It seems fairly clear that Merope Gaunt did not attend Hogwarts; what magic she was able to perform was probably taught to her by her father before he gave up on her entirely, believing her to be almost a Squib. (Compare this question by Slytherincess, as well as her entry on the Harry Potter wiki, which also speculates that she was home-schooled.)

Things are less clear-cut when it comes to her brother, Morfin. He certainly shows enough magic ability to make Tom Riddle Sr break out in hives, and also enough to bang Bob Ogden to the ground with yellowish goo squirting from his nose and later on fire hexes at him and make him run for the hills and call for Ministry backup. So he was presumably taught more magic, for a longer period of time, than Merope was.

But where was he taught?

According to his wiki article, he was born some time between 1900 and 1907, so he would have been of schooling age from around 1911–1918 until 1918–1925. We know that Phineas Nigellus Black died in 1925 and was Headmaster of Hogwarts until his death, so it’s at least likely that Black was already Headmaster at the point when Morfin reached schooling age.

We need hardly doubt that Marvolo would not dream of sending his son to a Hogwarts led by Albus Dumbledore or—presumably—Armando Dippet; but Black, who shared Marvolo and Morfin’s views on Muggles and pure-blood supremacy, would probably be a different story.1

Is there any canon evidence whether Marvolo sent Morfin off to Hogwarts or home-schooled him?


1 Assuming Hogwarts, even under the Headmastership of Phineas Black, would have him, that is—Black may have been quite a nasty piece of work in many ways, and the most unpopular Headmaster Hogwarts ever had, but even he may have balked at the prospect of letting someone as obviously mentally unhinged and sadistically, psychopathically violent as Morfin Gaunt enter the school. Even an unpopular Headmaster presumably doesn’t want students murdering each other left, right, and centre.

  • I don’t think we’re told for sure, but I feel like Marvolo’s pure-blood fanaticism would have kept his children out of Hogwarts (just because it was admitting Muggle-borns) regardless of the head or their politics. – alexwlchan Sep 13 '15 at 18:00
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    His predilection for speaking parseltongue would have proved tricky for him as well – Valorum Sep 13 '15 at 18:06

According to the HP Wikia, it is unknown whether Morfin attended Hogwarts. I found some discussion of the issue here. The general consensus is that no, he probably didn't attend.

The main argument for this is, of course, his father's arrogance and low opinion of the rest of wizardkind. From what we know of Marvolo, he would be reluctant to let his son, and perhaps even his daughter, mingle with 'lesser' wizards: anyone who wasn't a descendant of Slytherin, and particularly Muggle-borns, half-bloods, and so-called blood traitors. Here's a quote from that discussion which summarises it rather well:

Marvolo was arrogant and didn't want the teachers at Hogwarts telling his kids what to do. It would be a "my kids are too good for that riffraff" kind of attitude. That seems a plausible explanation, as does the idea that Marvolo was avoiding everyone. He may have wanted to be the sole influence on his children rather than having them be exposed to other viewpoints and other people's opinions.

(Which incidentally is sometimes a motivation for parents to home-educate their children in real life also.)

Another interesting argument is this:

I'm sure Dumbledore would have done at least a cursory search of school records for past students named "Tom Riddle" or "Marvolo", as a courtesy to young TMR, to see if he had identifiable magic roots. That implies Marvolo didn't go to Hogwarts and if his children had, he would be listed on their records.

Which leaves open the possibility of Morfin having attended another wizarding school (Durmstrang springs to mind), although we still have the first argument to counter this.

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    For me, the (failed) record-search by Tom Riddle seems conclusive. – Valorum Sep 13 '15 at 18:19
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    I’m not convinced by the record search. There’s the book which records the name of all eligible students – whether or not they attend – which would quickly have lead Dumbledore to Marvolo and Riddle’s heritage. – alexwlchan Sep 13 '15 at 18:33
  • @alexwlchan Possibly indeed what did lead Dumbledore to the Gaunts once he started digging into Voldemort’s past and personality. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 13 '15 at 18:42
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    Can’t find where at the moment, but Dumbledore at some point says that Riddle likely was the first Parselmouth to visit Hogwarts since Salazar Slytherin himself. Since Dumbledore knows that all (?) of his descendants, at the very least Marvolo, Morfin, and Merope, are Parselmouths, that means none of them attended Hogwarts. – chirlu Sep 13 '15 at 22:34
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    @chirlu That’s not Dumbledore. Tom Riddle the memory says that to Harry in the Chamber of Secrets when mentioning how he and Harry are alike in many ways: “Probably the only two Parselmouths to come to Hogwarts since the great Slytherin himself”. Personally, I highly doubt the veracity of that. There must have been more—it’s beyond belief that no other Parselmouth descendant of Slytherin ever came to Hogwarts for a millennium after Salazar himself left the school. Riddle was making himself look important, as usual, and possibly hadn’t found his mother’s identity yet. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Sep 14 '15 at 1:59

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