"Isn' it beautiful?"
- Rubeus Hagrid
An article by Rita Skeeter fuels the taunts of the students against Harry and Hermione. Hermione tries and fails to reunite Harry and Ron. Harry hides under his Invisibility Cloak to accompany Hermione to Hogsmeade, but Moody sees him anyway. Hagrid asks to meet Harry at midnight, when he reveals the dragons of the First Task. Back in the common room, Sirius issues some warnings through the fire.
Calendar and Dates
Since the chapter begins after the preceding chapter, which ended on the night of Friday the thirteenth, it begins on Saturday, 14 November 1994 [Y14]. Sirius' note places the end of the chapter sometime after one o'clock in the morning on Sunday, 22 November.
Interesting facts and notes
The chapter title is a little "previous", since it calls our attention particularly to the Horntail among the dragons of the first task before Harry draws the Horntail by lot.
The prospect of talking face to face with Sirius was all that sustained Harry over the next fortnight
This is not consistent with the Weighing of the Wands having taken place on the second Friday since Harry's selection as champion. The passage of a fortnight (14 days) would place Sirius' conversation with Harry after rather than on 22 November.
The article had appeared ten days ago
This is not consistent with the Weighing of the Wands having taken place on the second Friday since Harry's selection as champion. Even if the article came out the same night as Rita's interview (Friday 13 November), the passage of ten days would place Sirius' conversation with Harry after rather than on 22 November.
On the Saturday before the first task
We learn later that Sirius is to contact Harry through the fire after one o'clock in the morning, and since we already have a specific date for that conversation, that gives the day of the week of Sirius' fire-call as Sunday.
or Hagrid had managed to buy another giant three-headed dog off a stranger in a pub.
See (PS11) for details.
"Bong-sewer," said Hagrid
Hagrid is trying to say "Good evening" (Bonsoir) in French.
He was in Azkaban with me
Since Sirius was thrown into Azkaban only after the murders of the Potters, Karkaroff was in Azkaban sometime after Hallowe'en of 1981 [Y1].
Moody caught Karkaroff, put him into Azkaban in the first place.
This would be the real Moody, as we shall for ourselves see later (GF30).
You need about half-a-dozen wizards at a time to overcome a dragon -
See The Number Twelve.
Exceptional character moments
Bertha Jorkins, who according to Sirius was "very nosy, but no brains, none at all".
Molly Weasley, who according to Charlie unquestioningly accepted Rita's account of Harry's supposed fits of crying over his parents, even though she herself knows Harry far better than Rita does. We're being shown that Molly has an unfortunate tendency to trust what she reads in the paper even when she knows that the writer is untrustworthy. This will be relevant later on when Hermione is the target of one of Rita's attacks.
Harry was finding it difficult to think about the future at all, he felt as if his whole life had been leading up to, and would finish with, the first task...
Quite apart from liking to get Quidditch terms correct, it caused him another pang to imagine Ron's expression if he could have heard Hermione talking about Wonky Faints.
It is a strange thing, but when you are dreading something, and would give anything to slow down time, it has a disobliging habit of speeding up.