Helen Dawlish (possibly)
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.
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.
- Severus Snape: "It will happen Saturday next, at nightful."
- Yaxley: "I have heard differently, my Lord, Dawlish, the Auror, has let slip that the Potter boy will not be moved until the thirtieth of this month, the evening before he turns seventeen."
- Severus Snape: "This is a false trail! The Auror Office no longer plays any part in the protection of Harry Potter. Those closest to him believe we have infiltrated the Ministry."
- — Meeting at Malfoy Manor[src]
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."
- Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger: "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 highly intelligent and magically talented wizard who apparently was slavishly devoted to his job and seemed to take his work as an Auror very seriously. Although he had an easy exploitable weakness, (mainly the Confundus Charm), he generally seemed to be a strong-willed man, as he completed an extremely stringent series of character and aptitude tests in order to join the Auror Office.
He also seemed to be a man of principle, though a combination of a somewhat twisted moral compass and loyalty to the Ministry of Magic cloudes his judgement at times. During the Second Wizarding War, he did indeed work with capturing Muggle-Borns without protest, although this may be more due to him believing Muggle-Borns to be a dangerous threat to the Wizarding Community rather than siding with the Death Eaters willingly. Apparently, he was under the impression that the Ministry and its administration was the very defenition of wizarding law, and thus they were completely infallible, leading him to take orders without questioning them.
He also did not know fear, or at least did not show it when facing what he believed to be a genuine threat to his superiors. Indeed, although he was backed up by three other Ministry Officials when they attempted to arrest Albus Dumbledore, he was the first to step forward and fearlessly making himself ready to challenge the renowned wizard, while the mere precence of Dumbledore was enough to make several Death Eaters flee during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries. This, as well as the fact that Fudge did not attempt to stop him from almost challenging Dumbledore single-handedly, (before Dumbledore's comment made him react with surprise and confused and he stopped with his hand half-way to his wand all by himself), which speaks for exactly how much confidence both he and his fellow Ministry Officials have in his abilities. Although he seems to be an essentially good person, seen that he voluntarily went into a profession where he is working to fight the Dark Arts, and protect the rest of the Wizadkind against the said danger, but is blinded by his loyalty to the Ministry, making him a great soldier, but not a hero, or even siding with the heroes, unless he works for them and they tell him to.
Dawlish was described as looking very capable and self-assured, a "tough-looking wizard" with "very short, wiry" grey hair. Despite his somewhat formidable appearance, any appearance or mention of him usually involves him being hexed, usually due to a combination of far superior opponents and sheer bad luck.
Magical abilities and skills
- 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 seven fields of magic, and may also have taken even more than those five subjects to his N.E.W.T-exams when graduating from Hogwarts.
- Intelligence: It is reasonably to assume that Dawlish is highly intelligent and knowledgeable in the theory of many magical disciplines, since the final exams at Hogwarts has a theoretical part and he got top grades in all subjects he took, something even Hermione Granger was unable to do. (Although the number of N.E.W.T-exams he took is not known).
- Auror Skills: As John Dawlish was handpicked by then Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, who - due to his paranoia towards Dumbledore at the time undoubtedly took his personal security very seriously - it is quite possible that he was quite a high-ranking Auror with a highly reputable calibre based on his his service record at the British Ministry of Magic. Also, as an fully educated Auror, he was proficient in at least the fields of Potions, Defence Against the Dark Arts, Transfiguration, Herbology, and Charms.
- Martial magic: Albus Dumbledore complimented Dawlish on his abilities as an Auror, saying that the man got "Outstanding" in all of his N.E.W.T exams, and so it was probable that Dawlish possessed skill when it came to duelling and spellwork. 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. Despite having Cornelius Fudge, Dolores Umbridge, and Kingsley Shacklebolt to back him up (though Shacklebolt was actually an ally of Dumbledore's and it is unknown if he would have been much help), Dawlish was still defeated by Dumbledore's magic. 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.
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.
- In an early draft script for the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Dumbledore refers to Dawlish as "Hawkes". In the final film, he is referred to by his proper name, Dawlish.
- 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)
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)].
- ↑ As Dawlish wasn´t imprisoned in Azkaban by the Muggle-born registration commission in 1997, it is possible that he isn´t Muggle-born.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 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.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 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)
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 15 (The Goblin's Revenge)
- ↑ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 29 (The Lost Diadem)