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"I feel that if a single pupil wants to come, then the school ought to remain open for that pupil."
—Professor Sprout after the death of Albus Dumbledore[src]
Madam Professor Pomona Sprout (b. 15 May[1], 1931 or 1941[2]) was a witch who worked as Head of Hufflepuff House and Head of the Herbology department at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She attended the school in her youth, where she was Sorted into Hufflepuff House and excelled at Herbology. Some time after her graduation, Sprout returned to Hogwarts to teach.

Professor Sprout opposed Lord Voldemort during the Second Wizarding War. In 1993, she grew the Mandrakes that would later be used in the Mandrake Restorative Draught to cure those who were petrified by Slytherin's Monster. She also opposed Dolores Umbridge and her tyranny over the school in the 1995-1996 school year, which the rest of the staff were happy to join her in doing, voted for the school to remain open after the Battle of the Astronomy Tower, and assisted in ousting Severus Snape in 1998. Sprout took a group of students to the battlements during the Battle of Hogwarts and threw Devil's Snare and various other dangerous plants onto the invading Death Eaters.

She ultimately survived the War and had retired by 2014, with Neville Longbottom replacing her in the post of Herbology teacher. Her life after that is unknown.

Biography

Early life

Hogwarts boats 1

First years approaching Hogwarts Castle to begin their magical education

Pomona Sprout was born into a wizarding family of unknown degree[4] on 15 May[1] in 1931 or 1941[2] in Britain or Ireland[3]. She presumably purchased her wand from Diagon Alley at the age of eleven, prior to attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

She was Sorted into Hufflepuff House[11] upon her arrival at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry when she was eleven years old, in either 1942 or 1952. Sprout excelled at Herbology, which was probably taught by Professor Herbert Beery at the time,[12] and likely achieved a high-graded O.W.L. in the subject, maybe even a N.E.W.T. as well.

Pomona and Minerva McGonagall's student time at Hogwarts overlapped by two years. The two students enjoyed an excellent relationship both then and in later years.[2]

Sometime after graduating, Sprout returned to the school to teach, becoming the Herbology professor.[5]

Career at Hogwarts

Earlier years

"Four to a tray — there is a large supply of pots here — compost in the sacks over there — and be careful of the Venomous Tentacula, it's teething."
—Professor Sprout teaching a class[src]

At some point after her graduation in either 1949 or 1959, Sprout returned to Hogwarts as a member of the Herbology department.[5] She taught her classes in the greenhouses at the back of the castle[5] and used one of the greenhouses as office.[13]At an unknown time, Professor Sprout became Head of Department and Head of Hufflepuff House.

Professor Sprout used to bring the most interesting specimens (some of which dance and talk) from the Herbology greenhouses to decorate Hufflepuff Basement. This was one of the reasons why Hufflepuffs were often very good in her subject.[14]

Professor Sprout was Nymphadora Tonks's Head of House[15] in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Sprout did not make her a prefect in her fifth year due to her inability to behave herself.[16] However, Tonks presumably surprised Sprout after she earnt at least five N.E.W.Ts in her seventh year.

Sometime in between 1987 and 1990, Gabriel Truman, a third year at the time, got into a duel with a Ravenclaw Prefect who argued that the famous Arithmancer Bridget Wenlock must have been in his own house, not Hufflepuff, as she was in fact. Gabriel felt he deserved a week's worth of detentions for his own actions, but Professor Sprout went easy on him, sending him off with a warning and a box of coconut ice.[14]

Protecting the Philosopher's Stone

Professor Sprout was still teaching at Hogwarts by the 1991-1992 school year. Just before the start of the new school year, Albus Dumbledore trusted her to contribute to the defences of the Philosopher's Stone Chambers.[17]

Sprout, being the Herbology Professor, planted a large amount of Devil's Snare in her Chamber, which broke the fall of the one trying to get the Stone but also tried to kill them. The trick was to use fire[18] or sunlight[19] to force the Snare into retreat.

That year, she taught her first years three times a week in Greenhouse One, and taught them how to care for various herbs and fungi.[5] The first lesson focused in recognising plants found in the Hogwarts grounds, using a copy of the Ingredient Encyclopedia as a reference.[13] Other lessons covered the Severing Charm[20] and the Incendio Charm.[21] Sprout also lectured her students about specific plants, such as Devil's Snare.[18] She also attended Quidditch matches,

That year, Sprout met the famous Harry Potter who was among the first-years she taught.[5] She was also present at the End-of-Term Feast in which Slytherin lost the House Cup to Gryffindor ending their seven year winning streak. She was also present in the castle when the trio stopped Voldemort from gaining possession of the Philsopher's Stone during the Attack in the Underground Chambers on the 4 June.

Re-opening of the Chamber of Secrets

"We will be able to cure her, Argus. Professor Sprout recently managed to procure some Mandrakes. As soon as they have reached their full size, I will have a potion made that will revive Mrs Norris."
Albus Dumbledore consoling Argus Filch after the attack on Mrs Norris[src]

The following year, Harry Potter and Ronald Weasley drove a bewitched car into the school's Whomping Willow. As the Herbology teacher, Professor Sprout was in charge of doctoring the damaged tree by wrapping bandages around the broken branches.[22] On the first day of term, Gilderoy Lockhart, the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, gave her useless pointers and made out that he was a better Herbologist than her. Sprout was made unhappy further when Lockhart took Harry out of the lesson to speak to him. That day, she taught her second years how to re-pot a new growth of Mandrake.[22]

After Mrs Norris, the cat belonging to Argus Filch, was found petrified, Professor Dumbledore decided that they were to use a Mandrake Restorative Draught to cure her.[23] Professor Sprout was put in charge of maturing her Mandrakes until they could be chopped up, stewed and used by Potions Master Severus Snape for the draught.[23]

Sprout attended the Quidditch match between the Gryffindor and Slytherin teams, sat high up in the stands by: potions master Severus Snape, charms master Filius Flitwick, librarian Irma Pince, and Governor Lucius Malfoy.[24]

By the end of the year the Mandrakes had reached maturity and the Mandrake Restorative Draught was completed and administered to those who were petrified: Mrs Norris, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Colin Creevey, Hermione Granger, Penelope Clearwater, and the ghost of Sir Nicholas de Mimsy Porpington.[25] At the End-of-Term Feast, Professor Dumbledore and the rest of the school applauded Sprout for her contribution in the brewing of the Mandrake Draught.[26] During the End-the-Term Feast Gryffindor also won the House Cup for a second year in a row and during which Hagrid returned from his confindment in Azkaban.

Sirius Black's Escape

"Careful, Weasley, careful!"
—Sprout, as Ronald Weasley drops his Puffapod[src]

The next school year, was relatively uneventful at Hogwarts. On 16 October, the Gryffindors and Hufflepuffs had Herbology class together, and Sprout taught them how to harvest Puffapod beans.[27]

During the same year, Sirius Black, a "dangerous mass-murderer", escaped from Azkaban and tried to get into Hogwarts. [28] It is unknown if she learned that Sirius Black was innocent at the time.

On Christmas, Pomona Sprout was one of the thirteen Christmas Feast attendants.[29]

Triwizard Tournament

Sprout: "Bubotubers. They need squeezing. You will collect the pus —"
Seamus Finnigan: "The what?"
Sprout: "Pus, Finnigan, pus. And it's extremely valuable, so don't waste it. You will collect the pus, I say, in these bottles."
— Pomona Sprout and Seamus Finnigan on the first Herbology class of the term[src]
At the Start-of-Term Feast of the 1994-1995 school year, Professor Sprout sat next to Aurora Sinistra, the professor of Astronomy, and was seen talking to her.

On the first lesson of the school year, Sprout taught her fourth year students how to squeeze pus from Bubotubers. By the end of the lesson, each student had collected several pints, which Sprout gave to Poppy Pomfrey, the school matron, since it could be used to remedy acne.[30]

At some point early on in the school year, Professor Sprout told Bartemius Crouch Jr. (impersonating the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher Alastor Moody) how good Neville Longbottom was at Herbology. "Moody" then lent Neville some books on plants and fungi called Magical Water Plants of the Mediterranean[31] and another called Magical Water Plants of the Highland Lochs.[32]

That school year the Triwizard Tournament was held at Hogwarts and one of the Triwizard Champions was sixth year Hufflepuff Cedric Diggory,[33] whom Sprout knew very well.[6] Cedric was not the only Hogwarts Champion; Harry Potter had mysteriously been entered into the Tournament.[33] As such, Professor Sprout seemed to act somewhat distant towards Harry.[34] On Christmas Day, Professor Sprout attended the Yule Ball where she danced with Headmaster Dumbledore.[35]

At the end of the year Cedric Diggory was murdered during the third task of the Triwizard Tournament on Lord Voldemort's orders.[36] Harry Potter at the risk of his own life brought Cedric's body back to the school grounds. Sprout spoke with Amos Diggory and his wife, since she knew their son best as Head of his House.[6] She attended the Memorial Feast in Cedric's memory[37] and believed Harry and Dumbledore's claims that Lord Voldemort had returned.[38]

Second Wizarding War (1995-1998)

High Inquisitor at Hogwarts

"The teachers were of course forbidden from mentioning the interview by Educational Decree Number Twenty-Six, but they found ways to express their feelings about it all the same. [For instance], Professor Sprout awarded Gryffindor twenty points when Harry passed her a watering can."
—Professor Sprout after Harry's interview in The Quibbler[src]

The following school year, Dolores Umbridge was made Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts by the Ministry of Magic in accordance to the Educational Decree Number Twenty-Two.[39] Umbridge was despised by the majority of the staff, including Sprout.[38]

The Gryffindor O.W.L.-level class was lectured by Professor Sprout on the importance of the examinations during their first Herbology class.[40] Sprout also had the students make a practical exercise which involved using dragon dung fertiliser. She also set them a long essay for the following lesson.[40]

Sometime this year, Sprout held career consultations with her Hufflepuff fifth years.[41] During this school year, Professor Sprout also held mock O.W.L.s on the Herbology Greenhouses for those wanting to revise for the exams.[42]

After Harry Potter took part in an interview for The Quibbler about the events at Little Hangleton the previous June, he was put in detention by Professor Umbridge.[43] The rest of the teaching staff, however, found the interview an act of bravery on Harry's behalf and, being forbidden of discussing it per the Educational Decree Number Twenty-Six, found other ways to express their feelings; Pomona awarded Harry a large amount of house points for passing her a watering can.[43]

The teachers' capability of teaching was examined by Umbridge, as part of her duties as High Inquisitor. Sybill Trelawney, the Divination Professor, was sacked and almost dragged out of the Castle by Umbridge. Albus Dumbledore, finding a loophole in one of the Educational Decrees, allowed the sacked Trelawney to remain occupying her premises on the North Tower. Trelawney was escorted back to the Castle by Sprout, Minerva McGonagall and Filius Flitwick.[43]

Sprout managed to show Professor Umbridge her teaching capability and avoided being sacked herself.[43] She was later relieved to have Umbridge removed from the school and welcomed Professor Dumbledore back as Headmaster.

Battle of the Astronomy Tower

Horace Slughorn: "… I do thank you for taking the time, Pomona. Most authorities agree that they are at their most efficacious if picked at twilight."
Sprout: "Oh, I quite agree. That enough for you?"
— Sprout with Horace Slughorn, the new potions master at the vegetable patch[src]

While giving out the student timetables on 2 September, Professor McGonagall remarked that Sprout was going to be delighted to see Neville Longbottom back with an Outstanding O.W.L. in Herbology that school year.[44] To start off the year, she taught her sixth years about various extremely dangerous plants, and permitted them to swear loudly if the Venomous Tentacula bit them from behind.[45]

Not long after, Sprout had her sixth year class harvesting Snargaluff pods. She chided Harry, Ron, and Hermione for being slow; as they were still strapping on their protective gear (and talking), while Neville had already harvested his first pod. The trio's first pod bounced free while they were trying to open it, and rebounded off the glass roof of the greenhouse, knocking Professor Sprout's battered hat off.[46]

In late April of that school year, Sprout helped the new potions master, Horace Slughorn in picking some potion herbs. She left towards her Greenhouses after she had collected enough for Slughorn's third year class, with some to spare.[47] Slughorn also proceeded to steal some Venomous Tentacula leaves while Sprout was not around.[48]

At the end of the year, the Battle of the Astronomy Tower took place, with the Death Eaters invading Hogwarts and fighting against the students, teachers, Aurors and the Order of the Phoenix. Professor Sprout likely participated, as did Minerva McGonagall, Filius Flitwick, and Rubeus Hagrid.[49]

After Professor Dumbledore's death, Sprout met with fellow staff members Minerva McGonagall, Filius Flitwick, Horace Slughorn, and Rubeus Hagrid to discuss the future of Hogwarts. She was a staunch advocate of keeping the school open, stating that Dumbledore would have wanted it so. She also supported the suggestion that Dumbledore should be laid to rest at Hogwarts, though no Headmaster has ever received a burial there before.[50]

Sprout attended Dumbledore's funeral and led the Hufflepuffs down to the grounds where the ceremony was held, looking cleaner than she ever had been before; without a single patch on her usually battered hat.[51]

Voldemort's control of Hogwarts

"Tentacula. Devil's Snare. And Snargaluff pods… Yes, I'd like to see the Death Eaters fighting those."
—Professor Sprout prior to the Battle of Hogwarts[src]

On 1 August, 1997 the Ministry of Magic was taken over by Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters.[52] By the next school year, Severus Snape was made Headmaster of Hogwarts while his fellow Death Eaters, Alecto Carrow and Amycus Carrow became the Muggle Studies and Defence Against the Dark Arts teachers respectively.[53] Despite the school now in the grasp of Lord Voldemort, or perhaps because of it, Professor Sprout returned to the castle to teach and protect the students.[54]

The Carrows were put in charge of all discipline and punishments, though Sprout and the staff never sent students to them if they could avoid it. She also, with the other Heads of House, tried to protect the pupils from Alecto and Amycus.[55]

Physical description

"Professor Sprout was a squat little witch who wore a patched hat over her flyaway hair; there was usually a large amount of earth on her clothes, and her fingernails would have made Aunt Petunia faint."
—A description of Professor Sprout in 1992[src]

Professor Sprout was described as being a squat little witch with short, grey, wavy hair.[8] She usually wore a patched and battered hat.[22] Her clothes were noted to almost always be covered in dirt and earth, as were her dirty fingernails.[22] Sprout also almost always had a smile on her face.[22]

Personality and traits

Professor Sprout was noted to be very cheerful, positive, and loyal,[22] but was also very professional and just and would chide her students if necessary.[46] Thus, Sprout possessed all of the virtues and aspects belonging to Hufflepuff House. She was kind and nurturing to the students, and surely encouraged Neville Longbottom's penchant for Herbology because he was anxious to show her his Mimbulus Mimbletonia.[56]

She also seemed horrified when she learnt that Ginny Weasley had been kidnapped by Salazar Slytherin's Basilisk and taken into the Chamber of Secrets, clasping her shaking hand over her mouth in shock. Professor Sprout was also very brave always ready to fight for her side. During the Battle of Hogwarts, she didn't question McGonagall's decision to defend Hogwarts, but immediately sought to provide whatever assistance she could, collecting various dangerous plants to fight Voldemort and his Death Eaters.[57]

Magical abilities and skills

"Just been showing Professor Sprout the right way to doctor a Whomping Willow. But I don't want you running away with the idea that I am better at Herbology than she is!"
Gilderoy Lockhart underestimates Professor Sprout's abilities in 1992[src]

As the Hogwarts Professor of Herbology, Sprout was an accomplished and skillful Herbologist, as well as a powerful witch in her own right. Testaments to her considerable magical skills were her proficiency in the subject she taught, and her participation of and subsequently surviving the Battle of Hogwarts.

Relationships

Minerva McGonagall

Filius Flitwick: "I suppose you are aware that nothing we do can indefinitely prevent You-Know-Who to enter the school, right? —"
Sprout: "But we can delay it."
Minerva McGonagall: "Thank you, Pomona."
Filius Flitwick, Pomona Sprout and Minerva McGonagall just before the Battle of Hogwarts[src]

The relationship between Professor McGonagall and Professor Sprout dates back to the 1940s, when both attended Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The two students mantained an excellent relationship, which was kept well into their adulthood.[2] When Dolores Umbridge stood to speak during the 1995 Welcoming Feast after her introduction by Headmaster Dumbledore, the two professors were both taken aback at this, and even exchange glances of disapproval.[62] Furthermore, during the Battle of Hogwarts on 2 May, 1998, Pomona was shown to have similar traits and the same views on protecting the Castle against Lord Voldemort's Death Eaters.[54]

Hogwarts staff

Professor Sprout possibly had a good relationship with the most of Hogwarts staff. Despite her respective relationship with Minerva McGonagall,[54] Sprout also very much respected Albus Dumbledore.[51] After the Headmaster's death, Sprout was distraught.[51]

She was always friendly with Filius Flitwick, the Head of Ravenclaw house and Charms professor. Both Sprout and Flitwick supported Albus Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix, although they were not official members. After the death of Dumbledore, Flitwick and Sprout (along with others) sat and discussed about it and about Severus Snape's disloyalty.[51] The next year, they both tried to protect the students from Amycus and Alecto Carrow and fought at the Battle of Hogwarts and survived.

Sprout also appeared to be friendly with Horace Slughorn, the Potions Master. In 1997, Sprout helped Slughorn pick some potion herbs. She left towards her Greenhouses after she had collected enough for Slughorn's third year class, with some to spare. Slughorn also proceeded to steal some Venomous Tentacula leaves while Sprout was not around. However, he fought at the Battle of Hogwarts with Sprout.

Other Hogwarts staff that she had a good relationship with were: Poppy Pomfrey, the nurse, Argus Filch, the caretaker, Rubeus Hagrid, the Care of Magical Creatures professor.

Media

Etymology

In Roman mythology, Pomona was the goddess of fruit trees, gardens and orchards.[63] Sprout is a verb meaning "to begin to grow, shoot forth, as a plant from a seed".[64]

Behind the scenes



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