(Spoilers for the entire “Potter” series follow….)
Is it deeply mourned Weasley twin Fred? Is it Harry’s father figure Sirius Black? Is it faithful house elf Dobby or wise wizard Dumbledore?
It is not. According to a recent essay Rowling, published as part of the 12 Days of Christmas Pottermore extravaganza, the only character the author feels guilty about killing off is ice cream owner Florean Fortescue.
Casual fans, don't beat yourself up if you don't remember the character – he was mentioned only briefly in the books. Florean owned Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon Alley, a hub of magical shops. According to Ron Weasley’s brother Bill, Florean was kidnapped during Voldemort’s rise to power.
According to Rowling, she originally envisioned Florean as having a more central role in the plot, planning that Florean would give Harry vital information about the diadem of Ravenclaw, an item in which villain Voldemort deposited part of his soul, and the Elder Wand, a legendarily powerful magic tool that Voldemort wanted to get his hands on.
However, Rowling later decided to have this information come from former Hogwarts headmaster Phineas Nigellus Black.
“I decided that Phineas Nigellus Black was a much more satisfactory means of conveying clues. Florean’s information on the diadem also felt redundant, as I could give the reader everything he or she needed by interviewing the [Ravenclaw ghost] Grey Lady,” Rowling wrote.
So poor Florean had to go.
“All in all, I seemed to have had him kidnapped and killed for no reason,” Rowling wrote of the character. “He is not the first wizard whom Voldemort murdered because he knew too much (or too little), but he is the only one I feel guilty about, because it was all my fault.”
Stay tuned, “Potter” fans: We still have several more days of Pottermore Christmas to go. From Dec. 12 to Dec. 23, Rowling is posting pieces about the "Potter" world on the website Pottermore.