Pottermore Explores “Rappaport’s Law” in Latest Piece by J.K. Rowling

In the third of four pieces revealed on Pottermore about the “History of Magic in North America,” J.K. Rowling introduces fans to Rappaport’s Law in a piece of the same name. Following yesterday’s release of “Seventeenth Century and Beyond,” “Rappaport’s Law” – as previously described by the Telegraph – explains “one of [the] most serious breaches of the secrecy of the wizarding world”:

In brief, the catastrophe involved the daughter of President Rappaport’s trusted Keeper of Treasure and Dragots (the Dragot is the American wizarding currency, and the Keeper of Dragots, as the title implies, is roughly equivalent to the Secretary of the Treasury). Aristotle Twelvetrees was a competent man, but his daughter, Dorcus, was as dim as she was pretty. She had been a poor student at Ilvermorny and at the time of her father’s ascension to high office was living at home, hardly ever performing magic, but concentrating mainly on her clothes, the arrangement of her hair and parties.

Dorcus “became greatly enamoured of a handsome No-Maj called Bartholomew Barebone,” the descendant of a Scourer, and “confided the secret addresses of both MACUSA and Ilvermorny, along with information about the International Confederation of Wizards and all the ways in which these bodies sought to protect and conceal the wizarding community.”

Bartholomew then took Dorcus’s wand. As Rowling explains,

Having gathered as much information as he could from Dorcus, Bartholomew stole the wand she had obligingly demonstrated for him, showed it to as many pressmen as he could find, then gathered together armed friends and set out to persecute and ideally, kill all the witches and wizards in the vicinity. Bartholomew further printed leaflets giving the addresses where witches and wizards congregated and sent letters to prominent No-Majs, some of whom felt it necessary to investigate whether there were indeed ‘evil occult parties’ happening at the places described.

This was an embarrassment for the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA), which, as we learned in “Seventeenth Century and Beyond,” was formed in 1693:

The attention focused on the MACUSA building was so intense that it was forced to move premises. As President Rappaport was forced to tell the International Confederation of Wizards at a public inquiry, she could not be sure that every last person privy to Dorcus’s information had been Obliviated. The leak had been so serious that the after-effects would be felt for many years.

The result of Rappaport’s Law was the segregation of the wizard and No-Maj communities. As Rowling writes,

Dorcus’s indiscretions led to the introduction of Rappaport’s Law. Rappaport’s Law enforced strict segregation between the No-Maj and wizarding communities. Wizards were no longer allowed to befriend or marry No-Majs. Penalties for fraternising with No-Majs were harsh. Communication with No-Majs was limited to that necessary to perform daily activities.

She adds that “Rappaport’s Law further entrenched the major cultural difference between the American wizarding community and that of Europe.”

You can read all of “Rappaport’s Law” on Pottermore.

The final piece of Pottermore’s “History of Magic in North America,” titled “1920s Wizarding America,” will be released tomorrow at 2 p.m. GMT! Be sure to visit MuggleNet for updates!

What do you think about today’s piece? What are you hoping to learn when “1920s Wizarding America” is released tomorrow? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!