Are there any examples in canon that show Dumbledore attending to the welfare of a Hogwarts student in as caring a way as he looked after Harry and, covertly, Draco Malfoy?

I almost want to include Tom Riddle Jr on the list above, as well, but Dumbledore didn't keep an eye on Tom Riddle out of altruism. Dumbledore was suspicious of Tom Riddle's psychopathy, and kept a close watch on Riddle accordingly.

Are there any other students¹ Dumbledore reached out to, or did he leave that to the Heads of Houses? If indeed he did show concern and caring towards another student, how did he demonstrate this?

★ I do not prefer an answer from the HP Wikia or the Wikipedia.

¹Students from any era during which Dumbledore was Headmaster of Hogwarts are eligible for any answer to this question.

  • Why the downvotes? Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 14:55
  • @DVK I'm not one of the down voters, but they could feel the question is too basic, and thus indicates a lack of research.
    – Wipqozn
    Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 16:48
  • @Wipqozn -- Well, downvotes are just par for the course. It's part of SE and you just have to accept them (even when I don't want to!). You don't know me well; I see you're new to the site (Welcome, btw). But I wouldn't put up a question that I hadn't researched. That said, I have absolutely missed things that were very important during the research process. I always make sure to ask questions I'm truly curious about and that can't be found as the first hit on page one of a Google query. :) Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 4:51
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    Downvoters were clearly supporters of He Whom We Do Not Name. Commented May 31, 2015 at 6:45
  • Note to the editors : "The Capital Case Every Word in a Question" has been accepted in meta so there is no point in removing them
    – Kalissar
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 14:40

4 Answers 4



One example was Neville. Dumbledore both told Harry about Neville's past so someone could have a basis of treating him better than a squibby loser (and Harry was a perfect person to tell as he could share Neville's pain). BUT he also asked Harry not to spread that story around, since that could do damage to Neville as well.

Another example was his covering for Ginny Weasley to make sure the Chamber of Secrets was explicitly blamed on Riddle and not her.

Another one was obviously Hagrid, whom he convinced prior headmaster to hire after expulsion from school (thanks @b_jonas for clarification)

But remember that he only cared about Big Things. He only cared about Malfoy as far as not making Malfoy into a murderer with broken soul.

And he didn't really show all that much care about Harry's emotional well-being, for a good reason: Harry had to be tempered and trained for his destiny, not coddled.

Remember, his job was running the school AND destroying Voldemort, not showing random acts of caring towards the students. An hour spent seeing to comfort of Dean Thomas was an hour NOT spent hunting down Horcruxes.

A very good fictional equivalent would be Colonel Graff from Ender's Game. He deeply cared about Ender. Which didn't stop him from acting in the worst way possible as a human being to get Ender to save the Human Race.

  • 4
    About Hagrid, it's the latter. In Chamber chapter 16, memory Riddle says ‘Only the Transfiguration teacher, Dumbledore, seemed to think Hagrid was innocent. He persuaded Dippet to keep Hagrid and train him as gamekeeper. […]’
    – b_jonas
    Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 21:23
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    I hadn't even thought about Ginny, so good call on that. I dunno. It's always just stuck out in my mind that night on the Astronomy Tower where Draco has him at wandpoint, and Dumbledore says (paraphrase), "Let me help you." And it's like, why didn't he offer to help when it could've really mattered? By that point, Draco's immediate future had already been decided. And why would Draco trust Dumbledore? That's just one example. I just don't know how authentic that show of caring was (to Draco, that is). :) Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 4:59
  • @DVK Didn't he only start looking for Horcruxes after the Chamber of Secrets? He was headmaster for a good long time before that...
    – chama
    Commented Nov 30, 2012 at 16:52
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    Wow, I never heard about Ender's Game but will surely look into this, 'cause it sounds amazing !
    – Kalissar
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 13:37
  • @chama I think you're kind of missing the forest through the trees there. Commented Nov 28, 2017 at 4:23

Besides the examples DVK mention, there's also young Remus Lupin. In Prisoner chapter 18, Lupin explains the lengths the new Headmaster Dumbledore had gone to ensure Lupin could stay in Hogwarts safely. He's had the Shrieking Shack built, together with a tunnel and the Whomping Willow. Let's take Lupin's own summary on how grateful he was for all this.

‘[…] and Dumbledore's trust has meant everything to me. He let me into Hogwarts as a boy, and he gave me a job, when I have been shunned all my adult life, unable to find paid work because of what I am. […]’

We also know that Dumbledore has cared about Ron as well. Quoting Hallows chapter 20:

‘[…] He [Dumbledore] knew what he was doing when he gave me the Deluminator, didn't he? He – well,’ Ron's ears turned bright red and he became engrossed in a tuft of grass at his feet, which he prodded with his toe, ‘he must've known I'd run out on you.’

‘No,’ Harry corrected him. ‘He must've known you'd always want to come back.’

Btw, does offering food to the first-year boy Derek during the Christmas dinner in Prisoner chapter 11 count as showing concern and caring? :-)

  • 2
    I'd chalk up Ron to "cared about the mission" more than "about a student", but the Remus example is excellent. +1 Commented Nov 19, 2012 at 16:04
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    I also really like your examples of Remus Lupin and Dumbledore caring for him. +1 Commented Nov 22, 2012 at 4:54

To the other examples listed I would add this one:

Professor Umbridge seized Marietta, pulled her round to face her and began shaking her very hard. A split second later Dumbledore was on his feet, his wand raised; Kingsley started forwards and Umbridge leapt back from Marietta, waving her hands in the air as though they had been burned.

"I cannot allow you to manhandle my students, Dolores," said Dumbledore and, for the first time, he looked angry.

Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 27, The Centaur and the Sneak

I don't know whether or not the question is implying that Dumbledore only had time for or showed compassion for people who weren't 'prize students'. I think it's clear that Dumbledore cared about all his students, even if he only came face-to-face with a handful of them. Marietta Edgecombe certainly wasn't on his radar of people who will be critical in defeating Voldemort. But when he saw Umbridge attacking her in front of him he immediately put a stop to it and indeed was visibly angry.

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    This is an excellent example - if I remember rightly, this is the second time Dumbledore ever uses his wand aggressively (the first being when he blows Imposter Moody's office door open at the end of GoF), and the first time he ever issues a threat towards anyone. Bear in mind that this man has been repeatedly insulted, threatened and mocked throughout the series, and shrugs it all off with a smile. But threaten the students under his care...
    – DavidS
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 13:43
  • Excellent. This answer gets at the heart of the question here imo.
    – nexus_2006
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 14:01
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    "Of course i don't know her by name, as she isnt one of my gryffindors, and if you have to torture someone, Dolores, do it in your private office pls as you do when you use that ghastly quill of yours, then i could pretend I've no idea what's happening in my school. I am pretty good at ignoring stuff like tgst by now, receiving regular reports about child abuse from mrs Frigg for ten years."
    – user68762
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 21:53
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    @WillRosenberg Are you suggesting that Dobby was a double agent...? :) Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 9:47
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    Sure. Have you seen those socks of his? That's coded knitting. Why do you think Dumbledore is interesred in knitting patterns in HBP, hm? Elves are everywhere, inconspicuous. They collect information right under your sorry excuse for a nose, Voldemort x)
    – user68762
    Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 12:05

"Please do not suggest that I do not take the safety of my students seriously, Harry." -- Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter name: The Seer Overheard.

'Nuff said :)

  • 2
    ...because i absolutely do. If i had any idea who gave a cursed necklace to Katie Bell or poisoned Weasley, I'd totally do something about it.
    – user68762
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 21:46

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