"Met a few people."
-- Ron Weasley
They arrive at the campsite, erect their tents, tour the camp, meet Ludo Bagman (with whom Fred and George Weasley bet on the upcoming 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 1994 Quidditch World Cup. From Ron's earlier letter to Harry (GF3), 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 OP7, this chapter was one of the main sources of information about the Ministry of Magic, thanks to Arthur Weasley's running commentary on wizards passing through the Quidditch 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. We know from J K Rowling's 2014 essay The History of the Quidditch World Cup (QWC) that this 1994 match took place on Dartmoor in Devon (which would only have been around 40 miles from the Burrow).
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.
Not a Scots accent, but likely one of the broad British accents that are often found in the West Country - as we now know this is taking place in Devon, rather than Yorkshire or Scotland.
"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 of Magic 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 may be therefore that this tent belongs 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 (OP7). Perkins, like Arthur, works in the Misuse of Muggle Artefacts 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 an old letter from Lily Potter to Sirius Black (DH10) that Harry also had one when he was very small.
"Mr Crouch!" said Percy breathlessly, sunk into a kind of half bow which made him look like a hunchback. "Would you like a cup of tea?"
"Oh," said Mr Crouch, looking over at Percy in mild surprise. "Yes – thank you, Weatherby."
Oh dear, Percy's boss doesn't know his real name, in spite of Percy constantly trying to leave an impression by his diligence at work.
Salesmen were Apparating every few feet, carrying trays and pushing carts full of extraordinary merchandise. There were luminous rosettes – green for Ireland, red for Bulgaria – which were squealing the names of the players, pointed green hats bedecked with dancing shamrocks, Bulgarian scarves adorned with lions that really roared, flags from both countries which played their national anthems as they were waved; there were tiny models of Firebolts, which really flew, and collectible figures of famous players, which strolled across the palm of your hand, preening themselves.
Quidditch merchandise sales opportunity! This mirrors the actual experience of attending a football (soccer) game in the UK - hawkers everywhere peddling souvenirs.
Though Ron purchased himself a dancing-shamrock hat and a large green rosette, he also bought a small figure of Viktor Krum, the Bulgarian Seeker. The miniature Krum walked backwards and forwards over Ron’s hand, scowling up at the green rosette above him.
However, Ron becomes disenchanted with his Viktor Krum miniature figure later on (GF24).
Exceptional character moments
Arthur Weasley, who is tickled pink at being able to play at camping out Muggle-style.
The Bulgarians, who seem happy to have their tents decorated with life-like images of a "grumpy" Viktor Krum.
Harry's surprise at not realising before this that there would be other wizarding schools around the world.
Percy Weasley trying to make himself helpful to Mr Crouch, his boss - and his brothers Fred and George looking pleased at the opportunity to tease Percy about being called the wrong name.
"Always the same," said Mr Weasley, smiling, "we can’t resist showing off when we get together."
"I bought this in a Muggle shop," said the old wizard stubbornly. "Muggles wear them."
"Muggle women wear them, Archie, not the men, they wear these," said the Ministry wizard, and he brandished the pinstriped trousers.
"I'm not putting them on," said old Archie in indignation. "I like a healthy breeze round my privates, thanks."
"Bill had a pen-friend at a school in Brazil … this was years and years ago … and he wanted to go on an exchange trip but Mum and Dad couldn't afford it. His pen-friend got all offended when he said he wasn’t going and sent him a cursed hat. It made his ears shrivel up."
"Ali thinks there's a niche in the market for a family vehicle," said Mr Crouch. "I remember my grandfather had an Axminster that could seat twelve – but that was before carpets were banned, of course."
Words and phrases
- Ali Bashir
- Broderick Bode
- Professor Saul Croaker
- Mrs. Finnigan
- Kevin’s parents
- Cuthbert Mockridge
- Mr. Payne
- Arnie Peasegood
- Roddy Pontner
- Mr. Roberts
- Mr. and Mrs. Thomas
- Agatha Timms
- Gilbert Wimple
- Oliver Wood’s parents
- Bill’s penfriend from Brazil
- group of witches from the Salem Witches’ Institute
- head of the Bulgarian Department of Magical Games and Sports
- Ministry wizard dealing with Archie
- Ministry wizard dealing with toy broomstick incident
- Ministry wizard in plus-fours
- Ministry wizard in tweed suit and galoshes with large gold watch
- parents of the two young witches on toy broomsticks
- three African wizards
- two young witches on toy broomsticks
- wizarding souvenir sellers
From the Web
Writing by J K Rowling on Imgur (Daily Prophet coverage of the 2014 Quidditch World Cup, originally from Pottermore):
MuggleNet: The Best Moments of the Quidditch World Cup
Harry Potter Wiki: 1994 Quidditch World Cup
Tags: betting camping excitement families friends international pride security showy