I'd forgotten how much I really liked the fourth book, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Somehow, I was under the impression that the third book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, had been my favorite so far, but I don't feel that way, now. I'd completely forgotten how fascinating the plot becomes, starting with this fourth book. It is this fourth tale that details Lord Voldemort's return to power and foreshadows the violence to come.
And, once again, I got all choked up at the end, when Headmaster Albus Dumbledore makes a short speech in memory of Cedric Diggory, a Hogwarts student who is killed by Voldemort at the end of the book.
End of School feast: "The end," said Dumbledore, looking around at then all, "of another year."
He paused, and is eyes fell upon the Hufflepuff table….
"There is much that I would like to say to you all tonight," said Dumbledore, "but first I must acknowledge the loss of a very fine person, who should be sitting here," he gestured toward the Huffelpuffs, "enjoying our feast with us. I would like you all, please, to stand, and raise you glasses, to Cedric Diggory."
"Cedric was a person who exemplified many of the qualities that distinguish Huffelpuff house. He was a good and loyal friend, a hard worker, he valued fair play. His death has affected you all, whether you knew him well or not. I think you have the right, therefore, to know exactly how it came about."
"Cedric Diggory was murdered by Lord Voldemort.
... in the light of Lord Voldemort's return, we are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided. Lord Voldemort's gift for spreading discord and enmity is very great. We can fight it only by showing an equally strong bond of friendship and trust. Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
"It is my belief -- and never have I so hoped that I am mistaken -- that we are all facing dark and difficult times. Some of you in this Hall have already suffered directly at the hands of Lord Voldemort. Many of your families have been torn asunder. A week ago, a student was taken from our midst.
Remember Cedric. Remember, if the time should come when you have to make a choice between what is right and what is easy, remember what happened to a boy who was good, and kind, and brave, because he strayed across the path of Lord Voldemort. Remember Cedric Diggory."
Albus Dumbledore always says the right words and delivers them so elegantly. Even so, it's a rough way to end a school year, isn't it?