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The wizarding world characters we’d hate to be stuck making small talk with

Hanging out with wizards sounds wonderful – on paper. (Or parchment, if you prefer.) But there are certain characters we’d be dodging in the Hogwarts corridors...

Professor Slughorn

We know there are worse teachers in the world than Professor Slughorn, who truly does seem to know the craft of potion-making very well – but from being privy to a few Slug Club meet-ups in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, we imagine chatting to Slughorn would be a tiresome exercise of constant name-dropping, anecdotes about himself, or asking if we knew (or were related to) anyone famous. Unless Slughorn fancied lending us some Felix Felicis, we’d probably avoid his glance if we happened to walk past him.

Argus Filch

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

We do feel for Filch sometimes, honestly. It must be a nightmare being a Squib in an incredibly magical school, constantly picking up after unruly Hogwarts students and their even more unruly enchanted objects when you can’t perform magic yourself. And that’s even before we factor Peeves into the equation. But when all is said and done, Argus was still a pretty unpleasant fellow, obsessed with catching students out of bed, or trying to ban Peeves from the school – he rarely talked of anything else. Chatting about confiscated Fanged Frisbees all day long would wear thin pretty quickly, and Mrs Norris would probably make things even more awkward.

Professor Lockhart

Lockahart hands out his test on himself to his second-year Defence Against The Dark Arts class.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

In a similar vein to Professor Slughorn, a run-in with Professor Lockhart is basically like falling headfirst into a bottomless pit of bragging. It’s a pretty common scenario – being at a party, getting stuck with someone who’s favourite talk topic is themselves, trying to escape the one-sided tête-à-tête before keeling over from sheer boredom. Five minutes in, we’d be begging Lockhart to perform a Memory Charm on us just so we never had to re-live the situation ever again.

The Bloody Baron

Still image of the Bloody Baron from the Hogwarts Ghosts portraits
Bloody Baron. © JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros.

They say ‘silence is golden’, but in the case of the Bloody Baron, silence is... well, just incredibly silent. The famously untalkative ghost of Slytherin house prefers to float around Hogwarts looking decidedly unfriendly rather than strike up a dialogue, or discuss his favourite Celestina Warbeck songs. But seeing as the Bloody Baron famously killed Helena Ravenclaw and then himself – perhaps we wouldn’t really fancy plucking that thread anyway.

Cormac McLaggen

Cormac McLaggen (played by Freddie Stroma) in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

This haughty Gryffindor is just... too much. Arrogant, over-confident and bad-tempered... why bother? As such, we must admit we did a little cheer behind our books when Hermione threw her ethics out the window and Confunded the lad during Quidditch try-outs. With an influential family, it’s no surprise that Cormac was an esteemed Slug Club member either. We know there are worse people in the world, and Cormac did join Dumbledore’s Army and even turn up at the Battle of Hogwarts, but that still doesn’t mean we’d be inviting him for a swift Butterbeer at The Hog’s Head any time soon. We value our personal happiness far too much.

Crabbe and/or Goyle

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Malfoy once famously told Goyle that if he was any slower, he’d be going backwards. As well as being ridiculously stupid, the duo were also the sons of Death Eaters, and started to pick up more dangerous traits as they got older. Crabbe casting Avada Kedavra in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows still came as a bit of a shock. All the budding evilness aside, what on earth would you even talk to Crabbe and Goyle about anyway? 'What’s your favourite sugary snack?' 'How on earth did you pass your O.W.L.S?' Actually, that does remain one of the greatest unsolved wizarding world mysteries...