10 Most Heart-Wrenching Harry Potter Scenes That Made Us Cry (No Deaths Edition)

10 Most Heart-Wrenching Harry Potter Scenes That Made Us Cry (No Deaths Edition)
Image credit: Warner Bros.

Even without the deaths of our favorite characters, the Harry Potter movies had plenty of heartbreaking moments that had the viewers shed one too many tears.

10. Harry Arriving at the Dursleys’

This one is sad in retrospect: in the entirety of the pretty emotionally tame Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the scene where Albus Dumbledore leaves little Harry at the Dursleys’ is one of the saddest.

It becomes worse after you learn what happened to his parents right before it and how the Dursleys would treat the boy.

9. Harry Going into the Forbidden Forest

Harry Potter used to visit the Forbidden Forest quite often, but his last walk there was truly heart-wrenching: in The Deathly Hallows, we watched the poor boy go there to sacrifice his life. The first time you watch this scene, you can’t help but feel terrible for him, still hearing Snape’s merciless words, “like a pig for slaughter.”

8. Ron Abandoning His Friends

The dramatic tension in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is pretty high overall, but the fight between Harry and Ron was one of the most unexpected and painful moments. When Ron insulted Harry and left his friends alone in the middle of the Horcrux hunt, breaking his and Hermione’s hearts, many fans thought he was gone.

7. Sirius Inviting Harry to Live Together

Another retrospect-based scene, this one. It’s properly heartwrenching to hear Sirius Black invite young Harry to live with him instead of the Dursleys in The Prisoner of Azkaban. We know that they will never get to live as a family and that Sirius’s fate will be totally brutal toward him, and such knowledge makes this scene devastating.

6. Hermione Screaming from Pain

When Bellatrix Lestrange tortures Hermione in The Deathly Hallows, the only relatable character in the scene is Ron Weasley: derailed, frustrated, and willing to tear through the Death Eaters with his bare hands. Hermione’s screams are terrifying, and her pain makes the toughest viewers tear up from sympathy for her.

5. Harry Seeing His Entire Family

In The Sorcerer’s Stone, we still know little to nothing about Harry’s family, but when the little boy sees his parents in the Mirror of Erised, it’s hard to not sympathize with him. Having lived his entire life with cruel and hateful relatives, Harry is so happy to finally meet his family — but we already know that it’s just a cruel magical mirage.

4. Hermione Erasing Her Parents’ Memories

Few things allow us as the viewers to understand the stakes of the war with Voldemort as much as the scene where Hermione erases her parents’ memories in The Deathly Hallows. Her face expresses tremendous pain over having to do that, especially as she watches herself disappear from all the family photos in the house.

3. Harry Talking to His Real Family

The only time Harry Potter gets to speak with his parents and godfather after their deaths is when he believes that he himself is going to die soon in The Deathly Hallows. The ghosts of Lily, James, Sirius, and Remus appear and talk to him for a painfully short time, and that’s terribly unfair to Harry who always needed them.

2. Hogwarts Mourning Albus Dumbledore

The Headmaster’s death in The Half-Blood Prince was a devastating scene on its own, but it was followed by another one. When all the teachers and students of Hogwarts raised their wands and lit them to mourn the passing of Albus Dumbledore, it was one of the saddest scenes in the franchise that saw tears from all of us.

1. Harry Forcing Dumbledore to Drink

The most gut-wrenching scene belongs in The Half-Blood Prince, too. When Harry and Dumbledore found Voldemort’s Horcrux, the Headmaster made his protege promise that he’d make him drink the poisonous potion no matter what. Watching Harry force him to keep drinking through tears and pleas for mercy is the most painful scene: by then, you already know the Headmaster won’t make it.