Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Places/Beauxbatons Academy of Magic
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Place|
|Beauxbatons Academy of Magic|
|Location||probably southern France|
|Permanent Residents||Olympe Maxime|
|First Appearance||Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire|
Beauxbatons Academy is a wizarding academy, similar to Hogwarts School, believed to be located somewhere in southern France. It is run by headmistress Madame Maxime and is traditionally a competitor in the long-dormant Triwizard Tournament against Hogwarts and Durmstrang Institute.
We first hear of Beauxbatons Academy during the riots after the Quidditch World Cup. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and Ginny are sent off into the forest nearby to keep them out of the way of the violence. As they travel through the woods, they meet another group of teenagers who speak to them in French. When Harry replies in English, one of the teenagers responds with a disdainful "'Ogwarts," and returns to his companions. Hermione mentions that they must be from a French Wizarding school. This is something of a surprise to Harry; the thought that there must be Wizarding schools in other countries evidently had not occurred to him.
The Beauxbatons students taking part in the Triwizard Tournament arrive on 30 October in a carriage the size of a small house drawn by a team of large winged horses. The only Beauxbatons student we are introduced to, Fleur Delacour, ends up as the Beauxbatons Champion. We also meet the headmistress, Madam Maxime.
Once the horses have been been harnessed to the carriage at the end of the year, and the Beauxbatons contingent has departed, this school does not return to our story. The carriage and the headmistress do, however: we hear that Madame Maxime has accompanied Hagrid on a mission to the home of the giants after the end of that school year, and she also returns in the carriage to attend Professor Dumbledore's funeral.
In the films, Beauxbatons is portrayed as an all girls' school, but the books clearly indicate that boys attend the school as well – it is a boy who gets out of the carriage to lower the steps, for instance, and at the Yule Ball, Parvati Patil and her sister Padma end up dancing with Beauxbatons boys when Ron and Harry prove disappointing.
Fleur Delacour mentions at one point during Harry's sixth year that the students at Beauxbatons take their first exams in their sixth year, unlike Hogwarts' students who take O.W.L. exams in their fifth year.
Curiously, the revelation that there are Wizarding schools other than Hogwarts comes as something of a surprise to the reader. Once their existence is revealed, however, it becomes obvious that there must be Wizarding schools in other countries; we see nobody at Hogwarts except those who come from the British Isles, there must be some place for European witches and wizards to be educated. Similarly, there must be a school for North American wizards; the author has, some years after publication of the original series, identified the North American school, Ilvermorny. On Pottermore, she has given us a whole background of how the school came to be which is located on Mount Greylock in modern day Massachusetts.
We are left to wonder more than a little about the quality of teaching at Beauxbatons; the chosen Beauxbatons Champion, Fleur Delacour, puts in a dismal fourth-place showing, being easily outstripped not only by Cedric Diggory and Viktor Krum, but by Harry, who Fleur has previously dismissed as being "a little boy."