Why Molly Will Die

by Chris Stubbs

““Never used an Unforgivable Curse before, have you, boy?…You need to mean them, Potter!…Righteous anger won’’t hurt me for long.””

In this one piece of dialogue, I believe Bellatrix revealed the key as to how Harry will triumph over Voldemort. Clearly destroying Voldemort will require a pretty serious piece of Dark Magic, and skill alone won’’t be enough to cast it. Negative emotions go hand in hand with the Dark Arts, and whatever finishes Voldemort off is likely going to need a large amount of real, solid emotion behind it. Given that the loss of his Godfather was the trigger Harry needed to even attempt an Unforgivable Curse, it would seem that to get the necessary strength of both character and mind will require losing someone even closer to him than Sirius was. But who could that be?

On the face of it there are three obvious candidates: Hermione, Ron and Dumbledore. However, I think there are good reasons why none of them qualify. Firstly, although Ron and Hermione are undoubtedly Harry’’s closest friends, they have all been through a few scrapes together and both have been incapacitated at some point (Ron in PS/SS and PoA, Hermione in Cos and OotP). I think because of this Harry may actually be able to handle the loss of either or both of them better than we might expect. Events in both PS/SS and OotP have also shown that Harry is realistic enough not to worry about people who have “fallen in battle” until after the immediate threat has been dealt with.

Dumbledore’’s case is slightly different. Although he has acted as a mentor to Harry, he has managed to keep himself at a distance. I also feel that Dumbledore is too clever to allow himself to be caught out by an ambush or an unanticipated curse. If he is killed it will be carefully planned – a sort of Obi-wan Kenobi style sacrifice –– done in such a way that those around him will be able to accept it, deal with it, and move on.

So who else is there? Well, the title should make it obvious. The ideal candidate is Mrs. Weasley. Now don’’t get me wrong, I have nothing personal against Molly, so I’’ll explain my thinking on this. To understand why I think Molly has to go, you have to look at the ramifications that her demise would have, and how Harry would react to them. First, and despite what Harry says outwardly, I think subconsciously Molly has filled the space in his life marked “Surrogate Mum.” Since his first visit to the Burrow she has treated him as if he was one of her own, and he has responded positively to that. He looks forward to visits to the Burrow almost more than anything else, he gets angry when people insult Molly in front of him (just ask Draco), and it upsets him if she falls out with his friends. To lose Molly would almost be like losing his mum all over again, but worse because he knows her far better than he ever knew Lily.

There’’s also the effect on the other Weasleys to consider. Harry knows what it is like to not have your own parents around, and I doubt he would wish it to happen to any of his friends. Harry’’s sense of grief and loss would only be amplified by the same feelings coming from Ron and his family. Ultimately though, I think Molly’’s death would produce in Harry a level of anger, and a desire for revenge that we have barely seen yet, anger that yet another member of the Order has lost their life, anger that yet another family has been destroyed, and anger at the loss of someone close to both him and his friends.

So there you have it. Grief, anger, a sense of loss and a desire for revenge. All the negative emotions anyone would need to be able to launch a hatful of dark spells in the direction of their worst enemy. JKR has said that there will be more characters killed off in the last two books. I hope I’’m wrong, but I have a feeling that for Harry to be able to fulfill his destiny, Molly will be one of the unlucky ones.

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