06:52:30 AM Mar 6th 2017
- Marietta Edgecombe betrays the DA to Umbridge. This activates a secret jinx from Hermione that writes "SNEAK" across her face in boils. Cho considers this a mean trick, and eventually breaks up with Harry over it. Thing is, Marietta was motivated by the perceived risk of her mother losing her job at the Ministrynote , never wanted to join in the first place (Cho pressured her), and it's kind of unethical to trick people into signing a contract that punishes them for betrayal without telling them. (Heck, Hermione didn't even let her best friends know what would happen until later.) Rowling herself seems to be firmly on Hermione's side; when she confirmed that Marietta was permanently scarred, she said "I loathe a traitor." The result: some fans sympathize with Marietta and Cho while the books themselves take Hermione's side. Some even insist that Hermione is similar to Dolores Umbridge who also won't stand for disloyalty going to extremes (including physical abuse and sending Dementors) to express this viewpoint. She permanently scars Harry with the words "I must not tell lies" on his hand. Defenders point out that Harry wasn't disloyal to the Ministry, he was critical of it (which is not the same thing) and Umbridge is torturing because she (and Fudge by extension) Can't Take Criticism whereas Hermione's jinx only triggers for actual compromise and sabotage.
- Becomes a case of Both Sides Have a Point: Harry during his last fight with Cho points out that Marietta also sold out Cho, her BEST FRIEND, for fear of Madam Edgecombe who was searching the school fires and loyally serving Umbridge, losing her job. Seriously. Marietta had six months to choose sides, and she was willing to let others get expelled, including Cho, for "family pressure". She also became an Unwitting Instigator of Doom because things go From Bad to Worse with Dumbledore forced on the lam and Umbridge taking over Hogwarts. As for the jinx, there's a reason Hermione didn't tell anyone; if she told them, they could have set up a counter-jinx to nullify the contract's binding agreement. It also creates an aura of distrust if people are told that the contract they sign will expose them if they're disloyal.