The world of Harry Potter is full of wonderful magics and artifacts… but there are just as many that are dangerous and deadly. Many artifacts look harmless, but that is very much not the case. Admittedly most of the dangerous artifacts were either designed to target specific enemies, or they were designed to go after unknowing muggles (seems a little mean, doesn’t it?).
Then there are those ones you really have to watch out for. And of course there are the items that were intended for good, but then twisted for other purposes. Those items while mostly harmless, can be used in combination with other items or plans to cause great harm or danger.
Here is a list of ten artifacts and items known to exist in the world of Harry Potter. None of these items are explicitly illegal, but they really should be.
11 Decoy Detonators
Decoy Detonators are one of the many inventions by the Weasley twins. While it was intended all in good fun, it, unfortunately, does leave room for abuse. The Decoy Detonators were designed to distract, obviously. But think about all the times and all the people who shouldn’t be distracted while on the job. It’s unlikely any true harm would come from the devices, but realistically the Ministry would ban them at some point anyway. It’s a guaranteed that Filtch already has (though of course he’s already got a blanket ban on all of their items).
In the series, we saw Harry use one of these inside the Ministry itself. This example alone should prove how many people it can distract, and how high level it can actually go.
10 Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder
Peruvian Instant Darkness Power is another Weasley invention. Say what you will about them, those boys are geniuses. Unfortunately, as above, this is another one of their inventions that could be easily used for ill. We saw it happen during the Half Blood Prince.
In that book, Malfoy used a combination of Peruvian Instant Darkness Powder and the Hand of Glory to blind his opponents and see be able to see himself. He then led his Death Eater allies into Hogwarts. Without the powder the alarm would have been raised sooner, although it’s hard to say if the outcome would have changed any though.
9 Hand Of Glory
The first time we see the Hand of Glory, it’s inside Borgin and Burkes. So that already implies that this artifact is considered to be unseemly. The Hand of Glory is an actual item of legend to us, but in the Harry Potter world, it acts a little differently. It casts a light that only the holder can see.
As stated above, this item was used in combination with another to allow Death Eaters to sneak into the Hogwarts grounds. While no students died, there was a very real potential for it.
Presumably, there are plenty of other nefarious uses for the Hand of Glory, which is the main reason that it should be officially made illegal.
8 Invisibility Cloaks
Here we’re not just talking about Harry’s invisibility cloak (aka the invisibility cloak, one of the Deathly Hallows), but all invisibility cloaks in general. This once again has more to do with how the item could be used, as opposed to how it was designed to be used.
Cloaks are an obvious security risk. Now, most places with decent security, like the Ministry of Magic or Hogwarts, have ways of detecting basic invisibility cloaks, but what about everywhere else? Most people probably don’t love the idea of a stranger sneaking into their house and watching them. Especially not at the height of a dark wizard’s regime.
7 Vanishing Cabinet
The Vanishing Cabinet is an interesting case. It allows the owners to be able to immediately go from one cabinet to the other. This has a lot of potential uses, both good and bad. On the one hand, it could allow innocent witches and wizards to flee to safety. On the other hand, it can be used as a getaway or worse by those with less innocent intents.
We saw exactly that in the Half Blood Prince. As pointed out above, Draco successfully used the combination of multiple items and artifacts to smuggle Death Eaters into Hogwarts. Frankly, it’s amazing no students died in the process. Had they not had a specific target, and had the members of the DA not responded so quickly, things might not have gone so well (relatively speaking, that is).
6 The Philosopher’s Stone
The Philosopher’s Stone is amazing, and thankfully nearly impossible to make. We only know of one person in history who succeeded in making one, Nicholas Flamel. In many magical worlds, the Philosopher’s Stone breaks all their rules. It allows for the owner to become immortal, and it can create gold. It’s because of this that it is highly sought after by many.
However, the people seeking it are frequently the ones who should never get their hands on it. That is why Nicholas Flamel made the right choice when he opted to destroy the Philosopher’s Stone. It was too dangerous to risk getting into the wrong hands.
The Philosopher’s Stone isn’t illegal, and thus any witch or wizard could attempt to make one. Assuming they succeeded, which is unlikely, they’d be allowed to keep it. It’s likely that the reason it hasn’t been made illegal is simply because of the difficulty in creating one.
5 Black Quill
The Black Quill is one of those items that will chill the blood of many Harry Potter fans. It was infamously used during the Order of the Phoenix as a method of torture… sorry, we mean punishment, for students who misbehaved.
The user was none other than Professor Umbridge, likely the most hated professor of all time. Admittedly this item being illegal probably wouldn’t have deterred Umbridge from using it. After all, she was willing to use the Unforgivable Curses on students, and those are obviously all sorts of illegal.
4 The Resurrection Stone
The Resurrection Stone is believed to be a children’s story by most, and that is likely the main reason it was never outlawed and sought out by the Ministry. If the Ministry of Magic ever had reason to believe it existed they likely would have confiscated it on the spot. Hopefully, they would have locked it up more effectively than some of the other items we’ve seen.
The Resurrection Stone sounds wonderful in theory – being able to bring back those you love but have been lost. But the cost is too high, and the lost loved one is never the same. This world is no longer where they belong, so the use of the stone only increases pain for all.
Since the stone causes nothing but pain, it really shouldn’t be used, or owned. Harry made the right choice in how he disposed of it – now nobody can be tempted. After all, even the great Dumbledore was tempted. Further proof of the stone’s temptations.
3 Time Turners
Time Turners first made their appearance in The Prisoner of Azkaban, and honestly, it felt like they weren’t taken as seriously as they should have been. Time Turners give the user the ability to go back in time. Granted the time is limited by just a few hours, but that is enough to cause significant change and damage.
In The Prisoner of Azkaban Hermione Granger, a third-year Hogwarts student, was granted the use of one. She’s a brilliant student, to be sure, but the choice seems a little ridiculous. After all, how could they know she’d only use it for her studies? There’s no way they could guarantee she wouldn’t abuse the use of it – after all, she technically did. Yes, she saved lives by using it, but the Ministry sure wouldn’t have seen it that way.
The Time Turners were all destroyed, thankfully. However, the Ministry showed no signs of considering a ban on them before that point. That’s the main reason they made it onto the list. We all know that should they discover a new cache of them, they would be put back into use.
A Horcrux can only be made by killing another human. For that reason alone owning a Horcrux should be illegal. Though technically it’s only the act required to make them that is currently illegal (as it should be). There’s no law against owning Horcruxes, knowingly or otherwise.
There would be some practical concerns with a ban on them, however, the law itself would give Aurors more authority to act when they find an item they suspected of being one. Better safe than sorry, correct? Especially now that the truth is officially out about how Voldemort survived. Who knows how many other twisted witches and wizards out there will try it.
1 Honorable Mention: The Marauder’s Map
The Marauder’s Map is absolutely amazing. It allows the user to not only see a complete map of Hogwarts, but to even see where every single person on the grounds it. It’s brilliant, but it’s also incredibly dangerous if in the wrong hands.
Of course, the Ministry has no idea that this object exists, and therefore could never even dream of making it illegal. That’s the main reason why it is only an honorable mention.