So imagine this:
It’s the evening on the first of September. You and your friends are sitting in the Great Hall with the rest of your House, eating an incredible feat prepared by Hogwarts’ hundred house elves. As the feast begins to wane, Professor Dumbledore, as eccentric as ever, gets up; he’s looking excited, as though he has an incredible secret he wants to share. You would have never guessed the words that come out of his mouth: after centuries, and much debate, the Triwizard Tournament is returning, and it’s happening at Hogwarts! Around the hall, mouths hang open wide. A Weasley spits out “you’re kidding!” and Dumbledore assures him he’s not. Then, Dumbledore begins to explain the rules…
Two other European schools, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang, will be participating in the event, which will begin on Halloween and will run through the rest of the school year. Because of past injuries and deaths, however, the schools have agreed that only students who are of age – aka 17+ – will be eligible to put their names in to compete. You think that this might not be the worst idea – would you really have the knowledge so far in your school career to compete in this tournament? What’s going to happen anyway?
Dumbledore knows this is the biggest question, so he shushes the riotous crowd and gets on with it. There is more than just pride and glory at stake here – there’s also a prize of 1,000 Galleons. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea to try to enter, you think, even if you’re under 17. One thousand Galleons is a lot of money, money you could definitely use.
When Beauxbatons and Durmstrang arrive a month and a half later, the school is at peak excitement. No one can focus on classes, because the thought of what’s to come is bubbling in everyone’s minds. As all three schools sit in the Great Hall, you can feel the excitement and tension boiling over. No one wants to wait, and Dumbledore is happy to oblige. He stands, as he did on the first of September, and explains once more.
The champions for each school will be chosen by an impartial judge – though there will be ways to detect if someone is under age and trying to enter. After the champions are chosen, they will begin to prepare for three tasks over the course of the year. Next is the reveal of the impartial judge: the Goblet of Fire. When it is lit, the fire burns blue. Dumbledore says the announcement of the Goblet’s choices will occur at the Halloween feat, thus beginning the tournament.
Everyone is dismissed, and excited chatter fills the air. Everyone begins to speculate who will enter, who will be chosen; more than a few people will attempt aging potions and will be rushed to the hospital wing with incredibly long beards.
You look around and wonder, should you put your name in the Goblet of Fire?
Isn’t that the hardest question you’ve ever heard? It’s easy when you’re like me, and you know what to expect in the coming tasks. But imagine, truly, if you were sitting at Hogwarts when that opportunity is announced. Can you really say no? Are you brave enough to say yes? Anyone who says that is an easy question and answer combo is a more interesting person than I am.
So now it’s time for me to consider the question – would I really enter? This is a loaded question for me; who wouldn’t want the glory of winning for your school, plus receiving 1,000 galleons?! It’s a really tempting offer. But even if I was in 7th year, I can’t imagine being confident enough in my skills to really compete and do well. Still, it would be tempting, even with the risks.
So let’s really think about this. What are my qualities that I believe would be helpful to competing in the Tourney?
- I’m smart. Let’s say I’ve been at Hogwarts for at least four years. That means I’ve learned a decent bit of magic so far, and with my intelligence I think I’d be able to pick up new spells in a rather quick time frame, which gives me the ability to really prepare for the tasks. I also like riddles, which would definitely help me with the Sphinx.
- I’m friendly. While this might not seem to be super important in a competition, we see clearly how Harry’s decency (friendliness) pays off for him. Harry gives Cedric a heads up about the Dragons, and Cedric in turns helps Harry with the egg. I think that if I could become not-enemies with my competitors, that could definitely help me in the long run.
- I’m athletic. Being athletic will help me maneuver in the challenges – running through the maze, swimming in the lake, and getting around the dragon. Still not sure how I’d get by the dragon, but that’s neither here nor there.
What wouldn’t be great about me competing, though?
- I panic. It’s true; when things get stressful, I tend to have a moment or twelve of panic before I can really continue and think straight again. I’m good under pressure, but I certainly have a breaking point. What if, in my moments of panic, I do something stupid and, ya know, die?!
- I’m small. At barely 5’2″ it’s possible that my height could work against me. What if I couldn’t reach the egg or drag my Wheezy back to the surface because of my small arms?
- I lose my temper. Along with panicking, I can lose my temper. I try to keep it under control, but in immensely stressful situations, it definitely happens. And that’s NOT good for a tournament like this. What if I got really, really angry at the merchief and wasted time on that issue rather than trying to save my Wheezy? Not good. What if I got mad at myself for messing up a spell while trying to get the egg, and got burned by the dragon? Also not good. It definitely would be better to be even keeled.
So that’s three pros and three cons. My pros are good, but the cons certainly bring them down. If I know me at all, I don’t think I enter the Triwizard Tournament. Even with my quick learning abilities, I’m not sure I’d ever think I was ready for that sort of competition – even though I love competition a lot.
What do you think, lovely readers? Do you have what it takes to take on the students from Beauxbatons and Durmstrang (or Hogwarts, if you’d like to go to one of the others)? How would you fair in the Triwizard Tournament? Let me know below!