Just some of the important life lessons we took from the Harry Potter stories…
Dumbledore addressing students in the Great Hall from th

1. True friendship can get you through anything

An unlikely trio to begin with, Harry, Ron and Hermione proved time and time again that real friendship forges an unbreakable bond. Together they managed to face Dementors and Death Eaters, Dolores Umbridge and Horcruxes. Not to mention the truly horrifying pitfalls of teenage life: relationship problems, jealousy and school exams. With true friends it doesn’t matter if you argue over a possibly-jinxed new broomstick or accidentally swallow a love potion because at the end of the day, they’ll always have your back.

Ron offering Pig for Crookshanks to check on the Hogwarts Express

2. Bravery comes in many forms

Harry had to summon up all his courage when he sought out Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest, but that wasn’t the only kind of bravery we saw throughout the books.

Whether you stand up to your friends because they’re breaking the rules, like Neville did, or take a leaf out of Hermione’s book and fight for what you believe in (even if nobody else took S.P.E.W. seriously), these were all demonstrations of courage and fortitude.

3. People can surprise you

The old saying ‘never judge a book by its cover’ has been trotted out hundreds of times and yet all too often we don’t really appreciate its meaning. Making a snap judgment about someone is a risky business, as these books have shown us.

A towering half-giant could turn out to be a loyal, kind and gentle friend while a stuttering, nervous teacher may be harbouring Voldemort in his turban. A dark, bitter Potions master may sacrifice everything to right a wrong for the love of his life, and even a paragon of wisdom like Dumbledore could have a complicated past. People aren’t always what they seem: well, almost nothing is in the wizarding world, and that’s an important lesson to remember.

The hut on the rock with Hagrid coming through the door

4. It’s okay to ask for help

Harry was often loath to ask for help, even when he really needed it. Whether that was working out what a clue meant during the Triwizard Tournament, or tracking down a long-lost diadem, his first reaction was often to try and do things alone.

Borne out of good intentions, this attitude is nonetheless crippling in the right circumstances and luckily, Harry came to realise that although there are some battles you need to fight alone, there are others that you can’t. Besides, your friends want to help if they can, and might surprise you when they do – Ron speaking Parseltongue, anyone?

5. Heartbreak is sometimes inevitable

It’s sad but it’s true. Just as Harry and Cho, Lavender and Ron, and Lily and Snape showed us, sometimes things don’t work out the way we’d like them to.

You might suffer a broken heart through unrequited love, or lose those you love most, but the books also show us that life goes on. People recover and forge ahead and even death isn’t something to be feared; it is, as Dumbledore so eloquently said, ‘but the next great adventure’.

6. But true love lasts, always

Love is a strong theme throughout the books; if you love someone completely it can never be undone. Lily’s love for Harry granted him protection and Snape’s love for Lily shaped his path after her death. True love lasts forever. Just because a person dies doesn’t mean our love for them does; a comforting lesson we can take heart in.

Harry in front of the Mirror of erised

7. Money isn’t everything

Harry may have inherited a whole vault of gold from his parents, but it couldn’t buy him the thing he perhaps yearned for the most: the family that was lost to him. On the flip side of the coin, Ron had grown up wearing and using hand-me-downs in a household that was constantly worrying about costs, but his home was full of love and life.

He may have been jealous of Harry’s status and wealth, but Harry envied Ron’s big family and happy home. It just goes to show at the end of the day, money really isn’t everything.

8. Face your fears

However scary it may seem, sometimes we have to face our fears to get what we want. Poor Ron had to ‘follow the spiders’ to find the cure for Hermione after her run-in with the Basilisk and Harry had to deal with his terror of Dementors.

Ginny had to face her fear of actually talking to Harry to actually get him to notice her, and Mrs Weasley faced her biggest fear of all – losing a member of her family. Sometimes the only way is the hardest way, and it’s times like these that we find out what we’re really made of.

Aragog's nest in the Forbidden Forest