Chapter 1 Summary
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth installment of the Harry Potter series, begins with a vivid description of the Riddle House, a creepy and derelict old manor home in Little Hangleton. Supposedly, fifty years ago on a summer morning, the maid found all three Riddle family members dead with their eyes wide open. It is not long before the villagers begin talking about how rich and snooty the Riddles were, never wanting to “mix” with other than their own class. Although a man named Frank Bryce was arrested for the crime, rumor had it that a pale, dark-haired, teenage boy was seen near the Riddle home before the murders. Bryce was acquitted when the bodies were examined and the victims were found to be in perfect health...except that they were dead. No cause of death could be found: they simply had looks of terror on their faces. Bryce, who was the caretaker for the grounds of the Riddle home, returned promptly to his cottage on the premises, surprising everyone.
Frank lives there still, fifty years later. One evening Frank notices a light in the Riddle manor window. Thinking it is a teenage prank, Frank goes over to investigate. Frank finds the perpetrators, notices the fire is tinged green, and begins to listen to their conversation. Two men are speaking; one is named “Wormtail,” and the other has a strange, cold voice. They speak of “milking Nagini” and waiting for the “Quidditch World Cup” to be over before taking action. Wormtail tries to exhibit his loyalty, but he is terrified of the other man in the room, one who speaks in a hiss about murder and other serious crimes (including a planned murder at Hogwarts). Just as Frank decides to go to the police, Nagini (an enormous snake) slithers past him into the room and reveals Frank’s presence. Lord Voldemort reveals himself to Frank before finishing him off in a flash of green light.