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The decision to close Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been considered many times in the past. Most of the time, a dramatic or heroic turn-around or event has occurred and those who wished to close the school reconsidered, etc. The most notable times that the school's closure was considered was during the openings of the Chamber of Secrets, during both the 1942-1943 and 1992–1993 school years. However, the first openings ended when Tom Riddle framed Rubeus Hagrid of being the Heir of Salazar Slytherin, and the second openings ended with Harry Potter's slaying of Salazar Slytherin's Basilisk, so Hogwarts was not shut down. Later on, in 1997, Albus Dumbledore was murdered and many teachers did not think that the school should remain open, since the Headmaster's death at the hands of the Severus Snape was considered a terrible stain on Hogwarts' history. In the end, the staff decided they should consult the Hogwarts Board of Governors. The Board's decision, if any, is uncertain, because the British Ministry of Magic's takeover by the Death Eaters meant that they forced it to remain open for the 1997–1998 school year, under their rule.
First openings of the Chamber of Secrets
- Armando Dippet: "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."
- — Headmaster Dippet discussing the school's impending closure with Tom Riddle[src]
During the 1942-1943 school year, the Chamber of Secrets was opened and several students were Petrified. Armando Dippet, a frail old wizard and Headmaster of the school, tried to hush it all up, possibly fearing for his reputation or worried about his responsibility to the pupils. However, once a Ravenclaw student named Myrtle Warren was found dead in the first floor girls' lavatory by Olive Hornby, Professor Dippet was told by the Ministry of Magic that they were considering closing the school. The school ultimately remained open, however, after Tom Riddle presented evidence that the attacks had been carried out by an Acromantula being raised in secret by third year Gryffindor student, Rubeus Hagrid. Riddle was awarded a Special Award for Services to the School and told to keep quiet about it, which he did. The school was not closed as the "perpetrator" was caught.
Second openings of the Chamber of Secrets
- "As you can see, the Heir of Slytherin has left another message! Our worst fear has been realised! A student has been taken, right by the monster, into the Chamber itself! The students must be sent home. I'm afraid this is the end of Hogwarts."
- —Minerva McGonagall after learning of Ginny's disappearance.[src]
The second known time that the closure of Hogwarts was considered was when the Chamber of Secrets was opened again during the 1992–1993 school year. The first victim was Mrs Norris, a cat belonging to Argus Filch, the Squib Caretaker, who was petrified on the second floor. Further victims were Colin Creevey, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington, Hermione Granger and Penelope Clearwater. Near the end of the year, it was thought that Ginny Weasley had been kidnapped and taken down to the Chamber. Minerva McGonagall, the temporary headmistress, decided upon hearing of this to close the school, saying that the students were to be sent home the following morning. However, Harry Potter slew the Basilisk and returned from the Chamber with Ginny Weasley, alive, and the petrified were cured by Pomona Sprout, keeping the school open.
The death of Albus Dumbledore
After the death of Albus Dumbledore at the hands of Severus Snape during the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, the idea of closing Hogwarts School was entertained again. In June 1997, Dumbledore believed he had located one of the Horcruxes created by Lord Voldemort. He and Harry Potter ventured to a cave by the sea in an attempt to find it. Dumbledore weakened himself by drinking a dark potion, but they manage to obtain a locket. When they returned to Hogsmeade, they were informed by Madam Rosmerta that the Dark Mark was cast over Hogwarts Castle. After a quick flight, Dumbledore was ambushed by Draco Malfoy who disarmed him but could not kill him. When the Death Eaters arrived, Draco was lowering his wand, and they began to pressure him into performing the deed. When he could not, Snape stepped in and killed Dumbledore.
In light of Dumbledore's death, Professor McGonagall called a meeting of the Heads of House and Rubeus Hagrid with Harry Potter also in attendance. McGonagall wanted to close the school immediately, but the others believed that the question should be referred to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Governors. In the short term, Harry voiced the opinion that if Dumbledore was going to be buried on the grounds, the students would want to be there for it. The school was not closed because of the Fall of the Ministry of Magic on August 1st 1997. Severus Snape and his fellow Death Eaters Alecto and Amycus Carrow were placed as Headmaster and teachers at Hogwarts.