Harry Potter is, and forever will be, the boy who lived and saved the overall Wizarding World not once, but twice from the dreaded Voldemort. Hogwarts' future wouldn't be possible without him, but let's be honest, he had a great deal of help along the way. Not just from Dumbledore and other adults, either, but from his fellow talented Hogwarts students.
In truth, Harry is a pretty mediocre wizard, and once Voldemort is removed from the equation, it's pretty easy to see Harry had many classmates over the years who were much more impressive wizards that possibly deserved to have their names anchoring the franchise. Here's some of the more notable Hogwarts students who could definitely take down Harry (and possibly Voldemort?) in a wizarding duel.
Who didn't see this one coming? Without Emma Watson's Hermione as part of the squad, Harry and Ron would have been dead several times over throughout the course of this franchise. She's managed to keep those two and herself alive thanks to her extensive knowledge of magic, and a level of intelligence and maturity often above her typical age range. School was so easy for her, she literally used a device to go back and take more classes a day!
If there was a spell used that wasn't the Patronus or a disarming spell in these adventures, chances are high that it came from Hermione. Plus, let's remember she was just as entangled in the drama as Harry, and yet maintained a pretty stellar academic record. She could've easily been the hero of this story, though she still probably would've needed Harry and Ron's recklessness to help push her into certain situations.
Some people would like to make the argument that Harry's skills in the Tri-Wizard Tournament helped legitimize him as a competent wizard. Let's remember though, Mad Eye Moody rigged it for Harry to be in the competition to begin with, and then snuck around and continued to help Harry throughout. Even after all that collusion, Robert Pattinson's Cedric Diggory almost won the Cup, but ended up helping Harry so they could grab it together.
Cedric Diggory was the better man, he even had Cho Chang's heart! His only mistake was winning the Tri-Wizard Cup. Now compare that to the multitude of mistakes Harry that made throughout the competition, which various individuals were already holding his hand through. R.I.P. Cedric. The wrong kid might have died that day.
Though really understated in the movies, it's pretty impressive how advanced Luna Lovegood is as a witch, given her age. She's able to make a fully formed Patronus, which can be a challenging feat for even adult wizards. She's not the only one who could do this, of course, but it should be noted that Luna was a full year behind Harry, Hermione and the others when she learned.
Luna also had a certain type of fearless nature, or perhaps she was just numb because she was all too familiar with death. Luna was always a bit strange, to be sure, but that ended up making her a rather fearless member of the group next to Ginny and Hermoine, fueling her to take on Bellatrix LeStrange. Additionally, she helped Harry retrieve Rowena Ravenclaw's Diadem, so by all counts, she was an essential element in Harry beating Voldemort.
Fred & George Weasley
To be completely fair, Fred and George Weasley should have been better wizards than Harry throughout a bulk of the series. The education system doesn't always come through, though, and this magical world has its share of wizards who boast strengths in other areas that aren't straight-up magic use. That wasn't the case with the Weasleys, though, who used their exceptional command of magic to pull off some crazy pranks throughout the Harry Potter series.
These pranks spawned into a successful business venture, but that wasn't their biggest pro. Fred and George used their command of magic and pranks to put Dolores Umbridge through hell and back during her year as Headmaster of Hogwarts, and their chicanery proved to be of some real use to Harry and friends in the final leg of the Harry Potter film. Harry couldn't have gotten the job done without both their help, and Fred's noble sacrifice on his behalf.
Padma was shown to be a capable wizard several throughout the series, and was a noted member of Dumbledore's Army alongside her sister. The character's low profile also kept her out of trouble, unlike most of Harry's allies who often ended up in harm's way when carrying him through adventures. Padma was also a Prefect in the books, though that status was presumably erased in the movies when she was placed in Gryffindor with her sister, as opposed to Ravenclaw.
The only real mistake anyone can say that Padma made throughout the Harry Potter series is that she allowed herself to be convinced to escort Ron to the Yule Ball. That said, I guess there had to be some chemistry there, since the two get married in the alternate reality created for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. And remember, that's canon, since J.K. Rowling said so!
Though he was a real jerk to Harry Potter and his friends throughout the series, and one who definitely got duped by the gang a handful of times, it's worth noting that Draco Malfoy was a pretty good student at Hogwarts. There are even indicators that he was the second most successful student in the kid's grade level, behind only Hermoine Granger, of course. But even if he wasn't as high up on the school scale, Draco is still plenty clever compared to Harry.
It's worth considering what Draco would have been capable of had his parents not been Death Eaters, as well as generally awful people. Of course, that immense pressure may have been a driving factor for Draco to be as skilled as he was in some of his studies, even if it was only an effort to get the love and approval that his parents would never fully grant him. It's no wonder he took all that anger out on Harry, especially after that scandalous point reconfiguration for the House Cup their first year!
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Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.
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