Warning: This “Harry Potter” fact is kinda gross

Growing up, being a witch or wizard sound like THE coolest because of the Harry Potter series — minus the whole Voldemort thing because ugh. Growing up, Hogwarts was our dream school, Harry and the gang were our dream friends, and we couldn’t really ever see a downside to such a magical life, especially in comparison to the blandness of muggle life.

We have, however, recently learned a ~seriously~ gross downside to magical life — pre-plumbing. In an ebook from J.K. Rowling, titled Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide, Rowling cites plumbing as an example of the wizard community relying on muggle inventions. Apparently, pre-plumbing, wizards used to relieve themselves wherever they stood. (Um…)

According to the ebook section on the Chamber of secrets,

“There is clear evidence that the Chamber was opened more than once between the death of Slytherin and the entrance of Tom Riddle in the twentieth century. When first created, the Chamber was accessed through a concealed trapdoor and a series of magic tunnels. However 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 does a masterful job burying this little-known and quite gross fact. For those who may not understand how low-key gross this is, imagine dancing with your prom date for hours only for them to quickly relieve themselves in front of everyone and then take a sec to make it all vanish. You’d all still know it happened. Yeah, that would have happened all the time in the wizarding world before the 18th century!

So while we’ll continue to lament about our mundane muggle (or no-maj) lives, we’ll be a little bit more grateful for our plumbing.

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