- "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 Ilvermorny[src]
Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was the American wizarding school, located on Mount Greylock in Massachusetts. It accepted students from all over North America. Students of this school, as at Hogwarts in Scotland, were sorted into four houses.
- 1 Location
- 2 History
- 3 Houses
- 4 Sorting
- 5 Reputation
- 6 Uniform
- 7 Subjects
- 8 Administration
- 9 Known students
- 10 Behind the scenes
- 11 Appearances
- 12 Notes and references
The castle was once a granite stone house constructed by Isolt Sayre and James Steward to be their home, named after Isolt's childhood home in Ireland. When it eventually became a school, the house kept expanding until it became a castle. The front doors were adorned with marble statues of Sayre and Steward on either side. It was concealed by several enchantments which sometimes looked like a wreath of misty cloud.
- "By the time Webster turned eleven, the reputation of the family’s little homeschool 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 wand work in exchange for sharing their own magical learning."
- —The start of Ilvermorny transition into a larger school[src]
Ilvermorny was founded in 1627, 637 years after Hogwarts, and the school was originally just a rough shack containing two teachers and two students. Ilvermorny was originally a stone house 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 would build their own school at their Mount Greylock home, 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 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 found 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 while hoping to kill them and abduct their newborn twin daughters. She did not know, however, about Chadwick and Webster, and when she cast a spell in Parseltongue to disable Isolt's wand, the brothers' wands (whose cores were of Horned Serpent horn) alerted them to the danger.
Chadwick went to hold off the Dark Witch, while Webster tried to wake 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 earlier. 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, who killed Gormlaith, and from that day on, William and his family acted as the school's security and maintenance staff.
After Gormlaith's death, Isolt and James buried Isolt's wand outside 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 were 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 that 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's 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 arrived at Ilvermorny, they were sorted into their house and then taken to another area where they got to choose (or be chosen by) their wand. Before Rappaport's Law was repealed, students were not allowed a wand outside of school until they were seventeen, and were not allowed a wand before arriving at Ilvermorny.
By the nineteenth century, Ilvermony gained its international reputation. By the 1920s, Ilvermorny had been flourishing for almost three 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 were proficient in the use of a wand.
They had also developed a school song. Scared parents of Ilvermorny students asked Ilvermorny to hold all students during the holiday season. The New York Ghost reports on their House points and awards. An essay from the Ilvermorny Scholars' Vanishment report was published in Transfiguration Today in 1926.
In 1927, French students were offered a student exchange programme to Ilvermorny for students whose parents worked at the French Ministry of Magic. Ilvermorny introduced Creature Care into their Curriculum in 1927.
There were four houses at Ilvermorny: Horned Serpent, Wampus, Thunderbird and Pukwudgie. When a student started their education at Ilvermorny, they would step onto a Gordian Knot on the floor in the centre of the entrance hall, with large wooden statues of the mascots of the four houses facing them. The carved statues would react if they wanted the student in their house. The older students watched in silence from a circular balcony on a floor above them as the new students were sorted. The carvings reacted in different ways: the crystal in the Horned Serpent carving's forehead glowed, the Wampus carving roared, the Thunderbird carving beat its wings, and the Pukwudgie carving raised its arrow.
However, sometimes more than one carving would try to select the same student. If this happened, the student would be able to choose the house they preferred. This happened very rarely. Sometimes — as rare as once a decade or even a generation as in the case of one student — a student would be selected by every house. Seraphina Picquery, who was President of MACUSA from 1920 to 1928, was known to have had this honour. She chose Horned Serpent.
After the sorting, the student would be brought to a large hall where they were 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 had the reputation of being one of the most democratic, least elitist of all the great wizarding schools. Students were also well versed in the use of a wand. In edition 2579 of Transfiguration Today, an essay from Ilvermorny scholars was featured on the front page and on page 4 of the magazine.
The robes of Ilvermorny were blue and cranberry. The colours honoured 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 were fastened by a gold Gordian Knot, in memory of the brooch Isolt found in the ruins of the original Ilvermorny Cottage.
As evident by students visiting MACUSA headquarters, the Ilvermorny robes (at least as of 1926) came in two separate, solid colours, rather than being the same for all students. However, the school robes worn by Chadwick and Webster Boot were identical, being mostly blue with cranberry red trim. They were also wearing black waistcoats and brown breeches underneath their robes.
Defence Against the Dark Arts
Defence Against the Dark Arts, commonly shortened to D.A.D.A., was the class that taught students defensive techniques to defend against the Dark Arts, and to be protected from Dark creatures. Defence Against the Dark Arts was one of the subjects which had been taught at Ilvermorny since the 17th century. One of the professors of this subject was Rionach Steward, the daughter of Ilvermorny founders Isolt Sayre and James Steward.
Charms was another known subject at Ilvermorny, and Chadwick's Charms Vols I–VII, which were written by founder Chadwick Boot, were standard textbooks for Charms class at Ilvermorny. A Charm was a type of spell concerned with giving an object new and unexpected properties, and this class mainly consisted of learning those sorts of spells. The Charms Chalice was a 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. Transfiguration was the art of changing the form or appearance of an object, and this was what this class taught. Transfiguration was a theory-based subject regarded as scientific. They also had 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. Potions was described as the art of creating mixtures with magical effects. It required the correct mixing and stirring of ingredients at the right times and temperatures. The subject also required the use of a wand, and was the wizarding equivalent of Muggle Chemistry.
Xylomancy was an extracurricular class offered by the school in 1926. It was an "often overlooked" type of divination that relied upon twigs. It is also possible that divination was taught at Ilvermorny.
Arithmancy was likely taught at the school, as the school has an award called the Arithmancy Achievement Accolade. Arithmancy was a branch of magic concerned with the magical properties of numbers. This subject was most likely a theory based one. It can also be assumed that this was an elective subject at Ilvermorny, as it was at Hogwarts.
Study of Ancient Runes
Study of Ancient Runes was likely taught at the school, as the school had an award called the Excellence in Runes Cup. The Study of Ancient Runes was a general theoretical subject that studied ancient runic scripts. It can be assumed that this was an elective subject at Ilvermorny, as it was at Hogwarts.
Creature Care was introduced in the school's curriculum in 1927, which may have been a consequence of the attack on New York City in 1926, and magizoologist Newton Scamander's actions to help the American wizarding community.
The only highest position at Ilvermorny was a Headmaster. They made all major decisions regarding the safety and day-to-day functioning of the school, and had the power to override any decision made by any authoritative facilitator at the school.
Heads of Ilvermorny
|Isolt Sayre||An Irish witch and co-Founder of Ilvermorny.||1627 - pre 1703|
|James Steward||A No-Maj and co-Founder of Ilvermorny.||1627 - unknown|
|Agilbert Fontaine||A direct descendant of Theodard Fontaine and Headmaster of Ilvermorny by 2016.||By 2016 - unknown|
|Rionach Steward||The younger daughter of Founders Isolt Sayre and James Steward. Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts.||c. late 17th century to early 18th century|
|Eulalie Hicks||Professor of Charms by 1927.||By 1927 - unknown|
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 was referring to the revelation that there were wizarding schools other than Hogwarts, rather than to Ilvermorny itself.
- Royal Cranberry, an ink from American quill and ink shop Voges Quills of Distinction, was advertised as "Ilvermorny's favourite"; implying an affiliation between the company and the 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 before the introduction of the wand (a 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 Hogwarts 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.
- 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.
- Ilvermorny students were shown visiting MACUSA Headquarters in the background while Porpentina Goldstein is escorting Newt Scamander towards the elevator to see President Seraphina Picquery in 1926.
- This was the first time the Ilvermorny uniforms were shown before they were shown on the Sayre family portrait (though their appearances differ, likely due to being redesigned over time in canon, and being made before the portrait was created in reality).
- It is currently unknown how students are enrolled in and made aware of their attendance at Ilvermorny.
- It is also currently unknown if and how Ilvermorny students differentiate between houses.
- So far, Ilvermorny is the youngest known wizarding school.
- It is unknown if students take Herbology, Astronomy, Flying, or Muggle Studies- like classes.
- Pottermore (First appearance) (First identified as Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry)
- Wizarding World
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2017 edition) (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Mentioned only)
- Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald - The Original Screenplay (Mentioned only)
- The Archive of Magic: The Film Wizardry of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" at Wizarding World
- .@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
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Seventeenth Century and Beyond" at Wizarding World
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "Rappaport's Law" at Wizarding World
- Writing by J.K. Rowling: "1920s Wizarding America" at Wizarding World
- MinaLima Store - Transfiguration Today - 'Albus Dumbledore' (see this image)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (see this image)
- (see this image)
- (see this image)
- Tina: Thunderbird. Queenie: Pukwudgie. by J.K. Rowling on Twitter
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) - (see this image)
- (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.
- A Magical Door To Hogwarts In Chicago on CBS Chicago
|Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry|
|Isolt Sayre · Webster Boot · Chadwick Boot · James Steward|
|Arithmancy · Charms · Creature Care · Defence Against the Dark Arts · |
Potions · Study of Ancient Runes · Transfiguration · Xylomancy
|The Eleven Schools|
|Beauxbatons · Castelobruxo · Durmstrang · Hogwarts · Ilvermorny · Koldovstoretz · Mahoutokoro · Uagadou|
|Academy of Broom Flying · Charm School · Euro-Glyph School of Extraordinary Languages · Merge School of Under-Water Spellage · Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts|