Hagrid, Keeper of the Keys and More?
by Chantal Perez
There is something that has been mystifying me since I read OotP last year. Everyone remembers the encounter between Dumbledore and Voldemort at the ministry. Dumbledore is known as the only wizard Voldemort fears but during the fight scene, he doesnt seem all that scared. He fights well and has very little disadvantage when he decides to possess Harry. What I think this scene proves is that Voldemort is a worthy opponent for Dumbledore.
So I wonder, how is it that Voldemort has not tried to get into Hogwarts? Surely he could get in, kill Harry while taking them all by surprise and leaving before anyone could react. I’ve been told it’s because you can’t apparate inside Hogwarts and he doesn’t have a map like the Marauders’ map, but Voldemort does know of a way in! The Chamber of Secrets! J. K. never said it had been closed. If you remember, you reached the Chamber through pipes, there were a lot of these connected to the Chamber and pipes have to lead outside to get rid of the rejects from the school. Also, you might remember in GoF Myrtle saying she sometimes followed the drains all the way to the lake but that the merpeople would chase her out of their village. So there it is, that’s how Voldemort could get into Hogwarts. Walk through the Forbidden Forest (there’s nothing there powerful enough to be a threat to him), dive into the lake and follow the pipes to the Chamber then get into Hogwarts. Simple.
Only Voldemort hasn’t done this, which is what had me a bit surprised. Either he is simple or there is another reason why he can’t get into Hogwarts. A reason that is not written of in Hogwarts: a History or he could probably find a way to neutralize it with the help of an insider (*coughMalfoycough*). I think that the school is protected by a Fidelius Charm. Yes, I know some people might be tempted to say now we know about the charm, everyone is trying to explain everything with it! But bear with me. We see a lot of people visit Hogwarts, the Beauxbatons, Durmstrangs, Fudge, Lucius Malfoy and McNair, the judges for the tournament and the ones for the N.E.W.T.s and O.W.L.s. What do these people have in common? They either were in Hogwarts less than fifty years before or had a good reason to be written to.
You see, I think Hagrid may be the Secret-Keeper for Hogwarts. Dumbledore can’t be it because he’s the headmaster and so owner of the secret, so he had to entrust it to someone else. Why not McGonnagall? Well, because should something happened to him to stop him from being headmaster, she would take up the position and thus the secret wouldn’t be kept anymore because she would be the owner. Dumbledore also repeatedly pronounces his complete trust in Hagrid saying how he would trust him with his life. Sure, Hagrid blabs pretty often but he never does it on truly important subjects to people he doesn’t trust. He didn’t tell Harry about the stone, though he let slip about Fluffy, and he was very careful with his mission to see the Giant. So, Dumbledore could have entrusted him with the safety of Hogwarts because he trusts the half-giant to be discreet, because of Hagrid’s loyalty to him, and because I also think as a bluff, much as Sirius thought to do with Peter. With the complete disregard of part humans by Voldemort’s supportera and Hagrid known as a rather stupid man, who would think the safety of all those children in his hands?
So, let’s look then at what seems to prove my theory.
The way the Fidelius Charm works is that the Keeper has to personally tell someone the Secret for them to know about it. But these people cannot pass the secret on. Moody had to show Harry the letter by Dumbledore; he couldn’t tell Harry himself the address of HQ. So lets look at the people allowed inside Hogwarts. First, the students, obviously, and the train ride. I think it’s a strong ally for my theory; no student goes to Hogwarts by any other means. I know, Harry and Ron went by flying car there but they 1) followed the train and 2) had already been to Hogwarts and thus were already privy to the secret. But other than them they all have always taken the train and most importantly, all first-year students have. I take this to mean that they might not be able to get to Hogwarts any other way. After all, there must be wizard children closer to the school than to London, why shouldn’t they be allowed to get themselves there by Floo powder or something? Next is the trip across the lake. First-years are taken across by Hagrid no matter the weather (remember Dennis Creevey who fell overboard because of the storm?) In PS/SS, Harry sees the castle after Hagrid shows it to them (sorry I don’t have the quote) maybe he wasn’t just distracted and maybe that ride is meant to let Hagrid disclose the secret only to students. (Editor’s Note: It is true that Proffesor Grubbly-Plank did it in OotP, and it hurts this theory.)
Next there are the people from the other schools. I think it’s quite simple, as there must have been much mail to and from each of them, it would be easy to disclose the way to get to Hogwarts through a note written by Hagrid. There would be a good reason to write and so share the secret without them even knowing that the Fidelius Charm was in use, it is after all courteous to give your guests directions.
Fudge of course would know because as Minister of Magic, he is entitled to have the knowledge, and of course he must have come countless times since Hagrid has been gamekeeper (which has been about 50 years, and is more time than Fudge has been Minister) for several reasons, though mostly for Dumbledore’s advice. I’ll pair him up with McNair because we’ve seen them get into Hogwarts together (McNair is the executioner). McNair may have been sent a note by Hagrid on how to get to Hogwarts or he might have been a student after Hagrid became gamekeeper and would be able to get in just because, as a student, he would know. It depends on how old McNair is. I’ll pass on the judges for NEWTS, OWLS and Triwizard tournament because they had legitimate reasons to get mail which included a note scribbled by Hagrid.
Lucius Malfoy is 41, you can find this out in one of the books, I think it might be OotP but I dont remember (look for it, I was ecstatic when I caught that little piece of information). We know that Hagrid was gamekeeper before Lucius was even born, as he was blamed for opening the Chamber of Secrets 50 years before Harry’s second-year and Dumbledore let him work at the school because he was an orphan by then. Malfoy having come later to school would have gone across the lake and so would be able to come back and annoy everyone as often as he does.
The Fidelius Charm is too powerful for Voldemort, it was even so when he was at full power because he couldn’t get at the Potters until Peter betrayed them. As Tom Riddle wouldn’t be privy to the secret because it was cast after he had left, Professor Dippet wouldn’t have had a reason as he couldn’t predict that Tom Riddle would turn into He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Dumbledore though had his suspicions and as he was still fighting Grindelwald, he could probably tell on the base of experience who might turn into a powerful enemy. I think Riddle might have learnt the Dark arts from Grindelwald, their timelines coincide (ooh! I just found this nifty editorial about this, read it here). So after Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald, he became headmaster and put the charm on the school.
Voldemort would thus not be able to get into Hogwarts and DEs like Malfoy could not tell him because the secret is kept by Hagrid. They can’t get the secret because it hasn’t occurred to them it might be the half-giant that keeps it so they haven’t thought to torture him for it.
One last point before I sign off. Have you noticed that Hagrid is very close to the term Keeper? Hagrid is Keeper of the keys and grounds and gamekeeper so he might just be Secret-Keeper as well.
There might not be many definite proofs but there are enough clues for this to be kept as a definite possibility. I would not be surprised if we learn that this is indeed true in one of the upcoming books. So, keep your minds open : – )
I didn’t find anything that made this impossible, if you have good arguments as to why what I’m saying is balderdash 😉 please write an editorial to prove me wrong 😀