20 best Harry Potter quotes to live by

(Photo by Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Needless to say, if you’re reading this, you’ll probably agree that the Harry Potter series has had a huge impact on all our lives.

We’ve spent years devouring oodles of Harry Potter content, whether it’s the books, the films, the play or the mobile video game. We’re not sorry.

The series has been a formative influence on many of us, not least in determining the way we behave. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology revealed that people who are emotionally attached to Harry Potter tended to be less prejudiced towards people who are marginalized.

As pointed to by The Independent, the study tested three sets of readers who were divided into two groups, one focusing on passages from the books where “mudblood” prejudice is tackled, and the other reading scenes about butterbeer and Quidditch. The groups who read the Malfoy-being-awful sections were more accepting when asked about their attitudes towards selected minority groups later in the week.

So Harry Potter, like most good fiction, is as much of an inspiration as it is an escape. There’s no denying that the books have fundamentally changed us. We have taken many of its lessons to heart — “Never tickle a sleeping dragon” is incredibly good advice, for instance — and there’s now a generation of people who live by the words and guidance J.K. Rowling gave us in her novels.

Here are 20 of the best Harry Potter quotes to live by.

1. “If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” – Sirius Black, Order of the Phoenix

This is a complicated one. On one hand, Sirius means well, but ignores his own advice by treating Kreacher terribly, which then leads to his death when the house-elf betrays him.

Also, though we know this is not what Sirius is intending, the idea that anyone is inferior to anyone else is not okay, and certainly not what Harry Potter stands for.

However, as we’ve established, Sirius means well. He has a lot of pureblood nonsense to unlearn. And what he is trying to get at is the same thing most of us think when we see people being horrible to waiters or retail employees.

It’s not about inferiority/superiority; it’s more about privilege and lack of empathy. If someone’s job is to provide people with a service, that does not mean they are a receptacle for rudeness.

There is no licence to bully. It’s about taking notice of how we treat each other as humans. If you witness someone treating another person badly, especially when that person is just doing their job, then there’s the shorthand to tell you they are, simply put, the worst.

Of course, this is something Sirius Black could learn himself, but just because he’s terrible at taking his own advice doesn’t mean we are. If you want to get the measure of a person, look at how they treat others, not just how they treat you.

2. “It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” – Albus Dumbledore, The Sorcerer’s Stone

We take issue with Albus Dumbledore’s decision to wait three days to award Gryffindor all the house points at the Hogwarts Leaving Feast, thus humiliating the Slytherins who had worked hard to earn their win, but in doing so, the man raised some excellent points.

Not least this: that Neville, in standing up to Harry, Ron and Hermione, was incredibly brave. People act surprised when Neville glows up at the end of the series, but we’d argue it was never a glow up, so much as a steady brightening.

Neville has a hard time making friends, with the exception of his loyal toad Trevor. The friendship between him and the Golden Trio isn’t even particularly close, yet Neville cherishes it. Remember how hurt he looked when he thought Harry had tricked him into being out of bed late at night? That still keeps us up at night.

But cherishing his friendship doesn’t stop him standing up for what is right, however inconvenient it might be for Harry at the time. In trying to stop Harry, Ron and Hermione from getting in trouble, and to save Gryffindor losing House Points, he is risking everything in order to do the right thing.

He does it for his friends, he does it for his House and importantly, he’s acting on the advice that Ron gave him; he sticks up for himself, because he is worth it.

L’Oreal, we’ve found your new spokesperson.

It is difficult to stand up to your enemies; Neville already knows that. But to stand steadfast against people you actively look up to, in the name of doing what’s right…well, that takes a lot of strength.

Neville Longbottom has always been a hero; may we all follow his example.

3. “Besides the world isn’t split into good people and Death Eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside of us. What matters is the part we choose to act on.” – Sirius Black, Order of the Phoenix

This is something we Harry Potter fans have to grapple with regularly and something that J.K. Rowling teaches us repeatedly throughout the series. There are people who cannot be boxed into simply “good” or “evil”. People exist in a sort of moral limbo, murky and grey, where motives and beliefs are unclear.

Horace Slughorn is a flawed man, and a Slytherin, which is more than enough to give someone the side-eye if you’re Harry James Potter, but he nonetheless fights for the good guys, albeit after being persuaded.

Likewise, Wormtail, who’s abhorrent throughout, shows remorse in the end, saving Harry’s life. And there is no character more grey than the Potions master himself, Severus Snape, a Death Eater who loved someone so fully that he abandoned his master and worked to destroy him for good.

It’s something we could stand to remember in life, and whilst reading the Harry Potter series in general. One of our biggest peeves is when people see all Slytherins as the bad guys, when the message of the books, as shown by this quote here, is that everyone is human.

Everyone has flaws, everyone makes mistakes and everyone has a choice on how to act. Those actions are what help make sense of who we are.

We might be dubious about Snape’s initial motive to turn to Dumbledore’s side, but he still made an active choice to help destroy Voldemort and fight for a world Lily Potter believed in and deserved. We have complicated feelings about it but so did he. That’s really the point. Severus Snape still helped save the world.

4. “It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities.” – Albus Dumbledore, Chamber of Secrets

As with the last quote, this one teaches us that, no matter how clever or talented we are, it is the person we choose to be and how we choose to act that truly defines us.

Dumbledore says these words to Harry in Chamber of Secrets, when Harry confides in his headmaster the fear that he was meant to be in Slytherin, and was not truly a Gryffindor. Dumbledore’s argument is that while Harry may have Slytherin traits (he is ambitious and resourceful), it is his desire to be a Gryffindor that makes him one.

Sorting, after all, isn’t really about abilities; there’s a reason Hermione isn’t in Ravenclaw. There’s a theory on Reddit that suggests the House you’re sorted into depends on what you value, not what you are or can do.

So whilst Hermione is incredibly clever and values knowledge, she values loyalty and bravery above all. Neville, who thinks he should be a Hufflepuff and is more than hard-working enough to be one, also values the traits that make him a Gryffindor. And Draco Malfoy values himself and his family above all things and will protect them by any means, making him a shoe-in for Slytherin.

It’s not about what you can do, it’s about what you want to do. Intelligence does not a good person make. Look at Lord Voldemort. As Ollivander said, the Dark Lord did great things — terrible, yes, but great. Voldemort was an extremely powerful wizard, but it’s what he chose to do with that power that makes him evil.

It is a lesson J.K. Rowling gave us to carry into adulthood, like Harry. Push past that Imposter Syndrome, stop worrying about how talented you are and think about what’s in your heart. As Sirius says, that’s “where you truly live*”.

*DISCLAIMER: do not try saying this to a werewolf mid-transformation. It does not work.

5. “‘Er – shall I make a cup of tea?’ said Ron.” – Prisoner of Azkaban

Okay, we hear you — this quote is a bit out of left field. But let’s read the full quote in context, from Prisoner of Azkaban, shall we?

“Hagrid howled still more loudly. Harry and Hermione looked at Ron to help them.

‘Er-shall I make a cup of tea?’ said Ron.

Harry stared at him.

‘It’s what my mum does whenever someone’s upset,’ Ron muttered, shrugging.”

There is something quietly beautiful in Ron’s statement. There’s the recognition that someone needs help, and a desire to comfort them, even when Ron has no idea how to do so. It’s empathy incarnate, and though it seems a little bit basic when Hagrid is so upset, it speaks volumes about Ron’s character.

He wants to help, even if he feels like he can’t. He’s ready and willing to be there for his friends, even when he feels uncomfortable.

The other inspiring thing about this quote is that, to be honest, Ron’s got it right. He’s learnt how to comfort from his mom (which means, frankly, he’s learnt from the best). It’s not about words, or making it better; it’s the little things. Listening, being there, making someone a cup of tea…every little bit helps.

So yeah, it’s a chucklesome line about how at sea Ron feels in the face of Hagrid’s emotion, but it’s something I always think of when I’m upset, or when someone else is. An attempt to comfort someone can be comforting in itself, and a cup of tea can mean everything.

6. “Words, in my humble opinion, are our most inexhaustible source of magic.” – Albus Dumbledore, Deathly Hallows

The pen is mightier than the sword, or the wand, depending on which you’d rather.

Dumbledore is preaching to the choir here, since this is an article about how the 1,084,170 words of Harry Potter have affected us so deeply that we’re still talking about them 11 years after the final book was published.

Words have the power to change us. As Dumbledore, “capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it,” as Dumbledore goes on to say. Words can make us feel intense emotions, can help us empathise with others, help us communicate, tell stories, conjure worlds or dismantle them. They are powerful and infinite.

We’re always discovering or coining new words (“mansplaining” was added to the dictionary just recently), finding new ways to communicate and define our experiences, or dreaming about experiences we haven’t yet had. Our imaginations rely on words. They are how we make sense of the world, fictional or otherwise.

After all, what keeps us reading? It’s the promise that words can transport us somewhere new, or help us make sense of where we are now. Of course words are magical.

7. “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?” – Albus Dumbledore, Deathly Hallows

This quote feels like J.K. Rowling looked directly into our hearts and transcribed what she found on the page. As Harry Potter fans, we face a lot of that whole “It isn’t real” nonsense whenever we talk about the series or characters we loved or parts that whacked us fully in the feels (we’re still not over Hedwig. Never forget).

What is real, anyway? Is it something that you can feel, or something that makes you feel? Is it something that you can touch or experience? We might not have been to Hogwarts, but we feel as if we have, and we know how comforting it is to know, as J.K. Rowling says, that it’ll always be there to welcome us home.

I leave it to YouTuber and author John Green to say it best:

Wait, wait, what do you mean by real? Is this video blog real? Am I real if you can see me and hear me, but only through the internet? Are you real if I can read your comment but I don’t know who you are or what your name is or where you’re from or what you look like or how old you are? I know all of those things about Harry Potter. Maybe Harry Potter’s real and you’re not.

Just because something is part of your imagination doesn’t mean it isn’t real. The emotions we felt are just as real as those we feel outside of the Harry Potter world. (Have we mentioned how hurt we are over Hedwig?)

So never let anyone tell you something you love isn’t real just because it’s fictional. Our feelings are valid and part of us; that makes them real.

8. Ron: “He must have known I’d want to leave you.”
Harry: “No, he must have known you would always want to come back.” – Deathly Hallows

Ron’s abrupt departure in Deathly Hallows, leaving Harry and Hermione in their quest for the Horcruxes, is one of the most upsetting parts of the novel. Not because it’s bad of Ron (although it is not good), but because it feels so real.

Ron is the biggest homebody of the Golden Trio. It is his family that we get to know the best, precisely because they are so important to him. He’s never far away from them like Hermione is from hers (although it’s a crime we know so little about her family, given the sacrifices she makes to keep them safe, but that’s by the by). It was always going to be hard for Ron to leave them when danger looms.

So when times get hard and everything looks bleak, poor Ron acted on impulse. He ran. He’s only human, after all. And then he comes back. He says himself that as soon as he left he wanted to return. Yes, he faced the choice between doing what is right and what is easy, and he initially chose easy. But thanks to Dumbledore’s Deluminator, he did what was right in the end. As Harry says, it’s not about the leaving, it’s about the coming back.

People give Ron a lot of stick for leaving, none more so than himself. This quote is about redemption. We all make mistakes but doing the right thing in the end is what matters. There’s always time to make amends.

Image Credit: Courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc

9. “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” — Albus Dumbledore, Goblet of Fire

So much of the Harry Potter series is about debunking the myth that evil is in a person’s nature or that ancestry can determine who a person is in the present.

It’s a lesson Harry himself has to learn, trying to escape people’s memories of his mother and father. He’s either a swine, like his father James, or not as fun as James was (still annoyed at Sirius for that one). He looks like his dad, but has his mother’s eyes, and both were such great wizards, how could Harry not be.

Of course, they were amazing (James and Lily forever), but the pedestal the world puts them on makes life difficult for Harry because he feels the need to live up to an almost impossible standard. But in the end, does it matter whose child he was?

He was mischievous like his father, kind like his mother, and brave like both, but really, Harry is his own person. That’s J.K. Rowling’s point in killing them off early — without James and Lily, Harry carves his own path. It’s not about his parents, it’s about who Harry himself grows up to be.

But this quote is really about blood purity, not Harry’s growth as a human person. Dumbledore is telling the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, that it doesn’t matter who someone’s parents are. It matters who they are when they are older, when they have a choice.

In the words of the rock’n’roll classic A Knight’s Tale, people can change their stars. Sirius Black didn’t subscribe to the same pureblood mania as his family. Barty Crouch Jr. wasn’t the upstanding member of the wizarding community his father was and wanted him to be.

Whether a person is good or not isn’t determined by their heritage. It’s determined by their heart and what they stand for.

10. “The best of us sometimes eat our words.” — Albus Dumbledore, Chamber of Secrets

As with the quote about Ron’s return to Harry and Hermione’s side in the Deathly Hallows, this one is about making mistakes and not being afraid to admit them. It is also about judgment, and that some rules are not to be followed at the expense of everything else.

Dumbledore told Ron and Harry that he would have to expel them from Hogwarts if they should break any more school rules, after they flew Mr Weasley’s Ford Anglia from London to Scotland (still funny, to be honest). But given that their latest rule-breaking escapade not only saved Ron’s sister and Harry’s future girlfriend, wife and mother of his children, but also postponed Voldemort’s return for two more years…well he could hardly expel them after that.

Not everything is fixed. There is room for compromise. Dumbledore could have stuck to his word out of pride (Snape would have) or conviction (Snape would have), but he didn’t. He admitted that sometimes even headmasters can change their mind, and there is no shame in doing so when the time calls for it.

The quote can also be applied more hopefully, showing that the future is not written in stone. Just because things look bleak — as they did in Chamber of Secrets — doesn’t mean it can’t be changed. Both Harry and Ron genuinely fear that Dumbledore will follow through with his threat, as is his right, but circumstances matter.

He is giving a lesson in mercy and discretion. Sticking to your convictions is hard; knowing when to change your mind is harder.

11. “Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.” — Albus Dumbledore, Goblet of Fire

Cedric Diggory’s death is a landmark moment in the Harry Potter series. The stakes suddenly got a lot higher. We’d heard about Voldemort’s ruthlessness, but we hadn’t seen the extent of it first-hand until he uttered those cold words: “Kill the spare”.

But in the face of such hate, Dumbledore had some wise words. Let us look at the full quote:

We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Difference of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.

Language is not a barrier to trust and love, and differences of nationality are not differences that keep us apart, but ones that can be celebrated and draw us together. Overcoming differences (especially those that are really only superficial differences) is the only way to stand united in the face of cruelty and evil.

This is something we should all take with us into everyday life, and something that Harry Potter teaches over and over. Love can overcome anything. Voldemort does not understand love or friendship. He dismisses it at his own peril, but it is more of a threat to him than Albus Dumbledore.

When people love each other, regardless of where they are from and what language they speak, and are united behind a good cause, compassion will out. Dumbledore knew it and so do we.

12. “It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live” – Albus Dumbledore, The Sorcerer’s Stone

We’ve all spent hours daydreaming about what subjects we’d choose if we went to Hogwarts, whether we’d play Quidditch, which Gryffindor student we’d date. But as much fun as it is, we can’t spend all day doing that. We have experiences to have, things to see, people to make friends with. (Although if you can combine the daydreaming with the making friends, then problem solved.)

But this quote is about not spending all your time wishing for things or being wistful about things that you can’t change. We need to be in the present, focusing on that rather than things that can never be.

Where would the Harry Potter series be if Harry had just sat in front of the Mirror of Erised for the rest of his life, entranced by the image of his family? It’s heart-wrenching that the first time he sees them is at age 11, and we can’t say we’d blame him if he decided to sit there forever, but J.K. Rowling might have had a tough time spreading it over seven books.

Plus, Harry would never have won the Quidditch Cup, never have kissed Ginny Weasley, never have met a dragon and never have saved the world from the darkest wizard of all time.

Thank goodness the boy listens to Dumbledore.

It doesn’t mean you can’t dream — you should. After all, where would J.K. herself be if she hadn’t believed in her own dream of becoming a published author?

No, it’s not about not dreaming. It’s about making sure that’s not all you do. Don’t get lost in a dream; you can’t forget what’s going on in the here and now. Whether living means working towards achieving your dream or simply moving past it, don’t let the dream itself stop you.

13. “Scrimgeour: “It’s time you learned some respect!”
Harry: “It’s time you earned it.” – Deathly Hallows

Many of the leaders in the Harry Potter series are absolutely abysmal at their jobs. Cornelius Fudge is a weak-willed pushover, who favours appeasement and sticking his head in the sand as opposed to facing the truth head on. Pius Thicknesse is a puppet for Voldemort and has the absolute worst name (what sort of person looks down at their baby and things “Ah, Pius Thicknesse. That’s got a nice ring to it.”).

Don’t even get us started on Dolores Umbridge, one-time headmistress of Hogwarts and bigoted Ministry Official.

As Dumbledore (himself morally questionable as a leader) says to Harry in Deathly Hallows, “It is a curious thing […] but perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it.” But whether they have sought it or not, being in power should not mean going unchallenged. As Harry says, respect as a leader must be earned.

So much of the Harry Potter books are about teaching us that lesson — it’s arguably what makes them so formative. The novels are about children challenging authority, learning when to do so and when to trust their own judgement.

When newly-appointed Minister for Magic Rufus Scrimgeour turns up, demanding answers about the information Dumbledore gave to Harry before he died, Harry is distrusting. He hasn’t had a particularly good track record with Ministry officials, after all. But Scrimgeour does himself no favours. Just because someone is in a position of authority does not mean they have the right to your trust or your respect. Earning it is their job.

14. “One can never have enough socks” – Albus Dumbledore, The Sorcerer’s Stone

This is something we have increasingly realized as we progress through adulthood: socks are not an infinite resource.

Forgive us for including this in our list of 20 Harry Potter quotes to live by, but we think it is a valuable lesson. Dumbledore rarely gives worthless advice, after all, so we have to cling to every piece of wisdom he offers, including the sartorial kind.

Plus, we knew Dumbledore had an eye for fashion from the moment he appeared in Privet Drive in 1981 – who else could pull off a purple cloak and high-heeled buckled boots? Dumbledore: snatching wigs since 1881.

Dumbledore’s style choices aside, he does offer us a universal truth: you cannot underestimate the comfort of a good pair of socks.

Of course, we are well aware that, in this moment, Dumbledore is actually being evasive, since he doesn’t want to tell Harry what he really sees in the Mirror of Erised. But nonetheless, socks are something that we all take for granted until we look in our underwear drawers and see that, no, we do not have a clean pair of socks and, we panick.

Buying socks always feels boring and incredibly adult. But Dumbledore really hit upon something here. Though it’s not as interesting as, say, a seven-volume novel series about wizards fighting evil in Britain, we should not scorn the humble pair of socks. Without socks, Dobby would never be free.

Without socks, we’re just barefooted fools, with smelly feet and chafed ankles. Socks are the bedrock on which our comfort stands. You can never have too many pairs.

15. “The ones that love us never really leave us.” – Sirius Black, Prisoner of Azkaban

This one gets us every time. It’s a quote from the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, not the books, but it’s one of those beautiful additions that doesn’t detract from J.K. Rowling original message.

In the movies, this is a Sirius quote. In the books, as always, Dumbledore says it:

You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don’t recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him. How else could you produce that particular Patronus? Prongs rode again last night.

It comes at the part of the novel where Harry feels embarrassed for ever thinking that the man who saved him from the Dementors could be his father. A boy so much in need of a father, who hoped that somehow his had returned, is reminded that he is an orphan again, but Dumbledore reminds him of this important truth.

Those that love us leave an indelible mark, and just because they are out of our sight does not mean that they are gone.

So yes, this quote gets paraphrased and attributed to Sirius, but we’ll forgive screenwriter Steve Kloves this once, because he’s right and he should say it. The ones that love us never truly leave us.

16. “Oh, you may not think I’m pretty/But don’t judge on what you see/I’ll eat myself if you can find/ A smarter hat than me” – The Sorting Hat, The Sorcerer’s Stone

This quote from the Sorting Hat is a variation on the old adage, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’. And what stellar advice that is.

Even Harry thought the Sorting Hat was a mouldy old thing at first glance, but he couldn’t have known that the mangy headgear would hold the key to the destiny of all young witches and wizards.

Harry does a lot of soul-searching over whether he is a Gryffindor or a Slytherin, but as everyone says, the Sorting Hat doesn’t make mistakes (although arguably it only has a little to go on, since its wisdom is based on the personalities of 11-year olds. Yes, Dumbledore, you do sort too soon.). But as we established earlier, choice matters, and the Sorting Hat, though it looks a bit rough, is a clever piece of Artificial Intelligence and takes it into account.

This is a comfort, not only to Harry, but to his son Albus (although we won’t mention what happens in the Cursed Child because…not so comforting).

All this from what looks like an old ragged hat that should have been binned centuries ago. The Sorting Hat is as much part of Hogwarts iconography as Snape’s signature scowl, but 11-year-old Harry didn’t know that and he would have thrown it away like a used tissue. Where would we be if that had happened? How would new students be sorted without this highly important bit of magic?

So just as you wouldn’t judge a book by its cover, don’t judge a hat by its tatters. Who knows what songs it might have yet to sing.

17. “When in doubt go the library” – Ron Weasley, Chamber of Secrets

This is said sarcastically by Ron about patron saint of libraries Hermione Granger, but even unwittingly, his point rings true.

Again, we’re preaching to the choir, since we’re here talking about a series of our favourite novels, but seriously, books are everything. Reading is shown to improve our vocabularies, whatever our background, improve our emotional intelligence and even improve our confidence and self-esteem.

Let us remember, too, that Harry Potter is set in the ’90s. Google doesn’t exist until four months after the end of the Battle of Hogwarts, and even if it had existed, it still wouldn’t have helped because electronic equipment goes all fuzzy around Hogwarts.

So really, the library at Hogwarts was the students’ only hope. Think of the piles of homework that would have been left undone, the Dark Lords that wouldn’t have been foiled at every turn, the love potions that would never have been made.

That library was a gem, a treasure trove of knowledge, and we know, without a doubt, that we would have spent lots of time there if we ever visited the castle. Tomes upon tomes about Goblin uprisings and Harry Potter himself…well, we’ve already proved we’d read anything about the latter.

Madam Pince’s steely glare is not enough to keep us away from those dusty depths of knowledge. Libraries help anyone who wants to learn. Why wouldn’t you go the library, even when not in doubt? Come on, Ron.

18. “You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve” – Ginny Weasley, Order of the Phoenix

Let’s start by saying how much we love Ginny Weasley. Queen of Bat Bogey hexes and love poetry, Ginny deserved better representation than what the movies gave her.

Where’s the Ginny who celebrated a Quidditch victory by snogging Harry James Potter in the middle of the Gryffindor common room? That’s the Ginny we know and love, not the girl who laces up her crush’s shoes and seductively feeds him a mince pie.

That original spark of hers is exactly what this quote sums up, and is something we should all try to emulate on those days where everything seems properly difficult.

Ginny says this in Order of the Phoenix when Harry is being morose about not being able to speak freely with Sirius because Professor Umbridge is policing the fireplaces. Ginny tells him that if he really wants to speak with his godfather, they can find a way.

Ginny reminds us that she has six older brothers (six!), two of whom are Fred and George, and Ginny is so much more like Fred and George than anyone realises. This is a young girl who dreams big; she’s wanted to date the Chosen One since she was 10 and she ends up marrying him!

She is an excellent Quidditch player, firm friend and generous soul — remember when Harry saw her comforting other children at the Battle of Hogwarts?

Nerve is something she rates highly and has in abundance, and when Harry is lost, particularly in Order of the Phoenix, she reminds him that all is not so, whether it means talking to her about past traumas or flouting school rules to seek advice from a family member.

It’s easy to get bogged down thinking that things are impossible. But when you grow up with Harry Potter, you start to think anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.

9. “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, Goblet of Fire

Well said, Mr Hagrid. This is the wizarding version of the Cage Aux Folles classic “I Am What I Am,” and frankly, we’d like to see a crossover with Rubeus Hagrid in the starring role.

Poor Hagrid has spent much of his life making the most of the terrible hand that life has dealt him. He is one of Lord Voldemort’s first victims after Tom Riddle frames him for the opening of the Chamber of Secrets, and that wrong is never righted (we’re still angry).

He’s looked at with suspicion by wizards and witches because of his half-giant heritage, and he’s beaten by giants for the same thing, because he’s smaller.

However, he was fortunate to have a loving father ready with excellent pearls of wisdom. Hagrid might not fit in (often literally), but there’s no shame on his side. Hagrid is the kindest, sweetest, most loving man, a nurturing influence on Boys Who Lived and dragons alike.

We like him almost from the second he breaks down the door to the shack the Dursleys have run away to. The idea that anyone would not like him or degrade him is horrible, and by going there J.K. Rowling instills in all of us a great sense of social justice. Why should Hagrid be treated any differently, just because he’s half-giant? He is a good man, and that’s what matters, and he has no reason whatsoever to be ashamed.

Some people might be rude to Hagrid, but that says more about them than it does about him. Those people are only showing themselves up. Shame is but a means of control, to keep people from upsetting the balance of power which lies firmly in the laps of the Malfoys, not the Hagrids, of the world. But we know which family is worth bothering with.

20. “My mum always said things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end. If not always in the ways we expect” – Luna Lovegood, Order of the Phoenix

Ah, Luna. The most emotionally intelligent character of them all.

This quote is quite perplexing, as you can interpret in a couple of ways. For instance, you could say she’s talking about the fact that our loved ones are never really gone, but come back to us in different ways, even if not in the ways we expect. It might be in a joke, in a song, in a weird happenstance, but things will come back, even if we have to wait for them.

This quote is also a way of saying things will mostly work out in the end, even if we can’t see how. Luna is an incurable optimist (one of the many reasons we love her), and when she says these kind words to Harry in Order of the Phoenix, he has never been more in need of them. Voldemort has returned, no one believes him, Dumbledore has finally spoken to him about what’s going on after an entire school year of ignoring him, and to top everything off, he has lost his godfather, one of the last remaining links to his family and another of his father figures.

Platitudes don’t cut it, but Luna doesn’t do platitudes. This isn’t offering encouragement so much as offering Harry a new perspective. This is what Luna does best — she opens up the world to new ways of thinking. It’s small, it’s subdued, but it’s a small affirmation that things will get better, and just because Sirius is gone, doesn’t mean he is gone. 

Things have a way of coming back to us. Just not always in the ways we expect.