Dean Thomas from 'Harry Potter' is all grown up and we've fallen under his spell
Harry Potter is arguably the greatest series of children's books ever written. Sure, book series like The Chronicles of Narnia will always be classics, but what makes Potter unique is that children can grow up with its characters in real time. While J.K. Rowling has been criticized for the darker subject matter of the later books, I think we can all agree that children need to learn that life isn't always sunshine and roses - even if they never have to fight off an actual Dementor.
For me, the series provided an escape when I needed it most as a child, and reading about the deaths of characters I'd come to know and love (don't worry, this article spoiler-free), helped me to come to terms with the first few deaths I witnessed in life. But dark subject matter aside, what makes Potter so brilliant is that it ultimately sends a message of hope.
Prior to finishing The Deathly Hallows, Rowling knew that she would end the series with three simple words, "All was well", but, for people like me who grew up with the series, all was not well. I cannot put into words the excitement I felt each time a new Harry Potter book was released and the thrill I got seeing the words "First Edition" printed on my cover - words which I quickly scanned over as I rushed my way through the book (I read The Half-Blood Prince in a day, seriously).
But, as us original Potterheads know all too well, the real end of the series came in 2011 with the release of the final movie. My friend and I legitimately sat holding hands in the movie theatre as we cried over a certain snake-bitten Hogwarts professor.
However, swiftly moving on from the fact that the original series is over, let's take a moment to appreciate the on-screen glow-ups it gave us as then hormonal teenagers. Yes, there are pictures of Draco Malfoy in this article for a reason. While Tom Felton's portrayal of the ultimate Slytherin (next to Voldemort, obv) didn't appeal to me as a preteen, by 2011, I was in love.
What can I say? I like a bad boy, and there was no boy badder than Draco in the Harry Potter series. That being said, I'd have totally passed him up to let his dad (or his mom...) explore my "Chamber of Secrets", but that's another story entirely.
Sadly, my love of Draco isn't shared by Rowling herself, who has found the female attention her white-haired character has received bizarre, writing, "I have often had cause to remark on how unnerved I have been by the number of girls who feel for this particular fictional character (although I do not discount the appeal of Tom Felton, who plays Draco brilliantly in the films, and, ironically, is about the nicest person you could meet)."
"Draco has all the dark glamor of the anti-hero; girls are very apt to romanticize such people. All of this has left me in the unenviable position of pouring cold common sense on ardent readers' daydreams as I told them, rather severely, that Draco was not concealing a heart of gold under all that sneering and prejudice and that no, he and Harry were not destined to end up best friends."
However, if Draco wasn't your cup of tea - *ahem Butterbeer* - then perhaps you'll be delighted to discover that one of the series' more likeable characters Dean Thomas - AKA a member of Gryffindor, a chaser in their Quidditch team, and eventually a member of Dumbledore's army - has grown up to be quite the catch.
Now, I'm aware that Harry Potter glow-ups are nothing unusual. I mean, the transformation that Neville Longbottom (Matthew Lewis) underwent was so impressive that it actually became a verb in the Urban Dictionary.
So if you ever hear of someone having "Neville Longbottomed", basically, you'll know that they grew up to be a total hottie. And one character that no one appeared to realize had Neville Longbottomed until now because his role in the series was relatively minor is Dean Thomas.
Since finishing the series, Rowling has revealed a number of fascinating details about it its characters and it turns out that in the first draft of Harry Potter, Dean was actually called Gary. Can you imagine that? The only famous character I know with that name is Spongebob's pet snail!
Thankfully, it's not the name of the actor who played Dean, either. He was played by Alfred Enoch and it's a name that you might have heard recently as he's currently starring in the hit US show How To Get Away With Murder.
Now 27, it's safe to say that the fresh-faced boy we came to know and love in Harry Potter has grown into a seriously handsome young man. Sadly, his impressive glow-up has gone relatively unnoticed as he doesn't have a social media presence.
How To Get Away With Murder aside, Alfred has carved out an impressive acting career for himself since his Harry Potter days and his other acting credits include Broadchurch (2013), Mount Pleasant (2013), and Sherlock (2014).
To see the London-born actor effortlessly shift switch between American and British accents, check out the video below:
However, if Dean still wasn't your cup of tea when it came to eligible young bachelors in the Harry Potter world, then you're in luck once again, as Viktor Krum has also Neville Longbottomed (not that he really had to, if I'm honest) and better still, he's got a strong social media presence for all your stalking needs!
Played by Bulgarian actor Stan Yanevski, who is now 33, Viktor was a part of one of the most memorable scenes in the series. Y'know, when the boys realized that there was a beautiful girl hiding under Hermionie's mass of curly hair and know-it-all ways at the Yule Ball...
And boy did Hermione manage to bag herself a hot date in the form of Drumstang champion Viktor.
While it's safe to say that he was easily one of the more handsome characters in the movies (he was, after all, a little older than the other male actors), he too has had a serious glow-up since then - and what's more is that he looks completely unrecognizable!
Yes, Viktor is now a heavily tattooed bearded Bulgarian machine, and if there's ever another Yule Ball, he's more than welcome to take me as a date. He's pictured below with slightly shorter hair, showing that he's not forgotten his Harry Potter roots.
While the child stars of Harry Potter were obviously chosen for their acting ability, there appears to be a theme here when it comes to what they look like as adults - even with the apparently ugly ducklings of the series. Now, only time will tell which Harry Potter character we've yet to see glow-up will hit the headlines next...