History Recap / HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFireC28TheMadnessOfMrCrouch

6th Apr '17 10:53:46 AM JohnPrestwick
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The Trio send a letter to Percy to ask about Crouch, as Sirius suggested. They then go to give Dobby a thank-you present for [[Recap/HarryPotterAndTheGobletOfFireC26TheSecondTask helping Harry in the second task]]. They discover Winky, who has [[TheAlcoholic taken to the bottle]] out of the stress of losing her master. The Trio ask her if there's any information she has about Crouch that could help them. Winky is too loyal to Crouch to tell them anything, though she lets slip that he has an "important" secret. Hermione is appalled that the house elves do nothing other than cover her up. She tries to get the house elves to stand up for themselves, but their only response is to kick the three out of the kitchens.

The next day, Hermione starts getting hate mail, as a result of Rita Skeeter's ''Witch Weekly'' article. She has to rush off to the hospital wing after being injured by one of the envelopes, which turns out to contain bubotuber pus. She misses lessons over the next day, including a fun lesson with Hagrid in which he introduces Nifflers. They're mole-like creatures that can dig fast and hunt enthusiastically for treasure. The Nifflers dig up golden coins, although as it's leprechaun gold, it will vanish after a few hours. Ron realises he accidentally paid Harry leprechaun gold for the Omnioculars. The fact that Harry isn't bothered about this only serves as a reminder to Ron of how poor his family is.

Furious over Rita Skeeter, Hermione is determined to find out how she's been listening in on people's private conversations. She probably isn't using an invisibility cloak, as Moody (whose his eye can see through them) says he didn't see her. Harry wonders if she used electric bugging devices, but Hermione points out that the magic around Hogwarts would stop Muggle electric devices from working properly. She continues her investigation over the next few days. Percy replies, insisting that Crouch is fine. He hasn't actually seen Crouch, but he recognises his boss's handwriting in the instructions he's being sent.

Harry is called by [=McGonagall=] to go out with the other champions to be briefed on the Third Task. Bagman shows them the Quidditch Pitch, which has been replaced by a giant hedge maze. There will be various creatures to fight along the way and some magical obstacles too. After he has finished, Krum takes Harry aside for a private chat. Krum wants to know if Harry . Harry insists Hermione is not his girlfriend. Krum seems happier, but before they can discuss much else, they hear someone moving in the trees.

It's Mr Crouch. He appears to have gone mad. He's talking to trees as though they're his workmates, and grabs hold of Harry when Harry tries to talk to him. He says he has done a "stupid thing" and needs to tell Dumbledore. Harry tells Krum to look after Crouch while he rushes off to fetch Dumbledore. He races back to the castle and off to Dumbledore's office. He's met by Snape, who refuses to believe Harry, but Dumbledore soon arrives. Dumbledore heads out with Harry to the spot where they saw Crouch. When they get there, they find that Krum is unconscious and Crouch has disappeared. Hagrid and Moody arrive. Dumbledore asks Hagrid to fetch Karkaroff while Moody is entrusted with searching the area for Crouch.

When Karkaroff arrives, he is quick to assume that the attack on Krum was an attempt by Hogwarts to sabotage the tournament. After he spits at Dumbledore, [[BerserkButton Hagrid reacts]] by slamming him into a tree. He is stopped by Dumbledore, who tells Hagrid to escort Harry back to Gryffindor Tower. Before Harry heads back, Dumbledore tells Harry to stay in Gryffindor Tower for the evening.
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