In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Dumbledore has appointed Alastor Moody as the D.A.D.A. teacher and, of course, we find out that was not Moody, but was Bartemius Crouch pretending to be Moody for that year and that Moody was prisoner during that time.

The next year Delores Umbridge takes up the position of D.A.D.A. teacher. According to this question, Umbridge was only hired after Dumbledore was unable to find a suitable candidate for the position.

One year before, Moody was hired, clearly showing he would be an acceptable person for the position. He, however, never actually held the position due to Crouch's impersonation of him.

How come Moody was a good choice and willing to take the job for that school year, but a year later, he apparently isn't even a candidate for the position? Clearly he was qualified and wanted for the job before. Why would Dumbledore not consider him a good choice a year later?

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    Did the real Moody agree to take the job in the first place, or was that the imposter Moody? Possibly the real Moody wasn't really interested.
    – muru
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 6:40
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    real moody had agreed, as fake moody (Crouch) attacked him just a day before he started his new job. Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 9:35
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    I suspect Dumbledore needed the real Moody for Order fieldwork - he's more useful outside Hogwarts at that point, given his extensive history of practical combat and experience with the original Order.
    – DavidS
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 9:59
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    Wasn't umbridge forced onto him or do I remember incorrectly ? Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 18:57
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    I'm not convinced the premise holds: yes, The Daily Prophet may have said “in the event of the current Headmaster being unable to provide a candidate for a teaching post, the Ministry should select an appropriate person”. In practice, what this means might well be closer to “if you don't agree to choose our singled out appropriate candidate, we'll just force you to do it, through the hereby declared decree”. Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 19:39

4 Answers 4


As the other answers suggest, Dumbledore may have wanted Moody. Reasons in favour included:

  • Dumbledore wanted Moody in the first place. If he wanted Moody in year 4 then it's reasonable to suppose that he may have wanted him in year 5.
  • The DADA curse doesn't apply to Moody. Ordinarily, previous occupants of the Defence Against the Dark Arts post are off-limits because of the curse that stops teachers staying for more than one year. However, since Moody never technically served as DADA teacher he is perfectly free to 'come back'.

However, there are several other reasons why Moody himself might not have wanted to come back, and indeed why Dumbledore might not have wanted him anyway.

  • It would have been weird for the students. Ultimately, Dumbledore cares strongly about his students' welfare. Think about how unnerving it would be in the first place to discover that your teacher was in actual fact a Dark Wizard in disguise as someone else the whole time. Then think about how jarring it would be to have someone who looks exactly the same come in and potentially give you contradictory advice. It would just be ridiculously confusing for the students - and for those who were mentally scarred by the whole Crouch Jr experience it would be an unwelcome distraction.

  • Moody might not have been particularly well-suited to teaching anyway. Dumbledore was already fairly desperate for new staff when he hired Moody in the first place. Crouch describes his decision to come as a "special favour to Dumbledore". There's no reason to suppose that Moody himself was particularly enthusiastic about teaching. Considering that Dumbledore had already gone through a long list of desirable teachers beforehand (since none can stay more than one year) he probably knew that Moody was not a particularly good fit for teaching in the first place.

    "And I must draft an advertisement for the Daily Prophet, too," he added thoughtfully. "We'll be needing a new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Dear me, we do seem to run through them, don't we?"
    (Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 18, Dobby's Reward).

    "...yeah, I'm staying just the one year. Special favour to Dumbledore...one year, then back to my quiet retirement."
    (Goblet of Fire, Chapter 14, The Unforgivable Curses).

  • Moody was more touchy after his time in the trunk. As Rekha G Saklecha Borundiya says, Moody was unnerved by the experience of being incarcerated for a whole year. This made him a danger not just to himself but to those around him. If his impersonator thought it was in-character to transfigure a pupil into a ferret and throw him around the room, who knows what the real-life Moody would do in a school environment after his time in the trunk.

  • Moody himself didn't want to come back. From JK Rowling:

    Lizo: Is there anything that you can tell us about book five? Any new characters?
    JK Rowling: Well, we've obviously got a new Defence Against The Dark Arts teacher because Professor Moody wouldn't want the job again having been locked in a trunk for a year! It's a woman this time.
    (Interview with Newsround, September 2002).

  • Moody was more valuable elsewhere. As @DavidS says in the comments, Dumbledore may well have wanted Moody somewhere else. He already has half the Order stationed at Hogwarts (himself, McGonagall, Snape, Hagrid). Voldemort has no such constraints. Dumbledore needs to have a mobile Order that is ready to respond to situations as they develop and travel extensively where necessary. Marking first year DADA homework probably would have prevented Moody from giving his utmost to the Order and would have left the Order itself too thin on the ground.

  • Dumbledore actually wanted Umbridge at Hogwarts all along. This is a bit of a curveball, admittedly. But I think it's worth considering. Umbridge comes to Hogwarts to spy on Dumbledore/the Order. Fudge wants to know what Dumbledore is up to. But bear in mind that Dumbledore would also have wanted to know what Fudge was up to. Sirius says at one point that "it's very important for us to have spies inside the Ministry, because you can bet that Voldemort will have them" (Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 5). Having Umbridge at Hogwarts might not have been seen as a particularly bad thing from Dumbledore's point of view. Sure, she's a hindrance and her dreadful teaching of her subject negatively impacted the pupils. But her numerous decrees and speeches gave Dumbledore a pretty clear idea of what the Ministry did and didn't know about his activities. Arguably, this was a very shrewd move on Dumbledore's part.

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    Spies you know about are always better than spies you don't know about. Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 21:22
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    But Dumbledore had allies and spies inside the ministry already. For example, there is Kingsley Shacklebolt. Not sure Umbridge would have provided much use to Dumbledore as her actions and opinions might not have been official ministry policy.
    – RichS
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 22:52
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    @RichS. One can never have too many spies. Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 1:33
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    "keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer." -- Niccolò Machiavelli? Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 22:17
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    There's an even better reason that Dumbledore might have had for accepting Umbridge. He might have realized that it is the perfect way to encourage the houses (except perhaps Slytherin) to unite. They had been separate for so long that if they didn't unite as they did due to Umbridge they might never been able to when they most needed it. Don't forget that even under Umbridge there was tension between members of DA that had to be faced and resolved, and in fact one Zacharias eventually left anyway. Better to learn how to understand and deal with people early while you still can!
    – user21820
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 8:27

I believe Dumbledore would have definitely considered Moody for another year. It must be Moody who refused the position.

Moody was never fond of teaching in the first place. I guess he accepted the position only because of The Tournament. Dumbledore was convinced Voldemort would do something during to tournament after regaining his servant and Trelawney's prophecy. So he might have convinced Moody to teach.

After Voldemort's resurrection, it is unlikely an ex-auror and war-veteran like Moody would teach rather than be on field. He is a man on adrenaline after all.

"Half the cells in Azkaban are filled thanks to him." - Charlie Weasley from Goblet of Fire

Dumbledore must have thought he should be able to handle Umbridge. And Moody was an asset in the field.

Though, I doubt Moody would fear something. Most probably he would have grown more paranoid than before, but I don't think he would have been afraid of working in school.

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    This. People tend to forget the minor statements in the fourth book, like Sirius saying, 'If Dumbledore has brought Moody back, he must be reading the same signs. I'm coming back to England' (paraphrasing). They know Voldemort is trying to resurrect himself, they know that he might use the tournament, they just don't know how. Afterwards as Sirius says, "Last year all the evidence was that there was someone inside Hogwarts trying to kill you, this year there's someone outside Hogwarts that would like to kill us all". Dumbledore clearly thinks that Hogwarts is safe now, no need to waste Moody. Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 15:44
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    Could you add a source for why Moody only accepted because of the Tournament? Perhaps something like what @EvSunWoodard is describing? Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 16:23
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    While you're probably right, you've not provided a single piece of evidence for several of the assertions you're making in this answer. Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 13:16
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    I don't see anything to back this answer up, especially the key point that Moody accepted only due to the tournament. Without that, the question remains: Why ask him one year and why does he accept for that year and not the next? Is there anything to support that he only accepted due to the tournament?
    – Tango
    Commented Jan 7, 2017 at 16:55
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    @AniketChowdhury The first five sentences in your answer are asserting things that have no basis. "I'm sure I read that somewhere" isn't an acceptable level of evidence. Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 23:11

The answer to your question, I think, can be seen in the ending of Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire.

The real Mad-Eye Moody was at the staff table now, his wooden leg and his magical eye back in place. He was extremely twitchy, jumping every time someone spoke to him. Harry couldn’t blame him; Moody’s fear of attack was bound to have been increased by his ten-month imprisonment in his own trunk.

Now that his fear had increased so much, he would never agree to work in school, at least for some time, or never at all. 10 months' imprisonment, and then working for the job, would not be easy for him.

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    It cannot be fear of attack because we see him working for the order immediately afterwards in the next book, which is presumably a riskier job than teaching at Hogwarts
    – user13267
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 12:05
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    @user13267 "Riskier than teaching at Hogwarts"? Have you READ the books? ;)
    – krillgar
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 16:16
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    My answer doesn't refer to fear as a coward, but to shock. Mad-eye was very brave, but 9 months imprisonment does add some trauma in addition to his already fear of attack any moment. Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 6:38

Put Alastor Moody in a classroom when the The Dark Lord was back and needed to be battled - it wouldn't happen. He wouldn't let it. Till the very end he was someone who was on the frontline against Dark Magic, he didn't retire as an Auror he trained in the new class, including Tonks, once there wasn't one significant, organised threat such as Death Eaters. I'm sure Dumbledore would have had him as a teacher, I'm sure Moody would have said "To drink Goblin piss". ALso Umbridge was more placed by the Ministry than selected by Dumbledore, the Board of Governors could have backed this as they did Hagrid and Dumbledore's removals in the Chamber of Secrets. Staffing isn't exclusively Dumbledore's prerogative and Lucius was former head of the Board so a Death Eater could still be influencing the Board such as Crabbe or Goyle's parents.

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