- Harry Potter: "Bathilda Bagshot? The author of A History of Magic?"
- Elphias Doge: "Yes. A most gifted magical historian and an old friend of Albus's."
- Aunt Muriel: "Quite gaga these days, I've heard."
- — Bathilda's failing mental health[src]
Professor Bathilda Bagshot (d. 1997) was a British witch, magical historian and the author of A History of Magic and approximately ten other books. A History of Magic is used in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry class of the same name, taught by Cuthbert Binns.
- " Kendra Dumbledore slammed the door in my face when I went around to welcome her with a batch of homemade Cauldron Cakes. The first year they were there I only ever saw the two boys. Wouldn't have known there was a daughter if I hadn't been picking Plangentines by moonlight the winter after they moved in, and saw Kendra leading Ariana out into the back garden. Walked her round the lawn once, keeping a firm grip on her, then took her back inside. Didn't know what to make of it."
- — Bathilda relays her reminiscences about the Dumbledores[src]
In the 1890s, Bagshot was already an adult living in her house in Godric's Hollow, when Kendra Dumbledore moved there from Mould-on-the-Wold along with her young children Albus, Aberforth, and Ariana, after her husband Percival's well-publicised arrest and imprisonment in Azkaban. Bathilda tried to befriend Kendra after they arrived, but she was rebuffed.
Within the next several years, Bathilda sent an owl to Albus Dumbledore (then a Hogwarts student) having been favourably impressed by his paper on trans-species Transfiguration for the scholarly journal Transfiguration Today. This initial contact led to her being acquainted with the rest of the Dumbledore family. At the time of Kendra's death, Bathilda was the only person in Godric's Hollow who was on speaking terms with her.
In the summer of 1899, after Albus Dumbledore graduated from Hogwarts, an orphan and head of the family, Bathilda's great-nephew, Gellert Grindelwald, came to live with her and she made a point of introducing Grindelwald to Albus. The two talented young men became friends. It is unknown how much or what Bathilda knew of her nephew's actions concerning Aberforth and Ariana Dumbledore, but she witnessed the fist-fight that broke out between the Dumbledore brothers at Ariana's funeral.
In 1947, Bathilda's work on wizarding history was published under the title A History of Magic by Little Red Books. It was presumably around this time she authored her other works on magical history. She was deemed the most celebrated magical historian of the twentieth century.
- "We had a very quiet birthday tea, just us and old Bathilda, who has always been sweet to us, and who dotes on Harry... Bathilda drops in most days, she's a fascinating old thing with the most amazing stories about Dumbledore, I'm not sure he'd be pleased if he knew! I don't know how much to believe, actually, because it seems incredible that Dumbledore could ever have been friends with Gellert Grindelwald. I think her mind's going, personally!"
- — Excerpt from Lily Potter's letter[src]
In her older years, Bathilda was on close terms with Lily Potter and even spoke to the younger woman on the closeness between Grindelwald and Dumbledore, though Lily remained somewhat sceptical, given Bathilda's advancing age and possible senility. Bathilda was also the only one to join the Potters during Harry Potter's birthday tea when he turned one year old. Ron Weasley's great aunt Muriel called her "gaga" during Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour's wedding.
Also sometime in her later life, Professor Bagshot provided a quote for the critical acclaim for Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp, when she wrote "Kennilworthy Whisp's painstaking research has uncovered a veritable treasure trove of hitherto unknown facts about the sport of warlocks. A fascinating read." as a review.
Rita Skeeter interview
- "Dear Batty, Thanks for your help. Here's a copy of the book; hope you like it. You said everything, even if you don't remember it. Rita."
- — Rita Skeeter's note to Bathilda[src]
In 1997 (after the death of Albus Dumbledore) Bathilda was interviewed by Rita Skeeter through the use of Veritaserum. Rita then used the material she gathered from Bathilda in her only semi-true biography The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore. It is implied that Skeeter took advantage of Bathilda's poor mental state to twist her material to be more sensationalist. She even referred to Bathilda as being "batty".
Also while in Bathilda's cottage she took several of her pictures and letters. For example an image of Dumbledore and Grindlewald together. And one letter she stole was a correspondence from Dumbledore to Grindlewald, regarding their ambition to obtain the Deathly Hallows and their plan to start a global revolution. This global revolution would lead wizardkind out of hiding and cause Muggle servitude. Bathilda's pictures and letters caused tension in the wizarding world, especially among those whom were Dumbledore supporters. Harry Potter was one of the ones most affected by it.
Death and post-mortem
- "Finally, we regret to inform our listeners that the remains of Bathilda Bagshot have been discovered in Godric's Hollow. The evidence is that she died several months ago. The Order of the Phoenix informs us that her body showed unmistakable signs of injuries inflicted by Dark Magic."
- — Lee Jordan comments upon Bathilda's murder[src]
Sometime after her interview with Rita Skeeter, Bathilda was murdered through the Dark Arts and her body was animated by Lord Voldemort. Voldemort did this using his snake, Nagini. He left Nagini in her cottage as a trap, reasoning that Harry Potter may visit Godric's Hollow to see his parents' grave and their destroyed home, since he was no longer at Hogwarts and had never before had the opportunity to visit Godric’s Hollow.
On the following Christmas Eve, Hermione Granger and Harry did so, thinking that perhaps Dumbledore had left Godric Gryffindor's Sword there for them to be able to destroy the Horcruxes they were hunting. The pair met the possessed woman and were almost captured when "Bathilda" lured them into her home. After determining Harry's identity, Nagini leapt from Bathilda's body to attack him, leaving the old woman for good. The plan, however, failed, and Harry and Hermione escaped.
- "Now that he was beside her, Harry realised how tiny she was; bowed down with age, she came barely level with his chest. She closed the door behind them, her knuckles blue and mottled against the peeling paint... Her eyes were thick with cataracts and sunken into folds of transparent skin, and her whole face was dotted with broken veins and liver spots... she unwound a moth-eaten black shawl, revealing a head of scant white hair through which the scalp showed clearly through. "
- — Description of her appearance[src]
An elderly Professor Bagshot was a tiny woman, her head at the level of seventeen-year-old Harry Potter's chest. At the time that Harry Potter met her, she was stooped, her eyes were thick with cataracts, and her hair was scant and white, with her scalp clearly visible. Her face had some liver spots and broken veins.
Personality and traits
- "Unfortunately, the brilliance that Bathilda exhibited earlier in her life has now dimmed. "The fire's lit, but the cauldron's empty," as Ivor Dillonsby put it to me, or, in Enid Smeek's slightly earthier phrase, "She's nutty as squirrel poo."
- — The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore by Rita Skeeter[src]
Little is known of Bathilda's personality. One can presume she was friendly and amiable, having tried to befriend Kendra Dumbledore in the 1890s with a batch of homemade Cauldron Cakes. She regarded Albus Dumbledore as something like a protégé and was friendly with Lily Potter in the early 1980s. She was a brilliant witch and historian in her youth, but during her later years she was quite possibly becoming senile.
Magical abilities and skills
- Historian: An authority in wizarding history, Professor Bagshot was referred to by some as the most celebrated magical historian of the twentieth century, having authored A History of Magic and ten other books on the subject.
- Transfiguration: Professor Bagshot was knowledgeable in transfiguration as she was a reader of the scholarly journal Transfiguration Today and had enough understanding in the subject to properly assess the quality of one of Albus Dumbledore's papers on the subject of trans-species Transfiguration.
- Charms: Bathilda appeared to be good with charms, as she was able to successfully use the Portus charm to arrange a Portkey for Gellert Grindelwald to leave Godric's Hollow.
- Herbology: Bathilda kept and grew magical plants in her back garden, such as Plangentines, and knew what the proper time was to pick them.
- Divination: Bathilda appeared to be skilled and knowledgeable in the art of divination, as she authored two books on the subject, The Oracle of Palombo and Omens, Oracles & the Goat.
- Authoring: Bathilda was a highly accomplished and renowned author, having written and published multiple books on a number of different magical subjects.
- Cooking: Bathilda was able to bake batches of Cauldron Cakes in her youth.
- Home: Bathilda owned a dwelling in Godric's Hollow which served as her home when she was alive. After her death and murder, it fell into disarray and ruin, as no one was around to look after it.
- The Mill on the Floss: Bathilda owned a copy of this novel written by Muggle author George Eliot, which could be found on the bookshelves in her home.
- Shrubs & Trees for the Garden: Bathilda owned a copy of this gardening and floriculture book, which could be found on the shelves in her home.
- The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore: Bathilda was personally gifted a copy of this controversial autobiography by its author Rita Skeeter, after Bathilda personally gave her the information necessary to write it (although somewhat unwillingly).
- Plangentines: Bathilda grew and cultivated this species of magical plant in her garden.
- Bathilda is an alternate spelling of the name of Saint Balthild, a seventh-century Anglo-Saxon noble and wife of King Clovis II of Burgundy who dedicated her later life to helping the ill and the poor. The name is derived from the Old English Bealdhild, meaning "bold battle".
- Bathilda is a German name that means "heroine".
- Bagshot is the name of a town in Surrey, England. The name is thought to be derived from a tribe (bacca) and the Anglo-Saxon word for "The place of" (sheatte) meaning "the place of Bacca's tribe" though Bag could also mean badger, "the place of the Badger", creating a reference to Hufflepuff.
- Bathilda's last name, Bagshot, may also be a reference to The Lord of the Rings, in which the characters Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and Hamfast and Samwise Gamgee lived on Bagshot Row.
Behind the scenes
- Hazel Douglas portrayed Bathilda Bagshot in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
- It is possible that Bathilda's body was animated as an Inferius, and thus controlled by Voldemort's will. As Inferi are never shown to speak, this would account for why Nagini had to speak for her instead, but this is not necessarily the case because it was stated in the book that Nagini came out of her.
- Bathilda was incredibly old when she died, as she was a great aunt of Grindelwald in the 1890s, although her precise date of birth is not mentioned.
- A picture by concept artist Peter Mckinstry shows a photograph of Bathilda Bagshot and other academics sitting in a classroom at Hogwarts Castle. This seems to be a reference to the famous picture of the 1927 Solvay Conference on Quantum Mechanics, as both the clothes and the overall alignment of individuals are similar. In the picture, Bathilda seems to take the place of Marie Curie: in both pictures they are the only featured women, and they are both in a similar position and in a similar pose.
- In a The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore prop for the first part of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Bathilda Bagshot's name is poorly transcribed as "Batholith". The same book referred to Godric's Hollow as "Godlike's Hollow", Kendra as "Canard" and Hogwarts as "Hog warts".
- Her name may have been inspired by Walter Bagehot, who, in 1867, wrote the book that is considered the most important text on the British system of government. His work The English Constitution had nearly the same status in British public schools as A History of Magic did at Hogwarts.
- Being the great-aunt of Gellert Grindelwald, Bathilda must have had at least one sister or brother who fathered Gellert's father or mother.
- Both she and her great-nephew were killed by Tom Riddle, but not at the same time.
- This makes them the second pair of relatives killed by Tom Riddle. The first is composed of Lily and James Potter, but they were killed at the same time.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (First appearance) (Appears as a corpse)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (Appears as a corpse)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game) (Appears as a corpse)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (play) (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (Appears as a corpse)
- Wizarding World (Appears as a corpse)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Mentioned only)
- Quidditch Through the Ages (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Appears as a corpse)
- The Art of Harry Potter Mini Book of Graphic Design (Appears as a corpse)
- Harry Potter: The Creature Vault (Appears as a corpse)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter: Magic Awakened (Mentioned in History of Magic classes)
Notes and references
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 11 (The Bribe) - When the Dumbledore family moved to Godric's Hollow in 1890, after Percival's arrest, Bathilda was already an adult and came by to welcome them, meaning she was at least seventeen years of age. This makes 1873 Bathilda's latest date of birth.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 17 (Bathilda's Secret)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 18 (The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore)
- Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Side Quest "Secrets of Godric's Hollow"
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 5 (Diagon Alley)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 10 (Kreacher's Tale)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 11 (The Bribe)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 8 (The Wedding)
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - Disc 2 (Godric's Hollow)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - Chapter 7 (The Wedding)
- Quidditch Through the Ages - Praise for Quidditch Through the Ages
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 22 (The Deathly Hallows)
- See this image (archive from October 30, 2013; original link here).