The whole school seems to be filled with anticipation (and stress, especially among the teachers).
Amid all of this, Fred and George are still acting weird.
They keep writing these letters and ducking into corners to discuss something.
But they won't tell Ron what's going on.
Hermione is still campaigning for S.P.E.W.: "You do realize that your sheets are changed, your fires lit, your classrooms cleaned, and your food cooked by a group of magical creatures who are unpaid and enslaved?" (15.76).
She still won't listen to anyone who tells her the house-elves are happy.
Hedwig arrives with a letter from Sirius, who tells Harry, "Nice try" (15.83).
He's not fooled by Harry's second letter and he's still coming north to check up on his godson.
On Friday afternoon before six, the Heads of each Hogwarts house bring their students to the front gates of the school.
The Beauxbatons students arrive first in a "gigantic, powder blue, horse-drawn carriage, the size of a large house [...] pulled through the air by a dozen winged horses" (15.108).
The headmistress of Beauxbatons is an enormously tall woman named Madame Maxine. She's richly dressed, handsome, and is as tall as Hagrid.
Her students are all dressed in thin silk robes and are (unsurprisingly) shivering in the cold.
The Durmstrang students arrive in a "strangely skeletal" ship that rises from the depths of the lake in front of Hogwarts.
The headmaster of Durmstrang is an oily guy with a slightly weak chin named Professor Karkaroff.
Among the Durmstrang students, Ron is amazed to see the Bulgarian national team's Seeker, Viktor Krum.