Classes Start at Hogwarts

by Pixeleen Mistral on 21/05/07 at 10:12 pm

Students celebrate with a ball

by Curious Rousselot, Magical Affairs desk

Excitement abounds on the island of Oahu, home to Wizard’s Alley – the biggest Harry Potter fan group in Second Life. The builders, under the direction of Harry Prefect, are frantically finishing the castle while Darcy Rutledge has been busy organizing teachers and arranging class schedule.

Wizards are having a ball

A short week after the start of classes, Hogwarts Reborn held a fantastic ball in the still-under-repair castle to celebrate the hard work everyone has been putting it. In the continuing efforts to be available around the world, the ball was held twice. Once to accommodate group members from around the world. Amazingly a record number of attendees, 57 at the height. Despite the plague of occasional region crash and very slow walking at times, the party was seen as a success overall.

Darcy has put Danton Thirroul in charge of organizing the role play and planning the story lines. Danton comes to us with quite a resume of experience, if he does say so himself. Danton introduced himself in the Yahoo group used by those of us involved in Wizard’s Alley as an offline means of communication:

My SL tag is Danton Thirroul – I’ve met some of you already in the Hogwart’s Reborn sim – I’m the wild haired 2nd Year Ravenclaw. … And I am now the damn fool Darcy has agreed should be in role-play lead for Hogwarts Reborn.

What qualifications do I have?

OK, a few years back I ran the worlds largest LARP campaign- with 10,000 characters based across four continents. Did that twice actually. I run BIG games. I worked in the games industry (both for RPG companies and computer companies) in developing games and have oodles of experience in doing this.

His introduction and proposed style and strategy has inspired more conversation in the group on Yahoo than just about all the other chatter going on. I don’t know what story line he has in mind but he has given us some intriguing hints…

The year is 2007 by Muggle reckoning. Hogwarts is reopening classes in the summer term… ‘Trinity Term’ as it use to be called many years beforehand – the term from the Easter holidays until the glorious blooms of Summer.

This year has been bad for the school. Just before the formal start of term, a terrible fire ripped through the building- obviously magical, it tore through the schools formidable magical defences, causing untold damage. Luckily as it was Summer- no students were present. But the staff were. All died in the horrific disaster, along with the castles population of house elves (the largest in Britain). They say on the night she was destroyed, the violet and green flames of the burning school could be seen for miles.

The Wizarding community was obviously very shocked- questions were asked, answers demanded. How could the oldest and most established Wizarding school on Earth suffer such a terrible thing? As the weeks passed, no answers were forthcoming. Rumours abounded that there was some kind of cover up in the Ministry of Magic. So great was the clamour for answers and so silent was the ministry, that finally, the Minister himself, Hieronymus Grey, was forced to resigned. His successor, Morag Almighty, has also failed to supply any answers.

In the meantime Hogwarts has been restored. Not exactly to what it was- but to the closest approximation. No one knows what secrets have been lost. Or the secrets that have been exposed. For many hundreds of years Hogwarts has been the guardian of many things that the Wizarding world has long tried to forget…

But be that as it may, the students are turning up eager to begin their lessons and worried in case it will effect their grades. There is talk that this years OWL’s will be suspended- which means some students may have to do an extra year! There are friendships to be renewed and old rivalries to be restarted. Most importantly the House Championship- Syltherin have gained the most house points for the past three years running- despite serious competition from the House of Badger (that’s Hufflepuff to you and me). And the Quidditch Cup has been held by the Lions now for four years running! The rivalry is very intense.

And now, rather than having the whole year to get organised, the school is now a frantic bustle of activity- as students and staff alike try desperately to get Hogwarts back up and running…

A time for a new start; a time for busy organisation; a time for questions. Many questions- What destroyed Hogwarts and murdered the old faculty? How did the new and relatively unknown Headmaster get her job? Why are there no forthcoming answers as to the disaster? How long will it take until the school is rebuilt?

While Danton is busy organizing the role play and story, classes have already started. The list is long and covers almost as much as a real school would; Arithmacy, Conjuration, Herbology, Charms, and Defence Against the Dark Arts are a small example of what is on the list. Lilly Lewellen said, “Many of the professor have already started getting to know the students here. Professor Merosi has already started Quidditch tryouts as well”, when asked about classes.


Great effort has been made to accommodate fans from around the world. Classes are being taught at multiple times so that Europeans, North Americans from both coasts, and Asian fans will have a chance to attend at least one class. A huge calendar with the class schedule is displayed on the wall just inside the gates of the castle itself.

The castle, still under construction after the fire, is an amazing site to see. The Great Hall and clock tower have been nearly fully restored. Repairs are still ongoing for an astronomy tower, house common rooms, classrooms, and professors’ offices. I even managed to find a nearly finished secret passage (but I’m not telling anyone where because that might ruin someone’s plans).

For any tuning in late (or just not that familiar with Hogwarts and the works of J.K. Rowling; Hogwarts is the school for wizards and witches that Harry Potter (you may have heard about a moving coming out this summer) attends. The school building is a huge magic castle somewhere in England near the town of Hogsmede. Hogsmede is said to be the only community in England that is completely comprised of wizards, witches, and other magical creatures.

The school, Hogwarts, divides students up into “houses” depending on their particular talents and aspirations. Griffindor is for the adventurous and brave, Hufflepuff is for the helpful, Ravenclaw is for those seaking knowledge above all else, and Slitherin is for the ambitious.

In addition to Hogsmede, there is also an alleyway somewhere in London called Diagon Alley. This is where you will find the best in wizarding supplies. The only way I know of to get to Diagon Alley is through a tavern called the Leaky Cauldron which is some where on Charring Cross Road.

The build in Oahu has a castle and an alley of shops called Wizard’s Alley similar in design to Diagon Alley. There is also an inn called the Leaky Cauldron and a market square to represent Charring Cross Road. These works are amazing. As Lilly tells us, “I love that the castle is getting completed quickly. Harry [Prefect] is spending most of his time here working very hard for everyone to enjoy the magic of Hogwarts.”

10 Responses to “Classes Start at Hogwarts”

  1. Tenshi Vielle

    May 21st, 2007

    wait… does this mean I get to have e-sex with a Snape avatar?

    Because that would be TOTALLY hot.

  2. Nacon

    May 22nd, 2007

    Oh good, nice to know that Tenshi might actually be Paris Hilton. (har har)

  3. Tenshi Vielle

    May 22nd, 2007

    I might, Nacon. Now go back to sleep.

  4. Michael

    May 22nd, 2007

    The downside of all this is, that – except for the shops in Wizard’s Alley – the sim will be closed to non-members. This is to help the roleplayers stay in character, but it also means that the vast majority who can not afford that much grid-time to take classes and engage in a full fledged roleplay will be effectively locked out of a huge part of this fantastic sim. Hooray for disbale camera constraints – but it’s a weak replacement at best.

  5. tp

    May 22nd, 2007

    I like the books and movies but a bunch of adults pretending to be teenage wizards to recreate this stuff is bizarre. I think it would be cool to see the recreation of areas from the books but leave the age players out of the equation.

  6. Curious Rousselot

    May 22nd, 2007

    Michael, The last time I checked, there were no ban lines to prevent would-be sight-seers from poking round the castle. Only a politely worded note requesting that you dress appropriately and either engage in role-play or keep quiet.

    May, please choose a term other than “age players”. That term has come to mean something entirely different than what the people involved are doing. We are trying to build a story based game. There are plenty involved who are using adult avatars (myself included).

  7. NigrasOnMyLawn

    May 22nd, 2007

    The fag level of SL just jumped up

  8. Choppa Man

    May 23rd, 2007

    Time to kill it with fire, guys. For Eric Bauman!

  9. DurrHurr

    May 23rd, 2007

    All that talk about their wizard ball and they don’t even mention who REALLY made the second one a success. And we were ejected for it too. Who wants to dance to silence, anyway?

  10. Michael

    May 23rd, 2007

    The ban lines will get up soon enough. I have a notecard where the plans are laid out in detail, and it was a majority vote of the RP’ers of the sim as far as I was told.

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