Well-hidden in the Austrian Alps, reposing in a palanquin of jagged rocks and snowy tops, you will find the German-speaking Wizarding School Grausteins Akademie für junge Hexen und Zauberer (Graustein's Academy for Young Witches and Wizards), taking in students from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
The school was founded in 1674 by the Great White Witch Kunigundt Graustein to protect magical children during the increasing witch hunts taking place all over the country, forcing more and more wizards and witches to flee to the secluded mountain areas in which they could, secretly, still perform their magic. Kunigundt Graustein was among the Elder Witches, a council of wise white magicians, who fled into the valleys. She fled alone, as her family and husband, Grauwald Graustein (yes, even he hated the name) had been already butchered by the relentless and merciless witch hunters.
Graustein lived among the Elder Witches, but out of fear to be betrayed, they hid in an old tower in which not even their own kind could find them.
However, when the witch hunters started to penetrate the remote mountain villages in their eternal thirst for magical blood, magic families grew more and more desperate to protect their offspring and Graustein, not with the consent of her Elder Witch fellows, decided it was time to give them a safe place to practice their magic. After she had left the tower, together with her loyal friend Lottie Wieselgruber, she offered magical families to take in their offspring and teach them magic, so that their legacy wouldn’t die with them, and disguised an old monastery, surrounding it with all sorts of magic, so that the children would be safe within its walls.
Starting with only seven children in 1669, the school already counted 300 young wizards and witches in 1673 and so, one year later, the Great White Witch Graustein officially founded her own magical academy in which young magical offspring could be taught the secrets of their skills and, additionally, be consecrated to the mythical Ice Magic, a specific branch Graustein was well versed in and which she had perfected in the cold, unforgiving climate.
Once abandoned in the cold while on flight from a particularly adamant witch hunter, Graustein nearly froze to death but figured a way out to use her magic and to make her biggest enemy, the ice, her greatest asset.
Even though Graustein is the clear founder of the school, her fellow friends Lottie Wieselgruber, her husband Georg Wieselgruber, as well as her childhood friend Gertrude Friedrich with whom Graustein was reunited once she had left the tower, had a great impact in forming the school.
As already mentioned, Graustein was unchallenged in Ice Magic; however, Lottie introduced the idea to not only use Ice Magic as a valuable asset, but all of the four elements - on which the curriculum in Graustein's Akademie is based on.
With student numbers growing by the year, Graustein and her supporters were forced to install better security around the school. Apart from standard protection spells, rock trolls are patrolling the school areas, protecting the students and teachers likewise (not to be mixed up with mountain trolls, which rather attack the students than protect them). In return, Graustein protects the troll lands from misled Muggles (or Giwons, as they are called in the German language) who lost their way hiking. Giwons will find themselves in a sudden and severe snowstorm if they come too close to the school, which will ultimately make them turn around.
Over the years, Graustein extended the old monastery, mostly with magic, and part of the school is hidden inside the rocks, whereas other parts are entirely made out of ice. The school lies somewhere in the Austrian alps between two mountains and has a stream running by. Even though it can get quite warm in the summer, snow and harsh weather conditions prevail for most of the year and the magical community has adapted very well.
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More content on Graustein's school structure, its students and other trivia, soon here.