Harry tells Ron and Hermione everything he has seen in the Pensieve (leaving out the part about Neville's parents), and they discuss it at great length. In addition, they spend a great deal of time in empty classrooms, helping Harry practice hexes. On the morning of the third task, Rita Skeeter writes an article describing how Harry fainted in class and is possibly disturbed and dangerous, and the students read it over breakfast. Harry wonders how Rita could have overheard what happened in Divination, and suddenly Hermione jumps up and runs to the library, saying that she has figured something out. After breakfast, the families of the champions arrive at Hogwarts to watch the final task, and Bill and Mrs. Weasley come to watch Harry; they stroll the grounds all afternoon, and at dusk, the champions are placed at the entrances to a giant hedge maze, at the center of which the winner would find the trophy.
Harry and Cedric are currently tied for first place, so they go first into the maze, followed by Krum and Fleur. Harry's path is remarkably quiet. He runs into a boggart disguised as a dementor, which he passes easily, and at one point he runs through a mist that temporarily turns the world upside down. He hears Fleur scream, and as he runs forward, he encounters one of Hagrid's Skrewts, which is ten feet long and aggressive. Harry passes the Skrewt. He hears Krum mutter, "Crucio", and hears Cedric scream. Harry burns a hole in the hedge and saves Cedric by stupefying Krum. The two Hogwarts boys continue, shaken, through the maze. Harry passes a sphinx, answers her riddle, and sees the Triwizard Cup ahead. He and Cedric both run for it. They are barred by a giant spider, which together they defeat. Harry breaks his leg in the process. Unable to decide who should have the trophy, since they both helped each other out numerous times throughout the tournament, they decide to touch it at the same time, both winning. They do, and the Cup, it turns out, is a portkey.
Harry and Cedric land in an eerie graveyard far away from Hogwarts. Coming towards them, they see a hooded man carrying what looks like a baby. Suddenly, Harry's scar sears with pain, as he hears a cold voice say, "Kill the spare." The voice is followed by a second, which says, "Avada Kedavra." Cedric is killed instantly. As Harry stares at Cedric, horrified, the hooded man ties Harry tightly to a tombstone of a man named Tom Riddle. Harry recognizes the man in the hood as Wormtail. Harry watches as Wormtail boils water in a giant cauldron, unwraps the bundled object (which is scaly, red, and has a flat snakelike face) and drops it into the cauldron. Harry hopes silently that it will drown.
Wormtail begins speaking. He summons dust from Tom Riddle's grave to renew his son. Wormtail says "Flesh of the servant," and slices off his right hand, dropping it into the cauldron. Finally, he draws blood from Harry's upper arm, adding "Blood of the enemy" to the cauldron. From the cauldron's simmering depths, a tall, thin man rises. Harry knows that Lord Voldemort has risen again.
These chapters include three motifs typical of folklore and mythology. First, the notion of the maze is ancient; heroes throughout mythology have had to find their ways through dark, magical mazes in order to achieve special honor. Making the maze the third and final task connects the Triwizard Tournament to a great tradition of magical history. It assumes an awareness of the techniques of the past, and it ensures that each contestant enters and competes alone. In fact, the three tasks become progressively less visible to spectators: first in open air, they must get past a dragon while the school watches; second, they must emerge with their prizes person from underwater, where the audience can at least see the order; here, there is no audience to see who wins, nor are their any instructions regarding what lies within.
A second element of mythology is the idea of an ancient, timeless magic. J. R. R. Tolkein in The Lord of the Rings novels and C. S. Lewis in The Chronicles of Narnia are among the authors who reference the idea of a magical or spiritual force whose great age makes it powerful. The idea of ancient magic draws on a scholarly tradition and on the idea that there is an ancient body of wisdom and formulas that only the wisest people know and utilize. Old magic establishes morals, and idealizes a past when humans and wizards understood the mystical potential of noble actions. Here, Voldemort summons his own interpretation of old magic in order to combat the old magic that stripped him of his power and left Harry with a scar.