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Wizard Oberon Zell-Ravenheart decided the real world needed its own Hogwarts school of magic, so he established the Grey School of Wizardry the world's first registered magic academy.
The 68-year-old master from Catoti, California, has dedicated his life to studying the dark arts, and decided to create a recognized academic establishment where he could share his knowledge with anyone willing to learn (and pay the admission fee). Just like the famous Hogwarts imagined by author J.K. Rowling, the Grey School of Wizardry teaches 16 different magic disciplines, including spell-casting, beastmastery, alchemy, wand-making and horse whispering. Students are split into four ancient houses - Winds, Undines, Gnomes and Salamanders and just like Harry Potter and his friends, they must all learn to defend themselves against the Dark Arts.
While Oberon admits people call him "the real Dumbledore" and that he loves Harry Potter because it increased interest in wizardry (and the numbers of paying students of his school, of course), the popular saga didn't inspire him to become a wizard. In fact, he was practicing magic long before J.K. Rowling wrote her successful novels. The former teacher and counselor first rose to fame during the 1980s, when he claimed he and his wife "a witch named Morning Glory" had created the world's first unicorn. Remarkably enough, they actually had managed to create a single-horned creature by performing minor surgery on a goat. It caused quite a stir and ended up touring America with a famous circus.
Oberon and Morning Glory live in a house just north of San Francisco, from which they run their special academy. That's also where he writes his textbooks on magic, many of which are regarded as "bibles of wizardry" by the wizard community.
Head wizard Oberon Zell-Ravenheart, often referred to as Merlin or Gandalf, claims that other wizard schools you might encounter are rip-offs, but his Grey School of Wizardry offers a "serious qualification". We teach advanced "Mathemagicks", Quantum entanglement, Cosmology & Metaphysics, Lore, Wortcunning [herbal medicine] and all the ancient sciences, he says about his online school. Yes, for the time being at least, Grey School of Wizardry is an online learning institution that holds regular summer camps where young wizards can learn new practical things and show off their skills.
It might sound like one big joke to us muggies, but the Grey School of Wizardry currently has 735 students, 100 of which are under 18 years old. They all pay an annual tuition of $30, which really isn't very much considering we're talking real wizardry. And to think they can graduate with a journeyman degree in Wizardry, after just seven years of study.
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