Chapter Fifteen: Beauxbatons and Durmstrang


The morning after hearing from Sirius, Harry wakes early and tiptoes to the Owlry, where he sends a letter to Sirius, disclaiming his scar pain and telling him to stay where he is. Days pass with no response, and in defense against the dark arts, Professor Moody places the Imperius Curse on the students in order to teach them to ward it off. The students do strange things under Moody's control, and when it is his turn, Harry feels the loveliest, most unconcerned feeling. He hears Moody order him to jump on the table. Harry prepares to jump, but then considers why he should do what Moody is telling him, and so he crashes into the table while deciding whether to jump or not. Moody is delighted.

Classes get busier. Near the end of October, a poster informs the students that the delegations from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang will be arriving on October 30 in the evening. A Hufflepuff boy reads the sign and says that he should alert Cedric Diggory. Hermione and Ron argue about whether Cedric is intelligent or not. Hermione believes he is, and Ron accuses Hermione of liking Cedric only because he is handsome. Hermione continues with S.P.E.W., which most people think is a great joke, and Harry receives word from Sirius that he is indeed coming and will stay well hidden.

On the 30th, the Hogwarts students line up to welcome the guests. Beauxbatons arrives in a great flying carriage, and from the carriage emerges the Headmistress, Madame Maxime, an oversized and attractive woman who greets Dumbledore and then leads her underdressed, shivering students into the castle to warm up. Soon from the lake emerges a great ghostly ship, from which the Durmstrang students, led by the shifty, shrewd-looking Karkaroff, file onto dry land. One of these students, Ron gasps in amazement, is the Bulgarian Seeker, Viktor Krum.

Chapter Sixteen: The Goblet of Fire

As the guest schools file into the Great Hall, the Hogwarts girls are in a great fluster to get Viktor Krum's autograph, just as the boys are fighting to have him sit near them. He winds up sitting at the Slytherin table, but throughout dinner Ron considers offering him a space to sleep in his and Harry's room. The Beauxbatons students scowl and complain, even after an eclectic mix of dishes (to accommodate the nationality of each school) appears on the table. Ron becomes fixated on one of the Beauxbatons girls, whom he thinks looks like a Veela. Hermione is annoyed, but Harry is barely paying attention, as he is busy admiring Cho Chang, a pretty Ravenclaw girl. At the head table, Ludo Bagman and Barty Crouch have arrived to help judge.

Dumbledore introduces the Goblet of Fire to the students and explains that those who wish to enter the Tournament should place their name on a slip of paper inside the goblet; he adds that he has drawn an age line around its perimeter, meaning that no one under the age of seventeen can approach. Dinner ends. As Karkaroff is fawning over Krum and leading the Durmstrang students back to their ship, he notices Harry and stares. Moody approaches and angrily tells Karkaroff not to hold up the line.

The next day, Fred and George use a potion to age themselves, but still the Age Line throws them away, causing them to sprout beards. Everybody is curious to see who enters, and who is selected to compete. That afternoon, Harry, Ron, and Hermione slip over to visit Hagrid, and they are shocked to find that he has dressed in a hairy brown suit, slicked back his hair, and put on some sort of awful-smelling cologne. They all discuss the Tournament and the Skrewts, which have grown and begun to kill each other; Hermione fails in her attempt to persuade Hagrid to join S.P.E.W., and as they all begin to move back toward the castle, Hagrid is distracted by Madame Maxime.

Everybody eats. After dinner, the Goblet of Fire begins to spark, and it spits out slips of paper: Fleur Delacour (the Veela girl) is the champion for Beauxbatons; Viktor Krum for Durmstrang; Cedric Diggory for Hogwarts. When all seems finished, the Goblet spits out another name: Harry Potter.


Rowling establishes a pattern regarding wizards' character. Competent wizards are kind, and poor wizards, are defensive, bullying, and distrustful because they are aware that their own deficiencies can and will be revealed when faced with more powerful wizards. Moody and Dumbledore are virtually invincible. They can act kindly without having students take advantage of them, simply because they are so thoroughly watchful and competent; many times Harry has outsmarted Snape, but students almost never outsmart Dumbledore. Similarly, nobody acts up in Moody's class; they all know better than that. Malfoy has always hated and resented Hermione for being a non-pureblood wizard who gets the best grades in the class; Snape resents Harry, who always outsmarts him. Dumbledore never fights to be right, and he is the one whose leadership is always respected instinctively by the students and other teachers. Moody gains instant respect and renown throughout the school, simply because of his experience and ability as a teacher.

Sexual tension, which is not present in the first three Harry Potter books, is prominent in the fourth. Sirius, Dumbledore, and all of the Hogwarts teachers are presumably single—in fact, the only wizard couples we have been made aware of are Harry's late parents, and the Weasleys. One explanation is the English boarding school setting, where the students' lives are the focus, and the teachers' lives and affairs simply set a backdrop that is not to be examined. Another explanation is that relations between the sexes should enter the picture at Harry's current age, and so at this point in the series, they become important to the plot.

Everybody gawks at Krum because of his talent on the Quidditch field. He is quiet and not particularly attractive, but boys congregate around him seeking his friendship, and girls, seeking his autograph. This appearance poses an interesting dilemma for Harry, who for the first time in his life is part of an audience that is reacting to someone else's fame. He and Hermione seem the most levelheaded about Krum's appearance within their midst, as she is too dignified and intelligent to be impressed, and Harry is standing back while Ron fawns over Krum. Harry has gained a experienced deal of unsolicited attention in his life, over his infant defeat of Voldemort; he is used to seeing people stare at his scar and whisper about him behind his back, and here we see the full absurdity of the fame-hungry throngs admiring a hero. It is no surprise that Harry and Krum do not initially pursue each others' friendship, but that they ultimately get along well; they are living in very similar public circumstances. Ron is painted badly in his excitement about Krum. He has always been a deeply loyal friend to Harry, seemingly unconcerned with Harry's status in the wizard world, but in his blind adoration for Krum, as well as his coming anger with Harry for becoming a champion, Ron loses a bit of credibility as an unconditionally supportive friend.