It’s wild how like… JKR is so skilled at so many aspects of writing, especially in little character moments, but when it comes to implications of throwaway lines she just… not a SINGLE thought. 

Like in Chamber of Secrets, when Harry is talking to Tom / Voldemort and is like, you Framed Hagrid, Tom is like, yeah he was always trying to raise monsters, 

he says that Hagrid tried to raise werewolf cubs under his bed like… 

oh you mean like, children? like human children? 






My favorite thing ever is how Ron just sent Charlie a random letter like “hey yo there’s an illegal dragon at hogwarts, could you come and smuggle it out of here, please?” and Charlie was just like “yeah sure, I’ll trespass into the castle and steal a dangerous magical creature, of course, lemme just hit up my friends”

It’s better if you imagine Charlie and co as a group of Grad Students trying to avoid their other responsibilities.

Charlie is drunkenly revising the third draft of his thesis on proper care and feeding of greenhorns when his family owl slams into the window. 

Three of his friends jump and look around. Glinda doesn’t raise her head from her folded arms; only groans, “Is that Baines coming to do me in?” 

Charlie totters to the window and fetches Errol from the window pane. “No such luck,” he says. “You’re still going to have to take the exam.” After some consideration, Charlie lays him on a clear patch of floor to recover. “Do owls take firewhiskey?” he asks the room at large. 

“It’s not fair,” Glinda wails into the tabletop. “I swear he didn’t say anything about Bridgewort’s handling practices when we did the review in class.” 

“Oh, Merlin,” says Ali, freezing over their notes like a Medusa wyvern had bitten them. “Oh, Merlin’s sweet saggy socks. Is he covering Bridgewort?” 

“That’s what he said when I went to his office hours.” Glinda sits up. “You know his lapdragon singed my new sweater?!” 

Charlie decides not to give Errol a nip of whiskey. Flying under the influence is really not done. He unties the letter from Errol’s leg. Ron’s childish spiky handwriting spells out Charlie’s name on the front. Inside is a hastily scrawled message. 

“Yes, we know it ruined your sweater,” snaps Ysabelle. “You told us twenty times. Why didn’t you tell us Baines told you we’re going to be tested on Bridgewort?” 

“I meant to,” says Glinda. “Sorry.” She flicks her pile of notes. “I was lost in the miasma of gloom and desperation.” 

Ali puts their head back and groans. “I’m gonna die. I’m gonna say ‘fuck it’ and just fucking walk into a dragon’s mouth so I don’t have to do this.” 

“Hey,” says Charlie. They don’t hear him. 

“How much is this worth again?” Glinda asks her bottle of butterbeer. 

“Twenty-five percent,” Ali and Ysabelle chorus. Ysabelle adds, “and the thesis is fifty percent of our total grade.” 

“Hey!” Charlie repeats. They look at him. He waves Ron’s letter. “My littlest brother at Hogwarts has an illegal dragon he needs to get off campus. Anybody up for a midnight flight?” 

Ali slams their hands down on the table and stands up. “Fuck yes,” they say decisively. “Maybe I’ll fly into the Whomping Willow and die a quick death.” 

Welcome to grad school

Charlie’s friends: I want to die





So back in the eighth grade (a good eight years ago) I thought of this scenario where the Marauders wanted to find a loophole for the ‘No students out of bed at night” rule. And I came to the conclusion that they would absolutely sit on their beds and levitate them throughout the corridors so that they were never actually technically out of bed. And it’s been eight years and I just remembered this headcanon and I still think that they absolutely would have done this.

someone please write a fic where they debate the technicalities of this with McGonagall

“Out.” McGonagall was practically vibrating, the tip of her hat quivering like a compass needle; from yearly observation, Sirius was reasonably sure its four Cardinal Directions were What Is Going On Here, Stop, Ten Points From Gryffindor and Detention, and there was no doubt the wind was currently blowing a strong North-North Detention. He grinned. Knowing they were going to lose eventually didn’t make this any less amazing; there wasn’t even room in the corridor for all four beds to float abreast, and Peter’s was behind his, listing like a boat in rough waters with his inevitable nervousness. Peter hated detention – the rest of them pretty much took it in their stride at this point. Besides, Sirius thought impatiently, he was enjoying it a minute ago. It was probably him giggling that woke her up. Or Remus, bouncing the end of his bed into one of the portraits by accident. That guy must have been pretty square in life; he went off like a roman candle.

Like always, in trouble, he felt giddy; it would be bad, but the consequences here were so easy compared to what he’d left behind that he could never help the hysterical weightlessness that came hot on the heels of the scandalised gasp of a teacher. Fifty house points still hurt a lot less than fifty other things. But James was talking.

“- and it’s good practice,” he was saying, leaning precariously forward over the edge of his bed, an earnest ship’s figurehead in striped pyjamas. “A simple levitation spell wasn’t strong enough, Professor, we had to do research.” The bed between them shook a little; Remus, laughing, trying to cover it up with a cough. James said research the same way Slughorn might say diet. Peter’s bed bumped into the back of his and it almost set him off, too. He bit the inside of his mouth, tried to focus on something not funny – James’s thin ankles, poking out of the ends of his pyjama bottoms, that would do. Guaranteed to stop him laughing, that was.

“Research,” said McGonagall, not at all the way Slughorn might say diet. “We did,” Remus protested evenly from a nest of blankets – nobody was seeing his ankles. “We spent four hours on it in the library. In a way, this is just a practical experiment.”
“Yeah,” said James, “Those are encouraged. Professor Flitwick was just talking about it on Monday.”

Remus looked at Sirius; Sirius looked back. On no account, Professor Flitwick had said on Monday, do any practical experiments outside of the classroom. He could feel Peter getting ready to say it, too; they both could, both turned to look at him at once. He’d been raising his hand. Sirius shook his head once, both discouraging and also giving him up as a hopeless case. For being the one who’d come up with the word marauders in the first place, Peter was awfully coy when it came to doing any actual marauding.

Being a person confronted with four large pieces of floating furniture suddenly seemed to become too much for McGonagall, and she snapped again, “Get down. Get out of those beds at once.”
“But Professor,” James explained patiently while Sirius’s stomach did that swooping drop thing again, “Then we really will be breaking the rules. No students out of bed. But we’re in bed.”
“Of bed?”
Out of her favour where I am in bed,” Remus murmured and Sirius let out an unnecessary and, in retrospect, unwise shout of laughter. (They’d done a dramatic reading of the play when Remus brought in a battered Complete Works after the last holidays; James still occasionally greeted bemused students with Do you bite your thumb at me, sir? and they’d got a good amount of mileage out of Swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon, as well.)

Later, the rules were amended to read or out of their bedroom, and they did all have detention, and there was a miserable business with a Howler, and they lost a significant number of house points – but it was worth it, for the looks they got when they explained what they’d done, and for Remus quoting Shakespeare in the middle of a crisis, and for James’s wretched ankles and his scruffy, innocent face as he almost fell out of his hovering bed. And for being one of four, Sirius thought, looking around at the others in said detention: Remus’s hair in his face, the way he gripped his quill like it was trying to get away from him; James frowning in concentration as he tried to clean up the inevitable ink stains he always left on the desk; Peter’s misbehaving roll of parchment that wouldn’t stay flat unless he leaned all of his weight on it. It was always worth it for being one of four.





alright so i know we are all into punk sirius who is hot on slumming it in his teens, showing just how connected to the working classes and the great unwashed he is by living in a tiny poky flat in London, BUT I submit, for your delectation:

everyone lives au in which sirius decides to reverse stick it to his fam by joining forces with andromeda to become the hot new socialites in magical britain, hosting charity balls for postwar rehabilitation and like, vampire & werewolf charity fundraisers – lavish affairs in which the rich and the beautiful are subtly pressured into outbidding each other into donating more and more absurd amounts of money or else risk being socially ostracized FOREVER because they won’t receive one of those EXCLUSIVE invitations to number 12 Grimmauld Place & this INFURIATES narcissa who CLEARLY is the HEIR to the social lives of the black family and will not be USURPED by her black sheep of a sister and the family’s wild canon and dissolute disowned heir, her cousin lbr she probably bitches about this to Bellatrix’s portrait ad infinitum and Bella’s just like why don’t I have my WAND why can’t I cast spells and make her SHUT UP she and Draco grow very close in those months with Narcissa’s wailing incessantly about how NO ONE will attend any of the Malfoy’s social events and also FANCY!!!! ANDROMEDA HAVING THE AUDACITY TO DISINVITE ME FROM MY OWN ANCESTRAL HOME!!! AN INSULT NOT TO BE BORNE!!!! 

anyway, Sirius obviously throws each and every single piece of furniture in Grimmauld Place out and strips it down, knocks down a couple of walls and adds in some elegant french windows and with Fleur’s help redesigns the place entirely because for god’s sake, victorian gothic is SO last century and besides, if we’re really doing pureblood decadence the only way to go is French Rococo lbr and everything is now MIRRORS and GILT and frankly ridiculous furniture that is IMPOSSIBLE TO SIT ON but everyone adores even when they’ve been standing in six inch heels for three hours running. Walburga Black obviously has kittens over this redecoration and this meticulous stripping away of their HISTORY (we can trace our family all the way to the Norman conquest! Your great great great great great great great great great great grandfather fought alongside King William at Hastings (unlike the Malfoys who only LIE about their involvement, just so we’re clear) she shouts until Sirius reveals his party trick aka the elaborately brocaded silk curtains he’s installed to be pulled over his mother’s painting so she becomes yet another one of the #quirks of Grimmauld Place, an entertainment set piece and nothing more). 

Meanwhile in the library Sirius probably donates half the books to Hogwarts and then redoes the entire place in homage to the Brighton Pavillion (You see I’m not entirely unpatriotic, he tells the portrait of his fuming father) and then installs CARD TABLES at which the rich and the famous can do things like LOSE ENTIRE FORTUNES and also the family diamonds – all in the name of charity. 

Also, most importantly is the draw Sirius exerts on the entire wizarding world because he obviously cultivates an eccentric and bohemian persona and insists on receiving guests for one hour only from a chaise longue in one of the parlours where he reclines in these hideous brocaded silk dressing gowns, with bottles of sal vol and assorted smelling salts around him and he only ever extends a single well-manicured hand to everyone: twelve years in Azkaban, he says faintly to everyone who visits, but the healer says I should recover my nerves soon (no one knows when ‘’’’’’’’’soon’’’’’’’’’ is, but this goes on for at least ten years after the war.)

And obviously each and every single one of his relatives stuck in their portraits are clawing their eyes out or shrieking in horror about WE HAVE BEEN REDUCED!!!! REDUCED TO BEING NO MORE THAN THE LAUGHING STOCK OF BRITAIN!!! except possibly Regs who is amused at just how terribly transparent & crude his brother is at the art of provocateuring.

#so what you’re saying is sirius black as the next oscar wilde (tags via rooonil-waazlib)


#so what you’re saying is sirius black as the next oscar wilde (tags via rooonil-waazlib)



so voldemort is technically a lich, right? splitting your soul and putting bits of it in objects, those are phylacteries, and he’s a lich, and also a really bad one because he split himself up way too much and also dumped part of his soul into a literal child, what the hell tom.

anyway i can’t get out of my head a scenario in which the kiddos are eating dinner in the great hall and suddenly there’s a raven on the headmaster’s table. and then a second. and then a third, and a fourth, and then there’s a handsome man in a long cowled robe striding in through doors that certainly did not open for him. he stops at the eagle-eyed podium and says, in the worst british accent that britain has ever seen, “are you dumbledore?”

and dumbledore says “yes.”

and the man nods and says. “excellent. i’ve been told you know one thomas riddle?”

there’s a pause this time. then, “yes.”

“do you have a moment?”

he does. and so does mcgonagall, and also snape, and before they adjourn to the headmaster’s space this man looks out over the sea of confused and awestruck upturned faces and picks out a boy with bright green eyes and a scar and says, “what’s your name?” 

“harry,” says the boy.

“harry,” the man repeats, and his voice is almost gentle, because this boy reminds him of another little boy he knows, one who has also seen far too much for his age. “my name’s kravitz. would you come with us?”

he does. hermione and ron don’t let him go alone. and instead of harry’s horcrux being the last to go, it’s the first; part of being a reaper is dealing with souls, and prying a parasitic soul from a young, clean one is easy work. important work. after that day, harry’s scar never hurts again.

anyway what i’m saying is: reaper trio cross-country road trip along magical britain to find and destroy the horcruxes, and then voldemort. because that is, technically, their job.

kravitz, staring at the new assignment scroll: er. 

lup, snatching scroll from kravitz: what is it lemme se— oh boy

barry, leaning over lup, with professional interest: hm. uh, well this is a disgrace to the profession. this is uh, some real amateur work, boy, this is a real hack job we’re comin’ in to fix. Like uh, the whole splitting the soul into seven— 

kravitz, taking the scroll back, incredulous: seven?! 

lup: you gotta admire the tenacity, skeletor. 

kravitz, even more incredulous: why seven!! 

barry, getting real academic for a moment, taking the scroll and scanning it: well, some people want reassurance about you know, sustaining things. But it’s a lot easier to just have backup bodies. This is kind of….actually this is kind of creative? 

kravitz: no!!!!! 

barry: oh wait nevermind he stuck part of it in a kid?? Jeez. That’s gross as all hell. 





what’s the betting that potterwatch was just a radio project lee jordan was doing in his spare time and never actually stopped after the war

“Harry Potter was spotted at the local farmers market today, good choices in produce Harry! Gotta love the organics”

he’s the only reporter harry will talk to other than giving official statements when he has to as an auror

“I’m speaking to Harry Potter today after the long-awaited conclusion of the trial of quadruple murderer Waldorfus Grenoble. Harry, may I ask you a question regarding the trial?”

“Sure, Lee, I have to be back at work in ten but give it a go.”

“What is in the curry you had for lunch yesterday during the recess? It smelled fantastic and I have to know.”

“Thanks for asking, Lee. I’ve recently come across a book of my great-grandmother Priyanka’s notes on her Punjabi cooking and I’ve been trying to recreate her food. I liked that one but Ginny said it was too sweet so I’m making adjustments.”

“Fantastic. Great stuff. Next up we have an update on You-Know-Who’s whereabouts. Not Voldemort obviously– he’s six feet under, it’s been around 2500 days now and he’s still going strong, no sign of him being not dead any time soon.”

“You’re correct, Lee, he’s dead as a doornail and he’s going to stay that way. You do realize you don’t need to refer to your infant daughter as ‘You-Know-Who,’ right?”

“Sophie starts screaming if either of her dads talks about her and we don’t know why. Any suggestions, and any idea where she is now?”

“Oliver was walking her up and down the hallway outside the World Cup Regulatory Office last I saw her. As for the screaming, with James we gave him the miniature dragon from the Triwizard in ‘94 and that entertained him pretty well.”

“You heard it here first folks, Harry Potter thinks dragons are an appropriate substitute for pacifiers! Thanks for your time, Harry.”

“Any time, Lee.”

“Next week’s password is anything that will make our six-month-old go to sleep for longer than four hours. Signing off, this has been Potterwatch with River and the man himself, Harry Potter.”

I needed this

Slytherin and Eton: A Primer on the British School System.





Slytherin occupies an odd place in the Harry Potter fandom. In canon, while it is the house with the second most development, that development is almost entirely negative, with the house and a large quantity of its students acting antagonistically throughout the piece. Heck, Hagrid, the lovable gruff figure who acts as Harry’s (and thus the audience’s) introduction to the magical aspects of the series explicitely calls them the most evil house before Harry has even seen the castle. This, along with Draco Malfoy’s terrible introduction (Malfoy will be covered in detail later in the piece) and the fact that Harry is already having to distance himself from Voldemort by the time of the sorting, is the major reason that Harry chooses anything but Slytherin. While the house, or rather its representatives, are sort of given more naunce later with Slughorn, Malfoy’s Draco and Narcissus, and Snape, the core example of how it is treated in the series comes just before the final battle, when the entire Slytherin student body either sides with Voldemort (Crabbe and Goyle, and to a lesser extent Parkinson who is willing to hand over Harry to save herself) or refuses to fight the good fight at all. 

The weirdness comes from the fact that Slytherin is probably the most popular house to self identify as within the active fandom. Aside from having traits many consider positive associated with it (cunning, loyalty and ambition), it is also treated as the outcast house to the rest of the school, particularly the Gryfindors. The treatement of Slytherin therefore sticks in a lot of fan’s nerves, and understandably so. The notion of Houses, defining people at age 11, is already a weird way to handle things, after all, and defining an entire group of them as evil from the start? Yeah that’s not great, particularly if you identify with aspects of them. I myself would probably be a Slytherin or a Ravenclaw, so I can understand this distaste.

But…here’s the thing. The reasons for treating Slytherin this way are not entirely diagectic in nature. The house is the centre of a massive pile up involving world building, characterisation and most importantly some fairly blunt and pointed social commentary about the British School system and society at large. 

It’s been a running gag that what racism is to the American political discussion, classism is to the British. This is not entirely true (for one thing we are certainly not over racism or xenophobia here), but there is a nugget in there. British society is heavily class stratified society. We have some of the worst mobility in the developed world, and much of our political system is dominated by a very small part of society.

Perhaps the most obvious example of this is that there is a particular branch of the schooling system that dominates government, known as the Public Schools. That name can be confusing at first. The original group of Public schools vastly predate the mandatory schooling system; the oldest of them predate Columbus’ birth by over a decade. Not his voyage to the Americas, but his birth. The original idea was that they would take promising boys who normally would not get an education, due to them not coming from families who could afford them to be educated, hence the name Public Schools. Nowadays these are all elite private schools, not linked to the department of education. While approximately 7% of the population attend these schools, 33% of the members of Parliament (MPs), 50% of the Peers in the second chamber of government and 70% of the top judges are educated here. Heck, of the 54 Prime Ministers who have led the country, 32 were educated at one of three Public schools; seven at Harrow School, six at Westminster School and nineteen at Eton College. Compare that to the 9 prime ministers educated, as I was, in state schools. These institutions form part of the basis for a web of connections that defines a lot of the elite parts of British society, not just in politics but in business, in media and in higher education as well; the “old boy’s club” that provides a barrier to entry for a vast swathe of society. While supporters of these systems will note that efforts have been made to overcome this, with around 310 of Eton’s pupils receiving financial assistance, but that means that the remaining 1,000 students come from families that can afford the £12,000 per term fees, and these students are only male. The idea that this system is anything close to meritocratic is not just laughable, it is the equivalent of starting a discussion on orbital dynamics with the word’s “assuming a heliocentric universe”.

Another point to make? The entire House structure comes from these schools. Eton has 25 Houses, and in this case they are literally houses; they are where the boy’s sleep at night, since it is a boarding school. While not unique to Public Schools, they are heavily associated with them in British culture. I’m adding this in because Rowling didn’t just make up the concept of splitting the children into groups. As a teenager she attended Wyedean School, which notably historically had a four House system (oh look it’s almost as if there might be a connection), before abandoning it as the school grew (I can’t find anything about when this happened, but it could well have been after Rowling studied there).

Hogwarts itself, while it is an individual school, is also a condensation, celebration and condemnation of the British School system as a whole, being the only wizarding school in the UK. Umbridge isn’t just a single throughly unpleasant inspector, she is a stand-in for OFSTED, the body responsible for school inspections. It’s notable that in Harry’s year in Gryfindor,  you have, among others, the dirt poor Ron, the muggle born Dean and Hermione, the Irish half-blood Seamus Finnigen (and given that this was written in the 90′s holy shit is UK and Irish relations another can of worms I am not going to open here because this already too long but will be glanced a bit at in a later bit of this essay). It’s honestly hard for me to not read Gryffindor and Hufflepuff as stand-ins for the UK state schools, Ravenclaw for the private schools, and Slytherin as the public schools. Remember what I said about how Slytherin is treated as the outcast part of the school? Well, it is honestly treated much like the rest of the UK school system treats the private school. How is that? Well, when it snowed in my school days and we all went to the main park, the one thing that would immediately unite all the state and a lot of the private schools was the arrival of the public school kids (particularly since they tended to try and pick snowball fights with everyone while throwing classist insults around). Slytherin is in many ways the house of privilege, and not necessarily earned privilege. Lucius Malfoy, until his ousting when he plays his hand too hard in the second book, is the leader of the Board of Governors and escaped Azkaban despite his crimes, while it is explicitely stated in the first book that Slytherin has won the House cup for repeatedly in the previous years, mainly due to Snape bestowing


treatment on his own House (and yes I do think it was fine for Dumbledore to pull that last minute switch, since Harry Ron and Hermione had just legimately just prevented Voldemort from returning. That kind of deserves some credit. The Neville bit might be pushing it but again, the timing was just pretty tight).

But there’s more to what Slytherin represents, and this comes back to what I was saying about how charactisation is involved in this pile up, particularly the characterisation of Slytherin himself.

Specifically the characterisation of him as a rascist shitfucker.

I know that’s blunt but so it is the characterisation. He left a giant monster behind for the sole purpose of having it one day unleashed on a load of kids for the crime of not being born to magical parents, and Slytherin the house has historically been defined as much by its stated qualities of cunning and ambition as it has been by this continuing tradition of racist ideology. The Sorting Hat song is not the full picture as to what defines the Houses; they have grown beyond that, both in universe and in fandom. This characterisation comes back into social commentary because, yes, the UK has had and still has a long history of racism and xenophobia, from our imperial history to the Troubles in Ireland to how Eastern European and muslim immigrants are treated now.

So why does Slytherin House still bare a stain from Slytherin the man? Well, in a word, it’s tradition. Remember what I said about the age of these institutions? Yeah, that’s not a joke. The Public School system, the Oxbridge higher education that it feeds into, are heavily influenced by traditions that have grown up over the ages. Heck, it used to be that in Eton, the youngest boys in the House were basically servants to the older students and staff, a practise known as “fagging” (I am not even joking). Wizarding society in general is also heavily steeped in the past; the steam train of the Hogwarts express, for instance, or the very concept of the Houses themselves. Heck, while it is never confronted directly, quite a few characters talk about how the Sorting isn’t the best idea, most notably the Sorting Hat itself. Slytherin the house has passed down the ideals of Slytherin the man in its culture, just as the UK has passed down racism, classism and xenophobia in ours. If Voldemort is the embodiment of these issues at their most violent, then Parkinson is them at their most passive; she is willing to go with Voldemort’s demands to save herself, and is willing to accept the racism and classism throughout the books.

This is what I meant by a collusion between characterisation, world building and social commentary. The books were written while Rowling was viturally penniless, and a lot of the social commentary in them reflects this, including the way Slytherin is portrayed. Is it fair to the characters of Slytherin? Should she have been more naunced about it? Well, yes. There’s a reason I called it a pile up, but if you are treating the resulting mess as simply being in universe, you are going to miss a lot of important aspects about why she created it the way that she did.

Just a very short addendum to this, but its also reflected in how members of the different houses experience the legal system: the Malfoy’s, the Crabbe’s and Goyle’s, when they experience the legal system, theres discussion of connections, of lighter punishments, of getting out of it in light of their charity work, etcetera. By contrast, lets look at how members of Gryffindor interact with the legal system: Hagrid gets it twice, first when he’s expelled on suspicion, SUSPICION that Aragog killed those children, which really made no sense but it was a neat frame up by Riddle, a slytherin, and then later when the Malfoy’s sue for the destruction of Buckbeak, again using their contacts to manipulate the legal system. Harry Potter, another Gryffindor, experiences the legal system after saving his own life and that of his cousin Dudley. His experience, the changing time and location, the intimidating setup designed to unnerve him and upset him, all pretty much entirely lift from experiences of the UK Benefits Courts, a subject JK Rowling was intimately familiar with at the time of writing Harry Potter. It’s very much the experience that the working class had with the legal system: A cold unfeeling bureaucracy that maliciously punishes those who can’t afford the ante of “greasing the wheels” as it were.

Now this wouldn’t neccesarily be related to the above post, except for one thing that I’m going to quote:

7% of the population attend these schools, 33% of the members of Parliament (MPs), 50% of the Peers in the second chamber of government and 70% of the top judges are educated here.”

We actually see Harry interacting with the courts twice…sort of. In Prisoner, Harry is let off the hook explicitly due to who he is. By the time he revisits the Court in Phoenix, that very status has made him a target, and his final visit to a courtroom (the Kangeroo court overseen by Umbridge in Hallows) the system has corrupted even further.

Harry Potter at its core is a British boarding school novel, in the tradition of the mid-Victorian novelists and essayists.  It is less nuanced in its criticism of Slytherin house than perhaps many of us would wish because it was born directly out of the tradition of works like Thomas Hughes’ Tom Brown’s School Days, which were defined by conventions such as sacrificing nuance in favour of carrying obvious (often solidly middle class) political messages.  (Consider arguably the ultimate Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens, and how very little his work is known for subtlety.)  It is impossible to understand Hogwarts without understanding the British educational system(s), and it is impossible to fully understand Rowling’s criticisms without understanding the historical, literary, and contemporary contexts of their substance and structures.