In Chapter 6, it’s off to the Quidditch World Cup! Let’s go!
One thing that I am really enjoying is the fact that these first chapters in Goblet of Fire are short! Not much really happens in this chapter – basically, the main “action” is that everyone wakes up and then takes a walk to a hill where their transportation to the Quidditch World Cup pitch awaits. That’s it, really. But still, there’s a lot of interesting information in this chapter that I really enjoy reading, things that make this world even richer and more detailed.
Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys all have to wake up early in order to get to their destination – except for Bill, Charlie and Percy, who are able to Apparate. I can’t remember if we had learned about Apparition before, but it is the ability to basically teleport yourself from one place to another through magic. You have to take a test once you’re of age – Percy just took his and passed. Sort of like taking a test for your drivers license for us Muggles, I’m guessing, only a much more convenient method of travel. It’s not without its dangers though. If you aren’t careful, you can get Splinched.
“They left half of themselves behind,” said Mr. Weasley, now spooning large amounts of treacle onto his porridge. “So, of course, they were stuck. Couldn’t move either way. Had to wait for the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad to sort them out. Meant a fair old bit of paperwork, I can tell you, what with the Muggles who spotted the body parts they’d left behind . . .”
This sounds almost comical, but we learn later in Deathly Hallows that it’s actually quite dangerous and painful. Plus, it would be extremely disturbing to see only part of someone disappear and have random body parts left. I’m way to squeamish for that!
Fred and George also get in trouble, again. They attempted to smuggle some of their creations to the World Cup, but it’s really hard to sneak something past Mrs. Weasley. She confiscates the sweets and throws them away, which of course, Fred and George are not happy about. They spent six months making these! Mrs. Weasley is furious that they wasted their time on this instead of studying for their O.W.L. exams.
Everyone heads out to Stoatshead Hill, the location of the closest Portkey. A Portkey is an object that can be used basically the same way as Apparating, except that it is an item. It is scheduled for a particular time and will transport whoever happens to be touching it. Mr. Weasley goes into detail about how hard the Quidditch World Cup has been to organize, mostly to keep Muggles from finding out about it. Wizards and witches from all over the world are coming, after all. They can’t clog up Muggle transportation or risk Muggles asking questions. There are Portkeys scattered across Britain, each set to go off on a certain schedule. Theirs is an old boot.
At the Portkey, we meet Amos Diggory, the father of Cedric Diggory, the Captain of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team. Cedric is a nice guy (even if Fred and George haven’t forgiven him for beating Gryffindor that one year) but his dad is a bit . . . pompous. Or at least extremely proud of his son. He’s excited to meet the famous Harry Potter, but is even more excited to crow about how HIS son beat Harry.
“Harry fell off his broom, Dad,” he (Cedric) muttered. “I told you . . . it was an accident . . .”
“Yes, but youdidn’t fall off, did you?” roared Amos genially, slapping his son on the back. “Always modest, our Ced, always the gentleman . . . but the best man won, I’m sure Harry’d say the same, wouldn’t you, eh? One falls off his broom, one stays on, you don’t need to be a genius to tell which one’s the better flier!”
Amos Diggory, please shut up before I smack you.
They all gather around the Portkey, as they are the only ones there traveling that way (there are two other wizarding families in the area, but the Fawcetts didn’t get tickets, and the Lovegoods are already there). Traveling by Portkey sounds uncomfortable, feeling as though a hook is pulling through your bellybutton and then slamming you onto the ground. But they made it! On to the festivities!
See you next time for Chapter 7!