The best presents the Dursleys got Harry were a pair of Uncle Vernon’s old socks and a coat-hanger… and we only say ‘best’ because they had actually remembered his birthday. Once Harry turned eleven, they pretty much ignored it entirely. So yeah, the Dursleys were talented when it came to presenting pitiful presents and have easily secured last place on our list. We wouldn’t expect anything else from that miserable bunch.
Firstly, we have to say chocolate is brilliant. It’s easily one of the best foods. Yet, we do have our reasons for putting it so low down on this list. When Ron and Hermione gave Harry boxes of Honeydukes chocolate for his fifteenth birthday, he was not exactly grateful. Angry at having barely heard from them that summer, he threw them away unopened. While we consider this a crime against chocolate, as Harry didn’t eat any, we can’t call this a successful gift. We do wonder whether he was more appreciative of the box he received from Mr and Mrs Dealcour for his seventeenth birthday…
Next, we have the textbook with a bite. Although Hagrid got Harry something that was technically useful for his third year at Hogwarts, we doubt that being given a book that seemed determined to attack him was something Harry dreamed of. Also, it could hardly be described as a discreet or inconspicuous gift – what with all the snapping. And as Harry had to keep this book under control while staying at the Dursleys, we can imagine it only added an extra level of stress…
Books really weren’t the best gifts for Harry. Ron may have found this book to be rather useful, but we can’t recall Harry ever looking at his copy. By the time Ron gave it to him for his seventeenth birthday, Harry’s thoughts were firmly on hunting Horcruxes, and his romantic life had taken a backseat. He also had an established bond with Ginny, even if they weren’t together. Maybe it would have been a more successful present if he had owned it during the period when he had a crush on Cho? Who knows? Perhaps, if he had looked at it before his disastrous date at Madam Puddifoot’s, things could have been different? But overall, we don’t rate this as one of Harry’s best gifts.
Don’t get us wrong, this gift from Bill and Fleur was practical and useful. And yes, according to Mr Delacour this razor would give Harry the smoothest shave he would ever have, but it was also just a little bit dull? In a magical world, full of the most weird and wonderful objects, this does feel rather ordinary. This is why we think it only deserves tenth place on our list.
Both Hermione and Ron gave Harry a Sneakoscope at one point. Ron on Harry’s thirteenth birthday and Hermione on his seventeenth. While there is no doubt that these are handy objects, they can also be rather annoying – especially when they won’t stop whirling and whistling. Granted, when this happened in Harry’s third year at Hogwarts, it was because the nefarious Peter Pettigrew was close by in his disguise as Scabbers. Still, it must have been pretty irritating.
Harry may not remember this present, but we wanted to include it because it was just so adorable. For his first birthday, his godfather Sirius gave him a toy broomstick which he had endless fun zooming around on. Though this gift probably helped spark his love of flying, we think it only deserves eighth place because Harry didn’t have it for very long, he can’t remember using it and it scared the family cat.
There’s definitely nothing wrong with getting a big box of pranks as a present and Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes are some of the very best. However, it also seems like quite a lazy present from Fred and George – especially for Harry’s coming-of-age birthday. All the twins had to do was swipe their own merchandise from the shelves of their own shop – you can’t really call it the most thoughtful gift. We think this present sits in the middle of our list because although it was low effort it was still fun.
This was a rather nifty gift that Hagrid gave Harry for his seventeenth birthday – and rare too! As it was made from Mokeskin, only the owner of the pouch could remove whatever was placed into it. This meant that Harry could use it store important items while being safe in the knowledge that only he could get them back out. In the end, he used this handy pouch to store some of his prized possessions, such as the Marauder’s Map. He also used it to keep the shards of the enchanted mirror given to him by Sirius – which ended up being vital in his escape from Malfoy Manor. Overall, a rather excellent present if you ask us.
This gift was a stroke of genius from Harry’s, well, genius friend Hermione. Even though she wasn’t a fan of Quidditch or flying in general, she had clearly put a lot of thought and effort into finding something that Harry would truly appreciate and her efforts were rewarded. From the moment he unwrapped it, Harry was thrilled, and he used this handy kit whenever he could. When Aunt Marge came to visit the Dursleys, just thinking about it was enough to stop Harry from retaliating when she made her nasty remarks and kept him out of trouble… for the most part…
Creeping towards the top we have Ginny’s gift to Harry when he turned seventeen. Even though the pair had broken up at this point, they both still had feelings for one another. We bet Harry wasn’t complaining about getting a big old snog from a person who he cared about deeply. While not the most conventional of presents, we think it was definitely one of Harry’s more memorable ones.
In third place we have the watch that Molly Weasley presented to Harry on his seventeenth birthday. Even though it was technically second hand, this watch had belonged to Molly’s brother Fabian, who had tragically lost his life the first time Voldemort came to power. There is no doubt that this watch meant a lot to Molly so for her to give it to Harry was a very big deal. It showed that she truly considered Harry to be a member of her family and for Harry, that was the real gift.
Just missing out on the top spot is Harry’s gift of Hedwig. This beautiful, sassy and wise owl was definitely one of the best birthday presents Harry ever received. Not only was she a perfect, not to forget loyal, companion – but she was his connection to the wizarding world when he was stuck back in the suburban horror of Privet Drive. Hedwig was there for Harry from the very beginning and was one of his first friends. As the person who gave Harry Hedwig, we wouldn’t blame Hagrid if he felt pretty smug about his gift-giving skills.
How could it be anything else? In the top spot we have to have Harry’s Hogwarts letter. This was the moment that Harry realised that there was so much more than his miserable life with the Dursleys. In fact, there was a whole other world – and one in which he truly belonged. Receiving that letter changed his life forever and finally gave him the opportunity to discover who he truly was. A pretty perfect present.
What do you think? Do you agree with our order or do you have something different in mind?