Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Major Events/Cemetery Duel

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Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Major Event
Duel in the Cemetery
Location Cemetery, Little Hangleton
Time Period Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, June
Important Characters Harry Potter, Lord Voldemort, Peter Pettigrew (Wormtail), Cedric Diggory, various Death Eaters

Overview[edit]

Beginner warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Having been taken to a cemetery by Portkey, Harry Potter sees his companion, Cedric Diggory, murdered, and then is forced to watch as Lord Voldemort returns to life. After summoning his Death Eaters, and describing how he has come back, Voldemort releases Harry and they duel. Harry and Voldemort cast spells at the same instant, and the result is a dome of light surrounding the two of them, and several of Voldemort's past victims appearing as shades or ghosts. The ghosts cluster around Voldemort as Harry breaks the connection between their wands, and Harry runs for Cedric's body and the Triwizard trophy. The Triwizard Trophy, again acting as a Portkey, returns Harry to Hogwarts.

Event Details[edit]

As the Third Task comes to a close, Harry and Cedric agree to touch the Triwizard Trophy at the same instant, thus closing the Task with a draw between the two of them. The trophy, however, is a Portkey, which transports Harry and Cedric to a graveyard. As a mysterious figure approaches the boys carrying something, Harry's scar pains him so greatly that he drops his wand. The approaching person kills Cedric, and binds Harry to a nearby gravestone.

Leaving what he was carrying near Harry, the person, who Harry now recognizes as Peter Pettigrew, walks out of Harry's vision. The bundle which Pettigrew had placed near Harry is about the size and shape of an infant, but is unspeakably evil in appearance. Pettigrew now brings a large stone cauldron and creates a fire under it. To this cauldron he adds bones from the grave under Harry's feet, and his own hand in which he cuts off as Harry watches. He also slits Harry's arm with a knife, and adds some of Harry's blood which he caught in a phial to the cauldron. He then places the evil bundle in the cauldron, and Lord Voldemort, re-animated, emerges.

Ignoring Pettigrew's suffering, Voldemort uses the Dark Mark on Pettigrew's arm to summon his Death Eaters. Some he tortures for daring to suppose him gone forever, Pettigrew, for his loyalty, he rewards with a new, magically strong silver hand to replace the one he cut off. In answer to a question from a Death Eater speaking with Lucius Malfoy's voice, Voldemort explains where he had been, how he had survived, and how he had arranged for Harry's presence. He then directs Pettigrew to release Harry and give him his wand back.

Voldemort asks if Harry understands how to duel. "First, we bow," and Voldemort forces Harry to bow. Voldemort then Curses Harry, to show how it is done. Harry, knowing that the next curse of Voldemort's will be the killing curse, ducks behind a gravestone. There, he decides that he would rather die standing than hiding, and stands to face Voldemort, attempting to disarm Voldemort just as Voldemort speaks the Killing Curse.

Instantly, Harry's and Voldemort's wands are joined by a band of golden light, and the two combatants are lifted into the air and set down some distance away from the jeering Death Eaters, as a dome of light forms around them. Harry's wand is heating up and vibrating dreadfully. Harry notices some beads of light on the link between the two wands, and something tells him that they should not reach his wand. Concentrating, he forces them away from his wand tip and towards Voldemort's. As the first bead of light is forced into it, Voldemort's wand screams, and the shade of Cedric emerges.

Confused, the Death Eaters mill around the outside of the dome, asking what they should do; Voldemort, looking fearful, tells them to stay away, while the shade of Cedric wanders around the inside of the dome. Harry, still concentrating on the link between the wands, forces more beads into Voldemort's wand. Each bead results in another scream, fiercer vibration, and the appearance of another shade: an elderly Muggle, Bertha Jorkins, and Harry's mother and father. The shades speak to Harry, telling him that when the link between the wands breaks, they will remain for a few seconds; they will cluster around Voldemort, giving Harry time to escape. The shade of Cedric asks that Harry take his body back to his parents.

At the signal, Harry jerks his wand upwards, breaking the link, and the golden dome vanishes. Harry sees the shades gathering around Voldemort, and runs, dodging through the headstones, to where Cedric's body lies. Once there, he summons the Cup, which takes him, with Cedric's body, back to the Third Task maze.

In the confusion following Harry's return, Harry is taken to Professor Moody's office. There, Moody questions him about what had happened while he was away from the school. Harry becomes concerned as Moody's questions seem to be more about Voldemort's interactions with the Death Eaters, than about Voldemort's return; and finally, Moody reveals that he is a Death Eater, and that he plans to kill Harry to gain greater glory in Voldemort's eyes. As Moody is preparing for the wand strike, however, the door is broken down, and Professor Dumbledore Stuns Moody, then enters the room along with Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape. Moody, who has apparently forgotten his dose of Polyjuice potion, transforms into his real shape, Barty Crouch Jr.. Snape provides a truth potion, and Barty reveals the details of the plot that found Harry entered into the Triwizard Tournament, and the planning that had gone into Voldemort's return.

Dumbledore then takes Harry to his own office, where, with Sirius present for support, and Fawkes providing healing tears, Harry relates the events of the duel. Dumbledore seems pleased that Voldemort had used Harry's blood for his reanimation, but does not say why.

Having heard Harry's story, Dumbledore then takes Harry to the Hospital Wing, and tells Madam Pomfrey that he needs a long and dreamless sleep.

Notable Consequences[edit]

Cedric Diggory dies. This is likely to haunt Harry; we can see already that Harry feels responsible for having brought Cedric into harm's way.

Voldemort returns to the living. He announces himself to all his Death Eaters, and to Harry, who carries the news to Dumbledore. We guess now, and it will be confirmed later, that Dumbledore is the last person Voldemort would want to know of his return, and thanks to Harry, Dumbledore had known about it within hours, where Voldemort would have wanted to stay completely under cover for at least another year. This revelation will hasten Voldemort's timetable, and may cause him to make some errors in his planning.

We learn for certain where Lucius Malfoy's allegiances lie. We also learn of the existence of Barty Crouch, Jr., and of his covert actions over the year just past.

The unexpected effect generated by Harry's and Voldemort's wands seems to scare Voldemort. Voldemort has only once before had the Killing Curse fail, and then the effect is nothing like what he is seeing tonight; and with his fear of death, his victims coming back out of his own wand to haunt him must be absolutely petrifying. Additionally, Harry seems able to force Voldemort's wand to do things against Voldemort's will; could this mean that Harry is the stronger Wizard?

Dumbledore seems pleased that Voldemort had used Harry's blood to re-create himself, though he does not explain why.

Cornelius Fudge is revealed to be a politician, interested only in retaining the power he has, rather than in dealing with the threat that is present. By denying the evidence given him by Dumbledore, Harry, and Snape, Fudge clearly sets the stage for the official Ministry stance in the next book, which the author has said is quite consciously modeled on the government of Britain's actions under Neville Chamberlain.

Harry has won the Triwizard Tournament and so receives the prize money. This is more than a little embarrassing for him, as he can't imagine being entitled to more than half of it in any event, and not even that much as his entering the Tournament has resulted in Cedric's death. He tries to give it to Cedric's parents, but they refuse it. This will leave Harry with a large amount of money that he doesn't want and can't use.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore had said, "You think the dead that we have loved, ever truly leave us?" Harry meets the shades of his parents in this episode, which in some manner reassures him that his parents are not gone, but have merely moved on.

Analysis[edit]

It is a characteristic of heroic fiction like the Harry Potter series that the hero and the villain should face each other multiple times over the story arc, with each exhibiting more power each encounter until the final one. In most heroic fiction, the hero is defeated and has to recover from his initial defeat, thus creating the upward arc of his powers. In the Harry Potter series, the villain was defeated off-stage initially, and has to recover, while the largely powerless hero has to literally grow into his strength. This minor difference makes Harry's maturing and increasing power seem organic, a natural consequence of his growing up physically, and avoids the plot contrivance of an initial battle which the hero loses but somehow survives.

A key component of this ongoing increase in power is that the hero's strength, and thus the villain's, must be tested. Throughout the series, there will be encounters between Harry and Voldemort, to illustrate that their abilities are increasing at approximately equivalent rates. In this particular instance, we see that Harry is now certainly strong enough to stand against a re-embodied Voldemort, but that it is a very close-run thing.

Questions[edit]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

Greater Picture[edit]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

Cedric's death will make the school Thestrals visible to Harry. This will alarm him; they are not the most prepossessing of beasts at any time, and Harry will wonder whether these are Dark creatures, and whether their visibility to him, and not to either Ron or Hermione, is a sign of him going insane. Luna Lovegood's reassurance that she also can see them will hardly be reassuring to Harry, given Luna's evident eccentricity.

As mentioned, the Triwizard prize will leave Harry with money he doesn't want. Harry will give this to Fred and George as seed money for their joke shop. The joke shop, and the magical items that Fred and George invent to sell there, will have a moderately important role to play in later books.

Dumbledore later says that, in fact, during the battle in the cemetery, Harry was a stronger wizard than Voldemort, because, while Voldemort saw death and feared it, Harry saw death and was ready for it. Harry being ready to die, if need be, gave him strength that Voldemort could not draw upon. This will be unexpected to the reader, who at this point is still fixated on Dumbledore as being "the only one he [Voldemort] ever feared;" the revelation that Harry was actually the stronger wizard at this point will be something of a surprise when it is made, in the final book.

The effect of Harry's wand on Voldemort's will result in Voldemort spending significant time trying to find a wand that can defeat Harry's. He will, in the seventh book, chase a possibly mythical wand, the so-called Deathstick. As part of this process, Voldemort will have Mr. Ollivander kidnapped, will borrow Lucius Malfoy's wand and have it destroyed in his hand, and will hunt down the wandmaker Gregorovitch, the evil magician Grindelwald, and end up at Dumbledore's tomb hunting the wand.

As a result of Harry's wand apparently independently destroying Malfoy's wand in Voldemort's hand, Harry will similarly place an almost mystical weight on his own wand, and will become despondent when it is destroyed accidentally.

We will learn later that Harry's faith in his own wand, and Voldemort's fear of it, are justified. As Harry was the stronger wizard in their duel, some of Voldemort's wand's power, and in fact some of Voldemort's power, will have transferred to Harry and his wand. However, Dumbledore will tell Harry that this power would only be exerted against Voldemort and the wand he carried. Harry's wand will have not only recognized Voldemort's wand as its kin, by way of the matching wand cores, but will have recognized Voldemort as Harry's kin, by their shared blood. Because of this, Harry's wand will apparently act independently to some degree to prevent Voldemort from attacking Harry again. We see this in the opening chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Here, without his willing it, Harry's wand takes action against Voldemort and the wand he is holding, which was Lucius Malfoy's. We also see that the strength in Harry's wand is proof only against Voldemort, as it is, later in that same book, accidentally destroyed by a spell cast by Hermione.

Readers may have gathered by this point that the protection that Harry has at the house at Privet Drive is because of the blood relation between his mother, who sacrificed herself for him, and Harry's Aunt Petunia; this will not be formally stated until near the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Later, we will learn that by taking Harry's blood to reanimate himself, Voldemort had extended this protection, making it impossible for Harry to die by Voldemort's hand while Voldemort lived.