As soon as they get off the train at Hogsmeade Station, first-year students are led to boats that carry them across the Great Lake. Thestral-drawn carriages transport the older students to the school.
Six magical objects to be found at Hogwarts were said to be possessions of Hogwarts’ founders and were of unimaginable value. The Sword of Gryffindor belonged to, you guessed it, Godric Gryffindor. Goblin made, it was constructed of pure silver inset with rubies. In 1993, the sword appeared inside the Sorting Hat when Harry was inside the Chamber of Secrets, proving to him once and for all that he was a true Gryffindor. The other relics of the Founders included Slytherin’s Locket, Hufflepuff’s Cup, Ravenclaw’s Diadem, the Founder Statues, and the Sorting Hat itself.
The Enchanted Ceiling is found inside the Great Hall. It’s bewitched to look like the sky outside, whatever the weather. The mimicry is so authentic that at first blush, it looks like there’s no ceiling at all. Classroom Eleven also has an enchanted ceiling that is bewitched to look like a forest during divination lessons, and the night sky the rest of the time.
Food for meals at Hogwarts magically appears, but should any student get a craving for a late-night snack, entrance to the Hogwarts Kitchen can be gained by tickling a pear. The entrance to the kitchen is concealed behind an innocuous painting of a fruit bowl, but if students tickle the pear in the bowl, the handle turns and lets them in.
25Book of Admittance
The Book of Admittance is an ancient book bound by peeling-black dragonhide that sits locked in a small tower, and no human hands have touched it since its placement there by the founders. Beside the book is a small silver inkpot with a long quill called the Quill of Acceptance. The quill writes down the birth of every magical child in the book, as well as non-magical children who display magical ability. Few wizards even know of the book’s existence, and fewer still have ever witnessed it in action. This is the only system that has ever existed for admitting children into Hogwarts—if their name is in the book, they are accepted.
26One-Eyed Witch Passage
According to the Marauder’s Map, there are a total of seven secret passages in Hogwarts that allow students to sneak in and out of the school. Among them are the One-Eyed Witch passage, which is found behind the one-eyed witch statue by the stairs to the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom. The passage is opened by tapping the wand on the statue and speaking the password, Dissendium. It leads to Honeydukes Sweet Shop in Hogsmeade by way of a tunnel under the school.
According to the 2008 Independent Schools Network Ranking, Hogwarts is the 36th best school in Scotland. It was added to the list for fun and outranked Edinburgh’s Loretto School, which is one of Scotland’s oldest boarding schools.
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28Second year subjects
At the end of their second year at Hogwarts, in addition to the seven first-year required subjects, students have to select two more subjects to add to their studies. Those subjects include Arithmancy, Muggle Studies, Divination, Study of Ancient Runes, and Care of Magical Creatures. Some subjects such as Alchemy may also be offered, but only if there is enough interest.
Hogwarts is connected by 142 staircases running throughout its many turrets, dungeons, and towers. The Grand Staircase is a massive structure in the castle and is mainly used to access each of the castle’s seven floors, including the dungeons. Portraits completely line the walls, some of which hide the entrances to the school’s secret passages.
Apparating and Disapparating within Hogwarts is impossible for all students and teachers. The only one with the ability to magically appear and disappear in the school is, of course, Albus Dumbledore.