Charity Burbage was a Muggle Studies professor who was killed by Lord Voldemort for her beliefs that the magical community should tolerate and learn to get along with Muggles. She attended Hogwarts before becoming a professor, and in the end, she begs for her life from Severus Snape and is met with indifference.
|Full Name||Charity Burbage|
|Birth Date||Prior to 1980|
|Death Date [if applicable]||July 1997|
|Age When Series Starts||Adult|
|Partner / Spouse||Unknown|
|Most Memorable Moment||Dying at Malfoy Manor|
|Actors Who Played||Carolyn Pickles|
|Last Updated||July 1, 2023|
Charity Burbage Birthplace
Charity Burbage was born somewhere in England to Mr. and Mrs. Burgage.
Charity Burbage Personality Traits
Charity Burbage was a character that always concerned me in the books. In moments of self-reflection, I always wonder how many Charity Burbages exist in the world, those individuals who don’t seem to have a lot of family, and everyone thinks they’re a little off. Hence, no one takes a lot of notice when they go missing.
It’s Charity Burbage that reminds me to reach out to everyone I haven’t seen in a while (and to demand proof of life from them). She was kind, and while she advocated for tolerance, I’d imagine she was also quiet and prim.
Charity Burbage Early Life
We don’t know anything about her early life, but I like to imagine her upbringing in a small English countryside town surrounded by Muggles.
She was probably friends with them. And I like to believe that her parents were the equivalent of the modern hippie parents people think of when they picture California. There might have been slightly less marijuana, but I have no doubt there was just as much wine with dinner and open discussions about equality and human rights.
Charity Burbage Hogwarts Years
Not revealed what year Charity Burbage started teaching, but my instincts tell me she was a relatively new teacher at Hogwarts.
If she had been the current Muggle Studies teacher for several years, there would have been mention of her. But more importantly, there didn’t seem to be any Muggle advocacy until such time as Lord Voldemort began to creep back into existence.
This leads me to believe that she was a relatively new professor, and as soon as she got her post, she started advocating on behalf of muggles, which happened to coincide with Lord Voldemort’s rise to power. The etymology of her name refers to generous love, and I think that speaks greatly to her love of everyone, including Muggles.
Given how she begged Severus Snape for help at Malfoy Manor, I assume she believed they were friends. Given his multiple layers of deception, I’d like to believe that they were friends, or as close to ‘friends’ as Severus had. But of course, he couldn’t help her.
Charity Burbage After Death
In the series, people questioned where she went, mostly those who paid the most attention. No one knew where she went, but according to information in the Daily Prophet, she had resigned before her death. No doubt Lord Voldemort sent in her resignation.
But Arthur Weasley didn’t believe the resignation was authentic, and members of the Order of the Phoenix continued to try and find her throughout the summer. The Daily Prophet kept up its reputation as regurgitating whatever tripe Voldemort’s followers provided by reporting later that she was in hiding.
After Severus Snape took charge of Hogwarts, he made Alecto Carrow the new muggle studies teacher, who taught instead that humans were filthy animals, stupid, dirty, and forced wizards into hiding.
To me, the most heart-wrenching part of all is that it’s never revealed whether anyone finds out what happened to her.
She is like the millions of people who disappear in wartime and are never identified. I hope that her family, any parents or siblings (although I suspect she was an only child), had passed away long before this so they didn’t have to live with unanswered questions.
Charity Burbage Magical Abilities and Special Skills
Much like Ron Weasley’s father, Charity Burbage was highly knowledgeable of Muggles and how they live. She promoted kindness and understanding between the wizard community and the Muggle community.
As the young students at Hogwarts are discussing their career paths, one of the pamphlets Hermione reads is about working with Muggles.
Ron couldn’t understand why she would want to study that as a career if she is a Muggle, but Hermione reminded him that it would be fascinating to view it from an outsider’s perspective. Still, she noted that there weren’t nearly as many educational requirements or ongoing schooling, so it is unlikely that Charity Burbage had incredibly high grades while in school herself or that she had continuing education.
She was able to produce a non-corporeal Patronus, indicating that she had Advanced magical abilities, as did many of the professors.
Charity Burbage Wand
We don’t learn anything about her wand, but I have to assume it was taken by Lord Voldemort. Given his odd respect for pure-bloodedness and the wizarding community, he doesn’t seem the type to waste a magical wand.
But that leads to a follow-up question. I wonder why he didn’t just have a collection of spare ones sticking out of an umbrella stand somewhere at Malfoy Manor. It’s not as though they certainly didn’t have a need for other ones, and the ones, according to wand lore, would be loyal to Lord Voldemort because he took them.
Charity Burbage Trivia and Fun Facts
In the end, she quietly begs for help from Severus Snape, saying the exact same thing that Dumbledore did before he died but adding “please” to the end.
Charity Burbage was one of a few Hogwarts teachers to be used or captured by Lord Voldemort. Lord Voldemort found and used Professor Quirrell when he took time off from teaching, just as Charity Burbage was hunted down by Lord Voldemort on her holiday.
Charity Burbage Appearances in Books
Charity Burbage appears in the following books:
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Charity Burbage Appearances in Films
Viktor Krum appears in the following films:
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (shown in a deleted scene dancing at the wedding)
Charity Burbage Quotes
Lord Voldemort’s sneering and condemning the views Charity Burbage teaches:
“Yes … Professor Burbage taught the children of witches and wizards all about Muggles … how they are not so different from us…”
Charity, begging for her life:
“Severus … please … please …”
Answer: Death Eaters kidnapped her during her summer vacation and brought her to Malfoy Manor. We don’t know how long she was kept there or if she was tortured, but given the fact that Voldemort did not appreciate her defense of Muggles, I imagine he saw her as a bug in the house that just needed to be squished, which is why he killed her immediately.
Answer: Snape had the most important job in bringing down Voldemort, once and for all. He could not risk anything that would compromise his cover, and helping Charity would have done that.
The overall safety of all Hogwarts students was more important, and Snape knew that if he revealed himself, his position as headmaster would come to an end, and he would be replaced with a much worse counterpart. Had he saved her, in the end, Lord Voldemort might very well have won.
Answer: They absolutely would have known each other as they were both professors at Hogwarts. She must have trusted him enough and thought they were friends, which is why she begged him to help her before she died. Personally, I don’t believe Severus Snape ever had any real friends. He only ever had Lily Potter, the love of his life, and himself.