When Snape gets his leg bitten by Fluffy, he goes to Filch for help.

Snape and Filch were inside, alone. Snape was holding his robes above his knees. One of his legs was bloody and mangled. Filch was handing Snape bandages.
(Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Chapter 11)

Why would Snape need this? We know that Snape is highly skilled in curing magical wounds, as can be seen regarding Dumbledore's arm.

Had it not been for Professor Snape’s timely action when I returned to Hogwarts, desperately injured, I might not have lived to tell the tale.
(Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 23)

Also, of all people to go to, why go to Filch? Filch is a squib.

“He did it, he did it!” Filch spat, his pouchy face purpling. “You saw what he wrote on the wall! He found — in my office — he knows I’m a — I’m a —” Filch’s face worked horribly. “He knows I’m a Squib!” he finished.
(Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chapter 9)

Why did Snape need Filch's help to cure his leg?

  • 4
    I'm not interely sure, but isn't that Half Blood Prince quote from Dumbledore? And wasn't it referring to an injury caused by dark magic? Because if so, and I correctly recall the books, the difference is that Snape is gifted with things related to dark magic (counters included). Not dog bites
    – Oak
    Mar 3, 2016 at 15:12
  • @Oak - Fluffy wasn't exactly an ordinary dog.
    – ibid
    Mar 3, 2016 at 15:23
  • 1
    Filch helped Snape to cure his leg "the day before Harry's first Quidditch match" (the Trio sees Snape, Snape confiscates Quiddtich through the Ages, Harry sees Filch and Snape alone) and, as the beginning of the chapter states, in November (1992).Since we know that the Quidditch match took place on Saturday, the episode occured on November,6th 1992(first Friday on November 1992),a week later than Halloween, when Snape was bitten. Therefore, Filch wasn't the first person Snape run into.
    – A. Darwin
    Mar 3, 2016 at 16:19
  • 1
    @Oak - If it was a physical ailment then it should have been a lot easier curable. broadly speaking, wizards would have the power to correct or override 'mundane' nature, but not 'magical' nature (Pottermore)
    – ibid
    Mar 3, 2016 at 17:13
  • 1
    @A.Darwin One correction: Harry's first year at Hogwarts was 1991, not 1992. Halloween (October 31st) was a Thursday, so Harry would have seen Snape and Filch the next day (Friday). Assuming, of course, that JKR - math-challenged as she is - even consulted an actual calendar when writing the book. The 1st of September appears to be a Sunday every single year Harry attended Hogwarts. Mar 4, 2016 at 13:24

1 Answer 1


Snape is highly skilled in healing magic. But in this case, as he took help from Filch (a squib, with zero experience in healing magic) instead of Madam Pomfrey, who does maintain confidentiality if required like in the case of Ron when he shows up with a dragon bite in Philosophers stone implies that they may be trying to heal the bite-wound in non magical ways.

At Hogwarts who is better option than a squib (Filch) for Snape to treat a wound in a non magical way (Rabies Therapy, maybe because its rare in European dogs but as Fluffy's origin are unknown to Snape, he gave it a try. Prevention is better than cure)

Also there will not be many magical heals for Dog-bites because diseases caused by dogs are very rare in Britain or in Europe.

Update: As pointed by ibid, JKR mentioned in Pottermore that Wizards are sort of immune to Muggle diseases.

Edit 1: Snape would have just used Ferula spell to tie bandages in place but the presence of Filch strongly suggests that he was being helped in a non magical way.

He hurried over to Ron, bent down, tapped Ron’s leg with his wand and muttered, ‘Ferula.’ Bandages spun up Ron’s leg, strapping it tightly to a splint. Lupin helped him to his feet; Ron put his weight gingerly on the leg and didn’t wince.

‘That’s better,’ he said. ‘Thanks.’

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban - Chapter 19

Edit 2: As Mike.C.Ford pointed, Fluffy as well as other creatures in wizarding world are assumed to be resistant to Killing Curse. It is also possible that these creatures attacks or bites may not be treated by magical healing. That may be the reason why Snape went to Filch for his bite-wound.

Giants are a legitimate threat when combating wizards, however if you could simply kill them with Avada Kedavra, they are actually just giant muggles and in essence worthless.

  • broadly speaking, wizards would have the power to correct or override 'mundane' nature, but not 'magical' nature (Pottermore)
    – ibid
    Mar 4, 2016 at 7:06
  • Thanks, I never came across that article on pottermore. This answer had been puched in face though.
    – axelonet
    Mar 4, 2016 at 7:37
  • Because I absolutely love self-promoting my own answers, I will point out that you can find a list of all of JKR's random Harry Potter stuff over here.
    – ibid
    Mar 4, 2016 at 7:43
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    Well considering that it's likely that Fluffy was resistant to magic, it's entirely possible that his bites were resistant to magical forms of healing, which would make this theory much more plausible. Mar 4, 2016 at 10:57
  • 1
    Out of universe, it is because Filch is perceived as an antagonist at this point in the story. His presence, and Snape's not going to Madam Pomfrey, is supposed to make the reader suspect Snape of being the thief and an ally of Voldemort. He didn't magically cure himself because there was no way Harry could have witnessed that. I assume you were asking about the reason in-universe, but I think the out-of-universe factor is strong here.
    – Pwassonne
    Mar 4, 2016 at 11:05

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