Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Hepzibah Smith

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Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character
Hepzibah Smith
Gender Female
Hair color Unknown (hidden under a ginger wig)
Eye color Unknown
Related Family Unknown
Loyalty Herself

Overview[edit | edit source]

Hepzibah Smith is a very old, very rich witch, still vain and convinced of her own beauty, who shows some valuable artefacts to a young Tom Riddle. He is hinted to be a regular visitor to her house, where he buys for Borgin and Burkes.

Role in the Books[edit | edit source]

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Half-Blood Prince[edit | edit source]

In the memories of the house-elf Hokey, we see Hepzibah primping herself in preparation of a visit by Tom Riddle. Tom, acting as a buyer for Borgin and Burkes, is there to make an offer on some Goblin-made armour, but Hepzibah, charmed by him, shows him her two fondest possessions, a cup originally owned by Helga Hufflepuff, from whom she claims distant descent, and a locket owned by Salazar Slytherin. Tom recognizes the locket as being the one that his mother had sold to try and support herself. Shortly afterwards, Hepzibah Smith dies, apparently mistakenly poisoned by Hokey.

Strengths[edit | edit source]

Hepzibah is incredibly rich and in possession of some very valuable, unique artefacts of wizarding history.

Weaknesses[edit | edit source]

She is a vain character and is easily won over by Riddle's charm. In her fondness for him she does not seem to notice that he may be dangerous. We note that her house is cluttered, perhaps hinting that she is a disorganised character, at least in her old age.

Relationships with Other Characters[edit | edit source]

Hepzibah has a lot of fondness for her house-elf Hokey, although Hokey (like most of her kind) does appear to be nothing but subservient - Harry notes that Hokey calls her appearance "lovely", despite the fact that she looks nothing of the sort. Hokey appears to be her company in her old age, so is something of a companion as well as a servant.

She has a very obvious crush on the handsome young Tom Riddle.

Analysis[edit | edit source]

Hokey and Hepzibah here are used primarily as a means to highlight that Tom Riddle can be exceptionally charming when he chooses to be. Despite being present only as a buyer for a Dark magic store, and despite presenting what would apparently be a laughable offer for items Hepzibah is selling, he has managed to lower Hepzibah's defences to the point that she shows him her dearest treasures.

It may be that, having been exposed to two artefacts of the Founders at once, Tom decides here that the remaining four Horcruxes that he plans will be made of artefacts of the four Founders. We suspect that by this time, he knew where the Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw was hidden, but may not yet have retrieved it or made it into a Horcrux.

Questions[edit | edit source]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

Greater Picture[edit | edit source]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.