Caretaker is the title and occupation held at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by a witch, wizard, or Squib in charge of overseeing the cleanliness and hygiene of Hogwarts Castle. Aside from this, they may patrol the corridors at night to make sure that no students wander in the late hours. In the past, they were also in charge of corporal punishment (e.g. caning) until Headmaster Albus Dumbledore banned it. However, the job does still entail helping to oversee punishments, as in 1992, when Ronald Weasley's detention was to help Argus Filch polish the school's trophies without using any magic.
The Caretaker of Hogwarts also possessed some disciplinary powers, being able to award and dock house points. In 1987, Argus Filch reluctantly awarded a certain student ten house points at the behest of the Gryffindor house ghost, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington.
Duties of the Caretaker
Some jobs that caretakers do include:
- Enforcing hygiene of the school and the students
- Patrolling corridors for students out of bed after hours or in forbidden areas
- Dolling out punishment (formerly)
- Putting students in detention
- Doing jobs that the Headmaster requires
- Investigating things such as Dungbombs or mayhem
- Being in charge of security for Hogsmeade trips, mail, and people entering and leaving the castle
Rancorous Carpe was a caretaker who was active at Hogwarts in 1876. He was responsible for a disastrous attempt to remove Peeves, the resident Poltergeist, in which he devised an elaborate trap baited with an assortment of weapons he believed would be irresistible to Peeves and a vast enchanted bell jar reinforced by various Containment Charms, which he intended to drop over the poltergeist once he was in place. The trap failed spectacularly with Peeves confiscating the weapons, resulting in a three-day standoff. Carpe took early retirement for health reasons.
Mr Apollyon Pringle was the caretaker at Hogwarts from at least 1961 to 1968. During his tenure, corporal punishment was allowed, and Mr Pringle was entitled to cane any student found wandering the corridors at night. At one time, at about four o'clock in the morning, he caught Arthur Weasley strolling about the castle and caned him while Molly Prewett, who had been with Arthur, escaped. It was said by Molly, in the 1994–1995 school year, that Arthur still had the marks inflicted on him. By 1973, Mr Pringle had retired, died, or left the school and was replaced by Argus Filch and his cat, Mrs Norris.
By at least 1973, Argus Filch, a Squib, had replaced Pringle as Caretaker of Hogwarts School. He, along with his cat, Mrs Norris, frequently patrolled the corridors at night and delighted in punishing students; he desired torturous methods for punishments, such as those inflicted by Pringle, but Dumbledore did not grant him such rights. He also waged an endless war with the school's poltergeist, Peeves. He constantly hassled students over the littlest infraction and took delight in the doling out of detention-worthy write-ups. In 1995, when Dolores Umbridge was made Headmistress, Filch was allowed to use corporal punishment on students, though it was revoked at the end of the year. He also continued as caretaker through Severus Snape's tenure as Headmaster and seemed not to mind Snape nor the Carrows, nor did they mind his lower status as a Squib. It is likely that Filch remained at the school after their suspensions.
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