Zacharias Smith was a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry who was sorted into Hufflepuff House. He was a Chaser on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team, and a member of Dumbledore's Army, though he abandoned the D.A. instead of fighting with them during the Battle of Hogwarts. Ronald Weasley disliked him as soon as they met because of his attitude while talking to the trio and his disloyalty.
Education at Hogwarts
Early years, 1991-1994
Zacharias started his education at Hogwarts in either 1991 or 1992. During the Welcoming Feast, Zacharias was sorted into the house of Hufflepuff and would share a dormitory with Ernie Macmillan, Justin Finch-Fletchley, and Wayne Hopkins. Zacharias did not fit the normal Hufflepuff sorting, as he showed selfishness and cowardice.
Fifth year, 1995-1996
In 1995, Smith joined Dumbledore's Army after hearing his house-mates, Ernie Macmillan and Hannah Abbott, discussing it; part of his motivation seems to have been curiosity as to how Cedric Diggory was murdered at the end of the previous school year. Hermione Granger eventually regretted inviting him, as he was annoyingly and constantly sceptical. He did not stop his continuous criticism at the Hog's Head meeting until Fred and George Weasley threatened him with a "long and lethal-looking metal instrument."
Smith was also openly critical of Harry Potter's leadership abilities, such as when he scoffed at Harry's decision to teach them Expelliarmus, which prompted Harry to point out that it had saved him when he duelled with Lord Voldemort, and that Zacharias was free to leave at any time. However, after the Daily Prophet announced that ten Death Eaters had escaped from Azkaban, Smith worked much harder, along with the other D.A. members.
Sixth year, 1996-1997
The following school year, Smith pestered Ginny Weasley for details about what had happened during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, irritating her to the point of using a Bat-Bogey Hex against him. New Potions professor Horace Slughorn witnessed this, but instead of giving Ginny detention, he invited her to the Slug Club.
Smith earned more ire from Gryffindors when he took over Lee Jordan's former position as Quidditch commentator along with Luna Lovegood. Among his offending statements was a claim that Ron Weasley's friendship with Harry Potter, the team captain, helped get him onto the Gryffindor Quidditch team. When both Ginny and Ron proved themselves very capable players, Smith began making disparaging remarks about the other new Gryffindor team members instead. Smith was again on the bad end of Ginny's temper; after the match, she dive-bombed the podium where Smith was calling the match, and slammed into him. Ginny made an excuse by saying that she forgot to brake. When Luna Lovegood commentated on Quidditch that same year, she speculated that Smith was suffering from Loser's Lurgy.
In December, Hermione considered asking Smith to Horace Slughorn's Christmas party instead of Cormac McLaggen, as she knew that Ron loathed both boys, and wanted to get revenge for his relationship with Lavender Brown. Once in Slughorn's office, she told Harry and Luna that she wished she had chosen Smith; McLaggen talked about nothing but himself and was not at all a gentleman. Harry was revolted at the idea.
Seventh year, 1997-1998
- "...there was much pushing and shouting; Harry saw Zacharias Smith bowling over first years to get to the front of the queue, here and there younger students were in tears, while older ones called desperately for friends or siblings."
- —Description of the evacuation before the Battle of Hogwarts[src]
Even though he was a member of Dumbledore's Army, Smith did not help in the defence of Hogwarts when it was attacked by Lord Voldemort's army in May of 1998; this may indicate that he did not join the revived D.A. that faced considerably more danger in opposing the Carrow professors that year. Smith was last seen fleeing Hogwarts, rather than participating in the Battle of Hogwarts. He even pushed first-year students out of his way in his rush to leave. It is unknown if Smith survived the war, though it is likely he did, nor what happened to him afterwards.
Zacharias Smith is described as a tall, skinny blond boy with an upturned nose..
Personality and traits
Zacharias Smith seems to generally be a rather unpleasant person and was seen as overly critical of Harry Potter in the D.A., pushy and insensitive in questioning Ginny Weasley, and rude and biased in his Quidditch commentary. Aside from this lack of fair play, Smith also showed cowardice and a lack of the loyalty characteristic of Hufflepuff house in fleeing, instead of fighting for his school and fellow students in their time of greatest need.
The name Zacharias is a variant of Zechariah, a Hebrew name meaning "God has remembered" (this was probably a misnomer for Zacharias). This was the name of the father of John the Baptist. He and his wife were very old when they had John, and Zechariah was initially disbelieving when an angel informed them they would have a son; as punishment for his doubt, he was struck mute. This may allude to Zacharias Smith's scepticism. In the 1960s US series Lost in Space, the dramatic foil is the famously selfish and cowardly Zachary Smith. Pushing the first years aside to evacuate Hogwarts is reminiscent of Dr. Zachary Smith.
Behind the scenes
- In the closing credits of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Nick Shirm is identified as "Somewhat Doubtful Boy", rather than by name.
- It is also safe to assume that in the films, Zacharias Smith is less unpleasant than in the novels.
- Zacharias Smith may be related to Hepzibah Smith, and therefore a descendant of Helga Hufflepuff, founder of his house at Hogwarts. Should this be true, Zacharias would be an odd irony compared to his ancestor Hufflepuff, lacking loyalty and fairplay - this would explain, though, why someone that did not carry many Hufflepuff traits would still be sorted into that house, as he could have requested to be put in Hufflepuff.
- It could also be that, since Helga Hufflepuff would take students that were not picked by the other founders, the Sorting Hat sensed that Smith did not possess any of the qualities needed for the other houses and put him in Hufflepuff by default.
- In the second film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, he is seen standing in the courtyard, witnessing Voldemort announcing Harry's apparent death, suggesting that, unlike in the novel, he did fight in the Battle of Hogwarts in the film.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (video game) (Possible appearance) (Voice only)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- Harry Potter: Quidditch World Cup
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7 (Consoles and Windows versions))
Notes and references
- ↑ It is never stated what year Smith is in, but the fact that he was still attending Hogwarts for the 1997–1998 school year means that he could not have been above Harry Potter. Smith fleeing from the Battle of Hogwarts also suggests that he was probably not under-age at the time, since under-age wizards and witches were instructed to leave. However, Smith's fleeing could simply be indicative of his fear at the time, and some under-age students did participate in the battle, such as Colin Creevey. Smith becoming Captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team in 1995 also suggests that he could not have been much younger than Harry, though it is possible he was one year below him.
- ↑ In Half-Blood Prince, Zacharias' father escorted him home from school. Since Muggles are not given access to Hogwarts, and because Zacharias shares a surname with a descendant of Helga Hufflepuff, it is mostly likely that he comes from a wizarding family.
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter | Hermione Granger | Ronald Weasley
Harry Potter | Neville Longbottom | Luna Lovegood | Ginny Weasley
Katie Bell | Lavender Brown | Colin Creevey | Dennis Creevey | Seamus Finnigan | Angelina Johnson | Lee Jordan | Parvati Patil | Alicia Spinnet | Dean Thomas | Fred Weasley | George Weasley
Terry Boot | Cho Chang | Michael Corner | Marietta Edgecombe | Anthony Goldstein | Padma Patil
Hannah Abbott | Susan Bones | Justin Finch-Fletchley | Ernie Macmillan | Zacharias Smith