There are seven wizarding schools revealed so far in the world of Harry Potter, but the one that stands above all the rest is easily Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in Scotland. The fact that the person who is considered the most powerful wizard in Harry Potter served as its headmaster should tell fans all they need to know about the prestige of the institute.
Throughout the years, there have been many amazing students at Hogwarts — from the aforementioned headmaster Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter, the chosen one, and the most legendary wizard of them all, Merlin. Mixed in are many students who were contemporaries of Harry Potter, others who taught Dumbledore, and many others who ended up turning to the dark side, including the most powerful practitioner of black magic in history.
Updated on March 21st, 2022, by Shawn S. Lealos: The Harry Potter world lives on, with a new movie hitting theaters in 2022 in the spin-off Fantastic Beasts series. A recent anniversary special also reminded people of why this movie franchise was so popular to begin with.
While Harry Potter has dropped in popularity in recent years due to things outside the movie franchise’s control, it has never diminished the quality of the movies and the great work by the actors involved. With the franchise continuing, there are more great wizards showing up in the world of Hogwarts, proving that there have been some very powerful wizards who attended that prestigious wizarding school.
32 Gilderoy Lockhart
If you ask Gilderoy Lockhart, there are few wizards in the world as powerful and accomplished as he is. Don’t believe him? Read his book. In it, he reveals all of the exploits and adventures that he set out on and all of the dark and magical creatures he encountered along the way.
The problem is that the book was all lies and exaggerations. It was revealed in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that Lockhart mastered a Memory Charm that forced people to forget what really happened so that he could take credit for various events. However, the former Ravenclaw student ended up on the receiving end of the Memory Charm and was later institutionalized.
31 Albus Potter
Maybe one day, Albus Potter might rank higher on the list of the most powerful Hogwarts students, but at the moment, he is still young. As the son of Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley, Albus was sorted into the Slytherin House when he enrolled at Hogwarts, much to everyone’s shock (especially his brother James’, who was sorted into Gryffindor).
He spent his first three years at Hogwarts struggling at even the most basic spells and felt like he wasn’t living up to his dad’s legacy. As a result, his powers were nowhere near the level of his dad’s, although he did have basic skills at casting charms.
30 Rubeus Hagrid
Hagrid could have been a formidable wizard. He proved over time that he was very powerful — especially when someone hurt someone whom he loved. However, he was not consistent in his spells, which was evident when he gave Dudley Dursley a pig’s tale when he meant to turn him into a pig completely.
Sadly, what hurt Hagrid the most was that he was expelled from Hogwarts in his third year for a crime that he did not commit. The Ministry of Magic then destroyed his wand and forbade Hagrid from practicing magic, although he secretly continued by using an umbrella.
29 Cho Chang
Cho Chang was sorted into Ravenclaw and was a dedicated student and a member of their Quidditch team. While she started out as a minor character, it was the fate of her boyfriend that pushed her into a larger role. Cho was dating Cedric Diggory, and when he fell in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire to Voldemort and Peter Pettigrew, she decided to take a stand and joined Dumbledore’s Army.
She then began dating Harry Potter for a short time, but it ended after her friend betrayed Dumbledore’s Army. Despite this, Cho remained strong and stood with Hogwarts against Voldemort.
28 Luna Lovegood
How powerful is Luna Lovegood? That is a hard question to answer. Though the Ravenclaw student was a great help to Harry Potter, she mostly kept to herself and zoned out when others were socializing. She usually kept to herself unless she was really needed.
However, Luna Lovegood is extremely talented. She conjured a corporeal Patronus at the age of 14 and has competed in duels since the age of 15. She also took part in the Battle of Hogwarts and held her own against the Death Eaters. As a co-leader of Dumbledore’s Army, she often proved herself, though she preferred to keep to herself rather than fight.
27 Ron Weasley
Though Ron Weasley was one of the three main protagonists from the main Harry Potter franchise, he might have been the weakest member of his own family. Bill was a head boy, Percy a Prefect, and both Fred and George received great marks in school. This gave Ron a little too much to live up to when he arrived at Hogwarts.
By the time Ron reached his seventh year at Hogwarts, he was excelling with seven O.W.L.s. He also proved himself in the final Battle of Hogwarts, standing by his friends. He was very insecure at the beginning of the series, but once he trusted in himself, he become a solid wizard.
26 Neville Longbottom
At one point in the Harry Potter books, there was a question about who the chosen one really was. Since both Neville Longbottom and Harry Potter were born on the same day, it was unclear who would be the one to bring down Voldemort one day. However, since Voldemort chose to pursue Harry, the chosen one then became the son of the Potters. Regardless, Neville showed off his still, especially during the Battle of Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
He had low self-esteem and needed a lot of help from others when he first arrived at Hogwarts. However, once he stood up to the bullying that he encountered and developed courage and a sense of worth, his standing up to Voldemort at the end of the series proved that he was a hero in his own right.
25 * Leta Lestrange
Leta Lestrange was a pure-blood witch born into the infamous Lestrange family. While her family developed a bad name in later years thanks to Bellatrix, who married into the family, Leta was a decent witch, although one who had a dark past herself.
Leta inadvertently killed her baby brother when she switched himself out on a boat due to his crying and the ship sunk, her real brother died. She ended up bullied relentlessly at Hogwarts due to her brother’s death and her status as an abandoned child. This pushed her to work harder than most other students and she ended up a powerful witch and went to work for the British Ministry of Magic.
24 Weasley Twins
Fred and George Weasley are, in fact, two different people. However, both the books and the movies made them almost interchangeable and never really distinguished between them, so they get one spot in this list of the most powerful Hogwarts students. Though the twins received good grades in school, they preferred jokes and pranks and eventually opened up their own wizarding joke shop that instantly became a success.
Both Fred and George were very talented wizards. While they liked to have fun, they both were loyal to Harry and ended up going back to Hogwarts to take part in the Battle of Hogwarts, which unfortunately proved fatal for Fred in the end.
23 Newt Scamander
Though we see him in the U.S. in Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Newt Scamander was a student at Hogwarts. He was into the Hufflepuff House, but he was expelled after taking responsibility for an incident with a magical creature. He was allowed to keep his wand and continued to practice magic. He proved over time to be a very capable wizard and soon got a job with the Ministry of Magic.
Newt was a Magiczoologist, someone who studies magical creatures, and wrote the book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that students of future generations at Hogwarts studied. While his skills mostly deal with caring for creatures, he was also a strong duelist.
22 Draco Malfoy
Draco Malfoy was one of the antagonists in the original Harry Potter series. However, while he was a bad guy, we soon realized by the end of the series that he was simply born into a pure-blooded family that was dedicated to Voldemort and was not able to choose his own path. Despite this, he was a bully to Harry at Hogwarts before he was forced to become a Death Eater.
Though Draco was bad, he was also a very smart and skilled wizard. He was second to only Hermione as a Hogwarts student and was named a Prefect in the Slytherin House. He was also a member of the Inquisitorial Squad. Though he became a Death Eater, he defected during the Battle of Hogwarts.
21 Ginny Weasley
Originally, Ginny Weasley was seen as purely the kid sister of Ron Weasley. However, unlike her brother, who felt the pressure of his older siblings weighing down on him, Ginny seemed much more independent and strong-willed — possibly taking after her mother, Mrs. Weasley, who proved herself during the Battle of Hogwarts.
At the age of 14, Ginny conjured a corporeal Patronus in the form of a horse. She was also a great duelist and stood by Luna and Hermione against Bellatrix Lestrange during the Battle of Hogwarts, holding off the much more powerful and skilled witch, which is no easy feat.
20 Padma Patil
Padma Patil was the twin sister of Parvati. While Parvati was sorted into the Gryffindor House and seemed to care more for gossip and fashion, Padma was sorted into the Ravenclaw House and became a Prefect in her fifth year.
Padma took a role in Dumbledore’s Army and her intelligence and poise made her a powerful witch in her own right. She earned outstanding marks in both Potions and Defence Against the Dark Arts classes. She also used her skills to help during the battle to overcome the rule of Dolores Umbridge.
19 Cedric Diggory
Cedric Diggory was a tragic character in the Harry Potter series, as he perished during the final test in the Tri-Wizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. However, the fact that he made it through to the final test of the tournament shows how talented he was.
As a member of the Hufflepuff House, he was kind and well-liked. Barty Crouch Jr. even referred to Diggory as a « talented wizard. » While he would fall to Voldemort at the end of Goblet of Fire, his spirit would later return to help Harry escape from Voldemort along with other spirits of Voldemort’s victims.
18 James Potter
James Potter was only seen in flashbacks and as a ghost, but his strength was obvious through the tales that his friends and enemies told about him. As the father of Harry Potter, James moved up through the ranks at Hogwarts and became the Head Boy of Gryffindor in his seventh year.
James, along with his wife Lily and best friend Sirius Black, fought in the First Wizarding War. The three of them were able to hold off Lord Voldemort three times. Sadly, a prophecy surrounding his son was created and the Potter family went into hiding… until their close friend Peter Pettigrew betrayed them.
17 Bill Weasley
Bill Weasley was the oldest of the Weasley children and possibly the smartest and most talented of the lot. Though younger brothers were practical jokers (the twins), insecure (Ron), and arrogant (Percy), Bill basically laid back and cool. However, don’t let his calm personality fool you — he was also extremely powerful.
He earned 12 O.W.L.s in his fifth year alone and was named the Head Boy. He returned years later to help Harry and the Order of the Pheonix fight Voldemort during the Second Wizarding War. He fought and survived numerous battles. He is a master at the Defence Against the Dark Arts and is a Curse-Breaker, someone who breaks curses on objects and places.
16 Filius Flitwick
Throughout the Harry Potter series, Filius Flitwick never had much time to show off how powerful he really was. However, there are stories about his skills and he was, when needed, a powerful soldier. While he was a student at Hogwarts, Flitwick was sorted into Ravenclaw and eventually became the head of that house.
He is a Charms Master and stood by Hogwarts during the Second Wizarding War, during which he was able to defeat many Death Eaters. The half-goblin, half-wizard proved to be a powerful ally and is the most knowledgeable Charms Master in the world.
15 Lucius Malfoy
Because Lucius Malfoy was such an arrogant and evil antagonist throughout the series, it was a joy to watch his side fall during the Second Wizarding War. Lucius was a pureblood and a member of Voldemort’s Death Eaters. He was someone who hated all muggles and half-bloods. When he attended Hogwarts, he was sorted into Slytherin.
As a wealthy and powerful wizard, Lucius thought himself better than everyone else. With Voldemort backing him, he proved to be a very powerful and talented wizard. However, as Voldemort’s confidence in him waned, Lucius grew weak. During the Battle of Hogwarts, his family realized that their side had lost and defected.
14 Molly Weasley
Never make a mother angry. Unfortunately, this is a lesson that Bellatrix Lestrange learned the hard way. With Hogwarts under siege, the Weasley family appeared to protect its walls and its students, despite the fact that this put them all in danger. After Fred fell and her other children were in danger, Molly showed of her true power and proved that a mother’s love is always stronger than magic.
After the Battle of Hogwarts, Molly Weasley found her name listed in the annals of history as the woman who took down Bellatrix. Molly didn’t seem like the strongest witch, but when Ginny was in danger, she stepped up and took down one of the most powerful of Death Eaters.
13 Sirius Black
To understand how strong and powerful Sirius Black truly is, one must be reminded of the fact that he spent years in Azkaban and was able to keep his sanity in the presence of Dementors. He did this because he knew that he was innocent and he knew that he had to stay strong for his godson Harry Potter, who he hoped to meet one day.
Sirius spent 12 years locked away in Azkaban and was the first person to ever escape from it without help. He was sorted into Gryffindor when he was at Hogwarts and many considered him as one of the most brilliant Gryffindor students in the history of the school. Remis Lupin called him one of the most clever Hogwarts students and Professor McGonagall said that he was a very powerful wizard.
12 Lily Potter
Lily Potter was a muggle-born witch who learned that she possessed magical powers when she met Severus Snape, who soon became a close friend. She enrolled at Hogwarts and was sorted into Gryffindor. She excelled and became Head Girl in her seventh year, and soon began dating James Potter.
She and James battled Voldemort during the First Wizarding War and were very successful in their battles against Death Eaters. However, when they went into hiding to protect their newborn son, Voldemort found them and took both of their lives. Lily proved in her final moment how powerful she really was when she cast a final spell to protect Harry from Voldemort and save his life.
11 Harry Potter
Since Harry Potter is the titular character of the entire Harry Potter franchise, it should be obvious that he is quite powerful. After all, he is the chosen one who finally destroyed Lord Voldemort. However, why is he ranked so low on the list? Harry had a lot of luck and help from his friends and allies during his journey. His best friends, Hermione and Ron, always had his back.
However, despite the immense help that he received, he was still very good at Defence Against the Dark Arts, which he proved when he and his friends formed DA and he started teaching other students how to defend themselves. Though he was a quick thinker, his temper often got in the way of his skills. He was very smart, but he wasn’t as skilled as someone like Hermione. Regardless, though, he was still able to get the job done when needed.
10 Horace Slughorn
When Voldemort returned, Dumbledore knew that he needed to find out more about Tom Riddle’s time at Hogwarts so he sought out Horace Slughorn and forced him to come out of retirement. Slughorn had been a Potions teacher at Hogwarts, and Tom Riddle had been one of his favorite students. Slughorn « collected » promising students at Hogwarts and would often have events excessively for them.
Slughorn, who was a Slytherin during his time at Hogwarts, went back to teach at Hogwarts when Voldemort rose to power again, but when it came time for the Battle of Hogwarts, Slughorn took the side of the heroes and joined Professor McGonagall and Kingsley Shacklebolt to stand and face off against Voldemort and his followers in a massive duel. He survived the battle and retired once again.
9 Hermoine Granger
Hermione is one of Harry Potter’s best friends and is the most powerful of the three characters. She is the smartest and most skilled student and easily the most competent magic user of the trio. While Harry is the lead character of the series, it is obvious that he doesn’t hold a candle to Hermione when it comes to true power.
Hermione is the one who keeps Harry and Ron alive more often than not. She is also the one who takes action in most cases. She knows just about everything there is to know about spells and magic. How powerful was she? The noted Hogwarts student ended up as the Minister for Magic, which is a very impressive achievement for a muggle-born.
8 Remus Lupin
Remis Lupin was a half-blood wizard. When he was young, he was attacked by Fenrir Greyback and was infected with lycanthropy, which means that he would turn into a werewolf whenever there was a full moon. He attended Hogwarts and was sorted into the Gryffindor House. At Hogwarts, he became best friends with James Potter, Sirius Black, and Peter Pettigrew.
Remus was one of the first members of the Order of the Phoenix and battled against Voldemort during the First Wizarding War. However, he ended up alone at the end, as James and (allegedly) Peter fell to Voldemort and Sirius ended up in Azkaban. He later became the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts for a year. In fact, he was of the best in Hogwart’s history… until the Wizarding World learned that he was a werewolf.
7 Theseus Scamander
While Newt Scamander is the hero of the Fantastic Beasts franchise, it is his brother Theseus who is the more powerful wizard. He studied as a boy at Hogwarts, part of the Hufflepuff house, where he excelled, earning top grades and at least five N.E.W.T.s. He battled in World War I, defying orders to remain uninvolved, and was considered a war hero.
He was then a major part of the Global wizarding war, where he was once again a war hero, returning to become the Head of the Auror Office. He was not only one of the strongest wizards in the Harry Potter world but also a commanding wizard that could lead others around him.
6 Bellatrix Lestrange
Bellatrix Lestrange was a pureblood witch and was the eldest child in the Black family. Sirius Black was her cousin. She was part of one of the Sacred Twenty-Eight, which are the remaining true pureblood families in Europe. After she attended Hogwarts as a Slytherin, she became one of the most powerful former Hogwarts students in existence.
Bellatrix was completely insane when she escaped Azkaban in the 1996 mass break-out and ended up taking the life of Sirius Black, her niece Nymphadora Tonks, as well as the house-elf Dobby. When she targeted Ginny Weasley during the Battle of Hogwarts, it was Molly Weasley who finally ended her life.
5 Minerva McGonagall
Professor McGonagall was mostly known as a professor at Hogwarts — and one of the kindest there — but before that, she was also a student who was sorted into Gryffindor House. She proved to be a brilliant student and soon became Prefect and Head Girl. She also had top grades in both the O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s.
By the time she graduated, she was a perfect candidate to be a professor after she spent two years working for the Ministry of Magic. She is an extremely powerful witch who is a master of Transfiguration and is a very talented duelist.
4 Severus Snape
Though many fans first believed that Severus Snape was an antagonist in the Harry Potter franchise, they soon discovered that he was actually a good guy and was working to help Dumbledore take Voldemort down. Though it was clear that Snape was a Death Eater, as he attended their meetings and aided Voldemort once he returned to power, it was soon revealed that Snape was actually a double-agent all along. Everything he did was to protect Harry Potter.
At Hogwarts, Snape was a Slytherin, and later on, he became a Death Eater who Voldemort relied upon, which proves his worth. However, at the same time, Snape was also a member of the Order of the Phoenix. He was the Potions professor at Hogwarts during Harry’s time there. Because of his dedication to Dumbledore, he was eventually forced to take the Headmaster’s life.
3 Tom Riddle/Voldemort
Though Tom Riddle was once a student at Hogwarts and was sorted into the Slytherin House, he went on to become one of the darkest and most powerful wizards in Harry Potter, taking on the name of Lord Voldemort. He was a half-blood wizard who never learned how to love others since his mother had given his father a love potion in order to make him love her. He was related to the Gaunts, one of the oldest pureblood families, and was a descendant of Salazar Slytherin.
Though Dumbledore tried to help the young wizard during his time at Hogwarts, Tom was always tempted by the dark arts. He learned how to create Horcruxes and made himself almost invincible. He eventually drew many dedicated followers, decimating the wizarding community and taking numerous lives during two different Wizarding Wars before Harry Potter finally fulfilled his destiny and stopped him.
Though he never appeared in the Harry Potter series, Merlin did come up from time to time. The legendary wizard was a student at Hogwarts. He was sorted into the Slytherin House during the medieval era. Merlin was one of the most powerful wizards in history and was a member of King Arthur’s court.
While it was never clarified one way or the other, there is a chance that Merlin was originally taught by Salazar Slytherin himself. He founded the Order of Merlin and believed that all wizards and muggles should live in peace. He is considered the greatest wizard of all time when it comes to charms. He is known as the Prince of Enchanters.
1 Albus Dumbledore
While Merlin is considered one of the most powerful wizards in the Harry Potter universe, his accolades only live in legend and, since then, other wizards have also risen in power. One such wizard is Albus Dumbledore, who eventually became the Headmaster of Hogwarts. He was the only wizard who was strong enough to defeat Gellert Grindelwald in what was considered the greatest duel in wizarding history.
He was sorted into the Gryffindor House as a student and later became the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, Transfiguration professor, and then Headmaster. He trained or oversaw most of the people on this list and was considered a wizard of unrivaled power.