The greatest quotes from Harry Potter books for all moments in adult life

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha
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Do you remember it? Wrapping your hands around the newest and thickest, brightly-coloured hardback, turning to Chapter One (thinking about that kid who will make headlines for reading the book in one sitting) and letting the voices of Harry, Ron and Hermione fill your head once more. It was a reunion.

Few books have comforted a generation quite like Harry Potter

It’s no surprise that bookshops transformed to conditions not seen since Deathly Hallows was published in 2007, with unprecedented pre-orders and midnight openings, when the script for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child went on sale on Sunday and doors to the West End stage play officially opened.

We’ve grown up, Harry’s grown up (it’s set 19 years after the events of the last book), and he’s still got a hold on us. 

It comes down to the fact that while J.K. Rowling brilliantly created an otherworldly place for us to escape to, it has always been steeped in the battles and lessons of our own Muggle world. Dementors are metaphors for depression, Professor Dumbledore’s pensieve captures the act of meditation, and every character from Dobby to Luna Lovegood is instilled with an underlying life lesson for all of us. 

So while we continue to wait for our acceptance letter to Hogwarts, we can take comfort in the fact that Harry’s world isn't so different to ours...

Quotes for work and success

On ambition
“You sort of start thinking anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” - Ginny Weasley

On knowledge
“Wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure” - Rowena Ravenclaw/ Luna Lovegood

On management  
“Perhaps those who are best suited to power are those who have never sought it. Those who, like you, have leadership thrust upon them, and take up the mantle because they must, and find to their own surprise that they wear it well.” - Albus Dumbledore

On obstacles
“We must try not to sink beneath our anguish, Harry, but battle on” - Albus Dumbledore

On failure
“Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end, if not always in the way we expect.” – Luna Lovegood

On working around the clock
“Time is making fools of us again.” Albus Dumbledore

On feeling uninspired
“Nothing like a midnight stroll to give you ideas” - Alastor Moody

On imagination
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on Earth should that mean it is not real?” - Albus Dumbledore

On presentation
“A good first impression can work wonders” - Molly Weasley

On a fork in the road
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” - Albus Dumbledore

Quotes for society and politics

On equality
“We are all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.” –Kingsley Shacklebolt

On prejudices
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open." - Albus Dumbledore

On hierarchy
“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

On judgement
 “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!” - Albus Dumbledore

Quotes for relationships

On unity
“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”  - Albus Dumbledore

On forgiveness
“People find it far easier to forgive others for being wrong than being right.” -Dumbledore

On priorities
“Books! And cleverness! There are more important things — friendship and bravery” - Hermione

On honesty
“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” - Albus Dumbledore

On trust
“What have I always told you? Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can't see where it keeps its brain?” - Arthur Weasley

On arguments
“Words are, in my not so humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic, capable of both influencing injury, and remedying it.” - Albus Dumbledore

On death
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.” - Albus Dumbledore

Quotes for mindfulness

On emotional intelligence
“Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn't mean we all have” - Hermione Granger

On positivity 
“Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” - Albus Dumbledore (in the film adaptation) 

On self-esteem
“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 bothern’ with.’” - Hagrid

On self-contemplation
"We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” - Albus Dumbledore

On Anxiety
"No good sittin' worryin' abou' it. What's comin' will come, an' we'll meet it when it does." - Hagrid

On dignity
"You can exist without your soul, you know, as long as your brain and heart are still working. But you'll have no sense of self anymore, no memory, no....anything. There's no chance at all of recovery. You'll just exist. As an empty shell."  - Remus Lupin

On discipline 
“The trouble is, humans do have a knack of choosing precisely those things that are worst for them.” - Albus Dumbledore

On grief
“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” - Albus Dumbledore

On sensitivity
"The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many-layered thing” - Severus Snape 

Images: Warner Bros. Entertainment In, Harry Potter Movie

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.