- Cho Chang: "Harry, I never dreamed Marietta would tell... She's a lovely person really. She just made a mistake... You know, her mum works for the Ministry, it's really difficult for her —"
- Harry Potter: "Ron's dad works at the Ministry too! And in case you haven't noticed, he hasn't got 'sneak' written across his face!"
- — Discussion regarding Marietta's betrayal[src]
Marietta Edgecombe (b. 1978/1979) was a witch who was a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, starting in 1990. She was one year above the famous Harry Potter and was sorted into Ravenclaw House.
During the 1995–1996 school year, Marietta joined Dumbledore's Army at the urging of her best friend Cho Chang, an organisation taught and led by Harry Potter. She was reluctant to because she feared being on Dolores Umbridge's bad side.
When she became afraid that her mother's job at the Ministry of Magic might be threatened by her membership in the organisation, Marietta betrayed the D.A. to Umbridge. This activated a jinx that caused boils to erupt on Marietta's face, and a Memory Charm was later placed on her by Kingsley Shacklebolt to prevent her from fully incriminating her fellow D.A. members.
Hogwarts years (1990s)
Marietta began attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry as early as 1990 and as late as 1993. She was sorted into Ravenclaw house. At some point, she met Cho Chang, and became a friend of hers.
When Harry asked Cho to the Yule Ball, Marietta was amongst the group of friends to giggle at the boy, much to Harry's discomfort. When Cho fell into a somewhat emotional wreck due to Cedric Diggory's death, Marietta was the only one of her many friends who remained with her.
Cho considered her a true friend because of this loyalty. However, Marietta was forbidden by her parents to go against the Ministry during the summer of that year, as the Ministry had denied Harry and Albus Dumbledore's claims of Voldemort's return; this would later put her at odds with Cho, who believed Harry.
- "She doesn't really want to be here I made her come with me. Her parents have forbidden her from doing anything that might upset Umbridge — her mum works for the Ministry."
- — Cho regarding Marietta[src]
During the 1995-1996 school year, Marietta was persuaded to attend the first meeting of what would become Dumbledore's Army in the Hog's Head pub in Hogsmeade by Cho, despite her obvious suspicion of Harry's intentions as well as his claims that Lord Voldemort had returned. She gave Harry a thoroughly distrustful look to tell him that, given her way, she would not be there and slopped Butterbeer down herself with a shriek when the name "Voldemort" was said. She also gave Cho a disapproving look for signing the piece of parchment drawn up by Hermione Granger for all members to sign and only added her name reluctantly.
Despite Harry's extremely effective teaching methods, Marietta did not seem to enjoy the lessons, especially during the first lesson when Cho accidentally set her sleeve on fire, and continued to resent Harry, seeing both him and Dumbledore as liars and nutters. She acted disrespectfully to Harry, behaviour which Cho told him to ignore. Her membership in the D.A. became particularly difficult as it increasingly came into conflict with Hogwarts High Inquisitor Dolores Umbridge, who was at Hogwarts as the representative of the Ministry of Magic where Marietta's mother worked. Even after the Death Eaters' mass breakout of Azkaban and Harry's subsequent interview was published in The Quibbler, Marietta continued to distrust Harry.
After six months of the meetings, and from the pressure regarding her mother's career, Marietta finally betrayed Dumbledore's Army to the Ministry. After dinner, while the rest of Dumbledore's Army was learning how to cast a Patronus, Marietta instead went to Umbridge's office and gave her an advantageous hint about the Room of Requirement. With a little further questioning from Umbridge, Marietta confessed that a meeting was taking place there. Right after that, Marietta came to regret her decision, as the parchment she and the other members of the D.A. had signed at the first meeting was jinxed, making anyone who betrayed the organisation break out in pimples that spelt the word "SNEAK" across their face. Upon catching her face in Umbridge's mirror, Marietta covered her face with shame.
As Marietta could not be persuaded to uncover her face (which muffled her voice), she was unable to verbally confess everything to Cornelius Fudge. As such, Umbridge simply asked her and told her to nod. However, just before she was to confess all to Umbridge, Kingsley Shacklebolt, an Auror and a secret member of the Order of the Phoenix, took advantage of Marietta's silent shame to perform a Memory Charm on her so that she could not implicate Albus Dumbledore and Harry. The sudden change in her testimony angered Umbridge so much that the professor began shaking her violently and only stopped when Dumbledore pointed his wand at her in anger and caused Edgecombe to emit a forcible charge.
After Dumbledore took the blame of the organisation's formation, Marietta was one of the few people who witnessed the fierce battle between Fudge's brigade and Dumbledore in the Headmaster's office. However, as she went to the Hospital Wing to clear up the blemishes, she was unable to give anyone a full account. Throughout her stay there, Madam Pomfrey was unable to make the slightest change in the jinx. Cho was upset for her friend and defended her to Harry, saying Marietta merely made a mistake and called Hermione's jinx a "horrible trick" whilst trying to persuade Harry to forgive Marietta. Harry, however, considered Marietta a traitor and her informing the ruining of the D.A., to which he replied that the jinx was a "brilliant idea". After this row, their relationship fell apart.
- "As Harry passed the window, he saw her deep in determined conversation with her friend Marietta, who was wearing a very thick layer of makeup that did not entirely obscure the odd formation of pimples still etched across her face."
- — Marietta still has "SNEAK" written across her face[src]
Marietta still had blemishes on her face from the jinx the following school year, and took to wearing thick make-up to try to cover them up, with limited success. She sat with Cho on the train to Hogwarts. They saw Harry during this journey, but did not speak to him and looked away when he walked past them on the train. The formation of the pimples on her face would eventually fade, leaving a few scars behind.
Marietta was described as having curly, reddish-blonde hair. After she was struck with the parchment jinx for betraying the D.A., she bore pimples spelling "SNEAK" across her face. During this time, Marietta covered them up first with a balaclava and then thick makeup, the latter of which did not completely hide them. They faded with time, but Marietta was left with a few scars.
Personality and traits
When Cho became depressed over Cedric's death, Marietta was presumably comforting and supportive, being the only one to remain with her when the other friends left irresponsibly. Cho claimed Marietta was a lovely person, an attribute that was mostly unseen in her behaviour to others.
However, Marietta was one of the many people who were loyal to the Ministry of Magic and was sceptical of Harry Potter's statement of Lord Voldemort returning. She thought that he and Albus Dumbledore were liars and remained cynical towards him throughout her time in the D.A., and would not be swayed by the genuine article within The Quibbler about Voldemort's return; she only joined because Cho wanted her to. As with the majority of the magical community, Marietta feared to hear the name "Voldemort", as she shrieked aloud and slopped Butterbeer down her front.
Marietta's mother was a Ministry employee and as such, Marietta felt strong pressure to be on Dolores Umbridge's good side. Her apparent faithfulness to Cho Chang diminished when Cho forced her to join an illegal organisation, and she eventually betrayed Dumbledore's Army meaning her classmates (including Cho) who were in the organisation were almost expelled from school. Even if it meant that she would forsake a chance to learn more practical defence, especially the Patronus Charm that others were so eager to learn, Marietta chose her family's loyalty first. While Cho insisted that Marietta simply made a mistake, Harry Potter felt that Marietta was disgraceful and an unforgivable traitor. Hermione commented that she was "stupid".
When her face was horribly disfigured for her betrayal against Dumbledore's Army, she became extremely embarrassed and refused to uncover her face to testify verbally, leading to some setbacks for Umbridge and Fudge that ultimately gave Kingsley a chance to modify her memory. Because of the jinx scarring her face, she took great measures to cover her disfigured face, and even became anxious in the presence of Harry Potter afterwards, implying she may have felt some guilt over her treacherous behaviours, but lacked the courage to apologise to him.
She was shown to be a poor judge of character, as she did not believe Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore's story, instead believing the Ministry's smear campaign against them. She was also very critical and insolent towards Harry during their DA meetings, implying she was rather impolite and unpleasant in nature, at least to people she distrusted.
Magical skills and abilities
- Non-verbal magic: During the first D.A. meeting, when her sleeve catches on fire from an incorrectly done Disarming Charm by Cho Chang, Marietta put out the flames without saying an incantation. This was highly advanced, N.E.W.T.-level magic. This means that she was a very acomplished witch.
- Charms: When Marietta's sleeve caught on fire she used either the Water-Making Spell or the Extinguishing spell to put it out, showing she had some skill in charm-work. She was capable of producing a non-corporeal Patronus Charm.
- Defence Against the Dark Arts: Although an unenthusiastic member of the D.A., Marietta would have learnt many defensive and offensive spells from Harry's teaching (assuming she did not neglect to pay attention and put in the effort).
Marietta's mother worked for the Ministry, and therefore, Marietta herself was loyal to it; her parents forbade her from getting onto the Ministry's bad side during her school year. She feared that any bad impressions left on Dolores Umbridge, a Ministry representative at Hogwarts, would injure her mother's reputation at the office, and therefore refused to get on Umbridge's bad side.
Marietta is one of Cho Chang's gang of giggling friends and accompanies with her to almost everywhere. After the rest of the friends left Cho due to her emotional breakdown from her late boyfriend Cedric Diggory's death, Marietta is the only one who remained with her. This means that while the others only followed Cho for her popularity, Marietta is indeed loyal and true. However, when Cho brought Marietta to Dumbledore's Army against her will, Marietta's loyalty for Cho faded rapidly, and eventually betrayed her and the entire group, and was willing to have even her best friend expelled for being part of an illegal organisation.
Cho however still stood up for Marietta-despite originally claiming that Marietta would never tell-refusing to let Harry Potter badmouth her. This ultimately led to their breakup. It is unknown how their friendship was during the Battle of Hogwarts, but Marietta did not fight alongside Cho, showing her loyalty to friends was wavered.
During the 1995–1996 school year, when the Ministry had a smear campaign in the Daily Prophet against Harry and his claims that Lord Voldemort had returned, Marietta believed it due to her family's connections with the Ministry. As such, when she was forced to join Dumbledore's Army, of which Harry was the leader, she was very distrustful and disrespectful to his words and actions.
Despite Harry's extremely effective methods of teaching and The Quibbler printing out Harry's version of the story, Marietta continued to believe that Harry was an unstable lunatic, and distrusted him, an attitude that Harry ignored at Cho's behest. After Marietta betrayed the organisation and suffered a horrible jinx as a result which disfigured her face, Harry felt no sympathy for her despite her mother's position, and he insulted her, leading to the ultimate breakup between him and Cho when she defended Marietta. When hearing that Marietta could not remove the pustules inflicted by her treason, Harry saw it as just desserts, and reflected that Hermione was brilliant to have jinxed the list, later sneering at Marietta's limited success in hiding her marks the following year. She refused to face Harry on the Hogwarts Express journey home at the end of her final year, implying she felt some guilt for betraying him, but she was also likely too afraid to confront or apologise to him.
Later on in his life, Harry stated that he had grown to understand that Marietta's reasoning for turning them in was simply that she had been afraid and that fear was a powerful motivator. However, despite this, he claimed that this motivation didn't excuse her actions, showing that he still hated her even years after the fact.
Cho forced Marietta to attend the illegal organisation, Dumbledore's Army, against her will, despite it being a great potential of ruining her mother's reputation at the Ministry. None of the members seemed to care too much about Marietta's cynical behaviour against their formation, until she betrayed them to Umbridge, nearly expelling them all. Once that happened, they considered her a traitor and felt that many of the following events were her fault; Hermione referred to Marietta as "stupid" while Ron thought up of a large number of insults when Harry brought up the subject. Also, this betrayal led to the split between Harry and Cho, Cho being the only member to stand up for Marietta.
Marietta, being the daughter of a Ministry employee, Madam Edgecombe, was adamant in not doing anything that may go against Umbridge, who was a high-ranking Ministry official assigned to Hogwarts as a teacher and inspector, fearing that doing anything that seemed rebellious may damage her mother's reputation and standing within the government. As such, Marietta was very reluctant in joining the illegal Dumbledore's Army.
Eventually, her loyalty to her mother and Umbridge overwhelmed that to Cho, and Marietta betrayed DA's whereabouts to the High Inquisitor. Umbridge, desperate in getting more information in expelling Potter, put up a falsified sweet side to coax Marietta, who was too ashamed to show her face when Hermione's jinx disfigured it, to reveal more to Cornelius Fudge. When Kingsley Shacklebolt secretly modified Marietta's memories to contradict what Umbridge was made to believe earlier, Umbridge lost her temper at this change of testimony, and even violently shook the girl until Dumbledore threatened her. It was then that Umbridge deemed Marietta untrustworthy.
For the first few years of her schooling, Marietta had no problem with the headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, who was also highly revered within the wizarding community. However, when the Ministry campaigned against Dumbledore and Potter, Marietta, out of loyalty for her family, believed the Ministry over Dumbledore. Even after Harry's interview in the Quibbler, Marietta refused to believe either of them and continued to think of them as nutters and liars, and ultimately betrayed Harry and Dumbledore's Army. Despite this distrust and betrayal, Dumbledore seemed to hold no grudge against Marietta and even defended her from Umbridge's assault, meaning he likely sympathised with her.
- Marietta is a female given name, an Italian diminutive of Maria. It means "little bitter".
- Edgecombe is a misspelling of Edgcumbe, an English surname. The name Edgecombe was also used for a county located in the U.S. state of North Carolina, named after Richard Edgcumbe, a Member of Parliament from 1701 to 1742 and a Lord of the Treasury, who became 1st Baron Edgcumbe in 1742.
Behind the scenes
- As Marietta performed non-verbal spells during her time in Dumbledore's Army, it suggests she was doing her N.E.W.T.s, which is consistent with her being in the same school year as Cho, as this is when Harry and his friends started to practise non-verbal magic.
- In the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Marietta is absent, and Cho Chang is the one who "betrayed" the D.A. whilst under the effects of Veritaserum, though Marietta was mentioned in the game when Harry asked Cho to bring her to the DA meeting when trying to ask her for a date.
- In the books, Marietta has no distinguishable dialogue, though other characters have discussed and made references about her.
- J. K. Rowling confirmed that Marietta's pimples faded but left a few scars, commenting "I loathe a traitor!".
- It is unknown if Marietta returned to Hogwarts and participated in the Battle of Hogwarts alongside Cho, nor if she survived the reign of Lord Voldemort, but given her loyalty issues and that she was considered a traitor by all other members of the D.A., she was likely not accepted back into Dumbledore's Army.
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (film) (Possible appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (video game) (Mentioned only)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- Wizarding World
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite (Mentioned only)
Notes and references
- She was still attending Hogwarts when Harry Potter was in his sixth year. She was also able to use non-verbal magic during a D.A. lesson in 1995, since non-verbal magic is N.E.WT.-level she has to be a year above him. She would've had to be a N.E.W.T. student in 1995.
- Both of Marietta's parents were wizards, so therefore she was not Muggle-born.
- "World Exclusive Interview with J K Rowling," South West News Service, 8 July 2000 - "Hogwarts just serves Britain and Ireland."
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 16 (In The Hog's Head) - "Cho had just smiled at him and sat down on Ron’s right. Her friend, who had curly reddish-blonde hair, did not smile,..."
- LEGO Harry Potter: Years 5-7
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- 30 July 2007 Bloomsbury Live Chat with J.K. Rowling
- Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Brilliant Event: Dumbledore's Army