In Chapter 1, we get a new perspective and see a frightening sight. Let’s go!
A new month, a new Harry Potter book! I am so excited to start Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for many reasons. I probably read this book the most times of all of them, just because it was the last book out when I first read the series. I was so captivated, especially by the crazy cliffhanger ending, that I just kept reading it over and over again, occasionally going back to read earlier ones, but coming back to Goblet of Fire each time. It was so hard waiting for Order of the Phoenix to come out.
This is also a new trend with the books where the first chapter doesn’t actually start with Harry at all. In fact, it reads almost like a prologue, and tells the story of the Riddle House in the small village of Little Hangleton. An abandoned house ever since the three occupants were found mysteriously dead, it is still creepy to this day. The villagers speculate how the murders happened, as there was no sign of struggle, no clues as to what happened, and no symptoms of any sort of sickness or foul play. The Riddles were just . . . dead. That was it.
The main suspect is Frank, the old gardener. He has a key to the house and lives on the property, but the police were never able to actually make any charges stick. So Frank still lives there, tending to the grounds and the old empty house, up until the present day. Personally, I wouldn’t have stayed, but I guess old Frank doesn’t have anywhere else to go. That’s really sad, actually.
This particular night, though Frank sees lights on in the house and assumes that some kids have broken into the house (like they’ve done many times before) to stir up trouble. He heads into the house and overhears voices, but they aren’t kids’ voices at all. The first voice is asking if someone, referred to as “my Lord,” is still hungry.
Oh, but the second voice . . .
“Later,” said a second voice. This too belonged to a man – but it was strangely high-pitched, and cold as a sudden blast of icy wind. Something about that voice made the sparse hairs on the back of Frank’s neck stand up. “Move me closer to the fire, Wormtail.”
Oh boy oh boy oh boy. We know now that Wormtail is Peter Pettigrew, and there would only be one person who he would call “my Lord.” Voldemort. He’s back, in some form at least. They continue talking, Frank eavesdropping all the while and not understanding anything that was going on. But we know, oh yes we do.
Wormtail wants Voldemort to use someone else for whatever he has planned for Harry, since getting to Harry would be so difficult. They are also responsible for the disappearance of someone named Bertha Jorkins, which Wormtail is worried will be discovered soon. There is also someone else working with them, someone that Voldemort calls his “faithful servant” (Wormtail takes offense to this – isn’t he faithful?). As the conversation goes on, it is clear that they had killed Bertha Jorkins, and Wormtail is afraid he will also be killed.
This is a lot for poor old Frank. It also doesn’t help that a humongous snake appears and slithers right past him. Also – Voldemort can talk to the snake. Mind you, Frank can’t see Voldemort, just hear his really creepy voice. But the snake tells Voldemort that Frank is outside the room. When the door is opened, Frank can see Wormtail, but the other voice, the voice of Voldemort, is coming from a high backed chair that is facing away from him. Frank, terrified at this point, challenges this “Lord” to face him like a man.
“But I am not a man, Muggle,” said the cold voice, barely audible now over the crackling of the flames. “I am much, much more than a man. However . . . why not? I will face you . . . Wormtail, come turn my chair around.”
We never find out what Frank sees in the chair. All we know is that whatever was in the chair shoots a spell involving green light (presumably Avada Kadavra, although we haven’t learned about that yet) and immediately kills Frank.
Two hundred miles away, the boy called Harry Potter woke with a start.
So much to unpack here! So many questions posed in such a short chapter! How is Voldemort alive and capable of casting spells? How did Wormtail find him? What are their plans for Harry? Did Harry dream this, or did he actually see a real vision? I know the answers to these questions, but we will rediscover them all again together this month!
See you next time for Chapter 2!