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"I can only tell you what I know... but I tell not for your benefit but for the benefit of my herd. The centaurs do not need another war."
— Bane[src]

A centaur colony lived in the Forbidden Forest on the grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. They were led by the centaur Magorian.[1]

History

The centaurs had lived in the forest since at least the 19th century.[6]

1980s

Some time before 1984, a Hogwarts student named Jacob entered the Forbidden Forest searching for a Cursed Vault hidden somewhere in the forest. He encountered one of the herd's residents named Torvus. Jacob asked Torvus for a special arrow that would allow him to enter the Vault but Torvus refused. He was interested in helping the young human but the arrow was an heirloom of his family. However, Jacob stole the arrow by magic, leading to Torvus's exile from the herd.[7]

During the 1987–1988 school year, Jacob's younger sibling came to the forest, also seeking the Vault. Despite his initial distrust, Torvus was happy when Jacob's sibling returned the arrow to him, as it would mean that the rest of the heard would accept him back after a certain number of tasks. In gratitude, he helped Jacob's sibling find and enter the Forest Vault, allowing the student to break the sleepwalking curse that afflicted the students that year.[8]

Later that year, the effects from the curse, and the aggressive way Jacob's sibling had dealt with forest creatures who had threatened them, had upset the balance of the forest. Notably, an individual Forest Troll who had a taste for Bubotubers began foraging for them near the Forest Lake where the centaur herd drew their water. It made this change as the grove where it usually found them had been trampled by sleepwalking students.[9]

The Troll aggressively drove off any one who came near it, denying the Centaurs their water source and setting up a conflict. Torvus, who was unhappy with Jacob's sibling due to their actions contributing to the forest's unbalanced state, tasked the student with resolving the situation peacefully, both as a way to make amends and as a lesson in the larger consequences of ones actions.[9]

Jacob's sibling, Charlie Weasley and Liz Tuttle, solved the problem by replanting the original clearing with bubotubers, using the Herbivicus Charm and Dragon dung fertiliser to quickly establish a new crop. They returned to the lake and drew off the Troll just in time, as one member of the colony, frustrated with the continuing threat that it presented, was about to fight with it. [9]

Lord Voldemort's return

Bane: "For the best! What is that to do with us? Centaurs are concerned with what has been foretold! It is not our business to run around like donkeys after stray humans in our forest!"
Firenze: "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."
— The centaurs arguing after the killing of a unicorn[src]

In 1991, the colony was disturbed by the arrival of Lord Voldemort in the Forest when he, through Quirinus Quirrell, was stalking and killing unicorns. Although the other centaurs were unwilling to act against this, Firenze rescued Harry Potter from Quirrell while he was serving detention in the Forest. Bane and Ronan were furious at Firenze for letting Harry ride on his back, stating that centaurs were not "common mules". This led to the first idea that centaurs are hostile.[1]

Firenze's exile and the High Inquisitor's regime

In 1995, Firenze was exiled from the herd after accepting a post as Divination Professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but not before they tried to trample him to death prior to being rescued by Rubeus Hagrid. Hagrid's intervention, along with his keeping of his Giant half-brother, Grawp, in the forest cost him his friendship with the centaurs.[10]

Bane: "Whose forest is it now, human?"
Dolores Umbridge: "Filthy half-breeds! Beasts! Uncontrolled animals!"
— Umbridge foolishly insulting the centaur herd[src]

Centaurs drag Dolores Umbridge away upon being called "half-breeds"

In 1996, Dolores Umbridge was tricked into going into the Forbidden Forest by Hermione Granger and Harry Potter, and after insulting them with her arrogant and hateful ways she was attacked and dragged away by them.[5] She was rescued from the forest by Dumbledore, and was left with a severe fear of the creatures after the traumatic event.[11]

Dumbledore's funeral

At Albus Dumbledore's funeral in 1997, the herd paid tribute to the fallen Headmaster with a shower of arrows.[3]

Battle of Hogwarts

"BANE! Happy now, are yeh, that yeh didn' fight, yeh cowardly bunch o' nags? Are yeh happy Harry Potter's -- d-dead...?"
Rubeus Hagrid to Bane during the Battle of Hogwarts[src]

The centaurs initially did not participate in the Battle of Hogwarts, though they certainly knew it was occurring because of the volume of Voldemort's demands. Firenze, however, did participate in the first wave of the battle, defending the school with the other Professors.[12][13]

After Hagrid called them cowardly nags while carrying the seemingly dead Harry Potter back to the castle, the centaurs watched from the forest while Lord Voldemort taunted the defenders at the castle. They were among the first to attack the Death Eaters during the second wave of the battle, charging in and shooting at the enemies with their bows.[4] Following the battle, the herd accepted Firenze back because they realised he was right.[14]

The Calamity

By the 2018–2019 school year, the centaurs appeared to have mellowed towards humans, as Firenze was able to provide instruction to the members of the Statute of Secrecy Task Force without being exiled again.[15]

Relationships

Rubeus Hagrid

Hermione Granger: "Why does Firenze leaving make a difference?"
Rubeus Hagrid: "’Cause the other centaurs are good an’ riled at me, tha’s why. They used ter be — well, yeh couldn’ call ’em friendly — but we got on all righ’. Kept ’emselves to ’emselves, bu’ always turned up if I wanted a word. Not anymore..."
Harry Potter: "Firenze said that they’re angry because he went to work for Dumbledore?"
Rubeus Hagrid: "Yeah,. Well, angry doesn’ cover it. Ruddy livid. If I hadn’ stepped in, I reckon they’d’ve kicked Firenze ter death —"
— Hagrid explaining the colony's banishment of Firenze[src]

The centaur Ronan with Rubeus Hagrid, Harry Potter, and Hermione Granger

Rubeus Hagrid had an ongoing relationship with the centaurs that was typically much better than that of other witches and wizards. However, this relationship had its ups and downs, and varied by individual centaurs. During Harry Potter's first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Hagrid tried to get information from Ronan regarding a unicorn found dead in the forest, though the centaur gave very little information as he spent the time stargazing.[1] Nevertheless, the centaurs appeared to have considered Hagrid a genuine friend, as they didn't have the heart to tell him they actually disliked his Rock Cakes.[2]

When Hagrid defended Firenze from them and brought Grawp to the Forbidden Forest, his relationship with the centaurs reached a low point, and the Half-giant always brought his crossbow with him whenever he entered the forest. The centaurs attacked Grawp, though the Giant survived and eventually managed to coexist in the forest with the centaurs.[10]

Hagrid also yelled at the centaurs for not initially joining the Battle of Hogwarts, calling them cowardly as he carried Harry Potter from the Forbidden Forest with Voldemort and his Death Eaters. They later fought against Voldemort's Death Eaters alongside the reinforcements during the second half of the battle.[4] It is unknown whether the centaurs reconciled with Hagrid after the battle ended, although Firenze, having taught at Hogwarts, remained on good terms with Hagrid.

Albus Dumbledore

"There were a few more cries of shock as a shower of arrows soared through the air, but they fell far short of the crowd. It was, Harry knew, the centaurs’ tribute: he saw them turn tail and disappear back into the cool trees."
— The centaurs' tribute to Albus Dumbledore[src]

Albus Dumbledore was the only one in Hogwarts apart from Hagrid whom the centaurs respected. Despite the fact that they banished Firenze when Dumbledore persuaded him to teach Divination, the centaurs were willing to let Umbridge go because it was Dumbledore who came for her.[11] They even showed their respect for him in his funeral by shooting a shower of arrows,[3] and fought against Voldemort and his Death Eaters in the second half of the Battle of Hogwarts in honour of Dumbledore's memory.[4]

Known members

Behind the scenes

  • After Bane's fury at Firenze for rescuing Harry from Lord Voldemort, reminding him that the centaurs are sworn not to oppose the heavens, Harry later guessed that Voldemort killing him was written in the stars.[1] If so, this could likely be the reason why the centaurs did not initially interfere in the Battle of Hogwarts years later, and why they only fought the Death Eaters once Harry appeared to be dead.

Appearances

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 15 (The Forbidden Forest)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 3 (Mixed Message)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 30 (The White Tomb)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 36 (The Flaw in the Plan)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 33 (Fight and Flight)
  6. https://blog.playstation.com/2020/09/16/hogwarts-legacy-writing-for-the-wizarding-world-in-the-1800s/
  7. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 6 (Explore the Forbidden Forest)
  8. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, Chapter 13 (The Centaur's Arrow)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 4, "TORVUS AND THE TROUBLED FOREST" Achievement
  10. 10.0 10.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 30 (Grawp)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 38 (The Second War Begins)
  12. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  13. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 33 (The Prince's Tale)
  14. Web chat with J.K. Rowling on July 30th, 2007
  15. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Order of the Phoenix
Fawkes WB F2 FawkesIllustration V2 Illust.jpg
Founder:
Albus Dumbledore
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 | Nearly-Headless Nick | Neville Longbottom | Oliver Wood | Olympe Maxime | Rita Skeeter | 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 | Ministry of Magic | Giant colony (Karkus's control)
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