It’s no secret to hardcore Potterheads that the magical world of Harry Potter is full of more than whimsy and wonder. Sure, there are spells, dragons, invisible skeleton horses, infatuation potions, socialized vampires, and plenty of Peeves. But that’s not all. There are bitter adults who never got over childhood disappointments, sentimental teachers who put happiness over functionality, and confused teens who are truly terrible at communicating.
We thought it would be fun to take a look at some of the most dysfunctional relationships in the Potterverse. This list will not be a collection of characters who don’t get along. These might be familial relationships in conflict, romances that didn’t (or shouldn’t) work out, terrible coworkers or bosses, and even close friendships that weren’t all they seemed. What these relationships have in common is the idea that they should work. Mothers aren’t supposed to magic their kid’s names out of the family tree, sisters should care if their sibling’s son is facing an early death, and by Merlin’s beard—you should be able to tell someone you’re a witch or wizard BEFORE you marry them.
Note: This list contains spoilers for all existing Potterverse movies, books, tie-ins, stage plays, and anything else that is canon, including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
20. Ron & Hermione (the early years)
Readers who accept “19 Years Later” as canon, (we’re aware that some don’t) know that Ron and Hermione eventually get married and have a couple of kids. They get along so well that the couple uses a blended name. The Granger-Weasley family gets on famously now. But that was very much not the case when they were students.
Before Hermione was Ron’s friend, he called her a “nightmare” and opined that her habit of correcting people is why she “hasn’t got any friends.” Jumping ahead to 4th year, it doesn’t seem to occur to Ron that Hermione is a girl, let alone a viable date to the Yule Ball—until he’s totally desperate. By that time, Hermione had been asked at least twice. Then Ron had the nerve to tell Harry that Hermione must have been lying about having a date at all. At the same time, Hermione’s jealousy when Ron was dating Lavender Brown was the stuff of legend. You can’t claim the moral high ground after you send a flock of birds at someone’s head. Dating Cormac to make Ron envious? Ew! We’ll forgive Ron for his disappearance during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, mostly because the ball of light in his heart entranced us.
19. Mr. & Mrs. Hagrid
We at Screen Rant debated about whether to include Hagrid’s parents here or Seamus Finnegan’s. After all, Seamus’ mom kept her magical abilities from her husband until after they were married. Pretty big secret, no? Maybe the Statute of Secrecy requires this, but…damn. Ultimately, we decided that Fridwulfa’s actions earned Hagrid’s parents a place on our list.
Hagrid’s father, who is never given a first name, is short even by human standards. Nevertheless, he married and fathered a child with the giantess, who left little Rubeus and his father shortly after his birth. Giants have violent impulses, so we could argue that she left her family to keep from hurting them. At the same time, how could she expect her tiny husband to raise a child who was twice his size by the time he was six? We can’t answer that, but what we do know is that before she died, Fridwulfa had another son with a giant. Hagrid’s half-brother, Grawp, has a docile side that makes us curious about what kind of woman Fridwulfa was. Regardless, it seems that the Hagrid’s relationship was doomed to failure even before they could agree on a bed.