As I remember from the first Harry Potter movie, Dumbledore gave points based on things that did not happen in front of him. Was he able to track and see everyone and everything at Hogwarts?

Was there any privacy for students at Hogwarts?

  • 1
    I have not personally attended a boarding school, but from what I read very little privacy exists even in those of the non-magical variety.
    – John O
    Dec 7, 2013 at 23:32
  • I see two potentially good questions here: 1 "Could Dumbledore see events, even if he was not physically present?" 2 "Did the Students at Hogwarts have privacy since dorms and so on are shared?"
    – Möoz
    May 29, 2014 at 5:29

3 Answers 3


Professor Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore (had to do it, sorry) awarded the House Points with the information he saw first-hand, received through the professors and gleaned through the general gossip of Hogwarts. “What happened down in the dungeons between you and Professor Quirrell is a complete secret, so, naturally the whole school knows.”

So no, he was not always watching. Sometimes he wasn't even at the school.

  • 4
    That's what he WANTS you to think... Mar 9, 2014 at 12:59

I think there is little privacy regardless of magic, as they share rooms with four other people, and they have a relatively small amount of free time. However, I think Dumbledore didn't track everything or even know everything. In the fourth book, he says something about how he doesn't profess to know all the secrets of Hogwarts, continuing to say, "Only this morning, for instance, I took a wrong turning on the way to the bathroom and found myself in a beautifully proportioned room I have never seen before..." He goes on to say this room was filled with chamber pots.
This room was, as we learn in the fifth book, the Room of Requirement, and, although it is hard to find, I do not believe Dumbledore would have been oblivious to it had he been tracking everything and everyone.
Also, it would be incredibly hard for anyone to track hundreds of students, elves, and teachers at all times.


I believe that it says somewhere that the portraits and ghosts keep an eye on things and report to the Headmaster.

Certainly the "Fat Lady" is able to offer more than mere catchphrases;

  • Can you offer a canon quote to confirm this?
    – Valorum
    Mar 9, 2014 at 13:51
  • Unfortunately, I can't remember where I saw it. Mar 13, 2014 at 22:27

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