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How to react when you’re not chosen as Hogwarts champion

We’re reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the Wizarding World Book Club, and this week’s theme is Jealousy – which Ron, youngest Weasley brother and friend to Harry Potter, knows a little bit about…

Dumbledore and the Goblet of Fire
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Playing in front of huge crowds for the glory of your school, being lauded for bravery and magical prowess, instant fame and exemption from exams – it doesn’t take a genius to work out why you’d want to enter the Triwizard Tournament.

With a firm age restriction in place – and a gift of long white beards to whoever ignores that little rule – Hogwarts is thrown into scandal when Harry, a fourth-year, is announced as the Triwizard’s fourth champion. While Harry remains nonplussed by these unprecedented events, Ron leaps to the conclusion that famous Harry Potter wanted a bit more attention – and gets it so, so wrong. Instead of being proud of Harry, or even asking if Harry is alright, he just falls out with him instead – at the exact point when Harry could’ve really done with his best friend. Oh, Ron.

Maybe Ron should read our handy guide on how you should actually react if you’re not chosen as Hogwarts champion:

Don’t cry…

… or shout, or scream, or generally make any kind of negative noise. Positivity is the name of the game here. Okay, the disappointment might be gut-wrenching – all those dreams of fame and glory and exam exemption turning to dust beneath your feet, dust that is no doubt about to get kicked up even more by the actual champion (especially if that champion already gets more than his or her fair share of glory) – but don’t let them see you suffer. It makes you look bitter and jealous. Which you may well be, but it’s not going to help anyone. Including you.

The Triwizard Chamber
© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Smile

You’ve seen the Oscars, right? A gracious smile is the best way to save face. And while we’re here, please note that a genuine smile is always preferable to one of those grit-your-teeth-and-wince grimaces. Practising can help – you never know when you might need to fake a breathlessly-delighted-but-totally-spontaneous smile. Use a mirror. Ask a friend. Maybe there’s a spell that can help? A potion you can carry? Just be prepared, that’s what we suggest.

Nod graciously

Nod graciously, for this is what truly gracious losers do. They move their heads up and down, slowly, while smiling (see above). It’s nodding, yes, but it’s more than that. It conveys something. It says, ‘I may not be the champion but I am still a champion, and I am so filled with grace about the whole thing that I didn’t even notice the Triwizard Tournament was on anyway.’

Congratulate the chosen champion

This is very important. (Here’s looking at you, Ron.) After the dust has settled, seek out the chosen champion, especially if the chosen champion is a friend of yours. Do not let them find you alone in your dormitory, hugging a pillow and/or staring moodily at the curtains around your bed. Instead, go to them and offer your congratulations. Shake their hand, and try not to crush their fingers. Pat them on the back, but not too firmly. Smile some more. Don’t cry.

Invite them to celebrate

If you were Hogwarts champion, you’d want to celebrate with your friends, right? So bury those feelings for a while longer and get them a Butterbeer. Get one for yourself while you’re there. And maybe some crisps and peanuts and napkins to dry your tears on. Eat the food, but save the napkins for later. Remember: no crying. At least not while anyone can see you.

© JKR/Pottermore Ltd. ™ Warner Bros.

Support them

Unfortunately you’re going to have to keep this up for a while – you know, the public smiling and the not-crying and the congratulating. You’re probably even going to have to cheer for the actual Hogwarts champion(s) at some point, maybe make a sign to wave at a Tournament event, maybe admire some magical feat or other. Don’t worry. No Triwizard Tournament lasts forever, but your support will be noted. And appreciated. And remembered. Which, all in all, is a much better look.

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