I was reading the question on whether Dumbledore knew Lockhart was a fraud (Did Dumbledore know Lockhart was a fraud?) and the consensus was that Dumbledore knew and thought that the best way to expose him was to expose him to the teaching environment.

I was struck by an uncomfortable question. If Dumbledore knew about Lockhart, and he surely knew about the curse on the position of teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts (Did Voldemort actually curse the job of Defense Against Dark Arts professor after being denied the position?), was Dumbledore deliberately exposing Lockhart to the curse in the hopes that it would ruin him?

  • 2
    Not all the DADA teachers were harmed after taking the post. Lupin, for example, simply had to leave. In Dumbledore's own words (quoted in the second question you linked), "we have not been able to keep a Defence Against the Dark Arts professor for more than a year since I refused the post to Lord Voldemort". That's a shame for the school, but not really a dangerous post to offer, necessarily. Especially in the wizarding world, where mild physical harm seems to be less of a big deal than in our world and dangerous activities are commonplace, even among children.
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 16:42
  • Why would Dumbledore waste his, his coworkers and his students time with some one he things is a fake? Would he care that much about exposing him instead of you know, making sure his students learn good?
    – user16696
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 17:28

2 Answers 2


Pottermore says "Dumbledore was convinced that Lockhart needed only to be put back into an ordinary school setting to be revealed as a charlatan and a fraud." So I think it was his intention that the "curse" would come in the form of Lockhart being exposed and fired, which was perfectly justified given what he did.

But I don't think being "exposed to the curse" is as horrible as you believe. During the span of the books, Defense Against Dark Arts teachers tend to end their tenure in horrible ways. But some probably left for perfectly mundane reasons. The only thing the "curse" does is make sure the office is unoccupied at the end of a given year; it's not guaranteed to do so in violent or awful ways.

Ask yourself this: would Dumbledore put his good friends Lupin, Snape and Moody in the position if he thought it was inevitable something awful would happen to them?

  • In truth I agree, however Moody, Lupin, and Snape all had some pretty awful things happen that removed them.
    – kleineg
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 17:18
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    @kleineg Lupin just left because he was exposed as a werewolf. Some crazy stuff happened that year, with Sirius Black and such, but the reason he left the DADA position was nothing more terrible than "the truth came out."
    – Nerrolken
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 17:22

I suspect that Dumbledore was desperate for tutors to fill the position due to the apparent existence of the curse, although I doubt he (and definitely not Professor Lockheart) believed in the curse. Lockheart was, most likely, trying to boost his public image- and potentially attempting to get close to Harry, whom was more famous than even Lockheart was at that stage.

Dumbledore is not a particularly sadistic or vengeful person, and thus would probably not want to deliberately expose his collegues to any potential danger.

As to whether the curse existed or not, it is worthy to note that none of the Professors managed to fill the post for more than a year: Professor Quirrel died at the end of The Philosophers Stone, Professor Lockheart managed to get hit with the wrong end of a backfiring memory charm, Remus Lupin voluntarily left the job when it was... "let slip" he was a werewolf, the fake Professor Moody was killed by a dementor (it's interesting that the real Professor Moody never took the job, although he could have taken it in Harry's fifth year...), Umbridge was fired, Severus Snape remained a teacher, but he couldn't take the post in "The Deathly Hallows" due to his position as Headmaster. Does it count if Snape was still a Professor...?

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