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Canon discussion / Harry Potter Lexicon Minute

CS5: Or Worse, Expelled

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CS5: Or Worse, Expelled

There’s that well known line of Hermione’s…”we could have been killed—or worse, expelled.” That’s from chapter 9, “The Midnight Duel,” in Sorcerer’s Stone.

In Chapter 5, “The Whomping Willow,” of Chamber of Secrets Harry and Ron think they are going to be expelled when they got caught having flown the Ford Anglia to school. But, were they really in any danger of being thrown out of Hogwarts? Personally, I don’t believe so, and here’s why.

First off, there are two instances in all of Potter canon that an expulsion or near expulsion occured, and both involve humans dying or nearly dying. Hagrid was expelled because he was wrongfully found guilty of being the cause of Moaning Myrtle’s death. In Fantastic Beasts, Graves informs us that Newt was nearly expelled for endangering human life with one of his creatures.

Harry and Ron were only seen by a couple of muggles, and ya, they made a pretty dumb decision that deliberately broke rules, but no human lives were in danger, and it was something that could be fixed, by modifying the muggle’s memories. This is nowhere near the caliber of the two known previous expulsion situations.

Secondly, I think Dumbledore would have made any excuse to keep Harry at Hogwarts. How else would the puppet master’s grand plan of having Harry hunt down Horcruxes and eventually sacrificing himself have worked? One could argue that Dumbledore didn’t know or start to guess about Voldemort’s Horcruxes until the end of Chamber of Secrets. And that may be so, but Dumbledore always knew that Voldemort wasn’t really gone, and about the prophecy. He knew Harry was vital to Voldemort’s demise and how else could Harry stand any chance of accomplishing that if he didn’t have as much training as possible?

Dumbledore has had a hand in Harry’s life since before he was born, I doubt very much that he would let Harry get expelled in his second year.
Harry worried about being expelled several times throughout the series. I really believe that Harry could have done anything he wanted, short of ending someone’s life, and still not have gotten kicked out of Hogwarts.

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