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Harry Potter: "Why didn't you tell me you're a Squib, Mrs Figg? All those times I came round your house — why didn't you say anything?"
Mrs Figg: "Dumbledore's orders. I was to keep an eye on you but not say anything, you were too young. I'm sorry I gave you such a miserable time, Harry, but the Dursleys would never have let you come if they'd thought you enjoyed it. It wasn't easy, you know..."
Harry Potter and Arabella Figg in the summer of 1995[src]

Mrs Arabella Doreen Figg was a Squib, a dealer of cross-bred cats and kneazles,[6] and a member of the Order of the Phoenix.[1] She lived on Wisteria Walk in Little Whinging, in a house that smelled strongly of cabbage; she also owned and extensively photographed at least four part-kneazle cats, named Tibbles, Snowy, Mr Paws, and Tufty.[3]

She lived near Harry Potter and the Dursley family, and used to babysit Harry in the 1980s and the early 1990s, mainly to keep an eye on him for Albus Dumbledore.[3][1] As Dumbledore had believed Harry was too young to understand his place in the wizarding world, Mrs Figg kept her true identity a secret throughout most of Harry's childhood, and he knew nothing about her affiliation to the wizarding world until after he and Dudley Dursley were attacked by dementors in 1995.[4][1] Mrs Figg supported the Order to the best of her abilities,[1] but probably did not fight at the Battle of Hogwarts. She most likely survived the war and continued cross-breeding and trading part-kneazle cats.


First Wizarding War (1970s-1981)

It is possible that she became a member of the Order of the Phoenix in the First Wizarding War, although her most notable contribution to the cause was taking up residence in Little Whinging, most probably on Albus Dumbledore's orders, to keep an eye on young Harry Potter.[1] This may have begun prior to the end of the First War, initially in order to watch over the Dursley family.

Between the wars (1981-1995)

Arabella watching Harry Potter

Arabella Figg lived in a Muggle community, working undercover for the Order of the Phoenix. Most of her job involved watching Harry Potter and ensuring that no harm came to him from Lord Voldemort. During times when the Dursley family went on holiday, they left Harry Potter with Mrs Figg, who once gave him an ancient chocolate cake as a "treat"[7] but most often bored him senseless with pictures of her part-kneazle cats.[3]

Figg made sure he didn't particularly enjoy his time with her, and took care never to reveal her heritage to either Harry or the Dursleys. She found treating him in that way difficult, and regretted it, but felt it was necessary to ensure that the Dursleys would not withdraw Harry from her care.[1] However, she was unable to do this for Dudley's eleventh birthday due to breaking her leg from tripping over one of her cats. This forced her to use crutches to get around for a time; at the start of the summer, she was crossing Privet Drive on her crutches when she was knocked down by Dudley on his new racing bike.

Second Wizarding War (1995-1998)

Rebirth of Tom Riddle

"Sirius, I need you to set off at once. You are to alert Remus Lupin, Arabella Figg, Mundungus Fletcher — the old crowd. Lie low at Lupin's for a while; I will contact you there."
— Albus Dumbledore starts spreading the world of Voldemort's return[src]

On 24 June, 1995, Lord Voldemort returned to power. Informed of Voldemort's return by Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore gave Sirius Black the task of alerting the "old crowd" of Voldemort's return, including Arabella Figg, Remus Lupin and Mundungus Fletcher. Despite hearing the name "Figg", Harry was unaware that this was the same Mrs Figg he had been neighbours with.[8]

Dementors in Little Whinging

"Dumbledore asked me to keep an eye on you."
— Figg regarding her orders to keep watch on Harry Potter[src]

Mrs Figg watches as Harry Potter casts the Patronus Charm

In 1995, Harry and his cousin Dudley were attacked by dementors in Little Whinging. Figg sensed the distinct presence of the Dementors and despite, as a Squib, being unable to actually see them, she was still able to describe the Dementors in front of the Wizengamot during Harry's trial.[5] Not trusting Mundungus Fletcher to effectively fulfil his duties of following and protecting Harry, she charged Tibbles with the task. When she discovered Mundungus had abandoned his post, she eventually tracked Harry and his cousin Dudley down herself, to discover they had just barely survived a Dementor attack.

Mrs Figg escorts Harry Potter home after he was attacked by Dementors

As the three walked back to the Dursleys, with Harry half carrying Dudley, she revealed that she was not a Muggle, as previously believed, but a Squib, and moreover, a member of the Order of the Phoenix. She also took the time to apologise for the miserable experience she had to give Harry whenever he stayed with her. She was extremely furious with Mundungus for abandoning his post and when he abruptly returned, proceeded to violently assault him with a shopping bag containing tins of cat food before ordering him to report to Dumbledore.[1]

Harry Potter's disciplinary hearing

Cornelius Fudge: "Incidentally, can Squibs see dementors?"
Arabella Figg: "Yes, we can!"
— Mrs Figg testifying at Harry Potter's hearing[src]

Mrs Figg attending Harry Potter's disciplinary hearing

Mrs Figg was also a witness at Harry's trial before the Wizengamot, regarding his unauthorised use of magic as an underaged wizard. She arrived in her bedroom slippers, and her description of the Dementors was unimpressive, as she described them as "big and wearing cloaks."

However, she ultimately managed to convince Amelia Bones and various other unbiased members of the Wizengamot with her accurate description of a Dementor's presence. Despite Cornelius Fudge's attempts to discredit her on the basis of being a Squib, Mrs Figg, along with Albus Dumbledore, managed to persuade the Ministry to clear Harry of all charges.[5]

Albus Dumbledore's funeral

Albus Dumbledore's funeral, which Arabella attended

During the Battle of the Astronomy Tower in 1997, Albus Dumbledore was killed by Severus Snape, who sided with the Death Eaters. Figg attended Dumbledore's funeral in 1997, at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.[9]

Battle of Hogwarts

As she could not fight due to her lack of magic, it is unknown if she participated in the Battle of Hogwarts, though she may have assisted or aid the fighters along with Argus Filch and Madame Pomfrey in some non-magical capacity.

Later life (post 1998)

It is most likely that she survived the Second Wizarding War, and maintained her involvement in the "roaring trade" of cross-bred Kneazles and cats.

Physical appearance

Arabella Figg was described as a batty old woman with grizzled grey fly away hair, almost always seen wearing a hairnet and tartan carpet slippers.[4] On the night of Harry and Dudley's attack by the Dementors she was wearing a pink dressing gown and fluffy slippers.[10]

Personality and traits

Mundungus Fletcher: "Ouch — gerroff — gerroff, you mad old bat! Someone’s gotta tell Dumbledore!"
Arabella Figg: "Yes — they — have! And — it — had — better — be — you — and — you — can — tell — him — why — you — weren’t — there — to — help!"
— Arabella Figg furiously beating Mundungus Fletcher with a shopping bag of cat food for neglecting to keep watch over Harry Potter[src]

In Harry Potter's youth, the Dursleys left him in Mrs Figg's care at least once a year, and during their time together, she had often forced him to look endlessly at photos of "all the cats she'd ever owned".[3] In 1995, she admitted that, though she didn't enjoy it, she had intentionally kept Harry bored and miserable, as the Dursleys would never have left him with her if they thought he enjoyed it.[1] Though Harry only thought of her as his "batty old cat-obsessed neighbour"[4] before discovering she was a Squib, she appeared to be a clever woman with a bit of a temper. She physically attacked Mundungus Fletcher when he left his post of watching Harry Potter, and prior to that, had been quite sarcastic, even slightly insulting, during her conversation with Harry.[1]

She appeared nervous, even timid, during Harry's disciplinary hearing, though that was likely due to the stigma surrounding being a Squib, as well as the fact that she had to testify before the entire Wizengamot. Regardless, she was a brave, vigorous woman, who, despite her lack of magical ability, did her best to support the Order of the Phoenix. Arabella felt rather offended when she found out that the Ministry did not register her in their records due to her status as a Squib.[5]


Albus Dumbledore

Harry Potter: "You know Dumbledore?"
Arabella Figg: "Of course I know Dumbledore, who doesn’t know Dumbledore?"
— Arabella Figg informing Harry Potter about her relationship with Dumbledore[src]

Albus Dumbledore, whom she respected and supported

Arabella Figg knew Albus Dumbledore at least since the time of the First Wizarding War. After Lord Voldemort's first downfall, Dumbledore trusted Figg with the task of watching Harry Potter during his time at the Dursleys' house. Figg appeared to respect Dumbledore and consider him a great wizard; when Harry was surprised that she knew Dumbledore, she replied that "everybody knows Dumbledore."[1] Figg and Dumbledore both participated in Harry's trial before the Wizengamot in 1995.[5] She later attended Dumbledore's funeral at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, in 1997.[9]

Harry Potter

Harry Potter: "So, Dumbledore's... been having... me followed?"
Mrs Figg: "Of course he has. Did you expect him to let Harry Potter wander around on your own after what happened in June? Good Lord, boy, they told me, you were intelligent [...] "
— Arabella Figg and Harry Potter in 1995[src]

Harry Potter, her neighbour whom she sought to watch over for Dumbledore

Mrs Figg was tasked with watching over Harry Potter after he was sent to live in Little Whinging, and the Dursleys regularly left Harry with her when they wanted to exclude him from their outings.[3] Though it was difficult for her to have to do so, she made sure to show Harry an incredibly dull time, knowing the Dursleys would otherwise never leave Harry in her care.[1]

The tent that Mr Weasley borrowed for the 1994 Quidditch World Cup reminded Harry of Mrs Figg's house: crocheted covers on mismatched chairs and a strong smell of cats.[11]

In 1995, Harry learned that Mrs Figg was a Squib when Mundungus Fletcher failed to fulfil the duty he was given of following and protecting Harry, leaving Harry and his cousin Dudley to be attacked by dementors. Mrs Figg also testified in Harry's defence during his trial before the Wizengamot, and later attended Albus Dumbledore's funeral.[9] It is possible that Harry and Figg remained in contact after the Second Wizarding War.

Dursley family

The Dursley family, her neighbours

Mrs Figg's relationship with the Dursley family is largely unknown, though they evidently thought she was no different from their other neighbours, as they allowed her to take care of Harry occasionally while they were gone.[3]

In 1995, Mrs Figg apologised to Harry for deliberately making his earlier visits as boring as possible, since she believed that if he'd actually enjoyed himself, the Dursleys would have stopped letting her look after him from time to time. This suggests she didn't agree with the way the Dursleys treated Harry.[1]

Order of the Phoenix members

"Oh, I'm going to kill Mundungus Fletcher!"
— Mrs Figg to Harry Potter, in response to Fletcher abandoning his post[src]

The First Order of the Phoenix, whom she was a member of

Figg knew many members of the Order of the Phoenix. She met Sirius Black in 1995, when he informed her that Albus Dumbledore was reinstating the Order.[8] It is possible that she had previously met other members, such as James and Lily Potter.

She was also quite familiar with Mundungus Fletcher, a petty criminal and member of the Order, who addressed Mrs Figg as "Figgy." When Mundungus left Little Whinging to purchase stolen cauldrons in favour of watching over Harry Potter, Figg was furious; she both verbally and physically assaulted him, whacking him with a shopping bag full of canned cat food and calling him a "useless, skiving sneak thief".[1]


  • Figg may be variation of a fig, a fruit-bearing tree. In Biblical times, the fig tree was important to Roman and Hebrew cultures as a valuable source of food and medicinal ingredients, and its flowering signified the end of winter.
  • In addition, fig leaves are associated with concept of a "poorly concealed secret," with common usage in classical sculptures and paintings of nudes.[12] This may be a reference to the fact that Mrs Figg was a Squib concealing herself as a Muggle, which was arguably poorly done, given her reputation of being quite eccentric.
  • In Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot thriller ' The Clocks ' a Mrs Hemming with an equal fascination of cats has a young kitten named Arabella, which may be a likely inspiration.
  • Another possibility for the name 'Arabella' may be from the classic car of the main character of the 1970 sitcom 'Nanny and the Professor', the main charcter Phoebe Figalily (played by Juliet Mills) herself a magical being.

Behind the scenes

Arabella Figg as she appears in LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7

  • Arabella Figg is portrayed by English actress Kathryn Hunter in the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
  • In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Mrs Figg lives on Privet Drive, across the street from the Dursleys, instead of on Wisteria Walk.
  • Although Harry does not find out that Mrs Figg is a Squib until after the Dementor attack, he mentions earlier in the chapter that she has started inviting him in for tea and that he has subsequently started avoiding her. This might suggest that she was planning to reveal her status as a Squib to him or that she was concerned about him due to the danger he was in and the emotional turmoil he faced after witnessing the death of Cedric Diggory.
  • Mrs Figg has a much more bitter personality in the book than in the film. She insults both Harry and Dudley, and she even goes as far as to physically attack Mundungus Fletcher with bags full of canned cat food. In the film, however, she only insults Harry once, questioning his intelligence because it had not occurred to him that Dumbledore would have him watched after Voldemort's return. She also hardly shows any anger toward Mundungus, while in the book she goes into a fierce tirade about him.
  • Mrs Figg makes her first true appearance in both the book and film versions of Order of the Phoenix, but the omission of earlier references to her in the films makes the revelation that she is a Squib working for Dumbledore somewhat sudden.
  • It is unknown where "Mr Figg" is, but Arabella is consistently referred to as "Mrs Figg," meaning she was married at some point. She might be widowed, divorced, or estranged from her husband. It is possible but unlikely that she continues to cohabitate with him since he is never mentioned in the books, not even when Harry stayed in her home or when Mrs Figg is giving courtroom testimony.
  • Dumbledore specifically mentions Arabella Figg when he tells Sirius to round up "the old crowd" during the conclusion of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,[8] but Harry does not make the connection until the next book, possibly due to the distress he was in at the time.
  • In the consoles versions of LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7, Figg was omitted from the cutscenes despite being a playable character. In the portable versions however, she does not appear.
  • Arabella shares her initials ("AF") and her affinity for cats with Argus Filch, another Squib. It is unknown whether there is a deeper connection between them.
  • Mrs Figg is incorrectly referred to as a Muggle in her entry on the glossary on the Scholastic official website, though this may have been an intentional "error" to avoid spoiling the plot point of her being a Squib.


The Harry Potter Wiki has 15 images related to Arabella Figg.

Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 2 (A Peck of Owls)
  2. She is called Mrs Figg; "Mrs" implies that she either was married or had been married.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 2 (The Vanishing Glass)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 1 (Dudley Demented)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 8 (The Hearing)
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Extra Stuff: SQUIBS" from J. K. Rowling's official site (via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine)
  7. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 3 (The Letters from No One)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 36 (The Parting of the Ways)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 30 (The White Tomb)
  10. Pottermore
  11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chapter 7 (Bagman and Crouch)
  12. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fig+leaf
Order of the Phoenix
Fawkes WB F2 FawkesIllustration V2 Illust.jpg
Albus Dumbledore
Albus Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Kingsley Shacklebolt
Original Order of of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Alice Longbottom | Arabella Figg | Benjy Fenwick | Caradoc Dearborn | Dedalus Diggle | Dorcas Meadowes | Edgar Bones | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fabian Prewett | Frank Longbottom | Gideon Prewett | James Potter | Lily Potter | Marlene McKinnon | Mundungus Fletcher | Peter Pettigrew (defected) | Remus Lupin | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Reconstituted Order of the Phoenix:
Aberforth Dumbledore | Alastor Moody | Arabella Figg | Arthur Weasley | Bill Weasley | Charlie Weasley | Dedalus Diggle | Elphias Doge | Emmeline Vance | Fleur Delacour | Fred Weasley | George Weasley | Harry Potter | Hermione Granger | Hestia Jones | Kingsley Shacklebolt | Minerva McGonagall | Molly Weasley | Mundungus Fletcher | Nymphadora Tonks | Remus Lupin | Ron Weasley | Rubeus Hagrid | Severus Snape | Sirius Black | Sturgis Podmore
Order of the Phoenix allies:
Andromeda Tonks | Augusta Longbottom | Buckbeak | Dobby | Fawkes | Filius Flitwick | Firenze | Garrick Ollivander | Ginny Weasley | Grawp | Helena Ravenclaw | Horace Slughorn | Karkus | Karkus's wife | Kreacher | Lee Jordan | Luna Lovegood | McKinnon family | Mr Westenberg | Mrs Westenberg | Muriel | Nearly-Headless Nick | Neville Longbottom | Oliver Wood | Olympe Maxime | Rita Skeeter | Peeves | Percy Weasley | Pomona Sprout | Poppy Pomfrey | Sybill Trelawney | Ted Tonks | The Fallen Fifty | Westenberg family | Winky | Xenophilius Lovegood
Other affiliations:
Dumbledore's Army | Forbidden Forest Centaur colony | Headless Hunt | Hogwarts Hippogriff herd | Hogwarts house-elves | Hogwarts Ghosts | Hogwarts Staff |
Hogwarts students | Hogwarts Thestral herd | Ministry of Magic | Giant colony (Karkus's control)