17th or 18th century, Great Britain
Corvinus Gaunt (fl. 18th century) was a wizard, and a member of the pure-blood House of Gaunt. As such, he was one of the direct descendants of Salazar Slytherin and was a Parselmouth, as well as being presumably very inbred and rich. Gaunt knew about the Chamber of Secrets, and he was instrumental in keeping the entrance to the Chamber a secret.
In the 1700s, there was a proposal to install an elaborate plumbing system at Hogwarts Castle. This, of course, threatened the secrecy around the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets which, at the time, still had its original appearance — a concealed trapdoor and a series of magical tunnels — and which was located on the site where a girls' bathroom would be set up.
Corvinus Gaunt was, at the time, a student at Hogwarts and, as a descendant of Salazar Slytherin himself, knew where the entrance to the Chamber was and how to open it. Corvinus was responsible for secretly protecting the entrance, having concealed it behind plumbing fixtures and a sink (which today are part of Moaning Myrtle's Bathroom), so that those who knew how could still access the Chamber.
- "Corvinus" is the diminutive of "Corvus", which derives from Latin corvus, "raven". Matthias Corvinus was a 15th-century Hungarian king, possibly referring to Corvinus' status as a pure-blood, as many pure-bloods consider themselves akin to royalty. Also, Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus was a Roman general, author and patron of literature and art.
- The word gaunt is defined as "haggard, drawn and emaciated" and "bleak, desolate".
Behind the scenes
- As a member of the House of Gaunt, Corvinus presumably owned Salazar Slytherin's Locket, and possibly owned Marvolo Gaunt's Ring, assuming the latter had passed into the family's possession by this time.
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)