5

A huddle of teenagers in pyjamas was arguing vociferously a little way along the path. When they saw Harry, Ron and Hermione, a girl with thick, curly hair turned and said quickly, "Ou est Madame Maxime? Nous l'avons perdue -"

(Goblet of Fire, Chapter 9, The Dark Mark)

These students are confirmed by Hermione to be pupils at Beauxbatons. They're asking where Madame Maxime is. It seems strange to me that they would expect to find their Headmistress at a sporting event in the middle of the summer. Hogwarts students don't ever see their teachers during the holidays, although Harry does speculate about where Dumbledore might go.

As for informing the Headmaster, Harry had no idea where Dumbledore went during the summer holidays. He amused himself for a moment, picturing Dumbledore, with his long silver beard, full-length wizard's robes and pointed hat, stretched out on a beach somewhere, rubbing suntan lotion into his long crooked nose.

(Goblet of Fire, Chapter 2, The Scar)

Why would the Beauxbatons students expect to find Madame Maxime wandering around in the middle of the woods at the Quidditch World Cup?

  • Maybe she was a quidditch fan – Valorum May 3 '16 at 21:47
  • 1
    What, you've never taken a field trip organized by a school group during the summer? – CBredlow May 3 '16 at 21:48
  • @CBredlow. Not during the holidays, no. – The Dark Lord May 3 '16 at 21:49
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    @TheDarkLord really? Our school would organize a trip for those who made a special list all four quarters of the school year during the summer. For a major event like the Quidditch world cup, I'd assume the school would try to get a group together to go, where the chaperon would be a school administrator. – CBredlow May 3 '16 at 21:53
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    Google Translate says "Nous l'avons perdue" means "We lost her." That makes it sound like they'd been with her, only to lose her later. (The line was probably used for humorous effect; after all, we later learn that Madame Maxime is very hard to miss.) I don't entirely trust Google Translate, however, and there may be subtleties involved that change the meaning somewhat in light of the context, so it'd be nice to have someone actually fluent in French confirm this. – BolteAltamont May 4 '16 at 0:52
9

She was probably their chaperone

It seems most likely that Madame Maxime simply was accompanying the students to the Quidditch World cup.

At least one other school attended the event, though it might have been more of a think tank or similar organization than a school for young witches and wizards:

Three African wizards sat in serious conversation, all of them wearing long white robes and roasting what looked like a rabbit on a bright purple fire, while a group of middle-aged American witches sat gossiping happily beneath a spangled banner stretched between their tents that read: the salem witches’ institute.

Furthermore, school trips to the FIFA World Cup, on which the Quidditch World Cup is based, are not unheard of:

While most college students were home this summer enjoying some time off from school, a group of 17 students participated in the ultimate field trip for their sport management class — a trip to South Africa that included watching the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Undergraduate and graduate students from Mason, as well as Indiana University, Miami University of Ohio, Ohio University, Seattle University and Virginia Commonwealth University, spent close to three weeks traveling to different parts of South Africa to study, sightsee and take in World Cup soccer matches.

For wizards, with their much faster means of transportation, going on a school trip to the World Cup would be much more feasible.

In addition, as @BolteAltamont mentions, the Beauxbatons students say

"Ou est Madame Maxime? Nous l'avons perdue -"

Or

"Where is Madame Maxime? We have lost her–"

This seems to indicate that they had been with Madame Maxime previously, adding weight to the idea that she had accompanied them, rather than merely having attended the match. In addition, the students seemed to think it was very important to find her, which would be unlikely had they been there on their own trip.

5

Because they knew she happened to be there?

You mention that "Hogwarts students don't ever see their teachers during the holidays", but there's nothing to say Madame Maxime was necessarily attending the Quidditch World Cup as a teacher, or as the headmistress of Beauxbatons. Perhaps she's simply a Quidditch fan, and went to the World Cup for her own amusement.

Since she's somewhat hard to miss, given her size, it's likely that the Beauxbatons students would have noticed her there. During all the ruckus and confusion caused by the Death Eaters in the camp, they might have desired the protection of a giantess, or they might simply have been worried about her.

Basically, I think you're reading too much into this.

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