J.K. Rowling’s New Story Is a Cautionary Tale About How One Witch’s Crush Almost Accidentally Ended Wizardry

Author J.K. Rowling Visits The Empire State Building
Poor Dorcus. Photo: Nomi Ellenson/Getty Images

Back in the day, like, say, 1790, you couldn’t simply look someone up on Facebook to investigate their wacky political theories before you fully committed to crushing on them. You had to simply trust that your boyfriend wasn’t a wizard truther conspiring to kill you. This is the fatal flaw that befell even the magical beings of the 18th century, as we find out in J.K. Rowling’s latest Pottermore story. On Wednesday, Rowling hinted that relations between American wizards and their Muggle counterparts was doomed from the start, thanks to the Scourers’ sabotage. Today’s story reveals a time when that tension, unknowingly assisted by one naïve witch, nearly caused an international wizard crisis.

Like every parent’s worst nightmare, it all started when Dorcus Twelvetrees (Rowling’s name game is still strong), the daughter of the treasurer of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), got involved with the wrong boy. She fell for a local No-Maj named Bartholomew Barebone, who as it turned out, came from a long line of Scourers. Dorcus, being “as dim as she was pretty,” broke every wizard confidentiality rule in the book, giving him names, addresses, and even demonstrating “little tricks” with her wand.

Barebone, obviously playing her, leaked all that information to his other Scourer descendants and even the skeptical media. He and the other wizard truthers sought to kill all wizards and witches, just like the Scourers wanted. But Barebone screwed up: He shot a group of No-Majs, thinking they were wizards, and ended up in prison, derailing his terrorist plot. The MACUSA then attempted to erase every No-Maj’s memory, but took even more extreme precautions with Rappaport’s Law (named after the 15th wizard president), which imposed total segregation between the American wizard community and the No-Majs, driving wizards even further into hiding. Poor Dorcus, as you can imagine, ended up an outcast. One rule Rappaport’s Law probably should’ve added: Trust no bitch.

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