The last Harry Potter film hit theaters five years ago, but honestly, the wizarding world seems more alive than ever before. The stage show Harry Potter and the Cursed Child just opened in London, and the prequel (that’s not *officially* a Harry Potter prequel but is basically a prequel) Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is set to hit the big screen this November. We know that’s a long time to wait, but it looks like the world of Pottermore wants to help you bide your time with some fun pre-movie background trivia. First up, a little more info about Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (AKA the American version of Hogwarts).

In the two-minute clip released today, we learn all about the other wizarding school. The short film was released in correspondence with a new short story — also about Ilvermorny’s backstory. You can read that here. The video is a great teaser and the text, while long, is a wonderful way to get your wizarding world fix, but in case you’re an HP mega fan strapped for time, here are eight things we learned from J.K. Rowling’s new piece of fiction.


1. The School’s Foundations: The school was founded by Isolt Sayre, a pureblood wizard born in Ireland. Her parents were tragically killed in an attack on their home. Isolt was then take in by her aunt Gormlaith Gaunt. However, Isolt later realizes it was less of a “taking in” and more of a kidnapping, and it was actually Gormlaith who killed her parents. She later escapes, sails to America and befriends a couple of boys (one muggle and two young wizards) who become her adopted children. She also marries a muggle named James.

2. American Slang: Oh, but American wizards don’t call non-wizards muggles. They call them “no-majs.”

3. A Wand With History: Unbeknownst to her, the wand Isolt uses for years is actually Salazar Slytherin’s.

4. The Houses: The school’s houses are called Thunderbird, Wampus, Horned Serpent and Pukwudgie.

5. Sorting Ceremony: Instead of a sorting hat, students are placed into houses by enchanted carvings that represent each house. The new student stands on a Gordian Knot set into the middle of a stone floor and each carving will react if they want the student.

6. School Ranking: Ilvermorny has a reputation for being one of the most democratic and least elite of all the great wizarding schools.

7. American Rules: Unlike Hogwarts, students at Ilvermorny are required to leave their wands at school during vacations until the age of 17.

8. The Colors!: Ilvermorny’s colors are blue and cranberry. Blue because it’s James’ favourite color and cranberry because Ravenclaw was the house Isolt fantasized about most as a child.

What are you looking forward to most about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Let us know @BritandCo.

(Photo via Pottermore)