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In the very first chapter of the very first book, we observe the following exchange between Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore:

"You think it -- wise -- to trust Hagrid with something as important as this?"

"I would trust Hagrid with my life," said Dumbledore.

Whew. Quite the bit of foreshadowing there! I mean, you can't say something like that, and then not have it happen somewhere in the series. It's basic storycraft, Chekhov's Gun material.

But as far as I can recall, he never actually did trust Hagrid with his life. When Dumbledore's life was at serious risk in "Half-Blood Prince", he put his trust in

Snape,

not Hagrid. And I can't recall another time where Dumbledore's life could seriously be said to be in danger, apart from the duel with Voldemort (which didn't involve Hagrid in any way). Dumbledore was driven out of Hogwarts twice, but his life could hardly be said to be in danger either time. He did trust Hagrid with important tasks, but did he ever actually trust Hagrid with his life?

  • Dumbledore put his life in the hand of Snape under a plan. Hagrid couldn't replace Snape because he was never a DE. – Avenge The Fallen Aug 30 '12 at 5:08
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    @SachinShekhar - I think Joe was referring more to Dumbledore going to Snape to fix (or slow) the curse from the ring Horcrux. In which case of course he'd need a potions master – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 30 '12 at 11:25
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    Frankly, I don't think this can be answered based on current canon. We don't know of any situation where his life was in danger other than 4 (Ministry battle in OotP, Horcrux curse in HBP; the Horcrux cave in HBP and Astronomy Tower in HBP). In the first one, it's not clear that it was threatened at all; in the second he would have been useless skill wise; in the third, he could not be brought into the cave being an adult (and could not be told the truth bout Horcruxes anyway); and the last, Dumbledore meant to die so Hagrid would have been a hindrance to that plan due to his devotion. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Aug 30 '12 at 13:51
  • I'm glad you guys are confirming that it's not just something obvious that I missed somehow. Unless someone finds an interview quote from JKR, I'd be perfectly willing to accept "not that we ever see in the books" as an authoritative answer, particularly if it's rounded out with good details like @DVK's comment. – Joe White Aug 31 '12 at 3:38
  • I wouldn't agree that it's a violation of basic storycraft. The Dumbledore-Hagrid connection needs to be strong but it's not a major thread in the overall story. The other connection, in your spoiler, is central to the story. So she simply describes (via Dumbledore) the first connection, while she illustrates the second. – Wayne Mar 3 '14 at 15:05
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I searched Accio quote and the books and didn't notice anything.

Frankly, I don't think this can be answered based on current canon.

We don't know of any situation where his life was in danger other than 4 cases that just don't apply for various reasons:

  • Ministry Atrium battle with Voldemort in OotP

    Not clear that it was threatened at all in the first place, and Hagrid was (IIRC) on a mission to giants at the time anyway.

  • Horcrux curse in HBP

    Hagrid would have been useless skill wise. This needed Snape (and even Snape wasn't wholly successful).

    Though, frankly, this is one case where Hagrid would have come in handy. Not AFTER the curse, but because he (since the Horcrux was not a "fun" animal) may have counceled Dumbledore to be careful.

    However, Dumbledore was very adamant that nobody but Harry know about Horcrux search, so he would have clearly NOT wanted Hagrid there.

  • The Horcrux cave in HBP

    First, same objection as #2 - Hagrid was not supposed to find out about Horcrux search.

    Also, possibly he could not be brought into the cave, being an adult wizard (debatable due to his magical powers that were rather low).

  • Astronomy Tower in HBP

    Dumbledore meant to die so Hagrid would have been a hindrance to that plan due to his devotion.

  • I think Hagrid was actually at this point back but he had been sacked and went into hiding as the Ministry tried to arrest him (and they stunned McGonagall). I believe he was in the cave Sirius hid in in GOF. But Dumbledore's life wasn't at danger here anyway. . As for point #3 you're right - he couldn't have been at the cave. But also I always got the impression it was a training for Harry: after all much more would come for Harry and although he didn't know he was about to lose Dumbledore he definitely needed that experience even if Hagrid could have been there. – Pryftan Jan 8 '18 at 22:02
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In the Order of the Phoenix, Hagrid appears to be the only person who knows the whereabouts of Dumbledore since he managed to go straight to him when he was kicked out of the school, I guess before this he could have been relying on Hagrid to keep him safe or secret? But either JK didn't see the need to share this with us or it isn't canon, it is however the only situation I can think of in which he /could/ entrust his life to Hagrid.

2

Perhaps this is stretching things a little but I'd argue that Dumbledore consistently trusted Hagrid with his life, as well as with the rest of Hogwarts, by giving him the job of Keeper of Keys and Grounds. This gives Hagrid responsibilities for external security of the school and presumably discretion on who's allowed in and who isn't. Hogwarts faced threats from external aggressors on multiple occasions, most notably from Sirius Black (who was at least perceived as a threat at the time) in year 3 and the Death Eaters in year 6. Dumbledore was a talented dueller and a prestigious wizard but presumably would be just as vulnerable to a nighttime attack whilst he was asleep as anyone else. If Sirius was able to break into the Gryffindor common room then he could probably have broken into Dumbledore's quarters too. Dumbledore therefore trusted not only his own safety but that of the castle at large to Hagrid. Quite some responsibility.

I'd also argue that as Hagrid and Dumbledore were both members of the Order of the Phoenix they must have put their lives in one another's hands to one extent or another. For instance, Dumbledore trusted Hagrid (amongst others) with the knowledge of 12 Grimmauld Place's existence, thereby letting him inside the parameters of the Fidelius Charm. An accidental slip of the tongue by Hagrid to the wrong person could have led to a compromise of the Order's security. Even though Dumbledore could generally look after himself he may have struggled to survive an unexpected assault on Grimmauld Place by Voldemort and a gang of Death Eaters. In that sense, he placed his life in Hagrid's hands whenever he set foot in that house.

  • It's not a stretch in the slightest. I had a similar thought but you fleshed it out much more. Not that I think he'd be fearful of Voldemort and a bunch of Death Eaters anywhere as he clearly took care of both in year 5 (perhaps if Dumbledore wasn't able to dispose the others first maybe but I always got the impression they were afraid of him too and if Voldemort was afraid of him then you'd expect his Death Eaters to be too even if they don't know that Voldemort was afraid of Dumbledore). – Pryftan Jan 8 '18 at 22:07

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