Jo does this on purpose, doesn’t she?
I know it seems like a silly thing to get emotional about, because Dudley was a jerk for years and something like this of course does not make up for that - but it’s the beginning It’s the begininng of Dudley’s redemption, and it shows that his journey on redemption is a sincere one.
Because Dudley doesn’t really know how to express love. He’s never had to, nor never really particularly desired to before. So he doesn’t know how, but he thinks about what makes people happy - tea makes people happy, right? But the idea of making Harry a cup of tea and bringing it to him is scary, expressing feelings like that, talking about emotions we’re ashamed of is hard enough for the best of us, for Dudley it would be even more so. So he leaves the tea outside Harry’s door, attempting to do one of the few kind acts he understands.
As a metaphor, imagine Dudley had a very limited verbal English vocabulary, and while he wanted to say “I’m sorry” and “Thank you” and “I care about you” and “I hope you have happiness because I see now how much you deserve it”, but he does not know all these words, so all he can say to express himself is “tea”, because he knows that tea makes people happy.
And as Kurt Hummel and Dave Karofsky would say, “Here’s to baby steps.” Because without baby steps, no major change within a single person could ever happen. Redemption and huge positive change within a person can not happen overnight. But they do happen, and they start like this.
*edits out tears stains*
Once you get to the last five pages of Half Blood Prince it’s literally just one overwhelmingly emotional paragraph after another. I would write more about this quote, as it’s one of my favourite in the series, but I think really it speaks for itself.
I know I talk about this a lot, but I really do admire the amount of love Harry has in him. Harry and Malfoy were rivals though-out the whole of school, and Malfoy did some really awful things to the trio, including throwing slurs at Hermione and making jokes about Harry’s parents. But after seeing what he saw at the tower with Malfoy crying and saying how he had to kill Dumbledore or else Riddle would kill his parents, Harry saw Malfoy for probably the first time for who he really was: a scared boy who tried to make himself seem bigger by copying the words of his father, but never truly grasping the power behind them or the world he was entering by using them.
And it’s not a foolish belief that “everyone has some good in them!” because Harry does not allow everyone love. He was ready to hand Wormtail to the dementors, and would never deny death for Riddle or Bellatrix. But Harry’s special power of love allows him to see past his rivalry with Malfoy and know that what he saw on the tower was the real Malfoy, and that the only way to allow the true, good Malfoy to exist is with love, and so love he will give. Not foolishly, not to everybody - but to those he knows eventually can and will return it, as Malfoy does in the Malfoy Manor later. For Harry, being Harry, is right about these things. That is why he is our hero.
After everything that’s happened - the fake horcrux, Dumbledore dying, Snape “escaping” - after all the pain Harry’s gone through in such quick succession, all he wants to do is see Ron. Because Ron is his best friend, and he loves him, and when you are scared and sad, it is nice to just be with someone whom you love and who loves you back. And you don’t necessarily need to talk, but to just know that they are there and they love you makes you feel more safe and secure and the feeling of love pushes out the pain a bit - and there’s nobody Harry loves more than Ron.
I really love the evolution of Hagrid and McGonagall’s relationship. In Philosopher’s Stone, when McGonagall finds out that Hagrid was the one chosen by Dumbledore she questioned Dumbledore’s decision of trusting Hagrid with something so important.
And yet here we see McGonagall treating Hagrid as just as important as the heads of houses. Because it’s true that Hagrid does have some misjudgments [especially in regards to magical creatures!] and can be clumsy and sometimes stubborn, but at the end of the day when Hagrid is sent on a mission for the Order he will absolutely make sure that he does that mission to best of his ability.
I just really love the way she ends up realising that even though Hagrid’s not academically intelligent, and perhaps doesn’t have the best judgement, his heart it always in the right place and that’s worth respecting him for.