7 Best Under-appreciated Moments from the Harry Potter Books
Huge spoiler alert! But at this point if you haven’t read the Harry Potter books then you are living in a cave underground maybe next to the goblins?
1. Harry realizes Dudley has been leaving him hot tea outside of his bedroom:
Harry and Dudley always had a contentious relationship, but Harry still looked out for Dudley when the time came, aka, when the dementors showed up in Little Whinging and almost administered the kiss on Dudley.
In the final book, we open with Harry preparing to leave Privet Drive for good. He notices a cold cup of tea that has been left outside of his bedroom every day while he’s been there and thinks it’s Dudley’s idea of a prank, hoping he’ll tread on it. A few moments later, when the Dursleys are being shuttled to a secret location for protection from Voldemort, Dudley asks where Harry is going if he’s not going with them and is the only Dursley who seems to show any concern for Harry’s safety. In this moment, Harry realizes that Dudley was perhaps leaving him a hot cup of a tea outside of his bedroom as an act of kindness, and not a prank. It was a touching and understated moment where we see that even if your parents are awful, you can still grow up to be a (somewhat) kind and thoughtful person, and this moment opened the door to Harry and Dudley having their own independent cousin-cousin relationship in the future.
2. Grawp becomes the brother Hagrid wanted:
In the fifth book, Hagrid realizes he has a half-brother Grawp, who happens to be full giant. Hagrid goes above and beyond trying to connect with him, putting himself, and at times Harry, Ron, and Hermione, in physical danger. The endeavor to have a relationship with Grawp seemed fleeting, but at the end of book 6, we see Grawp accompany Hagrid to Dumbledore’s funeral. While Hagrid is sobbing into his presumably tablecloth-sized handkerchief, Grawp sits next to Hagrid and “patted Hagrid hard on the head, so that his chair legs sank into the ground.” I love this image of Grawp comforting Hagrid and being the brother who Hagrid so wanted and needed in that moment.
3. Hermione’s ingenious planning:
Let’s be real, nothing would get done without Hermione, and this is especially highlighted in the final book when Ron, Harry, and Hermione are forced to flee the Burrow when Death Eaters invade Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Hermione, in a stroke of genius, had already planned for this and enchanted her small beaded bag to actually hold what sounds like three crates full of things, including books, clothes, a tent, etc.! And she was lugging all of that around during the entire wedding! Those boys would have been lost, and quite frankly completely out of luck, if she hadn’t been so prepared. This is just one of the many moments where Hermione basically saves the day.
4. “Mad Eye Moody” saves Harry from being caught roaming around Hogwarts after hours:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is my favorite of the Harry Potter series, and not only because one of my favorite moments happens during it. When Harry leaves the prefects bathroom after trying to figure out the golden egg, he notices that Barty Crouch is rummaging around Snape’s office on his Marauder’s Map. Naturally, he sets out to investigate, but misses a trap stair, gets stuck, and drops the egg, setting it off screaming in Mer-language. This brings not only Snape to investigate, but also “Mad Eye Moody.” I put his name in quotes for obvious reasons to those who have read the book. Mad Eye can see Harry on the stairs under his invisibility cloak. Snape cannot but knows Harry is there and stretches out his hands to try to physically grab him. When Snape is merely inches away from Harry with his outstretched hands, Mad Eye swoops in to save Harry’s butt. He also asks Harry if he can borrow the Marauder’s Map, to which Harry agrees. This scene is particularly captivating and frustrating upon reread. If only Harry had looked down at the map to see who was standing in front of him before handing it over, things could have turned out so differently! Any avid Harry Potter reader catches these moments all the time when rereading the books, but J.K. Rowling’s genius and planning when she wrote these books never ceases to amaze me.
5. Mrs. Weasley defends Ginny
How can we not choose this moment as one of the best moments in the Harry Potter series? Do we even need to explain? It may not be under-appreciated but always is worth mentioning. Why?
- Mrs. Weasley is a badass! She slays Bellatrix Lestrange, the certifiably insane and cruel right-hand woman of Voldemort in a heated duel to the death. Who knew Mrs. Weasley was so good at magic dueling?
- Mrs. Weasley uses a bad word! Shocking from Ron’s mum who knits Harry sweaters and keeps the Weasley family together.
6. The true history of Severus Snape
Book 7, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is amazing for many reasons but chief among them is that we finally learn, at last, the story of Severus Snape. Throughout the books, Snape is a vaguely menacing figure who seems to have chosen Harry Potter at random to terrorize. He also appears to be in league with Voldemort and his Death Eaters. When it’s revealed that he was actually in love with Harry’s mother Lily (though tormented by Harry’s father James) and fighting against Voldemort all along, hearts melted all around the world (I know mine did).
7. The reveal of Hermione’s Time Turner
This may not be the flashiest or most emotional moment, but I absolutely loved when Hermione reveals that she has a powerful magical item that can turn back time in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The way that Hermione then uses the Time Turner to fix an impossible situation left me breathless at the cleverness and fun of it all.
Photo Credits: Warner Brothers Pictures