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Don't be silly, Dawlish. I'm sure you are an excellent Auror — I seem to remember that you achieved 'Outstanding' in all your NEWTs — but if you attempt to — er — bring me in by force, I will have to hurt you.
~ Dumbledore warns Dawlish against trying to arrest him (a warning Dawlish fails to heed).

John Dawlish is an Auror for the Ministry of Magic and a minor antagonist in the Harry Potter book series. Though not initially a malevolent or antagonistic figure, his willingness to follow orders no matter how morally wrong without question, hesitation, or remorse, eventually sees him take on a more villainous role.

He was portrayed by Richard Leaf in the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix film.


John Dawlish is an Auror in service to the Ministry of Magic and a favoured bodyguard and enforcer of Minister Cornelius Fudge. In this capacity he does whatever he is told, but as the series progresses, said willingness to follow orders no matter what culminates in him obeying Dolores Umbridge's orders to arrest Hagrid in the name of her anti-half breed prejudice, and then open fire on Minerva McGonagall with stun spells when she tries to intervene on Hagrid's behalf.

This proves nothing compared to Voldemort's ascension to power, whereupon Dawlish becomes an active enforcer of Lord Voldemort's will, helping with the rounding up and imprisoning of Muggle-Borns and even transporting ones convicted by Dolores Umbridge's kangaroo courts to Azkaban where they were unjustly imprisoned (an experience some of them did not survive). Among those he transported was Dirk Cresswell, who stunned him and made off on Dawlish's own broom.

Later, he was sent after Neville Longbottom's grandmother Augusta Longbottom to take her hostage as a means of blackmailing Neville into surrender. However, in his by then weary and punch-drunk state he proved no match for a Witch of Augusta's calibre and skill, and was defeated, ending up in St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries for his troubles. His fate afterwards is unknown, but he was most likely imprisoned for being a willing participant in Voldemort's short-lived despotic regime.

Powers and Abilities

According to Albus Dumbledore, John Dawlish was an excellent Auror, having achieved, if Dumbledore was not mistaken, an "Outstanding" grade in every one of his N.E.W.T.S. This, in conjunction with his successfully passing the grueling training needed to become an Auror, is enough to safely infer considerable ability on Dawlish's part and lend credence to Dumbledore's words. Further supporting it is how Cornelius Fudge often dispatched him for important assignments or else used him as a bodyguard. And though he did lose duels against both Albus Dumbledore and Augusta Longbottom, it should be remembered that the former is known as the greatest Wizard in the world and was using the Elder Wand, while the latter was also a very powerful Witch, and Dawlish was far from top strength when he fought her.


  • His role in the films was drastically reduced and there is no mention about his villainous actions. In the films, nothing indicates or suggests that he was a willing participant in Voldemort's regime.


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