Harry had to explain his Occlumency lessons with Snape as "taking Remedial Potions" in OotP.

Was there any evidence in canon that any student, ever, actually had real remedial lessons on any subject?

(this arose because I started to wonder just how humiliating that would be for Harry, and one factor would be how many students had to do it).

  • 8
    Snape commented that nobody would find it hard to believe that Harry needed them, which suggests it was an actual thing that happened. If anybody had them in Harry's year it would have likely been Crabbe, Goyle or Neville, but I'm not sure there's any mentions in the books about them. – Anthony Grist Dec 4 '13 at 18:35
  • @AnthonyGrist - Circumstantial evidence, but solid enough to be an answer IMHO – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 4 '13 at 18:57
  • Did Lupin ever give a name to Harry’s classes in PoA? Would they be (charitably) called Remedial DADA? – alexwlchan Dec 4 '13 at 23:32
  • @alexwlchan - are you referring to what could charitably be called "giving graduate level classes to a 3d year" where he taught Harry to produce corporeal Patronus, a skill generally not available to most adults? :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 5 '13 at 1:46
  • @DVK: I was just musing about what Harry might have said if somebody asked him what he was doing with Lupin. :) – alexwlchan Dec 5 '13 at 8:47

The language used suggests that remedial lessons weren't an unheard of thing at Hogwarts, but there isn't much information about them, especially not enough to suggest how many students in each year may be taking them.

Snape says that nobody could deny Harry needs the extra lessons:

“I will expect you at six o’clock on Monday evening, Potter. My office. If anybody asks, you are taking remedial Potions. Nobody who has seen you in my classes could deny you need them.”

And Zacharias Smith didn't seem surprised at the concept when Harry mentioned he was taking remedial Potions:

“I’ll let you know in the usual way when the next one is,” Harry said over and over again, “but I can’t do it tonight, I’ve got to go to - er - remedial Potions.”

“You take remedial Potions!” asked Zacharias Smith superciliously, having cornered Harry in the Entrance Hall after lunch. “Good Lord, you must be terrible. Snape doesn’t usually give extra lessons, does he?”


In Order of the Phoenix chapter 29, during career counselling with Harry, Mr. McGonagall says

‘Potter,’ she said in ringing tones, ‘I will assist you to become an Auror if it is the last thing I do! If I have to coach you nightly, I will make sure you achieve the required results!’

She didn't eventually have to coach Harry, but I think this counts as evidence that remedial lessons are a possibility in Hogwarts.

  • The required results to become an auror are well above a simple pass. Would you really call extra lessons "remedial" if they're not about getting from a fail to a pass? – Peter Taylor Jan 11 '18 at 22:56

“Keep your voice down!” spat Snape, for Malfoy’s voice had

risen excitedly. “If your friends Crabbe and Goyle intend to pass

their Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. this time around, they

will need to work a little harder than they are doing at pres —”


involving students who need special help to improve in a particular subject

Looks like Crabbe and Goyle are taking Remedial lessons to be able to actually pass their owls, hence they are taking classes that covers years 1-5 in year 6. By my american education standards this would make you a year behind, and essentially put you in remedial classes.

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