Harry Potter has some of the most devoted and obsessed fans out there. The wizarding world has become like a second reality for some. After seven books, eight films, companion writings on Pottermore, three theme parks and now Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, fans still aren't satisfied.
They're constantly tweeting questions at J.K. Rowling, wondering about what the characters might be doing since the original series ended or crafting elaborate headcanon explanations for why certain things were the way they were. But, for some reason, there is a certain breed of masochistic Harry Potter fan that likes to congregate on Tumblr.
Instead of gushing about getting their Hogwarts letter or talking about how incredible magic is, they instead ponder about the sad reality of Sirius Black's life or relive Fred's death as if it wasn't traumatic enough the first time. So, if crying seems like a good idea at the moment, grab a box of tissues and settle in for a heavy dose of the feels, courtesy of Tumblr.
15 When they pointed out this moment between Luna and Dobby
If there’s one character who’s just so astonishingly good at heart, it’s Luna Lovegood. Despite her quirks and spacey personality, Luna has the soul of a saint. No matter who she was talking to—people and house elves alike—she treated everyone with an equal amount of respect. One Tumblr user moved us all when they pointed out this beautiful moment between Luna and Dobby in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
No one ever called Dobby “sir” before; why would they? He was essentially a slave until Harry Potter freed him. Then, Luna comes along and acts as if it’s the most normal thing in the world to talk to Dobby as an equal. It must have made him so incredibly happy to be validated in that way, especially by a stranger.
What makes this post even sadder, though, is realizing that only moments later, Dobby heroically saved the lives of six people, only to get a knife to the chest (*sobs uncontrollably*).
14 When they came up with this Weasley headcanon that cut deep
Why, Tumblr, why? Seriously, though. It’s like people sit around thinking about ways to torture each other with these headcanons about life after the events of the seven books. This one in particular cuts deep, as one user imagines life in the Weasley household four years after the Battle of Hogwarts.
It’s a perfectly legitimate scenario in which Mrs. Weasley, so focused on getting the household to pull their weight, momentarily forgets that one of her sons is dead. As she does on many occasions prior, she calls George “Fred,” although this time, it brings her to tears at the realization of what she’s said.
But, in typical Fred and George fashion, George responds as if they were both indeed there, playfully teasing his mother, despite the immense pain it must have caused him. So...many...feels! George deserves a medal for carrying on despite the loss of his twin, especially when he’s reminded of him every time he looks in the mirror.
13 When they used Hamilton lyrics to comment on all the loss of life
It was bound to happen eventually—a Hamilton/Harry Potter mashup. Someone took the lyrics from “Wait For It” and added them to images of the deaths of Tonks & Lupin, Sirius, Dumbledore and James and Lily Potter. Not surprisingly, they’re incredibly fitting in this context, given the number of deaths in the Harry Potter series, one after another, of people Harry cared about. He just couldn’t get a break until Lord Voldemort was defeated. As the prophecy foretold, “neither can live while the other survives,” no matter how many lives it took in the process.
Although Harry wasn’t jealous of his rival, waiting for his chance to shine the way Aaron Burr was in Hamilton, the brilliance of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s songwriting lies in how his lyrics can be applied to other, unrelated situations. Even as a stand-alone song, “Wait For It” packs a powerful punch about death, overcoming adversity and finally coming into your own. The lyrics work so well here, we can almost see Harry saying these words to himself—making it all the more gut-wrenching.
12 When they realized just how much death everyone at Hogwarts witnessed
Since there’s so much tragedy in Harry Potter, it’s obvious that most of the Hogwarts students and professors saw quite a bit of death by the end of the events of the seventh book. Nothing brings it home quite like this Tumblr post, though.
Remember how everyone thought the carriages were pulling themselves from the Hogsmeade station to Hogwarts grounds before Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix? It wasn’t until after Harry witnessed Cedric’s death at the hands of Lord Voldemort that he realized there were actually a bunch of creepy, winged horses pulling the carriages. Of course, Luna wasn’t afraid of them, she accepted them for what they were (despite some wizards considering them a bad omen). Only those who have seen death and comprehended it can see a thestral.
So, after the Battle of Hogwarts, when school resumed as usual, it’s likely that most students and teachers who participated would have, sadly, also been able to see the thestral herd pulling their carriages along. What an awful reminder of the events that unfolded on those grounds.
11 When they illustrated Hagrid's heartbreak, full force
OK, who is the absolute SAVAGE that put together this collection of images showing Hagrid carrying Harry’s limp body? One would have been plenty, but no, they had to find every single illustration of that moment in order to stab us all in the heart multiple times. Then, after wallowing in the misery of reliving that awful moment, they thought it’d be a great idea to break down exactly why it was so horrible.
Hagrid was Harry’s gatekeeper to the wizarding world—the one who carried him to safety, told him he was a wizard and then had to bring his body back after Voldemort seemingly killed him. He loved Harry like family and would have done anything to protect him. However, he was robbed of that by the Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort, who kept him captured and tied up, while Harry sacrificed himself. Imagine the earth-shattering loss Hagrid must have felt when he thought he lost Harry forever. Imagine it and try not to cry; we dare you.
10 When they guessed at Lupin's immediate affection for Harry
Marauders fans, especially, will love this Tumblr post about Remus Lupin and Harry. When Harry, Ron and Hermione board the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, they take up in a compartment occupied by a sleeping Lupin. They have no idea who he is or the connection he has to Harry’s father (since he wasn’t around to tell Harry about Lupin). That alone is a sad thought, but even more so when seen from Lupin’s point of view.
He’s described as looking rather ill and exhausted (probably because it was right after a full moon). Lupin doesn’t awake until the Dementors board the train and all the lights have gone out. Imagine his surprise after waking up (possibly from a dream about his younger days when the Marauders were all together) to see James Potter’s face staring at him. Harry, after all, was the spitting image of James (except for his eyes, which were his mother’s). Way to give us all the feels, Tumblr.
9 When rereading Snape's death made them mourn twice as hard
So many Harry Potter fans equate Alan Rickman with Severus Snape, due to his performance in the films. Rickman’s unique voice, combined with the slow and deliberate speech pattern he perfected as Snape, makes it pretty much impossible to read his dialogue any other way. He embodied the character completely, even beyond the way he talked; his input gave Snape the tight, buttoned-up appearance and single outfit wardrobe he became known for.
As this Tumblr user admits, it’s now painfully difficult to reread the books or watch the films as a fan of Rickman’s portrayal of Snape. His death scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows hits doubly hard, now that Alan Rickman has since passed away. Snape admirer or not, it’s impossible to debate that anyone will ever come as close as Rickman did to giving life to one of J.K. Rowling’s characters. Fans will treasure that role always, thanks to him.
8 When they figured out the sad reality of Hogwarts class sizes
On a scale of “nah” to “headcanon accepted,” this Harry Potter Tumblr theory is off the charts in terms of its undeniable logic and believability. J.K. Rowling supposedly once said in an interview with her US book publisher, Scholastic, that there were about 1000 students at Hogwarts while Harry was at school. However, there only seems to be around 20 students per house in his year. If we do the math, that’d be 80 students per grade. But with seven grades, that only comes out to about 560 students, which is half of how many there are supposed to be.
Harry and his fellow first years were born at the height of the First Wizarding War, when Voldemort was striking terror into the hearts of wizards and muggles alike. As with any war, magical or non-magical, birth rates tend to decrease until the threat is over. Therefore, Harry’s year was probably half that of most other years, especially incoming years at around book three when new students would have been born after Voldemort fell. It’s a startlingly realistic theory that—while depressing—makes a lot of sense.
7 When their Snily love broke our hearts
There’s just something about Snape fans that’s inherently masochistic. Snape endured years of heartache—pining away after Lily—even blaming himself for her death. Then, even though her son looks so much like the man she married (essentially Snape’s worst enemy), he vows to protect Harry, anyway. Everything Snape does, he does for Lily—even after all that time.
Snape was the unfortunate victim of circumstance. He came from a poor family and was likely neglected and abused by his father. Naturally, he became a target for bullies (who somehow seem able to sniff out that sort of thing). Lily was the one good person in his life, but unfortunately for him, she friend zoned him and got with another guy. Even though that friendship likely fell away after he called her a “mudblood” and later joined the Death Eaters, she was still his number one crush. With her death, he probably felt like he could never love again (and he never did, which is why this Tumblr post hits so close to home).
6 When they got how tragic Sirius Black's life actually became
Sirius Black is one of those rebellious characters who are doomed from the start. Never wanting to fit in with the status quo, he instead elected to make his own way, which led to constant tragedy and his ultimate demise. No matter what he sets out to do, it seems to never work out quite as he planned, sometimes with drastic consequences.
In this Tumblr post, someone cleverly put together Sirius’ desires, followed by the actual results of his actions. It’s like an even more awful version of expectations vs. reality, where the person’s entire life is just one big, tragic joke. Instead of keeping his brother from the Death Eaters, his brother joins, turns against Voldemort and is killed trying to escape the clutches of the Inferi, who were guarding one of the Horcruxes. Even though he hates being home, he agrees to let the Order of the Phoenix use 12 Grimmauld Place, but can’t leave because he’s a wanted man. The list goes on and on and just goes to show how unfair life really can be, even in fiction.
5 When they recognized the story had come full circle
When they’re viewed separately, the first and last words spoken in the Harry Potter films aren’t particularly noteworthy. Dumbledore spies Professor McGonagall in her animagus form in the beginning and Harry’s son, Albus Severus, says he’s ready to go to Hogwarts for the first time. However, because they’re the first and last words of the series, they’re automatically important for what they symbolize.
We feel nostalgic (and sad) when reading the first line, remembering our introduction to the series, yet satisfied at the last words, which are a beacon of hope after the dark times experienced by Harry and the others. Most importantly, they symbolize Harry’s journey coming full circle, like the words on the Golden Snitch, which Dumbledore leaves to him.
He’s also 'The Boy Who Lived in the beginning, as well as the end. Albus Dumbledore is the first character we see and Albus Severus, Harry’s son whom he named after the Hogwarts headmaster, is one of the last. It’s poignant and beautiful and Tumblr just gets it, guys!
4 When they realized which characters symbolized the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter fans are quite familiar with "The Tale of the Three Brothers" and the Deathly Hallows they were gifted. The Peverell Brothers each received an item, which, when combined, made the owner a master of death.
As the story goes, the first brother asks for the most powerful wand in existence, the Elder Wand, which Voldemort eventually covets in his quest to become the most powerful dark wizard to have ever lived. The second brother wishes to bring back his dead love and is given the Resurrection Stone. Snape undoubtedly wishes he could bring Lily back, seeing as his Patronus takes the same shape as hers and he devotes much of his life to the protection of her son.
And then there was the third brother, who was not tempted by things like power and immortality, instead wishing to be left to his own devices until he was ready to die. Harry, too, wasn’t interested in those things and was willing to sacrifice himself for the people he loved, rather than save himself. This is such a simple graphic post, but it really does hit you right in the feels and makes you realize how genius Harry Potter actually is.
3 When they paid morbid tribute to Fred and George
Even with death already so much a part of the story, some people aren’t satisfied until they’ve come up with the most depressing scenarios possible. Take this Tumblr post, for example, in which someone actually photoshopped Fred and George’s graves side by side. In reality, they’d probably share a grave since cemetery plots are expensive and the Weasleys were poor, but that’s neither here nor there.
Nevertheless, some morbid sap thought it’d be great fun to create their fake graves with “mischief” on one and “managed” on the other. It’s a cute concept until one of the commentators rationalized the choice perfectly.
Poor Fred died during the height of his mischief-making years, forever young. George, on the other hand, had to both manage Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes without his brother, as well as his life, in general. Like the last poster asks, did they really have to add that? When Tumblr cuts, they sure cut deep.
2 When they articulate exactly how it feels to read the books all over again
This Tumblr user perfectly sums up what it’s like to reread the Harry Potter books all over again, after a long time. No matter how well you know the story, experiencing it all over again still takes you on an emotional roller-coaster through the very end.
The first three books aren’t so bad. We know it’s only a matter of time before Voldemort rises again, but we’re still so enamoured with Hogwarts and the magical world that everything else becomes secondary. Then, Cedric dies and darkness descends as Voldemort returns. The story gets darker and more tragic, as Harry faces the reality of his destiny and what he needs to do to get there.
Then, Harry’s only chance at a happy family life dies, along with Sirius. Next, Dumbledore, whom he admires and respects above all others, dies. Then, his loyal friend, Dobby the house elf dies, etc. Let’s not even get into The Battle of Hogwarts. There aren’t enough tissues in the world to wipe up all the tears from the countless lives lost there. Why did you do this to us, J.K. Rowling?
1 When they get you one last time with this heartbreaking thought
Alright, there’s no avoiding the Battle of Hogwarts completely. Without it, Voldemort might have still been terrorizing the wizarding world and even more people could have died. Two of the most heart-wrenching deaths were definitely those of Tonks and Lupin. In a way, their deaths mirrored that of Harry’s parents. They, too, left behind a child, Teddy (who Harry was named godfather of).
Fans have a particular fascination with Teddy because he’s later described as having Tonks’ punk style and metamorphmagus abilities. However, he never knew his parents, starting his time at Hogwarts without them waving him off. That’s why this particular piece of headcanon stings pretty hard. Imagine how comforted Harry would have felt if he had opened a chocolate frog package to find his parents smiling up at him. Hopefully, Tonks and Lupin were honored with chocolate frog cards for their commitment to fighting the good fight and sacrificing their lives so that others could live. At least Teddy has Harry, a worthy godfather, if ever there was one.