In "Harry Potter" mythology, today (May 2) marks the 13th anniversary of The Battle of Hogwarts, the historic day where the forces of good and evil collided and fought for the fate of magic-users and muggles everywhere.
It's a bittersweet occasion for several reasons. On the one hand, the Battle of Hogwarts — spoiler alert if you haven't read the books — marked the end of He Who Must Not Be Named's reign. It was also a fantastic reading experience for "Potter" fans. But even though our heroes emerged victorious, the Battle of Hogwarts claimed the lives of several fan-favorite characters as well, adding no small amount of tragedy to the otherwise triumphant day.
We're honoring the fallen "Potter" heroes who died during the Battle of Hogwarts after the jump — and though it should go without saying, there are spoilers ahead.
During his first year at Hogwarts, the meek and excitable Colin Creevey was always quick to snap a photo with his trusty camera, a fact that made him something of a nuisance for the decreasingly patient Harry. He spent the rest of his first year paralyzed at the hands of the dreaded Basilisk, but he eventually regained his strength and went on to fall under Harry's leadership as a member of Dumbledore's Army. Sadly, Colin's training wasn't enough to keep him alive when the Death Eaters stormed Hogwarts in his sixth year; he was discovered dead outside the castle grounds by Oliver Wood and Neville Longbottom.
As a Metamorphmagus — someone who can alter their physical appearance at will without the use of Polyjuice or other means — Tonks was gifted with one of my personal favorite abilities featured throughout the "Potter" universe. But her transformative skills weren't enough to save her from the wrath of her wicked aunt Bellatrix Lestrange, who killed Tonks during the Battle of Hogwarts. It was made all the more tragic considering that Tonks had recently given birth to a son, Teddy.
Lupin, one of James Potter's closest friends and a mentor to Harry since his yearlong stint as Hogwarts' Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor, was perhaps my favorite character in the entire "Harry Potter" series — making his off-page demise at the hands of a Death Eater all the more tragic for myself. As Tonks' husband, Lupin's death meant that their son Teddy would grow up without either parent at his side. Thankfully, the Metamorphmagus and the Lycanthrope named Harry as Teddy's godfather, ensuring that the newborn wizard would live happily and healthily.
Is there a more shocking, saddening death in all of "Potter" than Fred Weasley's? Just months after his trickster twin lost his ear in the midst of combat, it was Fred who paid the ultimate price during the Battle of Hogwarts. Even though the Weasley brothers were separated by death, Fred's legacy continued on when George eventually had a son and named him after his fallen twin.
The least appreciated hero of them all, Potions master Severus Snape died from the venomous bite of Lord Voldemort's snake and horcrux host Nagini, but not before he was able to gift Harry with his memories — memories that proved once and for all that Snape was a Dumbledore loyalist to the end, motivated by his love for Lily Evans, Harry's mother. Though he hated him in life, Harry immediately learned to embrace and appreciate Snape, a man built entirely upon uncompromising loyalty, strenuous sacrifice and a deep, cold loneliness.
Were you saddened by the deaths of these beloved "Potter" characters during the Battle of Hogwarts, or were their tragic fates necessary parts of the final book's reading experience for you? Let us know in the comments section and on Twitter!