A bittersweet moment for the wizard orphan: Harry glimpsed his parents and extended family in the ancient mirror, giving him a taste of what his life could have been.
Just when we all thought Slytherin would keep the Cup, Dumbledore stepped in to award Harry, Ron and Hermione some last-minute Gryffindor points for their daring exploits to stop Voldemort. And Neville, after a slightly rough first year, was recognised for his own bravery. Yes, Neville!
After a wee bit of a misunderstanding, Harry got to properly meet the godfather he never knew he had. After years of thinking the Dursleys were his only surviving family, Harry discovered that the bloodthirsty Azkaban escapee Sirius Black was actually a very nice man connected to his past in a big way. At the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, Sirius offered the one thing Harry desired more than anything – a real home, with a real, loving, parent-figure. Or at least, for a glimmering moment he did, before the Dementors turned up to take chase...
It was a particularly cruel move, even by Snape’s standards. Hermione was hit by a stray curse during an altercation between Harry and Malfoy, and her front teeth began growing out of control. Snape dismissed the curse as bearing no change to her appearance, causing Hermione to flee in tears. We knew Snape wasn’t exactly chummy, but this was a real tipping point.
Poor Cedric was unceremoniously murdered during the final task of the Triwizard Tournament – leaving Harry completely haunted by the experience. The unfairness of Cedric’s death was particularly painful seeing as Cedric had just helped Harry win the Triwizard Tournament together for a joint Hogwarts victory. And don’t get us started on the reaction of Cedric’s dad when he found out his son’s fate...
Thanks to this reverse spell effect in Goblet of Fire, Harry was able to see his parents again, as they offered advice to escape a newly revived Lord Voldemort. Having his parents (in some form) there to encourage him gives Harry the extra bit of strength he needed to get away – but didn’t help make the whole experience any less emotional.
Sirius Black, fierce protector of his godson, was suddenly killed at the end of Order of the Phoenix, with his body taken through a mysterious archway in the Department of Mysteries. The out-of-the-blueness of this scene completely knocked us for six, and was made particularly more devastating when Harry discovered a terribly-timed gift from Sirius later on: a two-way mirror that would have allowed Harry and Sirius to talk to each other easily. Upon discovering the mirror too late, Harry truly realised he’d never be able to talk to Sirius ever again.
Mistletoe. Christmas. Harry’s first kiss. Need we say more?
A glorious moment of victory, Gryffindor finally won the Hogwarts Quidditch Cup! Tears of joy.
Draco hadn’t really been in our good books, but there’s a particular moment of poignancy during Half-Blood Prince when he revealed his vulnerable side. After being tasked with the huge request of killing his headmaster from Lord Voldemort, we see a darker, more troubled Draco during his sixth year, which Harry stumbled upon when he witnessed his enemy uncharacteristically sobbing in the school bathroom.
Obviously, the death of the wise and kind headmaster continues to rip hearts everywhere into shreds.
While on the hunt for Horcruxes, Harry finally visited Godric’s Hollow on Christmas Eve and found his parents’ graves in the snow. Harry rarely cried in the books, but finally seeing where his parents lay was completely overwhelming for him.
Ariana Dumbledore, sister to Albus and Aberforth, met an early and tragic end. The retelling of the story shocked Harry and readers alike, and gave us a new side to Dumbledore’s character.
Ron, caught up in the depressing effects of the Horcrux locket, stormed out and left both Harry and Hermione alone and anguished.
Sorry to bring this one up, but we really do have to...
During Deathly Hallows, Dobby the house-elf’s adventures came to a tragic end when he was fatally injured in his efforts to save Harry from Bellatrix’s knife. A devastated Harry insisted on digging his grave the non-magical way, and we were with him every step of the way.
Too many beloved characters died here. We can’t even bear to go into it. Each one was like a wound to the heart.
Despite Snape’s nastiness, we saw his true motivations at last during this swim inside his memories – revealing a deep, enduring love for Harry’s mother, Lily. And as for the final exchange between Snape and Dumbledore? ‘Always’ tear-jerking.
Harry offered his son the advice and reassurance that he, himself, didn’t have before getting on the Hogwarts Express for the first time. And, like the last line of the book, all was well. SOB.