- "My name was down for Eton, you know. I can't tell you how glad I am I came here instead. Of course, Mother was slightly disappointed, but since I made her read Lockhart's books I think she's begun to see how useful it'll be to have a fully trained wizard in the family...."
- —Justin introduces himself to Harry Potter[src]
Justin Finch-Fletchley (b. 1980) was a Muggle-born wizard. He was in the same year as the famous Harry Potter at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was sorted into Hufflepuff House in 1991. Justin was a member of Dumbledore's Army, an organisation taught and led by Harry Potter and was good friends with housemates Ernie Macmillan and Hannah Abbott.
Early life (1980-1991)
Unaware of his magical abilities, Justin was headed to the English public school Eton before receiving his letter of admission to Hogwarts. The prestige of this school and his double-barrelled surname could suggest that Justin comes from an upper-class Muggle family.
Hogwarts years (1991-1997)
- Minerva McGonagall: "Finch-Fletchley, Justin!"
- Sorting Hat: " HUFFLEPUFF!"
- — Justin being Sorted[src]
- "What are you playing at?"
- —Justin after wittnessing Harry Potter speaking Parseltongue[src]
In the first Herbology lesson of his second year on 3 September, 1992, Justin was grouped with Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger. He cheerfully introduced himself to the Trio and made flattering remarks to each of them, congratulating Harry on his general fame, Hermione on her intelligence and Ron on his father's Flying Ford Anglia. The latter did not go over well with Ron, who had just received a Howler from his mother for stealing the car. Justin continued to talk about Lockhart; he was obviously impressed with the new teacher. He also shared that he was initially headed for Eton and how Lockhart's books had impressed his mother. Their conversation then ended because all students had to put on earmuffs to re-pot mandrakes. He was later present in Defence Against the Dark Arts when Gilderoy Lockhart released a cage-full of Cornish pixies into their midst; Justin initially tried to salvage his books from the pixies' destructive rampage but quickly gave up the attempt and pelted for the door along with everyone else.
Harry met Justin again in a school corridor a few days after Mrs Norris was found Petrified on Hallowe'en. He opened his mouth to greet him, but before he could say anything, Justin turned and ran off in fright. Obviously, Justin believed a rumour started by Argus Filch that Harry was the Heir of Slytherin and being Muggle-born, he saw himself as a potential victim. When Harry told Ron about this, Ron dismissed Justin as "an idiot" on account of his praise of Lockhart and did not put much stock into what Justin thinks.
Justin attended Gilderoy Lockhart's Duelling Club meeting on 17 December. Lockhart paired him with Neville Longbottom to practise Expelliarmus. Apparently, neither of them did particularly well; at the end of the first round, both were lying on the floor and panting. Most other students had not fared much better. Lockhart admitted that it might be good to teach defensive moves first and asked Neville and Justin to demonstrate for the class, but Severus Snape dismissed them on account of Neville's lack of talent. He picked Draco Malfoy and Harry instead. During their duel, Malfoy used Serpensortia to conjure a snake. Lockhart tried to vanish it, but his spell only let the snake fly up into the air and thud back unto the floor. Hissing angrily, it slithered towards Justin and prepared to strike. Before it could attack the boy, however, Harry instinctively commanded it in Parseltongue to stop. The snake grew peaceful and turned away from Justin to face Harry. However, Justin, who had of course not understood Harry's command and already mistrusted him, thought that Harry had been encouraging the snake. Looking angry and scared, he shouted "What are you playing at?" and ran off before Harry could answer.
The fact that Harry was a Parselmouth solidified Justin and his fellow Hufflepuffs' belief that he must be the Heir of Slytherin and that he had chosen Justin as his next victim. When their Herbology lesson was cancelled due to a blizzard the next day, Ernie Macmillan told Justin to hide in the dormitory. For some reason, Justin did not follow this advice and left the Hufflepuff common room alone. In an upstairs corridor (most likely on the fifth floor, possibly higher), he met Nearly Headless Nick. Both of them saw the Basilisk there; Justin looked into the monster's eyes through Nick's transparent form which protected him from death. Unfortunately, it couldn't shield him fully and both Justin and the ghost were Petrified.
Meanwhile, Harry wanted to explain to Justin what had really happened the night before. He went to look for him and overheard a group of Hufflepuffs discussing their suspicions in the library. He was unable to convince them that he had not tried to set the snake on Justin and stormed out of the library. After a short encounter with Rubeus Hagrid, he went upstairs and came into the corridor of the recent attack. Peeves saw him, Justin and Nick, and started yelling. So many people burst into the corridor that Justin was almost squashed. Among them was Ernie, who accused Harry of being "caught in the act".
Professors Flitwick and Sinistra carried Justin into the hospital wing, where he stayed until the evening of 29 May, when he and the other victims were cured with the Mandrake Restorative Draught. That night down in the Chamber of Secrets, Harry slayed Slytherin's Basilisk, and a great feast that lasted all night was held in the Great Hall. Harry and Ron were awarded 200 hundred points and Gryffindor won the House cup. During the celebrations, Justin came over to Harry from the Hufflepuff table to wring his hand and apologise at great length about suspecting him.
Third and fourth years
After his Petrification, Justin and Harry Potter got along well. This changed only briefly when Harry was chosen as the second Hogwarts Triwizard Tournament Champion on Hallowe'en, 1994. Like many Hufflepuffs, Justin and Ernie thought that Harry wanted to steal their house mate Cedric Diggory's glory. Consequently, they did not speak to him during Herbology on 2 November, when they were re-potting Bouncing Bulbs at the same tray. When one of the plants smacked Harry in the face, they laughed at him. By the end of the year, their relationship had improved.
On the first Hogsmeade weekend of their fifth year on 5 October, 1995, Justin, Hannah, Ernie, and Susan Bones went to the Hog's Head together to listen to Hermione's proposal to found a secret Defence Against the Dark Arts study group led by Harry. When Harry admitted that he had killed the Basilisk with Godric Gryffindor's Sword, Justin whistled in astonishment. At the end of the meeting, Justin and his friends signed Hermione's parchment, thereby agreeing not to tell anybody about the group. They all came to the first meeting of Dumbledore's Army in the Room of Requirement on 9 October. During the meeting, Justin was paired with Luna Lovegood to practise Expelliarmus. Her performance was erratic—sometimes she successfully disarmed Justin, at other times she simply caused his hair to stand on end, and once she made his robes fly up over his head so that he had to disentangle himself from them. Justin's performance with the spell was unknown.
On the journey back to London at the end of fifth year, Justin shared a compartment with Ernie, Hannah, Susan, Anthony Goldstein, and Terry Boot, all members of Dumbledore's Army. Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle tried to attack Harry right outside their compartment door when he was on his way back from the toilet. They saw this through the glass and immediately came to Harry's aid, using all the curses he had taught them over the year until the three offenders resembled three gigantic slugs. Ernie and Justin hoisted them into the luggage rack where they were left to ooze as retribution for the unlawful deduction of points from Hufflepuff.
Pulled out of education (1997-1998)
As Justin was Muggle-born, he would not have been able to attend school at Hogwarts during the 1997–1998 school year. It is possible that he could have been persecuted and sentenced by the Muggle-Born Registration Commission, went on the run from Snatchers, went into hiding with his family, or simply left Britain. It is also unknown if he returned and fought in the Battle of Hogwarts, and whether or not he even survived the chaotic events of the final year of the Second Wizarding War. If he did, he likely attended the Dumbledore's Army reunion at the Quidditch World Cup.
Personality and traits
Justin had curly blond hair. His behaviour was outgoing, talkative, cheerful, and friendly. He seemed a little naive and easily impressed and influenced by others. For instance, he believed all of Gilderoy Lockhart's fabricated tales and admired him greatly. He was also among the first to believe in rumours that Harry Potter was the Heir of Slytherin (even before it became known that Harry was a Parselmouth) and consequently ran away from him in fright. He admits himself that he is not particularly brave. The fact that the Sorting Hat put him in Hufflepuff indicates that he is hard-working, loyal, and just.
Justin and Ernie Macmillan were close friends during their time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, both having been sorted into the house of Hufflepuff during their first year and despite their differing blood status. During their second year, they were seen together in the duelling club. When Harry Potter talked with the snake, that Malfoy had conjured, Ernest shielded Justin, as he had thought that Harry was pointing the snake at Justin. Ernie was very upset when Justin was Petrified and this increased his suspicions about Harry until the attack on Hermione Granger. Both Justin, Ernie and Hannah Abbott joined Dumbledore's Army.
Hannah and Justin Finch-Fletchley were close friends during their time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, both having been sorted into the house of Hufflepuff during their first year. During the second year, when Justin was petrified by the Basilisk, Hanna comforted her friend Ernie Macmillan. Both Hannah and Justin joined Dumbledore's Army.
- The English given name Justin is derived from the Roman name Iustinus, which is derived from justus, meaning "just" in Latin. It was the name of at least 8 saints.
- A finch is a type of small bird.
- Fletchley is not a recorded surname, however Fletcher its closest equivalent is said to have lots of variations which may well be the name's source. The name Fletcher can mean either 'maker of arrows' or 'a person who equips the bowman'. Fletching also is the part of the arrow used to make it aerodynamic, made most notably out of bird feathers, hence Finch-Fletching.
Behind the scenes
- It is interesting to note that the trio formed by Ernie, Hannah and Justin is quite similar to the trio formed by Harry, Ron and Hermione. Both trios are made up by member each having a different Blood Status: Pure-blood (Ernie and Ron), half-blood (Hannah and Harry), and Muggle-born (Justin and Hermione).
- In the books, Justin is described to have curly blond hair, while in the films, he has straight brown hair.
- Justin is the only male character to display open admiration rather than disgust for Gilderoy Lockhart. Due to this, it has been suggested by some fans that he might be gay, but this has never been confirmed or denied by Rowling. Given Hogwarts' high tolerance for differences and his close relationship with Ernie Macmillan, this could be possible. Another possibility is that he was raised to respect his elders, and as such never questioned any Hogwarts professor and knew better than to backtalk his superiors. Yet another explanation could be that Justin misconstrued Lockhart's abilities. He mentioned earlier giving one of Lockhart's books to his Muggle mother, who then realised the importance of wizardry. As such, this may explain Justin's respect for Gilderoy Lockhart, albeit understandably misplaced.
- In LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, besides Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, and Hermione Granger, Justin is the only character that does not need to be bought at Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions, as he is required in the scene when the player learns how to make Polyjuice Potion. Also in the game, Justin's minifigure looks almost exactly the same as Tom Riddle, with a few minor differences:
- In the PS1 video game of Chamber of Secrets, Justin is depicted in the Speaker's Book as a Ravenclaw rather than a Hufflepuff. However this could simply be a mis-colouring. The same happened to Colin Creevey.
- In the GBA version of the video game of Chamber of Secrets, Justin Finch-Fletchley is similarly depicted as a Ravenclaw.
- In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film), Justin is portrayed by British actor Edward Randell. He speaks with a very distinctive, upper-class accent and uses fairly posh words and phrases such as "frightfully brave" and "chap", further lending credence to the possibility that he is from an upper-class family.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (film)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Name appears on parchment)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Mentioned only)
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Consoles and PC versions)
- Harry Potter and Me
- Pottermore (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter Trading Card Game
Notes and references