I’m currently rereading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and just
reached a particularly sad scene. It really choked me up and I realised how amazing it is that, even now, the Harry Potter books STILL make me cry, despite how many times I’ve read them. I’ve therefore compiled a list of my top ten cry-worthy moments from the Harry Potter series.
I’m going to assume that anyone reading this has read all the Harry Potter books, but if you haven’t – SPOILER ALERT!
The Mirror of Erised – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
This scene has never made me cry, but looking back at it, it’s a very sad, poignant moment to appear in what at the time was ‘just’ a children’s story. Harry has grown up with these terrible people who bully, abuse and neglect him, even to the point of starving him. He has been introduced to a wonderful world where he is not ignored, but famous, where magic exists and he has friends, and people who care about him. But even magic can’t bring back his parents, and nothing drives that home more than the Mirror of Erised scene.
Ron leaves – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
I really feel for Hermione here. It’s so commendable how she sticks with Harry – the boys never give her her due in these books, she has always been so loyal – but it’s also so heartbreaking when someone you’ve fallen for leaves you. Hermione is crushed but she continues to help Harry, swallowing her tears when she has to. Just the thought of how heavy-hearted she must have been kills me.
Hedwig’s death – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The death of a pet can be just as painful as that of a person, and I always want to cuddle Harry at this point in the books, because he feels like he can’t grieve for Hedwig when more important things are going on. But she was very important to him and had been a big part of his life for six years. I don’t think any of us were expecting Hedwig to die, either – we were all just as heartbroken as Harry
(Getting teary-eyed just thinking about it.)
The Woes of Mrs Weasley – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Poor Mrs. Weasley. She cares so much about her family, so it came as no surprise to find that her greatest fear was seeing her husband and children’s dead bodies in front of her. It was a classic plot device to create excitement when Harry walked in and saw Ron’s dead body on the floor, but it became so much more than an encouragement to turn the page: it was a reminder of the severity of their situation, that there is nothing stronger than a mother’s love, and also that Mrs. Weasley thought of Harry as family, because she sees his dead body too.
Fred’s death / Percy comes back – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
I LOVED the moment when Percy came back to Hogwarts to fight alongside his family. I remember doing an actual fist-pump. The triumph was short-lived, though, because Fred died a couple of sentences later.
And Percy was shaking his brother, and Ron was kneeling beside them, and Fred’s eyes stared without seeing, the ghost of his last laugh still etched upon his face.
I don’t know if anyone expected this: I certainly didn’t. I wish Fred could have lived to see Percy rejoin with the rest of the family, and I wish George hadn’t been left on his own. J. K. Rowling has said she is asked regularly if George was OK, and she has stated that he probably never will be. It breaks my heart to think of those two being separated.
It makes me angry how they brushed over this in the film, as well.
Dobby’s death – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
This didn’t make me cry the first time, but every time I read it, it gets more and more affecting. We were never in any doubt that Dobby would lay down his life for Harry, but it never occurred to me that he would ever have to.
The elf’s eyes found him, and his lips trembled with the effort to form words.
‘Harry … Potter …’
And then with a little shudder the elf became quite still, and his eyes were nothing more than great, glassy orbs sprinkled with light from the stars they could not see.
Don’t. Just don’t.
Hermione’s parents are Obliviated – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Can you imagine having to make this sacrifice? It would have been Hermione’s own idea, too, to alter her parents’ memories and make them lose all thought of her. And yet she never lets her grief hinder her progress in the hunt for Horcruxes. She is so strong, and such an amazing character.
My family have always been really important to me so I found this especially poignant. Rowling kind of glosses over how terrible this must be for Hermione, and I’ve always wished we could have seen the moment that she was reunited with her parents after the war.
Harry hears the reactions to his own death – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The scream was the more terrible because he had never expected or dreamed that Professor McGonagall could make such a sound. He heard another woman laughing nearby, and knew that Bellatrix gloried in McGonagall’s despair. He squinted again, for a single second, and saw the open doorway filling with people, as the survivors of the battle came out on to the front steps, to face their vanquishers, and see the truth of Harry’s death for themselves. He saw Voldemort standing a little in front of him, stroking Nagini’s head with a single white finger. He closed his eyes again.
It’s Hagrid and McGonagall’s reactions that I find particularly distressing in this part of Deathly Hallows. This is the moment that we realise just how loved Harry is, and how much everyone believes in him, and that even though they were frightened it might come to this, they never really believed Voldemort would beat him.
Then, of course, there’s the moment that Neville steps forward to finish what Harry started. I just can’t even.
Frank and Alice Longbottom – Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
You might have guessed that this was the moment that I got to in Order of the Phoenix, that encouraged me to write this post. Most people would probably say that this is the saddest scene of all.
It’s the first time we were introduced to this kind of pain in the Harry Potter universe – we hadn’t really seen mental health issues before. I’ll let the scene speak for itself:
Neville’s mother had come edging down the ward in her nightdress. She no longer had the plump, happy-looking face Harry had seen in Moody’s old photograph of the original Order of the Phoenix. Her face was thin and worn now, her eyes seemed overlarge and her hair, which had turned white, was wispy and dead-looking. She did not seem to want to speak, or perhaps she was not able to, but she made timid motions towards Neville, holding something in her outstretched hand.
‘Again?’ said Mrs Longbottom, sounding slightly weary. ‘Very well, Alice dear, very well – Neville, take it, whatever it is.’
But Neville had already stretched out his hand, into which his mother dropped an empty Drooble’s Best Blowing Gum wrapper.
‘Very nice, dear,’ said Neville’s grandmother in a falsely cheery voice, patting his mother on the shoulder.
But Neville said quietly, ‘Thanks, Mum.’
His mother tottered away, back up the ward, humming to herself. Neville looked around at the others, his expression defiant, as though daring them to laugh, but Harry did not think he’d ever found anything less funny in his life.
‘Well, we’d better get back,’ sighed Mrs Longbottom, drawing on long green gloves. ‘Very nice to have met you all. Neville, put that wrapper in the bin, she must have given you enough of them to paper your bedroom by now.’
But as they left, Harry was sure he saw Neville slip the sweet wrapper into his pocket.
A few honourable mentions:
The epilogue was sad because it was the end of a beloved series, but in all honesty I do find the ending a little bit cheesy, especially because I can’t help but think of how awful it looked in the movies. Dumbledore’s death never affected me much because he wasn’t a character I particularly liked, though I felt utterly betrayed by Snape and so it did still make me sad. I haven’t mentioned Sirius’ death because it’s one instance where I do actually think it’s more effective in the films – although that moment in the book when he accidentally calls Harry ‘James’ is heart-wrenching. And, of course, there’s that scene in the Forbidden Forest, where Harry uses the resurrection stone to speak to his parents, Sirius and Lupin before facing Voldemort and walking into certain death.
Snape’s death / ‘Always’ – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
This is personal preference, because Snape has always been my favourite character, but I cried for hours when I first read this part. We were all pretty certain Snape was going to die, but the way in which he died was so unexpected. We were used to seeing the Avada Kedavra curse, which is over in a flash, but Voldemort’s attack on Snape was brutal and almost personal.
Then I was hurtled into a chapter full of Snape’s memories and the revelation that he loved Lily for all those years, and of course, we had that ‘Always’ dialogue.
So, I’m an actual mess after writing this. I hope it was worth it and that you enjoyed it. I’m in a very Potter mood at the moment – it reminds me of Christmas, for some reason. I hope everyone is having a lovely Christmas Eve Eve, or, if you don’t celebrate Christmas, just a lovely day in general! Thanks for stopping by!