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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
by J.K. Rowling
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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