According to Mrs. Norris wiki the cat (and/or Filch) didn't particularly like Hagrid, but didn't have anything particular against the rest of the teaching staff:

Rubeus Hagrid could not stand her; he suspected that Filch set her up to follow him around whenever he came up to the school. Hagrid once remarked that he would like to introduce her to Fang. However, the cat seemed to respect the other Hogwarts teachers.

Although Filch wasn't really student-friendly, in all cases there was a reason for Filch to behave how he actually did e.g.:

  • Fred & George's mischiefs (mentioned past in HP3)

  • Harry, Ron, Hermione (or a lot of Griffindors if you will) not playing with the school rules

    wandering at nights, going where they weren't supposed to, Hogsmeade, explosives, ...

  • students out of beds!

  • and more...

So, what did Hagrid actually do to Mrs. Norris and/or our lovely blithering idiot? =[o.o]=

  • 9
    My guess is that Filch is trying to catch Hagrid with magical creatures that he's not supposed to have and that's why Mrs. Norris is following him.
    – robopuppy
    Feb 26, 2017 at 17:47
  • That would make sense, mainly for the chapters related to his dragon egg in CoS and its "rescue mission" with brooms.
    – KeyWeeUsr
    Feb 26, 2017 at 17:49
  • @KeyWeeUsr wasn't that in the Sorcerer's Stone?
    – user68699
    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:50
  • @user68699 That and until CoS (see the accepted answer) before him being acquitted I believe. With the examples I was just pointing out that he seems to be fair to the others and doesn't like rule breakers.
    – KeyWeeUsr
    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:55

4 Answers 4


Aside from a clash of personalities, the most obvious case is that Rubeus Hagrid was suspected of originally opening the Chamber of Secrets, which lead to the death of a student and Hagrid's public expulsion from Hogwarts.

Although Hagrid was framed, it wasn't until after the events in Chamber of Secrets that the actions of the Trio were enough to acquit Hagrid of accusations related to the first opening of the Chamber of Secrets (actually performed by Riddle).

Filch is far and away a stickler for rules, even when Dumbledore may not agree with them:

‘Mr Filch, the caretaker, has asked me to tell you that the list of objects forbidden inside the castle has this year been extended to include Screaming Yo-yos, Fanged Frisbees and Ever-Bashing Boomerangs. The full list comprises some four hundred and thirty-seven items, I believe, and can be viewed in Mr Filch’s office, if anybody would like to check it.’

The corners of Dumbledore’s mouth twitched.
-Goblet of Fire

and has a penchant for people being punished:

‘I bet you’ll think twice about breaking a school rule again, won’t you, eh?’ he continued, leering at them. ‘Oh yes ... hard work and pain are the best teachers if you ask me ... It’s just a pity they let the old punishments die out ... hang you by your wrists from the ceiling for a few days, I’ve got the chains still in my office, keep ’em well oiled in case they’re ever needed ... Right, off we go, and don’t think of running off, now, it’ll be worse for you if you do.’
-Philosopher's Stone/Sorcerer's Stone

Furthermore, we see that he flourished when Umbridge and even Death Eaters took over Hogwarts with their excessive rules and cruel punishments. To him, Hagrid constantly broke the rules and essentially got away with it.

On top of that, Hagrid is a bit of a bumbling man. He's a half-giant, which is abnormal. He hides a broken wand in his umbrella, but we don't know if Filch suspects it. And, Hagrid has a habit of handling dangerous or illegal animals, or even possibly violating the Ban on Experimental Breeding as seen with the Blast-Ended Skrewts. We can't know for sure if they were pre-sanctioned for the Triwizard Tournament, as he was never charged. Rita's article seems to suggest he didn't have permission, but then again Arthur seemed to dabble in a lot of Misuse of Muggle Artifacts. Nevertheless, even if he had 100% permission from the beginning, it furthers his appearance as someone who gets to break the rules. Who else but Dumbledore's favorite magical animal keeper would be allowed an exception to a major Wizarding law? Incidents like that would likely gall someone such as Filch.

In general, Hagrid has the appearance of a chronic rule-breaker that gets away with it because he's the headmaster's favorite, which seems to be precisely the type of reason for Filch to dislike Hagrid, and thus to have Mrs. Norris spy on him. If Mrs. Norris can catch Hagrid in the act of breaking a major rule, then I'm sure Filch thinks Dumbledore will have no choice but to punish or axe Hagrid.

  • I always assumed there was some kind of permission to breed and then use Blast-Ended Skrewts. It would be strange if the organizers didn't know what the obstacles in the maze are, especially with the intention to make the tournament safe for the participants. Of course, that doesn't mean that others knew that Hagrid had this permission.
    – Malcolm
    Feb 27, 2017 at 9:31
  • @Malcolm I always felt Hagrid bred them on his own, but then Dumbledore was able to get them placed in the tournament because of his connections. Either way, Hagrid would be all too eager to jump on a temporary exclusion to a rule for Filch's taste, eh?
    – user31178
    Feb 27, 2017 at 15:16
  • I just thought that students like Malfoy could expose Hagrid very easily if they suspected that he didn't have the permission. Either way I look at it, Hagrid must have had it (most likely not without Dumbledore's involvement, of course). Honestly, I'd say that Hagrid raising a dragon is a much better example of him defying the rules.
    – Malcolm
    Feb 27, 2017 at 17:44
  • @CreationEdge - He must have had permission, even if it was under wraps. Remember that he admits to Rita Skeeter at the Daily Prophet that he bred them, and she mentions that it is illegal. While we see him have a trial for Buckbeak, we never see him get in any trouble for a much more serious break of magical law: illegally breeding two very dangerous, non-tradable creatures. This makes it very likely that the ministry knew about it ahead of time. I'm sure Bagman would have loved the idea. Feb 27, 2017 at 18:01
  • My recent update should make my reasoning more clear. I don't necessarily agree that the Wizarding courts are always rationale, because we see plenty examples that they are not. As for Norbert(a), I do believe she was relatively secret outside of Malfoy who apparently didn't squeal, whereas the Skrewts were as public to Filch as Hagrid's association with the Chamber of Secrets.
    – user31178
    Feb 27, 2017 at 18:14

Hagrid Breaks Rules and Mrs. Norris Reports Rule Breakers to Filch

I believe the passage that the wiki is referencing occurs quite early in the series, in Chapter 8 ("The Potions Master") of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Harry and Ron were delighted to hear Hagrid call Filch "that old git." "An' as fer that cat, Mrs. Norris, I'd like ter introduce her to Fang sometime. D'yeh know, every time I go up ter the school, she follows me everywhere? Can't get rid of her -- Filch puts her up to it."

Earlier in that same chapter, we get what I believe is the first description of Mrs. Norris.

Filch owned a cat called Mrs. Norris, a scrawny, dust-colored creature with bulging, lamplike eyes just like Filch's. She patrolled the corridors alone. Break a rule in front of her, put just one toe out of line, and she'd whisk off for Filch, who'd appear, wheezing, two seconds later.

So we can see that Mrs. Norris reports rule breaking to Filch. This is all in the first book, before any that Chamber of Secrets business, so I don't think we can assume that Mrs. Norris trails Hagrid just because he's suspected of opening the Chamber of Secrets. But we do see Hagrid breaking wizarding rules fairly early on -- for example, by using an umbrella as a wand and by keeping a baby dragon (Norbert) at his hut. It seems reasonable to infer from this information that Mrs. Norris is trailing Hagrid in order to catch him breaking a rule (perhaps especially in relation to keeping magical creatures, since that is something that Hagrid does quite a bit) so she can report this to Filch.

As for why Filch doesn't treat the other professors this way, it is unclear, but I would venture two possibilities:

  1. The other professors don't flout rules as often or openly as Hagrid. I don't think that we see most of the professors who are regulars in the books flout the rules as often as Hagrid. Hagrid's preferred method of breaking the rules (hiding magical creatures) also seems more likely to result in detection than many others would be.

  2. Hagrid isn't a professor at this point whereas the others are. Professor is arguably a higher position in the hierarchy of Hogwarts staff than Filch's role are caretaker whereas Hagrid's role as groundskeeper arguably isn't. Filch might be less likely to censure a professor because the professors have higher positions than him.

  • I'd add a health dose of projection as well, they are both (more or less) squibs and Filch is known to understandably be very unhappy with the condition whereas Hagrid is accepting of it.
    – bp.
    Feb 27, 2017 at 1:25
  • 3
    @bp - Hagrid is not a squib. The fact that Hargid is capable of of magic is enough reason for Filch to dislike him, that Hagrid threw the chance away (from Filch's POV) makes it even worse. Feb 27, 2017 at 5:19
  • I said "more or less". Hagrid uses magic rarely and badly. I don't think there's a single instance of him successfully using magic, further everything that other people do by magic (cleaning, cooking etc), he does by hand.
    – bp.
    Feb 28, 2017 at 6:22

I'm not sure there is always a reason for Filch to specifically dislike someone. He's a squib, too wizard for muggle-town, too muggle for wizard-town. It's tacitly accepted that he has no place in society (he's probably only got a job because Dumbledore always reaches out to these margianlised groups). Years of being on the outside has lead him to be a bitter man, so he uses what little authority he's got to lash out at the society that's never accepted him.

This is important because it's where Filch's character comes from, it's why he is how he is. Just by being born wizards, all of the students have a higher status than him. Regardless of what he achieves. It's largely unspoken, but the prejudice is always there.

Hagrid, of course, likes the students anyway, and doesn't like how Filch treats them. He stands up for what he believes is right, regardless of any mitigating factors around Filch and his upbringing.

So this is probably the reason for the tension between the two, who responded to their 'outsider' status in two very different ways.

  • Could be, but then again there's the whole staff and in HP5 Filch almost adores Dolores for all the new ministry rules and punishing(that probably the most), which kind of excludes the part where he wouldn't have a reason for disliking someone. Filch rather envies the magic abilities (the course for becoming a wizard for squibs) than dislikes everyone who has them because he could do much more with them(punishing would be easier). The outsider part, however, seems to be a good argument if there's possibility Filch knows why Hagrid was expelled.
    – KeyWeeUsr
    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:45
  • 1
    @KeyWeeUsr He's seeing society break down, as someone who's rejected by society. Particularly as a side-effect of that is his own increased powers to punish the children.
    – AJFaraday
    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:46
  • He doesn't seem like a person rejected by society in previous movies/books that much. Notice especially the conversations with staff i.e. with Snape in HP1.
    – KeyWeeUsr
    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:57
  • @KeyWeeUsr Honestly, there's a lot of social subtext in Harry Potter, worth taking note of.
    – AJFaraday
    Feb 27, 2017 at 8:58

It helps to understand the reference; Mrs. Norris is from Mansfield Park. The basics is that Mrs. Norris is an insecure, bitter person who takes out her frustrations on the few people who are lower in status than she is. Filch is a Squib. Who is lower in the social rankings than he? Kids who aren't allowed to do magic. That's why he is so mean to them, and always looking for an excuse to put them down. Hagrid doesn't use a wand, so he's pretty much in the same class, but Filch would never show disrespect to the real magic teachers, because they are his betters, and he knows it. The cat is just mirroring Filch's attitude.

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