Chapter Seven: Bagman and Crouch
At the site of the Quidditch World Cup, Harry, Hermione, and the Weasleys are directed to their campgrounds, where Mr. Weasley struggles to pay Muggle currency to the site manager, old Muggle named Mr. Roberts. The task of creating a place where a hundred thousand wizards can congregate undiscovered is no easy feat, as the frantic Ministry wizards remind Mr. Weasley many times throughout this chapter. In fact, they are constantly having to erase Mr. Roberts memory, so that he will not recall all of the strangeness he is observing. All of the wizards have pitched tents in attempts to act like Muggles. Many of the tents have chimneys, or purple fires out front.
After setting up two surprisingly spacious tents, Ron, Harry, and Hermione stroll across the campgrounds to collect a bucket of water from the tap. On their way, they pass several wizard children on tiny broomsticks, a Salem Witches Institute banner, and a village of tents covered in shamrocks—the supporters of the Irish national team. They pass then through the Bulgaria tents, which are covered in posters of Viktor Krum, the teams young, magnificent, scowling Seeker. Harry realizes during this time how expansive the wizard world really is.
Upon returning to the tent, they find Mr. Weasley delightedly trying to start a fire with matches. Soon Percy, Bill, and Charlie Apparate in. The group is visited by Ludo Bagman, the Head of Magical Games and Sports, and a retired Quidditch Beater. Ludo is rosy with enthusiasm for the coming game, and he wagers with Fred and George on the outcome. The twins bet all their money that Ireland will win, but that Krum will catch the Snitch. Just as Ludo is complaining about the non-English speaking Bulgarian Minister of Magic, Barty Crouch, Percys stiff and humorless boss, who is a master of over two hundred languages, Apparates. Percy bows low and offers him tea, and the startled Crouch accepts the tea, but Percy for Weatherby, much to the twins delight. They allude to a mysterious upcoming event at Hogwarts, and then they leave. Harry buys himself, Ron, and Hermione each a pair of expensive omnioculars from a wizard vender, and they troop to the field to watch the match.
Chapter Eight: The Quidditch World Cup
The Weasleys go to their seats in the top box. As they sit down, Harry notices a small bat-eared creature sitting alone. Harry recognizes her instantly as a house-elf, and he finds out that her name is Winky. She is saving a seat for her master, and that she knows Dobby, whom Harry set free two years before. Winky explains that house-elves are supposed to do as they are told without payment, and that Dobby has been requesting payment. Soon Cornelius Fudge, the Minister of Magic, joins them in the top box, as do the Malfoys, the wealthy, arrogant family of Harrys nemesis at Hogwarts.
Ludo Bagman is commentating on the game, and as he begins to speak, the teams send out their mascots. First, Bulgarian Veela, beautiful platinum-haired dancing Sirens enchant the audience males. Then, Irish Leprechauns form shapes in the sky and drop gold pieces onto the bleachers, which Ron collects and uses to repay Harry for the omnioculars. The players enter the field and the game begins. Harry has never seen such a fast game of Quidditch. The players dash madly through the sky, and Ireland is quickly in the lead. Harry uses a pair of Omnioculars that he just bought to watch the moves in slow motion, and to note the names of the various plays etched across the screen. The mascots are growing more involved, to the point that the Veela, angry at the Bulgarians lagging behind, burst out of their beautiful skins and reveal their true, demonic bird- heads. Krum wows the audience by performing a “Wronksi Feint,” a spectacular dive for the Snitch that fools the other teams Seeker into following him and crashing into the ground. Once his team is one hundred and sixty points behind Ireland, he catches the Snitch, ending the game, but in Irelands favor. The crowds go wild, and Fred and George go to collect their winnings from Ludo Bagman.
These chapters set the stage for the broadening international awareness in this book. In the past three books, we have seen wizards living in the United Kingdom, specifically connected with Hogwarts. Here, as we are made aware of many other countries that are full of magical people, the horizon expands, paving way for the Triwizard Tournament, and ultimately for the obligation of wizards worldwide to bind together against the newly risen Voldemort This scene includes American witches from Salem. The wizard world is not only a community based on shared magical abilities, but also on great enthusiasm for their favorite sport, as seen by the congregation at the World Cup.
The appearances of Mr. Crouch and Ludo Bagman contrast approaches to dealing with chaos and challenges. Ludo is the friendlier person; he is addressed by his first name, and wears the robes of his glory days in honor of the event. He is an unreliable figure with mostly innocent intentions. Mr. Crouch addresses people and expects to be addressed politely, and is unwilling to disclose information that Ludo seems ready to discuss. Crouch frets and organizes, while Ludo celebrates. Mr. Crouch is practiced with keeping secrets. Bagman is unsubtle, and his trysts, though often illegal and annoying, are easy to spot. He appears to be everyones friend but is loyal to no one. Mr. Crouch acts coldly toward everybody and his lack of connection is a great seed of trouble. Neither is a model citizen, and together they represent the spectrum of wizarding power.
Chapter Seven: Bagman and Crouch