November 26, 2011
Page 8 of 12 – Harry Potter Wizarding World scrapbook
Hogwarts is a coeducational, secondary boarding school, taking children from ages eleven to eighteen.The Headmaster or Headmistress, assisted by a Deputy Headmaster or Headmistress, undertakes management of the school. The Head is answerable to the twelve-member Board of Governors.
The school has numerous charms and spells on and around it that make it impossible for a Muggle (i.e., a non-magical person) to locate it. Such people cannot see the school; rather, they see only ruins and several warnings of danger. The castle has extensive grounds with sloping lawns, flowerbeds and vegetable patches, a loch (called The Black Lake), a large dense forest (called the Forbidden Forest), several greenhouses and other outbuildings, and a full-size Quidditch pitch. There is also an owlery, which houses all the owls owned by the school and those owned by students. It should be noted that some rooms in the school tend to “move around”, and so do the stairs in the grand staircase. Witches and wizards cannot Apparate or Disapparate in Hogwarts grounds, except when the Headmaster lifts the enchantment, whether only in certain areas or for the entire campus, so as to make the school less vulnerable when it serves the headmaster to allow Apparition.
Admission to Hogwarts is selective, in that children who show magical ability will automatically gain a place, and squibs cannot attend the school as students (though they can work there in other roles, as Argus Filch does). A magical quill at Hogwarts detects the birth of magical children and writes their names into a large parchment book, but there is no admission test because “you are either magical or you are not.” Every year, a teacher checks this book and sends a letter to the children who are turning eleven. Acceptance or declination of a place at Hogwarts must be posted by 31 July. The letter also contains a list of supplies like spell books, uniform, and other things that the student will need. The prospective student is expected to buy all the necessary materials, normally from shops in Diagon Alley, a concealed street near Charing Cross Road in London found behind a pub by the name of The Leaky Cauldron.
Each student is allowed to bring a cat, toad, rat or owl. Along with the acceptance letter, first year students are sent a list of required equipment which includes a wand, subject books, a standard size 2 pewter cauldron, a set of brass scales, a set of glass or crystal phials, a kit of basic potion ingredients (for Potions), and a telescope (for Astronomy). The Hogwarts uniform consists of plain work robes in black, a plain black hat, a pair of protective gloves, and a black winter cloak with silver fastenings. Each uniform must contain the wearer’s nametag. First years are not allowed a broomstick of their own, though an exception to this rule is made for Harry in his first year after he demonstrates an excellent ability as a Seeker in Quidditch.
Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, often referred to as Nearly Headless Nick, Nick, or Sir Nicholas, is the Gryffindor House ghost who in life was sentenced to death by beheading after a teeth-straightening spell went awry on Lady Grieve. Unfortunately, the executioner’s axe was blunt and after 45 hacks Nick’s head was still only partially severed. Harry becomes friends with Nick when he attends his “deathday” party (the 500th anniversary of the event) in a Hogwarts dungeon. Nick’s death date (31 October 1492) has the distinction of having served as the basis for the entire chronology of the Harry Potter stories, until the timeline was confirmed by the headstone of James and Lily Potter in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. His greatest wish is to become a member of the Headless Hunt, as mentioned in the second book. However, he is excluded due to the fact that he is not actually headless and would not be able to fully participate in the activities.