We know that in order for third-years and up to be allowed to visit the village of Hogsmeade, they must present a form duly signed by their parent or guardian.

When Harry’s guardians, the Dursleys, miss their opportunity (!) to sign his, he is not allowed to go to Hogsmeade. Both Cornelius Fudge (as Minister for Magic) and Professor McGonagall (as head of Gryffindor House) refuse to sign the form on his guardians’ behalf—probably at least in part because they think there’s a mad killer on the loose looking for Harry, but also, as McGonagall specifically states, simply because:

“You heard what I said. No form, no visiting the village. That’s the rule. […] The form clearly states that the parent or guardian must give permission.”

Prisoner of Azkaban, Bloomsbury/UK paperback, p. 113

Obviously, Tom Riddle did not have any parents or guardians ready to sign his form for him: his mother was dead, his father likely did not even wish to know of his existence, and if he did have a legal guardian at all (I don’t know how orphanages worked in Britain in the 1930s), it was likely to be Mrs. Cole (warning: Wikia link) as the matron of Wool’s Orphanage where Riddle grew up. As Mrs. Cole was perfectly Muggle in every way and was never told by Dumbledore—nor, we must assume, by the boy himself—that Riddle was a wizard attending a wizardry school, it seems unlikely in the extreme that she ever signed Riddle’s form to visit Hogsmeade.1

I don’t recall any incidents in the books where Voldemort speaks specifically of him visiting Hogsmeade as a school boy (then again, why would he?); but being content to remain at the castle while his classmates have fun in the village seems quite out of character for him, too.

Are there any (canonical) indications whether special provisions were made for orphans with no legal guardians to sign, so that they were allowed to visit Hogsmeade after all? Or, oppositely, whether such cases were played strictly by the book and unguardianed orphans, and thereby Riddle, were not allowed to visit Hogsmeade?


1 One might of course easily envision that Riddle simply Confounded Mrs. Cole to sign the form; but that would lead to detection of underage magic (assuming this was even a thing in 1940). Riddle may of course have forged Mrs. Cole’s signature, but that would be rather likely to be discovered as a forgery, since at least Dumbledore was aware that Mrs. Cole did not know of Riddle’s magical abilities.

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    I'm pretty sure the short answer is "dunno"
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 11:06
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    For the record, his legal guardian was likely Mrs Cole.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 11:07
  • @Richard That’s as far as I’ve gotten, too. I can’t think of any indications either way—but as has happened many times before, someone else may have an unexpected nugget up their sleeve. :-) Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 11:07
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    @Richard Was he not? He was Harry’s godfather; do godparents not become legal guardians in the event of the death of the parents? I would think they do, at least as far as magic is concerned. (I doubt Hogwarts cares much about Muggle legalities here.) Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 11:25
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    @Richard More specifically, Sirius states in no uncertain terms that Lily and James appointed him Harry’s guardian—though he doesn't make it clear whether this was because he was Harry’s godfather or just in addition to it. If we’re dealing with UK law, obviously in addition; but the wizarding world has its own laws, too, which may differ. In fact, the fact that the Dursleys have no trouble getting Harry in school, etc., would indicate that we are talking about different laws: in the wizarding world, they were not Harry’s guardians, Sirius was. Commented Apr 17, 2015 at 12:12

1 Answer 1


I don't remember about in the books saying that Tom Riddle visited Hogsmeade while he was a student. Nevertheless it is plausible to assume that he both had the permission and did visit it.

How did he get the permissions?

Well as any other kid - by asking his/her parent or (in Tom's case) legal guardian. Mrs Cole may be a muggle and unaware of the actual nature of Hogwarts but this is not such a big problem. Tom could have just asked her to sign the permission while explaining that third years are allowed to visit the nearby village on certain days during the school year. Mrs Cole as any other guardian would have little reason to refuse the request unless Tom committed some major offense. It is safe to assume that he did not - his reputation was flawless during his stay at Hogwarts.

If Mrs Cole had some doubts or was afraid for the safety of the kid, then she could have written a letter to the school asking what is this village visit about. She (again as a legal guardian) was for sure provided an address to write to. The address itself might have been fake but the letter would have reached the intended recipient - the head of the house or the headmaster. The answer would be that the village is safe and the kids enjoy visiting it. Also it would state that Tom is an exemplary student and the school has no objections about him being allowed to do these visits.

Why would Tom Riddle / Voldemort visit the Hogsmeade

  • Out of curiosity as any other 13-14 year old kid would do
  • Because anything related to the magical world fascinates him
  • He might also hope to find some information about his parents/family there

So in general despite the lack of canon evidence, it is pretty safe to assume that Tom Riddle visited Hogsmeade during his school years.

  • I’m still not entirely convinced that Mrs. Cole (who is described as quite shrewd) would not be suspicious at a form from a school with such a blatantly non-Muggle name. The form itself (movie still, I’m guessing) has plenty of mentions of witchcraft and wizardry. I suppose this is as close as we’re likely to get to a canon answer, however, so I’ll accept it and live without absolute certainty. Commented Apr 20, 2015 at 15:45
  • Of course he did commit serious offences! But one could equally argue that he could manipulate her anyway. The question is would he want to go in the first place? I could see it both ways personally.
    – Pryftan
    Commented Apr 15, 2018 at 20:22
  • @Janus Bahs Jacquet maybe there are special forms for sending to Muggles who are parents and guardians of Hogwarts students, forms that don't mention magic. A lot of Muggle relatives of wizards know about magic but somehow keep such a big secret, but it is a good idea not to mention magic in documents sent to Muggles that other Muggles might happen to see. Commented Sep 2, 2018 at 14:27

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