Dumbledore is often considered the strongest wizard in the entire world of Harry Potter, and fans may get to see a little more of this power in action in Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledore – but he also surrounded himself with other powerful witches and wizards. In creating the Order of the Phoenix, he chose those that were not just brave, but who had the abilities to back up their bravery in both the first and second order.
Of course, not all the members of the Order were truly gifted witches and wizards, but some represent the most powerful of their generation – whether that is the unassuming Molly Weasley (who took down Bellatrix in a duel) or the more obviously capable Boy Who Lived himself. Of all of them, though, who wields the most magical power? (Note: Only members who were only in the Second Order are included, not those who were in both First and Second Order.)
Hestia Jones was a minor member of the second order, but her power isn’t really shown or referenced in either the books or the movies. In the books, she (along with Dedalus Diggle) is an escort for the Dursleys when they have to leave their home in the final book, and helps with escorting Harry and guarding the Department of Mysteries, but beyond that, almost nothing is known about her. Hestia may well have been a powerful witch, but presumably, she would have been more involved in the activities of the Order if that were the case.
Charlie’s gifts were in animal handling and dealing with dragons – something that takes a lot of nerve, but that doesn’t suggest a huge amount of magical power. As both Hagrid and Newt Scamander show, handling magical animals is something that is more about personality than power. These characters are understanding and have an affinity for magical creatures, but wouldn’t necessarily hold out well in a duel against stronger characters.
Arthur may be one of the kindest and most beloved characters in the series, but he rarely shows real magical strength – and seems to be one of the gentlest members of the magical community.
He also seems happy with this – in the same way that he doesn’t look to move up in the Ministry because he enjoys his job, he doesn’t seek more power, or the fights that would require it. He clearly has some skill, especially when it comes to charming Muggle objects (like cars!), but skill isn’t quite the same as power.
Fred & George
Like their father, Fred and George Weasley don’t seem interested in magical power, so much as having fun – but they are shown to be more capable than Arthur is. Even Hermione remarks on their abilities, and although they use their magical gifts in the creation of jokes and pranks, there is no denying that it would take some degree of power to do things like create the firework dragons and immovable swamp that they did at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, though, this wasn’t enough power to save Fred in the Battle of Hogwarts.
Bill & Fleur
Both Bill and Fleur are comparatively minor characters in the books and the series, as Bill has left Hogwarts by the time the story begins, and Fleur is only a larger character during the Triwizard Tournament. However, based on the small amount of time that they do get in the series, they are impressively powerful people.
Bill was originally a curse breaker before joining the order – a job that requires a fair bit of powerful magic, and Fleur was a Triwizard Champion, even if she didn’t win. Their active fighting in the Second Wizarding War didn’t get much attention, but it can be assumed from their earlier lives that they were quite capable.
While Tonks didn’t get to show a lot of her power directly in the series, it cannot be forgotten that she started her time in the Order as an Auror – and a capable one! She’s also one of the bravest Hufflepuffs in the series.
This job requires a lot of magical power (and study) to begin with, and while she was often used as comic relief, she was also always in the thick of the battles. Unfortunately, though, her clumsiness often worked against her, and she didn’t have the time to truly grow into her power, as she died so young in the Battle of Hogwarts.
While Molly may not seem like a particularly powerful witch at first glance, she may well have been one of the most powerful members of the Order. Not only was she more than capable at day to day magic, but she had the power of authority over almost everyone that she dealt with, and a powerful personality that cannot be underestimated. And while she didn’t have much of a chance to show her power during the series, instead appearing almost entirely as a mother figure, when it came down to the Battle of Hogwarts, Molly proved herself incredibly powerful in her duel with Bellatrix. Bellatrix was a witch so strong that she was Voldemort’s most devoted follower, and no other witch or wizard seemed able to touch her – yet Molly killed her in a single duel.
While Professor McGonagall did stand against Voldemort in the First Wizarding War, she wasn’t actually a member of the original Order of the Phoenix – although she did use her animagus status to spy for the Ministry, and was always a Dumbledore supporter. By the Second Wizarding War, though, she joined up – and put her considerable powers to use.
McGonagall’s abilities are most clearly shown during the Battle of Hogwarts, where she was the leader of the defense, and showed just what she is capable of. However, she is also seen doing work for the order throughout, and her abilities are enough to make her the new Headmaster of Hogwarts.
Kingsley is another wizard whose power and strength wasn’t always seen directly, in impressive duels, but is definitely implied by the work that he does. During the Second Wizarding War, Shacklebolt was the wizard who was set to watch over the Muggle Prime Minister, and was also one of the important members of the Order to protect Harry, take him from Privet Drive to the Burrow, was able to send his lynx patronus to the wedding to warn the guests, and was a major participant in the Battle of Hogwarts. Possibly most telling, he later became the Minister of Magic – something that, at the end of a war, only a truly powerful (in magic and influence) wizard could do.
The Golden Trio
While Harry, Ron, and Hermione are only borderline members of the Order (given that they were technically too young to join during the events of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix), but it would be wrong to leave out the three young magic users who had the biggest impact in the fight against Voldemort. Ron is recognized as the weakest of the three, of course, who relies heavily on his friends to get by – but his strength as a loyal friend often keeps Harry and Hermione going.
Harry himself is an impressively capable wizard – and his abilities as the leader of Dumbledore’s Army and then in the Battle of Hogwarts show that he is truly powerful on his own merit, not just as the Chosen One. However, Hermione is clearly the most powerful member – and even as a teen, can face off against full-grown witches and wizards. Her intelligence and abilities far outstrip those of the other Order members, and it’s no wonder she eventually becomes Minister of Magic.