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Miss Constance Hardbroom

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Hardbroom infobox

NewWW Cast Hardbroom

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Magical Status

Witch

Gender

Female

Hair Colour

Black/Dark Brown

Eye Colour

Brown

Family

Artemis Hardbroom (Nephew)

Occupation

Deputy Headmisstress and Potions Teacher

Actress

  • Kate Duchêne (TV Series, Weirdsister College)
  • Caroline O'Niell (The New Worst Witch)
  • Sophie Lenighan Holmes (The New Worst Witch- Young)
  • Diana Rigg (Telemovie)
  • Raquel Cassidy (2017 TV Series)

Miss Constance Hardbroom (Miss Hecate Hardbroom in the 2017 series) is the deputy headmistress and potions teacher of Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. Miss Hardbroom is Mildred Hubble's form mistress in first form and through various combinations of events continues to be Mildred's form mistress throughout her years at Cackle's Academy. HB, as the pupils call her for short, has the ability to vanish into thin air - and she can sneak around invisibly and spy on her pupils who always get caught when they are in mischief.

Story

Books

Miss Hardbroom grew up in a strict household; she never had a birthday cake, and was only given one birthday present, usually something useful like a spellbook.
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Miss Hardbroom as a child

[1]

Miss Hardbroom has a beautiful, sleek black cat called Morgana.[2]Miss Hardbroom owned her magic broomstick for twenty-five years, until Mildred accidentally breaks it, when she jumps on Miss Hardbroom having mistaken her for an evil witch.[3]

1986 film

1998 TV Series

Miss Hardbroom is a representative of The Cauldron Club, and she was in the club herself at Weirdsister College. [4] The Cauldron Club is for high-achieving students to further their studies and interests.

Miss Hardbroom also attended Witch Training College, where Mistress Hecketty Broomhead was her personal tutor; she taught Miss Hardbroom "Everything she knows" (including how to appear from thin air). Miss Hardbroom encounters Mistess Broomhead twice at Cackle's, first as a Witches' Guild inspector, and then as acting Headmistress.

In her first year, Mildred saves Cackle's Academy from Agatha Cackle and her coven, earning her first smile from Miss Hardroom. In Mildred's second year, Mildred saves Miss Hardbroom's life after Miss Hardbroom slips over, is knocked unconscious, and inadvertently set adrift on a boat; Miss Hardbroom is grateful for this.

Two episodes in the TV series give particular insight into Miss Hardbroom's character: The Inspector Calls, and The Millennium Bug, both in season two. In The Inspector Calls, we meet Hecate Broomhead, and discover that Miss Hardbroom is afraid of her, one of the very few times she shows visible fear. In The Millennium Bug, Miss Hardbroom threatens to resign when Mr Hallow decides to sell the school- she can "only dance to one tune" and doesn't want to teach in the new school. This leads to a conversation between her and Mildred, who ends up saving the school.

Miss Hardbroom states that she "sleeps most nights, six hours at the weekend!"[5] She uses Wide-Awake Potion to keep herself going[6], and is often on the lookout for students sneaking around at night. Miss Hardbroom also owns a Magic Mirror, which is kept in the staffroom.[7]

Weirdsister College

When Mildred starts at Weirdsister College, Miss Hardbroom is summoned by magic to test Mildred (and tell her off), to see if she was strong enough to enter Weirdsister as a student. Mildred passed and Miss Hardbroom wished her luck, and a smile before returning to Cackle's.

The New Worst Witch

In The New Worst Witch, Miss Hardbroom dislikes Hettie and favours Belladonna and Cynthia. She now has disagreements with fellow teacher Miss Nightingale.

2017 TV Series

In CBBC's 2017 adaption, Miss Hardbroom believes that witchcraft is in decline. Because of this, she favours the talented Hallow sisters, Ethel and Esmerelda, and anticipates the termination of Mildred's trial at Cackle's. She claims that she does not hate Mildred; she simply believes the academy is "no place for [Mildred]".

Whilst she terrifies her students and is strict and severe, it is clear that she always acts in what she thinks is in the best interests of the academy. It is her who subtly double-crosses Agatha Cackle in the first episode by finding a loophole in the Witches' Code that Mildred can exploit.
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Miss Hardbroom in the books

In Out of Bounds, when Agatha escapes her banishment, Miss Hardbroom puts protective enchantments on the castle, so that no one can get in unless they are invited, and students are banned from leaving the school grounds.

In The Worst Headmistress, Miss Hardbroom hints to Maud that Miss Cackle is trapped in the painting in the Headmistress' office. After the students are unable to rescue Miss Cackle, Miss Hardbroom tries to summon Miss Cackle herself, but her magic sets off the Agatha’s alarm, and Agatha traps Miss Hardbroom in the painting as well. When Agatha tries to destroy the school, All the students chant together to stop her spell, and this also changes Esmerelda Hallow, the teachers, and the grand wizard back into themselves, and Agatha and Miss Gullet end up trapped in a painting by Miss Cackle.

Miss Hardbroom also showed signs of mellowing out towards Mildred by awarding her 51% on her final exams despite the latter crashing into a tree. She claimed this was her award to Mildred for stopping Agatha.

Physical Appearance

Miss Hardbroom is tall and thin with waist-length black hair which she keeps "scragged into such a tight knot that her forehead looked quite stretched". Miss Hardbroom keeps her hair tied up in a tight bun at all times, except for the Halloween celebrations, as it’s tradition that all the witches wear their hair out for Halloween. Mildred remarks that she doesn't look half as frightening when her hair is down. In the TV series she also wears her hair out at Miss Drill’s investiture and at night sometimes.

Miss Hardbroom usually wears predominantly black, ankle lengh, long sleeve dresses, though she has purple pyjamas. A notable exception is in the Christmas pantomime, when she plays the fairy godmother in Cinderella- she wears a white fairy dress, complete with white tights, wings, wand and a tiara.

In the 1998 TV series, Miss Hardbroom wears keys hanging at her waist. One of these keys opens the store-room near the Great Hall.

In the 2017 TV Series, Miss Hardbroom wears a pocket-watch on a chain around her neck and her nails are painted black.

Personality and Traits

Miss Hardbroom, as deputy head, is the real power behind the throne at Cackle´s. It is her who mostly succeeds in imposing her will on everybody by means of frowning, shouting or simply talking a blue streak till everyone gives in to her.

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Miss Hardbroom at Halloween.

Miss Hardbroom is a stickler for standards and tradition, and believes in strong discipline. She is terrifying and extremely strict, and has been described as reducing any pupil to a gibbering heap with just one word. It is her who gives Mildred the infamous title of "the worst witch in the school". Miss Hardbroom is a “staunch traditionalist” ; Her life is run by tradition and she thinks computers (and all other modern technology) are infernal machines, as seen in "Sorcery and Chips".

However, Miss Hardbroom has been shown to have a kinder side to her. In fact, Mildred once remarked "You know, sometimes I don't think she’s as bad as we think she is". Miss Hardbroom's softer side does come through on occasions, such such as her thanking Mildred for saving the academy from Miss Cackle's evil twin sister, Agatha Cackle, at the end of The Worst Witch, her accident in The Worst Witch All at Sea and the restoring of Mildred's hair to its rightful length in The Worst Witch Saves the Day.

Miss Hardbroom can be quite immature when upset, this is shown by her temper tantrums in The Millennium Bug (mentioned only) and Better Dead Than Co-ed. HB talks very loudly when she's getting angry or upset, and she will disapear to be by herself-at least until Miss Cackle or Mildred find her.

Despite Miss Hardbroom
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Miss Hardbroom smiling in the Episode 'Double Double Toil and Trouble'

's fearsome nature, it was hinted at that she was actually afraid of at least one witch; that being Mistress Hecate Broomhead, her old personal tutor, whom Hardbroom claims to have taught her "everything she knows". When she finds out about Mistress Broomhead's inspection, she actually has to sit down and implores her fellow staff to be very afraid.

Abilities

Miss Hardbroom is an extremely powerful witch, and her primary method of casting spells was through her fingers: pointing with the index and little fingers. Her most notable ability was to appear out of nowhere, and she was the only witch (aside from Hecate Broomhead) who was shown to possess this ability. Hence, the students often say that one never knew if she is truly gone, or if she was still there in an invisible state. She herself does nothing to dispel this.

Miss Hardbroom also demonstrated the ability to accurately identify potions simply by smelling them, and once claimed that she scored "the best results of virtually every potion teacher in the country", which implies that she is a skillful teacher who knew her subject well.

Due to Miss Hardbroom's formidable powers, it is often left up to her to save the day when situations get out of hand. When Miss Cackle's evil sister, Agatha, and her sidekicks tried to take over the school, Agatha stated that "Hardbroom is the really dangerous one" and must be dealt with first. During an unexpected honest conversation between Miss Hardbroom and Mildred, the former explained that her ability to appear out of nowhere was actually "a professional secret". Such instances testify that Miss Hardbroom was well-known and feared by the adult witch community.

Relationships

Miss Cackle

Miss Hardbroom is good friends with Miss Cackle. She dislikes most of the other teachers, particularly Miss Bat, who she sees as incompetent and irresponsible. She feels Miss Drill and Miss Cackle are too soft on the girls.

Miss Hardbroom has a close relationship with her Headmistress, Miss Cackle. They are close friends and have almost a mother-daughter sort of relationship. In Mildred’s second year, Miss Cackle suggests that Miss Hardbroom is overworking herself and needs a holiday; this leads to Miss Harbroom coming on the second year’s trip to Rowan-Webb’s riverside home.

When Mr Hallow wanted to sell the Castle to Amanda Honeydew, and Miss Hardbroom threatens to resign in protest, Miss Cackle was seen chasing her down the hall, actually begging her to reconsider. When Miss Cackle and Grand Wizard Hellibore were planning to merge Cackle's with Camelot College into a single, co-educational school, Miss Hardbroom gets upset. Miss Cackle finds her sitting by the river, and talks to her.

Miss Pentangle

In The Worst Witch Saves the Day, it is revealed that Miss Hardbroom is good friends with Miss Pentangle (they especially like playing chess together). [8]

In the 2017 TV Series, Miss Hardbroom and Miss Pentangle used to be friends, and it is implied that they went to school together. Miss Pentangle was popular in school, while Miss Hardbroom was tall, gangly, and not as popular. Miss Hardbroom thought Miss Pentangle wouldn’t want to be friends with someone like her, but Miss Pentangle actually considered Miss Hardbroom her best friend. They eventually make up thanks to Mildred.

Men

Miss Hardbroom hosts a strong contempt for every creature of the male species. When "The Witchy Hour" radio show was hosted at Cackles', DJ Icy Stevens seemed to fall in love with her at first sight, and she appeared to reciprocate, but she simply appreciated his admiration. When he invited her to go away on a romantic holiday and put his hand on her arm, she immediately rebuffed him. She does show a level of respect for both Mr Blossoms however.

Mildred Hubble

Miss Hardbroom took a particular disliking to Mildred at first sight - It is Miss Hardbroom who gives Mildred the title of "the worst witch in the school." This used to be quite mutual. However, getting acquainted with each other and actually saving each other´s life now and then, both grudgingly had to learn (though not to admit) that each of them has her strong points - which results in a kind of love-hate relationship. Still, Miss Hardbroom relishes in yelling at Mildred and her friends and approving smiles are very thin on the ground with her. Miss Hardbroom frequently praises and rewards Ethel Hallow, and frequently rebukes Mildred in front of the other students.

In the episode "The Millennium Bug" she and Mildred actually have a heart-to-heart conversation and in the episode "The Uninvited" Miss Hardbroom shows obvious signs of liking Mildred after Mildred saved her life from The Uninvited (the witch from Sleeping Beauty who put everyone into an eternal sleep by spraying them with cobwebs) by looking impressed at Mildred's ability to turn drawings into real people and by sticking Mildred and Jadu's expulsion letters to Ethel's fingers.

Gallery

Trivia

  • Miss Hardbroom would be the most popular character in The Worst Witch, particularly her TV series portrayal by Kate Duchene.
  • Fans commonly refer to Miss Hardbroom by her nickname, HB (also spelt H.B.).
  • Miss Hardbroom is often compared to Professor Severus Snape from Harry Potter . They are both tall and thin, wear black and have black hair, as well as both being strict potions teachers. Miss Hardbroom is also considered to be like Professor McGonagall, the Deputy head of Harry Potter's Hogwarts, in that they are both strict, but are caring underneath.
  • In the episode Art Wars, Miss Hardbroom states that her favourite colour is black.
  • Miss Hardbroom's age is never mentioned, though Kate Duchene was 39 when she started playing Constance, and was born in January 1959 -a Capricorn, just like HB says she is in The Unfairground. According to The Worst Witch Magazine, though, HB is a scorpio.
  • Despite her claims that she dislikes modern technology, Hardbroom was more then capable of operating the radio broadcast unit in "The Witchy Hour" with just a brief glance. Of course, it is possible for people who dislike certain things to nonetheless be quite capable of using them.
  • Miss Hardbroom’s name in other languages:

French TV: Mademoiselle (Mlle) Constance Harebours (or Arebours), It means "countdown".
French book: Mademoiselle (Mlle) Bâtonsec; Nickname: “La mere bat´sec”. ‘Baton’ means ‘Stick’, referencing the ‘Broom’ part of her name.
German: Frau Constanze Harschmann; Nickname: “HM” - Mrs Constanze Harshman
Dutch: Heks Constance Hakblok- Witch Constance Chopblock
Latin-American: Miss Ogrum- a pun on "ogro" which means "ogre" in Spanish.
Czech: Slečna Constance Metlová; Nickname: Metla

  • In the 2017 TV Series, Miss Hardbroom's name is given not as Constance but as Hecate, the same as Mistress Broomhead, her former tutor who appears in the 1998 TV Series. In Greek mythology, Hecate is the goddess of magic, witchcraft and necromancy.

Appearances

References

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