American “Harry Potter” fans don’t have to dream of crossing the ocean to the U.K. anymore. Author J.K. Rowling previously explained that an American wizarding school, equivalent to Hogwarts, exists. Like its British counterpart, Ilvermorny has four houses, and now Rowling has not only confirmed which houses witches and wizards can be sorted into, she also has revealed how the school was founded in a new story on Pottermore.
The school, located on Mount Greylock in Adams, Massachusetts, was started by Irish immigrant Isolt Sayre in the 1600s for two boys she adopted. Isolt cared for the boys with help from James Steward, a no-maj (non-magical person) that she fell in love with. None of them had attended Hogwarts, but stories were passed down about the school. The family decided to make their own school, Ilvermorny, and have it resemble the British institution as much as possible — including having four houses. Each family member named a house based on their favorite magical creature.
Thunderbird — These creatures create storms when they fly, and the house represents the soul of a witch or wizard. Thunderbird is filled with adventurers.
Wampus — These panther-like creatures are “fast, strong and almost impossible to kill,” Rowling writes. This house represents the body and is filled with warriors.
Horned Serpent — This animal is pretty self-explanatory. The serpent lived in the river and had a jewel in its forehead. Horned Serpent represents the mind, so it makes sense that it favors scholarly witches and wizards.
Pukwudgie — The Pukwudgie is “a short, grey-faced, large-eared creature.” That doesn’t sound overly impressive, but in the newest story, a Pukwudgie named William saves Isolt’s life and is the reason Ilvermorny still exists. This house represents the heart and has many healers.
The descriptions of the houses aren’t overly detailed, but “Harry Potter” fans can easily find out where they belong. Pottermore has a sorting quiz. Don’t worry, it doesn’t erase your Hogwarts house. Profiles simply list “Hogwarts House” and “Ilvermorny House” as two categories.
— Pottermore (@pottermore) June 28, 2016
If these house names sound familiar, it’s because the Ilvermorny house names were leaked last month after a Reddit user found them in the source code for Pottermore. Still, Rowling’s latest story introduces plenty of new details. Fans will likely find out even more when “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” comes out. The Warner Bros. film will take place in America, which is largely why Rowling is suddenly delving into U.S. Wizarding history. The movie, written by Rowling, follows magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) on a trip to New York and hits theaters Nov. 18.