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A guide to wizarding world rivalries

We wish it was all peace and harmony in the wizarding world, but of course, there have been some bitter conflicts throughout its history. Here’s a look back at some of the most memorable.

Draco on his broom beofre quidditch match
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Grindelwald and Dumbledore

The friendship between these former childhood friends with so many plans for the future were shattered when Albus Dumbledore realised Gellert Grindelwald’s intentions for the wizarding world were far more sinister than he imagined. After becoming close at Godric’s Hollow, where Dumbledore lived and Grindelwald came to stay, the duo became inseparable, with Grindelwald laying out his plans for ‘the greater good’ and Dumbledore thinking he’d met his intellectual match. Alas, Grindelwald’s attitudes towards the Muggle world meant their bond quickly collapsed, leaving Dumbledore with years of regret.

WB COG Young Grindelwald in the Mirror Of Erised

This rivalry was more complex than some of the other conflicts in our list – as the pair started off on the same page - only to turn into sworn enemies in their adult years, culminating in a famous wizarding duel in 1945, where Dumbledore defeated Grindelwald.

In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, we started learning more about Dumbledore and Grindelwald’s chequered history – and are intrigued to see the years leading up to Grindelwald’s downfall.

Voldemort and Harry Potter

Voldemort grabbing Harry's face in the Deathly Hallows part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Thanks to Sybill Trelawney’s prophecy, a one-year old Harry Potter found himself marked by one of the Darkest wizards of all time and his family murdered, with Lord Voldemort convinced that Harry would grow up to defeat him. This led to Harry’s Hogwarts years being punctuated by the ever-looming shadow of Lord Voldemort, who found his way back to life in order to target Harry, leading to an unwanted enemy on Harry’s part. We all know how things ended up, with Harry consequently fulfilling the prophecy Trelawney had told, successfully conquering him at the Battle of Hogwarts. Much like a Greek tragedy, the prophecy being fulfilled was all Voldemort’s doing in the first place.

Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter

Ah, a nice normal rivalry for Harry now – that Lord Voldemort one was pretty heavy going, after all. From their first tepid conversation at Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions, Harry and Draco Malfoy never saw eye to eye – with a young Harry immediately sensing Draco’s privilege and negative attitudes were huge red flags. But imagine if Harry had gone along with Malfoy... asked the Sorting Hat to put him in Slytherin to be with his friend... Oh how different things could have been.

Harry and Draco race to the snitch in a quidditch match
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Thankfully, this didn’t happen – and we instead saw two opposing sides, with Harry, Ron and Hermione constantly up against their Slytherin counterparts Draco, Crabbe and Goyle at Hogwarts. Oh, and also all of Malfoy’s family despised Harry too, of course. While the grievances between Draco and Harry were mostly petty on both sides, there were moments the pair came to blows in more serious ways – such as Draco sparking a chain of events that nearly got Hagrid’s beloved Hippogriff Buckbeak executed, and Harry almost magically maiming Draco when he ‘tried out’ Sectumsempra on him. When Draco got initiated into the world of Voldemort and Death-Eaters, times got darker, and those first-year squabbles put a lot into perspective.

However, there was a strange moment in Deathly Hallows, we saw Draco hesitate when it came to identifying a captured Harry (who had had his face magically disfigured by Hermione) at Malfoy Manor. This rare moment of consideration paved the path for the pair to curtly nod at each other 19 years later at platform nine and three-quarters, but they were never going to be bosom buddies, were they?

Severus Snape and James Potter

Snape in his potions class room from the Order of the Pheonix
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

After years of Snape hating Harry, due to the striking resemblance Harry had with his late father, James Potter, Harry spent many a Potions class having to deal with Snape’s barbed remarks to him, without properly understanding the context. When he accidentally found himself wading through Snape’s memories during a botched Occlumency lesson, Harry soon realised that James had given as well as he got – tormenting Snape along with his fellow Marauder friends, not to mention eventually getting together with Lily, the love of Snape’s life. While Snape didn’t need to take out his unpleasant Hogwarts memories on James’s son, Harry finally understood a fragment of his Potions professor’s unprofessional behaviour.

Filch and Peeves

Despite being a Squib, Filch still had the ‘pleasure’ of being able to see Peeves the poltergeist, but had no magic to combat against him, which seemed unfair. Yes, the constantly disgruntled Hogwarts caretaker was often terrorised by Peeves, with the unruly spirit often causing chaos across the school while Filch cleared up after him. Peeves became something of a side-project for Filch, who was obsessed with catching him in precarious situations in an attempt to get him turfed out of Hogwarts forever. However, as Filch would come to learn, poltergeists don’t exactly slip out the front door and graciously thank their hosts...