Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chapter 23

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Chapter 23

The Yule Ball

  • Christmas holidays have arrived, and Harry's hanging around relaxing.
  • Ron keeps pestering Hermione to find out who she's going to the ball with, but she refuses to confess.
  • Pigwidgeon arrives with Sirius's letter.
  • Sirius congratulates Harry on getting past the Horntail, but he still warns him to "concentrates on keeping [himself] out of trouble" (23.22).
  • Harry keeps putting off working on his clue for the second task – he's enjoying himself too much.
  • On Christmas morning, Harry wakes up to find Dobby leaning over him.
  • Dobby has brought Harry a Christmas present: a pair of hideous socks he knit himself.
  • Harry also gets presents from Hermione, Ron, Sirius, Hagrid, and Mrs. Weasley (and the Dursleys, sort of).
  • Hermione heads off to get ready for the ball.
  • Ron looks blue, primarily because there "was just no getting around the fact that his robes looked more like a dress than anything else" (23.56).
  • Parvati and Padma, on the other hand, look beautiful and excited.
  • The four champions assemble:
  • Fleur arrives with Roger Davies, the Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain, in tow.
  • Viktor is "accompanied by a pretty girl in blue robes Harry didn't know" (23.71).
  • Cedric and Cho turn up.
  • And then Harry can finally see that the girl Viktor has brought to the ball is… Hermione.
  • Hermione looks absolutely stunning, and everyone in the Hall is impressed.
  • The four champions dance with their partners.
  • Finally, they can sit down and eat at the head table.
  • Ludo Bagman is looking excited. But Harry is surprised to find Percy Weasley sitting where Mr. Crouch usually is.
  • Mr. Crouch is ill, and Percy is representing him officially. Of course.
  • Percy continues to be unbelievably conceited, overbearing, and condescending.
  • Viktor chats with Hermione about Durmstrang, which is much smaller than Hogwarts.
  • Fleur boasts, "'Zis is nothing" (23.97), and goes on to brag about the beauties of Beauxbatons. We don't doubt her word.
  • After dinner, the band the Weird Sisters strike a tune, and Harry and Parvati dance.
  • Harry can only take one song before he has to sit down again, though.
  • Ron is looking furious: he's "glaring at Hermione and Krum, who were dancing nearby" (23.118).
  • Finally, Parvati and Padma get bored and storm off to find new partners.
  • Hermione greets Ron and Harry, and Ron suddenly launches into an accusation that Hermione is "fraternizing with the enemy" (23.130).
  • He thinks that Viktor is just trying to date Hermione to find out secrets about Harry.
  • Hermione looks totally betrayed and angry.
  • Percy Weasley sits down next to Harry.
  • Percy notices that Fred and George have "accosted" (23.165) Ludo Bagman and gets annoyed.
  • Ludo Bagman claims that they were all just having a chat about the twins' practical jokes.
  • Ron drags Harry out for a walk; he doesn't want to listen to Percy talk anymore.
  • In the garden, they overhear Professors Snape and Karkaroff talking.
  • Karkaroff is clearly worried because something has "been getting clearer and clearer for months" (23.177).
  • Professor Snape says it doesn't matter; he'll remain here at Hogwarts.
  • Snape then spots Ron and Harry and sends them hurrying along.
  • Next, they spot Madame Maxine and Hagrid sitting together.
  • Hagrid is telling Madame Maxine, "It was my mother [...] She was one o' the las' ones in Britain" (23.192).
  • It turns out the Hagrid's father was a wizard, but his mother was a giant.
  • He was raised by his father until he died when Hagrid started school.
  • After that, Hagrid was more or less on his own (for more on Hagrid's school years, check out Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets).
  • Then, Hagrid asks which of Madame Maxine's parents was a giant.
  • Madame Maxine refuses to answer: "I 'ave nevair been more insulted in my life! 'Alf-giant? Moi? I 'ave – I 'ave big bones!" (23.203). Whoops. So much for the flirting.
  • And Madame Maxine storms away.
  • Back at the Hall, Ron explains that giants have a pretty nasty reputation: "no wonder [Hagrid] keeps it quiet" (23.215).
  • When the Ball ends at midnight, Harry walks out.
  • Cedric Diggory calls Harry over.
  • He suggests that Harry think over his clue while sitting with his golden egg in the bathtub. (We normally prefer candles.)
  • Harry is confused by this hint, but Cedric insists.
  • Cedric even offers to let Harry use the prefects' bathroom, so he'll have some privacy. This Cedric is a stand-up guy.
  • Harry goes in to the Gryffindor Common Room to see Ron and Hermione screaming at each other.
  • Hermione yells, "Next time there's a ball, ask me before someone else does, and not as a last resort!" (23.240).
  • Ron thinks Hermione has "completely missed the point" (23.242).
  • Privately, Harry thinks Hermione understands a lot better than Ron does.

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