2016 was a hard year for a lot of us. Brexit. The presidential election. J.K. Rowling deciding that she should just go ahead and write The History of Magic in North America without first googling the year that the United States of America was founded (seriously... I'm supposed to believe that the Magical Congress of the USA started 83 years before there was a USA??). But, love it or hate it, 2016 was the year that we learned a whole lot more about the Wizarding World. Need a brush up? Here are a few key things we learned about Harry Potter and friends in 2016.
MAJOR SPOILERS for Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts, because this was one hell of a year to be a Potterhead.
Now, look, I know that our beloved Jo Rowling has made a few people angry with her endless George Lucas-ing of her own books. People were hurt by her ignorance in appropriating Native American cultures. People were not happy to see Johnny Depp cast as Dumbledore's ex-boyfriend, Grindelwald. Delphi exists.
But many people also loved to see Hufflepuffs take the limelight in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. They were thrilled to see Noma Dumezweni as Hermione in Cursed Child. And some people were even happy with their Pottermore-assigned Patronus.
So, no matter how you feel about the Trolley Witch, here are the updates to the Potter-verse from 2016:
1. American Muggles are called “No-Majs”
Look, I don't *love* the word "No-Maj," but I do love Jacob, so... it evens out.
2. Ilvermorny is the American Wizarding school
It was founded by the Irish witch Isolt Sayre, who came to America on the Mayflower. Ilvermorny is located on Mount Greylock somewhere in Massachusetts, hidden from prying No-Majs eyes, and it accepts students from all across North America.
3. Ilvermorny's houses are Thunderbird, Wampus, Pukwudgie, and Horned Serpent
Each house is named after a magical creature from Native American folklore. And don't try to figure out which Hogwarts house they each correspond to because they are *supposedly* unrelated.
4. American Wizards are ruled by the Magical Congress of the USA, founded in 1693
...even though the term "United States of America" was not used until 1776. Oh, well. Apparently the Salem Witch Trials of the 1600's were such a tragedy that American witches and wizards decided to form this governing body almost a hundred years before No-Majs declared their independence.
5. Newt Scamander is a Hufflepuff
This was the Hufflepuffs' time to shine! Newt is an awkward, adorable Hufflepuff with a bunch of pets he keeps locked in a suitcase.
6. No-Majs and Wizards can't date
Apparently, even in the Wizarding World, America has some pretty old fashioned politics. The Magical Congress does not allow witches or wizards and No-Majs to hook up, or even be friends, under any circumstances.
7. Gifted wizards can fly without brooms
8. Repressed baby wizards can create an Obscurus
An Obscurus is a powerful force of dark magic that can explode out of the child, wreaking destruction. That's totally what happened to Dumbledore's sister, right? Maybe? Probably.
9. Rowling feels bad about killing Lupin
10. Hermione became Minister of Magic
11. Ron and Hermione are still in love in every parallel universe
Take that, haters. Even in the weird parallel universe where Ron is married to Padma, they're totally still into each other. Also, apparently Time-Turners can create parallel universes? ...even though in The Prisoner of Azkaban, they are very clearly operating in a closed-loop timeline? Ok.
12. Albus Severus and Scorpius are Slytherins
Sorry, Albus. Apparently everyone with a dorky name is indiscriminately sorted into Slytherin. But Albus and Scorpius become friends and destroy the fabric of space-time together, so it works out in the end.
13. Rowling’s Patronus is a Heron
14. Nifflers are pretty cute
Not how I *personally* imagined them, but still... very cute.
15. Grindelwald was messing around in America at some point
I don't really know how this hottie aged into a white-haired Johnny Depp, but sure. Either way, Grindelwald was clearly up to something in America, and his obsession with Obscurials just maybe has something to do with Dumbledore's little sister??
16. Harry is scared of pigeons
Yup, Harry Potter is scared of pigeons. That's official now, according to his confession to Albus in Cursed Child. Harry Potter, pigeon-hater.
So... I guess those are all the major things we learned about Harry Potter this year... was there anything else?
17. Voldemort And Bellatrix Had A Child
OH YEAH. So Voldemort and Bellatrix had a baby. Which means they hooked up. You can come at me with your fan theories about how they used magic to knock her up or whatever but... c'mon. Let's be real. Bellatrix was super into him. He was super into having a powerful... wand. That's definitely what went down. And now I can't un-see it.
Well... here's to more magic in 2017! (And hopefully less information about the Dark Lord's sex life.)