Although the Harry Potter series is primarily told from the titular character's point of view, there are a number of main characters introduced to us throughout the course of the series. Aside from the Golden Trio of Harry, Ron, and Hermione, there are other Hogwarts students, professors, Order of the Phoenix members, and even Death Eaters whose lives became integral parts of the story. Most of these people are consistently praised or acknowledged, at least on some level, by those around them, and may even be favorite characters to many readers.
However, there are quite a few characters that just don’t get the recognition they deserve, either because of their job, appearance, demeanor, or simply because they’re considered a minor character in the books and films. There’s no denying that there are overrated characters in the world of Harry Potter, but let’s put a small spotlight on those that are underrated and could use a little more respect for their contributions to either the side of good or evil.
Here are the 15 Most Underrated Characters In The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Magical creatures are often overlooked in the Harry Potter series, as wizard-kind seems to see themselves as superior (think Draco Malfoy’s encounter with Buckbeak). However, most of these creatures are smarter than wizards give them credit for, like Hermione’s bandy-legged, half-Kneazle ginger cat, Crookshanks. Although Hermione takes a liking to him right away, purchasing him from the Magical Menagerie in Diagon Alley when no one else wanted him, even she’s oblivious to his full brilliance.
Throughout Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Crookshanks targets Ron’s pet rat Scabbers, putting a rift between him and Hermione, but for good reason. Somehow, no one in the Weasley family, or even at Hogwarts, realized that Scabbers was none other than Peter Pettigrew in Animagus form; no one that is, except Crookshanks. While his immense loyalty to Sirius Black was at first seen as a mistake, it was this very loyalty that saved Harry’s godfather’s life and ultimately led to the discovery of who really betrayed Harry’s family. You’d think Harry would have a little more gratitude toward Crookshanks, but only Sirius and Hermione seem to really appreciate him.
Despite living next to her for most of his life, Harry only finds out his neighbor, Arabella Figg, is a Squib after he and Dudley are attacked by Dementors in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Since squibs can’t perform magic, but are born to at least one magical parent, they’re often looked down upon in the magical community, especially by pure-blood supremacists. However, even the Ministry of Magic had no record of Mrs. Figg when she testified at Harry’s trial, much to her annoyance.
Despite the lack of respect from most of wizard-kind, it was Mrs. Figg that kept a watchful eye on Harry all those years at Privet Drive. She could have easily bragged about babysitting The Boy Who Lived, but she, like so many others, was bound by loyalty to Albus Dumbledore. Many people may not realize that she was actually a member of The Order of the Phoenix as well, despite her lack of magical talent. Dumbledore, being the only one who seemed to respect and trust her, asks Sirius to alert “the old crowd” when Voldemort returns, of which Mrs. Figg is mentioned by name.
Although he’s the head of Ravenclaw house at Hogwarts, Professor Filius Flitwick often gets overlooked compared to other teachers. Part-goblin and part-wizard, Professor Flitwick’s size, squeaky voice, and eccentricities cause many people to underestimate his abilities. Despite what some would call disadvantages as a wizard, Flitwick still managed to become a Duelling Champion when he was young and was, quite possibly, the best Charms master Hogwarts had ever seen.
Let’s not forget his contributions during The Battle of Hogwarts as well. He, along with the other heads of houses, cast complex protective spells around the school to keep the Death Eaters and Voldemort out. He also single-handedly battled some of the cruelest Death Eaters, defeating Antonin Dolohov, who was responsible for killing Remus Lupin.
Best of all, though, was Professor Flitwick’s good humor through all the crap he had to endure. He treated everyone fairly and equally, including Dolores Umbridge, even though she sat and judged him while he taught his class during Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. He deserves a lot more recognition and respect, especially because of how different he was from the rest of the characters running around Hogwarts. The fact that he was brought to life on the big screen by beloved genre actor Warwick Davis certainly didn't hurt his reputation.
While the world found out just what a BAMF Molly Weasley was during the Battle of Hogwarts, killing Bellatrix Lestrange was only the icing on the cake. Along with her husband, Molly was a member of the Order of the Phoenix, as were her two brothers, Fabian and Gideon, who were killed by Death Eaters in the First Wizarding War. After Dumbledore’s death, she opened her home for use as The Order of the Phoenix’s headquarters, helping to protect Harry, to whom she was fiercely loyal to and loved like he was one of her own.
However, Molly also had one of the most important, yet overlooked jobs during the course of the Harry Potter books: raising seven children. All of the Weasley kids grew up to be well-adjusted, despite their poverty, and talented in their own ways. How she managed to take care of them all, use magic to keep the house tidy, and keep her sanity can only be attributed to her extreme talents as a witch and a loving mother. The only person who seemed to appreciate everything she did was Harry, and she was equally grateful for all the times he saved one of the Weasleys' lives.
Despite her pure-blood ideologies, Narcissa Malfoy never became a Death Eater (unlike most of her living relatives), and for that, she must be applauded. While she did play host to Lord Voldemort and relay information to him about Harry, her loyalty ultimately lay with her husband and son’s well-being, not Voldemort’s. She displayed a deep love for Draco, which led to her seeking Severus Snape’s help when her son was tasked with killing Dumbledore. She also lent him her wand during the Battle of Hogwarts, leaving her wandless and vulnerable.
Narcissa is yet another example of the power embodied in a mother’s love, imprinting a much deeper magic that the darkness of Voldemort could never truly penetrate. When Harry’s presumed dead after Voldemort performs the Killing Curse on him, it was Narcissa who checks on him, asking Harry if Draco was alright, and then lying to Voldemort that Harry was, in fact, dead. She protected Harry when she could have easily betrayed him, risking her life for the safety of her family’s, thus allowing good to triumph over evil.
Sure, witches and wizards can take potions and fix things with magic, but they still need healers just like us muggles. Outside of St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries, Hogwarts had one of the best healers around, Poppy Pomfrey (or Madam Pomfrey to most). Throughout Harry’s Hogwarts career, Madam Pomfrey grew back bones, unpetrified Basilisk victims, and tended to various injuries caused by spells, jinxes, and curses.
While being a nurse/healer is often a thankless job, Madam Pomfrey did it without hesitation. The only time when she ever considered quitting was when Professor McGonagall was hit by multiple Stunning Spells trying to prevent the removal of Hagrid by the Ministry of Magic. “Cowardice, that's what it was... despicable cowardice... if I wasn't worried what would happen to you students without me, I'd resign in protest!" she told Harry in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Obviously, Madam Pomfrey was extremely loyal to Hogwarts and Dumbledore, iand she took her job very seriously. Even after participating in the Battle of Hogwarts, dueling a Death Eater, she still did her duty as the school’s nurse, tending to injuries and attending to the dead.
Although Peter Pettigrew was one of the beloved Marauders, he was never quite on the level of James, Sirius, and Remus according to Professor McGonagall. However, what he lacked in actual magic talent, he made up for in cunning and deceitfulness.
No one would argue that Peter is a despicable character and one that should never have been trusted, but the fact remains that people did trust him. The Potters underestimated him when they made him their Secret Keeper. Lord Voldemort underestimated him when he made him a Death Eater, never guessing that Peter would be the one to resurrect him as a faithful servant. In fact, he faked his own death and duped everyone into thinking that Sirius Black blew up a bunch of muggles, essentially sending his supposed friend to Azkaban for a crime he didn’t commit.
Although Peter’s the lowest of the low, he fooled the entire Wizarding World and lived in his Animagus form for twelve years as ‘Scabbers’ until Crookshanks of all creatures, exposed him. He’s a master of deception.
One of the many storylines that were unfortunately left out of the films was the centaur Firenze’s estrangement from his colony in the Forbidden Forest. Centaurs, as a rule, don’t tend to meddle in human affairs, generally looking down on them as inferior. Firenze was the kind of Centaur who didn’t necessarily follow the herd (if you’ll excuse the pun), but rather had his own strong set of beliefs.
In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Firenze was the one who scared Voldemort away from the Unicorn and took Harry to safety by allowing him to ride on his back. He was aware of Harry’s importance, calling him ‘the Potter boy,’ but his fellow Centaurs were not so sympathetic. Firenze continued to assist humans by teaching Divination when Professor Trelawney was fired, which caused his colony to attack and nearly kill him for what they perceived as a betrayal.
Firenze, like so many others, must have felt a strong loyalty to Dumbledore, as he showed up for his funeral. He was even one of the few magical beasts to fight during the Battle of Hogwarts and was subsequently injured fighting the Death Eaters.
Like Peter Pettigrew, Barty Crouch, Jr. was another bad guy who was grossly underestimated. His father thought he could just keep him under the Imperius Curse after cleverly busting him out of Azkaban. Unfortunately for Barty Crouch, Sr., he also underestimated Voldemort’s need for his son’s loyalty, and skill, to help him capture Harry Potter.
Something has to be said for a wizard who could cast a powerful enough Confundus Charm to fool The Goblet of Fire. Perhaps the most amazing deception, though, was Barty Crouch, Jr.’s entire ruse to get Harry into the Triwizard Tournament and rig it so he’d reach the Triwizard Cup first, all while disguised as Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody.
He was such a convincing Mad-Eye, and a decent Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher to boot, that even Dumbledore didn’t suspect him until it was pretty much too late (at least for Cedric, anyway). That’s pretty amazing considering that Dumbledore seems to know everything else going on in the castle -- and with Voldemort, for that matter.
Percy Weasley was so ambitious he may as well have been a Slytherin. Somehow, he managed to get perfect scores in all his subjects, even with Voldemort’s return consistently impacting students’ studies. Nevertheless, his siblings continuously mocked his penchant for authority, especially seeing as he was a Prefect and Head Boy at Hogwarts. Ironically, when he finally began working at the Ministry, his own boss couldn’t even be bothered with learning his name. Even still, Percy was loyal to the Ministry above all else, which eventually caused a rift between him and his family.
Despite his annoyingly stubborn loyalty to following the rules and having a career in the Ministry, Percy did help protect Harry and the other students during various Hogwarts calamities. He also looked out for his younger siblings, whether they wanted him to or not, which showed he had their best interests at heart.
Although he was estranged from his family for a while, preferring to side with the Ministry that Voldemort had not returned, he eventually saw the error of his ways. Remarkably, a guy who seemed too proud to apologize did just that, and rejoined his family to fight during the Battle of Hogwarts.
One of the least talked about Order of the Phoenix members, since most of his activities weren’t included in the films, Kingsley Shacklebolt was perhaps the most impressive. An Auror for the Ministry of Magic, Kingsley was instrumental in keeping the Ministry off Sirius Black’s trail.
He also volunteered for the Advance Guard to protect Harry Potter, and was even appointed to protect the Muggle Prime Minister, serving as his secretary during the events of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. In fact, Kingsley had such a convincing mastery of muggle garb and behavior that the Muggle Prime Minister was surprised to learn he was actually a wizard. Not many wizards have that kind of claim to fame.
What’s most impressive about Kingsley, however, was how he took charge during the Battle of Hogwarts — assigning people to various defensive positions and leading his fellow wizards in the fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. His heroic actions earned him the title of Acting Minister of Magic, which was then upgraded to a permanent position. He was also instrumental in ridding of the Ministry of corruption, getting rid of pro-pureblood laws, and banning the use of Dementors by the Ministry.
Seriously, how is this guy not a fan favorite yet?
No one ever really took poor Professor Sybill Trelawney seriously; even Dumbledore didn’t at first. Although she was the great-great granddaughter of a famous psychic, Sybill didn’t quite live up to her ancestor’s reputation. When she applied for the post of Divination Professor, Dumbledore wasn’t convinced of her skills until she had a spontaneous vision that turned out to be what was arguably the most important vision up until that point: the Prophecy of Harry Potter.
You’d think that prophecy would have earned her some respect, but throughout her time at Hogwarts, most of the students and teachers basically regarded her as a joke. Even the stern Professor McGonagall stated that Sybill predicted the death of a student every year, but none had ever died. Despite that, she did make a second prophecy in front of Harry about Peter Pettigrew returning to Voldemort’s side, which he did indeed do. She also wins the award for most creative way to attack a Death Eater: dropping her crystal balls on their heads.
Sirius Black’s younger brother, Regulus was the favorite in his family for following their pure-blood ideologies and sacred traditions. As such, Regulus became an admirer of Lord Voldemort’s during the First Wizarding War and became a Death Eater at the age of sixteen, much like Draco Malfoy. Unlike the Malfoys, however, the Blacks treated their house-elf with respect, making him extremely loyal to their family.
After Voldemort tried to use and throw away their house-elf, Kreacher, while testing out the defenses of his locket horcrux at the cave where it was hidden, Regulus turned his back on the Dark Lord. Regulus made Kreacher tell him where the cave was, replaced the locket with a fake he had made, and gave his life in order to ensure the horcrux, and ultimately Lord Voldemort, would be destroyed. If it hadn’t been for him, and the note he left in the locket, Harry, Ron, and Hermione would have never been able to successfully destroy all the horcruxes and kill Voldemort once and for all.
Like most middle children, Aberforth Dumbledore was largely underestimated by his family. He constantly lived in the shadow of Albus and was forced to care for his younger sister Ariana after their mother died. Considering Aberforth got the short end of the stick in life, he was surprisingly brave, albeit hot-headed and bitter as well.
Aberforth was instrumental in assisting Harry, Ron, and Hermione during their hunt for Voldemort’s Horcruxes, saving them from Death Eaters on more than one occasion and allowing his pub to act as a thoroughfare in and out of Hogwarts. He was also an original Order of the Phoenix member and fought during the Battle of Hogwarts.
It’s relatively well known that he got into a three-way duel with his brother and Gellert Grindelwald, but the details of the duel, aside from Ariana accidentally getting killed, have largely remained a mystery. However, something can be said for his skill-level since he engaged two of the most powerful wizards of all time and lived to tell the tale. Maybe we’ll finally get to a see a canon version of this fight in one of the Fantastic Beasts films, and this pretty fantastic fan film depiction can hold you over in the meantime.
Apparently, only Hermione realized the true value of a house-elf. Speaking of Kreacher, she told Harry, “he's loyal to people who are kind to him… I've said all along that wizards would pay for how they treat house-elves.” Even Voldemort never considered the fierce loyalty and special magic of a house-elf as a threat, but he was (fortunately) mistaken. Voldemort borrowed Kreacher from Regulus to hide the locket Horcrux, but never intended to return him, since he might pass along the information to his master. House-elves, however, can apparate where wizards cannot, allowing Kreacher to return home and recount what happened (causing Regulus to defect from the Death Eaters).
Kreacher’s loyalty to the Black family was so great that he remained at 12 Grimmauld Place despite the fact that no one lived there anymore and kept the Horcrux locket safe—which, Regulus had entrusted to him—until Mundungus Fletcher stole it. After Harry gave him the fake locket, which he considered a family heirloom, Kreacher was remarkably kinder towards Harry and the Order of the Phoenix. In his last act of bravery, he even led the house-elves of Hogwarts into battle, foiling Voldemort once again in both Regulus and Harry’s names.
What other Harry Potter characters do you believe are highly underrated? Let us know in the comments.