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Kieran
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PostSubject: Hogwarts Info   Sat 18 Jul - 1:56

Here's just about everything you could possibly want to know about Hogwarts for game event and character planning.
This info is not completely official as I've adapted and gone deeper into many things, so please don't copy anything without asking me first. Thank you.

* * * *

- GENERAL - SECRECY - HOGWARTS CHOIR - SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR -
- GROUNDS, HOUSES AND INSIDE THE CASTLE - SOCIAL EVENTS -


  • NOT MANDATORY, except in 1997-1998 when Voldemort and Death Eaters run it. That year it's mandatory to even 17-year olds as in for all seven years -
    but even then it's not mandatory to absolutely everyone, but only to:
    - Anyone who's currently registered as a student.
    - Anyone dropped out during the previous year or at the end of it, they're ordered to return.
    - All who turn 11 that year before September, as in those who receive the invitation as usual.
    ---> And everyone has to prove that their blood status is at least half-blood.

    So, on 1st of September 1997: if you're 10-years old, 12-years old or older, or dropped out two or more years ago, you are not required to attend.

    + Those who can't prove their blood status are labelled muggle-borns and don't have to attend Hogwarts – but instead are in much bigger trouble.

  • Hogwarts has a BOOK OF ADMITTANCE and a QUILL OF ACCEPTANCE also known as Magical Quill which marks down the name and birth date of each magical child born in Great-Britain. Not at the moment of birth but when the child first shows signs of magical ability, does accidental magic - but only until the child turns 11. So, if a child doesn't do accidental magic by his/her eleventh birthday the Quill interprets the child as a squib and will not mark their name down – or if a magical child does not live in Great-Britain at age 10-11, their name will be wiped out.
    They will not get an invitation to attend Hogwarts.If a child begins to show magical ability after their eleventh birthday, their parents can contact the Headmaster and arrange a meeting to show this. Over 11-year olds usually aren't accepted, unless there's a valid special reason for the delay (ie. that late blooming) – but even then no one older than 13 and every case is considered individually.

    ~ OFFICIAL INVITATION arrives in June or July of the year the child turns 11, but only if they do so by September. Others will get the invitation the next year, closer to their twelfth birthday. Every year the Deputy Headmaster McGonigall checks whose eleventh birthday is between the previous year's September and the current year's August, and sends them an invitation. It always arrives at the earliest in early June and at the latest in the beginning of the last week in July. The child's attendance must be confirmed by the end of July. If you don't want to accept the invitation, you don't have to do anything.

    Generally they send only one invitation per child and if there's no reply they interpret it as being declined. Harry was an exception, because the Hogwarts staff knew what Harry's family was like and thus his invitation probably had some sort of tracking spell on it that also revealed the letters were being destroyed. As the envelope read an exact spot where Harry's room was located in the house, which is not normal.

    This is why he was sent countless of invitations and eventually Hagrid to hand one out in person. This was an exception, for they don't know every child's home life situation and muggle-borns don't get letters but a staff member from Hogwarts arrives to explain the matters and hand out the invitation in person.
    With the invitation letter is included a list of required books and other equipment, and what kind of a pet the child may bring with. The updated list is sent every year to all students, accordingly to the year they're in. The required books also includes english, math, physics, chemistry, biology and geology books. Available in muggle book stores.

  • HOGWARTS SERVES only Britain and Northern Ireland. (Britain = England, Scotland, Wales.) As in the invitation is sent only to children who live in Great-Britain at age 10-11. If you've moved to Great-Britain and received an official residence before age 11, and you wish to attend Hogwarts you should contact the Headmaster or Deputy Headmaster. You must be able to prove that your official residence is in Great-Britain and of course that the child is able to cast spells.

  • SCHOOL YEAR:
    Registration must happen before the end of July.
    * The year starts on September 1st – (the train to Scotland), and ends on the last Saturday of June – (the train back to London), that is the Summer Holiday lasts 9 weeks.
    * Christmas Holiday lasts 2 weeks; starts on the last Friday before Christmas (the train back to London at 11:00) and ends on the first Sunday of January (the train back to Scotland at 11:00.)
    * Easter Holiday lasts 2 weeks; starts on the previous Saturday to Good Friday (the train travel) and ends on the next Sunday after Easter, (the train travel.) As in, Easter itself falls right in the middle of the two holiday weeks.

    * School year 1991-1992

    Exceptionally the end of school years is later in the mid-'90s because of the Triwizard Tournament in 1994-1995 and the Second Wizarding War during 196-1998.

  • DISTANCE:
    The distance between London and the Hogwarts Castle in Scotland is 725 km as the bird flies, and by driving on the ground it's 950 km. London alone as the bird flies is 50 km, max. 60 km.(This is essential especially in sending Owl Post. It will take 24-48 hours for a letter to arrive from London to Hogwars and vice versa.)

  • NUMBER OF STUDENTS: at Hogwarts each year is around 300-400. Every year the invitation is sent to a little over hundred children out of which usually at the most a few tens accept it.

  • THE TRAIN TRAVEL lasts from 11:00 to 16:00. Transferring from the train to the carriages or the other way around usually takes about 15 minutes and the carriage ride about 10 minutes. The distance between the gates and the castle takes about 10 minutes to walk or 5 minutes rowing across the lake. Thus on average the travel to or from the school lasts about 5 h 30 min. Much longer if you have to walk between the school gates and the Hogsmeade village. See, Trips to Hogsmeade.If you travel by Floo Network, you end up at the Hogsmeade Train Station. The Floo connection is open only on the day of the train travel, from 11:00 to 16:00.

  • THE SORTING HAT can sometimes make a mistake - seldom, but still. It'll never admit it though. Like in the movies, it speaks out loud so that everyone can hear – but of course no secrets. The sorting is done more according to the child's current values than their personality.

  • THE STAFF forms the same as in the books during this era.

  • THE TRACE:
    The Trace from the Ministry of Magic is only on those underage witches and wizards who attend Hogwarts or have at some point attended it. It is automatically cast on a child when he/she first steps on the school grounds as its official student.

  • INDEPENDENT SCHOOL as in not under the control or influence of the Ministry except during the year 1995-1996 because of new laws that were written. The only things that always apply and are controlled by the Ministry (before and after that year), are the grading system and the general curriculum. But the professors have freedom to decide what about their subject they teach and how.

    Hogwarts never takes term fees but the families have to buy the books and all equipment including the school uniform. Though, even for that there is a fun at Hogwarts to support families with a very small income. The school is funded by rich wizarding families as charity, (their families may have attended Hogwarts for countless generations.)

  • APPARATION:
    It's not possible to apparate or disapparate in the Hogwarts Castle or on its grounds. Except for house-elves.

  • CURFEW:
    Students are required to remain in their Houses between 21:00-06:00.

  • LUNCH TIMES:
    - Breakfast: 07:00-08:30
    - Lunch: 12:00-14:00- Dinner: 16:00-17:00
    Exception: 1. September dinner starts at 17:30, because of the need to sort first-years in their Houses and students arriving at school not before 16:30-ish.
    - Evening meal/snack: 19:30-20:30.

    Nobody should stay at lunch for more than an hour at the most, it's that long only so everyone could have time to eat regardless of how their afternoon classes are organised.

  • CLASSES:
    Between 09:00-16:00, from what time to what depends on the year you're in and how many subjects you're studying.

  • BREAKS:
    * Morning break: 25 minutes between 10:30-10:55
    * Lunch hour, sometime between 12:00 and 14:00
    --> Student in 5th to 7th year may have more breaks, depending on their timetable.

  • TRIPS TO HOGSMEADE:
    Four times per school year, students in the 3rd year and up, get to visit the Hogsmeade village located half an hour walk from the school. But only if they can provide a permission notice signed by their parent or guardian, to their Head of House. The way is always by foot in the company of at least two staff members, and just before departing there's a name call in the entrance hall. The same in the village at the Train Station, before returning to the school.

    Trip Dates:
    - Last Saturday of October (around Halloween)
    - Third Saturday of December (the last Saturday before Christmas, but note that the train back to London left yesterday)
    - Second Saturday of February  (around Valentine's Day)
    - Second Saturday of June (one week before Summer Holiday)

    Departing at 13:00 (arriving around 13:30) and back to school at 16:30 (arriving round 17:00)That is three hours in the village, and anyone visiting can't make it to the dinner at school unless asking and receiving permission to return by themselves. But you need a very good reason to, as the staff prefers the group to stay together. Anyone who wants to visit Hogsmeade, must inform their Head of House at the latest the previous day.

  • DISCIPLINE:
    The selection of discipline methods are authorised by the Hogwarts Board of Governors, who oversee the running of the school all in all as well as appoint and supervise the Headmaster. Decisions about the school and the formation of the Board itself are discussed and voted on among the members. Acceptance of individual students and hiring new staff is all Dumbledore's decision, but expelling anyone is decided among either the staff or the whole Board.

    (In example, a werewolf student's acceptance or expulsion won't be brought to the Board's attention unless absolutely necessary but only decided among the certain staff members, as the Board has generally decided that werewolves can attend by Dumbledore's judgement.)

    The Board of Governors is formed by 12 witches and wizards including:
    - The current Headmaster
    - Some other staff members
    - Some Education officials from the Ministry of Magic
    - Two or more parents of children who are attending the school.

    The actual punishments are decided on case-by-case bases by a staff member - whatever he or she sees fit for the offence - and also administered by said person. Though the rights depend on their status in the staff.
    More specific details here.

    ~ Methods:

    * Corporal discipline / physical pain
    (until 1981 & temporarily in 1995-1996)

    The popularity of corporal punishment in school environments in Britain started to decrease remarkably in the 1970s and early '80s although was still very common in most schools, until outlawed in state funded schools in 1987. In muggle private schools however it was legal for nine more years.

    Until January 1981, in the 20th century Hogwarts a corporal punishment could be at the worst a severe caning on the palms of hands or on the buttocks.
    (For reference, Molly Weasley claimed in the '90s that her husband Arthur still had some marks of a caning he had received in the '60s. Implying that it could've been so severe that it left permanent though likely eventually faint marks.)
    In that case it was administered by the school's then-caretaker, but after he left the school in 1973 and was replaced by Argus Filch the caretaker no longer had the right to deliver any punishments but only suggest them to those who held the right.

    Since 1981 causing physical pain to a student was not allowed by any staff member until temporarily brought back during the school year 1995-1996 by the then-corrupted Ministry of Magic. Even the caretaker was again allowed to punish students. But unlike previously, that year even the use of a whip was allowed. The whole method was again outlawed at the end of that year when the Ministry-appointed Dolores Umbridge was removed from power at the school.

    * Confiscation of possessions
    (has always been allowed)

    The student would get the possession back at the end of the school year, if ever - depending on who confiscated it and what it was. In the late '80s and '90s there was lots of confiscated stuff in the caretaker Filch's office from as long ago as the '70s!

    * House point deduction

    (has always been allowed)

    Possibly one of the least effective methods seeing to that not every student cares about House points and winning the House Cup. But for some, this would work.

    * Detention
    (has always been allowed)

    Usually served in the office of the teacher who handed out this punishment but there is also a Detention Chamber that might be used. What the detention includes and how long it is, is up to the staff member who hands it out. But the maximum duration on a school night can be a few hours at the most. A detention is usually held on a school day but can sometimes be set on a Saturday or Sunday as well on which day it could be much longer.

    * Removal of privileges
    (has always been allowed)

    Teachers can suspend or remove privileges such as Quidditch playing/viewing or trips to Hogsmeade.

    * Parent or guardian notification
    (has always been allowed)

    In addition to other suitable punishment, for serious offences or repeated offences a teacher or other adult staff member usually sends a letter to the student's parent or guardian, letting them know about it and what punishment is to follow.

    * Suspension
    (has always been allowed)

    Temporary prohibition to attend the school for a previously determined period of time. The student must leave the castle and go back home and is not allowed to enter the school grounds during that time. This is for some of the most serious offences or constantly repeated semi-serious offences. A notification about this is sent to the parent or guardian so they can come and pick up their child.

    * Expulsion
    (has always been allowed)

    The permanent removal of a student from the school, after which they are not allowed to enter the school grounds without permission. This is reserved only for the most extreme offences, and is never decided on before thoroughly and face to face discussing the matters with the parent or guardian of the student, with the student included in the meeting.
    It's extremely unlikely that expulsion wouldn't happen, but the meeting is to discuss and take care of any further actions or help that may be needed related to the offence.

    If a student is expelled for an offence involving seriously inappropriate, unlawful, or dangerous use of magic, their wand is destroyed by the Ministry of Magic's appropriate authorities and the person is prohibited from using magic ever again.

  • SUBJECTS:

    Year 1:
    11 Core classes: English, Math, Science (biology, chemistry, physics, geology), Astronomy, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Herbology, History of Magic, Potions, Transfigurarions and Flying --> English, math and science are the core subjects in muggle schools. At Hogwarts they're taught by the Head of House to one's own House as in there are no combined lessons in them.
    Year 2:
    All the core classes. During the Easter Holiday you must elect 2 more subjects for the third year.
    Optional subject selection: Study of Ancient Runes, Arithmancy , Care of Magical Creatures, Divination and Muggle Studies.
    Only two can be picked.
    Year 3:
    All the core classes except not Flying. Plus, the two new classes you elected.
    Year 4:
    All the core classes except not Flying. Start practising for the O.W.L examination. One or both of the elective classes can be dropped.
    Year 5:
    All the core classes except Flying. The possible elective classes + in June the O.W.L Examination.
    Year 6:
    The core classes; english, math, science. The magical classes and their difficulty level depends on your O.W.L Examination results. At the end of this year you can opt to re-take the O.W.L examination.
    Year 7:
    The core subjects; english, math and science. In magical classes the same as you took the previous year, unless you want to drop something. This is not a mandatory year as in you can graduate without attending this year. Except if you're aiming at a magical occupation that requires N.E.W.T level studies, for those examination are held at the end of this year.

    X The elective classes can be dropped at any year you wish. The muggle core classes are mandatory through all seven years, and the magical core classes up to the sixth year when the O.W.L results begin to affect.

    ~ Passing grades:
    O - Outstanding
    E – Exceeds Expectations
    A - Acceptable
    ~ Failing Grades:
    P - Poor
    D - Dreadful
    T - Troll

    Of course, if you get a failing grade in too many examination at any year level, you get held back and your graduation is delayed by a year. In the final examination you must get at least an A in English, Math, Science, Charms, DADA, Potions, History of Magic and Herbology – that is in all the most essential core subjects, in order to advance to the next year level.
    Many magical examination have the theory part in the morning and the practical part in the afternoon, except in Astronomy the practical part is at midnight. Some of course don't have a practical part at all.

  • THE O.W.L EXAMINATION are extremely essential to pass, if you wish to advance to a professional training for any magical occupation. As most occupations require skills and knowledge on the O.W.L level. Plus, some occupations require N.E.W.T level grades, and you can't get to even studying in a N.E.W.T level course unless you received at least an E in the subject in question, in your O.W.L examination.

    Examples:
    * Auror training and Healer training: require at least five N.E.W.T level studies with at least Exceeds Expectations grades. In classes: DADA, Potions, Charms, Transfigurations and Herbology.
    * Magical Law Enforcement Squad: requires at least five O.W.L level studies with at least Exceeds Expectations grades. In the same classes as aurors and healers.

    You can pass at the most 9 O.W.Ls, that is in the seven core subjects and in the two electives. No one has ever taken or passed all twelve O.W.Ls, because it's simply impossible to study more than two electives in addition to the core classes. Unless using a Time Turner, but Hermione Granger was the only Hogwarts Student ever to receive one for studies – and even her after a long persuasion. So, Barty Crouch Jr. Did not pass 12 O.W.Ls – his father was out of his mind when stating that. Bill and Percy Weasley did not pass that many either – their mother talked before considering the impossibility of it, in efforts to motivate her twins to be more ambitious. Even Hermione had to note that studying so many classes even with a Time Turner was way too exhausting and she had to drop two classes, eventually taking and passing only one additional O.W.L.

    Unlike regular tests the O.W.Ls and N.E.W.Ts are not evaluated by the Hogwarts Staff but a group from the Ministry of Magic, specifically for that purpose. They arrive on Sunday prior to the first day of the examination week. And unlike in regular exams, in these students must use a special quill that has an anti-cheating charm on it, as do the papers. No one's been able to cheat since the 1800's.

    ~ O.W.L Examination Timetable:
    * Elective Subject, as in only for those who study it.

    Week 1
    Mon – Charms
    Tue – Transfigurations
    Wed – Herbology
    Thu – Defence Against the Dark Arts
    Fri – English, Study of Ancient Runes

    Week 2
    Mon – Potions
    Tue – Math, Care of Magical Creatures
    Wed – Astronomy, Biology, Divination or Arithmancy
    Thu – Chemistry, History of Magic
    Fri – Physics, Muggle Studies

  • EXAMINATION WEEKS:
    Are always in June; regular examination during the first week, and O.W.L & N.E.W.T level during the second and third week. For a  long time the muggle course subjects (english, math, science) are not part of the National Examination, but from 1988 onward they are and thus are tested during the O.W.Ls. And from year 1997-1998 those subjects are also tested at the end of third year, at age 14. Other year levels have only smaller random testing during the school year, as the Head of House pleases – usually at the end of the autumn and spring terms. In any case, everyone gets a final grade on these subjects too, for their report card.


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PostSubject: Re: Hogwarts Info   Sat 18 Jul - 1:58

THE SECRECY OF HOGWARTS

In 1692 the Wizards' Council wrote a law and it took effect, which forced all witches and wizard into hiding, all over the world. It also set a cover story, that anyone sending their child to a wizarding school should use among muggles. The Ministry of Magic sends ”official papers” spiced with confusion charms that are to be used in official situations such as when transferring the child from home schooling or a state school. The charms make a muggle first contact the child's parents if there comes a need to contact the new school, and in the case of muggle police to delay the contact until the Ministry can step in.

The cover story in Great-Britain is that the child attends a boarding school called Holfast High School in Edinburgh, Scotland. That school is fictional, it doesn't exist even in this game's universe which is why the confusion charms on the papers are exceptionally strong and make muggles believe that it is one of the numerous schools in Edinburgh.


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PostSubject: Re: Hogwarts Info   Sat 18 Jul - 1:59

HOGWARTS CHOIR

You don't need any special permission or complicated application process to have your character in this choir. Just mark it in the character's profile post and let me know so I can add your character to the member list at the end of this post.

The Choir is instructed by the Ravenclaw Head of House, professor Filius Flitwick. He founded it in 1970.
* It's partially polyphonic and partially homophonic, and performs one song in the Great Hall during special occasions. That is usually three times a year; the end of term feast, Halloween, and Christmas. Some years there may be other occasions

- It has approximately 24 members at a time, boys and girls from all years as in between ages 11-18.
- You can apply to join at any point of a school year, if there are places left.
- The voice range includes soprano, alto, tenor and bass.
- The singers are accompanied by numerous instruments enchanted to play on their own and made invisible; sometimes in example a cembalo, drums, harp and flute.

You don't need to be able of polyphonic singing as the choir is a mixture of that and homophonic singers.
Still, not just anybody can join. The member must have:
!! a strong singing voice
!! good enough voice control skills
!! willing and quick to learn some Latin and sing in it

If your singing voice strength and control is sufficient, you can join the choir rehearsals where you'll see how you adapt to sometimes singing in Latin. It does not require that much Latin, all you should be able to learn are a few choruses, if a song occasionally includes some in addition to english. Vast majority of the songs however are only in english.

Auditions and rehearsals are held in the Great Hall.

Rehearsals:
Usually once a week; on Saturdays, 2 hours from 17:30 to 19:30 – that is beginning half an hour after dinner and ending at the start of evening meal/snack. Sometimes there may be additional rehearsals if the upcoming song is particularly challenging or the occasion especially important.
You can get excused from a lesson for a choir rehearsal.
Note! Please don't arrange additional rehearsals in game events without discussing with other players who have characters in the choir, as those affect every member's timeline!

Occasions:
* The End of Year Feast, the third Friday of June During the dinner, after announcing the winner of the House Cup.
* Halloween Feast on 31. October, the dinner.
* Christmas Feast, the dinner on the third Thursday of December the day before Christmas Holiday starts.
* In 1994 also during the Yule Ball, (which is held only that year in connection to the Triwizard Tournament.)
* In June 1997, at Dumbledore's funeral.
In Noctem - Into the Night

~ Members: (characters in this RPG)
Soprano: 1, Alto: 0, Tenor: 0, Bass: 0

~ Stephen Hunter King - member during 1991-1992.
- 11-12-year old boy soprano, Ravenclaw.
- singing voice (2 min)


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PostSubject: Re: Hogwarts Info   Sat 18 Jul - 2:00

HOUSES

The Common Rooms are shared lounge areas including windows, soft armchairs and couches, tables and an open fireplace. The chairs and carpets ect. are in the House's own colours. Above the Common Room are the dormitories, two for each year - separately for boys and girls, that is 14 halls per House. They have windows, post beds with curtains and next to each is a closet. These too are in the House colours.



GRYFFINDOR

Head of House: prof. Minerva McGonigall (also Transfigurations and Deputy Headmaster)
Ghost: Nearly-Headless Nick
Animal: Lion
Colours: Red and Gold
Common Room: round room at the bottom level of a tower.
(This tower is near the North Tower where Divination classes are held.)
Entrance at the end of a side hallway on the seventh floor, by giving the password of the day to the portrait of Fat Lady which will move aside if the password was correct.
Dormitories; two spiral stairways up from two sides of the Common Room. On seven floors, the First Year students' dormitories are on the top floor.
Note!
On the staircase leading up to the girls' dormitories there's a charm; if a boy steps on them and takes a few steps, they turn into flat stone and quickly carry the boy back down. The boys' staircase doesn't have anything like that as the Founders thought girls to be more trustworthy than boys.



RAVENCLAW

Head of House: prof. Filius Flitwick (also Charms)
Ghost: The Gray Lady
Animals: Eagle
Colours: Blue and Bronze
Common Room: at the bottom level of a tower on the west side of the castle.
(Near the West Tower where the Owlery is located.)
--> Round, very spacious room which roof has been painted to resemble a starry night sky . The view is the most breath-taking in the entire castle, facing the mountains surrounding the grounds. The archway opposite to the entrance leads to a room that is a small library but has surprisingly wide range of books. Next to it is a life-sized white marble of the House's founder Rowena Ravenclaw wearing her diadem.
Entrance at the end of a side hallway on the fifth floor, a spiral staircase leading up to a door without a handle or keyhole. There's an eagle shaped bronze doorknocker...Use it and it will present you with a riddle, which can be very challenging. If you get it right, the door opens. The riddle changes randomly, sometimes every knock results in a different one but sometimes it can be the same all day. It's always something about magic or the magical world. The knocker doesn't know if the user is a Ravenclaw or not so anyone who can answer the riddle correctly, can get inside.
~ Examples:
"Which one came first; the phoenix or the flame?"
      Correct answer: A circle has no beginning.
"Where do vanished objects go?"
      Correct answer: Into nothingness, which is to say, into everything.
---> If the riddle has changes since your last entrance and is too challenging for you but you're in a hurry, you better hope that someone happens to be in the Common Room and can open the door for you or someone else who knows the answer happens to come by.
  Dormitories; The same way as in the Gryffindor tower. Including the charm in the girls' staircase



HUFFLEPUFF

Head of House: prof. Pomona Sprout (also Herbology)
Ghost: The Fat Monk[/li]
Animal: Badger/li]
Colours: Yellow and Black[/li]
Common Room: in the entrance hall to the right of the main staircase is a door leading to the hallway where the kitchens are, and there take the staircase down to the dungeons level.
---> Round room and though on the dungeons level, is not in a dungeon but as cosy as any of the ones in the towers. Unlike in any other Common Room this one has round windows. They're on the ground level, bringing in a lot of natural light.
Entrance. In a shadowy spot next to a pile of barrels starts a sloping hallway upwards. At the end there's a round door which opens by giving a password that changes every day.
Dormitories; from the Common Room there's numerous underground tunnels leading to them, and their doors are perfectly round.
Note! Girls' hallways have the same charm as the staircases in other Houses.



SLYTHERIN

Head of House: prof. Severus Snape (also Potions)
Ghost: Bloody Baron
Animal: Snake
Colours: Green and Silver
Common Room: on the dungeon level, in a dungeon-like low-ceiling room. Windows, greenish lamps, soft armchairs, tables and an open fireplace making it almost as cosy as any other Common Room but the atmosphere is much creepier because of the greenish lighting and the skull decoration on the fireplace.
Entrance; hidden in the dungeons and requires a password that changes daily.
Dormitories; The same way as in the Gryffindot and Ravenclaw Houses. Including the charm on the girls' staircase.


THE CASTLE GROUNDS

From the gates go around the lake to the right, and on the other side about 100 meters from the shore is the castle. Going around the lake the distance is about one kilometre, takes about ten minutes to walk. The castle lies sideways when looked at from the gates, as in the front doors face the same direction as the gates. You can see the rear yard and side of the castle from the gates, not the front.

A large Forbidden Forest lies a few hundred meters away opposite to the front doors, this forest is out of limits to any students. They're allowed to step in only when accompanied by an adult staff member. As it is home to many sensitive and even dangerous magical creatures. The groundskeeper Hagrid's hut is located near the edge of the forest, the Care of Magical Creatures classes are held there.

Facing the front on the left are the vegetable fields, and on the rear yard the greenhouses where Herbology classes are held.
In between the Forest and vegetable fields, down a sloping grass hill stands a Whooping Willow. Beneath it starts a long secret tunnel that goes around the lake, along the borders of the school grounds towards the Hogsmeade village ending at the border of the village, into a small cottage nicknamed the ”Shrieking Shack”. That tunnel is known only the adult staff members and a few select students.
A few hundred meters behind the Whooping Willow lies the Quidditch Field and auditorium. There's also the broom storage.

Hogsmeade village is a little bit over two kilometres from the front gates, around the lake to the left. About 20 minutes walk, or 10 minutes by a carriage. (Plus the 10 minutes from the castle to the gates.) So, a trip to Hogsmeade usually takes about half an hour one-way.

---> [IMAGE]


INSIDE THE CASTLE

The castle has 7 floors + underground floor, 142 staircases; wide and stable, narrow and unstable, and one hidden a little that is a shortcut between the second and fourth floors and has a fake step in the middle. Some of the main staircases move randomly, changing places occasionally. A staircase that on Monday let to one place could the next lead to a completely different part of the floor. They may even start moving while you're on them.

There's also doors that won't open unless you ask them nicely, or tickle them at just the right spot. Some aren't even really doors but just walls pretending to have a door.
It's easy to get lost because many things move around, such as the staircases, paintings, and even the armour may walk at night. But you get a map at the beginning of your first year, so it's not all that bad.
There are rooms and chambers that aren't in use and may include long forgotten stuff.
Toilets are on every other floor, (Ground floor, 2nd, 4th and 6th floors.)
- The second floor girls' toilet has been abandoned because of the ghost Moaning Myrtle hanging around there.
- The sixth floor toilets are in connection to the bathrooms.
- In addition, on the fifth floor there's a luxurious bathroom for prefects and other such title students, and on the ground floor the same for the staff members.

---> Detailed insides, floor by floor

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PostSubject: Re: Hogwarts Info   Thu 21 Jan - 13:10

SOCIAL EVENTS

Attending any of these is free, as in no tickets sold.

HALLOWEEN DANCE is an annual social event made up for this roleplaying game's universe, and held since 1920. It commences at 19:00 on the 31st of October and ends at 01:00 the following night. It's in the Great Hall where of course the House tables have been removed. This event is open for students of all ages. So this is the one night of the year when no one has to be in their House by nine, but instead by 01:30 – a half an hour after the event has ended.
During the event there's at least two staff members supervising in the Great Hall area at all times.

Students and the staff members may dress up in Halloween costumes as long as they're appropriate, meaning not overly sexualised or ethnically or religiously offensive. A costume is not mandatory - but if you want one and are one of those who never get around to anything early, there's countless of costumes being sold in Hogsmeade around this time of the year. (But remember that only third-years and older are allowed to attend the trips to Hogsmeade and even them only if they provide a permission note from their parent or guardian to their Head of House.) The school does not offer any costumes.

But all kinds of creepy snacks are available, but only snack food as we already had a full-blown Halloween Feast earlier this evening. They're normal eatable snacks, just either cooked or enchanted in various ways to suit the theme of Halloween. Free candy, too, of course.

There's no live music unless a talented student wants to provide some. (The school's Choir already performed a song at the beginning of the Halloween Feast so they won't perform here.) But a big pile of vinyl records, (and compact cassettes & compact discs if set in the appropriate era), are available next to an LP player and a stereo system. Most of the selection is from wizarding artists, but also some muggle artists' recordings are available – most self-made mixed albums to keep the music appropriately themed. The records are protected with several spells, against stealing.

There's also magically arranged entertainment all through the event, which I leave up to players with a guideline that don't vision anything a responsible Headmaster & staff wouldn't allow. The school does not offer tools for tricks or pranking, so if you want to do any of that you must arrange it yourself.

* * * * *

SPRING DANCE is an annual social event made up for this roleplaying game's universe, and held since 1850. It commences at 18:30 on the last day before Easter Holiday and ends at midnight. It's in the Great Hall where of course the House tables have been removed. Formal dress is recommended but not mandatory. Snacks and music available, though not live music.

This event is open only for third-year students and older. First and second year students aren't allowed in, they can't even be invited and should be and remain inside their Houses by nine-o-clock as usual. (Of course it doesn't mean they couldn't try and crash this party.) This because it's highly unlikely a pre-pubescent child would be interested in a normal dance event anyway plus the school wanted to dedicate an event for the teenagers alone.

* * * * *

YULE BALL happens only in relation to the Triwizard Tournament. Which was discontinued in 1792 because of the high death toll it caused. It was reinstated in 1994, the year Harry Potter was tricked to compete in it. From that year on the Tournament was held every five years just like it used to be, each time in a different school rotating between the three largest wizarding schools in Europe.
Thus, the Yule Ball is held every five years on Christmas Day, in the evening from 20:00 to 02:00, and does not always happen at Hogwarts. Unless the two other schools are unable to host the event, it's unlikely that the same school would be doing so twice in a row. So unless stated otherwise here, the Yule Ball is held at Hogwarts every fifteen years from 1294 until the discontinuation of the whole thing in 1792. And after the reinstatement, the modern day Yule Balls at Hogwarts would be in 1994, 2009, 2024, 2039...etc.

It's a dance, snacks are available, and usually one or two of the more or less popular artists or bands in the wizarding society has agreed to perform for the night. Only fourth year students and older are automatically allowed to attend. Younger students are let in only if they provide an invitation from an older student. Of course the Triwizard Champions, the students who are competing in the tournament, are obligated to attend with a partner. The Ball commences with them beginning to dance.
Any student not attending/invited, should be and remain in their House by nine-a-clock as usual.

At Hogwarts it's held in the Great Hall where the tables have been removed and a stage has been set. Wearing formal clothing is mandatory for attendance.

* * * * *

Feel free to suggest more social events, be they annual or not. Of course, too many annual social events is too many - but there might be room for one more if it was different enough from the others as in certainly not another dance. As always, suggestions can be left in the Suggestions & Questions board, Chatbox or by an Owl to me. Chatbox is the least recommendable place as those others are what I keep an eye on the most and offer much more room for text.

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