Harry Potter fans following the Pottermore Twitter feed have been treated to a host of new information about the wonderful world of wizardry, none quite so exciting as the latest revelations.
Kicking off the ‘Celebration of Harry Potter’ weekend, Luna Lovegood actress Evanna Lynch announced the names of four new schools of wizardry (not including Hogwarts), the Pottermore website updating accordingly with details - including locations - on each.
Firstly, Mahoutokoro was announced; an ancient Japanese school with the smallest student body of the eleven great wizarding schools’.
Hold on a second: 11 wizarding schools! It looks like these four are just the tipping point, with a first six around the world to be revealed.
The description of Mahoutokoro continues: “While day students, wizarding children are flown back and forth to their homes every day on the backs of a flock of giant storm petrels. The ornate and exquisite palace of Mahoutokoro is made of mutton-fat jade, and stands on the topmost point of the ‘uninhabited’ (or so Muggles think) Volcanic island of Minami Iwo Jima.”
Next up is Uagadou, based in central Africa; a school that has been there for over a thousand years: “Although Africa has a number of smaller wizarding schools (for advice on locating these, see introductory paragraph), there is only one that has stood the test of time (at least a thousand years) and achieved an enviable international reputation: Uagadou.
“The largest of all wizarding schools, it welcomes students from all over the enormous continent. The only address ever given is 'Mountains of the Moon'; visitors speak of a stunning edifice carved out of the mountainside and shrouded in mist, so that it sometimes appears simply to float in mid-air. Much (some would say all) magic originated in Africa, and Uagadou graduates are especially well versed in Astronomy, Alchemy and Self-Transfiguration.”
Rowling continues to describe the Wand as a European invention, which the African wizards and witches have adapted to use, but most spells are cast just using their fingers.
The Brazillain school Castleobruxo came next, a school hidden in old Amazonian ruins.
“The Brazilian school for magic, which takes students from all over South America, may be found hidden deep within the rainforest,” it says on the Pottermore website. “The fabulous castle appears to be a ruin to the few Muggle eyes that have ever fallen upon it (a trick shared by Hogwarts; opinion is divided on who got the idea from whom).
“Castelobruxo is an imposing square edifice of golden rock, often compared to a temple. Both building and grounds are protected by the 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.
“Former Castelobruxo Headmistress Benedita Dourado was once heard to laugh heartily, on an exchange visit to Hogwarts, when Headmaster Armando Dippet complained of Peeves the poltergeist. Her offer to send him some Caipora for the Forbidden Forest ‘to show you what trouble really is’ was not accepted.
Last, but by no means least, comes Ilvermorny. Unfortunately, very very little is revealed about it except it is based in North America and many believe it will feature in the upcoming film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
All that is written on the website is: “As for Ilvermorny… 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.”
Looks like we’ll have to wait a little longer to find out exactly what Newt Scamander (played by Eddie Redmayne) is getting himself into.