Harry Potter’s life changed forever the night that Voldemort descended upon his family’s home and murdered his parents. Having spent his first eleven years with his miserable aunt and uncle, Harry is surprised to find out that he has so many people in the Wizarding World that both love and would do anything to protect him.
Here are our top 7 parental figures in Harry’s life.
7. Severus Snape
From the first moment he sees him at Hogwarts, Harry neither likes nor trusts Severus Snape. Harry regularly suspects that Snape is up to something nefarious. The professor’s apparent disdain and taunting of the young Gryffindor does little to assuage Harry’s dislike of him. Snape all but seals his fate as a man worthy of Harry’s hatred when he kills Dumbledore in front of Harry.
It is only as Snape lays dying after being attacked by Nagini and passes his memories on that Harry learns the truth. Harry learns that Snape cared deeply for his mother, and despite how he treated Harry, he was always trying to protect him to honor Harry’s mother. Harry not only forgives Snape for their relationship fraught with misunderstandings, but also goes on to honor Snape by making Severus his youngest son’s middle name.
6. Minerva McGonagall
Though she might appear stern at first glance, Minerva McGonagall has always expressed a great deal of concern for Harry’s well-being, ever since the moment she laid eyes on him following his parents’ deaths. When Harry is sorted into Gryffindor, McGonagall quickly recruits him onto the Quidditch team even though his informal tryout was the result of rule-breaking. However, when Harry breaks serious rules that compromise his safety, he receives consequences like the rest of his schoolmates.
In this way, McGonagall is likely responsible for any humility that Harry has. Despite her sometimes aloof demeanor, she clearly cares greatly for her student. She gifts Harry a Nimbus 2000 when he makes the Quidditch team and jumps between him and Snape when Harry confronts his former potions master before the Battle of Hogwarts.
5. Sirius Black
Harry learns of Sirius Black in his third year at Hogwarts. He finds out that the man was his godfather and had betrayed his parents to Voldemort. It is only when Harry meets Sirius face-to-face in his human form that he learns Sirius had been wrongly convicted. Harry and Hermione save Sirius from a gruesome end and Sirius expresses hope that one day Harry can come live with him.
Over the next couple years, Harry gets to see Sirius several more times as the hope to clear his name remains. Their time together is cut short, however, when Sirius is murdered by Bellatrix Lestrange right before Harry’s eyes. Sirius had an immediate fondness for Harry thanks to his close relationship with James Potter and treated Harry like an adult during the war, which was something Harry appreciated despite others’ disagreement in the matter.
4. Remus Lupin
Remus Lupin and Harry officially meet one another on the Hogwarts Express after Harry’s first run in with a Dementor. From that moment onward, Lupin expertly balances being both a protector and teacher for Harry. He fiercely tries to keep Harry safe when he believes that Harry could be out of his depth or forced to face a challenge prematurely.
On the other hand, Lupin also has faith in Harry’s abilities and treats him with a great deal of respect. Lupin takes time to patiently teach Harry the advanced Patronus charm so he can protect himself against Dementors. Lupin eventually gives his life in the Second Wizarding War and appears to Harry when he uses the Resurrection Stone, offering him guidance and gentleness one last time.
3. Albus Dumbledore
Serving as a primary role model and protector for Harry, Albus Dumbledore is one of the most influential adults in Harry’s life. In Harry’s younger years, he adds both levity and wisdom to the young wizard’s life. In one moment he tells him that it “does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live,” and in the very same breath, he laments eating an earwax flavored jellybean.
As Harry gets older, Dumbledore has faith in Harry when others don’t. He answers Harry’s questions respectfully and trusts him enough to bring him on a mission to claim a Horcrux. Dumbledore ultimately leads Harry to his destiny to face Voldemort and is the person Harry sees during his short stint in the afterlife. In both his life and his death, Dumbledore teaches Harry responsibility and selflessness.
2. Molly and Arthur Weasley
Harry first meets Molly Weasley at Platform 9 ¾, a warm and helpful presence when he was feeling very lost. After befriending her son Ron at school, Harry becomes an honorary member of the Weasley family. They have him spend time at the Burrow with the rest of their children, take him to Diagon Alley for back-to-school shopping, and include him on the family’s trip to the Quidditch World Cup.
Beyond the more traditional wizarding family moments, Molly and Arthur put their lives on the line to keep Harry safe and aid him in defeating Voldemort. Harry eventually becomes a true member of their family when he marries Ginny Weasley.
1. Rubeus Hagrid
The half-wizard, half-giant may not seem like the obvious choice to top the list, but Rubeus Hagrid had been a part of Harry’s life since he was just a baby. Hagrid is special to Harry because his affection and care was simply for Harry as a person. His care was not because of who Harry’s parents were or because of what Harry represented in the Wizarding War; he genuinely loved Harry for who he was.
From the night he carried baby Harry on his flying motorcycle to the Dursleys’ home, after the boy’s parents were murdered, Hagrid only wanted the best for the young wizard. Hagrid provided a safe place for Harry and his friends to visit and did whatever he could to keep him safe. He also became a confidante, advisor, and beloved friend for Harry during his years at Hogwarts. His love for Harry was always pure and unconditional.
Although Harry Potter spent much of his life wishing his parents were still alive, he was also fortunate to be surrounded by these adults. They each did what they could to give him the things his parents could not. They provided him with respect, protection, wisdom, and most importantly, love. James and Lily Potter would have been glad to know that these seven adults stepped into their son’s life to care for him the way they wish they could have.
Which parental figures in Harry’s life are your favorites? Keep the conversation going over at side.show/geekgroup, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!