Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chapter 26
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The Second Task
- Harry shares everything that happened the night before with Hermione and Ron in Charms class.
- Ron decides that Professor Snape is the one who put Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire.
- And then they start thinking about Mr. Crouch: if he was at Hogwarts last night, has he just been pretending to be sick?
- Harry writes to Sirius to tell him about Mr. Crouch breaking into Professor Snape's office.
- Sirius writes back asking the date of Harry's next Hogsmeade weekend.
- Harry is now totally panicked about the second task, since neither he nor Hermione can figure out how Harry can breathe underwater.
- The night before the task, Fred and George show up with a message from Professor Dumbledore for Hermione and Ron.
- Professor Dumbledore needs them for something.
- Harry just keeps reading and reading, hoping "next book ... in the next one ... the next one" (26.72).
- Finally, he nods off without realizing it.
- Dobby wakes up Harry ten minutes before his second task is set to start.
- Dobby (surprisingly) has found the answer: what Harry needs is gillyweed.
- Harry can use this magical plant to breathe underwater.
- And the thing he'll sorely miss is Ron. Ron is underwater with the merpeople, and Harry has an hour to find him.
- Harry dives into the cold water along with the other champions.
- He gets a helping hand from Moaning Myrtle again, who tells him in which direction the merpeople live.
- Finally, Harry finds them: Ron, Hermione, a little girl who looks like Fleur, and Cho Chang are all tied up and unconscious.
- Harry doesn't see any of the other champions, so he starts trying to free the other hostages.
- "At once, several pairs of strong gray hands seized him" (26.151).
- Harry is only allowed to get his own hostage, Ron.
- Harry waits around for the other champions.
- Cedric Diggory appears and takes Cho, and then Viktor Krum swims up and grabs Hermione.
- But Fleur seems to have gotten held up.
- So Harry threatens the merpeople with his wand this time and takes both Ron and the little girl.
- He arrives at the end point with two hostages.
- The little girl is Fleur's younger sister.
- Fleur is deeply relieved. She seems humbler than she ever has before.
- The judges are talking. They've come to a decision.
- Fleur used a Bubble-Head Charm, but she fails to get away from some underwater monsters called grindylows, so she gets 25 points.
- Cedric also used a Bubble-Head Charm and was the first to return with his hostage, so he gets 47 points.
- Viktor Krum Transfigured himself partially into a shark, but he came back outside the time limit – 40 points.
- And Harry Potter, who used gillyweed and who was the first to reach the hostages but the last to come back, what does he get?
- For showing "moral fiber" (26.211), Harry gets 45 points.
- Harry is now tied with Cedric Diggory for first place.
- The final task is going to take place on June 24th.
- Harry decides: next time he's in Hogsmeade, he's "going to buy Dobby a pair of socks for every day of the year" (26.217).