The Dream

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Chapter 29 of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The Dream← Chapter 28 | Chapter 30 →

Synopsis[edit]

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione discuss the evening's events far into the night but are unable to determine who Stunned Krum or what happened to Mr. Crouch. The next morning, they head to the Owlery to send Sirius a message. Fred and George suddenly arrive, discussing whether what they are doing was blackmail, but fall silent upon seeing the Trio. After the Twin's departure, Ron says they are serious about starting a joke shop and are trying to raise the money. Protecting their venture might prevent them from saying anything they know about Mr. Crouch to Dumbledore.

Professor Moody tells the Trio he was unable to locate Mr. Crouch, even with Harry's map. Hermione disputes Ron's suggestion that he Disapparated because it is impossible on Hogwarts grounds. He could have departed through the Forest. Moody suggests she consider becoming an Auror; her mind works the right way.

Sirius' written response to Harry's letter arrives, sternly lecturing him about straying out-of-bounds with Viktor Krum, who would stand a better chance of winning the Tournament if Harry was unable to compete, and demanding that Harry stay put. Hermione agrees with Sirius and Moody: someone put Harry's name in the Goblet for a reason, and it is safer to stay indoors.

For the next few days, Harry remains inside practicing jinxes for the Third Task. After he masters the Stunning spell, Hermione suggests he practice the Impediment jinx. However, it is time for Professor Trelawney's Divination class. The room is hot and, lulled by a buzzing insect, Harry falls asleep. He dreams he is flying on an eagle owl that goes into an old house, landing on a large armchair. Harry sees Wormtail writhing in pain, as well as a large snake. A voice from the armchair says Wormtail is in luck; his blunder has not ruined everything, the man is dead and that Harry Potter may also soon be dead. The voice then says that Wormtail needs another reminder not to blunder again and curses him again.

Harry wakes up screaming on the classroom floor, his scar burning. Ignoring Professor Trelawney's demands that he tell what he was dreaming, he leaves and goes to see Dumbledore. Pausing outside Dumbledore's office, Harry hears a conversation: the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge is attempting to put a positive spin on Bertha Jorkins' disappearance, and also suggests that Crouch might have just wandered off; he implies that Madame Maxime could be involved, given her ancestry. Moody interrupts to say that Potter is listening outside.

Analysis[edit]

As in Chapter 1, Harry once again "dreams" about Voldemort, although he is unaware that he may actually be viewing events as they are occurring. His burning scar implies that there could be a telepathic connection between Harry and Voldemort, one that neither apparently is aware exists. It is interesting that in the dream, an eagle owl carries the message to Voldemort. Only twice before have eagle owls been seen; one flew towards the school, looped the Owlery, and flew away while Harry was lying under a tree by the lake, and in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone we are told that Malfoy's eagle owl was always bringing him treats from home. Also, the house in the dream is described as being atop a hill, and the owl flies through a broken window. It is unclear if we are meant to draw a connection from these incidents, but the author may be dropping a subtle hint that the Malfoy family is tied to Voldemort, although there is no indication that they know Voldemort's whereabouts. The house could be the old Riddle manor near Little Hangleton, and it may be Voldemort's secret headquarters. Also, Wormtail's "blunder" that results in him being severely punished and the dead man Voldemort mentions are likely related to Mr. Crouch's mysterious disappearance, although just how and why remains unknown.

Despite Mr. Crouch's disappearance and the attack on Krum, Harry is a bit confused and annoyed with Sirius for ordering him to remain inside Hogwarts. Knowing that his godfather can often be daring and reckless himself, Harry feels Sirius is employing an unfair double standard here. But Sirius is being a responsible guardian who is acting in Harry's best interest, and he sternly orders Harry to stay put to prevent him from engaging in any unnecessary risky behavior. Sirius also believes there could be a plot against Harry's life, and knowing his godson as he does, he realizes Harry will likely be unconcerned about his own safety.

Readers may wonder about Sirius' and Hermione's adjurations to Harry to stay indoors. Clearly, both of them believe that Harry's being entered in the Tournament was done as part of some plot to injure Harry. Both of them seem to feel that Harry's best chance is to remain in the competition, and to actually compete in it, despite the competition being a clear danger for Harry. Why? Is it only the "magical contract" imposed by the Goblet, that might harm Harry in some way if he refused to compete? Sirius seems to be trusting Professor Dumbledore to protect Harry in the competition, though we have to wonder if that actually will make staying in the Tournament less dangerous than leaving it..

It is also a little curious that Harry hears an insect buzzing in the Divination classroom. Being that the room is located atop a tower, there should be fewer insects up there than there are closer to the ground. Granted, on at least one other occasion in this book, Harry found an insect in the Divination classroom; we note that he was practicing Summoning spells on it. Could there be any particular significance to Harry hearing an insect?

Questions[edit]

Study questions are meant to be left for each student to answer; please don't answer them here.

Review[edit]

  1. Is Ron correct that if the Twins knew about Mr. Crouch's disappearance they would say nothing about it to Dumbledore? Why wouldn't they?
  2. Why is Harry so surprised by what Sirius says in his letter? Given what we know at this point, is Sirius right?
  3. Even though Moody has a magical eye, how does he know that Harry is listening outside Dumbledore's door?

Further Study[edit]

  1. Just what might the Twins be doing that could be considered blackmail? Why do they refuse to explain what this is?
  2. Why would Harry see an eagle owl in his dream?
  3. How did an insect get so far up in the Tower?
  4. Where might Mr. Crouch be? Why was Moody unable to find him on Harry's Marauders' Map?
  5. Just how might Wormtail have blundered so badly that Voldemort punishes him for it? Could it be related to anything happening at Hogwarts? If so, what?
  6. Why does Fudge continue to claim that nothing bad has happened to Bertha Jorkins? Is he right, and what is he basing his opinion on?

Greater Picture[edit]

Intermediate warning: Details follow which you may not wish to read at your current level.

The eagle owl is a slight misdirection; while the only eagle owl we know of that belongs to a Wizarding family is the Malfoys', Lucius does not yet have any awareness of Voldemort's return. The only Death Eaters who know that Voldemort is still alive at this point in the story are Barty Crouch and Wormtail, though Professor Karkaroff and Professor Snape apparently have their suspicions. This remains true until after Voldemort summons his Death Eaters, in about another month in our story. In his present state, Voldemort is relatively weak, and he wants to avoid revealing his presence by alerting the Death Eaters.

We will also learn later that Voldemort had been hiding in London, in Bartemius Crouch's house, while Mr. Crouch was under Wormtail's Imperius Curse. Once Crouch escaped, however, that house was no longer safe, because when Crouch was found, it would lead investigators back to the Crouch residence. At that point, Voldemort and Wormtail would have had to shift to new quarters, and Riddle Manor was likely the most opportune. With Frank Bryce gone, it is unlikely anyone would dare enter the grounds anyway; and if they did, Wormtail would easily be able to dissuade them. We do find out later that Voldemort and Wormtail have returned to Little Hangleton and the Riddle manor; the broken window that the eagle owl flies through likely is in that house. We think it unlikely that Voldemort would have chosen to live in the Gaunt shack, the other property available to him, for creature comfort reasons, though perhaps his having hidden a Horcrux there might also dissuade him from drawing attention to it.

In some possible foreshadowing, George, as he is sending off his owl, tells Ron that he is starting to sound like their older brother, Percy, and warns him that if he continues, he will be made prefect. Ron, to his and everyone's great surprise, is made a Gryffindor prefect in the next book.

It will develop that Harry's remaining in the Tournament will put him into Voldemort's power. Sirius' and Hermione's belief that Harry's safest course is to remain in the competition, nominally under Professor Dumbledore's protection, are completely undermined by one presently unknown fact: Voldemort has managed to get a spy into a position of trust within Hogwarts. Barty Crouch, disguised as Professor Moody, has arranged to have Harry selected as a Triwizard champion, is covertly assisting Harry against the other champions, and will create a trap for Harry in the final Task. This scheme would fail if Harry was to opt out of the Tournament, or even fall decisively out of the running, so Sirius' and Hermione's urgings that he remain in the competition, and actually compete, are playing directly into Voldemort's hand.

The insect buzzing around in the Divination classroom is Rita Skeeter in her unregistered Animagus form, spying on Harry. Considering that Harry had previously practiced spells on an insect in the Divination classroom, Skeeter is lucky that he did not do so again, though this could have proved particularly entertaining for the readers.

We will also learn that Bertha Jorkins is dead, murdered by Voldemort after he had retrieved information from her about Barty Crouch's continued existence and the Triwizard Tournament. There is no explanation as to why Fudge continues to believe she will turn up, unless perhaps he is simply echoing Ludo Bagman's belief. Ludo will never explain why he believes Bertha to still be alive. Given the characters of the two people, we have to assume that Ludo's belief is based on wishful thinking and avoidance of unpleasantness, and Fudge's is probably a result of political spin. We do rather wonder, though, why it seems nobody except her co-workers, and relatively few of them, seem to care about her whereabouts.

Connections[edit]

While this chapter presents a number of events that are connected to other events within this book, there seems to be very little that connects with other books in the series.

  • As mentioned above, the eagle owl is rare enough that it could be considered a connection, except that it is apparently intended to mislead.
  • George mentions that Ron is starting to sound like Percy, and if he's not careful he may end up as a Prefect. Ron does become a Prefect in the next book, surprising everyone.