The name Carlotta Pinkstone might vaguely ring a bell, but this is not because of any History of Magic class or book. Her story is shunned from being told! But for what reason?
Carlotta Pinkstone, a name which one cannot find in history books but one surprisingly can find on a golden Chocolate Frog Card. Depicted in shackles, the card has a double symbolic meaning. Carlotta was literally shackled due to her blatant and deliberate use of magic, leading to several imprisonments in Azkaban. Yet, she also advocated for being freed from the secrecy shackles imposed by wizarding world law.
Born in 1922 somewhere in Britain, Carlotta Pinkstone attended Hogwarts under Headmaster Armando Dippet. It is rumored that it was during these years that Carlotta began questioning the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy after several heated discussions during History of Magic classes and the debate club. Carlotta argued that the statute was outdated and became superfluous for the twentieth-century. She was of opinion that it could only be convenient and opportune to mix both the wizarding and muggle world.
Newton Scamander’s adventures in the U.S.A. might have influenced Carlotta’s line of thinking, as the Pinkstones were friends with the Scamanders. Hearing about the magical adventures Newton encountered in New York, he must have mentioned the tremendous help given by the wonderful muggle Jacob Kowalski. Such stories were likely to have inspired Carlotta to critically study the statute and to eventually fight for its annulment.
The International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, also known as the International Code of Wizarding Secrecy or the International Statute of Secrecy, was first signed in 1689, having been established officially in 1692. The law was written to protect the wizarding community from muggles and to hide the wizarding presence from the world at large. During the seventeenth century, the relations between muggles and wizards were at their worst. Persecution of wizards and witches by muggles already occurred ever since the fifteenth century, sentenced to death for the charge of witchcraft. This lead to many families losing their young wizarding members, as they were not able to control their magic well enough.
The situation escalated over time, as muggles wanted to be taught magic as well as to have wizard or witches perform magic to their ends. Moreover, many muggles were wrongly sentenced to death. This led to newly created Ministry of Magic to find help in the current British monarch, which was at that time William III and Mary II. This was to no avail, as no protection or recognition was provided by the monarchs. Due to this lack of success, the wizarding world found their own solution and decided upon the secrecy statute rather than to engage in militant combat.
Due to the separation between both worlds, it was only logical for the wizarding community to create “their own small communities within a community” as was written by Bathilda Bagshot. Wizards and witches started to leave for small villages and hamlets, creating their own safe havens where magic was deemed normal and allowed.
As mentioned before, Carlotta was a fervent opponent of the statute and after Hogwarts, she often protested in the Ministry of Magic with signs and texts such as “STOP SPELL SUPPRESSION!”. This seemed to have led to a lot of agitation of the employees working at the Ministry, but this might just have been to keep up appearances. Archive materials which were recently made public by the Ministry show that an official petition in true Round-Robin fashion was handed into the Ministry, only to be shoved under the rug. Only a few hours after the archive materials were made public, the Ministry hastily removed them from public viewing stating that “certain documents could be considered to be a danger to the public” and that they were “made public by accident”.
After the Ministry covered up their legal petition, Carlotta was fed up with taking no real action. Going into muggle communities she blatantly used magic and exclaimed to all who would hear her that magic was real. For this, she was sent to be imprisoned in Azkaban. Yet, this did not deter her from her cause, and she kept on deliberately using magic to expose the wizarding world to the muggles. Her actions again led to imprisonment and this cycle went on for a while. Pinkstone’s current whereabouts are unknown, although no one can blame her to try and live the rest of her life in peace.
The recent efforts of Shoda Fukui to expose the wizarding world to muggles in Tokyo has once again stirred discussion concerning the existing secrecy statute. Opponents of the secrecy statute argue that if muggles think that magic is not real anymore, what is the harm of using it? Moreover, the secrecy statute was established in 1692 and only revisited in 1750, making it in many eyes a very outdated law. Whereas, advocators for the statute still base their arguments on horrible past experiences and failed efforts to reconcile both worlds. They are afraid that if the wizarding world is allowed to present itself to the muggle world again, it could lead to new witch hunts and trials based on the closed-mindedness of many muggles.
Whether you agree with Carlotta Pinkstone or not, we could maybe agree the fact that her story should not be excluded from any curriculum. Instead, we should discuss the secrecy statute and see if it still fits current times or whether it might be in need of an update. It is only through fruitful discussion and engagement that we can come to a compromising solution, not by covering up stories and facts based on the fear of a revolt or uprising. The Ministry should play open cards concerning this matter and keep us in the loop and should not hide her story from us. It is sad to know that one can learn more about magical history from a simple Chocolate Frog Card, than from a study book.
What are your thoughts on the secrecy statute, Carlotta’s untold story and how the Ministry handled it? Let us know and discuss below!