Is it Harry Potter’s Fault Cedric Diggory Dies? (oh, I went there!)
A while back, I asked if it’s Harry Potter’s fault Sirius Black dies. Let’s take that one cruel step further:
Is it Harry Potter’s fault Cedric Diggory dies?
In Chapter 19: The Servant to Lord Voldemort, Harry fights to save Peter Pettigrew’s life. One year later, Peter kills Cedric at Voldemort’s request. Therefore, wouldn’t Cedric still be alive if Harry allowed Sirius and Lupin to kill Peter in the Shrieking Shack? Isn’t it with Peter’s help that Voldemort is able to come back in the first place? Can we go so far as to blame Harry for Voldemort’s return?
Here’s the thing: no one wants to actually blame Harry for the death of his classmate or the return of You-Know-Who. The kid acted in a remarkably compassionate way considering Peter betrayed his parents and orphaned him with the Dursleys.
But sometimes compasion backfires and I think it’s very important to the series that Harry’s kind acts turn on him. Those around him need to die for him or because of something he has done in order to fortify him for that final journey into the Forbidden Forest. An entire war breaks out because of him, but it’s not his fault. He’s just the unfortunate catalyst and its this knowledge that drives him to make the ultimate sacrifice.
So is it Harry’s fault Cedric dies? Probably not, no. But on some level, Harry needs to believe it is.
I guess if you want to get really technical, it’s Lupin’s fault for failing to take his potion, turning into a werewolf, and forcing Sirius to turn into a dog to protect everyone, thus freeing Peter to escape.
Cedric Diggory aside (because we aren’t in that book yet), this chapter Peeved me when I first read it (get it? get it? Peeved? Oh man, I’m clever. I should be a Ravenclaw). This was a twist to end all twists. Scabbers was a wizard? Really? Come on!
Granted, I didn’t have long to fume. Once I realized Barty Crouch Jr. was Mad-Eye Moody, my head exploded like Seamus Finnigan’s levitating feather.
Chapter 20: The Dementor’s Kiss introduces us to how terribly cruel J.K. can be. She admits it herself – writing children’s literature can be a really mean task. Harry is so excited to live with his godfather, he is almost able to produce a patronus. But as we all know, not only will he never get to live with him (save for those days with the Order of the Phoenix), his godfather will die. In fact, anyone he ever saw as a father figure will die. The most dangerous position to be in is a male role model for Harry. It’s like being the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher – it’s a cursed position.