Marietta Edgecombe was a year older than the golden trio and was in the same year as her friend Cho Chang. Marietta’s mother worked in the Ministry of Magic and was constantly afraid of possibly losing her job, which is why Marietta was not interested in joining the Dumbledore’s Army as it risked exposure of her supporting Harry Potter. The Ministry was strictly against Harry and Dumbledore’s claim that Voldemort was back and was therefore trying everything possible to squash their claims. This included appointing Dolores Umbridge, the ex-Undersecretary to the Minister as the High Inquisitor of Hogwarts.
Marietta reluctantly joined the Dumbledore’s Army on her best friend Cho Chang’s request but was the one who betrayed the entire group to Dolores Umbridge in return for immunity against her participation in the group. Marietta’s betrayal would end all the activities and regular meetings of the Dumbledore’s Army which were conducted in the Room of Requirement but the group continued to function unofficially and was active during the Battle of the Department of Mysteries and the Battle of Hogwarts.
Marietta Edgecombe was born in Great Britain into the wizarding Edgecombe family as is evident from her mother being a Ministry member. She was probably born around the late 1970s as she joined Hogwarts in the year 1990. When she was eleven years old, she was sent the Hogwarts acceptance letter and she later entered the castle with the other first years and was sorted into Ravenclaw house during the Sorting Ceremony by the Sorting Hat.
Marietta Edgecombe joined Hogwarts one school year before the famous Harry Potter. Marietta was in the same year and in the same house as Cho Chang, one of her best friends. During the Yule Ball, Marietta was among the group of friends who sniggered when Harry asked Cho out to the Yule Ball. Cho had already agreed to go to the ball with Cedric Diggory, which is why she had to reject Harry kindly.
After the death of Cedric, who was Cho’s boyfriend, her friend Marietta was one of the only people who was present to console and comfort Cho. Therefore, Cho valued Marietta a lot and considered her to be her best friend.
During her sixth year, Hogwarts was constantly under the surveillance of the Ministry of Magic. Dolores Umbridge was appointed as the High Inquisitor and later, the Headmistress of Hogwarts. This was mainly in response to Harry Potter’s claim of Lord Voldemort’s return. Albus Dumbledore supported Harry’s that Lord Voldemort had returned. The minister Cornelius Fudge saw this as an attempt by Albus Dumbledore to take over the Ministry and therefore placed strict measures to control Hogwarts.
When Harry, Hermione, and Ron created the Dumbledore’s Army as a contingency to learn actually defensive spells to protect them from possible attacks, Marietta was convinced to join by her friend Cho Chang. However, Marietta was afraid to join the Dumbledore’s Army because she was afraid that Professor Umbridge would find out about this and that this would cost her mother, Madam Edgecombe,’s job at the Ministry. Marietta didn’t want to fall into Dolores Umbridge’s bad side.
After joining Dumbledore’s Army on the urging of her best friend Cho Chang, Marietta continued to show disinterest and suggested through her actions that she was not happy to be there. She would not perform the spells that Harry would teach most of the time and would show very little interest in most of the meetings.
Eventually, Marietta suffered a lot of internal pressure to come clean and eventually outed the entire group to Dolores Umbridge at Umbridge’s office. However, the moment she did that, her face had the word “sneak” written on it. Interestingly, Hermione Granger had placed a jinx as punishment on any traitor who decided to reveal the existence of the Dumbledore’s Army to Umbridge even before their meetings began. Furthermore, the auror Kingsley Shacklebolt also jinxed Marietta with a memory charm from revealing the names of any of the members of the Dumbledore’s Army when she was brought to Professor Dumbledore’s office for testimony. The Minister Cornelius Fudge would already be present at Dumbledore’s office.
There was permanent scarring on Marietta’s face as Hermione’s jinx had done the magic. Despite her visits to the hospital wing to remove those scars and other fixes like wearing a balaclava mask or applying a very thick layer of makeup, nothing happened. However, most of the scarring would eventually fade, and it would look like an odd formation of pimples in her later life rather than the word “sneak.” Unlike the scars caused by wounds from dark magic like in the case of George’s ear, Moody’s scars, and werewolf bites, Marietta’s scars, despite being caused by a permanent scar jinx, would eventually fade away, although they never completely disappeared.
Very little is known about Marietta and her later life. She mostly attended school till her seventh year and was seen by Harry wearing a lot of makeup once and another time wearing a balaclava. it is unlikely that she returned to Hogwarts for the Battle of Hogwarts as it was mostly fought by members of the Dumbledore’s Army and she would probably not be welcome given how easily she had betrayed the group.
Marietta and Betrayal
One of the most obvious things that Marietta Edgecombe is remembered for in the Harry Potter series is her betrayal of the Dumbledore’s Army by Dolores Umbridge. Despite the reason for this betrayal being a little justified in that Marietta was under a lot of pressure because her mother worked at the Ministry, it still sparks an important question of betrayal is forgivable if justified. At least in Marietta’s case, it is an absolute no. This is because Marietta was not even caught or questioned about this; she voluntarily decided to out the Dumbledore’s Army in return for immunity for her mother’s job in the Ministry.
Secondly, she could have made a better choice and could have rejected Cho’s request to join the group absolutely instead of joining the group just because Cho requested her to. While we mustn’t judge Marietta for her actions, it is still true that any of these two possibilities – that of her not joining the group or of not betraying it despite the possibility of her mother’s job suffering, would still be much better for Cho and Marietta in the end instead of what she chose to do.
Do you think that Hermione was too harsh towards Marietta Edgecombe?
No, Hermione was not at all harsh towards Marietta Edgecombe. Firstly, Hermione had placed a jinx not on Marietta specifically, but on anyone who would betray the Dumbledore’s Army. Secondly, even if the jinx was specifically meant for Marietta, Hermione’s actions are more than justified. The Dumbledore’s Army was a serious pursuit among the students of Hogwarts to learn defensive spells at a time the Ministry was deliberately being careless. Anyone who threatened the safety of its members after willingly admitting to be loyal deserved this punishment. However, since Marietta was a teenager, once again, it would be unfair to judge her for this beyond reason.
Why did Marietta Edgecombe betray Dumbledore’s Army?
Marietta Edgecombe betrayed the Dumbledore’s Army because she was afraid that if she was eventually discovered to be a member of it, her mother’s job in the Ministry would be at risk. Instead, she decided to come clean about the Dumbledore’s Army to Dolores Umbridge in return for immunity from her mother’s job in the Ministry.
Was Marietta Edgecombe tortured or tricked into betraying the D.A.?
No, as far as the events in the book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix go, Marietta was not tortured or tricked into betraying the Dumbledore’s Army. She was under pressure because her mother worked in the Ministry of Magic, but otherwise, it is clear that she did it completely out of her own will without being coerced or convinced by anyone.