From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
This is The Big Chapter. The chapters preceding this one prepare you for this event; the chapters following this one deal with its aftershocks.
While Amir eats breakfast, Hassan recounts a dream he had the night before. They're both at Ghargha Lake, along with Rahim Khan, Baba, Ali, and tons of other people. No one is swimming in the water because there's a monster at the bottom. Amir, however, jumps into the lake; Hassan follows and swims behind Amir. There's no monster. The crowd on the shore cheers.
Hassan and Amir walk out into the street for the kite-fighting tournament. Strangely enough, Amir suddenly gets cold feet. Hassan encourages him: "Remember, Amir agha. There's no monster, just a beautiful day" (7.19). They toss the kite into the air.
The number of kites in the sky dwindles. Soon, just Amir's kite and a blue kite are left. Amir gets a lucky gust of wind and cuts the blue kite. He wins the tournament. Baba cheers from the rooftop. In these tournaments, people collect or "run" the defeated kites, but the second-place kite is considered the greatest prize. Hassan runs off after the blue kite.
Amir takes his kite back to Baba's house and then heads off to find Hassan. After a little wandering, he spots Hassan in an alley. Assef, Wali, and Kamal are staring Hassan down. Hassan has the blue kite. No one sees Amir.
Hassan tries to defend himself by throwing a rock at Assef . He does hit Assef, but the three boys throw Hassan to the ground.
Amir interrupts the narrative here with a few memories and a dream. In the first memory, Ali reminds Amir that he and Hassan fed from the same breast. In the second memory, Hassan and Amir go to a fortune-teller. The fortune-teller takes a coin from Hassan and reads Hassan's palm and face. Visibly disturbed, the fortune-teller gives Hassan his coin back. Amir draws back when the fortune-teller comes over to him. In the dream, Amir is lost in the snow. The wind is blowing so hard it immediately erases his footsteps. Someone with parallel gashes on his hand – Baba? – reaches out to Amir and they're suddenly in a summery, light-filled field.
Cut back to the scene in the alley. Something is up: Wali and Kamal don't want to participate in whatever Assef has planned. Assef pulls down his pants and rapes Hassan.
Amir switches to the future tense. It's the next day, which is the feast of Eid-e-Qorban. The feast commemorates Ibrahim's sacrifice of his son Isaac. According to the custom, each family sacrifices a sheep. Ali, Baba, Hassan, and Amir watch as the mullah slits the sheep's throat.
Cut back to the alley scene. Amir has one last chance to intervene. But instead he just runs away.
Amir meets Hassan in a ravine near the alley. Each is on his way back to Baba's house. Amir doesn't tell Hassan he saw what happened.
Hassan is about to tell Amir, but he composes himself and simply hands Amir the blue kite. Hassan is a mess: his voice cracks, he has a dark stain on the seat of his pants. Amir pretends not to notice. Hassan limps away.
Amir returns to Baba's house with the kite. Baba gathers Amir up into his arms. Amir weeps.