10 Worst Times Students Break Hogwarts School Rules

During his time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Harry and his friends developed a reputation for breaking the rules. The characters of Harry Potter are far from the only teenagers to push boundaries while in school, but the nature of their crimes were often more serious than average mischief.

There are a lot of problems someone can have at a school of magic, and Harry, his friends, and his foes have managed to find a way to tick most of them off their lists. From ignoring basic boundaries to attempting murder, rule breaking varied greatly in severity for Hogwarts students.


Ignore any direct command

Harry Potter holding a bottle of liquid luck and smiling

At the most basic level, Harry never took orders from his elders very seriously. While he cared for many of his teachers, there wasn’t a single one who could be counted on to listen 100% of the time.

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While Snape’s orders were guaranteed to be ignored, Harry was also known to ignore orders from McGonagall and even Dumbledore. If Harry was told to drop a mystery and just focus on his studies, there was no way he would listen.

Cheating on homework

Hermione frowning at Ron and Harry, who are studying at Harry Potter

Cheating on homework is another broken rule any high school would know. For Harry and Ron, they had the good fortune of being best friends with the smartest student in school.

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Hermione often pretended to despise cheating, but in the end, she couldn’t bear the thought of letting Harry and Ron do a bad job. She offered to “fix” their essays, but more often she completely rewrote them. If not for Hermione’s cheating, Harry and Ron might never have passed certain classes.

Talk to teachers

Harry and Snape in Occlumency lessons

Harry had a bit of a temper, and in the Harry Potter books, he could also be very sassy. If Harry disagreed with a teacher, he couldn’t help but argue. This has been seen frequently with teachers like Snape, Umbridge, and even Lockhart.

Harry responded to these teachers with a great deal of sarcasm, which earned him numerous detentions. However, his classmates attributed these actions to heroism and admired him because of them. While that might sometimes be the case, other times Harry was just a sarcastic teenager.

Explore the castle at night

One of the most enforced but largely ignored rules at Hogwarts is that students must not leave their dorms at night. Once Harry obtained his Invisibility Cloak, however, very little stopped him from doing so.

Once or twice Harry had very close calls, especially when Peeves got involved. But overall, Harry got away with this crime. Dumbledore himself knew that Harry had this habit, but only seemed to care about it in prisoner of azkaban when he thought Sirius Black was after him (Harry ignored instructions to stay in bed even then.)

Sneak into Hogsmeade Village

In prisoner of azkaban, Harry had been unable to get his aunt and uncle to sign a pass allowing him to go to the Hogsmeade wizarding village on certain weekends during the school year. So he had no choice but to watch his friends leave for the village without him.

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With the help of Fred and George, and the very illegal map they gave him, Harry was able to sneak through hidden tunnels and get to Hogsmeade under his invisibility cloak. McGonagall had made it very clear that he could only go with a permission form, but Harry didn’t seem to pay much attention to that rule.


Hermione pointing her wand at Malfoy as Harry and Ron watch

In Goblet of Fire Hermione was determined to find out how Rita Skeeter discovered everyone’s secrets. Over time, she was finally able to put the pieces together and she discovered that Skeeter was an unregistered animagus and could turn into a beetle.

Hermione managed to capture Rita in her beetle form and decided to hold her prisoner for a while. She also blackmailed the reporter by telling her that if she wrote something mean about someone, she would reveal their illegal means of obtaining the information. While Rita Skeeter brought it in, kidnapping and blackmail are still pretty serious crimes.

Smuggle a dragon out of school

Harry Potter

Hagrid was also no stranger to breaking Hogwarts rules (and the law) and unfortunately he often brought Harry, Ron and Hermione with him.

In Sorcerer’s Stone, Hagrid bought an illegal dragon egg from a stranger but quickly realized after it hatched that he couldn’t keep it. In a Harry Potter moment in the book that should have been in the movie, he asked for help from the golden trio. Ron contacted his brother and arranged to meet him at the top of the Astronomy Tower, and Harry and Hermione carried him (Norbert) at night under the cloak, effectively breaking at least three Hogwarts rules and laws wizards.

Become an Animagi illegally

Harry got his knack for breaking the rules from his father, who also did a lot of criminal activities during his time at school, that’s why he is the Harry Potter character who most deserves a spin-off movie. In addition to creating the map that allows the user to keep tabs on anyone in the castle and identify secret passageways, James and his friends went through the complicated process of becoming animgai.

Harry, Sirius, and Peter made efforts so they could spend time with Lupin while he was in his wolf form. It took them several years to succeed, but by their fifth year, they had achieved the delicate transfiguration.

drug his classmates

Once again, the most outrageous examples of rule breaking were committed by Hermione. In Chamber of SecretsHermione had to find a way to grab hold of Crabbe and Goyle’s hair, as well as part them, so that Harry and Ron could use the polyjuice potion to take their place and gain information from Malfoy.

To achieve this, she drugged and locked up the two 12-year-old boys, a crime that really could have resulted in deportation. In his defense, Crabbe and Goyle were fine after, and this scene saw a great performance from these youngsters. Harry Potter actors.

Attempted murder of a teacher

Tom Felton Draco Malfoy Harry Potter Deathly Hallows Part 2

Perhaps the worst crime, but also the most sympathetic, Malfoy once attempted to murder Dumbledore himself. During the attempt, two students were seriously injured and only survived death by sheer luck.

Malfoy never wanted to kill anyone, but fear for his own life, as well as that of his family, motivated him to try and complete Voldemort’s task. If he had been caught, Malfoy would not only have found himself expelled from school, but he would probably also have ended up in Azkaban. Fortunately, Dumbledore understood the pressure he was under and didn’t hold it against him.

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Martha K. Merrill