The Abraxan-drawn carriage

The Hogwarts students watch as the Beauxbatons carriage arrives, pulled by a team of Abraxans

Extract from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling

They scanned the darkening grounds excitedly, but nothing was moving; everything was still, silent and quite as usual. Harry was starting to feel cold. He wished they’d hurry up ... maybe the foreign students were preparing a dramatic entrance ... he remembered what Mr Weasley had said back on the campsite before the Quidditch World Cup – ‘Always the same, we can’t resist showing off when we get together ...’

And then Dumbledore called out from the back row, where he stood with the other teachers – ‘Aha! Unless I am very much mistaken, the delegation from Beauxbatons approaches!’

‘Where?’ said many students eagerly, all looking in different directions.

‘There!’ yelled a sixth-year, pointing over the Forest.

Something large, much larger than a broomstick – or, indeed, a hundred broomsticks – was hurtling across the deep blue sky towards the castle, growing larger all the time.

‘It’s a dragon!’ shrieked one of the first-years, losing her head completely.

‘Don’t be stupid ... it’s a flying house!’ said Dennis Creevey.

Dennis’s guess was closer ... as the gigantic black shape skimmed over the treetops of the Forbidden Forest, and the lights shining from the castle windows hit it, they saw a gigantic, powder-blue, horse-drawn carriage, the size of a large house, soaring towards them, pulled through the air by a dozen winged horses, all palominos, and each the size of an elephant.

The front three rows of students drew backwards as the carriage hurtled ever lower, coming in to land at a tremendous speed – then, with an almighty crash that made Neville jump backwards onto a Slytherin fifth-year’s foot – the horses’ hooves, larger than dinner plates, hit the ground. A second later, the carriage landed too, bouncing upon its vast wheels, while the golden horses tossed their enormous heads and rolled large, fiery red eyes.

Harry just had time to see that the door of the carriage bore a coat of arms (two crossed, golden wands, each emitting three stars) before it opened.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By J.K. Rowling