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SYFY WIRE Harry Potter

7 moments in 'Harry Potter' movies that made you ugly cry

The Harry Potter series is full of magic and whimsy... and also heartbreak. 

By Nivea Serrao
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Still

Over the course of eight movies — and the seven books they're based on — the Harry Potter franchise has tugged at every (dragon) heartstring in fans' hearts as its titular hero's story has unfolded on the big screen. There have been many highs and plenty of lows as Harry and his friends have battled against Voldemort and his evil Death Eaters.

The first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, celebrates its 20th anniversary tomorrow, Nov. 16 (SYFY will be celebrating that and Wizarding World Week with a Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone marathon from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET). To help prepare for the big day, we're looking into our pensieve at some of the most memorable moments. Many of the ones that have stuck with fans, even all these years later, are ones that have brought tears to our eyes. Here, then, are the seven saddest moments from the Harry Potter movies.

7. When Harry first sees his parents in the Mirror of Erised in The Sorcerer's Stone

Perhaps one of the saddest aspects of the whole series is just how little Harry knows about his dead parents when it first begins, having not even been shown photos as he was growing up, as his Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia hated everything to do with magic. It's not until Hagrid first comes to get him that Harry learns more about Lily and James Potter and the kind of people they were. Later in the movie, when he discovers the Mirror of Erised, marks one of the first times that Harry ever gets to see what his parents (and extended family) look like, rather than just hearing about his resemblance to them from other people. It's made all the more bittersweet once Dumbledore reveals that the mirror simply shows people what their heart most desires. In Harry's case, it's simply to know what his parents would look like had they still been alive.

Cedric Diggory Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Still

6. Amos Diggory crying over Cedric's dead body in The Goblet of Fire

Not only is Cedric one of the most decent and kindhearted characters in the world of Harry Potter, but from the moment you meet his father Amos, it's clear how much he loves his son and how proud he is of him — and not just because he's a head boy and Quidditch captain (though that probably helps). Cedric is fundamentally decent and would make any father proud — and this makes it doubly heartbreaking when Harry finally returns to Hogwarts with Cedric's dead body in tow. Amos' cry of anguish both conveys his shock and grief at this tragic discovery and reminds viewers of the many ramifications of Voldemort's return — that even Hogwarts is no longer safe, and that the characters you know and love are now in greater danger than they've ever been before.

5. Sirius Black passing through the veil in Order of the Phoenix

Uncovering the truth behind Sirius' imprisonment — and his subsequent escape — offered Harry something he hadn't quite had before: hope for a better life away from the Dursleys, with someone who truly loves him. As Harry's godfather, Sirius would have been able to guide him through the aspects of the wizarding world he knows nothing about, and serve as a link between Harry and his parents, as Sirius had been Harry's dad James' best friend, and was constantly telling Harry stories about their time together at Hogwarts. Sirius' death hits Harry hard because it's both quick and sudden as Bellatrix Lestrange first hits him with the killing curse, and then slow and painful as he fades away into the veil in the Department of Mysteries, right before Harry's eyes. It's yet another death Harry is forced to witness in his fight against Voldemort, but it's just as personal as the ones that started it all: the deaths of Harry's own parents.

Hermoine Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2

4. Hermione erasing her parents' memories in Deathly Hallows: Part 1

War is hard and requires many sacrifices — doubly so if you're dealing with witches and wizards who have the ability to steal anyone's appearance with a (not so simple) potion and apparate and disapparate anywhere they wish to. And with attacks against muggles on the rise with Voldemort's return, it's quite understandable for Hermione to want to protect her own parents. Still, it's pretty heartbreaking watching her erase her mom and dad's memories of her when they least expect it, as well as any traces of herself from her childhood home. Had anything happened to her during this final battle against Voldemort, her parents wouldn't have known, which is equally as painful.

Fred George Weasley Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Still

3. Fred's death during the Battle at Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows: Part 2

While a lot of lives were lost at the Battle of Hogwarts, perhaps none hits as hard as Fred Weasley does. Ever since the Weasleys were introduced all the way back in Sorcerer's Stone, Fred and George have been an inseparable pair, constantly playing pranks and lightening the increasingly gloomy mood together with their jokes and ingenious inventions. But the loss of Fred means the Weasley family didn't make it out of the war unscathed — as they'd managed to the first time around when Voldemort first came to power. It's another loss that feels quite personal, perhaps because it's always been hard to imagine a world without either Fred or George, but now we're forced to have to face it, much like Harry and every other Weasley family member.

Hedwig Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Still

2. When Hedwig dies while saving Harry in Deathly Hallows: Part 1

Ever since Harry's initial foray into Diagon Alley to buy school supplies, Hedwig the Owl has been his constant companion and his one connection to the wizarding world when he's stuck at Privet Drive over the summer. Even when Harry couldn't communicate with Ron and Hermione, Hedwig's presence offered some form of comfort. In this way, Hedwig's death truly marks the beginning of the end of Harry's childhood. While he's been facing off against Voldemort in some form or the other at different points in his life, the loss of Hedwig signals that this next battle might be his last and it's not just Harry himself who's in danger anymore, but anyone he might love as well.

Dobby Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Still

1. Harry realizes Dobby is dying in Deathly Hallows: Part 1

When we first meet Dobby the House Elf, he's risking punishment from the Malfoys as he's trying to keep Harry safe from the wicked plan they've hatched, even if his attempts are a bit misguided. This turns into a recurring theme with Dobby, even as he goes on to live as a Free Elf, while also doing whatever he can to aid Harry in the fight against Voldemort, even if he's not always the most successful. And it's why Dobby's death hits so hard at the end of Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Much like Harry, we've shed a lot of tears endured a lot of loss at this point, but Dobby is a reminder that in a world where Voldemort is quickly amassing power, there are plenty of people and creatures willing to stand up against him and fight by Harry's side, simply because they believe in doing the right thing in the face of Evil. When Dobby dies, it's because of something he chose to do: defending someone he considers his friend.