Isolt Sayre is a Heroine from the Harry Potter franchise. She and her family founded Ilvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the American Wizarding school and defended it from her families evil legacy.
Isolt Sayre was born in 1603 in Coomloughra, County Kerry, in Ireland. She was the offspring of two pure-blood wizarding families. Her family however was sympathetic to Muggles and secretly helped them. Isolt was loved by her family and was known for caring for all things natural.
But when she was five years old, her home was attacked and her mother and father were killed. She was rescue by her Aunt, Gormlaith Gaunt. Gaunt took Isolt took the neighboring village of Coomcallee, or ‘Hag’s Glen,’ and raised her there.
As Isolt grew older she learned that Gormlaith had actually kidnapped her and she was the one who killed her mother and father. Isolt also learned that she was a direct descender of Salazar Slytherin. Gormlaith kidnapped Isolt hoping to turn her away from Muggle sympathies and associate only with pure-bloods.
Gormlaith often forced Isolt to watch as she cursed and jinxed any Muggle or animal that came near the house. Soon the local Muggles ignored the house and often threw stones at Isolt while playing in the garden.
Gormlaith forbade Isolt from attending Hogwarts under the belief she would not learn anything in a institute that permitted muggle-borns. But to Isolt, Hogwarts sounded like paradise and she spent her teens fantasizing about it.
After 12 more years, Isolt learned enough magic to allow her to escape from her cruel aunt. She stole her aunt's wand along with gold brooch in the shape of a Gordian Knot that had once belonged to her mother. Isolt then fled the country.
At first she lived in England but it was not long until Gormlaith was in Isolt's trail. So she disguised herself as a Muggle boy named Elias Story and set sail for the New World aboard the Mayflower.
Isolt arrived in America and quickly fled the Puritan colonies to avoid them discovering she was a witch, and prevent Gormlaith from finding her. Alone in the wilderness and unfamiliar with Native American Witches and Wizards, Isolt meet two magical creatures native to America. A Hidebehind and a Pukwudgie. The Hidebehind was about to eat the Pukwudgie when Isolt rescued it and brought it to her shelter and nursed it back to health.
Grateful for saving him, the Pukwudgie gave Isolt a life debt. Eventually a friendship between the two arose, and while the Pukwudgie refused to tell Isolt his true name, he accepted the Nick-Name she gave him, "William" after her father.
The Horned Serpent
William introduced Isolt to many magical creatures that roamed North America, but was terrified of a Horned Serpent that meet the duo. Surprisingly the Serpent liked Isolt, and the two could even speak to each other. She frequently visited the Serpent, but never brought William with her and never told him where she had gone to or what the Serpent told her. But the Serpent did give Isolt an ominous warning every day "Until I am part of your family, your family is doomed." Isolt, having no real family, never fully understood the Serpent's warning.
Webster and Chadwick Boot
Isolt would eventually reunite with Wizarding kind when she and William discovered that a Hidebehind had killed a married wizarding couple and was about to devour their young sons. When William initially refused to help the humans, a furious Isolt declared that if he helped save the boys, she would free him. William did so, and was freed.
The Boot Boys and James Steward
As Isolt cared for the boys, she discovered they were Wizards. When the boys, Webster and Chadwick were well again, Isolt went back to the forest to bury their parents. There she meet James Steward, a No-Maj(The American term for Muggle). After picking up Mr. Boot's wand(Not knowing it was a wand) he was knocked out. When he woke up he was being treated by Isolt. Initially intending to wipe James's memory after he recovered, she changed her mind when he grew more and more comfortable by the presence of magic everyday. He even helped her build a stone house on the top of Mount Greylock. Isolt and James soon discovered they were in love and they married. Their new home was named Ilvermorny, after Isolt's old house.
Isolt and James considered Webster and Chadwick their adoptive sons. Meanwhile Webster and Chadwick yearned for Hogwarts, but neither could attend as they were in America. And Isolt feared sending them to Ireland, fearing Gormlaith would discover them. Instead she promised them that she would find them wands, and teach them magic herself. She even promised to found a new magical school. The boys were pleased with this idea and insisted the school have 4 houses. The family decided to name the houses after their favorite animals. Isolt founded Horned Serpent, named after the animal she felt a kinship to. Webster founded Wampus, named after the magical cat creature that was fast and hard to kill. Chadwick founded Thunderbird, the magical bird that could create storms as it flies. And James founded Pukwudgie, since it was the only magical creature he was told about.
As Chadwick's eleventh birthday was approaching, Isolt feared she could never find a wand for him in time. On the eve of his birthday, she had a dream that she went down to the creek to find the Horned Serpent, which rose up out of the water and bowed its head to her while she shaved a long shard from its horn. Waking in the darkness, she proceeded down to the creek. When she went down to the creek, what happened in the dream happened in reality. And thanks to Jame's skill with stone carving, Isolt was able to create a wand for Chadwick.
The founding of Ilvermorny School
By Webster's eleventh birthday, the small home schools reputation spread. Children from the Wampanoag and Narragansett tribes came to study want work as well as teach tribal magic. Soon, students from European settlements came to learn magic. Durring those years, Isolt gave birth to twin girls, Martha and Rionach.
The happy, busy family had no idea that grave danger was approaching them from afar. News had reached the old country that a new magical school had been set up in Massachusetts. The rumour was that the headmistress had been nicknamed ‘Morrigan’ after the famous Irish witch. However, it was only when she heard that the name of the school was ‘Ilvermorny’, that Gormlaith could believe that Isolt had managed to travel all the way to America undetected, to marry, not just a Muggle-born, but an actual Muggle, and to open a school that educated anybody with a shred of magic.
Gormlaith had purchased a wand at the despised Ollivanders to replace the precious family wand that had been handed down through generations before Isolt stole it. Determined that her niece would not know of her coming until it was too late, she unknowingly imitated Isolt by disguising herself as a man to make the crossing to America on the ship Bonaventure. Wickedly, she travelled under the name of William Sayre, which was that of Isolt’s murdered father. Gormlaith landed in Virginia and made her way stealthily towards Massachusetts and Mount Greylock, reaching the mountain on a winter’s night. She intended to lay waste to the second Ilvermorny, slaughter the parents who had thwarted her ambition of a great pure-blood family, steal her great nieces who were the last to carry the sacred bloodline, and return with them to Hag’s Glen.
At her first sight of the large granite building rising in the darkness from the peak of Mount Greylock, Gormlaith sent a powerful curse containing Isolt and James’s names towards the house, which forced them into an enchanted slumber.
Next, she uttered a single sibilant word in Parseltongue, the language of snakes. The wand that had served Isolt so faithfully for many years quivered once on the bedstand beside her as she slept, and became inactive. In all the years that she had lived with it, Isolt had never known that she held in her hand the wand of Salazar Slytherin, one of the founders of Hogwarts, and that it contained a fragment of a magical snake’s horn: in this case, a Basilisk. The wand had been taught by its creator to ‘sleep’ when so instructed, and this secret had been handed down through the centuries to each member of Slytherin’s family who possessed it.
What Gormlaith did not know, was that there were two other occupants of the house whom she had not put to sleep, for she had never heard of sixteen-year-old Chadwick and fourteen-year-old Webster. The other thing she did not know, was what lay at the hearts of their wands: the horn of the river serpent. These wands did not become inactive when Gormlaith spoke her word of Parseltongue. On the contrary, their magical cores vibrated to the sound of the ancient language and, sensing danger to their masters, began to emit a low musical note, exactly as the Horned Serpent sounds danger.
Both Boot boys woke and leapt out of bed. Chadwick looked instinctively through the window. Creeping through the trees towards the house was the silhouette of Gormlaith Gaunt.
Like all children, Chadwick had heard and understood more than his adoptive parents had ever imagined. They might have thought that they had shielded him from any knowledge of the murderous Gormlaith, but they were wrong. As a small boy, Chadwick had overheard Isolt discussing her reasons for escaping Ireland and, little though she and James realised it, Chadwick’s dreams had been haunted by the figure of an old witch creeping through the trees towards Ilvermorny. Now he saw his nightmare made true.
Telling Webster to warn their parents, Chadwick sprinted downstairs and did the only thing that seemed to make sense to him: he ran out of the house to meet Gormlaith and prevent her entering the place where his family slept.
Gormlaith was not expecting to meet a teenage wizard and she underestimated him at first. Chadwick parried her curse expertly and they began to duel. Within a few minutes Gormlaith, though far more powerful than Chadwick, was forced to concede that the talented boy had been well taught. Even as she sent curses at his head in an attempt to subdue him, and drove him back towards the house, she questioned him about his parentage for, she said, she would be loathe to kill a pure-blood of his talent.
Meanwhile Webster was trying to shake his parents awake, but the enchantment lay so deeply upon them that not even the sound of Gormlaith’s shouts and of curses hitting the house roused them. Webster therefore hurtled downstairs and joined the duel now raging just outside the house.
Two onto one made her job more difficult: moreover, the twin cores of the Boot boys’ wands, when used together against a common enemy, increased their power tenfold. Even so, Gormlaith’s magic was strong and Dark enough to match them. Now the duel reached extraordinary proportions, Gormlaith still laughing and promising them mercy if they could prove their pure-blood credentials, Chadwick and Webster determined to stop her reaching their family. The brothers were driven back inside Ilvermorny: walls cracked and windows shattered, but still Isolt and James slept, until the baby girls lying upstairs woke and screamed in fear.
It was this that pierced the enchantment lying over Isolt and James. Rage and magic could not wake them, but the terrified screams of their daughters broke the curse Gormlaith had laid upon them, which, like Gormlaith herself, took no account of the power of love. Isolt screamed at James to go to the girls: she ran to assist her adoptive sons, Slytherin’s wand in her hand.
Only when she raised it to attack her hated aunt did she realise that for all the good it would do her, the sleeping wand might as well have been a stick she had found on the ground. Gloating, Gormlaith drove Isolt, Chadwick and Webster backwards up the stairs, towards the place where she could hear her great-nieces crying. Finally she managed to blast open the doors to their bedroom, where James stood ready to die in front of the cribs of his daughters. Sure that all was lost, Isolt cried out, hardly knowing what she said, for her murdered father.
A great clatter sounded and the moonlight was blocked from the room as William the Pukwudgie appeared on the windowsill. Before Gormlaith knew what had happened, a poisoned arrow tip had pierced her through the heart. She let out an unearthly scream that was heard for miles around. The old witch had indulged in all manner of Dark magic in an attempt to make herself invincible, and these curses now reacted with the Pukwudgie’s venom, causing her to become as solid and as brittle as coal before shattering into a thousand pieces. The Ollivander wand fell to the ground and burst: all that was left of Gormlaith Gaunt was a pile of smoking dust, a broken stick and a charred dragon heartstring.
William had saved the family’s lives. In exchange for their gratitude he merely barked that he noticed Isolt had not bothered to say his name for a decade, and that he was offended that she only called him when in fear of her imminent death. Isolt was too tactful to point out that she had been calling on a different William. James was delighted to meet the Pukwudgie of whom he had heard so much and, forgetting that Pukwudgies hate most humans, he wrung the perplexed William’s hand and said ho glad he was he had named one of the houses of Ilvermorny after him.
It is widely believed that it was this piece of flattery that softened William’s heart, because he moved his family of Pukwudgies into the house the next day and, complaining constantly as usual, helped them to repair the damage that Gormlaith had wreaked. He then announced that the wizards were too dim to protect themselves and negotiated a hefty retainer in gold for acting as the school’s private security/maintenance service.
Slytherin’s wand remained inactive following Gormlaith’s command in Parseltongue. Isolt could not speak the language, but, in any case, she no longer wanted to touch the wand that was the last relic of her unhappy childhood. She and James buried it outside the grounds.
Within a year an unknown species of snakewood tree had grown out of the earth on the spot where the wand was buried. It resisted all attempts to prune or kill it, but after several years the leaves were found to contain powerful medicinal properties. This tree seemed testament to the fact that Slytherin’s wand, like his scattered descendants, encompassed both noble and ignoble. The very best of him seemed to have migrated to America.
Growth of the School
Ilvermorny’s reputation grew steadily throughout the following years. The granite house expanded to a castle. More teachers were recruited to meet the growing demand. Now witch and wizard children from all over North America were being sent to learn there and it became a boarding school. By the nineteenth century, Ilvermorny had gained the international reputation it enjoys today.
For many years, Isolt and James remained joint Headmaster and Headmistress, as beloved to many generations of students as members of their own families.
Chadwick became an accomplished and well-travelled wizard who authored Chadwick’s Charms Vols I – VII, which are standard texts at Ilvermorny. He married a Mexican Healer called Josefina Calderon and the Calderon-Boot family remains one of wizarding America’s most prominent today.
Prior to the creation of MACUSA (the Magical Congress of the United States of America), the New World was short of wizarding law enforcement. Webster Boot became what would now be known as an Auror for hire. While repatriating a particularly nasty Dark wizard to London, Webster met and fell in love with a young Scottish witch who was working at the Ministry of Magic. Thus did the Boot family return to its home country. Webster’s descendants would be educated at Hogwarts.
Martha, the elder of James and Isolt’s twins, was a Squib. Deeply loved though Martha was by her parents and adoptive brothers, it was painful for her to grow up at Ilvermorny when she was unable to perform magic. She eventually married the non-magical brother of a friend from the Pocomtuc tribe and lived henceforth as a No-Maj.
Rionach, the youngest of James and Isolt’s daughters, taught Defence Against the Dark Arts at Ilvermorny for many years. Rionach never married. There was a rumour, never confirmed by her family, that, unlike her sister Martha, Rionach was born with the ability to speak Parseltongue and that she was determined not to pass on Slytherin ancestry into the next generation (the American branch of the family was unaware that Gormlaith was not the last of the Gaunts, and that the line continued in England).
Isolt and James both lived to be over 100. They had seen the cottage of Ilvermorny become a granite castle, and they died in the knowledge that their school was now so famous that magical families all over North America were clamouring to educate their children there. They had hired staff, they had built dormitories, they had concealed their school from No-Maj eyes by clever enchantments: in short, the girl who had dreamed of attending Hogwarts had helped found the North American equivalent.
Order of the Phoenix
Other Wizards & Witches
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry