J.K. Rowling continues to expand the Harry Potter universe ahead of the November release of the spin-off movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Last night, at the annual Harry Potter Celebration at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, four new schools of magic were revealed; they join Hogwarts, France’s Beauxbatons Academy, and the Durmstrang Institute. (There are “11 long-established and prestigious wizarding schools worldwide,” Rowling writes on Pottermore, so we can probably expect her to reveal more at some point in the future.) Here’s what we know about these new additions to the wizarding world.
1. MAHOUTOKORO // JAPAN
How to say it: Mah - hoot - o - koh - ro
Location: The “uninhabited” volcanic island of Minami Iwo Jima
Its castle: “Ornate and exquisite … made of mutton-fat jade.”
This school—the smallest of the 11 registered with the International Confederation of Wizards—takes students as young as 7, who are flown back and forth each day on giant storm petrels. Boarding begins at age 11. Rather than the plain black robes used at Hogwarts, Mahoutokoro students don “enchanted robes” as soon as they arrive, Rowling writes on Pottermore, “which grow in size as they do, and which gradually change colour as the learning of their wearer increases, beginning a faint pink colour and becoming (if top grades are achieved in every magical subject) gold.” If the robe turns white, it means that “the student has betrayed the Japanese wizard's code and adopted illegal practices ... or broken the International Statute of Secrecy.” The penalty for turning white is immediate expulsion and trial at the Japanese Ministry for Magic.
In addition to being academically impressive, Mahoutokoro also has a reputation for being excellent at Quidditch which, “legend has it, was introduced to Japan centuries ago by a band of foolhardy Hogwarts students who were blown off course during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe on wholly inadequate broomsticks.”
2. UAGADOU // AFRICA
How to say it: Wag-a-doo
Location: “Mountains of the Moon,” Uganda
Its castle: “A stunning edifice carved out of the mountainside and shrouded in mist, so that it sometimes appears simply to float in mid-air.”
There are many smaller schools in Africa, Rowling writes, but Uagadou is the oldest; it’s been around for at least 1000 years. Located in Uganda, the school accepts students from all over the continent and is different from other magical schools in a couple of ways: Hogwarts students are notified of admission by letter, but Uagadou uses Dream Messengers, who “appear to the children as they sleep and will leave a token, usually an inscribed stone, which is found in the child’s hand on waking. No other school employs this method of pupil selection.” In addition, wands aren’t the normal method of magic-making. “The wand is a European invention,” Rowling writes, “and while African witches and wizards have adopted it as a useful tool in the last century, many spells are cast simply by pointing the finger or through hand gestures. This gives Uagadou students a sturdy line of defence when accused of breaking the International Statute of Secrecy (‘I was only waving, I never meant his chin to fall off’).”
The school’s graduates are particularly good at Astronomy, Alchemy and Self-Transfiguration. Uagadou has a number of notable alumni, including “Babajide Akingbade, who succeeded Albus Dumbledore as the Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards.”
3. CASTELOBRUXO // BRAZIL
How to say it: Cass - tell - o - broo - shoo
Location: “Deep in the rainforest”
Its castle: “An imposing square edifice of golden rock, often compared to a temple” that “appears to be a ruin to the few Muggle eyes that have ever fallen upon it.”
Students from all over South America attend this magical school (whose name, translated from Portuguese, means, literally, “Castle Wizard”), where students wear “bright green robes and are especially advanced in both Herbology and Magizoology.” Whereas Hogwarts has Peeves, Castelbruxo has “Caipora, small and furry spirit-beings who are extraordinarily mischievous and tricky, and who emerge under cover of night to watch over the students and the creatures who live in the forest.” The school runs a popular student exchange program.
Famous alumni include Libatius Borage, author of Advanced Potion-Making and Have Yourself a Fiesta in a Bottle!, and João Coelho, who captains “the world-renowned Quidditch team the Tarapoto Tree-Skimmers.”
4. ILVERMORNY // NORTH AMERICA
How to say it: Ill - ver - morn - ee
Rowling hasn’t posted anything about this new school on Pottermore yet, but according to a press release, “All of you eagle-eyed fans had an inkling that word was going to mean something special, and Pottermore will bring you more writing by J.K. Rowling on this magical school soon.” Redditors are already on the case, trying to figure out what the name might mean; leave your own guesses in the comments below, and we’ll update this post as we find out more!
All images courtesy of Pottermore.