The 20th Anniversary Editions of Harry Potter Accidentally Added Fake Potter News

Image: Bloomsbury

In 2017, fake news is everywhere. It’s on your Twitter feed, on your television, it’s flung out of the Trump administration like confetti. But I’m sorry to report, readers, that fake news has wormed its way into another beloved institution: the latest printing of Harry Potter.

New editions of J.K. Rowling’s beloved books—emblazoned with the house heraldry of Hogwarts—were released by Bloomsbury for the franchise’s 20th anniversary (UK) this year. But instead of just reprinting the story as-is, the new editions also contain pages of factoids about the different houses at Potter’s premiere school of Witchcraft and Wizardry… and those are the pages that apparently have a pretty big error in them.


As noticed by The Rowling Library, it’s only editions of the books featuring the heraldry of Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw that have the error, as each book has factoids specific to the houses their cover represents. In this case, those books have a printed “did you know” stating that Professor Sprout (the professor of Herbology and head of Hufflepuff) and Professor Flitwick (the professor of Charms and head of Ravenclaw) used to be romantically involved with each other. Except… they didn’t. So where did Bloomsbury get the wrong info from? Turns out, it’s actually a pretty bizarre source:

The fake news and the joke tweet that inspired it. Images: The Rowling Library/College Humor

It was a fake Rowling tweet, made for a CollegeHumor roundup of jokes about just how much the author knows about her wizarding world. Sure, the author does share a, frankly, absurd amount of trivia about the Potterverse on Twitter, but at least in this instance, it was a joke and one not made by the real author. A joke that’s now inside an awful lot of fresh copies of the Harry Potter novels.

Bloomsbury reached out to The Rowling Library to confirm that they were aware of the error and would fix it in future prints of the Anniversary editions. So if you bagged yourself a copy of them already, you’re suddenly holding on to a pretty weird bit of Potter trivia.


[The Rowling Library via Mashable]

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James Whitbrook

James is a News Editor at io9. He wants pictures. Pictures of Spider-Man!