"Professor Kettleburn survived no fewer than sixty-two periods of probation during his employment as Care of Magical Creatures teacher."
—Kettleburn's extreme recklessness
Professor Silvanus Kettleburn
was a wizard who, after graduating from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, served as professor of Care of Magical Creatures. His recklessness and the nature of his subject resulted in him losing all his limbs but one arm and half of one leg. He retired in 1993 but still made visits to dragon sanctuaries.
Silvanus Kettleburn was born to a wizard and a witch on 22 November. He received magical instruction at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in which he was Sorted into Hufflepuff, and presumably achieved high marks in Care of Magical Creatures, later leading him to become a teacher in that subject.
Professor of Care of Magical Creatures
Under Headmaster Armando Dippet
"...it was several months before the Great Hall lost its pungent aroma of wood smoke, and even longer before Professor Beery's head reassumed its normal proportions, and Professor Kettleburn was taken off probation..."
—The Fountain of Fair Fortune incident.
At some point during the early to mid-1920s or earlier, Silvanus met and befriended the famous Magizoologist Newton Scamander, whom he helped with his best-selling book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by providing some of the information it contained about Chimaeras.
At some point in his life, Kettleburn became the Professor of Care of Magical Creatures at Hogwarts School under Headmaster Armando Dippet. During his time as a professor, Kettleburn amassed sixty-two periods of probations. One of which was when a worm he provided for the play of The Fountain of Fair Fortune (which was in fact, an Engorged Ashwinder) exploded and started a fire. This started a duel between the girls playing Amata and Asha, in which Professor Herbert Beery was caught in the crossfire. Beery's head was reported to have been disfigured. It took him a long time for it to return to normal, which led to his retirement as a professor.
At some point in or after the 1969-1970 school year, a student by the name of Patricia Rakepick approached him for information about how to enter the Forbidden Forest undetected. Seen as how she was his most gifted pupil at the time of her inquiry, he questioned her as to why she wanted to go into the forest, to which she replied she merely wanted to explore it and to study the magical creatures that dwelled within it, and told him she meant to become a Magizoologist after she left school. Accepting this explanation, he advised her to use a broom.
Under Headmaster Albus Dumbledore
"By the time I became Headmaster, however, Professor Kettleburn had mellowed considerably, although there were always those who took the cynical view that with only one and a half of his original limbs remaining to him, he was forced to take life at a quieter pace."
—Kettleburn mellowing due to his extensive injuries
By the time Albus Dumbledore, the Transfiguration Professor, had taken over from Professor Dippet as Headmaster, Professor Kettleburn had calmed down a considerable amount, though this was likely because he only had one and a half of his original limbs left: one arm and half a leg.
By the 1980s, Professor Kettleburn had long become one of the regulars at the the Hospital Wing at the school, where he had been treated by Poppy Pomfrey for and subsequently recuperated from various creature-induced injuries at the Hospital Wing no less than nineteen times, to the point where he eventually had a bed reserved just for him. Even so, he apparently took this with a surprising amount of good humour, almost affectionately referring to the Hospital Wing as his 'home away from home' during his twentieth time visiting. On that particular occasion, Professor Kettleburn and Rubeus Hagrid had been transporting a large number of magical creatures to the school for teaching purposes for the Care of Magical Creatures, when they accidentally lost control over them and they escaped and overran Hogwarts Castle, and got injured while in the process of rounding them up.
During the mid- to late portions of the same decade, he also spent a considerable time asking for students help in locating a Chimaera loose some where on the grounds of Hogwarts.
During the 1987–1988 school year, he taught Fourth years, such as Jacob's sibling, classes on several magical creatures including bowtruckles, nifflers, streelers, and kneazles. He also bragged that he had won Hogsmeade's Most Maimed Award for ten years running.
During the 1992-1993 school year, his final year at Hogwarts, Fred and George Weasley stole a salamander from his class and fed it fireworks.
Retirement"As to our second new appointment: well, I am sorry to tell you that Professor Kettleburn, our Care of Magical Creatures teacher, retired at the end of last year in order to enjoy more time with his remaining limbs. However, I am delighted to say that his place will be filled by none other than Rubeus Hagrid, who has agreed to take on this teaching job in addition to his gamekeeping duties."
—Announcement of Kettleburn's retirement.
Kettleburn remained in his position as Professor of Care of Magical Creatures until 1993, when he retired to spend more time with his remaining limbs. According to Rubeus Hagrid, who succeeded him, Professor Dumbledore came straight to his hut after Kettleburn said that he had had enough. As a retirement present, Albus Dumbledore presented Kettleburn with a set of enchanted wooden prosthetics, which needed constant replacement due to his habit of visiting dragon sanctuaries.
During his retirement, Professor Kettleburn moved to Hogsmeade. During the Battle of Hogwarts, his physical infirmities prevented him from fighting directly but, determined to play his part, he clambered into his attic and threw his entire stock of Flobberworms out of the skylight at passing Death Eaters. While this had little to no effect on the outcome of the battle, it was generally felt to show the right spirit.
He never married and had no children, and died sometime prior to 22 November, 2014.
Personality and traits
Rita Skeeter: "You regularly bring children face to face with creatures that could kill them in the blink of an eye."
Silvanus Kettleburn: "And I teach them to understand and respect those creatures so no one gets hurt."
— Profssor Kettleburn refuting sensationalist reporter Rita Skeeter's claim that he did not take his job seriously.
Silvanus Kettleburn had an extreme, professorial enthusiasm for the subject of Magizoology and great fondness for magical creatures of all kinds, especially the dangerous ones. Like Newton Scamander, he advocated for the protection and preservation of magical creatures, informing his class that he would risk life and limb, and indeed had done so, to protect the magical creatures in his care. He was also quite dutiful in regards to his profession, brushing off Rita Skeeter's accusation that he was regularly endangering his students by saying he was more careful with his students than he was with himself.
Despite this, Kettleburn was considered reckless by many people, including his former employer Armando Dippet, (and not without good reason). Indeed: True though it might be that the numerous injuries he had suffered or the limbs he had lost throughout his life, by, in his eagerness, recklessly neglecting to take the proper safety precautions when dealing with beasts, Silvanus Kettleburn did not mind or regret any of them, as he regarded his mangled body as a testament to his dedication to his work.
One notable example of Kettleburn's recklessness was the The Fountain of Fair Fortune incident in the Great Hall. This incident resulted in a packed Hospital Wing, a Great Hall smelling of burned wood, and Herbert Beery's head growing out of proportion. Kettleburn had mellowed considerably by the time Dumbledore took over, although he was regarded as a "lovable if eccentric man".
Magical abilities and skills
Magical skills: Minerva McGonagall stated, "[we] teachers are rather good at magic", suggesting that the faculty at Hogwarts as a general rule consisted of learned and accomplished witches and wizards. As such, it is quite possible that Professor Kettleburn was a very capable wizard.
Care of Magical Creatures: As the Professor of Care of Magical Creatures, Kettleburn was highly knowledgeable in the subject of Magizoology. He was particularly fond of dealing with dangerous ones like his successor.
House: Kettleburn owned a small house in the village of Hogsmeade from where he would walk up to Hogwarts for work every day, and to which he retired after resigning as teacher at Hogwarts.
Wand: Like most wizards, Professor Kettleburn owned a wand.
Nifflers: At some point, Kettleburn owned twelve nifflers that destroyed his house, boat, and favourite replacement leg; he could hardly wait to get twelve more.
"Silvanus" is a Roman name derived from Latin silva, meaning "wood, forest". Silvanus was the Roman god of forests.
Behind the scenes
In Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, Jacob's sibling describes his scent as the streets of Edinburgh after a storm.