In Philosopher’s Stone, when Hagrid introduces Quirrell, he says:

“…He was fine while he was studyin’ outta books but then took a year off ter get some first-hand experience…”

If Quirrell took a year off, this means that he was at Hogwarts more than a year ago. Voldemort cursed the DADA post when Dumbledore denied him as a teacher, so that nobody could stay in the position for more than a year.

So who was the DADA teacher in the year that Quirrell was gone?

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    It's possible that he was on another position before.. – Harley Quinn Dec 26 '14 at 2:44
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    @ruakh It's not a duplicate; the answer there doesn't tell us who was the DADA teacher before Quirrel. – Vixen Populi Dec 26 '14 at 8:10
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    Quirell was a Muggle Studies teacher before he took a year out. accio-quote.org/articles/2007/0730-bloomsbury-chat.html The only professor of DADA mentioned being in the position before Quirell was Galatea Merrythought (HBP, worked with Dipett, Dumbledore and Slughorn), but a Wikia search (I know, hardly conclusive) says he left the position in 1945 (though isn't cited as far as I can see), and Quirell started DADA in 1991 (Harry's first year), so there's quite a gap. – Mac Cooper Dec 26 '14 at 11:50
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    @MacCooper - seems enough for an answer – DVK-on-Ahch-To Dec 26 '14 at 14:54
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    This is a great question! – Slytherincess Dec 26 '14 at 21:31

J.K. Rowling clarified in an interview that Quirrell did not previously hold the Defense Against the Dark Arts position before Harry's first year:

Incidentally, I know some have asked about Quirrell with regard to this question [about the Defense Against the Dark Arts position being cursed]. He was teaching at Hogwarts for more than a year, but NOT in the post of D.A.D.A. teacher. He was previously Muggle Studies professor.

As for who was in the position before Quirrell, the short answer is that the individual has never been identified. There have only been nine DADA professors identified by name. Six were present during Harry's six years at Hogwarts (Quirrell, Lockhart, Lupin, Crouch, Umbridge, Snape), Alastor Moody accepted the position before being impersonated by Bartemius Crouch Jr., Amycus Carrow (a Death Eater) was installed during the time of The Deathly Hallows, and Galatea Merrythought was the teacher who retired while Tom Riddle was in school.

While J.K. Rowling alluded to a multi-year professor after the events of the story (thanks to the curse being lifted by the defeat of Voldemort), she never gave him or her a name. On the other end of the timeline, Rowling has never discussed, much less named, the professor before Quirrell.

So unless Rowling changes her mind and gives the individual a name, we will never know who the Defense Against the Dark Arts professor was before Quirrell. I suspect that it's not something she has ever considered herself, as the person served before Harry arrived at Hogwarts and she never intended that professor to have a legacy that would impact Harry or the others at Hogwarts.


The way that I understood what Hagrid said is that Quirrel was studying books on his own. It would seem in the Wizarding world that because there is such a small population of magical folk that everyone knows everyone else and their business, much like what you see in a small town. I do not believe that Quirrel held a position at Hogwarts but studied magical creatures in England, then took a year to travel and discover these creatures on his own.


i think there were no other teacher before quirell as he already had voldemort with him and from where i see voldemort might had a control over his curse which made it possible for quirell to stay as dada teacher for so long befire harry kill him

  • Another answer proves this is incorrect plus if he had a year off which means someone else had to have held the position during that time which is what the question is asking about. – TheLethalCarrot Dec 30 '20 at 19:32

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