Harry Potter: 10 Disciplinary Punishments Used At Hogwarts


Because Hogwarts is a school of witchcraft and wizardry, there needs to be some kind of discipline in place so that the students don't run riot. Unfortunately for the characters in Harry Potter, there are plenty of punishments that these professors have cooked up and that J.K. Rowling keeps creating.

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Throughout the books, play, and films, we've seen a number of disciplinary methods used on the students when they have stepped out of line. While some of these punishments are magical in nature, others are actually pretty standard. We're taking a look at ten of these which we've seen used.


Harry Potter I Must Not Tell Lies Scar

A traditional punishment in schools across the world is getting students to practice their handwriting. Whether it's on the chalkboard or perhaps on a piece of paper, usually it involves copying lines over and over again. Unfortunately, there's a magical twist to this.

When Professor Umbridge, one of the worst teachers ever to walk into Hogwarts, took control of the Defence against the Dark Arts, she brought along with her a new kind of punishment. Students would write out lines on paper, and the words would brutally scratch into their own hands!


Hogwarts students are allowed the privilege of taking part in many activities. There are trips to places like Hogsmeade, and also they get to play games like Quidditch. However, these privileges can easily be taken away.

We've seen in the past that Quidditch matches can be canceled and trips removed from students who are misbehaving. These punishments are especially bad if a team is relying upon you, adding to the sense of guilt the students must be feeling!


The Forbidden Forest is a scary place for any student. The pupils are warned from entering this dark and dingy environment because it's incredibly dangerous. All sorts of magical beings and creatures live within those trees and bushes.

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However, when Draco, Harry, Ron, and Hermione were caught out of bed after hours, there was only one punishment fitting enough to scare them so that they wouldn't do it again. They were sent to the Forbidden Forest along with Hagrid.


Snape is the kind of teacher that loves handing out detentions to any student for the simplest of acts. Professors often find it quite fun coming up with ways for students to fill their detentions, with pupils usually carrying out menial tasks.

The tasks are often related to the type of teacher that has given them the detention. Snape might get those in detention to clean out the cauldrons, or Professor Sprout may allow students to help her re-pot some of her plants. Sometimes these punishments can actually be a great learning opportunity.


Professor Lockhart, a former Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, took great joy in obsessing over himself. He thought that all the students loved him and that he was perhaps the most brilliant teacher in the whole school. Therefore, his punishments were just as vain.

Because of his celebrity status, Lockhart got a lot of fan mail. He would often sit over an evening and return letters or sign pictures of himself. He once enlisted Harry to help with this task, as part of a punishment for his behavior in class.


The ultimate punishment of expulsion and suspension have been mentioned in the past, and we've seen those types of punishments used on the likes of Hagrid. It's a punishment that Harry was actually threatened with during his time at Hogwarts.

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After he and Ron had flown Arthur Weasley's car into the Whomping Willow, they were nearly removed from the school in order to prevent more damage. These are extreme methods of punishment, but it's usually used if it looks like a student could harm themselves or others.


During the dark reign of Snape at the head of the school, the punishments got a lot harsher. With the Carrows in charge of discipline at the school, they cooked up some evil and cruel methods to keep the students from rebelling against this new regime.

The most common punishment was the use of the unforgivable curses, especially the torture spell. They even got older students to practice this spell on first years to show them their place before rising up the ranks of the school.


Mad-Eye Moody was an unconventional teacher and held a dark secret. It was revealed that Moody was not the Defence against the Dark Arts teacher everyone thought he was, but instead was Barty Crouch Jr in disguise. Crouch was a death eater and was behind the plot to have Harry killed.

He clearly felt no compassion for Draco though, who he found whiny and irritating. At one point, he went too far and turned Draco into a ferret. He then tossed the small animal around and even sent the poor creature down the trousers of one of his cronies.


Fred and George Weasley give Harry Potter the Marauders Map in a scene from 'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'

The students at Hogwarts are allowed to have some personal possessions at the school. They sometimes take a few liberties with these rules and take in items that are actually banned. These are related to magical gifts and gags, which could be dangerous or used irresponsibly.

If a student is caught with these kinds of items, they are quickly confiscated. They are removed, and it's often not clear where they end up. For Harry, the Marauders Map was confiscated from him by Lupin, although it was returned when Lupin left his position at Hogwarts.


House Points Harry Potter

House points are incredibly important at Hogwarts. They could make or break a student's social group if they are responsible for a change in their house points. Every year the winner of the house points gets to win a trophy and a celebrated for it.

It's a massive competition, and everyone has house pride. Teachers can genuinely get fear out of students by threatening to take away their house points. Harry has both gained and lost plenty of points during his time at Hogwarts. That being said, he's also been responsible for winning the house cup.

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