Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter/Characters/Marietta Edgecombe
|Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter - Character|
|Hair color||Reddish Brown|
|Related Family||Father (Ministry of Magic Employee)|
|Loyalty||Dumbledore's Army (reluctantly)|
Overview[edit | edit source]
Marietta Edgecombe is one of Cho Chang's closest friends and a member of Dumbledore's Army.
Role in the Books[edit | edit source]
Marietta was first introduced to us when Cho Chang brings her, somewhat unwillingly, to the first meeting of Dumbledore's Army. She is present at the meeting at the Hog's Head, but says nothing, and we do not even learn her name, she is "Cho's friend".
We see her again at the first full meeting of Dumbledore's Army; here, she and Cho are practicing the Disarmament jinx, and Cho is so flustered by Harry's presence that she ends up setting Marietta's sleeve on fire.
Shortly before the Easter break, Professor Umbridge learns about the existence of Dumbledore's Army. Harry, forewarned by Dobby, manages to engineer the escape of the rest of the group, but is himself caught. In Professor Dumbledore's office, Harry finds that Marietta had reported the existence of Dumbledore's Army to Dolores Umbridge. (It is only at this point that we learn her surname; Professor Umbridge introduces her as part of her exposition of what has been going on.) As a result of this betrayal, a charm that Hermione had set on the parchment that all DA members had signed, had covered Marietta's face in purple pustules that spelled the word "sneak."
Marietta's blemishes make it very hard for her to show her face in Dumbledore's office, particularly as one of those present is Cornelius Fudge, the Minister for Magic. With her robes up around her face, her responses to questions put to her by Umbridge are answered generally by whimpers and gestures. Before she can actually give much testimony, Kingsley Shacklebolt, there as one of the Auror guards Fudge has brought with him, modifies her memory surreptitiously so that she no longer remembers that the DA had been meeting regularly. Marietta's changing her story almost incites Umbridge to violence against her. Harry recognizes the glazed look in her eye as being a symptom of memory alteration, though it seems nobody else there, with the possible exception of Dumbledore, does. Though she remains in Dumbledore's office until after Dumbledore's departure, Marietta plays no further part in affairs, simply standing there.
Afterwards, Harry and Cho get into something of a fight about Marietta, with Cho saying that Marietta is basically a good person who had made a mistake, that she had felt she had to because her parents work in the Ministry, and that Hermione's charming the parchment to do that to Marietta's face was sneaky. Harry, on the other hand, points out that Ron's father also works in the Ministry, and he isn't going around with the word "Sneak" on his face. He goes on to say that he thinks Hermione's charm was brilliant. This fight basically ends their relationship.
On the Hogwarts Express back home, Harry sees Cho and Marietta walk past; Marietta has apparently not managed to hide the word on her face, as she is wearing a balaclava.
It is mentioned in passing that Marietta's face still showed signs of the purple pustules, though she tried to cover them with make-up.
Strengths[edit | edit source]
Marietta, as a member of the DA, presumably has learned some degree of defensive magic from Harry and the other students. It is notable that, until the DA's final meeting, Marietta was in attendance (if a little reluctantly). As a result, readers can conclude that she has gained the same amount of knowledge as the rest of the DA.
She is a Ravenclaw, we me must assume she is at least a little intelligent.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
Marietta is very sensitive, particularly about her looks and reputation. She is incredibly distressed when Hermione's jinx takes effect and reacts by barely talking.
It is implied that she is a little distrusting, only signing up to the DA due to Cho's enthusiasm for it, and eventually providing evidence to Umbridge to reveal the existence of the DA.
Relationships with Other Characters[edit | edit source]
Marietta is Cho Chang's best friend and has her best interests at heart. At one point, not wanting to leave Cho alone with Harry, she pretends to be adjusting the strap on her bag. We are led to believe that she is also a friend of Mandy Brocklehurst, another Ravenclaw girl.
Despite what happens later in the story, she remains best friends with Cho.
Analysis[edit | edit source]
It may be notable that Marietta's betrayal proved how much information one must share to effect the jinx Hermione put on the contract they all signed. Initially Marietta only reported the location of the Room of Requirement; it was only when she went on to mention "some sort of meeting" that the pustules began to appear.
Questions[edit | edit source]
- Was Marietta's punishment by Hermione fair and proportionate to her 'crime'? If not, then was it necessary? Should her 'betrayal' of the DA have been punished by possibly-permanent disfigurement? Why or why not?
- Marietta's father is mentioned to work for the Ministry of Magic. Might this have been a factor in her choosing to place trust in Umbridge?
- Marietta is not mentioned in the final book. Might she have taken part in the final battle, as Cho did?
Greater Picture[edit | edit source]
The author has stated that, although Marietta's disfigurement would eventually fade, there would be a small amount of residual scarring. Evidently this has not happened by the time of Half-Blood Prince. As we never see her again, we are not to know when this happens. The scarring may serve as a reminder of her betrayal, as Harry's is a reminder of his survival.
Although Marietta's action is seen as an overwhelmingly negative thing, and many characters (specifically the Trio) have many bad things to say about her, calling her a "sneak", nothing about her beforehand suggests that she may be the one to eventually reveal the DA. )The reader is led to believe that Zacharias Smith, an overwhelmingly dislikeable character, is probably the source, although he turns out to be a loyal member of the DA.) She merely appears to be another of Cho's friends, and a relatively weak character. The reader may be blindsided by her sudden importance to the story.