Harry Potter fandom is REAL, y'all. For a few hours, we're thrust into a world that's filled with adventure, mysticism, and magical things. But then I realized — some of these things ain't magical...they're just British, lol.
So when Reddit user ToastofReddit asked, "What in Harry Potter did you think was magic, but later found out was just British?" I wanted to learn more. Here were a few takeaways:
1. The word "snogging" which...sounds...interesting:
"The word 'snogging.' I started reading Harry Potter when I was pretty young and I thought it was just another weird word JK Rowling came up with."
2. Hermione is an actual name:
"I had never heard that name and thought it was a name from the wizarding world. I honestly thought JK had made a huge error because both of Hermione's parents were muggles, so why would she have a name from the wizarding world? When I aired this publicly and was informed that it was a real name, I was very embarrassed."
3. The prefects in school:
"I was surprised about prefects and head boy/girl. I didn't know that was an actual thing that happened in schools."
4. Actually, that school houses even exist:
"Apparently, school houses actually exist. I learned this today."
5. Sports that are really, really complicated to understand:
"Incomprehensible sports. Quidditch is easy to understand compared to Cricket. But that's nothing compared to Numberwang or Mornington Crescent."
6. Ginger men (although, to be fair, y'all are magical):
"My girlfriend thought gingers were magical and part of the Harry Potter universe. She just genuinely never met or saw a ginger on TV until she met me and she was just blown away.
It was hard to explain I am in no way magical, but now she thinks I'm magical for a whole bunch of other reasons. But let's be real, I know she's the magical one."
7. Camping, which is sorta British, sorta magic:
"Kind of halfway between British and magic, but here goes. I visited Ireland a few years back and biked around the countryside. I stayed in a few bed and breakfasts, but I mostly camped. I noticed that American and German tourists tended to be pretty conservative in their camping habits, sleeping in small one or two-man tents. British tourists, however, brought enormous multiple-room tents with entire rooms for kitchens and sitting rooms. It was just like the tents in the Goblet of Fire, but obviously without the magic element. It was like I saw the Quidditch World Cup campground scene in a entirely new light."
8. Christmas crackers:
9. That there are really places with names like "Hogwarts":
"I didn't know there were area names like 'Hogwarts' in real life. Apparently there's also names like Grimsby, Shitterton, Twatt, Staines and Skegness as place names."
10. That "punting" is not as violent as it sounds:
"There's a part in (I think) Order of the Phoenix where the twins make a magic swamp in the castle and the text says that Filch punts people across it. Apparently 'Punting' is a British term for boating. He does not drop-kick students."
11. Wait...a "punt" is an actual type of boat:
"Punting isn't a general term for boats. A 'punt' is a shallow-bottomed boat used to travel across marshes and you use a pole to move them. Similar to gondoliers in Venice."
12. You can actually stumble on castles, IRL:
"You can stumble upon abandoned castles fairly easily. They hid Hogwarts by making it look like a dangerously broken down castle. Once you are away from the major cities, it's pretty accurate to say that every group of towns will have some sort of ruin or stately home."
13. Specific foods and their names:
"I had never heard of treacle. Honestly, I thought it was some magical food. To be fair it might be, I just haven't had the opportunity to try it."
14. The money system:
"I thought the money system was deliberately quirky because it was magic money, but it’s actually modeled after pre-decimalization British currency."
15. The intricacy of the trolley systems:
"I was on a train from Glasgow to Edinburgh and I realized JK Rowling didn't invent everything, she described many of the things in Scotland in a magical way. The trolley carts on the train, the curved street in Edinburgh that's basically Diagon Alley, and the amazing architecture there all would fit in the world of Harry Potter. It's no wonder that all of Edinburgh is full of Harry Potter touristy things."
16. And lastly, this pumpkin observance that has now infiltrated all of our lives:
"Pumpkin-spiced things. I live in Finland and we don't really have those there, so I thought it was just a spooky witch thing that only happened in the movies. I didn't know it really was a way of life."