Briana Hansen
April 10, 2016 9:16 pm
Warner Bros. Pictures

We knew people wanted early copies of the Harry Potter books, but we just didn’t realize how much went into making sure early copies didn’t leak. It turns out, so many people were in such a frenzy to get their hands on early copies of JK Rowlings’ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, that the UK-based Government Communications Head Quarters (GCHQ) decided to get involved.

You’ve probably never heard much about the GCHQ. That’s because they don’t want you to know much about them. And that’s because they’re spies. Legitimate, intel-gathering, bad-guy-fighting, real-life spies.

Or, if you prefer magic talk, Professor Remus Lupin-types. Though they are (probably) not werewolves.

According to a recent BBC interview with Nigel Newton (the head of the publishing company in charge of the Harry Potter series), the GCHQ decided to help out to make sure the author’s magical manuscript would stay protected after a fake “leak” of an early copy of the Half-Blood Prince manuscript. Nigel said that Potterheads were so desperate for any sort of information about the story, that the company was constantly hounded for details and had to watch out for people who may have been paid to procure even a portion of the writing. Not to mention, he says Rowling told him that there were people rummaging through her trash for bits of paper that might have story clues.

From the sounds of all that mayhem, the elusive professionals were absolutely needed to continue to monitor and protect the storyline. Though, when asked to divulge details of their involvement in the book’s protection, the GCHQ (adorably) said, “We don’t comment on our defense against the dark arts.” Because of course they did.