- Snape: "...we'll get the letter, you and me."
- Lily: "Really?"
- Snape: "Definitely."
- Lily: "And will it really come by owl?"
- Snape: "Normally. But you're Muggle-born, so someone from the school will have to come and explain to your parents."
- — Severus Snape explains to Lily Evans why her letter won't arrive by owl post.[src]
A special messenger is a wizard or witch assigned the post to deliver the acceptance letter from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to Muggle-born people, explaining that magic truly exists, unless their parents or guardians have a wizard relation.
Special messengers can also be dispatched under special circumstances, even if the student-to-be's parents have a wizard relation; this happened in the case of Remus Lupin, whose parents thought there would not be an opening for him given Remus's affliction of lycanthrophy.
Behind the scenes
- Initially, Harry Potter simply received a normal Hogwarts acceptance letter, as would any wizard-born individual, since even though he was not living with wizards at the time, he was living with his aunt, who was aware of the existence of Hogwarts and the wizarding world. Harry's first letter was, however, sent by Muggle Mail. It was only when it was realised that Harry's letters were most likely being intercepted that Rubeus Hagrid was sent as his special messenger. Implying that the messenger is also sent to insist on the soon-to-be student's admittance in case of interception.
- Since the Deputy Headmaster/Headmistress who dispatch the acceptance letters in the first place, it is possible that they are usually the ones carrying out the task of talking to the parents of Muggle-borns, but that Professor Dumbledore gave the job to Hagrid because it concerned Harry Potter, a child whose safety and well-being the Gamekeeper would be particularly invested in due to his past membership in the first Order of the Phoenix and as a friend of Harry's parents.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (film)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film) (Appears in flashback(s))
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)