The upcoming Harry Potter video game, Hogwarts Legacy, which is expected to release in February 2023, has fans eager to finally participate in the wizarding world. Trailers for the title boasts the ability to attend Hogwarts, make friends, and even practice Dark spells. This indicates that there will likely be a morality mechanic, which will allow players to be either a good or Dark wizard.
This is especially exciting in the wizarding world, where the kind of magic that someone has access to or the magical repercussions they face often depends on their moral alignment. This makes characters that use nefarious means to gain status, withhold secrets, and exercise control over others easy to spot in the Harry Potter series. Characters like Gilderoy Lockhart, Peter Pettigrew, and Lucius Malfoy always wore their ambitions on their sleeves, revealing several hints that should have made everyone see clearly that they were up to no good.
10/10 Cornelius Fudge
When Harry first met Cornelius Fudge, he seemed to be a pleasant man. However, when the Minister for Magic began to feel that his position of power was threatened, he quickly revealed his true colors.
Like many politicians in the wizarding world, Fudge is a Slytherin who, above all else, valued status. Long before Voldemort’s return, Fudge was willing to throw Hagrid into Azkaban if it meant that he appeared to have the Chamber of Secrets incident under control. Ultimately, it never should have surprised Harry that he would turn on him so quickly.
9/10 Gilderoy Lockhart
From the moment that Harry met Gilderoy Lockhart in Chamber of Secrets, it was clear that he was a fraud. His thirst for the spotlight was insufferable, and his assumption that Harry wanted the same thing was deeply revealing of his nature.
In fact, Lockhart was so outrageously incompetent that it is a wonder that anyone who met him ever believed his stories. The fact that every girl in his class was blinded by his charm, even though he repeatedly demonstrated that he was a coward, made no sense.
8/10 Severus Snape
Severus Snape grew up with an abusive Muggle father, so it is no surprise that he would turn to the Muggle-hating Dark side. It fit his personality to a tee. However, after Lily’s death, Snape became a double agent and kept Voldemort fooled until his very end.
However, given Snape’s secretive personality and apparent skill in Occlumency, it’s a wonder that either side ever trusted him. After spending years at Dumbledore’s side, Voldemort should have been much more cautious about welcoming him back. And even Dumbledore, as revealed by one of his most enduring quotes in Harry Potter, was surprised to learn that Snape still carried a flame for Lily. Ultimately, he shouldn’t have seemed trustworthy to anyone.
7/10 Peter Pettigrew
One of the biggest tragedies of James and Lily’s deaths is that they had been betrayed by one of their best friends. Everyone thought it was Sirius for years, even though everyone knew that Peter Pettigrew loved having powerful friends.
Pettigrew had befriended the bullies when he was in school, so it only seems natural that he would do the same in the Wizarding War. Still, James and Sirius decided to make Pettigrew the Secret Keeper— a move that cost them everything.
6/10 Argus Filch
Argus Filch was never quiet regarding his ill will towards the students of Hogwarts. He craved a time when more violent punishments were permitted, and when Dolores Umbridge appeared with her cruel rules, Filch was the happiest Harry and co. had ever seen him.
As much as Dumbledore claimed to care about the students at Hogwarts, it seems strange that he would allow such a violent caretaker to have a hand in their discipline. Perhaps the Headmaster didn’t see Filch as a threat since he wasn’t magical. Still, the trust seems utterly misplaced.
5/10 Lucius Malfoy
As the patriarch of one of the most prevalent wizarding family trees in Harry Potter, Lucius Malfoy was regarded with great respect. He was a prominant benefactor to the Ministry of Magic and even held a place among the Hogwarts School Governors.
However, it was clear just looking at the Malfoy family that they revered the Dark Arts. This alone isn’t a crime, but combined with the countless accusations and witness accounts that Lucius was a Death Eater, it seems that anyone intelligent would have kept some distance from the wizard. Unfortunately, money makes even the wizarding world go ’round.
4/10 Igor Karkaroff
Throughout Goblet of Fire, Igor Karkaroff was regarded as the main suspect in the mystery of who entered Harry’s name in the tournament. Since it was public knowledge that the Headmaster of Durmstrang was a convicted Death Eater, he was the obvious choice.
Of course, this wasn’t true, but given what fans know about Dumbledore, it seems strange that he would have even let Karkaroff anywhere near Harry. Dumbledore had never felt the need to make nice with any other Dark wizards parading around in places of power, so why would he treat Karkaroff like an old friend when he knew exactly what he was?
3/10 Dolores Umbridge
Everything from Dolores Umbridge’s sickly sweet voice to her little pink bow screamed that she was poisonous. She was immediately unlikable to both the students and staff at Hogwarts long before her prejudiced nature was ever drawn out into the open.
Regardless, people within the Ministry seemed utterly blind to her gross ambition. Rufus Scrimgeour even tried to use Umbridge’s name to convince Harry to help the Ministry’s efforts (which, of course, quickly backfired). Umbridge can be summed up in Harry Potter by her childish temper and devilish will to control others, making it a mystery she was ever regarded with trust and respect.
2/10 The Half-Blood Prince
Had Harry known that the Half-Blood Prince had been Severus Snape all along, he would never have repeated the experiments and spells outlined in his Potions book. However, after his first lesson using it, Harry trusted the Prince entirely, even suspecting for a time that he might have been his father.
Ultimately, this was a ridiculous move on his part. Hermione even pointed out that the Prince’s spells seemed cruel, which Harry laughed off immediately. Even after Harry almost killed Draco using a Prince spell, he defended the mysterious character, which was so ludicrous and dark that the moment was cut from the Harry Potter movie.
1/10 Tom Riddle
During his school days, Tom Riddle was known to be charming. Only Dumbledore saw through the act and recognized that the intelligent and talented boy that the other teachers saw was a facade. The teacher who adored Riddle the most was Horus Slughorn, who enjoyed benefitting from his most promising pupils.
The moment that Tom started asking questions about Horcruxes, the clever Potions master should have known that everything wasn’t as it seemed. Slughorn is a pleasant man, but he is no stranger to the dark dangers of ambition. Ultimately, he should have known better than even to give subtle details about such a horrible power.