Everyone knows that Harry Potter is a hero — after all, he did save the world from Voldemort during the Second Wizarding War, and as Hermione once said, he had a bit of a “saving people” thing. But there’s another unsung hero in the Potter series who did just as much to help the cause without getting due credit: Hermione’s cat Crookshanks.
On Thursday, Pottermore released a post celebrating Crookshanks and his underappreciated achievements, and it makes several valid points.
Consider this: In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Crookshanks was the first character to discern that Ron’s rat Scabbers wasn’t what he seemed to be. And Crookshanks was the only one willing to do something proactive to take out the disguised traitor Peter Pettigrew. Ron gave Hermione the silent treatment when he thought her pet murdered his rat, but Crookshanks was willing to take one for the team — human friendship politics be damned.
Even Harry didn’t step up when it mattered. At the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry spared Pettigrew’s life out of the notion that his father wouldn’t want Sirius Black and Remus Lupin to become killers. Uh, that’s nice, Harry, but Pettigrew’s subsequent escape enabled Voldemort to return and kill more people.
Crookshanks was willing to get his paws dirty, where Harry wasn’t.
In addition to being the best traitor-spotter, willing to weed out rats, Crookshanks was also Sirius Black’s first friend before Harry or Remus Lupin knew that Sirius didn’t actually betray Lily and James Potter.
In other words, Crookshanks might be the smartest character in Harry Potter, who knew about Sirius’s innocence before it was cool.
From Prisoner of Azkaban:
‘This cat isn’t mad,’ said Black hoarsely. He reached out a bony hand and stroked Crookshanks’s fluffy head. ‘He’s the most intelligent of his kind I’ve ever met.’
Heroes come in many shades in the Potter series. Harry is overtly heroic, Neville rises to the occasion, and Hermione works quietly in the background, without due credit, to enable other heroes to know their shit. But Crookshanks is by far the smartest of the Potter heroes.
It’s time he got his own Order of Merlin, First Cat.