This book is where I started to be suspicious of Snape’s allegiance when I first read the series, and reading it again, I get the same feelings. We know that Dumbledore trusts him implicitly, but I get the feeling he’s hiding something.
We’re also introduced more to the house-elves, with Hermione starting SPEW to try and protect them, even though most of them don’t want to be helped and are perfectly happy how they are. Although we also find out that not all house-elves are the same, Barty Crouch’s house elf Winky is definitely nothing like Dobby, loyal to Crouch even after he releases her from his service, desperate to be taken back and ashamed of Dobby for taking pay from Dumbledore.
This book also ramps up the tumultuous relationship between Ron and Hermione, with Ron’s jealousy at Hermione going to the ball with Krum exceedingly evident. And Hermione’s feelings are not exactly hidden either, ‘Just because it’s taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn’t mean no one else has spotted I’m a girl!‘
My favourite quote from this book was from Sirius:
“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals”
At more than 600 pages, this book was a beast, and the next one is more than 700! Could take me a while…