Aside from the unpleasant Muggle relatives of a certain boy wizard, very few Muggles are given a look-in the Harry Potter universe (after all, this was a story about magic)! However, here are the ones we did meet, some unpleasant, and some just a bit baffled, to be honest.
You’ll also notice we’ve ranked these from our least-favourites to decidedly better ones.
(Special shoutout to Jacob Kowalski, by the way - who went on to give outstanding No-Maj representation in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.)
Aunt Marge was as if Uncle Vernon needed to get all of his vitriol towards Harry out in one short evening. Vernon’s sister was rude, unnecessarily cruel, and downright unpleasant. We will never say that anyone deserves to be blown up by their nephew, but this could be the one exception. After all, not even Vernon or Petunia had their dog chase Harry up a tree.
Probably the two Muggles we know the best in the series, and nothing good came of it. The Dursleys of number four, Privet Drive (‘perfectly normal, thank you very much’), were stuck in their ways, neglectful and ignorant, and we’re only sorry that poor old Harry had to live with them for as long as he did. While Vernon always seemed ruthlessly stubborn about his views on magic, Petunia’s struggles with her witch sister Lily seemed a little more complex. We even learnt that she wrote to Albus Dumbledore asking if she could go to Hogwarts too, when Lily got her letter as a child. We soon discovered that there was a bit more of a reason for Petunia’s resentfulness towards Harry than met the eye.
When all was said and done, however, the Dursleys were still categorically awful. They did have a nice garden though. Beautiful hydrangeas.
Rich, handsome and privileged, Tom Riddle Sr may not have deserved to be magically bewitched by Merope Gaunt, but he didn’t exactly seem like a nice bloke, either.
Not only did he parent one of the most evil wizards known to wizardkind (by the way, thanks a lot, Tom), he was like a contemptuous, self-righteous young man who treated the Gaunt family with nothing but open hostility and disdain (before being placed under a probable love potion by Merope, of course). Then, when the potion was lifted, he felt no sense of duty whatsoever to help her out. Of course, this is a very ambiguous area since she had bewitched him to be with her, but if he had just found her a safe place to stay, it could have saved her life.
‘Good Lord, you’re right!’ said the man’s voice. ‘That’ll be the son, I told you he’s not right in the head. Don’t look at it, Cecilia, darling.’
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Cecilia was Tom Riddle Sr’s girlfriend before Merope got that cauldron full of hot, strong love brewing, and was just as unpleasant as he was regarding clearing the old Gaunt land. Perhaps she even deserved having her boyfriend ensnared in a love potion and driven away (okay, she definitely didn’t, but you could have been nicer, Cecilia)!
All Mr and Mrs Mason really did was go around to an employee’s house for some dinner, and they probably didn’t deserve desserts being dropped on their heads by a misguidedly helpful house-elf. But spending the evening at the Dursleys’ probably meant that Mr and Mrs Mason liked them, and that says everything you need to know about them.
This was the pair who reported that they had seen a flying Ford Anglia making its way towards a certain wizarding school. Honestly, Hetty and Angus, couldn’t you have just put it down to the weather, or your eyes playing tricks on you? You got our heroes into so much trouble!
After the Riddle family were murdered, naturally the village got together at the local pub and decided that Frank Bryce was the man behind the crimes. The cook, landlord, a woman called Dot and a few other unnamed Muggles determined that he was the only man who could have done the deed. In fact, only one woman defended him, saying he had suffered a ‘hard war’. Thank you, kind Muggle lady. You deserve to be higher on this list. Dot, you stay where you are!
Honestly, how many young witches and wizards had probably asked this guard about Hogwarts at that station? How many people must the guard have spotted wandering through with owls and broomsticks? And yet he still called Harry a time-waster after he asked him about the eleven o’clock train. Come on man, work it out already!
He would have had a considerably worse spot on this list should it have been written before Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, but Dudley’s encounter with Dementors made him progress from a cruel bully to a concerned cousin. Of course, Dudley and Harry would never be best friends, but their redemptive handshake was quite a significant character progression for Dudders.
Although the Prime Minister believed that the wizarding world was real, he really didn’t want anything to do with it. Instead, he was shoehorned into dealing with Cornelius Fudge and Rufus Scrimgeour, sort of how the Dursleys furiously accepted taking care of Harry as a baby. Although the Prime Minister was surely a very decent person, we think it’s fair to say that he buried his head in the sand about the wizarding world, and if he had it his way, he wouldn’t have wanted to know anything at all.
For a time he had tried to convince himself that Fudge had indeed been a hallucination brought on by lack of sleep during his gruelling election campaign. In a vain attempt to rid himself of all reminders of this uncomfortable encounter, he had given the gerbil to his delighted niece and instructed his Private Secretary to take down the portrait of the ugly little man who had announced Fudge’s arrival. To the Prime Minister’s dismay, however, the portrait had proved impossible to remove.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
Pity poor Mr Roberts, the campsite owner at the Quidditch World Cup, who must have had a very confusing summer when suddenly hundreds, if not thousands, of randomly dressed people who all seem to know each other showed up. The chap had to be constantly Obliviated thanks to his suspicions about his new guests, and probably came out of the whole thing pretty dazed. The poor guy was just trying to do his job.
‘You’re not the first one who’s had trouble with money,’ said Mr Roberts, scrutinising Mr Weasley closely. ‘I had two try and pay me with great gold coins the size of hubcaps ten minutes ago.’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Mrs Cole ran the orphanage where Tom Riddle Jr grew up, and despite being deeply unnerved by Tom and his actions regarding the other children, she was readily suspicious of Dumbledore’s intentions before he used magic to convince her otherwise. She also liked a gin. Quite the lady, in our opinion!
There was no doubt that Mrs Cole was an inconveniently sharp woman. Apparently Dumbledore thought so too, for Harry now saw him slip his wand out of the pocket of his velvet suit, at the same time picking up a piece of perfectly blank paper from Mrs Cole’s desktop.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
It was a shame that we didn’t see more of the Granger parents. But from the glimpses we do get, we know that they were polite, kind, hardworking dentists who were very supportive of Hermione’s magical talents and seemed quite happy to get stuck into the wizarding world. Even when Arthur Weasley freaked out about their mere existence, they seemed to react to the situation with the same poise we know and love within Hermione.
Frank, if you were a wizard, you would have been in Gryffindor. After fighting in the war, Frank just wanted a quiet life of gardening and solitude. It seemed hardly fair that he was accused of murdering the Riddle family, and even less so that he himself was murdered by the man who originally did the job – Voldemort. However, Frank stood his ground despite being clueless about magic, and his echo even helped Harry to fight Voldemort following his resurrection.
‘He was a real wizard, then?’ the old man said, his eyes on Voldemort. ‘Killed me, that one did... you fight him, boy...’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire