Harry, Ron and Hermione were obviously the best of friends – you can’t save the wizarding world together and not be tight. Yet, who was the best friend of the bunch? We investigate…

Let’s talk about Harry…

Before he went to Hogwarts, it appeared as though Harry didn’t really have friends. So, we imagine that he was incredibly happy when he went to the magical school and finally found his people. While he didn’t have much experience when it came to friendship, there were still plenty of ways in which he was excellent at it.

We have to start off by mentioning his generosity. Harry had grown up with nothing and suddenly he had a fortune left to him by his parents. He could easily have kept it all to himself and spent it on anything he wanted… but he didn’t. Instead, he was only too happy to share it with those closest to him. There was the time he first met Ron and bought them both a feast of goodies on the Hogwarts Express. Then there was when he bought both Ron and Hermione a pair of Omnioculars so they could have a better view of the Quidditch World Cup. Harry didn’t think twice about sharing what was his with those he cared about – it was just in his nature. And it didn’t have to be money. In fact, we think Harry would still have been the same even if he didn’t have a single Galleon to his name.

Harry was someone who encouraged his friends. He believed in them and wanted to make sure that they did too. He reminded Hermione on more than one occasion of just how intelligent she was. He also went to great lengths to make sure that Ron knew that he had it in him to be a great Quidditch player – though on one occasion it involved some sleight of hand and a certain potion appearing to be poured into Ron’s cup.

We also can’t talk about Harry as a friend without mentioning how he would go to great lengths to defend those around him. In the second task of the Triwizard Tournament, he was desperate to save both Ron and Hermione from the clutches of the merpeople despite Hermione not being his to save. His determination to protect them both meant that he waited until he knew that Krum was there to help Hermione and paid little thought to how it would affect his chances of winning the task. That dedication to protecting people went further than this. Harry was willing to give up his life to save the wizarding world and those he loved including his closest friends. Hermione and Ron were never far from Harry’s mind whenever he had to do something dangerous and his loyalty to them often spurred him on – which only reinforces what a fantastic friend he was.

That’s not to say Harry didn’t have his flaws as a friend. One of those was how he would often side with Ron against Hermione – including when Ron was in the wrong. This tied into the fact that he always seemed to forgive Ron more quickly than Hermione. When Ron returned after leaving Harry and Hermione on the Horcrux hunt, Harry forgave him pretty much immediately. Whereas, when Hermione turned his Firebolt over to Professor McGonagall in his third year, he stopped speaking to her for weeks. Does that seem fair to you?

Harry also had a habit of losing his temper at Ron and Hermione when they didn’t really deserve it. Like when he screamed at them after arriving at Grimmauld Place for the first time. It just felt unnecessary. Yes, they had been there together for a while before he had arrived. And yes, they hadn’t been able to tell him much in their letters, but it was hardly their fault. Dumbledore had been the one that had insisted on the secrecy. Harry’s anger was misplaced, and he shouldn’t have lashed out at his two best friends… he didn’t even apologise.

However, we have to remember that nobody is perfect and that includes the Chosen One. Harry was a teenager with more on his plate that most adults, so we understand that he was probably often overwhelmed by the huge burden he had to carry and it doesn’t take away from the fact that he was encouraging, generous and dedicated to his closest friends.

Was Ron the superior friend?

Ron Weasley was Harry’s first school friend. The pair of them immediately bonded and they were pretty much inseparable from day one. There were plenty of things that made Ron Weasley a good friend and some may argue that he was the very best.

There were lots of times when Ron stood up for his friends. The incident that immediately springs to mind is when Malfoy called Hermione a Mudblood. Despite having a broken wand, Ron tried to cast a spell on Malfoy which backfired spectacularly and ended with Ron being the one to belch slugs (well the thought was there). He also stood up for Hermione against Professor Snape. When Snape called Hermione and ‘insufferable know-it-all’, Ron spoke back to him and ended up with a detention for his troubles. He also refused to stop talking to Harry in Order of the Phoenix, despite a plea from his brother Percy.

Ron was also willing to follow Harry on his many adventures without questioning him. He would accept what Harry told him and would go along with it. In Chamber of Secrets, he followed the spiders into the Forbidden Forest (despite them being his greatest fear) because Harry asked him to. He would rarely hesitate and would back Harry up whenever he required it. Like Harry, he was also known to put his friends before himself. For instance, there was the time he sacrificed himself on the giant chessboard in Philosopher’s Stone so Harry and Hermione could move on through the other obstacles and stop Voldemort – that’s some top-level friending there.

We also can’t forget that he accepted Harry into his family. As soon as Harry became friends with Ron, he also became an honorary Weasley and spent some of his happiest summers amongst his favourite redheads. This again was Ron being an excellent friend – Harry needed a family and Ron was more than willing to provide him with one.

Yet, Ron had his fair share of issues. He allowed his jealousy of Harry to cause problems between them. When Harry was selected for the Triwizard Tournament, Ron’s feelings of envy meant that he refused to speak to him until after the First Task. Harry could have done with his friend then, when it felt like most of the school were against him, but Ron had abandoned him. Ron’s jealousy was also a factor when he decided to abandon Harry a second time. In this instance, he left both Harry and Hermione on their own on the dangerous hunt for Horcruxes. Though Ron returned (and deserves credit for swallowing his pride and doing that), the fact he left the pair of them in the first place was terrible and not what a good friend should do.

Ron also had a mean streak. There were numerous occasions when he made Hermione cry. He might have stood up for her against people like Malfoy – but he too was guilty of calling her a know-it-all. Luna Lovegood even commented on his habit of saying unkind things. This unpleasant streak of his also reared its head during the Yule Ball when Ron ruined Hermione’s experience by suggesting that Viktor Krum only invited her to get information about Harry and his strategy for the Triwizard Tournament. Yet again, Ron’s jealousy got in the way of his ability to be a good friend. However, we must say that although Ron had his moments, overall, he was still a caring, funny and faithful friend to both Harry and Hermione.

Maybe it was Hermione?

When it came to making friends, Hermione struggled at first. A lot of people seemed to think she was a rather obnoxious know-it-all (though we know there is far more to her than that). Yet, she did become firm friends with Harry and Ron and she more than proved her worth. When it came to Harry, Hermione always had his best interests at heart. In Prisoner of Azkaban, she was willing to sacrifice their friendship if it meant keeping him safe. After telling Professor McGonagall that Harry had mysteriously received a Firebolt, it was taken away from him for inspection. Although Hermione was just trying to protect Harry, he and Ron saw it as interfering and stopped speaking to her completely – which was a rubbish thing for her best friends to do. We know it hurt her that they wouldn’t talk to her, but it demonstrated how she was willing to forgo her own happiness if it meant her friends were safe.

Building on this, Hermione was always loyal to Harry. She never left him or stopped talking to him. She was always there to support him – from helping him prepare for the Triwizard Tournament to staying with him during the hunt for Horcruxes in Deathly Hallows. Even when she was being tortured by Bellatrix Lestrange, she never cracked and gave away any secrets as she was committed to her friends and their mission. Speaking of the Horcrux mission, she wiped her parents’ memories and made them forget about her to make sure they were safe from Voldemort and the Death Eaters while she embarked on this perilous journey. She didn’t have to do any of that and she could have left Harry to hunt the Horcruxes alone. Yet, she didn’t. She shouldered the enormous personal cost to be there for her friend when he needed her most. Let’s be honest… Harry would never have survived without her.

One other thing, despite it going against her nature, Hermione would break school rules to help Harry – like the time she successfully brewed Polyjuice Potion in her second year or the time she set up Dumbledore’s Army in her fifth. She also attacked Snape in their third year to try and protect Harry and Ron. For rule-loving Hermione that can’t have been easy.

All that being said, Hermione was not perfect. While she and Ron eventually ended up married, their friendship had their fair share of rocky patches. None more so than when Ron ended up dating Lavender Brown. That led to Hermione setting a flock of birds ‘speeding like a hail of fat golden bullets’ to attack Ron, which was not an ok thing to do no matter how upset she was. That falling out also ended up with Harry being stuck in the middle between the pair of them which must have been uncomfortable.

We also reckon if you were to ask Harry and Ron, they would say that she was sometimes overbearing when it came to homework, revision or school rules. They might also say they found it a tad annoying when she would question the plans and schemes that they (usually Harry) had concocted. We can see why it would be frustrating to have someone constantly play devil’s advocate especially on the occasions when you know you are right.

Yet, we don’t think this is necessarily an example of being a poor friend. Yes, Hermione might have annoyed them, but she was always wanting them to do their best, stay safe and not dive headlong into dangerous situations that could go wrong – like the time Harry refused to listen to her telling him not to go to the Ministry of Magic to save Sirius. Really, Hermione was a very good friend indeed.

So, who do you think was the winner? We know that we are finding it really difficult to decide between the golden trio. Each of them brought different strengths and different weaknesses to the table. But you can always let us know if you have the definitive answer…