In its continuing effort to make the Wizarding World seem like a hellhole you would never want to visit, J.K. Rowling's Pottermore website issued a controversial Tweet last week -- and by "controversial" we mean it grossed the hell out of the entire internet. To celebrate National Trivia Day, rather than regale us with some fun tidbits about one of Hagrid's pet monsters or Snape's secret drug lab, Pottermore cheerfully reminded us all that witches and wizards used to shit themselves, then use magic to make it disappear. Yay?
Yup, it seems that up until the 18th century, the magical folk of the Potterverse just defecated freely, like animals or college freshmen. Not surprisingly, the internet reacted with collective revulsion. Of course, this was nothing new. It came from Rowling's article about the history of the Chamber of Secrets, which originally went up back in 2015. The article explains that the monster-filled tunnels predate the bathroom which housed the Chamber's hidden entrance. Apparently, when the wizarding community decided to stop pooping all over the floors, themselves, and each other, the Hogwarts bathrooms were installed. It was up to Slytherin descendant and Hogwarts student Corvinus Gaunt to protect the Chamber from discovery once plumbing was installed.
Rowling's fecal bombshell raises a number of questions. For one, what about underage wizards who weren't allowed to use magic outside of school? Did their parents have to clean up after them? Well, as we all know, the "Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery" didn't come into effect until 1875, well after the Wizarding World embraced plumbing.
Perhaps more existentially perplexing is the issue of where all the poop went. When asked where vanished objects disappear to, Professor McGonagall answered that they go "Into nonbeing, which is to say, everything" -- possibly inferring that millennia's worth of wizard shit has been absorbed into the Universe itself. Which is either beautiful, gross, or both. At the very least, you have to imagine that the majestic halls of Hogwarts smell a lot less fresh than we would have liked to imagine. Though the most dire consequence of all this may fall on the janitorial staff of Universal Studios, whose patrons now have canonical justification for making a public mess after one too many butterbeers.
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