The Harry Potter series is so quaint and other-worldly that sometimes it's hard to remember that it's only set in the '90s. The Spice Girls, Nintendo, and The Fresh Prince were replaced with quills, hand-written letters, and lanterns. But what if Harry Potter was set in 2017? Would the Wizarding world remain untouched by technology? Or would our modern world manage to worm its way through the walls of Hogwarts in a way that the '90s never could?
Never have the events of Harry Potter felt so relevant than in 2017. As we become increasingly fearful about modern politics, it has been reassuring to imagine ourselves as Dumbledore's Army and believe that we can magic our way out of this situation. But what about the reverse? I think 2017 could have just as big an impact on Hogwarts. Just as J.K. Rowling's world can help us cope with the struggles we face today, our modern inventions could certainly have helped Harry and his pals wriggle out of a few sticky situations.
Hermione did explain in The Goblet of Fire that electricity doesn't work around magic — but by 2017, I'm willing to bet that the Ravenclaws have fixed that. After all, parents in 2017 just love to comment on their kids' Facebook statuses — so Dumbledore might find he had quiiite a lot fewer students if he wasn't willing to install some WiFi at Hogwarts.
1. Students Would Use Cellphones Instead Of Owls
Delivering a letter via owl might be a better *aesthetic* — but let's face it, it's super inconvenient. No 2017 student is going to have the patience.
2. Certain Spells Would Become Redundant
When you've got a smartphone in your pocket at all times to light the way, you don't need lumos anymore.
3. The Hogwarts Express Would Have Free WiFi
The views from the windows of the Hogwarts Express are super-Instagrammable. Without free WiFi, Hogwarts might have a Wizarding Revolt on their front door.
4. The Secret Would Be Out
With social media, it would be way harder to keep Hogwarts a secret. Muggle-born students would be a particular liability, as they'd probably have massive Instagram followings by the age of 11 when they first arrived.
5. Hogwarts Would Have A Snapchat Geotag
Everyone would check in as soon as they arrive, and Ginny would get serious FOMO watching all her older siblings' Stories.
6. The Sorting Hat Would Have Been Replaced
When First Years first arrived, they'd be taken through to the Great Hall, and then invited to take the Pottermore Sorting Quiz.
7. More People Would Defend Buckbeak
Buckbeak would be the Harambe of the Wizarding World; students in 2017 would not take his execution lying down.
8. Drake Would Play At The Yule Ball
Sorry, but the Weird Sisters would be out of a job, because Drake is definitely a wizard.
10. Sirius Would Have Survived
Harry could have just FaceTimed Sirius to check that he wasn't really in danger, and then maybe Sirius would still be alive today... Sob.
11. Dumbledore's Army Would Be A Hashtag...
And Lee Jordan would provide some excellent Twitter commentary.
12. ...And They Wouldn't Need Enchanted Galleons
Hermione's idea was clever, but it's not as straightforward as just setting up a WhatsApp group.
13. Nobody Would Go To The Three Broomsticks Anymore
The Hog's Head would be the hipster place to go ... so obviously everyone would just end up there, instead.
14. Hermione and Krum Might Have Worked Out
With the modern magic of Skype, there might have been way more international romances between students at different Wizarding schools. (On the other hand, with Britain out of the E.U., there may never have been a Triwizard Tournament in the first place, as the European wizards wouldn't be able to get visas. Sob.)
15. Nobody Would Stand For Giant-Shaming
Madame Maxime wouldn't have been shamed by being outed as a giant, because the body positivity movement of 2017 would have had her back.
16. Hufflepuff Would Have Started Hygge
Finally, in 2017 Hufflepuff would have found their niche: the practice of hygge. Their cosy common room would be the perfect place to snuggle up by a fireplace.
17. Hermione Would Have Been On The Women's March
Once she'd successfully freed the house-elves, Hermione would set off on the Women's March — and she'd even convince Harry and Ron to come with her.
So it's pretty clear that Hogwarts in 2017 would be a vastly different place. One thing, however, would be exactly the same: now that Wikipedia exists, Ron and Harry still wouldn't have read Hogwarts: A History.