The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 10-11: Things Happen and Stuff

You guys, I’m so excited to (finally) be writing this post! After the week I have had, I really needed some Potter therapy. I won’t bore you with the details, but it involved plenty of paper writing, driving, giving a big speech, a cat (and house) that reeks of skunk, being sick, and sleeping very little. Whew, I’m glad it’s over and it’s time for the good stuff! Back to Hogwarts (well, we’re almost there, anyway!)!

GoF was the first Harry Potter book that I got when it was first released. As I mentioned in my very first post on this blog, my mom bought one copy for my brother and me and I would steal it when he went to sleep and read until I just couldn’t stay awake any more. I remember my first impression was that it was SO BIG. There was so much Harry Potter story to get through. How freaking exciting was that? A big fat book that you just know you’re going to love before you even read it? What’s better than that? I also still have the audio book on approximately one bajillion cassette tapes, one of which has been missing for about 10 years. Who else had/has these? Shout out to all my book-on-tape peeps!

CHAPTER TEN: MAYHEM AT THE MINISTRY

I worry a little bit about poor Mr. Roberts and his family. Are they OK? We didn’t really know the extent of this at the time, but severe memory modification can really FUCK YOU UP. Mr. Roberts, if you’re out there, I hope that you’re not mumbling in a mental hospital somewhere. Semi-related sidenote: the obliteration of someone’s memory sounds like a pretty heinous crime to me. I don’t remember if we talked about this in our discussion of the Gilderoy Lockhart approach to fame and fortune, but the whole mind erasure thing is pretty messed up. I hope it’s punishable by a really long stay in Azkaban. It’s nearly equivalent to taking away someone’s life.

Anyway, back to THIS book. The crew makes the trek back from the QWC in a somewhat more subdued fashion. Upon arrival at The Burrow, Mrs. Weasley is, shall we say, a bit upset. I wonder how close to danger the Weasley family members need to be for the clock hands to point to “mortal peril”. I have a feeling Mrs. Weasley was glued to that clock all night. What happens when a Weasley dies? Does that hand disappear? That’s so sad.*

On a lighter note, Percy is so annoying in this book. I would propose a drinking game wherein we drink every time he says “Mr. Crouch” or “cauldron bottoms” but we would probably be too drunk to read by the end… of this chapter.

I'm so pompous I forgot to be in this movie.

I’m so pompous I forgot to be in this movie.

Amidst all of the Weasley reunioning, Harry pulls his best pals to the side and tells them about his scar hurting. OH MY GOD, HARRY! YOUR SCAR HURT? ARE YOU SURE YOU AREN’T GOING TO EXPLODE OR SOMETHING!? EMERGENCY!! I swear, they either lose their shit or they’re all like whatevs, we’ve got our own problems. You never quite know how it’s going to go down. Mostly, it’s panic city.

Instead of talking to the Weasleys, who are RIGHT THERE and ideally equipped to help him, Harry has sent Hedwig to Sirius. My general theory about this is that it’s usually easier to talk to your cool, aloof uncle about stuff than your parents. These aren’t exactly the relationships here, but close enough.

While everyone else was having fun at the Cup, Mrs. Weasley has picked up all their school things. Aw man, no shopping sequence! I guess there’s really no way to make that interesting for six books in a row. It is here we are first introduced to Ron’s terrifyingly moldy dress robes. I guess it’s better than how they are delivered in the movie, right to the table in the great hall, but I feel so bad for Ron. He is just so embarrassed by them and it makes me cringe. I never understood why he didn’t just wear his normal school robes to the ball.

I love that this was a promo pic.

I love that this was a promo pic.

How awful it is to be an awkward teenager wearing embarrassing clothes. Been there.

Harry, on the other hand, gets pretty green ones.

I thought they’d bring out the color of your eyes, dear.

CHAPTER ELEVEN: ABOARD THE HOGWARTS EXPRESS

Even though we can’t always have “shopping for school supplies” sequences, at least we always get to ride the train. I love riding the train. I’m a big fan of trains in general, and the Hogwarts Express in particular. I’m not really sure why they don’t make an actual train that just circles the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando. I would ride that shit for hours as long as I could buy cauldron cakes, chocolate frogs, and pumpkin juice (preferably fizzy) on board.

Before we leave on the train, there’s the chaotic “getting ready to leave” scene at the Burrow. Amos Diggory’s head shows up in the fire, giving a report to Arthur about Mad-Eye Moody’s crazy dustbins attacking an intruder.

Arthur, you know Mad-Eye… Someone creeping into his yard in the dead of night? More likely there’s a very shell-shocked cat wandering around somewhere, covered in potato peelings.

I am totally picturing my cat, Kaylee, walking around covered in potato peels. That is definitely something that would happen to her.

I'm on your book.

I got your book.

So, Barty Crouch Jr. must have been studying Moody for a while before kidnapping him. I can’t see him taking over Moody’s life with only one day of practicing his mannerisms.

They all make the awkward trip to Kings Cross, the Weasley family all make these last-minute cryptic comments alluding to the Triwizard Tournament, and then load a very perplexed group of kids onto the train. Then Malfoy is a dickface and Hermione the encyclopedia explains about other wizarding schools, which is good because then they don’t all look like idiots when the other students suddenly start appearing later.

Not much else happens in this chapter, aside from me enjoying yet another journey to Hogwarts. Let’s do this!

*This is actually the first chapter where the clock is introduced, and I had completely forgotten that one of the spaces says “prison”. Really? That’s amazing. 

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28 thoughts on “The Goblet of Fire, Chapters 10-11: Things Happen and Stuff

  1. squidwarrior says:

    Why oh why does Ron actually wear those robes? You’re right, he should have just worn his normal school robes.

    And yes, everyone’s reaction to Harry’s scar hurting is pretty much “I’m too busy to deal with your problems, so it’s probably nothing/OMG VOLDEMORT LIVES IN YOUR HEAD!!!!!”

    • Jen says:

      Poor Ron. In the book, Harry says his green robes just looked like green versions of his normal robes, whereas in the movie, they all have these tuxedo fronts. In reading the book, I always wondered why Ron didn’t just ditch the lace for his normal robes.

      • My theory is that the normal robes wouldn’t fit the school’s dress code for a formal occasion. Ron would’ve been turned away at the door, even though his dress robes totally sucked.

        • Jen says:

          That’s a good theory! I never thought of that. I guess I would be really sad if Hogwarts pulled something like that. My first inkling is to say that there’s no way they would be so persnickety, but they are sticklers when it comes to dress code for classes and such. They require robes and hats (though the hats aren’t mentioned much after Harry first has to buy them…)

      • Ashley says:

        Related: I was glad that the movies changed up the uniforms. The hats always seemed sort of stupid to me, and I was glad Jo laid off them in the later books.

  2. There’s this wondrous thing that happens when I re-read Harry Potter… Seemingly innocuous sentences became laden with emotion because I know what they mean in the context of the whole series. For example, at the end of chapter eleven, it says, “A hundred horseless carriages stood waiting for them outside the station.” It’s a minor detail and one we’ve heard before, but knowing that it’s the last time that Harry will see the carriages as horseless is, like, BAM. EMOTION.

    • Jen says:

      That has really been my experience this time around. The amount of times I have found myself crying is absolutely ridiculous. For example, I think I was welling up 12 times in the first book alone. This is crazy because not much that is actually crying-worthy happens in that book. HOWEVER, since we’ve read all the rest, all the seemingly meaningless stuff is full of meaning. Hence all the crying for what seems like absolutely no reason.

      The horseless carriage thing is a good one! I wonder if she always knew they were really going to be pulled by thestrals. I’m betting yes because Jo really thought things through. Like, really.

  3. Kevin O'Shea says:

    With the twins, Molly HAD to have been wondering if the “Prison” space on the clock would have been used. That, and as discussed before, Bill earned his living by raiding old tombs in other countries, so I’m almost positive he may have gotten caught up in a diplomatic incident or two along the way.

    Your cat is gorgeous. I think we’re all going to end up posting our cats at some point.

    • Jen says:

      Yeah, the twins were my first thought. She was probably resigned to the fact that the prison space would be used eventually.

      • Kevin O'Shea says:

        I’d be hard-pressed to believe that her brothers didn’t use that space either. I mean, prominent members of a secret vigilante army during one of the largest wars ever? Had to.

    • Ashley says:

      I think the Weasley twins are too classy for prison.

      We should all definitely post pictures of our cats. Is there a good Crookshanks moment coming up?

      • Jen says:

        If the Weasley twins went to prison, I think the prisoners would all have a lot of fun. I envision this happening in a dementor-free prison, though. Hard to have fun with those guys around.

  4. Jennie says:

    YOUR CAT IS SUPER CUTE.

  5. Dan says:

    Messing with someone’s mind is usually the “Worst Crime Possible” in most of these kinds of universes. It’s the “line that must never be crossed” for most superheroes with telepathy and (I think) it’s the Law of Magic that gets mentioned the most in the Dresden Files books.

    The hands on that clock must have been spinning like nobody’s business during the last two-thirds of Book 7.

    • Jen says:

      I think about the clock all the time when re-reading Book 7. I always thought it was probably good that no one was home staring at it during the battle, but I’m guessing it was probably going haywire for a lot of the book. Those “blood traitor” Weasleys were not exactly popular with Voldy’s gang.

      There is an interesting dichotomy when it comes to messing with people’s minds. To control the actions of another wizard is unforgivable, yet erasing a muggle’s memory of an event is considered essential for the protection of wizard kind. It’s not only allowed, but there is an entire Ministry department devoted to it.

      • Ashley says:

        I think since they have the International Statute of Secrecy (which they see as being for wizard protection), memory charms are necessary, but they are probably highly regulated. There is a whole team at the ministry (Obliviators) who do that as their only job, so I’m guess that’s the case. They probably have very strict training so they will only remove what is necessary and leave the rest as intact as possible.

    • Ashley says:

      Molly just carries the clock around in DH, doesn’t she? Or is that in HBP? Anyway, it’s so morbid, because they’re all at ‘mortal peril’ or whatever all the time, so she’s basically just watching to see if any of the hands switch to ‘dead.’ What a horrible way to live.

  6. Ashley says:

    I second your wish for a train at the Wizarding World. Someday I would like to just take a train journey across Europe or something. With a sleeping car and everything.

    Sidenote: Have you ever been to the railroad park in Scottsdale? It was my FAVORITE place when I was a kid. They have trains for you to ride around the park and it is pretty much amazing. It’s probably not as cool as I remember it being because I’m not six years old anymore, but when I was, it was the shit.

    • Jen says:

      A train across Europe is definitely something I have to do sometime in my life. I really think it’s the ideal way to travel, especially because it doesn’t make me motion sick. As much as I LOVE to drive, on a train you can read and sleep! Plus, it’s not as exhausting as driving. So awesome!

      I’ve totally been to that park, but I barely remember it because I was pretty young. I know it was super popular with my coworkers and their children. Yay trains!

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