Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7: How Much Land do Wizards Own?
How much land do wizards own?
If trips to Diagon Alley, Hogsmeade, and Hogwarts itself haven’t raised the question in your mind, Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7 certainly will.
We know why muggles can’t see Hogwarts (a clever mix of invisibility and mind-altering charms), but what about every other wizarding structure? There’s no mention of alternate wizard universes, so while Diagon Alley is through a magical stone wall, we’re lead to believe it’s physically located somewhere accessible (the Knight Bus can access it, for example). It’s a huge wizard main street, taking up significant room and no doubt requiring the same extensive protective charms as Hogwarts.
What about Platform 9 3/4ths? Again, I’m not convinced it exists on another plane; magic simply prevents us from getting to it. How far does that magic extend? Is the entire track to Hogwarts enchanted? Does the Hogwarts Express use the same rail line as muggle trains? How do they avoid detection? Collision?
All that leads me to the Quidditch pitch and camp grounds for the Quidditch World Cup. The whole operation is set-up on muggle land, in plain sight of the muggles who own it. Only the pitch seems to be invisible.
The sudden influx of campers in questionable attire leaves Mr. Roberts (the resident muggle) highly confused, to the point where they have to keep obliviating him to keep him subdued. I have to harken back to a pinnacle piece of cinema, Men In Black, and ask if there’s not some sort of side effect from erasing someone’s memory over and over and over again. What state will all this obliviating leave poor Mr. Roberts in?
And why go through all that trouble? Why not cast a spell on Mr. Roberts (and all the other muggle site managers) and send them packing temporarily? Didn’t Hermione obliviate her parents’ memory and convince them they are different people with different life goals, just to get them out of the country? Why not do the same to these folks and get them out-of-the-way? You may say that’s muggle cruelty, but isn’t it far more humane than erasing their memories and leaving them befuddled every five minutes?
And to take us back to my original question, how much land do wizards own? Are they so tight on space, they’re forced to “borrow” land from muggles at this point? I know Great Britain’s an island with only so much room, but if they can make tents into single family homes, can’t they expand their acreage a little?
I think I may be smarter than Ludo Bagman.
Is that saying much?