If ever there was a book that made me cry really, really hard, it would be Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. And it's all because of Chapter 34: "The Forest Again."
While there were plenty of other sob-inducing moments in DH that forced me to run for the nearest box of Kleenex, "The Forest Again" absolutely destroyed me. Along with Harry, we've finally arrived here:
"He pressed the golden metal to his lips and whispered,
'I am about to die.'"
GAHHHHH!!! NOOOOOOO!!!! I was barely holding it together after Harry finished visiting Snape's memories in the Pensieve and realized the truth of what he needed to do, but the quote above broke the crying floodgates. And then THAT was followed by:
"They were neither ghost nor truly flesh, he could see that. They resembled most closely the Riddle that had escaped from the diary so long ago, and he had been memory made nearly solid. Less substantial than living bodies, but much more than ghosts, they moved toward him, and on each face, there was the same loving smile."
Lily. James. Remus. SIRIUS. All there with Harry as he's about to face death. I don't think I've read a more beautifully written scene in a book. EVER. And I might never read another scene in a book that equals this one in brilliance and genuine emotion. After everything Harry has been through, he now has to do this, but he's not alone; he's surrounded by absolute, unconditional love. There's a depth to this scene that, even eight years after first reading it, I still can't quite wrap my head around because it's so profound.
When I went to see the second Deathly Hallows film, I knew I wasn't going to make it through the forest scene without turning into a blubbering mess. And I wasn't wrong. I did try to keep my sniffling to a minimum so that I didn't draw too much attention to myself in the theater, lol.
There's a line that Sirius says to Harry in the film that I'll never forget. When Harry asks if Voldemort can see anyone besides Harry, his godfather tells him no, we're here—and he points to Harry's heart. (Sirius's reply in the book echoes a similar sentiment: "We are part of you," said Sirius. "Invisible to anyone else.") And that is an image that I've carried with me ever since. On the days when I'm especially missing my mom and dad, I think of the forest scene, both in the book and in the movie, and remember that they'll always be in my heart. So if I had to choose the single, most important thing I've taken away from Harry Potter, it's this. ❤