22 Things In 'Harry Potter' People Thought Were Magic But Are Actually Just British

Voting Rules

Vote up the most interesting “magic” that is actually just British.

If you watched the Harry Potter movies and saw something strange and just chalked it up to magic, you're not alone. Redditors are discussing normal British things that they thought were magic, and the stories are pretty hilarious. Check them out, and maybe learn something new!

  • 1
    815 VOTES

    Nothing Magic About That Train

    From Redditor u/Resinseer:

    The most magical thing about the Hogwarts Express is that as far as I can tell, there was absolutely nothing magical about it at all in the story. It was just a regular British steam train operated by witches and wizards. They didn't even have to make any visual changes in the movies; they took a Great Western Railway Hall Class locomotive (a very classic but normal steam engine and "the Hall that thought it was a Castle" has now become a joke among rail enthusiasts,) painted it in London Midland Scottish (LMS) express maroon paint, and coupled it to some entirely standard British Rail Mk1 maroon coaches. They just put the Hogwarts crest where the British Railways crest would have been. Everything about them is otherwise completely unchanged, from the compartments to the slamming doors to the buffet trolley. That's just how it was to ride the train in Britain for damned near 100 years until the late 60s, and even then, those Mk1 coaches were in service until the 90s. The whole thing is so branded into British consciousness it's crazy. It may be the most British thing I can think of.

    What's wild to me and also makes total sense, is that everyone from JK Rowling to the producers to the production designers were like "we don't need to change anything about this; it's already completely magical."

    815 votes
  • 2
    792 VOTES

    Prefects Are A Thing

    From Redditor u/whatcenturyisit:

    Houses at school!!!! I first read Harry Potter when I was 11, read it several times since then but only when I reached 29 years old did I find out, almost by accident, that houses were an actual thing. It blew my mind.

    792 votes
  • 3
    701 VOTES

    Night Busses Exist?

    From Redditor u/susanc93:

    The night bus. I thought it was something she made up until I visited London.

    701 votes
  • 4
    864 VOTES

    Alert The Authorities

    From Redditor u/Amalmiem11:

    Filch punting students across the swamp in the corridor. - I had always pictured him kicking students one by one, like a football. Learned instead that it meant to take them over in a (pole) boat.

    864 votes
  • 5
    567 VOTES

    Would You Try It?

    From Redditor u/Lazeeboy2003:

    Lots of the food, specifically things like spotted dick and treacle tart.

    Figured out later that treacle is real similar to the filling in pecan pie, that was a mild surprise lol.

    567 votes
  • 6
    608 VOTES

    Those Are Actors

    From Redditor u/vermiciousknid81:

    Related but more opposite story. I'm Australian and we're still quite British. I went to Universal Studios and kept seeing people in school uniforms. I thought nothing of it, thinking it was school children on an excursion until I realized they were dressed in Hogwarts uniforms.

    608 votes