|"Are you a wizard or not?"
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- "The usual decorations were missing. The Great Hall was normally decorated with the winning house's colours for the Leaving Feast. Tonight, however, there were black drapes on the wall behind the teachers table. Harry knew instantly that they were there as a mark of respect for Cedric."
- —Description of the Great Hall at the time[src]
The memorial feast was held following the murder of seventeen year old Hufflepuff student Cedric Diggory at the hands of Peter Pettigrew, and on the orders of Lord Voldemort. It was held so students and staff could pay their respects to Diggory and learn the truth behind why and how he died.
- Cedric Diggory: "Did anyone tell you the Cup was a Portkey?"
- Harry Potter: "Nope, is this supposed to be part of this task?"
- — Cedric to Harry after they are transported to the Graveyard[src]
During the Triwizard Tournament's third and final task both Harry Potter and Cedric Diggory reached the Triwizard Cup at the same time; the two argued over who should take it, Cedric insisting that Harry take it as he saved him, but Harry insisted they both take it. In the end the two both grabbed hold of the cup simultaneously, but unexpectedly they were transported to the Little Hangleton graveyard, as the cup was a Portkey. Once in the graveyard, Harry and Cedric assumed that it was part of the tournament, a final challenge for the winning champion, or in this case winning champions. However it was not, and Harry soon realised when he remembered the graveyard, having visited it before, if only in visions and dreams.
- "Harry, take my body back will you? Take my body back to my father."
- —Cedric's last spoken words, as a spirit to Harry[src]
Cedric was confused by what had just happened and cautioned Harry to keep his wand out until they were clear of what lay ahead. Peter Pettigrew then emerged from the darkness, carrying in his arms a reduced Lord Voldemort. Cedric raised his wand and questioned Pettigrew, unaware of who he was. In response, Voldemort ordered Pettigrew to "Kill the spare", using Voldemort's wand, Pettigrew fired the Killing Curse at an unsuspecting Diggory, killing him. Voldemort would soon after be reborn and, despite being dead, Cedric still would play a part in further events, and even help save Harry's life.
When Harry and Voldemort engaged in a duel together, their wands, both sharing the same core of one specific Phoenix's feathers, connected, creating the Priori Incantatem effect. Voldemort's wand began spewing the last spells it had cast in reverse order, and so Cedric's spirit emerged from Voldemort's wand along with those of Frank Bryce, Bertha Jorkins, James and Lily Potter. In spirit form, Cedric spoke to Harry and requested that he take his body back to his parents, whilst he (Cedric) would help hold back Voldemort with the others. Harry agreed, and on his parents' order, broke the wand connection with Voldemort. Cedric and the other spirits acted as a shield to cover Harry whilst he summoned the cup to himself, grabbed hold of Cedric's corpse, and transported them both back to Hogwarts.
Upon returning to Hogwarts with Cedric's body, it wasn't long before the spectators started to realise something was dreadfully wrong. Harry was clutching Cedric's body, refusing to let it go, until Albus Dumbledore pulled him away. There were screams and sobs once the spectators understood Cedric was dead and that Voldemort was allegedly back. It was then investigated as to how the Triwizard Cup became a Portkey, and it was discovered that Alastor Moody, who was in charge of placing the cup in the maze, was in fact Death Eater Barty Crouch Jr using Polyjuice Potion.
- "Cedric was a person who exemplified many of the qualities which distinguish Hufflepuff house, he was a good and loyal friend, a hard worker, he valued fair play. His death has affected you all, whether you knew him well or not. I think that you have the right, therefore, to know exactly how it came about. Cedric Diggory was murdered by Lord Voldemort!"
- —Albus Dumbledore to the attendees in 1995[src]
Following Cedric's death, the usual End-of-Term Feast was replaced with the memorial service to Cedric Diggory for students, visitors and staff. In honour of Cedric, the drapes were black and the magically enchanted roof that usually appeared as a night sky with lighted candles was no longer in sight, and the wooden arch structure of the Hall became visible.
Students and staff, who would normally be eating and talking loudly were instead sitting quietly, not touching food, but merely nursing their goblets of water and wine. Students of the Beauxbatons Academy of Magic sat in the Hall with their Headmistress Olympe Maxime, and the Durmstrang Institute students also sat in the hall, despite their Headmaster, Igor Karkaroff having disappeared. Dumbledore broke the silence by speaking and raising his Goblet in memory and respect of Cedric Diggory, all students of all houses and schools followed this sign of respect. Dumbledore then went on to give a speech, remembering the pupil and friend that was Cedric. Harry noticed that Draco Malfoy, Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle were all gathered together, talking throughout the speech, showing no sign of respect, while Cho Chang, Cedric's girlfriend, cried silently throughout. The students all then stood in silence and remembered Cedric.
Aftermath: 1995-1996 Scandal
- "The Ministry of Magic, does not wish me to tell you this. It is possible that some of your parents will be horrified that I have done so — either because they will not believe that Lord Voldemort has returned, or because they think I should not tell you so, young as you are. It is my belief however, that the truth is generally preferable to lies, and that any attempt to pretend that Cedric died as a result of an accident of some sort of blunder of his own, is an insult to his memory!"
- —Dumbledore speaks of the Ministry trying to hush up the events[src]
Cedric's death and Voldemort's return created a scandal that lasted most of the following year. The Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge was angered by Dumbledore's boldness as to tell students, what they believed to be lies, and was reluctant to believe that he had returned, and instead of supporting they slated both Harry Potter and Dumbledore as liars and being daft. Cornelius Fudge was warped by his own fear that he refused to believe such claims and appointed Dolores Umbridge, a Ministry employee as High Inquisitor of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry shortly afterwards, to ensure that Dumbledore stayed in line and any further claims of Voldemort's return were hushed up from the students. She even went as far as to force Harry to use a quill which etched words into his own skin: 'I must not tell lies', so he would not continue to declare to everyone that Lord Voldemort was back. This did not stop him.
Students had been persuaded by the Daily Prophet, such Seamus Finnigan who fought with Harry on the first night at school because his mother had almost refused to let him return, which had been writing slanderous things that Harry was lying about Voldemort returning. The truth came out at the end of the year when Harry, Ron, Hermione and others went to the Ministry of Magic and participated in the Battle of the Department of Mysteries fighting against Death Eaters and Lord Voldemort the Minister had to confess and finally admit Voldemort's return after he himself saw him. It was then that Harry and Dumbledore were believed about Voldemort's return and Cedric's murder, and that action was being put into place, protection given where it is needed, for example the following year at Hogwarts, Aurors were stationed around grounds so as to assure no students would suffer the same fate as Cedric.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (First appearance)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (video game)