29. The Dursleys
Starting off with the ones who starts off the series itself - The Dursley's are the first characters that are introduced in the books. That doesn’t mean they're good people - quite the opposite. Vernon, his wife Petunia, and their only child, Dudley, are awful, grotesque people. They reek of self-entitlement, a parody of bourgeois conformity, and worse of all – they're a terrible, often abusive, foster family for Harry. But here's the thing: they're hilarious.
Dudley's indulgence, Vernon's attempt of proving his upper-middle-class superiority, Petunia's gossiping ways; The Dursley's are a parody of people we know - and love to hate.
28. Cho Chang
You can't forget your first, amiright? Cho wasn't perfect, but she was an important part of Harry's adolescence, and she had her own issues to work through – her own first boyfriend was murdered when he was only 16! – and Harry was not mature enough to handle that amount of baggage.
It's a shame that Harry's first attempt with romance was so clumsy, but Cho taught us just that - high-school romance in seldom goofy. And sad. That what makes it so gorgeous.
27. Argus Filch
Although creepy on first appearance, Filch is just a really sad person. He's a grumpy custodian, and the main discovery about him is nearly heartbreaking - he's a Squib, a Muggle born to a wizarding family
The only job he found in the wizarding world is as a janitor, but not in any regular old place, but in Hogwarts, literally the place where magic is taught, but he cannot practice it. Kind of makes you feel for the guy, right? And of course - he's a cat person, owner to the famous Mrs. Norris. That’s gotta earn him some points.
26. Peter Pettigrew
Peter is a critical part in one of the series' best storylines – the betrayal that lead to Lilly and James Potter's murder by the hands of Voldemort. He was their friend, but Voldemort made him betray them, framing their friend Sirius in murder, faking his death and spending over a decade after that tragedy as Ron's pet rat. Which is bonkers, really.
Peter's arc from that point is kind of insane - he severed his hand as a sacrifice to revive Voldemort from the dead and received a new one from him, only to be choked to death by that very hand after sparring Harry's life, in an attempt to redeem himself. The series' Judas, Peter is an epically pathetic sleazebag, and that's why he's so grand.
25. Percy Weasley
The problem with Percy's storyline is that we only heard the best of it in bits and pieces – dreaming from an early age of working in The Ministry of Magic, Percy was an ambitious student who became an ambitious clerk, a mix between an embarrassing suck-up to a genuine Bureaucracy enthusiast. When his family stood by Harry after the ministry disowned him, due to Harry's claims of Voldemort's return, Percy decided to disown them.
He reunited with his family only towards the battle of Hogwarts and apologized for his behavior, just before it was too late. Even in the wizarding world, we can't get enough of a good old-fashioned family drama, and as much of a Putz as he was – Percy delivered it, big time.
24. Rita Skeeter
Harry Potter's bad guys work best when they remind us how the Real World's bad guys act – and Rita Skeeter acts basically like your regular scoop-hungry-truth-bending vulture of a tabloid journalist. She's unethical, vile and will do more than anything for a scoop (the truth about her unusual research method is a wonderful surprise) - and she is just so savage and sassy doing so.
She's unbearably delicious, a shameless fan of herself and quite simply, a joy to the reader who knows how to appreciate a truly ratchet Diva.
23. Cedric Diggory
Isn’t he a dreamboat? From the first mention of him in the books until the moment his character was the jump-off for Robert Pattinson's career, Cedric was Hogwarts' ultimate prom king. And he was so NICE! From the first moment he beat Harry in Quidditch, Cedric regarded him as a worthy competitor, not a foe. That’s why his death was so tragic - it was the first time a character we know and love died for no reason but senseless cruelty
Cedric is an ideal of a Good Guy™, and the moment that ideal was broken, "Harry Potter" matured from being the story of kids who play with magic to a darker, more mature saga.
22. Nearly Headless Nick
The best thing about Nearly Headless Nick is the fact that he's a comic relief with a heart. He's a macabre joke - Gryffindor's House Ghost is a result of a sloppy execution, who always lends a ghostly ear to Gryffindor's student body - as we all remember from Harry's chat with him after Sirius' demise.
That's the point where Nick explained to us the nature of a ghost in the Potterverse: being a spirit to afraid to die, he still roams the earth. Thus, a whimsical dark joke about a decapitation gone wrong touched one of the series most important motifs: the fear of death, and those who conquer it.
21. Horace Slughorn
Slughorn is not a bad guy nor a good guy – he's a person, who made mistakes and is not too great in amending them. He loves being associated with the famous and the talented and living large. He's the nicest Slytherin in the books, and it's a type of positivity we rarely see in the books - a sort of conniving kindness, favoring those who'll benefit him the most in the future.
He's no angel - far from it - but not a complete devil. And that’s what makes him so believable.
20. Gilderoy Lockhart
Lockhart is, truly, the absolute worst. It takes a while to really fathom how much of a scum this man is – he begins his stint in The Chamber of Secrets as a plain douchbag, a fame-hungry celebrity with no self-awareness who claims he fought giants and vampires.
He ends the book as a real villain, admitting that all his heroic tales are stories he basically plagiarized from actual people, erasing their memory. He's every vain and pompous prick we know and hate and reading his fate as a bumbling amnesiac was satisfying as hell.
19. Fleur Delacour
Perhaps Fleur is the prettiest character in the series – she is described as such, thus inducing a hilarious crush on Ron's side. But she peeked regardless of her beauty. When Bill Weasley, her hot fiancé, was attacked by a werewolf, Molly, her future mother-in-law says plainly that she assumes the wedding to be is off.
That’s when Fleur bravely stand up to the formidable Molly, tells her that no werewolf can diminish her husband's love for her or vice-versa, and tells her that though Bill is scarred and mimed, she is still good-looking enough for the both of them. Fleur is not your regular Beauxbatons Barbie but a true, beautiful, loving and fierce Icon.
18. Nymphadora Tonks
She's a shapeshifter with pink hair! What's not to like? The trouble with Tonks was getting so little of her. She was a breath of fresh air, in a series full of self-importance-stricken adult and teenagers, Tonks was a spunky punk queen with style and attitude.
All in all, we wish we could have had more of her. Hey, maybe she'll pop up in an eventual sequel.
17. Sybill Trelawney
That lady be cray cray, how can we not adore her? She's the first teacher that succeeded in making Hermione talk back at her, and charlatan at first sight, seems like she's actually quite the prophetess, considering the fact that a prophecy by her made Voldemort seek baby Harry and kill his parents, thus propelling the entire series into motion.
And it's pretty lovely, knowing that one of the most important characters in the series is a flaky, oftentimes hilarious Cassandra-like psychic that is seldom believed.
16. Narcisa Malfoy
Narcisa, Draco Malfoy's mom, peeked at one moment, in the series' last few pages. Harry came back from the dead, but he's lying still. Voldemort sends his follower, Narcisa, to check Harry's pulse and confirm he's dead. When she realizes he's alive, she whispers to him - "Is Draco alive? Is he in the castle?". Harry, who spared Draco, answers: "Yes".
Learning her son was saved, Narcisa faces her Dark Lord and lies, telling him Harry is dead, switching loyalties as a gratitude to the boy who saved her family. Rowling created a conniving, Machiavellian, brave and compassionate character who'll do anything to save her son - all in eight words, and one lie.
15. Mad-Eye Moody
When we first meet Mad-Eye Moody, he's not Mad-Eye Moody – for the most part of his first appearance, Moody is a disguise worn by an Azkaban fugitive, a plot twist that makes the man even cooler. And he's quite badass even without said twist – he's a relentless warrior against the Dark Arts, an honest-to-god, good-old-fashioned action star, and thank Merlin he's on our side, because he's scary as hell.
Plus, there's that moment in Order of the Phoenix where he tells a guy not to place his wand down his trousers because he knows a guy who lost a butt-cheek like that.
14. Dolores Umbridge
She's not your regular *evil laugh* villain. She doesn’t want to take over the world - she just wants you to conform. She won't wear her villainy on her sleeve - she'll tuck it in underneath pink silk cloth, and that’s what makes her so terrifying
Her term as a supervisor of the registration and prosecution of Muggle-born wizards and witches she proved herself not only as a cold-hearted conformist but also as an honest to god racist. She's not a larger-than-life villain - her evil is something we see every day. And that’s why she's the series' scariest, realest villain.
13. Luna Lovegood
ovely Loony Luna Lovegood was a beautiful addition to our leading trio's circle of friends. She wasn’t like anybody else - living in her own world, Luna was a bit of an outcast, which made her even more relatable to so many readers. And not only to them - Harry saw her as an unlikely friend, and she proved herself as a worthy ally during the series.
She's funny, insightful and in her own magical-hippie sort of way, she gave zero damns about what anybody in Hogwarts thought of her. An inspiration to every high-school weird girl everywhere.
12. Draco Malfoy
Poor Draco. The kid is a living proof of the fact that most of our school bullies are often just sad little kids that came from a messed-up household (albeit, a very wealthy one). He starts out as the most obnoxious little brat you can think of - the slap Hermione gave him is one of the most satisfying moments of the series - but throughout the series we come to understand him. Draco is mainly a heart-wrenching victim.
And for making us feel sorry for the meanest jerk in Hogwarts, Draco deserves a spot on the list.
11. Bellatrix Lestrange
Maybe Voldemort is the biggest villain of the series, but isn’t Bellatrix the most delicious one? She's an aristocrat-gone-bad ruthless mega-bitch that always seem like all of this Dark Magic stuff is her hobby not because she's that ideologically anti-muggles: she just wanna have fun!
And of course, killing good innocent people isn’t something we'd like to encourage, but the woman has her own lust of life that is just a thrill to read – and with the vivacious portrayal by the great Helena Bonham Carter, a joy to watch.
The Malfoy Manor house-elf began his role in the series as an intolerable side-character, whining, blubbering and trolling poor Harry.
But as the series grew on, he became and actual hero - a trailblazing house-elf gaining his independence who was able to defy his old masters, fights for what he believes in (thus inserting our very own Hermione Granger with a bit of a social conscious of her own) and, tragically, sacrificing himself for that very cause.
9. Remus Lupin
A fine educator, it seems that the curse of the Defense Against the Dark Arts teaching position struck poor Remus the hardest. He was one of the first grown-up figures that treated Harry as equal, taught him how to fight Dementors and face his fears.
He was sort of an uncle to Harry, giving him the support a young orphan like him often needed. And he's a werewolf - that automatically makes him the coolest.
8. Ginny Weasley
Not a damsel in distress but a gritty, sarcastic fighter, Ginny Weasley is more than Harry's greatest love - she's a ballsy queen with a fiery attitude. She made all our dreams come true when Harry, her childhood crush started liking her back, taking matters into her own hands and frenched the living daylight out of him in front all of Gryffindor.
Not only a snogging and Quidditch sensation, Ginny fought off Death Eaters and held guard of Hogwarts when the leading trio was away camping and looking for Horcruxes. Harry should be so lucky.
7. Sirius Black
The hunky Prisoner of Azkaban is starring in what's perhaps one of the series' greatest plot twists – he was a good guy all along! Being framed for betraying his friends Lilly and James and being Voldemort's Servant (+blowing up 13 Muggles), Sirius spent 12 years in Azkaban, haunted by Dementors, hoping he'll be reunited with his godson, Harry.
After Harry found out the truth, Sirius was to him a father figure (and if we may - a sexy one at that), and notably, the only adult to whom he referred by his first name. His demise was on the series most tragic - and perhaps unnecessary? - deaths.
6. Fred & George Weasley
They are the series' jokesters, but the thing is that throughout the series we understand that Ron Weasley's brothers aren’t just funny lads - they are heroes. When it's time to make sacrifices, very few people had it rough like these identical twins - in The Deathly Hallows, George loses an ear, and Fred dies, fighting Death Eaters.
It seems like Fred and George are Rowling's way of telling us to pay attention to the jesters – they're often the bearers of truth, and the ones who'll sacrifice the most when it's time to fight back.
5. Rubeus Hagrid
The Half-Giant, groundskeeper with a heart of gold, Hagrid was Harry's first connection to the wizarding world. He's the one who broke into his world, telling him that he's special, that there is a more magical world waiting just for him. He had a rough childhood, being framed for opening The Chamber of Secrets setting its monster free.
His name was eventually cleared, thanks to Harry, and Hagrid became Hogwarts' Care of Magical Beasts professor. His compassion for animals is lovely, but his love for Harry and his friends is beautiful. And he grew a pig's tail on Dudley Dursley's butt, which is hilarious.
4. Severus Snape
A bully? A hero? A cruel teacher or a potion-master? A broken-hearted boy or a stocker? Professor Snape is all at once. Snape is here to remind us that people are sometimes just people. He's a brave jerk who loved a woman that never loved him back; he punished her orphaned son for his father's sins; he protected that son from the darkest wizard ever lived.
He's a complex, multi-layered anti-hero if there ever was one. And a shout out for the deceased Allan Rickman, who brilliantly played him in the films, giving him more character then Rowling could have ever imagined.
3. Neville Longbottom
He starts out as a clumsy kid, a forgetful butt-monkey. Then, when we hear his gut-wrenching backstory, it's hard not to feel for him. His parents, Alice and Frank Longbottom, were Aurors who fought Death Eaters during The First Wizarding War. When Bellatrix Lestrange got a hold of them, she tortured them to insanity. Neville was practically an orphan, raised by his tough grandmother, and struggled his way through Hogwarts
All of this was worth the while, because in the end, that bumbling young boy became a leader, leading the battle of Hogwarts, standing up to Voldemort (!), while defining the term Glow-Up.
2. Molly Weasley
Its hard not to get emotional when thinking about Molly. In a series full of Fantastic Beasts, magical objects and what not, Molly was a pillar of humanity. For her, our boy Harry wasn’t The Boy Who Lived: he was a child who needed a family, and she took him in as one of her own, knitted him sweaters and sent him cookies.
But from that simple kind-hearted woman Molly evolved into a badass Mama-Bear, who killed Bellatrix Lestrange, the meanest witch we know, for going near Ginny, thus uttering the series' greatest line: "NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BI**H".
1. Minerva McGonagall
Albus Dumbledore's death is indeed a tragedy, but coming to think about it – isn’t Minerva McGonagall the best suited woman and educator for the position? She's a no-nonsense, hard-strung woman, smarter than any character in the series (perhaps only second to Hermione), but still manages to find the compassion needed to care for children.
She knows how to dance, how to stick it to the man (just ask our #17, professor Trelawny, how she stood up when she was wrongfully fired in Order of the Phoenix), and she can turn into a freaking cat! If that’s not #1, what is?