Saturday, February 22, 2014

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, by J.K. Rowling, takes us into Harry's fourth year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.  And I think you know by now that Harry and his friends will never have a normal school year.  The book starts us off at the end of the summer, when Harry is invited to go with Ron's family to see the Quidditch World Cup, the biggest sporting event of the wizarding world.  I mean, he plays on one of the school teams, so he can't NOT go.  The game is very exciting, but nothing compared to the events occurring during the night after the game is over:  although rather than a joyful excitement, it is the kind of excitement which involves a lot of screaming in terror and running for your life.  It seems some of Lord Voldemort's old supporters have decided to use this mass gathering of witches and wizards as an opportunity to have their own kind of fun, which is the opposite of fun for everyone who is not a total asshole.

By the time the kids are all back at school, shit has already been on a slippery slope to getting Real, but no one seems too concerned about it yet because everyone is all kinds of busy with the resurrection of the Triwizard Tournament, an international competition between students of various schools of magic that unfortunately resulted in the deaths of many of its competitors.  And although the ministry has claimed to do its best to keep the mortal danger to a minimum for this one, it seems someone is hoping against that, because someone has put Harry's name into the Goblet of Fire, the magical item responsible for selecting the champion who will be representing each school in the tournament.  I don't know why the idea of someone actively wanting Harry dead should come as any kind of a surprise for him or his friends or anyone who knows him, really, since he has been the victim of conspiracy and attempted murder in all his previous years at this school, too.  But anyway, having your name come out of this goblet is a magical and binding contract, so Harry has no choice but to compete, and the professors and government officials have no choice but to allow it.