Recap / Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire C 1 The Riddle House

And now for Something Completely Different. Instead of opening with the Dursleys, the scene is set on the presumably Oop North village of Little Hangleton. This place is home to a spooky old mansion called the Riddle House. That surname sound familiar?

We're filled in on a famous local story. You see, the Riddle House was once inhabited by the snobby Riddle family, which consisted of the elderly Mr. and Mrs. Riddle as well as their grown son Tom. One morning fifty years ago, all three Riddles were found dead. While the villagers regarded the Riddles as Asshole Victims, they were nevertheless concerned about there being a murderer on the loose. Pretty soon, the Riddles' young gardener, World War II veteran Frank Bryce, was Convicted by Public Opinion and his story about seeing a mysterious dark-haired teenage boy near the Riddle House on the night in question was soundly disbelieved. However, the autopsy failed to discern any way in which the Riddles could have been murdered, so the police were forced to let Frank go due to lack of evidence that the Riddles had, in fact, been murdered.

In The Present Day, Frank is an old man and the Riddle House is no longer inhabited, though the current owner still pays Frank to do the gardening. Frank is frequently tormented by the local kids as it is apparently still thought in the village that he is a murderer. The narrative switches to Frank's POV as he wakes up one night and, seeing a light in the Riddle House, assumes some kids have broken in and started a fire. Distrusting the police after what happened to him fifty years ago, Frank goes to investigate, entering the now decaying house for the first time in years.

Frank reaches the source of the light and is surprised to discover that it's coming from a lit fireplace. Lurking outside the room, Frank hears two men speaking to each other. They are Lord Voldemort and Peter Pettigrew, the latter of whom will for some reason be referred to almost exclusively as "Wormtail" for the rest of the series. We're introduced to Voldemort's snake Nagini as Voldie and Wormie discuss their plans. Not understanding their wizarding jargon, Frank concludes that they are talking in Spy Speak. Wormtail suggests their evil plan could be done without Harry Potter, but Voldie wants Harry Potter and he's going to get Harry Potter. It's mentioned that Voldemort has gotten valuable information from someone named Bertha Jorkins and subsequently killed her as she had Outlived Her Usefulness. Voldemort also mentions that a faithful servant will be joining them, but says that Wormtail won't be left out. In fact, he'll be given "an essential task for me, one that many of my followers would give their right hands to perform."

Frank is sufficiently creeped out by Voldemort's callousness and accurately concludes that he's a madman and that Harry Potter is in grave danger. Frank decides he will just have to confront his fear of the police and go to the telephone box in the village, but he remains frozen to the spot. It's at this point that Nagini slithers up to Frank and then past him into the room. Voldemort learns of Frank's presence after speaking to Nagini in Parseltongue and Wormtail brings Frank into the room. Frank sees Wormtail and Nagini, but Voldemort is in an armchair facing away from him. Frank asks that Voldemort face him "like a man" and Voldemort, though boasting that he is "much more than a man", agrees. Wormtail turns the chair around and Frank is horrified by whatever he sees. Frank is then killed by a flash of green light from Voldemort's wand.

The chapter ends with the line: "Two hundred miles away, the boy called Harry Potter woke with a start."