Try To Finish This 'HP' Post Without Weeping

Every year, on the anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts, J.K. Rowling takes to Twitter to apologize for yet another one of the heart-wrenching character deaths in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And while my response to that will always and forever be to hold up a boombox to her window and belt "too late to 'poligiiiiize, it's too laaaaate" at the top of my lungs, these annual apologies are a fitting testament to how, even to this day, the deaths of her fictional characters affected our little '90s baby psyches. Show me a Harry Potter fan who doesn't remember exactly where they were when they read the harrowing conclusion of the series and the exact number of people they terrified with their tears, and you'll show me a LIAR.

But as blatantly and plainly tragic as a lot of Harry Potter was, there are plenty of other things beyond the narrative we didn't give consideration to that could, quite frankly, break our little nerdy hearts all over again. And with that in mind, I challenge any Harry Potter fan to get through this post of sad facts, questions, and head canons about the series without openly weeping by the end. (Full disclosure: I have teared up at my desk several times over the course of writing this like the grown ass human adult that I am, so I've already failed.)

  • If Hermione had died while on the run with Harry, her parents — whose memory she altered to forget her — would have lived out the rest of their lives in Australia without knowing to mourn her.
  • For decades, Sirius Black never knew that his only brother, Regulus, had betrayed the Death Eaters and their family name, and ended up dying alone in a cave in an effort to destroy the Horcrux locket.
  • Someone had to tell all the parents of Muggle-born students who died in the Battle of Hogwarts that they'd lost their children to a war they couldn't have seen or participated in if they'd tried.
  • For reasons that have yet to be explained by J.K. Rowling, both James and Lily were both orphaned by the time Harry was born — which happened when they were only 20 years old.
  • James' elderly parents may have died of natural causes, but it is entirely possible Lily's parents were killed by Death Eaters, further driving a wedge between her and Petunia that would have caused all of Petunia's bitterness in raising Harry.
  • J.K. Rowling once said there were 1,000 students at Hogwarts at any given time, and it's theorized that Harry's class was so small because potential Wizarding parents were either killed or too afraid to procreate during the First Wizarding War.
  • It would especially explain why there were so few Gryffindors in Harry's class — as the most likely group to fight, odds are Gryffindors took the biggest losses during the war and weren't around to procreate.
  • Neville might have actually been a much better, more confident wizard right from the start, had he been permitted to let a wand choose him at Ollivander's, rather than being forced to use his father's old one.
  • Almost all of the students returning to Hogwarts the year after the Battle could suddenly see the thestrals pushing the carriages to grounds.
  • When Remus and Sirius appear to Harry alongside his parents in his face-off against Voldemort in the Forbidden Forest, they appear much younger than they were when they died — implying that despite their later deaths, a part of them died at the same time that James and Lily did.
Warner Bros. Pictures

  • Originally, Teddy Lupin wasn't orphaned in canon. “I had no intention of killing [Lupin],” said Rowling. “But then it dawned on me he had to die.” (I mean, OK.)
  • Rowling confirmed that Neville's parents, Alice and Frank Longbottom, never recovered, and never understood that Neville's bravery had both avenged them and saved the Wizarding world.
  • Not only was Petunia bitter that Lily was a witch and she was not, she then went on to settle for a loveless marriage, had no parents around for support, lacked any independent hobbies, and was forced to raise a child that wasn't her own.
  • There is a not-entirely-insane fan theory that Harry Potter never left his cupboard under the stairs, and intricately imagined the events at Hogwarts in his mind to cope.
  • Winky did eventually embrace her freedom as a House Elf, but it was long after Dobby died and could have seen her experience it.
  • The blood curse Astoria Greengrass inherited and died from could very well have also been inherited by her son, cinnamon roll Scorpius Malfoy.
  • George Weasley will never be able to look into a mirror without seeing the reflection of his dead twin.
  • Muggle parents who had to be convinced by Dumbledore to allow their children to attend Hogwarts then learned that Dumbledore died, and immediately had to go on the run or be killed during Harry's seventh year.
  • The first Wizarding war shredded the Marauders to the point that Sirius and Remus were both willing to believe that the other was an informant for the Death Eaters, despite everything they'd been through together.
  • Remus was so torn by Lily and James's death and Sirius's apparent betrayal that he did nothing to check on young Harry during the years he was at the Dursleys.
  • Sirius was never publicly exonerated while he was alive.
  • Molly Weasley had twin brothers, Gideon and Fabian, who Fred and George were named in memory of after they died in the First Wizarding War — which came full circle when the second Wizarding War claimed Fred. (In fact, many fans believe Rowling hinted at the fates of the Weasley twins with their names from the very beginning.)
  • To this day, nobody's really sure if Lavender Brown died or not; her death date was removed from Pottermore in 2015 without explanation. If she is alive, however, it is likely that she became a werewolf, and suffered disfigurement at the hands of Fenrir Greyback.
  • (If she did die, there's also a small likelihood that the only person she ever kissed was Ron Weasley, which ... ugh.)
  • Muggleborns who participated in the Battle of Hogwarts had to hide not only their magical selves from the Muggles in their lives, but also likely a massive amount of PTSD that none of their Muggle friends would ever be able to understand.
  • Harry probably would have had a sibling — possibly many siblings — had his parents survived the war.
  • Sirius, too, might have married and had kids, which undoubtedly Harry would have considered cousins (and because all Wizarding families share common ancestors, they likely would have been cousins of some distant nature anyway).
  • Draco was so torn during the events of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince that he cried to Moaning Myrtle — a Muggleborn, and very much a part of the population that his father hated most.
  • People's reactions to the Veil that killed Sirius depend on their feelings about the afterlife, and whether they desire to be in touch with dead loved ones, which is why Luna and Harry were drawn to it when Hermione was not.
  • A popular fan theory suggests that, because of the wording of Trelawney's prophecy, Harry might be immortal — that the price he has to pay for saving his friends is eventually watching them all die anyway.
  • In any case, J.K. Rowling legit tweeted, "The deaths at the Battle of Hogwarts would haunt Harry forever."

Anyway, this has been thoroughly depressing and EXCEPTIONALLY angsty, so if you had other plans today... might as well cancel 'em. If anybody needs me, I'll be under the covers, wondering what possessed me to write this in the first place and repeatedly sobbing "All was well" until it feels like it is again.