At first glance, this scruffy hat might not seem like much but don’t be fooled by appearance alone. This is a very important – not to mention personable – object. Every single student to pass through Hogwarts has placed this hat on their head. Full of wit and wisdom, it contains the intelligence of the four Hogwarts founders, is great at conversation and can also see what is inside your head. Its primary purpose might be to tell you which house you belong to, but it also has a rather impressive talent for song writing too.
You might have wondered how students are picked for Hogwarts, and you might be surprised to hear that no human involvement in the process… at all. Up in a locked tower, that no student visits, sits the Quill of Acceptance and the Book of Admittance. Placed there by the four founders, these objects decide who attends this famous school. The moment a child exhibits any sign of magic, the Quill will float up out its inkpot and try to record their name in the Book. Once it is written, that child’s place at Hogwarts is secure. However, the Book is nowhere near as lenient as the Quill – it demands to see more than a hint of magic before it will allow a name to be written down. It has been known to snap shut if it feels there isn’t enough evidence of magical ability and will keep doing so until it is satisfied that there is. So, unless your name is in the Book, you’re not going to Hogwarts.
This map is bursting with personality. It was created by the four Marauders – James Potter, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew (otherwise known as Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs). At first it appears to be a blank bit of parchment, but once you say ‘I solemnly swear that I am up to no good’ it reveals its secrets. This intricate map shows you every detail of Hogwarts and its grounds, including exactly where everyone is within the castle. It would have taken a great deal of skill and a lot of complex magic to create this object. It’s also rather cheeky too. Who can forget when Professor Snape tried to force it to reveal itself? Not only did it not show its true contents, but it insulted the surly Potions master… object or not, we think it’s a very bold move to call Snape an idiot.
Dragons are incredible, majestic creatures. Though as we learnt with Norbert, they don’t make good pets – and that’s an understatement. Having said that, we wouldn’t say no to a teeny tiny model version instead. In Goblet of Fire, the Triwizard Champions all have to pick a mini dragon out of a bag and then face the full-size version. They’re surprisingly lifelike and we can’t help but be charmed by them. It seems Harry was too…
Out of all the objects in the wizarding world, portraits are arguably the ones with the most personality. Unlike Muggle paintings, wizarding portraits can talk, move and even visit other pictures – and the ones we encounter at Hogwarts are no exception. There’s Sir Cadogan and his trusty pony – a knight who is more than happy to challenge you to a fight. There’s also the Fat Lady, who loves nothing more than hanging out with Violet, her friend from another painting. Not to mention all the previous Headteachers of Hogwarts who reside in the Headteacher’s office. Nevertheless, while these portraits can do an excellent impression of their subjects, by mimicking their favourite phrases and general demeanour, their ability to interact with people only goes so far. Ultimately, they are just representations of the living subjects captured by an artist.
When you’re stood admiring yourself in the mirror, the last thing you’d expect is it to critique you. Yet, the mirror at the Weasley house certainly did that… and with a lot of sass. Harry undoubtedly had a shock when he glanced at himself in this opinionated mirror and it yelled ‘Tuck your shirt in, scruffy!’. This is one magical object that has a lot to say for itself.
Wizard chess seems much more exciting than its Muggle counterpart. The pieces appear to be alive, so it is almost like directing troops in a miniature battle. It can also be brutal. The chessmen are not afraid to use force to take down their opponents. They’re also unafraid to speak their mind and are more than happy to let you know when you’re making a mistake…