For many of us, Harry Potter was our childhood. We stayed up late reading the books and counting down the days until the next one was released. We were first in line for the midnight premieres of the movies. We dressed up as the characters for Halloween, we spent all of our money to get to The Wizarding World Of Harry Potter, and we desperately hoped our Hogwarts letters had just gotten lost in the mail. So even though there hasn’t been a new movie in years (except Fantastic Beasts, which we loved) and a new book in even longer, every time we hear that theme song starting up or catch a glimpse of something Potter-related, our heads turn. So get the tissues ready, because we’re about to pull on those Harry Potter heart strings. Spoilers, obviously, if you have for some strange reason not read or watched all of the Harry Potter goodness.
15. Instead They Went With “Albus Severus Potter” #SMH
Can you imagine this? Just picture Harry and Ginny bringing their newborn daughter by the hut. Hagrid has been running around all day trying to clean up and bake something special for their visit. He even gelled his hair back! They walk in and Hagrid is immediately transfixed by the beautiful baby in their arms. Ginny smiles warmly as Hagrid reaches his stubby hands out to hold her. “What’s ‘er name?” Hagrid asks. “Ruby,” Ginny answers. “Why isn’t that a pretty little name?” Hagrid remarks. “Hagrid,” Harry explains, “We named her Ruby after you.” Hagrid blinks back tears as he attempts to say something in response. But the words get stuck in his throat. He just smiles as a giant tear drops onto little baby Ruby Potter. She’s smiles back up at him and there isn’t a dry eye in the hut.
14. Still Too Soon
Anything to do with Fred Weasley always gets me. But put George and Molly into it? I absolutely lose it. Losing a son and a twin brother? Gut wrenching. I can’t even imagine. Can you just think how painful every birthday would be? Especially George’s birthday. Every one of his birthdays would just be a reminder of the brother he lost who wasn’t there to celebrate with him. He’d open a gift and turn to his left to make a funny comment, but no one would be there to hear him. He’d slice into the cake and quickly grab the first bite, forgetting that there was no one left to race him. He’d come downstairs and get a birthday hug from his mom but both would have tears flowing by the time they pulled apart. Oh why can’t the Weasley’s ever be perfectly happy?
13. Fred Gets His Dream Job
This one makes me cry happy tears. It might be the only good thing to come out of Fred’s untimely death. He finally gets to become the ultimate prankster and join the Marauders in Wormtail’s spot. Let’s just hope they let him pick a better nickname. What a great welcome into the afterlife that would be! The only downside? He can’t do it with George. That look on his face says it all. He’s shocked. He’s honored. He can’t wait to join the big boys and have all sorts of ghostly fun. But he’s missing his right hand man. Can he do this without George? Does he even want to? The Weasley twins finally have to go their own ways. I can just see Fred now. “George! They’ve asked me to be a marauder. Can you believe it? I hope you don’t mind. I’ve made them promise we’ll take a fifth member once you get here. But please don’t hurry.”
12. Real Sacrifices
Every time a character died, JK Rowling would always apologize and say she had to do it. She just HAD to kill someone off we all loved. And I always wondered why. What do you mean you had to kill them JK? They’re your characters! You’re the author. You don’t have to kill them off. Just keep typing their name. But then I read this and everything changed. So she really did have to kill off seven of our favorites. I don’t like it JK, but I understand it. But as far as I know, you didn’t have to kill someone you loved to create a horcrux. Any ol’ kill would do! So why did it have to be Dobby? Why leave Teddy with no parents? Surely there must have been some forgettable wizards you could’ve killed off instead. Right?
11. We Miss You, Alan Rickman!
I remember first watching this interview a couple of years back and laughing to myself. How great is Alan Rickman? And how funny would it be to watch him get a 12 year old Rupert Grint to autograph his drawing? Nothing sad about that, right? Until you remember that Alan Rickman recently passed away and the world is now void of his beautiful sense of humor and stellar talent. It’s so rare to see Snape smile. And now we never will again (*sobs intently while re-watching all of Alan Rickman’s greatest works*). Why cruel world, why!? It’s just not fair. It’s one thing to kill them off in the books or movies, but it’s a whole other thing if they die in real life. That’s a new level of heart breaking that we can’t even blame on JK Rowling.
10. This Is Just Too Much
So, I don’t know if this is a verified fact or just fan fiction, but either way, it really hurts. I didn’t think anything could be sadder than Lily sacrificing herself for her son. A young baby being left orphaned while an evil wizard kills his two parents is pretty painful. And then we find out that Snape is the one who discovered their bodies. He held the love of his life in his arms as her body went cold. That is the definition of gut-wrenching. But this is just too much. Lily was pregnant? You don’t go around killing pregnant women, Voldy. And she was about to mend fences with Snape? This is just too much to handle! Think of how different things would be if Voldemort had just left them alone? Harry would be a big brother and Snape would be coming around for Sunday dinners at the Potters’ house.
9. Harry’s Biggest Fan
In the second movie, this kid was the biggest nuisance. He was always in the way and just a pain in the neck for Harry and his friends. Who goes around with a giant flash camera to try and sneakily get a photo of a famous kid at school? Colin Creevey, that’s who. No one was a fan of this kid back in the day. But now? That devotion he had for Harry never waned. Many people sacrificed themselves and risked it all for Harry that night. But most of them knew they were fighting for something bigger. And they got the proper recognition for their efforts. Except for Colin. He died solely to keep Harry alive. And the worst part is Harry never knew it. He’ll never know the sacrifice Colin made for him that saved his life. And now we’re crying.
8. The Brother Harry Never Had
How beautiful is this? I remember watching this scene in the movie and wondering why Ron was rubbing Harry’s head. That just seems like something a grandpa would do to a little boy. But now I get it. This is how Ron has been taught to show love and affection. A head pat is a sign of approval. It’s a sign of brotherly love. And he’s patting Harry’s head because he loves Harry like a brother. The boy who has more brothers than most and the boy who never got to have one. Despite growing up in a busy household, you can see how Ron might have been lonely. Bill and Charlie were too old to hang out with him. Percy was too stuck up and proper. Fred and George had each other. And Ginny was just a young girl. Ron wanted a brother of his own. And he finally found that in Harry!
7. Best Friends Forever
I didn’t realize how important the Marauders were until I re-read and re-watched the Harry Potter series. Not only were they best friends who liked to pull pranks together, they were brothers. They were willing to risk it all to protect each other. Like James, Sirius, and Peter (except, we hated Peter) learning to become animagi so they could protect Remus’ werewolf secret. Or Sirius and Remus literally giving their lives to ensure the safety of James’ son since he couldn’t be there to protect Harry himself. Their bonds ran deep. So it only makes sense that James would be there to welcome Remus to the afterlife. Sirius was probably just a few steps behind. He had to stop and pick up the butter beers so they could toast their reunion.
6. Welcome Home, Harry
I love when we get these insights into McGonagall’s head and heart. She was always so composed and proper, so it’s great to see her shed that and show off her human side. I love the idea of her finally being able to welcome Harry home to Hogwarts where he belongs. All his life she has been fighting to protect him. She spent years in her cat form watching Harry endure the worst at the hands of his “family,” The Dursley’s. I can only imagine McGonagall going to Dumbledore, “You won’t believe what they did to him this time, Albus! We need to get Potter out of there.” Albus would shake his head and insist that Harry had to stay put. So finally, 11 years later, McGonagall could rescue Harry and show him who he truly was meant to be.
5. True Love Never Dies
I always thought Snape’s ominous black robes were a little bit much. It was always so much black! And there was always a turtle neck, a long sleeve, and some incredibly swishy capes. It was definitely his look. I assumed it was Snape’s version of goth meets vogue. But what if the black was more meaningful than that? We all know he still carried a torch for Lily. He was in love with that girl his entire life. His name is even an anagram for “pursues Evans” – as in Lily Evans. So it only makes sense that he would want to pay tribute to Lily everyday in a small way. I can just see him shedding a small tear and touching an old tattered photo of her that he kept inside his closet as he got dressed every morning.
4. Harry, Can We Give You A Hug?
This one really gets me. I remember seeing that first scene in the Weasley’s house through Harry’s eyes. He was so in awe of the self-washing dishes and magical clock. He was in shock and amazed at this magical world he had just discovered. But what was he actually in awe of? Not the magic knitting needles or moving photos, but the love and acceptance he found in the Weasley home. He was surrounded, for the first time in his life, by people who not only respected him as a person, but who loved and cared for him. That was the true magic for Harry. Forget wands and spells. Harry just wanted someone to invite him to grab a slice of toast and some eggs at the breakfast table.
3. RIP Tonks
Oh, this one really hurts. There’s nothing worse than an orphaned baby who doesn’t understand that his parents are gone. Little Teddy Lupin has no idea why his parents aren’t around anymore. He’s probably thinking, “that was a nice cuddle, Uncle Harry. Can you please pass me to my mom now? I don’t think I’ve seen her for a while. Why won’t she hold me?” His hair is growing brighter and brighter pink and everyone is just staring at this little baby with tears in their eyes. How do you make an infant understand that his mom will never hold him again? And meanwhile, Harry is probably having flashbacks to his own childhood when he got dropped off at the Dursley’s and desperately searched for his own parents. Ugh, it’s all too much.
2. I. Just. Can’t.
I always wondered why Harry and Sirius had such a strong bond. They barely spent any time together and they’re already willing to break the law and do dangerous things for one another. They trust each other completely. And sure, Sirius is Harry’s chance at leaving the Dursley’s and having a proper home. And Harry is the son Sirius never had. But I still didn’t really understand their instant, strong bond. Until now. Of course, they were both looking for James. Harry is looking for his father when he looks at Sirius. Here is this man who was James’ best friend and is willing to be Harry’s stand-in father. And Sirius sees this young boy who looks just like his best friend and wants to spend all of his time with him.
1. Leave It To Luna
The happy tears are flowing freely now. Leave it to Luna to find a way to honor lost friends years later. Of course they would’ve enjoyed your wedding, Luna! In fact, I can’t imagine there’s a person who would not enjoy your wedding. Your mother probably cried and Lily handed her a tissue from her purse, while squeezing James’ hand as Harry took his seat. Sirius and Remus were probably making jokes or daring Fred to pull a prank on the officiant before the ceremony started. Don’t worry, Tonks would give them a glare to make sure they behave themselves. Mad-eye would probably be spiking the punch at the back but Snape would make sure none of the minors got into it. I love that Luna would think to save seats for all of these important people who died too soon. The saddest part is how many seats she had to save – how many great people passed before their time.