What's With Mars?
This is a confusing part of HP, and I've read up on it a bit before. What I think is that there are 5 boys and 5 girls in each house for each year. So there are 5 male first year Gryffindors and 5 male second year Gryffindors and 5 female first year Gryffindors. this would equal out to 280 students at Hogwarts. Which sounds right in some places and doesn't in others. So there are the same number of boys and girls. Make sense? And maybe I am wrong.
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Number of Students
I believe that it is safe to assume that not every house has five students to a dorm, right?
JK said in an interview that there are roughly 1000 students at Hogwarts. That seems like a whole lot to me, especially since there appears to be only one teacher per subject. I've decided that at least for my fics Hogwart's student population is never over 500. (I'd be happy to hear any well thought out counter-arguements if anyone has them)
Do you think that certain houses have more students than others?
Or have more girls than guys and vise versa?
I've been wondering for awhile if the eight Gryffindor characters in Harry's year really are the only eight. I've decided they are. If Gryffindor qualities are bravery and nobility wouldn't there be fewer of them. It's like the popular saying; too many chiefs and not enough indians. Also it makes sense, at least to me, that there would usually be more boys in Gryffindor than girls.
Wouldn't Hufflepuff probably have the largest number of students at Hogwarts. Loyalty and Kindness are the main sought after traits but I believe the sorting hat also says if you don't fit in Ravenclaw Slytherin or Gryffindor than Hufflepuff will take you because Hufflepuff never turns away a student.
In my fanfiction I have 5 boys and 7 girls in Hufflepuff (I have a feeling there would be way more girls in Hufflepuff than boys). Do you think that's too many?
Please let me know your thoughts!
Yes I've read that before too and even thought that for the longest time. I mean I know its a magical world and almost anything is possible but say everyone is sorted except one student and all the houses are full except Slytherin. How would the Sorting Hat know if the one boy left is a Slytherin?
Originally Posted by FawkesToTheRescue
Or how is it possible that each year exactly 20 boys and 20 girls get accepted to Hogwarts? Do they only take the 40 'most-magical' kids or if there are spots open add potential muggle-borns?
Haha I know it's really not that big of a deal but I do want my story to be completely 'canonized'.
Or maybe I'm just a people-pleaser and don't want anything in my fic to be unbelievable!
Setting Off Fireworks in Potions Class
I've read a fanfic or two in which the houses were incredibly lopsided, like there only being one Gryffindor one year. Since the Sorting Hat sorts based on personality and the choice of the student, it is possible that hat might find only one person suitable for a house, or even none. This would be rather rare, I'd imagine.
Originally Posted by BrieJeanne
Birth rates fluctuate all of the time, so I don't imagine Hogwarts would have a set quota on how many children they could accept. Hogwarts just sends a letter to every magical child in Britain, and it is up to the kids and their parents whether they go or are homeschooled instead.
Originally Posted by BrieJeanne
Tim the Enchanter
If you really want to get a good idea of Harry's class size, though, there's a great article on the lexicon called "Secrets of the Classlist". It really is a good read and worth checking out.
Personally, I think the number of students per House fluctuates. It doesn't make sense for it to remain five and five for every single year. As BrieJeanne points out, there is no way for the Hat to know that the people at the end will fit the available slots left. The only way perfect numbers of five-five every year would work is if the Hat looked at everyone, and then Sorted, as opposed to looking at everyone individually and Sorting one at a time. Otherwise, Blaise is in Slytherin because that is the only House with a spot left, not because he fits that House best, and sort of negates the point of Sorting because the people at the end of the alphabet would have no choice about their House.
It could even work as a plot point. If there's only two girls in one House in a certain year, and a lot of boys, the Head of House might give them some kind of lecture on looking after the girls in their year and that picking on them will be taken very seriously.
It also doesn't make sense that the number of wizarding children in Britain would remain at 40 for every single year. In fact, Harry's class could be quite small comparatively because it was the height of the Voldemort war, and the celebrations after Voldemort's defeat might result in more kids born. *ahem. So, the class that is two years after Harry's could be somewhat larger.
Thus, Ginny and Luna's class could be, comparatively, somewhat larger, making it more necessary to have shared classes, including Transfigurations.
In theory, there would be way more Hufflepuffs than other classes, but that doesn't necessarily make sense at least with Harry's class. For whatever reason, there might be more Ravenclaws (by a slight amount) in Harry's class, which is why they never share classes with Ravenclaws.
Herbology and Potions just might be double-classes if only because you need the extra time to deal with the plants, and time to make the Potions.
What's With Mars?
I think you just need to consider the magical and muggle historical events that happened during the time of your characters' births. As for how many students are placed in each house, think of the boards. They are a great example. There are a lot of Hufflepuffs, quite a few Gryffindors, a few Ravenclaws, and even less Slytherins. This is just my opinion, and others may vary. It could also look this way based on participation. But really, I think as long as you think about why certain characters are sorted, and why there are so many/few people in each house or year, your readers will believe you. For a guideline, I'd say around 300 for the school, and between 30 and 50 for each year. For houses, you can have as many as eight boys, and as few as two girls, as long as you have shown reasons why this has occured. I think the way Jo has set the numbers is really just a guideline. 'Around 40 in each year', 'Around 5 boys, 5 girls in each house' etc.
~ Annalise x
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