Chapter 26 - "The Second Task" - In which HRH discuss the situation in Charms class, HRH search for spells to help with the second task, and Hagrid returns to Care of Magical Creatures. Harry continues his studying all through the night before the second task, to be awakened by Dobby (who gives him gillyweed for breathing underwater). Harry performs the second task: to recover from the merpeople what was taken from each Champion. Harry rescues Ron and Fleur's sister, tying with Cedric on points.
[Harry] spends [Charms] class telling [Ron] and [Hermione] about his seeing [Barty Crouch] sneaking around [Snape's office] on the [Marauder's Map], and they wonder why [Moody] seems so worried about [Snape] despite [Dumbledore]'s trusting him.
Preparing for the Second Task
As time to the [second task] drifts away, [Harry], [Ron], and [Hermione] spend their time in the [library] desperately trying to find a way for him to breath underwater for an hour.
At breakfast, [Harry] writes to [Sirius] letting him know the date of the next [Hogsmeade] weekend, and, still worried about the [second task], he, [Ron], and [Hermione] depart for class.
In [Care of Magical Creatures], [Hagrid]'s lessons pick up where [Grubbly-Plank] left off with a lesson on [unicorn] foals. During class, he pulls [Harry] aside to ask him about his preparedness for the upcoming [second task], and Harry tells him he's ready for it, unable to tell the truth.
The night before the [second task], [Harry] desperately tries to find a way to survive underwater, but with no luck. When [Fred and George] arrive and tell [Ron] and [Hermione] that [McGonagall] is looking for them, Harry is left by himself, and finally falls asleep at a table in the [library].
[Harry] is awakened in the [library] by [Dobby], who tells him the [second task] is minutes away from starting. Panicked, Harry also realizes that Dobby has brought him a way to complete it - a fistful of [gillyweed]. As Dobby runs back off to the [kitchen], Harry races for the [lake] as fast as he can go.
[Harry] arrives minutes before the [second task] is set to begin, amidst a panicked crowd of supporters. [Bagman] manages to offer Harry help once more, but before he knows it the whistle blows and the task begins.
Competing in the Second Task
As the [second task] begins [Harry] pops in his [gillyweed], starts swimming, and goes searching for the [merpeople]. Despite some scary run-ins with [grindylows], he is pointed in the right direction by [Moaning Myrtle] and finds the four captives. When [Cedric] and [Krum] arrive, [Harry] grabs [Ron] and [Fleur]'s little sister and only just makes it to the bank, finishing the task.
Back at the surface, [Fleur] thanks [Harry] for bringing [Gabrielle] back with him, and despite being late he is awarded high marks by the judges for "moral fiber," tying him for first place with [Cedric]. Finally, he heads back toward the castle, grateful that the [second task] is finished, and incredibly grateful for his friendship with [Dobby].