- "There you go. Hate to break it to you, Potter..."
- —Draco Malfoy, as he handed Harry Potter a newspaper page containing this article.[src]
DUMBLEDORE'S GIANT MISTAKE was an article published in the Daily Prophet in early January 1995. It was written by Rita Skeeter and revealed to the public that Rubeus Hagrid was a half-giant on the side of his mother, Fridwulfa, and also contained a number of nasty insinuations regarding Hagrid's suitability to teach at Hogwarts
As was the usual standard with material published by Rita Skeeter, the article contained a certain amount of fact, but mixed it with exaggerations, insinuations, and at least one outright falsehood. The article began by stating that certain staff appointments by Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore had been controversial, such as that of Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, who was known to be "notoriously jinx-happy". It then moved on to the appointment of Hagrid to the Care of Magical Creatures post, noting his past expulsion from the school. The article included a statement from Draco Malfoy regarding an attack on him by the hippogriff Buckbeak in the previous school year and his friend Vincent Crabbe supposedly getting a "bad bite off a flobberworm", despite the fact that flobberworms do not have teeth.
The article then continued to discuss Hagrid's creation of Blast-Ended-Skrewts (crosses between manticores and fire crabs), which Rita had gotten Hagrid to discuss with her under false pretenses, claiming that she was planning to write about them for the Prophet's zoological column. From there, it moved into its most sensational, but nevertheless accurate claim, that Hagrid was not pure-human wizard, but rather a half-giant on the side of his mother, the giantess Fridwulfa. This was information she had overheard while trespassing on the grounds of Hogwarts in her animagus form. It then proceeded to briefly describe the activities of the giants under the Death Eaters, including their mass Muggle killings, and ended with a brief description of Harry Potter's friendship with Hagrid, suggesting that Dumbledore should warn him about the danger of such an association.
Although the article did not change the opinion of those who knew Hagrid well, it nevertheless had a profound effect on him and his friends. Upon the publication of the article, he received a large amount of hate mail, which caused him to lock himself in his hut and refuse to teach classes, requiring a substitute to teach them instead. Not long after reading this article, Harry, Ron and Hermione paid a visit to Hagrid in an attempt to draw him out, but he simply refused to answer his door. During a Hogsmeade weekend trip, the three encountered Rita Skeeter plotting another potential story, which sent Hermione into a rage, blasting Skeeter for what she had done to Hagrid. She then led a charge back to Hagrid's, where she shouted to be let in, only for the door to be opened by Albus Dumbledore, who himself had come to cheer Hagrid up. Together, the group succeeded in convincing Hagrid to come out of hiding, though Skeeter would take revenge on Hermione by publishing a sensational piece about her in Witch Weekly.
Albus Dumbledore, eccentric Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, has never been afraid to make controversial staff appointments, writes Rita Skeeter, Special Correspondent. In September of this year, he hired Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody, the notoriously jinx-happy ex-Auror, to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts, a decision that caused many raised eyebrows at the Ministry of Magic, given Moody's well-known habit of attacking anybody who makes a sudden movement in his presence. Mad-Eye Moody, however, looks responsible and kindly when set beside the part-human Dumbledore employs to teach Care of Magical Creatures. Rubeus Hagrid, who admits to being expelled from Hogwarts in his third year, has enjoyed the position of Gamekeeper at the school ever since, a job secured for him by Dumbledore. Last year, however, Hagrid used his mysterious influence over the headmaster to secure the additional post of Care of Magical Creatures teacher, over the heads of many better-qualified candidates. An alarming large and ferocious-looking man, Hagrid has been using his new-found authority to terrify the students in his care with a succession of horrific creatures. While Dumbledore turns a blind eye, Hagrid has maimed several pupils during a series of lessons that many admit to being "very frightening." "I was attacked by a hippogriff, and my friend Vincent Crabbe got a bad bite off a flobberworm," says Draco Malfoy, a fourth year student. "We all hate Hagrid, but we're just too scared to say anything." Hagrid has no intention of ceasing his campaign of intimidation, however.
In conversation with a Daily Prophet reporter last month, he admitted breeding creatures he has dubbed "Blast-Ended Skrewts," highly dangerous crosses between manticores and fire crabs. The creation of new breeds of magical creature is, of course, an activity usually closely observed by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Hagrid, however, considers himself to be above such petty restrictions. "I was just having some fun," he says, before hastily changing the subject. As if this were not enough, the Daily Prophet has now unearthed evidence that Hagrid is not --- as he has always pretended --- a pure-blood wizard. He is not, in fact, even pure human. His mother, we can exclusively reveal, is none other than the giantess Fridwulfa, whose whereabouts are currently unknown. Bloodthirsty and brutal, the giants brought themselves to the point of extinction by warring amongst themselves during the last century. The handful that remained joined the ranks of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and were responsible for some of the worst mass Muggle killings of his reign of terror. While many of the giants who served He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named were killed by Aurors working against the Dark Side, Fridwulfa was not among them. It is possible she escaped to one of the giant communities still existing in foreign mountain ranges. If his antics during Care of Magical Creatures lessons are any guide, however, Fridwulfa's son appears to have inherited her brutal nature. In a bizarre twist, Hagrid is reputed to have developed a close friendship with the boy who brought around You-Know-Who's fall from power --- thereby driving Hagrid's own mother, like the rest of the Death Eaters, into hiding. Perhaps Harry Potter is unaware of this unpleasant truth about his large friend --- but Albus Dumbledore surely has a duty to ensure that Harry Potter, along with his fellow students, is warned about the dangers of associating with half-giants.