The Harry Potter stories had so many brilliant characters who made an impression from the moment we met them. Whether it was a half-giant on a motorbike or a witch with violet hair, here are just a handful of our favourite first and last appearances…

Hermione Granger

Could Hermione’s introduction be anymore… well, Hermione? She burst into Harry and Ron’s carriage, took charge of the hunt for Trevor and then proceeded to inform them of just how much ‘light’ reading she had done…

He had just raised his wand when the compartment door slid open again. The toadless boy was back, but this time he had a girl with him. She was already wearing her new Hogwarts robes. ‘Has anyone seen a toad? Neville’s lost one,’ she said. She had a bossy sort of voice, lots of bushy brown hair and rather large front teeth. ‘We’ve already told him we haven’t seen it,’ said Ron, but the girl wasn’t listening, she was looking at the wand in his hand. ‘Oh, are you doing magic? Let’s see it, then.’ She sat down. Ron looked taken aback. ‘Er – all right.’ He cleared his throat. ‘Sunshine, daisies, butter mellow, Turn this stupid, fat rat yellow.’ He waved his wand, but nothing happened. Scabbers stayed grey and fast asleep. ‘Are you sure that’s a real spell?’ said the girl. ‘Well, it’s not very good, is it? I’ve tried a few simple spells just for practice and it’s all worked for me. Nobody in my family’s magic at all, it was ever such a surprise when I got my letter, but I was ever so pleased, of course, I mean, it’s the very best school of witchcraft there is, I’ve heard – I’ve learnt all our set books off by heart, of course, I just hope it will be enough – I’m Hermione Granger, by the way, who are you?’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Her final appearance was also very her – her amused exasperation at Ron was something we were very familiar with. We also enjoyed that we first met her on the Hogwarts Express and left her waving the next generation off to Hogwarts on the very same train…

‘So that’s little Scorpius,’ said Ron under his breath. ‘Make sure you beat him in every test, Rosie. Thank God you inherited your mother’s brains.’ ‘Ron, for heaven’s sake,’ said Hermione, half-stern, half- amused. ‘Don’t try to turn them against each other before they’ve even started school!’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Ron Weasley

Red hair and freckles? It could only be a Weasley. And while our first glimpse of Ron at King’s Cross Station was fleeting, we know just how integral to Harry’s story he became.

‘Hullo, dear,’ she said. ‘First time at Hogwarts? Ron’s new, too.’ She pointed at the last and youngest of her sons. He was tall, thin and gangling, with freckles, big hands and feet and a long nose.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Ron’s final line in the books also lived up to our expectations. As Ron waved his children off while standing on platform nine and three-quarters he made a quip that was so very Ron – and also such a dad joke.

‘Why are they all staring?’ demanded Albus, as he and Rose craned round to look at the other students. ‘Don’t let it worry you,’ said Ron. ‘It’s me. I’m extremely famous.’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Luna Lovegood

When Harry first met Luna, he seemed to be slightly wary of her and her kookiness – but he shouldn’t have been. Luna was one of the most delightful characters in the stories and the perfect mix of weird, wise and kind. The first description of her might not capture her kindness but it definitely demonstrated her wonderful wackiness.

‘Hi, Luna,’ said Ginny, ‘is it OK if we take these seats?’ The girl beside the window looked up. She had straggly, waist-length, dirty blonde hair, very pale eyebrows and protuberant eyes that gave her a permanently surprised look. Harry knew at once why Neville had chosen to pass this compartment by. The girl gave off an aura of distinct dottiness. Perhaps it was the fact that she had stuck her wand behind her left ear for safekeeping, or that she had chosen to wear a necklace of Butterbeer corks, or that she was reading a magazine upside-down. Her eyes ranged over Neville and came to rest on Harry. She nodded.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Though her last appearance demonstrated just how thoughtful she was. After defeating Voldemort, she knew that Harry needed a break and used her eccentric persona to help cause a distraction and allow Harry to do just that…

After a while, exhausted and drained, Harry found himself sitting on a bench beside Luna. ‘I’d want some peace and quiet, if it were me,’ she said. ‘I’d love some,’ he replied. ‘I’ll distract them all,’ she said. ‘Use your Cloak.’ And before he could say a word she had cried, ‘Oooh, look, a Blibbering Humdinger!’ and pointed out of the window. Everyone who heard looked around, and Harry slid the Cloak up over himself, and got to his feet.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Albus Dumbledore

If you were to think of what a wizard was, we are sure you would think of something very similar to this first description of Dumbledore. From his purple robes to his long beard tucked into his belt – we’re not sure any other character exuded quite as much magic as him…

A man appeared on the corner the cat had been watching, appeared so suddenly and silently you’d have thought he’d just popped out of the ground. The cat’s tail twitched and its eyes narrowed. Nothing like this man had ever been seen in Privet Drive. He was tall, thin and very old, judging by the silver of his hair and beard, which were both long enough to tuck into his belt. He was wearing long robes, a purple cloak which swept the ground and high-heeled, buckled boots. His blue eyes were light, bright and sparkling behind half-moon spectacles and his nose was very long and crooked, as though it had been broken at least twice. This man’s name was Albus Dumbledore.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

As for the last time we see him, well, you might say we cheated a tiny bit here. Harry does have a conversation with Dumbledore’s portrait after this moment and technically this particular conversation was all in Harry’s head, but we like to think of it as Dumbledore’s last appearance as himself. Death didn’t stop him from helping Harry and this final conversation encapsulated Dumbledore and all his twinkly eyed wisdom.

He stood up, and Dumbledore did the same, and they looked for a long moment into each other’s faces. ‘Tell me one last thing,’ said Harry. ‘Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?’ Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry’s ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure. ‘Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?’
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Molly Weasley

When we first encountered Mrs Weasley, she was navigating getting her children across a busy station and onto platform nine and three-quarters to catch the Hogwarts Express. At that moment she was just any mum wrangling her unruly bunch of children and little did we know that she would soon become a mother figure to Harry too.

At that moment a group of people passed just behind him and he caught a few words of what they were saying. ‘– packed with Muggles, of course –’ Harry swung round. The speaker was a plump woman who was talking to four boys, all with flaming red hair. Each of them was pushing a trunk like Harry’s in front of him – and they had an owl. Heart hammering, Harry pushed his trolley after them. They stopped and so did he, just near enough to hear what they were saying. ‘Now, what’s the platform number?’ said the boys’ mother.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Molly’s final moment in the spotlight was about as brilliant as it gets. Nobody messes with Mrs Weasley and her family, and you should never underestimate what a mother would do to protect her children – that was Bellatrix’s fatal mistake.

‘OUT OF MY WAY!’ shouted Mrs Weasley to the three girls, and with a swipe of her wand she began to duel. Harry watched with terror and elation as Molly Weasley’s wand slashed and twirled, and Bellatrix Lestrange’s smile faltered, and became a snarl. Jets of light flew from both wands, the floor around the witches’ feet became hot and cracked; both women were fighting to kill. ‘No!’ Mrs Weasley cried, as a few students ran forwards, trying to come to her aid. ‘Get back! Get back! She is mine!’ Hundreds of people now lined the walls, watching the two fights, Voldemort and his three opponents, Bellatrix and Molly, and Harry stood, invisible, torn between both, wanting to attack and yet to protect, unable to be sure that he would not hit the innocent. ‘What will happen to your children when I’ve killed you?’ taunted Bellatrix, as mad as her master, capering as Molly’s curses danced around her. ‘When Mummy’s gone the same way as Freddie?’ ‘You – will – never – touch – our – children – again!’ screamed Mrs Weasley. Bellatrix laughed, the same exhilarated laugh her cousin Sirius had given as he toppled backwards through the veil, and suddenly Harry knew what was going to happen before it did. Molly’s curse soared beneath Bellatrix’s outstretched arm and hit her squarely in the chest, directly over her heart.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Draco Malfoy

Ah Malfoy, Harry’s adversary and probably one of the snootiest students at Hogwarts. Of course his first few lines involved him talking about how he was going to force people to do what he wanted. We understand why Harry got Dudley vibes from him – he and Harry’s Muggle cousin had some of the same unpleasant personality traits (though Draco would hate the thought of being compared to a Muggle).

In the back of the shop, a boy with a pale, pointed face was standing on a footstool while a second witch pinned up his long black robes. Madam Malkin stood Harry on a stool next to him, slipped a long robe over his head and began to pin it to the right length. ‘Hullo,’ said the boy, ‘Hogwarts too?’ ‘Yes,’ said Harry. ‘My father’s next door buying my books and mother’s up the street looking at wands,’ said the boy. He had a bored, drawling voice. ‘Then I’m going to drag them off to look at racing brooms. I don’t see why first-years can’t have their own. I think I’ll bully father into getting me one and I’ll smuggle it in somehow.’ Harry was strongly reminded of Dudley.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

However, by the end of the seventh book, Malfoy seemed to have grown from his experiences and even deigned to give his former enemy a nod – school age Draco would never have done that.

Draco Malfoy was standing there with his wife and son, a dark coat buttoned up to his throat. His hair was receding somewhat, which emphasised the pointed chin. The new boy resembled Draco as much as Albus resembled Harry. Draco caught sight of Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny staring at him, nodded curtly and turned away again.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Nymphadora Tonks

When we first met Tonks, she was a bundle of energy with excellent hair, so full of life and partial to the phrase ‘wotcher’…

‘Oooh, he looks just like I thought he would,’ said the witch who was holding her lit wand aloft. She looked the youngest there; she had a pale heart-shaped face, dark twinkling eyes, and short spiky hair that was a violent shade of violet. ‘Wotcher, Harry!’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Which just made her final appearance all the more devastating.

As Ginny and Hermione moved closer to the rest of the family, Harry had a clear view of the bodies lying next to Fred: Remus and Tonks, pale and still and peaceful-looking, apparently asleep beneath the dark, enchanted ceiling.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


All Dobby ever wanted to do was make sure that Harry Potter was safe. He tried to save his life in Chamber of Secrets (much to Harry’s chagrin) and was just thrilled to meet The Boy Who Lived.

Harry managed not to shout out, but it was a close thing. The little creature on the bed had large, bat-like ears and bulging green eyes the size of tennis balls. Harry knew instantly that this was what had been watching him out of the garden hedge that morning. As they stared at each other, Harry heard Dudley’s voice from the hall. ‘May I take your coats, Mr and Mrs Mason?’ The creature slipped off the bed and bowed so low that the end of its long thin nose touched the carpet. Harry noticed that it was wearing what looked like an old pillowcase, with rips for arm and leg holes. ‘Er – hello,’ said Harry nervously. ‘Harry Potter!’ said the creature, in a high-pitched voice Harry was sure would carry down the stairs. ‘So long has Dobby wanted to meet you, sir ... Such an honour it is ...’ ‘Th-thank you,’ said Harry, edging along the wall and sinking into his desk chair, next to Hedwig, who was asleep in her large cage. He wanted to ask, ‘What are you?’ but thought it would sound too rude, so instead he said, ‘Who are you?’ ‘Dobby, sir. Just Dobby. Dobby the house-elf,’ said the creature.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

And Dobby did protect Harry. In fact, he saved him and all of those who were trapped at Malfoy Manor. He thought nothing of risking his life for the boy who set him free, and his death was utterly heart-breaking. He was laid to rest as a free elf and he had done what he had always intended and saved the life of Harry Potter.

Luna, who was huddled in one of Fleur’s coats, crouched down and placed her fingers tenderly upon each of the elf ’s eyelids, sliding them over his glassy stare. ‘There,’ she said softly. ‘Now he could be sleeping.’ Harry placed the elf into the grave, arranged his tiny limbs so that he might have been resting, then climbed out and gazed for the last time upon the little body.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Harry Potter

Finally, we have Harry. When he was dropped off at Privet Drive his life had been utterly shattered. His parents were dead, he had been left with a scar and although he didn’t know it, he was destined to be the only one who could destroy Voldemort.

Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall bent forward over the bundle of blankets. Inside, just visible, was a baby boy, fast asleep. Under a tuft of jet-black hair over his forehead they could see a curiously shaped cut, like a bolt of lightning. ‘Is that where –?’ whispered Professor McGonagall. ‘Yes,’ said Dumbledore. ‘He’ll have that scar for ever.’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

So, when we left him on platform nine and three-quarters for the final time it was a relief to know that this burden had been lifted. He was happy and content in the only world that had ever felt like home and was surrounded by those who loved him most…

The last trace of steam evaporated in the autumn air. The train rounded a corner. Harry’s hand was still raised in farewell. ‘He’ll be all right,’ murmured Ginny. As Harry looked at her, he lowered his hand absent-mindedly and touched the lightning scar on his forehead. ‘I know he will.’ The scar had not pained Harry for nineteen years. All was well.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

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