The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is one of the aspects of the Harry Potter books that make the series so appealing to many of us. Who hasn’t read one or more of the Harry Potter books without daydream about what it would be like to attend this magical place with Harry, Ron Weasley and Hermione? JK Rowling has created a magical school where Harry and his pals learn, grow, study and try to master all the charms and spells in their textbook, while solving mysteries and battling the dark forces of evil. It is certainly a lot of things for young adults to shoulder, but they do it mightily well. Rowling does done such a masterful job at imagining and describing this magical school, that one feels almost as if it really does exist out there in another dimension of our normal lives. Like a real school, one can speak of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as if it really existed because that is about how real it feels to many readers.
In the Harry Potter universe, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is apparently the only known school of magic to exist in the United Kingdom. All children of Britain and Ireland who are known to possess magical qualities are qualified to enroll in the Hogwarts School as witches and wizards in training. The school can aptly be described as a secondary boarding school that is co-educational and that accepts children ages 11 to 18. The school is believed to accommodate roughly about 1000 students, although some critics have noted that there are too few people in Harry’s year for this number to be realistic. Of course, this is slight oversight that does not bother most readers of the book series.
It is not known exactly how the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is funded, but it does not appear that students must pay tuition. However, students are responsible for procuring many of their own school supplies. Professor McGonagall is responsible for sending out letters to all young children with magical abilities who will turn eleven years old by the last day of August. There is a magical quill at Hogwarts School that detects the birth of all the magical children in the area, and their names are scripted into a large parchment book. When it comes time, all the magical children who are of age will receive a letter informing them that they are eligible to enroll at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The letter also informs them that they should accept or decline the invitation by the last day of July. The letter also informs the prospective students that they should procure certain supplies if they will be attending Hogwarts. Supplies include spell books, a Hogwarts uniform, and other miscellaneous supplies that are available for purchase at the shops along Diagon Alley. Diagon Alley is a secret street that is located near Charing Cross in London. There is extensive description of the intriguing shops located at Diagon Alley. Those students who cannot afford to buy the necessary supplies are supplied with financial aid from the school. This is the case for Tom Riddle, a young orphan in the series.
All Hogwarts students are allowed to bring one pet with them to keep while at school. The pet can either be a cat, owl, or toad. Most students choose to keep owls as pets because they can deliver their mail back home, and retrieve messages and packages from the home front. The Hogwarts school year always begins on the first day of September.
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