In Goblet of Fire Chapter 12 we see that Dennis Creevey starts at Hogwarts that year:

“Hiya, Harry!”

It was Colin Creevey, a third year to whom Harry was something of a hero.

“Hi, Colin,” said Harry warily.

“Harry, guess what? Guess what, Harry? My brother’s starting! My brother Dennis!”

By all accounts, then, in Order of the Phoenix (one year later) he should be in his second year. Yet in Chapter 16 of Order of the Phoenix we find him in Hogsmeade for the first D.A. meeting (my emphasis):

First came Neville with Dean and Lavender, who were closely followed by Parvati and Padma Patil with (Harry’s stomach did a back flip) Cho and one of her usually giggling girlfriends, then (on her own and looking so dreamy that she might have walked in by accident) Luna Lovegood; then Katie Bell, Alicia Spinnet, and Angelina Johnson, Colin and Dennis Creevey, Ernie Macmillan, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Hannah Abbott, and a Hufflepuff girl with a long plait down her back whose name Harry did not know; three Ravenclaw boys he was pretty sure were called Anthony Goldstein, Michael Corner, and Terry Boot; Ginny, followed by a tall skinny blond boy with an upturned nose whom Harry recognized vaguely as being a member of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, and bringing up the rear, Fred and George Weasley with their friend Lee Jordan, all three of whom were carrying large paper bags crammed with Zonko’s merchandise.

We know from Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 1 that Hogsemeade is only permitted to third years and above (my emphasis):

Dear Mr. Potter,

Please note that the new school year will begin on September the first. The Hogwarts Express will leave from King’s Cross station, platform nine and three- quarters, at eleven o’clock.

Third years are permitted to visit the village of Hogsmeade on certain
Please give the enclosed permission form to your parent or guardian to sign.

A list of books for next year is enclosed.

Yours sincerely,

Professor M. McGonagall

Deputy Headmistress

We also know from Order of the Phoenix Chapter 16 that Filch was checking the permission status of everyone leaving the castle for that very Hogsmeade visit:

The morning of the Hogsmeade visit dawned bright but windy. After breakfast they queued up in front of Filch, who matched their names to the long list of students who had permission from their parents or guardian to visit the village.

How, then, was Dennis Creevey able to get into Hogsmeade, considering he would have only been a second year?

  • 17
    Excellent question! Never noticed that before. Sounds like a prime case of Rowling Maths. Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 7:49
  • 2
    Colin was good at sneaking (not that it ended well for him), so maybe it runs in the family.
    – Gaultheria
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 20:25
  • I had realized this before but forgotten about it! Hope you find an answer!
    – user103390
    Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 22:34
  • 7
    Sounds like he snuck out of Hogwarts through a plothole
    – user13267
    Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 10:17
  • The visit to Hogsmeade by Dennis Creevey was a clandestine one and not an academic regular one, which means that he managed to reach the Hog's Head Inn with the rest of the group, illegally. How he did it? I couldn’t find any record about it at Tomes and Scrolls. I can only guess things like his brother Colin may have used an Impediment Jinx to freeze the great black dog that bounds up the streets in Hogsmeade to let Dennis slip in the Village.
    – user105202
    Commented Oct 2, 2018 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


Several possibilities, though not so compelling:

  1. Perhaps the third year rule had been changed. While in Prisoner of Azkaban it is clear that only third years and above can visit Hogsmeade, and Dumbledore reiterates this in Goblet of Fire1, there does not appear to be any mention of this rule in Order of the Phoenix or Half-Blood Prince. Perhaps the rule had been changed, and anyone with permission from a parent/guardian could go, regardless of year.

  2. Perhaps Dennis had skipped a year, and was thus already a third year in Order of the Phoenix despite it being only his second year of school. One could perhaps argue that he was exceptionally advanced for his age. After all, with only one year of magical training he is part of a magic club where everyone else has three to six years of magical training.

  3. Perhaps he illegally snuck out through one of the secret passages that Filch wasn't monitoring. While this would be the simplest answer, we do not find Dennis making any effort to stay hidden (as Harry used to do when there illegally), and no one else seems to have cared that he was there. Moreover, when Umbridge found the list of D.A. members and was accusing them of illegal activity, she surely would have mentioned that one of the students was not allowed to be in Hogsmeade in the first place (unless she didn't notice Dennis's name).

1. In his announcement at the start-of-term feast:

The corners of Dumbledore's mouth twitched. He continued, "As ever, I would like to remind you all that the forest on the grounds is out-of-bounds to students, as is the village of Hogsmeade to all below third year.

  • While point 2 is possible, I think point 3 is trying too hard. Since the story is from Harry's POV, he might not know what Dennis had to do to get there. And as for Umbridge not calling him out--correct me if I'm wrong--but in the list of illegal things Umbridge had to go off of, breaking a school rule could easily get overlooked when compared to everything else. Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 18:20
  • @DCOPTimDowd To clarify, you're not disagreeing with point 3; you're disagreeing with the weakness of point 3.
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 17, 2018 at 18:36
  • I'm disagreeing with the strength Commented Dec 26, 2018 at 22:16
  • @DCOPTimDowd My point about Umbridge was that it presents a weakness of the theory that Dennis illegally snuck in, because if he really had done so then Umbridge would have mentioned that. Your first comment seemed to be challenging that point. You argued that even if it had been illegal Umbridge would not have mentioned it. That sounds like you're refuting the potential weakness that I brought up.
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 26, 2018 at 22:23
  • Yes. The weakness of that part, but the overall strength of point 3 as a possibility. Like I said, that one seems too far of a stretch. Commented Dec 26, 2018 at 22:40

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.