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"Break a rule in front of her, put just one toe out of line, and she'd whisk off for Filch, who'd appear, wheezing, two seconds later."
— Mrs Norris's close relationship with her master[src]

Mrs Norris was the pet cat of Argus Filch, the caretaker of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Mrs Norris was described as having an unusually strong connection with her master, alerting him to any students misbehaving inside the school castle.

She was described as appearing almost the same way as Filch. She had bulging yellow, lamp-like eyes, a scrawny, skeletal body and dust-coloured fur.[1]

Biography[]

Under Argus Filch's ownership[]

MrsNorris PM

Mrs Norris on the look out for mischief makers

Mrs Norris was born sometime prior to 1984, and became the pet cat of the Hogwarts school caretaker, Argus Filch. She formed an unusually strong bond with her owner, and often alerted him to any misbehaving students almost instantly. Because of this, she along with Filch were widely loathed by most of the Hogwarts students, and many students' dearest ambition was to "give her a good kick".[1]

Jacob's sibling[]

During the 1984–1985 school year, first-years Rowan Khanna and Jacob's sibling encountered Mrs Norris while they were assessing entering a locked room at Hogwarts. She hissed at them, and went to find Filch, so the two fled to their common room before they could be caught.[3]

Mrs Norris drinking Sleeping Draught HM19

Mrs Norris drinking Sleeping Draught

Jacob's sibling later cooked up a plan to enter the locked room with Rowan and another friend of theirs, by learning the Sleeping Draught from their friend Penny Haywood and using the potion to subdue Mrs Norris. Mrs Norris drank the Sleeping Draught left in a pool outside the room and immediately fell asleep, allowing the students undisturbed entry into the locked room.[4]

Later in the 1985–1986 school year, Jacob's sibling and Penny Haywood introduced a young Fang to Mrs Norris and Filch along with their own cat, to help Fang overcome his fear of cats. Mrs Norris had prior snatched a bone from him and hissed at him, causing his fear. Fang defended Jacob's sibling's cat from Mrs Norris, allowing him to overcome his fear of cats. Mrs Norris later came to the pet gathering with Filch, and was told to behave herself after hissing at Fang again.[5]

During the 1986–1987 school year, Mrs Norris developed a friendly relationship with the Chimaera at the Magical Creatures Reserve, much to the surprise of Filch.[6]

Also during this year, Mrs Norris was with Filch when he opened a box in his office containing a prank device which forced them to retreat, that was placed there by Jacob's sibling to scare them away from the office.[7] Mrs Norris also hissed at Jacob's sibling and Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington in the Potions Classroom when she and Filch found them in there, Sir Nicholas denounced Filch's threats against the student and forced him to give them ten house points.[8]

In the 1988–1989 school year, while practising their new found abilities in Legilimency, Jacob's sibling found themselves unable to penetrate Mrs Norris's mind, unlike Filch's.[9] She may have possessed some form of Occlumency to enable this.

Towards the start of the 1989–1990 school year, Mrs Norris hissed at Jacob's sibling when they entered Filch's office to inquire about Jacob.[10]

Mrs Norris showing affection towards Alanza HM622

Mrs Norris showing affection towards Alanza Alves

Mrs Norris was with Filch when he was talking with Severus Snape and Irma Pince in the Potions Classroom. When Jacob's sibling arrived to introduce them to Alanza Alves, a Brazilian exchange student from Castelobruxo, Mrs Norris warmed to Alanza affectionately, much to Filch's surprise, purring while rubbing against her legs. Alanza was fond of cats herself.[11]

Jacob's sibling and Merula Snyde later stuck a Blood Pop in her fur in order to attract Filch's attention. After Filch threatened the two with punishment, he took her to see Professor McGonagall to get her fur cleaned.[12]

During the 1990–1991 school year, Mrs Norris got stuck in the roots of the Whomping Willow, causing her to go briefly missing. She was found by Fang and returned to Filch by Jacob's sibling when he tasked them with finding her.[13]

In the same year, Wilfred Levi Kidd tried to pet her, but she bit him, resulting in him going to the Hospital Wing.[14]

Harry Potter's nightly trips[]

During the 1991–1992 school year, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger often narrowly escaped the cat on their nightly trips through the school throughout their first year. Harry once got caught by her one day for tracking mud on the floor.[1] She and Filch nearly caught Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville Longbottom on the night Harry had gone to duel Draco Malfoy. To avoid them, they hid in a room on the forbidden third floor corridor, and unknowingly encountered Fluffy.[15]

During the 1991 Christmas holidays when Harry and Ron first encountered the Mirror of Erised on a late night stroll, she noticed them being out of bed and wandering around the castle at night. Harry had the suspicion that she was able to see him even when he was under his Invisibility Cloak,[16] although she may have just sensed someone there but couldn't see, as cats are known to possess highly advanced senses that humans do not have.

On 4 June 1992, the trio encountered Mrs Norris at the foot of the stairs as they were wearing Harry's cloak at night, as they were going to the third floor corridor. She merely looked at them, and Ron recommended they kick her; however, they just left her and continued to the third floor.[17]

Petrified[]

Mrs Norris petrified

A petrified Mrs Norris hanging from a light fixture

Mrs Norris was the first victim of the Serpent of Slytherin when the Chamber of Secrets was re-opened in 1992. On Hallowe'en night, she was Petrified by the basilisk when she saw its reflection in a puddle of water in front of the unused bathroom in the second floor. Ginny Weasley, possessed by Tom Marvolo Riddle, hung her from a torch bracket by her tail, where she was found by Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, next to the threatening message written on the wall.[18]

Headmaster Albus Dumbledore examined the cat but was unable to revive her. Argus Filch was devastated, and even accused Harry Potter of having attacked her.[19] Thankfully, Mrs Norris was revived by Professor Pomona Sprout with the help of a Mandrake Restorative Draught at the end of the 1992–1993 school year.

1993–1997[]

In 1993, when Harry obtained the Marauder's Map from Fred and George Weasley, Mrs Norris showed up on the map, alerting Harry to her presence and allowing him to carefully avoid being caught by her.[20]

Harry-potter-goblet-of-fire-filch yule ball

Mrs Norris with Filch at the Yule Ball

During the 1994–1995 school year, Harry went to sneak into the Prefects' Bathroom at night wearing his Invisibility Cloak. Harry dropped his Golden egg behind a tapestry, and Filch and Mrs Norris found it. However, they were disturbed by Peeves who was causing trouble for them again, with Filch believing that Peeves had stolen the egg. When Severus Snape entered the scene, she left with Filch and Snape to find the intruder who Snape knew was around. Mrs Norris was able to smell Harry's bubblebath.[21]

On Christmas day that year, Filch brought her to the Yule Ball being hosted in the Great Hall.[22]

Later that school year, Ron Weasley recommended to Hermione Granger and Harry that they kidnap Mrs Norris to practise the Stunning Spell on her; however, they were not go on board with Ron's idea.[23]

Argus Filch clapping with Mrs Norris

Argus Filch showing respect to Professor Umbridge

At the 1995 Welcoming Feast, Filch held Mrs Norris as he listened to Dolores Umbridge's introductory speech to Hogwarts in the Great Hall.[24]

During the 1995–1996 school year, Harry came across Mrs Norris as he was going to the Owlery one evening. She came with Filch when he interrogated Harry in the Owlery, where Filch was dismissed by Cho Chang.[25]

On 18 December 1995, Mrs Norris encountered Harry, Ron and Minerva McGonagall going to the Headmaster's office at night. She hissed faintly at them, but McGonagall shooed her away, with her retreating back into the shadows.[26]

In 1996, Peeves locked Mrs Norris inside a suit of armour twice after Fred and George Weasley had instructed him to wreak as much havoc as possible on their departure from the school. Filch personally came to her rescue.[27]

During the 1996–1997 school year, Mrs Norris encountered Harry, Ron and Ginny Weasley who were having a dispute in a school corridor, in which Ron fired an Orange spell at Ginny, his sister, which Mrs Norris alerted Filch of.[28]

Mrs Norris later encountered Rubeus Hagrid, Harry and Hermione at the school at night with Filch, who got into a tense argument with Hagrid over the students being out of bed.[29]

Battle of Hogwarts[]

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Mrs Norris with Filch before the battle

Before the Battle of Hogwarts started, Mrs Norris was seen hissing, screeching and batting at some owls who had escaped from the Owlery to return them to their proper place.[30]

Mrs Norris was likely kept safe during the battle, being a cat. She survived the battle, and was with Filch as he swept up debris in the Great Hall, sitting next to a pile of rubble.[31]

Physical description[]

Mrs Norris was a dust-coloured cat with bulging yellow, lamp-like eyes,[2] and a scrawny skeletal body.[1]

Personality and traits[]

Mrs Norris appeared to be a very intelligent and perspective cat, who often looked out for misbehaving students and seemed to be very good at spotting them. She also had excellent knowledge of the Hogwarts Castle.[1] She also appeared to have a somewhat hostile temperament, often hissing at people,[26] but she was very affectionate towards her owner Filch. This affection was not limited to just Filch, however; Mrs Norris showed a liking to a select few individuals, Alanza Alves[11] and the Chimaera at the Magical Creatures Reserve[6] being among them.

She may have also developed some sort of Occlumency, since Jacob's sibling couldn't access her mind, unlike Filch's.[9] It's also possible that cats were immune to mental intrusion from Legilimency.

Relationships[]

Argus Filch[]

Filch and mrs

Mrs Norris with her owner, Argus Filch

Filch and Mrs Norris had an unusually close bond. Filch was extremely fond and protective of her. Even when patrolling separate corridors, the two seem to be able to communicate and Filch came directly to her when she spotted a student misbehaving.[1][15] When she was attacked by the basilisk in 1992, Filch's first thought was that she was dead, and he was understandably devastated.[18] It is unknown what happened to Mrs Norris after the war.

Rubeus Hagrid[]

"An' as fer that cat, Mrs Norris, I'd like ter introduce her to Fang some time."
— Hagrid talking to Harry and Ron about Mrs Norris[src]

Rubeus Hagrid could not stand her, as he was allergic to cats. He suspected that Filch set her up to follow him around whenever he came up to the school. Hagrid once remarked that he would like to introduce her to Fang, his pet dog.[1] However, she seemed to respect the other Hogwarts teachers.

Hogwarts students[]

Mrs Norris was hated by a majority of the students. Much like her master, she had excellent knowledge of the castle. Being caught misbehaving by her was just as bad as being caught by Filch, because she would fetch him straight away. It was the "dearest ambition of many to give Mrs Norris a good kick."[1]

Etymology[]

Rowling said she obtained the name Mrs Norris from a character in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park, who is similarly odious and is hanging around in the background frequently.[32]

Behind the scenes[]

Mrs Norris LEGO

Mrs Norris as a LEGO minifigure

Filch and Mrs Norris POP

Argus Filch and Mrs Norris in POP! Vinyl form

Mrs Norris - PAS

Mrs Norris as she appears in Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells

  • Mrs Norris seems exceptionally smart for a cat, to the point that many have suspected she is a cat/Kneazle cross like Crookshanks or an Animagus. However, J. K. Rowling has stated on her website that she is just a highly unpleasant cat. This was confirmed again when Rowling stated on Twitter in response to a fan query that Mrs Norris would lose in a very brutal, close fight with Crookshanks, as Crookshanks's kneazle ancestry would eventually give him the edge.[33]
  • Mrs Norris's role in the first two films is much the same as her role in the books. She also appears briefly in the third film and in the fourth and fifth films she, along with Filch, are used more as comic relief. In the fourth film, Argus Filch is seen dancing with her at the Yule Ball showing a brief sensitive side to Filch and showing his love for his cat, and on the fifth film Mrs Norris is seen climbing on Filch during the Welcoming Feast, while he is clapping enthusiastically at Dolores Umbridge's speech. She has significantly more screen time in the final film; Filch carries her as he runs into the Great Hall screaming that the students are out of bed, as well at the end of the film, where she is comically sitting next to a pile of rubble as Filch attempts to sweep.
  • In the earlier films, Mrs Norris has red eyes. In later films, however, she has blue eyes. Also, in the films, Mrs Norris has brown and grey fur.
  • The cat that played Mrs Norris is a Maine Coon. In sharp contrast to Mrs Norris's description in the books as being scrawny, Maine Coons are a large, stocky breed.
  • Several animal actors portray Mrs Norris throughout the films. The most notable include Maine Coons named Maximus, Alanis and Cornilus, and animatronics were also used. Specific animal actors were used for specific purposes. Maximus was trained to run alongside Filch and jump onto his shoulders, while Alanis was trained to be held in Filch's arms without squirming. She was so good at her job that often she fell asleep during shoots.
  • It is unknown if she joined the fight with or without Filch.
  • As depicted in Harry Potter: Magic Awakened, Mrs Norris was still alive by 2008, making her very old for a cat at the age of at least 24. However, this is not unheard of for a cat, as the oldest recorded cat, Creme Puff, lived to 38.
  • At least one student, Cyfrin Hughes, wondered if Mrs Norris was an Animagus.

Appearances[]

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Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 8 (The Potions Master)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 14 (Percy and Padfoot) - "He looked down and saw the caretaker's skeletal grey cat, Mrs Norris, slinking past him. She turned lamplike yellow eyes upon him for a moment before disappearing behind a statue of Wilfred the Wistful."
  3. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, Chapter 6 (A Curious Corridor)
  4. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 1, Chapter 9 (Inside the Room)
  5. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 2, Side Quest "Scaredy Cats"
  6. 6.0 6.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Side Quest "Into the Hybrid's Lion Den"
  7. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Chapter 4 (Filching from Filch)
  8. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 3, Side Quest "Nearly Headless Nick"
  9. 9.0 9.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 5, Chapter 18 (Legilimency and Occlumency)
  10. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 6 (On Jacob's Trail)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 22 (The Exchange Student)
  12. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 6, Chapter 36 (Search for the Mole)
  13. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 7, Chapter 46 (Total Recall) - Assignment "Missing Mrs Norris"
  14. Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Year 7, Chapter 20 (A Different Kind of Hospital Drama) - Assignment "Ward for Serious Bites"
  15. 15.0 15.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 9 (The Midnight Duel)
  16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 12 (The Mirror of Erised)
  17. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 17 (The Man with Two Faces)
  18. 18.0 18.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 9 (The Writing on the Wall)
  19. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Chapter 10 (The Rogue Bludger)
  20. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Chapter 10 (The Marauder's Map)
  21. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 25 (The Egg and the Eye)
  22. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film) - Chapter 17 (The Yule Ball)
  23. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 29 (The Dream)
  24. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) - Chapter 9 (Preserve, Perfect and Prune)
  25. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 14 (Percy and Padfoot)
  26. 26.0 26.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 22 (St Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries)
  27. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 30 (Grawp)
  28. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 14 (Felix Felicis)
  29. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 19 (Elf Tails)
  30. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Chapter 31 (The Battle of Hogwarts)
  31. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
  32. The Connection interview with J. K. Rowling, available via Web Archive
  33. J.K. Rowling on Twitter - "It would be brutal and very close..."
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