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Headscratchers: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Please check JK's FAQs before asking a question that may have already been answered. (Notable: As of Spring 2012, Rowling's website has been fully redesigned and the FAQ contains little of the info that appeared in the original. The provided link is a Web Archive backup, with the presumption that if she said something then, it remains valid now, unless she has specifically contradicted it.)


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    Why is Avada Kedavra an Unforgivable Curse? 
  • I am not a troll. Hear me out here.
    In the Muggle world, there are certain situations where use of deadly force is justified, such as war, self defense against an armed criminal or capital punishment. It seems to me that AK would actually be a more merciful way of killing someone than something more elaborate. I see the potential for abuse, I really do, it's just that I also believe there's a difference between killing and murder in certain situations.
    • Because there exist non-lethal spells to take someone down in combat. You do not need to resort to the AK curse when you can just stun him instead. It should be mentioned that Crouch did allow aurors to use the unforgivable curses against death eaters during the war against Voldemort.
      • That's it exactly. Here in the real world, defending yourself with lethal force can be tolerated in situations where it really is your only option other than letting yourself be killed/horribly injured. Wizards, on the other hand, have many completely nonlethal options they can use to defend themselves just as effectively without causing any permanent harm (or at least not killing them, at any rate). Another thing to keep in mind about Avada Kedavra is that one of the requirements to casting it is that you explicitly and sincerely want your target to die. Even if you used it while trying to defend yourself form a dark wizard, the fact that you used it shows that your primary goal was more killing your opponent than saving yourself.
    • Couldn't you make the same argument for the other two Unforgivable Curses?
      • You could probably make a case for the Imperius in peacetime - suppose you had to go to the dentist and found it impossible to relax enough to get the procedure done and all other magical-aided attempts to do so had failed? If there was a way for you to sign a consent form and have a witness present, it could probably be useful in that sense. Can't see any way to justify the Cruciatus though.
      • Even then, there are ways to do that without stripping someone of their free will. Can't relax at the dentist? Here, have a Calming Draught or, worst case, just Stupify the brat if they bite your hand too many times. The Imperius is different because it removes the victim's free will and leaves them open to all sorts of post-hypnotic suggestion.
    • Also it is made clear in the books that in wartime the restrictions on the Unforgivables is at least partially lifted. For instance, Harry uses the Crucio spell in front of the normally-strict Professor McGonagall, without the latter batting an eye.
    • There are plenty of directly lethal spells in the HP universe, and plenty of other damaging spells that could indirectly cause death. Avada Kedavra is what you use when you want the victim to die in excruciating agony and terror in the worst (and last) 1.5 seconds of your life. It's the difference between using a gun in warfare, which is certainly lethal but instantaneous and without pain with the proper aim, and using a flamethrower, which can be just as lethal, but an infinitely worse way to go.
      • Where... did you even get that from?
      • It's established at least a few times in the Harry Potter series that Avada Kedavra kills 100% instantaneously and without pain.
    • The AK is the only spell shown to be directly lethal. Even spells like Sectumsempra are meant to only hurt, and even that one has a counter-measure.

    Doesn't Mr. Tennant Do A Brilliant Impression of Mr. Gleeson? 
  • This is a hole the films dug for themselves. As we saw in Chamber of Secrets, Polyjuice Potion does not change the voice. In the films that is, I know that the books make it clear that it changes voice as well. However, this leads us to the obvious question. Why does Moody sound like Moody and not like The Doctor?
    • In the film, Crouch!Moody briefly imitated Hagrid during his Motive Rant at the end. I guess that's supposed to explain that he's good at doing voice.
    • I think this was only done for the audience's sake (Viewers Are Morons, after all...) This would cause HUGE complications, especially in year 7. Would Draco really not recognize Harry and Ron's voices when they look like Crabbe and Goyle? Not to mention all those people in the Ministry when they sneak in there with Polyjuice.

    Concert Cancelled Due To Inevitable Instrument Failure 
  • Wait, how can the Weird Sisters perform rock and roll at Hogwarts in the fourth movie? Electronics don't work on Hogwarts grounds, and they were clearly performing with an electric guitar.
    • It's a wizarding equivalent. There are wizard radios, after all. Maybe they're run on magic or mechanics or The Power of Rock, but they don't have to be real electric guitars.

    That's a lot of Polyjuice! 
  • While we're talking about Crouch... Polyjuice potion lasts an hour and one hour only. Therefore, Crouch would have to drink some every hour. Does this guy sleep in one hour segments or something? Because it isn't out of the ordinary for someone to wander around at night, not to mention the house elves.
    • Impersonating a known paranoiac has its advantages. As for any house elves, Crouch could've easily ordered any who caught him out to keep their mouth shut. Dobby was probably the only one of the lot who would've thought twice about that, and you saw what it took for him to warn Harry for as much as he did.
    • I think he can be reasonably sure nobody but house elves are gonna intrude into his room when he is asleep, in which case all he has to do is sleep with the covers over his head, presumably using a spell to lock them in place. Or else, since he is supposed to be paranoid, he might have asked Dumbledore to order house elves to stay out of his room least they trigger one of his alarms and he blast them to pieces in the middle of the night. Of course, I wouldn't put it past him to sleep in one hour segments for a year in the name of Lord Voldemort if need be.
      • Thank you, Troper. Now I'm picturing Fake!Moody screaming, "For the Dark Lord!" and instantly falling asleep for an hour-wake up, drink Polyjuice Potion, repeat. Every Night.
      • Although that might be a bit of a giveaway if he did scream that.
    • He could just be sleeping inside the trunk, after locking the trunk from the inside. And as pointed out above, this would be entirely in-character behavior for Mad-Eye Moody.
      • Harry points out, 'we shouldn't see him at the crack of dawn, he'd blast us through the door.' Others probably think the same way.
    • I'm currently imagining Crouch with a Polyjuice drip. I wonder if Polyjuice Potion works when diluted with enough saline solution to inject it directly into one's veins, even with magic making it not a suicidal idea?
    • It's called polyphasic sleep. One of my friends at college did it. You sleep for 30 minutes every 6 hours, and it forces your body to abandon natural circadian rhythms. It's intended to give you more time awake each day. Of course, if you do it improperly, it causes you to hallucinate and think you're in the Legend of Zelda, but there you are.
    • Here's my two bits: he doesn't take it in at night. He just locks his rooms and tells everyone not EVER to come in, and he's done. His last potion of the day would be an hour before he goes to bed, and his first potion as he wakes up in the morning. Seems a good solution to me.
    • Post Deathly Hallows we can assume his bed is surrounded with all of the same kinds of charms the trio put around their campsite, so we could talk in his sleep, etc, without fear of being noticed.
    • The same way disguised spies in the real world deal with this: make sure you're completely alone and not likely to be discovered. Locking your room would do fine here. Also, what self respecting wizard would allow a house elf to come into his room while he was sleeping? Why would someone even want that? They can clean bedrooms during the day, can't they?
  • Rowling has stated on Pottermore that one can make polyjuice potion that lasts longer."The effect of the potion is only temporary, and depending on how well it has been brewed, may last anything from between ten minutes and twelve hours." So he would only need to take a high quality potion twice a day once at breakfast and once a night if you will.
    • Like Dumbledore being gay Show Don't tell is a problem Rowling frequently runs into in these books and this is another example of it. If the child prodigy Hermione can not by Book 7 create a Polyjuice potion that lasts longer than an hour then there is something seriously wrong. You shouldn't get extra credit for something that you haven't shown in your work.
    • Hermione followed a recipe that only gave results for an hour, and the sixth book shows that she's not the type to improve her potions, merely following the official instructions.
    • "But I think, in the excitement of tonight, our fake Moody may have forgotten to take it as frequently as he should have done... on the hour, every hour..."
    • In DH, Harry took an "large dose" of Polyjuice for the wedding and it lasted for a number of hours, from before 3pm until late evening. So apparently, if one drinks a lot, it will last longer.

    Let's see, the emergency procedures are — wait a minute, we don't HAVE emergency procedures!!! 
  • Okay, why the hell didn't Dumbledore pull Harry — no, not Harry, everybody — from the 3rd task? There were some seriously fishy things happening — the significance of which not fully realized at that point, of course, but enough to make an administrator wary enough, don't you think? Harry was having strong visions of his nemesis, visions which Dumbledore obviously found suspect. Disappearances were happening the way they did when the 1st war began over a decade ago. And they still didn't know who had put Harry's name in the Goblet. To paraphrase McGonagall's quote from the 4th film, the hell with the Tournament, and the rules! What would have happened if they halted the 3rd task, really? An unstoppable force would reach in to push them into the hedge? Can you imagine how an institution like Hogwarts would react under a potential bomb threat? If it were the Muggle world, somebody would've sued the school's ass after that little incident, I'm just sayin'.
    • The problem, unfortunately, was that the other schools and judges have a say in the matter. If Dumbledore raised his opinion, the others might think he was just trying to bring about a win for his school (after all, his two champions are in first place). If he pulled Harry only, then supposedly not competing resulted in the loss of magic (due to the magical contract), which would be worse if nothing ended up happening. Plus, he had reasons to think Voldemort wanted Harry dead, not alive and taken to him. So Dumbledore reasoned that if anything happened, Harry would throw up red sparks and be rescued if his life was in danger. Now, why he didn't ask Harry to do this the instant he got into trouble is another matter.
    • "What would have happened if they halted the 3rd task, really? An unstoppable force would reach in to push them into the hedge?" Actually, that's not unreasonable, considering how they make a big deal about the champions being under a "binding magical contract."
    • I don't recall the book saying that if they broke the contract, Harry would lose his magic. Wasn't it only stated that he was bound by the magical contract to compete? Even so, why did none of the wizards and witches there ever think that if the Goblet was acting in an unusual fashion to simply use some magic to check what was wrong with the cup and then reverse the effects so that Harry wouldn't even be in the Tournament? With the headmaster/mistress of the other schools complaining that Hogwarts had two competitors, you'd think one of them would come up with the idea to try override the magic of the Goblet. Also, considering one of the wizards there is Dumbledore, I doubt any spell that Crouch Jr. could come up with would be something that would stump even Dumbledore.
    • That's because Barty's so-called made-it-myself plan was really planned by Dumbledore himself. When Harry shows Dumbledore the mark that the knife left him in his arm(?), Harry states that he thought that he saw a look of triumph in Dumbledore's face. Which means that Dumbledore actually made the Triwizard Tournament with the hope that the madman who escaped from Azkaban by disguising himself as his mother impersonated Moody (if Dumbledore had helped Harry it would seem, at least to me, fishy), made Harry enter the tournament, helped him to get through, and finally win the Triwizard Tournament, just to be transported to Voldemort, reviving him with his own blood, and therefore making Harry survive through DH and getting the seventh Horcrux destroyed, while Voldemort died himself. That seems a much more reasonable explanation for crashing the office rather than "the real Moody wouldn't have brought you here after the last events". And you thought that Dumbledore's Roulette was complicated. He's truly the best Chessmaster ever.
      • Simpler explanation: Dumbledore wasn't expecting it, but as soon as he knew what had happened, he saw the ultimate possibility of it. Not forethought, not Roulette, just making the best of it - and immediately seeing potential for good.
      • Sorry, but no, without DD's connivance the plan couldn't possibly work. He'd hardly planned it all from the beginning - more likely he'd simply put Harry in the tournament to encourage him to learn stuff, and his plans merely conincided with V's ones (strange minds think alike indeed). But by the third task he couldn't possibly not know what was going on and what was going to happen.
      • Sorry, but this is simply WMG at this point, without any shred of proof. Dumbledore obviously didn't know who Moody really was until after the third task or he would never have permitted him to walk away with Harry. And no, Crouch Jr put in Harry, not Dumbledore. Also, the prophecy didn't say that Harry would defeat Voldemort, but that he had the power to defeat him, so Dumbledore sending Hary to him doesn't make any sense even from the absurdly manipulative angle you're trying to pull. After all, there was no reason why Voldemort couldn't simply kill Harry immediately, rather than duel with him.
      • Or much more simply, instead of elaborate conspiracy theories, breaking binding magical contracts actually has consequences, this being, you know, the magical world.
      • Using a binding magical contract with no escape clauses and grave consequences for violation in a juvenile competition is asinine. I'm sorry, but in this mad world of Rowling's "elaborate conspiracy theories" are the only things that make sense.
      • The Wizarding World has some strange morals and the Goblet was made centuries, so I don't see what's so strange about it. Also, both Karkaroff and Maxime have every interest in forcing Harry out of the tournament, so if the "binding magical contract" was just an invention by Dumbledore (though this raises the question of how he could possibly risk this, considering he had no way of knowing that Crouch Sr was under the control of Voldemort and would support this), why wouldn't they expose him? After all, the tournament had written rules, so such a lie would be uncovered in fairly short order. And yes, this makes more sense than an absurd conspiracy theory of Dumbledore risking his best chance against Voldemort, to ... resurect Voldemort.
      • But how can it be a binding magical contract when Harry never signed it? In real life no sane court would ever force you to uphold a contract just because another person had signed your name. Just because the Goblet was confunded into thinking Harry had made the commitment doesn't make it any more valid, in fact I'd say it makes it invalid. And, as someone said above, an unbreakable contract for what was supposed to be a friendly competition for juveniles is really stupid. What would happen if Cedric caught spattergroit? Would they force him to compete even if he's dying of disease?
      • Wait, "a friendly competition for juveniles"? Seriously? It wasn't for juveniles at all; you had to be 17+ to enter (the wizarding age of majority) which explains the Age Line. It was meant to be friendly, in a sense. The excitement around the Triwizard Tournament was explicitly attributed (by various people in the book) to the fact that it was the first Tournament in over 200 years after they stopped holding them because it was extremely dangerous and too many of the participants died. Everyone was warned that the new one would hopefully not result in casualties but there was no guarantee; if you wanted to participate you had to be absolutely sure since quitting was not possible. As for Harry: the Goblet was Confunded by Barty Jr. into thinking that Harry was a valid participant. Everyone seemed pretty vague about the consequences of breaking the contract, so it's possible that no one was entirely sure what they were. And so what about what a "sane court" would do? (Maybe if Harry called the cops on the Goblet, Cedric would still be alive...) The laws of magic have been shown to be rather ridiculous at times, but if one thing's for certain it's that trying to break them is a BAAAD idea. If something like an Unbreakable Vow can exist where breaking it, whatever that could be interpreted to entail, results in death, then trying to break a magical contract that forces you to participate in a contest (so that no matter how many others die you can't chicken out) with no idea of what the consequences of breaking it could be... yeah, maybe not worth the risk.
  • The question is...why? Nothing actually did happen to Harry during the tournament, so by the third task everyone but 'Moody' had let their guard down as the promised attacks on Harry had not shown up, and in fact Harry was doing rather well. Which results in Fridge Brilliance at the end.
    • Because nobody had promised any attacks, but Harry was still coerced into participating. If nothing happened during the first two tasks, it means that whatever the intention was behind putting his name into the Goblet, they would have to act on it in the third task.

    To hell with the madman still on the loose... we don't need to worry about him... 
  • This thought just occurred to me. In the previous book, there was alarm caused about Sirius Black breaking out of Azakaban, and they were warning the wizarding world to be careful. Sure, because of the Fourth Wall, we all know that Sirius was wrongly accused, but the entire wizarding world still believes he is a threat. So why was there no alarm in this book about the fact that he was still free? Honestly, if the Ministry failed in catching him in one year, I'd want to up the wizarding world's awareness that a supposedly dangerous killer is still on the loose with no hopes in catching him so far.
    • It was more along the lines that Sirius was making more open sightings of him farther and farther south, suggesting that he was running away after being captured. To the fickle Wizarding World, this was a sign that he was scared about being recaptured, so there was no real worry about him. Then the whole Qudditch Cup incident occurred, causing the public to focus on the fact that were multiple wizards that could cause damage and at least another Death Eater on the loose to cast the Dark Mark in the sky, so I don't doubt the Ministry would have jumped on a reason to blame Sirius for this attack unless he was seen in that area at the time.
    • Presumably, Dumbledore has told Fudge that Sirius is innocent and Pettigrew did it. Fudge would not like to take the risk that Sirius is captured alive and following embarrassing questions.
    • A combination of the fact that he is running around the South away from Hogwarts and Mengele syndrome. Simply put, when you first hear that somebody has escaped custody, you fear for the worst and expect them to act immediately and do something drastic, in the same nature that for decades after Mengele fled the collapsing Reich, East and West suspected each other of taking him in, and there were even wilder conspiracy theories of him leading a team of freelance scientists committing ungodly atrocities and experiments in remote hellholes throughout the world (and indeed, there are a few suspicions to this day that he was still working: see Candito Godoy). Of course, the longer he is on the run, the more the world looks at things and realizes that even if he is not captured, he is effectively cut off from funding and on the run from the most powerful agencies in the world and is probably — like Mengele actually was — holed up in a tiny shantytown away from civilization scared out of his wits and slowly descending into complete blathering insanity over the fear that one night, somebody will open the door and his pathetic existence will be snuffed out. After a year on the run, the Wizarding world (even one that assumes he is guilty as sin) assumes that the window of opportunity for doing something massively unsettling for Sirius has passed and he is either on the run, holed up and either biding his time or slowly going crackerjack ALA Mengele, has fled abroad, or has gone underground with his allies. In other words: he's not a major concern.
    • The fifth book states that Kingsley Shacklebolt is using his connections to deliberately mislead the search for Sirius.
      • But that was after the Order of the Phoenix was reinstated at the end of the fourth book. Until then, no one beside the trio and Dumbledore knows Sirius is good. Dumbledore doesn't even tell Molly and Arthur Weasley, who seem like first people he'd tell, if only so they stop having to take additional security precautions for Harry.

    Ogg, look at the time! 
  • Mrs. Weasley talks with Harry about the previous gameskeeper, Ogg. But Hagrid was 13 when he was expelled and made gameskeeper so he could stay on school grounds, and that was recorded in the diary as taking place in 1943. Which means he has been gameskeeper for about 53 years. And for a student to attend Hogwarts, they have to be at least 11 years old. Which means that for Molly to remember the previous gameskeeper, she has to be at least 64 years old. There's never any indication that she's that old, and in fact JKR has placed her birth year around 1950, 7 years after Hagrid was a gameskeeper. It's not possible for her to have known Ogg.
    • "Oh dear, maths."
    • Maybe he was made a gameskeeper, not the gameskeeper. Or he was made an assistant or something.
      • Which would make sense, as you don't make a 13 year old murder suspect your only Gameskeeper.
      • Even if he was, if Molly was born in 1950, she wouldn't have even attended school until 1961. Which means he would have been working as a gameskeeper for about 18 years. Somehow, I doubt he would have worked as assistant gameskeeper for 18 years or more...
      • You doubt that... why, exactly? He had nowhere else to go, we know that. He wanted to stay at Hogwarts and Dumbledore let him. So he works for Ogg that whole time, and when Ogg dies or retires or whatever, he takes over the job — at the age of around thirty, which is perfectly reasonable.
    • I'm not sure about the passage you're describing, but why assume Molly met him when she was a student at Hogwarts herself? She could have easily met him in Diagon Alley or at a graduation ceremony for an older sibling or something.
      • It's heavily implied that she knew him while she was a student; it mentions in the book that she 'reminisced at length' about him (Chapter 31 of GoF, p617 of the US version), which suggests she had a good number of personal interactions with him.
    • Consider: Armando Dippet was still headmaster when Hagrid was expelled (see Book 2). Nothing seems to tell us either way that Dumbledore was the immediate replacement when Dippet died or retired. Nothing indicates that Ogg was replaced before his own retirement or death. Presumably Dumbledore and Hagrid re-established contact when Dumbledore was headmaster and the position of groundskeeper became vacant. Hagrid did say (in Book 1) that Dumbledore offered him the position "after me dad died," but then, he was keeping pretty quiet about his past at that point - and there's no record of how his Lost Years were spent. (One pictures him roaming the countryside, trying to coax manticores into a Pokeball.)
  • Actually I believe Hagrid work with Ogg and there was some overlap. This makes sense since Hagrid was underage at the time. Also Molly could be the same age as Hagrid. We know her and Arthur are older than Lilly, James, Snape, ect. So its at least plausible she was in school at the time.
Hagird is even older then Molly&Arthur since he was a 3rd year when he was expelled from school via a sixth year boy (Tom Marlvoa Riddle aka future Voldy) in 1943. Arthur and Molly were born in the 50s. They had their first child William (Bill) at the start of the first Wizardng War with Voldy just about the time James, Lilly, etc were in/at Hogwarts(70s).

    AVADA KEDAVRA- *boom* 
  • During his first DADA lesson (at least with the Trio), when he's teaching about the Unforgivables, Crouch/Moody repeatedly says Avada Kedavra. How is it that it doesn't kill anyone? Hermione says it, as well, but as she presumably doesn't have the strength to make the spell work, that at least can be explained.
    • Just saying the name of a spell doesn't set it off, or a lot of wizarding classes would end in fire and feathers.
    • A paraphrase from book 5: "Never used an Unforgivable curse before, eh Potter? You have to mean them!" Presumably, since Crouch's and Hermione's intent at the time wasn't to kill anyone, they didn't.
    • And another thing, neither of them were equipped at the time. I'm assuming Avada Kedavra is one of the spells you can only set off with a wand.
    • Truthfully nearly all spells seem to require a conscious activation rather than just speaking the words.
      • Agreed. This passage makes it clear that Hermione saying the full spell didn't actually do it, but when she made the correct gesture and said it deliberately, it worked fine.
    "You're saying it wrong," Harry heard Hermione snap. "It's Wing-gar-dium Levi-o-sa, make the 'gar' nice and long."
    "You do it, then, if you're so clever," Ron snarled.
    Hermione rolled up the sleeves of her gown, flicked her wand, and said, "Wingardium Leviosa!"
    Their feather rose off the desk and hovered about four feet above their heads.
    • IIRC, Moody says that the students could all point their wands at him, shout "Avada Kedavra" and he wouldn't get more than a bloody nose. You have to mean them.

    Bear Witness to Death 
  • How can Harry see the Thestrals? In the book, Harry has his eyes closed when Cedric is killed because his scar put him in so much pain. He only saw the green light of Avada Kedavra through his eyelids and then opened his eyes to see Cedric dead.
    • Strictly speaking, the rule is you can see Thestrals if you've seen death, not someone getting killed. Looking at a dead body (perhaps a recently deceased body) is all it takes.
    • Word of God: Oops.
    • I assumed he'd seen either his father or mother die. Is that not the case?
      • No. James died downstairs, and Word of God says he was inside his crib and didn't see Lily die, only heard her.
      • Not to mention the fact that if this was true, he would have been able to see the Thestrals all through his time at Hogwarts up to that point. I am fairly sure it says in the last book that he was standing in his crib, watching what was going on, though.... but in any case, Word of God says you can only see the Thestrals if you have seen death while old enough to understand what this means. One-year old Harry would have been too young to understand fully at that time.
    • He saw the Basilisk get killed in Chamber Of Secrets, and it was never explicitly stated that you have to see human death.
  • Speaking of Thestrals, why doesn't Harry see them at the end of this book? Harry explicitly takes the carriages down to the Hogwarts express to leave, still describing them as 'horseless'.
    • I honestly thought this had been discussed to death but JK said that she was originally going to have him see them, but realized that would create an unnecessary cliffhanger for the next book. So instead she delayed it until the start of the next book, and made Harry be in shock and not understand the death enough to see them until after the summer.
    • I believe that at some point JK stated you had to proces seeing death before you could see thestrals. At the and of book four Harry is still griefing and hasn't fully processed Cedric's death, so he can't see them jet. Then next year he has moved on and has finished processing Cedric's death, so now he can see them.
  • Speaking of Thestrals yet again... How is it possible that of all the dozens of children boarding the carriages every year, absolutely nobody managed to either hear them, smell them, or bump into them? There should've been tons of freaking out and "Ohmigod there's an invisible horse here, this is so cool, guys check this out, an invisible horse!"
    • It may be a case where you have to know they're there to be able to feel them. Otherwise, you pass through them as though they were ghosts. If you can see them, you obviously know they're there. If someone tells you they're there, and you believe them, you know that they're there and can touch them.
      • That WOULD make sense if the beasts didn't carry quite tangible carriages and eat equally tangible meat. So no, they are not ethereal in any way, just invisible.
      • And the kids who haven't seen them DO touch them. They even rode them to the Ministry of Magic in the 5th book when only Harry, Luna, and Neville could see them.
    • Well, when Harry first encountered the carriages in the third book, didn't it say he presumed they were being pulled by invisible horses?
      • He actually didn't, he said horseless. In fact, right after he first sees the Thestrals, he wonders why they would put these beasts in when the carriages were supposedly capable of movement on their own.
  • Why are you people being so picky about this? Just because he didn't *see* Cedric die in front of him doesn't mean he didn't experience someone dying right in front of him. And the fact that he didnt't see Lily die is relevant, the fact is he just wasn't old enough to understand that someone just died.
  • If it was simply seeing a dead body, why didn't everyome in the audience gain the ability to see thestrals after Harry brought Cedric's body back?
    • It's the event of death, not the dead body.

    Cutting The Knot - We mean, Summoning The Egg. 
  • In the first task, Harry summons his broom to get past the dragon. Why didn't he just summon the egg instead?
    • This is a common question. The most likely answers are either he didn't think of that or he assumed the egg would be charmed against it.
      • Also, didn't the rules state that he had to get past the dragon? Simply summoning the egg would probably count as breaking the rules.
      • Even if he couldn't summon the egg for whatever reason, it might have helped to also summon his invisibility cloak.
      • It's unlikely Invisibility would have helped him much against the dragon with its other senses. Plus he wouldn't want to advertise that he had an invisibility cloak in the first place.
      • Harry's Invisibility Cloak is immune to Accio.
      • The summoning charm seems to make the object move towards the caster, but if the dragon was sitting on top of the eggs, the egg wouldn't have been able to move until the dragon was lured away.
      • That seems likely. In the fifth book, Lucius tries to summon the prophecy orb from Harry and yet Harry manages to barely keep hold of it.
      • If Accio would work on the egg, everyone would have done it. Not much of a challenge, nor is it especially entertaining.
    • Maybe everyone thought that "Accio Golden Egg" would be warded against due to Captain Obvious and no one thought to try it.

    There's feints, and then there's Wronski Feints. 
  • The big deal over the Wronski Feint always annoyed me, because didn't Harry do that in Prisoner of Azkaban? I can't remember if it was against Cho or Draco, but I distinctly remember that someone kept following him during the game, so he took a fake dive to shake them off.
    • That was a feint, but presumably not a Wronski Feint. The Wronski Feint is getting your opponent to follow closely behind you, pulling up at the last possible second, and allowing your opposing Seeker to plow into the ground.
      • Plus, it retro-actively pimps Harry's flying talents. Krum even compliments him in this book on his flying.

    The Robes From Nowhere 
  • Where did Ginny get the dress robes she wore at the Yule Ball? She wasn't in the fourth year, so they presumably wouldn't have been included on her equipment list. And if her mother did buy them, wouldn't they have sucked like Ron's?
    • Borrowed them from a girlfriend? Ginny is described as being quite popular in later books, so it's not outside the realm of possibility that she had a friend who wasn't planning to attend whose dress robes she could squeeze into.
    • Also, teenage girls take dresses and proms and the like very seriously. It's possible that she has saved up for formal wear in the past.
      • Or, because formal wear for women is much more popular/taken seriously, maybe there were more options available second-hand for Ginny's.
      • The second-hand theory is most likely borne out in the films. Whereas most of the other girls are wearing brand new silk or satin gowns, Ginny is wearing a cotton dress/gown hybrid that, while probably not second hand, could easily come off the rack as opposed to being something custom fitted.
      • She could simply have asked her mother to alter one of her old dress gowns, if she still had any laying around. With magic, the alteration could even have been merely temporary.
    • Hogsmeade, le duh.
    • Honestly, the thing that makes me scratch my head is not the provenance of Ginny's robes, but rather why no one thought to use Transfiguration on Ron's, or why fourth years didn't get a a week of special instruction in Transfiguration taught by the Wizarding World's equivalent of Tim Gunn rather than being made to buy dress robes. Hell, the fact that the Yule Ball was a surprise to students is a headscratcher in itself.
      • The Yule Ball being a surprise to the students is actually a really good point. If I was told before the beginning of the school year to go out and buy a tuxedo for no reason, I probably wouldn't do it.
      • Also, Ron has exactly one friend who's good enough at transfiguration to actually help with his robes like that — Hermione. And given how badly Ron flubbed up the job of asking Hermione to the Yule Ball, he's definitely not getting any help from that direction anytime soon. (Now why Molly didn't transfigure the damn things themselves before sending them on is a question, but we're never given any indication that Molly Weasley has a functioning fashion sense, so it might just be a function of Molly having horrible taste in clothes. The Weasley knitted jumpers aren't exactly triumphs of clothing design either.)
    • There is a fair chance it was on her equipment list. While the fourth-years and up could freely attend the ball without being invited by someone older, they weren't obliged to (unless they were Tournament Champions, but the fourth-years would (legally) be too young for that), but they still had dress robes on their list in case they wanted to attend. Maybe the same went for the younger students: "In case, you are invited to the Yule Ball by an older student, you may want to buy some dress robes".
      • How often do we see the characters reading the lists that are sent out aside from the book list? They likely assume that, having bought their stuff first year, all they need to do is replace anything that has gotten worn out/broken over the summer, and buy the new books. Worst case, between Apparation, Flooing, and the owls who can deliver packages within a few days, there isn't likely to be a crisis if they forget to pack something that they needed.

    Rats! 
  • Wormtail's ability to get information from other rats. Rats have to establish relationships before they tell other rats things. (And yes, they do inform each other of danger. At least that's true.)
    • It is a bit fast for him to have developed a relationship with the other rats, but he could have used magic to speed up the process, or the rats were so scared of it that they were warning any other rat that passed.
      • For example, there's a difference between someone telling their friend that they think something odd is going on, and someone screaming to all the random bystanders, "OMG there's a huge snake in there!".
      • The Imperius curse, perhaps? If Moody can use it in class on a non-human rather easily, who's to say someone else didn't help Wormtail get information from the rats (or he just did it himself before he transformed).

    Oh dear, wizard genetics. 
  • Colin Creevey was established as a Muggleborn; he was attacked by the basilisk and talked about how his parents were all shocked and excited that he was a wizard. What are the chances that his brother Dennis is also a wizard? It doesn't run in generations like that, else Petunia would be a witch like her sister. Is it just a weird coincidence?
    • This brilliant and nerdishly scientific explanation of wizarding genes in the HP universe says that both Creevey brothers being magical is possible but it's possible that there has been a case of false paternity. [1]
    • On the contrary, Petunia may be the odd one out and it does run in families. Alternatively, keep in mind Petunia is the older sibling, and we're not told if Colin's the oldest sibling in his family. Maybe it skips the first sibling? It's magic, it doesn't need to make sense.
      • But Hermione's an only child and she's a witch. And if we're not trying to make sense out of everything, what's the point in even having this page?
      • Punnett square genetics. If M=muggle and m=wizard with m as the recessive gene, you have a 1/4 chance of two Mm parents having a child that is mm. Assuming the events are independent, the same is true for any following siblings.
      • Rowling says that the wizarding gene is dominant, but all that proves is that she doesn't know how genetics works.
      • Dominant with variable penetrance would work, and would explain how pureblood families could produce squibs.
      • What?
      • What's wrong with wizarding being a dominant gene? You have to explain what you mean. Some people don't know what you are talking about.
      • In a nutshell, dominance means that the trait will show even with one allele (so if magic is a dominant gene, anyone with the genotype Mm or MM would have magic, but mm would be a muggle). Muggles cannot ever have a wizard child if magic is dominant, because both parents would have to be mm while the kid would be Mm; the M has to come from either parent, and if either parent had it, they would be a wizard too.
      • Except this in itself only proves that magic is not dependent on simple Mendelian genetics. Reverse it so that the dominant M means muggle, and Squibs automatically disprove that.
      • True but Squibs are noted to be much rarer than Muggle-borns. It's the equivalent of two blonde parents having a brown-haired child, whereas it's more likely for two brown-haired parents to have a blonde child because they could both be carriers since blonde hair is recessive. So being a Squib could be a random and therefore, fairly uncommon, mutation.
    • Why would Petunia be a witch? Even if wizarding is a dominant gene, then the chances would be that about 75% of people in wizarding families would get it.
    • Could be that one or both of their parents were Squibs from a line of both, so long they never knew they were of wizarding stock, and it took this long for the genetic dice to roll "wizard" again.
      • It's kind of assumed that Squibs have the Mm genetic sequence.
      • This would make sense, as then two people with the Mm sequence would be able to produce a magical child (mm), a Squib (Mm), or a full Muggle (MM). This does rely on magic being recessive, and for mutations to occur to produce a Squib. This would also make Squibs carriers of the magic gene.
      • Alternatively, there is the possibility that squibs do possess the necessary magic genes but those genes are simply defective; i.e. cystic fibrosis, where the gene is still present but has some kind of alteration that makes it unusable. This would make more sense; if all squibs are Mm then that would mean that it would be impossible for half-blood children to be magical, because Mm is all they could get (if they had a full muggle parent and a full magic parent they would only get an M from one and an m from the other- they would all be squibs).
  • This Troper studied basic genetics for school, and has spent a year overthinking this, only to come to one conclusion: "It's magic, stop questioning it before your Muggle brain melts." (This is also applicable when talking about conservation of matter to do with Transfiguration, and pretty much everything else in HP - it's magic, that's the point.)
  • It could also be multiple alleles, like eye color.
    • True. It works if there's one gene whose dominant allele grants magical powers, but a different, recessive gene that can suppress them. Muggleborns would be the offspring of Muggles, one of whom has both alleles for suppressing magic as well as the magic-promoting allele, and the other of whom lacks the suppressor allele. (This would mean that one or the other of the Creevy boys' parents only missed out on being born magical because of the suppressor gene.) Squibs could be the offspring of wizard parents who are heterozygous for one or both genes.
  • Alternative explanation: JK Rowling hasn't studied punnett square genetics and mistakenly said the gene was dominant and now we're hell bent on trying to explain it. Had she known how recessive genes work in Mendelian genetic she probably would have said it was recessive.
    • I'm suddenly reminded of Liquid Snake's nonsensical explanation of dominant and recessive genes from Metal Gear Solid.
  • Punnett square genetic would suggest that magic is recessive and parents of Muggle-borns are carriers and that being a Squib is due to random mutation which is why it's so "unusual". But, this doesn't fit with most of the wizarding world being half-bloods. It is suggested that the child of a wizard/witch and a Muggle is almost sure to be magical, which is why even a non-magical child with one magical and one non-magical parent is called a Squib. So Mendelian genetics doesn't explain it either way.
  • I like the suppressor gene idea. Trinucleotide repeats are another explanation (Look up Huntingon's disease). Variable penetrance is problematic because it gives some validation to the Death Eater ideas about pure-bloods being the best wizards and Muggle-borns being the worst which is shown in the story to be BS. The other explanation of course is that it's a story and doesn't have to make sense although IT IS fun to discuss. :D
  • Mendelian inheritance may be taught as a basic high-school level crash course in genetics, but that just serves to cause more misinformation and false assumptions than anything else. I don't mean to sound condescending here, but insisting something is impossible or wrong because it doesn't conform to Mendelian laws makes you look really uneducated. A few tropers have already mentioned some various mechanisms that can allow for random-yet-common mutations to occur sporadically, but the idea that fits HP the best to me is epigenetics. Meaning, a random but heritable change to the DNA structure (that's simplifying it, but bear with me.) With fate and odd magic laws, a child conceived by Muggles that is "meant" to have magic, or spends enough time near magic(?), can acquire this change early enough in development to maintain the magic. However, the change is not a "normal" alteration that can be detected or replicated in a lab like methylation or deacetylation, it's a magical change. Same thing with squibs in reverse: Random chance or issues in early development (like using strong potions/Firewhisky or being hit by a curse in early pregnancy for instance) might mess with that DNA structure too.

    Chain of Memory 
  • How does the Pensieve work? I mean, there are basically two different ways it could be interpreted:
    • 1.Dumbledore says that it helps when he has too many thoughts and memories crammed into his mind. So it suggests that you could put your thought or memory in the Pensieve and it wouldn't be in your head anymore. The fact that Snape used to put his worst memory in it to avoid Harry seeing it suggest the same. But if that's true, does it mean, that you forget the whole event when you put your memory in it? 'cause if it's not in your head, you've forgotten it. And if that's true, does it mean that Slughorn doesn't remember anything about talking to Riddle about Horcruxes?
    • 2.One could think, that when you put your memory in Pensieve, or just extract it from your head, you're just creating a copy of it, while leaving the original in your head. But if so, why does Snape bother to put it in Pensieve?
    • Oh, and about "moving freely in Memories"-thing... Just how are the people visiting the memories able to see/hear/visit the thing the author of the memory couldn't have possibly seen/heard? As an example, in Snape's worst memory, Harry hears and sees the Marauders talking about/doing stuff, while the Author of the memory is far away and doesn't look at them/listen to them talking. Does that mean that if the memory is long enaugh, you could just go to a completely diferent room and see what people were doing during the time of the memory? May be go to the Ministry of Magic and learn some secrets, which were discussed at that point, or go to girl's locker room and watch them naked? How does it work?
      • The book does mention that Harry stays in sight of Snape the whole time. Also, it's entirely likely that Snape did hear (at least subconsciously) what the Marauder's were saying, he just filtered it out as background noise. Doesn't mean his mind didn't still record it. The human brain is an amazing thing. I heard once in Psychology class about a guy with DID, and one of his personalities could only speak Hungarian, even though the dominant personality couldn't speak any Hungarian at all. He had some Hungarian co-workers, and the assumption was that his subconscious mind picked up on their conversations and learned some phrases that way.
      • OK, it could be so with hearing stuff, but what about seing? You know, like seing what James is doing while Snape is reading and not watching him. If it works that way, one could just use Pensieve to see the stuff that happened around you but couldn't see. For example, what your classmate was writing in his letter while sitting in front of you or something like that.
    • Word of God says that the Pensieve is more than just a memory storer, it allows people to actually "return" to a certain point in time in which they were present. J. K. Rowling's reasoning is that subconsciously, everyone is aware of everything around them more or less, but I don't think she thought it through straight down to being 360 degree total awareness. Chalk this up as a mistake on her part.
      • OK, but it would make much more sense for the memories being seen from the PoV of their owner.
      • On the original point, lets say a middle ground: you still have the memory, but it is put to the back of your mind so someone is less likely to see it and it bothers you less.

    The most loyal Death Eater? Sure Crouch. Sure. 
  • A lot of fuss is made in this book that Crouch Jr. was one of the only Death Eaters who truly remained loyal to Voldie, never renouncing him, but wait, hold the phone! God knows he tried his damndest to renounce Voldemort when he was on trial! The only real difference between him and the likes of Lucius was that Lucius got away with serving Voldemort and Crouch Jr. didn't. This is opposed to Lestrange, for instance, who basically laughs off her Azakaban sentence, while the other two present don't really react at all. As for helping Voldemort regain his body? That was when serving Voldemort seemed like it could pan out again, just like the other Death Eaters who returned at the end of the book.
    • Crouch, Jr. probably just has a bad case of Moral Myopia and it's possible that Voldemort only has his account to go on. Besides, he was pretty well prevented from doing anything until Voldemort rescued him. It's possible that he would have gone back to looking for Voldemort if the Ministry had bought his story. No, that's not necessarily so, but the point is Death Eaters like Lucius had opportunities to look for Voldemort which Crouch, Jr. didn't have.
    • I assumed that lying/infiltration/spying has always been Crouch Jr's talent, and his vehement protests at the trial were a pre-approved attempt to retain his not-a-Death-Eater credentials. It would explain why Bellatrix didn't turn on him despite her contempt for those who betrayed their loyalty.
      • That makes a certain amount of sense. If the son of one of your greatest enemies has joined you, what's the most logical assignment to give him? Send him to spy on his father, of course.

    Triwizard scoring tomfoolery. 
  • Harry and Krum tie for first on the First Task, and Cedric wins the Second, with Harry behind him and Krum behind Harry. This should level out to Harry being in first overall in the tournament by the Third Task, with Krum and Cedric tying in second. Since Fleur failed the Second Task it's understandable her placement overall would take a death plunge by the Third Task. Instead, we get Cedric nosing past Krum and tying with Harry, when by all accounts he did the worst overall in the First Task; taking longest to secure his egg (Fleur is listed as facing the Dragon in the book for 10 minutes, Cedric for 15, Harry was specifically mentioned as getting his quickest, and its doubtful Krum has a drawn out encounter with his dragon) and then taking a major injury (getting part of his face burnt? Fleur just got a near Wardrobe Malfunction which she was able to fix on her own) to boot. The Tournament already suffers from Golden Snitch syndrome in the Third Task, but now the Second Tasks' points seems to outweigh the First Tasks'. This tournament is madness!
    • *Casts Sonorus Charm* MADNESS?! THIS!!! IS!!! HOGWARTS!!!!!
      • Besides, that's the way British degree weightings works. All the years count towards your final degree class, but your first year counts as least important (so long as you pass), second (and/or third) year more important, and the final year is gut-clenchingly important. So, the variable weighting isn't madness - just British.
    • The judges (except Karkaroff, of course) probably considered Krum harming the dragon and its eggs as grounds for removing points from his total, while Cedric's impressive use of magic compensated for the longer time he needed to get the egg or the injury. Incidentally, Cedric could still have finished last in the First task. He had 38 points, so Fleur could have finished above him (but in third) with 39.
    • Its actually said in the books that Krum lost a few points because a few of its eggs were harmed.
    • Your score in the first and second tasks is whatever the judges give you, which is ostensibly for how well you did your magic, though as we see it's a little tempered by favouritism. The amount of time they took to get the egg is an aspect of impressiveness, but doesn't have very much relevance by itself.

    May my Lord have more difficulties. 
I understand why Crouch Jr. demonstrated the unforgiven curses and tried Imperius on children - that's what Moody would do. But don't you think he went too much into the Role? I mean, he basically trained Harry's Imperius-resistance to perfection. Why do that, if you serve Voldemort? And don't tell me it was because of Dumbledore - he didn't know about Harry's resistance-potential and wouldn't find out, so there was no need to teach it to Harry SPECIFICALLY.

  • Crouch really had no choice in the matter - doing any less would raise the red flags and alert Dumbledore. You're underestimating how much of a paranoid Moody was: going even the slightest bit lenient in defense would seem VERY out of character. Besides, even if Harry's capable of resisting the Imperius Curse, Voldie still has the perfectly serviceable Cruciatus and Killing Curses to use, both of which are much harder to defend against. Voldemort isn't going to want to keep Harry alive as a slave, so the Imperius curse would only get use for some brief humiliation before he gets around to the finishing off.
    • Yes, but Crouch could simply note to himself "wow, this guy has affinity to the resistance", not say it loud and go on with other students. I don't think people would notice something was wrong. And as for there being other means, sure, but why give him such a valuable mean of defence? It's like if Lupin wanted Harry dead and still taught him how to make a Patronus.
      • He also needed to ingratiate himself with Harry. On the other hand, as it was aptly noted above, it is hardly a life-saving skill, unlike the Patronuses. Neither Crouch, nor V planned any further use for Harry, so neither saw any point in keeping him particularly Imperiusable. There is also a chance DD specifically ordered "Moody" to train Harry.
  • It's entirely possible that Crouch himself had a fundamental moral objection to the Imperius Curse (considering he was subjected to it and controlled by it for years) and as a result thought that, regardless of Voldemort's eventual goals, everyone ought to have a chance to learn to resist it.

    The odd couple 
Okay, so Hagrid's mother is a giantess while he father was a rather small man...how does that work? How would they even...or am I better off not knowing?
  • Engorgio. In the opposite case, maybe Alohamora.
  • You know, there's a fanfic series in which Harry gets The Talk from various characters. One of them features Hagrid telling Harry and Draco how giants and humans mate:
    "Now if the man is a giant, and the woman is a human, then it is real painful fer her, as she is so small an' he is so big. Most of the time the woman will die givin' birth, cause the baby is too big. Sometimes the woman will die during sex, cause the man is too big. Do yeh know what I mean by too big?"
    "Yes." yelled Draco and Harry at once, both terrified that he might go into greater detail if he thought they had doubts.

    BOOOO!!! We wanted to see some ACTION!!!! 
  • Sure, the crowd of spectators probably enjoyed watching the dragons in the first task. And then, in the second and third tasks, a thrilled audience watched... the surface of the lake, and the outside of a hedge? The whole tournament was set up like it was a grand spectacle, but nobody could see what was happening in these two events - not even the judges. We had magic binoculars and some kind of giant magic scoreboard introduced in the earlier World Cup sequence, but there's nothing like that here. The Ministry sure went to some trouble importing a Sphinx that almost nobody got to see.
    • Well, the purpose of the tournament is a contest of magical skill, not a theatrical production. They set up seats and people came because they were interested. There are plenty of occasions in real life, like state visits and important trials, when people hang around outside a building all day just because of who's in there, even though they're not going to see anything except maybe a glimpse of somebody they think they recognize being escorted out to their car. Even news channels do it: "We're taking you live now to a video feed of one of our reporters standing in front of an iron fence, which we assure you is the one around City Hall, so she can tell us that she doesn't know any more about than we do and has nothing to say. But when she does, we'll be the first to report it!"
      • Except that during such real life occasions there may be tons of technical or legal obstacles to witnessing the juicy parts, or it may be that nobody knows when exactly the interesting event will happen. The third task was different. All the interesting stuff was happening right there, behind the bushes, and they obviously had means to observe them if they wanted to. Except, of course, that they couldn't, because then Crouch's plan wouldn't work.

  • Doesn't the same apply for real-life stuff. Like Tour De France? Since isn't a large chunk of the race is behind trees and plants while the watchers are waiting at the start/finish line?
    • Yes, and as a vivid non-sport fan, that confounds me to no end, why would anyone want to watch that. But at least people who stage races and marathones have the excuse that it's techincally difficult to provide a live feed from every car or runner, [[Film\Phantom Menace pod racing]]-style. These people, having magic, have no such excuse. And even barring the audience, what about the judges? "The judges will be patrolling outside the maze looking for your sparks"... waaaaa? Why the hell weren't the judges looking after the participants? It's kinda their job.

  • Maybe there's a magic spell of some sort that lets them watch the contestants. Kinda like a Pensieve, or a magical camera.
    • In that case they would've seen all the bullshit that was going on in the labyrinth and stopped it, or at least they would've known that Harry was kidnapped, and arrested Moody immediately.

    Just where the hell is Durmstrang? 
  • Why are some tropers so insistent that Durmstrang (note the German name) is in Bulgaria? OK, so one Durmstrang student is Viktor Krum, Seeker for the Bulgarian national team — so bloody what? By that "logic", since Hogwarts' students include Seamus Finnigan, Hogwarts "must" be in Ireland.
    Also regarding the "Bulgaria is south of Britain" cry — again, so what? Even assuming that Durmstrang is in Bulgaria, the fact remains that Dumbledore wasn't stating a specific bearing from Hogwarts, but only stating that Durmstrang is "in the north" — as Bulgaria indeed is, and so is Britain.
    • But that kind of thing is useless. You could make the argument that Mississippi is in the north if you're looking on a global scale. A Continental view, one typical of people in Europe, would make the claim that Bulgaria is northerly as laughable as claiming Mississippi is.
      • That argument is good evidence for my main point, that Durmstrang isn't in Bulgaria. If it was, would its students need fur cloaks?
    • There's no reason why it has to be in Bulgaria; wizards are perfectly able to attend school in another country. The most likely explanation, noting names like Karkaroff and Poliakoff, is that Durmstrang is in Russia (and has a German name because it is a royal institution from the 17th-18th century, la St Petersburg).

      • Except that in the Royal Courts of Czarist Russia, they spoke French, not German.
    • On Seamus; surely there are people with Irish names all over Britain. Personally, I kinda assumed Durmstrang might have been in Romania, because of Transylvania. What bugs me is that there are apparently just three wizarding schools in the whole of Europe, and at least two of them seem to have students from just one country each.
      • I thought Dumbledore said they were the biggest schools or something? I always took it that there were other schools, particularly in bigger countries, but Hogwarts, Beauxbatons, and Durmstrang were the biggest.
      • Dumbledore does indeed specifically describe Hogwarts, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang as "the three largest European schools of wizardry."
      • Judging by its blend of Germanic, Slavic, Romanian, and Hungarian cultures, Durmstrang may be a remnant of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and serviced everyone in Eastern and Central Europe, perhaps with several national campuses under one name, as in a university system. When the muggle Austro-Hungarian Empire fell, the wizarding subculture of that multi-ethnic empire didn't really care, and continued to sending their children to it.
    • well I thought it was Russia since 1)fur cloaks 2) doesn't someone say they (Durmstrang) only use fire for their Poitions class? and 3)didn't Hermione say that the water is much colder near Durmstrang, so that the water the Giant Squid is warm? (it was I think Januarary when Victor Krum did that)
  • Given that so much of Eastern and Central Europe is mountainous, the use of fur trim on robes shouldn't be given too much weight as a clue. Altitude can make a place just as cold as latitude does.
  • Drumstrang is not a german word or name nor does it sound really german to somebody who knows the language (well you could make an anagram for Sturm und Drang (a period of german literature) of it). If they didn't say it was to the north, i seems a reasonable guess that it's located in a country which was part of the austro-hungarian empire. There have always been relations to russia in the past (pan slawism), so it would make sense that russians as well as eastern europeans attend it.
  • During the Yule ball Krum gives several clues about where Durmstrang is located, which are apparently telling enough for Karakaroff to interrupt him before he had given away the school's location. First, Durmstrang has apparently very short days in winter, implying that it's even farther north than Scotland, though there seem to be some daylight in winter, so it's south of the polar circle. These facts together limit it to Scandinavia, Iceland and northern European Russia (it's stated earlier in the book that Durmstrang is an European school). The second clue is that there are lots of mountains and lakes around the school. Mountains are not that common in this part of Europe, so this narrows it down to Iceland, Norway, western Sweden and the Ural mountains. Iceland and Norway do not really seem to fit with other descriptions of Durmstrang. It's not really that cold there and it's also not really that far away from Scotland. The mountains of western Sweden are more appropriate regarding the cold weather, though they're not that far away, either. The Ural mountains on the other hand are very far away, very cold and this fits better the Russian influence in Durmstrang (if nothing else, the headmaster has an obvious Russian name).
  • Given the fact that Karkaroff and his students arrived on a boat rising from underwater, why isn't it possible that Durmstrang is located somewhere underwater near the Arctic Circle?

    For a flaming goblet, this thing sure is confusing. 
  • What if someone decided to try and get around the age line by, say, putting a slip of paper on the end of a stick? Or levitating it? Or really anything that didn't involve physically stepping over the line?
    • It's entirely possible that this did happen, however the Goblet deemed them not worthy to compete. It's never made clear how the Goblet of Fire judges the candidates, but I'd assume entering without standing right over it would give you a few negative points. It's entirely possible if there were any other candidates for the fourth school Harry was entered in, he wouldn't have had his name pop out either. After all, the Goblet probably judged him as cowardly by having someone else enter his name.
      • Why would the goblet care if you aren't standing over it? If you don't put it in yourself or use another way of getting it in, it's only because of the Age Line, and if the goblet is going to judge people for breaking the rules and entering when they're not supposed to, then why bother with the Age Line at all and not just trust that the goblet wouldn't pick underage students once they were forbidden to enter?
      • There's nothing saying the Goblet was even aware of the Age Line. Personally, if I were picking people for a contest of skill and bravery, and some entrants appeared afraid to even approach me, they'd be right out.
    • They really could have avoided a huge array of potential cheats by having the Sorting Hat do the Goblet's job. But then there'd be no plot.
      • The Sorting Hat being a Hogwarts artifact wouldn't make it neutral enough.
    • Problem with that is that the Goblet of Fire is considered an "Impartial Judge" because it has no connections or bias toward any school. The Sorting Hat may be seen as biased toward Hogwarts, especially if Hogwarts champion was winning. The other headmasters would claim the hat chose bad competitors from their schools.

    GASP! It's an Invisibility Cloak!!! 
  • Why does nobody react to Barty Jr.'s revelation that his family has an Invisibility Cloak? In Deathly Hallows, it is rather important that Harry has one — and in fact, his is revealed to be the only "real" one. Crouch's cloak seems to work just like Harry's. I smell Retcon.
    • As I recall, they mention in Sorcerer's Stone that Harry's cloak was unique in that it produced total invisibility and never faded. Other cloaks exist, but they're pale knockoffs.
      • Alternatively, the person could have bought several Invisibility Cloaks. Seems expensive, but then since Crouch is a high-up official, he could have access to the confiscated Invisibility Cloaks used by criminals. Or perhaps he could re-enchant the same cloak? If he's powerful enough to use the Imperious Curse for a long period of time, perhaps he could have made his Invisibility Cloaks last longer, too.
    • Yeah, Invisibility Cloaks are rare but far from unheard of. In Deathly Hallows, it wasn't important that Harry had one; it's that he had one for so long without it fading. Harry's has been in use at least since James was a kid, and any other Invisibility Cloak would have turned opaque over that much time.
  • How about the obvious plothole: How in the heck did Barty II manage to see through Harry's Cloak anyway? Besides the Unholy Power of the Retcon?
    • The Unholy Power of his magical eye.
    • How on Earth is that a plothole? It's explained in the scene when Harry's in the Three Broomsticks with Hermione while hiding under his cloak that Moody's eye can see through them.
      • It was likely a reference to the aforementioned revelation that Harry's cloak is the only "real" one, i.e. "completely" impenetrable and everlasting. Retcon or not, there isn't THAT much of a plothole since it's also stated that the Hallows while powerful are NOT as 100% infallible as the legends claim: after all, the "unbeatable" wand was beaten at least once, right? Ergo, even Harry's Legendary Cloak of Invisibility +5 could be penetrated by SOMETHING.

    Ya know those armies of Voldemort we kept mentioning? Yeah, they actually have a formal name that we never bothered to share. 
  • How come Harry doesn't hear the term "Death Eater" until this book? You'd think what Voldemort's followers call themselves would be one of the first things Hagrid would have mentioned when telling Harry his history back in the first book. Even if Hagrid did decide to leave that out/didn't think to mention it, you would at least think that sometime during Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry would have heard someone refer to Sirius Black as a Death Eater. It's almost like everyone was in on some kind of conspiracy of "we can't use the word 'Death Eater' because Harry doesn't know it yet."
    • Same as the absence of the term "auror" when it would have made sense for them to apprehend Sirius rather than "hit-wizards", this is just an example of Rowling not planning every minor detail of the books ahead of time. She likely didn't think about or decide on the name "Death Eater" until she had finished Prisoner and was writing Goblet.
      • They said only "hit-wizards" can stand against Sirius. Maybe they are elite compared to regular Aurors.
      • I always figured hit-wizards were special aurors used by Crouch, Sr. specifically to eliminate dark wizards rather than bring them in. Considering that he was said to have become as ruthless as some on the dark side, it wouldn't be all that surprising to learn that he had a group of dark wizard killers in addition to normal dark wizard hunters.
      • Hit-wizards are sent after particularly dangerous criminals, where Aurors are explicitly dark wizard catchers. Compare local and county police, who would be called in on a murder or robbery, to state police and the feds, who go after larger-scale criminals and serial killers. Likewise, they never refer to Sirius as a Death Eater because even the idiots at the Ministry can lift up his sleeve and see he doesn't have a Dark Mark. Assuming that Pettigrew's explosion spell wasn't Dark (it was very likely just a high powered Reducto), they would have had no reason to call in Aurors on him. It wasn't until later, after Peter's accusation and Dumbledore's release that Sirius was supposedly the Secret-Keeper, that he was believed to be a Voldemort supporter and not just insane. Why they thought he was Voldemort's right hand man, considering that he wasn't Marked, is anyone's guess.
      • Does the Ministry even know the Death Eaters have the Mark? When Snape showed his to Fudge to try to convince him Voldemort was back, he also had to explain what it was, who gave it to him, and how it worked. And Fudge still looked at him like he had three heads...and each head was spouting gibberish.

    Hogwarts's Teleportation Loopholes 
  • So you can't Dis/Apparate in or out of Hogwarts, but you can use a Portkey? It can't work like Floo, because Floo is stated to be a NETWORK, which needs established stations, but Portkeys just seem to work to teleport people around.
    • Even then, it seems to be an iffy situation, as we only see it happening with the Goblet (not inside the castle itself) and when Dumbledore makes them. So it's possible that wards preventing their use were removed for the third task to transport the winner out of the maze, but it was hijacked for another use (or Portkeys are stopped inside the castle only). It's also likely that only the headmaster can make Portkeys that work in and near Hogwarts.
      • But in HBP, Harry heard Dumbledore muttering some spells to take the protective charms off the walls of Hogwarts, so it obviously took some time. And even if that were so, didn't fake!Moody charm the cup to be a Portkey that would bring Harry to Voldy? I guess Dumbledore might have given him permission to do it, since he trusted Moody and all... but it bugs me.
      • It's a very common theory (especially due to the movie) that the cup was meant to be a Portkey from the center of the maze to the start. Thus, if there were wards over the grounds for Portkeys, they were taken down in advance. It's just that fake!Moody charmed it to take a detour along the way when he placed it in the center of the maze.

      • Considering that when the Portkey returned Harry and Dead!Diggory, it returned them not to the point of departure - in the centre of the maze - but to the grounds of Hogwarts, well outside the maze, I would assume that the Cup was indeed meant to be a portkey, and that all Fake!Moody did was divert the Portkey to Voldy first, assuming that no one would survive to make the legitimate trip after the graveyard...
  • Hogwarts has a shedload of ancient wards and shields surrounding it, whch can only be bypassed by the headmaster. With the cup, DD enchanted it so it could pass the wards. This enchantment is applied to the cup itself, not an addition to the portus. DD himself added that enchantment and the first portus to take the winner outside the maze. Fake!Moody could not lift the first portus as it was done by DD. He simply added on a second portus which activated first.
  • Why is everyone assuming that DD did that? The Triwizard is old. If the Cup can bypass the wards, or was let into the wards deliberately, that probably happened centuries ago, especially if the traditional last task is 'put everyone in one place, winner is the one who grab the cup first'. In fact, someone grabbing the cup after the task start might signify the 'legal' end to the magically binding contract everyone is in. And each Triwizard someone is supposed to program a logical destination into the cup for the winner. (This would obviously change from year to year...you wouldn't want the winner of a Triwizard to appear at the Quidditch stands if the last task was a three-way duel in the Great Hall, or whatever.) Fake!Moody did just one of two things:
    • Cast a portkey in front of the existing one, somehow. So the 'victory' portkey didn't trigger until the second touch. In this hypothetical, the Triwzard wasn't over until the second time Harry touched it, making Harry alone the actual winner. This requires the 'Hogwart ward override' to be part of the Cup, instead of part of the 'winner Portkey spell', which makes the cup a rather large security risk. If any Portkey cast on the thing can avoid the wards it raise the question of why Fake!Moody didn't just hunt Harry down and throw the cup at him at the start of the year.
    • Or he reprogrammed the winner destination like normal, like happens every year. Which means Harry and Cedric did, legally, tie, as the Triwizard was over the second they touched it the first time. This makes the cup more secure if it can only go through the wards during the third task, and can possibly only take contestants. However, it makes it hard to explain why it returned.
      • Possible explanation of the return trip: There's some sort of anti-theft system of the cup which thought someone ran off with it. The cup is probably supposed to stay on the campus of the winner between tourneys, so if the tourney is over and the next one hasn't started, and someone is touching it off-campus, bam, Portkey to a known location on the last winner's campus. (Which would be Hogwarts, as the campus of Harry's fictional school does not exist.)
      • Alternate explanation: All Portkeys are bi-directional, or just that one, and the cup was simply trying to return him to the center of the maze. However, Harry had moved the cup at one end, by summoning it, so when he used it, he ended up outside the maze at the other end. (In normal practice, the very first thing the officials would do after the winner shows up would be to erase any destination from the Cup before the winner puts it down.)

    We've got to have... mon- SHUT IT! 
  • At one point, after Draco puts down Ron yet again for being poor, Ron says something to the effect of "Arthur could get a promotion any time he wants, he just likes it where he is." Now, I know that money isn't everything, and that the Weasley family's financial situation is supposed to demonstrate that family togetherness is much more important than wealth... but does that strike anyone else as just a teensy bit selfish on Arthur's part? "Oh, I have a wife and seven freaking kids to take care of, and we can barely make ends meet, and the only reason I can afford to send my younger kids to Hogwarts at all is I have older kids to give them all their old crap, and I could give my family a better life, but I choose not to because I like tinkering with Muggle artifacts." What?
    • It's Ron saying that, not Arthur. I doubt Molly would let him get away with risking their younger children starving just so he can tinker with his stupid, illegal Muggle toys. It's like "my dad could beat up your dad if he wanted to, but he doesn't want to, so reality will never joss my flimsy justification," but economically.
      • Agreed. Ron was clearly bullshiting.
      • Doesn't Molly even say to Dumbledore at the end of the book, when Dumbledore is sending people people out to recruit members for the Order, that it's always been Arthur's "fondness for Muggles" that has kept him from advancing in the ministry while Fudge is in charge?
      • There are different ways to interpret that. On the one hand, Arthur is holding himself back because he likes working on Muggle-related subjects, or rather because he's known as a Muggle-lover, he's passed up for promotions. That or, like Ron, Molly simply doesn't know exactly why he hasn't been promoted yet.
      • Going back and checking Goblet of Fire, it's actually quite clear that Molly knows exactly why Arthur hasn't received a promotion, and it's not because he doesn't want one. While less hateful and militant than the Malfoys or Voldemort's other direct supporters, Fudge is still a supporter of the ideas of wizard superiority and blood purity.
    Dumbledore: Molly, am I right in thinking I can count on you and Arthur?
    Molly: Of course you can! We know what Fudge is. It's Arthur's fondness for Muggles that has held him back at The Ministry all these years. Fudge thinks he lacks proper wizarding pride.
    • Also, the Weasleys aren't THAT bad off, at least not to the point of starving.
    • Is there any indication that the Wealseys are really struggling to get by? Okay, sure, they don't have enough money for lots and lots of treats (although Arthur and Molly are certainly capable of putting enough money together for a reward for when one of their kids becomes a prefect or something), and yes, they have to subject their kids to the sheer HORROR of wearing second hand clothes! But they're supporting seven kids in a pretty big house, plus they often have Harry and Hermione over for the summer, and yet they seem to have enough money and resources to put food on the table every day (and pretty generous portions by the sound of things) and there's no indication that they're in any debt. They seem to get by quite well on what they earn, they're just not greedy for anything that they don't need.
    • I recall in Chamber of Secrets that Harry accompanies the Weaselys to Gringotts and sees Molly literally empty their bank vault, which just about buys their school supplies. Yeah, I'd call that struggling.
    • One thing to keep in mind that the main reason the school supplies were such a drain on the Weasleys' resources in Chamber of Secrets is that Molly and Arthur had to buy five copies of Gilderoy Lockhart's entire library.
    • And next week, in comes Arthur's next paycheck. Sure, they don't have a lot of money, but there's no indication of debt so far as I can see. That money only just paid for school supplies, but they only have to do that once a year. They don't have much, but they have enough to get by.
    • Also keep in mind that the number of Weasleys in the house dwindles through the course of the books. Bill and Charlie have already left home before the series starts, Percy leaves between books four and five, and Fred and George leave during book five. By this point, Arthur and Molly are only supporting two kids and it won't be too long before they leave as well. If Arthur's paycheck can just cover seven kids in the house, imagine how much money he'll have in reserve once they all leave home. From Arthur's point of view, he's probably thinking: "Why give up the job I love when my kids will have all left home soon and then I'll be able to save up plenty of money for a nice retirement?"
    • Not to mention that if you already have food, you can modify it (including increasing the quantity); it's just that you can't conjure food out of nothing. Hogwarts tuition, books, and supplies are likely to be the biggest bite to the Weasleys' finances, in which case Books 2 and 3 would be the toughest with five students there (Percy in 6th/7th year, the twins in 4th/5th, Ron in 2nd/3rd, and Ginny in 1st/2nd). It's possible that they might have had to dig into savings accounts or something that year.
    • Fridge Brilliance: The Weasleys get by during the 2nd and 3rd year thanks to the windfall they gained in the summer between the years (the decent amount of money they won through the wizard lottery).
    • Also, what expenses do the Weasleys really have for most of the year? No mortgage, I doubt they have a utilities bill, and every year another kid takes off for Hogwarts for 9 months, meaning 9 months with one less mouth to feed, dress, and provide for. Extra money can go right into Gringotts, so that they can afford to have times like Lockhart pimping his biography's on the required books list or Ron cracking his wand on their stolen car. Example: At the start of the school year, i.e. when money would be tightest, Ron has to take sandwiches for the ride to Hogwarts. However, when he gets his trip to Hogsmeade, he obviously has spending money to buy candy and butterbeer with.

  • Um, does Hogwart even have tutition? I don't think so if anyone from rich pure-blood families (like Malfoy's) or familes that are like the Weasly's and are poor, to Muggle-born students like Harry's friend Hermione and his mother. Since there's no mention of a tuition anywhere. Anyway isn't it word of God that there's is a magical quill that writes down the name of any student when they're born that will attend Hogwarts 11-12?
    • Maybe Hogwarts has some sort of financial aid system and Gringott's offers student loans. I'm also inclined to think Hogwarts receives some government support, or else why would the Ministry be able to appoint teachers and otherwise meddle in school affairs?
      • That doesn't really count in the Potter series because like Hermione said "The ministry was interfering ar Hogwarts" since the minsitry didn't want Harry or Dumbledore to try to presude people that Voldemort was back. Also that Fudge was afraid that Albus was going to try to usurp the Minister postion of Fudge's.
    • Dumbledore tells a young Tom Riddle in HBP that there's a fund that will help him buy books and robes and stuff, albeit probably mostly second-hand. He doesn't mention actual tuition, though.
    • Given how many wizarding families seem to have dwindled away to a single child, of late, Hogwarts probably receives some of its funds as bequests from wizards who die without an heir. Possibly a lot of its funding in recent times, as the property of Voldemort's victims would've been bequeathed to worthy causes in the absence of a surviving heir, and most wizards are sentimental enough about Hogwarts to leave it some money in their will.

    Steven Kloves Fails Magic Forever 
  • When Cedric Diggory and Krum briefly duel in the movie, Cedric nails Krum with an Expelliarmus, the disarming spell. Krum drops like a sack of potatoes, and Cedric strides over to him and kicks Krum's wand out of his hand. AHHHHHH!!!!!
    • Maybe Cedric simply missed, and hit Krum's body instead of his wand, so the spell essentially acted like a blast of force knocking him back and out? Note that in both Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban (the books), a powerful Expelliarmus is shown to physically throw a character backwards, so it can do damage.
      • I think the OP's problem with the scene wasn't that Expelliarmus physically disables Krum (as you said, it happened in the books on numerous occasions), it was the fact that it hit Krum hard enough to knock him down but still failed to disarm him. In each instance of Expelliarmus hitting someone hard enough to knock them back/over in the books, it also sends their wand flying across the room like it's supposed to.
      • Maybe Krum just had a really good grip on his wand?
      • What. Every other time, in the books and movies, the spell cast (as long as it hits) did exactly what it was supposed to do (Stupefy stupefies, AK kills, Expelliarmus knocks your weapon out of your hand, etc.) The spell hit Krum dead on: knocking his wand away should have been the very least it did. The script writers/director/editors were just dumb.
      • This troper must disagree with the above; in the next book, one of the death eaters uses 'Accio' on the Prophecy, but Harry manages to hold onto it. So couldn't it be the same here? That, indeed, Krum just had a really good grip on his wand?
      • Because having a really good grip on something doesn't stop Expelliarmus. The entire purpose of Expelliarmus is to forcibly cause someone to fail to continue holding something and at no point in the books does it ever fail. The Death Eaters fail to Accio the prophecy from Harry's grip in the next book because all Accio does is pull on something remotely without actually preventing them from holding onto it.
      • That would be true if the spell used was Accio, and it might work with Expelliarmus being used, but it works differently, so we can't be certain. The fact that he's knocked out should render whether he had a good grip on his wand null.
      • Well, yeah, these are also the same writers who decided, "Hey! Let's have Lucius Malfoy perform an UNFORGIVABLE KILLING CURSE on a twelve-year-old boy because he's throwing a hissy fit over losing his slave! CUZ HE'S EVOL!!!" They Just Didn't Care.
      • That last one was technically not in the script, but an improvisation by the actor (who had only heard the phrase "Avada Kedavra" and didn't know what it did). They decided to Throw It In because, yeah, They Just Didn't Care.
      • I thought Accio didn't work on the prophecy either because a) the prophecies are enchanted to not be Summonable, or b) the Death Eater didn't know what the prophecy was, seeing as none of the Death Eaters knew anything about it.
    • Maybe he only said Expelliarmus, and what he actually cast was Reducto or something, nonverbally. For some reason.
      • If that's the case, then that "would" a good way of tricking a opponent.
      • The thing with the Accio Prophecy is that (at least in the book) Harry was just in time to protect the prophecy (I think with Protego?), so that it was only a part of the normal force for the Accio spell. This allowed him to keep hold of it - by the tips of his fingers.

    • Krum is a world-class champion Seeker. It's possible that he caught his own wand as it was knocked from his grip.

    The Idiot Ball Strikes Again 
  • Having just finished re-reading the book, I've come to the conclusion that if either Cedric or Harry had any common sense whatsoever, the entire plan could still have been foiled and they both would have survived. The obvious thing they should have done (obvious to me, at least) was, after they figured out the cup was a Portkey, grabbed the cup again! There! Problem solved! Harry and Cedric win the Triwizard Tournament, Voldemort throws another tantrum and possibly ends up killing Wormtail (no great loss there, the dirty coward), and cooks up another scheme to get Harry for Book Five. (Actually, this is kind of something that bugs me about the series in general: Harry is very obviously and severely lacking in the common sense department, and yet it only ends badly for him once, when his stupidity gets Sirius killed! Why is a lack of common sense praised by these books?)
    • How could they have known it wasn't a one way Portkey? They initially thought it might have been part of the task and that there was one more leg to find a Portkey back. Besides, almost immediately someone came to them and Harry's scar started to hurt, thus distracting them.

      • Except that they didn't think the Portkey was one-way; otherwise, why would Harry have summoned the cup at the end of the chapter? Actually, if you put the events of the chapter in real-time, the whole thing happens in a space of about fifteen or twenty minutes, with the first minute or so taken up by Harry and Cedric discussing how this doesn't feel right and ""zomg cup is a Portkey!" In that case, what did they have to lose by touching it again, just to test the "it's a one-way Portkey" theory?
      • That was two different situations of them wondering about the Portkey. The first is a relatively confused setting with Harry being injured, and the second is after Harry has dueled a reborn Voldemort and Priori Incantetumed a vision of Cedric that's had time to think about the situation from a relatively calm position. Harry summoned the cup partially out of desperation, as if it hadn't worked, he would have had no other way to escape. This is assuming, of course, that Barty Crouch Jr. didn't put a time delay for the return trip so it wouldn't activate for the first five minutes anyway. After all, if the original plan was for Voldemort to come back through the Portkey or send Harry's dead body back, you wouldn't want it to be able to activate immediately.
    • As this troper recalls, the scene went like this: Harry and Cedric arrive. Both are confused at it being a Portkey. They assume it's part of the challenge. Harry's scar starts hurting. Harry tells Cedric to go back (showing that no, they didn't assume it was a one-way Portkey), but Cedric refuses. Wormtail shows up and kills Cedric. It makes sense to this troper...
    • Think of this from Cedric's PoV. He's sitting there with Harry and the portkey. They both think this is part of the tournament (that they have to find another one). Almost immediately after they get back on their feet, someone with a bundle of rags appear. A split second later, Harry doubles over in pain, clutching his head. At this point, this is probably what was on Cedric's mind: "Where are we? Is this part of the tournament? Why is Harry in pain? What the bloody hell is going on!?" A mere few seconds later, he's killed. Simply, they didn't have time.
    • They didn't necessarily know that it was a two-way Portkey; it was one of the ghost/echo things that told them — Lily, I think. Maybe she knows stuff that they don't either because she's dead and that just gives her more knowledge, or because she lived four more years than Cedric.
      • Um... what? IIRC, it was James/Lily who told Harry this AFTER Cedric died. Cedric himself apparently learnt this as he told Harry to take his body back to Hogwarts.

    Crazy Cheating Contracts - We're Not Done Complaining! 
  • Apparently, having his name put into the Goblet of Fire by someone else enters Harry into a "binding magical contract" to complete the tournament. Wait a minute — if you can enter someone into a magical contract against their will, there must be MANY easier ways to get him to show up at a certain place at a certain time so you can off him. Likewise, the Triwizard Cup is used as a Portkey to trap Harry, but if ANY item can be turned into a Portkey, wouldn't it have been easier to use, say, one of Harry's schoolbooks? Also, where did Mrs. Crouch keep the gallons of Polyjuice Potion she would've needed to continuously impersonate her son in Azkaban? Or was she brewing up a new batch every day in her jail cell even while she was suicidally depressed?
    • The whole point of entering Harry into the Tournament was to whisk him away with little need for investigation, granting Voldemort more time to gather his forces unhindered and undetected. Having Harry vanish in the middle of a monster-infested maze, where it could be assumed that he was eaten or something, would be less suspicious than him simply vanishing from school grounds, and easier than luring him into more dangerous areas near the school, with the added bonus of having easier suspects to frame for his involvement in the Tournament in the first place (like, say, Karkaroff.) As for Mrs. Crouch, it was implied that she was of a very frail countenance, which was only exacerbated by her son's conviction, and being in an energy-sucking place such as Azkaban probably didn't help. In all likelihood, she took just enough to switch places with her son, and after that, she was locked away in a cell with blind guards who really don't care whose energy they're consuming, so long as they're getting nourishment.
      • That may have worked on the dementors, but she'd still need at least one dose of Polyjuice potion for when she died, as Crouch said she was buried in his form and a human would have had to have seen the body once she died.
      • It's likely Mrs. Crouch died very soon after she was put in Azkaban. Sirius said that the Crouches were allowed a "deathbed visit", which we must presume was when they made the swap, so it couldn't have been too long after the swap that Mrs.-Crouch-as-Crouch,-Jr. died. If Mrs. Crouch died after, say, just two days, she'd only have to take 48 sips of Polyjuice Potion.
      • Actually high quality polyjuice potion can last up to twelve hours making it even more plausible.
      • Wait a minute, didn't Sirius say that "Crouch Jr." lasted a year or so?
      • Yeah, a year after he was put in Azkaban, not a year after the deathbed visit.
    • Make Harry's bed sheets a portkey to be activated at 3:00 AM on the date of Voldemort's choosing. There, an almost foolproof plan that doesn't involve the most complicated plan known to man but still achieves the goal of no one knowing what happened or even discovering he's gone until several hours later. Hell, why not make it on a Saturday so no one gets suspicious until he starts missing classes two days later.
      • His dormmates and other student friends would still wonder why he never showed up for breakfast, couldn't be found anywhere in the school, didn't show up for ANY meals, etc. Especially with the fact that he's pretty famous already. Having him randomly disappear during the night at Hogwarts would mean that Ron, Neville, Seamus, and Dean would notice it, as well as anyone else he normally sits next to at breakfast. Even doing it at the Dursleys would have the complications of a Death Eater managing to get into their house without doing magic (to set off Ministry alarms prematurely), and Voldemort still might face the same problem with the wands connecting if he did the same "duel me, Harry" thing he does in the book when they're in the graveyard. I think it's been mentioned on the It Just Bugs Me! page that Voldemort wanted to have the dramatic entrance of being able to use the Portkey to arrive back at Hogwarts with Harry's body, and if he used the Portkey in the "steal him from the Dursleys" situation, he would end up at their house and be revealed to the Muggles and possibly Ms. Figg (who would be a second witness to Voldemort's return).
      • Yes, but if he had grabbed him out of his Hogwarts dorm at 3 in the morning chances are nobody would have noticed him gone for several hours, giving him more time to play games. Grabbing him from the tournament ensured that people were going to notice something wrong very quickly. Granted, the crowds might have assumed it was part of the show, but Dumbledore and the Ministry would have known that the champions shouldn't have disappeared. If he wanted to make a big show, he could have just arranged a second portkey to take him into the Great Hall or something after he killed Harry.
      • You presuppose that creating a portkey would go unnoticed. That is most likely not so. It's a powerful spell, Hogwarts must be full of magic detectors (they do have to keep tabs on several hundred adolescent trigger-happy wizards there), not to mention Dumbledore, and since portkeys require Ministery authorisation, they also should have some means of monitoring them. All in all, Crouch would have to create the portkey immediately before handing it Harry and then deal with intervention from Aurors and/or D. Not the most convinient and discreet way. The way it turned out, Crouch got himself an excuse to create a legit portkey (remember, he volunteered to take the Cup to the maze, and it's more or less agreed on, that the Cup was supposed to teleport the champion back to the judges. So who would get to charm it? Exactly, Crouch. He just added a detour).
      • Right. Hogwarts is full of magic detectors. That's why while Draco & Harry were busy trying to murder each other in the bathroom in book 6, with everything up to and including the Unforgivables nobody showed up until after Myrtle started screaming the alarm, and even then it was only the guy who'd been following Draco around the whole time anyway.
      • It was explained in OoTP that Voldemort didn't intend for anyone to know he was back even by the end of that book (a year later). Given how DH went down, he probably never intended for anyone to know he was back; he would just keep the Minister of Magic imperiused. Unfortunately, Harry's permanent disappearance would have caused a stir and at least Dumbledore would have started looking for him. Instead, Voldemort could kill him and send him back to Hogwarts, and the investigation would be minimal due to how dangerous the Triwizard Tournament supposedly was. If people bought it, Voldemort not only comes back, but he gains Harry's blood protection, kills the person destined to kill him, and remains unhunted.
      • Then why does the Goblet return Harry outside the maze instead of inside? How was that supposed to fit in with the whole ruse? That Harry, with his last dying breath, grabbed the goblet, which he didn't even know was a portkey?

  • Hogwarts is laced with a shedload of ridiculously powerful ancient wards and shields cast by the Founders themselves and strengthened innumerable times over the ages by immensely strong wizards, and which can only be bypassed by the headmaster. With the cup, Dumbledore enchanted it so it could pass the wards. This enchantment is applied to the cup itself, not an addition to the Portus. Dumbledore himself added that enchantment and the first Portus to take the winner outside the maze. Fake!Moody could not lift the first Portus as it was done by Dumbledore. He simply added on a second Portus which activated first.

    • 1) If DD put the first Portus himself, this means that "Moody" wasn't supposed to do it, meaning he didn't need an excuse to create one, meaning he didn't need to wait an entire year (you'll say that he needed DD to put those wards-bypassing enchantements on it and I'll as why the hell would DD make it possible for the goblet to go out of Hogwarts just to teleport a person from the maze). 2) In that case Crouch would've certainly warned V that the Goblet was still portkey...ified, and he would've make sure that Harry doesn't grab it immediately or Accio it later. He didn't, meaning he didn't know, meaning Crouch didn't know either, meaning the first Portus was put in secret. DD had no reason to do that unless he knew beforehand what was supposed to happen.
      • 1)Not if the protection prevented a portkey from functioning in the first place. 2)If the tournament included a portkey that was supposed to return the champion to the entrance, then Voldemort would certainly have known it. That's probably an explanation for the elaborate plan in the first place.
      • 1) Fair enough, although the question remains, why would DD remove the wards enough for the Portkey to reach outside of Hogwarts. If you say he didn't have a choice and the wards only had an on/off switch, then a) it's stupid, impractical and unsafe and b) in that case he wouldn't have used the portkey at all - just have the winner levitated out of the labyrin or something. 2) Uhm, yeah, that's my point. V knew that the return portkey was supposed to be there, but if he knew it was still actually in the Cup, he would've destroyed the Cup right after Harry arrived to the cemetery. He didn't, meaning..., well, see above.
      • 1) A portkey would be fastest way to return the champion in front of the maze and wouldn't be in any way risky, considering that only Dumbledore and Moody would be handling it (and as has been discussed elsewhere, the evidence clearly shows that he didn't know wo he really was). 2) Voldemort may well have intended to use the Cup himself. Also, he had no need to destroy the cup, as Harry was and he had rather more pressing matters to occupy him (for example, the whole resurrection thing) anyway. Also, why all the drama about stopping Harry after he escaped if he didn't know about the cup?
      • 1) What was the rush? No, the portkey wouldn't be risky - removing the wards form the school would be, especially when your arch-enemy is on the move and there could be an enemy agent inside the school. 2) *Sigh* use it how?! Send the body back? Then it would return him back to the labyrinth or it makes no sense. Go to Hogwarts to kill DD? Simply makes no sense. But fine, remove the Cup, whatever. "...no need to..." *Sigh* I feel like there's some rule I'm not aware of, that forbids the characters to plan their actions in advance and use precautions, even if it would take them one second to use. I mean, he spends a year on that plan, he stakes everything he has on it, and if the kid escapes, he's screwed. He also plans to release the kid and have that stupid fight with him. And you're telling me, he'd just leave a mean to escape lie there? Barely Ssensible. "...why all the drama..." what drama? He's yelling at his men to stop the kid, because, well, he's running away. That's normal, especially when everything has gone to hell, you don't understand what's going on, and don't know what to expect next. And yet he doesn't mention the Cup at all. Because he doesn't know about it.
      • People seem to be assuming that DD was the one who made the Cup a Portkey. Yes, we know DD can make Portkeys to Hogwarts, and we must assume no one else can, but people forget the Cup is very old. What if the Cup is part of the inherent magic of the Twiwiz, and permanent exceptions for it in the wards of all three schools were installed when the Triwiz was created? It activates during the last task of the Triwizard, period, to take contestants from the inside of the task to a designated winner's circle. DD has nothing to do with it, he didn't make it, and he can't stop it. Barty Jr. just managed to somehow hack an extra destination into it. (We don't know how he did that, but Barty clearly knows more about the rules of Triwiz than other people, probably even more than DD.)
    • I'm still stuck on the fact that Harry could be entered against his will. Even leaving aside the implications of what one could do with that ability, what the hell kind of rule is it that you have to fight in a possibly lethal competition even if you didn't put yourself in for it? That's just all kinds of fucked up, having to live in a world where a contract can be signed on your behalf. Does this mean Harry could have signed a contract on Malfoy's behalf giving the entire Malfoy fortune to the Weasleys? And what would have happened if Harry refused to compete? Could he have just scratched on each event so he could walk away alive?

      • Finally, even if Dumbledore was an evil manipulator, what possible benefit would he have from sending Harry to certain death? Voldemort could just as easily not have bothered with a duel.

  • You know what? Let's take a second and deal with this whole "signing someone up for a Binding Magical Contract against their will" deal head-on. If you can do that, why wouldn't Voldy enter Dumbledore into a Binding Magical Contract to jump off a cliff and go splat?
    • How is Voldemort supposed to get Dumbledore to sign one? Go up to him and say "Here, sign this completely unfair contract that will kill you"?
      • That's the whole point. Harry didn't sign anything to get entered into the Triwizard Tournament. Someone hit the Goblet with a Confundus Curse and put his name in for him. So there exists a method for entering someone into a Binding Magical Contract without their knowledge or consent, which is never mentioned before or since, despite there being no end of nefarious purposes for such a thing.
      • The practical answer to that is that the Goblet is a unique ancient artifact, and nobody can replicate such magic anymore, just as no one can replicate the Hallows (and the wizards who made it didn't realise they held the keys to world domination because, despite (or due to) their tremendous skill, they were idiots). No problem here - the problem is that no one in their right mind would ever use something like that for a juvenile tournament, and there's absolutely no reason why they would want to, except if DD explicitly needed Harry to participate.
      • Possibly it has to be the person's own signature, not just their name written down by somebody else. Harry would have signed his name on the homework he turned in, so the one who slipped his name into the Goblet could've used the signature from any of those assignments.
      • I had the same idea, but in this case all they had to do to nail the culprit was check the signature on the sign-in parchment against all the assignments Harry had submitted, starting, of course, from the most recent ones and the DADA ones (because DADA teacher is the obvious suspect as a newcomer and, well, the DADA teacher). Hell, seing how parchment is rather expensive, it would stand to reason that they would remove the writings after each test and reuse the sheets, so they would only need to check the most recent ones.

    Water, the wizard's greatest foe! 
  • How is it that Harry had any problem with finding a way to not drown during the second task? No, seriously, how is that possible? Drowning is a very common cause of death, and certainly a charm to prevent it would have come up at some point in his magical education. I would think it would even come up during his studies of Medieval witches and wizards, since one of the most common tests to see if someone was a witch at the time was to throw them into a river and see if they drowned or not. The Bubble-Head charm used by Fleur and Cedric is clearly not obscure magic since everyone is using it during the very next book, and both of them came up with the idea to use it at that. How on Earth did Hermione never even hear of this spell before, or find anything out about it before the task? How did Harry, for that matter? Why would the subject of surviving a lack of breathable air never appear in any wizarding book, yet the very charm for doing so be so easy to come by for anyone not Harry?
    • Knowing Hermione, it's possible she rejected it as too unreliable (notice that in the film it's implied that Fleur's bubble was popped by a Grindylow) and wanted to find something for Harry that was less likely to fail if he was confronted while underwater.
    • Just because everyone knows it by the next book doesn't mean everyone knows it now. Spells which aren't in the textbooks appear to go in and out of fashion, and it's possible that the students in general aren't aware of it until they saw people using it during the Triwizard. That said, it indeed doesn't make sense for Hogwarts not to teach basic safety spells. But it doesn't, as we see Harry lament in book seven that he knows almost no first aid spells, and the minor one he does know he learned from Tonks, not Hogwarts. So students not knowing how to survive underwater fits entirely in canon, it's just completely stupid in the context of an actual school of magic.

    BOOO!!!! WHERE'S OUR EXCITING TOURNAMENT?!?!? 
  • After the second task, the chieftainess of the merpeople needs to tell Dumbledore exactly what happened in the lake before the judges can decide how many points to give out. If nobody was able to see what was happening in the lake during the task, what the hell did everyone in the stands do for 1-2 hours? Just sit around and stare blankly at some murky water?
    • Come to think of it, pretty much the same thing applies to the third task. If nobody outside the maze can see Krum getting Imperius'd and then stunning Fleur and putting the Cruciatus curse on Cedric or the Triwizard Portcupkey whisking Harry and Cedric off somewhere, this seems to imply that nobody can see anything going on inside the maze... so what the hell did everyone do in the stands for 1-2 hours? Just sit around and stare blankly at some shrubs?
      • Two theories: There could have been some kind of form of entertainment, like a song or a comedy show to entertain people who were waiting. Or maybe they could have just seen the bangs and the monsters on the outside and got talking to other people nearby. "Whoa Fred, did you just see that giant Spider?!"
      • I brought this up with a friend of mine and he theorized some sort of magic Jumbotron. But then again, if this was possible, they wouldn't have needed the Merchieftainess's explanation about what happened underwater.
    • Why do people sit and watch the finish line of a marathon? 99.99% of the competition is taking place well out of view. They want to be there when someone wins.
      • Except that watching people merely running for several hours is boring. Now, people struggling through the giant maze of death is the whole different story. I see no reason why everybody wouldn't want to see what's happening inside.
      • Why do people sit and watch the finish line of a marathon? Because the other 99.99% of it is on TV.
      • Furthermore, even if you use the marathon comparison to try and explain why a bunch of wizard adolescents don't want to see an exciting display of magical skill, how do you justify the fact that the judges also cannot see what's happening inside the lake/maze? The audience of a marathon may only watch the finish line, but the officials have to watch the whole thing.
      • Seconded. If, for example, Krum, had actually been a bad person, and had been smart enough to use Stunning plus Obliviate, or Stunning plus 'throwing them to the monsters' instead of Unforgivables, how would anyone have caught it? Or, interesting question, do we know such things aren't allowed? Maybe the maze wasn't supposed to be 'a maze with dangerous creatures in it', maybe it was supposed to be 'a wizard duel through a maze with dangerous creatures in it'? (Although presumably the Unforgivables would still be illegal.) And Harry and Cedric (and maybe the others too) just missed the memo.

    Outwitting the Age Line 
  • Dumbledore put an age line around the Goblet of Fire to prevent anyone too young from crossing to put their name in. Did no one remember that they could just magically levitate the paper into the cup, a thing they learn in their first year?
    • Because there's no way that old senile duffer Dumbledore would remember to charm the cup against such sort of things, would he?
    • And let's not forget that one of the first things Dumbledore asks Harry after his name comes out of the goblet is "Did you ask an older student to put your name into the goblet?" This seems to imply, if not state outright, that all it would have taken for Harry, Ron, Fred and George, or anyone who wanted to be in the tournament to get their name in would be to just have a seventh-year student drop it in for them, thereby completely negating the purpose of the age line.
      • Why would a seven-year student want to compromise themselves by breaking a rule and help a potential competitor?
      • Maybe a 7th year student who didn't want to compete? I'm sure there were plenty of those.
      • Seven-year drops a first-year's name in the Goblet. The Goblet chooses this first-year. Teachers wring the seventh-year name out of the first-year (teachers are very good in this even when they can't read your mind). The seventh-year is in shit. Clear this way?
      • The seventh year could easily still do it, never expecting a first year to be chosen as the champion for the entire school. Honestly, the way it's described in the book, the goblet chooses the best candidate that entered, and it's only because Harry was entered into a fourth school alone that he was chosen. Still, what's the worst the teacher/headmaster could do for entering a student and getting caught? Lose house points and detention? It's not like they're going to expel them, especially since there wasn't exactly a rule forbidding it.
      • Ri-i-i-i-ight. What the worst could possibly befall a student who drew a freshman into a contest that had been cancelled because people died in it and had only been reinstated on the condition that underages shall not enter it? Who basically embarrassed his Headmaster in front of the foreign colleagues, since D was in charge of the Tournament and the Age line in particular? Because we all know how lenient the Hogwarts teachers were, right? I mean, it's not like McGonagall fined her own House 150 points when her students were merely caught outside their dorm at night.
      • She punished them for something explicitly against the rules. A guilty student might have lost House points, or given detentions, or had a letter sent home (and a Howler sent back). But expulsion is pretty much out. Dumbledore, for all his faults, would not put someone out on their ear for making him look bad.
      • You missed the part about underage wizards dying in the Tournament in the past, didn't you? Well, it's kind of the main point. Imagine you help some kid into the Tournament and the kid gets killed. Good luck living with yourself. Even if the worst doesn't happen, let's face it, explicit rule or not, you're bound for some reprimand, most likely severe. What sensible student would risk it?
      • That depends on how cynical the seventh year in question is. If the student is a Slytherin or anyone that would think the first year would have to be Too Stupid To Live to pay you to enter the tournament, he/she probably wouldn't feel remorse at all. Yeah, he or she might get in trouble if the first year dies, but again, the seventh year didn't kill them, only put them into a dangerous situation at their discretion with minimal chance of being chosen by the goblet.
      • Well, that's your answer. It would take a cynical bastard (read, Slytherin) to pull off a trick like that. Can you imagine Ron, Fred, or George colloborating with that kind of people (not to mention their constant lack of funds)? As for the others, well, somebody might've tried it, they weren't chosen, and it wasn't mentioned in the book 'cause nobody cares.
    • Slytherins wouldn't be the only ones to do that. For example, if Fred and George had been a few months older, then I'm sure they would have put Harry, Ron, and Hermione's names in the cup if any of them asked.
    • It may sound stupid, I know, but in defense of the "Don't automatically paint Slytherins as evil" argument, I highly doubt a "cynical Slytherin", as you put it, would just put a underclassman in the Goblet of Fire just for kicks. Slytherins are AMBITIOUS. "What's in it for me?" would be their reasoning, and the trouble it would cause would make it unworthy.
  • Something else occurred to this troper about the Goblet of Fire. The entire purpose of the Goblet of Fire is to select the best possible contestants for the Triwizard Tournament. If the Goblet is in fact capable of picking the best possible students for the tournament (rather than just picking them at random), then no age line should be necessary. If the underage students haven't learned enough magic to safely compete in the tournament (the stated reason for the age requirement), then the Goblet should overlook them in favor of an older, more qualified student. If an underage student is selected, well then, clearly they're good enough, otherwise the Goblet wouldn't have picked them, would it?
    • Cedric was only a sixth year, and yet he was deemed to know enough magic to compete. Say Fred or George had successfully managed to enter and were chosen. They were the same year as Cedric and so had gotten the same education as he had, and yet they were still several months underage. I highly doubt a first year would have been chosen, but an underage fifth or sixth year might have been, and while that wouldn't prove much of a problem on the lack of knowledge front, people might freak out that they were underage, since one of the conditions for bringing it back was to prevent that kind of thing from happening.
    • Partially justified: a restriction on entries to of-age wizards and witches was one of the conditions for restarting the tournament, due to the concerns and complaints over the high mortality rate. If the Goblet can truly be as omniscient in its choosing (which it might be, unless bewitched), then this wouldn't be a problem; but when has such a thing ever stopped politicians on making age restrictions to harmful activities, regardless of the competence/responsibility of the underaged, due to public pressure?
    • It might also be legal. As has been pointed out, the Goblet enters you into a magically binding contract which wizarding law, possibly put into place only since the tournament was canceled, says you aren't allowed to enter until you're of age. If, however, someone with a clear disregard for the law like Crouch enters someone not of age, and they're chosen... nothing to be done about it.
    • The Age Line could have been nothing more than a security blanket for the parents of students. Dumbledore knew the Goblet wouldn't pick a first year, but that wouldn't stop a first year's parents from freaking out at the idea that their child might be chosen. So he goes "See? There's an age line. Nothing to worry about."
    • I would suspect that the age restriction is simple. Rather than being about competence, it is about the student being an adult. That is, being of an age that he or she is mentally and legally qualified to make a decision to risk life and limb.

    Wait, I thought nobody used that name! 
  • All throughout Prisoner of Azkaban, Peter Pettigrew is referred to by his name, and it's established at the end that he was known as Wormtail only to his 3 closest friends, so why is it that all throughout Goblet of Fire, everyone addresses or refers to him by his old nickname? There's even one part right after Harry first uses the Pensieve where he's telling Dumbledore about his latest vision of Voldemort, and he says something along the lines of "Voldemort was talking to Peter, you know, Wormtail." Why did he need to clarify who Peter Pettigrew was by referring to him by his old nickname that only 3 other people ever used?
    • The actual quote was "Voldemort was talking to Wormtail - you know who, Wormtail-" at which point Dumbledore interrupted and said that he did know who Wormtail is. So the actual quote makes more sense. For the rest, since the fact that he's alive isn't public knowledge, it's safe to say that Voldemort decided that referring to him by his real name would be a bad idea. Since his name didn't really come up outside of conversations between Voldemort and Pettigrew until after Harry heard Voldemort calling him "Wormtail," Harry probably just picked up on it without thinking.
      • It may also be a nickname that Voldemort uses in order to belittle Peter. This is the nickname given to him by the only real friends he's ever had (regardless of the reasons he may have had to betray them, because I'm sure there were some issues he had with their treatment of him). It's possible that Peter regrets what he did, and as such the use of the nickname is humiliating to him. It also might be a reminder to Peter that Voldemort knows how Peter is when it comes to betrayal - he's a freaking traitor. It could be a subtle way to drive home the fact that Peter might be on Voldie's side NOW, but Voldemort is no fool who will trust Peter unconditionally. It's a way to warn Peter not to act suspiciously, or Voldemort will think he's betrayed him, and that would certainly end more unpleasantly for him than his betrayal of Sirius and the Potters.
  • For Voldemort it's likely a way of mocking him, treating him like vermin instead of a man, and Harry is likely dehumanizing Peter to make it easier to hate and want him dead.
  • On a similar note, why does Peter call Voldemort by his name in the film? Surely he would be too terrified to pronounce it?
    • Because the people making the movies couldn't be bothered with details like that. It's the same as the other example posted on this page about expelliarmus physically incapacitating Krum but failing to disarm him, the people making the movie just didn't care about getting details like that right.

    Oh, our headmasters and students are leaving, no big deal. 
  • The headmasters and best students of Beauxbatons and Durmstrang spend an entire school year at Hogwarts. They don't go to Hogwarts classes, so what the hell do they do all year? And are the Headmasters of the other schools so ubiquitous that they're unneeded for an entire year?
    • Presumably, the Beauxbatons and Durmstrang students were getting private lessons from Madame Maxime and Karkaroff, respectively. And going to Hogsmeade/hanging out with friends they'd made at Hogwarts/finding other ways to entertain themselves while their teachers were busy romancing Hagrid and agonizing over his Dark Mark. As for the latter, we saw later on that McGonagall became Deputy Headmistress of Hogwarts, and could take over when Dumbledore was away/dead. It's likely that such a position existed at the other schools too, and they were in charge for the duration.
    • This Troper would also like to point out that the headmistress at our school sometimes leaves for months on end, leaving our deputy headmaster in charge. And isn't it plausible that the kids often drop into the Hogwarts class to learn too? Just because it's not mentioned doesn't mean it's implausible.
      • Especially given that these would be seventh years, maybe a couple of sixth years - it's not like Harry would encounter them in any of his classes.
    • I thought of it as the wizard world equivalent of independent study. They're all past the point of compulsory education and studying for NEW Ts at this point. Plus, the schools would have brought their best and brightest for the tournament. They could have easily done a combination of Hogwarts classes in their subjects and independent training with their own headmasters or even each other (Dumbledore's Army proves this to be effective in a later book). If it comes down to it, they might have even been willing to delay their NEW Ts a year if they had to in exchange for the chance to win the tournament - in-universe it's a pretty big deal.
    • Isn't Fleur's sister about 8?. So unless Fleur's school started REALLY Young (which I doubt it) , what in the world was an EXTREMELY under-age witch doing at Hogwarts?
      • Providing moral support.
      • Yup. I assumed she was just transported down to participate in the second task, and then to watch her sister finish the tournament much like how the family members of other champions (Weasleys, etc. came down to watch) Transportation in the Wizarding World is much faster.
      • If I remember correctly, her sister was actually like, 11 Harry just thought she was 8 because she looked so young.
    • Think of it like spending a year abroad in college. You don't take very many regular classes. Instead, your goal is to get to know the country, which is, in itself, considered educational.
    • All of the above is wrong. Remember, this is a universe where instant long-range teleportation is as easy as walking into a fireplace. Logic dictates that the Durmstrang ship and the Beauxbatons carriage both have classrooms and fireplaces which allow any foreign teachers to 'floo' into their classrooms to teach their students who are in another country. The students could probably even 'floo' back to Europe over the weekend if they so wished. Same goes for the Headmasters. Think of it like a really quick commute. The only limitation to this operation is the scarcity of floo powder, which the novels have never gone into any detail on.

    Harry Potter and the [Crazy Cheating] Contract Of Vagueness 
  • What exactly are the consequences of breaking the tournament's "binding magical contract"? We're told repeatedly that there is a contract that compels the school champions to compete, but we're never told what exactly makes it so compelling.
    • Presumably death. Of course, that might be a bit much, but then it's your fault if you suddenly chicken out. Although I suppose you wouldn't be breaking the contract if you just walked into the challenge, said you give up, and walk out.
    • Fanon likes to think that the main consequence is the loss of your magic. There is, however, no confirmation of this beyond speculation. Ultimately for Harry, the consequences could be significant enough that he'd have no chance against Voldemort should he survive quitting the tournament.
    • Not necessary any, except the school you represent loses face.
      • That can't be it. Harry was trying like hell to get out of it and all of the teachers were on his side. They would have been more than happy to just say "Ooops" and let Cedric represent Hogwarts alone. There must be some sort of severe consequence to justify the adults' actions.
      • Yeah, I think the biggest problem with the idea of the binding magical contract is that any punishment severe enough to actually force compliance is pretty much guaranteed to be Disproportionate Retribution for the heinous crime of getting cold feet about a school tournament (that kills people), and any punishment not severe enough to be disproportionate is so weak that it can't compel anyone to do anything.

    The Coroner Doth Exist Too Little 
  • So, the wizarding world has no magical autopsies or magical coroners? Because if they did, they'd autopsy Cedric's corpse, find that he was murdered, and then Fudge could pin the murder on Harry and cart him off to Azkaban.
    • They assume he was killed by Crouch Junior, and make a Dementor kiss Crouch.
    • AK doesn't leave traces. Of course, it means that a seemingly causeless death of a healthy teenager screams "Avada Kedavra", but then Harry wasn't powerful enough to cast it.
    • Besides, I'm sure someone (most likely Dumbledore) would think to cast "Priori Incantem" to see what spells Harry's wand had cast, and they'd see that he never cast Avada Kedavra, ever.
    • And let's not forget he's Harry Frickin Potter, The Boy Who Lived. Fudge hauling him away for murder right then might be a little too absurd for the public to take. (Maybe that was the eventual intended outcome of Fudge's smear campaign, though, if DD didn't back down on the whole 'Voldemort is back' thing.) When Harry does get hit with a bogus 'might have murdered someone' claim in book seven, no one seems to believe it.
  • I think the assumption is that Harry's wand was checked at some point, and it was proven he didn't cast the Killing curse. Of course, logically, Crouch's wand also should have been, and it didn't cast the Killing Curse either. (Then again, we must assume that Crouch was normally using Moody's wand, so he obviously has at least one other wand, if only because he didn't attack the real Moody at the start of the book with his bare hands. So perhaps Fudge handwaved that problem away simply by pointing out that Crouch probably used a different wand.)
  • I always assumed that an AK victim would look as if their heart simply stopped (it has to be more complex than that or you could revive them with CPR, but the body looks like that) and so it could be argued that Cedric died due to the portkey causing a freak heart attack. No need for a killing curse at all.
    • Who says you can't revive them with CPR? Has anyone ever tried? Do wizards have the slightest idea of the existence of CPR? (I would suspect CPR doesn't work, because if it did, Rennervate or some other spell done fast enough would probably bring AK victims back also, and we'd know if that was possible. But let's not assume wizards know anything about any muggle medicine.)
  • They have tons of means to verify what actually happened: Veritaserum, Legilimancy, Pensieve, Time Turners. Also, Cedric's ghost. If "moving on" or staying behind is a choice, don't you think he'd choose to stay and testify? It's rather hard to dismiss the victim's own testimony.
  • The stay as a ghost might be permanent. He might only get on chance to move on upon death and avoiding it then would be mean being stuck as a ghost forever. Note how Nearly Headless Nick regrets staying a ghost and yet hasn't moved on to the afterlife, implying he can't now.

    Disposal of Evidence 
  • Similair to the previous book, am I the only one who has the feeling that a perfectly good way to resolve the matters was quietly omitted in the end? "Omigod, the evil Minister's just fed the very important witness to a Dementor, and now we have no way to prove the truth!" Yet the confession of said witness is recorded in the memories of four people along with, in one case, the very events in question. Make a quick dash for the Pensieve, and suddenly Fudge is faced not with an unsubstantiated allegation, but with a solid (well, ethereal) proof that is far harder to reject without looking like a coward.
    • Well, Fudge didn't actually deny what Crouch had confessed, he just dismissed it as the ramblings of a madman (at least at first).
      • That's where Harry's memories would come in. I doubt even Fudge could claim that Harry simply imagined the whole scene down to the very last detail, like the real-life cemetery he'd never been to (easily verifiable, since D knows of Riddle's origins).
      • Or they could have just used the very convenient time traveling devices introduced in the previous book to just go back in time and see that wizard-Hitler was back. Even if Fudge didn't want to it beggars belief to think that Dumbledore wouldn't be able to prove it.
      • For the memories and veritaserum, the books tend to prove that these can be tainted by PoV; i.e. can be altered by the enforced belief of the person to whom the memories belong. Crouch Jr. editorializes when speaking under Veritaserum, and Slughorn showed that Pensieve memories can be tampered with. As Fudge spends the next book making Harry out to be borderline insane, this would be a plausible excuse to ignore Harry's testimony.
  • In a similar vein; verita-frigging-serum.
    • Veritaserum not only would tell them what would happen in the graveyard but could possibly tell you who stole the boomrang in Harry's 2nd year, the elf responible with the Rogue bludger in the same year. The fact Harry was in contact with Sirus..a lot of stuff he doesn't want to be found out.
      • All that stuff was completely irrelevant and inconsequnetial in comparison to V's return, and who would even bother to ask him those things?
      • The way Veritaserum is talked about, it's entirely possible Harry could end up volunteering said information - IIRC, Snape makes a (probably facetious or at least empty) threat at one point to slip some in Harry's drink and let him embarrass himself in front of the school. This could especially be the case if the dosage was wrong - for instance, Snape "miscalculating" out of spite or (assuming this is too important for him to bring said spite into it) Fudge not trusting the school's Potions master and bringing in a less-competent official who actually does miscalculate the dose.

    Perv-Eye Moody 
  • So Moody's eye (even when used by Crouch Jr.) can see through anything. Did anyone else find it disturbing that an old man could walk through a school, seeing all the children naked if he wanted to?
    • Yes, lots of people have. It's been suggested that Parvati's line "I don't think that eye should be allowed!" is a nod to this.
    • I was always under the impression that the eye has different 'settings,' as in, you can choose to focus it differently so it doesn't always see through things like clothes. I mean, we know it can see through walls (when Moody looks at the Boggart in OotP), but if it were seeing through walls all the time, it'd be pretty much impossible to walk anywhere without running into things. Of course, who knows how often fake Moody used the eye to perv...
    • I used to work in a 1-hour photo processing lab. Trust me, about 97 percent of the people out there, you don't wanna see naked. Hooray for clothes, that's what I always say. You can tell Moody isn't using his eye for that because he isn't constantly Obliviating himself.
    • Alastor Moody is not a paedophile. Dumbledore and the other ex-members of the Order know this for a fact and I imagine most of the parents are pretty confident the most celebrated cop in history isn't either. Besides which even if for arguments sake you wanted to argue that he was; the potential Brain Bleach implications of love and polyjuice potions are infinitely more disgusting than x-ray vision.

    Trace [Faulty] Memory 
  • Why didn't the Trace provide positive proof that something magical happened around Harry out in the graveyard of Little Hangleton? Does it deactivate during the school-year even when off-campus or something?
    • I'd assume as part of the preparations, Voldemort had Peter mask the location and hide or distort anything that occurred there that night. After all, it wouldn't do for there to suddenly be an owl that flies in and drops off a letter while the ceremony occurs.
    • I would think that it deactivates during the school year, considering all the students will be using magic and be around it pretty much all the time. The ministry would be flooded with messages of underage magical activity.
      • Especially since, as Hermione mentions in Book 7, not all underage wizards in Britain go to Hogwarts. There's a lot who are home-schooled.

    Harry Potter and the Egregious Misnomer 
  • Wouldn't it have made more sense to call the book/movie "Harry Potter and the Triwizard Tournament"? I mean, it gets like five minutes of screentime, and propabably only mentioned for ten minutes in all of the book's/film's total dialogue. I've only seen the film, but my cousin and friends, who are big fans, said that the same is true for the books.
    • J. K. Rowling's answer: "I changed my mind twice on what [the title] was. The working title had got out "Harry Potter and the Doomspell Tournament." Then I changed "Doomspell" to "Triwizard Tournament." Then I was teetering between "Goblet of Fire" and "Triwizard Tournament." In the end, I preferred "Goblet of Fire" because it's got that kind of "cup of destiny" feel about it, which is the theme of the book."

    Improbable Acting Skills 
  • Okay, so Barty Crouch Jr. specifically mentions that he put Moody under the Imperius curse. In that case, why'd he even bother brewing Polyjuice Potion in the first place? Why not just make the real Imperiused Moody do everything? And how'd Barty Jr., who spent most of his time being tortured in Azkaban, suddenly become such a good actor that he could fool people who knew the real Moody perfectly? His voice should've sounded different, at least.
    • Imperius can be resisted. As for the second, who said he fooled them? D just played along.
    • So Dumbledore let Voldemort return and send the entire wizarding world into a state of war because he was just playing?
      • Not quite. He was betting on the infinitesimal odds that he'd be able to arrange everything so that Voldemort kills himself and Harry survives, and D wouldn't have to get his hands dirty. We're supposed to believe he succedeed.
    • Dumbledore didn't know, as he says that "The real Moody would not have removed you from my sight after what happened tonight. The moment he took you, I knew - and I followed." Later in the scene, Crouch Jr. says "Then I packed up Moody's clothes and Dark detectors, put them in the trunk with Moody, and set off for Hogwarts. I kept him alive, under the Imperius Curse. I wanted to be able to question him. To find out about his past, learn his habits, so that I could fool even Dumbledore." Also, it's only in the films that your voice doesn't change with Polyjuice Potion. And if you want an explanation for the movie version of all this, note that "Moody" does Hagrid's voice when he reveals himself at the end, suggesting that movie!Crouch, Jr. has a talent for voices.
      • He lied. Or rather told Jedi Truth, like "I was 99% sure, so sure I actually put a secret Portkey enchantment on the Goblet and supressed it so that it doesn't work untill the Goblet is used as a Portkey once, and it was obviously me, cause who the fuck else could it be", but only when he took you, I knew.
    • It seems kinda vague whether Moody could resist Imperius or not. On one hand, it says Crouch Jr. put him under the spell, but on the other hand, fake!Moody DID teach a class on how to resist Imperius, which implies real!Moody can do it to an extent. Still would have been nice for the books to directly address or explain this, though...
      • Yeah, this and about a billion other things. Regardless, it's one thing when all your puppet does is sit inside a trunk malnourished the whole year, and another when he has to walk around teaching and interacting with people - it's much harder.
    • It's one thing to use Imperius to prevent and underfed, weakened, trapped Moody from trying to escape and another to let him walk freely and have enough energy to fight against the spell. As for voice, in the books the potion changes it, too.

    The Wards Must Be Crazy 
  • The blood wards on Privet drive. Yes, this plot device didn't show up until the next book (which makes it a worse Ass Pull than the usual plot devices in the HP world), but they stopped working in this book. Voldemort specifically uses Harry's blood in his resurrection so that he would be able to bypass Harry's mysterious blood protection that vanquished him as Quirrelmort. That's the entire reason he had this elaborate scheme to kidnap Harry. He proves that his plan worked by touching Harry as much as he wants without getting burned (eew, what a pedo). So, why does Harry have to go back to the Dursleys again?
    • In Voldemort's own words, "Dumbledore invoked an ancient magic, to ensure the boy's protection as long as he is in his relations' care. Not even I can touch him there."
      • In context, he's telling his life story before Harry's fourth year, before he even had a body. This has no bearing at all any more now that he has Harry's blood running in his veins.
    • As stated on one of these just bugs me pages, there are two protections on Harry. The one from his mother, in his blood, which Voldemort takes here. The second is from Dumbledore, put on the Dursley's house, which protects Harry as long as he calls it his home. Voldemort took the blood protection, which, yes, allows him to physically touch Harry and not get burned, but it's still working. The fact that Voldie has Harry's blood in him protects Harry later in Hallows. That protection never stops working. The house protection, as stated by Dumbledore, stops working when 1. Harry no longer calls Privet Drive home and 2. on his 17th birthday.
      • Except that the second protection derives from the first and works precisely because Petunia was Lily's sister. So it should've been negated as well.
      • But it wasn't, as is made quite obvious in Deathly Hallows when they repeatedly refer to the wards as still working until Harry ceases calling it his home, and then when it becomes apparent that the Death Eaters are fully aware of where Harry has been living, and yet did not take the opportunity during any of the summers Harry spent at Number 4 Privet Drive to attack him, preferably by magical firebombing (and no, the Dementor attack does not count, because the wards are over the house, not the entire area). The description we are given of the wards would lead a person to believe that they would fail once Voldemort had Harry's blood, but clearly the magical mechanics don't lend themselves to that. An easy answer would be that Voldemort having Harry's blood didn't end any of the magic or protections on him, it just cancelled out the whole extreme-pain-on-contact thing. The magic was still there, and thus the wards were still up and still protected Harry from those who meant him magical harm.
      • Yes, that's what we call a Plot Hole around here. When some significant event with potential for plot alteration should've happened by means of story's in-universe conventions and logic, but didn't.
      • There's a logic. Dumbledore's wards on the Dursley house protected Harry from Voldemort until he either left 'home' forever or turned seventeen. Voldemore would only have been able to also claim that protection (get inside the wards) if he'd also called the Dursley's house home, or had been under seventeen. He is neither, so while the blood brother thing means he can now touch Harry, he still can't get inside the Dursley's house.
      • Now I'm imagining a scenario where a youthened Voldemort rents a room from the Dursleys to try to kill Harry. It's like the Odd Couple, except with the killing curse.
      • And written
    • Lily's sacrifice gave Dumbledore the opportunity to invoke a second protection spell, one that is seperate from the primary spell. It matters not that Voldemort has stolen the primary protection as the protection on the Dursley's is independent and simply initiated from the same source.
      • That theory doesn't make sense- we know that Harry must return to Privet Drive to recharge the wards, so they're still dependent on the Harry's personal blood protection to keep running.
      • No, that shows they're dependent on Harry's presence to stay functioning. It's also dependent on Harry's age, it stops working once he's an adult, which is different than the blood protection.
    • I'm fairly certain the wards on Privet Drive that keep Harry safe are 1) never actually called blood wards and 2) would only qualify for the name in that they are contingent upon Harry living with blood relatives. To the best of my knowledge the shield from Lily's sacrifice has exactly jack and all to do with the wards on Privet Drive. If either of the Potters had any other immediate family, said wards would have worked equally well there; presumably James was an only child and neither his nor Lily's parents are still around, or there would have been more options than just the Dursleys.

    Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Dragons, For You Are Crunchy And Taste Good With Ketchup 
  • Okay, so, if I'm absolutely clear on this, and clearly I'm not because it's just far too insane, the First Task is for the champions to face off against a nesting dragon, that is, a female dragon (and dragons, being lizards, are logically going to see females be the more aggressive) guarding her eggs and therefore at her most aggressive, most agitated, and most paranoid, and try to retrieve a golden egg — note that this is going to look no different to the dragon from her regular eggs — from amongst the clutch, with supposedly no advanced warning unless their headmasters cheated (which clearly was not the expectation, as Dumbledore didn't warn Cedric at all), at age 17-18. Are they out of their freaking minds?
    • Yes. The wizarding world is big on putting kids in mortal danger. You haven't figured this out by now?
    • Also, since Harry's only 14, and clearly the magical contract that binds him to the tournament doesn't punish anyone for having an unfair judge (Karkaroff), or giving them supposedly-secret knowledge (everyone), why didn't Dumbledore do anything to help prepare Harry to not die?
      • This further reinforces my point, that DD was the one behind Harry's participation and intended the Tournament to motivate the usually laid-back Harry to learn useful stuff. And you've got to admit he succedeed in that, it's just that he got carried away a little and had Lord Voldemort ressurected in the process. Oops.
      • If that's the theory, then Dumbledore failed spectacularly. Harry was amazingly lazy in all of Book 4. He just goes nuts pulling his hair out and putting off the preparation till the last minute. In the first task, Moody pretty much gave him the answer and he had no backup plan. For the second, he puts it off until literally the last minute and Dobby hands him the solution minutes before the task begins. He finally practices with Hermione and Ron for the third task, but there's a world of difference between the motivation to learn and actually learning. A proper teacher (like Flitwick, McGonagall, or Dumbledore himself) would have taught him so much more.
      • We-e-ell, this one actually makes a bit of sense. The school staff were forbidden from helping the Champions. Of course they still did, but secretly. Besides it seems to me that it was an instrumental part of DD's Master Plan to ingrain in Harry that Adults Are Useless. When your plan involves a bunch of kids saving the world on their own, it's kind of justified, even though the plan itself is idiotic and unfeasible. Also, "proper teachers" were teaching him during normal classes, and guess what, it didn't work too well.
      • Or, alternatively, Dumbledore knew that Moody was already intervening on behalf of the Hogwarts Champions, and didn't feel the need to do so himself. This, of course, backfired spectacularly.
    • It's testing their improvisational skills and knowledge of magic. You don't have to suceed at each task to stay in the tournament and they grade by what you do, not how successful you were. Obviously, since the others got their eggs they would have got more points for actually acomplishing the task but Harry still could have racked up a lot of points for creativity and moral fiber and the like.
      • The problem is that this doesn't matter much since it's outright said that Harry's involvement in the tournament was orchestrated by Voldemort and Crouch Jr. Dumbledore might have been aware that 'Moody' was interfering to help Harry (or he might not) but we have no reason to think that Dumbledore knew or approved of Harry being entered in the first place. And incidentally the original point is absolutely correct. The tournament is ludicrous and liable to get every participant killed. Considering that this is apparently toned down compared to what the earlier wizards did we can safely assume that the wizarding world isn't exactly 'nice'.

    Hagrid the Horrible 
  • Is is just me, or are Hagrid's character flaws often glorified? Specifically, the part where Hermione says that she thinks it is irresponsible of Hagrid to have bred the Blast Ended Skrewts and to be exposing them to a class of children. Harry (and IIRC Ron too) won't speak to her for weeks because of this comment. This seems like Protagonist-Centered Morality. When any of the bad guys break the law, they're EVIL! But good guys get a free pass to do things like teach even though they never graduated from school, illegally possess dragons, illegally possess Acromantula and breed a pack of them on school grounds, and indeed nearly get two students eaten by them, illegally cross-breed Fire Crabs and Manticores to create a dangerous and totally unpredictable new species of monster, and then order 14 year olds to deal with them. Oh, and when the Trio try to warn him to be careful around Umbridge, he completely (and very rudely) ignores them and gets sacked. So what does he do then? Guilts a bunch of 15 year olds who he is supposed to regard as friends into putting themselves into danger to take care of his apparently "not dangerous" giant half brother, even though it was his own fault he got sacked. And on top of apparently caring more about monsters than people, and being an awful teacher, he's also xenophobic. (He tells Harry not trust Viktor Krum because he's a foreigner.) Really, J.K., did you have to give him another flaw when he's already teetering on the edge between unsympathetic and downright unlikeable? I don't hate Hagrid or anything, I just can't understand why it seems that everyone loves him no matter what and no one ever really calls him on his flaws (not to mention crimes.) He never even gets any Character Development! He's exactly the same in Deathly Hallows as he was in Philospher's Stone. He never learnt anything or progressed past any flaws, when every single other important character matured or changed in some way.
    • Because the books are from Harry's point of view, so it has to be Protagonist-Centered Morality. That's how people work. Almost everyone has frowned on someone doing something which they have or will do in the future. And since it's from Harry's PoV, Hagrid is going to be covered by rose coloured glasses. Harry views Hagrid as an extremely special friend because it was Hagrid who told him that he was a wizard and rescued him from the Dursleys. To Harry, that was something he could never repay.
    • They're irrational children, they overreact to valid critism and ignore redeeming actions of people they hate. It should have been obvious after the first book where Snape's loyalties lay but it was dismissed because Snape saving Harry despite apparently being a Death Eater because James once saved Snape makes sense in kid logic.
    • They don't fall out with Hermione for weeks. Not even a day.
    • As for the xenophobia, Hagrid was just projecting his aggravation at Madame Maxime (who's French) upon foreigners in general. That doesn't make his comment OK, but it also doesn't mean he always thinks that way about foreigners. In case the books didn't make it completely obvious, Hagrid tends to let his emotions do the thinking.

    There's Just Too Many Transvestites These Days 
  • There is a minor scene in the beginning of the book that has me scratching my head. A man (Archie) is cleverly disguised as a Muggle... woman. He is literally wearing a dress and is convinced that all Muggles wear dresses. Seriously? Do Wizards not wear pants? What do they wear, then? The text says he is an old man, so he could just be traditional, but still.
    • The scene in question: http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.creativefamily.net%2Femmy%2Fmugglepants%2F&h=ee39e. Remember that wizards don't know too much about Muggles; it happens to be that in the book, not many wizards wear Muggle regular clothes like pants, at least not as often as they wear robes. This is sorta unexcuasable though. In the movies, there aren't too many people wearing cloaks; in the first two films, it seems to be that everyone wore cloaks all the time, but starting with the third installment, cloaks have sorta become The Artifact. Same goes for wizarding hats. Apparently, Rowling always pictured the students at Hogwarts wearing conical wizarding hats, as evidenced by a few of the passages, but in the movie, they wore them, like, twice, and even in the illustrations of the books, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are never shown wearing their wizarding hats.
    • Maybe the wizard in question was Scottish, used to wear a kiltnote  and reached the conclusion that, since most muggles don't wear kilts, kilts are wizardwear, therefore other clothing mus be aquired for going inkognito.
    • To answer part of the original question: no, most traditionalist/old wizards don't wear pants, they wear robes.
    • As undergarments go, they presumably wear braies and chausses under their robes, or just underpants in warmer weather. I really find the movies radically different from what is described in the book, especially in terms of clothing: The muggle-style uniforms and having everyone bum around in muggle clothes really makes no sense.
    • The fact that wizards don't ever really look at the muggles, which comprise the parents of at least half of their students, fill the train station a bunch of said students catch the train to school from, and are basically just on the other side of an alley is what makes no sense. I'm not saying that they have to be up on muggle fashion, or can't have their own trends, but it's completely perplexing to me that they don't know what pants are, especially when they couldn't have split from muggle society so long ago as to have done so before their advent.

The problem here is that it was Archie was wearing a NIGHTGOWN. Only women (Muggle and Not) wear night gowns for sleeping in not 'day wear'. I mean didn't you read what Archie said "I like breeze around my privates". His friend said only earlier "Only Muggle women wear them!"

Here's the passage from the book:

One of them was a very old wizard who was wearing a long flowery nightgown. The other was clearly a Ministry wizard; he was holding out a pair of pinstriped trousers and almost crying with exasperation. "Just put them on, Archie, there's a good chap. You can't walk around like that, the Muggle at the gate's already getting suspicious-" "I bought this in a Muggle shop," said the old wizard stubbornly. "Muggles wear them." "Muggle women wear them, Archie, not the men, they wear these," said the Ministry wizard, and he brandished the pinstriped trousers. "I'm not putting them on," said old Archie in indignation. "I like a healthy breeze 'round my privates, thanks."
  • Word of God: Archie is a bit of a kook even by wizarding standards.

    I have returned from the dead! But remember, I never actually died. 
  • This is more Fridge Logic than a real headscratcher, but: When Voldemort taunts Harry in the graveyard, he says "It will be quick, it might even be painless. I would not know, I have never died." It sounds cool and casually confident and all, but then you realize, Voldemort is probably the person in history most qualified to say that he HAS died. In that light, it seems like a rather odd choice for a boast, to remind everyone of his defeat and near-death.
    • This may be JK pointing out Voldemort's arrogance, but in truth he technically hasn't died, per se. He was just in spirit ghost-like form for over a decade, but not dead exactly.
    • Or more likely, to remind everyone that he didn't die. when he should have.

    Sweep the Dementors under the rug! 
So, in the end, while DD is enlightening Fudge on the current situation with all the subtlety of a battering ram, he, among other things, semands that "the Dementors must be removed from Azkhaban". Ok, Captain Smarty Beard, two questions here:
  • First. How and where to exactly was the Ministery supposed to "remove" the demons? As the next books show, the Ministery had little to no actual control over them and definitely no ways of containing/basnishing/destroying them. Seeing how, according to Fudge himself in HBP, "Dementors left the Azkhaban and joined You-Know-Who" the moment his ugly face emerged from the woodworks, the relations between the Ministery and the demons were strictly contractual, so what exactly would have prevented the "removed" demons from joining LV and pouncing at the general population a year earlier than they eventually did?
    • The dementors are going to join Voldemort either way. If they're still guarding Azkaban, the difference is that Voldemort can just come in and scoop out his most dangerous followers with no effort.
      • While that is probably true, the question still remains what DD intended to do with them. Was he fine that the retired Dementors would insted join V immediately and attack the general population?
      • It comes down to which is the lesser of two evils, (a) the dementors join Voldemort right away, but the big-time Death Eaters like Bellatrix never escape, or (b) we get six months free of dementor attacks before they join Voldemort anyway and the big-time Death Eaters all escape. So is basically letting Bellatrix and her ilk go free a fair price to pay for six months free of dementor attacks?
      • First, I'd say that the Dementors are no lesser threat than the D Es, so not much of a "lesser evil". Second, I have huuuge doubts about the "never escape" part. What or who exactly would prevent V from freeing his followers anyway, especially when he's backed by the Dementors and when the wizrd law enforcers failed miserably on each and every other occasion? As far as I can see, trying to work around this dilemma is akin to making yourself comfortable on a trident: if there was a way to safely contain the prisoners without the Dementors, than the whole wizarding population up to and including DD (especially DD) were evil, because they didn't use it. If, as suggested below, they kept the Azkhaban as it was to prevent Dementors from attacking the general population, it means that after the end of Deathly Hallows the world should be a Dementor-infested hellhole, and the whole sappy epilogue was one big pile of bullshit. And if there was a way to contain prisoners and get rid of the Dementors, it means, that the whole wizarding population up to and including DD (especially DD) were completely evil for not using it.
  • Second. Who was supposed to guard the prisoners instead of the demons? And I'm not willing to be lenient here. Because the only reason I could accept for the Wizarding population in general and DD in particular to have ever tolerated the existance of those monstrosities yet alone allowed them to torment people, without seeing the lot of them as Complete...well, Assholes at best, would be the utter lack of other options. Like, say, the anti-magic aura of the Dementors being the only, and I mean the ONLY, way in that wretched Verse to suppress the magic abilities of the prisoners. But the way DD puts it, there must be some alternative, right? Otherwise he'd be just deliberately spurting pretentious bullshit. But if there was, then what the hell were the Dementors still doing in Azkhaban and how the hell could the ostensibly "good" guys still live with themselves?
    • The Ministry probably just figured that as long as dementors are around, having them guard bad people would be preferable to letting them fly around the countryside unregulated. And since when have dementors had an "anti-magic aura"? What do you think the Patronus Charm is?
      • Lupin explained at some point that exposure to Dementors drains spellpower. Patronus, oviously, has to be cast quickly, before it happens. As for the first, again it's likely true, but personally I find the implications horrifying. Basically the whole wizarding world is held hostage by the Dementors and is forced to feed them its outcasts and, consequently, to make sure Azkhaban never runs out of inmates, lest the demons descend upon the helpless population. Which, by the way, begs the question what exactly happens after the end of "Deathly Hallows". There was some babbling in the Wiki that the Ministery no longer employs Dementors, but does this mean that the Dementors are romaing wild? How the hell can "everything be good" in this case? I feels strong sense of Inferred Holocaust.
      • Patronuses have to be cast quickly because they need a happy memory to be cast from and that's the first thing the dementor will suck out of you. Even if dementors do drain your magic somehow, it's got to be a gradual process and likely wears off, otherwise Sirius wouldn't have been fit to fight with the rest of the Order at the end of OotP.
      • Well, yeah, nobody says the process is irreversable - it obviously wasn't. As I said - dementors draining magic is the only semi-legitimate reason I see to keep those abominations around and let them torment people. If it's not a factor, then there's no excuse, and either all the "good guys" were assholes, or that world was held hostage by the dementors, Rowling's been missing the real villains the whole story, and the finale is BS. I find both variants equally amusing.
      • It's possible that dementors CAN be destroyed or sealed away, and it's just really hard and the Wizarding World just has an "out of sight, out of mind" approach, since from their perspective the Azkaban plan has things under control. Or no methods were known until Hermione and some other genius wizards got to work on it, thus resolving the problem.

     Even Evil Love Quidditch 
  • Movie question. If Crouch Jr. had already joined LV before the beginning of the Qidditch Cup, what the hell was he doing there on the stadium, if LV knew that they couldn't kidnap Harry from there? Moreover, if he was already on the mission, why the hell would he compromise himself by casting the Dark Mark?
    • I think that was supposed to be set up by the line, "gather our old comrades. Send them a sign." But that really doesn't make sense since the Death Eaters were already "gathered" before he fired off the Dark Mark. So I guess he sent the Death Eaters some other sign, they raided the campsite, and then he fired off the Dark Mark for the hell of it. That's the best I got.
      • Memory's a bit vague but he mentioned something about being furious that the former Death Eaters were enjoying themselves while Voldemort was a ghost-thing, so he used the Dark Mark to scare them.
      • That's in the book and this question is specifically about the movie. The book's explanation doesn't work with the film version of events as the Death Eaters were already dispersed by the time he hurled the Dark Mark into the sky. Plus, the Death Eaters seemed to be already united in the film, rather than just goofing around like they were at that point in the book. I guess movie!Crouch, Jr. just wanted to put Voldemort's seal on the attack, like a Calling Card.
    • OP: No, the chief question is what the hell was Crouch doing there in the first place? Again, in the book it was perfectly clear - he'd still lived with his father by that point, and their house-elf'd convinced Crauch Sr. to take Barty out for a walk. But in the movie Barty had already joined V by that point (we see him in Harry's dream in the beginning). I guess V could've sent him to spy on Harry at the Quidditch Cup, but surely he wouldn't have been there in his own, presumably-dead-in-Azkhaban, image, right?
      • Well, you might as well ask what any of the Death Eaters were doing there. Since the film seems to avoid the "Ku Klux Klan turned football hooligans" explanation of the book, presumably they were trying to make some sort of "Hey, we're still here" statement and Barty was one of the ring leaders. I don't think Barty was meant to be dead in the film (Dumbledore et al's reaction is more "So you escaped from Azkaban" than "Why aren't you dead?") and he'd be unlikely to be disguised as Moody at that point. He could have used a random polyjuice disguise but in the book he used an invisibility cloak and that would seem to fit for the movie: He could have been there incognito and taken the cloak off for casting the Dark Mark, thinking he was alone.
    • For Crouch being a Death Eater was a religion, and he was utterly devoted to Voldemort, as well as completely insane. It makes sense that he just wanted to be there and kill people and put the dark mark up.

     There's No Shame In Not Trying, Harry 
Why is Harry even making an effort with Triwizard Tournament? Why not just show up and twiddle your thumbs for the next couple of hours? What's the Goblet of Fire going to do, yell at him? Fleur probably could have tried harder on the second task, but the Magical Cup of Child Endangerment didn't hurt her. So why isn't Dumbledore just having Harry show up and screw around for an hour or so, or work on school work in the corner or something while the ones who are of age do the tasks? That seems like the safest thing to do.
  • Given how hard Dumbledore tried to get Harry out of the tournament (read: not at all), and the previous years' shenanigans, I don't think student safety is actually one of Dumbledore's main concerns.
    • Because it's impossible that in the magical world a magically binding contract would punish those who break it...
      • Of course not. But using a magically binding contract with no escape clauses for a juvenile competition is asinine, unless you have a vested interest that a certain competitior cannot leave the competition.
  • My theory is that DD actually intended to drag Harry into the tournament to intesify his training, Hagrid, McGonagall and Snape played along, Harry was too dumb and too well groomed to even consider questioning His Infallible Emminence, and Ron, Hermie, Maxima, Karkaroff, other champions...fucked if I know, why none of them suggested this painfully obvious option. DD must've cast a Massive Confundus spell on the entire castle, or something. So yeah, not a perfect explanation, but unlike canon, it makes at least some sense.
    • OP, the purpose of editing is not to be redundant, and this is the third time you have mentioned this theory on this page alone...
    • THE ONLY ASININE THING HERE IS THIS THEORY! THE CUP AND TOURNAMENT RULES ARE OLDER THAN DD! Why do you think he could change anything in the magical contract that was written up for the first triwizard tournament which probably happen before anyone in the history of the books was even born? He couldn't even alter the cup so that it had an age restriction of its own the age restriction was separate all together because no one could tamper with the cup. IN FACT the only reason Harry was able to be put in under another school was because those who made the cup thought it was possible that other schools might eventually also want to enter. The only reason DD din't "Do" anything was because there were no loopholes to exploit and since he had no ability to change that Harry was in the triwizard tournament he simply did the honorable thing expected Harry to follow suit.

    • The problem is that we don't really hear what the actual terms of being chosen for the Tournament are, aside from it being a binding magical contract (which presumably means it's unbreakable). It's probable that the rules state that each Champion has to give each task a shot. They won't get punished for messing up, but they have to at least try to win.
      • Well, we know that failure to complete a task does not result in loss of magic or anything else, because Fleur failed to complete the second task and she's fine. So at minimum even a failed attempt counts as an attempt. The solution is thus obvious; come in last place. So, fire a couple weaksauce spells at the dragon from the far end of the arena and give up, turn around as soon as mermen wave their spears at you, and step six feet into the maze and fire up red sparks. Shazoom.
  • Then again, isn't Harry rather prideful? Isn't it possible that he is driven, consciously or other, to give his bloody best to prove himself to the school.
    • No. Harry may be many things but he's not prideful or an attention whore. He's clearly uncomfortable with the situation and announces more than once that he doesn't seek glory. No, if there was something driving him, it was the helpful adults with their nice little motivational speeches about "how you should do your best, and nobody will think bad about you". Which were, of course, completely accidental and sincere.
    • The rest of Gryffindor was counting on him to do them proud, too. Considering they're the people he lives with for most of every year, letting them down by not even making a token effort would've invited a lot of bitterness from his Housemates between then and graduation.
      • Then they are idiots for not realising he was coerced into participation and going along with it would mean playing into the hands of the mastermind behind the coercion. In that case they do not deserve his concerns. Of course, since Harry apparently never realised it himself, there could be truth in this version.
      • Personally I disagree with the concept that Harry isn't prideful and slightly arrogant. As Hermione correctly points out in the second task he does have a Saving People Thing as she puts it; it should have been obvious (as it was to the reader) that Dumbledore and the Ministry of Magic wasn't genuinely going to drown four children just for a couple of points and a cup. Also remember that the Sorting Hat wanted to put him in Slytherin - the House where Pride is something they have in abundance. Its that thirst to prove himself that the Hat mentioned that has driven him to be this way.
      • Actually, Gryffindor is the prideful house, not Slytherin. Besides, Harry going after the other kids in the Second Challenge was his compulsive need to help/save everybody, not pride. A kid who tries to get himself killed in the name of helping others as hard as Harry is hardly prideful.

     Why bother with the tournament at all? 
  • Ok, Voldemort wanted Harry to touch the trophy to have him teleported... then why not handle him the keyport in a easier way? Like having fake moody give harry a pencil or a coin or whatever the hell else he wanted for keyport? Seriously, why would Voldemort go out of his way to put up such a stupidly complicated plan?
    • This has been debated to death. Here are some of the most commonly suggested solutions:
      • They were planning to send Harry's body back to the maze with the Portkey. No one would find it suspicious that Harry was killed during the Triwizard Tournament and Voldemort's return would certainly not be suspected.
      • Creating a Portkey on Hogwarts grounds requires some sort of authorization which fake Moody didn't have. This theory is based on the fact that the film shows Harry and Cedric land outside the maze when they Portkey back to Hogwarts, something the crowd didn't seem surprised by. The assumption is that the Goblet of Fire was already a Portkey and was intended to transport the champion out of the maze, but fake Moody added an extra destination in between.
      • Harry had to be Portkeyed away in a manner which could not be traced back to fake Moody. Barty Crouch, Jr. is a valuable follower, after all. He could continue to pose as Moody and become an indispensable double agent, assuming the Order of the Phoenix is still reformed.
      • "They were planning to send Harry's body back to the maze with the Portkey" - in that case the Portkey would've brought him back inside the maze, not outside, so no. "Harry had to be Portkeyed away in a manner which could not be traced back to fake Moody." - Crouch volunteered to take the Goblet into the maze, which means no one else could've created the Portkey and he knew it, so no. "Goblet of Fire was already a Portkey and fake Moody added an extra destination in between." - in that case Crouch would've known that the Goblet was still a Portkey, in which case he would've certainly warned V, who would've certainly taken measures to prevent Harry from grabbing the Goblet immediately or Accioning it later, so no. So where does this leave us? Crouch needed a legitimate excuse to create the Portkey, yet he didn't know about the return one. Ergo the Ministery could only register the act of Portkey creation, but not the destination. I see only one possibility: by the time Crouch charmed it, the Goblet had already been rigged with a return Portkey, put in "sleeper mode". Which means, of course, that DD was in on the plan for some time and went along with it.
      • Or more simply, Voldemort knew that the Cup was a portkey and simply didn't need to intervene when Harry first arrived. This is in fact confirmed by Voldemort's effort to prevent Harry from reaching the Portkey to escape. Of course, I suppose that an Evil! Manipulative! Dumbledore (but also extremely stupid) is more interesting to some...
      • What do you mean "didn't need to intervene?" What was there to "intervene" in, except destroying or otherwise removing the Cup, which would've taken him about 5 seconds? And what effort are you talking about? If he knew what it was he would've accioed it himself or at least shouted to Death Eaters to get it. He didn't, meaning he didn't know.
      • See above. Harry was secured quickly, so there was no need to destroy the cup at this point. And summoning the cup while Harry running to get is obviously not the best way to prevent him from getting his hands at it.
      • Harry had a few minutes alone with the Cup. More than enough time to grab it, if only not leave it lying around. And V planned to release him and have that stupid fight, meaning the "secured quickly" argument is invalid. "...is obviously not the best way..." Why not? T least it's better than doing nothing at all.

    • Voldemort needed Harry in the Tournment because there was NO OTHER way Harry's "Death" could be seen as an 'accident'. I mean remember Dumbledore at the school is watching over Harry..so it would look suspicious if Harry disappered and came back dead if he picked up a quill or something from Moody's desk. Also DD Didn't know..how many times do people need to say "The real Moody would never have removed you from my sight."
      • *Sigh* Right, Harrry was under DD's constat and vigilant eye, unlike, naturally, when he was in that dangerous labyrinth, during the final stage of the Tournament in which his participation was orchestrated by an unkown party, so whatever their inention was, this would be their last chance to acieve it... Nah, why would DD want to keep an eye on him THERE? How many times do people need to say... - as many as they feel like it. It won't change the fact that there was a concealed return portkey in the Cup, meaning he had to know.
      • Why would Dumbledore have to know, considering that it was Moody who carried in the cup?
      • Because it was concealed. The only reason DD would do it is if he knew it would be needed.
      • Has it occurred to you that Crouch might not have been able to tell Voldemort that he couldn't completely override the original portkey? It might have been too risky to call him and risk being caught. Crouch said "My lord, I'm sure that I can replace the destination on the portkey" and only realized (or didn't realize at all) that the original one stayed on, then Voldy didn't realize that it was a risk. Besides, he's an arrogant prick. No need for evil Dumbledore at all.
      • But in that case the "original portkey" would have to be put by someone other than Crouch, and why would that be? Crouch carried the Goblet into the maze, obviously he was supposed to portkeify it. Because the only reason why he would need to wait the whole year instead of portkeifying a random item to shove into Harry's hands that I see is that the spell is detectable and he needed a legitimate excuse to cast it. Next, the "arrogant prick" is a lame argument, please don't stoop to it. Finally, no, I don't claim that DD was evil - that would imply he was a character rather than a puppet that helplessly obeys even the most asinine commands of its puppeteress.

     Funniest thing happened during the autopsy... 
So according to Crouch Jr., his mother posed as him in Azkaban, and died as him. Through whatever means, she kept drinking Polyjuice Potion to stay as him. So what happened after she died? Did they literally just dig a hole and throw "him" in within the hour, somehow contacting Crouch and Crouch Jr. to come prior to? Were they doing an autopsy when the corpse suddenly started transforming? Or did they come across the cell and notice that the young man inside has been replaced with the corpse of a dead woman?
  • Polyjuice'd dead bodies obviously don't change.
    • That would make sense if the Polyjuice Potion works by only altering live cells, and I don't see why that wouldn't be the case.
      • Why would they autopsy someone who died from Dementor draining? It is probably a weekly occurrence at Azkaban. (Though, from the lack of medical science seen elsewhere, there might not be any magical coroners anyway)
  • IIRC Sirius said that the dementors can't see, which is how he escaped in PoA. He also said that they buried the body. So it's likely that the dementors just found a dead body, reported that the prisoner had died, then disposed of it and nobody was any the wiser. The other prisoners either never got a good look or were too insane from years of dementor exposure to be reliable witnesses/tell anyone that this body of a boy just transformed into his mother.

     You stole from a dragon, this means friendship 
So why exactly does Ron instantly forgive Harry after the first task? He was angry at Harry since he thought that Harry had been entering for more fame and stuff, yet once Harry beat the dragon he immediately thought "You stole from a dragon! Somehow this explains everything!". What.
  • Apparently, after he saw Harry being chased by a dragon, it finally dawned on Ron that the Tournament was *gasp* actually pretty dangerous and thus that Harry would hardly sign for it himself.
    • Except of course that by the time of Harry's conjectural signing he would have had no way of knowing about those dangers, so Ron's change of heart, what a shock, makes no goddamned sense.
  • Actually, I find it surprising that Ron had to forgive Harry for anything.
  • It wasn't about getting an explanation — it was that "Harry's taking all the attention and nobody ever so much as looks at me" suddenly seemed rather petty compared to the realization that "holy crap, someone's out to kill Harry and here I am feeling sorry for myself when my best friend might die!"
  • Still, Ron looks like an incredible arse when his reason for being pissy with Harry up until the First Task was over was 'you're a liar, and you got in this tournament deliberately just to score some cheap fame!'. Now look at what Ron does after the Second Task — brag to all the girls at Hogwarts about how badass he was fighting off fifty mermen with his wand and how he saved everybody down there. (Yes, that's in the GoF novel, that's not fanon.) What is this that Ron is doing here, given that he actually spent the entire Second Task unconscious? Ron is lying to try and score some cheap fame. Ron Weasley is being an astounding hypocrite for doing this at all, much less for doing this after he's already had Harry 'forgive' him.
    • It's been a trait of his from the beginning. Recall that in the first book he looked in the Mirror of Erised and saw himself famous and award laden. The reason why he was so bitter against Harry becoming a Champion was because of all his pent-up jealously of Harry and of Ron's older brothers.

     To announce your secret return to your arch-nemesis, press 1 
Upon returning into flesh, V activates Wormtail's Dark Mark, so that all the Death Eaters feel it and come to him. All of them feel it. Including Snape, who has or has not betrayed him, and Karkaroff, who's definitely betrayed him and might just decide that rather than escaping he'd better seek protection with DD. Not to mention, of course, that DD could've easily arranged the incarcerated D Es to be checked daily for the sign of reactivated Dark Mark. So, did V really not think about it? After all the extensive preparations and meticulous planning, that's just downright pathetic.
  • How else was he supposed to get in touch with them all, without giving away the locations or identities of the ones who were still in hiding/playing innocent? We know the Owl Post isn't secure enough, because Sirius worried about his messages to Harry being intercepted and giving away his own hiding place.
    • In comparison to the method that immediately announces your return to your arch-nemesis, any way would've been more secure.
    • Voldemort presumed Dumbledore would rapidly become aware of his return, one way or another. There were just too many ways it could happen. Gathering all his allies, giving them orders and launching his second campaign within minutes of his resurrection would give him a head-start over any countermeasures that people like Dumbledore and the Ministry's Aurors might have had in place. It also allowed him to identify right away which of his old followers were no longer trustworthy. Risky, yes, but we don't really know what the rest of Voldemort's initial plan was since Harry spoiled his evening.
    • Whose to say that only Voldemort can activate the dark mark? Its likely they can all activate the mark but when he does it they all know.

     Of all the crazy plans by insane people... 
  • Let's take another look at how Voldemort could possibly hatch this plan to kidnap Harry Potter. Barty Crouch escapes from his father's clutches roughly a week before school starts. In that short time, the certifiably insane Barty manages to make contact with a man Dumbledore has been unable to seek out for the past decade. They brew Polyjuice potion within that week (despite the recipe requiring a month) and proceed to kidnap Moody two days before school. The plan is for the nutjob to be permanently stationed at Hogwarts amongst dozens of staff members, including Dumbledore, who have fought by Moody's side during the last war in a tightly-knit Order. Peter Pettigrew is the only other one privy to this plan, but doesn't mention the Marauder's Map although he knows that Harry Potter has it and knows how to use it. The chance of being discovered rises with every passing day, but the kidnapping must occur at the end of the year. At no point did any of them stop and think, "Maybe there's an easier way to do this?"
    • Already discussed to death. The Ministery and/or DD would notice if somebody creates a Portkey, so Crouch needed a legit excuse to create one, i.e. in the Third task when he was supposed to charm the Goblet to teleport the winner outside of the maze. And Crouch wasn't that much of a nutjob (in the book at least). A fanatic, sure, but he kept it together pretty well. Good point about Pettigrew and the Map, though. No idea how he could omit something like that.
    • FWIW, Wormtail has probably been using Polyjuice himself whenever he needs to go out in public in human form, as being seen in his true form would spoil the frame-up on Sirius and give another of Dumbledore's allies more freedom to operate openly. He mixed up a batch over the summer and lent enough of it to Barty Jr. to get him started on his "Moody" ruse, until Barty could mix more with what he stole from Snape's supplies. As for the Map, the last Peter knew of it, it'd been confiscated by a teacher; he may have assumed that Snape turned it over to Filch.
      • Why in the world would Snape or Lupin turn something like that over to Filch? Not that it really matters. If somebody in the castle had the map, it means the whole plan was in danger, therefore Wormtail would've certainly mentioned it. Not that it matters either, because unless that homunculus body lacked the brain compartment, V would've certainly scanned him for all the useful information he might possess, whether he realises it or not.
    • Erm... this was already explained in the books, through Voldemort's and Crouch Jr's confession. This was the timeline of events: 1) Wormtail reaches Albania, where he accidentally meets Bertha Jorkins; 2) He uses the Imperius on her to bring her to Voldemort, whom he suspects is in a certain forest; 3) Voldemort somehow manages to interrogate Bertha (probably having Wormtail use the Cruciatus on her) and when he gets what he wants, he has Wormtail kill Bertha; 4) Voldemort has Wormtail make the potion that creates the homunculi that stores what rests of his soul; 6) Both Voldemort and Wormtail come back to Britain, hiding at Riddle Manor; 7) When they are at Riddle Manor, they have that conversation about the plan that Frank Bryce snoops on (and Harry sees through his connection with Voldemort); 8) Wormtail and Voldemort go to the Crouch's house a few days after the World Cup, and Voldemort uses the Imperius on Crouch Sr, freeing Jr and forcing Sr to go on with his job as if there is nothing wrong; 9) Crouch Jr and Wormtail assault Moody's house the night before Hogwarts starts, taking him out and then, using Moody's ready supply of Polyjuice, Crouch turns into Moody and diffuses the situation thanks to Arthur Weasley's help; 10) Finally, although it takes him some time to do it, he puts everything into Moody's trunk (including Moody himself) and travels to Hogwarts.
    • Also, Crouch Jr being certifiably insane is not mentioned anywhere. Even if he were driven insane by Azkaban, he's had 12 years to recover from that.

  • One other thing to note is that, despite all this planning and complexity, the play still almost failed. The only reason it worked was due to Cedric's generosity. Cedric reached the cup first. If he didn't feel like deliberately tying with Harry, he would have picked up the cup. What then? Cedric disappears for a few minutes, a dead body comes back? Moody!Crouch kidnaps Harry directly? if he could do that, why not just do that at any point during the year?
    • Well, Crouch was there, wasn't he, keeping an eye over the course and removing obstacles from Harry's way. He was probably standing right there near the Cup, invisible. If Cedric tried to go for the Cup alone, he would've removed him as well and then forced Harry to touch it.
      • Doesn't make sense. Cedric was there and almost touched it. Was crouch literally waiting for Cedric's hands to be millimetres away from the cup before he'd stun him? Would he know Cedric wouldn't panic or change his mind as Harry approached? When working on a year-long plan to kidnap someone, you don't take silly risks like this at the last second (especially after he already used unforgivables on the other competitors). Secondly, if he were willing to do that, why not just do it at any point in the year? Say, during a Hogsmeade weekend? Not when there's an international audience watching (let's ignore the silly issue that thousands of people came to watch bushes for an hour, and pretend the Triwizard Tournament was actually a sporting event). If he had no backup plan, it was clearly a very stupid plan. If his backup plan was to just kidnap Harry by some other method, that should have been Plan A.
      • Nope. Cedric never got even close to the Cup on his own. After they blast the mega-spider, they just stand there, urging each other to go for it, until Harry suggests they take it together. So Crouch could have standed there, wand aimed at Cedric, ready to knock him out the moment he goes for the Cup alone. But when they went for it together, and Cedric even helped the limping Harry along, it was clear he'd made up his mind, so Crouch didn't feel the need to interfere. And he couldn't have just kidnapped the kid earlier, because Harry supposedly was under DD's constant eye, unlike, naturally, when he was in that dangerous labyrinth, during the final stage of the Tournament in which his participation was orchestrated by an unkown party, so whatever their inention was, this would be their last chance to acieve it... Nah, why would DD want to keep an eye on him THERE? God, I love these self-sustaining plot holes.
      • False. Re-read the book. Harry was far behind because the spider almost crushed him. Cedric was practically within arm's reach of the cup. If Crouch had actually been there, Cedric would have been stunned before Harry even managed to stand up. He was alone with the cup for a long time with Harry nowhere nearby. No stunners, no imperius, nothing. Crouch obviously wasn't anywhere nearby or else he wouldn't have taken such a huge risk.
      • Within several feet, according to my source. Anyway, I conclude that Crouch was there mostly because where the hell else would he be at the pivotal moment of his plan? As for why he didn't stun Cedric, well, he was keeping as low profile as possible (all it takes Harry to alert the adults is fire sparks into the sky), and, besides, Cedric was helping Harry against the spider, which favored Crouch's interests. Maybe Crouch was also using Legilimancy to monitor his intentions, or maybe he didn't even need to stun him personally - since he'd set up the Cup, so he could've rigged it to stun anybody approaching it, except Harry. When he saw them going for it together, he removed the trap.
      • In answer to that last one: he was patrolling outside the maze, just like other teachers, looking for any sign of the red sparks that were supposed to be sent up in case of danger. From a gap in the hedge he saw Viktor, Imperiused him and used him to incapacitate Fleur and Cedric - except Cedric was saved by Harry, which was not part of Crouch's plan.

     Informed inability to duel 
So, when Harry is supposed to duel with Voldemort, he remembers his dueling classes and says that he knows only one dueling spell - the Expelliarmus. Really? He spent weeks preparing for the Maze, learning things like Stupefy, Impedimenta, Protego etc, most of which would be very useful and legit dueling spells. Those were, BTW, the spells he taught to the Dumbledore's Army next year, he hadn't learned anything new since then because of Umbridge.
  • Write it off to shock and panic. Also, Expelliarmus was the only spell he'd actually used in a real fight (against Snape in PoA) sucessfully.
  • When he learned the other spells, he'd been focused on how to use them against monsters, not a fellow wand-wielder. He was probably thinking that it's only Expelliarmus which he'd specifically learned how to use in the context of a duel.

     Voldemort's Wand 
So, Voldemort tried to killed Harry, it didn't work out, the House exploded, Voldemort's Body disappeared. OK, let's assume that the Wand survived all that. Shouldn't it remain in Potter's House? And if so, how come that no one from ministry or whatever found it and disposed of it? How did it get in Wormtail's possession so that he could return it to his Master?
  • Uhm, Pettegrew went there first (or probably waited around) and took it with him?
    • And carry around for 13 years? He didn't intend to find Voldemort, He did it only when he had to. And he didn't even seem to have his own Wand anymore.
      • No, hide it in case V ever returns and it could be used as a token of loyalty and usefulness to try and buy his miserable hide out, or just in case Pete might desperately need a wand himself someday.
      • Ok, that makes sense. But there's another Question: Priori Incantatem shows the shadow of every spell performed in reverse order. Does that mean that Voldemort only used his Wand for killing Bertha, Old man and creating Wormtails new hand? If nothing else, he tortured Bertha so long she had her memory spell removed. And I'm quite sure Voldemort would have used his wand several times. So, why did nothing else appeared? And did Voldemort really do nothing with his Wand between killing Lily and encounter with Bertha? Why?
      • Since Bertha's torture happened right after Wormtail'd found V, i.e. when V hadn't yet had any body, apparently he tortured her with...well, himself, possessing her and doing everything directly. As for other tasks, I presume Wormtail performed them with Bertha's wand, both because it would serve him better since he overpowered her, and because V would certainly NOT allow him to use his wand. As for the second part, between killing Lily and encounter with Bertha V had been mostly dead (or possessing Quirrel and thus using his Wand), and his Wand had been in Wormtail's possession. How the was he supposed to do anything with it?
    • Speaking of which. Why doesn't Wormtail have his wand? Apparently, when an Animagus transforms, all of his possessions are incorporated in the animal form, and I see no reason for him to hide his own wand.
      • It's seems possible that he left his wand behind with his finger. Yes, no one ever says they found it, just 'his finger', but if his wand had been missing, it would seem like Peter had apparated away, and yet everyone assumes he's dead. All signs points to the inability to apparate without a wand, as taking people's wands seems to be considered enough to ground them. (Ron tries without a wand at one point, but he's not thinking clearly at the time.)
      • No, it would seem like it was destroyed in the explosion.
      • Of course, a point against this theory is that if he had left his wand behind, they could have checked it for the last spell during the trial. Granted, Sirius's psychotic break at having his 'family' fall apart, and the subsequent 'confession', means they didn't, but Peter couldn't know that in advance. But that's a plot hole no matter what, as Sirius's wand wouldn't show the right curse anyway. I think we should conclude either there's a way of having a wand not record a spell, or that Wizard courts are absolutely useless. (And we already knew that last is true.)

     No modern numerals? 
When Arthur Weasley is trying to pay the camp manager, he needs Harry's help to distinguish between the 'little symbols' that represent numbers. He doesn't even know what a five looks like! Since he's supposed to be the head expert on everything Muggle, does this mean the rest of the wizarding community have never seen modern numerals in their lives? Of the many problems this would cause, how would they even recognise Platform 9 and 3/4s, for a start? What about essay writing, or textbooks? When a potion recipe says heat your cauldron for 30 minutes, do they spell it out all the time, or use Roman numerals or something? What about transactions at Gringotts, how complicated would the calculations be?
  • He certainly did recognize the numbers; it just takes him a moment to spot the "10" because he's unfamiliar with how a ten-note's various markings are arranged. His mistaking the twenty-note for a fiver is probably due to his confusing the pound sign (which can look odd even to non-British Muggles) for some sort of weird cursive "5".
  • He had rarely used Muggle money before, so was unfamiliar with the denominations. It's no different than an American being confronted with a Euro for the first time.

    So who were they planning to kill? 
At the beginning of the book, Voldemort and Wormtail have a conversation where there is much talk of "if I murder" and "One more murder... my faithful servant at Hogwarts... Harry Potter is as good as mine." Yet if Wormtail ever does murder this person they're talking about, we certainly don't hear about it. Frank Bryce and Cedric Diggory are only victims of circumstance. Bertha Jorkins was already dead and Barty Crouch Sr. was originally imperiused and only killed because he escaped. So who was it that Voldemort and Wormtail were planning to murder?
  • Perhaps Voldy wanted Crouch Jr. to kill Moody. That explain the "faithful servant at Hogwarts" bit. When Crouch Jr. got to Moody's place he found the trunk and realized he could keep Moody in it. Having him alive would give him time to learn his mannerisms and provide extra ingredients for more Polyjuice potion.
  • In later editions, this was corrected to "if I curse" and "One more curse". They were referring to putting the Imperius Curse on Crouch.
  • Harry himself? Once V has what he needs, then Harry is not only expendable, but an active threat. One more murder, and he is free to do as he wishes with no one to stop him, since the Prophecy Boy is now a corpse.

    Rita Skeeter only exists to cause trouble! Now excuse me while I believe everything she says 
What is with Molly Weasley's inconsistent opinion of Rita Skeeter? After the World Cup, Mrs. Weasley agrees with everyone else that Rita Skeeter is the worst kind of "journalist," one that spreads sensationalist lies to get more readers and is not to be believed. After Rita's article about the Triwizard Champions (the colorful life story of Harry) we hear from Charlie that Mrs. Weasley was quite upset when she heard that Harry still cries over his parents. After Rita's article about the supposed love geometry between Hermione, Harry, and Krum, Mrs. Weasley sends Hermione an insultingly small Easter Egg. When Mrs. Weasley and Bill arrive at Hogwarts to cheer for Harry in the third task, Amos Diggory gives Harry a bunch of shit over the colorful life story article and Mrs. Weasley snaps at him that he should know better than to believe anything Rita Skeeter says. At dinner, Mrs. Weasley treats Hermione coldly until Harry explains to her that Hermione was never his girlfriend and that Rita Skeeter was making up more lies (you know, like what Mrs. Weasley was just telling Mr. Diggory). So over the course of the book, Mrs. Weasley's opinion of Rita Skeeter goes from Disbelief to belief, then more belief, then back to disbelief, right back to belief, then finally settles on disbelief. What
  • It's actually very simple if you connect the dots. Molly doesn't for a second believe that Hermione is using magic to make Harry her boyfriend. If she did then I doubt her reaction would simply be to send her smaller chocolate. Molly's not stupid, she doesn't believe that Hermione would do that but she might believe that Harry and Hermione are an actual couple. And after having known them for so many years she's likely aware of Ron's interest in Hermione, even if Ron himself is not, so having Harry and Hermione hook up would break his heart so she's not angry but also not too thrilled about it. Things get cleared up when Harry states specifically that he and Hermione are not a couple. So she knew not to believe Rita but didn't think Rita would completely make something like that up out of nothing as she merely just twists facts and exagerates.
    • You connected the dots wrong. If the reason Mrs. Weasley was upset with Hermione over the Hermione/Harry/Krum love triangle is because she knew it was upsetting Ron that Hermione wasn't in a relationship with him, she would still be upset with Hermione even after Harry explains that they're not in a relationship because it means Hermione's still running around with Krum instead of Ron. It's pretty clear that the whole reason the article upset Mrs. Weasley is because she thought Hermione was being a bad girlfriend to Harry.
      • She went out with Krum once and was just nice to him the rest of the time, he was only there temporarily, they were never a couple.
      • When was it ever established, or even slightly suggested, that Molly knew about Ron fancying Hermione by the time Skeeter printed that article? Hell if the shipping wars that went on are any indication half the fanbase didn't realize Ron fancied Hermione so I'm quite interested to know how she figured it out. And no Ron didn't tell her because let me tell you that any parent who has a teenage boy knows that the last person they want to discuss their love life with is their mother.
      • Exactly, Mrs. Weasley had no idea that Ron was into Hermione. The whole reason she was upset at Hermione is because Rita Skeeter's article made her think that Hermione was running around behind Harry's back....which, as the original post points out, makes no sense. Molly slingshots back and forth between hating Rita Skeeter and not believing a word she says and taking it all to heart repeatedly throughout the book.
      • At this point in the series even Harry knows that Ron and Hermione fancy each other and he's blind to relationships and girls. Of course Molly knows, Hermione was living with them for a while that summer and she and Ron have the exact same dynamic that Molly and Arthur have. It's obvious to everyone who isn't blind due to shipping goggles. Hermione/Ron is one of those relationships where it's obvious to everyone but them

    Practicing for his Twilight audition? 
  • At the beginning of the movie, when Harry and company meet up with Amos Diggory, and then Cedric just falls into the shot... what was Cedric doing in the tree? Seems like kind of an odd place to be if you're not expecting to be waiting for long.
    • I always thought it was just done as a more interesting way to introduce Cedric than just having him standing next to his dad.
    • Trying to get a better vantage on the area, to see if he could spot the Weasleys, most likely. It was implied that the Weasleys were running a bit late, and the portkey won't wait for you, so Cedric was probably hoping to spot them from on high.

    ALL of Quidditch is cancelled so THREE students can compete! 
Forget the complex plot to trap Harry, Death Eaters, Aurors, the fact that nobody asks how Cedric died when Harry returns, until the next book (when he's just a social outcast rather than the subject of an investigation). And imagine for a moment that a major football school cancels football for the entire year so that three people (who may or may not play football) can compete in something completely unrelated. Chess, let's say.

Quidditch is even bigger to Hogwarts than non-magical sports are; what school has four teams in the same sport?

If the Tri-Wizard tournament involved...say...most of the school, cancelling Quidditch would still seem odd. When only three Wizards compete, it's downright perplexing.

  • Well the easiest explanation is that any student competing in the Triwizard Tournament (say, the star seekers of Gryffindor and Hufflepuff) will be too busy preparing for and competing in the tasks to keep up with Quidditch as well, which puts their teams at an unfair disadvantage. Add to that the fact the Quidditch pitch spends a large part of the year turning into a maze, and it works out easier to just cancel Quidditch instead of trying to work out solutions on top of extensive Triwizard planning.
    • There's only supposed to be one Hogwarts student in the Triwizard Tournament, who is there voluntarily, so worrying about an 'unfair advantage' is a bit dubious. By that logic no one should be allow to quit a team. Teams have players come and go all the time, and anyone who got in this time was supposed to be sixth or seventh year and thus already leaving soon anyway!
      • But you want to know what is unfair? Causing a student who is trying to be a professional Quidditch player, like Oliver Wood, entirely skip out his last year at playing for a school team, the time when recruiters come by. (Oliver had actually left the previous year, but that was pure chance.) And notice the Triwizard was secret so recruiters couldn't have predicted it and just recruited a year in advance. No, if you want to be a professional Quidditch player and you were in the class of 95, you were just screwed.
      • Assuming the only way any one get hired as professional quidditch is being seen playing at Hogwarts? That seems unlikely considering the 20 odd professional teams compared to four school ones.
    • And considering the grand total of a few panicked days that Harry spent on the tasks, it seems like doing Triwizard and Quidditch wouldn't have interfered with each other anyway.
    • Likewise, the Ministry of Magic and the Headmaster were running the Triwizard Tournament. The Quidditch matches basically ran themselves, and certainly weren't any sort of large time sink on Dumbledore's part.
    • And the fact they were using the Quidditch pitch is just stupid. They have an entire year to set up another stadium next to it. Or just finished Quidditch off a month early and grown the hedge maze after with magic.
      • Can they grow a hedge so quickly though? because it seems to take Hagrid months to grow his shed sized pumpkins back in Book 2 and Professor Sprout is constantly getting her students to help grow the magical plants in the Greenhouse. Seems to me that, whilst magic would help, it would still take an uncomfortably long time to grow that maze. Plus given how Harry points out that all noise seemed to vanish within it there are probably all sorts of incantations that have been cast which would also take time.
      • Well, then I guess it's lucky Quiddich is played in the air so it doesn't really matter what is on the ground.
    • Honestly - as if the students from the other two wizarding schools wouldn't want to play a few games against the Hogwarts teams!

     Triwizard Champions don't take exams? 
So, uh, what was going to happen to Cedric's N.E.W.T.s?
  • He was actually a sixth year with an early birthday, and if he was a seventh year I imagine he would've taken them over the summer.

    So Much Trouble for a Little Headstart? 
Why did Crouch need to help Harry through the first two tasks? He repeatedly put his cover at risk if not blew it completely, and for what? The...peculiar nature of the Tournament meant that for all his successes Harry only got some time ahead of his competitors, and it hardly mattered, since, apparently, in the third task Crouch could just remove all the obstacles from his way (he probably only left a few so it didn't look suspiciously easy). Hell, his hint in the first task had driven Harry to master Accio, which allowed him to escape the cemetery!
  • Because his plan depends on Harry reaching the final alive. Without Accio Harry would have been killed or mortally wounded. Without Gillyweed Harry would have drowned in the attempt. Bam! Voldemort remains a disembodied spirit.
    • No, he wouldn't. If he had no way to deal with the dragon or underwater, then he simply wouldn't have tried. He would've gone before the judges and said: "Sorry, I've researched as hard as I could, and I still have no idea how to do it, which shouldn't surprise anyone, since this shit is two years ahead of my level. So you might just as well give me all zeroes, and be done with it." And it would not have mattered in the slightest, because he would still have to take part in the third task - he just would've entered the last, which, if you think of it, would actually favor Crauch's plan, since he'd have more time to dispose of the other champions and remove the obstacles.

    So you can Accio the Triwizard Cup, eh? 
Well, that would have made the maze quite a bit easier if anyone had thought of it. You'd think they would put some sort of protections on that.
  • Unless, of course, there was a protection, but it conviniently dissipated after they teleported to the cemetery, which means that somebody had to arrange it in advance.
  • Maybe you couldn't use Accio inside the maze?

    The plan is too complicated even if we assume rules about portkeys. 
So, let's work in the 'ideal' world where the Cup is the only working Portkey, authorized by DD, and Fake!Moody couldn't enchant something else. So Harry had to enter, and win to get Portkeyed. Uh, no? Since Fake!Moody was the one who put the Cup in the maze in the first place, he could have, instead, simply put the Cup in his office and invited Harry in, and, oh, look at this.

As an added bonus, he could have portkeyed with Harry, and then brought the Cup back to Hogwarts, and Harry's just mysteriously disappeared. (If the return trip takes Fake!Moody to the bleachers and someone sees him arrive, haha, everyone laugh at Moody, who accidentally touched the Cup he was carrying and got Portkeyed across campus.)

A lot of mental gymnastics have come up with some reasonable justifications for the Cup being the only good way to kidnap Harry, but there's not a very good reason to do that kidnapping via rigging the Twiwizard Tournament instead of just Moody handing the Cup to Harry! Hell, Harry didn't even have to be in the Tournament.
  • As pointed out on the YMMV page, the plan was to make Harry's death look like an accident. If he suddenly disappeared, everyone would be investigating where he went. In the tournament, they could chalk it up as "a skrewt ate him".
    • Except for that explanation to work, you'd have to assume that no-one would investigate Harry's death, and I find that hard to believe. Even if he weren't Harry friggin' Potter, in a Tournament he was forced into against his will, it's still a death in a school competition that was specifically designed to be death-free. I find it extraordinarily unlikely that Dumbledore and everyone else would just shrug their shoulders and do nothing. Remember that both Fleur and Viktor were also attacked by what is clearly wizard magic, and since it's hardly likely that Harry or Cedric would use those spells on them, anyone with a brain would have worked out that there was some kind of foul play involved. If everything had gone perfectly, what would have happened to Moody? Presumably Crouch Jr would have killed him and gone on his merry way as soon as he could. It wouldn't take a genius to realize that forced tournament entry + Harry's death + foul play + Moody's disappearance/death + Dark Mark at QWC = Lord Voldemort. Voldy's plan would have bought him a respite of maybe a few weeks, no more than that.

     Ron's robe 
Minor nitpick: Why did Molly give Ron hand-me-down robe for Yule without even trying to fit it into something more fashinable? She is a housewife with required manual talent and plenty of free time, so if she's so loving mother why don't she devote some time to make a nice clothes for one in lifetime event for her son? Lots of people use second hand clothes as a base for more fashionable creations and not-so-rich mother of several children should have all sewing tricks in her fingertips.
  • I always presumed that she didn't think it was that bad and that Ron was just exaggerating about how awful it looked, so she just let it be.
  • Possibly a combination of the fact that the robes she sent are a traditional style coupled with her wanting to punish Ron for being such a git towards Harry during the frst Trial.
  • This Troper's personal favorite answer: Molly is both The Chessmaster and a Shipper on Deck: she gave Ron hideous robes so no girl will go to the ball with him, forcing Hermione to take him out of pity. BOOM, Ron and Hermione are at the ball together.
    • If that is true she failed absolutely. In fact if Ron had taken out his anger on Krum instead of just brooding about it, he could have ended up seriously damaging his relationship with Hermione.

    Triwizard Renewal 
  • So the Triwizard Tournament was so dangerous... It was cancelled in 1793 because it had a high mortality rate. They bring it back, and make no change to keep it safe. Bam. Keep the same cup that forces people to participate even if they didn't want to. Bring out live Dragons! Lets throw a maze full of men eating monsters while at it! This goes beyond the usual wizarding world negligence since they knew the thing was dangerous and were okay with not doing it for 2 centuries! To give a muggle equivalent: When the modern olympic games were created, some adjustments were made to get with the time period.
    • The only thing we know about the previous tournaments was that one of them involved a cockatrice. If that thing still has the same powers in the HP universe, it can kill you just by looking at you. By contrast the first task is just one dragon, in a stadium surrounded by professional dragon tamers who are likely ready to stun the thing if it does on the rampage. And the chain it's wearing likely had an Unbreakable charm put on it. Ignore the film that had the chain snap easily so there could be a bigger battle. As for the third task, they're counting on their students to know a standard Stunning Spell.
    • Also keep in mind they did add an age minimum and the second of the three tasks involved no combat at all.
    It's Rude to Check Back? 
After Harry told Sirius about the dragons, and the man said he had a solution which he was going to reveal right after he finishes dumping out exposition and, of course, he never got a chance to reveal it, what exactly prevented Harry from writing a letter to him and asking him for that solution?! It's not the secrecy thing, since he had no qualms to write Sirius about his victory, he certainly wasn't embarrassed to ask for help, so what gives? I understand why Sirius didn't write to him and told it, since note he was instructed by DD to only give the kid a hint so that Harry thinks of the spell by himselfnote , but Harry didn't know that.
  • The conversation with Sirius was three days before the task. At this point in the story, owls to and from Sirius were taking a long time because he was a long way away; he didn't return to Hogsmeade until after the second task.

    Constant Vigilance Except When It Matters 
  • After V ressurects he explains to his cronies, that they couldn't just abduct Harry during the year, because he was under constant watchful eye of DD. Of course, what he meant was "constant watchful eye, except for when he's in a dangerous labyrinth filled with monsters, which is a part of a Tournament where his participation was orchestrated by an unkown mastermind, most likely an enemy agent, and this task is their last chance to achieve their goal, whatever it might be". Just what in the world possessed V to think Harry wouldn't be watched there?!
  • Following on the above why the hell WASN'T Harry being watched there?! Ok, I can understand DD, since note he was in on the whole plan and went along with itnote , but what about all the others? This is the grand finale of the Tournament, the event that the whole year had been building up to, and nobody is watching it? Why?
    • Well, they also weren't watching them in the second task, given that Dumbledore had to ask what happened from the Chief Mermaid. But that can easily explained by the fact that it's hard to do surveillance on an entire lake, especially when it requires the champions to head to the bottom. For the third task, it's presumably because the maze is so large; it fills the entire Quidditch field. Ornote  they DID know Harry and Cedric had been portkeyed away, they just didn't know where and couldn't follow them because the Triwizard Cup had gone with them.
      • Who said about watching the whole lake/labyrinth? The spectators would only be interested in watching the contestors. Don't tell me they couldn't arrange some kind of survelliance over them.
    • They specify before anyone enters the maze that staff will be flying the perimete watching for the red sparks that signify a contestant quitting the maze. What isn't explained is how none of those observers saw Cedric and Harry Portkey out of the maze without appearing at the entrance as planned.

     Talking The Monster To Death 
  • Would it be possible to use parseltongue to get pass the dragon to either bargain with it and/or control it? Since Parseltongue works on the basilisk (which is a mythological monster that's part snake part rooster) it stands to reason it would work on serpentine dragons as well like the Chinese fireball.
    • Just because something looks like a snake doesn't mean it IS a snake. A glass lizard has no legs and yet it's not a snake. A fire-breathing winged beast many times larger than any snake would be even farther removed from them. In addition, parseltongue can only go so far. Word of God for why Harry didn't try reasoning with the basilisk in the Chamber is because it was too intent on eating him and likely wouldn't have taken an opposite order. Same thing with mother dragons, they don't give up their eggs easily.
      • *Sigh* You cannot justify dismissing a viable solution to a desparate situation on the sole basis that it might not work, especially when it would cost so little. You'd think the "Word" would've known that. Answering the original question, probably, if the contestant was willing to use an ability strongly associated with dark magiс and V in particular, in front of the whole school and the media. Obviously, Harry wouldn't be willing to do that.
      • It's not a viable solution, though. Parseltongue is the ability to speak with snakes....that's it. Not the ability to speak with things that are snake-like, not the ability to speak with things that are reptilian, not the ability to speak with things that may perhaps be cold blooded, but the ability to speak with, and only with, snakes. It allows the user to speak with the basilisk because in the Harry Potter universe, the basilisk is a kind of giant, magical snake.
      • And Harry would know this in such specific and restricting details... where from, exactly?
    • Parseltongue isn't just the ability to speak to snakes, it's also the ability to understand them. Given that Harry never understands any of the dragons he encounters throughout the books, I think it's safe to assume that dragons don't speak it.
      • The viable solution is not something that is guaranteed to work, but something that might work. Harry didn't get the manual for Parseltongue, meaning he couldn't have known for sure what it can and cannot do, and neither can you, by the way. As usual, it's not about whether or not it would've worked - it's about Harry being an unimaginative moron and not even considering it.
      • But he does know for sure what Parseltongue can and cannot do: Parseltongue is the ability to speak to snakes....THAT'S IT. Calling Harry an unimaginative moron for not trying to use his power to speak to snakes to try and speak to something that is objectively not a snake would be like calling someone with the power to speak only to dogs a moron because he doesn't try to use that power to speak to whales.
      • Again, did that power come with a manual? Or did the spirit of Slytherin manifest itself to give him a brief tutorial? Or did he, god forbid, do some research into it or seek an advice from some experts or test it on actual dragons? Nope. Your "that's it" is ungrounded - he knows that it can be used on snakes and that's it. He doesn't know that it cannot be used on dragons. Answering to the above, the amount of dragons he encounters throughout the books by that point is one, and it was a baby, so not decisive at all. And your analogy is flawed - a fox would be a more fitting example, that is not the same thing as those he'd already used it on, but something similair enough to at least try it.
      • Dumbledore himself told Harry that Parseltongue is the ability to speak with snakes. Now tell me something, if someone told you "You have the power to talk to snakes," would you automatically assume you can also speak to any other animal simply because they didn't specify that you couldn't? Furthermore, you think that a dragon is as similar to a snake as a fox is to a dog? Really? That's asinine. The only similarities between a snakes and dragons are that snakes are reptiles and dragons are reptilian. That's about the same level of similarity between dogs and whales (they're both mammals.)
      • No, I wouldn't automatically assume that, but if I really needed to talk to another animal, I would try anyway with the hope that I can, and that the person who told me about snakes simply didn't bother to mention the rest or was wrong. Also you argue so hard that it shouldn't work, that one might get an impression we're talking about some lengthly, costly, intricate project, whereas we're in fact talking about uttering several words. Even if it doesn't work, what does he lose by trying? Nothing. So who cares what DD said, or if a dragon is close enough to a snake or not? When you're desperate, you're grasping for straws. Hell, what was using his broomstick if not that, since there was no reason to expect the dragoness to leave the eggs and chace him? It was a gamble. So would've using Parseltongue been, except much safer. It wouldn't even bother me, since that small stupidity is overshadowed by the huge stupidity of participating in the Tournament at all, but this kind of flawed logic is used all the time. People argue hard that such and such solution is unlikely to work, when it costs so little that all their arguments (even if otherwise valid) are negated by the simple fact that any normal person would aknowledge them and then try it anyway on the off-chance that it might still work.
      • WHY would it work? DRAGONS ARE NOT SNAKES. Parseltongue is the ability to speak to snakes. Period. Not "things that kind of look like snakes," not "things that have scales," not "cold blooded animals," snakes. That's it. You don't need a manual to work that out. And as for what he could lose by trying it...precious time. This is assuming he would even thing it was worth doing, which he wouldn't because it is blatantly obvious that trying to communicate in snake language with something that is not a snake is a stupid idea. Just because something could theoretically be true by a giant stretch of the imagination doesn't make it viable. Wild Mass Guessing is not the same as a plot hole.
      • So-o, rather than waste time (all the whooping five seconds of it) on a solution that he had no idea if it would work, but that at least could, in theory work, because, again, you've pulled that "period" out of thin aether and there's no explicit indication that Parseltongue only works on snakes, he instead wasted it on a solution that he had no idea if it would work AND had no justification why it was supposed to work, since there was absolutely no guarantee that the dragoness would abandon her eggs and chase him rather than just spit fire at him or simply ignore him.
    • Mythologically speaking, the basilisk is known as "The king of snakes." Dragons may be serpentine, but basilisks are explicitly snake-kin.

     So if Fleur was a male... 
  • Would he still have the ability to entrance people using Veela love magic? Although it is not stated (as least as far as I can remember) I'm guessing the Veela are a One-Gender Race but that doesn't necessarily mean that any child from a Human Veela union would automatically be female. And yes I also see no reason why the power would shift from entrancing men to entrancing women although there is no reason why it wouldn't either.
    • It is confirmed that Fleur has a son, among two daughters, with Bill Weasley, but he's not seen and therefore his possible Veela charm can't be judged. Veela charm also seems to diminish by generation, since Fleur, a quarter-Veela, was able to turn heads but not cause near-suicide like Harry almost did for the Veela at the World Cup. Thus, as a one-eighth-Veela, Louis might have at best enough charm to draw attention but not hypnotically entrance.

     Blood, Apparations, and Sirius Black all make for a better plan 
  • Why couldn't Crouch/Moody have just gotten the blood from Harry, and then sent the blood to Voldemort? You might say it had to be fresh, but remember if Crouch/Moody could have just apparated to the graveyard, it could have taken all of ten seconds. So Crouch/Moody could have surely just taken Harry aside at Hogsmede, stunned him, taken his blood forecefully, and then apparated to the graveyard where they could complete the ceremony. Crouch/Moody could have immediately gone back to Hogsmede, secured Harry's body, and then Voldemort could arrive later to finish off Harry himself. Or if it's possible within the Harry Potter universe to apparate someone's uncouncious body with you, then Crouch/Moody could have just brought the body along with him. Sure it might have seemed really suspicious that Harry was killed, after all, it's not like there is a notorious mass murder trying to kill Harry... Oh wait.
    • Hell, you don't even need that. Crouch/Moody tracks down Harry at Hogwarts, sounding panicked, saying that there's a plot to kidnap him. He escorts Harry to the nearest secret passage (Wormtail knows them all from the map, assuming Crouch doesn't know them from his magic eye), which they climb in...and Crouch stuns Harry, Wormtail appears out of a hole in the wall and turns human and lugs Harry off, and Crouch goes back to Hogwarts, no one the wiser. Or, for added confusion, he Polyjuices into Harry for a bit to make sure Wormtail gets away. (And if Wormtail is busy taking care of Voldebaby, there's no reason for Crouch to just not do it all himself, as the entire point of Crouch's disguise appears to be to kidnap Harry. It's okay if he blows his cover doing that.) Do this during a Tri-Wizard event (And don't enter Harry in the first place) to make sure everyone's distracted.

     The strange first evening at Hogwarts in the film. 
The students from the other two schools arrive for the first day feast and sorting - Dumbledore even says they've just been sorted. However... the Hogwarts students watch and point as the two schools arrive in broad daylight - but Hogwarts students usually step off of the Hogwarts Express after sundown and go straight to the feast.
  • The important thing to remember when it comes to these sorts of mistakes in the movies is that nine times out of ten, the people behind the movies just didn't care.
     What would have happened if someone had swatted Rita Skeeter in insect form? 
Would she have reverted to her human form, squashed flat? And would that have been considered a crime under Wizarding law? My gut feeling is no; since she was an unregistered Animagus, nobody would have any way of knowing she wasn't a real bug.
  • She would be dead make no mistake about that. Even if the transformation cancels itself upon death; she would still have suffered an impact by something hundreds of times larger and stronger than herself and there is simply no evidence whatsoever that any injuries are healed upon returning to human form. At bare minimum she would have severe internal haemorrhaging. As for any illegalities involved it would probably rely entirely on whether you knew she was actually a human or not when you swatted her transformed state. I doubt the fact she was an unregistered Animagus would save you from the murder charge if you were fully aware of her identity and attacked anyway.

     Bellatrix and Snape 
  • According to Sirius, Snape was part of a gang of Slytherins that included Rosier, Wilkes, Avery, and the Lestranges, a married couple. Since Rabastan Lestrange was never shown to have a wife I'm fairly certain that said Lestranges are meant to be Rodolphus and Bellatrix Lestrange. The only problem with this is the timeline. Snape is said to have attended Hogwarts from 1971-1978. Bellatrix however, according to the Black Family Tapestry was born in 1951, meaning that she would've attended Hogwarts from 1962-1960 or 1963-1970 depending on what month she was born in. How could they have attended school together if she was old enough to have graduated before he even set foot in Hogwarts?
    • Rowling sucks at math.

     Confunded Foe-Glass 
  • When Fake Moody has Potter in his office and we learn he's not who he seems, Harry notices the Foe-Glass with shadows in it. Shouldn't Harry have seen his own face looking out of it?!?!?

     Crouch Sr. Releasing Winky 
  • Why would Crouch Sr. risk releasing Winky, when she has enough incriminating information to put Crouch in Azkaban for life (at the very least; his crimes seem bad enough for the Dementor's Kiss).
    • Remember, that she stole a wand. It's clearly a very serious crime, so even if Crouch didn't want to do it, he might've had no choice, because what would people say, if Barty Crouch, By-the-Book Cop through and through, who didn't even spare his own son in the service of Justice, suddenly let such a transgression from a house-elf pass? Hell, they might correctly deduce that very thing you wrote, that she has dirt on him, and force her to talk. This way noone was going to pay attention to the incident, and apparently elves keep their masters' secrets even after they are released (later Winky complained that someone (must be DD) was pecking his nose into her master's affairs).

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanHeadscratchers/Harry PotterHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanHeadscratchers/LiteratureHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

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