J.K. Rowling has given Harry Potter fans a lesson in US magical history today, releasing the back story of how magic spread to America.

The latest entry on Potter fan-site Pottermore is a short story penned by Rowling, which details the story of Isolt Sayre who, in more of a Disney fashion, was orphaned and raised by her evil aunt.

The post goes on to tell what happened to Isolt as she grew up and how the US version of Hogwarts - Ilvermorny - got started, accompanied by an animated trailer (above).

We won't post spoilers on the story, but we did learn a little something about how the American school's houses got their names, as well as which houses value which traits.


"It is sometimes said of the Ilvermorny houses that they represent the whole witch or wizard: the mind is represented by Horned Serpent; the body, Wampus; the heart, Pukwudgie and the soul, Thunderbird," the post reads.

Turns out J.K. Rowling isn't finished with Potter's world after all. Photo / AP
Turns out J.K. Rowling isn't finished with Potter's world after all. Photo / AP

"Others say that Horned Serpent favours scholars, Wampus, warriors, Pukwudgie, healers and Thunderbird, adventurers."

In other words, for traditional Potter fans: Horned Serpent is Ravenclaw, Wampus is Slytherin, Pukwudgie is Hufflepuff, and Thunderbird is Gryffindor.

The sorting ceremony is different too: students are selected by the houses, and if they get more than one offer, they get to choose where they go.

The whole story is available to read on Pottermore and fans will get the chance to see magic in America with the upcoming release of the film Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, which takes place in 1920s New York City.

The film is due to release in New Zealand on November 17.