The hero of one of the world’s most popular and iconic stories is a character who is equal parts inspiring and relatable. Harry starts as an orphan who doesn’t fit in with Muggle society, unwanted by the Dursleys, but soon finds love and friendship in his family at Hogwarts.
His story of overcoming adversity is inspiring in itself, but as he grows older, Harry learns to use his identity for good. However, he isn’t always victorious, and he faces far more struggles than any school student should, even in the wizarding world.
10 FUNNY: “But I Am The Chosen One.”
Harry can be a little thick sometimes. When Hermione reveals that Romilda Vane has her eye on him, he’s interested. But Hermione snaps her fingers in front of his face. “Hey! She’s only interested in you because she thinks you’re the Chosen One.”
With a surprising level of snark, Harry boasts, “But I am the Chosen One.” Hermione whacks him over the head with a roll of parchment. “Okay … kidding,” Harry says lamely.
9 HEARTBREAKING: “How Can It? Both My Parents Are Dead.”
Harry stumbles across the Mirror of Erised in his first year at Hogwarts, immediately mesmerized by the visions it affords him. He sees his parents, almost believes they’re actually standing right behind him. When he tries to touch the imaginary hand his mother places on his shoulder, he finds nothing there.
He fetches Ron, but he sees himself as Head Boy and Quidditch Captain. Selfishly, he asks Harry if he thinks the mirror shows the future. Harry’s answer reminds viewers of how isolating his childhood is.
8 FUNNY: “Right. I’m Going Down To Hagrid’s.”
Harry, Ron, and Hermione devise a plan to extract Slughorn’s memories of young Tom Riddle, which involves Harry drinking Felix Felicis, or Liquid Luck. Almost immediately after downing the potion, he’s incongruously chipper.
He says he feels “brilliant”. After Hermione carefully and seriously reminds him of the plan, he says the above. “I’ve got a really good feeling about Hagrid’s. I feel it’s the place to be tonight … Do you know what I mean?” Staring, Ron and Hermione both say “no.” Harry fails to reassure them by telling them he knows what he’s doing – “or Felix does.”
7 HEARTBREAKING: “He Was Their Friend!”
Harry has just overheard a conversation in which he discovers that Sirius Black is his godfather, meaning he betrayed Lily and James Potter – or so Harry thinks. He doesn’t yet know the truth, so he becomes emotional.
Hermione and Ron follow him, and his sadness, anger, and betrayal explode forth. “He was their friend, and he betrayed them. He was their friend!” He pauses, reigning his anger in, and speaks with a vengeance that he rarely displays. “I hope he finds me. ‘Cause when he does, I’m gonna be ready. When he does, I’m gonna kill him!”
6 FUNNY: “… And Request That He Keep His Abnormally Large Nose Out Of Other People’s Business.”
Harry’s playing around with the Marauders’ Map when Ron wakes from a nightmare about spiders trying to make him tapdance. Ever the supportive best friend, Harry says, “You tell those spiders.” Ron falls asleep just as Harry notices Peter Pettigrew’s name on the Map.
He goes to investigate, only to run into Snape, who asks Harry to read the contents of the Map. “Messers Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs offer their compliments to Professor Snape, and …” Snape raises his eyebrows and prompts Harry to continue. He obliges, steadily meeting the furious gaze of Snape, who responds, “Why, you insolent little-” only to be interrupted by Lupin, “out for a little stroll in the moonlight,” as Snape teases.
5 HEARTBREAKING: “Merry Christmas, Hermione.”
On their search for the Sword of Gryffindor – which can destroy Voldemort’s Horcruxes – Harry and Hermione visit Godric’s Hollow, named after Godric Gryffindor. Hermione insists on disguises, but Harry tells her, “This is where I was born. I’m not returning as someone else.”
They arrive at the cemetery just as they realize it’s Christmas Eve. Hermione discovers the grave of Ignotus Peverell, while Harry finds his parents’. She joins him, forgetting her discovery, and conjures a wreath of flowers for James and Lily’s grave. Crying, Harry wishes her a Merry Christmas.
4 FUNNY: “The Binding Is Fragile.”
Harry discovers a new spell in the Half-Blood Prince’s Potions book and asks Hermione if she’s heard of it. She tells him to turn the book in, then asks to see whose it was. Harry suddenly becomes defensive and retreats, holding the book away from Hermione.
She questions his behavior, and he comes up with the lame excuse, “The binding is fragile.” Hermione laughs. “The binding is fragile?” she repeats, incredulous, just as Ginny sneaks up behind him to take the book.
3 HEARTBREAKING: “Voldemort’s Back.”
Harry returns from a duel with Voldemort weeping over Cedric Diggory’s body while the band plays a cheerful tune and the crowd erupts into applause. But Dumbledore quickly sees that something is wrong.
Through his tears, Harry tells him that Voldemort is back and Cedric asked to bring his body back. “I couldn’t leave him – not there.” Cedric’s father pushes through the throng, wailing in a raw display of grief over his dead son.
2 FUNNY: “I’ll Be In My Bedroom, Making No Noise And Pretending That I Don’t Exist.”
The humor behind this quote comes more from the many memes it’s birthed. In reality, this is just one of Harry’s internally sassy remarks to Uncle Vernon.
At the beginning of the Chamber of Secrets, Vernon and Petunia have Mr. Mason over to dinner, instructing Harry to do as he says above. Unfortunately, Dobby decides to introduce himself to Harry just then. Instead of making no noise, Harry and Dobby end up causing quite the racket, and the fiasco ends with Dobby dropping Petunia’s cake on Mrs. Mason’s head.
1 HEARTBREAKING: “You Don’t Know What That’s Like.”
Harry grows up as an orphan in a home where he’s not wanted. When he finally finds a loving home, he’s thrust into a world of danger. No matter how close his friends are, they’ll never understand how Harry feels being the Chosen One or growing up without a loving family.
At the establishment of Dumbledore’s Army, Harry gives the following speech that sums up his childhood: “Facing this stuff in real life is not like school. In school, if you make a mistake, you can just try again tomorrow, but out there, when you’re a second away from being murdered or watching a friend die right before your eyes … you don’t know what that’s like.”
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