J.K. Rowling's New Pottermore Story Sets the Stage for Fantastic Beasts

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J.K. Rowling has been treating us to new stories about the wizarding world through her Pottermore website and her latest edition perfectly sets the stage for the upcoming, much-anticipated film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which hits theaters Nov. 18.

The new story about the Magical Congress of the United States of America (or MACUSA) rehashes the history of the wizarding world in the U.S. leading up to the 1920s (when Newt Scamander arrives in Manhattan with his suitcase of magical beasts). The narrative introduces us to the first MACUSA president, Josiah Jackson, and his band of 12 Aurors, who serve as the equivalent of the Founding Fathers. One notable name on the list is Abraham Potter, who was, in fact, related to the famous Harry Potter.

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The story delves into the relationship between wizards and the No-Maj community (the equivalent of Britain's Muggles), and how MACUSA’s laws affected their co-existence. The American Revolution served as a catalyst for the “Country or Kind” debate, in which wizards weighed their obligations to their new nation versus their magical community.

By the time Newt arrives in America, tensions are high between the two communities. After many a move, MACUSA settles their headquarters at the Woolworth Building in downtown Manhattan, which is where Scamander and his suitcase enter the country.

Rowling notes a “significant difference” between the penalties for serious crime in the U.K. and the U.S. While dangerous British witches and wizards were sent to Azkaban, equivalent criminals in the United States were executed, which means stakes are high for the law-breaking Newt.

Read the full story over on Pottermore.

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