The Ripple Effect of Voldemort’s First Downfall
Thirty-four years ago, Harry Potter defeated Lord Voldemort for the first time. On October 31, 1981, everything changed; a war ended, and many lives were lost. The wizarding world was left to try to rebuild their shattered lives. Those who lost their friends and families were forced to make peace with their new lives. On that special Halloween night, Lily Potter gave her life to save her son and ended up saving the lives of thousands of witches and wizards. Thanks to Lily’s love and sacrifice, Harry Potter was able to survive the Killing Curse and make it rebound on Lord Voldemort. This post is dedicated to Lily Potter and to Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived.
Peter Pettigrew, a young wizard who was unhappy with his life, decided to join the Death Eaters. We do not know the particular circumstances that led to him taking the Dark Mark, but it is easy to guess. Peter, probably tired of feeling left out, joined the Death Eaters to make something of his life, to be special. If any of us were given the chance to do something more with our lives, wouldn’t we take it? Peter made a horrible choice to betray his friends, and he cannot be forgiven for that, but imagine what must have happened in his life to transform him from this sweet, young boy into a Death Eater willing to betray his childhood friends. Peter lost his friends because of his direct actions, and he never appeared to show remorse. He faked his own death and hid out as a rat for 12 years. Peter Pettigrew let his own mother believe that her son was murdered. By revealing the Potters’ hiding place, Peter destroyed the lives of all of his friends: James, Lily, Sirius, and Remus. His betrayal also led to the downfall of Lord Voldemort.
Sirius Black spent his 22nd birthday in Azkaban after being falsely accused of murdering Peter Pettigrew and 12 Muggles and betraying Lily and James. I can’t even begin to imagine how he felt. Sirius had his whole life taken away. He believed that he would spend the rest of his life in Azkaban surrounded by Dementors. All the work he did to distance himself from his family name was negated the second he walked into Azkaban. In four days, everything in Sirius’s life changed: Lily and James died, Peter betrayed them and faked his own murder, and Sirius went to prison where he spent his first birthday without his friends.
I feel the most for Remus Lupin. After waking up on November 1, 1981, Remus found out that Lily and James were dead because Sirius supposedly betrayed them. Later that day, he heard that Peter was also dead and Sirius was sent to Azkaban for murdering him. He lost all of his friends in one day, and now he was the one left to pick up the pieces. Remus Lupin is one of my favorite characters because he survived this. His life was not a happy one, but he managed to survive everything that happened to him until the Final Battle.
At 21, Lily and James Potter gave their lives to save Harry. James didn’t have much of a choice, but Lily did. She could have lived, but instead, she decided to die protecting her son. Lily knew that it was unlikely that they would both survive, but she wanted to do everything she could to save Harry, and it worked. Harry gets most of the credit for Voldemort’s downfall, but Lily’s loving sacrifice for her son is what caused the Killing Curse to rebound on Lord Voldemort. Without Lily, there would be no Boy Who Lived.
Harry Potter has taught me a lot about life and death. I learned that one day or one moment can change everything. I learned something from each of these characters. Peter taught me that my friends are worth more than power or money. Sirius taught me that sometimes things go wrong, and there is nothing you can do to stop it. Remus taught me that it’s important to keep living my life no matter what happens. Lily taught me that there is nothing more powerful than love. What have you learned from these characters?