Though it’s been over twenty years since J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel was published, there’s no shortage of modern-day fans of the series. And since a huge proportion of the original readers of the magical books are now parents, it’s not surprising that they’re cultivating another generation of Potterheads.
Of course, no Potterhead parent would dare skip reading all seven books to their child, nor would they pass on seeing every movie. But serious Harry Potter fans take it a step further.
There’s plenty to be learned from the books, especially if you’re big on traits like kindness and empathy, but today’s generation benefits from their parents’ obsession in other ways, too. There are perks to having parents who are huge Potter fans; you get to learn a whole new language (Wingardium Leviosa!), imagine an entirely new world, and visit a whole bunch of fun theme parks.
There are also some downsides to having a huge Potterhead as a parent, like realizing Quidditch isn’t a “real” sport and feeling disappointed when you never receive your Hogwarts letter. So how can you tell the Potterheads’ kids from the regular muggles next door? Here are 20 signs— and if a kid does 15 of these, it’s highly likely his parents are way into the wizarding world.
20 An Affinity For Owls
For a lot of kids, owls can be spooky creatures. They’re only active at night, their hoots sound eerie echoing in the dark, and the fact that their heads turn all the way ‘round is unsettling. But to kids who know and love Hedwig, owls aren’t scary at all. Rather, they’re friends to all witches and wizards, friendly feathery postmen with a knack for tracking down the right recipient of a letter or package. Also, true Potterheads will explain the majesty of owls to their offspring—and encourage them to treat all wild things with compassion and care.
19 Broomsticks Aren’t For Sweeping
What child hasn’t played with household items that aren’t truly toys? But kids of Potterheads will take it a step further with their brooms. After all, Harry’s natural ability to fly and compete in Quidditch is one of the best parts of the books, and it’s even more visceral in the film franchise.
Besides, if Ron and his brothers were able to play low-altitude games of Quidditch at home at The Burrow, who’s to say Potter fans can’t kick off on their brooms anywhere in the world?
Of course, it’s unlikely that even the youngest fliers will manage to hurt themselves—but it’s best to keep an eye on young Potterheads near brooms and high places.
18 Wacky Wardrobe Choices
Every child who read about Harry and Hogwarts likely decided during the Sorting Hat scene which house they would be sorted into. And while Harry, Ron, and Hermione are our favorites, giving Gryffindor a boost, kids without the benefit of a sorting hat are free to choose their own houses. So don’t be surprised if you see a child sporting the House colors for Slytherin, Hufflepuff, or Ravenclaw—they’ve obviously already sorted themselves and are quite happy with their affiliations. And their Potterhead parents take no issue with them wearing their school “robes” or striped ties and House badges.
17 Waving Imaginary Wands
Kids love to pick up random objects, so seeing a kid carrying a stick around might not be anything new. But kids who have read, heard, or seen any of Harry Potter’s propaganda are using sticks (and other found objects) in innovative ways. The first clue that a child’s parents might be Potterheads is seeing the tot wave a stick around and mumbling words in quasi-Latin. Sure, it’s imaginative play that plenty of kids come up with—but reciting spells takes the pretend stick play a bit farther. The next clue the kid’s the offspring of a Potter fanatic? He’ll be summoning his wand from across the playground. Accio!
16 The Cat Knows Things
It’s nothing personal, kitty, but the kids just don’t like you. Of course, you can blame Filch and Mrs. Norris for this one. While kids may not like Crookshanks much (of course, that’s mostly due to Ron’s love of Scabbers), Mrs. Norris is the feline character that really turns the next generation of Potterheads off cats entirely. She was constantly following our favorite trio and causing trouble, so it’s understandable that kids of Potterheads—the younger ones especially—would pick up on that theme. Fortunately, they’re not capable of petrifying your household cats, so there’s that at least.
15 They’re Unafraid Of The Dark
It’s quite common for children to be afraid of the dark. It’s almost a rite of passage for children, keeping the hall light or a night light on until they finally get up the courage to turn it off, sprint to their beds, and sleep without bad dreams. But kids who grew up learning all about Harry Potter? They learned not to be afraid from one of the bravest boys the wizarding world has ever known.
Besides, who needs to be afraid of the dark when they can just conjure up a Patronus whenever they need to chase away dark and scary thoughts?
14 Who’s That Redhead?
Even the youngest Potter fans pick up on the trend in the Weasley family: their bright red hair! And since it’s pointed out plenty of times in the books and the movies (and we have Malfoy partly to thank for that), the children of serious Potter fans can probably recognize a Weasley from a distance. Of course, in the muggle world, it’s not exactly commonplace to see tiny tots rushing up to strangers with red hair and trying to make friends. Then again, that’s another trait of kids of Potterheads—they’re innately friendly and open to just about anything—including people with differently colored hair.
13 Quick With The Quotes
Although the HP movies can be a bit intense for younger kids—the most “intense” is rated PG-13—most Potterheads start reading the books aloud from their baby’s birth. And why wouldn’t they—the stories are timeless and worth repeating over the years. Plus, there’s the entire online world that is Pottermore to explore. But all that repetition means these kids will be spouting off with character quotes their entire lives. To non-Potterheads, it might seem excessive—but we’re pretty proud. And once the kids do see all eight movies, their interpretations will only get better—we’re looking into acting school to get ready for the sequels to Fantastic Beasts, thank you very much.
12 Costume Selections Are Preordained
By the time the up-and-coming Potterhead generation is ready to pick their own Halloween costumes, they’ll already have been nearly every character in the franchise. Of course, having Potterheads for parents means you’ll have worn the scar at some point anyway, but for older kids, they’re bound to turn to the character getup that best fits their physical traits. Boy with blond hair? Draco Malfoy. Boy with black hair? Harry himself. Girl with brown hair? Hermione Granger. Red hair? You already know.
And as for the teens? They can start suiting up as the professors from Hogwarts—and there you have it, lifelong costume choices for the whole family.
11 They Talk To Snakes
Don’t worry if you see a child hissing at the snakes in an exhibit—they’re likely the product of a lifelong obsession with Harry Potter and his Parseltongue abilities. And although Pottermore reminds us that the ability to speak Parseltongue is more innately known as opposed to learned, true Potterhead offspring will think they know it. So you can expect to see them speaking the “creepy” language—Harry himself felt that way about it—wherever snakes or other serpents are present. Of course, this behavior is entirely harmless… if not a bit weird, especially if you’re a patron at the zoo.
10 Always Mixing Potions
If you’ll recall, potions were a huge part of Ron, Harry, and Hermione’s education at Hogwarts. And while they used those skills for rather nefarious purposes at times—Polyjuice potion and all—the underlying themes are decidedly educational. Your recipe must be just right, your process precise, and your ingredients fresh. So don’t be surprised if the resident Potterheads’ kids are often whipping up potions with whatever ingredients they have on hand. Whether that’s mud and leaves or more advanced materials like whatever’s in the fridge, you’d best stand back when it comes time to fire up the cauldron.
9 My Friends Are Muggles
While the cornerstones of Harry Potter involve themes of friendship, forgiveness, and empathy, there’s still the fact that non-magical people are sort of outsiders. And while you can’t exactly argue that calling someone a “muggle” is rude, you can expect the kids of Potterheads to toss the label around freely. After all, they’re just clarifying the difference between themselves (wizards, obviously) and the people outside their magical circles. And if their parents mingle with other novel and film fanatics, you can expect the kids to create their own Harry, Ron, and Hermione dynamic—leaving the muggle kids out of the mix entirely.
8 Extra Special Imaginative Play
Kids are great at imaginative play, but most of their play-acting scenarios typically revolve around their own experiences. That means lots of playing house, dressing up like mom or dad, and acting out things they’ve seen and done in real life. But kids whose parents are obsessed with Harry Potter? They’ve got a bit more magic to work with.
Kids of HP-grown parents know all about invisibility cloaks, Polyjuice potions, and magical cloaking spells—so there’s no shortage of make-believe to work with.
The thing is, kids who are raised on the Harry Potter story recognize there’s magic in everyday life, they just interpret it differently than grownup muggles do.
7 Packing Their Bags Before 11
Young kids are particularly impressionable—just consider how many children continue to believe in Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy well into their tween years. And when it comes to the wizarding world of Harry Potter, there’s a certain bit of mystique that comes with platform 9 ¾ and the fact that just because we can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Suffice it to say, the kids of true Potterheads will be packing their bags on the eve of their eleventh birthdays, hoping to receive their acceptance letter via owl. And while they’ll try to curb their disappointment when the letter never arrives, they’ll also wonder whether they weren’t quite magical enough to make it into the Book of Admittance.
6 The Rules Of Quidditch
It usually happens that parents who are fans of a particular sport instill the love of said sport in their children as well. But what happens when the sport is not only one grown of pure fiction, but also one that’s physically impossible to play? That’s the scenario Potterheads face when their kids grow up and expect to join the school Quidditch team. Of course, practically everyone (well at least everyone who is anyone) knows what Quidditch is; the challenge lies in finding a way to actually play it out in the muggle world. We’ll leave it to the up-and-coming Potterheads to figure out.
5 Name Calling Knows Magical Limits
Most HP fans raise their kids the way they wish Harry would have been raised: with compassion, love, and respect. And while there’s plenty of dark magic and mischief in Harry Potter, there’s not a whole lot of bad words apart from a few British cusses here and there. Still, when someone crosses their magical child, you can be sure the Harry Potter-inspired insults will start flying. The thing is, it’s unlikely our kids will get in trouble for calling someone a squib or accusing them of being a Death Eater. They may, however, get in trouble if they use the word “stupid” with as much frequency as Ron Weasley does.
4 Werewolves Don’t Scare Them
It’s understandable for kids to be scared of a lot of things—monsters in their closets, the dark, the “creature” under the bed. After all, kids tend to develop these fears despite no evidence that those threats exist. But wouldn’t you expect children who’ve seen Remus Lupin transform into a werewolf in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban to be deathly afraid of werewolves and start having nightmares? The thing about Lupin is that he’s a loveable and understandable character who happens to have a painful flaw—his transformation with the full moon. J.K. Rowling’s choice to portray Lupin’s condition as an illness no doubt helped kids cope with the creepy changes one of the most iconic characters of the series underwent.
3 Spellbinding Play Time
Most kids who read the Harry Potter series digest the story and move on. But kids raised with the HP philosophy remember more than the plot. Who could forget “It’s leviOsa,” right? Kids who’ve grown up around Harry Potter will do more than just recite lines from the movies. They’ll also get the spells and the hand movements correct—and it’s not because they’re great actors. The kids of Potterheads often believe even harder in magic than other kids do. They might even carry on with their spell practice by developing their own incantations to inflict upon siblings and friends. Oh, and good luck telling them magic isn’t real!
2 Ambitious Career Choices
Although Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s Hogwarts experience involved far more fighting the Dark Lord than struggling with tests, it’s widely understood that they all wound up doing okay on their exams. In fact, Professor McGonagall helped advise Harry on his career choices—including his ambition for becoming an Auror. And for Potterheads’ kids? Well, they’re on the same career path. Kids of this stripe will have lofty ambitions of becoming the next Minister for Magic, Wandmakers, Dragon Keepers, Pro Quidditch players, and Healers. Conventional career paths be darned—these kids are going places in the wizarding world… at least until they miss their Hogwarts letters.
1 Perpetual Kindness Thanks To Potter
Throughout the Harry Potter series, readers of all ages learn not only to balk at the way Malfoy treats Harry and his friends, but also to sympathize with the boy when it’s revealed he’s not acting of his own conscience. The entire book series—and the movie franchise—teaches kids to be humble, thoughtful, and friendly to people from all walks of life—magical or otherwise. And for the generation that grew up devouring every HP title as it was released, instilling those values in their children was a no-brainer.
Thanks to the Potterheads of yesteryear, we’re ushering in another generation of superfans who are also super kind and brave-hearted.