Dirk attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the 1970s, becoming a favourite student of Potions Master Horace Slughorn. One of Dirk's most notable traits was his fluency in Gobbledegook. After graduating, he went to work at the Ministry and eventually became Head of the Goblin Liaison Office. Many of his colleagues considered him a great wizard.
When the Ministry was taken over by Lord Voldemort, Dirk attempted to use a forged family tree in order to claim wizarding heritage, but was discovered by Albert Runcorn. He went on the run to avoid the Muggle-Born Registration Commission, but was eventually caught and murdered by Snatchers.
Early life (1960s-1979)
- "And there was Dirk Cresswell in the year after Lily Evans, too — now Head of the Goblin Liaison Office, of course — another Muggle-born, a very gifted student, and still gives me excellent inside information on the goings-on at Gringotts!"
- —Horace Slughorn tells Harry Potter about Cresswell's student years[src]
Dirk Cresswell was born sometime between September, 1960 and September, 1961, somewhere in the British Isles, into the Muggle Cresswell family. He showed magical abilities and, at the age of eleven, was invited to enrol at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which he did, having been Sorted on 1 September, 1972.
Career at the Ministry of Magic (1979-1997)
Sometime after graduating from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in 1979, Cresswell joined the Ministry of Magic. He eventually rose to the post of Head of the Goblin Liaison Office, succeeding Cuthbert Mockridge in either 1994, 1995, or 1996.
He remained in contact with Professor Slughorn and passed on news about internal affairs at Gringotts Wizarding Bank to him, something of which Slughorn was glad of. Albus Dumbledore also suggested that Slughorn's friendliness with Cresswell resulted in Cresswell requesting him to make suggestions for possible junior members within the Goblin Liaison Office.
Muggle-Born Registration Commission
- "As your new Minister for Magic, I promise to restore this temple of tolerance to its former glory. Therefore, beginning today, each employee will submit themselves… for evaluation. But know this: you have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide."
- —Pius Thicknesse delivers his speech to Ministry employees[src]
During the height of the Second Wizarding War, on 1 August, 1997, the Ministry of Magic was taken over by Lord Voldemort. Shortly after, it began persecuting Muggle-born wizards and witches, beginning with the formation of the Muggle-Born Registration Commission and the Snatchers organisations, in accordance with the Death Eater ideology. Muggle-borns were accused of having stolen magic and sentenced to Azkaban for it.
Cresswell arranged with a wizard to forge a false family tree so that the Ministry would believe that he was of a different blood status. However, Albert Runcorn, a powerful Ministry official and supporter of the Death Eater regime, tracked the wizard who faked his family tree and Cresswell was arrested. While Death Eater-controlled and newly instated Minister Pius Thicknesse, alongside Dolores Umbridge, Yaxley, and Albert Runcorn, delivered a speech to the Ministry employees about the changes in Ministry policy, Snatchers arrived and dragged a battered and bruised Dirk Cresswell across the Atrium.
Auror John Dawlish was charged with transporting Cresswell to Azkaban fortress in the North Sea, via broomstick. Halfway to the prison, Dirk managed to stun Dawlish, whom he believed to be under the effects of the Confundus Charm, and stole the Auror's broomstick, using it to escape.
On the run (1997-1998)
- Dean Thomas: "I know Harry Potter. And I reckon he's the real thing — the Chosen One, or whatever you want to call it."
- Dirk: "Yeah, there's a lot would like to believe he's that, son, me included. But where is he? Run for it, by the looks of things. You'd think if he knew anything we don't, or had anything special going for him, he'd be out there now fighting, rallying resistance, instead of hiding. And you know, the Prophet made a pretty good case against him —"
- — A conversation while on the run from Snatchers[src]
Dirk then went on the run, eventually meeting up with fellow fugitives Ted Tonks and Dean Thomas, as well as goblins Griphook and Gornuk. The group proceeded to stay on the move along the countryside.
One night, in the autumn of 1997, they set camp on a riverbank in Wales, where they could summon some salmon to eat. Unbeknownst to any of them, Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, and Hermione Granger were sitting in a tent concealed from sight by a number of protective enchantments. The group started talking. Dirk told them of his escape. The subject of conversation turned into war and Harry Potter. Dirk told the group he had doubts Severus Snape had really killed Albus Dumbledore, as the Daily Prophet, which he had been reading, made such a strong case against Harry. Tonks told Cresswell to start reading The Quibbler, an independent publication not under the control of the Ministry, to know the facts. Cresswell exploded into laughter, swallowing a fish bone and expressing scorn at what he called "that lunatic rag of Xeno Lovegood's". They told Cresswell The Quibbler was not so lunatic any more, and Dean voiced his trust in Harry.
The conversation soon enough turned into a discussion of whether they should sleep there or back up a wooded slope whence they came. Deciding the trees would give better cover, they extinguished their fire and clambered back up the incline.
- "But before we hear from Royal and Romulus let's take a moment to report those deaths that the Wizarding Wireless Network News and Daily Prophet don't think important enough to mention. It is with great regret that we inform our listeners of the murders of Ted Tonks and Dirk Cresswell."
- —Lee Jordan announces Cresswell's murder in Potterwatch[src]
Eventually, the group was caught by a gang of Snatchers and Cresswell, Ted Tonks, and Gornuk were murdered while resisting capture. Griphook and Dean Thomas managed to escape relatively unscathed.
The death of Dirk Cresswell and his comrades was omitted from the Daily Prophet and the Wizarding Wireless Network News, which were under the control of the Death Eater regime and ceased reporting deaths caused by Voldemort's regime. It was, however, announced in a March, 1998, broadcast of Potterwatch. Dirk left behind a wife and at least two sons.
Magical abilities and skills
- Potions: The Potions Master Horace Slughorn considered Dirk to be one of his "all-time favourite students" whilst he was a student at Hogwarts, meaning he must have been proficient in the subject of potion making.
- Flying: Dirk was a competent broomstick flyer, as he was successfully able to use John Dawlish's broomstick to escape from capture via flight.
- Charms: Dirk was capable of conjuring a non-corporeal Patronus, an incredibly advanced and impressive piece of magic and evidence of superior magical skill. He was able to successfully subdue John Dawlish with the Stunning Spell, allowing him to escape capture.
- Multilingualism: Dirk was fluent in Gobbledegook, the language of Goblins, a notable talent which allowed him to become head of the Goblin Liaison Office at the British Ministry of Magic. He was able to instantly understand Griphooks use of the language whilst in hiding with him.
The name "Dirk" is the short form of Diederik. The name was popularised in the English-speaking world by actor Dirk Bogarde (1921-1999), who had some Dutch ancestry. This is also the Scots word for a type of dagger.
Behind the scenes
- Dirk Cresswell was played by Ricky Wilson, lead singer of the Kaiser Chiefs. His role was uncredited, and he was never identified in the film, but the character of Dirk Cresswell took on his appearance in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7.
- Like Ted Tonks and Gornuk, Dirk Cresswell's on the run part was cut from the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, although all three are briefly mentioned on radio to have been killed.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (First mentioned)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Wizarding World (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
Notes and references
- In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn), Slughorn says Cresswell was "in the year after" Lily Evans at Hogwarts School. Seeing that Lily's (born in 1960) first year was the 1971-1972 school year, Dirk's had to be the 1972-1973 school year and, thus, he was born in late 1960 or 1961.
- (aged 37) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 22 (The Deathly Hallows)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 4 (Horace Slughorn)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 13 (The Muggle-Born Registration Commission)
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7 (Bagman and Crouch)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 11 (The Bribe)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 12 (Magic is Might)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 15 (The Goblin's Revenge)