Charity Burbage

Charity Burbage was a British witch and the Professor of Muggle Studies at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The Definitive Glossary for Harry Potter

Charity Burbage was born in the 20th century to the Burbage family. It is not known if she was Pure-blooded, Half-blooded or a Muggle-born. She most likely attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and later joined the school as a teacher of Muggle Studies. Charity Burbage was presumably appointed for the post of Muggle Studies professor at Hogwarts after the year 1993 as one of the male teachers who was a Muggles Studies professor left Hogwarts in that year. 

Charity Burbage is known in the Harry Potter series after Lord Voldemort murders her in cold blood in the Malfoy Manor because of her Muggle-friendly beliefs and writings in the Daily Prophet, which were in support of treating Muggles and Muggle-borns without discrimination. Charity was insulted by Voldemort, and he claimed that she wanted the “thieves of their knowledge (muggles)” to co-exist with the people capable of performing magic (wizards and witches).


Charity Burbage is believed to be named after the word Charity from English, which is derived from the late Latin Caritas, which means ‘generous love’. This is further derived from the Latin Carus, which means ‘dear, beloved.’ It is also possible that her name is a nod to her charitable and kind-hearted nature towards Muggles. Her surname Burbage is a habitational name from any place inside Leicestershire, Wiltshire, and Derbyshire counties. It is derived from the Old-English burh meaning fort, and bæc, meaning hill ridge.

Charity At Hogwarts

Charity Burbage is believed to have started teaching in Hogwarts in 1993 after the departure of the wizard who was the Muggle Studies teacher at Hogwarts. This male teacher probably left Hogwarts in the school year 1992-93, and Charity became the new teacher for the subject. Charity was a strong believer in equal treatment of all humans, including magical people and Muggles. She fought for the noble cause of spreading awareness amongst the students at Hogwarts by teaching them how to respect the views and opinions of the Muggle community through their magical education.

Charity was friendly with most of her colleagues at Hogwarts, and it is possible that she was friends with Severus Snape as well. Despite the emergence of the dark wizards during the Second Wizarding War, she continued teaching her subject without fear and spreading awareness among her students.

Charity Burbage’s Disappearance

During the summer holidays of 1997, around June or July, the mysterious disappearance of Charity was reported from Hogwarts and the public eye. An official statement made by Hogwarts, which had already been under the control of the Death Eaters due to Professor Snape becoming the headmaster after the death of Albus Dumbledore, claimed that Charity had resigned from her post as professor of Muggle Studies. An editorial written after Charity’s editorial on The Daily Prophet claimed that Charity had gone into hiding. However, the members of the Order of the Phoenix and some of her colleagues didn’t believe this and knew something was wrong.

Charity Burbage’s Death

Charity Burbage is first and last seen in the Harry Potter series when Lord Voldemort forcibly gets her to the Malfoy Manor and magically hangs her from the ceiling at the table around which all the Death Eaters are gathered. He attends to several of the plans that the Death Eaters have to implement, including attacking Harry Potter when he leaves his aunt and uncle’s house at Privet Drive due to coming of age. 

Eventually, Voldemort points out to the person hanging upside from the ceiling and introduces her as Professor Charity Burbage, Muggle Studies teacher at Hogwarts. He further claims that last week Professor Burbage had written a Daily Prophet article, an impassioned defence of mudbloods, claiming that Muggle-born wizards and witches are just like the Half-blooded and Pure-blooded wizards and they should be accorded the same respect as the others. He claims that she wrote that wizards must accept “these thieves” of their magical abilities. He also claims that she wrote that the dwindling of the pure-bloods is the most desirable circumstance as it would give rise to more relationships and bonds between Muggle-born and Pure-blooded families, bridging this gap forever. 

Accusing Professor Burbage of poisoning the minds of young witches and wizards with Pure-blooded upbringing, Voldemort proceeds to further insult her, claiming that given her way, she would have wizards and witches mate with Muggles or even werewolves. 

When Voldemort almost raises his wand to try and kill her, she makes a final plea to her colleague Severus Snape who is also present among the others at the table. However, since he is a double agent, he turns a blind eye to her requests. Draco Malfoy, who is also present at the table, flinches at the sight of one of his professors about to be killed. This may be a sign of pity that eventually catches up to him. Finally, Voldemort ends Charity’s life using the Killing Curse and orders his snake Nagini to eat Charity Burbage’s corpse.

What Would Muggle Studies Contain?

Since Charity Burbage taught Muggle Studies at Hogwarts, most pure-blood fanatics were against the subject she taught, and Lord Voldemort eventually killed her, trying to bring peace and a sense of harmony between the magical kind and the Muggles. However, it is interesting that a subject like Muggle Studies was even taught at Hogwarts. We believe that the subject may have been way more interesting than it is led to believe.

Firstly, since the subject was called Muggle studies, it is possible that it was a culmination of all disciplines studied by Muggles, including Anthropology, Science, Mathematics, History, Computer Science, Economics, etc. Also, other than merely containing papers on harmony and diplomacy between Muggles and the Magical kind, it may also contain a wide variety of papers on interesting Muggle fields of study that an interested wizard or witch could choose to study. Someone like Hermione Granger would have taken the liberty to study these fields, too, due to her inquisitive nature and also possibly due to her Muggle origins.


Why was Charity Burbage killed?

Charity Burbage was killed by Lord Voldemort because she voiced her opinions on the discrimination and ill-treatment of Muggles by some wizards and witches who were Pure-blood fanatics. She wrote a column in The Daily Prophet about how Muggles were similar to wizards and witches and should be treated equally and let into the lives of the magical community.

What Hogwarts house was Charity Burbage in?

It is most likely that Charity Burbage was either in Hufflepuff or Gryffindor. While there is no canonical evidence of her house being either of these, her characteristics point to these two houses. Charity was very kind-hearted and friendly, especially to Muggles and Muggle-born, who were ostracized by many from the magical world. These are traits of a Hufflepuff. She was also a very brave witch as she went ahead and published her column in The Daily Prophet despite the risk of being harmed.

Was Severus friends with Charity?

Yes, it is most likely that Severus Snape was a friend of Charity Burbage. They were both teachers at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and they must have known each other quite well. When Voldemort tried to kill Charity, she pleaded with Snape to save her and also claimed that they were friends. However, Snape was undercover, and it was crucial that Voldemort trust him for Dumbledore’s plan to work, which is why he had to let it happen without intervention.

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