24

In chapter five of Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, Harry meets two of the Weasley brothers whom he never met before, Charlie and Bill.

Harry looked around and saw that Ron and George were sitting at the scrubbed wooden table with two red-haired people Harry had never seen before, though he knew immediately who they must be: Bill and Charlie, the two eldest Weasley brothers.

But hadn't Harry already met Charlie before while giving away the dragon baby which Hagrid won in cards. Is this a continuity error?

  • 2
    A "bug in the story", as you call it, is usually called a plot hole. – TheLethalCarrot Feb 26 '18 at 16:34
  • 12
    I'm not even sure this is a "plot hole," since the story doesn't depend at all on Charlie being new to Harry. It would be a continuity error, if it was anything. – Azor Ahai Feb 26 '18 at 17:53
71

Charlie didn't come to pick up Norbert

In his response letter to Ron, Charlie says that Norbert will be picked up by some "friends" who are coming to visit him:

I'd be glad to take the Norwegian Ridgeback, but it won't be easy getting him here. I think the best thing will be to send him over with some friends of mine who are coming to visit me next week.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Chapter 14: "Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback"

And when the tradeoff actually takes place, only Charlie's friends are present:

Chuckling about Malfoy, they waited, Norbert thrashing about in his crate. About ten minutes later, four broomsticks came swooping down out of the darkness.

Charlie's friends were a cheery lot.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Chapter 14: "Norbert the Norwegian Ridgeback"

So no, Harry and Charlie had never met in person.

25

Charlie didn't take the dragon, his friends did.

Harry had only sent a letter to Charlie in Romania.

From the letter that Ron sent to Charlie:

I think the best thing will be to send him over with some friends of mine who are coming to visit me next week. ... They can meet you there and take him away while it’s still dark.

And an actual scene:

Charlie’s friends were a cheery lot.

16

While the other answers are correct that Harry had never met Charlie Weasley before, there's still an argument that a continuity error exists.

The text reads:

Harry looked around and saw that Ron and George were sitting at the scrubbed wooden table with two red-haired people Harry had never seen before, though he knew immediately who they must be: Bill and Charlie, the two eldest Weasley brothers.

While he had never met either of them before, he had seen them in the picture from the Daily Prophet from the Weasley's trip to Egypt in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Harry scanned the moving photograph, and a grin spread across his face as he saw all nine of the Weasleys waving furiously at him, standing in front of a large pyramid. Plump little Mrs. Weasley; tall, balding Mr. Weasley; six sons; and one daughter, all (though the black-and-white picture didn’t show it) with flaming-red hair.

  • 5
    Did JKR step here out of her usual third person limited into omniscient? How the narrator knows about the red hair of those Weasleys Harry haven't met? – user68762 Feb 27 '18 at 10:31
  • 1
    @Lt.Ortega Harry had seen the other members of the Weasley family and while technically he can't see the actual colours in the picture, he does know what the hair colour of the people he did see is - and while reading the colour from a black&white picture can be a bit difficult, it's usually not that difficult to tell that two things have (probably) the same colour. Add to that the fact that family resemblance adds a huge prior probability of any unknown Weasley having red hair, and you get a chance at making a very good guess. – Cubic Feb 28 '18 at 10:58
  • @witchy From the first book: "Think my name's funny, do you? No need to ask who you are. My father told me all the Weasleys have red hair, freckles, and more children than they can afford." – Alex Dec 25 '18 at 7:06
  • @Alex oops, missed that – user68762 Dec 25 '18 at 7:24

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