At least some content in this article is derived from information featured in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film). As such, spoilers will be present within the article.
- "The great North American school of magic was founded in the seventeenth century. It stands at the highest peak of Mount Greylock, where it is concealed from non-magic gaze by a variety of powerful enchantments, which sometimes manifest in a wreath of misty cloud."
- —Description of the school[src]
The castle was once a granite stone house constructed by Isolt Sayre and James Steward to be their home. When it eventually became a school, the cottage kept expanding until it became a castle. The frontdoors are adorned with marble statues of Sayre and Steward on either side. It is concealed by several enchantments which sometimes makes the school like a wreath of misty cloud.
- "By the time Webster turned eleven, the reputation of the family’s little home school had spread. Two more magical boys from the Wampanoag tribe had been joined by a mother and two daughters from the Narragansett, all interested in learning the techniques of wandwork in exchange for sharing their own magical learning."
- —The start of Ilvermorny transition into a larger school[src]
Ilvermorny was founded during the early seventeenth century after 1620, 630 years after Hogwarts, and the school was originally just a rough shack containing two teachers and two students. Ilvermorny was originally a stone cottage constructed by Irish immigrant Isolt Sayre, and her No-Maj husband James Steward. It became a school when their adoptive children Chadwick and Webster Boot hoped they could return to Ireland so they could attend Hogwarts. Isolt then promised they could build their own school at Ilvermorny with the objective of home-schooling them.
Thus, the school started with just the couple acting as teachers and their two adopted sons, Chadwick and Webster Boot, as students. Each of them named one of the four Houses: Chadwick created Thunderbird, Webster created Wampus, Isolt created Horned Serpent, and James created Pukwudgie.
Eventually, the school enrolled more students, and the couple were able to provide wands not just for their children but for the other students too. These students were Native Americans of the Wampanoag and the Narragansett tribes who shared their knowledge of magic in return for being taught the technique involved with wandwork. Therefore, Native American magic became involved in the foundations of Ilvermorny. Over the next few years, the school grew even more and by 1634, there were enough children for inter-house competitions.
For a time, the school acted only as a day school, with only James, Isolt and their family as the only live-in residents. News of the new school reached Europe, and Isolt's wicked aunt, Gormlaith Gaunt finally located her niece. She made her way to the school, and cast a curse on James and Isolt from a distance to put them in a deep sleep, in hopes to kill them and abduct their new-born twin daughters. She didn't know, however, about Chadwick and Webster, and when she cast a spell in Parseltongue to disable Isolt's wand, the brothers' wands (which had the core of Horned Serpent horn) alerted them of the danger. Chadwick went to hold off the Dark witch while Webster attempted, to no avail to awaken their parents. Webster joined the duel and the couple were awakened by the cry of their infant daughters. While James went to protect the babies, Isolt tried to join the fight, but her wand was useless, being disabled prior. In the duel the whole family was driven to the bedroom, and Isolt called out to her late father William for help, and was answered by her old friend William, a Pukwudgie. The Pukwudgie killed Gormlaith and from that day on, William and his family acted as the school's security and maintenance staff.
Following Gormlaith's death, Isolt and James buried her wand within the school grounds. She did not wish to keep the wand as it was the last reminder of her unhappy childhood. Within a year, a snakewood tree grew from the ground where it was buried. Any attempts to kill or prune it was unsuccessful, and it was kept after it was discovered that the tree contained powerful medicinal properties.
By the 18th century, Ilvermorny became a granite castle and more teachers were added to cope with the growing number of students. By this point, the school had become a boarding school. Ilvermorny reached the same reputation other schools of magic had and the founders had concealed their school by clever enchantments, some of which made it look like a misty cloud to No-Majs.
During the 18th century, one of Ilvermorny ex-students, Dorcus Twelvetrees, revealed to a No-Maj named Bartholomew Barebone the location of the school, among other information concerning the wizarding community. However, it turned out that Bartholomew was the descendant of a Scourer, and he revealed all the information he got from Dorcus to the No-Maj community, including Ilvermorny's address. It led to one of the greatest ever breaches of the International Statute of Secrecy, but also the passage of Rappaport's Law, which effectively segregated the No-Maj and wizarding communities. When first years arrive to Ilvermorny, they are sorted into their house and then they are taken to another area where they get to choose (or be chosen by) their wand. Prior of the repeal of the Rappaport's Law, students were not allowed a wand outside of school until they were seventeen.
By the 1920s, Ilvermorny had been flourishing for more than two centuries and was widely considered to be one of the greatest magical educational establishments in the world. As a result of their shared education, all witches and wizards who attended are proficient in the use of a wand. They had also developed a school song.
There are four houses at Ilvermorny - Horned Serpent, Wampus, Thunderbird and Pukwudgie. When a student starts their education at Ilvermorny, they step onto a Gordian Knot on the floor in the centre of the entrance hall with large wooden statues of the mascots for the four houses facing them. The carved statues react if they want the student in their house. The older students watch in silence from a circular balcony on a floor above them as the new students are sorted. The carvings react by:
- Horned Serpent - The crystal in the carving's forehead glows.
- Wampus - The carving roars.
- Thunderbird - The carving beats its wings.
- Pukwudgie - The carving raises its arrow.
However, sometimes more than one carving will try to select the same student and so the student is then able to choose the house they prefer. This happens very rarely. Sometimes - as rare as once a decade or even a generation as in the case of one student - a student will be selected by every house. Seraphina Picquery, who was President of MACUSA 1920 - 1928 is known to have had this honour. She chose Horned Serpent.
After the sorting, the student is brought to a large hall where they are chosen once more, this time by a wand. Prior to the end of Rappaport's Law, children could not have a wand prior to schooling and had to leave their wand at school during school breaks and could only take the wand out of school when they reached seventeen years of age.
As might be expected of a school part-founded by a No-Maj, Ilvermorny has the reputation of being one of the most democratic, least elitist of all the great wizarding schools. Students are also well versed in the use of a wand. In Edition 2579 of Transfiguration Today, an essay from Ilvermorny Scholars is featured on the front page and on Pg. 4 of the magazine.
The robes of Ilvermorny are blue and cranberry. The colours honour Isolt and James: blue because it was Isolt's favourite colour and because she had wished to be in Ravenclaw house as a child; cranberry in honour of James's love of cranberry pie. All Ilvermony students' robes are fastened by a gold Gordian Knot, in memory of the brooch Isolt found in the ruins of the original Ilvermorny cottage.
- Defence Against the Dark Arts was one of the subjects which have been taught at Ilvermorny since the 17th century. One of the teachers was Rionach Steward, the daughter of Ilvermorny founders Isolt Sayre and James Steward.
- Charms was another known subject at Ilvermorny, as Chadwick's Charms Vols I – VII, which was written by founder Chadwick Boot are standard textbooks for Charms class at Ilvermorny. The Charms Chalice was an possible award related to the subject.
- Transfiguration was also likely taught at the school, as an article by Ilvermorny Scholars was published in Transfiguration Today. They also have a tournament called the Transfiguration Tournament.
- Potions was a class held at the school; the Excellence in Potions Cup was a related achievement at the school.
- Xylomancy was offered by the school in 1926.
- Arithmancy was likely offered at the school as the school has a award called the Arithmancy Achievement Accolade.
- Study of Ancient Runes was likely offered at the school as the school has an award called the Excellence in Runes Cup.
Behind the scenes
- Ilvermorny is the only known wizarding school to have been co-founded by a No-Maj.
- In an interview shortly before the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in 2000, J. K. Rowling responded to a question about whether American children could attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by stating, "No, they have their own school. You'll find out in Book 4." Ilvermorny, however, was not mentioned in the fourth book. It is likely that she referred to Castelobruxo, the South American wizarding school.
- The Ilvermorny school song was cut from the film, so its canonicity is unclear.
- The magic of local Native American tribes played an important role in the construction of Ilvermorny, who was known to have practised wandless magic prior to the introduction of the wand (an European invention). As such, it is not unreasonable to assume the school retained and passed on some of their teachings, considering to Percival Graves's proficiency in casting spells without a wand.
- The sorting ceremony is similar to the discarded idea of Founder statues for the Hogwats sorting.
- On the Pottermore website, those who are sorted into their Ilvermorny house have the option to choose between their Hogwarts house theme or their Ilvermorny house theme.
- In 1926, The New York Ghost gave their readers an update on what appears to be the house points and awards given to each house at the time. Ilvermorny may have their own Quidditch Cup and Transfiguration Tournament, as well as awards such as The Charms Chalice, Excellence in Potions Cup, Excellence in Runes Cup, Arithmancy Achievement Accolade and The Gobstone Goblet.
- Pottermore (First identified as Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (mentioned in 2017 edition)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" at Pottermore
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 .@tannerfbowen No, but he's going to meet people who were educated at [name] in [not New York]. by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
- ↑ "Newt's a Hufflepuff, but the other heroes went to the American school of wizardry (and yes, I know their houses)." by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
- ↑ Pottermore - Writing by J.K. Rowling: "History of Magic in North America: Seventeenth Century and Beyond"
- ↑ Pottermore - Writing by J.K. Rowling: "History of Magic in North America: Rappaport's Law"
- ↑ Pottermore - Writing by J.K. Rowling: "History of Magic in North America: 1920s Wizarding America"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 Tina: Thunderbird. Queenie: Pukwudgie. by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
- ↑ MinaLima Store - Transfiguration Today - 'Albus Dumbledore'(see this image)
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) - (see this image)
- ↑ "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000
- ↑ While it is true that it was Grindelwald disguised as Graves seen in the movie, he would never have been able to maintain his cover had he used magic beyond the capabilities of the man he were impersonating, meaning that Graves's magical skills were equal to those Grindelwald displayed throughout the film up until the point where he dropped the act and engaged all of the Aurors present in the New York subway in a duel following the apparent destruction of the Obscurus.
- ↑ Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (see this image)
|The Eleven Schools: Beauxbatons · Castelobruxo · Durmstrang · Hogwarts · Ilvermorny · Koldovstoretz · Mahoutokoro · Uagadou|
|Specialised schools: Academy of Broom Flying · Charm School · Euro-Glyph School of Extraordinary Languages · Merge School of Under-Water Spellage · Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts|
|Examinations: First year exams · Second year exams · Third year exams · Fourth year exams · Ordinary Wizarding Level · Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test|
|Core classes: Astronomy · Charms · Defence Against the Dark Arts · Herbology · History of Magic · Potions · Transfiguration|
|Elective classes: Alchemy · Arithmancy · Care of Magical Creatures · Divination · Muggle Studies · Study of Ancient Runes|
|Extra-curricular classes: Apparition · Advanced Arithmancy Studies · Ancient Studies · Art · Flying · Frog Choir · Ghoul Studies · Hogwarts orchestra · Magical Theory · Muggle Art · Muggle Music · Music · Xylomancy|