Chapter 27 - "Padfoot Returns" - In which Ron becomes a celebrity, Skeeter writes an article about Hermione, Snape reads it in class, Harry overhears Snape and Karkaroff, and HRH meet Sirius outside Hogsmeade, learning about Barty Crouch's son dying in Azkaban.
As time passes following the [second task], [Ron] shows his excitement around getting attention for being involved. When he begins to brag just a bit too much, though, [Hermione] quickly puts him in his place.
At breakfast [Harry] receives a letter from [Sirius], asking to meet on his next [Hogsmeade] trip.
An Embarrassing Potions Class
Outside [Potions] class, the [Slytherins] lose no time in showing [Harry], [Ron], and [Hermione] the latest [Rita Skeeter] article, though Hermione makes a point of not reacting. She does wonder, though, how Rita learned true secret details of her relationship with [Krum].
[Snape] interrupts [Hermione]'s conversation with [Harry] and [Ron] to belittle her in front of the class, reading [Rita Skeeter]'s article about her aloud dramatically. Then, as class continues, Snape comes up to Harry, accusing him of stealing supplies from his private stores and threatens him with [Veritaserum], though Harry knows he hasn't done it.
As [Potions] class winds down, [Karkaroff] comes in demanding to speak to [Snape]. [Harry] hangs back after class, overhearing Karkaroff showing Snape something that's "never been this clear," obviously angering Snape.
Snuffles in Hogsmeade
[Harry], [Ron], and [Hermione] head to [Hogsmeade], where they buy [Dobby] some socks and soon meet up with [Sirius] in his [Animagus] form, and he leads them back to a hidden cave.
Hidden safely away in a cave, [Harry], [Ron], and [Hermione] chat with [Sirius] as he eats the food they've brought. They tell him about [Barty Crouch]'s strange behavior and he describes Crouch's past as a [Death Eater]-hunter whose own son turned out to be on [Voldemort]'s side. Then then wonder together about [Snape]'s allegiances, when they realize it's time to head back to the [castle] and depart.
Chapter 28 - "The Madness of Mr. Crouch" - In which HRH visit the kitchens again, Hermione upsets Winky, and Harry sends owls with food to Sirius, Hermione gets threatening letters by owl, Hagrid has Nifflers in Care of Magical Creatures, more hate mail arrives, Harry learns that the Third Task involves a maze, Krum asks Harry about his relationship with Hermione, Crouch appears (bloody, bedraggled and incoherent), Harry goes for Dumbledore but Crouch apparently attacks Krum and runs off.
After a quick stop at the [Owlery] to ask [Percy] about [Mr. Crouch], [Harry], [Ron], and [Hermione] head back down to the [kitchen] again to present [Dobby] with new socks. They discover, though, that [Winky] seems to be slipping into perpetual drunkenness, and when Hermione tries to rally the [house-elves] around freedom, they get angry and kick her out.