The Egg and the Eye

chapter twenty-five of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry sneaks into the Prefects’ bathroom and, with Moaning Myrtle’s help, figures out the egg. On his way out, though, he notices Crouch is in Snape’s office, and gets stuck going to investigate – but Moody helps him out of his late-night predicament.

The Idle Egg, by Beeeb

It was so deep that his feet barely touched the bottom, and he actually did a couple of lengths before swimming back to the side and treading water, staring at the egg.

(by Beeeb)


Taking a Dip, by reallycorking

Highly enjoyable though it was to swim in hot and foamy water with clouds of different-colored steam wafting all around him, no stroke of brilliance came to him, no sudden burst of understanding.


Moaning Myrtle, by Michael Greenholt

“I’d try putting it in the water, if I were you.”


Harry and the Golden Egg, by Sheena Kristen Sy

“Myrtle, there aren’t merpeople in there, are there?”


A Little Night Stroll, by Patilda and Vizen

At the foot of the stairs stood the only person who could make Harry’s situation worse: Snape.

(by Patilda & Vizen)


Moody-Vision, by gerre

Harry’s heart gave a horrible jolt. Moody could see through Invisibility Cloaks… he alone could see the full strangeness of the scene: Snape in his nightshirt, Filch clutching the egg, and he, Harry, trapped in the stairs behind them.

(by gerre)


Potter is Here, by somelatevisitor

“Potter!” Snape snarled, and he actually turned his head and stared right at the place where Harry was, as though he could suddenly see him…. “Potter is here! Potter, in his Invisibility Cloak!”


by Laura Freeman

“‘Course Dumbledore trusts you,” growled Moody. “He’s a trusting man, isn’t he? Believes in second chances. But me – I say there are spots that don’t come off, Snape. Spots that never come off, d’you know what I mean?”


about the chapter


It’s pretty amazing how many times Harry manages to slip out of trouble with Snape when he’s caught out and about. Lupin talked him out of a tight spot last year; Dumbledore sided with him when Snape rightly suspected that Harry had freed Sirius Black; and now Moody manages to brush Snape off and cover for Harry as well. I have to say, there is something immensely gratifying about seeing Snape’s level of frustration in these encounters, although I’m sure it doesn’t do anything to help his attitude toward Harry. And now that I think of it, it’s also pretty amazing just how many times Harry runs into Snape when he’s out and about. Do you think Snape roamed the corridors at night this much before Harry enrolled at Hogwarts?

The Wizarding World

I love that Moaning Myrtle not only admits to stalking Olive Hornby after Myrtle was killed, but confesses that she went to such extremes that the Ministry of Magic had to step in with a restraining order. Rowling has said in the past that nobody would have the power to expel Peeves from Hogwarts even if they wanted to, so I wonder how the Ministry could ever enforce a restraining order on a ghost? I mean, what are they going to do if she doesn’t comply? Seems like the wizards working at the Ministry’s Spirit Division might need to be more versed in the art of persuasion than in any particular branch of magic.

Life at Hogwarts

It seems funny that when Harry wants to sneak out late at night, he has Hermione or Ron open the Fat Lady’s portrait for him from the outside. Whose detection is he trying to avoid? It’s pretty clear elsewhere (even from his very first late-night excursion in his first year) that the Fat Lady isn’t going to tell anybody anything, and surely if Gryffindors saw him leaving when he’s still allowed to be out – remember Ron is out, letting him in – they wouldn’t even notice? Perhaps because he’s become such a celebrity, as a champion, he’s just trying to avoid awkward questions. Especially if he’s seen leaving with the golden egg in his arms, at any time of day.

The Final Word

“Don’t you like [Moaning Myrtle]? I know she’s a bit revolting, but that’s why I’m so fond of her.”–J.K. Rowling, March 2004

44 Responses to “The Egg and the Eye”

  1. How did Harry learn to swim? Do British children learn it in primary school?

  2. Yeah, It’s common to have swimming lessons in primary school in the UK, at least from what I know.

  3. GOF English edition, p. 403 states that Harry hadn’t had swimming lessons.

  4. I read somewhere that Peeves as a poltergeist is the physical representation of all the adolescent feelings, emotions, etc. He is in Hogwarts due to the large amount of teenagers developing and the large amount of magic, that is to say maybe he just can’t exist somewhere else.
    I know there is no canon to back that up, but it is an interesting concept nonetheless.
    Great site!

  5. Mmm yeah. It says that he’s never had swimming lessons and has no idea how to swim. Then he suddenly does a few laps of the pool! I’ve had many swimming lessons and I STILL sink like a stone and look like a drowning chicken.
    But when he eats the Gillyweed he’s able to swim. Do you think the Gillyweed not only gave him gills and such, but also gave him the ability of a really good swimmer?

  6. Very nice artwork once again!

    Ever since I read book 7 I’ve been wondering how Moody could see Harry through his cloak even with his magic eye. Any thoughts on this or should it be discussed later?

  7. Thanks so much for additional artwork by Sheena Kristen Sy; I just love it.

  8. Eliza: even if the gillyweed made him a really good swimmer (and who am I to argue that webbed hands and feet wouldn’t hurt?), he still ate it *after* the bathroom scene, so how would Harry know how to do laps?

    Although, from personal experience, I’ve never had swimming lessons either, but I can sort of fake laps (across the short end of the pool). I just can’t keep it up for very long because I don’t really know how to breathe correctly, I can just imitate the arm thing. The rest of the time, I doggy-paddle.

  9. I don’t usually like digital art but Beeeb’s picture is awesome!

  10. It´s so funny to see Snape so frustrated… I would start to hate Harry too if he kept slipping away…

  11. I maintain that Hogwarts teachers are insomniatics, and Snape’s constantly brewing some coffee-like potion for them all. Have we ever heard of them sleeping? How many times has Harry prowled at night right into Snape/Filch/McGonagall/etc?

  12. at my primary school we had swimming lessons for nearly a whole year and im still suck at swimming

  13. So, Polyjuice Potion is very cleverly casually mentioned in this chapter…

    Moaning Myrtle covers her eyes so as not to see Harry naked. Aren’t her hands see-through? Maybe not for her.

    This is the second time the Marauder’s Map shows someone unexpected.

  14. I always wonder why Harry doesn’t just “Accio!” the Map and maybe even the egg before Filch gets there. Yes, his leg is stuck and everything but he still has his wand and he had only recently used the summoning charm in the first task!

    As to swimming: He never had swimming lessons. It says on page 403: “A couple of lengths of this bath was all very well, but that lake was very large, ad very deep…” So I guess the Gillyweed does help.

  15. Perhaps he just hadn’t had proper lessons. He could be self taught.. sort of. He knew how to fly didn’t he? Its possible he could just be able to swim.

  16. Peeves is not a ghost he is a poltergeist.

    Myrtle is a ghost of a witch so is of a different category. It is possible to get rid of ghosts. Petrification is one way of getting one out of a building or neutralising one.

  17. re: Harry swimming.

    I might be wrong, but I don’t think “laps” is the same as saying that Harry was swimming freestyle as if he were Michael Phelps. It just means he moved from one side to the other of the small pool. It might have been dog paddling, for all we know and that comes instinctively to anyone.

    At the same time, I don’t think gillyweed suddently taught Harry how to swim: he swam well just because he had developed gills and webbed feet and hands. Anyone can swim and keep themselves above the water by just moving their legs, if they’re wearing finns.

  18. How did Harry get the Marauders Map back after the Moody/Crouch has bee exposed? After all, he has it in OOP.

  19. Irene M. Cesca, you took the words out of my mouth.

    Gingercat, Rowling has said in interviews on a couple of occasions that Harry just snuck into Moody’s office at the end of the year and stole it back. She has also said on a couple of occasions that she wished she had written that moment into the book so that people would stop asking her about it. ;)

  20. Two things:
    Myrtle talks about Cedric Diggory “talking to himself about it for ages and ages…nearly all the bubbles had gone…” – On my umpteenth reading just now I finally realised what she’s thinking about…
    When Moody first comes across Snape, Filch and Harry, he comes from below the staircase. Yet after he leaves with Harry, he goes up to the top and continues on to his office. A question for those seeking to avoid spoilers might be: what was he doing below the staircase?

  21. Also, another for-spoiler-avoider question: why doesn’t Moody suspect Harry of breaking into Snape’s office? Snape has said it’s been done by students before, Harry’s right there covertly in front of Moody, Snape suspects Harry once he sees the egg and map…wouldn’t Harry be a natural suspect for Moody, too?

  22. For someone who hasn’t had swimming lessons, Harry is quite confident in water. Again, another sign of abuse by the Dursleys for refusing to give Harry a basic survival technique that most children receive.

    I still find it extremely surprising that Harry has turned out so normal even though as a child he would have not received the love one needs to develop – like hugs and kind words and encouragement. It’s a surprise he’s not mentally handicapped… I’ve read plenty of stories about children who grow up in abusive households and it affects their mental stability.

    Imagine! The Dursleys controlled who would win between Harry and Voldemort depending on how they raised a child!

  23. Samantha, you have a good point, and I wonder what the actual effect on Harry would have been. My understanding is that the first year of life is the most critical for mental development, and Harry was already well over a year old when he was left at the Dursleys (15 months). I also wonder how Petunia treated Harry when he was too little to know the difference. But you’re right that it seems like *some* scarring would be likely, and he doesn’t seem to show any. Maybe it had something to do with magic? I’m grasping at straws here.

  24. This chapter bothers me whenever I read it. When Harry is stuck alone on the stairs why doesn’t he use Accio Egg, or at least Accio Map? He was trying to reach the map to wipe it clear, so it’s not like he wanted to be silent – he would have had to say, “Mischief managed.” Accio would have avoided a lot of trouble. The only explanation I can think of is that it was a new spell, and therefore slipped his mind.

  25. This chapter makes me wonder how many times – with Harry safely in bed – Snape wandered the corridors and, finding a piece of parchment or some other vaguely suspicious item, began shrieking: “It’s Potter! He’s up to something! Come out Potter, you coward!”

  26. Ragmar Dorkins, that is completely brilliant.

  27. Perhaps Harry had a water birth and therefore knew how to swim without lessons, they are supposed to be natural swimmers after all and he wouldn’t know that! Lol just an amusing thought

  28. I read an interestin fan fic about which mentioned when Harry was a child (i was reminded by a comment above) , its a n AU but puts up a fair point. Vernon says ‘we put him in the cupboard because whenever we left him alone in the bedroom he wouldn’t stop crying’, to which Snape replies ‘of course he did, he remembers his mother being murdered in front of him in such a room the child is rightly terrified but you shouldn’t have stuck him in a cupboard’ or words to that effect

  29. Ragmar, I like your idea. I always wonder something like that as I reread PS when it is said that Harry seemed to keep running into Snape wherever he went. And he even wondered whether Snape was following him, trying to catch him on his own. Maybe Snape, like Dumbledore, had actually been keeping a close eye on him since his first year at Hogwarts, and that’s the reason why he seemed to patrol the corridors at night so much since Harry had enrolled at the school.
    Oh, and I’ve just found this site, it’s wonderful, Josie. Keep on your work. :D

  30. I think Harry needs someone to open the portrait for him because he’s in his Invisibility Cloak – if there were people in the common room, the portrait swinging open seemingly of its own accord would seem rather suspicious, no?

  31. There’s a slight spelling error under “reallycorking’s” picture. You spelled Wafting as “Wfting.”

    About the mystery of Snape and Filch seemingly never sleeping, I have a possible explanation. Maybe they adopted a different sleep cycle than the most common nighttime sleep. It’s possible to get 20 minutes of sleep every 4 hours and be perfectly alert and awake. It’s called the uberman sleep schedule. I doubt JK Rowling had that in mind but it’s definitely a plausible explanation.

  32. Josiah, thanks for the error note – fixed now. :)

  33. Ragmar Dorkman, that’s hilarious!

    Doesn’t Snape know about the trick staircase and couldn’t he figure out what happened once he realized it was Harry? If the students know about it, shoudldnt the teachers know about it, too? Especially if they were students once, too?

    Another thing is shouldn’t the map include suffix’s like Sr. and Jr.? That’s part of their names afterall.

  34. i often wonder how and where wizards learn how to swim if they don’t have swim classes we don’t know of

  35. I only recently re-read the book, so maybe I missed something, but swimming lessons and Summoning charms aside: does it bother anyone else that the prefects all seem to bathe together in one bath?

  36. One prefect per gender per year amounts to 8 prefects every year, which amounts to 24 in the school at any one time, which doesn’t seem to me to be a problem in terms of queues (lines). Even if you suggest that Harry’s year is exceptionally small (whether or not due to the decreased number of conceptions going on in the wartime period of 1979) and that thus most years will have more than 8 prefects (taking the ratio, let’s say a year of 160 students = 32 prefects [Harry’s year has 8 out of 40], that’s still an expectable average of only 96 prefects, which still is not an impossibility in terms of waiting lists, although it might cause the implementation of restricted bath time per prefect. The other possibilities I see are of the somewhat less mathematical variety: 1 – Perhaps most Hogwarts students take showers instead of baths 2 – a wizard made the bathroom.

  37. Quidditch captains also use that bathroom, so in any case, you have to add four more people. It’s doubtful that none of these people share the password with their friends; after all, if Head Boy Cedric told Harry, don’t you think people like Malfoy would tell friends?
    Many students use the prefect’s bathroom, taking long baths mustn’t be that common.
    On the other hand, are we certain that there is only this one bathroom? There might be another one in some other floor, I don’t recall if what Cedric said implied it was/wasn’t one of many.

  38. Another thing to consider with the prefects’ bathroom is that it’s probably substantially less convenient than other bathrooms for most, if not all, prefects. So I would guess that prefects still use *other* bathrooms, and simply come here when they feel like a fancy bath or some extra privacy. As a result I wouldn’t think there would be much competition for it most of the time.

    It does seem like there must be some magic to the room that prevents, say, Ron from walking in on Hermione in the bath, whether he knows the password or not. But any guess I could make as to how this would work would be pure conjecture.

  39. I always kind of found it odd that Harry immediately stripped for the bath… I mean, the way it’s constructed, with the diving board and taps and everything… it seems more like a pool. Also, with a both-gender bathroom… Wouldn’t it make more sense to wear a swimsuit?

  40. I have two questions. 1. Why would Snape seal his office with a spell none but a wizard could break? 2. How were the champions supposed to know to put the egg underwater?

  41. Jeremy, I don’t think the answers to your questions are explicitly stated, but I think I know them all the same:
    1. So students couldn’t get in and wreak havoc.
    2. They were supposed to figure it out for themselves – that’s why they had so much time to work out the clue.

  42. About Harry not using “accio map”- I thought about that too, and think that in the situation, he didn’t have a whole lot of time before Filch showed up. So he might have thought of that eventually, but in the moment he did what came more naturally- he tried to reach for it, but by the time he decided it wasn’t going to work it was too late to use the summoning charm without it being seen by Filch. He just didn’t think of it fast enough, in the moment of panic.

    Also noticed the thing about Myrtle and the restraining order- if Myrtle could be restrained, why not Peeves? But then, Peeves is a poltergeist and Myrtle is a ghost. So those things work out differently. But I LOVED that passage about Myrtle stalking her nemesis- absolutely brilliant.

    And one final note (SPOILER ALERT!):
    When Moody asks Harry who robbed Snape’s office, it was interesting to me how he told Harry that Barty Crouch was gone now, and then oh-so-casually asked if he could borrow the map. Of course, Barty was still on the map and Moody certainly didn’t want Harry to see that and maybe put two and two together! He made sure that he didn’t make that connection by “borrowing” it, and Harry is none the wiser. Moody now also has quite an advantage for his night-time prowling and scheming.

  43. About peeves – as mentioned in the first book, he isn’t a “real ghost”. He is a poltergeist. And the definition of a poltergeist is that it’s a manifistation of feelings. There are a lot of instances which made clear that peeves is different from the ghosts – he is more substancial than them for example.

  44. I’m also fairly sure that, in regards to time and thinking about using “Accio” to obtain the map and the egg, that it’d be easier to let Filtch think that it was Peeves, as he first started accusing Peeves of causing a ruckus and stealing from students. Perhaps he was hoping the moment would pass as Filtch would maybe leave the scene and give Harry a chance to get out of the trick step…

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