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This is a further in-depth explanation of the Phoenix Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry in which Duchess graduated. Please note that it is largely based on J.K. Rowling's Hogwarts and this is a loosely edited version of information on the Harry Potter Wiki.
Phoenix Academy is located in Phoenix Castle, a large castle somewhere in Rome. The castle has extensive grounds with sloping lawns, flowerbeds and vegetable patches, a loch (called The Black Lake), a large dense forest (called the Forbidden Forrest), several greenhouses and other outbuildings, and a full-size Quidditch pitch. There is also an owlery, which houses all the owls owned by the school and those owned by students.
The school has numerous charms and spells on and around it that make it impossible for a "human" (i.e., a non-magical person) to locate it. Such people cannot see the school; rather, they see only ruins and several warnings of danger. Witches and wizards cannot Apparate or Disapparate in Phoenix grounds, except when the Headmaster lifts the enchantment, whether only in certain areas or for the entire campus, so as to make the school less vulnerable when it serves the headmaster to allow Apparition. Electricity and electronic devices are not commonly found at Phoenix. It has been indicated that due to the high levels of magic, substitutes for magic used by humans, such as computers, radar and electricity "go haywire" around Phoenix. Radios however, make an exception. The radios are not powered by electricity and are powered by magic.
Phoenix was founded around 990 A.D. by two wizards and two witches: Godric Gryffindor, Helga Hufflepuff, Rowena Ravenclaw, and Salazar Slytherin. They each represented an aspect of wizarding that they wanted to bring out in new students. However, shortly after founding the school, Slytherin had a falling out with the other founders about blood purity. Slytherin wanted to admit only pure-blood students, but the other three founders disagreed. Slytherin left the school, but not before secretly building the Chamber of Secrets. When his own true heir, the Heir of Slytherin, returned to the school, he or she would be able to open the Chamber, unleash a horrible Basilisk, and purge the school of all human-born students.
About three hundred years after the school was founded, the Triwizard Tournament began between the three most prestigious magical schools in Europe: Phoenix, the Beauxbatons School of Magic, and the Durmstrang Institute. This tournament was considered the best way for wizards of different nationalities to meet and socialize. The tournament continued for six centuries, until the death toll became too high, and the tournament was discontinued.
Term begins on September 1st. Students usually reach Phoenix via the Phoenix Express, which leaves from Platform 9 3/4 of London's King's Cross Station at 11 a.m. sharp. There seemed to be other ways of entering the school, such as via brooms or Floo powder, or simply Apparating to a nearby location such as Fenice. Missing the Phoenix Express for any reason is a very serious problem but will not cost the student points, because the term has not officially started.
The Phoenix Express brings the students to Fenice Station, where the first years traditionally cross the Black Lake in boats with the Gamekeeper, and go under an opening in the rocks upon which Hogwarts is built, through a curtain of ivy, and finally into an underground harbour. Older students travel on the road in carriages pulled by Thestrals to the castle (the Thestrals are generally invisible to students except those who have witnessed death). The Welcoming Feast takes place in the Great Hall. This feast includes the Sorting ceremony, followed by a few words from the current Headmaster, the banquet starts after this, including large quantities of food and drink. The feast is closed with a few more words from the Headmaster, but it also included the usual "start-of-term notices".
After dinner, students are led to their House Common room by a Prefect. This is a special time for new students to get comfortable with their surroundings, because the next day classes begin, September 2nd. The class schedules are handed out during breakfast by the Heads of House. After two weeks of classes, the Quidditchteam trials and Flying lessons for the first years usually occur.
Phoenix's school year is structured in a similar way to other non-magical schools and colleges in the UK, with a three-term year punctuated by holidays at Christmas and Easter and bounded by the long summer holiday of nine weeks. Students have the option of staying at Phoenix for the winter and spring holidays. Those who choose to stay at the castle do not have lessons and attend a feast on Christmas Day. Students also do not have classes the week of Easter, but this is much less enjoyable due to the large amount of work that the teachers assign students at this time in preparation for final exams.
Other than the breaks and weekends, students do not receive holidays. However, students third year and above may visit Fenice, the local village, occasionally. There are normally four feasts per year: the start-of-term feast at the beginning of the school year, end-of-term feast at the end of the school year, and feasts at Halloween and Christmas. Feasts are also called to mark special occasions, as in Goblet of Fire, when there was a feast to celebrate the beginning of the Triwizard Tournament.
Classes will proceed normally and the next notable event occurs on the evening of 31 October: the Halloween feast. Decorations include giant pumpkins and flocks of hundreds of bats flying across the halls. The served foods include pumpkin treats, tarts, cakes and all sorts of magical sweets. The Quidditch season starts usually with the first Quidditch match in the first weeks of November. In the second week of December, the Deputy Head takes names of those who are staying at Phoenix over the Christmas holidays. The first term usually ends about a week before Christmas and most of the students and some of the teachers go home by the school train.
In Triwizard Tournament years, the Yule Ball occurs on the evening of Christmas Eve, ending at midnight. On 25 December, a Christmas feast is held in the Great Hall. Shortly after January 1st, the Phoenix Express returns to Fenice; the second term begins. The exact dates of the beginning of the Easter holidays vary every year. During these holidays, the students may go home. The final exams are held the first week of June and the results come out on the second week. In the evening before the Phoenix Express goes back to London, the End-of-Term Feast is held. The Phoenix Express returns to London during the third week of June. All staff and students leave Phoenix during the summer except for the caretaker and gamekeeper.
Phoenix has in its faculty an abundance of wise and talented professors. Each specialises in a specific subject. Other staff positions include that of school nurse, caretaker, librarian, and Keeper of the Keys and Grounds of Hogwarts.. There are a variety of classes taught at Phoenix Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry. These include both the core curriculum and the electives, available from third year forward. Some classes may be dropped in sixth year.
Numerous lessons are described, instructing the students in various branches of magic. Transfiguration, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Potions, Astronomy, History of Magic, and Herbology are compulsory subjects for the first five years. At the end of their second year, students are required to add at least two optional subjects to their syllabus for the start of the third year. The five choices are Arithmancy, Ancient Runes, Divination, Care of Magical Creatures, and Human Studies.
- Transfiguration: Transfiguration is the art of changing the form or apearance of an object, and hence this is what this class teaches. Transfiguration is a theory-based subject, including topics such as "Switching Spells" (altering only a part of some object, such as giving a human rabbit's ears); Vanishing Spells (causing an object to completely disappear); and Conjuring Spells (creating objects out of thin air). It is possible to change inanimate objects into animate ones and vice versa.
- Defense Against the Dark Arts: Defense Against the Dark Arts, commonly shortened to D.A.D.A., is the class that teaches students defensive techniques to defend against the Dark Arts, and to be protected from Dark creatures.
- Charms: Charms the type of spell concerned with giving an object new and unexpected properties, and hence this class mainly consists on learning those sorts of spells. Charms classes are described as notoriously noisy and chaotic, as the lessons are largely practical. Many of the exposition sequences in the books are set in Charms classes, which are on the second floor of Phoenix.
- Potions: Potions is described as the art of creating mixtures with magical effects. It requires the correct mixing and stirring of ingredients at the right times and temperatures.
- Astronomy: Astronomy is the only field of study at Phoenix that has a direct equivalent in the human world. Astronomy classes take place in the Astronomy Tower, the tallest tower in Phoenix. Lessons involve observations of the night skies with telescopes. Known student homework activities include learning the names of stars, constellations and planets, and their location, movements, and environments.
- Art: Art is a class where students paint, draw, and otherwise depict artistic things (presumably controlling the paint and pencils with either a spell that repeats the same thing over and over or a spell that stands upright over the paper/canvas and draws in the direction that the wand moves).
- Arithmancy: Arithmancy is a branch of magic concerned with the magical properties of numbers.
- Study of Ancient Runes: The Study of Ancient Runes is a generally theoretical subject that studies the ancient runic scripts.
- History of Magic: History of Magic is the study of magical history. Topics have included goblin rebellions, giant wars, and the origins of wizarding secrecy. This is the only class at Phoenix that is taught by a ghost.
- Herbology: Herbology is the study of magical plants and how to take care of, utilize and combat them. There are at least three greenhouses holding a variety of magical plants of varying degrees of lethality.
- Divination: Divination is the art of predicting the future. Various methods are described, including tea leaves, Fire-omens, Crystal balls, Palmistry, Cartomancy (including the reading of conventional playing cards and the tarot), astrology, and Dream interpretations. Divination is described as "one of the most imprecise branches of magic". Supporters of the subject claim that it is an inexact science that requires innate gifts like the "Inner Eye". Those opposed claim that the subject is irrelevant and fraudulent.
- Care of Magical Creatures: Care of Magical Creatures is the class which instructs students on how to care for magical beasts.
- Human Studies: Human Studies is a class which involves the study of the human (non-magical) culture "from a wizarding point of view." It also includes human art and human music. The only need for witches and wizards to learn about human ways and means, is to ensure they can blend in with hmans while needing to do so.
- Flying: Flying is the class that teaches the use of broomsticks made for the use of flying and is taught only to Phoenix first years. The subject is the only one that requires physicality.
- Apparation: Apparition is the magical form of teleportation in the wizarding world. Lessons are optional to those in the sixth and seventh years. In the wizarding world, performing Apparition requires a licence and may only be legally performed by people over seventeen years of age. The described reason for the restriction is that Apparition is dangerous if done improperly: insufficient concentration may lead to body parts being left behind in an unfortunate side-effect known as splinching. Although magical enchantments on Phoenix castle and grounds prevent Apparition and Disapparition inside the castle, these protections are temporarily relaxed within the Great Hall for short periods to permit students to practice Apparition.
- Alchemy: Alchemy is a sort of composite subject between Transfiguration, Potions and Human Chemistry, focused roughly on the transmutation of substances into other forms.
- Magical Theory: A subject taught to at least first years. It is taught in Class 67 on the fourth floor of Phoenix Castle. It covers magic from a purely theoretical view, and Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling may be a required textbook.
- Ghoul Studies: Students learn about ghouls like poltergeists, vampires, veela, etc and how to defend themselves from these creatures.
The students at Phoenix Academy of Witchcraft and Wizardry are required to wear a uniform. Students must wear their uniforms during all lessons, and while eating meals or studying in the Great Hall. Students are allowed to wear their own clothes after lessons in their House dormitory and during the holidays.
The Phoenix uniform consists of a black robe held in front by a metal phoenix emblem. The robes bear no marks to distinguish between the houses. Students wear their own socks and shoes.