- "Ilvermorny has the reputation of being one of the most democratic, least elitist of all the great wizarding schools."
- ―Ilvermorny's modern reputation[src]
Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is the American wizarding school, located at the summit of Mount Greylock in Massachusetts. It accepts students from the United States of America, Mexico, and Canada.
The castle is located atop Mount Greylock, shrouded from the view of No-Majs by various spells and enchantments which make the summit appear to be empty or shrouded in mist. Like its British sister school, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the school has been rendered Unplottable, making its exact location unknown to the wizarding community and the No-Maj community alike.
Established during the early 17th century, Ilvermorny is considered to be one of the greatest magical schools in the world, rivaling Hogwarts itself. Like Hogwarts, children with magical abilities are enrolled at birth. They then receive their official enrollment letters around the age of twelve, whereupon they will conduct at least seven years of study at the magical institution.
Ilvermorny School is located in Ilvermorny Castle, a castle that originated as the cabin of the school's two founders, on the highest peak of Mount Greylock in modern day Massachusetts. The castle's grounds consist of the mountain it is located upon, the forest below (called the Black Forest), and Quidditch Pitch.
The castle features four tours, one for each of the school's houses. It contains a variety of mysterious enchantments, but is notably more predictable than Hogwarts Castle in that it does not have changing rooms or an ever-changing layout.
Like most magical schools, the castle has a plethora of enchantments placed upon it to prevent No-Majs from stumbling upon the grounds. One such enchantment causes the school to appear as a wreath of mist surrounding the summit of the mountain. When the summit is visible, however, the enchantments on the grounds cause it to appear empty. Like Hogwarts, wizards and witches are incapable of apparating or disapparating within the grounds, an enchantment that can only be lifted by the Headmaster of the school themselves.
Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was founded in the early 17th century, some 630 years after the founding of Hogwarts. The school began as a shack, the home of its two founders, and was eventually expanded to include more students. As the school expanded, so did the grounds, until a grand castle stood atop Mount Greylock. Its founders were the Irish witch Islot Sayre and her husband, the No-Maj James Steward.
The adopted sons of the founders, Chadwick and Webster Boot, were the first students of the school, and brought with them knowledge of Native American magic. Each member of the family then gave names to the four houses of the school: Horned Serpent, Wampus, Thunderbird, and Pukwudgie. By 1634, there were enough children to warrant house competitions.
As the school grew, news of its success reached Europe, which caused Islot's evil aunt, Gormlaith Gaunt, to arrive in an attempt to kill her niece and nephew-in-law—all apart of her plot to abduct their newly born twins. Gaunt successfully drove the family into their bedroom during the duel, but they were saved by William—a Pukwudgie companion of James'. From that day forward, William and his descendants remained at the school as its primary defense.
By the 18th century, Ilvermorny had officially become a boarding school and was acknowledged as a magical educational institution on par with other magical schools across the world, even those which were much older.
Term begins on 27 August. Students typically reach Ilvermorny via train which departs from an unknown platform at New York City's Grand Central Terminal, which leaves the station at noon. There are other methods to get to the school, such as by broomstick, though students require both parental permission and school approval to fly to school. The train brings students to nearby Ilvermorny Village, at the base of Mount Greylock, where they are then brought up the mountain by carriage.
Once at the school, a Welcoming Feast is held in the school's Dining Hall, after which the Sorting ceremony is held for first year students. After the ceremony, the school's headmaster typically holds a "beginning-of-term speech" which signals the official start of the school year. Students then report to their House's tower, where first years are acquainted with their common rooms, and returning students settle in to their new dormitories.
Class schedules are handed out at breakfast the following morning, and class begins immediately thereafter. The following week signals the beginning of Quidditch tryouts and beginner's flying lessons for first years.
Unlike Hogwarts, whose school year is scheduled similarly to college in the United Kingdom, a school year at Ilvermorny is structured similarly to a typical high school in the United States. Students are given the option to return home for the Thanksgiving holidays, which begin the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Classes resume the following Monday. Students are also given a short break for the Christmas holidays, which begin on 12 December; classes resume on the first Monday of the second week of January. Finally, students are released from school for the summer on 12 May and return on 27 August for the next term. There is no observation of Spring Break, however.
Much like a typical American high school or college, students do not attend classes on the weekends unless their is a special circumstance, though Dueling Club and other clubs like it are typically held on Saturday or Sunday. For students who remain at school during the holidays, feasts are held on Thanksgiving and Christmas both.
Sixth and seventh year students are permitted to attend Prom, a semi-formal dance, on the second Saturday of March. Ilvermorny is hinted to have some sort of House competitions, but when they are held is presently unknown.
A Headmaster or Headmistress oversees Ilvermorny School and acts as its de facto leader. In the event of illness or death, a Vice-Headmaster or Headmistress can be appointed until a new one is found or until the illness abates.
Heads of House
Ilvermorny employs a wide-range of talented American witches and wizards as professors. As with other schools, each professor teaches a specific topic. The school has a Core program, those classes that all students must take and pass in order to move on. It also offers a wide-range of advanced and elective classes for older students to enroll in. An education at Ilvermorny is designed to give students a well-rounded introduction to all fields of magic, and (in the case of electives) an in-depth study of those fields which they find most interesting.
First year students only take their Core classes. Second years are allowed to add an elective. Third years and above are required to take no more than two electives in addition to their continuing Core.
Like at traditional No-Maj schools, and other wizarding institutions, students receive grades for their homework and exams. Like Hogwarts students, they also receive a form of benchmark examination during their fifth and seventh years. For fifth years, there is the E.A.G.L.E.s (Excruciatingly Aggravating Graduate Level Exams) which determines the types of advanced classes students may enroll in for their sixth year. For seventh year students, there is the H.A.R.E.s (Horrifically Advanced Required Examinations) whose scores can be used to determine future careers and job opportunities.
The grading scale seems to be modeled upon that traditionally used within No-Maj educational institutions in the United States.
Ilvermorny School Grading Scale
- A — Mastery, Exceptional (Passing)
- B — Good (Passing)
- C — Acceptable (Passing)
- D — Poor (Passing, below E.A.G.L.E.s; Failing, above E.A.G.L.E.s or H.A.R.E.s)
- F — Failing (Failing)
This grading system seems to be standard across the wizarding community of North America, especially within the United States.
School years function almost identically at Ilvermorny as they do at Hogwarts. Seven years of magical education is offered at Ilvermorny. Students are identified by their year (e.g., first year, second year, third year, etc.) and graduate after their seventh year.
The robes of Ilvermorny are blue and cranberry. The colors honor Isolt and James: blue because it was Isolt's favorite color and because she had wished to be in Ravenclaw house as a child; cranberry in honor of James's love of cranberry pie. All Ilvermorny students' robes are fastened by a gold Gordian Knot, in memory of the brooch Isolt found in the ruins of the original Ilvermorny cottage.
- Pottermore (Canonical information)
- Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry on Harry Potter Wiki