The Hungarian Horntail

chapter nineteen of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

After Rita Skeeter’s article makes a very rough couple of weeks for Harry, Hagrid invites him for a late-night stroll – where he sees the first task will be dragons. He makes it back to the castle in time to talk to Sirius, and learns Karkaroff was a Death Eater, but is interrupted by Ron before Sirius can help him with the first task.

I Don't Miss Him. by gerre

“Miss him?” said Harry. “I don’t miss him….

(by gerre)


Dragon, by Laurence Peguy

Harry hurried up alongside them – for a split second, he thought he was seeing bonfires, and men darting around them – and then his mouth fell open. Dragons.


Charlie Weasley, by Laurence Peguy

The wizard who had warned Hagrid not to come any closer turned, and Harry realized who it was: Charlie Weasley.


Karkaroff, by VikingCarrot

“Who’s there?” said Karkaroff again, very suspiciously, looking around in the darkness.


Harry and Sirius's Head, by Cambryn

“I’m -” For a second, Harry tried to say “fine” – but he couldn’t do it. Before he could stop himself, he was talking more than he’d talked in days.

(by Cambryn)


about the chapter


There’s really an ending to this chapter that isn’t part of the book, and that is, when Harry lies awake for hours and doesn’t hear Ron come back up to bed – what is it Ron is doing? Ron must have been concerned for Harry, on some level, to come searching for him when he hadn’t shown up in bed at one o’clock in the morning. And after Harry yells at him and storms off, Ron seemingly stays down in the common room. He must have had some talk with himself that night, or – if Hermione happened to come down to check on Harry and Sirius – maybe a long, late-night talk with her. We don’t know what he decided exactly, but the next time we see him he’ll be very different.

Something You May Not Have Noticed

When we saw Hagrid at the Three Broomsticks last year, he was ordering four pints of mulled mead. My assumption was that this meant he had four glasses in front of him, as a single pint-sized glass is often referred to simply as a “pint.” However now Harry notes that Hagrid has “his usual enormous tankard” sitting in front of him instead. There are lots of possibilities here: perhaps this tankard holds four pints, and thus he was drinking from it last year despite my assumption; perhaps the fact that it’s “his usual” tankard means Hagrid typically brings it from home, and he simply forgot once. But I think my favorite explanation is that either Hagrid or Rosmerta finally broke down after all these years and got an enormous tankard, which lies in wait for him at the Three Broomsticks. How many people can say they frequent a bar so much it stocks their own private mug?

Life at Hogwarts

It doesn’t seem to ever occur to Harry (or later, to Dumbledore and Snape, for that matter), but it seems to me for all the rough nights he’s having, couldn’t he just go up to Madam Pomfrey and ask for a potion for a dreamless sleep? We know such a thing exists and that she stocks it, because we’ve seen it. I can’t imagine Dumbledore would have an objection. Poor Harry, he never seems to think of these things, but sometimes the solutions to some of his problems are so simple….

The Boy Who Lived

For all of his idle dreams, it’s hard to imagine there being very many students at Hogwarts who would have wanted to be a Triwzard Champion less than Harry Potter does. He’s had more of a taste of fame and pressure than anyone, and it’s become more and more clear that given a choice, he’d really rather avoid it. After all, he’s fantasizing far more now about being a normal, everyday Hogwarts student than he ever did before about winning the Tournament. For better or worse, if there’s anything Harry Potter will never be, it’s normal.

The Final Word

“Originally Rita Skeeter turned up in book one. Harry enters the Leaky Cauldron, which is the place where he gets his very first taste of how famous he is. For the first time it hits him. And there’s a very early draft of that chapter, in which Rita made a beeline for him. But this gutter journalist fits better in book four, which is when the pain of fame starts to drag at Harry.”
“I didn’t realise that by the time I wrote book four I would have met quite a lot of Ritas and people would assume that I was writing Rita in response to what had happened to me, which was not in fact the truth. However, I am not going to deny that writing Rita was a lot more fun having met a few people I had met.”
–J.K. Rowling, December 2001 & August 2004

19 Responses to “The Hungarian Horntail”

  1. i don’t know about a bar…but there are diners where people have their own coffee cup on the wall. and i work at a faire and always keep my stein on my belt. Perhaps Hagrid just carries it with him…he carries so much stuff in that coat of his already, why not a cool stein too?

  2. Having one’s own mug in a bar: My husband and I do at a local sort-of-pub, where they instituted a limited-edition “members’ club” earlier this year. One of the perks is getting a 16-oz mug instead of a 12-oz glass and being able to get certain specialty beers to take home in a “growler” (half-gallon) that they don’t normally sell that way. :)

  3. Regarding Ron not coming up after Harry – I always thought he just was so angry with Harry / sad about their breakdown that he stayed awake in the common room on his own, perhaps falling asleep there and waking up hours later to go back to bed. The image of Ron misarable, staying alone in the common room rather than going to his comfortable bed, is, I think, familiar to anyone who’s had a row with someone really close to them.

  4. Along the way Harry meets a lot of people. And it’s great that each person has a special characteristic that helps Harry. In this case, Harry pours his heart out to Sirius, and not for the first time. And it’s different than Hermione because we can call him an adult, a fatherly figure. Thanks JKR for Sirius.

  5. Josie: I don’t know that we the reader were introduced to a potion for dreamless sleep until later on in this book. So maybe it wasn’t that Harry didn’t think of it as much as he just didn’t know that it existed. Although there have been many potions mentioned in the book up ti this point that I could have missed it earlier on. and there are so many things that potions can do it isn’t really hard to imagine what a potion can’t do…

  6. i feel like dreamless sleep potions would be like sleeping pills, something you CAN use, but many people advise against because they can be addictive. perhaps dreamless sleep potion has similar addictive properties and so its only used in special situations? also, i agree with the above commenter who said that it wasn’t introduced until later in the book…

  7. @Thereaux, I thought that too. I think Ron didn’t come back up to bed so as to avoid Harry.

    @Connie, My thoughts exactly.

  8. I also wanted to say, I think this chapter illustrates the difference between Harry’s friendship with Ron and his friendship with Hermione. I think Harry and Hermione are only really just starting to get to understand each other, which will eventually lead to how close they are in DH, whereas Harry and Ron understood each other from the start.

  9. In the north of England it was traditional during the days of coal mining that upon retirement of a coal miner there local pub would give them a tankard as a gift, a kind of,’ well now you have nothing to do you’ll be here all the time’ gift.

  10. There is a part of this chapter that puzzles me. When Harry is in the Three broomsticks under his cloak with hermione, Moody spots him and tells him his eye can see through cloaks and it has come in handy before. How many of these cloaks are there about and I thought they were pretty infallible?

  11. For a long time I wondered why hagrid said “bong-sewer” when he greeted Madame Maxime and I only realized recently that Hagrid was trying to say the French word for hello.

  12. @G0_f1sh- Harry’s cloak is, I believe, one of a kind. “Moody” doesn’t know that, though, and he assumes that Harry is wearing a run of the mill invisibility cloak. Invisibility cloaks like those are described by Xenophilius Lovegood in Deathly Hallows. Those cloaks wear down and over time become quite fallible while Harry’s does not. Harry’s cloak has been completely infallible up until now which leads to the mystery of Moody’s eye. What is it made of and what kind of magic is it imbued with so that it would be able to see through Harry’s invisibility cloak, which is one of the Deathly Hallows, no less.

  13. I never realized about the fact that Moody can see through Harry’s cloak, when for all intents and purposes, he shouldn’t. I mean, if Death can’t see you, I doubt a magical eye should be able to. It does help Harry out though in this book, and more than just this once…

    And Josie, I also like the idea of Rosmerta giving up and getting Hagrid a tankard. Although, I just thought when Harry thinks “usual tankard” or whatever, I thought it just meant Harry is used to seeing Hagrid with a tankard, not that it was necessarily the same one. I like your idea much better though!

  14. In regards to the dreamless sleep potion…I’m wondering if it would have even worked for Harry in this situation. Technically, he wasn’t dreaming, he was seeing into Voldemort’s mind. So really, the potion might not have worked at all. Dumbledore obviously would have known about the potion, and if it was as easy as Harry taking the potion every night, I would guess Dumbledore would have started with that solution.

  15. Casey, “Death” is a fairytale though, perhaps invented to belabour the point that the Cloak is extremely difficult to overpower, so there’s nothing in in-world science that says that Moody being able to see through it is a contradiction/impossibility. It’s likely that even when Crouch Jr can see Harry under it, he wouldn’t be able to do anything to him (with the possible exception of the AK curse).

  16. @ rtozier although when we see Harry go spy on Draco at the beginning of HBP, draco petrifies Harry while he is under the cloak. Draco knows harry is there not because he actually sees him but because he sees some luggage move or a flash of ankle or something. So if a 6th year can overcome the cloak with a petrifcation spell, I’m sure anyone who knew where he was would be able to attack him. We’ve also seen that dumbledore can somehow pierce the cloak too. I thnk it’s more likely that Moody’s eye (and dumbledore’s knowledge) is more an awareness of Harry’s life sign/magical signature (because we see dumbledore sort of trace voldemort through something similar), rather than actually truly “seeing” Harry…if that makes any sense.

  17. One of the things I like the best about GoF is how we see the relationships between Harry, Ron and Hermione grow and change. I like how Hermione changes from an annoying little besserwisser to a rather compassionate and understanding friend, even though she stays firm about her opinons on right and wrong. As you and others already pointed out, Josie, the friendship between her and Harry and Harry and Ron is starting to differ a lot in this book as they all mature.

  18. Since the Common Welsh Green is one of Britain’s native dragons, does anyone else think that it was a last minute addition for the tournament?

  19. rtozier and Gerrendus (and others who were talking about this), I think the Cloak’s magic protects the Cloak, but not the person under the Cloak. It’s not a magic shield for the person wearing it–he or she can still be Petrified, is still susceptible to Homenum Revelio (the one that indicates a person is present), etc. However, the Cloak itself does NOT appear to be susceptible to spells like Accio (it doesn’t move when Harry’s wearing it and the DEs try this in DH). From these examples, it looks like the Cloak is impervious (or mostly) to magic aimed at IT, but does not shield against magic aimed at the person WEARING it.

    Maybe the magic of Moody’s eye is aimed at sensing Harry, not specifically at seeing through the Cloak.

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