For a generation of Harry Potter fans, the books are so much more than just entertainment.
Harry and his friends (and even his enemies) taught us a huge amount of lessons over the years. These are just a few of them…
1) Just because you aren’t blood related doesn’t mean you aren’t family
After years of sleeping under the stairs with the Dursleys, the Weasleys practically became Harry’s surrogate family when he started at Hogwarts.
He even got Molly’s special personalised jumpers at Christmas!
2) Appearances can be deceiving
Throughout the first part of Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, we (and Harry) thought Sirius Black was a traitorous murderer. In fact, he was a super-cool godfather trying to avenge Harry’s parents.
And despite Professor Umbridge being a middle-aged lady with a fondness for kittens and the colour pink, she’s almost universally considered to be one of the series’ cruellest characters.
3) Sometimes we have to face our fears…
Leaving our comfort zones can often be the best thing for us.
Remember when arachnophobe Ron followed the spiders in Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets? This led to him rescuing Hermione from being stunned.
4) …but sometimes we have to face those fears alone
Harry always ended up battling his enemy by himself, and that’s because we all need to learn to stand on our own two feet at some point in our lives.
His showdowns with Voldemort are a metaphor for us pitching in that scary meeting, or plucking up the courage to go on that blind date.
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5) Fame isn’t always as great as it seems
Just take a look at Professor Lockhart, people.
6) School dances aren’t all they’re cracked up to be
The trio’s fourth year Yule Ball says it all. Uninterested dates, lovesick teens and a very moody Ron are just a really bad combination.
7) Money can’t buy you happiness
It’s well known that the Weasleys aren’t exactly loaded, but the love they have for each other makes up for it.
And despite having pretty much nothing for the first 11 years of his life, it’s very telling that Harry only sees his deceased parents in the Mirror Of Erised.
8) Never overlook people
Luna Lovegood does come across as a little airy-fairy when she first meets Harry, but she tended to have the answers to what was going on.
As a half-giant, Hagrid could be seen as somewhat intimidating. But he’s probably the most gentle soul at Hogwarts.
9) Being kind will always come up trumps
Harry couldn’t just leave Fleur Delacour’s little sister at the bottom of the Black Lake during the Triwizard Tournament, so he rescued her alongside pal Ron.
Although he initially received a lower score, his strong morals unknowingly earned him extra points. One word: Karma.
10) Love is powerful
It rescued baby Harry from being murdered by Voldemort, didn’t it?
Even with He Who Shall Not Be Named’s constant threat, Harry always had a support system of loved ones to assist him. And that’s what helped him triumph in the end.
11) ‘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’s quote is one of the most powerful to come from J.K.’s writings.
Harry showed his good heart when he released house elf Dobby from the Malfoys’ home. Lucius’s cruel treatment of the much-cherished character only proved his Death Eater soul.
12) Nobody likes a racist
We may not have realised it as children, but ‘purebloods’ using the ‘mudblood’ slur for those who had muggle ancestry had some serious racial connotations.
Hermione showed us EXACTLY what she thought of this when she gave Malfoy that famous punch in the face. Oh yes.
13) Every awkward teen has hope
Proof in point: To Neville Longbottom is basically now an official verb.