Finally, you have a place to blame for not sending you an acceptance letter to the world of magic — given, of course, that you live in North America, Brazil, Africa, or Japan. On Pottermore yesterday, J.K. Rowling released the names of four new wizarding schools, but let’s cut to the chase: The American school is called “Ilvermorny” and, according Pottermore’s map, it lies somewhere between northern Appalachia and Quebec. (We knew poutine was supernatural!) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the next Harry Potter film, takes place in America, and Rowling has promised we’ll learn even more about Ilvermorny then. Key questions: Do British wizards make fun of American wizards’ pronunciation of spells? How good is the Ilvermorny quidditch team? (The best, right? U.S.A.! U.S.A.!) Can Americans please have a better word for muggle than No-Maj?
While there isn’t much else to learn about Ilvermorny, Rowling did reveal more about the other schools. The Brazilian wizarding school is called Castelobruxo, and it’s somewhere in the Amazon rain forest. There, students master herbology, while is school is guarded by “Caipora, small and furry spirit-beings who are extraordinarily mischievous and tricky.” Japanese wizarding school, Mahoutokoro, falls somewhere Southwest of Japan on a map, on an island called Minami Iwo Jima (interesting choice, Rowling). Japanese wizarding students get enchanted robes that grow as they age and change color depending on their level of achievement, supposedly it’s a real pressure cooker. Uagadou is, apparently, the largest of a number of African wizarding schools. It lies somewhere in the center of the continent — here Pottermore is especially unhelpful, noting that “the only address ever given is ‘Mountains of the Moon.’” Uagadou’s students are adept and transfiguration and learn how to cast spells without the use of wands. The school informs students of their acceptance with “Dream Messengers,” which leave tokens for children in their sleep.
Rowling did not name a wizarding school in Oceania, which is strange, because we know Lorde learned magic somehow.