Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Are you a fellow Harry Potter fan? Well, you’ll be glad to hear that J.K Rowling recently shared new information revolving around the whimsical franchise. Rowling wrote about a North American wizarding school, equivalent to that of Hogwarts, on Pottermore, a website where the author shares stories, facts, and basically anything orbiting the Harry Potter world.
The new wizarding school is named “Ilvermorny”, and is located on the rocky mountains of Mount. Greylock in Massachusetts. Ilvermorny was founded by Isolt Sayre, a witch who fled her homeland of Ireland due to a dreadful and oppressive aunt, Gormlaith, ancestor to the dark wizard, Voldemort. Isolt made her way to the New World in 1603, where she met James Steward, a no-maj, or non-magical folk, and the pair fell in love. While resting in their quaint cottage in the middle of a forest, the pair found two Native American boys, Chadwick and Webster, who were abandoned in the woods with only a towel wrapped around them. The boys’ Native American heritage would heavily influence the different houses at Ilvermorny. Throughout their young lives, the boys heard magical (no pun intended) stories about Hogwarts, and dreamt of attending such a fine institution, something they were unable to do because of Gormlaith. When Chadwick turned eleven, which was the age of acceptance at Hogwarts, he begged his mother to construct a wand for him. Not knowing how or where to make a wand, Isolt traveled to a nearby stream and encountered a horned serpent, a gigantic snake with a glowy jewel in the middle of its forehead that had mind-reading powers. This comes from Native American folklore. With the consent of the serpent, Isolt cut off one of its horns, which her husband James, a carpenter, would later help construct into a wand. Isolt taught her boys magic in their cottage, and through the grapevine, other wizarding families in the New World soon found out what was happening behind the cottage walls.
Soon, the quaint, cozy cottage was constructed into a large castle, where students from all over North America would be granted acceptance into. The new school became so large that the four founders, Isolt, James, Chadwick, and Webster, created four houses in order to create house competitions. The founders named their house based on their favorite magical creatures, which resembles Hogwarts’ four houses. Isolt chose the Horned Serpent, which favors scholars. James chose the Pukwudgie, which favors healers. Chadwick chose the Thunderbird, which favors adventurers. Webster chose the Wampus cat, which favores warriors. All of these creatures come from Native American culture, which pays tribute to their traditions and folklore.
When newly-accepted students make their way to Ilvermorny, they are sorted into their houses in the middle of a large circular room where other students watch from a wooden balcony above. Four wooden statues of the houses creatures will tell the students which house they will be sorted into. If the Horned Serpent wants a student, the jewel in its forehead will glow. If the Pukwudgie wants someone, the creature will raise its bow and arrow. If the Thunderbird wants a student, it will flap its gigantic wings, and if the Wampus wants someone, it will let out a mighty roar. The students of Ilvermorny wear blue and cranberry colored robes, due to Isolt being sorted into Ravenclaw house at Hogwarts, and James’ love for cranberry pie. Ilvermorny has the same classes as Hogwarts, which include Potions, Transfiguration, Defense of the Dark Arts, and many more.
You can read more about this imaginative school on the Pottermore website. I hope you find it just as interesting as I do!
Picture credits: https://images.pottermore.com/bxd3o8b291gf/4BDnbyVsvm4mk64GeQGUEs/589c66616c923e5132d352220117abca/WBC02_Still_01.jpg?w=1200