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The Hogwarts letter is a letter of acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry sent to British wizards and witches prior to their first year at Hogwarts. A special quill exists which writes down the name of every magical child in Britain at the time of their birth, allowing Hogwarts letters to be sent to all magical children at the appropriate time, even those who are Muggle-born. The Hogwarts letter consists of a note of acceptance from the Deputy Headmaster or Headmistress of Hogwarts and a list of required textbooks and materials for the school year.
Deliverance of the letter
The letter is written on parchment paper and delivered to the recipient by owl, except in the case of Muggle-borns, where the acceptance letter is delivered in person by a member of the Hogwarts faculty, a special messenger, who explains everything to the student and parents. Harry Potter's initial acceptance letter was delivered by regular Muggle post, as Vernon and Petunia Dursley were aware of the existence of the wizarding world and Hogwarts. Hogwarts is able to magically tell whether or not a child has read his or her Hogwarts letter, as evidenced by the bombardment of 4 Privet Drive with letters, despite at least one of them having been opened and read by Vernon and Petunia Dursley.
Harry Potter first received one during the summer holidays of 1991. He was stunned at receiving such a letter, as he normally never received any correspondence, and held on to it, causing Vernon Dursley to joke that he might be checking for letter bombs. Upon Dudley's noticing that Harry had the letter and realising what it was, Vernon's face was said to have gone "from red to green faster than a set of traffic lights." He then seized the letter, burned it, and then moved Harry to The Smallest Bedroom. He went to increasingly elaborate measures to try to stop the delivery of the letters, eventually resulting in Rubeus Hagrid personally visiting the Hut-on-the-Rock to deliver the letter.
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)
- Dear Mr/Ms. [Surname],
- We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
- Yours sincerely,
- Minerva McGonagall
- Deputy Headmistress
HOGWARTS SCHOOL of WITCHCRAFT and WIZARDRY
- First-year students will require:
- Please note that all pupil's clothes should carry name tags.
- COURSE BOOKS
- All students should have a copy of each of the following:
- OTHER EQUIPMENT
PARENTS ARE REMINDED THAT FIRST YEARS
ARE NOT ALLOWED THEIR OWN BROOMSTICK
- Yours sincerely,
Behind the scenes
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, the letters come from additional places like the toaster, washing machine and in between the windshield wipers on the way to the beach.
- In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, customisable Hogwarts Acceptance Letters are sold, with the individual's name printed, along with a list of school supplies.
- On Pottermore, the user is able to view Harry's Acceptance Letter in Chapter 4 (Keeper of the Keys), Moment 2 (Harry receives his Letter at last). Also, the Shopping List is viewable during the user's first encounter at Diagon Alley and is then placed in the user's trunk.
- In the European Portuguese translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Harry Potter e a Pedra Filosofal, "one caduceus" is added to the list of required equipment.
- In the GBC version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, the letter is written as follows by Dumbledore:
- Dear Mr Potter,
- You have been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
- Yours sincerely,
- Albus Dumbledore
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- Harry Potter for Kinect
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault (mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (mentioned only)