Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Chapter Summary and Analysis - Part One
This is the longest (most pages) JKR book to date. It further solidifies the writing style she is using in the Harry Potter series and introduces no small number of new: Locations, Persons, Creatures, Concepts and Issues which need to be dealt with (as if there aren't enough already.)
By far her "darkest" book to date, some of my patients' parents are concerned over what effect reading it might have on their children. Usually, I explore with them what other books their children have already read and what effect they had on them. Surprisingly, I find that a fair number of children, over ten-or-so, have read Tolkien's Lord of the Ring book's (in some form). And, not surprisingly, many of those who are under ten "didn't like" or seemed to be upset by the books. After all, the "Ring" books are much, much darker and intense over all!
In The Goblet of Fire, Harry does seem to be buffeted through circumstances completely beyond his control AND beyond his own ability to solve - save it be for "lucky circumstances." In addition, some parents express concern that Harry's actions aren't a very good role model; and find it difficult to believe that boarded students of that age (even in British Schools) are left alone so much "to raise themselves" by the adults in their lives. I must agree, they do make a good point when you consider that children do "identify with" the Harry Potter books MUCH more readily than with the "Ring" books, because "Potter" deals with substantially more mundane and identifiable activities. Therefore "poor examples" in "Potter" could have much more negative effect on children than those in "Ring."
It is precisely this characteristic, however, which compels children to sit for hours at a time and anxiously look forward to completing such a massive literary exercise. What a waste to not take advantage of such an opportunity! Especially when its so easy to overcome any and all objections one might have. "Read it yourself", I've begun advising parents, "see what it is that you think Harry could have done better and intentionally counteract it." By knowing the Potter vocabulary, you can either read it with your child or discuss it with them as they read it, making it a shared experience. And, you can comment where you think you need to, about how to do things better. Ask them "feeling" questions: "How did you feel when…" or "Have you ever been in a situation like…" or "What would you do if…" What a GIFT you can give them by doing this! You know that a "shared experience is part of what they are, forever."
If you think there is little "redeeming" value in the series- take a look especially at what advice Albus Dumbledore gives. Found near the end of every book so far. In addition, use the 'Parents Guide' annotations (in the right margin) to help you along - the spell is: "Specialis Revelio Parentus"
- Literary annotations:
In this category are special annotations about literary aspects of the chapter. Author's intent, style, and explanations of word meanings are some of the types of entriesLong Book:
Wow! What a long book. Largely due to the fact that this book is the first one in the series to spend a good deal of time away from Hogwarts. The introduction of new places and characters requires a good deal of exposition. Even at the bookstore counter the reader can tell that this book is going to further the story along a great deal.
Parent's Guide annotations:
In this category are annotations for parents and other care givers of children. Ideas for discussions which will not only make the story more interesting but enable children to understand how it can apply their own lives. Hero's Journey annotations:
In this category are special annotations about how the book is following Joseph Campbell's outline for the "master mythological styling."
- The Riddle House
- The Riddle House stood on a hillside overlooking the quaint English town of Little Hangleton. It's caretaker Frank Bryce had come back from the war with a stiff leg and dislike of crowds and loud noises. The House was once a grand mansion belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Riddle who with their son Tom were all found dead of unknown causes about 50 years ago. The townspeople, much inflamed by the Riddle's housekeeper, blamed Bryce who claimed that he had seen a strange teenage boy, dark-haired and pale, near the house. The autopsies reported that none of them had been injured and all were "in perfect health" except for being dead. Bryce continued to live on the grounds working for a succession of absentee owners until the house became quite derelict due to the vandalous boys of the village.
Thinking that boys were in the house with lights one night, he went in pursuit; but, he ended up listening clandestinely to a conversation between man called "Wormtail" and one referred to as "My Lord." They used odd words such as: Nagini, Quidditch, World Cup, Wizards, and Ministry of Magic and said that they were going to stay in the house for a week or more, until all the furor and security over the Quidditch World Cup diminished. The "Lord," known as Voldemort, apparently was only in a weakened rudimentary body, which needed to be kept alive by frequent feedings of the "milkings of Nagini." Wormtail suggested that "it could be done" without using or killing Harry Potter and offered to go obtain another wizard instead - only to be severely reprimanded as a coward and a liar who found Voldemort "repulsive." Voldemort explained that he "had his reasons" for using Potter and that his killing of Bertha Jorkins, who Wormtail had stumbled across at an inn, need never be found out. And, he said, by the time it was necessary for him to kill another person, his "faithful servant" would have joined them. When Wormtail took umbrage over not being considered a faithful servant himself, he was rebuked; but was told that he would be given a task to do, which other followers would "give their right hands" to perform.
Voldemort had killed Jorkins, because, he claimed, she was "fit for nothing after my questioning." A memory charm could be broken. Bryce had decided to go out secretly for the police, but Voldemort called Nagini to him in Parseltongue. Nagini passed Bryce in the hallway without hurting him, but told Voldemort that there was "a muggle in the hallway who had heard everything." Bryce, at first, attempted to lie to Voldemort. He then, foolishly, challenged the unseen person in the chair facing away from him, to "turn around and face me like a man." Before he even had a chance to finish the scream he let out, upon seeing the repulsive form of Voldemort, there was a wave of a wand, a rushing sound and he had crumpled dead, before hitting the floor.
Two hundred miles away, Harry Potter woke with a start having seen all this in a "dream" and the scar on his forehead was hurting.
- Foreshadowing: Authors usually spend a great deal of time crafting their first sentence, paragraph and chapter. The major characters, settings and dilemma's must be set up so that the reader is NOT blind-sided by what happens. An astute reader may be able to pick up on 'unusual' wordings or slightly odd situations or explanations which often 'telegraph' something which will happen much later in the story.Parseltongue: Remember, Harry was shown to speak Parseltongue in 'Philosopher's Stone' and 'Chamber of Secrets' when he spoke to snakes. A talent, it was explained, which he shared with Salazar Slytherin - for which the man had been famous, and explained the use of the snake as an emblem of Slytherin 'house' at Hogwarts.Nightmares: This chapter jumps right into some fairly 'dark' stuff. Fortunately, in this book at least, Harry was spared witnessing it first hand and only saw it in a dream. It's not unusual for children to have unexplainable dreams of similar nature, so some young readers may identify with Harry. Parents can explain that nightmares almost never come true, and are often explained by something one has read or experienced in the recent past.
Parents of children susceptible to nightmares or dreams may pre-emptively explain that reading a 'good' book like Harry Potter right before bedtime, may precipitate dreaming about it during the night. A child may be asked: 'If you dream about this - what would you like it to be.' Often talking and explaining dreams is all it takes to settle any anxiety about it.
- The Scar
- Harry was surprised not only by the "dream," but by the pain his scar was giving him. It felt like a white hot wire in the shape of a bolt of lightening. He recognized Voldemort and Wormtail (or Peter Pettigrew), but who was the other man in his dream? And who were they talking about killing besides him! He recounted to himself the dangers he had already experienced in his short 14 years; but, what worried him now was that all the other times his scar had hurt was when Voldemort had been near and the fact that he had no one he could talk to about it. Certainly not his Muggle aunt Petunia or Uncle Vernon, who had been "caring" for him since his parents had also been killed by Voldemort. These relatives almost didn't admit that he even existed, and told anyone who pressured them that he had been attending St. Brutus' Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys. His friends, Hermione and Ron, couldn't help either, because they were not only far away but would probably only say to either: "tell Headmaster Dumbledore" or "I'll ask dad (Arnold Weasley who worked for the ministry)." In either case, he decided it would sound stupid to complain that his scar hurt until he remembered Sirius, his godfather, who had been in Azkaban until breaking out last year.
Sirius had been imprisoned for killing a boy, Peter Pettigrew; but, the traitor had actually staged his own death and transformed into a rat, using his animagus ability, to hide from the world. Harry and his friends had uncovered Pettigrew's deception last year with the help of Remus Lupin, their DADA teacher, who then had to resign after the fact that he was a werewolf was revealed by their jealous nemesis Severus Snape. Sirius was the closest thing to a parent Harry had ever known. In fact, it was only the fear of a dangerous godfather that had softened the Dursley's a bit this summer and enabled Harry to have his trunk and books with him in his room, instead of locked away under the stairs. Unfortunately, Sirius had been forced to return into hiding after Pettigrew escaped, but had written to Harry using large tropical birds as couriers. So, Harry decided to write to Sirius about what the burning might mean, although he didn't reveal anything about the contents of his dream.
- Servant Returns: Professor Trelawney's second prophecy about a 'servant returning to Voldemort' has apparently been fulfilled in Wormtail. It still remains to be seen whether or not Dumbledore's mention of a possible 'life-debt' might benefit Harry.Going it alone: It is not unusual for a child, to think that he is alone in overcoming problems. And, it is understandable for Harry, who has been abused, to grow up distrusting adults. However, Harry's rationalization of why no one in his life could help him is a bit of a stretch and not healthy problem solving. Both Dumbledore and Mr. Weasley could, have been excellent sources of help. Sirius, it turns out, was able to help; but, his absence prevented Harry from really obtaining emotional support.
Parents can ask: "Should Harry have told someone about the rest of his dream?" "How do you solve your own problems that you don't understand?"
- The Invitation
- His aunt and uncle had always somehow overlooked and explained away Dudley's bullying of Harry, and their son's immense size. However, now that the school nurse had even complained to them in a letter, they put him on a diet. The problem was that they put Harry on the same diet, only smaller in order to keep Dudley from feeling inferior. The only thing that enabled Harry to survive starvation was the "care packages" he'd received for his birthday from his friends, and which he kept hidden under a floor-board in his room. A letter inviting Harry to spend the rest of his vacation with the Weasley's came in the regular Muggle post; but it embarrassed and angered uncle Vernon because it had been plastered with way too many stamps, much to the amusement and laughter of the postman. The Weasley's wanted to take Harry to the Quidditch World Cup and asked his uncle for permission. It was only Harry's feigning complete indifference [he would never allow anything that made Harry happy], and the implied threat of notifying his godfather [the former Azkaban prisoner], which convinced Uncle Vernon to relent and allow him to go "but only if they pick you up" (big mistake.) Shortly afterward, Pigwidgen brought a letter directly to Harry from Ron, who said that they would be there to pick him up, with or without the Dursley's permission, tomorrow afternoon. He also said that Hermione was coming too, and that Percy had started work at the Ministry. Harry sent Pig back with his response, then sent Hedwig to Sirius with his letter and also told him of his new location.
- Growing Up: While still acting more mature than an abused child normally would, Harry, none-the-less, is beginning to stand up for himself much more. [After escaping attempted murder now three times, his uncle probably doesn't compare.]Favoritism: Showing 'favorites' between children is obviously not good parenting technique. There are many examples of the Dursley's abuse of Harry in the books.
- Back to the Burrow
- By the next day at the appointed time Harry had completely packed, emptied all his secret hiding places, and was standing near a very nervous Uncle Vernon who was dressed in his best suit in order to impress and intimidate and was saying that he "hoped the Weasley's knew how to dress properly." Harry wasn't so much worried about the Weasley's dress, but rather how rude the Dursley's would act. By thirty minutes past the appointed time, the Dursley's were throwing a fit until they were startled into silence by loud thumping's and scraping coming from behind the boarded up fireplace. Mr. Weasley had called in a favor to have the Dursley fireplace connected temporarily to the Floo network for their trip, and now they couldn't get out until they blasted a hole in the wall. The whole room being covered in dust and debris produced the expected result from the Dursley's, only momentarily stifled by their amazement and fear despite very cordial conversation from Mr. Weasley. Fred and George volunteered to retrieve Harry's trunk with evil grins as they "accidentally" let a piece of toffee candy drop to the floor in front of Dudley. Mr. Weasley "incendio'ed" a magical fire within the hole he had blasted in the wall, and one-by-one the kids said "the Burrow," as they stepped inside the flames and were whooshed away. It was finally Harry's turn and when the stunned Dursley's refused to even say goodbye to him, Mr. Weasley took umbrage and tried to correct them.
Just as Harry stepped into the fire he saw Dudley, who had eaten the toffee, struggling to breath past his own tongue which had swollen many times past its normal size. Finally the Dursley's stupor evaporated, and they both sprang to life screaming, thumping Dudley and throwing things at the ducking Mr. Weasley. When Uncle Vernon, bellowing like a wounded hippo, readied another ornament to throw at him, Mr. Weasley blasted it out of his hand and shouted for Harry to go. The last thing Harry saw through the flames was a screaming Aunt Petunia lying on top of Dudley trying to rip his tongue out of his mouth, and Mr. Weasley saying, "Now, really, I'm trying to help!"
- Dichotomy of Characters: Having Uncle Vernon actually meet Arthur Weasley is a magnificent way to compare and contrast characters who are at opposite ends of the scale. Without so much as a clue that he is meeting one of the very few wizards who can even tolerate a Muggle, Vernon criticizes and spews insults incessantly. Dursley is critical and fearful of things out of the ordinary but Arthur becomes excited at their newness and wants to learn about them.Dressing Up: Most people put on their best clothes as a sign of respect and honor to the people or place they are going to visit. A few dress up to 'show off' and 'put on airs.' Others, like Uncle Vernon, do it to show they are 'better' or more powerful than others they will meet. Ask: "Do you know anyone who dresses to show off?"Polite Behavior: Mr. Weasley and Uncle Vernon are almost opposite as far as manners are concerned. Acting with respect is a way of 'valuing people' which Arthur does and Vernon does not. Ask: "Who do you know that are opposite in personalities?"
- Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes
- When Harry arrived in the kitchen of the Burrow and told of Dudley's plight, Fred and George erupted in laughter. They explained that they had invented "Ton-Tongue Toffee" to sell in a joke catalogue, because they didn't have premises yet. Harry met Charlie and Bill for the first time. Charlie had calluses on his hands from working with Dragons in Romania, and Bill looked "cool" with a ponytail and fang earring. Mr. Weasley's anger was ineffectual on Fred and George, who were used to him, and they countered his accusations of Muggle-Baiting with: "We didn't give it to him because he was a muggle, but because he was a great bullying git." Although Mr. Weasley threatened them with "telling Mrs. Weasley," when she came into the kitchen he decided against getting her involved. She got involved anyway, because she had already warned them about their Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes after finding a sack of their order forms, and had confiscated all their "inventory." They hadn't passed very many of their OWL exams because they thought they didn't need them to run a joke shop.
Percy was working at home on a cauldron bottom report, for his job with Mr. Crouch in the Department of International Magical Cooperation, and was annoyed at all the noise they were making. Ron's room was the same as it had been before, except only one frog in the fish tank and no Scabbers; but, an excited tiny owl, named Pigwidgeon by Ginny, was hopping up and down in its cage. When they heard the shouting stop down in the kitchen, they went to help with dinner, only to find Mrs. Weasley still ill-tempered trying to get dinner ready for eleven people out in the garden. She muttered about how many owls she had received regarding Fred and George, how they were wasting their brains, and screamed when the wand she picked up squawked and turned into a rubber mouse another one of their jokes. They escaped into the garden to watch Crookshanks the cat chase the garden gnomes and Bill and Charlie "duel" with the levitating tables they were supposed to be setting up. When dinner was served, Harry, in ecstasy from all the food, heard Percy pompously tell his father about his report, preparations for the World Cup and malign Ludo Bagman for "loosing" an employee - Bertha Jorkins. Mr. Weasley argued that it was Ludo who had gotten them the tickets to the games and that Bertha had gotten lost many times before. She had been shunted from department to department for years, he said. When Percy began talking about the "top secret" function occuring after the World Cup, George and Bill changed the subject back to the Quidditch teams: Ireland and Bulgaria. Ireland was the favored team, but Bulgaria had Victor Crum, the world renowned seeker. They went to bed early because of their early departure the next morning. Mrs. Weasley would get their school supplies while they were gone. When no one else would hear, Fred and George quietly admitted to Harry that they were the ones who had sent Percy the pile of dragon dung, for his in-tray.
- The Weasley Clan: The author, JKR, has finally allowed us to meet the rest of the Weasley brothers: Bill and Charlie. All of the children have more in common than red hair, they all have their own mind about life it seems. Charlie, as the oldest, is as hard a worker as his father. Fred and George seem to have followed more after Bill.Bertha Jorkins: Harry heard Voldemort and Wormtail discussing killing Bertha Jorkins. He then heard Percy malign Ludo Bagman for 'misplacing' Bertha Jorkins and Mr. Weasley saying that she frequently gets 'lost.' Why wouldn't Harry speak up about what he had seen in his dream - oops - a bit strange.Playing Jokes: Everyone (almost) loves a good joke; BUT, like this one, they often can go "too far." It is a joke to everyone except the person it is played on. Something that causes a person physical harm or humiliation would not be considered merely a joke but rather abuse. Ask: how can you tell if something will go 'too far'? One of the way's to tell might be whether or not you want to keep the fact that it was you who did it a secret from the recipient (or your parents). One must always be willing to take responsibility for one's actions.
- The Portkey
- Early the next morning Ginny, Hermione, Ron, Harry, Fred and George set off with Mr. Weasley on a hike to Stoatshead Hill where a Port Key would transport them to the games. Bill, George and Percy were older and had their license to apparate. Mr. Weasley explained that if you didn't do apparition correctly you could "splinch" yourself (leave a body part behind) and require the Magical Reversal Squad. They all needed to dress like Muggles in order to avoid attention. In addition, the hundred thousand wizards attending needed to come by varied transportation and at appointed times up to a week apart. Mrs. Weasley caught Fred and George hiding more of their "illicit" joke inventory in their pockets and "accio-ed" all kinds of things out of their clothing and bags. The angry twins stormed off without saying goodbye, giving their mother the "silent treatment.".
They "ported" with the Diggory's: Amos, of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and his son Cedric, Captain and Seeker of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team. Amos acted rudely toward Harry aggrandizing Cedric's Quidditch ability much to Cedric's embarrassment. "Always modest, our Ced, always the gentleman… but the best man won," Mr. Diggory proclaimed, "one boy fell off his broom and one stayed on. It doesn't take much to tell who is the better flyer." The Lovegood's had to go almost a week previously and the Fawcett's couldn't even get tickets, so the Weasley's and Diggory's were the only people going from this location. They all stood in a tight circle touching the old boot, used for the port key; then, at the appointed time, were "jerked" into a deserted stretch of misty moor with a whirlwind and a thud that knocked all of them, except Mr. Weasley, Mr. Diggory and Cedric to the ground, unceremoniously.
- Magical Transportation: Yet another mode of magical transportation joins the already expansive wizard system. Broomsticks, Night Bus, apparition, Floo Network and now Port Key's. Broomsticks require some skill and at least a little expenditure; Floo Network, a fireplace, network connection and expense for Floo powder; Night Bus, a wand and fare; and, Port Key, a wand and knowledge of the spell. Each carry with them a differing level of discomfort. Bragging: Bragging, unfortunately, usually stems from some feeling of inferiority. We're not sure why Mr. Diggory feels the necessity to brag about his son, but it clearly made Cedric uneasy and embarrassed. In reality, most good deeds and accomplishments "speak for themselves." Ask: what do people around you think when someone is bragging?
- Bagman and Crouch
- The Quidditch field had been bewitched to avoid Muggle detection and was filled with a massive assortment of oddly dressed wizards, all trying and failing to look like Muggles. A grumpy old man checked them in and assigned them to camping locations. Mr. Roberts, the Muggle caretaker of their site, looked beleaguered and puzzled over all the unexpected campers, and needed to have a ministry official "modify" his memory regularly to keep him happy. Ludo Bagman was introduced as the head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports, and was the best beater the Wimbourne Wasps ever had. Mr. Weasley had borrowed a magical tent from Perkins at the Ministry, and the group pitched it by hand. While Mr. Weasley started their fire with matches, Harry, Ron and Hermione went to fetch water. The field was filled with more wizards than Harry had ever seen, all trying to show off. A small boy was playing with his fathers wand, engorging a slug by poking at it. Many tents had castle turrets and one even looked like a pyramid. Some American witches had a banner which read: "Salem Witches Institute." Seamus Finnigan was in a group of tents decorated with Ireland's colors, and the Bulgarians did the same with their green/white/red colors. A ministry wizard was trying to get a wizard wearing a dress to put on pants. Oliver Wood had signed with the Puddlemere United Quidditch team after his graduation. Ernie Macmillan and Cho Chang were there, as was a whole group of students Harry had never seen before that Hermione surmised attended a foreign school. Mr. Weasley pointed out all sorts of Ministry employees, and dinner was ready when Bill, Charlie and Percy arrived.
Ludo Bagman came to visit their camp site, in his old Quidditch robes, and said he was taking bets on the match. Over Mr. Weasley's objections, Fred and George bet 37 Galleons, 15 Sickles & 3 Knuts that Ireland would win but Krum would get the Snitch. Because it was such a crazy bet, Bagman gave them good odds and threw in 5 galleons for one of their fake wands which turned into a chicken. Barty Crouch, who could speak over 200 languages, interrupted their conversation and told Bagman that the Bulgarian delegation wanted him to add twelve more chairs to the top box. When Percy tried to "suck up," Crouch didn't even remember his name and called him "Weatherby." Again the grownups taunted the kids by talking about the "secret happenings at Hogwarts" this year, then disapparated. Ron bought a dancing shamrock hat and a miniature replica of Victor Krum, as souvenirs. Harry bought Omnioculars (binoculars that can stop, slow and replay action with commentary) for them all "in lieu of Christmas presents this year," he told them.
- Length of book: JKR has said that one of the reasons the book became so lengthy was because of all the exposition required to introduce new characters, locations, objects and situations. From bewitched tents, to American wizardry, to systems of magical education, to Ministry organization, to bagman, crouch, Krum and other characters, to Omnioculars what a full chapter!Showing off: Mr. Weasley told the kids that "when we get together we like to show off." Unfortunately, and all too commonly, Muggles, like us, do the same thing. Going camping by bringing along the whole house in the form of tents, RV's, vans and trailers of "toys." The biggest and best ATVs, motorcycles, jet skis and snow equipment. Of course children learn from parents but rarely on their own spend more time on choosing what they'll wear or how they'll look than on what they'll do and for how long. Ask: "Why do you think people like to show off when they are around others," and "if you had to choose, would you rather spend money on showing off or on having fun."
- The Quidditch World Cup
- When the call was given, they hiked 20 minutes through the forest to the gold walled, anti-muggle enchanted stadium, which took a year to build and seated 100,000. Looking out from their plushly carpeted top box seats, they could see the oval stadium lit by a golden glow coming from the stadium itself. Magic writing on a large blackboard advertised wizard products. A house elf named Winky sat behind them saying she was saving a seat for Mr. Crouch, but had her eyes closed because she was deathly afraid of heights. She advised Harry that Dobby hadn't found a job anywhere, "Because he wants paying now." Cornelius Fudge greeted Harry as an "Old Friend," making Percy jealous, then introduced the Bulgarian minister, who didn't seem to understand English. The three seats behind the Weasley's were taken by Lucius, Narcissa and Draco Malfoy; who, as expected, insulted and maligned them until Ludo Bagman began his commentary. Bulgaria's mascot's were dancing Veela, astonishingly beautiful women whose pheromones stupefied unwary men into utter lovesick foolishness. Ireland's mascots were Leprechauns who threw gold into the crowd.
The match was very one sided for Ireland, but the battle between the mascots was almost unreal. The mascots traded insults with each other until Romania got quite behind; then, the Veela began distracting the referee with their "charms" so much, that others had bring him to his senses with a slap. Harry enjoyed the written descriptions his Omnioculars were giving him for: the Hawkshead Attacking Formation, the Porskoff Ploy and the Wronski Defensive Feint, where Krum feigned zooming toward the ground, as if for the Snitch, to entice Lynch to follow. Then, Krum would divert at the last second, but too late for Lynch to avoid slamming into the ground. Ireland was ahead 130 to 10 and the referee tried to expel the Veela, who were obstructing the game. When Romania's beaters complained, they drew two fouls and then began fouling intentionally. The Veela lost control, changed into their true form cruel-beaked, bird heads with long scaly wings and threw fire in every direction. "That boys," Mr. Weasley yelled over the crowd, "is why you should never go for looks alone." Then, Krum was hit square in the face by a Bludger which knocked him senseless, just as the Veela set the referee's broom on fire. He saw Lynch spot the Snitch and they took off after it together. Despite being dazed, Krum won the chase and caught the snitch, but Lynch again smashed into the ground. It was a Romanian loss: Bulgaria 160, Ireland 170, just as Fred and George had predicted. Harry theorized that Krum must have realized Bulgaria would never catch up, so decided to end it on his own terms either that or was just still dazed from the Bludger.
The Bulgarian minister finally revealed to Fudge that he actually could speak English and said that "it was funny" to watch him mime things all day. Fred and George actually won their bet and Bagman paid them their earnings.
This book seems to be largely about competition. Harry is no novice to competition; after all, he has learned to excel in "Dudley's favorite sport: Harry Hunting" for years. A boy's dream could be to go to a world class match, but to sit in the VIP box no less! The match, however, won't be the only competition revealed in the book. The lessons: One great player doesn't make a team; Even when you win, you can loose; and, Victory can be all to hollow if not down right ephemeralThe Quidditch World Cup, Bagman calls flying deliberately to collide "skinning". The correct term is "blatching", according to Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennelworthy Whisp
- The Dark Mark
- Mr. Weasley advised the twins "not to tell their mother they had been gambling." All around them the crowd was celebrating noisily, and when they got back to the tents they couldn’t sleep either, so they stayed up talking until they about fell over. In the middle of their dreams, they were awakened urgently by Mr. Weasley and told to flee into the woods, in their pajamas, in order to escape the Death Eaters who were on a rampage in the crowd. A group of masked and hooded figures were marching across the field in a tight group. They were levitating four struggling people, the Roberts family, high in the air above them using their wands, which were emitting green sparks of light and noises like gunshots. Fred took Ginny and ran to the woods. The others followed, until Ron tripped and fell. When Hermione lit her wand, they saw Draco Malfoy leaning against a tree eagerly watching the scene. His usual arrogant, caustic remarks were about the Death Eaters going after Muggles, and "Mudblood" Hermione would be next. Harry's question about Draco's parents being under the masks and hoods, only met with: "I wouldn't tell you if they were." Harry realized, then, that his wand was missing, and he thought it must have fallen out in the forest. Winky came fighting through the bushes, walking as though something invisible was holding her back. Hermione recognized a girl from Beauxbaton's Academy of Magic. A group of goblins were excitedly counting their sack of gold winnings, and a group of young wizards were trying to impress three Veela who had turned on their pheromones. Stan Shunpike was claiming to be the youngest ever minister of magic and even Ron called out that he had "invented a broomstick which could reach Jupiter." They met Ludo Bagman, who seemed oblivious to everything, then apparated to join the ministry when they told him about the Death Eaters.
Hearing rustling in the bushes, they stopped in a clearing only to hear a voice call out: "MORSMORDRE," which produced a giant green skull and snake in the air the Dark Mark. Screams came from everywhere and they started to run, only to have to duck when 20 wizards popped into the clearing all around them and roared "STUPEFY!" Spells blasted over their heads and into the forest. Mr. Weasley intervened, but in uncontrolled rage Crouch accused the kids of making the Dark Mark. He was only stymied when it was pointed out that Harry was the person he was accusing. Mr. Diggory found Winky stunned in the forest, which upset Crouch who went into the forest himself "to check for anyone else." Winky had a wand, that Harry recognized as his missing one; and which Mr. Diggory discovered had produced the Dark Mark by using the "Prior Incantato" spell on it. First Diggory accused Winky, then he accused Harry and needed to be reigned in by Crouch, who was puffing himself up in feigned hurt over being accused of teaching his house elf dark magic. Winky claimed she had "found the wand lying on the ground and picked it up." Crouch said he was going to dismiss her, by "giving her clothes," to Winky's utter dismay. Mr. Weasley retrieved Harry's wand, then ushered the kids back to their tent, past an upset crowd who he had to assure that "it wasn't Voldemort."
Charlie had a ripped shirt and Percy a bloody nose. Of course, Mr. Weasley had to recite explanations of everything, including how people had felt when they came home to find the Dark Mark over their house, knowing someone inside had been killed. The mark hadn't been seen for 13 years, and half the Muggle killings back then were done by the Death Eaters for "fun." They couldn't understand though why all the Death Eaters disapparated away when they saw the mark in the sky. Harry had a hard time getting back to sleep, thinking about his dream three days ago and now the Dark Mark appearing.
- Mayhem at the Ministry
- They took a port key back home very early the next morning and noticed that Mr. Roberts had a strange, dazed look and was waving people off with "Merry Christmas." They were met at home by a very distraught Mrs. Weasley, holding an article in the Daily Prophet, hugging Fred and George hard and exclaiming she was worried that the last thing she had said to them was in anger about not getting enough O.W.L.S. The article was very sensationalistic, rumor mongering and demeaning to the ministry in general and to Mr. Weasley in particular, for not stopping to give them an interview that night in the forest. Rita Skeeter wrote that there were rumors of "several bodies being removed from the woods." Finally, Harry told Ron and Hermione about his dream and scar hurting. Of course, they reacted just like he predicted. He had to remind them that professor Trelawney had predicted last year that the Dark Lord would arise again more terrible because his servant would return to him. Percy said people had been sending him Howlers at the ministry and Mr. Weasley said people, including Mundungus Fletcher, were turning in fraudulent claims for damages to their tents and equipment. Hermione gave Harry a broomstick servicing kit for his thirteenth birthday. Fred and George spent some time, before going back to Hogwarts, writing something that they claimed, to their questioning mother, was "homework."
Rita Skeeter hovered about the ministry looking for more "dirt" to write a story about. She found out about Bertha Jorkens being missing. Percy voiced his opinion that his father had "messed up" that night for not talking to the press and his mother had to take him down a peg. "That Skeeter woman writes what she wants and never has anything good to say," his mother told him. Percy even argued with Hermione, whom he had always got along with because of their mutual penchant for following rules, about how Crouch treated Winky. Hermione was exceedingly upset over how House Elves are treated in general- "slavery," she called it. Mrs. Weasley had done all their shopping for them while they were gone. They needed dress robes this year and no one would tell them why. Ron's had to be purchased second hand and were very old style with lace. He threw a tantrum saying that he wouldn't wear them, and told his mother he would "rather go starkers" than be seen in them. Very hurt at his rudeness, she told him to "go naked" then. And told Harry to "make sure you get a picture of him. Goodness knows I could do with a good laugh." She stormed out of the room and Ron had to resuscitate Pigwidgeon who was choking on an owl treat. Ron said furiously "why is everything I own rubbish?"
- Aboard the Hogwarts Express
- The day they were leaving for Hogwarts, Amos Diggory's head appeared in the Weasley's fireplace amidst the sparks and flames, with an urgent message. He was requesting that Arthur quickly go to help Mad Eye Moody who was in trouble with the Improper Use of Magic office for jinxing his dustbins and making his startled neighbors call their "please-men." He claimed he "heard an intruder" in the yard, so sent his dustbins rocketing around. Arthur went to help because Moody was a friend of Dumbledore, and was a retired dark wizard catcher, an Auror. Moody had personally filled half the cells in Azkaban, at a cost of disfigurement to his face loss of an eye and foot and severe jumpiness with some paranoia.
The ministry wouldn't let Arthur borrow a car this year, so they ordered three taxi's to take them, and all their animals and trunks, to King's Cross station with no small amount of excitement. They all said goodbye and Charlie said he'd probably be seeing them sooner than they thought; but, wouldn't tell them why. Mrs. Weasley said they would probably all want to stay at Hogwarts for Christmas; but, also wouldn't tell them why, only that she was "glad they changed the rules." On the train they overheard Malfoy telling others that his father considered sending him to Durmstrang because they actually taught the dark arts and didn't admit "Mudblood-lovers" and other "riffraff." Hermione had to teach Harry and Ron that there were many other wizarding schools, including Durmstrang and Beauxbaton, and that all of them, including Hogwarts were magically protected and made "unplottable." Draco and his pals made their usual harassing visit, belittling Ron's frilly dress robes and lording it over them that no one had told them what was going to happen at Hogwarts this year. Malfoy's ridicule of Ron's family stature angered him such that he broke the compartment door, making Hermione need to fix with: "Reparo." They disembarked the train into pouring rain and didn't envy the first years' trip with Hagrid across the lake in the boats. They rode in one of a hundred "horseless carriages" waiting for them.
- The Triwizard Tournament
- Coming in from the rain, they found Peeves dropping water balloons on students, until McGonagall banished him. Obnoxious Colin Creevy introduced his brother Dennis, who was excited that he had fallen in the lake and was rescued by the giant squid. The sorting hat had composed a lengthy song which described the founders as: "Bold Gryffindor, from glen; Fair Ravenclaw, from glen; Sweet Hufflepuff, from valley broad; and Shrewd Slytherin, from fen." Also that it had been made to sort the "brave" into Gryffindor, "Clever" into Ravenclaw, "power-hungry" into Slytherin and "hard-workers" into Hufflepuff. Nearly-Headless Nick explained that Peeves had wanted to attend the feast, but the ghost council voted NO; which then threw him into a tantrum, throwing pots and pans all over the kitchen and frightening the House Elves. Hermione became incensed that Hogwarts would use "slave labor," even though the elves enjoyed it, and she refused to eat. Filtch had extended the list of banned objects to 437 and posted them in his office.
Dumbledore announced that the Inter-House Quidditch Cup would not take place this year, and was just telling what would take its place, when Mad-Eye Moody came through the door with a crash of thunder and lightening. He had a disfigured face, magical eye and walked with a limp. After introductions as the new DADA teacher, Dumbledore explained that the Tri-Wizard Tournament would be held this year, much to everyone's amazement. It once had been held every five years between selected champions of Beauxbatons, Hogwarts and Durmstrang schools; until, the "death toll mounted too high." An impartial judge would select the best 17 year-old champion from each school on Halloween. Fred and George immediately began thinking of ways to fool the judge and enter, even though they wouldn't be 17. Absentmindedly Neville stepped into a trick stair and was stuck until someone pulled him out. In their beds Harry daydreamed about winning the Tri-Wizard tournament and Cho Chang's face while she watched him with admiration.