"Met a few people."
- Ron Weasley
They arrive at the campsite, erect their tent, tour the camp, meet Ludo Bagman (with whom Fred and George bet on the match), and excitement rises as game time draws near.
Calendar and Dates
This chapter is set on the same day as the preceding and following chapters, the day of the Quidditch World Cup. From Ron's earlier letter to Harry, we know that this is a Monday.
Interesting facts and notes
The chapter title refers to Ludo Bagman and Barty Crouch senior, both of whom Harry meets for the first time in this chapter.
Until Harry's disciplinary hearing in OP, this chapter was one of the main sources of information about the Ministry of Magic, thanks to Arthur's running commentary on wizards passing through the World Cup campgrounds and his conversations with colleagues.
They had arrived on what appeared to be a deserted stretch of misty moor.
Several regions of the United Kingdom feature moorland; Yorkshire and Scotland, to name two.
In front of them was a pair of tired and grumpy-looking wizards, one of whom was holding a large gold watch...
This would be a pocket watch, not a wristwatch.
...the other a thick roll of parchment and a quill. Both were dressed as Muggles, though very inexpertly. The man with the watch wore a tweed suit with thigh-length galoshes; his colleague, a kilt and a poncho.
A tweed suit with thigh-length rainboots on one wizard and a mixture of incompatible, distinctive regional clothing on the other.
"Morning, Basil," said Mr. Weasley, picking up the boot and handing it to the kilted wizard.
The kilted wizard is Basil, since he is the wizard who consults the parchment list.
"Would you be Mr. Roberts?"
"Aye, I would," said Mr. Roberts.
Possibly a Scots accent.
"I had two try and pay me with great gold coins the size of hubcaps ten minutes ago."
If Mr. Roberts is exaggerating somewhat about the size of the coins, these may have been ordinary Galleons.
At that moment, a wizard in plus-fours appeared out of thin air next to Mr. Roberts' front door.
How did this wizard know to Apparate in at that moment? (Since no invisibility cloak is mentioned, and since he definitely Disapparated to leave, this seems like an instance of Apparition.)
Actually, since he seems to be working a lot with Mr. Roberts, stationing him right here under an invisibility cloak might have made more sense, but it seems unlikely that the Ministry would tie up one person to look exclusively after one Muggle when everyone else is so busy.
"Obliviate!" he said sharply, pointing his wand at Mr. Roberts.
The wizard in plus-fours, from his remarks to Arthur Weasley, is a Ministry employee; since he seems to be tasked with modifying the memories of the few Muggles in the vicinity, it seems likely that he is an Obliviator and not just a wizard from some other section of the Ministry who knows the spell.
Instantly, Mr. Robert's eyes slid out of focus, his brows unknitted and a look of dreamy unconcern fell over his face. Harry recognized the symptoms of one who has just had his memory modified.
We have never seen Harry experience a Memory Charm as the target, but he has witnessed it being cast. Conversely, Harry will later experience the Imperius Curse, so we will learn about the mental effects on the victim in detail (GF15), but we have never seen a description of the facial expression of the victim just after the spell is cast. Judging from Mr. Roberts' reaction to the spell, the mental state resulting from a Memory Charm seems somewhat similar to that induced by the Imperius Curse.
Halfway up the field stood an extravagant confection of striped silk like a miniature palace, with several live peacocks tethered at the entrance.
We learn in DH1 that peacocks roam the grounds of Malfoy Manor. It seems likely therefore that this tent may belong to the Malfoys.
"I borrowed this from Perkins at the office. Doesn't camp much anymore, poor fellow, he's got lumbago."
We last heard of Perkins on the first day of Harry's first visit to the Burrow (CS3), and will meet Perkins briefly about a year from now on the morning of Harry's disciplinary hearing. Perkins, like Arthur, works in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office.
...they saw two little witches, barely older than Kevin, who were riding toy broomsticks which rose only high enough for the girls' toes to skim the dewy grass.
The Weasleys also had toy broomsticks when they were little. Fred once transfigured Ron's teddy bear into a spider because Ron had broken Fred's toy broomstick (CS9). We learn from Lily's letter to Sirius in DH that Harry also had one when he was very small.
Exceptional character moments
Arthur Weasley, who is tickled pink at being able to play at camping out Muggle-style.
Words and phrases
- Ali Bashir
- Broderick Bode
- Ludo Bagman
- Mrs. Finnigan
- Cuthbert Mockridge
- Mr. Roberts
- Gilbert Wimple
- Wood family
- Ministry wizard in tweed suit and galoshes with large gold watch
- Ministry wizard dealing with Archie
- two young witches on toy broomsticks
- three African wizards
- Ministry wizard dealing with toy broomstick incident
- wizarding souvenir sellers
- Bill’s penfriend from Brazil
- Ministry Wizard in plus-fours
- Kevin’s parents
- group of witches from the Salem Witches’ Institute
- Agatha Timms
- Professor Saul Croaker
- Oliver Wood’s parents