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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chapter Notes

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 1: The Riddle House

  • Something that I think Rowling is rather good at is how precise she describes the inner workings of a small town or a village. How everybody knows each other, and how everybody knows something about the other, and how they live on rumours and gossip. The only other chapter so far we had that wasn’t told from Harry’s perspective was the first chapter of the first book, The Boy Who Lived. Both are told from a Muggle perspective, and both deal with the way people react to something they don’t understand. Uncle Vernon reacted with hatred and prejudice, the same way the villagers did towards Frank, and that is perhaps the biggest difference between the two chapters, because it associates Frank rather with Harry, both outcasts in their homes (Little Hangleton and Privet Drive), and of course both victims of Voldemort.
  • “The police had never read an odder report. A team of doctors had examined the bodies, and had concluded that none of the Riddles had been poisoned, stabbed, shot, strangled, suffocated or (as far as they could tell) harmed at all. In fact, the report continued, in a tone of unmistakable bewilderment, the Riddles all appeared to be in perfect health – apart from the fact that they were all dead. The doctors did note (as though determined to find something wrong with the bodies) that each of the Riddles had a look of terror upon his or her face – but as the frustrated police said, whoever heard of three people being frightened to death?” – And this leads to the question how exactly does the Killing Curse kill people? Does it stop their hearts? Does it stop all kind of activity in your body at once, leaving the body in some sort of shock? And what about other curses or spells that could kill someone? Curses that might actually stop your heart, that suffocate you or strangle you or drown you? Are those unforgiveable as well? Avada Kedavra is known as the Killing Curse, but there is more than one way to kill a person for sure. And how come you can’t trace at least the Unforgiveable Curses?
  • Isn’t it interesting that Voldemort refers to Peter as Wormtail, the name given to him by his friends, the ones who he betrayed? Is it to mock him? And even Harry later only refers to him as Wormtail, never Peter (though he never thinks of Sirius as Padfoot or Lupin as Moony). It dehumanizes him in a way, only using the name associated to his rat-form. And both Voldemort and Harry (and later Snape) refer to him like this, all of who have reasons to hate him. Harry (and Snape) for betraying Harry’s parents which led to their death. Voldemort for Peter abandoning him, for the disgust he barely hides, and that currently Voldemort depends on Peter nursing him. They deny to recognize him as the person he once was, but only see him as the rat he is now.
  • I do wonder if Wormtail’s suggestion to fulfil the plan without Harry was born out of regret over what he had done to the Potters, or if maybe he feared the life debt between him and Harry could complicate things. Or perhaps Voldemort was right that he only searched for a chance to leave.
  • The relationship between Voldemort and Wormtail is so interesting though. Wormtail returned out of fear and because he had nowhere else to turn to, and he still fears his old master, despite Voldemort’s current state. And Voldemort knows how dependent on Wormtail he is, how utterly vulnerable he is. His power is based on his strength, and right now he doesn’t have any. He is barely alive. So really I think that is the main reason Voldemort hates Wormtail, because he had seen him at his most vulnerable.
  • “‘Wormtail, I need somebody with brains, somebody whose loyalty has never wavered, and you, unfortunately, fulfil neither requirement.’” – That is somehow the story of Wormtail though, that nobody ever treated him as an equal, not his friends, not his master, not his fellow Death Eaters. They all look down to him, and it made him to the person he is.
  • There is a lot to be said about the treatment of Bertha Jorkins. Wormtail suggests that they could have used a Memory Charm on her, thinking it would draw to much attention if she just went missing. And yet their plan still succeeds because nobody at the Ministry cared enough about her to properly investigate her disappearance.
  • “‘What’s that you’re calling me?’ said Frank defiantly, for now that he was inside the room, now that the time had come for some sort of action, he felt braver; it had always been so in the war.” – I think Frank deserves a bit more appreciation. Even if he hadn’t faced the most dangerous wizard of all time he probably knew he was in trouble. He suspected the two man to be criminals, he reveals that he overheard them admitting murder, and he knows he can’t run away, because of his leg and his age. And yet he stands up to them, yet he is brave.
  • “‘But I am not a man, Muggle,’ said the cold voice, barely audible now over the crackling of the flames. ‘I am much, much more than a man.” – I think it is right that Voldemort is no longer a man, but rather that he is less than a man, barely even human. But to Voldemort his lack of humanity is perhaps what he thinks makes him great, makes him so much more than any common human, and in the end it will be his downfall.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 2: The Scar

  • The first chapter is mostly told from Frank’s perspective and at first, when Harry tries to remember his dream, it seems like he has seen it from Frank’s perspective as well. Later though he mentions an old man (Frank), so he saw the entire scene as an unparticipating observer, the way he later watches memories through the Pensieve. I think this perspective is a bit odd. Much later we learn about Harry’s connection to Voldemort, learn that Harry is a Horcrux as well, which would explain why he at times sees things from Voldemort’s perspective or one time from Nagini’s perspective, as all the pieces of Voldemort’s soul are connected. There is also nothing significant happening here; they talk about their evil plan and kill a Muggle, but that is a usual Friday night for Voldemort. It is a nice bookend to the end of the story, but within the story it makes no real sense why Harry would see it, and why he would see it from an outsider perspective.
  • Harry of course can’t be sure if what he saw was real or not, if it actually happened or not, and he remembers too little about it to find out more (he doesn’t know where Voldemort is, doesn’t know who Frank is, or who the woman is that they killed). This might be the reason why he writes Sirius about his scar hurting but not about his dream, the dream that showed him Voldemort planning his death. The question of what is real or not will play a bigger role in book 5, and Harry’s connection to Voldemort and the manipulation of reality will lead ultimately to Sirius’s death.
  • This chapter again recaps Harry’s story so far, the way the first chapter of book 2 and 3 have done as well. I wonder though if by now this has been more of an editor’s request, because it makes no sense to summarize Harry’s story so far, after the first chapter, that makes little to no sense if you are not familiar with these books. I think it is fair to assume that if you read the fourth book of a series you have read the first three books, and you haven’t entirely forgotten what they are about.
  • “Harry had never been able to confide in them, or tell them anything about his life in the wizarding world. The very idea of going to them when they awoke, and telling them about his scar hurting him, and about his worries about Voldemort, was laughable. […]What he really wanted (and it felt almost shameful to admit it to himself) was someone like – someone like a parent […]” – Harry is completely used to deal with his problems on his own. Vernon and Petunia never acted, and Harry never saw them, as parents. Prior to Hogwarts he had no friends and there were no other adults in his life he could tell his worries about. There is a reason why Harry keeps things to himself and sometimes even doesn’t want to talk to Ron and Hermione. It is the result of years of neglect by the Dursleys, and even though Harry is by now surrounded by people who care about him, he finds it hard to share what troubles him. And then of course there is also the fear that people might think of him as weak, that he doesn’t want them to make a fuss about him. It is the way boys are raised, a lesson he learned by the Dursleys as well, that men are though, that they endure pain (both physical and emotional) without complaining. And this is a theme that will go on throughout the series, Harry’s determination to deal with things on his own, because that is the only way he knows how.
  • Sirius then becomes one of the very few adults he trusts entirely, more than Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, more than Dumbledore. To Harry Sirius is the closest he could get to an actual parent and he projects all his longing and expectations on him. But Sirius, as much as he loves and cares about Harry, is no parent, and can’t give Harry what he needs.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 3: The Invitation

  • “Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia had managed to find excuses for his bad marks as usual; […] [t]hey also skated over the accusations of bullying in the report […]. However, at the bottom of the report there were a few well chosen comments from the school nurse which not even Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia could explain away. […] The school nurse had seen what Aunt Petunia’s eyes – so sharp when it came to spotting fingerprints on her gleaming walls, and in observing the comings and goings of the neighbours – simply refused to see: that, far from needing extra nourishment, Dudley had reached roughly the size and weight of a young killer whale.” – I think it is in book 6, when Dumbledore visits the Dursleys, that he accuses them of having damaged Dudley as much as Harry. Harry suffered from the neglect, Dudley though from the opposite of it. Dudley lives, up to this point, in a world without rules, without consequences to his actions. The Dursleys show that you can love someone too much, that love without boundaries can cause damage in its own right. They find excuses for Dudley’s behaviour (which I think is worse than his bad marks or his weight), confirming him that what he does is right. And this “boys will be boys”-attitude is what really concerns me, because we live at times where rape culture has become a thing. Because children, and especially boys, like Dudley, who grew up very privileged and without fearing consequences to their actions, are predesignated to become man who don’t take a “no” for an answer.
  • In the previous chapter we learned that it is still a fortnight, so 2 weeks, until Harry can return to Hogwarts, making it the middle of August. Now Harry thinks about the two birthday cakes he has left, that he will eat as breakfast. But since Harry’s birthday is the 31th of July it means those two cakes are at least 2 weeks old… even if they are dry cake I wouldn’t eat them anymore.
  • Also, a quarter of a grapefruit seems far too little to eat for breakfast, diet or not.
  • We know that Harry has at least told Ron about the Dursleys and their treatment of him, and that at least Mrs. Weasley was aware of the fact that Harry never got any Christmas presents, so the Weasleys are to some extent aware of the abuse Harry suffered from the Dursleys and yet… the letter Mrs. Weasley sends to the Dursleys is very kind, very polite, and they at least ask if it is okay Harry can come to them, unlike Sirius, who simply asked Harry, without considering the Dursleys. Either the Weasleys don’t know half of the stuff Harry had to endure (likely because Harry hasn’t told them) or they insist to be overly kind to people who don’t deserve it, and I think it is the latter. (Shower them with kindness is almost always the better option)
  • “Harry frowned. He thought it was a bit rich of Uncle Vernon to call anyone ‘dumpy’, when his own son, Dudley, had finally achieved what he’d been threatening to do since the age of three, and become wider than he was tall.” – And yet Harry refers to Mrs. Weasley as plump. And constantly mentions Dudley’s weight, and joining in at the laughter on the prank the twins played on Dudley, which is cruel in its own way. Yes, Dudley is a bully, but that doesn’t excuse Harry and the Weasley becoming bullies as well.
  • “‘You stand there, in the clothes Petunia and I have put on your ungrateful back –’ ‘Only after Dudley finished with them,’ said Harry coldly, and indeed, he was dressed in a sweatshirt so large for him that he had had to roll back the sleeves five times so as to be able to use his hands, and which fell past the knees of his extremely baggy jeans.” – Seriously Harry, you have a small fortune, please buy yourself some new clothes.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 4: Back to the Burrow

  • “He had rarely seen Mr or Mrs Weasley wearing anything that the Dursleys would call ‘normal’. Their children might don Muggle clothing during the holidays, but Mr and Mrs Weasley usually wore long robes in varying states of shabbiness.” – I always found this interesting, that, despite being pureblood wizards, the Weasley children would wear Muggle clothes. We later see at the World Cup how foreign the concept of Muggle clothes is to most wizards, so how come the Weasley kids dress like them? Where did they even get Muggle clothes? How did they know how to mix them? And again, why would they wear Muggle clothes in the first place? Was it simply in vogue to dress as Muggles in the 90s? And how does those traditional wizard fashion even look like despite robes?
  • I know the entire meeting between the Dursleys and the Weasleys is written for laughs, and still I think the way the Dursleys act is quite telling. They are terrified. The last time they met a wizard Dudley ended up with a tail. But I think it is more than that. Petunia might had a great dislike towards the wizarding world based on jealousy, and Vernon shared her hate for everything that was ‘other’. But then her sister died, murdered, and this more than anything proved how dangerous this other world is. The Dursleys fear they could be seen as not normal is really just surface level. They are deeply scared of a world that they don’t understand, a world that left them with an infant, because his parents were killed, because someone tried to kill him as well. And the Dursleys goal to somehow get the magic out of Harry was also a way to try prevent Harry from becoming part of that world, from preventing them to be connected to this world through him. Petunia’s view of the wizarding world might be overly simplified and prejudiced, but it is born out of fear.
  • “Indeed, from the tone of his voice when he next spoke, Harry was quite sure that Mr Weasley thought Dudley was quite as mad as the Dursleys thought he was, except that Mr Weasley felt sympathy rather than fear.” – I think Mr. Weasley is quite unique in the way he sees Muggles, especially given he is a pureblood wizard. While wizards like the Weasley don’t hate Muggles or Muggleborns, most of them still see Muggles as ‘Others’. Ron for example doesn’t seem to bother to find out more about Muggles or to try to understand them, unlike his father. He is fascinated by them, to some degree even impressed with all their inventions, thinking that wizards can even learn from the Muggles. And yet I think he is aware of his privilege as a wizard, but unlike Voldemort and his followers doesn’t think it should be the reason wizards should rule over Muggles. He sees his privilege and tries to be an ally. He tries to help, tries to learn from them, but mostly he thinks that Muggles deserve protection, overly aware of how many wizards abuse their powers to hurt Muggles. He is a good egg, that Arthur Weasley.
  • All the Weasley (and then Harry) shout out “The Burrow” once they travel back per Floo Powder, but “The Burrow” is just the name the Weasleys gave their home, not the actual address. So how does that work? Do you have to think of the place where you want to end up, like you do while apparating? How? (I’m afraid the answer is simply… because magic.)
  • “‘You aren’t going to see your nephew ’til next summer,’ he said to Uncle Vernon in mild indignation. ‘Surely you’re going to say goodbye?’” – By now I think that Mr. and Mrs. Weasleys clearly underestimated just how broken the relationship is between Harry and the Dursleys. They probably thought they might not get along all the time, but that despite that there are still some manners and some respect towards each other. Mr. Weasley seems genuinely surprised that Uncle Vernon didn’t even bother to say goodbye to his nephew, which would have been the decent thing to do. After all it is a good thing the Dursleys never met Mrs. Weasley, because she sure would have told them a thing or two about their treatment of Harry.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 5: Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

  • “However, Bill was – there was no other word for it – cool. He was tall, with long hair that he had tied back in a ponytail. He was wearing an earring with what looked like a fang dangling from it. His clothes would not have looked out of place at a rock concert, except that Harry recognised his boots to be made, not of leather, but of dragon hide.” – I know that this passage, along with recognizing that Cedric is handsome, has been used as evidence to read Harry as bisexual. And I’m the last person who would prevent anyone from reading characters as queer. In the case of Harry however, I never felt him recognizing another man as handsome as a sign for attraction. I think he mostly admires Bill and wants to be as cool as him. Cedric’s good looks result in a great portion of jealously from Harry. And characters like Tom Riddle and Gilderoy Lockhart are seen as antagonists specifically because they use their good looks and charm to manipulate other people. Of course it is possible that Harry is just confusing admiration and jealously with attraction – after all it took him quite some time to realize he was attracted to Ginny. I think there is enough evidence in the books that would made it possible for Harry to have his queer awakening later in life, and 95% of the fan fiction I have read depend on it. But as far as the text is concerned it remains subtext, the same as for every other character that could be read as queer.
  • “‘It isn’t funny!’ Mr Weasley shouted. ‘That sort of behaviour seriously undermines wizard–Muggle relations! I spend half my life campaigning against the mistreatment of Muggles, and my own sons –’ ‘We didn’t give it to him because he was a Muggle!’ said Fred indignantly. ‘No, we gave it to him because he’s a great bullying git,’ said George.” – Still, Fred and George are missing the point their father is trying to make. There is an unbalance of power when it comes to Fred & George vs Dudley. Because they are wizards, and they can hurt Dudley in ways Dudley can’t even imagine. And they abuse this power, justifying it with the fact that Dudley is a bully himself. Which is always a bullshit excuse. And Mr Weasley sees the danger in the way the twins are thinking. It might have been a prank, and we know that Fred & George are not bad people, and yet it isn’t that far away from what will happen at the World Cup. Muggles are seen as Other, as toys that wizards can play with. It doesn’t matter if Dudley is a bully himself, it is an abuse of power and privilege. And Harry, in enjoying the entire scene, is no better.
  • We know that Ron is always a bit anxious when it comes to the standards his older brothers have set, and what he thinks is expected of him (good marks, being good at Quidditch, becoming a prefect etc). And Fred and George are completely unaffected by that. They never try to be as good as their older brothers but instead do their own thing. And despite having not as much O.W.L.’s as expected, despite not even having a proper graduation they become successful, and it is mentioned more than once that they are very competent wizards and are extraordinary good at what they are doing. Showing that academic grades are not everything and should not be the only measurement of talent.
  • It is interesting (and quite telling) that in part Voldemort’s plan succeed because of the ignorant treatment of Bertha Jorkins. Which already starts after Barty Crouch Sen. first modified her memory and nobody cared enough about her sudden forgetfulness to realize what had happened to her. And then Voldemort violated her mind again in breaking the memory charm and killed her afterwards, and yet nobody again seems to care about her missing (Barty Crouch cares but only because she knows his secret). Nobody liked or cared enough about her to find out what happened, and that ignorance made it possible for Voldemort to return.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 6: The Portkey

  • I wonder why Mrs Weasley is the only one who didn’t attend the Quidditch World Cup. Does she simply not care about Quidditch? Did she seize the opportunity to have the house to herself for once? Either way, we only ever see Mrs Weasley at domestic places, and she is always limited to be a mom character (or maybe that is because Harry sees her like that), which then makes that scene in Deathly Hallows so iconic.
  • So we learn that any object can be transformed into a Portkey, but that they only work at a prearranged time. But how specific is that time timespan? Only a second? A minute? Ten minutes? How did Barty Crouch jun. made sure Harry would arrive in the right time to touch the portkey that would bring him to Voldemort? And even with a specific timespan it is still possible Muggles accidently use Portkeys, and given they were over 200 all over Britain it is fair to assume that some of them have been found before by Muggles who then touched them at the right (or rather wrong) time.
  • “Hermione came over the crest of the hill last, clutching a stitch in her side.” – That is me. I am Hermione.
  • “‘Ced’s talked about you, of course,’ said Amos Diggory. ‘Told us all about playing against you last year … I said to him, I said – Ced, that’ll be something to tell your grandchildren, that will … you beat Harry Potter!’” – Mrs Rowling wrote that line, very intentionally, knowing very well that Cedric would never have grandchildren. RUDE.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 7: Bagman and Crouch

  • All the security around the World Cup was there to make sure that Mr Roberts and his family and the other site managers wouldn’t suspect they were surrounded by wizards… which is an awful lot of effort considering. Wouldn’t it have been easier to send the Muggles away for a couple of days instead?
  • Mr Roberts already needed ten memory charms a day before the world Cup started, and we know that his memory was heavily modified after the assault on him and his family. We learned earlier that Bertha Jorkins had aftereffects from the memory charm used on her, so one can only imagine how all of this will affect Mr Roberts. And given the horrifying things that happened to him, I think subconsciously he knows something has happened to him, but he is lacking the memory to confront his trauma. I don’t think that the constant violation of his mind can be very healthy.
  • “Halfway up the field stood an extravagant confection of striped silk like a miniature palace, with several live peacocks tethered at the entrance.” – Probably the Malfoy’s tent.
  • “It was only just dawning on Harry how many witches and wizards there must be in the world; he had never really thought much about those in other countries.” – I think Harry’s world had been really limited to Privet Drive for the first 11 years of his life, and simply going to Hogwarts had expended it in a way he wouldn’t have imagined. Compared to Hermione, who is used to spend her holidays abroad with her parents, and who also did inform herself about other wizarding schools, because obviously there is more than one.
  • I generally like that GoF expands the wizarding world, first trough the World Cup, later through the Triwizard Tournament, making the world bigger and more complex, and showing us that other countries have developed different wizarding cultures.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 8: The Quidditch World Cup

  • “[They] found themselves in the shadow of a gigantic stadium. Though Harry could see only a fraction of the immense gold walls surrounding the pitch, he could tell that ten cathedrals would fit comfortably inside it.” – I think Harry might be exaggerating a bit here, because I can’t imagine a stadium that big. Just compare it with the average size of a football stadium, that would fit maybe one cathedral. It would be impossible to even watch the match properly in a stadium that huge.
  • Let’s talk a bit about privilege. Because Harry of course is very privileged. In the way that he is the standard white, straight dude, but also through his wealth and fame, and that he is special and has been often treated that way, especially when it comes to rules that were bended for him. And we see it here again at the World Cup, to which Harry is invented, so he doesn’t pay for the tickets (even though he could) and he and the Weasleys have prime seats thanks to Mr Weasley’s connections. He owns a racing broom, he has the Invisibility Cloak and the Marauder’s map, two incredible rare powerful magic objects. He becomes a Triwizard Champion, even though he is too young for it. And of course none of this is his fault – he is famous because he survived a curse that killed his parents, he became a Champion so that he could be killed etc. And yet Harry takes a lot of his privileges for granted, because that is how privileges usually work – we don’t realize we have them until they are taken away from us. And we see this especially in book 5, where Harry loses some of his privileges: he doesn’t become a prefect (even though he kind of expected it to be), he is banned from Quidditch, and he is publically branded as a liar, who just seeks attention. And I think as an audience we see both, the special treatment Harry gets, how he at times is very full of himself, and takes things for granted (but then most children do), but we also see his suffering, see everything he has lost and has to endure and the sacrifices he makes.
  • Something I noticed is that Winky, unlike Dobby, speaks in a very specific way. Dobby usually talks in third person, whereas Winky never conjugates verbs the right way (“‘But I knows Dobby too, sir!’”; “‘[A]h, sir, meaning no disrespect, sir, but I is not sure you did Dobby a favour, sir, when you is setting him free.’”). The way they talk, along with their small stature, make them appear almost child-like and like they are of less intelligence. They get constantly underestimated because of it, despite the fact that they are very powerful magical creatures, who can even have access to magic in places wizards don’t. And again I think their enslavement is on purpose, because they could be a threat to wizardkind if they wanted to.
  • Also, even House-Elves think of themselves as above Goblins, and the social standing of Goblins in the wizarding world will play a big role in Deathly Hallows.
  • The Bulgarian Prime Minister does know who Harry is, implying that Voldemort’s terror wasn’t limited to Britain alone.
  • I love how the Malfoys couldn’t be bothered to buy tickets like normal people, no, they contribute money to St. Mungos, so that the Minister of Magic invites them personally. How very extra.
  • There are several signs that book 4 marks the beginning of Harry’s (and Ron and Hermione’s) sexual awakening: Hermione giggles over Archie’s privates, Cho Chang is mentioned, and of course the Veelas (and later Fleur). None of these things would have been as important a couple of years ago, but all of sudden Harry, Ron and Hermione are teenagers, and thus we enter the world of awkward teenager romance and seeing bodies as something sexual (and of course my favourite moment, when Ron realizes that Hermione is a girl).
  • Veelas are in a way the Potter version of siren: beautiful women who enchant men to ultimately kill them. We don’t know if Veela are actually want to kill, however men in their proximity are willing to take great risks to impress them (like Harry almost jumping from the box into the stadium), which can obviously result in their deaths or at least getting seriously hurt.
  • “‘And that, boys,’ yelled Mr Weasley over the tumult of the crowd below, ‘is why you should never go for looks alone!’” – Not that Ron in particular seemed to listen to his father, as we later see when they try to get dates for the Yule Ball. And it isn’t until Hermione has her transformation into a beautiful swan that he actually notices her.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 9: The Dark Mark

  • “Harry saw himself in robes that had his name on the back, and imagined the sensation of hearing a hundred-thousand-strong crowd roar, as Ludo Bagman’s voice echoed throughout the stadium, ‘I give you … Potter!’” – I have seen quite a few posts who had wondered about Harry’s career choice as an Auror, and many who think he should have become a Professor, especially after he had taught Dumbledore’s Army Defence Against the Dark Arts. And while I like the idea of Harry returning to Hogwarts, I also like the idea of him as a professional Quidditch player. Harry loves Quidditch and he is a natural talent. His wish to become an Auror is influenced by the fact that he grew up during a war, that he had to learn to defend himself in order to survive. And he is good at it, he has to be, because his life depends on it. But becoming an Auror, to me, feels like Harry in some way never got past the feeling of being at a war. There is no peace in it, no quiet. And I always wonder how Harry’s life would have been if his parents would be still alive, if Voldemort never existed. Book 4 marks the last time Harry is truly innocent, and his wish to become a famous Quidditch player reflects that. He never has that dream again.
  • “Harry squinted at them … they didn’t seem to have faces … then he realised that their heads were hooded and their faces masked.” – Both Voldemort and his followers try to dehumanise themselves – in their actions of course but also their appearance. Voldemort looks like the monster he is, and no longer like a human being. With each Horcrux he became less human and I always wondered if his physical appearance reflected that and was caused by creating so many Horcruxes. His followers wear hoods and masks – of course during the World Cup to remain anonymous. But there is a significance in not showing their faces – not because they are ashamed or afraid, but to take away their identity, to make them more of a thing and less of a being.
  • It is also mentioned several times that the crowd who abuses the Muggles is large, and that more and more people join them. It is important to remember that Voldemort’s followers weren’t an extremist minority. And maybe not all of the people participating in that crowd were Death Eaters back in the day – but a lot tolerate what they are doing and even join them. Not everyone is a Nazi, but everyday racism still exists.
  • So Hermione uses “Lumos”, even though they are technically still in their holidays, meaning she is not allowed to use magic and… nothing happens. And sure, it is during an emergency, but so was Harry a year later, when he fought of Dementors and almost got kicked out of school.
  • “Ron told Malfoy to do something that Harry knew he would never have dared say in front of Mrs Weasley.” – I recently read that J.K. Rowling’s editor advised her not to use swear words, and that she said it was a shame, because Ron is the kind of person who absolutely does swear. Though in a way I like the way she writes around it, leaving it entirely to the reader’s imagination what exactly Ron said here.
  • And here we have Malfoy, utterly relaxed when everyone around him is terrified, because he is convinced nothing bad will happen to him, nobody would hurt him, because he is a Malfoy after all. And that his parents choose the right side, the side of power, the side of the oppressors, and that he will always be in control and power. And that is why I love book 6 Draco so much, because it shows what happens to him once his privileges and his power is taken away from him.
  • Malfoy also says that the Death Eaters can spot a Mudblood, but the question is: How? What exactly would give Hermione away? And we know from history that people believed certain signs would give away if someone is Jewish or queer, and now I wonder if the pureblood fanatics had a collection of stereotypes assigned to Muggleborns as well. Would it have been their names that they couldn’t connect to any of the old wizarding families? A lack of magical talent they sure believed Muggleborns would have? How?
  • Also sexual assault seems to be common among Death Eaters – the people in the crowd expose Mrs Robert’s underwear and Draco threatens to do the same to Hermione.
  • Harry loses his wand, and of course he isn’t allowed to use magic anyway, but he still feels vulnerable without it. The loss of one’s wand will of course play a bigger role in book 7 (along with the concept of ownership of a wand), and how essentially it is to your identity as a wizard or witch.
  • “Winky the house-elf was fighting her way out of a clump of bushes nearby. She was moving in a most peculiar fashion, apparently with great difficulty; it was as though someone invisible was trying to hold her back.” – Going back there is so much hidden in plain sight in this book. Someone invisible does indeed tries to hold Winky back. Mad Eye Moody wasn’t paranoid, he was indeed attacked. And later Barty Crouch Jun. disguised as Moody basically tells everyone how he tricked the Goblet to accept Harry as a fourth champion, but nobody believes a paranoid old man anyway. And this quite different to how mystery was written in the previous books, where we thought something meant one thing but turns out it was another thing. Here we are told the truth, we are meant to believe our first impressions, but we are so used to second-guessing that we oversee the most obvious.
  • We know that Harry, because he was raised by Muggles, doesn’t know anything about the Wizarding World upon entering it. He knows as much as the reader of the books knows, and this allows Rowling to use other characters to explain this world to us (and Harry). But very often this exposition character is Hermione, which is interesting, because Hermione was raised by Muggles as well, and you would expect a pureblood wizard like Ron to explain his world. And yet among the three it is only Hermione who recognizes the Dark Mark, or who knows that you can’t apparate into Hogwarts and so on. Because she has read every single information she could find about this new world she would belong to. And this is the reason why the story could be told neither by Hermione or Ron: they both know too much.
  • “No non-human creature is permitted to carry or use a wand.” – The way this law is formulated really makes it sound like a wand is a weapon – which of course it can be. But it is interesting that house-elves don’t need a wand – they have magic of their own. Which makes me wonder if other magical beings have their own magic as well? And if the law that forbids them to carry a wand is there to protect wizards & witches, because if House-Elves have already powerful magic on their own, imagine what they could do with a wand.
  • Amos Diggory isn’t earning any sympathy points here either. We learn that he works at Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and it is obvious from the way he talks to Winky (always addressing her as “elf”, never with her name) that he thinks himself above those creatures. Despite the fact that house-elves are powerful, that they are intelligent, that they have feelings and a personality. All the things Hermione notice immediately (Winky is the first house elf she ever met), which is why she is so appalled of how they are treated and that they are kept as slaves.
  • “‘I don’t get it,’ said Ron, frowning. ‘I mean … it’s still only a shape in the sky …’” – Nothing has meaning until we give it meaning. And obviously those meanings can change – the swastika was a religious symbol before it was abused by the Nazis (and today the symbol is actually forbidden in Germany – you are not allowed to show it in any kind of way). Sometimes slurs can be reclaimed by those who were insulted. Symbols and names can have a power of their own – and people were so terrified by Voldemort that they didn’t dare to call him by his name, even years later (and even his followers only call him the Dark Lord, never Voldemort). Harry and the others who call Voldemort by his name refuse to give him this kind of power – until he uses it against them by putting a spell on his name in book 7.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 10: Mayhem at the Ministry

  • Isn’t it strange that there is no wizarding equivalent to telephones? Mrs. Weasley had to wait all morning to find whether her family was alright, because there seemingly was no way to contact her. Like obviously they couldn’t talk to her through Floo powder, and strangely enough it is only in book 7 that we see Patronuses used as messengers. It is 1994, so internet and mobile phones weren’t already a thing (at least we had neither at the time), but Muggles still had television and the radio to get news quickly (Mrs. Weasley learns about what happened at the World Cup from the paper), and you could call your loved ones to tell them you are okay. And we know electricity doesn’t work at Hogwarts, because there is too much magic that would affect it, but what about ordinary wizarding households? Like there is always this complete absence of all things Muggle both at Hogwarts and the Burrow, but I think that at least among half-blood and Muggleborn wizards & witches there would be a more balanced mix. If you grow up with Muggle inventions you don’t give them up the second you get a wand.
  • ‘It’s all I’ve been thinking about! What if You-Know-Who had got you, and the last thing I ever said to you was that you didn’t get enough O.W.Ls? Oh, Fred … George …’ – First of all, that is the reason why I try not to leave in anger and to reconcile before I say goodbye to someone, because I am paranoid and you never know what will happen. Second, Molly just assumes Voldemort is back, like an actual possibility. So is it common belief among wizards that Voldemort is only mostly dead? I think Horcruxes are so rare and so un-heard of that most people wouldn’t know about them or the actual reason why Voldemort couldn’t die that night. I think it is more a sign of how afraid they are still (next to not saying his name) that they believe he is powerful enough to come back at any given moment. He has become a myth, someone so abstract and unhuman and deeply evil, that common sense doesn’t apply to him.
  • “But I was dreaming about him … him and Peter – you know, Wormtail.” – Harry initially refers to Peter, before he corrects himself and says Wormtail. It kind of reminds me of comic book heroes and villains, who always have an alter ego, and the difference between the public figure and the person behind it. Both Voldemort and Wormtail have the effect to dehumanize the person behind the names. When Harry refers to Voldemort as Tom he does it to take away some of his power, but when he refers to Wormtail as Peter he does it to make Peter more human. Which in this case make his actions even worse, because isn’t just some villain without any identity, but he was a friend of the Potters, a real person, which makes his betrayal so cruel.
  • Ah Hermione. While she does get more sensitive to other people’s needs, I think Ron can give Harry something she can’t. Sometimes people don’t want to talk about their problems, sometimes they need a distraction. And I think especially in this book it becomes evident that Harry needs both of his best friends, that Hermione and Ron balance each other out, but also in what they can give Harry.
  • “Mrs Weasley glanced at the grandfather clock in the corner. Harry liked this clock. It was completely useless if you wanted to know the time, but otherwise very informative. It had nine golden hands, and each of them was engraved with one of the Weasley family’s names. There were no numerals around the face, but descriptions of where each family member might be. ‘Home’, ‘school’ and ‘work’ were there, but there was also ‘lost’, ‘hospital’, ‘prison’ and, in the position where the number twelve would be on a normal clock, ‘mortal peril’.” – Don’t we all love and want such a clock? I wonder if the clock got updated, once all the children were married and had children of their own, or if (because that would make one very large clock) each Weasley child later had a similar clock at their home? And were all the hands during the war constantly on ’mortal peril’? Did at one point the hands tried to be both at ‘school’ and ‘mortal peril’?
  • “‘Why is everything I own rubbish?’ said Ron furiously, striding across the room to unstick Pigwidgeon’s beak.” – Obviously Pigwidgeon isn’t rubbish, but this slowly prepares us of Ron’s mindset starting this year, him being tired of only owning second-hand things or things that are not proper (like Pig compared to Hedwig). It doesn’t matter along his family, because they are all used to have no money, but it matters in Hogwarts, surrounded by children whose families don’t have any financial struggles. Ron compares his own achievements with those of his older brothers, and his material belongings with his classmates, and he always seems to lose. And both Harry and Hermione are wealthier than him, and are in his eyes more talented: Harry is a very talented Quidditch player, Hermione has top marks in everything. And on top of that is Harry’s fame. It is everything Hermione later tries to explain to Harry, trying to make him understand why Ron is so jealous of him.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 11: Aboard the Hogwarts Express

  • I think this book is really interesting when it comes to unreliable narrators. The story of course is in large parts told from Harry’s perspective, and therefore limited by the access of information Harry has, and judged by his own perception. But we have two characters where we are told they are unreliable narrators – first Bertha Jorkins, who we are told is oblivious, which led to a huge delay in the investigation about her disappearance. And second we have Mad-Eye Moody, and the first thing we learn about him is that he is paranoid and therefore his accusations should be taken with caution. And both are abused by Voldemort and his servants, who take advantage of these people and their public image. Nobody looks for Bertha because she already seemed confused. Nobody pays too much attention to Moody (even when he straight out tells the truth) because of his paranoia. And next year it is Harry who is publically branded as a liar, who only seeks attention. Voldemort’s plan only works because people dismiss Moody’s odd behaviour as part of his paranoia. Nobody believes he got actually attacked. He only drinks from his flask (that as we later learn contains Polyjuice Potion), but people think it is because he is afraid to get poisoned. Nobody questions this narrative because it simply confirms what they already know/suspect of him.
  • I also wonder how Voldemort learned that Moody would be a teacher for Defence Against the Dark Arts the next year. Did Bertha Jorkins knew about this as well? They knew they needed access to Hogwarts and Harry and the Tournament in order to fulfil their plan, and Moody was the perfect choice. For once it took out the real Moody and therefore someone who could have become very dangerous for them. Second, as mentioned, Moody’s paranoia could be used to explain away any kind of odd behaviour and to make other people question anything he says and does.
  • Look, if there is a ruin that says “DANGER, DO NOT ENTER, UNSAFE”, you can bet some people will enter, and I wonder what happens then. I think it is completely possible for Muggles to enter Hogwarts, they are just not supposed to. Though I bet there are more charms to keep them away than just letting Hogwarts look less appealing.
  • I also wonder how legal it is to teach Dark Arts like Durmstrang does. Or to not allow Muggleborns to enter the school. Aren’t there any discrimination laws in the Wizarding World? What defines Dark Arts? Is it legal to learn them as long as you don’t use them? And how are students chosen for each wizarding school? We simply assume Harry attempts Hogwarts because it is geographically the school nearest to him, but if Lucius Malfoy wanted to send his son to Durmstrang he could have done it. So do parents choose the school? We know Victor Krum is Bulgarian but evidence suggests Durmstrang is in the north, so did his parents decide he would go there? Did he had to learn a different language? How does any of this works?

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 12: The Triwizard Tournament

  • It is strange that despite Hermione’s curiosity about well… everything, she did not know and never wondered who cooked their meals and took care of the castle they live in. And I mean children don’t ask these questions. We don’t not wonder where our food comes from, that someone had to pay for it and made it, or that our clothes get washed and these sort of things. We just take it for granted. And I think to some point that is ok. Children shouldn’t have to worry about that. But this book marks the end of Harry’s (and Ron and Hermione’s) childhood, and not just by the terrible events at the end or because they are suddenly teenagers who start dating. For Hermione the house elves start her activism for social justice. To ask uncomfortable questions and to question the status quo. And the way she asks Nearly Headless Nick if House Elves get sick leave and pension, it is clear she has thought about these concepts of labour before and the value of labour. In a way Ron and Harry haven’t and won’t for quite some time (I’m not even sure they do it within the series and probably only do so when they start working themselves).
  • The fact that only Dumbledore and Hagrid clapped for Moody and no other staff member is quite telling. Snape of course wouldn’t for several reasons. But others like McGonagall did neither and I think it is fair to assume that most of teachers weren’t too excited by the idea of Moody as one of their colleagues. Perhaps because they knew about his reputation as well?
  • So both Karkaroff and Madame Maxime and their selected students didn’t attend their respective schools for the bigger part of the school year. Did the students attempt the Hogwarts lessons then? Did Karkaroff and Maxime teach them themselves? They were all presumably in their final years, so how did that work?
  • The age restriction is new to the Triwizard Tournament, meaning before every student could enter, even those who were quite young and hadn’t finished their education, which already gives them a disadvantage (the way it will be for Harry). And this makes me wonder under what preconditions the Goblet chooses the champion? The bravest? The most qualified? The one most eager to win?
  • I think Harry’s dream of becoming a Triwizard Champion is just that – a dream, a boyish fantasy, the way he had fantasized about becoming a professional Quidditch player. I think at least at Hogwarts most people are so used to Harry that he can forget that he already is famous. (Though of course being famous for what was the worst day in his life and being famous because of own achievements is quite different.) He doesn’t really think about it – not about the additional attention he gets (which he hates) or the risk of the tasks. And then his fantasy will be crushed by the cruel reality of what it means to take part in the Tournament.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 13: Mad-Eye Moody

  • We learn that Eloise Midgen had tried to curse off her pimples, and later we learn that Hermione had let her teeth magically reduced. So spells to improve at least little beauty flaws are common, though I wonder if more drastic physical changes are common/accepted as well. We have now entered the age of self-awareness. Where Harry notices how much more handsome Cedric is, and witches like Eloise and Hermione feel the need to change themselves. But apart from the Yule Ball and later Bill and Fleur’s wedding (both special events), Hermione doesn’t seem to care about her appearance. Furthermore she is appalled when Ron later admits that he thinks looks are more important than character when he looks for a date for the Yule Ball. But I’m getting ahead of myself, we are not there yet.
  • “‘Aaaaah,’ said Ron, imitating Professor Trelawney’s mystical whisper, ‘when two Neptunes appear in the sky, it is a sure sign that a midget in glasses is being born, Harry …’” – Nothing to comment, I just love Ron’s humour.
  • “‘Can I have a look at Uranus, too, Lavender?’ said Ron.” – This joke was completely lost on me for years because a) the first time I read this book was in the German Translation, where the joke simply doesn’t work and b) I was an innocent child and my mind wasn’t yet in the gutter.
  • Whatever you think of Malfoy, the thing Moody did to him was awful and in no way funny. It is the same kind of abusing behaviour Snape show, but whereas Snape uses words, Moody uses physical pain. What is interesting though is that all year nobody suspects Moody to be someone else in reality until the very end, so this kind of behaviour must be typical for the real Moody. Is it possible he tortured suspects? Do the Geneva Conventions apply to the Wizarding World as well? Is this the reason none of the staff was excited to have Moody as a colleague, worried he would act like this? I think that what we see this school year of Moody had to be very close to how the real Moody would have acted, so we can draw some conclusions about the real Moody as well. And there is a certain kind of cruelty to his characters, not just to the people he sees as his enemies, but also in the way he thinks his students have to toughen up.
  • The irony of course is that Moody and Crouch Jun.’s enemies are the same, though for different reasons. Crouch Jun. despises Death Eaters, but for abandoning his master rather than the crimes they committed.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 14: The Unforgiveable Curses

  • Moody teaches a class of fourth-years curses that, as he admits, he is only supposed to teach sixth-years and older, claiming that Dumbledore supports him. I wonder how aware Dumbledore is what is going on in the classes however. Did Dumbledore really know about this? And if so, would he support it? Does he think his students need to be a prepared for a war he has yet no idea is about to start? In book 5 Dumbledore admits that him ignoring Harry was in order to protect him, to shelter him from what was to come, and it is only in book 6 that he actively prepares him. It is more likely Dumbledore doesn’t know what Moody teaches his students, showing that he is not all-knowing about everything that goes on in Hogwarts, especially as it is later revealed that a member of his staff (an old friend of his) had tricked him almost an entire year.
  • The thing about the Unforgivable Curses is that apparently they are hard to detect. Moody uses all three (although not against humans, which would be the legal loophole) and gets away with it. The Ministry had a hard time proofing who acted under the Imperius Curse and who didn’t, because it is hard to tell and/or the curse left no traces. You can use a spell to show you the last spell a wand performed, but apparently that only works if someone is arrested immediately after using one of the curses. Magical law enforcement seems a lot harder than the Muggle counterpart, simply for the lack of evidence, which means that statistically a lot of crimes never get solved (and would result in the large number of Death Eaters who never went to prison, as seen at the World Cup).
  • I wrote in my previous chapter notes that there is a certain kind of cruelty to Moody, and I say Moody not Barty Crouch Jun., because he impersonates him almost perfectly, so what we see of this performance had to be in character with the real Moody. Though Barty Crouch Jun. is obviously cruel in his own way, and Moody gives him a platform to act out this cruelty. Showing the Unforgivable Curses to the class is cruel. It is psychological terror. He knows that Neville’s parents went mad because of the Cruciatus Curse (especially since he has been the one to cast it), he knows that Harry lost his parents through the killing curse, and you can bet there are other students whose families suffered through the war, and who have family members that had been tortured and/or killed. He justifies that they need to see those curses in order to understand them, in order to be prepared. But that is not how you overcome a trauma. None of those students have a choice in what they see, or any kind of preparation and aftercare. And we see Neville and Harry handle this experience in very different ways.
  • “There was a flash of blinding green light and a rushing sound, as though a vast, invisible something was soaring through the air – instantaneously the spider rolled over onto its back, unmarked, but unmistakeably dead.” – This makes it sound like the curse has to travel through the air at some point, putting those students (especially those in the front row) at a large risk. Is there a magical version of a stray bullet? Can a killing curse stray? Can you accidently kill the wrong person? Are Aurors allowed to use the killing curse?
  • “Avada Kedavra’s a curse that needs a powerful bit of magic behind it – you could all get your wands out now and point them at me and say the words, and I doubt I’d get so much as a nose-bleed.” – Magic (not just curses) isn’t just about saying the right words and using your wand – it is in a lot of ways about intent. And most people wouldn’t have it in them to kill someone. Harry never did (though he used the Cruciatus Curse successfully in book 7). Molly however could do it. Which is probably one of the most fascinating character moments. But we get there in time.
  • “That’s what you’re up against. That’s what I’ve got to teach you to fight. You need preparing. You need arming. But most of all, you need to practise constant, never-ceasing vigilance.” – Barty Crouch Jun. is teaching Harry the exact curses he knows Voldemort will very likely use against him. And he doesn’t do it to prepare him, or to help him, he does it so Harry will know exactly what is going to happen once he hears Voldemort using those curses. Talk about cruelty.
  • “They were talking about the lesson, Harry thought, as though it had been some sort of spectacular show, but he hadn’t found it very entertaining […].” – Which reminds me of the Boggart class from last years, and how most of Harry’s classmates had almost childish fears out of some horror stories because none of them had experienced real horror yet. Only Harry, Ron and Neville saw something they actually had to face. And again we have Harry and Neville as outsiders, as the ones personally affected by those curses, making them equals even before we know about their special connection.
  • So, we know that Moody comforts Neville and then gives him a book that is supposed to help Harry with the second task, all part of his big plan. But had there been a part of Barty Crouch Jun. that felt remorse for what he did to the Longbottoms? That looking after Neville in that moment was because of genuine regret of what he did to his parents? Or was it really just calculating?
  • “Telling Neville what Professor Sprout had said, Harry thought, had been a very tactful way of cheering Neville up, for Neville very rarely heard that he was good at anything. It was the sort of thing Professor Lupin would have done.” – I love that Harry judges his teachers on his “what would Lupin do?” scale. And obviously Lupin would have done it because he is a genuine kind person, and maybe he saw a bit of Peter in Neville and knew the damage it could do if someone is constantly underrated. And maybe Moody/Crouch Jun. did it because it was something he would have needed to hear more often from his father.
  • “‘Good one,’ said Ron, copying it down. ‘Because of … erm … Mercury. Why don’t you get stabbed in the back by someone you thought was a friend?’” – I wouldn’t go so far to say Ron stabbed Harry in the back, but clearly Harry expected Ron to believe and support him after he became a champion, so that predication is somewhat half right.
  • “‘Not spew,’ said Hermione impatiently. ‘It’s S – P – E – W. Stands for the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.’” – As far as acronyms go this isn’t the best one. Though the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women is spelled the same way. I also like to think that later in life Hermione did manage to fulfil her long-term-goals (changing the law about non-wand-use, and trying to get an elf into the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures).
  • But in general I think Hermione’s fight for House Elves is there to inform her character, to show us her need for social justice, but at the same time that you can’t overcome systematic century old exploitation through some idealistic ideas. Hermione means very well, but her attempts to change anything turn out to be rather harmful to her cause.
  • “If it hurts again, go straight to Dumbledore – they’re saying he’s got Mad-Eye out of retirement, which means he’s reading the signs, even if no one else is.” – How much did Dumbledore knew or suspect if he thought it was necessary to hire an Auror as a teacher?

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 15: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang

  • “I reckon I just imagined my scar hurting, I was half-asleep when I wrote to you last time. There’s no point coming back, everything’s fine here. Don’t worry about me, my head feels completely normal.” – How did the Sorting Hat ever consider Harry to be sorted into Slytherin when he can’t even tell a proper lie? Oh, you sweet innocent summer child.
  • Sulky Hedwig makes me think she was a cat in one of her former lives.
  • I wonder why Moody/Crouch Jun. put the students under the Imperius Curse and showed them how to resist it. What is the purpose? Was he curious to know how strong Harry is? If the rumours were true and there was something special about the boy who lived? To report it back to Voldemort that Harry was strong enough to resist? Why the need to prepare Harry for something that could be an advantage in his fight against Voldemort? Or was Crouch Jun. so convinced Harry would never stand a chance that it didn’t matter if he could resist the Curse?
  • Harry is the only one in the class able to resist the Curse, which is astonishing, given that many older and more advanced wizards and witches aren’t able to do it. Harry is, given his talent as a wizard, quite good, but not perfect (that would be Hermione). However he is extraordinary gifted when it comes to spells that require a strong will. He was able to cast a Patronus with 13, he can resist the Imperius Curse at age 14, both things most adult wizards can’t do. And this is something that can’t be taught, it is a matter of character. It is how he survived a war.
  • Hermione is obviously right in pointing out that the use of the Curse against other humans is illegal, even if used in class. Moody/Crouch Jun. again uses Dumbledore as a justification, saying Dumbledore wants them to know what it feels like. Which again, I think is unlikely. In the end a disguised Death Eater uses an Unforgivable Curse right at Hogwarts against the students, one of them being Harry Potter, and gets away with it.
  • “‘The way he talks,’ Harry muttered, as he hobbled out of the Defence Against the Dark Arts class an hour later […], ‘you’d think we were all going to be attacked any second.’” – That’s the big irony of it: how Moody/Crouch Jun. prepared them for a war only he knew was about to start. And some of his paranoia, of his constant vigilance, becomes part of Harry, of the anxiety that will follow him all through his fifth year, to the point where he starts his own guerrilla group to prepare others for the war that is to come.
  • And Ron has the biggest trouble resisting the curse, as he had always been the most innocent and immature of their group.
  • “‘It’s all in Hogwarts: A History. Though, of course, that book’s not entirely reliable. “A Revised History of Hogwarts” would be a more accurate title. Or “A Highly Biased and Selective History of Hogwarts, Which Glosses Over the Nastier Aspects of the School”.’” – Hermione is someone who deeply trusts authorities, in the form of teachers but also in the form of books. Her dismissing Professor Trelawney was the first time she didn’t show respect to a teacher, and I think this the first time she questions the authority of a book (especially one only she had read). She trusts books to be correct and to give her undeniable facts. And the fact that “Hogwarts: A History” deliberately left out some facts is like a personal affront to her. No book is ever completely objective, no narrative ever tells the entire truth, because it is simply impossible. And it is an important lesson every reader has to learn.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 16: The Goblet of Fire

  • I love Ron’s little fanboy moments regarding Krum. And we saw something similar with Hermione and Lockhart (so really you are in no position to judge). But there is no instance of Harry being star-struck, not in the obvious sense. However he does idolize people, namely Sirius and Dumbledore. Which is quite different to how Ron and Hermione react to Krum and Lockhart respectively. Because they hardly interact with them, whereas Dumbledore orchestrated a huge amount of Harry’s life. Ron and Hermione’s hero-worshipping remains harmless, whereas Harry’s has a direct influence on his life and his choices.
  • And then Ron dismisses the foreign food, and with everything I know about British Cuisine, he is in no position to judge either.
  • Harry mentions that they are barely twenty more students in the Great Hall, so we can say both Durmstrang and Beaxbatons arrived with ten students each. Which either means that their schools teach less students than Hogwarts, if those are all students old enough to participate, or that they already selected students before arriving at Hogwarts. And then both Karkaroff and Madame Maxime stay for the benefit of ten students at Hogwarts, assumingly leaving their responsibilities for their schools to someone else. In case of both these foreign schools it is really a very selective group that takes part in the Triwizard Tournament. I guess the other students just have to read the Daily Prophet to know what is going on?
  • I wonder how the Goblet of Fire works though. How could it tell which student was suited best to compete? Does it work like the Sorting Hat, did wizards put some of their wisdom in the Goblet? And in what categories does the Goblet judge? Also it seems like you can’t adjust the selecting process, or otherwise they would have added the age limitation and Dumbledore wouldn’t have needed to draw an age line.
  • “Harry thought briefly of Dumbledore’s insistence that nobody under seventeen should submit their name, but then the wonderful picture of himself winning the Triwizard Cup filled his mind again …” – And then this image gets turned around into a nightmare, the childish fantasy becomes horror.
  • “[…]he wondered how angry Dumbledore would be if someone younger than seventeen did find a way to get over the Age Line …” – Depends on if you are dealing with book!Dumbledore or movie!Dumbledore.
  • Karkoroff’s favouritism of Krum makes me wonder if he manipulated the Goblet as well in some ways in order to make Krum the champion. We learn that all of the Durmstrang students put their name in the goblet, but maybe everyone except Krum put in a blank page, or they all wrote Krum’s name on it? Like imagine if poor Poliakoff would have become champion.
  • Also the movie made it look like Durmstrang is an all-boys-school and Beaxbaton respectively an all-girls-school, but the book clearly states that both schools arrived with students of both genders (though I can’t help but think of Karkaroff as a sexiest asshole… again, can you imagine a female Durmstrang champion?).
  • I also wonder how the fact that Karkaroff used to be a Death Eater informed the political worldview of his students? And how they felt at Hogwarts, where Harry Potter learns, and a former Auror teaches and Dumbledore, the face of the resistance, is headmaster? We know the Durmstrang students sat at the Slytherin table, so they interacted with students who assumingly shared the same belief system as their head master. We can assume that at least Krum doesn’t share those believes. He dates a Muggleborn girl, and in book 7 we learn that he lost a family member to Grindelwald and is appalled to see his symbol at Fleur and Bill’s wedding. Both Grindelwald and Voldemort believed in the superiority of wizards above Muggles (and to that extent Muggleborns). From all that we know about Krum his reaction to Voldemort would be similar to his reaction to Grindelwald. And I wonder if there were other Durmstrang students, who resented the ideology of their headmaster as well.
  • “‘Bet some of them put in last night after we’d all gone to bed,’ said Harry. ‘I would’ve done if it had been me … wouldn’t have wanted everyone watching. What if the Goblet just gobbed you right back out again?’” – I don’t think the Goblet thought of anyone so unworthy that it would have spit the name out again, but it is interesting that Harry immediately thinks of rejection, the same way he thought Hagrid must have made a mistake when he told Harry he was a wizard. Harry has a deeply rooted fear of not belonging, which I think has a lot to do of how the Dursleys treated him.
  • “‘We can’t have a Slytherin champion!’” – But imagine if they did and how it would have changed the inter-house-relationships. Oh wait, somebody did. 
  • “‘And all the Hufflepuffs are talking about Diggory,’ said Seamus contemptuously. ‘But I wouldn’t have thought he’d have wanted to risk his good looks.’” – Seamus isn’t the only one mentioning Cedric’s attractiveness in a negative way, others have done it as well, though all of them boys. Because attractiveness is so strongly associated with femininity, and ‘real men’ neither look good or care about their looks (see also how Lockhart’s attractiveness had negative associations). They can’t get him down because he is good at Quidditch or school or a general kind person, so the only thing left is his physical appearance. Which speaks lengths of how intimidated and jealous they are. (And yeah, women/girls are the same, we will always dismiss good looking women as shallow, and it is a kind of behaviour I had to unlearn).
  • “‘It’d be doin’ ’em an unkindness, Hermione,’ he said gravely, threading a massive bone needle with thick yellow yarn. ‘It’s in their nature ter look after humans, that’s what they like, see? Yeh’d be makin’ ’em unhappy ter take away their work, an’ insultin’ ’em if yeh tried ter pay ’em.’” – The way Hagrid voices it makes it sound like House Elves deeply care about their masters – and some do, like Winky. But others resent their masters, like Dobby did, and are bound to them anyway. Hermione tries to change the nature of House Elves and Hagrid is right that she can’t, but I think it might be more important to change how wizards see House Elves and treat them. To see them as beings that have feelings and needs and opinions and deserve their respect and kindness. If their masters can see them like that House Elves might see themselves as that as well. And how Harry treats both Dobby and later Kreacher with kindness becomes massively important for the plot and even for his own survival.
  • “They couldn’t hear what Hagrid was saying, but he was talking to Madame Maxime with a rapt, misty-eyed expression Harry had only ever seen him wear once before – when he had been looking at the baby dragon, Norbert.” – I don’t like what this implicates about Hagrid’s relationship to Norbert. #menwholovedragonstoomuch

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 17: The Four Champions

  • “‘Did you put your name into the Goblet of Fire, Harry?’ Dumbledore asked calmly.” – You know everyone always blames Michael Gambon for playing this scene wrong, but honestly the complete adaption of book 4 was a mess, from start to finish, which makes me wonder if anyone has actually read the book. Strangely enough I think they did though, because the movie only makes sense if you know the book. It’s a wild ride, really.
  • I just realized that McGonagall refers to Harry as… well Harry, which is weird, because I think she always addresses him as Mr. Potter. Which come to think of it, all teachers address the students with their last names. Is this common in Great Britain? In my school (in good old Germany) we were addressed with our first names up until the last two years, where most of us were off age, and teachers started to address us with our last names (which was a strange thing to hear from someone who knew you that long).
  • I wonder if at this point Barty Crouch Sen. was already under the Imperius Curse. They ask him, as an objective judge, what to do, and his answer is to follow the rules, that state that everyone whose name the Goblet offers has to compete in the Triwizard Tournament. Which is obviously a very Mr. Crouch thing to say, as he loves rules, but also very much the answer someone would give who wants Harry to compete.
  • “He’s got to compete. They’ve all got to compete. Binding magical contract, like Dumbledore said. Convenient, eh? […]Maybe someone’s hoping Potter is going to die for it […]It was a skilled witch or wizard who put the boy’s name in that Goblet […] Because they hoodwinked a very powerful magical object![…] It would have needed an exceptionally strong Confundus Charm to bamboozle that Goblet into forgetting that only three schools compete in the Tournament … I’m guessing they submitted Potter’s name under a fourth school, to make sure he was the only one in his category  […]There are those who’ll turn innocent occasions to their advantage.” – All of these sentences are said by Moody, and they are basically the villain giving his great monologue how he did it, we just don’t know it yet. He describes exactly what he did and why – to kill Harry. And yet nobody in the room takes him serious, they all think it is just his paranoia speaking again, except for maybe Dumbledore. And much later when Dumbledore realizes who Moody is he might remembers this scene. He knew exactly what happened not because he pretended to think like a Dark Wizard but because he was the Dark Wizard all along.
  • Both Karkaroff and Madame Maxime are enraged because Hogwarts has two champions now, therefore double the chance to win this tournament. None of them voices any concern that a 14-year-old wizard might not be skilled enough to compete. And neither does Dumbledore actually. It all comes down to the magical binding contract, which makes me wonder what exactly would have happened if Harry simply wouldn’t have participated? He wasn’t allowed to and he didn’t want to. What are the consequences of breaking such a contract? Are they worse than endangering a child? And if Dumbledore, as Sirius suggested, has read the signs, if he indeed hired Moody because he though Harry might be in danger how could he let this happen? He wants to protect Harry and yet he does nothing to prevent him from taking part in the tournament.
  • “Owing to the demanding and time-consuming nature of the Tournament, the champions are exempted from end-of-year tests.” – Wait, what? They are all in the final year, with the exception of Harry, meaning they would leave school without any sort of degree. (I wonder if O.W.L.’s and N.E.W.T.’s are international standard or only taken at Hogwarts? And if they have other silly names in foreign languages?) And without that they couldn’t apply to any job. Or maybe being the Triwizard Champion was enough? I mean Harry never finished his education and still became an Auror, because apparently defeating Voldemort was enough experience.
  • And Mr. Crouch still doesn’t know Percy’s name, which is supposed to be funny, but also quite telling. They have worked together for months by now, his father is a respected member of the Ministry, the Weasleys are among the oldest wizard families and yet he can’t bother to learn his name, which is really disrespectful.
  • Oh Ron.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 18: The Weighing of the Wands

  • In previous years we saw Hermione being social awkward (she initially had a hard time finding friends) or at times (unintentionally) hurtful in her honesty, especially if she believes to be right. But she is a very empathic person, and the best evidence is how she handles the situation between Harry and Ron. She doesn’t take a side. She shows Harry that she believes him and supports him, but at the same time she tries to make him understand how Ron feels, and that Harry should try to look at the situation from Ron’s perspective. She also refuses to deliver any messages because she knows they can only fix this if they talk to each other.
  • Also Hedwig is a Drama Queen.
  • “Then there was the fact that Cedric looked the part of a champion so much more than he did. Exceptionally handsome, with his straight nose, dark hair and grey eyes, it was hard to say who was receiving more admiration these days, Cedric or Viktor Krum. Harry actually saw the same sixth-year girls who had been so keen to get Krum’s autograph, begging Cedric to sign their schoolbags one lunchtime.” – I didn’t quite remember how Cedric was described in the book, and so for years I just imagined him to look a bit like Robert Pattinson (who portrayed him the movie adaption), but he actually looks quite different. At least with his dark hair and grey eyes. Also, I know a lot of people take the fact that Harry noticed that Cedric is handsome as a support for queer Harry (just as he noticed that Bill looked cool) but I think it is rather based on jealously than attraction. But also I’m the last person to say you can’t read Harry as queer, I just never did, at least regarding the actual books (even though I read a lot of Harry/Draco-FanFic). And Harry is 17 when the series ends (casually ignoring the epilogue) and he spends the most of his teenage years being anxious because there is a war going on, and so he has other things on his mind, and there is still a lot of time left for him to figure out his sexuality.
  • Oh God, Draco and his badges, he is so petty. And really, this is the best he could come up with? “Potter stinks”? You can do better, honey.
  • “He forced Hermione to show Snape her teeth – she was doing her best to hide them with her hands, though this was difficult as they had now grown down past her collar. […] Snape looked coldly at Hermione, then said, ‘I see no difference.’ Hermione let out a whimper; her eyes filled with tears, she turned on her heel and ran, ran all the way up the corridor and out of sight.” – Reason number 36876 why Snape is the worst. It says something when the biggest bully in the room is the teacher himself. And yet, while Harry and Ron openly hate Snape, Hermione usually defends him, and justifies that if Dumbledore trusts Snape so should they. Still I wonder how she managed to respect him as a teacher when he never showed any kind of respect towards her. Maybe she is simply the better person.
  • “Her hair was set in elaborate and curiously rigid curls that contrasted oddly with her heavy-jawed face. She wore jewelled spectacles. The thick fingers clutching her crocodile-skin handbag ended in two-inch nails, painted crimson.” – It is interesting how Rita Skeeter is described here – as something unnatural. Her appearance seems artificial, like she tries to appear overly feminine in contrast to her natural heavy face and body. I saw a reading of Rita as a trans-woman, which is definitely an interesting possibility, but regarding how negative her character appears it is also slightly transphobic. She seems fake – her stories are obviously fake, but also the way she presents herself, which is a stark contrast to how positive female characters as Hermione are described – as a girl who doesn’t really care how she looks like (and more to that when we get to the Yule Ball).
  • With the introduction of Rita Skeeter media and the news play a larger role within the series. Like we obviously know that Harry is famous, but it isn’t until this book that Harry realizes how much of a public figure is. That people talk about him and have ideas about him not just in Hogwarts but in the Wizarding World as well. And we see the importance of media and how easily people believe everything they read without questioning it. At the end of the book Fudge questions Harry’s reliability because Rita described him as unstable. Molly Weasley temporarily acts cold towards Hermione because of what Rita wrote about her. And we obviously see this at large in book 5 when the media refuses to acknowledge the return of Voldemort and people start question Harry’s version of events. And those are two very different aspects of media. Rita Skeeter represents the yellow press and how they can destroy a life with a few words. Book 5 however shows us how very important independent media is – even more so in times of fake news (the ones who are actually fake and the ones who are accused of it). (Fun fact: the origin of the word “fake news”, especially in the context to question the reliability of news outlets, is in Nazi Germany)
  • One of Fleur’s ancestors was a Veela, and later we find out that Hagrid is a half-giant (giant-mother & human-father). So while they are rare, relationships between humans and none humans exist. But we also see the reaction to this once it gets public – Hagrid is accused of being a monster and to be non-human (and it is really no wonder Madame Maxime denies that she probably half-giant as well). And especially in the Wizarding World we have a lot of beings that have human like intelligence and/or emotions, but are in many ways looked down upon and treated second class. They even have their own category – Being – because they are obviously not Beasts, but the Wizarding World makes it very clear that they are not human as well. And pureblood fanatics make it very clear what they think of non-human Beings as well. Fleur however is a different story – perhaps because half-Veelas are not as easy to spot or simply because she is a beautiful young woman, but we never see her receive as much hate as Hagrid did.  
  • “’[…]It’s in fine condition … you treat it regularly?’ ‘Polished it last night,’ said Cedric, grinning. Harry looked down at his own wand. He could see finger marks all over it. He gathered a fistful of robe from his knee and tried to rub it clean surreptitiously. Several gold sparks shot out of the end of it. Fleur Delacour gave him a very patronising look, and he desisted.” - *whispers* Wands = dicks.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 19: The Hungarian Horntail

  • “‘Miss him?’ said Harry. ‘I don’t miss him …’ But this was a downright lie. Harry liked Hermione very much, but she just wasn’t the same as Ron. There was much less laughter, and a lot more hanging around in the library when Hermione was your best friend.” – There is a difference between the last year, where Ron and Harry didn’t talk to Hermione for weeks, first because of the Firebolt, then Scabbers. Because why Harry had felt bad about it, he didn’t miss Hermione the way he now misses Ron. And while Hermione had been pretty much on her own when Harry and Ron didn’t talk to her, Ron easily finds new company, hanging out with Seamus and Dean or his brothers. Something I really love about this book is that once Ron and Harry make up you see how strong the bond between Harry, Ron and Hermione is, how much Ron and Hermione support Harry during the tournament, but also how much Harry trusts his friends.
  • “‘I’m –’ For a second, Harry tried to say ‘fine’ – but he couldn’t do it. Before he could stop himself, he was talking more than he’d talked in days – about how no one believed he hadn’t entered the Tournament of his own free will, how Rita Skeeter had lied about him in the Daily Prophet, how he couldn’t walk down a corridor without being sneered at – and about Ron, Ron not believing him, Ron’s jealousy …” – No matter how – let’s say unbalanced – Harry and Sirius’s relationship is (and I’m gonna talk more about once we get to book 5), I’m very glad Harry had – even for a short time – something like a parent. Someone he can talk to, someone he can tell about his fears and worries. This is something he can’t do with a teacher for various reasons, and it is also different than talking to Ron and Hermione about it, because Sirius is an adult, Sirius feels responsible for Harry, because this is what parents do. And Harry already worries about burdening people with his problems, in the way he at times refuses to tell his friends or Sirius or Dumbledore everything because he doesn’t want them to worry about him. Because growing up with the Dursleys taught him that nobody cares about him, but now he has people who do, and Harry doesn’t know how to handle it. It’s a good thing he feels like he can tell Sirius everything.
  • Again, in the conversation with Sirius we have a lot of foretelling, characters guessing things that actually happened. Sirius says that it is possible Moody was in fact attacked and that they used his paranoia to cover it up and make it look like a false alarm. Harry wonders what the chances are Bertha Jorkins walked into Voldemort in Albania when this is exactly what happened. A lot of the later plot reveals have been hidden in previous chapters, and yet by the end if the book you are still shocked (at least the first time you read the book) when the entire evil plan is revealed. But bits of it haven been hidden in plain sight all along.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 20: The First Task

  • In all fairness I think Harry would have made a good Hufflepuff as well. I say this as Hufflepuff and as someone who thinks that despite the fact that Hufflepuff welcomes every student, not every student has what it takes to be a Hufflepuff. Harry tells Cedric about the dragons simply because it is the right thing to do, because all the other champions know and it is only fair if Cedric knows as well. Cedric later returns the favour and they help each other in the maze and ultimately decide to win together. Harry never really sees the other champions as rivals – he doesn’t really think about winning until the third task. Harry only tries to stay alive during the tournament, and is rather one to help the other champions than trying to outpace them. The way both Harry and Cedric act in the tournament tells you a lot about them as a person.
  • “‘Secrecy Sensor. Vibrates when it detects concealment and lies … no use here, of course, too much interference – students in every direction lying about why they haven’t done their homework. Been humming ever since I got here. I had to disable my Sneakoscope because it wouldn’t stop whistling. It’s extra sensitive, picks up stuff about a mile around. Of course, it could be picking up more than kids’ stuff,’ he added in a growl.” – Of course the real reason the Secrecy Sensor and the Sneakoscope don’t work is Moody himself, or rather Barty Crouch Jun. disguised as Moody. Which reminds me of book 3 where Harry thought his Sneakoscope was broken when in fact it had reacted to Wormtail. We see the symptoms but not what causes them.
  • It might be modesty but I think a lot of people would have reacted the same way Harry did, thinking they don’t have any strengths. Perhaps because we see things that we are naturally good at not as a strength, opposed to things we have to learn and exercise a lot until we are good at them. When it comes to be a talented wizard Harry is… not bad, but for example not on the level Hermione is or his parents were. He is good at some things, struggles at others. One thing however he is really good at is to perform under pressure. He had managed the Patronus Charm at a really early age – but then his life depended on it. He learns the Summoning Charm because he needs it for the first task. He learns a lot of defensive spells in order to get through the third task. He has strong nerves, which might also be the reason why he can resist the Imperius Curse. Harry isn’t more talented than other students his age, but he is constantly put in situations where his life depends on performing certain spells. And that might be why he later becomes a good Auror – because performing under pressure, performing because your life depends on it – he’s been doing this for a very long time.
  • Also, it is pretty evident how much McGonagall cares about Harry. She never tries to show any favouritism, but it is clear how much she dislikes the idea of one of her students entering this tournament way too young, risking his life during each task. She might be strict but McGonagall has a very big heart as well.
  • “Harry knew Ron was about to apologise and, suddenly, he found he didn’t need to hear it. ‘It’s OK,’ he said, before Ron could get the words out. ‘Forget it.’

         ‘No,’ said Ron, ‘I shouldn’t’ve –

         ‘Forget it,’ Harry said.

         Ron grinned nervously at him, and Harry grinned back.

         Hermione burst into tears.”

I just love this entire reunion scene. For no matter how stubborn they  were before Harry doesn’t hold any grudges, how easily they can go back to being friends. I had those fights with friends when I was younger where we just wouldn’t talk for a week with each other (besides sharing classes and all), until we no longer remembered why we were mad at each other in the first place and just went back to normal. But I’m also totally Hermione in this scenario. Boys. Sigh.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 21: The House-Elf Liberation Front

  • “‘Harry Potter, sir! Harry Potter!’ Next second all the wind had been knocked out of him as the squealing elf hit him hard in the midriff, hugging him so tightly he thought his ribs would break. ‘D-Dobby?’ Harry gasped.” – I just love Dobby. A lot.
  • Dobby still wears the sock Harry gave his old master, the sock that set him free, and he later tells Harry that socks are his favourites and makes some for Harry. They have such a huge symbolic meaning for Dobby, they represent his freedom, and so the fact that he gave some to Harry, socks he made himself with wool he bought from his wage is in itself such a meaningful present. I bet adult Harry still has them and treasures them. Now I made myself sad.
  • Winky mirrors her old master, Barty Crouch, in some interesting ways. Harry notices that her clothes, unlike Dobby’s, actually match, the same way Barty Crouch could have easily passed as a Muggle at the World Cup. And yet, without her master Winky becomes lost, just as Barty Crouch does, though of course in a very different way.
  • It is somehow implied that Dobby and Winky knew each other before they started to work at Hogwarts together (I think even at the World Cup Winky seemed to know who Dobby is). Both elves have been in their families for quite some time, and their ancestors before them. Which means that the Crouch family and the Malfoy family must have had enough contact with each other for their house-elves to know each other. But given how much Barty Crouch loathes Dark Wizards and Lucius Malfoy being publically accused (though never arrested) to be a Death Eater it seems unlikely for them to meet. Perhaps it was before the First Wizarding War? (How old do house-elves get anyway?) It is an interesting detail however.
  • It also tells a lot that Dobby couldn’t find work for two years because nobody could be bothered to pay him, and he gets 1 Galleon a week at Hogwarts, which isn’t that much, because he doesn’t want more. The concept of owning a slave (because nothing else is a house-elf) is so integrated in the Wizarding World that people rather own none house-elf than one they have to pay. Nobody even considered that, which again, is quite telling.
  • And even Dobby, who likes his freedom and wants to remain a free elf, says he prefers working over too much freedom (Dumbledore offered him 10 Galleons a week and every weekend off instead of 1 day a month). And this again makes me believe House-Elves are programmed in a way of either not wanting freedom at all or not too much. Even someone like Dobby isn’t set up to start a rebellion, he likes to work, he likes to serve, despite his new status. And to most House-Elves freedom is still seen as the ultimate punishment.
  • And Hermione, why I totally share her belief that owning House-Elves is nothing more than owning slaves and that the system needs to change, lacks in sensitivity. She firmly believes that everyone needs to share her ideals, humans and House-Elves alike, that Dobby is that ideal instead of an outsider. The fact that Dumbledore doesn’t mind paying Dobby implies that he sees the House-Elf-System probably similar as Hermione. And yet he doesn’t force any of the House-Elves working at Hogwarts to get paid or to get dressed. Winky doesn’t want any payment, because she thinks it is beneath her dignity, and Dumbledore respects that. Hermione is too stubborn (yet) for her actions to change.
  • Just imagine though the amount of secrets the Hogwarts-Elves are keeping. Always overlooked  but they know things.
  • But the fact that a free House-Elf is technically allowed to tell his old master’s secrets makes it so dangerous to free an Elf. Dobby knows a lot that could get the Malfoys in trouble and it would serve them right for abusing him, but even freed I think part of the old House-Elf magic and how they are bound to their masters is preventing him from doing so.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 22: The Unexpected Task

  • This is the single most awkward chapter of the entire series, and it fills me both with glee and second-hand-embarrassment. Hormonal teenagers at their best.
  • “A week ago, Harry would have said finding a partner for a dance would be a cinch compared to taking on a Hungarian Horntail. But now that he had done the latter, and was facing the prospect of asking a girl to the ball, he thought he’d rather have another round with the Horntail.” – This sums up adolescence pretty nicely.
  • “Hermione’s words about Krum kept coming back to him. ‘They only like him because he’s famous!’ Harry doubted very much if any of the girls who had asked to be his partner so far would have wanted to go to the ball with him if he hadn’t been school champion. Then he wondered if this would bother him if Cho asked him.” – Dating is already hard enough and in Harry’s case it gets even more complicated because he always has to wonder if someone wants to be with him because he is the famous Harry Potter or because they actually like him. We see this gain in book 6, when he is again in the center of attention because he is the Chosen One. And it is interesting when we look at his relationship with Ginny over the years, because Ginny once was one of those star-struck girls, unable to even look or talk to Harry, fascinated with an idea of Harry. But once she let go of that she becomes her own person, and that is when Harry notices her, but also she is able to see Harry in a different way, to see him for who he is, and she isn’t afraid to tell him off when necessary. Harry doesn’t have to question her intentions because by the time they get together they are already friends and comfortable around each other (unlike how things went with Cho).
  • “Exactly who or what the Weird Sisters were Harry didn’t know, never having had access to a wizard’s wireless, but he deduced from the wild excitement of those who had grown up listening to the WWN (Wizarding Wireless Network) that they were a very famous musical group.” – There is a weird lack of culture in the Wizarding World, though it might just be because Harry never pays any attention to it. We know this band exists (though Harry never listens to any kind of music) and the singer Mrs. Weasley loves. But there is never any mention of fictional books or theatre or anything like that. What exactly do wizards in their free time? They can not all play Quidditch.
  • So Fred went to the Yule Ball with Angelina Johnson, but according to Pottermore after the war (and Fred’s death) Angelina ends up marrying George which is… weird. Or maybe it isn’t because Fred and Angelina never were dating and only went to the Yule Ball together. I dunno. Let’s say it is an interesting fact.
  • Hermione and Ron start to fight because Ron openly admits he rather asks a good looking girl to the ball, even if she is horrible, than a nice one. This obviously hits a nerve for Hermione. Perhaps because she doesn’t think of herself as beautiful and/or because she wants people to like her for her personality rather than how she looks. Hermione doesn’t really care about her appearance (unlike Lavender and Parvati), but that doesn’t mean she isn’t good looking. Krum is interested in her (and in Deathly Hallows he complains that all the good looking girls are always taken) and so is that Quidditch guy in book 6 that she uses to make Ron jealous. And we can be sure that Ron’s interest in her means her nose is in the middle of her face. Though Ron of course knows her best (next to Harry), and he falls for her because of her personality and not her looks (the irony). Both Harry and Hermione want someone who loves them for who they are, and they both end up with a Weasley. Both Ginny and Ron first express superficial ideas about love (Ginny only sees the fame, Ron is only interested in looks), and they both end up with their respective partners once they let go of these ideas and see the other person (Harry, Hermione) for who they are. And in an earlier chapter Mr. Weasley already tells his children to never go for looks alone.
  • I really don’t like how Ron makes fun of Neville, and the fact that Ron had a horrible Yule Ball is Karma’s way of getting it back to him.
  • I really think Ron has never really noticed Hermione is a girl – as in a potential romantic partner – and only saw her as one of her mates until he asks her out for the Yule Ball. And even then he probably wouldn’t have considered it to be romantic, at least not until he saw Hermione in her dress robes. He doesn’t believe Hermione already has date (thinking it was only an excuse to get rid of Neville) because up to that moment he doesn’t think of her as someone desirable. But once he knows it entirely changes the way he looks at her. But it doesn’t for Harry, and that is where the Harry-Hermione-relationship and the Ron-Hermione-relationship start to shift.
  • I also love that Ginny did know who Hermione’s Yule Ball date is, but didn’t tell the boys. Because Hermione and Ginny have a relationship of their own, and Hermione feels comfortable telling Ginny things she can’t talk to with Harry and Ron. I love the Ron-Harry-Hermione-relationship, but it is also important for Hermione to have a female friend (because Lavender and Parvati surely aren’t her friends), and that these characters have lives outside of Harry’s perspective.
  • The irony is that in the end Ron goes with one of the best looking girls to the Yule Ball but he couldn’t care less about it.

Chapter Text

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 23: The Yule Ball

  • We learn that Hermione shrank her teeth with magic, something she had been thinking about for a while, but that her parents were against. Within the magical world it is probably a lot easier to change your appearance, but I think this would also put a lot more pressure on young witches to always look perfect. There is probably a huge market for all kind of potions and creams, not to forget spells. And we see in part the result of that with Eloise Midgen, who tried to spell away her acne and then her nose was off centre. It is also likely that eating disorders are quite common, because there are probably some potions to stay thin as well. And Hermione’s refusal to use such products (except for the Yule Ball) and her anger towards Ron (who thinks looks are more important than personality) is probably largely a response to her very superficial environment.
  • Pretty sure Harry got a new pair of socks every year from Dobby (is this mentioned in the books? I don’t remember, but you know it is true). And Harry kept them all, though he no longer wears them because it breaks his heart every time he sees them.
  • Talked about this before but Dobby made Harry socks because socks represent freedom to him (they are his favourite clothes). And next to his new master (Dumbledore) Harry is probably the most important person for Harry, and his loyalty to him isn’t part of a magical contract, Dobby is loyal to Harry because he choose to, because Harry after all gave him the freedom of choice. And in the end it is Dobby’s loyalty to Harry that will cause his death.
  • “Hermione chose to watch Harry and the Weasleys’ snowball fight rather than join in, and at five o’clock said she was going back upstairs to get ready for the ball. ‘What, you need three hours?’ said Ron […].” – Do you ever as a woman think about society pressuring you to look presentable and the hours you spent in doing so? It took me a long time (and I’m still in the process) to accept myself the way I am, and where I do things like putting make up on for myself rather than believing I’m not beautiful enough without it. And I’m not saying men don’t get judged for how they look, but in a really less significant way. So yeah, Ron wouldn’t know, but he is also not used to Hermione caring about her looks or spending a huge amount of time for it. (And she definitely needed that time for her hair)
  • I’m not really sure how to feel about Hermione’s transformation for the Yule Ball. It is a well used trope but one that I don’t particular like, because it puts too much value on how someone looks, and establishes the idea that for a woman in order to be seen she has to dress up. And I don’t think Hermione is to blame here or that we in general should judge woman who are interested in fashion and make up, but rather a society who has created an environment where a lot of women (myself included) feel it is necessary to look a certain way in order to get recognized. Hermione gives in to this pressure for one special evening (and again at Bill and Fleur’s wedding) because I think for once she wants to feel special and to have her moment, but overall it is not where her priorities are. It is a social comment in a way to say that she can absolutely pull off to look beautiful (in what society considers to be beautiful), but that she usually doesn’t bother to do so, because she thinks they are more important things and she rather wants to be recognized for her personality and her intelligence. Storywise I think this moment was needed to direct her relationship with Ron in a different direction. Ron needed to see her with someone else romantically interested in her, needed to see her all dressed up in order to realize that his feelings for her have changed. (The same way it needed Harry to see Ginny with someone else to realize he had a crush on her.) And it is interesting that Krum was interested in her before, that he simply liked Hermione the way she is, and I think she needed that in some way as well, that someone was romantically interested in her and valued her the way she is.
  • “‘Only this morning, for instance, I took a wrong turning on the way to the bathroom and found myself in a beautifully proportioned room I have never seen before, containing a really rather magnificent collection of chamberpots. When I went back to investigate more closely, I discovered that the room had vanished. But I must keep an eye out for it. Possibly it is only accessible at five thirty in the morning. Or it may only appear at the quarter moon – or when the seeker has an exceptionally full bladder.’” – This of course is the first time the Room of Requirements is mentioned, and Dumbledore even explains how it works – the room provides what you need. I think Dumbledore knew exactly what this room was and how it works and only mentioned it so Harry would know about it. Of course Harry being Harry he forget about it and needed Dobby to bring it to his attention again.
  • I love that image of both Harry and Ron ignoring their respective partners because they are both too busy moping about the girls they actually wanted to go with. Boys *sigh*
  • “‘Ron,’ said Harry quietly, ‘I haven’t got a problem with Hermione coming with Krum –’” – Harry reacts completely different than Ron regarding Hermione and Krum. And towards the series he continues to act different towards Hermione than Ron, especially when it comes to Hermione’s love life (and the other way around: see both Harry and Hermione’s reaction when Ron starts dating Lavender). I think that within the books it is hugely evident, starting with the previous chapter, that Ron and Hermione’s relationship is different than the one they each have with Harry. I know that there has been a huge shipping war between Ron/Hermione and Harry/Hermione shippers. But to me it was never about whether Hermione and Harry would have been the better match. Because nothing about the way Harry sees and reacts towards Hermione in the books was in any way romantic. Unlike Ron and his poorly hidden jealously. I never questioned if Hermione and Ron actually fit together, because the story clearly tells us that they are attracted to each other, and that is what is important. They fight a lot but they also deeply care about each other. And Ron has, especially in book 7, a beautiful story of personal growth, that is part of that love story. So at least for me, based on the books alone, I never saw any evidence for Harry/Hermione. But obviously if you ship them I’m the last to say anything against that.
  • That being said, I think it is different in the movies. Maybe because we can’t see Harry’s thoughts, but they had a couple of Harry/Hermione moments that could be very well romantically interpreted. They also of course had a lot of Ron/Hermione moments. But I think the movies didn’t really do Ron justice (and neither Ginny), so I get why people would have rather seen Harry and Hermione together.
  • It is revealed that Hagrid is a half-giant and implied that Madame Maxime is one as well. She of course denies that. What is interesting is both Harry and Ron’s reacting to it. Harry doesn’t care because he doesn’t really know anything about giants and their reputation. Ron on the other side is surprised and sees why Madame Maxime wouldn’t want anybody to know about her heritage. Ron thought that the reason why Hagrid was so big was because of spell going wrong or something like it. It is pretty much a “don’t ask, don’t tell”-situation. To someone like Harry or Hermione, who has been brought up outside the wizarding society, it is obvious that Hagrid is a half-giant. Ron however came up with a bunch of other explanations, ignoring the most obvious explanation. People see what they want to see.
  • There is a sadistic sort of irony that Barty Crouch Jun.’s plan, that would ultimately lead to Cedric’s death, was built on kindness? On Harry’s kindness to tell Cedric about the dragons and that he would return the favour, helping Harry to figure out the egg.
  • “Harry didn’t say anything. He liked being back on speaking terms with Ron too much to speak his mind right now – but he somehow thought that Hermione had got the point much better than Ron had.” – I was never in a situation where two of my friends became a couple, but it must be really hard, because it always feels like you have to pick a side, and I think at some point Harry was probably afraid to lose one of his friends in the progress of Hermione and Ron getting together, because what if they broke up? What if they made him choose a side? (Though honestly I think Harry would choose Ron over Hermione.)

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 24: Rita Skeeter’s Scoop

  • “Hermione’s hair was bushy again; she confessed to Harry that she had used liberal amounts of Sleekeazy’s Hair Potion on it for the ball, ‘but it’s way too much bother to do every day,’ she said matter-of-factly, scratching a purring Crookshanks behind the ears.” – Random Pottermore fact: The inventor of the Sleekeazy Potion is one Fleamont Potter, father of James Potter, therefore Harry’s grandfather. A lot of the Potter’s wealth came from inventing and selling this potion. I wonder if later in life Harry did some research on his family history and found out about it.
  • “‘I knew he couldn’t be pure giant, because they’re about twenty feet tall. But honestly, all this hysteria about giants. They can’t all be horrible … it’s the same sort of prejudice that people have towards werewolves … it’s just bigotry, isn’t it?’” – It is easy for Hermione to look at this that way, because she has an outsider perspective. Her personal experiences with both a werewolf (Lupin) and a half-giant (Hagrid) don’t match with what everyone is saying about them, so it must be bigotry. Of course she is right to assume that not every werewolf and giant is violent and dangerous, but that doesn’t mean there is no truth to it. They can be incredible dangerous, there is a reason why Voldemort later reaches out to both werewolves and giants to use them for his causes. And with a character like Fenrir Greyback we see why a lot of wizards are afraid of werewolves. Of course the way society is treating them plays a role as well. It is not just the bite but also how people react to you that creates a monster. Hermione looks at issues like the treatment of house-elves and werewolves and giants, that are surely problematic, and overly simplifies them, because she is lacking the cultural knowledge.
  • It is interesting to look at the kind of language Rita Skeeter uses to dismiss Hagrid – she repeatedly refers to him as non-human. And this goes back to the Wizarding World inhabiting beings like House-Elves, Centaurs, Merepeople etc, that are as intelligent and empathic as humans, but not treated as ones. And it all centers around a very important question (one that a lot of Sci-Fi-Stories ask): What makes us human? How do we define humanity? We know Hagrid, and apart from his physical appearance there is nothing un-human about it. It feels wrong to deny him the status of human, or to think of him as a half-human. But it makes sense that in the Wizarding World – were so many believe in the purity of blood – they established categories of what counts as human and what isn’t. I’m not sure if Rita actually cares about purebloods and the likes – all she cares about is the best, the biggest story, the one that makes the biggest wave. And she knows that in a prejudiced society like the wizarding society this story will have an impact.
  • “He wasn’t entirely sure why he was refusing Bagman’s help, except that Bagman was almost a stranger to him, and accepting his assistance would feel somehow much more like cheating than asking advice from Ron, Hermione or Sirius.” – For one thing I like that Harry has some morals. But also accepting help from his friends and family is different – they help him because they obviously care about him and mostly because they are concerned about him surviving the tournament rather than winning it. Bagman offering help doesn’t feel right because Harry can’t see the motive behind it. Bagman claims it is because he likes Harry, but Harry knows this isn’t the entire truth. I think Harry’s instincts tell him not to trust Bagman, sensing that the reason he tries to help Harry might not be entirely selfless.
  • “‘Really, Hagrid, if you are holding out for universal popularity, I’m afraid you will be in this cabin for a very long time,’ said Dumbledore, now peering sternly over his half-moon spectacles.” – Life in general isn’t a popularity contest and if you treat it that way you will never be happy. There will always be people who don’t like you for whatever reasons, even if they sometimes have to make up those reasons. Concentrate your energy and your time on those people who love you the way you are.
  • “‘My own brother, Aberforth, was prosecuted for practising inappropriate charms on a goat. It was all over the papers, but did Aberforth hide? No, he did not! He held his head high and went about his business as usual! Of course, I’m not entirely sure he can read, so that may not have been bravery …’” – Oh, the burn. Unfortunately we never see Dumbledore and Aberforth together, only talking badly about each other. Of course Aberforth had his reasons for his outfall with his brother, and he appears reasonable in book 7. So the picture of Aberforth Dumbledore paints here isn’t entirely true, but neither is the way Aberforth looked down on Dumbledore, as he refused to accept the deep regret Dumbledore felt over their sister’s death.
  • Hagrid’s father was afraid Hagrid wasn’t magical enough to attend Hogwarts, the same fear Neville’s family had about Neville. Which brings us back to how the Wizarding society treats those members who lack in their magic abilities (like Squibs), constantly treating them as if they are not good enough, making them social outcasts.
  • “Knows people can turn out OK even if their families weren’ … well … all tha’ respectable. But some don’ understand that. There’s some who’d always hold it against yeh …” – And yet Hagrid was very fast to judge people like Draco because of his family. Surely Draco didn’t prove himself to be better, but still. Hagrid isn’t free of prejudices as well.

Chapter Text

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 25: The Egg and the Eye

  • Ah yes, the only time we see Harry do some body hygiene. One bath in seven years. Like as readers we simply assume the students take regularly baths and/or showers, but it is never really mentioned. And obviously the students have to share their bathrooms (just as their share their bedroom), because Harry chooses the Prefect’s bathroom especially because it is less crowded. Simply said as a Hogwarts students you don’t have a lot of privacy. No wonder the Room of Requirements exists. And no wonder so many Weasley children became Prefects, if they get a bathroom like this (and with it some well deserved alone time).
  •  And yeah, I know the Potter books are weirdly sex-less space, but really where do these boys masturbate? (Because you know they do.) Can’t do it in their beds, can’t do it in the shower. Poor guys. (And girls.)
  • “His immediate reaction was that it would be worth becoming a Prefect just to be able to use this bathroom. It was softly lit by a splendid candle-filled chandelier, and everything was made of white marble, including what looked like an empty, rectangular swimming pool sunk into the middle of the floor. About a hundred golden taps stood all around the pool’s edges, each with a different-coloured jewel set into its handle. There was also a diving board.” – I love that this bathroom is just so… extra. Especially given how few students are actually allowed to use it. Let the peasants have their common bathroom.
  • Book 4 is usually the one where most people would say the series shifted from children’s books to young adult books. Obviously because of the tragedy that happens towards the end. But even before that we see all those small incidents who signal us that these are no longer children. Dating becomes a thing. And they are aware of their bodies in a way they weren’t before. It’s not just Ron realizing that Hermione is a girl (and Harry does so as well, though not in a romantic way). Harry himself gets attention. And here we have Myrtle watching a very naked Harry while he takes a bath (and admitting she did the same with Cedric). Harry feels ashamed, not so much of his body, but of someone watching him. It is strangely sexual, but not in a good way, because Harry never had the chance to give consent. And consent (or rather the lack of it) later becomes an actual issue in the books, with the introduction of love spells and love potions. And it is interesting that in those incidents Harry becomes the victim, as he is the one whose consent is taken away from him, both in someone watching him naked and later in book 6 in someone trying to give him a love potion (that is actually not that different from a rape drug). Because those positions are usually occupied by women. Whether it be Myrtle watching Harry naked, Romilda Vane giving Harry a love potion or Merope Gaunt doing the same with Tom Riddle (though with much more severe consequences) it is always women who are the aggressors, and the men who become victims of sexual assault.
  • But Myrtle spying on prefects who take a bath made me also realize how young she still is and always will be. She is stuck inside her teenager body (she has still pimples) and teenage girls have… urges. Watching those prefects is the only action she is ever going to get.
  • “He wasn’t a very good swimmer; he’d never had much practice. Dudley had had lessons in their youth, but Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon, no doubt hoping that Harry would drown one day, hadn’t bothered to give him any.” – I don’t get why it isn’t mandatory for schools to teach children swimming, because you know… it actually saves lives. I didn’t learn swimming at school and Harry obviously neither. I wonder if he ever learned to ride a bike (probably not).
  • It is interesting that ghosts in the wizarding world aren’t bound to places, but are free to move around. They cannot haunt places, though they can haunt people (like Myrtle did with her former classmate). The Hogwarts ghosts stay there because they are attached to the place, but they can leave any time (which makes it interesting that both the Grey Lady and the Bloody Baron stayed at the same place, given their history).
  • And that is how Barty Crouch finds that there is a magical item at Hogwarts that can reveal his true identity, and that it belongs to no other than Harry Potter. And more than that, that Harry knows that he was in Snape’s office, though he is obviously missing the vital information which Barty Crouch it was, believing that only one is still alive. The only reason Barty Crouch isn’t caught at that very moment is because he shares the name of the father he so much hates. What irony.
  • And in the end it is a Death Eater who first plants the idea in Harry’s head of becoming an Auror. Again, what irony.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 26: The Second Task

  • “He, Ron and Hermione were sitting at the very back of the Charms class with a table to themselves. They were supposed to be practising the opposite of the Summoning Charm today – the Banishing Charm. Owing to the potential for nasty accidents when objects kept flying across the room, Professor Flitwick had given each student a stack of cushions on which to practise, the theory being that these wouldn’t hurt anyone if they went off target. It was a good theory, but it wasn’t working very well. Neville’s aim was so poor that he kept accidentally sending much heavier things flying across the room – Professor Flitwick, for instance. ‘Just forget the egg for a minute, all right?’ Harry hissed, as Professor Flitwick went whizzing resignedly past them, landing on top of a large cabinet.” – Of all the crimes the movie adaption of Goblet of Fire did commit, not including this scene is the biggest.
  • “With two days left, Harry started to go off food again.” – Harry is always described as skinny and that it is due his upbringing at the Dursleys, who never gave him enough to eat and denied him food as a punishment. People like Harry, who grew up without the security of always having something to eat, usually never miss a chance to eat. And yet Harry does, which is a clear sign of the pressure he is currently feeling. Harry knows what real hunger feels like, and yet he can’t eat.
  • Just an appreciation for all the titles of the books Harry, Ron & Hermione look through in order to find out how he can breathe underwater: Olde and Forgotten Bewitchments and Charmes; Saucy Tricks for Tricky Sorts; Weird Wizarding Dilemmas and Their Solutions; Madcap Magic for Wacky Warlock;  A Guide to Medieval Sorcery;  An Anthology of Eighteenth-Century Charms; Dreadful Denizens of the Deep; Powers You Never Knew You Had and What to Do With Them Now You’ve Wised Up; Where There’s a Wand, There’s a Way.
  • The champions have to rescue the person they would miss most from the Merepeople, and it is interesting to look who that person is for each champion. For Krum and Cedric it is their respective Yule Ball date, Hermione and Cho, and for Fleur it is her little sister (maybe they were afraid she wouldn’t care enough about Roger Davies to actually save him). Of course it is arguable if this is the person each of them would miss the most (at least in Krum and Cedric’s case, because they obviously would miss their family as well), or if they simply picked someone they knew the champion cared about a lot. The fact that Harry had to rescue Ron however makes great sense, given the latest development in their friendship, their first big fight, and Harry’s realization how much he really needs Ron. And given that the other two male champions had to save their love interest I wonder if there for some time a rumour was going around about Harry and Ron being a thing.
  • Dobby basically serves the role of the butler (and he is one in a way), someone who hears all kind of things, a keeper of secrets, and who due to his nature is always overseen.
  • Basically what gets Harry through the second task is his kindness. It is because he helped Cedric that he got the clue about the Egg from him. And it is because he had been kind to Dobby (and freed him) that Dobby gives him what he needs to perform the second task.
  • Speaking of magical plants like Gillyweed: How likely is it Muggles find it and try to eat it and die because they suffocate?
  • A lot has been said about Harry not only rescuing his own hostage but trying to save the others as well. Ron later belittles him for taking the song serious, thinking Dumbledore would have let anyone die. For one thing it shows Harry being heroic. Which in this book is largely expressed by his desire to help others: telling Cedric about the dragons, trying to save all hostages, helping Cedric again in the maze. But of course it also shows how traumatized Harry already is by the events of the past. Because Harry is by now used to not expect any help. He is used to take over the responsibility because nobody else does, the very least an adult. He was alone facing Quirell. He was alone facing Tom Riddle and the Basilisk. He was alone facing a horde of Dementors, saving not only his own life but that of Hermione and Sirius as well. Once the task is over Harry is able to think rational – of course nobody was meant to get hurt, let alone die. But Harry can’t think rational underneath the lake, with Merepeople threatening him and the time slowly running up. His mind acts to what he thinks is an emergency situation, a life-and-death-situation. Because he had his fair share of those before. He acts on instinct alone, and his instinct tells him to make sure he and everyone around him survives.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 27: Padfoot Returns

  • It is a great example of double standard how both Ron and Hermione get attention for being a hostage in the Second Task, but in very different ways. Ron is seen as a heroic, it is exciting and adventurous, and people ask him to retell what happened. Hermione however gets teased for being the thing Krum would miss the most. And even though it isn’t explicitly mentioned who teases her I’m pretty sure it is by other girls. And I think it tells us something about an almost natural solidarity between men, that doesn’t exist that way with women (or girls). Women should support each other, but very often we don’t. And I think part of that problem is society and how we are to a certain degree raised to see other women as competition. We compete over the attention of men, because men give us value. Which of course is utter bullshit, but I saw enough women in my life constantly comparing themselves to other women and acting like a bitch to know that this behaviour is still quite common. I had to actively unlearn to compare myself with every other woman or to dislike someone just because they had won in the genetic lottery.
  • With the article about the supposedly Harry/Hermione/Krum-Love-Triangle, what Hermione bothers the most is not what Rita Skeeter made of her (“She’s made you out to be some sort of – of scarlet woman!”), but rather that she invaded her privacy. Nobody but Hermione and Krum know that he indeed invited her over the summer, and given Rita’s reputation she could have made that part up. So instead of just writing an article that let Hermione look bad she wrote one letting Hermione know that she is no longer safe, that she has ways of overhearing private conversations and there is nothing Hermione can do about it.
  • Also, again Harry and Ron react quite different to the article. Once Ron knows that Hermione was invited by Krum his main interest whether she accepted that invention or not. Unlike Harry.
  • “‘Don’t lie to me,’ Snape hissed, his fathomless black eyes boring into Harry’s. ‘Boomslang skin. Gillyweed. Both come from my private stores, and I know who stole them.’ Harry stared back at Snape, determined not to blink, or to look guilty. In truth, he hadn’t stolen either of these things from Snape. Hermione had taken the Boomslang skin back in their second year – they had needed it for the Polyjuice Potion – and while Snape had suspected Harry at the time, he had never been able to prove it. Dobby, of course, had stolen the Gillyweed.” – Harry assumes that Snape refers to the Boomslang skin Hermione had stolen two years ago – and reminds the audience that it is an ingredient for Polyjuice Potion – but Snape refers to a recent theft, because this had been the reason Barty Crouch broke into his office after all. But neither Harry or Snape make this connection, neither wonders why someone would need Boomslang skin, or if someone uses Polyjuice Potion.
  • Snape informs us that Veritaserum is controlled by very strict Ministry guidelines. Just like love potions (who are mentioned in this chapter again as something Hermione supposedly uses) there are a lot of consent issues here. Of course Veritaserum can be very useful, but it also very unethical. The person who is given the Serum has no longer control over what they say. And Snape here threatens to use it on Harry and Dumbledore later uses it on Crouch without giving a second thought about guidelines.
  • “But Sirius shook his head and said, ‘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.’” – Oh the irony. Because this comes back to Sirius in the next book, and his treatment of Kreacher, and how it ultimately resulted in Sirius’s death. Sirius obviously had his reasons to treat Kreacher the way he did and obviously he didn’t deserve to die because of it, but still. I recently saw a post about writing subplots and what makes a good subplot, and the thing about the Potter series is that some of the subplots have their ultimately payoff only at the end of the series, not the book where they start. The House-Elf-subplot starts in book 2 with the introduction of Dobby, but Dobby’s story ends in book 7. We see the mistreatment of House-Elves, we see the severe consequences of it with Sirius and Kreacher, and ultimately we see in book 7 Voldemort’s ignorance of House-Elves and Harry’s kindness towards Dobby and Kreacher helping Harry defeating Voldemort.  Anyway, this line always stuck with me, look how someone treats their inferiors not their equals to understand the kind of person they are. It’s a good advice.
  • “Terror everywhere … panic … confusion … that’s how it used to be. ‘Well, times like that bring out the best in some people, and the worst in others. […]Crouch fought violence with violence, and authorised the use of the Unforgivable Curses against suspects. I would say he became as ruthless and cruel as many on the Dark side.” – You know, back when I was still watching The Walking Dead I think this was something the show did very well (and despite its flaws it is worth to watch it): put people in a very extreme situation (the total collapse of civilisation) and see how some become the best and others the worst version of themselves. And that’s the thing about Crouch: he might have been on the “right” side of the war, but his methods weren’t. It asks the question if the cause justify the means. That it is not just enough to do things for the right reasons but how you do it. And if you tolerate methods that the ones you fight use (torture, murder), what does it make of you? Sirius is right in his claim that Barty Crouch was as cruel as the Death Eaters he tried to stop. That just because he was on the winning side of the war he isn’t necessarily a good man. And we see here how the morality of the series has evolved – in the first book characters were simply good or bad. But the older these characters get the more they realize the world isn’t as simple as that. And it is not just Crouch. By the end of the book we have a character like Fudge, who isn’t a Death Eater or evil per se, but whose actions help Voldemort to gain power again.
  • “Once the boy had died, people started feeling a bit more sympathetic towards him, 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.” – I’m always a bit conflicted when a character’s motivation is basically just daddy issues (or mommy issues). Yes Barty Crouch wasn’t the best father, and perhaps not a good man. And his son had every right to cut ties with him. It doesn’t justify however that he became a Death Eater and tortured and killed people. It is too easy to blame all of this on his father. A lot of people have messed up childhoods and issues because of it. A lot of them still manage to become decent people. You know as they say: cool motive, still murder.
  • It is also interesting how both Ron and Hermione try to get Sirius’s approval, how Sirius’s opinion matters the most. Because despite being an adult he treats them as equals, he wants to hear their opinions. And in some ways he falls back to the role he had at school: the popular kid everyone wants to be friends with.
  • Sirius has no idea what it means that Karkaroff showed Snape his arm, implying he doesn’t know Death Eaters wore their Dark Mark at this point. It could be explained that of course Sirius was imprisoned right after the war ended, and that this particular piece of information only became public after the war and the trials. But Sirius said he had caught up on what happened after his imprisonment, that is how he learned about Crouch and his son, and yet he doesn’t know about the Dark Mark. Just as he is unaware that Snape actually had been accused to be Death Eater, but Dumbledore vouched for him. I think it is rather that at this point of the story this information should not be available for Harry, so Sirius can’t know about it either.
  • “‘There’s still the fact that Dumbledore trusts Snape, and I know Dumbledore trusts where a lot of other people wouldn’t, but I just can’t see him letting Snape teach at Hogwarts if he’d ever worked for Voldemort.’” – Oh, you sweet summer child. If Sirius would have known just how much Snape was involved in James and Lily’s death he probably would have killed him, damn the consequences. And while Dumbledore did trust Snape, I wonder if he ever forgave Snape or even liked him, or if he simply used him, because Dumbledore after all is a great strategist.
  • “He takes his Defence Against the Dark Arts seriously, Moody. I’m not sure he trusts anyone at all, and after the things he’s seen, it’s not surprising. I’ll say this for Moody, though, he never killed if he could help it. Always brought people in alive where possible. He was tough, but he never descended to the level of the Death Eaters.” – The fact that he was imprisoned and impersonated for a year won’t help Moody’s trust issues. But here we see it again: look at the actions of a man to tell you what kind of person he is. Moody never killed if he didn’t have to. And we see this later with Harry, who uses Unforgiveable Curses, but never kills. He even defeats Voldemort without actively killing him. And that is very important.
  • “‘Percy would never throw any of his family to the Dementors,’ said Hermione severely. ‘I don’t know,’ said Ron. ‘If he thought we were standing in the way of his career … Percy’s really ambitious, you know …’” – Which of course is already a foretelling of the rift between Percy and his family in book 5. But from a larger point of view, there are several supposedly good characters, and we see how their ambitions and their claim for power corrupted them. Crouch lost his family and reputation for it and became as cruel as the Death Eaters themselves, because he wanted to become Minister of Magic. Fudge refused to accept the truth to keep this position. Percy temporarily cut all ties with his family because of his position and ambition in the ministry. Dumbledore made some regrettable choices in his youth because of it, and lost his sister. Power can corrupt and I think it is Dumbledore who once said it is best given to those who don’t want it, like Harry.

Chapter Text

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 28: The Madness of Mr Crouch

  • “‘Winky is pining, Harry Potter,’ Dobby whispered sadly. ‘Winky wants to go home. Winky still thinks Mr Crouch is her master, sir, and nothing Dobby says will persuade her that Professor Dumbledore is her master now.’” – I wonder if House-Elves can die from heartbreak? Because most of them are truly devoted to their masters and getting dismissed is the worst that can happen to them. I wonder if there is some sort of magical bond created between them and their masters, that can be transferred through family but not to a new master. It would explain why Winky can’t accept Dumbledore as her new master. And why Dobby, despite the abuse, had a hard time criticizing his former master.
  • “‘Oh, for heaven’s sake!’ said Hermione angrily. ‘Listen to me, all of you! You’ve got just as much right as wizards to be unhappy! You’ve got the right to wages and holidays and proper clothes, you don’t have to do everything you’re told – look at Dobby!’ ‘Miss will please keep Dobby out of this,’ Dobby mumbled, looking scared. The cheery smiles had vanished from the faces of the house-elves around the kitchen. They were suddenly looking at Hermione as though she was mad and dangerous.” – And this is the problem with Hermione – she means well and I completely agree with her that the House-Elf system should be destroyed. But she acts like she knows better in front of the House-Elves, criticizing their entire culture and way of living, and she deeply offends them by doing so. She patronizes them (and she also acts that way when she disagrees with Harry and Ron) instead of supporting them.
  • Hermione gets hate mail after the Witch Weekly article written by Rita Skeeter. One of the letters is even filled with Bubotuber pus, causing Hermione pain. It shows how much power media and therefore Rita Skeeter has. None of the people who wrote a letter actually know Harry or Hermione; they simply assumed that what they read was true. Later we find out that even Mrs. Weasley, who does know Hermione, believed the rumours Skeeter spread about her to some degree. But it also shows that misogyny not only exists among men but among women as well. It isn’t actually stated who wrote those letters – but in my imagination I always assumed they were written by other women, young women especially, who might had a crush on Harry. And this is something we see often enough in real life: the harassment wives and girlfriends of male celebrities have to endure. And neither Harry or Hermione asked for this sort of attention. Harry is famous because something terrible happened to him as a child, Hermione only because she is his friend. (That doesn’t mean people who choose a profession in the spotlight owe you anything or don’t deserve the same respect as anyone else.)
  • J.K. Rowling paints a very negative image of media here, and continues to do so in book 5. She encourages her readers to question everything they read and not to take everything for granted, especially from the yellow press, and shows the dangerous consequences false accusations can have. What is interesting to me is that by the time she wrote book 4 Harry Potter wasn’t as big as it is now and she wasn’t as much in the spotlight as she is today. The big hype started around the release of book 4 and the first movie adaption (2000/2001). So I’m not sure how much of it is based on personal experience, and I remember reading that she wanted to include the character of Rita Skeeter in an earlier book already.
  • And while we are talking about J.K. Rowling and the media: I’m neither a fan of stan-culture nor of ‘cancelling’ people. Obviously J.K. Rowling isn’t perfect and she sure has her flaws. But she is not the worst person ever either. So there is that.
  • Also, if you think Hermione getting hate mail is bad, just imagine how much worse things would have been in times of social media.
  • “‘These’re Nifflers,’ said Hagrid, when the class had gathered around. ‘Yeh find ’em down mines mostly. They like sparkly stuff … there yeh go, look.’” – And thus, the perfect merchandise was born.
  • “‘Must be nice,’ Ron said abruptly, when they had sat down and started serving themselves roast beef and Yorkshire puddings. ‘To have so much money you don’t notice if a pocketful of Galleons goes missing.’” – Money doesn’t matter only to those who have enough of it. And of course, money isn’t everything and money doesn’t equal happiness. But those who say it isn’t important probably never experienced real poverty. And the way it affects every aspect of your life. And it is a reminder that Harry is quite privileged, through the money he has inherited, through his fame, his gender etc. And that Harry is unaware of that privilege. Because that is the way privilege often works, we only notice we have one when it is taken away from us. Or in this case, when somebody points it out to us.
  • “All those substitutes for magic Muggles use – electricity, and computers and radar, and all those things – they all go haywire around Hogwarts, there’s too much magic in the air.” – Is it only Hogwarts then where electricity doesn’t work? Would it work at a normal wizarding household where there is less magic? Do Muggleborn wizards and witches still use Muggles inventions? Do some Pureblood wizards and witches use them as well, because some of them are quite useful? Does Ron (in present time) has a Netflix account?
  • When Harry encounters Barty Crouch, what is interesting in the moments Crouch seems to talk to an imaginary Percy is that he mentions his wife and son (who gained twelve O.W.Ls, so he must be around 15 or 16), mixing up two times, because obviously by the time Percy started working for Crouch his wife was already dead and his son a prisoner at his home. But I think in his mind he might wishes back to an easier time, when his family was still intact, his son still innocent. It’s a safe place his mind provides.
  • “‘I’ll be havin’ a few words with her, an’ all,’ said Hagrid grimly, stomping up the stairs. ‘The less you lot ’ave ter do with these foreigners, the happier yeh’ll be. Yeh can’ trust any of ’em.’” – Oh Hagrid. Don’t be xenophobic asshole. Because Hagrid at times has weird double standard. He says you shouldn’t judge anyone based on the family they are from and yet he did the very thing with Draco (I mean before he knew Draco is an idiot). He deeply loves and cares about monsters, because they are different, because he thinks people are prejudiced against them, but he is full of prejudices himself.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 29: The Dream

  • “‘What’re you doing here?’ Ron and Fred said at the same time. ‘Sending a letter,’ said Harry and George in unison. ‘What, at this time?’ said Hermione and Fred.” – J.K. Rowling has a great comedic timing, though unfortunately I don’t think they properly translated that to the movies until the fifth one.
  • “‘You’re starting to sound a bit like our dear older brother, you are, Ron. Carry on like this and you’ll be made a Prefect.’ ‘No, I won’t!’ said Ron hotly.” – Oh, the irony. Also, think of the bathroom you can use Ronald.
  • “‘You’re another one who might think about a career as an Auror,’ he told her. ‘Mind works the right way, Granger.’ Hermione flushed pink with pleasure.” – Would Hermione made a good Auror? In some ways yes, I think. Harry is someone who works good under pressure, because he learned it the hard way: act or you die. Hermione however is a great strategist and obviously very intelligent. I wonder if the Auror department has some sort of Intelligence, because I think this where she would have ended up.
  • “‘Yeah, someone could’ve – could’ve pulled him onto a broom and flown off with him, couldn’t they?’ said Ron quickly, looking hopefully at Moody, as if he, too, wanted to be told he had the makings of an Auror.” – It is the same weird competition he had earlier with Hermione trying to get Sirius’s approval. But here is the thing: we know from J.K. Rowling that Ron would indeed later become an Auror, before he eventually would quit to help George with his joke shop. And it never made sense for me why Ron would become an Auror, except that he and Harry kind of do everything together. And this isn’t about him not qualified enough (he is), it is just something that I didn’t think he would choose as a career. But that’s probably because he quit anyway.
  • “‘You were clutching your scar!’ said Professor Trelawney. ‘You were rolling on the floor, clutching your scar! Come now, Potter, I have experience in these matters!’” – She doesn’t even know how much.
  • I love that in order to get into Dumbledore’s office Harry just had to yell some random names of sweets.
  • Also, Fudge suspecting Madame Maxime to be responsible for Crouch’s disappearance (“Dumbledore, you know what that woman is?”), already tells you what kind of man he is.

Chapter Text

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 30: The Pensieve

  • “Once before, Harry had found himself a place where nobody could see or hear him. That time, he had fallen through a page in an enchanted diary, right into somebody else’s memory … and unless he was very much mistaken, something of the sort had happened again …” – I love how falling accidently into someone else’s memory just sounds like the kind of thing that could happen to anyone, no big deal.
  • And just like Veritaserum or Love potions watching someone’s memories without their permission (accident or not) bears a lot of consent issues. There are so many ways in the Wizarding World how you can invade and/or change somebody’s mind (memory charms, Legilimency etc) that it is surprising there isn’t a bigger conversation about it. Snape mentioned guidelines if you use Veritaserum but Love Potions are legal? At least Fred & George later sold them at their shop. It’s a big surprise that not every wizard and witch has massive trust issues.
  • In the first memory Harry sees he watches Karkaroff giving the Ministry names of Death Eaters, because he made a deal. One of the names is Snape. Earlier Sirius said Snape had never been accused to be a Death Eater. Of course it is possible Snape had never been officially accused to be Death Eater, and as there was no trial and therefore no record about him could be found, and this is the information Sirius has. But here we see a memory were Snape is accused to be Death Eater and Dumbledore confirms that Snape used to be one, but changed sides and became a spy before the war ended. Official record or not, the people at the hearing knew about Snape’s past, and now Harry does as well. And those kind of accusations aren’t easily forgotten and there are probably still a lot of people who don’t trust Snape. And just… it kinda bugs me that Sirius isn’t aware of that.
  • I also think the memory of Ludo Bagman’s hearing is very interesting. Because he obviously isn’t a Death Eater, he is not evil, so to say. But he is still guilty of committing crimes, even though he wasn’t aware of it. It shows us how strict Barty Crouch was, how he was unable to differentiate between actual villains and those who just made a terrible mistake. And it shows us Ludo Bagman, whose naivety might be his biggest flaw, because he doesn’t think and is unable to see the bigger picture. He passed down information in the war without questioning it, at the World Cup he didn’t notice the Dark Mark etc. He is unable to see past himself: he uses his connections to get a job, he gambles and cheats, all to help himself, even in times of war.
  • In the final memory, the trial against the Lestranges and Barty Crouch jun., the latter is the only one pleading. It is possible that he didn’t commit the crime he is accused of, that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and perhaps torturing the Longbottoms was a line he didn’t want to cross. But we later find out that he was and still is a Death Eater. His absolute devotion to Voldemort makes it much more possible he did torture Neville’s parents to find out about the whereabouts of his master. And he later takes a certain pride that he served time in Azkaban, that he was loyal, unlike other Death Eaters who denied their connection to Voldemort. So why does he insist to be innocent? To be released? Why doesn’t he act like Bellatrix, who seems nothing but proud? Is it the effect the Dementors had on him and the fear of being sent back to Azkaban? Is it a ruse, using whatever kind of love his father had for him to get free, to once again search for Voldemort? The Barty Crouch jun. we see here and the one we see later don’t seem to match. So either the time he spent as a prisoner at his own home made him more devoted to Voldemort, or he had always been like that and we really just see him trying to manipulate his father in order to get free.
  • “‘This? It is called a Pensieve,’ said Dumbledore. ‘I sometimes find, and I am sure you know the feeling, that I simply have too many thoughts and memories crammed into my mind.’ ‘Er,’ said Harry, who couldn’t truthfully say that he had ever felt anything of the sort.” – He is fourteen, Dumbledore. He should be able to remember the majority of his life still.
  • “‘Has Neville never told you why he has been brought up by his grandmother?’ he said. Harry shook his head, wondering, as he did so, how he could have failed to ask Neville this, in almost four years of knowing him.” – That is like the first thing you ask. Or maybe the second. I wonder if, at least among pureblood and halfblood families, the fate of the Longbottoms is known, so their children either know about it or are told not to ask Neville. Some more sensitive classmates would have also figured out that the reason Neville didn’t live with his parents isn’t a happy story and so they didn’t ask, leaving it to Neville if he wants to tell the story or not. But with learning about Neville’s parents Harry realizes that he isn’t the only one with a tragic past, not the only one affected by the war. And in book 5 we learn that Neville very well could have become the Boy Who Lived. It takes something away from Harry’s image of being special, of being singled out. Destiny in the Potter series after all is still vague enough that it still depends on someone making a choice in order to fulfil it.
  • I wonder though how many Death Eaters were aware of the Prophecy? Did they torture Frank Longbottom because he was an Auror or because his son was the other Chosen One?
  • “Harry sat there, horror-struck. He had never known … never, in four years, bothered to find out …” – This is a great lesson of empathy for Harry. He is so used to be the only one who suffers, who has to deal with a great loss in his life, and now he is ashamed because he never cared enough to find out about Neville’s family. We also see this at large in book 5, where Harry is very angry and self-centered, and the journey he makes, and how he learns to reach out, to accept help, to acknowledge that others suffer as well.

Chapter Text

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 31: The Third Task

  • Harry tells Ron and Hermione everything he heard and saw at Dumbledore’s office, and Ron wonders if Fudge might be right about suspecting Madame Maxime, whereas Hermione immediately defends her, claiming she would have lied about her heritage as well, knowing about the prejudice Madame Maxime had to face. It once again shows that Ron is much more willing to believe certain prejudices and stereotypes, because there must be some truth to it, if everyone says so, whereas Hermione questions everything. And it is not just because Hermione is more rational, logical thinking and suspicious. But because she, unlike Ron, had to face prejudice because of her heritage. People tell her how incredible talented she is, but usually add that she is despite being Muggleborn. Hermione’s perfectionism, her deep fear of failure, is based on the fact that she has to work extra hard to prove her value, to prove that she belongs in the Wizarding World, despite her being Muggleborn and a girl.
  • “Lying in the darkness, Harry felt a rush of anger and hate towards the people who had tortured Mr and Mrs Longbottom … he remembered the jeers of the crowd as Crouch’s son and his companions had been dragged from the court by the Dementors … he understood how they had felt … then he remembered the milk-white face of the screaming boy, and realised with a jolt that he had died a year later … It was Voldemort, Harry thought, staring up at the canopy of his bed in the darkness, it all came back to Voldemort … he was the one who had torn these families apart, who had ruined all these lives …” – But that’s too easy, isn’t it? To blame a single person for all those terrible things. Because even someone as Voldemort needs followers, needs an army, needs people who fight for him and in his name. You can’t fight a war without followers after all. And the Death Eaters weren’t simply soldiers following orders. They were or still are devoted to Voldemort and his ideals. Voldemort’s radical ideas only worked because pureblood already fanatics existed – he just took things to a next level. And nobody forced them to do this. Some might have joined him out of fear or to protect their families, but many did because they agreed with his ideas about the purity of blood, because they did enjoy to torture and kill people. And that is an aspect that I like about the Fantastic Beasts-movies and the exploration of Grindelwald: that Voldemort isn’t a singular event. And if it wasn’t for him some other Dark Wizard would have taken his place. Terror-regimes don’t stand and fall with one person. And we see this in book 7, because otherwise Voldemort didn’t have to take over the entire government.
  • I wonder if they even asked the Dursleys to come see Harry at the Third Task or if they straight out just wrote to the Weasleys instead. Anyway, I always loved that scene, of Harry thinking he has no family, nobody that would care about him, and then the Weasleys showing up.
  • “‘Hmm,’ said Mrs Weasley, pursing her lips. She had always refrained from criticising the Dursleys in front of Harry, but her eyes flashed every time they were mentioned.” – Can you imagine how hard that must be though? But that is something I really like about Molly Weasley – she knows that they are still Harry’s family, that despite everything they demand some very basic respect and that it would be rude to talk bad about them. It somehow reminds me that when couples get divorced, and one starts to talk badly about the other in front of their child. Which is simply something you shouldn’t do, because despite whatever happened in the marriage, kids still look up to their parents, and sometimes people are shitty spouses but still good parents. (And I’m obviously not talking here about abusive and violent spouses/parents, they can rot in hell)
  • “‘Your father and I had been for a night-time stroll,’ she said. ‘He got caught by Apollyon Pringle – he was the caretaker in those days – your father’s still got the marks.’” – Casual reminder that obviously beating was an accepted punishment at Hogwarts not that long ago. According to the interwebs Molly attended Hogwarts in the 60s. I couldn’t find an exact date when Dumbledore became headmaster, so it is possible that this form of punishment stopped once he took over.
  • Mrs. Weasley tells Amos Diggory off for coming after Harry, claiming he should know that Rita Skeeter is always out to cause trouble, and that he should be aware that she is not always (or never) writing the truth. And yet, she still believed what Rita wrote about Hermione, and it is not until Harry tells her that none of it is true that she acts normal to her again. I wonder why that is? There is no implication that Mrs. Weasley had any kind of reservations towards Hermione before, which might explain why she was willing to believe those rumours about her. Maybe it is simply because she is overly protective when it comes to Harry.
  • Oh Harry, do you really think Dumbledore would have allowed an actual Dementor in the maze? Of course it is only a Boggart.
  • Harry hears Fleur screaming and his very first instinct is to help her, before he remembers that it is not his job.
  • Krum attacks Cedric, with an Unforgiveable Curse nonetheless, and yet none of them suspects that something might be wrong with Krum, that somebody might have forced him to do it. They both got to know him, and yet they assume that Krum is rather a Dark Wizard himself than a victim of one.
  • So much about book 4 and the Triwizard Tournament is what it means to be a hero. And mostly it comes down to being selfless. Harry didn’t enter the Tournament, he has no intention of winning it, he just wants to survive the whole thing. He doesn’t see the others as rivals but rather as people who have to face the same burden as he does, despite them being older and more competent wizards and participating voluntarily in the Tournament. And because of that Harry acts selfless. He tells Cedric about the dragons, because he wants to give him an even chance. He wants to rescue all the hostages in the Second Task, because their survival is more important than winning. He helps Cedric twice in the Maze, he wanted to help Fleur as well. He offers Cedric the cup. And he is the one suggesting they both should win. And all those selfless acts cost him so much. And in the end, in book 7, he has to do the ultimate sacrifice: to give his life. And that is what makes him a hero: his ability to love, to think about others before thinking about himself, to care about them in the most fundamental way.
  • As it turns out the Triwizard Cup is a portkey. Earlier we learned that they only work at a specific time, so how could this particular portkey work? There was no way of knowing at what time Harry would reach the cup after all.

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 

Chapter 32: Flesh, Blood and Bone

  • “For a second that contained an eternity, Harry stared into Cedric’s face, at his open grey eyes, blank and expressionless as the windows of a deserted house, at his half-open mouth, which looked slightly surprised. And then, before Harry’s mind had accepted what he was seeing, before he could feel anything but numb disbelief, he felt himself being pulled to his feet.” – Looking back I think my reaction to Cedric’s death was mostly like Harry’s – utterly shock. I didn’t connect to Cedric’s character as a child the way I do now, I didn’t really have an opinion about him. He wasn’t one of Harry’s friends, not someone we knew particular well. But death so far had been merely an abstract concept. We know of course that Harry’s parents died, but just like Harry we never get to know them. The first time Harry actually experiences death happens in the most horrible way, to someone that young and innocent, someone who was a genuinely good person, who died in cold murder, simply because they were at the wrong time in the wrong place, and Harry can do nothing about it than to witness. It is deeply traumatic, scarring, and it is the moment Harry stops being a child.
  • The spell Wormtail uses to retrieve Voldemort is quite interesting. First of all it is not in Latin, but rather in English. Second I wonder if they invented that spell. Because Voldemort is a unique case – a thing, only alive because of the Horcruxes he created. And I think he refers in the next chapter to old magic that brought him back – the same way old magic protected Harry through his mother’s sacrifice. It makes sense that Voldemort isn’t just an incredible powerful wizard himself, but that he is interested in the creation of magic himself, learning about so called old magic and how to use it for its own advantage. But of course he would oversee such magic like the one that saved Harry’s life, because he had never understood love.
  • Harry notices Wormtail’s scream after he cut of his own hand, and that the cauldron produced a blinding white light, both things people in the village should have noticed, and yet nobody interrupts them. I wonder if they used some kind of cloaking spell or if they just didn’t care if Muggles were to interrupt them, simply killing them if they do.
  • “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 as flat as a snake’s, with slits for nostrils … Lord Voldemort had risen again.” - *goosebumps* Also, this marks the first time Voldemort is actually physical present and described (I think). And it is very evident that Voldemort is very much not human. He doesn’t just act like he is a monster, he looks like one as well. And of course we know that Tom Riddle had been described as very handsome, so my theory had always been that the more Horcruxes Voldemort created, the less human he became, the less human he looked like.

Chapter Text

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 33: The Death Eaters

  • “You see that house upon the hillside, Potter? My father lived there. My mother, a witch who lived here in this village, fell in love with him. But he abandoned her when she told him what she was … he didn’t like magic, my father … ‘He left her and returned to his Muggle parents before I was even born, Potter, and she died giving birth to me, leaving me to be raised in a Muggle orphanage …” – I wonder if Voldemort ever found the truth out about his parents, that his mother used a love potion on his father, that she took away his consent, and that the love between them was never real. But the version Voldemort keeps telling himself is the one that makes more sense in his view of the world. That Muggles hate magic and everyone who practices it. It is strange then that Dumbledore and Harry both know the truth, and it didn’t take much for Dumbledore to find it out. So either Voldemort never bothered enough to find out more about his parents or he knew the truth but created a version of events that would be better suited for his story.
  • “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?” – So the Death Eaters were definitely aware of the fact that Voldemort had created Horcruxes. I still wonder if all of them knew or perhaps just the very elite, and if they also knew which objects Voldemort had used as Horcruxes. The fact that Lucius Malfoy so carelessly gave away one Horcrux (the Riddle diary) suggest they didn’t know. But if Dumbledore could have guessed what the Horcruxes are the Death Eaters could have as well. So theoretically there was always a chance one of them could betray Voldemort and start destroying Horcruxes. And well, Regulus Black tried at least. But I don’t think it is a sign of trust that Voldemort shows in sharing the secret of his immortality but rather hybris, believing nobody would dare to strike against him.
  • Most of the Death Eaters that appear at the graveyard are not there because they are devoted to Voldemort – they are there because they are terrified, because they know that if they don’t return Voldemort will kill them. And people who follow you not out of love and respect but out of fear never make good followers.
  • “I was hiding … helped, of course, by the rats he met along the way. Wormtail has a curious affinity with rats, do you not, Wormtail?” – Do the other Death Eaters know or will know in short time that Wormtail is an Animagus? As far as I remember it is implied in book 5 that the Malfoys knew about Sirius and his Animagus form, so it is possible Wormtail told them about him.
  • “She had now served her purpose. I could not possess her. I disposed of her.” – Voldemort keeps referring to people being useful. Earlier he told Harry that both his mother and Voldemort’s father had been useful, despite their status (Lily through her sacrifice, protecting Harry, and Tom Riddle Sen. through his bones Voldemort used). And here again he only speaks of Bertha Jorkins in terms of her value for him, providing him information, but not a body to possess. Because this how he sees people of whom he thinks are not worthy enough or rather not pure enough – as things, objects, that only have value if they can be of use for him.
  • The fact that Voldemort wanted Harry’s blood specifically, because he knew that way Lily’s sacrifice would be part of him as well, is incredible cruel. Lily died for her son and her murderer uses this sacrifice for his own strength. And yet it is exactly this what ultimately will bring Voldemort down. Cruel irony.
  • “Dumbledore invoked an ancient magic, to ensure the boy’s protection as long as he is in his relations’ care. Not even I can touch him there …” – So much talk about old magic: old magic that would protect Harry through Lily’s sacrifice, old magic that would give Voldemort his body back, old magic that would protect Harry at the Dursleys. And they are all based on deep feelings like love and hate and through family bonds. Lily’s love, a mother’s sacrifice; Petunia’s acceptance of Harry as her family, providing him a home; a spell based on love (servant), hate (foe) and family connection (father’s bone). I wonder if the very first magic was created like this, caused by deeply felt emotions and connected through family.

Chapter Text

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 34: Priori Incantatem

  • “‘You have been taught how to duel, Harry Potter?’ said Voldemort softly, his red eyes glinting through the darkness. At these words Harry remembered, as though from a former life, the Duelling Club at Hogwarts he had attended briefly two years ago … all he had learnt there was the Disarming spell, ‘Expelliarmus’ … and what use would it be, even if he could, to deprive Voldemort of his wand, when he was surrounded by Death Eaters, outnumbered by at least thirty to one? He had never learnt anything that could possibly fit him for this.” – There have been man jokes that Harry only knows one spell to defend himself – Expelliarmus – but as far as I remember he only uses him twice. Here at the graveyard and in book 7 at Hogwarts to ultimately defeat Voldemort. At this first instance it is simply because he doesn’t know any other spell, it is the only one who comes to his mind (and what great irony that it was Snape who taught him this spell). His injured leg means he can’t run away, and so he does the only thing he can, he defends himself in the only way he knows. In book 7 things are different: Harry uses Expelliarmus deliberately. Because he is aware of the Elder Wand’s alliance but also symbolically because Harry’s way to attack someone is to disarm them. It is the least harmful, non-violent spell; Expelliarmus is the exact opposite of Avada Kedavra. It is a choice and very symbolic of the kind of man Harry has grown into.
  • “Harry didn’t answer. He was going to die like Cedric, those pitiless red eyes were telling him so … he was going to die, and there was nothing he could do about it … but he wasn’t going to play along. He wasn’t going to obey Voldemort … he wasn’t going to beg … […] Harry crouched behind the headstone, and knew the end had come. There was no hope … no help to be had. And as he heard Voldemort draw nearer still, he knew one thing only, and it was beyond fear or reason – he was not going to die crouching here like a child playing hide-and-seek; he was not going to die kneeling at Voldemort’s feet … he was going to die upright like his father, and he was going to die trying to defend himself, even if no defence was possible …” – Do you ever just remember that Harry is only 14 when this happens? How since he entered the Wizarding World he is in danger, how deep down he always feared this day would come, even more so in the last months, how he faces the cruel reality that is about to die? And yet he tries to do it on his terms, he stands up, he uses the only spell he knows to protect himself, he wants to die like a man, like his father, not like a frightened child. Because you can only be brave when you are afraid.
  • “And then an unearthly and beautiful sound filled the air … it was coming from every thread of the light-spun web vibrating around Harry and Voldemort. It was a sound Harry recognised, though he had heard it only once before in his life … phoenix song … It was the sound of hope to Harry … the most beautiful and welcome thing he had ever heard in his life … he felt as though the song was inside him instead of just around him …” – I wonder if Harry heard a phoenix song because both his and Voldemort’s wand contain the feather of a phoenix or because it is a comforting song for Harry? Or maybe both? Is the Priori Incantatem trying to protect Harry, trying to help him?
  • “She and the other two shadowy figures began to pace around the inner walls of the golden web, while the Death Eaters flitted around the outside of it … and Voldemort’s dead victims whispered as they circled the duellers, whispered words of encouragement to Harry, and hissed words Harry couldn’t hear to Voldemort.”  - There is a brief battle of will between the wands and their owners, which wand is forced to replay its last spells, that Harry wins. Of course the effect would have been quite different if Voldemort had won, and we would have seen the ghosts of the spells Harry had used in the maze. But the effect is different with Voldemort’s wand, because the majority of the spells he had used were killing spells and instead of echoes of the actual spell we see echoes of the people he killed. Voldemort is haunted by his past, by the lives he took, and Harry is encouraged and comforted by them.
  • “And now another head was emerging from the tip of Voldemort’s wand … and Harry knew when he saw it who it would be … he knew, as though he had expected it from the moment when Cedric had appeared from the wand … knew, because the woman appearing was the one he’d thought of more than any other tonight … The smoky shadow of a young woman with long hair fell to the ground as Bertha had done, straightened up, and looked at him … and Harry, his arms shaking madly now, looked back into the ghostly face of his mother.” – In many ways this scene reminds me of the scene in book 7, where Harry is accompanied by his parents and Lupin and Sirius, briefly brought back through the resurrection stone, as he walks through the forest to face Voldemort. Now and then he faces death, both times the people he lost spend him comfort. Just as the use of Expelliarmus, so much of Harry’s final confrontation with Voldemort can be already found in variations in this chapter and book.
  • “‘When the connection is broken, we will linger for only moments … but we will give you time … you must get to the Portkey, it will return you to Hogwarts … do you understand, Harry?’” – This is said by the ghost of James Potter, and what is interesting to me is that he knows about the Portkey. How could he though? Is it possible then that perhaps the ghost Harry sees… I wouldn’t go as far to say he only imagines them, because Voldemort sees them as well… but maybe they tell him what he needs to hear, something he deep down knows already, his instinct to survive telling him what to do. (And Voldemort hears what he is afraid of, what he imagines his victims would tell him)

Chapter Text

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 35: Veritaserum

  • “Then Dumbledore’s face, which was still blurred and misted, came closer. ‘Harry, you can’t help him now. It’s over. Let go.’ ‘He wanted me to bring him back,’ Harry muttered – it seemed important to explain this. ‘He wanted me to bring him back to his parents …’” – I think with everything that happened that night, this image of Harry, unable to let go of Cedric, is the saddest to me. Because Harry made Cedric a promise, because it is the last wish Cedric ever had, because his parents should have a chance to say goodbye to their son. And with the incredible guilt Harry feels for Cedric’s death he needs to keep his promise. But also, the moment Harry lets go of Cedric everything that has happened will become real: Cedric is really dead, Voldemort really returned. This is no longer a dream.
  • “‘The Dark Lord didn’t manage to kill you, Potter, and he so wanted to,’ whispered Moody. ‘Imagine how he will reward me, when he finds I have done it for him. I gave you to him – the thing he needed above all to regenerate – and then I killed you for him. I will be honoured beyond all other Death Eaters. I will be his dearest, his closest supporter … closer than a son …’” – I don’t think Voldemort would have liked it if anybody else would have killed Harry for him, he wants to do it himself. Also, Barty Crouch has some massive daddy issues. Isn’t it ironic that because his father was too busy judging Death Eaters his son became one, seeing Voldemort as his ersatz father? Though I wonder what exactly “closer than a son” would mean. But that’s the second mistake in Crouch’s thinking, because Voldemort doesn’t want a family. Yes, he referred to the Death Eaters as his real family, but he never treats them as such. He wants their obedience, not their love. Voldemort isn’t looking for a son, he could have never gave Crouch what he needed the most.
  • “‘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 suffered the indignity, Harry, of being named after those fathers. And both of us had the pleasure … the very great pleasure … of killing our fathers, to ensure the continued rise of the Dark Order!’” – It is really just a bunch of daddy issues, nothing more. And I’m tired of messed up childhoods as the reason why someone becomes a monster, because guess what? A lot of people had shitty childhoods. And yes, that leaves an impact, obviously. But not everyone becomes a murderer because of it. You can’t justify harming others by the harm that has been done to you.
  • “At that moment, Harry fully understood for the first time why people said Dumbledore was the only wizard Voldemort had ever feared. The look upon Dumbledore’s face as he stared down at the unconscious form of Mad-Eye Moody was more terrible than Harry could ever have imagined. There was no benign smile upon Dumbledore’s face, no twinkle in the eyes behind the spectacles. There was cold fury in every line of the ancient face; a sense of power radiated from Dumbledore as though he was giving off burning heat.” – Actual BAMF Albus Dumbledore. Don’t mess with him.
  • “Professor McGonagall went straight to Harry. ‘Come along, Potter,’ she whispered. The thin line of her mouth was twitching as though she was about to cry. ‘Come along … hospital wing …’” – I have a lot of love for Minerva McGonagall, because of her genuine care for her students. If she had known about Dumbledore’s plan for Harry, about playing him like chess piece to win the ultimate game, she would have been appalled.
  • “‘He will stay, Minerva, because he needs to understand,’ said Dumbledore curtly. ‘Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery. He needs to know who has put him through the ordeal he has suffered tonight, and why.’” – Nothing much to add, but something you will learn at some point in your life: you need to understand in order to heal.
  • “Dumbledore forced the man’s mouth open, and poured three drops inside it.” – I briefly talked before about the consent issues surrounding Veritaserum. Snape told Harry there are Ministry guidelines about the use of it, and yet threatened Harry with it. Here we see Dumbledore forcing the potion in to an unconscious man. And yes, it is an emergency situation and lives are possibly at risk, I get it. But still. And later of course Fudge orders a Dementor to take away Crouch’s soul, without any kind of trial. Earlier in the book we learned that during the first Wizarding War many Death Eaters (and suspected Death Eaters like Sirius) were sent to Azkaban without a trial as well. And all of it justified by the war and state of emergency they were in.
  • When Barty Crouch tells his story, so much of it comes down to Winky. It was because Bertha Jorkins had heard Winky talking to Crouch that she figured out he must still be alive (and that, in the end, is how Voldemort found out). And then it was Winky who persuaded Crouch Sen. to let his son see the Quidditch World Cup, where of course Barty Jun. escaped. So much could only happen because of Winky and her affection and care for her master’s son. And it is another example of how overlooking House-Elves can be a cruel mistake.

Chapter Text

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 36: The Parting of the Ways

  • “‘If I thought I could help you,’ Dumbledore said gently, ‘by putting you into an enchanted sleep, and allowing you to postpone the moment when you would have to think about what has happened tonight, I would do it. But I know better. Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it. You have shown bravery beyond anything I could have expected of you. I ask you to demonstrate your courage one more time. I ask you to tell us what happened.’” – Nothing to add again. Of course everyone copes different with a traumatic experience, but burying your trauma will never work. At one point it will come back, maybe when you expect it the least, and hurt in ways it hadn’t before.
  • “It was even a relief; he felt almost as though something poisonous was being extracted from him; it was costing him every bit of determination he had to keep talking, yet he sensed that once he had finished, he would feel better.” – Getting the words out always seems impossible until you do it, but once you do it is cathartic. Sometimes it is easier to talk to a stranger, sometimes to write the words down. But it will help.
  • “‘He said my blood would make him stronger than if he’d used someone else’s,’ Harry told Dumbledore. ‘He said the protection my – my mother left in me – he’d have it, too. And he was right – he could touch me without hurting himself, he touched my face.’ For a fleeting instant, Harry thought he saw a gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore’s eyes.” – Of course much has been said about this moment, that will only make sense at the end of book 7. In hindsight it tells us how long and careful Dumbledore had planned Voldemort’s downfall. In the end Voldemort’s use of Harry’s blood is what keeps Harry alive even after the killing curse. And Harry’s survival wasn’t necessary to defeat Voldemort. Voldemort needed to kill Harry and Harry needed to die willingly in order to destroy the last Horcrux, but Harry didn’t need to survive. After that Voldemort was once again a mortal man and everyone could have killed him. So does that triumph in Dumbledore’s eyes simply means he found a loophole for Harry to survive? That despite Harry sacrificing himself there could still be a happy end?
  • There is an implication that Fudge brought the Dementor to Crouch not just to ensure his safety but perhaps to get rid of someone who can confirm what Harry is saying, that Voldemort did indeed return. Perhaps it is just a tragic coincidence, but it is much easier now for Fudge to deny Voldemort has returned with only Harry as witness, a traumatized teenager.
  • “‘You are prepared to believe that Lord Voldemort has returned, on the word of a lunatic murderer, and a boy who … well …’ Fudge shot Harry another look, and Harry suddenly understood. ‘You’ve been reading Rita Skeeter, Mr Fudge,’ he said quietly.” – Again this demonstrates the power Rita Skeeter’s words have. There is no evidence that anything she has written is true, and Dumbledore himself vouches for Harry. But Fudge believes what he wants to believe, he sees the truth he wants to see. Believing Rita is the easier choice here.
  • “Harry couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He had always thought of Fudge as a kindly figure, a little blustering, a little pompous, but essentially good-natured. But now a short, angry wizard stood before him, refusing, point-blank, to accept the prospect of disruption in his comfortable and ordered world – to believe that Voldemort could have risen.” – I never spent much thought on Fudge as a child, reading this book for the first time. I don’t think he is evil – not in the sense Voldemort is, or even Umbridge, who is very sadistic at her core, and who only cares about power, not ideology (this is why she had no trouble to continue her work in the Ministry even after Voldemort infiltrated it). But Fudge is dangerous in a different kind of way. He refuses to accept the truth, because the truth is ugly. Because the truth means that a second war is coming, that panic and terror will reign again, that perhaps the Ministry is at fault to let it happen again. Denying the truth, publically calling Harry a liar, is easier. He clings to a comforting past and in doing so he allows Voldemort and his follower to grow stronger in the underground. By refusing to accept the truth, by looking away, Fudge commits a crime as well.
  • Fudge is also what I would call a casual racist. His prejudices against Harry because he speaks Parseltongue, his prejudices against giants etc. He expresses prejudices that are sociable acceptable. Remember Ron had told Harry that speaking to snakes is not a good sign and that giants are evil. Fudge gets away with those comments because enough wizards and witches think like him. And yet it shows you what kind of man he is. (Ron is a different case, because he faces his prejudices and admits when he is wrong – Ron is willing to learn and to grow.)
  • “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.” – I talk a lot about parental figures for Harry, especially Dumbledore and Sirius as father figures, but there is also Molly, who over the years had become a mother for Harry (though interestingly Arthur never took over the role of a father). It just happened, because it is in Molly’s nature to take care of everyone, to give love to those who need it the most. And I wrote before that I think the relationship between Harry and Sirius was unhealthy and unbalanced (more about this in book 5), and the relationship between Harry and Molly or rather Harry and the Weasleys as his ersatz family is sometimes overlooked.
  • Hermione of course catches Rita Skeeter in her beetle form in the hospital wing before she can write about what she had just overheard. I wonder though which version of events she would have presented as the truth – Fudge’s or Dumbledore’s? But given how she had already painted Harry as unreliable she probably would have supported Fudge, causing even more damage.

Chapter Text

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Chapter 37: The Beginning

  • “He liked it best when he was with Ron and Hermione, and they were talking about other things, or else letting him sit in silence while they played chess. He felt as though all three of them had reached an understanding they didn’t need to put into words; that each was waiting for some sign, some word, of what was going on outside Hogwarts – and that it was useless to speculate about what might be coming until they knew anything for certain.” – To me friendship is to find someone who speaks the same language as you – who gets you in every kind of way. And someone who even understands you if you say nothing at all. And Harry, Ron and Hermione have this kind of understanding, a silent agreement, and it’s a bond so deep that not even the dark future that lies ahead of them could tear them apart. I’ve always been a bit jealous of that.
  • “The real Mad-Eye Moody was at the staff table, his wooden leg and his magical eye back in place. He was extremely twitchy, jumping every time someone spoke to him. Harry couldn’t blame him; Moody’s fear of attack was bound to have been increased by his ten-month imprisonment in his own trunk.” – Moody has been belittled for his paranoia, and Crouch used this for his own advantage, but seeing what happened to the real Moody, and what possibly happened to him before as an Auror, can you blame him? He has seen the worst of humanity. It is a wonder if he ever can sleep again.
  • “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?” – Uhm yes, exactly this.
  • “‘The Ministry of Magic,’ Dumbledore continued, ‘does not wish me to tell you this. It is possible that some of your parents will be horrified that I have done so – either because they will not believe that Lord Voldemort has returned, or because they think I should not tell you so, young as you are. It is my belief, however, that the truth is generally preferable to lies, and that any attempt to pretend that Cedric died as the result of an accident, or some sort of blunder of his own, is an insult to his memory.’” – It is no surprise really, that we see in book 5 people starting to doubt and question Dumbledore’s and therefore Harry’s version of event. All they have is Dumbledore’s word, which is based on Harry’s word. And we see how easily someone like Rita Skeeter can ruin a reputation. I don’t think that those who will believe the Ministry and the Daily Prophet are to blame – media should be independent, it should have an obligation to tell the truth, we should be able to trust what we read. And we do every day. And strangely enough Order of the Phoenix did feature “fake news” long before it became topical again (though the word “fake news” has its origin in Nazi Germany).
  • “Dumbledore turned gravely to Harry, and raised his goblet once more. Nearly everyone in the Great Hall followed suit. They murmured his name, as they had murmured Cedric’s, and drank to him. But, through a gap in the standing figures, Harry saw that Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle and many of the other Slytherins had remained defiantly in their seats, their goblets untouched.” – Earlier it has been said when Dumbledore asked the students to stand up to honour Cedric that everyone did, which implies the Slytherins as well. And yet many of them refuse to do the same for Harry. They, unlike most students, know the truth or will shortly learn about it, because their parents are Death Eaters and have witnessed Voldemort’s return. They know a war is about to happen. And of course, as we will see in book 5, it will make sense that they are going to support Umbridge to discredit Harry, to deny Voldemort’s return so he can gather strength in secret.
  • “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.” – Voldemort and the First and Second War always seemed to be more of a British problem. During the Quidditch World Cup the Bulgarian Minister of Magic knew however who Harry is, so people outside of Britain were aware of Voldemort and what caused his downfall. The Wizarding World is full of prejudices – against people with the wrong blood status, who attend the wrong school (Durmstrang) or house (Slytherin), who are not fully human (Lupin, Hagrid), who speak Parseltongue (Harry) etc. I think it is very likely that other forms of discrimination exist, like racism (the Pureblood-Fanatics are a metaphor for Racists, but no actual Racists, because we never see evidence that they care about race) or homophobia (which we can’t know about because in the actual books we have no canon queer character). Voldemort uses those pre-existing prejudices for his own advantages of course. He uses the already existing hate to fuel his war.
  • “‘Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right, and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory.’” - *criesinherpillow* But yeah, doing what is right and doing what is easy are hardly ever the same thing.
  • It is mentioned how uncomfortable Krum is to be associated with Durmstrang and especially Karkaroff (does he know he was a Death Eater?). He knows about the school’s reputation, is aware what people might think about him, despite him being a famous Quidditch player. But Krum is a good person. And it hurts him that people might think otherwise.
  • “Ron looked as though he was suffering some sort of painful internal struggle. Krum had already started walking away when Ron burst out, ‘Can I have your autograph?’” – When that guy you admire is also that guy who dates the girl that you like – the struggle is real. Written by Ronald Bilius Weasley.
  • Also, never mess with Hermione. She might put you in a jar.
  • “‘You’ve picked the losing side, Potter! I warned you! I told you you ought to choose your company more carefully, remember? When we met on the train, first day at Hogwarts? I told you not to hang around with riff-raff like this!’” – The fact that Draco still remembers tells you how much Harry’s rejection must have hurt him. Careful Draco, your crush is showing.
  • “As Hagrid had said, what would come, would come … and he would have to meet it when it did.” – I really love this ending. It is not entirely optimistic and it can’t be after everything that has happened and everything they know will happen. But it is also a reminder that it is ok to be… ok. There will be a time to mourn and a time to fight, but in between allow yourself to breathe.