The Seven Best Petty Squabbles from the “Harry Potter” Series

There is no doubt that the Harry Potter series contains some of the most epic battles in modern literary history. Good battles evil, Harry takes on Voldemort, the Order of the Phoenix fights the Death Eaters, and we hear tell of Dumbledore’s historic defeat of the Dark wizard Grindelwald. However, beyond the big battles lies a world of petty indifferences, silly squabbles, and snarky exchanges that deserve their time in the sun. Let’s look at seven of the best.

 

The Weasleys vs. Zacharias Smith

 

 

“Zacharias Smith” are the first two words that leave one’s mouth when someone asserts that all Hufflepuffs are gorgeous, kind cherubs who’d never once put a foot out of line. The smarmy Seeker was involved in a few run-ins with the school-age Weasley siblings, who as we all know are the self-appointed defenders of all things noble and right. A particular favorite was when Ginny Weasley, fresh after Gryffindor’s Quidditch success, crashed into Smith with her broom, claiming she was unable to stop in time. Fred and George also clash with Smith during the initial DA meeting at the Hog’s Head, and Ron’s loathing of him is so well known that Hermione considers asking Smith to Slughorn’s Christmas Party just to annoy him.

Pettiness rating: 9/10

 

Harry Potter vs. Madam Pince

 

 

Harry Potter has many enemies. Within Hogwarts alone, he is forever sparring with Professor Severus Snape and narrowly dodging confrontations with Filch; however, it is the glimpses we get into his odd squabbles with the librarian, Madam Pince, that bring the delight only pettiness can bring. Little is known about Madam Pince, but she is rarely painted as a kind and beloved figure – which is sad since everyone loves librarians. Some notable moments in this squabble include when Harry is busted mindlessly eating chocolate in the library or when Pince catches him with the vandalized copy of Advanced Potion Making, leaving Harry to respond with low-key rumor-mongering about her love life.

Pettiness rating: 8.5/10

 

Dobby vs. Kreacher

 

 

Another noble champion of all things good and kittens is Dobby the house-elf. Unfailingly loyal to Harry, and possibly a little too much so at times, Dobby becomes quite affronted when his fellow house-elf, Kreacher, is less than enthused about passing into Harry’s ownership. The ideological differences between the two creatures result in a late-night physical brawl in the hospital wing of Hogwarts. It is unclear if the two elves ever sort out their fairly valid differences, particularly since Kreacher’s acceptance of Harry emerges around the time of Dobby’s tragic death, but we do hope those two crazy critters worked things out.

Pettiness rating: 5/10

 

Everyone vs. Mundungus Fletcher

 

 

There is nothing petty about the grievances our core crew have against the man commonly mistaken for a pile of dirty rags – since he is embroiled in everything from stealing to trafficking stolen goods, sneaking Fred and George potentially dangerous items, ransacking Grimmauld Place, abandoning Mad-Eye Moody, and of course, getting distracted making a shifty buck while he should have been watching Harry in Privet Drive. While we acknowledge that these are all very valid reasons to hold a grudge, the way these matters are confronted (or more precisely, passively-aggressively danced around) earns a place on this prized list. Case in point? Mrs. Figg repeatedly beats him with a bag of cat food.

Pettiness rating: 7/10

 

Mr. Dursley vs. Owls

 

 

Owls, owls, owls. These beautiful, smart, magical creatures are the bane of one Mr. Vernon Dursley’s fairly miserable existence. From the arrival of the first Hogwarts letter all the way through to the Howler that arrives for his wife, Petunia, Mr. Dursley maintains a visceral disgust toward the otherwise beloved birds. While the pettiness of this vendetta is off the scales (fleeing to a remote island, anyone?), there have been a spattering of valid critiques of the wizarding world’s feathered friends, including when a parliament of owls crashed a very important business dinner and frightened the life out of a prized client’s wife.

Pettiness rating: 11/10

 

Moaning Myrtle vs. Olive Hornby

 

 

We would be miscategorizing this squabble if we called it the battle of a lifetime, since the struggle between Moaning Myrtle and her once classmate Olive Hornby transcends insignificant issues like the death of one participant. While little is known about the trigger of this famous feud, we do know that Olive taunted Myrtle during her living days at Hogwarts and sounded like a bit of a jerk. This interest in pursuing Myrtle backfired on the bully Hornby when she unexpectedly found Myrtle dead, having been murdered by Riddle’s Basilisk – which one would think put an end to the dispute. However, quite committed in death to exact her revenge, Myrtle’s eccentric ghost stalked and tormented Hornby for many years to come. After an incident at the latter’s wedding, Ministry officials were drawn in to mediate and Myrtle was prevented from further engaging with her foe.

Pettiness rating: 15/10

 

Let us know of other squabbles we’ve missed in the comments!

 

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Aneeta Menon

I work in the learning and development of adults (who can’t be given detention), cater to the ever changing whims of small nifflers, and listen to the HP audiobooks on repeat.

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