In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, chapter 22 Hagrid says the following:

"Did he?" said Hagrid, looking both astonished and touched. "Tha's — tha's righ' nice of him, that is, an' not turnin' yeh in ei-ther. I've never really had a lot ter do with Horace Slughorn before. .. . Comin' ter see old Aragog off, though, eh? Well. . . he’d've liked that, Aragog would. . . ."

That sounds fair BUT ... Hagrid studied almost 3 years in Hogwarts and started 2 years after Voldemort. We know that Slughorn was a teacher at the the time when Voldemort was in Hogwarts.

That means that Slughorn also taught Hagrid. So it is not like he "did never really had a lot ter do with Horace Slughorn".

Why did Hagrid claim to not really have a lot to do with Slughorn?

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    Methinks the argument linking the two skips several steps. Is there any evidence that Hagrid was in Slughorn's class, not just at the same school at the same time? Lots of schools (even primary schools) have multiple teachers for the same subject - is there evidence that Hogwarts doesn't? For that matter, what demonstrates that Slughorn was still teaching at Hogwarts by the time Hagrid would have been in his class? Slughorn could have taught Voldemort's class then left. What evidence is there that Hagrid had any interaction with Slughorn beyond attending class and turning in assignments? – atk Mar 16 '16 at 16:16
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    @atk "Is there evidence that Hogwarts doesn't [have more than one teacher per subject]?" Yes, the books themselves. "what demonstrates that Slughorn was still teaching at Hogwarts by the time Hagrid would have been in his class?" The events seen in Slughorn's memories in Half-Blood Prince: if Hagrid was there for three years, and started two years after Voldemort, he would have been expelled when Voldemort was in his fifth year; we know for a fact that Slughorn was still a teacher then because we see his memory of interacting with teenage Riddle. – Anthony Grist Mar 16 '16 at 16:25
  • @AnthonyGrist do the books specifically say that there is exactly one teacher per subject, or do they specifically not say that there are multiple teachers per subject? In particular, the subject that Slughorn taught? And what in slughorn's memories shows the year he taught compared to the year hagrid was in his class (or specifically that hagrid was in his class)? – atk Mar 16 '16 at 16:30
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    @atk There's only ever a single teacher mentioned for each subject, and there's not such a huge number of classes that they'd necessarily need more than one per subject. It's of course possible that there's more than one teacher per subject, but none of those other teachers are never mentioned. Slughorn taught Potions, every student does Potions in at least their first five years; Hagrid would have definitely done Potions, and if he was there when Slughorn was teaching (which he was), he definitely would have been taught by Slughorn. – Anthony Grist Mar 16 '16 at 17:20
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    @atk There are repeated mentions of various teachers being ‘the [subject] teacher’, a description that would make no sense if there were more than one. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 16 '16 at 18:01
up vote 25 down vote accepted

Slughorn's teaching style would focus almost exclusively on his favorite students and ignore everyone else

Hagrid probably means that he wasn't one of Slughorn's favorites. That he wasn't in the select group of students that Slughorn had determined were destined to succeed in life.

“I know what you mean,” said Mrs. Weasley, nodding wisely. “Of course he can be charming when he wants to be, but Arthur’s never liked him much. The Ministry’s littered with Slughorn’s old favorites, he was always good at giving leg ups, but he never had much time for Arthur — didn’t seem to think he was enough of a highflier.
(Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 5)

  • 9
    Very good point! As a parallel, I wouldn't say that Harry ever really had “a lot ter do with” Professor Binns, either. Sure, he was in his class at least once a week for several years, but I doubt he really knew the first thing about him. Also, in seven books with McGonagall and Flitwick as two of the most frequently seen teachers, we never learn anything much about their past or their life outside Hogwarts—you could say the students don't really have that much to do with them either. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 16 '16 at 18:05
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    Exactly. Hagrid was in his sixties when he made that comment. His school days must have seemed a lifetime ago, and unless they were favourites of one another, he probably did feel they didn't have much to do with one another. He gets recognition and kind treatment from him as adults and colleagues and it feels very different. – ThruGog Mar 16 '16 at 22:20
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    I'd agree with this - Harry&Co's familiarity with Snape, Lupin, Hagrid, MacGonagal (perhaps more usual as their head of house) and Dumbledore (limited to Harry) seem to be the exception rather than the rule. Even Harry, who has a very special place in the school, still barely interacts with most of the teachers. – Jon Story Mar 16 '16 at 23:22

The only time I remember it mentioning that there are any subjects at Hogwarts which have two different teachers teaching them is when after Professor Trelawney goes back to teaching Divination, Firenze is teaching it too. I guess though at the time when Hagrid was at Hogwarts maybe then there was another Potions teacher besides Professor Slughorn. Or maybe Hagrid just meant that when he was a student he hadn't known Professor Slughorn very well.

  • Welcome to SciFi.SE! Answers on this site are generally upvoted more if they provide some form of evidence to support their claims. Is there any canon you could add that backs this up? – user32390 May 25 '16 at 23:53

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