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Harry Potter: 20 Crazy Rules That Hogwarts Students Need To Follow

In the world of Harry Potter, turning eleven marks a child’s coming of age when they receive an acceptance letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Receiving this letter also marks the moment a future witch or wizard's entire world turns upside down. The moment they step through those giant doors, any logic they’ve learned up to that point goes out the window.

Just like any school, Hogwarts has a strict set of rules that students must obey. Some of these rules have been in place for decades, existing since the school was founded. Others only recently came into affect or were temporarily put into place during Harry’s time at Hogwarts. While many of these rules, such as always attending class, appear basic, not all of them are as normal as they appear to be.

Turns out that several of the rules at Hogwarts are actually pretty crazy, especially if you look at them from a muggle’s perspective. Several of these rules do not always ensure the students safety, and may also promote other negative implications such as encouraging rebellion and conflict between students or staff.

With so many rules enforced with lackluster effort, it is no wonder that Harry and the rest of his generation were responsible for causing so much trouble at Hogwarts.

Here is a list featuring 20 Of Crazy Rules That Hogwarts Students Need To Follow.

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Harry Potter - Harry and Draco duel
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20 Violence Between Students Is Only Permitted In A Duel

Harry Potter - Harry and Draco duel

In a school full of young wizards, most of whom are plagued by the inexperience of youth, conflicts between students are inevitable. Even if conflicts between students are forbidden, this does not stop most of them from challenging each other in unofficial magical battles.

With student safety being a recurring issue, you would think the staff would work to prevent this problem from reoccurring.

Instead, they decide to allow the students to vent out their frustrations in duels. Unfortunately, this may prove to be counterproductive, as demonstrated by Harry and Malfoy’s duel in their second year. Rather than using disarming spells, as instructed by their teachers, both young wizards attempt to seriously injure each other. Malfoy even went so far as to conjure a venomous cobra to take Harry out.

19 Always Respect Curfew

Hogwarts Castle at night

Following the Sorting Hat Ceremony, new students are assigned to one of the four houses of Hogwarts. During the day, students are free to come and go from their common rooms as they please, so long as they don’t skip class.

However, students must respect a curfew and return to their dormitories before 10 pm. The only exception to this rule are Prefects, whose duties require them to be up earlier than most students. Usually breaking curfew would earn the offender a light punishment, however, this logic does not apply to students at Hogwarts. Respecting curfew is more than just a rule; it ensures the students safety. Especially from things that really do come out at night.

Whether it's ghosts, giant monsters, the sadistic caretaker Mr. Filch, or an evil teacher, it is in the students' best interest to respect curfew.

18 No Entering Other House Dormitories

In addition to respecting curfew, it is further implied that students cannot visit or enter the dormitories of other houses. The moment they first get sorted into a house, students from each house learn a secret method of entering their respective dormitories. Students are also forbidden from sharing the method of entry with any student outside of their house.

It sounds crazy that friends from other houses can’t even be invited to one another's common rooms.

Then again, if the events of the Prisoner of Azkaban and the Chamber of Secrets are any indication, this rule may not seem as crazy as it sounds. If a suspected criminal or spy from another house gains access to the other houses' secrets, the situation could become problematic. This is especially true for the conflict between houses such as Gryffindor and Slytherin.

17 Do Not Enter The Forbidden Forest

One of the most iconic features of Hogwarts is its close proximity to the Forbidden Forest. Unlike other forests, its name is more than just for show. It is home to some of the most dangerous and rarest creatures in the magical world. In most cases, it is literally crawling with giant eight-legged monsters.

For these reasons, students are strictly forbidden from going anywhere near the forest lest they suffer crippling injury. While normal entry into the forest is out of the question for students, this is another reason students may face disciplinary action. For some reason, an appropriate punishment is taking troublemakers into the depths of the forest to help teachers or groundskeepers with certain tasks.

In hindsight, sending students into a dangerous forest to teach them a lesson seems counterproductive. Especially when people claim that Hogwarts is one of the safest places in the world.

16 The Students' Belongings Must Be Searched For Contraband

Following the events of Cedric Diggory’s passing away in The Goblet of Fire, The Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge goes to great lengths to deny Lord Voldemort’s return. His paranoia gets so bad that he even believes that Dumbledore is attempting to overthrow him. Thus, he decides to send Dolores Umbridge to clean up Hogwarts.

As the High Inquisitor, one of the rules she puts in place involves screening students mail for secret information and contraband.

Under normal circumstances, in a school like Hogwarts, such an immense invasion of the students’ privacy would never be allowed. Thankfully, this rule was abolished towards the end of The Order of The Phoenix. Sadly, this is one of many new rules brought into effect during Umbridge’s time at Hogwarts.

15 Students Under 17 Are Constantly Observed

When a person claims they are being tracked by their government, most people would not take such a claim seriously. However, in the world of Harry Potter, this claim is a proven fact.

Using the charm known as the Trace, students are constantly being tracked for any use of magic outside of school. According to Ron in The Deathly Hollows, the Trace is an important aspect of wizard law and can only be broken once a person reaches 17 years of age. For students younger than seventeen, they are constantly being monitored and watched by the Trace for any use of magic outside of Hogwarts.

Thus, one of the most important rules students must follow is to avoid using magic outside of school. Any unauthorized use of magic will result in immediate expulsion from Hogwarts. Even cases of self-defense are heavily scrutinized and subject to inquiry.

14 No Reading From The Restricted Section

In a school of magic, it is not out of the ordinary to stumble upon elements relating to dark magic. In the case of Hogwarts, look no further than the library’s Restricted Section.

For Harry, Ron, and Hermione, sneaking into the Restricted Section to obtain information is somewhat of a recurring habit. While they make it seem like no big deal, this area of the school is off-limits for a good reason.

This section is home to books that can literally end people's lives and the knowledge within them can tempt people to do terrible things.

In fact, it was in this section Voldemort found a book explaining the concept of a Horcrux. Voldemort later uses this information to create not just one, but several Horcruxes. After becoming the Headmaster of Hogwarts, Dumbledore made sure to remove all knowledge relating to Horcruxes from the library.

13 Pointed Hats And Proper Attire Are Required

Hogwarts students throwing their hats up in the Great Hall

Most schools have a specific guideline regarding the appropriate wardrobe for students to wear. Hogwarts is no exception and comes with their own set of uniforms. Each one is custom-made to distinguish students from different houses. While outside of school grounds, such as trips to Hogsmeade, students can dress casually.

However, within the school, students are required to maintain appearances and dress in the school’s traditional robes. One of the most peculiar aspects of the school attire is the inclusion of pointed wizard hats. Normally, students are not required to wear them during everyday affairs. In both the books and films, students rarely choose to wear them.

They are required to wear them during certain formal occasions, which includes the Sorting Hat ceremony at the end of year feast.

12 Butterbeer Is Not Allowed On School Grounds

For students who are third year and older, the privilege of going to the nearby village of Hogsmeade is made available to them. One of the activities that students look most forward to during these visits is enjoying the beverage known as Butterbeer.

Sadly, Hogsmeade is the only place in proximity to Hogwarts where students can legally drink Butterbeer. In fact, it is forbidden for students to even have Butterbeer on the premises.

The reason is because as delicious as it is, Butterbeer can also cause a little buzz.

Furthermore, drinking over a certain amount can decrease inhibitions in humans, and especially in house elves. Outside of special events or gatherings like the Yule Ball, Butterbeer remains unavailable to students.

11 It Is Forbidden To Approach The Whomping Willow

Whomping Willow In Harry Potter

The Whomping Willow is a rare, yet highly violent species of flora found in the wizarding world. It just so happens that Hogwarts has its own Whomping Willow located within its grounds.

In the book version of The Prisoner of Azkaban, Remus Lupin explains that the tree was planted during his years at Hogwarts. He later reveals that he was the reason it was planted, shortly after he became a werewolf. The tree was planted over a passage that led to the Shrieking Shack, where it kept people away during the nights Lupin became a werewolf without fear of endangering anyone.

In the past, students would often fool around near the willow as a test of courage. However, after a student was gravely injured, they were forbidden from going anywhere near it.

10 Boys And Girls Can't Be Within 8 Inches of Each Other

Another example of one of Umbridge’s extreme rules enacted during her tyrannical rule as the High Inquisitor. Originally, the rule stated that boys and girls could not be within 6 inches of each other (educational decree 26). This rule was later modified up to eight inches by Umbridge, as her controlling personality and influence in Hogwarts became stronger.

This marks one of the more unorthodox rules established by Umbridge. In the film version of The Order of The Phoenix, she even uses magic to enforce this rule after she caught a male and female student kissing in the halls.

While respecting rules is important, using magic to keep boys and girls away from each other is beyond excessive.

However, this rule marks only the start of Umbridge’s attempt to mold the school and its students into her ideal image.

9 Literature By Non-Wizards Or Half-Breeds Is Not Permitted

Out of all Umbridge’s educational decrees, this one is without a doubt one of the worst and most controversial. Though technically considered non-canonical, this decree still is known to exist in both the film and book version of The Order of The Phoenix. It reflects Umbridge's hatred towards muggle-borns and half-breeds such as werewolves, centaurs, and even Hagrid who is half-giant.

This is one of the most biased and unfair rules ever to be allowed within the walls of Hogwarts. Not only does it demonstrate Umbridge’s prejudice, it also negatively influences the educational experience of the students, many of whom are muggle-borns themselves.

Her claims about the danger of these groups are not only unfounded, but her own perceptions are both false and ludicrous. She is under the assumption that creatures such as centaurs are actually human hybrids, when they are actually a separate species.

8 No Secret Organizations Without Umbridge’s Approval 

During Harry’s fifth year at Hogwarts, Umbridge was assigned by the Ministry to teach a ministry-approved curriculum of the Defense Against The Dark Arts course. As part of the Ministry’s attempts to discredit the rumor of Voldemort’s return, Umbridge was given the authority to limit what the students should learn on the subject.

Without a proper means to learn how to fight against the Dark Arts, Harry takes matters into his own hands.

This eventually leads him and several other students to from the group known as Dumbledore’s Army. After hearing rumors of the DA’s formation, Umbridge creates a rule banning unofficial school clubs. As a despot, Umbridge abuses her authority to keep the students in line with her views, claiming it is for their own good.

7 It Is Forbidden To Cheat By Way Of Magic

Neville Longbottom and his remembrall

Due to the absence of technology within the wizarding world, students rely on alternative solutions to help themselves with their schoolwork. Even if it is a magic school, using magical items to do well is still considered cheating. Due to the nature of several items, extreme measures are taken to prevent their use, especially during exam time.

One of the most common example of this type of magic items are auto-answer quills, which are charmed to allow students to automatically write the correct answer to a question. As a result, any student caught with one will be subject to severe reprimand. Using them during exams, can result in even more severe consequences.

According to Pottermore, Remembrall’s can also be used to cheat, thus they are also banned. Despite being unable to remind their holders what it is they forgot, they can still help them by providing hints.

6 The Use And Brewing Of Dangerous Potions Is Forbidden

Wall of Potions from Harry Potter

One of the required courses for Hogwarts students is Potions, usually overseen by Professor Severus Snape. Among his personal reserves are ingredients so rare and potentially dangerous, that they are off-limits to students. The reasons for this is because of how damaging potion making can be without proper supervision.

Some of the most dangerous potions used in the series are love potions, Veritaserum, and Polyjuice potion.

Love potions, as shown in The Half-Blood Prince, put people in a state of mindless obsession. As a result, it is banned due to its ethically questionable applications. Veritaserum, despite being illegal to use on students, was used by Umbridge on Cho Chang (in the film) to uncover the existence of the DA. Finally, Polyjuice potion is banned due to how difficult it is to make. It is also dangerous to ingest if brewed incorrectly, requiring the consumer to seek immediate medical attention.

5 Fluffy's Room Is Off-Limits

Even in his first year at Hogwarts, Harry’s life was filled with both dangerous adventures. Upon his arrival, he learns about several rules that students must follow, including several new ones that were recently put into effect.

One of the most important rules during his first year was that the third-floor corridor (on the right-hand side) was off-limits to everyone who was not a member of the faculty. Harry and his friends soon learn that the reason for this rule was to avoid having students attacked by the three-headed dog Fluffy, who guards one of the school’s most dangerous secrets.

Although this rule has been abolished following the events of Harry’s first year, it remains one of the craziest rules in the school’s history.

4 Even At Hogwarts, Cursed Objects Are Banned

Harry Potter cursed opal necklace

From magic wands to broomsticks, Hogwarts is home to a variety of magical artifacts. Most of the time, these items appear innocent in nature, designed for use in simple pranks. Fred and George’s “Weasleys’ Wizards Wheezes” are examples of such objects intended to cause such delightful mayhem.

Unfortunately, not all objects that come into Hogwarts are used for fun. In some cases, these objects are designed for unethical use. Due to the darker nature of these items, there is a taboo for students to bring them within the school.

Due to the ranging threat level of these items, in addition to the students, even the faculty is at risk.

One of the most dangerous examples is Tom Riddle’s Diary, which contains a fragment of Voldemort’s soul. The cursed necklace Draco Malfoy attempts to use to decimate Dumbledore, also demonstrates the potential damage these objects are capable of.

3 All Professors Must Be Respected

The achievements and power of teachers such as Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall and Severus Snape, justifies why Hogwarts is one of the safest places in the world.

Sadly, every group has its share of black sheep, and Hogwarts is no exception. Teachers at Hogwarts hold a sense of authority that all students must respect. Sadly, this also applies if they are bad at their jobs.

Excluding Professor Lupin and Mad-Eye Moody, teachers who hold the position of Defense Against The Dark Arts are some of the worst teachers that fit into this category. Take Gilderoy Lockhart for example, he was an incompetent wizard who tried to wipe both Harry and Ron’s memories, and was even willing to do away with Ginny. Other teachers such as Umbridge and the Carrow siblings were not only evil, but also harmed students who refused to obey them.

2 Do Not Violate The Laws Of Nature For Recreational Use

Over the years, Harry and his friends have come across some dangerous artifacts that can quite literally violate the laws of nature. During the events of The Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione is given special permission by the Ministry of Magic, thanks to the support of professor McGonagall, to use a time turner.

Basically, the magical equivalent of a time machine, it allows the holder to travel up to a certain point in time. 

The time turner formerly in Hermione's possession allowed her to travel up to a few hours before the present. However, in The Cursed Child, a true time turner was invented allowing more freedom to travel back and forward in time.

Sadly, as with all cases involving time travel, using it to fool around or interfere with past events can cause disastrous consequences. Hence the Ministry keeps them under tight lock and key.

1 Students Who Became Animagi Must Register Or Face Jail Time

Animagi are wizards who develop the skill to transform from a human into an animal and vice versa. Sirius Black and Minerva McGonagall are some of the few known wizards who successfully developed this skill.

Through strenuous effort, Harry’s father James, along with Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew, learned how to become Animagi so that they could be with their friend Remus, during nights he turned into a werewolf.

However, as the skill is incredibly powerful, any student that becomes an Animagus must register with the Ministry of Magic or face jail time. The reason for such severe restrictions is because Animagi possess unique abilities that other wizards don't. One of which is the ability to avoid detection even by wizards and magical beings such as Dementors. Sirius, Peter, and Rita Skeeter have proven that as Animagi they can easily bypass security even of magical origin.

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What rule would you have the most trouble abiding by Harry Potter's magical world? Let us know in the comments!

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