Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
How we cite our quotes:
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? (1.21)
So, if the folks from CSI or Bones were performing their forensic magic on the case of the Riddle murders, all they would find is "a look of terror" on the bodies. We guess the killing spell Avada Kedavra doesn't leave any trace evidence for the cops to collect. This detail reminds us that magic isn't all fun boarding school hijinks; there's something especially terrifying about power that can kill people without leaving a mark. How are you supposed to defend yourself against power like this?
Well, all right then. You can go to this ruddy ... this stupid ... this World Cup thing. You write and tell these – these Weasleys they're to pick you up, mind. I haven't got time to go dropping you off all over the country. And you can spend the rest of the summer there. And you can tell your – your godfather ... tell him ... tell him you're going. (3.55)
Harry uses his uncle's fear of wizarding kind in general, and of Sirius in particular, to manipulate him into letting Harry go to the Quidditch World Cup. Now, don't get us wrong – we think Harry is totally justified, since Uncle Vernon is a bully. But Harry's willingness to use someone else's fear to get what he wants is interesting from the perspective of his characterization. It shows that, even though Harry is a good guy, he's also practical and willing to get his hands dirty. After all, playing on Uncle Vernon's prejudices is somewhat morally suspect, even if the end result seems fair to Harry. Harry is on the side of good in general, but he's also willing to bend the rules to achieve what he thinks is best.
Yes, someone wanted him dead, someone had wanted him dead ever since he had been a year old ... Lord Voldemort. But how could Voldemort have ensured that Harry's name got into the Goblet of Fire? Voldemort was supposed to be far away, in some distant country, in hiding alone ... feeble and powerless ...
Yet in that dream he had had, just before he had awoken with his scar hurting, Voldemort had not been alone ... he had been talking to Wormtail ... plotting Harry's murder ... (17.105-6)
We're reminded of the old saying: it's not paranoia if they really are out to get you. Harry really is the victim of a massive murder plot. One of the things we find interesting about this passage is something else entirely, though: its style. It has this odd, trailing stream-of-consciousness quality (all of those dots). It also feels like it's pointedly reminding us of what we should be bearing in mind… You know – Voldemort? Trying to kill Harry? Remember? This passage feels like a piece of punctuation on the events of this chapter. We've had a lot of plot, and now here's a moment of reflection on what Harry's selection as the fourth champion might mean. Do these reflective passages give us a better sense of Harry as a character? How do they compare in style with other, more plot-driven sections of the novel?