Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank is the temporary Care of Magical Creatures professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. She is called in on a number of occasions when the permanent Care of Magical Creatures teacher is "unwell", including a long stretch at the beginning of Harry Potter's fifth year.
Role in the Books
We first meet Professor Grubbly-Plank in the first class after Christmas. Hagrid has gone into hiding because of an article in The Daily Prophet which identified him as being half-Giant. While Hagrid has been teaching the class about Blast-Ended Skrewts, Professor Grubbly-Plank starts off by teaching a class on the Unicorn, which everyone except Harry and Ron feels is more like what they expected to learn in that class. (Hermione secretly seems to feel that Professor Grubbly-Plank's lessons are more useful than Hagrid's, but we can see her dissembling to spare Hagrid's and Ron's feelings.) Professor Grubbly-Plank continues teaching Care of Magical Creatures for about a week on this occasion, until Harry and Dumbledore persuade Hagrid to return.
Harry is dismayed upon returning to Hogwarts to find that it is not Hagrid collecting the first-years for their trip across the lake, but Professor Grubbly-Plank.
Professor Grubbly-Plank teaches Harry's class Care of Magical Creatures. When asked about Hagrid's whereabouts, Professor Grubbly-Plank is abrupt and dismissive. Much later, when she is being inspected by Professor Umbridge, she tells Umbridge that she doesn't actually know where Hagrid is. Professor Grubbly-Plank starts the year by teaching about Bowtruckles; Harry, overhearing comments from Draco Malfoy about Hagrid, is so angered that he nearly squeezes the one he, Ron, and Hermione are supposed to be drawing in half.
Hedwig returns from carrying a message for Harry, arriving an hour later than the usual time for post owls and apparently injured – she is holding one wing oddly. Harry leaves History of Magic class, and goes to the staff room to find someone who might be able to help Hedwig; Professor Grubbly-Plank is there, and says she'll have Hedwig back in shape in a few days. Harry and Professor Grubbly-Plank almost forget the message Hedwig is carrying, which is from Sirius Black.
Inspected by Professor Umbridge in her role as Hogwarts High Inquisitor, Professor Grubbly-Plank passes inspection without difficulty, despite the fact that she obviously supports Dumbledore. Professor Grubbly-Plank continues teaching Care of Magical Creatures up until November when Hagrid returns from his mission.
Hagrid mentions that she would come back to teach whenever Umbridge decides to sack him. There is so little time between when Umbridge violently fires Hagrid, and the events in the Ministry where Umbridge is dismissed and Hagrid reinstated, that we do not learn whether Professor Grubbly-Plank has been summoned in the interim.
She seems to be very talented in her field, having knowledge of a variety of creatures.
Relationships with Other Characters
Professor Grubbly-Plank is not around long enough to form any meaningful relationships with any of the characters at Hogwarts. She is seen to claim that she respects Professor Dumbledore, and we see that she is taking care of Hedwig as she would any other injured animal. Her interactions with the students are neutral, instructor to student, and she does not seem to have any favorites in the student body.
- Why might Dumbledore have chosen Hagrid instead of Grubbly-Plank to teach Care of Magical Creatures?
- What are the main differences between Professor Grubbly-Plank's lessons and Hagrid's?
In at least one respect, Professor Grubbly-Plank is a stereotype: she is portrayed as being very mannish, has a gruff voice, and smokes a pipe. While there is no hint as to her sexual orientation – we do not see any companion she has, and we don't see enough of her to see her form any attachments – her depiction is almost stereotypically lesbian. This is, of course, unimportant to the story line, and will quite properly be ignored by the target audience, but inclusion of this alternate lifestyle may be meant as a hint that other characters could be homosexual as well. As it turns out, we do later learn that Professor Dumbledore is homosexual, a fact that does have some plot significance; the revelation is somewhat tempered, we believe, by the earlier introduction of Professor Grubbly-Plank.