Harry Potter may have been the Chosen One who defeated the Dark Lord as a baby, but there was one student that made him feel rather insecure – the dashing Cedric Diggory. Handsome, a talented Quidditch player, adept at magic, kind, popular and a Prefect – he cut an impressive figure. To make matters even more infuriating, he was never arrogant or conceited, being kind to Harry when others weren’t. He seemed, genuinely, perfect. And while we only had a short time to get to know Cedric, we do know that he was someone definitely worth knowing.
Even in Prisoner of Azkaban, during the Quidditch game where he caught the Snitch before realising Harry had fallen off his broom, his strong moral compass shone through. We don’t think there would be many other Seekers who would have argued that their victory shouldn’t have counted. His willingness to do what he believed to be right continued throughout Goblet of Fire – even extending to helping Harry unravel the mystery of the Golden Egg during the Triwizard Tournament.
This accomplished and humble Hufflepuff was an easy character to love, and there were many moments where, like Cho Chang and all those giggling Hogwarts students, we found ourselves falling for him. But it was during the third task of the Triwizard Tournament that Cedric truly cemented his place in our hearts…
When the third task of the Triwizard Tournament had arrived, the four champions had already been through a lot (do we need to say more than dragons?) and one of them was about to win the whole thing. Now was the time for them to be focussed, ruthless and willing to do anything to beat their competitors.
Yet, when the four of them entered the maze, things changed. Krum, having been bewitched by Barty Crouch junior (posing as Mad-Eye Moody) had attacked Fleur, leaving Harry and Cedric the last two champions standing. In the end, it was a weary Cedric who found himself closest to the Triwizard Cup, after Harry helped save him from a skirmish with an Acromantula.
Victory was within Cedric’s grasp, but he refused to take the Cup. That was it. That was the moment when we realised how truly special Cedric was.
First things first, let’s not forget that Cedric should have been the only Hogwarts champion. He was the right age, played by the rules and the Goblet had chosen him to represent his school. Suddenly, he had to share that honour with a fourteen-year-old boy, one that already had his fair share of fame and glory after his encounters with Voldemort. Throughout the tournament, Harry was the Hogwarts champion that got the most attention (both positive and negative), mainly thanks to Rita Skeeter and her Quick-Quotes Quill.
Furthermore, as Harry himself pointed out, Cedric Diggory was a Hufflepuff. And while it was a house filled with many excellent people – like Tonks, Newt Scamander and Professor Sprout, it was also a house that would often slide under the radar. Cedric winning would have meant everything to the house that Hagrid once referred to as ‘a lot o’ duffers’. It would have proved, once and for all, that Hufflepuffs were just as talented as their fellow students and just as deserving of recognition.
For Cedric to put aside personal glory to do what he thought was just and fair – a very Hufflepuff thing to do – was incredible. He never once let bitterness or resentment take over, he wasn’t hostile and encouraging Harry to take the Cup was a selfless act that he should be proud of. When Harry and Cedric decided to win together, it felt right.
The poignancy of this moment is made all the more important by what happens next. We’re sure you know. But in his last few minutes, we saw who Cedric Diggory was at his core – a brave boy with strong morals that we could all look up to. A boy who was noble and could be relied upon to do the decent thing. A boy who represented the good in the wizarding world. Here was a Hogwarts student who should have gone on to do great things, tragically cut down because Lord Voldemort saw him as a ‘spare’.
But we know that Cedric wasn’t a ‘spare’. He was someone that deserved to be recognised in his own right, whose death not only had a major effect on Harry (it was Cedric’s death that triggered Harry’s ability to see Thestrals) but highlighted the true cruelty of Voldemort. There were so many reasons to love Cedric, but ultimately, he deserved so much more.
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