In Chapter 15, Harry worries about his correspondence with Sirius, gets put under the Imperius Curse by his professor, and sees the delegations from the other two Triwizard schools arrive at Hogwarts. Let’s go!
I really feel for Harry in the beginning of this chapter. He is really worried about Sirius and feels responsible for his godfather wanting to come back. Is it safe for Sirius to do so? Probably not, although Sirius knows how to take care of himself. Harry writes another note to try and convince Sirius that nothing’s wrong, that he doesn’t need to come, but we can all assume that this isn’t going to work. Sirius cares about Harry and will want to help him, no matter what.
Continuing on with school. Defense Against the Dark Arts class continues to be interesting, as Moody decides that they will all be put under the Imperius Curse so they can see how powerful it is, see what it feels like, and see if they can resist its effects. Hermione protests, and frankly, I’m with her on this one. This is a highly illegal spell, and Moody is going to practice it on school children? Not a great idea. But Moody is adamant, says that Dumbledore himself has approved it, and if Hermione doesn’t want to participate, she is welcome to leave.
He pointed one gnarled finger toward the door. Hermione went very pink and muttered something about not meaning that she wanted to leave. Harry and Ron grinned at each other. They knew Hermione would rather eat bubotuber pus than miss such an important lesson.
How hard is it to resist the Imperius Curse? Turns out it’s VERY hard. None of the students can do it. Moody has them hopping, singing, performing gymnastics, and imitating squirrels, all unable to stop doing whatever he tells them to. Then it’s Harry’s turn. Let’s see what the Imperius Curse actually feels like.
It was the most wonderful feeling. Harry felt a floating sensation as every thought and worry in his head was wiped gently away, leaving nothing but a vague, untraceable happiness. He stood there feeling immensely relaxed, only dimly aware of everyone watching him.
And then he heard Mad-Eye Moody’s voice, echoing in some distant chamber of his empty brain: Jump onto the desk . . . jump onto the desk . . .
So overall, the Imperius Curse doesn’t sound too unpleasant. It doesn’t hurt at least. Harry actually manages to fight it for a bit, arguing back and forth with Moody’s voice inside his head. It doesn’t work for long though, causing him to both jump and not-jump, smashing into a desk. Moody, however, is quite impressed. Harry not only fought it, but he almost succeeded. Moody makes him try again and again until Harry can actually throw off the curse completely. Not bad for a fourth year!
Harry’s success doesn’t stop them from getting a bunch of homework, not just in Moody’s class, but in all of them. Their O.W.L. exams are coming up next year and all of their professors want them to be prepared. The good news is that Professor Trelawney is very impressed with their predictions of impending doom. So good marks there. Other professors, like Binns, Flitwick, even Hagrid, keep piling on the homework. One afternoon though, they see a notice in the entrance hall that promises to break up their weeks of work.
THE DELEGATIONS FROM BEAUXBATONS AND DURMSTRANG WILL BE ARRIVING AT 6 O’CLOCK ON FRIDAY THE 30TH OF OCTOBER. LESSONS WILL END HALF AN HOUR EARLY. STUDENTS WILL RETURN THEIR BAGS AND BOOKS TO THEIR DORMITORIES AND ASSEMBLE IN FRONT OF THE CASTLE TO GREET OUR GUESTS BEFORE THE WELCOMING FEAST.
They also hear from Ernie Macmillan that Cedric Diggory is thinking about entering the competition to be Hogwarts champion. As the castle is cleaned from top to bottom and decorated with its finest, Fred and George are acting weird. This isn’t the first time that Harry and Ron have overheard them talking oddly. This time they are talking about sending a letter to someone who is avoiding them. They won’t say anything further. And they also haven’t found anything out about how the champions will be selected in order to circumvent Dumbledore’s age restriction.
Hermione gives them a few facts about the Triwizard Tournament that she learned from reading her favorite book, Hogwarts: A History, but she is incredibly miffed that the book doesn’t mention all the house-elves living in the castle. George tries to tell her that he has seen the elves down in the kitchens and they are happy, but Hermione dismisses that, saying that they are brainwashed to think so.
Oh, and Harry gets another note from Sirius. He didn’t buy Harry’s explanation, not at all.
It’s time for the delegations from the other Triwizard schools to arrive. First to arrive: the delegations from Beauxbatons.
As the gigantic black shape skimmed over the treetops of the Forbidden Forest and the lights shining from the castle windows hit it, they saw a gigantic, powder-blue, horse-drawn carriage, the size of a large house, soaring toward them, pulled through the air by a dozen winged horses, all palominos, and each the size of an elephant.
Impressive. Even more impressive: Beauxbaton’s headmistress, Madame Maxime, who is a very, very, very tall woman, just as tall as Hagrid. As Madame Maxime leads the Beauxbatons students head into the castle to get warm, after being assured that Hagrid will take care of their horses, the Hogwarts students await the arrival from Durmstrang. They don’t have long to wait, as all eyes turn to the lake.
Slowly, magnificently, the ship rose out of the water, gleaming in the moonlight. It had a strangely skeletal look about it, as though it were a resurrected wreck, and the dim, misty lights shimmering at its portholes looked like ghostly eyes. Finally, with a great sloshing noise, the ship emerged entirely, bobbing on the turbulent water, and began to glide toward the bank.
The Durmstrang headmaster, Professor Karkaroff, greets Dumbledore, before ushering his students into the castle. They get a good look at one of the students though, and his features are immediately recognized. Viktor Krum. Quidditch phenom and, apparently, Durmstrang student. It doesn’t take a giant leap of faith to guess that he is the favorite to be named Durmstrang champion.
See you next time for Chapter 16!