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Remembering Voldemort’s victims

We commemorate those who lost their lives during Lord Voldemort’s rise to power.

The students mourn Cedric Diggory's death in the Great Hall
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Myrtle Elizabeth Warren

Poor Myrtle Warren was simply an upset teenage girl, but ended up being one of Voldemort’s early victims. Upon hearing a boy’s voice, she unlocked the door ready to tell him off – it was a girl’s bathroom after all – but instead came face to face with Riddle’s Basilisk. Her young life was cut tragically short; however, the ghost of Moaning Myrtle lingered on to tell the tale. One day, her stories would help assist destroy the man who killed her.

Moaning Myrtle in her bathroom from the Chamber of Secrets
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

The Riddle family

The haughty Riddles were not exactly well loved throughout Little Hangleton, but when the elderly couple and their adult son suddenly dropped dead they became the talk of the town. Of course, we know this was Voldemort’s revenge against the father who abandoned him, and that he killed his own grandparents for good measure. All three were struck with the Avada Kedavra curse, which left the Muggle police completely baffled.

The outside of the Riddle's house at night from the Goblet of Fire.
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Hepzibah Smith

Hepzibah enjoyed many pleasures in life – collectables, cake and flirting with the handsome young lad from Borgin and Burkes. Having been charmed by Mister Riddle, as so many others had, she treated him to a glimpse of her greatest treasures – Salazar Slytherin’s locket and a cup owned by Helga Hufflepuff, from whom she claimed to be descended. Her death, two days later, was blamed on the house-elf Hokey poisoning her mistress’s cocoa.

Harry and Dumbledore watch Tom Riddle inspect Slytherin's locket in a memory from the Half-Blood Prince.
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Dorcas Meadowes

Dorcas was one of many members of the Order of the Phoenix killed in action. Others included: Marlene McKinnon and family; Edgar Bones; the brothers Gideon and Fabian Prewett; Caradoc Dearborn, whose body was never found; and Benjy Fenwick, whose body they only ever found bits of. Dorcas was noted as someone Voldemort killed personally, although the exact circumstances are unknown.

Illustration of Dorcas Meadowes from the first Order of the Phoenix infographic
Dorcas Meadowes. © JKR/Pottermore Ltd.™ Warner Bros.

Lily and James Potter

The Potters were famously killed while defending their infant son Harry at Godric’s Hollow. First James attempted to protect his family by fighting Voldemort himself, then Lily, refusing to stand aside, was struck down in front of her child. When Voldemort attempted to kill little Harry, the curse rebounded and the Dark Lord vanished. He was presumed dead by most of the wizarding world. For a while.

Harry and Hermione at the Potter's grave
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

Bertha Jorkins

From her schooldays to her employment at the Ministry, Bertha Jorkins had a penchant for gossip. When the Ministry attributed her mysterious disappearance to her absentmindedness, Sirius deemed this rather suspicious – she’d always had an excellent memory for detail. The truth was that Voldemort used her to gain information, after which she was murdered.

Harry and Arthur Weasley inside the Minstry of Magic.
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Frank Bryce

Frank worked as the gardener of the Riddle estate in Little Hangleton. Such was his dedication that he carried on with his duties long after the original owners had died. Fifty years after the event, Frank was drawn to a light in the old Riddle house. There he finally encountered the real culprit, who decided that Frank had already heard too much.

Frank Bryce appears in front of Harry due to Priori Incantatem
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Cedric Diggory

Cedric was the pride and joy of his father Amos and Hufflepuff house, and they were thrilled when he was chosen to compete in the Triwizard Tournament. Cedric ought to have scored a victory for Hogwarts alongside Harry Potter but the two boys fell into a trap. The cup, which was actually a Portkey, whisked them to a graveyard where they heard the callous instruction ‘Kill the spare.’

Cedric and Amos before the final Triwizard Challenge.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Florean Fortescue

The kindly owner of Diagon Alley’s ice-cream parlour gave Harry plenty of information on the history of magic, not to mention free delicious choco-nut sundaes. Naturally Harry was deeply saddened by the news that Florean had been dragged off from his shop under orders from Voldemort. So was J.K. Rowling, who revealed later that Florean initially was meant to have information on Ravenclaw’s Diadem, but the story was cut, and poor old Florean was kidnapped and killed for nothing.

Diagon Alley
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Amelia Bones

As Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Madam Bones upheld every wizard’s right to a fair trial. One year after Harry’s trial, Amelia was discovered dead – the news of it, along with the murder of Emmeline Vance, even made the Muggle papers. Due to Amelia’s formidable magical talents and the aftermath of the fight, it was believed that Voldemort himself must have murdered her.

Arabella Figg appears as a witness at Harry's trial
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Charity Burbage

Professor Burbage wasn’t just a teacher of Muggle Studies, she was also a staunch defender of Muggle-borns at a time when they were being persecuted. Her valiant stance led to one of the most terrifying deaths in the books. When a pro-Muggle article of hers was published in the Daily Prophet, Charity was taken prisoner at Malfoy Manor, where she was suspended over a table, and ridiculed before the Death Eaters before being killed and fed to Voldemort’s snake. Worse, her co-worker Severus Snape, who bore witness, could do nothing to save her.

Snape entering Malfoy dinning room
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

Alastor ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody

The grizzled Auror Moody brought down many Dark wizards in his career and joined the Order of the Phoenix hoping to bring down Voldemort once and for all. It was in the line of duty, leading Harry and the rest of the disguised Order, that Moody finally fell. The remaining members of the Order then held a solemn toast to Mad-Eye at the Burrow. Unable to recover his body, Harry managed to retrieve his stolen eye from the Ministry of Magic in order to give it, at least, a proper burial.

Moody full body shot
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Rufus Scrimgeour

Rufus Scrimgeour’s death spelled the fall of the Ministry and grave danger for those who opposed Voldemort. Although Scrimgeour and Harry had never seen eye to eye, rumour had it that the Minister for Magic refused to give information on Harry’s whereabouts, even under torture. The Minister may not have been to Harry’s tastes, but he still passed on the three vital items that would lead Harry, Ron and Hermione to destroying Voldemort in the end.

Scrimgeour dicusses Albus Dumbledore's will with Harry, Ron and Hermione at The Burrow
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part One

Gregorovitch

Hailed as ‘a fine wandmaker’ by his peers, Gregorovitch retired shortly after selling a wand to future Bulgarian Quidditch Seeker and Triwizard champion Viktor Krum. Gregorovitch was targeted thanks to his knowledge of the Elder Wand. This was information of great value to Voldemort, who callously murdered the elderly wandmaker.

Wands Cores

Gellert Grindelwald

The name Grindelwald was, prior to Voldemort’s rise, one of the most feared among wizards. Expelled from Durmstrang at age 16, Grindelwald led a similar path of destruction to Voldemort, to create an ‘order’ of Muggle-kind and wizards.

He once owned the Elder Wand that Voldemort so desperately sought. Many years later in Nurmengard prison, Dumbledore thought Grindelwald might have perhaps shown ‘remorse’ for his reign of terror. In the end, Grindelwald was killed by Voldemort, ‘laughing scornfully’ at his attempts to find the wand.

Concept art of Xenophilius' Deathly Hallows pendant
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1

Severus Snape

Though his loyalties often appeared ambiguous, Professor Snape spent years working as a spy under Dumbledore’s orders. Snape maintained the guise of a loyal Death Eater right up until Voldemort had him brutally murdered purely for personal gain. In his dying moments, Snape managed to provide Harry with critical information and take one last look at the eyes of Lily.

A head shot of Snape looking sideways from the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

…and you know that wasn’t all…

Sadly, Voldemort claimed more innocent lives than we’ll probably ever know. Many wizards and goblins were slaughtered during his rage at Gringotts and at least two anonymous people were killed for Horcruxes – a Muggle tramp for the locket and an Albanian peasant for the diadem. Worse still, remember the army of Inferi Voldemort had at his disposal? Each of those reanimated bodies once was a person with thoughts, feelings, a life and a name. For Lord Voldemort, cruelty knew no bounds.