If you read the Harry Potter books growing up, you know they aren’t just books. Reading them is an experience that stays with you forever. We laughed. We cried. There honestly wasn’t a single emotion we didn’t feel while reading these stories. Harry Potter let us escape into a world full of magic and love, and no matter how many years it’s been since Deathly Hallows hit bookstores, it will always be a safe space for us.
But these books are also pretty tragic. There’s not one single book where someone special doesn’t die, and from the beginning, Harry’s grappling with some tough stuff for his age. We, the readers, felt the losses that Harry experienced and the pain of everything he went through. It’s impossible to read these books without coming across a few quotes that are real tearjerkers. They may be different for all of us, depending on which parts of the story we connected with most, but it’s probably safe to say certain quotes are universal in their ability to break our hearts no matter how many times we read them.
16. “To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”
– Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was never just about Harry’s first time battling Voldemort or his introduction to the wizarding world. It was also about him coming to terms with his parents being dead. Going away to Hogwarts meant he was at their old school, hearing about them from every professor and every student in a way he never had before. When he found the Mirror of Erised, it showed him the thing he wanted most in the world: to be with his parents. This quote from Dumbledore will always bring on so many emotions, because it was when Harry finally realized that his parents would always be with him, and he would always be able to find strength in them.
15. “There are all kinds of courage. It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.”
– Dumbledore, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone
Dumbledore always had a way of noticing the good in everyone, even those who kept to themselves and made more than a few mistakes. When he called out Neville for trying to stop Harry from going to search for the Sorcerer’s Stone, it was a heartwarming moment. Throughout the first book (and every book, honestly) Neville was always called out for not understanding spells or for being too socially awkward, but he was rarely ever recognized for his loyalty and his strong beliefs. In this moment, we’d been rooting for Neville to finally get the recognition he deserved, and Dumbledore made sure everyone knew he was looking out for him.
14. “You will also find that help will always be given at Hogwarts to those who ask for it.”
– Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
This is one of those quotes that becomes more emotional as you read more of the series. J.K. Rowling painted a picture of Hogwarts as this magical place, and for a while, everyone was fairly safe within its walls. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, we have only just started to see how danger could find its way into the school. As the story continued, everything got darker. More characters died, the danger of Voldemort grew bigger, and we didn’t know what the outcome would be at the end of the series. But thinking back to this quote gave us hope that no matter how much everything seemed to be going wrong, everything would be alright in the end.
13. “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light”
– Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was when the books really started to take a pretty dark turn. The kids were all getting older and were forced to confront the fact that things may not always end with a happily ever after. With the dementors at Hogwarts, Harry experienced some pretty horrible thoughts, including hearing the sounds of his own parents dying. As always, though, Dumbledore was there to provide some wisdom even if it felt like the odds were stacked against Harry.
12. “Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.”
– Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Don’t even get us started on the death of Cedric Diggory. He might’ve been really bland and overall not that great in the movie (he honestly didn’t even get that much screen time), but in the book he was a great character. He was a Hogwarts prefect and the Hufflepuff Quidditch captain. He worked hard, and everyone loved him (for good reason). He was just like everyone else at Hogwarts during that year — he wanted the chance to participate in the Triwizard Tournament. He ended up making it to the end and practically winning, but then he died anyways for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He didn’t deserve to be killed by Voldemort, and this quote will always bring that injustice to mind.
11. “Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.”
– Luna Lovegood, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Luna Lovegood was arguably one of the best characters to exist in the Harry Potter universe (also just one of the best characters to exist ever). Like Harry, she’d had a tough upbringing and she was quickly outcasted for being quirky. But she used her life experiences to help others, and she was always there for those who needed her — even when they didn’t think they did. By book #5, Harry and the gang had begun to experience even more loss – and this quote was exactly what he needed to hear.
10. “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”
– Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Let’s be honest, there was a lot of talk about the struggling between light/dark and good/evil in these books. For a while, Harry looked at his world in this very black and white POV. Voldemort and the Death Eaters were evil, and Harry and his friends/professors were good. It wasn’t until around the time Sirius said this to him that he started to realize this isn’t always the case. Not only is this quote emotional because we love every moment between Harry and his godfather, but also because it’s one of the last times that Harry ever spoke to Sirius. Remember all that loss we mentioned? Well, nobody was safe.
9. “You care so much you feel as though you will bleed with the pain of it”
– Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry came off as this angsty teenager who kept starting unnecessary fights with the people he loved because he was angry at the world. In reality, Harry was probably suffering from severe PTSD. In the past four years, he had seen more death and had more people try to hurt him than anyone should, let alone an actual child. After he saw Cedric Diggory die, and nobody believed him about Voldemort being alive, it set off this domino effect of emotions he couldn’t hold in anymore.
8. “The thing about growing up with Fred and George is that you sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”
– Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Fred and George brought the magic of the Harry Potter series to life. Whether it was with their pranks (like when they bewitched snowballs to follow Professor Quirrell), their hilarious inventions (like the fireworks that never went out), or their general DGAF attitude, they were shining stars throughout the whole series. In this scene, Ginny touched all of our hearts because she’s so right. Fred and George were never afraid to go after their dreams, even when the whole world seemed to think they couldn’t do it. That’s a lesson anyone can learn from.
7. “We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on.”
– Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
At times, this whole series just seemed like Harry putting off his inevitable death with the constant dangers following him, but it was so much more than that. Seriously, think about how much pressure he must have felt from a prophecy that existed before he even did? He watched his parents, his godfather, and then his biggest mentor, die right in front of him because of the destruction that Voldemort caused and he was the only one who could stop it. Wouldn’t you want to give up too? It’s a miracle that Harry kept fighting, and that’s what Dumbledore is getting at here. If Harry stopped fighting and stopped believing in the cause, his whole world would come crashing down. And probably ours, too.
6. “Hermione was screaming again: the sound went through Harry like physical pain.”
– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
If there’s one thing that the death eaters hated, it was muggle-borns. Draco Malfoy teased Hermione about her lineage throughout every book, and it was pretty easy to tie her treatment to the way people are treated IRL which made it all the more devastating. When Bellatrix carved mudblood into Hermione’s arm, it was almost as though we could physically feel Hermione’s pain. We could hear her screams echo off the pages. Hermione was one of the strongest (if not the strongest) characters in the series. When it came down to it, she literally made her parents forget about her to protect them from the death eaters. Tell us again how she’s not a badass.
5. “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it isn’t real?”
– Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Hands down, this is one of the best quotes in the entire series. It’s like Dumbledore wasn’t just talking to Harry, but to the millions of readers for whom these books were literally a lifeline. Fans of Harry Potter connected to the series on a deeper level and as we said goodbye in this book, we all needed something to tell us that this whole experience was more than just reading books — Harry Potter was real.
4. “Chaos reigned.”
– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
That battle of Hogwarts scene, man. Whether you read it or watched it on film, that doesn’t make it any easier to handle. There were some tamer threats in the early series, but Hogwarts was supposed to be the safest place in the Wizarding World. Suddenly, it wasn’t. Characters we loved started dying left and right, and Hogwarts was falling apart, so this sentence hit us hard.
3. “Here lies Dobby, a free elf.”
– Harry Potter, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Who didn’t love Dobby? From the beginning of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Dobby tries to warn Harry not to go back to Hogwarts, we saw how much Dobby cared for people. He faced beatings from his master (ugh, Lucius Malfoy) just to try to save Harry. With his freedom, he became a force to be reckoned with. He stood up for his friends, and he was always willing to sacrifice himself if it meant that his friends could be safe. He eventually died doing just that: protecting his friends. Dobby’s death was one of many tragedies in the final book, but it’s also one that hit us the hardest.
2. “I’m sorry too, that I will never know him … but he will know why I died and I hope he will understand. I was trying to make a world in which he could live a happier life.”
– Remus Lupin, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Remus Lupin is another character who is seriously underrated. He constantly put himself on the line to protect the people he loved. He worked with Harry to help him conjure a Patronus. He even gave Severus Snape a chance when nobody else wanted to. Even when he had a family of his own to think about and protect, it didn’t stop him from thinking of everyone else’s needs too. He didn’t just die in the battle of Hogwarts to stop Voldemort. He died to make sure that Harry, the son of one of his best friends, could live. He gave up a life with his wife (and she gave up her life as well) for Harry and everyone else he loved. Truthfully, we’re tearing up just thinking about it.
1. “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.”
– J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
It’s impossible to get through this quote without feeling your heart break inside your chest. J.K. Rowling spared no one in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Not even Fred, one of the most precious characters in the entire series, was safe. To this day, she still apologizes for killing him, because it devastated fans on such a deep level. Many of our favorite characters died in the last book, and obviously, we wish none of them had. But Fred’s death was by far the most unjust and senseless because the Weasley family felt like our own.