Professor Armando Dippet (October, 1637—c. 1957) was Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the predecessor of Albus Dumbledore in the post. He was a "nearly bald and a somewhat feeble" man in his elderly years.
Dippet served as Headmaster in the 1940s at least. It was during his tenure that the Chamber of Secrets was first opened by Tom Riddle since its creation by Salazar Slytherin in around A.D. 993. Unknowingly, Dippet was indirectly responsible for the end of the attacks by telling Riddle that the school would have to be closed if said attacks continued. Dippet was also responsible for the expulsion of Rubeus Hagrid after Riddle framed him with the attacks.
Armando Dippet was born in October 1637, and grew up in the days before the International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy, at the time when wizard-Muggle relations were at their worst and when wizardkind was fiercely prosecuted by their Muggle neighbours. (For more details on this topic, see International Statute of Wizarding Secrecy#Background).
It is possible that he attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, being Sorted in 1649, at the age of eleven. If so, he must have been Sorted into either Gryffindor, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw; certainly not Slytherin. Being of a similar age, Dippet would presumably have been educated alongside Thaddeus Thurkell and the famous Magizoologist Havelock Sweeting.
As Headmaster of Hogwarts
Professor Dippet became Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the early twentieth century. In his position, it is likely he was responsible for the employment of Horace Slughorn, Albus Dumbledore, Herbert Beery, Silvanus Kettleburn and possibly Galatea Merrythought as teachers at Hogwarts. It is also known that he was responsible for hiring Minerva McGonagall, having offered her "a job in the Transfiguration department, under Head of Department, Albus Dumbledore".
During Dippet's tenure as Headmaster, Herbert Beery, then-Herbology master, proposed an adaptation of The Fountain of Fair Fortune as a Christmas treat for both staff and students. The show, however, was a fiasco: the students playing Amata and Sir Luckless had been boyfriend and girlfriend until one hour before the show, at which point "Sir Luckless" dumped her for "Asha". During the play, the Engorged Ashwinder portraying the Worm (provided by the reckless Professor Silvanus Kettleburn) exploded in a shower of hot sparks and dust, filling the Great Hall with smoke and fragments of the scenery. While the Ashwinder's eggs set fire to the floorboards, "Amata" and "Asha" started duelling fiercely. Professor Beery was caught in the crossfire and his head assumed unusual proportions. While the staff evacuated the Great Hall the fire raging inside it threatened to engulf the place.
Of course, there were several people sent to the hospital wing and Professor Dippet had to put Professor Kettleburn in one of his sixty-two periods of probation. In response to this dramatic fiasco, Professor Dippet imposed a blanket ban on future pantomimes, a tradition is still followed by the Hogwarts' staff and students to this day.
Chamber of Secrets openings
- Armando Dippet: "My dear boy, you must see how foolish it would be of me to allow you to remain at the castle when term ends. Particularly in light of the recent tragedy… the death of that poor little girl. You will be safer by far at your orphanage. As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Magic is even now talking about closing the school. We are no nearer locating the — er — source of all this unpleasantness…"
- Tom Riddle: "Sir — if the person were caught — if it all stopped —"
- Armando Dippet: "What do you mean? Riddle, do you mean you know something about these attacks?"
- Tom Riddle: "No, sir."
- — Armando Dippet and Tom Riddle on 13 June, 1943.[src]
That school year, many students were attacked by Salazar Slytherin's Basilisk. On 13 June of the same year, a student named Myrtle Warren was murdered in a bathroom, during one of the Chamber's openings by Riddle. After realising that no one had seen Myrtle for a couple of hours, Professor Dippet asked fellow student Olive Hornby to go and look for Myrtle.
Myrtle's Muggle father and mother were summoned to the school by Dippet, and the Headmaster faced the possibility of closing the school. Dippet also rejected Tom's request of staying at school over the summer holidays due to the situation, but would have given him special permission if the school were much safer. Not wanting the school to close, or possibly not wanting to return to the orphanage, Riddle stopped attacking students with the Chamber's Basilisk and framed Rubeus Hagrid for the attacks. Dippet promptly expelled Hagrid. Under Albus Dumbledore's request, Hagrid was trained as Gamekeeper and was allowed to remain at the school.
Exchange visit with Castelobruxo
During 1940s or 1950s, Hogwarts received students and Professor Benedita Dourado from Castelobruxo, the Brazilian wizarding school, during an exchange visit. When Dippet complained of Peeves, the resident poltergeist, Professor Dourado laughed heartily and offered to send him some Caipora for the Forbidden Forest "to show you what trouble really is". Professor Dippet did not take her up on that offer.
Tom Riddle's job application
- Dumbledore: "Professor Dippet told him that he was too young at eighteen, but invited him to reapply in a few years, if he still wished to teach."
- Harry Potter: "How did you feel about that, sir?"
- Dumbledore: "Deeply uneasy. I had advised Armando against the appointment - I did not give the reasons I have given you, for Professor Dippet was very fond of Voldemort and convinced of his honesty - but I did not want Lord Voldemort back at this school, and especially not in a position of power."
- — Dumbledore and Harry Potter on Dippet and Riddle's application.[src]
Dumbledore realised Riddle's true intentions, but did not include them as his reasons for denying him the job, as Professor Dippet was very fond of him and believed that he was completely honest.
Death and post-mortem
Professor Dippet was unusually old by the time of his passing in around 1957, even by wizarding standards. His immediate successor in the post was Professor Albus Dumbledore, who had been Dippet's Deputy Headmaster and Transfiguration teacher.
At some point, Rita Skeeter published her bestselling biography titled Armando Dippet: Master or Moron?, which, given its title and Skeeter's own brand of sensationalist writing (elsewhere described as "one quarter truth to three quarters rubbish"), it can be reasonably assumed that it contains false defamatory information, or otherwise facts taken out of context. It is unknown whether Dippet's public opinion suffered from the publication of this book.
Having died in office, the late Headmaster was allowed to leave behind an imprint of himself in the form of a portrait mounted on the wall of the Headmaster's office along with other revered Headmasters and Headmistress. In doing this, he effectively ensured he in some capacity could continue to posthumously serve the school by sharing his knowledge with his successors in office as a final service to his beloved school.
The portrait he left behind present him as very dignified and solemn-looking, attired in long, majestic robes of blue and bronze. In 1995, he scorned the portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black, who was feigning tiredness in order to avoid going to 12 Grimmauld Place like Dumbledore asked him to. He was devoted to serving whoever was Headmaster.
Professor Dippet had pale skin, brown eyes and, in his youth, a thick brown beard.
In his elderly years, he became frail and feeble-looking. He was balding and had only a few wisps of white hair left.
Personality and traits
As made evident by his portrait in the Headmaster's Office, he was apparently a very proud man who for the most part held himself with dignity and solemnity at all but the most trying of times, in which case he would over time look very feeble and tired after having to cope with such troubles at his age. Very loyal to Hogwarts, Professor Dippet gave a certain impression of holding the school in higher regard than he did even his staff, as he was very distrusting of others, and Professor Albus Dumbledore, his Head of Transfiguration at during the later parts of Professor Dippet's tenure, noted that he was one of the few people that Professor Dippet confided in. He was also a man of tradition, having trained his portrait to scold anyone who showed lack of respect or loyalty to the school, which were shown when it reprimanded the portrait Phineas Nigellus's for attempting to defy a request from Professor Dumbledore, expressing that they were honour-bound to give advice to the current Headmaster or Headmistress, regardless of their personal feelings, showing that the living Professor Dippet taught his portrait to share his unyielding desire to serve the school and professional integrity.
During his time as Headmaster, Professor Dippet was apparently a disciplinarian. Perhaps somewhat harshly old-fashioned in his methods, the school was marked by an acceptance of severe punishment under his leadership, as he continued to allow the Caretaker of the day, Mr. Apollyon Pringle, to use corporal punishment on students for misbehaviour or rule-breaking. However, he was not feared by his students, but seen as revered and very capable in his own right, and ultimately a man dedicated to the protection and preservation of the school and all its inhabitants and did not take the safety of his students lightly, and his success as head of the school is shown by his depiction on a Famous Witches and Wizards Card solely in homage to his long and faithful service to the school as Headmaster.
Professor Dippet was by no means above severely punishing anyone who might pose a potential breach in the security of the castle, be it student or staff: Professor Horace Slughorn once commented, perhaps in jest, that Dippet would not hesitate to put him in detention if he found out that he had been encouraging students to be up and about past curfew. He also placed Professor Silvanus Kettleburn, whom he always considered to be quite reckless, on no fewer than sixty-two periods of probation (including once after the chaos that ensued during a performance of The Fountain of Fair Fortune, for which Kettleburn provided an Engorged Ashwinder to play the part of the Worm), since the catastrophe endangered the students.
His concern for the well-being of his students was shown once more during the 1942-1943 school year, when he, like all his employees, did everything in his power to apprehend the perpetrator and protect the students after the opening of Chamber of Secrets. During that year, it is known that he instructed a student by the name of Olive Hornby to go look for fellow student Myrtle Warren the moment he realised that no one had seen her for some time.
He also seemed to favour status, at least to some extent, as he was fully prepared to believe the word of a Prefect over the word of a younger student, and when Rubeus Hagrid were declared a suspect in the case of who opened the Chamber of Secrets, Dippet promptly expelled him without putting much effort in investigating the matter. However, as the school at the time was dangerously near to being closed down by the Board of Governors after the murder on Myrtle and he was likely to have been under a lot of pressure from parents, the governors and perhaps even the Ministry, and might have acted rather rashly in an attempt to seize control of the situation and come to realise in retrospect that Hagrid was unlikely to have been the culprit, since Hagrid was allowed to stay after his expulsion, showing that Professor Dippet might have been a wise, well-meaning if somewhat strict administrator under pressure rather than mercilessly expelling one student on the word of another.It is known that during his tenure at Hogwarts, Professor Dippet grew rather fond of Tom Riddle and was, perhaps somewhat biased towards him, partly due to sympathizing with the boy who had grown up orphaned and friendless and partly due to the young man's charisma. However, this did not blind him from keeping their safety his number one priority, nor did it stop him for keeping up certain standards. This is shown when he rejects the request of a recent graduate to become a teacher on the basis of being too young, as well as rejecting Tom Riddle's request of staying at school over the summer holidays due to the situation while unaware that Riddle was the one behind the danger Dippet wanted to protect him from. However, being fully aware that Riddle despised the orphanage where he was raised, he did comment that he would have given him special permission if the school were safer.
Magical abilities and skills
- Charms: The true extent of Armando Dippet's skills are not known, but he was skilled in Charms, since he, as Headmaster, was responsible for controlling the magical protections around Hogwarts Castle, and he was easily able to lift and cast the defensive spells himself, as he did so shortly after Myrtle Warren's murder, temporarily lifting the Muggle-Repelling Charms to give her parents free access to the school grounds.
- Leadership skills: While he never achieved the level of admiration and reverence of his immediate successor, Professor Dippet was a very capable Headmaster of the school, and remembered as such by his tenure having been the theme of his Chocolate Frog Card. In his time as leader of the school, he was very strict and perhaps somewhat old-fashioned in matters of discipline, yet he never lost sight of the importance of keeping his students safe and well, or fail to uphold the standards necessary to run the school effectively, as shown by how he declined Tom Riddle's request to become a teacher on the grounds of him being too young and inexperienced for the employment to be prudent.
- Wand: Professor Dippet's wand was of unknown manufacturer, length, core and wood. Presumably purchased at the age of eleven prior to his magical education, he was in possession of it during the 1940s. He left it on his desk during his meeting with Tom Riddle in 1943 concerning the summer holidays and the Chamber of Secrets openings.
- Headmaster's office: When Professor Dippet lived in the office in the Headmaster's Tower, there was a single bookcase, a desk, and several paintings there, including the portraits of his predecessors. His passwords are unknown, though it can be presumed that he told one of them to Tom Riddle in 1943.
- Strawberry and ling plantations: According to Albus Dumbledore, Professor Dippet planted some strawberries and ling in the castle grounds while he was Headmaster. However, it is likely that Albus was simply trying to distract Cornelius Fudge and Walden Macnair.
Dippet was very fond of Tom Riddle, whom he made several "special arrangements" for. His relationship with him was strong enough to make Dumbledore decide not to tell Dippet about why he thought Riddle should not be given a job at the school.
As headmaster, Dippet placed Silvanus Kettleburn on at least one, but presumably many more, of his sixty-two periods of probation. The one known time was after he provided an Ashwinder with an Engorgement Charm on it instead of a worm for the The Fountain of Fair Fortune pantomime. Dippet, after the chaos, placed a permanent ban on pantomimes from thereon.
Another of Dippet's employees was Herbert Beery, who was the one who adapted The Fountain of Fair Fortune into a play. Beery, who had been teaching Herbology, eventually left to become a professor of the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Horace Slughorn also worked under Headmaster Dippet. One evening, during one of his Slug Club's supper parties, Slughorn joked that if the student group would be found up and about after hours, Professor Dippet would put them all in detention, including himself.
- "Armando" is the Spanish and Italian variant of the name Armand, meaning "of the army". It is likely that, given his name, Armando Dippet is at least partially of Spanish or Italian heritage.
- "Dippet" is not a word in English, but "dip" has many meanings, including: to put something into something else, often a liquid; to take something out of something, as in dipping out water; to lower and raise something; a fool.
Behind the scenes
- Alfred Burke appeared as Dippet in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in the memory scene. His face can be glimpsed only for a fleeting moment, before he turns around and convenes with several other wizards. He is also not bald contrary to the book's description.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Dippet is mentioned in the Daily Prophet article FLYING FORD ANGLIA MYSTIFIES MUGGLES. In the article, witches Leonora Gore and Daphne Mauboisan accuse Dippet, their neighbour, of causing the incident and not a flying car. Dippet is referred to as "a rather feeble old wizard", "well known for his erratic flying", and had his broomstick confiscated pending an ancient age flying test (a past occurrence, comprising a broomstick crash against Felickaria Tugwood, who fell off of her broom and into the River Mersey, is also cited). However, this cannot be canon, given that Dippet had a portrait in the Headmaster's Office and, so, must have died in office and not retired to live to 1992.
- According to Albus Dumbledore, Professor Dippet had ling and strawberries planted on the mountains surrounding Hogwarts Castle when he was headmaster, presumably a lie to gain Harry Potter and Hermione Granger some more time to release Buckbeak (seeing as apparently neither Cornelius Fudge nor Walden Macnair could see the said strawberries).
- Dippet was the fourth-oldest known wizard, being born in 1637. The only known wizards older than him were Barry Wee Willie Winkle (b. 1236) and Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel (b. 1327 and 1334, respectively).
- His wand may have been made out of pine wood, considering how pine wands tended to choose witches and wizards destined for long lives.
- Armando Dippet shares his first and last initials with Albus Dumbledore
- The portrait of Armando Dippet is currently displayed amongst the other headmasters of Hogwarts in Dumbledore's Office at the The Making of Harry Potter Tour near London. It can be found on the left hand side as you enter the office, just above the sword of Gryffindor.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film) (Appears in flashback(s)) (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) (Appears in flashback(s)) (GBC version only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game) (Appears on a Famous Wizard Card)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Appears in portrait(s))
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 (Mentioned only) (DS version only)
- The Tales of Beedle the Bard (Mentioned only)
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (Appears in portrait(s))
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 In the newspaper held up by Snape in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film (set in 1992), Dippet is said to have been born three hundred and fifty-five years before, in October. This places his date of birth in October 1637.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 According to J.K. Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival (J.K. Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival (15 August, 2004) source), headmasters only get their portrait hung in the office if they die holding the title of headmaster. As Dippet's portrait was shown hanging in the office in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, this means that he must have died in office. As Dumbledore became headmaster in around 1957 with Dippet as his direct predecessor (Riddle congratulates him on it when asking for the DADA job - this was ten years after killing Hepzibah Smith, which was itself just a short period after he left Hogwarts in 1945), from this follows that Dippet died then. As well as this, Pottermore clarifies that McGonagall was offered "a job in the Transfiguration department, under Head of Department, Albus Dumbledore" in December 1956, implying that he was not yet Headmaster at that time.
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 The Tales of Beedle the Bard - Albus Dumbledore on "The Fountain of Fair Fortune"
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 5 (Excess of Phlegm)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince - Chapter 17 (A Sluggish Memory)
- ↑ Pottermore - New from J.K. Rowling: "Professor McGonagall"
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 25 (The Egg and the Eye)
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort’s Request)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 13 (The Muggle-Born Registration Commission)
- ↑ J.K. Rowling Web Chat Transcript (30 July, 2007) at The Leaky Cauldron
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 22 (St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) - GBC version
- ↑ 20.0 20.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)