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Bathilda Bagshot

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Bathilda Bagshot
Biographical information
Born

Years before 1881[1]

Died

Sometime before 24 December, 1997 (aged at least 116)
Godric's Hollow[2]

Also known as

"Batty" Bagshot[3]

Title(s)

Professor[4]

Physical information
Species

Human[5]

Gender

Female[5]

Hair colour

White

Skin colour

White

Family information
Family members
Affiliation
Occupation
Loyalty
Harry Potter: "Bathilda Bagshot? The author of A History of Magic?"
Elphias Doge: "Yes. A most gifted magical historian and an old friend of Albus's."
Muriel: "Quite gaga these days, I've heard."
Harry Potter, Elphias Doge, and Muriel in 1997[src]

Professor Bathilda Bagshot (died 1997) was a magical historian and the author of A History of Magic and approximately ten other books. A History of Magic is used in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry class of the same name, taught by Professor Binns. She lived in Godric's Hollow, and was murdered around December, 1997, after which her corpse was animated by Lord Voldemort to contain his snake Nagini.

Bathilda was also the great-aunt of Gellert Grindelwald, the infamous dark wizard who was defeated by Albus Dumbledore

Biography

Early life

Professor Bagshot was born somewhere in the British Isles to the wizarding Bagshot family sometime in the early or mid nineteenth century. It is likely she attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in her youth, most likely earning an O.W.L. and/or N.E.W.T. in History of Magic, her area of expertise later in her life.[5]

The Dumbledores

" [Kendra Dumbledore] slammed the door in my face when I went around to welcome her with a batch of homemade Cauldron Cakes. The first year they were there I only ever saw the two boys. Wouldn't have known there was a daughter if I hadn't been picking Plangentines by moonlight the winter after they moved in, and saw Kendra leading Ariana out into the back garden. Walked her round the lawn once, keeping a firm grip on her, then took her back inside. Didn't know what to make of it."
—Bathilda Bagshot relays her reminiscences about the Dumbledores to Rita Skeeter.[src]
BathildaBagshot1947

Professor Bagshot in 1947, at the time of publishing of A History of Magic.

In the 1890s, Bagshot already lived as an adult in her house in Godric's Hollow, when Kendra Dumbledore moved there from Mould-on-the-Wold along with her young children Albus, Aberforth and Ariana, after her husband Percival's well-publicised arrest and imprisonment in Azkaban. Bathilda tried to befriend Kendra after they arrived, but she was rebuffed.[1]

Some years later, Bathilda sent an owl to Albus Dumbledore, then a Hogwarts student, having been favourably impressed by his paper on trans-species Transfiguration for the scholarly journal Transfiguration Today. This initial contract led to acquaintance with the rest of the Dumbledore family. At the time of Kendra's death, Bathilda was the only person in Godric's Hollow who was on speaking terms with her.[3]

The summer after Albus Dumbledore graduated from Hogwarts, an orphan and head of the family, Bathilda's great-nephew, Gellert Grindelwald, came to live with her and she made a point of introducing Grindelwald to Albus. The two talented young men became friends.[3] It is unknown how much or what Bathilda knew of her nephew's actions concerning Aberforth and Ariana Dumbledore, but she witnessed the fist-fight that broke out between the Dumbledore brothers at Ariana's funeral.[8]

Histery

A History of Magic, Professor Bagshot's magnum opus.

In 1947, Bathilda's work on wizarding history was published under the title A History of Magic by Little Red Books.[9] It was presumably around this time she authored her other works on magical history.[10] She was deemed the most celebrated magical historian of the twentieth century.[11]

Bathilda may have been a teacher at some point, possibly at Hogwarts, as Hermione Granger refers to her as "Professor Bagshot" when referencing her work.[4]

Later years

"We had a very quiet birthday tea, just us and old Bathilda, who has always been sweet to us, and who dotes on Harry. […] Bathilda drops in most days, she's a fascinating old thing with the most amazing stories about Dumbledore, I'm not sure he'd be pleased if he knew! I don't know how much to believe, actually, because it seems incredible that Dumbledore could ever have been friends with Gellert Grindelwald. I think her mind's going, personally!"
—Excerpt from a letter from Lily Evans to Sirius Black, on Bathilda Bagshot and her son's first birthday.[src]
BathildaWithAcademics

Bathilda Bagshot with other academics at Hogwarts Castle.

In her older years, Bathilda was on close terms with Lily Potter and even spoke to the younger woman on the closeness between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, though Lily remained somewhat sceptical, given Bathilda's advancing age and possible senility. Bathilda was also the only one to join the Potters during Harry Potter's birthday tea when he turned one year old.[7] Ron Weasley's great aunt Muriel called her "gaga" during Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's wedding.[8]

Also sometime in her later life, Professor Bagshot provided a quote for the critical acclaim for Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp, when she wrote "Kennilworthy Whisp's painstaking research has uncovered a veritable treasure trove of hitherto unknown facts about the sport of warlocks. A fascinating read." as a review.[12]

Interview

"Dear Batty, Thanks for your help. Here's a copy of the book; hope you like it. You said everything, even if you don't remember it. Rita."
Rita Skeeter's note to Bathilda.[src]
Rita Skeeters Note for Bathilda Bagshot

Rita Skeeter's note for Bathilda Bagshot.

In 1997, after the death of Albus Dumbledore, Bathilda was interviewed by Rita Skeeter through Veritaserum, who used the material for her only semi-true biography The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore.[3] It is implied that Skeeter took advantage of Bathilda's poor mental state to twist her material to be more sensationalist.

Death and Post Mortem

"Finally, we regret to inform our listeners that the remains of Bathilda Bagshot have been discovered in Godric's Hollow. The evidence is that she died several months ago. The Order of the Phoenix informs us that her body showed unmistakable signs of injuries inflicted by Dark Magic."
Lee Jordan (code name "River"), during a Potterwatch broadcast in March, 1998.[src]
Harrybathilda

Nagini as Bathilda Bagshot speaking to Harry in Parseltongue.

Sometime afterwards, Bathilda was murdered through the Dark Arts[13] and her body was animated by Lord Voldemort using his snake, Nagini. He left Nagini there as a trap, thinking that Harry Potter may visit Godric's Hollow to see his parents' grave and their home. On the following Christmas Eve, Hermione Granger and Harry did so, thinking that perhaps Dumbledore had left Godric Gryffindor's Sword there for them to be able to destroy the horcruxes they were hunting. The pair met the possessed woman and were almost captured when "Bathilda" lured them into her home. After determining Harry's identity, Nagini leapt from Bathilda's body to attack him, leaving the old woman for good. The plan, however, failed and Harry and Hermione escaped.[2]

Bathilda's body was later found, and her death by Dark magic was reported by Potterwatch.[13]

Published works

Physical appearance

Bathilda's blood

Hermione discovers blood on the roof of Bathilda's house.

"She smelled bad, or perhaps it was her house: Harry wrinkled his nose as they sidled past her and pulled off the Cloak. Now that he was beside her, [Harry] realised how tiny she was; bowed down with age, she came barely level with his chest. She closed the door behind them, her knuckles blue and mottled against the peeling paint [...] Her eyes were thick with cataracts and sunken into folds of transparent skin, and her whole face was dotted with broken veins and liver spots [...] The odour of old age, of dust, of unwashed clothes and stale food intensified as she unwound a moth-eaten black shawl, revealing a head of scant white hair through which the scalp showed clearly."
—Description.[src]

Professor Bagshot was a tiny woman (her head at the level of seventeen-year-old Harry Potter's chest). At the time that Harry Potter met her, she was stooped, her eyes were thick with cataracts, and her hair was scant and white, with her scalp clearly visible. Her face had some liver spots and broken veins.[2]

Personality and traits

"Unfortunately, the brilliance that Bathilda exhibited earlier in her life has now dimmed. "The fire's lit, but the cauldron's empty," as Ivor Dillonsby put it to me, or, in Enid Smeek's slightly earthier phrase, "She's nutty as squirrel poo."
Rita Skeeter, The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore.[src]

Little is known of Bathilda's personality. One can presume she was friendly and amiable, having tried to befriend Kendra Dumbledore in the 1890s with a batch of homemade Cauldron Cakes,[1] regarded Albus Dumbledore as something like a protégé,[3] and was friendly with Lily Potter in the early 1980s.[7] She was a brilliant witch and historian in her youth, but during her later years she was quite possibly becoming senile.[3]

Magical abilities and skills

Etymology

  • Bathilda is an alternate spelling of the name of Saint Balthild, a seventh-century Anglo-Saxon noble and wife of King Clovis II of Burgundy who dedicated her later life to helping the ill and the poor. The name is derived from the Old English Bealdhild, meaning "bold battle".
  • Bathilda is a German name that means "heroine".
  • Bagshot is the name of a town in Surrey, England. The name is thought to be derived from a tribe (bacca) and the Anglo-Saxon word for "The place of" (sheatte) meaning "the place of Bacca's tribe" though Bag could also mean badger, "the place of the Badger", creating a reference to Hufflepuff.
  • Bathilda's last name, Bagshot, may also be a reference to The Lord of the Rings, in which the characters Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and Hamfast and Samwise Gamgee lived on Bagshot Row.

Behind the scenes

Hazel Douglas as Bathilda

Hazel Douglas in an on-set interview.

Bathilda lego

Bathilda as a LEGO minfigure.

Appearances

Wiki
The Harry Potter Wiki has 9 images related to Bathilda Bagshot.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 11 (The Bribe)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 17 (Bathilda's Secret)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 18 (The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
  6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 10 (Kreacher's Tale)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
  9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - Disc 2 (Godric's Hollow)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - Chapter 7 (The Wedding)
  12. Quidditch Through the Ages - Praise for Quidditch Through the Ages'
  13. 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 22 (The Deathly Hallows)
  14. See this image.

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