Harry Potter: 18 Things Muggles Can Do (& 13 Things They Can’t)

Harry Potter: 18 Things Muggles Can Do (& 13 Things They Can't)

J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World is incredibly complex and well-built. However, there are always questions that fans want to know the answers to, especially if they didn’t find the answer themselves in Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts books and films. For instance, how can a Muggle, Jacob Kowalski, wield a wand? 

Can all Muggles wield wands, then? Can a Muggle become a wizard? Could one even see Hogwarts? Don’t worry; we’re here to answer all your Muggle-related questions. Let’s see what Muggles can do and what they can’t.

Can Muggles Become Wizards?

In Rowling’s world, magic isn’t really scalable but rather bipolar. Either you’re a wizard/witch and have magic, or you’re a No-Maj/Muggle and don’t have magic. Therefore, a Muggle can’t train and become a wizard. They simply don’t have magic in them, rendering them incapable of producing anything more than random bursts.

However, a Muggle can have a child who possesses magic. Witches and wizards who were born to Muggle parents are simply called Muggle-borns. That’s the only way a Muggle can become a wizard, although, technically, they weren’t Muggles, to begin with – their parents were.

Sometimes, not every child of the same parents has magic. For instance, Lily Potter was a witch, whereas her sister, Petunia Dursley, was a Muggle.

Can Muggles Learn Magic?

As I mentioned, the magic within a person in Rowling’s Wizarding World is binary – either you have it, or you don’t. Therefore, Muggles can’t learn magic regardless of training, instructions, etc.

Even using a wand is impossible for a Muggle. A wand is only a vessel or a vehicle that channels the magic within the witch/wizard wielding it. If there’s nothing to channel within the wielder, the wand is useless. That would be the case with a Muggle. All they could do was produce an uncontrolled outburst of magic, not a coherent spell.

Muggles can be affected by magic or use magical artifacts that possess magic themselves, but other than that, Muggles can’t learn magic. They can read about it and even learn the movements or the incantations, but they can’t produce the spells because there’s no magic in them.

Can Muggles See Magic?

We now know that Muggles can’t learn magic, wield wands, or brew potions. Also, magical creatures are fairly hidden from them, and they can’t see places like Hogwarts. So, can Muggles even see magic?

Yes, Muggles can see magic. Remember the little pig-tail Hagrid gave Dudley Dursley in the first Harry Potter movie? Or the flying car Ron and Harry traveled in to reach Hogwarts in the Chamber of Secrets? I’m sure many people saw that.

RELATED: Can Muggles Use Magic? Jacob Kowalski’s Wand Explained

Therefore, Muggles can see magic and can be affected by magic. However, there are things and places hidden from their view with spells or charms, like the Hogwarts School or Platform 9¾.

Can Muggles Do Magic?

The answer to this question is different from the previous answers because it depends on what you consider “doing” magic? They can’t really wield a wand coherently, but a Muggle can produce an uncontrolled, aggressive, or even violent outburst of magic by waving a wand.

They can’t brew a potion themselves but can give an already-brewed potion to somebody or be affected by it themselves. They cannot enchant objects but can use magical artifacts that are already enchanted.

So, the answer would be yes – Muggles can do magic, in a sense – while they cannot produce magic themselves, they can be affected by it or affect others with it.

Can A Muggle Marry A Wizard/Witch?

Although it wasn’t common practice in the earlier days, a Muggle can marry a wizard or a witch, and it happens fairly often. We learn that very early in Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone when Seamus Finnigan reveals that his parents are, indeed, in a Muggle-witch marriage:

“I’m half and half. Me dad’s a Muggle. Mom’s a witch. Bit of a nasty shock for him when he found out.”

It also happened between Hope Howell and Lyall Lupin, and many others. The question of Muggle/wizard marriage was something Gellert Grindelwald and Lord Voldemort both fought heavily against.

Can Muggles Have A Wizard Child?

The short answer is yes – Muggles can have a wizard/witch child. Wizards and witches born to Muggle parents are called Muggle-borns. One of them is Hermione Granger, who gets insulted and taunted by a pure-blood supremacist, Draco Malfoy, for having Muggle parents – Draco calls her “mud-blood.”

Magic is an ability that is passed down through generations. While it’s unclear if it’s in one’s DNA, like a gene, it certainly seems to work very similarly to that. For instance, after a wizard has a child with a Muggle, the child will probably have magic – but not necessarily. The ability can even skip several generations before manifesting in a child.

Therefore, Hermione’s parents might be Muggles, and their parents, too. But, somewhere along their family tree, there was a wizard, or somebody carrying the “gene” or whatever you want to call it, and it manifested in Hermione, as in any other Muggle-born witch/wizard.

Can Muggles See Hogwarts?

If you hoped to stumble across Hogwarts and witness the magic within, I have to disappoint you. Muggles can’t see Hogwarts – at least not the way it is. In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hermione Granger explained that Hogwarts is “bewitched.”

She adds: “If a Muggle looks at it, all they see is a moldering old ruin with a sign over the entrance saying ‘DANGER, DO NOT ENTER. UNSAFE.’”

Harry Potter: 18 Things Muggles Can Do (& 13 Things They Can't)

However, looking at the trailer for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Jacob Kowalski sits in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, surrounded by students, showing off his new wand. Does that mean he’s not really a Muggle? Or, did a wizard just remove the protection for him, allowing Jacob to see the School? I guess we’ll have to wait for the film to find out.

Can Muggles Attend Hogwarts?

The obvious answer is no – if Muggles can’t even see Hogwarts – at least for what it is – they couldn’t attend the School as well. Even if the charm is lifted for them to see Hogwarts, attending the classes would do nothing for them. Muggles have no magic, so they couldn’t do any spells, so they’d fail every class miserably.

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Can Muggles Go To Diagon Alley?

Diagon Alley is a street in London accessible for the entire Wizarding World – that is, all beings who have magic. However, it’s hidden from Muggles and accessible only through certain spots, like the back wall of the tavern, Leaky Cauldron, where Hagrid took Harry in The Sorcerer’s Stone. Muggles can’t go to Diagon Alley freely but can go there in one simple situation.

If they have a Muggle-born child who gets a Hogwarts letter, they are free to accompany the child to Diagon Alley for supplies and books for School.

Can Muggles See The Leaky Cauldron?

Just like the rest of the magical spots around London – and the world, for that matter – Muggles cannot see the Leaky Cauldron, despite the pub not being in Diagon Alley or other Muggle-protected spots.

In Chapter 13 of Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince, Dumbledore explicitly explains it to Tom Riddle:

“Dumbledore handed Riddle the envelope containing his list of equipment, and, after telling Riddle exactly how to get to the Leaky Cauldron from the orphanage, he said, ‘You will be able to see it, although Muggles around you – non-magical people, that is – will not.”

However, I believe that Muggles can see the Leaky Cauldron if accompanied by a witch or a wizard. The only known entrance to the Diagon Alley (other than using Transportation Dust) is through the back wall of the Leaky Cauldron.

Hermione Granger’s parents are Muggles, so they had to come to Diagon Alley with her somehow – and I doubt they used Floo Powder. My guess is that if a witch or a wizard accompanies the Muggles, they can see the Leaky Cauldron, and I bet that’s how Hermione’s parents visited the Diagon Alley, too.

Be that as it may, one might wonder- what’s the point of hiding Diagon Alley behind an extra wall if Muggles can’t see the Leaky Cauldron in the first place. Well, the answer lies in the tavern’s history. The old pub wasn’t always hidden from Muggles – they could visit it, hence, the enchanted back wall.

However, after the wizarding world went into hiding, the Leaky Cauldron was hidden as well, and the back wall simply remained as the entrance to Diagon Alley.

Can Muggles Enter Platform 9¾?

Now, if I were at a train station and saw people running into a wall and disappearing, I’d be baffled and would probably try to follow them. So, can Muggles enter Platform 9¾?

Unfortunately, no. Muggles can’t enter Platform 9¾. They don’t react to wizards and witches entering the platform through the wall because the Platform is enchanted, hidden from Muggles completely, so they don’t even realize when a witch or a wizard enters it.

RELATED: Will Voldemort Appear in Fantastic Beasts 3? Here Is How He Could!

However, Muggles can enter the Platform if accompanied by a witch or a wizard, especially when it’s their child. Again, I’m taking Hermione Granger’s parents as an example – they can enter Platform 9¾ to get Hermione on the Hogwarts Express.

Can Muggles Go To Hogsmeade?

Hogsmeade is described as “the only entirely non-Muggle settlement in Britain,” which would suggest that no Muggles live there, nor are allowed there. However, I can hardly see that being the case because Hogsmeade is virtually adjacent to Hogwarts, and banning Muggle/Magicfolk marriage in the village would not be something that Dumbledore would tolerate.

I believe that “entirely non-Muggle” in this case means that wizards and witches don’t have to hide magic there. Sure, there are some mixed marriages and Muggles there, but it’s the same situation as Muggle parents having a child who has magic. They learn about the wizarding world and become a part of it.

Having not a single Muggle living in Hogsmeade would require strict, racial zoning laws, and we know that Dumbledore fights such prejudice. Therefore, Muggles can probably visit Hogsmeade like they can visit Diagon Alley – if they’re accompanied by a witch or a wizard, be it a spouse, a relative, or their own child.

Can Muggles Go To Godric’s Hollow?

Yes, Muggles can go to Godric’s Hollow. In fact, the small village is one of the places where Muggles and Magickfolk live together. The Muggles, of course, are unaware of their magical neighbors. To them, they are just regular people.

Harry Potter: 18 Things Muggles Can Do (& 13 Things They Can't)

Many famous wizarding families lived there, but Muggles were always present there as well. There’s a war memorial in the middle of the main square of the village. Well, it’s a war memorial for Muggles, at least. 

When wizards or witches come closer to it, they see it turn into a monument for Lily, James, and baby Harry Potter – the family who defied the Dark Lord and forced him into years of barely being alive. Muggles can never see the statue – all they see is a war memorial monument.

Can Muggles See Azkaban?

Just like Hogwarts, Azkaban has been enchanted with certain Disillusionment Charms. Therefore, Muggles can’t see Azkaban, as it was enchanted and made Unplottable. Unplottability means that a place was removed from plain sight, or at least from all maps – just like the house where Sirius Black grew up, where the Order of the Phoenix headquarters was.

If a Muggle were to travel the North Sea, they wouldn’t be able to see the island – it would just be plain sea or an empty, desert island. They would, however, feel the presence of the Dementors as they passed by the area where Azkaban is located.

Can Muggles Use Floo Powder?

Floo Powder is that teleportation dust that takes witches and wizards from one fireplace to another within the world. So, can Muggles use the Floo Powder, too?

There’s no evidence to point that Muggles couldn’t use the Floo powder. However, Muggle fireplaces are banned from being connected to the Floo Network, as we learn from Mr. Weasley in the Goblet of Fire:

“I had your fireplace connected to the Floo network, you see–just for an afternoon, you know, so we could get Harry. Muggle fireplaces aren’t supposed to be connected, strictly speaking–but I’ve got a useful contact at the Floo Regulation Panel, and he fixed it for me.”

The Powder is magical itself, so a Muggle could potentially be able to use it alone. Another example came in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Harry infiltrated the Ministry of Magic and sent several Muggles back out of there using Floo Powder.

We have never seen a Muggle use Floo Powder alone (as far as I remember), but with all the evidence mentioned above, we can conclude that Muggles could use Floo powder, provided that both fireplaces are connected to the Floo network.

Can Muggles Use Wands?

In the same trailer I’ve mentioned before, for Fantastic Beasts 3, we see a Muggle, Jacob Kowalski, get a wand from Newt Scamander and Albus Dumbledore. So, can Muggles use wands?

No, a Muggle can’t use a wand – at least not coherently to produce real spells. In a 2006 interview, J.K. Rowling explained: 

“I’ve been asked what would happen if a Muggle picked up a magic wand in my world, and the answer would probably be something accidental… possibly quite violent. Because wands, in my world, is merely a vehicle, a vessel for what lies inside the person.”

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We see those accidental things happen in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, when a monkey takes Newt’s wand and smacks it against the floor. It produces an out-of-control kickback, rejecting the wielder. A wand doesn’t produce magic; it channels it – and if the wielder has no magic, the wand simply retaliates.

Can Muggles Read The Daily Prophet?

The Daily Prophet is the #1 wizarding world newspaper in Britain, but with little journalistic integrity. Given the magical nature of the newspapers, the moving pictures, etc., many fans wondered, what would happen if a Muggle got a hold of it? Can Muggles read The Daily Prophet?

No, Muggles couldn’t read The Daily Prophet – at least not in the way that wizards and witches read it. It’s unclear if the pages would simply appear blank to Muggles, or would the “magical components” such as the moving pictures seem normal to them, but one is certain – The Daily Prophet is enchanted so that the Muggles couldn’t read it.

As Stan Shunpike – the conductor of the Knight Bus – said: “Them! Don’t listen properly, do they? Don’t look properly either. Never notice nothing, they don’t.” Therefore, they could probably see The Daily Prophet but couldn’t comprehend the magic.

Can Muggles Brew Magic Potions?

So, Muggles can’t cast spells because they have no magic. But, if you give a Muggle all the right ingredients and a potion-brewing book, could they make a potion? Unfortunately, no, Muggles can’t brew magic potions. Apart from the ingredients, there’s always a magical component – a finishing touch, if you will – with potions that Muggles simply can’t perform.

As Rowling explained in the before-mentioned 2006 interview, “there are always magical components in the potion, not just the ingredients. So, at some point, they will have to use a wand.”

I’ve read one cool answer to the question that said, a Muggle making potions would be like making pizza without a heat source. You have all the ingredients, but without baking it, it’s not really pizza. If you have all the ingredients for a magical potion but no magic, then it’s not really a magic potion, is it?

Can Muggles Fly Broomsticks?

While J.K. Rowling never addressed the issue first-hand, nor was it ever explicitly answered in canon (at least that I’m aware of), we can assume that broomsticks work similarly to wands. If that’s the case, then no – Muggles can’t fly broomsticks. At least not themselves.

Harry Potter: 18 Things Muggles Can Do (& 13 Things They Can't)

Broomsticks channel magic within the rider, meaning that if the one riding it has no magic, the broomstick simply won’t fly. That being said, a Muggle could ride ON a broomstick with a wizard or a witch riding with them; they just wouldn’t be able to fly and control it themselves.

Another theory suggests that broomsticks are enchanted to have magic within themselves, but it has to be “recharged” with a wizard/witch riding them. If that were the case, a Muggle could fly a broomstick until the magic within the broomstick itself gets completely “spent,” after which both the broomstick and the Muggle would crash.

It’s unclear whether broomsticks are magical themselves (making them magical artifacts), or do they just channel magic from the rider (making them magical vessels, like wands). Therefore, the answer can be yes and no, depending on what the truth about broomsticks is.

Can Muggles Play Quidditch?

In the Harry Potter universe, no – Muggles can’t play quidditch. It’s unclear if the broomsticks are magical themselves or merely conduits of magic (see the answer to “Can Muggles Fly Broomsticks”). Nevertheless, it is certain that we’ve never heard or seen a Muggle fly a broomstick alone without a witch/wizard accompanying them, let alone play quidditch.

However, believe it or not, J.K. Rowling’s quidditch inspired many to develop a grounded, real-life version of the sport that many call Muggle Quidditch. It’s played on the ground, with a broom between your legs and modified quidditch rules. There are several Muggle Quidditch organizations in the world, governed by the International Quidditch Association.

Many prominent colleges in the United States and Canada have Quidditch teams. I kid you not; real-life Muggle Quidditch is a thing.

Can Muggles Use Magic Items?

I’ve probably answered this one already through other answers, but let’s make it as clear as day. Muggles can use magical items and artifacts, provided that the items are magical themselves – not merely vehicles or conduits for a wizard/witch’s magic.

Hence, Muggles can’t use a wand because the wand only channels the magic coming from within the wielder. However, they could use an invisibility cloak if they stumbled upon one, seeing that the item is enchanted and has magic itself and doesn’t require the user’s magic to work.

Can Muggles See Dementors?

The Dementors are the darkest, most violent creatures in the Harry Potter universe. However, Muggles can’t see them, probably for several reasons. One, the Ministry of Magic worked hard to keep them in Azkaban and to hide such foul creatures from the world. 

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Two, it’s probably a part of their powers – they’re invisible to Muggles, but they can still affect them. A Muggle can feel the cold and the depressing feeling when in the presence of a Dementor, and the creature can give a Muggle their “soul-stealing kiss,” draining them of all happiness. 

Can Dementors Attack Muggles?

Harry Potter: 18 Things Muggles Can Do (& 13 Things They Can't)

You probably figured out the answer by now; yes, Dementors can attack and harm Muggles.

We see that in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix when Dementors attack Harry and Dudley Dursley in Privet Drive. Dudley can’t see the creature, but it still affects him and hurts him intensely.

Fun fact: Azkaban is actually a deal between wizards and Dementors. The creatures promise to stay out of the world while wizards provide prisoners. It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet for the Dementors, feeding on the prisoners’ happiness.

Can Muggles See Magical Creatures?

So, if Muggles can’t see Dementors, can they see other magical creatures? Yes, Muggles can see magical creatures if they ever encountered one – which is why Newt letting his creatures out in New York in the first Fantastic Beasts movie was a problem.

Magical creatures are deliberately hidden from Muggles and kept in enchanted places that Muggles can’t see or visit, such as the Hogwarts grounds, the Forbidden Forest, and similar places around the world.

Dementors and Thestrals are actually exceptions. However, Dementors can’t be seen because they are non-beings (not exactly magical creatures), while Thestrals can’t even be seen by witches or wizards who haven’t seen and comprehended death.

Can Muggles See Dragons?

As in almost every high fantasy world that includes magic, creatures like unicorns and dragons are also present in the Harry Potter universe. So, many people wondered, how come Muggles never run into magical creatures? Can Muggles see dragons?

As it turns out, they can. However, just like with Hogwarts and magic in general, members of the wizarding world worked long and hard to hide magical creatures from Muggles. They can see them at times, though, like when Newt Scamander lets them loose in New York in Fantastic Beasts, but then their memories get Obliviated.

That goes for all Fantastic Beasts and creatures, not just dragons. We learn all about their concealment in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: 

“Twenty-seven species, ranging in size from dragons to Bundimuns, were to be hidden from Muggles so as to create the illusion that they had never existed outside the imagination. This number was increased over the following century, as wizards became more confident in their methods of concealment…”

Can Muggles See Thestrals?

Thestrals are the reptile-looking winged horses that only people who have seen and comprehended death can see. That goes for wizards, too – those who haven’t seen (and understood) death can’t see Thestrals. So, can Muggles see them?

The answer is yes, Muggles who have seen and understood death can see Thestrals. Thestrals are creatures, magical beings just like any other that needs to live in areas protected from Muggles with enchantments.

They are a species of winged horses, albeit a very rare one. In Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Rowling states:

“As with the Hippogriff, the owner of a winged horse is required to perform a Disillusionment Charm upon it at regular intervals.”

Therefore, if a wizard owned a Thestral, they’d have to enchant the creature in order for Muggles not to see it. That is, Muggles who have seen death.

Can Muggles See Dobby?

Dobby is a house-elf, just like Kreacher, Winky, or other house-elves who served wizard families. They are set free if their master gifts them clothes. So, could Muggles see Dobby, or other house-elves, at least after they’ve been set free?

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Muggles can see Dobby, and other house-elves, as they are magical creatures. However, house-elves have their own way of concealing themselves from Muggles, such as turning invisible, blending in the surroundings, etc.

In theory, a house-elf could even serve a Muggle family, and they would be able to see him as long as the elf allows themself to be seen. However, house-elves tend to choose to remain within the wizarding world even after they’re free, as seen with Dobby or Winky. The risk of living among Muggles is just too high, even for powerful creatures like them.

Can Muggles See House-elves?

As I mentioned in the answer above, Muggles can see house-elves, as they can see any magical creature outside of the concealed locations in the world. However, house-elves tend to have their own strategies to hide from Muggles, such as blending into the environment, turning invisible, etc.

Dobby is (or was) a house-elf for the Malfoy family before Harry Potter tricked Lucius Malfoy into gifting Dobby a sock, so Dobby became a free elf.

Can Muggles Become Animagi?

Animagus (plural: Animagi) is a witch or a wizard who can transform into an animal at will. Professor McGonagall is an Animagus (turning into a cat), as well as Sirius Black (turning into a black wolf/dog). 

Some Animagi are born that way, but a witch/wizard can become an Animagus through a complex process, including potions, mandrake leaves, and certain incantations/spells. Any witch/wizard with the necessary skills can become an Animagus, be it pure-bloods, half-bloods, or Muggle-borns.

Harry Potter: 18 Things Muggles Can Do (& 13 Things They Can't)

So, if a Muggle gets a wizard to brew the potions and say the incantations, could they become Animagi themselves?

No, Muggles can’t become Animagi, even if a wizard does the potions and the incantations. One needs to do the spells and say the incantations themselves. Seeing that Muggles don’t have magic, they couldn’t do the spells, so they couldn’t become Animagi.

Can Muggles Become Werewolves?

Throughout the Wizarding World, there have been numerous occasions where wizards became werewolves. Like, for instance, Professor Remus Lupin, who we learn was a werewolf in the Prisoner of Azkaban. On the other hand, we haven’t seen or heard much about Muggle werewolves. So, can Muggles become werewolves like wizards/witches?

As it turns out, yes – Muggles can become werewolves. However, it hardly ever happens because Muggles rarely survive encounters with werewolves. According to Pottermore, Professor Marlowe Forfang is one of the leading werewolf experts ever, and he conducted a study about werewolves and their habits.

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He learned that nearly all werewolves were wizards or witches before being bitten. He also found out that Muggles and wizards “taste” differently, and Muggles are much more likely to die from the wounds after getting bitten, whereas wizards and witches are more likely to survive.

That being said, if a Muggle is bitten by a werewolf and somehow manages to survive, they might become a werewolf themselves. However, that rarely happens because Muggles usually die from the wounds.

Can Muggles Beat Wizards (In Any Way)?

Obviously, having magic gives you a huge advantage in any kind of duel against somebody who doesn’t have magic. However, wizards and witches aren’t immortal. So, can Muggles beat wizards and witches in any way?

Yes, they can. Perhaps not one-on-one, but in terms of sheer numbers and violence, the Muggles can beat Wizards. The reason why the wizarding world has gone into hiding in the first place is that Muggles waged war against them.

Sure, the witches and wizards could’ve retaliated with magic, but it would result in an all-out world war, with millions of casualties and cataclysmic results. Instead of letting that happen, wizards went into hiding.

Therefore, Muggles could beat wizards with high caliber guns, projectiles, and other lethal weaponry, but wizards could just as easily destroy the Muggle world if they wanted to – that’s something Dumbledore, Harry Potter, and others fought against, whereas people like Salazar Slytherin, Gellert Grindelwald, or Lord Voldemort wanted to do.

  • Luka loves psychological thrillers, horrors, and mysteries. However, high fantasy and fiction are his primary interest, especially Tolkien's Middle-earth universe, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Marvel universe. Amateur filmmaker, screenwriter, cinematography, and trivia enthusiast.