As the Harry Potter saga reaches the end of its now 14 year crusade (from the release of the first novel), the time has come for the ultimate triumph of Harry Potter and his loyal sidekicks Ron and Hermione over the greatest evil their world has ever known, Lord Voldemort. It's been a long journey, for them as well as us, and you likely have many moments stored in your vast, Potter-filled mind to reach for when fondly recalling favorite times shared with the beloved trio. “Remember when they fought the death eaters in the cafe?!” you might say. Or maybe, “Seriously, how brave was Ron at age 11 when he sacrificed himself to the chess game?”
But what about everyone else? Harry, Ron, and Hermione aren't the only people in this story. Hogwarts is rife with complex characters who are too often forgotten in their shadow. What about loveable Mr. Weasley, or Neville Longbottom who turns out to be as important to the story as Harry Potter himself. Before it all ends, they deserve to get their due. These are our favorite Harry Potter moments from the other characters, moments which let someone besides Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley, or that famous Mr. Harry Potter shine. Your turn Neville.
Ten Points to Neville Longbottom in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was rife with adventure the likes of which not just any 11-year-old would take on. Three-headed dogs, baby dragons, and standing up for yourself under immense pressure from your friends to do as they say. Our earliest look at the bravery of Neville Longbottom comes as he stands in the way of a rule-breaking trio of adventurers who seem hell-bent on losing all of Gryffindor's House Cup points and permanently placing them all on Snape's naughty-list. Although our favorite frizzle-haired know-it-all expertly delivers a well-placed Petrificus Totalus charm, turning Neville effectively into a log, his courage does not go unrecognized.
During the final celebration of the year, Professor Dumbledore distributes bonus points to Harry, Ron and Hermione for defeating Quirrel, the giant chess game, and the Devil's snare respectively. The house points between Slytherin and Gryffindor sit tied, so the wise professor delivers the most heart-warming line of the film, “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to your enemies, but a great deal more to stand up to your friends. I award ten points... to Neville Longbottom.” Those ten points of course gave Gryffindor the House Cup, but gave Neville something he'll never forget: validation for doing what he felt was right in his heart, and the courage to stand tall against adversity from either friend or foe.
In light of what's to come for Neville in the final film, it may be my favorite moment of the entire series.
Meet Arthur Weasley in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets It's impossible to not love Arthur Weasley, though in the grand scheme of things he's gifted with very little screen time. As member of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts division at the Ministry of Magic, Mr. Weasley has developed a fondness for our non-magic methods of living our lives, and it shines brightly when we first meet him.
Tucking in to breakfast after a long night of work, Mr. Weasley sees Harry at the table and instead of punishing the boys for flying the enchanted Ford Anglia to Surrey, he just wants to know how the car handled, much to the chagrin of Mrs. Weasley. This rightly explains where the Weasley twins' imagination and disregard for the rules comes from. Arthur then proceeds to openly question Harry about the function of a rubber duck, which is not only hilarious, but endears you to Mr. Weasley for the rest of the series.
What's not to love?
Hagrid Returns from Azkaban in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Hagrid often gets a raw deal. When he was in school, a young Tom Riddle pinned him with opening the Chamber of Secrets to hide the fact that he himself was controlling the Basilisk, the very one which killed Moaning Myrtle. It was because of that false conviction that Hagrid was kicked out of Hogwarts never to finish his wizard studies. It's only by the grace of Dumbledore that he's even still allowed on the grounds, and although he's not allowed a wand, there sure is a suspicious amount of magic in his umbrella.
The Hogwarts School game keeper is sent away to Azkaban in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets for allegedly re-opening the Chamber and setting it to kill more witches and wizards that aren't what the Malfoys would call “pure blood”. In the final moment before he is whisked away by Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge and professional trout sniffer Lucious Malfoy, Hagrid gives the Potter trio the clue they need to continue on their quest not only to clear Hagrid's name but also find the true heir of Slytherin.
Of course the gang saves the day, and, again, during the school's final banquet, Hagrid triumphantly pushes through the double doors into the Great Hall to the silenced amazement of everyone in the room. Once everyone recognizes what they're seeing, a mad rush of applause and hugs are sent his way, and when he starts to tear up at the love the students have for him, it's hard to not start tearing up yourself.
Severus Snape Protects the Trio from Lupin in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban This list was made for scene-stealing Snape, even though so much of his on screen life seems to revolve around the Potter trio. Here though, Snape may be with Harry, but he's clearly the star.
Throughout the franchise we're all lead to believe that Snape is one of the bad guys, and that Dumbledore's judgement of him is off. But how can we be sure? In Prisoner of Azkaban, the kids find themselves in a precarious situation at the Shrieking Shack, in which Harry blasts Snape with a spell knocking him flat on his ass. When Severus eventually wakes up and takes the secret passage back to the Whomping Willow, he finds his assailant and begins scolding him, but it's not long before he sees the werewolf behind him descending on the kids.
This is where the small moment happens. Instead of willingly feeding the kids to the transformed Lupin like you might expect Snape to do, he forces the children behind him thus placing himself between them and the rageful beast. This isn't a magnificent moment, but it gives us brief hope that Snape isn't playing for the dark side, and is in fact protecting Harry from the evils that are out to get him.
Is... Is That A Student?! Draco Malfoy In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Sure, there are a lot of people out there who like Draco Malfoy as a character, but there's no denying he's a sniveling weasel whose sole purpose in life is making our scarred hero look like a fool. Fortunately for us, he usually finds ways to make a fool of himself, including in this exchange in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Our boy Potter defends himself after some unkind words are thrown his way from Malfoy and he doesn't take too kindly to it. After reaching for his wand to hex Harry while his back is turned, a helpful Professor Moody snipes the villain with a transfiguration charm turning Draco into something that more resembles his personality--a ferret.
This moment is quickly interrupted by the incomparable Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall whose face when she realizes Malfoy has been turned into a dancing ferret is worth price of admission alone. Not to mention Moody's well timed wink, and a surprised Crabbe when the ferret gets a little too close for comfort. Watch it happen in the video below:
Fred and George Make an Exit in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Everyone loves a good jokester, and in Potter they come in pairs. Fred and George Weasley have never really been the learning type and in their seventh year they decide to pursue their dream of opening Weasley's Wizard Wheezes and leave the school mid-year. But they don't just walk out the front door.
While the struggling fifth years toil over their O.W.L.s, lorded over by the tyrannical Delores Umbridge, silence deafens them until Fred and George soar into the room on their brooms, dropping countless homemade fireworks, one of which morphs into a dragon and chases the dreadful Umbridge down, turning her into a charbroiled pink fuzz ball. This is all before they soar off into the afternoon sky through a big W of fireworks.
This sort of triumphant exodus from school is the enormous middle finger so many daydreaming students wish they could lift at their oppressive teachers. We've always loved Fred, George, and their outstanding trickery, but this one scene gives hope to so many that one day maybe they can storm out of school and not see the consequences of not having a high school diploma.
Dumbledore and Voldemort Do Battle in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix In Order of the Phoenix, everything thing seems like it's going to come to a head. What with Potter and his crew in the same building as Voldemort, the only logical thing that can happen is a massive battle, right? Well, apart from the battle taking place with the kids and the death eaters, there's another even greater battle taking place between the two most powerful wizards alive--Dumbledore and Voldemort.
This battle puts all other battles in the series (so far) to shame. Not only is it one of the biggest displays of special effects the franchise had seen, but just seeing the two of them go one on one is wholly epic. Never throughout the course of the series do we ever see spells of this magnitude being pulled off and the effects team should have seriously been deified for how brilliant it all looks.
Ralph Feinnes' intensity will give you chills when he breathes life into a fiery serpent and shatters seven stories of glass seemingly with a single shout. The scene simply can't be described in words. You have to watch.
Dumbledore Meets a Young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Since Chamber of Secrets, we've known that Voldemort was a cunning, evil being from a very young age, but we don't really find out how young until The Half-Blood Prince. When a much younger Dumbledore starts hearing stories about a young boy in an orphanage controlling people, hurting them, with just his thoughts, he goes to investigate and what he meets is the most evil wizard that anyone would ever cross.
The boy Riddle, played by Ralph Feinnes' own nephew, questions and doubts Dumbledore at every turn regarding the asylum he's being offered at Hogwarts, until he asks Dumbledore to prove himself a wizard. The professor wastes no time in igniting an armoire in the corner behind him, much to the devilish wonder of Riddle. The joy in Tom's face when he sees the way magic can be controlled is the first real sign that Riddle would become the embodiment of evil. It's a scene you won't soon forget.
George Feels Saint-Like in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Fred and George are a pile of laughs always looking for the next best way to get people giggling. Even in the most serious of situations they still manage to be the ones who keep things light.
When the tension is at its highest at the beginning of Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Mrs. Weasley waits patiently for her husband and sons to return with Harry. George returns having taken a curse to the head that effectively removed his ear and prevented any magical healing, so he's stuck bleeding earless on the couch. When Fred returns he checks on his twin asking, “How you feeling, Georgie?” to which George replies, “Saint-like.”
Huh? Fred and the audience (those who hadn't read the book at least) are left bewildered until George says, “Saint-like...I'm hole-y” and the crowd goes wild. Sans ear, George still manages to be the comic relief we've all come to know and love, despite Fred's joking disapproval.
Dobby Saves the Day in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Dobby has been criminally under-used in the Harry Potter films. While he gets many great moments in the novels, thanks to that floppy eared git, Jar-Jar Binks, too many people drew comparisons and he was unceremoniously dropped from most of the movies. That all changed for his pivotal role as a rescuer in Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Harry and Ron are trapped at Malfoy manor along with Olivander, Luna and Hermione who is being tortured upstairs. Seemingly all hope is lost until the big-eyed Dobby apparates into the room, plainly stating when asked about if he's able to apparate on the grounds, “Of course...I'm an elf.” The first part of the plan is to get the crew out of the basement, next get Hermione and be off. Plan A goes well, and while a wand battle comes to a halt with Bellatrix holding a knife to Hermione's throat, silence looms as Dobby unscrews the latch holding the chandelier above Bellatrix' head.
When it drops, Narcissa Malfoy tries to stop the escape but her wand is readily snatched by the quick, elfish magic of Dobby. The triumph of Dobby reaches its peak when Bellatrix screams, “You dare you defy your masters?!” and Dobby replies, “Dobby has no master. Dobby is a free elf and he has come to save his friends.”
That moment of triumph doesn't last. Moment later the audience is left in a quivering, weeping wreck as Dobby makes the ultimate sacrifice for his friends. Dobby is a hero, and his moment of glory turns everything around for the trio.
This list is far from complete. Add to it by suggesting your own, favorite, non-trio moments in the comments section below.