J.K. Rowling can write up some characters, am I right? She writes in many dimensions, giving every hero a little vulnerability, a healthy dose of fear, and a whole lot of truth to their actions. But when it comes to her villains, she seems to make them as evil as possible, with no empathy, no heart, and no humility. Except for the Harry Potter villains that were actually heroes.
When you think of villains, you're imaging Voldemort, Umbridge, Bellatrix, and other vicious Death Eaters. Those are the villains that Rowling wrote with no backbone and as the epitome of pure evil. There is not a trace of remorse for their actions in their body, and the live their life as narcissistic, evil entities. But some of the other villains in the franchise were actually heroes in disguise. Those are the characters that felt guilt, empathy, and love. They are the ones that know what it means to love a family member, to give everything up to fix your mistakes, and to do right by others because you would want them to do the same for you.
We may have hated them at one point, even despised them and put them on the same level as Voldemort or Umbridge, but these seven Harry Potter villains were actually heroes. They had heart, they had empathy, and they had remorse. Despite their selfish, often villainous tendencies, they really wanted Harry to make it.
Yes, she locked Harry in a cupboard under the stairs, was verbally abusive, and let her meat-head husband and son treat Harry as their own punching bag. But she's still a hero in my eyes. After all, Petunia entered into an agreement with Dumbledore to keep Harry safe. In Deathly Hallows, when she leaves Harry, Rowling revealed that Petunia would have wished Harry luck, and told him that she knew what he was up against. I also like to think that even though she went in hiding for her own safety, she also wanted to protect Harry as best as she could — by getting out of the way.
A more subtle villain, Cornelius Fudge lets his paranoia over losing his job put both the wizarding and muggle world in danger. When he refuses to acknowledge Voldemort's return, he sets a nasty precedence among the Ministry of Magic. Fudge's blatant disregard for the dangers of Voldemort is basically what brings the Death Eaters to power again, and it makes him a horrific villain. (And do I even have to mention his giving power to Umbridge?) But Fudge becomes a hero when he sees Voldemort for himself and resigns to protect the muggles. Fudge then stays on at the ministry as an advisor, and often communicates with the muggle Prime Minister to keep their world safe.
Man, talk about a nasty piece of work? Draco spends the first six books making us absolutely loathe him, but then turns it all around and becomes a hero in the seventh. If he hadn't lied to his aunt Bellatrix about Harry's identity, Harry would've been a dead boy. Hero status, my friend.
Rita Skeeter was a journalist that would stop at nothing to get a story, even if she made up most of the information. But she achieves hero status when she writes an interview for the Quibbler telling the truth about Harry and writing exactly what Harry told her, and not what the press wanted to hear. Of course, she was blackmailed by Hermione, but without her article, it could've taken much longer for Harry's truth to get out.
You never thought you'd hate a Weasley until Percy became a total jerk as Fudge's little puppet. He disowns his family, blindly follows everything the Ministry says, and is basically the worst. But when he comes to his senses, he eagerly joins the Battle at Hogwarts and is a huge help in defeating the Death Eaters and supporting Harry.
She may have been a total *sshole in most of the books, but she saves the day in the Forbidden Forest when she betrays Voldemort and pretends that Harry is dead. Without that lie, Harry would've never made it back to Hogwarts and would've probably been finished off by Voldemort right there in the forest.
Obviously, the ultimate villain that was really a hero. He was a spy for the Order of the Phoenix, and managed to convince Voldemort and the entire legion of Death Eaters that he was on their side, all so he could protect Harry and not have Lily Potter's death be in vain. He is always a hero to me. Always.