10 of the Most Magical Harry Potter Quotes to Inspire You

6 minute read

The Harry Potter series — both books and movies — are packed with emotional speeches and moving dialogue. And although J.K. Rowling declared that “Harry is done” following the release of The Cursed Child play, the endlessly inspirational quotes to come out of the franchise will undoubtedly continue to be one of its most enduring legacies.

From the wise words of Albus Dumbledore to the practical sayings of Hagrid to the musings of Luna Lovegood, here are the 10 of the most magical quotes that originated in the Potterverse.

See the full list below.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live”

Harry Potter Parents
Warner Bros. Pictures

Book: Sorcerer’s Stone

Who said it: Albus Dumbledore

Context: Upon finding Harry gazing longingly into the Mirror of Erised — which shows anyone who looks into it their deepest desire — Dumbledore tells Harry that he is going to move the mirror before warning him not to go searching for it again. The headmaster’s words are a reminder that dwelling on what might have been in the past or what could be in the future distracts from living in the present moment.

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends”

Neville Longbottom
Warner Bros. Pictures

Book: Sorcerer’s Stone

Who said it: Albus Dumbledore

Context: After awarding Harry, Ron and Hermione a grand total of 160 points for their contributions in preventing the theft of the Sorcerer’s Stone, Dumbledore gives Neville Longbottom 10 points for standing up to the golden trio, clinching the House Cup for Gryffindor. Neville held true to what he thought was right rather than giving into peer pressure, an act that Dumbledore deems worthy of recognition.

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities”

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone - Movie Stills
Peter Mountain/WireImage

Book: Chamber of Secrets

Who said it: Albus Dumbledore

Explanation: After Harry emerges from the Chamber of Secrets, he expresses fear over the similarities between himself and Voldemort, telling Dumbledore that the Sorting Hat nearly placed him in Slytherin. However, the headmaster is quick to remind Harry that while he and Voldemort are both powerful wizards, Harry chooses to use his talents for good — the true measure of greatness.

“I am what I am an’ I’m not ashamed”

Harry Potter Stars JK Rowling Birthday
Peter Mountain—Warner Bros.

Book: Goblet of Fire

Who said it: Rubeus Hagrid

Context: This full quote reads, “I am what I am, an’ I’m not ashamed. ‘Never be ashamed,’ my ol’ dad used ter say, ‘there’s some who’ll hold it against you, but they’re not worth botherin’ with,'” and is said by Hagrid to Harry, Ron and Hermione after Rita Skeeter publicly outs the gamekeeper for being a half-giant — an ancestry that carries a stigma in the Potterverse. The insightful advice embodies Rowling’s overarching message in favor of acceptance of both oneself and others.

“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 Harry Potter
Warner Bros. Pictures

Book: Goblet of Fire

Who said it: Sirius Black

Context: This guideline for assessing character crops up throughout the series, but is perhaps never better summed up than when Sirius delivers this memorable line about Barty Crouch’s unfair and abusive treatment of his house elf Winky. Preventing a fight between Ron and Hermione, Sirius explains to Ron why Crouch’s blatant distaste for someone he considers lower than himself is a more accurate gauge of who he is than any show of respect for his peers.


“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open”

Harry Potter Stars JK Rowling Birthday
Murray Close—Warner Bros.

Book: Goblet of Fire

Who said it: Albus Dumbledore

Context: Following Voldemort’s return and Cedric Diggory’s death during the final task of the Triwizard Tournament, Dumbledore gathers the students of all three schools that participated in the tournament — Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang — in the Great Hall for an end-of-year speech, imploring them to come together to face the trouble that lies ahead. “Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great,” he says. “We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust.”

“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect”

Evanna Lynch, who played Luna Lovegood, at Hogwarts Express.
David Sprague—Universal Studios Hollywood

Movie: Order of the Phoenix

Who said it: Luna Lovegood

Context: OK, so this one is from the Order of the Phoenix movie, not the book, but it’s too good to pass up. When Bellatrix Lestrange kills Harry’s godfather, Sirius Black, during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries, Harry is distraught. However, he finds comfort in the words of Luna, who despite having lost her mother at such a young age, maintains this positive outlook on life. This line also seems to foreshadow the Deathly Hallows scene when Harry is able to see and speak to Sirius again by using the resurrection stone.

“I am not worried, Harry…I am with you”

Harry Potter Dumbledore
Warner Bros. PIctures

Book: Half-Blood Prince

Who said it: Albus Dumbledore

Context: As Harry and a severely weakened Dumbledore flee the cave where Dumbledore drank the potion of despair to obtain what he thought was one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes, Harry pleads for the headmaster to remain calm. His plea prompts this touching display of faith. This moment — which takes place shortly before Dumbledore is killed by Severus Snape — exemplifies the strong father-son bond that has formed over the years between the two.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Alan Rickman in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2Warner Bros Pictures

Book: Deathly Hallows

Who said it: Severus Snape

Explanation: Even though it’s just one word, “always” is largely considered one of the most iconic lines from the Potter series. Uttered by Snape to Dumbledore during a memory Harry observes in the Pensieve of Snape casting a doe Patronus, the phrase embodies the controversial potions professor’s most redemptive quality — his unconditional love for Lily Potter. “Snape is all grey,” Rowling tweeted in 2015. “You can’t make him a saint: he was vindictive & bullying. You can’t make him a devil: he died to save the wizarding world.”

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean it is not real?”

Harry Potter Dumbledore Deathly Hallows
Warner Bros. Pictures

Book: Deathly Hallows

Who said it: Albus Dumbledore

Context: The line inseparable from an unforgettable ending. Harry allows Voldemort to hit him with a killing curse so that the piece of Voldemort’s soul inside him will be destroyed. Harry then has an out-of-body experience, finding himself in King’s Cross Station talking to Dumbledore. As Harry prepares to return to the scene of his “death,” he asks the late headmaster about what has occurred and receives this answer. In many ways, this seems to be a nod from Rowling to all the readers who helped bring the magic of her iconic fantasy series to life.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at megan.mccluskey@time.com