The curse of the DADA position in Hogwarts made it impossible for a teacher to take the position for more than one year. The curse was put in place by Voldemort as a revenge for not being allowed to teach the subject himself (and maybe to weaken further opponents).

This sometimes resulted in the teacher being seriously injured or even killed (Quirrell, Crouch Jr.)

During Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows the position was taken by a Death Eater - Amycus Carrow.

Did Voldemort lift the curse to prevent Amycus being injured/killed? He did not care too much about his followers but hurting them without a reason makes little sense.

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    In Deathly Hallows, DADA became "Dark Arts Studies" (not sure of the translation), so the DADA curse probably didn't apply to Carrow.
    – Jenayah
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 12:48
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    @Jenayah If I recall correctly, in the English version the "Defence Against" was just dropped from the name of the subject, and it was called "The Dark Arts." Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 13:02
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    @Jenayah it did apply - they were fired and ended up in Azkaban.
    – TimSparrow
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 13:42
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    Was there an actual curse? Or was this just lore?
    – JohnP
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 14:01
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    @Jenayah - Thanks. I never read JKR interviews, so I miss a lot of the handwaving that she does.
    – JohnP
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 14:07

3 Answers 3


It doesn’t seem like it - JKR says the curse broke after his death.

From what J.K. Rowling says in an interview, the curse was broken after the Dark Lord died.

MV: Do you-- do Ron and Hermione or Harry ever return to Hogwarts in any capacity?

JKR: Well, I can well imagine Harry returning to give the odd talk on-- on Defense Against the Dark Arts. And-- I-- and, of course, the jinx is broken now because Voldemort's gone. Now they can keep a good Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher from here on in. So that aspect of the-of the wizarding education is now provided for.
- Today Show interview (July 26, 2007)

This implies he either didn’t try, or was unsuccessful in, removing the curse on the Defense Against the Dark Arts job, since it only broke after his death, not after he took over Hogwarts and put Amycus Carrow as its teacher. However, we don’t know whether he didn’t try or was unable to remove it. It’s also possible that he didn’t intentionally or knowingly curse the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching post, but that his anger at not getting it caused ‘accidental’ magic to curse it, which would explain why he’s so willing to put his servants (Quirrell, Barty Crouch Jr., and Amycus Carrow) in the position, and why he never used a similar curse again.

It’s unclear if it’d affect Amycus anyway - he taught Dark Arts.

Whether or not the curse would have affected Amycus Carrow is unclear - he taught Dark Arts, not Defense Against the Dark Arts. The subject became the opposite of what it originally was, and not knowing exactly how the curse worked, it’s impossible to say for sure if it’d affect Amycus or if it’d consider the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher post empty, since no one actually taught that.

“Amycus, the bloke, he teaches what used to be Defence Against the Dark Arts, except now it’s just the Dark Arts. We’re supposed to practise the Cruciatus Curse on people who’ve earned detentions –”
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 29 (The Lost Diadem)

If it was an intentional curse, it’s possible that the Dark Lord knew it wouldn’t affect the Dark Arts teacher, so he wouldn’t need to remove it. However, we don’t actually know if the curse affected Amycus, or very much about how it worked, other than making the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher leave within a year, requiring Dumbledore to hire a new one every year.

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    To add to this: Harry notes specifically in HBP that the petrification jinx cast on him was lifted because Dumbledore was dead. I also think the narration also said many of the Imperius Curses cast by Voldemort lifted upon his death. Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 14:54
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    @TenthJustice The conjured fish that Lily Potter gave to Slughorn disappeared the night she died too. Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 15:19
  • So, basically this implies that Dumbledore had to know that Voldemort was still around all those years after he was defeated at the Potter house. If the curse still existed, so did the man who performed the curse.
    – BlackThorn
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 15:41
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    @BlackThorn Dumbledore certainly suspected that Voldemort wasn't truly dead, however the fact that some of his magic persisted wasn't definitive proof of that. Hogwarts itself contains plenty of enchantments that were originally made by now-dead people, so it's not like "caster dead => enchantment/curse gone" is always true.
    – Cubic
    Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 15:55
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    @TenthJustice Correct. On his death said curse was lifted from victims.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 1:16

It is not entirely clear whether Voldemort even has the power to lift the curse he placed on the position, but situational irony suggests that he cannot.

One of the implications of there being a Death Eater as the dark arts instructor during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is that the dark lord is not going to be able to create a stable regime with Hogwarts loyal to him; because even the dark arts teacher Voldemort himself get installed is fated not to last more than a single year. This is just one of the ways in which Voldemort ends up hoisted by his own petard, and the way Voldemort's actions end up being self-defeating is a major motif of the last book.

  • I realized that DADA stuff could have been taught on Charms classes. Check mate Voldie ;) Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 10:25
  • I voted up but because of the interesting way you looked at it; I however see no reason whatever to believe that he couldn't lift the jinx. Why wouldn't he be able to? It was his own doing. The question is why would he bother - if he even remembered (maybe he didn't? But then again it's not like he cared about them beyond tools)? Of course whether it applied to DA rather than DADA is another issue entirely. He certainly didn't lift it but I wouldn't say that that means it applied; it might have but maybe it didn't. Stable regime? I agree but not for the cited reason.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Jul 27, 2018 at 22:14

I don't believe the curse was lifted because of a JKR quote that says, "Well, the curse is lifted now that Voldemort is gone", which implies that he chose not to lift the curse.

We also see Amycus tortured, put under the Imperius curse by Harry and McGonagall, and sat in a net held captive with his sister, which is a traumatic experience that renders him unable to do his job, which is what the curse does:

Amycus got up, walked over to his sister, picked up her wand, then shuffled obediently to Professor McGonagall and handed it over along with his own. Then he lay down on the floor beside Alecto. Professor McGonagall waved her wand again, and a length of shimmering silver rope appeared out of thin air and snaked around the Carrows, binding them tightly together.

I don't believe he would have lifted the curse because of the amount of contempt he shows all of his followers. The curse was not lifted for Barty Crouch Jr. and he was one of Voldemort's favorite servants, so why would he lift it for a slimy character like Amycus Carrow?

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