Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
How we cite our quotes:
Really, Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I'm afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time [...] Not a week has passed since I became headmaster of this school when I haven't had at least one owl complaining about the way I run it. But what should I do? Barricade myself in my study and refuse to talk to anybody? (24.179)
Professor Dumbledore has a point here. The problem with shame is that, when we're so embarrassed we can't face the world, we're letting the opinions of just a few people totally dominate our own choices. What's more, by disappearing, we often make our mistakes seem worse because they're the most recent things anyone can remember about us. Not that Hagrid has made a mistake – he has absolutely no reason to let the prejudiced opinions of one idiotic journalist shame him into leaving a job he loves. We can sympathize with his instincts just to be by himself at this point – but we, like Dumbledore, think it's just not that productive.
"I see two possibilities, Alastor," said Fudge. "Either Crouch has finally cracked – more than likely, I'm sure you'll agree, given his personal history – lost his mind, and gone wandering off somewhere –"
"He wandered extremely quickly, if that is the case, Cornelius," said Dumbledore calmly. (29.152-3)
Why is Fudge so terrified of admitting that Voldemort might be coming back? If you were in Fudge's position (i.e., as an official representative of the Ministry of Magic) how would you organize a response to the hints and whispers that Voldemort is coming back? What's more, how would you balance the influence of extremely powerful wizards like Dumbledore, who has no official position in government but who is also extremely influential? It seems to us that Fudge is an impossible position: yes, he's weak, cowardly, and he really shouldn't be downplaying Mr. Crouch's disappearance. On the other hand, we're not entirely clear on how much the Ministry really can do to track down Voldemort, especially since his followers seem to be everywhere in wizarding society.
And now Wormtail was whimpering. He pulled a long, thin, shining silver dagger from inside his cloak. His voice broke into petrified sobs.
"Flesh – of the servant – w-willingly given – you will – revive – your master."
He stretched his right hand out in front of him – the hand with the missing finger. He gripped the dagger very tightly in his left hand and swung it upward. (32.40-2)
Wormtail is not a strong person. He attaches himself to forceful characters for their protection: in school, it was Sirius Black and James Potter. And, after school, it's Voldemort. But if he's such a coward, how can he have brought himself to cut off his own arm for a spell to revive Voldemort? What kind of desperation or fear would lead Wormtail to do something he so emphatically doesn't want to do (with his "petrified sobs")? What do you think Voldemort promised Wormtail to make him do this?