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The Harry Potter characters that got their comeuppance

There is nothing sweeter than justice being served. Here are a few of our favourite love-to-hate characters getting their just desserts.

Umbridge, Harry and Hermione in the Forbidden Forest.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

The moment Harry defeated Voldemort during the Battle of Hogwarts was supremely satisfying. But Tom Riddle wasn’t the only character that got his well-deserved comeuppance; here are just a few of our favourite moments of sweet, sweet justice.

Cormac McLaggen

While supreme over-confidence isn’t exactly a crime, it’s not the most endearing characteristic either. Cormac’s arrogance really knew no bounds; in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince he was wholeheartedly convinced he’d be picked as the new Gryffindor Keeper before he’d even set foot on the pitch.

In what seemed to be a rare rule-breaking moment, Hermione’s blushes suggested that she might just have pulled out a cheeky Confundus Charm to put McLaggen off his stride, leaving Ron to sail through tryouts saving five goals out of five. Altogether now, ‘Weasley is our King…’ No hard feelings, McLaggen, alright?

Cormac McLaggen at quidditch trials
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Aunt Marge

Sadly for Harry, most of his living Muggle relatives were distinctly unpleasant and Aunt Marge was no exception to the rule. After indulging in a brandy or three with Uncle Vernon she turned on Harry, claiming Lily and James died in a car crash, leaving their baby as ‘a burden on their decent, hardworking relatives’!

Unfortunately for Marge, Harry was very sensitive when it came to his parents’ memory and, in a moment of uncontrolled magic, inflated her like a giant, monstrous balloon, sending her drifting up to the ceiling.

Aunt Marge bouncing on the cieling
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Gilderoy Lockhart

Poor, deluded Professor Lockhart received a very fitting punishment after his years of deception. After travelling the world claiming to be battling hags, trolls, vampires and werewolves, we found out that Gilderoy’s exploits were stolen from other witches and wizards he met on his travels. Lockhart would then use the one spell he was good at – Memory Charms – to erase any recollections they had.

Claiming the deeds as his own, he launched an entire career based on lies. So it seemed only fair that his plan to wipe the memory of Harry and Ron completely backfired, leaving him with no idea about who he was or what he’d been doing. On the bright side, he seemed quite content in his room at St Mungo’s, signing pictures of himself and chatting to anyone who wandered by.

Lockhart with his hand on his hip
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Bellatrix Lestrange

As one of Voldemort’s most devoted followers, Bellatrix had an extensive list of evil crimes to her name. She was one of the Death Eaters who tortured Frank and Alice Longbottom and, after her escape from Azkaban, she went on to murder Sirius Black. Deranged and twisted, she took great pleasure in her crimes and seemed to love nothing more than taunting the relatives of her victims.

She definitely didn’t expect her threat against Ginny during the Battle of Hogwarts to result in her death, and that’s what made it all the sweeter. In one of Molly Weasley’s finest moments, Bella’s reign of terror was put to an end once and for all.

Bellatrix casting a spell and holding the Sowrd of Gryffindor
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

Peter Pettigrew

Originally one of the four Marauders, while at Hogwarts Peter was best friends with James, Sirius and Remus. However, a weak and easily led Pettigrew ended up taking a very dark path, betraying his closest friends and hiding from the consequences for decades. Peter loved and feared Lord Voldemort in equal measure, yet yearned be get closer to his master.

When the Dark Lord gifted him a magical silver hand to replace the one Wormtail sacrificed on his behalf, it seemed like he might finally have the approval he was desperate for. It didn’t last of course; in a twist of fate Peter was strangled by his own magical prosthetic, a fate that was cruel, but perhaps fitting for the man who betrayed his friends at every turn.

Peter Pettigrew revealed as Scabbers
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Lucius Malfoy

The cold and calculating father of Draco Malfoy was a ringleader in the Dark Lord’s inner circle of Death Eaters. Slipping Tom Riddle’s diary into Ginny’s bag, mistreating Dobby, scheming to trick Harry into handing Voldemort the prophecy, the list of misdeeds goes on and on.

But pride comes before a fall, and Lucius’s descent saw him locked up in Azkaban. Disgraced and a shell of his former self, he was welcomed into the fold once again only to see his side lose the final battle.

Lucius's tired-looking face reveals the stress he's under while he serves Lord Voldemort.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Dolores Umbridge

Considering we didn’t get properly acquainted with Dolores Umbridge until Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix, the kitten-loving High Inquistor really made her mark. Literally. Ministry interference brought the stout, toad-like woman with a love of pink cardigans to Hogwarts and she immediately set about introducing her own uniquely cruel brand of discipline, including using a quill that scored the words onto the writer’s own flesh. Painful punishments and the creation of the Inquisitorial Squad made life at the castle tense and unpleasant.

Even the other professors weren’t exempt from her beady-eyed attentions. After being humiliated by Fred and George in their final moment of Hogwarts rebellion, Umbridge’s campaign of brutality went up a notch. We all cheered when, in a last-minute plan born out of desperation, Hermione led Umbridge into the Forbidden Forest on the hunt for Dumbledore’s mysterious ‘weapon’. Unfortunately for Umbridge, she discovered the Centaurs instead, who were less than impressed with her bad attitude. After being carted away, the always noble Professor Dumbledore retrieved her from the forest.

Her terrible tenure at Hogwarts wasn’t the end of the story, though. In Deathly Hallows, she was back at the Ministry running the cruel Muggle-Born Registration Commission, where she interrogated innocent Muggle-borns, even imprisoning them. After Voldemort’s defeat, however, J.K. Rowling revealed in an interview that Umbridge had been imprisoned herself for these dastardly acts. What goes around comes around.

Umbridge sitting on the ground of Forbbiden Forest
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix