Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapters 35 to 37

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Okay, folks. We have three chapters left of this book and we’re gonna knock them all out at once so we can get started on Order of the Phoenix next week. Who’s with me!!

Well, I guess all of you are with me, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this. So let’s go!

Chapter 35

We are going to add this entire chapter to the list of reasons why Harry Potter should have been in intense therapy for the rest of his life, or at least on some major magical medication. Seriously, how did he not end up in a private room at St. Mungos? How?

He made it away from Voldemort. He’s back at the Quidditch-pitch-turned-maze. He’s clutching the dead body of Cedric Diggory. All is complete chaos, and all Harry can say is that he did what Cedric wanted, he brought Cedric’s body back for his parents. This is horrifying! Harry hears Dumbledore saying he wants Harry to stay, but Dumbledore also has to worry about Cedric’s parents, who are in the crowd watching all this go down.

Someone larger and stronger than he was was half pulling, half carrying him through the frightened crowd. Harry heard people gasping, screaming, and shouting as the man supporting him pushed a path through them, taking him back to the castle. Across the lawn, past the lake and the Durmstrang ship, Harry heard nothing but the heavy breathing of the man helping him walk.

“What happened, Harry?” the man asked at last as he lifted Harry up the stone steps. Clunk. Clunk. Clunk. It was Mad-Eye Moody.

A show of hands, who was relieved that Harry was being taken care of by Mad-Eye when they first read this. I sure was! Mad-Eye had proven himself. He took care of Harry. He was his friend. Dumbledore trusted him enough to not only allow him to teach at Hogwarts, but to demonstrate Unforgivables to the students. This guy was legit!

Mad-Eye questions Harry what had happened and Harry doesn’t hesitate to tell him. WE ALL TRUSTED MAD-EYE! At first, things seem fine. Mad-Eye is a former Auror, so of course he’s gonna want the details. He asks Harry normal questions after a thing like this, a basic order of events, more specific details on the spell ritual that brought on Voldemort’s return. But then there’s this question, after Harry says that the Death Eaters returned to Voldemort’s side:

“How did he treat them?” Moody asked quietly. “Did he forgive them?”

Why . . . why should that matter? It shouldn’t. In a legal investigation, whether or not Voldemort forgave his followers for abandoning him doesn’t mean squat, but it sure means something to Moody. Harry doesn’t even notice the question because he realizes that he should have told Dumbledore what he found out at the graveyard: there’s a Death Eater at Hogwarts, the person who made sure that Harry would be entered in the Triwizard Tournament. But don’t worry. Moody already knows who the Death Eater is. Harry immediately thinks it’s Karkaroff, but Moody tells him that Karkaroff was gone, ran away as soon as the Dark Mark burned when Voldemort summoned him. Karkaroff is a coward, too afraid to face the Death Eaters he betrayed to the Ministry to save his own skin.

So it wasn’t Karkaroff who put Harry’s name into the Goblet of Fire, but Moody knows who did. It was Moody himself. Before Harry can even process that, Moody appears fixated on that one detail from before.

“I asked you,” said Moody quietly, “whether he forgave the scum who never even went to look for him. Those treacherous cowards who wouldn’t even brave Azkaban for him. The faithless, worthless bits of filth who were brave enough to cavort in masks at the Quidditch World Cup, but fled at the sight of the Dark Mark when I fired it into the sky . . .

“I told you, Harry . . . I told you. If there’s one thing I hate more than any other, it’s a Death Eater who walked free. They turned their backs on my master when he needed them most. I expected him to punish them. I expected him to torture them. Tell me he hurt them, Harry . . .” Moody’s face was suddenly lit with an insane smile. “Tell me he told them that I, I alone remained faithful . . . prepared to risk everything to deliver to him the one thing he wanted above all . . . you.”

None of this makes any sense. Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody was a renowned Auror who captured lots of Death Eaters and made sure they were put away. He was well known for fighting the Dark Arts, not supporting them. Sure, he got a reputation for being a little crazy and paranoid, but Moody a Death Eater? According to Moody, he has been guiding Harry along this whole time, hoping to get him into the maze early so he could dispatch the other champions before they got to the Cup-turned-Portkey. Moody was the one who told Cedric to open the egg underwater, knowing that Cedric would want to repay the favor Harry gave him in telling him about the dragon. “Decent people are so easy to manipulate,” after all.

He also gave Neville that book about plants hoping that Harry would find out about gillyweed, but when he didn’t, he made sure Dobby overheard him talking about the stuff so that Dobby would make sure Harry got some. In the maze, Moody stunned Fleur and put Krum under the Imperius Curse to take out Diggory, which didn’t really work. Diggory was able to overpower Krum, which is ultimately what led to him going with Harry to the graveyard. All of this was so that Moody would see himself raised up in Voldemort’s eyes, honored over all the other Death Eaters.

“The Dark Lord and I,” said Moody, and he looked completely insane now, towering over Harry, leering down at him, “have much in common. Both of us, for instance, had very disappointing fathers . . . very disappointing indeed. Both of us had the pleasure . . . the very great pleasure . . . of killing our fathers to ensure the continued rise of the Dark Order.”

This is strange, because wouldn’t there have been some sort of story about the mysterious death of Moody’s father at some point? Wouldn’t that be the type of thing people would know about, especially with Moody’s prominence in the Auror department for so long?

Moody is fully insane now though, but as he raises his hand to finish Harry off, there is a large crash. It’s Dumbledore, Snape and McGonagall to the rescue! And Dumbledore is furious. It’s the first time we’ve really seen this side of him, the warrior that Voldemort feared. As he kicks over Moody so we can see his face, McGonagall goes to Harry and tries to take him to the hospital wing, but Dumbledore wants him to stay. He wants Harry to learn the truth to what he had suffered. Harry still can’t believe that all this time, it has been Moody behind all this.

“This is not Alastor Moody,” said Dumbledore quietly. “You have never known Alastor Moody. The real Moody would not have removed you from my sight after what happened tonight. The moment he took you, I knew — and I followed.”

Here comes the part where J.K. Rowling blows our minds again! Plot twists inside plot twists!

Dumbledore sends Snape to go fetch the strongest Truth Potion he has and then bring up Winky the house-elf from the kitchens. He tells McGonagall to go down to Hagrid’s pumpkin patch, where she will find a large black dog, and take that dog to his office. Snape and McGonagall must be used to following weird orders from their boss, since they don’t question him. Honestly, only the Truth Potion part makes sense. Dumbledore takes a set of keys and goes to Moody’s trunk. Each key makes the trunk reveal something different, but the last one shows an unconscious man laying inside: the real Mad-Eye Moody.

How is this possible? Polyjuice potion, of course. An almost throw-away plot point from Chamber of Secrets coming back. Moody is famous for drinking only from his flask, so no one would question him doing so every hour on the hour to keep the Polyjuice from wearing off. However, with everything going on this particular evening, it’s very possible that the imposter forgot to take it again tonight. Indeed, as they watch, the stunned Moody’s body begins to change, the wooden leg falling off, the magic eye popping out.

Harry saw a man lying before him, pale-skinned, slightly freckled, with a mop of fair hair. He knew who he was. He had seen him in Dumbledore’s Pensieve, had watched him being led away from court by the dementors, trying to convince Mr. Crouch that he was innocent . . . but he was lined around the eyes now and looked much older . . .

Snape returns with Winky and immediately recognizes the newly revealed man as Barty Crouch Jr. McGonagall can’t believe it. Winky is afraid that they killed him and is horrified. Dumbledore gives the unconscious man three drops of Veritaserum and then wakes him up with a spell. As Crouch begins to speak, a man who everyone thought was dead, he tells quite a tale.

It was his mother’s idea. She was dying and her dying wish was for his father to save their son. They used Polyjuice to switch places, leaving his mother to die and be buried at Azkaban while Crouch Jr. was kept prisoner by his father. He had to constantly wear an Invisibility Cloak and was kept under the Imperius Curse to be controlled. Winky was his constant companion and took care of him. During this time, only one person ever discovered the truth: a witch who worked with his father named Bertha Jorkins. She had come to the house and saw the truth. Crouch Sr. tried to modify her memory to make her forget and it damaged her memory permanently, which is why she got the reputation of being so wonky at the Ministry.

And now the Quidditch World Cup, where Crouch Jr. has already admitted that he set off the Dark Mark. Winky had convinced Crouch Sr. to let his son go to the game, which he did under heavy supervision. He was with Winky, tethered to her under the Invisibility Cloak, when Harry and his friends saw her up in the Minister’s box. When the Death Eaters turned up and had their fun, Winky tried to drag him away, which is how they ended up where they did and why Winky was stunned by the officials after Crouch Jr. cast the spell, which led to her being dismissed from the Crouch household. It’s all very complicated, isn’t it!

“Now it was just Father and I, alone in the house. And then . . . and then . . .” Crouch’s head rolled on his neck, and an insane grin spread across his face. “My master came for me.”

Voldemort had heard from Bertha Jorkins that Crouch Jr. was alive. Now the roles were reversed: Crouch Jr. was in charge and Crouch Sr. was the one who was a carefully controlled prisoner. This is the reason for his erratic behavior and his disappearance. He also captured Mad-Eye Moody. Remember that break-in, way back at the beginning of the book? The disturbance that Mr. Weasley went to help smooth over? Yep. That was Crouch.  By the time anyone else got there, he had already taken Moody’s place with the Polyjuice and prepared himself to go to Hogwarts. Misdirection upon misdirection upon misdirection!

At some point, Crouch Sr. is able to break free, which is when he confronted Harry and Krum down by the Forbidden Forest. Crouch Jr. was able to intercept him while everyone was running back and forth looking for him and killed him. Barty Crouch Sr. is buried in Hagrid’s garden. And then, the events of this night, the final night of the Triwizard Tournament.

“I offered to carry the Triwizard Cup into the maze before dinner,” whispered Barty Crouch. “Turned it into a Portkey. My master’s plan worked. He is returned to power and I will be honored by him beyond the dreams of wizards.”

This is incredibly messed up, y’all.

Chapter 36

So after all of that (that’s a really long chapter!), Dumbledore ties up Crouch and asks McGonagall to watch over him while he takes Harry upstairs. How is Harry still upright at this point? I would have fainted dead away so much earlier! Dumbledore also sends Snape to go get Madam Pomfrey so she can help the real Moody, who is still in the trunk, and then go get Cornelius Fudge, who will want to question Crouch himself. Dumbledore is taking Harry to Sirius, which is probably the best thing for Harry at this point.

On the way, Harry can’t stop picturing everything that has just happened: Voldemort’s return, Wormtail and his hand that he CUT OFF, Cedric’s dead body. He asks after Cedric’s parents and Dumbledore tells him that they are with Professor Sprout, Cedric’s Head of House.

They get to Dumbledore’s office and there is Sirius, ready to risk everything to make sure to be with Harry in his time of need. Fawkes is also there, ready to lend some tears to help heal Harry’s leg, which has been hurting this entire time, by the way. Dumbledore fills Sirius in on everything that Crouch had told him and then asks Harry to tell them everything that had happened after he touched the Portkey.

“We can leave that till morning, can’t we, Dumbledore?” said Sirius harshly. He put a hand on Harry’s shoulder. “Let him have a sleep. Let him rest.”

Sirius is all of us at this point, let’s be honest. We all wish Harry could just rest and try to recover from this ordeal. Dumbledore points out, probably correctly, that putting off facing it is not going to help Harry in the long run. Between Dumbledore’s and Sirius’s support, and Fawkes’s phoenix song, Harry finds the strength to relive what had happened in the graveyard. He explains what Voldemort had said, about wanting to use Harry’s blood in the ritual in order to circumvent Lily’s protection. As soon as he tells them this, we get a very weird reaction from Dumbledore.

For a fleeting instant, Harry thought he saw a gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore’s eyes. But next second, Harry was sure he had imagined it, for when Dumbledore had returned to his seat behind the desk, he looked as old and weary as Harry had ever seen him.

“Very well,” he said, sitting down again. “Voldemort has overcome that particular barrier. Harry, continue, please.”

This “gleam of triumph” was the cause of so much speculation in the HP fandom community! What on earth did it mean??? Not going to go into it here, but let’s just say that Dumbledore is like an expert chess player who is thinking three or four moves ahead of the game and this has moved him even further down the board. Wait, that’s a really bad analogy. Oh well, you know what I mean!

Harry continues until he gets to the part where their wands connected. Sirius doesn’t understand why that happened, and to be honest, we didn’t either at this point. Dumbledore does, though — a phenomenon called “Priori Incantatem,” something that happens when two wands who share the same exact core are forced to fight each other. Harry and Voldemort’s wands each have a feather from the same phoenix inside them. That phoenix also just happens to be Fawkes! The wands recognize each other and refuse to fight; instead, one of them will force the other to “regurgitate spells it has performed.” Which is why we saw shadowy figures of Voldemort’s recent murder victims.

Harry finally finishes his story and is led to the hospital wing, Sirius changing back into his dog form. They are met by Ron, Hermione, Bill, and a very upset Mrs. Weasley. Dumbledore tells them that they may stay if Harry wants them to, but they can’t talk to him about what happened right now. Harry needs to rest. Dumbledore also convinces Madam Pomfrey that the dog can stay.

As Madam Pomfrey led Harry to a nearby bed, he caught sight of the real Moody lying motionless in a bed at the far end of the room. His wooden leg and magical eye were lying on the beside table.”

“Is he okay?” Harry asked.

It really shows some merit that Harry is concerned for Moody, even given his state at the moment. Even though on an intellectual level, he knows that Moody isn’t responsible for everything that went on tonight, it was still someone who LOOKED LIKE Moody, and that would be enough for me to not really want to see him, especially right now. Harry also reassures everyone else that he is okay. Madam Pomfrey gives him a potion to help him sleep and Harry takes it.

Harry wakes up to people shouting. Fudge. McGonagall. They burst into the hospital wing, followed by Snape, looking for Dumbledore, who arrives soon after. Turns out that when Fudge heard they had caught a Death Eater, he decided to bring a dementor with him to question Crouch. Let’s just say that we don’t have to worry about Crouch any more. Dumbledore had wanted Crouch to give his testimony, but Fudge doesn’t want to hear about it. He has heard McGonagall and Snape’s version of events and thinks Crouch was just a dangerous lunatic. He also does what, in my opinion, makes him the absolute worst character in the series.

He refuses to believe Voldemort is back.

“See here, Dumbledore,” said Fudge, and Harry was astonished to see a slight smile dawning on his face, “you — you can’t seriously believe that. You-Know-Who — back? Come now, come now . . . certainly, Crouch may have believed himself to be acting upon You-Know-Who’s orders — but to take the word of a lunatic like that, Dumbledore . . .”

And here’s the thing. Fudge knows that he’s not very smart. He knows that Dumbledore is smarter and more powerful than he is. Fudge also knows that he is in a position of power, and that power is tenuous at best. It is much easier to believe that Dumbledore is lying to him and that all the crazy stories Rita Skeeter has been spreading about Harry are true than it is to accept responsibility of leading the Ministry of Magic through a dangerous time. Fudge is weak. Fudge is scared. He doesn’t want to see everything he has built up destroyed, even if doing so might save lives and actually give them an advantage over Voldemort this time around.

No, it’s easier to believe that Dumbledore is either trying to overthrow him, has gone mad, or both. Dumbledore, however, is neither of those things.

“The only one against whom I intend to work,” said Dumbledore, “is Lord Voldemort. If you are against him, then we remain, Cornelius, on the same side.”

Another round of proof comes from Snape, who shows Fudge the Dark Mark on his arm, fading now but still very visible. This mark was burned into each Death Eater by Voldemort himself as a means of summoning them. He and Karkaroff both felt the Mark burn and knew what it meant. Fudge is disgusted by everything and leaves after giving Harry the prize money for winning the Tournament.  After he’s gone, Dumbledore turns to Mrs. Weasley and asks if he can count on her and Mr. Weasley, which she confirms. Bill goes to send a message to him. Dumbledore sends McGonagall to go find Hagrid and Madame Maxime, if she will come, and bring them to his office. He also sends Pomfrey to go take care of Winky. Once the room is mostly cleared out, he asks Sirius to transform.

Really, Dumbledore should have probably given them some warning. Mrs. Weasley is horrified, but Ron reassures her that it’s okay. Snape is not happy about it at all, but Dumbledore tells them both that they need to get over their differences and trust each other. Yeah, Dumbledore. That’s not going to happen.

“I will settle, in the short term,” said Dumbledore, with a bite of impatience in his voice, “for a lack of open hostility. You will shake hands. You are on the same side now. Time is short, and unless the few of us who know the truth stand united, there is no hope for any of us.”

Very slowly — but still glaring at each other as though each wished the other nothing but ill — Sirius and Snape moved towards each other and shook hands. They let go extremely quickly.

They need to grow up, honestly.

Dumbledore sends Sirius to alert “the old crowd,” including Lupin! I wish that Sirius could have stayed with Harry longer, but they both understand that there are important matters that need to be attended to. Snape is given another assignment, one that is not defined here, but one that Snape was prepared for. If you think about it, of all of them, Snape has probably been anticipating Voldemort’s return the longest, since he could see the Dark Mark on his arm coming back. He knew what was going to happen, at least in the general sense, and he knew what would have to happen after — his role as a spy. After taking care of this, Dumbledore bids them goodbye and goes to meet with the Diggorys.

And now we come to what I think is the saddest part of this book, even more sad than Cedric’s death. Harry has been able to put off feeling the raw emotions of everything that has happened: the terror, the pain, the sadness, and the crushing guilt. It all comes out after Mrs. Weasley tells him to try and think about what he might do with his winnings. Harry doesn’t want the money. He wasn’t supposed to win. It should have been Cedric’s. Cedric should have been the champion and should have won, but instead he died because Harry suggested they take the Cup together.

Mrs. Weasley set the potion down on the bedside cabinet, bent down, and put her arms around Harry. He had no memory of ever being hugged like this, as though by a mother. The full weight of everything he had seen that night seemed to fall in upon him as Mrs. Weasley held him to her. His mother’s face, his father’s voice, the sight of Cedric, dead on the ground all started spinning in his head until he could hardly bear it, until he was screwing up his face against the howl of misery fighting to get out of him.

Imagine what it’s like to live your entire life and not know the feel of a mother’s arms around you, holding you, protecting you, taking care of you. Setting aside the general abuse that Harry received growing up at the Dursleys, children need to have physical contact in order to grow up healthy and HARRY HAS NEVER HAD THAT EVER. He’s never been hugged by a family member. Never been touched, except to be smacked around, until he was 11 years old and left the Dursleys’ house. HOW DID HE GROW UP SO DAMN NORMAL!!!!

I could go on, but I won’t. It just makes me hate the Dursleys even more than I already do.

There’s a weird moment where Hermione slams a window, but we’ll get to that next chapter. For right now, Harry needs to take the rest of his potion and get some sleep.

Chapter 37

Oh boy. How do we wrap up this whole traumatic experience? Harry himself admits that he only remembers bits and pieces over the next several days. This boy is overloaded right now. One thing that is bothering him is this prize money he was given. He really, really, really doesn’t want it. He tries to give it to Cedric’s parents, but they don’t want it either. They also tell Harry that they don’t blame him for Cedric’s death and thank him for bringing Cedric’s body back to them.

Dumbledore does address the school at some point and ask them to please not bother Harry with the specifics of what happened. Surprisingly, the student body does just that. Harry spends a lot of time with just Ron and Hermione, knowing he doesn’t have to worry about what people are thinking when he’s with them. All they can do is wait until they hear about something going on outside of Hogwarts until it’s time to go back home.

And Harry is going back to the Dursleys. Even with everything that has happened, even with Voldemort coming back into the world, even with Mrs. Weasley trying to intervene on Harry’s behalf.

“She went to ask him if you could come straight to us this summer,” Ron said. “But he wants you to go back to the Dursleys, at least at first.”

“Why?” said Harry.

“She said Dumbledore’s got his reasons,” said Ron, shaking his head darkly. “I suppose we’ve got to trust him, haven’t we?”

They go down to visit Hagrid, and Hagrid is his usual, wonderful self. He’s also been talking to Madame Maxime again. Hagrid always suspected Voldemort would return and he’s also very proud of all that Harry has done. Also, Dumbledore has a task for Hagrid to complete over the summer, along with Maxime, if she chooses to come. Hagrid has been trying to convince her, and he thinks she’ll agree to it. He won’t give any details though, which does make one think that it might be a bit dangerous.

The end of the school year finally arrives. At the final feast, instead of celebrating the winner of the House Cup, the Great Hall is draped in black banners in honor of Cedric. Mad-Eye Moody is back — the real one this time, and he is even more twitchy and paranoid than he was before. Harry sees that Karkaroff’s chair is empty and wonders if Karkaroff was able to get away, or if he got caught by the Death Eaters he had betrayed.

And then there’s Snape.

What was it that Snape had done on Dumbledore’s orders, the night that Voldemort had returned? And why . . . why . . . was Dumbledore so convinced that Snape was truly on their side? He had been their spy, Dumbledore had said so in the Pensieve. Snape had turned spy against Voldemort, “at great personal risk.” Was that the job he had taken up again? Had he made contact with the Death Eaters, perhaps? Pretended that he had never really gone over to Dumbledore, that he had been, like Voldemort himself, biding his time?

At this point, it’s hard to say. It is one of the reasons that Snape is one of my favorite characters of the series (that, and his brilliant portrayal by Alan Rickman in the films). I will never say that he is a good person, not in the slightest, but there are so many mysteries and layers to the man. I find him absolutely intriguing and wish we could someday have his story, as told by him. Oh well. I guess that’s what fanfiction is for.

Dumbledore says some words about Cedric and they all raise their glasses to toast their fallen friend. Cho is crying at the Ravenclaw table. Dumbledore makes a decision here to not just honor Cedric, but to give the full account of exactly how Cedric died. Voldemort is back. The Ministry may not want people to know that, but it’s true and Dumbledore is going to say so. He also mentions Harry’s role in situation, fighting Voldemort and risking his life to bring Cedric’s body back to Hogwarts. Addressing their foreign guests, Dumbledore has these last remarks.

“Every guest in this Hall will be welcomed back here at any time, should they wish to come. I say to you all, once again — in the light of Lord Voldemort’s return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort’s gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

He does seem to be addressing this to the Durmstrang students in particular, which if you remember correctly, attend a school where the Dark Arts are much more prevalent. With the Dark Lord returning, I hope it gives some of them comfort that they would have a safe haven at Hogwarts should they choose it.

As they are getting ready to leave, Fleur comes over to say goodbye. Krum also comes over specifically to speak to Hermione, but also tells Harry that he respected Cedric. Ron also finally gets his autograph from Krum, which he’s wanted since the World Cup.

On the train, Hermione pulls out the newspaper. Harry looks at it, but oddly enough, there are no stories about him, or about any of the tragic events of the Triwizard Tournament, other than a brief mention that he won. Hermione thinks that Fudge is keeping it quiet, but Harry knows that Fudge would never be able to stop Rita Skeeter. Yeah, about that. Hermione tells them that they don’t have to worry much about Rita Skeeter. She found out how Rita was getting all her information.

“Well, it was you, really, who gave me the idea, Harry,” she said.

“Did I?” said Harry, perplexed. “How?”

Bugging,” said Hermione happily.

“But you said they didn’t work –”

“Oh not electronic bugs,” said Hermione. “No, you see . . . Rita Skeeter” — Hermione’s voice trembled with quiet triumph — “is an unregistered Animagus. She can turn –”

Hermione pulled a small sealed glass jar out of her bag.

“– into a beetle.”

Oh gods. Oh Hermione. She is keeping Rita Skeeter trapped in a glass jar. They think back and realize that yes, they had noticed a beetle during specific moments when Rita would have overheard key information. Malfoy knew about it and would feed her information, along with the rest of the Slytherins too. Hermione caught Rita, put her in the jar, and put an Unbreakable Charm on the jar so that Rita couldn’t transform back. She won’t let her out until they get back to London, and even then, Rita needs to behave herself or Hermione will let everyone know how she got her information.

At this point, Malfoy and his goons come by and start throwing around nasty words, not just about them, but about Cedric too. He doesn’t get to speak long before a whole host of spells hit them, not just from Harry, Ron and Hermione, but also from Fred and George, who saw them pass by and thought they might be up to something. They all settle in to play cards and Harry asks about who they were blackmailing earlier on in the year.

Yeah, that seems so mundane and so long ago, doesn’t it?

Turns out, they were angry with Ludo Bagman. They had made that bet at the World Cup and won quite a bit of money off Bagman, who then paid them in leprechaun gold. Which vanished, because that’s what leprechaun gold does. At first, the twins thought it might be a mistake, but then Bagman kept ignoring them, finally telling them that they had been too young to gamble in the first place. But then, he wouldn’t give them their original money back either. Yeah, Bagman is a scumbag. He owes money all over the place, including with the goblins, which is why no one has seen him since the tournament.

They pull up at Kings Cross and Harry asks for the twins to stay back a moment. He then proceeds to give them his Triwizard winnings. At first, they won’t take it, but Harry insists. It’s an investment in the joke shop.

“Listen,” said Harry firmly. “If you don’t take it, I’m throwing it down the drain. I don’t want it and I don’t need it. But I could do with a few laughs. We could all do with a few laughs. I’ve got a feeling we’re going to need them more than usual before long . . .

“Just do me one favor, okay? Buy Ron some different dress robes and say they’re from you.”

I love that so much.

As Harry leaves his friends, it’s a much different atmosphere. Harry is never happy to return to the Dursleys, but after the events of this year, it’s really hard to say goodbye. Mrs. Weasley tells him that they are going to try to get Harry with them as soon as they can. Harry knows that one day, he will have to face Voldemort again, but right now, there is nothing he can do. Just be ready.

And that’s it! The end of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire! This one is quite a ride, isn’t it! I’ll be starting Order of the Phoenix next week, so be on the lookout for that!

nostalgic reads

Nostalgic Reads -Heart Breaker

Nostalgic Reads

412360Title: Heart Breaker

Author: Francine Pascal, Kate Willliam

Series: Sweet Valley High #8

Blurb: The surf’s up in Sweet Valley, and gorgeous Jessica Wakefield is making a big splash with Bill Chase, the hottest surfer in town. But after she tricks him into falling madly in love with her, she ignores him completely.

To complicate matters, shy, quiet DeeDee Gordon is also after Bill. But Jessica has the upper hand. If Bill even looks at DeeDee, Hurricane Jessica blows him off his board and back into her arms. Can Bill escape Jessica’s undertow, or is he in over his head?

Review: Ugh. This is another one where Jessica is the absolute worst person. Come on, all you 80s girls, answer this for me: why did we like this character?

You can’t help but feel sorry for Bill in this story. He’s very shy, very quiet. Likes to surf and . . . not much else. Spends a lot of time alone out on the waves. He also can’t help himself around Jessica. She leads him on, mostly because she can’t forgive him for turning down her invitation to the Sadie Hawkins Dance. Jessica does not handle rejection at all and is determined to make him pay. Mind you, they were never really dating. It’s not like she was all emotionally invested, they were boyfriend/girlfriend, and then he broke her heart. Bill is absolutely enthralled with Jessica, and she ignores him completely. Or worse than that. She takes advantage of his adoration, gets him to do things for her, and then treats him like dirt. And when a nice girl like DeeDee Gordon shows interest in Bill, Jessica does whatever she can to get the spotlight back on herself so that Bill can’t look away.

Another tragic thing about Bill? His previous girlfriend, Julianne, who was also a surfer and absolutely perfect for him, had died in a car crash before he moved to Sweet Valley. Part of his attraction to the Wakefield girls (he had a crush on Liz first, before falling head over heels for Jessica) was their physical resemblance to Julianne. Which is why he turned Jessica down at first — he was too shocked and still grieving.

Granted, Jessica doesn’t know this bit of background information when she starts messing with Bill’s mind, and I would like to think that she would never have treated him the way she did if she had known. She’s not a complete monster.

Side note: DeeDee’s father is a Hollywood agent. Jessica and Bill are playing the leads in a school play, and when DeeDee’s father drops in for rehearsal, there is a rumor that he thinks one of the actors has true star potential. Jessica spends the entire time absolutely positive that it’s her — and it’s not. It’s Bill. Hahahahaha.

There’s also a little trouble in paradise – Liz and Todd paradise, to be exact. An old friend of Todd’s — a beautiful, female old friend, mind you — moves back to town and make Lizzie all kinds of jealous. True, Todd and Patsy Webber used to date a while back, but they say that they are just friends now. Also, Patsy just came back from living in Paris, which makes Liz feel even worse about her boring self in comparison. As much as I really hate Jessica’s constant preening about how awesome she is, I really don’t like how insecure Elizabeth is about pretty much everything. She’s just as beautiful as Jessica is (identical twins, hello!) and is way smarter, not to mention nicer and an all-around better person. But she’s also always worried about Todd and letting other people walk all over her. Sigh. Luckily, this time there was nothing to worry about. Todd and Patsy are just friends and Todd is still madly in love with Liz.

Bill ends up with DeeDee, Todd and Liz are back together and happy, but there’s one other loose end here — Roger Barrett. Liz finds out that he is actually working nights and weekends as a janitor to help his parents pay for things. He also has a crush on Lila Fowler, the richest girl in school. The set up at the end of this one hints that something might happen between the two of them in the next book, so I guess we shall see. That would definitely be a case of opposites attract!

Blog Tours

COVER REVEAL: Star Child

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Greetings all! I have for you today another cover reveal, courtesy of Xpresso Book Tours. Check this out!

About the Book

StarChildTitle: Star Child

Author: Petra Landon

Series: The Zenkoti Fables #1

Publication Date: August 8, 2019

Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Adventure

Blurb: On a mining outpost, a young woman dreams of the stars. When fate thrusts her in the company of a motley crew of bounty hunters seeking to avenge an injustice, Novi cannot believe her luck. But nothing is as it seems and what she learns will turn her world upside down.

Led by the only man to bring the mightiest army in the Inner Worlds to its knees, the crew is engaged in a wily cat and mouse game with the powerful Guild Coalition. Under the tutelage of her enigmatic shipmates and the charismatic Captain, Novi dodges space outlaws and greedy corporations, mingles with Synths and settlers, travels the wondrous Star Portal Labyrinth and discovers a mysterious legacy bequeathed by the Gods. But each exhilarating adventure raises terrifying questions about her. When a devastating epiphany shatters her world, Novi is forced to question everything she believes.

Author’s Note: This space western style adventure is set on far away exotic worlds. Adventure, intrigue and action abound in this tale of a feisty young heroine embarking on the quest of a lifetime.

Sounds pretty fun! A space fantasy western! Find it on GoodReads here.

About the Author

PetraAn avid reader all her life, only recently has Petra allowed her own imagination to run riot. She loves to travel and reads everything she can get her hands on. Her idea of a good read is one where the story and characters linger, long after the book has been set aside. She strives to write fantasy with vivid characters and elements of adventure, mystery and romance juxtaposed together, since those are the tales she has enjoyed the most over the years. To share the stories swirling in her imagination is a labor of love and a lifelong dream come true for Petra.

Website | Amazon | GoodReads | Mailing List | Pinterest | Twitter

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WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – 6/26/19

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly feature hosted by Sam at Taking On a World of Words. Three questions, three answers. Let’s go!

What are you currently reading?

As you may have guessed from my teaser yesterday, I am currently reading Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas. I am so excited to finally get to this one! I am also reading It’s Our Time by Diane Krauss, a NetGalley ARC that I have. I’ve only just barely started it though. Also still plugging away at Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling, hoping to finish it this week.

What did you recently finish reading?

After what seems like a very long time . . . . I finally finished Kushiel’s Avatar by Jacqueline Carey! Whoohoo!! This means that I can finally cross off Phédre’s Trilogy from my “Complete the Series” challenge! It’s been a long time coming, I can tell you that!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I have another book that I need to start soon – Lock Every Door by Riley Sager. This is for an upcoming blog tour hosted by the Fantastic Flying Book Club, but I haven’t gotten the ARC for it yet. I’ll be starting this once I get it. I will also be reading Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas, the seventh and final book of the Throne of Glass series, after I finish Tower of Dawn. That will be one more I can cross off the “Complete the Series” list!

Those are my answers for this week! Please share yours in comments!

Teaser Tuesday · Top Ten Tuesdays

Teasers & Top Tens – 6/25/19

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Purple Booker. Here are the rules if you want to play along:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

There were two parts of her, Nesryn supposed.

The part that was now Captain of Adarlan’s Royal Guard, who had made a vow to her king to see that the man in the wheeled chair beside her was healed—and to muster an army from the man enthroned before her. That part of Nesryn kept her head high, her shoulders back, her hands within a nonthreatening distance of the ornate sword at her hip.

Then there was the other part.

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic:

Books On My Summer TBR

I’ve never really had different types of reads for different seasons, although I know some folks do it that way. That said, I do have a pretty busy summer full of reviews and blog tours coming up, so let’s take a look, shall we?

  1. It’s Our Time by Dianne Kraus – This is an ARC I got from NetGalley, scheduled for release next month. I should be starting it this week.
  2. The Art of Taxidermy by Sharon Kernot – Another one from NetGalley, this one comes out in August.
  3. Stranger Rituals by Kali Rose Schmidt – This one is for a blog tour next month, hosted by Xpresso.
  4. Pharaoh’s Star by Olivia Hardy Ray – Another blog tour, this one with RABT, scheduled for August.
  5. How the Light Gets In by Katy Upperman – Blog tour through Xpresso, also for August.
  6. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager – Another blog tour book from the Fantastic Flying Book Club (I just love their name!!) This one is in July, and I really need to get started on it!
  7. Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas – I am finally getting to this one! I started it over vacation, although I’m just a chapter in.
  8. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas – Once I finish Tower of Dawn, this is the next and final book in the series. One more to cross off!

I’m going to leave that list at eight instead of ten because I really don’t know where I’m going after I finish the Throne of Glass series. I’ll have to see at some point, once I get through all of the above stuff.

Please share your teasers and top tens in comments!

 

 

Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 34

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In Chapter 34, Harry has his long awaited showdown with Voldemort. Let’s go!

Voldemort is so nasty! Not only does he have Harry right where he wants him, but he has to play with him, like a cat with a mouse. After Wormtail cuts Harry free from his ropes, the other Death Eaters close in around them. There is no where to run, nowhere to hide. Voldemort asks if Harry has learned how to duel, as though this were some sort of civilized meeting.

“We bow to each other, Harry,” said Voldemort, bending a little, but keeping his snakelike face upturned to Harry. “Come, the niceties must be observed . . . Dumbledore would like you to show manners . . . Bow to death, Harry . . .”

Harry doesn’t want to give Voldemort the satisfaction, but then feels some magic power forcing him to bend — the Imperius curse. Voldemort immediately casts the Cruciatus curse at Harry, which was more pain than he had ever felt before. While Harry is trying to stand up, shaking, Voldemort asks Harry if he wants to be hit with that curse again and casts the Imperius curse to get him to answer. Harry is able to fight the curse, but only barely. He doesn’t want to look like he’s begging in any way, shape, or form. It may seem like a small thing, but his ability to throw off one of the Unforgivable curses quiets all the Death Eaters, who had been laughing up until this point.

Voldemort tries to curse Harry again, but Harry flings himself out of the way and the curse hits a nearby gravestone. It is only a momentary break. It’s not really a hiding spot — Voldemort knows exactly where Harry is. When Voldemort comes around the gravestone, Harry does the only thing he can think of, even though he doesn’t think it will work: he casts Expelliarmus. When he does, something weird happens. Voldemort had tried to cast Avada Kedavra at the same time, but the jets of light coming from both their wands connects somehow.

And then — nothing could have prepared Harry for this — he felt his feet lift from the ground. He and Voldemort were both being raised into the air, their wands still connected by that thread of shimmering golden light. They glided away from the tombstone of Voldemort’s father and then came to rest on a patch of ground that was clear and free of graves . . .

The golden thread connecting Harry and Voldemort splintered; though the wands remained connected, a thousand more beams arced high over Harry and Voldemort, crisscrossing all around them, until they were enclosed in a golden, dome-shaped web, a cage of light, beyond which the Death Eaters circled like jackals, their cries strangely muffled now . . .

This is some weird stuff, nothing like anything we’ve ever read about in this series.

Harry’s wand is vibrating violently and it’s all he can do to hang on to it. There are several large beads of light along the thread connecting them and Harry is afraid that if one of them hits his wand, it will be destroyed. He tries to force them back towards Voldemort, concentrating very hard, and it works somehow. As the beads connect with Voldemort’s wand, various shadowy shapes start to appear. First, a hand. Next, the body of Cedric Diggory, which tells Harry to hold on. Next, an old man that Harry recognizes from his dreams, who tells Harry to fight. Next, Bertha Jorkins, who tells Harry not to let go.

It’s clear that whatever these beads of light are, they are making Voldemort’s wand regurgitate the last spells it cast. For the murders, a shadowy echo of the person, more substantial than a ghost, but short lived. As such, we know who the next shapes will be.

The smoky shadow of a young woman with long hair fell to the ground as Bertha had done, straightened up, and looked at him . . . Harry, his arms shaking madly now, looked back into the ghostly face of his mother.

“Your father’s coming . . .” she said quietly. “Hold on for your father . . . It will be all right . . . Hold on . . .”

This is the first time in his memory that he has been able to talk to his mother, and it’s at a time like this!

After James Potter emerges from Voldemort’s wand, he tells Harry to get back to the Portkey. Cedric’s shadow asks Harry to take his body back to his father. Harry pulls upwards on his wand, breaks the connection and runs. The shadowy figures block Voldemort, but other Death Eaters give chase. Harry is able to make it to Cedric’s body, but can’t get to the Triwizard Cup. He casts an Accio spell, catches the Cup, and is jerked away from the scene, leaving only Voldemort’s screams of anger behind him.

See you next time for Chapter 35!

Drabbles

I’m back!

Hello everyone! I am back from vacation and ready to start blogging again! We had a wonderful time visiting family in Colorado, which was beautiful, but surprisingly cold. I got to spend some time up in the mountains — BIG mountains! Not like the Appalachians where I’m from. I actually had some issues with altitude sickness, although nothing major. A little lightheadedness and some headaches, but I eventually adjusted.

We spent time in Denver, Fort Collins, Estes Park, Silverthorne, Georgetown, and of course, Rocky Mountain National Park. We also spent some downtime with family playing lots of boardgames, like Codenames, Concept, The Resistance, and my personal favorite, Bards Dispense Profanity (it’s just like Cards Against Humanity, if you’ve heard of that one, just Shakespeare themed – so fun!)

Here are some pictures from the trip. This week will be a bit stressful as I catch up on everything that happened while I was gone, so I may not be back to full blogging schedule just yet. But we’ll see.

mountains
When they say the Rocky Mountains are majestic, they are not kidding!
river
Our hotel was right on the river and had lots of benches, tables, and swings to sit at. So peaceful!
elk
We saw lots of elk up in Rocky Mountain National Park. These guys were hanging out just off the road. Lots of people were out taking pictures of them and they did not care at all.
elk2
Look at the antlers on this guy!
mountains2
Lots of snow still up in the higher elevations, and they were about to get more before we left. My hubby got a weather alert saying the park was expecting up to 10 inches of snow over the weekend! In June!