As a coming of age story, Harry Potter runs into its fair share of adorable and cringe-worthy couples. Many of us felt this all too well during our first screenings of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. But relationships are a normal part of life and the books do a pretty good job of portraying the ups and downs. Some people work really well together, while some work out so poorly that they unintentionally cause a massive rift in the wizarding community. Talk about a messy breakup.
For the most part, we’ll be focusing solely on characters mentioned or existing in the main Harry Potter franchise. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is not included. So here are the 5 best and 5 worst relationships in Harry Potter.
10 WORST: Harry Potter & Ginny Weasley
Sorry to anyone who loves these two together, all power to you! But there’s still something weird about dating your best friend’s sister who had a crush on you when you were 12 years old. High school sweethearts are one thing, but middle school? Very few people end up marrying their middle school crush.
But the biggest thing going for these two is the mutual respect that’s built up over the series. Maybe it’s not the pairing we were hoping for or the one that felt the most natural, but Ginny comes into her own as the books go on. She’s not the meek little girl we know from Chamber of Secrets. Ginny is capable, fierce, and brave, living up to the Weasley name. The issue is we don’t get a lot of time with seeing her interact with Harry, especially by the time Deathly Hallows rolls around.
Simply put, Harry and Ginny probably work well together, but we were never shown their chemistry as much as other characters.
9 BEST: Fleur Delacour & Bill Weasley
This is one of the weirder ones given Fleur’s limited character development and how little we see of both her and Bill, but it's still one of the best. Bill’s out of school and working by the time Harry’s story starts. Fleur is introduced in Goblet of Fire, but not in a particularly flattering way. Given that she’s part Veela, Fleur already has a natural inclination towards vanity.
While we don’t know exactly what went on behind the scenes, something about Bill intrigued Fleur and vice versa. But from what snippets we get of them together prior to the wedding, it seems they’ve established a good relationship and make each other better people. Fleur’s considerably less vain when we meet her again (and proves that she doesn't care about Bill's appearance) and while we already knew her as a skilled witch, she goes above and beyond by helping the Order of the Phoenix in the Battle of the Seven Potters. She made a choice to stand by Bill and his morals, most likely adopting them as her own, and didn’t bail halfway through like a certain Mundungus Fletcher.
8 WORST: Petunia & Vernon Dursley
Petunia and Vernon are a special kind of despicable, given their mutual encouragement of legitimately emotionally abusing Harry. And Dudley grows up as a spoiled brat who continually gets his comeuppance... well, until Half-Blood Prince.
As terrible as the Dursleys are, Harry needed Petunia to complete his mother’s protection spell. And as jealous and angry as Petunia continues to be at Lily, she took Harry in and understood why and what she was doing. But outside of how they treat Harry, they never got a divorce or actually argued about anything beyond Harry. Maybe misery loves company, but Petunia and Vernon may still genuinely love each other, and they persevered through all the magical nonsense that comes with having a young wizard in the house.
7 BEST: Ron Weasley & Hermione Granger
On the surface, it was a nice trope inversion since by all means, Harry should’ve ended up with Hermione. But it’s charming that Ron and Hermione ultimately wound up together. It makes way more sense when we think of the book version of these characters. Ron is a very skilled wizard and way more intelligent than the movies often portray him. Emotionally intelligent? That’s another story. Even so, Ron was always a loyal friend, the Hufflepuff of the group, and that nature is what compliments Hermione so much.
Is it everyone’s OTP? No. Can we appreciate it for what it is given that both Ron and Hermione challenge and better each other? Definitely.
6 WORST: Albus Dumbledore & Gellert Grindelwald
This will be the only Fantastic Beasts related pairing, but it applies enough to the overall story of Harry Potter that it counts. J.K. Rowling confirmed the two had a very intense relationship and more likely than not did the funky Slytherin. Really makes you think about the blood pact in a new way.
Ultimately, this relationship doesn’t add a lot to the franchise. Even in The Crimes of Grindelwald, the subtext was lost on a lot of viewers. And considering one of only two canonically gay characters in the entire franchise created Voldemort’s xenophobic foundation... yeah, that’s not fantastic. We didn’t ask for this.
5 BEST: Nymphadora Tonks & Remus Lupin
How could you not like these two? They’re one of the pairs that we never really see too much together, but their interactions speak for themselves. Tonks and Lupin make a fearsome pair until their untimely demise during the Battle of Hogwarts. And let’s be real, we all cried when it happened.
They take their place as one of the most tragic couples, but their sacrifice wasn’t in vain. And they made the best out of what little time they had together. Doesn’t make it any easier to watch Deathly Hallows Part 2 when the camera slowly pans over their bodies, hands touching. Ouch.
4 WORST: Ron Weasley & Lavender Brown
There’s nothing wrong with having relationships with different people. Most of the time, both people learn something about both each other and themselves and if they don’t click? That’s fine. That’s how life works.
But everything about Ron and Lavender was pretty cringe-y, especially the way Ron occasionally used his relationship with Lavender to make Hermione jealous. We all knew it wasn’t going to last, which is fine, but something about the entire thing didn’t feel genuine.
3 BEST: James & Lily Potter
When a love is powerful enough that your baby boy repels and defeats a loveless evil like Voldemort, you deserve at least 75% of the credit. James and Lily are the right example of the high school sweethearts. They married at 18, but grew with each other in a way that complimented them.
Unfortunately, we’re not really shown their love beyond the sacrifice they made for Harry. We’re told over and over again, by various characters, that they loved each other and wanted the best for Harry. That’s all well and good and we should believe that, but it would’ve been nice to see a conversation between them at least once.
2 WORST: Tom Riddle Sr. & Merope Gaunt
Believe it or not, the big bad He Who Must Not Be Named is a half-blood. Merope’s history is very briefly touched on in the books, but the Pottermore team thankfully gave us all the information we need.
Merope Gaunt was a descendant of Salazar Slytherin and among “The Sacred Twenty-Eight” pure-blood wizarding families. Despite her family’s claim to fame, she grew up in poverty, was abused by her father, and ultimately fell in love with a Muggle: Tom Riddle Sr.
Merope enchanted him and only when she became pregnant did she lift the enchantment. Understandably, Riddle Sr. freaked and ran as soon as he could. Tom Marvolo Riddle (aka Voldemort), was conceived with no love and became the heartless, noseless terror we know from the books.
1 BEST: Molly & Arthur Weasley
There’s literally nothing wrong with these two and every time you read about them in the books or see them on screen, it’s always a delight. They bicker like a loving married couple. They welcome anyone and everyone into the family, like Harry and Hermione, despite being poor in the eyes of the wizarding community.
There’s so much to love about them and not enough time to articulate it, but Molly and Arthur are #goals. All of their children learned the best life lessons from them (except maybe Percy, but he’s Percy). They’re basically an aged, fine wine version of Ron and Hermione.