I’m going to play devil’s advocate for a second… and Dolores Umbridge is the devil in this scenario.
She’s pretty much everyone’s least favorite HP character, WITH GOOD REASON. From the moment she arrived at Hogwarts, Umbridge tried to undermine Dumbledore, disrespected our beloved Hogwarts professors, tried to advance her heinous views against equality, and basically ruined Harry’s life. A few other horrible things she did? Wrote anti-werewolf laws that made it nearly impossible for Lupin to get a job, ordered dementors to attack Harry, was worse than Voldemort, etc. etc. Remember when she banned Harry from playing Quidditch for life? And those kitten plates in her office were downright creepy. Also, the clearing throat noise. SO. ANNOYING.
However. There are a lot of pretty evil characters in the series. Is Umbridge actually the worst? Or does she have any redeeming qualities? Personally, I find villains fascinating, because the fact is, most people (or characters) wouldn’t actually consider themselves a villain. They think what they’re doing is right. Don’t we all consider ourselves the protagonists of our own stories? So, I wanted to scrape the very VERY bottom of the barrel to see if I could find any redeeming qualities in the woman everyone loves to hate.
She Wasn't A Death Eater
Even though Umbridge was pure evil... at least she never joined You-Know-Who's forces. Though, of course, she did quite a lot to aid his rise to power by quieting the fact that he had returned.
She Invented Things
Umbridge wasn't totally lousy at magic — in fact, she was a bit of an inventor. Unfortunately, she used that inventive nature to create the black quill that scarred the back of Harry's hand, but who knows? Maybe she invented some other, more helpful and positive things. Though probably not.
She Is Ambitious
Perhaps that ambition is laced with a thirst for power and a ruthless streak, but still, Umbridge does have ambition. She doesn't sit on the sidelines and wait to be promoted: she goes out there and takes the Ministry by storm.
She's A Mentor To Younger Characters
Remember the Inquisitorial Squad? Umbridge hand-picked some students to mentor. She may have been mentoring them in how to be the most evil person ever, but at least she tried to reach out to Hogwarts youth, right?
She Is Gutsy
Umbridge has the nerve to interrupt Dumbledore's start-of-term speech, which most professors would never dare to do. Probably out of respect. Still, this does prove that Umbridge has guts.
She Was A Hard Worker
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Umbridge reads all mail at Hogwarts. That's insane. Do you know how long that would take? Think of how many letters students write and receive daily! This certainly proves that Dolores is a hard worker, because that's dedication right there.
She Has A Signature Color
Umbridge is always wearing pink, just like Elle Woods. Sadly, the similarities between the characters end there. Still... at least she has a signature style?
She Inspired The AVPS Character
"Rule number 1: No boys. Unless they’re cute. Rule number 2: No alcohol. Unless there’s plenty to go around. Stop it girls, I’m bad. Rule number 3: No parties. Unless Umbridge is invited!" Who didn't love AVPS Umbridge?
She Gave Fred And George The Opportunity Of A Lifetime
The best thing about Umbridge is that she was the perfect victim for plenty of practical jokes, and made Fred and George's Hogwarts exit SO satisfying. Because I must not tell lies: Umbridge was the WOOOORST.
Images: Warner Bros (8), YouTube (1)