In the past, I haven't always been that kind to Harry Potter. I've catalogued his failures throughout the seven books and have claimed that other characters in the series are much more heroic than he is. I'm pretty sure I've actually called him stupid, both on Bustle and in my real life. In fact, it probably looks like I really hate Harry as a character.
But that's not entirely true! Yes, I do think he's a bit of an idiot, but there's still a lot that I can't help but love about Harry. Even without relying on the childhood nostalgia I have for him, he's proven time and time again that he's a loyal friend, his bravery is borderline homicidal, and he has a complete disregard for his own safety when it comes to helping those he loves. And I mean that all in a very loving way.
Just so you don't think that I'm just paying lip service to Harry, I actually sat down and tried to come up with moments in the series that really gave me the Harry-feels. I came up with seven moments where I actually did find myself falling a little bit in love with the Chosen One. And I realized that even though he can be really, really dumb, it's hard not to love Harry Potter.
1. When Harry Makes Dobby A Free Elf
Harry has killed a Basilisk, saved his best friend's sister, and destroyed a piece of Voldemort's soul. How does he celebrate? By tricking the abusive Lucius Malfoy into freeing Dobby, the heroic house elf. Even though Dobby stole his mail, tried to get him kicked out of school, and almost murdered him, Harry still wants to help free him. You have to admire his conviction to do the right thing.
2. When Harry Asks His Parents, Sirius, And Lupin To Stay With Him
Up until this point we've seen Harry try so hard to stay strong, but in this moment, when he's about to walk through the Forbidden Forest and sacrifice himself, he finally allows himself to be the terrified 17-year-old that he is. And I love him for showing his fear to those he loves and asking them to stay with him. I hope he knows that during that walk he was also accompanied by millions of fans.
3. When Harry Destroys Dumbledore's Office
Harry's breakdown in Dumbledore's office after Sirius's death is one of the most gut-wrenching scenes in the series. His pain is real and raw, and when he shouts "THEN I DON'T WANT TO BE HUMAN" in response to Dumbledore telling him that pain makes him human, I can't help but want to comfort him. Despite the deaths he had faced previously in the series, it was this scene that made me love and want to protect Harry from any more loss. Knowing how much heartache is still in store for him only makes this scene worse.
4. "You're A Wizard, Harry!"
Nine-year-old Shaun fell in love with Harry in this moment, and even 25-year-old me can't help but feel the same feels when I reread this section. The idea that our poor, abused protagonist was going to get to leave his terrible family and become a wizard was almost too good to be true, so I was just as relieved as Harry when he woke up and realized that it wasn't just a dream. How can you not love his relief and delight when he finally accepts that he's a wizard?
5. Harry's First Kiss
Harry has one of my favorite first kisses in literature, less for the actual kiss and more for his hysterical recap with Ron and Hermione afterwards. Leave it to Harry to have the most complicated first kiss possible: with a (crying) girl he's training to fight an evil wizard regime, who used to date a boy who Harry watched die by the hands of said tyrannical wizard. Poor Harry, can nothing in your life be normal? My love here is mixed with pity and a fervent wish that he meet a nice girl.
6. When Harry finally wins the Inter-House Quidditch Cup
I wasn't a Quidditch fan. In fact, I kind of hated reading those scenes. So when Gryffindor finally won the cup in Prisoner of Azkaban, I was mostly just happy that I wouldn't have to read about Quidditch nearly as much. But I was also so happy for Harry, who had spent three years and two broomsticks trying to win this stupid cup. And yes, I was very proud of him when his entire team swooped in to congratulate him.
7. When Harry Tells Rufus Scrimgeour That He's Dumbledore's Man
Fudge wasn't exactly the best Minister of Magic, but I wasn't a fan of the powerful-but-shifty Rufus Scrimgeour, either. How dare he ask Harry to pretend to support the Ministry's efforts after everything they put him through?! So when he stands up to Scrimgeour and makes it clear that he's "Dumbledore's man through and through," I cheered and got all the feels. And these feelings only got stronger when Dumbledore sheds a tear upon hearing this story from Harry.
Images: Giphy (7), Warner Bros.