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"I'm a man of few words — I rarely speak. Find someone else if discourse you seek."
— Percival Pratt's portrait[src]

Percival Pratt was a wizard poet.[2]


His Portrait

He has a portrait hung in Hogwarts Castle's Grand Staircase. He is portrayed as a man in a red robe, writing on his desk, with a starry sky and a full moon behind him. He is often heard saying rhymes and riddles to students who walk by. He often encourages students to "take time every day to rhyme what [they] say." Up until 1996, Mr Pratt's portrait guarded a shortcut between the Grand Staircase and the Boathouse. The password of this shortcut was "This password is absurd".[2]


  • The name "Percival" was created by the 12th-century French poet Chrétien de Troyes for his poem Perceval, the Story of the Grail. In the poem, Perceval was one of King Arthur's knights of the Round Table who was given a glimpse of the Holy Grail. The character (and probably the name) of Perceval was based on that of the Welsh hero Peredur. The spelling was perhaps altered under the influence of Old French percer val "to pierce the valley".
  • E. J. Pratt (1882–1964) was a celebrated Canadian poet who has won the country's Governor General's Award for poetry three times, and who has been called "the foremost Canadian poet of the first half of the century."

Behind the scenes

  • The Weasley family, students at Hogwarts during the time when Percival's photo hung there, often described their brother Percy as 'a prat'. It is an amusing coincidence that "Percy's a prat" sounds so similar to this wizard's name.
  • Pratt may have died sometime prior to 1991, as many portraits hung at Hogwarts Castle depict deceased individuals. Some art historians have assigned it to the latter half of the sixteenth century or the first decade of the seventeenth century on stylistic grounds.
  • Percival's portrait seems to have been based on a circa 1620 portrait of English playwright John Fletcher (1579–1625), by an unknown artist.[4]


Notes and references

Hogwarts Castle
Locations below ground floor

Boathouse · Chamber of Secrets · Conical Crypt · Dark Hall · Deathday Party Hall · Defence Against the Dark Arts dungeon · Dungeons · Dungeon cave · Dungeon Five · Dungeon hall · Dungeon Pit · Entrance Dungeon · Forgotten Cavern · Hieroglyphic Hall · Hogwarts Basement · Hufflepuff Basement · Kitchens · Lever Rooms · Porticus Circumscriptus · Porticus Periculum · Porticus Imago · Porticus Medius · Potion-Mixing Room · Potions basement · Potions Classroom · Quidditch cave · Room of Doom · Room of Runes · Severus Snape's office · Shop · Slug Pit · Slytherin Boys' Dormitory · Slytherin Duelling Dungeon · Slytherin Dungeon · Slytherin Girls' Dormitory · Underground Chambers · Vestibule of Mischief

Paths and staircases

Boathouse passageway · Corridor of Secrets · Detention escape route · Dungeon Corridor · Dungeon Staircase · Lost Tunnel · Lower Chambers Corridor North-East · Lower Chambers Corridor West · Lower Chambers Portrait Corridor · Poltergeist Passage · Prowling Passage · Slughorn's Stairs · Undercover route to the Kitchens · Way to Courtyard

Portraits, statues and other artwork located below ground floor

Basil Fronsac · Bloody Baron · Cecilia Gallerani · Elizabeth Burke · Hooky · Mad old man · Mopsus · Old man · Percival Pratt · Salazar Slytherin · Sleeping hermit · Bearded man with book