Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chapter 23 Summary
How It All Goes Down
The Yule Ball
- Christmas holidays have arrived, and Harry's hanging around relaxing.
- Ron keeps pestering Hermione to find out who she's going to the ball with, but she refuses to confess.
- Pigwidgeon arrives with Sirius's letter.
- Sirius congratulates Harry on getting past the Horntail, but he still warns him to "concentrates on keeping [himself] out of trouble" (23.22).
- Harry keeps putting off working on his clue for the second task – he's enjoying himself too much.
- On Christmas morning, Harry wakes up to find Dobby leaning over him.
- Dobby has brought Harry a Christmas present: a pair of hideous socks he knit himself.
- Harry also gets presents from Hermione, Ron, Sirius, Hagrid, and Mrs. Weasley (and the Dursleys, sort of).
- Hermione heads off to get ready for the ball.
- Ron looks blue, primarily because there "was just no getting around the fact that his robes looked more like a dress than anything else" (23.56).
- Parvati and Padma, on the other hand, look beautiful and excited.
- The four champions assemble:
- Fleur arrives with Roger Davies, the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain, in tow.
- Viktor is "accompanied by a pretty girl in blue robes Harry didn't know" (23.71).
- Cedric and Cho turn up.
- And then Harry can finally see that the girl Viktor has brought to the ball is… Hermione.
- Hermione looks absolutely stunning, and everyone in the Hall is impressed.
- The four champions dance with their partners.
- Finally, they can sit down and eat at the head table.
- Ludo Bagman is looking excited. But Harry is surprised to find Percy Weasley sitting where Mr. Crouch usually is.
- Mr. Crouch is ill, and Percy is representing him officially. Of course.
- Percy continues to be unbelievably conceited, overbearing, and condescending.
- Viktor chats with Hermione about Durmstrang, which is much smaller than Hogwarts.
- Fleur boasts, "'Zis is nothing" (23.97), and goes on to brag about the beauties of Beauxbatons. We don't doubt her word.
- After dinner, the band the Weird Sisters strike a tune, and Harry and Parvati dance.
- Harry can only take one song before he has to sit down again, though.
- Ron is looking furious: he's "glaring at Hermione and Krum, who were dancing nearby" (23.118).
- Finally, Parvati and Padma get bored and storm off to find new partners.
- Hermione greets Ron and Harry, and Ron suddenly launches into an accusation that Hermione is "fraternizing with the enemy" (23.130).
- He thinks that Viktor is just trying to date Hermione to find out secrets about Harry.
- Hermione looks totally betrayed and angry.
- Percy Weasley sits down next to Harry.
- Percy notices that Fred and George have "accosted" (23.165) Ludo Bagman and gets annoyed.
- Ludo Bagman claims that they were all just having a chat about the twins' practical jokes.
- Ron drags Harry out for a walk; he doesn't want to listen to Percy talk anymore.
- In the garden, they overhear Professors Snape and Karkaroff talking.
- Karkaroff is clearly worried because something has "been getting clearer and clearer for months" (23.177).
- Professor Snape says it doesn't matter; he'll remain here at Hogwarts.
- Snape then spots Ron and Harry and sends them hurrying along.
- Next, they spot Madame Maxine and Hagrid sitting together.
- Hagrid is telling Madame Maxine, "It was my mother [...] She was one o' the las' ones in Britain" (23.192).
- It turns out the Hagrid's father was a wizard, but his mother was a giant.
- He was raised by his father until he died when Hagrid started school.
- After that, Hagrid was more or less on his own (for more on Hagrid's school years, check out Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets).
- Then, Hagrid asks which of Madame Maxine's parents was a giant.
- Madame Maxine refuses to answer: "I 'ave nevair been more insulted in my life! 'Alf-giant? Moi? I 'ave – I 'ave big bones!" (23.203). Whoops. So much for the flirting.
- And Madame Maxine storms away.
- Back at the Hall, Ron explains that giants have a pretty nasty reputation: "no wonder [Hagrid] keeps it quiet" (23.215).
- When the Ball ends at midnight, Harry walks out.
- Cedric Diggory calls Harry over.
- He suggests that Harry think over his clue while sitting with his golden egg in the bathtub. (We normally prefer candles.)
- Harry is confused by this hint, but Cedric insists.
- Cedric even offers to let Harry use the prefects' bathroom, so he'll have some privacy. This Cedric is a stand-up guy.
- Harry goes in to the Gryffindor Common Room to see Ron and Hermione screaming at each other.
- Hermione yells, "Next time there's a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!" (23.240).
- Ron thinks Hermione has "completely missed the point" (23.242).
- Privately, Harry thinks Hermione understands a lot better than Ron does.
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