Greetings, from Dogpatch (Skin Deep #3)

Image result for greetings from dogpatch skin deep book cover

 

This isn’t a mistake. I wasn’t thinking about whether there would be novels for the first two, so I’m beginning my review with the third, but the fact I’ve read this many should warm anyone else who hasn’t heard of this STELLAR online comic, and I may even perhaps go back eventually and review the first two for funsies. The bugbear Myra, Eustace – a fox spirit, Marshall the raven spirit, and Gabe the angel are currently driving into Arkansas in May, this being 2005. Myra is quite annoyed by her passengers and complaining about the reason Gabe is even along for the ride when he could fly, Eustace unable to shed light on his reasons, nor why he took the skull which had been given to a demon by Myra (this all being explained, here). Their next conversation has to do with whether Gabe is male or female, until he/she puts a stop to it, and they continue on their ride to Dogpatch.

When parking, Gabe notes how they had to get down there in an odd fashion, Eustace explaining how a tram used to be lowered down to the theme park when it was still open, a dryad currently keeping the place well hidden, even though it was right off the highway. After Myra points out how a Bigfoot was currently watching their movements, Gabe steps up to get the attention of whoever lived there, wanting to speak to the big kahuna, a chickadee, Hank with a shotgun sporting a trucker hat popping out near his feet. Myra’s had enough and states how Bigfoot let them pass, even though Hank was confused by how the group hadn’t been stopped, she then telling of only being there to pick something up and would be out of there quickly, since the place didn’t seem right. Marshall then steps up to vouch for Gabe being cool and they wanting to speak to Old Ivory about the guards.

Hank takes Gabe’s word when showing him the “nightmare” he was attempting to weed out the owner of, so Hank leads them all to where Old Ivory is, Marshall and Eustace then discussing how they agreed with Myra’s instinct about Dogpatch being out of the ordinary. The two then get into the last time Michelle and crew had run into the nightmare which was then related to the demons which were setting them up (Orientations and the One Eyed Bear being reference, the links, above). Hank then can’t stop himself from gabbing at Gabe due to not having ever been in the presence of an angel before and deciding to relate the communities history of where they traveled and how they picked up their guards. Then, before Hank could get into it, Gabe shuts down any questions he may have on religious topics and so Hank instead goes in to inform Ivory, a woodpecker of his visitors.

Gabe then interrupts to toss the nightmare into Ivory’s hands, he not knowing how the skull could’ve gotten to Missouri, nor how the demons picked it up, they having been searching for “her” for some months. Ivory then states how he’d been training some animals to take over his jobs when he was no longer there, Gabe inquiring into how he’d believed spirit animals were incapable of death, but Ivory’s case was due to most of the specific sort of woodpecker he represented had been dying out, and he was on the verge of being done, so he’d been having the other animals take care of the daily tasks whilst he trained them for the long-term workload, and Ivory didn’t have any hard feelings for humans causing the death of his species due to his long lifespan and curiosity of what came next.

After Ivory calls over the two who had been handling the responsibilities, but only one, Ricky arriving since the other, Obi was taking care of some specific sort of task, he apparently not being responsible for her disappearance, and they figuring she’d run away. Gabe asks a few pressing questions which suggested they hadn’t done much to aid the recovery of the nightmare, but Ricky makes clear how they’d been quite worried, and was annoyed when learning Gabe had found the nightmare a little while ago and hadn’t brought her back sooner, they then hearing a scream, Ricky believing Obi was in trouble and hoping the Howler didn’t have him. When they approach his yells, they see Myra looking pissed and relating how Obidiah was the cause of everything being off, and was getting ready to let the Howler out on them all, they thinking she’d gone crazy, but she adamant of Obi’s intentions being ill and making clear, bugbears were impossible to deceive.

Gabe questions further on Obi’s attitudes being odd recently, the critters confirming he’d been acting ill when the nightmare had left, but was working even harder as of lately, Obi agreeing he’d been getting too tired from work and pled to be released from Myra’s grip. Gabe then agrees Obi should be let down, but surprises everyone by bringing out his own weapon, Damien the demon then showing himself and looking pissed. As Gabe attempts to learn more about why Damien was turning up and seemingly trying to get closer to Michelle, Damien’s smart ass answers are getting on Gabe’s nerves, he making him pay for it with more pain. When Damien finally gives him a reason for the “Dark Lord’s” reason for tracking Michelle, Gabe is again thwarted by Damien’s resistance in divulging more. Gabe then tears Damien out of Obi, Gabe turning on the group of creatures to learn whom had figured out their close friend had been infested and no one stepping forward, Gabe properly pissed, and when inquiring if Myra had sensed any other demons about, she confirming there were none.

Then Obi describes how he hadn’t any control over himself and what it had felt like, not recalling much of anything whilst he’d been overtaken. Hank then elaborates about the caves nearby when Gabe considers how quickly the demons seemed to be able to return upon his sending them to hell, and demands Obi show him to this “not much sink” cave. Gabe then explains how hellmouths work and the one in the cave being shut could waylay a demon fairly well. After Obi shows where the cave was, he meekly asks to go, since he didn’t want to tempt another demon with his bod, Gabe agreeing to this, he then divvying out tasks for the other creatures whilst he dealt with what was within the cave, the one for Eustace being hilarious and adorably simple.

Marshall notes his tone to Eustace, but Gabe dismisses him what with not feeling he should have to keep an eye on him for he not being a fighter, Marshall and Myra following him deeper into the cave. Soon they approach an orange oozing mess from their high vantage point, Myra stating of it most likely being part of the cause for the odd senses she’d gotten from the place. Gabe then suggests Myra help him deal with some demons whilst Marshall brought along some buddy birds to draw attention, a view of an oddly shaped hole with what look like teeth coming out of the ground shown, which then reveals why a hellmouth is named as such. Myra is hella happy to do her duty and Gabe encourages her to do so, since some demons were currently taking the opportunity to crawl into the world, Marshall using his birdy friends to distract them as Myra walks up, big bear form ready to do some damage.

As Myra baits one of the creatures, Gabe stabs the other and takes a smoke break, the crows, meanwhile, do their job of flying about, but many also get too close to the teeth and are smushed. Gabe then steps up to attempt another phrase in whatever language which is shown, chopping at the hellmouth head right after another demon comes out, whom apparently was a bunch of other demons’ distractions, but fortunately, Gabe commands Marshall to continue his attack at the mullet demon and Myra informs Gabe of their coming,  so he begins saying some more magic speak. Damien had returned once more, and his buddy Mikhail upon seeing Myra, ditches the crew when one of the others suggest they attack them, but Myra gets up in Mikhail’s face as he explains how he didn’t want to fool around with her or Gabe. As Myra has the demon in a bear hug, another demon is looking irritated about their hellmouth dying, but as Gabe is fighting another, the little demon pushes Gabe into the hellmouth as it makes one last roar of defeat (to be fair, I’m feeling a little badly for the hellmouth, it didn’t do nuffin’ and Gabe takes him out easy as lemon meringue).

This new development pauses Myra and Marshall, but they then see Gabe’s spear pierce through the hellmouth, and when he emerges looking grim, one out of three of the demons have booked it, the other two standing and staring in shock. This definitely doesn’t help the two though, since Gabe lets out his anger and envelops them in holy light, Myra properly impressed. Gabe turns on her and notifies of the demon she’d been cuddling had escaped, Mikhail still sprinting for freedom, and feeling close to success when seeing the outside, but upon climbing the rock face out, realizes his strolling out into the world won’t be so cut and dry. As Gabe, Marshall, and Myra rush off after him, Eustace is looking pleased and gives props for Gabe having thought to give him his coat to hold, this being the item which had recaptured Mikhail (who has a multiple way of spelling his name, apparently), and Eustace not catching the look of surprise on his face. As Mikhail pleads for Gabe to let him stay, the latter gives him the opportunity to make himself useful with the need for information, but Mikhail has none to offer, so Gabe takes him out. He then relates now the hellmouth was closed in the area, the demons would have a more difficult time coming back, and wouldn’t be able to do so anywhere near Dogpatch. Eustace and Marshall also inquire if Michelle was still in danger, Gabe’s answer not a comforting one, and when Myra states she still didn’t understand Gabe, he was cool with it.

Another interesting episode, and onward I go!

 

Advertisements

Castle Waiting (Issue #1, Bone Crossover)

Image result for castle waiting issue #1 book cover

 

I had said in a previous post how I was interested in reading more from this series, and it looks as if I now have the ability, the first issue having been included in the collection of Bone I have, ha ha! Success!

The story follows a princess, whom runs away from home and holes up in a desolate un-remembered castle. This story, called Solicitine Part One, opens with a goose-looking face-masked doctor ordering someone to be still, the person flinching with fear and getting hurt in the process. Then it’s shown the doctor was cutting a boy’s hair and apparently could not make it through the process without the doctor clipping his ears a bit, the doctor not taking the blame and saying the boy had unusually large ears to begin with. His mother attempts to support the boy by suggesting he do his best to stay still, another goose-fellow, Rackham noting how rainy it was, and Jain would now have to wait longer to get her new room, she complacent with this fact. Jain declares how wet days were perfect for haircut scheduling, and the boy, Pin had been requiring one, the two then discussing how similar he was to his father. Jain is then shocked by a woman whom she didn’t notice at first had facial hair, the bearded woman asking her if she planned on getting her haircut next, Jain having a double-take which the lady states how she’d get a kick out of the face she was pulling if she could see it. Jain recovers and laughs at herself, the woman declaring she must not know of the Solicitine nuns, Jain agreeing, having thought bearded women stuck with the circus crowd.

The woman states of having been with a circus, as well, Jain ready to hear a good story about it as the woman readied to get her hair cut, she agreeable to giving her background, and starting with her home village, in a town where the only pub being owned by her father, Tom Warren, she being christened Peaceful Hortense Elaine Warren, and helping him in the pub when she was learned to walk and could carry drinks. As she got older, she stuck with her idea of taking after her father and planned on running the pub, her mother certain she wouldn’t be allowed for eventually getting married and keeping house, Peaceful certain her husband could keep the house whilst she ran the pub. Her father would attempt to calm her mother down, he believing she was fine where she was and working at the pub would put her out there to potential mates, her mother not thinking her daughter’s plan was realistic. Peaceful certainly had plenty of men flocking to the place, and all of them were happy to socialize with her, the only problem was they spoke to her as a buddy of there girl problems, she helping them out with advice and gathering a loyal following of men who took her advice and found success. Then, one day, Peaceful noticed some fuzz on her face, and it would always grow back, her mother distraught of her fate now sealed on remaining single. Fortunately, the new addition to her looks didn’t stay a surprise to the men who came in, they quickly resuming their usual respects to her, until a couple travelers couldn’t get over seeing a bearded woman outside a circus.

Peaceful was shocked to learn bearded ladies worked in other forums, not having gone to a circus before, she attracted to the idea from this point forward, imagining how interesting it would be to travel elsewhere, she keeping it in mind until overhearing from some other travelers of a show setting up in a town not too far away, she taking advantage of the distance and leaving the same night. Jain is shocked how quickly Peaceful did what she’d wanted, the latter agreeing her resolve may have changed if she’d spoken with her father first, but she had visited since then and they were the same as they had been. When Peaceful gets to the circus and a friendly worker allows her to see a show of what bearded lady they had as their show-runner looked like, she views the woman in a Cleopatra get-up and would have been a hard act to over-run, she also being the owner’s wife. Peaceful realizes she didn’t have a chance, she then introducing herself when the worker asks, she inquiring whether there was other work she could get hired for, Reggie Aleman remembering how his wife had been after him to get a girl to help around with their tent, Peace realizing this could be a good situation for all involved. So, ironically she became a barmaid once more, in the circus, but she moving up quickly enough, the interesting side to her work being to check out the gaming tables, she having a good eye for the gamer’s sleight of hand, Reggie having her start training quite abruptly. Peace was quickly brought in to the fold of the close family relationship people had being in the circus, except for the owner Lint and his wife, she having to stay separated from everyone else on Lint’s orders.

One day though, as Peace was sweeping up outside, she’s approached by Lint’s wife, whom was happily surprised to see another bearded woman around, Peace shocked she spoke English because of her act being Egyptian, the woman stating Lint had made it up for her, she introducing herself as Mabel and confessing Peace was the first bearded lady she’d met, Peace saying the same, and then Mabel deciding they should be best friends, Peace agreeing. Lint then walks up, and acting all high and mighty, attempts to quash the friendship, but Mabel wasn’t going to give in quite so easily to this one, he backing off and instead stating she should get inside a half an hour before customers milled about. From then on, Peace and Mabel, whom she called Nessie, a nickname from her stage name, were thick as thieves, Peace now having a confidante, and when confiding to Nessie of how her work wasn’t as satisfying anymore, Nessie certain it’s because she didn’t have a husband, Peace getting an example how wrong she was when a man walked in asking for her advice. Peace wouldn’t have been opposed to a little courting, though, so when she’d seen Reggie turn away a young man whom had been interested in Nessie, Peace got a little hot over how he hadn’t thought to introduce her, Reggie taken aback for a moment, but then explaining how Nessie was a special sort, Peace noting this, as well.

Nessie soon shares the problem she was currently having with Lint, he having promised Nessie and her father his plan to settle down with her and begin a family, but now he wouldn’t even entertain the idea to speak of it with her, she not even getting a chance to talk with him when the circus closed, since they were occupying separate wagons. Peace convinces her she should insist speaking with him one night, Nessie empowered and planning to do so, but overhearing a conversation between Lint and a girl about his true feelings about her and she only being used for lucrative interests. Nessie, upset goes to Peace, whom was on duty, but directs Nessie to meet her in back, concerned by her pain, and was livid when Nessie confides what she’d heard, Peace declaring Nessie shouldn’t be doing her show, but would think of a solid plan, having Nessie pretend everything was fine until she did. Nessie now comforted, goes back to her wagon, a plan soon coming in the form of two men wanting to speak with Peace one night, they thinking she knew of the Abbess at St. Wilgeforte’s, the two explaining what the convent did. Peace brought this good news to a much elated Nessie, the former planning on they making their escape as the circus moved on, she feeling some guilt for planning to leave again without warning Reggie, like how she had with her father, but finishes helping pack up for Reggie on the day she scheduled them to run off. Peace then joins Nessie in her wagon, she having difficulty leaving her pretty dress, Peace lightening her mood so she’d let it go. Nessie pretends to be sick when Lint runs into her, successfully leaving without suspicion, unfortunately, Peace’s escape had been witnessed by Lint’s dumb girlfriend, but she not speaking up quickly, so they not getting any trouble until later on.

Not a bad beginning, especially upon realizing Castle Waiting follows the progression of a community for about three decades, like One Hundred Years of Solitude, except not as dark and obviously not so many years. This story is based on the Brother’s Grimm story, St. Solicitous. Then, the short of Bone’s and Castle Waiting is next!

The Bones are lost again, Phoney complaining about missing his cash, since all anyone ever used were eggs. Smiley then points out the sign with Castle Waiting on it, Phoney seeing the bright side of royalty of a castle definitely working with more than poultry for bartering. Phoney makes a racket as he insists on speaking with a king, a horse, Sir Chess, the Knight Destrier opening the door and not understanding what he was going on about. Phoney busts in and looks for someone kingly, he asking a beaked fellow, Rackham the Adjutant if he was the one they were looking for and requiring assistance. Rackham allows they could definitely help in some way, then offering tea and snacks, Fone politely grateful, but then getting tickled by polterspritz as Phoney asks for cash so they could return home. Rackham ponders their issue and eventually suggests they could do odd jobs until making enough to get back, Phoney making certain they paid in bills (not of the bird nature, HA! No pun intended), and became quite upset when discovering they also used eggs, since they were in the country. Phoney urges the other two off and running, Rackham wondering if they would have changed their minds if they’d known he was referring to gold eggs, Chess certain it wouldn’t have, they must not liking breakfast-related foods.

Not a bad side-story, at all! I’ll be looking forward to reading more, once finishing my other graphic novel needs. Now to continue with Rose.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Year Four)

Image result for harry potter and the goblet of fire book cover

The locals of Little Hangleton have continued to refer to a particular home as “the Riddle House”, even though the family hadn’t resided there in years. With time, the house was showing its age, the older locals still sharing stories about an odd and terrible occurrence, the facts being lost with so many retelling’s, but a couple certainties remaining: it happened fifty years ago in the summer, the maid discovering the three Riddles having perished. The maid hastily goes to town and tells as many people as possible, the constabulary eventually are notified, the town curious more than empathetic, the Riddles not being well-liked. Everyone was mostly wondering whom had killed them, the townsfolk congregating to the local pub to share their thoughts, the Riddles chef coming in to update them of a Frank Bryce, the Riddle’s gardener, being brought into custody, no one believing he could have been the culprit, but the chef explaining how Frank had the means to enter the house, and the townspeople convincing themselves he could’ve done the deed.

By the next morning, in Great Hangleton, Frank was denying guilt and speaking of seeing a teenage boy the night of the deaths, the police not buying it, but after the bodies had been examined, the report stating of nothing in the norm having killed them, all three in peak health, and no evidence of Frank’s involvement, he’s released and continues living in the cottage on the grounds, staying beyond the two families who’d moved in and out fairly quickly, neither feeling comfortable staying. The most recent owner didn’t live in the house or repaired it, speculation being it was kept for “tax reasons”. Frank was still paid to tend the garden, he dealing with hoodlums vandalizing the house. One night, Frank notices lights inside the house and suspects a fire had been kindled, he going off to investigate, noting no signs of a break in, and unlocking the fairly hidden back door. Even whilst not having been inside the house for quite awhile, he still knew the layout well, he listening for movement as he climbed the stairs.

Once on the second level, he could clearly see where the light was coming from, the door slightly open, he realizing the fire had been lit in the fireplace, and a man inside was speaking of more liquid still within a bottle if the other man was still craving sustenance, the second man declining, his voice unnerving to Frank, whom then hears the first man being referred to as Wormtail, he placing a chair close to the fire. The second man asks after Nagini, Wormtail informing she’d gone exploring, the second man commanding she be milked, for the second man’s hunger to come later in the night. Wormtail inquires to the length of their stay, it being a week or more, they not moving until the Quidditch World Cup was done. Frank didn’t recognize the reference to Quidditch or the other magical world words, as the second man explained why moving would bring possible attention. Frank now figures the men he was eavesdropping on could be spies or criminals, Wormtail then offering the possibility of their plan working without Harry Potter, it getting done more efficiently, the second man seeming to consider, until relating how his health would fail without constant care, he sensing Wormtail’s reluctance to aid him other than for necessity.

Voldemort then refers to himself in the third person, and explains why Harry Potter would be waited upon, Wormtail then urgently relating his issues of having to kill someone else, but Voldemort mentioning how he wouldn’t have commanded it if he were stronger, he sharing how he was waiting on his loyal servant to arrive, Wormtail taking offense. Voldemort expands on this other person’s value out-ranking Wormtail at least in two ways, but when Wormtail reminds him of the valuable asset of the woman he’d brought to him, the latter agrees and decides to honor his deed with a task most of his worshipers would clamor for, Voldemort not revealing what it was, only of it being near the conclusion of their plan.

Meanwhile, Frank was realizing the seriousness of whom and what he was listening to, he deducing Harry Potter being in trouble if this psychopath was after him, but he staying to listen rather than follow his instinct to phone the police. He overhears not as useful information as Voldemort suspects hearing Nagini returning, Frank frozen upon seeing the large snake and being trapped by either moving into the occupied room or being murdered by the reptile. Fortunately, the snake passes him without acknowledging his presence, he sensing Voldemort was speaking to the snake, and afterward informing Wormtail of the elderly Muggle standing outside the door, Wormtail opening the door wide, and Voldemort inviting him in. Frank gains courage upon learning what Voldemort had called him, attempting to have him believe he told someone his whereabouts, but Voldemort not taken in. Frank demands Voldemort face him, which Voldemort acquiesces, Wormtail turning his chair, and Frank horrified by the sight, Voldemort killing him. Two hundred miles away elsewhere, Harry awoke, startled.

Harry calms after his clear dream, his scar feeling hot, puts his glasses on and notes his scar still hurt him, he checking in the mirror and seeing no change, only pain. Then he attempts recalling the realistic dream, remembering seeing Wormtail and Voldemort, the view of the latter waking him, or possibly by the stinging of his scar. He vaguely recollects their discussion of murdering someone and he being next. He then peers out his window, and when returning to sit on his bed, is troubled by the thought of his scar hurting him when Voldemort was nearby, he not certain whether to believe this was an option. He’s momentarily startled by a snore from Dudley, talking himself out of his unreasonable suspicion.

Harry also thought about how pointless it would be confessing to the Dursleys of his stresses, he instead focusing on he being able to begin school in two weeks, and considering how Hermione would respond if he’d shared of his scar bothering him, he also musing on the idea of Dumbledore going somewhere sandy and sunny for the summer, as well as how he’d describe his situation, then wondering about Ron’s reaction, this scenario not panning out either. Which then led to thinking of when they’d invite him over and not wanting to taint it possibly unnecessarily with worry over his scar. Once realizing whom he truly should contact being Sirius, he started his letter whilst being pained with the knowledge of how close he’d come to being rid of the Dursleys. Harry had been sent two letters from Sirius thus far, his tone sounding positive and the birds sent, brightly plumaged, so once completing his reply, which included information about Dudley and his treatment from the Dursleys, he had to await Hedwig’s return from her grub-getting, he readying to go down to breakfast.

Harry enters with all 3 Dursleys already seated, he being ignored as he joins them, Petunia giving Dudley slices of grapefruit, the tension being believed to have come from Dudley’s shit report card, and the issue which was bothering them not being by his grades or bullying, but from the school nurse informing them Dudley had reached the limit of fitting into the school uniform, so now the family ate the same diet as he was assigned, Harry’s portions smaller to make Dudley feel better, but Harry having called the aid of his buddies to provide tummy fillers, Mrs. Weasley’s contributions the most ample, plus the getting of four birthday cakes didn’t hurt the cause. Vernon then goes off to answer the door, they able to hear paper tearing as he returned to command Harry follow him to the living room, he reading the letter having been sent to them about Harry staying with the Weasleys for the rest of the summer and attend the World Cup, the request coming from Molly Weasley, and Vernon not amused by how much enjoyment the postman had gotten during the delivery, the envelope fully covered in stamps with a small spot open for the Dursleys address, Harry remaining quiet for a space before asking if he could accept their invitation.

Vernon struggles visibly with giving his okay to release Harry, considering whether two extra weeks without him was worth more than Harry staying miserable. When Vernon became too close to exploding as their discussion continues, Harry waves the white flag of accepting not going, and needed to complete his letter to his dangerous godfather, Vernon’s expression changes drastically since Harry had put him snugly in a corner, he then giving permission. When Harry returns to his room ecstatically, he notes Hedwig had returned, and irritated about the mini owl zooming around them, a letter from Ron on the floor. Ron had written of a warning to Harry about his mother’s letter and how they’d been planning on retrieving him regardless of the Dursleys answer and would be coming on Sunday. He then mentions Hermione already being there and warning Harry not to say the word “Abroad” in front of Percy since he’d begun working at the Department of International Magical Cooperation. Harry writes his short reply and sends the little owl off, he then completing his letter to Sirius and Hedwig acting more calmly as if to show the mini owl’s manner was unprofessional. Harry then has a piece of cake and was content with soon leaving, his scar not bothering him anymore, Voldemort not seeming enough to get distressed over.

Harry was ready to go by noon, the Dursleys quite stressed by the knowledge of wizards coming, which annoyed them. Vernon states how the wizards better know to dress “normally”, Harry not worried too much about the Weasley kids, but Mr. and Mrs. Weasley tending to don robes, which made him concerned for them in having to listen to Vernon’s uncivility. Vernon dressed formally in order to make him seem powerful and foreboding, Dudley however, was abuzz with nerves what with his last face-to-face with a wizard had brought a piggy tail, so he tended to walk with his back to the wall. They had an untalkative lunch, Petunia seeming to hold back telling Harry off, Vernon then defensively asking whether the Weasleys planned on driving him, Harry uncertain since they hadn’t replaced their old car, he spending most of his afternoon in his room, returning downstairs when the time was closer, but the Weasleys didn’t show at five, Vernon stating of their lateness with heat, Harry even getting edgy when it was nearing half an hour past, Vernon on a tirade of wizards not able to keep appointments well or they most likely having a crap car, Harry in the hall listening whilst the family was in the living room, but then Vernon screams, Dudley rushes to the kitchen, and Harry goes in to hear some Weasleys behind the boarded up fireplace, he relating to Mr. Weasley, Fred, George, and Ron of the Dursleys having blocked the fireplace, Mr. Weasley temporarily distracted by the mention of an “eclectic” fireplace, then deciding he’d have to blast them out, Vernon being naive and ignoring Mr. Weasley’s warning to move away, he only doing so after being covered in soot and the Weasleys emerging, Mr. Weasley attempting politeness by offering to shake Vernon’s hand after identifying he and Petunia as Harry’s relatives, then apologizing for the mess and explaining how he’d gotten a contact to temporarily connect the Dursleys fireplace to the Floo network, and once getting the boys back, would repair the damage and Disapparate.

None of this makes sense to Petunia or Vernon, and as Fred and George retrieve Harry’s trunk from upstairs, Mr. Weasley compliments the Dursleys’ home, Vernon’s face coloring and Petunia biting her tongue again, neither speaking still. When Dudley enters the room once hearing the noise of the trunk coming downstairs, Dudley’s manner made Mr. Weasley think he was mentally ill, again attempting pleasant and polite conversation and still not getting a response, Harry and Ron resisting looking at the other too much for wanting to crack up. When Fred and George reenter, Mr. Weasley sets up the fireplace with a roaring fire, Fred then dropping sweets and picking them up before being first back into the fireplace, George next with Harry’s trunk, then Ron, Harry giving his parting goodbye, not getting a reply and Mr. Weasley stopping him when no one had returned his farewell, Vernon begrudgingly doing so with the threat of Mr. Weasley’s wand convincing him, and as Harry readies to go, he hears Dudley choking, his tongue one foot long, the toffee wrapper on the floor, Petunia trying to pull Dudley’s purple tongue out of his head, which she met with Dudley’s resistance, Mr. Weasley then stating of fixing him, but Petunia getting protective when Mr. Weasley raised his wand, he attempting to explain what was happening to Dudley, but even Vernon losing it and chucking a glass figure at Mr. Weasley, this being the last straw for him and then instructs Harry to leave as Vernon readied to throw another, Mr. Weasley stating he’d deal with them. Harry obeying, but also wanting to witness the madness, he viewing Mr. Weasley exploding the third item aimed at him as Petunia shrieked and Dudley lay underneath her, Harry next seeing the green flames about him.

Harry’s ride is speedy, and when he arrives at the Weasleys kitchen, Fred immediately inquires hopefully about Dudley’s eating the candy, Harry confirms this and the room erupts with laughs, Harry seeing Ron seated with two people he didn’t recognize, but sensed were Bill and Charlie, the eldest Weasleys, the two each greeting Harry with a handshake. When Mr. Weasley popped back, he’s incensed with Fred, whom denies doing anything, Mr. Weasley threatening to out his troublesome prank to Mrs. Weasley, but when she enters, Hermione and Ginny soon to follow, he keeps the prank to himself. Mrs. Weasley not letting it go, so Hermione giving Harry and Ron an out by suggesting they head to Ron’s room, Harry then asking about Weasley’ Wizard Wheezes after hearing Mrs. Weasley mention it, Ron explaining their mother had found purchase forms in George and Fred’s room, he not having known they’d come up with a list of product. Their mother was furious due to this and their O.W.L.s scores being low, Percy then makes an appearance to quiet them, Harry asking after his work and learning his report had to do with regulating cauldron thickness.

After Ron ticks him off, they hear renewed shouting from the kitchen, and when entering Ron’s room, Harry inquires why Ron’s owl was called Pig, learning Ginny had named him Pigwidgeon and Ron couldn’t change it now, so he shortened it, the little bird annoying Ron with his behavior, but Harry knowing Ron’s ways of complaining of his pets which he did truly care for. Then, to cover an unfinished question about Sirius, due to Ginny still present, Hermione notes the loud arguing had dissipated and they should return down to help Mrs. Weasley. When they see she’s alone and angry, she designates tasks to the group to prepare eating in the garden (eleven inside, beyond their capacity). After, Ron and Harry hear Mrs. Weasley rant about the trouble Fred and George would make for themselves if they weren’t careful. She then becomes more irritated when she learns she’d been cooking with one of their fake wands, Ron urging Harry outside to stay out of her warpath. They then see Crookshanks chasing a gnome in the yard, whilst Charlie and Bill were table-fighting each other, Ginny, Fred, George, Ron, and Harry getting entertained, whilst Hermione struggled between enjoyment and worry.

Percy gets them down to business when complaining of noise, and as everyone sits to eat after the loads of food was served, Harry is satisfied with filling his tummy than indulging in conversation, instead listening, Percy discussing his assignment with his father, and his thoughts of the missing Bertha Jorkins, whom was known to get herself lost, but usually resurfaced, Percy giving the Department Head a hard time for not staying on top of it, and Mr. Weasley speaking forgivingly about the situation. Percy gives a fishing line about a highly classified piece of information which no one bites, Ron informing Harry of this song and dance occurring a few times already, as Mrs. Weasley hassles Bill about his new earring and long hair, whilst Fred, George, and Charlie chatted about the World Cup. Harry asking after the current events of what he’d missed over summer. As the early evening sun set, Harry reveled in his full stomach, candle light, and Crookshanks running after hysterically laughing gnomes. Ron then takes this moment of abuzzed concealment to inquire of Sirius once more, Hermione listening intently, and Harry updating them of a possible return message whilst he was there. He then considering sharing the reason for his correspondence, but wanted to maintain the feel-goods of the evening. Then, Mrs. Weasley reminds everyone of the hour and has Harry give his school list to her so she could prepare his items along with the others, the possibility of the World Cup running over almost a week, something to consider.

Harry doesn’t feel like he’d slept much at all before being woken by Mrs. Weasley, the other boys getting ready dazedly, and when meeting Mr. Weasley downstairs, they hear of how Bill, Charlie, and Percy were sleeping in due to apparating to meet them, and when Ginny and Hermione come in, they learn they had a short ways to walk, this having to do with being inconspicuous to Muggles, Mrs. Weasley then catching George attempting to hide mischievous contraband, she uncovering the twins’ attempt at getting their Ton-Tongue Toffees out of the house after their mother had ordered them to dispose of them. The group then starts their trek, Harry learning where and why they were footing to a certain destination. When they get there and begin looking for the Portkey, Mr. Weasley hears someone he knew locate it, they being properly introduced to Cedric from Hufflepuff, Seeker and Captain for their team and his father, Harry getting a bit more attention from Cedric’s dad which was heading in an unpleasantly awkward direction, until the moment came to touch the old boot, as they all did so, Harry feeling a tug, and along with the everyone else, was transported to the place where the match would be held.

Harry’s first to stand, he viewing the moor, two annoyed-looking wizards dressed without fashion sense, like Muggles, Arthur greets one of them as he returned the Portkey, the wizard locating their camp and giving the name of the site manager, and when arriving, noting the man was the only Muggle for  quite a distance. Once they verify the tents they’d reserved, Mr. Weasley has Harry help him decipher the correct amount to pay. The man inquires about whether Arthur was from another country since there’d been others who hadn’t known the proper amount to give, he seeming fixated on the strangeness of people and outfits, a wizard appearing and casting a memory spell on him, the man releasing Arthur’s change and a map. The wizard escorts them away, letting Arthur know how inquisitive this particular Muggle had been needing a charm renewal multiple times per day, the wizard moving along to other duties. As they continued on toward their camp tent, Harry realizes why the Muggle had been suspicious, there being quite a few with unnatural additives to the outer detail of their tents.

Arthur is happy to see the location of their camp being perfectly placed on the other side of the forest where the game would be, Hermione and Harry designated to help put together the tents, Arthur getting a bit too hyperactive with the mallet, but once finished, they noting how tight the tents would be for all ten of them. When Arthur invites them in for a look, Harry is shocked the inside had expanded nicely, Arthur then giving the duty for the trio to get water, Harry experiencing the youngster wizard generation for the first time, the families with quite young children rising earlier, he also becoming aware how widespread the wizard population was. As they walked through the sea of tents, they’re called to by Seamus, whom was with his mother, and buddy, Dean, he relaying how the Ministry was upset by their shamrock decorating of the tent, the trio investigates what the Bulgarians had put on their tents after being informed by Seamus’ mother, it being pictures of Krum, the Bulgarian Seeker, whom Ron states of being a prodigy.

They reach the line to the water after this, overhearing a conversation between two wizards which gives Hermione uncontrollable snickering to the point of retreating until the wizard had gone. When they’d collected their bucketfuls, they meet a few more of their classmates and then upon reaching their own camp, they learn from Fred how Arthur was enjoying his lack of ability in lighting a match, Hermione stepping in to show him how it worked. Then, as the fire heated up enough for the water and other cooking, Arthur chatted to Harry and Hermione about all the Ministry personnel who passed their tent. When they’d begun making food, Percy, Bill, and Charlie turn up, and as they ate, Arthur greets Ludo Bagman, former Quidditch player and Percy’s boss, whom was there to see if anyone wanted to make a bet on the game, Arthur contributing a small amount, and Fred and George going all out, Percy looking on with distaste when Ludo was pleased by the fake wand and it’s quality.

After their business, Arthur asks about Jorkins’ disappearance, Bagman unbothered and claiming to not have the resources to send a search party, they then joined by Crouch, whom Percy was obviously in awe by, he acting so reverently, Fred and George strangling themselves on their tea with enjoyment. Meanwhile, Crouch spoke with Arthur about another business associate whom wanted to export carpets, Bagman getting cut off by Crouch before revealing some fact involving Hogwarts, even Arthur keeping the details to himself after Fred had asked him about it when Crouch and Bagman had left. As the sky became darker once more, magic overpowered the Ministry’s ability to stop it, Apparating being common for souvenir sellers. The trio went around collecting little trinkets, Harry getting the three of them omnioculars, then returning to camp to see Arthur had gotten himself an Irish flag, and Ginny, Charlie, and Bill had green rosettes (Harry could’ve gotten the twins some omnioculars, as well to make up for the Marauder’s Map, but maybe he’ll return the favor in some other way, hopefully), then Arthur ushers them to the field when hearing a loud gong.

The group, along with the other spectators, walk through the woods which takes twenty minutes, everyone talking excitedly, and when Harry sees the outside of the forum, knows it’s a vast space, Arthur supplying the 100,000 guests it could accommodate, he then getting the instructions to locate their box, at the top and midway from either side of the goal posts. Harry is entranced by the slowly filling-up stadium, noticing a blackboard with advertisements being written by an invisible hand, he seeing a creature seated in the row behind them after, thinking at first it was Dobby, but it turning out to be some other, female house elf, called Winky, she sharing how she knew Dobby and updating Harry with how he now insisted on being paid for his work, which she attempts to convince Harry of this being a negative quality to his freedom, putting this and other uncommon ideas into Dobby’s head. As for Winky, she’d been sent to save her master a seat, the area agitating her fear of heights, Hermione then sharing how there would be a pre-game show, of sorts with the teams mascots.

Meanwhile, as their box filled with important wizards, Percy gets up so often out of respect, it looked like his seat was hot, he looking enviously at Harry when Fudge greets him warmly. Then, unrelated master to Winky, the Malfoys walk in, Draco’s mother, Narcissa first being met. Lucius coldly asks how Arthur had gotten his seats when Fudge goes through introducing some of those present, he not hearing Lucius’ veiled insulting inquiry, but Fudge stating how Lucius’ donated contribution to a hospital had gotten he and his family in as Fudge’s guests. When they sit, Bagman bursts in to inquire if the Minister was set to begin, he then magically amplifying his voice so all could hear him, he welcoming the crowd and presenting the Bulgarian teams mascots, the veela, Harry soon understanding Arthur’s pleasured response as they filed out and danced. The creatures put them in a trance which left the boys turning on their team, Ron starting to shred his hat, but Arthur stopping him. Then Ireland’s side shoots out a shamrock whipping around and showering the place with gold coins, leprechauns within. After, the Bulgarian team is listed, each player flying out, then the Irish side, and when the referee comes out, the game starts promptly, Harry using his omnioculars to test the play-by-play feature and having the moves listed (see, Quidditch Through the Ages), but Harry misses the first goal for Ireland because of his slow motion viewing, and so is sure to watch the game through real-time, instead.

Then, with Ireland ahead thirty points and Bulgaria at ten, Krum fakes out Lynch with pretending to see the Snitch, and Lynch hits the ground, but is revived and the game goes on. Ireland pulls ahead at 130-10 under half an hour, the Bulgarians getting more nasty and soon being fouled, the veela responding to the leprechauns by dancing, and affecting the referee, whom when brought to his senses, wants to send away the veela. Two of the Bulgarian players argue with him, giving Ireland another penalty in their favor, the veela become more hostile when the leprechauns goad them, everyone distracted, including the referee when the veela set his broom tail aflame which is also when Krum gets knocked in the face with a Bludger and Lynch spots the Snitch. Krum is on his tail though, he catching it, and Ireland at first not noticing the scoreboard, they winning by ten points. Ron doesn’t get why Krum had ended the game before getting ahead, Harry supposing he must have known the Irish Chasers were better than them, the Quidditch Cup then brought to their box. The Bulgarian team then enters and shakes the Ministers hands, the Irish team being given the Cup and taking a second victory lap, Bagman then having the twins to deal, due to they wanting to settle their bet.

Arthur starts by discouraging any mention of gambling to Molly, Fred and George quite willing for their own plans for the cash. When they return to their camp, they speak of the match until Ginny passes out, Arthur having everyone turn in, he relieved he wasn’t on duty to handle the Irish’s late celebrating, and Harry fantasizing incorporating the moves he’d seen. Later, Harry’s rudely awakened by Arthur shouting for him to grab a jacket and leave the tent, yells being heard outside along with running, Harry sees a marching crowd approaching and destroying tents as they walked. When they get closer, Harry recognizes the site manager and, who he presumed was his family immobilized in mid-air above the marchers, Arthur ordering them into the woods until he came for them, he off to aid the Ministry. Ron trips whilst they hurry off, and Malfoy of course turns up to comment, he then stating how they may want to move along before Hermione was noticed, the boys having a back-and-forth of insults before Hermione finally encourages the two to move along, but Fred, George, and Ginny are nowhere in sight, along with Harry’s wand, which he realizes is missing when he checks his pockets as Ron and Hermione took their out for light.

The two then begin suggesting the possibilities of where it could be or what had happened, Harry feeling exposed without it. Winky then appears, running awkwardly, Hermione feeling badly for house-elves living conditions, Ron taking a “lazy” viewpoint until more loud noises get them going again, eventually seeing young men wizards around a trio of veela, Harry and Hermione having to lead Ron away, they walking to a more secluded part of the wood, they running into Bagman, whom hadn’t known about the mob and Disapparated. Hermione is first to notice someone approaching, the three then hearing what seemed to be a spell accompanied by a green light which turned out being the sign of Voldemort, which Hermione explains, they attempting to leave, but wizards Disapparating around them. Harry has them all duck as they’re shot at with a stupefying spell from all, Arthur shouting a halt when seeing Ron, Mr. Crouch coming at them with accusations of one of them having to be responsible for the sign, but Hermione confessing where the voice they’d heard had come, Cedric’s father going out for a look, and returning with Winky, Crouch disbelieving she could’ve been the culprit and looking around, they noting how she’d gotten a hold of a wand, Bagman returning and wondering what had gone on.

Soon, they’re inquiring Winky of her part, Harry then realizing she had his wand, and when they’d tested to see what the last spell had been used with it, they see a replication of the green skull. Diggory accuses the elf again, Arthur bringing the logic of how unrealistic the claim was, Crouch then requesting Diggory allow him to handle Winky’s punishment, she terrified through all of this, and then inconsolable when learning Crouch was planning on freeing her, Arthur then getting them out of there, he planning on expanding on all which had occurred. They run into some wizards back at camp wanting an update for what was found, but Arthur had no information to share, they getting back to the tent and finding everyone else present, they discussing Winky and the Dark Mark not having been viewed for thirteen years. The Death Eaters, supporters of Voldemort, having gotten away when the Mark had risen, Arthur ending their conversation after thoroughly discussing the possible reasons someone would want to magic the Mark, he having them try to rest before getting a Portkey back. Harry doesn’t get to sleep easily this time, wondering about the events and relation to his burning scar.

Arthur had them pack up after a nap amount of time, the group seeing the site manager on their way out, he looking stuporous and vacantly wishing them a happy Christmas. Arthur attempts to reassure the group he’d be fine, this reaction from the large forgetting they had to place on him. When they reach the Portkey area, other witches and wizards are already there to leave, as well, Arthur lucky to double up with Basil, and the gang being met by Molly when they reached the Burrow, she having read the news in the paper, relieved everyone was alright, and squeezing Fred and George in a hug for how their last meeting had ended, Arthur then leading her back to the house, and after spiking her tea, reads the half fabricated article, he feeling partially responsible, since he’d been the one heard not giving information when he’d emerged from the woods, deciding he should make an appearance at the office, Percy excited to accompany to turn in his report on cauldrons. Harry asks Molly if Hedwig had come with mail, which piqued Ron and Hermione’s interest, they excusing themselves to Ron’s room, Harry finally confessing to the two about his scar, and then explaining why he’d asked about the post, the news relieving Ron, whom offered they play Quidditch to take their minds off of everything, Harry agreeing.

Over the next week, Percy and Arthur are kept busy at the office with late hours, Percy sharing of all the Howlers they’d been getting, and after some idle chat, Arthur returning to inform how the article writer had discovered Bertha missing and this being covered in tomorrow’s paper. When Arthur mentions how lucky it was the writer hadn’t learned of Winky, Percy puts his two cents in about Winky being feckless, but innocent, Hermione speaking up about how it should be Crouch’s conduct toward elves which should be in question, Percy again defending his position, Molly finally having all go check to see if they were packed. As Ron and Harry organize there suitcases, Molly comes in with their clean robes, Harry having found all his new textbooks and allowance Molly had gotten for him, Ron asking why she’d left a lacy dress, she telling this was his dress robe, another requirement for this year, Harry’s not looking so frilly. He thinks how he would gladly give half of his savings to the family, but was certain they’d refuse, Ron currently stubborn about ever wearing his and be more willing to wear nothing, Molly giving up and asking Harry to take a picture so she could have a laugh, and after leaving, Pig choking on an owl treat, giving Ron reason to complain of all his belongings being junk.

The morning they were returning to school had a somberness in the air, Molly calling up to Arthur as Harry was coming downstairs after she’d received an important message from the Ministry to do with Muggles, and Harry unable to believe his eyes when seeing the message by Amos Diggory’s head in flames, Arthur being ordered to deal with the issue before the news reporter heard of it, someone called Mad-Eye causing some trash cans to spew refuse everywhere and jinxing other areas, fortunately, since no one had been effected, the job could be fairly easy for Arthur to aid Mad-Eye’s trouble, he hurrying off to attend to the matter, and Molly sending Diggory off with a bit of buttered toast. Arthur says his farewells, makes sure Molly would be okay taking everyone to the train, then disappears. Harry learns whom Mad-Eye Moody was, he a wizard whom used to work for the Ministry as an Auror, capturing Dark wizards and now plagued with the thought of being tracked by his enemies.

After this, Molly called a few taxis for them, Bill and Charlie coming along to see them off, the Muggle drivers having quite a time with the luggage, the trio glad to make it to the station, since Crookshanks was rattled by the fireworks in Fred’s trunk going off, Charlie hinting seeing them soon and unable to disclose more due to Percy and its classified Ministry status. Bill also mentions how he may drop by because of what was in store for the bunch, Molly hinting some rule having been amended and the kids confused by their statements, the train then leaving. As they settle in their booth and Ron wonders aloud what everyone was referring, Hermione quiets him for hearing Malfoy next door speaking of another school called Durmstrang, she sharing how wizarding schools tended to keep their location secret, but she thinking the school was in the North due to the uniforms including fur. As they travel and chat, other buddies of the three come by to greet them and talk of the World Cup, Malfoy of course dripping in, noticing the dress robe Ron had draped over Pig’s cage, and he also mentioning the secret at Hogwarts, but once discovering they didn’t know, stops speaking of it so he could make fun of how they were in the dark. Ron’s bad mood over this stuck with him through the rest of their ride, Harry greeting Hagrid once they’d arrived at the station, and the trio, with Neville board a carriage to the castle.

As they were driven closer to the door, the storm became worse, everyone rushed for the door when the carriages stopped and were glad to get out of the windy rain, but Ron was first marked with a water balloon, Peeves aiming and reloading at others. McGonagall was first to take notice and attempt to end the balloon raid, but Peeves lets loose the last of them before flying off giggling like a loon. McGonagall urges the now more soaked students to continue forward to the Great Hall where Harry was interested in finally seeing the Sorting, but also hoping it was quick for being famished, he then greeted by his most persistent fan, Colin. After learning Colin’s brother would be Sorted today, he consulted Hermione and Ron on the likelihood he could end up in Gryffindor with his big brother, Hermione informing it wasn’t a guarantee. They then realize some professors were missing from the table, including whomever would take over Defense Against the Dark Arts, whilst Ron also hoped the ceremony would be brief for hunger.

McGonagall leads the first years in, and Colin’s brother, Dennis is drenched and wrapped in Hagrid’s coat, he mouthing to Colin of having fallen in the lake, but looking positively giddy. After this, the hat is brought out and set on a stool going straight into a song of how it had come to be, Gryffindor himself being its origination. When the hat finishes, Harry notices how the song had changed, Ron supplying it was new each year and thought the hat used its twelve months to hatch up the new one. When Dennis gets in to Gryffindor, he immediately tells Colin of what happened on the lake, Colin thinking the giant squid must have pushed him out, the two quite abuzz over this, then Colin getting Dennis to notice Harry, whom attempts to ignore them and watch the rest of the Sorting. Finally, once it ended, Dumbledore gives the go ahead to begin the feast, whilst Nearly Headless Nick tells of how Peeves had almost ruined the feast due to being banned from coming tonight. When Nick mentions the use of house-elves at Hogwarts, Hermione stops eating with shock, Nick informing the house had the largest number in use in Britain, Hermione ending her meal in the middle of the first course.

After meals were through, Dumbledore makes his speech, which included the canceling of Quidditch for something he couldn’t mention for being interrupted by a heavily-scarred man, his one blue eye moving independently from the other, Dumbledore speaking to the man quietly, then introducing him as he sat and begun to eat, this being Professor Moody, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, the usual applauding response only taken up by Hagrid and he, everyone else distracted by Moody’s manner. Harry then mentions to Ron of recognizing the name since Arthur had gone to help him earlier, he also noting Moody’s wooden leg. Dumbledore then gets back on track by announcing the school hosting the Triwizard Tournament which consisted of the best wizards from Durmstrang, Beauxbatons, and Hogwarts to test their skills with magical competitions, but had been stopped due to the death toll during the tourneys in the past, two departments deciding to revive it with rules to keep students safe, he then sharing the glory and prize money bestowed upon the victor. As the students mulled this over eagerly, Dumbledore dashes some of their hopes with the age restriction excluding all under seventeen, he also relating how the other school champs would be joining them for much of the semester, and to be hospitable to their foreign guests, then sending them all to bed. Fred and George debate how to get through since their birthday wasn’t until six months after the tourney was over, asking Harry if he’d want to join if they figured a way around the age cap, Neville even considering, what with his gran making him feel like a failure to his family. Ron mentions of possibly going in on it as well, before they went to sleep, Harry imagining getting in and winning Cho’s favor.

The next morning the storm had passed, the trio studying their new schedules as Fred, George, and their buddy Lee thought of ways to accomplish looking older. As Harry dreaded his double dose of Divinations today, the owls come in for deliveries, he worrying about Hedwig when she wasn’t among them, his distraction only broken with Sprout’s class and showing them what they’d be doing with a plant’s pus, afterward Gryffindor off to Hagrid’s where he would have them raise weird-looking creatures resembling lobsters without shells, Hagrid expecting the students to test out what the creature would eat as their behinds exploded periodically. When they got back to the castle for lunch, Hermione double-timed eating so she could hit the library, afterward Ron and Harry going to their Transfiguration class, Harry getting another reading of the danger he expected coming true when Trelawney comes in.

Harry debates whether her premonition was bullshit and had completely been in his own head when Ron had him come to with everyone staring, Trelawney annoyed, and Ron’s next comment having Harry sense Trelawney had given the class extra homework due to overhearing him. When they’d gotten to the doors of the Great Hall, Malfoy calls Ron out to gloat of Arthur being in the news, making fun of his parents’ picture, Harry coming to Ron’s defense by talking smack of Malfoy’s mother in return, Malfoy firing his wand at Harry, but only barely touching him, and before he could retaliate, Moody transforms Malfoy into a ferret, he then bouncing him on the floor when he attempted to flee, McGonagall finally noticing and putting a stop to it, informing him of the proper course of action for penalizing students. Malfoy was speaking under his breath of his father, and Moody responded with knowing Lucius and giving him a message for him, and also wanting to speak with Snape since he’d known him for a long time, as well, he leading Malfoy away. When they sit, Hermione again double-times her meal to get to the library as Ron ‘framed’ the special memory of ferret Malfoy. Fred, George, and Lee sit next to them and praise Moody on his class, Ron let down in learning they had to wait until Thursday.

The couple days to follow were fairly uneventful, other than Neville liquefying six cauldrons in Potions, Snape developing his retaliation options, Neville assigned a detention involving horny toads posteriors. Ron and Hermione discuss Snape’s moodiness stemming from Moody, Snape’s conduct when in range of the man being to keep his eyes off him. Harry believed Snape was intimidated, whilst Ron became glossy over the re-imagining of Malfoy’s situation as a ferret, but with Snape as a different creature. Harry and classmates were so ready for their first lesson, they had begun waiting before the bell had run for classes, Hermione not showing until right before the class began, Harry sensing her reason involving the library, the three securing seats at the front of class. When Moody arrives, he declares the books weren’t necessary, roll call an unnerving experience as his magic eye located each student as they replied.

Moody starts by sharing of their focus this year being on curses, he confessing he, like the other professors, would only remain for a year, having signed up for the benefit of Dumbledore. He then gets straight into explaining how Dumbledore had given permission for Moody to demonstrate Dark curses, despite the norm being for the earliest year allowed grade 6, and when asking for names of the more frowned upon, Ron answers with the Imperious Curse, Moody showing on a spider he kept in a jar in his desk, it acting like it was in a circus act, the class enjoying it until he reminded them of he able to make the spider do anything he chose. Moody then inquires for another suggestion, Neville giving the answer which was the Cruciatus Curse, Neville uncomfortable for speaking out, Moody starting the curse, another spider he at first makes bigger for easier viewing, this spider contorting with obvious pain, making Hermione yell out for Moody to end it, watching Neville’s scared reaction, Moody shrinking the spider and adding it back to the jar, asking for more call outs. Hermione gets her chance, and reluctantly names “the Killing Curse”, Avada Kedavra, the last spider showing the results, and Harry unnerved, this obviously the one which had been attempted on him.

Moody goes on to explain the three curses shown were considered Unforgivable Curses and would be a one way trip for anyone caught, the rest of the lesson filled with note-taking on the three curses, and when class was done, Hermione leading the two to meet Neville in the hall, he looking traumatized, Moody approaching them all, and kindly offering Neville tea where he’d also be giving him some books to borrow, the trio watching on as Neville seemed to want them to speak on his behalf or join them, but he gets led off alone. The trio were baffled by all this, Ron then chatting about the Avada Kedavra curse until seeing the look Harry had on his face, not speaking anymore until at the Great Hall, changing the subject to beginning their predictions what with how long they’d need to finish. Hermione again rushes off after quickly eating, and as Ron and Harry return to the common room, Harry wonders whether the Ministry would reprimand Dumbledore and Moody for showing the curses to the class, Ron considering how the two usually did as they pleased regardless of rules, so if they were hassled it wouldn’t bother them.

As the boys retrieve their Divination homework, they discover Neville perusing a book Moody had lent him, it on his best subject, plants. When the two return to the common area to start, after an hour, they still hadn’t made a dent, Ron finally changing tactics to making them up, knowing they fared pretty well with this choice before. When most of Gryffindor had left for the dorms, Harry noticed Fred and George quietly working on a parchment, he thinking it could be in regards to the Triwizard Tourney, then hearing George state under his breath, but not enough, which made it seem they would be attempting to talk someone into something, George becoming aware of Harry noticing and the two withdrawing soon after. Hermione comes in a few minutes later sharing how she’d finished her project and wanted them to join her cause called, S.P.E.W., she designating them secretary and treasurer, no one saying a word, what with the baffling news she’d made a club to campaign for the well being of elves. The topic is waylaid by Hedwig’s returning with a reply, but Harry reacting badly since Sirius was on the move, presumably to be near enough to aid him, Harry feeling angry guilt, he going to bed and thinking about how he’d messed up.

 Harry was conscious, early in the morning, of having organized a complete plan overnight, he implementing the first step by writing to Sirius of he having made up his scar bothering him, so he could cancel his trip to Hogwarts, he then going to the owlery and coaxing Hedwig to deliver it, Hermione stating her disapproval over breakfast, Ron convincing her to leave it alone, Harry’s mind already preoccupied and his nerves not any less eased. The usual outlet for Harry’s issues, Quidditch, not being available, was partially replaced by the intensity of classes, Defense Against the Dark Arts taking a turn, what with Moody planning on putting each student under the Imperious Curse, Dumbledore having agreed the students should know how it felt, Hermione speaking up about it being against the law, and Moody excusing her, but she embarrassedly back-pedaling. Harry eventually got his turn, and was almost able to resist, Moody impressed with his strength, planning a second demonstration with him, and not stopping until Harry had been able to throw the curse off.

When class ended and Transfiguration had added to their already bulky amount of assignments, McGonagall reveals it was because their O.W.L.s, whilst not this year, would be coming soon enough, and they needed much more practice if they planned on passing. Harry and Ron had gotten exemplary grades for their homework, but now would have to rack their brains for more, their new task being to list a month’s worth. Their other professor’s assigned similarly cumbersome assignments. After Hagrid’s class let out, Malfoy getting put in his place when Hagrid had told them they’d be coming to see their pet projects on assigned nights, the trio pleased with how Hagrid had handled the brat, Ron and crew noticed a sign regarding the Triwizard Tourney and their classes ending early with the new students’ arrival. This happening in a week kept it a hot topic of conversation, everyone, including teachers on edge over their guests impending visit.

The morning of the new students being expected, the Great Hall was thoroughly decorated (now elves entering my mind whenever menial tasks are mentioned), the trio invading Fred and George’s quiet chat to talk of the Triwizard Tourney, Hermione offering some insight into who would be on the panel of judges due to reading about the history, Ron first to throw her off by having her rant about house-elves, she staying vigilant to her cause, harassing fellow Gryffindors in the common room for donations and memberships. As Ron and Fred ignored her, George reveals how he and Fred had been to the kitchens, and the elves were massively content, Hermione pushing this off of they not being aware of their basic rights, Harry noticing Hedwig had returned, Sirius not having bought his lie, he now hiding in the country and to keep him updated by using different owls. The trio get ready to meet the other students along with the rest of the school, after Potions class, they debating how they’d travel there, Dumbledore first to spot the Beauxbatons flying in first on a giant winged-horse drawn carriage, a large lady the size of Hagrid stepping down, Dumbledore leading the students with applause, her students following, quite cold due to only wearing silk robes, their headmistress leading them indoors. Minutes later the headmaster of Durmstrang had arrived by ship, popping out of the lake, again Dumbledore is greeted kindly, Ron then stating the obvious when Krum steps forward.

Ron is still in awe of Krum being at Hogwarts, having forgotten he was still a student, but he not being the only starstruck kid, girls scrambling for anything to write with for an autograph. The trio get to their table, watching as Beauxbatons sat with Hufflepuffs and still acting chilled which exasperated Hermione, whilst Krum along with fellow Durmstrang students sat at Slytherins table, Malfoy chatting Krum up and agitating Ron. Meanwhile, four seats at the Professors table were being added, Harry wondering who else was expected. When the rest of the students and teachers had entered, Dumbledore made a speech, welcoming them and announcing the tourney opening upon the feast’s end.

When the meal appears, the options are more plentiful, some obviously to the comfort of their guests. Ron is rendered temporarily incomprehensible when a Beauxbatons girl came to inquire if they wanted their French dish, he certain she was a veela, and whilst they ogled, Hermione states the two extra seats at the Professors table had been taken, Crouch and Bagman now present, and when dessert was served, again with a few extra choices, and finished, Dumbledore makes a second speech, introducing the two as judges and organizers, he then calling forward for the bejeweled box, he explaining how Crouch and Bagman had already picked out the students’ tasks which would be implemented throughout the year, the choice for champions being chosen by the Goblet of Fire, which was inside the box. He then describes the time-frame and where it could be located for students to apply, and those not within age range, wouldn’t be able to approach for a spell, after this dismissing the students for curfew.

Fred and George discuss it being possible to hack, and as Harry debates whether he’d join them in attempting to age himself, the trio leaves at the same time as the headmaster of Durmstrang was walking for the Hall exit, Harry allowing the headmaster to pass first, he not at first recognizing him, but has a double-take, having the same reaction as usual. Moody gets him to move along after the headmaster places him as well, with intimidation and distaste, he having blocked the doorway and moving along when Moody brings this to his attention. The next morning, the three wake early, seeing the crowd around the Goblet, Fred, George, and Lee soon turning up to confide having taken their aging potion and about to test it, Fred going first, and when seeing nothing happen, George rushing in after him, but the two then being flung out, their beards sprouting upon landing, everyone including them cracking up. Dumbledore makes himself known and states of they not being the first to attempt this, complimenting their beards and sending them to the Infirmary. When the three get to the Great Hall, they join Seamus and Dean who were discussing possible entrants from Hogwarts, not impressed with the choices, until a Gryffindor girl whom played Quidditch announces to then she’d entered.

After breakfast, Harry suggests they visit Hagrid, Hermione excitedly remembering she hadn’t offered him a S.P.E.W. membership yet, having the boys wait whilst she retrieved her badge box, and after getting to his hut, they see him sporting quite an unaccustomed style, he making tea for them all. Hagrid was also looking forward to the games, he almost revealing the first task, then only stating it’d be fantastic. They spend lunch with him as well, discussing different possibilities for what the tasks could be and which students would be chosen as champions. Hermione didn’t have luck getting Hagrid to join her cause, he explaining the nature of elves and how it wouldn’t help them. When evening set, they readied to join the Halloween feast and hear the choosing of champions, Hagrid tagging along, but when the trio smell his cologne, he quickly washing off, the headmistress of the Beauxbatons along with students, heading to the castle, Hagrid intercepting and then walking with her, leaving them behind, they now understanding why he’d gussied up so oddly. When the feast had started, no one seemed as interested, many anxious to have the drawing begin, and when the time finally came, Dumbledore gives instruction to those who were chosen having to go to another room when their name was called. The first name on parchment was then blown out of the Goblet, Krum first, then the veela-looking girl, Fleur Delacour, lastly Cedric is called, and as he joins the others, Dumbledore is speaking of supporting their champions when another parchment flies out, he calling Harry’s name.

Harry is dumbstruck, unmoving, and disbelieving what he’d heard, no one reacting happily, voices sounding mad gathering in volume. McGonagall speaks with Dumbledore quickly in undertone, Harry finally stating to his shocked table of not having put his name in, but Dumbledore again calls him up, directing him to go through to the next room, none of the adults looking pleased, either. When he’d joined the other champions, he found them standing near a fireplace with witches and wizard portraits surrounding the room, soon all the teachers following Bagman inside, he breaking the news of Harry competing. Soon the professors are discussing how Hogwarts now had two champions being unfair, Dumbledore asking Harry if he’d entered or had gotten an older student to do so for him, Harry denying he’d applied, most everyone not taking his word, and after getting Bagman and Crouch’s opinion, they following the rule book, Harry was meant to compete with the others.

When Karkaroff insists the other school and he were owed one extra champion, Bagman explains the Goblet wouldn’t reignite again until the next tourney. Moody finally makes himself known when Karkaroff threatens to leave, reminding him the magic contract made his suggestion impossible to carry out, then supposing whomever had entered Harry’s name, may have been betting on he not surviving, the two visiting schools not convinced by Moody’s theory of someone most likely having entered Harry’s name under a different school so he’d be chosen regardless, along with a powerful charm to make certain it would work. Once they were out of arguments though, and no one had any acceptable other choices to offer, Crouch, whom looked sick, came closer to deliver their first task, it being about gauging their courage, he stating the date it would happen, and the champions being excused from their tests concluding the year.

Dumbledore then invites Crouch for a drink before he insists on going back to the Ministry, Dumbledore nor Bagman successful in convincing him to stay. The two heads of houses leave with their students first, Harry and Cedric being told to rejoin their houses, Cedric also not believing when Harry insisted he hadn’t entered, granted more lightheartedly than Harry had been experiencing thus far, and when they separate, Harry considers if whomever had added his name was truly attempting to get him killed, how Voldemort could’ve done this whilst being in hiding and waning strength. When Harry gets to the common room, everyone is celebrating and excited, Fred and George first to give props and jealous Harry had succeeded, Ron and Hermione nowhere to be seen in the room, and no one allowing him to retreat upstairs until he insisted after half an hour. When he locates Ron in their room on his bed, Harry realizes he was holding a grudge against him not confiding of entering, making him mad his best friend didn’t even believe him.

Harry had a sense of foreboding upon waking, forgetting temporarily why this could be, then realizing he’d wanted to convince Ron of his innocence, but having missed him, already at breakfast, Harry still getting applause from those in the common area when he came down, and since not wanting the scene he’d get in the Great Hall, but choosing to go there over dealing with the Creevey brothers, heads out, and Hermione waiting right outside the portrait hole. She got them both some toast and offers some whilst they chat, Harry agreeing, the two going outside and Hermione letting him know she had deduced he hadn’t entered, she explaining why Ron was taking this so hard, Harry needing to speak with him, but also having to write Sirius, she convincing him it was best. When Hedwig comes after Harry finishes writing, he having done so in the owlery, he has to tell her he can’t use her, she reacting angrily and Harry affected once more by how those close to him didn’t understand his side. Classes with th other Houses proved difficult, everyone certain Harry had gotten himself in, Hufflepuff ignoring him, and Malfoy having his usual fun, up until Hagrid busied them all with walking the skrewts by leash. Harry then gets called over as everyone else reluctantly goes through with their task, Hagrid stating who he also believed Harry had been set up, this somewhat of a comfort.

The next days to come topped Harry’s second worst during his second year when he was accused of being behind the assaults on other kids, but he at least having Ron’s support back then. Harry resigns himself to Ron taking the situation out on him, but it definitely being isolating. Double Potions wasn’t making life any easier, especially after getting extra homework in Charms, Slytherin youth showing off their pins in support of Cedric and the hidden message of Harry sucking, an hour and a half of this not a happy prospect, and when Malfoy insults Hermione in the process, Harry loses it, grabs his want, and the two set off spells at the same time, Malfoy’s hitting Hermione and Harry’s hitting Goyle, and when Snape shows up, he sends Goyle to the Infirmary and states of seeing no change in Hermione, her teeth having gotten larger, she leaving quickly, even more upset. Snape then takes fifty points from Gryffindor and gives Harry and Ron detention. Harry sits and Ron joins Seamus and Dean, Colin saving Harry when informing Snape he was sent for by Bagman, all champions being called, Snape not at all pleased, but dismissing him.

When he’d arrived at the room, there was a camera, but Bagman relays of this being the wand weighing ceremony, Rita Skeeter, the journalist for the Daily Prophet also in attendance, she taking a moment with Harry alone in a broom cupboard, she setting up her magic quill to embellish anything spoken, she firing off questions and ignoring his response of not entering, Harry looking at the quill as it wrote of him crying when she’d asked about his parents, he raising his voice in protest, Dumbledore then opening the door to have Harry return to the others for the ceremony being ready to begin. Ollivander is present to test the wands, Fleur first, Harry learning she was part veela, and wanting to inform Ron of being correct, but remembering he wasn’t on speaking terms with him, then Cedric is up, Ollivander having made his wand, Krum after, Ollivander not particularly commending the wand-maker’s work, but passing it, and then Harry’s turn arrives. He hopes Ollivander doesn’t mention the relation to Voldemort’s wand (Rowling providing a semi –no pun intended– joke of the quill exploding “with excitement”), Ollivander not saying a word of this, but lingering longest with the wand, then pictures being taken, Harry going to the Great Hall afterward to eat alone, Hermione not present. When returning to the dorms, Ron informs him of an owl having come and when their detention was, quickly exiting. Harry wants to stop him, but instead reads the letter, Sirius wanting to meet on November 22, and to give reply quickly, otherwise trusting Dumbledore and Moody to help with Harry’s situation.

Harry held on by his nails during the next two weeks before the time he’d see Sirius, this the only way he’d been able to cope the hellish days. The first task’s possible magnitude also filled him with nerves due to the waiting, even Quidditch matches hadn’t affected him this way, he feeling the task could be the end of him. He wasn’t relying on Sirius to rid him of anxiety, but the support would help. Harry sends his reply of where he’d wait for him, he and Hermione making certain the spot would be empty for the night planned, even having a back-up idea which would get them in trouble with Filch, but would leave Harry isolated. What was worse came in the form of Rita Skeeter’s piece, she focusing on Harry, the other champions, except Cedric, barely getting mention, and their names not even spelled correctly. Harry was incapable of thinking about the article without being physically ill, Skeeter even stating Harry and Hermione were an item due to speaking with Colin. Harry wasn’t spared after everyone had read the paper, his patience run into the ground for all the heckling he suffered. Harry also had wrongly thought his and Ron’s detention together would bond them back, but it was the same day the article had been printed, so the idea went bust. Hermione attempted to get both boys speaking to each other, but they wouldn’t agree.

On Saturday, three days before the first task, the third years were allowed to go to Hogsmeade, Hermione suggesting they go, but Harry declining to accompany her without his Invisible Cloak when she mentions meeting Ron. Upon getting to town, Hermione tries to convince him to de-cloak, he pointing out, verbally, Rita Skeeter plus photographer were walking away from the Three Broomsticks, Hermione deciding they should go in, Harry grabbing a table and seeing Ron with the twins and Lee. When Hermione returns with drinks and reading material involving S.P.E.W. and whether she wanted to see if villagers would be interested in joining, Harry considers how his life would be so much more tolerable if he wasn’t a champion. Hermione then spots Hagrid with Moody, the two speaking and the latter drinking from his own flask, too paranoid of wizards poisoning his drink to use public mugs. When the two were on their way out, Harry forgets he’s invisible for a moment and waves at Hagrid, Moody stopping their progress, saying something, and they then bee-lining for his and Hermione’s table, Hagrid greeting Hermione at shouting level, Moody leaning over the table and commending Harry on his cloak, his wandering magic eye able to see through it, Hagrid also leaning over to inform Harry to meet him at 12 A.M., then bidding Hermione farewell, both leaving.

Harry and Hermione discuss what Hagrid could want to meet so late for, she debating whether Harry shouldn’t send a note of declining since his going could affect his set time with Sirius, but Harry was too curious, planning to see them both. Harry gets ready by wearing his cloak at 11:30 P.M., Hermione and he setting it up so he could get out as she opens the portrait hole for herself, Harry meeting Hagrid, whom was dressed up a bit and shares he’d planned on showing Harry something outside, Harry attempting to relay his tight schedule, and Hagrid too excited to notice, he stopping them at Madame Maxime’s door, she also wondering what the surprise was. Hagrid has her vow to tell no one, since she wasn’t supposed to be aware, he leading them out of view of the castle, Harry then hearing shouts, and a terrible roar, seeing dragons in a pen, the wizards struggling to control them. When they stupefy them, Hagrid walks them closer, Harry seeing Charlie, whom approaches and chats with Hagrid about the breeds and which one was most dangerous, but when it turns to Molly’s reaction to the article on Harry, he moves off, not wanting to hear about it, running and slamming straight into Karkaroff, he moving toward the dragons were when seeing nothing of what had hit him.

Harry reaches the castle thinking of how Cedric was now the only champion in the dark about the first task, he getting to the common area in time to see Sirius’ head pop out from the fireplace, Harry hardly recognizing him, since he’d cleaned himself up and gained some weight. Harry asks after him, but Sirius turns the question on him (Sirius serious, tsk Rowling for going with such a typical phrase), Harry letting out all his troubles. Sirius then confides he was using a fireplace without the permission of the owner, warning Harry of Karkaroff having been a Death Eater, had been in Azkaban, released for tattling on others, and had probably put Harry’s name in the Goblet, which was why Moody had been called for and threatened before starting at Hogwarts. Sirius then mentions the missing witch Bertha Jorkins having been in Albania last, the same perceived area Voldemort was hiding. Sirius reveals he’d been attending Hogwarts the same time as Bertha, she a moron and easily led into harms way. Besides this though, Sirius believed Harry being in the tourney would make his death seem more accidental, he then about to advise how to handle the dragons when Harry heard footsteps and had Sirius disappear, annoyed to see it was Ron, asking who he was speaking with, and then leaving when Harry asks him why he was up, but Harry’s comment of Ron not helping his wanting to butt in eliciting a response which Harry seethed over, and then throws one of the “Potter Really Sucks” badges at his head and states of if he was fortunate he’d get a scar, like his, Ron not coming back upstairs whilst Harry was aware.

On Sunday, Harry is quite distracted, discovering Hermione in the Great Hall with Ginny, he waiting until she’d finished breakfast before taking a walk and confiding all he’d learned the night before. Hermione has them focus on the dragon issue before Karkaroff, and when thinking of a proper spell to use, the two going to the library for ideas. They still didn’t uncover the right sort of information, though and Harry didn’t sleep well. What ends up helping his nerves is knowing he’d still prefer Hogwarts despite facing a dragon over staying with Dudley. Harry then decides to speak with Cedric as the bell was about to ring, he charming his bag so he could chat with him on his own, he interrupting Cedric as he spoke of his new torn bag and confiding what their first task was, Cedric suspicious of his motives, but they then being joined by Moody, whom has Harry come to his office, regardless of his current class in Herbology having begun. Harry notes the differences of the office from each previous professor, Moody’s including objects from what Harry believed was from his Auror days, all about the office, Moody explaining a few before getting to how he commended Harry on revealing the task to Cedric and not following the rules being a tradition of the tourney.

Moody then gives Harry advice, the first of which being to rely on his talents, the second being a spell to retrieve any item he may require, Harry then getting to class where he asks Hermione to teach him a Summoning Charm, they dedicating their lunch time to it, Harry not happy to stop for his Divination class, Ron almost laughing at an outburst from Harry in regard to another of Trelawney’s hints to Harry’s death, he practicing the charm in class. After a short dinner, they continue his practice until Peeves turns up at midnight, the two returning to an empty common area. By two a.m., Harry had started to improve, he worrying about the distance he’d be summoning from, but Hermione certain it wouldn’t matter as long as he maintained concentration. His nerves abated temporarily until morning came, classes ending early so they could attend the task, the day having a clipped affect as Harry dazedly attended classes until McGonagall informed him it was time to go prepare for the task. She wishes him luck and leaves him at the tent which had been erected, Bagman greeting him and instructing them all of how they would choose the type of task they’d face, they attempting to retrieve a gold egg, Bagman then having Fleur draw first, Harry last and getting the doubly dangerous one, Cedric being first to carry out the task and succeeding.

Bagman’s commentary doesn’t ease Harry’s nerves, and when Krum has his turn and seems to succeed the quickest, Harry goes out when hearing the whistle, and hoping his charm worked which fortunately, it does, Harry’s fear subsiding with the ground, he dodging the dragon and getting grazed by its tail, but securing the egg with the quickest time. McGonagall, Moody, and Hagrid waving him over happily, giving him their approval, he then sent to Pomfrey for medical aid, Hermione and Ron coming in as Harry was exiting, Ron finally allowing Harry’d been set up, Harry stopping him before he apologized, and Hermione getting weepy, hugging the two and running off. They walk out to see his score, Ron detailing how the other’s had passed, Harry mostly getting good marks, but for Karkaroff’s low score, Charlie then informing Harry he was off to relay the news to his mother and Bagman requesting Harry meet him in the tent. Bagman informs them of the eggs eluding to what their next task would be which would occur February 24th, Ron and Harry chatting as they returned to the castle, Harry responding to Rita Skeeter when she accosted them by only bidding her farewell.

The trio go to locate Pig so Harry could update Sirius on his first task being a success, Harry taking the time to fill Ron in on Karkaroff and his past, Ron surprised at first and then relating how much sense it made, what with Malfoy’s statements regarding his father and Karkaroff’s friendship, then helping Harry attach the letter to a constantly moving Pig. Ron continues by believing the other tasks must be a breeze compared to the first, Harry’s chances of winning quite possible, Harry thinking Ron was attempting to show extra support for the time he’d been pissed at him, but happy with his words, Hermione not seeming pleased with his overt positivity. Ron then confides of the twins having put together a surprise party and should’ve had time by now to get everything set up, the three being greeted by thunderous, happy shouts, butterbeer and cake on every table, banners on the ceiling. Lee Jordan picks up the egg clue and he, along with the others began urging Harry to see what the clue was, and upon acquiescing, everyone hears a loud, terrible screeching. When Harry does as Fred requests and closes it, a few of them give their idea of what it could be, the latter then suggesting a tart to Hermione, whom nonchalantly asks how to locate the kitchens, he describing how, then wondering why she wanted to know. Hermione giving no reason. George takes a guess which elicits a laugh from most in the room, Hermione not replying, Neville then taking the attention when transforming into a bird momentarily after eating one of the twins’ appetizers, Fred sharing of the price they charged for them. After, Harry had been getting ready to sleep, he considering how Hagrid was correct in his opinion of the dragons.

The last moment of the year brought hard weather, the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang’s living quarters visibly showing how possible it was for the terrible cold to be an effect to their comfort. Hagrid kept Madame Maxime’s horses well liquored, but the students finding the stench affecting their ability to stay intent on the skrewts. Hagrid suggests in the next class, they attempt to learn if the skrewts slept through the winter, offering crates to the creatures. Ten skrewts remained, and their blood lust in taking each other out hadn’t lessened as they grew longer, the appearance of them not getting better with time, they soon learning the skrewts didn’t bed down for the winter, Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle taking refuge in Hagrid’s home whilst the others were able to capture nine out of ten with much difficulty. Harry and Ron attempt to capture the tenth with Hagrid’s supportive advice, Rita Skeeter turning up, Hagrid taking over restraining the skrewt and then inquiring whom she was.

When learning, Hagrid asks about her being told to stay off the grounds by Dumbledore, she ignoring this inquiry to speak of how interesting the skrewts were, Hagrid sharing what they were called, she replying how she hadn’t been aware of them, and what their origin was, Hermione distracting her with how fascinating they found the species, prompting Harry’s opinion, Rita noting how the kids had sustained minor injuries and many were cowering within Hagrid’s hut. Rita then spices up the deal of an interview with Hagrid about his class by mentioning a column dedicated to animals, Hagrid then all for it. Harry refrains from warning him of going through with his upcoming interview, since he didn’t have an opportunity to do so privately, the end of class then arriving. The three discuss the worst and best case scenario which could come from Hagrid speaking with Rita, and if it meant no longer dealing with the skrewts and Hagrid staying teacher, all the better.

Harry and Ron then had a much better time with double Divination, since they were good again, Trelawney the only one to suffer. So, as she’s professing the ever-lingering footsteps of death, Ron and Harry make light of it whilst her best students, Parvati and Lavender take it dreadfully seriously. Harry considers how many times he’d have lost his life according to Trelawney’s predictions. Ron and Harry then notice Hermione’s absence from her usual haunts at lunch, Ron put off from his getting an autograph from Krum in the library when noticing a bunch of girls deliberating the same. As they’d returned to Gryffindor tower’s common area, Hermione overtaking them, she insisting Harry follow her, and when Ron showed interest, Harry agrees, the Fat Lady annoyed they’d bothered her for nothing. As Hermione led them past a particular painting, Harry figured out what she was so pleased about, pointing out the painting to Ron, he thinking Hermione was on to “spew” affairs again, she insisting otherwise and desperate to get Harry to come see for himself. When Hermione had managed to strong arm him through the passageway, it wasn’t long before an elf tackled his middle with a hug. Harry recognizes Dobby with surprise, the elf overjoyed and Harry noting the odd assortment of clothing he wore, including his sock which had set him free, among his new outfit.

Harry learns Dobby and Winky had both been hired, the former leading Harry past each table of food was sent up. Dobby leads them to Winky, whom becomes quite distraught when Harry greets her, Hermione pleading with her to calm down, Dobby so happy he offers Harry tea, and upon accepting, six elves brought tea accompanying biscuits, hastily, Ron stating his being pleased with their quickness. Dobby then explains how long he’d been there and the hardship of being an unemployed elf, Winky getting louder with anguish. Dobby continues about how no wizard was willing to employ an elf wanting payment, Winky crying harder as Hermione announced her support, Dobby continuing his story over her ever-increasing wails, getting to how the two could secure work at Hogwarts. Dobby then proudly states how he was getting paid and even got time off, Hermione not happy with the terms he’d accepted, but Dobby revealing of having turned down higher pay and more time off.

Hermione then asks if Winky had gotten paid, the elf ceasing her terrible cries to state how she hadn’t gotten quite so desperate, Hermione attempting to note the brighter side of Winky being correct with how she’d been acting with Crouch, Winky unwilling to accept her negative words and insisting he’d been fine and she was terrible. Dobby confesses Winky’s issues with getting used to their new environment, and how Dumbledore was lenient on how they wished to speak of him, but Dobby assuring he thought he was wonderful, Harry then asking whether Dobby could speak of the Malfoy’s comfortably, he hesitatingly confiding they were horrible “dark wizards”. Dobby not quite used to this freedom, punishes himself with a good banging to the head until Harry stops him, Dobby grateful and sticking up for himself when Winky announces he should be feeling guilty. Winky then returns to how terribly she’d shamed the generations of her family before her to have worked for the Crouches.

Hermione then confesses how she believed he was doing fairly well, since being seen at Hogwarts, Winky surprised and then getting mad when learning Bagman was there, as well, she stating how Crouch didn’t like him at all and how shit he was, but she not revealing Crouch’s “secrets”. After this, Winky is incomprehensible, so as they drank tea, Dobby speaks of his goals, a sweater on his list of to-dos. Ron offers the one he expected from his mother, Dobby quite pleased. When the trio readied to leave, the elves offered going-away snacks, Harry and Ron taking advantage but Hermione looking uncomfortable with their subservient behavior, Harry giving permission to Dobby to visit him sometime, and as they return to the dorms, Hermione confessing how Dobby’s presence had potential as a good influence on the others, they all then moving on to how they still viewed Bagman as a better sort than Crouch, and Ron stating how Percy wouldn’t prefer the lighter spirit over seriousness if it did a jig in front of him in the buff.

McGonagall is shouting at Harry and Ron to stay focused, the class almost over, they having finished their assignments and written down their homework, but were sword fighting with two of Fred and George’s fake wands, they instantly stopping, and McGonagall making an announcement about the Yule Ball coming up and fourth years and up were allowed to go. The required uniforms are mentioned, she then detailing how the party was to encourage a more relaxed atmosphere, but making sure they were aware, she’d be looking out for improper conduct. When the bell sounded, McGonagall calls to Harry and informs him of requiring a dance partner, since the tradition had champions starting off the Ball, Harry is dumbfounded and resistant, but McGonagall makes certain he knew he didn’t have a choice. Harry despaired over whom he’d need to ask to be his partner, despairingly inquiring of Ron how he would ever be able to choose and invite a girl when none ever seemed to travel alone, the answer he received not helpful, Ron wondering if he knew someone he’d want to invite, Harry thinking of Cho, and Ron then trying to ease his mind by stating how most girls would definitely be interested, no truer words having been spoken, since the proof occurred by the next day, girls approaching Harry and asking him, fortunately most not hassling him anymore about being a champion or the news article, Hagrid also lucky not to have been covered in the paper.

Hagrid mentions how Rita hadn’t focused her questioning on the magical creatures, their last class having them in safe distance from the skrewts, now. The four discuss how Rita had been after dirt on Harry, and wasn’t satisfied with Hagrid’s praise of him, he then asking if Harry had found a date, but doesn’t push the subject when told he was still on the search. As the last week of school progressed, rumors of what was in store for the party escalated, a well-known group supposedly being hired, Dumbledore buying hundreds of mead barrels, some teachers even allowing free time during class. Others, like their ghostly history teacher, McGonagall, Moody, and Snape, keeping them well busy. Snape gave them a test to study for, Ron and Harry entertaining themselves in other interests when returning to the common area, Hermione giving them shit for it, she thinking Harry should at least be attempting to figure out the puzzle of the egg. Ron defends him though, knowing how much he deserved a rest from everything, George and Fred then walk up and ask if Ron could let them borrow Pig for a letter, but when learning he was already loose, turn to the topic of dates, Fred even showing how it was done by asking a girl whilst she was on the other side of the room, Ron realizing they should probably get to it, themselves. Hermione’s feathers get ruffled when Ron speaks of girls’ looks insensitively, leaving them early.

The Hogwarts employees go to great lengths to bedeck the place with the most fancy decorations for their foreign guests, Peeves even getting a kick out of empty armor partially singing carols and filling in with his own insulting words. Harry and Ron were feeling more pressure by still being dateless, Ron deciding Friday night would find them both with dates upon returning to the common area, Harry stressing about seeing Cho always amongst her buddies. He makes a rush job of it though, and gets her away from her entourage for a moment, learning she was already going with Cedric. When returning, he sees Ron being consoled by Ginny, he looking haunted, and confessing he’d asked Fleur, Harry making him feel a little better when informing him of her roots with the veela, Ron then sharing of Neville having asked Hermione, but she already going with someone, Ron thinking it was an excuse, but then Hermione coming in, Ginny updating her, and she ribbing Ron for his previous statements. Ron then decides to announce Hermione should go with one of them, she stating of already gotten a date, Ron refusing to believe her, pissing her off, and Ginny refusing to confide in them whom it was, so Harry does the last desperate move, and asks Parvati, Harry having her inquire if her sister, Padma would go with Ron.

Regardless of the workload given over the holidays, Harry gave this a backseat and had a blast with his classmates, the twins’ Canary Creams a popular pastime for the Gryffindors for awhile, Harry attempting to be wary of any food offered by them from then on. Hogwarts is soon chilled to freezing levels, Ron still attempting to get out of Hermione the boy whom had invited her, this time being overheard by Malfoy, snotty insult ensuing. Hermione takes care of this one by pretending Moody was behind him, Ron then bringing up how her teeth looked different, Hermione confiding when she’d gotten them shrunken by Pomfrey, she’d let her take a bit more size, then she sees Pig return. They go to the common room and Harry reads them the letter, Hermione still thinking Harry should be trying to solve the second task clue, when Sirius had mentioned he should keep on his toes, but because of the noise in the place, relented, watching he and Ron play wizard’s chess, and the next morning Harry is startled awake by Dobby, he so shocked, he’d wakened everyone else in the room, but they opting to open presents than sleep more, Dobby giving Harry a pair of different colored socks he’d made, Harry returning the sentiment with a pair of socks for Dobby, and Ron giving Dobby not only a pair of socks, but the sweater he’d promised, the elf completely overwhelmed with joy. Harry’s other presents were much more exciting to him, the bunch then going to a exquisite lunch, and the boys having a snowball fight, after which they found the Fat Lady with a buddy buzzed on liqueurs. The boys ready for the Ball, Harry meeting Parvati in the common room, she informing Ron where Padma would meet him, soon McGonagall gathering the champions together.

Harry notices Hermione with Krum after surveying the other champions dates, completely blow away by her different look. When they enter the Great Hall and go toward the professors table, Percy is where Crouch should be, he informing Harry he was now Crouch’s personal assistant, when he’d indicated to Harry to sit next to him. Percy blathers on fairly arrogantly ignorant about how he’d perceived Crouch’s troubles since the World Cup, he proud to be his support. Besides this, Harry watches how Dumbledore orders his food from the menu, he seeing Krum animatedly chatting with Hermione about the Durmstrang castle, Karkaroff cutting him off with feigned lightheartedness due to the specifications he overheard. Dumbledore relates with an amusing story about a mystery room with chamber pots everywhere, Fleur meanwhile dazzling her date, whilst Hermione corrected Krum’s pronunciation of her name. Soon after, the feast ends, tables are magicked away, the Weird Sisters come out, and Harry had to be reminded by Parvati of they needing to get ready to dance.

It goes by without too much trouble and Harry immediately locates Ron and sits, Parvati off with another boy to dance after she realizes Harry wasn’t going to dance with her anymore, Hermione joins them later and Ron gives her a hard time for coming with Krum, he piling on different possibilities why Krum would ask her, she eventually huffing off, Krum returning and asking where she was, and Ron playing dumb, Percy strolling up and giving him props for making friends with the international students, this being good tactics and strengthening relationships between countries. Percy sits with them and then notices the twins bothering Bagman for a moment, until the man spots Harry and comes over. Percy takes the opportunity to inquire whether his brothers had been annoying him, Bagman denying this and sharing how they’d been discussing marketing plans with his assistance, Percy not pleased, and when Bagman was readying to speak with Harry, Percy continues about the status of the tourney after the hiccup regarding Harry, he trapping Bagman with talk of his varying duties, Ron suggesting they escape on the pretense of drinks, they going outside to walk the rosebush paths, overhearing Snape and Karkaroff as the latter speaks of receiving troubling signs and Snape declaring he should leave then and he’d supply an excuse for him when asked, the two walking in the boys direction.

Snape uncovers students in the bushes as he passed, then demanding to know why the two were standing around, the men leaving in serious spirits after getting the general reply of walking, Ron first to voice curiosity, they then hearing a snippet of conversation from Hagrid, they having no interest busting up, Harry pointing toward Fleur, whom was also busy, but Ron deciding cover by rock reindeer a better choice, they overhearing Hagrid speak of his mother and how she’d left him after he had only been a few years old, not knowing if she was still alive. He then sharing a story about his father and how helpful Dumbledore had been after he’d died, then inquiring about her lineage, she taking offense when he presumed she was part giant (ahh! Why, Rowling? Stop hoping against hope, already!), she walking off in a rage, Hagrid moving back toward his hut. Ron is stymied by this new fact about Hagrid, he stating he’d elaborate once having returned indoors, he informing Harry giants were usually a blood-thirsty sort, most now out of Britain, Harry happy when the dance ended at midnight. Cedric calls to him before he’d gotten upstairs, he advising him how to get the egg’s secret out, he even giving him the password to the prefects bathroom, Harry suspicious and thinking up some highly unlikely reasons he’d set him up, and when getting back to the common area, Ron and Hermione were seen having an extreme shouting match, she making clear if Ron wanted to ask her to a dance, he’d better think of her first next time if it was so important to him, she exiting and Ron perplexed and still in denial, Harry not helping him, since he didn’t want to irritate him more.

The kids were having a kickback day, Hermione and Ron acting oddly nice to each other, Harry and Ron updating her on Hagrid’s genetic background, she taking it indifferently what with considering how giants were most likely in the same boat as werewolves in this case, not all of them could be terrible. Since Christmas week had passed, they now had to consider the homework they’d all put off, Harry picking up the nerves which had left him briefly. He was still stressing over the golden egg, he now periodically listening to it, and actively ignoring Cedric’s advice due to jealousy, so started classes with apprehension, their Care of Magical Creatures teacher surprising the trio, due to it being an old witch whom refused to share her reasons she’d replaced Hagrid, but Malfoy soon helping by supplying the news article as the professor and girls approached a tethered unicorn.

The article, written of course by Rita Skeeter, details Hagrid’s shortcomings as a professor, how he’d gotten the job somehow, with so many more qualified people available, and Malfoy even supplying a quote. She goes on to describe how Hagrid had been going against policy and breeding animals, as well, she then outing him as part giant, and after giving some history on giants to end with, Ron wonders aloud how Rita could have learned of this, Harry focusing on Malfoy’s quote, the urchin of course acknowledging how helpful it would be in getting Hagrid permanently replaced, and when the class ended, how Parvati was even warming to the new teacher. Hermione was about to state similarly when Harry shows her the article, he then deciding they’d go speak with him after class to make sure he knew they wanted him to return, but Hagrid didn’t see them, nor for the rest of the week, Malfoy continually rubbing it in. Then the Hogsmeade visit was coming up, Harry straight up saying to Hermione he’d figured out the egg more or less, he wanting to see if he’d locate Hagrid in town.

As the three set off, they see Krum dive into the lake, Ron surprised due to the frigid chill and commenting rather brightly about the huge squid which lived there, Hermione noting how he’d said it and speaking on Krum’s behalf of he being a good person. When Harry determines Hagrid wasn’t in any shops and also sees he hadn’t been to the Three Broomsticks, he’s disappointed he’d come at all. Hermione then detects Bagman, whom was speaking with intimidating looking goblins, she wondering if the man ever made appearances at work. When Bagman sees Harry, his countenance changes to happiness and comes over to ask after him, the requesting a moment alone, he first complimenting Harry on his success with the first task as the goblins watched them in silence at their table, Bagman then confiding how they were searching for Crouch, whom had gone missing for about two weeks, Harry then inquiring after Bertha Jorkins, which Bagman informs how little they knew of where she’d ended up after getting to her destination, he then arriving at his point which was to make sure Harry was doing okay with the hint, he giving the idea he’d help him if needed, since he knew it hadn’t been Harry’s fault he’d gotten picked.

Harry was a little suspicious and didn’t like the idea of asking, so politely declines, Bagman looking insulted, but Fred and George then turning up and offering Bagman a drink, he declining to Fred and George’s obvious let down, Bagman mirroring their look at Harry as he left the bar with the goblins tailing him. Harry goes to sit with Hermione and Ron, he stating why Bagman had spoken with him when Ron asks, Hermione surprised, and he then sharing what he’d said about the goblins and Crouch, Rita Skeeter then walking in and getting a table near them as she spoke of Bagman, Harry questioning her motives so many around could hear. Hermione backs him up, but then furiously suggests they leave, she fuming as Ron warned her to be careful when it came to Rita, but Hermione now on an angry roll, deciding to boost Hagrid to not be effected by a troll like Skeeter.

Hermione is shouting for Hagrid to open up, and when the door opens, is surprised to be confronted with a smiling Dumbledore, whom offers the group to join them, Hagrid quite a mess, and after Dumbledore supplies the tea, he puts a point on how the trio obviously still loved him, adding how he still received mail from parents who supported Hagrid fully. After Harry and Dumbledore both relate to how family members acted absurdly or like barbarians after Hagrid can’t get over how he’d be perceived because of his blood, Hermione states how they all wished he’d return, Dumbledore stating he wouldn’t accept Hagrid quitting and expected him on the start of the week, then leaving. Hagrid, still upset, attempts to turn his spirits around, sharing how his father wouldn’t have appreciated how Hagrid had been acting, then showing them a photo of an eleven-year-old Hagrid with his pop sitting atop his shoulder, he announcing how he also wouldn’t be thinking of “her” anymore with the nonsense of “big bones”. Hagrid then relates to how he and Harry had the loss of parents in common and he truly hoped Harry would be victorious, Harry lying about his progress with the hint, but the look of pure joy finally putting Harry on the idea to attempt Cedric’s advice.

Harry waited to try Cedric’s advice, Ron letting him out as he came in due to being cloaked, and when he reached the bathroom, was impressed by how nice it was. When he’d readied the enormous tub and opened the egg, the same result occurred, Moaning Myrtle startling him when suggesting he dunk the egg. He was embarrassed and annoyed, regardless of the dense bubbles, Moaning Myrtle mentions how he hadn’t been around her toilet lately, Harry realizing he hadn’t needed the privacy. She accepts his reason when mentioning having gotten an earful last time he’d been seen coming out, he then getting the egg and dunking it, memorizing the poem, he struggling to figure out the riddle as Moaning Myrtle watched, happily. When Harry finally realized what the task meant, he worried about going into the huge lake to locate merpeople especially when he wasn’t the strongest swimmer. When he worried aloud though, Moaning Myrtle becomes a bit upset, since she couldn’t breathe at all, Harry apologizing, but annoyed since he couldn’t understand her sensitivity compared with other ghosts.

She goes on to pout about how no one thought of her, even the girl whom had discovered her body, the reason she was still living at the school explained, but Harry not listening due to attempting to learn what would be taken from him. He then readies to go and half agrees he’d visit her sometime, he at least thanking her. On his way back, he notices on the Marauder’s Map, Crouch was in Snape’s office. Harry decides to snoop on him, heading for the office, but the shortcut he takes having a trick step which Harry wasn’t thinking of, slipping and dropping the egg, which falls open down the stairs, the map not going quite as far, but Harry covering himself again before Filch turns up. When the man discovers the egg, he thinks Pus had stolen it, he coming up the stairs, and Snap answering him, he distracted by someone having been in his office, and he wanting Filch to accompany him, Filch reluctant, but the two then interrupted by Moody, he seeing what was happening much more fully.

He turns his attention to Snape, inquiring about his breaking and entering, Snape blowing it off as more than likely another student being the culprit. Moody then hints whether it’d be due to improper items Snape would have hidden, he not taking kindly to the suggestion and stating how Moody would already know for having already searched, Moody revealing Dumbledore had given the OK. Snape denies how Dumbledore would do so for trusting him, Moody going on to not only agree, but mentioning how some choices don’t get forgotten, Snape clenching his own arm, and Moody offering he return to his quarters, Snape again taking offense. Then, as they had a little face off, Moody mentions the Marauder’s Map he believed at first Snape dropped, but Harry signing to him it was his, Moody working fast and magicking it into his own hands, but Snape could see through the suspicious circumstances which Harry could deduce.

Snape declares his thought being Harry related and starts up the stairs, Moody again mentioning how he’d let Dumbledore know Snape’s immediate reaction, which stops him. Snape reluctantly back-pedals and decides to return to bed and when Moody requests the egg from, Filch, the man resisting at first, wanting the evidence to prove Peeves’ guilt, but gives it up when Moody insists it was first property to a champion. When they’re alone, Moody marvels at the map, then helps Harry out of the step, Harry then revealing whom he’d seen in the office, Moody surprised. After, Harry inquires what he supposed Crouch was searching for, Crouch eventually choosing to reply in regard to how dedicated he was on hunting dark wizards. Moody ends their meeting by borrowing the Marauder’s Map and mentioning how Harry had potential as an Auror. Harry didn’t know if he liked the idea depending on the scar-amount of other Aurors (smart).

Hermione is assuming Harry is about to share with them the egg riddle, the 3 in Charms class, Neville magicking Flitwick across the room instead of a designated cushion. Harry is clarifying what his news concerned being about Moody and Snape. For a half hour Harry was able to quietly relate his story, since this class was action-filled and fun. Ron then suggests perhaps Moody thought Snape had put Harry’s name in the Goblet, Hermione not convinced, but Ron wondering why dark wizards would raid Snape’s office, otherwise. Harry next writes to Sirius of this weirdness, also worrying about the water task. Hermione and Ron are helping him come up with ideas, Hermione thinking a charm was the way to go. Harry already acting like a dunce in his belief he’d come to his cap of tolerance to library time, goes to research applicable charms.

No one could come up with anything and now his mind and eyes keep getting drawn to the lake and what could lay waiting. Two days before the task, Harry gets a letter back form Sirius requesting the next date to Hogsmeade. Harry spends the night at the library still attempting to find information which could help, Dobby waking him ten minutes before the task and Harry scrambling. Fortunately for non-thankful Harry, Dobby had learned whom had been taken for Harry to rescue and the magical food he’d need to consume to breathe underwater, he biffing off and Dobby wishing him luck, since he was late to be in the kitchens, Harry barrels past a couple students in his haste to being just in the nick, he seeing Percy sitting in for Crouch. The champs are placed along the lake and would have an hour to recover what had been stolen. Harry eats the gillyweed and wades in waiting for a change, he hearing Slytherin cat-calling and laughing from the stands. Then, pain when he tries to breathe, which upon feeling both sides of his neck, there were gills. Once submerging, he also saw his webbed hands and toes, the water not feeling as frigid, either. As he swims farther and deeper, he doesn’t come across anyone, but grindylows being the 1st to grab at him. Harry fights them off with boiling water jets from his wand and swims quickly away.

When he stops again, Moaning Myrtle scares him by asking for updates, she giggles as he makes bubbles when attempting to say her name minus the “Moaning”, she also giving him a hint in which direction he should go, he responding with a grateful-seeming thumbs up, he soon hearing a mersong, seeing a painting with the people chasing the giant squid. What he saw of the merpeople, wasn’t the usual vision of merpeople: dark green hair, grey skin, and jagged teeth. Harry was unharassed, but stared at, he swimming past their homes. Everyone stares, Harry reaching a spot like a “village square”. Harry reaches to an area where merpeople were beckoning to the champs, four people tied up to the statue with a tail. The four people were asleep with constant bubbles streaming from their mouths. Harry attempts to ask for one of the fishmen’s spears, but he is told they wouldn’t help him, Harry then attempting to forcefully take it, but only being met with resistance and a laugh. Harry, getting smart, locates a sharp rock and hacks at Ron’s bindings, they soon coming apart, he only finding resistance when he tries to save the others, merpeople explaining he could only rescue his own.

They then motion to where Cedric, with a bubble around his head, was swimming toward them. As he passes he tells Harry to leave, the other 2 coming soon, first Krum, looking like a shark-head with man legs, but as he waits for Fleur, the merpeople start collecting Ron and Fleur’s sister, but Harry has them back off by brandishing his wand. He tells them they had until, “1,2,3”, he grabbing Fleur’s sister while he could, but as he moves, he gets tired with the 2 dead weights. As he goes, he feels the change of going back to normal, fortunately also near the surface, and upon breaking out to air, Ron and Fleur’s little sister wake. They help the little girl to shore, the merpeople swimming with them and singing. Fleur is frantically looking for her sister from shore. Everyone is reunited and wrapped tightly in thick blankets, hot potions being ingested. Harry feels truly stupid for thinking any of the hostages would’ve come to harm, he seeing Dumbledore speaking with a female chief merperson. Fleur confirms how Harry and Ron had both helped in the saving of her sister, giving each a Euro-kiss, Hermione looking bent about Ron’s reaction. Then, the announcement for the point system and scores, Harry surprising both Ron and Hermione when he gets 45/50 points, tying with Cedric. They also learn the next test was June 24th and the champs would learn more a month before. Harry also decides, as he and the group of hostages and champs walked back, he was going to buy Dobby 365 pairs of socks.

Ron was madly capitalizing off of  his status as hostage, first stating the truth and then turning it into a beat down of him by many merpeople, but Hermione poked a sensitive hole in his story, so he stuck with the real one after. Harry receives a letter from Sirius by March, he specifying where they’d meet and to bring tons of food, if possible. The trio is a bit surprised Sirius would make the trip, but they also didn’t have dementors running all over. Harry’s spirits were bolstered with the news, he and the bunch going to Potions and being waylaid by Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson, she holding Witch Weekly, throwing it to Hermione, then everyone being ushered in. Hermione locates the small article titled: Harry Potter’s Heartaches. Ron gives her an, I told you so with having pissed the moronic journalist off, but also provides a good laugh for Hermione when he labels her a, “scarlet woman”, she then giving an indifferent smile at Pansy.

Unfortunately, as Hermione is wondering aloud how Rita had learnt some of her accurate information, Ron gets angry, Snape catches them, and takes 20 points from them, reading the article to the class. On top of it, upon finishing, he separates the 3, seating Harry in front of his desk. Snape speaks to him under his breath, accusing he had taken the gillyweed from his office, Harry denies it and Snape states Harry would regret it next time. Snape warns him with having a truth potion he being able to “accidentally” use it on him, so he should watch himself. Karkaroff interrupts this exchange, wanting to speak with Snape, since he’d been dodging him. He waits until class ends, Harry snooping by hiding behind his cauldron, Karkaroff showing Snape his forearm, and he breaking off the conversation to call Harry out, Karkaroff leaving and Harry quickly following, straight to tell his buddies what he’d seen. The day of Hogsmeade was a pleasant one, not as cold, and Harry had been able to scrounge a dozen chicken legs, bread, and pumpkin juice. The 3 first hit a clothing store for some socks for Dobby, they then heading for the exit to the town. Harry greets Sirius in dog form, he leading them toward the foot of the mountain, and once getting there, sees an opening and goes into a cave with Buckbeak standing around.

When Sirius changes back and begins eating the chicken, Harry questions him about his safety, Sirius motioning to some papers with strange happenings to people around Harry and he feeling he needed to stay closer. Soon, Sirius is asking about Crouch’s house elf and when Harry had lost his wand at the tourney, they also speaking of Bagman, but Sirius focused on Crouch, he revealing he’d been responsible for sending him to Azkaban without a trial. Sirius is ready to leave out the convoluted details why Crouch wasn’t a Dark Arts supporter, until Ron has him at least give them a chance, Sirius starting with how fear was felt from magical and Muggle sides, Crouch being ruthless back then, but so effective people wanted him to become the Minister of Magic, then his son gets in trouble, he a Voldemort supporter, and Crouch sends him to Azkaban. Sirius begins to get a far off look recalling when they’d brought the young man in, he ending like everyone there. Screams his first night, silent after, unless screaming whilst unconscious.

Sirius admits the boy had died a year later, his mother following. Crouch never comes to collect his son’s body, the dementors burying him outside. The public doesn’t look kindly upon this, Fudge receiving the position and Crouch going into the Department of International Magical Cooperation. Harry states how Moody mentioned Crouch’s obsession in catching Dark wizards, Sirius confirming it was manic for him. He also supports both Hermione and Ron’s opinions of Snape due to his history when they were young, he also noting if Dumbledore trusts Snape, he’d be pretty clean from having worked for Voldemort. Sirius thinks about Crouch’s possible intentions and whether he was truly ill, Ron willing to see if Percy had heard from Crouch lately, as well as news on Bertha still missing or progress. As Sirius ends their visit, he allows only written communication from them and would be happy when this tournament ended. The three get back to Hogwarts and endless hot food, wondering if Percy would be as ruthless to family as Crouch had been, Ron uncertain.

The 3 send Hedwig to deliver a letter to Percy, they then off to gift the socks to Dobby. Ron requesting some more eclairs, Hermione being pointed to where Winky was sitting and she being drunk and sad, hoping Crouch would return for her. Harry attempts to get her to spill on whether she knew anything she’d be willing to share about Crouch, she not having it and Dobby getting defensive when she declared Harry was being nosy. She passes out soon after and Hermione is defending Winky’s unhappy feelings, she roping Dobby in, but he wanting to remain out of it, the elves quickly giving them food and ushering them out, Ron fully placing blame on Hermione for making them all uncomfy with her feminist and race rights for the elves. Harry ditches the 2 with their continued tiffs through the day, he sending more of the food by owl.

The next day at breakies, Hermione receives multiple letters, she soon realizing it was hate mail regarding Harry, she getting boils from one, and Ron reading another threatening to do the same. After Hermione misses 2 classes for being tended to, Ron getting sad about being skint all the time, Hermione and Harry not sure how to lift his spirits. Hermione is having trouble moving her hands, she vengeful toward Skeeter for it. After a Defense Against the Dark Arts class, Hermione speaks with Moody, whom helps her deduce Skeeter wasn’t getting her information by Invisibility cloak, she sharing with the boys, but not expecting them to help after Ron responds whinily about they having to now wage war upon Skeeter. Harry made sure to send food to Sirius regularly and updates with no updates, yet. When Easter arrives is when the letter comes with prezzies.

Percy relates he hadn’t seen Crouch, but received handwritten letters with his instructions from him. Finally, Harry is told by McGonagall where and when to meet Bagman for their next task details When Harry and Cedric walk to the Quidditch field, they see hedges were planted all over, Bagman relating how the Cup would be in the middle and they’d use magic to break spells, the two highest pointed champs being first to enter. After, Krum speaks with Harry, leading him close to the forest so as not to get eavesdropped on, he wanting Harry to explain the type of friendship he and Hermione had, Harry surprised it wasn’t more serious. Krum requires a little convincing, but after believing him, compliments Harry on his flying skills, Harry flattered, then hearing movement in the forest, which is revealed to be Crouch, whom was acting and looking like a crazed hobo. When Harry attempts to get his attention, he sees Crouch talking at a tree, calling it “Weatherby”, then Crouch grabs at Harry’s robe desperately wanting to speak to Dumbledore.

After, Harry is let go again as Crouch continues speaking to a tree about a time when his wife and son were alive. When Harry tries to leave, Crouch catches him again, talking brokenly of Voldemort’s power becoming greater. Harry gets loose, Krum stays with Crouch and Harry runs to locate Dumbledore, he being stopped by Snape, whom wasted his time until Dumbledore appears, Harry leading him back to Crouch, but he no longer waiting and Krum unconscious. Dumbledore wands him awake, Hagrid and Moody soon joining them. Karkaroff is brought and was pissed and accuses Dumbledore of cheating, so Hagrid calms him by placing him against a tree. Dumbledore distracting him with the task of returning Harry to his tower, and Hagrid talking mad smack about “foreigners”. Harry lets him go with this, instead glad to now be sharing with Hermione and Ron what he’d been through.

Hermione deduces Crouch and Krum could’ve both been attacked or Crouch was responsible, Ron and Harry try to see if Krum not doing it made sense, it not so they going to the owlery to send a letter to Sirius. When Ron asks for another recap on the details, Harry could remember about Crouch, he gets annoyed by Snape being a time wasting nuisance. Hermione reminding them they should speak with Moody to see if he’d used the Marauder’s Map, but then Fred and George are arguing loudly on their way up to them, about whether the note they were sending was blackmail and if they felt guilty enough, this not lasting long when Ron calls them out on it, George setting an owl off with the letter in the end.

When the twins leave, the 3 discuss how serious they could be with this unknown plan, Ron confiding how his brothers were focused on quickly making cash for their joke ship business. They leave it alone until they can speak with Moody at break, upon doing so, learning the Marauder’s Map hadn’t shown where Crouch had gone, Moody focusing them on Harry training for the 3rd task with his buddies help, since Dumbledore had notified the Ministry about Crouch. The next day, they get a letter from Sirius having him swear not to stray outside after hours and to have his buddies with him, since someone was after Harry. He took it like a brat, so Hermione attempts to set him straight, he resistant to the very end, but Hermione attempting to keep him focused. Harry follows instructions accordingly for the next few days, training with his friends. Ron has gotten to his limit of being stunned by Harry, since he’d started getting an ache everywhere.

Hermione testily advises Ron to fall back onto the cushions and it wouldn’t be so bad, Ron spouting about this not being an option when stunned, he offering she try it. Hermione quickly turns the subject to Harry having gotten the hang of it enough, and they should practice a hex next time, they ending for today. In Divination, Harry falls asleep and dreams of Voldemort, he excusing himself to the hospital wing to Trelawney’s disappointment. Harry goes to find Dumbledore instead, Sirius having instructed him to do this. He guesses the password to Dumbledore’s office, Cockroach Cluster, and hears a conversation as he gets closer. Fudge, Moody, and Dumbledore discussing Bertha’s disappearance and whether Crouch not being found was due to the same reason. Moody is first to notice and mention Harry waiting to talk with Dumbledore.

Fudge attempts to push Harry back out by advising he return to class, but Harry reiterates his need to speak with Dumbledore, whom has him wait there until he returns from their grounds look-see. After a short time waiting in a chair, Harry sees a slightly open cabinet with something shining, he taking a look. What he discovers is a liquid substance in a bowl, poking it with his wand and looking inside to see a room from above. Harry gets too nosy and falls in when his nose touches the liquid and he finds himself seated on a bench next to Dumbledore, he deducing he must be in a memory. Soon, dementors enter with Karkaroff, whom looks much younger. He’d been brought to reveal information about Voldemort’s supporters, Moody, pre-magic eye, voiced his insulting opinion of Karkaroff. Crouch has him go through the names he had, only one being useful. Harry is then transported to a different memory with Rita Skeeter and Bagman, he quite fit and being charged for passing information to Voldemort supporters, Crouch getting negative feedback from those present when readying to send him to Azkaban.

This day, Bagman is let go on his popularity, a new memory beginning. Dumbledore sits with Crouch and a crying woman, four prisoners brought in, one being his son. The boy was scared out of his mind, pleading with his parents, his mother of course, unable to do anything and Crouch shouting over him, this time receiving the votes for life in Azkaban. Crouch denounces being related to the boy any longer, Dumbledore rousing Harry from this scene. Harry tries to explain and apologizes reluctantly, Dumbledore being quite understanding. Harry then relates his dream, Dumbledore confessing he’d told Sirius about the cave. Harry inquires Dumbledore’s opinion on why his scar kept bothering him, he considering it was fueled by Voldemort’s surge of anger and or proximity to Harry. He asks after Bagman’s innocence, and why he believed Snape was clean, Dumbledore dodging by saying it would stay between himself and Snape. They end with Dumbledore wishing him luck and not to mention what he’d learned of Neville’s parents.

Harry sends another letter and thoroughly discusses most of what he’d seen, Ron not convinced of Snape’s innocence and Hermione thinking of Rita Skeeter’s egotistical talk of  what she knew about Bagman, they calling it a night, since they’d have to buckle down and help Harry practice the next day. As they reach June, Harry is much more at ease with this task what with his history thus far with similar experiences. Hermione attempts to focus them back on practice when Ron sees Malfoy acting oddly outside below their window. Meanwhile, his now daily letters from Sirius supports Hermione in Harry focusing on the third task before bothering with anything else. The morning of the task brings more fluff news on Harry being crazy, Malfoy even being quoted in the article, and Hermione then coming up with a possibility which she’s off to research in the library straightaway.

McGonagall then informs Harry the champs would be meeting after breakies. She clarifies it’s so the families of the champions could be greeted, he bewildered. Cedric announces to Harry of his guests waiting, he surprised to see Bill and Mrs. Weasley. As he escorts them about the place, Mrs. Weasley mentions how Percy was being questioned about Crouch’s letters and Fudge being judge in his place. During the latter of evening meal, Dumbledore announces the start o f the task approaching, having the champs head for the Quidditch field. When everyone is seated, it’s noted they’d have patrollers along the outside of the maze for assistance when red sparks were sent into the sky, Harry and Cedric being first to enter. Not long in, the 2 separate, Harry hearing the whistle for Krum’s start, and further on Fleur’s, Harry doesn’t run into any obstacles, oddly. After turning a few times without any issue, Cedric meets up with him again, his robes scorched by a skrewt, hurrying off, Harry then confronting a boggart-dementor, and after this goes through suspicious mist.

Rightly, since it made up, down, but he only having to lift his foot to fix it. After 10 minutes, he confronts the skrewt and successfully stuns it. A little further on, Harry hears Cedric being attacked by Krum, he making a hole in the hedge and stunning Krum, they sending sparks up for him to receive aid, the 2 splitting up again and Harry coming across a sphinx next. Harry’s guess of a spider does the trick and he gets directly to the Cup without trouble. He then sees Cedric belting toward it, Harry knowing he didn’t have a chance with his longer stride, but he did warn him of a huge ass spider coming up on his side, he barely dodging. Cedric loses his wand and Harry tries a spell, it failing, as well as the next few, they getting the spider’s attention and he getting a bitten leg, until getting to a spell which works.

After, Cedric tries to give the Cup to Harry, after he’d told him to grab it already. Harry continues to be agitated by Cedric’s decision, the 2 listing how the other had helped him at different times. Harry gets down on himself when Cedric mentions trying to save all the hostages, dumbly in Harry’s opinion, the poem not meant to be take so seriously. Cedric has made up his mind, though standing by Harry, whom takes a minute to fantasize the win, but getting his moment to say, selflessly, for them both to get it together, and have it be a Hogwarts victory! Cedric acts like he couldn’t believe his luck Harry’d want to, the two walking together and grasping the Cup at the same time, being whisked somewhere. When they look about, they are nowhere near Hogwarts, Cedric not realizing the Cup was a Portkey. They be-wand themselves, the graveyard silently spooky.

Then, they notice a small man carrying a bundle in robes, and upon getting about “6” (feet under) from them, Harry’s scar killing him with pain, losing sight, a voice commanding to kill the other, and when his scar pain lightens, sees Cedric killed. Harry’s then dragged to Tom Riddle’s grave and tied to it full body so he couldn’t move his head, he recognizing Wormtail. He left him for a moment, he  seeing the bundle moving at the grave, Cedric’s body nearby and Harry’s scar piercing him as he hoped he didn’t get a look of whatever was in those robes. Wormtail comes back with a man-fitting cauldron filled with water, a snake around Harry and the gravestone for a mo.

The cauldron is lit and the bundle demands he hurry up, upon being prepared, Harry seeing a flat-faced snake-looking red baby, he being chucked into the cauldron, Wormtail fearfully cutting off a limb for this renewal ceremony, then getting to Harry, some blood drawn and it going in with the arm. A mist develops and Harry is terrified to see a skeletal man emerge, Wormtail robing him and Harry seeing Voldemort up close for the first time in years. and Voldemort was reveling in his renewed body, throwing Wormtail against the grave, laughing, Wormtail reluctantly gets the stamp on his arm turned from red to black. Harry’s mark flares a searing pain, Voldemort wondering who would come first when they felt ‘the call’ and who would be dumb enough to stay away. Voldemort then confides to Harry, the grave was his father’s and both he and Harry’s mother had their uses in the scheme.

After a short wait, wizards, the Death Eaters, were apparating to the graveyard. Voldemort goes into a speech of how he felt those present had betrayed him by not coming to his aid before and how they’d denied being a supporter to the community, instead. He tortures one Death Eater who grovels on behalf of himself and the others. After, Voldemort gives Wormtail a sparkly fake hand which worked magically. Lucius has to explain why he’d run from the call the last time, Voldemort letting him go with a warning. Crabbe and Goyle are also called out, he going through the Death Eater’s who were missing whether it be due to imprisonment, cowardess, or death. Lucius is first to ask how Voldemort had obtained his new form, he calling out Harry as the start and finish of the tale. This new form allowing him to lay hands on Harry, he getting blinding pain from barely a finger touch.

Voldemort speaks of how he’d waited uselessly for one of his Death Eaters to come find him, instead getting lucky when a Hogwarts professor happened upon his side of the forest in Albania, but Voldemort’s plan to immortalize himself through the sorcerer’s stone thwarted by this meddling kid, Harry. So, his next reprieve comes in the form of Wormtail. He tells how Wormtail had run into Bertha at an inn, he getting her to Voldemort so he could obtain facts, he breaking her beyond repair, so gets rid of her. He goes on to state this night, Harry would die, he first putting him through the “worst pain” Harry’s ever felt, then having Wormtail release him so they could fight square before Voldemort took Harry down. Wormtail quickly manages to set Harry loose what with his pretty hand, and flippantly gives Harry’s wand back, collected next to Cedric’s body, f.y.i…

Voldemort asks Harry if he’s experience with dueling, his quite brief, and mostly useless lesson those years ago. Voldemort forces Harry to bow magically, per tradition, they then starting, Voldemort cursing him again. When Voldemort’s ready to give the death blow, Harry does the disarming spell, their wands creating a gold connection and encircling the 2 after taking them to a different part of the graveyard, inexplicably. Then, phoenix song is heard, Harry keeps the connection between them open, Harry forcing liquid balls which formed along the gold strand to go back to Voldemort’s wand, once it had, all the magic he’d recently done, seemed to be getting released, like Cedric and Wormtail’s hand. All the other’s who’d died recently voice support similar to Cedric’s, Harry’s mother and father soon emerging, as well. His father instructs him what’d happen and he needing to get the Portkey. Per request, Harry takes Cedric with him as he runs for the Portkey, Death Eaters firing curses and missing, Voldemort also not getting to him in time, even though he’d gained by a single grave away.

They’re transported to the entrance to the maze, a crowd coming with Dumbledore and Harry escorted away by Moody. Harry answers Moody’s questions about what had happened Moody then confessing he’d put Harry’s name in the Goblet and also had to orchestrate many angles, as well, since Harry was too prideful in certain ways. Harry was dumbfounded by this revelation, Moody readying to kill him, but Dumbledore, Snape, and McGonagall having witnessed the last few minutes of this and saving Harry. Dumbledore then reveals, this Moody was an impostor, the 2 waiting to see if the knocked out fella would turn. He turns into Crouch’s son, Dumbledore reviving him after giving him a truth potion.

Boy Crouch confesses how his mother had, in the end saved him. She’d had Crouch help and his mother and he took poly-juice potions to have it succeed. Crouch had kept his son hidden with Invisibility cloak, Winky helping him. Bertha had gotten in the way, so Crouch had put too powerful memory charm on her and she didn’t recover. Bertha had been the one to convince Crouch to let his son go to the Quidditch Cup, the reason for the empty seat. After, Crouch had fired Winky, Voldemort having found Crouch’s son back at his home. Voldemort curses Crouch and sets up the plan with his son to be Moody’s double. When Harry meets Krum, Crouch’s son watches from the forest and underneath his invisibility cloak, stunning Krum and popping his pop, then burying the body in front of Hagrid’s hut.

Dumbledore makes sure Crouch’s son can’t escape, then has McGonagall take Harry upstairs, Dumbledore telling him Sirius was waiting for them in his office. When Sirius sees the state of Harry, he demands to be told what’d happened, Dumbledore taking the reins, Harry becoming a perch for Fawkes, then Dumbledore asking him to tell them what he’d seen, explaining it’d be easier to get it over with than wait. Dumbledore also reveals, Fawkes was the donor of he phoenix feather in his wand. From here, Dumbledore guesses the reversal which occurs because the wands weren’t performing against each other. He asks what the apparitions did upon getting out, after which he has Harry spend the night in hospital wing, Sirius welcome to stay with him. They see the Weasley’s with Hermione prompting Pomfrey for answers, Dumbledore having everyone calm down, also stating how Harry would have the dog stay with him awhile. Pomfrey sets him up with pj’s and sleep potion, he passing out promptly.

Next, Harry is woken by talk from Mrs. Weasley and how McGonagall was arguing with Fudge. When they enter the room loudly, Dumbledore soon follows, they learning Fudge had brought a dementor with him and Crouch got the fatal kiss, so he wouldn’t be tried or be able to testify why he’d done all of this. Fudge stays immovable on his skeptical opinion of what Dumbledore had learned from Harry and Crouch’s son, and the dementors being ousted from Azkaban on the chance they’d help Voldemort only making him livid. Dumbledore goes on to advise he’d also do well to make peace with the giants or Voldemort would sway them, as well. A last ditch effort to at least persuade Fudge to believe Voldemort had been reborn came from Snape when he shows his Dark mark and this being why Karkaroff biffed off. Dumbledore then readies to get Mr. Weasley’s help from those who were still on the side of reason, before Fudge had left Harry receiving the thousand galleon winnings for the Cup. Next, Dumbledore asks Sirius to transform, he having Snape and he make temporary peace, he sending both on missions, Harry being told to finish his sleeping drought, right before taking it, wanting anyone or Cedric to have gotten the prize money when Mrs. Weasley mentions it, he breaking down, Hermione then coming in with the sleeping potion.

After a moment, Harry recalls little of what occurred after, a harsh one being when he met Cedric’s parents. He offers them the prize money, but it’s declined with a daze due to mourning. No one at school bothered him about his ordeal, also since Skeeter’s article made Harry sound nuts, he was able to kick back with his buddies. Ron also relates how he’d found out from his mother from Dumbledore of Harry first starting his summer at the Dursleys, then would go to Ron’s. They visit Hagrid and he confesses of  knowing Voldemort had been priming to come back for years (yeah, ya think?) and as long as Dumbledore was there to fight, he felt safer. They learn he also would be on a mission for Dumbledore possibly with Madame Maxime and maybe in relation to Voldemort, since he refused to give detail.

At the Leaving Feast, Dumbledore decides to reveal some of the details of Cedric’s murder and then recognizes Harry’s bravery for confronting and escaping Voldemort. Some Slytherin students refused to partake in honoring Harry, though; After which, Dumbledore goes on to support everyone sticking together against Voldemort. When everyone’s going home, Fleur makes sure to bid farewell to Harry, Krum doing the same, having a private chat with Hermione whilst Ron tries to keep track of them, in the end asking for Krum’s autograph. When they’re on the train back, Hermione mentions at lunch, how Rita hadn’t been writing anything since the end of the last task due to what she’d had on her. They then learn Hermione had Rita still in beetle form in a jar, she an unregistered Animagus. Hermione lists her terms to beetley Rita and would set her free in London. Fred and George help them hex Crabbe, Goyle, and Malfoy when they come to bother the trio, Harry then offering the twins his winnings, since they wouldn’t be getting paid out by Bagman, whom was in a shit ton of debt. His only request being for them to buy Ron some dress robes and take the credit. They end with Harry resigned to his summer with the Dursleys and preparing for whatever was ahead.

A decent end, and I’ll be happy to continue to the brickiest looking Year 5 of the bunch.

Quidditch Through the Ages by Kennilworthy Whisp

Image result for quidditch through the ages book cover

The first inside page shows the students who have checked out the book from the library including Oliver Wood, Fred Weasley, Hermione, and lastly, Harry, as well as the nameless threat which would befall anyone whom damaged the book by the librarian. Praise for the book, among them Lockhart, and Whisp relating in his own words, of being a fanatic of Quidditch, having written three other Quidditch-related books, in his spare time and when not at home, following the Wigtown Wanderers. Dumbledore again providing a Foreword which relates how popular the book is at the library, then speaking of Comic Relief and the equivalence between pounds and Galleons (the exchange rate must being shit for having not changed from Fantastic Beasts, but in dollars being a difference of 100 million and Galleons still only being 34 million; weird. Another odd thing is Dumbledore is aware of Rowling, hwhaaat?…). Dumbledore continues by relating the librarian’s reaction to giving up one of her books and how to treat the text with care, jinxes a possibility to deal with if one doesn’t.

The first chapter deals with the process of coming to decide to fly upon a broomstick, Animagi having to deal with the animal’s instincts, whilst levitation not being satisfying enough. The question of why settling on broomsticks is pondered over and answered, being due to a broom an easily explained item to Muggles, but the bewitching of one wasn’t as cut and dry. Whilst the practice had been around for awhile, the comfort of the rider suffered at first, due to brooms being homemade and the spells simplified. Then, when broom-makers were utilized for services, riding became more than only transportation.

Broom sports were developed quickly upon the upgrade of brooms, some of the games no longer played or changed to those currently known; One from Sweden being the annual broom race, Shuntbumps, a sort of jousting game still popular among children, and Swivenhodge a tennis game, not particularly popular but still played in England. The last not technically mentioned originating from Queerditch Marsh and has snowballed in fanboys of the sport. First knowledge of Quidditch was gained from a witch’s journal referencing the sport in the 11th century, she disturbed whilst it was played on the other side of the marsh, annoying her, but watching them after awhile, all whilst ragging on them. Whisp considers some of the players mentioned, possibly a Scot implementing an idea from his own people’s sport. Talk died until one hundred years later by a wizard from Britain whom wrote to his cousin in Norway about his team winning. Whisp then mentions the Golden Snitch not getting added until the 13th century in an odd way.

Background of the Golden Snidgets origins are given, it currently a protected bird. Wizards used to catch them in varying ways, but commonly the Snidget would be squashed by hand, the sport not being looked down on until the middle of the next century: 1300s. Then the first game with Snidget is relayed by a witch writing to her sister, she having fouled the game up by releasing the Snidget away from the field, and being fined by the Minister of Magic at the time, but other birds were caught and killed in future games. A wizard then invents the Golden Snitch as Quidditch teams searched for a suitable flying replacement, the sport complete.

In the 1300s a wizard fully describes Quidditch as well as the best hours and locations to play. The areas chosen becoming such an issue, laws were passed to dissuade games being near towns or Muggles. Instances of breaking up teams for not going along with the rules are also detailed. The issue has since been handled due to designated stadiums now being used for tourneys.

The differences in Quidditch since the 14th century starts with the pitch, it first being oval, five hundred feet across, one hundred and eighty in width, and a two foot circle in the center. The referee sets up the balls in the center with the teams standing around him until the Quaffle is released, goal posts being baskets, but changing in 1883 to the current goal posts. The change was handled poorly by fans, but the Department of Magical Games and Sports saw the practice of basket sizes varying unfair to the players. Next, the Quaffle is shown to have been used since the beginning, but is now charmed for easier catching, as for the Bludgers having used to be rocks, some teams used metal balls. A story is then related of a Golden Snitch having invaded capture so long, the teams gave up, the Snitch still at large, and the story being unconfirmed. The role of the Keeper also had changed, they acting like the Chasers, as well as having their goalie duties. The Beaters role remained unchanged whilst the Chasers now had a new rule to follow so as to discourage bullying the Keeper, the reaction of fans being similar as before. The Seeker’s position, whilst sought after, is also marked for being the most injury-filled, their talent also leaving them as targets. Rules of the game are listed, as well as seven hundred fouls, all of which had been called at the first World Cup in 1473. Referees are lastly listed where it describes how dangerous the position was until security got tighter on broom tampering, it also mentioning the extensive training to be passed only by the Department of Magical Games and Sports.

Next is a list of teams including Britain and Ireland, which before showing, is told of a certain amount of games being allowed by professionals to participate in, and rules for amateurs to obey. Back in the late 1600s, if a team wasn’t invited to join the League, they were requested to break up. The thirteen teams deemed the most talented compete every year for the League Cup. The list is shown alphabetically as follows: Appleby Arrows, Ballycastle Bats being the second team to most having won the Cup, Carephilly Catapults, Chudley Cannons being underdogs for quite awhile now, Falmouth Falcons, Holyhead Harpies being one of the oldest teams playing, Kenmare Kestrels, Montrose Magpies being the record holders for wins, Pride of Portree (the Prides), Puddlemere United being the oldest team founded, which was 1163, Tutshill Tornados holding the most wins back to back, it being five, as well as their Seeker’s record of fastest Snitch catching at three and a half seconds, Wigtown Wanderers, and Wimbourne Wasps, concluding.

It’s told how Ireland seemed to have excelled and played the game the longest, 1385 having been the year where written confirmation of a game having been played is shared. By the 15th century, Norway, then France learned of the game, and then in 1473 the first World Cup is played, the reasons other nations not joining speculated upon. It was also shown to have the most violent game witnessed between Transylvania and Flanders. From the first World cup, they continued every four years, in the 17th century, other nations began joining and then in 1652 the European Cup was initialized and games were held every three years. Then, the most favored European teams are mentioned. New Zealand first witnesses Quidditch in the 17th century when European herbologists were seen playing the game, whilst Australia catches on a century later, but became masters of the sport in their own right. Africa also became talented contenders, not only in the All-Africa Cup, but the Quidditch World Cup, as well.

North America knew Quidditch in the 17th century, but due to the high-profile knowledge wizards were dealing with due to Muggles at the time, the blossoming of the game was quashed at first. Canada later on became quite a spectacle in regards to a couple of their home teams. The U.S., meanwhile had a game called Quodpot which was founded in the 18th century and distracted focus from churning out some decent Quidditch teams. Quod fails to be as entertaining as Quidditch, though despite having gotten minor popularity in Europe, as well. The U.S. caught up eventually, two teams having been internationally ranked: one from Massachusetts, and the other from Texas. South America also became Quodpot lovers more than Quidditch, but Peru became experts in Quidditch, recently. Asia is the least interested in Quidditch, what with flying carpets taking precedent, some popularity only popping up on the streets. Japan though, has shown increased interest in the last century and even began participating in the World Cup.

To make broom riding easier, a Cushioning Charm was developed in 1820, the next issue being the hand-made brooms, most of which were nicely designed, but didn’t have the agility desired. Twenty two years after the first broom to gain popularity was made, the second was produced, but like the first, only one person had been making them, and so wasn’t easily accessible, until twenty five years after, a trio of brothers mass producing their style of broom which blew up among Quidditch players, everyone riding one. Then only three years later, the competition stepped up, improving the braking capabilities. By 1940, more companies joined the ranks of better quality brooms, and in 1967 the Nimbus company was born, breaking all barriers for being the best.

The last chapter contains certain moves invented by players, like the Sloth Grip Roll, where one dangles upside down off their broom to avoid a Bludger. The book ends with the fantasy of the first witch to have seen Quidditch, would’ve been impressed with the developed game and would enjoy watching the most recent developments of the game, as well as the hope of continuing to better the game through the years so future wizards and witches can be entertained.

Not a bad side-story, but Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander was better. The book is so easily read though, it doesn’t affect being able to move forward to the rest of the series upon finishing. To the next!

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Image result for Fantastic beasts book cover

So, straight from the “Belongs To” stamp, we see Ron, Hermione, and Harry scribbling about why Ron is sharing Harry’s copy and the awesomeness of Dungbombs. Ron and Harry have a hangman game going (Acromantula), as well as tic-tac-toe. One of the boys comments about Newton ‘Newt’ Artemis Fido Scamander’s name being “nice” and the author’s love of animals nurtured early in life, and though at first his career with the Ministry of Magic in the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures Department left something to be desired, he eventually transfers to the Beast Division, allowing him to flex his knowledgeable muscles. He created the Werewolf Register and passed the Ban on Experimental Breeding law. This book stems from a collection of notes whilst working with the Dragon Research Bureau and stating of the award he won, where he resides, as well as the names of his wife and pet Kneazles. Then a Foreword by Dumbledore about the book being helpful to students, but versatile to the use in common society, as well.

This edition extra special for being available to Muggles for Comic Relief, the wizarding world joining in helping the funding by mass producing Harry Potter’s copy, where wizards can locate a copy, thieves properly punished by curse, and the warning to never tickle a sleeping dragon. The Introduction has Newt describing his humble beginnings and how far he’d come through his many travels giving him plentiful experiences with all sorts of magical creatures. Newt then gets an answer from Harry to his question of ‘What is a beast?’, but Newt starting by listing three kinds: werewolves, centaurs, and trolls. Newt then clarifies how simply the label was given at its inception, as well as the Chief of the Wizard Council realizing his mistake upon seeing who came forward at the first meeting. The next Chief attempts to amend the restriction, only creatures who could make themselves understood by the Council being invited to attend, but issues were still needing to be handled: ghosts turned away and centaurs not coming, in protest of the Merpeople being excluded. The third, and start of the title of Minister of the Ministry of Magic made more progress with the classifications in divisions: Beast, Being, and Spirit. Some allowances being made in regards to centaurs requesting to stay labeled as beast and some believing Muggles needed to be reclassified as beasts, (I struggle to argue) as well as the tough to place, werewolves.

The next question to be regarded is, why Muggles don’t see these creatures, A Brief History of Muggle Awareness of Fantastic Beasts to follow, Harry noting its briefness being a fallacy. Newt begins by confiding how Muggles used to acknowledge magical creatures, regardless of wizards’ attempt at hiding them, the Middle Ages art and literature showing this. He then mentions how Muggles tended to guess wrongly of what they’d seen or didn’t register seeing the creature at all, he referencing a monk’s manuscript of his own experience with a Jarvey, believing it was a talking ferret. Those being hard times for wizards, A History of Magic being recommended for more detail on the subject, Newt then moves on to how they’d chosen which creatures needed to be hidden along with themselves, some of them being invited to the meeting and when concluded, 27 creatures becoming mythical Muggle (which for some reason brings to mind Good Mythical Morning) history. More beasts become added once they’d gotten comfortable with their camouflaging skills. It becoming a law and being dealt with by whether a community didn’t handle their creature-hiding properly. Incidents including a dragon swooping down on a Muggle beach, yeti sightings becoming far too numerous, and the largest kelpie of Loch Ness reveling in its celebrity.

Newt then lists a few creatures who haven’t yet needed assistance in hiding: Tebo, Demiguise, and Bowtruckle (all covered later), the unicorn, mooncalf, and centaur introverted enough to keep to themselves, and others living in places Muggles couldn’t or wouldn’t visit, like the Acromantula’s home in the jungle and the phoenix on mountain peaks no one could get to unless with magical assistance. Then there’s those who look like “normal” creatures, or are too quick to be identified, like the Chizpurfles, Billywigs, and Crups. Another way of detouring Muggles versus by charming the areas the creatures lived, in special cases, like for the Quitaped, it is made impossible to map the spot where the creature lives. There are also creatures which need to be monitored due to searching outside there territories, like kelpie and pogrebin. The Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures is commented on by Harry about how Hagrid must not have been aware of it, for buying creatures on the list. Newt then answers why magical creatures are protected so strictly, it being so the wizarding world could continue to enjoy them. Seventy-five beasts are listed within and Newt makes clear of the love he has for his work. Afterwards, giving classification explanation, the beasts then listed. (Which I will only name a few).

Acromantula is a spider which Harry marks with nine more x’s than the classification of 5, Harry then writes of confirming the spider’s existence in Scotland.

The Basilisk also gets a comment when Newt claims of no sightings for about 400 years.

Then upon learning the sweet, Fizzing Whizzbees possibly contained a bit of Billywig which is an insect, Harry swears off having them again.

Bowtruckles are tree-guardian creatures which have camouflage like a tree, and would allow bark-stripping for wands only if given woodlice.

Centaurs are classified four as a sign to be respected, like Merpeople and unicorns. They are known to excel in magical healing, divination, archery, and astronomy.

Harry makes another smart comment about Hagrid getting a Chimaera since it was among top non-tradeable creatures.

Chizpurfles are parasites looking crab-like with whopping fangs, they similar to termites.

Crups look like Jack Russell terriers with a forked tail and are not picky eaters, wizards allowed to keep them with proper documentation and proof of careful handling.

A Demiguise has invisibility capabilities, their coats sought after for being used for Invisibility Cloaks.

Diricawls were believed to be extinct by Muggles, they calling it, Dodo, but the bird merely able to relocate “magically”, the phoenix having the same talent.

Dragons are then listed by pure-breeds, there being 10, but I’ll only be listing the ones I remember mentioned or commented on.

The Hungarian Horntail, Harry agrees of it being dangerous, what with having 50 foot range with its fire-breathing.

Then the Norwegian Ridgeback, Harry changes the name to Baby Norbert, it rarer than most, hostile to its own kind, will eat sea “food” unlike other dragons, and able to fire-breathe younger than most, as well: 1-3 months.

Fairies are described as usually bad-tempered unless used for ornamental purposes; conceited little buggers, they speaking in high-buzzing form, starting as larvae and cocooning before going straight into adulthood.

The Flobberworm is mentioned being a vegetarian which are sometimes used for potions.

The African Fwooper bird resembles a Dr. Seuss creation and will drive a human mad with its song.

Harry makes fun of the Glumbumble name which makes a sadness-induced treacle.

The gnome is then mentioned and Ron’s way of ridding a yard of them being most popular, but used to also be gotten rid of by Jarveys.

The Grindylow is a light-green water demon found in lakes, eats fish, is unfriendly to Muggles and wizards, but Merpeople are able to tame them.

Hippogriffs have also been commented on by Harry, wondering if Hagrid had read this book, referencing how, while tameable, it should only be tried by professionals (but Hagrid having taught the class properly). It eats insects and small mammals and hatches within 24 hours of being laid.

The Jarvey looks like a ferret which can talk, is much larger and usually speaks vulgarly, eating gnomes, moles, and rats.

The Kappa is commented on in regards to Snape not knowing their origins being Japanese, it feeding on human blood and can be swayed to not hurt a person by giving it a cucumber with the name carved in it, a wizard’s only way of sapping its power being to sucker it into bowing, pouring the water out of its head.

The Kelpie is a demon which can change shape, but prefers looking like a horse. Its feeding method involving getting the rider to the bottom of the water, but can be made peaceful if able to put a bridle on its head.

A Kneazle is a cat-like creature with spotted fur, intelligent, and can make wonderful pets if bonded, able to sense untrustworthy people and lead the owner home, if lost.

Merpeople have different appearances like humans, of whom know them as sirens; all Selkies/Merrows/Merpeople love music.

Mooncalves live in burrows which they exit from only upon full moons, they known to dance and leave UFO patterns in wheat fields, their poo able to quickly grow plants when used as fertilizer.

The Phoenix has four X classification due to the rarity of it being domesticated. Besides the ability to reappear elsewhere, it eats herbs, its song can give courage or fear depending on the pureness of heart, and it has healing tears.

Pogrebin is a demon from Russia which looks like a rock, they stalking people until the person gives up hope, but besides hexes and Stupefying Charms, good ole-fashioned kicking can put them off.

Quintaped, A.K.A., Hairy MacBoon is a human-eating beast which is steeped in legend of they starting as human and transformed by another family who they were feuding with, but none could be captured so the mystery continues.

The golden Snidget is a rare bird which has an impressive skill of speed, it being replaced in Quidditch with the Snitch, Quidditch through the Ages referenced for more information.

Tebo is a warthog which can go invisible.

Trolls can be up to twelve feet tall, are aggressive and moronic, three types being mentioned: Mountain – largest and most cruel, Forest, and River- known to loiter under bridges.

Unicorns whilst white, are gold when young.

Werewolves are commented on by Harry as not being too bad, they only inflicted by a bite, and whilst no cure has been detected, there is a potion to aid in the symptoms.

And lastly, the Yeti, which is theorized to be related to the troll.

Interesting collection, though I feel more comments from the trio could have been utilized.

Wings (The Bromeliad Trilogy #3)

 

A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome, by Angalo states of an airport being where people hurry to, and wait. Masklin is first to be seen, he having viewed many humans and stealing a plane, this not being like their trucker days.  Gurder and Angalo were nearby snacking on an old french fry, Angalo pessimistic about Masklin detecting Grandson Richard, 39 in the crowd, he ready to return home, Gurder uncertain of what they should do, and Masklin turning to the Thing, it not answering so, threatening to leave it and how it would regret not helping them when asked. The Thing wakes, Masklin asks for the whereabouts of Grandson Richard, 39, and he passes on of he being in the waiting area of his terminal. Gurder and Angalo begin debating about Arnold Bros again and Masklin asks the Thing to lead them to where Grandson Richard, 39, was waiting. Gurder is panting with the effort, Angalo far behind due to Masklin running off and they blindly going after him. When they stop, Masklin confesses the real reason he was doing this was not for Grandson Richard, 39, but for their Ship. Masklin then explains how Florida would help them, if Masklin got the Thing on a “going-up” jet, Angalo not too upset with his different plans, but Gurder having to adjust, the Thing having to mention they must be on the inside of the plane since their hiding place under the wheel wouldn’t contain enough air supply. Then as Masklin gets them to an entrance more suitable, he makes clear to Angalo he mustn’t attempt to commandeer it since it was already going where they wanted, Angalo impatiently acquiescing.

From A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome, the Concorde is defined as going doubly fast as a bullet and serving smoked salmon. When the trio had gotten onto the plane, Gurder’s reaction to the carpet embarrassed Angalo, after Gurder apologizes for his response, the Thing lets them know the humans would be boarding shortly, and when they’d settled underneath a seat, Gurder loses it again for how similar to the Store it was, with the carpets and signs, they then moving to a safer spot in a corner, they having enough room to get as comfortable as they could upon wires, Masklin learning from the Thing of the plane readying for flight. As Gurder is considering vacating the plane for the vibrations, they take lift off and are thrown to the floor, everyone screaming, until realizing they must be off the ground, Gurder first to mention getting hungry. Masklin asks the Thing how long they would stay in the air, it learning it was six hours, which equaled two and a half days to a nome, he deciding they should rest, then search for food. Masklin dozes and thinks about how right Grimma had been about the world being bigger than they thought.

Meanwhile in a Bromeliad, frogs are moving to a branch not knowing the reason. The Thing then relates of the plane breaking the sound barrier, Masklin asking the other two, whom was responsible for the mess, Masklin then smelling food whilst seeing female shoes walking about. He decides he would go claim whatever food he found, telling Angalo to keep an eye on Gurder. He locates the food trolleys and hops aboard one, not regarding his safety, but whilst on it, sees Grandson Richard, 39. He discovers he’s near a packet of nuts, but leaps out quickly when a human female hand gets near him to pick one up, he running back to the hiding spot so fast, he didn’t touch the sides of the opening when jumping through. When showing the one peanut he’d taken from a pack, Angal0 complains about how it wasn’t much to share, the three coming up with a plan where they show themselves to the human female on purpose, scaring her and swiping most of the food before said female came back with another witness. The three are feasting properly when Gurder wonders if Grandson Richard, 39 was present, Masklin not admitting he’d seen him, but asking the probability of the Store being made by and for humans, Gurder asking about whether the Thing would know about the consciousness which leaves upon death, the Thing reporting of a nome in the pilot’s cabin instead of answering, Angalo not there anymore.

A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome relates of human traveling making no sense since there were many humans already where they were going. Gurder and Masklin argued as they made their way through the electric to get to Angalo, Gurder contemplating what they would do to save him, the Thing leading them to where he was being held, but Gurder discovering a short cut. They reach the room where some humans are bent around looking at something on the floor, when Masklin wonders what they’re saying, the Thing prepares and translates how they had tracked Angalo to behind a panel and were attempting to capture him, he biting one of them when she’d stuck her hand in. As Masklin attempts to figure a way to help Angalo, he desperately asks the Thing if there’s something it could do, the Thing setting off alarms and reporting of taking over the aircraft. Meanwhile a frog from the Bromeliad falls to the forest floor, it likely having survived, whilst its brethren moved on. Masklin and Gurder then try to find a way to get to Angalo whilst the Thing steered the plane, it reporting how quickly and high it was flying them, Masklin indifferently commenting, Gurder realizing the Thing wanted praise, it denying this quickly and explaining plainly how far up it was in miles, Gurder understanding properly and gripping walls tightly.

Masklin takes the risk to run out into the open and converse to Angalo, he updating him on the Thing’s control, Angalo comes out, and the two chat in the open until realizing they’d been seen, dashing off. Gurder follows as they pass him, the human chasing them, and the Thing deciding to distract her by shifting the plane, the three hiding near another human’s feet, Masklin demanding the Thing release control, despite it wanting to attempt landing. As they all get comfortable under the seat, Angalo responds to a comment made by Gurder about the human’s socks they were staring at, chatting about how the Store sold them and what kind of shoe was most cozy to sleep in. Masklin then climbs to the armrest for a moment, coming back and commenting on the human’s bag, he changing the subject to when would be best to leave the plane, he deciding it would be with the humans, Angalo bringing up how they’d be trampled, and Masklin sharing of they popping into the bag to avoid this. Gurder states of the absurdity of this and Masklin confesses the human being Grandson Richard, 39, Gurder disbelieving for his ‘holy’ socks, which is what Angalo comments, attempting levity, which Gurder couldn’t abide, he agreeing after coming to grips with seeing him for himself. Angalo then wonders what they would do if found inside, Masklin replying to perhaps, smile. (Ha!) Then the tree frogs continue to climb forward.

A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome then shares the definition of a hotel being where humans park, eat, and get rained on. The trio attempt to get comfortable, Gurder going full hog by cutting a hole in a sock to ease his mind, and the Thing updating of landing procedures being underway soon, Masklin making certain they were truly the last of their kind, the Thing stating no others having been detected, then sharing of where they’d next be heading and the types of questions asked: Immigration/Customs, Masklin sure they didn’t want to do any harm, only needing one of the “going-straight-up jets”, other than this, no mischief against the U.S. to be had. As they were carried to the line of humans, awaiting their turn, Angalo turns their thoughts to how they’d locate the shuttle, Masklin uncertain and asking the Thing, they not needing to do anything, since Grandson Richard would be heading to where they needed to go. The three then debate the odds Grandson Richard would first go somewhere to rest, they making it through the line and Grandson Richard meeting a man with his name on a sign, the Thing translating of their prediction being sound, Grandson Richard going to a place for rest and food.

Angalo then realizes the next sound heard was from a vehicle, the Thing supplying it was a helicopter, Gurder becoming nervous once hearing how it flew without wings, but settling when discovering Science kept it in the air. Then after a few more times getting placed on the floor, they hit something soft, and the Thing states of they currently being in a hotel room and Grandson Richard showering, the three agreeing to get out of the bag, they hearing the sounds of the outdoors due to the balcony door being ajar, Masklin then asking what Grandson Richard was singing (the lyrics sounding like Bon Jovi), he then having to leave the shower for a moment to open the door for room service, hopping back in after, Gurder first to smell the food, and the Thing supplying what was ordered since hearing the description upon check-in. Gurder finally convinces Masklin to swipe the sandwich, but not being quick enough, Grandson Richard seeing him. Masklin weighs whether to take the opportunity to explain the reason they were there, with the Thing translating, and if he’d help them rescue the quarry nomes, but decides the risk of he being like the stewardesses being too great, he jumping down, and with the others helping, carried the sandwich outside. The frogs are learning about different hazards, another of them being eaten by a lizard, the lead frog giving a “mipmip” of encouragement as they journeyed to the new flower.

A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome continues about Florida and its sights, including amphibians, space shuttles, and birds, then explaining BLT’s. A perspective of a wide view slowly zeroing in on Florida is made, as the inhabitants of the place are described, most not knowing Florida’s name, but those who did, thinking they were the sole ones to matter. Then it moves in until clicking, and Masklin is shown walking back to where the others were: across a highway, nestled in some plastic, the Thing learning where the shuttles blasted off from, it eighteen miles away and they going half a mile, the BLT still in good shape, and whilst they could move quickly, they still wouldn’t cover enough ground to make the launch in four hours. Gurder was getting on Masklin for fleeing from Grandson Richard, the Thing for once also inquiring why he hadn’t stayed, Masklin explaining how difficult it was to use human appliances without their knowledge, but trying to trust they’d understand and want to help a nome seeming far-fetched, and Masklin not about to surrender to humans. The subject of the nomes at the quarry came up and Masklin mentions how Grimma confused him by her frog talk when Angalo mentions their relationship status. Angalo and Gurder agree females, and everyone in general shouldn’t have been allowed to learn to read, they then going back to the conversation about Grandson Richard and what he’d have done with them, the Thing reminding them of time passing.

After a second reminder, Masklin urges them forward, Gurder remarking how the heating in Florida wasn’t broken (A/C thinking, still), he continuing about how he hoped he lived somewhere like it when he was old, the Thing informing how they were currently going through a wildlife preserve. Masklin then asks what animals, besides turtles lived there, the sea cow not bothering him, but upon learning what an alligator was, everyone becoming a bit pensive. Masklin sensed they were being watched, the grass moving by unknown causes, they soon see fifteen nomes come out. They had spears, but whilst not overtly aggressive, were still intimidating, Angalo wondering if Masklin knew them since they were Outside nomes, as well, Masklin not having met them before. Angalo then believes he sees the leader, an old man with a feather in his hair.

After the Thing suggests they state being peaceful, Masklin does the honors, raising his arms, but forgetting the rock he held, the nomes readying their spears, Gurder then flying off the handle and the native nomes confused and speaking a different language, an old woman appearing with a young boy, she also sporting a feather in her hair and speaking with her people, then approaching Masklin, taking the rock from him, he allowing this, and when touching the Thing, is surprised to hear it speak to her in their language. Next, they are fed lizard, then descriptions of their physical attributes are given, they looking a bit differently, the Thing speaking with the old woman, whom was the leader, to the trio’s surprise, and they speaking close to what original Nomish was. Then Topknot, the old man speaks of they upsetting the Maker of Clouds (obviously, the religious leader), the Thing then realizing whom the Maker of Clouds could be, it readying the trio to run, since the nomes may take it badly when it broke the news, the Thing guessing rightly, but Shrub, the leader calming them, Masklin reading what the Thing had written in the dirt: NASA, he asking how the Thing knew, it replying knowing nome psychology and their minds taking written words literally.

In A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome, geese are mentioned to being an unimpressive bird which spent much time flying. Shrub then shares the origin story of NASA according to nome history, Masklin asking the Thing if she thought it was true, whilst Gurder and Topknot debated with each other whilst not understanding the other’s words. Shrub lightheartedly speaks of how she didn’t have faith, but believed what she saw and signs told of their home belonging to NASA. She also shares how quickly she could get them to the launch area, she leading them to a lake, then soothing Masklin with the knowledge of the geese heading toward them being friendly. The Thing shares how the Floridians navigated for the geese when they migrated to “Canadia”, Masklin warming to the idea of riding one, but Angalo attempting to get out of it, the Thing informing them of the partnership between the geese and nomes, the geese making it possible for the nomes to live mostly independently from humans. When Masklin notes how Shrub seemed unbothered by having met new nomes, Masklin asks how many she’d seen, the answer being in the thousands. Meanwhile the lead frog was racking its brain in understanding seeing their old world with the new one, realizing it was one more. When Masklin and Angalo return to see Gurder still at it with Topknot, Masklin breaks it up to share what he’d learned about the many other nomes, and to get ready to leave. At first, Gurder refuses, but gets courage in knowing Topknot had ridden geese many times, the trio discussing what could tick off the dumb geese and planning to do the opposite.

Masklin’s autobiography states of the flying geese being the most alarming, due to seeing clearly the goose’s path as opposed to the airline, which goes so fast and high, one could barely notice, and ignore it. Masklin buried his head in the goose feathers for the most part, having seen the trees whizzing by too quickly, he speaking with the Thing about the plan once reaching the launch area, Masklin most likely only needing to get close enough for the Thing to attach itself somewhere outside the shuttle, and when nearing outer space, call their Ship. Masklin is then asked by the same young boy, Pion, Shrub’s son, about how he was feeling and what it was like in a plane. Masklin unable to give an answer to the latter, but denying feeling ill. The landing was worse than the lift off, Angalo sounding traumatized, Shrub then showing where they must go, Masklin asking the Thing to translate of they returning for them if all ended well, Shrub complacent, and then pushing Pion forward to go with them, for experience, Masklin attempting to talk her out of it, but she answering positively to all of Masklin’s warnings and misgivings, Angalo first to give the okay since Pion reminded him of when he was young, and Pion having the option of returning by goose if he wanted (bad, editor! Someone forgot to italicize the Thing’s words, tsk!) Masklin finally gives in and was unsettled by how easily the geese nomes parted from each other. As they ran the last stretch, they chatted of what was served in shuttles, Angalo knowing it was encased in tubes, the group having to stop for a rest, Gurder first to fall asleep. Angalo then states how they needed to write their own books when they got home about Science and practical things, unlike Gurder’s Book of Nome, soon the rest falling asleep, and Masklin having the Thing wake him in ten.

A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome describes how satellites work with TVs and they being a part of Science. Gurder wakes Masklin as he’s talking quietly to the Thing. He has an existential crisis about how his beliefs didn’t feel as important and were easily shot through compared to Angalo’s sensible belief in machines. The Thing gives a plain answer to Gurder when asked “the truth about everything”, it relaying of its knowledge of itself and what may be true of how long nomes were on Earth. Masklin gives a respectful groan of waking and asks the Thing how long they had, surprised by how close it was and how far they still were, the Thing admitting regardless of distance, they were close enough for it to transmit some commands, it needing them to stop talking to it so it could complete the transmission. Pion then begins to try and get their attention desperately, Masklin wondering if perhaps he was attempting to relate they being too close, Angalo arguing the Thing wouldn’t have had them wait there if it wasn’t safe for them, Pion not waiting for them any longer and running away. Masklin then considers how much knowledge the Thing had in the safety of nomes, the three deciding to retreat a ways, the each of them quickening their paces upon noticing the other, then the noise, much louder than normal, began.

A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome tells of Space and the two types it could be. After lift-off, the trio showed confusion to each other, but no one able to hear the other. After the shuttle had gone further, their hearing gradually returns, Gurder disbelieving humans would want to ride a shuttle willingly. Masklin then comes to the realization about knowledge and once one started getting it, how impossible it was to stop, Grimma putting the idea in his head, he then going back to where the Thing was left, it telling of using too much ‘pow’, before shutting down, he being met by Angalo (presumably) and Gurder with Pion (the book saying Masklin walked up with Angalo, but could such a thing be possible, editor?), he sharing how the Thing had ‘stopped’, Gurder thinking it could’ve finally died, Masklin suggesting it must have meant electricity being needed, their current environment not catering to power. As Pion returns with lizard lunch, Masklin decides they should locate a shady spot and figure out their next move, in case they needed to help the Thing get the Ship to them. As they sat and lazed Gurder and Angalo began conversing about the sun and how it did more than light the place, Angalo wanting Masklin to explain it to Gurder, but he not being there.

As the shuttle performed its new orders, the humans angrily attempted to change the course back, but this being futile. Meanwhile, Masklin hurried to get to wherever he was going, then notices Pion chasing him, Masklin trying to get him to return to the others, and through signs, made Masklin understand he was heading toward humans, Masklin aware of this. Finally Pion stares as Masklin continues, he wondering if the Ship was on its way or not and how much time he had left to recharge the Thing. When he sees humans, he debates how dumb his plan could be if the Ship didn’t come, he then stops in front of them and tries to shout as loud and as slow as he could. Pion had gone back to relay what Masklin had done and how he was now being driven in a truck. Masklin had startled the men, one of them talking on a radio whilst another retrieved a box for Masklin, setting it on the ground near him, and Masklin climbing in. He realized he couldn’t back out now, and kicked back, Masklin being shown to another human when they stopped and hoping wherever they brought him, he could get to squiggly electricity, and not the battery kind. Masklin maintained his positive outlook so he wouldn’t begin to dread the possible downside of showing himself. They drive him to a large building with more humans and Masklin chuckles nervously as he is taken out of the truck and asks how he can assist them.

A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome defines Science as discovering objects and how to work them, Religion being similar, but the former giving logical explanations when it doesn’t work, more of it existing than one is aware. The trio considers what to do, Gurder certain they’d be stuck there without the Thing, and Angalo deciding they’d have plenty of time to save Masklin, then learn whether the Thing was returning for them. Meanwhile, Masklin had gotten the Thing to revive with the humans help, despite now being in a “glass box”, the Thing informing him of the Ship being called so if all continued accordingly, it should be on its way. The Thing then relates how the humans had been sending their experts on Extraterrestrials to examine him, they even supplying a variety of food when he’d pointed to his mouth, after which the Thing makes a joke about the “take me to your leader” line and substituting ‘leader’ for ‘larder’, it then hearing the Ship, Masklin desperate to know where it was. The tree frogs, meanwhile, didn’t have legends like other creatures, due to their communication being so basic, so they didn’t have stories about the sky, sun, or moon, but it was noticed by the lead frog of the moon looking odd.

The brightness, Masklin learns, was coming from the Ship being parked on the moon. As a human gets Masklin’s attention toward a blackboard, he realizes the Thing should have the Ship stop what it was doing, since it didn’t only belong to Masklin’s group. Angalo, Gurder, and Pion also notice the moon, Angalo excited to know the Ship must be coming, whilst Gurder began to think about what would happen to the other nomes on Earth if they left, Masklin having the same thought occur, to a concentrating Thing, whom was relaying thousands of instructions per second to the Ship. Then, once Masklin learned when the Ship would arrive, he began wondering how he’d get outside to meet it, the Thing readying him to run, and once exploding the glass, Masklin chucks the Thing to the ground so he could climb down wires to the floor as humans attempted to catch him. Masklin makes it through the door though, and into the hallway, more humans coming for noting the Ship’s presence, according to the Thing. Masklin then sees Grandson Richard, 39 and hitches a ride on his pant leg, reaching his shoulder by the time he walks outside with the other humans, everyone looking up at where the Ship was coming from, the President ready to greet it, to Masklin’s confusion, but reminded of humans believing they were the most important beings on Earth.

A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome mentions gravity being misinterpreted, but it being part of Science, which happens whether one’s aware or not. Gurder had stopped to regain his breath, questioning Angalo’s choice of weapon against the humans, the two then noticing Pion distracted by a speck in the sky. As Gurder and Angalo reasoned whether to follow the dropping object, they decide to chase after Pion, whom had gone whilst they were speaking. Masklin noted the Ship’s size, underwhelmed, the Thing deciding to land it in a spot which wouldn’t spook the humans. The trio had gotten closer and yet didn’t feel like they had, now able to run under its shadow, Masklin reminding the Thing not to drop the Ship down too quickly in case the three had caught up, he then noticing Grandson Richard had spotted him, he deciding to have the Thing translate quickly, the Thing against this, but then translating threateningly to explode if Grandson Richard hurt Masklin, the former only staring at him as the Thing and Masklin discussed how close to the ground the Ship was now hovering. Angalo first thought he’d been squashed, but after speaking with Gurder, and Pion confirming his presence, he realizes they’re under the Ship. As humans flocked around it, Masklin made clear he wanted the Thing to translate his words closely, Grandson Richard walking to the Ship, as told, he also sharing how his grandfather had spoken of nomes living in the Store, his grandfather and great-uncle joking of the nomes coming out to play with the toys at night. Grandson Richard then relays why so many humans were milling about, they thinking aliens would come out to speak with them, then the Ship reacts oddly, which gets the humans to back off and Masklin then hearing Angalo speaking in a microphone, the Thing translating Masklin’s request to get closer, then putting him down, not on his list of wonderful experiences, but attempting to speak slowly enough for Grandson Richard to understand, stating his farewell, then running into the Ship, exhausted. Gurder and Pion meet him at the entrance, helping him in, and he informing Gurder of Arnold Bros (est. 1905) having believed in him, too.

A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome defines the Ship and how even though they didn’t know all about it yet, they would eventually since it was Science, and built by nomes. The Ship hovered above the building as the humans twinkled different colored lights at it and spoke different languages to it, getting no reaction or response. Masklin was currently resting in a bed which was too soft for his liking, he then noticing the nome-sized furniture and soon seeing Gurder, whom was overwhelmed by the greatness of the Ship, he unable to complete his thoughts of wonderment. Gurder shares how they’d gotten in and then leads Masklin to a room rivaling the Store’s department-size, he stating how the Ship was too large. They then see Angalo seated in the middle of the room complaining about the Thing not obeying his wishes, he wanting to drive the Ship, and then proving how much he was learning by touching a button allowing them to see what was happening outside, the humans still milling about, the Thing then informing Angalo how the Ship would be driven by it if not Angalo, the latter depositing the Thing in a spot near the driver’s seat (The Flight of the Navigator comes to mind).

When the Thing is settled, it’s brought to light it didn’t know how to return to the quarry. Angalo instructed how to make the Ship go higher in the air so they could attempt to view where the quarry might be. Masklin gets the elevator-in-a-tall-building feeling, Angalo in bliss whilst Masklin inquired after Pion, Gurder explaining he’d gone poking around for food, which Masklin saw as pointless, but Gurder changing the subject to how he didn’t feel right about claiming the Ship when it belonged to all nomes, Masklin on the same wave-length. From there though, Masklin starts to sober Gurder’s hope in rescuing other nomes due to the Nomish stubbornness getting in the way, but then builds him back up with the idea of sending Angalo back with the Ship when they’d found a place to live. Masklin is taken off-guard by Gurder’s reaction to the need for quickly changing beliefs, then stalking off. Masklin then almost wishing he was back in the hole since he’d had Grimma to share the misery with, Pion appearing with what looked like fruit on a platter. He shows the machine where he’d gotten it, high-tech vending machine with many options, Masklin wondering how it did what it does, and the Thing offering a simple explanation of Science when the detailed one failed to hit home. Masklin returns to the pilot bay, first to recognize South America, they being quite a distance away now. He decides he wanted to stop there even though the Thing stated how the quarry nomes needed him, Masklin determined to go on his mission.

A Scientific Encyclopedia for the Inquiring Young Nome describes frogs as being noteworthy to some, but the author only believing the facts needed about them was they started as tadpoles, they croak, their color varying, and leg number. Again the scene comes through like looking into a telescope, eventually zeroing in on a bromeliad, three frogs aware of the life-changing moment which would affect frogs in the future. The frogs then hear a conversation they don’t understand when Gurder is complaining about the number of mountains and Masklin unaffected by them, the two swinging under the Ship in a basket of his own devising for not trusting the technology on-board, yet. Masklin gets lucky when discovering the frogs in a flower since this was the last area they would search, for getting hassled by airplanes, Masklin assured by the Thing of being able to remove the branch with minimal disturbance to the frogs. Masklin and Angalo are then attempting to spot the quarry, Masklin remembering the area the Store was in, he warning Angalo not to take the Ship down to signposts anymore for the attention it gave them, Angalo defending how careful he’d been in adhering to light stops, everyone crashing into each other having nothing to do with his driving ability. Pion was picking up English fairly quickly and answering Gurder when asked about how geese could find their way around. The Thing then defends itself for not knowing Blackbury because radio messages were scarce about mentioning the area. Angalo then sees the airplane they took and Masklin decides they should follow, Angalo agreeing once understanding the logic, thinking how the humans should be glad for company.

Soon, Angalo is noticing how this may not be the case since the plane had sped up and used evasive maneuvering as the Ship had gotten close, they all learning of humans making up stories which split either way in scenarios such as this, the nomes becoming paranoid about what else could be on the Ship. They then focus on if they even attempted sending a message it may not be taken seriously, and humans may be smart enough to be nuts, but could also have the brains enough to “be lonely”. They succeed in tailing the plane back to the quarry and then see the smoke and humans about, Masklin deducing they track one set of tire prints which had broken through a fence (also where an editor didn’t catch two “know”‘s and should have put in a “how” for the second one), Angalo able to easily have the Ship go fast, slowly being the real effort. They spot a machine working across the field, Angalo not recognizing the type, bearing in on it as vehicles with flashing lights tried to catch up, but they then retreating when seeing the Ship. Gurder announces of seeing their people and hoping they didn’t think the Ship carried monsters like the humans did, Masklin already gone. He was currently contemplating how to move the bromeliad branch in its currently comfy specialized plant-water pot. Pion helps him move the pot toward the opening of the Ship, the frogs watching intently. Pion then inquires about the message Masklin was sending with them, he stating of not knowing how to articulate it properly.

Then nomes were everywhere on the Ship, everyone exploring whilst Grimma and Masklin watched the frogs and she caught him up on their adventures, he in awe by her fire over relating the struggle. When Masklin mentions how they could now discover and habituate a new world or go to a world of nomes, Grimma brings up how the Store nomes were already content, Masklin then sharing how after they decided on a place to settle, they’d return the Ship and attempt to communicate with humans again, sensing a friendship could be made. Gurder then appears and confesses of wanting to return with them so he could inform the nomes of the world about the Ship (missionary status), with the Thing since it had copied itself to the Ship. Masklin upon thinking about it, believed Gurder would be perfect for such a task. He then readies the Ship to land in an area with a lake, Gurder wanting to be certain there were geese around, after speaking with Pion. After leaving him, the nomes watch the landscape and Grimma marveled at the size, Angalo directing the Ship so high they wouldn’t see down, the Earth looking like a disk, then a flower.

A proper way to end it, I would have still liked to have followed their story, but I’m glad it finishes happily. Definitely worth the read, it’s a satisfying story.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Year Three)

 

Harry is revealed to loathe the summer holiday, he studying undercover, to attempt writing an essay about witch burning in the 14th century. He listens for any movement would definitely be punished if caught. Harry smuggles some of his locked up school books from the closet to his room, he being extra careful to stay out of his Aunt and Uncle’s way for Ron having called one day and Vernon answering. After the trouble made from Ron’s loud call, Harry didn’t receive anymore correspondence over the phone. After ending his studying for the night, he realizes it was his birthday (he claiming he’d never gotten a birthday card before, which I forget whether is accurate), Hedwig having been gone a couple nights since Vernon had given in to Harry letting her out at night due to the noise she’d make if sequestered for too long. A recap of Harry’s history with Voldemort is mentioned, then he sees three owls heading for his window, the one being carried belonging to Ron. Harry read the article accompanying the letter, Ron and family visiting his eldest brother, Bill in Egypt. The present with this was a Pocket Sneakoscope, he then opening the letter and present from Hermione, her gift a Broomstick Servicing Kit, Harry impressed. Hagrid’s gift was a snapping monster book (he expecting a book from Hermione, the monster-related part definitely making sense from Hagrid, though), which he had to bind, then opening the letter from Hogwarts which included a permission slip to go to the wizard-town, Hogsmeade on certain weekends, he contemplating how he’d get it signed, but going to bed, to worry about it in the morning.

When Harry goes down to the kitchen next morning, the Dursleys were watching their new TV as they ate, the news detailing an escaped prisoner, Black, Vernon then sharing he’d have to leave soon after having shared his opinion about what should be done to prisoners, he off to pick up Aunt Marge at the airport, Harry reacting with horrified discomfort. As Vernon readied to leave in the hall, Harry attempts to bribe him to sign his permission slip, Vernon agreeing (but it falling through, quite conceivably), Harry then sending a note with Hedwig for Ron to allow her to stay for the week of Aunt Marge’s stay. During the time he endured with her, he had a slight accident whilst she spoke of Harry’s mother in comparison to dogs, but the last day arrived, and Harry took all he could bear before ballooning Marge, and making a hasty exit after gathering his belongings.

Harry contemplated on how screwed he was, with nowhere to go, no means of contacting Ron and Hermione, and most certainly expelled from Hogwarts. Then when Harry felt as if he was being watched, he raises his wand to illumine the area, he inadvertently stopping the Knight Bus, whatever Harry had attempted to see, no longer there. He then gives the young conductor-like man Neville’s name due to the suspicious look he threw at Harry, and as they traveled Harry recognizes Black on the front of Stan, the young man’s newspaper, he letting Harry read the story. Sirius Black is mentioned being crazy, armed, and Fudge informing the Muggle Prime Minister for precaution, Black’s history of having killed over a baker’s dozen of people with a curse. Stan mentions Black’s support of Voldemort, the details of how he’d killed the people, and his capture. When the previous riders all left the bus, Harry asks to be dropped at Diagon Alley, and when he exits the bus, he’s met by Minister Fudge, he giving away Harry’s identity to an excited Stan. When the two are seated in a private room, Fudge shares how they’d handled his blown up Aunt, and happy Harry wasn’t hurt. He then suggests Harry stay in a room at the Leaky Cauldron for the remainder of his vacation, Harry sensing this suggestion odd, Fudge not normally involving himself in underage magic rule-breakers. When Fudge returns with the news of which room he’d be staying in and his curfew, as well as not to wander in Muggle London, he leaves. Harry then is led to his room by the owner, he surprised by Hedwig waiting inside for him, then going to sleep.

Harry made good use of his free time, also enjoying the ability to sleep-in and choose his own menu. He would spend time people-watching in the Leaky Cauldron, and studied at an ice cream parlour with the help of the proprietor whom also supplied free sundaes for him. One item which tested Harry’s spending skills was the latest broom at the Quidditch store, instead he buying replenishments for his potions supply, a better fitting robe, and school books. When entering the shop, he realized Hagrid had taken care of one of his required books, the next one he needed being pointed out by the book keeper, but Harry becoming entranced by a death omens book which depicted a large black dog which seemed familiar, but continues with his requested reading selections, afterward dropping everything off in his room. Soon enough, it’s his last day of vacation, he being spotted by Ron with Hermione at the ice cream parlour. Soon Hermione talks of getting her own owl, whilst Ron dealt with his rat Scabbers’ pallid state at the pet shop. As Ron was getting his rat tonic, a cat jumped on his head, scaring Scabbers out the door, Hermione coming out of the shop with the orange fatty, completely content with her buy of Crookshanks. They go back to the Leaky Cauldron where Harry is greeted first by Mr. Weasley, then Mrs. Weasley as she returned with Fred, George, Percy, and Ginny. Everyone had their dinner together, and when returning to their rooms to finalize packing, Harry hears Percy and Ron arguing about missing items, Harry helping Ron out by retrieving Scabbers’ tonic, down in the bar, he overhearing an argument between Mr. and Mrs. Weasley over Black coming after Harry. He hears them settle the argument and return upstairs, Harry locating Scabbers’ rat tonic, giving Ron the remedy and learning from Fred and George what had become of Percy’s badge. Harry then also realizing he would have no chance visiting Hogsmeade with Black on the loose.

Harry is in the process of getting ready the next morning when Ron enters, sharing the new accusation he’s now suffering from Percy, Harry about to share his news when interrupted by the twins who were giving Ron their kudos for his irritating Percy. The boys go down where everyone else is waiting, their rides arriving soon after. Mr. Weasley sticks close to Harry, even walking him through the barrier when they arrived early for a change. As everyone was being given a sandwich by Mrs. Weasley, Mr. Weasley was about to inform Harry privately of the danger he was in, Harry making it easy on him by confessing he’d heard the two talking and not to worry, since he wasn’t. Mr. Weasley then attempts to have Harry promise him, no matter what he heard about Black, not to go looking for him, the train by this time about to leave, so Harry having to rush on board. Harry then insisted on speaking with Ron and Hermione alone, the three going to the last compartment, which had an adult passenger dozing, it uncommon to see anyone but students on the train. Hermione was first to mention the man’s name on his luggage, Professor Lupin, Harry then confiding the information of Black after him, the two taking the news gravely. Ron then notices a noise which they soon connect to the Sneakoscope, Harry having to deaden the sound by smothering it with socks from his luggage. As the group switched subjects to Hogsmeade, Harry informs them of he not allowed to go, the two considering whom Harry could ask for permission. When no ideas stuck, they passed the time idly until the food cart came, Malfoy showing up later with Crabbe and Goyle, but the three backing off when seeing the professor. Soon they notice the train was slowing, but they weren’t yet at Hogwarts.

The lights go out once the train fully stops, Hermione leaving the compartment after Neville joined them, planning to ask the conductor what was happening when she runs into Ginny, Ron seeing people entering the train and Lupin finally waking. He lights the compartment with small flames when a figure wearing a hooded cloak walks in, Harry noticing the hand protruding from the covered figure not looking plump with life. As the figure breathed in, Harry could no longer take in a breath and felt cold. When he comes to, the train is moving, Harry asking whom had screamed, no one else having heard, Lupin giving everyone a piece of chocolate and sharing what they’d seen being a dementor. After again insisting Harry eat the chocolate to make him feel better, he exits to speak with the driver. Ron and Hermione then relate to Harry what had happened to him and how Lupin had made the dementor leave. When they reach Hogsmeade station, they go to the awaiting carriages, when they reach Hogwarts, Malfoy accosts them once more to ask if Harry had actually blacked out, he being turned away once more when Lupin gets out of his carriage. When they enter, McGonagall calls for Harry and Hermione to follow her to her office, Harry then learning it was related to his reaction to the dementor on the train, he irritated by the attention and insisting he was alright. He was then sent outside to wait so McGonagall could speak with Hermione about her schedule. After, they all return to the dining hall, Harry in the process of updating Ron, but Dumbledore standing to make a speech, Harry shutting up to listen. After noting the dementors presence, he introduces the new professors, Lupin getting a look of hate from Snape, the next professor mentioned being Hagrid, whom would be teaching Care of Magical Creatures to the trios shocked delight. After the feast they give their congratulations to Hagrid, then go to their dorms, Harry quite pleased to be back.

The trio enter the dining hall to Malfoy reliving his own version of what happened to Harry on the train with a group of Slytherin youth. Fred and George cheer him up with schooling Malfoy at Quidditch this year as a consolation for his big mouth, and Malfoy’s reaction to the dementors being quite embarrassing, as well. Ron then notices Hermione’s full schedule, a few starting at the same time. The three then quickly finish breakfast so they could locate their first class, Divination, getting help from a knight in a picture. When the class begins, Professor Trelawney appears slowly, speaking how this class would be difficult to pass without the Sight. She proceeds to freak the class out with upcoming events, one foreboding statement of someone leaving forever near Easter, she then giving the first assignment of reading tea leaves. Ron and Harry get a kick out of attempting to read the other’s cup when Trelawney comes to look at Harry’s and what she sees eventually makes her swoon. Harry’s cup had the Grim omen of death, which is a large ghostly dog which haunts churchyards, Harry recalling the book he’d seen at the bookshop and seeing a similar dog on a cover. After the ill-fortune being told, the class ends early and they’re off to Transfiguration where McGonagall soon notices how distracted the class was to be unphased by her turning into a cat, Hermione explaining why, and McGonagall calming them with Trelawney’s penchant to choosing someone to die on every new term, it not having happened yet.

Ron is still spooked by lunch, Harry sharing how he’d seen a Grim already when he caught the Knight bus, but it soon falling to Ron and Hermione bickering over psychic reliability. They were then off to Hagrid’s for their Magical Creature’s lesson, Harry soon spotting Malfoy and goons, but no time wasted on them, Hagrid anxious to have the class see what he had in store for them. After leading the group to an empty paddock, Hagrid learns his students hadn’t figured out how to open their books yet, showing them how easy it was to coax the buggers to be complacent. Then he goes to lead their study subjects to the group: Hippogriffs. The animals looked, and were quite intimidating, but Harry offered to be first to approach one, he going through the formalities Hagrid coached him through, and the Hippogriff allowing Harry to touch him, then ride him, the rest of the class following suit, but Malfoy ruining it by insulting the Hippogriff, and getting hurt. The class disbanded to their common rooms as Hagrid took Malfoy to the nurse, Harry and friends still not seeing Hagrid at dinner, but noticing his light on after, they off for a visit. Hagrid was drowning his sorrows and the group attempts to convince him it was Malfoy’s stupidity and was acting more hurt than he was. Hagrid overcome with their positive reinforcement, and after calming down, realizes Harry was outside at night, he switching to getting mad and escorting them all back.

Malfoy returns to classes late on Thursday, during Potions class, Harry and Ron soon to be put upon by Malfoy needing all chopping and busy-work to be done for him, and since he’d decided to set up right by them, they are the slaves. Malfoy also lets on he was milking his injury for the pleasure of getting Hagrid fired, and of course to be waited on. Then they learn through another classmate of how Sirius Black was spotted nearby, Malfoy partially letting on to some knowledge of why Harry should look for him, but leaving them wondering. Another confusing moment happens with Hermione disappears and reappears, she making an excuse, but Ron still wondering what she was hiding from them. They then have Defense Against the Dark Arts, Lupin taking the class out of the classroom for their first subject, Peeves and how Lupin deals with his insubordination by not removing gum from a key hole, they then moving on after viewing the useful spell, to the teacher’s lounge where a boggart awaited them in a closet, Lupin instructing them to picture their worst fears in a ridiculous way so as to complete the spell he teaches them, they doing this with no problem, and Harry not having needed worry since he didn’t get a turn with the boggart. Harry and group left, he wondering why he hadn’t gotten a turn, but also learning Lupin had a fear of crystal balls, mysteriously (at least, according to a student).

Defense Against the Dark Arts was soon many students favorite class, whilst Potions with Snape was fast becoming the worst since he’d found out about the boggart and Neville’s dress choice, he receiving the brunt of abuse, but Harry not enjoying it either.  As for Divination, Harry was losing patience with the classwork and Trelawney, Care of Magical Creatures taking a dive, as well since Hagrid had seemed to become timid, and so the class now were learning of a kind of worm. Harry was then saved by the Quidditch season nearing, their first team meeting being scheduled. After returning to the common room after first practice, Harry learned the first visit to Hogsmeade had been determined for the end of October, so Harry was convinced by Ron to ask McGonagall for mercy, he then settling to do his Astronomy assignment. Ron then gets a scare when Crookshanks attacks his bag for a resting Scabbers, he retrieving the rat physically unharmed, but this fueling him to insist Hermione get a handle on the cat. The next day, Harry was set on asking McGonagall after Transfiguration class about his fate on going to Hogsmeade, but his request didn’t work in his favor.

The day for Hogsmeade quickly arrives, Hermione and Ron having made up over their pets not getting along what with feeling bad for Harry, promising him souvenirs, Harry attempting neutrality on his stay. He walks the two to where everyone was readying to go, then goes to the common room where Colin spots him quickly. So as not to get stuck with him, Harry excuses himself with going to the library to get some assignments done, leaving, but as he’s on his way, changes his mind to go elsewhere, and runs into Filch, he commanding Harry return to his common area, he deciding he’d visit Hedwig instead, when Lupin calls to him, wondering why he was wandering alone, then showing him what creature the class would study next. When the two sat having a cup of tea, Harry asks about why Lupin hadn’t allowed him to take a turn with the boggart, Lupin confessing it was because he thought Harry would conjure Voldemort. Harry confides he’d actually been thinking of the dementors, to Lupin’s surprise, but impressed with Harry’s logical fear. Snape drops by with a requested potion for Lupin, then exits, Harry divulging Snape’s history with the Dark Arts and ambition about teaching Lupin’s subject, he paying no mind, and then dismissing Harry so as to get back to work. Later, Ron and Hermione return with sweets for Harry as they promised. After hearing about all the interesting places they’d visited, Harry told them of Snape, the group walking to the Great Hall as they discussed this. The feast was magnificent and couldn’t even be spoiled for Harry by a comment from Malfoy. As they walk back to the common room, there was a holdup at the portrait, Percy calling for Dumbledore, and the trio seeing someone had slashed the painting. When Dumbledore had ordered Filch to go locate the Fat Lady, Peeves comes by joyfully and spills where he’d seen her last, and of Sirius Black being the one whom had attempted to enter.

Dumbledore has the Gryffindors wait in the Great Hall, soon being met by the confused other houses, everyone soon learning they’d be spending the night there whilst the castle was searched, Head Boy and Girl designated as guards and Dumbledore magicking everyone a sleeping bag before exiting. The students talk with fervor over how Black could’ve gotten in, Hermione rolling her eyes to most suggestions since knowing the grounds were charmed, and the dementors having all entrances guarded. At three in the morning the chatter quieted, Dumbledore returning and speaking with Percy near Harry and duo, they listening about how no one was found and Gryffindor would be allowed to return to the dorms the next night, Snape also approaching to inform all other areas had turned up nothing, then speaking cryptically since Percy was still present, but letting on how he thought Black could’ve gotten help from within the castle, Dumbledore not believing the validity and dismissing the idea, off to relay to the dementors of the search being done, Percy then asks if the dementors had wanted to help, and Dumbledore stating how of course they had, but having vowed not to ever let one inside. The three separate, leaving Harry and crew wondering the finer details. Over the next days, Black was main chat topic, Gryffindors not happy with their replacement portrait of Sir Cadogan, whom when not challenging people to duels, changed the password too often, complaints to Percy being met with the information of Sir Cadogan being the only taker brave enough to accept the duty. Harry was more affected by the reaction of teachers and Percy, the latter Harry sensed was caused by Mrs. Weasley, all keeping a close watch of him, McGonagall summoning Harry to her office to discuss the issues with his late practices of Quidditch, she deciding a chaperone would be given.

As the match got closer, Oliver breaks the news of Gryffindor now playing Hufflepuff since Slytherin had backed out with the excuse of Malfoy’s arm having not healed, but more likely due to the damp weather, Harry pissed since knowing it was a fallacy, but Oliver relating they couldn’t prove it. The couple days before the match had Harry dealing with Oliver giving him pointers between classes since Hufflepuff had a new captain, and he was a seeker, but the chats making Harry late for Defense Against the Dark Arts one day, and instead of seeing Lupin, Snape waiting and deciding Gryffindor would lose ten points, in the end losing fifteen in total for not complying with commands to sit and asking after Lupin, Snape making remarks to Lupin’s disorganization and the class defending him. Snape disregards this, deciding they’d learn of werewolves, giving them a hard time when no one, but Hermione knew how to spot one from an actual wolf. When she interrupts twice to answer, Snape takes away more points and announces the cause being for her “know-it-all”-style, upsetting her, and Ron defending her, getting a detention. The rest of the lesson silent with note-taking and Snape’s criticisms on past test scores given. Ron had to stay after class for his detention details, Snape giving homework on the subject gone over. When Harry and Hermione go outside to wait for Ron in the hall, they complain of Snape and hoped Lupin returned soon, Ron coming out to meet them with his task being bedpan cleaning in the hospital wing without the aid of magic.

The next morning Harry is woken by Peeves so early it’s still dark, but unable to return to sleep with Quidditch in a few hours, Harry dresses and takes his gear, on his way out, having to stop Crookshanks from going in the boys dorm, making Harry suspicious, knowing how many mice were up for pouncing in the building. Harry waits in the common room until he thinks it’s breakfast time, Crookshanks making a few more tries to get into the boys’ dorm. Harry was finishing his meal as the rest of the team came in, Oliver obviously nervous, the team discovering how much when he didn’t even give them a pep talk, the game readying to begin in the windy storm. Harry was soon drenched and stiff with cold, he almost getting hit by a Bludger twice with the scene difficult to view, Oliver calling a time-out, and Harry explaining the trouble he’s having spotting the Snitch, Hermione helping him with a spell to repel rain, he now able to see, and the game starting back up, Harry prowling for the Snitch and being distracted with the vision of a large black dog in the stands, disappearing with another lightning flash. Oliver warns Harry to watch out, Cedric, the other captain, heading at him with his eyes on the Snitch. Harry goes after it, as well, until noticing a swarm of dementors below him, he again hearing screaming, and the impression of seeing his mother protecting him, he blacking out and next hearing voices speak, he coming to with his team, Ron, and Hermione around him in the infirmary, they speaking of how Harry had plummeted to the ground. He then learns he’d outrightly lost the game this time, Fred and George attempting to make him feel better with their odds of still being in the tourney. When the team is told to leave, Ron and Hermione share of Dumbledore helping Harry to fall slower, shooing the dementors out, and having a floating stretcher take him off-field, Harry’s broomstick being destroyed by the Whomping Willow.

Harry had to stay in the infirmary over the weekend, but he not minding, only insisting on keeping his Nimbus remnants despite Pomfrey wanting to dispose of it, Harry affected by losing his loyal broom. Many visitors came and went, but none truly helping Harry for not knowing his true trouble, the Grim seeming to follow him, he unable to speak to Ron and Hermione about it, and the dementors also worrying him. He slept fitfully, but content with returning to normal class procedures on Monday, despite Malfoy making impressions of his fall, Malfoy’s arm fully healed…now. When he didn’t let up in Potions, Ron loses Gryffindor fifty points for chucking a crocodile heart at Malfoy’s face. Lupin returns after this and is greeted by everyone breaking out into complaints of Snape and their homework, Lupin deciding they could disregard it, but Hermione already having it finished. The lesson was a good one, Harry being asked to stay after class because Lupin asked after the damage of his broomstick, Harry taking the moment to ask why he was affected by dementors so strongly, Lupin supplying it was because most kids Harry’s age hadn’t experienced anything close to trauma like his, Harry confessing what he hears, then Lupin discussing with Harry why the dementors had trespassed onto the field, he believing it was caused by their hunger, Harry then stating of how the prison must be, Lupin agreeing it’s depravity, most prisoners losing their minds shortly after entering. Harry then remembers how Lupin had fended the one dementor off, hoping he could teach him, Lupin agreeing, but needing to wait due to his illness hitting at an inopportune time.

During winter, Harry’s mood took a turn for the better when the next Quidditch match had determined Gryffindor still having hope to win, Oliver grinding the team down for practices with renewed vigor. Harry was also grateful Ron and Hermione were staying at Hogwarts over vacation, but wasn’t so happy to hear of another trip to Hogsmeade being set before term ended. When the day came, Harry borrowed a book on models of brooms from Oliver and planned on spending his day learning of what style of broom would suit to replace his Nimbus, he waylaid on his walk back to the common room by Fred and George giving him his Christmas present early, to Harry, only looking like a blank piece of parchment. Fred and George explaining how they’d come by it, then showing how to use it, they having met Harry at the last unknown entrance into Hogsmeade, the two going off with plans of seeing him in Honeydukes. Harry weighed his options on whether to go for a moment, then taking the passage to Hogsmeade. The trek took what seemed a long time, ending in a couple hundred steps, but making it to the basement of Honeydukes, where he edged past one of the owners, backing out from behind the counter, and blending in with the swarm of Hogwarts students, Harry imagining how Dudley would automatically get Diabetes looking at the place. Harry spots Ron and Hermione in the unusual taste department and surprise them as Ron searches for a good choice for Harry, he then sharing of the Marauder’s Map, Ron annoyed why it hadn’t been bequeathed to him, Hermione believing Harry would turn it in to McGonagall, and then Harry stating how useful it could be, also reasoning how Sirius Black couldn’t know of the open passage, plus dementors crawling all over town being a big deflector. Hermione still worries for Harry, but Ron and he have moved on to other sweet wonders after getting begrudging approval.

The trio head out into a blizzard, Ron suggesting the Three Broomsticks for butterbeer, Harry fully agreeing for not having dressed for the weather. Then, as they’re enjoying the refreshment, McGonagall, Hagrid, Flitwick, and Fudge walk in, Harry getting dunked under the table, Hermione moving the Christmas tree in front of them, and the teacher’s sitting down right next to their table. Soon, Fudge is discussing the possibility of Sirius Black’s whereabouts still expected to being close by with the group and the proprietress, Rosmerta. He continues to share Black’s worst deed not being the one most known, he explaining how Black and James Potter had been besties way back and troublemakers which Hagrid believed were only barely topped by Fred and George, everyone going on about Black being Harry’s Godfather and how the friendship had lasted for years, he being chosen to keep the location of the Potters secret since Voldemort was after them, Black suspected of playing mole for him. Rosmerta, surprised since knowing Black from his youth and didn’t believe he’d have been a Voldemort supporter. Hagrid then gets quite angry over how he’d been fooled by Black right after he’d saved Harry, going on to describe how Black had given him his flying bike (and there begins Book 1). Then it’s told of another friend of Lily and James Potter, Peter Pettigrew having died attempting to capture Black, discussing how it had ended and Fudge’s encounter with him being in quite sound mind despite the constant dementor guard. The group soon taking their leave after this, Ron and Hermione uncertain how to break the silence after all they’d heard.

Harry’s shell-shocked by the conversation, he not remembering how he made it back to Hogwarts so easily, Ron and Hermione only looking at him worriedly at dinner, Harry secluding himself to his bed and looking at the photo album from Hagrid to end his night. He finds a picture of his parents with Black on their wedding day, he thinking of how Black was unaffected by dementors despite what he’d supposedly done to betray his parents, he not getting to sleep until dawn, and when getting up, is told how bad he looked, he having forgotten it was the start of their holidays, Ron and Hermione then broaching the subject of Harry hopefully seeing reason and wouldn’t go after Black, Harry confessing the screams he heard when around dementors, he not certain how he wanted to handle Black, but having to do something. Harry then discusses what Black’s role to Voldemort could’ve been, Ron then suggesting they should visit Hagrid, he hoping it’d lighten the mood, Harry agreeing, but only to learn more about why Hagrid had kept so much information about Black from him. When they get there, they hear odd noises from inside, Harry yelling and knocking, Hagrid finally appearing, and looking distraught. When Ron and Hermione help Hagrid to sit, Harry is offered the letter Hagrid received which had caused his pain, it regarding his innocence to the hippogriff incident, but Buckbeak and Hagrid required to go to a hearing concerning what would become of the bird by the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures, the odds not in their favor. Hermione attempts to show positivity by the need for building a defense, but Hagrid knew the committee had been strong-armed by Lucius, and upon more talking, Ron making tea, Hagrid calming, and the subject of Azkaban coming up, Hagrid confiding the sorts of memories he’d suffered. By the end of the visit, Ron and Hermione had gotten what they’d wanted out of their chat with Hagrid since Harry now had another focus, the three borrowing books next day from the library which could help Hagrid with his case.

Then Christmas arrives with Ron waking Harry ceremoniously with a pillow hit, the two discovering their Christmas sweaters and hearty foodstuffs from Mrs. Weasley, he locating a slimmer present under them all, the two marveling at the Firebolt broomstick by an anonymous gift-giver, Ron suggesting Dumbledore, then Lupin, and when Hermione comes in and hears about the mysterious gift, is first to sense danger, but all being distracted when Crookshanks jumps on Ron, he hurting his foot when accidentally hitting Harry’s chest. Hermione finally listens to Ron and takes the cat out when Harry’s Sneakoscope falls out of his sock and whirs. Harry then seeing Scabbers for the first time in a while, noting how scrawny and patchy the once fat rat had become. The three move to the common room where Ron and Hermione are now freshly aggravated with each other, Harry also getting on Hermione’s nerves for bringing the Firebolt with him. At lunch, one table was set and shared by the teachers and six students including the trio, Dumbledore wishing them a happy Christmas, giving Snape a cracker where a witches hat pops out, Snape giving it to Dumbledore, whom immediately dons it. As Dumbledore then bids everyone begin, Trelawney (of whom I’ve started to make notes calling her Tre, making me think of Tre Cool) floats in, she having planned to dine alone, but her crystal-gazing telling her otherwise, but after Dumbledore magicked a chair for her, she refuses to sit, for making the table thirteen. McGonagall convinces her to sit, she then noticing Lupin not being present, Dumbledore sharing of his being sick again, McGonagall giving Trelawney a hard time what with supposedly having the ability to see what was happening, Trelawney sharing she acted like she didn’t so it wouldn’t make people feel weird, she then professing of Lupin leaving them soon, Dumbledore dismissing the statement when confirming with Snape of having made the same remedy. Trelawney acts fine throughout, until the end of the meal when Ron and Harry get up first, McGonagall downplaying Trelawney’s shrieking reaction, and Hermione sharing of staying a bit longer to speak with McGonagall.  The boys return to the common room where Harry brings out the Firebolt once more, the two gazing at it in wonderment until Hermione comes in with McGonagall, the former sitting and blocking her face with an upside-down book whilst McGonagall confirmed Hermione’s story of the Firebolt not coming with any personal identification from Harry, then informing him she was going to confiscate it until it was tested for jinxes, Ron exploding at Hermione when McGonagall leaves, she confessing rebelliously of how she suspected the broom was from Sirius Black.

Harry was upset with Hermione despite knowing she had good intentions, he convinced the Firebolt wasn’t sabotaged, and wondering how the tests would affect its riding capabilities, Ron was infuriated by the thought of the Firebolt’s dismantling, Hermione sticking unapologetically to her belief she’d done rightly, but leaving the two to themselves for the rest of vacation. When the other students returned, Oliver came to speak with Harry about his dementor situation, Harry interrupting him before he got kicked off the team, Oliver also then learning how Harry had gotten the Firebolt and lost it, he vowing to speak with McGonagall about the issue, unable to accept the stripping down of it, either. The first day of classes brought the caring of salamanders whom dwelled in flames, palmistry in Divination, and Harry setting up his dementor spell training, Ron wondering what Lupin had been sick with and Hermione baiting him with knowing, but Ron not falling for her attempt at getting them to speak with her and deciding it was the reason since she didn’t go through with sharing. Harry meet up with Lupin at the designated time and place, Lupin having a big case, he having found a second boggart to practice with, Harry attempting to hide his nerves. After learning the spell, Lupin releases the boggart-dementor, but Harry doesn’t succeed and must take a break before trying again with a different happy memory. The second time failing as well, Harry confiding hearing his dad this time, Lupin confessing he’d known and was friends with him, Harry then attempting the spell one last time, he succeeding, then asking if Lupin had known Sirius Black as well, he admitting this and then ending the session, to be continued next week.

Harry soon became bogged down with practices five times per week for Quidditch, he having one day to complete school work, but Hermione was overrun with assignments, she no longer socializing for all her work. Ron wondered aloud how she was doing it, Harry not answering for doing his own essay, but then being interrupted by Oliver, whom had spoken with McGonagall to no good effect, Harry refusing to order a broom like Malfoy’s. Harry had started to take learning about the Firebolt’s condition in his own hands as the Quidditch match neared, McGonagall updating him and making it clear from here on, she’d locate him if his broom was ready, hearing from him every day taking toll on her patience. He also stagnated progress with the Patronus spell, he unable to get the silvery cloud to push the boggart-dementor back. Lupin stays positive about Harry’s progression, even though Harry was giving himself a hard time, Lupin deciding a treat of butterbeer could lighten his mood, Harry asking about what was under a dementor’s hood, Lupin stating how no one with sanity would know, depicting of they only revealing their mouths for a Dementor’s Kiss, Sirius Black in the running for one, now as incentive to the dementors. They end the practice upon finishing their drinks, Harry so overcome with the terrible information, he runs straight into McGonagall with her good tidings, as well as his broom, he immediately brightening and Ron showing up looking gleeful, they returning to the common room where everyone had a chance to pass it around, Hermione staying out of it, but the three talking again, Ron taking Harry’s broom to their room and giving Scabbers his tonic, but returning with a sheet with blood on it, and red cat hairs.

From Harry’s viewpoint, Ron and Hermione’s friendship was taking its last breath, the two not considering the other’s side of why they were mad, Harry not making it any better when attempting to have Hermione see how obvious it looked about Crookshanks’ guilt. Ron was moping over Scabbers, Harry offering a ride on the Firebolt to cheer him up, it succeeding. Harry practices with the team first, it being their best, yet, Harry owning the field and catching the Snitch easily, Oliver so pleased, he didn’t criticize anyone for once. After Ron has his ride, Harry gets a scare when seeing eyes which belonged to Crookshanks staring at him, thinking it was the Grim, again, the two returning to the castle. In the morning, Harry officially brings out his Firebolt, everyone admiring it at breakfast, afterwards the team readying for the game, Harry secreting his wand in case a swarm of dementors reappeared. When they start, Harry gets a bit unnerved by the other Seeker’s beauty, but when seeing the Snitch, is able to go so fast, he ditches her, but loses the Snitch due to a Bludger getting in his path. The opposing Seeker continues to tail Harry rather than go after the Snitch, so Harry attempts to teach her a lesson by feigning a dive and pulling out of it, she going down, he then seeing the Snitch at the Ravenclaw goal-post, but upon noticing a few dementors on the field looking at him, he does his spell effortlessly and catches the Snitch, everyone going wild. Lupin gets a chance to commend Harry on his spell-casting, also revealing the dementors were actually Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle, and the Slytherin Captain, Harry scaring them with his silvery cloud creature, McGonagall taking points from them, giving them detention, and awaiting to report to Dumbledore. Harry and the team leave to have a victory party in their common room, Harry trying to get Hermione to join in, but she studying and Ron making it clear he hadn’t forgiven her by shouting into the room of Scabbers not being able to eat his favorite treat anymore, Hermione becoming upset and leaving for the dorms. Ron explains how if she’d at least show some sympathy for him, he’d let it go, but she resisting due to not feeling responsible. The party continues past midnight, Harry falling asleep quickly when it was broken up, and having an odd dream, then being woken abruptly when Ron shouts of seeing Sirius Black slashing his curtain. Many return to the common room, Percy attempting to talk him down for it being a nightmare, but Ron insists, McGonagall showing up and he persisting on she asking Sir Cadogan if he had let anyone in, he confirming he did since the man carried a paper with the week’s passwords, Neville upon hearing, is horrified.

Everyone in Gryffindor stay up to hear the update by dawn of Sirius Black again escaping. The staff makes Hogwarts even more secure by boarding up any possibly entrances, training inanimate objects to facially recognize Black, and the Fat Lady coming back with body guards. Harry still battled informing a school official about the Honeydukes passage, Ron easing his mind, by reasoning of they hearing about if the shop were to be strong-armed. Ron was reveling in his newfound celebrity, and wondering why Black had fled instead of taking the boys out. Neville was having a pretty bad time with his punishments from McGonagall, but to top it off, his granny sent him a Howler, and Harry got a letter from Hagrid to meet up later. Ron and Harry go to the meeting spot, and once inside Hagrid’s hut, had forgotten how Buckbeak’s trial was coming up and their agreement to help Hagrid, but he wanting to talk about Hermione and her ever more frequent visits due to the boys freezing her out, and whilst she was upset, had still helped Hagrid with his case, Harry apologizing for not doing so, as well, but Hagrid not holding it against them. He attempting to speak on Hermione’s behalf about her good intentions, Ron explaining his side having to do with Hermione needing to see his side about Crookshanks. The rest of the night dedicated to Quidditch conversation, and upon getting back to the castle, seeing the next Hogsmeade trip. Ron plans to have Harry join again, but Hermione shows up to confide if he goes, she’d out his map, Ron ignoring her, but angrily confronting her when she insisted, Crookshanks popping up, and making her withdraw, Harry agreeing to join, with invisibility cloak. When he was preparing to go, he’s interrupted by Neville, then Snape, ditching them both and going through the passage after a detour. He meets Ron outside and they go to the Post Office first to see all the sorts of owls. They move along to Zonko’s for trick items, then to a haunted shack where no one, not even the twins could enter.

Malfoy and goons then turn up and when seeing Ron, give him a hard time as usual, so Harry takes the opportunity to make them regret it, chucking mud at them, but being found out when getting Crabbe and Goyle, the former being tripped and taking a part of Harry’s cloak with him. Malfoy sees and dashes off, Harry retreating and hoping to get back before Malfoy, then hiding the cloak in the passage, but being met by Snape as soon as he comes from behind the statue. He is led to Snape’s office again where he’s interrogated about what Malfoy had seen, he soon pushing Harry’s buttons about his father, Harry getting out of line and mentioning his father having saved Snape’s life, hearing this from Dumbledore, Snape asking if he was also told the reason behind this, Harry not knowing, Snape figuring he didn’t when he gave no reply, and he sharing how Harry’s father had caused the need for his saving, so wasn’t as valiant as being made out. He then commands Harry to empty his pockets, his Zonko’s buys and Marauder’s Map being shown, Snape looks over the parchment after Harry explains away the Zonko’s items had been a gift from Ron. After Snape attempts a few spells to test the map, a message appears, insulting Snape and telling him to back off, he then calling for Lupin, whom comes through the fireplace, Snape asking about the map, Lupin quickly thinking of the most likely scenario being Harry getting it from Zonko’s, Ron arriving and corroborating breathlessly. Lupin sees this as viable and excuses the two along with him on the reason of speaking of the vampire essay, Lupin then sharing how he knew what the map was and wasn’t interested in knowing where he’d gotten it, he also admitting to knowing the men who made it, he keeping the useful tool and also imparting Harry with the advice to not squander his life away by being so reckless. Lupin’s words successfully worked to make Harry feel terrible about his actions, leaving the invisibility cloak for now, the two seeing Hermione, whom informed them of Hagrid losing the case and Buckbeak’s impending death.

Hermione shows the letter Hagrid sent her with the details of what he was going to do next, Harry in denial the committee could vote in favor of such an inhumane verdict. Hermione reminds them of Lucius Malfoy’s hold on the men and whilst an appeal would happen, she didn’t see much hope coming from it. Ron defends the possibility and volunteers his help, Hermione so overcome, she smothers him in a hug, and after hearing her apology about Scabbers, is so uncomfortable, he automatically gives his forgiveness. The next time they see Hagrid is in class, still numb by all which had occurred at the hearing, but Ron lets him know they still had a chance, Hagrid not relying on the slim hope, but making certain Buckbeak had the best time with what he had left. As Hagrid withdrew to his hut, Malfoy again makes a smart remark, but before either Harry or Ron can make a move, Hermione bitch-slaps him. Everyone is so surprised, Malfoy and goons back down as Ron and Harry stood watching. After Hermione demands Harry win the Quidditch cup against Slytherin, they all hurry to Charms, Hermione disappearing and not turning up at lunch. They discover her fast asleep in the common room and when Harry wakes her, she’s aghast at the news of missing Charms, she promising to meet them at Divinations after speaking with Flitwick. When they meet up, Hermione is disappointed she’d missed the Cheering Charm lesson since it was possible it’d be mentioned in the final, they then taking their seats and noticing they were learning crystal balls earlier than planned. As they stared blankly at their orbs, Hermione was starting to feel her time could be better utilized, she making her thoughts perfectly clear when Trelawney is in mid-reading of Harry’s orb, she interrupting impatiently about having heard enough about the Grim, then stating how she was over learning about Divinations after Trelawney called her mind unremarkable.

After she’d left, a classmate enthralled with the class reminds Trelawney how she’d predicted one of the students would leave, Trelawney feigning she’d known it was Hermione from the start. Easter holiday wouldn’t bring relaxation to the third years due to the workload given, Hermione having it worse even without Divinations, she starting to show signs of exhaustion. Ron had picked up the slack for studying the laws for Buckbeak’s appeal, Harry dividing his time between school work and Quidditch practice, Gryffindor and Slytherin at each other’s throats, and Malfoy still aching to get Harry back for the mudslinging at Hogsmeade, but the Gryffindor class making it quite difficult to get to him since they clustered about him everywhere per Oliver’s orders, in case Harry was injured before the game. The night before the match, most were attempting to distract from the pressure, Hermione and Ron trying to keep positive for him, but Harry glad when Oliver commanded curfew for the team. Harry slept badly with all the nightmares, he grabbing some water and noting the weather looked fair. Harry then sees an animal, quickly grabs his specs and sees Crookshanks, but then also seeing the cat walking with a big black dog. Harry tries to wake Ron, but the two images being out of sight before Ron had woken and fallen back to sleep. Next morning the Gryffindor team enters the Great Hall to applause, Oliver coaxing everyone to eat, but also ushering them out before finishing to survey the conditions of the field. When the school begins to fill the bleachers, the team goes to dress and when back on the field, the most defensive game begins, Oliver saving the team with blocking most of Slytherin’s attempts at scoring. When they reach 60 points ahead, Harry begins his search of the Snitch, it high above him, Malfoy fouling him by grabbing the end of his broom, everyone so agitated, the Gryffindors miss a shot, but they get another when Harry makes a path straight for the goal. Harry then notices Malfoy already in mid-dive, Harry doing the improbable, and catching up, then snatching the Snitch before him, everyone overjoyed. Dumbledore presents the cup to them, and Harry notes how strong his Patronus would be for this wonderful memory.

Harry rode his winning high for about a week, the weather becoming mild, but the students needing to stay focused for exams, Fred and George even getting serious for their O.W.L.s, Percy studying for his N.E.W.T.s (Fink-Nottle), and was severe about keeping the common room quiet. Hermione beat Percy for stress-level though, Ron and Harry unable to stop from commenting about her schedule, Harry then getting a note from Hagrid brought by Hedwig, the news shared about how the appeal was set at Hogwarts and would be attended by the executioner, they all not happy about the presumption it made, Harry and the two unable to even see Hagrid for the security measures, and Harry not able to regain his Invisibility Cloak. When the week of exams start, Hermione had the minor concern of her tortoise looking like a turtle in Transfiguration, and Charms goes a bit rockily for Harry, everyone having dinner after and going straight back to studying for Care of Magical Creatures, Potions, and Astronomy. Fortunately, Hagrid made his exam easily passable and the three took the time to speak with him, since he was obviously overcome with Buckbeak’s appeal date. In Potions, Harry was worried about Snape’s look of happiness in his inability to perform the necessary needs of the potion and thought he saw Snape give him a zero. They then had Astronomy, History of Magic, and Herbology. Finishing up the week, Defense Against the Dark Arts being second to last, and Divinations at the end. The former consisted of an obstacle course made with all the creatures they’d learned to defend themselves from, Harry getting a good grade, whilst Ron and Hermione struggled with certain parts.

As they returned to the castle, Harry sees Fudge, whom shares he was there to witness the execution and also to get an update about Black. Two more wizards come out and were obviously a part of the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures Committee, Hermione ushering Ron inside before he said anything which could get his father in trouble, and she keeping positive to the bright side of Hagrid remembering all information necessary to help Buckbeak, she not too hopeful, though. Ron and Harry go off to their Divination exam whilst, Hermione goes to Muggle Studies. Trelawney was doing one-on-one exams with the class, and when Ron and Harry were next, Ron began to consider Hermione being right about Trelawney’s talent after hearing why Neville wouldn’t share how his exam had gone. Ron goes first, making Harry last to go in the class, Ron supplying how he’d made up what he’d seen and Harry making plans to meet in the common room. He takes a lesson from Ron and makes up a vision, he readying to leave after not impressing Trelawney when she speaks in an odd voice about the Dark Lord rising before midnight to rejoin his servant, she then regains consciousness and denies what he’d heard, he rushing back to the common room to confide what she’d said, but Ron informing him of Hagrid’s note sharing Buckbeak’s doom at sunset, Harry wanting to disobey Hagrid’s request of they staying away, but Hermione deciding she’d get the Invisibility Cloak for them, Ron stating how impressed he was becoming with her rebellion, she pleased by his words. The three get to Hagrid’s, he again saying how he hadn’t wanted them to come, his nerves shot and breaking his milk jug, Hermione taking over tea-duty. As they discuss the futility of saving Buckbeak now, Hermione discovers Scabbers in the second milk jug, still looking worse for wear, Hagrid then seeing the group coming for Buckbeak and escorting them to the back door, they getting back under the cloak. Ron stops as they walked back to the castle due to Scabbers struggling to get loose, Hermione becoming faint when hearing the ax come down, in shock it had actually happened.

Harry and Ron were also in shock, the former ready to turn around when hearing Hagrid’s cries, but the two keeping him still, reminding him of the trouble they’d get themselves and Hagrid into if he returned. They continue to the castle when Scabbers makes a getaway after biting Ron, Harry spotting Crookshanks, and Ron running after the pair, Harry and Hermione pausing in dread for a moment before following, then Harry is knocked down by a large black dog, Ron protecting Harry from a second attack, but getting dragged to the Whomping Willow and breaking his leg when resisting, Harry unable to follow. Then Crookshanks stands on a spot making the Whomping Willow freeze, allowing the two to follow, they getting to a tunnel under the tree and when reaching the end, see a room with broken furniture. Hermione realizes they were standing in the Shrieking Shack, and noise could be heard upstairs. The two discover Ron on the floor, in pain and warning of the trap they were running into, Black showing himself once Ron had shared of he being an Animagus, Harry soon livid and trying to attack Black once he’d magicked his and Hermione’s wands away. Hermione and Ron attempt to help, but when Harry gets his wand back and Black was knocked against a wall, Harry states of Black’s transgressions against his parents and Black wanting to share his side, but Harry ignoring him, Crookshanks lying atop Black’s chest. Harry was psyching himself up, when noises downstairs were heard and Hermione shrieks of where they were and whom they were with, Lupin busting in. He disarms Harry and Hermione, whom was holding the other two wands, then asks Black, where “he” was, Black pointing to Ron, and the trio confused. After saying a few more incomplete thoughts aloud, Lupin hugs Black, Hermione shouting her disbelief and how she’d been helping him, Harry yelling about how he’d trusted him, and Hermione confessing how Lupin was a werewolf. She states how Snape’s essay had helped her discover it, Lupin then returning their wands so they’d listen to his side. Lupin also admits to having helped write the Marauder’s Map and saw the three accompanied by a fourth when exiting Hagrid’s, he asking to see Scabbers, and naming him Peter Pettigrew.

Ron calls madness on this statement, Lupin wanting to explain, but Black wishing to take care of Pettigrew whilst he could, Ron deciding he would leave, but Lupin taking initiative in making him listen, Black responding to Harry’s comment of so many people seeing Pettigrew’s demise. Hermione then speaks up about how she would’ve seen Pettigrew’s name on the Animagi list she’d looked up, Lupin confessing there were three not listed. Lupin began the explanation at the behest of Black for impatiently awaiting to kill Scabbers. Lupin admits when he’d been bitten, Snape’s potion allowing him to keep his human mind whilst turning, plus the origin of the Whomping Willow and the Shrieking Shack, he also sharing how Black and James Potter had helped Pettigrew become Animagi with them, he having struggled to confide the truth to Dumbledore, whom had helped him for so long, Lupin letting out how Snape was teaching at Hogwarts when Black asked why Lupin had mentioned him. Lupin was about to go on about how Snape’s life had been endangered by Black when the latter interrupts with how Snape had deserved it, for continually looking for ways to get them expelled. Black shares with Snape of how to get past the Whomping Willow all those years ago, and when James Potter found out, stopped Snape before he was attacked by Lupin, Snape then revealing himself from underneath the Invisibility Cloak.

Everyone reacted defensively, Snape holding Lupin off with pointed wand and explaining how he’d found them, Lupin again going through the process of getting the chance to tell all, but Snape isn’t as open and restrains him with a gag, then focuses on Black. Hermione attempts to reason with Snape to listen to the other side of the story, but he is far too emotionally unstable to consider this and snaps for her to be quiet for once. Snape begins to have everyone start back to the castle, Harry blocking the door to try and reason with him, as well. After Snape insults Harry’s father, he, Hermione, and Ron all attack at the same time without meaning to, and knock Snape out. Harry states he still didn’t know if he believed Lupin’s story, after Lupin had been freed, offering to share the rest of the story, Black first telling how he’d found Scabbers with help from Crookshanks, and then what Pettigrew had done before transforming into a rat on the day so many people had died. Lupin attempts to have Ron hand over Scabbers again to show the proof of his story, Harry declaring how Black was the reason for his parents’ deaths, Black not denying this for having passed off the responsibility as Secret-Keeper to Pettigrew, he getting upset with guilt. Ron finally hands Scabbers over when Lupin admits to planning on having Pettigrew show himself, the spell doing so, Pettigrew looking rat-like and speaking squeakily, all the while eyeing the door.

Lupin informs him of wanting his side of the story, Pettigrew maintaining of Black’s guilt and his imminent death if left with him. Pettigrew tries to keep Black looking like the bad guy, but Black brings up how Pettigrew had made many enemies of the supporters of Voldemort since it seemed he’d doubled-crossed them, Lupin replying how much sense Black was making since Pettigrew had decided to spend so many years as a rat. Black then begins listing the order of events and how perfect it must’ve been when Pettigrew had knowledge of the location of the Potters to pass on to Voldemort, Pettigrew looking more nervous. Hermione then asks a couple questions which made Pettigrew latch on as if she would support his side, Black responding reasonably to both, the first question dealing with Pettigrew not trying to kill or capture Harry for three years, and how he escaped Azkaban having to do with his Animagi power, then speaking to Harry of his innocence, which Harry finally accepts. Pettigrew immediately pleads for mercy to Black, Lupin, Ron, Hermione, and lastly Harry, which Black explodes with rage by his tenacity, then he and Lupin forcing him to confess (bad, editor! “terribly fury…” makes sense to you? Tsk). As the two ready to dispatch him, Harry steps forward (which, I believe he wanted to step “…in front [of] Pettigrew…”, editor getting tiwed?), he believing Pettigrew should be taken to Azkaban and not be the cause of Black and Lupin’s hands getting dirty. Lupin then binds Pettigrew and then splints Ron’s leg, Hermione reminding him of Snape and he making it so he’d float along behind them, Ron and Black then volunteering to be manacled to Pettigrew, Crookshanks leading the way out.

As the procession came through the tunnel, Harry, Hermione, and Black last, the latter brings up how this development of Pettigrew being brought to justice meant he may soon be free, and if Harry wanted, he’d be able to move in with him since he was his godfather, Harry keen on making it happen immediately. When they made it to the outside of the Whomping Willow, Lupin is first to stop, moonlight hitting them, Hermione first to state Lupin having not taken his potion, Black then urging them to run as Lupin changed. Pettigrew moved next as Lupin and Black struggled with each other in canine form, he grabbing Lupin’s wand and striking Ron and Crookshanks. After Harry disarms him, Pettigrew changes, Lupin takes off toward the forest, Harry alerts Black, and he chases after him. Harry and Hermione readying to get Ron and Snape inside, when he hears yelping, running toward the noise and Hermione following, the two seeing Black changing back as he’s swarmed by dementors. Harry attempts to perform the spell, encouraging Hermione to say the words with him, but doesn’t succeed, Harry trying to stay motivated, his useless Patronus keeping one dementor at bay, but it revealing its disturbing-looking head which killed his Patronus for pure fear enveloping him. The dementor was going to suck the life from him when he was saved by an animal giving off a light, at least it seemed this way to a slowly blacking out Harry, the animal returning to someone he recognized, but disbelieved could be present, then falling unconscious.

Snape is then shown in mid-conversation with Fudge whom was praising him for his bravery and listening to his story of what he claimed happened, Black being allowed to escape once more if he hadn’t stopped him. He then shares how he’d found the dementors returning to their posts, binding Black, and magicking stretchers for all, Harry then popping his eyes open to first see Pomfrey aiding Ron, Hermione motioning him to stay quiet as Snape and Fudge spoke in the hall. Pomfrey approached and noted Harry’s consciousness as she broke a block of chocolate. They learned Ron would be fine and they would be staying under observation, but Harry was moving quickly when hearing Black could be getting the Dementor’s Kiss as they were speaking, but he nor Hermione getting far, Fudge and Snape entering, the former’s attempt at soothing Harry only succeeding in angering him, and Pomfrey able to get him back in his bed. Fortunately, Dumbledore walked in and stated of his need to speak with Harry about Black’s story, Snape getting in the way again with stating of its nonsense, but Dumbledore making all three leave due to their interruptions, wanting Harry and Hermione’s versions of events. The two fire him with facts until he stops them to explain how regardless of he believing them, they had no proof, but he making clear to Hermione what they should do with their time and making sure they weren’t viewed, he then stating of locking them inside, giving the hour, and what Hermione should do next, Harry bewildered and asking her about the hinting instructions, but she immediately doing as Dumbledore had bid, they going back three hours and she leading Harry to a cupboard as she listened to the three of them in the hall going to Hagrid’s, she wondering what Dumbledore expected them to change. Harry comes up with the idea of Buckbeak saving Black later, so they head out, running to the forest and wait for the right moment to free the bird whilst Harry suggested ideas about capturing Pettigrew, Hermione explaining the laws they were already breaking.

Harry then offers to untie Buckbeak as Fudge read the court papers to Hagrid inside the hut, getting Buckbeak hidden as they were stepping out, and Hagrid crying for joy when Buckbeak was nowhere to be found, Harry and Hermione attempting to keep Buckbeak there as he tried to return to Hagrid, the two then quietly leading Buckbeak to a spot where they could see the Whomping Willow as everyone exited, he and Hermione settling in until they emerged once more. Hermione ties Buckbeak up and asks about what had happened when the dementors surrounded them, Harry finally confiding whom he thought he’d seen. The two then wait, Hermione first to notice them come back from the tunnel under the Whomping Willow, Harry again wanting to get Pettigrew right then, but remembering Lupin would be heading their way soon, he suggesting they go back to Hagrid’s and when all three were safely inside, Harry nonchalantly suggesting he go out to be certain what was happening, assuring Hermione he wouldn’t meddle, but then noticing the other Harry and Hermione would be chasing after Black about then, he considering getting a view of whom had sent the Patronus, instinctively dashing off, arriving to realize he was the one whom had sent the Patronus, and the animal, a stag. Hermione then comes after him riding Buckbeak, he explaining what he’d done, then the two seeing Snape retrieve their other selves, Ron, and Black. They prepare to time their rescue of Black and upon seeing the executioner coming out of the castle most likely rounding up dementors, Harry and Hermione fly Buckbeak to Black’s window, Hermione getting it open and the three splitting up after they get to the top of a tower, Black attempting to thank him, but he and Hermione desperate for him to escape, he and Buckbeak flying away.

Hermione then warns Harry of they only having ten minutes before Dumbledore would lock them out, they going downstairs, but stopping when hearing Snape and Fudge speaking of Black. When they pass, the two run onward until needing to hide from Peeves, then speeding on in time to see Dumbledore ready to lock the door, he seeing them and glad to hear the plan had gone well, then locking them in the room after they’d left. They return to their beds, Pomfrey coming in to be certain they ate their chocolate, after awhile hearing Snape losing it and bursting in, Fudge and Dumbledore following as he accused Harry of setting Black free, Dumbledore quieting him as he furiously walks out, Fudge not looking forward to dealing with the press when they learned of Black as well as Buckbeak, Dumbledore making certain the dementors would be leaving, as well. The two then leave to continue their tasks elsewhere, Ron then waking to ask questions about what he’d missed, Harry passing off the relaying to Hermione. When they are released the next day, the three decide to stay on the grounds rather than go to Hogsmeade, instead walking to the lake, Hagrid walking up to them, happy as a clam as he told of his celebrating Buckbeak’s escape, and Lupin having given notice, Harry immediately off to see him and informing he’d meet them back at the lake.

Harry confronts Lupin on why he was leaving, Snape having blurted of his werewolfness, Harry attempting to think of a way to get him to stay, but Lupin asking about his Patronus, he proud of Harry’s progress. He then returns Harry’s cloak and the Marauder’s Map since he was a professor no longer, Dumbledore arriving to announce of Lupin’s carriage waiting for him. Lupin exits with a smile and farewell, Dumbledore regarding Harry’s look of disappointment since Pettigrew had escaped, he reminding Harry of the lives he’d saved. Harry then remembers Trelawney’s prediction, Dumbledore pleasantly surprised of her second time succeeding with the Sight, Dumbledore calming Harry with the thought of Voldemort not being glad to have a servant indebted to Harry. Dumbledore then relates to Harry in how easily he could mistake himself for his father (except for the eyes), Dumbledore leaving him to ponder. No one except for the trio and Dumbledore knew the truth of events concerning Black and Buckbeak, Harry looking let down as the school year ended, he knowing he would have to return to the Dursleys.

The three learned they’d all passed their classes, Snape looking even more peeved when Harry was in his presence, but when they sit on the train, Hermione shares of dropping Muggle Studies in order to have a normal schedule, then noting Harry still looking serious, Ron offering to have him stay with him since the Quidditch World Cup was approaching and his dad got tickets through work, this getting Harry out of his funk since thinking how the Dursleys would be glad to be rid of him, Hermione then noticing a small owl outside the window with a letter, Harry letting it in, and happy to read it was from Black, whom confesses a couple of things and gives Harry a nice present of a permission slip to Hogsmeade. Black also gifts the small owl to Ron in replacement of Scabbers, he allowing Crookshanks to sniff him to be certain the little fella was actually an owl, satisfied with the cat’s results. When Harry splits from Ron, whom confirms getting in touch with news of their scheduling a get-together, Harry speaks to Vernon after he’d noticed the letter in his hand, he sharing of it being from his murderer escaped-convict Godfather and how he’d be writing to make certain Harry was happy, he now believing this summer would top the others.

Still enjoying myself, fortunately and the next one I read will be a side-story; Fun!