I assume Dumbledore allowed the subject of Divination to continue at Hogwarts in order to protect Professor Trelawney. If that is the case, why would Dumbledore bother to find another Divination teacher after Trelawney was dismissed by Umbridge? Why didn't he just end the class for that year?

  • 8
    I think that giving up Divination would be admitting failure. By choosing the replacement teacher, Dumbledore made a point that he is the one to decide how to teach, not Umbridge. Also he annoyed her a great deal by appointing a non-human.
    – TimSparrow
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 17:18
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    Well, the subject existed before Trelawny, and presumably he was going to take her back after Umbridge was gone, so why mess up the students? Lavender Brown IIRC enjoyed the subject; perhaps others did too that we don't see.
    – Mithical
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 17:21

2 Answers 2


Firstly, if Professor Dumbledore didn't appoint a new Divination teacher, then Umbridge would have the Ministry appoint someone else as a teacher. Dumbledore suspects that they would get a worse teacher that way. The evidence for this is in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix chapter 26, right after firing Professor Trelawney is announced.

‘And what,’ she said in a whisper that carried all around the Entrance Hall, ‘are you going to do with her once I appoint a new Divination teacher who needs her lodgings?’

‘Oh, that won't be a problem,’ said Dumbledore pleasangly. ‘You see, I have already found us a new Divination teacher, and he will prefer lodgings on the ground floor.’

‘You've found –?’ said Umbridge shrilly. ‘You've found? Might I remind you, Dumbledore, that under Educational Decree Number Twenty-two –’

‘The Ministry has the right to appoint a suitable candidate if – and only if – the Headmaster is unable to find one,’ said Dumbledore. ‘And I am happy to say that on this occasion I have succeeded. May I introduce you?’

Even apart from that, it may be important that Hogwarts continues education in Divination. The number of O.W.L. or N.E.W.T. exams students get may matter for them getting better jobs. It is also likely that students from third year to fifth year inclusive must take at least two elective classes out of the five offered (arithmancy, divination, muggle studies, care of magical creatures, and ancient runes). It would be inconvenient for most students to change to other subjects at this point.

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    ISTR that Firenze was also a bit of an outcast among the centaur for having helped the humans; for Dumbledore to do so was a way of helping Firenze as well.
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 17:36
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    @gowenfawr No, I believe he has become an outcast because he has chosen to teach humans, so that was after.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 17:44
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    From wikia: "In 1992, Firenze saved Harry Potter in the forest from Lord Voldemort, frightening Voldemort away and carrying Harry on his back to safety. Despite his heroics, his herd saw this as a dishonourable act, as they considered themselves too great to be ridden by humans. About four years later, in March 1996, Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, hired him to teach Divination in Sybill Trelawney's stead, after she was sacked by Dolores Umbridge." Yes, it got worse after he became a teacher... but he was on the outs before that.
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 17:55
  • @gowenfawr Yes, the other centaurs already didn't like him, but teaching humans has really tipped the scales, he was exiled from his tribe at that point.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 18:01
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    and I'm just saying that giving a job to a guy who's on the outs with his Cenbros is exactly the kind of thing Dumbledore would do :)
    – gowenfawr
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 18:15

Firenze fills the position and allows Trelawney to remain at Hogwarts in her current room.

As b_jonas pointed out: Umbridge would have appointed a new Divination teacher. That teacher would undoubtedly be worse than Firenze and also be another Ministry spy. Aside from this, I believe the real reason Dumbledore appointed Firenze was that he was preventing Umbridge from removing Trelawney from Hogwarts entirely.

‘And what,’ she said in a whisper that carried all around the Entrance Hall, ‘are you going to do with her once I appoint a new Divination teacher who needs her lodgings?

Firenze needs ground-floor accomodations and so Trelawney's room is still available to her.

Dumbledore wished her to remain at Hogwarts for her safety.

I cannot ask Firenze to return to the Forest, where he is now an outcast, nor can I ask Sybill Trelawney to leave. Between ourselves, she has no idea of the danger she would be in outside the castle. She does not know — and I think it would be unwise to enlighten her — that she made the prophecy about you and Voldemort, you see.

  • 1
    This may have played some part, but I doubt it was the most important motivation. The Hogwarts castle is large. Dumbledore would have found a way to lodge two teachers somehow anyway.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Aug 8, 2017 at 21:34

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