What do wizards actually DO in Harry Potter's universe?

I’ve only seen a few of the movies and have no plans to read the books, so bear with me.

My question is what do the magically endowed people in HP actually DO when they graduate Hogwarts?

That’s great that they are wizards and all, but what practical value does that have in the “Muggle” world where most of them seem to end up anyway? I didn’t get the impression that magical folk were unknown in the HP world, just secretive. Can they use their powers in real world muggle jobs. Like would attending Hogwarts undergrad and Wharton for an MBA make you a sought-after commodity on Wall Street (a litteral Wall Street wizard, so to speak)? Or would Harry and friends be forbidden to use their powers in such a way?

They whiz, of course.

In the Potterverse, wizards and other magical beings form a self-contained society, invisible to the Muggle world. They have their own businesses, their own banking system, their own currency, their own government. The details of the wizard economy are never fleshed out very much. (And although they celebrate Christmas, it’s never made clear what their religion is, or if they have any.) But it is clear that wizards are so self-segregated from the Muggle world that, except for a few like Harry and Hermione who were born to or raised by Muggles, wizards don’t really know much about it. Mr. Weasley, Ron’s father, makes a hobby of studying Muggle technology and yet is completely baffled by it.

You get a child’s view of the world in the HP universe: what high-school students really understands what grown-ups do at work?

So Harry knows about teachers, of course, and the shop-keepers, hotel-keepers and bankers in Diagon Alley. He also knows people working in the Ministry of Magic, whose main function seems to be relations with the Muggle world. All of these correspond with jobs that exist in our world.

(If you haven’t ready any HP, it should be explained that Muggles are non-wizards.)

Haven’t read the books either, but I gathered from the movies that wizards aren’t supposed to use magic outside of the magic community, for obvious reasons I suppose.

I think if you’re related to a magic person, then sure you’re allowed to learn a bit more about the magic world, but I never got the impression that it was common knowledge among Muggles. Who’d believe you anyway? Harry’s uncle was horrified of the idea, and wanted no part of it.

That I did know.
So is the Wizard world completely separate from the Muggle world? Is it in like a parallel universe or some such thing or is it just really remote and cloaked by magic? Why is there a rail line between the two? That implies more than infrequent trips

Must be all that butterbeer.

The latter. As Hagrid explains in the first book, wizards conceal their existence from Muggles because if Muggles knew about them, “they might want magical solutions to their problems.” Why that would be unacceptable is never explained – human society has all kinds of experts and specialists who are well compensated for solving our problems; why could not wizards simply be one more respected profession? In any case, the Ministry of Magic works very hard to keep the wizarding world’s existence a secret; if any Muggle happens to see something magical, Ministry agents will shortly be along to work a charm on his/her memory. BTW, while the wizarding world is “cloaked by magic” it is not necessarily “remote.” Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley, wizardly retail and commercial districts, are located in the heart of London. And the train from London to Hogwarts is boarded at a Muggle train station – but you have to know how to find Platform 13-3/4.

I’ve always wondered why they don’t have any sort of university level education. Don’t they have magical disputes requiring wizarding lawyers? Advanced magical medical education for the wizards that work at the hospitals? It also seems like they get married pretty young.

9 3/4.

The lggic of the muggle/wizard division doesn’t really work if you think about it too hard; the character of Hermoine shoots a lot of holes in the works, since unlike Harry’s stepfamily they don’t seem to hate her and are fully aware of her powers and the existence of a wizardry world. It’s stated that there are many kids like her, so keeping the two worlds separate doesn’t pass any sort of test of logic or common sense.

It’s supposed to be fun, not work. :slight_smile:

Since the Ministry of Magic has and uses memory charms, it does not seem implausible they would also have “gag spells” to ensure the discretion of those Muggles who, for one reason or another, are privileged to know about the wizarding world. I.e., if Hermione’s parents try to explain the matter to someone not already in the know, they’ll find that they can’t.

Where do you get the idea they marry young? I don’t remember mention of any married person’s actual age apart from Fleur Delacour, who is probably around 19 or 20 years old (admittedly young) at the end of Book 6, but we know that her fiance is at least in his mid-20s (if not older).

As for higher level: there are a few references to certain occupations requiring post-Hogwarts training - Auror training comes to mind. I don’t think they ever specify how this training takes place, but it’s probably fair to say that at least some of it requires classroom work.

Speaking of education - why don’t the students at Hogwarts study normal subjects? I can understand not needing science classes, but they don’t even take any courses in literature, foreign languages, or mathematics, which would be applicable in both magical and muggle worlds.

Yeah, that’s basically where it came from…the Fleur issue as well as the fact that Mr. and Mrs. Weasely met at Hogwarts and married quickly afterwards and I thought that Harry’s parents ended up the same way. Maybe there was a gap…I don’t know. It’s a childrens book so I assumed that in the Fleur scheme of things she married them off quickly and had all the children born in wedlock. Then again, the timings have always been a bit odd in this book-it seems that the Weasley parents should be significantly older than the Potters (by at least a decade) but in my memory speak about the Potters as though they were at school together.

I thought Arithmancy was magical math.

I suspect that they do, but you don’t hear about it because it’s not interesting. The books are already large enough without JKR adding stuft that’s the same as in the Muggle world.

The point is made in The Half-Blood Prince that Mr. and Mrs. Weasley married young because they were living in what amounted to wartime – Voldemort’s campaign to conquer the magical world – and now it appears the behavior is re-emerging. In wartime, couples often marry early because they’re anxious about their chances of getting married later.

Apparently, finding new spells is an important and potentially lucrative occupation of some wizards and witches. The Department of Mysteries studies the really cosmic questions, while gifted amateurs like the Weasley twins can make gallons of Galleons. Or they can end up dead like Luna’s mother.

Thye remember James and Lily from the Order, after the Potters were out of school. The Weasleys remember all different teachers from their time at Hogwarts (they were there during the Dippett Administration, IIRC).

Molly wasn’t in the original Order. I don’t think that Arthur was, either, but that’s never been made explicit AFAIK.

I’d like to know how the Grangers were approached with the offer of letting their daughter attend Hogwarts. There has to be a process of convincing the parents that the person visiting them isn’t just nuts. And then someone has to help them make the money transfer and figure out how to get to Diagon Alley.

I take it you haven’t read Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Just to be safe:This book contains a scene containing a reenactment of Dumbledore’s memory of Tom Riddle’s invitation to attend. Riddle had been growing up in a Muggle orphanage, when Dumbledore visited him. The situation was unusual, in that the head of the orphanage was to be kept in the dark about Riddle’s abilities, but the point is that Muggle-born recruiting processes involved a personal visit with the candidate’s family, from a Hogwarts representative. Should the parents object to the matriculation, one supposes that a Memory Charm would be employed to prevent information leakage.