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"Centaurs are not the servants or playthings of humans."
— Firenze regarding centaur and human relations[src]

Professor Firenze was a centaur, part of the Forbidden Forest centaur colony, and a Divination teacher at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from 1996 to 1998.

In the 1990s, he lived with the colony in the Forbidden Forest, on the borders of Hogwarts in Scotland. In 1992, Firenze saved Harry Potter in the forest from Quirinus Quirrell, who was possessed by Lord Voldemort, forcing Quirrell to flee and carrying Harry on his back to safety. Despite his heroics, his herd saw this as a dishonourable act, as they considered themselves too great to be ridden by humans.

About four years later, in March 1996, Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, hired him to teach Divination in Sybill Trelawney's stead, after she was sacked by Dolores Umbridge. But once again, the other centaurs saw this as servitude, and his colony attacked and banished him. They would have killed him were it not for the intervention of Rubeus Hagrid. After Dumbledore was reinstated as Headmaster, Trelawney was returned to her classroom and taught alongside Firenze.

When Firenze was injured fighting in the Battle of Hogwarts, he returned to his colony later when the other centaurs had come to the opinion that his pro-human leanings were not so shameful. Despite this, he continued to share the post of Divination professor at Hogwarts with Sybill Trelawney.[9]

Biography[]

Life with his herd[]

"This is where I leave you. You are safe now. Good luck, Harry Potter. The planets have been read wrongly before now, even by centaurs. I hope this is one of those times."
— Firenze bids Harry Potter goodbye after seeing him to safety[src]

Firenze was, presumably, born to the centaur colony in the Forbidden Forest, and lived part of his life there.[4] He was gifted in Divination and taught fellow centaur Torvus about it.[10]

Firenze in the Forbidden Forest HM625

Firenze in the Forbidden Forest

In the 1989–1990 school year, Firenze was chosen as the centaur who decided whether Jacob's sibling was allowed to visit the Centaur Camp based on the three gifts offered by them. Firenze decided the student could stay, and helped them figure out what Professor Trelawney's prophecy meant.[10] Jacob's sibling later spoke to Torvus and Firenze in the Centaur Camp to discuss Trelawney's prophecy and how Jacob's sibling would face the final Cursed Vault. Firenze told them that his prediction implied they would face a powerful decision, a powerful adversary and another loss, but that he could not be entirely certain his prediction was correct.[11]

Firenze talking to Harry

Firenze telling Harry about the unicorn in the Forbidden Forest

On the night of 26 May 1992, Hagrid took Harry, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, and Draco Malfoy to their detention in the forest. Their task was to find out why unicorns were turning up mauled and dead. Harry and Draco later discovered a dead unicorn and a hooded figure (Quirinus Quirrell in disguise) drinking its blood. As Draco ran away, horrified, the hooded Quirrell turned to face Harry. The pain on his scar made him fall to his knees, but Firenze, coming across the scene, galloped forwards and charged at Quirrell before he could attack Harry, forcing him to flee.[4] Harry found out afterwards, it was Lord Voldemort who, drinking the unicorns' blood while sharing Quirrell's body, tried to remain alive long enough so that he could drink the Elixir of Life and return to both his body and full strength.[12]

Harry Potter and Firenze in the Forbidden Forest

Firenze meets Harry Potter after saving him from Quirrell and Voldemort

Realising how dangerous it would be to let Harry stay in the Forest, he let him on his back so that he could take him to safety. Bane and Ronan, two other centaurs from the colony, arrived there and, while Ronan said he was sure Firenze thought he had been acting for the best, Bane started yelling at him because he regarded it as a despicable action, because a centaur is not for humans to ride. Firenze was angered and, leaving both centaurs behind, carried Harry on his back to safety where he was reunited with Hermione, Neville, Draco and Hagrid.[4]

Life as Hogwarts professor[]

1995–1996 school year[]

Parvati Patil: "Professor Trelawney did astrology with us! Mars causes accidents and burns and things like that, and when it makes an angle to Saturn, like now — that means people need to be extra careful when handling hot things— "
Firenze: "That is human nonsense. Trivial hurts, tiny human accidents, these are of no more significance than the scurryings of ants to the wide universe, and are unaffected by planetary movements."
— Firenze teaching his first Divination lesson[src]
Firenze PM

Firenze talking with Harry Potter and Ron Weasley after his first Divination lesson

In March 1996, Albus Dumbledore hired Firenze as the Divination teacher when Dolores Umbridge (then-High Inquisitor of Hogwarts) sacked Sybill Trelawney.[3]

This resulted in Firenze being cast out of his colony, since agreeing to work for a human was considered a betrayal of their kind. His colony had even attacked him, and might have killed him if not for the intervention of Hagrid.[13]

Dumbledore transformed the classroom into a forest-type state for Firenze, and students were requested to lie back and look at the stars on the small enchanted ceiling. Lavender Brown and Parvati Patil found him very appealing and looked forward to his lessons, even though they liked Professor Trelawney as well.[14]

1996–1997 school year[]

Sybill Trelawney: "Good evening, my dear. I haven't seen you in my classes lately..."
Luna Lovegood: "No, I've got Firenze this year."
Sybill Trelawney: "Oh, of course. Or Dobbin, as I prefer to think of him. You would have thought, would you not, that now I am returned to the school Professor Dumbledore might have got rid of the horse? But no... we share classes... It's an insult, frankly, an insult. Do you know..."
— Discussion of Firenze at the Slug Club Christmas party[src]

With the departure of the headmistress Dolores Umbridge from Hogwarts at the end of the school year, Professor Trelawney was reinstated by Dumbledore to her post of Divination Professor. Firenze, however, could not return to his still resentful colony, so Dumbledore let him continue teaching Divination alongside Trelawney.[15]

Firenze taught the fifth-year Ravenclaws, though sharing classes with him caused Trelawney much consternation, as she considered it an insult to be sharing classes with a "horse".[1] In turn, Firenze did not seem to think much of Trelawney, seeming to find her attempts at Cartomancy "almost comical".[2]

Funeral of Albus Dumbledore

Firenze atttended the funeral of Albus Dumbledore

After Dumbledore's death at the hands of Severus Snape atop the Astronomy Tower on the evening of 30 June 1997, Firenze attended Dumbledore's funeral. He stood "like a sentinel" by the shores of the Black Lake, paying his respects to the wizard who had welcomed him and given him a job and a home. Dolores Umbridge was startled by his appearance at the funeral, considering her previous experience with Centaurs.[16]

1997–1998 school year[]

"Firenze was amongst the injured; his flank poured blood and he shook where he lay, unable to stand."
— Description of his injury during the battle[src]

Firenze continued teaching at Hogwarts during Snape's tenure as Headmaster, and the Death Eaters' control over Wizarding Britain.[8]

The Battle of Hogwarts[]

In the evening of 1 May 1998, Firenze stood with the remaining teachers and members of the Order of the Phoenix who had arrived to fight after Snape's ousting.[8]

Minerva McGonagall talked to students about how the underage among them, and those who were not willing to fight, were going to be evacuated before the start of the battle that would soon ensue, as Voldemort and his Death Eaters were going to start their attack at midnight.[8]

Voldemort vanquished

Firenze witnesses Harry Potter's final defeat of Lord Voldemort and the end of the Second Wizarding War

Firenze stayed to fight, and was seriously injured on his flank which poured copious amounts of blood. He was laid on the raised platform at the Great Hall during the hour-long fighting interregnum, and was shaking and unable to stand by himself.[17] Given his state, it is most likely Firenze did not partake in the second half of the Battle. It is likely, however, that Firenze witnessed the duel between Harry and Voldemort in the Great Hall and Voldemort's final defeat.[18]

A celebration feast was later held, but teachers, parents and students were all jumbled up. Firenze, however, lay recovering in a corner after having received treatment by Madam Pomfrey.[18]

Later life[]

After the battle, Firenze was welcomed back into his colony, when they were forced to acknowledge that Firenze's pro-human leanings were not shameful, but honourable.[19] It is known that he still remained a Divination professor at Hogwarts during the late 2010s, continuing to share the role with Sybill Trelawney,[9] though he was not seen teaching the Hogwarts students that enrolled in 2008, at least in their first three years.[20] In the winter of 2009, Firenze greeted two of those students, Robyn Thistlethwaite and her friend, outside the Forbidden Forest and warned them not to go in despite their interest in investigating a case that possibly involved a Yeti.[21]

During the Calamity, Firenze helped members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force who sought a Magizoologist profession by leading a week-long camp to enhance their physical attributes,[22] while he offered a mind-over-matter seminar to those who sought a Professorship profession to increase their focus.[23] He also offered an interactive overnight seminar in the Forbidden Forest regarding astronomical Divination, which was attended by a Calamity Investigator working for the Task Force.[9]

The same Calamity Investigator later discovered a dusty copy of Bestiarium Magicum with hand-written edits and inscriptions in the margins, which they realised belonged to Firenze. Firenze met with the Calamity Investigator and went through the book with them, helping better the investigator's understanding of Magizoology.[24]

Physical appearance[]

Firenze was a centaur with a palomino horse hindbody and pale blond human hair. He had blue eyes and looked younger than both Bane and Ronan.[4]

Personality and traits[]

"Do you not see that unicorn? Do you not understand why it was killed? Or have the planets not let you in on that secret? I set myself against what is lurking in this forest, Bane, yes, with humans alongside me if I must."
— Firenze defending his helping of humans[src]

Firenze was a courageous centaur who was not as traditional or proud as most of his kind.[4] Whereas most centaurs believed it was shameful to work alongside humans, Firenze was happy to allow Harry to ride him.[4] and became a teacher at Hogwarts.[14]

Firenze was willing to stand up for what he believed in even if it meant defying his colony;[4] unfortunately this resulted in him nearly being stomped to death by the other centaurs.[13] However, after the Battle of Hogwarts, his colony acknowledged his ways as being honourable and welcomed him back.

He was friendly with Hagrid,[4] and seemed to get on quite well with Harry Potter,[4] who was on speaking terms with him unlike most students, who initially found him intimidating.[14]

Like all centaurs, Firenze commonly tried to read the future in the stars, and Ron Weasley considered him to be a slightly better teacher than Sybill Trelawney, though he was still frustrated that Firenze seemed to be able to provide very little definite information.[14]

Magical abilities and skills[]

"Centaurs have unravelled the mysteries of these movements over centuries. Our findings teach us that the future may be glimpsed in the sky above us..."
— Firenze's attitude towards Divination[src]
  • Divination: Being a centaur, Firenze was naturally gifted in divination. He taught the subject at Hogwarts from 1996-1998. Being a centaur, Firenze performed divination through observing planets, moons and stars, and had a low opinion of human divination, viewing it as nonsensical.[14]
  • Combat: Firenze was skilled in physical combat as he notably saved Harry Potter's life in the Forbidden Forest by charging at Quirinus Quirrell and forcing him to flee before he could attack Harry. This was especially notable as Quirrell was possessed by Voldemort at the time, which enhanced his magical powers, although Voldemort was also in a weakened form at the time.[4] Despite getting injured in the first half of the battle,[17] he also survived the Battle of Hogwarts with no fatal injury.[18]

Etymology[]

  • "Firenze" is the Italian name for the city of Florence. It is interesting to note that Galileo Galilei, one of history's greatest astronomers, lived out his final years there. Firenze's teaching of Divination deals with Astrology and Astronomy, as opposed to Trelawney's fortune-telling, hence this connection.
  • The meaning of the name Firenze is Flower, Blossom.

Behind the scenes[]

Lego Firenze

Firenze in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

  • He is portrayed by Ray Fearon in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, but does not appear in any of the later films.
  • In the books, Firenze is said to have silver-blond hair and is even considered handsome by some students. In the Philosopher's Stone film, however, he has dark hair. He doesn't stay with Harry or let him ride on his back either, because Hagrid and the others appear straight away.
  • It is possible that Firenze is based on the legend of Chiron, a centaur from Greek mythology who left his "wild and lusty" brethren to instead tutor heroes.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Firenze is shown to have strikingly, almost glowing, amber eyes instead of blue eyes.
  • Firenze is the fourth known professor to not be completely human, after Filius Flitwick (part-goblin), Remus Lupin (a werewolf), and Rubeus Hagrid (a half-giant).
  • In addition, out of all the known professors at Hogwarts (including Cuthbert Binns, who was a wizard during his lifetime and became a ghost), Firenze is the only one who is not a wizard.

Appearances[]

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Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 15 (The Unbreakable Vow)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 25 (The Seer Overheard)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26 (Seen and Unforeseen)
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest)
  5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest) - "[...] he had white-blond hair and a palomino body."
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 26 (Seen and Unforeseen) - "Through the mist came a face Harry had seen once before on a dark, dangerous night in the Forbidden Forest: white-blond hair and astonishingly blue eyes, the head and torso of a man joined to the palomino body of a horse.
  7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest) - "He had astonishingly blue eyes, like pale sapphires"
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Harry Potter: Wizards Unite - "An overnight seminar is hosted in the Forbidden Forest by Firenze, centaur and Divination teacher at Hogwarts."
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 4 (Friends in Low Places)
  11. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 25 (Written in the Stars)
  12. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  13. 13.0 13.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 30 (Grawp)
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 14.4 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 27 (The Centaur and the Sneak)
  15. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort's Request)
  16. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 30 (The White Tomb)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
  19. "J.K. Rowling and the Live Chat, Bloomsbury.com, July 30, 2007 (2.00-3.00pm BST)" on Accio Quote!
  20. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened
  21. Harry Potter: Magic Awakened - December 2021 special event
  22. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite - Camp Firenze
  23. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite - Master Mind
  24. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Divination
Trelawney's first Divination lesson in the trio's third year
Professors: Percival Rackham · Mudiwa Onai · Sybill Trelawney · Firenze
Known Seers: Calchas · Cassandra Vablatsky · Cassandra Trelawney · Gellert Grindelwald · Inigo Imago · Johan Hoffman · Liz Tuttle's mother · Mopsus · Professor Mopsus · Susie Sooth · Tycho Dodonus · Unidentified Canadian Seer · Unidentified female Seer · Unidentified male Seer
Textbooks: The Dream Oracle · Unfogging the Future
Methods: Astrology · Bibliomancy · Capnomancy · Cartomancy · Catoptromancy · Crystal-gazing · Crystal ball · Dream interpretation · Fire-omens · Heptomology · Horoscope · Ichthyomancy · Lithomancy · Myomancy · Ornithomancy · Orrery · Ovomancy · Palmistry · Personal chart · Phyllomancy · Prophecy · Rune stone · Scrying mirror · Tarot cards · Tessomancy · Xylomancy
Divination at Hogwarts: Divination (class) · Divination Classroom · Divination staircase · Sybill Trelawney's office · Classroom Eleven · Xylomancy (class)
Hogwarts faculty
Hogwartscrest
Founders Godric Gryffindor · Helga Hufflepuff · Rowena Ravenclaw · Salazar Slytherin
Headteachers Giffard Abbott · Walter Aragon · Phineas Nigellus Black · Elizabeth Burke · Antonia Creaseworthy · Dilys Derwent · Armando Dippet · Albus Dumbledore · Mordicus Egg · Everard · First Headmaster · Niamh Fitzgerald · Dexter Fortescue · Basil Fronsac · Brian Gagwilde · Limebert · Minerva McGonagall · Eupraxia Mole · Edessa Sakndenberg · Brutus Scrimgeour · Phyllida Spore · Severus Snape · Amrose Swott · Quentin Trimble · Dolores Umbridge · Fytherley Undercliffe · Vindictus Viridian · Vulpus · Heliotrope Wilkins · Gimlet-eyed Headmistress · Headmaster (1568) · Headteacher (1792) · Unidentified Headteachers
Deputy Heads Alecto Carrow · Amycus Carrow · Minerva McGonagall · Matilda Weasley
Heads of House Muldoon Cragg · Filius Flitwick · Godric Gryffindor · Gryffindor lady · Gryffindor man (II) · Gryffindor man (III) · Gryffindor man (IV) · Gryffindor Seeker · Helga Hufflepuff · Neville Longbottom · Minerva McGonagall · Valeria Myriadd · Uric Oapley · Podric Piles · Pink-faced Headmaster · Prendergast · Rowena Ravenclaw · Abraham Ronen · Horace Slughorn · Salazar Slytherin · Severus Snape · Pomona Sprout · Tobias Stump
Teaching staff Bartholomew · Bathsheda Babbling · San Bakar · Herbert Beery · Cuthbert Binns · Brindlemore · Charity Burbage · Herodiana Byrne · Camelia · Alecto Carrow · Amycus Carrow · Bartemius Crouch Junior (disguised as Alastor Moody) · Clodagh Dromgoole · Albus Dumbledore · Archibald Eagleton · Eleazar Fig · Firenze · Filius Flitwick · Fortinbras · Mirabel Garlick · Mirabel Garlick's predecessor · Jakub Gorski · Olivia Green · Rubeus Hagrid · Dinah Hecat · Rolanda Hooch · Bai Howin · Arsenius Jigger · Igor Karkaroff's Yule Ball partner · Silvanus Kettleburn · Chiyo Kogawa · Gilderoy Lockhart · Neville Longbottom · Remus Lupin · Elspeth MacGillony · Mazoni · Minerva McGonagall · Galatea Merrythought · Isidora Morganach · Mudiwa Onai · Prendergast · Quirinus Quirrell · Percival Rackham · Patricia Rakepick · Abraham Ronen · Charles Rookwood · Concordia Rowle · Luna Scamander · Satyavati Shah · Aesop Sharp · Arif Sikander · Aurora Sinistra · Horace Slughorn · Severus Snape · Pomona Sprout · Swoopstikes · Sybill Trelawney · Trocar · Dolores Umbridge · Septima Vector · Matilda Weasley · Matilda Weasley's predecessor · Unidentified professor · Charms professor (medieval) · Potions professor (16th century) · Holidaying professor (before 1890s) · DADA professor (1984–1985) · DADA professor (1985–1986) · DADA professor (1986–1987) · DADA professor (1987–1988) · DADA professor (1989–1990) · DADA professor (1990–1991) · Muggle Studies professor (1990s) · Music professor · DADA professor (1998–?) · Potions professor (21st century) · Charms professor (?th century)
Hogwarts house-elves Bilm · Boil-ridden house-elf · Cooky · Cosa · Deek · Dobby · Feenky · Filk · Gimkey · Gosby · Krafty · Kreacher · Nonsuch · Pitts · Retch · Ringkull · Rooky · Vekey · Wigby · Winky · Wooby · Unidentified house-elf (I) · Unidentified house-elf (II)
Support staff Phineas Nigellus Black's secretaries · Noreen Blainey · Rancorous Carpe · Argus Filch · Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank · Rubeus Hagrid · Rolanda Hooch · Hankerton Humble · Gladwin Moon · Ogg · Irma Pince · Poppy Pomfrey · Apollyon Pringle · Lucinda Thomsonicle-Pocus · Agnes Scribner · Wainscott · Carriage driver (1890s) · Gamekeeper (1890s) · Unidentified Healers · Librarian (?th century) · Librarian (21st century)
Order of the Phoenix
Fawkes WB F2 FawkesIllustration V2 Illust
Founder:
Albus Dumbledore
Leaders:
Albus Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Kingsley Shacklebolt
Original Order of of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Alice Longbottom | Arabella Figg | Benjy Fenwick | Caradoc Dearborn | Dedalus Diggle | Dorcas Meadowes | Edgar Bones | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fabian Prewett | Frank Longbottom | Gideon Prewett | James Potter | Lily Potter | Marlene McKinnon | Mundungus Fletcher | Peter Pettigrew (defected) | Remus Lupin | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Reconstituted Order of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Arabella Figg | Arthur Weasley | Bill Weasley | Charlie Weasley | Dedalus Diggle | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fleur Delacour | Fred Weasley | George Weasley | Harry Potter | Hermione Granger | Hestia Jones | Kingsley Shacklebolt | Minerva McGonagall | Molly Weasley | Mundungus Fletcher | Nymphadora Tonks | Remus Lupin | Ron Weasley | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Order of the Phoenix allies:
Andromeda Tonks | Augusta Longbottom | Buckbeak | Dobby | Fawkes | Filius Flitwick | Firenze | Garrick Ollivander | Ginny Weasley | Grawp | Helena Ravenclaw | Horace Slughorn | Karkus | Karkus's wife | Kreacher | Lee Jordan | Luna Lovegood | McKinnon family | Mr Westenberg | Mrs Westenberg | Muriel | Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington | Neville Longbottom | Oliver Wood | Olympe Maxime | Rita Skeeter | Patrick Delaney-Podmore | Peeves | Percy Weasley | Pomona Sprout | Poppy Pomfrey | Sybill Trelawney | Ted Tonks | The Fallen Fifty | Westenberg family | Winky | Xenophilius Lovegood
Other affiliations:
Dumbledore's Army | Forbidden Forest Centaur colony | Headless Hunt | Hogwarts Hippogriff herd | Hogwarts house-elves | Hogwarts Ghosts | Hogwarts Staff |
Hogwarts students | Hogwarts Thestral herd | British Ministry of Magic | Giant colony (Karkus's control)
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