The sheer breadth of world literature is mind-boggling. Centuries of sprawling stories, both acclaimed and overlooked. You could read 10 books a day every day of your life and not even scratch the surface of “the classics.”
So, why does it sometimes seem like everyone has read precisely one book?
Such was the case on Friday afternoon when a tweet from Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s digital publishing arm, declared that it was canon in the Harry Potter universe for wizards and witches to empty their bowels where/whenever they felt like and dispose of their leavings with magic.
Hogwarts didn't always have bathrooms. Before adopting Muggle plumbing methods in the eighteenth century, witches and wizards simply relieved themselves wherever they stood, and vanished the evidence. #NationalTriviaDay
— Pottermore (@pottermore) January 4, 2019
Twitter users had many responses to this revelation–enough responses, in fact, to practically knock Trump’s typically unhinged Rose Garden rantings from the national conversation, like a sniggendorf knocking a flipperty-widget off of an imaginasaurus. (Yes, inventing fake Harry Potter terminology is just that easy.)
Among the types of response were:
Are you telling me that wizards were just never like “Man just doing this openly is gross. People should do this privately. Maybe a chamberpot that auto-vanishes.”
— Matt Barbot (@BarbotRobot) January 4, 2019
does that mean muggle-hating pure-bloods still shit on the floor so as not to use the muggle plumbing?
— ｓａｍ ｍｙ // D – 21 (@youthkang) January 4, 2019
- And further theorizing
I'm just gonna go ahead and head-canon this one:
– There's a seemingly unlimited supply
– It was invented in the 13th century
– Nobody knows how it's made
– The company that "makes" it is named Floo-Pow, which is almost Poo-Flow
Ergo: floo powder is dried wizard poop
— Alex Zalben (@azalben) January 4, 2019
Potter scholars across the internet scanned their mental inventory for Hogwarts data points that would either refute or support this new wrinkle in wizarding mythology. Many ended up arguing over it, too, because what else is Twitter for?
Perhaps the most common response to the bizarre tweet, however, was to question its reason for existing at all.
WHEN PEOPLE SAID THEY WANTED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE HARRY POTTER WORLD TEN YEARS AGO LITERALLY NO ONE MEANT THEY WANTED THE 411 ON WIZARD POOP
— christine lynn herman ???? (@christineexists) January 4, 2019
Like jesus christ, the wizarding world isn't real, you don't need to tell us every goddam detail. what, next JK Rowling is going to let us know Harry had diarrhea the day he defeated voldemort
— Dana Schwartz (@DanaSchwartzzz) January 4, 2019
please stop https://t.co/pQ8SG4Fa4w
— MJ Franklin (@heyitsfranklin2) January 4, 2019
I love worldbuilding more than anyone but https://t.co/ZXIaHG73fB
— David Sims (@davidlsims) January 4, 2019
THIS. THIS IS WHY YOU DON'T USE SIDE CHANNELS TO FLESH OUT NARRATIVE WORLD-BUILDING AFTER A WORK HAS BEEN PUBLISHED.
THIS RIGHT HERE. https://t.co/9uyM2YLXM7
— Kathryn VanArendonk (@kvanaren) January 4, 2019
Obviously the Harry Potter books aren’t the only ones all these people have read, but if J.K. Rowling doesn’t stop tinkering with the series lore in pointless, nonsensical ways, they may be the last books of hers that they read.