6 Magic Hacks That Would Have Made The Battle of Hogwarts Easier.


One of the things I love about the Harry Potter story—that isn’t the rad narrative devices that never failed to blow my mind—is the absurdity and deranged creativity of its magic. Magic in Harry Potter, though it likes to pretend otherwise, is more or less boundless. Rowling was great at leading us on in ways where we don’t really question the magic that drives the individual plots of each book.

"Don't mention the plotholes or I will transfigure
this into a magical murder weapon, honey."
For instance, in book 3, it is established that time travel is not only possible but remarkably easy and thanks to the quantum nature of the universe, pretty much free of consequence. We go through the time loop, see the plot unwind in really fun and unexpected ways and then that’s that for the time-traveling magical apparatus. Literally, that’s it. An item that allows fucking time travel is only used to let a little smartass take a bunch of extra courses, then forces the climax and is never heard of again.

It’s almost as bad as the eagles in the “Lord of the Rings” universe. Almost.

Yeah that book was fun, but despite the unforgiving fans’ explanations, there’s no way to argue that it’s stupid that a time machine is never used—or even considered—in the fight against evil. Who cares though, right? I guess it wouldn’t have been as much fun if Rowling had rehashed the plot of “Prisoner of Askaban” several books later. It’s part of the fun in the series; they like to introduce new magic and maguffins to avoid repeating itself.

But like this time traveling device that is severely underused, there are so many other things that would have made the final battle so much easier—not to mention cooler—that weren’t ever considered. Here are some that I could think of.

1. Armies of Chimeras.

Most characters use polyjuice potion—an elixir capable of physically transforming the drinker into almost whichever shape s/he wishes to take for a finite amount of time—throughout the books in the most stupid or unnecessary ways, such as disguising themselves as another character. Barty Crouch Jr. in book 4, and the whole Ministry bit in 7 are two of the few moments in which it was used intelligently.

These guys could've fought for Hogwarts. Alas.
The rest however, use it sparingly in unnecessary ways (did they really need to turn the Order into Harries in book 7? What a convoluted plan). It bothers me that no one thought about using it, instead of to hide in plain sight, to enhance their physical attributes.

Specifically, it bother me that no one thought about going to the zoo, picking up a couple of bull hairs, and transforming a unit of wizards into powerful fighting minotaurs.

In book 2, we saw Hermione accidentally transform into a big anthropomorphic cat, retaining all of her intelligence, and changing back a few hours later. With this in mind, there is literally no downside to making a small army of gorilla men if they needed brute force (which they did or else no one would’ve gone through lengths to recruit giants and trolls into their armies), or eagle people if they needed flight, or cheetah folk if they needed speed. A few hours later they would shed the animal shape and share their manimal stories over a pint.

I get why they wouldn’t use Animagi or werewolves, as the former are just animals without any tactical advantage and the latter can’t retain their minds and would be out of control (and that only if the fight was under a convenient full moon), but an intelligent man or woman with the shape and power of any animal—or any creature; why not create human/giant hybrids?—they wanted? Come on. Hax.

Wasted opportunity, Rowling. You should be ashamed of yourself except not really because you are lovely.

2. Creative Apparating.

The laws of apparating in Hogwarts were always kind of a blur to me. I got the basic idea (“You can’t apparate in Hogwarts”), but this rule was so often bent in such arbitrary ways that it’s not really clear. We saw Dumbledore (I must take this moment to mention that ‘Dumbledore’ is a recognized as a proper name in Microsoft Word) apparate a hundred times, and all of Harry’s friends in book 6 while learning, not to mention Harry and Cedric in book 4 via the portkey that could only be the Triwizard Cup, and not, say, Harry’s shoes, for some reason.

So exactly what are the rules? Obviously portkeys can be used, and some people can apparate if they have certain power or license. How far away from Hogwarts do you really have to be until you can freely apparate? It’s hard to say, but even with these ambiguous restrictions, I feel the ultra useful ability to teleport, or cause your enemy to teleport, was tragically underused in the final battle.

What, am I supposed to believe it's some kind of 'magic school'?
If apparently a portkey can be used inside Hogwarts (re: Triwizard Cup), why not use that in your favor? Turn the stones of Hogwarts’ front gate into portkeys that would teleport the first idiot who sets foot there into a volcano in China, or the bottom of the lake? It would have been so damn easy to get rid of a huge chunk of Voldemort’s armies with this simple hack.

While on this I also think that it would have been a bit prudent to lift the ‘no apparating’ rule/spell in Hogwarts for the somewhat important occasion of “Saving The Entire Wizarding World”. Simple apparition—which we totally saw happening in the movie, but that is understandably not the book—would have been a great advantage to everyone, but more so to the students who better knew the school grounds.

3. Legilmency Mindrapes.

YOU try to fight with this image in your head.
Basically “Legilmency” is the act of Charles Xavier-ing someone’s mind, while “Occlumency” is the ability to Magneto’s-helmet someone’s Charles Xavier-ing. I realize I explained one nerd concept with another nerd concept but that’s how I roll.

It would be hard to believe that the entirety of Voldemort’s forces, or a good chunk of them, or fucking anyone other than him, would have been very good at occlumency. This basically means that anyone apt enough to perform legilmency (which Harry Potter could do at age 15 so I’m guessing it’s not that hard for Hogwarts graduates) would be able to mind rape the shit out of an enemy.

You have any idea how useful this would have been? Not only could you incapacitate your enemies in battle by showing them pictures of /r/spacedicks and their mom’s private areas, if you’re powerful enough you could even manipulate their memories and make them fight their own team—kinda like “Confuse” in Final Fantasy only harder to cure.

4. Infinite Allies Through Programming Charms

Remember the climax in “Beauty and the Beast” where everything in Beast’s castle was alive and fought off the invading dickheads? There was absolutely no reason why Hogwarts couldn’t look like that during the final fight.

"There's Amycus, Chip! Ice that fool!"
I can’t remember the specific moment, but it was in either book 5 or 6, when Ron uses a charm to “program” a Quaffle to try to score through the Quidditch hoops so he could practice his goal-keeping. Great thinking by Ron there.

Way to not think about this during the final fight, where you could have charmed the seventeen million suits of armor in Hogwarts to fight against the evil forces attacking it. And why stop at suits of armor? Do it to the plates, the desks, the chairs! You would have a million absolutely fearless allies that couldn’t really be killed because they were never alive to begin with.

The movie had McGonagall being ridiculously adorable after casting an apparently-never-used spell to summon a badass team of statues to defend Hogwarts. That was a specific spell, though, not a charm. They should’ve done both. Ugly Janitor Who Could Snap And Go On A Murder Spree At Any Time can pick up the corpses of the brave fallen plate soldiers later.

5. Fucking Time Travel.

I won’t even go through this one because it’s obvious how it would be an advantage.

I do have to say though that considering the approach the books take on the predestination paradox in book 3, which subscribes to the consistent histories ideal, time travel couldn’t really change the outcome of the battle.

Interesting to think about.

6. Felix Felicis Abuse.

Felix Felicis, or “Liquid Luck”, is a potion that is very tricky to make but grants its drinker an absolute momentum to their luck, which means they can attempt whatever the fuck they want and it will work out for them. The limits of this potion’s effect aren’t really defined in the book, and after the enraging Room of Requirement, it’s the single most shamelessly poor plot device in the series.

We don’t really know to what capacity this potion really works. To the extent that it’s explained, there is no reason to think Harry couldn’t have gone to try and kill Voldemort after drinking it in book 6 and gotten away with it. I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s not quite that powerful.

But it’s obviously powerful enough to tip the balance wildly in favor of the user during a battle. Yet not one of these brilliant strategists thinks about using it.

I get it. The thing takes like 6 months to make and is very difficult but come on. They had one of the best potion makers in the world on their side. I’m certain that if someone had thought about it, they would’ve brewed 30 vials of Felix Felicis in preparation to the inevitable fight with Voldemort’s forces and win the battle in 3 seconds because they somehow willed a meteor to squash all of the death eaters.

Now imagine all of these combined. Imagine giant minotaurs with infinite luck fighting alongside fearless suits of armor while e-mailing pictures of blue waffles directly into Voldemort’s mind.

That would’ve made the books better, yo.

I hope this post isn’t misunderstood; Fenrir knows I love the books and movies—and “The Deathly Hallows” in particular is my favorite—but I like to have fun being a smartass and telling a best-selling critically acclaimed author how she should’ve done her job. Wouldn’t you?
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About The Damn Beast

Pre-op trans-minotaur, sci-fi/fantasy/horror author, metal singer, videogame journalist, pop culture blogger. I also lift heavy things and put them down again repeatedly to occupy more space.
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