11

Harry, in the DH epilogue, reminds his son going off to Hogwarts to not duel till he learns how.

Why didn't Harry teach him at least the basics by that point? He was already 11 (?), so old enough to learn the rules and some very simple spells (Hermione "tried simple spells" before she even got on the train, and she was from a Muggle family).

Given that he would attend together with Scorpius, Harry ought to have taught him SOME basics.

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    And considering Harry's line of work you'd think he would consider teaching his son how to defend himself something worthwhile. – Xantec Mar 13 '12 at 15:30
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    Given his father's penchant for being a bully, and his horror at his inner bully (Sectumsempra) I think one reason was to avoid possible problems, and temptations, for his son. – Adam Davis Jun 5 '12 at 18:21
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    Worrying about a school bully is a lot different than worrying about Good-Old-What's-His-Name (Tom). :) – Meat Trademark Sep 23 '13 at 16:34
  • How do you know, he didn't? – user35971 Mar 14 '15 at 13:00
16

It's possible there were a number of reasons:

  1. Legality (as @NominSim points out)
  2. Respect for the process. Hogwarts has worked as it does for many, many years and there's a reason lessons are distributed as they are. Skipping some lessons in favor of others could, potentially, impede the depth of understanding.
  3. Wanting a different experience for his son than he had. Harry never got to experience Hogwarts as a typical wizard, out of necessity. It's not uncommon for parents to want different for their children than they had.
  4. Humility and character. His son already has the stigma of being Harry's offspring, which puts a level of expectation on him. Giving him a leg up on his peers could be damaging; not just socially (alienating potential friends), but internally (behaving and believing he's better than the other students).

The legality of it is probably the most compelling, in terms of a strict reason, though Harry wasn't quite known for abiding by the law (usually out of necessity rather than defiance, and these times don't require breaking the law for safety).

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  • Except I doubt that Harry's kids (or Even Ron's kids) would have a normal experience, since they're are kids of famous people, espically for Harry's kids. – Anne Doe Aug 10 '12 at 15:06
  • Might we add the author's political views, or at least the audiences expectations as a cause? I'm pretty sure it would have created a huge backlash against her if Harry would teach his children to be "killing machines", instead of being disgusted by war and spreading the message of peace all around. – vsz Sep 4 '12 at 14:53
  • I really like #3. – Möoz Apr 1 '14 at 1:44
10

He didn't because it was illegal: Underage Magic Wiki. While technically there would be no way to tell whether he was teaching him or not, it was still illegal under the rules for underage wizards to perform magic.

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    Children under the age of eleven, who have little control over their abilities and no wands, are exempt from the law, though in wizarding families their parents are expected to keep them under control. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 13 '12 at 16:36
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    @DVK The exemption comes from the fact that there is no way to trace the magic to a single person. The parents are supposed to restrict the magic use of their children, which is why Harry wouldn't have taught his son dueling. Additionally, dueling requires a wand, which I believe would remove the exemption. – NominSim Mar 13 '12 at 16:43
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    And Harry's always been such a strict follower of that rule? Or any rules at all, for that matter? – NiceOrc Apr 16 '12 at 9:26
  • @NiceOrc Harry in general follows the rules unless he feels like someone is in danger. The only time he ever broke this particular rule himself was to save himself and Dudley. – NominSim Apr 17 '12 at 13:11
2

@Josh’s answer is excellent, and I would add a few smaller points to it:

  1. Harry has no experience teaching from scratch.

    In the DA, everybody was at least a fourth-year, so they’ve all been taught the basics (wand technique, enunciation, posture). Harry would need to teach his son these skills from scratch before he could start teaching him duelling.

    This is related to @Josh’s point 2. Harry might have taught him some of these basics, but even if he tried, I think he’d struggle to teach him to the standard required to learn to duel.

  2. He doesn’t want to make his son a target.

    However well they’re taught, an inexperienced first-year will always get carved up by a well-trained fourth-year when duelling. This tends not to happen because most first-years don’t know any duelling, and so don’t go around picking fights. There’s no need to put that temptation in Harry’s path.

    It’s also worth recalling the duel Harry tried to have with Draco Malfoy in first-year, and the trouble it landed him in. Even if the worst Harry’s son gets is pranking like that, it’s probably something to be avoided if possible.

  3. Wanting his son to have his own duelling style.

    Harry’s signature spell was “Expelliarmus”, which reflects his fractured DADA teaching and particular sensibilities. His teaching would reflect his particular worldview. I’m fairly sure not all teachers would recommend something the disarming charm as your go-to spell.

    I think he’d want his son to develop his own duelling style, and not feel like he was just copying his father.

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