The Harry Potter franchise mostly revolves around a group of Gryffindors growing up at Hogwarts, preparing to face off in a war against Voldemort and the Death Eaters. Harry’s journey from freshly discovering he is a wizard to finally defeating his biggest enemy is a story of excitement and tragedy, as it seems no matter what Harry does, he must constantly face the significant losses of those he cares about. But, before Harry actually had to stand against Voldemort and the Death Eaters in a real war or duel, he grew used to the bullying that came from his peers in the form of the Slytherin House.
Slytherin House was always known as the house of evil. Harry Potter quickly established that of the four potential homes, Slytherin was the “bad one.” So, it was nearly expected that everyone in Slytherin was going to be some sort of bully or future dark wizard. However, while they were not always the heroes of the franchise, they also had moments throughout the series that showed they were capable of more than becoming the next Dark Lord. While some, like Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy, were trying to prove a new, less antagonistic, version of Slytherin, characters like Regulus Black and Narcissa Malfoy showed that some things were more important than the darkness that followed the Slytherin reputation.
10 Draco Doesn’t Reveal Harry’s Identity at Malfoy Manor
Draco spent every year of Hogwarts being a bully and tormentor to Harry, Ron, and Hermione. He happily got them in trouble in school and egged them on in ways that caused their rivalry to grow deeper over time. Although Draco shows immense fear when he officially gains the Dark Mark, he shows another side when he is directly confronted with a potentially war-ending circumstance.
Draco’s Choice Gives Harry an Upper Hand
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione are caught by Snatchers, they are brought to Malfoy Manor. Hermione’s last-minute decision to send a curse at Harry to cover his face prevents the Snatchers and Death Eaters from being completely certain they are looking at Harry Potter. But, Draco should have been able to see through Hermione’s spell on Harry. While Harry’s face does puff out and alter slightly, it would not have been enough to completely throw off Draco, who had seen Harry nearly every day for six years. Harry even directly references Draco’s declaration that he could not be sure it was Harry was false, as they both knew that Draco was aware of who was in front of him.
Although Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s escape from Malfoy Manor still ends tragically with Hermione’s torture and Dobby’s death, Draco’s refusal to give up Harry gives them more time to escape, rather than having Voldemort show up and kill Harry there and then.
9 Snape Plays a Double Agent for Dumbledore
Snape is one of the most controversial characters. He is a clear bully in the beginning, snarling at Harry and insulting Neville and Hermione. He has a clear bias toward Slytherin, and nearly everything Snape does is suspicious in some way or another. But he is also laying his life on the line every day.
Snape Helps Give The Order of the Phoenix Inside Information
Although Snape had started out as a Death Eater in his youth, he ultimately changed sides after Voldemort decided to kill Lily Potter. Although Snape’s reasons for siding with Dumbledore had more to do with his own sense of betrayal from Voldemort and his selfish agenda, he stuck with his promise to help defeat Voldemort over a decade later, when Voldemort returned. Snape was responsible for putting the Seven Potters plan in Mundungus Fletcher’s mind at the instruction of Albus Dumbledore’s portrait. He worked so well undercover that everyone was entirely convinced that Snape was on Voldemort’s side. In the end, Snape is responsible for giving Harry the necessary memories he needs to understand what must happen next.
8 Slughorn Gives Up the True Memory of Tom Riddle
Slughorn does not come into the story until Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. He is recruited by Dumbledore to become the next Potions Master, while Snape takes over the role of Defense Against The Dark Arts Professor. However, Dumbledore has ulterior motives for inviting Slughorn back to Hogwarts.
Slughorn Tampered with an Important Memory
Back when Tom Riddle was a student, Slughorn was his favorite teacher. Slughorn had seen promise and potential in Tom Riddle, but he was not prepared for the villain he would grow up to be. When Tom Riddle had asked Slughorn about Horcruxes, Slughorn had originally told Tom everything he needed to know about how to make one. Horrified and ashamed by what he had done and who Voldemort had become, Slughorn had tampered with the memory, preventing Harry and Dumbledore from knowing the true circumstances of one of the most important conversations in the franchise’s history. Slughorn holds off on giving Harry the true memory for most of the story until he finally relents. Slughorn accepts that Harry must know the truth in order to defeat Voldemort, and hands over one of his worst memories to help someone else.
7 Regulus Turns Against Voldemort
Regulus Black is already dead by the time Harry goes to Hogwarts. Not much is known about Regulus’ backstory other than that he was Sirius’ younger brother, and that the two did not get along well in their youth due to drastically different viewpoints surrounding their family. But, in the end, maybe they were not as different as they thought.
Regulus Dies Trying to Destroy a Horcrux
Although Regulus never actually succeeds in destroying Slytherin’s Locket, he spends a lot of time with Kreacher trying to eliminate the piece of Voldemort’s soul. The Horcrux eventually ends up in Umbridge’s hands, which becomes the catalyst for Harry, Hermione, and Ron’s scheme to break into the Ministry. While Regulus’ loyalty was only revealed in the final installment, and Sirius would never discover that his brother was actually trying to go against their family’s values, it was still an important moment in the franchise to recognize that a Slytherin and former Death Eater could have a mind of their own and recognize that Voldemort was not someone to follow.
6 Narcissa Protects Harry
Narcissa Malfoy pops in and out of the franchise. Never quite pushing forward with the same political power as her husband, Lucius, Narcissa still ends up leaving a greater mark on the series than he does. When all is said and done, one of the reasons Harry survives his encounter with Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest is because of Narcissa’s love for her son, Draco.
A Mother’s Love Is More Important Than Dark Lords
Narcissa makes it clear that her loyalty lies with her son the moment she recognizes that, somehow, Harry has survived the killing curse for a second time. While Narcissa’s thoughts on Voldemort’s reign were never specifically referenced, they clearly were not as significant as Draco’s life. When Harry answers as subtly as possible that Draco is alive, Narcissa rewards Harry’s honest answer with her own support and lies to Voldemort, declaring Harry’s death. Narcissa did not need to lie. She had the answer she wanted and could have given up Harry anyway. Instead, she recognized that Harry and Draco were the same age, and decided that Voldemort’s leadership was not what she wanted her family to live under. Lying to Voldemort gave Harry his best shot to survive and put an end to this once and for all.
5 Albus Potter Prevented Voldemort’s Return
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, for how controversial of a story it is, did offer a new side to Slytherin characters. Albus Potter is a gloomy teenager, never entirely feeling accepted in the massive Potter-Weasley family. He considers his home to be Slytherin and his only friend to be Scorpius Malfoy. He is also desperate to prove he is more than his father’s son.
Albus’ Journey Is a Next-Generation Nightmare
Ironically, for someone who wanted to separate himself from his father, Albus ended up going on a Harry Potter-esque journey of his own. Agreeing to help go back in time and prevent Cedric Diggory’s death, Albus is joined by Scorpius and Delphini to prevent one of the most innocent casualties of the war. However, Albus’ plan goes tragically wrong many times, and he ends up discovering the girl he wants to help is actually secretly Voldemort’s daughter. Now, he must prevent her from bringing back her father. Albus does recognize where he went wrong and tries to make it right. While Albus may be more open to having relationships with his family following such a massive adventure, it is still suggested that his friendship with Scorpius is Albus’ most important dynamic.
4 Scorpius Malfoy Re-Sets the Timeline to Bring Albus Potter Back
Unlike any Slytherin ever previously introduced, Scorpius Malfoy is upbeat, charismatic, and one of the most easily likable characters. He is loyal to Albus, even if he does not have the same desperate desire to make his own name for himself. But, one of the time travel paradoxes sets Scorpius entirely alone in the world.
Scorpius Must Prevent an Alternate Universe Where Harry Dies
In one of the time changes, things go horrifically wrong, and Harry is killed. Harry’s death not only ensures Voldemort’s victory and creates a horrifying world of its own, but it also prevents Albus Potter from ever existing. All on his own, Scorpius must rely on alternate versions of those he knows to help him return to the original timeline, or at least to one where Albus is still alive and his best friend. Scorpius does succeed in his endeavor, bringing Albus back and re-creating a universe where Harry Potter was alive and won, giving the duo a chance to set the universe’s timeline back to normal.
3 Andromeda Tonks Fought Against Pure Blood Supremacy
Andromeda Tonks, previously known as Andromeda Black, is another novel character that has no real role in the movies. As a member of the extended Black family, Andromeda would have come from a long line of Pure-Blood supremacists. But, her decision to marry a Muggle, Ted Tonks, has her disowned from the extended group.
She Would Go on to Raise Remus and Tonks’s Son Teddy
Andromeda Tonks was a Slytherin who embodied some of the best parts of the House while still knowing the difference between Slytherin traits and pure evil. Andromeda opened her home to the Order of the Phoenix, raised a strong Hufflepuff daughter who fought hard against the oppression Voldemort wanted to bring to the world, and was considered to have a good relationship with Sirius Black. Andromeda proved that the Black family could be more than the oppressive beliefs they had. Even with sisters such as Bellatrix and Narcissa, Andromeda recognized the good in Muggles.
2 Draco Raises His Son to be More Open-Minded
Lucius’ influence on Draco affected everything he said and believed. Lucius hated Muggles and Muggle-Borns, so Draco did too. Lucius wanted a world filled with Pure-Blood supremacy, and taught Draco those same values. But, Draco eventually figured out that was not the future he wanted, and he refused to teach his son those same things.
Scorpius Has No Prejudice Against Anyone
From what “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” shows of Scorpius Malfoy, he exhibits none of his father’s prejudices. Scorpius falls over himself in his feelings for Rose Granger-Weasley and stands strongly beside Albus Potter. Although Draco’s time raising Scorpius is never shown, it is clear that Draco recognized the faults of his own childhood values and upbringing, recognized the new world order, and worked to ensure that Scorpius would have a better chance than he did, especially if he anticipated that everyone would judge Scorpius automatically just for being Draco’s son. It never helped that Scorpius faced plenty of rumors about being Voldemort’s secret child.
1 Snape Saves Harry from a Fatal Fall
In “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” Snape’s clear hatred of Harry, and that Snape is staring directly at Harry and mouthing a spell, makes Hermione believe that Snape is jinxing Harry’s broom. Hermione races to the back of the stands to set fire to Snape’s robes, which causes all the Professors to jump up and lose concentration.
This Was One of the Early Signs of Quirrell’s Deception
As it turned out, Snape was paying extremely close attention to Harry, not because he was jinxing his broom, but because he was trying to counteract the spell meant to harm him. This is also one of the earliest signs that Snape may have certain motives for trying to protect Harry beyond it being a professor’s responsibility to protect their students. In the end, Snape and Quirrell’s various moments throughout “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” result in discovering that while Snape was the angry one and Quirrell constantly appeared frightened over everything, Quirrell was the one with Voldemort on the back of his head, while Snape was actually innocent of any Death Eater-related activities that year.