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Hogwarts: A Guide

Hogwarts has its own particular policies and guidelines to be followed both in and out of character. To make them easier to find, we’ve condensed them below. Further questions can be directed to our help forum.

The school calendar for the current year can be found here.


The courses that your character will take depends on their age, and, in some cases, on their interests. O.W.L. students are considered to be those in years 3-5, and N.E.W.T. students are those in years 6-7.

All students are required to take etiquette. There is no O.W.L. or N.E.W.T. in this subject. It does not count against the maximum number of classes a student can take.

All students may take art and/or music. There are no O.W.L.s or N.E.W.T.s in these subjects. They may be dropped and picked up again at any point in a student’s career. They never count against the maximum number of classes a student may take.

First year students will take Astronomy, Charms, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Herbology, History of Magic, Potions, Transfiguration, Magical Theory, and Flying.

Second year students will take the same courses as those in first year, less Magical Theory and Flying.

O.W.L. students will take the same courses as second year students. In addition, they are required to add one to three of the following: Muggle Studies, Ghoul Studies, Earth Magic, Divination, Care of Magical Creatures, Arithmancy, Ancient Studies, and Ancient Runes.

N.E.W.T. students have true choice for the first time. In order to be enrolled at Hogwarts, they must take three NEWT courses. Their timetable does not allow for more than seven, with five being the average enrollment. The courses they take depend on their interests/career aspirations and how well they did on their OWLs.

In addition, N.E.W.T. students, as appropriate, may choose to take apparition classes.

We have an optional directory of who takes which O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. courses. Click here to view it.

~Coming & Going

Hogwarts is not a place intended to be “guest friendly”. In addition to educating students, it is the school’s job to protect them and that means strict guidelines on coming to and from Hogwarts’ grounds. The grounds are considered to consist of anything inside the Headmaster’s Barrier.

Students arrive at the castle on the first day of term, unless they have permission from the current headmaster (@'Phineas Black') to delay their arrival. Once there, they may only leave under the following circumstances:

  • It is a Hogsmeade day and they are in third year or above. For more information, see below.
  • Christmas holidays have begun.
  • Summer holidays have begun.
  • They have parental permission to leave school for a family wedding, a family death, or a family emergency.

Though it is accessible to them, students are not supposed to enter the Forbidden Forest. Anyone who plays their student there does so at the risk of detentions, house point deductions, and even expulsion.

Professors, in addition to Hogsmeade day, are given one weekend off each month during which they may leave the school and do whatever it is they do in their free time. Other departures can be arranged with the headmaster.

Visitors can come only under certain circumstances. Parents/guardians might arrive briefly to sign out their charges. Guests may enter grounds for things such as the careers day or quidditch matches, provided they inform the headmaster in advance. However, roving the grounds for the lulz is generally prohibited, and humans cannot cross the Headmaster’s Barrier.

Non-Humans depend entirely on the species. Centaurs have access to school grounds but don’t enter them out of respect; they may interact with students in the forest, however, and as beasts are immune to the barrier. The same is true for mers: they can interact with students along the water, but cannot leave it. Anything classified as a being is unable to cross the barrier and so vampires etc. that reside in Hogsmeade or in the vampire caverns cannot access Hogwarts grounds or the schools’ share of the forest. Spirits of all kinds can come and go as they please.

~Hogsmeade Weekends

Students who are in their third year and above, who have parental permission, and who have not had this permission revoked by the school for bad behaviour may spend one Saturday a month in Hogsmeade—the dates are indicated both in the monthly events thread and on the detailed school calendar.

To ensure “good behaviour”, there is a chaperone assigned to each location—and several along the way to and from the village — to make sure students remain in check. Those that wish to visit friends or family instead of the park and shops may be “signed out” by parents/guardians — or adult individuals that their parents/guardians indicate as “acceptable”. As an example, Hamish Darrow can sign out his children, and gives permission for Ramsay Darrow and Casper Darrow to do the same. The sign out procedure transfers responsibility for the students (and their actions) from the school to the trustee.

All students are required to be back at Hogwarts by curfew on the Saturday night, except those who have been signed out. Those who have been signed out are not required back until curfew on Sunday night.

~School Policies

Students are expected to adhere to the following rules or risk the loss of house points:

  • Students may not enter the Forbidden Forest, or any other area deemed “off limits” by school staff.
  • Students may only leave school grounds under the circumstances dictated above. They may be punished for severe rule-breaking while in family custody—such as sexual misconduct—if it is made known to the school staff.
  • Students are required to be in their common room between 10pm and 6am each day. The exceptions to this are students signed out overnight (see below), prefects on duty, and students going to and from Astronomy class.
  • Though the enchantments on the dormitories allow females to visit male chambers, they are prohibited from doing so. The exception is prefects in case of emergency.
  • Students may not enter common rooms other than their own except under extreme circumstances.
  • School uniforms are to be worn during classes and formal banquets. At all other times, characters may dress as they like.
  • Students should refrain from general tomfoolery, including but not limited to spells in the corridors, pranks, and foul language.
  • Students should know better than to endanger or threaten their peers.
  • Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes unless ill.
  • Alcohol possession and consumption—including butterbeer—is forbidden on school grounds. Students who return from the village intoxicated will also be punished.
  • Students are expected to adhere to all laws—no murdering your roommate, for instance—at all times.
  • A professor must leave the door open when visited by a student of the opposite sex during the day, and must have a chaperone present if visited in the evening hours.
  • Students of the opposite sex may be in public areas together—such as the common room or library—but may not be secluded or engage in any form of canoodling.

~Prefects, Etc.

Prefects are chosen each year by their Head of House and the Headmaster—one female and one male from each of that house’s recent fourth years. Head Boy and Girl are chosen in a similar fashion—often from the recent sixth year prefects, but not always. Quidditch captains are appointed by their Head of House. All are informed by owl at the end of July. OOC, heads and prefects are chosen via a selection process that begins in June (more info here), and quidditch captains are chosen based on experience.

The ideal prefect exemplifies the traits of his or her house, in addition to being an academic and moral role model to his or her peers. They may, in extreme cases, have their position revoked if they disappoint in either regard.

Prefects aid the school staff in keeping watch over their peers. In addition to enforcing school rules as necessary during the day, they are assigned weekly nighttime watches. Prefects can deduct house points, but not from other prefects. They may also issue detentions, with that same caveat. The Head Boy/Girl fulfills a similar role to the prefects in addition to leading them. The Head Girl also leads the procession of debutantes at the Coming Out Ball, followed by the prefects in order of house points. They are then followed by the rest of their year in alphabetical order.

The quidditch captain for a given house is responsible for choosing and training new recruits, as well as leading team practices. If a captain is indisposed for a quidditch match, the team must forfeit.

All such student positions are permitted to use the prefects’ bathroom on the fifth floor. The password-protected room features a swimming pool sized bath with all sorts of scented bubbles. It is spelled to prevent males from entering when females are present and vice versa.

~Money Matters

Hogwarts charges a tuition of 25G per year. This covers teaching, housing, and food, however first year students will pay an additional 3-5G in supplies, and subsequent years 2-3G in supplies (this may be lessened with second-hand goods or hand-me-downs from older siblings). A family can reasonably budget twelve weeks’ wages on school tuition and supplies—meaning that a single-parent household at the high end of pay level seven can’t afford to send one child, but a regular Ministry employee can generally send 2-4 at once without having to deal with partial scholarships and hand-me-downs.

But what if the money isn’t there? While students will always have to find their own supplies, there are several scholarships available to help brighter students fund their education:

  • The First Year Scholarship: Aka the “don’t blow us up” fund. Intended to make sure even the most impoverished of students has a basic grasp of magic to ensure that they don’t wreak havoc with their lack of control. Offered to any incoming first year in need, and covers the year’s tuition.
  • The Full Academic: Based entirely on grades. Recipients will have the year’s tuition paid for in full if at least half of their grades from the year prior are Os and the rest are Es.
  • The Partial Academic: Based entirely on grades. Recipients will have 12G from their tuition covered if at least ¾ of their grades from the year prior are Os and Es, and the rest are passing scores.
  • The Prefect Grant: Rewards prefects for their success and hard work by paying 12G of their tuition.
  • The Head Grant: Rewards the head boy and head girl for their success and hard work by paying their full tuition.
  • Quidditch Sponsorship: Promising quidditch players—must have played at least two years on their house team—can have their sixth and seventh year paid for in full by a professional quidditch team. In exchange, they must contract to spend the first five years after graduation playing for that same team. This benefits the players because tuition, and the teams in that their incoming players are better trained than if they just shoved some fifteen-year-olds on their third string. Each team may sponsor one player at a time.
  • The Parkinson Scholar: Established in 1883. Funds one new fifth year female from a needy background that shows academic success and career aspirations. To be determined IC.

A major question that many characters will face is when to leave school. As long as the grades are there, almost all upper class children attend for the full seven years. Middle class students will typically attend as long as the family can afford it. Lower class students, though, are another matter: unless they have a full scholarship, the family will lose money by having them in school after year five—the students cannot earn money while away from home, and tuition and supplies aren’t cheap. Working class students without a full scholarship should only remain at school after their OWLs if their future career requires it.

~Professors & Other Staff

Professors are required to be 25 years of age or older, and of good moral character/reputation.

In addition to their wages, each professor is given—at no cost—small living quarters adjacent to their classrooms. The headmaster, heads of houses, house matrons, the caretaker, the groundskeeper, and the school nurse are required to live on premises. All other professors are expected to as well, however may request to live in Hogsmeade instead. Those that do not live at Hogwarts must walk or take a carriage to and from school each day.

In addition to teaching, professors patrol the corridors, may volunteer with clubs, and at their discretion may tutor students. They are also granted one weekend each month during which they may go where they will as long as they stay out of trouble.

Documentation written by Kayte exclusively for Charming.
Special thanks to the HP Wiki and various board members for their consolidation and input on various topics herein.