It seems our knowledge of the wizarding world continues to expand with J.K. Rowling having just released a origin story of a North American school of magic named Ilvermony. Although following the four house structure, Ilvermony’s history is far different to Hogwarts which was founded by wizards and witches of long-lived ancestry. This American school of magic built its roots on the top of Mount Greylock back in the seventeenth century with the help of a young witch named Isolt Sayre.
Born to a pure-blood family, Isolt lived an idyllic life until her fanatical aunt, Gormlaith, murdered her parents due to their friendliness to muggles and kidnapped Isolt to lead her onto the pure-blood path. After years of isolation from the real world, Isolt managed to escape by stealing Gormliath’s wand and then remained on the run from her crazed aunt where she eventually ended up aboard the Mayflower travelling to America.
There, she befriends a Pukwudgie she names William and eventually marries a No-Maj man called James Steward. They adopt two orphaned children, Chadwick and Webster, who are able to perform magic so Isolt finds a way to make wands for the boys and begins home schooling them. In honour of the cottage where she was born, Isolt christens the house Ilvermony and soon magical children from nearby tribes join, slowly creating the first magic school in America.
Witches and wizards enrolled in Ilvermony have four different houses compared to Hogwarts and they also have a new sorting method. Instead of a Sorting Hat, the students stand next to the school’s magical walls where four enchanted carvings hung dormant, until one of the houses choose a student to join its ranks. Once chosen, either the Thunderbird will beat its wings, the Wampus will let out a wild roar, the Horned Serpent’s crystal will light up or the Pukwudgie will aim its arrow high into the sky. Sometimes, although quite rarely, more than one house will pick a student, allowing the witch or wizard to choose which house they prefer to join.
Just like the four houses of Hogwarts, Ilvermony’s houses also represent different prized character traits. Wampus represents the body and favors warriors to join its ranks while the Horned Serpent represents the mind and favors those with scholarly attributes. Pukwudgie represents the heart and prefers healers to join its crew while the Thunderbird represents the soul and favors adventures.