The 15 most popular Harry Potter ships according to AO3

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When a fictional world is packed with characters as rich and complex as Harry Potter, the shipping potential is endless. And whether a couple is canon or not, fans have crafted endless Harry Potter ships around their favorite connections from the series. Sites like AO3 are home to tales for everyone from Harry and Ron to Crookshanks and Hedwig.

Some Harry Potter ships are more bizarre than others and a few less age-appropriate matches are omitted here. However, those with the most stories on the site all have one thing in common. These are the pairings that highlight which characters and dynamics resonate most with the Harry Potter fandom, and show what — if anything — they wish had been different about the source material.

Updated on July 20th, 2022, by Shawn S. Lealos: The Harry Potter franchise continues to roll on. With the third Fantastic Beasts movie hitting this year and rumors that Warner Bros. wants to talk to author J.K. Rowling about more movies, it seems like it isn’t slowing down anytime soon. This helps fans come up with even more Harry Potter ships that bring together characters that either never made it into a romantic situation or those who the movies and books never really went into concerning the love they did share. While the movies and books were never about the love stories, although a few did pop up here and there, the Harry Potter ships written on AO3 have given fans everything they could want in the love lives of these wizards.

Neville Longbottom & Luna Lovegood

The main story of Harry Potter was about the three primary Hogwarts students setting out to stop Lord Voldemort. However, the book hinted at times that Harry might not have been the Chosen One and that Neville Longbottom could have been the key. Instead, Neville was just a weird kid who helped in the final battle.

RELATED: 25 Things Even Potterheads Completely Missed In The Harry Potter Movies

That made the Harry Potter ships between Neville and another weird kid, the aptly named Luna Lovegood, too good to pass up for fans. What would have happened if these two outcasts had found more than just friendship at Hogwarts?

Harry Potter & Cho Chang

Harry Potter ended up with Ginny Weasley in the end, and that was how it was meant to be. Despite this, there were plenty of people who shipped Harry with Hermione, although she ended up with Ron in a satisfactory matchup. However, looking at AO3, there are also a large number of ship stories involving Harry and another girl.

In the story, Harry had a romantic relationship with Cho Chang at one point. This was not meant to be, as the two ended up drifting apart thanks to Harry obviously needing to focus his attention on the threat of Lord Voldemort. However, look around and there are a lot of Harry Potter ships that hint at what could have happened if this relationship had lasted.

Fleur Delacour & Cedric Diggory

When the Tri-Wizard Games began, fans of Harry Potter got to see what wizards from other countries looked like and how the way the groups lived was different. It also opened the chance for some new romances, which happened when Fleur ended up with Bill Weasley and Hermione hooked up with Viktor.

However, there are some Harry Potter ships that look at what could have happened if Fleur went with a very different wizard – Cedric Diggory. The future Twilight vampire didn’t get a lot of time to make his mark in Goblet of Fire, but fans have created their own stories with him hooking up with his rival Fleur. It almost happened too since she wanted to ask him to the Yule Ball, but Cedrick had already asked Cho Chang.

Remis Lupin & Nymphadora Tonks

When the Harry Potter franchise showed that werewolf Remis Lupin had a romantic relationship with Nymphadora Tonks, it came from out of nowhere. This wasn’t touched upon before the relationship was mentioned as Order of the Phoenix members, and that sadly made their fate less tragic than it could have been.

When fans took to AO3 with their Harry Potter ships, a lot of them tried to solve this problem by showing what this relationship could have looked like, with two warriors loving hard while trying to stay down low. Their dead bodies, with hands almost touching, would have meant so much more if their stories had been told.

Tina Goldstein & Newt Scamander

While not technically part of the main Harry Potter stories, Newt Scamander is now an integral part of the entire mythos in the Fantastic Beasts franchise. He helped Dumbledore during an important time and even wrote a textbook that Harry and his friends had to study. He also had a girlfriend – Tina Goldstein.

While the two played important roles in the first movie in the series, she disappeared from the second one. She was back in the third movie, but by this time the franchise was focusing on Dumbledore more than Newt. However, fans on AO3 have created lots of Harry Potter ships involving Newt and Tina, which is a big deal since, in lore, the two eventually married, and their grandson married Luna Lovegood.

Lucius Malfoy & Narcissa Malfoy

Despite playing critical roles in the series — especially towards the end — Lucius and Narcissa rarely appear in scenes together. However, it’s the story behind the scenes that leaves fans most intrigued.

RELATED: 15 Harry Potter Plot Holes That Make No Sense (Even If You’ve Read The Books)

Both come from wealthy wizarding bloodlines and could easily have entered into a loveless arranged marriage like that of Narcissa’s sister, Bellatrix, but didn’t. Narcissa is deeply upset when Lucius is imprisoned, and they ultimately put their family above Voldemort’s cause by fleeing the fight in Deathly Hallows: Part 2. This is a relationship complicated by prestige and questionable morals, which is exactly what makes these Harry Potter ships so compelling.

Scorpius Malfoy & Albus Potter

From the moment fans discovered Scorpius and Albus were in the same year at Hogwarts, shipping ensued. As the sons of Draco Malfoy and Harry Potter, the pair serve as wish-fulfillment of what could have happened between their fathers in a wizarding world free of pure-blood supremacy.

And that was all before anyone knew they’d even spoken to each other. With the release of the play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, came confirmation that Scorpius and Albus are, to the shock of their parents, best friends. While Scorpius is shown to have romantic feelings towards Ron and Hermione’s daughter, Rose, the idea of him and Albus overcoming their complex family legacies to unite is far more interesting.

Hermione Granger & Harry Potter

There’s no denying that Harry probably wouldn’t have made it through a single year at Hogwarts without Hermione’s friendship and talents. Even though Harry insists that he loves Hermione like a sister, some fans argue that it makes more sense for their bond to be romantic.

This is understandable. Hermione definitely knows how to navigate Harry’s emotions better than most, and even JK Rowling herself admits, as reported by The Times, that the scene in Deathly Hallows: Part 2 where they dance in the tent (which isn’t in the books) articulated her thoughts on the potential for more between the pair. There are diehard Harry Potter ships with just about every character, but those who prefer to write Harry and Hermione as soulmates definitely have more canon material to work with than most.

Harry Potter & Tom Riddle

Yes, Harry and Voldemort spend the entire series trying to kill each other, but isn’t that just the basis of any quality enemies-to-lovers story?

The majority of fan fiction centered on this Harry Potter ship features a younger Tom Riddle before his Voldemort days, which makes the dynamic much more palatable. Riddle’s memory in Chamber of Secrets notes the “strange likenesses” between himself and Harry — from their looks and backgrounds to their twin wand cores and ancestry — so it’s easy to see why so many craft tales around what this connection could have been in an alternate wizarding universe.

Harry Potter & Ginny Weasley

Harry and Ginny have a slow and sweet friends-to-lovers arc in the books, but not so much in the films. Very few of their canonical romantic moments were adapted to the big screen, with the bulk of Ginny’s appearances and dialogue cut in general.

RELATED: 18 Canonical Harry Potter Facts That Came Out After The Books

While there’s still a lot of interest in the pairing, missing out on key details like their connection over Quidditch, witty banter, and shared dark history with Voldemort and possession definitely hurt their popularity. A more book-accurate depiction could have created even more Harry Potter ships between the two.

Hermione Granger & Draco Malfoy

This is another controversial pairing. Mocking her looks, Muggleborn heritage, and know-it-all personality, the way Draco treats Hermione is one of the worst things he does in the entire series. Considering she punches him in the face in Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione isn’t exactly his biggest fan.

Still, the potential for a classic enemies-t0-lovers story is hard to ignore. Draco is already a complex antagonist in canon, but seeing him unlearn his inherited prejudices would have added a whole other layer to his character. While it seems more unrealistic that Hermione would forgive him for bullying her for seven years, stranger Harry Potter ships have happened.

Hermione Granger & Ron Weasley

Even though Harry is the main character of the franchise, it was the romance between his two best friends that took center stage. Proof that opposites attract, Hermione and Ron bicker throughout most of their teenage years. Even though it’s obvious from Goblet of Fire onwards that there’s something more between the two, it takes until the Battle of Hogwarts for the pair to finally act on their feelings.

Yet sadly, fans never really got to see their relationship in action. After all that tension, Hermione and Ron are only briefly seen together after Harry defeats Voldemort, and, of course, in the epilogue as a married couple. There’s plenty to wonder and theorize about their future, with Rowling herself, as mentioned in The Guardian, wondering whether they’d actually make it work, which helps keeps the pair interesting.

James Potter & Lily Evans

The Harry Potter movies never had much interest in showing the Boy Who Lived’s parents, but book fans know their relationship wasn’t always straightforward. For most of their time at Hogwarts, Lily was angered by James’ bullying of her then-best friend, Snape. However, the pair later fell in love, married, and had Harry, before losing their lives to Lord Voldemort.

The Marauders era is a point of interest for a lot of Harry Potter fans, and James and Lily’s tragic romance is a core part of that. Nobody really knows how they went from Lily calling him an “arrogant, bullying toerag” to welcoming a baby with enough love to defeat a Dark Lord. There’s more than enough fan fiction exploring how this happened, but fans still think a Marauders spin-off spotlighting James and Lily’s relationship is much needed.

Sirius Black & Remus Lupin

The relationship between Sirius and Remus would be complex, to say the least. One is a wrongly imprisoned fugitive, and the other is a werewolf who spends 13 years believing the accusations against his former best friend. Nevertheless, as the only two Marauders left (Wormtail doesn’t count), there’s definitely a bond between the two that seems more romantic than platonic, at times.

Considering how well Sirius and Remus know each other, there’s plenty of scope for the imagination about what their long and checkered history could contain. Their connection feels like a wasted opportunity when compared to the actual canon relationship between Remus and Tonks, which comes completely out of the blue in Half-Blood Prince.

Harry Potter & Draco Malfoy

There is almost twice the number of fan fiction about Harry and Draco than there is the second most popular Harry Potter couple, which says it all about the Harry Potter ship’s popularity. This is the ultimate enemies-to-lovers trope, taking two bitter rivals and dialing in on their potential for romantic tension.

But it’s less unrealistic than it sounds. At their cores, Harry and Draco are quite similar. Both come from prestigious backgrounds, love Quidditch, and feel a lot of pressure to prove themselves, even if it’s in very different ways. A relationship would bring out the good in Draco and maybe even the dark in Harry, and it’s fascinating to explore the consequences of them connecting in this way.