Ever since J.K. Rowling announced that Voldemort would at long last have the “leg room” 1 he desired, his plans have become a hot topic. We all know what Harry’s mission will be in Book Seven: to hunt and destroy the remaining Horcruxes. But what will Voldemort’s be? On PotterCast 55, several possibilities were discussed, but the one I found most intriguing was Voldemort’s possible capture of Durmstrang Institute.2 I then thought: what if the school has already been captured and if so, what would Voldemort have done with it? I believe it is possible that he has taken Durmstrang by force and along with it, Viktor Krum to be used as a spy within Hogwarts as the seventh Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
A Base of Operations
Once the Dark Lord was reborn at the end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,3 one of the first things he would have needed is a base of operations; a place to command the formidable army that he would soon be forming. This army so far has consisted of giants, dementors, werewolves, Inferi and an assortment of Death Eaters.4 Commanding these troops and Death Eaters is best done from a large place away from meddlesome Muggles and wizards. The Riddle House is out of the question, as Albus Dumbledore knows all about that place,5 and it is also not big enough for him and his army now. Plus I doubt Voldemort would run his operations in the midst of a Muggle-inhabited area; better a secluded spot that isn’t under the eyes of the Ministry or Albus Dumbledore. Soon after attaining his new body, the Dark Lord would most likely move his base to another location. As Azkaban is still under Ministry control despite the desertion of the dementors,6 we can assume Voldemort is not there either.
So if he is not at the Riddle House or in Azkaban then where might he be? The Ministry has searched Britain to no avail; they have even resorted to arresting innocents just to simulate progress on the hunt for Lord Voldemort.7 Voldemort may be evil, but he’s not stupid. I find it unlikely that he would even be based in Britain at the moment. We’ve been told that Voldemort has on more than one occasion fled the country after being defeated.8 He seems to have no problem spreading out and hiding in whatever shadowy place he can find.
Rowling stated in 2000, “The battleground is Britain at the moment.” This was in reference to whether or not America would show up in the books, which she said no to.9 However, there could be other places besides Great Britain that could see some Dark activity. Fortunately for Voldemort, there is a place that is not only large enough but also hosts students who have studied the Dark Arts10 and have lost their leader. Former Death Eater Igor Karkaroff has run off, leaving a vacancy in the command structure of Durmstrang.11 The school also denies Muggle-borns, according to Draco Malfoy.
“Well, you know his [Lucius Malfoy's] opinion of Dumbledore – the man’s such a Mudblood-lover – and Durmstrang doesn’t admit that sort of riffraff. But Mother didn’t like the idea of me going to school so far away. Father says Durmstrang takes a far more sensible line than Hogwarts about the Dark Arts. Durmstrang students actually learn them, not just the defense rubbish we do….” 12
We also learn, via Hermione and Viktor, that the school is situated in the chilly regions of the far North, as well as being rather isolated:
“But I think Durmstrang must be somewhere in the far North,” said Hermione thoughtfully. “Somewhere very cold, because they’ve got fur capes as part of their uniform.” 13
“Vell, ve have a castle also, not as big as this, nor as comfortable, I am thinking,” [Krum] was telling Hermione. “Ve have just four floors, and the fires are lit only for magical purposes. But ve have grounds larger even then these – though in vinter, ve have very little daylight, so ve are not enjoying them. But in summer ve are flying every day, over the lakes and the mountains – ” 14
This leads me to think that Durmstrang would be an ideal place for Voldemort to gather his allies and stage his plans. He would have use of a student body not only well versed in the Dark Arts, but pure-blooded and easily corruptible to his cause. He would also have sufficient grounds for his army to station themselves. Also, considering how the Durmstrang students arrived in Goblet of Fire,15 it is possible that the magical ship could be used again to enter Hogwarts grounds.
If Voldemort is based at Durmstrang, this would explain why it has been so hard for the Ministry to find any trace of him in Britain. Though it is not possible to Apparate on the Hogwarts grounds, Durmstrang may not have this rule. The Death Eaters might be able to Apparate and Disapparate to anywhere in the world from this location.
A New DADA Teacher
The next step in this plan is to find someone who knows Harry, who has gained Harry’s trust, but not necessarily someone from Hogwarts. Someone who Voldemort can capture easily at this point without raising any suspicion. I think the ideal person to fill that role is Viktor Krum. In reply to the question, “Will we be seeing Krum again any time soon?” Rowling replied, “You will see Krum again, though not soon.” 16
It is true that Krum would be graduating soon, but he was the one to sail the Durmstrang boat back to the school.17 If Voldemort took over Durmstrang shortly after his rebirth, it is possible that Krum would have been at the school still. Krum is also vulnerable to the Imperius Curse,18 although considering that Durmstrang probably teaches its students this spell, Krum should have been more experienced with it. It seems that this is a weakness of his that may be exploited if Voldemort captured him. The Imperius Curse is a powerful and dangerous tool for Lord Voldemort to use. We are introduced to this curse in Goblet of Fire, where not only Krum was under this curse but Barty Crouch, Jr. and Sr. as well. Madame Rosmerta was also put under the curse for an entire year in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Sturgis Podmore was also placed under the Imperius Curse and attempted to steal the Prophecy.19 We have not seen the last of this curse, as Rowling has consistently used it since its introduction. While Harry can throw the curse off in Goblet of Fire, Hermione even states that Krum is not as good a Wizard as Harry.20
Next year when Hogwarts re-opens, and I believe it will re-open, otherwise it will be left vulnerable to Voldemort for the taking, it will require another Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. When J.K. Rowling was asked whether something would stop Snape from teaching the next year she said:
“Yes. I really can't say more than that. That is because one of those questions that is a very good question and everyone would like to know the answer but it gives a lot away. There must obviously be a new one.” 21
Rowling has also stated that she does not knowingly mislead her fans,22 so based on this statement we can believe Hogwarts will reopen and there will be a seventh Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher.
A Poetic Clue
A pattern I have observed with the character types of the successive Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers has led me to believe that Krum will be the next new teacher. In the first six books, this pattern has shown a definite type, those being Voldemort Supporter in Disguise, Self-Interested Person, and Dumbledore Supporter.
In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, we had unsure and seemingly nervous Professor Quirrell who secretly had Voldemort attached to the back of his head, commanding him from close range. A clear Voldemort Supporter begins the pattern we shall now explore. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, we had flashy, self-centered Professor Lockhart who was out for his own gains. With the third book, we finally saw our Dumbledore Supporter with one Professor Lupin who resigned rather then bring trouble to his beloved school. Next, with Goblet of Fire, we had Polyjuiced Bartemius Crouch, Jr. posing as Alastor Moody on Voldemort’s orders to bring Harry to him through the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix brought us Professor Umbridge, another Self-Interested Person with her own goals and agenda.
From this I hypothesized that the sixth book would feature a Dumbledore Supporter as the Defense teacher, and this, arguably, proved to be so if you believe as I do that Snape supports Albus Dumbledore and the Order. Following this pattern, the final Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher shall be a Voldemort Supporter in Disguise. What better disguise then that of a trusted acquaintance of Harry Potter who has been put under the Imperius Curse to do Lord Voldemort’s bidding?
Another clue that points to this is Snape’s potion puzzle back in Philosopher’s Stone, which many believe to symbolize the seven different Defense Against the Dark Arts teachers Hogwarts would have while Harry attends the school.
Danger lies before you, while safety lies behind,
Two of us will help you, whichever you would find,
One among us seven will let you move ahead,
Another will transport the drinker back instead,
Two among our numbers hold only nettle wine,
Three of us are killers, waiting hidden in line.23
I feel that Lupin was the one who helped Harry with his past, teaching him to conquer his fear and face the dementors. Snape has galvanized Harry’s will and thirst to put an end to Voldemort; Harry is now propelled forward into the mission of taking down Voldemort. The nettle wines were Lockhart and Umbridge respectively, individuals with their own agendas. So far we have only seen two of the poisons: Quirrell and Barty Crouch, Jr. This means there must be one remaining poison for Harry and company to face in their final year.
A Creature of Habit
I believe Krum will be sent to not only infiltrate Harry’s inner circle but Hogwarts as well, since both Draco and Snape will be unable to return. Voldemort’s next desired task is to get to Harry Potter so he can finally kill him as he has longed to do for many years now. For that he would need a spy, someone on the inside to give Voldemort critical information and help lure Potter into a trap. Voldemort – a creature of habit – has a way of extracting information, such as he did to Bertha Jorkins to find out not only about the Tri-Wizard Tournament but about his loyal servant Barty Crouch, Jr.24 Voldemort could use these same abilities to extract personal information from Krum about Harry and his friends.
Dumbledore may have had the flaw of seeing good in everyone and trusting too much in others. However, straight-backed McGonagall certainly doesn’t have that problem, though she will need to find someone to fill the Defense Against the Dark Arts position. I anticipate very few wanting to sign up – if it was nigh impossible for Dumbledore think how hard it will be for McGonagall. Krum showing up to take the position will certainly be reviewed by McGonagall, but she will need a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, perhaps more than ever now that war has broken out openly with Voldemort. Krum, as an experienced student of the Dark Arts from Durmstrang, can present himself as an able enough teacher for the post, with a prior knowledge of the Hogwarts grounds, castle, and staff as well. It has been three years since we have seen this character, so he will have had a lot of time to mature and to better himself. McGonagall may even consider Harry's and Hermione’s input if they vouch for him as a trustworthy person.
Though Harry may not be in attendance as a full-time student in his final year, he will likely be in close contact with Hogwarts and could possibly use it as a home base during his Horcrux hunt. Once Krum is at Hogwarts, he will be a valuable mole within the enemy’s walls; one that Voldemort can exploit in many ways. Krum could drive a wedge between Ron and Hermione, thereby weakening the strength of the trio. Under the Imperius Curse, he will have the ability to gain information on Harry’s plans from the rest of Dumbledore’s Army, and may be able to draw Harry into a trap. Krum will also have access to those that Harry cares the most for, as his closest friends – his only real family – are at Hogwarts. Voldemort may attempt to exploit what he views as a weakness, Harry’s ability to love, by planning an attack on those closest to Harry, and Krum will be in a position to do just that.
Voldemort repeats his patterns, favorite tactics he has used before, so it follows that he may try sending a spy to Hogwarts again. The Dark Lord, or one of his supporters, has twice created havoc for Harry as a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Both times the plan nearly succeeded, and in the case of Crouch, did succeed exactly as planned, though Harry was luckily able to survive his graveyard duel with Voldemort. This time, if he has captured Durmstrang and taken over Krum, Voldemort may be tempted to once again to spread chaos within the walls of Hogwarts by sending in a spy. I believe Viktor Krum will be that spy, fulfilling role of the third “poison” from the Philosopher’s Stone riddle.
1. Upton, “JKR: Voldemort Requires My Presence.”
2. PotterCast 55.
3. Rowling, Goblet of Fire, 643.
4. Rowling, Order of the Phoenix, 93.
5. Rowling, Goblet of Fire, 601-2.
6. Rowling, Half-Blood Prince, 14.
7. Ibid., 221.
8. Rowling, Chamber of Secrets, 328.
9. Jensen, “ ‘Fire’ Storm.”
10. Rowling, Goblet of Fire, 165.
11. Ibid., 720.
12. Ibid., 165.
13. Ibid., 167.
14. Ibid., 417.
15. Ibid., 246.
16. Rowling, “World Book Day Chat.”
17. Rowling, Goblet of Fire, 725.
18. Ibid., 677.
19. Rowling, Order of the Phoenix, 588.
20. Ibid., 331.
21. Rowling, “ ‘Cub Reporter’ Press Conference.”
22. Anelli and Spartz, “TLC/MN Interview Part Three.”
23. Rowling, Sorcerer's Stone, 285.
24. Rowling, Goblet of Fire, 10.
Anelli, Melissa and Emerson Spartz. “The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Two.” The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005 http://www.quick-quote-quill.org/articles/2005/0705-tlc_mugglenet-anelli-2.htm.
———. “The Leaky Cauldron and MuggleNet interview Joanne Kathleen Rowling: Part Three.” The Leaky Cauldron, 16 July 2005. http://www.mugglenet.com/jkrinterview3.shtml.
Jensen, Jeff. “ ‘Fire’ Storm.” Entertainment Weekly, 7 September 2000. http://www.quick-quote-quill.org/articles/2000/0900-ew-jensen.htm.
“PotterCast 55.” The Leaky Cauldron, 10 September 2006. /pottercast/blog/show/78.
Quick Quotes Quill. 2003-2005. Quick Quotes Quill. 11 January 2006. http://www.quick-quote-quill.org/index2.html.
Rowling, JK. “Edinburgh ‘Cub Reporter’ Press Conference.” ITV, 16 July 2005 http://www.accio-quote.org/articles/2005/0705-edinburgh-ITVcubreporters.htm.
———. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2000.
———. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2005.
———. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 2003.
———. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. New York: Scholastic Press, Arthur A. Levine Books, 1998.
———. "World Book Day Chat," March 4, 2004. Transcript, Quick Quotes Quill, http://www.quick-quote-quill.org/articles/2004/0304-wbd.htm (Accessed 27 September 2006).
Upton, Sue. “JKR: ‘Voldemort Requires My Constant Presence at the Moment’.” The Leaky Cauldron, 5 September 2006 (remarks provided by Bloomsbury) /#article:9032.