The History of Magic In North America: Rappaport’s Law

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Image credit: Pottermore.com

An alternate title for today’s magical history lesson could be “Dorcas Ruins Dating for Everyone”. Before I jump in with today’s quick hits, be sure to check out the recaps of Day 1 and Day 2 of Pottermore’s North American magical history lessons.

Today’s lesson focused largely on a specific law called Rappaport’s Law, which has to do with wizard interaction with No-Majes. I kind of liked that today’s story focused a bit less on a broad strokes history lesson, and instead zeroed in to a specific moment in North American magical history. As with the other two stories, I’m realizing that their brevity is really kind of driving me crazy. I know Rowling is trying to only offer glimpses into the wizarding world in America to get people pumped for Fantastic Beasts, but I wish the stories we got went a bit deeper. I’m hoping she continues to write more as we get closer to the film’s release. Regardless of how much new content she’s giving us, here’s a quick roundup of what we learned today:

  • The fifteenth MACUSA president is named Emily Rappaport, creator of Rappaport’s law.
  • American magical currency is a Dragot. The Keeper of the Dragot is like the Secretary of the Treasury.
  • The Keeper of the Dragots in this story is Aristotle Twelvetrees, his daughter is named Dorcas.
  • Dorcas accidentally dates and falls in love with a Scourer named Bartholomew Barebone. Bartholomew tricks her into telling him all her magical secrets, and even shows him spells with her wand–which he promptly steals and tells as many people and news outlets he can about wizards.
  • After the word gets out, Bartholomew decides to take matters into his own hands, and attempts to shoot a group of wizards. Only they weren’t wizards, they were regular ol’ No-Majes. No one died, and Bartholomew was arrested before the MACUSA had to step in.
  • The MACUSA tried to Obliviate as many people as they could who came in contact with Bartholomew’s story, but it was impossible to find everyone. So President Rappaport introduced Rappaport’s Law (because “Way To Go, Dorcas” was probably too mean), which barred any witches or wizards from fraternizing with No-Majes.
  • While many called for Dorcas’ execution or a lifetime imprisonment, she only served a year in jail. When she came out, the wizarding community was totally different–as was she–and she spent the rest of her days Spongebob-style, in complete seclusion with only a parrot and mirror to keep her company.

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  • The No-Maj community was skeptical enough of the magical community, so after “The Dorcas Incident” the wizarding community essentially went underground.
  • Though really, after this entire thing I think a better name might be “The No-Maj Men are the Worst Act” or “Bartholomew’s a Dick Law”. Dorcas may have been naive, but Bartholomew’s definitely the villain here.

I know Rowling was planning on telling us how the first wands got to America. I either missed that conversation (because Dorcas had one, but the last thing I remember was talk of no established wand-makers), or it’s still coming. I’m going to have to re-read the other days to make sure I didn’t miss it. What do you think of the stories so far? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! 

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