Though witches and wizards have to take a test to legally Apparate, most of them do pass eventually. And we reckon that in the context of normal wizarding family life, there are plenty of ways this could get on a family’s nerves. A sibling Apparating right behind you to give you a shock, perhaps? Or what about those distant French cousins appearing on the doorstep for a visit just as you were about to sit down to read the tales of Beedle the Bard? And what if you wanted some peace and quiet? You wouldn’t be able to shut anyone out of your room – if someone wanted to bother you, they could just – well – Apparate straight on in. Annoying or what?
As we know, food is the first of the five exceptions to Gamp’s Law of Elemental Transfiguration, which means that essentially you ‘can’t produce food out of thin air’. However, you can Summon food if you know where it is, transform it, and increase the quantity of what you already have (thanks Hermione). We can see this causing a family row or two. Imagine how rude it would be to Summon food you’d made at home rather than accept the meal made for you at a family dinner? Awkward. We would hope you’d never do this, but what if you were really hungry? What if the food was really bad? It might be tempting to summon that Chocolate Frog from your bedside table…
As a general rule, in the Muggle world, if you’re going to pay someone a visit you tell them what time you’re setting off and how long it’ll take you to get there. But with Floo Powder in the wizarding world, this useful delay would be non-existent, giving you no time to tidy up, wash, brush your hair, or quickly run out for essential snacks. Nightmare. Imagine if your mother-in-law just appeared in the fireplace, dusting off her clothes and tutting at the general state of your living room. And another thing – in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry uses Floo Powder to try to talk to Sirius and only his head travels to Grimmauld Place. Imagine the spying possibilities here – you’d be constantly on edge in case you were complaining about your uncle’s cooking. He might just be listening in from the fireplace!
This was a particular nuisance to Mrs Weasley when Fred and George came of age and were allowed to do magic outside of Hogwarts. And we can imagine that this delight in the freedom to use wands outside school is something common to many young witches and wizards – and indeed an irritation to many exasperated wizarding parents! Magic isn’t always quiet, and the bangs, sparks, fizzes and general disruption caused by a trainee witch or wizard’s spellwork in progress is bound to get on everyone in the family’s nerves at some time or another…
Extendable Ears for listening in on secret conversations about you; Instant Darkness Powder and Decoy Detonators for causing distractions and disarray; Skiving Snackboxes for getting out of helping clear up; fake wands that turn into rubber chickens for a laugh; Patented Daydream Charms for when you’re trying to look like you’re paying attention to a boring story told by your Great Aunt. Essentially, what we’re saying is, if not all of your household is up for a laugh and a joke, any item from Fred and George’s shop is likely to cause some kind of row. Though maybe not the Pygmy Puffs though… you might be safe with one of those! And their cuteness might just avoid an argument, you never know!
Whilst witches and wizards under the age of seventeen aren’t allowed to practise magic outside of Hogwarts, those who come from wizarding families – like the Weasleys – are likely to be riding broomsticks from a young age. Just think about that photograph of Harry as a tiny child zooming around on a toy broomstick Sirius gave him before his parents died. But we reckon that as children get older there might just be a few rows centred around unauthorised riding of broomsticks – perhaps they break into the family broom shed like Ginny Weasley? And what if instead of practising Quidditch they decide to take the brooms on a little jaunt to visit friends or sneak out to a party a few towns over? There would be a Mrs Weasley-style showdown if they were found out, no doubt.
Don’t get us wrong, we absolutely love that Hogwarts students are permitted to bring a pet to Hogwarts. Imagine being able to bring your cat along to school? Or have an owl companion like Hedwig who delivered your post for you? The trouble is, wizarding siblings do go home for the holidays and their pets go with them. And as we know from Ron and Hermione, pets don’t always get along – alright so Scabbers was in fact a man posing as a rat, but we’re not sure cats and rats keep particularly good company with each other, even at the best of times. Scraps between owls and cats, or various other combinations aside, what about all the work and mess these pets would make? The owl droppings! The cat fur! Even if you didn’t have a wizarding sibling, all that mess – and cleaning it up – would surely be bound to cause some family unrest.