In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Slytherin's pet basilisk pertified Filch's cat, Nearly Headless Nick and four students.

Were the parents of the students told what happened to their kids?

It's not clear what the Hogwarts staff did, because if the parents were notified, why haven't they taken out their children from such a dangerous place, but allowed them to return for the next school year? Hermione's parents were even opposed to using a simple spell to do an aesthetic change to her incisors and later

she had to brainwash and send them to Australia instead of explaining things and ask their cooperation.

And if the parents weren't notified, how did the Hogwarts staff explain, for example, why Colin and Justin haven't returned home for Christmas holidays and stopped responding to letters from home?

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    Two points: There might appear to be two questions here, but I think some editing could make it clear that there is one. Also, how do we know that Hermione did not tell her parents what was going on and get their cooperation...in having their memories temporarily modified and going to Australia?
    – Adamant
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 14:08
  • @Adamant - it's one question, the rest is just info. As for the Grangers memory spell, lots of reasons 1. Erasing their memories doesn't help in any way to protect them - many death eaters may have seen them, Lucius, for one before the brawl in B&B and in Hogw. Express. the exact opposite: it makes them more vulnerable 2. Very unlikely they'd have agreed to forget about their daughter 3. Gaining their cooperation would have had many advantages, such as communication - f.e. Hermione could have sent them a message to notify them if their cover was compromised and so on.
    – user68762
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 14:25
  • @Adamant - but feel free to edit if you like, i am open to suggestions.
    – user68762
    Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 14:27
  • At one point in the book there were several students that were indeed taken out of school, but I believe that was nearer the end, sometimes after Christmas break. But the memory thing is irrelevant, because that was done for the parents' safety, and has nothing to do with their willingness or unwillingness to participate Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 14:42
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    @Neeshka No, but that's a completely different situation. She modified her parents memories, and caused them to move to Australia, off the Death Eaters' radar. Doing so kept them safe because they thought they had no daughter, which prevents them from trying to protect her, and being so far removed means the Death Eaters can't afford to waste time on it. Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 15:20

2 Answers 2


I saw similar question on Reddit few years back and I will try to recreate answers as best as I could since I can not find it again for some reason (my google is behaving very strange today)

I don't think school notify muggle parents since they would probably forbid their kids to attend school and all victims were muggle-born Colin Creevey , Justin Finch-Fletchley , Hermione Granger ( not definitive for Penelope Clearwater but she is listed as Muggle-born or half-blood)

Also a quote from Dean Thomas (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix) comes to mind

“My parents are muggles, mate. They don't know nothing about no deaths at Hogwarts, because I'm not stupid enough to tell them.”

So I am pretty sure kids don't tell their parents what happens at Hogwarts 90% of the time

To answer your question why parents didn't notice anything when they didn't come home for Christmas well I would say that its isn't unusual for kids to stay at Hogwarts over holidays and in middle of Order of Phoenix when Hermione wanted to spend time at Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place she tricked her parents into believing that she will be staying in Hogwarts

Harry Potter: "I thought you were skiing with your mum and dad."
Hermione: "Well, to tell you the truth, skiing's not really my thing. So I've come for Christmas... Anyway, Mum and Dad are a bit disappointed, but I've told them that everyone who's serious about the exams is staying at Hogwarts to study. They want me to do well, they'll understand."

— Hermione telling Harry Potter about changing her plans for the 1995 Christmas holidays

And about letters. Considering that there is magic in this world it wouldn't be to hard to charm a quill to write a letter every once in a while to parents, besides since parents are muggles I am not sure they would be able to send anything to their kids without use of an owl which they don't have

On the other hand when Ron got poisoned on his seventeenth birthday and when Ginny got taken to Chamber of Secrets their parents were notified and they didn't forbid them to go back to Hogwarts. So it is safe to say that pure-bloods are expecting some sort of trouble and accidents. After all it is a place full of children who are LEARNING to use agic


There is no in-canon information as to whether the parents were notified (so far as I recall), but as Hogwarts is a responsible school I would assume that they were. But note: We also know that Hogwarts had a good crop of Mandrake with which to un-petrify the students, so even though the parents were undoubtedly upset it probably would have been in their interest to leave the petrified students at Hogwarts. Additionally: Since Hogwarts is a place where inexperienced wizards and witches learn to control their magic, these sorts of hazards are probably considered par-for-the-course, to a certain extent; so the parents wouldn't necessarily 'freak out' as much as Muggles would.

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    -1 for "Hogwarts is a responsible school". No parent in their right mind would send their child to that school. Of the seven years that we know of, dozens of students and faculty get killed/injured/mutilated/attacked/etc. Insert line from AVPM about "No way this year anyone's gonna die"... :P (didn't actually downvote, this entire comment is meant to be satirical). Commented Oct 26, 2016 at 19:43

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