JK Rowling reveals new Potter villains

The second chapter of JK Rowling's History of Magic in America includes even more revelations about the previously untold past of wizards and witches in the New World.

The chapter Seventeeth Century and Beyond, released today, delves into the move of the European magical community to America and all the things that followed.

Reveals include the first magical school, Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, only containing two teachers and two students when it was founded, as well as the Salem Witch Trials and the wizards that were behind it, and the creation the Magical Congress of the United States of America.

A group of corrupt wizards formed calling themselves Scourers. The Scourers took it upon themselves to hunt down criminals, or anyone who they could make gold from.

Rowling writes their actions eventually led to the Salem Witch Trials in 1692-93. They pulled the strings that led to not only the death of witches and wizards but many No-Maj (non-magical people) who got caught up in the hysteria of the trials.

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After the trials many from overseas wizarding communities stopped immigrating to America out of fear. This led to a higher population of magical people in America being born to No-Maj.

It also led to the Magical Congress of the United States of America, which was founded in 1693, to bring the Scourers to justice and help protect the American magical community from such a tragedy ever happening again.

As for the Scourers who escaped punishment, they weaved their way into No-Maj communities and attempted to cull magical children from their own families.

Scourers passed onto their No-Maj descendants a knowledge of the reality of magic, as well as an absolute hatred for it, and a "belief that witches and wizards ought to be exterminated wherever they were found".

It is possible that we might see remnants of the villainous Scourers in the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, following the story of Newt Scamander in New York 70 years before Harry Potter reads Scamander's book at Hogwarts.

Read the first two chapters of JK Rowling's History of Magic in America on Pottermore.com. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them is set for release in New Zealand in November.

- nzherald.co.nz

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