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Jinx on the post of Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher

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"You see, we have not been able to keep a Defence Against the Dark Arts professor for more than a year since I refused the post to Lord Voldemort."
Albus Dumbledore[src]

This jinx was cast by Tom Marvolo Riddle, who was by the time known exclusively as Lord Voldemort, to curse the Hogwarts school's Defence Against the Dark Arts class to ensure that none of its applicants could hold their post for more than one year. It is unknown what the requirements and incantation of this jinx are, or if it could be used for other school subjects or other establishments and careers. The jinx will be lifted once the caster is dead.


Upon his graduation from Hogwarts, Tom Riddle asked the then Headmaster, Armando Dippet, for the post as Professor of the Defence Against the Dark Arts class, due to his love for Hogwarts and passion for the Dark Arts. Professor Dippet rejected Riddle's application, because he was too young at eighteen years old, but offered him to reapply after a few years.

Over a decade later (1945+), when Riddle resurfaced as the mysterious Lord Voldemort, he returned to Hogwarts to ask for the job once again. By this time, Albus Dumbledore had taken over as Headmaster, and knowing of Voldemort's ill-intentions, rejected his application. Although Voldemort was merely using the application as an excuse to return to Hogwarts to do his own dark researches, recruit more followers, and to hide his diadem Horcrux, he was still infuriated to be denied his chance to return to the school; he only managed to do the third act with the brief moment of time he was given inside the school. In revenge, Voldemort employed this jinx to ensure that no applicant of the Defence Against the Dark Arts post could keep their position for more than one year.[1]

A secondary and more strategic reason for jinxing the post could be Voldemort's wish to reduce the quality of the subject, as its purpose was directly opposed to his personal goals. To disrupt the teaching by an annual change of staff would certainly have a long time effect in his plans, as future students would be less capable of self-defence.

Known victims of the jinx

Once Voldemort placed his jinx on the post, around the end of each school year, the teachers of the class are forced to leave due to one reason or another, from the effects of the jinx.

The jinx lifted

After Voldemort's downfall, the jinx was broken and Hogwarts was able to keep a permanent Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher.[2]

Behind the scenes

Umbridge suspended

Umbridge suspended.

  • In the films, several of these teachers suffer a slightly different fate.
  • Quirinus Quirrell, instead of being burnt raw and red by Lily's protection, was burned completely to ash upon being in contact with Harry, and crumbled to death.
  • Barty Crouch Jr. was not noted to receive the Dementor's Kiss, but he certainly fell into the custody of the authorities.
  • Dolores Umbridge was suspended for suspicions on her activities in school, with an impending inspection (but then apparently removed later).
  • Tom Riddle put the jinx on the post to ensure no one would keep the place of D.A.D.A teacher. Coincidentally, three of his followers suffered the jinx which prevented him from getting his plans into action.


Notes and references

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