I haven't read the books in a long time, but I was interested by Did Voldemort actually curse the job of Defense Against Dark Arts professor after being denied the position? and similar questions so I figured I'd ask.

If Voldemort cursed the DADA position, why did he then try to use that position as leverage?

According to the answer to Was Quirrell the Defense against the Dark Arts teacher for more than one year?, Quirrell was previously the Muggle Studies teacher, until he met Voldemort and returned as DADA teacher. Now, I can understand Voldemort not wanting to have to hang around while Quirrell does his Muggle Studies classes, but surely moving Quirrell to a job that Voldemort cursed is... kind of a stupid idea. In such a weakened state, surely Voldemort would have been better off bearing with the Muggle Studies until he got his hands on the Philosopher's Stone. After all, what if it took more than one year to reach it?

This then happens again in book four, when Barty Crouch Jr. infiltrated the school, posing as Moody. Surely it would have been more reliable to post him as a teacher in a subject not carrying that one-year-max curse on it.

It seems odd to me that Voldemort would put his minions in a position that he cursed himself. Did he have a particular reason for doing this, or was it just an oversight, blinded by the thoughts of success?

  • 1
    "or was it just an oversight, blinded by the thoughts of success?" read: "or was it just poor storywriting?". I'm not suggesting it was poor storywriting, just that if that was a bad idea, most of the culprit would have been on the author, rather than on the character.
    – o0'.
    Jun 15, 2014 at 17:15
  • I would like to see Voldemort attempting to blend in as a Muggle Studies prof. Two thoughts, he may have been immune (or possibly thought he would be immune) to his own curse, or realized that he would blow his cover if he attempted to keep Quirrel's old job and felt it was worth the risk.
    – kleineg
    Jun 16, 2014 at 13:56

2 Answers 2


Yes, it was an excellent idea;

  • Cursing the DADA position gives Voldemort the opportunity to infiltrate potential allies into Hogwarts on a yearly basis. Prior to his curse, it appears that promotion was a slow affair, relying (literally) on the principle of dead men's shoes.

  • If the position was regularly filled and held by a long-term tutor, it's likely that the students would receive a more consistent and presumably more ambitious teaching programme that would better equip them to fight against the Death Eaters once they left the school. For example, in the years 1992-5 there were zero students with sufficient training to become Aurors.

  • The DADA Master should be a key ally of Dumbledore's in the fight against evil. Having a yearly replacement essentially blocks the school from having a strong offensive magician on the staff. Case in point is Lockhart, a man with almost no talent whatsoever.

  • It's a persistent annoyance to Dumbledore. Evidently he spends a long time each year trying to recruit tutors for a position that's known to be cursed.

  • It diminishes the reputation of the school to have it widely known that the school can't keep hold of a DADA tutor.

  • It probably amuses Voldemort each time he hears that Hogwarts has lost yet another DADA teacher, especially since he was turned down for the role twice.

  • 4
    I'm curious where does the "in 1992-5 there were zero students with sufficient training to become aurors" come from? I don't remember this being mentioned in the books. I guess I'm also a bit unsure about when 1992 falls with respect to Harry's year at Hogwarts.
    – Alex B
    Jun 16, 2014 at 16:28
  • 1
    @alexb - harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Auror
    – Valorum
    Jun 16, 2014 at 16:44
  • 15
    ". It's a difficult career path, Potter, they only take the best. In fact, I don't think anybody has been taken on in the last three years.' Chapter 29 - Career Advice (OotP)
    – Valorum
    Jul 18, 2014 at 12:19
  • 6
    I'd like to note...the point about the passing rate of Aurors is quite contentious. In the same book (OotP), Chapter 3 - The Advance Guard, we have this quote from Tonks: "Kingsley is [an Auror] as well; he's a bit higher up than I am, though. I only qualified a year ago." (emphasis added). #JkrIsBadAtMath
    – skytreader
    Jan 15, 2015 at 18:19
  • 7
    @skytreader Tonks might refer to the end of her training as auror. The Ministry likely won't assume that Hogwarts graduates are already fit for active duty.
    – MauganRa
    Feb 1, 2016 at 16:59

The first thing is, the DADA job is the opening which has more chances of needing a new teacher (owing to the jinx); maybe when Quirrel came back there weren't any other openings available

Probably the situation was similar when Barty Crouch Jr came to Hogwarts, but at that time, he was posing as Moody, so there's not many other options for him

As for taking longer than 1 year, I don't think Voldemort would make his plans in such a way that he would have to be hiding in Hogwarts for years and years while Dumbledore is in power. It should be noted that he is scared of Dumbledore and so probably would not want to be around him too long. He knew while he was a student that Dumbledore understood him more than anyone else, so he would have to careful he does not get discovered while at Hogwarts, and so wouldn't want to be around him too long

Whether Voldemort remembered the jinx he put on the job or not, it does not really matter for him, because he would be successful within the year if his plan worked, or would have to leave his follower and go into hiding if he didn't. In any case, it doesn't matter to him what happens to his follower

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