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hogwarts, a history

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Over a thousand years ago, around the 10th century, the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was created to train children with magical abilities.

Commonly shortened to Hogwarts, the British school is a coeducational, secondary boarding school, where many children study the magical arts, and become skilled, well-trained wizards. Nearly all British and Irish children who show some magical ability attend the school from ages eleven to eighteen.

We know very little about Hogwarts— even Headmasters cannot claim to know all of its secrets. History has forgotten the true origins of the school, but everyone agrees that four fast friends decided to create the school to protect young wizards and witches, providing them a place where they can practice their skills hidden from Muggle eyes. 

We know that the four founders are Godric Gryffindor, Rowena Ravenclaw, Salazar Slytherin, and Helga Hufflepuff. We know that the houses bear their names, and each house valued their virtues. We know that they charmed Godric’s hat to sort the children to their houses. 

We know that Godric Gryffindor, dueling in both wand and sword, valued bravery. We know that Helga Hufflepuff, who valued goodness and hard work, gathered the House Elves, who still feed the students today. We know that Rowena Ravenclaw valued intelligence, lost her daughter and died from a broken heart. We know that cunning Salazar Slytherin created the Chamber of Secrets, hiding a Basilisk, and left the school because of his distrust of Muggleborns.

But we know now that this is wrong. It was four siblings, not four friends, who created the school.

 


 

Once upon a time, there were four siblings named Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie. It was foretold that the Pevensies would enter a wardrobe and come out into the world of Narnia, ridding the world from the white winter of the witch Jadis. They brought forth the Golden Age, ruling over Narnia from Cair Paravel.

They went back in time, from the Muggle’s Second World War, to when Narnia was called Narnia, and not the Wizarding World. When British magic folk still thought they were the only ones who knew Narnia, never minding that the Italians named the damn place.

After they died, they went back to tenth century Narnia, finally found hiding in plain sight.

But it was a dangerous time. Wizards and witches, all with Narnian blood, were being burned, drowned, hanged, and quartered. Even non-magic folk was targeted, all because of befriending magic folk, or protecting them, or— in many scenarios— because of the greed in their lord’s eyes, in their leader’s eyes. 

The siblings separated. They were used to it, of course, having to move from place to place in the future war. They created villages where magic can hide, and ruled, before the Ministry of Magic, before the Wizengamot, and even before the Wizard’s Council.

But magic was harder to hide as a child, and uncontrolled magic was dangerous.

So it was the four siblings, not four friends, who created Hogwarts. They built it when they came back, and stayed, building the school from the ruins of Cair Paravel. They turned their throne room into the Great Hall, the Treasure Room into the Potions classroom, and the Apple Orchard into the Forbidden Forest. Imbued with magic from before the Pevensies, the castle also holds their magic— Lucy’s cordial nurtures the ground which it stands, Susan’s horn summons aid when needed, and Edmund’s torch lights the way for learning. Even Peter’s sword protects Hogwarts today.

They stayed young, while others grew old. They drank from Lucy’s cordial, which turned into the Cup, when finally finished. They changed names, changed faces, but they were still brothers and sisters, even if their families, their lineages already diverged after a few centuries. They stayed to protect all of them.

Contrary to popular belief, they never believed that their strengths were good alone— they knew that they were stronger together. They made their houses for students who could not see beyond their greatest flaw. 

Peter taught the Northern house to be brave, not reckless, the way he had to learn in protecting his family. His descendant Godric believed the same, as he excelled in defense, and continued to protect the castle the Pevensies created. Is it that much of a surprise that the Peverells were named after Cair Paravel, where Peter the High King ruled? That they lived in Godric’s Hollow? His descendants excelled in the Defense against the Dark Arts, in Flying, in Alchemy, and in Transfiguration.

Susan taught the Southern house to be wise, but not fearful, to not let her practicality keep them from the truth. Her descendant Rowena was as wise as she was beautiful, even more beautiful than Susan, with her hair falling to her feet, blue eyes sparking with her diadem. But it is no wonder that Helena grew envious, fearful that her name be forgotten, overshadowed by her mother. But their line continued to advance Charms, Wandmaking, Arithmancy, and Astronomy.

Edmund taught the Western house to ambitious, not treacherous, the way he made up all these years for betraying his siblings to Jadis. His descendant Salazar agreed, and that was why he refused entry for Muggleborns— knowing how easy it would be to betray their world, distrusting that Muggleborns would betray magic folk the same way the Calormen turned on Archenland, the way Edmund did his siblings. It seems that their tendency to greatness came from Edmund trying to make up for that treachery, and from other Slytherins trying to make up for their ancestors before them. His line would do great things, great, yet terrible, in the Dark Arts, Potions, Curse-Breaking, and Divination.

And Lucy, sweet Lucy, taught the Eastern house to be good, but not fanciful— because goodness cannot survive without the other three. Her descendant Helga also agreed, and was the most welcoming of everyone, not limiting her house by bravery, wit, and cunning. She even took in the House Elves, hiring those thrown out by families, caring for the creatures. Her kindness is why the House Elves still care for Hogwarts to this day. Her line advocated for the Care of Magical Creatures, Herbology, Healing, and eventually, Muggle Studies.

And once they knew their children, their lineages successfully lived and died in hiding, they left, knowing they have protected Narnia for good.