Quirinus Quirrell was a male Wizard and teacher of Defence Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry during the 1991-1992 school year. Prior to this position, he was the Muggle Studies professor.
In 1991, Quirrell began to wear a purple turban. One of his eyes twitched and he often appeared quite pale and nervous. His voice was stammering, and he often stuttered. He was usually trembling, and was prone to fainting. Near the end of his life, he also had Voldemort bound to the back of his head, the reason for which he wore the turban. His nervousness, at this point, was actually an act and he could be quite cold. His classroom and office were decorated with tropical animals, skeletons of animals and tropical plants. In the film, he is bald.
Little is known of Quirrell's early life. It is likely he attended Hogwarts school, and he may have been a Ravenclaw as the Hogwarts gamekeeper Rubeus Hagrid said he was a brilliant mind and that he was fine when he was studying out of books.
Quirrell, at some point, took up a teaching position at Hogwarts, teaching Muggle Studies. After teaching for a year he took a year-long sabbatical leave in order to gain first-hand experience. Quirrell claimed to have received his turban from an African prince for getting rid of a zombie, and it was rumoured that he encountered vampires in the Black Forest. Quirrell did indeed encounter something horrible when he travelled around the world: Lord Voldemort. The barely alive Dark Lord twisted the young and gullible Quirrell into accepting the Dark way, tricking Quirrell into believing that there was only power and those too weak to use it.
In 1991, after having met Harry Potter in the Leaky Cauldron, Quirrell attempted to steal the Philosopher's Stone from vault 713 in Gringotts Wizarding Bank for Voldemort. Quirrell failed, however, because Hagrid had removed the stone from the vault earlier that day. After this failure, Voldemort attached himself to the back of Quirrell's head in order to keep a closer watch on him.
Quirrell was now teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts, though he was acting jittery and nervous, most likely so that people wouldn't suspect him. On Halloween, Quirrell let a troll in as a diversion and went to the third-floor corridor, where the Stone was hidden. Severus Snape, who suspected Quirrell, followed him in order to stop him; he presumably succeeded, though he had been bitten by the Three-headed dog Fluffy as well.
Later in the year, at a Quidditch match between Gryffindor and Slytherin, Quirrell attempted to kill Harry Potter, whom he saw as a threat, by making the boy's broom try to throw him off. However, Snape interfered again by muttering a counter-curse. It was Hermione Granger who ultimately stopped Quirrell by accidentally knocking him over. After this failed attempt, Quirrell fully concentrated on his ultimate goal of trying to obtain the Philosopher's Stone.
Later that year, in order to keep his master alive, he began to kill unicorns in the Forbidden Forest and drinking their blood. In order to figure out how to get past Fluffy, Quirrell got Hagrid drunk and gave him a dragon's egg, ultimately discovering its weakness in their ensuing conversation. Quirrell then sent a forged letter to Dumbledore summoning him to the Ministry of Magic to get him away from the school. He went after the Stone, unknowingly followed by Harry Potter, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger—though they believed their enemy to be Severus Snape.
Harry encountered Quirrell in the last chamber. There, he met Voldemort, bound to the back of Quirrell's head. In the ensuing struggle to get the Stone, Quirrell, unable to endure Harry's touch, which burned him, was left to die by Voldemort. Dumbledore later told Harry that Voldemort left as little mercy to his followers as his enemies.
- Quirrell was played by Ian Hart in the film.
- Quirrell's first name is unknown, though Slatero or Quirinus are possibilities.
- Quirrell had a gift with Trolls.