Harry Potter fan or not, at one time or another we all wished we were a wizard or witch at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft. We may have even tried to turn our little brother into a frog with a twirl of a wand or tried to make cookies appear on our dinner plates instead of broccoli with a zap of a finger. Unsuccessful, we learned to live with our little brother while choking down that broccoli and only dreamed about a school like Hogwarts to perfect our “skills.”
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry may only be fictional, but it was brought to life by JK Rowling’s phenomenal series, Harry Potter . She save the school an identity, past and a place in pop culture history.
It was found by Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw and Salazar Slytherin, a group of medieval wizards and witches, and is located in the wizarding world. Current students are divided into one of four of the boarding school’s homes, which are named after a founder, and tend to pose the same characteristics as the founder. Students first arrive at Hogwarts around the age of 11 and are placed into their respected schoolhouse by the Sorting Hat, a magical hat that belongs to Godric and sings songs.
Harry, along with his friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, were housed in Gryffindor. The schoolhouse’s colours are maroon and gold and the mascot is a lion. Like Godric, students demonstrate brave, daring, nerve and chivalry characteristics.
Hufflepuff’s schoolhouse colours are gold and black while the mascot is a badger. These students value loyalty, fair play, honesty and tolerance. Students who stayed in Hufflepuff included Ernie Macmillan and Hannah Abbott, both of those attending Hogwarts at the same time as Harry.
Much like Rowena Ravenclaw, students living in this house have wit, creativity and wisdom. It is haunted by the Gray Ghost who was Rowena’s daughter Helena. The house colours are blue and grey and the mascot is a raven.
The last schoolhouse is Slytherin whose colours are green and silver with the serpent as its mascot. The founder, Salazar, favoured pureblood wizards and was one himself. He left Hogwarts after the other founders disagreed with him that only pure blood should be allowed to attend the school. Today, it primarily houses pureblood and students demonstrate ambition, cleverness and resourcefulness. It also entertains the myth that staying students often turn to the dark arts. It housed Tom Riddle (aka Lord Voldemort or He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named), Draco Malfoy and Snape Severus.
Hogwarts is overseen by the headmaster. Albus Dumbledore served as the headmaster during most of Harry’s school years and became his mentor. Albus attended Hogwarts as a child and became a powerful and wise wizard. He founded the Order of Phoenix, a group of wizards and witches that band together to stop Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters from taking over the wizarding world. Albus was killed in the battle of Astronomy Tower during the Second Wizarding War by Snape Severus, who was a professor at Hogwarts as well as a secret member of the Death Eaters.
It’s not all fun and magic at Hogwarts. Students learn many important subjects that teach them how to master their abilities. Students are required to take core classes that include Defense Against the Dark Arts: defensive techniques against dark magic, Charms: basic spells and wandwork, Potions: brewing potions, and Transfiguration: changing the form and appearance of an object. Other elective courses include Study of Ancient Ruins, Care of Magical Creatures and Divination.
While attending class, students are required to wear the Hogwarts uniform. It consists of a white, long-sleeved shirt with a collar, a grey vest, a tie featuring their schoolhouse colours, black shoes and a black robe that has their schoolhouse crest and colours. In addition, the boys have to wear black pants while the girls wear black, knee-length skirts paired with black or grey socks. This uniform has to also be worn during meals or while studying in the Great Hall. During special occasions such as ceremonies and special dinners, students wear black, pointy hats.
Students study at Hogwarts for seven years before leaving and pursuing occupations and other opportunities.