"We are honour-bound to give service to the present Headmaster of Hogwarts! Shame on you, Phineas!"
—Dippet's portrait scorning Phineas Nigellus Black.[src]

Professor Armando Dippet (October, 1637[1]1956[2]) was Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the predecessor of Albus Dumbledore in the post. He was a "nearly bald and a somewhat feeble" man in his elderly years.

Dippet served as Headmaster in the 1940s at least. It was during his tenure that the Chamber of Secrets was first opened by Tom Riddle since its creation by Salazar Slytherin in around A.D. 993. Unknowingly, Dippet was indirectly responsible for the end of the attacks by telling Riddle that the school would have to be closed if said attacks continued. Dippet was also responsible for the expulsion of Rubeus Hagrid after Riddle framed him with the attacks.

Following his death in 1956, his portrait was hung in the headmaster's office, and Dumbledore succeeded him.


Early life

Armando Dippet was born in October 1637.[1] At some point prior to his magical education, he purchased or inherited his wand.[5]

It is possible that he attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, being Sorted in 1649. If so, he must have been sorted into Gryffindor, Hufflepuff or Ravenclaw.[4]

It is also probable that he had high O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. grades, as he later became Headmaster of Hogwarts, most likely succeeding Newton Scamander, a famed Magizoologist.

As Headmaster of Hogwarts

Early years

Dippet and friends

Dippet speaking with some of his employees.

Professor Dippet became Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the early twentieth century.[6] In his position, it is likely he was responsible for the employment of Horace Slughorn,[7] Albus Dumbledore,[3] Herbert Beery,[6] Silvanus Kettleburn[6] and possibly Galatea Merrythought[8] as teachers at Hogwarts.

Christmas pantomime

"The night's entertainment concluded with a packed hospital wing..."
Albus Dumbledore[src]

During Dippet's tenure as Headmaster, Herbert Beery, then-Herbology master, proposed an adaptation of The Fountain of Fair Fortune as a Christmas treat for both staff and students. The show, however, was a fiasco: the students playing Amata and Sir Luckless had been boyfriend and girlfriend until one hour before the show, at which point "Sir Luckless" dumped her for "Asha". During the play, the Engorged Ashwinder portraying the Worm (provided by the reckless Professor Silvanus Kettleburn) exploded in a shower of hot sparks and dust, filling the Great Hall with smoke and fragments of the scenery. While the Ashwinder's eggs set fire to the floorboards, "Amata" and "Asha" started duelling fiercely. Professor Beery was caught in the crossfire and his head assumed unusual proportions. While the staff evacuated the Great Hall the fire raging inside it threatened to engulf the place.[6]

Of course, there were several people sent to the hospital wing and Professor Dippet had to put Professor Kettleburn in one of his sixty-two periods of probation. In response to this dramatic fiasco, Professor Dippet imposed a blanket ban on future pantomimes, a tradition is still followed by the Hogwarts' staff and students to this day.[6]

Chamber of Secrets openings

Professor dippet

Dippet in the 1940s, as Headmaster of Hogwarts School.

Armando Dippet: "My dear boy, you must see how foolish it would be of me to allow you to remain at the castle when term ends. Particularly in light of the recent tragedy… the death of that poor little girl. You will be safer by far at your orphanage. As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Magic is even now talking about closing the school. We are no nearer locating the — er — source of all this unpleasantness…"
Tom Riddle: "Sir — if the person were caught — if it all stopped —"
Armando Dippet: "What do you mean? Riddle, do you mean you know something about these attacks?"
Tom Riddle: "No, sir."
— Armando Dippet and Tom Riddle on 13 June, 1943.[src]
Dippet was the Headmaster of Hogwarts when the Chamber of Secrets was opened by Tom Riddle, during the 19421943 school year. Very fond of Riddle, Dippet was unaware of his sinister nature.[3]

That school year, many students were attacked by Salazar Slytherin's Basilisk. On 13 June of the same year, a student named Myrtle was murdered in a bathroom,[3] during one of the Chamber's openings by Riddle.[9] After realising that no one had seen Myrtle for a couple of hours, Professor Dippet asked fellow student Olive Hornby to go and look for Myrtle.[10]

Myrtle's Muggle father and mother were summoned to the school by Dippet, and the Headmaster faced the possibility of closing the school. Dippet also rejected Tom's request of staying at school over the summer holidays due to the situation, but would have given him special permission if the school were much safer.[3] Not wanting the school to close, or possibly not wanting to return to the orphanage, Riddle stopped attacking students with the Chamber's Basilisk and framed Rubeus Hagrid for the attacks. Dippet promptly expelled Hagrid. Under Albus Dumbledore's request, Hagrid was trained as Gamekeeper and was allowed to remain at the school.[9]

Riddle's job application

Dippet Riddle

Dippet talking to Tom Riddle in his office.

Dumbledore: "Professor Dippet told him that he was too young at eighteen, but invited him to reapply in a few years, if he still wished to teach."
Harry Potter: "How did you feel about that, sir?"
Dumbledore: "Deeply uneasy. I had advised Armando against the appointment - I did not give the reasons I have given you, for Professor Dippet was very fond of Voldemort and convinced of his honesty - but I did not want Lord Voldemort back at this school, and especially not in a position of power."
— Dumbledore and Harry Potter on Dippet and Riddle's application.[src]
When Tom Riddle returned to Hogwarts after his graduation to apply for the post of professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts, after Galatea Merrythought retired, Dippet denied him the position for being too young, but invited him to reapply in a few years, despite being advised against it by Albus Dumbledore.[11]

Dumbledore realised Riddle's true intentions, but did not include them as his reasons for denying him the job, as Professor Dippet was very fond of him and believed that he was completely honest.[11]

Death and post-mortem

Prof Dippet

Dippet's Chocolate Frog Card.

" The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore – by Rita Skeeter, best-selling author of Armando Dippet: Master or Moron?."
—Cover of The Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore.[src]

Dippet died in 1956.[2] He had a Chocolate Frog Card devoted to him,[12] and, at some point, Rita Skeeter wrote his biography, entitled Armando Dippet: Master or Moron?[13] (although it is likely this work contains some defamatory false information, given the author and the book's title). His position as Headmaster of Hogwarts was succeeded by Albus Dumbledore.[3]

A portrait of Dippet was hung at the Headmaster's office,[14] depicting him dressed in blue and bronze robes.[15] In 1995, he scorned the portrait of Phineas Nigellus Black, who was feigning tiredness in order to avoid going to 12 Grimmauld Place like Dumbledore asked him to. He was devoted to serving whomever was Headmaster.[16]

Physical description


Professor Dippet's portrait.

Professor Dippet had pale skin, brown eyes and, in his youth, a thick brown beard.[12]

In his elderly years, he became frail and feeble-looking. He was balding and had only a few wisps of white hair left.[3]

Personality and traits

As Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Professor Dippet seemed to be a strict disciplinarian and a very firm leader of the school. During this tenure, the school was marked by an acceptance of severe punishment, as Professor Dippet allowed Caretaker Apollyon Pringle to use corporal punishment on students. Professor Dippet did by no means limit his strict demeanor to the students. During Dippet's tenure as Headmaster, he placed Professor Silvanus Kettleburn on sixty-two periods of probation,[6] and Professor Horace Slughorn once commented, perhaps in jest, that Dippet would not hesitate to put him in detention if he found out that he had been encouraging students to be up and about after curfew. Professor Dippet was also responsible for placing a permanent ban on pantomimes as a result of the chaos that ensued during the performance of The Fountain of Fair Fortune. Professor Dippet was distrusting, or at least careful with whom he relayed information to, as Professor Albus Dumbledore, his eventual successor, noted that he was one of the few people that Dippet confided in.[11]


Professor Dippet.

According to Remus Lupin, Professor Dumbledore is the only Headmaster who would allow him to attend school while being a werewolf, suggesting that if Professor Dippet still had been Headmaster by the time Lupin started attending school, Professor Dippet possibly would have refused him attendance, implying that the Headmaster might have been somewhat prejudiced against half-humans or otherwise would believe that accepting him could put other students at risk. 

In spite of his somewhat brutal view on discipline, he did not take the safety of his students lightly. An example on his concern for his students's safety was when he, the moment he realised that no one had seen Myrtle for a couple of hours, asked fellow student Olive Hornby to go and look for her. Also, he rejected Tom Riddle's request of staying at school over the summer holidays due to the Chamber of Secrets situation, but did comment that he would have given him special permission if the school were safer. When the Chamber of Secrets opened, Armando, like all his employees, did everything in his power to apprehend the perpetrator and protect his students. Like most teachers he was manipulated by Tom Riddle and was charmed by his politeness and dedication to his magical studies.[9] And thus, the moment Tom Riddle declared Hagrid a suspect, Dippet promptly expelled the latter without putting much effort in investigating the matter.

Armando Dippet was also very loyal to Hogwarts and his portrait reprimanded Phineas Nigellus's for attempting to defy a request from Dumbledore.[16]

Magical Abilities and Skills

  • CharmsThe true extent of Armando Dippet's skills are not known, but he was skilled in Charms, since he in the job as Headmaster was responsible for controlling the magical protections around Hogwarts Castle, and he was easily able to lift and cast the defensive spells himself, as he did so shortly after the demise of Moaning Myrtle, temporarily lifting the Muggle-Repelling Charms to give her parents free access to the campus. 


  • Wand: Professor Dippet's wand was of unknown manufacturer, length, core and wood. Presumably purchased at the age of eleven prior to his magical education, he was in possession of it during the 1940s. He left it on his desk during his meeting with Tom Riddle in 1943 concerning the summer holidays and the Chamber of Secrets openings.[5]
  • Headmaster's office: When Professor Dippet lived in the office in the Headmaster's Tower, there was a single bookcase, a desk, and several paintings there, including the portraits of his predecessors. His passwords are unknown, though it can be presumed that he told one of them to Tom Riddle in 1943.[3]
  • Strawberry and ling plantations: According to Albus Dumbledore, Professor Dippet planted some strawberries and ling in the castle grounds while he was Headmaster. However, it is likely that Albus was simply trying to distract Cornelius Fudge and Walden Macnair.[17]


Tom Riddle

"I had advised Armando against the appointment - I did not give the reasons I have given you, for Professor Dippet was very fond of Voldemort and convinced of his honesty [...]'"
Albus Dumbledore with Harry Potter.[src]
Teen Riddle

Riddle as Dippet knew him.

Dippet was very fond of Tom Riddle, whom he made several "special arrangements" for. His relationship with him was strong enough to make Dumbledore decide not to tell Dippet about why he thought Riddle should not be given a job at the school.[11]

It is unknown how Dippet reacted when the Dark Rebellion, later known as the First Wizarding War, broke out, with Riddle, calling himself by the name "Lord Voldemort", leading the Death Eaters.

Hogwarts staff

Dippet and dumbledore

Dippet (right) standing with Dumbledore (left) looking on as Myrtle's body is carried from the Castle.

Professor Dippet was, apparently, distrusting of his employees, confiding only in a few professors, which included the Transfiguration teacher Albus Dumbledore.[11]

As headmaster, Dippet placed Silvanus Kettleburn on at least one, but presumably many more, of his sixty-two periods of probation. The one known time was after he provided an Ashwinder with an Engorgement Charm on it instead of a worm for the The Fountain of Fair Fortune pantomime. Dippet, after the chaos, placed a permanent ban on pantomimes from thereon.[6]

Another of Dippet's employees was Herbert Beery, who was the one who adapted The Fountain of Fair Fortune into a play. Beery, who had been teaching Herbology, eventually left to become a professor of the Wizarding Academy of Dramatic Arts.[6]

Horace Slughorn also worked under Headmaster Dippet. One evening, during one of his Slug Club's supper parties, Slughorn joked that if the student group would be found up and about after hours, Professor Dippet would put them all in detention, including himself.[18]


  • "Armando" is the Spanish and Italian variant of the name Armand, meaning "of the army". It is likely that, given his name, Armando Dippet is at least partially of Spanish or Italian heritage.
  • "Dippet" is not a word in English, but "dip" has many meanings, including: to put something into something else, often a liquid; to take something out of something, as in dipping out water; to lower and raise something; a fool.

Behind the scenes

Flying Ford Anglia Mystifies Muggles

The newspaper mentioning Dippet.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 17 images related to Jack "BtR" Saxon/Dippet.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 In the newspaper held up by Snape in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film, Dippet is said to be turning three hundred and fifty-five in October, 1992. This places his date of birth at October 1637.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 According to J.K. Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival (J.K. Rowling at the Edinburgh Book Festival (15 August, 2004) source), headmasters only get their portrait hung in the office if they die holding the title of headmaster. As Dippet's portrait was shown hanging in the office in the Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets film and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, this means that he must have died in office. As Dumbledore became headmaster in 1956 with Dippet as his predecessor, this would imply that Dippet died that year.
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chapter 13 (The Very Secret Diary)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 16 (Godric's Hollow)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game) - GBC version
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 The Tales of Beedle the Bard - Albus Dumbledore on "The Fountain of Fair Fortune"
  7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 5 (Excess of Phlegm)
  8. Harry Potter and the Half- Blood Prince - Chapter 17 (A Sluggish Memory)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - Chapter 17 (The Heir of Slytherin)
  10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - Chapter 25 (The Egg and the Eye)
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Chapter 20 (Lord Voldemort’s Request)
  12. 12.0 12.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (video game)
  13. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Chapter 13 (The Muggle-Born Registration Commission)
  14. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 37 (The Lost Prophecy)
  15. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
  16. 16.0 16.1 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - Chapter 22 (St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries)
  17. 17.0 17.1 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (film)
  18. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (film)
Hogwarts Faculty
Founders Godric Gryffindor | Helga Hufflepuff | Rowena Ravenclaw | Salazar Slytherin
Headteachers Eupraxia Mole | Vulpus | Phyllida Spore | Dexter Fortescue | Eoessa Sakndenberg | Ambrose Swott | Everard | Vindictus Veridian | Dilys Derwent | Quintin Trimble | Limebert | Phineas Nigellus Black | Walter Aragon | Basil Fronsac | Armando Dippet | Albus Dumbledore | Dolores Umbridge | Severus Snape | Minerva McGonagall | Brian Gagwilde | Elizabeth Burke
Deputy Heads Minerva McGonagall | Amycus Carrow | Alecto Carrow
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