In Chapter 16, we find out exactly how the Triwizard Champions are chosen. Let’s go!
So Viktor Krum, Bulgarian Quidditch star, is not only a student at Durmstrang, he has arrived at Hogwarts for the Triwizard Tournament. Everyone is really excited about that, including a group of girls wondering if he would sign his autograph in lipstick. Hermione finds all of this a bit ridiculous, but what can you do. Everyone, especially Ron, is star struck. It makes it all the more disappointing when the Durmstrang contingent ends up sitting at the Slytherin table.
But at least the Durmstrang students seem impressed and appreciative of the spread. The Beauxbatons students, seated with the Ravenclaws, look particularly snooty. Snooty, but . . . one in particular is unbelievably beautiful. She laughed at Dumbledore’s welcome, but when she came to get a dish from the Gryffindor table, Ron had a pretty strong reaction to her.
The girl picked up the dish and carried it carefully off to the Ravenclaw table. Ron was still goggling at the girl as though he had never seen one before. Harry started to laugh. The sound seemed to jog Ron back to his senses.
“She’s a veela!” he said hoarsely to Harry.
“Of course she isn’t!” said Hermione tartly. “I don’t see anyone else gaping at her like an idiot!”
Not entirely true, but Hermione has her own reasons for being irritated by Ron’s behavior.
Dumbledore introduces two more guests seated at the Head table: Ludo Bagman and Bartemius Crouch. As the Ministry organizers of the event, they are there to help kick things off. They will also be judges of the competition, in addition to the Headmasters of the schools participating. There will be three tasks that the champions must complete, each testing the champion in various ways. And how are those champions chosen? Why, the answer is in the book title, of course! When a large chest is brought to the front of the Great Hall, everyone else gets to see what they are dealing with.
Dumbledore now took out his wand and tapped three times upon the top of the casket. The lid creaked slowly open. Dumbledore reached inside it and pulled out a large, roughly hewn wooden cup. It would have been entirely unremarkable had it not been full to the brim with dancing blue-white flames.
Behold the Goblet of Fire! Any student who wants to enter only has to write their name on a piece of paper and throw it in. The Cup will select the champions in 24 hours. To enforce the age restriction, Dumbledore will be drawing a line around the Cup that will keep out any underage students from approaching it. Fred and George, still keen on entering, are sure they can figure out a way to trick the line into letting them through.
There is a weird moment between Harry and Karkaroff, the Headmaster of Durmstrang. They run into each other as they are leaving the hall and Karkaroff just gives Harry a weird look. Professor Moody breaks it up though and glares at everyone else. Because it’s Moody.
The next day, we find out that the entire Durmstrang group got up early and put their names in the Goblet of Fire. No one has seen anyone from Hogwarts put their name in yet, but Harry speculates that maybe they did late the night before so that no one would see. Fred and George are excited though – they took an Aging Potion to try and confuse Dumbledore’s Age Line to get to the Goblet. Fred steps up and . . . steps over the line.
For a split second Harry thought it had worked — George certainly thought so, for he let out a yell of triumph and leapt after Fred — but next moment, there was a loud sizzling sound, and both twins were hurled out of the golden circle as though they had been thrown by an invisible shot-putter. They landed painfully, ten feet away on the cold stone floor, and to add insult to injury, there was a loud popping noise, and both of them sprouted identical long white beards.
You can’t say that Dumbledore doesn’t have a sense of humor. He is rather amused by the twins’ attempt, although their idea wasn’t original: there are a few other students in the hospital wing, also sprouting lovely white beards. Oh well. So much for that idea.
The twins are out, but who will be the Hogwarts champion? There is talk of Cedric Diggory entering, and we find out that Angelina Johnson from the Gryffindor Quidditch team has also entered. The Beauxbatons students all file in and place their names into the Goblet of Fire as well, including the girl who Ron swears is a veela. I can’t help but wonder who else from Hogwarts entered. We know about Cedric and Angelina, and they also mention a Slytherin named Warrington who entered, but no one else. I’m sure others have, I just wonder who.
Harry, Ron and Hermione run down to visit Hagrid. Hermione is especially excited to tell him about S.P.E.W. But Hagrid is acting very strange. He’s wearing a very odd looking suit, his hair is slicked back, and he has a LOT of cologne on. Hmmm. Wonder why he’s trying to look so spiffy? It’s not to impress the skrewts – they’ve started killing each other. Might have something to do with a certain tall lady from Beauxbatons, whose winged horses happen to be in Hagrid’s care at the moment. Uh huh. Just maybe.
Hagrid has a crush and it’s so cute, y’all!
Oh, and he’s also not interested in S.P.E.W. at all.
“It’d be doin’ ’em an unkindness, Hermione,” he said gravely, threading a massive bone needle with thick yellow yarn. “It’s in their nature ter look after humans, that’s what they like, see? Yeh’d be makin’ ’em unhappy ter take away their work, an’ insultin’ ’em if yeh tried to pay ’em.”
Hermione isn’t too happy about that.
Back up to the castle for the evening feast and the announcement of the champions! The Gryffindors are all rooting for Angelina, but everyone is staring in anticipation at the Goblet. Finally, the flames turn red and it shoots out a piece of parchment. The Durmstrang champion is . . .Viktor Krum. As Ron says, “No surprises there.” We were all pretty sure that was who would get it. The Beauxbatons champion is Fleur Delacour, the veela girl that Ron was so enamored with. The time has come for the Hogwarts champion to be revealed and . . . it’s Cedric Diggory.
Everyone is very excited, especially the Hufflepuff students. As Dumbledore is wrapping everything up, the Goblet starts acting odd. It turns red again and starts sparking, shooting out one more piece of paper.
Automatically, it seemed, Dumbledore reached out a long hand and seized the parchment. He held it out and stared at the name written upon it. There was a long pause, during which Dumbledore stared at the slip in his hands, and everyone in the room stared at Dumbledore. And then Dumbledore cleared his throat and read out —
Yeah, you didn’t think Harry was going to be able to sit on the sidelines, did you? Of course not!
See you next time for Chapter 17!