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Miss Constance Hardbroom

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Miss Constance Hardbroom
Hardbroom infobox
Miss Hardbroom in the TV series, as portrayed by Kate Duchene

Species

Witch

Gender

Female

Hair Colour

Black

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)
Miss Constance Hardbroom 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.

Biography

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.
WishingStar2

Miss Hardbroom as a child

[1]

Miss Hardbroom is a representative of The Cauldron Club, and she was in the club herself at Weirdsister College. [2] 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.

At the end of Mildred's second year, the castle is nearly sold and Miss Hardbroom threatens to resign, not wanting to teach in the new school. This leads to a conversation between her and Mildred, who ends up saving the school, and Miss Hardbroom returns.

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.

Miss Hardbroom has a beautiful, sleek black cat called Morgana.[3]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.[4]

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]

HB book3

Miss Hardbroom in the books

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

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.

HB halooween

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 moder 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
HB smile2

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".

Abilities and Skills

Miss Hardbroom is an exceptionally talented and powerful witch, and 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 try to take over the school, Agatha states that "Hardbroom is the really dangerous one" and must be dealt with first, suggesting Hardbroom is well-known and feared by the adult witch community. She is also the only witch (aside from Hecate Broomhead) shown to have the ability to appear from thin air. Mildred Hubble is shown to be able to do this in the first episode of The New Worst Witch, indicating she learned it either at Weirdsister or was taught it by Miss Hardbroom. Miss Hardbroom did take the entire complement of Mildred's year to the great hall via this method in A Mean Halloween. The girls often say that you never know if she's actually gone or if she's still there invisible.

Miss Hardbroom gets "the best results of virtually every potion teacher in the country". Miss Hardbroom uses her fingers to cast spells, pointing with the index finger and little finger.

Relationships

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, 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 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.

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.

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

Gallery

Trivia

  • Miss Hardbroom would be the most popular character in The Worst Witch, particlarly 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 McGonnagall, the Deputy head of Harry Potter's Hogwarts, in that they are both strict, but are caring underneath.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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 to dislike modern technology, Hardbroom was more then capable of operating the radio broadcast unit in "The Witchy Hour" with just a brief glance.
  • In the Latin-American dub, she was renamed as "Miss Ogrum", a pun on "ogro" which means "ogre" in Spanish.
  • In the French dub, she was remaned as "Mlle Harbour", which sounds close to her English name. It means "countdown".

Appearances

References

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