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The Hogwarts Years: Classmates, Birthdays, and Ages

Chapter Text

  • Chapter One: Contents and Introduction

    That would be this chapter. :-)
  • Chapter Two: Table Showing Hogwarts Entry Years

    Chapter two is a big monster table listing students and when they entered Hogwarts. It starts with the students entering in 1900 and continues to the present. All the students with a definite birth year or Hogwarts start date are listed there. Some additional students who don't have a clear start date in the books are also listed here if I was able to narrow down the options for their start dates.
  • Chapter Three: Trio Era Students With Incomplete Information

    Of course some students weren't described specifically enough to be sure of their class year. Chapter Three gives information about some additional students who attended Hogwarts while Harry was there.
  • Chapter Four: Additional Marauder Era Students and Staff

    Information on many of the Marauder Era characters is sketchy at best. The table in chapter two only lists some of them. Chapter four lists some additional Marauder Era students (and staff) who we can't pin down as precisely, but who were definitely at Hogwarts with Severus, Lily, James, Remus, Sirius, and Peter.
  • Chapter Five: Characters at Hogwarts during the Molly/Arthur Era

  • Chapter Six: Characters at Hogwarts during the Tom Riddle Era

  • Chapter Seven: Fifty Years Ago

    Attempts to establish timelines for both Tom Riddle and Rubeus Hagrid are based on some key phrases in the books. This chapter looks at how reliable those calculations are.
  • Chapter Eight:

    In progress.
  • Chapter Nine:

    In progress.

I hope you find these tables and lists helpful. They are for:

  • fanfiction writers who want to know which characters went to school with a character they are writing about
  • people who want to know exactly how we know an individual character's age or class year (Every source is listed.)
  • people who love Pottermore and love every last interview JKR has ever done (Secondary canon sources are also listed.)
  • people who dislike Pottermore and only want book canon (Book sources are clearly labeled, and in the main table in chapter two, book canon is in bold text.)
  • people who want to know what facts are definite and what ones are calculations or educated guesses
  • people who just like footnotes ;-)
  • and also for myself because I got heartily sick of looking up the same things over and over

Chapter Text


Question marks: If you see a question mark after a character's name, that means there is more than one school year in which they might have started Hogwarts. This will be true for many characters. Characters with a birth year but no exact birth date will be listed in both possible school years. More complicated cases will be discussed in the footnote.

Double Question marks: If you see two question marks after a character's name, it's best to check the footnote. Two question marks mean that there is some kind of confusion or complication involved in determining their Hogwarts start year.

Bold type: Bold styling is used for any fact that has a footnote showing that fact comes from the text of the book series, and not from external information. If a character's name is in bold type, then his or her Hogwarts start date is clear from the text of the books. (Some of the bolded information involves very simple math calculations, but nothing bolded involves guesswork or information outside the books themselves.) Since the table is still a work in progress, some facts are not bold yet simply because I haven't put in their footnotes yet. These will be bold once I can link them to an exact chapter.

Table of Class Years

Birthdates Hogwarts starting year Examples
Sept 2 1880 - Sept 1 1881 1892 Albus Dumbledore?8, Elphias Doge67
Sept 2 1881 - Sept 1 1882 1893
Sept 2 1882 - Sept 1 1883 1894
Sept 2 1883 - Sept 1 1884 1895 Aberforth Dumbledore67, Arcturus Black? (b. 1884)1
Sept 2 1884 - Sept 1 1885 1896 Arcturus Black? (b. 1884)1
Sept 2 1885 - Sept 1 1886 1897 Belvina Black? (b. 1886)1
Sept 2 1886 - Sept 1 1887 1898 Belvina Black? (b. 1886)1
Sept 2 1887 - Sept 1 1888 1899
Sept 2 1888 - Sept 1 1889 1900 (Aunt) Muriel?37, Cygnus Black? (b. 1889)1
Sept 2 1889 - Sept 1 1890 1901 (Aunt) Muriel?37, Cygnus Black? (b. 1889)1
Sept 2 1890 - Sept 1 1891 1902
skip some empty years
Sept 2 1900 - Sept 1 1901 1912 Arcturus Black? (b. 1901)1
Sept 2 1901 - Sept 1 1902 1913 Arcturus Black? (b. 1901)1
Sept 2 1902 - Sept 1 1903 1914
Sept 2 1903 - Sept 1 1904 1915 Lycoris Black? (b. 1904)1
Sept 2 1904 - Sept 1 1905 1916 Lycoris Black? (b. 1904)1
Sept 2 1905 - Sept 1 1906 1917 Regulus Black? (b. 1906)1
Sept 2 1906 - Sept 1 1907 1918 Regulus Black? (b. 1906)1
Sept 2 1907 - Sept 1 1908 1919
Sept 2 1908 - Sept 1 1909 1920
Sept 2 1909 - Sept 1 1910 1921
Sept 2 1910 - Sept 1 1911 1922
Sept 2 1911 - Sept 1 1912 1923 Pollux Black? (b. 1912)1
Sept 2 1912 - Sept 1 1913 1924 Pollux Black? (b. 1912)1
Sept 2 1913 - Sept 1 1914 1925
Sept 2 1914 - Sept 1 1915 1926 Cassiopeia Black? (b. 1915)1, Callidora Black? (b. 1915)1
Sept 2 1915 - Sept 1 1916 1927 Cassiopeia Black? (b. 1915)1, Callidora Black? (b. 1915)1
Sept 2 1916 - Sept 1 1917 1928
Sept 2 1917 - Sept 1 1918 1929
Sept 2 1918 - Sept 1 1919 1930 Charis Black (b. 1919)1
Sept 2 1919 - Sept 1 1920 1931 Dorea Black (b. 1920)1, Charis Black (b. 1919)1
Sept 2 1920 - Sept 1 1921 1932 Dorea Black (b. 1920)1
Sept 2 1921 - Sept 1 1922 1933
Sept 2 1922 - Sept 1 1923 1934
Sept 2 1923 - Sept 1 1924 1935 Minerva McGonagall??16
Sept 2 1924 - Sept 1 1925 1936 Lucretia Black? (b. 1925)1, Walburga Black? (b. 1925)1, Minerva McGonagall??16
Sept 2 1925 - Sept 1 1926 1937 Lucretia Black? (b. 1925)1, Walburga Black? (b. 1925)1, Minerva McGonagall?? 16
Sept 2 1926 - Sept 1 1927 1938 Tom Riddle (b. Dec 31)39
Sept 2 1927 - Sept 1 1928 1939 Myrtle??80
Sept 2 1928 - Sept 1 1929 1940 Orion Black? (b. 1929)1, Cygnus Black? (b. 1929)1, Rubeus Hagrid (b. Dec 6)39, Myrtle??80
Sept 2 1929 - Sept 1 1930 1941 Orion Black? (b. 1929)1, Cygnus Black? (b. 1929)1
Sept 2 1930 - Sept 1 1931 1942
Sept 2 1931 - Sept 1 1932 1943
Sept 2 1932 - Sept 1 1933 1944
Sept 2 1933 - Sept 1 1934 1945
Sept 2 1934 - Sept 1 1935 1946 Bertie Bott? (b. 19354)
Sept 2 1935 - Sept 1 1936 1947 Minerva McGonagall?? (b. 4 Oct 193516), Bertie Bott? (b. 19354)
Sept 2 1936 - Sept 1 1937 1948
(Skip an empty decade here.)
Sept 2 1950 - Sept 1 1951 1962 Bellatrix Black?? (b. 195114), Rita Skeeter?13
Sept 2 1951 - Sept 1 1952 1963 Bellatrix Black?? (b. 195114), Rita Skeeter?13
Sept 2 1952 - Sept 1 1953 1964
Sept 2 1953 - Sept 1 1954 1965 Lucius Malfoy? (S)12and45
Sept 2 1954 - Sept 1 1955 1966 Narcissa Black? (b. 19551), Lucius Malfoy? (S)12and45
Sept 2 1955 - Sept 1 1956 1967 Narcissa Black? (b. 19551)
Sept 2 1956 - Sept 1 1957 1968 Sturgis Podmore?10
Sept 2 1957 - Sept 1 1958 1969 Sturgis Podmore?10
Sept 2 1958 - Sept 1 1959 1970
Sept 2 1959 - Sept 1 1960 1971 Sirius Black (G)45, Greta Catchlove? (b. 19604), Lily Evans (G, b. 30 Jan 1960)43 and 45, Remus Lupin (G, b. March 10)45and3, Peter Pettigrew (G)45, James Potter (G, b. 27 March 1960)43 and 45, Severus Snape (S, b. January 9 1960)45and3
Sept 2 1960 - Sept 1 1961 1972 Regulus Black? (b. 19611), Dirk Cresswell63, Greta Catchlove? (b. 19604)
Sept 2 1961 - Sept 1 1962 1973 Regulus Black? (b. 19611)
Sept 2 1962 - Sept 1 1963 1974
Sept 2 1963 - Sept 1 1964 1975
Sept 2 1964 - Sept 1 1965 1976
Sept 2 1965 - Sept 1 1966 1977
Sept 2 1966 - Sept 1 1967 1978
Sept 2 1967 - Sept 1 1968 1979 Gwenog Jones? (b. 19683)
Sept 2 1968 - Sept 1 1969 1980 Gwenog Jones? (b. 19683)
Sept 2 1969 - Sept 1 1970 1981 Myron Wagtail? of Weird Sisters (b. 19704)
Sept 2 1970 - Sept 1 1971 1982 Bill Weasley?? (G, b. 29 Nov)41and31, Myron Wagtail? of Weird Sisters (b. 19704), Kirley Duke? of Weird Sisters (b. 19714)
Sept 2 1971 - Sept 1 1972 1983 Kirley Duke? of Weird Sisters (b. 19714), Donaghan Tremlett? of Weird Sisters (b. 19723)
Sept 2 1972 - Sept 1 1973 1984 Charlie Weasley?? (G, b. 12 December)41and31, Nymphadora Tonks (H)32, Donaghan Tremlett? of Weird Sisters (b. 19723)
Sept 2 1973 - Sept 1 1974 1985 Heathcote Barbary? of Weird Sisters (b. 1974), Herman Wintringham of Weird Sisters? (b. 1974)
Sept 2 1974 - Sept 1 1975 1986 Heathcote Barbary? of Weird Sisters (b. 1974), Gideon Crumb? of Weird Sisters (b. 1975), Marcus Flint in earlier book editions (S)26, Stan Shunpike?11, Herman Wintringham of Weird Sisters? (b. 1974)
Sept 2 1975 - Sept 1 1976 1987 Penelope Clearwater (R)27, Gideon Crumb? of Weird Sisters (b. 1975), Marcus Flint (S)26, Stan Shunpike?11, Orsino Thruston?18 of Weird Sisters (b. 19764), Percy Weasley (G, b. 22 Aug 1976)57and3, Oliver Wood (G)48
Sept 2 1976 - Sept 1 1977 1988 Orsino Thruston?18 of Weird Sisters (b. 19764), Derrick (S)62, Bole (S)62
Sept 2 1977 - Sept 1 1978 1989 Miles Bletchley? (S)36, Cedric Diggory (H, b. Sept/Oct)49and61, Merton Graves17 of Weird Sisters (b. 1978), Angelina Johnson (G, b. October 1977)61, Lee Jordan30, Adrian Pucey? (S)37, Alicia Spinnet (G)60, Patricia Stimpson59, Kenneth Towler59, Warrington (S, b. Sept/Oct)15and61, Fred Weasley (G, b. 1 April 1978)28, George Weasley (G, b. 1 April 1978)28
Sept 2 1978 - Sept 1 1979 1990 Leanne (unknown last name) (G)51, Katie Bell (G)50, Marcus Belby (R)54, Miles Bletchley? (S)36, Eddie Carmichael (R)58, Cho Chang (R)53, Marietta Edgecombe?20, Cormac McLaggen (G)55, Adrian Pucey? (S)37
Sept 2 1979 - Sept 1 1980 1991
(book: PS)
Hannah Abbott (H)40, Susan Bones (H)40, Terry Boot (R)40, Mandy Brocklehurst (R)40, Lavender Brown (G)40, Millicent Bulstrode (S)40, Michael Corner (R)33, Vincent Crabbe (S)40and46, Marietta Edgecombe?20, Justin Finch-Fletchley (H)40, Seamus Finnigan (G)40, Anthony Goldstein (R)47, Gregory Goyle (S)40and46, Hermione Granger (G, b. 19 Sept 1979)21, Daphne Greengrass (S)25, Neville Longbottom (G, b. July 3040and3, Morag MacDougal40, Ernie Macmillan (H, b. during April 22 to Sept 1)47and66, Draco Malfoy (S, b. June 5 1980)22, (unknown first name) Moon40, Nott34, Pansy Parkinson (S)40and44, Padma Patil (R)23, Parvati Patil (G)40and44, Sally-Anne Perks40, Harry Potter (G, b. 31 July 1980)24, Dean Thomas (G)40, Lisa Turpin (R)40, Ron Weasley (G, b. March 1)9, Blaise Zabini (S)40
Sept 2 1980 - Sept 1 1981 1992
(book: CoS)
Colin Creevey (G)52, Harper (S)56, Luna Lovegood (R, b. 13 Feb 1981)4781, Ginny Weasley (G, b. 11 Aug 1981)29
Sept 2 1981 - Sept 1 1982 1993
(book: PoA)
Romilda Vane (G)54and56, Derek (unknown last name)64, Astoria/Asteria Greengrass25
Sept 2 1982 - Sept 1 1983 1994
Stewart Ackerly (R)41, Malcolm Baddock (S)41, Eleanor Branstone (H)41, Owen Cauldwell (H)41, Dennis Creevey (G)41, Emma Dobbs41, Laura Madley (H)41, Natalie McDonald (G)41, Jimmy Peakes (G)55, Graham Pritchard (S)41, Orla Quirke (R)41, Kevin Whitby (H)41
Sept 2 1983 - Sept 1 1984 1995
Euan Abercrombie (G)42, Rose Zeller (H)42
Sept 2 1984 - Sept 1 1985 1996
Sept 2 1985 - Sept 1 1986 1997
(Skip many empty years here.)
Sept 2 1997 - Sept 1 1998 2009 Teddy Lupin (H, b. in April during Spring of 1998)35
Sept 2 1998 - Sept 1 1999 2010
Sept 2 1999 - Sept 1 2000 2011 Victoire Weasley? (b. May 2)19
Sept 2 2000 - Sept 1 2001 2012 Victoire Weasley? (b. May 2)19
(Skip a few empty years.)
Sept 2 2003 - Sept 1 2004 2015 James Sirius Potter (G)82
Sept 2 2004 - Sept 1 2005 2016
Sept 2 2005 - Sept 1 2006 2017 Albus Severus Potter65, Rose Weasley65, Scorpius Malfoy65
Sept 2 2006 - Sept 1 2007 2018
Sept 2 2007 - Sept 1 2008 2019 Lily Potter65

Age of students in each year

  • 1st years: 11 or 12 years old
  • 2nd years: 12 or 13 years old
  • 3rd years: 13 or 14 years old
  • 4th years: 14 or 15 years old
  • 5th years: 15 or 16 years old
  • 6th years: 16 or 17 years old
  • 7th years: 17 or 18 years old

Notes and Sources

Notes For Specific Secondary Canon Sources (sources beyond the printed books, which some consider part of canon and others do not)

  • #1 The Black Family Tree lists birth dates for a number of the people in that family.
  • #2 Interviews or question sessions with JKR
  • #3 Information that was posted at JKR's website (, such as the Wizard of the Month series. Twenty characters had birthday greetings posted here, thus giving us a month and a day of the month for their birthday. (These twenty characters are: Dobby, Rubeus Hagrid, Filius Flitwick, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, Remus Lupin, Draco Malfoy, Minerva McGonagall, Harry Potter, Severus Snape, Pomona Sprout, Arthur Weasley, Bill Weasley, Charlie Weasley, Fred Weasley, George Weasley, Ginny Weasley, Molly Weasley, Percy Weasley, and Ronald Weasley.)
  • #4 Famous Wizard cards (The information from some of these cards also appeared at as part of her Wizard of the Month series.)

Notes on the Sources or Reasoning for Specific Individuals

  • #8 Albus Dumbledore: The year of Albus Dumbledore's birth comes from the series of Wizard of the Month posts on JKR's website, There, Albus' birth was listed as 1881 and his death was listed as 1996. Because a 1996 death does not match the 1997 death scene in HBP, I have listed Albus with a question mark. (I would expect that only the death date was a typo, but I'm trying to err on the side of caution.) The season of Albus' birth comes from Rita Skeeter's book that is quoted in DH chapter 18. Rita wrote that he was "approaching his eighteenth birthday" when he left Hogwarts, which means he had a summer birthday. (The website has been completely redone, but you can still see the Wizard of the Month page that was archived by the the Internet Archive at
  • #9 Ron Weasley: PS chapter 7 shows Ron being sorted into Gryffindor. In HBP chapter 18, Ron has his birthday on March 1st.
  • #10 Sturgis Podmore: On September 7, 1995 the Daily Prophet said Sturgis Podmore was 38. (OotP 14). This means that he was 11 years old on September 7 in 1968. So he almost certainly started Hogwarts in 1968 (unless his birthday was sometime from the 2nd to the 7th of September, in which case he would have started in 1969).
  • #11 Stanley Shunpike: During HBP chapter 11 (on September 14, 1996), the Daily Prophet says Stan is 21. So on Sept 14, 1986 he would have been 11. He would most likely have entered Hogwarts in 1986. (The other possibility is 1987. If his birthday was from Sept 2nd to Sept 14, making him too young on Sept 1 of 1986, then his starting year would be 1987.)
  • #12 Lucius' age: On September 8th in 1995 Lucius Malfoy was 41. (OP 15) So on September 8 in 1965 he was 11. So he started Hogwarts in 1965 or 1966.
  • #13 Rita's age: On Nov 13 in 1994 Rita Skeeter is 43 years old. (GF18) So on Nov 13 in 1962 she was 11 years old. So she started Hogwarts in 1962 or 1963.
  • #14 Bellatrix's age" The Black family tree says Bellatrix was born in 1951. However, Sirius seems to contradict this so if what Sirius says is true, then she may be in a later Hogwarts year than we'd expect from her birth year. In GoF27 Sirius told Harry that when Snape was at school Snape was "part of a gang of Slytherins who nearly all turned out to be Death Eaters..." and that this group included Rosier, Wilkes, Avery, and the "Lestranges --they're a married couple -- they're in Azkaban." It's hard to make both things be true. Possibilities: 1) Sirius got it wrong. 2) Bellatrix started school late, was held back, or both. 3) Sirius wasn't talking about Bellatrix and Rodolphus, but was talking about Rabastan and a Death Eater spouse we don't know by name. 4) Bellatrix' had already graduated but did Hogsmead weekends with the group, or worked at the school, or somehow saw them regularly. 5) It's just a meaningless contradiction. JKR has said that math is not her strong suit, and this may just be an example of that.
  • #15 Warrington: PoA 15 shows Warrington playing for Slytherin. As for his class year, two facts tell us that Warrington's seventh year was during Order of the Phoenix. First, GoF16 mentioned that Warrington was eligible to put his name in the Goblet of Fire. Only 6th-year or 7th-year students who were 17 or older could do this. Second, he was still in school the following year during OotP 19. Therefore he was a 6th-year student during Goblet of Fire and a 7th-year student during Order of the Phoenix.
  • #16 Minerva McGonagall: The specific day of her birth (4th of October) comes from JKR's website: There are two very different possibilities for her birth year. (Okay, technically it's three possibilities.) Both dates rely on extra information not found in the printed books. Here's how each possible date is reached. 1) The Pottermore bio says she completed Hogwarts, then worked at the Ministry for two years before starting her job at Hogwarts. In OoP chapter 15 she said she began teaching at Hogwarts in Dec of 1956. This leads to a date of 1935. 2) Before the Pottermore bio, many people had calculated a birthdate of 1924 or 1925 based on an interview in which JKR said McGonagall was 70 years old. Since the interview occurred in 2000, when GoF was out, people applied that age to Minerva in GoF.
  • #17 Merton Graves (of Weird Sisters): His birth year of 1978 means he could have started school in either 1989 or 1990. However, we know that Merton had left Hogwarts before the 1994/95 school year (since he was in a professional band by December of 1994). If he began Hogwarts in 1990, then he only finished fourth year, which seems very unlikely. If he began in 1989, he could have quit school after he finished his 5th year and sat his OWLs. This would still have him being no older than 16 (though possibly about to turn 17 if his birthday was in January) when his band played the Yule Ball.
  • #18 Orsino Thruston (of Weird Sisters): Orsino would have had to have started Hogwarts by 1987 in order to have finished all 7 years (since he was in a professional band by December of 1994). If he started Hogwarts in 1988, then he left school before his 7th year.
  • #19 Victoire Weasley: In the documentary "JKR Rowling: a year in the life," JKR says she was born on May 2nd. But in which year? Victoire is still going to school in the 2017/18 school year, so she can't have been born earlier than 2000. That leaves the question of what the latest possible birth year could be. The answer to that depends on how big an age gap you think the Weasleys and Potters would accept between 19 year old Teddy and the younger Victoire. She is seen kissing 19 year old Teddy in the fall of 2017, and her extended family seems pleased by this, so there is unlikely to be a socially unacceptable age gap between the two. If she's a 7th year then she was born in 2000 and is 17. If she's a 6th year then she was born in 2001 and is 16.
  • #20 Marietta Edgecombe: As far as I know, the only real evidence that Marietta is in Cho's year is that she is Cho's friend. She could just as easily be a year behind Cho. However, she can't be a year ahead of Cho because Marietta is still in school in HPB.
  • #21 Hermione Granger: Her sorting (and thus her class year) is described in PS chapter 7. The month of her birthday (September) is mentioned in PoA chapter 4. The day of her birthday comes from an online chat JKR did on AOL on October 19, 2000. She also listed the month and day of Hermione's birthday on her website. As for the year of her birth, we can arrive at that by math. We know that Hermione was born in 1979 because JKR posted the following question and answer in the FAQ section of Question: "When Hermione arrived at Hogwarts, was she nearly eleven or nearly twelve?" Answer: "She was nearly twelve; you must be at least eleven to attend Hogwarts."
  • #22 Draco Malfoy: His class year and house come from PS chapter 7 (as well as repeated mentions throughout the books). The day and month of his birth come from His birth year is listed on the Black Family Tree.
  • #23Padma Patil: She is first mentioned as part of Harry's class year (but only by last name) in PS chapter 7. Her house (Ravenclaw) is first stated in GoF chapter 12. Her first name of Padma isn't mentioned until GoF chapter 22.
  • #24 Harry Potter: Here's some dates from the books that can be used to calculate Harry's birth date. We know from DH chapter 16 that Harry's parents died on October 31st, 1981. According to CoS chapter 1, Harry was one when his parents died. The day and month of Harry's birthday are mentioned in PS chapter 8, when Harry commented that a July 31st break in at Gringotts had happened on his birthday.

    Here are some other mentions of Harry's birthday in the books. GoF chapter 2 said that friends had sent him birthday cards "at the end of July." The prophecy quoted in OotP chapter 37 refers to a child "born as the seventh month dies." (This might be a rather poetic way of saying exactly July 31st, or it might just mean near the end of the month.) Then in DH chapter 1 Yaxley said that Harry would turn 17 on the 31st of the (unstated) month. Put all this together and you get a birth date of July 31st, 1980.
  • #25 Daphne Greengrass and Astoria/Asteria Greengrass: Daphne is mentioned only once by name in the books, when OotP chapter 31 lists Daphne Greengrass as one of the 5th year students taking an O.W.L exam with Hermione. The books don't mention her house, but, JKR has said in a Time magazine interview that Daphne was in Slytherin and was "part of Pansy Parkinson's Slytherin posse." Astoria (or perhaps Asteria --spelling varies), is not mentioned by name in the books. Draco Malfoy's wife in the DH epilogue is only referred to as "his wife." However, in two different interviews JKR has said that Astoria is Draco Malfoy's wife. (Time magazine interview, and PotterCast #131, 24 December 2007) In the Pottercast interview she described Astoria as: "Younger sister of Daphne. So she was two years younger than he was at Hogwarts..."
  • #26 Marcus Flint: In PS chapter 11 he is described as "a fifth year" and is captain of the Slytherin team. (The quote of "fifth year" is from the digital edition published by Pottermore Limited in 2012. He was listed differently in earlier editions. The lexicon reports that an earlier edition of this chapter called Flint a 6th year student, and that fact plus future mentions of Flint would have meant Flint was at Hogwarts for more than 7 years. When asked about this discrepancy in an online chat in 2000, JKR replied that Flint "had to do a year again!" I am not sure when this change was made to the book.)
  • #27 Penelope Clearwater: CoS chapter 14 identifies her as a 6th year and a Ravenclaw. Differences between editions: The 2012 Pottermore Ltd edition says she is a 6th year during CoS. However, according to, an earlier version of the text said she was "a fifth-year girl with long, curly hair." Then, in the summer of 2004 editions from Raincoast and Bloomsbury changed this to "a sixth-year girl." ( )
  • #28 Fred and George Weasley: In a discussion about O.W.L.s during OotP Chapter 12, George mentions that the current school year is the twin's seventh year. As for their house, the twins presence in Gryffindor is mentioned repeatedly starting with PS chapter 6. Their birthday comes from two sources. In GoF chapter 12 George said that he and Fred would be "seventeen in April." The date of April first comes from's birthday greetings.
  • #29 Ginny Weasley: In CoS chapter 5 Harry saw Ginny in the line of first years waiting to be sorted. Later in that same chapter, McGonagall told Ron that Ginny had been sorted into Gryffindor. Ginny's day and month of birth are not in the books but come from the birthday greetings posted at
  • #30 Lee Jordan: In GoF chapter 13 Fred, George and Lee are excited about the class they all just had with Moody. So Lee is definitely in the twins' year. In GoF chapter 16, Lee (like the twins) is too young to enter the tournament. This means that Lee is 16 on October 31st in GoF chapter 16.
  • #31 Charlie Weasley and Bill Weasley: Figuring out the ages for these two gets complicated and some information doesn't mesh very well with some of the other information.

    The information we do have comes from two places. First, there's the books. The books mention some things about Charlie playing quidditch and about past quidditch games that can be used to figure out when he played at Hogwarts.

    Second there's JKR's website ( which gave out two pieces of information. She posted birthday greetings for both Charlie and Bill (giving us a birth day and birth month, but not a year). She also posted a FAQ on that site which said, "Bill is two years older than Charlie, who is three years older than Percy, who is two years older than Fred and George, who are two years older than Ron, who is a year older than Ginny."

    For a more in depth explanation of what all this might mean, I'll point you to the essay by Troels Forchhammer and the essay by White Hound.
  • #32 Nymphadora Tonks: The calculations for Tonks' starting year are based on when she became an auror. In August of 1995 (OP chapter 3) Tonks said that she qualified to be an auror "a year ago." According to McGonagall in OP chapter 29, the training takes three years. So Tonks would have started Hogwarts in 1984. See the timeline by Nathan Zimmermann at (Of course this calculation would be wrong if Tonks didn't train immediately after her Hogwarts years.) Tonks' house status was never mentioned in the books. JKR mentioned it in a Time magazine interview.
  • #33 Michael Corner: Michael was not mentioned in the chapter that showed his year being sorted. However OotP chapter 16 mentions that he is a Ravenclaw. HBP chapter 9 shows him in the same potions class as Harry, proving that they are in the same year.
  • #34 Theodore Nott: His sorting is shown in PS chapter 7, but his first name isn't mentioned until OotP chapter 26.
  • #35 Teddy Lupin: The books don't give an exact date for Teddy's birth. However, the Deathly Hallows book gave a very rough time frame. Then a date from secondary canon narrowed that time frame.

    Let's start with the book text. An uncertain amount of time before Ted Lupin's birth we were told in DH chapter 25 that it was a "blustery April evening." Then an uncertain amount of time later, Remus Lupin visited Shell Cottage to announce that his son was just born. The next mention of a specific month came in Chapter 26. On the morning when Griphook and the trio leave Shell Cottage in order to raid Gringotts, readers are told that the weather had changed "now that it was May." Thus, the book text narrows Ted's birthday to April or May.

    In the documentary "JKR Rowling: a year in the life," JKR told viewers that the assault on Hogwarts was on May 2nd. Working backwards from this date, May 1st was the day of the raid on Gringotts; and working backwards from that date, Ted was born in April.

    We get his Hogwarts house from a September, 2015 tweet by JKR.
  • #36 Miles Bletchley: Miles was either one or two years ahead of Harry at school. In PS chapter 11, Miles was the Slytherin keeper during Harry's first year. Since first-year students weren't allowed to play quidditch, Miles had to be at least a second-year student during Philosopher's Stone. (According to two discussions in PS 9, the no-first-years rule was bent for Harry, but he was the the only exception for about a hundred years.) Miles was mentioned as still being at Hogwarts in OotP chapter 19 Then he was not mentioned by name again until DH chapter 13 when Arthur Weasley makes a passing reference to a "Bletchley" who seems to work at the Ministry, and who might be Miles or might be a family member.
  • #37 Adrian Pucey: Adrian Pucey was either one or two years ahead of Harry at school. He is the Slytherin chaser in PS chapter 11. Since first-year students weren't allowed to play quidditch, Miles had to be at least a second-year student during Philosopher's Stone. (According to two discussions in PS 9, the no-first-years rule was bent for Harry, but he was the the only exception for about a hundred years.) Then Adrian Pucey reappears in chapter 10 of CoS and chapter 19 of OotP.
  • #38 (Aunt) Muriel: In DH chapter 8 Muriel told people repeatedly that she was 107 years old. If Muriel was 107 on August 1st, 1997, then she was 11 on August 1, 1901. So, depending on when her birthday was, she started school in either 1901 or 1900. The books never mentioned a last name for her. Her negative comments about Weasleys in general during DH chapter 8 make it clear that she's a not a Weasley, but Molly calls Muriel her "Great-Auntie Muriel" in HBP 29, so Muriel must be either the sister or sister-in-law of one of Molly's grandparents.

    Note: There does seem to be some discrepancy in what people call Muriel, so I may have the relationship wrong. Either many people are calling her "Auntie" as shorthand for great-aunt and great-great-aunt or there are multiple discrepancies about what generation she is in. (For example, Molly calls Muriel "our Great-Auntie Muriel" when talking to Fleur in HBP 29. Mad-Eye calls her ""Molly's Auntie" in DH 4. Ginny called her "Auntie Muriel" in DH 5. Tonks calls her "Ron's Auntie Muriel." In DH 8 Hermione calls her Ron's "Great-Aunt Muriel." )
  • #39 Tom Riddle and Rubeus Hagrid: The Hogwarts start dates for both Tom Riddle and Rubeus Hagrid are calculated based on multiple passages in CoS that refer to events "fifty years" in the past. See Chapter 7: Fifty Years Ago for more details. The day and month of Tom Riddle's birth are from HBP 13. In that chapter, one of the orphanage's staff describes the New Year's Eve arrival of Tom's mother, saying: "We took her in, and she had the baby within the hour." The month and day for Rubeus Hagrid's birthday are from, which posted birthday greetings.

Notes By Book Chapter

  • #40 PS chapter 7 lists some of the incoming students. For some of them it mentions a house, but for others it just mentions the fact that they were sorted without mentioning a house.
  • #41 GoF chapter 12 lists how some students were sorted that year, and also mentions Padma Patil's house. Chapter 12 also says that all seven Weasley children had been in Gryffindor.
  • #42 OotP chapter 11 lists how some students were sorted that year.
  • #43 DH chapter 16 gives the birth and death dates for both Lily Evans and James Potter.
  • #44 PS chapter 9 is the first mention of Pansy Parkinson's full name and that she is in Slytherin. It's also the first mention of Parvati Patil's first name and the first indication that she is in Gryffindor.
  • #45 DH chapter 33 shows the sorting of Severus Snape, Lily Evans, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, and James Potter. It also shows Lucius Malfoy at the Slytherin table.
  • #46 PoA chapter 5 has the first mention of Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle's first names.
  • #47 OotP chapter 10 mentions that Anthony Goldstein and Ernie Macmillan are fifth year prefects, and gives their houses. (Macmillan and Goldstein hadn't been mentioned during the PS chapter on their sorting.) It's also in this chapter that Ginny introduces Luna Lovegood to Neville, telling him that Luna is a Ravenclaw in the same year as Ginny.
  • #48 PS chapter 9 says that Oliver Wood is a fifth-year Gryffindor.
  • #49 PoA chapter 9 describes Cedric Diggory as a fifth-year Hufflepuff.
  • #50 HBP chapter 9 shows a scene in the Gryffindor common room in which Katie Bell is described as one of a group of 7th years.
  • #51 HBP chapter 24 describes Katie Bell and Leanne as part of "a small group of seventh years" who are in the Gryffindor common room.
  • #52 CoS chapter 6 introduces Colin Creevey as a new Gryffindor student.
  • #53 PoA chapter 13 says that Cho Chang is a Ravenclaw and a fourth year. It also mentions that Penelope Clearwater is in Ravenclaw.
  • #54 HBP chapter 7 tells us that Romilda Vane is a fourth-year student. It also describes Cormac McLaggen and Marcus Belby as "two seventh-year boys Harry did not know." Then, later in the chapter, Blaise Zabini is heard telling his friends that Belby is from Ravenclaw.
  • #55 HBP chapter 11 shows the tryouts for the Gryffindor team. Jimmy Peaks is a third-year Gryffindor. Cormac McLaggen is a seventh-year Gryffindor. (This chapter also shows Romilda Vane trying out for the tream, but since it makes clear that many people who tried out weren't Gryffindors, I'm not using this chapter as evidence that she is in Gryffindor.) The chapter also quotes a Daily Prophet article which says that Stanley Shunpike is 21 years old.
  • #56 HBP chapter 14 shows Romilda Vane in the Gryffindor common room. This chapter also mentions that Slytherin substituted Harper for seeker Draco Malfoy in a match. Ginny mentions that Harper is in her year.
  • #57 PS chapter 6 says that Percy Weasley is a new prefect, which means he is a fifth year. Also Ron tells Harry that his brothers are in Gryffindor.
  • #58 OotP chapter 31 mentions sixth-year Ravenclaw Eddie Carmichael
  • #59 OotP chapter 12: In a discussion about O.W.L.s George says that Patricia Stimpson is in the same class year as himself, and Fred says the same about Kenneth Towler. George also mentions that the current school year is the twin's seventh year.
  • #60 CoS chapter 7 mentions that Alicia Spinnet is a fourth year on the Gryffindor team.
  • #61 In GoF chapter 16, a number of events happen on October 31st. Fred and George Weasley try to cross the age line. Lee Jordan had planned to try to fool the age line, but didn't attempt it after Fred and George failed. Dumbledore says that "Miss Fawcett, of Ravenclaw" and "Mr. Summers, of Hufflepuff" also tried (and failed) to cross the age line. Warrington in Slytherin and Diggory in Hufflepuff are both mentioned as students who are "seventeen or over." (It's then a logical deduction that both Warrington and Diggory have birthdays in September or October that fall somewhere from September 2nd through October 31st.) Angelina Johnson is described as being in Gryffindor. She says that she is old enough to enter the tournament because her birthday was "last week."
  • #62 In OotP chapter 19, Angelina described Bole and Derrick as "last year's Beaters" and as having "left." That's slightly odd since there were no quidditch matches the previous year (during the Goblet of Fire book). I'm assuming that Angelina meant that Derrick and Bole would have played that year in the same way that Harry would have played. In any case, that would make them 7th-year students during the Goblet of Fire school year unless they left school early.
  • #63 In HBP chapter 4, Slughorn talked about previous students and said that Dirk Cresswell was in the year after Lily Evans at Hogwarts.
  • #64 PoA chapter 11 showed Dumbledore talking to Derek, a first year student. (No last name is given.)
  • #65 The DH epilogue showed September first of 2017. Albus Severus Potter, Rose Weasley, and Scorpius Malfoy are shown leaving for their first year of Hogwarts. It was mentioned that Lily would be going to school two years in the future.
  • #66 During HBP chapter 22 the students who were old enough took an Apparition Test. Draco, Harry and Ernie were all under 17, and couldn't take the test. HBP chapter 21 said the test was on April 21st. Therefore all three had birthdays after April 2lst and before September 2nd. (in late April, or anytime in May, June, July, or August).
  • #67 DH chapter 2 had information about Aberforth Dumbledore and Elphias Doge. The memorial article which Elphias Doge wrote said that he and Dumbledore started school together as first years and that Aberforth was 3 years behind them at Hogwarts. (This information in combination with Albus Dumbledore's Hogwarts start date places both of them in their respective class years.)

Still More Notes on the Sources or Reasoning for Specific Individuals

  • #80 Moaning Myrtle: Only her first name is mentioned in the books, but on May 11, 2015 JKR tweeted that her full name is Myrtle Elizabeth Warren: Her age or exact year are never mentioned in the books, though CoS makes it clear that she dies at Hogwarts during Tom Riddle's 5th year there. Speaking with reporter John Anderson from the newspaper Newsday, the actress Shirley Henderson said, "She's 14! But she's an old, bad-tempered 14-year- old. And she's dead. And she's see- through." (Newspaper article from March 7th, 2004, titled: "A touch of lass / Bust Scottish actress Shirley Henderson is one versatile pro, even in parts well below her age." Not available online without a Newsday subscription or access to a newspaper database.) I take this to mean that Myrtle was 14 when she died. However JKR has never confirmed this age, so it may be wrong. If she was 14 during Tom Riddle's 5th year, then she started Hogwarts in 1939 or 1940.
  • #81 JKR tweeted that Luna's birthday is February 13th. In combination with her year in school, this gives a birth year of 1981.
  • #82 We are told the exact year James starts Hogwarts and his house in two tweets by JKR from September, 2015. and

Chapter Text

Characters whose time at Hogwarts overlapped with Harry Potter

The characters in these next two tables are people who definitely went to school with Harry Potter. However, there's not enough information in the book texts to be sure of all the years they were there. (Some of these characters were also listed in the Big Multigenerational Table of Doom in the previous chapter. However, most of them weren't listed there, because they couldn't be accurately placed in the table by year.)

Table One: Absolutely Certain Years

This first table lets you see at a glance which years we can be absolutely completely sure of for each character. (Go to the second table for exact chapter sources.) Years marked with a capital "H" are years in which the book text specifically mentions that the person was at Hogwarts. Years marked with a lowercase "h" are years in which the student logically should have been there based on information in the text.

Here are the situations in which I have listed a lowercase "h" for a year: 1) Students who played quidditch must have been there the previous year. No first years other than Harry Potter were allowed to play quidditch. So it is a given that any quidditch player went to school for at least one year before becoming a player. 2) If a student was mentioned in one year and then mentioned again a couple years later, it is logical to say that they were at Hogwarts in the years in between. 3) If somebody went to the Yule Ball, then they were at least a third-year student and therefore were attending Hogwarts for the two previous years. (Ginny Weasley attended the Yule Ball in her third year by being the date of a fourth-year student.)

Name year before Harry PS
(1st yr)
(2nd yr)
(3rd yr)
(4th yr)
(5th yr)
(6th yr)
(7th yr)
Miles Bletchley (S) h H h h h H
Bradley (R) h H
Cadwallader (H) h H
Chambers (R) h H
Ritchie Coote (G) h H
Roger Davies (R) h H H H
(Miss) Fawcett (R) H h H
Vicky Frobisher (G) h H
Terrence Higgs (S) h H
Geoffrey Hooper (G) h H
Andrew Kirke (G) h H
Eloise Midgen h h H h H
Montague (S) h H h H
Montgomery sisters H
Adrian Pucey (S) h H H h h H
Demelza Robbins (G) h H
Jack Sloper (G) h H H
Zacharias Smith (H) H H H H
Stebbins (H) h h H
(Mr.) Summers (H) H
(unknown male first name) Summerby (H) h H
Urquhart (S) h H
Vaisey (S) h H
Name year before Harry PS
(1st yr)
(2nd yr)
(3rd yr)
(4th yr)
(5th yr)
(6th yr)
(7th yr)

Table Two: More Detailed Information, Book by Book

A "NO" indicates that that volume of the series didn't mention their presence as a student at Hogwarts that year.

Name PS
(1st yr)
(2nd yr)
(3rd yr)
(4th yr)
(5th yr)
(6th yr)
(7th yr)
Miles Bletchley Ch 11: Slytherin keeper NO NO NO Ch 19: Slytherin Keeper NO NO, Ch 13: working at Ministry (or someone with same last name?)
Bradley NO NO NO NO Ch 30: Ravenclaw player NO NO
Cadwallader (H) NO NO NO NO NO Ch 19: Hufflepuff player NO
Chambers NO NOI NO NO Ch 31: Ravenclaw player NO NO
Ritchie Coote NO NO NO NO NO Ch 11: Gryffindor beater NO
Roger Davies NO NO Ch 13: Ravenclaw captain Ch 23: Ravenclaw captain, went to Yule Ball with Fleur (who is 17 or older) Ch 25: Ravenclaw captain, asked Cho out (who was in 6th year) NO NO (mention in Ch33 is just a memory)
(Miss) Fawcett NO Ch 11: in dueling club (the other mentioned students were in Harry's year, but the notice never said it was for second-year students only) NO Ch 16: a Ravenclaw who failed to cross age line, therefore under 17 on Oct 31st (speculation: She might be almost old enough like the twins or if she is in Harry's year she might be plain reckless), Ch 23: at Yule Ball with Stebbins (which means she was at least a 3rd year) NO NO NO
Vicky Frobisher NO NO NO NO Ch 13: tried out for Gryffindor team NO NO
Terrence Higgs Ch 11: Slytherin Seeker NO (Draco is seeker now.) NO NO NO NO NO
Geoffrey Hooper NO NO NO NO Ch 13: tried out for Gryffindor team NO NO
Andrew Kirke NO NO NO NO Ch 21: Gryffindor beater after Harry and the twins were banned from the team NO NO
Eloise Midgen NO NO NO Ch 13 and 22: in both these Ron & Hermione discuss her as if she's the right age for Ron to ask to the Yule Ball Ch 17: brief mention Ch 11: father withdrew her from school) NO
Montague NO NO Ch 15: Slytherin chaser NO Ch 19: "new captain" of Slytherin team NO (only a mention of him in the past) NO
Montgomery sisters NO NO NO NO NO Ch 22: at Hogwarts NO
Adrian Pucey Ch 11: Slytherin chaser Ch 10 NO NO Ch 19 NO NO
Demelza Robbins NO NO NO NO NO Ch 11: new Gryffindor chaser NO
Jack Sloper NO NO NO NO Ch 21: Gryffindor beater after Harry and the twins were banned from the team Ch 9 NO
Zacharias Smith (H) NO NO NO NO Ch 16: member of Hufflepuff team, attended Hog's Head meeting that began the DA, mention of being at Hogwarts last year (Smith said "All Dumbledore told us last year was that...") Ch 15: Hermione considered asking him on a date (to bother Ron), Ch 19: Hufflepuff chaser Ch 31: still at Hogwarts as a student
Stebbins NO NO NO Ch 23: a Hufflepuff, was at Yule Ball with Fawcett NO (possible ancestor or relative in Ch 28) NO NO
(Mr.) Summers NO NO NO Ch 16: in Hufflepuff, failed to cross age line (therefore was under 17 on Oct 31st) NO NO NO
(unknown male first name) Summerby (H) NO NO NO NO Ch 26: Hufflepuff seeker NO NO
Urquhart NO NO NO NO NO Ch 14: Slytherin captain NO
Vaisey NO NO NO NO NO Ch 14: Slytherin chaser NO
Name PS
(1st yr)
(2nd yr)
(3rd yr)
(4th yr)
(5th yr)
(6th yr)
(7th yr)

Chapter Text

Characters whose time at Hogwarts overlapped with James Potter (Harry's father)


  • Bertrum Aubrey: James Potter and Sirius Black were punished for hexing him so that his head was swollen to double its usual size. (HBP chapter 24)
  • Avery: Slytherin (DH chapter 33 and GoF chapter 27)
  • Dirk Cresswell (HPB 4)
  • Davey Gudgeon: a boy who almost "lost an eye" to the Whomping Willow (PoA chapter 10)
  • Bertha Jorkins: According to Sirius, Bertha "was at Hogwarts when I was, a few years above your dad and me." (GoF 19)
  • Mary Macdonald: a student who was discussed by Lily Evans and Severus Snape. When Lily said that Mulciber tried to do some kind of dark magic to Mary Macdonald, Severus brushed off the incident as a joke. This may be the same Mary who was a Gryffindor and is mentioned later in the same chapter. (DH chapter 33)
  • Lucius Malfoy: Lucius was a Slytherin prefect the year Snape was sorted (DH chapter 33)
  • Mulciber: He was discussed by Severus and Lily in DH chapter 33.
  • Evan Rosier: Slytherin (In GoF 27, Sirius says that Severus hung out with Rosier. We are told Rosier's first name in GoF 30.)
  • Stebbins: took the Defence Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. with James Potter and his class. (OotP 28)
  • Wilkes: Slytherin (GoF chapter 27)

Staff and Others

  • Fat Lady: portrait (DH chapter 33)
  • Flitwick: Professor Flitwick monitored the Defense Against the Dark Arts O.W.L. when James Potter took it. (OotP 28)
  • Dumbledore: Dumbledore was already headmaster when Lily first went to Hogwarts. (DH 33) Remus mentions that Dumbledore became headmaster after he was bitten but before he began school. (PoA 18)
  • McGonagal: supervised the sorting for Lily Evans, etc (DH 33)
  • the Whomping Willow: The Whomping Willow came to Hogwarts the same year Remus did. (PoA 10)
  • Horace Slughorn: professor (DH 4)


  • the Lestranges: In GoF 27, Sirius also says that "the Lestranges -- they're a married couple" were in Slytherin with Severus. This sounds like it would be Rodolphus Lestrange and Bellatrix Lestrange. However, if you accept the dates from the Black family tree, Bellatrix should have been out of school by the time Severus started at Hogwarts. (For a more detailed discussion, see Bellatrix's footnote in chapter two.)
  • Argus Filch: In HBP 24, Snape gave Harry the detention task of sorting through old records from his father's school years. He said that "Mr. Filch has been looking for someone to clear out these old files." This seemed to imply that these were Filch's records, but it's also possible that they were from his predecessor. However, Filch's presence during James Potter and his friends' schooling was also strongly implied in PoA chapter 14. Remus Lupin told Harry, "I happen to know that this map [the Marauder's Map] was confiscated by Mr. Filch many years ago." (Of course, Remus did not explicitly tell Harry that Filch had confiscated it either from Remus himself or from one of his friends. At this point in the story Remus had not even told Harry that it had ever been his map. It wasn't until PoA 17 chapter that he told Harry that he had helped write it.)
  • Hagrid (assuming he stayed on continuously after being expelled)

Chapter Text

Characters whose time at Hogwarts overlapped with Arthur and Molly

It's unclear exactly when these two went to school. However, Molly definitely started Hogwarts at least 7 years before Severus Snape, James Potter, and company went to school. We know this because in GoF chapter 31 Molly said that the Whomping Willow was not there when she went to school, and Remus Lupin said in PoA chapter 10 that it was planted his first year at Hogwarts. So there was no overlap in their school years.

People mentioned in the books as being at Hogwarts with Arthur or Molly

  • Molly Prewett (In GoF 31 Molly said she was at Hogwarts at the same time as Arthur. Also, the books do give Molly's maiden name, although indirectly. In DH chapter 7 Molly gives Harry "my brother Fabian's" watch as a gift. Then the epilogue to DH mentions that the watch had belonged to Fabian Prewett.
  • Arthur Weasley (GoF 31)
  • Ogg: "gamekeeper before Hagrid" (GoF 31)
  • Fat Lady: portrait (GoF 31)
  • Apollyon Pringle: caretaker (GoF 31)
  • Horace Slughorn: professor (HBP 5)
  • Albus Dumbledore (In HBP 5 Molly Weasley said that she thought Dumbledore and Slughorn both began working at Hogwarts at about the same time, but didn't say whether Dumbledore was still a teacher during her student years or had already become headmaster. In PoA 18 Remus mentions that Dumbledore became headmaster after he was bitten but before he began school.)
  • Hagrid: According to the Riddle!diary (in CoS 17), when Hagrid was expelled Dumbledore "persuaded Dippet to keep Hagrid and train him as gamekeeper." In GoF 24 Rita Skeeter reported that he had been gamekeeper "ever since" he was expelled. However, Hagrid must have still been in training during some or all of Molly's years at Hogswart because during GoF 31 Molly talked about her Hogwarts memories of Ogg who was "gamekeeper before Hagrid."

Chapter Text

Characters whose time at Hogwarts overlapped with Tom Riddle according to the book texts

Tom Riddle began Hogwarts in September of 1938. His last school year was the 1944/45 year. (See chapters 2 and 7 for calculations and reasoning for his birthdate.)


  • Lestrange (HBP 17 and 23)
  • Avery (HBP 17 and 23)
  • Olive Hornby: the student who teased Myrtle on the day that Myrtle died (CoS 16)
  • Myrtle: student killed by the basilisk (CoS 18)
  • Rubeus Hagrid (CoS 13)

Staff and Others

  • Galatea Merrythought: Defense against the Dark Arts professor (HBP 17, 20, and 23) As of the 1944-45 school year, she had been teaching for almost 50 years and was about to leave. (HBP20)
  • Horace Slughorn: professor (HBP 17 and 23)
  • Albus Dumbledore: taught Transfiguration (CoS 17, HBP 13)
  • Armando Dippet: headmaster (HBP 20, GoF 25, CoS 13)
  • Gray Lady: ghost (DH 31)

Chapter Text

The relative class years of Tom Riddle and Rubeus Hagrid are spelled out quite clearly. Tom Riddle entered Hogwarts two years before Hagrid did. Here's the evidence for that:

  • In PS chapter 4 Hagrid said he was expelled in his third year at Hogwarts. (also CoS 7)
  • In CoS13 Tom Riddle's diary says the chamber was opened "in my fifth year."
  • Hagrid was expelled when he was framed for opening the Chamber of Secrets. (CoS 17)

The next step in assigning Tom and Hagrid Hogwarts entry dates seems equally clear. The events above are repeatedly referred to a happening "fifty years ago." Surely, calculating their start dates would be a very easy bit of math?

Unfortunately, it's not quite that simple. Some readers have said that they think "fifty years ago" is just a rough approximation and not anything solid enough to base exact dates on. I agree that this is a valid concern. People often don't mean phrases such as "fifty years ago" or "one hundred years ago" to be taken literally. For example, somebody who asks "What did people wear a hundred years ago?" is unlikely to mean exactly one hundred years ago on the dot. So I'll go over some of the individual cases where characters declare that events happened "fifty years ago."

Text: In CoS 18 Albus Dumbledore said "I taught him myself, fifty years ago, at Hogwarts."
Commentary: This gives us a huge range of dates, since Tom Riddle was a Hogwarts student for seven years. Clearly, it's not meant to refer to an exact date or year.

Text: In CoS 12 Draco Malfoy complained that "... Father won't tell me anything about the last time the Chamber was opened either. Of course, it was fifty years ago, so it was before his time...." Draco said this on December 25th, 1992. So if Draco meant exactly fifty years ago to the day, he would be talking about December 25th, 1942.
Commentary: Draco himself said that he had big gaps in his knowledge. It was also second hand knowledge. I think that this could easily have been a very vague and approximate statement of time.

Text: When Ron Weasley saw the name on the diary during CoS 13, he remembered an award he had cleaned during detention earlier in the year and said: "I know that name. . . . T. M. Riddle got an award for special services to the school fifty years ago." Ron said this during January of 1993, so fifty years ago would be 1943. (The detention day when he cleaned the award would have been September 5th of 1992 and was described in CoS 7.)
Commentary: When Ron described his detention he said he had had to clean the award "about fifty times," but when he said that Riddle got the award "fifty years ago" he didn't say "about" or use any similar qualifier. This makes me think that Ron meant exactly fifty years. Also Ron saw the award himself, so this is a firsthand account. However, Ron was talking about an award he had seen months ago, so his recollection might not have been accurate. (Ron's own explanation for why he remembered the award shield clearly was that he had had to polish it many, many times.)

Text: In CoS 13 (when Harry looked at the diary) "the faded year on the cover told him it was fifty years old." This scene occurred some time in January 1993, while Hermione was in the hospital wing but after lessons started up again. Therefore, exactly fifty years old would mean the year on the cover was 1943.
Commentary: Harry saw an exact year, and saw it first hand. There's no vagueness about it. On the other hand it's still possible (though much less likely) that he could be speaking in general terms and rounding the years.

Text: During CoS 13 Harry showed Hermione the diary "at the beginning of February" in 1993. After "looking at it closely" she said, "And this diary is fifty years old." As in the previous example, 1993-50=1943.
Commentary: This example is similar to the previous one because Hermione was seeing the actual year on the book as she said this. However, I find it even more convincing than Harry's report because Hermione is repeatedly shown as a character who is a stickler for detail. I believe Hermione would be very unlikely to round the number of years off. Even if every other quote of "fifty years" was meant in a general way, this scene would convince me that the year on the diary was literally fifty years ago.

There are several more examples of characters saying something was "fifty years ago."1 However, the examples above (especially the last two) convinced me that readers can treat these "fifty years" as an exact number of years and not just an approximation.

#1 Here are the other times characters said "fifty years." In CoS 14: Harry mentioned that Hagrid was "expelled fifty years ago." In CoS 17: The diary version of Tom Riddle said that he was "preserved in a diary for fifty years." CoS 13: Hermione said "at the beginning of February" 1993, "We know the person who opened the Chamber last time was expelled fifty years ago. We know T. M. Riddle got an award for special services to the school fifty years ago."