J.K. Rowling has a habit of retroactively dropping fun facts about the Harry Potter universe, and often they’re equal parts mind-blowing and frustrating because they change what we thought we knew about the beloved franchise. This most recent fun fact, however, is neither. It’s just gross.
Pottermore, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter reference website about all things wizarding world, took to Twitter for National Trivia Day to post an answer to a question literally nobody asked: What did wizards do before plumbing?
A rational person would assume they went about their business the same way Muggles did before the IRL magic of toilets — you know, outhouses, or something— not, as Pottermore revealed, just...go where they were standing.
"Hogwarts didn't always have bathrooms," the disturbing tweet begins. "Before adopting Muggle plumbing methods in the eighteenth century, witches and wizards simply relieved themselves wherever they stood, and vanished the evidence."
So, you're telling me that in the 1600s, students were just...shitting themselves in the library? The dormitories? The Great Hall? Was there any discipline or at least etiquette about when and where you let loose? I get that the spell would take care of any mess, but still, if your deskmate turned to you during class and went "can I shit myself as long as I clean it up?" I still don't think you'd say yes!
The rest of the world had a similar reaction, immediately responding to the tweet with complaints like, "This is the opposite of a fun fact."
Just picture this scenario:
Would they just go in their clothing or would they disrobe in the hallway? What about when they were kids before they learned to use magic? Would the spell take care of the waste while it was coming out of them or would there be a few moments when there's just a puddle of pee in the common room? I don't like thinking about it any more than you do, but now, thanks to Pottermore, it's all I can talk about.