Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Youth Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
No matter how much Aunt Petunia wailed that Dudley was big-boned, and that his poundage was really puppy fat, and that he was a growing boy who needed plenty of food, the fact remained that the school outfitters didn't stock knickerbockers big enough for him anymore. 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 neighbors – simply refused to see: that far from needing extra nourishment, Dudley had reached roughly the size and weight of a young killer whale. (3.4)
Where Harry has been neglected all of his life, the Dursleys have absolutely spoiled their son, Dudley. Dudley's weight is only one sign (and visual proof) of how spoiled he is. The fact that Aunt Petunia knows it will cheer Dudley up to receive more than Harry does – even if it's something Dudley doesn't like, such as a grapefruit – demonstrates what a bully his parents are training Dudley to be. At the same time, Dudley's parents' indulgence does their boy no favors: they have ruined Dudley's health and allowed him to become prejudiced and ignorant. By refusing to discipline Dudley out of "love," they have actually really hurt him.
"Neville, what –?"
But an odd clunking noise sounded behind them, and they turned to see Professor Moody limping toward them. All four of them fell silent, watching him apprehensively, but when he spoke, it was in a much lower and gentler growl than they had yet heard.
"It's all right, sonny," he said to Neville. "Why don't you come up to my office? Come on ... we can have a cup of tea ..." (14.85-7).
After Professor Moody's demonstration of the Cruciatus Curse, Neville is clearly distressed, and Professor Moody approaches the kid to comfort him. This is one of those scenes that really makes us wish we could explore the world of Hogwarts beyond what's just "recorded" in the novels. In this case, we would love to know how Moody's class is different for the Slytherins. After all, Neville and Harry are freaked out by the Unforgivable Curses because their parents suffered them. But how would you show the Unforgivable Curses to a classroom full of kids whose parents have probably cast them? If the Slytherins are more at risk for becoming Death Eaters, does Moody change his "CONSTANT VIGILANCE" chant? How might a teacher encourage the Slytherins not to follow in their parents' footsteps?
I suppose I get my strength from my parents. I know they'd be very proud of me if they could see me now ... Yes, sometimes at night I still cry about them, I'm not ashamed to admit it ... I know nothing will hurt me during the tournament ... because they're watching over me ... (19.4)
Being so misrepresented would be horrible for anyone, especially since Rita Skeeter is actively lying about Harry's feelings about his dead parents. But we think that the fact that Harry is in high school makes it that much worse. He can't get away from his malicious classmates. Harry has to put up with people saying, "Want a hanky, Potter, in case you start crying in Transfiguration?" (19.7). We feel like that kind of vicious teasing is pretty characteristic of high school and nowhere else – because once you can escape high school, you have more choice about who you spend your days with.