I know I called Hermione out on being not so great when it came to pets but I feel like she's really grown up in this book and showing a lot more insight when it comes to people. Like with Neville and the Moody unforgivable curses class. She noticed his unease while everyone else, understandably, was staring shocked at the display in front of them. Then she brought Harry toast so he wouldn't have to face the masses, and she believed him instantly when he told her he hadn't put his name in the goblet. Sure she doesn't have Ron's baggage to get in the way, but she was so rational and understanding and I have even more respect for her. Team Hermione for always.
First, it is really stupid to have the headmasters as judges in the competition. I mean, either you add more judges and go by the rule of taking off the highest and lowest score and averaging the rest, or you pick impartial judges who have no reason to vote someone up or down. I don't even care if that's what the tradition is, it's been 1000 years, you're allowed to change some things up.
Second, why do it by age, why not by year level? If you make it seventh years then no one gets left out just because they had the misfortune of being born at the end of the school year, especially when they clearly know the same stuff that the other people in their year know. I guess it could be a 17 = adult in the wizarding world, and therefore no parental allowance required, but considering their kids are constantly under the threat of death at Hogwarts I hardly see parents objecting to it.
Third, why can't they excuse Harry? Is entering your name akin to the unbreakable oath that comes up in book 6? And if he technically can't pull out, why doesn't anyone advise him to just sit on the sideline and do nothing. Surely after a while they'd just disqualify or mark him as 0 points right? And why doesn't he speak up and say "guys, I sorta daydreamed about how awesome this would be, but I've only had 3 years of wizarding education and to be honest I'm not great at it, so do you think you can do something to get me out of this hell hole?"
And finally, what do the other Beauxbaton and Durmstrang students do for the year? Do they all get taught by their headmaster during the day, or do they just get a year off? And is the education system the same over there? Do they all start at 11 and go for 7 years? Or do they start earlier/later or organise their semesters differently? Also, they're kidding themselves if they think there schools are truly hidden. Sure, we could never find them. But Beauxbatons? Come on, you'd have to be an absolute idiot to not guess that they're in France somewhere. So calm down Karkaroff, mentioning mountains is not the end of the world.
*I do feel kinda bad for Harry with the entire school turning against him, but at the same time it's probably good not to have everyone instantly worship him like usual.
*The badges are especially mean though.
*Mention of Gregorovitch the wandmaker on p271. JK I love you.
*If Moody had to demonstrate the unforgivable curses did he have to use spiders? I mean jesus dude, bringing spiders into class is terrifying enough.
*Seriously, Rita Skeeter is the WORST. I hate her acid green robes and her stupid face.
*I really enjoy the Fred and George side story. It's a little darker than their usual pranks and jokes routine.
*This is the one time Hagrid's inability to keep a secret was a good thing. Pretty sure Harry would have just collapsed and died if he hadn't had prior warning of the dragons.
*I think this is the first time I realised exactly how big the Forbidden Forest is. They manage to hide 4 cranky dragons in there, no wonder it's forbidden.
*I think it's hilarious that Hermione is so dismissive of Ron and his obsession with Krum, but she was so ridiculous over Lockhart. Girl, take a good hard look in the mirror.
*Bill's pretty good, but Charlie Weasley was always number 1 in my heart. I mean, dragons. Enough said.
*Question about Karkaroff. So he was a deatheater, but he's clearly from overseas. Was there a legion of overseas wizards on Voldey's side and/or was his terror international?
Next week, the Yule Ball!