pathogens. The avada kedavra curse is considered rather quaint. A very efficient and human way of doing things. The cruciatus curse is more horrifying but torture is pretty old school. No one needs magic for that either. But the imperius? That curse is a fucking game changer. Holy shit. On low level scale it can be used to make people do any number of horrible things. But say a prime minister is controlled? All of a sudden, someone can, from a huge distance invisibly get that person to fire nukes at whoever they like? That is not the sort of serious existential threat a country's leader just leaves lying around.
The more I think about that curse the more horrifying it becomes. Imperiused people aren't puppets. They are magically enhanced slaves. They retain all their knowledge and can act perfectly normal, and gain physical skills they don't normally have(see Neville Longbottom doing acrobatics in book 3). It also works on animals. An army of bears anyone? And then you we have the fact that imperiused people can imperius in turn. Even if there were evidence that there was a limit to how many people a single person could control simultaneously, it could be gotten around by just performing a giant pyramid scheme of mind control. Resistance is a joke btw. Harry's DADA class had what? 30 students? Harry was the only one who showed any native resistance and he was expecting it. 1/30 isn't particularly comforting.
I personally am under the impression the the government was WMDs pointed at every major wizard population center in the country, in addition to there existing a number of damn loyal wizards working exclusively for the government. If Voldemort had ever truly started working against muggles instead of being distracted by other wizards, I would bet solid money that hogwarts would have been leveled by WMD or at least the surrounding countryside would have been bathed in enough radiation to make the school glow. Gas attacks on the ministry and Diagon ally to kill as many wizards as possible. And thanks to wizards nsa like levels of tracking, undoubtedly hunting down and killing of any wizard who could be found.
Whatever. This is some serious rambling and will get buried anyway. I'm going to post cause I did write it all out and it seems like a waste to delete.
There are few things more annoying than when you are seeking advice and someone responds with a boring platitude that helps no one. Believe it or not, if you choose to provide advice, it needs to be specific to the situation and shouldn't be dressed up in trite phrasing. Does saying, "Keep your head up" actually contribute anything if that's all you have to say when someone comes to you in search of a listening ear?
But this goes deeper than just advice, to be fair. Some of us are sick of greedy corporations that stress the importance of being a "family" while refusing to pay proper wages. Still more of us are tired of people using certain language when other language can suffice.
After Redditor BensReddits asked the online community, "What is a phrase you absolutely hate hearing?" people shared their stories.
"At any sort of conference..."
At any sort of conference/gathering/presentation:
"How're you all doing today?!? C'mon, I know you can answer louder than that! HOW ARE YOU ALL DOING TODAY?!"
Instant resentment every time.
I second that resentment.
I attended a conference once where the main speaker did this several times in the span of thirty minutes as he announced different initiatives.
Such a headache.
"At my work..."
At my work upper management has started using the word "activate" a lot. As in, "We are working on plans to activate underutilized spaces." And, "Let's activate a few other teams on this." It just sounds silly to me and like they are trying too hard to avoid using simple, perfectly adequate language.
I'll take your "activate" and give you...
What is wrong with the word "use"?
"I was born in Australia..."
"Your English is so good!"
Thank you, I was born in Australia and English is literally my first language. My standard response these days is, "Oh thank you, yours too!"
This one is especially annoying...
...if you're not alabaster white.
This is a big one:
"Where are you from? No I mean where are you from."
Also annoying if you're not alabaster white.
"Someone saying to a teenager..."
Someone saying to a teenager, "These are the best years of your life!" I am in my mid-40s now and most people my age remember high school as horrible and awkward. The more appropriate thing to say is, "Hang in there kid! I promise life gets better. Just get through adolescence the best you can."
High school sucked.
My life vastly improved in my 20s. Let's not convince teenagers that they have nothing to look forward to after high school's over and done with.
"That's nothing... " when I tell them something only for them to turn it onto a competition and say something worse that happened to them.
The chronic one-upper.
"But she's your mother!"
Yeah, well she should've acted like one.
"I've heard it from people..."
"When you have your own children you'll understand."
I've heard it from people who don't understand that I want nothing more than my own family but being pregnant will kill me, and when I bring up adoption as a valid way of having children they'll buckle down on that phrase as to say adopted kids are not the same. It's disheartening to hear as a formal foster child and has reinforced my beliefs that no one really saw me as enough. Why would you say that to someone? All kids are the same and those without kids shouldn't be dismissed.
"I lost my daughter..."
"God has a plan" or "It happened for a reason."
I lost my daughter when I was 36 weeks in because of a sudden placental abruption followed by a uterine rupture, lost 2.2 litres of blood. I can't carry again without risking the child or myself. And I had to listen to a variety of phrases that made me want to hit those people. Those two were the worst. Followed by "You can try again" or "Did you get the child baptized?" (got this one only once though).
"Who on earth..."
"When are you going to have kids?"
Who on earth are you to not only insist I should stop and redirect my whole life for kids, but then put me on the spot and make up a timetable to change my whole life? Not everyone wants kids.
Now that you've learned a thing or two...
...you could say that all of the responses here are an exceptional opportunity to improve your social skills.
Have some of your own stories to share? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Dating is difficult––and truth be told, I don't know how anyone can do it right now, what with a pandemic going on and all. Just the thought stresses me out. Dating is especially hard for people who defy expectations in a heteronormative society. Take bisexuals, for example.
Bisexuals have been open about their struggles maintaining relationships with both men and women, even having to lie about their sexuality if they want to date certain people.
"I feel like if I end up in a straight relationship, I'll look like I was just experimenting all these years, but if I end up in a gay relationship people will say I was never actually bisexual," one man told the BBC in 2019. "Then if I don't have a monogamous relationship people will say I'm just greedy."
Indeed, the pressure to be either gay or straight can be a lot to navigate. After Redditor Trevor-on-Reddit asked the online community, "Bisexual people who have dated both genders, what are some notable differences you've learned about dating both men and women?" bisexuals spoke candidly about their experiences. Take note: You might learn something new.
We all know someone who really cannot figure out even the most basic thing without copious amounts of help. But when you meet someone who is completely and totally past all help, how do you even begin to try to help them get along?
Most of the time, they will just be flustered, or they won't listen. And you have to just stand Idly by and watch them fail.
What is your "This person has no idea how the real world works" moment?
Here were some of those stories.
The Boot, Not The Camp
When I was in boot camp, some kid put his letter addressed to 'mom' with no address attatched.
I was gonna say that its not that stupid for a very young kid to do that, but then I realized you said boot camp and not summer camp.
Don't Steal Dangerous Chemicals
A student working part time at my laboratory at a University came into my office and asked "so what all can I eat in the refrigerator, I didn't know I was supposed to bring my own lunch". I looked at him, stunned and replied "nothing, that food is what people brought for their own lunch, but you can use my grub hub to order". He DID NOT UNDERSTAND. It took 4 tries to get him to realize he can't just eat someone else's lunch.
Same student: I walked into the lab room and told him I made a full pot of coffee in the office and he could help himself. Him: "a pot of coffee? What's that?" He never used a coffee maker other than a Kuerig before and didn't even know it was a thing.
He was fired a month later for stealing chloroform.
No Ma'am, Like, REAL Bears
At a national park, the park ranger says "stay on the trails, there are bears in the area."
One lady says "isn't that dangerous? Why aren't they in their cages?"
"Ma'am, we're not a zoo."
These people are lucky to make it out of bed every day.
Sleeping On The Job
I lived with some Japanese exchange students during the final summer of college. They were really nice girls, but one of them (Mari) (~19 years old) obviously had no idea how anything worked. She spoke the best English and I was tutoring some of the other girls, while they helped me with my Japanese.
But Mari would constantly call me to come to get her because she thought we had free buses (all the buses). After all, we were students. That wasn't the issue. I could deal with that. It was a whole new culture. She was learning.
But what happened that made me realize Mari could not be left on her own was when she ended up in Eloy, Arizona. Which was ~400 miles and five hours from where we were. She had been talking to some guy on campus, he said he was visiting family in Arizona, and she said "I want to go."
He just took her with him, and she went without even telling us. She had just assumed the guy would take her back, but he said he couldn't because he was staying in Arizona. So I had to arrange a ticket, get her on the bus via the phone, and then pick her up two hours away because she missed her second bus by napping.
How...? What...? Huh...?
Had a friend who was in some uncredited scam online college for her master's degree in medical billing or something. She was on a loan program that was sending her about $5k every 3 months directly to her via check in the mail.
This was her only source of income. She kept calling it a grant that didn't need to be paid back. She was flat broke as a joke for 2 months but then the check would come in and she would be living the good life for a few weeks before being poor again.
We tried to do an intervention and show her the insane interest rate that would be back dated as soon as her "school" was done but she didn't want anyone to bust her free money dreams.
She just kept talking about all the money she would eventually be making billing insurance companies...turns out she wasn't even logging in to the online college or even attempting to get this degree.
She thought the money was free, the degree was automatic and the job was guaranteed. Some people are beyond help.
Such Brilliant. So Money. Wow
My boss told me about a friend of his, who told him af a "life hack". She would get her bills in the mail, NOT pay them, and then wait a couple of months to pay. Then she would cry so the debt collectors would feel bad and waive the fees for not paying on time. That was her "brilliant life hack"
Himbo Rights Activist
The other day, my 18yo brother-in-law got married to his highschool sweetheart in a parking garage so that they can live off campus at college together.
Girlfriend's, now wife, mother is an ordained minister. His parents, my in-laws, were very upset and he couldn't understand why because "it's just a fake marriage for school". Oh no, sweet boy. You are MARRIED. I just laughed and laughed. I love him dearly. He is a dumb*ss.
And yet somehow they are there to add these stories to our dull, dull days.
A dude (18 yo) in boot camp got a letter from home and I can see he is agitated. Being 22 and concerned for his well-being, I asked him if he wanted to talk about it. (I'm thinking a Dear John letter or the Mom and Dad divorcing letter.)
He dead *ss told me that his younger brother got a Mercedes for his birthday and that he was pissed bc he "only got a BMW". Can't remember what I said, but I knew boot camp was gonna knock down. (It did.)
Who Pays Your Bills?
When my roommate, who never once paid for rent or groceries or anything, turned down the only job offer they have ever gotten, in front of me, TWICE.
They were so desperate they called him twice, offering good pay, during covid, and he had the gaul to say no in front of me. His excuse was "nah I'm sure there's something better. $20 an hour is garbage in this city" -_-
Just Read ONE Parenting Book
I worked for a clueless couple who had no idea how to raise a kid. He wore the same outfit everyday for a month until I gently suggested that he needs new clothes. His parents asked me "Where can we get baby clothes?" This was slightly hilarious given that they lived above a Target and next to a baby boutique.
I had to have the same conversation once the child was old enough for solid foods. I was asked "Where can we get baby food?" I had to explain that most grocery stores carry a baby aisle, or that she can mash up her own fruits at home for the baby. This family decided that sour cream would be a great first food for their baby!
I'll mention that this was a wealthy family who went on vacation at least 2-3 times a month. By far the weirdest thing they did was try and drop off Grandma at daycare along with the baby.
Stories like this make you feel like the most well-equipped, with it person alive, right?
We're all well aware of the weird, horrible, predatory things men do when attracted to women. But what about when women are the culprits?
Though it seems that, statistically, men are problematic at a WAY higher rate than women, there are certainly times where the person bringing the creepy vibes is, indeed, the woman.
Some men of Reddit gathered to share the most bizarre and uncomfortable things a woman has ever said.
AidenTheGamer14 asked, "Men of Reddit, what is the creepiest thing a girl has ever said or done to you?"
For some, it was the stalkers.
The cryptic behavior and frightening detective work of ex-lovers can be unparalleled.
Some Light Sleuthing
"Found out my address from the phone book, this was the 90s, sat outside my house for multiple nights, all night just watching my house, I live in the middle of the woods miles outside of town."
"We only had one date and agreed to leave it at that. I found out sometime later what she had been doing."
"Girl I was dating asked if I had changed the locks since breaking up with my ex months prior. I'm like 'No, but she wasn't a crazy person so I never worried about it.' She says if I don't change the locks she ain't comfortable sleeping over, so I change the locks."
"This ex sends me an angry text the next day 'So you changed your locks huh? Real nice a**hole.' So she had been coming over this whole time and doing who knows what."
She Stopped at Nothing
"She kept writing me letters at every address I lived at during that five-year period. If she didn't have the address she'd send them care of my parents. The most memorable is the one where she told me she was married and 'he's a great guy but he's not you.' "
"Once not long after I'd moved to a new address I came home and found a box of cookies she'd FedExed to me. Eventually I moved to a new state. I knew from her return addresses that she lived and worked there, and was worried we'd run into each other but realized that was pretty unlikely."
"Then after less than a year, she found me through a blog I was keeping and left a message on my voicemail demanding we meet. I posted a message to her on my blog telling her to stop harrassing me or I'd call the police (up to that point I'd been ignoring her, hoping she'd take the hint). That night she called, I repeated my threat to bring the authorities in, and I haven't heard from her since."
Others dealt with the creepiness on the internet. With so many avenues of communication all around us, uncomfortable comments can come from all directions.
"Someone I considered a friend started to grow feelings for me, but when she found out I had a girlfriend and I didn't feel the same for her she found out who my girlfriend was somehow. She then DM'd her and tried to tell her that I was cheating on her with her."
"Luckily I was with her when she got that DM so I could explain the situation and then we blocked her. Next day she DM'd her again from an alt account."
Worst Kind of Pen Pal
"I started a new job, and I shared a small office with a woman my age (and a couple other people). She was kinda cute but also weird and super naïve (she grew up in a very rural area). She'd flirt with me a lot, but I wasn't interested."
"So she started sending me emails."
"They were super long, detailing her whole day. And she sent them to me every day. I never responded. Then one day she sent me this long email confessing her love. I replied with the (very obvious) reasons why it wouldn't work and asked her to stop sending me emails every day. She didn't."
"They kept coming. This went on for months. I asked her in person and online to stop, but I still got these email memoirs every day. Eventually I had another female office mate who was her friend have a talk with her. Finally the emails stopped."
That's A Lot of Passwords
"I've had a girl create about 50 different Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram accounts all to try to get me to friend her. I've never met this woman in person and yet every few weeks I'll get a handful of friend requests from her"
"Met this girl online and talked to her a bit. I did started to like her."
"Later found out that the pic she showed me of herself was actually a pic of her friend who had passed away due to cancer."
In my early 20's I was at a party and the hosting woman full-on tried to reach down my pants to grab my business."
"Strange, yes, what made it creepy is that we were right in front of her mother, who was cheering her on."
Breaking Out the Scroll
"After 6 months from our breakup, my ex called me because she wanted to see me. It seemed strange to me but I accepted. When we met she was friendly and all..."
"Then at a certain point she pulls a sheet in which there was written a list of all men she fu**ed after our relationship and she read it all to me, with accurate description of every sexual intercourse. Well it was an awkward moment."
"I was going to head home after a night out and a I was getting into my taxi a girl jumped in after me. I asked what they were doing and she said 'I'm coming home with you.' "
"Nope. Taxi driver helped me and she got out the car eventually when I shot down her advances."
Again, it's important to read this thread and remember that this is a bias sample, solely focused on the incidents where a woman did act creepy.
But, yes, it happens out there.