John Dawlish was a wizard who worked for the Auror Office in the 1990s. Highly regarded as an "excellent Auror", he was at one point the personal bodyguard to Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic, having also worked under Ministers Rufus Scrimgeour and Pius Thicknesse. During the course of the Second Wizarding War, however, Dawlish's powers were diminished somewhat as he was incapacitated and attacked quite frequently.
John was born somewhere in the British Isles, into the wizarding Dawlish family. He attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he would finish his education earning at least five N.E.W.T.s, all of them with 'Outstanding' marks.
Sometime after his seventeenth birthday, Dawlish joined the Ministry of Magic, and completed a stringent series of character and aptitude tests in the three years that followed to join the Auror Office.
Career as an Auror
Under Minister Cornelius Fudge
On 20 April, 1996, after Marietta Edgecombe denounced the illegal Dumbledore's Army to Dolores Umbridge, Minister Cornelius Fudge travelled to Hogwarts Castle in an attempt to expel Harry Potter, who was leading the outlawed student group. Kingsley Shacklebolt and John Dawlish escorted the Minister there, and were positioned on either side of the door to the Headmaster's office.
Headmaster Albus Dumbledore took the blame instead, with a false confession. After Fudge accused him of treason and sedition against himself and the Ministry of Magic, Fudge made a small choking noise, and then looked round at Kingsley and Dawlish. Dawlish nodded reassuringly and moved forwards, his hand drifting towards the wand in his pocket. Dumbledore said he had to hurt him if Dawlish attacked him, and the Auror blinked rather foolishly, without a clue as to what to do next. Fudge ordered the Aurors to seize Dumbledore, but the Headmaster easily defeated the Ministry officials, leaving Fudge, Umbridge, Kingsley and Dawlish unconscious on the floor as he escaped. Dawlish was the first to come to, stirring on the floor. When the wizards noted Dumbledore's absence, Dawlish fruitlessly tried to intercept him wrenching the door to the office open and disappearing down the stairs, followed closely by Kingsley and Umbridge.
In the early minutes of 17 June, just after midnight, Dawlish was among the number of Ministry officials who, led by Umbridge, attacked Rubeus Hagrid in order to arrest him and sack him from his positions of Gamekeeper and Professor. While trying to Stun him, Dawlish pleaded Hagrid to "be reasonable". It is unclear whether Dawlish was one of the Aurors physically knocked-out by Hagrid, or the one who, like Umbridge, was left unharmed, but tripped over one of his unconscious colleagues and fell over.
After the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Dawlish was one of the Aurors who arrived with Cornelius Fudge into the Ministry Atrium. Fudge sent Dawlish and Williamson down to the Department of Mysteries to see if there were, as Albus Dumbledore told him, escaped Death Eaters in the Death Chamber, bound by an Anti-Disapparation Jinx.
Second Wizarding War
Under Minister Rufus Scrimgeour
- Harry Potter: "Scrimgeour wanted to know where you go when you're not at Hogwarts."
- Albus Dumbledore: "Yes, he is very nosy about that. He has even attempted to have me followed. Amusing, really. He set Dawlish to tail me. It wasn't kind. I have already been forced to jinx Dawlish once; I did it again with the greatest regret."
- — Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore in early 1997.[src]
When Rufus Scrimgeour succeeded Cornelius Fudge as Minister for Magic, due to his failure to announce the return of Lord Voldemort, a bunch of Aurors were stationed at Hogsmeade to provide Hogwarts Castle extra protection. Dawlish was among these Aurors, as were Nymphadora Tonks, Proudfoot and Savage.
In the summer of 1997, Dawlish was put into the Confundus Charm by someone in the Order of the Phoenix, in order to provide the Death Eaters with a false trail as to when Harry Potter would depart from 4 Privet Drive. Sure enough, Yaxley extracted information from him, and he told him that he would be moved on 30 July, escorted by an entire party of Aurors. Severus Snape, however, knew this was a false trail (even noting that Dawlish was especially susceptible to the Confundus Charm) and told Voldemort the Order of the Phoenix would move Harry on 27 July.
Under Minister Pius Thicknesse
- Neville Longbottom: "But we were still fighting, doing underground stuff, right up until a couple of weeks ago. That's when they decided there was only one way to stop me, I suppose, and they went for Gran."
- The trio: "They what?"
- Neville Longbottom: "Yeah. Well, you can see their thinking. It had worked really well, kidnapping kids to force their relatives to behave. I s'pose it was only a matter of time before they did it the other way around. Thing was, they bit off a bit more than they could chew with Gran. Little old witch living alone, they probably thought hey didn't need to send anyone particularly powerful. Anyway, Dawlish is still in St. Mungo's and Gran's on the run."
- — Neville Longbottom to Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, and Hermione Granger on 1 May, 1998[src]
On 1 August, 1997 the Ministry of Magic was taken over by Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters as Minister Rufus Scrimgeour was killed and replaced by Pius Thicknesse, who was under the Imperius Curse.
Dawlish continued to serve as Auror under the new regime, helping in the imprisonment of Muggle-borns and assisting the Death Eater-controlled Ministry. He was charged with transporting Muggle-born wizards tried by the Muggle-Born Registration Commission to Azkaban.
Still under the effects of the Confundus Charm, Dawlish was Stunned by Dirk Cresswell halfway on their flight to Azkaban. Cresswell was not sure if he was left alright, but took Dawlish's broomstick and went on the run.
When Neville Longbottom stepped over the line in rebelling against Alecto and Amycus Carrow at Hogwarts, Dawlish was sent to take Augusta Longbottom as a hostage to get Neville to cooperate with the new regime. However, the Ministry had heavily underestimated Augusta, and she caused him sufficient injury to merit admittance into St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries.
What happened to Dawlish after that is unknown; it is possible that Kingsley Shacklebolt, as the new Minister for Magic, had him arrested for complying with the Death Eaters' rule and for crimes against Muggle-borns, a crime that Umbridge was found guilty and was arrested for.
Personality and traits
John Dawlish was a die-hard patriot of the British Ministry of Magic and dedicated his entire life to eradicating the dark forces. By the 1990s, he was designated by Rufus Scrimgeour to serve as the personal bodyguard of the Minister for Magic himself, meaning he had already earned a reputation of competence; even Albus Dumbledore himself voiced his belief that John Dawish was an excellent Auror.
Appearing to be wholeheartedly convinced of the righteousness of the Ministry's initiative and displaying unyelding loyalty to the magical governing body of Great Britain, Dawlish served the Ministry as an institution rather than holding his alliance to a specific senior official, proving he considered his work and duties to be 'beyond political matters'. His loyalty to the Ministry of Magic clouded his moral compass, however, making him capable and willing to remain unwavering in his service and willing to execute more or less any order handed to him by higher-ranking officals effectively, even when such course of action was morally questionable, such as the attack on Rubeus Hagrid and Minerva McGonagall on the behest of Dolores Umbridge in 1996, or his work following the Death Eater take-over of the Ministry when he was tasked with capturing Muggle-borns and with attacking Augusta Longbottom, which he did (or tried to) without protest.
His career as an Auror also made him hardened and fearless, showing sufficient confidence in his own abilities to remain calm and being generally unfazed by threats from his criminal enemies and intrepidly confront them when such a course of action was necessary — this was particularly evident during the Ministry's attempt to arrest Albus Dumbledore in 1996, when not only did he not hesitate in stepping forward to challenge him single-handedly with the intent of arresting him (when Dumbledore's presence alone was enough to make several Death Eaters flee in fear), but he also showed no sign of reluctance in attempting to pursue him upon the Professor's escape when he believed it was still possible to catch him.
His Ministerial status made Dawlish unaccustomed to people not taking him seriously during the course of his professional duties; Dawlish would lose his otherwise stoic and shrewd exterior and blink rather foolishly when talked down to and turn to a superior for advice, such as when Dumbledore made it clear how he would be completely incapable of apprehending him even if he tried.
Dawlish was described as looking very capable and self-assured, a "tough-looking wizard" with "very short, wiry" grey hair. When hesitant or unsure of himself, he would blink and look "rather foolish".
Magical abilities and skills
- Intelligence: By his final year of formal schooling at Hogwarts, Dawlish had already distinguished himself as a wizard whose cleverness and magical prowess were clearly above-average. When his sat his N.E.W.T.s, he achieved top marks on at least five subjects.
- Magical Mastery: John Dawlish is a very powerful and clever wizard who had obvious talent and expertise in a number of different branches of magic, considering that, as an Auror, he had a high level of skill and knowledge in at least Defence Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Transfiguration, and Potions.
- Auror skills: Given his post as personal bodyguard to Cornelius Fudge during the latter's paranoia towards Dumbledore at the time, it is more than likely that Dawlish was quite a high-ranking Auror with a highly reputable calibre based on his his service record at the Ministry of Magic. As a fully-trained Auror, he was proficient in specialised areas such as Concealment and Disguise and Stealth and Tracking.
- Martial magic: As an official Dark Wizard catcher, Dawlish's ability to handle himself in magical combat were naturally considerable, and like any Auror, he would have honed his ability in magical dueling as part of his training to become a fully-fledged member of the Auror Office. However, it was seen that he was able to be effortlessly defeated by wizards more powerful than himself, as demonstrated during the Ministry's attempt to arrest Dumbledore. He was also (apparently) knocked out by Rubeus Hagrid and, later, Augusta Longbottom, which caused enough damage to have him sent to St. Mungo's Hospital. He was also defeated by Dirk Cresswell, who attributes his escape to another wizard or witch Confunding Dawlish beforehand. His abilities suffered at the time, as he experienced a extended period of frequent injuries and incapacitation, usually due to a combination of far superior opponents, sheer bad luck and Confundus Charms stopping him from exercising the full extent of his skill.
The name "John" is the English form of Iohannes, the Latin form of the Greek name Ιωαννης (Ioannes), itself derived from the Hebrew name יוֹחָנָן (Yochanan) meaning "Yahweh is gracious".
Behind the scenes
- Dawlish is portrayed in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by British actor Richard Leaf.
- Dawlish's frequent injuries and incapacitations are somewhat of a running joke in the last three instalments of the series. His role is largely omitted in the Harry Potter films, and his appearances are diminished to two background appearances with no lines in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and a brief mention in the first part of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. J. K. Rowling stated that "there's no dishonour to Dawlish", as anyone would have been in trouble going up against Dumbledore and that he was "punch drunk" by the time that he faced Augusta Longbottom, who was nevertheless a powerful witch.
- He was named after John Noe, co-host of PotterCast after a friend of John's asked J. K. Rowling what Dawlish's first name was, and displayed an obsession with the character throughout the podcast.
- He was occasionally the subject of a joke saying that he would have some real significance in the last book. An example of this joke can be seen at the poll on The Leaky Cauldron.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: The Character Vault
Notes and references
- ↑ Albus Dumbledore says in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 27 (The Centaur and the Sneak) that he "[seemed] to remember that [Dawlish] achieved 'Outstanding' in all [his] NEWTs". This means that Dawlish sat his NEWTs no earlier than the 1981-1982 school year (as Albus Dumbledore was born in the summer of 1881). Also, in April of 1996, Dawlish had to be 21 or up, as he was a fully fledged Auror [graduated from Hogwarts at age 17 and Auror training takes a further three years, as revealed in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 29 (Careers Advice)].
- ↑ World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling
- ↑ As Dawlish wasn´t imprisoned in Azkaban by the Muggle-born registration commission in 1997, it is possible that he isn´t Muggle-born.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Anelli, Melissa, John Noe and Sue Upton. "PotterCast Interviews J.K. Rowling, part one." PotterCast #130, 17 December 2007 on Accio Quote
- ↑ In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 29 (Careers Advice), Minerva McGonagall establishes that Aurors require a minimum of five N.E.W.T.s in order to be elegible for training to join the Auror Office.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 27 (The Centaur and the Sneak)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 29 (Careers Advice)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 36 (The Only One He Ever Feared)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 8 (Snape Victorious)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 17 (A Sluggish Memory)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 1 (The Dark Lord Ascending)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 11 (The Bribe)
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 15.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 15 (The Goblin's Revenge)
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 29 (The Lost Diadem)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 35 (Beyond the Veil)