Battle the Blue Monday blues by celebrating National Hugging Day instead! And who says you can’t hug your favourite fictional characters?
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We’re counting down the times we wanted to dive right into the pages of the Harry Potter books and give our favourite characters a good ol' squeeze.

Hagrid – As soon as we met him!

Hagrid in an apron and gloves in his hut from the Philosopher's Stone

‘Ah, go boil yer heads, both of yeh,’ said Hagrid. ‘Harry – yer a wizard.’ There was silence inside the hut. Only the sea and the whistling wind could be heard. ‘I’m a what?’ gasped Harry.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

His rock cakes may break your teeth, but we’d nip down to Hagrid’s for tea any day. So even though his rib-cracking half-giant hugs probably hurt, it’s still difficult choosing just one moment to hug Hagrid.

But we’ve gone for that pretty significant time he delivered some life-changing news to Harry. With a single sentence, Hagrid promised Harry a lifetime of magic, adventure and family. That certainly warrants a big hug. Thanks, Hagrid!

Hermione – After the chess game

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‘Me!’ said Hermione. ‘Books! And cleverness! There are more important things – friendship and bravery and – oh Harry – be careful!’
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

As first impressions go, Hermione was very different when we first met her, and as such, she, Harry and Ron weren’t immediate best friends. When you’re constantly reminding your peers about the rules, or correcting their spell pronunciation, they won’t be rushing to hug you any time soon. But by Hallowe’en, a troll in the dungeon helped Hermione make some friends and show how brave and intelligent she really was.

At the end of the year, she proved exactly why she was in Gryffindor and that, ultimately, her heart was bigger than her brain, and that’s saying something. We’ve love to give Hermione a hug right there on that chessboard for being a true hero.

Neville – On the St Mungo’s closed ward

Neville poses with a plant in the Goblet of Fire.

‘What’s this?’ said Mrs Longbottom sharply. ‘Haven’t you told your friends about your parents, Neville?’
Neville took a deep breath, looked up at the ceiling and shook his head. Harry could not remember ever feeling sorrier for anyone, but he could not think of any way of helping Neville out of the situation.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

In the first few books, poor Neville was known as the mistake-prone student of the year, but in later books, we were all given a bit of a shock when we found out that perhaps one of the reasons for Neville’s lack of confidence was being brought up by his formidable grandmother due to the awful torture of his parents. Alice and Frank were tortured to insanity, and Neville visited them regularly at the wizarding hospital – despite them not recognising him.

During one Christmas visit, the unexpected intrusion of Harry, Hermione and the Weasley family (who were visiting a recently attacked Arthur) gave us one of the biggest Harry Potter tearjerkers. Neville had kept his parents a secret to his classmates and suffered alone until now. In this moment, with Neville clearly mortified to bump into his classmates, we’d love to give him a cuddle to let him know he can let it out, confide in his friends, be proud of his parents, and reassure him that he’ll soon be making them very proud by living up to their name.

Ron – Returning and destroying the locket

Ron holding up the destroyed locket Horcrux.

‘It sort of floated towards me,’ said Ron, illustrating the movement with his free index finger, ‘right to my chest, and then – it just went straight through. It was here,’ he touched a point close to his heart, ‘I could feel it, it was hot. And once it was inside me I knew what I was supposed to do –'
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Reading this moment felt as warm and fuzzy as a Deluminator ball of light in your chest. After his hot-headed departure from the Horcrux hunt, Ron left our golden trio down to two and it just didn’t feel right.

His return, therefore, made us want to hug him and yell at him in equal measure. Given that he’d also just destroyed a Horcrux, told a cute Deluminator story and was getting the cold shoulder from Hermione, he probably did need a bit of a hug, though.

Molly Weasley – After the Third Task

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Mrs Weasley set the potion down on the bedside cabinet, bent down, and put her arms around Harry. He had no memory of ever being hugged like this, as though by a mother.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

That’s right, a hug for a hug. This is easily one of the most iconic Harry Potter hugs, and another one sure to tug at your heartstrings. Growing up with the Dursleys meant not getting many hugs, and, without his parents, Harry never knew true affection until he went to Hogwarts.

There, he had father figures in the forms of Dumbledore, Sirius and Hagrid – but Mrs Weasley was the ideal parent in every way. After the ordeal at the end of Goblet of Fire, there was only one thing Harry needed most – a hug from a parent he so desperately wished for. Molly was always so generous with her affection, so we’d love to give Molly Weasley a hug right back.

Dobby – When he becomes a free elf

Dobby stands in Harry's bedroom

‘Master has given Dobby a sock,’ said the elf in wonderment. ‘Master gave it to Dobby.’
‘What’s that?’ spat Mr Malfoy. ‘What did you say?’
‘Dobby has got a sock,’ said Dobby in disbelief. ‘Master threw it, and Dobby caught it, and Dobby – Dobby is free.’
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

There was the small matter of sneaking a sock into a diary and a vengeful Lucius Malfoy to deal with at the time, so we’ll forgive Harry for not taking a moment to also give Dobby a 'yay-you’re-free' embrace. We would personally love to congratulate Dobby on being a free elf with a big hug and the promise of many more socks in his future. Also, just because he’s one of the cutest characters ever, and no one can resist those tennis-ball eyes.

Minerva McGonagall – For offering Harry a biscuit

Professor McGonagall sat down behind her desk, frowning at Harry. Then she said, ‘Have a biscuit, Potter.’
‘Have – what?’
‘Have a biscuit,’ she repeated impatiently, indicating a tartan tin lying on top of one of the piles of papers on her desk. ‘And sit down.’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

With her stern face, tight bun and straight back, McGonagall’s almost military manner doesn’t quite scream that she’s open for hugging business. Even so, we’d love to give her a squish for just being amazing. Especially throughout Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – every time she gave Umbridge a classic Minerva comeback we wanted to shake her hand and bow at her greatness.

When Harry took it too far with Umbridge though, we saw McGonagall’s strict exterior soften a little – expecting a telling off and instead getting offered some biscuits from her tartan biscuit tin. This unusual sign of affection seems a good time to strike and go for a hug. And a biscuit. Both would go down nicely on Blue Monday.

The entire Gryffindor Quidditch team – After winning the Quidditch Cup

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Harry felt two large thumps as Fred and George hit them; then Angelina, Alicia and Katie’s voices, ‘We’ve won the Cup! We’ve won the Cup!’ Tangled together in a many-armed hug, the Gryffindor team sank, yelling hoarsely, back to earth.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Just because a mid-air group hug on broomsticks sounds so cool, we’d love to be part of this post-win team embrace, even though we have no idea how to play Quidditch, obviously. After years of disappointment, in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban the Gryffindor team finally regained the Quidditch cup.

The atmosphere in the pitch would have been electric, with the crowds cheering as the Snitch was clenched safely in Harry’s hand, and there’d be no better feeling than being part of the teammates’ celebratory hug. Go, go, Gryffindor!

Harry – When he defeated Voldemort

Harry looking into the Pensieve from the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The fierce new sun dazzled the windows as they thundered towards him, and the first to reach him were Ron and Hermione, and it was their arms that were wrapped around him, their incomprehensible shouts that deafened him...
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

If anyone really deserves a hug and a pat on the back for a job well done, it’s Harry. After seven years, he finally defeats Voldemort following a battle that truly took its toll. Not that Harry didn’t deserve many hugs along the way, but in this moment of relief and finality we’re sure a good hug is just what he needed.

Although he might have been a bit blood-spattered and smelly.

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