Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chapter 14

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Chapter 14

The Unforgivable Curses

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  • Professor Snape is in a particularly foul mood because:
  • (1) He really wants the Defense Against the Dark Arts job, and
  • (2) He "seemed strangely wary of displaying overt animosity to Mad-Eye Moody" (14.3). In other words, Snape is scared of Moody.
  • The Gryffindor fourth-years finally get to attend Moody's class.
  • He walks in and tells them to put away their textbooks.
  • Moody is "here to bring [them] up to scratch on what wizards can do to each other" (14.15) – curses.
  • Even though it's not generally allowed before sixth year, Moody has Dumbledore's permission to show them illegal curses.
  • Moody adds: "I say, the sooner you know what you're up against, the better" (14.20).
  • Moody brings out a jar with three spiders.
  • He demonstrates the first Unforgivable Curse on one of the spiders: the Imperius Curse.
  • This curse gives the caster "Total control" (14.32) over his victims.
  • Neville Longbottom – who never speaks up in class – volunteers the next curse.
  • It's the Cruciatus Curse.
  • When Moody shouts "Crucio!" (14.46), the second spider "rolled over and began to twitch horribly, rocking from side to side" (14.47).
  • If you hadn't guessed, this curse causes agonizing pain.
  • Hermione suddenly shouts, "Stop it" (14.48).
  • Neville's "hands were clenched upon the desk in front of him, his knuckles white, his eyes wide and horrified" (14.49).
  • Last but not least, there is Avada Kedavra – the Killing Curse.
  • With a flash of green light, Moody kills the last spider without a mark or a sign of struggle.
  • Moody continues: "There's no blocking [the Killing Curse]. Only one known person has ever survived it, and he's sitting right in front of me" (14.64).
  • That person, of course, is Harry Potter.
  • So now, Harry has seen a demonstration of exactly how Voldemort murdered his parents.
  • He flashes back to what he knows of the night of their murder.
  • He slowly pulls his attention back to Moody, who's insisting, "You've got to appreciate what the worst is. You don't want to find yourself in a situation where you're facing it" (14.71).
  • When they get out of class, Hermione runs to find Neville.
  • He's looking very strange – clearly upset.
  • They can't figure out why.
  • But Moody approaches Neville and reassures him: "It's all right, sonny [...] Why don't you come up to my office? Come on ... we can have a cup of tea ... " (14.87).
  • Moody means to be kind, but Neville looks rather terrified.
  • At dinner, Hermione scarfs down her food and heads to the library again.
  • Harry and Ron do their Divination homework.
  • They make up loads of disasters that are supposed to happen to them over the coming month – looks like Professor Trelawney still loves tragic predictions.
  • Harry notices Fred and George sitting in a corner.
  • They're talking very seriously about something, and Harry hears George say, "No – that sounds like we're accusing him" (14.125).
  • Harry's curious about what the twins are up to.
  • Hermione returns to the Gryffindor common room.
  • She finally reveals what she has been doing.
  • She has a box full of badges with the letters S.P.E.W. on them.
  • It stands for the Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.
  • Hermione wants Ron and Harry to join.
  • Ron insists: "Hermione – open your ears [...] They like being enslaved!" (14.153).
  • Hermione absolutely will not listen.
  • She expects her friends to help her recruit members.
  • At this tense moment, Hedwig suddenly arrives.
  • She's carrying a letter from Sirius.
  • Sirius informs Harry that he is "flying north immediately. This news about [Harry's] scar is the latest in a series of strange rumors that have reached me here" (14.164).
  • Harry freaks out that Sirius is going to come out of hiding just because his scar is hurting.
  • Harry worries, "Coming back, because he thinks I'm in trouble! And there's nothing wrong with me!" (14.171).
  • In the boys' dorm, Harry lies awake worrying, not noticing that Neville is also not sleeping.

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