Study Guide

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

The Dark Mark

  • Mr. Weasley warns Fred and George not to tell Mrs. Weasley that they've been gambling.
  • The whole campground is filled with celebrating Ireland performers.
  • There's lots of singing and noise – the night is going to be a long one.
  • Harry, Hermione, and Ron go to sleep.
  • Mr. Weasley then wakes Harry urgently: "No time, Harry – just grab a jacket and get outside – quickly!" (9.11).
  • People outside are screaming.
  • There's a crowd of wizards moving through the campground setting tents on fire and frightening everyone.
  • They're wearing hoods and masks.
  • They are making a family of Muggles – Mr. Roberts, his wife, and two children – float through the air sixty feet above the ground.
  • They're laughing at the terror of the poor Muggles.
  • Mr. Weasley and the older Weasley brothers take off to help the Ministry get the crowd under control.
  • Harry, Ron, Hermione, Fred, George, and Ginny all head towards the forest to hide.
  • They have the misfortune of bumping into Draco Malfoy.
  • Malfoy threatens Hermione: "Granger, they're after Muggles [...] D'you want to be showing off your knickers in midair?" (9.32).
  • (Hermione's parents are both Muggles, which makes some "pureblood" wizarding families like the Malfoys think that she's less magical than they are.)
  • Hermione pulls Harry and Ron away from Draco.
  • But during this argument with Draco, the three of them have gotten separated from Ginny, Fred, and George.
  • Harry notices that he's lost his wand in the shuffle.
  • Just then, Mr. Crouch's house-elf Winky bursts out from under a bush.
  • She warns them all to run away – bad things are happening.
  • They then manage to run into Ludo Bagman.
  • He has been so distracted by something that he doesn't even notice that there's "sort of a riot going on" (9.83), in Ron's words.
  • Ludo disappears to help the Ministry.
  • So now, Harry, Hermione, and Ron seem to be alone in the forest. Great.
  • They hear footsteps in the dark.
  • Harry asks who's there, but there is no answer.
  • Suddenly, a voice rings out: "MOSMORDRE!" (9.104).
  • Something appears in the sky: "a colossal skull, comprised of what looked like emerald stars, with a serpent protruding from its mouth like a tongue" (9.107).
  • Everyone in the forest really starts screaming at this sight.
  • Hermione tries to pull Harry and Ron away.
  • Harry has no idea why everyone is so freaked out.
  • Hermione explains that this thing is "the Dark Mark [...] You-Know-Who's sign!" (9.112).
  • The trio comes into a clearing to find twenty people pointing wands at them.
  • Twenty voices shout, "STUPEFY!" (9.119) all at once – they're trying to stun Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
  • Harry quickly pulls Ron and Hermione down and out of the way.
  • Mr. Weasley shouts, "STOP! That's my son!" (9.120).
  • Mr. Crouch is sure that one of these three must have conjured the Dark Mark.
  • The other witches and wizards point out that they are kids (that's what we were just thinking) – they wouldn't know how to cast the Dark Mark even if they wanted to.
  • Another Ministry wizard – Amos Diggory – goes into the forest to see if their stun spells hit anything.
  • And they did: Winky, the house-elf. She's completely unconscious.
  • Mr. Crouch looks completely freaked out, "his eyes blazing in his white face" (9.141).
  • Amos Diggory thinks Winky cast the Mark. After all, she has a wand (which is against wizarding law for non-humans).
  • Mr. Diggory wakes Winky up to get her evidence.
  • She promises that she just picked up the wand off the ground. She never used it, and she didn't see anything.
  • The wand that Winky had? Is Harry's missing one, of course.
  • Mr. Diggory tests Harry's wand to find out what its last spell was. Harry's wand is the wand that cast the Mark.
  • Because Winky was carrying the wand that cast the Mark, Mr. Diggory concludes: "You've been caught red-handed, elf! [...] Caught with the guilty wand in your hand!" (9.187).
  • Mr. Weasley tries to point out that Winky couldn't have learned the spell.
  • Mr. Crouch butts in: "Perhaps Amos is suggesting [...] that I routinely teach my servants to conjure the Dark Mark" (9.189).
  • Mr. Diggory gets very flustered very quickly – of course he doesn't think that Mr. Crouch is a follower of Voldemort.
  • They agree that Winky must have picked up the wand after the Mark's conjurer Disapparated.
  • Even though Winky is innocent in the whole Dark Mark disaster, Mr. Crouch intends to punish her disobedience.
  • Mr. Crouch plans to give Winky clothes, which is the only way to free a house-elf from its master's household.
  • He says mercilessly, "I have no use for a servant who forgets what is due to her master, and to her master's reputation" (9.213).
  • Mr. Weasley pulls Ron, Hermione, and Harry away from this scene.
  • Back at the campsite, Mr. Weasley and the trio do their best to explain what happened with Winky to Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, and Ginny.
  • Finally, Ron cracks: "Look, can someone just explain what that skull thing was?" (9.246).
  • Mr. Weasley replies: "You-Know-Who and his followers sent the Dark Mark into the air whenever they killed [...] The terror it inspired ... you have no idea, you're too young" (9.250).
  • And tonight is the first night the Dark Mark has been cast in thirteen years.
  • The people who made the Roberts family float in the air were Death Eaters – followers of You-Know-Who.
  • They all got away before the Ministry could catch them.
  • Ron asks why the Death Eaters ran away at the sight of the Dark Mark.
  • Bill points out: "I bet they'd be even more frightened than the rest of us to see [Voldemort] come back. They denied they'd ever been involved with him when he lost his powers, and went back to their daily lives" (9.259).
  • So it's a mystery who conjured the Dark Mark and why.
  • All they know is that it must have been someone who was a Death Eater at one point.
  • Harry finally manages to turn in for the night.

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