For years, Harvard students have clung to Annenberg Hall as their connection to the wizarding world of Harry Potter (if by some chance you haven’t already noticed, the freshman dining hall closely resembles Hogwarts’ Great Hall in the Potter movies).
However, if your fierce desire to attend a wizarding school is still unsatisfied (or if you just really can’t wait for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child to come out on July 31), have no fear. A few days ago, J.K. Rowling published new content on Pottermore.com revealing that a wizarding school is located in Massachusetts.
Established in the seventeenth century, Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry boasts its own four houses, traditions, and a reputation of being the least elitist of the wizarding schools. Rowling writes that Ilvermorny sits atop Massachusetts’ highest peak: Mount Greylock, just a few hours west of Harvard.
The textbook-style account of Ilvermorny’s history on Pottermore.com gives in-depth details about how the school came to be. According to Rowling, Ilvermorny’s Irish founder—an orphaned witch by the name of Isolt Sayre—was kidnapped as a child by her evil aunt, Gormlaith Gaunt (yes, that’s Gaunt as in the descendants of Salazar Slytherin).
Isolt was told all about Hogwarts as she grew up, but her aunt did not allow her to attend the school even when she received her letter. Rowling writes, “Hogwarts sounded like a kind of paradise and [Isolt] spent much of her teens fantasising about it.” Us too, Isolt, us too.
Eventually, Isolt escaped to North America—via the Mayflower, of course. Once arriving in the New World, she quickly set out on her own, sensing that she might not be too welcomed among so-called “No-Majs” (that’s the American term for Muggle). Isolt ultimately created Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry—not before several encounters with magical creatures, some experimental wand-making, and a dramatic duel.
Before you get too excited, Rowling did not specify whether Ilvermorny accepts college-age transfer students, but maybe they’re up for a neighborly game of quidditch?