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Harry’s defining traits, as they have been throughout
the series, are bravery, determination, and self-sacrifice. A true
Gryffindor, Harry responds to every crisis with courage and resolve.
It would simply never occur to Harry to abandon his quest or to
choose some other life. Not that he has any viable alternatives.
He has no home and no family to go to, he’s wanted by the Ministry,
and he can’t go back to Hogwarts. But more important than these
considerations, his destiny—to be the boy who defeats Voldemort—is
so ingrained in his identity that he can’t imagine trying to avoid
However, Harry is not the most focused or relentless hero,
at least not until later in the book. His tendency to stray from
his quest is not literal or physical, but mental and emotional.
When there are no clear leads and nothing to do, Harry cannot command
the sort of focus that Hermione can, digging around in books for
clues, racking her brains until something occurs to her. At these
moments, Harry tends to lose focus and drift, following his emotions.
This happens most dangerously in Godric’s Hollow, when Harry leads
them into a trap, his real reasons for going there having nothing
to do with the quest and everything to do with his grief and doubt
This doubt is what leads him astray in his quest. Harry
is first concerned that Dumbledore was not forthcoming about his
own life, and now cannot ask him about it. Then he thinks that Dumbledore
didn’t tell him enough to help with the quest, and questions his motives.
Finally, he comes to believe that Dumbledore didn’t love him, and
that Dumbledore didn’t deserve his love. Harry’s journey is an emotional
one, in which he learns to come to terms with the dead, and learns
to believe in Dumbledore again so he can complete his quest without
his doubts getting in the way.