In The Order of the Phoenix, just when Dumbledore’s Army was discovered by Umbridge, Marietta responds in a manner which allows her to save the DA from most trouble... but her eyes are strangely blank.

Everyone in the room was gazing at the top of Marietta’s face. Only her eyes were visible between the pulled-up robes and her curly fringe. Perhaps it was a trick of the firelight, but her eyes looked oddly blank. And then - to Harry’s utter amazement - Marietta shook her head.

Even later, we see this:

Marietta was standing exactly where Umbridge had released her. She seemed neither perturbed by Umbridge’s sudden attack, nor relieved by her release; she was still clutching her robe up to her oddly blank eyes and staring straight ahead of her.

So, was Marietta Confunded or Imperiused? We know from The Deathly Hallows that one can use the Confundus Charm to bend someone to their will (i.e. Snape giving the seven Potters idea to Mundungus). Was Dumbledore or Kingsley doing this? If not, why were her eyes so blank, and why was she so unresponsive towards Umbridge’s attack?

  • Like @Alex pointed out, it is said that she was later in the book.
    – Ginge
    Jun 17, 2019 at 22:39

1 Answer 1


Kingsley modified her memory.

As Dumbledore spoke, Harry heard a rustle behind him and rather thought Kingsley whispered something. He could have sworn too that he felt something brush against his side, a gentle something like a draft or bird wings, but looking down he saw nothing there.

“Unfortunately, I had to hex Kingsley too, or it would have looked very suspicious,” said Dumbledore in a low voice. “He was remarkably quick on the uptake, modifying Miss Edgecombe’s memory like that while everyone was looking the other way — thank him for me, won’t you, Minerva?

  • I thought that second quote meant that Kingsley had modified her memory right after Dumbledore started tossing hexes around. Can we be sure that that’s not what that was?
    – user112267
    Jun 17, 2019 at 3:58
  • 9
    When Dumbledore started tossing hexes around, he hit Kingsley together with the others, because if Kingsley is still conscious when Dumbledore is gone, would have looked very suspicious. So Kingsley didn't have the opportunity to do something when Dumbledore hexed them, and it would have been too late anyway to help them.
    – user102803
    Jun 17, 2019 at 5:45
  • interesting that Kingsley can't do silent charms apparently
    – NKCampbell
    Jun 17, 2019 at 16:39
  • @NKCampbell Silent charms require more effort; I'd imagine that the mental effort/concentration involved in cleanly modifying memory is high enough that even a skilled wizard would probably choose to speak the incantation instead whenever possible.
    – Tin Wizard
    Jun 17, 2019 at 17:28
  • 2
    This always rankled me a bit. Dumbledore said it was a memory charm (or similar), so that's that, but it doesn't seem like the few other memory charms we've seen. The effects seem a lot more like the Imperius curse (though not a perfect match for that, either), which I don't think could be done silently.
    – Upper_Case
    Jun 17, 2019 at 17:30

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