In "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", from Snape's memory that Harry views, we learn that Dumbledore had misgivings about Quirrell, when he said to Snape:

Keep an eye on Quirrell, won't you?

If he knew something was off, why not remove him from a very sensitive position of teaching DADA to kids?

  • 12
    "“Knowing where the trap is—that’s the first step in evading it." - Duke Leto Atredies
    – K-H-W
    Commented Sep 23, 2012 at 23:33
  • he used to be the muggle studies teacher, but dumbledore gave him the DADA job bc he knew it was cursed and wanted to remove him from hogwarts.
    – ava
    Commented Mar 12, 2021 at 23:29

2 Answers 2


He is unlikely to have thought, at that point, that Quirrell was posing a direct danger to the students. I expect he would have removed him immediately if he had.

Therefore Dumbledore was giving Quirrell enough rope to hang himself with. He wanted Quirrell to proceed with what he was doing in an attempt to gather intelligence in case there was a bigger force at work behind it. Dumbledore had full confidence in his abilities and probably thought he would be able to stop Quirrell at any point if he truly needed to.


Bearing in mind that this was from The Deathly Hallows, and was therefore written after The Sorcerer's Stone, telling someone to keep an eye on someone is nowhere near the same as removing someone from their job.

When I worked in retail and saw a suspicious customer come in, I would tell the employees to "keep an eye on them". I didn't kick them out of the store. Similarly, Dumbledore had an idea that something fishy was going on (as is apparent in his quote), however if he suspected the truth, I am sure he would have taken much more action than having Snape "keep an eye" on Quirrell.

  • 2
    They'd also been having a hard time keeping DADA professors, so when Harry goes to Hogwarts Dumbledore is probably just taking what he can get and is more inclined to leniency for the professors he has.
    – Tacroy
    Commented Sep 24, 2012 at 3:49

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.