In Chapter 17, we deal with the fallout of having two Hogwarts champions, one of them being Harry Potter. Let’s go!
Oh boy. These things always seem to happen to poor Harry, don’t they. He’s stunned. Everyone else is stunned. Even Dumbledore doesn’t seem to know what to do or think, which is unusual because Dumbledore always seems to know everything. If he’s lost, you know we’re in trouble.
Harry didn’t enter. We know that. He may have fantasized about it a time or two, but he never actually did anything, or even attempted it, like Fred and George. Dumbledore asks him to come forward, which he hesitantly does. The difference between this and the other champions’ announcements is striking, that’s for sure. Once he enters the room with the other champions, they are confused. Fleur thinks he’s just a messenger, but Ludo Bagman rushes in and announces that no, Harry is actually the fourth champion.
Viktor Krum straightened up. His surly face darkened as he surveyed Harry. Cedric looked nonplussed. He looked from Bagman to Harry and back again as though sure he must have misheard what Bagman had said. Fleur Delacour, however, tossed her hair, smiling, and said, “Oh, vairy funny joke, Meester Bagman.”
“Joke?” Bagman repeated, bewildered. “No, no, not at all! Harry’s name just came out of the Goblet of Fire!”
Yeah, no one knows what to do about this at all. The Goblet basically creates a magical contract, so now Harry has to compete. Fleur refers to Harry as a “little boy,” which is a bit much, Fleur. Honestly. The other Headmasters are also not too happy about Hogwarts having a second champion, a second chance to win the entire tournament. They also don’t like that the age restriction has been obstructed somehow, as they would have brought more students to compete if they had been allowed.
Dumbledore asks very calmly if Harry put his name in. Yes, I said VERY CALMLY. VERY. CALMLY. Did you hear that, Michael Gambon? CALMLY!!!
Harry says that he didn’t, and that he also didn’t ask an older student to do it for him (why didn’t the twins think of that??). Madame Maxime thinks Harry is lying or that Dumbledore made a mistake with the Age Line (not likely). Karkaroff appeals to Mr. Crouch as an impartial, objective judge. What are they to do about this?
“We must follow the rules, and the rules state clearly that those people whose names come out of the Goblet of Fire are bound to compete in the tournament.”
Crouch doesn’t seem happy about it, unlike Bagman, who seems over the moon. Karkaroff and Maxime don’t think this is fair and want to redo the selection process so they too can have two champions, but the Goblet doesn’t work that way. The fire is out now and can’t be reignited until the next tournament begins. Karkaroff threatens to pull out of the competition and take his students home, but then Moody steps up. Yeah, Karkaroff and Moody don’t seem to get along too much, but Moody also makes a valid point. Why isn’t Harry complaining? Or saying anything at all about this? He is the one who will be risking his life competing in this tournament with older, more experienced students. Moody feels like a very powerful witch or wizard must be involved somewhere.
“Because they hoodwinked a very powerful magical object!” said Moody. “It would have needed an exceptionally strong Confundus Charm to bamboozle that goblet into forgetting that only three schools compete in the tournament . . . I’m guessing they submitted Potter’s name under a fourth school, to make sure he was the only one in his category . . .”
An interesting theory (which we now know is exactly how it was done, and why Moody knows hehe). Karkaroff tries to brush this off as another one of Moody’s paranoid delusions, but Moody is not having it.
“It’s my job to think the way Dark wizards do, Karkaroff — as you ought to remember . . .”
Yeah, they definitely have a history together. We also learn here that Moody’s real first name is Alastor. Not Mad-Eye.
They finally all have to admit that there is nothing they can do. Harry has to compete with the other champions, and that is that. So let’s move on to what they actually have to do, shall we? Unfortunately, for the first task, they aren’t given much to go on. All they are told is that it will test their “daring” and “courage in the face of the unknown.” They are not to accept any help from teachers, they will only have their wands, and they will learn about the second task after the first one is complete. And . . . that’s all they tell them, really.
Dumbledore sends Harry and Cedric off to their respective common rooms and Cedric asks Harry how he did it. How did he enter? Harry tells Cedric that he was telling the truth back there — he didn’t put his name in and has no idea how this all happened. Cedric doesn’t seem to believe him, but doesn’t make a big deal about it. On his way up to Gryffindor Tower, Harry tries to make sense of everything. Who would possibly want to enter him into the tournament in the first place? Moody thought someone might wish harm on Harry, but Moody thinks that everyone around him is dangerous at all times. However . . .
Yes, someone wanted him dead, someone had wanted him dead ever since he had been a year old . . . Lord Voldemort. But how could Voldemort have ensured that Harry’s name got into the Goblet of Fire? Voldemort was supposed to be far away, in some distant country, in hiding, alone . . . feeble and powerless . . .
All of this reminds Harry of his dreams over the summer and his scar hurting. Could it all be connected somehow? Nothing seems impossible anymore.
He makes it into the common room and everyone is very excited. The twins, in particular, are very impressed. Everyone wants to celebrate and no one wants to listen to Harry maintain his innocence. He finally escapes up to his dorm room where he finds Ron, all by himself. Ron. His best friend. Ron doesn’t believe him. He swears that Harry must have found a way to enter and is hurt that Harry didn’t tell him about it so that he could enter too.
“I didn’t put my name in that goblet!” said Harry, starting to feel angry.
“Yeah, okay,” said Ron, in exactly the same skeptical tone as Cedric. “Only you said this morning you’d have done it last night, and no one would’ve seen you . . . I’m not stupid, you know.”
Okay, yeah, Harry said that. But he didn’t say it as though he had actually done it. It was speculation, nothing more. Ron’s not having it, though. He is used to always being overshadowed by Harry and this seems to be the last straw. Harry is left feeling more alone than ever, and wondering how the heck he got into this mess. Poor Harry!
See you next time for Chapter 18!