Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Top 15 Harry Potter Moments...so far!

Asking any Harry Potter fan to choose a favourite moment or scene is like asking a mother to pick her favourite child. It can't and shouldn't be done. There are too many moments to choose from, each awesome in their own way, and it probably makes your head spin just to think about it, right? So we decided to save you the pain and anguish (you're welcome!) and compiled our very own list of the best moments from the first six Harry Potter films. It wasn't easy: the list changed more times than we can count, arguments were waged and lost, friendships hung precariously in the balance, but we settled firmly on fifteen moments we think stand out from the pack. Do you agree with our picks? Did your favourites make the cut?

Privet Drive
15. The Owl on Privet Drive (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

We start our list at the very first moment of the very first film. While void of thrilling plots and or bombastic moments, the eerie lighting, the fog, the essential Britishness of the street name and the sign, the odd sight of the owl where it ought not be, and that mysterious John Williams score perfectly set the stage for the entire series. It was pure movie magic right from the start and in one brief moment, director Chris Columbus managed to completely capture the essence of the novels - so much so that it almost immediately quieted any worried or prematurely irate fan. It was clear movie audiences were witnessing something very special and that we were all in for quite a ride.

Platform 9 3/4
14. Platform 9 3/4 (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

While the dynamic scene in Diagon Alley may have introduced us to J.K. Rowling's wonderful wizard world, it's Harry's attempts to find the platform and his encounter with the Weasley family that truly brings it to life. Never has there been a more affable, mop-topped, rag-tag family than the Weasleys and they instantly show us that the world of witchcraft and wizardry doesn’t have to be strange and foreign but can be something much closer to home. Watching Harry realize this, he soon comes to understand that not all families are made in the mould of the despicable Dursleys. And if Molly Weasley isn't the most lovable screen mother, then I'll eat this Sorting Hat.

Last Days
13. Ron calls out for Hermione (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

Whether you 'ship Harry's besties together or not, it's hard to do anything but melt just a little as Ron inadvertently lets it slip that Hermione really is the girl for him. Okay, he may be unconscious and slightly delirious when he calls out for her but that strangely doesn't detract from the sweetness of the moment. His plea may send heartbroken Lavender Brown off in tears but it gives Hermione the courage she needs to acknowledge her feelings in front of the gathered throng. The happy grins that form on Harry and Ginny's faces truly say it all. Awww.

Last Days
12. Ginny makes her move (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

While we've been focused on watching Harry mature over the years through his life and death trials and tribulations, it's been easy to overlook the other characters that have grown up along with him. Ginny, for instance, has gone from being just the littlest Weasley (with a hero crush on our boy HP) to one of the strongest, most confident witches Hogwarts has to offer. So while we're not sure Ron is entirely comfortable with the idea, it's hard not to cheer as Harry and Ginny's relationship begins to seriously blossom. They've had their fair-share of false-starts and distractions (and the odd life-threatening situation) but when Ginny finally takes matters into her own hands and opens up to Harry, we can't help but sigh in agreement.

11. When Death Eaters come calling... (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

While we've seen the destruction that Voldemort and his Death Eater followers have wrought before this, there is something about their calculated attack on the Weasley home that brings everything into sharper focus. Bellatrix and her motley crew descend and lure the family out into the open, the promise of revenge thick in the air, and in the blink of an eye (and in a heart-stopping moment of action) the only home Harry has ever really known is gone. It's heartbreaking to watch the Weasley family stand helplessly by as their home burns. It's a turning point for everyone as they are forced to come to terms with what they've feared...no one and nowhere is safe.

Dumbledore's Army
10. Dumbledore's Army fights back (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

From their very first Transfiguration class, we've watched as the young witches and wizards of Hogwarts discovered the ins and outs of magic. We've watched as they learned to fly and as they learned to make other things fly ("Wingardium Leviosa!") and we've watched as Harry himself taught them to hone in and trust their powers. When they are finally put to the test by the Death Eaters at the Ministry of Magic and more than hold their own despite their inexperience, there's nothing left for us to do but sit breathlessly on the edge of our seats and cheer them on like proud and anxious parents.

Hermione Draco
9. Malfoy gets what's coming to him (Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban)

From his very first appearance in the Philosopher's Stone, it's safe to say that every member of the audience has been waiting to see erstwhile Hogwarts bully Draco Malfoy get his comeuppance. And while the character has since evolved into one with a surprising number of layers, I think it's safe to say that watching Hermione punch his lights out after accurately pegging him a "foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach" was equally satisfying for both the characters and the fans. No doubt he had it coming, but more importantly, it gave Hermione a chance to briefly let loose and shine as something other than the stereotypical brain. To paraphrase Ron, it wasn't just good, it was bloody brilliant.

Severus Snape
8. "Mr. Potter, our new celebrity." (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone)

The casting of the Potter films comes fairly close to perfection but arguably none more so than Alan Rickman as the morally ambiguous  Severus Snape. From the moment he bursts through the door and majestically sweeps (or is it slithers?) into the classroom, it's apparent that we're witnessing the perfect marriage of actor and role. He imbues every utterance with an almost visible disdain and his deliberately slow and acerbic line delivery makes it clear, even to the most unseasoned of Muggles, that there is more to this character than meets the eye. And if you don't cringe in sympathy for Harry when Snape snaps off the awesomely judgmental "clearly fame isn't everything" zinger, then you are made of stronger stuff than I.

Dolores Umbridge
7. I must not tell lies. (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

In her petite, pink, and fluffy suits, Dolores Umbridge looks about as threatening as a cream puff but under all that candy-floss exterior lies the heart of a twisted and vicious women. Played to perfection by Imelda Staunton, this scene shows the Ministry of Magic spy at her sadistic best. She is the stuff nightmares are made of and her character signals a turning point in the feel of the films as they explore truly dark portraits of good and evil. The fact that Umbridge actually takes what appears to be a fairly innocent detention and turns it into full-on and excruciating torture proves that Voldemort isn't the only evil wizard Harry needs to watch out for.

Draco Malfoy
6. Sectumsempra! (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

Before our very eyes, Draco Malfoy has gone from one-dimensional school bully to a multi-layered villain. We've seen him get his just desserts (see #9) and cheered as his punkish plans were derailed by our heroes. Never once did we feel any real sympathy for him. Until now. The weight on his young shoulders begins to take its toll and we can't help but feel for him as he and Harry battle it out. For Harry, things are a little more black and white but even he fails to see what harm he's caused Malfoy with his heat-of-the-moment 'Sectumsempra' incantation. While this violent moment leads to some introspection on Harry's part - is the Half-Blood Prince trustworthy? - the viewers themselves learn that not everyone is always as they seem.

Remus Lupin and Harry Potter
5. "You're more like them than you know, Harry." (Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban)

Harry's yearning to learn even the smallest thing about his past is ever-present so to see his quest pay off, even a little, is something to behold. The relief Harry feels in being able to finally share with someone who fully understands his pain seems to almost physically buoy him above the threatening darkness and allows him to steel himself for the battles to come. Sirius may be the flashier of James Potter's childhood friends and the one person who remains a true tie to Harry's family but in sharing his personal memories of James and Lily Potter it is Remus Lupin who quietly provides Harry with the knowledge and strength to survive.

4. "Expecto Patronum!" (Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban)

This is the crucial scene where Harry truly grows up. He's never had what anyone would term a normal childhood but he has, for all intents and purposes, been just a child. Here, in an instant, Harry has to put aside his hopes for an adult rescue and step up to the plate himself and man, does he deliver! The wonder his face conveys as he realizes that he is the one with the power to defeat the Dementors is a revelation. He shows some serious strength and skill in summoning the powerful charm and in the process of finally having some self-conviction, he saves not just himself but his newly-found godfather. And with that, the boy who lived has become the man who survives.

Dumbledore Dies
3. R.I.P. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)

If you'd already read the books, you knew this moment was coming. I'm willing to bet that knowledge didn't make it one iota easier to experience. With one whispered Unforgivable Curse, the greatest wizard who ever lived was gone. Like with Sirius Black, Harry could only stand and watch helplessly as Dumbledore plunged over the walls of the school that was so dear to them both. It's a heartbreaking and tragic turn of events that touches every character we've come to hold dear. So when Fawkes mournfully cries out for his departed master, we wanted to cry right along with him.

The Diggorys
2. "That's my boy! That's my SON!" (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)

Each film in the series has its fair share of moments to tug at the heart-strings but the scene following Harry's pivotal and deadly confrontation with Voldemort may just top them all. With all the magical elements, set pieces, plot points and crazy creatures, the Potterverse can often be mistaken for pure fiction and fantasy but the senseless death of Harry's fellow Tri-Wizard competitor Cedric Diggory (played by Twilight hottie Robert Pattinson) is all too real. Harry's grief after witnessing his death is understandable, especially for someone whose short life has been filled with so much pain, but nothing can quite prepare anyone for Amos Diggory's heart-wrenching and anguished cry at the sight of his dead son.

Avada Kedavra
1. Avada Kedavra! (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix)

Blink and you might miss it. Like Cedric's death in Goblet of Fire, Harry's godfather is there one minute and gone the next, in the briefest flash of a wand from one crazy lady. His death is shocking and almost angering in its sudden simplicity and all Harry can do is stand by and watch it happen. When our hero discovered that Sirius was his godfather, he finally found the ties to family and to his parents that he'd always hoped for but thought he would never know. Watching that newly-found gift get ripped away from him by Bellatrix so suddenly and unexpectedly is completely devastating. In a series full of pivotal moments, this one stands head and shoulders above the rest.

Whew...that was tough! Some runner-up moments that didn't quite make the cut: Harry takes a ride on the Knight Bus (Prizoner of Azkaban), the confrontation in the Shrieking Shack (Prizoner of Azkaban), Harry vs. the Dragon (Goblet of Fire), our first glimpse of Diagon Alley or Harry's first Quidditch match (Philosopher's Stone)...and that's just the tip of the iceberg!

As with any list, it's entirely subjective...so that means we want to hear from you too. Tell us YOUR favourite moments below!

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