When Snape overheard Trelawney's prediction he inadvertently set in place events that would cause Voldemort's downfall. However, it seems that both of them were at the Hog’s Head with a view to being hired as teachers.

While of course education is important, it seems at this point the war was all but lost. Voldemort seemed to be in control of vast parts of the country and the Ministry was unable to stop him. "Would Voldemort have won the first Wizarding War?" seems to suggest that the war was all but lost.

Given the number of times in the HP books that parents take their children home and Hogwarts is nearly shut down, it seems strange that at such a time Dumbledore would be actively recruting. I would have thought the school would be all but deserted.

Is this apparent normality in Hogwarts/Hogsmeade at this time ever explained?

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    "nearly shut down" that's the main point. Hogwarts didn't completely shutdown throughout the books, and presumably it hadn't shut down during WW1 (wizard war 1) either. As long as a vacancy is open while the school is running, Dumbledore has a duty to find someone to fill it. For Trelawny specifically, it is also mentioned that Dumbledore was thinking of discontinuing divination, and her interview was mainly out of courtesy for who she was.
    – user13267
    Jun 1, 2018 at 10:33
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    Was it ever stated that Hogwarts was important at all in the first war? There was an important battle in the 2nd because the last horcrux was there. If they had found that one first, the battle could've taken place anywhere else. I mean, it's just a school for kids and not the center of the universe after all. I would argue the relevance of that school in the 2nd war was mainly due to Harry attending it, not because it's so important and perhaps dangerous in general. If anything, it's still the safest place in Britain I think. Please send your kids there
    – Raditz_35
    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:06
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    Hogwarts was never shut down completely. More to that, with Dumbledore as headmaster, it could provide much better security for children than any family.
    – TimSparrow
    Jun 1, 2018 at 11:31
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    I hadn't seen the other question but all the answers there seem to overstate Voldemort's power in the first war. He was certainly much more powerful in the second war. For example, he didn't take Hogwarts the first time. Hagrid said he wasn't powerful enough at that point. Jun 1, 2018 at 12:57

3 Answers 3


During that time, Hogwarts was safe from the Dark Lord.

The first time the Dark Lord tried to take over, Hogwarts was safe from him. He feared Dumbledore, and wasn’t going to attempt to take it over while Dumbledore was still there to protect it.

“Terrible things happened. He was takin’ over. ’Course, some stood up to him – an’ he killed ’em. Horribly. One o’ the only safe places left was Hogwarts. Reckon Dumbledore’s the only one You-Know-Who was afraid of. Didn’t dare try takin’ the school, not jus’ then, anyway.”
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 4 (The Keeper of the Keys)

When the Dark Lord did take over Hogwarts, Dumbledore was dead, so that was no longer a concern. However, when Dumbledore was alive and knew he was keeping Hogwarts safe, he’d have no reason to want to stop classes when he could instead ensure the students were both educated and in one of the safest places they could possibly be.

Dumbledore also wasn’t intending to really hire Trelawney.

Dumbledore never actually intended to hire Trelawney - he let her have the interview as a courtesy.

“I had gone there to see an applicant for the post of Divination teacher, though it was against my inclination to allow the subject of Divination to continue at all. The applicant, however, was the great-great-granddaughter of a very famous, very gifted Seer and I thought it common politeness to meet her. I was disappointed. It seemed to me that she had not a trace of the gift herself. I told her, courteously I hope, that I did not think she would be suitable for the post. I turned to leave.”
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)

He changed his mind after hearing the prophecy, but his intention wasn’t actually to hire Trelawney.

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    +1 Hogwarts is the Wizarding equivalent of sending your kids to the countryside during the Blitz. Jun 1, 2018 at 18:33

Because he needed new teachers. Why else would he interview them? Perhaps he was bored? He did seem to have a whimsical sense of humour.

The question would be better framed as why Hogwarts was not completely shut down.

It was astounding that even after Voldemort had taken over Britain, students attended Hogwarts. What makes think they wouldn't have when Voldemort had almost won.

Because Hogwarts is stronghold of Magic and is more than just a school. It is fortress, a symbol of power. All would be lost if Hogwarts fell. The last to fall would be Hogwarts.

Even when Voldemort takes over the Ministry, Hogwarts still stood tall. Dumbledore's Army. Still Recruiting. Probably Ministry was much more functional during the first war, and it would have been so in later years if Crouch had become the Minister.(Just what I think, don't go on ranting in the comments. Honestly.)

Also I don't agree with the answer you mentioned, but not because it is wrong. But, because of the said points. According to it there were no powerful wizards of the Dumbledore's side, James, Lily, Frank and Alice escaped him not once but thrice. Yes, they probably lost because of leverage. If they were weak, I don't think there were many wizards or witches on Voldemort's side either. So, it was a standoff between Voldemort and Dumbledore.

P.S. Someone needs to ban me from this website.

  • 1
    Note that students attended Hogwarts when Voldemort had apparently won (presumably, HPatDH) because Voldemort threatened them and their families if the students didn't attend, as I recall....
    – RDFozz
    Jun 1, 2018 at 22:33
  • As a Headmaster, politician and leader of a revolutionary order Dumbledore probably experienced many emotions during a state of war. I doubt that boredom was one of them. Jun 3, 2018 at 13:34

During the times that the school is going to shut down, it was because something was happening at Hogwarts (Examples: when Chamber of Secrets was opened, when Dumbledore died). They were actually safer at Hogwarts for many reasons. Here is one:

Harry, everyone says Dumbledore's the only one You-Know-Who was ever afraid of. With Dumbledore around, You-Know-Who won't touch you.
-Hermione Granger

And also, every child dreams of attending Hogwarts. Despite the potential dangers, I don't believe most parents would deny their kids that experience.

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