We're aware that she is a good Care of Magical Creatures teacher, which means that she probably had a lot of experience in the subject. However, the previous COMC teacher was Prof. Kettleburn, as mentioned in the book:

"As to our second new appointment: well, I am sorry to tell you that Professor Kettleburn, our Care of Magical Creatures teacher, retired at the end of last year in order to enjoy more time with his remaining limbs. " —Albus Dumbledore at the 1993 Welcoming Feast

So she didn't have any teaching experience as such and nor was she a retired Hogwarts teacher. Clearly she didn't have much to do as she obliged to teach the Hogwarts students whenever Dumbledore asked her to. Which begs the question-what was her actual profession? Was she like Newt Scamander, but after the glory days?

  • Maybe she had a job taking care of magical creatures
    – CHEESE
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 10:50
  • @CHEESE Well it's kind of obvious she dealt with magical creatures but in what way?
    – Reya
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 13:23
  • I thought my answer to this one was about as good as you're going to get, short of the character appearing in a subsequent "writing". Is there anything else you'd like me to cover before considering an acceptance?
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 12:04
  • @Valorum I'm terribly sorry, I remember waiting for any other answers that might be worth considering before accepting anything, and since none were forthcoming I just let this one be and totally forgot about it. Since this is a question that, at the moment, doesn't seem capable of having any answers that aren't purely speculative, I'd like it to remain open for just a little longer, just in case something turns up.
    – Reya
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 17:56
  • @Reya - No worries. I presume you're aware that you can change your acceptance if a better answer somehow pops up
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 22, 2017 at 18:33

1 Answer 1


We don't know.

Although Professor Wilhemina Grubbly-Plank appears in two of the novels (and is mentioned in a third), she doesn't have any sort of backstory.

Assumption time

She appears to be relatively advanced in years. She has extensive knowledge of magical creatures as well as substantial teaching abilities (easily passing Umbridge's inspection despite expressing her admiration for Dumbledore).

Given the slim opportunities to have gained both sets of skills, it's quite possible that she preceded Professor Kettleburn as Care of Magical Creatures tutor, then either retiring (and being persuaded to un-retire by Dumbledore), taking on another academic role such as magiczoology or working for the Ministry (The 'Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures' seems a logical fit).

  • 1
    Hey. First off, using a picture to decide one's age isn't really very accurate, is it? pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/580397111419752448/F9KIh9jf.jpg shows that Kettleburn was equally old if not older. "By the time I became Headmaster, however, Professor Kettleburn had mellowed considerably, although there were always those who took the cynical view that with only one and a half of his original limbs remaining to him, he was forced to take life at a quieter pace." —Albus Dumbledore[src] shows that he was around even before Dumbledore became Headmaster. (1/2)
    – Reya
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 13:28
  • 1
    @Reya - Sure, but this is a world where people regularly live into their low hundreds. We know that Dumbledore became headteacher in 1964(ish). She could easily have been teaching before that (or been Kettleburn's Assistant Professor) or maybe Kettleburn changed speciality at some point. There simply isn't enough info to judge.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 13:32
  • 1
    So unless we have concrete proof that she's exceptionally aged (which isn't mentioned anywhere in the book), this is highly unlikely. Another point to note would be that if this was the case, Umbridge would've probably noted this in her inspection as, if she preceded Kettleburn, it's likely Umbridge would know this. Moreover, achievers are always invited to give lectures which are generally enjoyable in spite of them not formally being trained teachers so it's not necessary she had teaching experience. However that is a pretty logical deduction and you did mention it's assumption based. (2/2)
    – Reya
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 13:34
  • 2
    @Reya - You'll have to wait until she turns up as Newt's love interest in Fantastic Beasts 4 :-)
    – Valorum
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 13:42
  • 1
    @Reya - I was joking. Seriously. Not gonna happen.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 20, 2017 at 14:04

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