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We all know Umbridge loathes Harry, but is there any indication whether she would have killed him (or had him killed) if the opportunity had presented itself?

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  • I can't imagine what Voldemort would do if she had killed Harry instead of him. I do not think Umbridge would be too keen on finding out that one either. Oct 12, 2021 at 18:32
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    VTC: This is question seeks opinion-based answers.
    – Lexible
    Oct 12, 2021 at 18:43
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    @Lexible - I disagree. There's ample textual evidence that she's not likely to commit murder, even when it would have benefited her
    – Valorum
    Oct 12, 2021 at 20:45

2 Answers 2

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Nope. There's no point at which she would outright kill him, even if the opportunity arose (which it did on many, many occasions).

That being said, she's perfectly happy to put him into dangerous situations where death might occur.


The Ministry Years (1993 - 1995)

The first time she encounters him (as a threat to her position at the Ministry) she tries to dispose of him non-lethally, by sending Dementors after him. She's equally happy to discredit him as to cause him to lose his marbles as long as he's out of the picture. There's no good indication that she wants to kill him, although I think it's fair to say that if he'd somehow died in the encounter, she wouldn't have shed a tear.

‘Somebody had to act,’ breathed Umbridge, as her wand came to rest pointing directly at Harry’s forehead. ‘They were all bleating about silencing you somehow – discrediting you – but I was the one who actually did something about it … only you wriggled out of that one, didn’t you, Potter? Not today though, not now –’ And taking a deep breath, she cried, ‘Cruc—’

As Professor and Headteacher at Hogwarts (1995 - 1997)

When she's teaching him (and latterly as headmaster of Hogwarts), she has nearly endless opportunities to 'accidentally' kill him, blame it on a student, blame it on one of the castle's various hazards, dispose of the body and claim that it's all a big mystery, claim that he attacked her and that she was forced to defend herself, etc etc. She doesn't, though. She just tries to make him compliant.

‘Evening, Professor Umbridge,’ Harry said stiffly.

‘Well, sit down,’ she said, pointing towards a small table draped in lace beside which she had drawn up a straight-backed chair. A piece of blank parchment lay on the table, apparently waiting for him.

["Avada Kedavra!" she cried, killing Harry instantly with the wand she'd confiscated from Hargrid's umbrella.]٭

Back to the Ministry (1997+)

After returning to the Ministry, she heads up the Muggle-Born Registration Commission. She doesn't appear to have any special desire to kill anyone, including Harry, although if the opportunity presented itself to send him to Azkaban, she would presumably have no compunction about doing so. Again, if he died resisting arrest I dare say she'd smirk a little, but she's not sending death squads out to kill him.

Even in the films, the posters she's seen mailing out don't call for his death, only information about his whereabouts, so that he can be arrested and tried.


٭ Note that this doesn't actually happen.

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    I'd argue that sending Dementors to Kiss Harry is way way worse than killing him.
    – IloneSP
    Oct 12, 2021 at 14:37
  • @Roberto - It's not clear what her intentions were. She's evidently pretty happy whether he gets caught and kissed, defends himself (futilely) or defends himself (successfully)
    – Valorum
    Oct 12, 2021 at 14:41
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    It's been a very long time since I read the books. Where does the "["Avada Kedavra!" she cried, killing him with the wand she'd confiscated from Hargrid's umbrella.]" portion of the 2nd quote come from? I'd have thought that might stick out in my mind, but it doesn't.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 12, 2021 at 16:57
  • @FreeMan I never read that part of the book, but seeing that it was written in [square brackets], I started wondering if that was part of the story or if Valorum invented a situation in which she could have done it if she truly wanted to kill him. Either way, I found it both confusing and amusing.
    – Clockwork
    Oct 12, 2021 at 20:30
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    @FreeMan - I was highlighting that there's umpteen times when she has him completely at her mercy and could have killed him. But yes, I invented that bit.
    – Valorum
    Oct 12, 2021 at 20:38
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Umbridge tried to Soul-Assassinate Harry with Dementors,

Harry's soul being sucked out by a Dementor

She tortured him with a Blood Quill,

Harry's hand with cuts and scars made from the quill

She threatened to use the Cruciatis Curse on him,

Umbridge threatening Harry

Then she was the highest ranking non-imperiused official at the Ministry under Voldemort’s reign when it issued a “Wanted, Dead or Alive” style reward for Harry.

Harry's wanted poster

So yep!

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    Umbridge is probably not so much feeling murderous as she is feeling of pique or resentment at some often fancied slight or insult. Oct 12, 2021 at 11:34
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    None of these things indicate a desire to kill him. And the poster doesn't say "dead or alive", it says that they want info about his whereabouts.
    – Valorum
    Oct 12, 2021 at 13:32
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    Interesting that this (currently) has 2 up votes, while this nearly identical answer is at -4. They've got the same examples, this one just includes pictures.
    – FreeMan
    Oct 12, 2021 at 16:58
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    @FreeMan One might question whether or not the pictures (albeit coming from the movies) can serve as a way to prove that it truly happened, rather than just random speculations. But yeah, I see what you mean.
    – Clockwork
    Oct 12, 2021 at 20:32
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    @FreeMan - Well, the other came after and is basically a duplicate, which would explain the downvotes. Note that this one isn't doing too well either, largely because it doesn't actually answer the question asked. The other one also has that problem.
    – Valorum
    Oct 12, 2021 at 20:48

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