Florida Backyard header image

All images © Daniel & Stacy Tabb and Boondock Studios

«   •   Home   •   »

A Harry Potter Question

I enjoy the Harry Potter series, like a great many adults, but I don’t hang around many HP discussion forums (and am inherently lazy, ergo no Google) so forgive if this has been thrashed about thoroughly in the years since his introduction…Where’s the cost of the magic they all so blithely fling around?

(pausing to roll up trouser legs)

In Harry Potter-land, everyone from the students to the adult witches and wizards wave their wands, speak spell words (or not), and walla, magic happens. Where does this power come from? Within? A reservoir they’re born with? Without? A world-wide magic current generated by all living things is a popular plot device. And when do you actually run out of said power? There’s no obvious power-building going on, and no power source is limitless (or it shouldn’t be anyway, per the First Law of Thermodynamics), so where does it all come from?

Yes, I realize it’s a work of fiction. Yes, I realize it’s primarily written for kids, and the concept of “cost” might be considered a bit deep for some…though that opens up a whole can of social responsibility worms right there, ie., was it a mistake to leave such a fundamental moral lesson out of such an influential mythos? Nothing in our collective human experience happens without cause and/or effect, and every action we take has both a cause and an effect. It’s a big lesson parents struggle to teach the amoral little beasts that are born to them, lest they grow up to be amoral little sociopaths. I’m not saying this one series of books will undermine that effort, just curious that the whole issue of “cost” in the magic that is used is never addressed.

Eh, maybe it comes from all that pumpkin juice.