In the second book of the Harry Potter series, J. K. Rowling introduces us to the Chamber of Secrets, a hidden labyrinth of tunnels and secret rooms built by Salazar Slytherin in Hogwarts.
If you remember correctly, the chamber was home to a giant ancient Basilik, intended by legend to purge the school of those students that lack the blood purity to become true wizards. Not only did the vision of the monster leave students 'petrified,' but the attacks resonated throughout Hogwarts, hitting very close to home particularly when young Ginny Weasley got involved.
Relive the moment that the terrifying monster came head to head with Harry in the short clip below:
Now, although we might think we know all there is to know about the events surrounding the chamber, an article posted by Rowling on Pottermore is certainly still worth a read. The text not only reminds us of why Salazar Slytherin decided to built a secret chamber, but also how his intentions changed over the years. And, upon dissecting the text, I discovered another key point of information concerning a more base topic - the bowel movements of the wizarding community.
In particular, this passage was particularly memorable:
"When first created, the Chamber was accessed through a concealed trapdoor and a series of magical tunnels. However, when Hogwarts’ plumbing became more elaborate in the eighteenth century (this was a rare instance of wizards copying Muggles, because hitherto they simply relieved themselves wherever they stood, and vanished the evidence), the entrance to the Chamber was threatened, being located on the site of a proposed bathroom."
So, before the hay-day of plumbing and running water, the wizarding community used to just pop a squat wherever they saw fit and then just vanished it without a moment's thought?
No wonder it wasn't easy being a Squib! What a nightmare it must have been being unable to get rid of your mess with a wave of a wand!
What a funny little piece of information, I'm sure you'll agree. I doubt you'll be able to look at ancient wizards in the same way ever again!
Read the full chapter about the foundation of the Chamber of Secrets here.