Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J. K. Rowling

Plot introduction

Throughout the three previous novels in the Harry Potter series, the main character, Harry Potter, has struggled with the difficulties of growing up and the added challenge of being a famed wizard. When Harry was a baby, Lord Voldemort, the most powerful dark wizard in history, killed Harry's parents but was mysteriously defeated after unsuccessfully trying to kill Harry, though his attempt left a lightning-shaped scar on Harry's forehead. This results in Harry's immediate fame and his being placed in the care of his abusive Muggle (non-magical) aunt and uncle, Petunia and Vernon Dursley, who have a son named Dudley.

On Harry's eleventh birthday, he learns he is a wizard from Rubeus Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and enrols in Hogwarts. He befriends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger and confronts Lord Voldemort, who is trying to regain power. In Harry's first year, he has to protect the Philosopher's Stone from Voldemort and one of his faithful followers at Hogwarts. After returning to school after summer break, students at Hogwarts are attacked by the legendary monster of the Chamber of Secrets after the Chamber is opened. Harry ends the attacks by killing a Basilisk and thwarting another attempt by Lord Voldemort to return to full strength. The following year, Harry hears he has been targeted by escaped mass murderer Sirius Black. Despite stringent security measures at Hogwarts, Harry encounters Black at the end of his third year and learns Black was framed and is actually Harry's godfather. He also learns that it was his father's old school friend Peter Pettigrew who betrayed his parents.

Plot summary

In a prologue, which Harry sees through a dream, the 3 Riddles are murdered. But they weren't poisoned or hurt in any way. They were in perfect health but when they died, they had a petrified face. Everyone suspects the caretaker Frank Bryce, but he was released. Later on (in Harry's dream) Frank Bryce, Muggle caretaker of an abandoned mansion known as the Riddle House, is murdered by Lord Voldemort after stumbling upon him and Wormtail. Harry is awoken by his scar hurting. The Weasleys invite Harry and Hermione Granger to the Quidditch World Cup, to which they travel using a Portkey, meeting Cedric Diggory, a Hufflepuff sixth-year, on the way. In the match, Ireland triumph over Bulgaria, despite the skill of Bulgaria's star seeker, Viktor Krum. Ministry of Magic employees at the World Cup discuss Bertha Jorkins, a missing Ministry worker. Her head-of-department, Ludo Bagman, is unconcerned.

After the match, hooded and masked Death Eaters, followers of Voldemort, attack the camp site, causing terror and abusing the Muggle campsite owners. The Dark Mark is fired into the sky, causing mass panic. Harry discovers that his wand is missing. It is later found in the possession of Winky, Barty Crouch's house elf, having been used to cast the Mark. Although few believe Winky could have conjured the Mark, Barty Crouch dismisses Winky from his service.

At Hogwarts, Professor Dumbledore announces that Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody will be the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher for the year. Dumbledore also announces that Hogwarts will host a revival of the Triwizard Tournament, in which a champion of Hogwarts will compete against champions from two other European wizarding schools: Beauxbatons Academy, and Durmstrang Institute. The champions are chosen by the Goblet of Fire from names dropped into it. Because Harry is under 17 (the age of majority in the wizarding world), he is disallowed from entering.

At Halloween, the Goblet of Fire picks Fleur Delacour from Beauxbatons Academy, Viktor Krum from Durmstrang Institute, and Cedric Diggory from Hogwarts to compete in the tournament. Unexpectedly, it also chooses Harry as a fourth champion. Despite anger from the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang contingents, Harry's being chosen magically forces him to unwillingly compete in the Tournament. Few believe Harry's protests that he did not put his own name in; Ron, envious of Harry again being the centre of attention, accuses Harry of lying and breaks up their friendship.

In their first Defence Against the Dark Arts lesson, Professor Moody introduces the class to the Unforgivable Curses: the Imperius Curse, through which a wizard can be controlled as another wills; the Cruciatus Curse, which causes immense pain; and Avada Kedavra, the killing curse.

A tabloid-style reporter, Rita Skeeter, starts writing scandalous articles of half-truths and outright fabrications in The Daily Prophet about those at Hogwarts, starting with Harry. Because of the Prophet's high readership, her words hold sway among the wizarding population.

Despite champions not being allowed to know, Hagrid covertly reveals to Harry that the first task is to get past a dragon. Madame Maxime, the headmistress of Beauxbatons, and Professor Karkaroff, headmaster of Durmstrang, also discover this. Sure that they will tell their respective champions, Harry informs Cedric about the dragons in the interest of fairness. Harry struggles to think of a way past a dragon, until Moody suggests flying. Hermione helps him to perfect a Summoning Charm, which he uses to summon his Firebolt broomstick and fly past the dragon to retrieve a golden egg, receiving high marks from the judges. Ron and Harry reconcile, Ron now understanding the danger of the tournament. Harry's egg is supposed to contain a clue to the next task, but when opened it shrieks loudly. Hermione, outraged by Barty Crouch's treatment of Winky, infiltrates the school kitchen as part of a house elf welfare campaign. She takes Harry and Ron there to meet Dobby, who now works there after his freeing in Harry's second year. They also find a distraught and depressed Winky. Dobby is the only house elf to appreciate his freedom, despite his hardworking nature; the others reject Hermione's idea of payment and holidays, which they find distressing.

The students are informed of the Yule Ball, a Triwizard Tournament tradition, which requires Harry to find a partner with whom to open the dance. He asks Cho Chang, a Ravenclaw fifth-year with whom he is smitten, but she has already agreed to go with Cedric. Ultimately, Harry asks Parvati and Padma Patil to go with him and Ron. Hermione, offended that Ron did not consider her except as a last resort, attends with Viktor Krum, causing jealousy in Ron. At the ball, Cedric tells Harry to take the egg into the bath in the prefects' bathroom to work out the clue, but, jealous over Cho, Harry is reluctant to accept the advice.

Rita Skeeter writes an article revealing Hagrid's half-giant parentage (though it is a mystery how she found out), a taboo in the wizarding world. After Hermione confronts her, Skeeter writes articles painting Hermione as Harry's unfaithful girlfriend. After masses of hate mail, Hermione swears revenge on Skeeter.

The trio secretly meet Sirius at Hogsmeade, who tells them that Barty Crouch was fanatical about catching and punishing dark wizards. This culminated in Crouch sending his own son to Azkaban, where he later died. Sirius suspects that someone is attempting to attack Harry through the Tournament. He suspects Karkaroff, who is a former Death Eater who walked free.

Acting on Cedric's tip, Harry takes the egg to the prefects' bathroom by night, where with help from Moaning Myrtle he discovers that the task is to recover something dear to him from Merpeople at the bottom of the lake in the grounds. While sneaking back to Gryffindor Tower under his invisibility cloak, he sees Barty Crouch in Snape's office on the Marauder's Map, despite Crouch supposedly being too ill to judge the Triwizard Tournament. While investigating, Harry falls into a trick step and drops the egg, which attracts Filch, Snape (who has had potion ingredients stolen), and Moody. Moody's magical eye sees Harry stuck under his cloak, but Moody covers for him, then borrows the Marauder's Map.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione are unable to find a way to survive underwater for the second task, leaving Harry panic-stricken. On the morning of the task, Dobby gives him Gillyweed, which would be helpful to Harry, as he overheard in a conversation involving Moody. The Gillyweed allows Harry to find Ron at the bottom of the lake. However, he refuses to leave the hostages belonging to the other champions behind, and insists on rescuing Fleur's sister when Fleur does not arrive. Although Harry finishes last, he is awarded him high marks for 'moral fibre.' One month before the final task, Harry and Krum are talking near the Forbidden Forest when they encounter Barty Crouch, who stopped appearing to work at the Ministry several months ago. Although insane, in moments of clarity he confesses to have done 'something terrible,' that Bertha Jorkins is dead, and begs for Dumbledore. Leaving Krum with Crouch, Harry fetches Dumbledore but returns to find Krum stunned and Crouch gone, Krum claiming that Crouch attacked him from behind. Moody gives chase but does not find Crouch.

During a Divination lesson, Harry experiences another dream involving Voldemort punishing Wormtail for a 'mistake.' Harry tells Dumbledore about this, and stumbles upon a memory-keeping device in Dumbledore's office, a Pensieve. Inside the Pensieve, he discovers that Ludo Bagman was accused and acquitted of Death Eater activity, and that Barty Crouch's son was sent to Azkaban for helping to torture Neville Longbottom's parents into insanity.

Harry prepares for the final task, a hedge maze filled with dangerous creatures and obstacles, the goal being to reach the Triwizard Cup at the centre. Inside the maze, Harry stuns Krum, who was using the Cruciatus Curse on Cedric. Helping each other, the two reach the Cup. They agree to touch it at the same time and become joint winners. However, on touching it they discover that it is a Portkey that transports them to a graveyard. There, Wormtail appears, kills Cedric, and ties up Harry. Wormtail uses Harry's blood, Tom Riddle Sr.'s bone, and his own hand to restore Lord Voldemort to a body.

Voldemort, alive again, summons his Death Eaters, berates them for believing him dead, and mentions that he has a 'faithful servant' concealed at Hogwarts, who has led Harry to the graveyard. He tortures Harry, then challenges him to a duel. However, when he and Harry fire spells at each other, their wands connect unexpectedly, causing echoes of Voldemort's previous magic to appear, including manifestations of Cedric and Harry's parents. These echoes provide a distraction for Harry, who escapes with Cedric's body to the Cup, which takes him back to Hogwarts.

Under the panic caused by his arrival, Moody takes a traumatised Harry to his office. He reveals himself to be Voldemort's 'faithful servant.' He explains that he put Harry's name into the Goblet of Fire and has been guiding him to ensure he would touch the Cup first: he gave him the hint about flying, staged a conversation about Gillyweed in front of Dobby, cursed obstacles from outside the hedge maze, and used the Imperius Curse on Krum to force him to curse Cedric. As Moody prepares to kill Harry, Dumbledore, McGonagall, and Snape intervene and stun Moody. Slowly, Moody changes appearance to become Barty Crouch Jr., the supposedly long-dead son of Barty Crouch Sr., who was using Polyjuice Potion to impersonate Moody.

Using Veritaserum, they learn that Barty Crouch Sr. rescued his son from Azkaban as a favour to his dying wife: the Crouch Jr. who died in Azkaban was his mother, disguised under Polyjuice Potion. Crouch Jr. was kept imprisoned at home. Winky convinced Crouch Sr. to allow Crouch Jr. to see the Quidditch World Cup, where he stole Harry's wand, escaped, and conjured the Dark Mark. Wormtail, meanwhile, had captured Bertha Jorkins, who had once seen Crouch Jr. at home and been bewitched to forget. This allowed Voldemort to discover Crouch Jr.'s whereabouts, then formulate a plan to install Crouch at Hogwarts and lead Harry to him. Crouch Sr. was imprisoned by Wormtail, and when he escaped to Hogwarts, Crouch Jr. killed him.

Dumbledore explains that Harry's and Voldemort's wands connected because they share a core of a feather from the same phoenix, coincidentally Dumbledore's own phoenix Fawkes.

Dumbledore announces Lord Voldemort's return to the school. However, many people, including Minister for Magic Cornelius Fudge, refuse to believe it. Fudge has the Dementor's Kiss performed on Crouch Jr., who is thus unable to give testimony proving Voldemort's return. Dumbledore puts his own plans against Voldemort into action.

Hermione discovers Rita Skeeter is an unregistered Animagus who can take the form of a beetle, allowing her to eavesdrop on secrets. She blackmails Skeeter to force her to stop writing her stories. Not wanting his tournament winnings, Harry gives them to Fred and George to start their joke shop, and returns home with the Dursleys.