However, neither Harry nor Hermione is willing to excuse Ron’s desertion based on the fact that he’s wearing the Horcrux when he decides to leave. Rather than a true case of possession, the Horcrux’s negative influence is like the hunger or frustration that they all experience—it’s something that tests them and makes it harder to do the right thing but that doesn’t take away their free will. Ron’s abandonment of his friends is a true moment of failure for him, one that stems from flaws in his character that are specific to him. Ron’s overindulgence in food is a running joke throughout the series, and of the three friends he is least used to being deprived of material comforts. In fact, because of his mother, he is used to being taken care of and takes it for granted that other people will take care of him, and in that sense he is still the most childish of the three. We can see that his action is not due to the Horcrux later in the book, when we find out that Dumbledore long ago predicted Ron’s moment of despair and his abandonment of Harry based solely on Ron’s character. Fortunately for Ron, Dumbledore, that famous believer in second chances, has prepared a way back for Ron.