Hogwarts professors are not people you want to mess with. They tend to keep the peace and order at the school full of adolescent witches and wizards. However, there are a lot of students to keep track of and not that many professors to watch over them.
So what do they do when they need extra help? They allow students to become another layer of authority to make sure that there is always someone watching and prohibiting rule-breaking. We’re taking a look at some of the best and worst Prefect choices from the series.
13 Never Should Have Been Chosen: Ron Weasley
Ron being chosen as a Prefect is a common point of contention among fans of the series. It’s still hard to understand why Dumbledore chose Ron to become Prefect. We know he didn’t choose Harry because he felt Harry had enough on his plate. Hermione was an obvious Gryffindor choice, but why Ron? Was it simply because many of his brothers had been a Prefect before him?
Why not another Gryffindor boy in their years like Dean, Seamus, or Neville? Ron was never one to follow rules. He had no issue with letting people break them and he wouldn’t even stand up to his own brothers when they stepped out of line. For the most part, he was a pushover and not necessarily a great role model. Plus, Dumbledore should have realized that Ron and Hermione would be embedded in everything Harry was, too.
12 Perfect: Lily Evans
Lily Evans was a diligent and responsible Hogwarts student who often kept her friends in line. She didn’t fall prey to the charms of James Potter and even stood up for people like Snape who was frequently bullied by James and his friends.
Lily was so impressive at her job as a Prefect that she was eventually chosen to become the Head Girl during her time at Hogwarts.
11 Perfect: Percy Weasley
Whether you’re a fan of Percy Weasley or not, it’s hard to argue that he was a bad Prefect. The guy had rule-following in his blood. It was all he cared about.
His penchant for doing whatever it took to appeal to his elders and push his career forward eventually led to the huge falling out with his family because he refused to “betray” the Ministry. Percy may not have been the nicest, but he knew how to be a Prefect and eventually Head Boy.
10 Perfect: Hermione Granger
Hermione was kind of like a Diet Percy in some ways. She was never quite as intense about rule-following as the elder Weasley, but she still respected the regulations of Hogwarts. That said, Hermione was willing to bend and break them when it meant helping out her best friends Ron and Harry.
However, Hermione was also adamant about keeping the first-years and other students in line. She wasn’t afraid of people disliking her and had no issues with calling out Fred and George. Her ferocity and maturity made her a great Prefect and she probably would have been a great Head Girl things gone differently.
9 Never Should Have Been Chosen: Remus Lupin
Remus Lupin was not a great Prefect for many of the reasons that Hermione was. While they both broke rules frequently for the good of their friendships, Hermione did a better job at curtailing some of Ron and Harry’s crazier schemes than Lupin ever did.
Lupin was something of a pushover when it came to James and Sirius. You could never say that Hermione was one as well.
8 Perfect: Cedric Diggory
Poor Cedric. His fate still leaves a bitter taste behind for many series’ fans even all these years later. He was the first person to truly bring glory to the Hufflepuff house in a long time.
It was easy to see why he was made Prefect considering he was well-liked, a great student, an excellent Quidditch player, and eventually even a Triwizard Tournament contender.
7 Never Should Have Been Chosen: Draco Malfoy
Yes, Draco Malfoy being evil is reason enough alone that he shouldn’t have become a Prefect but beyond that, he just never paid attention to his responsibilities as a Prefect. When he did, he was often taking advantage of his newfound authority.
It is truly a wonder that Dumbledore thought it was a wise decision to entrust Malfoy with such an important job when he never showed any inkling or desire in making the school a better or safer place. Plus, once he got increasingly involved with Voldemort’s circle he shirked his tasks altogether.
6 Perfect: Bill Weasley
Bill Weasley was yet another from the redheaded clan that eventually became a Head Boy. He and his brother Charlie were both Prefects during their years at Hogwarts and set the tone for all the other members of the family.
Bill was a great wizard and showed promise during his time. After graduating, he went on to work for Gringotts and became a valuable asset to the Order of the Phoenix.
5 Never Should Have Been Chosen: Pansy Parkinson
Pansy Parkinson was nothing more than a Draco Malfoy lackey. She didn’t do anything without his permission and often bullied the other students in her year.
She took any opportunity she could get to mock Hermione Granger and was just as cruel as many of her Slytherin classmates.
4 Perfect: Hannah Abbott
While Hannah Abbott was mostly a minor character in the Harry Potter universe, she was still a diligent student and surprisingly brave.
She was eventually a member of Dumbledore’s Army and even married Neville Longbottom.
3 Never Should Have Been Chosen: Tom Riddle
For all intents and purposes, Tom Riddle was actually a brilliant choice to become a Prefect. In fact, it might even be right to label him as a perfect choice, except for one little problem. He was a dangerous person that was already planning on becoming a dark wizard overlord as a teenager.
He also opened the Chamber of Secrets and was responsible for the death of a girl during his time at Hogwarts. So, needless to say, it was probably not the smartest choice at the time — even if it seemed like he was perfect on the surface due to his charm and excellent grades — to make Tom a Prefect.
2 Perfect: Ernie Macmillan
If there was anything Ernie Macmillan knew how to do, it was to follow rules. Sometimes that was to a detriment considering Ernie was also responsible for spreading rumors that Harry was the Heir of Slytherin and that he had hoodwinked the Goblet of Fire.
That said, he did eventually learn his lesson and even became part of Dumbledore’s Army. That was perhaps his worst bout of rule-breaking, but he did try to stand up to the Inquisitorial Squad.
1 Never Should Have Been Chosen: Lucius Malfoy
We know very little about Lucius Malfoy’s time at Hogwarts, but he was made a Prefect during his tenure as a student in Slytherin. While we may not understand much about him as a kid, we know quite a bit about him as an adult.
It’s hard to imagine he changed much from then to now. Lucius worked very hard at maintaining the illusion he was a good person even though, in reality, he always had darkness inside him.