As any Harry Potter fan now knows, Hogwarts isn't the only school of witchcraft and wizardry in the world.
J.K. Rowling, creator of the Harry Potter universe, has also written about several other schools, including those in Japan, Brazil and even Uganda. But it's the North American school, Ilvermorny, that captures hearts and imaginations this year, thanks to the upcoming release of the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, which takes place in the United States.
Rowling released a new short story on Pottermore detailing more information about Ilvermorny, including its history. The story also introduces readers to an Irish lass named Isolt Sayre who founded the school.
"The great North American school of magic was founded in the seventeenth century," writes Rowling. "It stands at the highest peak of Mount Greylock, where it is concealed from non-magic gaze by a variety of powerful enchantments, which sometimes manifest in a wreath of misty cloud."
Please note that the following contains spoilers for "Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
"Isolt Sayre was born around 1603 and spent her earliest childhood in the valley of Coomloughra, County Kerry, in Ireland," Rowling writes. "She was the offspring of two pure-blood wizarding families."
Isolt's history is similar to that of Harry Potter's: her mother's estranged sister, Gormlaith Gaunt, murdered her parents. It's also no surprise that Isolt and Gormlaith are also both ancestors of Lord Voldemort. Gormlaith kept Isolt as her prisoner for years, but the girl eventually escaped and made her way to America. There, she met two wizards and a goblin-like creature, who became her friends and eventually founded Ilvermorny with her.
The story features everything that Harry Potter fans are fond of: adventure, romance, danger and, of course, lots of magic.
Like Hogwarts, Ilvermorny also has four houses. This new short story reveals them as Horned Serpent, Pukwudgie, Thunderbird and Wampus. Ilvermorny also has official school colors: blue and cranberry, which represent Isolt and James, one of her early wizard friends that she eventually fell in love with and married.
Pottermore visitors can also now sort themselves into their Ilvermorny house through the website.
It's a great year for Harry Potter fans. Although it was 2007 when the last book was released and 2010 when the last movie hit theaters, this year sees the premiere of a new play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, as well as a printed version of that play's script. This year also sees the release of the movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on Nov. 18.