Why It Would Suck To Live In The Harry Potter Universe

The Harry Potter series has some of the most dedicated fans, many who travel all over the world to put their wizardry skills to use and participate in events that replicate the magical universe. Whether it's taking in a Quidditch match, having a few butterbeers, or throwing on a robe before heading to an all-out Potterhead convention, fans will do just about anything to feel like they're part of this seemingly wonderful world.

J.K. Rowling may have been able to put a positive spin on a lot of the happenings in the wizard world, but if you think about it for a moment, living in the Harry Potter universe would kind of suck.

You don't have a choice, you're born being a witch or wizard

Did you ever think that maybe Harry didn't want to be a wizard? Yes, his room at Hogwarts was surely a step up from sleeping in the cupboard under the stairs, but who's to say that every witch or wizard is happy about their magical abilities? Maybe Harry wanted to study to become a social worker so he could make sure other children weren't ever treated like he was. Perhaps Hermione simply wanted to follow in her parents' footsteps and practice dentistry in the muggle world before receiving her acceptance letter to Hogwarts. And Ron, well, perhaps he shouldn't have been allowed to touch a wand until his third or fourth year.

Aside from having no choice in the matter, being a witch or wizard means you're always around other witches and wizards. Imagine going to a high school where at any moment one of your classmates could make you vomit slugs with a simple flick of their wrist. Or, worse, attempt to make you vomit slugs and accidentally turn you into some kind of strange mutant because they've yet to master the pronunciation and proper flick of the Slugulus Eructo charm. It's something like this that could cause your prepubescent years to scar you for life.

You're forced to be sent away to school

In the Harry Potter universe, there's no school bus that will take you home after you're done with your classes. It's on the Hogwarts Express you go, to be sent away from home for months at a time. For Harry, of course, this was a good thing because his guardians were atrocious human beings, but what about the students who like their parents? And being away from your parents doesn't mean you're free to do as you please. It's still easy for parents to keep tabs on their children at Hogwarts, and they can even send their kid a Howler if they aren't behaving.

Being stuck at school all day every day at such a young age is enough to make anyone go mad. It's no wonder Potter and his friends got themselves into so much trouble—there was nothing else to do! You'd think they'd at least let the kids apparate back home every once in a while to have a meal with their folks and torture their younger siblings with threats of using their wand. (Just threats. We all know the ministry doesn't allow underage magic off school grounds.)

There's only one bank and making a withdrawal is far from easy

If you have a fear of rollercoasters, then living in the Harry Potter universe will mean hiding your Galleons and Sickles in a jar under your bed, as taking a ride on the unpredictable tracks in Gringotts is one of the many security measures taken by the goblins who run the place. It's not exactly as simple as going to an ATM. The bank also has a waterfall designed to remove any charms or spells, and vicious dragons walking around who are trained to devour anyone trying to break in, which isn't recommended. Even if one manages to break into the building and get to a vault, only a goblin can open its doors, and once inside, any valuable items are likely protected by spells such as the Geminio curse.

It might sound like the best place to store your money, but goblins aren't exactly trustworthy creatures, and they're far from fans of witches and wizards. In fact, the Goblin Rebellions went on for centuries due to discrimination against them and attempts to enslave them like house elves. Wizards have even taken away their rights to use a wand, which has been thought to be one of the main reasons goblins continue to revolt. Some might think it's not exactly smart to let your enemies have total control over your money, but the wizards attempted and failed to take over Gringotts, so living in the wizarding world will likely mean you'll have to figure out how to break into your own vault one day.

The education system is flawed

Growing up in the wizard world means you're off the hook and don't start any formal education until age 11. This is because most wizards and witches can't control their magical powers when they're younger, so it's best not to give them a wand just yet. So, what do they do until then? It seems like they just sit around doing whatever they'd like until they head to Hogwarts. It's not really clear how they've learned to read and write or learned pretty much any other basic skill necessary at that point in life, but it seems like they're home schooled for the most part. However, if that were the case, there must be some kind of standards, otherwise some kids would end up at Hogwarts without basic reading skills.

Perhaps that's why Hermione always seemed a bit smarter than her classmates. Being raised in the muggle world, her formal education started at a much earlier age and certainly seemed to have its advantages. Being muggle-born might also mean going to Hogwarts and finding out a lot of things you learned about history might not exactly be true. Not only do muggle-born wizards and witches have to accept that this entirely different world exists, but they also have to unlearn certain things taught to them in the muggle world.

Anyone can walk around looking like you

All it would take is a bit of your hair and a few special ingredients and anyone can create a Polyjuice Potion to look like you. Someone could even commit a crime with your face, and few would be able to detect that a potion was being used. Living in the wizarding world would mean having to keep close track of your hairs, perhaps by carrying around a lint brush.

Being famous in the wizarding world might make you more susceptible to being victimized by this kind of identity theft, as well as create a way for you to make a decent profit. We all know Gilderoy Lockhart probably sold a few hundred locks of his hair on the black market so housewives could convince their husbands it would be a fun way to spice things up in the bedroom. In fact, Mrs. Weasley was probably his first customer. Imagine having the chance to turn your significant other into Ryan Gosling or Kim Kardashian for a few hours? People would spend millions.

Being disarmed changes your wand's allegiance

The laws associated with wands aren't exactly cut and dry, but every Harry Potter fan knows that the wand chooses the wizard. But being chosen by a dragon heartstring at Ollivander's Wand Shop doesn't mean its allegiance is stuck with you forever. It can be difficult, but when dueling with another wizard, they can change your wand's allegiance by winning and disarming you. Even if you manage to find the wand on the floor after the scuffle, if its allegiance has changed, it won't work as well for you anymore.

Fortunately, it's not terribly easy to win the allegiance of someone's wand, as it seems wands have feelings. The only exception the rule is the Elder Wand, as this wand isn't sentimental and is only loyal to strength. Rowling explained how Draco was able to disarm Dumbledore in an interview with TODAY's Meredith Vieira, saying, "To truly own the Elder Wand, which means to receive the full benefits ... you have to have conquered the previous owner." She then described how Dumbledore was "weak" at the time, so the Elder Wand chose to show loyalty to Draco even though he never realized it. You might be able to get by with another wand if you're disarmed, but it simply won't be the same.

Teleportation exists but you can't use it until you come of age

Teleportation in the wizarding world is referred to as apparition and comes with quite a few rules. Some of these rules prevent witches and wizards from apparating to or from certain places and limits the distance you can travel. Underage wizards are forbidden from trying to apparate, as it can be dangerous and even cause splinching if it's not done right. (Splinching is exactly as horrifying as it sounds.) It seems that for this reason apparition requires wizards and witches to pass a test and receive a license before they're able to do it without repercussions. Trying to apparate without a license will result in a fine, so it's nothing too serious, but the pain associated with splinching would make anyone hesitant to give it a try. Side-Along Apparition can help underage wizards get around these laws, but what's the fun in that?

For some reason, most of those in the Potter universe prefer to travel using other means such as Floo Powder, portkeys, or even broomsticks, which all seem to be slower, more restricted forms of transportation. However, Dumbledore did mention that apparating often caused those not used to it to vomit, and Potter at one point describes it feeling like he's being "forced through a very tight rubber tube." Regardless, it sure beats sitting in rush hour traffic every morning.

You pretty much have to be a Quidditch fan

While Quidditch has been adapted into its own sort of game in the muggle world, it's far from the excitement you'd expect in the wizarding world, where it seems like everyone is a fan. Even Hermione, whose nose was usually stuffed in a book, would take time off from her studies to take in the games. If you're at home fantasizing about what it would be like to take a semester off from college to take some classes at Hogwarts, you're likely thinking how great it would be to watch the houses play against each other or even join the team yourself.

But if it weren't for Madam Pomfrey's skills and all the incredible potions that she uses to put these poor witches and wizards back together, Quidditch likely would end in more deaths than victories. Having a high threshold for pain would likely be a requirement for taking to the field in even an amateur game of Quidditch. It's surprising that Potter needed permission to leave castle grounds but never needed permission to play a game that's pretty much a combination of football and basketball on broomsticks 60 yards above the ground. At least it would keep things at school interesting, we guess.

You'll have a serious lack of privacy

There's absolutely no privacy in the wizarding world. At Hogwarts, there is always someone watching, whether it be one of the many nosey ghosts who roam the halls or the obnoxious members of history who live in the frames that hang on the walls. You can't even leave the common room without a dozen "people" noticing. Once the Marauder's Map was gifted to Potter, everyone's privacy at Hogwarts went out the window, with the exception of a few hidden spots (none of which, as it happens, include a bathroom).

At home in the wizarding world, privacy is just as rare. Anyone can apparate into your bedroom once they carry a license, and a transfiguration class can teach any witch or wizard how to transform into a fly on the wall. Getting dressed, taking a shower, and all of the other wonderful things human do when they're alone suddenly aren't so private anymore. Snoopy parents, friends, and significant others will always be able to find out when you're up to no good!

Muggle borns have to give up muggle life

Adjusting to wizard life must be difficult for those born and raised in the muggle world. While realizing you're a witch or wizard can certainly provide a person with some seriously awesome tricks and conveniences the muggle world doesn't have just yet, there would definitely be a few things that most people would have a hard time giving up. For example, it's likely that the professors at Hogwarts would frown upon any student taking notes on a laptop or tablet. The school doesn't exactly seem like the kind of place that would be hooked up to Wi-Fi, and most of us muggles wouldn't survive a week in the wizard world if it meant we couldn't post our selfies on Instagram or check our Facebook news feeds.

It's also unlikely your favorite pizza spot from your childhood delivers to Hogwarts or anywhere near Godric's Hollow. It's not impossible, but it would certainly be more difficult to order your favorite sesame chicken or pick up some Chipotle. You'll never have to drive or cook again, but these can be disadvantages if they're things you enjoyed in the muggle world. Even Mr. Weasley can't seem to get over just how fascinating the muggle world is with his massive collection of appliances. Would you be willing to give all that up?