We all know that Voldemort had cursed the DADA job (or if he didn't do it explicitely, that he has at least the knowledge about this job beeing cursed because nobody has been able to keep this job for more than a year since 1957).

Then why did he choose to send some of his best allies to occupy this cursed job, knowing that they would probably fail in their mission because of this curse?

Maybe he could have made a try with Professor Quirrel, to see what happens; but even after this first failure, he keeps going on on that downward road: Barty Crouch Jr. (as Mad-Eye Moody), Dolores Umbridge, Severus Snape and finally, Amycus Carrow; all of them bringing on a failure in one or other way.

How many failures does it take before recognising that sending one of your allies to occupy a cursed job is most likely not a good thing?

  • 11
    The curse is in regards to them keeping the job for more than a year, not failing whatever secret mission they may have.
    – phantom42
    May 8, 2015 at 15:02
  • 8
    Umbridge was a terrible piece of work, but not a Death Eater. And we don’t know if the Carrows died because of the DADA curse, or just got unlucky – I think it’s unknown whether the DADA curse transferred to their new Dark Arts course.
    – alexwlchan
    May 8, 2015 at 15:15
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    @phantom42: that would make it a pretty weak vengeance if all this curse was about was simply to get a new teacher each year and this, without any bad side effect. In fact, it's hard to imagine how this curse could take effect without any such bad side effect. Do you think that this curse would have been fulfilled if Dumbledore simpled asked each DADA teacher at the end of the year to come to his office and tell him that he must now exchange is job with another teacher? Personnally, I've seen worst curses and vengeances than that.
    – SylvainL
    May 8, 2015 at 16:28
  • 2
    Weak curse or not, that's how it worked.
    – phantom42
    May 8, 2015 at 16:51
  • Eh... I don't know. Can you count the Carrows who were bested by the teenagers Luna and Harry - one of his best? Not only did Luna make sure to immediately stun the sister (never can remember which is which - or is that which witch is which?) - enough to scare her brother - but Harry knocked the brother unconscious (then pointed out that he understood now what Bellatrix meant two years prior) and then McGonagall cast Imperio on the siblings and disabled them for the entire battle.
    – Pryftan
    Jul 27, 2018 at 22:24

3 Answers 3


Before year seven, Voldemort did not send his associated as DADA teachers himself.

Quirrel was already a teacher at Hogwarts before he was possessed by Voldemort. Lockhart was not associated with Voldemort, neither was Lupin.

Barty Crouch Jr. being at Hogwarts was a crucial part of Voldemorts return plan. So sending Crouch to teach the cursed subject was a comparatively small sacrifice for getting back a proper body.

Umbridge was not directly sent by Voldemort, but by the ministry trying to control Dumbledore. Also, she was not an associate of Voldemort.

Snape always wanted to teach DADA, he was not send by Voldemort to teach it.

In the last year of the series, the school is basically run by dark wizards. As such, it would not fit their agenda to have a subject like Defense Agains Dark Arts. So DADA was cancelled that year and instead, a subject named Dark Arts was added, teaching the practice of dark arts instead of defenses agains it. As such, the position was not cursed, as it was a separate subject.

Additionally, Voldemort himself could of course have lifted the curse if he wanted to.

  • I think maybe you meant to answer this question.
    – phantom42
    May 8, 2015 at 15:05
  • I rephrased my answer a bit, now it fits this question better, I think.
    – Lars Ebert
    May 8, 2015 at 15:08
  • Also, it is never made clear what the actual curse is (if there is any)
    – algiogia
    May 8, 2015 at 15:43
  • In regard to Barty Jr., the job was cursed to keep a teacher from staying more than a year--the teachers themselves weren't cursed. Even if they had been, I think it's an open question whether the curse would have primarily applied to Barty (who taught) or Moody (the actual teacher). Both certainly had some unpleasant experiences that year.
    – E. J.
    May 8, 2015 at 15:54
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    Even if it's Snape that wanted the job, we can still wonder why Voldemort would accept that he takes it; knowing that it would bring bad luck not only on Snape but also on his mission. Furthermore, why would Snape, Umbridge and Lockart want this job, knowing that it would bring a big failure at the end of the school year? This is even truer in the case of Lockart, for which his reputation was the most important thing. Why would Lockart have wanted to take this job, knowing that it will baldly end and tarnish his reputation?
    – SylvainL
    May 8, 2015 at 17:09

Voldemort just cares about himself. He doesn't care if there are casualties in the process of getting what he wants. He killed Snape so that the elder wand would work for him, so why not have Barty Crouch Jr. take up a dangerous job? He was a loyal Death Eater, but not a powerful one And Umbridge wasn't one of his servants.

"she's evil enough to be one" "yes, but the world isn't split into good people and death eaters."

He needed someone inside Hogwarts to get the stone, and all he had at the time was Quirrle, so there was no alternative there.

Snape was originally just supposed to teach at Hogwarts. There was no job specified. Snape just preferred DADA.

As for Amycus Carrow, it's the same thing as with barty crouch Jr. They were expendable. Also, Voldemort had near complete control of Hogwarts at that point, so there wasn't really anything to worry about.

  • Barty (with Wormtail) was able to subdue and imprison Moody, and successfully impersonate him for the better part of a year. I'm pretty sure he was both a loyal and powerful Death Eater.
    – KSmarts
    May 8, 2015 at 15:55
  • they snuck up on moody. it wasn't skill, it was luck and power in numbers. May 8, 2015 at 16:05
  • It's not just about casualties but it's also about everything that a curse can bring on to you, all the harm that it can do on whatever you are doing and everone else that you might be involved with. By sending him to take this job, Voldemort might have bring a curse not only over Quirrel but also over everything else he will have to do and anything else associated with it; including Voldemort himself.
    – SylvainL
    May 8, 2015 at 18:04
  • @SylvainL Voldemort wouldn't think like that; nobody like him would! He used them as disposable objects - this is blatantly shown and it's exactly in his very nature! He used people as do all psychopaths; and because of magic he can even force people to do things - and some cowards will just join anyway!
    – Pryftan
    Jul 27, 2018 at 22:30

Because they were never meant to be long-term spies.

Let's go through the list you gave one by one. While we do this, remember - Voldemort cares nothing for anyone else, only himself and his own goals. Furthermore, keep in mind the DADA curse seems to only come into effect as the year draws to a close - it's purpose is to stop someone holding the job for MORE than a year, not stop them midway.

  • Quirrel - Voldemort needed to infiltrate Hogwarts. If all had gone to plan Voldemort would have been back to full power before the year was up. At that point Quirrel is expendable.
  • Crouch - Similar to the Quirrel situation, but inverted. Voldemort needed someone inside Hogwarts to extract Harry. The plan pretty much worked, though Harry escaped and in doing so exposed Crouch. Harry was never meant to return alive, so Crouch would have survived (in theory).
  • Umbridge - Not working for Voldemort, not a Death Eater.
  • Snape - Made DADA professor by Dumbledore, not Voldemort. It's likely Dumbledore suspected Snape would have to declare his "true allegiance" that year, with the whole "kill me" thing, so he wasn't risking much, since the odds of Snape returning next year were...slim.
  • The Carrows- They didn't teach DADA. They taught DA. Students had to perform unforgivable curses on each other. Not the same job, no curse.

So, in total, Voldemort only ever sent two followers to teach DADA, neither of whom needed to survive to the next year for his plans to be accomplished.

And if you want a twist on the argument (warning, time loop)...

...had Voldemorts plans been successful he would have returned in total stealth. With no-one prepared, he could possibly have launched his Ministry coup within that year, winning the war before it had begun. Meaning he takes over Hogwarts, gets rid of the DADA position, and thus the Quirrel or Crouch could return as the DA professor. This result means that the curse would never be triggered in the first place. Which means he would succeed and return in total stealth. Which means...oh dear, I've gone cross-eyed.

  • The purpose of a curse is to bring (very) bad luck to its bearer. By how much such a curse can act is unknown but may extend pretty far enough; well beyond the minimum that one might think. In the case of Quirrel, it's perfectly logical to think that Voldemort's plan has failed precisely because of that: because he had employed someone who has become cursed because of his take as a DADA teacher and therefore, had also brings on his malediction over to everything else he was doing or involved with; including Voldemort himself.
    – SylvainL
    May 8, 2015 at 17:55
  • I disagree- the curse stops someone being a DADA teacher for more than a year. It does not just cause "bad luck". For example, Crouch was completely successful in his mission, only being caught afterwards. If he was cursed to failure, he never have gotten Harry to the centre of the maze. Similarly, Snape being forced to flee was not "bad luck" on his part - the plan to have him kill Dumbledore worked practically perfectly. All we know for sure of the curse is that the DADA teacher won't be around next year, and as I pointed out Voldemort's plans didn't need his spies around more than one year.
    – DavidS
    May 11, 2015 at 8:52
  • (not that I disagree with your sentiments, the situation his hardly ideal. But given Voldemort's limited options...)
    – DavidS
    May 11, 2015 at 8:55
  • When you curse something, you are doing for vengeance, not for going into the fine points. I don't believe that this curse will limit itself to the strict minimum required to stop you being the DADA teacher for a second year; as the effect of a curse are more or less impredictable. In some years, it might do so but on other years, it might go as far as killing you; even if a lesser solution would have been possible. However, my problem here is not with the effect of the curse itself but with the fact that Voldemort would have created it; as I don't think that he had that power at that time.
    – SylvainL
    May 12, 2015 at 20:00
  • 1
    Almost everyone has made this same point but you seem to have picked a position and are sticking with it, all evidence to the contrary. But if you wish, here's a final point of consideration - who says Voldemort didn't lift the curse in 1st and 4th year? You can just say he did, it doesn't change anything. Neither Quirrel nor Crouch are required to be cursed to die, they die because of...well, the events of their respective books.
    – DavidS
    May 13, 2015 at 9:16

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