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Things You (Probably) Didn't Know About The Other Wizarding Schools In Harry Potter

July 12, 2021 2.7k votes 428 voters 113.5k views15 items

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The Harry Potter franchise is centered on Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but it's hardly the only school of its kind. Several other magical schools are mentioned throughout the books, movies, and video games, which makes sense because Hogwarts limits its student body to witches and wizards from the United Kingdom and Ireland.

At least 11 known schools, referred to as the Great 11, teach magic to children around the world, but more may exist. Small schools pop up around the globe now and again, but they aren't as well known or regulated by the Educational Office of the International Confederation of Wizards. This list features the most interesting things you (probably) didn't know about the other wizarding schools in Harry Potter.  

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  • 1. Mahoutokoro's Students Receive Magical Robes Upon Admission

    When Harry finally receives his letter to attend school at Hogwarts, he is taken to buy some new robes. Conversely, the Weasleys all hand their robes down between them, but neither option is available for students attending Mahoutokoro. When new students arrive, they receive enchanted robes, which are charmed to grow in size as the students do. This eliminates the need for new purchases or hand-me-downs.

    The robes don't just grow; they also exhibit each student's academic prowess. When students first receive their robes, they are a faint pink color. The goal is for the robes to be transformed into a golden color, which occurs when students achieve top grades in every magical subject. If the robes turn white, that indicates students have broken the Japanese wizard's code. More specifically, it means they've adopted illicit practices, otherwise known as Dark Magic in Europe.

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  • 2. Japan's Mahoutokoro Is The Smallest Wizarding School

    Mahoutokoro is an ancient school found at the highest point of the volcanic island of Minami Iwo Jima. Muggles believe the mountain is uninhabited, which is just fine with the school's administration. Mahoutokoro is described by J.K. Rowling as "ancient," so it may be one of the oldest of the 11 recognized schools of witchcraft and wizardry.

    Despite its age, Mahoutokoro is incredibly small, and its student body is the smallest of any magical institution. The school has been described as an ornate palace "made of mutton-fat jade." Students are admitted into the school at age 7, though they don't board there until they are 11 years old. From ages 7 to 10, children are flown to and from the school each day on the backs of a flock of giant storm petrels.

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  • 3. Ilvermorny Arose From Humble Beginnings

    Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is the North American magical school located atop Mount Greylock in Massachusetts. The school accepts students from anywhere in North America, and many of the American witches and wizards seen or mentioned in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them were educated here. Ilvermorny is similar in many ways to Hogwarts, which heavily influenced its creation.

    The school, constructed in 1627, began as a simple shack atop the mountain, with only two teachers and two students. Ilvermorny was built when two Irish immigrants sought to educate their two adopted children so they could one day attend Hogwarts when the family returned to Ireland. The teachers and students (parents and adopted children) each named a house, resulting in a four-house structure akin to Hogwarts.

    Eventually, the school began to take on more students, as members of the Native American community and immigrants to the Americas sought to teach their children how to use magic properly. Over time, the school grew to become an institution that rivals the likes of Hogwarts in size and cultural impact. By the 19th century, it was well known in and out of the Americas, and by the 20th, it was involved in student exchange programs with foreign schools, expanding its influence.

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  • 4. The Durmstrang Institute Doesn't Shy Away From Teaching The Dark Arts

    The Durmstrang Institute, located in the far northern reaches of Europe, accepts students from as far away as Bulgaria. While schools like Hogwarts and Mahoutokoro teach children how to defend themselves from practitioners of the Dark Arts, Durmstranga has a different educational philosophy and directly teaches students dark magic. 

    The school's rationale is that although you can teach students to defend themselves, it's better to teach them as much as possible instead about the Dark Arts, and their defense can come from that. In practice, teaching so many children how to meddle in the Dark Arts does little more than churn out a consistent supply of diabolical witches and wizards.

    Numerous alumni of the Durmstrang Institute were associated with Lord Voldemort. The school educated Gellert Grindelwald, one of history's most dangerous wizards. Even the school's (former) headmaster, Professor Igor Karkaroff, was found to be in the employ of Voldemort, though he avoided imprisonment by naming Lucius Malfoy as a co-conspirator. 

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