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"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,[1] located on Mount Greylock in Massachusetts.[1] It accepted students from all over North America. Students of this school, as at Hogwarts in Scotland, were sorted into four houses.[1][4]

When Newt Scamander travelled to New York in the 1920s, he met several people (including Porpentina and Queenie Goldstein) who were educated at this school.[5]


Main article: Ilvermorny Castle
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Ilvermorny Castle

Ilvermorny Castle was on top of the highest peak of Mount Greylock in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts.[1]

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.[1]


Early history[]

"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 is built

Ilvermorny's Humble Beginnings as a "shack"

Ilvermorny was founded in 1627, 637 years after Hogwarts, and the school was originally just a rough shack containing two teachers and two students.[6] 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.[1]

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.[1]

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. Among the 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.[1]

Gormlaith Gaunt casts a curse

Gormlaith arrives at Ilvermorny to exact her revenge against Isolt and her family

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 then used Parseltongue to disable Isolt's wand, the brothers' wands (whose cores were of Horned Serpent horn) alerted them to the danger.[1]

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 with a poisoned arrow, and from that day on, William and his family acted as the school's security and maintenance staff.[1]

Snakewood Tree Ilvermorny

The unique Snakewood tree that resides in an Ilvermorny courtyard

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.[1]

Middle history[]

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.[1]

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.[7]

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.[1]

By the nineteenth century, Ilvermony gained its international reputation.[1] 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.[8] They had also developed a school song.

In 1926, Ilvermorny offered extracurricular Xylomancy classes.[9]

Scared parents of Ilvermorny students asked Ilvermorny to hold all students during the holiday season.[10] The New York Ghost reports on their House points and awards.[11] An essay from the Ilvermorny Scholars' Vanishment report was published in Transfiguration Today in 1926.[10]

In 1927, French students were offered a student exchange programme to Ilvermorny for students whose parents worked at the French Ministry of Magic.[12] Ilvermorny introduced Creature Care into their Curriculum in 1927.[13]

Recent history[]

21st century[]

By 2016, the position of Headmaster of the school was occupied by Professor Agilbert Fontaine, a direct descendant of one of the original twelve Aurors at the Magical Congress of the United States of America,[2] with all seven volumes of Chadwick's Charms was still in use.[1]

In 2018, the outbreak of an unauthorised and seemingly chaotic magical activity throughout the non-magical world dealt a devastating blow to the world wizarding community on a global scale by generating a large number of large-scale breaches of the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, and in 2020, Calamity Investigators from the Statute of Secrecy Task Force arrived at the school in order to help the faculty set up defences (what little there could be) against the Calamity in order to protect the school's inhabitants.[14]


The Houses of Ilvermorny
Horned Serpent ClearBG 2
Wampus ClearBG 2
Thundebird ClearBG 2
Pukwudgie ClearBG 2
Horned Serpent
Sometimes considered to represent the mind of a witch or wizard. It was also said that Horned Serpent favoured scholars.
Sometimes considered to represent the body of a witch or wizard. It was also said that Wampus favoured warriors.
Sometimes considered to represent the soul of a witch or wizard. It was also said that Thunderbird favoured adventurers.
Sometimes considered to represent the heart of a witch or wizard. It was also said that Pukwudgie favoured healers.
Isolt Sayre
Webster Boot
Chadwick Boot
James Steward
Notable Members
Seraphina Picquery, Viggo Victor
Webster Boot, Zach Johnson
Chadwick Boot, Eulalie Hicks,[15] Porpentina Goldstein,[16] Holly Blackbird,[17] Violet Williams
Queenie Goldstein[16], Ruby Honeysuckle[18]


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.[1]

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.[1]

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.[1]


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.[1]

In edition 2579 of Transfiguration Today, an essay from Ilvermorny scholars was featured on the front page and on page 4 of the magazine.[10]


Main article: Ilvermorny uniform

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.[1]

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.[1]


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.[1]


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.[1] 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. In 1932, Eulalie Hicks taught the subject and her book, Advanced Charm Casting was required reading for her fifth-year students.[19]


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 No-Maj Chemistry.


Xylomancy was an extracurricular class offered by the school in 1926.[20] 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[]

Creature Care was introduced in the school's curriculum in 1927,[21] 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.[1] 1627 - pre 1703
James Steward A No-Maj and co-Founder of Ilvermorny.[1] 1627 - unknown
Agilbert Fontaine A direct descendant of Theodard Fontaine and Headmaster of Ilvermorny by 2016.[2] By 2016 - unknown





Rionach Steward The younger daughter of Founders Isolt Sayre and James Steward. One of the school's first professors of Defence Against the Dark Arts.[1] c. late 17th century to early 18th century
Eulalie Hicks Professor of Charms. Keeper of the Keys. c. 1927 - unknown
Unidentified Ilvermorny professor Professor of an unknown subject. c. 1980s

Known students[]

Behind the scenes[]


Ilvermorny as seen on a map


The Harry Potter Wiki has 16 images related to Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 1.21 1.22 1.23 1.24 1.25 1.26 1.27 1.28 1.29 1.30 1.31 1.32 1.33 1.34 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry" at Wizarding World
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "The Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA)" at Wizarding World
  3. 3.0 3.1 Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Wizarding Schools" at Wizarding World
  4. X (formerly Twitter) logo J. K. Rowling on X: "Newt's a Hufflepuff, but the other heroes went to the American school of wizardry (and yes, I know their houses)."
  5. X (formerly Twitter) logo J. K. Rowling on X: ".@tannerfbowen No, but he's going to meet people who were educated at (name) in (not New York)."
  6. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Seventeenth Century and Beyond" at Wizarding World
  7. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "Rappaport's Law" at Wizarding World
  8. Writing by J. K. Rowling: "1920s Wizarding America" at Wizarding World
  9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (In newspaper scene at the start of the film)
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 MinaLima Store - Transfiguration Today - 'Albus Dumbledore' (see this image)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) (see this image)
  12. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (see this image)
  13. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (see this image)
  14. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
  15. Jessica Williams Gives More Details on Lally’s Backstory and Her Inspiration for the Character - MuggleNet
  16. 16.0 16.1 X (formerly Twitter) logo J. K. Rowling on X: "Tina: Thunderbird. Queenie: Pukwudgie."
  17. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Side Quest "Eye Of The Storm"
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Beyond Hogwarts, Volume 1, "SCHOOL DAY NOSTALGIA" Achievement
  19. Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore - The Complete Screenplay, Scene 24
  20. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film) - (see this image)
  21. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (see this image)
  22. "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000
  23. History of Magic in North America: Fourteenth Century - Seventeenth Century
  24. A Magical Door To Hogwarts In Chicago on CBS Chicago
Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Ilvermorny Houses
Horned Serpent ClearBG 2
Wampus ClearBG 2
Thundebird ClearBG 2
Pukwudgie ClearBG 2
Namesake Founders
Isolt Sayre · Chadwick Boot · Webster Boot · James Steward
Subjects offered
Arithmancy · Charms · Creature Care · Defence Against the Dark Arts · Potions · Study of Ancient Runes · Transfiguration · Xylomancy
Ilvermorny staff
William · Rionach Steward · Eulalie Hicks · Agilbert Fontaine
Ilvermorny locations
Ilvermorny Castle · Ilvermorny's snakewood tree
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 · Institute of Muggle Studies · Merge School of Under-Water Spellage · The Naaszcademy of Magizoology · Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts · Young Wizards Daycare Center