Part of the magic of any good book is the vivid landscapes in which it is set. The Harry Potter series is no exception, with many readers feeling like Hogwarts was essentially their second home.
With the new Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie we get a glimpse into wizarding life outside of the UK. But what would our childhood memories be like had the Harry Potter storyline taken place in Malta?
1. Under aged magic would happen all the time
Whilst the laws about the use of under age magic would be the same, Maltese kids would be free to use their magic whenever they please.
We’ve had a 12-year-old being caught racing a BMW on our streets, three times, with zero ramifications. The likelihood that anyone is going to bat an eyelid at some rugrat swishing and flicking is very low.
2. There would be no mail
Having postal system that relies entirely on exotic birds travelling across the island, is risky to say the least. Uncle Vernon would have been a lot happier if he’d moved his family to Malta, as opposed to that tiny rock in the middle of the ocean (wait…).
His timeless catchphrase: “No mail on Sundays” would probably extend to: “No mail – ever!” Every hunting shack would be packed to the brim with Hedwig trophies and unopened howlers bursting to scream at one of our politicians.
3. Sports would be way cooler
I’m sure we’d still try our hand at Quidditch, just to be like the rest of the world, but we definitely wouldn’t get very far (see: football).
Without the proper airspace to practice in, we’d probably develop our own national sport, and it would take place below the sea level. A complicated hybrid of Quidditch and the Goblet of Fire’s lake challenge, the underwater matches would be a thrill to watch.
4. Humans would run the banks
This one is pretty much an open and shut case. There is no way the Maltese would allow anyone who is not local into a position of power, never mind looking after our money.
We’d figure out the whole ‘taming the guard-dragon’ thing when it became an issue; until then we’d just ignore the rumbles, and throw it a pastizz ‘darba fil’.
5. Travelling would be impossible
Flying cars would somehow still manage to collide with each other, or more likely with pedestrians on broomsticks. The crazy driving associated with the Knight Bus would hold no novelty. The saddest part of all is that there would be no Hogwarts Express (a tragedy considering how many people we’d love to see run into a wall).
Even floo-powder wouldn’t work; we simply don’t have the chimney-infrastructure needed, nor the pronunciation that is pivotal to this form of transport’s success.
6. Muggles would know about magic
If even one muggle caught wind of what was going on, it wouldn’t be more than two days before Peppi Azzopardi was hosting a back-to-back special on witchcraft and wizardry.
The TV bonanza would include a host of experts who know nothing about magic, all giving their opinion on why it’s wrong and dangerous. This would then be followed by a vox-pop clip of zealous opinions, spewed by seven people sharing ten teeth.
Also, he’d probably have Amber on to sing as a guest (not related to the magic thing in any way, just a highly likely scenario).