We all know and love Fred and George’s pranks, Ron’s endless one-liners and the unconventionalities of the Hogwarts staff. But sometimes, some of the funniest Harry Potter moments were smaller – but mighty.
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The endless anguish of the Flourish and Blotts manager

Interior of Flourish and Blotts with the Monster Book of Monsters in a cage

When Hagrid takes over as Care of Magical Creatures professor in Prisoner of Azkaban, it isn’t just his students who become exasperated by his enduring love of terrifying magical creatures. Even the owner of the Diagon Alley-based book shop Flourish and Blotts gets involved in Hagrid’s outrageous syllabus. And from the sounds of things, it isn’t the first time he’s been indirectly affected by the choices of eccentric Hogwarts staff.

‘Stop it! Stop it!’ cried the manager, poking the walking stick through the bars and knocking the books apart. ‘I’m never stocking them again, never! It’s been bedlam! I thought we’d seen the worst when we bought two hundred copies of The Invisible Book of Invisibility – cost a fortune, and we never found them...'
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The legacy of Weatherby

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Percy Weasley was often earnest, hard-working, ambitious and desperate to please – which of course confined him to being the butt of many, many jokes from the Weasley brethren. Now, it’s cruel to tease, but Fred and George’s reaction to Percy’s boss, Mr Crouch, constantly getting his name wrong was just too good not to stifle a giggle over. Mr Crouch never did get Percy’s name right...

‘Oh,’ said Mr Crouch, looking over at Percy in mild surprise.
‘Yes – thank you, Weatherby.’
Fred and George choked into their own cups. Percy, very pink around the ears, busied himself with the kettle.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Roonil Wazlib – need we say more?

And Weatherby wasn’t the only Weasley nom-de-plume. Thanks to a trick quill, Ron was christened with the slightly less-catchier Roonil Wazlib. Roonil, we hardly knew ye.

‘No, it isn’t,’ said Hermione, pulling Ron’s essay towards her. ‘And “augury” doesn’t begin O – R – G either. What kind of quill are you using?’
‘It’s one of Fred and George’s Spell-Checking ones... but I think the charm must be wearing off...’
‘Yes, it must,’ said Hermione, pointing at the title of his essay, ‘because we were asked how we’d deal with Dementors, not “Dugbogs”, and I don’t remember you changing your name to “Roonil Wazlib”, either.’
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

The mirror of... sassy comments

The joy of the wizarding world is that basically anything could come to life at any time. Such as this mirror suddenly throwing shade at Harry’s hair.

He raised his hand automatically and tried to make his hair lie flat.
‘You’re fighting a losing battle there, dear,’ said his mirror in a wheezy voice.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

And this sentient wastepaper basket!

Harry swept the last of the droppings into a rubbish bag and threw the bag over Ron’s head into the wastepaper basket in the corner, which swallowed it and belched loudly.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Poor wastepaper basket.

When wizards get Muggle culture wrong

Harry and Arthur use the guest entrance to the Ministry.

Despite Hogwarts having a class called Muggle Studies, it’s kind of amazing how many witches and wizards know nothing of the non-magical world. Little mistakes from various characters pop up all over the books, such as Amos Diggory calling policemen ‘please-men’, or Arthur Weasley adorably calling telephones ‘felly-tones’ – but our favourite is Ron reacting to the incredibly well-known (in our world, at least) childhood fairytale, Cinderella.

‘Ron, you know full well Harry and I were brought up by Muggles!’ said Hermione. ‘We didn’t hear stories like that when we were little, we heard Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and Cinderella –’
‘What’s that, an illness?’ asked Ron.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This amazing moment from McGonagall

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Throughout the awful tenure of Dolores Umbridge in Order of the Phoenix, at the very least, it brings out an amazingly sassy side to Professor McGonagall, who barely conceals her contempt for the professor throughout the entire of Harry’s fifth year. During the iconic Fred and George exit sequence, Peeves dutifully makes Hogwarts hell for Umbridge – and rather brilliantly – Professor McGonagall helps the poltergeist. This amazing moment should not be overlooked.

None of the staff but Filch seemed to be stirring themselves to help her. Indeed, a week after Fred and George’s departure Harry witnessed Professor McGonagall walking right past Peeves, who was determinedly loosening a crystal chandelier, and could have sworn he heard her tell the poltergeist out of the corner of her mouth, ‘It unscrews the other way.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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