— HARRY POTTER (played by Daniel Radcliffe) Neglected English orphan; wizard-in-training at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. PERTINENT BACKGROUND Wizard parents, James and Lily, were killed by the Darth Vader-ish adversary Lord Voldemort (a.k.a. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and You-Know-Who), who mysteriously vanished in a green flash when he attempted to kill infant Harry. (The attack left Harry with a lightning-bolt-shaped scar on his forehead.) Raised by his aunt and uncle (the Dursleys), who not only are mean — they adore their spoiled, corpulent son Dudley — but have also never told Harry of his enchanted origins. OTHER CURIOUS CHARACTERISTICS He’s a ”parselmouth” — one who is capable of communicating with snakes (a rather suspect talent also attributed to Voldemort). A natural on a broomstick, making him an ace at Quidditch — a rugby/basketball/soccer/cricket hybrid that’s played in the air by teams representing Hogwarts’ four houses (or dormitories): Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff, and Ravenclaw. ANIMAL COMPANION Hedwig, a mail-delivering owl.
— RON WEASLEY (played by Rupert Grint) Harry’s best friend; fellow wizard-in-training. PERTINENT BACKGROUND The sixth of seven Weasley children, all of whom have flaming red hair and either currently attend or have graduated from Hogwarts. OTHER CURIOUS CHARACTERISTICS Not an academic. Ashamed of his cheesy hand-me-downs. ANIMAL COMPANION Scabbers, a fat, dirty, and seemingly benign rat. Emphasis on seemingly.
— HERMIONE GRANGER (played by Emma Watson) Harry’s other best friend; fellow wizard-in-training. PERTINENT BACKGROUND Unlike Harry’s and Ron’s parents, Hermione’s are Muggles — that is, nonmagical folks. (Unless you consider a root canal magical: They’re dentists.) OTHER CURIOUS CHARACTERISTICS Bossy. Type A personality (she’s the best student in her class). ANIMAL COMPANION None until book 3, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
— ALBUS DUMBLEDORE (played by Richard Harris) Mentor/father figure; Headmaster at Hogwarts. PERTINENT BACKGROUND The only wizard Lord Voldemort ever feared — until Harry. Owes his life to Hagrid (see below), though that has yet to be explained. OTHER CURIOUS CHARACTERISTICS Wise yet whimsical. Claims to have a scar above his knee resembling a map of the London Underground. Elton John might kill for his groovy half-moon spectacles. Digs lemon drops. ANIMAL COMPANION Fawkes, a pet phoenix.
— RUBEUS HAGRID (played by Robbie Coltrane) Giant gamekeeper at Hogwarts; sometime guardian angel to Harry and his pals. PERTINENT BACKGROUND Once a wizard-in-training himself, was expelled from Hogwarts for…well, we don’t know that yet, either. OTHER CURIOUS CHARACTERISTICS His coat of many pockets is stuffed with many things, including a teapot and a pink umbrella, which reflect his gentle giant nature. We think. ANIMAL COMPANION Several: most notably Fang, his loyal boarhound, and Norbert, an illegally bred Norwegian Ridgeback dragon.