In Harry Potter, Magic Somehow Prevents Poor Folks from Becoming Rich

In Harry Potter, Magic Somehow Prevents Poor Folks from Becoming Rich
Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures, Legion-Media

The Wizarding World’s magic can seemingly achieve anything, but that’s not true: one thing it can’t do is turn the poor into the rich or even make them pose as such.


  • In Harry Potter, magic can’t summon or multiply money considering Gringotts still does exchange.
  • Real estate also can’t be drastically improved using magic as proven by the Burrow’s existence.
  • Even clothes still serve as a status indicator, considering Ron couldn’t change his Yule Ball robe.

Seven books, eleven movies, and one Play-That-Must-Not-Be-Named later, we’ve seen many wonders the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has to offer. Its magic can seemingly solve any problem, and the possibilities of wizards are limitless… Sort of.

Because if you take a closer look, it appears that the magic in the Wizarding World has certain limitations that allow the good old aristocracy to continue and flourish. There’s apparently no way for the poor to become rich using magic, and it’s weird.

Harry Potter’s Magic Can’t Summon Money

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Let’s get the obvious bit out of the way first: in Harry Potter, money can’t be manipulated by magic. No matter the abilities of the caster, the wizarding money can’t be properly duplicated or summoned, and even the Leprechauns who pride themselves in their gold can’t make their galleons stay present in the world for long.

The wizarding money, however, might be protected against such machinations, but what about the Muggle money? Gringotts provides exchange services from pounds to galleons, after all! If there was a way to magically multiply Muggle money, the Goblins would never offer such service since they wouldn’t want to be seen as fools.

So, money is out of the equation. But there’s more to riches than money, right?

Harry Potter’s Magic Can’t Enhance Real Estate

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Real estate is among the biggest flexes both in the Wizarding and the Muggle worlds, and in the former, only the filthy rich Pure-Blood families like the Malfoys and the Blacks live in mansions. The Weasleys, for instance, have lived in the Burrow for decades, and they can’t seem to do anything about their living conditions. But why?

There are magical tents that provide all the modern conveniences and can house families. There’s the Room of Requirement that can do anything but summon food. There’s Transfiguration which the Blacks used to make irreversible changes to their house. But for some reason, such magic can’t improve the poor’s living conditions.

OK, so real estate is also weirdly unavailable. Still, there are more ways to show off!

Harry Potter’s Magic Can’t Fix Clothes

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In the Wizarding World, clothes are still used to judge a person’s social status. Draco Malfoy wears the best while Ron Weasley has to deal with depression thanks to his Yule Ball robes. Yet again, Transfiguration can’t help the poor even though admittedly, it should: it can turn cups into frogs so why not turn clothes into clothes?

Clothes can be fixed with Reparo or ruined with the Scissors spell. It can be made wet or dry with magic, even set ablaze. There’s seemingly nothing preventing every wizard from dressing nicely by manipulating their old rags into something decent, but even more talented wizards than Ron can’t do that — remember Lupin ’s wardrobe?

Even such tiny details suddenly add to the list of the Principal Exceptions to Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration when it comes down to improving the lives of the poor. Why would magic behave so mysteriously, we have no idea, but it certainly does. No way hundreds of poor wizards have never tried to fix their living conditions.