Professor Dexter Fortescue was a Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Not much is known about his time at Hogwarts.[3]


As Headmaster of Hogwarts

Dexter Fortescue was made Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in an unknown time period, certainly sometime after the early 18th century.[1] After his death, his portrait was hung at the Headmaster's office, in order to offer advice to the current Head.[3]


In his lifetime, Professor Fortescue had at least one child. His surname lived on to the 1990s, in the person of Florean Fortescue, his direct descendant, who ran Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley.[4]


"Insubordination, sir! Dereliction of duty!"
—Fortescue to Phineas Nigellus[src]
Shortly after Arthur Weasley was attacked by Nagini at the Department of Mysteries, in 1995, Professor Albus Dumbledore attempted to wake up the portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black, to tell Sirius Black that Harry Potter and the Weasley children were going to 12 Grimmauld Place. As Phineas expressed unwillingness to help, the portrait of Dexter Fortescue was particularly vocal, as was Armando Dippet and a portrait of an unidentified female Head.[5]
"Blatant corruption! The Ministry did not cut deals with petty criminals in my day, no sir, they did not!"
—Fortescue to Cornelius Fudge and Dolores Umbridge[src]

In 1995, he roared his disapproval at Cornelius Fudge and Dolores Umbridge when the latter explained to the former how she had learned of the first meeting of Dumbledore's Army in the Hog's Head. She explained that Willy Widdershins had been there and had reported back. Minerva McGonagall, also present, commented that she had wondered how Willy had gotten off so lightly after all those regurgitating toilets, and Fortescue erupted, saying that they did not cut deals with petty criminals in his day.[3]


When Harry Potter went to the Headmaster's office, shortly after Lord Voldemort's defeat and the end of the Second Wizarding War, Fortescue joined the ovation made by the previous Hogwarts Headmaster, waving him his ear trumpet.[6]

Personality and traits

Fortescue believed in honour and duty, reprimanding Phineas Nigellus for "dereliction of duty" and bellowing at Cornelius Fudge, Dolores Umbridge, John Dawlish, and Kingsley Shacklebolt for cutting deals with petty criminals.

In life, he was hard of hearing, necessitating the use of an ear trumpet before his death, a trait passed along to his portrait self who is seen using it to listen to private conversations in the Headmaster's office and speaking loudly when addressing observers or other portraits.

Behind the scenes


The name "Dexter" comes from an occupational surname meaning "one who dyes" in Old English. It also coincides with the Latin word dexter meaning "right-handed, skilled".


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 In Order of the Phoenix, Fortescue makes reference to "The Ministry [not cutting] deals with petty criminals in [his] day", implying that he lived after the Ministry's inception in 1707.
  2. J. K. Rowling stated at the Edinburgh Book Festival on 15 August 2014 (source) that all portraits at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are of deceased individuals. Thus, Fortescue must have died sometime in or before 1995, given his portrait's appearance in the Headmaster's office in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 27 (The Centaur and the Sneak)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 ARTICLE - Add to Template:PM at Pottermore
  5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 22 (St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries)
  6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,
Hogwarts Faculty
Founders Godric Gryffindor | Helga Hufflepuff | Rowena Ravenclaw | Salazar Slytherin
Headteachers Eupraxia Mole | Vulpus | Phyllida Spore | Dexter Fortescue | Eoessa Sakndenberg | Ambrose Swott | Everard | Vindictus Veridian | Dilys Derwent | Quintin Trimble | Limebert | Phineas Nigellus Black | Walter Aragon | Basil Fronsac | Armando Dippet | Albus Dumbledore | Dolores Umbridge | Severus Snape | Minerva McGonagall | Brian Gagwilde | Elizabeth Burke
Deputy Heads Minerva McGonagall | Amycus Carrow | Alecto Carrow
Heads of House Filius Flitwick | Minerva McGonagall | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout
Teaching Staff Bartholomew | Bathsheda Babbling | Herbert Beery | Cuthbert Binns | Charity Burbage | Alecto Carrow | Amycus Carrow | Albus Dumbledore | Firenze | Filius Flitwick | Fortinbras | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Arsenius Jigger | Silvanus Kettleburn | Gilderoy Lockhart | Neville Longbottom | Remus Lupin | Minerva McGonagall | Galatea Merrythought | Quirinus Quirrell | Aurora Sinistra | Horace Slughorn | Severus Snape | Pomona Sprout | Swoopstikes | Sybill Trelawney | Septima Vector | Unidentified witch | |Unnamed Potions Professor (16th century) | Unnamed Potions Professor (2021)
Support Staff Boil-ridden house-elf | Rancorous Carpe | Dobby | Argus Filch | Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank | Rubeus Hagrid | Rolanda Hooch | Hankerton Humble | Kreacher | Ogg | Irma Pince | Poppy Pomfrey | Apollyon Pringle | Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus | Winky

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