"The finest school of witchcraft and wizardry in the world."
Rubeus Hagrid's praising of Hogwarts[src]

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is the British wizarding school, located in the Scottish Highlands.[1][2] It accepts magical students from Great Britain and Ireland for enrolment.[3][4] It is a state-owned school funded by the Ministry of Magic.[5]

The precise location of the school can never be uncovered because it was rendered Unplottable. To Muggles, the school looks like an old abandoned castle. Similarly, most wizarding schools locations are protected in order to prevent their ways of teaching being revealed, as well as protect the students and schools themselves from any harm.

Established around the 10th century, Hogwarts is considered to be one of the finest magical institutions in the Wizarding World, though other notable schools included Beauxbatons Academy of Magic in France, the Durmstrang Institute in Scandinavia, and Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the United States. Children with magical abilities are enrolled at birth, and acceptance is confirmed by owl post at age eleven. However, if the child in question is a Muggle-born, a staff member from the school visits with the child and his or her family in order to inform them of their magical heritage and the existence of the Wizarding world.

The school's motto is Draco Dormiens Nunquam Titillandus (Draco Dormiens Nvnqvam Titillandvs), which, translated from Latin, means "Never tickle a sleeping dragon".



View of the Hogwarts Castle and baskets of the Quidditch pitch

Hogwarts School, located somewhere in the Highlands of Scotland, consists of the large Hogwarts Castle and extensive school grounds surrounding it, which include sloping lawns, flowerbeds, vegetable patches, as well as a loch (called the Black Lake), a large dense forest (called the Forbidden Forest), several greenhouses and other outbuildings, and a full-size Quidditch Pitch. One of the castle's towers holds an owlery, which houses all the owls owned by the school and by students.

The castle is set upon huge rocks above a magnificent lake, known as the Great Lake. Its three highest towers are the Astronomy, Ravenclaw, and Gryffindor Towers. The castle's 142 staircases are known to change position. The castle is known for its many updates and changes in layout throughout the years, such as self-regeneration after the Battle of Hogwarts. It should be noted that some rooms in the school tend to "move around," as do the steps on the Grand Staircase. Albus Dumbledore once noted that even he did not know all of Hogwarts' secrets. The castle has been around for centuries, and consequently has a long history of ancient magic.

The school has numerous charms and spells on and around it that make it impossible for a Muggle to see it as the school; rather, they see only ruins and several warnings of danger. Witches and wizards cannot Apparate or Disapparate in Hogwarts grounds, except for when the Headmaster lifts the enchantment, whether only in certain areas or for the entire campus, so as to make the school less vulnerable when it serves the headmaster to allow Apparition. Electricity and electronic devices are not found at Hogwarts. Due to the high levels of magic, Muggle substitutes for magic, such as computers, radar and electricity, "go haywire" around Hogwarts. Radios, however, are an exception as they are not powered by electricity, but by magic.


Early history

"We'll teach just those whose ancestry's purest."
—Professor Slytherin's opinion on the running of Hogwarts[src]
B2C16M3 Chamber of Secrets revealed

The Chamber of Secrets

Hogwarts was founded around 990 A.D. by four of the greatest wizards and witches of the age: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. They each represented an aspect of personality that they wanted to bring out in new students. However, shortly after founding the school, Slytherin had a falling out with the other founders about blood purity, and wanted to admit only pure-blood students. He felt pure-blooded students deserved to learn magic, and those of other ancestry such as Muggle-borns and Half-bloods, were unworthy. The other three founders all disagreed, especially Gryffindor. Slytherin left the school, but not before secretly building the Chamber of Secrets. He foretold that only his own heir would be able to open it once he or she arrived at the school, and the heir would unleash a murderous basilisk living inside to purge the school of all Muggle-born students.

Middle history

About three hundred years after the school was founded, the Triwizard Tournament was established as an interscholastic competition between three of the most prestigious magical schools in Europe: Hogwarts, Beauxbatons (France), and Durmstrang (An undetermined Northern European country). This tournament was considered the best way for wizards and witches of different nationalities to meet and socialise. The tournament continued for six centuries, until the death toll became too high. The tournament was discontinued until 1994.

Recent history

Daily Prophet - 29 Nov 1926


On 29 November 1926, the Daily Prophet reported that security had to be increased at Hogwarts in response to the growing threat of Gellert Grindelwald's impact on the Global wizarding war. Measures included Headmaster, Armando Dippet holding an emergency meeting with worried parents and students being sent home early.[6]

Both Torquil Travers and Newton Scamander came here in 1927 to seek out the current Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, Albus Dumbledore.[7]

1942–1943 school year

"Of course, it was fifty years ago, so it was before his time, but he knows all about it, and he says that it was all kept quiet and it’ll look suspicious if I know too much about it. But I know one thing — last time the Chamber of Secrets was opened, a Mudblood died. So I bet it’s a matter of time before one of them’s killed this time. . . . I hope it’s Granger"
—Draco Malfoy discussing the first opening of the chamber[src]
The existence of the school was threatened twice when the Chamber of Secrets was opened. The first time it was opened was in 1942, when Tom Marvolo Riddle, the Heir of Slytherin and the man who would become Lord Voldemort, opened the Chamber in his fifth year.[8]

When a girl named Myrtle Warren was killed, the Ministry of Magic threatened to close the school. As Riddle spent his time away from Hogwarts in a Muggle orphanage, he did not want the school closed. His request to remain in school over the holidays was denied due to the situation he created. Upset with himself, he framed Rubeus Hagrid, and although Albus Dumbledore still suspected Riddle, Hagrid was expelled, and Riddle got off without punishment. However, in 1992, the Chamber was reopened, and it was discovered that Hagrid was innocent and Riddle was guilty.[8]


Throughout the entirety of the First Wizarding War, which lasted for eleven long years and caused much distress among the students, Hogwarts Castle was perhaps the only safe haven in wizarding Britain, due to the presence of Albus Dumbledore. Dumbledore had risen to the post of Headmaster, and was the only one whom Voldemort was ever afraid of.[9]

However, that is not to say the school was entirely secure. While war waged outside the ancient walls of the school and it remained safe from Dark Forces outside the castle, the existence of ancient threats hidden deep within it began to stir when a student by the name of Jacob became intrigued with and began to search for the fabled Cursed Vaults, five secret rooms of ambiguous origins somewhere within the castle said to house ancient magical treasures older even than the school itself.[10]

Perhaps inspired by the verification of the existence of the Chamber of Secrets, a few decades earlier, Jacob grew increasingly obsessed with his quest to prove the existence, of the Cursed Vaults throughout his school career and broke several school rules in his effort The situation escalated further when the pupil finally found it. he examined the outer chamber leading to the vault, tampering with magic he did not understand. He inadvertently unleashed a curse that threatened to encase the entire castle in ice, injuring several students in the process.[10]

By that point, Jacob's quests for the vaults were no secret. Rumours began spreading among the student body that he unleashed several curses upon the school, and even was cursed himself and that he eventually went mad. Ultimately, however, Jacob managed to break into the vault itself, causing the ice to vanish. Despite his part in ending the threat, however, he was found to have endangered the school, as he unleashed the the threat in the first place. Jacob's resultant expulsion from Hogwarts was covered in the Daily Prophet.[10]

With the cursed ice gone from the halls of Hogwarts and his students once more safe from it, Dumbledore and the rest of the school staff did their best to dim the rumours that Jacob had actually located one of the vaults, treating it as an isolated incident that had more to do with Jacob's search for the Cursed Vaults than it with the vaults themselves. They hoped to discourage others from looking for them and maintain the common view that they were just a myth. This worked so effectively that while people still spoke of it a long time afterwards, no one, not even Jacob's own mother, believed that the Cursed Vaults actually existed.[10]

By the end of the 1970s, Lord Voldemort’s ascendancy was almost complete. While the Ministry of Magic did their best to both put up a fight and keep wizardkind a secret, a true resistance to him was being concentrated in the underground organisation founded by Dumbledore himself, called the Order of the Phoenix. Several former students at the school went on to join the order On Hallowe'en of the 1981-1982 school year, news would have reached the school of the fall of Lord Voldemort and his failed attempt at murdering the infant Harry Potter, after which students and staff alike would have celebrated the fall of the Dark Lord.[10]

1991–1992 school year

"But Hagrid, whatever Fluffy's guarding, Snape's trying to steal it!"
Harry Potter accusing Snape of wanting the Stone for Voldemort[src]

In 1991, Harry Potter began his career as a student at Hogwarts. Already famous for being believed to be responsible for vanquishing Lord Voldemort at the age of one, he soon began, with the help of his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, to unravel the secret of the Philosopher's Stone being kept at the school. Harry discovered that the Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor, Quirinus Quirrell, was a host body for the barely-alive Voldemort, who wanted to use the Stone to restore himself back to his former glory and gain everlasting life.[11]

Harry, Ron, and Hermione suffered a series of difficult challenges down in the Underground Chambers, in an attempt to stop the Philosopher's Stone being stolen by Severus Snape. The three believed Snape was trying to steal the stone, when in reality, Quirrell was. Harry discovered Quirrell in the chambers and was able to defeat him, thwarting Voldemort in his attempt to get the Stone and restoring his body. Harry managed this after realising that Quirrell's skin burned whenever he made contact with Harry. Dumbledore theorised that Quirrell's heart and soul were so consumed by Voldemort and his own greed and hatred that he could not bear to touch or hold something as pure as Harry.[11]

1992–1993 school year

"The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the heir... beware."
—A message from the Heir of Slytherin[src]
Writing on wall

Ginny Weasley's attack on Mrs Norris and first blood-written message on the wall

In 1992, the Chamber of Secrets was re-opened by Ron's younger sister Ginny, under the influence of a diary written by Tom Riddle. The diary allowed Riddle's memory to possess Ginny and act through her to open the Chamber for a second time.[8]

Desiring to see Lord Voldemort return to power, Lucius Malfoy had slipped the diary into her bundle of school books, taking advantage of her ignorance that it was a Horcrux. His ulterior motive was to ruin the reputations of several great wizards, including Dumbledore and the Weasley children's father Arthur Weasley, the latter of whom played a big role in the enactment of the Muggle Protection Act. However, Harry discovered the truth and destroyed the diary and the basilisk, thus bringing an end to these dark plots.[8]

1993–1994 school year

"Sirius Black has escaped from Azkaban."
Arthur Weasley regarding the 1993 Azkaban escape[src]

In 1993, Harry's notorious godfather, Sirius Black escaped from Azkaban. Sirius had been convicted of murdering twelve Muggles and Peter Pettigrew with the Blasting Curse. He was also convicted of betraying James, Lily, and Harry Potter's whereabouts to Voldemort in his duty as their Secret-Keeper. Because of these charges against him, he spent twelve years in a high-security cell in Azkaban. The Ministry of Magic also believed that Black was after Harry, as they heard Black murmur "he's at Hogwarts" in his sleep. As a result, Black was thought to believe that killing Harry would bring Voldemort back to full power.[12]

B3C8M2 Fat Lady portrait slashed

Sirius Black's attack on the Fat Lady's portrait

Black broke into the school twice: one time almost ripping the Fat Lady to shreds, and another time getting close to Ron's "rat," Scabbers. During the second break-in, Ron awoke, which resulted in him screaming in fright, as Black loomed over him with a knife. His screams woke the whole tower and alerted McGonagall to the incident. After this incident, security measures were further heightened. Harry, Ron, and Hermione met Black in the Shrieking Shack, along with Remus Lupin. Lupin had been a friend of Black as well as Harry's parents and Pettigrew during the time they attended Hogwarts as a students.[12]

POA HQ still Hermione Buckbeak Harry

Hermione, Buckbeak, and Harry, waiting for the appropriate time to save Sirius

Black revealed the truth to them. He was innocent, and it was Pettigrew who had done the things Sirius had been convicted of. To frame Sirius, he had chopped off one of his fingers as a red herring, turned into an Animagus, which in his case, a rat (Scabbers), and scurried off. Sirius had come back to kill Pettigrew, and now that Lupin had heard his story, he believed him and set out to help.[12]

However, Harry persuaded them to give Pettigrew to the Ministry and let the Dementors have him. As they took Pettigrew back to the castle, Pettigrew escaped and returned to Voldemort to help him return to power. With the use of a time-turner, Harry and Hermione later helped Sirius escape on Buckbeak the Hippogriff while Ron was in the Hospital Wing, saving both Sirius' and Buckbeak's lives.[12]

1994–1995 school year

"Eternal glory! That's what awaits the student who wins the Triwizard Tournament, but to do this, that student must survive three tasks. Three extremely dangerous tasks."
—Albus Dumbledore introduces the tournament[src]
B4C23M1 Weird Sisters playing at the Yule Ball

Yule Ball

In 1994, Hogwarts played host to the infamous Triwizard Tournament, this time with more powerful safety measures in place. It had been many years since the last tournament had been held, but in the light of the advent of advanced safety measures, the tournament was deemed ‘safe‘. However, more dark plots were being hatched. Barty Crouch Jr, disguised as Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, managed to enter Harry in the Tournament by putting his name in the Goblet of Fire under the name of a fourth school, which ensured he would be chosen by the Goblet.[13]

Harry's forced involvement in this plot caused him great misery at Hogwarts, as the representatives for Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, as well as many Hogwarts students, believed he hoodwinked the goblet and entered himself in the tournament. It was because of Crouch Jr and his influence over certain house-elves that Harry ended up surviving until the end of the tournament and reaching the goal of the Third Task, along with fellow Hogwarts student Cedric Diggory. On Voldemort's orders, Diggory was killed by Pettigrew, and Harry was surrounded by Death Eaters in Little Hangleton Graveyard. Voldemort was brought back to his physical form using Harry's blood and the Resurrection Stone.[13]

B4C37M1 Great Hall mourning Cedric's death

Memorial feast to Cedric Diggory

Voldemort attempted to torture and humiliate Harry by means of the Unforgivable Curses. He used the Cruciatus Curse twice on Harry and the Imperius Curse once; Harry was able to resist the latter. Harry escaped and succeeded in alerting all of Voldemort's enemies, Dumbledore in particular, that he had returned. Dumbledore reestablished the Order of the Phoenix one hour after he was alerted. However, many, including Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, chose not to believe him.[13]

1995–1996 school year

"The Ministry is interfering at Hogwarts."
—Dolores Umbridge seizes control of the school[src]

Umbridge as the Hogwarts High-Inquisitor

Hogwarts was further threatened when the Ministry of Magic began implementing "Educational Decrees" in 1995, as part of a conspiracy to discredit and ruin Dumbledore and Harry. Dolores Umbridge, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher and Minister Fudge's Undersecretary, was the centre of this plan. By way of these Educational Decrees, she slowly took control of Hogwarts, eventually replacing Dumbledore as Headmistress. However, it was through the cunning of Hermione and the other members of Dumbledore's Army, which was founded by she, Ron, and Harry, that Umbridge was overthrown. The Ministry had no choice but to accept that Voldemort had returned. Umbridge was removed from Hogwarts and Dumbledore was reinstated.[14]

1996–1997 school year

"The lightning-struck tower. Calamity. Disaster. Coming nearer all the time."
—Professor Trelawney before the battle commences[src] affiliate.81.jpg

Through the 1996-1997 school year, the new Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour ordered Aurors to guard Hogwarts for protection from Dark forces, along with the castle's defences being fortified in many ways. In 1997, Hogwarts was attacked by a mob of Death Eaters. Lucius Malfoy's son Draco was forced into the service of Lord Voldemort for fear of his and his family's lives. As a result, Headmaster Dumbledore's safety was compromised, and he was killed by Severus Snape, in a secret euthanasia or coup de grace arranged in advance between them. Following this "horrible" tragedy, Professor Minerva McGonagall was appointed acting Headmistress, though the security of the school hung by a thread. There was no certainty that Hogwarts would remain open. The faculty agreed to follow "established procedures" and let the school governors ultimately decide what to do. Throughout the year students were taken out of school by their families for safety and fear reasons, such as Eloise Midgen and Hannah Abbott, while two of Draco's botched attempts to assassinate Dumbledore ended up dangerously harming Katie Bell and Ronald Weasley, increasing the anxiety in the atmosphere. However, when Draco succeeded in allowing the Death Eaters entrance, the full effect came to be when many parents rushed their children home, fearing that even Hogwarts, reputably the safest location in the wizarding world, is no longer safe from Voldemort.[9]

1997–1998 school year

"Severus Snape, long-standing Potions master at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and wizardry, was today appointed Headmaster in the most important of several staffing changes at the ancient school. Following the resignation of the previous Muggle Studies teacher, Alecto Carrow will take over the post while her brother, Amycus, fills the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts professor."
—Lord Voldemort takes indirect control of Hogwarts[src]
Dp severus snape

Headmaster Snape

Regardless of the school governors' decision, with the takeover of the Ministry by Voldemort, attendance at Hogwarts was mandatory for all eligible children. New, militaristic requirements were established, such as requiring students to provide proof of Blood status. This enabled Voldemort can keep an eye on the entire wizarding world from a young age and identify muggle-borns, including eleven-year old children who have no knowledge of their magical nature before their forced identification. Such youngsters faced the possibility of never entering Hogwarts nor returning to their homes ever again.[15]

Academic instruction at Hogwarts became corrupted. Muggle Studies Became a required subject, and instruction in it took a new tack with an anti-Muggle bias, while Defence Against the Dark Arts had simply become Dark Arts. Students were taught illegal curses outright, with older students being instructed to practise curses on underclassmen. Snape was appointed Headmaster, and Alecto and Amycus Carrow, teachers of Muggle Studies and Dark Arts, respectively, had been assigned as his deputies. It was a time of great terror in which no one could be certain who was friend or foe.[15]

After 1998

"They stood up at once, and together he, Ron, and Hermione left the Great Hall. Great chunks were missing from the marble staircase, part of the balustrade gone, and rubble and bloodstains occurred every few steps as they climbed."
—The damage inflicted on the castle from the Battle of Hogwarts[src]
B7C36M2 Voldemort vanquished

Harry Potter's final defeat of Voldemort and the end of the Second Wizarding War

In May 1998, the Battle of Hogwarts took place. This battle ended with the death of many on both sides. Thanks to Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort was finally destroyed once and for all, and peace was restored, and Minerva McGonagall became the Headmistress of the school. Harry was celebrated as a true hero.[15]

Hogwarts sustained extensive damage during the battle. Multiple areas of the main building and adjacent areas were set on fire or blown up, and the Quidditch pitch was largely destroyed by fire.[15]

After the battle, Hogwarts was repaired. Some students, such as Hermione Granger, returned to the school in 1998 to complete their education. By 2017, normal school life had resumed with McGonagall still as Headmistress and Hagrid still as Keeper of the Keys. Many descendants of previous students were now coming to Hogwarts as new pupils, and Neville Longbottom became the Professor for Herbology after retiring as an Auror.

Typical school year

"Now… to our new students, welcome, to our old students, welcome back! Another year full of magical education awaits you…"
Welcoming Feast speech[src]

The scarlet Hogwarts Express steam engine on Platform 9¾

Term begins on 1 September. Students usually reach Hogwarts via the Hogwarts Express, which leaves from Platform 9¾ of London's King's Cross Station at 11 a.m. sharp.[11] There seems to be other ways of entering the school, such as via broomsticks or Floo Powder, or simply Apparating to a nearby location such as Hogsmeade. Missing the Hogwarts Express for any reason is a very serious problem, but will not cost the student points as long as they get there before the term has officially started.[8] The Hogwarts Express brings the students to Hogsmeade station. First years traditionally cross the Black Lake in boats with the gamekeeper, travelling under an opening in the rocks upon which Hogwarts is built, through a curtain of ivy, and finally into an underground harbour.[11]

Older students travel on the road in carriages pulled by Thestrals (invisible to any that haven't witnessed death) to the castle.[14] The Welcoming Feast takes place in the Great Hall. This feast includes the Sorting ceremony, followed by a few words from the current Headmaster or Headmistress. The banquet starts after this, including large quantities of food and drink. The feast is closed with a few more words from the Headmaster or headmistress, including the usual "start-of-term notices".[11]

Gryffindor common room

Gryffindor Common Room

After dinner, students are led to their house common room by a prefect. This is a special time for new students to get comfortable with their surroundings, because the next day classes begin. The class schedules are handed out during breakfast by the Heads of House. After two weeks of classes, the Quidditch team trials and flying lessons for the first years usually occur.[11]

Homework is usually assigned to students at the end of classes or at the end of the school term. It is usually completed by students in the: Study Hall, Study Area, Library, Gryffindor Tower reading room or another common room. A homework planner can be used to help students to keep track of all their homework assignments. The planner also tells the students to complete the homework when it is opened. If a student fails to complete the homework or is late in handing it in, he/she could be given a detention as a punishment.[11]

Hogwarts' school year is structured in a similar way to other non-magical schools and colleges in the UK, with a three-term year punctuated by holidays at Christmas and Easter and bounded by the long summer holiday of nine weeks. Students have the option of staying at Hogwarts for the winter and spring holidays. Those who choose to stay at the castle during the Christmas holidays do not have lessons and attend a feast on Christmas Day. Students also do not have classes the week of Easter, but this is much less enjoyable due to the large amount of work that the teachers assign students at this time in preparation for final exams.[11]


Other than the breaks and weekends, students do not receive holidays. However, students third year and above may visit Hogsmeade, the local village, occasionally.[12] There are normally four feasts per year: the start-of-term feast at the beginning of the school year, end-of-term feast at the end of the school year, and feasts at Hallowe'en and Christmas.[11] Feasts are also called to mark special occasions, as in Goblet of Fire, when there was a feast to celebrate the beginning of the Triwizard Tournament.[13]


Hallowe'en feast

Classes will proceed normally and the next notable event occurs on the evening of 31 October: the Hallowe'en feast. Decorations include giant pumpkins and flocks of hundreds of bats flying across the halls. The served foods include pumpkin treats, tarts, cakes and all sorts of magical sweets. The Quidditch season starts usually with the first Quidditch match in the first weeks of November. In the second week of December, the Deputy Head takes names of those who are staying at Hogwarts over the Christmas holidays. The first term usually ends about a week before Christmas and most of the students and some of the teachers go home by the school train.[11]

In Triwizard Tournament years, the Yule Ball occurred on the evening of Christmas Day, ending at midnight.[13] On the 25th of December, a Christmas Feast is held in the Great Hall. Shortly after the 6th January (Epiphany aka Twelfth Night), the Hogwarts Express returns to Hogsmeade; the second term begins. The exact dates of the beginning of the Easter holidays vary every year. During these holidays, the students may go home. The final exams are held the first week of June and the results come out on the second week. In the evening before the Hogwarts Express goes back to London, the End-of-Term Feast is held. The Hogwarts Express returns to London during the third week of June. Some staff and all of the students leave Hogwarts for summer holiday.[11]

School spirit

"And be warned: thievery is not tolerated at Hogwarts."
—Hogwarts' rules[src]
Hogwarts' motto is: "Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus". The translation is: Never tickle a sleeping dragon. Quidditch is possibly the most popular sport at the school, with most of the student body turning out to watch each match.[11] Hogwarts also has a Frog Choir which sings at special occasions.[16]

Coat of Arms


The coat of arms of Hogwarts shows each house's mascot and house colours

See also: Heraldry

The blazon of the Hogwarts Coat of Arms clockwise from top left: the Gryffindor lion, the Slytherin serpent, the Ravenclaw eagle, and the Hufflepuff badger, all circling the letter 'H'. The motto, "draco dormiens nunquam titillandus" to be carried in an escroll beneath the shield. The way that the house mascots are arranged makes the centre line divide the houses with warm colours and mammal mascots from the houses with cold colours and saurian mascots.[11]

School song

Main article: Hogwarts School Song
There is an official school song, though this is only sung when the headmaster is in a particularly good mood and deems it appropriate (which is therefore why it was only known to have been commissioned once from 1991-1998).[11] It doesn't seem to conform to the strict opinions of older headmasters and headmistresses, such as Armando Dippet. As such it may be an invention of the relaxed Albus Dumbledore and certainly sounds like it's of his invention.[17] There is no standard rhythm to the song. Everyone can sing it how they like, as such the Weasley twins prefer a slow and deep style. The lyrics are shown below:
Hogwarts song

Students singing the school song to welcome visitors

"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy Warty Hogwarts,
Teach us something please,
Whether we be old and bald,
Or young with scabby knees,
Our heads could do with filling,
With some interesting stuff,
For now they're bare and full of air,
Dead flies and bits of fluff,
So teach us things worth knowing,
Bring back what we've forgot,
Just do your best, we'll do the rest,
And learn until our brains all rot." [11]


Main article: Hogwarts Houses
"We must unite inside her, or we'll crumble from within."
—The Sorting Hat[src]

Hogwarts students are divided into four houses:

Hogwarts Houses
Name/Crest Gryffindor

Gryffindor ClearBG2


Hufflepuff ClearBG2


Ravenclaw ClearBG2


S Crest

Founded By Godric Gryffindor Helga Hufflepuff Rowena Ravenclaw Salazar Slytherin
House Ghost Nearly Headless Nick Fat Friar The Grey Lady The Bloody Baron
House symbol Lion Badger Eagle Serpent
House colours Deep red and gold Yellow and black Blue and bronze Green and silver
Description Well known for courage, bravery, daring, nerve, and chivalry. Well known for loyalty, patience, hard work, fair-play, honesty, and tolerance. Values intelligence, wit, cleverness, creativity, and wisdom. Values ambition, leadership, cunning, determination, and resourcefulness.
Common room The entrance to the common room is on the seventh floor hidden behind a portrait of the Fat Lady. To enter, the correct password must be provided. Located near the kitchens. To enter, one must tap a fake barrel in the rhythm "Helga Hufflepuff." It is the only common room to have a way to keep students from other houses out (by dumping vinegar on them). Located in a high tower, and the interior is decorated with blue and bronze. To enter, one must answer a riddle from an eagle door knocker. Located in the dungeons, underneath the Black Lake, and hidden behind a stone wall. To enter, the correct password must be provided.
Notable Members Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermione Granger, Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom, Albus Dumbledore, Minerva McGonagall, Rubeus Hagrid, James and Lily Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Lavender Brown, Parvati Patil, Seamus Finnigan, Dean Thomas, Lee Jordan, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Bill Weasley, Charlie Weasley, Percy Weasley, Katie Bell, Angelina Johnson, Alicia Spinnet, Oliver Wood, Colin Creevey, James Sirius Potter, Rose Granger-Weasley, Angelica Cole, Ben Copper, Patricia Rakepick, Jae Kim, Emily Tyler, Thorin Nymphadora Tonks, Pomona Sprout, Newton Scamander, Theseus Scamander, Cedric Diggory, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Zacharias Smith, Hannah Abbott, Ernie Macmillan, Susan Bones, Leanne, Teddy Lupin, Silvanus Kettleburn, Penny Haywood, Beatrice Haywood, Jane Court, Diego Caplan, Chiara Lobosca, Philip, Chauncy Luna Lovegood, Myrtle Warren, Penelope Clearwater, Cho Chang, Roger Davies, Michael Corner, Padma Patil, Anthony Goldstein, Terry Boot, Gilderoy Lockhart, Filius Flitwick, Quirinus Quirrell, Marietta Edgecombe, Marcus Belby, Sybill Trelawney, Garrick Ollivander, Ignatia Wildsmith, Chester Davies, Eliza, Tulip Karasu, Andre Egwu, Talbott Winger, Badeea Ali Tom Riddle, Draco Malfoy, Vincent Crabbe, Gregory Goyle, Pansy Parkinson, Theodore NottMerlinLucius and Narcissa Malfoy, Rodolphus and Bellatrix Lestrange, Regulus Black, Horace Slughorn, Severus Snape, Blaise ZabiniMillicent Bulstrode, Graham Montague, Bloody Baron, Marcus Flint, Albus Potter, Scorpius Malfoy, Leta Lestrange, Felix Rosier, Merula Snyde, Barnaby Lee, Ismelda Murk, Liz Tuttle, Duncan Ashe

House ghosts

"A ghost, as I trust that you are all aware by now, is the imprint of a departed soul left upon the earth..."
—Professor Severus Snape[src]
Ghosts of Hogwarts

House ghosts (left to right): Bloody Baron, Fat Friar, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, and Helena Ravenclaw

Hogwarts is the most heavily haunted dwelling place in Britain (and this is against stiff competition, as there are more reported ghost sightings/sensings on these damp islands than anywhere else in the world). The castle is a congenial place for ghosts, because the living inhabitants treat their dead friends with tolerance and even affection, no matter how many times they have heard the same old reminiscences. Each of the four Hogwarts houses has its own ghost.[18]

Slytherin boasts the Bloody Baron, who is covered in silver bloodstains. He is well known for being extremely unsocial and many students, including those of his own House, are known to be slightly afraid of him. While alive he was a hot-tempered man. The least talkative of the house ghosts is the Grey Lady, who is long-haired and beautiful.[18] She was the daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw, making her the only house ghost to be directly related to one of the four Hogwarts founders.

Hufflepuff house is haunted by the Fat Friar, who was executed because senior churchmen grew suspicious of his ability to cure the pox merely by poking peasants with a stick, and his ill-advised habit of pulling rabbits out of the communion cup. Though a genial character in general, the Fat Friar still resents the fact that he was never made a cardinal.[18] He also frequently suggests that Peeves should have a second chance, whether or not he deserves it.

File:Myrtle human.PNG

Gryffindor house is home to Nearly Headless Nick, who in life was Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington. Something of a snob, and a less accomplished wizard than he believed, Sir Nicholas lounged around the court of Henry VII in life, until his foolish attempt to beautify a lady-in-waiting by magic caused the unfortunate woman to sprout tusks. Sir Nicholas was stripped of his wand and inexpertly executed, leaving his head hanging off by a single flap of skin and sinew. He retains a feeling of inadequacy with regard to truly headless ghosts.[18]

Another notable Hogwarts ghost is Moaning Myrtle, who haunts an unpopular girls' toilet. Myrtle was a student at Hogwarts when she died, and she chose to return to school in perpetuity, with the short-term aim of haunting her arch-rival and bully, Olive Hornby. As the decades have rolled by, Myrtle has made a name for herself as the most miserable ghost in school, usually to be found lurking inside one of the toilets and filling the tiled space with her moans and howls.[18]


The highest position of staff at Hogwarts is the Headmaster or Headmistress. There is also a Deputy Headmaster or Headmistress, who will take over responsibilities of the Headmaster should the circumstances demand it.[8][9]

Heads of Hogwarts

Main article: Hogwarts Headmaster
Headmaster or Headmistress is the chief administrator of a School. They make all major decisions regarding the safety and the day-to-day functioning of the school, and have the power to override any decision made by any other authoritative facilitator at the school, with the possible exception of the Board of Governors.
Professor(s) Time Status
Unidentified Headmaster 11th century Permanent
Phyllida Spore pre 1408
Eoessa Sakndenberg pre 1503
Fytherley Undercliffe pre 1531
Vindictus Viridian


pre 1703
Amrose Swott


pre 1724
Dilys Derwent 17411768
Unidentified Headmaster 1792
Eupraxia Mole 1870s
Phineas Nigellus Black ?–1925
Armando Dippet


20th century–c. 1965 to 1971
Albus Dumbledore 1965 to 1971[21]June, 1997
Minerva McGonagall 8 May, 199330 May, 1993 Interim
Dolores Umbridge April, 199617 June, 1996 Permanent; considered illegitimate and thus shut out of headmaster's office
Minerva McGonagall June, 19971 September, 1997 Interim
Severus Snape 1 September, 19972 May, 1998 Permanent
Minerva McGonagall 2 May, 199821st century
Unidentified Headmaster 21st century
Unidentified Headmaster Unknown
Unidentified Headmistress
Unidentified Headmaster
Unidentified Headmaster
Dexter Fortescue


Heliotrope Wilkins


Quentin Trimble
Walter Aragon
Wizard Chess Champions

Deputy Heads

Main article: Deputy Headmaster
Deputy Headmaster or Deputy Headmistress (depending on gender) that assists the headmaster in his duties. In the event of a headmaster's incapacitation, the deputy headmaster serves as temporary headmaster until the Board of Governors can elect a new, permanent one.[9]
Wizard(s) Time
Professor Minerva McGonagall Professor Albus Dumbledore's tenure as Headmaster
Professor Alecto Carrow Professor Severus Snape's tenure as Headmaster
Professor Amycus Carrow

Heads of House

Main article: Head of House
Head of House is the title for a Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who is responsible for one of the four Houses: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. It is possible for a Head of House to serve concurrently as Deputy Head but not as Headmaster.[11]
Gryffindor Hufflepuff Ravenclaw Slytherin
Godric Gryffindor Helga Hufflepuff Rowena Ravenclaw Salazar Slytherin
Filius Flitwick Horace Slughorn
Minerva McGonagall Pomona Sprout Severus Snape

Support staff




Caretaker Argus Filch 1973-1998
Apollyon Pringle 1961-1968
Healer Poppy Pomfrey 1970s-?
Nurse Wainscott Unknown
Gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid 1940s-?
Ogg 1940s-1968
Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus 1990-?
Referee and Flight Instructor Rolanda Hooch
Librarian Irma Pince

Kitchen staff

Main article: Hogwarts house-elves
Dobby PM B4C21M2 DobbyAndWinkyOtherHouseElvesInHogwartsKitchen Moment

Hogwarts' kitchen

A veritable legion of house-elves are enlisted by Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They work the kitchens, preparing feasts for the entire school. They also move trunks and baggage to and from rooms, clean dormitories, and presumably other areas of the castle as well. In 1994, they became angry with Hermione as she made attempts to free them. Dobby and Winky, who came under Hogwarts' employ at the time, were considered disgraces to the rest of their colleagues due to Dobby being paid and receiving a vacation while Winky getting drunk out of self-pity.[13] During the Battle of Hogwarts, the house-elves fought against the Death Eaters with Kreacher leading them. They defended their masters by using kitchen knives to stab at the attackers' ankles.[15]

Subjects and teachers

Main article: Hogwarts subjects
"We teachers are rather good at magic, you know."
—Description of Hogwarts' Professors[src]

Some of the subjects learned in Hogwarts; the Bat represents Defence Against the Dark Arts, the Wand represents Charms, the mortar and pestle represents Potions and the cat represents Transfiguration

Hogwarts has in its faculty an abundance of wise and talented professors. Each specialises in a specific subject. Other staff positions include that of a school nurse, caretaker, librarian, and Keeper of the Keys and Grounds of Hogwarts. There are a variety of classes taught at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. These include both the core curriculum and the electives, available from third year forward. Some classes may be dropped in the sixth year.

Numerous lessons are described, instructing the students in various branches of magic. Transfiguration, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Potions, Astronomy, History of Magic, and Herbology are compulsory subjects for the first five years.[11] At the end of their second year, students are required to add at least two optional subjects to their syllabus for the start of the third year. Five of the choices are Arithmancy, Study of Ancient Runes, Divination, Care of Magical Creatures, and Muggle Studies.[12]

Core classes

B1C14M3 Astronomy Tower farewell Norbert

The Astronomy Tower

Charms class in 1991

A first year Charms class


A first year Potions class

Electives (third year and up)

Third year on:


A third year Care of Magical Creatures class

B3C6M2 Trelawney's first Divination lesson in the trio's third year

A third year Divination class

Sixth and seventh year (with sufficient demand):

B6C18M1 Apparition lessons in the Great Hall

1997 Sixth year lesson on Apparition, taught by Wilkie Twycross

Extra-curricular subjects

Extra-curricular activity


"Well, Potter, this meeting is to talk over any career ideas you might have, and to help you decide which subjects you should continue into the sixth and seventh years. Have you had any thoughts about what you would like to do after you leave Hogwarts?"
—Harry's appointment with McGonagall[src]
Hogwarts students receive career advice from their Heads of House in their O.W.L. year, some weeks prior to the examinations, to help establish what subjects the students need to concentrate on to achieve the required O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. scores for their chosen occupations.[14]

In fifth year, the students get career advice, which should help students choose their N.E.W.T. subjects. Bill Weasley told his younger brother Ron about it . Before their examination (during the Easter break) the students receive a batch of leaflets, advertising different jobs available to Hogwarts students and the N.E.W.T.s required for them. Examples are: Healing, Muggle relations, Wizard banking, Training Security trolls, and working at the Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes.[14]

During the first week of summer term, the students discuss their future careers with the Head of Houses during a careers appointment. Harry Potter discusses his wish to become an Auror with McGonagall, who describes it as a difficult career path to take. The requirements are high: five N.E.W.T.s. and passing of character and aptitude tests. Auror training then takes another three years of study.[14]

Percy Weasley was still reading about his future career possibilities after his careers advice. In Diagon Alley, he read about the later careers of Hogwarts prefects, just before he started his sixth year.[8]

Harry first thought of his career after Hogwarts when he discussed it with Bartemius Crouch Junior (disguised as Alastor Moody) in his fourth year. Crouch suggested that he (and Hermione Granger) would be suitable to become Aurors.[13]

Oddly enough, the students of Hogwarts do not appear to receive similar counselling at the end of their second year, when they choose the elective subjects that may determine their future careers.

Grading system

Hermione Granger: "So top grade's O for ‘Outstanding,’ and then there's A —"
George Weasley: "No, E. E for ‘Exceeds Expectations'."
— Discussion over O.W.L. marks[src]
Outstanding WOMBAT

Outstanding W.O.M.B.A.T

Grading on routine homework seems to be along the same lines as that for Muggle students. Hogwarts students also have more difficult exams as they progress higher in the system. O.W.L.s (Ordinary Wizarding Levels) are a set of standardised tests for fifth year students, which determine what courses a student may continue to study in their final years at Hogwarts. They are the wizarding equivalent of Muggle O-levels. [14]

N.E.W.T.s (Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests) are optional levels of education for exceptional students, much like A-levels for Muggle students. To progress to N.E.W.T.-level, students must receive certain high marks on O.W.L. exams, otherwise the student would not be able to cope with the increasingly difficult subject matter. N.E.W.T. tests occur at the end of the seventh year and cannot be retaken.[14][9]

Ordinary Wizarding Level Grading System:

  • O - Outstanding (Pass, always continue to N.E.W.T.)
  • E - Exceeds Expectations (Pass, usually continues to N.E.W.T.)
  • A - Acceptable (Pass, rarely continues to N.E.W.T)
  • P - Poor (Fail, may repeat subject)
  • D - Dreadful (Fail, may not receive O.W.L. credit)
  • T - Troll (Fail, with distinction. More than one T may mean refusal into other N.E.W.T.s)

This grading system is also used on W.O.M.B.A.T.s (optional tests taken outside Hogwarts) and it is most likely used on N.E.W.T.s also, making this the universal exam grading system in wizarding Britain.[14]


End of year exams

"To their great surprise, both he and Ron passed with good marks; Hermione, of course, had the best grades of the first years. Even Neville scraped through, his good Herbology grade making up for his abysmal Potions one."
—Harry Potter regarding final exam results[src]
Potions exam

End of the year potions exam

All students at Hogwarts are required to complete a set of examinations to get into the next year of schooling. There is one exam for each subject. In fifth year instead of end of the year exams, students set their O.W.L. (Ordinary Wizarding Levels), the score they achieve on these is what allows them to progress to N.E.W.T.-level. In order to progress to N.E.W.T., a student most score either an 'Outstanding' or an 'Exceeds Expectations' on their O.W.L.[14]

1992 first year exams

The Charms exam consisted in attributing animation to an otherwise inanimate object. In 1992, the students had to make a pineapple dance across Filius Flitwick's desk.[11]

The Transfiguration exam consisted in transfiguring a being into an object. In 1992, the students had to turn a mouse into a snuff box. Extra points were given for how pretty the snuffbox was, points were taken off if it still had whiskers.[11]

The Potions exam consisted in brewing a potion from memory. In 1992, and in keeping with Severus Snape;s unpleasant sense of humour, the students had to produce a Forgetfulness Potion.[11]

In 1992 History of Magic exam, the test lasted for one hour and the students were required to answer questions about the invention of the Self-Stirring Cauldron by Gaspard Shingleton.[11]

1993 second year exams

These exams were not set in place due to Dumbledore's decision to cancel them due to the events in the Chamber of Secrets that year.[8]

1994 third year exams

The Charms exam required students to perform the Cheering CharmFreezing Spell,[30] and others. A separate room stood at the ready, if a student overdid their Cheering Charm.[12]

The Transfiguration exam was said the contain difficult tasks, as when finished students emerged "limp and ashen-faced." The exam included turning a teapot into a tortoise. Some students' tortoises still had tails, could breathe steam, and had willow-patterned shells.[12]

The Potions exam was to brew a Confusing Concoction. Points were taken off if students could not get their batch to thicken, as was required.[12]

The History of Magic exam may have included questions on Witch Hunts, as students were required to complete homework on the subject.[12]

The Defence Against the Dark Arts exam consisted of an obstacle course. It contained dark creatures, which included wading across a deep paddling pool containing a Grindylow, a series of potholes full of Red Caps, squishing your way across a patch of marsh ignoring the misleading directions of a Hinkypunk then climbing into an old trunk and battle a Boggart.[12]

The Divination exam included looking into a crystal ball and being able to distinguish what could be seen. Both Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley chose to simply make something up. Harry's prediction, of a hippogriff flying away, turned out to be accurate. As nobody was mentioned as having failed the exam despite several students admitting they were just making things up, it is likely that anyone who at least pretended to see something would have been given a pass.[12]

1995 fourth year exams

The History of Magic exam involves testing the students on their knowledge of Goblin rebellions.[13]

Ordinary Wizarding Level

OWL exam paper

A Theory of Charms O.W.L. exam paper

An Ordinary Wizarding Level (often abbreviated O.W.L.) is a subject-specific test taken during Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry students' fifth year. These exams are administrated by the Wizarding Examinations Authority. The score made by a student on a particular O.W.L. determines whether or not he or she will be allowed to continue taking that subject in subsequent school years, and whether they might be successful in obtaining a particular job.[14]

Each exam has a written and practical assessment, so students can demonstrate their practical and theoretical knowledge. The exams are also taken over a two week period.[14]

Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test

A Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Test (often abbreviated N.E.W.T.) is a subject-specific exam that seventh year witches and wizards at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry take to help them pursue certain careers after their graduation. For instance the Ministry of Magic only accepts Auror applicants with at least five N.E.W.T.s with top grades of either 'Outstanding' or 'Exceeds Expectations'.[14]

Not much are known about these exams. Some students do not take these exams at all, some careers in the Wizarding World do not require N.E.W.T.s.

Student years

Main article: First year
Hogwarts boats 1

The first year students on their way to Hogwarts

A first year is a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who is new to Hogwarts and in their first year of magical education. First years are typically eleven to twelve years of age. First years arrive at the castle by crossing the lake with the Keeper of the Keys in boats separate from the older students. They are not allowed to own a broomstick or be on one unless they are attending Flying class. An exception had been made for Harry because he joined the Gryffindor house team due to his exceptional skills with a broomstick. First year classes consist of: Potions, Herbology, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, History of Magic, Astronomy, Charms, and Flying.[11]

Main article: Second year
Hogwarts carriages

School carriages being pulled to Hogwarts castle

A second year is a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who is in their second year of magical education. Second years are typically twelve to thirteen years of age unless a student had to repeat the second form. The second year is the first year in which students are allowed to go with the rest of the school in the school carriages pulled by Thestrals up to the castle. Second year classes consist of: Potions, Herbology, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, History of Magic, Astronomy, and Charms. Unlike first years, the second-years' timetable does not include Flying, although they are allowed to bring their own broomsticks. At the end of the year, second-year students choose two or more classes they wish to study as electives the following year.[8]

Main article: Third year

Year in which students visit Hogsmeade

A third year is a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who is in their third year of magical education. Third years are typically thirteen to fourteen years of age. The third year is an important one for students, as it is the first year that they are permitted to sit elective courses. Third year classes consist of: Potions, Herbology, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, History of Magic, Astronomy, Charms, and the two or more electives the student chose the previous year. Third years are permitted to go to Hogsmeade during certain weekends if they have a signed permission form from their parent/guardian.[12]

Main article: Fourth year

A fourth year is a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who is in their fourth year of magical education. Fourth years are typically fourteen to fifteen years of age. The fourth form is almost identical in its structure to the third; students sit two or more elective courses in addition to the core classes and are allowed in Hogsmeade during selected weekends. Fourth year classes consist of: Potions, Herbology, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, History of Magic, Astronomy, Charms, and two or more electives. Although, fourth years typically get more work than third years, to prepare for their O.W.L.s.[13]

Main article: Fifth year
OWLS 1996

O.W.L. examination

A fifth year is a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who is in their fifth year of magical education. Fifth years are typically fifteen to sixteen years of age. The fifth year is enormously important for students, due to the fact that it is the year in which they must sit their O.W.L. exams, which will determine what N.E.W.T. courses they will be permitted to take later on in their education. O.W.L.s determine what jobs they can apply for in their future careers.[14]

The fifth year is also the year in which students receive career counselling from their Heads of House. It is during this meeting that they will be advised as to what N.E.W.T.-level classes they should take in order to qualify for their desired career. Fifth year classes consist of: Potions, Herbology, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, History of Magic, Astronomy, Charms, and two or more electives. Before the beginning of the year, one boy and one girl are selected by the Headmaster from each house to become prefects.[14]

Main article: Sixth year
Slughorn pottermore

N.E.W.T-level Potions lesson

A sixth year is a student who is in his or her sixth year of magical education at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Sixth years are typically sixteen to seventeen years of age, although some may be older, if they have had to repeat a year like Marcus Flint did. The sixth year is the first year in which students sit N.E.W.T.-level classes. Sixth years may also elect to take part in Apparition lessons for a fee of twelve Galleons.[9]

Based on students O.W.L. scores, and depending on the minimum requirements of the professor teaching the subject at that time, students are allowed to sit any number of classes as long as they meet said requirements. If the student doesn't meet those requirements, they cannot attend the N.E.W.T.-level classes, having to repeat the O.W.L.-level classes and the fifth year exams. While students do have the opportunity to choose whether they wish to continue in particular subjects, those who begin studying N.E.W.T.-level subjects in their sixth year are expected to carry on with the subject into the seventh year and sit the N.E.W.T. exam in that subject. Sixth year students are initially excited to have more free time, but this extra time is intended to help them study and do homework, as many, if not all, teachers assign more homework and give more difficult lessons in their N.E.W.T.-level classes.[9]

Main article: Seventh year

A seventh year is a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who is in their seventh and final year of formal magical education. Seventh years are typically seventeen to eighteen years of age, although some may be older if they have had to repeat a year. The seventh year contains the most important exams given at Hogwarts — the N.E.W.T.s.[9]

Students conclude their N.E.W.T.-level studies in the seventh year, at the end of which they sit the N.E.W.T. exam pertaining to each of their subjects. A student in the seventh year would have the same schedule he or she had in the sixth year and would sit only those classes in which they received O.W.L.s meeting the minimum requirement of the professor for that subject. However, not all students take N.E.W.T.s, as some occupations require only O.W.L.s.[9]

Every year, a male and female seventh year are appointed Head Boy and Head Girl. In most cases, the Headmaster selects the Head students from the seventh year prefects. However, students that have never been prefects, for example Harry's dad James Potter, can still be selected.[11]

Hogwarts daily routine

McGonagall Snape Umbridge Feast

Professors McGonagall, Snape, and Umbridge

The day begins at 7:30 a.m. with breakfast in the Great Hall. During breakfast, the mail arrives in a flurry of hundreds of owls. A bell chime signals the start of the first class at 9 a.m. The bell chimes again in one hour to signal the start of the next class.[11]

There are two class periods before lunch (though N.E.W.T. students may have breaks during some of these), scheduled according to house. After lunch, there is another break and two more classes. If there is a heavy snowstorm in between periods, certain lessons that take place outside (such as Herbology) may be cancelled, since it would be difficult for students to traverse from the castle to the outside.[8]

Dinner is served in the Great Hall toward evening, after which the students are expected to be in their house common rooms for studying and socialising.[11]

There is an Astronomy class at night on Wednesday every week (usually midnight).[11]

The students must be in bed or in the common rooms by a certain time, after which is called after hours.[11] The times are different for different years (for example, fifth years are allowed to be in the halls until 9:00 p.m.)[13]


"...both Beauxbatons and Durmstrang have a larger studentship than Hogwarts."
—Hogwarts' student ratio[src]

Before school term


Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

Each year, the Hogwarts Deputy Headmaster sends letters to eligible witches and wizards who will be eleven years old. These letters invite the children to be students at Hogwarts. If for any reason a letter does not reach its intended recipient, owls will continue delivering letters until the person receives one (as was Harry's experience when he turned eleven). The letter contains a list of needed supplies, signed by the Chief Attendant of Witchcraft Provisions, Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus, which includes uniform clothing, spell books, and cauldrons. Letters are also sent to existing students to inform them of the new supplies needed. Students usually obtain school supplies at Diagon Alley in London.[11]

Letters to Muggle-born witches and wizards, such as Hermione and Harry's mother Lily Evans and Tom Marvolo Riddle (Voldemort) and Harry, though half-bloods, who lived with Muggles and knew nothing of the wizarding world), who may not be aware of their powers and are unfamiliar with the concealed wizarding world, are delivered in person by a member of Hogwarts staff, who then explain to the parents/guardians about magical society, and reassure them regarding this news. They also assist the family in regards to buying supplies and gaining access to Diagon Alley.[8]


Hogwarts acceptance letter

Harry's letter was sent via normal owl delivery, since Professor Dumbledore, had presumed that the Dursleys had explained to Harry about Hogwarts and the wizarding world. When no response came from the first, several more letters, each reflecting Harry's new location, were sent. Ultimately, Hagrid was dispatched to hand-deliver Harry's final letter. Once he found Harry, who was with the Dursleys in their vain attempt to keep all wizarding knowledge from Harry, Hagrid explained all about Harry's parents and what had really happened the night they died.[11]

While Remus Lupin's father was a wizard, Dumbledore personally visited the family to invite the boy to Hogwarts given Remus being afflicted by lycanthropy. Remus noted that it was only after Dumbledore became headmaster that he could have been accepted at Hogwarts.[21]

Students are allowed to bring a cat, an owl or a toad,[11] but exceptions such as rats and Pygmy Puffs are made. Moreover, students do not have to pay tuition fee, because the British Ministry of Magic covers the cost of all students' magical education.[9][31]

While most wizards and witches in Britain are educated in Hogwarts, they are not obligated to attend if they do not wish to, as some parents are noted to have home-educated their children (as Lyall Lupin originally intended to do so for his son due to his condition) or send them abroad (as Lucius originally intended for his son Draco to Durmstrang Institute). This was temporarily changed in the 1997–1998 school year, in which the new Voldemort-installed regime mandated all eligible children to attend, and weeding out Muggle-borns from the institute.[15]


George Weasley: "Rough game, Quidditch."
Fred Weasley: "Brutal, but no one's died in years."
— Quidditch is a dangerous game[src]
File:Tumblr lvw7ntokPT1qgt0vro5 r1 250.gif

Tryouts for House Quidditch teams happen at the very beginning of the school year. The Heads of house have a list of applicants and pass them on to the team captain, so the captain can schedule tryouts at their leisure. First years are usually prohibited from joining a Quidditch team, because they are usually inexperienced with brooms and are forbidden to own them in the first place.[11]

However, exceptions have been made on both counts. Harry Potter is a noticeable exception, he was allowed to join the team in his first year and was the youngest Seeker in a century. Teams have different reputations; before Harry joined in 1991, the Gryffindor team was noted by McGonagall to be on a losing streak and that she could not bare any more of Severus Snape's boasting.[11]

The Slytherin team is considered to have no qualms with cheating and unsportsmanlike conduct. It has been noted that the Slytherin team employees players of brute strength, rather then skill.[11][8][9]

Hogwarts Quidditch Teams


Gryffindor Quidditch team
Gryffindor™ Quidditch™ Badge
Hufflepuff Quidditch team
Hufflepuff™ Quidditch™ Badge
Ravenclaw Quidditch team
Ravenclaw™ Quidditch™ Badge
Slytherin Quidditch team
Slytherin™ Quidditch™ Badge
Mascot Lion Badger Eagle Serpent
Robe colour(s) Scarlet and Gold Yellow and Black Blue and Bronze Green and Silver
Known captains of the 1990s

Charles Weasley

Cedric Diggory Roger Davies

Marcus Flint

Oliver Wood

Graham Montague

Angelina Johnson Urquhart
Harry Potter


Students may go home for certain holidays such as Christmas and Easter. The students who choose to remain are treated to a feast along with some of the faculty.[11]

When Christmas holidays end, classes begin again. In Harry Potter's second year, Gilderoy Lockhart organised a Valentine's Day celebration, which was not continued after he left the school.[8] The Easter holidays are not as enjoyable as the Christmas ones, as students are overloaded with homework in preparation for their exams, which are taken at the end of the year. Students are not allowed to use magic over the summer holidays until they turn seventeen, magic is also banned in corridors.[11]


Main article: Hogwarts uniform
Harry in Robe with Wand Front View (Painting) - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince™

Harry Potter in Hogwarts' male uniform

The students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are required to wear a uniform. The uniform consists of a black robe and a black pointed hat. The robes bear no marks to distinguish between the houses. Students wear their own socks and shoes.Students must wear their uniforms during all lessons, and while eating meals or studying in the Great Hall. Students are allowed to wear their own clothes after lessons in their House dormitory and during the holidays. Most students are seen still wearing their uniforms in their house dormitory, most probably because they would need to change into their pyjamas to sleep before they go to bed, so they may feel that it is troublesome to change into their own clothes, then change again into their pyjamas.[11]

Hermione Granger™ in Robe Arms Crossed - Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince™

Hermione Granger in Hogwarts' female uniform

See also


J. K. Rowling speculated that she might have subconsciously produced the name Hogwarts from the Hogwort plant she saw when walking round Kew Gardens.[32] In the film Labyrinth, Sarah, acted by Jennifer Connelly, meets a goblin outside the gates of the Labyrinth who introduces himself as Hoggle. As they depart, she calls him "Hogwart" instead of his proper name, Hoggle. Also in the film Labyrinth, Jareth the Goblin King, acted by David Bowie, often calls his goblins by the wrong names and at one point he incorrectly calls Hoggle "Hogwart." It is, of course, possible that the name may have derived from the word "Warthog", but simply reversed.

Behind the scenes

  • Horcrux is a banned subject in Hogwarts.[33]
  • The school's full name suggests that there must be a difference between witchcraft and wizardry, which are otherwise known simply as magic. It can be assumed that witchcraft is magic when performed by females and wizardry by males.
  • According to Remus Lupin, attendance at Hogwarts by British students is not mandatory; they may be home schooled by their parents, or sent to another magical school;[34] (this rule was changed during the 1997–1998 school year, but was presumably restored after the demise of Voldemort.) It is likely this extended to Lucius Malfoy's also expressed interest in his son attending the Durmstrang Institute.[13]
  • There are two Headmasters known to have held the title more than once; they were Minerva McGonagall and Albus Dumbledore.

Original hand-drawn layout of Hogwarts

  • J. K. Rowling revealed that Hogwarts is a state school, and the Ministry of Magic shoulders all of the school's financial needs.[5]
  • There may be an exchange programme for Hogwarts and Ilvermorny. The Damen Blue Line Subway Station in Chicago, Illinois, is, according to J.K. Rowling, where students make the exchange.[35]
  • J. K. Rowling said she wanted a humorous motto for Hogwarts since so many schools have less pragmatic ones such as "Reach for the stars".
  • Subjects in Hogwarts had different names in Rowling's earliest notes: Herbology was called "Herbalism" and Transfiguration was called "Transfiguration/Metamorphosis." Core subjects were also different, with Divination, Alchemy, and a subject called simply "Beasts" all being compulsory from the first year.
  • The school song is only sung in the first book, and partially by Hermione and Hagrid in the fourth film. However, the song is sung completely in the deleted scenes as a welcoming to the students of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang. Credited to one of the many eccentricities of Albus Dumbledore.
  • A board game called Destination Hogwarts is based on the school and castle.
  • In the Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone video game, a Muggle Studies Classroom is featured on the fifth floor, and an Ancient Runes Classroom is on the sixth floor.
  • In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dumbledore believes that Hogwarts is the place Tom Riddle felt was his real home. Ironically, this is also how Harry Potter felt about Hogwarts which is why it was stated that Harry's stomach lurched when Dumbledore told him this.
Screenshot 730
  • J. K. Rowling said in an interview that there are about one thousand students attending Hogwarts at any given time. Assuming that the number of students is divided equally according to House, gender and year, there would be 250 students per House, 125 boys and 125 girls. In a given House and in each year at the school, there would be around 36 students (250 divided by 7 equals 35.7), or 18 boys and 18 girls.
    • However, the books mention no more than five students of the same gender, House and year. For example, no other Gryffindor boys in Harry's year besides Ron, Neville, Seamus and Dean are known. Assuming an equal division, that means there are 10 students per year in one House, 70 per House and 280 in the whole school. Movies also show, approximately, this number of students.
    • Rowling's statement is supported by the fact that, when Harry sees his father doing his O.W.L. (in the Pensieve in Snape's office), there are over 150 students. Secondly, during a Quidditch match, everybody was supporting Gryffindor except around 200 Slytherins supporting their own. It is also possible that there are more dormitories that don't appear in the books and movies. The only ones mentioned in the books are the ones that house the students who are actually in the book, e.g. Harry, Ron, Neville, Hermione.
  • It is rumoured that on the W.O.M.B.A.T. test, Rowena Ravenclaw had a dream that a warty hog was leading her to a lake and that's how Hogwarts got its name.
  • J.K. Rowling has said in an interview that Hogwarts is a multi-faith school,[36] and later confirmed that every "religion/belief/non-belief system" is represented at Hogwarts other than Wicca,[37] as she felt this was a "different concept of magic" as compared to that taught at Hogwarts.[38]
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the Anti-Disapparition Jinx was lifted in 1998 as Draco Malfoy could apparate to Blaise Zabini and Gregory Goyle. OBS: This is only shown in the films, and the films are known to take liberties with the rules established in the books, often in the interest of dramatic effect or convenience.
  • On the subject of house-elves, J. K. Rowling believed Helga Hufflepuff did what was the most moral thing to do at that time.[39]
  • The Hogwarts uniform worn in the books consists of a black robe and a black pointed hat. The robes bear no marks to distinguish between the houses. Students wear their own socks and shoes.
  • The uniform portrayed in the films consists of a white collared, long sleeved shirt, a tie of their house colours (getting more sophisticated each year), a grey jumper vest, black slacks for males and a black, knee length skirt for females paired with black or grey socks. Both genders wear black comfortable shoes. Each student wears a cloak that bears their house crest on the front, right side and has a lining of their house color: green for Slytherin, red for Gryffindor, blue for Ravenclaw, and yellow for Hufflepuff. During the winter months, a grey jumper replaces the jumper vest for comfort and a scarf bearing their two house colours is worn for warmth. A black pointed hat is provided but is only worn for special occasions such as the opening ceremony, special dinners, house cup ceremony etc.

External links


The Harry Potter Wiki has 1,414 images related to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Notes and references

  1. 1997 interview in The Herald (Glasgow)
  2. Writing by J.K. Rowling: "The Hogwarts Express" at Wizarding World
  3. 3 July 1999 interview in the Telegraph
  4. 8 July 2000 South West News Service interview
  5. 5.0 5.1
  6. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) - (see this image)
  7. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  9. 9.00 9.01 9.02 9.03 9.04 9.05 9.06 9.07 9.08 9.09 9.10 9.11 9.12 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 11.13 11.14 11.15 11.16 11.17 11.18 11.19 11.20 11.21 11.22 11.23 11.24 11.25 11.26 11.27 11.28 11.29 11.30 11.31 11.32 11.33 11.34 11.35 11.36 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
  12. 12.00 12.01 12.02 12.03 12.04 12.05 12.06 12.07 12.08 12.09 12.10 12.11 12.12 12.13 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  13. 13.00 13.01 13.02 13.03 13.04 13.05 13.06 13.07 13.08 13.09 13.10 13.11 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 14.12 14.13 14.14 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 15.6 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  16. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
  17. JK's official site (text only), accessed 28/7/2011
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Hogwarts Ghosts" at Wizarding World
  19. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) - DVD (Disc 2)
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 18 (Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs) - Remus Lupin said "I was a very small boy when I received the bite...But then Dumbledore became Headmaster, and he was sympathetic." Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Remus Lupin" at Wizarding World states he was attacked shortly before his fifth birthday which was March 1965. Dumbledore came to visit shortly before his eleventh birthday so Dumbledore succeeded Dippet as headmaster sometime between 1965 and 1971.
  22. (see this image) - A prop used in the films on display as part of Harry Potter: The Exhibition
  23. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5 onward; Defence Against the Dark Arts Lesson in general (speech bubble: "I joined the Astronomy Club! For some reason, space doesn't scare me...")
  24. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 13 (Detention with Dolores)
  25. (see this image) - A prop used in the films on display as part of Harry Potter: The Exhibition
  26. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 17 (Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four)
  27. (see this image) - A prop used in the films on display as part of Harry Potter: The Exhibition
  28. (see this image) - A prop used in the films on display as part of Harry Potter: The Exhibition
  29. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (video game) GBC version
  30. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
  31. @emmalineonline1 @micnews There's no tuition fee! The Ministry of Magic covers the cost of all magical education! by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
  32. 2001 Sydney Morning Herald article
  33. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 23 (Horcruxes)
  34. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
  35. It's for exchange students from Ilvermorny. Duh. by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
  37. J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) on Twitter: To everyone asking whether their religion/belief/non-belief system is represented at Hogwarts: the only people I never imagined there 1/2 are Wiccans.
  38. J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) on Twitter: .@GredxForgex Me too! But it's a different concept of magic to the one laid out in the books, so I don't really see how they can co-exist.
  39. "Yeah, it's a complicated issue. I would say that Hufflepuff gave — Hufflepuff did what was the most moral thing to do at that time, and we are talking about over a thousand years ago. So that would be to give them good conditions of work." - J.K. Rowling PotterCast Interview

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Hogwarts Houses
Gryffindor ClearBG
Hufflepuff ClearBG
Slytherin ClearBG
Namesake Founders
Godric Gryffindor · Helga Hufflepuff · Rowena Ravenclaw · Salazar Slytherin
Heads of House
Minerva McGonagall · Pomona Sprout · Filius Flitwick · Horace Slughorn
House Ghosts
Nearly Headless Nick · Fat Friar · Grey Lady · Bloody Baron

Wizarding Education
Ilvermorny Crest 4
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

The Triwizard Tournament
Triwizard Cup
Objects & Locations: Goblet of FireCasketGolden eggHedge MazeTriwizard Cup
Schools: BeauxbatonsDurmstrangHogwarts
1994-1995 Triwizard Champions: Fleur DelacourViktor KrumCedric DiggoryHarry Potter
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