Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 33

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In Chapter 33, Voldemort is back and as terrifying as ever! Let’s go!

Oh man. This is absolutely horrible and wonderful! We’ve heard about Voldemort over the course of four books now, and we finally get to see him in the flesh! He was always this vague threat in the background, something that used to be powerful, had lost that power, and might be finding a way to get it back — and now he’s here! Such a great reveal. I remember the first time reading this. My heart was in my throat the entire time.

Voldemort seems really happy to have a real body again. Wormtail is still bleeding on the ground and that giant snake is also there, slithering around. When Voldemort asks for Wormtail’s arm, Wormtail thinks that he’s going to heal the hand that he JUST CUT OFF, but instead Voldemort wants his other arm. On that arm is a tattoo of the Dark Mark. When Voldemort touches it, Harry’s scar bursts into pain again and Wormtail also cries out. Voldemort muses on how many will return to him, and then turns to Harry.

“You stand, Harry Potter, upon the remains of my late father,” he hissed softly. “A Muggle and a fool . . . very like your dear mother. But they both had their uses, did they not? Your mother died to defend you as a child . . . and I killed my father, and see how useful he has proved himself, in death . . .”

How evil do you have to be to kill your own parent? And how evil do you have to be to call a mother’s sacrifice “useful?” Voldemort continues telling how his mother had died giving birth, but his father had left him behind in a Muggle orphanage. Sure, it’s a tragic story, but that doesn’t excuse all the horrible deeds he’s done since then!

They are interrupted by the arrival of Apparating wizards, all hooded and masked, cautiously looking around and then dropping to their knees to kiss Voldemort’s robes. Voldemort greets them, but also says that he can sense guilt. None of his followers tried to find him. They all believed he had been defeated and was gone for good, claiming to have been forced into his service instead of working for him willingly.

“And then I ask myself, but how could they have believed I would not rise again? They, who knew the steps I took, long ago, to guard myself against mortal death? They, who had seen proofs of the immensity of my power in the times when I was mightier than any wizard living?”

It really sounds like he’s talking about the horcruxes here, and I wonder how many of the Death Eaters truly knew what he had done. We know the diary was one, and that Lucius Malfoy had it in his possession, but he was also pretty flippant about it, handing it over to 11 year old Ginny Weasley. I wonder how much the Death Eaters understood the depths of what Voldemort had done.

Voldemort casts Crucio at the first Death Eater who begs forgiveness. He’s not in a forgiving mood, apparently. He wants repayment for their abandonment, although Wormtail has started to earn his way back. The thing is, Wormtail did not return out of loyalty — he returned because of fear. Still, the fear worked and helped Voldemort return, so Voldemort decides to heal Wormtail’s stump. He gives Wormtail a shining silver hand to take its place.

So let’s see, who all do we have in Death Eater masks, huh? Voldemort names the one he just Crucio-ed Avery. He also addresses Lucius Malfoy. Voldemort is not happy with Lucius, especially since Lucius has spent the last years pretending to be respectable and not trying to find his master.

“My Lord, I was constantly on the alert,” came Lucius Malfoy’s voice swiftly from beneath the hood. “Had there been any sign from you, and whisper of your whereabouts, I would have been at your side immediately, nothing could have prevented me –”

“And yet you ran from my Mark, when a faithful Death Eater sent it into the sky last summer?” said Voldemort lazily, and Mr. Malfoy stopped talking abruptly. “Yes, I know all about that, Lucius . . . You have disappointed me . . . I expect more faithful service in the future . . .”

I get the feeling that Lucius was perfectly happy being an ordinary terrible person without Voldemort being around.

Other named Death Eaters: Macnair (the executioner who almost killed Buckbeak!), Crabbe and Goyle (fathers of the Crabbe and Goyle we know), and Nott. According to Voldemort there are six that are missing. Three are dead. One is too afraid to return. One has left him forever and will be killed. And one, his most faithful servant, has already reentered his service and is at Hogwarts. More deliberate misdirection, and I love it! How easy is it to believe that the Death Eater at Hogwarts is Snape! We already know that he used to be one, and now Voldemort is basically naming him as such! And that’s not even who he’s talking about! It’s so brilliant!

Just as a guess, the one who is too cowardly to return has to be Karkaroff, right? I’m pretty sure it is.

Whoever this servant at Hogwarts is, he is responsible for making sure that Harry arrived at Voldemort’s “rebirthing party.” But how did this all happen? Turns out that Harry’s mother left a special protection on him, some sort of old magic that Voldemort didn’t anticipate. The steps he had taken to repel death had kept him alive when the Avada Kadavra spell rebounded, but only just. He was powerless and unable to use a wand.

“I remember only forcing myself, sleeplessly, endlessly, second by second, to exist . . . I settled in a faraway place, in a forest, and I waited . . . Surely, one of my faithful Death Eaters would try and find me . . . one of them would come and perform the magic I could not, to restore me to a body . . . but I waited in vain . . .”

If you are a Death Eater standing in this circle, how are you not peeing your pants a little right now?

In his weakened state, Voldemort was able to possess the bodies of others, so when Quirrell came upon him in the forest, he used him to gain access to Hogwarts and to potentially steal the Sorcerer’s Stone to return to power. Well, we all know how that turned out.

Wormtail heard about Voldemort’s whereabouts after faking his death and living among the rats. He returned to serve Voldemort, but made the mistake of running into Bertha Jorkins. This was how he found out about the Triwizard Tournament and set his plans in motion. Bertha was also able to tell him of a faithful Death Eater who would be able to help him, but they needed to break a Memory Charm on her to get to the information. After that, they killed her.

Voldemort knew of a spell that would restore him to his old body, since the Sorcerer’s Stone would no longer be available, and he needed the blood of an enemy. It could have been anyone, since he had many, many enemies, but he wanted Harry’s blood so that he would be able to skirt the protection of his mother’s sacrifice. The Hogwarts Death Eater made sure that Harry was entered into the Triwizard Tournament and made sure that Harry would be able to win it, since the Cup was turned into a Portkey. It was a foolproof plan that worked perfectly, and now here we are.

And just in case we wondered how powerful Voldemort is . . .

Crucio!”

It was a pain beyond anything Harry had ever experienced; his very bones were on fire; his head was surely splitting along his scar; his eyes were rolling madly in his head; he wanted it to end . . . to black out . . . to die . . .

Here’s the thing, though: Voldemort doesn’t just want to kill Harry. He wants to defeat Harry. He doesn’t want anyone voicing any doubt that Harry is stronger than him in any way. He wants to prove that the fact Harry survived all those years ago was nothing but a fluke. And to do that, Harry will be given the chance to fight back.

“Now untie him, Wormtail, and give him back his wand.”

See you next time for Chapter 34!

Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 32

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In Chapter 32, everything goes wrong. Let’s go!

Before we get into the chapter, a little background on my Harry Potter reading history. I started reading the books after seeing Sorcerer’s Stone in theaters. I’ll admit, I originally thought they were just kids books and, being a mature 23 years old, I thought I was somewhat above all that. Silly, silly me. Ended up going to the first movie on a whim and completely fell in love with it. I immediately bought the book and started reading to see what the movie left out. Then I grabbed Chamber of Secrets and read it, along with Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire. Here’s the thing: Goblet of Fire was the last book out at that time, so I got this big huge revelation/cliffhanger and had to wait a few years to find out what happened when VOLDEMORT WAS BACK!!

I mean, yeah, everyone else did, too. But I had gotten used to getting the next book right away for the first four books. It was rough.

Back to the story.

Cedric and Harry realize that the cup was actually a Portkey and has transported them somewhere creepy: a graveyard. Quickly, they see a hooded figure carrying what looks like a baby or a bundle of something. Harry doesn’t recognize the person, but soon his scar starts to hurt with excruciating pain.

From far away, above his head, he heard a high, cold voice say, “Kill the spare.”

A swishing noise and a second voice, which screeched the words into the night: “Avada Kedavra!”

A blast of green light blazed through Harry’s eyelids, and he heard something heavy fall to the ground beside him; the pain in his scar reached such a pitch that he retched, and then it diminished; terrified of what he was about to see, he opened his stinging eyes.

Cedric was lying spread-eagled on the ground beside him. He was dead.

Just like that. JUST LIKE THAT! A major character throughout this book is gone. It’s so suddenly shocking and unexpectedly horrible.

The hooded man drags Harry towards a large headstone, which reveals the name on the stone, Tom Riddle, and the face of the man, Wormtail. That’s right. Old Peter Pettigrew. He ties Harry to the headstone and gags him while Harry watches the bundle that Wormtail had put on the ground. There’s something moving in it and Harry doesn’t want to see what’s inside. There is a huge cauldron set up by the grave which Wormtail sets a fire beneath. He grabs the bundle and unwraps a really ugly, disgusting thing.

It was hairless and scaly-looking, a dark, raw, reddish black. Its arms and legs were thin and feeble, and its face — no child alive ever had a face like that — flat and snakelike, with gleaming red eyes.

So yeah, not a baby. Wormtail is helping it, but Harry can see that Wormtail is also repulsed by it as well. He drops the creature into the cauldron and starts the spell, adding bone dust from the grave Harry is tied to. Wormtail also cuts off his own hand and adds it to the cauldron. The final ingredient is Harry’s blood, which Wormtail gets by cutting Harry’s arm with a dagger. Once the blood is added, Wormtail collapses to the ground holding his stump where his missing hand was. Harry keeps hoping and hoping that the creature drowned in that cauldron, that the spell didn’t work, that it’s dead. But it’s not. A tall, thin man rises from the cauldron and asks Wormtail for his robe.

The thin man stepped out of the cauldron, staring at Harry . . and Harry stared back into the face that had haunted his nightmares for three years. Whiter than a skull, with wide, livid scarlet eyes and a nose that was flat as a snake’s with slits for nostrils . . .

Lord Voldemort had risen again.

Since this is a pretty short chapter, let’s just stop for a moment and mention how wonderful this scene was in the movie. It’s so disgusting and raw and terrifying. If you hadn’t made the distinction before, this is where you know for sure that this isn’t just a kids’ story anymore. This would have scared me to pieces as a child! I haven’t commented much on the casting, but Ralph Fiennes and Timothy Spall are perfect in these two roles.

See you next time for Chapter 33!

Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 31

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In Chapter 31, the final task is upon us. Let’s go!

You know things are getting serious when Dumbledore is worried, or at least, that’s how Ron and Hermione feel. They are also very surprised that Dumbledore still trusts Snape, knowing that he had been a Death Eater. Hermione is frustrated by many things: one, that Rita Skeeter was the one who told them that Bagman had a troubled past, and two, that Fudge would dare accuse Maxime just because of her heritage.

One thing that Harry hasn’t mentioned is what he had learned about Neville’s parents. He kept his word that he wouldn’t tell, but he can’t help thinking about it.

In the meantime, they continue researching and practicing spells for Harry to use in the maze. While practicing in an empty classroom, they see Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle standing outside. Malfoy is holding his hand up to his mouth and speaking into it, “like he’s using a walkie-talkie,” according to Harry. Hermione reminds them that electronic devices don’t work around Hogwarts and gets them back on task, but it’s still weird.

The morning of the third task, Rita Skeeter strikes again. There is a new article in the Daily Prophet about how Harry is possibly “disturbed and dangerous” due to his collapsing in class and complaining about his scar hurting. There are also quotes from Draco Malfoy, explaining that Harry can speak Parseltongue, which connects Harry to the Dark Arts. Harry doesn’t seem too upset by the article, but Hermione is still trying to figure out how Rita Skeeter seems to know all this stuff when she’s been banned from the grounds completely.

An odd, dreamy expression suddenly came over Hermione’s face. She slowly raised a hand and ran her fingers through her hair.

“Are you all right?” said Ron, frowning at her.

“Yes,” said Hermione breathlessly. She ran her fingers through her hair again, and then held her hand up to her mouth, as though speaking into an invisible walkie-talkie. Harry and Ron stared at each other.

“I’ve had an idea,” Hermione said, gazing into space. “I think I know . . . because then no one would be able to see . . . even Moody . . . and she’d have been able to get onto the window ledge . . . but she’s not allowed . . . she’s definitely not allowed . . . I think we’ve got her! Just give me two seconds in the library — just to make sure!”

When Hermione gets excited about an idea, she stops making sense. It’s really funny. She runs off, leaving Harry and Ron staring after her. Professor McGonagall comes up to tell Harry that the champions are having a reception after breakfast for their families who have come to watch the final. Harry doesn’t think he’ll have anyone, as he can’t imagine the Dursleys coming to Hogwarts for anything, but instead the Weasleys come! This is why they are the best! They knew that Harry wouldn’t have any family at the final task and decided to stand in for them. I love them so much!

Also, Cedric’s dad, Amos, is there and is mean to Harry because of all the attention Harry has been getting taking away from Cedric’s place as champion. Dude, it’s not Harry’s fault! Mr. Weasley even points out that Mr. Diggory should know how horrible Rita Skeeter is, but he doesn’t seem to care.

We also find out that Percy has not been doing well due to Mr. Crouch’s disappearance. The Ministry keeps questioning him about the instructions that Mr. Crouch was supposedly sending in.

They walk around the grounds and then go back to the Great Hall for lunch, surprising Ron and Hermione. Harry notices that Mrs. Weasley is behaving a bit coldly towards Hermione.

Harry looked between them, then said, “Mrs. Weasley, you didn’t believe that rubbish Rita Skeeter wrote in Witch Weekly, did you? Because Hermione’s not my girlfriend.”

It’s funny though. I have no idea which reason was behind Mrs. Weasley’s concern: worried about Harry getting his heart broken, worried about Ginny getting hers broken (since she has a crush on Harry), or worried about Ron getting his heart broken (since he definitely has a crush on Hermione at this point, and you know Mrs. Weasley knows that). In any case, it’s time for the third task! Everyone heads down towards the Quidditch pitch and, oddly enough, Harry actually feels somewhat confident about things. He at least feels more prepared this time. The champions are told that teachers will be patrolling the outside of the maze, so they can send up sparks to call for help. This actually seems much easier than the other two tasks.

Harry and Cedric get to enter the maze first, since they are currently tied for first place. They enter together and then split apart. Harry goes for a while without seeing any obstacles, but soon runs into Cedric again, who just got away from one of Hagrid’s Blast-Ended Skrewts. Harry does see a dementor, but casts his Patronus and finds out that it’s a boggart and dispatches it quickly.

The next obstacle is a weird golden mist that reverses gravity or something. Harry feels like he’s dangling from the ground, which is suddenly above him. He is able to pull away from it and starts looking for Fleur, who he heard scream, but doesn’t see her anywhere. He does run into another Skrewt, but is able to slow it down and get away. He keeps hitting dead ends, but then hears Krum casting a Crucio on Cedric. He stuns Krum and helps Cedric up. Cedric is surprised, because he thought Krum was a good guy. Harry did too. They send up red sparks so that Krum can be picked up and then set off in different directions again.

Harry comes upon another new creature: a sphinx. It tells him that he has to solve a riddle to get past.

“First think of the person who lives in disguise,

Who deals in secrets and tells naught but lies.

Next, tell me what’s always last thing to mend,

The middle of middle and end of the end?

And finally give me the sound often heard

During the search for a hard-to-find word.

Now string them together, and answer me this,

Which creature would you be unwilling to kiss?”

There are several creatures Harry doesn’t want to kiss. Blast-Ended Skrewts come to mind! I was worried about Harry with this one, as he’s not necessarily known for his riddle solving skills. That’s more Hermione’s forte. Harry does figure it out though – the answer was a spider. True, I wouldn’t want to kiss a spider either.

Harry can see the Triwizard Cup now. He also sees Cedric ahead of him running towards it, but Cedric is attacked by a giant spider. Maybe the spider just wants a kiss? It’s feeling a bit miffed about the riddle? Together, Harry and Cedric manage to fight it off, but Harry’s leg is badly injured in the process. He tells Cedric to take the cup since he got there first. Cedric pulls Harry up and tells him to do it, since he’s helped him so much. They argue back and forth about who should take the cup.

“Both of us,” Harry said.

“What?”

“We’ll take it at the same time. It’s still a Hogwarts victory. We’ll tie for it.”

It’s a noble idea, and great for the school, but it sets in motion a tragedy that will take Harry a long time to get over. When they grab the cup, they are jerked away into a “howl of wind and swirling color.”

See you next time for Chapter 31!

Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 30

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In Chapter 30, Harry gets lost in Dumbledore’s thoughts. Let’s go!

Oh, I meant to do so much more reading and blogging this past weekend, including several chapters of Goblet of Fire. Oops. Oh well. Moving on!

We get more of Sassy Harry in the beginning of this chapter, and I love that! He just arrived at Dumbledore’s office door and overheard some fairly stupid ideas from Cornelius Fudge (like Hagrid or Maxime could be responsible for Crouch’s disappearance because half-giant=dangerous). Fudge starts up with his normal fake cheerfulness that he has around Harry, asking him about the Crouch situation, since Harry was the one who found him.

“Yes,” said Harry. Then, feeling it was pointless to pretend that he hadn’t overheard what they had been saying, he added, “I didn’t see Madame Maxime anywhere, though, and she’d have a job hiding, wouldn’t she?”

I love when Harry gets like this. It’s a breath of fresh air.

He tells Dumbledore that he needs to speak to him, but Dumbledore is escorting the Minister on a walk around the grounds. He tells Harry to wait for him in his office and they all leave Harry alone there. Well, not alone. Fawkes is there, though he doesn’t do much. Harry looks around the room and sees a weird silvery light coming from a cabinet. And, being Harry, he has to investigate. What he finds is a shallow stone bowl covered in runes and symbols with a strange, white-silver substance in it. At first he wants to touch the stuff, which is a stupid idea, Harry. You’ve lived in the wizarding world for almost four years now, and you don’t realize that randomly touching a substance that you don’t recognize could make bad things happen?

Instead he pokes at it with his wand, which makes the stuff start moving around and creates what looks like a window in the basin, looking down into a room that Harry doesn’t recognize. He leans closer and accidentally touches the silvery stuff with his nose, which pitches him into the basin, falling into the strange room.

“The room was dimly lit; he thought it might even be underground, for there were no windows, merely torches in brackets such as the ones that illuminated the walls of Hogwarts . . . Harry saw that rows and rows of witches and wizards were seated around every wall on what seemed to be benches rising in levels. An empty chair stood in the very center of the room. There was something about the chair that gave Harry an ominous feeling. Chains encircled the arms of it, as though its occupants were usually tied to it.

Harry ends up sitting on one of those benches, although none of the witches or wizards seem to notice his sudden appearance. He looks over and sees that he is sitting right next to Dumbledore, but when Harry tries to explain and apologize, Dumbledore doesn’t seem to see or hear him. It reminds Harry of when he fell into Tom Riddle’s diary and landed in Riddle’s memory.

As Harry ponders all of this, a door opens and a man is led into the room by two dementors. They sit him in the chair, which chains his arms to it, and Harry realizes that it’s a much younger looking Karkaroff. He looks terrible. A man starts to speak in the room and Harry seems that it’s a younger Mr. Crouch. He says that Karkaroff was brought from Azkaban to give them information. Which Karkaroff does. He has names of Death Eaters and wants to give them to the Ministry as proof that he has renounced his old ways.

Harry sees Moody sitting behind Dumbledore. Moody is not happy that they are planning to let Karkaroff go, after he went to all the trouble to apprehend him. Karkaroff starts giving names, but one by one, they are deemed useless: Dolohov (captured soon after Karkaroff was), Rosier (dead), Travers and Mulciber (already on the Ministry’s list). Karkaroff is getting desperate and finally tells them the name Rookwood, a Ministry member who works in the Department of Ministries. Crouch takes the information and goes to dismiss Karkaroff back to the dementors, but Karkaroff has one more name to give.

“Snape!” he shouted. “Severus Snape!”

“Snape has been cleared by this council,” said Crouch disdainfully. “He has been vouched for by Albus Dumbledore.”

“No!” shouted Karkaroff, straining at the chains that bound him to the chair. “I assure you! Severus Snape is a Death Eater!”

Dumbledore had gotten to his feet.

“I have given evidence already on this matter,” he said calmly. “Severus Snape was indeed a Death Eater. However, he rejoined our side before Lord Voldemort’s downfall and turned spy for us, at great personal risk. He is now no more a Death Eater than I am.”

An interesting exchange, to be sure. Karkaroff is led away and the scene changes. Now the same courtroom is more relaxed, and the person in the hot seat is Ludo Bagman. The chair doesn’t chain him up though. I guess it didn’t think he was all that dangerous. Crouch is still presenting questions and accuses Bagman of passing information to Voldemort’s supporters. Turns out, that supporter was Rookwood, so I guess Karkaroff’s information was sound. According to Bagman, he had no idea Rookwood was in league with Voldemort. Rookwood was a friend of his dad’s who had promised to help him get a job in the Ministry once Bagman retired from playing professional Quidditch. The jury is sympathetic and vote to let Bagman go. Crouch is not pleased, but there isn’t much he can do.

The scene changes again and it is a very different atmosphere this time. It’s nearly silent, except for a witch sitting next to Crouch sobbing. Six dementors lead four people in: two men, one woman, and a teenage boy. Crouch begins the trial.

“You have been brought here before the Council of Magical Law,” he said clearly, “so that we may pass judgment on you, for a crime so heinous –”

“Father,” said the boy with the straw-colored hair. “Father . . . please . . .”

“– that we have rarely heard the like of it within this court,” said Crouch, speaking more loudly, drowning out his son’s voice. “We have heard the evidence against you. The four of you stand accused of capturing an Auror — Frank Longbottom — and subjecting him to the Cruciatus Curse, believing him to have knowledge of the present whereabouts of your exiled master, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named –“

The boy gets more and more hysterical, saying over and over that he didn’t do it and begging his father to believe him. Crouch continues, stating that not only did they torture Frank Longbottom, but also his wife. The jury unanimously votes that they are guilty. As they are led away, the woman unrepentant, the boy screaming his innocence, Harry is pulled out of the memory by the present-day Dumbledore, who has just returned. Harry immediately apologizes for snooping, but Dumbledore understands. He tells Harry that the bowl is called a Pensieve and is used to store thoughts and memories. He even shows Harry how to extract a memory and add it to the bowl. Harry sees a few more memories: Snape telling Dumbledore that something is “coming back . . .stronger and clearer than ever,” a younger Bertha Jorkins talking to Dumbledore about something that happened in school.

Dumbledore asks Harry what he came to see him for. Harry explains his vision in Divination and tells him about when his scar hurt over the summer, which Dumbledore already knew about. Turns out Sirius has been writing to Dumbledore too. Harry asks why his scar is hurting and Dumbledore says it’s because they are “connected by the curse that failed.” It is very probable that the visions Harry is having are true. Dumbledore has a lot of ideas of what might be happening, due to seeing connections to what had happened during Voldemort’s rise to power last time. Three disappearances (the muggle Frank Bryce, Bertha Jorkins, and now Crouch). The Ministry doesn’t believe that these incidents are connected at all.

Harry asks if the Longbottoms mentioned in the trial are Neville’s parents. Dumbledore asks if Harry ever wondered why Neville was raised by his grandmother, which Harry realizes he never asked about.

“Yes, they were talking about Neville’s parents,” said Dumbledore. “His father, Frank, was an Auror just like Professor Moody. He and his wife were tortured for information about Voldemort’s whereabouts after he lost his powers, as you heard.”

“So they’re dead?” said Harry quietly.

“No,” said Dumbledore, his voice full of a bitterness Harry had never heard there before. “They are insane. They are both in St. Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries. I believe Neville visits them, with his grandmother, during the holidays. They do not recognize him.”

This is by far one of the most heartbreaking parts of this series, the fate of the Longbottoms. And Neville! Poor, sweet Neville! The first time I read this, I actually had to put the book down for a few minutes. Harry is just as horrified, not just by what happened, but also because he had known Neville for four years and had never bothered to ask what had happened to his parents. He asks if Dumbledore knows if Mr. Crouch’s son was really involved, but Dumbledore doesn’t know. Dumbledore also confirms that Bagman has never been accused of Dark activity since, and neither has Snape. When Harry asks how Dumbledore can really believe that Snape stopped supporting Voldemort, Dumbledore says that it is a private matter between him and Snape.

He also asks Harry to not speak of what he learned about the Longbottoms, but let Neville reveal that information when he feels it’s right. I honestly don’t believe Harry would have told anyone, but it’s probably for the best that Dumbledore says this. Even Ron and Hermione don’t need to know that part. Dumbledore dismisses Harry by wishing him luck on the third task.

See you next time for Chapter 31!

Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 29

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In Chapter 29, Harry tries to make sense of the disappearance of Mr. Crouch and has a terrifying vision. Let’s go!

This chapter opens up with Harry, Ron and Hermione trying to figure out what the heck happened to Mr. Crouch. It’s a valid question! He seemed really weak, and it’s doubtful that Krum did anything to him since he was stunned. And you can’t Disapparate on Hogwarts grounds (just ask Hermione, she loves reminding people of this). Besides, Crouch was acting so weird.

“I’ve told you, he wasn’t making much sense,” said Harry. “He said he wanted to warn Dumbledore about something. He definitely mentioned Bertha Jorkins, and he seemed to think she was dead. He kept saying stuff was his fault . . . He mentioned his son.”

“Well, that was his fault,” said Hermione testily.

“He was out of his mind,” said Harry. “Half the time he seemed to think his wife and son were still alive, and he kept talking to Percy about work and giving him instructions.”

This sounds terrifying, to be honest.

They are up in the Owlery discussing this, but hush up when they hear voices approaching. The voices are talking about “it’s time to play dirty” and “blackmail.” The owners of those voices? Fred and George. When Ron questions them, they refuse to say anything and get angry. They send a letter to someone, making sure to hide the name, and then leave. Ron worries that they might do anything to make money at this point – they are determined to start their joke shop.

After class, they track down Moody and ask if he was able to find Crouch. He wasn’t. He even tried the Marauder’s Map, but Crouch didn’t appear on it. When Hermione points out that there were other ways for Crouch to disappear, Moody comments that she ought to think of being an Auror as well. Ron suggests that maybe someone pulled Crouch on a broom and flew away, which Moody agrees could be a possibility. He also tells them to stay out of it, that there is nothing they can do. Harry needs to focus on getting through the final task. That’s all.

Sirius also sends Harry a letter letting him have it for going off alone with Krum. He tells Harry to be more careful. In the meantime, Ron and Hermione help Harry start to research spells to help him get through the maze. They don’t have much time left. After their practice session, Harry and Ron head to Divination, their favorite class (haha). Trelawney pulls out a display of the solar system and starts teaching, but the room is so warm dark, Harry falls asleep.

He has a dream. He’s flying on a giant owl to an old house. Inside the house: Voldemort and Wormtail and a huge snake.

“Now, Wormtail,” said the cold voice, “perhaps one more little reminder why I will not tolerate another blunder from you . . .”

“My Lord . . . no . . . I beg you . . .”

The tip of a wand emerged from around the back of the chair. It was pointing at Wormtail.

Crucio!”

Harry wakes up on the floor of the classroom with his head hurting so bad he can barely see. Trelawney thinks he’s having vision due to the “extraordinary claivoyant vibrations,” but Harry tries to pretend that it’s just a headache and rushes out of the room, claiming to go to the hospital wing. Instead, he heads straight to Dumbledore’s office. The door is closed and Harry can hear voices inside belonging to Moody and Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic. They are discussing the Barty Crouch situation. Fudge seems to think that either Crouch has “finally cracked” or that maybe Hagrid or Madame Maxime had something to do with it, since this happened somewhat near the Beauxbatons carriage and clearly, with their giant heritage, they could be dangerous. Shut up, Fudge! Get out of here with your bigoted ideas! Finally, Moody tells them they need to wrap things up, because Harry is at the door.

See you next time for Chapter 30!

 

Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 28

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In Chapter 28, we finally see a reappearance of Mr. Crouch, and it’s not pretty. Let’s go!

This chapter starts off with a somewhat funny scene and then ends up really, really dark. I like it!

The three start off by sending a note to Percy asking about Mr. Crouch and then going down to the kitchens to get some food to send to Sirius. Dobby is very happy to see them, but Winky . . . eh, Winky’s not doing well. She’s still sitting by the fireplace, but she is filthy dirty and, apparently, completely drunk on butterbeer. Turns out that stuff is really strong for house-elves, and Winky is drinking a LOT of it. According to Dobby, Winky can’t get over the fact that Mr. Crouch is not her master anymore.

“Master is needing his — hic — Winky!” whimpered the elf. “Master cannon — hic — manage — hic — all by himself . . .”

“Other people manage to do their own housework, you know, Winky,” Hermione said severely.

“Winky — hic — is not only — hic — doing housework for Mr. Crouch!” Winky squeaked indignantly, swaying worse than ever and slopping butterbeer down her already heavily stained blouse. “Master is — hic — trusting Winky with — hic — the most important — hic — the most secret –“

Winky won’t tell them what this secret stuff is though, and when pressed, she gets angry and eventually passes out. The other elves just cover her up neatly with a tablecloth and leave her be. Hermione takes great offense to this and asks them why they aren’t actually helping her. I do think it’s funny that Hermione tries to use Dobby as an example and Dobby wants to be kept out of it. He knows that he is an anomaly among house-elves, that most of them don’t want what he does, and doesn’t want to make waves anymore than he already is. Ron is worried that Hermione is making the other elves angry and won’t give them food anymore. That’s Ron, thinking with his stomach!

They send the food to Sirius while Ron and Hermione keep arguing. The next day, they have stopped for the most part, especially once Hermione starts getting a lot of mail. Specifically, hate mail from people who have read the Witch Weekly article and want Hermione to leave Harry alone. One of them has undiluted bubotuber pus in it which makes her hands swell up with painful boils. Throughout the week, they don’t get better, although Hermione decides to burn them instead of opening any. That doesn’t stop the Howlers though.

In Care of Magical Creatures class, Hagrid introduces them to nifflers, little fluffy creatures who like to look for treasure. I love that these have become more well known through the Fantastic Beasts movies – they’re so cute! Hagrid set up a treasure hunt for them with buried gold coins, but tells them that it’s only leprechaun gold, so it will disappear in a few hours. Ron realizes that the money he gave Harry at the World Cup actually disappeared and Harry didn’t notice it.

“Must be nice,” Ron said abruptly . . . “To have so much money you don’t notice if a pocketful of Galleons goes missing . . .

“I hate being poor.”

I feel really bad for Ron here. This is something that he’s already insecure about and this has made him feel even worse.

Hagrid also tells Hermione not to worry about all the negative attention. He had received some angry mail after his Rita Skeeter article came out, so he knows the feeling. Hermione just wants to know how Rita Skeeter is doing it – she’s not supposed to be on school grounds, and yet she is somehow overhearing private conversations. Hermione vows to “get her back,” and I wouldn’t want to get on Hermione’s bad side!

The final task of the tournament is approaching and they finally get to see what their task will be: a maze. They have turned the Quidditch pitch into a large hedge maze, much to Harry and Cedric’s dismay. They liked their Quidditch pitch the way it was, thank you! But at least this seems like a straightforward situation. Get through a maze. Nothing else to figure out beforehand. Harry and Cedric will get a head start, since they are currently tied for first place, then Krum, and then Fleur.

As they leave, Krum asks Harry if he can speak to him and leads him towards the forest. This seems really creepy at first, but then Krum asks if there is anything between Harry and Hermione. I think this is so sweet! Krum comes off as being really gruff and tough, but he’s just a boy with a crush and it’s adorable. Harry assures him that he and Hermione are just friends and they both talk about flying and Quidditch. I really think that, under different circumstances, these two would have been friends. They don’t talk for long though before someone staggers out of the forest towards them: Mr. Crouch!

He looked as though he had been traveling for days. The knees of his robes were ripped and bloody, his face scratched; he was unshaven and gray with exhaustion. His neat hair and mustache were both in need of a wash and a trim. His strange appearance, however, was nothing to the way he was behaving. Muttering and gesticulating, Mr. Crouch appeared to be talking to someone that he alone could see.

Crouch keeps going back and forth between thinking he’s talking to Percy at work, talking as if his son is still alive, and then panicked requests to see Dumbledore and that he has escaped from something. Harry tells Krum to stay with him and runs up to the castle to find Dumbledore. He runs into Snape while trying to get into the headmaster’s office, Snape being as unhelpful and snarky as ever, but Dumbledore soon comes down and goes with Harry. They arrive to find Krum stunned and Crouch gone.

Dumbledore wakes Krum up, who says that Crouch attacked him. They are soon joined by Hagrid, but Dumbledore sends him off to go get Karkaroff. Moody also appears, saying that Snape had said something about Crouch, and then goes off to search for him. Again, such excellent misdirection here! Our attention is taken up so much by Karkaroff, who is extremely upset that his champion has been attacked by someone from the opposing country’s Ministry, and a judge to boot.

“Treachery!” he bellowed, pointing at Dumbledore. “It’s a plot! You and your Ministry of Magic have lured me here under false pretenses, Dumbledore! This is not an equal competition! First you sneak Potter into the tournament, though he is underage! Now one of your Ministry friends attempts to put my champion out of action! I smell double-dealing and corruption in this whole affair, and you, Dumbledore, you, with your talk of closer international Wizarding links, of rebuilding old ties, of forgetting old differences — here’s what I think of you!”

He spits at Dumbledore’s feet, which is not a good thing to do in front of Hagrid, who immediately slams Karkaroff into a tree. The thing is though, if we weren’t already suspicious of Karkaroff, it’s easy to see how this looks really bad. If you’re just looking at the tournament, Hogwarts had a huge advantage with two competitors, both of which who are currently tied for first place. And now the Durmstrang champion is attacked. It does look fishy.

Dumbledore tells Hagrid to put Karkaroff down and walk Harry back up to the castle. On the way, Hagrid tells off Harry for going off with Krum in the first place. He’s from Durmstrang and might be dangerous. Harry tries to tell Hagrid that Krum seemed fine, that their talk was completely innocent, but Hagrid is in no place to listen. So Harry waits until he can get back up to the common room and tell Ron and Hermione everything that happened.

See you next time for Chapter 29!

 

 

 

Chapter-A-Long

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Chapter 27

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In Chapter 27, we see Snape and Karkaroff acting strangely, the return of Sirius, and new information on Barty Crouch. Let’s go!

Ron opens up this chapter by being kind of adorable. He’s really enjoying his time in the spotlight with his involvement with the second task. Maybe a little too much. There weren’t any savage battles between you and the merfolk, Ron. None at all. He eventually calms down, mostly because Hermione gets really irritated. Students have been teasing her for being Krum’s “thing most missed.”

Harry also gets a note from Sirius with a place to meet in Hogsmeade on their next weekend out.

Be at stile at end of road out of Hogsmeade (past Dervish and Banges) at two o’clock on Saturday afternoon. Bring as much food as you can.

Harry is very worried about Sirius getting caught, but at least, as Ron points out, the dementors aren’t patrolling anymore.

Remember a couple chapters back how Ron warned Hermione about antagonizing Rita Skeeter? That comes back to haunt her when an article is published in the magazine Witch Weekly, painting Hermione as Harry’s girlfriend who is cheating on him with Viktor Krum. To her credit, Hermione isn’t too worried about it and finds the whole situation amusing. What’s not amusing is the fact that they were looking at the magazine in Potions class and Snape saw them doing it. He proceeds to give a dramatic reading of the article, with his own commentary, and oh how I wish I could see Alan Rickman doing this!

Snape separates them and puts Harry at a table near the front of the room beside his desk. He then proceeds to accuse Harry of breaking into his office. I can understand why he thinks this: he suspects Harry of sneaking around at night (which he was), the same night that Snape’s office was ransacked. That was also where the gillyweed came from, although Harry wasn’t the one who stole it. So Snape’s anger and suspicion towards Harry is actually pretty justified this time, but then he pulls out a small bottle of clear liquid.

“It is Veritaserum — a Truth Potion so powerful that three drops would have you spilling your innermost secrets for this entire class to hear,” said Snape viciously. “Now, the use of this potion is controlled by very strict Ministry guidelines. But unless you watch your step, you might just find that my hand slips” — he shook the crystal bottle slightly — “right over your evening pumpkin juice. And then, Potter . . . then we’ll find out whether you’ve been in my office or not.”

There are many ways this could backfire. First off, this would prove to Snape that Harry has never broken into his office and stolen from him, which Harry could use against Snape for administering this highly controlled substance. But Harry could also accidentally reveal something embarrassing (like his crush on Cho) or dangerous (like Sirius’s whereabouts).

They are interrupted by Karkaroff, who is determined to speak to Snape and stays for the rest of class to make sure he can do so. Harry stays behind and listens as Karkaroff shows Snape his left arm and says that “it” has never been clearer. When they notice Harry still there, pretending to clean up a spill, Karkaroff bolts.

The next day is their Hogsmeade trip to meet up with Sirius. Sirius is in his Animagus form and greets them happily, leading them to his hiding place. Poor Sirius hasn’t been doing well. He’s had to resort to eating rats, and it shows. Harry is worried about him being found out, but Sirius points out that only the three of them and Dumbledore know about him being an Animagus, so the folks in Hogsmeade just think he’s a stray.

They talk a lot about Crouch, mostly at first how odd it is that he’s disappeared after working so hard to get both the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament organized. He’s missed most of both so far. And then there’s the weird way he acted with his house-elf when Winky was found with a wand after the Dark Mark appeared in the sky. Ron wants Hermione to stop talking about house-elves, but Sirius disagrees.

“She’s got the measure of Crouch better than you have, Ron. If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”

This is so, so true.

Sirius goes on to talk about Crouch and we get a lot of information on the man here. He was a ruthless prosecutor for the Ministry, convicting Death Eaters without a trial in most cases. He was even a favorite to become the next Minister of Magic. He put away many Death Eaters (including Sirius), until the unthinkable happened: his son was arrested. He gave his son a trial, mostly to show how much he hated him, and then sent him to Azkaban.

Sirius doesn’t know Crouch’s son, but saw him when he arrived. The boy didn’t last long and died in prison. Crouch and his wife got to visit him on his deathbed, and then the wife also died soon after her son did.

Crouch never really recovered from any of this.

“So old Crouch lost it all, just when he thought he had it made,” he continued, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand. “One moment, a hero, poised to become Minister of Magic . . . next, his son dead, his wife dead, the family name dishonored, and, so I’ve heard since I escaped, a big drop in popularity. Once the boy had died, people started feeling a bit more sympathetic toward the son and started asking how a nice young lad from a good family had gone so badly astray. The conclusion was that his father never cared much for him. So Cornelius Fudge got the top job, and Crouch was shunted sideways into the Department of International Magical Cooperation.”

So Crouch wants to save his reputation by catching one more Death Eater. Was that why he was in Snape’s office? Dumbledore still trusts Snape, but could he have been fooled? Sirius certainly doesn’t like Snape at all, for more reasons than one, and Snapes acquaintance with Karkaroff isn’t doing him any favors either.

There’s a lot to think about as they head back up to the castle . . .

See you next time for Chapter 28!