Character:Arabella Figg

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Character profile
Arabella Doreen Figg
Nicknames and aliases Mrs. Figg, Figgy
Blood status Squib
Appearance old woman, wears housecoat and tartan slippers
Pets Mr. Paws, Mr. Tibbles, Tufty and Snowy
Occupation Ostensibly retired, babysitter
Special abilities Can apparently talk to cats
Allegiance Order of the Phoenix
Portrayer in the movies Kathryn Hunter
First appearance in canon The Vanishing Glass (PS)

Arabella Doreen Figg is an eccentric Squib who is very fond of cats. She is a member of the Order of the Phoenix and was entrusted by Dumbledore with the task of watching over Harry Potter during his childhood. Her house distinctly smells of cabbage (PS2).

Petunia and Vernon Dursley often left Harry in her care. Like the Dursleys, she lives in Little Whinging, Surrey; her house is two streets away from Privet Drive, on Wisteria Walk. Harry, from time to time, recalls her old-tasting chocolate cakes and the perpetual smell of cats in her apartment.

Harry went to Arabella's house every year, on Dudley's birthday. One year, Arabella tripped over one of her cats and was kinder to Harry one day - let him watch TV and gave him old chocolate cake (PS3).

Arabella broke her leg on Dudley's eleventh birthday, forcing the Dursleys to take Harry to the zoo, where he spoke to the Boa Constrictor (PS2).

Harry remarked that the tent Arthur Weasley shared with his children at the Quidditch World Cup had a cat stench similar to that Mrs. Figg's house, and the decorations in both were also alike (GF7); it is possible that she lent Arthur the magical item.

When Dumbledore ordered Sirius Black to alert the "old crowd" of Lord Voldemort's return, Arabella's name was mentioned, along with those of Remus Lupin and Mundungus Fletcher (GF36).

During the summer before Harry's fifth year, Mrs. Figg constantly invited him for tea (OP1). When two Dementors attacked both the boy and his cousin Dudley on August 2, 1995, she arrived just in time to guide the two back home, raging on about Mundungus, who had abandoned his watch over Harry (OP2). She was alerted of Dung's Disapparition by Mr. Tibbles, one of her cats; she had stationed him under a car near number four, Privet Drive.

Harry was shocked to discover that his old baby-sitter was well-acquainted with the wizarding world. When he questioned her, she replied that she had made his time with her miserable when he was growing up for fear that the Dursleys would forbid him from going to her house.

She was the only witness in Harry's Wizengamot trial; her claim that she, too, had seen the Dementors was the main reason for the boy's acquittal. At first the Inquisitors were skeptical regarding her testimony; however, when she described the effects of a Dementor's presence, Amelia Bones gave her story credit, and was soon be followed by the rest of the jurors, including a reluctant Cornelius Fudge (OP8).




Wikipedia has an article about Arabella Figg.
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