Small Sad “Potter” Moments That I Can’t Stop Thinking About
We all know that there are many sad moments throughout the Harry Potter series, but the large ones often outshine the small. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, but each time I reread the Harry Potter series, I find new things that hurt and disturb me. Unfortunately, many of these moments don’t get the attention they deserve because they don’t have to do with Harry defeating Voldemort.
Mr. Roberts, who was the Muggle campsite director, had to have his memory modified multiple times a day.
Instantly, Mr. Roberts’s eyes slid out of focus, his brows unknitted, and a look of dreamy unconcern fell over his face. Harry recognized the symptoms of one who had just had his memory modified […] ‘Been having a lot of trouble with him. Needs a Memory Charm ten times a day to keep him happy.'” (GoF 77-8)
That can’t be good for your brain, right? After learning just how deeply Lockhart was affected by his backfiring Memory Charm, I can’t help but feel concerned for Mr. Roberts and the long-term impacts his interactions with wizards may have caused him and his health.
Even after all he had already been through, Mr. Roberts’s poor Muggle family was tortured by Death Eaters.
The floating people were suddenly illuminated as they passed over a burning tent and Harry recognized one of them: Mr. Roberts, the campsite manager. The other three looked as though they might be his wife and children. One of the marchers below flipped Mrs. Roberts upside down with his wand; her nightdress fell down to reveal voluminous drawers and she struggled to cover herself up as the crowd below her screeched and hooted with glee.” (GoF 120)
So not only did Mr. Roberts get way more Memory Charms cast on him than anyone should probably ever have, but his unsuspecting family also got attacked and ridiculed by the Death Eaters at the Quidditch World Cup.
Krum’s dragon did not want to be part of the Triwizard Tournament and was just trying to protect its eggs.
[Krum] hit it with some sort of spell right in the eye. Only thing is, it went trampling around in agony and squashed half the real eggs – they took marks off for that, he wasn’t supposed to do any damage to them.” (GoF 359)
Viktor Krum, the Durmstrang Champion in the Triwizard Tournament, was given the Chinese Fireball dragon to battle in the first task. Because the champions had to take away a fake egg from the dragon, Charlie Weasley tells us that “they wanted nesting mothers” (GoF 328). In this small, throwaway sentence where we are told that Krum’s dragon squashed half of its real eggs, my heart can’t help but break. All that dragon wanted to do was protect its eggs, and because it got roped into the Triwizard Tournament and was attacked by Krum, the dragon itself broke half of its eggs. I can only imagine the anguish that the dragon felt in realizing what it had done.
The Cattermoles got mixed up in the trio’s break-in of the Ministry of Magic.
You realize that I am on my way downstairs to interrogate your wife, Cattermole? In fact, I’m quite surprised you’re not down there holding her hand while she waits. Already given her up as a bad job, have you? Probably wise. Be sure and marry a pure-blood next time […] But if my wife were accused of being a Mudblood — not that any woman I married would ever be mistaken for such filth — and the Head of Department of Magical Law Enforcement needed a job doing, I would make it my priority to do this job, Cattermole. Do you understand me?” (DH 243-4)
When Harry, Ron, and Hermione infiltrated the Ministry of Magic to get Slytherin’s locket, Ron impersonated Reginald Cattermole. Readers quickly learn that Reg’s wife, Mary, is a Muggle-born and was scheduled to go before the Muggle-Born Registration Commission on the very day that Ron took his place at work. Once Reg came to and saw what was going on, the trio advised him to take his wife and kids and hide, but unfortunately, that is all we know of their story.
Charity Burbage’s death was essentially at the hand of someone she thought she could trust.
Charity Burbage revolved to face Snape again.
‘Severus… please… please…'” (DH 12)
Professor Burbage taught Muggle Studies at Hogwarts. In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, she was abducted by Death Eaters. Voldemort accused her of polluting the minds of young witches and wizards, claiming that Burbage wanted all magical people to “mate” with Muggles. Snape was an undercover agent at this time and could not risk his cover, so he sat and watched as Voldemort taunted and then murdered his coworker with the Killing Curse – and afterward fed her corpse to Nagini.
What small moments in the Harry Potter series hit you hard? Why? Let us know in the comments!