Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Zacharias Smith
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
|Related Family||Haughty-looking father|
|Loyalty||Hufflepuff Quidditch Team; Dumbledore's Army|
Overview[edit | edit source]
Zacharias Smith is a member of Dumbledore's Army and of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team. He is rather obnoxious, and nobody in Dumbledore's Army seems to like him. He contrasts the Hufflepuff ideal of "loyal, kind, and hard-working".
Role in the Books[edit | edit source]
Zacharias Smith is present at the first meeting of what will become Dumbledore's Army at the Hog's Head. He was invited to join after overhearing Hermione talking to Ernie Macmillan and Hannah Abbott about starting it. Zacharias wonders out loud what Harry would have to teach them, given that he has said himself that he didn't do a lot of the stuff on his own, and the other students there present start listing off his accomplishments. He subsides, after a half-joking threat from Fred and George.
When Educational Decree Number Twenty-Four, banning all student groups that have not been approved by the Hogwarts High Inquisitor, is published, Ron immediately guesses that Zacharias Smith had told on them. Hermione says that that is impossible, as if he had, a spell on the parchment they had all signed would give him an awful set of facial blemishes.
At the first actual meeting of Dumbledore's Army, in the Room of Requirement, Harry elects to start the class off with the Disarming charm. Zacharias says this is too simple a charm to start with. Harry responds that it worked well enough against Voldemort, but Zacharias is free to leave if he feels the material is beneath him.
Professor Dumbledore requires that Harry learn Occlumency after Christmas, and assigns Professor Snape to be his instructor. Snape, telling Harry this, instructs him to explain this, if necessary, by saying he is taking Remedial Potions. When he must explain the new schedule for meetings of Dumbledore's Army, Zacharias is particularly supercilious.
Harry does note that Zacharias seems to be working harder in his classes after the mass breakout from Azkaban. Some time after this, though, Dumbledore's Army is betrayed, and Zacharias does not enter our story again in this book.
With the departure of Lee Jordan at his graduation at the end of the previous book, there is no announcer for Quidditch, so Zacharias is announcing the match between Slytherin and Gryffindor. Starting off being openly critical of Harry's choice of Ron Weasley as Keeper and Ginny Weasley as one of the three Chasers, he shortly changes his tune as Ginny scores the majority of the goals against Slytherin and Ron stops everything that comes his way. He remains critical of Gryffindor, however, until the end of the match. Swooping down to join the Gryffindor victory celebration, Ginny "forgets to brake" and runs into the announcer's tower, sending Zacharias tumbling onto the field in a shower of wood.
Zacharias is not, apparently, asked to announce for any other games; that honour passes to Luna Lovegood.
Following Dumbledore's death at the climax of the book, Zacharias does not stay for the funeral; he is escorted home by his "haughty-looking" father.
We only see Smith in passing: as the underage wizards in the school are being evacuated to safety, Harry sees Zacharias Smith knocking several of them over in his haste to reach the Room of Requirement and the passage to safety at the Hog's Head.
Strengths[edit | edit source]
Since he is on the Hufflepuff team, it is likely he is a fairly good Quidditch player.
As a member of the DA, he has learned a fairly comprehensive amount of defensive magic from Harry and the other members.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
Zacharias is portrayed as a very self-centred individual. As mentioned, in his haste to depart Hogwarts before the battle in the final book, he bowls over several first-years in his own house, in contradiction to the "just and loyal" type that Hufflepuff House Sorts for.
Relationships with Other Characters[edit | edit source]
He is believed to have be on friendly terms with his fellow Hufflepuffs, Ernie Macmillan and Hannah Abbott.
He is rather supercilious and dismissive of many other members of Dumbledore's Army, although he remains a member and is making an effort.
Analysis[edit | edit source]
There has been much discussion about why Zacharias is in Hufflepuff, seeing as he initially appears to have none of the related qualities.
It may be interesting to note, however, that he puts in a lot of work in the DA sessions, and that he does not betray the organisation as Marietta does, despite being given ample opportunity to do so. This shows a small amount of both hard work and loyalty, which are both Hufflepuff traits.
Questions[edit | edit source]
- Why is Zacharias in Hufflepuff?
- If he is so mistrusting of Harry and his friends, why does he sign up to the DA?
- Where do his real loyalties lie, if indeed he has any?
- He is a student in Harry's seventh year, so must have Blood Status. Is he a pure-blood or half-blood?
Greater Picture[edit | edit source]
The introduction of Zacharias may be an attempt by the author to show that not everyone is simply good or bad, or defined by their House, in this case. Zacharias, unlike every other Hufflepuff we meet, is rude, sarcastic and almost impossible to like.
The fact that he remains a loyal member of Dumbledore's Army, and not their betrayer, is a surprise to the reader, as they (like Ron) may have suspected him from the start.