In celebration of the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, we asked members of the BuzzFeed Community and BuzzFeed staff to write letters to their favourite characters. Here are some of the most heartwarming...
I don’t even know what to say to you. To sum up what you mean to me in any number of words would be to slim it down to something less than it is. But I will say this: It took me a long time to get you. I think a lot of people write you off; it’s a main character’s gift and curse (and you’re certainly familiar with both of those concepts). But to me, when I think about you, I see a resilience that helped me be more resilient. I see all the markings of abuse on you, and all the ways you tried to fight against that being the be-all and end-all of your story. A lot of other characters get more “credit” for the abuse they dealt with in their stories, but I don’t often see people sitting down to think about the impact of seeing you learn how to live a full life throughout and in the aftermath of yours. I see your humor, even (or especially) in the face of injustice and hardship. And I see your friendships, and the ways that you love, even though loving anyone like that can be so hard when all you’ve known is what it looks like when someone doesn’t.
Loving your stories strengthened me when I needed you the most, Harry, and as an adult I see the child you were in new light. You fought hard for the people you cared about, and the things you believed in. You saw the world as something bigger than yourself. And you were flawed, which made you all the more meaningful to me. You were a full human being, who did his best wherever and whenever he could.
Thank you for existing where and when you did.
It’s been 17 years since we first met. Still, now, I’m not sure whether I latched onto you because I saw myself in you, or if I’m so much like you now because of the huge influence you’ve had on me since childhood. I remember, age six, walking into school with (non-assigned, obviously) textbooks clutched to my chest in an attempt to be more like you. I crimped my hair and threw up my hand with gusto every time a teacher asked a question. By the time university rolled around, I was immune to my classmates’ eye rolls as I was the one to speak up, once again, in one of our seminars. I had become the fully-grown, definitely kind of annoying know-it-all you taught me it was more than okay to be.
I know you mean so much to so many, but in the same way a younger sister would, I still grow selfishly protective every time another girl claims closeness to you. I feel proud, though, that you have helped to raise a generation of girls full of strength and power and who crave knowledge. You taught me that I deserve to be listened to before I even knew I had a voice.
You weren’t my first crush but you were, and still are, my most formative. I’m sure your little ego will be happy to hear that Harry never did a damn thing for me, and I chased boys with your personality for years. What is it about emotionally stunted slackers that drove me so crazy as a teenager, I’ll never know, but here we are.
OK, that’s not true at all. I know exactly what it is about emotionally stunted slackers that drove (and still drives) me so crazy, and actually I’m pretty sure you’re at fault for it: you taught me that behind all that huffiness and lackadaisical joking is a MASSIVE, SENSITIVE, LOYAL friend, and I’ll probably never forgive you for that.
It’s easy to forget you’ve got more layers, good and bad, than the films and Cursed Child give you credit for - but I always felt for you, more than Harry, as a normal kid who got sucked into something so much bigger than himself. And the fact you didn’t always do it right or on time, but you still kept trying, was just so goddamn heartwarming to me.
Thanks for being you, and thanks for being there for me.
Ever since you came along, I have devoted my time to appreciating each and every love interest of each and every main character in each and every book, because you have shown me how kickass and caring the romantic interest can be. That your life and meaning does not disappear just because the boy does. That strength and character can be maintained during the hardest of times, whether it be when Death Eaters take over Hogwarts or when your annoying older brother catches you snogging a boy against a wall.
You stood on your own as an amazing character and I will forever thirst for revenge against the movies for ruining all that you are and debasing you to all that you aren't. I love you, Ginny Weasley, because you taught me that I can be more than a love interest by simply being my kickass female self.
Thank you for being the quiet hero. You gave hope to the shy, insecure, awkward, and underdog kids. You had so much to live up to, with such incredible parents, yet suffered in silence with the most horrific pain. To have your parents alive and unaware of you must have been torture, but you went to every visit and saved every gum wrapper. The fact that you kept that struggle to yourself shows true courage and strength.
You were picked on in every class, bullied by a teacher, and made some mistakes along the way. But you still tried your hardest, and were the most loyal and supportive friend. You stood up for what you believed in, and fought for yourself, and for that I thank you.
Having you to look up to as we grew up together gave me hope that, even though I was the awkward friendly kid, I could still fit in and succeed. So thank you, Neville.
You are my hero.
You have been a guardian angel in my life since the first time I read Order of the Phoenix when I was nine. I have always been quirky, but tried to change who I am. Having you in my life showed me that I don't need to change, but rather embrace and grow as the person I am. You showed me that that was okay; that I am a wonderful person despite the parts of me that other people may not understand. I'm growing and changing and bettering myself every day, and that's thanks to you.
Luna, you are beautiful. Just like the moon, someone somewhere is always gazing at you, marvelling at the incredible person you are. You live in such a positive bubble, no matter what the world throws at you. You take it and tackle it head on. You're exactly the kind of person I want to be.
Thank you, Luna. Keep sparkling.
I will never meet you and never get the chance to tell you what an impact you have had on my life, but in many ways you saved me. I wish I could have returned the favour, but unfortunately that's not the way fiction works, as much as I (and countless others) wish it was.
Over the course of your lifetime, you went from an arrogant boy (who could even be considered a bully) to arguably one of the bravest Gryffindors the wizarding world has ever seen. Your strength, compassion and fortitude have been a shining light to the lost and lonely, an example of how brave we can all aspire to be. From you I discovered that everything is transient. Even the worst moments of my life will pass, and brighter days are ahead.
You taught me that no fate is carved in stone. That, if we aren't afraid to take a little risk, we can change our stars. I will always be grateful to you and am so thankful that you finally found happiness and reunited with the ones you loved so much.
Mischief managed, Padfoot.
Thank you for influencing my life the way you did. As a young girl, I found solace in fictional worlds. It was my only escape from a harsh reality, and until you came into my life, I did not know what a loving father figure was. You completely changed my whole world. You taught me how to be strong, even when the people around you discard you for being different. You taught me about friendship and loyalty, and that even if you can't make a friend's life better in that moment, you can give them support – and chocolate. You taught me that one must fight for what is right, but also know how and when to stand down.
Most of all, you gave me the confidence to be myself. As you struggled through the pain of your own identity, I experienced similar issues. You gave me hope that finding love is possible – be it through romance or friendship. Thank you for being the greatest definition of a professor, and even more so, a human being.
There is such a thing as joy. There is such a thing as happiness, love, peace, appreciation. I know many hate you, despise you, were glad when you met your horrific end, but I was heartbroken. To this day, your death resonates with me more than many of the other characters in the stories (except for Fred – sorry, but that one hurt). You never knew love until you met Lily. You were different, dark, closed off to the world. While that isn't an excuse for some of your decisions, you still did good things. You loved deeply. You were loyal, tragic, and never fully able to get over the death of the one person that loved you for who you were.
I love you because you showed me that a life lived full of bitterness and regret isn't a life, but even a little bit of love and trust can change a person. I wish that you had more happiness and joy in your life. More appreciation and love. Now, you are at peace. The good things you did, that aren't talked about often, allowed a lot of people to live.
Thank you for your sacrifice for all our Harry Potter heroes.
Note: Submissions may have been edited for length and/or clarity.