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Harry Potter’s most heart-breaking scene wasn’t even in the movies

The Harry Potter movies feature plenty of high emotion, but this scene from the books would have given one of the best movies in the franchise extra power.

Harry Potter's most heart-breaking scene wasn't in the movies

The Harry Potter franchise has its fair share of hard-hitting, emotional moments. Harry Potter fans will have shed many tears over the best Harry Potter characters, helped by the talented Harry Potter cast firing on all cylinders. But they never got chance to deliver one particular scene of shocking emotion.

David Yates has directed all of the Harry Potter movies in order since he took up the role for Order of the Phoenix in 2007. At just 138 minutes long, it’s one of the shortest movies in the franchise, despite adapting the longest book (800 pages!). Inevitably, as with all of the best movies based on books, there was a lot of material on the cutting room floor.

One pivotal scene that didn’t make the cut involves Arthur Weasley’s stay at St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries after his attack by Voldemort‘s pet snake Nagini. This sequence includes a cameo for Gilderoy Lockhart, one of the best Harry Potter villains, but it also delivers a moment of shocking heft and importance.

On Christmas Day, the central characters pay a visit to Mr Weasley’s ward at the hospital, only to be surprised when they overhear the name Longbottom. Neville has come to visit his parents, who were gifted Aurors during the initial battle against Voldemort.

Both of Neville’s parents were tortured into insanity by Bellatrix Lestrange for information. At the time of this scene, Harry knew about this, while Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger were unaware of what had happened.

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On the page, it’s a sequence of shocking tension as Harry and Neville continuously trade glances, while Neville’s over-bearing grandmother goes into a detailed explanation of what had happened and even accuses him of being “ashamed” of his parents. In reality, Neville is simply heartbroken and doesn’t want to talk about it.

We then meet Alice Longbottom briefly when she emerges from her bed area to present Neville with a bubblegum wrapper, to which Neville’s grandmother states that “she must have given you enough of them to paper your bedroom by now”.

The entire sequence is harrowing and it’s perhaps understandable that it was deemed a little too much for a blockbuster fantasy movie. Matthew Lewis, though, told the LA Times that he was disappointed not to have been able to shoot the “tear-jerking and really, really endearing” scene.

Matthew Lewis as Neville Longbottom could have had one of Harry Potter's most heart-breaking moments

“It was just something that I thought was really important to the character ’cause it showed a really soft side to him. His parents were there and they didn’t recognize him and there was that lovely bit where they give him the sweet,” said Lewis.

He added: “I just thought in that one scene it really showed what Neville was all about. How he’s got all this heart, and even though the doctors are saying that they don’t know who you are, he still believes in them. And I thought: ‘That’s Neville’. That heart, that courage, that belief showed what Neville Longbottom was all about. And as an actor, it’s a shame that we didn’t get to do that.”

We certainly would have loved to see what Lewis could have done with the scene, though he does get the chance to explain his parents’ fate to Harry during a moment in the Room of Requirement.

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The St Mungo’s segment was just one of many scenes cut from the best movies in the Potter franchise. Perhaps we’ll get the chance to see a version of it when the Harry Potter TV series release date comes around. With a whole season earmarked for each book, we’d expect to see this devastating but powerful moment on screen.

Look ahead to the potential new movies from the Wizarding World with our guides to the Fantastic Beasts 4 release date and the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child release date.  Alternatively, check out our picks for the best fantasy movies ever.

And if you’re after more Potter, find out about the best Harry Potter spells and learn fascinating facts about Dumbledore, Hagrid, and Luna Lovegood. We’ve also explored the Harry Potter monster too terrifying for the movies and explained why we won’t forgive the Harry Potter finale for its worst book change.

The creator of the Harry Potter series, JK Rowling, has made a number of transphobic remarks on social media in recent years. If you’d like to learn more about transgender equality or lend your support, here are two charities we encourage you to visit: the National Center for Transgender Equality in the US and Mermaids in the UK.