The Dark Mark is hanging above in the sky, Dumbledore is surrounded by the Death Eaters and a helpless Harry stands outside the tower immobilized by a spell. Draco is acquainting Dumbledore with the ploys he had employed throughout the year to drive Dumbledore to death which have finally culminated into this night. Severus moves forward and as the spell ‘Avada Kedavra’ escape his mouth so does a loud shriek escapes yours. You read the paragraph again, hoping that what you just read is untrue. But then, Dumbledore is dead and a queer emotion of helplessness pipes in. You do not have the means to undo the course that the book has taken and thus a good man has been sacrificed in the process of building the momentum or progression of the plot.
Yes, this is the fear that intimidates me in fiction, the fear of death of a beloved character. And I absolutely hate it because it becomes so difficult for me to get back to the book or the show. My mind keeps on wondering if it was so inevitable for the character to die and the fear of another death or the despair which follows induces me to tune myself out for a while.
Lets shift the scene to the fourth season finale of the Television show Dexter. Dexter is back home after murdering the serial killer Trinity (that is, this season’s chase) and he is trying to contact his wife who had to leave for Disney World the same day. Her phone is ringing inside the house and gradually Dexter reaches the washroom where his wife Rita lay in the bathtub, murdered in cold blood. His son sitting in the pool of his mother’s blood akin to the time when Dexter witnessed his mother’s murder which had originated the homicidal tendencies within him. What exactly was Rita’s fault or the poor child Harrison’s? In spite of Dexter’s continuous effort if his son ends up on the same path, then who will take the blame?
Fiction in a way has exposed me to the uncertainties of life, that it is equally likely in real life as is in fiction for the plot to take an untoward direction. As a child I never feared being left alone in the house but over the years my acquired knowledge of crime, now makes me assess the probabilities of someone stealthily slipping into my house.
This year I saw a movie called Kai Po Che where the protagonist is killed in the end and the one to pull the trigger is his own best friend. Reeling from the loss of his parents, the character Omi was so blinded by the communal divide that he wanted to kill the first Muslim in sight and he ends up killing his best friend. And this movie was loosely based on Gujarat Riots of 2002 so what is to say that something such cannot materialize in real life.