Rubeus Hagrid: Keeper of Keys and Grounds, lover of magical creatures of all types, and a giant among wizards in every single sense of the word. Here’s a (non-exhaustive) list of the moments when this loveable soul made all of us feel a lot better.

When he told Harry not to worry ahead of his first term at Hogwarts

If you think about it, Hagrid was the perfect person to introduce Harry to the wizarding world. Fierce enough to frighten the Dursleys, but warm-hearted, instinctive, and able to explain things in a no-nonsense way. Literally, a gentle giant. He also understood that Harry’s time at Hogwarts wouldn’t be easy, because he knew what it was like to be an outsider. That’s why his words to Harry at the end of that birthday trip to Diagon Alley rang so true. They were genuine and kind. Just like Hagrid himself.

Don’ you worry, Harry. You’ll learn fast enough. Everyone starts at the beginning at Hogwarts, you’ll be just fine. Just be yerself. I know it’s hard. Yeh’ve been singled out, an’ that’s always hard. But yeh’ll have a great time at Hogwarts – I did – still do, ’smatter of fact.
Rubeus Hagrid
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

When he helped Ron and comforted Hermione after Malfoy’s insults

By the time second year rolled around, Malfoy being rude wasn’t unusual – but he really upped the stakes when he called Hermione a Mudblood. But when Ron ended up eating slugs thanks to his backfiring wand, who was there to calm the waters again? Hagrid, of course. Not only did he validate Ron’s reaction and give him space to cough up slug after slug (‘better out than in,’ after all), he also identified that the best way to comfort Hermione was to show how proud of her he was.

‘An’ they haven’t invented a spell our Hermione can’t do,’ said Hagrid proudly, making Hermione go a brilliant shade of magenta.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

In his usual unruffled style, Hagrid proved, if proof were needed, that name-calling says a lot more about the people who do it than the people they do it out. (Still: eat slugs, Malfoy.)

The way he always stuck up for Harry

Hagrid was unendingly loyal to his friends even if it meant getting into trouble himself, as Aragog might attest to. So when Harry was hauled off to Dumbledore’s office after finding Nearly Headless Nick and Justin Finch-Fletchley Petrified, it surprised nobody when Hagrid burst in to spring to his defence. Then, a couple of years later, Hagrid was one of the only people to unquestioningly accept Harry’s version of events after he’d been revealed as the fourth Triwizard Champion.

‘You believe I didn’t do it, then?’ said Harry, concealing with difficulty the rush of gratitude he felt at Hagrid’s words. ’Course I do,’ Hagrid grunted. ‘Yeh say it wasn’ you, an’ I believe yeh – an’ Dumbledore believes yer, an’ all.’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

No matter the situation, Hagrid always knew the perfect way to show his support – whether by giving Harry a book of rare family photos, acknowledging his sadness after Cedric’s death, or just believing in him.

The way he responded to Rita Skeeter’s giant story

Hagrid’s initial response might have been to go into hiding but when Dumbledore, Hermione, Harry and Ron showed him that his half-giant status meant nothing to those that mattered, he came out fighting.

I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed. “Never be ashamed,” my ol’ dad used ter say, “there’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with.”
Rubeus Hagrid
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

It was completely understandable that Hagrid would want to run away after the initial revelations, but the way he ultimately honoured Dumbledore’s faith in him and came back with his head held high was admirable. And when Hermione later fell foul of Rita Skeeter’s poisonous words, Hagrid drew on his own experience to comfort her.

‘Aaah, don’ worry,’ said Hagrid gently, looking down at her. ‘I got some o’ those letters an’ all, after Rita Skeeter wrote abou’ me mum… They’re jus’ nutters, Hermione. Don’ open ’em if yeh get any more. Chuck ’em straigh’ in the fire.’
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The way he accepted Voldemort’s return

Hagrid, as he told Harry, Ron and Hermione, always knew Voldemort would return. He didn’t hide from the fact, like Fudge, or run towards danger, like Sirius. He just accepted it, calmly, with faith that things would turn out OK – and a willingness to fight for that outcome. And still, even as he was reflecting on what was to come, he knew exactly what to say to make Harry feel better after Cedric’s death.

‘No good sittin’ worryin’ abou’ it,’ he said. ‘What’s comin’ will come, an’ we’ll meet it when it does. Dumbledore told me wha’ you did, Harry.’ Hagrid’s chest swelled as he looked at Harry. ‘Yeh did as much as yer father would’ve done, an’ I can’ give yeh no higher praise than that.’ Harry smiled back at him. It was the first time he’d smiled in days.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

When he tried to comfort Harry after Sirius’s death

Hagrid had rather an eventful fifth year himself – what with his attempts to civilise Grawp, being ostracised by angry centaurs, sacked by Professor Umbridge and later attacked by her acolytes – but once again, his own problems didn’t stop him looking out for Harry. As Harry wondered aimlessly around Hogwarts in the days after Sirius’s death, Hagrid tried to offer some words of comfort and his sympathetic view of Sirius was perhaps a truth Harry needed to hear.

‘Look …’ Hagrid leaned towards him across the table, ‘I knew Sirius longer ’n yeh did … he died in battle, an’ tha’s the way he’d’ve wanted ter go –’ ‘He didn’t want to go at all!’ said Harry angrily. Hagrid bowed his great shaggy head. ‘Nah, I don’ reckon he did,’ he said quietly. ‘But still, Harry … he was never one ter sit aroun’ at home an’ let other people do the fightin’. He couldn’ve lived with himself if he hadn’ gone ter help –’
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

When he refused to leave Hogwarts after Dumbledore’s death

Hogwarts without Dumbledore might have been unfathomable, but Hogwarts without Hagrid was as equally hard to imagine – so when Hagrid announced that he’d be staying on, even in the depths of his grief, it was a huge comfort.

‘Well, I’m stayin’,’ said Hagrid, fat tears still leaking out of the corners of his eyes and trickling down into his tangled beard. ‘It’s me home, it’s bin me home since I was thirteen. An’ if there’s kids who wan’ me ter teach ’em, I’ll do it…’
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

When he held a “Support Harry Potter” party (despite it being very unwise to do so)

Laughs were thin on the ground during the Horcrux hunt, so it was a welcome surprise when Ron introduced Harry and Hermione to Potterwatch,which went on to reveal that Hagrid had narrowly escaped arrest for throwing a “Support Harry Potter” party. Not the best decision he’d ever made maybe, but hearing that Hagrid’s loyalty even in the face of danger remained as steadfast as ever was a real tonic during a very dark time.