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J.K. Rowling introduces Scourers, an enemy of wizards and witches

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Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling revealed a new enemy that American wizards and witches had to thwart during the 17th century.

In her new series, which explores the history of magic in North America, Rowling introduced a group of authoritarian vigilantes called Scourers. Originally created by a group of like-minded individuals who wanted to create a form of law enforcement for magical beings, they eventually became power-hungry and hateful of the people they vowed to protect.

According to Rowling, the lack of a judicial front for this new group of magical immigrants that had come over from Europe, "was filled by an unscrupulous band of wizarding mercenaries of many foreign nationalities, who formed a much-feared and brutal taskforce."

Rowling added that, eventually, the Scourers become obsessed with capturing magical folk and trafficking them for gold, and indulged in "bloodshed and torture." Although it sounds like this could have been a group as terrible as the Death Eaters, the infamous band of evil wizards and witches that served Lord Voldemort in the original Harry Potter series, Rowling wrote that the Scourers eventually tore themselves away from magic altogether.

In fact, the Scourers came to loathe magical beings and, as they migrated into muggle circles, began to teach their children that magic was real and those that possessed magical powers should be hated.

In the latest edition of Rowling's ongoing history series, the author also addressed the Salem witch hunt and trials, exploring how detrimental that period was to the growth of the wizarding community in America.

The entire chapter can be read on Rowling's website, Pottermore.