JK Rowling has managed to squeeze out plenty of vital pieces of Harry Potter information in the years since Harry Potter was first published.
But this latest trivia dump really, really feels like too much information.
To ‘celebrate’ National Trivia Day, Harry Potter website Pottermore shared this fascinating fact about the wizarding world.
(If you want your love of Harry Potter to remain untainted, look away now.)
“Hogwarts didn’t always have bathrooms,” the tweet innocently begins. “Before adopting Muggle plumbing methods in the eighteenth century, witches and wizards simply relieved themselves wherever they stood, and vanished the evidence.”
Before disgusting images of defecating wizards overload your brain, we should point out that this isn’t just some random claim from a fan blog. This is, for reasons best known to the author herself, canon.
More dedicated followers of Potter lore may have known this fact from 2015 in fact, when an article by Rowling about the history of the Chamber of Secrets was first published online.
The offending article here explains how some wizards in Hogwarts attempted to conceal the secret chamber after its location was threatened by new plumbing systems in the 18th century.
“When Hogwarts’ plumbing became more elaborate in the eighteenth century (this was a rare instance of wizards copying Muggles, because hitherto they simply relieved themselves wherever they stood, and vanished the evidence), the entrance to the Chamber was threatened, being located on the site of a proposed bathroom,” Rowling writes.
And thus, because of that simple line of bracketed bathos, we now have to accept that some of the most brilliant minds of the wizarding world started out life learning how to make shit disappear.
Naturally, Harry Potter fans had many, many questions.
Questions like, what does “vanished” exactly mean in this context?
What happens to underage wizards who aren’t actually allowed to use magic?
What if they couldn’t master the spell required?
And why, why did this trivia dump have to happen at all?
Feel free to relieve yourself by thinking about this elsewhere.