by Molly Ringle
April 29, 2013
With respect and apologies for J.K. Rowling.
READERS haul book off shelf and nearly fall over under its weight.
READERS: What the hell? Why is it so huge?
ROWLING: Funny story! So my editors were like, "People are getting a bit tired of Quidditch," and I was like, "How could anyone ever get tired of Quidditch?" And they were like, "Let's try some other big competition instead," and I was like, "OR, we could do BOTH." So yeah. We ended up with a 734-page novel.
CHAPTER ONE: DECREPIT, CREEPY, PROBABLY HAUNTED RIDDLE MANSION
Meet FRANK. He's an ancient war veteran who's had a lonely, thankless life guarding the Riddle Mansion because he has absolutely no friends. Everyone say, "Hi, Frank!”
READERS: Hi, Frank.
FRANK: Now what's this? Strange lights in the mansion? Better investigate.
VOLDEMORT: Ah, Wormtail, murdering people is so great. Won't it be awesome when we kill Harry Potter?
FRANK: Now Mister, you wait just a--
VOLDEMORT: Oh, a Muggle. Everyone say, "Bye, Frank."
READERS: Bye, Frank.
CHAPTER TWO: HARRY'S BEDROOM AT THE DURSLEYS'
HARRY: Whoa. Nightmare about Voldemort. And my scar hurts. Hmm, who should I tell about this?
For the benefit of READERS WHO CAN'T REMEMBER THE LAST THREE BOOKS, we are treated to a rundown of EVERYONE HARRY KNOWS. Ending with:
HARRY: (grabs notepaper) Dear Sirius: From your Facebook photos it looks like you're having a brilliant time in wherever exactly you are. But you might want to filter them so I can't see some of those, e.g. "Naked Beer Pong" album. Just a thought. Hey, any idea why my scar might hurt? 'Cause it does this morning. Love, Harry.
He sends off the letter.
HARRY: I mean, why tell him about the nightmare? What's the point in providing all the pertinent information?
CHAPTER THREE: HEY, GRAPEFRUIT ISN'T THAT BAD
The DURSLEYS are eating grapefruit for breakfast, which has succeeded in making them hate life even more than usual.
UNCLE VERNON: What the bloody rot? This letter with eighty-seven stamps says you're being invited to something called the Quidditch World Cup by your weird-arse friends the Weasleys.
HARRY: OMG SWEET.
UNCLE VERNON: So, er...if we say you can't go, does your convicted murderer godfather come torture us?
HARRY: (coyly) Well, I can't say that *isn't* a possibility...
UNCLE VERNON: Okay fine go.
CHAPTER FOUR: DURSLEYS' PAINFULLY UGLY LIVING ROOM
UNCLE VERNON: I hope these weirdo people show up in a normal fashion, at least.
THE ENTIRE WEASLEY CLAN then makes their appearance by busting through a bricked-up fireplace, scattering rubble all over the room.
MR. WEASLEY: Afternoon! Hah, silly me. Don't worry, we'll fix that before we leave.
FRED: Oops, did we just spill toffees all over the floor? (winks at DUDLEY)
DUDLEY, five seconds after stuffing a toffee into his mouth, develops a freakish case of gigantic tongue.
UNCLE VERNON and AUNT PETUNIA go into hippo-rage and swooning-hysteria mode, respectively.
MR. WEASLEY: Hah! Sorry about that too. I'll just give that a little fix. (brandishes wand)
UNCLE VERNON: (flinging knickknacks) OUT!!!
CHAPTER FIVE: FAT BOTTOMED CAULDRONS MAKE THE WITCHIN' WORLD GO ROUND
MRS. WEASLEY: FRED AND GEORGE, YOU BLOKES ARE IN SUCH MASSIVE TROUBLE--welcome, Harry dear, make yourself at home--I WILL HEX THE EARS OFF YOUR STUPID HEADS AND FEED THEM TO CAMELS.
HARRY: (to RON and HERMIONE) Aside from that, everything else good here?
RON: Yep, except something or other about a woman named Bertha Jorkins missing from the Ministry. The editors could've cut it without costing the story much. I wouldn't worry about it.
PERCY: Also, with my new Ministry job, I've become even more pompous than before. Behold.
PERCY waxes boringly lyrical about how, when it comes to cauldrons, he likes thick bottoms and he cannot lie. You other wizards can't deny.
CHAPTER SIX: O-DARK-THIRTY AT THE BURROW
MR. WEASLEY: Up and at 'em, kids. Time to hike to the Quidditch World Cup! For complicated train-schedule-like reasons, we have to walk to the top of a hill at five in the morning and grab onto an old boot all in a big group.
HARRY: I'm so tired I'm just going to accept that explanation.
MR. WEASLEY: (striding up the hill with tired kids in tow) The boot's a Portkey, you see, and--oh hello, Diggorys!
CEDRIC DIGGORY: Hi.
GIRLS EVERYWHERE: SQUEE! (faint)
AMOS DIGGORY: Morning. Hey, it's Harry Potter. You know what I love? How my son beat Harry Potter at Quidditch. Ha ha ha. This isn't a show of hubris that will be repaid by my son tragically getting killed later, though, no.
CEDRIC: Dad. Uncool.
MR. WEASLEY: Okay, everyone
put a finger on the boot!
They do. And poof! They get Portkey-teleported to...
CHAPTER SEVEN: SPRAWLING QUIDDITCH-FAN CAMPSITE AREA
WIZARDS AND WITCHES: We have tried to make our tents and other camping gear look like Muggle stuff, but have once again done a facepalm-inducing job. We have ended up looking more like Cirque du Soleil with dementia. Oh, but we get to Obliviate the local Muggles' minds once in a while so they don't notice we're here, so that's fun! And not ethically problematic at all.
LUDO BAGMAN: I'm the head of sports or something.
BARTY CROUCH: I'm this stiff Ministry dude who Percy worships.
VIKTOR KRUM: I'm a promising young Qvidditch playah vid a Bulgarian accent.
RON: I freaking love Krum and bought an action figure of him that can walk up and down on your hand or presumably any other part of you, if you're into that.
CHAPTER EIGHT: THE QUIDDITCH WORLD CUP GAME IN TOTAL
ALL THE CHARACTERS: Quidditch!!!!! Woooooo!!!!!
IRELAND beats BULGARIA. Also, DOBBY is back, and there's a house-elf named WINKY who works for CROUCH and cowers a lot. Done.
CHAPTER NINE: CAMPSITE OF MASSIVE DRUNKEN REVELRY
ALL THE CHARACTERS: Quidditch!!! Wooooo!!--hey, what are they doing?
DARK WIZARDS IN MASKS: Whee! Let's spin Muggles up in the air!
GOOD WIZARDS: Hey! It's fine to permanently alter their memory, but it is NOT okay to give them non-consensual airplane rides.
HARRY: What's that in the sky?
HERMIONE: Gasp! The Dark Mark! Voldemort's swastika!
MR. CROUCH: And it was Harry Potter's wand that conjured it!
HARRY: Only, duh, I didn't do it, and wouldn't know how. Why was your house-elf holding my wand, anyway?
WINKY: Er. Um.
MR. CROUCH: You are so fired.
WINKY, and also HERMIONE: Noooooo!
READERS: Okay, putting aside house-elf drama for a moment, does it really matter who conjured the Dark Mark?
ROWLING: Only to me and Crouch. And it's going to be several hundred pages before you find out. So, the takeaway here is, Voldemort fandom is on the rise again.
CHAPTER TEN: BACK IN THE WEASLEY ABODE
MR. WEASLEY: Ministry of Magic has officially gone into freakout-denial mode. Yay.
MRS. WEASLEY: Here, Ron. Dress robes made from our draperies from the 1970s.
RON: I hate my life.
READERS: Why did we need the Quidditch World Cup, again? Couldn't the Dark Mark have happened near Hogsmeade or something?
ROWLING: Because--Quidditch!! WOOOO!! Come on, the Wronski Feint! You weren't enthralled??
CHAPTER ELEVEN: WEASLEY KITCHEN
MR. WEASLEY: Mad-Eye Moody.
MRS. WEASLEY: Mad-Eye Moody.
BILL: Mad-Eye Moody.
CHARLIE: Mad-Eye Moody.
GEORGE: Mad-Eye Moody.
READERS: So, is someone named Mad-Eye Moody going to be important in this book?
MRS. WEASLEY: Never mind. Off to Hogwarts, kids! Where you'll have a SPECIAL SURPRISE this year.
HARRY: Involving Mad-Eye Moody, or...?
CHARLIE: Haha, you'll see, bye!
CHAPTER TWELVE: HOGWARTS! FINALLY!
It's pouring rain when the kids arrive, and everyone goes slipping and careening across the Great Hall's stone floors, because evidently a non-slipping spell is just too technically complex for all these professors. Also, COLIN CREEVEY'S LITTLE BROTHER falls in the lake and is delighted about it, which is pretty hilarious.
RON: (after SORTING HAT is finally done with its yearly trick) Mmm, food made by house-elves!
HERMIONE: (drops fork) WHAT?? House-elves, here?? SLAVE LABOR?? How did all my voracious book reading not turn this up? On hunger strike as of now.
DUMBLEDORE: Announcements! First, no Quidditch Cup this year.
ROWLING: See? No Quidditch at Hogwarts, so I HAD to do the World Cup. Otherwise there'd be NO QUIDDITCH IN THE WHOLE BOOK and OMG who could face that?
DUMBLEDORE: Also, this freaky man with scars and a magical eye, eating a sausage on the point of a dagger, is your new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, Mad-Eye Moody.
HARRY: I could swear someone mentioned that name recently.
DUMBLEDORE: Thirdly and most splendiferously, we are hosting the Triwizard Tournament this year. Right here at Hogwarts! No one's held the tournament for over a century, but we're all complete experts on how it works. And this time, unlike in the past, there will be NO death toll whatsoever. Really, no one will die, no one at all. (And I quote...) "No champion will find himself or herself in mortal danger." I mean, haha, it's not like we'll have you face fire-breathing dragons, or throw you to the bottom of the lake, or anything. So! Kids from the foreign wizarding schools Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will arrive soon and we'll all choose school champions, who must be seventeen or older. Absolutely no exceptions.
FRED AND GEORGE: F*** you, Rowling. You only did that because you know either of us would have won this thing easily.
CHAPTER THIRTEEN: HAGRID'S CHARMING HUT OF HORRORS
HAGRID: Mornin', class! These cute critters killin' and bitin' each other here are Blast-Ended Skrewts, and it's yer homework to make 'em happy.
DRACO: (talking complete sense for once) And why would we want to? What are they for?
HAGRID: (cough) Because...well, never mind, just feed 'em.
Next, RON and HARRY attend Divination, where nothing remarkable happens except TRELAWNEY forecasts doom for HARRY, and RON gets a "Uranus" joke in. After that:
DRACO: Oh spiffing, Ron! Your daddy's in the paper! Rita Skeeter writes that he and Mad-Eye Moody are incompetent dorks. And wow, look at that photo. Yo mama's so fat, the Sorting Hat put her in all FOUR Houses.
HARRY: (forcibly holding RON back) Yeah, Draco? Well, yo mama's so ugly, they call her She Who Must Not Be Naked. C'mon, Ron, let's go.
They turn away, and DRACO shoots a spell at HARRY's back without warning.
MOODY: Dirty low-down coward! Zap. Hah. Now you're a ferret, Malfoy. Whee! Let's bounce the ferret up in the air.
MCGONAGALL: Moody! Not. Cool.
FRED, GEORGE, HARRY, and RON: Disagree. Cool.
HERMIONE: Incidentally, I already gave up my hunger strike in favor of intense library research. If anyone's keeping track.
CHAPTER FOURTEEN: MAD-EYE MOODY'S D.A.D.A. CLASS
MOODY: Good morning. (smacks table) CONSTANT VIGILANCE!
CLASS jumps, startled.
MOODY: That's right. Never get too comfortable. Now, despite the wizarding world doin' all kinds of things that one might consider ethically dubious, there are only three curses that are called Unforgivable. Let's do 'em.
MOODY gets out big black spiders.
MOODY: Here's the puppeteer one. Imperio!
SPIDER NO. 1 dances spastically under MOODY's control.
MOODY: Now the torture one. Crucio!
SPIDER NO. 2 curls up and convulses in pain.
MOODY: And of course, death.
SPIDER NO. 3 is dead. Boom.
MOODY: Now, if you're going to ask me why the torture one gets you a life sentence in Azkaban, when the "making someone barf up slugs" one doesn't, the answer is I don't know. Clearly there's no justice in this world.
Later, in the Gryffindor common room:
HERMIONE: Look! I made badges with SPEW on them. Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare. You know, to free the slaves, the house-elves? Does...anyone care?
RON, HARRY, READERS: No.
HARRY: Ooh! Sirius finally wrote back!
SIRIUS: (by letter) Hey Harry--well, if your scar is hurting, and all these other weird rumors are true, then I'd better come back. Also there's just only so much tequila a person can drink before calling the vacation done. See you soon!
CHAPTER FIFTEEN: SCENES OF HOGWARTS
MOODY puts STUDENTS under the Imperius curse even though it's illegal (hmm, that's not suspicious or anything) so they can fight it off, and HARRY does remarkably well.
FRED and GEORGE are acting shifty, but really, how is that unusual?
HERMIONE is still all "Does your heart not bleed for the house elves??"
BEAUXBATONS KIDS: Nous sommes arrivés, and nous sommes très hot. Eexcept our headmistress; she eez merely très large. We are talking 'Agrid-large.
DURMSTRANG KIDS: Ve haff arrived too [sorry, but I don't think any of us are up to the Bulgarian translation, although Google says it's Пристигнахме], and von of us is VIKTOR KRUM!
RON convulses in fanboy ecstasy and passes out.
CHAPTER SIXTEEN: GREAT HALL
DUMBLEDORE: Here it is, friends: the Goblet of Fire. Instead of having responsible adults select the Triwizard Tournament champions, we are leaving it to a magical flaming cup. We can't see any possible problems with that.
KIDS FROM ALL THREE SCHOOLS submit their names on parchment slips. The GOBLET accepts those over seventeen, and sends FRED, GEORGE, and other POSERS flying across the room with backfiring spells sprouting all over them. Brief interim during which this also happens:
HAGRID: My, that Madame Maxime from Beauxbatons is quite the filly. I'm takin' the evenin' off to slick down my hair with axel grease and splash on some centaur cologne, and I'm goin' to visit her.
Yes, the sex is running strong in this book.
DUMBLEDORE: Gather round! The Goblet has made its decision.
GOBLET starts spitting out scraps of parchment, which DUMBLEDORE reads.
DUMBLEDORE: From Durmstrang...Viktor Krum! From Beauxbatons...Fleur Delacour! From Hogwarts...Cedric Diggory! Congratulations to all the--wait, it's spitting out another name. Um. Harry Potter.
CHAPTER SEVENTEEN: DUMBLEDORE'S SWANKY CONFERENCE ROOM
KARKAROFF: (i.e., the headmaster of Durmstrang) Unfair! Hogwarts is cheating!
HARRY: Hey, it's cool, I don't even want to be in it. I don't know how that happened. I didn't submit my name, I'm not seventeen...
DUMBLEDORE: Look, guys, the cup said he has to be in the tournament. Nothing we can do. We're totally powerless. We simply have to force a fourteen-year-old to compete in deadly tasks against seventeen- and eighteen-year-olds.
HARRY: Wait, I thought you said they wouldn't be deadly.
DUMBLEDORE: Er, well. Why not go to bed, Harry? Been a busy day.
HARRY stumbles back to Gryffindor Tower, where his ENTIRE HOUSE showers him with cheers and candy and tongue kisses (okay, not so much the kisses).
RON: Except me. I say you suck. "Seeker," are you? More like ATTENTION seeker.
HARRY: Really? You're this stupid?
RON: Bite me.
HARRY: Screw you.
CHAPTER EIGHTEEN: HERE AND THERE AT HOGWARTS
HERMIONE: Harry, be nice to Ron. He's only jealous because you get all the cool adventures; plus I told him about this dream where you and I were--um, never mind. Hey, you should write to Sirius and update him.
DRACO: (strolling past HERMIONE) Morning, Mudblood!
HARRY slams a spell at him, which hits GOYLE and makes him break out in boils, and MALFOY slams a spell back, which hits HERMIONE and makes her grow gigantic rodent teeth.
SNAPE: (glancing at HERMIONE and being his most jerkfaced ever) I see no difference.
HERMIONE runs off in tears
to the hospital wing.
SNAPE: Also, fifty points from Gryffindor, detention for the people I hate, and Goyle gets off scot-free. Isn't it dandy how many torturous spells AREN'T punishable by time in Azkaban?
LUDO BAGMAN: You may remember me as the head of sports or something. I'm also on the Triwizard Tournament judging panel (or something), so I'm hanging around Hogwarts this year. Harry and the other champions, come meet the press.
RITA SKEETER: Harry, dear! I'm the slimy journalist who wrote lies about everyone you like. Pop into a broom closet with me.
HARRY: Sounds a bit pervy and wrong, but okay.
RITA SKEETER: Tell me about your heartbreaking childhood thus far.
HARRY: It's been...fine.
RITA'S QUILL transforms his answer into an emotional outpouring of Danielle Steel prose proportions.
DUMBLEDORE: Come on out, Harry. Time for the champions to compare wands. Unzip 'em and show 'em, kids.
FLEUR's is rosewood and inflexible and has a veela hair from her grandmother. CEDRIC's is twelve and a quarter inches and he polished it last night. VIKTOR's is rather thicker than usual and quite rigid. (I swear, I am not making any of this up.) Then there's HARRY's, and we're all quite familiar with what his wand can do--but it may surprise us later, sports fans, so stay tuned.
CHAPTER NINETEEN: IN WHICH HARRY DECIDES TO LIVE UNDER THE INVISIBILITY CLOAK FOR A WHILE
HARRY visits Hogsmeade under the cloak, and learns that a) MOODY's magical eye can see through cloaks and other clothing (yeeeeks), and b) HAGRID wants HARRY to come to his cabin at night with the cloak on. HARRY does so, and finds MADAME MAXIME there too.
HAGRID: C'mere, Madame, special surprise for ye.
HARRY sneaks along after
them as they venture out past the Forbidden Forest.
HAGRID: There they are! Fifty-foot-high dragons. Ain't they beauties? Yep, this'll be the first task the champions have to face. Gettin' past 'em, or kissin' em on the nose, or somethin'.
HARRY: GAH. (hightails it back to the castle)
SIRIUS'S head is waiting in the fire for him in the Gryffindor common room. Don't be alarmed; it's not a Mafia type of thing. It's just a wizard phone call.
HARRY: Sirius--it's dragons--and ack.
SIRIUS: Hm, dragons. But you know, I'm going to launch into a lot of speculation about Karkaroff and Bertha Jorkins so that we are all suspicious of the red herrings we are supposed to be suspicious of.
HARRY: Thanks. I feel better now.
RON: By the way, I still hate you.
HARRY: Well, I HATE YOU MORE.
CHAPTER TWENTY: HALLWAYS OF HOGWARTS
HARRY: Psst. Cedric. First task is dragons.
HARRY: Everyone else knows, so you should too.
CEDRIC: I am strangely moved by your kindness. (gives a manly nod and scurries off)
MOODY: Good on ya, Harry. By the way, here's a tip to beat the dragons. What are you good at?
HARRY: Uh...nothing? Also Quidditch?
MOODY: Yes, so to get a broom, you'd use...?
HARRY: Ah ha! That one spell, that makes me get things!
MOODY: Yeah. That. Work on that.
LUDO BAGMAN: Hey champions!
I'm the head of--yeah, you remember me this time. It's time for the first task,
to celebrate reaching the halfway point in the book (or near enough). So, you
each face a dragon, and use your magical wiles to steal its egg. Go!
CEDRIC is first, and walks out to meet his doom--no, sorry, that's later. Walks out to meet his dragon, I should say.
HARRY: The other three are
all scheduled before me. Wonder if I can watch?
ROWLING: No. And the readers don't get to watch, either. You're just going to hear the crowd scream, and the announcers, and I'm going to rush through the whole thing and use a lot of ellipses. There--your turn, Harry!
HARRY wobbles out and says "Howdy" to the angriest and ugliest of the dragons (yeah, it breathes fire).
HARRY: Accio Firebolt! Sweet, it worked. And up into the air we go.
ROWLING: Ellipses...so many ellipses...action, then ellipses...then action...and Harry fetches the egg in record time!
BAGMAN: By the way, a hint about your next task is inside the golden egg.
RON meets HARRY back at the Stitching-and-Burn-Treatment Tent.
RON: Wow, mate, someone is definitely trying to kill you in a very roundabout but charismatic way by putting you in this competition. Clearly you didn't put your own name in the goblet. I mean, duh.
HARRY: Brill, mate. We're cool.
HERMIONE: Kiss him! KISS
HERMIONE bursts into tears, then collapses on the grass. RON and HARRY look at her in bewilderment.
RON: You just never know who's going to turn out to be a slasher.
CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE: HOGWARTS KITCHENS
HARRY opens the golden egg and it only screeches a horrible someone's-torturing-Flipper type of noise, so he hastily closes it again until such time as he figures out what the hell that's supposed to mean.
HERMIONE: Harry, look who it is! I came down to free the house-elves--like the readers, they aren't interested, by the way--and it's Dobby!
DOBBY: Dobby is getting paid now like a proper lower-class citizen!
WINKY: Winky is so ashamed and wishes to die. Also Winky hints at bad secrets in the Crouch household.
RON: And me, I end this chapter on the highest note possible with the line, "Percy wouldn't recognize a joke if it danced naked in front of him wearing Dobby's tea cozy."
CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO: TRANSFIGURATION CLASS
MCGONAGALL: Gryffindors, the Yule Ball is coming up, and may I remind you that you shall behave like ladies and gentlemen, and there shall be no shenanigans whatsoever involving the punch bowl, and Potter, as a tournament champion, you absolutely have to get a date and attend.
HARRY: WHAT?? Ask out a GIRL??? If I'd known this, I would've let the dragon kill me! Why didn't you let it kill me? WHYYYYY??
He lurks around CHO CHANG a few days without saying anything, and actually rejects a few other girls who ask him to the dance. Sorry, girls. Then finally...
HARRY: Cho, um, youwannagotheballwimme?
CHO: Huh? Oh. No, can't. Going with Cedric.
HARRY: Right. Course you are. Hah. I knew that. I'll just...bye.
RON: Blast it, who can we ask? Who do we know that's a girl?
GINNY: My God, you two are annoying.
RON: Dude. Hermione! You're a girl! So how about it?
HERMIONE: Sod off. I have a date. (she storms away)
RON: Pfft, she's lying. No one else could've noticed she's a girl.
HARRY dejectedly swipes at the sleeve of the nearest female.
HARRY: Parvati, hi. Want to go to the ball?
PARVATI: Uh, okay.
HARRY: Can you get a date for my buddy too?
PARVATI: Already I'm regretting this.
CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE: WOOOO!!! YULE BALL!!! HEY, SOME OF US PREFER IT TO QUIDDITCH.
So the Yule Ball is actually ON Christmas, which means most of the older students stay at school the whole winter vacation rather than spending the holidays with their families. Clearly ROWLING is trying to undermine sacred Christian family values. On the other hand, thank goodness something potentially sexy is finally happening on Christmas, which is normally an un-sexy holiday.
RON: I want to die. I hate my dress robes. I couldn't care less about my date.
HARRY: I hear you, mate.
VIKTOR KRUM walks in with some GORGEOUS CHICK on his arm--and hallo, it's HERMIONE! She, like, did something with her hair! And wore a color that suited her! HARRY and RON can't figure out what she did, really, but damn, she's hot now! And that's NOT FAIR if you ask them.
But HERMIONE'S gorgeous new look makes it so even DRACO can't come up with a bad thing to say about her, claims ROWLING. Yeah, right. When you look your absolute best is EXACTLY when your arch-bully says the meanest things about you. Deep breath--okay--back now from middle school; it's all right.
HARRY spends the first half of the dance jealously watching CHO and CEDRIC and ignoring PARVATI. RON spends the first half glaring at HERMIONE and ignoring PADMA, i.e., HIS DATE.
PARVATI: Padma, did you hear? Ron and Harry are writing a book on how to be the LAMEST DATES EVER.
MOODY: Nice socks, Potter! Yeah, I amuse myself by looking through students' clothing. Sleep tight!
PERCY: Mr. Crouch is ill and I haven't technically seen him, but he still considers me his cuddliest employee. Now let me tell you about flying-carpet smuggling!
RON: (to HARRY) Out. Let's get out.
Outside, even though it's December in Scotland and thus probably below freezing, FLEUR is getting indecent in the bushes with her Hogwarts date-boy (ROGER SOMETHINGOROTHER), and HAGRID is cozying up to MADAME MAXIME. RON and HARRY lurk in the shrubbery and overhear:
HAGRID: So, my pretty, tell me a secret...where'd you get them big bones? Giant, right?
MAXIME: Ugh! You SUCK as ze date!
HAGRID: Hey now, I'm half giant meself! No offense meant to ye!
But MAXIME storms off.
RON: For readers, I'll elucidate: giants are nasty murderous types. Sure hope no one else heard Hagrid admit that about himself.
As they walk back indoors, CEDRIC pulls HARRY aside.
CEDRIC: Heya. Take a nice long private bath with your golden egg. Here, I'll give you the password to the prefects' bathroom, where I like to bathe. (wink) Nighty night.
While HARRY ponders whether CEDRIC was hitting on him--I mean, it's been a weird and pervy enough year so far--he walks into the middle of a massive RON/HERMIONE row:
RON: How dare you go with Krum?? How could you? You know how I feel about him! I mean--um, how I...how you...look, just admit you're being a harlot!
HERMIONE: Ron, I'm going to bitchslap you this once, then you're going to settle down, are we clear?
CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR: HAGRID'S HUT
RON: Hey, why isn't Hagrid teaching us today?
DRACO: Let me explain! (pulls out the newspaper) Latest from Rita Skeeter: "Rubeus Hagrid admits he's half giant, which would explain why he enjoys maiming and terrifying students. Why he was ever hired is a mystery. Dumbledore needs to pull his senile head out of his--" Oops, class is starting, bye!
HARRY, HERMIONE, and RON pound on HAGRID's door, but he isn't answering. They storm down to Hogsmeade.
RITA SKEETER: Why, good morning, students.
HERMIONE: Oh, I am going to make you pay, you evil woman.
RITA: Hah. Are you now? Or shall I make YOU pay, my stupid little dear?
HERMIONE: Really? You want to play "Who's smarter?" with ME?
RON: Woohoo! Hermione's furious with someone other than me now!
The kids finally get in to see DEPRESSED HUNGOVER HAGRID, and find DUMBLEDORE there too.
HARRY: Cheer up, Hagrid. We all like you and want you to stay. It doesn't matter what she wrote.
DUMBLEDORE: Indeed. My brother Aberforth was in the papers for practicing inappropriate charms on a goat, but he didn't let it get him down. (I'M COMPLETELY SERIOUS; IT SAYS THAT.)
CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE: PREFECTS' BATHROOM
HARRY sneaks in with his golden egg, finds with relief that CEDRIC isn't there (neither is anyone else), and gets naked and hangs out in the pool-sized tub, admiring the interior decorating. Perfumed and colored tap water! Oooh!
MOANING MYRTLE: Hi, Harry.
HARRY: Gah! Naked here.
MOANING MYRTLE: I know. I like spying on kids from inside the pipes.
HARRY: Creepiest pervy encounter yet. Wow.
MOANING MYRTLE: Hey, I have a tip about your egg. Open it underwater. That's what Cedric did. By the way, they are not lying about the "twelve-and-a-quarter inches" bit.
HARRY, hiding under bubbles, opens the egg underwater and its screech resolves into a riddle that essentially says "Merpeople are going to take something important to you hostage and you'll have one hour to get it back before it's gone forever."
HARRY: So I'll have to survive in a cold lake underwater for an hour, then. Yay. Um, see you, Myrtle.
HARRY gets dressed and hurries out under the Invisibility Cloak. While he's noticing that MR. CROUCH's name is showing up in SNAPE's office on the Marauder's Map (is everyone confused enough yet?), he gets his foot stuck in a broken stair. He drops the GOLDEN EGG and it opens.
GOLDEN EGG: SCREEEEEEECH.
SNAPE: Filch! Someone was just in my office. Not that that's related to the egg, but I'm suspicious.
MOODY: What's all this noise?
SNAPE: Harry Potter! I'm
sure Harry Potter was stealing potions from my office!
MOODY: (grinning at HARRY, because he can see through Invisibility Cloaks as well as your underwear) Nah, you're high, Snape. Go to bed.
SNAPE and FILCH, fuming, stomp away.
HARRY: Whew. Thanks, Professor.
MOODY: Sure thing. And this is a dandy map. I'm borrowing it, okay?
CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX: TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT SWIMSUIT COMPETITION
HARRY: Spells to let you survive an hour underwater...you'd think I could find one...just one...
HARRY literally falls asleep in the library with his face in a book.
DOBBY: Wake up, Harry Potter, sir! The task is beginning in ten minutes and your Wheezy is with the merpeople!
HARRY: My WHAT? Oh--Weasley? They took Ron?? But--I don't have a spell--
DOBBY: Eat this before you dive in, sir.
DOBBY hands him a glob of slimy weeds. So, with no other option occurring to him, HARRY runs down to the lake a few seconds before the starting pistol, and eats the weeds. Whew! It works! He grows gills!
Deep underwater, after kicking off some GRINDYLOWS, running into creepy MYRTLE again, and snarling at some grumpy MERPEOPLE, he finds RON, HERMIONE, CHO, and SOME GIRL tied up and magically unconscious. The other CHAMPIONS are nowhere to be seen, and HARRY freaks out and starts trying to save every hostage. CEDRIC finally shows up and takes CHO away, and KRUM finally appears and saves HERMIONE, but HARRY takes it upon himself to haul both RON and the GIRL to the surface.
FLEUR: Oh, merci beaucoup! I got lost, but you saved my sister!
She kisses HARRY.
RON: I helped.
FLEUR kisses RON.
HERMIONE: Oh, you noticed SHE was a girl, huh?
HARRY: I'm just glad everyone's alive.
HERMIONE: LOL, Harry, you didn't take the song seriously, did you? They weren't going to let us die after an hour. Did you really think that?
HARRY: ...uh...course not. Ahem.
CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN: GOSSIP GOSSIP EVERYWHERE
RITA SKEETER: (via article in the Witch Weekly) Hermione Granger, Harry Potter's girlfriend, appears to be not so faithful and is giving a helping hand to any Triwizard Tournament champion who wants one, IF you know what I mean.
HERMIONE: (snorts) Aw, that's the best you can do, Skeeter? You poor little cockroach.
SNAPE: (in Potions class) Hey, Potter, check this out: a vial of Veritaserum. Strongest truth serum I can make. Gosh, wouldn't it be interesting if it accidentally dripped into your pumpkin juice sometime? Wonder what you might say?
HARRY ducks his head and behaves, which gives him a chance to overhear this:
KARKAROFF: (bursting into Potions class) Snape, LOOK AT MY ARM. No, I am NOT high. Let me see your arm!
SNAPE: Out. Now.
HARRY: Well, that was odd.
Later, our three KIDS climb up the mountain and finally meet SIRIUS again in person. He happily licks their faces--whoops, I should mention he's in dog form when he does that. He turns back into a guy and they give him a bundle of stolen food from Hogwarts.
SIRIUS: (noshing on goodies) So let's catch up. Crouch, Winky, Moody, Bagman, Death Eaters, Karkaroff, Snape, Bertha Jorkins--I don't know what's going on there, man, but oh my GOD this chicken is good, mmmm.
CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT: BREAKFAST AT HOGWARTS
HERMIONE: (opening mail) So I was talking to Winky again yesterday, and she hinted once more at a dark secret of Mr. Crouch's, and--hey! This is all anonymous hate mail, because of that article Skeeter wrote about my cheatin' heart! And--OW OW OW OW there's a freaking toxin in this one and it's burning my hands and OWWWW.
She rushes off to the hospital wing.
RON: (still eating breakfast) Well, we told her not to tick off Skeeter.
READERS: Seriously, why are they not calling the wizard cops? Does someone need to mail Hermione ricin or anthrax before they report it?
One evening, LUDO BAGMAN brings the TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENTS outside to gaze upon some small hedges.
BAGMAN: It's going to be a maze, see? It'll be the third task! But not yet; it's got to grow. Come back in like a month.
READERS: Got to hand it to the wizarding world: they managed to invent a sporting event that takes even longer than cricket or golf.
VIKTOR: Harry, may ve haff a private talk about Herminoninnanny?
HARRY: We've never dated. Never gonna. But if you want a shot at her, think about learning to say her name. I hear girls go for that kind of thing.
VIKTOR: Ah good! Tank you. Let's talk sports--vait, who is dat?
MR. CROUCH staggers out of the forest looking like the filthy mumbling guy you avoid at the bus station.
MR. CROUCH: Tell Dumbledore, all my fault, my son, Dark Lord, Bertha Jorkins.
HARRY: Uh, I'll get Dumbledore. Krum, stay with the crazy man.
But when DUMBLEDORE and a bunch of OTHER TEACHERS arrive, VIKTOR is lying there Stunned, and CROUCH is gone.
KARKAROFF: Treachery! You attacked my champion! Hogwarts sucks, and so do you, Dumbledore. Yeah, that's right, I said it.
HAGRID: HULK ANGRY. (pins KARKAROFF to tree)
DUMBLEDORE: Hagrid, DOWN.
PROBABLY COULD HAVE BEEN CUT
MOODY: Constant vigilance!
SIRIUS: Constant vigilance!
VOLDEMORT: (in a strangely realistic dream HARRY has) Whee, let's torture Wormtail!
HARRY: Ow, my scar!
CHAPTER THIRTY: SNOOPING AROUND DUMBLEDORE'S OFFICE
HARRY: Professor Dumbledore, can I talk to you?
DUMBLEDORE: Sure. Hang out in my office a while alone first, while I chat with Fudge.
HARRY wanders around, poking at dangerously magical things. Eventually, drawn by the shiniest object, he sticks his head into it. Like anyone would. (It's basically a big bowl.) And the world goes flip-de-woo!
HARRY: Whoa! I'm sitting in some kind of dungeon courtroom thing, with wizards all around. Sorry, everyone, didn't mean to...hello? Can anyone see me? Huh, they can't. I get it. This is a scene from the past.
READERS: Some would have assumed "I'm tripping."
But HARRY is right: we're witnessing trials of SUSPECTED DEATH EATERS.
KARKAROFF: I'm guilty, but I'll buy my freedom by giving you the names of other Death Eaters. Here's all kinds of names. One of which is Snape!
DUMBLEDORE: We cleared Snape. He WAS a Darkside fanboy, but he's cool now. Thanks, Karkaroff. Next?
LUDO BAGMAN: Hey mates, sorry I was such a moron. I kind of tripped and fell into the Dark side. It was just lying there. I'm nice, really!
CROUCH: Fine, whatever. Next?
BARTY CROUCH JUNIOR: Dad, no! Please don't send me to prison! Please, Daddy, please!
CROUCH: Guilty. Get out of my sight.
DUMBLEDORE: (present day) Hey, Harry. Ready to climb out of the shiny bowl?
HARRY: Yikes. Hi. What was
DUMBLEDORE: A Pensieve. Wild, huh?
HARRY: Well, the reason I came is, I wanted to ask...why is my scar hurting?
DUMBLEDORE: 'Cause Voldemort's getting stronger.
HARRY: Also, if Snape really was a Death Eater, why do you trust him?
DUMBLEDORE: I have a good reason, but I won't tell you what it is. Bye! Good luck with the third task!
CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE: "IT'LL BE FUN," THEY SAID. "NOTHING COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG IN A HEDGE MAZE AT NIGHT," THEY SAID.
BAGMAN: Ladies and gentlemen, the third and final task of the Triwizard Tournament! Our four champions will disappear inside the hedge maze and face all kinds of challenges, and the first person to get through it wins. Meanwhile, the audience gets to stare at the outside of a hedge maze for an hour or so. Hmm, we need to invent a magical Jumbotron. Anyway--on your marks, get set, go!
HARRY, CEDRIC, VIKTOR, and FLEUR dash into the hedge maze. HARRY stumbles through a BOGGART posing as a DEMENTOR, a TURNING-YOU-UPSIDE-DOWN SPARKLY CLOUD, and one of HAGRID'S BLAST-ENDED SKREWTS, which is now about fifty meters long. Then...
HARRY: Stupefy! (VIKTOR
falls.) Jeez, I thought Krum was better than that. You okay, Cedric?
CEDRIC: Yep, no biggie. Thanks. Haha, that torture curse is actually a lot less torturous than most of the ones the students chuck at each other around here. Too bad it throws you in Azkaban for life.
HARRY: Thought I heard Fleur scream earlier. Wonder if she's down too.
CEDRIC: Could be. So it's just you and me now.
HARRY and CEDRIC stare at each a second, then tear off in separate directions, hot in the pursuit of personal victory.
SPHINX: Get past me first.
GIGANTIC SPIDER: And me!
HARRY doesn't quite. The SPIDER is also going after CEDRIC, who has re-arrived. CEDRIC and HARRY knock it out together.
HARRY: There. Take the cup, you win.
CEDRIC: No, man, YOU take the cup.
HARRY: No, man--this is dumb. Let's take the cup together.
CEDRIC: Woooo! Hogwarts for the win!
Together they grab the Triwizard Cup, and WHOOSH. They're gone.
CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO: GRAVEYARD OF SAINT WHERE THE HELL AM I
They're in a graveyard. Hmm.
CEDRIC: Uh. The cup was a Portkey.
HARRY: Huh. Weird. Is this where the closing ceremonies are being held, or--
WORMTAIL: Hi! Avada Kedavra.
And CEDRIC dies. Everybody say, "Bye, Cedric."
While HARRY processes that, WORMTAIL slams him against a tombstone with TOM RIDDLE engraved on it, ties HARRY up, and drags over a big cauldron.
READERS: Man, I wish Percy were here. He could tell us all about the bottom of that cauldron.
WORMTAIL: Checking my recipe...we put in the Dark Lord...
He puts an UGLY DEMON BABY THING into the cauldron.
WORMTAIL: Some oregano, a bone from this grave, some parsley, my right hand...
WORMTAIL whacks his own right hand off with a dagger. READERS pause to ponder whether it's even remotely possible to chop off your own hand with a single blow of a dagger.
WORMTAIL: Ow ow ow...okay, blood of Harry Potter...
He nicks HARRY, collects some blood, and throws that in the cauldron too.
WORMTAIL: And there we go.
HARRY gasps. VOLDEMORT rises from the cauldron, all big and grown up and ickily naked! WORMTAIL throws a robe around him, and VOLDEMORT does some yoga stretches to limber up. He feels around on his face, then frowns at WORMTAIL.
VOLDEMORT: Seriously, dude, where's my nose?
CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE: THE MONOLOGUE YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR
VOLDEMORT: Guess what comes
HARRY: You kill me?
VOLDEMORT: Well yeah, but FIRST, I deliver a long monologue about my elaborate plot to get you here and bring my body back to life!
HARRY: Nooo! Just kill me, you sick bastard!
VOLDEMORT: Wait, I need a bigger audience.
VOLDEMORT presses the Dark Mark tat on WORMTAIL's arm, and bunches of DEATH EATERS (including DRACO's mommy and daddy) Apparate into the graveyard.
DEATH EATERS: We were all like totally loyal to you the whole time, we swear!
VOLDEMORT: Liars. My feelings are hurt and I'm pouting. I'm going to make you listen to my monologue now. So, you know I've been trying to come back to life properly, but it involved that complicated spell there, and with Dumbledore protecting Harry, it was REALLY HARD to get all the stuff I needed, like Harry's blood. But THIS year, Bertha Jorkins told Wormtail about the Triwizard Tournament, so I stationed a Death Eater at Hogwarts and got him to put Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire, and then had to make sure he won, because the Triwizard Cup was a Portkey to get here, tonight!
DEATH EATERS: Brilliant, my lord! Totally unnecessarily convoluted, but brilliant!
VOLDEMORT: I know. Thanks. Hey Harry, CRUCIO! Haha!
HARRY: Ow ow ow ow ow.
VOLDEMORT: Actually, know what? I'll let you duel with me properly. We're gentlemen here, after all. (crouches into ninja pose) C'mon, Harry. Let's fight.
CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR: FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
HARRY: Fine. A duel. To the death.
VOLDEMORT: I accept. Although first, to the pain.
HARRY: I don't think I'm quite familiar with that phrase.
VOLDEMORT: Sure you are. Remember? Crucio!
HARRY: OWWWW. Okay, yes. I do remember.
VOLDEMORT: Imperio! I'm just going to run through all the Unforgivable curses here.
HARRY: Oof...you are...better than me...I admit it...
VOLDEMORT: Then why are you smiling?
HARRY: Because I know something you don't know. I am actually pretty good at throwing off the Imperius curse. (He does so.) Ha!
VOLDEMORT: Amazing. Well, I hate to destroy an artist like yourself, but: Avada Kedavra.
HARRY steels himself for the worst, but instead a strange laser light show starts taking place between his wand and VOLDEMORT's. And then--CEDRIC'S GHOST comes out of VOLDEMORT's wand! And so does FRANK! (You remember Frank.) And--gasp--HARRY'S MOM AND DAD!
HARRY'S MOM: Nice job,
HARRY'S DAD: You go, son! Get him!
CEDRIC: Hey, could you take
my body back for my folks?
HARRY: (convulsing with effort of holding freaking-out wand) Sssure...no problem...bye Mom and Dad...
HARRY breaks the crazy wand connection, runs away, and throws himself into a big hug encompassing DEAD CEDRIC and the Cup Portkey. They vanish, leaving VOLDEMORT throwing a hissy fit.
VOLDEMORT: ARRRRGH! Why does Avada Kedavra keep failing on me with Harry? If only there were some other way to kill a person. If only someone had a dagger lying around here or something.
CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE: LET'S PLAY "WHO'S THE DEATH EATER AT HOGWARTS?"
HARRY: Professor Dumbledore, Voldemort's back. He killed Cedric, look.
DUMBLEDORE: Hm, drat. Thought that might happen.
MOODY: Here Albus, let me take Harry into the castle while you deal with the screaming, panicking students and parents. He can tell me about his fight with the Dark Lord.
MOODY brings HARRY into his office.
MOODY: So the Dark Lord's back, you say?
HARRY: Uh-huh. Serious badness. So bad I didn't even notice how you keep saying "Dark Lord" instead of "Voldemort." And so many Death Eaters...he said there was one here...
MOODY: Oh yeah, that'd be me.
MOODY: Let me give you a monologue.
HARRY: OH GOD NO!!! I can't face another one tonight!!
MOODY: See Harry, it's been me all along. I fired the Dark Mark into the sky at the Quidditch World Cup, eight thousand pages ago. I put your name into the Goblet and made sure you got through all the tasks and won, all so you could touch the Portkey that delivered you to the Dark Lord.
HARRY: Seriously? There were like a hundred easier things you could have turned into a Portkey and gotten me to touch.
DUMBLEDORE: (busting into the room) Stupefy, sucker!
MOODY collapses. SNAPE and MCGONAGALL come in too. A little ransacking reveals a trapdoor, and beneath it is THE REAL MAD-EYE MOODY, unconscious and being kept captive.
DUMBLEDORE: It's all been a Polyjuice Potion ruse, see. I just figured it out. How dense of me. Let's see who he really is.
FAKE MOODY morphs gradually into BARTY CROUCH JR. You remember, from the Pensieve? He was convicted by his dad for being a Death Eater? Well, anyway:
DUMBLEDORE: Drink this Veritaserum.
BARTY CROUCH JR: Okay. Monologue time!
READERS: OH GOD NOOOOO!!
We'll sum up: CROUCH JR was a Death Eater, as we've covered, and did all that stuff he just took credit for as FAKE MOODY. Sometimes WINKY helped. Remember? She was their house-elf...? Oh never mind. We caught the Death Eater at Hogwarts; that's the upshot.
CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX: EVERYONE WANTS TO HUG HARRY
SIRIUS: Harry, Harry, I should've been there for you more. Grr, isn't there someone I can bite in the face for you, at least?
HARRY: Thanks, but not really.
He passes out in the hospital wing. When he comes to, CORNELIUS FUDGE is hanging out, arguing with THE STAFF.
FUDGE: Come now, you know I can't go claiming You-Know-Who has returned. Think of the economy.
SNAPE: You blithering fool, even I'M agreeing he has returned. My old tattoo is telling me so.
FUDGE: You're all insane. It's as simple as that.
DUMBLEDORE: Fine. Die stupid.
FUDGE: Thanks for understanding. Oh, here's your gold, Harry. For winning the tournament.
FUDGE plunks down a bag of gold coins and walks out.
HARRY: I don't want it. Cedric should've had it.
HARRY gets teary-eyed. MRS. WEASLEY hugs him.
READERS: (wiping away a tear as well) I didn't even know I LIKED Cedric till now.
Meanwhile, HERMIONE slams something against the windowsill.
HERMIONE: Sorry. I'll explain next chapter.
CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN: THE POIGNANT RIDE HOME, WITH ITS GOLDEN LINING
Before letting the kids go for summer, DUMBLEDORE makes EVERYONE cry again by holding a school-wide moment of silence for CEDRIC.
DUMBLEDORE: ...And don't be idiots, folks. Fight against Voldemort when it comes time to take sides; don't pretend he doesn't exist. Also, please, please don't wear your robes so low they hang below your butt. It's the most idiotic fashion I've seen in my hundred years here. Have a good summer!
HARRY and FRIENDS board the Hogwarts Express. Once they're safe in their compartment, HERMIONE proudly shows HARRY and RON a beetle in a jar.
HERMIONE: It appears I was wrong. Rita Skeeter's a beetle, not a cockroach.
HARRY: Say what?
HERMIONE: Remember when I whacked the windowsill the other day? I was catching her. She was listening in on us again. So I'm explaining to her that I'll let her out, eventually, but she's going to stop writing crap about people or else I turn her in for being an unregistered Animagus.
READERS: Kidnapping and blackmailing someone: also not punishable by time in Azkaban. And thank God for that, am I right?
DRACO, CRABBE, and GOYLE wander in.
DRACO: Voldemort's back, yaaaay! I hope he kills the Mudbloods first! I hope he--
**BOOM!** Not only RON, HARRY, and HERMIONE, but FRED and GEORGE too, have smacked the trio with spells. Our SLYTHERINS are lying twitching, smoking, and morphing into grotesque shapes on the floor.
OUR HEROES, and READERS: Damn, that was satisfying. Again, glad that wasn't illegal.
And just as they're parting ways at King's Cross Station...
HARRY: Here, Fred and George. Take my gold. Start your awesome joke shop.
GEORGE: You mean it? Like
you MEAN IT mean it?
HARRY: I completely mean it. The world needs you guys.
FRED: Dude, I will kiss you if you want. And I completely mean that.
HARRY: No need. Just make us laugh.
DISCLAIMER/CREDITS: The "yo momma" jokes came from the delightful site http://www.yomamajokesgalore.com/harrypotter.html