Extract from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K. Rowling

When they entered the candlelit Great Hall it was almost full. The Goblet of Fire had been moved; it was now standing in front of Dumbledore’s empty chair at the teachers’ table. Fred and George, clean shaven again, seemed to have taken their disappointment fairly well.

'Hope it’s Angelina,’ said Fred, as Harry, Ron and Hermione sat down.

'So do I!’ said Hermione breathlessly. ‘Well, we’ll soon know!’

The Hallowe’en feast seemed to take much longer than usual. Perhaps because it was their second feast in two days, Harry didn’t seem to fancy the extravagantly prepared food as much as he would normally have done. Like everyone else in the Hall, judging by the constantly craning necks, the impatient expressions on every face, the fidgeting and the standing up to see whether Dumbledore had finished eating yet, Harry simply wanted the plates to clear, and to hear who had been selected as champions.

At long last, the golden plates returned to their original spotless state; there was a sharp upswing in the level of noise within the Hall, which died away almost instantly as Dumbledore got to his feet. On either side of him, Professor Karkaroff and Madame Maxime looked as tense and expectant as anyone. Ludo Bagman was beaming and winking at various students. Mr Crouch, however, looked quite uninterested, almost bored.

'Well, the Goblet is almost ready to make its decision,’ said Dumbledore. ‘I estimate that it requires one more minute. Now, when the champions’ names are called, I would ask them please to come up to the top of the Hall, walk along the staff table, and go through into the next chamber’ – he indicated the door behind the staff table – ‘where they will be receiving their first instructions.’

He took out his wand and gave a great sweeping wave with it; at once, all the candles except those inside the carved pumpkins were extinguished, plunging them all into a state of semi-darkness. The Goblet of Fire now shone more brightly than anything in the whole Hall, the sparkling bright, bluey-whiteness of the flames almost painful on the eyes. Everyone watched, waiting … a few people kept checking their watches ...

'Any second,’ Lee Jordan whispered, two seats away from Harry.

The flames inside the Goblet turned suddenly red again. Sparks began to fly from it. Next moment, a tongue of flame shot into the air, a charred piece of parchment fluttered out of it the whole room gasped.

Dumbledore caught the piece of parchment and held it at arm’s length, so that he could read it by the light of the flames, which had turned back to blue white.

'The champion for Durmstrang,’ he read, in a strong, clear voice, ‘will be Viktor Krum.’

'No surprises there!’ yelled Ron, as a storm of applause and cheering swept the Hall. Harry saw Viktor Krum rise from the Slytherin table, and slouch up towards Dumbledore; he turned right, walked along the staff table, and disappeared through the door into the next chamber.

'Bravo, Viktor!’ boomed Karkaroff, so loudly that everyone could hear him, even over all the applause. ‘Knew you had it in you!’

The clapping and chatting died down. Now everyone’s attention was focused again on the Goblet, which, seconds later, turned red once more. A second piece of parchment shot out of it, propelled by the flames.

'The champion for Beauxbatons,’ said Dumbledore, ‘is Fleur Delacour!’

‘It’s her, Ron!’ Harry shouted, as the girl who so resembled a Veela got gracefully to her feet, shook back her sheet of silvery blonde hair and swept up between the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff tables.

'Oh, look, they’re all disappointed,’ Hermione said over the noise, nodding towards the remainder of the Beauxbatons party. ‘Disappointed’ was a bit of an understatement, Harry thought. Two of the girls who had not been selected had dissolved into tears, and were sobbing with their heads on their arms.

When Fleur Delacour, too, had vanished into the side chamber, silence fell again, but this time it was a silence so stiff with excitement you could almost taste it. The Hogwarts champion next...

And the Goblet of Fire turned red once more; sparks showered out of it; the tongue of flame shot high into the air, and from its tip Dumbledore pulled the third piece of parchment.

‘The Hogwarts champion,’ he called, ‘is Cedric Diggory!’

'No!’ said Ron loudly, but nobody heard him except Harry; the uproar from the next table was too great. Every single Hufflepuff had jumped to his or her feet, screaming and stamping, as Cedric made his way past them, grinning broadly, and headed off towards the chamber behind the teachers’ table. Indeed, the applause for Cedric went on so long that it was some time before Dumbledore could make himself heard again.

'Excellent!’ Dumbledore called happily, as at last the tumult died down. ‘Well, we now have our three champions. I am sure I can count upon all of you, including the remaining students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, to give your champions every ounce of support you can muster. By cheering your champion on, you will contribute in a very real’

But Dumbledore suddenly stopped speaking, and it was apparent to everybody what had distracted him.

The fire in the Goblet had just turned red again. Sparks were flying out of it. A long flame shot suddenly into the air, and borne upon it was another piece of parchment.

Automatically, it seemed, Dumbledore reached out a long hand and seized the parchment. He held it out and stared at the name written upon it. There was a long pause, during which Dumbledore stared at the slip in his hands, and everyone in the room stared at Dumbledore. And then Dumbledore cleared his throat, and read out.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

by J.K. Rowling