The New York Times has an article on concerns about drinking in the new Harry Potter film. In a story where potion-making, -drinking, and -sneaking becomes central to the story line – from the liquid luck awarded Harry by Slughorn, to the rampant love potions, to the poisoned mead, and of course the disastrous liquor that hides the Horcrux in the sea cave, potions of some sort propel almost every twist of the plot – it’s no surprise that liquid charms would show up in the film. But does that justify the prevalence of underage drinking in the film, which, as the Times article points out, flouts even British laws that allow 16 year-olds to drink if they’re served food at the same time? And does this make a difference to underage viewers/readers of the story? While I’ve often wondered what exactly is in butterbeer, it never really concerned me that the Hogwarts kids had special-occasion access to it. Anyone care to argue about this, say over a drink?