With the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts happening recently, on May 2, we could all do with a reminder that the Wizarding World doesn’t center around fighting Voldemort. Throughout the books, readers encounter various examples of wizarding culture. What follows is a list of miscellaneous objects that Harry encounters throughout his time at Hogwarts.
Triwizard Tournament Dragon Action Figure (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
The Wizarding World contains both moving pictures and moving action figures. First appearing as merchandise for the Quidditch World Cup, the extent of their abilities is not clear. The Krum one, at least, just seems to scowl a lot. Harry receives a tiny Hungarian Horntail as part of the first task, which he still has after the task, as we briefly see it going to sleep on the table beside his bed. If the dragon is capable of sleep, what else can it do? What happens to it? I imagine it must have walked off while Harry was in class and began a new life of wandering around within the walls of Hogwarts, but I suppose there is no real way to know.
Spell-Checking Quill (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
Wizards must not need computers because they possess the magic to create objects like the Spell-Checking Quill. Most likely the saving grace of many Hogwarts students, it seems miraculous to me that no one thought to event one before the Weasley Twins. Perhaps they are strong supporters of the dictionary, or they were avoiding the unfortunate turn the quills take when they start to break down. Do the quills start misspelling everything, or is Ron’s spelling really that poor? We may never know.
“Weezly” Sign (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
The Ministry of Magic could, apparently, make use of Spell-Checking Quills. It’s unclear whether the signs at the Quidditch World Cup campsite are at all magical, but they could possess unknown powers that the Weasley’s just never discover because they only stay for one night. They raise other important questions as well. How many were misspelled? Who made them, and was it with or without magic? Perhaps magic and spelling just don’t mix.
Solid Gold Cauldron Harry Almost Buys (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone)
Given that Harry attempts to buy one of these on his first trip to Diagon Alley, it is, perhaps, a miracle that he makes it through the series without slowly accumulating solid golden objects. You can hardly blame him, but it does make me wonder what sorts of decorations he has in his future home. Would a broomstick made of solid gold even fly?
Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets)
Harry never encounters a flesh-eating slug as far as I know, and if I were him, I would be fairly relieved. The fact that Hagrid has to go to Knockturn Alley in order to retrieve the repellent suggests that they are fairly rare, but they still seem like an issue. How widespread are they? Are muggles aware of them? Perhaps there is an entire group of Ministry workers dedicated to protecting muggles from flesh-eating slugs.
Mirrors in the Leaky Cauldron (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
I’m not sure whether it would be comfortable or uncomfortable to own a talking mirror. While it can shower you with complements and offer advice, it also feels like there are several issues that could come with it. Does it watch your every move? Does it listen to you sleep talk and gossip about it with other mirrors? The Weasley’s have the right idea of having one in the kitchen, but being trapped in a hotel room? It’s probably no wonder that Harry spent most of his time away from it.
Invisible Book of Invisibility (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)
Invisibility is hardly an issue for Harry because of the Invisibility Cloak, but how common is invisibility outside of that? If all books on this topic are as poorly made as the Invisible Book of Invisibility, then it makes sense that everyone just relies on Harry for their invisibility needs. It is a miracle also that no one has found those books – some customer must have tripped over them at some point.
Canary Creams (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
Many of Fred and George’s inventions border on dangerous, but as far as we’re aware, the canary cream is not one of them. It is useful, perhaps, if one is infiltrating a group of large canaries for a short period of time, and of course as a joke object. If you consume enough of them in a row you can pretend to be an Animagus.
Many-Legged Pair of Tweezers (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)
The many-legged pair of tweezers makes its home at Number 12, Grimmauld Place along with a collection of other dangerous objects. It is fairly mysterious; could it be the magical spawn of tweezers and a spider? Perhaps one of the houses occupants was poor at transfiguration – or good at it depending on their goal. Whatever this object actually is, it might be useful to have on your side.
It’s the mention of objects like these that makes the world and helps us feel like we’re inhabiting it. Harry may be the center of his series’s attention, but there are other people with their own goals, who want to own their own golden cauldrons.